Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of March 26, 2007

Pregnancy Centers Need our Intervention / Direct Threat /
/ Direct Intervention / Stop the Mandate! / Way to Go, Gov. Blunt! /
Complaint Filed Against Tiller Judge
/ House Debate

Pregnancy Centers Need our Intervention

TO ALL OUR READERS WHO’ve HAD PERSONAL EXPERIENCES with pregnancy care centers or who are personally aware of their Life-saving, family-affirming work: Now would be a good time to write to your two US Senators and Representative in Congress advising them of your knowledge about these front-line care-giving agencies. Letters may be addressed to Senators at US Senate, Washington, DC 20510, or Representatives at US House, Washington, DC 20515, respectively. Readers who do not know the names of their lawmakers should inquire at the resource section of their local libraries and then keep the information on hand.

The abortion industry, alarmed at the small decline in the abortion death toll and fearful that the days are numbered for commercialized abortion in America, are seeking to undermine public support for their “competition,” as they see it, in the pregnancy resource centers. The abortion lobby’s current tactic is to plant stories in mass media challenging the ethical practices of pregnancy care clinics, just at the time that legitimate news stories are appearing about filthy conditions in abortuaries. With the US House being led by San Francisco’s Representative, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), a legislative assault on the pregnancy centers is not beyond imagination.

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) urged at a March 13 Capitol Hill briefing by Heartbeat International, Care Net and National Institute of Family & Life Advocates, “It is vital to the future of our nation that we respond to the false allegations against pregnancy centers. We need to get the truth out to legislators,” he continued, “that these non-political, faith-based organizations serve the mother so she does not feel forced to abort. And these dedicated volunteers also work to strengthen the family,” he said, “which is, after all, the basic unit of civilization.”


Direct Threat

THE ABORTION LOBBY IS BEGINNING A HARASSMENT CAMPAIGN against pregnancy centers in the Oregon state legislature. Passage there would encourage Planned Parenthood and NARAL (formerly known as National Abortion Rights Action League) to press their campaign in other states as well.

Legislation in Oregon would mandate the state’s Human Services Department to collect information about the 51 abortion-alternative organizations in the state.

“The bill presumes that these pregnancy resource centers are intentionally deceiving and misleading women into not having abortions,” said Focus on the Family Action’s Carrie Gordon Earll in an FOF story published by Family News in Focus and distributed by FOF’s Citizen Link. “So they are assuming guilt even before this is investigated and discussed.”

A spokesman for Pregnancy Resource Centers of Greater Portland urged his state’s lawmakers to tour the organization’s facilities – a good approach for pregnancy care centers in other states before such legislation is filed. “We’d love to show them what we do,” the spokesman told Family News in Focus, “[and] show them the materials we provide for the education of women facing unplanned pregnancies.”

Direct Intervention

IF THE NOTORIOUS NORTH JERSEY ABORTUARY MANAGES to satisfy state inspectors and reopen for its deadly trade, it could have some immediate competition.

Expectant Mother Care plans to park a mobile pregnancy clinic in the vicinity of Metropolitan Medical Associates, closed by state health authorities because of horrific conditions inside one of the top baby-killing shops in the US. MMA’s annual abortion death toll is estimated at 10,000, with some 1,500 babies losing their lives to MMA abortionists using the partial-birth abortion technique in late stages of their gestation.

The mobile pregnancy clinic will be equipped with ultrasound equipment and a counselor, an ultrasound technician and a malpractice lawyer. The fully equipped motor home is the latest tactic by Expectant Mother Care’s Chris Slattery, who directs some 15 pregnancy centers at the heart of the abortion trade in New York and New Jersey.

Stop the Mandate!

LEGISLATION HAS BEEN FILED IN THE U.S. HOUSE to bar federal funding or other assistance for mandatory vaccination programs against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

The vaccine’s manufacturer, Merck Co., has been seeking to corner the market for its vaccine Gardasil before other pharmaceutical companies can achieve federal approval of their own HPV vaccines. Merck has pushed for mandates in nearly three dozen states, reports (WND), promoting its mandate through a significant contribution to a female legislators’ organization called Women in Government (WIG).

Merck won early acquiescence by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who issued an executive order requiring every schoolgirl entering sixth grade to undergo the vaccination, at an estimated cost of $360 to $400 per three-shot regimen;.the Texas legislature is in the process of overriding Gov. Perry’s hasty mandate order. Yet, even after a nationwide hue and cry was raised by parents in response to the Perry order, the legislature in Virginia enacted a similar mandate, and Gov. Tim Kaine (D) has pledged to sign it.

