Life Advocacy Briefing

March 6, 2023

Make Taxpayer Protection Permanent! / Heading Off Another Slap / Nice Try
South Carolina Fighting for Heartbeat Law / ‘Life’ Can Stand in Kentucky
Unexpected Reversal / Authorizing States to Enforce ‘Hyde’
Sponsors of Bills to Make ‘Hyde’ Permanent

Make Taxpayer Protection Permanent!

LEGISLATION HAS BEEN FILED in both houses in Washington to make permanent the prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion, which has been renewed as an appropriation amendment every year since the late Rep. Henry Hyde first offered it in 1976.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) has filed S-62 along with 46 co-sponsors; it has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. In the House, HR-7 was filed in early January by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and 133 co-sponsors; it has been referred to the House Committees on Energy & Commerce, Judiciary and Ways & Means.

We list the co-sponsors of these two top-priority bills at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, encouraging our readers to contact their home-state senators and US representative, thanking them for co-sponsoring or urging them to sign onto “Making the Hyde Amendment permanent” as co-sponsors or at least to vote in favor of these essential bills. [Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121]


Heading Off Another Slap

TOO BAD IT IS NECESSARY in these days of extreme angst over the Supreme Court’s ruling that states have the right to protect the lives of their own future citizens.

Legislation has been filed in the US House and Senate to block the Biden Regime from declaring a “public health emergency” in the wake of the Dobbs decision. More than 80 House Democrats signed a letter last June “lambast[ing] the Dobbs decision,” reports Sam Dorman for Live Action, and claiming the Dobbs decision had “ ‘precipitated a full-scale reproductive health crisis across our nation.’”

Now “reporting [has] emerged,” writes Mr. Dorman, “that the Health & Human Services Dept. was considering declaring [that] public health emergency. …

“It’s unclear how the White House will act,” cautions Mr. Dorman, “but declaring a national emergency is one of many avenues pro-abortion forces have explored as a way to bypass state abortion laws.” And overusing executive power to ditch constitutional protections in the face of a “national emergency” seems to be a developing pattern for the Biden Regime.

The companion bills would, reports Mr. Dorman, “ban the executive branch from declaring national emergencies by amending the National Emergencies Act and Public Health Service Act.”

Assigned to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, S-196  is sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with GOP Senators Rick Scott (FL), Mike Crapo & James Risch (ID), Mike Braun (IN), Cindy Hyde-Smith & Roger Wicker (MS), Josh Hawley (MO), Thomas Tillis (NC), Kevin Cramer (ND), James Lankford (OK), Mike Rounds (SD) and Mike Lee (UT).

In the House, HR-1143 has been filed by Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) and assigned to two committees: Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and Committee on Energy & Commerce. Co-sponsors are GOP Representatives Paul Gosar (AZ), Greg Steube (FL), Barry Loudermilk (GA), Mark Alford (MO), Chris Smith (NJ) and Jeff Duncan (SC).


Nice Try

FRANTIC ABOUT LOSING THE U.S. HOUSE MAJORITY, the abortion lobby’s fellow travelers in Congress have filed legislation to permanently block the Hyde Amendment and mandate insurers to cover abortion.

Chief sponsor of the “Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act” is Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), joined by 171 co-sponsors, all of whom are Democrats. HR-561 has been referred to eight committees in the House: Energy & Commerce; Ways & Means; Natural Resources; Armed Services; Veterans’ Affairs; Judiciary; Oversight & Accountability and Foreign Affairs. It has been sent to subcommittee in the Veterans’ Affairs and Natural Resources committees.

In a typically irrational rant, co-sponsor Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said, in a news release quoted by Cassy Fiano-Chesser for Live Action, “‘The Hyde Amendment is a racist, discriminatory policy designed to put reproductive and economic freedom out of reach for women of color and low-income women who need an abortion. By restricting Medicaid coverage of abortion, the Hyde Amendment robs those working to make ends meet of the freedom to control their lives and decisions about what is best for their families.’” You can’t make this up!


South Carolina Fighting for Heartbeat Law

THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN SOUTH CAROLINA is going back to the state’s supreme court, reports Bridget Sielicki for Live Action, to seek a rehearing of the case in which the court – on Jan. 5 – struck down the state’s Heartbeat Law, ruling “that abortion is a protected constitutional right in the state, saying,” writes Ms. Sielicki, “‘[the] state constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to have an abortion.’”

We invite our readers to try to make sense of this declaration by lead Justice Kaye Hearn, quoted by Ms. Sielicki: “‘We hold that the decision to terminate a pregnancy rests up on the utmost personal and private considerations imaginable and implicates a woman’s right to privacy. While this right is not absolute and must be balanced against the state’s interest in protecting unborn life,’” wrote the judge, “‘this Act, which severely limits – and in many instances completely forecloses – abortion, is an unreasonable restriction upon a woman’s right to privacy and is therefore unconstitutional.’”

