Life Advocacy Briefing

March 2, 2009


Bad As It Is, It Could’ve Been Worse / Trying to Head Off Trouble / Arkansas Outlaws Mid-Birth Infanticide / Octomom’s Gift to the Pro-Life Movement / March for Life Speeches / Signers of Jordan-Shuler Letter

Bad As It Is, It Could’ve Been Worse

CONGRESS WAS WORKING ITS WAY THROUGH A MASSIVE OMNIBUS spending bill last week to appropriate funds for agencies not yet funded for the current fiscal year. (The 110th Congress adjourned with nine of 12 major appropriations measures stuck in the legislative maze.) A touch of good news in the House-passed HR-1105 is overcome by a lot of bad news.

First a bit of the bad: The bill, as of this writing, totals $410 billion and is marked, as usual, by pork. Included: $50 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an agency which Pres. George W. Bush refused to fund because of its complicity with Red China’s depopulation pogrom. No evidence exists to suggest UNFPA has turned away from abetting Beijing’s notorious “one-child” policy, but Pres. Obama is a fan of the detestable UN agency, as are the abortion lobby’s fellow travelers in Congress. “For the first time in eight years,” notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in FRC’s Feb. 24 Washington Update, “the US will be knowingly subsidizing forced abortion and sterilization.” At twice the earmark as during the Clinton years.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) offered an amendment to remove the bill’s loophole authorizing the UNFPA payout; his amendment was blocked by the House Rules Committee.

A further Smith amendment would have limited the $545 million being sought by Pres. Obama for “family planning” to disqualify organizations that promote or commit abortion; that amendment, too, was deep-sixed by the Rules panel.

Pres. Obama “has also asked for a $13 million reduction in Community-Based Abstinence Education grants,” writes Mr. Perkins, “while increasing its funding for Title X [Ten] birth control programs to $307 million.” The anti-abstinence cut and boost for Title X were in the House-passed measure.

“Another provision,” FRC notes, “would give college health and abortion clinics the ability to purchase contraception and Plan B [morning-after pills] at a ‘nominal’ price, … while a network of California Planned Parenthood clinics is under investigation,” notes FRC, “for fraudulently re-selling these same drugs at higher prices for profit.”

The good news? It appears the fights over pro-life appropriations “riders” – those policy provisions inserted into spending bills to prevent taxpayer subsidies for abortion in various government programs – will be delayed at least until this spring’s appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2010. All the traditional pro-life riders, such as excluding abortion as a fringe benefit for federal employees, paying for abortions on federal prisoners, the Hyde Amendment barring reimbursement for most abortions on indigent mothers, and several more, are included in the omnibus bill for the balance of FY2009. Though this victory is likely temporary, in the current climate, it is a blessing.


Trying to Head Off Trouble

CAPITOL HILL CONSERVATIVES CONTINUE TO EXPECT TROUBLE over abortion riders when the FY2010 appropriations bills are introduced; we’ll know soon.

Some 180 Members of the US House hope to head off such trouble and have signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), to Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) and to Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who chairs the House Rules Committee.

The letter urges sustaining of the traditional pro-life appropriations policy provisions and asks that all House Members be given an opportunity to vote – up or down – on amendments to reinsert such policies on any spending bills which emerge from committee without the long-standing policies respecting taxpayers’ need to avoid complicity in destruction of human life.

The letter was initiated by two second-term Members, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC). It was co-signed by Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), the co-chairmen of the House Pro-Life Caucus, and by 176 other Members, listed below at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

Readers may wish to contact House Members (1-202/224-3121) to thank those who have signed the Jordan-Shuler letter or to request those who have not so signed to “support the pro-life appropriations riders.”


Arkansas Outlaws Mid-Birth Infanticide

ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE BEEBE (D) HAS SIGNED LEGISLATION banning partial-birth abortion. The new law, passed by 84-to-6 in the House and 30-to-3 in the State Senate, “authorizes the state medical board to seek action against doctors who perform the procedure,” writes Kathleen Gilbert for, “and [provides] that those convicted could be punished with up to six years in prison. The federal ban carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.”

The federal ban depends, too, on federal prosecutors placing a priority on prosecutions of abortionists. States which adopt their own statutes can prosecute through local law enforcement officers, who are much more likely to see partial-birth abortion as a crime worthy of punishment. States should enact their own statutes and not depend on the federal apparatus.

The Arkansas statute was bitterly fought by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union [sic], both “arguing,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “that it contained no exception in case the procedure is deemed necessary to protect the mother’s health.” (It is the abortionist who would be making that call, and under the 1973 Supreme Court edict in Doe v. Bolton, it could be based on such factors as psychological or emotional “health” or even the mother’s age or family concerns.)


