Life Advocacy Briefing

February 27, 2023

Putting Down the States, Again / Competing in the Killing Business
Illinois to Go After Pregnancy Centers? / Challenge in Wisconsin
Governor Contests Coming This Year / What’s the Excuse for This?
Organizing for the Next Phase / Nugget from the State of the Union Address
Senator Stands Up to Pentagon Abortion Agenda

Putting Down the States, Again

A BILL HAS BEEN FILED IN THE U.S. SENATE claiming to offer “Reproductive Freedom for All.” It appears to be the press release bill of this session for those who owe their elections to the abortion cartel. S-317 has just four sponsors: Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Kyrsten Sinema (D/I-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME). The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, whose roster we published in last week’s Life Advocacy Briefing.

Said Sen. Kaine, quoted by Live Action’s Cassy Fiano-Chesser, “‘In the wake of the Dobbs decision, we have seen just how necessary Roe v. Wade was, which is why I’ve worked with my colleagues to find common ground on this bipartisan compromise that would restore Roe’s protections.’”

But the new “give-me-a-gold-star” abortion bill – deadly as it is – is not as extreme as Roe or of last year’s radical “Women’s Health Protection Act.” That bill was too much even for Senators Collins and Murkowski, who surprised America by voting against it.

“If enacted,” writes Ms. Chesser, “the RFRA would ban all restrictions on abortion before ‘viability.’” It would not restore the radical Roe, but it would undermine robust and ongoing efforts by state legislators to protect the lives of unborn children in their states and to give their states a reputation for a life-welcoming climate.


Competing in the Killing Business

THE RITE AID PHARMACY CHAIN has now joined Walgreens and CVS, reports Jean Mondoro for LifeSiteNews, in announcing “plans to distribute mifepristone [RU-486] at certain locations, both by mail and in person. … Rite Aid has over 2,330 stores across 17 states in America, including California, Massachusetts, New York, Washington state, Oregon, Vermont, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Idaho, Delaware and Connecticut. …

“Shortly after the FDA updated its abortion pill guidelines, CVS and Walgreens announced that their businesses would begin the certification process,” writes Ms. Mondoro. “These two retailers have stores in all 50 states, including Washington, DC.”

The FDA’s new “guidelines” dump the safeguard that a medical doctor examine an abortion pill customer before prescribing or dispensing the drug, which has proven risky to aborting mothers as well as fatal to their developing babies. The relaxation of the protections in place since the drug was cleared for US marketing in late 2000, just before Pres. Bill Clinton left office, makes the baby poison just another prescription drug.

Earlier news reports stated that the FDA is attaching a confidentiality pledge to its RU pharmacy certification, requiring pharmacies to pledge they will require dispensing pharmacists to protect the identity of prescribers even from fellow employees.

Organizations like Right to Life of Michigan have begun circulating a petition to the pharmacy companies offering pro-life customers the opportunity to ask their favorite pharmacies not to dispense the abortion pill.

The FDA move makes more urgent than ever efforts by state legislators to outlaw the dispensing of the abortion drug within their borders.


Illinois to Go After Pregnancy Centers?

APPARENTLY HOSTING THE NATION’s MOST ABORTION-HOSPITABLE CLIMATE is not enough for some Illinois legislators. Having already repealed every hard-won pro-life reform law from its books, the Illinois General Assembly is now considering a bill “targeting crisis pregnancy centers for prosecution,” reports Illinois Federation for Right to Life (IFRL). The measure was filed by Sen. Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago).

“SB-1909 would enable the [Illinois] Attorney General to investigate a crisis pregnancy clinic,” explains IFRL, “whenever ‘the Attorney General believes it to be in the public interest that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether a limited services pregnancy center has engaged in, is engaging in or is about to engage in, any practice declared to be unlawful by the Act.”

So, what would be unlawful? The proposal, reports IFRL, “would prohibit ‘a limited services pregnancy center from using or employing any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise or misrepresentation or the concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact’ with the intent to ‘interfere’ with a person trying to access abortion or ‘emergency contraception’ (which can act as an abortifacient).” 

Fraud is already illegal. But the provision about “suppress[ing] … any material fact” clearly is intended to force pregnancy care centers into abortion advocacy, since any communication in a crisis pregnancy center is intended to lead a troubled expectant mother into turning away from abortion.

Illinois legislators may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-217/782-2000.


Challenge in Wisconsin

PRO-LIFE CITIZENS IN WISCONSIN have a special challenge in an April 4 general election for state supreme court justice. Voters in the nonpartisan primary last Tuesday chose one liberal candidate, Janet Protasiewicz, and one conservative nominee, Daniel Kelly.

According to New York Times writer Reid Epstein, “If Protasiewicz prevails in six weeks, it will tip the balance of the state’s seven-member supreme court, which has been controlled by conservatives since 2008. The court would have a four-member liberal majority,” writes Mr. Epstein, “that would be likely to overturn the state’s 1849 law forbidding abortion in nearly all cases, redraw Wisconsin’s heavily gerrymandered legislative and congressional maps, and influence how the state’s 10 electoral votes are awarded after the 2024 Presidential election.”


