Wednesday STOPP Report - November 07, 2018

Unfortunately, we had a typical mid-term election

By Jim Sedlak

It’s the day after Election Day and political pundits are going to spin the results of this election every which way but loose. There is going to be detailed analysis of what went right and what went wrong. But, the fact is, this was a very normal outcome for a mid-term election and, if anything, the numbers actually aren’t as bad as they could be.

Let’s start with a fact that can be backed-up with a year-by-year table. The party of the incumbent president tends to lose ground during midterm elections: Over the past 21 mid-term elections, the incumbent president's party has lost an average of 30 seats in the House, and an average of four seats in the Senate; moreover, in only two of those years has the president's party gained seats in both houses (once by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934, and then by George W. Bush in 2002).

In his first mid-term (2010), Barack Obama lost 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate. Similarly, Bill Clinton lost 54 seats in the House and nine seats in the Senate in 1994. Both presidents continued to fight for their agenda and won second terms in office.

Many conservatives, especially those in the pro-life movement, like to draw comparisons with Ronald Reagan. During his first mid-term election, Reagan lost 26 seats in the House and zero in the Senate. He was left with 54 Republicans in the Senate and just 166 in the House.

Today, President Trump is facing a new Congress in January in which he will have at least 51 Republicans in the Senate (four races still undetermined) and at least 193 in the House (23 races still undetermined as I write this). Not what we wished for, but certainly not a catastrophe.

If we have to name a loser in this election, it has to be Planned Parenthood. Although it picked up enough support in the House to keep a lot of its funding (we will address that in another article in this Wednesday STOPP Report), it was not able to win the Senate. Planned Parenthood poured money and manpower into Senate races in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Indiana, North Dakota, and Missouri and lost them all. It no longer has fake Catholics—Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, and North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp—to carry its agenda. Despite the spin it will try to sell, it really wasn’t a good night for Planned Parenthood.

As has become more and more clear over the last decade, Planned Parenthood relies on courts and friendly judges to push its agenda. It especially needs federal judges who will support that agenda. With Republican control of the Senate, President Trump has, in the last two years, been able to get two Supreme Court justices approved over Planned Parenthood’s cries of outrage.

In addition to the Supreme Court justices, as of November 4, 2018, the United States Senate has confirmed another 82 judges nominated by President Trump, including 29 judges for the United States Courts of Appeals and 53 judges for the United States District Courts. The Republican-controlled Senate can take immediate action on seven nominations for the Courts of Appeals, and 48 for the District Courts. It is expected over the next two years, that Trump will be able to fill about a dozen vacancies on the US Courts of Appeals, and over 120 vacancies on the US District Courts. All of this will be very bad for Planned Parenthood’s ability to find biased judges to push its agenda (as it frequently does in California and elsewhere).

The elections are over. The results are in. Now is the time to move forward with all of our peaceful, prayerful efforts to save the lives of preborn human beings and the souls of our teenagers.

Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a weekly talk-show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.

Fighting Planned Parenthood funding in the states

The main focus of much of the pro-life movement over the last decade has been ending federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Ever since 2007, when Mike Pence (then a member of Congress, now vice president of the United States) introduced the first-ever amendment to a spending bill that sought to keep all money in that bill away from Planned Parenthood, by name, ending federal funding of PP has been seen as possible. During the Obama years, President Obama was inexplicably in love with Planned Parenthood and even threatened to close down the entire federal government rather than take a dime away from the organization.

In the Trump years, several attempts have been made to pass legislation to deny Planned Parenthood federal funds. At one time, there was a bill that would have, among other things, taken away Planned Parenthood’s money for one year, but that bill failed when John McCain voted against the bill at the last minute. Since Trump has not been willing, as Obama was, to make the funding of Planned Parenthood a significant enough issue to close down the government, all further efforts have failed due to a lack of sufficient votes in the Senate.

Now comes the mid-term elections and not only do we not have enough votes in the Senate, but the House is now controlled by Planned Parenthood-loving Democrats. So, what do we do?

Well, first, we do not give up our efforts at the federal level. We need to continue to educate our elected members of Congress and convince them to stop funding the largest abortion chain in the nation, especially since Planned Parenthood proclaims itself as the largest provider of sexuality education—that destroys the health of our children and leads our teens into lives of sexual sin.

