Life Advocacy Briefing

January 21, 2008

Please Be Patient / Remembering Roe & Doe / Telling Truth to Power
/ Lay Lobbyists to Focus on Senate / Bachmann Bill Needs Backing /
Exciting New Truth Tool Released / Advocating for Life: The Finest from the Late Rep. Hyde

Please be Patient

WE’RE LIKELY TO BE A LITTLE LATE next week, as a key member of our production team is going to be traveling at our usual deadline time. We are hoping to publish transcripts of speeches from the March for Life rally – or at least major excerpts. We are not aware of any other source of transcripts of these speeches, so we hope our readers will be patient but eager to receive Life Advocacy Briefing next week.


Remembering Roe & Doe

TOMORROW, JAN. 22, MARKS THE DAY IN 1973 when the Supreme Court stripped from Americans our protections from the abortion industry and put our government on a collision course with our own Constitutional guarantees (in the 5th and 14th Amendments) of the right to Life.

The distressing occasion will be observed in the nation’s capital by a massive March for Life, drawing Americans from across the country to appeal to our lawmakers – and to the current members of the US Supreme Court – to restore justice and mercy to our laws governing abortion.

The March will follow a noon rally featuring various pro-life lawmakers, clergy, youth and other advocates for Life.


Telling Truth to Power

BRINGING AN UNSETTLING MESSAGE TO THE SUPREME COURT, a large number of mothers and fathers who have lost children to abortion plan to gather tomorrow, Jan. 22, at 4 p.m. in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington to share publicly their testimonies of pain, regret and healing. Some 57 such victims of commercially accessible abortion are scheduled to speak, brought to the site of Roe/Doe infamy by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which mobilizes those who regret the abortions of their progeny. Similar gatherings, according to a news release from Silent No More, will occur in 28 other locations across America.

Among those who will share abortion repentance at the steps of the high court will be Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who declared via the news release, “Abortion didn’t solve my problems; it just created new ones.”

The campaign is designed, according to Silent No More founder Janet Morana, to “bring the pain of abortion out of hiding and into the open. Likewise,” she said in the news release, “it shows that God’s people are committed to healing rather than condemning those who have abortions.”


Lay Lobbyists to Focus on Senate

CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA HAS SCHEDULED its monthly “Project 535” lobby day, bringing ladies from across America to the Capitol, for this Wednesday, Jan. 23, and will focus this week on garnering Senators’ backing for the Ultrasound Informed Consent (S-2075) and the Unborn Child Pain Awareness (S-356) bills. Both measures are sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS). More information about Project 535 is available at CWA’s Internet website, or by calling the nation’s largest women’s public policy organization at 1-202-488-7000.


Bachmann Bill Needs Backing

LEGISLATION HAS BEEN FILED in the US House to ensure that states continue to have the opportunity to use block grants under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, pronounced TANN-if) Act for abortion-alternative services; though such an option is currently offered under TANF regulations, it is not codified into law and could easily be erased by a future Administration without consultation with Congress.

HR-4852 was filed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and is co-sponsored by 37 of her colleagues. Pro-life citizens are urged to contact their own lawmakers to ask that they add their names as co-sponsors and that they contact the Committee on Ways & Means to express their support and request committee consideration. Members may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202-224-2131. Those who do not know the name of their House Member may simply call the switchboard and ask to be transferred according to their home zip code.

Here are the Members who have already signed onto the Positive Alternatives Act to codify the current state option to fund pro-life programs providing information and/or counseling that assists distressed expectant mothers in making decisions about parenting and adoption. They might like to receive a call thanking them for their support for this pro-life measure. Republican Representatives Trent Franks & Rick Renzi (AZ); John Boozman (AR); Wally Herger (CA); Doug Lamborn (CO); Gus Bilirakis & Tom Feeney (FL); Jack Kingston (GA); Bill Sali (ID); Don Manzullo (IL); Mike Pence & Mark Souder (IN); Roscoe Bartlett (MD); John Kline (MN); Todd Akin (MO); Jeff Fortenberry (NE); Chris Smith (NJ); Robin Hayes & Sue Myrick (NC); Steve Chabot, Jim Jordan & Jean Schmidt (OH); Joseph Pitts (PA); Joe Wilson (SC); Marsha Blackburn (TN); Kevin Brady, Michael Conaway, John Culberson, Kenny Marchant, Randy Neugebauer, Ron Paul (TX); Rob Bishop (UT); Robert Wittman (VA – successor to the late JoAnn Davis), and Paul Ryan (WI). And Democratic Representatives Heath Shuler (NC), Dan Boren (OK) and Lincoln Davis (TN).


