Life Advocacy Briefing

November 13, 2023

Taking a Break / What We Observe About the Ohio Loss
More Than One Way to Win / More Than One Way to Secure Justice
More Good News / It’s Fundamental / What They Said at the Latest Debate

Taking a Break

WE WILL BE TAKING OFF THE WEEK next week while our editor undergoes a medical testing procedure. We thank our readers for understanding and prayer.


What We Observe About the Ohio Loss

YES, SADLY, pro-life Ohio voters did not turn out in sufficient numbers to block the abortion cartel’s gobbledygook-worded constitutional amendment from reaching the 50% level. It is tragic, and it must spur Ohio advocates for Life to seek future reforms. We find it of interest that the amendment did not achieve the 60% level it would have needed if voters in August had boosted the margin needed for approval. We also find it of interest that the other item on the statewide ballot was a proposal to legalize marijuana, which carried by about the same percentage; both prevailed at about 56%.

That leads us to examine targeting tactics being undertaken by the abortion lobby. Ohio is not the last – just the latest – state to be picked on by their planners. Next in their crosshairs, they have already announced, are Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and South Dakota. These states are widely disparate in their voters’ attitudes toward abortion, but two things they – and Ohio – have in common: voter initiation of constitutional amendments by the public and a low threshold for voter approval. Fasten your seatbelt.


More Than One Way to Win

NOW THAT THE SUPREME COURT HAS ADMITTED there is no “right to abortion” in the US Constitution, skirmishes in America’s abortion civil war are occurring in major venues and small. A victory in Massachusetts last month is worth noting – a victory at the local level.

It was in Worcester, a city of 206,000 people about 50 miles southwest of Boston, where the city council has been mulling for about 15 months a proposed ordinance, reports Ashley Sadler for LifeSiteNews, “that would have enabled the government to penalize the pro-life [pregnancy care] centers for allegedly misleading pregnant mothers by advertising reproductive health services while intentionally directing moms away from killing their preborn babies.”

The city council signaled their intention to drop the proposal in July, notes Ms. Sadler, and on Oct. 18 made it official, voting 7 to 4 to defeat the proposal. What happened? 

The Catholic Action League’s executive director, C.J. Doyle, called the back-down “‘a victory for human life, religious freedom and constitutional government,’” reports Ms. Sadler, “and pointed out that ‘its proximate cause was a cold and calculated appreciation of the legal liabilities and consequent fiscal burdens, that the City of Worcester and its taxpayers would have to bear defending this untenable and extremist legislation in court.’

“He argued,” writes Ms. Sadler, “that the Massachusetts Family Institute likely ‘contributed to the more reasonable frame of mind that the council majority eventually settled upon’ through ‘threatening a lawsuit against Worcester,’ presenting ‘a lesson to be learned here for the pro-life movement.’” Yes!


More Than One Way to Secure Justice

A PROSECUTOR IN IDAHO HAS CHARGED a woman and her 18-year-old son with kidnapping, reports Nancy Flanders for Live Action, after they allegedly took the son’s 15-year-old girlfriend to Oregon for an abortion without the knowledge of her parents.

The state’s kidnapping statute is being used in this case, as Idaho’s abortion trafficking law is currently the target of an abortion cartel lawsuit.


More Good News

U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE JANE MAGNUS-STINSON in late October tossed out a lawsuit by the Satanic Temple which claimed Indiana’s abortion ban “violates their members’ religious rights and is unconstitutional,” reports Mairead Elordi for the Daily Wire.

“In her decision,” writes Ms. Elordi, the judge “pointed out that the Satanic Temple does not run any abortion clinics in Indiana and failed to disclose any specific Satanic Temple members who are being affected by the ban.”

We hope this does not inspire the Satanic Temple to open an abortion shop. In Indiana? Not likely.


