Life Advocacy Briefing

December 18, 2023

Blessings / RU-486 on the Court Docket / Your Tax $ at Work / Going on Offense
Unintended Consequences / Buckle Your Seatbelt / Ohio Wins an Appeal on Title Ten
Huge Victory in Illinois / Could This Quote Be Real?


WE HOPE OUR READERS WILL UNDERSTAND, given the calendar, that this will likely be our last edition for 2023, and we look forward to being back with you in the new year after we celebrate the birth of our Savior, using this time of commemoration to anticipate His second coming, O glorious day! May you, our readers, be blessed in this season with the joy and hope of the true meaning of this holiday. And may His will be done in America and around this world.


RU-486 on the Court Docket

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK it will consider a case challenging the federal government’s approval of the abortion drug mifepristone (RU-486). The Food & Drug Administration’s clearance of the drug in the last hours of the Clinton Regime in 2000 is being questioned in court, reports Calvin Freiburger of LifeSiteNews, by “a handful of doctors and groups including Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and the American Assn. of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists,” represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

The plaintiffs secured an order in April from a US District Court Judge, notes Mr. Freiburger, suspending the policy initiated in December 2021 by the Biden FDA permitting dispensing of the baby poison via US mail without in-person examination by a physician. The Supreme Court “agreed to halt enforcement of that suspension,” reports LifeSiteNews, “ensuring abortion pills would remain available nationwide while the case moved through the courts.”

But it gets more complicated. “In August,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a split ruling that sided with the FDA on some aspects of the case, including the abortion drug mifepristone’s original 2000 approval, but ultimately agreed to stay the agency’s more recent actions, meaning abortion pills could no longer be sent through the mail at least for the duration of the case, and that the cutoff point for taking abortion pills was moved back from 10 weeks’ gestation to seven weeks. The ruling also,” he notes, “restored other conditions, including in-person office visits, prohibition of prescriptions by non-physicians and mandatory reporting of non-fatal adverse events.”

In November, reports Peter Pinedo for Catholic News Agency, 17 US Senators and 92 Members of Congress filed an amicus brief with the high court drafted by Americans United for Life and urging the high court to invalidate the original FDA approval of the deadly drug. The brief was circulated by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), for which we thank them.

There is no guarantee that the Supreme Court will act to end the scourge of chemical abortions via RU-486, but this is the first time, in our memory, that the high court will even have that opportunity. Let us pray.


Your Tax $ at Work

IF THIS DOES NOT GET US READY FOR A CHANGE IN 2024, it is hard to think of what would: “The abortion industry has received almost $2 billion from US taxpayers just since fiscal year 2019,” reports Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews, citing the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) as source.

“The report, released [last] Tuesday, finds,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “that total sum was distributed to multiple so-called providers of ‘family planning and sexual and reproductive health services.’ The lion’s share went to Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates, which received $1.54 billion in Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP payments, plus $148 million from various other grants and $89 million in loans from the Covid-era Paycheck Protection Program.

“The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) received another $203 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID),” reports LifeSiteNews, “and Marie Stopes International (MSI) Reproductive Choices won an estimated $1.35 million from the same program.”

All this while appropriations riders continue in effect, barring tax dollars paying directly for abortion. One can only imagine the fire-hose gush of abortion subsidies at our expense in the event Congress fails to renew such key provisions as the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal payments for abortions in the annual appropriation measure for the Dept. of Health & Human Services, a matter which is not yet settled for the coming fiscal year.

The LifeSiteNews report also cites a study by American Life League’s STOPP International, focused on CEO compensation within the Planned Parenthood web. That report, writes Mr. Freiburger, “found that all 53 chief executive officers of Planned Parenthood affiliates make more than $100,000 per year, with the average compensation rising from $237,999 in 2015 to $317,564 in 2020. Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Alexis McGill Johnson makes $683,697,” reports Mr. Freiburger, “and its top 10 affiliate heads all made more than $450,000, far higher than the average salary for US nonprofit CEOs of $184,809.”


Going on Offense

THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT IN FLORIDA is not waiting to go on defense against a proposal to cement abortion into the state’s constitution through a petition-driven referendum campaign. With the abortion lobby still reportedly short of the required number of petition signatures, proposition opponents have mounted a “Decline to Sign” drive, highlighted in a Dec. 2 “Decline to Sign Day of Action” which gathered pro-life activists to circulate “Decline to Sign” awareness cards, reports Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews, to citizens throughout the state.

