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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

TONIGHT: "Out of Hyding" Virtual Rally to Support the Hyde Amendment


Today's the day! At 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific), join us as we celebrate the 44th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment and honor the lives and voices of Medicaid kids. If you have not yet registered, there's still time! We also plan to make the live stream available on our Facebook page. (Don't worry if tonight is inconvenient; a recording will be published on OutOfHyding.com after the fact.)

We have some terrific speakers lined up: 

  • The incomparable Terrisa Bukovinac will be the emcee. Terrisa is a pro-life atheist and longtime SPL volunteer. She is also the president of Pro-Life San Francisco and serves on the boards of several other organizations. We're not sure when she sleeps.
  • Gina Mallica has a unique story to tell. She came to the United States as a Cuban refugee while still in her mother's womb. Gina says: "It is disheartening to hear people say that Uncle Sam should subsidize abortions for people conceived in hard circumstances like mine. That is not the American dream my parents pursued."
  • Kelsey Hazzard is the founder and president of Secular Pro-Life. She is also a lawyer. Kelsey will educate us on the legal history of the Hyde Amendment.
  • Georgia Gallagher is a Medicaid kid, Disney lover, and past president of Bama Students for Life. She earned a degree in journalism and political science. Georgia says: "This push to repeal the Hyde Amendment sends a clear message: low-income children are better off dead. When Democratic politicians talk about ending the Hyde Amendment, they’re talking about me, and the potential that my life had 22 years ago."
  • Valeria Lopez is a proud Medicaid mom, Latina, and pro-life advocate. She will share what the Hyde Amendment means to her.
  • Dr. Michael New is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and Social Research at The Catholic University of America, as well as an Associate Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. His research focuses on the impact of state and federal policies on abortion rates. He estimates that 2,409,311 Americans are alive today thanks to the Hyde Amendment.

Taxpayer funds should not be used to kill low-income babies in the womb. The corrupt abortion industry does not deserve a government bailout. Come out of Hyding tonight and help us secure Hyde Amendment protections for the next generation! 


Monday, September 28, 2020

Why We Need a Pro-Life Woman on the Supreme Court


On Saturday, President Trump nominated the Honorable Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to join the Supreme Court of the United States. Pro-life groups quickly hailed the nomination. Judge Barrett identifies herself as an originalist who is committed to following the Constitution as written. Even legal scholars who support abortion readily admit that Roe v. Wade lacks any basis in the text of the Constitution, so it is a safe assumption that an originalist judge will oppose Roe and support states' ability to enact laws protecting children in the womb. Pro-lifers are also encouraged by Judge Barrett's scholarly writings on the doctrine of stare decisis.

The last time a vacancy appeared on the Supreme Court, Secular Pro-Life organized a campaign urging President Trump to nominate a pro-life woman. Instead, he chose Justice Kavanaugh. This time around, we finally get our wish.

Having a pro-life woman on the nation's highest court is critical for two reasons. The first is a matter of representation. You wouldn't know it from mainstream media coverage, but a majority of American women hold anti-abortion positions. 51% want abortions to either be completely illegal, or only legal in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. 62% support a ban on abortions after five months (20 weeks). None of those policies can be enforced while Roe remains in place.

And yet of the four women to serve on the Supreme Court so far, all four have consistently ruled in favor of abortion industry interests. This gross misrepresentation is in urgent need of correction. Of course, even Judge Barrett's successful elevation to the Court will not be enough to give pro-life women a proportional voice, but it's a start. 20% is better than 0%. 

The second reason has to do with a doctrine called the "reliance interest," which liberal Justices invented to rationalize Roe as it came under heavy criticism. The argument is that even if Roe is wrong, we can't turn back now, because women have come to rely on legal abortion. We have, the Court condescendingly tells us, "organized intimate relationships and made choices that define [our] views of [our]selves and [our] places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail," and "ordered [our] thinking and living around" Roe v. Wade. Justice Ginsburg took it a step further, claiming that women cannot even "enjoy equal citizenship stature" without the ability to kill our babies. I am a well-educated professional woman, and to say that this notion offends me does not begin to describe my level of disgust. 

Judge Barrett is a living, breathing rebuke to proponents of the reliance interest. She is a brilliant lawyer and scholar, deeply admired even by her legal adversaries. She is also a mother of seven, including a child with Down Syndrome. Those two aspects of her life are not in conflict. Judge Barrett's biography proves that, shockingly, work-life balance is achievable without dismembering any babies. 