But we must now return to pre-2007, and focus on ending Planned Parenthood funding at the state level. Many states are already trying to do this with some level of success. But we need a strong concerted effort.

President Trump has started the process by already giving states permission to withhold Title X funds from Planned Parenthood. That’s a good first step, but states must also have the ability to withhold Title XIX (Medicaid) funds. Over 18 months ago, Texas submitted a request for a Medicaid waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services to do just that.

For some unexplained reason, that requested waiver has been bottled up in the bowels of HHS and has never been acted upon. It’s time the Trump administration made this a priority. It is also time for the members of Congress to demand that HHS explain the delay or issue the waiver.

American Life League’s STOPP International has been fighting local funding of Planned Parenthood for over three decades. We have seen a number of successes at a local level and have developed a specific plan to help local people do this. We have even been involved with state legislators who have successfully ended some or all of Planned Parenthood funding in their states.

If you are serious about getting this done, either locally or at the state level, contact Jim Sedlak at [email protected], and he will work with you to end funding of Planned Parenthood in your town and in your state.

Planned Parenthood loses amendment fights in Alabama and West Virginia

In addition to the numerous candidates for Congress and other offices, there were two amendments that Planned Parenthood actively fought against in this week’s election; they lost both fights.

The first was in Alabama, where Amendment 2 would establish a pro-life policy in the state constitution. Amendment 2 would add a new amendment to the Alabama constitution; the following text would be added:

(a) This state acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life.

(b) This state further acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate.

(c) Nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.

Although the amendment would not allow Alabama to outlaw abortion until the US Supreme Court makes changes in its Roe and other decisions, it will immediately stop any judge from ordering the state to fund abortion. It will also put the state in a position to enact truly pro-life laws once SCOTUS recognizes the humanity of the preborn child.

WKRG News reported this week that “Planned Parenthood has put as much as $800,000 into the state working against passage of the amendment through the PAC Alabama for Healthy Families.” Other sources have said PP spent over $1.3 million.

Amendment 2 won with a 59 percent approval

In West Virginia, the ballot contained Amendment 1 that would add Section 57 to Article VI of the West Virginia Constitution to say: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion."

Planned Parenthood was, of course, also opposed to this amendment.

Amendment 1 won with a 51.7 percent approval.

Sorry, Planned Parenthood, you are simply wrong in wanting to kill preborn children.

PP closing in Wilkes-Barre

Planned Parenthood has its tentacles all across the United States and is always trying to get something for nothing. It recently got the city of Austin, Texas, to rent it clinic space for the next 20 years at a cost to Planned Parenthood of $1 a year. Local pro-lifers are outraged.

Planned Parenthood, however, has run into trouble in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

The PA Family Council reported last week that the Kirby Health Center informed Planned Parenthood Wilkes-Barre that its lease would not be renewed at the end of the year.

The Family Council described Planned Parenthood Wilkes-Barre as a “feeder clinic”—aborting babies via morning-after pills while making referrals to other facilities for other methods of abortion. Planned Parenthood runs 14 feeder clinics, along with 10 full-abortion sites in Pennsylvania.

They also described Planned Parenthood as “the largest abortion enterprise in the state. It has proven their model is centered on abortion services by closing eleven of their ‘feeder clinics’ since 2013. One surgical abortion site has also closed during that span—their former Easton location, which performed the least number of abortions for their Pennsylvania sites.”

According to the PA Family Council, there was no reason given by the Kirby Health Center for not renewing the lease, but we suspect that the health center sees Planned Parenthood’s declining business in the state and observed that, as the PA Family Council pointed out, “Planned Parenthood is a political operation, reportedly spending a whopping $2.5 million on the 2018 elections in Pennsylvania. They also continue to receive millions from Pennsylvania taxpayers every year that helps maintain their status as the largest abortion provider in the Commonwealth.”

Planned Parenthood, who was at the Kirby Center for a reported 80 years, says it is looking for additional space in Wilkes-Barre. We pray it will not find anything and will just close its doors and get out of town.

Congratulations to pro-lifers in Wilkes-Barre and throughout Pennsylvania for all you do to fight Planned Parenthood and save babies.