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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...

April 11, 2022

Kentucky AG Files Brief in Support of Dismemberment Abortion Ban

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed a brief on April 4 asking the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear a challenge to a law banning dismemberment abortions.

Because pro-abortion Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear initially chose not to defend the law in court, Cameron fought in court for the right of his department to do so. When his petition was initially rejected, he went all the way to the US Supreme Court. On March 3, the US Supreme Court ruled that Cameron could defend the "2018 Human Rights of the Child Act" even if Gov Beshear would not.

“In an 8-1 decision, the highest court in our land recognized our ability to defend Kentucky’s law banning live dismemberment abortions, and today we took the first step to continue our defense,” said Attorney General Cameron. “We will fight for as long as it takes to ensure this important law is enforced in Kentucky.”

Cameron argues in his petition that the Sixth Circuit should rehear the case because of the US Supreme Court's decision in June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo. That decision created a new standard for reviewing pro-life laws. Additionally, Cameron's petition points out that the Fifth Circuit upheld a Texas law banning dismemberment abortions.

April 8, 2022

Michigan Gov Files Lawsuit to Find Abortion Rights in State Constitution

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's (D) office has filed a lawsuit asking the Michigan Supreme Court to find a right to abortion in the state constitution.

In doing so, the court would invalidate an 1846 law banning abortion in the state. It is not currently enforceable, but it could come into effect if the Supreme Court completely overturns Roe v. Wade. Pro-life advocates are hopeful that the Court does this in the upcoming Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision.

The Michigan Supreme Court most recently affirmed that the Michigan Constitution does not contain a right to abortion in 1997. In that year, the court declined to hear Mahaffey vs. Attorney General, affirming the Court of Appeals decision stating that Michigan's constitution does not contain a right to abortion.

Michigan Right to Life President Barbara Listing noted that the timing of the lawsuit is strange, considering that the governor has supported a petition a "Reproductive Freedom for All" petition asking the state to create a constitutional right to abortion.

“This lawsuit to very telling of the progress of the pro-abortion petition and makes us question their status in collecting signatures,” Listing said. “Why is the Governor going over the heads of her allies? Governor Whitmer is contradicting herself by asking the Supreme Court to find a right to abortion while supporting a petition that is seeking to create a right to abortion.”

Senate Confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson
On Thursday, April 7, the Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.

Three republicans—Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Mitt Romney (UT)—joined the 50 Senate Democrats to confirm Jackson.

Jackson will replace Judge Stephen Breyer, who announced that he would retire after the current Supreme Court term if his replacement was confirmed. As a result, conservatives will keep their current 6-3 majority. She is only 51 years old, however. This means that she could serve on the Supreme Court for several decades.

Jackson's nomination was supported by abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood, and opponents pointed out that she co-authored a legal brief in support of a Massachusetts law creating buffer zones preventing pro-life sidewalk counseling and protests outside abortion businesses.

April 7, 2022

Oklahoma Legislature Passes Abortion Ban

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R)
Oklahoma voted on April 5 to approve a bill that would ban abortions except for cases when the mother's life is in danger. It will now go to Gov. Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it into law.

It is almost guaranteed that this law will not survive a court challenge under the standard set by Roe v. Wade. Oklahoma lawmakers passed this bill in hopes that the Supreme Court might soon overrule the Roe decision and allow states to once again regulate abortion themselves. It will have the opportunity to do so in the pending case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

Abortionists convicted of violating the law could face up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The bill does not create penalties for the mothers of aborted children.

Idaho Gov. Signs Law to Support Families After Down Syndrome Diagnosis

Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed legislation last month that will help provide support to parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The Down Syndrome Diagnosis Act requires Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare to create a support sheet with information about the condition and contact information for support groups and resources. Health care professionals will provide this information to parents after a Down syndrome diagnosis.

This legislation will help to combat a culture that advocates for the abortion of children with Down syndrome. After receiving such diagnoses, parents are often advised to abort by the very doctors who provide the test results.

Idaho's Down Syndrome Diagnosis Act will take effect July 1.

April 6, 2022

Colorado Gov Signs Bill Creating State Right to Abortion

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D)
photo credit: Jesse Paul / Flickr
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation on April 4 that creates a right to abortion in the state.

