Life Advocacy Briefing

July 31, 2023

Critical Vote on Tap in Ohio / Florida Next? / On His Way Out?
Stateside / Cruelty in the Name of Compassion
Trafficking by Another Name / Crossing the Line

Critical Vote on Tap in Ohio

IN JUST ONE WEEK – ON TUESDAY, AUG. 8 – voters in Ohio will decide in a special election whether to boost from 50% to 60% the threshold for voter ratification of state constitutional amendments. The outcome of this referendum could well make the difference in November’s vote on whether to open Ohio to a radical pro-abortion, anti-family constitutional amendment, placed on the ballot via a petition campaign.

The amendment, which is similar to the confusing, radical constitutional amendment ratified by Michigan voters last November, was drafted by ACLU of Ohio, according to Ashley Sadler, reporting for LifeSiteNews.

In just twelve weeks, the abortion cartel’s ground troops collected about 700,000 signatures for the measure, of which 495,938 were deemed valid by the state’s GOP Secretary of State.

Language of the proposed constitutional amendment declares, reports Ms. Sadler, “‘Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage and abortion.’”

Ohio pro-life leaders, notes Ms. Sadler, “have … warned that the language … would effectively eliminate Ohio’s ability to impose any health, safety, waiting or informed-consent standards.”

It would also block parental involvement in their minor daughter’s decision about the fate of their grandchild.

For now, the immediate need is for Ohio voters to cast their votes on Aug. 8 in favor of treating their state constitution as though it governs. It does. And approval of amendments ought to meet a threshold of 60%, if not higher!


Florida Next?

ABORTION CAMPAIGNERS IN FLORIDA are responding to the signing by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) of a Heartbeat Abortion Law by circulating a petition to put a state constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot, reports Bridget Sielicki for Live Action, “to define abortion as a ‘right.’”

It is critical that pro-life lawmakers, citizens and organizations gear up to persuade their fellow citizens to vote “no” on these state constitutional amendment referenda, by which the abortion lobby is seeking to end-run Dobbs by turning even pro-life states into abortion wastelands.

This is a life-or-death struggle, and the experience in Michigan last year shouts to the pro-life majority: Time to get serious about informing your neighbors and family members about what is at stake in these referenda. The time for polite reticence is over.


On His Way Out?

A LATE JUNE ASSOCIATED PRESS/NATIONAL OPINION RESEARCH CENTER POLL focusing on President Biden’s job performance found 41% of the 1,220 respondents approve of his performance, reports Ryan Foley for The Christian Post, “while 58% disapprove … .”

Encouraging, but look at this! “On the issue of abortion policy,” writes Mr. Foley, “Biden’s approval rating on that issue strongly mirrors his overall approval rating. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed indicated that they approved of his handling of abortion policy, while 58% expressed disapproval.”

Other abortion questions on the poll were less encouraging, to say the least, but the poll seems to demonstrate that the Democratic Party’s Presidential frontrunner is a drag on the issue for the abortion lobby. Another reason to wonder whether the incumbent will actually seek re-election.



  • A COUNTY JUDGE IN IOWA has issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the state’s new Heartbeat Law, which bars abortion on developing babies whose heartbeat can be detected, usually at about six weeks’ gestation. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) “was quick to announce,” reports Illinois Federation for Right to Life, “that her administration would appeal [the judge’s] ruling. ‘In their own words,’” she said, quoted in the report, “‘the abortion industry stressed the need for a temporary injunction so they could continue with 200 scheduled abortions in the next two weeks. While Life was protected for a few days, now even more innocent babies will be lost. … I will fight this all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court, where we expect a decision that will finally provide justice for the unborn.’”

  • IN MASSACHUSETTS, the cause of Life dodged a bullet when the Worcester City Council dropped a planned ordinance to compel the local pregnancy resource centers to “discuss abortion options,” reports Bridget Sielicki for Live Action. Though the city council voted 6-5 a year ago “to authorize the city manager and the city solicitor to draft an ordinance requiring the city’s PRCs to ‘directly provide or provide referrals for abortions or emergency contraception,’” notes Ms. Sielicki, the manager and solicitor concluded “the measure would be unenforceable.” Said Catholic Action League executive director C.J. Doyle, quoted by Live Action, “‘It is a glaring sign … of the manifest extremism and the patent unconstitutionality of this measure that even the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, dominated in recent years by some of the most strident abortion proponents in Bay State history, is now advising against this profoundly problematic ordinance.’” Mr. Doyle criticized the council’s majority for seeking the ordinance, declaring, “‘Their vote was a cynical exercise in pandering to their political base while appeasing one of the most powerful special interests in the Commonwealth – Planned Parenthood.’”

