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Illinois Legislation Update 4-1-22

The Illinois General Assembly is considering several bills that pose a threat to the right to life. HB1464 would prohibit Illinois official...

May 17, 2022

Gov Pritzker Announces $11.2 Million in Title X Funding

Governor Pritzker announced on Monday that $11.2 million will be spent to "support family planning services throughout Illinois." This spending will fund and subsidize abortions throughout the state through the federal Title X family planning program. According to Gov. Pritzker's press release, it "will support and expand access to equitable and affordable family planning services for low-income populations across Illinois."

$5.4 million of that comes from the US Department of Health and Human Services. $5.8 million is set to come from the state.

"Now that the Biden administration has reversed Trump's gag rule, I am proud to announce we have rejoined the federal Title X program and we're putting record funding toward our Illinois Family Planning Program," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Let this record-breaking investment remind women that the state of Illinois trusts you to make your own choices. To choose what contraceptives are right for you. To choose whether you want to be a parent or not. And we will make sure that—on top of protecting your right to choose—you get the care that you deserve."

The Trump administration issued the "Protect Life Rule" for Title X funding during his presidency, which prohibited recipients of Title X funding from committing abortion, co-locating with organizations that commit abortions, or referring patients for abortions. In 2019, Pritzker announced that Illinois would not contribute to the federal Title X program because it would not fund abortions. Understand that the Protect Life Rule did not reduce Title X family planning funding. It simply directed funds to organizations that did not treat abortion as a method of family planning.

"Countless vulnerable people lost a lifeline when Title X funding was lost due to the Trump administration's gag rule, and the restoration of that funding is now more important than ever as our constitutional right to bodily autonomy is under attack," said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. "This $11.2 in critical funding is a step forward in ensuring people receive the reproductive care they need, and it will build on our commitment of a safe, welcoming Illinois for all."

May 16, 2022

Chicago Mayor Lightfoot Announces Plans to make City an "Abortion Oasis"

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D)
As one of many pro-abortion politicians preparing for a potential decision from the US Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced her plan to make the windy city an "oasis" for abortion.

Lightfoot announced that the Chicago Department of Public Health will spend $500,000 to subsidize the transportation expenses of women traveling from other states to get abortions. The funds are expected to pay for lodging, transportation, and food among other things.

“We’re expecting, frankly, an explosion of new cases from women in Wisconsin, Missouri, potentially Michigan, Indiana,” Lightfoot told MSNBC. Some of those states have existing laws that would prohibit abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Others have the potential to implement such laws. “I think the list is long, and Chicago is going to be an oasis in the Midwest, and we have got to be ready,” the mayor continued.

Lightfoot went on to echo President Biden's false claim that the leaked draft decision would undermine rights that don't involve ending the lives of innocent children.

“If you look at that draft opinion and you look at the briefs in support of the appellants, they’re going after every right that has been recognized that arises from a right of privacy,” she said. “Whether it’s a right to contraception, the right for same-sex marriage, interracial marriage.”

The leaked draft opinion, authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, clearly articulates that it does not change any rulings other than those issued in regard to abortion specifically. "None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involved the critical moral question posed by abortion," the leaked draft opinion reads. "They do not support the right to obtain an abortion, and by the same token, our conclusion that the Constitution does not confer such a right does not undermine them in any way."

Lightfoot doubled down on her claim. "To my friends in the LGBTQ+ community—the Supreme Court is coming for us next. This moment has to be a call to arms," she wrote in a tweet. "We will not surrender our rights without a fight—a fight to victory!"

May 13, 2022

"Women's Health Protection Act" Fails in US Senate Again

On May 11, a cloture vote on the "Women's Health Protection Act" (WHPA) once again failed in the US Senate. That legislation, which had already failed to bypass the filibuster once before, would create a federal right to abortion and undermine state abortion regulations. Among many other things, this bill would prevent states from restricting government funding of abortion.

Senate Republicans were joined by Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (WV) in a 49-51 vote. To bypass Senate filibuster rules, pro-abortion senators would have needed 60 votes. They failed, however, to even reach 50.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) filed another cloture vote shortly after a bad actor leaked a draft Supreme Court opinion by Justice Samuel Alito. That opinion called for the abortion precedent set by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey to be overturned.

Pundits largely expected the vote to fail. It primarily serves as a tactic by pro-abortion politicians to try and gain support for the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. If pro-abortion politicians win a majority in the US Senate after the midterm elections, some pundits suggest that they would modify filibuster rules to pass the WHPA.

Pro-life laws that would be prohibited under the WHPA include
  • informed consent
  • waiting periods
  • conscience rights for doctors
  • limiting those who can perform abortions to licensed physicians
  • limits based on gestational age
  • sex-selective discriminatory abortion bans

Gov Pritzker Speech Celebrates Illinois as an Abortion Destination

IL Gov JB Pritzker (D)
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gave a speech on Wednesday at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Fairview Heights, IL. During that speech, the governor celebrated how that clinic draws most of its clients from other states.