Responded Attorney General Alan Wilson, quoted by Ms. Sielicki from a statement regarding his request for rehearing: “‘We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and believe the intent of the South Carolina Constitution is clear. The framers of our privacy provision did not conceive this provision as creating a right to abortion.’”

Justice Hearn retired from the court on Dec. 31, 2022. The text of the state constitution’s privacy clause is as follows: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures and unreasonable invasions of privacy shall not be violated … .” What about that concerns abortion?


‘Life’ Can Stand in Kentucky

THE STATE SUPREME COURT IN KENTUCKY HAS RULED, reports Cassy Fiano-Chesser for Live Action, “that two state laws protecting nearly all preborn children from abortion can stand.”

One of the challenged laws is a “heartbeat law,” which, notes Mrs. Chesser, “protects preborn children from abortion once a heartbeat can be detected, typically around six weeks gestation.” The other is a “trigger law, which protects virtually all preborn children from abortion,” the Live Action reporter writes, “and took effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

“After a lawsuit from the abortion industry,” writes Mrs. Chesser, “the laws were initially blocked by a circuit court but eventually were allowed to remain. In the [high court] ruling, Justice Debra Hembree Lambert said the circuit court ‘abused its discretion by granting abortion provider’s motion for a temporary injunction.’ The court also said the abortion industry did not show it was being sufficiently harmed to warrant an injunction against the laws.”

Said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R), quoted by Mrs. Chesser from a statement his office issued: “‘Since the US Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade last June, we have vigorously defended Kentucky’s Human Life Protection Act and Heartbeat Law. … We are very pleased that Kentucky’s high court has allowed these laws to remain in effect while the case proceeds in circuit court. This is a significant victory, and we will continue to stand up for the unborn by defending these laws.’”

Said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, quoted in Live Action’s report, “‘The tide is finally turning in favor of protecting all human life. … The right to life is the right of all rights. Without the right to life,’” declared Mr. Staver, “‘all other rights are meaningless.’”


Unexpected Reversal

Feb. 22, 2023, Live Action report by Cassy Fiano-Chesser

             San Francisco’s board of supervisors is considering repealing a 2019 ordinance that bans employees from doing business with any pro-life states. Originally passed in 2016 to target states that they deemed to be less than protective of LGBTQ+[!] rights, it was later amended to include abortion.

             The ordinance, which took effect in January of 2020, targeted 22 pro-life states and was spearheaded by Supervisor Vallie Brown with the support of Mayor London Breed [D]. “Every day in this country, women’s reproductive rights are threatened, and we have to fight back,” Mayor Breed said in a statement at the time. “Just as we restricted spending with states that have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people, we are standing up against states that put women’s health at risk and that are actively working to limit reproductive freedoms. By limiting travel and contracting with certain states, we are sending a clear message to states that disregard the right to abortion. …”

             Yet now, the ordinance is being derided as “costly and ineffective.” A report from City Administrator Carmen Chu’s office said the impacts of the ordinance were not clear, and that it has merely caused more burdens on city staff members. “On a policy level, it is unclear how much the city’s prohibition on city-funded travel and boycott of businesses headquartered in banned states can influence another jurisdiction’s policies,” the report said. “No states with restrictive LGBTQ rights, voting rights or abortion policies have cited the city’s travel and contract bans as motivation for reforming their laws.” Additionally, the report admitted that travel and business with pro-life states has continued, while contracting costs have increased.

             Supervisor Rafael Mandelman told the SanFrancisco Chronicle he is planning on working to repeal the ordinance entirely. “It’s an ineffective policy that complicates the business of SanFrancisco government and makes it very likely that we pay more than we should for goods and services,” he said. …


Authorizing States to Enforce ‘Hyde’

Feb. 24, 2023, The Washington Stand report by Dan Hart

             On Feb. 17, Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Jim Risch (R-ID) reintroduced a bill that would allow states to exclude abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood from receiving federal Medicaid funds. Experts say the bill is part of a multi-pronged strategy that is being deployed by GOP lawmakers and state officials to divest the abortion industry of taxpayer dollars in the wake of the Supreme Court’s monumental Dobbs decision that returned abortion regulation back to the authority of state governments.

             The Women’s Public Health & Safety Act would allow states to disqualify abortion businesses as health care providers and disallow them from receiving reimbursements from a state’s Medicaid system. A Government Accountability Office report revealed that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion supplier, received almost $1.3 billion in Medicaid reimbursements over three years, which accounted for 81% of its government-provided funding.

             “Abortion is not health care,” said Lankford in a press release. “It should not be controversial to say that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to support abortion providers. States should have the right to decide that Medicaid funds will not support an abortion provider’s bottom line.”

             The movement to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving taxpayer dollars was re-energized in 2015 following the release of a series of undercover videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, which revealed the involvement of Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses in the illegal procurement and sale of fetal body parts obtained from the bodies of aborted babies.

