October 23, 2020

Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Judge Barrett's Supreme Court Nomination

Judge Amy Coney Barrett
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-0 to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination to the full senate.

All Republicans on the court voted in favor of the nominee, while Democrats boycotted the vote. Instead, they left pictures of people who they argued would lose their health insurance under a Supreme Court including Judge Barrett. They continued to claim throughout the hearings that Judge Barrett would strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. Barrett gave no indication that she would do so while she was questioned by the court. She repeatedly said that she would not pre-commit to decisions, following in the footsteps of past court nominees. She did say, however, that the Supreme Court would need to determine whether the Affordable Care Act should stand without the individual mandate.

In a speech Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave before the Judiciary Committee's vote, he said, “We will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just twelve days before the culmination of an election that is already underway.” 

The final vote before the full Senate is scheduled for Monday, October 26. If votes are otherwise along party lines once again, Republicans could lose up to three votes and still successfully confirm Judge Barrett.

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Report Says Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers Served 2 Million People in 2019

photo credit: Daiga Ellaby / Unsplash
Among other things, a new study from the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) says that the growing number of pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) provided free services to 1.85 million people in the United States during 2019.

The CLI study, titled "Pregnancy Centers Stand the Test of Time," shows that the approximately 2,700 pregnancy centers nationwide provided an estimated value of $270 million in services and material assistance to those in need. These services included 732,000 pregnancy tests, 486,000 ultrasounds, and 160,000 STI/STD tests. Additionally, PRCs provide items like diapers and car seats, parenting/prenatal education, after-abortion recovery, and abortion pill reversal.

Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, said, “Pregnancy centers exist to serve and support mothers in the courageous decision to give their children life, even under the most difficult circumstances. This report calculates the impact of their mission of love in concrete terms.”

PRCs continue to assist communities to the benefit of parents and their unborn children every day. This report shows that donors and volunteers throughout the country doing "boots-on-the-ground" work are saving lives.

Click here to read more.

Appeals Court Upholds Kentucky Hospital Transfer Agreement Law

photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
On Oct. 16, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Kentucky law requiring abortion facilities (and all other ambulatory surgical centers in the state) to maintain “a written agreement with a licensed acute-care hospital capable of treating patients with unforeseen complications related to an abortion facility procedure” and “a written agreement with a licensed local ambulance service.”

This decision overrules a 2018 ruling by U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers, which had said that the regulations on abortion clinics placed too large of a barrier between women and abortion access. EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky both sued the state to challenge the law after it closed an abortion clinic that was operating without a license.

The Appeals Court majority opinion writes, “In 1998, the Kentucky General Assembly imposed new licensing requirements on abortion providers in response to concerns about the appalling, unsanitary conditions in some Kentucky abortion facilities.” Live Action News says that the reason the law wasn't challenged for so long is that it was never actually enforced until 2016.

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October 22, 2020

Facebook Suspends Ads from Pro-Life Group After Biased Fact-Check Claims Biden-Harris Don't Support Abortion

photo credit: Kon Karampelas / Unsplash
After publishing ads for Susan B. Anthony List on Facebook and Instagram which pointed out that the Biden-Harris presidential ticket supports abortion "up to the moment of birth," Facebook (which owns both platforms) suspended Choose Life Marketing's Facebook Business Manager Account.

To justify the suspension, Facebook relied on a fact-check from The Dispatch, which was taken down by an editor. The Dispatch posted the following response on its website:

"The fact-check was published in error and in draft form, before it had been through final edits and our own internal fact-checking process. As a result, the viral post was assigned a “partly false” rating that we have determined is not justified after completing The Dispatch fact-checking process. We regret the error and apologize to the Women Speak Out PAC. We’ve pulled the fact-check and lifted the rating."

A Facebook spokesperson told the National Review that they were working to have the ads reinstated.

Choose Life Marketing told Live Action News that Facebook's restrictions on its account are also preventing the organization from publishing ads for pro-life pregnancy centers. Furthermore, Facebook has told them that it may take weeks for the issue to be reviewed.

Choose Life Marketing content marketing manager Marcie Little told Live Action News,

“This means for weeks, we won’t be able to run Facebook or Instagram ads for the pregnancy centers we serve. As paying customers of Facebook, it is appalling our account was locked without reason and their only answer for us is it might take weeks to hear back from them.”

“Our inability to run ads on two of the largest social media platforms these women use means they may not find out about the alternatives to abortion available to them,” Little continued.

“They won’t hear about the compassionate, caring pregnancy center staff who can listen to their fears and concerns about an unplanned pregnancy. They won’t learn about the free resources available to them if they choose life. The only option they’ll hear about is abortion, which has lasting negative impact on their lives — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Facebook will be responsible for women missing out on the care they need and deserve in one of the darkest, scariest moments of their lives.”

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that he plans on asking about this incident when Zuckerberg is under oath discussing big tech censorship in front of Congress in the coming weeks.

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Lawyer Forced out of Job Due to Pregnancy Describes Discrimination Against Working Mothers

In an article published on Yahoo! Lifestyle, lawyer Jenny Leon wrote about her experience working for a private law firm while being pregnant. She described how watching other women in her practice made her afraid for the future and how her treatment eventually made her feel as though she had no choice but to leave.

"Looking around me, my future seemed bleak," Leon wrote.
"One evening I peered into the office of a partner, a young mother, who was passed out on her desk. On a client call one evening, I listened to another partner, this one a single mother, pleading with the client to push an arbitrary deadline to the next morning, as she needed to be home by 9 p.m. to relieve her babysitter. Her pleas were briskly dismissed."
The needs of mothers in the workplace are often overlooked by employers who only value workers when they are the most productive. This causes many employers to encourage the use of abortion for working women who become pregnant. It can easily be seen by them as a "quick fix" to the lower productivity a woman might have while pregnant or caring for a child.

