Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of September 10, 2007

Rep. Gillmor, RIP / Senate Axes ‘Mexico City’ Policy / Senate Rebuffs UN Population Fund Bid
/ Veto Pledge / Mother Teresa’s Reaction to Access to ‘Clinics’ Act Recalled /
Int’l Planned Parenthood Launches Abortion Campaign / Senate Voting Records  

Rep. Gillmor, RIP

THE NATION LOST A PUBLIC SERVANT with a solid pro-life voting record in the passing last week of US Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-OH). We thank the Lord for the service Mr. Gillmor rendered as a 10-term Member of the House and of the House GOP Whip team.

 

Senate Axes ‘Mexico City’ Policy

THE SENATE VOTED TO REPEAL THE ‘MEXICO CITY POLICY’ while considering the State Dept./Foreign Operations Appropriation Bill, HR-2764, last Thursday.

The abortion lobby and its pals in the Senate were evidently not content to damage the Reagan-era taxpayer protection by making abortion-industry outfits like International Planned Parenthood Federation eligible for US “in-kind donations” of commodities such as contraceptives, as the House of Representatives and the Senate committee had done.

No, even before Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) could offer his promised amendment to restore the Mexico City language to its original integrity, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) put forth an amendment to repeal the Mexico City pro-life provision altogether. Her amendment was adopted 53 to 41, and Sen. Brownback’s subsequent amendment was rejected 41 to 53. We publish the Senate voting records on these two proposals at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

 

Senate Rebuffs UN Population Fund Bid

SOMEHOW, SEN. BROWNBACK HAD MORE SUCCESS with his amendment to restore the Kemp/Kasten language which had been damaged by the Senate committee after emerging from the House unscathed.

This two-decades-old pro-life reform bars US taxpayer grants to organizations and agencies which abet coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization programs. It has been invoked consistently by Pres. George W. Bush to embargo appropriated grants to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which regularly abets the brutal “one-child” pogrom carried out by the Red regime in Beijing.

The Senate Appropriations Committee rewrote “Kemp/Kasten” to, as one Capitol Hill staff analysis put it, “render the entire provision ineffective by removing the President’s authority to invoke the provision, significantly watering down the standard for prohibited activities and setting an impossible standard for it to be invoked by only applying the provision to direct support for coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization. These changes,” reads the analysis, “have the obvious sole intention of allowing funds to flow to UNFPA despite their involvement in the management of China’s one-child policy.

“If the Senate [committee] language were enacted,” warns the analysis, “US taxpayer funds would flow to UNFPA, which is known to support the Chinese program of forced abortion. In so doing,” concludes the analysis, “the US will send the message that we are willing to look the other way while funding organizations that support the management of coercive abortion programs, so long as they carefully cover their tracks.”

Backing for forced abortion – though a non-negotiable demand of the abortion lobby – appears to be too bitter a pill even for the US Senate to swallow. The Brownback Amendment restoring “Kemp/Kasten” was adopted by a 48-to-45 vote. We publish the roll call along with the “Mexico City” votes, at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

 

Veto Pledge

THE WHITE HOUSE VOWED Thursday to veto the State Dept./Foreign Operations Appropriation Bill, HR-2764, issuing a Statement of Administration Policy which declares “strong” opposition to the measure “because it includes provisions that are inconsistent with the Administration’s family planning policy. Consistent with the President’s letter of May 3, 2007,” reads the SAP, “if the President were presented a bill such as HR-2764 that weakens current federal policies and laws on abortion, he would veto the bill.”

The SAP specifically cites “the [Senate Appropriations] Committee’s changes to the ‘Kemp/Kasten’ language,” which was later restored and also cites the section “which permits contracts and grants for organizations regardless of whether they perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning and contrary to the Administration’s Mexico City policy,” a deform which subsequently grew worse with Senate adoption of the Boxer Amendment.

The White House veto threat also cited language in the bill which would “undermine” the abstinence emphasis in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

 

Mother Teresa’s Reaction to Access to ‘Clinics’ Act Recalled

By Fr. Frank Pavone, national director, Priests for Life, published Sept. 4, 2007, by LifeSiteNews.com

Sept. 5, 2007, marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa. Now declared “Blessed,” she continues to inspire disciples of Christ worldwide.

My own interaction with her came shortly after I took leadership of Priests for Life. I asked if I could visit with her in Calcutta and spent a week with her in June of 1994, discussing the new ministry I was leading and the direction of pro-life strategy overall. Two events that had recently occurred shaped our conversations.

One was the speech she had given in February at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. She spoke in the presence of President and Mrs. Clinton and Vice President and Mrs. Gore. It was an unforgettable moment, as this short, humble woman proclaimed to those in power: “… If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? … Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

I told her what an impact the speech made on the pro-life community. “What about the rest of the American people?” she asked me at once. She then gave me a homework assignment to spread the speech far and wide, which Priests for Life has been doing ever since.*

The other recent event we discussed was that Pres. Clinton had signed in May the “Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances” bill, which made it a federal crime to peacefully, physically obstruct access to the door of an abortion mill. When I explained this new law to her, she looked at me and said, “Father, if we had laws like that here in India, I would have been thrown in jail many times! Here I go to the places where abortions are done and I take the women by the arm and say, ‘Come with me; we will help you and your child!’”

