Life Advocacy Briefing

June 15, 2009

Obamacare Plan Heating Up / House Passes Abortion-Promoting Foreign Affairs Bill
/ Picture Grows Clearer, Darker on Judicial Nominee / Major Spending Bill Up in House / Pro-Life a Winning Cause – Where It Is the Issue / Warning from the Bishops / House Voting Record

Obamacare Plan Heating Up

PRES. OBAMA TODAY (MONDAY) IS SCHEDULED TO ADDRESS the annual House of Delegates meeting of the American Medical Assn. to attempt to persuade the AMA to come aboard his plan to nationalize medicine in America. The AMA leadership has already expressed concern about the plan, which has not yet surfaced in detail but whose outline is radical enough.

Given Mr. Obama’s extremist position on Life and his obvious partnership with the commercial abortion lobby, most pro-life organizations and lawmakers are expecting him to force taxpayers to cover abortion and related “services” under his socialized medicine scheme.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has submitted a letter to members of the Senate Committee on Finance, where the scheme could first emerge under expected sponsorship of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA); the bishops insist that abortion not be covered in any such plan. The USCCB letter was reported in depth recently by; we have published the LifeSite story near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

We urge our readers to call Members of the US House and Senate (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121) and oppose the nationalization of health care – or at the very least, the exclusion of abortion from the plan. Given the speed with which Obama-driven legislation is moving through Congress, citizens are advised not to await the details before weighing in.


House Passes Abortion-Promoting Foreign Affairs Bill

THE U.S. HOUSE LAST WEDNESDAY PASSED the Foreign Affairs Reauthorization Act 235 to 187, with the Obama/Clinton provision intact to create an Office for Global Women’s Issues in the State Department. We publish the voting record at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

If passed by the Senate, that office would be headed by an official of ambassadorial rank and charged with coordinating efforts “relating to gender integration and women’s empowerment in United States foreign policy.” Translation: imposition of abortion and homosexuality on countries whose laws more closely adhere to morality and protect innocent human life.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) had sought, first in committee then in the full House, to amend HR-2410 to redirect the Office for promotion of Life-affirming activities – including opposition to forced abortion, sterilization and sex-selection abortion – and to prohibit the new agency from seeking to undermine – either directly or through surrogate organizations – pro-life laws in other countries.

Voted down along party lines in committee, the Smith Amendment was excluded from House consideration by the Rules Committee, which has the power to declare whether amendments are allowed to be considered. But the efforts by Rep. Smith called attention to the offensive initiative in the bill, and although some of the votes cast against it were for other reasons, House Members were made aware they were voting for American abortion imperialism in voting for final passage of the measure.  Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) told the House: “This legislation is embracing abortion rights overseas, … and it advocates a set of values that are at odds with the majority of the American people. We deserve a foreign relations budget that respects our pocketbooks and our values. This does neither.”

House GOP Whip Eric Cantor (VA) cited the measure’s abortion provisions in a statement opposing the bill, issued from his Leadership office. “This bill is full of troubling initiatives,” said Rep. Cantor, “including a massive spending increase to fund abortion in foreign countries through the Office of Global Women’s Issues, which Secretary Clinton acknowledged is a tool to promote abortion overseas. It makes no sense for American taxpayers to pay for abortions overseas when they disapprove of the procedure here at home.

“As recently as February,” Mr. Cantor said, “nearly seven of 10 Americans do not support Pres. Obama’s decision to reverse the prohibition on funding overseas abortion providers. The inclusion of taxpayer funding within this current bill is a blatant dismissal of the will of a majority of Americans.”


Picture Grows Clearer, Darker on Judge Nominee

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT) LAST WEEK SET JULY 13 AS HEARING DATE for Judge Sonia Sotomayor in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Y) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member on the Judiciary panel, lost no time in objecting to the short time frame offered Senators to explore the Supreme Court nominee’s record, which includes some 3,600 cases.

Though the appellate court veteran has little judicial record on abortion issues and has not made a clear declaration of her position on commercialized abortion, troubling evidence of radical involvement is beginning to surface.

The Washington Times reported last Wednesday on four amicus curiae briefs “urging the Supreme Court,” writes Kathleen Gilbert for, “not to ‘overturn or in any way restrict’ Roe v. Wade.” These briefs were filed by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund (PRLDEF), for which she served 12 years as a deeply involved board member, vice president or litigation committee chairman.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) emerged from a courtesy interview with the nominee “troubled,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “after [Judge Sotomayor] told him she had ‘never thought about’ the rights of the unborn child.

“‘When I asked if an unborn child has any rights whatsoever, I was surprised that she said she had never thought about it,’ [Sen.] DeMint said in a statement” quoted by LifeSite. “‘This is not just a question about abortion but about the respect due to human life at all stages, and I hope this is cleared up in her hearings.’”


Major Spending Bill Up in House

THE HOUSE THIS WEEK IS EXPECTED TO TAKE UP the annual spending measure for the Departments of Commerce & Justice, as well as agencies related to Science, commonly known as the Commerce/Justice/Science Appropriation Bill and this year numbered HR-2487.

