Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of June 25, 2007

Bad Sign / Condomania / Condomania II / Observations on the Debate / Promise Kept
/ Override Attempt Coming / Broadening Horizons / An Enemy Within / Contrasting Goals /
Chilling Free Speech / Respecting Moral Boundaries


Bad Sign

THE FIRST TESTS OF PRO-LIFE STRENGTH IN THE U.S. HOUSE this year tipped to the abortion lobby.

After lengthy debate Thursday on two amendments involving the Mexico City Policy and one involving abstinence emphasis in US foreign aid spending for HIV/AIDS prevention, the House voted pro-abortion on all three amendments. We will publish the voting records in a future edition of Life Advocacy Briefing.



REP. JOE PITTS (R-PA) ADVANCED THE ABSTINENCE AMENDMENT to the State Dept./Foreign Operations appropriation bill. He sought to reinsert the directive that guaranteed some of the US contribution to HIV/AIDS prevention overseas is devoted to abstinence-until-marriage advocacy.

Mr. Pitts and several pro-life colleagues passionately argued the obvious – that abstinence is the best guarantee against HIV infection – and repeatedly informed their colleagues and the public about the dramatic reduction in the HIV transmission rate in Uganda, where abstinence education has been the primary prevention strategy. But the majority of Members stubbornly backed Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the subcommittee chairman who managed the measure, in stripping the abstinence emphasis out of the law, offering promiscuity-promotion outfits like Planned Parenthood a crack at more of the HIV prevention funds.


Condomania II

FACING CRITICISM over the way her committee amendment was worded, Rep. Lowey

offered an amendment in the full House Wednesday to “clarify” that her proposed violation of the Mexico City Policy “only” involved “donating” contraceptives to overseas abortionists. One Member after another rose to explain the economics of how an “in-kind donation” actually constitutes financial aid, their logic falling on plugged ears.

Her amendment was adopted 223 to 201, gutting the Mexico City Policy in order to render outfits like International Planned Parenthood Federation eligible for US “family planning” aid, and then the House turned back, 205 to 218, the pro-life amendment offered by Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Bart Stupak (D-MI).


Observations on the Debate

OUR EDITOR WATCHED THE DEBATE on the debacle and hopes to publish excerpts from notable speeches in a future Life Advocacy Briefing. Meanwhile, we make four observations:

– The conservative women stepped up to the plate and hit rhetorical home runs. Hearing clear logic and appealing passion from Representatives Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Virginia Foxx (R-NC), among others, was encouraging for the future of pro-life debates in Congress. No longer does the abortion lobby have a lock on Congressional lady speakers; “ours” were great.

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) made one of the most revealing and disgusting speeches on the pro-abortion side, trying to appeal to the anti-illegal-immigrant faction in the public by urging US contraception campaigns in Mexico to relieve the pressure of growing families on the Mexican economy.

– This debate ripped the mask off some of the PLINO (Pro-Life-In-Name-Only) Members, particularly freshman Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who kept insisting he was pro-life at the same time that he kept popping up to defend Rep. Lowey and her pro-abortion scheme. This is the same Tim Ryan who co-signed two pro-Lowey “Dear Colleague” letters in advance of the votes.  Rep. Ryan was visibly frustrated by Rep. Smith’s passionate defense of the Mexico City Policy and specifically by his equating a vote for Lowey and against Smith/Stupak as a vote for the international abortion lobby – an evident truth which Rep. Ryan simply cannot handle.

It took Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL), well down into the debate, to finally point out “the elephant in the room.” He identified the crux of the matter as whether or not America’s taxpayers will be forced to aid Planned Parenthood, the name no one else dared breathe. (And still Rep. Ryan didn’t get it.)

We extend to those of our readers who called their Representative in Congress our deepest appreciation and caution others that the honeymoon has ended between the House of Representatives and America’s advocates for Life.


Promise Kept

THE PRESIDENT VETOED THE EMBRYO SACRIFICE SUBSIDY last Wednesday in a White House ceremony attended by ethical scientists and disease sufferers who have been treated successfully by adult stem cell therapies, among others.

The President was unusually animated and enthusiastic as he made his declarations embracing America’s traditional respect for Life and refusing to cross ethical lines for expedient utilitarianism. We publish excerpts from his remarks at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.


