Life Advocacy Briefing

March 11, 2024

Oops / Alabama Seeks to ‘Fix’ Its Court Ruling / What Is Rep. Mace Up To?
And What’s Sen. Graham Up To Now? / Stepping Up / Speaking Up for Life


WE APOLOGIZE! We had an error last week in citing the bill number on the House companion to Sen. Duckworth’s S-3612, the bill which seeks to block states from regulating in vitro fertilization. The correct House bill number is HR-7056, sponsored by Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) and now co-sponsored by 134 of her fellow Democrats. As we noted last week, these two bills seek to federally shelter the in vitro fertilization industry from state regulation or liability. Both bills continue to reside in their assigned committees.


Alabama Seeks to ‘Fix’ Its Court Ruling

THE ALABAMA LEGISLATURE HAS RUSHED TO PASS – and Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has rushed to sign – legislation seeking to protect the in vitro fertilization industry from liability in the state, after the state supreme court ruled that the parents of embryonic babies killed as a consequence of negligence by the IVF clinic were entitled to compensation for their loss.

Alabama Senate Bill 159 passed the state’s House 81 to 12 and the Senate by a vote of 29 to 1.

“The new law does not address the issue of personhood at the heart of last month’s unprecedented ruling,” reports CNN, “and experts say it’s going to take more work to protect fertility services in the state. The fertility clinic at the center of that case has halted services and told CNN the new legislation falls short of providing the legal protection it needs to resume care.”

But CNN reports the new law “aims to provide civil and criminal immunity to providers and patients for the destruction or damage to embryos” and that “the legislation will apply retroactively.” What more could the “clinics” need? And where does this leave parents whose embryos are destroyed?

“‘The law does not nullify the Supreme Court’s analysis that says the law ought to treat embryos just like people,’ Katherine Kraschel, an assistant professor at Northeastern University School of Law, told CNN on Tuesday,” reports the cable news network.

“Experts have also expressed concern,” reports CNN, “that while the legislation protects providers from liability when it comes to the destruction of embryos, it could also insulate them from standard medical malpractice claims.

“State Sen. Larry Stutts, a Republican and the lone lawmaker who voted against the measure in the state senate, criticized the language in the bill,” reports CNN, “arguing it is ‘not an IVF protection bill, it’s an IVF provider and supplier protection bill’ that is ‘limiting the ability of the mothers that are involved in IVF to have recourse.’” Thank you, Sen. Stutts.

“Gov. Ivey,” reports CNN, “acknowledged the new law was a quick fix after the court ruling and noted, ‘there will be more work to come’ on IVF protections.” (We can hardly wait.) “‘I am pleased to sign this important, short-term measure into law so that couples in Alabama hoping and praying to be parents can grow their families through IVF,’ [Gov.] Ivey said in a statement late Wednesday,” quoted by CNN. “‘IVF is a complex issue, no doubt, and I anticipate there will be more work to come, but right now, I am confident that this legislation will provide the assurances our IVF clinics need and will lead them to resume services immediately.’ …

“The American Society for Reproductive Medicine released a statement Thursday,” reports CNN, “warning that without legislation to address the issue of whether a fertilized egg is legally considered a person, IVF providers are still vulnerable.”

Yes, that is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? As the late Dr. Seuss famously wrote, “A person is a person, no matter how small.”


What Is Rep. Mace Up To?

REP. NANCY MACE (R-NC) HAS FILED A RESOLUTION “expressing support for continued access to fertility care and assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization,” as described in the Congressional Record, “in light of the Supreme Court of Alabama’s ruling that has jeopardized access to in vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technology.” HRes-1043 is co-sponsored by GOP Representatives David Schweikert (AZ), Don Bacon (NE), Jeff VanDrew (NJ), Anthony D’Esposito & Nick LaLota (NY), and Jennifer Kiggans (VA). The resolution has been assigned to the House Committee on Energy & Commerce.

A reminder to readers: The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that human embryos are human beings – persons – regardless of whether they are in utero or in a test tube. The “threat” to the IVF industry in Alabama stems from the court’s awarding of damages to a couple whose stored embryonic children were killed in an act stemming from the negligence of the IVF shop having stored the frozen human embryos in an unlocked facility.

Here is Rep. Mace’s statement on her filing of HRes-1043, quoted by Doug Mainwaring in a report for LifeSiteNews: “‘This House resolution stands as a beacon of support for individuals and couples navigating the challenges of infertility. … As legislators grapple with the possibly far-reaching impact of the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling, this resolution emphasizes the importance of securing continued access to fertility care and assisted reproductive technology for all.’