Octomom’s Gift to the Pro-Life Movement

Excerpted from a column by Jill Stanek (, commenting on the societal fallout from the birth of octuplets conceived for Nadya Suleman, California single mother of six, through in vitro fertilization.

I don’t know why Nadya Suleman opted for single, poverty-stricken motherhood on steroids (pun intended), undergoing the in vitro fertilization procedure several times to produce 14 children since 2001. The last eight were born Jan. 26 … . But in one fell swoop, Suleman has spotlighted problems with unregulated IVF and turned public opinion against unregulated IVF.

Now is the time for pro-lifers to introduce legislation in their states regulating IVF and with it regulating the creation and care of embryos.

There is perfect model legislation introduced in the Georgia Senate last week, The Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act, SB-169 [text available at]. SB-169 limits the number of embryos implanted to the same number fertilized, up to a maximum of three, which will stop the practice of freezing human embryos and curtail selective reductions. The bill defines ex-utero embryos as human beings with inherent rights, so court disputes must be decided in the best interest of the embryo, not either parent fighting over the embryo.

SB-169 goes much further, outlawing all forms of human cloning, creation of chimeras, etc.  David Prentice of the Family Research Council has endorsed SB-169. Importantly, the wording of SB-169 attempts to take Catholic concerns about IVF into account. Crafters are hoping for the endorsement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [1-202/541-3000].


March for Life Speeches

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

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA): I’m David Vitter, Louisiana’s pro-life Senator, and I’m committed with all of these men and women to do everything we can in the Capitol behind us to preserve and promote and defend life. But I’m mostly here to tell you that we’re going to win this fight not because of us but because of you, because of your faith and your commitment and your work, particularly the young people in this wonderful pro-life crowd. We’re going to win this battle ultimately not because of votes behind us but because of your work to win the hearts and minds of all of your fellow young Americans. And thank you for that work. Keep on with that work; keep on marching and fighting and working and praying, and we will prevail.

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA): I’m Congressman Jack Kingston from the First District of Georgia. I’m on the Appropriations Committee, and we’re going to do everything that we can to make sure that your hard earned tax dollars aren’t used to fund abortion. We’re going to do everything that we can to keep the Hyde Amendment, to keep the Mexico City language, and to cut the funding of Planned Parenthood, which is now at $336 million a year. And ladies and gentlemen, I want you to follow the President of the United States’s example and, like him, be a community activist. And keep on doing what you’re doing. God bless you. Stay active.

Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH): Good afternoon, I’m Congressman Bob Latta from the Fifth District of Ohio. I want to thank you all for being here. I’m very proud of the fact of being 100 percent pro-life here in Congress and all the years I served in the General Assembly. I tell you, we fought the fight, we’re going to keep fighting the fight, ’cause I know you’re going to help with it, aren’t you? You know, a lot of times people show up and they say, Bob, what can we do? You know, here we are, we’re all pro-life here; it’s kind of like preaching to the choir. But I’m going to tell you something, it’s the choir that sings – and the rest of the congregation – and that’s what you’ve got to do out there. You’ve got to get out there and tell everybody in the neighborhoods, in your towns, in your churches, why it’s so important to protect Life. Thank you.

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC): Hey, Bob Inglis from South Carolina, and I’m here to tell you about the secret weapon of the pro-life movement. It’s called ultrasound – ultrasound in the hands of crisis pregnancy centers that you support and even more powerful in the hands of grandmothers. Those grandmothers showing their pictures of their unborn grandchildren to all of their friends is changing the way we look at that baby. When I was running for Congress again in ’04, I called up a pro-choice friend and said, I hope you can support me but I know you’ve got trouble with my pro-life position in the past. She said, I’m not so pro-choice any more. I said, Really, what’s happened? She said, Ultrasound; the pictures show a baby. We’re winning this battle because you’re working and because ultrasound is working, so let’s keep at it. Thank you.

Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA): Hi, I’m Congressman G.T. Thompson from Pennsylvania. Proud to be pro-life, proud to represent the people of the Fifth District, including the innocent unborn. Protecting the lives of the unborn should never serve as a political football but rather a rallying point to celebrate the most precious gift that God has given us and one that our founding fathers placed first as the most important, the right to Life. But while I’m speaking today to the choir, I truly believe our message of Life is resonating across this great land. While one abortion is too many, in my eyes, the statistics are moving in the right direction. Is there work to do? Absolutely. With your commitment and that of my colleagues standing on this stage today, I’m confident that we are moving in the right direction. And thanks for inviting me today. I look forward to the March. And God bless.

