Life Advocacy Briefing

April 21 , 2008

President Welcomes Pope’s Pronouncements / Gotcha! / Hemming & Hawing
/ Outrageous Tactic / Notable Quote / Grand Appointment / It’s a Baby! /
Ignorance Not Always Bliss
/ Protecting Both Victims / ‘Is This What You Mean? /

President Welcomes Pope’s Pronouncements

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH WELCOMED POPE BENEDICT XVI to the White House last Wednesday, telling the head of the Roman Catholic Church, “In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred and that ‘each of us is willed, each of us is loved’ and your message that ‘each of us is willed, each of us is loved and each of us is necessary.’

“In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong,” Pres. Bush continued, “we need your message to reject this ‘dictatorship of relativism’ and embrace a culture of justice and truth.”

Though the Pope cited the right to Life only indirectly in his beautiful response extolling America, the two leaders appear to have discussed struggles to defend Life and marriage during their private meeting. A joint statement issued thereafter revealed, “The Holy Father and the President discussed a number of topics of common interest to the Holy See and the United States of America, including moral and religious considerations to which both parties are committed: the respect of the dignity of the human person; the defense and promotion of life, matrimony and the family; the education of future generations; human rights and religious freedom; sustainable development and the struggle against poverty and pandemics … .”



SEN. BARBARA BOXER IMPLICTLY ACKNOWLEDGED last week that unborn children are “human lives.”

When Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) unveiled a Senate resolution welcoming Pope Benedict to the United States, Sen. Boxer worked feverishly to have the resolution amended before its vote and even its formal printing – a behind-the-scenes amendment which does not appear on the record but which became well known throughout the Capitol.

What were the offensive words which had to be expunged before the Senate could adopt SRes-519 without controversial debate or actual vote? It was the original resolution’s reference to the Pope’s valuing of “each and every human life.”  Sen. Boxer evidently grasped to whom that phrase referred.


Hemming & Hawing

THE DEFINITION OF HUMAN LIFE was twisted into tortured confusion in the April 13 “Compassion Forum” at Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania. Both remaining Democratic candidates, Senators Hillary Clinton (NY) and Barack Obama (IL), appeared; GOP Sen. John McCain (AZ) declined.

Sen. Obama was asked whether “he believed ‘life begins at conception,’” reports Michael Foust for Baptist Press, “and if not, when he believed it did begin.” He replied, reports BP, “‘This is something that I have not come to a firm resolution on. … I think it’s very hard to know what that means – when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don’t presume to know the answer to that question. What I know, as I’ve said before, is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we’re having these debates.’”

(This from the former Illinois State Senator who refused to vote for legislation defining a baby who survives an induced abortion as a living human being and who was so certain that baby is not a person endowed with constitutional rights that he used his power as committee chairman to block passage of the proposal.)

His opponent, Sen. Clinton, fared no better. She said, reports Mr. Foust, “she believes the ‘potential for life begins at conception. … I am a Methodist, as you know,’” she said, according to BP. “‘My church has struggled with this issue,’ she said. ‘In fact, you can look at the Methodist Book of Discipline and see the contradiction and the challenge of trying to sort that very profound question out.

“‘But for me,’” said Sen. Clinton, quoted by BP, “‘it is also not only about a potential life; it is about the other lives involved. And therefore I have concluded, after great concern and searching my own mind and heart over the years, that our task should be in this pluralistic, diverse life of ours in this nation, that individuals must be entrusted to make this profound decision, because the alternative would be such an intrusion of government authority that it would be very difficult to sustain in our kind of open society.’

“Using a phrase her husband often used,” notes Mr. Foust, “[Sen.] Clinton said abortion should remain legal but be ‘safe and rare.’”

For his part, notes Mr. Foust, “[Sen.] Obama said abortion is a ‘choice [for a woman] to make in consultation with her doctor and her pastor and her family.’”


Outrageous Tactic

SEN. OBAMA WAS LESS EQUIVOCAL – or, more to the point, actually more brutal – in his remarks Wednesday, debating in Philadelphia. It was here that Sen. Obama sought to draw moral equivalency between a pro-life colleague advocating policy change and a subversive terrorist who participated in bombings of the Pentagon and the Capitol in the 1970s.

Sen. Obama “was forced to defend his friendship,” writes Susan Jones for Cybercast News Service (, “with former Weather Underground member William Ayers, who never apologized for a series of bomb attacks in the early 1970s. In fact, on Sept. 11, 2001,” notes Ms. Jones, “the New York Times quoted [Mr.] Ayers as saying, ‘I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.’”

Sen. Obama dismissed his relationship with Mr. Ayers as a neighborhood thing. Then he went on to say, reports Ms. Jones, “‘And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was eight years old somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense.

“‘The fact is,’” he said, according to, “‘that I’m also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate, who during his campaign once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions. Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn’s statements?’” asked Mr. Obama. “‘Because I certainly don’t agree with those, either.’”

Ms. Jones then quotes Sen. Coburn’s actual statements on the gravity of intentionally killing innocent preborn boys and girls. “On July 9, 2004, the Associated Press quoted then-Rep. Tom Coburn as saying,” writes Ms. Jones, “‘I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life.’ Three days later,” notes, “[Dr.] Coburn clarified his remarks” in the Oklahoman newspaper: “‘My contention for the death penalty is, if you intentionally take innocent life, you ought to be open to the death penalty.’ …

“[Dr.] Coburn added” in the Oklahoman, quoted by, “‘Do I think abortionists should be put to death right now? No. You can’t do it. (Abortion) is legal. I don’t think it should be legal.’”


Notable Quote

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in his July 17, 2007, speech to Planned Parenthood Action Fund, quoted in an April 14, 2008, news release from Christian Defense Coalition: “Well, the first thing I’d do as President is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.”


