Life Advocacy Briefing

February 4 , 2008

Ban Human Cloning Now! / Deteriorating Prospects? / Another Black Eye for RU-486 & FDA
Denver PP Contractor Crosses Line of No Return / Advocating for Life: The March for Life Rally

Ban Human Cloning Now!

THE PRESIDENT CALLED ON CONGRESS, during his State of the Union Address last Monday night, to ban human cloning and celebrated a recent breakthrough in stem cell research.

The President called for “respecting moral boundaries” while “trust[ing] in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower[ing] them to discover new treatments. … In November,” he noted, “we witnessed a landmark achievement when scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough has the potential,” he said, “to move us beyond the divisive debates of the past by extending the frontiers of medicine without the destruction of human life.”

Then came the clincher: “As we explore promising avenues of research,” he said, “we must also ensure that all life is treated with the dignity it deserves. And so I call on Congress,” he said, “to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting or cloning of human life.”

Two bills to outlaw human cloning have been pending quietly since July in the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism & Homeland Security (HR-2560) and in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (S-1036) since March.

HR-2560 is sponsored by Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL) and 53 co-sponsors. The Senate measure was filed by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), along with 27 co-sponsors. Given the ringing endorsement of the President, greeted by substantial applause among the lawmakers, this would be a propitious time for pro-life citizens to call their own Congressional Representatives and Senators (1-202/224-3121) to request their backing for HR-2560 or S-1036, to ban human cloning in America.


Deteriorating Prospects?

A STUNNING OP-ED COLUMN APPEARED IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES on Jan. 22, the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton edicts overturning America’s laws against abortion.

In their most public display of hand-wringing to date, two veteran abortion advocates all but declared defeat for the advocates of baby killing.

Kate Michelman and Frances Kissling, former chiefs of NARAL and “Catholics” for a Free Choice, respectively, urged “pro-choice forces [to] adjust to regain the moral high ground.” Yet the two communication strategists had no advice for how to achieve such an impossible adjustment.

Decrying a remarkably lengthy list of setbacks – for their industry – in public policy since the landmark Roe/Doe edicts, the two called the Supreme Court’s “2007 decision on so-called partial-birth abortions … an unprecedented infringement on physician autonomy.” Aw.

“The anti-choice [sic] movement changed tactics,” they declared. “It succeeded in shifting public attention from broad support for legal abortion to strong support for restricting access. Twenty years ago,” they wrote, “being pro-life was déclassé. Now it is a respectable point of view. How did this happen?” Go ahead, reread this paragraph and smile.

There’s more. “In the 1970s,” they opined, “the arguments were simple and polarized: Abortion was either murder or a woman’s right to control her body. The fetus, however,” they said, “stayed largely invisible. The pro-choice movement stayed on the message offensive, tactically shifting in 1989 from women’s bodies to the ‘who decides’ question posed by NARAL Pro-Choice America. But this was rapidly parried,” they complained, “by the anti-choice [sic] demand that we look at what was being decided, not just who was deciding.” Well, yes. Reality does enter into the picture, doesn’t it.

But pictures, apparently, are a big part of the “problem.” The two writers whined that with the advance of “science facilitat[ing] the swing of the pendulum, … three dimensional ultrasound images of babies [babies!] in utero began to grace the family fridge.”

What is more, they wrote, “Fetuses underwent surgery. More premature babies survived and were healthier. They commanded our attention, and the question of what we owe them, if anything, could not be dismissed.” Read that sentence again; the acknowledgment is breathtaking.

“These trends gave antiabortionists an advantage,” the two wrote, “and they made the best of it. … They present a sophisticated philosophical and political challenge. Caring societies, they say, seek to expand inclusion into ‘the human community.’ Those once excluded, such as women and minorities, are now equal. Why not welcome the fetus (who, after all, is us) into our community?” That parenthetical phrase about “the fetus” being “after all, us” was in the original. Is that not amazing?

There is more, so much more. Those who have Internet access may find the full column in the Los Angeles Times website or, as of this writing, at the following “address:”,0,7688545.story.


Another Black Eye for RU-486 & F.D.A.

A PLANT OPERATED BY THE SAME OUTFIT which produces RU-486 has been shut down by the Red Chinese government after Chinese “Food & Drug” authorities traced severe side effects in a leukemia drug to contamination in the manufacturing process and accused the plant operators of a cover-up.