  • NEW MEXICO HAS ESTABLISHED a “state abortion hotline,” reports Ashley Sadler for LifeSiteNews, “that connects pregnant women to the Satanic Temple’s new medical services branch.” The discovery was made by the New Mexico Alliance for Life, which, writes Ms. Sadler, “conducted a public records investigation and found that the state’s new taxpayer-funded abortion referral hotline was directing women to a bevy of abortion businesses.” The hotline also “helps [callers] obtain transportation” for abortion appointments. Among the abortion outfits listed in the hotline’s directory is “a ‘telehealth’ service run by The Satanic Temple [TST]. … According to its website, ‘TST Health provides free religious telehealth medication abortion care, courtesy of The Satanic Temple.’”

  • OHIO GOV. MIKE DeWINE (R) SIGNED A 2-YEAR BUDGET which “more than doubles the state’s funding for pregnancy resource centers,” reports Bridget Sielicki for Live Action. The program was inaugurated in 2013 and, notes Ms. Sielicki, “allocates grants to nonprofits, including PRCs.” The new budget provides a $6 million increase, now allocating some $14 million in state funding.

  • OREGON’s LEFTWING GOVERNOR, Tina Kotek (D), signed legislation in mid-July which “creates a ‘fundamental right’ to ‘terminate the individual’s pregnancy,’” writes Matt Lamb for LifeSiteNews, providing that expectant mothers as young as 15 can undergo abortion without consent of their parents and, notes Mr. Lamb, “allow[ing] girls of any age to get abortion without their parents’ consent if they believe procuring an abortion would result in ‘emotional abuse.’” Declared Gov. Kotek, quoted by LifeSiteNews, the legislation “creates a ‘fundamental right’ to ‘terminate the individual’s pregnancy.’” It also, notes Mr. Lamb, excludes parents from minors’ gender-bending treatment decisions as well and “requires insurance companies to cover the surgical and chemical mutilation of gender-confused individuals.”

  • A RURAL COUNTY IN TEXAS is taking advantage of the state legislature’s recent enactment of a provision which, notes Mark Lee Dickson in a Live Action report, “explicitly allow[s] political subdivisions to outlaw and prohibit abortion and to establish penalties and remedies against those who perform or enable unlawful abortions.” Mitchell County in west central Texas has adopted an ordinance “outlawing abortion within the unincorporated area” of the county, declaring it a “Sanctuary County for the Unborn.” The ordinance further “prohibits the performing of elective abortions and the aiding or abetting of abortions performed on residents of the unincorporated area of Mitchell County,” reports Mr. Dickson, “‘regardless of the location of the abortion, regardless of the law in the jurisdiction where the abortion occurred and regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion was performed or induced on a resident of the unincorporated area of Mitchell County.’” We will frankly be surprised if that “regardless of location” provision is enforceable, but it is good to see local officials exercising creativity in their determination to safeguard human life.


Cruelty in the Name of Compassion

July 12, 2023, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Timothy Padgett

             Jessica Bates lost her husband a few years ago in a car wreck. This would be devastating for anyone, but through her grief over her loss, she’s decided to open her heart and home to others. As she lacks a husband, she’s now reaching out to those who have no parents, trying to adopt children in her home state of Oregon. Mind you, this is in addition to the five children left fatherless by her husband’s death. It takes a special love to take in those who need a home. It takes a strong love and a strong heart to do so while raising little ones alone.

             You can imagine Jessica’s surprise when the state turned her down on ideological grounds. To warrant the state’s approval to care for parentless children, she had to sign off on “affirming” any potential adopted child’s desire for transgender pronouns, chemical sterilization and other practices that would have been rightly seen as child abuse just a few years ago.

             As the Alliance Defending Freedom said of her case, “Oregon officials are preventing Jessica from adopting a child because of her Christian beliefs – despite the fact that they otherwise accommodate people of different religious and cultural backgrounds and try to pair children with families who are well suited to each other. It’s a blatant act of religious discrimination, and it must end.”

             This ideological enforcement is not an isolated thing. Last year, the governor of Michigan used her veto power to cut from the state budget millions of dollars allocated to help pro-life groups and Christian adoption agencies. It’s not enough, apparently, that these groups work to help “the least of these.” To get state funds, they also must toe the party line when it comes to supporting abortion.

             In America today, there are nearly 400,000 children in the foster care system and over 100,000 waiting to be adopted. Adoption is a beautiful gift that’s close to the heart of Christianity, a legacy of the Church’s earliest days when unwanted kids – mostly girls – were left on the trash heap by Roman parents. Christians responded by taking these little ones into their homes.