"This situation seemed preferable to the alternative: the partners who lived in the land of deep regret," Leon continued.
"There was the woman who kept an apartment in the city and only saw her kids on weekends. After her kids grew up, she moved across the country to where one of them lived, so she could at least be present for her grandchildren. One woman regretfully told me that she would never have kids. She worked too hard to either meet a man or to do it on her own. Another spoke about how she waited too long to have children and ended up needing numerous rounds of fertility treatments."
Leon described how she received a call from a partner at the law firm while she was experiencing spotting from her pregnancy. He wanted her to complete a letter for the firm, but she was unable to do so at that moment. The next day, Leon heard from a friend at work that the partner who called her was saying that she "flaked again for some pregnancy-related excuse."

Leon wrote,
"I had given so much of myself, my time, my sweat, my tears and my pregnancy to this man. "But the second I expected some basic human consideration, I was thrown away like a dirty diaper. If I couldn’t give them everything, I was nothing. I had fallen into the stereotype of a woman whose priorities had shifted and my baby hadn’t even been born.

I knew there was no choice. I had to leave."

Leon ended her piece by pointing out that her mother, who was also a lawyer, similarly felt the need to quit her job after Leon was born. According to her, very little has changed in those 35 years.

Click here to read more.

October 21, 2020

Pro-Abortion Groups Call on Sen. Dianne Feinstein to Step Down from Judiciary Committee for Giving the Barrett Hearings the "appearance of credibility."

Sen. Diane Feinstein and Sen. Lindsey Graham
embracing after Senate Judiciary Committee
hearings on Oct. 15.
image captured from C-Span video
Several pro-abortion organizations, including the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), have called on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to step down as the Democrat ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee after she gave the "appearance of credibility" to Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's committee hearings.

During the Oct. 15 hearing, Sen. Feinstein thanked Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham (R-SC) for presiding over “one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.” 

“I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth,” Feinstein said.

“It leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions, and even some ideas--perhaps some good bipartisan legislation we can put together to make this great country even better.”

Feinstein has made it no secret that she plans to vote no on Judge Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, but she still thanked Sen. Graham for conducting fair hearings and embraced him after the hearing had finished.

In response, NARAL president Ilyse Hogue gave a statement that "the committee needs new leadership" because Feinstein gave an “appearance of credibility to the proceedings,” which the NARAL argues are illegitimate due to their proximity to the U.S. election.

“Americans--whose lives hang in the balance--deserve leadership that underscores how unprecedented, shameful and wrong this process is.”

The group Demand Justice also came out with statements denouncing Feinstein's conduct during the Barrett hearings, as well as a petition asking Sen. Feinstein to step down.

In the petition, Demand Justice wrote, “Sen. Feinstein has undercut Democrats' position at every step of this process, from undermining calls for filibuster and Court reform straight through to thanking Republicans for the most egregious partisan power grab in the modern history of the Supreme Court.”

This response from pro-abortion political activists to polite and respectful statements coming from a politician who agrees with their beliefs is a saddening sign of the times.

Click here to read more.

University of Northern Iowa Student Government Rejects Students for Life Group. Labels it a "Hate Group."

photo credit: James McNellis / Flickr
The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) student government has rejected a request from pro-life students to officially register a Students for Life group on campus. After the UNI student government voted against the group's application to register, the student judiciary held a heated discussion upholding that decision.

Sophomore Sophia Schuster, who went through the process to register the Students for Life group, spoke with The Courier about the situation.

“I was absolutely floored by the (student) supreme court’s decision after we appealed it,” she said. “The charge I brought against the senate was that they rejected us not based on any policies, but that they rejected us on personal beliefs.”

A video released by the Young America's Foundation shows members of the UNI student government arguing Students for Life, which has chapters in other schools, "engages in hate speech."
Before the student court voted to uphold the government's decision, Young America's Foundation also received a response from a UNI spokesperson, who said the following:

“The University of Northern Iowa is committed to protecting our students’ First Amendment rights and is concerned that recent actions by the student government violated UNI policy by rendering a decision that was not content-neutral.  We have provided the petitioning student organization with resources and encouraged them to appeal the decision...

If the court declines to grant their petition, the student group can appeal that ruling to the university president.

UNI will not uphold a decision that violates the First Amendment and university policy.”

Schuster told The Courier that she was in the process of appealing the decision to the UNI president.

“I was absolutely floored by the (student) supreme court’s decision after we appealed it,” said Schuster. “The charge I brought against the senate was that they rejected us not based on any policies, but that they rejected us on personal beliefs.”

President of the national Students for Life organization said that legal counsel has been contacted on behalf of the UNI group.

October 20, 2020

Preborn Child Delivered and Dies After Chicago Mother Shot and Killed

Stacey Jones with her two surviving sons
photo from her family's gofundme
Early in the morning on Tuesday, October 13th, 35-year-old Stacey Jones, a Cook County adult probation officer who was pregnant with her third child, was shot to death near her home on the south side of Chicago. Jones's unborn child was successfully delivered by physicians and brought to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition, where the baby boy died just before 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 17. He was only 4 days old.

Illinois is one of 38 states that have fetal homicide laws. Illinois code defines an “unborn child” as “any individual of the human species from the implantation of an embryo until birth.” While Illinois code may also be one of the most generous in the United States for abortionists, it still applies a degree of value to unborn human life when it is taken maliciously in events like this.

