Life Advocacy Briefing

June 28, 2010

Senate to Take Up Kagan / Protecting Our Military from Abortion Complicity
/ Original Signers to Taylor-Akin Letter / Victory, for Now /
Another Little Setback for the Regime
/ Congressional Letter to Leadership re Military Abortions Amendment
The Trouble with Elena Kagan

Senate to Take Up Kagan

SENATE HEARINGS ON THE NOMINATION OF ELENA KAGAN to the Supreme Court begin today, June 28, in the Committee on Judiciary, chaired by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is the Ranking Republican on the panel.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has yet to give a signal whether his party will mount a filibuster to the political activist’s elevation to the high court. His decision may depend on information which surfaces during the hearings, through which Democrats are expected to try to move quickly.

Sen. McConnell made a statement about the Kagan nomination on the Senate floor last Wednesday, stressing: “A fuller picture of this nominee is beginning to emerge. The recent release of documents relating to Ms. Kagan’s work in the Clinton White House reveals a woman who was committed to advancing a political agenda, a woman who was less concerned about objectively analyzing the law than the ways in which the law could be used to advance a political goal. In other words,” Sen. McConnell warned, “these memos and notes reveal a woman whose approach to the law was as a political advocate – the very opposite of what the American people expect in a judge.”

A key point on which Ms. Kagan’s skeptics are honing in – in the absence of any judicial experience or even much of a record as a practicing attorney – is her past declarations of her admiration for such radical figures as Justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom she once clerked, and Israeli Judge Aharon Barak, whom she has called her “judicial hero.” To view a two-minute video in which Judge Barak discusses his philosophy as a jurist – and to see other updated information on Elena Kagan, readers are invited to visit the Internet website of AUL Action at

The conclusion drawn, after extensive research, by Americans United for Life pro-life, pro-bono law firm, expressed by AUL president Charmaine Yoest PhD in an electronic mail bulletin on the Kagan hearings: “Elena Kagan is a political operative with radical pro-abortion views and if confirmed would be an agenda-driven judge with a fill-in-the-blank approach to law.”

Said Mario Diaz, policy director for legal issues at Concerned Women for America (CWA) at a news conference last week: “When you believe, as [Ms.] Kagan has stated, that judges can ‘steer the law in order to promote certain ethical values and achieve certain social ends,’ then it is clear your impartiality must be questioned and you should never be a judge anywhere, least of all on the highest court in the land.”


Protecting Our Military from Abortion Complicity

A BIPARTISAN BAND OF U.S. HOUSE MEMBERS IS CIRCULATING a letter, to be sent to House and Senate Leaders, urging rejection of the Burris Amendment to the Defense Authorization Act, adopted by a 15-to-12 nearly partisan vote in a committee of the Senate, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) voting “no” along with all Republicans.

The amendment would delete a section of standing law which bars abortions in US military medical facilities. It is well explained in the letter, which is published near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

The letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), has been initiated by Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) and Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO).

Readers are asked to contact their own US Representative to ask him or her to co-sign the letter along with the 77 Members who had signed on a week ago, when the letter was first brought to our attention. Members may be contacted via electronic mail at and by telephone at 1-202/224-3121 and at their district offices. Readers who reside in the districts of the original signers may wish to contact them with thanks and encouragement.

The amendment must be rejected either on the floor of the Senate or in a later conference between the houses; the House has passed the legislation with the abortion ban intact.


Original Signers to Taylor/Akin Letter

THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS HAD SIGNED the letter seeking rejection of the Burris Military Abortions Amendment as of June 18: Republican Representatives Aderholt, Bachus, Griffith & Rogers (AL); Franks (AZ); Boozman (AR); Calvert, Herger, Hunter, Lungren, McKeon & Gary Miller (CA); Lamborn (CO); Broun, Gingrey, (newly elected) Tom Graves, Kingston, Linder, Price & Westmoreland (GA); Manzullo & Shimkus (IL); Burton, Buyer & Pence (IN); King (IA); Cao & Fleming (LA); Bartlett (MD); Hoekstra (MI); Bachmann (MN); Harper (MS); Akin, Emerson & Sam Graves (MO); Fortenberry (NE); Garrett & Smith (NJ); King (NY); Foxx & Jones (NC); Jordan, Latta, Schmidt, Tiberi & Turner (OH); Pitts, Platts & Thompson (PA); Inglis & Wilson (SC); Duncan & Roe (TN); Carter, Conaway, Hall, Marchant, Neugebauer, Olson, Paul & Thornberry (TX); Bishop & Chaffetz (UT); Forbes & Wittman (VA); McMorris-Rodgers (WA); and Ryan & Sensenbrenner (WI).

Also Democratic Representatives Marshall (GA), Lipinski (IL), Taylor (MS); McIntyre (NC); Ryan (OH); and Carney, (newly elected) Mark Critz & Dahlkemper (PA).


Victory, for Now

THE OBAMA REGIME SUFFERED A SETBACK last week in an appellate court ruling reinstating a lawsuit brought last summer against the President’s expansion of destructive embryo experimentation at the expense of taxpayers.