It’s Fundamental

Sept. 29, 2023, Live Action commentary by Cassy Fiano-Chesser

             How Americans feel about abortion continues to be a complicated issue. While polling has long found that Americans grapple with the morality of abortion, regardless of whether they feel it should be legal, the abortion industry continues to push for abortion to be legal across the country, for any reason, at any time, with no restrictions or safeguards. This has long been an unpopular position, which is perhaps why abortion activists have so frequently misrepresented the reality of what abortion is.

             Now a new poll shows that there is widespread confusion about what constitutes an “abortion.”

             NPR reported on a study from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which portrayed multiple situations and then asked if it was an abortion. “Our biggest takeaway is that people do not hold a shared standard definition of what is and isn’t an abortion,” Alicia VandeVusse, lead author on the study, told NPR. “We found that there’s a lot of nuance and ambiguity in how people are thinking about these issues and understanding these issues.”

             One question asked of respondents involved miscarriage: “Person G is 12 weeks pregnant. When they have their first ultrasound, there is no cardiac activity, and their doctor recommends having the fetus removed. Person G has a surgical procedure to remove the fetus.” Of the 2,000 people who took the survey, one-third felt this qualified as an “abortion.”

             Conversely, people seemed to waver on whether or not a eugenic abortion – when someone ends their preborn child’s life due to fetal abnormalities – still counted as an abortion. “I guess, I mean, maybe [it’s an abortion]. It depends on if you know you’re not able to take care of a severe – a sickly child I guess, then what choice do you have?” one respondent said. “Would you rather go all the way through, you know. I think it’s considered abortion only when you personally know you can take care of a child and you’re being selfish.”

             Why is there such confusion surrounding what is, or is not, an abortion?         

             It’s fairly simple: because the abortion industry has insisted that things like miscarriage treatment qualify as abortions, even if the preborn child is no longer alive. The pro-life movement has sought to clarify this confusion by noting that induced abortion is the intentional, direct killing of a human being in the womb. Therefore, miscarriage treatment does not qualify, and early delivery with attempts to save the child (even if the child dies secondarily) is also not an abortion.

             Abortionist Nisha Verma claimed an induction, followed by a hysterectomy, was an abortion. Abortion activists bullied Jessa Seewald after she experienced a miscarriage, claiming that because she had a dilation-and-curettage (D&C) procedure, she had undergone an abortion even though her preborn child had already died in utero before the procedure. Another abortion activist said she had undergone a late-term abortion, when in reality, she had a c-section out of medical necessity, and her babies were too premature to survive. The difference between things like miscarriage management, ectopic pregnancy treatment or induction for health reasons and abortion is simple: one intentionally causes the death of the preborn child, while the others do not.

             Plain and simple, these legitimate healthcare procedures are not abortions – yet the abortion industry has worked hard to conflate these issues, likely because they are aware that these scenarios are more sympathetic and therefore are scenarios Americans would support. Ultimately, the confusion surrounding “abortion” is beneficial to the abortion industry, because when people know the truth about what abortion is, how it’s committed and what it does, they are much less likely to support it.

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: Though the examples above are difficult for pro-life citizens even to imagine, they may be an all-too-accurate hint of what 50 years of obfuscation and misleading claims of the abortion cartel have achieved. And they illustrate the urgent importance of pro-life politicians and laymen speaking in full sentences – not mere bumpersticker phrases and labels – about the reality of abortion and America’s urgent need to rescue the innocent from those who profit by cutting them off before birth.]


What They Said at the Latest Debate

The abortion segment of the Nov. 8 GOP Presidential debate in Miami, Florida, transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

Moderator Kristen Welker (NBC news anchor): Let’s talk now about last night’s election results. Abortion rights supporters saw victories in Ohio and Virginia, following earlier wins in states like Kansas and Kentucky. Gov. DeSantis, first to you – how do you see the path forward for Republicans on this issue?