“What [Rep.] Mace left unmentioned in her statement,” writes Mr. Mainwaring, “is that the IVF industry kills ten times more children than those it creates who are chosen to be born.”

When checking the Congressional Record for the Mace resolution, we found also a joint resolution the North Carolina Republican has filed which could be of interest to our readers. She has not secured any co-sponsors on this one, which was filed on Feb. 17, 2023, and is assigned to the House Committee on the Judiciary. House Joint Resolution 34, as described in the Congressional Record, “Express[es] the sense of Congress that a woman’s ability to travel out of state to receive services available in that state which would otherwise not be available in the state that they reside in, is protected under Article IV of the Constitution.” So, at a time when the Congress should be acting to stem the tide of abortion tourism which was touched off by the Dobbs ruling of the Supreme Court, Rep. Mace is seeking to guarantee a federal right to such a racket.


And What’s Sen. Graham Up To Now?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC) APPEARS TO BE TAKING A BIT OF TIME OFF from his quest for a national abortion law that allows the killing of unborn children as long as they have not yet reached “‘15, maybe 15 weeks,’” calling that a standard for a “‘humane country,’” reports Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews.

What is he turning his attention to now? His “opposition,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “to the Alabama Supreme Court’s recognition that frozen human embryos are children, falsely suggesting in the process,” Mr. Freiburger opines, “that human life does not begin at conception.

“‘One thing I’ve learned, that nobody’s ever been born in a freezer that I know of,’ [Mr.] Graham told Politico,” quoted in the LifeSiteNews story. “‘You’re not going to be born in a freezer. A fertilized egg has to be implanted into a biological woman, then you can have a baby.’”

Notes Mr. Freiburger: “[Sen.] Graham’s embrace of the IVF industry ignores the fact that the process is fraught with ethical peril, as it entails the conscious creation of scores of ‘excess’ embryonic humans only to be killed and human lives being treated like commodities to be bartered over. It has been estimated that more than a million embryos are frozen in storage in the United States following IVF, and that as many as 93% of all embryos created through IVF are eventually destroyed. A 2019 NBC News profile of Florida IVF practitioner Craig Sweet acknowledged that his practice has discarded or abandoned approximately a third of the embryos it places in cold storage.”

Perhaps rather than rushing to judgment to endorse the wild-west frontier of human reproduction, Congress and state legislators might better initiate investigations of a largely unregulated industry that paints itself as pro-reproduction while generating “left-over” human beings ultimately to destroy the most vulnerable members of the human race.


Stepping Up

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA) SKILLFULLY USED a Senate Budget Committee hearing – oddly centered on abortion policy – into an opportunity to tutor his colleagues on the reality of human life and to challenge the crass approach being taken by the advocates of abortion.

It started when the chairman, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), justified the committee’s focus by claiming, reports Louis Knuffke for LifeSiteNews, “that ‘reproductive justice is economic justice,’ a stance with which Caitlyn Myers, a professor of economics at Middlebury College and an abortion advocate, said she agreed.”

Sen. Kennedy seemingly couldn’t resist, asking Ms. Myers, “‘That’s not true for the baby, is it?’

“[Ms.] Myers danced around the question,” writes Mr. Knuffke, “refusing to call an unborn child in the womb ‘a baby.’

“[Mr.] Kennedy insisted,” notes Mr. Knuffke. “‘There’s no economic justice for the baby, because the baby’s dead. Right?’

“Again refusing to answer the direct question, Myers expressed confusion, saying, ‘I don’t really know how to answer your question. I would refer to it as a fetus.’”

Sen. Kennedy was undaunted. “‘Is the baby dead or alive?’ [Mr.] Kennedy asked,” reports LifeSiteNews. “‘We’re referring to a fetus,’ [Ms.] Myers insisted. ‘Is the fetus dead or alive after an abortion?’ [Mr.] Kennedy asked again. ‘The fetus would be dead after an abortion,’ she finally admitted.

“[Sen.] Kennedy then went on to describe the most common method of abortion for a baby after 20 weeks, countering the advocacy of one woman on the panel who was using her story of having to go out of state to obtain an abortion for [sic] her 21-week-old baby. The abortion process at that stage of pregnancy, at which the baby can feel pain, is live dismemberment and extraction from the womb, part by part, the last step of which involves crushing and removing the baby’s skull. …

“After [Sen.] Kennedy’s description of what the abortion advocates on the panel were precisely lobbying for, Democrat Senators cut him off in the middle of his comments and denounced his description of the process while continuing to uphold just such a procedure as a ‘right’ for ‘economic justice’ and success for American women.”