And before you go arguing that we secular folks should oppose Judge Barrett because she's a religious extremist whose church inspired The Handmaid's Tale, you should know that's a bald-faced lie which has been debunked even by Vox and the Atlantic, neither of which is friendly to the pro-life cause. Besides, not a single sitting Justice is religiously unaffiliated, and Roe v. Wade itself is steeped in superstitious nonsense

The time has come for a pro-life woman on the Supreme Court. Bring on the hearings.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Deep Dive: Federal Elections and the Abortion Rate

Yesterday, Live Action News published an excellent article by Dr. Michael New entitled "No, Democratic presidents do not cause large declines in the abortion rate." The article debunks a recent round of memes which purport to show major abortion declines under Democratic presidents compared to Republican presidents — a claim so stale, Snopes rated it false four years ago.  

Dr. New correctly points out numerous problems with these memes. Among other things, they use data from the CDC (rather than the more reliable Guttmacher Institute data), treating California's refusal to report its abortion data to the CDC from 1997 onwards as if it were an actual decline during the Clinton administration instead of a statistical artifact. They also "neglect to mention that the U.S. abortion rate rose sharply during the presidential administration of Democrat Jimmy Carter." Dr. New does the service of providing the correct numbers:


Ranking those from best to worst (assuming you want a low abortion rate), that's Obama (D), Clinton (D), Reagan (R), Dubya (R), Bush Senior (R), and Carter (D). Data for Trump aren't yet available.

Young woman holds "I Vote Pro-Life First" sign
Image via Students for Life
This makes it seem like the occupant of the White House has very little to do with the abortion rate. Maybe all that matters is the state of the economy, you might fairly hypothesize, because studies show that most abortions are motivated by financial distress.

I don't doubt the impact of the economy. And yet we also know from prior studies that abortion restrictions like informed consent, parental consent, and waiting periods reduce the abortion rate. That's why pro-choice states have higher abortion rates than pro-life ones, despite similar pregnancy rates. 

So what gives? Does electing pro-life politicians matter or not?

One thing informed consent, parental consent, and waiting periods have in common is that none of them have been legislated on the federal level. No president, Republican or Democrat, has ever signed one into law. They are all state-level legislation. How you vote definitely matters for babies in your state. (See: the "Tea Party" wave during the Obama administration.)

But that's not to say what happens in D.C. stays in D.C. You may have noticed that the abortion lobby is constantly filing lawsuits over state-level legislation, and they usually do so in federal courts. It thus matters a great deal who a president has nominated to the federal judiciary, especially the Supreme Court of the United States. That effect, however, is time-delayed. Consider the recent setback in June Medical v. Russo, which struck down Louisiana's requirement for abortionists to have hospital privileges. June Medical was decided during the Trump administration, but the five Justices in the majority were appointed by Clinton (Ginsburg and Breyer), George W. Bush (Roberts), and Obama (Kagan and Sotomayor).

It's also important to note that past experience is no guarantee of future results. There are good reasons to believe that abortion policy will become increasingly federalized, and as that happens, the occupant of the White House will have a more immediate impact. The Hyde Amendment, which restricts taxpayer funding of abortion through federal Medicaid dollars, is Exhibit A. The Hyde Amendment has been in effect since 1976, covering all presidential administrations from Carter to Trump and saving over 2.4 million lives. But Democrats in Congress have signaled their desire to kill it if they have the votes to do so in 2021. Destroying Hyde would create a huge, federally-driven increase in the abortion rate.

Dr. New will speak on that very topic during our Out of Hyding virtual rally on Wednesday, September 30 at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific). We will celebrate the 44th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, affirm the dignity of Medicaid kids, and organize to preserve Hyde for the next generation. Registration is free. See you there!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Leading Opponent of Prenatal Non-Discrimination Law was a White Person Pretending to be Black

In April of 2016, Satchuel Cole of Indianapolis organized a rally against Indiana's prenatal non-discrimination law. The law prohibits abortions sought on the basis of a baby's race, along with other immutable characteristics like sex and disability. Support for race-based abortions is inherently racist — a criticism Cole deftly avoided by claiming to be Black.

That was a lie, the Indianapolis Star reports. Cole is in fact white.
"I have taken up space as a Black person while knowing I am white. I have used Blackness when it was not mine to use. I have asked for support and energy as a Black person. I have caused harm to the city, friends and the work that I held so dear," Cole posted on a Facebook page under the name Satch Paige.