"More than 75% of this clinic’s patients are from out-of-state – coming from places like Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, and Kentucky, sometimes traveling eight-plus hours and hundreds of miles to get basic reproductive care," Pritzker said. "Often these patients have struggled to get the necessary childcare, lodging, and time off work. They’re patients who’ve struggled to find enough money to travel this far. Patients who’ve had to answer personal questions to their employers or had to invent a reason to be gone for days. Patients who’ve faced hurdles at every turn in the pursuit of basic healthcare. And let’s be crystal clear about this point: abortion is healthcare."

The Fairview Heights Planned Parenthood clinic was constructed secretly under the name of a shell company. The primary reason for its creation was to combat pro-life policies enacted in Missouri. Since then, the clinic has also created a national call center to connect women with abortion resources.

Pritzker addressed US lawmakers voting once again on the "Women's Health Protection Act," saying, "there is no archaic rule, no parliamentary maneuver, no matter that is more critical than protecting the lives and bodily autonomy of more than 160 million people. It’s long past time for this nation to codify Roe v. Wade into law. If it takes overhauling the filibuster, then overhaul the filibuster. If it requires countless hours of pleading and deliberation, then get to work. If it takes courage, find it."

The lives of innocent children deserve protection under the law, and that protection is critical. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the lives of millions can be saved through life-affirming state legislation. Unfortunately, Illinois is poised to undercut life-saving policies enacted by neighboring states.

May 12, 2022

More Companies, Including Disney and Tesla, Announce Benefits Subsidizing Employees' Abortions

Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Disney, Tesla, United Talent Agency (UTA), and Levi Strauss have joined the growing list of companies that will pay for their employees' out-of-state abortion expenses.

As pro-life states begin to regulate abortion more strictly, either through Texas-style heartbeat laws or outright bans enabled by the US Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade, some companies are creating policies designed to counteract state laws. New benefits to employees will pay the abortion and/or travel costs for employees who travel from pro-life states to pro-abortion states to have their unborn children killed.

Tesla is a surprising company to join the list, as CEO Elon Musk has stated that he believes low birth rates are one of the "biggest risks to civilization."

Jerry Zimmer, the CEO for UTA, wrote in a statement this week, “We’re doing this to support the right to choose that has been a bedrock of settled law for almost half a century. Several states have already introduced restrictive legislation, and the draft Supreme Court ruling leaked yesterday, if it comes to pass, could make abortion illegal in more than half of the country.” UTA is a large talent agency for Hollywood.

Journalist Christopher Rufo reported on May 5 that Disney's new benefits program will also subsidize out-of-state abortions.

May 11, 2022

Connecticut Gov Signs Expansive Abortion Bill

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D)
On May 5, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed abortion-expanding legislation allowing non-doctors to commit abortions and protecting Connecticut residents who break pro-life laws in other states.

The abortion bill passed the state House by a vote of 87-60. Afterward, it passed the state Senate 25-9.

According to the governor's press release, Public Act 22-19 is "a first-in-the-nation law that will protect medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in Connecticut who may be traveling from other states that have outlawed abortion."

Some pundits suggest that the law could also prevent Governors from extraditing those who commit crimes in Connecticut that are illegal in another state.

Pro-Abortion Protestors Arrive at Justice Alito's Home

About 200 pro-abortion activists gathered outside Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's home Monday evening in protest of the leaked draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade.

The protestors chanted and gave speeches outside the Alito household. The family, according to Breitbart, "was moved to an undisclosed for safety" after the pro-abortion organization "Ruth Sent Us" published the home addresses of conservative justices online.

Protests at Alito's home were organized by "ShutDownDC." The group used megaphones to chant slogans such as “You don’t care if people die,” “My body, my choice.” After shouting for justice, the crowd threatened, “If we don’t get it, burn it down.”

After the home addresses of Supreme Court Justices were published online, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, “Do you think that progressive activists that are now planning protests outside some of the justices’ houses are extreme?”

“Peaceful protest? No, peaceful protest is not extreme,” Psaki answered. When pressed further, Psaki said, "I don't have an official U.S. government position on where people protest."

May 10, 2022

Pro-Abortion Groups Announce $150 Million in Election Spending

Three pro-abortion organizations that have announced their plans for the 2022 midterm election will collectively spend $150 million in just nine states.

According to Politico, the spending will fund "paid ads, field programs, messaging research and polling."

LiveAction writes that the spending is "roughly double" what the three organizations collectively spent in 2018 (the last mid-term election year). It also writes that the three organizations spent approximately $82 million on the 2020 election.

The spending will target nine states, and it will benefit candidates running for state legislatures, governorships, and US Senate. The states include Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

Six of those states are holding competitive Senate races, and all nine have gubernatorial elections.

