Life Advocacy Briefing

December 4, 2023

Time to Engage / Waking Up to the Pentagon’s Abusive Policy
Turning? / Where Abortion Will Not Be on the Ballot
Text of Senators’ Letter to the Pentagon
Sen. Lee Comes to the Aid of Sen. Tuberville
Life After Dobbs – A Critical Legal Opinion

Time to Engage

WE HAVE BEEN WAITING ALL YEAR, and now the US House is close to voting on the massive appropriations bill for the Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS), on which the abortion cartel relies for much of its federal government funding.

The bill emerged from committee just before Thanksgiving and will soon be taken up in the full House, where the abortion lobby’s fellow travelers are expected to mount amendment fights to strip out spending limits intended to protect innocent developing babies.

The issues are outlined in a LifeSiteNews report by Matt Lamb, citing Axios as source. HR-5894, Mr. Lamb notes, “is one of the first big tests for new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson [R-LA] and his ability to pass pro-life and pro-family bills.”

Renewal of the Hyde Amendment is in the proposal, according to Mr. Lamb, barring “direct payment of abortions from taxpayer funds and would also prohibit funding for Pres. Joe Biden’s executive orders to expand the killing of preborn babies in the wake of the Dobbs decision. …

“‘The bill would … eliminate federal Title X [Ten] grants to family planning clinics including Planned Parenthood,’ Axios reported. It would also,” reports Mr. Lamb, “prevent Medicare and Medicaid from paying for so-called ‘gender transitions’ for individuals who struggle with gender confusion, according to the analysts from Axios. The legislation would also prohibit funding post-graduate medical training unless the program made abortion training ‘opt-in’ versus ‘opt-out.’”

Said chief sponsor Rep. Roy Aderholt (R-AL), quoted by Mr. Lamb: “‘The bill maintains the long-standing Hyde Amendment to ensure that taxpayer funds are not used for abortion-on-demand and that no one is forced to participate in an abortion or refer for one under federal programs. … The bill also makes sure that taxpayer funds are not used to circumvent state laws restricting access to abortion and ensures that federal research funds are not used on human fetal tissue obtained from an elective abortion.’”

Readers are encouraged to contact home-district lawmakers to urge them to oppose any attempts by the abortion lobby to strip pro-life provisions out of the HHS appropriation bill. [Capitol switchboard: 202/224-3121] We caution our readers not to assume that the GOP-majority House will automatically renew the pro-life HHS spending protections which have been adopted annually to protect taxpayers from use of our funds for deadly purposes. The White House is vigorously opposing the pro-life protections, the GOP majority in the House is razor-thin and at least one House Republican – Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick – has sounded a warning bell, even though he has voted “pro-life” on appropriations amendment fights in the past.

According to LifeSiteNews, citing Politico as source, Rep. Fitzpatrick – who faces a primary challenge from well-known pro-life activist Mark Houck – “opposes the provisions to defund abortion provisions. He said those parts ‘have no place in any of these bills – zero.’” Where, Mr. Fitzpatrick, would such funding restrictions belong, if not on the very bill through which the Biden Regime is attempting to funnel hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to its backers in the abortion cartel?


Waking Up to the Pentagon’s Abusive Policy

A MAJORITY OF THE G.O.P. SENATORS in Washington sent a letter dated Nov. 13 to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin protesting the Biden Regime’s use of the Pentagon to promote abortion. A handful of the letter signers were among those Republican Senators who have publicly sought to undercut Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s one-man stand against pro-abortion Pentagon policies which has succeeded in slowing the Senate’s confirmation of military promotions, as we previously reported.

Chief signers on the letter are GOP Senators Ted Budd (NC) and Roger Wicker (MS). They were joined by GOP Senators Katie Britt (AL), Dan Sullivan (AK), John Boozman & Tom Cotton (AR), Rick Scott (FL), Mike Braun (IN), Joni Ernst & Chuck Grassley (IA), Roger Marshall (KS), Rand Paul (KY), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), Eric Schmitt (MO), Deb Fischer & Pete Ricketts (NE), Kevin Cramer (ND), Markwayne Mullin (OK), Lindsey Graham (SC), Michael Rounds & John Thune (SD), Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Cornyn & Ted Cruz (TX), Mike Lee (UT), John Barrasso & Cynthia Lummis (WY).

We thank these Senators for standing up for the integrity of the US military – at least in this context – and renew our appreciation for Sen. Tuberville in his lonely fight to confront the Biden Regime’s abuse of the military through its corrupt abortion policy.



AT THE SAME TIME, WE ARE CONCERNED by a report by Al Weaver in The Hill last Thursday noting that “at a Senate lunch Tuesday [Nov. 28] [Sen.] Tuberville gave the first indication that he could end his holds on nominations … before a resolution hit the floor that would greenlight the promotions. But it’s not clear,” writes Mr. Weaver, “how that will proceed, and [Sen.] Tuberville has been mum on details. ‘I don’t know,’ [Mr.] Tuberville told reporters when asked how he’ll resolve the hold. ‘I don’t know yet.’ …

“The Alabama Republican and his backers initially had hoped for action in the National Defense Authorization Act. But because there will not be a conference to marry the House and Senate versions of the annual funding bill, that no longer is an option. Lawmakers,” writes Mr. Weaver, “indicated that they hoped a lawsuit would assuage Tuberville, but he has dismissed that possibility.”

