Tag Archive for: Abortion

EXCLUSIVE: This Department Was at the Center of COVID-19 Overreach. Here’s What a Conservative President Should Do With It

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

A coalition of conservative leaders and former federal government political appointees has compiled a game plan for the next conservative president to restore the Department of Health and Human Services to a focus on health care rather than forcing a leftist agenda down Americans’ throats.

From the COVID-19 pandemic to abortion funding and transgender mandates, HHS has twisted federal law and the pursuit of public health to marginalize people of faith and promote bureaucrats and leftist activism, warns a report edited by Roger Severino, former director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights under President Donald Trump. He argues that the next conservative president must reverse these abuses and return HHS to its proper role: the promotion of public health.

“Few areas of life are more important, and more subject to abuse, than public health,” Severino, vice president of Domestic Policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in a statement Monday. “Unfortunately, our public health agencies have replaced science and medicine with politics and ideology, and Americans now face shorter life spans as a result. Reform can only happen if entrenched special interests, from lawless bureaucratic leaders and Big Pharma, are reined in and rooted out.” (The Daily Signal is The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet.)

Severino organized and edited a major report in the book “Mandate for Leadership,” compiled by the 2025 Presidential Transition Project, noting that after the COVID-19 pandemic was over, U.S. life expectancy continued to drop precipitously. A copy of the report on HHS was provided exclusively to The Daily Signal for this article.

The Heritage Foundation helped launch the 2025 Presidential Transition Project (also known as Project 2025) to equip a potential conservative president to govern effectively from Day One.

HHS has an outsized impact on the federal government, from its role in declaring public health emergencies to its management of Medicare and Medicaid to its $1.6 trillion annual budget. Under Presidents Joe Biden and Barack Obama, HHS has also used its power over health policy to promote abortion and transgender ideology.

Severino’s team lays out five overarching goals for a conservative president intent on reshaping HHS: (1) protecting life from conception, protecting the rights of conscience of health care workers, and defending biological reality against gender identity ideology; (2) empowering patients to make their own health care choices, enabling providers to offer more options, and unleashing markets to drive down costs and improve quality; (3) promoting stable and flourishing married families instead of LGBT activism and single motherhood; (4) correcting the errors of the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for the next health emergency; and (5) closing the “revolving door between government and Big Pharma,” where regulators leave government and work for companies they have regulated and pharmaceutical executives move from industry into regulatory agencies.

Severino’s team breaks down the massive bureaucracy of HHS and presents specific recommendations for each branch of the behemoth agency. This article focuses on a few of the specific issues that motivate the major changes he recommends.

1. COVID-19
Many of the report’s critiques and recommendations for a future HHS trace back to the department’s abuses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It notes that while the HHS secretary declared a public health emergency, “the threshold for what constitutes a public health emergency—how many cases, hospitalizations, deaths, etc.—was never defined.”

Severino’s team recommends that Congress “restrict HHS’s ability to declare indefinite public health emergencies,” in part by establishing a set time frame for any emergency.

The report also recommends that the HHS secretary “investigate, expose, and remediate any instances in which HHS violated people’s rights by” colluding with Big Tech companies to silence dissent on COVID-19.

Severino’s team says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be broken up into two separate organizations: one dedicated to gathering scientific data and one responsible for making public health recommendations—”an inescapably political function.” The report notes that the CDC previously held back public health information on COVID-19 partially due to “fear that the information might be misinterpreted.”

“CDC should report on the risks and effectiveness of all infectious disease-mitigation measures dispassionately and leave the ‘should’ and ‘must’ policy calls to politically accountable parties,” the report suggests. “Congress should ensure that CDC’s legal authorities are clearly defined and limited to prevent” an “arbitrary and vacillating exercise of power,” as the U.S. experienced during the pandemic.

Severino’s report recommends that the Food and Drug Administration, not the CDC, should regulate vaccines, and calls for reforms to prevent the National Institutes of Health’s “inappropriate industry ties that create serious conflicts of interest.”

The report notes that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—Anthony Fauci’s division of the NIH—”owns half of the patent for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, among thousands of other pharma patents.” According to NIH documents, NIH Director Francis Collins, Fauci, and Fauci’s deputy director, Clifford Lane, all received royalty payments from pharmaceutical companies between 2009 and 2014.

The report faults NIH for funding “gain-of-function viral research that may have been responsible for COVID-19.”

2. Abortion
Severino’s team recommends HHS change many policies to protect unborn life and maternal health and to honor the religious convictions of Americans who object to the use of aborted baby body parts in medical research.

The CDC “should fund studies into the risks and complications of abortion” and require states to report abortion complications and babies born alive despite an attempted abortion, the team writes. It should prohibit research on aborted baby body parts, since such research can be “easily” replaced with research on adult stem cells. And it should avoid promoting abortion as health care.