Amazon to Cover up to $4,000 in Out-of-State Travel Expenses for Employees' Abortions

Amazon announced on May 2 that it is implementing a new benefit that will reimburse employees up to $4,000 a year in travel expenses for certain "treatments," including abortion.

The new policy (retroactively made effective Jan 1, 2022) will cover the expenses of non-life-threatening treatments if they are not available within 100 miles of the employee's home and telemedicine is not possible. The inclusion of abortion as a "treatment," along with the timing of this announcement, makes it clear that the policy is primarily intended to flout pro-life state laws such as the Texas Heartbeat Act.

Amazon follows in the footsteps of other companies such as Citigroup, Uber, Lyft, Match, and Yelp. Companies could offer women life-affirming benefits allowing women to care for both their families and further their careers. $4,000 per year to pay for benefits such as maternity leave or child care reimbursement could help do this. Instead, rather than valuing women and their families, Amazon is encouraging women to choose abortion.

May 9, 2022

Tennessee Gov. Signs Telemedicine Abortion Ban

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R)
On May 5, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a new law banning the delivery of abortion pills through the mail.

The new law states, “A manufacturer, supplier, pharmacy, physician, qualified physician, or other people may not provide an abortion-inducing drug via courier, delivery, or mail service.”

Additionally, the law requires abortion businesses to report all chemical abortions to the state. The forms for these reports will show which physician provided the abortion drug, and they will show whether the woman experiences an adverse event.

Abortionists who violate the law can face a Class E felony charge and a fine of up to $50,000.

Tennessee is the most recent state to ban mail delivery of abortion drugs. This issue became prominent in the Spring of 2021 when the FDA "temporarily" suspended safety regulations prohibiting the mail distribution of the drugs. The Biden FDA made the changes permanent in December, driving states to regulate the drugs themselves.

The at-home DIY abortions encouraged by mail-delivered abortion pills can pose significant health risks to women—especially women who take the pills later in pregnancy or women with undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies.

Click here to read more.

May 6, 2022

Biden Falsely Claims Leaked Opinion Would Undermine Other Rights

In response to the recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion opposing Roe v. Wade, some pundits and politicians falsely claimed that the court's ruling would negatively impact a variety of other social issues. 

On Tuesday after the leak came out, even President Joe Biden made such claims. He said that if Roe v. Wade was overruled, it "would mean that every other decision related to the notion of privacy is thrown into question."

The President argued that all forms of contraception and legal same-sex marriage could be overturned. "I think the decision in Griswold [a 1965 decision that found that states could not outlaw contraception] was correct overruling; I think the decision in Roe was correct because there’s a right to privacy."

He also suggested that the Supreme Court's decision might allow states to ban same-sex marriage. "What does this do — and does this mean that in Florida they can decide they’re going to pass a law saying that same-sex marriage is not permissible, that it’s against the law in Florida?" he told reporters.

Others have since claimed that the new precedent would even allow legislators to ban interracial marriage. "The Republicans won’t stop with banning abortion. They want to ban interracial marriage," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) wrote on Twitter. "Do you want to save that?" Swalwell wrote. "Well, then you should probably vote."

The text of the leaked draft decision itself clearly refutes these arguments. Justice Alito goes out of his way to clarify that this decision is only meant to rule on the issue of abortion. "None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involved the critical moral question posed by abortion," the opinion reads. "They do not support the right to obtain an abortion, and by the same token, our conclusion that the Constitution does not confer such a right does not undermine them in any way."

The Wall Street Journal editorial board published a helpful article on Wednesday that goes through the leaked opinion more thoroughly; refuting the president's arguments and explaining the justices' reasoning at the time that the draft was written. Click here to read it.

Schumer Sets Another Vote on Bill Creating Federal Right to Abortion

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Thursday that he will call a vote for the "Women's Health Protection Act" (WHPA) to take place next Wednesday. The announcement is a response to the leaked draft opinion by Justice Alito showing that the Supreme Court might overturn Roe v. Wade this summer.

The WHPA would establish a federal right to abortion until birth and specifically prevent states from enacting several other abortion restrictions. These include ultrasound requirements, mandatory waiting periods, informed consent laws, and safety regulations such as those requiring abortion businesses to maintain admitting privileges with hospitals.

Additionally, the WHPA would protect mail distribution of abortion pills, discriminatory abortions, and gruesome techniques such as dismemberment.

While the WHPA passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 218-211 in September, it failed in March to garner the 60 vote majority needed to bypass filibuster rules in the Senate. This vote is mostly a symbolic one on behalf of pro-abortion politicians.

May 5, 2022

Oklahoma Governor Signs Heartbeat Act

Oklahoma Gov Kevin Stitt
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act into law on May 3. The law is modeled after the Texas Heartbeat Act, banning the abortion of children with detectable heartbeats. Oklahoma's Heartbeat Act took effect immediately when the bill was signed.

Just like Texas's law, Oklahoma's Heartbeat Act empowers private citizens to file lawsuits against those who commit or enable the abortion of a protected child. The child's mother cannot be targeted by such lawsuits. The only exception is in cases of medical emergencies.

