Life Advocacy Briefing

November 24, 2008


Thanking God for America / Rescued in Time / Cut PP First! / Personnel = Policy / ‘We’re Not Killers’ / Sheep’s Clothing / Members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice / Executive (Dis)Orders: Pro-Life Policies Set to be Jettisoned

Thanking God for America

FOR OUR HERITAGE OF FREEDOM IN AMERICA, we are deeply thankful and invite our fellow citizens this Thanksgiving to join us in recommitting to that heritage on the eve of an era of deep trouble for our country. We will be observing Thanksgiving with family and friends this weekend in the sobering spirit of II Chronicles 7:14, and we do not expect to publish a Life Advocacy Briefing for this coming week.


Rescued in Time

JUST WHEN THE UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA) could tastethe expected fresh infusion of US tax dollars for its depopulation pogrom, one of its favorite collaborators, the Communists who suppress China, got caught again trying to forcibly abort one of their subjects, this time a Muslim woman from an ethnic minority in the northwest corner of the vast country.

But, happily, the rescuing spotlight of international uproar brought Arzigul Tursun and her six-month prenatal baby out from under police custody to return to her family. Happily as well, the Uyghur mother was told she would be “allowed” to keep her baby.

The release of Mrs. Tursun resulted in part from an appeal to the Red Chinese Ambassador to the US by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), House ranking Member on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, quoted by Anna Schecter for the ABC-News website. “‘I appeal to the Chinese government not to forcibly abort Arzigul,’ said [Cong.] Smith. ‘The Chinese government is notorious for this barbaric practice, but to forcibly abort a woman while the world watches in full knowledge of what is going on would make a mockery of its claim that the central government disapproves of the practice, and of the UN Population Fund pretense that it has moderated the Chinese population planners’ cruelty.’”

The questions today are two: Will the United States join and/or lead an international protest the next time an expectant mother’s human rights are trampled, once ex-Sen. Obama takes the White House? And, will the latest incident slow the President-elect’s determination to release US funding for the UNFPA in violation of the Kemp/Kasten law which bars funding to agencies and organizations which abet forced abortion and coercive sterilization campaigns?


Cut P.P. First!

WE AT LIFE ADVOCACY JOIN FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL in FRC’s call to state legislators – and local government officials, as well – to trim public budgets in these challenging times, starting with zero-funding of Planned Parenthood.

“As the financial crunch hurts more communities,” notes FRC’s Tony Perkins in his Nov. 17 Washington Update, “FRC is launching a targeted letter campaign to every state representative in America. We urge them,” he writes, “to cut taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and resist the urge to bail out an abortion industry that hardly needs the help.”

Every reader of Life Advocacy Briefing has a state representative of your own; how about adding your letter to FRC’s – just a brief note requesting, “When you cut the budget, start with cutting out Planned Parenthood.” Just a few letters received by every state lawmaker – by city council members and county commissioners, too – could make a tremendous impact.


‘We’re Not Killers’

APPROVAL BY WASHINGTON STATE VOTERS of a deadly referendum proposition endorsing Oregon-style doctor-abetted suicide will not change the pro-life commitment of some healthcare providers in the state, according to Jennifer Mesko, writing for Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink.

“[Some] doctors and hospitals in Washington State are standing strong for Life,” she reports. “Hospice of Spokane has said its mission is to care and support its patients, not help them kill themselves. Spokane’s Sacred Heart Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in the Northwest,” writes Ms. Mesko, “also opposes assisted suicide.

“‘This position is grounded in our basic values of respect for the sacredness of Life, compassionate care of dying and vulnerable persons and respect for the integrity of medical, nursing and allied health professions,’ according to a statement on the hospital’s website,” quoted by CitizenLink. “‘We do not believe health care providers should ever be put in a position of aiding a patient in taking his or her own life,’” the website statement continues, quoted by Ms. Mesko. “‘We will continue to advocate for increased support and resources for hospice and palliative care programs, at the Medical Center and in our community, that provide compassionate, pain-relieving comfort and care for those who are at the end of life.’”

Leading euthanasia opponent “Wesley J. Smith, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and an attorney for the International Task Force on Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide, said no doctor can be forced to help others kill themselves,” reports Ms. Mesko. “‘A powerful message could be sent if physicians around the state – if hospitals, nursing homes, hospices – refuse publicly to participate in assisted suicide,’” noted Mr. Smith, quoted by CitizenLink, “‘and put plaques and certificates up on their walls and lobbies saying, “This is an assisted suicide free zone.”’” It seems to us such a placard might be a dose of preventive medicine for healthcare providers serving in states where the abetted suicide infection has not yet set in.


