Life Advocacy Briefing

August 28, 2023

Oops! / Indiana Abortion Ban Takes Effect
Putting Discarded Doe v. Bolton into Statute
Touting Her ‘Creds’ at Taxpayer Expense / A Useful Tool
GOP Presidential Candidates Talk ‘Abortion’


A CANDIDATE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION STUMBLED last week when asked a question about abortion by NBC News reporter Ali Vitali, reports Ben Johnson for The Washington Stand (TWS).

“‘I believe that the decision to abort a child should be up to the woman during the first three months of life,’ [Robert F] Kennedy told NBC News on Sunday morning,” Aug. 13, writes Mr. Johnson.

“‘So you would cap it at 15 weeks? Or 21 weeks?’ asked the reporter,” Mr Johnson reports. “‘Yes. Three months,’ Kennedy replied.

“‘So, three months – you would sign a federal cap on that?’ [Mr.] Vitali clarified a second time,” reports TWS.

“‘Yes, I would,’ [Mr.] Kennedy continued. ‘Once a child is viable outside the womb, I think then the state has an interest in protecting that child. … I think the states have a right to protect a child once the child can be viable.’

“RFK Jr.’s handlers immediately worried about their political viability,” writes Mr. Johnson, “promptly trotting out a press release explaining that their candidate did not comprehend a clear question about the most consequential issue of the modern era.

“‘Mr. Kennedy misunderstood a question posed to him by [an] NBC reporter in a crowded, noisy exhibit hall at the Iowa State Fair,’ said an unsigned statement released by his campaign Sunday night,” quotes Mr. Johnson. “‘Mr. Kennedy’s position on abortion is that it is always the woman’s right to choose. He does not support legislation banning abortion.’” Or at least his campaign doesn’t.


Indiana Abortion Ban Takes Effect

THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT LAST MONDAY DENIED A REHEARING sought by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU in their lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s new “near-total abortion ban,” report Brittany Carloni & Thao Nguyen for USA Today. As a consequence, the new law is now in effect.

The high court’s 4-to-1 ruling “comes more than a year after Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed the law at the end of the 2022 special legislative session,” write the two reporters. “The decision will certify the court’s June 30 decision that the abortion ban signed last year does not violate the state’s constitution.”

The state’s attorney general, Todd Rokita, declared victory in the USA Today report. “‘This is great news for Hoosier life and liberty,’ he said. ‘We defeated the pro-death advocates who try to interject their views in a state that clearly voted for life.’”

“Senate Bill 1 will effectively ban most elective abortions in the state,” reports Jean Mondoro for LifeSiteNews, “with exceptions in place for women who are victims of rape to legally access abortions during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and for ‘safety’ of the mother in cases deemed to seriously threaten her health or life. The law, originally passed last August, also permits the murder of the unborn,” explains Ms. Mondoro, “if babies are diagnosed with an incurable condition ‘that is incompatible with sustained life outside the womb’ up to 20 weeks.”

Those loopholes are regrettable, but among the most favorable provisions is one barring abortions outside hospitals, thus crippling Planned Parenthood’s abortion network as well as effectively putting free-standing abortuaries out of business.


Putting Discarded Doe v. Bolton into Statute

MAINE GOV. JANET MILLS (D) SIGNED LEGISLATION in July, reports Dave Andrusko for National Right to Life News, “whose language pro-lifers assert allows abortion for any reason throughout pregnancy.” The bill had passed the state House by 73 to 69 and the Senate 20 to 11.

“‘LD-1619 creates a subjective standard empowering the abortionist to justify [even] any abortion after viability,’ according to Maine Right to Life,” writes Mr. Andrusko. ‘Gov. Mills’s bill removes current language that allows abortion for a woman’s life or health and replaces it with language that would allow abortions in the second and third trimesters because of an abortionist’s opinion.’”

Before the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs ruling, such abortions were impossible to prosecute because of language in the 1973 Doe v. Bolton companion to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court edict. That language rendered the “health” excuse so broad as to effectively legalize abortion up to birth based on the abortionist’s opinion. Now that Doe v. Bolton has been overturned as incidental to Roe, the abortion lobby is evidently having to write such nonsense into their broad abortion-permissive statutes.


Touting Her ‘Creds’ at Taxpayer Expense

WHEN A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR WANTS TO BE NOTICED for possible elevation to her party’s national ticket, there is no limit to her abuse of her state’s taxpayers for abortion promotion.

The State of Michigan – Gretchen Whitmer, Governor – has “taken out ads,” reports Ben Johnson for The Washington Stand, “trying to lure businesses to relocate from pro-life states, because Michigan is ‘on the right side of history’ on abortion and same-sex marriage – an action critics call ‘ignorant’ or ‘evil.’

“The [controversial] Michigan Economic Development Council (MEDC) targeted ads to six conservative states,” notes Mr. Johnson, “touting the progressive stance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. One of the ads,” he writes, “entices people to move to Michigan and ‘enjoy your right to reproductive freedom,’ a frequent euphemism for abortion-on-demand. Another shows a lesbian couple,” he notes, “as the screen declares, ‘In Michigan, all are welcome.’

