Life Advocacy Briefing

March 3, 2008

Big Win in US Senate on Abortion Funding / Disaster Averted on Global AIDS Bill
/ In Defense of Phill Kline / Advocating for Death: Sen. Obama in his Own Words /
Advocating for Life: The March for Life Rally / Senate Voting Record

Big Win in US Senate on Abortion Funding

AN OUTPOURING OF CALLS FROM PRO-LIFE CITIZENS, combined with resolute leadership on the part of Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), resulted in a 52-to-42 Senate vote to bar taxpayer funding of abortions under the Indian Health Care Act. We publish the Senate roll call near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

The authorization of the medical subsidy for American Indians, funded through the Interior Department, is fashioned to last 10 years, so the Vitter Amendment will not have to be renewed each year, as is the case with the Hyde Amendment to the annual Medicaid appropriations bill, after which “Vitter” was modeled. A Vitter/Hyde amendment will have to be attached to the Indian Health Care Act when the House version of the bill is presented. Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) is expected to offer such an amendment.


Disaster Averted on Global AIDS Bill

CONSTITUENT INPUT, WHITE HOUSE INTERVENTION and a determined unity among the panel’s minority Members led to near-total victory in the House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of legislation extending the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, now being renamed “The Tom Lantos & Henry Hyde US Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria Act of 2008, colloquially, “Global AIDS Act.”

(The late Rep. Tom Lantos was chairman of the committee at the time the Global AIDS reauthorization bill was introduced early this year; he passed away last month. The late Rep. Henry Hyde, who passed away late last year, was chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee until his retirement in January 2007. The conflicting philosophies of the two men – particularly on the right to Life – symbolize the compromise nature of the legislation.)

“Democrats and Republicans on the … committee met with White House officials on Capitol Hill from early afternoon [Tuesday] into the evening,” reports Congressional Quarterly (CQ) staff writer Adam Graham-Silverman, “seeking to revise the Democrats’ draft bill to make it a bipartisan effort” when the full committee met on the bill Wednesday morning.

“Largely thanks to the efforts of Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ),” writes Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council in FRC’s Washington Update, “the bill is a vast improvement on the drafts we have been alarmed about over the last few months.”

The result, according to a summary furnished by a key Capitol Hill aide: the bill no longer refers to “reproductive health;” requirements that grantees and contractors refer clients for “family planning” were removed “and replaced,” writes the aide, “with a limited provision allowing funding HIV/AIDS education and testing in family planning programs supported by the US government. This approach,” notes the aide, “ensures that only groups already receiving US government family planning assistance may be funded.” The original draft would have opened the door for abortion-committing and abortion-promotion outfits, now disqualified from participation.

The bill’s conscience clause was “retained and strengthened,” reports the aide.

The program’s abstinence provision, guaranteeing that one-third of prevention funding be allocated to teaching premarital abstinence and fidelity in marriage, was not restored, but the compromise proposal does recognize the effectiveness of the “Abstinence and Be Faithful” approach. “The new language,” writes the aide, “requires that the coordinator provide ‘balanced funding for prevention activities for sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS and shall ensure that behavior change programs, including abstinence, delay of sexual debut, monogamy, fidelity and partner reduction, are implemented and funded in a meaningful and equitable way in the strategy for each host country.’” The compromise draft adds a requirement, according to the aide, that the Global AIDS coordinator report to Congress “if less than 50% of sexual transmission funds are allocated for behavior change” in any given country. Currently, notes the aide, “the Global AIDS coordinator … exercises waiver authority without a reporting requirement.”

In the end, the committee advanced the negotiated measure by voice vote – on the whole, a major victory for the cause of Life.


In Defense of Phill Kline

Feb. 25, 2008, PRI Weekly Briefing by Colin Mason, media production director, Population Research Institute

In 2005, Planned Parenthood listed this man as one of “Seven Politicians You Don’t Want in Your Bedroom.” He has been called an “anti-abortion zealot” and a “crusader.” He has been accused of putting his own religious convictions ahead of the rule of law. He has been damned in hundreds of op-eds. He even has a website dedicated solely to denouncing him.

