Life Advocacy Briefing

May 4, 2009


Help Stop Judge Hamilton / Sebelius Confirmed / Did Sen. Specter Jump Too Soon?
/ Good News / Exercising Conscience, Thank God / Protecting Parents /
Parental Rights Constitutional Amendment / Obama Report Says Pro-Lifers May Cause Extremist Violence / Senate Voting Record: Sebelius

Help Stop Judge Hamilton

NEW FIGHT PENDING: Judge David Hamilton, now a federal district judge in Indiana, nominated by the President to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (based in Chicago).

This one could get interesting.  Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has signaled he will lead a filibuster on the nomination of the judge who ordered invocators before the Indiana legislature to stop praying in the name of Jesus but allowed legislative invocations offered to the Muslim god, Allah. This oft-overturned, leftish judge is also known for invalidating an informed consent in abortion law whose provisions had already been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Senators to contact: your own two, plus Democratic Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor (AR), Mary Landrieu (LA), Ben Nelson (NE), Robert Casey (PA), Mark Warner (VA), Robert Byrd (WV). Also GOP Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (ME).

Phone number for the Capitol switchboard is 1-202/224-3121. Those preferring to use electronic mail – or to both call and write – may contact Senators through the Internet website


Sebelius Confirmed

THE CONFIRMATION OF KATHLEEN SEBELIUS LAST TUESDAY was, in the end, not a surprise, though certain of the 65 “yes” votes were disappointing. (We publish the voting record at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.) The US Senate has yet to reject an Obama nominee, though some have withdrawn rather than risk pioneering in that category.  Mrs. Sebelius did tempt the Senate with her outrageous veto of a modest late-term abortion reform on her way out the door of the Kansas governor’s mansion.

But when Mexican flu crossed the border into the US, Democrats and their media fellow travelers quickly took up a politically inspired cry of faux panic over the Health & Human Services bureaucracy being headless while waiting for Gov. Sebelius to transition into epidemic-fighter-in-chief. Putting Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano onto television day after day offering epidemic “updates” may have been enough to scare some of the Senators into the Sebelius camp, if any were actually wobbling.


Did Sen. Specter Jump Too Soon?

LAST WEEK’s LEAKED NEWS OF DAVID SOUTER’s IMPENDING RETIREMENT from the US Supreme Court has touched off a fever of speculation as to his possible replacement. Here is a true test of GOP resolve – and of self-described “moderates” scattered among the majority Democrats, as we expect a litmus-tested, abortion-backing nominee, regardless of what demographic discrimination is employed by the White House.

Here, too, is an opportunity presented in the departure of Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) last week from the Republican Party. The never reliable Sen. Specter will not be the Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee when the high court nominee arrives there. That post could well be filled by then by pro-life stalwart Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

Cornell law professor Michael Dorf opined on his Internet weblog last week that the Specter defection could have an even more profound effect on judicial nominations, could even have opened the door for committee Republicans to block a vote – essentially mount a filibuster – within the Judiciary Committee. His theory stems from Committee Rule IV, which states that a vote on a nominee can be called only with assent from 10 panel members which must include at least one from the minority party. That means if all Republicans on the Judiciary Committee can muster the intestinal fortitude – under the leadership of Sen. Sessions – to say “no” to a committee vote on a given nominee, they can actually prevent the nomination from going forward to the full Senate.

Here are the names of the Republican Senators on Judiciary; keep this list for use whenever a judicial nominee – or Justice Dept. nominee – is pending in the committee: Lindsey Graham (SC), Orrin Hatch (UT), Charles Grassley (IA), Jon Kyl (AZ), Jeff Sessions, John Cornyn (TX) and Tom Coburn (OK), pending the filling of the Specter vacancy. Not a Collins or a Snowe among them.


Good News

READY FOR SOME GOOD NEWS, for a change? Advances in ethical stemcell research continue, with a recent study, published in the Journal of Translational Medicine (JTM), showing promise for treatment of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.

Granted, it was a limited study, but it tracks with other research in the application of adult stem cells for therapies and even cures in human beings, a dramatic contrast with the lack of results from experiments stemming from the sacrifice of embryonic human beings. (Such Frankensteinian science has not advanced beyond animal studies, in part because of safety issues which appear irresolvable.)

In the JTM study, researchers from Medistem, Inc., and from the University of California/San Diego (UCSD) Division of Neurosurgery administered stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells, derived from the subjects’ own fat tissue, to three patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS).

“‘All three patients in our study showed dramatic improvement in their condition after the course of SVF therapy,’” said UCSD research leader Dr. Boris Minev, quoted by “‘While obviously no conclusions in terms of therapeutic efficacy can be drawn from these reports,’” he said, “‘this first clinical use of fat stem cells for treatment of MS supports further investigations into this very simple and easily implementable treatment methodology. … None of the presently available MS treatments selectively inhibit the immune attack against the nervous system, ’” he said, “‘nor do they stimulate regeneration of previously damaged tissue. We’ve shown that SVF cells may fill this therapeutic gap.’

In detailing the benefits shown by the limited study, Dr. Minev and his colleagues reported, according to LifeSite, the first of the three subjects “had suffered frequent painful seizures for the previous three years; after treatment,” reports LifeSite, “he reported that the seizures had stopped completely and that he had seen significant improvements in his cognition and a reduction of spasticity in his arms and legs.

“The second patient reported improvements in his sense of balance and coordination,” reports LifeSite, “as well as an improved energy level and mood.

“The final patient had been diagnosed with MS in 1993,” reports the pro-life news service. “After SVF treatment in 2008, his gait, balance and coordination improved dramatically over a period of several weeks. According to [Dr.] Minev,” reports LifeSite: “‘His condition continued to improve over the next few months, and he is currently reporting a continuing improvement and ability to jog, run and even [ride a] bicycle.’”


Exercising Conscience, Thank God

THE HEMLOCK SOCIETY – now renamed “Compassion & Choices” – is attempting to recruit doctors to practice in Montana, where none of the indigenous physicians has agreed to be used to implement the state’s newly-imposed abetted suicide policy.

Using a statement from a supposed “67-year-old woman who was not able to find a doctor willing to prescribe lethal drugs,” reports Theodore Baklinski for, a lawyer for the Hemlock busybodies told Associated Press (AP), “‘It’s really sad. Here we are after the ruling and [the subject woman] can’t exercise that right.’” Such a pity, eh?

Kudos to the Montana Medical Assn., which has issued a policy statement, reports Mr. Baklinski, saying it “does not condone the deliberate act of precipitating the death of a patient and does not accept the proposition that death with dignity may be achieved only through physician-assisted suicide. … ‘Our reason for being,’” said MMA president Kirk Stoner MD in the AP report quoted by LifeSite, “‘is to care for our patients.’”


Protecting Parents

A RESOLUTION HAS BEEN FILED IN THE U.S. HOUSE TO PROPOSE an amendment to the Constitution for the purpose of protecting the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children and to establish that the fundamental right thus guaranteed cannot be infringed or superseded by international law or treaty.

The amendment was drafted by parental rights attorney Michael Farris, the founder of Patrick Henry College, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Assn. and president of the Internet-based, which is promoting the proposed amendment. We publish the text below.


Parental Rights Constitutional Amendment

Text of HJ-Res-42, introduced by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), along with 70 co-sponsors, and assigned March 31, 2009, to the House Committee on the Judiciary

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

Section 1. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.

Section 2. Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.

Section 3. No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.”


Obama Report Says Pro-Lifers May Cause Extremist Violence

April 21, 2009, PRI Weekly Briefing by Colin Mason, Media Production Director for Population Research Institute

The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) says that law enforcement officials throughout the country should regard pro-lifers as potential terrorists.

According to news accounts, a report released by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence & Analysis informs law enforcement agencies around the country that they should be on the alert for “right-wing extremists,” whose ranks “may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.” The report is entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic & Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization & Recruitment.”

The report also goes on to repeatedly insist that “the historical election of an African American President and the prospect of policy changes” would be a “driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment.”

Pro-lifers should categorically reject the charge that their ranks are breeding grounds for extremism, along with the thinly veiled charge of racism. Those who defend the sanctity of life do not make racial distinctions. In fact, the pro-life movement has long been particularly concerned with the high rate of abortion among black women, and has sought to reduce it by providing alternatives to abortion, including privately supported homes for unwed mothers.

