Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of July 02, 2007

Notice to E-Subscribers / Abstinence Ed Saved, for Now / Tiller Charged!
Prayers, Please / Follow-Up / House Roll Call / House Debate

 

Notice to E-Subscribers

OUR E-MAIL PRODUCTION MANAGER IS TAKING A BRIEF BREAK for his wedding. It is possible, as of this writing, that the July 9 Life Advocacy Briefing will be delayed until July 16 for electronic mail subscribers. (With Congress on break, we expect most of next week’s content to be “catch-up” anyway.) We hope you join us in wishing Mike “Bon voyage.”

 

Abstinence Ed Saved, for Now

AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR last Tuesday, the Senate acted to extend Title V abstinence education authorization for another three months.

The provision of the landmark Welfare Reform Act was dropped, at the behest of ex-Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), out of the legislation last fall, when the 1996 law was extended beyond its sunset date. A temporary extension was agreed to earlier this year and was set to expire June 30. Last week’s extension allows a vast network of federally funded abstinence programs, some operated by pro-life pregnancy care clinics, to continue to function; they had been threatened with imminent shutdown.

We urge citizens and officials who have evidence of the activities and effectiveness of abstinence education programs in their communities to convey such program, budget or anecdotal information to the Abstinence Clearinghouse at 801 E. 41st St., Sioux Falls, SD 57105, or via electronic mail at info@abstinence.net. Please include name and contact information, including physical address, for the person furnishing the data.

And we ask citizens to contact their US Representatives and Senators – in their home-state offices this week during the Independence Day recess – to request support for true abstinence-until-marriage education programs, specifically for “reauthorization of Title V (five).”

 

Tiller Charged!

NOTORIOUS ABORTIONIST GEORGE TILLER WAS CHARGED last week on 19 misdemeanor counts of violating Kansas’s late-term abortion ban.

Thursday’s announcement by Atty. Gen. Paul Morrison (D) was unexpected. The attorney general is one of those Kansas officials whose campaigns have been aided by the Wichita late-term abortionist and his allies. He defeated Atty. Gen. Phill Kline (R) last November, with Mr. Kline’s investigation of Mr. Tiller and an Overland, KS, Planned Parenthood shop as a key issue in the campaign. Further, Mr. Morrison sent a letter to PP earlier last week advising he would not be charging that facility, and Mr. Morrison’s spokesman Wednesday indicated publicly he would not reinstate the charges Mr. Kline had brought against Mr. Tiller. No one could guess at the time that Mr. Morrison was contemplating his own charges.

Kansas law requires an abortionist to get a second opinion in the event he contemplates killing a baby who has gestated into the 22nd week; the 19 counts allege Mr. Tiller’s failure to secure referrals from doctors who are not financially dependent on him, which the law requires.  Mr. Tiller specializes in late-term abortions even though Kansas law attempts to preclude such acts unless mothers “face death or ‘substantial and irreversible’ harm to ‘a major bodily function,’ which,” writes Associated Press (AP) writer John Hanna, “has been interpreted to include mental health.” Recent reports have quoted such reasons as desire to attend a rock concert as the excuse accepted by Mr. Tiller.

“If convicted,” reports AP, “[Mr.] Tiller could be sentenced up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine on each charge, [Mr.] Morrison said.”

Tiller lawyers Lee Thompson and Dan Monnat “issued a written statement,” writes Mr. Hanna, “declaring their client’s innocence. ‘Today’s announcement,’” the statement said, in the AP report, “‘simply involves a difference of opinion between lawyers regarding unusual technicalities in Kansas abortion law procedure.’”

Former Atty. Gen. Kline said “he felt vindicated,” writes Mr. Hanna, “because [Mr.] Morrison’s charges were based on medical records [Mr.] Kline got. ‘The noise level generated by name calling, backed by millions of dollars of abortion money,’” he said, quoted by AP, “‘has not been able to silence the truth, reflected in the evidence that I obtained.’” Mr. Kline is now county prosecutor in the county where the Planned Parenthood shop operates.

