Life Advocacy Briefing

May 1, 2023

Piling On / Principal Priority / Legislators Going After PRCs in Illinois
Targeting Abortion Survivors / Pennsylvania Pushes Poison Pills
Win at the U.N. / Strategy Controversy Simmers

Piling On

IT IS PROBABLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT the actions of the Biden Regime in pushing the aborting of developing babies as its number-one priority. The White House often refers to “a whole-of-government” strategy, and it certainly applies that approach to killing off our future generations.

The latest initiative? The Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) has released a “notice of funding opportunity” to invite grantees, reports Cassy Fiano-Chesser for Live Action, “to launch an abortion hotline as part of its Title X [Ten] program.

“Called ‘the Title X Nondirective Options Information, Counseling & Referrals Hotline,’ the hotline will allegedly,” writes Mrs. Chesser, “provide ‘neutral and factual information’ as well as counseling and referrals on abortion, prenatal care and delivery, infant care, adoption and foster care.” Nice cover.

Applications for grants are limited to those already drawing funds via Title X. The price tag for the abortion hotline? Estimate: $1.5 million.

“Considering the Biden Administration’s reproductive rights website offers no help to women who want to parent their children,” notes Mrs. Chesser, “there is substantial reason for concern that this hotline will simply be another way to promote abortion.”


Principal Priority

VICE PRES. KAMALA HARRIS RECENTLY ADDRESSED an Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Health Care, reports Cassy Fiano-Chesser for Live Action, “which reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to abortion. ‘Our Administration is fighting on every front to do what we can and what we must to protect the American people and the integrity of our healthcare system in this country,’ she said.”

Spoken as keynote for the Administration’s most focused abortion advocates, the would-be-future-President’s words were a chilling corruption of the English language.

Her sentiments, notes Mrs. Chesser, “echoed in a recent press release by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra” – the Regime’s principal abortion pusher. “‘The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting women’s lawful access to reproductive health care,’” the news release said, “‘including abortion care.’”

He went on to boast, quoting the Live Action report, “‘Pres. Biden signed not one but two executive orders calling on HHS to take action to meet this moment [in the aftermath of Dobbs], and we have wasted no time in doing so.’”


Legislators Going After PRCs in Illinois

IT IS NOT ENOUGH, APPARENTLY, FOR CERTAIN POLITICIANS to pursue a vigorous demand for “abortion rights” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s discovery that such “rights” are not, after all, found in the US Constitution.

In Illinois, the state senate, by a vote of 36-19 has already this spring passed a bill targeting pro-life pregnancy care centers (PRCs) to aid the abortion cartel in shutting down its principal competition. SB-1909 has advanced beyond committee in the Illinois House and has been placed on “short debate,” usually reserved for matters considered devoid of controversy. Illinois state representatives can be contacted via the capitol switchboard at 217/782-2000.

According to the Illinois Federation for Right to Life (IFRL), the proposal “threatens legal action against PRCs that allegedly use ‘deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise or misrepresentation, or the concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact’ to persuade women against abortion or offer pregnancy-related services.”

Pro-life groups are not so concerned about legal action on the basis of “deception” or “fraud,” as these words do not characterize the loving service offered by pro-life pregnancy care centers. According to IFRL, “pro-life groups take particular issue with the vague ‘omission of any material fact’ language. ‘Material fact’ is not defined by the bill. If a judge decides that information regarding where a pregnant mother can have an abortion constitutes a ‘material fact,’ then a PRC could be convicted for refusing to refer a mother to an abortion business,” which is clearly the mal-intent of this proposal.


Targeting Abortion Survivors

KANSAS GOV. LAURA KELLY (D) HAS VETOED “a ‘born-alive’ bill protecting babies who survive botched abortions,” reports Peter Pinedo for Catholic News Agency (CNA). “This comes the week after Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed a similar bill mandating doctors’ care for abortion survivors,” notes Mr. Pinedo in an April 18 report.

Gov. Kelly included the following statement in her veto statement, quoted by Mr. Pinedo: “‘The intent of this bill is to interfere in medical decisions that should remain between doctors and their patients.’” Let that sink in. To hold responsible a doctor who refuses care to a newborn is seen by this governor – and certain others – as an interference in a so-called doctor’s so-called professional judgment.

Since abortion is legal in Kansas until the 22nd week of a gestating baby’s life, the potential for targeted babies to survive abortion is significant, and prospects are good for overriding the veto by a legislature with supermajority Republican control in both houses.

Gov. Kelly was re-elected to a second term in 2022, according to her biography at the website, by a vote of 49.2%.