Chicago police have questioned person, but the suspect was released without pressing charges. Detectives are still investigating the shooting. Authorities believe that the shooting was not a random act.

Click here to read more.

Texas Supreme Court Rejects Hospital's Appeal to End Treatment for Baby Tinslee

Tinslee Lewis
On Oct. 16, the Texas Supreme Court denied a hospital's appeal to withdraw medical care from 18-month old Tinslee Lewis, whose family has been in a legal battle with the state over the 10-day rule for nearly a year.

In November of 2019, Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas invoked the Texas 10-day rule on baby Lewis and her family. This meant that the family had ten days to find another medical provider willing to provide healthcare for Tinslee, or the hospital would withdraw life-sustaining medical care and allow Tinslee to die.

Trinity Lewis, Tinslee's mother, has accused the hospital of giving false information about her daughter's condition. She has been fighting the hospital over the legality of the 10-day rule in court, and questions about the rule's constitutionality have come into question.

October 19, 2020

Tammy Duckworth Gives Statement on Senate Judiciary Committee Vote on Barrett Nomination

Sen. Tamy Duckworth (D-IL)
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) has unsurprisingly taken a hard stance against the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. It's no secret that the Oct. 22 Senate Judiciary Committee vote regarding Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court is a very partisan subject. Now Sen. Duckworth has put together a response to be sent to any constituents asking her to support President Trump's nominee.

In this response, she paints Barrett as an extreme "anti-choice" judicial activist who supports "arresting mothers who use IVF [in-vitro fertilization] in the future" because she "associated herself with an Indiana organization, St. Joseph County Right to Life." Because St. Joseph County Right to Life has said it would support criminalizing the disposal of frozen embryos, Duckworth called her association with the organization "disqualifying".

Barrett did sign her name for a newspaper advertisement supporting the right to life, but that advertisement did not reference the issue of IVF.

Duckworth's written response goes on to argue that Barrett would rule against the Affordable Care Act and that the Republican party should abstain from nominating or accepting Supreme Court Justices during an election. The former of these has little basis in reason. During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings last week, Judge Barrett said that the Supreme Court would need to consider whether to remove the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act while allowing other aspects of it to remain standing. The outcry against a new Trump Supreme Court nominee at this time is purely a partisan argument. Voters have little reason to believe that the situation would be any different if the parties were reversed.

Many pundits predict that the committee vote will be strictly along party lines. Republicans would accept Judge Barrett's nomination, and Democrats would reject her. Because Republicans have the majority in the Senate, Barrett is likely to be accepted by both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate.

October 16, 2020

Appeals Court Rules Against Texas Ban on Dismemberment Abortion

photo credit: Bill Oxford / Unsplash
On Tuesday, a three-judge panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to strike down a Texas law banning dismemberment abortions. The abortion method involves tearing an unborn child's limbs and head from its body piece by piece so it can be removed from a woman's body without inducing labor. This is done because the child's body has grown too large to be removed by other abortion methods.

Judge James Dennis wrote in his opinion that the law “forces abortion providers to act contrary to their medical judgment and the best interest of their patient.” He opines that the law would  require abortionists to use “dangerous” procedures that offer “no benefit to the woman. He wrote that its “burdens substantially outweigh its benefits.”

In response to the decision, Texas Right to life wrote, "After a three-year wait, the decision by the three-judge panel is disappointing and demonstrates the need for judges who follow the strictest interpretation of the Constitution. However, Texas must continue the legal battle to force a federal circuit court split, pressuring the Supreme Court of the United States to evaluate the merits of the law."

Click here to read more.

Day 4 of Barrett Hearings. Committee Vote Set for Oct. 22.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett
screenshot from C-Span
Thursday marked the fourth day of hearings regarding Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to fill a seat on the Supreme Court. The day included a failed call from Sen. Dick Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to delay the confirmation process "indefinitely", as well as statements from several witnesses. The committee's final vote to bring the nominee before the full Senate is set for Thursday, Oct. 22.

In a motion that occurred early in the day, Sen. Blumenthal argued that the confirmation proceedings should be delayed "indefinitely". He accused the Republican members of the committee of rushing the process, but his motion failed to pass a committee vote.

As the committee voted Thursday morning to put Judge Barrett's nomination in front of the full Senate, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D) also objected. He argued that the vote should be delayed further since two members of the minority were not present at the hearing. His complaints were unsuccessful, however, and the voting date was set.

Later in the day, several witnesses came before the committee to advocate for and against Judge Barrett's nomination. American Bar Association chair Randall Noel vouched for Barrett, citing her qualifications, integrity, and judicial temperament. Students and clerks of Barrett's called her kind, fair, and empathetic.

Retired Judge Thomas Griffith argued that Barrett's religious beliefs would not impact her interpretation of the law. He said “When wearing the robe, there is no conflict between following God and following Caesar. It’s Caesar all the way down.” He further pointed to a "buffer-zone" case in which she ruled against pro-life demonstrators.

Witnesses against Barrett included a physician from Michigan who was concerned Barrett would strike down the Affordable Care Act, a West Virginian survivor of sexual abuse who feared the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and a mother who argued that the Affordable Care Act made it possible for her to pay for medical care her prematurely-born twins needed.

Barrett has stated repeatedly while being questioned that the Affordable Care Act would not necessarily be struck down in its entirety, even if the Supreme Court were to rule against it. She suggested that justices would have to deliberate about whether the legislators who crafted the Affordable Care Act would have wanted the law to stand without an individual mandate. This explanation makes it seem unlikely that the Affordable Care Act would be repealed in full, but Democrat Senators have stuck to the narrative regardless.