“‘Michigan is proud to protect your fundamental human freedoms. We’re a state that’s on the right side of history,’ said MEDC in a Facebook post containing one of its pitches.’”

Protect your fundamental freedoms? Wait. Wasn’t the governor of Michigan notorious for her covid lockdowns, barring stores from selling seeds and boaters from putting their boats into the water?

The ads were placed, notes Mr. Johnson, “even as state lawmakers slashed funds for the state travel office. … ‘Using public resources to promote the death of innocent unborn babies is absolutely appalling,’ said State Sen. Thomas Albert (R-Lowell), who said the campaign represents ‘a new low. … It is ignorant at best and evil at worst. … These ads are a massive injustice to both taxpayers and the poor souls lost in abortion. These insensitive advertisements do not reflect the values of all Michiganders, and they won’t do anything to reverse the state’s dwindling population – in fact, it may have the exact opposite effect,’ said [Sen.] Albert,” quoted by The Washington Stand.

The ad campaign ran, notes Mr. Johnson, “in six pro-life states: Florida, Texas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Tennessee.”


A Useful Tool

LIFE DYNAMICS HAS RELEASED a series of short, animated videos titled “Abortion Distortion,” according to a news release from the pro-life strategic communications organization. The videos can be found at

The series of one-minute videos are characterized by the group as “a great tool for every pro-lifer, no matter the age group,” presenting “at times comical” videos which “grab the viewer’s attention while a ‘no-nonsense pro-lifer’ guides viewers through the issues.”

This series is the product of strategist Mark Crutcher’s imagination and efforts. Mr. Crutcher, a hero to many in the cause of Life, passed away in March while working on the project. “He believed,” notes the Life Dynamics news release, “that, not only was information key in the battle against abortion but that this information could help all pro-lifers when it was presented in short and entertaining videos. It was his hope that pro-lifers would take this series, learn from it, craft their pro-life responses and share it with others.”


GOP Presidential Candidates Talk ‘Abortion’

Life Advocacy Briefing’s transcription of the “abortion” segment of the Aug. 23, 2023, Republican Presidential debate on Fox News Channel

Fox News anchor Martha McCallum: Abortion has been a losing issue for Republicans since the Dobbs decision. In six state referendums, all have upheld abortion rights in this country, and even in red states, there are more swing state referendums that are coming up as we head into the elections as well on this. So, Governor Haley, what do you say to your party and to your state, which today confirmed a six-week abortion law as well, especially the impact on women suburban voters across this country?

Gov. Nikki Haley: Thank you, Martha. I am unapologetically pro-life, not because the Republican party tells me to be, but because my husband was adopted and I had trouble having both of my children, so I am surrounded by blessings. Having said that, we need to stop demonizing this issue. This is talking about the fact that unelected Justices didn’t need to decide something this personal, because it’s personal for every woman and man. Now it’s been put in the hands of the people. That’s great. When it comes to a federal ban, let’s be honest with the American people and say it will take 60 Senate votes, it will take a majority of the House. So, in order to do that, let’s find consensus. Can’t we all agree that we should ban late-term abortions? Can’t we all agree that we should encourage adoptions? Can’t we all agree that doctors and nurses that don’t believe in abortions shouldn’t have to perform them? Can’t we all agree that contraception should be available, and can’t we all agree that we are not going to put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty if she gets an abortion? Let’s treat this like a respectful issue that it is and humanize the situation and stop demonizing the situation.

Fox News anchor Bret Baer: Gov. DeSantis, you signed a six-week abortion ban in Florida. One of your biggest financial backers said that you need to, quote, shift to get moderates or you will lose. What do you say to him and others who say politically that is a tough thing to sell nationally?

Gov. Ron DeSantis: Well, I would say we sold the biggest election landslide victory in the history of the Republican Party in the State of Florida in 2022. That’s what I did, and we can win. But second of all, look, you’ve gotta do what you think is right. I believe in a culture of life. I was proud to sign the Heartbeat bill. I remember one of the impactful moments of my life was when I heard the heartbeat of my oldest daughter in my wife’s womb and then saw the sonograms of all three of my kids. What the Democrats are trying to do on this issue is wrong – to allow abortion all the way up to the moment of birth. I know a lady in Florida named Penny. She survived multiple abortion attempts. She was left discarded in a pan. Fortunately, her grandmother saved her and brought her to a different hospital. We’re better than what the Democrats are selling. We are not going to allow abortion all the way up till birth, and we will hold them accountable for their extremism.

Mr. Baer: Well, just to be clear, Governor, would you sign a six-week ban federally?

Gov. DeSantis: I’m going to stand on the side of life. Look, I understand Wisconsin is going to do it different than Texas. I understand Iowa and New Hampshire are going to do different. But I will support the cause of life as Governor and as President.

Mr. Baer: Vice President Pence, you’re shaking your head.