Pennsylvania Pushes Poison Pills

PENNSYLVANIA HAS RESPONDED to the sudden legal jeopardy of the abortion pill RU-486 by posting a website, reports Nancy Flanders for Live Action, “to ensure women know where to get abortions and how to get the money to travel and pay for them. …

“The site states,” writes Ms. Flanders: “‘On April 7, 2023, a federal judge of the Northern District of Texas reversed the Federal [sic] Drug Administration’s decades-long approval of abortion pill regimen of mifepristone followed by misoprostol. Medication abortions often use a two-step regime of mifepristone and misoprostol at abortion clinics, pharmacies or through the mail. Even with the ruling, medication abortion is still legal and available in Pennsylvania. You can receive a medication abortion at a licensed clinic. Your medical provider can discuss the best option for you.’”


Win at the U.N.

April 17, 2023, report by Raimundo Rojas in National Right to Life News Today

             The 56th annual United Nations Commission on Population & Development ended abruptly on Friday, April 14, in New York City. The commission ended with a thud, not a bang, and turned the entire weeks-long process into an exercise in futility. Why? There was not enough sex and abortion in the plan of action’s draft document, and the EU, USA and Canada inserted radical and never-before agreed-upon language to begin making Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSF) a human right. National Right to Life vehemently opposes CSE because it would allow minor children to seek abortion providers without their parent’s knowledge or consent.

             Once this far-reaching pro-abortion language was added, 22 countries, representing over one billion people, withdrew their support of the document. The negotiations then spiraled into chaos – if the Plan of Action is to move forward, the United Nations requires total consensus of all voting member states.

             At one point, the Pakistani delegation stated that the largest crisis children are currently facing is that because of the fallout from Covid, nearly 100 million children worldwide are not being schooled. That statement was immediately followed by a retort from the Dutch delegation claiming that the real crisis is the lack of comprehensive sexual education. You can’t make this up.

             A United Nations Dept. of Economic & Social Affairs representative argued that too many babies in Sub-Saharan Africa are detrimental to education. Only to then be outdone by the delegate from Argentina who claimed that all UN language regarding so-called “Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights” is akin to post-Vatican II Catholic teaching.

             By the end of the last week, lines had been drawn and positions were hardened. So much so that no outcome document or plan of action was produced. And that’s a good thing.

             This was a substantial pro-life win. It has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to include protective language in any UN document. It takes all we have to hold back new hysterical pro-abortion language from the far Left. …


Strategy Controversy Simmers

April 24, 2023, The Washington Stand commentary by Ben Johnson

             After a deflating 2022 midterm election, the surest path to lose the White House would come from Republicans refusing to speak on the issue of abortion, the party’s chair[man] told aspiring candidates. “We’ve seen what happens when we let Democrats define who we are and what we stand for,” said Republican National Committee Chair[man] Ronna McDaniel during a speech Thursday at the Reagan Library. In 2022, “a lot of Republican candidates took their DC consultants’ bad advice to ignore the subject. Then what happened? Democrats spent $360 million running ads filled with lies about abortion, and most Republicans had no response. …

             “Let’s talk about abortion, which has become a huge issue coming after the Dobbs decision,” McDaniel exhorted GOP candidates. “When you don’t respond, the lies become the truth.”

             The discussion should include a national minimum standard of protections for the unborn, which most voters favor – especially contrasted with the Democratic Party platform, she said. “Polling shows that when the choice is between a Democrat who wants zero abortion restrictions and a Republican who supports protecting life, at 15 weeks, we win by 22 points,” McDaniel noted. A 15-week national pro-life standard wins over “72% of voters, including 60% of Democrats [who] support protecting unborn children.”*

             “We are the pro-life, pro-woman, pro-family party, and we can win on abortion. But that means putting Democrats on the defense and forcing them to own their own extreme positions,” she concluded.

             Her comments came during a moment of uneasiness within GOP ranks, as aspirants and advocates contemplate the best strategy to advance the pro-life cause in a post-Dobbs environment. A statement from former President Donald Trump roiled the movement, as some interpreted it to advocate inaction at the federal level. “President Donald J. Trump believes that the Supreme Court, led by the three Justices which he supported, got it right when they ruled this is an issue that should be decided at the state level,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told The Washington Post late last week. The Post last week also reported on tales from unnamed sources that Trump personally believes abortion should be a matter of “states rights” and advocated not discussing the issue – comments that drew instantaneous backlash.

             “Life is a matter of human rights, not states’ rights,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the SBA Pro-Life America, adding that a states-only position would result in “abortion up until the moment of birth” in states such as California, New York and Oregon. “We will oppose any Presidential candidate who refuses to embrace at a minimum a 15-week national standard to stop painful late-term abortions while allowing states to enact further protections,” she added. Other pro-life leaders amplified her position. “If you don’t understand killing children is a federal issue, you shouldn’t be running for federal office,” said Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America. “Imagine supporting a candidate who said that slavery was a ‘states rights’ issue,” tweeted Lila Rose of Live Action.

