Life Advocacy Briefing

September 11, 2023

Left-Over Tidbit / And Another One
Time to Bring Forth Born-Alive Protection, Senators
Calls to House Needed, Too / What’s Coming Up, Urgently
Talking Strategy

Left-Over Tidbit

WE HAVE BEEN MEANING to report this little item, and it has just kept getting away from us. But we still think it’s worth knowing: Life Legal Foundation, Operation Rescue (OR) reported last spring, “secured a victory against Danco, the pharmaceutical company created specifically to distribute Mifeprex, the drug used in a chemical abortion to kill the child while still in her mother’s womb. …

“After a thorough investigation revealed the cover-up,” OR notes, “Danco admitted that it failed to pay the required Customs duties and agreed to reimburse the US government $765,000.” The drug was imported, you see, and most of us knew that at the time because it was known as “the French abortion drug,” RU-486, RU referring to Roussel Uclaf, a French pharmaceutical company.

But now it comes out: Mifeprex’s country of origin, notes OR, is Red China. Though we have never before seen this fact reported, OR tells us that “at the time” that RU-486 was approved for US marketing by the FDA in 2000 – touted by the outgoing Clinton Administration as one of his accomplishments – “Chinese officials confirmed … that Hua Lian Pharmaceutical Co., based in Shanghai and owned by the Chinese Communist Party, was manufacturing the raw compound used to make the deadly drug.”

Draw your own conclusions.


And Another One

THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSN. VOTED DOWN A RESOLUTION at its June annual meeting in Chicago, reports Matt Lamb for LifeSiteNews (LSN), “that would oppose the deliberate killing of babies who survive abortions.”

Think about that, America. The medical professionals who have long enjoyed top billing among “those we trust” in this country have now effectively gone on record as approving – or at least tolerating – infanticide.

Ironically, the resolution was brought forward, notes Mr. Lamb, by a “self-described ‘pro-choice’ Virginia doctor.” The issue is especially acute in that state since the state’s former governor Dr. Ralph Northam (D) was quoted as approving of letting the mother decide whether treatment should be attempted for an abortion surviving baby.

The resolution’s sponsor, Dr. Thomas Eppes, “was the only person who spoke in favor of the resolution,” reports Mr. Lamb, “which was voted down 476 to 106,’ MedPage reported.”

The Virginia doctor “asked the AMA,” writes Mr. Lamb, “to ‘advocate for availability of the highest standard of neonatal care to [an] aborted fetus born alive at a gestational age of viability,’ which, notes LSN, “occurs at approximately 22 weeks’ gestation. ‘This position is not to argue the woman’s right to choose… The decision to abort is still between the patient and the physician,’ [Dr.] Eppes said. ‘It does not imply the woman’s responsibility for the fetal life, but this resolution places the burden of care on the physician, who now has to care for two patients once the fetus is viable’” – a point which should be obvious to those who have subscribed to the do-no-harm clause of the Hippocratic Oath.

“The ‘no’ vote came,” reports Mr. Lamb, “after advocacy against the resolution from the pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists,” to their shame.


Time to Bring Forth Born-Alive Protection, Senators

AMONG THE URGENT PROPOSALS FESTERING IN THE SENATE is the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection bill, HR-26, which the House passed in January under sponsorship of Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and has since then been stuck on the Senate Legislative Calendar. Its companion, S-204, reposes in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Its chief sponsor is Sen. John Thune (R-SD).

We list next the Senate co-sponsors of S-204 and ask our readers to call their home-state Senators to request their “support for the Born-Alive Survivors Act,” thanking those who are co-sponsoring the measure and asking others to join in support of S-204 or HR-26 in the Senate. [Capitol switchboard: 202/224-3121]

With Sen. Thune as chief sponsor, the Senate co-sponsors are GOP Senators Katie Boyd Britt (AL), Dan Sullivan (AK), John Boozman & Tom Cotton (AR), Marco Rubio & Rick Scott (FL), Mike Crapo & James Risch (ID), Mike Braun & Todd Young (IN), Roger Marshall & Jerry Moran (KS), Bill Cassidy (LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith & Roger Wicker (MS), Josh Hawley (MO), Steve Daines (MT), Deb Fischer & Pete Ricketts (NE), Ted Budd & Thom Tillis (NC), John Hoeven (ND), J.D. Vance (OH), James Lankford & Markwayne Mullin (OK), Lindsey Graham (SC), Mike Rounds (SD), Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Cornyn & Ted Cruz (TX), Mitt Romney (UT), Ron Johnson (WI), John Barrasso & Cynthia Lummis (WY).