The new law states that government entities in Colorado cannot “deny, restrict, interfere with or discriminate against an individual’s fundamental right to use or refuse contraception or to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion.”

“No matter what the Supreme Court does in the future, people in Colorado will be able to choose when and if they have children,” Polis said at the bill signing ceremony. “We want to make sure that our state is a place where everyone can live and work and thrive and raise a family on their own terms.”

When this bill passed the Senate, Colorado GOP Chairwoman Kristi Brown said it was “a dark day for the Colorado Democrat Party and any individual who respects the sanctity of life,” adding, “If Jared Polis decides to sign this extreme abortion bill, he will put Colorado’s abortion laws on par with China and North Korea.”

April 5, 2022

Chicago Planned Parenthood Tears Woman's Uterus

Recently released 911 records show that a 22-year old patient was hospitalized after her uterus was torn during a surgical abortion at the Near North Planned Parenthood facility in Chicago. This life-threatening emergency occurred on Jan 7, 2022.

The Pro-Life Action League obtained 911 records of the incident, including a recording of the 911 call.

The Planned Parenthood staffer who made the call said that the woman suffering from a torn uterus was not bleeding. This was likely inaccurate, however. Even though she may not have appeared to be bleeding, such an injury would have caused internal bleeding.

Operation Rescue, an organization that tracks injuries caused by abortion clinics, noted that the Near North Planned Parenthood facility caused the death of Tonya Reaves in 2012 after a perforated uterus caused her to bleed to death internally.

Operation Rescue also noted that the Event Details printout simply stated "22 yo female not feeling well." This is despite the ambulance being dispatched at priority 1A, the code used for the most serious medical emergencies.

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said that it is becoming more common for abortion-related emergencies to be downplayed in 911 records. "Sometimes it is the abortion workers who misrepresent life-threatening injuries, and sometimes it is the city or county employees that are creating and redacting the records."

This is the twenty-fourth recorded instance of a patient at the Near North Planned Parenthood being hospitalized in the past six years. 

April 4, 2022

WSJ Poll Shows Support for 15-Week Abortion Ban

A poll released by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Friday, April 1 found that "more American voters favor the idea of a 15-week abortion ban than oppose it.

WSJ surveyed 1,500 voters from March 2-7. The results found that 48% would either "strongly" or "somewhat" favor a law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy with exemptions to protect the life of the mother. 43% of voters were opposed.

This is welcome news for the pro-life movement, as polling regularly shows voters lean toward pro-life stances.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. That ruling should come before the end of the Court's current term (June 2022).

Aside from Mississippi, Arizona and Louisiana have also enacted 15-week bans. Florida and Kentucky have similar bills pending the approval of their governors. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to sign his state's bill, while the Kentucky legislature is primed to override an expected veto by pro-abortion Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D).

Click here to read more.

HHS Again Sending Millions to Abortion Orgs Through Title X

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) put out a press release at the end of March showing that the agency awarded hundreds of millions of dollars through the Title X family planning program.

This comes after the Trump administration's 2019 "Protect Life Rule" was officially ended by the Biden administration last fall.

Trump's Protect Life Rule prevented Title X grants from funding organizations that promote, commit or refer women for abortions. Without the rule, Title X can once again function as a funnel for taxpayer dollars to go to abortion businesses.

Of the $256.6 million awarded by the HHS in Fiscal Year 2022, over $14.5 million was given to Planned Parenthood in 12 states.

President Biden's proposed 2023 budget would increase Title X spending from $286.479 million to $400 million. One can reasonably assume that this would increase the number of tax dollars sent to pro-abortion organizations.

April 1, 2022

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 officials from disciplining abortionists who break laws in other states related to abortion.

HB1464 passed the House of Representatives on March 31 by a vote of 68-41. It is currently in the Senate Assignments Committee.

HB5048 would require nursing homes to provide certain residents with Practitioner Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms. These forms are used to determine what kind of care will be provided if a patient is unable to make decisions for themself. Nursing homes would be required to have an employee or a physician discuss the form with them. This is concerning because legislation passed last year removed the requirement for a witness's signature on POLST forms. This means that those in nursing care will no longer have the security provided by a witness to ensure that they understand what they are signing.

HB5048 passed the House of Representatives on Feb 24 by a vote of 65-43. It is now in the Senate Health Committee, where it has been given an extended deadline of April 4 to proceed.

