Life Advocacy Briefing

February 20, 2023

‘Born-Alive Survivors’ Bill Filed in Senate
When Did America Become Imperialistic? / Upping the Ante
Proud of a Shameful Act / ‘Abortion Emergency’? Really?
March for Life Rally Speech / Senate Co-Sponsors of ‘Born-Alive’ Bill
Senate Judiciary Committee Roster

‘Born-Alive Survivors’ Bill Filed in Senate

SENATORS JOHN THUNE (R-SD) & JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK) HAVE FILED S-204, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, along with 25 further co-sponsors. The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee and would, writes Nancy Flanders for Live Action, “require that abortion facilities and medical providers treat babies born alive during failed abortions with appropriate medical care that would be provided to any newborn of the same age.” We publish the names of the Senate co-sponsors near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and publish also the names of Senators on the Judiciary Committee.

The bill is the same as HR-26, one of the first proposals to pass the House in the current session, scoring a vote of 220 to 210 on Jan. 11. The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), along with 166 co-sponsors.

The proposal “ensures,” writes Ms. Flanders, “that abortion survivors are considered legal persons for all purposes under United States law and are entitled to protection under the law. …

“The bill states,” she reports, “‘Any healthcare practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall (A) exercise the same degree of professional sill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious healthcare practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and (B) following the exercise of skill, care and diligence required under subparagraph A, ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.’

“Any medical provider that fails to comply with the bill, should it become law,” writes Ms. Flanders, “could face civil liability and criminal charges including fines and/or imprisonment for up to five years. The mother cannot be prosecuted but can pursue damages against the person who carried out the abortion on her baby.”

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver said, in a news release announcing the Senate bill’s filing, “The Senate must pass this bill to end infanticide. The ‘Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act’ will protect babies that have survived abortion and are fighting for life,” he said. “This common-sense bill should have overwhelming bipartisan support to ensure that every child is protected.”

The LC news release also cites testimony by an LC client and stemcell research expert, undercover journalist Sandra Merritt, “that various studies involving baby human hearts had to have been conducted while the hearts were still beating when cut out. In other words,” she said, reported by LC, “the babies had to have been born alive.”

Even the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC), according to LC, “reports that at least 143 babies were born alive after an attempted abortion between 2003 and 2014 – a number derived from only eight states that reported this information.”


When Did America Become Imperialistic?

THE BIDEN REGIME – in the name of the United States of America – is bullying one of the world’s poorest countries to forego its greatest treasure to satisfy the depopulation fanatics.

The country? Benin, population 13 million, located in West Africa. The offense? Signing onto the 2020 Geneva Consensus Declaration, introduced to the international community by the United States and signed by more than 30 countries, including Benin. The Declaration? That abortion is not a human right, reports Mary Zwicker for LifeSiteNews.

Not only has Benin signed a declaration for the right to life of all the world’s unborn children, but the country has also withheld its imprimatur from the some-think-sacred 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population & Development (ICPD) Programme of Action, which promotes governmental suppression of population.

Tut-tut, declares the US government, whose Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Michele Taylor, “recommended in her statement on behalf of the US government” – offered at the quadrennial session of the UN’s “Universal Periodic Review” of human rights records around the world – “that the Republic of Benin ‘recommit to implementing the 1994 ICPD, including through national commitments made at the ICPD+25 Nairobi Summit: work to achieve health- and gender-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.’” In other words, submit to international demands for relaxing laws protecting unborn children.

“‘I find it astonishing,’” said Institute for Women’s Health founder and president Valerie Huber, quoted by Ms. Zwicker, “‘that the US government would pressure a sovereign country to withdraw from the Geneva Consensus Declaration.’”

It is especially concerning that the US government would single out a country whose abortion laws are among the most relaxed in Africa. “Under its current law,” notes Ms. Zwicker, “abortion is legal in Benin up to 12 weeks gestation if the pregnancy would ‘aggravate or cause a situation of material, educational, professional or moral distress incompatible with the interest or the woman and/or the unborn child.’”

So to the Biden Regime, even a law permitting abortion some six weeks after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected must be stamped out. Even for a poor country in Africa, whose future hope rests in a growing population.


Upping the Ante

THE GOVERNOR OF TENNESSEE, Bill Lee (R), included in his State of the State message on Feb. 6 his plan to expand state support for crisis pregnancy centers to $100 million.