Gov. Ron DeSantis: Well, I stand for a culture of Life, and I understand that it’s important that everyone gets a shot. I’m reminded of a story about a young mother who was struggling in Jamaica about 40 years ago, 45 years ago. She was counseled to not have a baby because she was poor, baby would not have opportunity, and she came close to have an abortion. But she decided to have the baby, born poor in Jamaica, and the reason I know that story is because that baby girl ended up emigrating to the state of Florida, becoming a lawyer and a judge, and I appointed her to the Florida Supreme Court in August of 2022. We’re better off when everybody counts, we’re better off when we can promote a culture of life. At the same time, I understand that some of these states are doing it a little bit different. Texas is not going to do it the same as New Hampshire, Iowa is not necessarily going to do it the same as Virginia. So, you’ve got to work from the bottom up. You’ve got to do a better job on these referenda. I think of all the stuff that’s happened to the pro-life cause. They have been caught flat-footed on these referenda, and they have been losing the referenda. A lot of the people who are voting for the referenda are Republicans who would vote for a Republican candidate. So, you’ve gotta understand how to do that. But let’s just be clear. The Democrats have taken a position, they will not identify the point at which there should be any protection all the way up until birth. That is wrong, and we cannot stand for that.

Ms. Welker: All right, Gov. DeSantis, thank you. Ambassador Haley, let me have you weigh in. Former President Trump has consistently blamed the abortion issue and how Republican candidates have talked about it for their electoral losses. How do you see the path forward?

Amb. Nikki Haley: I’ve said it before. I think you have to be honest with the American people. This is a personal issue for every woman and every man. I am unapologetically pro-life, not because the Republican Party tells me to be but because my husband Michael was adopted, and I had trouble having both of my children, so I am surrounded by blessings. Having said that, when you look post-Roe, a wrong was made right. They took it out of the hands of unelected Justices and they put it in the hands of the people, and now we’re seeing states vote. And what I’ll tell you is, as much as I’m pro-life, I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice, and I don’t want them to judge me for being pro-life. So, when we’re looking at this, there are some states that are going more on the pro-life side; I welcome that. There are some states that are going more on the pro-choice side; I wish that wasn’t the case, but the people decided. But when it comes to the federal law, which is what’s being debated here, be honest. It’s going to take 60 Senate votes, a majority of the House and a President to sign it. So no, we haven’t had 60 Senate votes in over a hundred years. We might have 45 pro-life Senators, so no Republican President can ban abortions any more than a Democrat President can ban these state laws. So, let’s find consensus. Let’s agree on how we can ban late-term abortions, let’s make sure we encourage adoptions and good quality adoptions, let’s make sure we make contraception accessible, let’s make sure that none of these state laws put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty for getting an abortion. Let’s focus on how to save as many babies as we can and support as many moms as we can. And stop the judgment. We don’t need to divide America over this issue any more.

Ms. Welker: Thank you, Ambassador. Sen. Scott, I’d like you to weigh in. How do you see the path forward, and what do you make of what Ambassador Haley just said? Do you see this as a consensus issue?

Sen. Tim Scott: Well, I’m a hundred percent pro-life. I have had a hundred percent pro-life voting record. I would certainly as President of the United States have a 15-week national limit. I would not allow states like California, Illinois or New York to have abortion up until the day of birth. I certainly would not allow for governors – the former Democratic governor of Virginia, who talked about infanticide. We need a 15-week federal limit. Three out of four Americans agree with a 15-week limit. 47 out of 50 countries in Europe agree with a 15-week limit. I would challenge both Nikki and Ron to join me at a 15-week limit. It is in our nation’s best interest, and frankly I think it is unethical and immoral to allow for abortions up until the day of birth. We have an opportunity in this nation to stop that reckless behavior from states like California, New York and Illinois. I would go a step further. In my parents plan, we start by talking about funding block-granting resources to crisis pregnancy centers. We should support adoption. There are a number of ways that we can say to the expectant mother that we stand with you. We should not only be pro-life before the child is born; we should be pro-life after the child is born, just as much.