“In order to get the amendment on next year’s ballot,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “supporters must collect 891,523 valid signatures from 14 of the state’s 28 congressional districts, to be verified by Feb. 1. According to the Florida Division of Elections,” he reports, “supporters have gathered 621,664 so far, leaving them 269,859 short.”

The LifeSiteNews reporter goes on to quote the executive director of Florida Voice for the Unborn, Andrew Shirvell: “‘Under Florida law, after Jan. 1, 2024, each county supervisor of elections may – but is not required to – verify signatures received (in-person or via the US mail) during the month of January […] The practical effect of that statute is that the pro-abortion petition gatherers need to get their petitions into the local county supervisor of elections offices by Dec. 31, 2023, in order to guarantee that all of their petitions will be counted and verified by Feb. 1, 2024. Thus, the pro-abortion petition initiative is in dire straits due, in large part, to the significant pushback it has been receiving from Florida Voice for the Unborn and our partner pro-life grassroots organizations.’”

Let us pray.


Unintended Consequences

IT IS SAD TO SEE A BRIGHT YOUNG PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE strain so hard to be relevant on a critical issue over which he exhibits little understanding.

GOP Presidential candidate, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has “vowed,” writes Emily Mangiaracina for LifeSiteNews, “to fight abortion by ‘codify[ing] sexual responsibility for men into law.’”

No doubt, the multimillionaire thinks slapping men with financial responsibility will appeal to women voters. But choosing sides in gender-based politics can be risky.

Mr. Ramaswamy “shared in a video,” notes Ms. Mangiaracina, “that he supports laws that give women the ‘exclusive right and option’ to make the father of their child the ‘principal caretaker who’s responsible for bringing up that child’ by law once the child is born. ‘We couldn’t do that for most of our nation’s history,’” he said in the video, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘but we can do that today because we have genetic paternity tests that are 100% reliable.’”

We are willing to accept that Mr. Ramaswamy may be well intended, but, as Ms. Mangiaracina notes, “he did not address whether such a proposal might actually incentivize fathers to push for abortion if they felt their options were either encouraging an abortion or knowing they could be responsible for being the ‘principal caretaker’ of their child for 18 years.”

In so many cases, the expectant mother is cornered into aborting her child either by her parents or by the man who impregnated her. Pressuring the bio-father financially is, it seems to us, more likely to provoke further pressure on a mother in crisis than to protect the child.


Buckle Your Seatbelt

THE INTERNET WEBSITE BALLOTPEDIA HAS PUBLISHED a table listing “abortion-related measures that are on the ballot in 2024.”

The listing includes only those statewide ballot propositions which have already qualified for the ballot. Potential referenda are in process elsewhere, so the list could certainly grow.

So far, Maryland is listed for a vote on a “Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment,” on the ballot for Nov. 5, 2024. On that same date, New York voters will decide on a proposition labeled “Equal Protection of Law Amendment.”

Additionally, Ballotpedia lists “abortion-related measures that have been proposed for the ballot but have not been certified, pending signature drives or final legislative votes” on both sides of the question.

Voters in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Montana and South Dakota could be voting on pro-abortion constitutional amendment propositions if they get certified for the ballot.

Voters in Iowa and Pennsylvania may be facing pro-life amendment propositions if they secure the necessary backing needed to qualify for the ballot.

Colorado voters may be faced with dueling abortion-related propositions, as may voters in Missouri and Nebraska.

And a petition drive in Nevada has been underway for a “Reproductive Freedom Amendment” vote in 2024, but a court has acted to block that proposition.


Ohio Wins an Appeal on Title Ten

THE 6th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS IN NOVEMBER ENJOINED the Biden Regime’s rule diverting Title X (Ten) family planning funding to organizations that commit abortions.

The 2-to-1 decision came in a lawsuit brought by the state of Ohio, which had complained that the Biden rules administering Title X funding violated the wording of the law. The court ruled, reports Illinois Federation for Right to Life, that the Dept. of Health & Human Services “cannot permit taxpayer funding for family planning programming that provides abortion.” The ruling applies only to funds disbursed to Ohio agencies.


