Life Advocacy Briefing

October 2, 2023

Which Side Are You On, Mrs. Haley? / Score One for the Cause
What’s in a Name Anyway? / Abortion Hurts – All Abortion
Facing Reality / Debating ‘Life’ / Thinking It Through

Which Side Are You On, Mrs. Haley?

THOUGH SHE WAS NOT ASKED TO WEIGH IN ON ABORTION at last Wednesday’s GOP Presidential debate, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, one of the Presidential hopefuls, “reiterated her call to ‘humanize’ the abortion issue,” reports Ashley Sadler of LifeSiteNews, in a Rotary Club speech in New Hampshire, “rather than ‘demonizing’ it as other Republicans have, arguing,” writes Ms. Sadler, “that it’s time to find ‘consensus’ on base-level guidelines.”

The Trump Administration UN Ambassador, notes Ms. Sadler, “said a federal law banning abortion is impossible and suggested pro-lifers and pro-abortion activists agree to ban late-term abortion and expand access to contraception. ‘Why don’t we just find consensus?’ [Mrs.] Haley asked. … ‘Can’t we agree that we don’t want late-term abortions? Can’t we agree that we should encourage adoptions and better quality adoptions? Can’t we agree that doctors and nurses who don’t believe in abortion shouldn’t have to perform them? … Can’t we agree that contraception should be accessible?’ she said,” quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘And can’t we agree that no state law should say that any woman who’s had an abortion can go to jail or get the death penalty? Let’s just start there.’”

Life Advocacy Briefing normally reports without comment on such statements with the expectation that our readers will discern from their own experience and judgment. But we cannot appear neutral in the face of Mrs. Haley’s constant repetition of her point about not allowing states to send aborting mothers to jail. No state has such a law, and we have not seen in any reports – in 30-plus years of covering this issue – that any state has considered such an approach. In what seems to be an effort to pander to voters’ fears, she reinforces the lies of the abortion cartel and casts an “extremist” light on pro-life officials and laymen by implying the pro-life agenda is extreme. If there is one thing the pro-life movement does not need right now, it is an allegedly pro-life candidate, official or spokesman throwing a red herring into the abortion debate.

Stop sounding like an apologist for the abortion lobby, Mrs. Haley, or just stop talking about the issue at all.


Score One for the Cause

PRO-LIFE CITIZENS IN OHIO HAVE ACHIEVED a small but helpful victory in their campaign to reach their fellow voters with the reality behind the abortion cartel’s state constitutional amendment proposition, on which voters will decide in November.

Thanks to the Ohio Ballot Board, reports Dave Andrusko in National Right to Life News, final ballot language for the proposition will use the term “unborn child,” rather than “fetus.” Writes Mr. Andrusko, “The finalized language also says the amendment would ‘always allow an unborn child to be aborted at any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability’ if a doctor deems an abortion necessary to protect a ‘pregnant woman’s life or health.’”

And good news follows good, in this case. As Mr. Andrusko reports, the State Supreme Court on Sept. 19 “ruled that the term ‘unborn child’ will remain in the ballot language for [the] Nov. 7 vote on whether to enshrine abortion in the state’s constitution.” The petition which boosted the amendment proposition to the ballot had used the term “fetus,” and the sponsoring circulators sued to put their obfuscatory term into the ballot language. The high court’s vote on the matter was 3 to 2 and settles it.

“‘By rejecting special interest attempts to substitute their own carefully crafted and poll-tested language for that of the ballot board,’” a spokesman for the Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) said in an NBC News report by Megan Lebowitz and Inyoung Choi, reported by Mr. Andrusko, “‘they [the Supreme Court justices] have ensured Ohio voters will have a full and accurate understanding of the proposed measure when they go to cast their ballots.’” Let us hope so. The proposition needs only a simple majority of those voting in order to be enshrined in the state constitution.


What’s in a Name Anyway?

THE ABORTIONISTS’ TRADE GROUP STARTED in 1969 as the National Assn. for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. In 1973, NARAL became the National Abortion Rights Action League. At least it kept its acronym. But in 1993, the outfit added a few initials, morphing into the National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League. Ten years later, that mouthful was changed again, now calling itself NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Now it is dropping the NARAL identity altogether and calling itself “Reproductive Freedom for All.” Catchy, isn’t it?

“‘NARAL is incredibly resonant for the political world,’” explained the outfit’s president Mini Timmaraju to New York Times reporter Lisa Lerer, reports Illinois Federation for Right to Life. “The change targets younger demographics,” reports IFRL, “particularly younger male voters. The group hopes to sway voters by further separating the political debate from the rights of unborn children. ‘We are now in a much bigger fight for the heart and soul of the American people,’” she said to the Times reporter, quoted by IFRL, “‘and those are folks who are brand new to the abortion debate.’”