[. . .] Cole's admission and apology came a day after an expose about Cole's family and race was published on the website BlackIndyLIVE.com. Laron Anderson, the website's editor-in-chief, said it was the culmination of long-standing questions he and others had about whether Cole really was Black.
The Star article focuses primarily on Cole's work on morally unobjectionable causes like running a food pantry and protesting police brutality. Cole's politically embarrassing leadership of the so-called "rally for women's rights" is noted only in passing, in a photo caption.

The 2020 news cycle moves quickly, and there a ton of big stories in the abortion sphere right now, so I feel this bears repeating: A white abortion advocate pretended to be Black, while organizing a rally against a law that would protect Black babies. 
Satchuel Cole
Image via their Soundcloud

The pro-abortion movement has been under fire in recent months for its endemic racism. Employees of color at pro-abortion organizations have spoken publicly in outlets like Buzzfeed about the workplace discrimination they have faced, Planned Parenthood regional CEO Laura McQuade was forced out for racist behavior, and the legacy of Planned Parenthood's eugenicist founder Margaret Sanger is under increased scrutiny. But this is all window dressing; abortion businesses and their supporters continue to vigorously support policies that lead to the deaths of Black and brown babies in the womb. 

As for Indiana's anti-racist abortion law, it sadly ran headlong into our nation's unjust legal system. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal struck it down in May of last year. The Supreme Court upheld a separate section of the law (dealing with the disposal of abortion victims' remains), but declined to take up the non-discrimination provisions. Justice Thomas, currently the only Black Justice on the Court, warned: "Given the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation, the court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana's."

Monday, September 21, 2020

Colorado allows abortion for any reason through all 9 months. Help us change that.

There are a lot of myths about late-term abortion in the United States. One of the most common is the idea that post-viability elective abortion is illegal everywhere. That is definitely untrue. In fact there are seven states, including Colorado, in which there are no gestational limits on abortion at all

Like the rest of the world, most Americans—including most pro-choice Americans—oppose late-term abortion. Only 28% of Americans believe abortion should be available after 13 weeks (Gallup), including only 40% of pro-choice people (Marist).

You may recall in early 2019 when New York state received a lot of backlash for expanding legal abortion through the third trimester. But even after loosening restrictions, New York still has more restricted abortion than Colorado has, because Colorado never pretended to outlaw late-term abortion to begin with. The state's incredibly lax abortion laws are extreme by both national and international standards: only seven countries in the world allow unrestricted abortion after 20 weeks, including such champions of human rights as Vietnam, North Korea, and China. This is the company Colorado currently keeps, dramatically out of step with the views and ethics of most of its population.

Keep in mind that the major abortion lobby talking points on this issue are absolute nonsense. Late-term abortion is not rare and it's not performed exclusively (or even primarily) for dire medical reasons (read a lot more here). Infamous late-term abortion provider Dr. Warren Hern (of Boulder, Colorado) has gone on record explaining he performs third trimester abortions for non-medical reasons, and he has published research explaining that even the "medically necessary" late-term abortions include such trivialities as a child having extra fingers or a cleft lip. In a 20-year period, about one fourth of the fetal anomaly abortions Hern's clinic performed were simply because the children had Down syndrome. Keep in mind that babies born as early as 22 weeks can survive and grow into healthy infants, and the odds of doing so rise dramatically with each passing week.

If, like me, you find Colorado's status quo abhorrent and grotesque, here's your chance to fight back. 


This November, Coloradans will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 115, which bans abortion in the state after 22 weeks. The proposition makes a point of penalizing only those providing illegal late-term abortion, and not the women seeking it. It makes exceptions for miscarriage management, ectopic pregnancies, and any situation in which the woman's life is physically threatened which can't be remedied by simply inducing early delivery. Prop 115 is a very basic, common ground, moderate abortion restriction that we should be able to come together on quite easily.

Let's end the insanity in Colorado. Here are ways you can help:
Further Reading:
  1. 12 Reasons to support Proposition 115, Democrats for Life of Colorado
  2. Why Coloradans Should Support Proposition 115. Dr. Thomas Perille, Democrats for Life of Colorado (a lot of detailed and sourced information here)
  3. Responding to 8 common pro-choice claims about late-term abortion, Secular Pro-Life
  4. Master post: 21+ week abortions usually aren't medically necessary, Secular Pro-Life

Saturday, September 19, 2020

"Out of Hyding" Campaign Celebrates 44 Years of Life-Saving Hyde Amendment

Register here for our Out of Hyding virtual rally on September 30 at 9pm Eastern!

The Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal taxpayer funding of most elective abortions through the Medicaid program, may be the pro-life movement's single greatest achievement. Since its enactment on September 30, 1976, it has saved the lives of over 2.4 million low-income Americans. Odds are very good that you know someone who is walking around today thanks to the Hyde Amendment.

But where we see precious human lives, the abortion industry sees over a billion dollars in lost revenue (using an average of $508 per abortion). The Hyde Amendment is under serious threat. Democratic leaders have signaled their intent to break with decades of bipartisan tradition and refuse Hyde Amendment protections in the next federal budget. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was a supporter of the Hyde Amendment until very recently, but cowardly flip-flopped under pressure from abortion extremists in his party. 

It's usually bad politics to imply that millions of your constituents should have been killed on Uncle Sam's dime. Anti-Hyde politicians get away with it because many of the people whose lives were saved by the Hyde Amendment are too young to vote. Many also belong to marginalized communities. We must amplify the voices of Medicaid kids and stand up for their dignity as human beings!

In September 2016, Secular Pro-Life organized the #HelloHyde campaign to mark the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment. But we have grown so much in the past four years that many of our supporters weren't around at the time of that campaign (an excellent problem to have!). So we are pleased to announce that we are renewing our commitment to Medicaid kids, inside and outside of the womb, with an Out of Hyding virtual rally on Wednesday, September 30! Speakers will share their personal stories, celebrate 44 years of life-saving, conscience-respecting federal policy, and provide action items to keep the Hyde Amendment secure for the next generation. 

There is no doubt that lives are on the line. In places that have undermined Hyde by subsidizing abortion with state (rather than federal) taxpayer funds, the abortion rate has tragically increased. We must stop the abortion lobby from scaling that tragedy nationwide. Register for the Out of Hyding virtual rally today!

Once you've registered, be sure to RSVP to our Facebook event and invite friends, and use the Out of Hyding profile frame and the hashtag #OutOfHyding to support the cause!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

We Asked, You Answered: Your Pro-Life Platform

A person stands in front of the Supreme Court with a sign that reads "We are all humans / Todos somos humanos." Image credit: Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

We posed the question on our Facebook page: "If you could design a pro-life platform, what principles & policies would it include?" Here is just a sampling of the 200 comments we received: 

April J.: (1) Better paid and more generous parental leave. (2) Cheaper, less bureaucratic adoption process. (3) Incentives to colleges/universities/trade schools that have daycare and/or on campus living accommodations for moms/parents in school.

John D.: Ending innocent defenseless human lives is wrong. This should be taught unambiguously in all public schools as well as those that receive any federal funds.

Multiple commenters: The platform of the American Solidarity Party.

David J.: Constitutional amendment protecting life in the womb.

Amy K.: Wow, where to start?? Classes on embryology, education and access to birth control, easier access to sterilization, support for mothers and their entire families during and after pregnancy, resources for nutrition, insurance, legal, housing needs, job training, continuing education, more aggressive child support enforcement.... I'm sure there's a lot more and each of these has plenty of subcategories of course!

Manisha D.: Disability rights!!

JoAnn S.: Federal deposits into Social Security accounts for anyone staying out of the labor market on order to care for one or more children. Raising the next generation is beneficial to all even those without children. Children are not equivalent to pets. They are not optional to a society. Someone's kid is going to dig our graves.

Austin S.: Not killing babies. The matter's so simple to me. I don't believe it's ever okay to murder an innocent human. I believe doctors should always try to save every life possible. That’s their job—to help people. Currently they do a terrible job at that. We should value life. That’s the most fundamental, basic start towards decent society.