             There’s hardly a better picture of who we are in Christ than adoption. As sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, lost through their Fall, we have been brought into the household of God. The Apostle Paul notes in Galatians, “… born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir.”

Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: How soon so many of America’s policymakers have forgotten what seemed to be the universal admiration of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, model of compassion.


Trafficking by Another Name

July 24, 2023, commentary by Bradley Mattes, president, Life Issues Institute

             With the hit film Sound of Freedom about human trafficking fresh in our minds, some recent developments may put things into proper context.

             Idaho became the first state to prohibit abortion trafficking. It protects minor girls from being transported across state lines for an abortion without the parents’ knowledge.

             Abortion is the well-oiled machine that keeps human trafficking humming. Planned Parenthood opened an abortion center just one mile over Idaho’s border into Oregon and sued to stop Idaho’s legislation.

             Undercover videos have observed this abortion giant covering up and cooperating with human trafficking. As long as there’s big money in the abortion industry, we’ll see them do whatever’s necessary to keep that money flowing, even when it comes to abortion trafficking.

Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: As long as Life can be protected only through a patchwork of state laws and not through recognition of the right to life in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution, the abortion cartel will use such tactics as Oregon Planned Parenthood’s, cited above. This is why we believe it is urgent that Congress adopt the legislation we reported on in our June 26 edition, HR-4123 and HR-792, both of which are residing in the House Judiciary Committee.

As we previously noted on June 26, HR-4123, the Parental Notification & Intervention Act, reports K.D. Hastings for The Washington Stand, a publication of Family Research Council, would apply whenever an unemancipated minor seeks an abortion, requiring the abortionist – if he or she is employed by an entity that accepts federal funding – to inform her parents (the grandparents of her unborn child). It further requires a four-day waiting period. It was filed in the House on June 14 by Rep. Mary Miller with five co-sponsors. The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, HR-792, is also in the Judiciary Committee and was filed by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), with 22 co-sponsors. The Senate version of CIANA was filed by Sen. Marco Rubio as S-78, with 17 co-sponsors; it is awaiting attention in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Readers are urged to contact their district representatives and home-state senators and urge support for these bills. CIANA pertains only in interstate border-crossing situations and is not pinned to federal funding. It would require notification of the parents of a minor who crosses state lines for an abortion and would penalize a cross-border escort if a minor is transported from a state which requires parental notice to a state which has no such protection.


Crossing the Line

July 24, 2023, Live Action report by Cassy Fiano-Chesser

             The Biden Administration is preparing an expansion to Health Insurance, Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), as promised earlier this year, which would seemingly serve to protect abortion and infringe on laws passed in pro-life states.

             Politico reported that the Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) is preparing the final draft of the new rule, called the HIPAA Privacy Rule to Support Reproductive Healthcare Privacy, under the Office of Civil Rights. After the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org. ruling, which overturned Roe v. Wade, individual states were able to make their own laws regarding abortion. While some states do have laws in place that protect pre-born children from abortion, abortionists – not women seeking abortions – are the ones facing potential prosecution.

             It is believed that the new rule will protect both women and abortionists from those pro-life laws, claiming that access to abortion is a civil right. However, others are already preparing to push back, while still more warn that the rule change will open up the Biden Administration to lawsuits.

             “I would imagine, at the very least, that a challenge would come from state attorneys general, because the Administration is interfering with their ability to enforce their own laws,” Roger Severino, who served as head of HHS’s Office for Civil Rights under Pres. Donald Trump, told Politico.

             At least 18 attorneys general have already begun demanding that the Biden Administration refrain from implementing the new rule. “The Administration has sought to wrest control over abortion back from the people in defiance of the Constitution and Dobbs,” a letter they signed together said. “The proposed rule … would unlawfully interfere with states’ authority to enforce their laws, and does not serve any legitimate need.”

             Georgia Atty. Gen. Chris Carr further released a statement, saying that the rule would not only infringe upon their ability to enforce their own laws, but hamper their ability to investigate and prosecute other crimes. “In a shameless attempt to play politics, the Biden Administration wants to change the rules in a way that would hinder law enforcement’s ability to gather information about crimes against women,” the statement read. “There is no mechanism under state law to prosecute women for having an abortion. Georgia is not trying to – and does not – punish pregnant women. We are trying to stop dangerous traffickers, rapists, predators and abusers, but this rule change will make it harder to hold such criminals accountable.”

             Even pro-abortion politicians are calling the rule a mistake. “I get why the Administration wants to take this position,” Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR] told Politico. “But it’s really a mistake, substantively and politically, to just throw in the towel and let the government make a policy that doesn’t come close to dealing with the risk women are facing.”