 

Prayers, Please

THE CHIEF OF STAFF FOR A MAJOR PRO-LIFE GROUP has suffered spinal injuries in a motorcycle accident.

Daniel McConchie, chief of staff and vice president of the Chicago-based non-profit pro-life law firm, Americans United for Life, is hospitalized near Milwaukee. His injuries are serious and potentially crippling. Prayers are requested for Mr. McConchie and his family.

 

Follow-Up

WE REPORTED LAST WEEK on House rejection of two pro-Life amendments and adoption of one anti-Life amendment to the State Dept. Appropriation bill, HR-2764. Below is the House voting record on the Pitts amendment to restore the abstinence-and-fidelity emphasis to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, followed by debate excerpts on that amendment. We will publish roll calls and debate excerpts on the Mexico City Policy controversy as space permits in future editions.

 

House Roll Call

Pitts Amendment to State Dept. Appropriation – HR-2764 – seeking to restore abstinence emphasis in grants for prevention of HIV/AIDS overseas – June 21, 2007 – Failed 200-226 (Democrats in italics)

Voting “yes” / pro-life: Aderholt, Akin, Alexander, Bachmann, Bachus, Baker, Barrett (SC), Barrow, Bartlett (MD), Barton (TX), Bilbray, Bilirakis, Bishop (UT), Blackburn, Blunt, Boehner, Bono, Boozman, Boren, Boustany, Brady (TX), Brown (SC), Ginny Brown-Waite, Buchanan, Burgess, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp (MI), Campbell (CA), Cannon, Cantor, Capito, Carter, Chabot, Coble, Cole (OK), Conaway, Crenshaw, Cuellar, Culberson, Davis (KY), David Davis, Lincoln Davis, Tom Davis, Deal (GA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Donnelly, Doolittle, Drake, Dreier, Duncan, Ehlers, Ellsworth, Emerson, English (PA), Everett, Fallin, Feeney, Ferguson, Flake, Forbes, Fortenberry, Fossella, Foxx, Franks (AZ), Gallegly, Garrett (NJ), Gerlach, Gillmor, Gingrey, Gohmert, Goode, Goodlatte, Granger, Graves, Hall (TX), Hastert, Hastings (WA), Hayes, Heller, Hensarling, Herger, Hoekstra, Holden, Hulshof, Inglis (SC), Issa, Jindal, Johnson (IL), Sam Johnson, Jones (NC), Jordan, Keller, King (IA), King (NY), Kingston, Kline (MN), Knollenberg, Kuhl (NY), LaHood, Lamborn, Latham, LaTourette, Lewis (CA), Lewis (KY), Linder, LoBiondo, Lucas, Lungren, Mack, Manzullo, Marchant, Marshall, McCarthy (CA), McCaul, McCotter, McCrery, McHenry, McHugh, McIntyre, McKeon, McMorris-Rodgers, Mica, Gary Miller, Miller (FL), Miller (MI), Mollohan, Moran (KS), Tim Murphy, Musgrave, Myrick, Neugebauer, Nunes, Paul, Pearce, Pence, Peterson(MN), Peterson (PA), Petri, Pitts, Platts, Poe, Porter, Price (GA), Pryce (OH), Putnam, Radanovich, Rahall, Regula, Rehberg, Reichert, Renzi, Reynolds, Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Rohrabacher, Ros-Lehtinen, Roskam, Royce, Ryan (WI), Sali, Saxton, Schmidt, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Shimkus, Shuler, Shuster, Simpson, Smith (NE), Smith (NJ), Smith (TX), Souder, Stearns, Stupak, Tancredo, Taylor, Terry, Thornberry, Tiahrt, Tiberi, Turner, Upton, Walberg, Walden (OR), Walsh (NY), Wamp, Weldon (FL), Weller, Westmoreland, Whitfield, Wicker, Wilson (NM), Wilson (SC), Wolf, Young (FL)