The report condemns the CDC’s current abortion and maternal mortality reporting systems as “woefully inadequate,” since states provide those statistics on a voluntary basis. “Because liberal states have now become sanctuaries for abortion tourism, HHS should use every available tool, including the cutting of funds, to ensure that every state reports exactly how many abortions take place within its borders, at what gestational age of the child, for what reason, the mother’s state of residence, and by what method.”

Severino’s team urges the FDA to reconsider its approval of chemical abortion drugs, an approval that currently faces a court challenge. The report notes that the complication rater for chemical abortion is “four times higher” than that of surgical abortion and that the chemical abortion drug mifepristone has been associated with 26 deaths of pregnant mothers, over 1,000 hospitalizations, and thousands more adverse events. It also calls the approval of this drug “politicized and illegal from the start.”

The report also calls for the FDA to loosen its restrictions on foreign-made vaccines that were not derived through or tested on aborted baby cells, reinstituting a Trump-era waiver for Japanese-made vaccines.

It urges the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds and to redirect funds to “health centers that provide real health care for women.”

Severino’s team urges HHS to audit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for compliance to the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding of abortions, and to perform a “full review” of HHS efforts to promote abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v. Wade.

The report also urges various HHS departments to rescind “ideologically motivated fearmongering” guidance that the Biden administration released in the wake of the court’s ruling, such as warnings about state governments “targeting” women for getting abortions.

3. Transgender Ideology
“Radical actors inside and outside government are promoting harmful identity politics that replaces biological sex with subjective notions of ‘gender identity,’” Severino’s team warns. The report urges a potential conservative president to reverse this trend.

Biden’s HHS has interpreted Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in health care, to forbid discrimination on the basis of “gender identity” and sexual orientation as well. Severino’s team urges a future HHS secretary to explicitly revoke this guidance, as HHS did under Trump.

The report says that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should reissue and expand upon its 2016 decision that it cannot recommend “gender reassignment surgery” for Medicare beneficiaries, citing the “growing body of evidence that such interventions are dangerous.” (Many doctors recently testified in favor of a Florida rule blocking Medicaid coverage for experimental transgender interventions.)

The report also urges HHS to withdraw guidance allowing taxpayer funds to pay for cross-sex transitions.

It faults the NIH for having been “at the forefront in pushing junk gender science,” and encourages the agency to “fund studies into the short-term and long-term negative effects of [cross-sex] interventions, including ‘affirmation,’ puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries, and the likelihood of desistence [abandoning the desire to change one’s sex] if young people are given counseling that does not include medical or social interventions.”

4. Restoring Religious Liberty
Severino’s team notes that under liberal administrations, the office of HHS that he led, the Office for Civil Rights, “has amassed a poor record of devoting resources to conscience and religious freedom enforcement and is often complicit in approving or looking the other way at the administration’s own attacks on religious liberty.”

The report encourages a prospective conservative president to direct the Office for Civil Rights to return to the Trump-era policies that “initiated robust enforcement of these conscience laws.” It urges HHS to reestablish waivers for state and child welfare agencies, especially for faith-based adoption and foster care agencies, which had previously been excluded from federal programs because they were unwilling to place children with same-sex couples.

5. Restoring Medicare and Medicaid
Severino’s team warns that Medicare and Medicaid operate “runaway entitlements that stifle medical innovation, encourage fraud, and impede cost containment, in addition to which their fiscal future is in peril.”

The report urges the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to increase Medicare beneficiaries’ control over their own care; reduce regulatory burdens on doctors; ensure sustainability and value for both beneficiaries and taxpayers; and reduce fraud, waste, and abuse. It favors Medicare Advantage and urges Medicare to pay the same amount for outpatient procedures that it does for inpatient hospital services. It also encourages Medicare to reform payments along the lines of intensity and value of service, as opposed to a fee-for-service model.

Severino’s team warns that Medicaid has a higher percentage of improper payments than any other federal program, and encourages the program to stop covering nonmedical services like air conditioning and housing. The report says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should give states more flexibility to strengthen program integrity and to incentivize personal responsibility through work requirements and private insurance.

6. Medical Ethics
Severino’s team encourages HHS to decommission the CDC and NIH Foundations, nonprofit entities “whose boards are populated with pharmaceutical company executives.”

“Private donations to these foundations—a majority of them from pharmaceutical companies—should not be permitted to influence government decisions about research funding or public health policy,” the report urges.

“We must shut and lock the revolving door between government and Big Pharma,” it adds. “Regulators should have a long ‘cooling off period’ on their contracts (15 years would not be too long) that prevents them from working for companies they have regulated. Similarly, pharmaceutical company executives should be restricted from moving from industry into positions within regulatory agencies.”