Jordan W.: I'm actually most interested in the core values of the movement. We’ve been lacking the clear core values needed to win. Here are just a few suggestions. (1) The ONLY thing necessary for membership in the pro-life movement is the belief that abortion is the unjustified killing of human beings and a commitment to save babies from abortion. No one can be excluded based on politics, religion, race, gender, or any other trait. (2) Principles over personalities. We must always put the mission over any person’s personal agendas, fame, or self interest. (3) Non-violence. We must be committed to non-violence as the way to end abortion. Anyone in the pro-life movement must be 100% committed to non-violence both as the reason to end abortion and the means to end abortion. (4) Pro-life means ending abortion. We can't have add on agendas such as "ending abortion AND electing our favorite politicians”, “ending abortion AND converting people to my Christian denomination," or "ending abortion AND converting people to Catholic doctrine on contraception." There is plenty of time outside the pro-life movement for other agendas. When we are engaged in pro-life activities we are solely focused on the mission. No additional missions. These are just a few of my suggestions for core values.

Pamela M.: At a quick glance I didn't see anything about perinatal and pediatric palliative care and hospice programs. Proper funding for medical childcare/daycare options, Early Intervention, Special Education, respite, in home nursing for the most medically fragile, adult day programs and vocational opportunities for individuals with disabilities, group/supportive living as well as residential care (when that is the best option for the individual), etc. As a mother of a child with severe disabilities due to being born with a rare life-limiting genetic diseases that is typically fatal in childhood we are more aware than most that many children who are aborted are terminated due to a prenatal diagnosis.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Abortion Survivor's Mother Speaks Out

Many of our readers are familiar with the name Melissa Ohden. A longtime friend of Secular Pro-Life, Melissa is probably the most outspoken abortion survivor in the United States. She has testified before legislative bodies about her birth following a saline abortion procedure in the late 1970s, and she is the founder of More Than A Choice: Abortion Survivors Network

But do you know the name Ruth Lindahl?

Abortion survivor and pro-life 
advocate Melissa Ohden

Ruth is Melissa's biological mother. They were reunited thirty years after Melissa's odds-defying birth, and they have fully reconciled.

As it turns out, Ruth never wanted to have an abortion. She was only nineteen years old when she conceived Melissa, and Ruth's mother (Melissa's grandmother) demanded the abortion and made the arrangements. When Melissa was born alive, the family conspired to hide that fact from Ruth and secretly placed Melissa for adoption, with the help of a family friend in the clerk of court's office. 

In an interview reported exclusively by the Christian Post, Ruth explains that her churchgoing, locally prominent parents were appalled that she became pregnant before marriage, and they pursued the coerced abortion to protect their reputations. (Ruth was in fact engaged, but her parents hated her fiance, and the engagement unsurprisingly fell apart in the traumatic aftermath of the "abortion.") Although Ruth is a woman of faith, she has harsh criticism for her fellow Christians who prioritize appearances over basic decency and compassion.

Melissa asked Ruth: "What would you tell someone right now, if somebody listens to this, if they're thinking about having an abortion, what would you tell them?" Her answer was simple and powerful: "I would tell them to think five times over... that they will regret it for the rest of their life; they will think forever about that baby."

You should definitely check out the full interview, which I am told is just the first in a series of videos uniting abortion survivors and their biological parents. Stay tuned.


Friday, September 11, 2020

March for Life announces 2021 theme


The March for Life has been held every January, around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, since 1974. Luckily, the March itself always takes place outdoors, with pro-life advocates walking down the National Mall toward the Supreme Court building — and since outdoor protests like Black Lives Matter have not led to COVID-19 spikes, I believe the March for Life can continue to operate safely. But the ecosystem of indoor events that has grown up around the March for Life over the years is another matter. Those auxiliary events have largely been cancelled (the National Pro-Life Summit) or gone virtual (the O'Connor conference at Georgetown). To be clear, that's the right decision; I am not complaining, and I know this is a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things. I am merely, as a human being, struggling to process all the changes the pandemic has thrown my way. 

Where was I? Right! The March for Life! Although we march every year for the same basic reason — to register our protest against Roe and memorialize the millions of innocent human beings destroyed by abortion — the pro-life cause is multi-faceted, and each March for Life has a particular theme. For instance, the most recent March for Life focused on pro-life feminism to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The 2019 theme was "Unique from Day One," focused on the science of life at fertilization. 

The 2021 March for Life theme, just announced last night, is "Together Strong: Life Unites." I couldn't have selected a better theme for these tumultuous times. The pro-life movement unites people of all backgrounds — every age, gender, race, and religion (including no religion!) — to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family. Secular Pro-Life is honored to play a role in this diverse campaign for human rights.  

P.S. — Since we are saving on the cost of conference exhibit booths this year, we are thinking about using that money to order custom masks and distribute them at the March for Life. Is there a particular pro-life slogan you'd like to see on our masks? Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Secular Pro-Life August Recap!