The shuttered plant is not the one in which the abortion drug is manufactured, according to a Jan. 31 report in the New York Times, but a key supervisor at the RU-486 plant is the same man as had directed the closed plant, report Jake Hooker and Walt Bogdanich. The two plants, operated by the Hualian division of the government-owned Shanghai Pharmaceutical Co., are located about an hour’s drive apart.

The US Food & Drug Administration (F.D.A.) has refused to acknowledge publicly that the “mifepristone” (RU-486) peddled in the US is manufactured in Red China but now hastens to insist it inspected the Shanghai Hualian RU plant last May. The Times reporters state flatly that Shanghai Hualian “is the sole supplier” of mifepristone to the US market.

The New York Times, which headlined its story “Tainted Drugs Tied to Maker of Abortion Pill,” quotes Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, whom the Times identified as “a leading consumer advocate and frequent FDA critic,” urging, “American regulators ought to be concerned because of accusations that serious health risks had been covered up there. ‘Every one of these plants should be immediately inspected,’ he said.”

But the FDA “declined to answer questions about Shanghai Hualian,” write Messrs. Hooker and Bogdanich, “because of security concerns stemming from the sometimes violent opposition to abortion.” Huh?

The FDA has been stonewalling requests from the New York Times on the Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group’s possible export of other drugs or pharmaceutical ingredients which have nothing to do with abortion. “After repeated requests,” write Messrs. Hooker and Bogdanich, “the agency declined to provide that information; it did not cite a reason.”

But the Times has obtained FDA records showing that “on at least two occasions in 2002, Shanghai Hualian had shipments of drugs stopped at the US border. … One shipment was an unapproved antibiotic,” write Messrs. Bogdanich and Hooker, “and the other a diuretic that had ‘false or misleading labeling.’ Records also show,” reports the Times, “that another unit of Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group has filed papers declaring its intentions to sell at least five active pharmaceutical ingredients to manufacturers for sale in the US.”

Concerned Women for America has been leading a campaign to demand the FDA withdraw its order unleashing RU-486 onto the US market, in the wake of numerous reports of deaths to the mothers ingesting the drug, not to mention the intent of the drug to kill gestating human beings. Information about the campaign is available on CWA’s Internet website at

The FDA “admitted” in 2006, reports Matthew Cullinan Hoffman for, “that over 600 adverse effects and six deaths had been attributed to RU-486” in the US, “but no actions were taken against the manufacturer,” Mr. Hoffman notes, “and the agency has continued to allow the drug to be sold.”

Legislation filed at the opening of the 110th Congress by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and 46 co-sponsors, the RU-486 Suspension & Review Act (HR-63), is stalled in the Health Sub-committee of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, where it was assigned Feb. 2, 2007.


Denver P.P. Contractor Crosses Line of No Return

A JAN. 31 DEADLINE CAME & WENT with no concessions by the Weitz Company, a major construction firm building a 500,000-square-foot abortion fortress in the Denver area. The firm will suffer designation as a “Permanent Collaborator” with the abortion industry, a status which will precipitate residential picketing of Weitz executives and clients in addition to potential boycott by prospective subcontractors.

The Weitz outfit was notified of the pending designation by letter a week before the deadline but took no action to end its involvement in Planned Parenthood’s massive building project. Collaborators Project coordinator Will Duffy warned in a news release Jan. 28 that Permanent Collaborator Status would precipitate “hundreds of experienced anti-abortion protesters … picketing Weitz clients’ homes and sites around the country for as many years as abortionists kill children in the clinic Weitz is building for that purpose.” An “invitation” posted on the Internet website announced the organizers’ intention to stage a “Super Bowl Party” yesterday at the Denver home of a major Weitz executive.

Perhaps even more ominously, reports “a national paving coalition” warned Weitz before the deadline that, should Weitz persist in its collaboration with Planned Parenthood, “‘we are the first of hundreds of companies that will begin collaborating against the Weitz Co.’ The warning,” reports WND, “comes from a vice president for the coalition of 1-800-ASPHALT, which reports having contractors in 44 states from New York to California and has contracts for millions of dollars in asphalt and site work.

In his letter to the Weitz executives, the coalition’s vice president Jamie Scott asked, reports WND, “‘Is the money you are making off of this abortion clinic enough? Is it enough to justify what could be 10, 20, even 30 years of protests at your business sites? Is it enough to justify having these people protesting your home on every major holiday? Is it enough to justify having the Weitz company name and even your own names linked forever with child killing?’”

