Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of September 24, 2007

First Look at AG Pick / UNFPA Defunded Again / So Far, So Good
‘New’ Candidate Enters Fray at Values Voter Debate
Vatican Defends Humanity of Vulnerable Patients / Brits Open Pandora’s Box
Nicaragua Stands Firm on Abortion / US Scolds UN Agency for Promoting Abortion
Stopping at Nothing: The Partial-Birth Abortion Loophole


First Look at AG Pick

THE PRESIDENT HAS NOMINATED A FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE to head the Justice Dept. for the balance of his term.

Judge Michael Mukasey is a former federal prosecutor in New York City and presided over major terrorism-related cases while serving as chief judge on the US District Court bench in New York. He was appointed to the bench by Pres. Ronald Reagan.

Pro-life citizens are anxious about this appointment because of the power wielded by the Attorney General in prioritizing enforcement of federal laws.

The one case which has raised concern is his 1994 ruling in Dong v.Slattery, in which he refused to order the government to grant asylum to a Chinese refugee escaping persecution under Beijing’s one-child depopulation pogrom. He sided with the majority in a later case, however, when asylum was granted to others for the same cause under an amendment enacted after 1994.

We hope conservative, pro-life Senators will not hesitate to probe Judge Mukasey’s intentions as Attorney General regardless of any understandable, partisan desire to avoid conflict in this nomination.


U.N.F.P.A. Defunded Again

PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH HAS SHIFTED the $34 million which Congress appropriated last year for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to the non-controversial Child Survival & Health Programs Fund.

This is the sixth year Pres. Bush has taken such action to invoke and enforce the Kemp/Kasten Amendment, which denies US aid to agencies and organizations which abet coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization programs overseas.

UNFPA’s support for Beijing’s one-child policy has disqualified the UN agency from US backing which, under the Clinton regime, forced US taxpayers to be complicit in the brutal depopulation pogrom throughout mainland China.


So Far, So Good

PLANNED PARENTHOOD’s MEGABORTUARY IN AURORA, ILLINOIS, didn’t open last Tuesday as planned. US District Judge Charles Norgle has refused, so far, to order the City of Aurora to issue a final occupancy permit, which the outfit needs to do business, and the city, so far, has refused to act on its own. Pro-life prayer vigils continue, as do a spate of lawsuits over the 22,000-square-foot “abortion fortress.” Continuing information can be found via the Internet on such websites as, and

Prayer vigils for Life across the country are about to begin this Wednesday, with citizens in 89 cities having signed on to a 40-day prayer vigil via the Internet website. Aimed at the 40-day period of Sept. 26 to Nov. 4 in reflection of 40-day periods of exceptional movements of God recorded in scripture—through Moses, through Noah, through Jesus, through His disciples—the effort hopes to mobilize thousands of praying citizens to intercede for babies in the womb and their families. Aurora citizens have extended their own prayer vigil, which began 40 days before the massive abortion mill was scheduled to open.

‘New’ Candidate Enters Fray at Values Voter Debate

HE’s BEEN RUMINATING ANOTHER RUN for several months, and he chose the Values Voter Debate last Monday night to make his first appearance as an ’08 GOP Presidential candidate: None other than spellbinding orator Alan Keyes. Also debating were Sen. Sam Brownback (KS), businessman John Cox (IL), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, US Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA), US Rep. Ron Paul (TX) and US Rep. Tom Tancredo (CO). Skipping the opportunity were former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, US Sen. John McCain (AZ), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former US Sen. Fred Thompson (TN). All are Republicans. Though Democrats were invited to a separate such event this week, all declined.


Vatican Defends Humanity of Vulnerable Patients

THE VATICAN HAS RELEASED DEFINITIVE RESPONSES, authorized by Pope Benedict XVI, to queries from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) related to care for vulnerable medical patients, many of whom are cared for by Roman Catholic medical professionals or in Catholic-owned facilities.

