Life Advocacy Briefing

April 3, 2023

Time to Weigh In / Pentagon Stumbling Over its Abortion Policy
House Acts on Red China’s Human Butchery / Wyoming Moves Ahead
Let Us Pray! / Standing for Life Against the Pentagon

Time to Weigh In

IN EARLIER EDITIONS OF LIFE ADVOCACY BRIEFING, we urged readers to contact their home-state US Senators to urge rejection of two of Pres. Joe Biden’s abortion-fanatic judicial appointees: Nancy Abudu and Julie Rikelman.

Both are veterans of the abortion cartel; both should be opposed; both have emerged from committee by a narrow majority. Neither has yet to receive a vote in the full Senate, but we believe the stalling of their nominations may have more to do with the continued, extended absence of leftwing Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman (D) than with any hesitancy on the part of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who schedules the Senate’s business.

Though Mr. Fetterman is reportedly still hospitalized, we are anticipating that he will return to the Senate any day now, and that the two radical abortion-backing nominations will be submitted to the Senate for a vote within days – if not minutes – of his appearance.

So we turn again to our readers with a renewed call to contact your home-state Senators and urge a “no” vote on the nominations of Julie Rikelman and Nancy Abudu to the federal judiciary. Both can be mentioned on the same call. Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121.


Pentagon Stumbling Over its Abortion Policy

THE ISSUE OF ABORTION was raised by a contentious Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during a hearing in the Senate last Tuesday.

Reported Fox News Pentagon reporter Jennifer Griffin: “The Pentagon’s top official accused Congress of playing a dangerous game by holding up more than 150 officer promotions. … Sen. Tommy Tuberville has placed the hold to protest the Pentagon’s policy to reimburse travel for female servicemembers who need [sic] abortions not offered in the state where they are deployed. The blocked nominations affect a pipeline of officers, including the next head of the Navy, Marine Corps and 70 three-and-four-star officers preparing to deploy.”

Retorting to Secretary Austin’s accusation, Sen. Tuberville said: “This is about not forcing the taxpayers of this country to fund abortion.” [Transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing]

We publish a more extensive report on the controversy at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, reprinted from Family Research Council’s publication, The Washington Stand.


House Acts on Red China’s Human Butchery

THE U.S. HOUSE OVERWHELMINGLY PASSED last Monday a bill filed by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chairman of the Congressional Executive Commission on [Red] China, “to enact measures,” writes Louis Knuffke for LifeSiteNews, “opposing the Chinese Communist Party’s appalling industry of harvesting organs from young people while still alive and killing them horrifically in the process.

“Targeted groups include Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs and other Central Asians detained by the Communist regime in concentration camps,” notes Mr. Knuffke. The bill passed the House with just two dissenting votes and 413 voting “yes,” according to LifeSiteNews. Normally we publish House or Senate votes with a full listing of the Members and their votes, but with the overwhelming nature of this vote, we believe readers will best be served by noting just the names of the dissenters and of those not voting: Voting “no” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY); those not voting: Republican Representatives Boebert (CO), Buchanan (FL), Banks (IN), Bergman (MI), Burlison & Wagner (MO), Arrington (TX) and VanOrden (WI). Also Democratic Representatives Costa, Garamendi, Lee & Vargas (CA); Cherfilus-McCormick (FL); Kelly (IL); Cleaver (MO); Horsford (NV); Goldman (NY); Cohen (TN); and Castro (TX). The voting concluded at 6:54 p.m.

“On the House floor,” writes Mr. Knuffke, Rep. “Smith testified that ‘Every year, under General Secretary Xi Jinping and his Chinese Communist Party, between 60,000 to 100,000 young victims – average age 28 – are murdered in cold blood to steal their internal organs. … These crimes against humanity are unimaginable,’ Smith declared,” quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘Ethnic groups targeted for mass harvesting include Uyghurs – who suffer from Xi Jinping’s ongoing genocide – and the Falun Gong, whose peaceful meditation and exercise practices – and exceptional good heath – make their organs highly desirable. The Chinese Community Party has declared them to be an “evil cult” – fit for butchering.’”

According to Rep. Smith’s summary of the bill, reports LifeSiteNews, “‘HR 1154 amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to require reports on forced organ harvesting and trafficking in persons for purposes of the removal of organs in foreign countries, including and especially in China.’

“It also,” notes Mr. Knuffke, “imposes ‘serious sanctions on any person the President determines funds, sponsors or otherwise facilitates forced organ harvesting or trafficking in persons for purposes of the removal of organs,’ with ‘civil penalties’ including ‘a fine of up to $250,000’ and ‘criminal penalties’ including ‘a fine of up to $1 million and imprisonment for not more than 20 years or both.’ Sanctions will also include ‘blocking and prohibiting all transactions in property and interests in property and making such persons inadmissible to the United States and ineligible to receive a visa.’”

