Life Advocacy Briefing

June 8, 2009

Hamilton Nomination Moves to Senate / Tiller Murdered / Correction, Please
/ Guilt by Proclamation / Nebraska Protecting Mothers & Children /
Oklahoma Bans Sex-Linked Abortions & Human Cloning
Georgia Pioneers Law on Embryo Adoption / Biggest Danger from Tiller Killing

Hamilton Nomination Moves to Senate

THE NOMINATION OF DAVID HAMILTON to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is now pending in the full Senate, having cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday on a party-line vote of 12 to 7.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) has raised the prospect of a filibuster against the Hamilton nomination, hoping to block the 60 votes which would be required for him to be confirmed.

We urge readers to contact their own US Senators immediately (1-202/224-3121) to seek a “no” vote on the nomination of Judge Hamilton.

Currently a federal district judge in Indiana, Judge Hamilton is a former fundraiser for ACORN, notes the Judicial Confirmation Network, and a former leader in the Indiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). His earlier appointment by Pres. William Clinton to the federal bench drew a “not qualified” rating by the American Bar Assn.

As a federal judge, Mr. Hamilton – described by the Obama White House as emblematic of the type of “moderate” judge Mr. Obama will be appointing – ordered the presiding officer of the Indiana legislature not to permit those offering invocations before the assembly to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, while expressly authorizing invocations in the name of “Allah.”

Of perhaps greatest interest to our readers is Judge Hamilton’s 2003 order invalidating a section of Indiana’s abortion law which required abortionists to furnish customers information about alternatives to abortion at least 18 hours before killing their children. The 7th Circuit Court – which Mr. Obama would have Judge Hamilton join – reversed him in that case and in a large number of other decisions.


Tiller Murdered

THE MURDER OF GEORGE TILLER shocked the pro-life movement every bit as much as it did the general public. We are, after all, ordinary Americans ourselves and people committed to both justice and mercy; those are the attributes which underlie the cause of Life and its advocates.

The abortionist was gunned down in church during Sunday service a week ago. A 51-year-old man suspected as his assailant was apprehended within hours near Kansas City. The murder took place in Wichita, which is where Mr. Tiller’s late-term abortion business has flourished despite a state law which seeks to limit the killing of babies old enough to live outside the womb.  Mr. Tiller was a close associate and major financial backer of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, the recently appointed US Secretary of Health & Human Services.

Rushing to take over the Tiller business – and its considerable profits – was a team of abortionists led by Nebraska’s LeRoy Carhart, notorious plaintiff in the Carhart v. Gonzalez case challenging the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. But the Tiller family responded to Mr. Carhart’s vow to reopen the shop by today (Monday) with a statement indicating, according to Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, that no decision had been made related to the future of the business.


Correction, Please

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATED AS FACT in its report on the Tiller killing that Mr. Tiller was one of “three” abortionists nationwide who committed late-term abortions. That figure was picked up from the AP story and repeated by many media outlets. It is untrue and deeply distorts the public’s perception of the abortion industry.

The only way the figure is close to accurate is if one limits the definition of “late-term” abortion to killing babies immediately before their due dates.  Mr. Tiller is known to have included such horrors in his repertoire.

But if one defines “late-term” to include abortions of babies old enough to live outside the womb or even abortions of babies gestating past their sixth month – the usual scope of the term – the roster of abortionists practicing such atrocities rises significantly. Colorado’s Warren Hern is notorious as a late-term abortionist. One shop in Bergen County, New Jersey, was found to be committing 1,500 partial-birth (typically post-viable) abortions each year, with several practitioners participating in the atrocities. The misnamed Hope Clinic in Granite City, Illinois, commits late-term abortions, as do the other various abortionists who filed lawsuits challenging the various partial-birth abortion bans; else they would not have had standing as plaintiffs. We have no doubt our readers could add a long list of late-term abortionists of whom they are aware in their own areas of the country.

Indeed, the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s statistical arm, reports that some 13,310 late-term abortions were committed in the US in 2005, writes Peter J. Smith for

Mr. Tiller was notorious by the death toll (some 60,000 abortions), by the immediacy in which he began marketing his business as soon as the Supreme Court decriminalized abortion in 1973, by certain of his practices (which included a baby furnace to destroy the remains of his victims), by his blatant financial sponsorship of key Kansas politicians and by his self-promotion as a late-term abortionist, drawing desperate expectant mothers from all over the country and charging as much as $5,000 for his deeds.