Voting “no” / anti-life:Ackerman, Allen, Altmire, Andrews, Arcuri, Baca, Baird, Baldwin, Bean, Becerra, Berkley, Berman, Berry, Biggert, Bishop (GA), Bishop (NY), Blumenauer, Boswell, Boucher, Boyd (FL), Boyda (KS), Brady (PA), Braley (IA), Corrine Brown, Butterfield, Capps, Capuano, Cardoza, Carnahan, Carney, Carson, Castle, Castor, Chandler, Clarke, Clay, Cleaver, Clyburn, Cohen, Conyers, Cooper, Costa, Costello, Courtney, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (AL), Davis (CA), Davis (IL), DeFazio, DeGette, Delahunt, DeLauro, Dent, Dicks, Dingell, Doggett, Doyle, Edwards, Ellison, Emanuel, Engel, Eshoo, Etheridge, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Frank (MA), Frelinghuysen, Giffords, Gilchrest, Gillibrand, Gonzalez, Gordon, Al Green, Gene Green, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hall (NY), Hare, Harmon, Hastings (FL), Herseth-Sandlin, Higgins, Hill, Hinchey, Hinojosa, Hirono, Hobson, Hodes, Holt, Honda, Hooley, Hoyer, Inslee, Israel, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee, Jefferson, Johnson (GA), E. B. Johnson, Jones (OH), Kagen, Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kennedy, Kildee, Kilpatrick, Kind, Kirk, Klein (FL), Kucinich, Lampson, Langevin, Lantos, Larsen (WA), Larson (CT), Lee, Levin, Lewis (GA), Lipinski, Loebsack, Lofgren, Lowey, Lynch, Mahoney (FL), Maloney (NY), Markey, Matheson, Matsui, McCarthy (NY), McCollum (MN), McDermott, McGovern, McNerney, McNulty, Meehan, Meek (FL), Meeks (NY), Melancon, Michaud, George Miller, Miller (NC), Mitchell, Moore (KS), Moore (WI), Moran (VA), Murphy (CT), Patrick Murphy, Murtha, Nadler, Napolitano, Neal (MA), Oberstar, Obey, Olver, Pallone, Pascrell, Pastor, Payne, Pelosi, Perlmutter, Pomeroy, Price (NC), Ramstad, Rangel, Reyes, Rodriguez, Ross, Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Ruppersberger, Rush, Ryan (OH), Salazar, Linda Sanchez, Sarbanes, Schakowsky, Schiff, Schwartz, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Serrano, Sestak, Shays, Shea-Porter, Sherman, Sires, Skelton, Slaughter, Smith (WA), Snyder, Solis, Space, Spratt, Stark, Sutton, Tanner, Tauscher, Thompson (CA), Thompson (MS), Tierney, Towns, Udall (CO), Udall (NM), VanHollen, Velazquez, Visclosky, Walz (MN), Wasserman-Schultz, Waters, Watson, Watt, Weiner, Welch (VT), Wexler, Wilson (OH), Woolsey, Wu, Wynn, Yarmuth, Young (AK)

Not voting: Abercrombie, Bonner, Cramer, Cubin, JoAnn Davis, Hunter, Ortiz, Pickering, Loretta Sanchez, Sullivan, Waxman

 

House Debate

Excerpts from pro-life speeches during the June 21, 2007, House debate on the State Dept. appropriation amendment offered by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) to restore the abstinence emphasis to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), weakened by the House Committee on Appropriations in order to qualify groups like Planned Parenthood for greater funding

REP. TIM WALBERG (R-MI): … Legislation that requires 33% of prevention funds to be spent in abstinence-until-marriage programming is the best way to address this problem, because it’s a proven, successful method of reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. There is growing evidence that partner reduction is the single most important factor in reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence rates. According to the PEPFAR Third Report to Congress, “Of the countless developments taking place in the global fight against the AIDS pandemic, perhaps the single most important in recent years is the growing number of nations in which there is clear evidence of declining HIV prevalence as a result of changes in sexual behavior.” Furthermore, no country with a generalized epidemic that has relied on condom prevention alone has reported a decline in HIV/AIDS prevalence rates.

