More important news from the front lines of the abortion wars.
As expected, Argentina’s Congress voted to legalize abortion, sending it on to the Senate—where a similar vote was defeated in 2018 and triggered the Blue Wave pro-life movement across Latin and South America. Just as with Ireland and other nations, international organizations are attempting to pressure Argentina’s legislators:
Amnesty International on Thursday presented 250,000 signatures it has collected from around the world in support of legalizing abortion in Argentina ahead of a crucial Senate vote. Argentina’s lower house of Congress voted last week to legalize abortion, sparking jubilant scenes amongst activists. The bill is due to be debated by the upper house Senate on December 29, providing it gets the green light to do so from Senate commissions on Thursday.
This is the ninth time that legislators have attempted to legalize abortion in Argentina, and thus far, the pro-life movement has prevailed each time. I spoke with several Argentine pro-life activists in the leadup to the congressional vote, and they are working round the clock to persuade senators to hold the line and vote the bill down once more. They are worried, but optimistic. Pray they succeed.
In a last-ditch pro-life effort, the Trump Administration announced on December 16 that it will be cutting $200 million in federal healthcare funding to California due to the current state requirement that demands insurance providers pay for abortions. From ABC News:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it will withhold the funding from Medicaid in the new fiscal quarter starting in January and “if the state does not come into compliance” the department will cut an additional $200 million per fiscal quarter. The administration warned California earlier this year that it could lose federal funding over a 2014 regulation mandating that employers and private insurance plans pay for abortions.
The Department of Health and Human Services determined that the state was violating a federal antidiscrimination law, known as the Weldon Amendment, that protects insurers from being forced to provide abortion coverage, the department said in a statement. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the statement that California had violated federal conscience laws and refused to take corrective action. “So we are now taking action to hold them to account,” he said.
The Office of Civil Rights, a division of the Health and Human Services department, initially investigated California based on complaints filed by a Catholic order of religious sisters and a nonprofit Christian church that objected to “paying for elective abortion insurance for themselves and their colleagues,” the statement said. “Whatever one thinks of the legality of abortion, no one should be punished for declining to pay for or assist in the taking of human life,” Roger Severino, director of the Office of Civil Rights, said in the statement.
The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden could reverse the decision. Biden has nominated California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, a supporter of abortion rights, to head the Health and Human Services agency.
In all likelihood, this change will be short-lived.
Also this week, the U.S. Justice Department is standing up for conscience rights once again:
The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday against the University of Vermont Medical Center alleging it forces staff members who object to abortion on religious grounds to participate in abortion procedures. The Vermont lawsuit alleges the Burlington hospital violated the Church Amendment, which prevents hospitals from discriminating against health care workers who refuse to perform or assist with abortions.
“No institution or person should force any health care provider to perform an abortion if doing so would violate the provider’s religious beliefs or moral convictions,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, of the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “This kind of indecent coercion violates everything this country stands for.”
Again, these moves are welcome—but in light of Biden’s incoming administration and the abortion radicals he has chosen thus far, unlikely to be long-lasting.
As it turns out, not all the Democrats are abortion radicals. Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who introduced a bill to protect survivors of abortion last week, has not introduced another pro-life bill—HR 8939, which would protect pain-capable pre-born children from abortion. From Live Action News:
The full text of the bill is currently unavailable, but Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) wasted no time in thanking Gabbard. “Former Democratic Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard introduced her SECOND Pro-Life bill this week, which would amend Title 18 of the U.S. code to give pain-capable fetuses rights under the law,” the group said on Facebook. “Tulsi has previously voted against this bill three times, but is now the SPONSOR of the new bill. […] thank you Tulsi!”
DFLA has created a petition asking members of Congress to support Gabbard’s pain-capable abortion bill. The organization also has a petition asking Congress to support her abortion survivors protection bill.
Tulsi Gabbard has a 100% pro-abortion voting record, but has a socially conservative background, and it appears that she has been grappling with her party’s abortion radicalism. I sincerely hope her evolution on this issue continues—she is a badly-needed voice in a Democratic Party dominated by abortion extremists.