But his willingness to engage in the killing of late-term babies was not nearly so exceptional as AP and its media colleagues stated. Indeed, the enormity of late-term abortions is business as usual for many in what is – officially or not – a criminal enterprise of monstrous character.


Guilt by Proclamation

Statement issued by the White House in the name of Barack Obama on May 31, upon the breaking of the news concerning the killing of George Tiller: “I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.”

Taking their cue from the President’s over-the-top rush to judgment, Attorney General Eric Holder, reports Drew Zahn for (WND), “has already taken action, directing US Marshals to protect ‘appropriate people and facilities around the nation,’ according to a statement, in order to ‘help prevent any related acts of violence from occurring.’”

National Organization for Women (NOW) president Kim Gandy issued a statement, reports Mr. Zahn, declaring, “ ‘Bringing the killers to justice is not enough; the Justice Dept. and the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) must root out and prosecute as domestic terrorists and violent racketeers the criminal enterprise that has organized and funded criminal acts for decades.’” The Gandy statement further, reports WND, called on Mr. Holder and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to “ ‘put the full resources of their two departments behind [the] effort … to treat these murders [sic] in the same way they would treat politically motivated domestic terrorism of any other kind.’ …

“Even though the last killing of an abortion doctor was over 10 years ago, in 1998,” notes Mr. Zahn, “others have joined NOW in taking this opportunity to cast the pro-life cause as an inherently violent movement.

“‘It is abhorrent that once again, individuals who oppose the right to choose [sic] have used violence to try to advance their extreme anti-choice agenda,’ said Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation [trade group] in a statement,” quoted by WND.

And the president of the misnamed People for the American Way, Michael Keegan, issued a statement, quoted by WND, underscoring PAW’s rejection of the American principle of free speech: “‘People have the right to disagree about abortion, but it’s impossible to separate today’s tragedy from the violent language that has been directed for years at doctors like George Tiller.’”

Several media outlets took their cue from the PAW president, calling the peaceful pro-life movement “accomplices” and rejecting the sincere statements issued by pro-life spokesmen denouncing the Tiller killing. Responded the Kansas Coalition for Life, quoted by WND, “‘The KCfL asks all reporters and commentators to make a clear distinction between lawless thugs who act on their own accord and the good pro-life people who obey the law, seeking a change in abortion laws via peaceful means and the legislative process. It is completely misleading,’ the statement concludes,” writes Mr. Zahn, “‘for the media to imply in any way that this is the work of the pro-life movement.’” But, KCfL, the media are just following their dear leader in the White House and their pals in the abortion industry in pursuit of an alternate reality.


Nebraska Protecting Mothers & Children

THE UNICAMERAL NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE HAS SENT A PROPOSAL to Gov. Dave Heineman (R) requiring abortionists to show expectant mothers ultrasound images of their targeted prenatal children.

The bill, which passed 40-5, “also mandates,” writes Alex Bush for, “that if the woman asks for a detailed medical analysis of the ultrasound, she must be given information detailing the size of the child, any cardiac activity and information regarding ‘external members and internal organs, if present and viewable.’” Baptist Press indicates the measure also requires notifying the mother of the estimated age of the child and informing her of medical risks in the procedure. Further, reports BP, “it mandates she be told she cannot be forced to choose an abortion and that assistance is available if she decides to give birth.”

Gov. Heineman has pledged to sign the enhanced informed consent proposal into law.


Oklahoma Bans Sex-Linked Abortions & Human Cloning

OKLAHOMA’s GOVERNOR BRADY HENRY (D) HAS SIGNED LEGISLATION outlawing sex-selection abortions and requiring abortionists to report the reasons offered by their customers for “choosing” abortion, as well as complications resulting from the procedure. Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for National Right to Life, reports Baptist Press (BP), “described the new law … ‘the most comprehensive reporting law in the nation.’”

Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone also praised the law’s passage, focusing on the ultrasound provision. In a PfL news release, he said, “The post-abortive women I’ve met and counseled suffered because the truth about abortion was hidden from them. By letting women see images of their children and thereby reducing the number who go through with abortion,” he said, “this legislation will protect many from physical, emotional and spiritual pain.” It should also save lives.

