Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of March 5, 2007

Proclaiming Truth Truthfully / Vaccine Mandate Pending / Nasty Treaty /
Setting Up Shop / Infanticide Shop Shuttered / March Speeches / House Debate

Proclaiming Truth Truthfully

IOWA’s LEGISLATURE HAS SENT TO THE GOVERNOR a bill endorsing sacrifice of embryonic humans for utilitarian experimentation. The bill, which is likely to be signed by Gov. Chet Culver (D), would replace Iowa’s human cloning ban and would authorize experimental cloning by another name.

We at Life Advocacy have not been privy to the Iowa-specific debate or political changes which precipitated this about-face, but, observing the terminology used by much of the pro-life movement nationally, we regretfully predict that the fight over embryo killing is likely to be lost wherever it emerges.

We cannot fathom why most advocates for Life speak about this issue in the same terms as are used by the amoral biotech lobby and its fellow travelers in the mainstream media. Calling this issue “embryonic stem cell research” is the equivalent of calling the abortion issue “choice,” yet this obfuscatory terminology is used consistently by those same pro-life leaders who wring their hands over the seeming inability of the public to distinguish between “adult stem cells” and “embryonic stem cells.”

Could the confusion result from the fundamental fact that the ethical problem is not the pursuit of research on stem cells but with the killing of embryonic human beings in the process?

Try consistently using the term “experimentation” instead of “research” and the expression “killing (or sacrificing or vivisecting or dissecting) embryonic humans” instead of “embryonic stem cells,” and see the difference in the perception of those hearing the debate. Using precise, morally expressive terminology cuts through the scientific fog, identifies the issue for what it is, and brings the public into a proper understanding of what is at stake. Is this really so hard?

Vaccine Mandate Pending

VIRGINIA GOV. TIM KAINE (D) IS MULLING WHETHER TO SIGN a bill mandating vaccination of young girls against some strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection which is the leading cause of cervical cancer.

Virginia’s legislature passed the bill just as public opinion against the mandate was building across the country. The governor must now take his own action amid roiling opposition from parents and others concerned about the health and behavior of adolescent girls.

Since an outright veto in Virginia could help stymie the mandate mania across the country, readers of Life Advocacy Briefing are urged to call Gov. Kaine regardless of whether you live in his state. His office telephone number is 1-804/786-2211. Call today and ask him, “Please veto the HPV Vaccine Mandate.”

Nasty Treaty

AMONG SEVERAL DANGEROUS U.N. TREATIES likely to come before the Senate this year is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, pronounced SEE-DAW), which has been held up in the Senate since July 1980, when President Jimmy Carter signed it. Treaties do not govern the United States until ratified by the Senate, where Foreign Relations Chairman Joseph Biden (D-DE) is expected to stage hearings and press for passage of CEDAW this year.

The UN’s CEDAW enforcement committee is a thoroughly radical band of Furies, determined to foist abortion-on-demand on every country and family in the world. As Joseph D’Agostino writes in the Feb. 10, 2007, PRI Weekly Briefing for Population Research Institute, “CEDAW’s enforcers don’t just love abortion, they hate motherhood in principle, constantly telling countries to implement propaganda programs from the pre-school level up to force boys and girls to think they are the same. And they don’t like pro-family policies, particularly Mother’s Day.”

A statement by the CEDAW committee itself, directed toward Belarus in 2000 and quoted by Mr. D’Agostino last month, is indicative of the powerful panel’s mindset: “‘In particular, the committee notes with concern that the [Belarus] government predominantly uses an approach of service delivery to women rather than a human rights approach when implementing the Convention. In addition, such an approach emphasizes the protection of and the delivery of services to women mainly as mothers and members of families, thus perpetuating stereotypical attitudes concerning the roles and responsibilities of women.’” Positive as some of this quote seems, it was actually intended as withering criticism and is just one small sample of how these people think.

Here’s another, a quote from CEDAW’s review of Portugal’s laws in 2002, also quoted by PRI: “‘The Committee is concerned about the restrictive abortion laws in place in Portugal, in particular because illegal abortions have serious negative impacts on women’s health and well-being.’” CEDAW’s activities are part of an international abortion industry press to overturn Portugal’s laws, boosted by the election of a Socialist majority government.

The CEDAW bunch even opposes the right of conscience. “Just last month,” writes Mr. D’Agostino, “the CEDAW committee admonished Poland for allowing doctors to refuse to perform abortions.”

Though CEDAW’s actions at this point are limited to bullying, Mr. D’Agostino cautions that “once CEDAW is ratified [by the Senate], it becomes law [to the United States], and [US] courts then base pro-abortion rulings upon it and its interpreters’ pronouncements,” thus potentially sealing rampant abortion into our land far into the future, with no recourse.