Projects
Secular Pro-Life's president Kelsey Hazzard was busy this month so check it out:

Mid-August Kelsey was featured in an interview on Respect Life Radio, a Denver-based Catholic radio station.  Of particular interest, discussion on Proposition 115, which would clamp down on late-term abortions in the state.  

Later in August, she was one of two debaters representing the pro-life side on the YouTube channel Modern-Day Debate

In other news, Rehumanize International came out with a plan for restorative justice in a world after the end of Roe v. Wade.  Secular Pro-Life has come on-board as one of the organizations endorsing this plan.  Students for Life Action has developed a strategic plan to improve a culture of life within the United States which SPL has also signed on to.  Check it out here.

SPL's own pro-life firebrand Terrisa Bukovinac was one of the many dedicated pro-life Democrats to make their voices heard during the Democratic National Convention, even though officially they were not included at the convention.  

And finally, August 29th Secular Pro-Life joined several other organizations as co-sponsor at the first virtual Rehumanize Conference.  This was a conference focused on the spectrum of life issues - from abortion to war and everything in between and SPL had a virtual booth.  If you missed it, keep an eye out for when they post videos of the conference on their YouTube page.

The Rehumanize Conference featured speakers from all over the country
Twitter
We gained 207 new followers, bringing us to 11,980 total. We sent out 33 tweets this month which were viewed 141,700 times.  The story that got most people talking?  Where Secular Pro-Life was forced to do The Washington Post's fact-checking for them.  No retraction by The Washington Post as of this email.
Who fact-checks the fact-checkers?  (apparently SPL)
 
Facebook
In August we gained 107 followers, bringing us to 33,132 total. Our content was viewed over 252,356 times, including 10,381 views of our snarky meme that encapsulates how far too many pro-choicers come across to pro-lifers who see abortion as a human rights violation.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"
Blogger
Our three most-read blog posts for August, in increasing order:
  • In Depth: Abortion in Ireland After Repeal of the Right to Life: A post-mortem on the impact abortion legalization has had on this country that once protected both.  
  • Shouting About Heartbeats: This post showcases the mental gymnastics certain pro-choice advocates have found themselves doing when they interpret a heartbeat ban as a 6-week ban because that is about when a heartbeat shows up, then claim that a 6-week embryo doesn't have a heartbeat.
  • Yeah, about that bizarre "Satanic abortions" story:  Well, SPL fandom, this is your top viewed blog post.  Frankly, I'm a little worried about you.  This is a handy analysis of The Satanic Temple's political goals and methods and is a perfectly good post for those of you interested in the intersection between the separation of church and state issues and abortion.  But we all know the real reason you clicked on this one with its clickbaity title.
Join our army of bloggers with a guest post! Guest posts help us cover a more diverse range of perspectives, topics, and experiences. If you have an idea for a piece you'd like to submit, please email us at info@secularprolife.org to discuss.
Thank you to our supporters
Thank you to those of you who donate to help support our work. SPL is run by dedicated volunteers, and we would not be able to devote the time and energy without the help of donors like you.

In gratitude for all their hard work in putting together the Rehumanize Conference, consider donating to Rehumanize International.  An anonymous donor is currently matching all donations up to $5000.  You can donate to them here.

And if you haven't already, come find us on social media!

Friday, September 4, 2020

Louisiana's Amendment 1, the "Love Life" Amendment, Explained

A young person stands outside the Supreme Court of the United States holding a pro-life sign. The sign is in the shape of Louisiana and reads "Patients before profits."

When the people of the Pelican State hit the polls on November 3, the first amendment on our ballot will be a pro-life measure ensuring that no right to abortion or government funding of abortion can be found in the state’s constitution. The new tactic of law firms representing the abortion-industrial complex is to petition state courts to find a right to abortion in the state's foundational legal document. For example, just last year, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the right to terminate pregnancies is inherent in its state constitution, meaning that abortion will remain fully legal even if Roe v. Wade is overturned and leaving no right to appeal. About a dozen other states are caught in the same judicially imposed trap. Louisiana has had a trigger law on the books since June of 2006, meaning that if Roe is overturned, abortion will automatically be banned. But if a Louisiana court finds a right to abortion in our state's constitution, the trigger law could be rendered null and void. That is why it is vital that Louisianians vote yes to Amendment 1 on November 3.

The Love Life amendment was authored by state senator Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe), a powerhouse in the pro-life Democratic movement, and her colleague Sen. Beth Mizel (R-Franklinton). The amendment reads in full: "To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion." You can read the complete legislation authorizing the ballot measure here. The amendment has been endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, both U.S. senators from Louisiana, Louisiana Right to Life, and several other faith communities.

The Love Life amendment is expected to pass in Louisiana, as the pro-life movement in our state is strong and uniquely bipartisan. Louisiana is the only state with a pro-life Democratic governor, Jon Bel Edwards, and other leaders like Sen. Katrina Jackson who stand for the rights of unborn children as well as more traditionally Democratic issues such as Medicaid expansion and racial justice.

In addition to ensuring that the most valuable and fundamental right to life for all humans is enshrined in the Louisiana constitution, the Love Life amendment also prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions. Although the Democratic Party is pushing for taxpayer funding of abortion, it's an unpopular cause; multiple polls demonstrate that the majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars going toward the killing of unborn children. Passing the Love Life amendment is important not only to protect pregnant people and preborn children here in Louisiana, but also to demonstrate the power of pro-life Democrats. If the pro-life Democrats in Louisiana join with Republican counterparts to affirm that our constitution values preborn life, the Democratic Party may realize that using extreme pro-abortion ideology as a litmus test is a losing issue.

TJ Burgess, a self-identified pro-life Democrat and Louisiana college student, explains his reasons for supporting Amendment 1: "As a college student, I’m proud to support the Love Life Amendment, which will ensure that abortion giants don’t profit off of young students who are in desperate need of life-affirming resources and care. The abortion industry is terrified of losing millions of dollars because Louisiana is becoming a more pro-life, life-affirming state, but that’s why it is vital to pass this amendment and provide support to pregnant people." 

President of student group Nicholls for Life and self-described progressive pro-life feminist Rebecca Beyer says: "I fully support this amendment as a vital step toward creating a holistic culture of life. I hope that this will set a trajectory in the right direction towards a state and country and world in which all human life is valued and protected."

Long-time Louisiana pro-life activist Ashlen Sandoz says, "The Love Life amendment is important to support because it seeks to change our laws to recognize the humanity of a group of people who is being dehuamanized. As someone who believes in more progressive ideas, I know that a right cannot be granted by taking away the rights of a vulnerable population."

[Today's guest post is by Sophie Trist. If you would like to contribute a guest post, email your submission to info@secularprolife.org for consideration.]

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Democratic Party Targets Life-Saving Hyde Amendment

YouGov data shows majority support for the Hyde Amendment, which limits taxpayer subsidies of abortions

During the Democratic primary, former Vice President Joe Biden was forced to explain his view on the Hyde Amendment. On June 5, 2019, his campaign claimed Biden supported Hyde, which bans federal Medicaid funds from paying for elective abortions. Biden had held that view for years, and was once considered a moderate. 

After facing backlash from his primary rivals, Biden was forced to "clarify" his statement. A mere day later he said that he no longer supported the Hyde Amendment. 

Much was written about Biden’s views following the announcement. The Washington Post wrote that "Joe Biden learned the hard way there is no middle ground on abortion." And many discussed the change of view with regards to Biden being a Catholic.

It is worth stressing, however, that the position a candidate takes on taxpayer funded abortions, if they wish to best reflect the American people, should not be affected by their religion, or lack thereof. 

Ultimately, Biden became the Democratic Party's nominee, while Senator Kamala Harris, a primary rival who vocally criticized Biden on Hyde, was nominated to be his Vice President. 

To the Democratic Party, repealing the Hyde Amendment is about equal access to health care being a right. In this line of thinking, that means abortion. "If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's ZIP code," Biden said. "I can't justify leaving millions of women without the access to care they need, and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right," he added.

The Democratic Party position is not merely semantics. The Los Angeles Times reported on August 28 that "House Democrats will try to repeal long-standing ban on federal money for abortions." A disturbing prospect, but nothing new, right?

Wrong. It shows that Democratic leadership is taking active steps to end Hyde:

Now, top House Democrats say they plan to challenge that status quo. Beginning next year, Democratic leaders in the House no longer will back the annual move to put the prohibition into law, they’ve told a small group of House Democrats.

