Life Advocacy Briefing

October 27, 2008


Last Pro-Life Law? / Move On, Please! / Shepherding the Flock
Shameful Complicity / What the Candidates Said

Last Pro-Life Law?

PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH RECENTLY SIGNED the Prenatally & Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act to foster education and support for parents of children with disabilities and establish a national registry of families who willing to adopt disabled children.

The new law was co-sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). The House companion bill was sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). The measure is seen as a step forward in the effort to combat the “quality of life” ethic being espoused by too many prenatal geneticists, who too often counsel abortion at the first hint of “imperfection” or “defect” in a developing child. Some 90% of Down Syndrome children are believed to be aborted in the years since prenatal diagnostic tests were developed.

“All too often the road to abortion is paved with the negative words of medical providers who sell it as the ‘compassionate’ choice,” noted Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life group, “This law is a great victory,” she said, “for parents of disabled children nationwide. … No child is a mistake. The transforming effect of children with special needs is what this culture needs more of, not less.”


Move On, Please!

FOR THOSE WONDERING ABOUT THE ALLEGEDLY CATHOLIC GROUPS propounding the preposterous prevarication that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is somehow to be seen as “pro-life,” the reality of these groups’ political orientation has come to light.

IRS records reveal tens of thousands of dollars in contributions, according to Catholic League president William Donohue, from notorious founder George Soros.

“‘The reason Soros funds the Catholic Left,’” said Mr. Donohue, quoted by FRC Action president Tony Perkins in his Oct. 21 update, “‘is … [because] they all service his agenda … to make support for abortion rights a respectable Catholic position.’”


Shepherding the Flock

THE AUDIENCE IN A PARISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FORUM at a Catholic church in Pennsylvania were startled to see the bishop of their diocese appear without notice.

The forum at Scranton’s St. John’s Roman Catholic Church “centered mainly on abortion,” reports the writer of a detailed Internet weblog report passed along to us by Colleen Parro of Republican National Coalition for Life (RNC/Life).

The audience “erupted when Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph F. Martino unexpectedly arrived and vehemently expressed his distaste for what was said about the church’s stance on voting for pro-choice candidates and the exclusion of his anti-abortion letter at the forum, which recommends voting against pro-choice candidates for moral reasons … .”

Bishop Martino not only objected to the forum organizers’ exclusion of his letter, published Sept. 30 and circulated, according to the blog writer, throughout the diocese, but also “took issue with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) statement, which was handed out to everyone at the meeting.”

In the USCCB “Faithful Citizenship” statement, approved by the full assembly of US bishops in 2007 at a meeting the Scranton bishop did not attend, the church leaders declared, quoted by the blog writer, “‘A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. At the same time,’” the USCCB statement reads, “‘a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.’ …

“‘No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese,’ said [Bishop] Martino,” as reported by the blog writer. “‘The USCCB doesn’t speak for me. The only relevant document,’” he said, according to the blog at, “‘is my letter. There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.’ His letter … states,” writes the blogger, “that a candidate’s abortion stance is a major voting issue that supersedes all other considerations due to its grave moral consequences.

“‘Health care, education, economic security, immigration and taxes are very important concerns,’” wrote Bishop Martino in September, the blogger writes. “‘Neglect of any one of them has dire consequences, as the recent financial crisis demonstrates,’” he wrote. “‘However, the solutions to problems in these areas do not usually involve a rejection of the sanctity of human life in the way that abortion does,’ the letter says,” as reported by the blogger.

Bishop Martino, in his September letter, had noted the estimate by National Right to Life “‘that 48.5 million abortions have been performed since 1973. One would be too many,’” Bishop Martino had written, according to the blogger. “‘No war, no natural disaster, no illness or disability has claimed so great a price. … No social issue has caused the death of 50 million people,’ he said, noting that he no longer supports the Democratic Party,” reports the blogger. “‘This is madness, people.’”

After the bishop addressed the crowd at St. John’s, reports the blogger, “most of the audience stood and clapped loudly while some were angry that the bishop usurped the forum. About a quarter of the audience left after the bishop’s comments,” reports the blogger.


