Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of February 26, 2007

Embryo Sacrifice Vote Coming / Fix the Flaw! / Appeal to the President
Merck Retreats / About Time! / March Speeches / House Debate

Embryo Sacrifice Vote Coming

NOW THAT THE SENATE’s LIBERALS HAVE BEEN STYMIED in their effort to undermine the Bush Administration’s shift in strategy in the Iraq theater, their attention could well shift to imminent action on HR-3, the House-passed legislation to gut the President’s order barring federal funding to kill human embryos as raw material for scientists.

Calls are needed now, with the Senate resuming its session this week, to urge Senators to oppose sacrificing embryonic human beings at taxpayer expense. Calls may be placed via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

Fix the Flaw!

CALLS TO SENATORS ARE NEEDED, TOO, to request support for potential amendments to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, S-358, which has already cleared committee and has a serious loophole.

The measure would bar insurance companies and employers from discriminating against individuals and their families on the basis of adverse genetic indicators. The definition of “family member” does not include children before birth, nor does it clearly include children whose adoption is in process. A committee amendment attached to the House version was insufficient to fix the flaw there, and the discriminatory definition has not been addressed in the Senate bill.

Senators should be asked to amend S-358 to resolve the objections raised by the pro-life community.

Appeal to the President

A GROUP OF 35 U.S. SENATORS APPEALED TO THE PRESIDENT earlier this month “to issue a letter to the Congress,” reports, “reaffirming the White House’s pro-life stance.”

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) characterized such a proposed letter, reports LifeSite, as “a powerful reminder that the United States is a country that is committed to protecting the dignity of human life.” The President’s issuance of such a letter, the 35 Senators surmise, would facilitate efforts by pro-life lawmakers and citizens at least to block anti-life legislative provisions.

The Senators made their appeal in a message reading as follows: “We respectfully request that you issue a letter to the Senate and House Leadership reaffirming your strong pro-life policy convictions and serving notice that you will veto any legislation that weakens present pro-life policy.”

The Senators’ appeal goes on to note that the President’s father, as President, “issued such a letter on June 4, 1991, to great effect when he was confronted with a Democrat-controlled Congress. An examination of the record will show,” the Senators continued, “that attacks [on] pro-life policy in the Democrat-controlled Congress were much more vociferous prior to the June 4 letter than they were after the letter.”

The Senators went on to indicate that Congressional committees were less likely after Pres. Bush 41’s letter to advance “pro-abortion and other anti-life measures that weakened present law or regulations.

“Issuance of such a letter nowwould be timely,” they wrote, “and of tremendous value in our effort to ensure that no life-related policy is weakened during the 110th Congress.”

Help could come even from the number of Senators (35) requesting such a notice. Should all the signers hang together on a motion to override a Presidential veto, the veto would be upheld.

In addition to Sen. Brownback, the signers were GOP Senators Sessions (AL), Kyl & McCain (AZ), Allard (CO), Martinez (FL), Chambliss & Isakson (GA), Craig & Crapo (ID), Grassley (IA), Roberts (KS), Bunning & Minority Leader McConnell (KY), Vitter (LA), Coleman (MN), Lott (MS), Hagel (NE), Ensign (NV), Domenici (NM), Burr & Dole (NC), Voinovich (OH), Coburn & Inhofe (OK), DeMint & Graham (SC), Thune (SD), Corker (TN), Cornyn & Hutchison (TX), Bennett & Hatch (UT), Enzi & Thomas (WY).

Merck Retreats

VACCINE MERCHANT MERCK WITHDREW last week from its campaign to see one of its newest products forced on girls throughout America.

The pharmaceutical giant had launched a major push to see its vaccine against some forms of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) mandated for girls entering puberty. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease which is believed to be the principal cause of cervical cancer.

An overweening executive order issued by Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry shocked many families into awareness of Merck’s effort to corner the market before another drug company could win approval for a competing product.

Some were troubled by ethical implications of the Perry order when it was learned his former chief aide was serving as Merck’s Texas lobbyist. Others were troubled by the encouragement such mandated “protection” would give young girls to engage in promiscuity. Still others were furious that Gov. Perry and lawmakers in various states across the country, where Merck-driven mandates are pending in legislatures, would so interfere in the parenting of youngsters. And others raised alarms about possible side effects of the vaccine.

