Life Advocacy Briefing

May 18, 2009


Speaking Up for the Voiceless / Johnsen Nomination Stalled? / Silver Lining?
/ Can’t Help It? / Facing Reality / Stopping Abetted Suicide / Wisdom from Archbishop Burke / Text of Honorary Degree Awarded to Barack Obama

Speaking Up for the Voiceless

MAY 26 IS THE DEADLINE for citizens to file “public comments” responding to Pres. Obama’s proposed relaxation of rules protecting taxpayers from being forced to fund experiments on stem cells harvested from killed embryonic human beings.

The bureaucracy has established an Internet address through which to send comments:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) published “guidelines” on April 23 to govern the funding of the anti-ethical research authorized by the President in his executive order. It is to these “guidelines” that the comments are supposed to respond, but the “public comment” period offers the opportunity to protest the entire concept of human sacrifice being pushed by Mr. Obama.

Here is an outline prepared by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, suggesting points which can be covered in filing “public comments” at the NIH website:

  • “I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stemcell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stemcell research and treatments that do not destroy human life and are already proven successful. There is no case under which government support should be extended to human cloning or the creation of human embryos for research purposes.
  • “Embryo-destructive stemcell research has shown to be ineffective and even dangerous, forming uncontrollable tumors and causing rejection problems. Adult stem cells are non-controversial, ethical and, most importantly, effective in treating patients. We should not fund controversial research that destroys human life when we have other options that do not destroy human life.
  • “The proposed regulations do not prevent future funding for embryonic stemcell research that could lead to the creation of clones and human-animal hybrids. This loophole must be closed immediately.”

More than 340,000 Americans filed comments opposing the proposed rescission of the Leavitt/Bush Medical Provider Conscience Protection regulations. Will you be one of those who intervenes now on behalf of “the least of these,” the embryonic humans being targeted by the Obama Regime?


Johnsen Nomination Stalled?

U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID (D-NV) ACKNOWLEDGED last Tuesday, reports Roll Call staff writer Jessica Brady, “that he does not have the votes to bring up Pres. Barack Obama’s pick to run the Dept. of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, … [saying] ‘We need a couple Republican votes until we can get to 60.’”

Even the much-celebrated switch of Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) to the Democratic Party does not appear to have enhanced the prospects for confirmation of the former legal counsel to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).  Sen. Specter is expected to hold to his stated intent to vote against Ms. Johnsen.

The Johnsen nomination emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote nearly two months ago.

“[Sen.] Reid indicated Tuesday that at least a few Democrats would also oppose [Ms.] Johnsen,” writes Ms. Brady, “making the task of reaching 60 votes to avert a Republican filibuster even more difficult.”

Among the reluctant Democrats is Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, reports Ms. Brady, who “‘is very concerned’ about [Ms.] Johnsen’s nomination, press secretary Clay Westrope said, pointing to her tenure as the legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America as a point of concern.”


Silver Lining?

IF THERE’s ONE SAVING GRACE in Pres. Obama’s nomination of Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Dept., it may be the possibility that the Senate’s reluctance to go along with this radical appointment might, just might, tone down the President’s enthusiasm for nominating an all-out radical to the Supreme Court.

Noting Sen. Harry Reid’s disclosure that “he doesn’t have the 60 votes” needed to confirm Ms. Johnsen to the key post at Justice,Curt Levey, executive director of the Committee for Justice, suggested there is a lesson for the President in the Johnsen nomination stall.

“A Supreme Court nominee who believes that partial-birth abortion and gay marriage are constitutional rights,” writes Mr. Levey, “but that individual gun ownership and freedom from discrimination regardless of race aren’t, is unlikely to survive the confirmation process.”

Mr. Levey’s theory makes the defeat of Dawn Johnsen all the more critical, and readers are urged to contact their US Senators to oppose her confirmation, whether or not they’ve already made such a call. Senators can be reached via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 or via electronic mail through the Internet website.

