Keeping you informed on Pro-Life Issues


The Illinois General Assembly has adjourned until the fall. 


Federal Legislation:


S. 1696, the “Women’s Health Protection Act”


U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on radical bill to nullify virtually all abortion limits nationwide

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias will testify against “Abortion Without Limits Until Birth” measure

WASHINGTON – Four months before the mid-term congressional election, Senate Democrats are pushing into the national spotlight “the most radical pro-abortion bill ever considered by Congress,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations.

Tobias is one of only two non-congressional witnesses who will testify against the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act” (S. 1696), at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at 10 AM EDT.

S. 1696 was introduced in November, 2013, with much fanfare from major pro-abortion advocacy groups, who have since featured the bill in fundraising solicitations to their memberships. A story published by National Right to Life News on November 20, 2013, which explains the radical sweep of the bill, is posted here:

A copy of S. 1696 (PDF format) may be viewed or downloaded here:

S. 1696 is currently sponsored by 35 Democrat senators, including the chief sponsor, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.), who will chair the July 15 hearing. A House companion bill, H.R. 3471, currently has 125 cosponsors, all Democrats. Always-current lists of cosponsors, arranged by state, are posted on the NRLC Legislative Action Center at:


Like most congressional committees, the Senate Judiciary Committee offers video coverage of its hearings, which can be accessed either live or after the fact via the Committee website at

We do not know yet whether the hearing will also be covered by C-SPAN.

The bill is an updated and expanded version of the old “Freedom of Choice Act” that was championed by Barack Obama when he was a senator. The new bill would invalidate nearly all existing state limitations on abortion, and prohibit states from adopting new limitations in the future, including various types of laws specifically upheld as constitutionally permissible by the U.S. Supreme Court. Among the laws that the bill would nullify are requirements to provide women seeking abortion with specific information on their unborn child and on alternatives to abortion, laws providing reflection periods (waiting periods), laws allowing medical professionals to opt out of providing abortions, laws limiting the performance of abortions to licensed physicians, bans on elective abortion after 20 weeks, meaningful limits on abortion after viability, and bans on the use of abortion as a method of sex selection. These laws generally have broad public support in the states in which they are enacted, including support from substantial majorities of women.

The bill would also invalidate most previously enacted federal limits on abortion, including federal conscience protection laws and most, if not all, limits on government funding of abortion.

Regarding the bill, Blumenthal told Roll Call last November, “As the election approaches, I think the voters are going to want to know where legislators stand on these issues.” Tobias commented, “We believe that many voters will be appalled to learn that nearly two-thirds of Senate Democrats have already cosponsored a bill to impose nationwide the extreme ideological doctrine that elective abortion must not be limited in any meaningful way, at any stage of pregnancy.”

In her testimony, Tobias will call on Senate Democrats to also allow consideration of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 1670), sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), which has an even greater number of Senate cosponsors (41), and which duplicates legislation that has already passed the House of Representatives (H.R. 1797). The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would generally protect unborn children in the sixth month and later, by which point they are capable of experiencing great pain during abortions.



S. 2578, the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act


Oppose S. 2578’s Unprecedented Attack on Conscience and Religious Freedom


On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores that the HHS contraceptive mandate cannot be used to force a family business to provide coverage for drugs and devices that violates the family members’ religious convictions. The Court relied on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1993. Legal challenges by non-profit religious groups are still pending.


Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) has introduced a bill (S. 2578) that would not only reverse Hobby Lobby, but go far beyond that decision. It negates any right that employers, insurers or employees may have, under RFRA or any other federal law, to opt out of federally mandated coverage. The U.S. Senate may vote in the next few days on this anti-conscience bill. Please contact your Senators today!


Recommended Actions:


•Send e-mails through NCHLA’s Action Center. Click here.


