News & Opinion
The 2018 election season seemed like a real letdown for people concerned for the sanctity of life in Illinois. First, Jeanne Ives narrowly lost to Bruce Rauner in the gubernatorial primary after millions of dollars was spent in misleading advertising against her. Then, we lost the representation of some great state representatives (like Peter Breen), giving a super majority to Mike Madigan and the Democrat Party, which vows to remove any and all restrictions on abortion, while advancing a culture of death.
Here’s what is at stake in 2019 and 2020:
- Potential reversal of the parental notice law (which mandates that parents are informed if their minor daughter is considering abortion)
- Double down on taxpayer funding of abortion
- Legalized assisted suicide
How did we get here? The abortion industry (led by Personal PAC – Planned Parenthood’s political arm) spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in helping to defeat pro-life candidates like Peter Breen and others with misleading and false ads. The Republican Party, unfortunately, let the attacks go unanswered, not running any ads defending the pro-life position, let alone going on the attack to point out the extreme position of the pro-abortion candidates; hence, allowing Personal PAC to dictate the narrative on the abortion issue. It doesn’t work to allow the abortion industry to define the narrative.
We cannot sit back and let the abortion lobby tell the only story of abortion in important elections. Sitting back and being politically silent on such an important issue, central to most elections these days, is irresponsible. It’s the most important moral issue of our age! Just how we proclaim the story of the birth of Christ from the hilltops, so must we proclaim the sanctity of all human life. It’s simply a winning message!
This is why the ICE-PAC board has decided to invest even more in campaigning and lobbying. We already started by spending more funds in 2018 than in any other year on pro-life outreach and advertising to support our endorsed candidates. Over $30,000!
We then hired a full-time executive director (David Avignone) to drive our mission forward. David has eight years of campaign experience, seven years of fundraising experience, and nineteen years experience in non-profit and for-profit management combined.
We’re growing and becoming more relevant every year! We’re enthusiastic about ICE-PAC’s future, so we have a lofty goal for our supporters this Christmas Season!
Help us reach $25,000 with a truly sacrificial gift this Christmas season, ending on January 13, 2019 when we celebrate Christ’s Baptism and when we March for Life in Chicago.
Whether $50 or $5,000, Your sacrificial gift this Christmas to support our mission is needed and will be appreciated…and it will be effective!
Have a wonderful Christmas Season,
Mary- Louise Hengesbaugh
PS. Join us at our event following the March for Life Chicago. Click HERE for more information.
Pro-Abortion Candidate Terra Costa Howard is Outraged for being Outed on Abortion and Taxes
State Representative Peter Breen has served the residents of the 48th District with distinction for the past four years. His low-tax, pro-life views are representative of the majority of his constituents. His opponent, Terra Costa Howard, is pro-high-taxes and supports taxpayer-funded abortion. In exchange, Ms. Howard has received over $600,000 of support from forces aligned with Democrat House Speaker Mike Madigan and pro-abortion groups. Much of that money has gone to attack Representative Breen.
Over the weekend, a flier created and paid for by ICE-PAC and several pro-life groups was distributed in the 48th District to counter the false attacks on Representative Breen. The flier, which can be viewed below, contrasts Breen’s views on the issues with Howard’s and were distributed at multiple locations, including Catholic and other churches and houses or worship. The feedback was very positive because Representative Breen shares the view of most of his constituents, who favor low-taxes and don’t want their tax dollars to be used to pay for abortions. Our goal is to educate people on what the candidates stand for on these issues.
In response, Ms. Howard posted the following on her social media page:
“Is nothing sacred?
This Sunday morning after Mass, my parents and I caught Breen supporters stuffing misleading political flyers onto the windshields of cars parked in Catholic church parking lots.
I think it is unconscionable for a politician to jeopardize our churches’ tax-exempt status by bringing partisan politics onto church property. Peter Breen owes an apology to our Diocese, to our churches, and to every parishioner whose Sunday morning mass was tainted by his attempt to pervert our faith into a political weapon.
If you agree, please send an email to the bishop, at OfficeOfTheBishop@DioceseOfJoliet.org”Ms. Howard — a politician who wants to raise your taxes and then use those dollars to pay for abortions in Illinois — asked “Is nothing sacred?”. Our response is: Yes — Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And having an informed electorate.
