Life Advocacy Briefing

April 15, 2024

Time to Stand / Which Way, Mr. President? / Good News!
DeSantis Declares His Opposition / Listening to Conscience, Finding a Home
Michigan Doubles Down / Warning to Floridians / At a Crossroads?

Time to Stand

THOSE OF US AMERICANS WHO HONOR THE RIGHT TO LIFE of our fellow humans – persons of whatever age or stage – have entered a challenging time equivalent to the challenge we faced in 1973.

The Supreme Court – paying no attention to the right to life of all persons, expressed in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution – has assured the politicians of the various states and their fellow travelers in the abortion cartel that protection of that right or its abuse is a matter for the ballot box or for the politicians and not a principle, after all, of the American way of life.

And the dominoes are falling. God help us!


Which Way, Mr. President?

IT’s UP TO THE STATES, declared GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose four years as President produced an increasingly pro-life judiciary at all levels of the federal court system. His statement came via video posted on his social-media channel, to which we do not subscribe; we have been unable to find a transcript, although news reports are, of course, plentiful.

We at Life Advocacy were pleased that he did not, as expected, embrace the unprincipled 15-week federal abortion ban being pushed by some pro-life organizations. But then the other shoe dropped.

Just days later, the former President undercut his own “leave-it-to-the-states” policy position by criticizing the Arizona State Supreme Court for its pro-life ruling and said, reports Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews, “‘It’ll be straightened out. I’m sure that the governor and everybody else are gonna bring it back into reason, and I think that will be taken care of very quickly.’” The governor is rabidly pro-abortion Democrat Katie Hobbs.

What was he thinking, undermining his own declaration he would trust the matter to the states.

All that we can do when considering our vote, at the lofty level of the US Presidency, apparently, is remind ourselves of the alternative and of the consequences of re-electing the current President. (With Robert Kennedy Jr. rushing to confirm, reports Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews, that “he would sign a federal law codifying a nationwide ‘right’ to abortion,” that option appears closed.)


Good News!

THE FLORIDA STATE SUPREME COURT on April 1 upheld a 15-week abortion ban which had been attacked in the courts by Planned Parenthood. “Because of this,” writes Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, “the [state’s] six-week abortion ban, which corresponds with when a preborn baby’s heart begins beating, will soon be in effect.” (It was passed during the pendency of the lawsuit and included a provision making its effectiveness contingent on the state supreme court’s action in the 15-week challenge.)

The court’s ruling, according to Mr. Staver, “overrode previous abortion opinions dating back to 1989.” And it was propounded via a 6-to-1 vote among the justices.

Unfortunately, the state supreme court also cleared a pro-abortion state constitutional amendment for the ballot, though one of the justices warned voters could be confused by the language of the proposition, a deliberate ploy which certainly was used effectively in recent constitutional amendment referenda in states like Michigan, where voters approved a garbled and wide-open abortion provision with 56.6% “yes” tally. Florida’s constitution requires a 60% threshold for approval of constitutional amendments.

We reprint later in this edition a commentary by Mr. Staver outlining the battle in the Florida court on the referendum question, believing our readers will find it instructive and hoping our Florida readers will take it to heart and get into the battle to rescue Florida from the doom intended by the abortion lobby.


DeSantis Declares His Opposition

FLORIDA GOV. RON DeSANTIS (R) WEIGHED IN on April 5 in response to his state supreme court’s clearance of an abortion constitutional amendment proposition on his state’s ballot in November, reacting in the same statement to the court’s authorization of a referendum inserting legalized marijuana into the state’s constitution.

“‘Once voters figure out how radical both of those are, they’re going to fail,’” said the governor, quoted by Claire Chretien for LifeSiteNews. “‘They [the propositions] are very, very extreme. …

“‘I think Florida voters over the past, you know, four or five [election] cycles have developed the skepticism on these amendments generally because they’re always written in ways that are confusing,’ he said,” quoted by Ms. Chretien, who noted that Florida’s 60% threshold required to ratify a constitutional amendment is higher than the requirements in Ohio and Michigan, where initiated constitutional amendments have torn abortion law from future voters or their legislators.


Listening to Conscience, Finding a Home

WHEN A NEBRASKA STATE SENATOR ANNOUNCED HIS DEPARTURE from his lifelong commitment to the Democratic Party early this month, Sen. Mike McDonnell (now R) released a letter explaining his shift, quoted by S.A. McCarthy in The Washington Stand.

“‘I have asked the Democratic Party to respect my religious-based pro-life position,’” he wrote. “‘Instead, over the last year they have decided to punish me for being pro-life.’”

The party switch comes in the wake of a vote by the Nebraska Democratic Party to censure the Catholic lawmaker “over his pro-life record,” writes Mr. McCarthy, “claiming that his stance has ‘adversely affected the reproductive rights of Nebraskans and the rights of transgender individuals in the state.’” The Democratic Party in a county in his district, notes Mr. McCarthy, “also voted in January to deny McDonnell party funding due to his votes against abortion measures and against gender transition procedures for minors.”

