Life Advocacy Briefing

November 17, 2008


First Step in Fighting FOCA / Signaling the First Battle / Let’s Not Take It Lying Down!
/ Get Ready to Protest Corruption of our Foreign Aid $ / Medical Advance /
Another Ray of Hope / Noteworthy Quote / A Pro-Life Analysis of the 111th Congress
Life in the Obamanation

First Step in Fighting FOCA

THE LOBBYING ARM OF AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE (AUL/Action) has launched a new Internet website, at which readers will find a petition to which to subscribe as merely the first step in resisting passage of the so-called Freedom of Choice Act.

The website further presents legal analysis of the Congressional proposal, which is designed to invalidate every local, state or federal restriction on the practice of abortion and to preempt future state or local policymaking in the abortion arena.

America’s next President has heartily endorsed the FOCA, and AUL/Action has posted on the Fight FOCA website a video of his pledge to Planned Parenthood that signing the FOCA would be his first act in office (hyperbole but certainly indicative of his commitment).


Signaling the First Battle

CLAIMING THE PRESIDENT-ELECT IS ‘A TRANSFORMATIONAL FIGURE,’ Obama transition team chief John Podesta signaled Nov. 10 on Fox News Sunday, reports Jonathan Weisman in the Wall Street Journal, that Mr. Obama will use his executive authority to “lift restrictions placed by Pres. George W. Bush on the type of stem-cell research that can be funded with federal dollars.”

Pres. Bush’s August 2001 executive order, which can indeed be repealed by stroke of the Obama pen, barred federal taxpayer funding of experiments in which embryonic human beings are sacrificed.

His order diverting funds from such anti-ethical experimentation has contributed to the more robust pursuit of legitimate research on adult stem cells, which are extracted – with informed consent – from born human beings and which have resulted in actual therapies and even cures for at least 73 diseases and conditions (source:, the Internet website of DoNoHarm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics). Embryo sacrificial experimentation, on the other hand, has not only failed to produce a single cure or therapy but has not been able to advance into clinical trials on human beings because of failure to clear safety hurdles; stem cells harvested from sacrificed embryos produce tumors.

The expected repeal of the Bush order could well result in the waste of tax dollars on futile, unethical experiments and the diversion of tax dollars from the fruitful field of adult stem cell research.


Let’s Not Take It Lying Down!

A VIGOROUS CAMPAIGN will be required of the pro-life community both inside and outside Congress to enact a statutory ban on the sacrifice of human embryos.

Life Advocacy pleads with those who mount such a campaign to stop using the rhetoric of the utilitarian scientists and the euphemists in this battle.

The unengaged public will not be alerted or moved by such phrases as “embryonic stem cell research.” The very use of the term “research,” when applied to utilitarian experimentation, is reassuring and misleading. Did the civilized world, upon discovering the atrocities being committed by Nazi scientists, use the positive term “research” to identify their actions? Why do so many – nearly everyone – in the pro-life community adopt the language of the latterday Nazistic scientists to identify this issue? Because the media call it “research?” Do we call a developing, prenatal baby a “fetus?”

And how does reference to “embryonic stem cells” help the uninitiated listener or reader to recognize that a life is at stake? Many more expressive terms can substitute: Embryo vivisection, embryo killing, embryo sacrifice – or better, in our view – the killing (or vivisection or sacrifice) of an embryonic human being. Choose one or two or use them all alternatively, but why use the terminology of the Frankensteinians?

(Readers of Life Advocacy Briefing can help reform the rhetoric of the pro-life movement, if you agree with our analysis here, by contacting pro-life organizations and Members of Congress and urging them to re-examine the language they employ in this issue. Permission is granted to reprint or forward this edition of Life Advocacy Briefing in its entirety and to highlight this section.)

To overcome the expected Obama policy of forcibly extracting our tax dollars for redistribution to the labcoat lobby, we must move the public to recognize what is at stake. Moving the public requires development of our own, precise, descriptive, accurate language to identify the issue, and that requires us to abandon consistently the language which has cost us this debate in the past. It was only the determined courage of Pres. George W. Bush that has thus far pushed down the lid on Pandora’s box, certainly not an act of Congress nor the effective cry of the pro-life movement.

