Dear Friends:

In case you missed it – and you likely did given the lack of media coverage – students across America participated in a pro-life walkout last week. Locally, several students at Moriarty High School walked out of class at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, joined by Bethany Janzen, Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator for Students for Life. The students then spent 17 minutes in silence to honor the 10 children who die every 17 minutes at Planned Parenthood abortion facilities across the country.

I spoke with Bethany earlier this week about the walkout and her experience in Moriarty. She talked about how encouraging it was to participate in a student-led, grassroots effort aimed at bringing awareness to the tragedies of abortion.

“More and more young people are beginning to recognize the negative consequences of abortion on the child and the mother,” Bethany noted. “Almost half of all abortions are performed on women under the age of 25, meaning this is a relevant issue for high school students and their classmates.”

Sadly, media coverage of the pro-life walkout was difficult to find both locally and nationally. However, it certainly comes as no surprise. It is no secret that the powerful abortion industry wants to paint the pro-life movement as a fringe, insignificant, and older group grasping to an archaic position. Obviously, intelligent, bright-eyed, young women and men speaking in defense of the preborn contradict that narrative, and media is too often complicit in the effort to silence our side. This does, however, point to one indisputable reality, and that is, we are winning on this issue!

In 2012, Nancy Keenan, former President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, the nation’s oldest abortion-rights group, cited an “intensity gap” as one of the most significant challenges facing the pro-abortion movement. Fast-forward several years, and that “intensity gap” is now supported by polls showing gains in pro-life sentiment among younger Americans. In January 2017, for example, a Quinnipiac Poll found that those aged 18-34 favored a 20-week abortion ban at a higher percentage than those aged 50+.

I’ll say it again. We are winning on this issue – winning on this issue nationally. Now, we must win on this issue locally.

Something to think about: In 2015, under the leadership of pro-life conservatives, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed parental notification for minors seeking abortions and a late-term abortion ban. What does this mean? It means ELECTIONS MATTER.

Something to pray for: Please pray for the upcoming elections – the June Primary Election and the November General Election – that we would elect godly and honorable, pro-life men and women who will stand for life and begin the process of reversing the culture of death in our state.

Something to do: Please do your research on the candidates and be prepared to VOTE PRO-LIFE this June and November.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!


Vince Torres
Executive Director

Worth Fighting For GraphicThis message must ring loud and clear to our seniors, and those with disabilities or terminal illnesses: “We will not abandon you to assisted suicide.” And, because of you, this message is being heard at state capitols across the nation.

Through your support, CitizenLink (soon to be Family Policy Alliance), our national ally Focus on the Family and our state ally Colorado Family Action worked to stop Colorado’s Assisted Suicide bill in its tracks. CitizenLink’s state allies in Minnesota, Maryland and Hawaii also stopped Assisted Suicide bills. Christ calls us to walk with those who suffer, not abandon them without hope—because love lifts life up. Thank you for sharing this message through your support of CitizenLink and our allies.

With your help, this spring CitizenLink was also a voice for women and children at the U.S. Supreme Court. Along with allies Susan B. Anthony List and Students
for Life of America, CitizenLink led a
friend-of-the-court brief in Whole Woman’sHealth, the most significant abortion case
to reach the Court in 25 years. And that
brief was drafted by the legal arm of our Pennsylvania ally. The Court is expected to release its decision in June.

The case arose when abortionists in Texas didn’t like the commonsense regulations the Texas Legislature passed, with the help of our ally, Texas Values. The law required abortion facilities to meet the same standards as other outpatient surgical facilities. CitizenLink’s brief informed the Court that abortion businesses shouldn’t get a free pass on basic health standards, simply to keep them in the market.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who argued in defense of Texas’ pro-life law, said: “The amicus brief cosponsored by CitizenLink was a critical partof the overall argument presented to the Supreme Court, and I am very grateful for those that stood with my office in defense of women’s health.”

Thank you for partnering with us to tell the Court that we must protect both women and their babies!

The U.S. Supreme Court to decide on Texas law on abortion facilities standards

Abortion facilities should be held to the same standards as other outpatient surgical clinics. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a Texas law requiring those standards should be upheld.

CitizenLink, along with the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Students for Life of America filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting tougher standards and citing the horrors that were found in Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion facility. CitizenLink President and CEO Paul Weber said clinics that don’t meet basic health and safety standards should not be in operation in the first place.

“States should not be in the business of subsidizing inferior care for patients in order to make it easier for abortion providers to enter and remain in the market,” he said. “Abortion proponents say Texas’ regulations are ‘onerous.’ I say the families of the women killed at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion facility would disagree.”

Clinics are under pressure from declining abortion rates and big Planned Parenthood expansions.

by Chuck Donovan

The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case Wednesday that could determine the fate of many health regulations on abortion facilities. Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt originated in Texas, where the legislature passed a law in 2013 that, among other things, required abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals to handle any complications that might arise.

Challengers to the law contend that these standards—which have yet to take full effect—are unnecessary and draconian and that they have already forced some clinics to close and will, if upheld, force the closure of many more.

No one questions that the number of abortion facilities in Texas has dropped in recent years. But what if these closures have to do with changes in the abortion “market” itself? A brief filed in the case by the organization I head, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, and Citizen Link and Students for Life of America, makes exactly this argument.

It contends that facility closures are happening almost everywhere and that the reasons include an increasingly pro-life public and the willingness of more women to carry an unexpected pregnancy to term. Also cited are Planned Parenthood’s new business model of building mega-clinics that compete with smaller clinics, and changes in the financing of non-abortion services wrought by the Affordable Care Act.