Severino’s team recommends more changes to HHS, including a prioritization of fatherhood in the many social programs HHS controls, and the elimination of the Head Start preschool program and the NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect the authorship of the Project 2025 HHS report.

This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Culture of Death: Dem Resigns After Calling to Abort Kids with Disabilities to Avoid Using Up School Budgets

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the late Pope John Paul II once said, we are living in an era where most countries promote a “culture of death.” One of the most obvious examples of this is the zealous, almost religious support of so many for abortion; even many people who understand that abortion is wrong still admit exceptions for rape and incest, as if the killing of an innocent baby somehow ceases to be the killing of an innocent baby based on the circumstances of conception. My point being that in many European, American, and Asian countries, a lot of people have become more or less desensitized to death and even murder. An extreme instance of this is the Democrat who recently complained that down syndrome children or children with other disabilities need special educational resources when he argued they should have just been killed before birth, so as to avoid inconveniencing anybody. That is how cheaply Democrats value individual human life.

MRCTV reported that Michael Hugo resigned from his position as Framingham Democratic Committee chair about a month after he created a “firestorm” with his comments during a city council meeting about “abortion access.” Hugo whined that children born with mental or physical disabilities are supposedly strains on school budgets.

Hmm, seems we’ve heard complaints about “non-perfect” people and demands to kill them en masse before in recent history. . .oh, that’s right, Adolf Hitler believed in exterminating anyone who was “imperfect” so such people wouldn’t “burden” the system! And we know how well Hitler’s theories played out!

“[MRCTV] ‘That becomes a very local issue because our school budget will have to absorb the cost of a child in special education, supplying lots and lots of special services to the children who were born with the defect,’ Hugo said at the Feb. 7 meeting.

The comment sparked immediate fury from the public, forcing the Framingham Democratic Committee to condemn Hugo’s remarks at a February 26 meeting – about three weeks later. Hugo faced widespread calls to resign, demands that weren’t calmed with his copious ‘apologies’…

While Hugo’s comments are revolting to say the least – there’s not really a word in the English language to capture the evilness of suggesting an infant be murdered if they’re anything less than physically perfect – I fail to see how his comments are any different than Ana Navarro openly claiming on CNN last year that babies with Down syndrome should be aborted if their families don’t want the burden of raising a child with a difference (she even used her own brother as an example of such a proverbial boat anchor).”

Despite the fact that Hugo apologized, he also complained how ill-used he was and asserted the story was unnecessarily amplified. Geez, can’t a guy say children should be murdered so they don’t use up money without being harassed???

In Jan. 2022, at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., activist Katie Shaw, who has Down Syndrome, noted that there is a waiting list in America to adopt Down Syndrome kids, but over 80% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. The abortion rate is horribly tragic, but Shaw’s comment proves that children with disabilities have families ready and waiting to welcome and love them, even if their biological parents can’t (I can also say as someone who heard Shaw speak that day that she was more articulate than half of Congress).

School budgets in this country aren’t being drained by children with disabilities, they are being drained by stupid projects like LGBTQ sex ed and CRT; illegal aliens; and individuals who overspend and do their jobs poorly. Maybe if schools stopped buying pornographic programs and racist literature for children, there would be more money for the precious, joyous, and loving children who have just as much a right to life in America as those whom Democrats consider physically “perfect.”

This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

Post Roe v. Wade: The States Choose Death

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

What happened on Tuesday was not, by any measure, terribly shocking. The ambitious red wave was a much more realistic red ripple; Republicans will win the House while the Senate will likely be split; the narrow races are yet to be decided (this is apparently now the norm in American politics, vindicating an election prediction from 2020); and once again, the first Tuesday in November marked a slight shift, rather than an about-face, from the condition of electoral politics the year prior.

But while the electoral results will apparently take days—weeks, even, in the case of Georgia—there was one question on the ballot that has already been clearly decided. Abortion, and all its sundry offshoots, will retain protected status in the United States.

Five key ballot proposals on abortion were decided Tuesday night. California, Vermont, Montana, Kentucky, and Michigan all weighed in favor of fewer limits on abortion, with even red Kentucky knocking down a proposal to specify that the state constitution does not protect a right to abortion. Montana narrowly declined to recognize the rights, including the right to medical care, of a child born from a partial or botched abortion. Vermont’s Prop. 5 made it the first state in the Union to enshrine a fundamental right to an abortion in its state constitution, beating California only by a few hours. The constitution of the state of California, too, will now read that “the state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom…which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion.” But Michigan’s proposal may just be the most extreme.

