Life Advocacy Briefing

May 13, 2024

Irreplaceable / Couldn’t Congress At Least Do This?
So Is It Really ‘Up to the States’? / What About Pro-Lifers’ Free Speech Rights?
Seeking Answers / Victory, for Now, in New York
Will the Court Admit? – This Federal Law Protects Unborn Children
Look Where ‘Life’ & Family Scored a Victory!


IT IS WITH DEEP SORROW and eternal hope that we report the passing of our colleague and co-founder of Life Advocacy, Kevin Burnette, truly the genius behind the contribution we seek to make to the cause of Life. Kevin was a rarity – a strategic consultant who was also a man of principle. We are thankful for our assurance he was also a man of deep faith. He will be missed by many, and our nation is the weaker for his having left us.


Couldn’t Congress At Least Do This?

A BILL HAS BEEN FILED in both houses of Congress to deal with the Dobbs-inspired trafficking of pregnant minors across state lines for purposes of abortion. When the Supreme Court vacated its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling and, as the common phrase goes, “returned abortion law to the states,” the abortion cartel responded by various advertising and networking tactics to lure pregnant mothers – including vulnerable teens – in abortion-free states to those where their babies can be killed without legal interference.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) has filed S-1103, and Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) has filed HR-4123 under the title “Parental Notification & Intervention Act,” a rerun of the long-pending-and-never-passed Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. Both bills are resting in the Judiciary Committee of their respective houses.

According to the bill summary stated in the Congressional Record, the measure “prohibits a person or organization from performing, facilitating or assisting with an abortion on an unemancipated minor without first complying with certain requirements, including parental notification and a 96-hour waiting period. It establishes penalties – a fine, up to one year in prison or both – for each willful violation. Parental notification requirements may be waived in a medical emergency or in a case of physical abuse.”

The bills should draw support from the burgeoning Parental Rights movement as well as the pro-life community, but so far, they appear to be attracting little attention. The Senate bill has just four co-sponsors, and the House bill has eight.

We ask our readers to contact home-state US Senators and US Representatives and encourage them to co-sponsor the respective bills and to urge committee leadership to schedule them for consideration. (Those who are already co-sponsors should be thanked.) Capitol switchboard: 202/224-3121.

Here are the co-sponsors of S-1103 (with Sen. Braun): Senators Katie Britt (AL), Marco Rubio & Rick Scott (FL) and Roger Wicker (MS). And the co-sponsors of HR-4123 (with Rep. Miller): Representatives Eli Crane, Paul Gosar & Debbie Lesko (AZ); Doug LaMalfa (CA); Lauren Boebert (CO); Jim Banks (IN); Diana Harshbarger (TN); and Alex Mooney (WV).


So Is It Really ‘Up to the States’?

MAKING THE PARENTAL NOTIFICATION & INTERVENTION ACT even more urgent, federal District Judge Sarah Evans Barker (southern district of Indiana) on May 1 used the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment to invalidate Indiana’s law barring Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from luring pregnant girls to abortion-legal states to have their babies killed.

“‘That state statute, among other things, prohibits any person from providing assistance to a minor in pursuing out-of-state alternatives for obtaining an abortion,’” wrote Judge Barker, quoted by Matt Lamb in LifeSiteNews, “‘including informing the minor of any such alternatives that may carry less stringent requirements than those imposed under Indiana law.’

“Due to [Judge] Barker’s ruling,” notes Mr. Lamb, “Planned Parenthood can continue to tell 13-year-old or 14-year-old girls where to get dangerous abortion drugs or how to travel out of state without their parent’s knowledge.”

The protections for minors and their babies in the Indiana law, wrote the judge, “unduly burden the abortion vendors’ free speech rights.”

Indiana Right to Life CEO Mike Fichter said, quoted by Mr. Lamb, “‘This ruling … is an outrage – undercutting parental rights and endangering young girls. … This ruling places young girls at risk of predatory abortion providers, coerced abortions and abortions without informed consent,’ according to [Mr.] Fichter. ‘It also opens the door for Indiana abortion providers to sell abortion to young girls across state borders – all without parents knowing. We anticipate and applaud an appeal by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.’”

A lawsuit against Planned Parenthood is currently underway by Missouri’s attorney general, Andrew Bailey, notes Mr. Lamb, “alleging they transport minors to Kansas without their parents’ knowledge for abortions.”


What About Pro-Lifers’ Free Speech Rights?

NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL LETITIA JAMES HAS NOTIFIED pro-life pregnancy centers in her state, reports Carole Novielli for Live Action, that she intends to sue them “for alleged ‘misleading statements’ regarding the so-called ‘abortion pill reversal’ protocol,” giving the pregnancy centers five days to respond.