Calls to House Needed, Too

F.R.C. ACTION IS ASKING PRO-LIFE CITIZENS TO CONTACT their House Members in DC, requesting them to support a push-back “against the Biden Administration’s attacks on the family, including one provision in the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration funding bill (HR-4368) that would nullify the FDA’s negligent decision to subject mothers to obtaining the off-label chemical abortion pill, mifepristone, by mail, without ever seeing a physician in person to (for example) rule out ectopic pregnancy (which will be life-threatening if combined with chemical abortion) or to determine the gestational age of the unborn child.”

The pro-life lobby group notes that the FDA’s clearance for self-administered mailed abortion drugs both “further[s] the killing of unborn children” and “is also highly dangerous for mothers.” It also happens to be illegal under a 19th-century law that bans the distribution of lethal drugs through the US mail.

“When Congress returns in September” – this week to the House, last week to the Senate – “Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate will immediately turn to negotiating some of the year’s most consequential bills to fund the federal government for the coming year,” notes FRC/A. “Reports are circulating that there are about a dozen Republican Representatives opposed to this pro-life provision, so your Member of Congress needs to hear from you urgently!” FRC/A urges. Do not assume anything. Make the call now. [Capitol switchboard: 202/224-3121]


What’s Coming Up, Urgently

July 21, 2023, Report in National Right to Life News by Jennifer Popik, NRL Director of Federal Legislation

             As Congress returns to Washington, DC, following the 4th of July recess, work is set to resume on the annual appropriations process. [Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: July was a slow walk for Congress; this warning from NRL still pertains.]

             Given the current composition of Congress, a national law protecting preborn children and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future. However, one of the most important impacts that Congress can have is to work to ensure that no taxpayer dollars are used to pay for abortion.

             After Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973, various federal health programs, including Medicaid, simply started paying for elective abortions. On Sept 30, 1976, an amendment by pro-life Cong. Henry Hyde (R-IL) to prevent federal Medicaid funds from paying for abortions was enacted. The Hyde Amendment is widely recognized as having a significant impact on the number of abortions in the US [saving] over an estimated 2.5 million lives.

             The Hyde Amendment, and similar provisions, have enjoyed bipartisan support for over 40 years and have proven to be the greatest domestic abortion reduction measure ever enacted by Congress.

             Congress must pass all the necessary appropriations bills to fund the government for the upcoming fiscal year by Sept. 30 of each year or pass a continuing resolution, or the government will shut down. With Republicans again in control of the House, each of the committees is working through debating and marking up bills in all 12 appropriations [sub]committees, rather than simply crafting a large omnibus bill. This has meant broader Member involvement and more robust pro-life debate.

             The Presidency of Joe Biden marked one of the sharpest departures from this long-standing principle that tax dollars should not fund abortion. The Biden Administration has taken numerous aggressive steps to circumvent the clear Congressional intent in regards to prohibitions of taxpayer funded abortion. The House Republicans are hard at work not only preserving long-standing pro-life protections but are also trying to reverse the numerous abortion-expanding policies of the Biden Administration.

             Some of the committees have completed their bills, and others are set to start or complete their work in the coming weeks. In addition to including existing pro-life protections (in the bills considered so far), appropriators voted to block the newly implemented Biden Administration policy which funds elective abortions at Veterans Affairs medical centers with taxpayer dollars. Appropriators also included a provision to stop the illegal actions of the Food & Drug Administration in regard to mailing chemical abortion drugs. In addition, the 2024 Defense Appropriations bill would block the … Dept. of Defense from paying for abortion travel in violation of the long-standing policy against funding elective abortion with taxpayer money.

             A few other highlights include a new provision to nullify the 2016 legalization of physician-assisted suicide in the District of Columbia. Also, in 2022, it came to light that babies were being aborted very late in pregnancy at Washington Surgi-Clinic in Washington, DC, possibly using illegal partial-birth abortions. While relevant DC officials and Biden Administration officials declined to investigate, language was included by appropriators to require a report regarding DC’s enforcement of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

             Finally, House appropriators included language to restore the Trump-era “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” policy, which would make foreign non-governmental organizations that perform and promote abortion overseas ineligible for US funding.

             Even in the post-Dobbs v. Jackson environment (which returned abortion-related legislating to elected representatives), opposition to tax funding of abortion is about 60%. The 2023 Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll taken between January 6-9, 2023, (1,025 adults) shows that 60% oppose taxpayer-funded abortion, including 59% of independents. This is an increase of six points from the previous year.

             In addition, a 2022 McLaughlin & Assoc. poll conducted after the November 2022 election found that 58% of respondents are opposed to federal funding of abortions.

             While House appropriators are working to protect Life in the remaining appropriations bills not yet taken up, the Senate is currently under Democrat control and will make it difficult to add new pro-life provisions over and above the existing Hyde and related amendments. That said, it is imperative that Republicans continue to maintain all current pro-life protections and to fight to stop numerous abortion-expanding Biden Administration efforts.