Vice Pres. Mike Pence: Well, look, I’m, I’m not new to this cause. After I gave my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I opened up the Book and I read, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and see, I set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.” And I knew from that moment on, the cause of Life had to be my cause. And I’ve been a champion for Life in the Congress, a champion for Life as Governor and as Vice President, and to be honest with you, Nikki, you’re my friend, but a consensus is the opposite of leadership. When the Supreme Court returned this question to the American people, they didn’t just send it to the states only. It’s not a states-only issue, it’s a moral issue. And I promise you, as President of the United States, the American people will have a champion for Life in the Oval Office. Can’t we have a minimum standard in every state in the nation that says when a baby is capable of feeling pain, an abortion cannot be allowed? A fifteen-week ban is an idea whose time has come, it’s supported by 70% of the American people, but it’s going to take unapologetic leadership, leadership that stands on principle and expresses compassion for women in crisis pregnancies. I’ll do that as President of the United States.

Gov. Haley: He called my name, so I want to respond to that. So first of all, I would say it is in the hands of the people, and that is where it should be. But when you’re talking about a federal ban, be honest with the American people.

Vice Pres. Pence: I am being honest.

Gov. Haley: We haven’t had 45 pro-life Senators in over a hundred years, so no Republican President can ban abortions any more than a Democrat President can ban all those state laws. Don’t make women feel like they have to decide on this issue when you know we don’t have 60 Senate votes in the House [sic] –

Vice Pres. Pence: 70% of the American people support legislation to ban abortion after a baby is capable of experiencing pain.

Gov. Haley: But 70% of the Senate does not. 

Vice Pres. Pence: It takes leadership.

Gov. Haley: 70% of the Senate does not. You have to be honest with the American people.

Sen. Tim Scott: We have to have a fifteen-week limit.

Ms. McCallum: Hold on, let’s get Governor Burgum in for one minute here. The Supreme Court did overturn Roe v. Wade, and the result of that decision was that it went back to the states, so that’s where it is right now. So, as I understand it, you are not in favor of a federal ban. What do you say about the states – there’s about five of them, I think – New Jersey, and a few others, now allow abortion up until the time of birth. If you were President, would you be able to abide that?

Gov. Doug Burgum: First of all, I’m a pro-life governor of a very pro-life state, and this issue is of course very important. But I am on the record, and I stand behind, that we should not have a federal abortion ban. We should not, and the reason why we shouldn’t is very simple. It’s the 10th Amendment in the Constitution. In the Constitution – which the states created the federal government, not the other way around – it says that “There are certain duties allowed to the federal government, delegated to them by the states. The rest are left to the states, comma, or importantly, or to the people.” We need to get back to freedom and liberty for the people of this country, and we can’t have Republicans who fight for 50 years for this great cause to return it back to the states and the next day they turn around and go no, the feds should do that because the feds are stepping into people’s lives, they’re stepping into people’s businesses over and over. If we say that the feds should be in on this one, where do we stop? I say that we follow the Constitution, and this was returned to the states, this is where it should be. [Life Advocacy Briefing recommends to Gov. Burgum and his supporters that they read the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.]

Mr. Baer: But Governor Burgum, you signed a six-week ban so you’re saying federally it’s all going to go to the states.

Burgum: Yes. And what is going to work in New York will never work in North Dakota and vice versa. That’s why we have 50 states.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson interrupts: It’s too important of an issue that I have to address. First of all, the Supreme Court gave it back to the elected representatives, whether it’s the states or whether the United States Congress. So, there is authority, and that’s why President Biden is pushing for a Democrat proposal which is in essence abortion-on-demand through the term. So, they have their extreme position at a national level. Well, it’s mostly likely going to be addressed in the states, but it’s certainly fine for it to be addressed at the national level as well. Arkansas has the record of being the most pro-life state in the nation. I’ve signed 30 pro-life pieces of legislation while I was governor. And every state can determine a different outcome here, and it is the most important issue for women and for the unborn child and for our country that we get this right. It’s going to be a continued debate. Let’s talk about it in terms of compassion, in terms of protecting the life, and also understanding how we have to enhance adoption services, how we have to enhance maternal care. Those things we’ve done in Arkansas and are important for our nation’s future.

Mr. Baer: There are a lot of issues that are very important. [Senator Scott seeks recognition.] Senator, I’ll let you weigh in.

Sen. Scott: We cannot let states like California, New York and Illinois have abortions-on-demand up until the day of birth. That is immoral, it is unethical, it is wrong. We must have a President of the United States who will advocate and fight for at the minimum a 15-week limit. I am a hundred percent pro-life conservative. I have a hundred percent pro-life record. I’ve gotta tell you, though. We must fight for Life. Our Declaration of Independence said our Creator gave us inalienable rights that include Life. That is an issue we must solve. We can’t leave it to Illinois, we can’t leave it to Minnesota, we can’t leave it to Illinois. We must solve that issue with a 15-week limit at a minimum.

Gov. Haley: Bret, I think we’re all pro-life. But what I would love is for someone to ask Biden and Kamala Harris, are they for 38 weeks, are they for 39 weeks, are they for 40 weeks? Because that’s what the media needs to be asking.