Though pro-life/family citizens greeted the Merck retreat with relief, Concerned Women for America (CWA) president Wendy Wright cautioned that the campaign is far from over, and vigilant citizens should continue to work against any HPV vaccine mandate.

“Merck’s decision does not end this controversy,” said Miss Wright in a CWA news release, “since politicians have grabbed the baton of pushing for state mandates. Merck built the machine,” she said, “and now it is running on its own.”

Miss Wright indicated that CWA “does not oppose the availability of the vaccine, [but] it does oppose mandates that coerce parents to inject their little girls with it. Mandating the HPV vaccine is an overreach,” she said. “Mandates for the HPV vaccine would require every girl, even those with undiagnosed [contraindicating] conditions, to take it,” she said. Yet “Merck is not liable for possible complications due to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which exempts vaccine makers from responsibility for medical complications.”

CWA’s news release noted that, along with a doubling of the numbers of vaccines mandated in children, “also increased are cases of autism, asthma, diabetes and learning disabilities among children. It is unclear if there is a connection,” said the nation’s largest women’s public policy group, “but there is enough concern that another vaccine should not be mandated without further research.”

Eagle Forum, which joins CWA in fighting for the family in the nation’s public policies, has undertaken research on the possible side effects of childhood vaccines and also opposes the HPV vaccine mandates. Extensive discussion of vaccine implications is available via Eagle Forum’s Internet website at

Comments Eagle Forum’s Tennessee state president Bobbie Patray, “Never underestimate how riled up parents can get when they want to!” Nor how much, we at Life Advocacy add, “riled up” moms and dads can achieve when they act on their concerns.

About Time!

ONE OF AMERICA’s MAJOR WEEKLY NEWS MAGAZINES is featuring a lengthy examination of the ministry of pregnancy resource centers and their place in reducing the nation’s rampant abortion rate.

The almost balanced report is featured by Time magazine as its Feb. 26 cover story; as a result, countless newsstands across the country are displaying a photo of several anatomically accurate pink fetal models displayed across the palm of a human hand.

Though the story does seek to cast doubt on some of the cautions offered by pregnancy centers to abortion-vulnerable clients, the writer does enumerate some of the complications which pro-life advocates know are real, such as potential for psychological and physical complications, including reduced future fertility and increased likelihood of later ectopic pregnancy, as well as the abortion/breast cancer link. The story itself should give distressed mothers reading it not only insight into the availability of caring assistance but also doubt about the wisdom of abortion and revelation about the human nature of their tiny unborn children.

Those wishing to read the story without buying the magazine – though the cover photo itself is worth the price – can find it on the Internet website at, searching for keywords “pregnancy centers.”

March Speeches

Life Advocacy Briefing continues our publication of speeches from the Jan. 22, 2007, March for Life with speeches by two first-term House Members, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-WI).

REP. JORDAN: Thank you, it’s good to be with you. Just two quick points – same points I made to an Ohio group this morning that I spoke to. First, thank you for being here. All the Congressmen on stage here, we deal with lobbyists and special interests all the time, and they want to talk to us because they have a financial interest and stake in how legislation turns out. You are the one special interest that has nothing to gain financially for doing what you’re doing. You simply do it because it’s the truth. All life is sacred, all life is precious and it’s worthy of protection. Thank you very much for that.

Second, thank you, thank you so much, for your energy and optimism. It’s easy to get discouraged in this fight. Sometimes we don’t always get a fair shake from the media. You know, I love the line that Cal Thomas has; maybe you’ve heard it before. Cal Thomas says, I wake up every morning, I read my Bible and the New York Times, so I can see what each side’s up to. There’s a lot of truth to that, but never get discouraged; keep the positive attitude.

And I’ll finish with this; I call it “the David attitude.” You all know the story from Scripture: When the Israelites were camped against the Philistines, and every day the Philistine giant walked out and issued the challenge, “Who will fight Goliath?”, the Israelites’ response was, he’s so big we could never defeat him. But David’s response was, he’s so big, I can’t miss. And that’s our charge right there. Thank you very much.

REP. WALBERG: Go blue, go green and white, Michigan! What a privilege it is to stand here with my wife [the mother] of three and grandmother of two, Micah and John Timothy. And I thank the people of Michigan for taking the risk of going against an incumbent to send me here for Life.

You know, I’ve heard a lot of words today and especially appreciated the President standing for the Declaration of Independence that said there are certain unalienable rights, that being the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And we indeed who know life know liberty, and we who know life know happiness, because that comes from the God Who’s given all three to us, [doesn’t] it?