Sen. Kennedy was not alone. The committee’s distinguished Ranking Member, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) gave his own remarks at the start of the hearing, reports Mr. Knuffke, highlighting “the way in which looking at abortion through an economic lens is ‘dehumanizing,’ insisting instead that ‘life is priceless.’

“[Sen.] Grassley drew attention to [Red] China’s genocide of girls through their one-child policy and their preference for baby boys, an atrocity which he pointed out was perpetrated in the name of their ‘economy. … We are tackling a very serious topic this morning,’ [Sen.] Grassley said. ‘Abortion, above all, is a moral and legal issue. Abortion is not an issue that lends itself to being looked at solely through an economic lens. After all, life is priceless.’”


Speaking Up for Life

March 1, 2024, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Shane Morris

             G.K. Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” The same might be said of post-Roe America.  

             In a recent interview with Shane Morris on the Colson Center’s Upstream podcast, pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf said something difficult out loud: “Every time this has been put to the public for a vote since the casting down of Roe, we have lost. And we’ve lost not only in blue states like Michigan. We have lost in red states like Ohio, Montana, Kentucky. And these are indicators that there’s something not right in the worldview structures that we had assumed all along were in our favor, and they’re not. And that changes what our job description looks like post-Roe.” 

             According to Klusendorf, the problem isn’t that most Americans have heard the case for life and rejected it. Rather, they’ve simply never heard the case clearly articulated and been forced to reckon with it. Now that the Supreme Court has put this issue of abortion back to the states, it is more urgent than ever that we are able to argue persuasively for the rights of the unborn at the street level, or as Chuck Colson used to say, “Over the backyard fence around the barbeque grill.”  

             Apparently, Americans are either unconvinced about or distracted from the most important question in the abortion debate: Who are the preborn? Fifteen years ago, Klusendorf wrote The Case for Lifea book that answered that question and has been invaluable to pro-lifers in simplifying the argument for all of us. Now that the depth of pro-abortion assumptions in our culture has become obvious, he’s updated and massively expanded The Case for Life. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to defend preborn lives. 

             Included are eight new chapters on what it means to be pro-life, which “big questions” about religion, rights, and law are relevant to abortion; which worldviews inform the abortion debate; and whether moral right and wrong are knowable things we can legislate. This second edition confronts the worldviews of philosophical naturalism, Critical Theory, and postmodernism, all of which prop up and motivate legal abortion and stand in stark contrast to Christian theism. It’s important to note that these are the worldviews on the street level and in legislative debate. 

             Klusendorf also wrestles with the most sophisticated arguments from pro-abortion philosophers like Naomi Wolf in the brand-new part three of the book. For instance, he deals with body-self dualism (the notion that unborn children aren’t yet “persons”), the argument that fetuses lack a right to life, and he even tackles the reasoning that it’s okay to kill human beings if they threaten our bodily autonomy.  

             Of course, most of us will never debate a pro-abortion academic publicly. For all of us, Klusendorf has straightforward and powerful advice: Don’t get distracted! As he told Shane, “The pro-life argument is very clear and very simple. Premise 1: It’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. Premise 2: Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being. Conclusion: Therefore, abortion is wrong.” 

             As someone with decades of experience in hostile public settings like college campuses, Klusendorf is adamant that the most important three words in pro-life apologetics are: “syllogism, syllogism, syllogism.” That’s because most of the arguments for abortion at the street level sidestep the real issue: 

             “All of the arguments you hear in favor of choice, privacy, trusting women, economic hardship, back-alley abortions – all of those street-level things we all hear all assume the unborn are not human.” 

             Pro-lifers also frequently find themselves flustered by personal attacks. Abortion activists will call us religious bigots, misogynists, theocrats, or say that we can only have an opinion on abortion if we have a womb. Don’t fall for it, says Klusendorf. These ad hominem arguments, too, are distractions from the real issue. 

             The validity of the pro-life syllogism does not depend on the identity or character of the person arguing it. Either the preborn are innocent human beings whom it is always wrong to kill, or they are not. Part of our job post-Roe is refusing to let our fellow Americans comfortably distract themselves from this crucial question. 

             The new edition of Klusendorf’s The Case for Life is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know to become a street-level pro-life apologist. It is the most complete and authoritative guide to pro-life apologetics ever written. And it could not have come at a more important moment.