Life Advocacy Briefing

October 9, 2023

Political Earthquake Strikes D.C. / Sen. Tuberville Continues to Stand
California Republicans Step Up / Not So Fast!
Green Eyeshade Policymaking / Thinking Outside the Box

Political Earthquake Strikes D.C.

IT IS NOT NEWS, no doubt, to the knowledgeable readers of Life Advocacy Briefing, yet for the sake of the historical record we must report: The US House has voted – eight Republican Members joining the unanimous Democratic delegation – to vacate the office of Speaker. (There is one vacancy among the 435 House seats – that of Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart, whose resignation was announced at the end of May and who has not yet been replaced.)

Voting for the motion to overthrow Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker were all Democrats voting and GOP Representatives Andy Biggs and Eli Crane (AZ), Ken Buck (CO), Matt Rosendale (MT), Nancy Mace (SC), Tim Burchett (TN) and Bob Good (VA), led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL).

Not voting on the motion were three Republicans (Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida and Representatives John Carter and Lance Gooden of Texas) and four Democrats (Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri and Rep. Emilia Sykes of Ohio).

An effort is underway at this writing to elect a new Speaker during the week of Oct. 9. We urge our readers to appeal to the Lord for His grace and wisdom as House Members gather to resolve this crisis.


Sen. Tuberville Continues to Stand

THE U.S. SENATE HAS BEGUN A SERIES OF VOTES confirming appointees for key military posts, a procedure which routinely occurs en masse on a single motion but which has been disrupted by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) in protest against the Pentagon’s swerve into abortion advocacy as a policy of the radical Biden Regime.

Though such nominations are usually approved in large bunches, facilitating action but undercutting deliberation, Sen. Tuberville has been using a Senate objection prerogative since February, blocking bulk approvals. All along, the Senator has essentially said “nothing personal” but has stood his ground, denying the Administration formal approval of top officers, who have been serving in an “acting” capacity while awaiting confirmation. All along, he has insisted his action blocks not the functioning of the military but only the blanket confirmations of top leaders.

At last Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D) has yielded to the “Mr. Smith” posture of the Senator from Alabama and has begun to schedule individual roll calls on each of some 300 pending appointments.

Sen. Tuberville took to the Senate floor as the confirmations began, notes Tyler Arnold, reporting for Catholic News Agency (CNA), “saying that the Senate ‘could have confirmed these nominees a long, long time ago’ but that Democrats have instead ‘spent months complaining about having to vote.’ He said he will continue his blockade but blamed the backlog on [Sen.] Schumer for not holding any individual votes on the appointments. ‘My hold is still in place,’ [Sen.] Tuberville said. ‘The hold will remain in place as long as the Pentagon’s illegal abortion policy remains in place. If the Pentagon lifts the policy [which abets abortion on military members], then I will lift my hold. It’s as easy as that.’”


California Republicans Step Up

THOUGH THE POLITICAL CLIMATE IN CALIFORNIA – the most populous US state – appears to be strongly tilted toward the abortion industry, the state’s Republican Party last week “shot down a bid by a group of [autumn state convention] delegates to moderate the state party’s abortion stance,” reports Susannah Luthi for the Washington Free Beacon.

The proposed “platform overhaul,” which was introduced, notes Ms. Luthi, in late July, “would have deleted the statement that life begins at conception as well as language against elective and late-term abortions.”

Harmeet Dhillon, who is the Republican National Committeewoman for California, told the Free Beacon, “‘Our platform … really matters a lot to our base, and it matters a lot to the volunteers we rely on to get out the vote – so it’s very important as a statement of principles.’”

The report also quotes Charles Moran, “a state delegate from LosAngeles,” notes Ms. Luthi, “who also [leads] the national branch of Log Cabin [pro-homosexual] Republicans and helped with the platform re-draft.” He declared, as reported in the Free Beacon, “‘This [rejection of the platform amendment] will hamstring California’s Republican Party as voters wonder what decade the party is focused on – the past or the future.’”

Actually, Mr. Moran, the future is an era of fewer abortions in America, thanks to the Supreme Court’s overthrowing last year of the Roe v. Wade edict.

Declared David Hernandez of the LosAngeles Hispanic Republican Club, quoted by Ms. Luthi, “‘To remove life at conception [from the platform] would not only disenfranchise conservatives, it would disenfranchise conservative Democrats who are now looking at the leftist takeover of their party.’”

And, Ms. Luthi reports, “The top Republicans in the state legislature plunged into the fray on Friday [Sept. 29], saying adopting a new platform now was the wrong move ahead of a tough election. ‘We cannot risk a divisive platform debate extending to the next convention during an important election year,’ GOP State Sen. Brian Jones and Assemblyman James Gallagher said in a statement.”