Then he cautioned, “‘This is only what the pro-life groups are prepared to do.’” He indicated he and colleagues had been “‘busy building this network now for 10 years. … There are already organizations and business owners meeting here in Indianapolis,’” he wrote in the letter published by WND, “‘to determine what to do if you earn Permanent Collaborators Status.’”

The coalition has already, according to WND, “posted a ‘public service announcement’ for callers to the 1-800-ASPHALT number in Colorado” to warn potential Weitz subcontractors about the impending, sustained, widespread protests. The recorded message ends, reports WND, “‘This has been a public service announcement for the benefit of contractors and building customers considering working with the Weitz Co.’”


Advocating for Life: The March for Life Rally

Transcripts of Congressional speakers, March for Life in Washington, DC, Jan. 22, 2008, transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing from televised coverage

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH): Thank you. Welcome to Washington, all you pro-lifers. It’s great to have so many, especially young people here. I want to especially thank those from Ohio, especially those from Cincinnati, and especially the girls from Mother of Mercy High School, I spent some time with this morning. Welcome to Washington, thanks for being here.

This is my fourteenth year in the United States Congress, and this is my fourteenth time addressing this great gathering of pro-lifers from all over the country. And this is a very important day to me – for one reason, it happens to be the day that I was born. This is my birthday. [cheers & song] Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. I appreciate that. It’s a very joyous day, since it’s my birthday, but also, it’s also a sad day because it makes me think of all those 50 million or so babies who never had the opportunity to experience life because the decision was made to terminate their life before they got an opportunity to enjoy what all of us get to enjoy. And that’s why we have to end abortion in this country, and Roe v. Wade has to be overturned.

I also happen to have been on the Judiciary Committee for the last 14 years, and I was the principal sponsor of the ban on partial-birth abortion. That bill, however – for the eight years that many of us worked on it – it wasn’t easy to get done, because for many of those years, that bill was vetoed and opposed by the occupant of the White House, and now his wife is trying to be elected President of the United States. [boos] And the types of judges that Bill Clinton appointed to the Supreme Court, let’s face it, they were opposed to the pro-life movement and the pro-life cause and the ban on partial birth abortion.

We now have a pro-life President in the White House. [cheers] And because of that, after all the appeals went through, went all the way to the Supreme Court that you’ll be marching to later on in just a little while if we ever quit talking, but you’ll be going up to the Supreme Court. And on a five-to-four vote not too long ago, after it went through the entire process, went to the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court upheld on a five-to-four vote the ban on partial birth abortion in this country. [cheers]

So I would just ask each and every one of you to remember, this is an election year. Elections matter. Just think of the types of judges that would be appointed by a Hillary Clinton or a Barack Obama or somebody who’s pro-abortion. [boos] Just think of that, and that’s why it’s important that we have a pro-life President, and I hope that we will and I think we will. [cheers] It’s critical.

Let me just conclude, let me conclude by remembering someone who was instrumental in the pro-life movement. Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois passed away recently. Henry Hyde was an inspiration to everybody in the pro-life movement across this country, and I many, many times heard him give a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, when Henry said that when we pass away, it will be a day, there will be silence, there will be intense despair. We’ll be before our Maker. And he believed that there would be a chorus of voices that will get louder and louder that will speak on behalf of that person who has passed away. And that person, the people, the voices that will be heard were the voices of the unborn who never made it into this world but their voices will be heard in the next.

And Henry Hyde concluded by saying that it doesn’t matter ultimately whether you succeeded but whether you tried. And you all are trying, and God bless you for doing that. And God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS): Hello, Kansas. [cheers] Yeah, all of you right here. [A large delegation of Kansans were immediately in front of the stage.] Hello, America. Thank you for coming out on the 35th anniversary and making a voice for the unborn. Thank you for standing in the cold and bringing the message to Washington, DC, that there is a truth out there, that life begins at conception. It’s a truth worth fighting for. Life needs protecting from the moment of conception onto a natural death. We believe that in our hearts, we know it’s right, and because you’re standing here, you’re bringing that message to Washington, DC.

We have many good speakers, I’m going to be very, very brief. Please be involved in the political process. Don’t only bring your voice to Washington, DC, but take it to your voting precinct. Tell your friends, your family, those you care about, that you’re standing for the unborn, and you want people that represent you that will stand for the unborn. If you will do that, we will win, just like Senator Vitter said. We will win. Hang onto the truth, fight the good fight, we’ll see you again next year. God bless you all.


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