The Hill reporter is predicting “a Democrat-led standing resolution” may be brought forward “in the coming weeks … that would allow the chamber to push most of the nominations through as a single bloc.” That resolution would need 60 votes to pass, so Senate Democrats could not get it adopted on their own.

“Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) told The Hill,” writes Mr. Weaver, “that he will throw his weight behind the resolution if no solution is reached by the start of the new year. … For the former Auburn University football coach [Sen. Tuberville], passage of the standing resolution would be a major loss in the battle he launched in February. For his colleagues,” notes Mr. Weaver, “it would essentially force them to side with either anti-abortion advocates or the military – both key Republican demographics. It would also be an issue institutionally, as Senators on both sides of the aisle are wary of watering down the ability of an individual member to implement a hold in the future – one of the few powers individual Senators have – and would like to avoid even temporarily altering the chamber’s rules.”

We have a suggestion for Sen. Tillis and the wavering Republicans: Stand with Sen. Tuberville. It’s good for you, and it’s necessary for the right to life of all Americans, even those yet unborn.


Where Abortion Will Not Be on the Ballot

THOUGH THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT APPEARED AT FIRST to accept the Dobbs ruling as a massive move forward toward justice – rather than a new challenge, as it is – the need to resist the frantic push by the abortion lobby is beginning to dawn on some pro-life (or even just commonsense) officials in a position to act.

In Arkansas, Atty. Gen. Tim Griffin (R) last week “rejected the wording of a radical pro-abortion ballot initiative,” reports Raymond Wolfe for LifeSiteNews, “pushed by a far-left activist group trying to undo the state’s near-total abortion ban. …

“‘Your proposed popular name is tinged with partisan coloring and misleading because your proposal is solely related to abortion, not “’reproductive healthcare” generally, he charged,” reports Mr. Wolfe, who added Mr. Griffin “also said that the proposal’s supporters ‘made no attempt’ to describe the amendment’s effect on existing state law, including Amendment 68 of the Arkansas Constitution. That amendment, approved by voters in 1988, says that it is the policy of Arkansas ‘to protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth.’”

And in Nevada, state District Judge James T. Russell, reports Michael Gryboski for The Washington Stand, “rejected a ballot initiative aimed at creating a constitutional amendment that would establish a ‘fundamental right to reproductive freedom.’ [Judge] Russell concluded,” adds Mr. Gryboski, “that the proposed amendment ‘embraces a multitude of subjects that amount to logrolling’ and that there was ‘no limiting language’ in the proposal ‘to circumscribe that right such that the section embraces a single and articulable subject.

“‘For instance,’” declared the judge, reported by Mr. Gryboski, “it is unclear how a vasectomy relates to infertility care or postpartum care. Likewise, it is unclear how postpartum care is related to abortions or birth control,’ he wrote.”

So, for a change, the abortion lobby has been spanked for lumping together public policy on a wide variety of situations under their misleading mantra of “reproductive healthcare.” By the way, what is reproductive about abortion, and how is killing a tiny human baby either “care” or “health?”


Text of Senators’ Letter to the Pentagon

Nov. 13, 2023, to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

             You have broken your promise to the American people not to politicize the military, and your actions have harmed and threaten to further harm institutional norms within our democracy. On June 28, 2022, four days after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, you issued a memorandum to senior leaders in the Dept. of Defense stating that the Department is authorized to pay for government funded, official travel for active-duty personnel to receive* abortions outside of the state in which they are stationed.

             On Oct. 20, 2022, you issued the memorandum Travel for Non-Covered Reproductive Healthcare Services, properly referred to as the Department’s abortion travel policy, which directed the Department to pay travel expenses not only for active-duty personnel to receive* abortions but for their dependents to receive* abortions as well. Importantly, on July 19, 2023, at a hearing on the Department’s abortion travel policy, the Deputy UnderSecretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness confirmed that this policy extends to late-term abortions.

             All legislative power is vested in Congress, and the Executive branch is responsible for implementing and enforcing the law. While the Department may issue regulations, it can only do so under the laws authorized and enacted by Congress. But, Congress never authorized the Department to expend funds to facilitate abortions and, until the policy was issued, the military never facilitated abortions except in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother would be endangered if the unborn child were carried to term. Now taxpayers – many of whom have deeply-held religious and moral objections to abortions – are on the hook to facilitate the very abortions they fundamentally oppose. Indeed, a Marist poll in January 2023 found that 60% of Americans strongly oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for an abortion, consistent with polls taken throughout recent years.

             Rather than respect the Supreme Court’s decision, you decided to engage the Department, and our men and women in uniform, in a policy debate properly reserved for the legislature. You did so by claiming that Dobbs had “readiness, recruiting and retention implications for the Force.” By your own officials’ admissions, however, the Department has no data to support that claim, and few servicemembers or dependents have utilized the policy.

