Life Advocacy Briefing

April 20, 2009


Back to the Ramparts! / Sebelius Mired in Tiller Muck / More Sebelius ‘Responses’ / Open Season on Embryonic Babies / What’s in a Name? / Keep Our Conscience Clause! / Good Point / Kudos / Standing Ovation at Mention of Unborn

Back to the Ramparts!

CONGRESS RETURNS TODAY (MONDAY) from its two-week Easter break. For pro-life citizens, nothing is of more urgent priority than urging Senators to reject the nominations of David Hamilton to sit on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Dawn Johnsen to make public policy as Chief Legal Counsel in the Justice Department and Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS).

Phone calls to Senators are critical – even from those who have previously called, now that the Senate is reconvening. The capitol switchboard is at 1-202/224-3121. Those who do not know the names of their own Senators can simply furnish their home state, and operators should be able to connect their calls appropriately. Calls should be placed also to GOP Senators Arlen Specter (PA), Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (ME), and to Democratic Senators Bob Casey Jr. (PA), Ben Nelson (NE), Evan Bayh (IN) and Mark Pryor (AR).


Sebelius Mired in Tiller Muck

BESIDES A MURKY RECORD AS GOVERNOR and a seeming inability to pay her taxes, Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) has exposed another reason Senators should vote to reject her confirmation as Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS). She appears to have a problem in telling the truth.

Answering written questions submitted by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) [thank you, Sen. Kyl!] about reported political contributions by notorious Wichita abortionist George Tiller to her Kansas campaigns, Mrs. Sebelius, shall we say, understated – in writing – the Tiller investment.

Here was the Sebelius response, quoted by Erica Werner for Associated Press (AP): “‘I have been familiar with Dr. Tiller for many years because he lives and works in Kansas.  Dr. Tiller, like many Kansans, contributed to my campaign for insurance commissioner. I received $12,450 over an eight-year period (1994-2001), which represented 1% of my total contributions during that time. Since that time, I have received no donations from Dr. Tiller or any PAC related to him.’

“What Sebelius left out,” reports AP: “Campaign finance documents show that Tiller also contributed $10,000 to Sebelius’s Bluestem Fund PAC in September 2000, and his [abortion] clinic, Women’s Health Care Services, contributed $8,000 to the PAC in December 2001 and another $5,000 in March 2002. … The records were reviewed Monday by the AP and their accuracy was verified by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.”

Responded HHS spokesman Nick Papas, quoted by Ms. Werner in the AP story, “‘There was an oversight in the initial answer provided to the committee. Obviously donations to the PAC are a matter of public record. The governor is updating the answer to this question and will resubmit it to the committee.’”

When she corrects her, uh, “oversight,” will she also disclose – or will she refute – the claim made by Mr. Tiller himself to have donated some $200,000 to a political committee he controlled, ProKanDo, for the purpose of defeating Mrs. Sebelius’s chief opponent in the 2002 gubernatorial election?

The chief Tiller watchdog, Operation Rescue, has released “a copy of a letter signed by [Mr.] Tiller,” reports OR in an April 15 news release, “stating that he personally contributed” the six-figure investment to “‘make sure we have a pro-choice Governor.’” In the OR-released letter, Mr. Tiller also, reports the OR release, “makes a plea to raise an additional $250,000 to influence the governor’s race.”

 “This letter is the smoking gun showing that Sebelius continues to conceal the full extent of her financial support from Tiller,” remarked OR president Troy Newman. “Kathleen Sebelius,” he remarked in the news release, “benefited from the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Tiller personally gave to influence the outcome of the 2002 election in her favor.”

That level of connection would certainly explain why Mrs. Sebelius hosted a party for Mr. Tiller in the governor’s mansion better than the more incidental and ancient contributions she has admitted even on the second try. OR says neither of the stories offered by the governor or her spokesman to explain the dinner party – stories which conflict anyway – “stands up under available documentation.”


More Sebelius ‘Responses’

IN ANSWER TO OTHER QUESTIONS FROM SEN. KYL, H.H.S. Secretary-nominee Kathleen Sebelius “said,” reports Medical News Today (MNT) citing Kansas City Star as source, “she does not expect to issue new abortion regulations if confirmed,” adding, of course, “that she would ‘implement and uphold the law’ if Congress or the courts change current abortion laws, promoting new federal abortion regulations.” The report does not indicate whether she was asked whether her department would advocate such legislated or court-mandated changes.