•Contact your Senators by phone. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call Senators’ local offices. Full contact info is on Senators’ web sites at:


Suggested Message: “Please vote against the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act (S. 2578). This misnamed measure would revoke conscience rights now guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws. In the future it could empower federal officials to mandate abortion or any other item in all health plans, forcing Americans to violate their deeply held religious and moral beliefs on respect for human life.”


When: The Senate may vote as early as the week of July 14. Please contact your Senators today!




Sen. Murray’s bill states that an employer has no right to opt out of a federal mandate for any specific benefit, for any employees or their “covered dependents.” In the future this could include RU-486 or elective surgical abortions. Employees themselves, and women and men buying individual coverage, also have no right to object. The Act overrides RFRA and “any other provision of Federal law” that gets in the way. Crippling penalties could be imposed on sponsors and issuers of insurance who provide generous coverage, but object in conscience to a specific “item or service.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urges Senators to oppose S. 2578. See:


The HHS mandate requires health plans to cover all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives, female sterilization, and “counseling and education” promoting these to women and minor girls. It allows only a very narrow religious exemption, chiefly for “houses of worship.” Nonprofit religious groups serving the vulnerable, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, receive only an “accommodation” requiring them to authorize their insurer or third-party administrator to provide the objectionable items. In its Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court allowed an opt-out for family businesses with religious objections (the objection in this case being to drugs or devices that can be abortifacient); other cases are pending. But S. 2578 would nullify laws to protect anyone’s conscience, once the federal government decides to mandate coverage of any item. Even the “exemption” and “accommodation” on contraception could be modified only in ways that serve the bill’s purpose of maximizing mandated coverage



H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act


This bill, which has already passed the U.S. House, would ban late term abortion and save tens of thousands of babies every year.


Please call Senator Kirk at 202-224-2854 and tell him to vote YES on H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.


This is why your call is so important.


Senator Kirk is "pro-choice," however he is not a lost cause.


It is URGENT that we push for this bill RIGHT NOW.


Here's why:


First, it raises awareness about the brutality of abortion AND the extremism of the "pro-choice" side. This will inspire more people to vote pro-life during this critical election year.


And second, it puts Senators on record supporting or opposing late term abortion -- which could be key in some tight Senate races.


So please be sure to call Senator Kirk at 202-224-285 right away.



Urge the U.S. Senate to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks 


by Bethany Monk (CitizenLink)


Pro-life leaders and lawmakers joined forces today to urge the U.S. Senate to pass legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, when pre-born babies begin to feel pain.


Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, introduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act last year. This afternoon, Graham asked his fellow senators to consider the bill. Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected his request.


Contact your U.S. senators. Ask them to encourage Reid to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote.


"A federal law is long overdue," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List. "The United States is only one of seven countries to allow abortion on-demand at such a late stage of pregnancy."


The U.S. House passed companion legislation last summer, 228-196.


This also happens to mark the one-year anniversary of the conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. His heinous crimes are what spurred the advancement of such bills. To date, 13 states have enacted laws prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks.


Video at:


A jury found Gosnell guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of babies who were born alive. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a pregnant woman.


Jeanneane Maxon, Americans United for Life vice president for external affairs and corporate counsel, calls the Pain-Capable act "common-sense legislation." She also underscored the dangers of late-term abortions.


"A woman seeking an abortion at 20 weeks — five months of pregnancy — is 35 times more likely to die from abortionthan she was in the first trimester," she explained. "At 21 weeks or more, she is 91 times more likely to die from abortion than she was in the first trimester."


The U.S. is among 4 out of 195 nations that allow abortions through all nine months for any reason. The other countries are North Korea, China and Canada.


"Americans United for Life strongly supports efforts to limit dangerous, late-term abortion procedures, given the health risks to mother and child," Maxon said. "We urge Congress to also protect taxpayers whose First Amendment Conscience Rights would be violated should they be forced to pay for abortions."


Take Action for Life


Click here to ask your U.S. Senators to encourage Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring the Pain- Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the floor for a vote.