His name is Phill Kline, and the Population Research Institute would like to officially rise to his defense. [We at Life Advocacy join PRI in admiring this outstanding public official.]

In 2003, Phill Kline, then Attorney General of Kansas, began an investigation of the Johnson County Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri (PPKM). Using subpoenaed medical records, Kline uncovered evidence that seemed to prove that PP had willfully neglected to report instances of child rape, had forged their viability reports and had performed illegal late-term abortions. (The records had the names and other personal information carefully redacted to protect the women’s privacy.)

Planned Parenthood decided to ignore the charges. As court hearings began, PP’s army of lawyers relied on procedural ploys to delay and squelch the case. In the public arena, no attempt was made to counter the charges or even to acknowledge their existence. PP, it turned out, wasn’t interested in defending itself against the charges. Indeed, it had decided to destroy Atty. Gen. Kline’s reputation.

The abortion giant put out a press release which suggested that his charges, which they repeatedly referred to as “baseless,” were pure political posturing. They accused him of “further[ing] his political ambition of making abortion illegal by using unethical tactics.” “No health care provider should be threatened with felony convictions,” said PPKM CEO Peter Brownlie, “simply because elected officials oppose legal abortion.”

Following the lead of PP’s formidable PR machine, dozens of newspapers, blogs and public figures all went for the jugular. “Kline just personifies the abortion debate,” ABC News contended in October of 2007. “This is a guy who has never tried any cases and has a very marginal record as an attorney, and so it is very much seen, I think, even by the pro-life people, that Kline’s personal beliefs are his No. 1 priority.” This preposterous claim comes straight out of PP’s talking points. Apparently ABC’s zeal for abortion is more important than its commitment to truth.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, predictably called Kline “one of the most extreme anti-choice politicians.” But then she went on to make the totally false claim that he was “invading people’s most private medical information.” The records, as I mentioned above, had been carefully purged of any identifying information.

The New York Times also parroted PP’s official line, calling him “an anti-abortion zealot who gained national notoriety by misusing his office to further his ideology,” while gliding over the charges themselves, which they wrongly characterized as a “gross assault on privacy and legal rights.”

PP was engaging in what might be called the PR of personal destruction, and it appears to be winning, at least up to now, especially in the media. Their all-out smear campaign against Phill Kline convinced the people of Kansas to vote him out of office last year, although he is continuing to prosecute the case as the newly appointed district attorney of Johnson County. And it has meant that the media have rarely reported the details of Kline’s charges. They apparently find the PP cover story, that Kline is an out-of-control zealot, much more interesting.

So the liberal media machine continues to grind Kline down, while completely ignoring his charges. In the film Thank You for Smoking, spin doctor Nick Naylor tells a defeated adversary, “I proved that you’re wrong, and if you’re wrong, I’m right.” That is Planned Parenthood’s strategy in a nutshell.

What should pro-lifers do? They should steadfastly support Phill Kline as he continues his prosecution of PP’s crimes. His evidence seems to be solid and his witnesses reliable. What is more, despite the media assault, Kline still enjoys widespread support in Kansas.

A district attorney’s job is to uphold the law. If PP violated the law, as Kline alleges, then it should be prosecuted for its crimes, however wealthy, powerful and media-savvy it is. Moreover, the courts need to move this case forward. It would be a shame if Kline did not get his day in court simply because PP managed to delay the trial until Kline leaves office.

As Brian Burch of Human Events has noted, although the abortion provider claims to respect the rule of law, it more often flouts it. “Planned Parenthood, through their actions,” Burch wrote, “has no respect whatsoever for the rule of law or the constitutional rights of pro-lifers, and … will boldly make any argument, no matter how absurd or lawless, to win at any cost when their business of aborting unborn children and compliance with the law is under justifiable scrutiny.”

If anyone ever doubted the essential lawlessness of the abortion movement, the on-going saga of Phill Kline’s efforts to bring PP to justice should more than dispel those doubts.