Exciting New Truth Tool Released

A PIONEER IN PRO-LIFE ADVOCACY THROUGH ULTRASOUND IMAGERY has produced a new DVD spotlighting the humanity of the preborn child through the effective use of 3-D and 4-D imaging.

Sheri Richard, an ultrasonographer who took her “Window on the Womb” video footage to a Congressional committee nearly two decades ago to confront Members of Congress with the truth about the baby in the womb, is releasing her new DVD as a sequel to her “Eyewitness to the Earliest Days of Life.” The new 20-minute “Eyewitness 2 – The Next Generation” is available for $29.95 via her Internet website at or via her toll-free telephone number at 1-800-364-4942. Her postal address is Sound Wave Images, 2422 Harness Dr., West Bloomfield, MI 48324.

Anyone who has seen one of Ms. Richard’s earlier video projects can testify to the effectiveness of her work and to her enthusiasm for reaching Americans with the reality of the human nature of the unborn child. The new DVD is a welcome addition to the arsenal of truth.


Advocating for Life: The Finest from the Late Rep. Hyde

LIFE ADVOCACY BRIEFING IS HONORED TO REPRINT EXCERPTS from speeches delivered by the late Rep. Henry J. Hyde during the past 15 years. Rep. Hyde, who passed away Nov. 29, 2007, served 32 years in the Congress before his retirement just a year ago. Here we reprint what may have been his greatest speech for the cause of Life, probably our final speech in the series we began in December, this one transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing from C-SPAN televised proceedings of the US House.

In closing debate on the motion to override Pres. Clinton’s veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, July 23, 1998

I go through life trying to offend as few people as possible, and I don’t always succeed. I may offend some people today, because I want to talk about slavery. I’m keenly aware that there are some people who resent bitterly any discussion of slavery or the Holocaust, emphasizing the uniqueness, the singularity of those two realities that are part of our human history and saying that nothing can compare to them in evil, and I agree. I think slavery is absolutely unique in its horror and in its evil, and I think the Holocaust similarly is unique.

But there are lessons to be learned. History is nothing if it doesn’t teach us something. And I analogize; I don’t compare. I look for the common thread in slavery and in the Holocaust and abortion, and to me, the common thread is: dehumanizing people. And I intend to make that point, because I think we have to learn from history so that, at least in this context, past will not be prologue.

So I’d like to tell you about a recent movie I saw called “Amistad,” named after a Spanish sailing ship used in the African slave trade in 1839, where some 39 survivors of a mutiny find themselves in a legal battle before the United States Supreme Court. That’s based on a true story, and they’re represented by an elderly, infirm John Quincy Adams, played magnificently by Anthony Hopkins.

His summation to the Supreme Court struck me as remarkably appropriate to the issue before us today. Adams tells the Justices that this is the most important case ever to come before the Court, because it concerns the very nature of man. And of course, that was the central issue in debating the legitimacy, the morality of slavery – namely, the humanity of the slave. Is the slave a chattel, mere property to be bought and sold, or is he or she a human being with human rights?

We here today make the same argument that that little almost-born baby, whose tiny arms and legs are flailing, whose little chest harbors a beating heart, is a human being with human rights, even if his or her human life can be snuffed out by the plunge of the abortionist’s scissors into the back of her tiny neck. Yes, partial-birth abortion concerns the very nature of man.

Later Adams stands near a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence, and he asks the question that we who support preborn life have been asking for years. Looking at the Declaration, he says, “What of this annoying document, this Declaration of Independence, what of its conceits – all men created equal, inalienable rights, life, liberty and so on. What on earth are we to do with this?” He then says he has a modest suggestion. He takes a copy of the Declaration and tears it up.

A tall impressive man, Cinque, exuding strength, is the leader of the slaves, and he’s told John Quincy Adams that in his tribe in Sierra Leone, the Mende, when they encounter a hopeless situation, they call on their ancestors. Adams tells the court of this belief that if they summon the spirits of their ancestors, their wisdom and strength will come to their aid. He then points to Cinque and speaks of his ancestors from the beginning of time and tells the Court that this man Cinque is the whole reason his ancestors have ever existed at all.

