Life Advocacy Briefing

February 23, 2009


She Said, But He Said / The Lady Meets her Bishop / Elections Have Consequences / Telling the Truth / Say ‘No’ to Tax-funded Abortion / Ghoulish Anticipation /
‘Personhood’ Advances
/ March for Life Speeches

She Said, But He Said

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA) TRIED TO SUGARCOAT her 15-minute audience with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome last week, but the Vatican had already released a summary which prompted Fox News writers to theorize, facetiously, “It appears the pope and the politician attended two different get-togethers. …

“‘It is with great joy that my husband Paul and I met with his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI today,’ [Speaker] Pelosi gushed in a statement released hours after the meeting. ‘In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church’s leadership in fighting poverty, hunger and global warming, as well as the Holy Father’s dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel.’” She goes on to brag about showing the pope photos of her family.

The Vatican version, released just before the meeting, according to Fox News, bore a strikingly different tone and disclosed the pope’s plan for the conversation. “‘His Holiness took the opportunity,’” reads the Vatican release, quoted by Fox News, “‘to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, which enjoins all Catholics and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.’”

“Vatican insiders stressed to,” reports LifeSite’s editor John-Henry Westen, “that such releases are always phrased in diplomatic language and thus the correction of the Speaker who describes herself as a ‘faithful Catholic,’ despite her abortion advocacy, should be taken as a firm rebuke. … Contrary to normal protocols for such meetings with dignitaries,” writes Mr. Westen, “no photos of [Rep.] Pelosi with the pope have been released.”

“The pontiff has a long history,” reports Fox News, “of urging Catholic politicians to toe the line on abortion and has said that those who don’t shouldn’t take communion. [Mrs.] Pelosi supports abortion rights,” notes Fox News, “and says she’s never been denied communion at her church in San Francisco.” Nor, apparently, has she refrained from participating in the ritual. Nor has she by any means realigned her allegiance from slathering obedience to the abortion mob.


The Lady Meets her Bishop

NEWS BROKE AFTER SPEAKER PELOSI’s MEETING WITH THE POPE, revealing that she met privately Feb. 8 with Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco,” reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “to discuss her stance on abortion.

“[Mrs.] Pelosi had publicly accepted an invitation to meet with [Archbishop] Niederauer,” notes Ms. Gilbert, “after the Speaker attempted to justify abortion in light of Catholic teaching last year during an interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’.”

Archbishop Niederauer was among “a chorus of bishops,” notes Ms. Gilbert, “condemning the comments, issuing a lengthy statement to correct [Speaker] Pelosi’s error and invite her to ‘a conversation with me about these matters.’ [Mrs.] Pelosi immediately responded,” reports LifeSiteNews, “saying she would ‘welcome the opportunity …. to go beyond our earlier most cordial exchange about immigration and needs of the poor to Church teaching on other significant matters.’” But the prospect of a meeting with her bishop seems to have fallen below other priorities until she was preparing for her Roman holiday.

“When asked whether [Rep.] Pelosi had changed her position on abortion to agree with Catholic teaching,” writes Ms. Gilbert, her spokesman Brendan Daly “stated, ‘You won’t see that happening. She is not changing her position on abortion.’”


Elections Have Consequences

THE RUMORED REPLACEMENT FOR ex-SEN. TOM DASCHLE as Pres. Obama’s Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary is Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. The liberal Democrat “is emerging,” write New York Times reporters Peter Baker and Robert Pear, “as the President’s top choice” for the critical post, unidentified “advisers said Wednesday.”

Gov. Sebelius is a notorious friend of the abortion cartel, siding with Planned Parenthood on every proposed reform of abortion laws. Moreover, she is a close ally and protector of Wichita’s infamous late-term baby butcher George Tiller, who has long been a major donor to the governor’s campaigns.

“While a state representative [in Kansas],” notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in FRC’s Washington Update, “Mrs. Sebelius fought continually against parental notification, abortion waiting periods and informed consent. As governor,” he writes, “she twice vetoed abortion clinic regulation legislation and also a bill seeking to curb late-term abortions.”

Mr. Perkins indicated that should Pres. Obama actually appoint Mrs. Sebelius as HHS Secretary, “he will be openly declaring war on the millions of Americans who support Life.”