Proposal 3, as previously reported, goes beyond enshrining a right to abortion in the state constitution, though it certainly does that. In addition to establishing rights to all manner of “reproductive freedom,” including sterilization, the bill also does away with parental consent for minors in any such reproductive decisions. That opens the door to some very bleak possibilities, like the underage rape victim being coerced to abort her baby to provide cover for her abuser; or the teenaged, gender-confused girl being given hormone therapy behind her parents’ backs, at the permanent cost of her fertility. The proposal was passed by a margin of 13 percentage points at the time of this writing, and would require three-fourths of both chambers of the Michigan state legislature, which just flipped blue, to vote to overturn it. Or, of course, another ballot proposal. Or a federal abortion ban.

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times published a piece describing the Michigan proposal and how it was shaping the gubernatorial contest between Gretchen Whitmer and Tudor Dixon. (I made a similar observation a few weeks back.) The Times opening interviewee, a woman whose yard was pockmarked with campaign signs for Republican names all the way down the ballot, told the reporter she would vote in favor of Prop. 3, despite her Republican bona fides, because “I’m my own person.”

Clearly, she was not alone. More people, about 100,000 more, voted for the losing Republican candidate, Dixon, than against the proposal. Even more telling were the results in Kentucky, which spans both the Rust Belt and the Bible Belt, and where the measure to restrict abortion failed by 6 percentage points. This is the same state that went for Trump by 62 percent to Biden’s 36 percent in 2020. In many ways, places like Kentucky are the heart of the new right and its voter base—they produced J.D. Vance, after all. But we should not misunderstand what this means.

As commentator Aaron Renn pointed out in his newsletter on Wednesday, the majority of the voting public seems to want abortion to be legal. This is especially true for working class Americans, who comprise a large swath of voters in both Michigan and Kentucky. I am not the first to point out, of course, how many of these blue collar Democrats now vote Republican—in part due to Trump, but also as a result of the leftward shift of the Democratic Party. The voters haven’t moved much, but the parties have.

That means Republicans who prioritize working class concerns are winning again (see: Vance), but it also means that the Evangelical vote, which has never been as significant as folks want to believe, is less relevant than ever. Many Evangelicals have gone left in recent decades, perceiving empathy in the progressive agenda. Those who have stuck with the right often tend to emphasize genuine, if secondary, political concerns (election fraud, Covid policies, critical race theory) over religious ones (the sanctity of life).

It used to be that you could not run in a red state without being loudly opposed to abortion, because they were so reliably pro-life. This is still true in some states, such as my home state of Tennessee. But for many of the winning Republicans on Tuesday, opposition to abortion was not the deciding factor. In some cases, it may even have been a hindrance. Meanwhile, the libertarian tendency of the working class voter led him to prefer fewer restrictions on abortion, purely for the sake of keeping the government out of as much of his personal life as possible—the state is for roads, healthcare, jobs, not morality.

Republicans have secured the working class vote, but it is not the culturally Christian one. The waning influence of the pro-life movement in the Republican party is evidence of this: success at the judicial level seems to have coincided rather ironically with the failure of the popular movement. This may be the fault of the movement’s organizers, or it may just be a reflection on much broader cultural changes in America, tectonic shifts that no organization could have reasonably stopped.

But the culture war without Christianity is a rudderless ship. The success of politicians like Ron DeSantis in Florida means little if in the same breath the American people have said they will abide infanticide, or would rather keep their options open than commit to protecting innocent lives. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade to send the decision on life back to the states, and the states chose death.

This article was published by The American Conservative and is reproduced with permission.

Dobbs V. Jackson: An Easy Opinion

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The rejection of a “compelling state interest” test will remove abortion from national politics.

A simple Baltimore lawyer here tenders a short opinion to dispose of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the abortion case from Mississippi in oral arguments before the Supreme Court today.

This case presents the question: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” It involves a limitation of abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Similar limitations are found rational in many nations including France and Germany with their 12-week cutoff point. In Roe v. Wade, we said that states could limit second-trimester abortions if there was a rational basis to do so, but in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton, decided on the same day, we effectively applied a “compelling state interest” test.

We can dispose of this case by overruling Doe v. Bolton and Casey, but the avoidance of further controversy and confusion makes it desirable that we dispose of Roe also, thus withdrawing the Court from an area of public policy that we should not have entered in the first place and allowing further discussion to be divorced from claims of absolute right not inducing tolerance.

Five tests are conventionally used to justify overrulings: quality of reasoning (ever-shifting in this case); workability (belied by the constant flow of litigation over the “undue burden” test); inconsistency with prior law (patent in light of state legislation as of 1973); reliance (scarcely present, despite Casey, in view of Casey’s concession that “reproductive planning could take almost immediate account of any sudden restoration of state authority to ban abortions,” a conclusion reinforced by the two-thirds drop in births to teenagers following the withdrawal of 18 years of guaranteed AFDC payments by the Welfare Reform Act of 1996); and finally, and most importantly, as stated in Casey, “whether Roe’s premises of fact have so far changed to render its central holding irrelevant or unjustifiable” and whether an overruling decision would provide “a response to facts that the country would understand but which the court of an earlier day as its own declarations disclosed had not been able to perceive.”