Its immediate political goals, Ms. Lerer’s report states, according to IFRL, are to “enact pro-abortion policies by pushing to eliminate the Senate filibuster, opposing voter ID laws and asking pro-abortion administrations to add more justices to the Supreme Court,” regardless, no doubt, of whether there are vacancies to fill.

The New York Times reporter adds, according to IFRL, “‘The abortion rights movement has shifted its message from talking about abortion as health care to casting the legality of the procedure as an American liberty. It’s a message NARAL has been pushing since 2018,’” she writes, “‘when an internal research project found the argument to be the most broadly persuasive.’”


Abortion Hurts – All Abortion

ONE OF THE BASES FOR COMPROMISE LEGISLATION PERMITTING ABORTION up to 15 weeks gestation is the concern that babies beyond that point of development feel pain. Readers may remember the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Abortion Act, for which Congress could not muster the votes, year after year, in order to protect babies who were subject to pain; during many of the years that bill foundered in DC, the threshold was thought to be about 20 to 22 weeks, though the legislation did not, thankfully, specify an age limit but focused instead on the pain factor.

Lately, the push among parts of the pro-life movement and some in Congress has been for a 15-week ban, also claiming a connection to pain as a possibly naïve appeal to lawmakers who owe their electoral longevity to the commercial interests in the abortion cartel.

Now it appears those who wish to use pain as an appeal but to do so while specifying an age threshold might be subjecting even younger children to pain. (See the BreakPoint commentary below.) Perhaps an acknowledgment that all unborn children deserve protection, from the moment of conception, when the new life comes into being, would be an approach which stands on principle and not on a moving target.


Facing Reality

Sept. 27, 2023, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Kasey Leander

             Abortion advocates are often dismissive on the question of fetal pain, but a recent article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics brought together pro-abortion and pro-life experts to clarify what we know about what the preborn feel:

             “We consider the possibility that the mere experience of pain, without the capacity for self-reflection, is morally significant. We believe that fetal pain does not have to be equivalent to a mature adult human experience to matter morally.”  

             According to research, preborn babies as early as 7.5 weeks will move to avoid unpleasant sensations, emit stress hormones and experience an increase in heart rate and cerebral blood flow. As bioethicist Dr. Bridget Thrill concluded, “Denial of fetal pain capacity beginning in the first trimester, potentially as early as 8 to 12 weeks’ gestation, is no longer tenable.” 

             Babies have also been observed attempting to escape procedures designed to kill them. We always should have known better, but we can’t say we don’t know anymore.


Debating ‘Life’

Life Advocacy Briefing’s transcription of the abortion/Life segment of the second GOP Presidential debate, hosted by Fox Business Channel on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California

Moderator Dana Perino: Gov. DeSantis, I want to ask you about something I think is on a lot of Republicans’ minds. This election could come down to less than 50,000 votes in three states. Abortion was on the ballot in six states in 2022. Republicans lost all of them. Next year abortion will likely be on the ballot in Arizona – that is a must-win state. Gov. DeSantis, how are you going to win over independent pro-choice voters in Arizona?

Gov. Ron DeSantis: Same way we did in Florida. We won the greatest Republican victory in a governor’s race in the history of the state – over 1.5 million votes. We were winning places like Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach, that nobody thought was possible because we were leading with purpose and conviction. I reject this idea that pro-lifers are to blame for mid-term defeats. I think there’s other reasons for that.

The former President – he’s missing in action tonight; he’s had a lot to say about that. He should be here explaining his comments to try to say that pro-life protections are somehow a terrible thing. I want him to look into the eyes and tell people who have been fighting this fight for a long time.

I was at – my wife and I earlier today were at the gravesite of President and Mrs. Reagan, and I noticed that there was a quote where it says every single person has purpose and worth. We’re better off when everybody counts. I think we should stand for what we believe in; I think we should hold the Democrats accountable for their extremism, supporting abortion all the way up until the moment of birth. That is infanticide, and that is wrong.

Moderator Perino: Let me ask Gov. Christie. Gov. Christie, do you think that Republicans can do that in Arizona if this referendum is on the ballot there?

Gov. Chris Christie: Yeah, because I did it in New Jersey, Dana.

Moderator Perino: Then why are all these other states losing?

Gov. Christie: Well, because they don’t have leaders in those states who are leading the fight the way it should be led. And the fact is, look, I was governor here of the only blue state that’s represented up here. This is where the fight is really tough for Republicans, and those are the states that we’re going to have to try to win if we’re going to win the White House back.

And what we did is, 14 times, Dana, in eight years, I vetoed Planned Parenthood funding. Fourteen times. No one else gets it that much. The Democrats kept sending it to me, and I kept saying “no,” because I believe in Life. But I also believe in states’ rights, and I think we fought hard against Roe versus Wade for decades to say that states should make these decisions. So, we’re going to have those fights in the states.