The federal funding bar has been filed by Rep. Phil Gingrey MD (R-GA) along with 47 co-sponsors. HR-1153 has been assigned to the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, chaired by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI).

Now a leading women’s cancer researcher has come forward to warn that Merck’s campaign to market its HPV vaccine through government mandates could actually increase the rate of cancer in women.

The director of Dartmouth’s Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group, Prof. Diane Harper, wrote in the Indiana-based Daily News that “there ‘is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue.’” Her report was quoted in a story by the WND Internet news page. She called vaccinating 11-year-olds, as is being sought in mandate proposals in various states, “‘a great big public health experiment.’ Further, she said,” as quoted by WND, “requiring vaccinations now ‘is simply to Merck’s benefit.’”

WND reports that Prof. Harper “has spent much of the last 20 years studying dozens of strains of HPV [Human Papilloma Virus]. … All of her trials have been with subjects ages 15 to 25, and personally,” reports WND, “she believes the new vaccine could offer help to women ages 18 and up.”

But Merck is targeting its marketing mandate at “schoolgirls at about age 11 or 12,” reports WND.

“‘This vaccine should not be mandated for 11-year-old girls,’ [Prof.] Harper said,” quoted by WND. “‘It’s not been tested in little girls for efficacy. At 11,’” she noted, “‘these girls don’t get cervical cancer.’”

She said that even with universal vaccination for HPV, “‘the vaccine will prevent about half of high-grade precursors of cancer, but half will still occur,’” she cautioned in the WND story. “‘So hundreds of thousands of women who are vaccinated with Gardasil and get yearly Pap testing will still get a high-grade dypslasia (cell abnormality),’ she said,” in the WND report. She warned that the vaccination could lead to a false sense of security in women who might not submit to yearly Pap testing, which, she said, would still be needed for early cancer diagnosis.

And she further warned, reports WND, that “more than 40 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome – an immune disorder that results in tingling, numbness and even paralysis of the muscles – have been reported in girls who got the HPV vaccine in combination with a meningitis vaccine.”


Way to Go, Gov. Blunt!

MISSOURI GOV. ROY BLUNT (R) HAS TRANSFERRED $500,000 IN STATE FUNDS from Planned Parenthood of Springfield & Joplin to grantees which do not commit abortions. The funding had been allocated to PP by previous administrations, the governor’s office disclosed, for breast and cervical cancer screenings.

“‘Patients should not have to go to an abortion clinic,’” said Gov. Blunt in a report, “‘to access life-saving tests. Today,’” he said, “‘I put an end to taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood in Springfield & Joplin through the Show Me Healthy Women Program. This ensures,’” he said as quoted by LifeSite, “‘women may access important preventative care without contributing to abortion providers’ goal of facilitating the destruction of innocent life.’”

Complaint Filed Against Tiller Judge

AN ETHICS COMPLAINT HAS BEEN FILED AGAINST THE KANSAS JUDGE “who dismissed 30 misdemeanor charges against one of the few US doctors to perform late-term abortions,” reports Associated Press (AP) writer John Milburn. The complaint was announced last Thursday by State Sen. Tim Huelskamp (R).

“The complaint alleges,” writes Mr. Milburn, “District Judge Paul W. Clark violated rules of judicial conduct by not disclosing that he had received campaign contributions in 2004 from a law firm representing Dr. George Tiller and Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston,” who fought together the charges brought by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline in December before he left office in January.

Said Tiller lawyer Dan Monnat, quoted by AP, “‘I think it’s preposterous in Kansas that a judge should need to disqualify himself because lawyers have contributed to his campaign. It happens every day.’”

But Operation Rescue president Troy Newman countered, in the AP report, “‘When you have an over appearance of impropriety, it diminishes the public trust in the judicial system.’”

Mr. Tiller himself has devoted hundreds of thousands of his fortune’s dollars to financing opponents to then-Atty. Gen. Kline in both 2002 and 2006. In 2006, he got his way with Mr. Kline’s defeat by Paul Morrison, who immediately fired the special prosecutor named by Mr. Kline to carry forth the Tiller case.


House Debate

The Jan. 11, 2007, House debate on HR-3 – legislation to force taxpayers to subsidize embryo-killing experimentation – featured effective, persuasive appeals on both sides of the ethical divide. We are publishing excerpts from the Congressional Record transcript of that debate from various pro-life speeches given, and we urge readers to attend carefully to the arguments made in opposing HR-3. We conclude this series of speech excerpt transcripts here. We urge readers to read through to the end, as we reserved one of our favorite speeches for last; kudos to Rep. Lee Terry for capsulizing the issue so effectively.