These standards for overruling are now more than fully met. The Roe court did not even consider the potential effect of abortion-on-demand on sexual mores, unwanted pregnancies, and births out of wedlock. It recognized that anti-abortion statute might be the “product of a Victorian social concern to discourage illicit sexual conduct” but declared “Texas does not advance this justification in the present cases and it appears that no court or commentator has taken the argument seriously. The appellants and amici contend moreover that this is not a proper state purpose at all.” So much for the mostly religious lawgivers memorialized in the frieze at the top of the Supreme Court building and Justice Holmes’ observation that “the law is the external deposit of our moral life.”

It is nonetheless the duty of the Court to consider not only the state’s actual arguments but those it might have made, lest the inadequacies of a single lawyer deform the Constitution. As stated in Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S.603 (1960): “we cannot with confidence reject all those alternatives which imaginativeness might bring to mind save that one which might require invalidation of the statute.”

Instead, the Roe court, excluding the possible effect of its decision on promiscuous sexual behavior and increased pregnancies and births out of wedlock, made opposite assumptions. It alluded to “concerns about population growth, pollution, poverty, and racial overtones.” The Second Circuit, invalidating a Connecticut statute, postulated that “population growth must be restricted not enhanced and thus the state interest in a pro-natalist statute such as this is limited,” citing the Rockefeller Commission report on “Population Growth and the American Future” (1971).

Subsequent research by the present secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, and her Nobel-prize-winning economist husband, George Akerlof, which appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Brookings Review in 1996, made clear that Roe had dynamic effects on American society, legitimating free love and the hookup culture by providing what looked like an assured back-up to birth control pills.

Thus the percentage of births to unwed mothers increased from 5.7 percent in 1970, when birth control pills were already in wide use, to 29 percent in 2018. Among black Americans, whose out of wedlock births were of great concern to “birth controllers,” the percentage of births out of wedlock increased from 38 percent in 1970 to 71 percent in 2018. Similarly, the “deal with it” syndrome that abortion-on-demand produced among consorts caused the percentages of marriages to those pregnant out of wedlock (“shotgun weddings”) to fall from 43 percent in 1970 to 9 percent in 2018.

“Inability to provide for the nurture and care of the infant is a cruelty to the child and an anguish to the parent,” the well-intentioned Justice Harlan stated in concurring in Roe. But after 50 years, there is much more such cruelty and anguish.

This Court, like the president and Congress, is subject to checks and balances. The confirmation process is one of these and can be given effect after 48 years. Several decisions have been overruled after long periods, including Lochner v. New York (work hours) after 50 years; Adkins v. Children’s Hospital (minimum wage) after 14 years; Plessy v. Ferguson (segregation) after 58 years; Bowers v. Hardwick (sodomy) after 18 years; Baker v. Nelson (homosexual marriage) after 43 years; and Korematsu v. United States (racial distinctions) after 74 years.

The public will now understand what the Court did not in Casey when it, echoing Justice Wayne’s concurring opinion in Dred Scott, called “the contending sides to end their division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.” Dred Scott failed because the fugitive slave provisions of the Constitution and the Compromise of 1850 rendered Northern states complicit in the permissiveness of the South. Casey failed for the same reason, by imposing coastal rules on “flyover” country.

Our decision reversing the Fifth Circuit judgment is of little direct consequence. Some four percent of abortions per year are performed after the 15th week, many in states that will continue to have liberal abortion laws. But our decision will send a powerful message to young women and their consorts that abortion is no longer a sure thing and that they should choose sexual partners more carefully than at present. The rejection of a “compelling state interest” test will remove abortion from national politics as in Western Europe and will restore the American judiciary to what Aristotle and Aquinas regarded as judges’ proper function: “corrective justice” vindicating agreed settlements, not “distributive justice” changing agreed rules, which is the prerogative of the ruler in authoritarian states and the legislatures in democratic ones.

In Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U.S. 726 (1963), Mr. Justice Black stated for a unanimous court: “We emphatically refuse to go back to the time when courts used the Due Process clause ‘to strike down state laws, regulatory of business and industrial conditions, because they may be unwise, improvident, or out of harmony with a particular school of thought.’” To “business and industrial” we add “social,” thus definitively repudiating Dred Scott, the first adventure in substantive due process. We justify this overruling decision not merely by the prolix five tests of the legal academy, but in the words of Fiorello La Guardia: “When we make a mistake, it’s a beaut.”

The judgment is reversed.