“If she becomes Health secretary,” write the Times reporters, “she will be the fourth woman in the 15-member cabinet, overseeing 65,000 employees and a $700 billion budget,” which includes funding for Planned Parenthood under the Title X (Ten) family planning program as well as funding of abstinence education programs and other Life-sensitive appropriation lines.


Telling the Truth

WE HAD INTENDED TO SUGGEST that you check out an amazing, contest-winning speech by a 12-year-old girl, posted on the Internet’s “YouTube” website. But just before we went to print, we discovered it is now blocked as a “private video.”  Here is the Internet address, in case it gets unblocked for public viewing:

The young lady refutes all the arguments made by the abortion lobby, speaking winsomely and passionately in favor of the right to Life – not for the sake of the baby only but also for the sake of the mother. The speech has already saved at least one baby, praise God. We wish you could see it, as we did just a day ago, as a model for pro-life speaking.

Large segments of the speech are quoted by at the following Internet address: We certainly don’t expect LifeSite will take their story private, and it’s well worth reading.


Say ‘No’ to Tax-funded Abortion

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY ACTION HAS LAUNCHED an online petition drive to urge Congress to maintain the pro-life provisions on various annual appropriations bills, from the Hyde Amendment to barring abortion coverage in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan.

Those wishing more information about the petition or about the appropriations-rider issue may visit the Internet website, where one can also “sign” the petition.


Ghoulish Anticipation

OFFICIALS AT THE NAT’L INSTITUTES OF HEALTH HAVE ALREADY BEGUN “drafting guidelines they will need to start funding embryonic stem cell research,” reports Washington Post staff writer Rob Stein.

The Stein story details preparations being made, not only at NIH but also at universities from California to Massachusetts, to take full advantage of whatever opportunity Pres. Obama offers in his anticipated order overturning the Bush executive order limiting federal funding of experiments on embryonic humans to those picking on embryos already killed before the Aug. 9, 2001, order.

Mr. Obama has said, variously, that he will issue an executive order overturning the Bush policy or that he will await the will of Congress in the matter (confident Congress will do the dirty work for him). The most recent public utterance was in a Feb. 15 Fox News Sunday television appearance by David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s chief political operative, who said the President was “considering” an order which Mr. Axelrod predicted would be issued “soon.”

“‘Everyone is waiting with bated breath,’ said George Dailey, a leading stem cell scientist at Children’s Hospital in Boston,” quoted by Mr. Stein. “‘We’re all waiting to breathe a huge sigh of relief.’” That may be because private funding for the quixotic avenue of medical experimentation was sharply reduced first by the federal government backing away in 2001 and since then by the utter failure of embryo-sacrifice experiments to fulfill the claimed promise for the field, especially in contrast to the continued success in adult stem cell research.

A spokesman for one of the leading lobby groups demanding federal funding of Nazistic experimentation, Amy Comstock Rick of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, told Mr. Stein, “‘We were surprised and disappointed’” the anticipated executive order was not forthcoming during Pres. Obama’s first-week flurry of Bush-reversing orders. “‘We’re wondering,’” she said, “‘why it’s taking so long.’”

Ms. Rick expressed angst even at the Axelrod hint. “‘The word the President is “considering” is too vague a word for me,’ [Ms.] Rick said,” quoted by Mr. Stein. “‘I don’t know entirely what that means. If it means he’s just working out the details, that’s great,’” she said. [Can you sense her biting her lip?] “‘But if “considering” means “reconsidering,” we would be very upset.’ …

“Some opponents have suggested,” writes Mr. Stein, “that [Mr.] Obama might qualify his executive order to try to take the sting out of the move. Proponents, however, hope [Pres.] Obama will simply lift the restriction without caveats and let the NIH work out the details. In anticipation,” he writes, “the NIH has started drafting guidelines that would address the many ethical issues raised by the research, using as models templates compiled by the National Academy of Sciences and the International Society for Stem Cell Research.” Something akin to summoning a fox to guard a henhouse.


‘Personhood’ Advances

THE NORTH DAKOTA HOUSE IS THE FIRST STATE LEGISLATIVE BODY to pass a Personhood Bill affirming the rights of pre-natal boys and girls. Personhood legislation has been introduced in Alabama, Maryland, Montana and South Carolina, as well as North Dakota. A Personhood Amendment petition drive is underway in Oregon, and a similar drive is expected to be launched in Missouri soon.