Two actions are urgently needed on the part of pro-life citizens and officials: Call Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and urge him to unite the Senate GOP delegation against ratification of CEDAW; his office telephone number is 1-202/224-2541. And call the White House comment line at 1-202/456-1111 and urge the President: “Please un-sign the CEDAW treaty.” That action would take it out of Sen. Biden’s hands.

Setting Up Shop

NO SOONER DID THE SOCIALIST LEADER OF PORTUGAL RENEW HIS THREAT to lift his country’s protective abortion laws – despite the failure of an abortion liberalization national referendum this winter – than the abortion industry announced its plans for making the most of its pending opportunity.

“Entrepreneurs in Portugal have unveiled plans,” reports Catholic World News, “for a massive three-story, $3.5-million abortion clinic in the heart of downtown Lisbon.” The proposed facility’s backers, reports CWN, expect its customer base to “be made up primarily of single women between the ages of 20 and 35 who are economically independent.”

Infanticide Shop Shuttered

THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY HAS SHUT DOWN THE ENGLEWOOD ABORTUARY which made national news during the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban debate. Abortionists at Metropolitan Medical Associates, whose customers come from the metropolitan New York City area, admitted to committing 1,500 partial-birth abortions annually at the very time the national abortion industry spokesmen were claiming the heinous practice took “only” about 400 to 600 American lives per year. This abortuary’s overall annual death toll exceeds 10,000.

The closing is expected to be only temporary and results from inspections, reports Ruth Padawer in the Bergen Record quoting the state agency’s shutdown order, citing “problems ‘including but not limited to infection control, instruments, equipment used for sterilization of patient care use items and the processing of equipment.’ The Dept. of Health & Senior Services refused,” writes Ms. Padawer, “to release the detailed list of violations to the public until the clinic has an opportunity to dispute the findings and the state issues its final report.” The two-day inspection was sparked by a complaint from a Newark hospital, writes Ms. Padawer, “after its emergency room treated a woman for complications following her abortion at the clinic.”

Though abortuary closures have become increasingly common, particularly in the southern US, in New Jersey, “An order to halt medical services is extremely rare,” writes Ms. Padawer. “This is only the second time in the last five years,” reports The Record citing a Health Dept. spokesman as source, “that the department has closed one of the state’s 619 ambulatory-care facilities for ‘deficient care.’”

Though the abortuary is telling customers it will reopen tomorrow, “the state,” writes Ms. Padawer, “is making no promises. ‘We will rescind the order once the major violations are taken care of and a plan of corrections, approved by the department, is in place,’” said the agency spokesman in The Record story.

March Speeches

Life Advocacy Briefing continues our publication of speeches from the Jan. 22, 2007, March for Life with speeches by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ), perhaps the most passionate of the rally speakers.

REP. TIAHRT: Hello, Kansas. Hello, America. From the home of Sam Brownback and Jim Ryun, a couple of great Kansans, [who] join us here on the stage today to welcome you and thank you for coming this long, cold way to speak for those who do not have a voice. Thank you so much.

In 2006, too many good people stayed at home, and today we no longer have a pro-life majority in the United States House of Representatives. In 2008, we can turn that around. If you get out there and help candidates like Sam Brownback get elected, we will turn that around. We’ll turn it around.  We’ll turn it around. We’ll turn it around with your help.

You’ve heard a lot of good speakers here. I just want to leave you with one thought: You are going to make a difference. Stay in the fight. Keep vigilant. And we’ll succeed. We’ll overturn Roe versus Wade, we’ll save young children’s lives, and we’ll make America a better place. God bless you all.

REP. BARTLETT: I’m Maryland’s only pro-life vote. I want to welcome our Maryland attendees. Maryland, where are you? Thank you!

I came to the Congress 14 years ago, and every year since then I’ve been here, and in those 14 years, we’ve made steady progress. In recent polls, fully 70 percent of America’s people are opposed to abortion for birth control. That’s a pro-life position; we’re winning.

Because of our enormous respect for Life, even the nascent life in those frozen embryos in the fertility clinic, we have appropriately been opposed to destroying any of these embryos to develop new stem cell lines. That’s resulted in two things; with the argument that some of these will ultimately be discarded anyhow and why not get some medical use from them, we’ve unfortunately lost for this issue several of our good pro-life Members in both the House and the Senate. And we have lost on this issue the support of about 70 percent of the American people, who believe that we’re standing in the way of embryonic stem cell research that may have huge benefits in medical care.