She also released a statement, to announce she wrote a letter to Bishop Conlon, of the Diocese of Joliet, calling on him to intervene.
Ms. Howard — a politician who wants to raise your taxes and then use those dollars to pay for abortions in Illinois — asked “Is nothing sacred?”. Our response is: Yes — Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And having an informed electorate.
The following letter was sent by ICE-PAC to Bishop Conlon, as a response to Howard’s letter to him and request Bishop Conlon to denounce these efforts, particularly at the Catholic parish that she belongs to in Glen Ellyn.
Subject: Our flyer on the Breen-Howard race
I’m the Chair of Illinois Citizens for Ethics, a small political action committee. Last weekend, we leafleted cars in some church parking lots in your diocese with a comparison piece that respectfully presents the positions on several issues of two candidates for State Representative in district 48: State Representative Peter Breen and his opponent, Terra Costa Howard. I have attached the document for your reference.
From her posting on Facebook, I see that Terra Costa Howard has urged her supporters to email you objecting to this and instructing you to tell Peter Breen to apologize. However, my organization drafted text, paid for printing, and recruited volunteers to distribute the flyer. We did this because Terra Costa Howard is a candidate with extreme anti-life positions that she is skillfully concealing from voters. In fact, she is endorsed by Personal PAC, the powerful and well-funded political action committee of the Illinois abortion industry. In order to obtain their endorsement, a candidate must pledge to oppose all common sense regulations on abortion and support public funding for abortion – that is, abortions basically for free, paid for by every taxpayer. Terra Costa Howard even has pledged to vote to repeal the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Since this law took effect, abortions on minor girls have plummeted by thousands each year. This law protects a parent’s right to know and be able to help their children in a time of crisis. This law is also crucial for protecting minor girls from sexual predators who use secret abortions to conceal evidence of their crimes.
Howard’s campaign has received almost $150,00 from Personal PAC, and over $600,000 from Michael Madigan. They’ve been using these funds to unfairly attack Breen, who is Catholic, on issues related to our faith, such as the sanctity of human life. We’re a small PAC and several of us, myself included, are parishioners in the Diocese of Joliet and local to Breen’s area. We can’t compete with the money she’s receiving for TV ads and paid walkers going door to door, but we do believe voters deserve to know the truth about the candidates’ positions. Everything in the document we distributed is true.
Peter Breen has served as a State Representative for four years with great integrity, and has been steadfast in his defense of the most vulnerable. His outstanding record has earned him the endorsements of the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. We hope that our efforts to save innocent human lives and protect women from the grief of abortion did not offend you. Thank you for your service to our Church.
Chair, Illinois Citizens for Ethics PAC
To learn more about Peter Breen’s courageous work as a State Representative in support of family values, we encourage you to visit VoteBreen.com.
Breen’s Notable Pro-Life Endorsements
- Lake County Life PAC
- Illinois Citizens for Life PAC
- Illinois Citizens for Ethics PAC
- Illinois Family Action PAC
- Family PAC
We need your time and financial support to re-elect Peter Breen.
Your support will help us educate voters in the 48th district regarding our shared family values.
A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.
Our voices were heard loud and clear this primary season! Seven of the nine candidates endorsed by Illinois Citizens for Ethics PAC won in Tuesday’s primary elections for the Illinois House, while another race was decided the following day because it was so close!
Thank you for your role in making this happen, through your financial support, volunteer efforts and spreading the word on these great candidates. Illinoisans showed that they turn out and vote for candidates that represent the “mainstream values important for life and family” that ICE-PAC promotes.
So, don’t be fooled. The candidates that are visible advocates for policies that protect and promote the family, the unborn, pregnant women, and authentic marriage were the BIG WINNERS. And in turn, the Illinois people won as well.
2014 PRIMARY RESULTS (winner in bold)
- 7 out of 9 ICE-PAC endorsed candidates won.
- We knocked off a pro-abortion incumbent of 12 years.
- We had a major role with our fundraising and activism in mobilizing volunteers and community support.
- We almost knocked off a pro-gay-marriage incumbent – lost by less than 150 votes.
- Overall a great day for anyone who believes in mainstream values important for life and family.
Your support matters! These candidates did not do it alone. They had help from organizations like ICE-PAC, who encourage them to take a conservative stand on social issues, while defending them from attacks from liberal candidates and organizations.
