Life Advocacy Briefing

June 12, 2023

Making It Clear / The On-Going State Constitutional Challenge
Ohio is Ground Zero for 2023 / Taking Truth to Power
Maryland Investing in Abortion / Minnesota Turns Radical
Words Matter / Co-Sponsors of HRes-464
Members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee

Making It Clear

A RESOLUTION WAS FILED IN THE U.S. HOUSE on June 5 titled “Recognizing Life Resolution” and asserting, reports Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews, that “preborn human beings [are] entitled to equal protection under the US Constitution, a non-binding statement of where [its backers] stand in the ongoing debate over whether abortion should be left to the states or requires a national solution.”

HRes-464 was introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and as of this writing has 21 co-sponsors. It has been sent to the Committee on Judiciary.

Not only does the resolution assert, notes Mr. Freiburger, “that a ‘medical and scientific consensus exists establishing that each human being begins his or her life cycle at fertilization,’” but the resolution points to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which Mr. Freiburger writes, “expressly forbids any state from ‘deny[ing] to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws’ and [notes] that the amendment arose ‘within a common-law and statutory context that prohibited abortion and treated the unborn human being throughout pregnancy as a “person,” who under “common and civil law” was “to all intents and purposes a child as much as if born.”’

“Therefore, the resolution would declare,” notes the LifeSiteNews writer, “that the House recognizes ‘the life of each human person begins at fertilization (or the functional equivalent thereof)’ with ‘moral and legally protectable interests in life, health and well-being’ that fall ‘within the scope of the [14th] Amendment’s protective embrace.’

“The resolution ‘acknowledges our Constitutional duty and solemn obligation,’” reports Mr. Freiburger, “‘to guarantee the equal protection of the laws to every unborn child within the jurisdictional and geographic reach of the Constitution’ and ‘calls upon the Congress to enact congruent and proportional legislation to enforce the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection for unborn children nationwide,’” and it calls “‘upon the Supreme Court to acknowledge and vindicate the right of unborn children to the enjoyment of the equal protection of the laws in every state and federal territory.’”

Hurrah! Thank you, Rep. Lamborn. We hope the resolution will be adopted by the House and that it will assist the Supreme Court the next time they are presented with an opportunity to find the right to life in the US Constitution.

We ask our readers to contact their own Member of Congress to request that he or she co-sponsor HRes-464 or to thank him or her for having already done so. We urge readers also to contact House Judiciary Committee members to request consideration of the resolution and its advancement to the full House. [Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121] We list the co-sponsors of the resolution and the members of the Judiciary Committee at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.


The On-Going State Constitutional Challenge

EFFORTS BY THE ABORTION CARTEL to install the killing of innocent developing babies into state constitutions as a “right” are moving forward in several states, including Maryland, Missouri, Nevada and Ohio. Each state faces a different process in mounting the campaign.

Maryland voters will find a constitutional amendment proposition on the ballot in 2024, placed there this year by a vote of more than three-fifths of each house of the legislature. A simple majority vote is required for voter ratification.

A Missouri initiative petition is considered likely to meet the required signature threshold to be placed on the 2024 ballot to install abortion in the state constitution, where voters can approve it by a simple majority. Pro-life state lawmakers this spring attempted to raise the ballot threshold to a 57% approval bar, and the reform passed in the House. But, reports AP writer Summer Ballentine, “Chaos in Missouri’s Republican-led Senate on the final day of session [in May] meant the failure of a longtime GOP priority to make it harder to amend the state’s constitution, which lawmakers predicted could ease the path to restoring abortion rights in the state. … Senators failed to approve a proposal … that would have raised that [simple majority] threshold to 57% if approved by voters. Republican House Speaker Dean Plocher predicted … that if the threshold is not raised, an initiative petition to allow abortions will be approved by voters under the current standards. ‘The Senate should be held accountable for allowing abortion to return,’ Plocher said,” notes the AP reporter. A massive campaign to block ratification is expected.