“The New York State notice of litigation,” writes Ms. Novielli, “mimics a separate lawsuit previously filed by California Attorney General Rob Bonta against Heartbeat International and RealOptions Obria, claiming the pro-life organizations ‘used fraudulent and misleading claims to advertise an unproven and largely experimental procedure called “abortion pill reversal.”’”


Seeking Answers

THOUGH THE ACTION OF THE ALABAMA SUPREME COURT in awarding damages to a couple whose stored human embryos were destroyed through the negligence of an in-vitro fertilization clinic touched off a firestorm of political defense for the IVF enterprise, three GOP Congressmen have stuck their necks out to seek answers, reports Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews, “about the lack of oversight of the IVF industry and the destruction of untold numbers of human embryos through IVF.

The Daily Signal obtained a copy of the April 30 letter to CDC director Mandy Cohen,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “signed by US Representatives Josh Brecheen (R-OK), Andrew Clyde (R-GA) and Matthew Rosendale (R-MT).”

Notes the letter, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘The IVF industry has long operated under the radar of lawmakers in the United States,’ not even being required ‘to be transparent about their participation’ in ‘eugenics or carelessly destroying human life. This carelessness has earned the US the title of the “Wild West” of assisted reproductive technology,’” the Congressmen assert in their letter.

“‘Clinics are not required to disclose the total number of embryos they create, how many they store indefinitely or how many they destroy and for what reasons,’ the lawmakers write,” reports Mr. Freiburger. “‘Shockingly, clinics are not even required to disclose statistics on their application of genetic screening, which more than 70% of fertility clinics utilize for sex selection.’”

Displaying an unusual degree of perception, the three Representatives note in their letter: “‘Advancing technology raises further concerns that clinics will use genetic screening to choose the “best” embryos based on traits like eye or hair color, complexion or potential height. In the US, this technology is already used to select or discard embryos based on eye color,’ they continue.

“With those issues in mind, the Congressmen,” reports Mr. Freiburger, “called on [Ms.] Cohen to answer a series of questions by the end of the month, asking to know if the CDC keeps track of how many embryos are created [via IVF] annually, how many of them are screened for ‘sex selection, genetic abnormalities or physical attributes such as eye, skin or hair color,’ and how many are destroyed afterward.

“The letter also requests the CDC’s recommendations about the number of embryos created per cycle, the treatment and destruction of ‘excesses’ and the use of genetic screening, as well as whether the agency has any ‘moral or ethical concerns’ about the practices.

“‘The American people must be made fully aware of how many embryos the IVF industry destroys and the decisions behind this destruction of human life,’ [Rep.] Brecheen told the Signal,” reported by LifeSiteNews. “‘Congress cannot continue to allow clinics to conceal their activities from the public.’”


Victory, for Now, in New York

A NEW YORK JUDGE HAS BLOCKED THE ABORTION CARTEL’s ATTEMPT to secure ballot access for a proposed state constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion and gender-bending procedures as a right, ruling, notes Calvin Freiburger for LifeSiteNews, “that the state failed to follow the proper procedure to place it on the November ballot.” An appeal is expected.

The victory might be temporary, but still, we can rejoice and be thankful – and pray that it holds.

Here’s the wording of the proposed “equal protection of law amendment,” reported by Mr. Freiburger: “‘No person shall, because of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed, or religion, or sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy, be subjected to any discrimination in his or her their civil rights by any other person or by any firm, corporation, or institution, or by the state or any agency or subdivision of the state pursuant to law.’”

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: Of all the proposed or adopted state constitutional amendments we have ever read, this one is the most convoluted, obtuse, impossible to apply. We invite our readers to read it again and attempt to interpret how, realistically, it would be implemented.]

The LifeSiteNews report quotes GOP State Sen. George Borrello as calling it “‘very vague’ and ‘very broad.’” However tossed the word salad is, “the language … is expected to be interpreted by courts,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “as pre-empting any meaningful law limiting or regulating abortion or ‘sex reassignment’ even for minors.”

This thing has been tossing around for quite some time. New York’s constitution offers supposed safeguards by requiring a proposed amendment to be approved by both chambers of the legislature not once but twice, and this one was examined (supposedly) and adopted by the legislature first in July of 2022 and then again the following January, well more than a year ago.

Then “Republican state Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes filed a lawsuit,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “arguing that lawmakers had voted before the state attorney general’s office took the requisite 20 days to render an opinion on its compatibility with the rest of the constitution.

“Now, Politico reports,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “New York Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle has agreed with [Assemblywoman] Byrnes, removing the amendment from the ballot. ‘“Substantial” compliance is not compliance, and this Court cannot condone actions taken by the Legislature in derogation of the expressed will of the People,’ he said, rebuking Democrats’ argument. The constitution is the supreme will of the people,’ he added. ‘This court cannot condone the actions taken by the Legislature in derogation of the expressed will of the people. The Legislature’s vote … prior to receiving the opinion of the attorney general frustrated the deliberative process intended by the people.’” Whatever works.