Abortion businesses filed suit to block the Heartbeat Act, and that challenge went directly to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. That court voted 6-3 to reject a request by abortion businesses to issue a temporary injunction blocking the heartbeat law.

Earlier in April, Gov. Stitt signed separate legislation that would make it a felony to commit an abortion. That law also only includes an exception for medical emergencies. That law is scheduled to go into effect later this summer, but it was added to a separate court case involving several other abortion restrictions. It's possible that the Supreme Court could issue a decision overturning Roe v. Wade before these cases are decided, however. In that case, each state would be allowed to regulate abortion for themselves.

May 4, 2022

Supreme Court Draft Opinion Overturning Roe v. Wade Leaked to Media

In the evening on Tuesday, May 2, Politico published a draft majority opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Supreme Court precedent creating a right to abortion.

The draft opinion was written in February for Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. That case concerns a Mississippi law banning abortion at 15 weeks. The state of Mississippi used the case as an opportunity to argue for the Supreme Court to overturn cases that created a constitutional right to abortion. 

As written, the opinion shows a 5-4 vote in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The opinion is just a draft, however. The Justices have every right to change their opinions before they reach a final decision.

In a press release on May 3, Chief Justice Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft opinion. He made clear that the draft opinion does not represent a final vote. He wrote in a statement,
"To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.

We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here.

I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak."
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell similarly called on the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice to investigate the leak. "The Chief Justice must get to the bottom of it and the Department of Justice must pursue criminal charges if applicable," McConnell said in a statement.

Pro-abortion actors quickly reacted to the leak. Some put pressure on Supreme Court Justices to change their stances. Pro-abortion politicians are using the leak as an opportunity to rally voters.

Gov. Pritzker wrote on Twitter, “Hell no! In Illinois, we trust women. We cannot let their most profound and personal rights be violated.”

He later wrote in a second tweet, “Let me be clear: this has always been the GOP’s ultimate goal. For a party that claims to be about freedom, Republicans can’t wait to deprive millions of women the right to choose. As long as I’m governor, Illinois will stay a beacon for reproductive freedom. We won’t go back.”

US Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) also spoke out on Twitter. She said, “this is not final and the far-right Supreme Court majority will not have the last word. The American people will. Tonight, it’s important we get loud, organize and demand action from the Senate. Retweet if you agree it’s time to protect Roe v. Wade NOW.”

Illinois House Speaker Emmanuel Welch spoke at an event Wednesday morning with pro-abortion legislators to voice their opposition to the draft opinion and rally voters. "It's a dark day today, but the sun will shine again," Welch said. "Because we will march, because we will vote. We will vote at the ballot box, we will vote with our pocketbooks."

Even President Joe Biden spoke out against the opinion. “So, the idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child based on a decision by the Supreme Court … goes way overboard,” the president said at a press conference. Pro-life advocates pointed out that Biden's statement that a "child" is aborted rather than a "fetus" affirms the truth that human life is ended during an abortion.

May 3, 2022

Missouri Ordered to Pay Legal Fees to Planned Parenthood

photo credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr
A new ruling by a federal judge allows the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic to stay open while forcing the state of Missouri to pay the abortion business's legal fees.

Missouri has been trying to shut down the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Louis for years. The facility, which has injured at least 75 women at this point, continues to operate without a license because Missouri Administrative Hearing Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi issued a stay allowing them to do so.

On April 29, Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem ruled that Missouri must pay Planned Parenthood $8,084 in legal fees. This comes after the court ordered the state to pay Planned Parenthood $140,000 in attorney fees in March 2021.

At least four of the 75 recorded injuries caused by this clinic were life-threatening, and a Senate investigation found several instances of women having to return up to five times after incomplete abortions. The investigation also found that Planned Parenthood staff instructed women not to call 911 if they experience complications.

Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide via Telemedicine

photo credit: Jim Bowen / Flickr
Vermont's newly passed law allows doctors to prescribe suicide drugs to patients via telemedicine. Even if a doctor has only spoken with the patient over Zoom, it will now be legal for that doctor to send the patient suicide drugs to be self-administered.

The legislation was passed by both houses and signed into law by Gov. Phil Scott (R).

The text reads that "A physician shall not be subject to any civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action if the physician prescribes to a patient with a terminal condition medication to be self-administered for the purpose of hastening the patient’s death..."

Vermont's law goes on to describe the restriction that a patient must abide by a 15-day waiting period to be prescribed suicide drugs. If the physician deems it appropriate, however, neither of the two requests for assisted suicide needs to be made in person.

May 2, 2022

Montana Fights Eight Year Old Injunction Blocking Parental Notice

Update: District Judge Chris Abbott responded to Montana's motion by promising that the case will be resolved soon. The next hearing will be in June.

He refused to lift the 8.5-year-old temporary injunction; arguing that this would make the process take even longer.