The stance taken by anti-Barrett witnesses is contradictory and bizarre. The witnesses simultaneously implied that Barrett is too pro-life to be brought to the Supreme Court and that she would not protect prematurely born children's right to healthcare. Her qualifications and demeanor have not been challenged. Instead, anti-Barrett politicians relied on emotional arguments with false premises.

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October 15, 2020

Takeaways from Day 3 of Barrett Hearings

screenshot from C-Span
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee continued their questioning on day three of the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Wednesday. During the hearing, Barrett was asked whether she believed Roe v. Wade had "super precedent" and several Senators tried to convince the public that Barrett would strike down Griswold v. Connecticut.

When asked about "super-precedent," meaning that the decision made in a Supreme Court decision has been accepted to the point that it would be incredibly difficult to reverse, Judge Barrett said that Roe v. WadePlanned Parenthood v. Casey, and the gun rights case D.C. v. Heller do not fall under this category. She argued that "super-precedent" only applies to cases that are so well-established that nobody questions their reasoning. She cited Brown v. Board of Education and Marbury v. Madison as decisions with "super-precedent." Cases like Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey cannot have "super-precedent" with this definition, because they are litigated constantly.

Some Senate Democrats have tried to push the narrative that Judge Barrett, if she is placed on the Supreme Court, would strike down Griswold v. Connecticut. This decision ruled that states cannot ban the use of contraception for married couples.

“I think that Griswold is very, very, very, very, very, very unlikely to go anywhere,” Barrett said, responding to a question from Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). She was straightforward in saying that she did not believe the ruling was in any danger of being overturned.

Barrett added that questions were being used by senators "to lay a predicate" for later questions about Roe v. Wade. When responding to questions from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), she said, “Griswold does lie at the base of the doctrine that very much is challenged in federal court.”

Later court cases regarding contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage relied on precedent from Griswold v. Connecticut.

October 14, 2020

Federal Judge Upholds Several Indiana Pro-Life Laws. More Rulings to Come.

Indiana Attorney General
Curtis Hill
Making Illinois stand out even further as a pro-abortion island surrounded by pro-life states, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker upheld several Indiana laws yesterday which prioritize the safety of women seeking abortions and ensure that they are entirely informed about the decision they are making.

The ongoing lawsuit of Whole Women's Health Alliance against the state of Indiana began in 2018, when the Indiana State Department of Health denied the abortion business's request for a license to continue performing medication-induced abortions at its South Bend clinic.

The upheld laws include a requirement that abortion clinics be licensed, a requirement that abortion clinics report abortions to the state, a requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, a requirement that all women seeking abortions have ultrasounds beforehand, and a requirement that women be informed about certain details of the abortion process 18 hours before having an abortion.

According to a press release from Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill's office, "The judge also upheld under the Due Process Clause restrictions on the dosage and administration of the abortion drug mifepristone, as well as specifications for abortion clinic facilities. And finally, the judge affirmed under the Due Process Clause Indiana’s law requiring parental consent or a judicial bypass order before a minor can have an abortion."

The lawsuit against the state of Indiana will continue to challenge several requirements passed by the pro-life legislature, however. The same press release by AG Hill said,

"...the plaintiffs are challenging Indiana laws that require, among other things:

  • that abortions be conducted by physicians;
  • that second-trimester abortions be conducted in hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers;
  • that women seeking abortions have an in-person examination and in-person informed-consent counseling before undergoing the abortion;
  • that women seeking abortions be told that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm, that a fetus can feel pain from abortion, and that abortion entails both physical and mental health risks for the mother."
Further litigation will continue on March 15, 2021.

Barrett to Senate Judiciary Committee: "I have no agenda."

Judge Amy Coney Barrett
screen capture from C-Span
On Tuesday, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein to comment on whether she thought Roe v. Wade or Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey was wrongfully decided. Barrett, like many nominees before her, declined to give a direct answer as to how she interpreted specific decisions. She did speak more about her philosophy as a judge, however.

“I can’t pre-commit or say, ‘Yes, I’m going in with some agenda,’ because I am not,” Judge Barrett said. “I don’t have any agenda. I have no agenda to try and overrule Casey. I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.” 

“I will follow the law of stare decisis, applying it as the court is articulating it,” said Barrett. Stare decisis is the legal principle of deference to previous decisions made by the court. “Applying all the factors--reliance, workability, being undermined by latter facts and law, just all the standard factors.” 

She further promised that for any issue that comes to the court, even if it has to do with abortion, she would follow the law.

Click here to read more.

October 13, 2020

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds First Hearing for Amy Coney Barrett

Judge Amy Coney Barrett
On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing with President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Democrat committee members attacked the nominee for supposedly wanting to take away healthcare and overrule Roe v. Wade, and pro-abortion protestors were arrested for blocking the entrance to the Senate building.

Sen. Cory Booker accused Judge Barrett of wanting to enable states to "criminalize women" by opposing Roe v. Wade. If the Supreme Court decision is overturned, then states would gain the ability to allow or ban abortion.

Klobuchar similarly attacked Barrett's pro-life views, saying she is, "a justice whose views are known and who will have a profound impact on your life…who you can marry, decisions you can make about your own body.” 

The Democrat Senators continued to argue that the Senate should abstain from voting on Trump's nominee until after the election. By delaying the vote, Democrats can try to get additional seats in the Senate and perhaps control of the presidency in the 2020 election. This judge would also be much more likely to be pro-abortion.