Besides contacting one’s own two Senators, pro-life citizens should contact Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu (LA), Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor (both AR), Mark Warner (VA) and Robert Byrd (WV), as well as GOP Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (both ME). Urge a “no” vote, please, on the Dawn Johnsen nomination. And while you’re at it, request a vote against confirmation of David Hamilton as 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge.


Can’t Help It?

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON PERSONALIZED an abortion lobby talking point during April 22 testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs during an exchange with Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), but it now appears the lady cannot back up the heart-wrenching picture she drew.

Asked by Rep. Smith about the Obama Regime’s reported intention to undermine pro-life laws around the world, Mrs. Clinton, writes Kathleen Gilbert for, “gave an impassioned response for ‘reproductive rights’ that included a description of women in a Brazil hospital she witnessed ‘fighting for their lives’ after botched abortions. …

“‘When I think about the suffering that I have seen of women around the world,’” she said, quoted by Ms. Gilbert, “‘I’ve been in hospitals in Brazil where half the women were enthusiastically and joyfully greeting their babies, and the other half were fighting for their lives against botched abortion.’”

But a State Dept. spokesman told the National Catholic last Monday, reports Ms. Gilbert, “that she was ‘unable to confirm where or when the trip she referred to in her testimony was, where specifically in Brazil she was visiting or when the trip occurred.’”

Rep. Smith, though, was willing to talk with the Register, reports Ms. Gilbert. “‘This is part of a long-standing problem of abortion advocates making unverifiable and/or bogus statements about abortion data and then using the information to try and craft bad policy,’” he told the Register, quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘Pro-abortion activists have a long history,’” he said, “‘of making these type of unsubstantiated claims. That,’” said Mr. Smith, quoted by LifeSite/Register, “‘is how they drive policy – with gross exaggeration of numbers, hyperbole and junk science.’”


Facing Reality

‘SWEDEN RULES GENDER-SELECTIVE ABORTIONS LEGAL’ reads the headline on a story by Kathleen Gilbert, reporting on a ruling by Swedish “health authorities” at the request of doctors seeking clarification when a mother in southern Sweden contracted for the in-utero killing of twin girls on the excuse that she “already had given birth to two daughters.”

The headline is jolting to any decent person and certainly caught the attention of our editor. Then came the sinking realization all over again: Sex-selection abortions are legal here, too, because American law does not bar abortion for any reason, thanks to Roe v. Wade and its companion Doe v. Bolton edict, all the way through the full nine months of any baby’s gestation. A saddening reminder that in our own dear country, the most dangerous place to be is in one’s own mother’s womb.

Anybody in Congress aggrieved enough by that to do something about it? Anyone willing to confront colleagues’ consciences on it? Anyone disgusted enough to withdraw jurisdiction from the federal courts on such matters so that real people can make real decisions about the laws which govern – and should protect – our lives?


Stopping Abetted Suicide

THE 2nd INT’L SYMPOSIUM ON EUTHANASIA & ASSISTED SUICIDE will convene May 29-30 in Lansdowne, Virginia, near Dulles Airport. Information about the symposium is available on the Internet at


Wisdom from Archbishop Burke

Excerpts from the keynote address at the May 8, 2009, National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, delivered by the Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop Emeritus of St. Louis, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura of the Roman Catholic Church worldwide. (Note: Though Life Advocacy is not a Catholic organization, we respect the calling of Roman Catholics by our Lord to take up and defend the cause of Life as the cause of our Creator Himself.) Excerpted from text published by

… I come to you this morning with the deepest concern for our nation. I come to you not as someone who stands outside of our nation but as a citizen who, with you as fellow citizens, takes responsibility for the state of our nation and, therefore, cannot remain indifferent and inactive about what most concerns the good of us all, especially those among us who are small, weak and defenseless.