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX): Good afternoon. My name is Pete Olson, and I’m a freshman Member from the great state of Texas. The oath I took on the floor of the House of Representatives, to defend the Constitution in my new office, follows one I took long ago in my heart: To protect the most innocent among us. This is not a new fight for me or for you, but we must never, ever waver in our determination and eagerness to see that justice is eventually done. I appreciate all the work you do and will continue to do. God bless the unborn, God bless all of you, and God bless the United States. Thank you.


Signers of Jordan-Shuler Letter

The following House Members co-signed the letter circulated by Representatives Jordan and Shuler and Pro-Life Caucus co-chairmen Representatives Bart Stupak and Chris Smith, requesting maintenance of the traditional pro-life appropriations riders and, failing that, an opportunity for House roll calls on any such taxpayer protection dropped in the House Appropriations Committee.

Republican Representatives John Boehner (OH), House GOP Leader; Eric Cantor (VA), GOP Whip; Mike Pence (IN), Conference Chairman, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Conference Vice Chairman, and Robert Aderholt, Spencer Bachus, Jo Bonner & Mike Rogers (AL); Don Young (AK); Jeff Flake, Trent Franks & John Shadegg (AZ); John Boozman; (AR); Brian Bilbray, Ken Calvert, John Campbell, Wally Herger, Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa, Elton Gallegly, Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy, Tom McClintock, Gary Miller, Devin Nunes, George Radanovich, Dana Rohrabacher & Edward Royce (CA); Mike Coffman & Doug Lamborn (CO); Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Connie Mack, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Bill Posey, Adam Putnam, Thomas Rooney, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Cliff Stearns & C.W. (Bill) Young (FL); Paul Broun, Nathan Deal, Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston, John Linder, Tom Price & Lynn Westmoreland (GA); Michael Simpson (ID); Tim Johnson, Don Manzullo, Peter Roskam, Aaron Schock & John Shimkus (IL); Dan Burton & Mark Souder (IN); Steve King & Tom Latham (IA); Jerry Moran & Todd Tiahrt (KS); Geoff Davis, Brett Guthrie, Harold Rogers & Ed Whitfield (KY); Rodney Alexander, Charles Boustany, Anh “Joseph” Cao, Bill Cassidy, John Fleming & Steve Scalise (LA).

Also GOP Representatives Roscoe Bartlett (MD); Dave Camp, Peter Hoekstra, Vernon Ehlers, Thaddeus McCotter, Candice Miller, Mike Rogers & Fred Upton (MI); Michele Bachmann, John Kline & Erik Paulsen (MN); Gregg Harper (MS); Todd Akin, Roy Blunt, JoAnn Emerson, Sam Graves & Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO); Denny Rehberg (MT); Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith & Lee Terry (NE); Scott Garrett & Frank LoBiondo (NJ); Peter King (NY); Howard Coble, Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones, Patrick McHenry & Sue Myrick (NC); Steve Austria, Robert Latta, Jean Schmidt, Patrick Tiberi & Michael Turner (OH); Tom Cole, Mary Fallin, Frank Lucas & John Sullivan (OK); Jim Gerlach, Tim Murphy, Joseph Pitts, Todd Platts, Bill Shuster & Glenn Thompson (PA); J. Gresham Barrett, Henry Brown, Bob Inglis & Joe Wilson (SC); Marsha Blackburn, John Duncan, David (Phil) Roe & Zach Wamp (TN); Joe Barton, Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, John Carter, Michael Conaway, John Culberson, Kay Granger, Ralph Hall, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson, Louie Gohmert, Michael McCaul, Kenny Marchant, Randy Neugebauer, Pete Olson, Ron Paul, Ted Poe, Pete Sessions, Lamar Smith & Mac Thornberry (TX); Rob Bishop & Jason Chaffetz (UT); Bob Goodlatte, Randy Forbes, Robert Wittman & Frank Wolf (VA); Doc Hastings (WA); Thomas Petri, Paul Ryan & James Sensenbrenner (WI); Cynthia Lummis (WY).

Democratic Representatives Bobby Bright & Parker Griffith (AL); Jim Marshall (GA); Jerry Costello & Dan Lipinski (IL); Joe Donnelly & Brad Ellsworth (IN); Charlie Melancon (LA); Dale Kildee (MI); Collin Peterson (MN); Travis Childers & Gene Taylor (MS); Mike McIntyre (NC); Steve Driehaus (OH); Dan Boren (OK); Jason Altmire, Kathleen Dahlkemper & Tim Holden (PA); Lincoln Davis (TN); Solomon Ortiz (TX); Nick Rahall (WV).


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