This article was published on December 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

Dispelling 3 Common Myths About Abortion

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

With the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case before the Supreme Court and the ongoing litigation over the Texas heartbeat law, the issue of abortion looms large in our national discourse.

Too often, pro-abortion actors make claims that are simply not true, and those claims are repeated without challenge in the media. Therefore, it’s vital that the American public be made aware of facts that challenge the pro-abortion narrative.

Here’s the truth you need to know about three core claims of abortion activists:

Myth 1: Abortions Are Safer Than Childbirth

Abortion activists claim that abortions are safer than childbirth. But that’s the exact inverse of reality—and for a number of reasons.

First, this framing of the debate denies the humanity of the unborn child from the outset. Because every fetus is a human possessing fundamental dignity, their health and safety must also be taken into consideration.

No procedure that destroys life can be considered safe. By definition, abortion is always fatal for at least one party involved; namely, the unborn child. Therefore, by definition, abortion is never “safe.”

Second, besides the fact that abortions necessarily involve the killing of unborn children, abortion is not necessarily the safer option for women.

After getting an abortion, women have approximately an 80% higher risk of experiencing mental health issues, including suicidal tendencies and substance abuse.

According to Dr. Ingrid Skop, an obstetrician-gynecologist, potentially fatal complications from abortions include “vaginal or intra-abdominal hemorrhage … infection … incomplete removal of the remains of the aborted baby, damage to the cervix, uterus, or other pelvic or abdominal organs … anesthetic reactions or overdoses, amniotic fluid, septic, or thrombotic embolisms, cardiac, or cardiovascular events.”

Such complications hardly render abortion safe for women.

Third, the assumption that abortion is the safer option for women ultimately rests on incomplete data.

The federal government as well as 22 states do not require abortion providers to report critical data on postabortion complications. This inevitably skews abortion activists’ numbers, especially when a state like California, one of the states that doesn’t require abortion providers to report data, is estimated to have over a quarter of all abortions performed in the U.S.

Likewise, according to data collected in  2019, there were no states that required doctors, coroners, or emergency rooms that don’t provide abortions to report abortion-related deaths. So, if a woman goes to an emergency room with abortion-related complications and dies, the hospital is not required to report it as an abortion-related death. That skews abortion-related mortality rates.

Therefore, abortions aren’t safe for unborn children, and they aren’t always safe for women.

Myth 2: Abortion Is a Woman’s Only Practical Option

Studies show that most abortions are chosen for reasons related to factors such as finances or personal relationships.

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 74% of abortions are chosen out of a fear that the baby would interfere with education or work, or that the baby would make it difficult to take care of dependents.

An overlapping 73% claimed they could not afford a child, and nearly 50% had relationship issues or did not want to become a single mother.

Even among third-trimester abortions, as reported by Dr. James Studnicki, “most late-term abortions are elective, done on healthy women with healthy fetuses.”

It’s clear from these numbers that medical emergencies do not motivate most abortions.

In contrast, the pro-life movement stresses providing the resources women need to give birth and raise their children.

Pregnancy resource centers help pregnant women and their families navigate challenges such as the pregnancy itself, financial management and needs, threats to job security, unsupportive partners and family members, and more.

According to one study, in 2019, pregnancy centers performed ultrasounds for 486,213 mothers-to-be free of charge and provided mothers and families with material resources such as diapers, baby clothes, and the like.

In total, they provided $266,764,916 worth of services, and 9 out of 10 people working at pregnancy resource centers do so on a voluntary basis.

Despite activists’ claims, abortion doesn’t solve any of those problems. By reducing “care” for women to the elimination of the unborn life, the mother is not helped.

Myth 3: Most Americans Support Abortion

The claim that most Americans support abortion is misleading when checked against data from a 2021 Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll.

Despite a slight majority (53%) of Americans identifying as “pro-choice,” 55% of pro-choice individuals are in favor of abortion restrictions.

According to the poll, 76% Americans support significant restrictions on abortion, with 70% of Americans in favor of restricting abortions after the first trimester—which would bring U.S. law in alignment with the rest of the world, including 47 out of 50 European countries.

Likewise, when asked if they support abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, 70% of participants opposed such an abortion. Additionally, 58% opposed taxpayer money going to abortions.

Ultimately, these numbers reflect a nation that wants to do more to protect unborn children and is not remotely aligned with the abortion lobby’s position of abortion on-demand, for any reason, through all nine months of pregnancy.

Sadly, that hasn’t kept Democrats from calling for the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, which would clear the way for taxpayer-funded abortions.


The facts indicate that abortions are not safe for unborn children and carry significant risks for the mothers who receive them.