That Presidential protection is soon gone; now it is up to us. Can the pro-life movement take on this issue? And will we do so in a way that defines it properly and protects our adherents who are casting the courageous votes? We’ll see.


Get Ready to Protest Corruption of our Foreign Aid $

ANOTHER ENDANGERED EXECUTIVE ORDER is the Mexico City Policy, first ordered by the late Pres. Ronald Reagan, maintained by Pres. George H.W. Bush, repealed by Pres. Bill Clinton and reinstated by Pres. George W. Bush.

Already news media are blithely referring to “Mexico City” as “the global gag rule” – straight out of Planned Parenthood International’s talking points.

The Mexico City Policy has never been enacted in statute but has been enforced through executive order, which automatically puts it into the crosshairs of the Obama shotgun. A major campaign will need to be mounted to enact the Mexico City Policy, and that will require public recognition of this obscurely identified but critical protection for our taxpayers.

“Mexico City” bars the misuse of US foreign aid and taxpayer-supplied development aid by permitting its disbursement to organizations which commit or refer for abortions or which lobby to relax the pro-life laws in the host country. It is a thick thumb in the dike which shelters taxpayers from complicity in such anti-natalist outfits as the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International.

If taxpayers get worked up over “special interests” corrupting our domestic spending, can we not also help them see that “special interests” are seeking to corrupt the foreign aid budget? The lives of innocent babies all over the world are at stake. Their interest – as well as the interest of taxpayers – demands that we express this issue in better terms than either “gag rule” or “Mexico City Policy.” Shorthand jargon has ill served us. Except among the already committed, it always, always does.


Medical Advance

ADULT STEM CELLS HARVESTED FROM UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD show promise, report researchers at Munich’s University Hospital, for repair of defective hearts in babies.

“The research was presented [last] Monday,” reports Devon Williams for Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, “to the American Heart Assn.

“‘In our concept,’” said Dr. Ralf Sodian, the lead researcher, quoted by CitizenLink, “‘if prenatal testing shows a heart defect, you could collect blood from the umbilical cord at birth, harvest the stem cells and fabricate a heart valve that is ready when the baby needs it.’” Certainly a more humane practice than aborting the baby because of prenatal diagnosis. How amazing that since the creation of man, such mechanisms for healing have been waiting for man to discover them!


Another Ray of Hope

DENVER-AREA TODDLER CHLOE LEVIGNE is “happy, walking, playing and doing the things a child typically does,” reports Charlie Butts for, Internet news division of American Family Assn. “But,” notes Mr. Butts, “it has not always been that way.”

Early in the two-year-old’s life, her parents “noticed her right hand always clenched in a fist,” writes Mr. Butts, “and that she tended to drag herself across the floor rather than crawl.” The little one had suffered a stroke before birth, doctors explained, and Chloe was tagged with a cerebral palsy diagnosis.

Why the change in the now-healthy little girl? Her parents had stored her umbilical cord blood stem cells when she was born. Those cells were transported, reports Mr. Butts, “to Duke University, where an experimental procedure was done using those cells, and results were evident,” he writes, “only two days later. ‘She began saying words that we had worked weeks and weeks to try to get her to say, one being her nickname Coco,’ [her mother] says. ‘That was just music to our ears.’”

Most patients undergoing experimental therapy in Duke University’s adult stem cell program, reports Mr. Butts, “have seen positive results.”


Noteworthy Quote

Colin McGuckin, professor of regenerative medicine at UK’s Newcastle University, expert in adult stem cell research, announcing he was leaving the United Kingdom for France, “citing undue focus on embryo research,” writes Zoe Corbyn in Times Higher Education, Oct. 23, 2008: “(France) is very supportive of adult stem cells because they know that these are the things that are in the clinic right now and will be more likely in the clinic. A vast amount of money in the UK from the Government has gone into embryonic stem cell research with not one patient having been treated, to the detriment of (research into) adult stem cells, which has been severely underfunded.” (Quoted by The Bioethics Weekly, bulletin of the Center for Bioethics & Human Development, Bannockburn, Illinois)


A Pro-Life Analysis of the 111th Congress

Nov. 10, 2008, story

An analysis of the 111th Congress finds that while the overall election outcome was a negative one for the unborn child, there were some bright spots.

