Life Advocacy Briefing

February 12, 2024

Time to Repeal F.A.C.E. Act? / Life Advocacy’s Caution
Pro-Life Doctors Threatened by Bureaucrats / Solidarity
Marching in Alaska / Defining Issue? / ‘We Will Never Quit’

Time to Repeal F.A.C.E. Act?

A GROUP OF PRO-LIFE LEADERS HAVE APPEALED to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) to “‘take immediate legislative action to protect peaceful pro-life activists from the Biden Administration’s weaponized Dept. of Justice and an unconstitutional law,’” reports Ashley Sadler for LifeSiteNews.

In other words, the pro-life leaders are seeking urgent repeal of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act), in the wake of the unconscionable conviction on Jan. 30 of six pro-life advocates on federal felony charges because of a sit-in at a Nashville area abortuary in 2021.

The letter argues, reports Ms. Sadler, that “the 1994 law is ‘unconstitutional’ and has been ‘weaponized’ against pro-life advocates.”

Signers of the letter include Live Action’s Lila Rose and Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, as well as Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society law firm, Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Tom McClusky of CatholicVote, Ryan Anderson representing the Ethics & Public Policy Center and Concerned Women for America president Penny Nance, as well as a new group called Advancing American Freedom, founded by former Vice President Mike Pence.

“The FACE Act is ostensibly meant to ensure access to churches and pro-life pregnancy resource centers in addition to abortion facilities,” notes Ms. Sadler. “However, it is frequently used to prosecute pro-life advocates who protest outside abortion facilities and almost never used against pro-abortion vandals or people who have attacked or defaced churches,” which is a growing problem.

Indeed, the letter points out, according to Ms. Sadler: “‘Hundreds of [pro-life] pregnancy centers and churches’ have been ‘attacked since the Dobbs decision was leaked in May of 2022.’ Catholic Vote has reported that at least 229 churches have been attacked” since that time.

“The lack of FACE Act prosecutions against any church vandal and only a handful of pro-abortion activists has triggered backlash,” reports Ms. Sadler, “and accusations of a double standard on the part of the openly pro-abortion Biden Administration. ‘There is no question as to whether the FACE Act is being disproportionately applied to pro-lifers,’ the signers of the Wednesday letter declared.”

The letter signers opined, notes Ms. Sadler, “‘that the FACE Act is unconstitutional’ and ‘wrongly usurps police powers reserved to the states by the Constitution,’ authorizing ‘the Dept. of Justice to swoop in to punish its political enemies rather than equally applying the law.’

“Moreover, the letter stresses,” writes Ms. Sadler, “that the controversial measure functions to protect abortion, even though ‘taking the life of the unborn is longer and never rightly was a constitutional right.’”

Bills are pending in both the House and the Senate to repeal the FACE Act. In the House, HR-5577 was filed last September by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), with 36 co-sponsors; it is in the Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee is the current location of S-3017, filed last October by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and five co-sponsors.


Life Advocacy’s Caution

WE AT LIFE ADVOCACY appreciate the attention being directed to the growing, unjust use of the FACE Act to deny pro-life advocates their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and to speak, and we agree that its misuse by the Biden Regime has brought the need for its repeal to the fore.

We have a caution, however. The very title of the statute and the skill of the abortion lobby in shaping political rhetoric suggests the abortionistas will attack lawmakers advocating repeal of FACE as “extremists going after health facilities.” (Note the clever use of the term “Clinic Entrances” in the very title of the statute.)

So we urge the pro-life advocates within the House and Senate to prepare themselves and their fellow pro-life candidates with clear advocacy on this issue, aiding voters – most of whom have never heard of this anti-American law – to grasp who is on the side of American values in this matter.

Do not allow the abortion lobby to lob “extremist” labels at pro-life lawmakers and candidates for their efforts to restore a climate of actual justice in post-Dobbs America. Get your language settled and ready to go on offense about the need for this repeal. Do not wait until your political opponents craft the issue of your support for repealing the law which supposedly protects access to the entrances of clinics. Take action, yes, but be prepared to proactively advocate that action, before you get slammed.


Pro-Life Doctors Threatened by Bureaucrats

MASSACHUSETTS DOCTORS WHO ARE TRYING TO SAVE UNBORN BABIES by intervening in an already-begun chemical abortion are facing intimidation by the state’s public health department, reports Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews, citing Live Action as source.

The Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health sent a letter on Jan. 3, reports Mr. Freiburger, “to all ‘licensed physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacies, hospitals and clinics’ in the state to warn that their medical licenses could be at risk if they did not ‘provid[e] patients accurate and complete information for informed decision-making, accurate portrayal and advertising of clinical services and licensees practicing within their scope of practice and their license.’”