Ms. Welker: Senator Scott, thank you. Ambassador Haley, your name was invoked. Would you support a 15-week federal limit?

Amb. Haley: I would support anything that would pass, because that’s what would save more babies and support more moms. But you have to be honest with the American people, and I appreciate that Tim keeps calling me out for this, but Tim, there was a bill last year. Lindsey Graham sponsored it. You didn’t even co-sponsor the bill. And then when you first were interviewed on this, when you ran, you wouldn’t even say you were for 15 weeks. What I’m saying to the American people is, [Sen. Scott: That’s just not true.] let’s see what we can agree on. Let’s bring people together and decide what we can agree on. I will sign anything where we can get 60 Senate votes. But don’t make the American people think that you’re going to push something on them when we don’t even have the votes in the Senate. It’s important that we’re honest about this.

Ms. Welker: Let me go to Mr. Ramaswamy. Would you support a 15-week ban, and what is the path forward on this?

Vivek Ramaswamy: I just want to say, I mean, Nikki Haley did invoke being honest, and I just want to give credit to Tim Scott. He’s honest about where he stood. And I think you should be honest, not making a political calculus, but to say, if a bill is served up, would you sign it? Here’s my view on this, speaking as a man. They say men have trouble speaking on this issue. I don’t think we need to be that way. It was my home state of Ohio – I’m upset about this – yesterday that passed a constitutional amendment that now effectively codifies a right to abortion all the way up to the time of birth without parental consent. Why? It’s back to that Republican culture of losing. The Republicans did not have an alternative amendment or vision on the table. I know Ohio, I was born, raised and I lived there. It’s representative of the country. If in the state of Ohio, we talked about access to contraception, adoption, and also here’s the missing ingredient in this movement: sexual responsibility for men. We live in an era of reliable genetic paternity tests that are 100% reliable. So, we can say, men deserve more responsibility. So, we can tell women, we’re all in this together. It’s not men’s rights versus women’s rights. It’s about human rights. And I come back to that case that Clarence Thomas spoke of: A pregnant woman walking down the street, she’s assaulted. The unborn child dies in that assault. You find me one person in this country who says that that criminal does not deserve liability for that death. You won’t find one. That says we share the same instincts on this issue, but we require I believe a different generation of leadership on this issue to actually lead us forward and unite the country on this. Ms. Welker interrupts to move on.

Ms. Welker: Thank you, Mr. Ramaswamy. Gov. Christie, as you know, federal limits are important to a lot of Republicans. Where do you stand on this issue, and what is the path forward for Republicans?

Gov. Chris Christie: For 50 years, conservative lawyers have been arguing that the federal government should have absolutely nothing to do with this issue constitutionally, because it’s nowhere in the Constitution. And then Dobbs comes, and we finally gain that victory, which was [overturning of] the creation of a constitutional right out of thin air that didn’t exist. And now we have people running to say, let’s short circuit the states from doing what they need to do, and let’s go right to some type of federal ban at a certain number of weeks that people on this stage have been all over the place, 20 weeks, 15 weeks, 12, 6. Look, the Founders were really smart, and this is an issue that should be decided in each state, and I trust the people of this country – state by state – to make the call for themselves. Now it’s going to lead to a lot of divergence. In Oklahoma, you can’t get an abortion unless the life of the mother is at risk. In my home state of New Jersey, it goes up to nine months that you can get an abortion. I find that morally reprehensible, but that is what the people of our state have voted for, and we should not short circuit that process until every state’s people have the right to weigh in on it. But here is the bigger issue, Kristen. The bigger issue is, and Tim began to touch on this: we’re not pro-life for the whole life. To be pro-life for the whole life means that the life of a 16-year-old drug addict on the floor of the county lockup is precious, and we should get treatment for her to restore her life. The 52-year-old who’s drug-addicted should make sure that any of his children who he’s passed that addiction on to are treated well too. Pro-life is not just in the womb, Kristen. It’s for the whole life.