Huge Victory in Illinois

Dec. 12, 2023, News Release from Thomas More Society

             Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has agreed to an order permanently prohibiting the state of Illinois from enforcing a law that declared pro-life speech to be a “deceptive business practice” and defined as “consumer fraud” the sharing of certain information about the risks of abortion. Thomas More Society attorneys today filed, together with the attorney general, a joint motion to enter an agreed order imposing a permanent injunction on the attorney general. The joint motion was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, for the signature of District Judge Iain D. Johnston.

             In July, Thomas More Society attorneys sued the attorney general over the law – known as SB-1909 – representing the pregnancy center umbrella group National Institute of Family & Life Advocates (NIFLA), along with Illinois pregnancy centers Women’s Health Services and Relevant Pregnancy Options Center and sidewalk counseling organizations Pro-Life Action League and Rockford Family Initiative. The agreed order provides for full recovery of attorney’s fees by Thomas More Society.

             Peter Breen, TMS executive vice president and head of litigation, who served as lead counsel for NIFLA and the other plaintiffs, hailed the victory as a significant win for pro-life ministries and free speech in Illinois – which will also serve as a warning to other states across the country that attempt to target pro-life ministries with discriminatory laws.

             “The federal court was spot-on in holding that SB-1909 is ‘both stupid and very likely unconstitutional,’” stated Breen, recalling Johnston’s preliminary injunction. “SB-1909 exempts abortion facilities and their speech, while exclusively regulating pro-life organizations and their speech, in flagrant violation of the First Amendment. This law is just one of a number of illegal new laws enacted across the country that restrict pro-life speech – we hope this permanent injunction, with full attorney’s fees, serves as a warning to other states that would seek to follow Illinois and try to silence pro-life viewpoints. We are honored to represent NIFLA and other life-affirming organizations to protect them from unjust laws like SB-1909 that seek to put a halt to their good work.”

             Thomas Glessner, founder and president of NIFLA, stated: “We are elated that a permanent injunction has been issued against Illinois Atty. Gen. Kwame Raoul and SB-1909, which ensures this unconstitutional law will never go into effect. This is a huge win not only for NIFLA and our wonderful attorneys at the Thomas More Society but especially for pregnancy centers in the state, who serve the thousands of women in Illinois who are facing unplanned pregnancies – all at no cost. SB-1909 was an absolute weaponization of government that unfairly and unconstitutionally targeted pregnancy centers simply because they refused to refer for or perform abortions. Let this be a stern example of what awaits those who attempt to pass and enforce similar laws – look to Illinois and save taxpayer dollars for actually helping their communities instead of going after organizations that help women and their families.”


Could This Quote Be Real?

HERE’s A JAW-DROPPING ITEM FROM THE BABYLON BEE, a conservative satire website, claiming to quote Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL). Though we are pretty sure this quote is not real, it makes such a good point, we are sharing it with our readers as a holiday gift:

             “With negotiations taking place on Capitol Hill over funding increased security along America’s southern border, Democrats in Congress have admitted they need a steady flow of immigrants to replace all the Democrat voters they aborted. ‘We’ve got to make up those massive numbers somewhere,’ said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin. ‘We know we’d have an insurmountable voting lead today if we hadn’t ruthlessly murdered tens of millions of our own children who could have grown up to vote Democrat, so we’re having to retroactively fill that void by bringing in millions of foreign nationals and giving them free stuff to convince them to vote Democrat. It’s the only way we can even try to even things out. … It’s the humane thing to do.’

The satiric website continued:

             “Democratic Party leadership reportedly held a top-secret closed-door summit last year to settle on a strategy to replace all the voters it had actively worked to slaughter over the last few decades. ‘We can only commit so much voter fraud,’ one Democrat insider admitted under the condition of anonymity. ‘Eventually, we’ll need a lot more than just phony mail-in ballots and machines that have been tampered with. We’ll need actual real, live voters. Importing migrants is our only option. Plus, the more immigrants we bring in, the more babies we can keep killing! Best of both worlds!’

And, concluding:

             “At publishing time, Democrats were reportedly pushing their long-term voter strategy even further by preparing legislation to finally legalize deceased people voting, thereby making all aborted babies permanent Democrat voters.”

Merry Christmas!