Some history is in order. The abortion industry grew rapidly from the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 until the 1980s. The number of abortion facilities, including hospitals willing to perform abortions, grew to more than 2,400 by 1978. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in 1981 the U.S. abortion rate reached nearly 30 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, where it remained for several years. Three decades ago, however, the annual number of abortions began a steady decline until today, when the abortion rate has dropped back close to its level in 1973.

Experts disagree on which trends led to this decline. Some argue that improved contraceptive usage is the cause, while others point to factors like less sexual activity among teenagers and more support for single mothers.

What does seem clear is that with decreasing demand the abortion industry has behaved like many others, flattening out and then declining, as large providers grew and smaller ones got squeezed out. One interesting factor on the demand side is the response of women to an unexpected pregnancy. The Guttmacher Institute, a research body allied with pro-choice views, has reported that the percentage of women experiencing such pregnancies who opt for abortion had declined from 54% in 1994 to 40% in 2008—during a period before the burst of restrictive state legislation like that in Texas.

As a Reuters news analysis recently pointed out, the Affordable Care Act has also provided private insurance to many women who formerly received services at an abortion facility. They can now go to providers within their insurance network. As a result, the analysis claimed, Planned Parenthood lost 6% of its patients in 2014 after the Affordable Care Act went into full effect. According to Planned Parenthood’s most-recent annual report, its client count dropped another 6% in 2015.

Clinic closures are happening in “blue” states as well as “red “ones. The Abortion Care Network, a Washington, D.C.-based association of independent abortion clinics, estimates that for every three closures in a conservative red state there have been two in liberal, or abortion-permissive, blue states.

In another example of adverse conditions for many clinics, America’s largest abortion network, Planned Parenthood, has been steadily eating up market share. In 1993 fewer than 10% of U.S. abortions were done in Planned Parenthood facilities. By 2011 Planned Parenthood’s total market share had increased to 32%. This expansion can easily be attributed to the building of mega-clinics. In Houston in 2010, Planned Parenthood built the largest administrative and medical abortion facility in the nation, stating that it sought to reach 30,000 more clients annually.

This is merely one of 21 mega-clinics—typically able to see more than 17,000 patients a year, versus 5,000 in an average clinic—Planned Parenthood has opened or planned nationally since 2004. Three of these were in Texas, including two that opened after the passage of the 2013 bill that is the subject of litigation. This increased capacity affects the competition no less than when a Lowe’s or Home Depot moves into an area and the local hardware store closes, or when locally run stores are unable to compete with national box-store giants like Wal-Mart.

The co-founder of a clinic that closed in Washington state in 2010 said, “We would not be closing today if Planned Parenthood had not started providing abortion services in the same town.” A June 23, 2008, article in The Wall Street Journal quoted clinic operator Amy Hagstrom Miller saying “This is not the Planned Parenthood we all grew up with . . . they now have more of a business approach, much more aggressive.” Ms. Hagstrom Miller, whose network of Whole Women’s Health clinics is now the plaintiff in the case against Texas that the Supreme Court will hear this week, told the Journal back then that Planned Parenthood “put local independent businesses in a tough situation.”

The market forces in the abortion industry, including Planned Parenthood’s expansions, are akin to the consolidations occurring in multiple industries, including health-care generally. Government funding allocations and limits are affecting U.S. health care across the board, and abortion in states that do fund the procedure may be just one more example.

In sum, the number of abortion facilities in Texas has gone down over time—but the state’s experience is not unique. The real news more than four decades after Roe v. Wade is that abortion is on the decline almost everywhere, with no signs of its becoming an accepted part of regular medical care.

This article appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Donovan is the president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List. The List is a nonprofit organization that supports pro-life politicians.

Argue that abortion providers shouldn’t get a pass on basic health standards simply to keep them in the market.

Colorado Springs, CO, March 2, 2016– Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the most important abortion case to reach the Court in 25 years. CitizenLink, along with the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Students for Life of America, filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in defense of HB2, a Texas law that demands abortion providers be held to the same health and safety standards as other outpatient surgical centers.

The brief documents the decline in demand for abortions across the country over time, due to increases in the percentage of younger Americans identifying as pro life, as well as opting to carry their babies to term after an unexpected pregnancy. Charlotte Lozier Institute President Chuck Donovan said Texas abortion numbers track well with national trends.

“Moreover, Texas’ health standards are justifiable safeguards including treating abortion sites as ambulatory surgical centers,” he said, “a measure specifically recommended by the grand jury that reviewed the tragic errors Pennsylvania made in the Gosnell case.”

Clinics in Texas are closing because they fail to meet basic health and safety standards. Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America said HB2 may have contributed to those closings, but it is not the driving force.

“The abortion industry is in a freefall because they realize that they need to push abortion now more than ever,” she said, “and they are pushing it to a generation where the majority find abortion to be morally reprehensible.”

Paul Weber, president and CEO of CitizenLink, said clinics that don’t meet basic health and safety standards should not be in operation in the first place.

“States should not be in the business of subsidizing inferior care for patients in order to make it easier for abortion providers to enter and remain in the market,” he said. “Abortion proponents say Texas’ regulations are ‘onerous.’ I say the families of the women killed at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion facility would disagree.”

CitizenLink and its alliance of nearly 40 state-based family policy groups work to ensure a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.