Another striking moment was when she brought me to one of her homes in Calcutta where prostitutes lived whom she had rescued from life on the streets. She showed me the blankets they had made. She was glowing with joy and admiration as she said, “Look, Father, at the good work these women have done.” Her vision of people’s goodness was not obscured by any evil they may have done.

She loved the priesthood, and after hearing me speak about Priests for Life, she sought and obtained an immediate audience with the local bishop so that the three of us could talk about how to establish it in India. Later, she wrote me saying, “I hope many priests and deacons will join Priests for Life.”

Indeed, the whole pro-life movement draws strength from Mother Teresa, as together we seek to save the lives of the poorest of the poor and free all people from the poverty of thinking we can abort them.

* Life Advocacy Resource Project also has copies of the speech, which we will furnish upon request to briefing@lifeadvocacy.com or 2004 E. Sherwood Rd., Arlington Heights, IL 60004.

 

Int’l Planned Parenthood Launches Abortion Campaign

Aug. 30, 2007, Friday Fax by Maciej Golubiewski for Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, copyright C-Fam

Using strongly anti-religious language, the European branch of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has recently issued a document entitled “Why We Need to Talk about Abortion,” calling for the legalization of abortion in the European Union (EU). While acknowledging that the member states retain “ultimate responsibility” for abortion legislation, the IPPF/Europe urges the EU Commission and the European Parliamentarians to act “despite this mandate” to “drive the issues forward” and “keep them high on the political agenda.”

The IPPF document praises the European Parliamentarians and the Council of Europe for issuing two non-binding pro-abortion documents in recent years. The document quotes something called the “VanLancker Report” of the European Parliament, which calls for unrestricted abortion rights in Europe. IPPF also mentions the EU Commission’s support for the conclusions of the 1994 [Cairo] International Conference on Population & Development (ICPD). Although the Cairo document makes no call for abortion, pro-abortion advocates claim that Cairo’s call for “reproductive health” is synonymous with abortion, something the UN General Assembly never intended or voted for.

Throughout the text, the IPPF text targets the predominantly Catholic countries of Slovakia, Malta, Ireland, Portugal and Poland as specific examples where women are faced with “no other option than forced pregnancy,” unless they want to risk their lives through illegal abortion or to travel abroad to [undergo an abortion]. “Unplanned pregnancy” is portrayed as a “shock,” leading to “clear-cut panic.” An aborted life is equated to an exercise of a woman’s right “to choose what to do with their bodies.”

The IPPF document also illustrates that abortion advocates believe that linking the pro-life cause with religion will help promote abortion rights. Slovakia is criticized for allowing doctors “conscientious objection” against performing abortion for religious reasons; IPPF has clearly taken sides in the debate about religious freedom in Europe.

The IPPF document also includes a section called “Every abortion has a story,” contain[ing] stories of women faced with an “unplanned or unwanted pregnancy” in six European countries. One story is of a Slovakian woman who aborts her child and is supposedly castigated by a Catholic priest during Sunday Mass, though there is no substantiation for such a claim. The story ends with her Catholic husband leaving her.

It should be noted that most countries of the European Union have more limitations on abortion than the United States, where there is abortion on demand. Most European countries have fairly conservative gestational limits on abortion, and some EU countries ban abortion outright. While the European institutions have repeatedly said that abortion lies outside their competence and should be left to the individual, this recent IPPF campaign shows that pro-abortion organizations consider the institutions of the EU as useful lobbying targets to put the “right to abortion” on the EU agenda.

 

Senate Voting Records

Brownback Amendment to HR-2764, State Dept./Foreign Operations Appropriation, to restore “Kemp/Kasten” protections against tax-funded grants to organizations which abet coercive abortion and forced sterilization – Sept. 6, 2007 – Adopted 48 to 45 (Democrats in italics; “Independents” marked with “I”; new Senator in ALL CAPS.)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: AL/Sessions & Shelby, AK/Murkowski & Stevens, AZ/Kyl, CO/Allard, FL/Martinez, GA/Chambliss & Isakson, ID/Crapo, IN/Lugar, IA/Grassley, KS/Brownback & Roberts, KY/Bunning & McConnell, LA/Landrieu & Vitter, MN/Coleman, MS/Cochran & Lott, MO/Bond, NE/Hagel & Nelson, NV/Ensign, NH/Gregg & Sununu, NM/Domenici, NC/Burr & Dole, ND/Conrad, OH/Voinovich, OK/Coburn & Inhofe, OR/Smith, PA/Casey, SC/DeMint & Graham, SD/Thune, TN/Alexander & Corker, TX/Cornyn & Hutchison, UT/Bennett & Hatch, VA/Warner, WY/BARRASSO & Enzi