Thank you for supporting ICE-PAC, the biggest and best grassroots pro-family political action committee in Illinois.
Abortion advocates at the Guttmacher Institute and other pro-abortion institutions say they are “fighting back,” introducing more legislation to expand access to abortion than in any year in recent memory. But pro-life advocates say that public opinion, and the tide of history, is turning decisively against abortion-on-demand.
Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, announced that more pro-abortion legislation has been introduced this year than anytime in the last 20 years.
So far, 14 states have introduced 51 pieces of legislation to expand and strengthen women’s access to abortion, she said, up from 32 bills in six states in 2013.
Amanda Allen of the Center for Reproductive Rights told Bloomberg News that 2014 is a “tipping point” in American legislative history.
But “there is a significant difference between bills introduced and those enacted,” Denise Burke, vice president of legal affairs at Americans United for Life, told LifeSiteNews. “Last year, for example, more than 350 bills related to abortion were introduced in state legislatures,” but only about 20 percent became law, most of them pro-life.
The Guttmacher Institute told LifeSiteNews.com that, while dozens of new abortion-expanding bills had been offered, “thus far this year none have been enacted.”
The Supreme Court this morning effectively killed an Arizona bill that would have denied Planned Parenthood any share of state Medicaid dollars, declining to hear an appeal from the state.
The law would have deemed abortionists not “qualified” to receive state tax dollars intended for family planning services.
Governor Jan Brewer signed the “Whole Woman’s Healthcare Funding Prioritization Act” (H.B. 2800) in May 2012. The Obama administration filed a lawsuit challenging the law that October, arguing that the terms of federal law supersede state law.
U.S. District Judge Neil Wake issued an injunction, eventually striking the law down on February 11, 2013.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most overturned appeals courts in the nation, unanimously upheld the ban last August.
The Supreme Court this morning refused to intervene, allowing the panel’s decision to stand.
Professor Michael J. New has written an excellent piece at the National Review Online about the progress pro-lifers made in calendar year 2013, particularly in state legislatures. Some highlights:
- A Texas bill was passed that banned abortions after 20 weeks gestation and mandated that abortion clinics meet the same standards as other surgical health-care facilities.
- Two other states banned abortion after 20 weeks of gestation.
- Four states limited abortion coverage in the health exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.
- Eight states enacted bans on tele-med abortions.
Overall, according to the Guttmacher Institute, 70 state-level pro-life measures were enacted in 2103. This makes 2013 the second most productive year on record in terms of the number of pro-life laws that were passed. Overall, there were more pro-life laws enacted between 2011 and 2013 than in the entire previous decade.
Read the entire article here.
A survey of abortion clinics in the United States has concluded that a record number of 87 surgical abortion clinics closed in 2013.
The survey, conducted by pro-life organization Operation Rescue, found that the total number of surgical abortion clinics remaining in the United States is now 582, a twelve percent decrease in surgical abortion clinics in 2013 alone, and a 73 percent drop from a 1991 high of 2,176.
According to Operation Rescue, of the 87 clinics that discontinued surgical abortions, 81 are permanently closed, while six stopped performing surgical abortions but continued the sale of abortion-inducing drugs. The data does not include the eleven abortion clinics that were temporarily closed this year, but later reopened.
The number of clinics that only perform abortion via drugs remained fairly constant at 176, with six documented closures.
Texas is the state with the most closures of surgical abortion clinics – a total of eleven – following the passage of an abortion law earlier in the year. New abortion clinic safety regulations accounted for closures in Pennsylvania and Maryland as well.
The House Tuesday passed a bill that would ban most abortions nationwide after 20 weeks. The most far-reaching abortion legislation in the House in a decade, it was passed 228-196, mostly along party lines.
With Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposed, a House committee has passed a bill that would ban abortions nationwide at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Much of the debate focused on amendments by Democrats who hoped to gut the bill and allow late-term abortions in cases of rape and incest, or to protect a woman’s health.
The committee passed the bill on a 20-12 vote and the measure now heads to the full House floor where it is expected to receive a debate and vote next week.
A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked Mississippi from revoking the license of the state’s only abortion clinic.
U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III extended an injunction he issued several months ago, which blocks the state from closing the clinic while it tries to fulfill a 2012 state law.
The law requires all OB-GYNs who do abortions at Jackson Women’s Health Organization to have privileges to admit patients to a local hospital.