Life Advocacy Briefing

February 15, 2010

Recess Risk / The Price of Freedom: Eternal Vigilance / Reality Setting In
Gruesome Harvest / The Obama Budget / Speaking for Life

Recess Risk

THE U.S. HOUSE & SENATE ARE IN RECESS FOR A WEEK to commemorate Presidents’ Day, today, Feb. 15. This after a week of near recess in the face of roads clogged with nearly unprecedented snow.

Snow is not the only thing slowing down the wheels of legislative government; the dawning of election year is bringing the sobriety of reality to those incumbents who treated 2009 as one long Mardi Gras, and if the turning of the calendar were not enough, the election of a Republican to the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat – by the usually intractable Democratic voters of Massachusetts – has doused the partiers with a vat of cold water.

This was shown last week in the failure of the Senate’s Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) to secure the 60 votes needed to call up the nomination of a labor union extremist to the National Labor Relations Board. In fact, only 52 Senators voted for “cloture” on the nomination, and two of the Democrats – endangered Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR) and damaged Sen. Ben Nelson (NE) – voted with Republicans to block the cloture vote and halt the nomination.

Enter the imperial President, threatening mid-week to exercise his authority to appoint some of his challenged nominees during the next recess, now underway. Appointees installed through recess appointments can serve as though confirmed but only until the next Congress is installed, in this case in January 2011.

A lot of damage can be done in that time, and the potential recess appointee which concerns us most is Dawn Johnsen, now stuck in her second attempt at confirmation in a Senate which has shown remarkable reluctance to cooperate in the President’s bid to put this radical abortion advocate into the pivotal Office of Legal Counsel in the Dept. of Justice. When the Senate reconvenes in a week, if Ms. Johnsen has not been “recess-appointed,” it would be entirely appropriate (and urgently needed) for pro-life citizens to contact US Senators urging their opposition to the confirmation of Dawn Johnsen. During this week-long recess, we have the option to pray, and that we can do early and often.

The Price of Freedom: Eternal Vigilance

IT’s NOT EASY TO KEEP TRACK OF WHAT IS DONE IN SECRET, but our friends at Americans United for Life are giving it a good try. Here’s a telling segment of a Feb. 12 memo from AUL president Charmaine Yoest:

“… After losing a Senate seat in Massachusetts and their filibuster-proof majority along with it, the Democrats publicly stated that they would work with Republicans on health care, but we have just learned their true intentions.

“Pres. Obama publicly called for a bipartisan approach, even asking Republicans for an open televised session. But the truth has been exposed through news articles reporting that Speaker Pelosi’s top healthcare aide is telling insiders their real plan to get taxpayer-funded abortions.

“Their secret plan is to pass two bills, using a procedure called reconciliation to avoid a filibuster in the Senate. One of the bills will be the pro-abortion Senate bill, which includes taxpayer funding for abortion. Then comes the trick: [Mrs.] Pelosi’s top healthcare aide said, ‘The reconciliation bill would trump the Senate bill. … There’s a certain skill, there’s a trick, but I think we’ll get it done.’” Not if patriotic pro-life Americans continue to weigh in! (Capitol switchboard 1-202/224-3121; electronic mail via or


Reality Setting In

THE FUTURE OF EMBRYO STEMCELL EXPERIMENTATION may be facing us even today, though many politicians and the lobby which they feed cannot seem to see it.

It is looming in the state of California, whose voters got on the bandwagon in 2004 by approving a ballot proposition to invest $3 billion in embryo experimentation (ESCR). That was then.

“As Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) notes in an editorial,” writes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in his FRC Washington Update, “‘Five years later, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine … is diverting funds from ESCR to research that has produced actual therapies and treatments: adult stemcell research. [Such research] not only has treated real people with real results; it also does not come with the moral baggage ESCR does. … It is ESCR researchers who have politicized science and stood in the way of real progress,’” IBD states, quoted by Mr. Perkins. “‘We are pleased to see California researchers beginning to put science in its rightful place.’”