What’s wrong with that? The memo also cites Abortion Pill Reversal as an example of “‘violation of good and accepted healthcare practice.’” The letter claims, reports Mr. Freiburger, “APR is ‘unproven, unethical and unsafe to provide to patients.’”

What does APR do? As the name suggests, it reverses the action of RU-486, which starves the unborn child. APR therapy has been developed to counter its effects before the baby dies, permitting the baby to grow and months later to be born alive. That is what threatens not the baby and his or her mother but the abortion cartel, which has been shifting toward chemical (RU) abortions.

The Massachusetts public health bureaucrats cite in their threat a position taken by the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, notes Mr. Freiburger, “that APR is ‘not supported by science.’ ACOG,” he notes, “has a long history of pro-abortion bias and advocacy.”

A study published in the academic journal Scientific Reports last summer, reports Mr. Freiburger, “found ‘progesterone, administered shortly after mifepristone, reversed the effects of mifepristone (i.e., reversed the abortion) with living fetuses present at the end of gestation in 81% of cases.’ …

“‘All major studies show that using progesterone to counteract a chemical abortion (APR) can be effective, since it’s the very same hormone a woman’s body produces to sustain her pregnancy,’ says Heartbeat International,” quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘Progesterone has been safely used with pregnant women and their babies since the 1950s. To date,’” says Heartbeat International in Mr. Freiburger’s report, “‘statistics show more than 4,500 women have had successful abortion pill reversals, and that number grows higher each day.’”



AMONG THE THOUSANDS OF PARTICIPANTS at this year’s March for Life in Washington on Jan. 18 were “at least 50 Canadian young adults,” reports Carlos Prado for LifeSiteNews.

A bus was sponsored by Campaign Life Coalition (of Canada) to bring the delegation of young Canadians to North America’s largest rally in defense of Life. They traveled 12 hours from Mississauga, Ontario, notes Mr. Prado, “to give the young Canadians the experience of being part of a massive gathering of like-minded people.”

A Canadian March for Life has been scheduled for May 9 and will be the 27th such national demonstration in our neighboring country.


Marching in Alaska

IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE THAT TRAVELING TO WASHINGTON for the annual March for Life would be a bit much for pro-life advocates in Alaska. But that does not chill the voices for the unborn in America’s most northern state.

Some 150 pro-life Alaskans took part, trekking “a full four miles in zero-degree weather and continual snowfall,” reports Louis Knuffke for LifeSiteNews, in a March for Life in Anchorage, the state’s capital city.

“It was zero degrees and snowing the entire time,” writes Mr. Knuffke. “Moms and dads carried babies in front packs and backpacks; teenagers and young adults carried banners and signs, talking and laughing as they walked; veteran pro-lifers carried flags and walking sticks; clergy, pastors and chaplains carried the message of Christ,” he writes, “and little children bravely and cheerfully kept up.”


Defining Issue?

Jan. 11, 2024, commentary by Joshua Arnold, senior writer at Family Research Council’s The Washington Stand

             If Pres. Biden wins re-election, his top priority on Day One would be codifying abortion protections in federal law, his deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. Host Kristen Welker asked, “What would on day one President Biden’s top priority be?” Fulks responded, “First of all, Roe. The President has been adamant that we need to restore Roe. It is unfathomable that women today wake up in a country with less rights than their ancestors had years ago.”

             “Constitutionally speaking, abortion is not a right,” responded* Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council. “Believing it is a right under the Constitution is the mistake the Supreme Court fixed in the Dobbs decision. It should not be a right, because no one should have the right to end someone else’s life, except in the cases of self-defense, when that would be a proportionate response.”

             Nevertheless, Pres. Biden’s re-election campaign continues to stress abortion as an election issue. “I think it’ll continue to be a really galvanizing issue, and we’ll continue to find ways to make it front and center,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in June 2023.

             This decision carries forward Democrats’ strategy from the 2022 midterm election. Although Pres. Biden was not personally on the ballot, three weeks before election day he promised to send Congress a bill to codify Roe v. Wade – if Democrats won enough seats to pass it, which didn’t happen.

             “Republicans won a narrow majority in the House of Representatives,” David Closson, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Biblical Worldview, told The Washington Stand. “The vast majority of these Republicans campaigned as pro-lifers. Thus, although the post-mid-term election narrative in the national press focused on how abortion helped Democrats thwart the expected “red wave” in 2022, there are clearly other factors at play.”