-----Original post continued below----

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen filed a motion in state district court demanding the court to immediately drop a 2013 preliminary injunction blocking the state's Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Knudsen argues that the lack of progress in this case after eight years is unacceptable, and the law should be enforced if the court hasn't issued a ruling.

“It’s been 3,181 days since the consent injunction was entered.” Montana's motion reads. “That’s eight years, eight-and-a-half months, or 104.5 months, or 34.8 trimesters since the State agreed to a preliminary injunction because it was confident the case would be decided quickly.”

Knudsen continued in an affidavit: “The state simply cannot consent to an order which, through inaction, results in denying Montanans the protections of duly enacted statutes and leaves the legal status of a popular referendum in doubt … The history of this case demonstrates an ongoing injustice against the people of Montana.”

70% of Montana voters approved the Parental Notice of Abortion Act on the November 6, 2012 ballot. Lawmakers subsequently passed that legislation in 2013, but Planned Parenthood filed suit. 

April 29, 2022

Senate Rejects Resolution to Stop Funding Abortions

Sen Maro Rubio (R-FL)
The US Senate voted 49-49 on April 27 to reject a joint resolution to reverse Biden's 2021 Final Rule on the Title X Family Planning Program. That rule reversed Trump's "Protect Life" rule, which prevented Title X funding from going to organizations that performed abortions, promoted abortion as a method of family planning, or referred women to abortion businesses.

The Senate resolution was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the only Democrat to vote against Biden's rule. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Democrats voting in favor of the rule.

“We praise Senator Rubio for this joint resolution and his work to prevent taxpayer funds from being used to subsidize the abortion industry that preys on women and their unborn children,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life (NRLC). “Americans don’t want their taxpayer dollars used to subsidize abortion clinics.”

“For tens of millions of Americans, supplementing the abortion industry through taxpayer funds is offensive,” Tobias continued. “The Biden administration has shown that it is willing to do everything it can to facilitate and expand abortion on demand.”

Oklahoma Heartbeat Act Passes Legislature

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R)
The Oklahoma House voted on April 28 to approve the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act, a bill designed to mirror the Texas Heartbeat Act. The Senate voted to pass the legislation in March, so now it goes to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) for final approval. If signed, the law will take effect immediately.

Gov. Stitt has pledged to sign all pro-life bills that reach his desk.

Like Texas's Heartbeat Act, Oklahoma's bill would prohibit the abortion of unborn children with detectable heartbeats, which generally occurs at six weeks. It would be enforced through civil lawsuits rather than directly by the Oklahoma state government. That aspect of the Texas law has allowed it to survive legal challenges so far.

Oklahoma's Heartbeat Act includes exceptions for medical emergencies.

Click here to read more.

April 28, 2022

Fifth Circuit Instructs Texas Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Texas Heartbeat Act

The Texas Heartbeat Act's unique enforcement method has allowed the law to survive legal challenges for several months. On April 25, that streak continued.

Texas's Heartbeat Act empowers private citizens to file lawsuits against those who knowingly commit or enable abortions against children with detectable heartbeats. This effectively bans abortion after six weeks.

A three-judge panel from the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a district court to dismiss the abortion industry's primary lawsuit challenging the law. The US Supreme Court has seen this lawsuit twice; ruling that the defendants named were not valid. Because the law is enforced by private citizens, the court ruled that some of the state agencies named were not valid defendants.

This lawsuit was sent back to a district court, after which it made its way up to the Texas Supreme Court with a similar question. The Texas Supreme court ruled that the remaining defendants were not legitimate. Now the Fifth Circuit has used that ruling to inform its decision to order that the lawsuit finally be dismissed.

According to Texas Right to Life, 22 lawsuits were filed against the Heartbeat Act after its passage. While one of these lawsuits could still overturn the law, the Heartbeat Act has effectively reduced abortions in the state by 50% since enforcement started.

April 27, 2022

Idaho to Allow State Lawmakers to Defend Heartbeat Law

On April 21, the Idaho Supreme Court decided that state lawmakers would be allowed to defend the new Idaho law banning abortion after six weeks. The law is modeled after Texas's Heartbeat Act, which is still being enforced.

The law protects unborn children by allowing private citizens to file lawsuits against abortionists who kill unborn children after a heartbeat has developed (at approximately 6 weeks gestation). Idaho's law includes exceptions for rape, incest, and medical emergencies. It also limits the people who can file lawsuits to close family members of the aborted child.

Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke requested that the legislature be allowed to intervene in the case challenging the law. He and other lawmakers argued that the Idaho attorney general's office “compromised its ability to defend the legislative body by expressing a legal opinion.” Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has stated that the legislation was likely unconstitutional, while Idaho Gov. Brad Little suggested that the civil enforcement mechanism might prove unconstitutional.

“Because of the governor’s letter and the opinion of the attorney general’s office, the belief is well nigh inescapable that the Idaho attorney general’s office may be muted, even compromised, in its advocacy for the Legislature and legislative power,” the legislators petitioned.

