Life Advocacy Briefing

January 18, 2010

Moving Toward Common Sense? / Abortion Linked to Breast Cancer, Again
Pro-Life Dems Holding Out / Bishops Offer Advocacy Tool

Moving Toward Common Sense?

NOTING THAT MASSACHUSETTS SENATE CANDIDATE SCOTT BROWN has been attacked for “oppos[ing] a woman’s right to choose” in campaign advertising opposing his strong bid to turn the Kennedy Senate seat over to the GOP tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 19), we will be watching the outcome with interest.

Mr. Brown’s opponent, Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley, has secured endorsement by the radical abortion PAC Emily’s List, which cites what it calls her “stellar record.” Under the title “Protecting Reproductive Rights,” Ms. Coakley boasts on her campaign’s Internet website: “As Middlesex District Atty. and Atty. General, Martha successfully advocated for and defended legislation to create and expand buffer zones around reproductive healthcare facilities to ensure the safety [sic] of patients and staff members. Earlier this year,” her posting brags, “Martha filed a lawsuit challenging Bush Administration provider conscience regulations that jeopardized [sic] a woman’s ability to access reproductive health care from her doctor. Her office worked with the Obama Administration, which then moved to rescind those regulations. In the Senate,” the website warns, “Martha will be a leader who will always fight to ensure that women are able to access safe reproductive health care. She has been and will continue to be a steadfast champion of Roe v. Wade and its embodiment of fundamental liberty and privacy interests.”

State Sen. Brown, though not an out-and-out pro-life advocate, has a record of backing pro-life reform legislation. Here is the text on his campaign’s website describing his policy position on abortion: “While this decision should ultimately be made by the woman in consultation with her doctor, I believe we need to reduce the number of abortions in America. I believe government has the responsibility to regulate in this area, and I support parental consent and notification requirements, and I oppose partial-birth abortion. I also believe there are people of good will on both sides of the issue, and we ought to work together to support and promote adoption as an alternative to abortion.”

We give Mr. Brown credit for including “Abortion” as one of the issues by which he is defining himself and for advancing a mainstream, common-sense position which should appeal to unaligned Massachusetts voters, and we hope that in-state pro-life citizens will dedicate themselves to educating Sen. Brown about the justice of acknowledging the human nature of unborn boys and girls in our law, including in the US Constitution.

We see Sen. Brown’s handling of the abortion issue as illustrative of a new trend we have noticed in some 2010 campaigns – the desirability of the immediate pro-life reform agenda even to moderate candidates who do not fully embrace the “pro-life” label or even our ultimate objective.

The era of that annoying posture “pro-life with [unjust] exceptions” (which we call loopholes), showing lack of confidence in Life as a winning issue, appears to be giving way to a “pro-choice with exceptions” pattern, showing a growing lack of confidence in the sellability of the formerly popular “pro-choice” euphemistic label and presenting an increasing problem for the absolutist abortion lobby.

Though we are as committed as ever to the ultimate goal of seeing an effective, principled Human Life Amendment added to the US Constitution, we will welcome votes by moderate Congressmen for such proposals as federal-level “parental notice” (e.g., the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act) and outspoken opposition by such candidates to late-term and/or partil-birth abortions. We note, too, that “reduc[ing] the number of abortions,” as Sen. Brown advocates, cannot be achieved by subsidizing it with tax money, whether in national healthcare legislation or in weakened Medicaid protections.

With polls increasingly showing Americans willing to identify with the “pro-life” label – now more than 50% — we expect 2010 to be an election year which will move the center of gravity considerably toward the cause of Life, through the election both of committed pro-life advocates and of halfway-there candidates like Sen. Brown. And none too soon.


Abortion Linked to Breast Cancer, Again

THE LINK BETWEEN INDUCED ABORTION & BREAST CANCER resurfaced earlier this month when the Coalition for Abortion/Breast Cancer highlighted a recent study by National Cancer Institute researcher Louise Brinton acknowledging, reports A/BC Coalition president Karen Malec, “that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40%.”

