Life Advocacy Briefing

May 26, 2008

Saluting Our Heroes / New Subsidy for Planned Parenthood / Quiet Victory
/ Bending Over Backwards / Arizona Nurse Board Corrupts the Profession /
Notable Quote / Eyewitness Report / Senate Voting Record

Saluting Our Heroes

WITH DEEP GRATITUDE AND RESPECT, we observe Memorial Day as a tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending America and our way of life. Memorial Day occasions a Congressional recess, sending many Members into their home districts and states into June.


New Subsidy for Planned Parenthood

THE SENATE, A WEEK BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY, MISUSED the supplemental appropriation bill for the pay and benefits for our servicemen in Iraq to hand a taxpayer-funded plum to Planned Parenthood.

Loading the President’s war supplemental proposal with domestic spending earmarks, the Senate invited a Presidential veto with “a provision,” writes Tony Perkins in Family Research Council’s Washington Update, “that would give groups like Planned Parenthood a big discount on contraceptives and Plan B, [the megadose morning-after pill] which can act as an abortifacient. [The earmark] would also be a massive cash cow for university health centers, which would also be eligible for a discount on such drugs.” The earmark also offers PP and the universities a discount on the abortion drug RU-486 for some cases and was sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).

Though the Planned Parenthood/health center boondoggle is not the only pet project jammed into the bill, it was sufficiently controversial to have motivated many of the 22 votes against the domestic spending amendment; consequently we are publishing the Senate voting record on the “domestic” piece of the supplemental at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and will include the vote in our Senate Voting Record Index in October.


Quiet Victory

A BID BY ABORTION ADVOCATES IN CONGRESS to put the House on record backing US funding for abortion overseas as a twisted means of reducing maternal mortality was thwarted last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who worked behind the scenes to rewrite a resolution offered by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA).

Mrs. Capps not only is an active advocate for abortion but is one of three US Congressmen who last year participated in a major international abortion strategy conference in London which sought to hijack concerns over maternal mortality as a tactic to legitimize an international “right” to commercialized abortion.

As she had drafted HRes-1022, the resolution would have “called for funding of ‘global initiatives’ and the recognition of maternal health as a ‘human right,’” note Piero Tozzi and Susan Yoshihara, reporting on the resolution for Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam).

The pro-life Congressmen persuaded Mrs. Capps to reduce expected controversy about her resolution by dropping the offensive language. HRes-1022 now expresses US concern for the health and well-being of the world’s mothers and their babies – preborn and born – without taking the illogical step of embracing the intentional killing of those same children.


Bending Over Backwards

A THREE-JUDGE PANEL OF THE 4th U.S. CIRCUIT OF APPEALS has invalidated Virginia’s statute outlawing “partial-birth infanticide,” in part, reports Peter J. Smith for, “because it criminalized doctors who committed the procedure ‘by accident.’”

The same court had struck down the law in 2005, notes Mr. Smith, “but the US Supreme Court later rescinded the ruling, after it upheld a similar federal ban on [partial-birth] abortion, and ordered the 4th Circuit Court to examine the constitutionality of the law in light of its recent decision.” Last Tuesday’s edict is the 4th Circuit’s response, handed down by two Clinton appointees with a stinging dissent from Judge Paul Niemeyer, an appointee of Pres. George H.W. Bush.

“‘After reading the majority’s opinion,’” wrote Judge Niemeyer, quoted by Mr. Smith, “‘one is struck by the extensive efforts the opinion makes to conceive of a remote hypothetical factual circumstance that might exemplify its thesis that the Virginia Act prohibits more than is prohibited by the Federal Act, which the Supreme Court upheld in Gonzalez v. Carhart. … The majority’s selective use of statutory language and its rationalizations,’ he continued, ‘represent nothing less than a strong judicial will to overturn what the Virginia Legislature has enacted for the benefit of Virginia’s citizens and what, in materially undistinguishable terms, the Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional.’”

“Part of the strength of last year’s Supreme Court ruling” upholding the federal ban, notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in FRC’s Washington Update, “was its insistence that abortionists bring real cases with real facts when challenging an abortion law. But the 4th Circuit,” writes Mr. Perkins, “ignored this admonition.” Its ruling is likely to be appealed to the US Supreme Court.


Arizona Nurse Board Corrupts the Profession

THE ARIZONA STATE BOARD OF NURSING HAS AUTHORIZED nurse practitioners to commit vacuum abortions without supervision of a licensed doctor. Arizona has no statute excluding non-physicians from committing abortions; a bill to enact that regulation is currently pending, having passed the House and awaiting debate in the State Senate. No other state permits nurses to commit abortions. Neither Arizona nor any other state offers nurses training in abortion procedure or in treating complications.