Personnel = Policy

WHILE PRO-LIFE ADVOCATES LISTEN WITH DEEP CONCERN to Obama transition spokesmen predicting overturn of the Bush pro-life policies, another focus for us must be the personnel the incoming President is lining up to staff his regime.

From likely Health & Human Services nominee ex-Sen. Tom Daschle to potential Secretary of State nominee Sen. Hillary Clinton, the rumored choices are uniformly hostile to the cause of Life.

A less visible post – Food & Drug (FDA) Commissioner – has also proved significant to the pro-life cause by virtue of its use by Pres. Bill Clinton to fast-track clearance of the abortion drug, RU-486, for the US market.

Widely rumored for the Obama FDA chief, according to Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, reporting in FRC’s Nov. 11 Washington Update, is Susan Wood, who has been co-chairing the Obama “women’s advisory committee for women’s health.” Her noteworthy background includes “vehement” advocacy of abortion and her orientation as chief of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health until, three years ago, Ms. Wood famously “resigned in protest,” writes Mr. Perkins, “when her boss postponed a plan to make ‘emergency contraception’ available to teen girls over the counter. … She was outraged,” reminds Mr. Perkins, “that the FDA wanted to delay sales until they could ensure that children under 16 could not access the drug without medical supervision.”

Ms. Wood has been vocal in more recent times as well, claiming in a speech, reports Mr. Perkins, “the US has been ‘going in the wrong direction’ on PEPFAR [the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief]. While leaders in Africa universally praised [Pres.] Bush’s emphasis on abstinence and monogamy,” writes Mr. Perkins, “[Ms.] Wood hints that the new President will implement a condom-based approach, ‘not just this narrow, political ideology.’”

Will Senate pro-life advocates and Republican Senators generally respond to a Wood nomination by pointing out her controversial track record opposing girls’ safety and the proven abstinence/monogamy approach to stemming HIV/AIDS, or will the Senate’s “opposition party” meekly bow to the incoming President?


Sheep’s Clothing

A RELIGIOUSLY-CLOAKED ARM OF THE ABORTION LOBBY, the “Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice” (RCRC), has published a letter seeking to give the incoming Obama regime cover for radically abetting the abortion industry with reversals of Bush Administration and longer standing pro-life policies. [We publish the coalition’s member roster below.]

The letter “calls for [Mr.] Obama to support the Freedom of Choice Act, which would remove all restrictions on abortions passed by state legislatures,” writes Jeff Walton for the Institute on Religion & Democracy in an IRD news release condemning RCRC’s proclamation.

“The religious groups likewise,” writes Mr. Walton, “call to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion services and the Mexico City Policy, first established by Pres. Ronald Reagan, which prevents government funding of overseas organizations that provide abortions.”

Mr. Walton’s release quotes Mark Tooley, UMAction Director for the IRD, noting, “‘RCRC has long lobbied for unrestricted abortion on demand, with its member denominations acting as a religious veneer for its extreme abortion rights ideology. Many churchgoers in RCRC member denominations would be horrified,’” said Mr. Tooley, “‘to learn how RCRC is exploiting the church’s name to promote unlimited abortion on demand.

“‘Especially abhorrent,’” said Mr. Tooley in the IRD release, “‘is RCRC’s advocacy of government funding for unrestricted abortions. This mindset illustrates,’” he said, “‘how RCRC and its member denominations are morally vapid and divorced from traditional Christian and Jewish teachings.’”


Members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

See ‘Sheep’s Clothing,’ above. Source: RCRC Internet website as of Nov. 20, 2008

Judaism: Rabbinical Assembly (of Conservative Judaism), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, Society for Humanistic Judaism, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Assn., Central Conference of American Rabbis, North American Federation of Temple Youth, Union for Reform Judaism, Women of Reform Judaism/The Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, Women’s Rabbinic Network of Central Conference of American Rabbis

Mainline Protestantism: The Episcopal Church, Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options, Presbyterian Church USA Women’s Ministries, Presbyterian Church USA Washington Office, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church General Bd. of Church & Society, United Methodist Women’s Division of General Bd. of Global Ministries