The North Dakota bill, reports Keith Mason of Personhood USA, states, “For purposes of interpretation of the constitution and laws of North Dakota, it is the intent of the legislative assembly that an individual, a person, when the context indicates that a reference to an individual is intended, or a human being includes any organism with the genome of homo sapiens.” (Translation: for purposes of state law, a human being at any age or stage is a person.)

The vote on HB-1572 was 51 to 41, and only one lawmaker spoke against it in debate. The measure’s passage was aided by “thousands of calls to legislators,” Mr. Mason writes in a news release. The bill next moves to the state senate, which could take up the measure within the next two weeks, according to Mr. Mason.

In Washington, DC, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has filed HR-881, the Right to Life Act, and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) has introduced S-346, the Life at Conception Act, both of which seek “to implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.” Both bills have been referred to the respective Judiciary Committee of each house. The House measure has 45 co-sponsors, and the Senate bill nine. (Rep. Hunter, incidentally, is a first-term Member and is son and namesake of the Duncan Hunter who served many years from the same district in southern California and who previously sponsored pro-life legislation.)


March for Life Speeches

Transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing from live coverage Jan. 22, 2009, on EWTN

Rep. Mary Fallin (R-OK): Hi. I’m Mary Fallin, and I’m from the pro-life state of Oklahoma. And I am also the co-chair of the US Congress Women’s Caucus, and I am pro-life. Now I see these men and women who are standing here with these signs, “I Regret my Abortion,” “I Regret I Lost my Fatherhood.” Over 18 years ago when I was a mother and a businesswoman in the community, I decided I wanted to get involved in politics—like all of you—you’re involved in politics. I announced I was going to run in December. I started campaigning for my August election and my November general, working full time, campaigning nights and weekends. January I got the flu. February I got the flu. I met a lobbyist who asked if I was pro-life, pro-choice. Hadn’t really thought about it, and I said, “Well, I’m pro-life. Why do you ask?” And he said, “Well, lady, if you’re going to run for the legislature, you have to be pro-choice, because you’re in your 30s, and what would happen if you were to get pregnant while you’re running for office?” And I looked at him, stunned, and I said, “Well, sir, if I were to happen to be expecting another child, well, I would run for office and have my child, if that’s what I felt my heart should do.” Two months later that flu I thought I had was not the flu. I campaigned pregnant, and I delivered this gorgeous six foot-four boy (shows photo), and I chose life.

Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN): Hello, I’m Dr. Phil Roe from the great state of Tennessee. I’m an obstetrician/gynecologist, and I’ve delivered almost 5,000 babies, and I strongly support the sanctity of life. Ultrasound has given us a window to see the living, breathing child inside their mother’s womb. I’ve seen this many times. I’ve seen human development occur from its earliest stages of life through birth, which strengthens my conviction in the right to life. Life is a precious miracle from God and begins at conception, and it’s our responsibility and privilege as legislators to protect those who do not have a voice. I will always fight for the right to life because it is my conviction that we are all unique creations of a God Who knows us and loves us before we were even conceived. Today we mark one of the most tragic misguided Supreme Court cases in our nation’s history, Roe versus Wade. Since that, 50 million children have been denied the right to life. We must make our laws consistent with our science and restore full legal protections to all of those who are waiting to be born. If government has any legitimate function at all, it is to protect the most innocent among us. Thank you all very much for being here, and God bless America.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE): I’m Congressman Jeff Fortenberry from Nebraska. Where are the Cornhuskers? Hi, everyone. Thank you all so very much for being here with us today. You know just 48 hours ago I was seated on the balcony of the Capitol Building right behind us, some 60 feet away from then President Bush and now President Obama and actually only about 30 feet away from Aretha Franklin, which was particularly exciting. But from my vantage point on the Capitol steps, I could see a sea of people a mile long stretching way beyond the Washington Monument, people filled with anticipation and witnesses to an historic moment in our nation’s tradition of peaceful political transition. Now while we are fewer in numbers here today, our passion is equally as fervent, our love of country, our love of justice, and love of what is right brings us here today to another profound historic moment and opportunity for change. You see, you young people, particularly those of you right here in front, you are the inheritors of the great American tradition of seeking justice. You are the new abolitionists. You are the new civil rights movement; you are the voices of the defenseless and the conscience of a nation that is desperately seeking renewed principles. We are not living in the middle ages. We know when human life begins. Yet, equally as important, women deserve better than abortion. God bless you all. Thank you for being with us.


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