And when you think about it, each of us has ancestors that go back to the beginning of time, and we here now are the whole reason they ever existed. We are their progeny, we are their culmination. And just think what our ancestors had to endure through the long, bloody centuries. “The four horsemen of the apocalypse” – conquest, slaughter, famine and death. Wars, plagues, natural disasters. And they survived it all so that we might be born, here and now to debate the issue of partial-birth abortion.

And so we have this little infant, arms flailing, legs squirming, little heart pounding away, and with the plunge of the abortionist’s surgical scissors, in a painful and cruel instant, that ancestral odyssey through the centuries is extinguished.

I think of Whitman’s great lines, “Of all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these – ‘It might have been.’”

Loneliness. We all know something about loneliness. It’s one of life’s most mournful experiences. We’ve all been lonely, and it teaches us how much we humans need each other. What a special loneliness it must be for that little almost-born baby to be surrounded by people who want to kill him.

I stand in awe of anyone who could perform, much less participate in, such a grisly, inhuman act. It must take a heart of stone and a soul of ice.

A vote against this motion to override is to legitimate thousands of acts of appalling cruelty – not to an animal, a creature of the sea or of the forest, but a fellow human being who has the misfortune to be temporarily unwanted. You have this chance today to put an end to the process of unspeakable destructive cruelty unworthy of a civilized society.

Our beloved America is becoming the killing fields. One state has accepted euthanasia so the elderly can be killed legally, and the abortion culture has resulted in 35 million abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Kill them in the womb, and now with partial-birth abortion, kill them out of the womb. But keep killing them.

Those whose real agenda is to keep all types of abortion legal at any stage, for any reason, have built their case on one lie after another – there is no polite way to say this – deceptive misinformation. (If one wants to be intellectually honest, you’ve got to call a lie what it is.) First they claimed this procedure didn’t exist. When a paper written by the doctor who invented it surfaced, they changed their story, asserting it was only used when a woman’s life was in danger. But then the same doctor admitted that 80% of his partial-birth abortions were elective. Then they lied about anesthesia. Planned Parenthood told us the baby doesn’t feel any pain; the anesthesia given to the mother transfers itself in the womb to the baby, and the baby doesn’t feel any pain. The anesthesiologists went off the wall, because that frightens women into thinking their baby’s at risk if they get anesthesia. And the anesthesiologists came in and testified that was a falsehood, and they shot it down in a hurry.

Well, the executive director of the National Abortion Federation* admitted on Nightline, and these are his words, that he “lied through his teeth” about this procedure. Thousands of them are performed on healthy little babies. And he was distressed at the loss of credibility the abortion cause was suffering because of the lies.

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop reacted to the President’s veto with this statement, and I quote: “I believe that Mr. Clinton was misled by his medical advisers on what is fact and what is fiction. Such a procedure cannot truthfully be called medically necessary for either mother or the baby.” The administration listens to Dr. Koop on tobacco; I wish they’d listen to him on partial-birth abortion.

For over two centuries of our national history, we have struggled to create a society of inclusion. We keep widening the circle of those for whom we’re responsible – the aged, the infirm, the poor. Slaves were freed, women were enfranchised, civil rights and voting rights acts were passed, our public spaces made accessible to the handicapped, Society Security for the elderly – all in the name of widening the circle of inclusion and protection. This great trajectory in our national history has been shattered by Roe v. Wade and its progeny. By denying an entire class of human beings the welcome and the protection of our laws, we have betrayed what is best in our tradition. We have put at risk every life which some day someone might find inconvenient.

Now we can’t repair the damage done to our culture by Roe v. Wade. We can’t undo the injustice done to 35 million tiny babies who have been exterminated because seven Justices, strip-mining the Constitution, found a right to an abortion that no one had ever seen for 200 years. We can’t un-ring the bell; we can’t undo that injustice. But we can stop the barbaric butchery of partial-birth abortion. We betray our own humanity if we don’t.

Matthew 25 is often read at Catholic funeral masses. It’s a lovely passage. “‘I was hungry, and you fed me; I was naked, and you clothed me; I was a stranger, and you took me in.’” That’s what I ask for here today. Welcome the little stranger. Vote to override.

*Actually, Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, an alternative trade group.


Permission granted to quote with attribution. Reproduction rights granted only by express authorization.