Life Advocacy Briefing

October 20, 2008


Kemp/Kasten Enforcement Tightened / Leadership for What? /
‘Pro-Life’ Comes Up Winner in Poll
/ U.N. Cloning Ban to be Compromised? /
‘Born Alive’ Brings Debate Alive
/ Gov. Palin on the Culture of Life

Kemp/Kasten Enforcement Tightened

THE U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT HAS ADVISED six African countries to stop distributing USAID-supplied contraceptive commodities to Marie Stopes International, Planned Parenthood’s chief partner in population suppression and promiscuity promotion. Marie Stopes is based in Britain and focuses on Africa in addition to its domestic work.

“Marie Stopes gets no US funding,” notes Congressional Quarterly (CQ) staff writer Adam Graham-Silverman, “but USAID said the organization also shouldn’t receive US products – such as condoms and intrauterine devices – because it works in [Red] China, home to the controversial ‘one-child policy.’”

The USAID directive seeks to enforce the Kemp/Kasten Amendment, which has been built into the State Dept./Foreign Operations appropriation measure annually since 1985. That amendment states, “None of the funds made available in this Act … may be made available to any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.’” It is the Kemp/Kasten Amendment which is invoked annually by Pres. George W. Bush to withhold appropriated funds from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The “commodities” limitation logically extends the policy to bar not just direct funding but indirect funding through the transfer of USAID-supplied goods.

A leading abortion backer in Congress, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), chairman of the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, “objected” to the USAID directive, reports CQ, “in an Oct. 2 letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. ‘The State Department’s decision could potentially deny thousands of women in Africa the family planning services they want and need and in no way will impact the [Communist] Chinese policies related to family planning that are of concern to all of us.’”  Rep. Lowey did not explain why she believes putting pressure on Red China through its collaborators would aid in “impacting” Beijing’s brutal policy or why she believes US taxpayers should be forced to abet a notorious abortion outfit either in Red China or in Africa. Nor did she mention why continued circumvention of US law was acceptable.


Leadership for What?

FORMER NEW JERSEY GOV. CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN was disinvited recently from a scheduled speaking date at a New Jersey Catholic girls school.

The cancellation of the notorious abortion backer was directed by Trenton Diocese Bishop John M. Smith, who told the Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, reports Kevin Shea for the Times of Trenton, that the invitation to Mrs. Whitman to deliver the school’s annual “Women in Leadership” lecture “could mislead students, teachers and faculty to falsely conclude that the school supports abortion rights.”

Mrs. Whitman compiled a consistent, aggressive record in support of decriminalized abortion while serving as governor of New Jersey and has devoted much of her political career to a campaign she initiated to subvert the Republican Party’s embrace of constitutional rights for prenatal boys and girls.


‘Pro-Life’ Comes Up Winner in Poll

THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS (K.O.C.) HAS RELEASED A NEW POLL on attitudes toward abortion restrictions, showing overwhelming support for limitations and favorability toward a candidate who “maintains that life begins at conception.”

The poll results on “Moral Issues & Catholic Values” can be viewed in detail on the Internet at

The KOC commissioned the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion to conduct the poll between Sept. 24 and Oct. 3, interviewing 1,733 Americans, among whom were 813 Catholics.


U.N. Cloning Ban to be Compromised?

A MAJOR U.N. AGENCY IS PREPARING TO PUSH for a reopening of the international debate on human cloning.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a non-binding declaration in 2005 calling for the banning of human cloning for any purpose, notes Samantha Singson, writing for the Friday Fax bulletin of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam). The declaration, according to Ms. Singson, “occurred after three years of intense negotiations.”

Later this month, she reports, the International Bioethics Committee of the UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will meet in Paris to discuss revisiting the consensus against cloning, exploring, the committee announced, “‘whether the scientific, ethical, social, political and legal developments on human cloning in recent years justify a new initiative at international level.’”

Though hinting at a move toward strengthening the “nonbinding declaration,” the UNESCO working group on cloning, meeting first in July of this year, appears instead to be playing a shell game, seeking to strengthen the international consensus against “reproductive cloning” but opening the door to, at best, neutrality on “therapeutic cloning.”

“The question of how to define human cloning remains at the center of the debate,” writes Ms. Singson. “Some argue that there are two types of human cloning: ‘therapeutic cloning,’ where the cloned embryo is experimented upon and killed, and ‘reproductive cloning,’ where the cloned embryo would be allowed to fully grow. Both ‘reproductive’ and ‘therapeutic’ cloning,” Ms. Singson notes, “involve the creation of a human embryo. While almost everyone wants to ban so-called ‘reproductive cloning,’ the crux of the debate centers on whether or not to allow ‘therapeutic’ or experimental cloning, which some call ‘clone and kill.’”

That 2005 declaration made no distinction, calling for human cloning to be banned regardless of whether the resulting human being would be sacrificed for experimentation or brought to birth. But UNESCO’s “bioethics” working group noted in July, reports Ms. Singson, “that ‘the number of countries which have ethically accepted therapeutic cloning seems to have grown’ since the 2005 General Assembly declaration.”

The renewed debate appears to have been spurred by a 2007 report of an outfit called “UN University,” which, Ms. Singson writes, “urged the international community to pass a legally  binding ban on so-called ‘reproductive cloning’ only,” seeking “ ‘a compromise position’ with an ‘increased respect for ethical diversity.’”


‘Born Alive’ Brings Debate Alive

Commentary by Tony Perkins, president of FRC Action in Oct. 16, 2008, FRC Action Update

While it was hardly a keystone of the final Presidential debate, the Life issue did make a brief – but fiery – debut at the hands of moderator Bob Schieffer. Though Schieffer wrapped the abortion question in the broader topic of litmus tests for judges, it quickly became a defining moment of the night, drawing sharp contrast between the candidates on the fundamental issue of Life.