             Following the revelations, a number of states attempted to terminate the Medicaid contracts of Planned Parenthood, including South Carolina, Louisiana, Kansas and Texas, but the policies were blocked by federal courts due in part to a clause in the Medicaid statute that defines abortion businesses as qualified to perform medical services, as well as the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling.

              However, the legal pattern appeared to shift in 2020 when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas had jurisdiction to remove Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program because of the state’s authority to determine which medical providers are qualified for the program.

             Other states are also pursuing legal challenges to the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood in the wake of Dobbs. On Thursday, it was reported that Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) “petitioned a federal court to allow a 2016 Florida law to go into effect” that restricted state funds from going to Planned Parenthood.

             “In 2016, a district court prevented the Florida legislature from defunding abortion clinics, based on the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe,” Moody explained. “Now that the case at the center of the court’s reasoning has been overturned, we are petitioning the court to vacate the court’s injunction and allow the will of our state’s legislative body – and the people who elected them – to take effect.”

             Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office signaled its support of the effort. “The Office of Gov. Ron DeSantis is fully behind this action from the Attorney General, and we support this move to fully defund Planned Parenthood from any taxpayer support,” the Executive Office of the Governor stated. …


Sponsors of Bills to Make ‘Hyde’ Permanent

S-62 CHIEF SPONSOR Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). Co-sponsors: GOP Senators Katie Boyd-Britt & Tommy Tuberville/AL, Dan Sullivan/AK, John Boozman & Tom Cotton/AR, Marco Rubio & Rick Scott/FL, Mike Crapo & James Risch/ID, Mike Braun & Todd Young/IN, Joni Ernst & Chuck Grassley/IA, Roger Marshall & Jerry Moran/KS, Mitch McConnell & Rand Paul/KY, Bill Cassidy & John Kennedy/LA, Cindy Hyde-Smith/MS, Josh Hawley & Eric Schmitt/MO, Steve Daines/MT, Deb Fischer & Rick Ricketts/NE, Ted Budd & Thomas Tillis/NC, Kevin Cramer & John Hoeven/ND, J.D. Vance/OH, James Lankford & Markwayne Mullin/OK, Lindsey Graham & Tim Scott/SC, Mike Rounds & John Thune/SD, Marsha Blackburn & Bill Hagerty/TN, John Cornyn & Ted Cruz/TX, Mike Lee & Mitt Romney/UT, Shelley Moore-Capito/WV, Ron Johnson/WI and John Barrasso & Cynthia Lummis/WY.

HR-7 CHIEF SPONSOR Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). Co-sponsors: GOP Representatives Robert Aderholt, Jerry Carl, Gary Palmer/AL; Elijah Crane, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko/AZ; Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack/AR; Darrell Issa, Young Kim, Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock/CA; Lauren Boebert & Doug Lamborn/CO; Vern Buchanan, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Michael Waltz, Daniel Webster/FL; Rick Allen, Earl Carter, Andrew Clyde, Drew Ferguson, Barry Loudermilk, Richard McCormick, Austin Scott/GA; Russ Fulcher & Michael Simpson/ID; Mike Bost, Darin LaHood, Mary Miller/IL; Jim Banks, Larry Bucshon, Erin Houchin, Greg Pence, Rudy Yakym/IN; Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks/IA; Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner, Tracey Mann/KS; Andy Barr & Brett Guthrie/KY; Garret Graves, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson, Julia Letlow/LA; Andy Harris/MD; Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, Lisa McClain, John Moolenaar, Tim Walberg/MI; Brad Finstad, Michelle Fischbach, Pete Stauber/MN; Mike Ezell, Michael Guest, Trent Kelly/MS; Mike Flood/NE; Blaine Luetkemeyer/MO; Nicholas Langworthy, Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney/NY;

Also Representatives Dan Bishop, Chuck Edwards, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Patrick McHenry, David Rouzer/NC; Kelly Armstrong/ND; Troy Balderson, David Joyce, Robert Latta, Michael Turner, Brad Wenstrup/OH; Stephanie Bice & Josh Brecheen/OK; John Joyce, Mike Kelly, Daniel Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker, Glenn Thompson/PA; Jeff Duncan, Russell Fry, Nancy Mace, Ralph Norman, William Timmons, Joe Wilson/SC; Dusty Johnson/SD; Tim Burchett, Charles Fleischmann, Mark Green, Diana Harshbarger, David Kustoff, Andrew Ogles, John Rose/TN; Brian Babin, Michael Burgess, John Carter, Michael Cloud, Dan Crenshaw, Jake Ellzey, Pat Fallon, Lance Gooden, Kay Granger, Ronny Jackson, Morgan Luttrell, August Pfluger, Pete Sessions, Beth VanDuyne, Randy Weber/TX; Blake Moore/UT; Ben Cline, Bob Good, Morgan Griffith/VA; Cathy Rodgers/WA; Carol Miller & Alex Mooney/WV; Scott Fitzgerald, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman/WI; Harriet Hageman/WY.