             After multiple inquiries from Congress on this question, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness finally confirmed that “The Department does not have any data on women being deterred from joining the military for fear of being stationed at an installation or base in a state or nation that has restrictive abortion laws.” Finally, a recent letter from the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed that only 12 women have taken advantage of the policy since its inception, which undercuts your argument that Dobbs has significant recruiting and retention implications.

             Our men and women in unform deserve Senate-confirmed leadership, but the current situation began with your original sin of promulgating the policy. Much has been made in the press about one Senator’s decision to try and stop your egregious wrongs, without acknowledging the Senate Majority Leader’s refusal to bring general and flag officer nominations to the floor until forced to by Republicans. Seeking to circumvent the Senate prerogative of the informal “hold” practice without addressing the underlying causes – the novel policy and subsequent refusal of the Majority to bring these nominees to the floor – will not ultimately reconcile this matter. It could create a toxic precedent with lasting negative effects on future military nominations.

             Your decision to issue the policy politicized the military and placed the wants of a few over the needs of the entire nation.

             Do the right thing. Rescind the policy now.

*Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: We appreciate this letter, but we wince at the phrase “receive abortions.” Pregnant mothers do not “receive” abortions – they undergo abortions. And their babies suffer abortions. Terminology is critical in helping the American people – and even our opponents in this struggle – grasp the principles involved and the consequences of policies promoting and abetting the intentional killing of innocent unborn human beings. Such acts are not “received.”


Sen. Lee Comes to the Aid of Sen. Tuberville

Nov. 8, 2023, excerpt from LifeSiteNews report by Louis Knuffke

             Tensions in the Senate continue to broil as Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama stands his ground on holding up military promotions over [Pres.] Biden’s illegal use of taxpayer money to fund abortions within the armed forces. After a group of fellow Republican Senators attempted to pressure Tuberville to buckle, Sen Mike Lee of Utah and other prominent pro-life leaders have defended the Alabama Senator’s strong stance.

             Last week, Republican Senators attempted to force a vote on the promotion of 61 military officers of the more than 370 that Tuberville is blocking. The Alabama Senator blocked each one, holding fast to his commitment to block these promotions until Biden reverses his abortion policy for the armed forces. The group attacking Tuberville includes Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Todd Young (R-IN).

             Criticizing these Republicans for preferring military promotions over the lives of the unborn, Sen. Mike Lee posted a scathing reproach on X, formerly Twitter, saying, “They ride on the coattails of the pro-life Republican brand – until it’s time to do something about it. Then they want little to do with that brand and even attack those who do.” …

             The Hyde Amendment has for about four decades prohibited the federal government from using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion in most cases. However, the Biden Administration has now implemented a memo from the White House by which transportation to procure an abortion is paid for with taxpayer money for all personnel within the armed forces.

             The change in policy came in response to the 2022 Dobbs decision of the Supreme Court, which allows states to regulate abortion once more. It was just one of numerous moves by the Biden regime to attempt to expand abortion in any way possible.

             In a September interview with the Daily Signal, Tuberville explained the illegality of the memo and his determination to oppose it. “About a year ago, I got a briefing that because Roe v. Wade went down, the Biden Administration decided that, ‘Hey, we can’t control what happens in the states, but we can control federal employees, one being the military,’” Tuberville said. …

             “After Roe v. Wade [was overturned], they wanted to change the military policy, and they did it with a memo this time. It didn’t go through Congress, which it should. It’s illegal law or illegal policy that they passed down that now you can pretty much get an abortion at any time. Your transportation will be paid for by the taxpayers of this country, which is illegal,” he said. “I had a very short conversation with Secretary of Defense Austin and said, ‘If you do this, I’m going to put a hold on your generals and admirals. It’s an unlawful law.’”


Life After Dobbs – A Critical Legal Opinion

Sept. 6, 2023, report by Focus on the Family’s Daily Citizen

             Gerard V. Bradley, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, warns in First Things, “Let us not be distracted by the conventional account of what Dobbs accomplished by overturning Roe – the notion that it merely returned the issue to the people and their representatives. This ‘power to the people’ narrative distracts from what the case actually holds. Many on the pro-life movement’s legal side are prone to this distraction. They have long regarded overturning Roe as the terminal point for constitutional law reform. From there on, democracy (so to speak) was to ensure equal protection for everyone – or so we were told. Whether this is true as a matter of normative democratic theory is doubtful. Whether it is true of our Constitution is the subject of this article.

             “The conservative legal movement is hesitant to take up the cause of Life as a positive objective beyond the overturning of Roe as “judge-made law.” It is wary of having the Court make what it regards as “value judgments.” And it is averse to the justices’ continuing involvement in this part of the culture war.

             “But whether or not the child in utero is substantially identical with the newborn infant is not a ‘value judgment.’ The logic of Dobbs suggests that it is a question admitting of a rational answer. And how far the Court should or should not involve itself in the culture war is not a matter of opinion. It depends on what the Constitution, honestly and fearlessly interpreted, requires.”