This annual proposal traditionally includes three key pro-life provisions barring tax funding of abortions on federal prisoners, funds for the patenting of human organisms and tax money to Legal Services Corp. (LSC) grantees which litigate in abortion cases.

The Obama White House had sought to subvert the LSC restriction in proposing the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, but C/J/S subcommittee chairman Alan Mollohan, a pro-life Democrat from West Virginia, retained all the pro-life provisions intact, including the LSC prohibition.  Rep.  Mollohan’s office phone number is 1-202/225-4172; thank-you calls are in order!

We expect the bill to go through the House this week without damage to the pro-life provisions, a good start for the appropriations process and for this measure.


Jeopardizing our Youth

AMONG THE LOOMING BATTLES IN CONGRESS as the first Obama-budget appropriation and reauthorization measures begin wending their way through committee, amendment and floor-vote processes, is a massive shift in policy with respect to the equipping of our youth to resist sexual pressures outside marriage.

The White House proposal for Fiscal Year 2010 spending in the Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) drops all funding for the federal government’s two principal initiatives promoting abstinence until marriage, the Community-Based Abstinence Education (C-BAE) and Title V (Five) Abstinence Education programs.

The proposal substitutes a $150 million boost into the federal government’s already robust condom-based sex education approach.

It is not too early to begin contacting Members of the US House to ask that they “Support funding abstinence, not condoms.” Members may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 or via their in-state offices; local office contact information is available from the reference desk of any public library or from the Internet website


Warning from the Bishops

May 29, 2008, report by Peter J. Smith for

Since his inauguration, Pres. Barack Obama has made clear that achieving universal health care this year is his top priority, prompting a warning from the US Catholic bishops that any proposal for reform must exclude abortion.

“While we support reforming our nation’s healthcare system, we must also be clear in strongly opposing inclusion of abortion as part of a national health care benefit,” states Bishop William F. Murphy, chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice & Human Development.

In a letter submitted to the US Senate Committee on Finance and circulated by the USCCB to Members of Congress and the White House, Murphy stated the Catholic Church would also not tolerate the “inclusion of other procedures or technologies that attack or undermine the sanctity and dignity of life.

“No healthcare reform plan should compel us or others to pay for or participate in the destruction of human life. To preserve this principle is morally right and politically wise as well,” continued Murphy. “No healthcare legislation that compels Americans to pay for or participate in abortion will find sufficient votes to pass.”

Murphy offered the following as guidelines for healthcare reform on behalf of the bishops*: “1) a truly universal health policy with respect for human life and dignity; 2) access for all with a special concern for the poor; 3) pursuing the common good and preserving pluralism, including freedom of conscience and a variety of options; and 4) restraining costs and applying them equitably across the spectrum of payers.”

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Obama’s staff made clear to abortion advocates that he believed “reproductive health services,” a term which includes abortion, belongs among basic healthcare services.

“Senator Obama believes that reproductive health care is basic health care. His healthcare plan will create a new public plan, which will provide coverage of all essential medical services,” reads a response from campaign staffers to an RH Reality Check survey. … “Reproductive health is an essential service – just like mental health care and disease management and other preventive services under his plan.”

*Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: We at Life Advocacy do not agree with the USCCB’s four-pointed “guideline” but do appreciate the Bishops’ Conference for laying down its unequivocal opposition to coverage of abortion or other undermining of the sanctity of human life – and we appreciate the USCCB for not waiting until the actual language of the President’s proposal appears. At the speed with which this Congress is doing the President’s bidding, responding to introduced legislation could be too late.


House Voting Record

Foreign Relations Reauthorization Act, featuring establishment of a Global Women’s Issues Office to promote abortion overseas as principle of US foreign policy – HR-2410 – Final Passage – June 10, 2009 – 235-187 (Democrats in italics; new Members in ALL CAPS)