Governor Contests Coming This Year

PRO-LIFE CITIZENS WILL BE WATCHING – and in the states involved, no doubt assisting in – elections for governor in three states this year: Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi, reports National Right to Life political director Karen Cross.

Kentucky’s pro-abortion governor, Democrat Andy Beshear, is seeking re-election. More than a dozen Republican candidates have lined up for the opportunity to challenge him, notes Ms. Cross, with the state’s attorney general, pro-life champion Daniel Cameron, leading the pack, according to a January poll.

Louisiana’s pro-life Democrat governor, Jon Bel Edwards, “is term-limited,” writes Ms. Cross, “and unable to run for a third term.” Among the four major candidates who have announced for governor, all are pro-life. The field includes former US Rep. Jeff Landry (R), who is currently the state’s attorney general. The others listed by Ms. Cross are State Treasurer John Schroder, State Sen. Sharon Hewitt and State Rep. Richard Nelson. Others may well enter the contest by the Aug. 10 filing deadline. Then the state’s voters will go to the polls for what is called a “primary” on Oct. 14, with all parties’ candidates appearing on the same ballot. That “primary” serves as the election in any contest where one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote. The gubernatorial contest – featuring so many candidates – will likely go to a run-off election on Nov. 18, in which just the top two candidates will compete.

And in Mississippi, pro-life Gov. Tate Reeves (R) is seeking re-election. “Democrats,” reports Ms. Cross, “are hoping for an upset following the entry of Brandon Presley, a distant relative of Elvis Presley, into the race. Polls taken in January and February, 2023, found Reeves leading Presley by just a slim margin,” she writes. The primaries in Mississippi are scheduled for Aug. 8. Gov. Reeves is “pursuing,” writes Ms. Cross, “a series of legislative goals he has termed the New Pro-Life Agenda, which according to his website is ‘aimed at making adoption easier, strengthening families, reducing the costs of raising children and continuing to build a culture of life throughout the state.’”


What’s the Excuse for This?

PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, has landed a $250,000 grant, reports Live Action’s Cassy Fiano-Chesser, “as part of the American Rescue Plan Act,” which the Biden Regime pushed through Congress in 2021 “to alleviate hardships from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The grant was secured by State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti, which should come as no surprise, in view of her background.  Ms. Cappellitti is a lawyer who was elected to the state senate in 2020 after working, according to her Wikipedia biography, “as a legislative fellow at the Pennsylvania state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union before joining the Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services, where she worked as a children’s advocate and policy specialist. She later served as director of policy for Planned Parenthood’s Pennsylvania affiliate.” (Anyone besides us expect she will be considered for a federal judicial appointment during the Biden Regime?)

“‘I am thrilled we were able to secure this funding,’” she said, reports Mrs. Chesser, “‘which will make reproductive health care more accessible for patients in [her district].’”

Can anyone identify what this taxpayer gift to Planned Parenthood has to do with the Chinese flu?


Organizing for the Next Phase

TWENTY DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS HAVE FORMED AN ALLIANCE, reports UPI writer Sheri Walsh, “to guarantee abortion rights” following the Dobbs ruling eliminating the Roe v. Wade travesty.

Claiming to be a “non-partisan coalition” but led by abortion fanatic and prospective Presidential candidate Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), the so-called alliance “will ‘work together to strengthen reproductive freedom in the face of an unprecedented assault on abortion access,’ according to a joint statement from the governors,” quoted by Ms. Walsh.

“‘In the face of this unprecedented assault by states hostile to abortion rights and their enablers in the courts, we are pledging to work together to strengthen abortion firewalls across America,’ the statement said,” quoted by UPI. “‘This fight isn’t over.’”

Here are the 20 states whose governors signed on to the death-dealing document: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin.

“Funding for the Alliance,” reports Ms. Walsh, “is being provided by the California Wellness Foundation, with additional support from the [California-based] Rosenberg Foundation.”


Nugget from the State of the Union Address

Feb. 8, 2022, excerpt from The Washington Stand by Ben Johnson

             During his State of the Union Address [Feb. 7], President Joe Biden called on Congress “to restore the soul of this nation” by making abortion legal nationwide until birth and passing a bill that would force religious employers to hire people who identify as transgender.

             His Administration’s focus on pushing polarizing social issues clashes with Republicans’ more mainstream views of abortion and gender identity, a contrast that Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) [in her rebuttal address] said gives Americans a clear choice “between normal and crazy.”

             “Congress must restore the right the Supreme Court took away last year and codify Roe v. Wade to protect every woman’s constitutional right to choose,” said Biden, an apparent nod to the “Women’s Health Protection” Act, which would erase 1,381 pro-life protections including parental notification requirements. The Vice President and I are doing everything we can to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient privacy.”

             He went on to chide states for enacting “extreme abortion bans” and threatened to veto any national pro-life legislation.