The LifeSiteNews report goes on to quote Mr. Smith in his remarks last Monday: “‘State-sponsored forced organ harvesting is big business for Xi and the Chinese Communist Party and shows absolutely no signs of abating. … ‘We must act decisively.’”

The horrific reports coming out of Red China show what can happen in a regime that vigorously disrespects human life. We commend Rep. Smith for warning America by bringing this horror to the attention of the Congress and the American people.


Wyoming Moves Ahead

WYOMING IS TAKING THE LEAD in the next frontier of abortion control.  Gov. Mark Gordon (R) signed a new law on March 17, reports Ben Johnson for The Washington Stand (TWS), “that prevents abortionists from distributing ‘any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion,’ except to protect the life or physical health of the mother or [targeting] babies conceived in rape or incest.” Unfortunate exceptions but a good start on blocking the surging movement of the abortion cartel toward chemical abortions.

Said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tim Salazar (R-Riverton), quoted by Mr. Johnson, “‘By passing this legislation, Wyoming made a clear statement that we wish to protect the unborn and women from these dangerous drugs that are used in the taking of an unborn child’s life through abortion.’”

Wyoming has also enacted – without the governor’s signature – a more general bill: the “Life Is a Human Right Act,” which, writes Mr. Johnson, “explicitly states that the constitutional right to life extends to all human beings.” Yes! Tell that to the US Supreme Court!

The new law states, reports TWS, “‘From conception, the unborn baby is a member of the human race,’ and ‘all members of the human race are created equal.’ … The legislation echoes constitutional guarantees in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments” to the US Constitution “by saying that ‘no person may be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law.’

“Abortions may take place only to save the life of the mother (explicitly including treating an ectopic pregnancy), if the child is conceived in rape or incest or if the child has a ‘lethal fetal anomaly.’” (Regrettable, discriminatory loopholes.)

The penalties are worth noting: the killing of an unborn child via abortion constitutes a felony, reports Mr. Johnson, “worthy of up to five years in prison or a $20,000 fine, ‘or both,’ as well,” he notes, as potential loss of medical license. “It also creates a right of action for mothers who suffered an abortion or her parents if she is a minor or deceased,” notes Mr. Johnson, “for $10,000 in statutory damages as well as ‘actual and punitive damages.’”

The governor allowed the bill to become law without his signature, explaining, reports Mr. Johnson, “he believes questions about abortion ‘should be vetted through the [state constitutional] amendment process’ and ‘voted on directly by the people.’” He further expressed concern that the comprehensive abortion-ban act could have “‘unforeseen consequences,’ serving only to ‘complicate and delay’ pending legal action over whether the state constitution contains a heretofore-unknown right to abortion.”

Wyoming’s branch of the ACLU – abbreviation for the misnamed American Civil Liberties Union – “denounced the bill codifying children’s constitutional liberties,” writes Mr. Johnson, “on the grounds that ‘banning abortion leaves many with no other option than to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth.’” Okay.


Let Us Pray!

March 30, 2023, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Shane Morris

             In the biblical account of the Tower of Babel, God states, after examining humanity’s ambitious but misguided building project, that “nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” His reason for confusing their languages and halting their project was not anger. Rather, God states that working together like this, humans can achieve, at least here on Earth, a godlike power. Things that seem impossible can become possible, and for fallen people, that’s a problem. Inevitably, like the builders of Babel, humans use their incredible capacity to “make a name for ourselves” to do what should not be done and to rebel against God’s design and purpose for His world.  

             I thought immediately of Babel when I saw headlines this month about a team of scientists who created living baby mice with two biological fathers. The Japanese team behind this seemingly impossible feat described their work in the journal Nature. After harvesting skin cells from the tails of two male mice, they converted them to “induced pluripotent stem cells,” cells able to differentiate into any type of tissue in the body. The scientists treated these stem cells with a drug that transformed them into female cells. These, in turn, produced functional eggs that the team fertilized and implanted into female mice. Eventually – after a 99% failure rate – these pregnancies resulted in a few live mice pups that had two genetic fathers and no mother. The pups survived, grew and even reproduced normally. 

             As the Associated Press put it, saying the quiet part out loud, “This raises the distant possibility of using the same technique for people.” The scientists behind the project got more specific, remarking that their work might “provide a template” for male same-sex couples “to have biological children, while circumventing the ethical and legal issues of donor eggs.” 

             Let’s put aside for a moment the terrifyingly laughable idea that there are “ethical issues” with donor eggs but not with eliminating mothers altogether in reproduction. Science writers have long predicted this breakthrough as a dream come true for those who view normal reproductive biology as something to be “circumvented.” Even if the huge failure rate and serious inefficiency of the method means that it is likely many years from being an available option for humans, the proof of concept is there, as is a whole set of social incentives. It is, apparently, possible to produce live offspring from two individuals of the same sex in mammalian species. 

             At a moment like this, it is tempting to quote the late science fiction author Michael Crichton, or at least the film adaptation of his novel Jurassic Park. In that movie, Jeff Goldblum’s character famously observes, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” His point is simply that science can only answer “how” questions. It can never give you a “why.” It can discover techniques but never teach ethics.  