The action “legalizes most of what Mary Andrews has been doing at a Tucson clinic of Planned Parenthood Arizona since 2001,” reports Howard Fischer for Capitol Media Services, published in the East Valley Tribune. “But it also opens the door,” he writes, “for other nurse practitioners to begin performing the procedure in the future.”

The board did limit this new category of abortionists to ply their craft within the first 13 weeks of a target’s gestational life, which, as it turns out, will somewhat cramp Ms. Andrews’s style, as Mr. Fischer reports “a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood admitted [Ms.] Andrews has been terminating pregnancies using that same procedure through 16 weeks since 2001.”

Board members, however, “chose to impose no penalty,” writes Mr. Fischer, “saying they have never before ruled that second-trimester abortions should not be done by nurse practitioners.”


Notable Quote

Michael Cook, editor of MercatorNet and BioEdge in On Line Opinion, May 16, 2008, quoted in the Center on Bioethics & Human Dignity’s The Bioethics Weekly: “Switzerland’s passion for the dignity of all creatures great and small … rings hollow in view of its treatment of human beings. It is one of the few countries in the world where assisted suicide is legal. The best-known agency for do-it-yourself euthanasia, a Zurich-based group called – what else? – Dignitas, recently opened its thanatorium in the same building as Switzerland’s biggest legal brothel. Surely that violates one of the numerous provisions in the [Swiss] constitution guaranteeing human dignity. As it is now, there seems to be about as much bureaucracy involved in killing a Swiss goldfish as there is in killing a human being. (Special chemicals are required [for killing a goldfish], since flushing fish down the toilet has been deemed undignified.”)


Eyewitness Report

We found this report from Brazil’s Congress so riveting, we are reprinting it from, which credits Matthew Cullinan Hoffman for translation and editing of the original text by Professor Hermes Rodrigues Nery, coordinator of the Tabuate, Brazil, Diocesan Commission in Defense of Life. We have already published the factual news of the stunning, unanimous rejection of an abortion decriminalization bill by a key committee in Brazilia. We hope our readers find this report inspiring and encouraging.

It was a victory and more. I have never seen this happen in the National Congress,” exclaimed Prof. Humberto Viera, president of the National Pro-life & Pro-Family Assn., after Deputy Jofran Frejat announced the result of the historic session of the Social Security & Family Committee of the National Congress, which brought to a vote Bill 1135/91. This bill, which seeks to decriminalize abortion in Brazil, has been in process for almost 17 years in the Brazilian Congress.

Bill 1135/91 was rejected by the overwhelming majority of the deputies present in the committee, with the result of 33-0, due to the fact that the small contingent of abortionists, led by Deputy Cida Diogo, withdrew, ranting and raving and shouting insults.

The feminists were yelling at the top of their lungs, “The government is secular, the government is secular!” – to which Deputy Nazareno Fonteles responded that the government is secular but not atheist, and that the Brazilian people have a sense of God.

The feminists were driven to hysterics by Deputies Henrique Afonso and Luiz Bassuma, who together with Deputies Miguel Martini, Leandro Sampaio, Dr. Talmir Rodrigues, Jose Linhares and Joao Campos, led the pro-life contingent that assembled in the meeting room of the committee, in which the rest of the deputies were one by one positioning themselves in favor of Life.

One Jose Genoino, infuriated, sullen and arrogant, was thundering in his defense of the feminists, affirming that “the legislator is not elected for moral groups but for liberty and democracy.” The abortionist shock troops did everything to buy time, insisting on the extension of the session, making use of every protocol to undermine the pro-life deputies. This irritated the rest of the deputies, some of which were still undecided and who ended up voting for Deputy Jorge Tadeu Mudallen’s report in reaction [to] the excesses of Cida Diogo. “This isn’t worth it; that woman is going too far; I’m going to vote against her,” bellowed one of them at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, when the abortionist deputy decided to pull a “congratulations to you” for Deputy Iris de Araujo, whose anniversary was that day.

After the beginning of the session at 9:30, Jamie Ferreira Lopes affirmed, “we have 16 votes guaranteed.” But little by little, as the abortionists continued their performances, the undecided deputies were being convinced to distinguish the wheat from the weeds.

The deputies spoke to one another, exchanged glances, gesticulated, nodded and came to an agreement. The 33 votes were consolidated during the long, seemingly interminable hours. Cornered, the abortionists portrayed themselves as victims of a coup and complained that the pro-life deputies were being tough on them, mainly after Deputy Rolando Caiado took his turn speaking and pulverized them mercilessly.