The study, by Jessica Dolle et al. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center was published in the Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention journal of the American Assn. for Cancer Research. It was undertaken, writes Thaddeus Baklinski for, to “examin[e] the relationship between oral contraceptives and triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of breast cancer associated with high mortality in women under age 45.”

Within the report of the study, writes Mr. Baklinski, was a finding “that ‘a statistically significant 40% increased risk for women who have abortions’ exists,” as well as dramatically higher yet risks for “those who used oral contraceptives,” reports LifeSiteNews, “while under age 18 … .”

In the absence of any acknowledgment of the study by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which has persistently sought to cover up the connection between induced abortion and breast cancer (after first having released studies showing the link), Mrs. Malec issued a news release nailing researcher Louise Brinton, who participated on the study’s team.

“[Ms.] Brinton was the chief organizer of the 2003 NCI workshop on the abortion-breast cancer link,” notes Mrs. Malec, “which falsely assured women that the non-existence of the link was ‘well established.’” That workshop, whose organizers excluded respected researchers with contrary views, was designed to reverse the earlier NCI admission of the link, no doubt in service to the abortion industry and its ideological, uh, soulmates.

Though included on the research team which produced the more recent study, Ms. Brinton apparently has issued no mea culpa, nor has she or her NCI colleagues admitted the conflict, despite the need for women to know the troubling results of the new study, which features a table listing “abortion,” reports Mrs. Malec, “among ‘known and suspected risk factors.’”


Pro-Life Dems Holding Out

Jan. 11, 2010, report by Kathleen Gilbert, reprinted

Strong words by conservative House Democrats assuring constituents of their resolve against any abortion-expanding healthcare bill may further complicate an already delicate process which is underway – the reconciling by Democrat leadership of two versions of Pres. Obama’s healthcare overhaul on a tight deadline.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the author of the House bill’s Hyde-amendment restrictions on elective abortion funding, as well as Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS), are continuing to reaffirm their opposition to the Senate bill’s abortion language over the Congressional holiday. The House is due to reconvene Tuesday [Jan. 12], while the Senate will return Jan. 20.

In a Wall Street Journal [WSJ] article Monday, Stupak said that the final version of the bill’s abortion language “has to be pretty close to Stupak language or it’s not going to fly.” He promised not to compromise on the issue.

“I can go back to my district [on some issues] and say I did the best I could, I tried,” he said. “But on abortion you can’t go back and say, I used to be right to life; now I’m pro-choice. That doesn’t work; it’s either/or.”

Given that the entire Republican Party, as well as conservative Democrats, have been shut out of merging negotiations, leadership is widely expected to throw out Stupak’s language in favor of abortion language offered by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) – language that pro-life Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) called “identical to or worse than” the original abortion amendment allowing government funding of the procedure.

Rep. Lipinski, who has consistenly spoken against the government funding of abortion in the healthcare overhaul, reaffirmed in a statement following a local protest that he supported the Stupak Amendment, which “no one can plausibly argue … would allow for taxpayer funding of abortion,” according to local news reports.

In Mississippi, soon after announcing plans to lobby Rep. Gene Taylor and other lawmakers against the health bill with a pro-life billboard campaign, the Southeast USA division of the Center for Bio-ethical Reform received a statement from the Congressman’s office. That statement assured that “there is absolutely nothing in [Mr. Taylor’s] 20-year record that would suggest that it is remotely possible that he would vote for any funding for abortions, direct or indirect.” [Life Advocacy Briefing agrees with this statement.] Taylor voted for the Stupak Amendment and against the House healthcare bill in November.

The conservative House Democrats that Stupak has been counting on to vote with him against a pro-abortion healthcare bill have received far less spotlighting than Stupak himself – yet pro-life advocates hoping to kill the bill are counting on the 10 to 12 lawmakers’ crucial votes.

Lawmakers this weekend listened to constituents across the country sound off at town-hall meetings, which were frequently dominated by impassioned opposition to the healthcare overhaul Democrat leaders have been relentlessly pushing through Congress.