Gruesome Harvest

WISCONSIN PRO-LIFE ADVOCATES HAVE UNCOVERED EVIDENCE that the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UMW) is “‘involved in research using aborted baby body parts,’” reported Pro-Life Wisconsin’s Peggy Hamill, quoted by Charlie Butts for, online news service of the American Family Assn. PLW, along with Alliance Defense Fund, had secured official documents revealing the experimentation via the Freedom of Information Act.

The revelation holds particular significance because of plans underway for a new abortion shop to be operated by UWM’s School of Medicine. The documents, said Ms. Hamill, quoted by Mr. Butts, “‘reveal that it is very likely that babies that will be aborted, should this late-term abortion facility open, will become an in-house source of fresh, economic fetal body parts for UWM medical research.’”

Ms. Hamill vowed to continue protests against the School of Medicine’s abortion plans, noting that the public university’s involvement constitutes “government sanctioning” of the killing of late-term prenatal boys and girls. She said, writes Mr. Butts, “‘Until the blood stops flowing, these institutions can be assured pro-lifers will stand up for innocent preborn babies.’” Amen.


The Obama Budget

Life Advocacy has obtained a staff memo from Capitol Hill outlining the abortion-related implications of the budget Pres. Obama delivered to Congress earlier this month. We present it below with appreciation to our source.

The Administration released the President’s FY2011 budget today [Feb. 1], which includes proposed changes to funding levels and limitation amendments (riders). The proposed budget retains provisions against funding for abortion or abortion coverage such as the Hyde Amendment, which governs funds appropriated through the Labor, Health & Human Services spending bill, and the Smith Amendment, which governs [the] Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. However, there are several funding levels and proposed changes to pro-life policies that may be of interest to pro-life [advocates].

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Current Policy: The FY10 Consolidated Appropriations Act retained several policies related to the UNFPA. The policy known as Kemp/Kasten states that no funds may be made available to any organization or program that “supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.” Under this policy the prior Administration withheld funds from the UNFPA due to their involvement in China’s one-child policy. However, the current Administration has indicated that they intend to fund UNFPA notwithstanding the Kemp/Kasten policy. Another policy included in the FY10 Consolidated Appropriations Act continues certain conditions on UNFPA funding if Kemp/Kasten [should] not be applied.

FY11 Administration Budget: The proposed budget retains the Kemp/Kasten provision, which will not be applied to UNFPA under the current Administration. On page 918 [of] the proposed budget, the Administration proposes deleting conditions on UNFPA funding if Kemp/Kasten is not applied. If these conditions are not retained in the FY11 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, funds will flow to UNFPA without current reporting and accounting requirements, US contributions to UNFPA will be used for activities in China and the UNFPA may receive US funding even if they pay for abortion.

Note: The Administration also proposed deleting UNFPA funding conditions in the proposed FY10 budget, but Congress retained the conditions for FY10.

District of Columbia Abortion Funding

Current Policy: The FY10 Consolidated Appropriations Act contained a new policy allowing public funding for abortion in the District of Columbia (DC). This marked a departure from the policy included from FY96 through FY09, during which time no Congressionally appropriated funds could be used to pay for elective abortion in DC.

FY11 Administration Budget: Page 1248 of the proposed budget for FY11 requests that public funding for abortion in DC be continued.

Note: The Administration also proposed public funding for abortion in the proposed FY10 budget, and Congress accepted the propos[ed] FY10.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC)

Current Policy: The FY10 Consolidated Appropriations Act retains a prohibition on LSC funding for any person or entity “that participates in any litigation with respect to abortion.” This prohibition is included by reference to [Public Law] PL 104-134.

FY11 Administration Budget: Page 1284 of the proposed budget for FY11 includes a change to PL 104-134 that would result in LSC funds being made available to persons or entities that engage in abortion litigation provided that LSC funds are not used directly for the abortion-related litigation.

Notes: This change would also affect other policies governing the LSC. The Administration also proposed changing the LSC policy in the proposed FY10 budget, but Congress retained the policy against funding entities engaged in abortion litigation for FY10.

