Life Advocacy Briefing

April 7, 2008

Help Promote Pitts/Hyde Amendment / Lesson Learned? / Killing His Own Grandchildren?
/ Saving Children? / Quotable Quote / Embarrassment of Riches for an Outfit Knowing No Shame /
It Should Have Been Obvious / Advocating for Life: The March for Life Rally

Help Promote Pitts/Hyde Amendment

THOUGH THE HOUSE COMMERCE COMMITTEE WAS EXPECTED early last week to mark up the Indian Health Care Act, the panel met without considering HR-1328, but the scheduling uncertainty prompts us to urge now that pro-life citizens and officials contact Members of the committee.

At issue is an amendment to be offered by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) to bar taxpayers’ subsidy of abortion under the Medicaid-like program underwriting health care for indigent American Indians. The Senate adopted such an amendment on Feb. 26 by a vote of 52 to 42; that amendment was offered, readers may recall, by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and was drawn along the lines of the long-established Hyde Amendment to the Medicaid program.

Calls should be made particularly to the more conservative Members urging their attention to the Committee’s posting of anticipated business and their attendance throughout any meeting at which the Indian Health Care Act could be considered, as well as their vote for the Pitts/Hyde Amendment. Calls may be placed via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

Members to contact include: GOP Representatives Joe Barton (TX – Ranking Member), John Shadegg (AZ), Mary Bono Mack & George Radanovich (CA), Cliff Stearns (FL), Nathan Deal (GA), John Shimkus (IL), Steve Buyer (IN), Ed Whitfield (KY), Mike Rogers & Fred Upton (MI), Charles Pickering (MS), Roy Blunt (MO), Lee Terry (NE), Mike Ferguson (NJ), Heather Wilson (NM), Vito Fossella (NY), Sue Myrick (NC), John Sullivan (OK), Greg Walden (OR), Tim Murphy (PA), Joseph Pitts (PA – say “Thank you”), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Michael Burgess & Ralph Hall (TX) and Barbara Cubin (WY).

Also Democratic Representatives John Barrow (GA), Charlie Melancon (LA), Bart Stupak (MI) and Mike Doyle (PA).


Lesson Learned?

THE U.S. HOUSE LAST WEDNESDAY PASSED THE GLOBAL AIDS RELIEF ACT reauthorizing the massive initiative by Pres. George W. Bush marshalling American resources to stem the HIV epidemic, particularly in Africa.

A massive battle was averted, as we reported earlier, when House liberals agreed to rebuff the abortion cartel’s bid to undermine the program with a dramatic shift to the failed strategy of condom promotion and a bold attempt to qualify abortionists for US Global AIDS funding.

We publish excerpts, near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, from a speech by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, in which he documents the wisdom of the compromise by which the Abstinence-Be-Faithful/and-only-then-Condoms (AB/C) strategy is permitted to go forward. Part of his speech quotes from a US government report and therefore is a bit dry, but along with Rep. Smith, we recognize the importance of urging policymakers to reflect the conclusions of this report, demonstrating the common-sense value of pursuing an abstinence/monogamy model of sexually transmitted disease prevention, in upcoming domestic policy debates, such as this summer’s expected Pence Amendment defunding Planned Parenthood and the current battle over abstinence education.


Killing His Own Grandchildren?

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA (D) GOT PERSONAL last week during a campaign appearance in Pennsylvania on the question of teen pregnancy and abortion.

“When pressed at a town hall meeting to discuss his approach to the AIDS crisis,” writes Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his Washington Update, “[Sen.] Obama talked about the importance of teaching both comprehensive sex education and abstinence. But few on either side of the issue,” Mr. Perkins notes, “were prepared for the blunt remarks that followed.