It is no secret that most pro-lifers did not vote for Obama. They objected to his promise to continue to sacrifice millions of unborn children – including millions of unborn African-American [children] – on the altar of abortion. But that fact does not give license to the Obama administration to engage in what appears to be partisan targeting on spurious domestic security grounds.

The “assessment” is also objectively untrue, of course. The pro-life movement is the largest, most peaceful movement in the history of the United States. To group tens of millions of loving pro-life activists with a handful of hateful neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups, as the report does, libels a large segment of the American population. It is deeply troubling that the government agency in charge of our nation’s domestic security would resort to such guilt-by-association tactics.

Since it was leaked to the press, the report has been criticized widely by the pro-life movement, as well as many conservative groups who feel that they have been unfairly targeted. Such was the uproar on the behalf of veterans (whom the report says are likely to be recruited because their “skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists”) that DHS [Secretary] Janet Napolitano was forced to issue an apology.

“I know that some veterans’ groups were offended by the fact that veterans were mentioned in this assessment, so I apologize for that offense,” Napolitano told CNN. “It was certainly not intended.” She meant, presumably, that she was sorry that veterans found the report offensive. But how could they not have? Did she imagine that they would be overjoyed at being identified as being a source of terrorist recruitment?

No apology has been issued to pro-lifers who, unlike veterans, are included in the report’s very definition of “right-wing extremists.” Nor is any likely to be forthcoming from the most pro-abortion Administration in American history. Move over, Bill and Hillary.

Napolitano insisted that the document is “an assessment, not an accusation,” a distinction we find downright duplicitous. After all, the point of the document is to alert law enforcement agencies to a potential threat. By singling out the pro-life movement as a potential hotbed of radical violence, the “assessment” is essentially placing a bull’s-eye on the back of pro-lifers. No “left-wing” group would ever be targeted in such an overt fashion.

If neither Napolitano nor Obama recognizes how offensive such an “assessment” is to pro-lifers, then they are truly blinded by their own bias. Either that, or they are consciously determined to make the Left the new “mainstream,” while relegating all those who disagree with Obama over babies, guns and taxes to the fringe, where they can be dealt with accordingly.


Senate Voting Record: Sebelius

Confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health & Human Services – April 28, 2009 – Confirmed 65 to 31. (Democrats in italics; “Independents” marked “I”.)

Voting “no” / pro-life: AL/Shelby, AK/Murkowski, AZ/Kyl & McCain, FL/Martinez, GA/Chambliss & Isakson, ID/Crapo & Risch, IA/Grassley, KY/Bunning & McConnell, LA/Vitter, MS/Cochran & Wicker, NE/Johanns, NV/Ensign, NC/Burr, OK/Coburn & Inhofe, SC/DeMint & Graham, SD/Thune, TN/Alexander & Corker, TX/Cornyn & Hutchison, UT/Bennett & Hatch, WY/Barrasso & Enzi

Voting “yes” / pro-abortion: AK/Begich, AR/Lincoln & Pryor, CA/Boxer & Feinstein, CO/Bennet & Udall, CT/Dodd & Lieberman (I), DE/Carper & Kaufman, FL/Nelson, HI/Akaka & Inouye, IL/Burris & Durbin, IN/Lugar & Bayh, IA/Harkin, KS/Brownback & Roberts, LA/Landrieu, ME/Collins & Snowe, MD/Cardin & Mikulski, MA/Kerry, MI/Levin & Stabenow, MN/Klobuchar, MO/ Bond & McCaskill, MT/Baucus & Tester, NE/Nelson, NV/Reid, NH/Gregg & Shaheen, NJ/Lautenberg & Menendez, NM/Bingaman & Udall, NY/Gillibrand & Schumer, NC/Hagan, ND/Conrad& Dorgan, OH/Brown & Voinovich, OR/Merkley & Wyden, PA/Casey & Specter, RI/Reed & Whitehouse, SD/Johnson, VT/Leahy & Sanders (I), VA/Warner & Webb, WA/Cantwell & Murray, WV/Byrd, WI/Feingold & Kohl

Not voting: AL/Sessions, MA/Kennedy, WV/Rockefeller; Vacancy: Minnesota


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