Even districts whose representatives opposed the healthcare bill saw “tea-party” crowds gather to decry various aspects of the controversial overhaul, including abortion funding. Lipinski’s district saw a crowd of over 100 people, with one protester holding a sign that read: “Murdering babies with our tax dollars is not health care.”

“You find it wherever you go,” Stupak told the WSJ. “People say, ‘We applaud the amendment, but we don’t like the bill.’” At a townhall in Fond duLac, Wisconsin, local news reports an unusually large crowd questioning Republican Rep. Tom Petri about healthcare reform.

“Pass something and put it on a referendum, and we’ll vote on it,” urged Ron Grabner of Oshkosh – a sentiment that reflected the broad discontent among US voters over the bill.

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey Monday found the margin of opposition on the bill continues to grow; over twice as many now strongly oppose the bill as those who [strongly] support it, 45% to 19%. Overall, 55% of voters at least somewhat disapproved of the bill, while 40% at least somewhat approved. Yet there appears to be little confidence among voters that Congress will hear their voice on the matter; 69% now believe it’s at least somewhat likely the bill will pass.

Democrat leaders last Tuesday confirmed that the final stages of negotiation over the bill’s contents as the House and Senate versions merge will remain shut to the public and C-SPAN cameras. The decision came despite a direct plea from the network, as well as widepread objection that such a course directly contradicts Obama’s specific and oft-repeated campaign promise of transparency in the healthcare debate.

The party hopes to send a final bill to the President’s desk before the State of the Union address, which could come in late January or early February.


Bishops Offer Advocacy Tool

Text of Jan. 7, 2010, nationwide church bulletin insert offered to Roman Catholic dioceses by US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care Reform!

    • Protect Conscience
    • Ensure Affordable Health Coverage
    • Allow Immigrants to Purchase Private Health Insurance

As long-time advocates of healthcare reform, the US Catholic bishops continue to make the moral case that genuine healthcare reform must protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. Healthcare reform should not advance a pro-abortion agenda in our country.

  • On November 7, the US House of Representatives passed major healthcare reform that reaffirms the essential, longstanding and widely supported policy against using federal funds for elective abortions and includes positive measures on affordability and immigrants.
  • On December 24, the US Senate rejected this policy and passed healthcare reform that requires federal funds to help subsidize and promote health plans that cover elective abortions. All purchasers of such plans will be required to pay for other people’s abortions through a separate payment solely to pay for abortion.
  • Outside the abortion context, neither bill has adequate conscience protection for healthcare providers, plans or employers.
  • These two bills must now be combined into one bill that both the House and Senate will vote on in final form. Provisions against abortion funding and in favor of conscience protection, affordability and immigrants’ access to healthcare must be part of a fair and just healthcare reform bill, or the final bill must be opposed.

Action: Contact your Representative and Senators today by e-mail, phone or fax.

To send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress, go to

Call the US Capitol switchboard at: 1-202/224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices. Contact info can be found on Members’ websites at &

Message – House: “I am pleased that the House healthcare bill maintains the longstanding policy against federal funding of abortion. I urge you to work to uphold essential provisions against abortion funding, to include full conscience protection and to assure that health care is accessible and affordable for all. Until and unless these criteria are met, I urge you to oppose the final bill.”

Message – Senate: “I am deeply disappointed that the Senate healthcare bill fails to maintain the longstanding policy against federal funding of abortion and does not include adequate protection for conscience. I urge you to support essential provisions against abortion funding, similar to those in the House bill. Include full conscience protection and assure that health care is accessible and affordable for all. Until and unless these criteria are met, I urge you to oppose the final bill.”

When: Votes in the House and Senate on the final bill are expected in January. Act today! Thank you!

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: We do not endorse the above parish bulletin insert because it fails to acknowledge the rationing implications in medical care socialization regardless of whether details are fixed. Nevertheless, we do back efforts of Congressional Members, such as Representatives Stupak and Pitts, and the Bishops Conference’s own efforts, to ameliorate some of the bad inevitable effects of this legislation. Further, we believe our readers – Catholic and others – would find this tool of interest and perhaps of actual use.]

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