“‘Pro-life is much more than defending the lives of the unborn,’” the governor declared, according to Catholic News Agency (CNA) reporter Peter Pinedo. “‘It’s not a matter of politics; this is about human dignity. …

“‘There was a significant shift in this country last year when it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn,’ [Gov.] Lee said, referring to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. ‘We now all have an opportunity, a moral obligation, to support strong Tennessee families.’”


Proud of a Shameful Act

IN THE CONTINUED PATCHWORK STITCHING of America’s abortion policy, Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz (D) in late January signed into law a “‘right to unlimited abortion,’” reports Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews.

After voting down amendments “to preserve some limits on abortion,” writes Mr. Freiburger, both chambers of the legislature passed the “Protect Reproductive Options Act,” which is counter to human reproduction. The governor signed it “at a ceremony,” notes LifeSiteNews, “joined by Planned Parenthood North Central States president Sarah Stoesz, Valley News Live reports.

Responded Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life co-executive director Cathy Blaeser, quoted by Mr. Freiburger: “‘Let’s be clear: The PRO Act would mean it’s legal for any baby to be aborted, for any reason and at any time up to birth. … The absolutist extremism of this bill [will] put Minnesota in the company of just a handful of countries worldwide, among them China and North Korea. Mothers and babies deserve a far more humane and compassionate approach.’

“Under the law, ‘a school counselor can take a student to an abortion clinic without their parents’ knowledge,’ warns Tim Miller, executive director of Pro-Life Action Ministries Action,” quoted by Mr. Freiburger. “‘An unborn child can be murdered up to one second before they leave their mother’s birth canal. There will be no requirement for an abortion to take place in a clinic setting, and a doctor is no longer needed.’”


‘Abortion Emergency’? Really?

Jan. 31, 2023, The Washington Stand report by Joshua Arnold

             Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Monday that his department is conducting “an evaluation” about whether to declare a public health emergency declaration regarding abortion. The evaluation comes amid a “discussion on a wide range of measures,” explained Becerra, and the department has yet to conduct a “full assessment.” Still, the concept has developed far enough that the secretary chose to float the possibility of an emergency declaration publicly.

             HHS did not respond to a request for comment about the status and nature of its assessment. When asked last summer about declaring a public health emergency to promote abortion, Jen Klein, director of the White House Gender Policy Council, said it “didn’t seem like a great option” because of its negligible impact. The White House has not indicated whether its position has changed.

             “It would be nothing short of political theater for the Biden Administration to declare a public  health emergency over pro-life laws protecting children from being killed in their mothers’ wombs,” Joy Stockbauer, policy analyst for Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity, told The Washington Stand. “This move would only mark a desperate ploy to maintain the good graces of the abortion extremists among the Democrat base.”

             “There are certain criteria that you look for to be able to declare a public health emergency,” continued Becerra. “That’s typically done by scientists and those that are professionals in those fields who will tell us whether we are in a state of emergency. And, based on that, I have the ability to make a declaration.”

             Per 42 US Code 247d, to declare a public health emergency, the HHS secretary must determine that “(1) a disease or disorder presents a public health emergency; or (2) a public health emergency, including significant outbreaks of infectious diseases or bioterrorist attacks, otherwise exists.” Declaring a public health emergency grants the HHS secretary power to take “appropriate” actions, “including making grants, providing awards for expenses and entering into contracts and conducting and supporting investigations into the cause, treatment or prevention of a disease or disorder.” This including assessing a special public health emergency fund and even temporarily reassigning other federally funded personnel.

             UC/Davis law professor Mary Ziegler said that a public health emergency on abortion “would potentially make it easier for people who need to travel out-of-state to get abortions or to get abortion medication.”

             “Their goal here is to get abortion drugs over the counter,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) pointed out on Washington Watch. “This is the most pro-abortion Administration in the history of our country.”

             “It would be highly concerning if the Administration used a public health emergency to fast-track new forms of chemical abortion drugs, given that those already in existence are four times more dangerous for women than even surgical abortions are,” said [Ms.] Stockbauer.

             Becerra’s remarks came on the same day as the White House announced plans to extend two Covid emergency declarations one last time. The Covid-19 national emergency is currently scheduled to expire on March 1, and the Covid-19 public health emergency is currently scheduled to expire on April 11. In a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP), the White House said it plans “to extend the emergency declarations to May 11 and then end both emergencies on that date.” “They’re going to replace one emergency with another,” said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, host of Washington Watch. …

             It’s not just legislators who can push back against this executive overreach; ordinary citizens can play a role too. Perkins predicted the Biden Administration is “going to draw a strong reaction from Americans for the misuse of government power.” [Sen.] Marshall urged citizens to “reach out to their own lawmakers” regarding the “past overdue” termination of the Covid-19 emergencies and the possible declaration of an abortion emergency. “I would say write a letter to the White House, but I think they would ignore it. So please start with your own legislators,” he urged.