Override Attempt Coming

THE SENATE WILL QUICKLY TAKE UP A MOTION TO OVERRIDE the President’s veto of S-5. Pro-life citizens and officials should call their Senators immediately to urge a “no” vote on the override motion. The vote could come this week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to push for the override, despite his long-time claims to being “pro-life.” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a brief statement backing the veto soon after it was executed. “I have always believed,” said Sen. McConnell in his news release, “that biomedical research must be conducted in an ethical manner that respects human life, and I support the President’s decision to veto legislation that does not meet that principle. But this is not an all or nothing issue,” Mr. McConnell declared. “Alternative methods for research – and the potential for cures – are often simpler and more efficient and don’t require the destruction of life.”


Broadening Horizons

ALONG WITH HIS VETO, PRES. BUSH ANNOUNCED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER directing the Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) to “conduct and support research on the isolation, derivation, production and testing of stem cells that are capable of producing all or almost all of the cell types of the developing body and may result in improved understanding of or treatments for diseases and other adverse health conditions but are derived without creating a human embryo for research purposes or destroying, discarding or subjecting to harm a human embryo or fetus.”

The Executive Order also renames the “Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry” the “Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry” and adds to the registry “new human pluripotent stem cell lines that clearly meet the standard set forth” in the definition of the preferred research, quoted above.

Clearly stated in the Order are several principles including: “No life should be used as a mere means for achieving the medical benefit of another; human embryos and fetuses, as living members of the human species, are not raw materials to be exploited or commodities to be bought and sold; and the federal government has a duty to exercise responsible stewardship of taxpayer funds, both supporting important medical research and respecting ethical and moral boundaries.”

Though the Executive Order does not undermine the federal funding of experiments on stem cell lines derived from the sacrifice of embryonic humans killed before Aug. 9, 2001, it acknowledges the advance of science in identifying new, ethical sources of pluripotent stem cells and seeks to move federally funded research efforts into that arena.


An Enemy Within

A KEY BUREAUCRAT IN THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH) undermined Pres. Bush’s policy limiting federal funding for embryo experimentation to cell lines derived from embryonic humans who were killed before his Aug. 9, 2001, order.

Testifying before a Senate committee, reports Washington Post staff writer Rick Weiss, the interim chairman of the NIH stem cell task force faced questioning from Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). Asked “how the policy was affecting medical research,” writes Mr. Weiss, Story Landis said, “‘We are missing out on possible breakthroughs.’ The ability to work on newly derived stem cell colonies – precluded from federal funding under the Bush plan – ‘would be incredibly important,’ she added.”

An unlimited number of stem cell lines derived from umbilical cords and harmlessly from born people are available and happen to be offering more promise and actual therapies, but neither Ms. Landis nor Mr. Weiss acknowledges such a distinction.

Betraying antipathy toward ethical considerations, Ms. Landis “also declared,” reports Mr. Weiss, “that ‘science works best when scientists can pursue all avenues of research. If the cure for Parkinson’s disease or juvenile diabetes lay behind one of four doors, wouldn’t you want the option to open all four doors at once instead of one door?’”

Such utilitarian dogma is worthy of the most repulsive Nazi scientist and certainly takes no thought either to the intentional sacrifice of innocent human beings or to the inevitable exploitation of women which would result in the unlikely event that cloning and killing embryos ever actually worked.


Contrasting Goals

A MAJOR REPORT WAS RELEASED EARLIER THIS MONTH showing the value of teaching sexual abstinence to adolescents and warning of the risks in “comprehensive” sex education, which promotes premarital sexual activity and condom use while claiming to promote abstinence.

Dr. Stan Weed of the Salt Lake City-based Institute for Research & Evaluation “followed the education and behavior of over 400,000 adolescents in 30 different states for 15 years,” reports Elizabeth O’Brien for

The report “point[s] out the flaws,” writes Ms. O’Brien, “in a national study on abstinence released by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.,” a report which has been flaunted by Congressional opponents of abstinence education and their lobbyist allies in the sex promotion industry. “After examining the Mathematica study’s methods,” reports LifeSiteNews, “the Institute found several major errors that made the study non-representative of American sex education. …

“Outlining these limitations and the report’s inaccuracies,” writes Ms. O’Brien, “Dr. Weed highlighted the problems that sexually active teens encounter and the failure of ‘comprehensive’ sex education to remedy such issues. These include teen pregnancy, STDs and poor emotional health,” writes Ms. O’Brien. “Sexually active young people are also more often physically assaulted or raped.