The current Kansas governor “said she is ‘personally opposed to abortion,’” MNT/Star reports, “and that her Roman Catholic faith ‘teaches me that all life is sacred.’” That answer does not square with her record in Kansas, where she has repeatedly vetoed legislation to clean up the filthy conditions in Kansas abortuaries, a record which also does not square with her answer to Sen. Kyl, again quoting from the MNT/Star story, that “she has vetoed abortion-related legislation because of privacy concerns or a threat to ‘constitutional rights’” – unless, that is, she views unfettered practice by Kansas abortionists (including such horrors as storing dead babies’ remains in refrigerators alongside clinic staff food) as a “constitutional right.”


Open Season on Embryonic Babies

THE OBAMA REGIME ANNOUNCED FRIDAY ITS NEW ‘GUIDELINES’ for taxpayer-funded experiments on sacrificed embryonic human beings, “open[ing] the door for a vast expansion of the research,” writes Ceci Connolly for the Washington Post, “but stop[ping] short of allowing scientists to create human embryos for research purposes or pursuing cloning techniques.” The guidelines are now open to a 30-day comment period.

The Washington Post staff writer describes this as “the more conservative approach” and attributes its adoption by the Obama National Institutes of Health (NIH) as “largely for political reasons rather than any particular scientific concern.”

The draft guidelines permit tax funds to be used by scientists working on stem cells derived from the killing of embryonic babies “donated at fertility clinics.”

Acting NIH director Raynard Kington declared the new guidelines would offer “‘a great expansion of the opportunities because of the many more lines we’ll be able to use,’” reports Ms. Connolly, who reports Mr. Kington “expects many new applications.”


What’s in a Name?

A HARVARD GENETICS PROFESSOR HAS REPORTED he and his team of scientists have, reports Harvard Science, “cleared a key hurdle in the creation of synthetic life, assembling a cell’s critical protein-making machinery in an advance with both practical, industrial applications and that advances the basic understanding of life’s workings.”

In manufacturing “billions of synthetic ribosomes,” reports Harvard Science, “readily creates a long, complex protein.” These scientists have, according to Prof. George Church, quoted by the proud Harvard publication, reached “‘a huge milestone in th[e] direction of … ma[king] artificial life.’”

Here’s the kicker: They call their very own protein “firefly luciferase.” No kidding.


Keep Our Conscience Clause!

WHILE SORTING THROUGH THE PUBLIC COMMENTS responding to Pres. Obama’s intention to rescind the Bush Administration’s Medical Provider Conscience rule, the Regime would do well to note also the results of a public opinion poll commissioned by the Christian Medical Assn. (CMA).

Asked whether they believed “it is important,” writes Theodore Baklinski for, “to ‘make sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections,’” some 87% of surveyed adults agreed with that position.

Among Christians physicians also surveyed by the CMA, reports Mr. Baklinski, “95% … agreed with the statement, ‘I would rather stop practicing medicine altogether than be forced to violate my conscience.’” Of course, driving Christians out of the profession might just be the point, regardless of the human tragedy which would result.

Removing the Conscience Rule “sends a clear message,” said CMA CEO David Stevens MD, quoted by Mr. Baklinski: “‘It is open season on healthcare professionals of conscience. Discriminate at will.’”


Good Point

PRO-LIFE COLUMNIST JILL STANEK LAST WEEK ANALYZED the “abortion reduction” stratagem advanced by the abortion lobby since the public grew tired of Pres. Bill Clinton’s “safe/legal/rare” shibboleth.

Noting an effort by the Obama White House to stage a “common ground” discussion among advocates and opponents of decriminalized abortion, Mrs. Stanek posed in her column a question for the pro-abortion side: “Why care about ‘reducing the need for abortion’?

“If abortion is morally neutral, even morally superior – a ‘blessing’ and ‘holy work,’ according to new Cambridge Episcopal Divinity School pro-abort President Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale – why aren’t proponents working to increase the need for abortion?” asks Mrs. Stanek. “It makes no sense to decrease it.”

The skillful columnist then answers her own question with an important observation: “Recognize this is a concession,” she urges. “If America is as pro-abortion as the other side likes to say, there is absolutely no reason to ‘reduce the need for abortion.’ So don’t let them gloss over this point. Stick on it,” she exhorts.