March for Life Rally Speech

Speech by NFL Hall-of-Famer Tony Dungy at the Jan. 20, 2023, March for Life rally on the National Mall; transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

             Hey, thank you so much! It is great to be here. I can’t tell you how much excitement Lauren and I have to be here today. Even though this March is taking place right at the biggest time of my profession – the NFL playoffs – this is way, way, way more important.

             It’s amazing to me that God actually used football to shine some light on the subject of Life for all of us. Three weeks ago, during a game in Cincinnati, something happened that impacted our entire country. A young man named Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills made a routine tackle, and his heart stopped beating, right on the field. It could have been tragic, but something miraculous happened. The team medical staff rushed out – they got Damar’s heart started again. But you know what? That wasn’t the miracle. The real miracle was the reaction of everyone to that. The announcers on the broadcast – what did they say? “All we can do is pray.” And all across the country, people started praying.

             Lauren and I, we were having dinner with friends of ours, and we stopped what we were doing and we prayed right there. The Bills players prayed right on the spot. Now usually when that happens, the cameras cut away from that, because we don’t like to see that. Back when I was coaching in the 1990s, a few Christian players got together, and they said, We want to pray after the game. And we actually got a memo from the NFL office, said, Don’t let your players do that. If you do, you’ll be fined, because that’s not appropriate. Can you believe that? That’s a true story. But last week – or three weeks ago – everybody on that field was praying. And it continued. The next week, at every stadium in the NFL, teams got together and prayed, and it was amazing. Well, those prayers were answered. Damar’s recovering now; he’s home. He’s been released from the hospital.

             So what’s the lesson in that? You know, an unbelievable thing happened that night – a professional football game with millions of dollars of ticket money and advertising money on the line – that game was canceled. Why? Because a life was at stake, and people wanted to see that life saved. Even people who aren’t necessarily religious got together and called on God. Well that should be encouraging to us, because that’s exactly why we’re here today. Because every day in this country innocent lives are at stake, and the only difference is, they don’t belong to a famous athlete, and they’re not seen on national TV. But those lives are still important to God and in God’s eyes.

             Psalm 139 tells us that God is watching every one of these young bodies as they’re growing in their mothers’ wombs, because He placed them there. Now we know that there are a lot of people in this country that don’t believe that. They don’t see these babies as being important. They don’t even see them as lives. So what can we do about that? I think we have to take a lesson from Damar’s story. We have to pray. We need to pray with the same fervor that we prayed with during that week, because God answers prayer, and He will answer these prayers to save these precious unborn lives as we go forward.

             So if we do our part, we’ll save more and more of these lives. But that can’t be the end of the story. When God does give us more of these lives, what are we going to do to nurture these children and help them grow?

[Coach Dungy concludes by introducing his wife for a beautiful speech about their family’s ministry of adoption.]


Senate Co-Sponsors of ‘Born-Alive’ Bill

JOINING SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD) & SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK) are GOP Senators Britt/AL, Sullivan/AK, Boozman & Cotton/AR, Rubio & Scott/FL, Crapo & Risch/ID, Braun & Young/IN, Marshall & Moran/KS, Hyde-Smith/MS, Fischer/NE, Budd & Tillis/NC, Hoeven/ND, Vance/OH, Mullin/OK, Blackburn/TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Johnson/WI and Barrasso & Lummis/WY.


Senate Judiciary Committee Roster

Chairman Richard Durbin (D-IL), along with Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein & Alex Padilla/CA, Richard Blumenthal/CT, Christopher Coons/DE, Jon Ossoff/GA, Mazie Hirono/HI, Amy Klobuchar/MN, Cory Booker/NJ, Sheldon Whitehouse/RI and Peter Welch/VT.

Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC), along with Republican Senators Tom Cotton/AR, Chuck Grassley/IA, John Kennedy/LA, Josh Hawley/MO, Thom Tillis/NC, Marsha Blackburn/TN, John Cornyn & Ted Cruz/TX and Mike Lee/UT.

Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121.