Our President supports ethical embryonic stem cell research, and he is anxious to sign the Bartlett/Gingrey bill. This bill passed the Senate in the last Congress 100 to 0; it got 273 votes in the House but because of the procedure under which it was brought up, it didn’t have the two-thirds margin. This bill is filed again this year, and the President is anxious to sign the bill. Please, if you are represented by a pro-choice person, call them and tell them to make responsible embryonic stem cell research a medical reality rather than a political issue.

Thank you very much for what you are doing for America and all of our people. Thank you.

REP. RENZI: All right, good afternoon, pro-life America! I may have mentioned to you before, my wife and I have twelve children, seven boys and five girls. Now, hey, when God said, “Be fruitful and multiply,” I took Him literally.

I want to talk to the young men and women here today. Every time I had a little one, something good would happen to me. Every time a little life came into my family, I would move forward. I didn’t have the cars; I didn’t have the houses; I didn’t have the material things. I was open to new life, and then those things came to me. I would have never won Congress without my little ones praying for me. Young people of America, be open to new life, and watch all the goodness come to you then.

I also want to ask you, please, to support your local pregnancy resource centers. This is our alternative that fights back against the abortion clinics. Every one of our little crisis pregnancy centers, our pregnancy resource centers, needs your time and your effort and your money to keep going. So please donate generously to pregnancy resource centers.

Finally, I’ll say this to you. Be courageous in defending Life. Be courageous as we march today. Be courageous, young people, as you help turn our country around. God bless you all. Thank 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. JACK KINGSTON (R-GA): … Mr. Speaker, I … want to say that $200 million is being spent by private foundations and institutions on stem cell research, in addition to $39 million over at the National Institutes of Health; in addition to that $39 million, on nonhuman embryonic stem cell research, $96 million; on human nonembryonic stem cell research, $200 million; on nonhuman nonembryonic stem cell research, $273 million. This is very important.

The other thing that we keep hearing over again is that these are leftover embryos. In fact, of the 400,000 embryos which keep getting referred to, the Rand Corporation, which is nonpartisan, says only 11,000 have been designated for research, and of those, they will probably yield 275 stem cell lines.

And why is that important? It is important because eventually you run out, and then you start deciding to produce something. And I want to point out, England has already crossed this path. They have already voted on an HR-3, and today they are debating the hybrid stem cell creation of an animal-human embryonic stem cell. That is a debate going on in England today. So don’t think that this bill will stay within the boundaries of the bill if it is passed.

REP. STEVE CHABOT (R-OH): … Like so many other areas within science and technology, discoveries in stem cell research are occurring every day. Just this week, news reports highlighted a significant breakthrough made by researchers from Wake Forest University in the use of amniotic stem cells to treat diseases and other conditions. This discovery, coupled with the advances made in the therapeutic use of cord blood, bone marrow and other stem cells, demonstrates that effective and ethical research are not mutually exclusive.

In fact, Congress came together last May to support ethical stem cell research. By an overwhelming majority, Congress passed the Stem Cell Therapeutic & Research Act of 2005, which made cord blood units collected by cord blood banks available for stem cell transplantation or peer-reviewed research. Since its passage, cord blood banks from around the country have collected and stored approximately 150,00 new units of cord blood which will allow the pluripotent stem cells within the cord blood to be used to treat one of a number of diseases and conditions such as heart disease, nerve damage and certain cancers, as well as to be used for research.

These important advances illustrate that science can and should be advanced in an ethically minded manner. … I urge my colleagues to support and invest taxpayer dollars in stem cell research that is comprehensive, ethical and effective. The bill before us today falls short of these goals … .

REP. ROGER WICKER (R-MS): … For me and many of my fellow Americans, the destruction of a human embryo involves profound ethical and moral questions. This is a matter of conscience for millions of taxpayers who are deeply troubled by the idea of their tax dollars being used to destroy another human life.

We have been told by proponents of this bill that all they want to do is use embryos from fertility clinics which would otherwise be thrown away. I do not believe it will end there. After a period of time with no progress, we will be asked to approve and fund therapeutic human cloning, the creation of a human life for the express purpose of destroying that embryo for research purposes. This is the very real slippery slope upon which we are perched. Indeed, many proponents of this bill have voted against legislation to prohibit human cloning.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): … There are many of us with family and friends who look for breakthroughs for debilitating diseases. But the presumption that only embryonic stem cells have the most potential for success is inaccurate. The growth of these cells can be erratic and uncontrollable. We have had people speak to that today. And we all know that embryonic stem cell research has not given science any successes in treating diseases.

In my opinion, I think we would be giving away a little part of our humanity and our sense of ethics for mere hope that this form of research would some day at some point yield results that would surpass ongoing research.



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