HB4221, titled the "Pregnancy Center Disclosure Act," would create regulations for "limited services pregnancy facilities." These would apply to pro-life pregnancy clinics. Under HB4221, such clinics would be required to "disseminate to clients on-site, and in any print and digital advertising materials, notice stating that the facility is not licensed as a medical facility by Illinois and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services." The Attorney General or a private party could take action against a clinic that does not follow these rules to impose fines. There would be a $500 fine for the first offense, and then $5,000 fines for any subsequent violations.

HB4221 is still in the House Rules Committee.

HB4247 would mandate that "public institutions of higher education" place a vending machine on campus that sells emergency contraception to students. Emergency contraception pills have the ability to abort children after conception but before they implant in the mother's uterus.

HB4247 passed the House of Representatives on March 3 by a vote of 62-38. It is now in the Senate Assignments Committee.

Additionally, the House passed three pro-abortion resolutions on March 31, and it is considering a fourth. Resolutions do not create laws, but they do serve to declare the values or intent of lawmakers.

HR0094 declared support for the funding of Planned Parenthood. It passed by a vote of 66 to 39.

HR790 declared support for Roe v. Wade. It passed by a vote of 68 to 38.

HR789 declared support for reproductive rights. It passed by a vote of 68-38.

HR762 would congratulate Terry Cosgrove, the CEO of pro-abortion lobbying group Personal PAC, on his retirement. It has not yet received a vote.

Kentucky Lawmakers Pass Pro-Life "Omnibus" Bill

Kentucky legislators voted to pass a bill that would enact a suite of pro-life protections. Among them are a 15-week abortion ban, rules regulating the distribution of abortion pills, and a requirement that women see a doctor in person before receiving abortion pills.

The 15-week limit matches the limit of the Mississippi law currently being considered by the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

The legislation will now go to pro-abortion Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, but the pro-life majority easily has enough votes to override a potential veto.

Planned Parenthood Sues to Block Idaho's Texas Style Abortion Law

Planned Parenthood has sued the state of Idaho in an attempt to block the Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act. Idaho is the first state to model a law after the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortion after the child's heartbeat is detectable.

Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky have together filed a petition against the Idaho Supreme Court to block the enforcement of the new law. Given that the Texas Heartbeat Act is still enforceable after months of legal challenges, it seems possible that Idaho's law could be similarly resilient.

The Texas Heartbeat Act was signed on May 19, 2021. It went into effect on September 1, 2021. Since then, it has survived lawsuits from pro-abortion organizations and remains effective. This is because its unique enforcement method protects it from the usual lawsuits levied by abortion organizations. The Idaho and Texas heartbeat laws are not enforced by state officials. Instead, they empower individuals to file lawsuits against those who abort protected children.

March 31, 2022

American Family Learns Healthy Daughters Died by Assisted Suicide in Switzerland

Lila Ammouri and Susan Frazier
Lila Ammouri, 54, and Susan Frazier, 49, were reported missing after traveling to Switzerland. The Arizona family later learned that the perfectly healthy sisters had both died by assisted suicide.

Cal Ammouri, the sisters' only surviving sibling, told the Independent that he spoke with his sisters just a few weeks before they went to Switzerland. He said that he was unaware of their plan, and he still doesn't know the full story.

When neither of the women came to work at Aetna Health Insurance on Feb. 15, friends and co-workers feared that they had been kidnapped. This theory was further strengthened by strange text messages that are still assumed to have been sent by someone else.

A Swiss official confirmed details with the Daily Mail. The sisters died together on February 11.

Switzerland's reputation as a country with low restrictions on assisted suicide makes it a destination for death. That reputation gives healthy people around the world the ability to die; even if their impulsive decision is made for strictly emotional reasons.

Abortion Orgs Sue Thomas More Society to Block Enforcement of Texas Heartbeat Act

Pro-abortion groups are trying a new strategy to counteract the Texas Heartbeat Act. That strategy involves filing lawsuits against pro-life individuals and organizations that might enforce the law.

The Texas Equal Access Fund (TEA) and the Lilith Fund both publicly announced that their fundraising has resulted in abortions intended to directly subvert the Texas abortion ban. In a response to a fundraising tweet by the Lilith fund, the Thomas More Society pointed out that donors who violate the Texas Heartbeat Act can be subjected to lawsuits under the Texas Heartbeat Act.