Question 1: “Is the administration of food and water (whether by natural or artificial means) to a patient in a ‘vegetative state’ morally obligatory except when they cannot be assimilated by the patient’s body or cannot be administered to the patient without causing significant physical discomfort?”

Response: “Yes. The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory to the extent to which, and for as long as, it is shown to accomplish its proper finality, which is the hydration and nourishment of the patient. In this way, suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented.”

Question 2: “When nutrition and hydration are being supplied by artificial means to a patient in a ‘permanent vegetative state,’ may they be discontinued when competent physicians judge with moral certainty that the patient will never recover consciousness?”

Response: “No. A patient in a ‘permanent vegetative state’ is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care, which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means.”


Brits Open Pandora’s Box

THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IS OFFICIALLY SANCTIONING the production of human-animal hybrids after months of supposed “scientific and ethic[al] review,” reports Rick Weiss for the WashingtonPost.

“The prime goal of the research,” writes Mr. Weiss, “is to create embryos from which embryonic stem cells that may be medically useful can be extracted. The embryos would be made,” he reports, “by injecting human DNA into cow or rabbit eggs whose own DNA has been largely but not fully removed.

“Until now, scientists making human embryos for research have generally used human eggs from women treated with hormones,” writes Mr. Weiss, “a procedure that poses medical risks and so raises ethical concerns. But opponents have argued,” writes this Post reporter, “that it is no less unethical to create partly human embryos solely to harvest their stem cells, and some opponents,” he reports, “have raised the specter of rogue scientists growing the embryos into weird human-animal creatures. … Many expressed concern,” he writes, “that the work constitutes meddling with nature and might lead to more troubling experiments.”

US policy on such matters is completely neutral, since lawmakers in Congress have repeatedly refused to enact even laws banning human cloning.


Nicaragua Stands Firm on Abortion

THE CONGRESS OF NICARAGUA HAS REJECTED OVERWHELMINGLY a bid by the international abortion cartel to relax the country’s strict law criminalizing abortion, “striking down an amendment,” writes Matthew Cullinan Hoffman for, “that would have created an exemption for ‘therapeutic abortion.’”

Even members of the Sandinista Party, once the Nicaraguan arm of the Soviet Union and since 2006 the governing party in the congress, voted unanimously against the amendment, which lost 3-to-66, with only members of a far-left splinter from the Sandinistas voting for it.

The “therapeutic” loophole was removed from the law just last November, reports LifeSiteNews. “After many years of pressure from international pro-abortion organizations to liberalize abortion in the country,” writes Mr. Hoffman, “the congress decided to do the opposite and abolished existing exceptions in the code … .”

The new code subjects abortionists to imprisonment of one to three years and, if the abortionist is a licensed medical professional, license suspension of two to five years. “The new code also punishes women who carry out abortion on themselves,” writes Mr. Hoffman, “stating that ‘a woman who intentionally causes her own abortion, or consents to an abortion carried out by someone else, will receive a penalty of one to two years in prison.”


US Scolds UN Agency for Promoting Abortion

Sept. 13, 2007, Friday Fax by Samantha Singson for Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, copyright C-Fam

The US delegation to the United Nations sharply scolded a top UN official this week for perpetuating the falsehood that there is a new UN-mandated global goal related to “sexual and reproductive health.” The exchange came during the executive board meeting of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The US also criticized UNFPA’s promotion of abortion.

UNFPA executive director Thoraya Obaid was presenting UNFPA’s strategic plan and its proposed global and regional programs. In her report, Obaid claimed, “The target on universal access to reproductive health under Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 paves the way for further progress to improve the health of women, reduce maternal and newborn deaths, expand contraceptive choice and protect reproductive rights.” The US representative interjected that there is no global target on reproductive health and that the only thing that could generate one was a resolution of the General Assembly.

The Millennium Development Goals were first negotiated in 2000 by more than 150 heads of state, the largest such gathering in history, and included eight broad goals, none of which included the controversial issue of “reproductive health,” a term that is frequently used by UN agencies to promote abortion.

