Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of July 23, 2007

Constructive Veto Threat / Partial-Birth Abortion Banned in Louisiana
/ Pandering to Planned Parenthood / Kevorkian to Begin his Speaking Career /
‘House of Horrors’ / House Voting Record


Constructive Veto Threat

THE WHITE HOUSE PUT THE U.S. HOUSE ON NOTICE LAST TUESDAY: The annual spending bill for the Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services and Education will be “Dead on Arrival” if it goes to the President’s desk with pro-life policies in tatters. The Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on HR-3043 arrived just before the House began considering the massive appropriation bill.

The SAP warns against the measure’s bottom line, approved by the House Committee on Appropriations at some $11 billion above the President’s proposal. And the SAP goes on for pages about various provisions in the bill. The first specific objection: “The Administration would strongly oppose any amendment that would substantially change federal policies and law on abortion and use taxpayer dollars for the destruction of human life. If the final bill presented to the President were to contain such a provision,” reads the SAP, “the President would veto the bill.”

The warning appears to have had a beneficial effect on the House; such key pro-life provisions as the Hyde Amendment – which bars Medicaid payments to abortionists for killing prenatal babies unless their conceptions result from sex crimes or their gestations endanger their mothers’ lives – were not challenged by the abortion lobby, either in committee or in deliberation by the full House.

But the committee did hike the Title X (Ten) line item by $100 million, much of which will further fatten the coffers of Planned Parenthood.

A beneficial amendment – to fully fund the National Cord Blood Inventory program – was added by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) by consent of Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) without a roll call during House consideration. The $15 million exceeds the level adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee for the promising program by $3 million and is derived, in the Smith Amendment, by reducing a catch-all allocation, thus making the hike spending-neutral (unlike the Title X boondoggle).

An amendment offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) to render Planned Parenthood ineligible for funding under Title X failed on a 189-to-231 roll call vote. We publish that roll call at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.


Partial-Birth Abortion Banned in Louisiana

LOUISIANA HAS OUTLAWED PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION. The state-level legislation, passed overwhelmingly in both legislative houses and signed July 13 by Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D), is modeled after the federal law in order to diminish the likelihood of its being suspended or overturned by interventionist judges.

Louisiana’s law is the first state ban on mid-birth infanticide to be enacted since the US Supreme Court upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in April.

“The new law criminalizes the gruesome procedure,” writes Louisiana native Tony Perkins in his Washington Update for Family Research Council, “in all cases except to preserve the life of the mother.” Penalties in the legislation, reports the Associated Press (AP), include “fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 and jail terms of between one and ten years. …

“Planned Parenthood officials argued against the Louisiana ban in legislative committee hearings,” reports AP, “but received a chilly response from lawmakers. Only a handful of legislators,” notes AP, “voted against [the] bill.”

Enacting the legislation at the state level provides the opportunity for state-level prosecutions, which, in most cases, are more likely and more cost-effective than prosecutions under the federal law. “Other states are expected to follow suit,” remarks Mr. Perkins, who urges citizens “to contact your own state’s elected officials and urge them to likewise outlaw this grisly threat to human life.” Amen!


Pandering to Planned Parenthood

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HOSTED THREE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES for President at a forum last week and, as one would expect before such an audience, the three competed for which could be more extreme on abortion.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and ex-Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), reports Gary Bauer in his Campaign for Working Families daily bulletin, “all pledged their unqualified support for abortion on demand, including pledging to appoint pro-abortion judges to the US Supreme Court.” (The “appearance” of Mr. Edwards came in the person of his wife Elizabeth, who appeared with authority to speak on his behalf, according to Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins.)

“[Senators] Obama and Edwards even went so far,” notes Mr. Bauer, “as to promise that their socialized health care plans would fully cover access to ‘all reproductive health services, including pregnancy termination.’” Lest we forget, such coverage was one of the many objections to the socialized medicine plan pushed by Mrs. Clinton when she was First Lady in the early days of the Clinton regime.