Voting “no” / anti-Life: AR/Pryor, CA/Boxer & Feinstein, CO/Salazar, CT/Lieberman (I), DE/Carper, FL/Nelson, HI/Akaka & Inouye, IL/Durbin, IN/Bayh, IA/Harkin, ME/Collins & Snowe, MD/Cardin & Mikulski, MA/Kennedy & Kerry, MI/Levin & Stabenow, MN/Klobuchar, MO/McCaskill, MT/Baucus & Tester, NV/Reid, NJ/Lautenberg & Menendez, NM/Bingaman, NY/Schumer, ND/Dorgan, OH/Brown, OR/Wyden, PA/Specter, RI/Reed & Whitehouse, SD/Johnson, VT/Leahy & Sanders (I), VA/Webb, WA/Cantwell & Murray, WV/Byrd & Rockefeller, WI/Feingold & Kohl

Not voting: AZ/McCain, AR/Lincoln, CT/Dodd, DE/Biden, ID/Craig, IL/Obama, NY/Clinton

Boxer Amendment to HR-2764, State Dept./Foreign Operations Appropriation, to repeal “Mexico City” protections against tax-funded grants to organizations which commit or advocate abortions in overseas “family planning” programs – Sept. 6, 2007 – Adopted 53 to 41 (Democrats in italics; “Independents” marked with “I”; new Senator in ALL CAPS.)

Voting “no” / pro-Life: AL/Sessions & Shelby, AZ/Kyl, CO/Allard, FL/Martinez, GA/Chambliss & Isakson, ID/Crapo, IN/Lugar, IA/Grassley, KS/Brownback & Roberts, KY/Bunning & McConnell, LA/Vitter, MN/Coleman, MS/Cochran & Lott, MO/Bond, NE/Hagel & Nelson, NV/Ensign, NH/Gregg & Sununu, NM/Domenici, NC/Burr & Dole, OH/Voinovich, OK/Coburn & Inhofe, SC/DeMint & Graham, SD/Thune, TN/Alexander & Corker, TX/Cornyn & Hutchison, UT/Bennett & Hatch, WY/BARRASSO & Enzi

Voting “yes” / anti-Life: AK/Murkowski & Stevens, AR/Pryor, CA/Boxer & Feinstein, CO/Salazar, CT/Dodd & Lieberman (I), DE/Carper, FL/Nelson, HI/Akaka & Inouye, IL/Durbin, IN/Bayh, IA/Harkin, LA/Landrieu, ME/Collins & Snowe, MD/Cardin & Mikulski, MA/Kennedy & Kerry, MI/Levin & Stabenow, MN/Klobuchar, MO/McCaskill, MT/Baucus & Tester, NV/Reid, NJ/Lautenberg & Menendez, NM/Bingaman, NY/Schumer, ND/Conrad  & Dorgan, OH/Brown, OR/Smith & Wyden, PA/Casey & Specter, RI/Reed & Whitehouse, SD/Johnson, VT/Leahy & Sanders (I), VA/Warner & Webb, WA/Cantwell & Murray, WV/Byrd & Rockefeller, WI/Feingold & Kohl

Not voting: AZ/McCain, AR/Lincoln, DE/Biden, ID/Craig, IL/Obama, NY/Clinton

Brownback Amendment to HR-2764, State Dept./Foreign Operations Appropriation, to restore “Mexico City” protections against tax-funded grants to organizations which commit or advocate abortions in overseas “family planning” programs – Sept. 6, 2007 – Rejected 41 to 53 (Democrats in italics; “Independents” marked with “I”; new Senator in ALL CAPS.)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: AL/Sessions & Shelby, AZ/Kyl, CO/Allard, FL/Martinez, GA/Chambliss & Isakson, ID/Crapo, IN/Lugar, IA/Grassley, KS/Brownback & Roberts, KY/Bunning & McConnell, LA/Vitter, MN/Coleman, MS/Cochran & Lott, MO/Bond, NE/Hagel & Nelson, NV/Ensign, NH/Gregg & Sununu, NM/Domenici, NC/Burr & Dole, OH/Voinovich, OK/Coburn & Inhofe, PA/Casey, SC/DeMint & Graham, SD/Thune, TN/Alexander & Corker, TX/Cornyn & Hutchison, UT/Bennett & Hatch, WY/BARRASSO & Enzi

Voting “no” / anti-Life: AK/Murkowski & Stevens, AR/Pryor, CA/Boxer & Feinstein, CO/Salazar, CT/Dodd & Lieberman (I), DE/Carper, FL/Nelson, HI/Akaka & Inouye, IL/Durbin, IN/Bayh, IA/Harkin, LA/Landrieu, ME/Collins & Snowe, MD/Cardin & Mikulski, MA/Kennedy & Kerry, MI/Levin & Stabenow, MN/Klobuchar, MO/McCaskill, MT/Baucus & Tester, NV/Reid, NJ/Lautenberg & Menendez, NM/Bingaman, NY/Schumer, ND/Conrad  & Dorgan, OH/Brown, OR/Smith & Wyden, PA/Specter, RI/Reed & Whitehouse, SD/Johnson, VT/Leahy & Sanders (I), VA/Warner & Webb, WA/Cantwell & Murray, WV/Byrd & Rockefeller, WI/Feingold & Kohl

Not voting: AZ/McCain, AR/Lincoln, DE/Biden, ID/Craig, IL/Obama, NY/Clinton

 

 

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