Judge Barrett took a thoughtful approach to her opening statement, saying, "Courts have a vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society. But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try."

Many pro-lifers would consider the decision of Roe v. Wade to be a policy decision made by the court and will agree whole-heartedly with this sentiment. It is well-known that Judge Barrett holds pro-life beliefs, but it is unclear how exactly she would rule on abortion if she were to hold a position on the highest court in the United States. Some judges, such as Chief Justice John Roberts, will rarely if ever overrule a previous decision by the Supreme Court.

Click here to read Judge Barrett's full statement.

October 12, 2020

Biden Says, "You’ll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over"

Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden
photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
When Joe Biden was pressured once again to state his opinion on "court-packing," this time by journalists rather than the president, Biden said, "You'll know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over."

Democrat legislators have suggested that if President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, they will attempt to outnumber the court's conservative majority by appointing additional justices past the total of nine that the court has traditionally used for the last 150 years. This has been referred to by Republicans as "packing the court." In the first presidential debate, President Trump challenged Biden to tell voters whether he would pack the court, but the Democratic presidential candidate refused to answer.

“The moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that rather than focusing on what’s happening now,” Biden said on Thursday, Oct. 8. The former vice-president went on to argue that the president's nominee shouldn't be confirmed because voting for the presidential election has already started.

The very next day, Biden was asked if the voters deserved to know Biden's plan for the Supreme Court if he was elected, to which he responded, "No, they don't deserve [to]. I'm not gonna play [President Trump's] game."

Biden has repeatedly stated that he will not give his stance on packing the court because that will become a huge topic of conversation heading into the election. He would rather have the media focused on what President Trump is doing now, which Biden believes will be more beneficial to his election prospects.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List, commented on Biden's refusal to say whether he would add justices to the Supreme Court.
“It is becoming more clear every single day that the reason Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will not answer the simple question on court packing is because the answer is ‘yes.’ It is the latest example of Joe Biden being completely beholden to the most extreme elements of the Democratic Party, the same radical activists he caved to when he endorsed taxpayer-funded abortion. It is time for Joe Biden to show transparency and admit he’s once again caved to the leftist pro-abortion extremists and will pack the Court if elected.” 

Click here to read more. 

October 9, 2020

The Presidential Record on Life

President Donald J. Trump 


"America, when it is at its best, follows a set of rules that have worked since our Founding. One of those rules is that we, as Americans, revere life and have done so since our Founders made it the first, and most important, of our 'unalienable' rights." 

-President Donald J. Trump 

Supreme Court: President Trump has appointed Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. These appointments are consistent with the belief that federal courts should enforce the rights truly based on the text and history of the Constitution. 

Appointments: President Trump has appointed numerous pro-life advocates in his administration and cabinet including Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. 

Mexico City Policy: President Trump restored the "Mexico City Policy," which prevents tax funds from being given to organizations that perform abortions or lobby to change the abortion laws of host countries. He later expanded the policy to prevent $9 billion in foreign aid from being used to fund the global abortion industry. 

Defunding Planned Parenthood: President Trump supports directing funding away from Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. In a September 2016 letter to pro life leaders, he noted that “I am committed to... defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and re-allocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women." 

Abortion Funding: In 2017, President Trump issued a statement affirming his strong support for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, saying he "would sign the bill.” The bill would permanently prohibit any federal program from funding elective abortion. 

Funding Abortion Providers: In 2018, President Trump's Health and Human Services Department issued regulations to ensure Title X funding does not go to facilities that perform or refer for abortions. In 2017 President Trump signed a resolution into law that overturned an eleventh-hour regulation by the Obama administration that prohibited states from defunding certain abortion facilities in their federally funded family planning programs. 

International Abortion Advocacy: The Trump Administration cut off funding for the United Nations Population Fund due to that agency's involvement in China's forced abortion program. Additionally, President Trump instructed the Secretary of State to apply pro-life conditions to a broad range of health related U.S. foreign aid. 

Protecting the Unborn: President Trump supports the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation extends protection to unborn children who are at least 20 weeks because by this point in development (and probably earlier), the unborn have the capacity to experience excruciating pain during typical abortion procedures. 

Protecting Pro-Life Policies: President Trump has pledged "to veto any legislation that weakens current pro-life federal policies and laws, or that encourages the destruction of innocent human life at any state." 

The Vice-Presidential Debate and Abortion

photo credit: C-SPAN
In Wednesday night's vice-presidential debate moderated by USA-Today journalist Susan Page, questions important to the topic of abortion came up multiple times, which may come as a surprise to viewers of last week's presidential debate. Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence's answers to those questions may be less surprising.

During the debate, Page noted before one of her questions that Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice “would cement the Court’s conservative majority” and “would make it likely open to more abortion restrictions.” This could potentially include the overruling of Roe v. Wade. Page asked each of the candidates what they would want their home states to do if the legality of abortion was passed to the states (as would be the case if Roe v. Wade was overruled). Neither candidate answered that question directly, but both candidates did state their positions on abortion.

“There’s the issue of choice, and I will always fight for a woman’s right to make a decision about her own body,” Senator Harris said. “It should be her decision, and not that of Donald Trump and the Vice President Mike Pence.”

Pro-life Americans know that this statement is built on a lie. The decision that a woman makes when she has an abortion does not only involve her body, but also the body of the innocent unborn child inside of her. Politicians who attempt to restrict or end abortion are not trying to control the choices and bodies of women. They are trying to protect unborn human beings who have the right to be born.