Most abortions are not done for cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. Lastly, most Americans do not support radically permissive abortion policies. In fact, most Americans support policies that further protect unborn children than what is currently permitted under Roe v. Wade, which allows for elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

We are being presented with the greatest opportunity of our lifetime to turn the tide for life. We must tell the truth about abortion and not allow pro-abortion arguments to rule the day unopposed.


This article was published on December 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

If Kavanaugh And Barrett Betray Pro-Lifers, We Must Blow Up The Conservative Legal Movement

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Editors’ Note:  We share the concern of the author. One of the great failures of the Trump Administration was the reliance on executive orders, largely because he lacked clear majorities in the House and Senate and was also opposed by many Republicans. The latter may have been a product of his successful but bruising tactics during the primaries leading to his nomination. These executive orders were quickly reversed by the incoming President Biden, showing the weakness in relying on executive orders. His other failures had to do with personnel choices for many executive positions. There was an uncommon amount of turnover among cabinet positions and those that remained were often ineffective. It is in the area of judicial appointees that it was hoped for a long-lasting reversal of liberal policies. Now coming before the Supreme Court are major decisions about abortion, the Second Amendment, immigration, and the overreach of the administrative state with policies relating to the Covid crisis. The court has already shown significant cowardice on issues of election integrity and religious liberty. It is not saying too much to suggest coming Supreme Court decisions will determine whether history will judge the Trump Administration as a successful  Presidency or merely a spectacular reality show that failed to deliver a significant shift in the historical trend. The reliance on a particular organization, The Federalist Society, to vet judges, may prove to be his most consequential decision.

If we don’t have justices who are comfortable overturning outrageously unconstitutional abortion rulings, it will be proof of the conservative legal movement’s utter failure.


Less than a handful of years after their hard-won elevation to the Supreme Court, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are sending a chill down the spines of conservatives with a string of bad signals from their seats on the court.

In July, Kavanaugh and Barrett joined the court’s leftist majority in declining to hear Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington, a critical religious liberty case. They again sided with the court’s left in a similar decision to turn away a religious exemption challenge to Maine’s vaccine mandate — which Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas took pains to note was staggering in its hypocrisy.

“A State may not assume ‘the best of individuals engaged in their secular lives while assuming ‘the worst’ about the habits of religious persons,” the trio wrote.

Just this week, Barrett and Kavanaugh embraced a theory of judicial supremacy out of step with a more conservative tradition when they both appeared openly skeptical of the construction of the Texas abortion law, which bans the practice after six weeks of pregnancy.

All of this should make the guts of conservatives churn in the leadup to next month’s oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the biggest abortion case the court has heard in decades. I’ve written about the importance of this case before:

While abortion cases post-Roe have trickled up to the Supreme Court on rare occasions, none have presented the clear and fundamental question that Dobbs now brings: whether or not bans on pre-viability elective abortions violate the Constitution.

In ruling on this case, the Court will have the opportunity to overturn both Roe and Casey, which together form the architecture for a constitutional entitlement to abortion.

It is not an understatement to say this is the case pro-life conservatives have been waiting for. It’s why many in our movement willingly shed blood in the vicious fight for the confirmations of Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Gorsuch. The prospect of a majority conservative court was a key reason millions of Republicans turned out to vote for Donald Trump.

So the trepidation conservatives now feel about where Kavanaugh and Barrett may end up on Dobbs is both unexpected and unwelcome. There is a distinct possibility that Barrett, Kavanaugh, and possibly the George W. Bush-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts will find a way to hedge; to “both sides” their way into a narrow and distorted opinion in a case that, as Mississippi’s Attorney General Lynn Fitch has laid out, demands a clear imperative with regard to the dubious constitutional standing of Roe and Casey.

To be clear, with a 6-3 allegedly conservative court, anything less than a decision ringing with clarity on the dismissal of Roe and Casey should be viewed as a failure. Despite the goal-post-shifting going on in establishment Republican legal circles, there is no “long game” here. Although some will argue that any ruling that chips away at Casey is good enough, Roe is the case that created the constitutional entitlement. It is the architecture upon which the legal abortion structure is built. Both Roe and Casey must go.

As Notre Dame law professor Sherif Girgis argued recently, “Upholding the Mississippi law without overruling the court’s previous abortion cases would lack support in any legal source, send even more abortion cases to the court and curb the justices’ ability to overrule Roe down the road.”

We have played the long game for the last 50 years. And we have finally arrived at the decision point, with a case that demands a clear accounting of rulings that Justice Thomas has criticized as “creat[ing] the right to abortion out of whole cloth.” Here to litigate it is a Supreme Court that doesn’t again require “just one more justice,” but is finally positioned to address the question.

If the outcome of Dobbs is indeed a hedge that splits the court’s conservatives — or, to put it more bluntly, if the conservative legal movement has failed to produce Supreme Court justices who are comfortable overturning two outrageously constitutionally defective rulings on abortion — we will be left to justifiably wonder what the whole project has been for.

