Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of January 22, 2007

Testimonies Outside the Court / Rallying in DC Today /
Senate Vote Coming? Call Now! / Biting the Hand / Is God Shouting? /
Sensible Soundbite / In a Nutshell / Search & Destroy / House Debate

Testimonies Outside the Court

ABORTION’s LIVING VICTIMS from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will testify publicly in front of the Supreme Court building today from 4 to 7 p.m., sharing with any who will listen their stories of tragedy and triumph in their journeys through crisis pregnancies, abortions and healing.

Since the campaign’s launch in 2003, report Georgette Forney and Janet Morana in a campaign news release, “2,100 women and men have shared testimonies at 160 gatherings that have occurred in 44 states and five countries, with more than 12,030 spectators having heard the truth about abortion’s negative after-effects.”

The campaign operates an Internet website at and has received commitments on-line from more than 3,800 people, according to the news release, “to be silent no more.”

Rallying in DC Today

THE ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE will fill Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC, this afternoon. Upwards of 100,000 Americans are expected to rally at the National Mall at noon. Members of Congress will appear onstage along with leaders of pro-life organizations. The President himself has been invited to address the crowd and will likely do so by remote telephone hookup, as he has on every Jan. 22 since his inauguration in 2001.

We hope to transcribe and publish excerpts from the March for Life rally speeches in coming Life Advocacy Briefings, as space permits. Closing this edition of our Briefing are excerpts from several of the House debate speeches on the embryo-killing subsidy legislation which passed the House on Jan. 11; we will feature further excerpts in future editions, again, as space permits.

Senate Vote Coming? Call Now!

THE U.S. SENATE IS EXPECTED TO TAKE UP THE EMBRYO-KILLING SUBSIDY which passed the House earlier this month, according to the C-SPAN2 cable/satellite television channel which follows Congress and telecasts sessions live.

The legislation has already passed the House, and its predecessor bill passed the Senate in the 109th Congress, which ended officially with the reorganization of House and Senate into the 110th Congress in early January.

But the proceedings under which the measure is likely to be brought before the Senate will subject it to the potential of amendments, including such proposals as a human cloning ban, to which the Senate has proved resistant in previous sessions.

Pro-life citizens are asked to call their US Senators now and not to wait for notice of the likely date for the vote. Senators may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121. Those who are not certain of their Senators’ names may simply identify their home state to the operator in order to reach the appropriate offices.

The bill is titled “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act,” and the House-passed measure, numbered HR-3, has been placed on the Senate calendar without referral to committee.

Biting the Hand

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA) DECLARED HIS LOYALTY to the “science” lobby last week with a shot at the man whose regrettable 2004 endorsement secured his re-election.

The liberal Republican, who, writes Andy Sullivan for Reuters news service, “has repeatedly expressed outrage that [Pres.] Bush will not support the expanded use of federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research, said, reports Mr. Sullivan, “he was ‘confident’ [HR-3] would pass the Senate with enough votes to override any White House veto.

“‘There ought to be a million-person march on the Mall,’” Mr. Specter said in the Reuters story, “‘that can be heard in the living quarters of the White House.’”

Is God Shouting?

PERHAPS AS A WAKE-UP CALL TO SENATORS and/or a rebuke to the majority of US Representatives, a baby boy was born into a Covington, Louisiana, family last week.

The birth of Noah Benton Markham made news because the eight-pound-plus babe was rescued from the New Orleans flood 16 months ago in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when little Noah was in the early stages of his life – an embryo awaiting development in a frozen state, housed, along with 1,400 other waiting embryonic human beings, in a tank of liquid nitrogen.

Noah and the other children were threatened with death when flood waters cut off the electricity in the hospital where they had been evacuated to the third floor; without continued power, their holding chambers would thaw, and they would die.

The heroic effort of volunteer State Troopers from Illinois, called in to save the tiny babies, delivered the first of its fruit in the birth of Noah to a 42-year-old New Orleans police officer and his 32-year-old wife. Both Noah and his two-year-old brother Witt were conceived by an in vitro fertilization procedure; Witt was implanted in his mother’s womb immediately.

Proof, for any dense enough to need it, that embryonic humans have intrinsic worth and that their rescue – by troopers in a flood or by lawmakers and citizens in an appeal to this dimming world – is worthy of the fight.