The Thomas More Society has also filed pre-suit petitions for discovery against the Lilith Fund; a step taken in preparation for a potential lawsuit against the Lilith Fund. Both TEA and Lilith Fund have filed lawsuits to prevent the Thomas More society from filing a civil lawsuit under the Texas Heartbeat Act.

Thomas More Society President Tom Brejcha elaborated in a press release:
“It is illegal to pay for an abortion performed in Texas or to contribute to abortion funds to aid or abet these abortions. The Lilith Fund and the Texas Equal Access Fund have admitted to paying for abortions in violation of the Texas Heartbeat Act, and in doing so they have exposed their employees, volunteers, and donors to civil lawsuits and potential criminal prosecution. Those donations were used not for First Amendment advocacy but to end the lives of innocent unborn human beings with beating hearts. Those who are funding or assisting in bringing about these abortions will be revealed in discovery. Anyone who has aided or abetted an illegal abortion in Texas is subject to the full force of the law and imposition of these civil and criminal sanctions.”

The lawsuits by TEA and Lilith Fund will not contest the Heartbeat Act's constitutionality, but they argue that the law violates their rights to due process, free speech, and equal protection.

Click here to read more.

March 30, 2022

New Biden Budget Removes Hyde and other Pro-Life Protections

The fiscal year 2023 budget proposed by the Biden administration would end protections (such as the Hyde Amendment) preventing tax dollars from funding abortions.

The Senate Pro-Life Caucus listed many issues with the proposed budget.
  • The budget eliminates the Hyde Amendment, thereby allowing taxpayer funding for abortion through programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and other programs.
  • The budget eliminates the Dornan Amendment. This would allow the District of Columbia to fund abortions through Medicaid.
  • By ending the Aderholt Amendment, the federal government will end its ban on gestating gene-edited embryos.
  • Title X funding (which includes grants to abortion businesses) would increase from $286.479 million to $400 million.
  • Funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) would increase from $32.5 million to $56 million. The UNFPA promotes abortion globally.
  • This budget creates multiple other avenues through which taxpayer dollars can be used to promote abortion internationally, bypassing longstanding amendments such as the Helms Amendment.

March 29, 2022

EU Sanctions Ukrainian Neighbors for Being Pro-Life

Despite the ongoing refugee crisis stemming from the Russian military attack on Ukraine, the European Union voted to impose sanctions on Hungary and Poland (which share borders with Ukraine). The reason for these sanctions has to do with these nations' pro-life policies.

A statement released by the EU says that “taxpayers’ money needs to be protected against those who undermine the EU’s values.” The sanctions serve to enforce a 2021 resolution declaring abortion a "human right" and criticizing pro-life laws as "a form of gender-based violence."

The BBC estimated on March 21st that 2,113,554 Ukrainian refugees had fled to Poland, while 317,863 had gone to Hungary. Those numbers will almost certainly increase as fighting continues, but the European Union still thought it important enough to level sanctions against pro-life nations as they were sanctioning Russia.

March 28, 2022

Arizona Passes 15 Week Abortion Ban

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R)
Update: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed this legislation into law on March 30, 2022.

----Original article below----

An Arizona bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks was passed by Arizona's House and Senate. The legislation is modeled after Mississippi's law that the US Supreme Court will rule on this summer (Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization). Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is expected to sign the bill into law.

Votes on the bill were along party lines. It passed by a vote of 31-26 in the Arizona Senate and 16-13 in the House.

The legislation would punish abortionists who knowingly abort a child after 15 weeks of gestation. Those who violate the law could face felony charges and potentially lose their medical licenses.

Arizona's bill also states that it does not overrule an existing statute that would ban abortion in the state outright if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

South Dakota Gov Signs Pro-Life Bills

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R)
photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
On Wednesday, March 23, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed two pro-life bills into law. One of these bills regulates the distribution of the abortion pill regimen, and the other criminalizes abortion coercion.

South Dakota's HB1318 prohibits abortion businesses from distributing abortion pills via telemedicine. Women who seek abortions via the abortion pill regimen will instead need to make several in-person visits to an abortion business. This prevents abortion businesses from sending pills through the mail while simultaneously decreasing medical risks for the woman.

Women taking the abortion pill regimen will visit once to take the first abortion pill, once to take the second pill, and a third time to confirm that the abortion is complete. The new law codifies an executive order that Noem made last year. It cannot go into effect until a federal judge lifts an injunction blocking those rules.

South Dakota's HB1113 makes it a crime to coerce anyone to get an abortion. Those found guilty can be charged with a Class B felony.

Click here to read more.

March 25, 2022

Senators Question Ketanji Brown Jackson on Abortion

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
photo credit: Lloyd DeGrane
This week, the Senate held confirmation hearings regarding Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. Below are highlights from those hearings as they relate to the issue of abortion.

In her confirmation hearings, Jackson spoke about the importance of Supreme Court precedents. In this context, she stated that Roe v. Wade is "settled law." This statement clearly shows her stance on the issue of abortion, and it indicates that she believes a right to abortion exists in the US Constitution.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) questioned Jackson on life issues. He pressed Jackson on when she thought life begins. 

“I have, um, personal religious and otherwise beliefs that have nothing to do with the law in terms of when life begins,” Jackson said.

Kennedy also asked, “When does equal protection of the laws attach to a human being?” Jackson responded that she did not know.

Sen Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) brought up an amicus brief co-authored by Jackson on behalf of the Massachusetts National Abortion Rights Action League. That brief supported a Massachusetts law creating buffer zones around abortion clinics in the state. In that brief, she described pro-life groups outside abortion facilities as, a "hostile, noisy crowd of ‘in-your-face protestors." Blackburn asked Jackson, “How do you justify that incendiary rhetoric against pro-life women?”

Jackson responded, “That was a statement in a brief, made an argument for my client, it’s not the way that I think of or characterize people.”

The heads of 40 pro-life groups, including National Right to Life President Carol Tobias, sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week to express concerns with Judge Jackson's record. It read in part:

"Even before Justice Breyer’s retirement announcement, radical pro-abortion groups had spent six-figure sums promoting Jackson. Now that she is the nominee, they have already pledged a million more.

Planned Parenthood NARAL  and the National Women’s Law Center have issued support for Jackson’s confirmation. The American Constitution Society, which has frequently hosted Jackson as a speaker and applauded her nomination, has publicly supported efforts to “reform” the Supreme Court to protect abortion"

Click here to read more.

911 Operator Refuses to Dispatch Ambulance to Post-Abortive Chicago Woman

Family Planning Associates abortion clinic in Chicago
photo credit: Operation Rescue
911 records show that a Chicago woman suffering from pain and potential complications following her second abortion procedure in five days was denied ambulatory transport to a hospital.

The woman was in severe pain ever since the first surgical abortion procedure on Jan 22, so she returned to the Family Planning Associates (FPA) for a follow-up. The FPA facility determined that the abortionist had left parts of the baby inside her, so she had a second procedure on Jan 27.

During a surgical abortion, otherwise known as a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) abortion, the preborn child is torn apart and pulled out through the woman's cervix piece by piece. Metal tools reach into the woman's uterus after her cervix is expanded, and individual body parts are ripped from the child until the entire body has been removed from the womb. During these abortions, the child dies by bleeding out. Complications can arise for the mother if a part of the child's body is left behind, or if the woman's uterus is torn by the metal instruments used to rip the child's body apart.

After her second procedure, FPA staff told the woman to return to the facility the next day if her pain did not subside. An hour later, after she had left the FPA facility, she was in significant pain and she wanted to go to the emergency room. A 911 operator denied her this request; telling her that she needed to listen to the abortionists. He suggested that her pain medication had not kicked in yet, but there was no way for him to know that she wasn't suffering from another complication, such as uterine perforation.

You can listen to a recording of the 911 call by clicking here.

"Okay, ma’am.  You’ve just got to follow their instructions," the 911 operator said. "I mean, they’re doctors. They can probably tell you the same thing you’ll see when you go to the hospital.  So, it’s basically almost the same thing.  They’re doctors.  You’ve just got to follow up.  You’ve got to let the medicine work."

Strangely, he adds in a later comment, "If you go to the emergency room, it’s the same doctor so they’re probably going to tell you the same thing."

It is unclear what the operator meant. The doctors she would see at the hospital would absolutely be different people than the staffers at the FPA clinic. It is unknown what happened to the woman who called 911.