The determination of the California GOP stands in stark contrast to the state’s Democratic leadership. “Just this week,” notes Ms. Luthi, “Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation to give legal immunity to abortion providers who perform the procedure where it’s illegal [and] to ban malpractice insurers from refusing to cover those people” – apparently seeking to intervene in the affairs of other states. The legislation also, reports the Free Beacon, “let[s] physician assistants perform abortions, … limit[s] who can offer ultrasounds and more.” What’s more, Ms. Luthi reports, “Last week, Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta sued a chain of crisis pregnancy centers for advertising abortion pill reversal,” a perfectly legitimate practice.


Not So Fast!

THE COLORADO NURSING BOARD HAS REFUSED, reports Dave Andrusko for National Right to Life News, “to classify ‘abortion reversal’ treatment as unprofessional conduct.”

The refreshing move is a “break,” writes Mr. Andrusko, “with the state medical board.”

It comes amid a burgeoning crisis over a new state law by which the state’s political majority sought to define reversal treatment intervening in the early hours of a chemical abortion “unprofessional conduct, subject to discipline,” reports Mr. Andrusko, citing a report by Hannah Metzger in Colorado Politics. “‘That [consequential characterization] will hold,’” writes Ms. Metzger, quoted by Mr. Andrusko, “‘unless three professional licensing entities – the medical board and the state boards of nursing and pharmacy – all decide, by Oct. 1, that they consider the treatment a generally accepted standard of practice.’ However,” writes Mr. Andrusko, “as noted, since the Colorado Medical Board has already adopted rules that do not consider the reversal treatment a generally accepted practice, ‘it’s now impossible for the three boards to reach a consensus in its favor.’”

The Colorado Medical Board, however, has voted “to push back enforcement of its rules until at least Oct. 23. ‘The Colorado Medical Board cited a pending lawsuit by a Catholic clinic challenging the state’s new ban on the treatment when it voted Wednesday to push back enforcement of its rules until at least Oct. 23,’ according to Saja Hindl of the Denver Post,” reports Mr. Andrusko. The lawsuit was filed April 14, the same day as the governor signed the radical law.

Enter US District Judge Daniel Domenico, who, notes Mr. Andrusko, “ruled that the law … ‘burdens their [pregnancy care clinics’] First Amendment rights.’ …

“‘Colorado’s new law is the opposite of choice,’” said Laura Wolk Slavis, attorney for the Becket Fund, which represents the plaintiffs in the suit, quoted by Mr. Andrusko. “‘It targets women who have changed their minds and forces them to undergo abortions they want to stop. … This law tramples the constitutional rights of these women and their doctors,’” she said. “‘We are grateful for the court’s late-night order halting this draconian law, allowing our clients to continue their good work of serving women in need.’” Such a good point, and nicely said.


Green Eyeshade Policymaking

A MANDATE HAS TAKEN EFFECT IN NEW JERSEY – as of Sept. 18 – forcing employers with 50 or more employees “to offer comprehensive abortion coverage,” reports Bridget Sielicki for Live Action.

The new mandate flows from a 2022 law which “required the state Dept. of Banking & Insurance to conduct a study and determine whether or not health insurance providers should be required to cover abortion,” writes Ms. Sielicki. “In its study, released [last] November, the department concluded that ‘state law protects the right to terminate a pregnancy without government interference’ and that ‘abortion is part of comprehensive insurance coverage for reproductive care and should reasonably be included in the range of services coverage by health insurance.’”

Among the so-called study’s findings, reported by Ms. Sielicki, “Providing abortion coverage would add a nominal expense to premium costs, increasing them by between 0% and 0.1%.” But get this! “More telling,” she writes, “it argued that those increases would be offset by potential savings from fewer prenatal, delivery and postnatal expenses – a chilling concession,” notes Ms. Sielicki, “that it’s cheaper to kill a child than provide medical care for that child and his mother through pregnancy and birth.” Do they even listen to themselves?

Worse yet are the remarks of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), who, reports Live Action, “praised the mandate. … ‘New Jersey remains a leader in safeguarding reproductive rights and healthcare services,’” he said, quoted by Ms. Sielicki. “‘Implementation of this requirement across department-regulated plans will provide access to abortion services without exceptions limiting coverage – reaffirming a woman’s ability to make medical decisions about her reproductive health,’ he said in a statement. ‘This rulemaking is another step forward in ensuring residents can access the reproductive care they both need and deserve.’”

Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: We ask our readers to observe the glib confidence with which radicals like Gov. Murphy embrace abortion as though it is the most logical and popular practice in medicine, as though employers ought to be proud of participating in the destruction of our society’s most vulnerable little ones. When examining the astonishing smoothness of declarations like Gov. Murphy’s, we ask our pro-life public officials, candidates and other spokesmen, when will you display such confidence in the right to Life, a fundamental principle of this republic and of the Almighty Creator Himself. We hope our readers will carefully consider the commentary by Matt Lamb, with which we close this edition.


Thinking Outside the Box

Sept. 29, 2023, Commentary by Matt Lamb, LifeSiteNews

             Ambassador Nikki Haley is wrong – a federal abortion ban is entirely possible.

             The 2024 Presidential candidate wants the GOP to focus on ancillary issues, such as making abortifacient birth control easily accessible and placing limits on abortion around 20 weeks, saving around one percent of babies.

             “At the federal level, it’s not realistic. It’s not being honest with the American people,” Haley claimed, often noting a lack of a majority of pro-life Senators.

             While it is true that a straight up-and-down vote on abortion in Congress would likely fail for the time being, it is not true that a de facto abortion ban, or as I would envision it, death by a thousand cuts, cannot be passed. It just takes some creativity and will – and politicians who don’t throw their hands up in the air.

             This is a strategy worth considering until a constitutional amendment or other federal abortion ban can get through.

             The power is in the purse strings, and Republicans can push for riders on budget bills that could drastically slash abortions.

             Remember: A lack of abortionists, abortion facilities and abortion drugs makes abortion essentially illegal. Because there is no longer a federal “right” to abortion, Congressional laws that limit abortion-related funding likely have a higher chance of surviving scrutiny. The post-Dobbs judicial landscape is wide open.

             I’ve been out of the pro-life policy realm for over three years now, and I am not an attorney. But it would seem to me that a bold President who is actually committed to abolishing abortion, not winning the mythical pro-choice suburban moderate voter, could find ways to enact these suggestions and more.

             Let’s lock the best and the brightest from the Claremont Institute, Americans United for Life and the Heritage Foundation in a room for a week and see what ideas they propose.

             For example, defunding Planned Parenthood and preventing other abortion facilities and even hospitals that commit abortions from accessing taxpayer dollars would go a long way to shutting them down and making abortions inaccessible. If hospitals want to access the billions of dollars for medical residency training through Medicare, they need to agree never to commit abortions. Trillions of dollars in federal spending is a massive lever to effect change.

             Riders could also be attached to post office funding to bar any post office worker from delivering RU-486 abortion drugs. Companies that produce abortion drugs could theoretically be excluded from federal funding grant opportunities for their non-abortion business through legislation that funds the National Institutes of Health and the Food & Drug Administration. Walgreens and CVS want those Medicare reimbursements for flu shots? They better stop handing out abortion drugs then. The Hyde Amendment could be applied to Dept. of Education spending, so if universities want to access billions in tuition aid and other dollars, they need to stop committing abortions on campus (i.e., in California) and not operate abortion facilities.

             My former employer is attempting to use environmental laws to halt the spread of abortion drugs. Future Environmental Protection Agency overhaul laws could include stipulations that abortion drug manufacturers pay hefty fees into a federal fund for each abortion drug they produce.

             There is precedent for using outside-the-box thinking. Remember, for years Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare. Then they effectively eliminated the individual mandate, even after losing at the Supreme Court, by zeroing out the penalty as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.

             A federal ban on all chemical and surgical mutilation similarly cannot pass in this Congress – but Cong. Dan Crenshaw is correctly using the budget process to try to “block Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Payment Program funding for children’s hospitals that provide transgender treatments or procedures to minors.”

             Such maneuvers also give cover to moderate Democrats. They can vote for conservative policies attached to larger budget bills by citing the overall benefit of the other spending priorities while still explicitly rejecting the restrictions.

             Abortion can be federally restricted, and possibly to such a point that it is nearly impossible to get an abortion.

             This is a strategy to consider in the interim [until] complete bans are passed at the federal and state level. The pro-life movement should remember the success of Texas’s novel Heartbeat Law. For years, gestation limits always faced a hurdle of getting past Roe v. Wade. Then, as a sign of things to come, Texas passed SB-8, which opened up lawsuits against anyone who participates in abortions.

             Nikki Haley, much like her former boss and potential future running-mate, is wrong about the path forward on abortion. She refuses to be bold and to think outside of the box to save babies – which is exactly what is needed, for the time being, to get a de facto federal ban in place.