             For instance, “Democratic candidates and pro-abortion groups heavily outspent pro—life candidates,” Closson explained. “Likewise, many Republican consultants advised conservative candidates to focus on issues besides abortion (such as the economy or crime). The result was that many Republicans allowed their opponents to define them as extreme or out of touch on abortion.”  …

             “Democrats have convinced many Americans” that their choice is “between ‘no abortion’ and ‘all abortion,’” said Backholm, even though this is “not accurate.” However, he said, this pitch “seems to have made an impact in elections since the Dobbs decision.”

             On the other hand, Closson noted that “high-profile pro-life candidates who campaigned on their strong pro-life records” actually “won decisively” in 2022, including [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R).

*Mr. Backholm’s “response” was not to the NBC interviewer but to the Washington Stand writer.

Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: Compelling personal experience and focused observation over the past 30-plus years has shown us that Mr. Closson’s point is true – that pro-life candidates who highlight their pro-life commitment succeed, other factors being equal. They succeed particularly when they point out to voters the contrast between their own commitment or record versus their opponents’ extreme positions held by candidates backed by the abortion cartel. The pro-life position is particularly advantageous if stated in complete sentences rather than mere labels. And it is advantageous for the pro-life candidate to raise the issue before being attacked.

Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: The assertion by the Biden campaign’s deputy manager has been confirmed by the announcement last week that First Lady Jill Biden has invited to her side at next month’s State of the Union address Kate Cox, a Texas mother who sued the state so she could procure a dismemberment-and-extraction abortion to kill her disabled pre-born baby within her home state.


‘We Will Never Quit’

Jan. 18, 2024, March for Life speech by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

             Jeannie, thank you so very much. And first of all, on behalf of my wife Marie and my very distinguished and courageous and effective lawmakers that are on this stage – and a few others that couldn’t be here – thank you, Jeanie Mancini, for your leadership; it is extraordinary.

             You know, ladies and gentlemen, at a New Jersey pregnancy resource center, two women expressed through tears of joy their deep and abiding gratitude for the incredible love, respect and care that persuaded them to reverse their decision to abort their babies. They spoke of how desperate and even hopeless they were, and they thanked the director for being there in a non-judgmental and a very gentle way to persuade them to have their child. They chose life.

             Then two teenage girls got up, took to the podium, stood side by side, and they talked about their lives, school, their family, their friends, sports, and their reverence for the sanctity of human life. Near the end of their remarks, however, they turned towards the director of the center and said, “If you didn’t persuade our moms to let us live, we would be dead.” I was so moved … to hear that kind of testimony.  

             There are more than 2,700 pregnancy resource centers throughout the United States, each and every one of them an oasis of love, compassion, empathy, respect and care for both mothers and their children.

             As she mentioned earlier, Americans agree: The new Marist national poll found that 83% of all Americans, including 75% of Democrats, support – I say again – support pregnancy resource centers. They, like all of us in this human rights movement, stand with every woman and for every child. We reject the violence of abortion, dismemberment, child beheadings and abortion pills that literally starve the baby to death.

             As you all know, Dobbs conveyed to lawmakers newfound powers at every level – federal, state and local – to save lives. We’re greatly encouraged and filled with hope and resolve. Lives are being saved. Yeah, we’ll have a setback here and there. Every human rights struggle does. But we are undeterred. We will not give up.

             At least 25 states now have statutes that are either in effect or being litigated that protect life. My own state is one of the bad ones; we have abortion till birth. But we won’t quit in New Jersey either, in trying to overturn a law that was passed by our governor and by the legislature.

             This week under … Mike Johnson’s leadership, two new important pro-life bills authored by two courageous lawmakers – Michelle Fischbach and Ashley Hinson – passed the House. We’re working, and we’re working for the babies and their mothers.

             Tragically President Biden, the Abortion President, has weaponized the entire federal bureaucracy to aggressively promote abortion on demand, including a full-court press to force taxpayers to pay for it. Last Congress, President Biden’s absolute support was for this, … and House Democrats passed this, not once but twice: Legislation to enable and authorize abortion right up until the moment of birth. Think of it – all nine months – and that baby getting killed, and that’s Biden’s view. That extremist legislation poses an existential threat to countless women and to children. The Biden Administration and some governors and lawmakers, including in the House and Senate, continue to smear and misrepresent the noble work of pregnancy care centers, and we can’t let that happen either.

             We will never – and I know so many of you, especially over the years – we will never, never, never – with the grace of God – never quit in our defense for the weakest and the most vulnerable.

             Thank you.