Title X Funding

Current Level: The FY10 Consolidated Appropriations Act funds Title X at $317,491,000.

FY11 Request: On page 461, the Administration requests an increase of roughly $10 million for a total of $327,356,000 for Title X.

International Family Planning Funding

Current Level: The FY10 Consolidated Appropriations Act provides $648,457,000 for family planning/reproductive health [in foreign aid].

FY11 Request: The FY11 budget request does not specifiy a funding level for international family planning.


Speaking for Life

Continued rally speeches delivered by Members of the US House and Senate to the massive crowd assembled Jan. 22, 2010, for the March for Life in Washington, DC; transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing from recorded-live video coverage.

Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA): Hello, I’m Congressman Wally Herger from California. I want to commend each and every one of you for traveling here today to defend the rights of unborn children. We must work together to protect the unborn, to oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. People’s minds are changing and we’re getting closer to protecting the unalienable right to live. Thank you for coming. Thank you for your efforts. Your efforts are making a difference. Keep up the fight, and God bless you.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): I’m Jim Jordan. I’m from Ohio. Let me quickly thank you for two things. I know we’ve got some Ohioans out there. First of all, thank you for your willingness to get in the game. I learned a long time ago nothing of meaning, nothing of significance, nothing of real value and importance ever happens by hanging out on the sidelines. You’ve got to get out of the shadows, out of the twilight, you’ve got to get in the game, and you’ve got to take the risks associated with getting in the game. You know we’re never going to get a fair shake from some in the press. In fact, I loved what Cal Thomas had to say one time when he was talking about the way normal folks see things and the way the kind of elite national media see things. He said, “I get up every morning. I read my Bible and the New York Times so I can see what each side’s up to.” There’s some truth to that. Thank you so much for that and thank you for your optimistic attitude. I mean, when we get up every day, remember we’ve got the truth on our side, we live in the greatest nation in history. Keep that optimistic—keep that David attitude—and I’ll close with this: You all know the old story from scripture, you’re familiar with it, when the Israelites were camped against the Philistines. And every day the Philistine giant would walk out and issue the challenge: Who will fight Goliath? The Israelites’ response was, “He’s so big, we could never defeat him.” But David’s response was, “He’s so big, I can’t miss.” That’s the attitude you have, that’s the attitude that will win. And God bless you.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA): I’m Congressman Steve King from Iowa. And my oldest son’s name is David. And I named him that for the same reason. Say, is there anybody here from Massachusetts?  Thank you, Massachusetts. Thank you for helping us kill that anti-Life bill! You delivered a teachable moment Tuesday night for all of America. The White House was watching. That’s where the next appointments that might change the balance in the Supreme Court will come from is the White House. This is our teachable moment to the White House. Mr. President, at what instant did your life begin? We believe it began at the instant of conception for you, Mr. President, and for all of God’s children, and we believe that human life is sacred in all of its forms. And that’s why we’re here today, you’re here doing the Lord’s work. You can’t see what I can see, but I see pro-life America as far as I can see. Keep coming back until we’re here to celebrate the end of Roe versus Wade. God bless you all.

Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH): Hi, I’m Bob Latta from Ohio, and I want to thank you all for being here, because I just had a lot of students in the last two days from all over my district to come down to Washington to express their opinion of what they think we should be doing down here, and it’s Life. When you look out across this Mall right now, it’s amazing. But as I told those kids up on the Capitol steps this morning, we always want to remember this is a participatory democracy, and if you don’t participate, it doesn’t work. What I see here today are Americans that want to make this country work, and they want to make sure that their views and their ideas are translated up to that Capitol Building and over to the Supreme Court. So we want to make sure, and you always want to remember, as it’s been said here for those folks in Massachusetts, you know they put the rolling cry out and they changed and I tell you what’s going to happen, as it also happened on April the 19th, 1775, when those folks that gathered on Lexington Green and Concord, that fired that shot that was heard around the world. And what we’re doing here is having Americans know that they have a voice, that they change things, and we’re going to have a Congress that’s Right to Life. Thanks very much.

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