Voting “no” / pro-life*: Aderholt, Akin, Alexander, AUSTRIA, Bachmann, Barrett (SC), Bartlett, Barton (TX), Biggert, Bilbray, Bilirakis, Bishop (UT), Blackburn, Blunt, Boehner, Bonner, Bono-Mack, Boozman, Boren, Boustany, Brady (TX), BRIGHT, Broun (GA), Brown (SC), Brown-Waite, Buchanan, Burgess, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp, Campbell, Cantor, CAO, Capito, Carter, CASSIDY, CHAFFETZ, Childers, Coble, COFFMAN (CO), Cole, Conaway, Costello, Crenshaw, Culberson, DAHLKEMPER, Davis (KY), Davis (TN), Deal (GA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Donnelly (IN), Dreier, Duncan, Ehlers, Ellsworth, Emerson, Fallin, Flake, FLEMING, Forbes, Fortenberry, Foxx, Franks (AZ), Frelinghuysen, Gallegly, Garrett (NJ), Gerlach, Gingrey (GA), Gohmert, Goodlatte, Granger, Graves, GRIFFITH, GUTHRIE, Hall (TX), HARPER, Hastings (WA), Heller, Hensarling, Herger, Hoekstra, HUNTER, Inglis, Issa, JENKINS, Johnson (IL), Sam Johnson, Jones, Jordan (OH), King (IA), King (NY), Kingston, Kline (MN), Kucinich, Lamborn, Latham, Latta, LEE (NY), Lewis (CA), Linder, LoBiondo, Lucas, LUETKEMEYER, LUMMIS, Daniel Lungren, Mack, Manzullo, Marchant, Marshall, MASSA, McCarthy (CA), McCaul, McCLINTOCK, McCotter, McHenry, McIntyre, McKeon, McMorris-Rodgers, Melancon, Mica, Miller (FL), Miller (MI), Gary Miller, Mollohan, Moran (KS), Tim Murphy, Myrick, Neugebauer, Nunes, OLSON, Paul, PAULSEN, Pence, Peterson, Petri, Pitts, Platts, Poe (TX), POSEY, Price (GA), Putnam, Radanovich, Rahall, Rehberg, ROE (TN), Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Rohrabacher, ROONEY, Ros-Lehtinen, Roskam, Royce, Ryan (WI), Scalise, Schmidt, SCHOCK, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Shimkus, Shuster, Simpson, Smith (NE), Smith (NJ), Smith (TX), Souder, Stearns, Taylor, Terry, THOMPSON (PA), Thornberry, Tiahrt, Tiberi, Turner, Upton, Walden, Wamp, Westmoreland, Whitfield, Wilson (SC), Wittman, Wolf, Young (AK), Young (FL). *Some Members voted “no” for other reasons.

Voting “yes” / pro-abortion: Abercrombie, Ackerman, ADLER (NJ), Altmire, Andrews, Arcuri, Baca, Baird, Baldwin, Barrow, Bean, Becerra, Berkley, Berman, Berry, Bishop (GA), Bishop (NY), Blumenauer, BOCCIERI, Boswell, Boucher, Boyd, Brady (PA), Braley (IA), CorrineBrown, Butterfield, Capps, Capuano, Cardoza, Carnahan, Carney, Carson (IN), Castle, Castor (FL), Chandler, Clarke, Clay, Cleaver, Clyburn, Cohen, CONNOLLY (VA), Conyers, Cooper, Costa, Courtney, Crowley, Cuellar, Cummings, Davis (AL), Davis (CA), Davis (IL), DeFazio, DeGette, DeLauro, Dent, Dicks, Dingell, Doggett, Doyle, DRIEHAUS, Edwards (MD), Edwards (TX), Engel, Eshoo, Etheridge, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Foster, Frank (MA), Fudge, Giffords, Gonzalez, Gordon (TN), GRAYSON, Al Green, Gene Green, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hall (NY), HALVORSON, Hare, Harman, Hastings (FL), HEINRICH, Herseth-Sandlin, Higgins, HIMES, Hinchey, Hinojosa, Hirono, Hodes, Holden, Holt, Honda, Hoyer, Inslee, Israel, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Johnson (GA), E.B. Johnson, Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kildee, Kilpatrick (MI), KILROY, Kind, Kirk, KIRKPATRICK (AZ), KISSELL, Klein (FL), KOSMAS, KRATOVIL, LANCE, Langevin, Larsen (WA), Larson (CT), LaTourette, Lee (CA), Levin, Lipinski, Zoe Lofgren, Lowey, LUJAN, Lynch, MAFFEI, Maloney, MARKEY (CO), Markey (MA), Matheson, Matsui, McCarthy (NY), McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, McHugh, McMAHON, McNerney, Meek (FL), Meeks (NY), Michaud, Miller (NC), George Miller, MINNICK, Mitchell, Moore (KS), Moore (WI), Moran (VA), Murphy (CT), MURPHY (NY), Patrick Murphy, Murtha, Nadler (NY), Napolitano, Neal (MA), NYE, Oberstar, Obey, Olver, Ortiz, Pallone, Pascrell, Pastor (AZ), Payne, Perlmutter, PERRIELLO, PETERS, PINGREE (ME), POLIS (CO), Pomeroy, Price (NC), QUIGLEY, Rangel, Reichert, Reyes, RICHARDSON, Rodriguez, Ross, Rothman (NJ), Roybal-Allard, Rush, Ryan (OH), Salazar, Loretta Sanchez, Sarbanes, Schakowsky, SCHAUER, Schiff, SCHRADER, Schwartz, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Serrano, Sestak, Shea-Porter, Sherman, Shuler, Sires, Skelton, Slaughter, Smith (WA), Snyder, Space, Speier, Spratt, Stark, Stupak, Sutton, Tanner, Tauscher, TEAGUE, Thompson (CA), Thompson (MS), Tierney, TITUS, TONKO, Towns, Tsongas, VanHollen, Velazquez, Visclosky, Walz, Wasserman-Schultz, Waters, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Weiner, Welch, Wexler, Wilson (OH), Woolsey, Wu, Yarmuth.

Not Voting: Bachus, Delahunt, Ellison, Hill, Kagen, Kennedy, Lewis (GA), Loebsack, Pelosi, Ruppersberger, Linda Sanchez, Sullivan.

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