REP. PHIL GINGREY, MD (R-GA): … We are not debating whether or not embryonic stem cell research is legal in this country, because, of course, it is not only completely legal but also well funded in both the private and public sector. In fact, between state governments and the private sector, there is nearly $4 billion committed to embryonic stem cell research over the next ten years.

I also want to dispel the myth that the federal government currently does not fund human embryonic stem cell research. In actuality, by the end of 2007, the federal government will have spent over $160 million. When President Bush signed the executive order in 2001, he made possible the federal funding of embryonic stem research. His executive order merely limited federal funds to support research which utilized already established stem cell lines. This decision removed any backdoor federal incentive and separated the United States government from the business of encouraging the destruction of human embryos.

Researchers are interested in embryonic stem cells because … they can specialize into any type of human tissue. This characteristic is also true of pluripotent stem cells, and the good news is that pluripotent stem cells can be obtained in a variety of ethical and scientifically promising ways.  Mr. Speaker, this point cannot be illustrated any more clearly than in the study made public this weekend by researchers at Wake Forest and Harvard. This study shows not only the capability of researchers to obtain pluripotent stem cells from amniotic fluid but that these stem cells grow fast and show great flexibility.

This new, cutting-edge research has great relevance in the debate we are engaged in today. … This study is yet another reminder that science moves faster than the federal government. We no longer need to engage in a passionate debate that divides our country in half. We no longer need to contemplate a unilateral decision to spend taxpayer dollars on research methods that nearly fifty percent of the public oppose.

REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R-WI): … The debate today is not about blocking embryonic stem cell research. There are vast financial resources available to fund this controversial research, and any company or organization that wants to conduct or fund embryonic stem cell research may do so. And yet, despite extensive private research, there have been no successful therapeutic treatments with embryonic stem cell research – none. With adult stem cells, physicians have successfully treated patients with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell anemia, heart disease, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, among many others. These examples are a strong testament to the amazing power of adult stem cells.

By voting against this bill, we can avoid not only the ethical and moral questions that are raised, but we can make sure that taxpayer dollars are invested wisely.

REP. TOM LATHAM (R-IA): … According to a study by the RAND Corporation, there are approximately 400,000 frozen embryos at fertility clinics in the US, most of which have been set aside for future use. Only approximately 11,000 have been donated for research so far. If there is a breakthrough that provides a treatment using embryonic stem cells, the fact is that fertility clinics could never provide the number of stem cells needed for treatment: 50 to 100 eggs are needed to produce just one Petri dish of cells. Donors would have to be solicited, which would put women all over the world at risk for coercion as well as the health complications associated with egg donation.

REP. SUE MYRICK (R-NC): … Scientists at Wake Forest University and Harvard University reported four days ago that they’ve drawn incredibly promising stem cells from amniotic fluid.

To quote Anthony Atala, the director of Wake Forest’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, “They grow fast, as fast as embryonic stem cells. But they remain stable for years without forming tumors.”

This means that if 100,000 women were to donate amniotic cells, scientists could have enough diverse cells to provide compatible tissue for most Americans. All of this without destroying embryos for research that hasn’t proven it can cure a single ailment.

Perhaps we’re having the wrong debate today. If we can derive disease treatments from cells without destroying embryos, isn’t this the best option for federal funding?

REP. LEE TERRY (R-NE): … Amid all the scientific jargon in today’s debate, let us not forget the fact that each one of us started life as a human embryo. There is no way around that basic fact, no matter how many scientific terms are used to conceal or confuse it. Embryos are the tiniest of human lives, but they are nevertheless human lives, and we must defend the defenseless.

If embryos are not fundamentally human lives, how can you explain the fact that frozen embryos from in vitro fertility clinics grow into children once they are implanted in a woman’s womb? Does an embryo somehow become less of a human being if we choose to donate it to a scientist to be experimented upon and ultimately destroyed? Those same human embryonic stem cells lying in a cold petri dish will undeniably grow into a human child if given a chance at life. We must not allow scientific terminology to desensitize us to the miracle and sanctity of human life. …

The real debate today is about whether scientists will be able to create more embryonic stem cell lines by destroying more embryos. The next thing these scientists will be asking for is the ability to clone embryos because they cannot get enough stem cells from frozen human embryos at in vitro fertility clinics. This is no “slippery slope;” it is the ethical equivalent of jumping off a cliff.

As public officeholders sworn to uphold the United States Constitution, we will have failed in our duty if we fail today to protect the right to life of the youngest homo sapiens – human embryos. We cannot fail in defending the defenseless, and we must keep faith with American taxpayers … .


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