Talking Strategy

April 25, 2023, The Washington Stand commentary by Suzanne Bowdey

             “We’re hoping they don’t notice.” That’s what a handful of GOP operatives told Rolling Stone when they were asked what pro-life voters would think about Republicans ignoring the abortion issue. We’re “advising [our] candidates to talk as little as possible about abortion proposals at this time,” they said. That’s horrible advice, movement leaders fired back. “Not only has the pro-life position historically provided more voter enthusiasm,” Kristan Hawkins argued, but “it remains a core distinction between the two parties, for those with the skill and fearlessness to make the case.” To the relief of pro-lifers, Republican National Committee chairman Ronna McDaniel doesn’t just agree – she’s on a mission to prove why.

             Fresh off her speech at the Reagan Library, where she declared that Republicans can win on abortion, McDaniel continues to insist that the GOP needs to go on the offensive when it comes to Life. On Monday’s Washington Watch, she reiterated that the surest way to lose in 2024 is to stop talking about the unborn. Why? Because “if there’s a vacuum in messaging,” the chairman said, “the Democrats will fill it.”

             And fill it, they have, she said, spending $360 million on the abortion issue alone in the 2022 midterms. “And many consultants said, ‘Don’t talk about it. Voters only care about the economy.’ That’s not true,” McDaniel argued. “Because when $360 million is spent against you, you need to respond.* And we’re right on this issue. So let’s respond* and be positive. … And let’s not let the media or other Republicans say we lost because of abortion. No, we lost from our inability to defend Life.”

             Of course, there are some, like former Vice Pres. Mike Pence, who see the turmoil in the Republican Party and are determined to remind candidates that “defending the unborn … is more important than politics.” The RNC chairman feels the same, insisting, “We should be proud to be the pro-family, pro-life party. [It’s] a great place to be. It’s a compassionate place to be. It’s where most Americans are also,” she pointed out, drawing a stark contrast with Democrats who want “gender-selection abortions. They want taxpayer-funded abortions. They are in line with North Korea and China [in] allowing abortions up until a baby’s due date. These are things that are out of step with the civilized world,” McDaniel said, “and we need to push back.”

             The last thing Republicans need, she emphasized, “is to put our head in the sand and say, ‘This is an issue we’re uncomfortable talking about.’” If the GOP does that, she warned, “the Democrats will define us. And we need to be out there defining ourselves and defining them.”

             Family Research Council president Tony Perkins echoed that sentiment, pointing out that “when we don’t respond, the lies become the truth. That’s exactly what we saw in the midterm elections. Many Republicans were afraid to talk about this issue. And so, as you [explained], the Democrats defined it. And they’re the ones that actually have the radical positions. …

             [Argues GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)]: “I have absolutely no problem looking any Democrat or any journalist in the eye and saying, ‘When you allow abortion-on-demand up to the moment of birth with taxpayer funding, that’s barbaric.’ … We will win this issue if we engage. Because when you ask the Democrat, ‘What limits do you have [on abortion]?’ they will never give you an answer.”

             The reason they’re taking about abortion in the first place, McDaniel insisted, is because “they can’t talk about crime. They can’t talk about the border. They can’t talk about fentanyl. They can’t talk about anything in this country that’s going well. Energy independence. [Everything] that Democrats are in charge of is failing. So, this is the issue they’re going to hone in on, and they’re going to do it through misdirection and lies and their allies and the media. And that’s where Republicans [have] got to get a backbone We fought for this issue. We should celebrate it, but let’s not hide from it.”

             If Republican candidates need help finding that backbone, Graham has some advice. “Let’s say you’re on a debate stage with a Democratic opponent, and the issue of abortion comes up. … The answer is, ‘If I go to Congress, I will make America like the civilized world – not China, not North Korea. I will vote to limit late-term abortions.’ Then turn to your opponent and ask them, ‘What would you do when it comes to the rights of the unborn – to a baby that is well developed [and] can feel pain? When do you draw the line?’ If you’ll engage that Democrat, they will stumble all over themselves, or the Left will get mad if they have limits. So, it’s a winning issue only if you fight back.”

*Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: Our contention at Life Advocacy is that the best defense is a good offense, that the pro-life candidate – once the connection of his or her opponent to the abortion lobby can be determined – should raise the issue of abortion before being attacked. It is the abortion-cartel-backed candidate who is extreme and who should be attempting to hide his or her views. The first one to stand on this issue (or others, for that matter) is the one who will best manage public perception and response. So, while we appreciate Chairman McDaniel’s rejection of the backwards advice from crass consultants, we urge that pro-life candidates raise the issue first, in a principled way, and put their opponents on defense. That is a better way to control the issue and to attract voters who prefer candidates who know who they are and what they stand for and are not ashamed to show it. Extremism in defense of child sacrifice is no virtue. Principled absolutism in defense of Life is no vice.