Shameful Complicity

NEW JERSEY PRO-LIFERS HAVE UNCOVERED AN ABORTION SUBSIDY by certain New Jersey hotels, giving abortuary customers a discount on overnight lodging while awaiting or recovering from abortion.

The Clarion Hotel in west central Cherry Hill (near Philadelphia), “offers a reduced rate of $59 for a room originally priced at $109,” reports, “to those women who provide a receipt from the [nearby] abortion mill that says they have to stay overnight.” And the Quality Inn in neighboring Maple Shade, reports LifeSiteNews, “offers a discounted rate of $74.95 for a room originally priced at $99.99 and a free breakfast of eggs and pancakes for women who present a stamped pamphlet from” the Cherry Hill Women’s Center abortuary.

According to New Jersey Right to Life’s Marie Tasy, reports LifeSiteNews, “‘The Cherry Hill Women’s Center has a track record of aggressive advertisement in the Pennsylvania market to intentionally lure pregnant minor girls to the New Jersey abortion clinic in order to evade Pennsylvania’s parental consent laws,’ said [Mrs.] Tasy, who also urged Congress to pass a pending bill prohibiting such interstate abortion schemes.”

The abortuary being abetted by these two hotels, reports LifeSiteNews, uses “many methods of abortion which result in the violent killing of innocent unborn babies. One of the methods, used at 20 or more weeks,” notes LifeSiteNews, “is injection of the dangerous drug digoxin directly into the baby’s heart to kill the baby. If digoxin is accidentally injected into the bloodstream of a woman or young girl,” reports LifeSiteNews, “it can cause infection and death.

“Local pro-lifers who have spoken to women exiting the clinic,” writes the LifeSiteNews reporter, “report that many women and minor girls are alone, crying and in extreme pain but are nonetheless discharged from the clinic after the digoxin injection. They are instructed to return the next day so the abortionist can deliver the dead baby.” It is these customers who are referred by the abortuary to the cooperating hotels.

Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, writing in his Oct. 22 FRC Washington Update, warns, “a discount like this only makes it more affordable for young girls to cross state lines for an abortion.”  Mr. Perkins asks, “Do these area inns really want to facilitate the killing process? And from a legal standpoint, are they prepared to incur the liability if any medical complications arise?

“Unfortunately, the reason these women need a place to stay,” notes Mr. Perkins, “is because the clinics don’t care enough about their health to monitor them overnight despite the medical risks. That should be a clear signal to these hotels,” Mr. Perkins writes, “that local abortionists are harming women.”

Mr. Perkins notes further that both the Clarion Hotel and the Quality Inn are part of a hotel chain called “Choice Hotels International” and urges readers to “join [FRC] in urging the Choice chain to choose life. Call the company toll-free at 1-800/300-8800,” he urges, “or log onto,” where in the upper right corner, website visitors can click through the “customer support” tab to find an invitation to send the company an e-mail. The Family Research Council president suggests “encourag[ing] this company to start stocking pamphlets from nearby pregnancy resource centers.” That, it seems to us, is the least the “Choice” outfit can do.


What the Candidates Said

Transcript of Oct. 15, 2008, abortion debate segment between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, reprinted from

Mr. McCAIN: Let me talk to you about an important aspect of this issue. We have to change the culture of America. Those of us who are proudly pro-life understand that. And it’s got to be courage and compassion that we show to a young woman who’s facing this terribly difficult decision. Senator Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate, voted in the Judiciary Committee against a law that would provide immediate medical attention to a child born of a failed abortion. He voted against that. And then, on the floor of the State Senate, as he did 130 times as a state senator, he voted “present.”

Then there was another bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the State of Illinois not that long ago, where he voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion, one of the late-term abortion – a really – one of the bad procedures, a terrible – . And then, on the floor of the Illinois State Senate, he voted “present.”