             Trump did not address the criticism directly, but he appeared to take McDaniel’s words to heart, bashing Democratic extremism on abortion. “As the most pro-life President in American history, I will continue to stand strong against the extreme late-term abortionists in the Democrat Party, who believe in abortion-on-demand in the ninth month of pregnancy and even executing babies after birth,” said the 45th President in pre-recorded comments to the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition on Saturday. “They actually talk, beyond birth – after birth – executing the baby.” 

             He likely had in mind comments from then-Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D), who said in 2019 in the event of a live birth during a botched abortion, the abortionist would hold “a discussion about whether the newborn would receive lifesaving care. In January, the House of Representatives passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to establish national standards of care – with the support of only one Democrat.

             “This is where we’ve come, and it’s so sad to see,” said Trump. “I will stand proudly and defend innocent life, just as I did for four, very powerful, strong years. Because every child – born and unborn – is a sacred gift from God.”

             Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, said the former President provided a strong foundation during his four years in office. “President Trump gave us the justices who gave us Dobbs. He was the first Presidential candidate to actually describe what an abortion is – a child being ripped out of her mother’s womb even just before birth – and he was the first President to attend the March for Life,” Szoch told The Washington Stand. “His Administration did more for the unborn than any other.”

             That sets a high bar for any Republican, including himself. “In a second term, he – or anyone else who calls himself a Republican – must be held accountable to do the same, which means committing to signing any democratically passed pro-life legislation and committing to upholding and reinstating federal protections for the unborn,” Szoch told The Washington Stand. “The pro-life movement must continue to work until nobody has the power to take away the fundamental right to life with a vote, scalpel or pill.”

             Trump’s proposals for future pro-life accomplishments seemed less precise. He promised to “again [appoint] rock-solid constitutional conservatives to be federal bench judges and justices, in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.”

             Former Vice Pres. Mike Pence, who spoke at the Iowa event in person and plans to decide whether to mount a Presidential campaign “well before late June,” endorsed national pro-life protections after the first trimester over the weekend. “I think the American people would welcome a minimum national standard in Washington, DC – 15 weeks,” he told CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday. Another likely Presidential contender, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), has vowed, “If I were President of the United States, I would literally sign the most conservative pro-life legislation that they can get through Congress.”

             His colleague, senior South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), believes his legislation – the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-term Abortions Act, deserves top consideration. “America does not need – and the unborn cannot afford – to have two major parties who support no restrictions on abortion up to the moment of birth. The unborn need a voice in Washington,” Graham said. “It is up to us to provide it.”

             Beltway pundits and consultants widely blamed the lack of the 2022 “red wave” on Graham’s bill, which Democrats portrayed as a “national abortion ban.” Yet Republican governors Greg Abbott of Texas, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Kim Reynolds of Iowa all signed heartbeat bills protecting children from abortion beginning at six weeks after fertilization before winning lopsided victories in 2022. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also signed a heartbeat bill after his 20-point re-election.

             Being willing to have accurate, disciplined, unapologetic messaging and refusing to run from discussions about abortion will prove indispensable to retaking the White House and US Senate in 2024, McDaniel said. “Just as Reagan was the great communicator, we have to be great communicators. Republican candidates right now are trying to do that. They are out there working hard to get the nomination of our party. And in four short months, the RNC will host its first primary debate in Milwaukee.” The second debate would take place at the Reagan Library, she announced.  Life, family, parental rights and children’s safety will all likely be topics of debate. “I firmly believe that our next President will be on that stage,” as long as he handles the abortion issue properly, predicted McDaniel.

*Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: While much of the pro-life political establishment is throwing its weight behind a federal 15-week abortion ban, we are less enthusiastic about the tactic. We believe Congress should be focusing on proposals such as the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which takes care of a question that cannot be resolved by the states. HR-792 (sponsored by GOP Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana and 21 co-sponsors) and S-78 (sponsored by Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio and 17 co-sponsors) would establish penalties for abortionists and escorts in cases where under-age young mothers are taken across state lines to secure abortions in evasion of a state’s parental notification law; both bills are lingering in committee with little to no public attention or input.

We note with sadness the lack of federal prosecutions under the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Act, whose enactment proved to be politically useful but had unforeseen consequences. In too many states, success in DC forestalled enactment of state-level laws that would have been more likely to take out some of America’s most ghoulish abortionists. We believe pro-life candidates – at all levels – should focus their rhetoric on the injustice of abortion and should expose the radicalism of their opponents. And that they should be stressing at every opportunity: “Abortion is not health care; it is the intentional, brutal killing of a developing human baby.” That message is a sufficiently brief soundbite, and it says it all.