Cida Diogo was increasingly disturbed, especially with the balanced and firm way the proceedings were conducted by the committee president, who explained the rules several times to the recalcitrant deputy, showing that he was well prepared and in good spirits for a difficult session. The president simply maintained the rules of the institution, so as not to lose control of the situation in the midst of the rhetoric of the abortionists, who wanted to catch him with a slip of protocol … which they could later use to request that the session be annulled. But Frejat was tireless in affirming, “I have to follow the rules.”

Unable to defeat him, since he had the rules at hand, the abortionist commandante Cida Diogo began to use demagoguery, saying that the pro-abortion deputies were being restricted in their freedom of speech, comparing the situation to Brazil’s former dictatorship.

President Jofran Frejat explained to them, with the calmness of someone telling a story to a child, that he couldn’t go back, having placed an issue in discussion and before that to a vote, and being approved unanimously by the committee, since the committee has sovereignty in accordance with the rules.

Deputy Dr. Rosinha, who had written a long discourse by hand and was unable to speak because the request for a vote had been approved, began to pout and pace, while the feminists whispered in his ear. The anger of the abortionists increased when support among the deputies grew for Mudallen’s report, never leaving their chairs during the entire session, and increased when the alternates began to arrive, enthusiastic about voting in favor of Life.

It was then that Dr. Rosinha, in [a] fit that skirted the edges of decorum, stated to the President of the Session that he would be leaving because he was the victim of a strange conspiracy, and although he would want to know exactly what was happening, he would not agree to participate in the voting.

At that point, his fellow deputies, Darciso Pierondi – Dr. Pinotti and Genoino had already left – and Cida Diogo, decided to accompany Dr. Rosinha, accusing everyone of being “pedophiles and rapists,” at which Jorge Tadeu Mudallen’s eyes widened in horror, seeing to what depths of gratuitous offense they were capable of, rejecting the rules of democracy that they constantly defended.

When the feminists had left like restless souls, the atmosphere in the room gradually became calm. … Finally at 2:13 p.m., the historic vote began. One by one they were giving their “yes” to Life. All of them – absolutely all of them – were voting in favor of the approval of the Mudallen Report, until at the end, President Jofran Frejat, in a chorus with the rest of the deputies who were saying “I vote yes for Life,” gave his vote for Life, which, after so many years, brought an end to Bill 1135/91, archiving it in the committee.

The session having ended, there were congratulations and tears from many of the pro-life leaders in a climate of the “embrace of peace,” as in the Eucharistic celebration. Jaime Ferreira Lopes, coordinator of Brazil Without Abortion, began to sing, while many began to make calls on their cell phones to spread the news: “33 – the age of Christ!”


Senate Voting Record

Amendment to HR-2642—Military Supplemental Appropriation—to add domestic spending, notably including a subsidy for Planned Parenthood and university health centers – May 22, 2008 – Adopted 75 to 22 (Democrats in italics; “Independent” marked with “I”)

Voting “no” / pro-life: AL/Sessions, AZ/Kyl, CO/Allard, IN/Lugar, IA/Grassley, KS/Brownback, KY/Bunning & McConnell, MS/Cochran, NV/Ensign, NH/Gregg, NC/Burr, OH/Voinovich, SC/DeMint & Graham, TN/Alexander & Corker, TX/Cornyn, UT/Bennett & Hatch, WY/Barrasso & Enzi

Voting “yes” / pro-abortion: AL/Shelby, AK/Murkowski & Stevens, AR/Lincoln & Pryor, CA/Boxer & Feinstein, CO/Salazar, CT/Dodd & Lieberman (I), DE/Biden & Carper, FL/Martinez & Nelson, GA/Chambliss & Isakson, HI/Akaka & Inouye, ID/Craig & Crapo, IL/Durbin & Obama, IN/Bayh, IA/Harkin, KS/Roberts, LA/Landrieu & Vitter, ME/Collins & Snowe, MD/Cardin & Mikulski, MA/Kerry, MI/Levin & Stabenow, MN/Coleman & Klobuchar, MS/Wicker, MO/Bond & McCaskill, MT/Baucus & Tester, NE/Hagel & Nelson, NV/Reid, NH/Sununu, NJ/Lautenberg & Menendez, NM/Bingaman & Domenici, NY/Clinton & Schumer, NC/Dole, ND/Conrad & Dorgan, OH/Brown, OK/Inhofe, OR/Smith & Wyden, PA/Casey & Specter, RI/Reed & Whitehouse, SD/Johnson & Thune, TX/Hutchison, VT/Leahy & Sanders (I), VA/Warner & Webb, WA/Cantwell & Murray, WV/Byrd & Rockefeller, WI/Feinstein & Kohl

Not voting: AZ/McCain, MA/Kennedy, OK/Coburn


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