In response to the topic of abortion, Vice President Pence said, “I couldn’t be more proud to serve as vice president to a president who stands without apology for the sanctity of human life. I am pro-life, I don’t apologize for it.”

Pence continued by asking Senator Harris whether a Biden administration would "pack the court" if Judge Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court. If the Biden administration added additional justices past the traditional nine that the court has had for over 150 years, it could overrule the conservative majority put in place by President Trump. Senator Harris's response never answered the Vice President's question. President Trump also asked this question to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last week, but Biden directly refused to answer.

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October 8, 2020

YouTube and Vimeo Remove Video of Mom Begging Hospital to Provide Medical Care for her Preemie Twins

Emery Finnefrock
In 2017, Amanda Finnefrock watched her premature twin sons Emery and Elliot die in front of her while Riverside Methodist Hospital refused to provide them with medical treatment. In 2018, the pro-life organization Created Equal made a video to help publicize the incident to change the hospital's policy and get justice for the twins. Just recently however, after the Department of Health and Human Services announced that they were investigating the incident, the video hosting platforms Vimeo and YouTube took down the video.

Thankfully, it is still available on Facebook.

It is strange that the social media companies would wait two years to remove the videos, and specifically did so after their claims were validated by the announcement of an investigation by the federal government. “First YouTube removed the video — saying it violated ‘community standards,'” said Created Equal Director of External Affairs Gabriel Vance told Live Action News. “Then Vimeo followed suit claiming: ‘You cannot upload videos that are hateful, defamatory, or discriminatory.'”

YouTube was not specific in how the video violated its policy, but the video was certainly not hateful or discriminatory. The only explanation that would make sense with Vimeo's complaint is that the company is trying to defend the hospital from content it believes is "defamatory." Nothing in the video is false, however. This leads many pro-lifers to believe that social media companies are taking this side to defend the abortion industry and muzzle the idea that unborn children can be viable at only 22 weeks gestation.

YouTube's history with viral pro-life content gives some credibility to this theory.

Pro-lifers need to be wary of tech companies that mark life-affirming ideas as "hateful" or "fake news," even if the stories are completely true. President Trump has attempted to fight social media bias with an executive order, but much more headway needs to be made on this front.

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October 7, 2020

McConnell: "We are full steam ahead" with Barrett Confirmation Process

Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
In a statement he gave on the Senate floor Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "We are full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, and timely confirmation process that Judge Barrett, the Court, and the nation deserve."

McConnell's statement is a response to calls from Democrat Senators to delay the confirmation process after two Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee tested positive for COVID-19. Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein called on Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham to delay hearings after Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina announced that they tested positive for the disease.

“It is premature for Chairman Graham to commit to a hearing schedule when we do not know the full extent of potential exposure stemming from the president’s infection and before the White House puts in place a contact tracing plan to prevent further spread of the disease.” they wrote. “The unfortunate news about the infection of our colleague Senator Mike Lee makes even more clear that health and safety must guide the schedule for all Senate activities, including hearings.”

They went on to argue that hearings discussing the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice are too important to hold remotely. McConnell took issue with that statement and accused Democrat lawmakers of hypocrisy in his address.

He pointed out that the Senate Judiciary Committee has held hybrid hearings with some participants appearing over video and some participants appearing in person more than 20 times this year. McConnell further stated and said that "the Democratic members of the Committee have gone out of their way to praise this technology and the Chairman's flexibility with this format."

"Across all our committees, we’ve had 150 hybrid hearings since the pandemic began," McConnell continued. "The Senate has used this format no fewer than 150 times. We have continued performing our constitutional duties while protecting health and safety during the pandemic. Our Democratic colleagues have largely welcomed this approach and they have frequently taken advantage of it. So whatever mix proves to be the right decision at this time next week, it will be completely consistent with the Committee’s own precedent, and with the ways committees across the Senate have adapted and done their work throughout this pandemic."

McConnell named several senators who explicitly stated that they would try to delay the nomination process as much as they could, and denounced the use of these arguments as "stall tactics."

"Chairman [Lindsey] Graham has all the options and procedures he needs to supervise a fair, thorough, and hopefully dignified confirmation hearing next week. And that’s just what is going to happen. I look forward to seeing Judge Barrett’s brilliance and qualifications on full display starting one week from today," McConnell concluded.

Click here to read Senator McConnell's full remarks.

Biden Again Promises He would Make Roe v. Wade the Law of the Land

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden
photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
At an outdoor town hall event that aired on NBC Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that he would pass legislation making legal abortion the law of the land if Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court.

At the event, Biden asked what he would do to protect "reproductive health rights" if Judge Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Biden gave the following response:

“Number one, we don’t know exactly what [Barrett] will do, although the expectation is that she may very well move to overrule Roe, and what the only thing--the only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land,” said Biden. “That’s what I would do.” 

If Roe v. Wade is overturned by a court with Amy Coney Barrett, it would not be immediately outlawed, nor would it be easy to reinstate the policy as a federal law. The ability to grant the right to abortion would be left to individual states. Furthermore, federal bills designed to codify a right to abortion would be unlikely to gain the majority required to overcome a filibuster.

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October 6, 2020

Planned Parenthood Hypocritically Grieves the Loss of Celebrity's Preborn Son

Photo from Chrissy Teigen's Instagram Page
Celebrity couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen announced on social media that their preborn son, Jack passed away late during pregnancy. In response to the news of her miscarriage, many people reached out to the family with well-wishes and support. One of those Twitter accounts, ironically, belonged to Planned Parenthood.