Senator Stands Up to Pentagon Abortion Agenda

Feb. 22, 2023, The Washington Stand commentary by Joshua Arnold

             Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) declared Friday that he would “follow through” with a “plan to hold all DoD civilian, flag and general officer nominations that come before the US Senate” in response to the Dept. of Defense (DoD) “following through” with a “radical plan to facilitate thousands of abortions a year with taxpayer dollars.”

             While Tuberville cannot singlehandedly sack military promotions, he can block the lane. The Senate typically confirms DoD and military nominations and promotions (approximately 50,000 per year) in batch votes by unanimous consent to save time.

             However, Tuberville can force the Senate to hold a formal vote (around 15 minutes) for each general and admiral promotion. With more than 200 promotions pending action before the Senate Armed Services Committee or full Senate as of Tuesday, this process would have the potential to significantly slow down the Senate’s work. “While Tuberville is using some procedural tools at his disposal to slow down DoD nominees, it is likely they will still get confirmed just at a later date or will force the Senate to prioritize which nominees they want to move,” Connor Semelsberger, FRC’s director of Federal Affairs for Life & Human Dignity, told The Washington Stand.

             The DoD on Thursday announced three new policies granting up to 21 days of “administrative absence to non-covered reproductive health care,” subsidizing “travel for non-covered reproductive healthcare services,” and loosening “command notification of pregnancy” to benefit abortion.

             “For the first time in US history,” said Semelsberger, “this new, expanded policy … is proposing to allow up to 21 days of paid leave to get an abortion, pay for travel and accommodations to go out of state to get an abortion, and drastically prioritizes abortion over childbirth in a new policy delaying when a servicemember must disclose a pregnancy to an officer.”

             The policies came in response to an Oct. 20, 2022, memo by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin lamenting that the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision “has impacted access to reproductive health care with readiness, recruiting and retentions implications for the Force.” … In his memo, Austin committed DoD to “taking all appropriate action, within its authority and consistent with applicable federal law, as soon as possible to ensure that our Service members and their families can access reproductive health care.”

             US Code specifies that DoD funds and facilities “may not be used to perform abortions except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or in a case in which the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.” Congress adopted the provision governing DoD funds in 1984. It added the provision governing DoD facilities in 1996 after Pres. Clinton “attempted to circumvent the law” by “allowing federally funded DoD facilities to provide abortions if ‘the procedure is privately funded.’”

             The Dept. of Justice had lent a shadow of legality to Austin’s memo in an Oct. 3, 2022, opinion concluding that, “The Dept. of Defense may lawfully expend funds to pay for service members and their dependents to travel to obtain abortions that DoD cannot itself perform due to statutory restrictions.”

             However, 66 Members of Congress wrote Austin a letter on Dec. 15, 2022, notifying him that “funding travel and transportation to obtain non-covered, elective abortions through the DoD would, in and of itself violate federal law. It also contradicts DoD’s past recognition, interpretation and implementation of this law.”

             The letter continued, “Both the law itself and Congressional intent are clear: the US military may not fund elective abortion. This necessarily includes funding for any activity necessitated by the abortion, such as travel and transportation.” The lead House Member on the letter was Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who has been in Congress since 1981, giving him first-hand knowledge of Congress’s intentions in 1984 and 1996.

             Hence Tuberville’s block on officer nominations. “If Secretary Austin wants to change law, he should go through Congress,” said Tuberville. “This is an illegal expansion of DoD authority and gross misuse of taxpayer dollars – and I will hold him accountable. The American people want a military focused on national defense, not facilitating a progressive political agenda.”

             Tuberville and other Republican Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee demanded an explanation of Austin’s Oct. 20 [memo] in a Nov. 21, 2022, letter. After DoD scheduled and then abruptly canceled a briefing without explanation, Tuberville placed a hold on DoD nominations on Dec. 5 until they rescheduled the meeting – which they did within 24 hours.

             After learning of DoD’s intentions, on Dec. 9, Tuberville “announced his intent to place a hold on all future US Dept. of Defense civilian and general flag officer nominees” if the DoD implemented the proposed new policies. Now that they have followed through on policies facilitating abortion, Tuberville is following through on his pledge to gum up the works.

             “I applaud Sen. Tuberville for his efforts to prevent the DoD from using taxpayer money for abortions in the military. The method he is using is legitimate and has been used before particularly about DoD issues that Senators have found objectionable,” Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council’s executive vice president, told The Washington Stand. “Holding up nominations and promotions within the DoD will get the attention of the President and the Secretary of Defense and most likely force them into a dialog between DoD, Sen Tuberville and other supporters of his effort.”

             “Sen. Tuberville’s decision to take a principled stand against the Pentagon’s radical abortion agenda represents what a vast majority of Americans agree on. They do not want their tax dollars subsidizing abortion,” agreed Semelsberger. Yet, “in the end, the Pentagon is likely to continue its push towards flying service members around the country to get elective abortions on the taxpayers’ dime.”