Grand Appointment

WE OFFER OUR CONGRATULATIONS to former Capitol Hill aide Bill Wichterman on his White House appointment as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Public Liaison.

Mr. Wichterman first came to our acquaintance as a chief aide to Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and later served in a key post in the office of then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). He is a thorough, enthusiastic and principled advocate for the cause of Life and for family values and has been a good friend to Life Advocacy Briefing. We were delighted by the announcement of his new post.


It’s a Baby!

OHIO PRO-LIFE ACTIVISTS HAVE RENTED A KIOSK in a mall near Toledo presenting a set of 4-D sonograms showing development of a child from seven gestational weeks to birth. Take-one booklets are also offered. The display is unmanned, welcoming mall visitors to make their own private observations of fetal humanity without invoking controversy or sensing pressure.

Rental charges for the “Truth Booth” amount to $25,000 to $30,000 annually, reports Michael Baggot for, paid for by donations.

The Ohio project is modeled after a “Truth Booth” in southern New Jersey, notes Mr. Baggot. Three other such booths have been established in the Cleveland area, and other booths are being planned for California, Connecticut and New York.

Maureen Nuzzi, founder of the New Jersey kiosk, told LifeSite, writes Mr. Baggot, “that her husband ‘wanted kids to know what babies looked like.’ He was convinced,” reports LifeSite, “that the ‘best way to reach them would be in the malls.’ [Mrs. Nuzzi] said that the malls have been ‘very receptive’” to their educational approach that lets people “‘make up their own mind. The booth,’” she said in the LifeSite story, “‘gives a girl an idea of what she is making a choice about.’”

The Toledo booth has drawn praise – albeit with a condescending tone – from an unlikely source, reports Mr. Baggot. Said the Toledo Blade in an editorial, “‘While this newspaper has long championed the pro-choice cause, the kiosk is an indication that the pro-life message has matured.’”


Ignorance Not Always Bliss

OKLAHOMA GOV. BRAD HENRY (D) HAS VETOED a bill requiring abortionists to perform an ultrasound examination on a customer before killing her baby. In an inventive excuse for vetoing this type of informed consent measure, Gov. Henry actually and irrelevantly blamed the bill’s lack of loopholes for abortions committed on babies conceived in sex crimes.


Protecting Both Victims

IDAHO GOV. BUTCH OTTER (R) SIGNED A BILL Thursday believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, a measure enacting criminal penalties and offering a cause of civil action to the living victims of an abortion forced by threats or physical harm.

“Thanks to the new law,” writes Michael Baggot for citing the Idaho Chooses Life Internet website as source, “‘a woman or girl wronged by a predator or abusive partner would not have to wait upon the mercies of some prosecuting attorney to seek justice, even after an abortion. In fact, the language of the law allows a woman to seek civil damages even if she doesn’t undergo an abortion.’”

The bill was fought vigorously by the abortion lobby, opposition which a witness during committee testimony in March noted as “‘deeply disturbing on many levels,’” Mr. Baggot quotes Brandi Swindell of Engage the Culture. “‘It’s like the tobacco industry pretending there is nothing wrong with smoking,’” she said, “‘in order to protect their financial interests. … Where’s the choice,’” she asked, “‘in a forced abortion?’”


‘Is This What You Mean?’

News release issued April 15, 2008, by Fr. Frank Pavone, founder & director, Priests for Life

The Abortion Procedure Revealed: A Challenge to Politicians & Voters.

We in the pro-life community have been fed up for a long time with “public servants” who can’t seem to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. They mask the violence of abortion with the smooth language of “choice” and refuse to protect the victims.

These politicians are found in both major political parties; some hold public office, and others seek it. And many Church leaders have been hesitant to discipline such individuals, even though many of them claim to practice their faith.

These abortion-supporting politicians get away with what they are doing in large measure because they refuse to talk about what the “choice” actually is. They try to avoid the word “abortion” altogether, but even when they use it, the word has lost practically all its meaning. Voters hear the word but are left with little or no awareness of the gruesome horror it represents.

This election season, it’s time for that to change. No matter what politicians or voters or Church officials are or are not going to do, it’s time that we who know what abortion is draw a line in the sand and give candidates and office-holders alike this challenge: If you’re going to take a position on abortion, then you’re going to have to come clean about what it is. We are no longer going to let you obscure or trivialize the issues. Whether people agree with you or not, you owe it to them to be honest about what you’re talking about.

Therefore we issue this simple call to honesty:

            We will describe abortion to you, and you tell us if that’s what you’re talking about. That’s it, pure and simple. This is not a debate nor a threat. It’s a call to clarity, a demand for honesty. That is not partisan, nor is it unreasonable; it is not fanatical or inappropriate in any way. Nor is this about religion or morality.

We just want to make sure that we’re hearing you. When you say “abortion,” we just want to make sure we’re both talking about the same thing.

I recently posted two videos on YouTube in which I describe and demonstrate the two most common abortion techniques, using the actual instruments of abortion and the words found in medical textbooks and court testimony. Below you will see the links to these videos, as well as brief quotes you can use from abortionists themselves.

For example, Dr. Carolyn Westhoff testified, “In the dismemberment D&E … it is necessary to insert our forceps … and then crush the head.” (National Abortion Federation v. Ashcroft, April 2004, US District Court, Southern District of New York)

Then simply ask “pro-choice” politicians (whether they are candidates or already in public office) if this is what they mean when they say “abortion.” Yes or no. Ask it publicly. Ask it repeatedly. Ask it at town meetings, on blogs, in editorials. Those whose support they are seeking deserve to know.

[YouTube link on the abortion procedures:]


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