REP. DAVE WELDON, MD (R-FL): … Last July, southern Africa AIDS experts and officials listed, and I’m quoting here, “reducing multiple concurrent partnerships” as their number-one priority for preventing the spread of HIV. I used to treat AIDS patients. I used to practice infectious disease. The reason AIDS exploded through the gay community in this country in the late 70s and the early 80s was because of this phenomenon, having multiple concurrent sexual partners. And the reason Uganda – and you’re going to hear Uganda quoted over and over again – was successful in lowering their AIDS incidence from 18% to 6% – and there was very little foreign aid going in the country at the time they did this – is because they established an [abstinence and fidelity] education program.

REP. JEFF FORTENBERRY (R-NE): … If the US is to remain the world’s leader in saving lives from the devastation of AIDS, it’s time to look at the track record and see what works well. Demographic and health surveys show that HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in at least seven of the 15 PEPFAR focus countries is declining. Countries such as Uganda, Zambia and Senegal have success stories to showcase and something to teach us. … In Uganda, for example, prevalence rates among pregnant women fell from approximately 20% in 1991 to 6% in the year 2000. Between 1991 and 1998, HIV prevalence rates among 15- to 19-year-olds fell by 75%, from approximately 21% to 5%. … The success stories in Uganda, Zambia, Senegal and elsewhere all incorporate the same common denominator, an emphasis on abstinence and fidelity, as critical elements in successful interventions. As it stands, this appropriations bill would potentially reverse the most significant element of this success by diminishing the emphasis on abstinence and fidelity. This issue is much too serious to [permit] the outright dismissal of compelling clinical evidence that in-country programming emphasizing abstinence and fidelity can effectively reduce the prevalence of HIV and AIDS.

REP. CHRISTOPHER SMITH (R-NJ): … Where the epidemic has spread among the general population, the only successful evidence-based approach to HIV/AIDS prevention is that which emphasizes abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in relationships, and lastly, where necessary, condoms. The success of the A-B-C approach depends on the proper balance between these three elements. … The vast majority of PEPFAR’s focus countries have generalized epidemics; and those that have emphasized A and B – abstinence and being-faithful programming – have experienced significant increases in the number of youth and adults who are either abstaining or being mutually faithful, and, at the same time, they have seen significant drops in those countries, in the percentage of their population infected with HIV/AIDS. …

On the other hand, no country with a generalized epidemic that has relied primarily on condom promotion has reported a decline in HIV rates. The Washington Post on March 2 pointed out that “researchers increasingly attribute the resilience of HIV in Botswana, and in southern Africa generally, to the high incidence of multiple sexual relationships. … [Western AIDS experts] brought not just ideas but money, and soon billboards in Botswana touted condoms. School children sang about them. Cadres of young women demonstrated how to roll them out. The anti-AIDS partnership between the … Gates Foundation and drugmaker Merck budgeted $13.5 million for condom promotion, 25 times the amount dedicated to curbing dangerous sexual behavior. But soaring rates of condom use,” the Washington Post went on, “have not brought down high HIV rates. Instead, they rose together until both were among the highest in Africa.” … If our goal here is to save lives by implementing the strongest evidence-based prevention programs possible, we should be at least maintaining – and I would suggest increasing – the percentage of funding directed to abstinence and to being-faithful programs. It works; it has proven that it works, and I support the Pitts amendment.

REP. FRANK WOLF (R-VA): If people from my old neighborhood back in southwest Philadelphia heard this debate that the Congress was debating “faithful” in this – is it a good idea or a bad idea – they would say, what is going on? … Faithfulness is a very good principle. Does anyone disagree? Now we are debating abstinence? We are saving lives!

REP. JOSEPH PITTS (R-PA): … For 20 years of fighting AIDS, the bureaucrats who run these programs tried the same [condom] approach over and over again. It never worked. When Uganda came up with a comprehensive approach that would, they still opposed it. Well, the buck stops here in Congress, and we told them in 2003 to do what works, and it’s working. Without this amendment, this bill will allow them to go back to the failed policies of the past.

 

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