In the House of Representative, there were three physicians elected who ran as pro-life candidates*: Parker Griffith (D-AL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Phil Roe (R-TN). Moreover, the election of Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) adds a pro-life Democratic woman** to the House.

In terms of alteration of votes with new Representatives, the House will see a potential gain of seven votes expected to be more pro-life, a loss of 20 votes expected to be more pro-abortion and 25 newly elected Representatives maintaining the same position as their retiring incumbents. (See a chart of the House breakdown here:

Pro-life votes in the Senate are likely to be reduced by five votes. In Colorado, Mark Udall will replace Wayne Allard. In New Hampshire, pro-abort Jeanne Shaheen will replace John Sununu. In New Mexico, Tom Udall will replace Pete Domenici. In North Carolina, Kay Hagan will replace Elizabeth Dole. And in Virginia, Mark Warner will replace John Warner.

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s notes: *the pro-life physicians in the 110th Congress were typically among the best, most respected advocates for Life among those who participated in debate; we hope these will prove equally willing to use their credential to speak reality into whatever debates might be mounted in- and outside the House chamber, especially since Rep. Dave Weldon MD has retired. **If she is indeed pro-life, Rep.-elect Dahlkemper will need earnest prayer.]


Life in the Obamanation

Nov. 12, 2008, FaxNotes by Colleen Parro, executive director, Republican National Coalition for Life ( )

It’s going to be rough. It’s going to be a fight every step of the way. President-elect Barack Obama wants the Freedom of Choice Act passed by both houses [of Congress] so that he can sign it into law. The bill would undo virtually every restriction and regulation on the practice of abortion put into place during the past 35 years.

When he gets the chance, there is no doubt that he will nominate to the federal bench and the Supreme Court people who believe as he does, that the human being in the womb has no rights under the United States Constitution. He does not believe that the rights of life and liberty are inherent and come from God. That sort of principled thinking is, as he said, “above his pay grade.”

We now have a Congress that will work to carry out the new President’s agenda. Republicans are in the minority in both houses and among them are the usual suspects, RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), who often vote with the Democrats on various bills, including those dealing with social and cultural issues.

Keep in mind that they are all united in pursuit of one single goal above all others. Members of the House want to get re-elected in two years. US Senators who will be up for election in 2010 have the same goal. The time-worn maxim still applies – “when they feel the heat, they will see the light.” [paraphrase of an aphorism pronounced by the late Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen] Potential loss of votes is a great motivator.

It’s our job to make them feel the heat. That means our telephones should be at the ready on a moment’s notice so that we can make those phone calls into Congressional offices demanding a pro-life vote. We will pass the information along to you as we receive it. [That goes for Life Advocacy Briefing, too!]

[To whose who] … are receiving this message via e-mail: If you haven’t created a group in your address book, please do so now. Do this by grouping your family members, friends and colleagues so that by sending one e-mail message to the group you reach dozens – even hundreds – of individuals who need the information so that they, too, can make calls. They in turn can be encouraged to form their own groups. Imagine the “heat” that can be generated by all those pro-lifers working together to stop Obama’s freight train!

Barack Obama has already announced that he will repeal Pres. Bush’s executive order prohibiting taxpayer funding of research that involves the killing of human embryos. He intends to see to it that the Hyde Amendment will not be attached to next year’s appropriations bill. No doubt he will nominate an abortion advocate and abstinence education opponent as Secretary of Health & Human Services. And that’s just the beginning.

This is a fight worth making. Are you ready?

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: No time like the present for Briefing subscribers to encourage friends to subscribe or even to send Life Advocacy a gift subscription to put the Briefing into the hands of individuals and organizations you believe will act on critical pro-life information as it comes. Consider putting Life Advocacy Briefing subscriptions on your Christmas gift list for friends and groups who share our concern about the cause of Life in the days ahead. We’ll be happy to notify your recipient of your gift. Subscription information is, as always, at the foot of this Briefing.]


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