Sensible Soundbite

REP. PHIL GINGREY (R-GA) NAILED THE ISSUE IN A SENSIBLE SOUNDBITE in a Cybercast News Service ( story by Monisha Bansal, published just before the House vote on subsidizing the killing of embryonic humans for utilitarian purposes. We are grateful to Rep. Gingrey for showing pro-life colleagues and citizens the way to talk about this touchy issue.

“‘In America,’” he said, “‘we do things the right way. We don’t take organs from death row prisoners because they are “going to die anyway.” Neither should we steal the life of a fertilization clinic embryo just because there’s a chance it won’t be used to impregnate a woman.’”

In a Nutshell

NOTEWORTHY QUOTE FROM AN OP-ED in The Tennessean newspaper, by Dr. D. Joy Riley, executive director of the Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture: “To extend our lives at the expense of dismembering a future generation is not a fairy tale – it is the beginning of a nightmare.”

Search & Destroy

THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS & GYNECOLOGISTS – a trade group whose membership includes abortionists – is urging the expansion of routine prenatal screening for Down’s Syndrome to all babies, not just those whose mothers are older than 35. ACOG’s Canadian sister, the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC), is advocating a similar policy in its Feb. 1 journal.

“While the ACOG media release does not directly mention abortion as the usual fate of the ‘screened’ babies,” writes Hilary White for, “a[n] SOGC official readily admits that the Canadian recommendation was specifically intended to give women the option to abort a child with Down’s Syndrome.

“‘Yes, it’s going to lead to more termination,’” SOGC president Andre Lalonde told the National Post, quoted by LifeSite, “‘but it’s going to be fair to these women who are 24 who say, “How come I have to raise an infant with Down’s Syndrome, whereas my cousin who was 35 didn’t have to?”’ … The only ethical consideration,” he said in the LifeSite story, “is to ensure that an abortion is ‘what the woman wants. We have to be fair,’” he told the National Post, “‘to give women a choice.’”

House Debate

The Jan. 11, 2007, House debate on HR-3 – the legislation to force taxpayers to subsidize embryo-killing experimentation – brought forth effective, persuasive appeals on both sides of the ethical divide. We will publish excerpts from the Congressional Record transcript of that debate, beginning below, from the various pro-life speeches given, and urge readers to attend carefully to the arguments made in opposing HR-3. We thank those Members of Congress who spoke boldly against the passage of this emotionally charged legislation and salute them for standing eloquently for the cause of Life and for both prudent and ethical limits on the expenditure of our tax dollars.

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R-TX) (who managed the debate for the opponents to HR-3): … Consider the words spoken by President Kennedy at his inaugural almost half a century ago: “Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors.” HR-3 does not strike this balance and does not allow us to invoke the wonders of science. Instead, it offers a very vague outline posing as ethical guidelines but is in no such way an ethical guideline; and, unfortunately, as a consequence, human dignity is discarded by the wayside. We can do better, and we should do better. Instead, we offer false promises to those that suffer from some of the most debilitating chronic conditions, and we fail to protect what is human life and erode the concept of humanity.

REP. DONALD MANZULLO (R-IL): … Despite a quarter-century’s research in mouse embryonic stem cells and seven years in human variety, embryonic stem cells have yet to yield any successful clinical trials in humans. Adult stem cells, however, have treated patients suffering from 72 different diseases in published clinical applications. … I believe the most effective way to counter disease in the long run is to support research that will prevent the occurrence of the disease. … We should continue to prioritize that research and continue to work on the stem cell research that does not involve the taking of the human life.

REP. TIM WALBERG (R-WI): … This vote was made even more personal and poignant to me this past Sunday when I read an article talking about a couple who will be giving birth to a child this next week as a result of having an embryo saved two weeks after Katrina hit, where literally National Guard troops, the Governor of Louisiana, troops from Illinois as well, moved literally hell and high water to save not only this couple’s embryo but 1,400 other embryos. The question comes, if we are going to talk about discarded embryos, or those not wanted, which ones of those 1,400 that were saved as a result of moving hell and high water by our government would be the ones that we would discard?

REP. RANDY NEUGEBAUER (R-TX): … This is bowl season in America, championship season. So we go to the scoreboard to see where we are with stem cell research in this country today, and the score is very clear. Adult stem cells research, there are 72 clinical applications currently available today and more being developed. Where are we with embryonic stem cell research today? We are at zero. So the score today is 72 to 0.