In Nevada, a proposition was filed in the legislature in March. The process is a lengthy one, reports AP writer Gabe Stern. The proposal must win “either approval from two legislative sessions and an election, or two consecutive elections with a simple majority of votes.”

In Ohio, voters will be asked to vote twice this year. “A resolution asking voters in an August election to raise the threshold for future [state constitutional] amendments from a simple majority to 60% cleared the politically fractured Ohio House 62 to 37” in early May, reports AP. So, voters will be asked to vote “yes” to protect Life in August and then will need to turn their votes to “no” in November, 2023, to a state constitutional amendment proposition if the 413,000 signatures needed are filed by July 5 to place the question on the ballot via petition. For more detail about the Ohio battle, see below.

“Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling guaranteeing abortion rights last year,” states AP, “other states’ amendments involving the procedure have shown voter support for legal access to abortion is between 50% and 60%, whether in conservative Kansas, Democratic-leaning Michigan or Republican-leaning Kentucky. No vote has exceeded 60%.

AP VoteCast polling last year found 59% of Ohio voters say abortion should generally be legal.”


Ohio is Ground Zero for 2023

OHIO APPEARS TO BE THE CHIEF ARENA this year in the battle over abortion. It appears petition circulators will succeed in placing on the Nov. 7 ballot a state constitutional amendment proposition to destroy Ohio’s customary jurisprudence of protections for unborn children.

But voters appear to be headed to the polls earlier, in an Aug. 8 special election, to vote on whether to increase the threshold for constitutional amendment adoption from 50% to 60 in an effort to thwart passage of the abortion question.  

Abortion is not the only topic of the amendment being circulated for the ballot. A lawsuit filed in April, seeking to break up the proposition by issue, was rebuffed last week by the state supreme court. Consequently, voters will likely in November face a proposition which will look very much like the vaguely worded, multi-issue constitutional amendment approved by voters in neighboring Michigan last year in the atmosphere of abortion hysteria generated by the cartel in the wake of the Dobbs ruling.

Amendment backers will emphasize “the right to abortion” as their goal, but as bad as that is, as in Michigan there is much more.

“Parental rights groups have been protesting the amendment, which was written by the ACLU with input from Planned Parenthood,” reports Cassy Fiano-Chesser for Live Action. The parent groups “have argued,” writes Mrs. Chesser, “that the amendment threatens parental rights, allowing minors to undergo abortions and gender reassignment treatments without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

“A recent National Review article,” writes Mrs. Chesser, “notes the wording of the [proposition]: ‘Beyond abortion, the text of the proposed amendment provides more broadly that “every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to several categories: contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion. ‘Reproductive decisions,’ however, is a very broad term. By explicitly defining such decisions as “not limited to” the enumerated categories, the proposal establishes its scope as sweeping.

“‘A natural reading would extend to any medical procedure that involves the human reproductive system, including sex-change surgery. The language also,’” notes National Review, quoted by Live Action, “‘applies to individuals without any age qualification, so the proposal makes no distinction between adults and minors. Additional language would deny parents the right to any intervention on behalf of their children that would discourage them from obtaining the procedure in question.’ …

“‘The language of this amendment is so broad and so vague, and it puts no age limits on this,’ Amy Natoce of Protect Women Ohio told the Washington Examiner in May,” reports Mrs. Chesser. “‘It specifically says “including but not limited to,” so that leaves this so open-ended. Sex-change operations affect someone’s reproductive organs. Gender reassignment surgery, hormone blockers, hormone replacement therapy.’” And, if that were not bad enough, the intentional killing of an innocent, developing human baby at any stage of development.


Taking Truth to Power

IT DID NOT MAKE THE HEADLINES, but it’s a story we cannot resist!

While visiting the White House recently for a Super Bowl victory celebration, reports Jean Mondoro for LifeSiteNews, Kansas City Chiefs star kicker Harrison Butker “wore pro-life accessories to visit the outspokenly pro-abortion US President, … [taking] the opportunity to represent unborn babies and defend their dignity.”