“‘The most important prevention is education, which should include … teaching the children … you know, that sex is not something casual. … Look, I’ve got two daughters, nine years old and six years old,’” the Illinois Senator said, as quoted by Mr. Perkins and many other sources. “‘I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD [sexually transmitted disease] at age 16, so it doesn’t make sense,’” he said, quoted by Mr. Perkins, “‘to not give them information [about contraception or abortion].’ …

“However harmless [Sen.] Obama [may have] meant the comments to be,” notes Mr. Perkins, “they do align with his voting record on abortion legislation. As a state leader [sic] in Illinois, [Sen.] Obama was the only senator not to vote in favor of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which protects babies who survive a botched abortion from being killed. On the day of the vote, March 30, 2001,” writes Mr. Perkins, “[Mr.] Obama spoke from the floor, saying that the bill placed an undue burden on doctors to keep a child alive. … More recently, [Mr.] Obama also voted against Sen. John Ensign’s bill that would have encouraged parental involvement in teens’ abortion decisions. Had it passed,” Mr. Perkins notes, “the amendment would have authorized government funds to enforce the laws that prevent taking teens across state lines for a secret abortion,” should such a law soon pass Congress.


Saving Children?

A POPULAR U.S. TELEVISION PROGRAM will use its popularity to raise funds for a half-dozen charities via a two-and-a-half-hour telethon this Wednesday night. Problem is, one of the benefiting charities “Save the Children” collaborates internationally, according to Life Decisions International (LDI) president Douglas Scott, “with organizations that promote abortion as a method of family planning.”

American Idol’s “Idol Gives Back” charity program raised some $76 million “for charities,” notes Mr. Scott, “that combat poverty, disease and other problems.” Save the Children was a beneficiary in 2007, netting some $14.5 million from the telethon.

Among Save the Children’s partners: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, notes LDI, along with Population Action International and the Center for Reproductive Rights, all of them arms of the abortion industry.

Mr. Scott “applauded the desire of American Idol to aid the poor,” reads LDI’s news release, “but said it is ‘tragic’ a charity such as Save the Children, which he said has ‘far too much deadly baggage,’ will benefit from the effort.  …

“‘We are caring people who want to do our part to help those less fortunate,’” said Mr. Scott in the release, “‘but we will do so through organizations that do not view the killing of human beings as a “solution” to poverty and other adult-created problems. … If you believe the plight of preborn children is as important as the plight of the poor,’” he said, “‘do not participate in “Idol Gives Back.”’” Indeed, withholding support from this fundraising drive may actually “save [some] children.”

Quotable Quote

BIOETHICIST BEN MITCHELL, commenting in Baptist Press on the increasing death toll from legalized abetted suicide in Oregon: “The situation in Oregon is not only creepy but creeping. Compassion means providing alternatives to assisted suicide, not contributing to the death toll. I’m sure that physicians who assist in the death of their patients think they’re providing a needed service, but so did the Nazi doctors under Hitler. Instead they are turning medicine into murder.”


Embarrassment of Riches for an Outfit Knowing No Shame

April 1, 2008, Washington Update by Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council

While most companies have started to feel the squeeze of our sagging economy, business has never been better for Planned Parenthood. Although the organization couldn’t be more controversial, its profits have never been higher, according to the group’s just-released 2006-2007 annual report.

For the first time in history, PP has surpassed the $1 billion mark, a milestone made possible by the government’s hefty $336 million investment. Despite the rash of bad publicity, PP was entrusted with a $31.4 million raise in taxpayer funds – a 10.8% increase in the nonprofit’s government revenue. Adding to the financial windfall, Planned Parenthood’s clinics performed an extra 24,707 abortions in 2006, six times the number of casualties from the entire Iraq war. Altogether, its abortion mills put 289,650 unborn babies to death in the year 2006 alone. And let’s not forget that PP also makes a tidy sum sowing its wild oats in the next generation of abortion customers.

The group sold more than 1.4 million emergency contraception kits, in many instances making transactions without as much as a medical exam. While the public is increasingly skeptical of Planned Parenthood’s operation, it has yet to put a dent in the organization’s bottom line. For that, we need your help.

The majority of Americans wouldn’t invest in a company that conspires in sexual crimes against children, accepts racially motivated donations, promotes pornography to kids, devotes millions to the election of pro-abortion leaders and uses unsanitary equipment to treat patients. Unfortunately, through Title X [Ten] and Medicaid, the federal government is forcing taxpayers to do just that. On the Family Research Council website,, is a petition to the White House, urging Pres. Bush to approve new Title X guidelines that would ensure no federal money goes to refer women for abortions.