In last week’s forum, Sen. Clinton “spoke of her concern for American servicewomen,” notes Mr. Perkins in his FRC Washington Update, “not that they be given the tools to succeed in their military mission,” he remarks, “but that they should be provided with ‘emergency contraception.’”

The Edwards attack spokesman scored Mrs. Clinton, reports Elizabeth O’Brien for citing the New York Times as source, “saying she’s ‘not as vocal a women’s advocate as I want to see.’ In addition,” reports LifeSite/NYTimes, “she indicated that Hillary had waffled on her strong pro-choice [sic] position in the past by saying that abortions are tragedies.”

As for Sen. Obama, he “lambasted the US Supreme Court,” reports Mr. Perkins, “for its recent ruling upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion, even though 72% of Americans agree this gruesome procedure should be illegal.”

The Senator, who opposed partial-birth abortion bans and even the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act while a state senator in Illinois, singled out Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the April ruling by the high court, declaring, writes Ms. O’Brien for LifeSiteNews, “‘Justice Kennedy knows many things, but my understanding is that he does not know how to be a doctor. We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom,’ he said,” quoted by Ms. O’Brien. “‘And that’s the criteria [sic] by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.’”


Kevorkian to Begin his Speaking Career

THE STUDENT-FUNDED SPEAKERS BUREAU at the University of Florida has engaged Jack Kevorkian to speak at the institution’s Gainesville campus for a $50,000 honorarium.

The appearance of the notorious ex-convict is scheduled for Oct. 11, reports John Jalsevac for “‘We figure that this will be a great way to engage our student body and entertain,’” said speakers bureau chairman Steven Blank in the LifeSite story.

Mr. Kevorkian was released from prison earlier this year after serving just eight years of his 10-to-25-year sentence for the second-degree murder of a Michigan man, aired by a major television network.

The speakers bureau would not disclose Mr. Kevorkian’s expected topic, but, Mr. Jalsevac reminds, “Shortly after being released from prison, the infamous doctor-become-celebrity declared his intention to continue advocating for assisted suicide on demand. …

“‘We aren’t bringing him in to try to convince peopleof his views,’” said Mr. Blank in the LifeSite report, “‘but to engage the student body, and they can choose for themselves.’”

The speaking date is drawing a loud complaint from the brother of Terri Schiavo, whose court-ordered death followed a heroic effort by her family to protect her from deadly neglect at the hands of her estranged husband and a Florida probate judge. Bobby Schindler is circulating a petition seeking to block the Kevorkian spectacle at the Florida public university.

“‘He’s targeting our college kids,’” Mr. Schindler told LifeSiteNews, “‘and I find it very troubling. We’re sending this message to our young kids that the answer to human suffering and the chronically ill is to kill, and it’s extremely dangerous and troubling.’

“[Mr.] Schindler also criticized [the speakers bureau] for claiming to simply be presenting the issue for consideration and not taking sides,” writes Mr. Jalsevac. “‘How can that be, if they’re only getting one side of the issue?’” he asked. “‘That’s ridiculous. That’s illogical. They’re not having someone speaking on compassion and why assisted suicide is potentially destructive,’” charged Mr. Schindler in the LifeSiteNews report. “‘They’re only going to have him speak. I don’t see how the students are going to choose if they’re only going to hear one side of the argument.’”

The University’s president, J. Bernard Machen, may be contacted via electronic mail, notes LifeSiteNews, at [email protected].


‘House of Horrors’

THE NEIGHBORS OF EUROPE’s MOST PROMINENT EUTHANASIA SHOP have succeeded in having Dignitas evicted from its Zurich, Switzerland, headquarters, even though the landlady is a cousin of the outfit’s founder and current head.

Dignitas has used two apartments in one Zurich residential building as an “assisted suicide clinic” for the past nine years. The building owner, reports Elizabeth O’Brien for, recently “cancelled [the group’s] lease because residents were horrified by the stream of body bags that were carried out on the elevator and are frustrated,” writes Ms. O’Brien, “by the police and ambulances that constantly come to the door.”