             That does not mean, however, that science or scientific breakthroughs are value neutral. In his book The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis wrote these immortal lines: “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

             He was writing specifically here about Subjectivism, a movement that sought to eliminate value judgments from education. They also apply eerily well to the Babel-like project of eliminating one sex from reproduction. The question we must ask is simple: Why? Why are we investigating this technology, what is its therapeutic purpose, and will it make us more human, or less?  

             In theory, we can now bring human children into existence who have no biological mothers. Should we? Are mothers incidental to the life of a child, easily replaced by a “second father” in order to accommodate the sexual and relational wants of adults, or are they essential? We can ask the same of fathers. In short, does human life and the human family have a definition, an identity, a given structure? Or are they infinitely malleable, putty in the gloved hands of scientists who are so preoccupied with whether they can, they don’t stop to ask if they should?  

             None of these are scientific questions. And to be clear, they apply to all kinds of social, legal and cultural innovations about marriage too. Every time we reinvent, replace, expand or otherwise redefine marriage and parenting, kids suffer. Yet, the same wrong answers to these questions are guiding scientific projects to manipulate cells with the goal of fundamentally altering human reproduction. 

             By denying any God-given “ought” for sex and procreation, we are building a new scientific Babel. Through the shared language and technique of science, we may indeed prove that nothing is impossible for us. But as Lewis observed, we may find that in the process we have engineered away our humanity, replacing the love and complementarity our biology signifies with cold, cynical technique. Lewis called these efforts “the abolition of man.” In light of the increasingly likely possibility of children without mothers, we may as well re-label it “the abolition of woman.”


Standing for Life Against the Pentagon

March 28, 2023, The Washington Stand report by Dan Hart

             On Monday, Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) reiterated his intention to continue to block the promotions of military personnel that are sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee for approval, despite intense pushback from Senate Democrats and some Republicans. So far, the senator has blocked 160 promotions in response to a controversial policy directive put in place by the Pentagon in February that allows servicemembers to receive paid time off and travel expenses for having an abortion, funded by taxpayer dollars.

             Tuberville and other Republicans argue that the Pentagon rule “illegally” circumvented Congress, which they say is the only body that has the authority to institute military policies having to do with abortion, due to the prohibition against using federal tax dollars to pay for the procedure. Because of the DOD’s actions, he warned last month, “I will follow through with my plan to hold all DOD civilian, flag and general officer nominations that come before the U.S. Senate.”

             On March 23, Tuberville emphasized from the Senate floor that he gave advanced warning of his plans to block military promotions. “In December I warned the department that I would hold their nominees if they tried to force abortion-on-demand on our military. They did it anyway. The department knew what the consequences would be. This was their choice. I will continue to hold these nominees until the Department of Defense follows the law – or Congress changes the law.”

             Democrats claim that Tuberville’s actions endanger national security, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calling them “reckless” and “damag[ing]” to “the readiness of our military.” Schumer went on to tell Politico that the move was “not a good look for Republicans to be holding up promotions for key military leaders.” Tuberville’s office fired off a quick response: “What’s not a good look is the Biden administration politicizing our military and illegally turning the Pentagon into an abortion travel agency.”

             Meanwhile, some of Tuberville’s fellow Republicans have also questioned the strategy, with Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) commenting that while he agrees with the senator on the DOD policy, “there are a lot of military positions that need to be filled. And so we’re working with leadership and Sen. Tuberville to see what can be resolved.” Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) had a more candid opinion: “It’s a tactic that he chose to use. He has that right as a senator. It’s not one that I would use.”

             Still, other GOP lawmakers are voicing staunch support for Tuberville’s strategy. “I think what they’re doing is illegal,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), referring to the Pentagon. “I don’t think they have the authority to do this. Basically they’re setting a policy to give people leave, to use taxpayer dollars, which I think runs afoul of existing law.”

             Tuberville has repeatedly pressed the DOD for an explanation as to why they thought it was necessary to expand the military’s abortion policy, which they have claimed will “increase readiness.” The senator has pointed to the fact that the military has averaged fewer than 20 abortions per year, and that the Pentagon has so far failed to provide data showing that there is a need for increased abortion access for servicemembers. Press releases from Tuberville’s office have warned that “the number of abortions subsidized by taxpayers through the DOD could increase to 4,100 annually — 205 times the number of abortions performed last year” if the expanded abortion policy remains in place.

             Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin, a 36-year Army veteran who currently serves as executive vice president at Family Research Council, commended Tuberville’s stand. “Sen. Tuberville is showing a great deal of courage in the face of strong opposition from the abortion supporters in Alabama and the rest of the country,” he told The Washington Stand. “This country is fortunate to have a man like Sen. Tuberville that is willing to stand on his convictions regardless of the criticism that he is taking. I applaud him and wish him the very best in his endeavors. He just might save the lives of many unborn children.”