Pro-abortion radicals, including UNFPA, tried to get a new goal on “reproductive health” negotiated by heads of state in 2005, but they were defeated. Since then, they have tried to get a ninth goal, or at least a target as part of an existing goal, but continue to be defeated.

Their defeat has not stopped UNFPA and others from continuing to claim that such a new target exists. Governments around the world are being told such a target exists and are being asked to change their laws accordingly, most recently in the Philippines.

The US also complained to Obaid about UNFPA’s promotion of abortion and asked Obaid for a clarification. Obaid claimed UNFPA was neutral on abortion and only tries to prevent “unsafe abortion.” “UNFPA does not speak for or against the legalization of abortion,” said Obaid. UNFPA, however, has a history of promoting the legalization of abortion, most recently when the agency intervened when Nicaragua’s National Assembly banned all abortion. UNFPA, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other UN agencies directly intervened to stop the law, which eventually was passed [nearly] unanimously by the Nicaraguan Assembly.

In contrast to the US position, the Swedish delegate urged Obaid to “make sure that sexual and reproductive health and rights remain squarely on the agenda.”


Stopping at Nothing: The Partial-Birth Abortion Loophole

Sept. 14, 2007, BreakPoint with Charles Colson, copyright Prison Fellowship Ministries

Four months ago, the US Supreme Court upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. As I said at the time, banning this unspeakably barbaric form of abortion was a victory – albeit a small one – for the pro-life cause. It represented another step toward the end of abortion-on-demand in this country.

Certainly the nation’s pro-abortion forces saw it that way as well. The near-hysterical reaction of the Center for Reproductive Rights was typical: “The US Supreme Court,” it said, “effectively overturned 30 years of precedent and announced that women’s health is no longer a paramount concern. … The Court’s decision paves the way for state and federal legislatures to enact additional bans on abortions, including those that doctors say are safe and medically necessary.”

So, while pro-lifers celebrated a small victory, pro-abortion forces signaled that they were not going to stand idly by while the forces for Life steadily chip away at abortion-on-demand.

That’s why a recent story in the Boston Globe should not surprise us, I suppose. It turns out that some abortionists are doing an end run around the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban by injecting lethal drugs to kill the fetus before doing the late-term abortion. This despite the fact that, as some doctors told the Globe, “It poses a slight risk to the woman and offers her no medical benefit.”

So who benefits from the procedure? “The only clear benefit is a legal one to the physician,” one California doctor told Fox News religion reporter Lauren Green. That same doctor, by the way, considers the injection procedure “too risky” to the expectant mother.

The loophole just means, sadly, that there are those who will do anything, even risk the life of the mother, to snuff out the life of an unborn child – while pro-lifers are the ones accused of not caring about women! It is just one more proof of the inherent evil and destructiveness of abortion.

But it’s also one more proof that pro-lifers can never let our guard down and that the struggle to end abortion-on-demand will take years, and we’ve got to keep fighting.

As I have said before on BreakPoint, that lesson was taught to us more than 200 years ago by the British parliamentarian, William Wilberforce, who brought an end to the slave trade in Britain.

For nearly 20 years, Wilberforce introduced bills banning the slave trade. Year after year, his opponents found ways to defeat them, often playing dirty. But Wilberforce and his allies never gave up, and in 1807, the House of Commons voted to abolish the slave trade. It took another quarter century to abolish slavery outright.

Despite repeated losses, Wilberforce kept working. By God’s grace, he made incremental gains and eventually carried the day.

I believe that the pro-life cause will carry the day as well. After all, as was the case with Wilberforce, justice is on our side. And, just as the British public was awakened to the evils of the slave trade, so too the American public is learning more and more about the miracle of life in the womb – and the horrors inflicted on that life by abortion.

So what’s next for pro-lifers? We endure the setbacks, we close the legal loopholes and we keep fighting. Like Wilberforce, we never lose sight of the final goal.



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