On Roe v. Wade, Sen. Obama defended his support for abortion-on-demand by equating the “right” to kill an unborn child with our First Amendment rights, saying that neither “should be subject to popular vote.”

In his response, Sen. McCain, who said he was “proudly pro-life,” outlined how Obama had “align[ed] [himself] with the extreme aspect of the pro-abortion movement in America.” He pointed to Obama’s record in the Illinois State Senate, where, in the Judiciary Committee, he voted against a law “that would provide immediate medical attention to a child born of a failed abortion.”

McCain went on, “Then there was another bill … in the State of Illinois … where [Obama] voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion … . [They were] clear-cut votes … in direct contradiction to the feelings and views of mainstream America.”

Obama claimed that he would never vote to withhold protection from an infant. However, records from the Illinois State Senate show that he did exactly that – not once but four times. He also said that, at the time a law similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was already on the books. Also false. According to Jill Stanek, the pro-life nurse who blew the whistle on this neglect, there was no such thing as across-the-board protection for infants who survive an abortion. Instead, the law protected only those “survivors their abortionist deems fit to live.”

What’s more, Sen. Obama said last night that he is “completely supportive of a ban on late-term abortions, partial-birth or otherwise, as long as there’s an exception for the mother’s health.” That statement ignores the fact that the Supreme Court has defined “health” in the abortion context to include such factors as “psychological” and “financial” well-being, that is, just about anything. For more on Obama’s abortion views, check out Professor Robby George’s latest editorial at


Gov. Palin on ‘the Culture of Life’

Text of Oct. 11, 2008, remarks by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, GOP Vice Presidential nominee, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, quoted by CBN News senior national correspondent David Brody

… In this same spirit, as defenders of the culture of Life, John McCain and I believe in the goodness and potential of every innocent life. I believe the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are least able to defend and speak for themselves. And who is more vulnerable or more innocent than a child?

When I learned that my son Trig would have special needs, I had to prepare my heart for the challenges to come. At first I was scared, and Todd and I had to ask for strength and understanding. But I can tell you a few things I’ve learned already.

Yes, every innocent life matters. Everyone belongs in the circle of protection. Every child has something to contribute to the world, if we give them that chance. There are the world’s standards of perfection … and then there are God’s, and these are the final measure. Every child is beautiful before God and dear to Him for their own sake.

As for our beautiful baby boy, for Todd and me, he is only more precious because he is vulnerable. In some ways, I think we stand to learn more from him than he does from us. When we hold Trig and care for him, we don’t feel scared any more. We feel blessed.

It’s hard to think of many issues that could possibly be more important than who is protected in law and who isn’t – who is granted life and who is denied it. So when our opponent, Senator Obama, speaks about questions of life, I listen very carefully.

I listened when he defended his unconditional support for unlimited abortions. He said that a woman shouldn’t have to be – quote – ‘punished with a baby.’ He said that right here in Johnstown – ‘punished with a baby’ – and it’s about time we called him on it.

The more I hear from Senator Obama, the more I understand why he is so vague and evasive on the subject. Americans need to see his record for what it is. It’s not negative or mean-spirited to talk about his record. Whatever party you belong to, there are facts you need to know.

Senator Obama has voted against bills to end partial-birth abortion. In the Illinois Senate, a bipartisan majority passed legislation against that practice. Senator Obama opposed that bill. He voted against it in committee and voted “present” on the Senate floor. In that legislature, “present” is how you vote when you’re against something but don’t want to be held to account.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, described partial-birth abortion as “too close to infanticide.” Barack Obama thinks it’s a constitutional right. But he is wrong.

Most troubling, as a state senator, Barack Obama wouldn’t even stand up for the rights of infants born alive during an abortion. These infants – often babies with special needs – are simply left to die.

In 2002, Congress unanimously passed a federal law to require medical care for those babies who survive an abortion. They’re living, breathing babies, but Senator Obama describes them as “pre-viable.” This merciful law was called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Illinois had a version of the same law. Obama voted against it.

Asked about this vote, Senator Obama assured a reporter that he’d have voted “yes” on that bill if it had contained language similar to the federal version of the Born Alive Act. There’s just one little problem with that story: the language of both the state and federal bills was identical.

In short, Senator Obama is a politician who has long since left behind even the middle ground on the issue of life. He has sided with those who won’t even protect a child born alive. And this exposes the emptiness of his promises to move beyond the “old politics.”

In both parties, Americans have many concerns to be weighed in the votes they cast on November fourth. In times like these, with wars and a financial crisis, it’s easy to forget even as deep and abiding a concern as the right to Life. And it seems our opponent hopes that you will forget. Like so much else in his agenda, he hopes you won’t notice how radical his ideas and record are until it’s too late.

But let there be no misunderstanding about the stakes. A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for activist courts that will continue to smother the open and democratic debate we need on this issue, at both the state and federal level.  A vote for Barack Obama would give the ultimate power over the issue of Life to a politician who has never once done anything to protect the unborn. As Senator Obama told Pastor Rick Warren, it’s above his pay grade.

For a candidate who talks so often about “hope,” he offers no hope at all in meeting this great challenge to the conscience of America. There is a growing consensus in our country that we can overcome narrow partisanship on this issue and bring all the resources of a generous country to the aid of both women in need and the child waiting to be born. We need more of the compassion and idealism that our opponent’s own party, at its best, once stood for.

We need the clarity and conviction of leaders like the late Governor Bob Casey. He represented a humanity that speaks to all of us – no matter what our party, our background, our faith or our gender. And no matter your position on this sensitive subject, I hope that spirit will guide you on Election Day. I ask you to vote for McCain/Palin on November the fourth, and help us to bring this country together in the rational discussion of compassion and Life.


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