On Instagram, Chrissy Teigen lamented the loss of her son, “We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” she wrote. “We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough.”

Later on in her post, she continued, “To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you. We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience. But every day can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.”

Planned Parenthood's Twitter account gave the following statement about the news: "We're so sorry to hear that Chrissy Teigen and John Legend lost their son, and we admire them for sharing their story."

Many on Twitter were quick to point out that Planned Parenthood's use of the word "son" here was uncharacteristic and even hypocritical of them. If an unborn child isn't considered "human" by abortionists, how could the abortion business consider Jack to be a "son," or even be sorry to hear about Jack's death?

Unborn children are in fact real human beings, and their death causes real feelings of loss and grief. This is unborn children, not just ones who are wanted by their mothers. The value of human life is not something that Planned Parenthood or a mother can simply decide.

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Barrett Supported Right to Life in 2006 Newspaper Ad

Supreme Court Nominee
Amy Coney Barrett
On September 30, The National Review reported that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett agreed in 2006 to let her name appear on a newspaper insert by St. Joseph County Right to Life. The ad read, “We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and support the right to life from fertilization to natural death.”

This is only the latest evidence of the nominee's pro-life stance. Her devout Catholicism and membership in Notre Dame's "Faculty for Life" have also heavily contributed to this. She has not stated whether she believes the Supreme Court should overrule the precedent of cases such as Roe v. Wade. It is also likely that she will refuse to say how she would rule on such cases, as have most Supreme Court nominees.

Some media outlets falsely reported that Barrett also endorsed an ad which appeared alongside the insert, but this is not true. St. Joseph County Right to Life also placed an ad in the paper which described Roe v. Wade as barbaric, but that ad was not approved by the people who endorsed the insert. Those people had not even seen that language.

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October 5, 2020

Democrat Leaders Call to Delay Supreme Court Nominee Hearings After Two Senators Test Positive for COVID-19

Sen. Mike Lee (UT-R)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham originally planned confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to take place on Oct. 12. After two Republican Senators tested positive for COVID-19, the potential for these hearings to be delayed has grown. 

Republican Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis of the Senate Judiciary Committee tested positive for COVID-19. Both senators made announcements on Oct. 2 that they would be self-isolating for 10 days as a result. Lee said that he assured Senate leadership he would “be back to work in time to join my Judiciary Committee colleagues in advancing the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Committee and then to the full Senate.” Senator Tillis did not comment on how his isolation might affect the nomination process.

In response to the news, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein released a statement on Friday asking Graham not to commit to a hearing schedule.

“It is premature for Chairman Graham to commit to a hearing schedule when we do not know the full extent of potential exposure stemming from the president’s infection and before the White House puts in place a contact tracing plan to prevent further spread of the disease.” they wrote. “The unfortunate news about the infection of our colleague Senator Mike Lee makes even more clear that health and safety must guide the schedule for all Senate activities, including hearings.”

Opponents to Amy Coney Barrett's nomination have suddenly decided that it would be inappropriate to hold hearings regarding her full appointment, but it is still unclear whether this will have any effect on the process. If votes go along party lines in the Senate, Republicans could lose three out of their 53 votes and successfully nominate Barrett to the court. 50 Republican votes would allow Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie, likely in favor of the nominee.

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October 2, 2020

Tennessee Abortion Pill Reversal Law Temporarily Blocked by Federal Court

On Tuesday, Federal Judge William Campbell temporarily blocked a Tennessee law that required physicians to inform patients about abortion pill reversal (APR) before administering abortion pills.

Gov. Bill Lee signed this legislation into law this July, thereby requiring abortion providers to inform patients that abortions attempted via the abortion pill regimen can be reversed. Pro-life doctors can reverse the effects of mifepristone (the first drug in the abortion pill regimen) by prescribing progesterone. It is most effective if done within 24 hours of the mother taking mifepristone.

According to CNN, the Tennessee law required abortionists to notify women about APR 48 hours before they begin the regimen, again in writing after the first pill is administered, and on "conspicuous" signage in clinics that have provided more than 50 abortions during the previous calendar year.

Five Tennessee abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU filed suit against the APR notification law in August.

In his decision to temporarily block the law's enforcement, Campbell wrote that he was “unable to assess fully the competing expert opinions as to whether the mandated message is 'truthful and not misleading,' in the absence of the experts' testimony.” He also wrote that he believed the pro-abortion plaintiffs had demonstrated, “a strong or substantial likelihood” that the mandate violates the First Amendment.

The judge's temporary block on the law will last until Oct. 13.

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October 1, 2020

How the Presidential Debate Addressed Abortion

Screenshot: C-SPAN
In the Presidential debate hosted by Chris Wallace on Sept. 29, nominees Donald Trump and Joe Biden battled on many issues. Surprisingly, perhaps even to the candidates, abortion was not discussed as much as many expected.

The topic of abortion nearly became a central part of the debate when the candidates discussed the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Biden suggested that her confirmation could lead to "women's rights" being "fundamentally changed." This likely was a reference to Roe v. Wade. He further elaborated that Roe v. Wade was "on the ballot" due to the president's ability to nominate Supreme Court justices.

Trump responded to Biden by saying Biden did not know Barrett's position on Roe v. Wade.

Chris Wallace interrupted this discussion and told the candidates that they would come back to the idea of Roe v. Wade later in the debate, but this never actually happened. Cross-talk between the candidates during the debate may have eliminated time he had originally set aside to discuss the topic of abortion.