In addition, the federally subsidized sharing of abortion facilities and birth control clinics must end. If choice is the mantra du jour, then taxpayers deserve one in how their money is being spent.


It Should Have Been Obvious

Excerpts from the House debate speech by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) supporting passage of the Global AIDS Relief Reauthorization Act.

… Five years … after PEPFAR first began, the efficacy and importance of promoting abstinence-and-be-faithful initiatives have been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt, and the evidence is compelling. According to joint comments by the US Department of State, USAID [Agency for International Development] and HHS [Dept. of Health & Human Services] on PEPFAR [President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief], “Congressional directives have helped focus US government prevention strategies to be evidence-based. Because of the data, AB/C is now recognized as the most effective strategy to prevent HIV in generalized epidemics.

“The original legislation’s emphasis on AB activities has been an important factor in the fundamental and needed shift in US government prevention from a primarily “C” [Condom] approach prior to PEPFAR to a balanced AB/C strategy. The Emergency Plan developed a more holistic and equitable strategy, one that reflects the growing body of data that validates AB/C behavioral change.”

The US government report goes on to say that recent data from Zimbabwe and Kenya mirrors the earlier successes of Uganda’s AB/C approach to preventing HIV. These three countries, with what is known as “generalized epidemics,” have demonstrated reductions in HIV prevalence. And in each country, the data point to significant AB – abstinence/be faithful behavioral change and modest but important changes to C. So I want to thank Mr. Pitts for writing the original AB earmark into the original law, because it has instructed and has had a tremendously positive impact.

I would note to my colleagues that this past September, the Foreign Affairs Committee heard from a world-renowned expert, Dr. Norman Hearst, who said that five years ago he had been commissioned by UN-AIDS to conduct a technical review of how well condoms had worked for AIDS prevention in the developing world. And he said, and I quote in part, “My associates and I collected mountains of data, and here is what we found: When we looked for evidence of public health impact for condoms in generalized epidemics, to our surprise, we couldn’t find anything. No generalized HIV epidemic has ever been rolled back by a prevention strategy primarily based on condoms. Instead, a few successes in turning around generalized epidemics, such as Uganda, were achieved not through condoms but by getting people to change their sexual behavior.”

He goes on to say that these are not just our conclusions. A recent consensus statement in the Lancet [medical journal] was endorsed by 150 AIDS experts, including Nobel Laureates, the President of Uganda and officials of the most prominent international AIDS organizations. And it said, “The priority for adults should be B, limiting one’s partners. The priority for young people should be A, not starting sexual activity too soon.” And this contrasted with other funders that often officially endorse AB/C but in practice continue to put their money in the same old strategies that have been unsuccessful in Africa for the past 15 years.


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. This week we complete our publication with the last speech given by a Member of Congress.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS): Thanks, guys. [cheers] Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much [continued cheers]. Thank you. Anybody here from Kansas? [cheers] Thank you for being out.

Anybody here that’s under the age of 25, I want to show a picture to the media; I want you to hold [up] your hand if you’re under the age of 25 and can hear my voice. [cheers and waves] This is a young movement, with strong legs and a strong heart. This is a movement that’s going to win life for this country. We will win the fight for life on these young legs and strong hearts. We are winning the fight for life in this country. We have not yet won the fight for life in this country, but we will.

And I want you to remember, our enemy isn’t the person that’s having an abortion. Our enemy is not the person that’s providing the abortion. Our enemy is not the activist that is pro-choice or pro-abortion.

Our enemy is death; our enemy is fear; our enemy is despair. That’s who we’re fighting. That’s what we are fighting.

And we don’t fight with hate in our hearts; we fight – our weapons are compassion and patience, peace and love, courage and commitment, prayer and long-suffering. Yet 35 years is long enough. 50 million is way too many. It’s past the time to overturn Roe and end this night of death. [cheers] It’s time. And replace death with a playful child. And overcome the darkness with the joy of a child. Let the poison of spilled innocent blood stop coursing through our government and our courts and let it be replaced with the pure waters of righteousness and justice for all, born and unborn. And let it start now. [Here Sen. Brownback read an excerpt from a letter from Sen. John McCain] We will win. March on. March on. God bless you all. [cheers]


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