Notes state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘In their rush to pass this amendment, the Legislature never held a single hearing on the proposal, never consulted with outside constitutional experts and falsely asserted this amendment was necessary to protect abortion rights in the state.’”


Will the Court Admit? – This Federal Law Protects Unborn Children

May 7, 2024, LifeSiteNews commentary by David Bjornstrom, retired California attorney

             The Supreme Court conducted a hearing recently in a case to decide whether federal law governing hospital emergency rooms requires them to commit so-called “emergency” abortions in states where those abortions would otherwise be illegal. Much of the hearing focused on the legal principle that federal law overrides an inconsistent state law.

             Unfortunately, all of the Justices except for Justice Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch pretty much ignored the obvious answer … a provision in the federal law requiring protection for the woman’s “unborn child.” Justice Alito noted that this reference to the “unborn child” imposes a duty not only to the pregnant woman but also to the baby, so there is no conflict between the federal law and the state protections for the unborn. The federal statute requires emergency rooms to care for two patients, mother and child.

             According to Justice Alito, “the plain meaning is that the hospital must try to eliminate any immediate threat to the child, but performing an abortion is antithetical to that duty.”

             Nor does the federal law limit its protection for unborn children to emergency rooms in pro-life states. Since the federal law supersedes any state law, federal law protection for the “unborn child” should override any pro-abortion laws in pro-abortion states as well. [emphasis added by Life Advocacy Briefing]

             An honest reading of the federal law would require hospital emergency rooms in pro-abortion states to protect the unborn child without regard to those states’ laws.

             But the Court obviously did not want to ask or answer that question.

             True, this case came from the state of Idaho, a relatively pro-life state, so the Court was limiting its inquiry to the effect of the federal law in a pro-life state. But let’s be honest, it was the Court’s choice to hear a case in that limited context on those limited terms. The Supreme Court can choose whatever cases it wants and ask whatever questions it wants to answer.

             The Court’s decision is expected by summer, and there is a reasonable chance of a limited ruling in favor of the state of Idaho. But will the Court’s so-called “conservative majority” ever get to the real issue of applying the federal law’s protections for unborn children to all of the states?


Look Where ‘Life’ & Family Scored a Victory!

May 3, 2024, Report by Stefano Gennarini JD for Center for Family & Human Rights

             In a major setback to Western countries, the declaration to mark the 30th anniversary of the landmark UN Conference on Population & Development held at Cairo in 1994 does not even contain euphemisms for abortion and homosexual/trans policies like the term “sexual and reproductive health” and language about “intersectionality.”

             The declaration was adopted by the UN Commission on Population & Development this week after negotiations that delegates described as “hot” and “tense.”

             From the outset, the Honduran Ambassador to the United Nations, Noemí Espinoza Madrid, attempted to bypass paragraph by paragraph negotiations, as is customary in intergovernmental processes. This was made worse by the fact that her proposed agreement emphasized sexual and reproductive health multiple times but did not focus on the priorities of many traditional countries, specifically, the family, poverty, and the right to development.

             Western governments could not risk another failure to reach an agreement at the Commission on Population & Development. Seven of the last 10 sessions of the annual commission have failed to produce an agreement after negotiations collapsed over these very issues.

             In the end, traditional countries convinced other UN member states to adopt a short procedural document that does not mention sexual policies at all.

             The setback for Western countries is compounded by the fact that the declaration does not expressly commit countries to the 1994 Cairo agreement past the year 2030, as they wanted. The UN system is already debating the UN development goals that will replace the current ones in 2030. After the declaration was adopted, the disagreements voiced in closed negotiation spilled over on the floor of the commission.

             Delegates from Africa and the Middle East complained of the Western focus on sexual policies during negotiations and emphasized the importance of policies to eradicate poverty, protection of the family, as well as respect for sovereignty, culture and religion.

             Western countries complained that the declaration adopted a “minimalist” approach.

             Biden administration officials and some Western delegates were adamant that they will continue to promote abortion and gender ideology under the pretext of implementing the 1994 agreement in their official statements at the conference.

             “Maternal health, access to contraception and safe abortion are inextricably linked,” said Jessica Marcella, HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs, in the U.S. official statement at the commission.

             Marcella re-committed the Biden-Harris Administration to a “whole-of-government approach” to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights at home and abroad. She complained of “setbacks” and said there was no place in the world for “subversive efforts to maintain gender inequality” against abortion and gender ideology.

             The debates about the declaration for the 30th anniversary of the Cairo conference prove that reproductive health and gender policies are more controversial today than in 1994. This is largely because Western countries and the organizations they fund are no longer coy about what these policies mean. When Western countries and UN agencies first began to promote terms like “gender” and “sexual and reproductive health” 30 years ago, the terms were new and no one understood them. Now, it is impossible to deny that they are vehicles for abortion, homosexual/transgender issues and sexual autonomy for children.