FRIDAY 5 - August 21, 2020
Barry Sheets
Legislative Consultant

The days may be starting to grow shorter,
but the fight to Preserve the Right to Life from conception
to natural death is still in the long game. 

Prayer is coveted at this time for things to be set for a solidly
Pro-Life advance in the fall!

1.  One of the most interesting points of the (virtual) Democrat National Convention this week was former Ohio Governor (and Republican) John Kasich being a featured speaker. Kasich, who self-identifies as a “man of faith”, seems to be desperate to seek revenge on the man who upended his aspirations to become President in 2016. Hmm...let’s look at his scorecard: jealousy, revenge, and supporting both a party and a candidate who are self-consciously embracing a culture of death and want more of it…..I think
I will seek wisdom on where my vote is going from God’s Word, not from John Kasich.
2. Christianity Today, also not a publication from where I would go to draw wisdom on voting, ran a feature story this week on the (now former) executive director of Ohio Right to Life, who resigned recently because of the group’s plan to support President Trump’s re-election.  While it may be admirable to see someone standing for what their conscience dictates to be right, it is disturbing to read this quote from someone who has been involved
in pro-life work “If Joe Biden would just concede that abortion is wrong, and that restrictions on it are warranted and reasonable, that would make my life
a lot easier.” Until we end abortion as a practice, not just impose “reasonable restrictions” on killing the defenseless unborn, then their lives will most definitely not be “a lot easier”; nor will it change the landscape if Joe Biden
just “concedes” the point—especially when President Trump has actually made policy changes to protect life, and appointing judges who understand the fundamental principles in our founding documents begin with the unalienable right to life.
3. This week saw some very positive news coming from our neighboring state
of Indiana. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced that Planned Parenthood (PP) had dropped their lawsuit against the state’s ultrasound requirement law. While this is good news, it is sad that part of the agreement was that the state will NOT enforce the law until January of 2021, so PP can “train staff to operate the equipment”. This in itself is shocking, as it’s an admission that PP doesn’t feel that securing the actual location of the unborn in a woman’s womb is necessary (or it seems, practiced in Indiana) before performing an abortion.
4. Our friends over at the Family Research Council have issued a great tool
to help you to both understand the current environment around the country regarding pro-life protections, and to use to target prayers for greater protections, especially in Ohio. The four maps let you pick a state, see the current status of the state, the current laws on the point, and what should be advanced next to take the state to being in the “best” pro-life state categories. Hopefully soon, Ohio will be in the “best” category in all areas on these maps, when we pass the fully pro-life “Life At Conception” Act/HB 413.
5. We ask our member organizations, supporters and volunteers to be lifting
up in prayer the now-scheduled meeting RTLACO officers will have with newly-elected Speaker of the Ohio House Bob Cupp in September. May God’s Will for the Protection of Life at all stages be made evident, and embraced by our elected officials as we move forward during this remaining session year.

Each installment of the Friday Five will bring thumbnail profiles
of key policymakers and committees. 
United States Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit—Judge Joan L. Larsen. The Honorable Joan L. Larsen was nominated by President Donald Trump
on May 8, 2017 and confirmed by the Senate on November 1, 2017. Before her appointment to the federal bench, Judge Larsen served two terms as a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Before her judicial career, Larsen was part
of the faculty at the University of Michigan Law School, where she received
the L. Hart Wright Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Judge Larsen began her legal career as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of
the United States. She went into private practice as an attorney and later served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel. Larsen was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1995 by Governor Rick Snyder and served on that court until her appointment to the Sixth Circuit bench in 2017. Judge Larsen received her
B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa, and graduated first in her class from Northwestern University School of Law, where she served as articles editor of the Northwestern University Law Review and earned the John Paul Stevens Award for Academic Excellence.
Judge Larsen's legal focus areas include constitutional law, criminal procedure, statutory interpretation, and presidential power.  Larsen is considered to a conservative jurist who, as she stated in an interview, believes in “enforcing the text (of laws) as written. I don’t think judges are a policy-making branch of government.”  She has also written about a “divide in contemporary constitutional law between liberals’ impulse to constitutionalize—and therefore ‘judicialize’—every important question and conservatives’ impulse to leave every question to ordinary politics.” Larsen was also considered on the “short list” of President Trump’s potential nominees to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat of Anthony Kennedy, which ultimately went to Brett Kavanaugh. 
NOTE: I would encourage all pro-life supporters and activists to plan to obtain an absentee ballot or to vote early in person at your county Board of Elections for this 2020 general election. We may need strong pro-life presence at the polls on Election Day to remind voters what is really at stake in this upcoming election!

Cleveland Right to Life is a founding member of Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio. 

The Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio is an association of metropolitan, county, and local pro-life organizations. RTLACO focuses on developing and strengthening local grass roots pro-life leadership, true representative governing for the statewide organization, a commitment to a consistent and holistic pro-life standard to evaluate both policies and elected officials/candidates, and collaborative engagement to develop priorities for action.