Many readers are familiar with the “precious feet” pin, developed by Heritage House as a conversation starter and a silent witness to the humanity of the unborn child. The small pin is fashioned after the feet of a 10-week-old developing baby, demonstrating the baby’s perfect, human development even at such a young age. Mr. Butker wore a gold version of the pin on his lapel.

He also wore a tie, notes Ms. Mondoro, which was designed by Live Action. The tie he wore while standing behind Pres. Biden read “‘vulnerari praesidio,’ which means ‘protect the most vulnerable’ in Latin,” the LifeSite report notes.

A news release issued by Mr. Butker made plain that his witness was intentional. “‘I want to give the most vulnerable, the unborn, a voice at a place where every effort has been made to allow and normalize the tragic termination of their lives,’” he said, quoted by Ms. Mondoro. “‘As a father who has experienced three miscarriages, my wife and I understand the hardships that come with losing a child. Every life is precious,’” he declared, “‘and should be valued whether outside or inside the womb.’”


Maryland Investing in Abortion

THE STATE OF MARYLAND IS STOCKPILING RU-486, according to an announcement issued by Gov. Wes Moore (D) and reported by Laura Bogley in National Right to Life News.

The stockpile appears to be a joint venture between the Maryland Dept. of Health and the University of Maryland Medical Center. “‘Maryland spent about $1.2 million on the stockpile,’” reports Ms. Bogley, quoting Baltimore’s public radio station WYPR, “‘and is using state funds from the Board of Public Works to cover the cost.’”

The report comes in the wake of news of a lawsuit seeking to overturn the federal Food & Drug Administration’s rushed approval of the preborn baby poison at the close of the Clinton Regime in 2000. As states have legislated to restrict surgical abortions in various ways, the abortion cartel have moved increasingly toward marketing the two-drug abortion cocktail, RU-486 and misoprostol, as the by-now principal means of snuffing out the lives of developing babies.

The Maryland governor claims in his announcement that his state’s stockpile of mifepristone constitutes a two-and-a-half-year supply. Misoprostol, the drug used to expel the dead baby, is not targeted in the litigation, as its use in abortion is an off-label use of a long-approved drug for other conditions.


Minnesota Turns Radical

June 7, 2023, The Washington Stand report by Gwen Charles

             Recently, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed the “One Minnesota Budget” into law. Totaling approximately $72 billion, the budget is comprised of 12 bills. Most concerning is the state’s Health & Human Services appropriations omnibus bill that passed in both the House and Senate along party lines. … The proposal earned pushback from House Republicans, who received it the night before the last day of Minnesota’s legislative session. Republicans also cited frustration that the bill was written with little-to-no opportunity for feedback in conference committee and that they received the text less than 24 hours before the vote was held. The over 800-page omnibus bill guts long-standing pro-life protections while inserting gender ideology at every turn.

             Renee Carlson, general counsel for True North Legal, an initiative of the Minnesota Family Policy Council, criticized the bill’s promotion of abortion and gender identity ideology. “Based on elusive claims about access to abortion and with insufficient public notice or debate, the Minnesota legislature and Walz Administration created one of the most extreme abortion regimes in the country. Minnesota’s newly elected Democratic trifecta created a fundamental right to abortion by repealing … nearly all health and safety protections in civil and criminal law regulating abortion, impacting women and young girls.” She continued, “Other provisions in the bill reflect an aggressive push by the newly elected majorities in the House and Senate, in concert with Gov. Walz and his administration, to force aggressive gender ideology and gender policies on all Minnesotans.”