What you need is a leader who can talk to people and make them understand that if you’re pro-life, you have to be pro-life for the entire life, not just the nine months in the womb. And we’ve spoken a lot about fentanyl tonight, and we haven’t spoken one moment about treatment. But we need to make sure that for the drug-addicted 16-year-old on the floor of the county lockup, her life is precious, too. And we need to be providing treatment to cure this as the disease that it is. If you’re pro-life, you have to be pro-life for the entire life. We start talking like that, they’re going to do what I did in a blue state, which was get re-elected with 61 percent of the vote and won 70 percent of independents and 51 percent of Latinos, because I told them the truth from my heart.


Thinking It Through

Sept. 26, 2023, LifeSiteNews report by Doug Mainwaring

             Tucker Carlson took aim at the insidious eternal forces that lie behind the global push to normalize abortion as a good thing: “Outside forces are acting on people at all times throughout history in every culture on the planet, to convince people that if they sacrifice their children, they will be happy and safe. … 

             “This is not a policy debate,” said Carlson. “Now they’re saying, ‘Abortion is itself a pathway to joy.’ … This is not a political debate,” he again emphasized. “This is a spiritual battle. There is no other conclusion.”   

             Carlson delivered his address to Ohio’s Center for Christian Virtue as voters in the Buckeye State prepare to vote on an amendment proposal backed by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood in November. The ambiguously worded proposal, deceptively titled “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety,” has been universally criticized by pro-lifers for enabling abortion until birth and undermining parental rights. 

             “I’m really struck by the ballot initiatives that you voters will be facing in November,” began the wildly popular talk-show host. “I’m struck because they’re so very different from the politics I’ve covered for the bulk of my life.” 

             Carlson said that for most of the last three decades, “the debates that we had in the political sphere were over competing visions about how to improve people’s lives.” But that’s no longer true. “When you wind up in an election where two top ballot initiatives are 1) Encouraging people to kill their own kids, and 2) Encouraging their kids to do drugs, who’s benefiting here?” he asked. 

             “The one unalloyed source of joy in your life is your children,” he declared. “The point of life is to have children, and to watch them have grandchildren. Nothing will bring you joy like that will. Nothing comes close!” he said to vigorous applause from the crowd.  

             “Would you trade your job for your children?” he asked. “Would you trade anything for your children? Of course not! 

             “Anyone telling you, ‘Don’t have children’ [and] ‘Kill your children’ is not your friend. They’re your enemy,” Carlson told the crowd before drawing a straight line between the religious sacrifice of children in the Old Testament and the false promises of today’s abortion industry. 

[Here Mr. Mainwaring appears to insert statements in keeping with Mr. Carlson’s theme, though the statements here are phrased as though part of the speech; the punctuation employed by LifeSiteNews and other “news” websites is challenging to interpret, at times.] It’s a very recognizable promise that they’re making you, because it’s as old as time and it’s chronicled in great detail throughout the Hebrew Bible. It’s human sacrifice…which is singled out for approbation every time. Of all the sin the ancients committed, that sin every single time it’s described, it’s called “detestable.” God singled that out: “Throw your children into the fire.” Why were people doing that? Because they believed they were getting power and contentment and happiness in return. All it’s going to take is to sacrifice your children.  

             “This is as old as time,” said Carlson. “Every civilization on the face of the Earth has engaged in it. Every one. Not just the Mayans and the Aztecs.” 

[Again, without quotation marks, the following could be statements from Mr. Mainwaring or from Mr. Carlson.] The archaeological record tells us that human sacrifice, the sacrifice of children, the killing of children, is the one constant in human civilization. How can that be? How can all these civilizations at different points of the compass – that we know had no contact with one another – reach the same conclusion, that in exchange for killing their own children, they would be happy or safe? 

             “Probably not a conclusion they reached organically, right?” pondered Carlson. “It cuts against the imperative of evolutionary biology which is to continue the species. And those of us that grew up in a secular world being taught that people are motivated by instinct designed to continue the species pause at that and say, ‘Wait a second.  How does killing your own children advance the cause of perpetuating the species?’

             “It doesn’t. In fact, it’s an attack on that,” said Carlson. “It’s not a natural human function to want to kill your own children. That’s an idea, an impulse, that was introduced.”  

             Carlson didn’t state who has introduced the idea in virtually every culture across all time and all continents, but the inference of steady, unwavering demonic influence demanding child sacrifice was clear. 

             Carlson suggested that the best way to respond to this timeless threat to human life and dignity is to emulate the courage of St. Paul the Apostle.  

             “He lived with the certainty that he was going to be killed for his beliefs every day, and he was totally unbothered by it. Completely,” said Carlson. “He was never afraid.” 

             Carlson explained to the crowd that the mark of Christian faith is fearlessness. 

             “Are you afraid or are you not?” he asked. “Well, if you’re afraid, then you’re kind of not doing it right, are you?

             “There’s no excuse for being afraid.”