Gov. Henry signed a second measure prohibiting human cloning for any purpose, regardless of whether the clone would be implanted for reproduction or sacrificed for experimentation. Bioethicist Wesley J. Smith, reports BP, called the anti-cloning measure “‘the first true human cloning ban to pass in a long time.’” Mr. Smith had previously written on his Internet blog, reports BP, “‘It looks like Oklahoma has pushed back against Brave New World.’” And it did so unanimously; notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in his June 1, 2009, Washington Update, the human cloning ban “passed both chambers by a combined vote of 127-0.”


Georgia Pioneers Law on Embryo Adoption

GEORGIA HAS ENACTED A FIRST-IN-THE-NATION LAW governing adoption of embryonic human beings. The Option of Adoption Act passed the Georgia House 108-61 and the Senate 45-9. It was signed in early May by Gov. Sonny Perdue (R).

The new law is set to take effect July 1 and, writes Michael Foust for Baptist Press (BP), “will provide safeguards for both parties involved in an embryo adoption, which is a unique form of adoption in which a couple – often an infertile one – adopts one or more surplus [sic] embryos from a couple who has undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF).”

The new Georgia measure is actually an amendment to the existing state law on adoption, “mak[ing] clear,” writes Mr. Foust, “that embryo adoption in fact is a form of adoption. … Couples who undergo an embryo adoption in a state without such a law as Georgia’s must sign private legal contracts,” reports BP, “that treat the embryo as property.”

The law also “defines an embryo,” writes Mr. Foust, “as ‘an individualized fertilized ovum of the human species from the single-cell stage to eight-week development.’” That definition, remarked Georgia Right to Life president Dan Becker in the BP report, “is noteworthy. … ‘We became the first state in the nation to, in our code, define an embryo as beginning at the single[-cell] stage,’ he said,” writes Mr. Foust. “‘That’s a huge move forward and one that was fought quite aggressively by the pro-abortion side of the equation.’”


Biggest Danger from Tiller Killing

June 4, 2009, commentary by Fr. Frank Pavone, national director, Priests for Life

The pro-life leadership has gone out of its way – and rightly so – to condemn the violence that took the life of abortionist George Tiller on Sunday. I join with those voices, as I always have done, that declare that the end never justifies the means and that violence has no place in the effort to end abortion.

I have been asked what I think the biggest negative effect of this killing will be on our pro-life movement. Does it tar the movement’s reputation? Yes, it does, despite the fact that those who kill abortionists are always disconnected from pro-life organizations. Does it make the government reach too far in clamping down on First Amendment activity against abortion? Yes, it does, and it will.

But those are not the biggest dangers.

The biggest danger is the enemy within. It is the fear and self-doubt to which we can all too easily fall victim. It is the voice inside that makes us feel guilty for saying “Abortion is murder” or “Abortion is a holocaust” or “The babies who are being killed need to be defended now.” It is the fear inside that keeps us from going out to the abortion mills and intervening to save the children scheduled to be killed there each day.

The biggest danger is that some will listen to those in the pro-abortion movement who try to lay blame for violence on us and who, as one person wrote on my blog, think that saying “Abortion is murder” should be prosecuted because it leads to violence against abortionists.

The Church teaches us that we have to look evil in the eye. John Paul II, in The Gospel of Life, said that we have to call evil by its proper name. This is no time to shrink back from the reality of what is going on every day in abortion. Children are being killed, and the reason it continues is that too many of our fellow citizens are blind to it.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, responded to criticisms that the civil rights activists were fomenting violence. No, he said. That’s like saying the person who owns money is fomenting the activity of the robber. To expose the violence that is already occurring, to call it what it is, and to sound the alarm that it has to stop, is not to foment violence.

The pro-life movement is a movement of non-violence. As Gandhi and Dr. King taught, and as we teach, non-violence is not passivity, and it is not obscurity. It is a force. It is a clear and strong response against violence, in whatever form that violence takes.

Let the outcry against Tiller’s murder be loud and clear. And let the outcry against the murders he committed – and that other abortionists commit – be loud and clear as well.

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