Doctor who Intentionally Overdosed Dying Patients Found Not Guilty of Murder

Ohio doctor William Husel was accused of purposefully killing at least 25 terminally ill patients by administering the drug, fentanyl. On April 20, a jury found him not guilty of killing 14 of them. The other 11 charges were dismissed earlier in Husel's trial.

The first 11 charges were dropped because the patients were administered fentanyl doses below 1,000 micrograms. Some of the other patients were given as much as 2,000 micrograms. After receiving one such dose, a patient died within five minutes.

During Husel's trial, Franklin County prosecutor David Zeyen argued that Husel should not be exempted from murder charges just because his patients were ill or dying. “If you hasten a person’s death, even if their death is as sure as the sun is going to rise in the morning, if you hasten that along, you have caused their death under the eyes of the law,” he said.

Over 50 witnesses, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who worked with Husel, testified for the prosecution. Only one person testified on Husel's behalf.

If found guilty, Husel would have faced life in prison.

April 26, 2022

FDA Warns Against Using Inaccurate, Unapproved Prenatal Tests to Decide Abortion

A statement released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 19 warns against the use of non-invasive prenatal screening tests as a determining factor for the decision to abort a child.

“While genetic non-invasive prenatal screening tests are widely used today, these tests have not been reviewed by the FDA and may be making claims about their performance and use that are not based on sound science,” said Jeff Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Without proper understanding of how these tests should be used, people may make inappropriate health care decisions regarding their pregnancy. We strongly urge patients to discuss the benefits and risks of these tests with a genetic counselor or other health care provider prior to making decisions based on the results of these tests.”

The statement goes on to say, "...when screening for a very rare condition, a positive screening result may be more likely to be a false positive than a true positive, and the fetus may not actually be affected. In other cases, a positive screening result may accurately detect a chromosomal abnormality, but that abnormality is present in the placenta and not in the fetus, which may be healthy. "

The FDA expressed concern that patients are using the results of non-invasive prenatal screening to make decisions such as abortion.

In a more detailed post created by the FDA to coincide with its press release, it explained that non-invasive prenatal screening tests do not diagnose conditions such as down syndrome. Positive tests are supposed to show that a child has a greater risk of genetic abnormality compared to average. Negative tests show a lower-than-average risk.

Click here to read more.

Over 3,000 Babies Saved Through Abortion Pill Reversal

Heartbeat International revealed last week that the lives of over 3,000 children have been saved via abortion pill reversal.

Heartbeat International, which runs the Abortion Pill Rescue Network (APRN), also said that approximately 150 women start the abortion pill reversal process every month.

The process of abortion via the abortion pill regimen involves two separate drugs taken over several days. The first drug, mifepristone, blocks a pregnancy hormone called progesterone. That hormone helps facilitate the flow of nutrients and oxygen from a mother's body to her child. If progesterone is blocked for too long, an unborn child will die via starvation and asphyxiation.

The second drug, misoprostol, induces labor. The body of the (usually) deceased child is expelled, and the abortion is complete.

A woman who regrets her initial decision to have an abortion can potentially save her child with abortion pill reversal. If she has only taken the first drug in the abortion pill regimen, a doctor can administer progesterone in an attempt to counteract the mifepristone. This is most effective if done within 24 hours of the first pill.

APRN has a hotline that helps connect women who regret taking the first pill with doctors who can help with abortion pill reversal. Those who are interested can visit AbortionPillReversal.com or call 855-209-4848.

April 25, 2022

Judge Temporarily Blocks New Kentucky Pro-Life Law

On Thursday, April 21, US District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings issued a temporary restraining order blocking Kentucky from enforcing its new multi-faceted pro-life law.

The order does not rule on the law's constitutionality. It simply prevents Kentucky from enforcing the law while Jennings considers arguments. The order will expire after two weeks, but Jennings could issue a preliminary injunction blocking the law before then.

This law regulates abortion pills, creates certification requirements for abortion businesses, requires the cremation or burial of aborted children, and prohibits abortion after 15 weeks. It also takes steps to stop taxpayer funding of abortion, and it updates existing laws regarding parental consent and abortion reporting requirements.

“We are disappointed that the court chose to temporarily halt enforcement of the entire law.  This law is constitutional, and we look forward to continuing to defend it,” said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

April 22, 2022

Pro-Life Groups Challenge Lawsuit Against Pro-Life Michigan Law

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against a 1931 Michigan law banning abortion. This lawsuit was filed in anticipation that the upcoming Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson might allow states to once again decide the legality of abortion for themselves. Right to Life Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference are challenging Planned Parenthood's lawsuit; arguing that the abortion giant has no legal standing.

Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the pro-life organizations, filed a friend-of-the-court brief on April 20 arguing that Planned Parenthood's lawsuit should be dismissed.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel have both made public their opposition to the 1931 law. Whitmer has launched her own separate lawsuit in an attempt to get the Michigan Supreme Court to intervene more quickly. Nessel has stated that she would not enforce the law even if Roe v. Wade was overturned. This is the same administration that would supposedly be defending the abortion ban from Planned Parenthood's lawsuit.

ADF senior counsel John Bursch said in a statement,  

“Michigan’s elected officials have a duty to uphold the law and protect all their citizens, including the innocent lives of unborn children.” He added, “Yet what we are seeing is the state’s top attorney general engaged in an unacceptable effort to attack a pro-life law that has existed peaceably with the state constitution for more than half a century. “

“We urge the court to swiftly dismiss this case because it not only lacks jurisdiction—both sides of the case are arguing for the exact same outcome—but also because it is based on a hypothetical situation. No matter how someone feels about abortion, they should be gravely concerned that Michigan’s attorney general refuses to defend a validly enacted and longstanding law.”

April 21, 2022

Planned Parenthood Responds to Pro-Life Idaho Laws by Leasing a Building on the Border

photo credit: American Life League / Flickr
Much like how Planned Parenthood responded to pro-life policies in Missouri by establishing an abortion facility in Fairview Heights, Illinois, the Abortion giant is responding to Idaho policies by leasing a medical building in Ontario, Oregon.

Idaho's new heartbeat law has been temporarily blocked by courts, but the state also has two trigger laws that could go into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Pro-life advocates hope that Roe is overturned this summer when the court makes its ruling on Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban (Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization).

Oregon has an established reputation as a pro-abortion state. Its lawmakers voted down legislation that would protect babies born alive during attempted abortions, and the state allocates millions of dollars to fund abortion.

Pritzker Calls 15 Week Abortion Ban "Dangerous"

Gov. J.B. Pritzker took to Twitter on April 15 to criticize Florida's new law banning abortion after 15 weeks gestation.

"This is dangerous," Pritzker wrote. "As states across the country continue to restrict access to reproductive healthcare services, Illinois will continue to be a leader in providing access to healthcare for all who need it."

Abortion is not healthcare. It does nothing to improve the health of the mother, and it aims to end the life of a separate human being. By being a "leader" in the abortion industry, Illinois enables abortion businesses to take advantage of disadvantaged women. Women seldom choose abortion because they are sick or injured. They most often choose abortion for career and financial reasons. This is reflected in studies by BMC Women's Health, the Guttmacher Institute, and PubMed Central.

In a follow-up tweet, Pritzker wrote, "We will ensure women everywhere have the resources they need to make the best decision for themselves."

Recent actions by the Illinois legislature, such as the repeal of parental notice, do not empower women with resources to make a decision for themselves. They push women toward choosing abortion.

April 20, 2022

Biden Admin to End Trump Conscience Protection Rule

photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that the Biden administration is in the process of scrapping a Trump rule protecting the conscience rights of medical workers.

The rule in question allows medical workers to refuse to provide services that conflict with their religious or moral beliefs. It was issued in 2019, but it was quickly blocked by federal courts. As a result, it has never been enforced.

When the rule was finalized, OCR Director Roger Severino gave the following statement summarizing its significance:
“Finally, laws prohibiting government-funded discrimination against conscience and religious freedom will be enforced like every other civil rights law. This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life.”

If the rule were ever to be enforced, it would offer support and security to pro-life medical workers who refuse to participate in life-ending procedures such as abortion and euthanasia. By scrapping the rule, the Biden administration is working to dismantle any potential protection it could provide.

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Maryland Lawmakers Override Veto of Pro-Abortion Bill

photo credit: Jimmy Emerson / Flickr
On April 9, Maryland lawmakers voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill allowing non-physicians to commit abortions.

Gov. Hogan vetoed the bill, titled the "Abortion Care Access Act" on April 8. In a statement, he said that the legislation “endangers the health and lives of women by allowing non-physicians to perform abortions.” Unfortunately, the pro-abortion majority in the Maryland General Assembly was able to quickly override that veto.

The people allowed to commit abortions under the new law include nurse practitioners, midwives, and physician assistants. The law also requires state Medicaid providers and private insurance companies to pay for abortions without deductibles or co-pays. The law does allow for religious exemptions. Further, the law creates an abortion worker training program that will cost $3.5 million annually.

April 19, 2022

Massachusetts City Bans Pro-Life Pregnancy Resource Centers

A new city ordinance for Somerville, Massachusetts bans pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) from operating within city limits.

The city council unanimously voted to pass the ordinance, arguing that PRCs mislead and harm women by refusing to provide or promote abortion. There were PRCs in the city, but the ordinance was enacted with the intention of preventing any from establishing themselves in the future. Violators will be subject to a $300 fine.

“[I’m] very proud of the CPC Ordinance as it can make a direct impact on many residents’ lives, ensuring that my constituents have the dignity to make their own medical decisions based on accurate healthcare information,” said City Councilor-at-Large Kristen Strezo. “This shows my continued commitment to the protection of abortion rights, access to reproductive health care, and an individual’s right to make reproductive decisions about one’s own body.”