Despite having to leave behind 40 years of identification with his family’s party, Sen. McDonnell appears to have found a home in the GOP. “‘Over the last year, regardless of my decision switching parties, they have been so supportive,’” the eight-year senator said of his new party. “‘We had great discussions about what the Republican Party is doing, where they’re trying to go, how I potentially could fit in there. But the greatest thing about [it],’” he said, quoted by Mr. McCarthy, “‘is now I can participate again.’”

The move drew a comment from Sen. Pete Ricketts (R), saying he was “‘pleased to welcome Sen. Mike McDowell to the Republican team.’ He added,” notes Mr. McCarthy, “‘The extreme new Democrats are pushing commonsense officials and voters to our party.’”

Nebraska Democrats also responded. The Washington Stand report quotes a statement by the state chairman Jane Kleeb, saying, “‘The Nebraska Democratic Party will continue to stand up for reproductive freedom and the human rights of the LGBTQ community.’ She added, ‘Our decision to censure Sen. McDonnell was never about him being a pro-life Catholic. Our decision was based on our party reaffirming our core values to protect women’s ability to make health decisions and to keep politicians out of our personal health decisions.’” Oh. Is that what killing a developing baby is?


Michigan Doubles Down

THOUGH MICHIGAN PRO-LIFE CITIZENS DID NOT THINK family policy in their state could get much worse after losing the battle to block an abortion constitutional amendment in 2022, their state’s legislature and governor are doubling down on radical anti-family law with life-threatening consequences.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) staged a news conference on April Fool’s Day to celebrate her signing of something she and her legislative followers call a “Michigan Family Protection Act.”

What could be wrong with that? The governor called it, during her news conference, “‘The most pro-family thing that the legislature has done,’” reports Stephen Kokx for LifeSiteNews.

Here’s what it actually is: “Among other things,” writes Mr. Kokx, “the package of nine bills overturns the state’s 36-year-old Surrogate Parenting Act, which outlawed the unethical practice of paid surrogacy in 1988. It also ensures in vitro fertilization. …

“Right to Life Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference have both issued stinging rebukes of the changes,” notes Mr. Kokx, “which will go into effect three months after the 2024 legislative session due to the Senate not obtaining two-thirds approval.” Democrats control the upper chamber 20 to 18.


Warning to Floridians

Excerpt from April 4, 2024, commentary by Mat Staver in The Washington Stand

            … [The April 1 Florida court win] could be undone. While this ruling was a huge win for Life in Florida, it could be overridden if Floridians vote to pass the abortion ballot measure the court also approved.

            On Feb. 7, I argued before the Florida Supreme Court to reject this abortion amendment from appearing on the ballot for its violation of state law. Unfortunately, the court ruled 4-3 to the contrary. Should the amendment appear on November’s ballot, it would enshrine abortion in the state constitution and make the Sunshine State a graveyard for the preborn with virtually no restrictions on abortion if voted on [favorably] by 60% of Florida voters.

            It’s important for Floridians to be aware of this extreme amendment’s broad, destructive implications, and it’s equally as important for Americans nationwide to understand that the far-reaching agenda to put abortion on state ballots does not stop with Florida. Other states, such as Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania and South Dakota, are also being targeted by the pro-abortion movement for abortion measures to appear on ballots in November.

            Since the fall of Roe, the pro-life movement is zero-for-seven in abortion-related ballot measures, with losses in California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, Montana, Kansas and most recently, Ohio. This is partially due to the propagation of lies and fearmongering from the pro-abortion movement to sway even moderately pro-life Americans into siding with abortion.

            Of particular concern in the deceptive strategy to enshrine abortion through state ballot initiatives is that the language used often conceals the sweeping scope of the initiatives.

            The pro-abortion movement relies heavily on lies and gaslighting for public support, because promoting what abortion truly is – the killing of preborn babies – is not a winning message. To get around this, the pro-abortion movement uses undefined deceptive terms and euphemisms like “clump of cells,” “women’s health” and “reproductive freedom” to mislead the masses. The use of vague language was certainly the case for the [pending] Florida amendment, and this was one of my arguments against the amendment before the court earlier this year.

            In her dissent to the court’s opinion, Justice Jamie Grosshans agreed with my argument and laid out just how voters can be easily misled by the deceptive ballot summary for the abortion amendment.

            “A voter may think this amendment simply returns Florida to a pre-Dobbs status quo. It does not,” she wrote. “A voter may think that a healthcare provider would be clearly defined as a licensed physician specializing in women’s health. It is not. A voter may think that viability falls within a readily apparent time frame. It does not. … And, critically, the voter may think this amendment results in settling this issue once and for all. It does not. Instead, this amendment returns abortion issues back to the courts to interpret scope, boundary, definitions and policy, effectively removing it from the people and their elected representatives. Perhaps this is a choice that Floridians wish to make, but it should be done with clarity as to their votes’ ramifications and not based on a misleading ballot summary.”