“‘Comprehensive’ sex education also fails to explain the limitation of condoms, said the recent study, pointing out,” reports LifeSiteNews, “that ‘many consequences of teen sexual activity are not prevented by condom use.’ … There is no kind of truly ‘safe’ sex outside of marriage,” notes Ms. O’Brien, paraphrasing Dr. Weed. “Most importantly, however,” she writes, “condoms do nothing to prevent the heartbreak, depression and low self-esteem caused by sexual activity.”

The study found, reports Ms. O’Brien, “the most successful abstinence programs were those that emphasized the risk of premarital sexual activity. They showed how abstinence fully protects a young person from STDs, teen pregnancy and emotional trauma,” notes Ms. O’Brien. “They underlined the importance of self-control and responsibility and gave students the positive goal of a stable and committed marriage towards which to work in the future.”


Chilling Free Speech

THE DEATH LOBBY IN AUSTRALIA IS IN ALL-OUT FURY against the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, for his public moral teachings against the political promotion of embryonic human sacrifice.

The lower house of the New South Wales Parliamenthas recently voted to lift “the ban on embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and human/animal hybrids,” reports Peter J. Smith for The upper house has yet to consider the legislation, and Archbishop Pell has been “admonishing Catholics voting for the cloning/embryonic stem-cell bill,” writes Mr. Smith, “to re-examine their consciences before lining up for Communion.”

The result of his energetic advocacy: The lawmakers, reports LifeSiteNews, are “placing him under parliamentary investigation for ‘meddling.’ … Greens MP Lee Rhiannon,” writes Mr. Smith, “requested that the Cardinal’s ‘outburst of muscular Catholicism’ be referred to the Privileges Committee for allegedly intimidating Catholic parliamentarians by saying there would be ‘consequences’ for their spiritual lives.”

Lest readers think this is a challenge only to the faithful on the other side of the globe – that such actual intimidation could not happen here – please note this report by LifeSiteNews, titled “Activist Group Asks IRS to Investigate Bishop Critical of Pro-abort Rudy Giuliani.”

Americans United for Separation of Church & State has “asked the Internal Revenue Service,” writes Peter J. Smith for, “to investigate [Bishop] Tobin to determine whether he violated the church’s tax-exempt status” by writing a column in the diocesan newspaper “criticizing Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani for his position on abortion.”


Respecting Moral Boundaries

Excerpts from June 20, 2007, speech by Pres. George W. Bush in vetoing S-5, the embryonic human sacrifice bill, delivered to a large crowd in the East Room of the White House

… America is a nation that leads the world in science and technology. Our innovative spirit is making possible incredible advances in medicine that could save lives and cure diseases. America is also a nation founded on the principle that all human life is sacred – and our conscience calls us to pursue the possibilities of science in a manner that respects human dignity and upholds our moral values. …

In 2001, I announced a policy to advance stem cell research in a way that is ambitious, ethical and effective. I became the first President to make federal funds available for embryonic stem cell research – and my policy did this in ways that would not encourage the destruction of embryos. Since then, my Administration has made more than $130 million available for research on stem cells lines derived from embryos that had already been destroyed. We’ve provided more than $3 billion for research on all forms of stem cells – including those from adult and other non-embryonic sources.

This careful approach is producing results. It has contributed to proven therapeutic treatments in thousands of patients with many different diseases. It’s opening the prospect of new discoveries that could transform lives.

Congress has sent me a bill that would overturn this policy. If this legislation became law, it would compel American taxpayers – for the first time in our history – to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos.  I made it clear to Congress and to the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line. Last year, Congress passed a similar bill.  I kept my promise by vetoing it, and today I’m keeping my word again: I am vetoing the bill that Congress has sent. …

Technical innovation in this difficult area is opening up new possibilities for progress without conflict or ethical controversy. So I invite policymakers and scientists to come together to speed our nation toward the destination we all seek – where medical problems can be solved without compromising either the high aims of science or the sanctity of human life.


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