I thank God that we have the opportunity to stand here today. And I would encourage you that,  though there have been so-called setbacks in politics, [and] the elections turn things away, and so there are people that may not have come today because they say we can’t get the Supreme Court justice now that we wanted – maybe or maybe not. We can’t get the vote that we wanted in the House or Senate – maybe or maybe not.

But the same God that we serve Who gave life, sent a Son Who said, I’m come that you might have life and have it abundantly. And if that indeed is true, then we must be people that demonstrate that life is so good, so abundant that no one even in the most difficult situation would ever want to take life away from anyone, born or unborn.

Someone very wise said to me early on, there are three types of people in this life: there are well-poisoners that dump poison down the well of life and try to taint it in every way. There are people that are lawn-mowers that keep things neat and tidy, and we need all of those that we can get. But then there are also people that are life enrichers. And we are life enrichers, aren’t we? So let’s make sure that we have people that hear us, that say no matter what difficult situation you find yourself in, no matter whether it’s an unplanned pregnancy or a difficult pregnancy or a so-called unwanted pregnancy, the life that you carry is so valuable, so important, so enriched that I want you to see all the goodness in life and follow on.

I’m Tim Walberg, I’m a Congressman for Life. But more importantly, I’m a person created by God for life. You, too, go after it. God bless you.

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 are publishing excerpts from the Congressional Record transcript of that debate from the various pro-life speeches given, and we urge readers to attend carefully to the arguments made in opposing HR-3. We continue this series of speech excerpt transcripts here.

REP. PHIL GINGREY (R-GA): Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to HR-3, but definitely not in opposition to stem cell research; indeed, not in opposition to embryonic stem cell research. That is the position, my colleagues, of this President and most of the Republicans in this House. It is not an issue of being opposed to research on embryonic stem cells, but it is in opposition to research that results in the destruction of human life.

Certainly if you ask the American public when they look at this picture on television if they would be in favor of embryonic stem cell research, if you could help this man, … the answer would be a resounding yes, 80%. I think maybe I would be one of those who would be inclined to so vote. But on the other hand, Mr. Speaker, if you held up this picture – snowflake babies – and asked them, would you be willing to support embryonic stem cell research if it meant the destruction of these lives – or not giving these lives an opportunity to ever develop – I think the answer, with the statistics, would be completely reversed.

REP. CHARLES BOUSTANY (R-LA): … As a heart and lung surgeon, I’ve seen the power of hope and the harms caused by those who give misinformation and false hope to patients and families. Too often, proponents of embryonic stem cell research promise an immediate cure to dying patients and their families. From a medical standpoint, embryonic stem cells have yet to produce a single human treatment. Embryonic stem cells also produce tumors and cause transplant rejection.

Such techniques also raise grave ethical problems. The claim that most human embryos in fertility clinics “will be discarded anyway” is disingenuous. Research shows that “the vast majority of stored embryos (88.2%) are being held for family building.”

Fortunately, science continues to discover more promising lines of stem cell research. Adult stem cells have already been used to treat a growing number of human diseases. Scientists at Harvard and Wake Forest University recently reported their success using stem cells in amniotic fluid and the placenta. They explained that these stem cells “remain stable for years without forming tumors.”

… It’s disappointing that the Speaker would not permit a vote today to increase funding for the most productive stem cell research. … It’s irresponsible for Congress to spend scarce federal tax dollars on lines of scientific research that have proven least effective. Evidence proves it’s possible to advance stem cell research without paying biomedical firms to destroy human embryos.

REP. DANIEL LUNGREN (R-CA): … We should recall the words of Dr. Nigel Cameron, the founder of the journal called Ethics & Medicine, when he said in his testimony: “Our membership in the human species is enough to distinguish the human embryo from all other laboratory artifacts.”

It is important for us to understand that human dignity is not reserved for adult human beings. And for us to say here at this time that human dignity is contingent upon arbitrary criteria such as size or location is a profound judgment that we make. It is for that reason that President Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Commission decided not to permit stem cell research using IVF embryos after finding that “the derivation of stem cells from embryos remaining following fertility treatments is justifiable only,” it said, “only if no less problematic alternatives are available for advancing the research.”

We have seen the evidence compounding, even since we’re here on this floor, just last year, that there are morally appropriate alternatives. Let us not follow in this direction.



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