“If they state the problems are merely financial or inconvenience, they lose,” she asserts, “because they alienate the vast unwashed they are trying to woo by denying what the vast unwashed consistently polls it knows: Abortion is the taking of a human life.

“If they admit there is a moral problem with abortion, they lose by opening a can of worms with both the public and the abortion industry,” she writes. “The next question obviously is, ‘What is the moral question with abortion?’ And they never, ever want to be pinned into going there.”

We at Life Advocacy have seen the clever Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)more than once skillfully skewer pro-life Members of Congress when they illogically advocate compromised versions of their own proposals (such as the watered-down Hyde Amendment accepted by the pro-life contingent in Congress when Pres. Clinton forced a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum on them). We would be delighted indeed if a pro-life Member of Congress – or even several – were to adopt the Stanek approach the next time an abortion advocate murmurs his or her commitment to “reducing the need [sic] for abortion.”

We see Mrs. Stanek’s questioning technique as an effective tool also in the abortion debate which should be taken up by pro-life candidates in campaigns.

Life is a winning issue, whose confident advocacy wins voters to the side of those candidates who assert their embrace of Life both as a moral and as a common-sense, mainstream American position and who also expose their deceptive, sheep’s-clothing opponents as apologists for a dark, lethal racket in the worst sense of the term.



CONGRATULATIONS TO VANDERBURGH COUNTY RIGHT TO LIFE on snagging Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) as keynote speaker for its Evansville, Indiana, benefit banquet last Thursday evening, netting the venerable pro-life group live coverage of several on-point minutes of her speech during Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta VanSusteren.”


Standing Ovation at Mention of Unborn

Though not a “Catholic” publication, we recognize that many of our readers are deeply concerned – as should be all pro-life advocates, it seems to us – about efforts by the abortion lobby to undermine the pro-life/family commitment of the Roman Catholic Church in America. We were cheered by this report from Kathleen Gilbert for LifeSiteNews and wish to share its encouragement. Reprinted from, April 16, 2009

New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral erupted in applause yesterday during the installation Mass of Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the new leader of the Catholic Church in New York, when the prelate mentioned the sanctity of human life in the womb.

In a press conference the day before, the popular new archbishop affirmed that he would not back down from defending Life and Family in his influential new position.

“The Resurrection goes on, as His Church continues to embrace and protect the dignity of every human person, the sanctity of human life, from the tiny baby in the womb to the last moment of natural passing into eternal life,” said Dolan in his homily, which witnesses say was immediately interrupted by “deafening” applause.

“At the phrase ‘tiny baby in the womb,’ a sharp staccato applause began (from what I could hear) originating from the priests,” popular American Papist blogger Thomas Peters, who was in attendance, told Peters said the ‘violent’ applause, which lasted about half a minute, led to a standing ovation by the congregation and nearly all the priests.

“My personal feeling was that it was a ‘moment’ for the assembled gathering – a strong declaration of the Church’s proud and uncompromising defense of unborn human life, especially at this crucial time in our nation and in particular at this transition taking place for the New York archdiocese,” he added.

Dolan’s homily continued: “As the Servant of God Terrence Cardinal Cooke wrote, ‘Human life is no less sacred or worthy of respect because it is tiny, pre-born, poor, sick, fragile or handicapped.’

“Yes, the Church is a loving mother who has a zest for life and serves life everywhere, but she can become a protective ‘mamma bear’ when the life of her innocent, helpless cubs is threatened,” he said – at which moment the church erupted in applause a second time.

“Everyone in this mega-community is a somebody with an extraordinary destiny,” Dolan said. “Everyone is a somebody in whom God has invested an infinite love. That is why the Church reaches out to the unborn, the suffering, the poor, our elders, the physically and emotionally challenged, those caught in the web of addictions.”

Dolan, the former archbishop of Milwaukee famed for his jovial and inviting demeanor, told press members at a conference Tuesday that he would defend authentic Church teaching on “controversial” issues with clarity and firmness. Asked if he would use his new position as a bully pulpit on issues such as same-sex “marriage,” Dolan objected to the negative connotation of the term “bully” but emphasized that he would “still preach the truth,” whether in a position of influence or not.

On controversial topics “that the church has a message to give,” Dolan said, “I don’t shy away from those things, and I wouldn’t sidestep them. We bishops aren’t into politics, we’re into principle,” he added.


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