I don’t know how you vote “present” on some of that. I don’t know how you align yourself with the extreme aspect of the pro-abortion movement in America. And that’s his record, and that’s a matter of his record. And he’ll say it has something to do with Roe v. Wade, about the Illinois State Senate. It was clear-cut votes that Senator Obama voted, I think, in direct contradiction to the feelings and views of mainstream America.

MODERATOR: Response?

Mr. OBAMA: Yes, let me respond to this. If it sounds incredible that I would vote to withhold lifesaving treatment from an infant, that’s because it’s not true*. The – here are the facts.

There was a bill that was put forward before the Illinois Senate that said you have to provide lifesaving treatment, and that would have helped to undermine Roe v. Wade. The fact is that there was already a law** on the books in Illinois that required providing lifesaving treatment, which is why not only myself but pro-choice Republicans and Democrats voted against it. And the Illinois Medical Society, the organization of doctors in Illinois, voted [sic] against it. Their Hippocratic Oath*** would have required them to provide care, and there was already a law on the books.

With respect to partial-birth abortion, I am 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**** and life, and this did not contain that exception. And I attempted, as many have in the past, of including that so that it is constitutional*****. And that was rejected, and that’s why I voted “present,” because I’m willing to support a ban on late-term abortions as long as we have that exception.

The last point I want to make on the issue of abortion. This is an issue that – look, it divides us. And in some ways, it may be difficult to – to reconcile the two views. But there surely is some common ground when both those who believe in choice [sic] and those who are opposed to abortion can come together and say, “We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby.” Those are all things that we put in the Democratic platform for the first time this year, and I think that’s where we can find some common ground, because nobody’s pro-abortion. I think it’s always a tragic situation. We should try to reduce these circumstances.

MODERATOR: Let’s give Senator McCain a short response. …

Mr. McCAIN: Just again, the example of the eloquence of Senator Obama. He’s “health for the mother.” You know, that’s been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything. That’s the extreme pro-abortion position, quote “health.” But look, Cindy and I are adoptive parents. We know what a treasure and joy it is to have an adopted child in our lives. We’ll do everything we can to improve adoption in this country.

But that does not mean that we will cease to protect the rights of the unborn. Of course we have to come together. Of course we have to work together, and of course it’s vital that we do so and help these young women who are facing such a difficult decision, with a compassion that we’ll help them with the adoptive services, with the courage to bring that child into this world, and we’ll help take care of it.

Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s notes:

*Yes, it is true. See the facts and eyewitness accounts at

**As a former Illinois State Representative, the editor of Life Advocacy Briefing sponsored that “existing Illinois law” and strenuously disagrees with the excuse offered by Sen. Obama. The law to which he refers was not adequate to protect the survivors of induced labor second- and late-term abortions, which was the specific aim of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA). Since this medical practice of infanticide was first brought to light in Illinois – and willing prosecutors ascertained they could not act under existing law and requested the passage of Born Alive – the Illinois legislature’s pioneering consideration of BAIPA was especially vital, and Sen. Obama’s overt interventions to block the legislation were particularly egregious.

***The Hippocratic Oath does proscribe abortion and adjures subscribers to “do no harm,” but as Sen. Obama surely knows, many medical schools no longer require their graduates to subscribe to the millennia-old Oath and many others offer an Oath which has been adulterated to leave out such inconvenient standards as references to abortion. How odd – yea, disingenuous – that a backer of “abortion rights” would cite as a defense the Hippocratic Oath, under which abortion itself is declared out of ethical bounds.

****Exceptions for the mother’s “health” are a typical escape hatch for abortion-backing politicians, rendered meaningless under the Jan. 22, 1973, Doe v. Bolton edict of the Supreme Court, companion to Roe v. Wade, in which “medical factors” an abortionist could use to justify his actions are enumerated including such non-health factors as “the woman’s age,” as well as the catch-all categories of “emotional” and “psychological” factors. It is a sham and was exposed as such during exhaustive debate on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act during the Clinton Regime.

*****The Supreme Court, in its Gonzalez v. Carhart ruling, rejected the argument that a “health” loophole would be required to render the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban constitutional. The supposedly erudite Sen. Obama appears to be, uh, uninformed.


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