Friday 5

November 6 2020


Barry Sheets

Legislative Consultant


It has been a very tumultuous campaign season,

and as we close out election week without a clear idea

of which candidate will be sitting in the Oval Office come January 20th

we need to pray exceedingly fervently for God

to have mercy on our country and on unborn children,

as the outcome will set a course whether or not

we will offer full protection or complete violation to them.


1. Amidst the chaos that is the 2020 election, there have been some bright spots. One of the brightest is the state of Louisiana while at the polls on Tuesday passed a state Constitutional amendment to clarify that in no way does their governing documents allow any judge to somehow find that abortion is a right granted by the constitution, nor does it allow for the state to fund abortions. Amendment 1, the “Love Life” amendment, passed with 62% of the vote. 


2. Another bright spot is nationally, the U.S. House of Representatives became a little less partisan, as Republicans picked up seven seats (and that number could be as many as nine depending upon two races in California not yet finalized). The best takeaway for Pro-Life advocates: the number of Pro-Life proclaiming women legislators more than doubled, according to the Susan B. Anthony List, with 11 incumbents and 13 new pro-life female members winning races on Tuesday! Sadly, in Ohio, Christina Hagan (sponsor of the Heartbeat Bill) was not successful in unseating Democrat Tim Ryan in northeast Ohio.


3. Another thing that took place during the final days running up to the election this week that many may have missed: the Trump Administration, led by U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, worked with 32 other nations to issue the Geneva Concensus Declaration on Promoting Women’s Health and Strengthening the Family. The document states there is no international right to abortion, no obligation on any nation to fund or facilitate abortions internationally, and the family is fundamental to a healthy society. This is groundbreaking work by the Trump Administration. Just to note, my favorite pro-family country outside the U.S., Hungary led by PM Viktor Orban, also signed the declaration.


4.  Not all was joyful on Election Day—in Washington state, state law passed by Democrats (only) to require the teaching of objectionable sexual education standards in part developed by Planned Parenthood, survived a referendum challenge by a 59-41 margin. Voters had to turn down Proposition 90 in order to reject the mandate on all grades (yes, even in kindergarten) that students are to be exposed to this graphic content, including affirmations of sexual perversions. Pray for the children of Washington state, because their adults have failed them miserably.


5. Yesterday, Governor Mike DeWine announced his latest pick for the position of Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Current CEO of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Stephanie McCloud was chosen to lead ODH after failures in the selections of both Dr. Amy Acton and Joan Duwve. McCloud, an attorney, has extensive experience in state government. She also comes with somewhat of a pedigree: she is the daughter of Phil Burress, the now-retired President of pro-family leader Citizens for Community Values. McCloud is cut from her father’s cloth, for sure, but it will remain to be seen how this will impact an agency that has been notorious for letting abortion providers off the hook during the DeWine-Husted Administration. Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer of Ohio Health, was named as the state’s chief medical officer at the department. Vanderhoff’ s appointment may come under scrutiny, as it was Ohio Health’s Riverside Hospital that has been sued for the intentional neglect leading to the death of two premature twins born alive at the hospital in 2018.


Each installment of the Friday Five will bring thumbnail profiles

of key policymakers and committees. 


United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio—Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick—Helmick, born in Toledo, Ohio and serving the Northern District from the Toledo division of the court, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983 from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor in 1988 from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He served in various law practices until forming his own federal criminal defense practice in 1998. In 2011, Helmick was nominated by then President Barack Obama to a vacancy on the court. He was recommended by both former Senator George Voinovich and current Senator Sherrod Brown. In 2012, Helmick’s nomination was reported to the Senate Floor from the Senate Judiciary Committee. His nomination was supported by Brown and by newly-elected U.S. Senator Rob Portman. In the Senate debate over Helmick's nomination, there was some controversy over Helmick's representation of accused terrorist and Toledo terror plot organizer Wassim Mazloum in 2009 as well as an ethics case that had gone to the Supreme Court of Ohio. Sen. Chuck Grassley in particular opposed Helmick for his role as a court-appointed attorney for Mazloum, who was ultimately convicted.  However, with both Brown and Portman’s backing, Helmick’s nomination was confirmed on June 6, 2012 by a vote of 62-36.

Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati is a proud member organization of the 

Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio.