Life Advocacy Briefing

January 7, 2008

President Urged to Reform Title X / Pro-Life Spending Limits Salvaged
/ Quick Fall / Welcome, Sen. Wicker / Mr. Hyde Remembered /
Advocating for Life: More from the Late Rep. Hyde / Saving the Mexico City Policy

President Urged to Reform Title X

A LETTER WAS SENT TO PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH LAST MONTH seeking administrative reform in the Title X (Ten) “family planning” program.

Initiated by Family Research Council, the letter was signed by leaders of some 48 pro-life/family groups including Focus on the Family, Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, Heartbeat International, Americans United for Life, Population Research Institute and Priests for Life.

The letter seeks to restore reforms administratively established by Pres. Ronald Reagan in order to distinguish “family planning” from abortion. Under existing regulations, instituted by the Clinton regime, Title X is a prime funding source for Planned Parenthood despite federal policy barring payments for abortion; through the Clintonized Title X, taxpayers are forced indirectly to subsidize PP’s abortions, and the co-location of “family planning” and abortion activities offers the abortion industry the appearance of government endorsement.

The appeal to the President was prompted by Congressional action last month to boost Title X funding, as the letter reads, “by nearly $17 million to a record high of almost $300 million. … Title X funds continue to be used by abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood to promote abortion,” notes the letter, “despite the plain statutory provision from 1970 banning such use.

“Regulatory changes promulgated under Pres. Reagan clarified the law,” notes the letter, “that Title X recipients may not refer for abortion or combine family planning services with abortion services. These [reforms] were defended by Pres. George H.W. Bush and were upheld [by the Supreme Court] under Rust vs. Sullivan in 1991,” reads the letter. “Unfortunately, by the time they were being enforced, Pres. Bill Clinton took office and rescinded these pro-life regulations. He then implemented statutorily unsupported harmful regulations,” notes the letter, “that require that recipients of Title X funding refer for abortion.

“Moreover, these regulations allow the co-location of abortion clinics with their affiliated Title X family planning clinics – in some cases,” reports the letter, “utilizing the same waiting rooms, staff and facilities.

“More than a minimal economic separation between abortion providers and family planning clinics is warranted,” assert the letter writers. “We respectfully ask that you make the necessary changes to the Title X regulations to prevent US taxpayer funds from being used to promote and facilitate abortion.”

The President does have authority to execute the reforms sought by the letter. Readers who wish to add their endorsement of the appeal may call the White House at 1-202/456-1414 with the message, “Please, Mr. President, act now to reform Title Ten so our tax dollars do not subsidize the abortion industry.”


Pro-Life Spending Limits Salvaged

DESPITE A ROCKY YEAR ON CAPITOL HILL, pro-life reforms survived the final negotiations in the omnibus spending bill which finalizes appropriations for the current fiscal year. Wrangling chiefly over Iraq war spending but also over other provisions, including some affecting the cause of Life, delayed passage until just before Christmas.

The most critical victory for the cause of Life came in the 11th hour stripping from the omnibus bill of provisions gutting the Reagan-era Mexico City reform of foreign “family planning” grants, explained more fully at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. It was this key pro-life reform that was most jeopardized in the first session of the 110th Congress. Its retention – and that of the other pro-life appropriations “riders” – was thought necessary in order not to provoke a threatened Presidential veto.

The final package re-enacts the Hyde Amendment barring federal Medicaid funding of abortions except to save the life of the mother or to kill babies conceived in sex crimes (a Clinton-era loophole); preserves the bar on federal funding of biomedical experiments harming embryonic human beings; maintains conscience protection for health care providers who refuse to commit, pay for or refer for abortion; blocks federal funding of abortions on prisoners, and disqualifies organizations engaged in abortion-related litigation from aid offered by the Legal Services Corp.

The long-standing Kemp/Kasten language is re-enacted, giving the President authority to withhold funding from organizations which support coercive abortion and forced sterilization programs, under which Pres. Bush has consistently embargoed funding appropriated for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Further provisions maintained in the omnibus limit population control funds to voluntary programs, bar Peace Corps spending on abortion, block foreign aid for abortion and impose pro-life provisions on foreign aid for HIV/AIDS and other international disease relief.

The US Patent Office will continue to be barred from issuing patents on human organisms under the omnibus measure, and federal employee fringe benefit plans may not cover abortions unless to save the life of the mother or to kill babies conceived in sex crimes. Federal aid to the District of Columbia expressly excludes DC spending on abortions, and Title X (Ten) “family planning” grantees continue to be required to comply with state reporting laws on child abuse and molestation, sexual abuse, rape or incest.

We are grateful to Concerned Women for America (CWA) for its exhaustive listing of pro-life provisions preserved in the omnibus bill, which was signed by the President in late December.


Quick Fall

KANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL PAUL MORRISON HAS BEEN FORCED to resign after just under a year in office.

The controversial Democrat ousted pro-life hero Phill Kline in the 2006 election, his victory aided substantially by Kansas’s abortion industry and specifically by notorious Wichita baby killer George Tiller. Much of his year as the state’s chief law enforcement officer was devoted to scuttling investigations by his predecessor of Mr. Tiller and of a major Planned Parenthood shop. His resignation followed revelations of a sex scandal involving a former subordinate.

His resignation was a victory for Operation Rescue, which has now, reports Associated Press (AP) writer John Milburn “filed two complaints with state agencies accusing Attorney Gen. Paul Morrison of violating campaign and attorney ethics. … Operation Rescue,” writes Mr. Milburn, “alleges that [Mr.] Morrison used his relationship with [the former aide] to protect … [Mr.] Tiller and Planned Parenthood of Mid-Missouri & Kansas.” OR has accused the ex-attorney general of attempting to use his paramour to report to him actions being taken by Mr. Kline in his investigations of the state’s major abortionists.

OR’s Troy Newman “said the complaints seek to have [Mr.] Morrison disbarred as an attorney,” reports AP. “They also seek civil fines for violating campaign laws by protecting abortion providers from prosecution in exchange for efforts to help get [Mr.] Morrison elected. … ‘You can’t give to get,’ [Mr.] Newman said,” in the AP report. “‘He was the best law enforcement you could buy for the abortion industry.’”


Welcome, Sen. Wicker

MISSISSIPPI HAS A NEW SENATOR in Washington. Following the resignation late last year of Sen. Trent Lott, Gov. Haley Barbour (R) has appointed GOP Rep. Roger Wicker to the seat, creating a vacancy in the House to be filled by special election.

Rep. Wicker took office Dec. 31. He is a well established leader in the cause of Life. We congratulate him and the people of Mississippi.

Mr. Hyde Remembered

THOUGH THE HOUSE LEADERSHIP AT FIRST SHAMEFULLY BALKED at considering a memorial resolution to the late Rep. Henry J. Hyde, sending it to committee rather than taking it up as an uncontroversial measure, the House did adopt HRes-843 in December.

The eloquent resolution, which included a salute to Mr. Hyde’s championship of the cause of Life, was filed by his successor from Illinois’s 6th Congressional District, Rep. Peter Roskam (R). By the time it was adopted by voice vote on Dec. 17, the resolution had attracted 115 co-sponsors.

We resume below our series reprinting major excerpts from great speeches offered by Mr. Hyde in debate over the 15 years of our publication’s history, this week featuring a speech he gave in support of a memorial resolution saluting Mother Teresa.


Advocating for Life: More from the Late Rep. Hyde

LIFE ADVOCACY BRIEFING IS HONORED TO REPRINT MAJOR EXCERPTS from speeches delivered by the late Rep. Henry J. Hyde during the past 15 years. Here we reprint major excerpts from his speech in support of HRes 227 of the 105th Congress, saluting the memory of Mother Teresa.

In a world of doubts and ambiguities and cynicism, (Mother Teresa) was blessed with certainties. And the certainties that guided her life and her self-sacrifice are ancient, they are noble and, to my mind, indisputable.

She believed we are not lost in the stars; we are not alone in this universe which was created by a wise and benevolent Providence. And she lived the truth of that belief.

She believed that every human being – no matter how abandoned, no matter how poor, no matter how useless or inconvenient as the world calculates utility and convenience – is an image of the invisible God and invested with an innate and an inalienable dignity and value and thus commands our attention and our respect and our care. She poured out her life in service to that belief.

She believed that love is the most living thing there is, that love is stronger than death, and that every human heart can be touched by the power of love. So often she cradled the wretched of the Earth in her arms and witnessed to that belief.

She believed that the goodness of a society is measured by the way it treats the most helpless and vulnerable of its members, especially the defenseless unborn. She lived that belief, and she challenged us to make that truth a living part of the fabric of our democracy.

We live at the end of the bloodiest century in human history. Wars, ethnic and racial hatreds, mad ideologies and plain old human wickedness have made the 20th century, which the best and the brightest of 1897 thought would be a century of boundless human progress, instead a slaughterhouse.

On the edge of a new century and a new millennium, the world does not lack for icons of evil – Auschwitz, the gulag, the killing fields of Cambodia, Bosnia, the Great Lakes region of central Africa. What the world desperately needs are icons of goodness, and that is what she has been for us, an icon of goodness.

She reminded us that hatred and death do not have the last word. She called us back to what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” She was a blessing, a great gift of God, and we thank God for permitting us to live in her time.


Saving the Mexico City Policy

Dec. 17, 2007, PRI Weekly Briefing by Steven Mosher & Colin Mason for Population Research Institute

Pro-lifers scored a significant victory in Congress this weekend, a victory due to a courageous stand made by pro-life Congressmen and Senators and ultimately the President, against massive opposition.

Earlier this year, legislation intended to gut the Mexico City Policy sailed through the Democrat-controlled House and Senate. Under this new legislation, which was included in the 2008 foreign appropriations bill, subsidies would once again flow to abortion providers and proponents like Planned Parenthood. The original policy, put in place by Pres. Reagan, that denies any and all population control funding to abortion groups, whether in the form of dollars or IUDs, seemed doomed.

Now, with the end of the year looming ahead, the Democratic leadership have dumped all 11 unresolved spending measures into one huge omnibus bill consisting of thousands of pages. And fearing a Presidential veto, they have left all of the pro-life protections historically embodied in such legislation in place.

Earlier, the tenacious resistance of pro-lifers – including the pro-lifer who sits in the Oval Office – had forced this and most other spending bills into a holding pattern. The Democrat leadership had heretofore moved not a single spending measure to the President’s desk, since all faced certain vetoes. Because of this, all 11 spending measures were for weeks consigned to legislative limbo, caught between anti-life ideology and Presidential resolve.

According to the Washington newspaper, The Hill, the President, besides being committed to protect the Mexico City Policy and other existing pro-life legislation, has spent the last few weeks trying to hold the line on spending. He has mandated a $993 billion cap on the domestic appropriations budget, which the free-spending Democrats struggled for weeks to meet.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, the Democrats rammed through a continuing resolution that gave them until Dec. 21 to resolve the deadlock. In the days following, they carried on negotiations behind closed doors with – themselves. According to The Hill, Republicans complained at the time that “the majority has shut them out of the negotiating process while pushing an excessive amount of domestic spending.”

A White House staffer had earlier indicated to PRI that the Republicans did not expect to see the final version of the omnibus bill until a matter of hours before it comes time for a vote. This, combined with the fact that the Democrats have shown a repeated resolve to indefinitely pass continuing resolutions until political conditions prove more favorable to their causes, did not give us much occasion to hope.

However, over the course of this past weekend, the pro-aborts caved. Late on Sunday, the omnibus bill was finally released to the Republican side. Pro-life staffers spent most of last night reviewing the bill, and they are pleased to report that the language weakening the Mexico City Policy has been dropped. Not compromised, not de-emphasized, but completely dropped. All pro-life provisions remain in place. Not only that, but the bill has stayed within the budget allotted by the President.

The omnibus bill is not perfect. Planned Parenthood gets its first increase in Title 10 funding in six years. On the plus side, the bill also allocates $8.8 million toward umbilical cord stem cell research, which will encourage scientists to research alternatives to embryonic stem cell research.

All in all, this must be seen as a pro-life victory. It reflects the determination of the Administration and pro-life Members of Congress to uphold long-standing US policy. But the fight is far from over. Pro-lifers in Congress need our help to move forward.

What can you do? First, and most importantly, contact your pro-life Senators and Representatives and tell them that you appreciate their votes on behalf of the Mexico City Policy and other pro-life laws. Pro-abortion groups are putting tremendous pressure on our people to back off from protecting the babies. Our friends need to hear from us and know that we are behind them, lest they grow dispirited.

Second, write to Pres. Bush [The White House, Washington, DC 20500] thanking him for pledging to protect existing pro-life laws and urging him to use his veto if necessary. The more signatures we can get, the more pro-lifers in the White House, including the President himself, will be emboldened in defense of Life.


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