A 55-year-old woman started the eviction campaign, reports Ms. O’Brien, gathering signatures from Dignitas’s neighbors. “She told Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung,” reports LifeSiteNews, “that the place had become a ‘house of death.’ Last year,” writes Ms. O’Brien, “[the woman] was also quoted in UK’s Telegraph, ‘We call it the “House of Horrors.” This is meant to be a residential flat,’” she said, as reported by LifeSite/Telegraph, “‘but some days you’d think it was a morgue.’

“Other residents complained,” writes Ms. O’Brien, “that their children were constantly exposed to the dying and dead bodies. One woman was quoted in the [British] Guardian Unlimited,” reports LifeSiteNews, “saying that she changed her household chores in order not to ‘bump into a corpse while I’m taking out the rubbish.’”

Since its launching in 1998, reports LifeSiteNews citing Germany’s Der Spiegel as source, Dignitas “has been responsible for 700 deaths.”


House Voting Record

Pence Amendment to Labor/HHS Appropriation Bill – HR-3043 – seeking to bar Planned Parenthood from funding under the Family Planning Act (Title X) – July 19, 2007 – Failed 189-231 (Democrats in italics)

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

Voting “no” / anti-life:Abercrombie, Ackerman, Allen, Altmire, Andrews, Arcuri, Baca, Baird, Baldwin, Barrow, Bean, Becerra, Berkley, Berman, Berry, Biggert, Bishop (GA), Bishop (NY), Blumenauer, Boswell, Boucher, Boyd (FL), Boyda (KS), Brady (PA), Braley (IA), Ginny Brown-Waite, Butterfield, Capito, Capps, Capuano, Cardoza, Carnahan, Carney, Carson, Castle, Castor, Chandler, Clarke, Clay, Cleaver, Clyburn, Cohen, Conyers, Cooper, Costa, Courtney, Cramer, Crowley, Cuellar, Cummings, Davis (AL), Davis (CA), Davis (IL), Tom Davis, DeFazio, DeGette, Delahunt, DeLauro, Dent, Dicks, Dingell, Doggett, Doyle, Edwards, Ellison, Emanuel, Engel, Eshoo, Etheridge, Everett, Farr, Fattah, Frank (MA), Frelinghuysen, Gerlach, Giffords, Gilchrest, Gillibrand, Gonzalez, Gordon, Granger, Al Green, Gene Green, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hall (NY), Hare, Hastings (FL), Herseth-Sandlin, Higgins, Hill, Hinchey, Hinojosa, Hirono, Hobson, Hodes, Holden, 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 (CA), Lewis (GA), Loebsack, Lowey, Lynch, Mahoney (FL), Maloney (NY), Markey, Matheson, Matsui, McCarthy (NY), McCollum (MN), McDermott, McGovern, McNerney, McNulty, Meek (FL), Meeks (NY), Michaud, 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, Perlmutter, Pomeroy, Price (NC), Pryce (OH), Ramstad, Rangel, Reyes, Reynolds, Rodriguez, Ross, Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Ruppersberger, Rush, Ryan (OH), Salazar, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Sarbanes, Schakowsky, Schiff, Schwartz, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Serrano, Sestak, Shays, Shea-Porter, Sherman, Sires, Slaughter, Smith (WA), Snyder, Solis, Space, Spratt, Stark, Stupak, Sutton, Tanner, Tauscher, Thompson (CA), Thompson (MS), Tierney, Towns, Udall (CO), Udall (NM), Upton, VanHollen, Velazquez, Visclosky, Walden (OR), Walz (MN), Wasserman-Schultz, Waters, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Weiner, Welch (VT), Wexler, Wilson (NM), Woolsey, Wu, Wynn, Yarmuth

Not voting: Bono, Corrine Brown, Cubin, JoAnn Davis, Filner, Gohmert, Harman, Jindal, Lofgren, Marshall, George Miller, Paul, Pelosi, Shuster, Tancredo


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