            … I come from the private sector recently to Congress. We didn’t invest our money in things that were losers. One of the things we know today is that currently embryonic stem cell research is not yielding any clinical applications that we can use in an effective way. So doesn’t it make sense that as we sit down and allocate our resources, look at our research patients as we move forward; we ought to be investing our money where we are getting results? Certainly there are a lot of people who will get up and talk and make emotional appeals. I am not insensitive to that. There are a lot of people that have huge issues going on today in their lives. One of the things we want to do is make sure that we are applying federal resources in a way that we can actually benefit from them and not talk about the politics.

REP. VIRGINIA FOXX (R-NC): … Nothing efficacious has come out of embryonic stem cell research in 25 years of research. In fact, a lot of negative things have happened. And to mislead the American public is cruel. It is just absolutely cruel to make people think again that they could be cured.

            Thirty years ago, I lost [the sight] of my right eye completely from a detached retina. You can’t implant retinas. You can’t transplant retinas. The only thing that could possibly help me would be a new retina to be grown.

            So I support stem cell research. I support Dr. Atala’s work in North Carolina at Wake Forest, because they are actually growing organs from people’s own stem cells. That research has enormous potential. Adult stem cell research has done good things. Embryonic stem cell research creates tumors and rejection. .. I am very empathetic to the fact that research could do a lot to help us with diseases, but this is not the route to go. Killing human life does not have to be accomplished to create efficacious treatments for people and diseases.

REP. JEAN SCHMIDT (R-OH): … HR-3 advances the proposition that this body must choose between science and ethics. That is not the case. Let’s be aggressive in looking at alternative ways to save human lives through stem cell research, ways that do not compromise our moral values and the lives of the unborn.

REP. CHRIS SMITH (R-NJ): … For those of us who oppose taxpayer subsidies to facilitate the destruction of human embryos, this latest breakthrough is yet another vindication and underscores the fact that ethical alternatives to embryo-destroying research are available now, and they are likely to expand. …

            Where will this all take us if this bill were to be passed and signed into law? We would see the demise, the destruction over time, if it worked, of millions of embryos. Let me just quote Robert Lanza, medical director of Advanced Cell Technology, an advocate ofembryonic stem cell research, who said that because of the likelihood of immune rejection, it may require, in his words “millions” of embryos to be destroyed. Is that the future you want to promote with the DeGette bill? Millions of embryos killed? Let’s adopt them, as we are seeing now.

REP. JEB HENSARLING (R-TX): Mr. Speaker, I rise today in favor of the unalienable right to life and in opposition to HR-3. This legislation would require increased federal support for embryo-destructive research, abrogating, I believe, our responsibility to protectlife as declared by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence.

            … In this body, we debate a number of vitally important issues. But is there any issue more important than preserving the sanctity of life? And shouldn’t we ask ourselves, how can we preserve liberty if we cannot preserve life? And should there be doubt, we should err on the side of life.

REP. ROB BISHOP (R-UT): Mr. Speaker, in one of my favorite plays of all time, “Inherit the Wind,” the attorney Henry Drummond is talking to his client and his client’s fiancée about a lesson of life based upon an experience that Drummond had when he was seven years old, and by his own admission, a self-described expert on rocking horses. He saw in the store window Golden Dancer, a rocking horse with a red mane, blue eyes, beautiful gold with purple spots on it, and there would always be a plate-glass window between him and Golden Dancer, because it would have cost a week of his father’s salary. But on his next birthday, as he woke, he saw at the foot of his bed, Golden Dancer. His mother had scrimped on groceries, his father had worked nights for a month, and they had purchased Golden Dancer – but at too high a price.

            Often for us as individuals as well as society, we go after Golden Dancers, and they are purchased at too high a price. Embryonic stem cell research, in my opinion, is a Golden Dancer, and it would be purchased at too high a price. It is a glitzy, golden dream that is out there. …

            If embryos are being destroyed, it is not right that taxpayer money should be used to expand that process in what I find to be a morally objectionable way and objectionable process, regardless of what that Golden Dancer may or may not be. To me, this is still an issue of ethics: Does the manner in which we spend our tax dollars promote a policy that one form of innocent life at a stage is more important than another innocent life at a different stage? Will we, by our tax policies, condone tax spending, condone a policy that says innocent life can be destroyed for utilitarian purposes? Because if we do that, whatever the reason may be, in my contention, that cheapens society and it cheapens us, and it gives us a cavalier attitude of life at the beginning of the process which leads to a cavalier attitude of life at the end of the process and who knows in between. This is a Golden Dancer that for me is too high a price for what it does to us as a people and as a society.


Permission granted to quote with attribution. Reproduction rights granted only by express authorization.