The Judges Are Our Politicians Now

That we are even in the position to openly speculate where Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Roberts might end up on such a foundational conservative legal question should itself prompt reflection, not only about the expanded role the court now plays in our self-government but also about how we select our judicial masters.

The court has become an extension of our politics, and that is just as much a choice from Republicans as it has been from Democrats. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The American founders envisioned a judiciary that was largely subject to a muscular legislature, not the branch that ruled it. But this inversion is what the modern Congress has come to prefer.

The profound questions of our social order — immigration policy, questions of human dignity and the sanctity of life, of marriage, religious liberty, and civil rights — are no longer determined by the legislature, but by unelected and thus unaccountable jurists.

As a case study in congressional preference for judicial decisionmaking, view the collective shrug that resounded from Republicans in Congress when Gorsuch tossed sex and gender identity into the 1965 Civil Rights Act in 2020. Or consider the lack of comprehensive effort among congressional Republicans to challenge President Joe Biden’s sweeping and unprecedented vaccine mandate, now that the Supreme Court has repeatedly sidestepped it.

Also consider the limp non-response from congressional Republicans to the court upholding President Obama’s clear abuse of rulemaking in creating the illegal amnesty program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Add the one pro-life vote Republican majorities allow each year in lieu of an energized campaign to persuade, expose, defund, and actively legislate on one of their key platform issues.

Republicans in the Senate, in particular, will huff about not having 60 votes as a reason none of these policies would be possible. But such a position ignores the actual work of lawmaking: using a majority to vote relentlessly on priority issues, messaging constantly toward a specific policy end, and creating a voting record unfavorable to the opposition.

The last legislative pro-life victory, the ban on partial-birth abortion in 2003, invoked nearly all of these methods. Today, it’s a rarity for the Senate, regardless of party control, to show up for work more than 2.5 days a week.

A New System of Judicial Vetting

In 2018, this largely implicit preference to outsource policy-making to the courts became explicit when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to forgo using the Senate GOP majority to try and legislate, but rather to confirm as many judges as possible.

There were pros and cons to this choice, but the clear upshot of asking judges to make every consequential determination about how the country will be ruled is that judges become, effectively, our politicians — unelected politicians with lifetime appointments, but politicians nonetheless. Yet on the right, we do not vet them as such. Not even close.

I’ve addressed the contradictory and self-defeating aspects of this position before:

…expecting judges to rule on matters of policy and politics while simultaneously refusing to vet them for their beliefs in those matters is both contradictory and unsustainable. A party cannot on one hand expect judges to issue the correct policy decrees while on the other hand studiously fail to take any steps to guarantee that outcome.

While the left has not been shy about their practice of nominating stone-cold activists, the right has always held to the norm that judges should be interpreters of the text in front of them rather than ideologues who use the bench to invent new values-driven legal theories that impose their own views on the country.

This is, of course, the prudent and correct standard of judging and of judicial interpretation, writ large. But it fails to account for the intentional shift of expectations that have taken place from the “judge-as-textualist-interpreter” to our current conception of the “judge-as-legislator.” In many ways, the right’s ideological position of applying the normative standard of restrained judicial vetting seems out of step with the current post-normative reality of how the country is actually ruled.

The left accounted for this shift long ago, and it is why they never suffer a surprise decision from their nominees. They already know exactly where their judges stand on every issue, minuscule to monumental. But since the right is now a regular and active participant in placing the burden of self-government onto the judiciary, it would seem as though we should do more to ensure that the people we place in those positions will actually uphold our interests.

For starters, this should mean that the imprimatur of the Federalist Society requires more questions, not less. We should applaud, not condemn, Republican senators who do their jobs and vigorously question the nominees of both the right and the left, and who hold exacting standards for nominees on constitutional questions. Also, the conservative movement as a whole, not just a select few, should be welcome to offer input into the selection process for nominations to key judicial positions.

If Congress is going to continue passing off the questions of self-government to the court — that is, if they are going to force judges into making choices that are inherently political — then perhaps the cleanest response is to simply put the politicians on the court.

Among Republicans in the Senate, there are three former Supreme Court clerks: Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley. If another vacancy presents itself under a Republican administration, perhaps it’s time we skip the backroom Federalist Society coronation of some pre-selected circuit court judge and simply elevate a senator to the Supreme Court.

At least senators have a record of votes we can examine. Unlike Kavanaugh, Barrett, and even Gorsuch on transgender issues, there will be mercifully few surprises about where they actually stand. The conservative movement cannot afford bitter surprises, at least not when the Supreme Court has taken for itself, with the willing encouragement of the legislature, a dual role of interpreting the law as well as making it.


This article was published on November 6, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.