After the ordinance passed, Planned Parenthood put out a statement thanking the council members for supporting "reproductive rights and reproductive justice." The ordinance certainly benefits the abortion giant by prohibiting pro-life competition. In addition to ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, and consultations, PRCs help parents care for their children after they are born by providing baby items, financial assistance, and referrals for other assistance.

April 18, 2022

Kentucky Lawmakers Override Veto of Pro-Life Bill

photo credit: Matt Turner / Flickr
Kentucky legislators voted on April 13 to override Gov. Andy Beshear's veto of a pro-life law that, among many other things, prohibits abortion after 15 weeks. The law went into effect immediately, and the state's two abortion businesses chose to close down rather than comply with new regulations.

Pro-abortion organizations have already filed lawsuits to try and block the law.

Kentucky legislators voted to override Beshear's veto by a vote of 76 to 21 in the House and 31 to 6 in the Senate.

In addition to banning abortion after 15 weeks, the new law prohibits telemedicine abortions, requires abortion pill distributors to be specially certified, creates a "complaint portal" for individuals to report suspected violations, updates reporting requirements for abortion businesses, strengthens parental consent guidelines, prohibits tax dollars from funding abortion, and creates guidelines to ensure the bodies of aborted children are treated with respect.

April 15, 2022

Baby Tinslee Goes Home After Surviving Hospital's Attempt to Invoke Texas's "10-Day Rule"

Tinslee Lewis
After several years of legal battles to prevent a hospital from disconnecting her life support, three-year-old Tinslee Lewis is finally going home to live with her family.

Tinslee has spent most of her life at Cook Children's Hospital in Texas. After her premature birth in 2019, she received special care due to a heart defect causing her heart to press against her lungs. After nine months, however, the hospital invoked Texas's 10-day rule, threatening to withdraw life-sustaining care unless her family found another hospital to take her in 10 days.

Pro-life groups and disability advocacy groups helped Tinslee's mother, Trinity Lewis, put together a legal defense to fight for her daughter's life. On April 7, over 800 days after Cook Children's Hospital initially invoked the 10-day rule, Tinslee was healthy enough to go home.

In a statement to Live Action News, Texas Right to Life wrote, "“She’s on home health now and is doing great! She shakes her head ‘no’ when she’s annoyed and when her grandpa leans over and asks her for a kiss, she kisses him on the cheek. Cook Children’s worked with the family to improve Tinslee’s health to the point that she no longer needs a hospital setting for care. She turned three years old on February 1.”

Florida Gov. Signs 15 Week Abortion Ban

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)
photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed "Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality" on April 14. This legislation would prohibit abortion in the state after the child reaches a gestational age of 15 weeks.

The law is modeled after Mississippi's "Gestational Age Act," which is currently before the US Supreme Court.

The new law includes exceptions for cases when the mother's life is in danger, if two doctors certify that giving birth poses a "serious risk" to the mother's physical health, or if the baby is diagnosed with a "fatal fetal abnormality."

"We praise Governor Ron DeSantis, the pro-life members of the Florida state legislature, and Florida Right to Life for all of the hard work that went into seeing this legislation become law," said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. "No unborn child should suffer and die from an abortion. Florida’s law will protect unborn children and their mothers from the horrors of abortion."

April 14, 2022

Yelp to Pay Employees' Abortion Travel Expenses

Following the example of the banking corporation Citigroup, the review platform Yelp announced this week that it will pay the travel expenses of employees who travel out of state for an abortion.

Pro-abortion companies started adding abortion travel expenses to their employee benefits in response to legislation like Texas's Heartbeat Act. The law prohibits abortion after the child's heartbeat is detectable, and its unique enforcement method has made it resistant to legal challenges. For this reason, other pro-life states are enacting similar laws.

“We’ve long been a strong advocate for equality in the workplace, and believe that gender equality cannot be achieved if women’s healthcare rights are restricted,” said Miriam Warren, Yelp's chief diversity officer. “As a remote-first company with a distributed workforce, this new benefit allows our U.S. employees and their dependents to have equitable access to reproductive care, regardless of where they live.”

The Associated Press reported that Yelp has an estimated workforce of 4,000. Roughly 200 of those employees live in Texas.

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Florida Judge Upholds 24-Hour Waiting Period Law

Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey ruled on April 12 to uphold a 2015 Florida law requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.

In her ruling, Dempsey noted that other decisions, such as getting married or purchasing a firearm, have even longer waiting periods. “Twenty-four hours is the minimum time needed to sleep on such an important decision,” she wrote.

A county judge ruled in 2018 that the law was unconstitutional, even though 27 other states already had similar laws. That ruling was reversed in 2019. Dempsey's ruling again affirms that a 24-hour waiting period is unconstitutional.