The ACLJ Needed Now More Than Ever: Our Agenda for the Future, Protecting Victories and Battling the Dangers Ahead – Life
The following is the second installment of a six-part series focusing on why the ACLJ is needed now more than ever to protect the victories we’ve achieved and beat back the ominous challenges we face under the Biden Administration.
In the pro-life arena, the ACLJ continues to score major victories:
(1) The ACLJ helped draft and ensure the passage of Oklahoma Senate Bill 1728 and signing into law of pro-life legislation holding abortionists accountable for taking the lives of innocent unborn babies.
(2) We successfully made a legal submission in support of President Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy protecting life by blocking payments by U.S. taxpayers to supply international funding of abortion and preventing foreign aid, grants, and contracts from going to entities that promote abortion.
(3) In addition, the ACLJ has participated in a number of important pro-life cases working their way through the courts.
For instance, we have participated in a big pro-life case concerning banning abortions where the child has a heartbeat or the abortion is being done for a discriminatory reason, and we’ve recently taken action in the case. On Monday, November 15, 2020, the ACLJ filed an amicus curiae brief – a “friend of the court” brief – at the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Memphis Center for Reproductive Health v. Slatery, et al. We filed our brief on behalf of the ACLJ and our Committee To Defend Pro-Life Laws and Babies With Disabilities in support of the appellants, the parties asking the court to overturn the lower court’s ruling and allow Tennessee to enforce Code Sections 39-15-216 and 39-15-217. Section 39-15-216 secures protection from abortion for unborn children whose hearts have begun to beat. Section 217 prohibits abortion sought because of the sex or race of the child or because of a Down syndrome diagnosis. On November 22, 2020, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the state of “Tennessee may begin to enforce one component of a broader pro-life law that had been delayed by legal challenges and a federal judge’s temporary injunction. The component of the bill now allowed to take effect prohibits doctors from knowingly performing abortions sought because of the unborn child’s race or gender, or because the child was diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome.” This is a victory for all Americans who oppose abortion and who oppose eugenics approaches favored by Margaret Sanger and her intellectual heirs.
On November 23, 2020, the Fifth Circuit issued a decision allowing the states of Texas and Louisiana to exclude Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider based on such organization’s sale of aborted babies’ body parts. This is a critical development as we have been arguing for this precise result for years in numerous cases. In PLANNED PARENTHOOD Plaintiffs-Appellees v. SYLVIA HERNANDEZ KAUFFMAN, in her official capacity as Inspector General of HHSC; CECILE ERWIN YOUNG, in her official capacity as Executive Commissioner of HHSC, Defendants–Appellants (No. 17-50282), the court upheld the decision to defund Planned Parenthood made by both Texas and Louisiana. Opponents of abortions have long sought to deny federal Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, an organization that grew out of the racist and eugenics-based policies of its founder, Margaret Sanger. This decision expressly reversed decisions in Texas and Louisiana, but it also affects Mississippi, which is under 5th Circuit jurisdiction. It is probable that this issue heads next to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ACLJ will stand ready to file a critical amicus brief at the Supreme Court to ensure that states can stop our tax dollars from funding abortion businesses.
- Over the past four years, the Trump Administration has nominated and successfully confirmed 234 federal judges, including 3 Justices to the United States Supreme Court. President Trump has nominated and confirmed one-third of the appellate court judgeships in the United States. The ACLJ has strongly supported the President’s efforts to appoint judges who support the right to life and the rule of law. The importance of these victories is highlighted by the recent pro-life victories in the circuit courts in which the ACLJ has filed amicus briefs.
Dangers Ahead for Life
Funding for research involving human fetal tissue, advancing federal funding of abortion, mandating abortion coverage up to the moment of birth, the elimination of religious liberty conscience exemptions, the imposition of the Abortion Mandate on the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the reversal of the Mexico City Policy are now up for grabs. These interrelated dangers suggest that the Biden Administration will allow Planned Parenthood and its thirst for profits in largely minority communities to push against an open door. President-elect Biden has a clear track record that with time has become more and more pro-abortion, including a perfect score in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008 according to NARAL. In fact, Biden supported an amendment to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act “to express the sense of Congress in support of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.” Now, Biden even supports the codification of Roe v. Wade into law.
Within his first month in office, President Biden already took an Executive action to rescind the Mexico City Policy and make Americans pay for abortions internationally. President Biden has also taken an Executive action with the intent of reversing a pro-life federal rule and giving millions in taxpayer funding back to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.
The ACLJ will continue to fight strongly for the pro-life agenda. We will enlist the support of our members in opposing the reversal of the Mexico City Policy, protect conscience exemptions, oppose any attempt to reinstitute an abortion mandate either through healthcare legislation or otherwise, and encourage state and local efforts aimed at shrinking the capacity of America’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, to wreak mayhem on the lives of the unborn.
Through our decades of legal and public policy advocacy in this arena, including winning numerous victories for life at the Supreme Court, the ACLJ is uniquely positioned to defend the pro-life gains of the last four years and fight against the litany of pro-abortion legislation, Executive actions, and Planned Parenthood-sponsored litigation that is to come.
In the next installment, I'll discuss major victories in our fight to defend religious liberty at home and abroad.
You can also read our first installment on Education.