Ethical Culture: American Ethical Union National Service Conference

Unitarian Universalist: UU Assn., UU Women’s Federation, Young Religious UUs, Continental UU Young Adult Network

Caucuses & Organizations: American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League, Catholics for Choice, Christian Lesbians Out, Church of the Brethren Women’s Caucus, Disciples for Choice, Episcopal Urban Caucus, Episcopal Women’s Caucus, Hadassah WZOA, Jewish Women International, Lutheran Women’s Caucus, Methodist Federation for Social Action, NA’AMAT USA, National Council of Jewish Women, Women’s American ORT, YWCA of the USA


Executive (Dis)Orders: Pro-Life Policies Set to be Jettisoned

Nov. 18, 2008, PRI Weekly Briefing by Population Research Institute president Steven W. Mosher

Obama’s transition team is busily preparing a thick sheaf of executive orders for the President-elect to sign the day he takes office. And – in a reprise of what happened when Bill Clinton took power 16 years ago – the pro-life policies of the Bush Administration will apparently be the first to go.

Obama appears set to reverse existing executive orders that protect taxpayers from having to fund abortions at home and abroad. Moreover, Bush’s prohibition against the vivisection of tiny humans (a/k/a embryonic stem cell research) will almost certainly go by the wayside.

Another pro-life policy on the ideological chopping block involves the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which unabashedly supports China’s inhumane one-child policy.

We know. It was the Population Research Institute whose investigation in China led the Bush administration to cut off funding to the UNFPA for the past seven years. We have continued to monitor the situation in China, and we stand by our assertion that the UNFPA was – and is – involved in coercive abortions in China.

PRI’s original report, entitled “UNFPA, China & Coercive Family Planning,” is based on an investigation conducted by PRI researchers in China’s Sihui County. Relying on interviews with over two dozen victims and witnesses, the 2001 investigation found that coercive abortion and sterilization practices were taking place in that county where the UNFPA had supposedly instituted a “client-centered and voluntary family planning program.” In fact, PRI’s investigation revealed that the UNFPA shared an office with the very Chinese family planning officials who were locking up women and carrying out forced abortions.

Prompted by this investigation, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell sent his own research team to China, which independently verified the facts that PRI had gathered. As a result, Powell himself urged that the US government stop funding the UNFPA. Said Powell in a 2002 letter to Congress: “UNFPA’s support of and involvement in, China’s population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion.”

President-elect Obama and his supporters blame pro-lifers in the Bush administration for this decision, but it was Colin Powell, who is no friend of social conservatives and who recently endorsed Obama for President, who made this call.

It would be a shame if Obama abandons both the women of China and one of his most high-profile backers in the name of the failed ideology of population control. Americans don’t want their money going to an organization – the UNFPA – which works hand-in-glove with China’s population control police as they drag women off for forced abortions and forced sterilizations. In protecting American taxpayers from having to fund such atrocities, Pres. Bush made the right call.

Compare Bush’s judicious actions to those of his predecessor. Bill Clinton chose the 20th anniversary of Roe v. Wade to sign, in a televised Oval Office ceremony, a series of executive orders undoing the pro-life policies of the Reagan-Bush era. The orders he signed on that day – only his fourth in office – undid the Mexico City policy, allowing tax dollars to flow to abortion outfits, encouraged federally funded clinics to refer for abortions, forced the US military to provide abortion services and permitted human embryo vivisection. His oft-stated claim that he wanted abortion to be “safe, legal and rare” was revealed as a sham at that moment.

Bush weighed the evidence before acting, while Clinton overreached. What will Obama do? Whatever he does, it will cast in sharp relief who Barack Obama really is, is he the reasonable sounding moderate who appeared on the televised debates and in those carefully crafted (and ubiquitous) TV commercials? Or is he the radical who associates with race-baiting pastors, unrepentant terrorists and makes far-reaching promises to Planned Parenthood?

By signing a series of pro-abortion executive orders, Pres. Obama will be perceived as governing from the Left. The die will be cast, and pro-lifers will rally against him from that moment. They will start looking towards 2010 to restore some checks and balances on this man they will rightly perceive as a pro-abortion zealot.

Clinton’s pollster argued strongly against acting on abortion policy as one of the new administration’s first pieces of business, but he [Clinton] went ahead regardless. The debacle of the 1994 House elections for the Democrats began at that moment. Let us see if Barack makes the same mistake.


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