             Most notably, the bill took out language that would require medical providers to preserve the life and health of an infant born alive as a result of a failed abortion. It also removed much of the state’s long-standing reporting requirements on actions taken to preserve the life of an infant born alive during an abortion and whether the infant survived. …

             The appropriations bill also significantly increased funding for abortion. The state’s healthcare program, MinnesotaCare, will now cover abortion for any reason. The state’s grant program was also significantly altered, now allowing grant funds to go to organizations that provide abortions and repealing the Minnesota statute titled the “Positive Abortion Alternatives” program. This program was created to give resources to nonprofit organizations that promote “healthy pregnancy outcomes and assisting pregnant and parenting women in developing and maintaining family stability and self-sufficiency,” according to the Minnesota Dept. of Health.

             The grant program was used by various pregnancy resource centers that provide tangible assistance to mothers and families during pregnancy and after birth. … Continuing funding for this program would have cost a mere .004% of the state’s $72 billion total budget. It is evident that the removal of this language does not come from a lack of funds, especially considering the $17.5 billion surplus from the 2022 budget. Defunding the alternatives program is targeted; it confirms Minnesota Democrats’ obsession with abortion and open rejection of supporting women who choose to have and raise their children. …

             Rep. Peggy Scott (R) served as one of the major opponents of these radical actions. Scott stated, “It was clear last session that Democrats were focused on pushing their extreme, activist agenda. They removed ‘woman’ from our statutes and replaced it with ‘pregnant person.’ They made it clear that taxpayers can indeed fund sex changes. They provided more funding for abortions while taking funding away from crisis pregnancy centers. The pro-life movement in Minnesota will need to work hard in the coming years to support local crisis pregnancy centers and foster a culture that values life.”


Words Matter

June 1, 2023, BreakPoint commentary by Jared Eckert & John Stonestreet

             Despite the piece’s clear joy over the miracle of Denver’s life, even calling her an “unborn child” throughout the piece, The Washington Post’s editors ran with this title: “A Fetus Had a 1% Chance at Life. A Historic Surgery in Womb Saved It.”

             “Fetus” and “It,” not “Child” or “Her”? Talk about underwhelming. … I doubt that her parents, her family or even the doctors trained in medicalese used that language to describe Denver after working so hard to save her life.

             All life is miraculous. All are, whatever their health or ability, created by God in His image.


Co-Sponsors of HRes-464

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), joined by GOP Representatives Robert Aderholt (AL); Paul Gosar & Debbie Lesko (AZ); Doug LaMalfa (CA); Lauren Boebert (CO); Neal Dunn (FL); Russ Fulcher (ID); Jim Banks (IN); Tracey Mann (KS); Andy Harris (MD); Jack Bergman, John Moolenaar & Tim Walberg (MI); Mike Ezell (MS); Matthew Rosendale (MT); Josh Brecheen (OK); Mike Kelly (PA); Jeff Duncan & Joe Wilson (SC); and Ronny Jackson & Randy Weber (TX).


Members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee

Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and GOP Representatives Barry Moore (AL); Andy Biggs (AZ); Darrell Issa, Kevin Kiley & Tom McClintock (CA); Ken Buck (CO); Matt Gaetz & Laurel Lee (FL); Victoria Spartz (IN); Thomas Massie (KY); Mike Johnson (LA); Jeff VanDrew (NJ); Dan Bishop (NC); Cliff Bentz (OR); Russell Fry (SC); Lance Gooden, Wesley Hunt, Nathaniel Moran, Troy Nehls & Chip Roy (TX); Ben Cline (VA); Scott Fitzgerald & Tom Tiffany (WI); Harriet Hageman (WY).

Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (NY) and Democratic Representatives Lou Correa, Ted Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Adam Schiff & Eric Swalwell (CA); Joe Neguse (CO); Hank Johnson & Lucy McBath (GA); Glenn Ivy (MD); Cori Bush (MO); Deborah Ross (NC); Madeleine Dean & Mary Gay Scanlon (PA); Steve Cohen (TN); Veronica Escobar & Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX); Pramila Jayapal (WA). There is currently one vacancy, that of Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), who recently resigned from Congress.