PRI encourages pro-lifers everywhere to combat the smear campaign being brought to bear against Kline by contacting the newspapers, radio stations and TV stations who have run these falsehoods and encouraging them to report on the facts, not the propaganda.


Advocacy for Death: Sen. Obama in his Own Words

CONTRASTING SHARPLY WITH THE SPEECHES OF OUR LAWMAKERS at the March for Life rally – and the outbreak of hope in tens of thousands of youth marching on Jan. 22 – was a statement issued the same day by Sen. Barack Obama (IL), who is seeking the Democratic nomination for President.

Campaign for Working Families president Gary Bauer quoted it on Feb. 22, and we reprint the quote here:

“Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, it’s never been more important to protect a woman’s right to choose,” said Sen. Obama. “Last year, the Supreme Court decided by a vote of 5-4 to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban [his name for the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban], and in doing so undermined an important principle of Roe v. Wade: that we must always protect women’s health.

“With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court,” said Sen. Obama in his statement, “we could be looking at a majority hostile to a woman’s fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade. The next President may be asked to nominate that Supreme Court justice. That is what is at stake in this election.

“Throughout my career,” said Illinois’s junior Senator, “I’ve been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

“When South Dakota passed a law banning all abortions in a direct effort to have Roe overruled, I was the only candidate for President,” insisted Sen. Obama, “to raise money to help the citizens of South Dakota repeal that law. When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community [Aurora] where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it [the delay, not the mill]. And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as President.”


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. Paul Broun (R-GA): My name is Dr. Paul Broun. I’m a newly elected Congressman from the 10th Congressional District of Georgia. I wasn’t supposed to be here. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ sent me here, and I believe in my heart that the Holy Spirit called me to run for Congress.

Seven months ago I was running in a special election. The entire elected leadership in the state of Georgia was supporting and anointing my opponent. I beat the Democrat by 197 votes. [cheers] I won in a runoff with another Republican by 394 votes, beating that anointed frontrunner. I tell that story because it is similar to the great fight before us here today.

Against what seem to be insurmountable odds, and the forces of darkness all around us, the pro-life movement is gaining ground in the hearts and the minds of the people. And y’all are very much a part of that, and I praise God for each and every one of you. We must work to change the hearts and the thinking of the American people and fight to change the laws at the same time.

I promised to the pro-life community that when I was elected to Congress, the very first bill that I would introduce would be one that defines life beginning at fertilization. God has given me the medical credentials as a medical doctor to debate that, because I know that when that sperm cell enters the cell wall of the egg, that’s when my life began, and that’s when your life began. And we need to make that into law. [cheers] By God’s grace, the first bill I did introduce was HR-4157, the Sanctity of Human Life Act. It defines life beginning at fertilization, and I pledge to you today that as long as the Lord sends me up here to represent Him in Congress and you in Congress, it will be the very first bill I will introduce every single Congress until we stop the scourge of abortion on America. [cheers]

You see, God cannot and will not bless America while we’re killing 3,000 babies every single day. He can’t, because He’s a holy and righteous God. And it’s up to us to stop it. Folks, I’ll do everything in my power to do so. You’re being salt and light. We need to bring other brothers and sisters in Christ to bring salt and light to society so that we can stop this scourge. So I encourage you, go back home, be the salt and light in your church, in your communities, because it’s going to take a groundswell much beyond what we have here today to stop this, this holocaust of unborn children.

I praise God for each of you, and I encourage you to stay in the fight, because we can and we will win this fight with your help and with the Lord’s help. God bless each and every one of you. Thank you. [cheers]


Senate Voting Record

Vitter Amendment to S-1200 – Indian Health Care Act – to bar taxpayer funding of abortion – Feb. 26, 2008 – Adopted 52-42 (Democrats in italics; “Independents” marked with “I”; New Member in ALL CAPS)

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

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

Not voting: AZ/McCain, CT/Dodd, IL/Obama, NY/Clinton, TX/Cornyn, VA/Warner


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