Over the past several months, our nation has chosen a path which more completely denies any legal guarantee of the most fundamental human right, the right to life, to the innocent and defenseless unborn. Our nation, which had its beginning in the commitment to safeguard and promote the inalienable right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” for all, without boundary, is more and more setting arbitrary limits to her commitment. … Those in power now determine who will or will not be accorded the legal protection of the most fundamental right to life. First the legal protection of the right to life is denied to the unborn and then to those whose lives have become burdened by advanced years, special needs or serious illness, or whose lives are somehow judged to be unprofitable or unworthy.

What is more, those in power propose to force physicians and other healthcare professionals – in other words, those with a particular responsibility to protect and foster human life – to participate, contrary to what their conscience requires, in the destruction of unborn human lives, from the first or embryonic stage of development to the moment of birth. …

The path of violation of the most fundamental human rights and of the integrity of marriage and the family which our nation is traveling, is not accidental. It is part of the program set forth by those whom we have freely chosen to lead our nation. … For example, I refer to our President’s declared support of the Freedom of Choice Act, which would make illegal any legislation restricting procured abortion; his repeal of the Mexico City Policy, permitting US funding of procured abortion in other nations, together with the grant of $50 million to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, which, for example, supported the [People’s] Republic of China’s policy of one child per family by means of government-dictated sterilization and abortion; his proposal to rescind the regulations appended to the federal Conscience Clause, which assure that not only physicians but also all healthcare workers may refuse to provide services, information or counsel to patients regarding medications and procedures which are contrary to their conscience; his removal of limitations on federal funding of embryonic stemcell research involving the wholesale destruction of human life at the embryonic stage of development; and his choice of the members of his administration, who are remarkable for the number of major officials, including several Catholics, who favor the denial of the right to life to the unborn and the violation of the integrity of marriage and the family. …

As Catholics, we cannot fail to note, with the greatest sadness, the number of our fellow Catholics, elected or appointed by our President to public office, who cooperate fully in the advancement of a national agenda which is anti-life and anti-family. Most recently, the appointment of a Catholic as Secretary of Health & Human Services, who has openly and persistently cooperated with the industry of procured abortion in our nation, is necessarily a source of the deepest embarrassment to Catholics and a painful reminder of the most serious responsibility of Catholics to uphold the natural moral law, which is the irreplaceable foundation of just relationships among the citizens of our nation. … It gives the impression that the Church herself can change the law which God has written on every human heart from the beginning of time and has declared in the Fifth Commandment of the Decalogue: Thou shalt not kill. …

What those who were so enthused about the strong message of change and hope in the United States, delivered during the last election campaign, are now discovering is a consistent implementation of policies and programs which confirm and advance the culture of death … .

The change which brings hope can only be the renewal of our nation in the divine love which respects the inviolable dignity of every human life, from the moment of its inception to the moment of natural death, and which creates and gives growth to new human life through the love of man and woman in marriage. Any hope which is incoherent with the great hope is truly illusory and can never bring forth justice and its fruit – peace for our nation and world. …

Our encounter with the world must be clear and uncompromising. … Clearly, the same is true of our Catholic charitable, missionary and healthcare institutions. There can be no place in them for teaching or activities which offend the moral law. Dialogue and respect for differences are not promoted by the compromise and even violation of the natural moral law. The profound granting of an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University to our President, who is aggressively advancing an anti-life and anti-family agenda is a source of the gravest scandal. Catholic institutions cannot offer any platform to, let alone honor, those who teach and act publicly against the moral law. …

What is always and everywhere evil cannot be called good for the sake of accomplishing some other good end. … We must take care to uproot from our moral thinking any form of relativism, consequentialism and proportionalism which would lead us into the error of thinking that it is sometimes right to do what is always and everywhere evil. …


Text of Honorary Degree Awarded to Barack Obama

By the University of Notre Dame, as leaked to and released by Randall Terry

At the 164th Commencement The May Exercises The University of Notre Dame Confers the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on the 44th President of the United States, whose historic election opened a new era of hope in a country long divided by its history of slavery and racism. A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago, he now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good. Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow.


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