            Justice Renatha Francis reiterated the conflict of the amendment’s ambiguity in her dissent, stating that the amendment is a “Trojan horse for the elimination of any recognition of the state’s interest in protecting what Roe termed ‘potential life.’”

            A Trojan horse, indeed.

            What the amendment’s ballot summary doesn’t say is that the term “healthcare provider,” the person who could prescribe a post-viability abortion for “health reasons,” includes nearly 60 professions, including tattoo artists and massage therapists.

            It leaves out the fact that every pro-life law in Florida (except potentially the parental notification requirement) would be overruled, paving the way for unrestricted abortion access.

            It fails to mention that the amendment would authorize abortion for any reason at any time up to birth and endangers women by removing health and safety regulations.

            It also neglects to add that the “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay or restrict abortion” language would tie the hands of the legislature from enacting any laws to protect pre-born lives or their mothers.

            The reality of the abortion amendment in Florida is that it will hurt women and enshrine the “right” to kill children in the Florida constitution. The amendments on the ballot in other states follow a similar blueprint and would steamroll existing pro-life protections.

            I previously warned the Florida amendment would be a “slippery slope to infanticide” and give the “abortion industry license to murder preborn babies without restriction or regulation.” I stand by these words completely and warn Floridians not to be complicit in the pro-abortion movement’s goal to legalize and normalize the genocide of the preborn by voting for this radical amendment.

             The preborn are the most vulnerable and marginalized group in the US, and we will continue fighting for Florida to remain one of the most pro-life states in the nation and for pro-life protections to be extended to all 50 states.


At a Crossroads?

April 8, 2024, report by S.A. McCarthy for The Washington Stand (TWS)

            Democrats are announcing plans to campaign on abortion in 7 key states. According to a memo released Friday by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), “seven battleground states are on track to have abortion measures on the ballot in 2024: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada and New York.” The memo continues, “This further guarantees that reproductive freedom will remain a driving issue for voters this November, putting vulnerable House Republicans and GOP candidates on the hook for their anti-abortion and anti-freedom positions.”

            The memo lists 18 congressional districts that the DCCC says “have or will likely have an abortion ballot initiative on election day,” pledging further pro-abortion campaigning in each of those districts. Of those 18 districts, the DCCC names seven as home to “vulnerable House Republicans” who have “signed onto the recently released Republican Study Committee budget proposal which endorses the Life at Conception Act and over 30 other federal anti-abortion measures.” Those US [GOP] representatives are David Schweikert (AZ), Juan Ciscomani (AZ), Nick Lakota (NY), Brandon Williams (NY), Don Bacon (NE), Ryan Zinke (MT) and Anna Paulina Luna (FL).

            Matt Carpenter, director of FRC Action, commented to TWS, “It’s no secret Congressional Democrats love abortion. As far as a political strategy goes, it makes sense for the DCCC, because the more they can talk about abortion the less they have to talk about the border, crime, inflation, foreign policy failures and more.” But, he said, there are two problems with this strategy. First, “voters want to know what they are going to do about the border, crime, inflation, etc., and a pro-abortion message doesn’t address these concerns for voters,” and second, “super-majorities of voters disapprove of the party’s position of elective abortion through all stages of pregnancy, on the taxpayer dime.”

            He added, “I’m sure for a sliver of the Democratic Party’s base these ballot initiatives will be a motivating factor, but this approach will have limited appeal among swing voters who see $4-a-gallon gas, double-digit food inflation and illegal immigrants squatting in their neighbor’s house and want to know what the Democrats are offering to make their lives affordable and free from crime. Talking to these voters about abortion won’t do the trick.”

            Carpenter also recommended that Republicans not shy away from taking a strong pro-life stance and instead expose their Democratic rivals for their extreme positions on abortion. “If I’m running against one of their candidates,” he said, “I am going to use this pro-abortion exuberance to draw them into admitting they do not favor any limits on ending the lives of the unborn.”

            Other conservative figures have offered similar advice. Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany urged Republican candidates to address abortion “head on” and expose “the extremism of Democrats.” She said, “I’d love to see a Presidential candidate look at Joe Biden and say, ‘President Biden, when does [an unborn] baby feel pain?’ I don’t think he could answer that question. Why isn’t every Democrat in America being asked that question?”

            Former Republican National Committee chairman Ronna McDaniel issued a similar call, saying, “We shouldn’t be silent. Listen, we’re proud to be a party that stands for the unborn. And I think coming out of Roe, after 50 years of … people not having to navigate this issue, it’s really important that we define ourselves before the Democrats do.” McDaniel added that Republicans need to “put the Democrats on the defense because they stand for late-term abortion. They stand for gender-selection abortion.”

             Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) warned that if Democrats win in 2024, they “will ensure that these babies are utterly killed by dismemberment, beheading, by chemical poisoning or that pill which actually starves the baby to death.” He added, “Pro-lifers need to assert with love and compassion respect for both mother and baby, and to do it consistently. Never run from this.” …