Another relevant question posed at Biden was whether he would "pack the court" if he was elected as president after Barrett's confirmation. By adding additional justices to the Supreme Court past the nine our country has had in recent history, he could eliminate the conservative justices' potential to overturn things like Roe v. Wade or The Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, Biden refused to answer this question. "Whatever position I take on that, that’ll become the issue," he said.

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New Senate Bill would Let States Opt out of Medicaid Payments for Abortion

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)
A new Senate Bill would allow states to exclude abortion businesses from receiving Medicaid payments. States are currently required to allow all qualified medical providers to participate in the state's Medicaid program and receive payments.

On Sept. 23, Oklahoma Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) proposed S. 4658, dubbed the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act. If passed, this would give states the power to use their discretion regarding whether to allow abortion businesses to take Medicaid payments.

“Abortion isn’t about healthcare and taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to support the largest abortion providers in the country under the guise of women’s healthcare,” Lankford said in a press release. “This bill allows states to ensure that tax dollars support the thousands of health care providers without the worry that tax dollars will also contribute to abortion services at organizations like Planned Parenthood. We can simultaneously stand for the unborn while also supporting fundamental, quality health services for women everywhere.”

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Ohio Hospital Under HHS Investigation for Denying Medical Care to Premature Twins

Emery Finnefrock
In response to President Trump's executive order last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will be investigating an Ohio hospital for refusing medical care to two newborns simply because they had only reached a gestational age of 22 weeks.

The incident being investigated occurred back in 2017. Amanda Finnefrock went to Riverside Methodist Hospital because she was experiencing bleeding, and was afraid for her unborn twins. She was told by doctors there that unless her sons were born after 22 weeks and five days gestation, they would refuse to provide medical treatment. The boys were born three days later at exactly 22 weeks and five days gestation, but hospital workers still refused to provide any form of medical treatment for them. Because of this, Emery Finnefrock died 45 minutes after birth and Elliot Finnefrock died after crying in his mother's arms for over two hours.

In a press release about Trump's executive order, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that his agency had found the hospital guilty of violating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) when it refused to send the children to the hospital's neonatal care unit. He further said that the incident will be investigated further to determine whether any other human rights violations occurred.

“Though I repeatedly asked staff to help or assess my babies, I was told they were born too young. But there is no documentation to prove they were born too young,” Finnefrock said in a statement. “In fact, I had been told previously they would not help if the babies were born before 22 weeks and [five] days. Documentation shows I was admitted at 22 weeks [two] days and the babies born at 22 weeks [five] days. Nevertheless, when I begged for help, they refused. I was discharged with instructions for care after stillbirth. But Emery and Elliot were not stillborn. They were born alive and died as Riverside Methodist Hospital staff denied my pleas for help.”

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September 30, 2020

New Birth Control Study Targets Girls Ages 11-15

Screenshot from "The Pill Study" website

CNS News wrote last week that the pro-abortion organization Advocates for Youth recently sent out a mass e-mail with the subject line "Know anyone ages 11-15 to join this study?" The advertised study would provide birth control pills to women as young as 11 while providing them monetary compensation and hiding their involvement from parents who might object.

Advocates for Youth, which works with Planned Parenthood, was promoting The Pill Study, which researchers are using to try and make birth control available from pharmacies without prescriptions. The study will provide participants who qualify with birth control pills, and will not require girls to inform their parents or to be supervised by a doctor. It also tempts young girls with a promise of $75 for participating.

11-year olds cannot legally consent to sex in any state in the US, nor can these researchers depend upon them to provide pharmacists with thorough and accurate medical histories. Birth control medication has risks that can be amplified by medical problems and even lead to death in some circumstances.

This study is incredibly inappropriate on multiple levels, and further shows that many pro-abortion organizations are encouraging youth to be sexually active. This does not benefit youth, but it does benefit the bottom line of the abortion industry.

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49 Congress Members Call on A.G. Barr to Find Whether Planned Parenthood Abortionists Violated Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS)
49 members of Congress led by US Representative Roger Marshall (R-KS) sent a letter to US Attorney General William Barr, calling on him to investigate abortionists who may have violated the Partial Birth Abortion Ban passed in 2003. The letter referenced a video published by the Center for Medical Progress on August 24, which included unsealed sworn testimony from an April 2019 court hearing.

In a press release regarding the letter, Congressman Marshall said, “As a pro-life American and OB/GYN who worked for over 25 years to save the lives of both mothers and babies, it is beyond sickening to see and hear confessions of such heinous acts being committed in our country. I am committed to standing up for the life of all babies, born and unborn. We must hold these physicians and the organizations backing and supporting them accountable for their actions.”

The letter to AG Barr concludes, "This information is deeply troubling and necessitates further inquiry. We respectfully ask that in light of the recently unsealed testimony, the Department investigate whether Planned Parenthood has violated the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act."

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September 29, 2020

Colorado Voters to Decide Whether to Allow Abortion at 22 Weeks

photo credit: Gerardo Villalobos / Flickr
A pro-life campaign in the state of Colorado secured enough signatures to put the issue of late-term abortion on the ballot this November.

The "Due Date Too Late" campaign made a push in March to put Proposition 115 on the 2020 ballot, and it was successful. Voters in the state will be able to decide if they would like to ban all abortions past 22 weeks, with an exception to save the mother's life. If passed, abortionists who violate this law could be fined up to $5,000 and possibly lose their medical licenses for three years.

"Due Date Too Late" claims that Prop. 115 would prevent roughly 400 late-term abortions each year.

"Due Date Too Late" organizer Giuliana Day told the Associated Press he believed that abortion was, "the human rights issue of our lifetime.”

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