While Americans support keeping the Hyde Amendment, as further explained below, that’s no longer the case with the Democratic Party. "The Democratic party's changing position on the policy has been swift," the article mentions. "It's not just [lawmakers] from safe Democratic districts" who support changing the law, [Rep. Diana] DeGette said. Support comes from "across the entire Democratic caucus," the article continues.

It is almost certain that this move from House Democrats, if successful, will have paramount consequences. What are the personal impacts of the Hyde Amendment on human life, though?

The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research organization vocally in favor of repealing Hyde, paints a grim picture. In a 2013 report, they flippantly offered an estimate on what the abortion rates would look like:

The number of abortions among Medicaid-eligible women nationwide would be expected to increase by approximately 33,000 if the Hyde amendment were to be repealed—or only a 2.5% increase in the number of abortions performed nationwide.

"Only?" How can one so casually mention these 33,000 additional abortions and excuse it that it’s "only a 2.5% increase…?"

As admitted by the New York Times, discussing American’s views on the Hyde Amendment, it "depends how and whom you ask," emphasis added. 

Perhaps the worst example is a Hart Research Associates poll, commissioned by All* Above All, whose very purpose is to repeal the Hyde Amendment. It's delusional to say such a poll could not be expected to be biased and misleading. Even when taxpayer funds were mentioned, it was through an offered question with prejudgment, just as virtually every other question asked.

"Using taxpayer dollars for abortion forces all of us to pay for them–even people who don't believe in abortion," was an option for respondents to choose with which they agreed with most. Only 37 percent chose the response. Conversely, the only other option, which 63 percent chose, read "However we feel about abortion, politicians should not be allowed to deny insurance coverage for it just because a person is struggling financially." Decide for yourself if that's a fair wording. 

This opinion piece by The Hill references the poll, but does not mention All* Above All’s involvement. 

Polls which objectively ask respondents about their thoughts on taxpayer funded elective abortions, consistently show a majority against repealing the Hyde Amendment. 

Fortunately, the New York Times mentions other polls which show support for the Hyde Amendment, a Politico and YouGov poll, both from 2016.

Each year the Knights of Columbus commissions a Marist poll. These polls, including the one for 2020, have shown overall opposition to taxpayer funded abortions, including from those who are pro-choice. 

Even Slate, which is pro-choice, recognized support for the Hyde Amendment and recommended candidates heed such views. The piece also mentions the Politico/Morning Consult poll from 2019 and PRRI from 2018. 

Another poll, from McLaughlin & Associates, commissioned by the Susan B. Anthony List, shows a majority of respondents opposing abortions paid for with taxpayer funded dollars. 

This year's Democratic Party platform was clear throughout that a goal of the Biden-Harris administration is to repeal the Hyde Amendment. The 2016 platform was the first to say so. Any such discussion was virtually absent from the convention, other than when Harris briefly mentioned in her acceptance speech an "injustice in reproductive and maternal health care." That same night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used "championing a woman's right to choose and defending Roe v. Wade" as her first example of how Democrats "are unleashing the full power of women to take their rightful place in every part of our national life..."

Both the pro-life and pro-choice media took notice at the lack of a comprehensive discussion of proposed abortion policy. 

Meanwhile, speakers at the Republican National Convention addressed the Democratic Party's view on abortion, included taxpayer funded procedures, each night. 

As various media sources commented, it is rather strange that the Democrats would leave out such a fundamental tenet from their convention. This is especially the case when they're so set on refusing to budge on Hyde. Perhaps it's because they don't think that they need to earn the support of the American people with such a dramatic move. 

There is a hopeful, human side to the Hyde Amendment, however. The #HelloHyde campaign was introduced in 2016, the 40th anniversary of Hyde.

A child born via Medicaid wears a
name tag that says "#HelloHyde
my name is Noah."

Also in 2016, the Charlotte Lozier Institute released estimations that over 2 million lives were saved because of Hyde. For those born after 1976 through Medicaid, 1 in 9 owe their lives to Hyde. It's #HelloHyde which puts a face to these countless, invaluable lives.

So, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the Democratic ticket want taxpayers to fund abortions. The American people don’t, though. It's time for politicians to listen to their constituents, with all views on abortion, who don’t want their taxpayers going to a procedure which is not only elective, but morally reprehensible to the conscience of so many Americans. 

[Today's guest post is by Rebecca Downs. If you would like to contribute a guest post, email your submission to info@secularprolife.org for consideration.]