The suit had been filed by doctors pursuing medical research with adult stem cells. The trial court had dismissed the suit without hearing it on the claim that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last Friday ruled, reports, “that doctors doing adult stemcell research have ‘competitive standing’ to sue.”

The reinstated lawsuit seeks to overturn guidelines issued last July 7 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to implement the President’s obnoxious March 11, 2009, executive order, which, notes LifeSite, “purportedly back[ed] funding for ‘responsible, scientifically worthy human stemcell research … to the extent permitted by law.’”

Pro-life leaders say, reports LifeSite, “[Mr.] Obama’s new guidelines fail his own test, arguing that they are both unlawful and based upon an ethically irresponsible misunderstanding of available scientific evidence. ‘The great irony of the guidelines,’” commented Dr. James Sherley, one of the distinguished scientist-plaintiffs in the LifeSite story, “‘is that research involving stem cells safely derived from human adults and other sources presents the same if not greater potential for medical breakthroughs without any of the troubling legal and ethical issues related to embryonic stemcell research.’ …

“Clinical trials using adult stem cells have successfully reversed the effects,” notes LifeSite, “of diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.” The excellent Internet website, operated by Do No Harm, posts a “score” of 73 to 0 comparing treatments and cures discovered through adult stem cells versus therapies derived from embryo killing.

One of the attorneys for the reinstated plaintiffs, Sam Casey, general counsel of Advocates International’s Law of Life Project, noted in the LifeSite story that “‘The majority of the almost 50,000 comments that the NIH received were opposed to funding this research, and by its own admission, NIH totally ignored these comments. … The so-called spare human embryos being stored in IVF clinics around the United States are not ‘in excess of need’ as the NIH in its guidelines callously assert. They are human beings,’” said Mr. Casey in LifeSite, “‘in need of biological or adoptive parents.’”

In his own news release announcing the court ruling, Mr. Casey notes that “Since 1994, Congress has expressly banned NIH from funding research in which human embryos ‘are destroyed, discarded or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.’” The law to which he refers is the Dickey/Wicker Amendment, which appears to have been totally ignored by the Obama Regime in its lust for tiny baby body parts.


Another Little Setback for the Regime

THE RELEVANT ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO THE N.I.H. recommended last Wednesday that federal funding be withheld for research on certain embryo stemcell lines that had been thought eligible under the Obama embryo killing policy, reports Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink electronic news service.

Dr. David Prentice, senior fellow for life sciences at Family Research Council, explained in the CitizenLink report that the committee objected to “‘some language in the consent forms’” being used by the National Institutes of Health. The advisory panel, notes CitizenLink, were ‘“concerned that one particular sentence would open up to lawsuits.’”


Congressional Letter to Leadership re Military Abortions Amendment

Letter circulating on Capitol Hill by Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) and Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), to be sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid & Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner

We are deeply concerned to learn that the Senate Armed Services Committee has taken action to overturn long-standing policy by sanctioning the performance of abortions in both domestic and overseas military facilities – effectively turning military hospitals and other facilities into abortion clinics.

The amendment offered in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 on May 27, 2010, by Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) strikes Section 1093(b) of Title 10 of the US Code. If enacted, this amendment would overturn statute that has been in place since 1996 when Pres. Clinton signed into law the current provision to prevent DOD medical facilities from being used to perform abortions (PL 104-106).

In the past, similar amendments to Sen. Burris’s have been offered in both the House and Senate, and the House has rejected those amendments every time they have been offered since 1996. Most recently in 2006, Cong. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) offered an amendment to allow abortions in overseas military facilities, and it failed by a vote of 191-237. The Burris amendment is even more expansive than the 2006 House amendment, because it would allow abortion on both dometic and overseas military bases.

Military treatment centers – which are dedicated to healing and caring for life – should not facilitate the taking of the most innocent human life: a child in the womb. Women who wish to obtain abortions are already able to travel off base for an abortion and may travel to another country on a military flight on a “space available” basis.

When Pres. Clinton allowed abortions in military facilities from 1993 to 1996, military physicians (as well as many nurses and supporting personnel) refused to perform or assist in elective abortions and in response, the administration sought to hire civilians to do abortions. If the Burris amendment were enacted, not only would taxpayer funded facilities be used to support abortion on demand, but resources could also be used to search for, hire and transport new personnel simply so that abortions could be performed.

In light of these serious concerns, we urge you to reject any language in the DOD Authorization bill for FY11 (or subsequent years) which would weaken or undermine current policy. Expanding abortion in government owned and operated military medical facilities is simply unconscionable and morally unacceptable. Our military facilities should be a place of healing and life saving. They should not be in the business of destroying the unborn.


The Trouble with Elena Kagan

June 25, 2010, commentary by Brad Mattes, Executive Director, Life Issues Institute

“… Judges will often try to mold and steer the law in order to promote certain ethical values and achieve certain social ends. Such activity is not necessarily wrong or invalid.” – Elena Kagan, US Supreme Court nominee

Monday marks the start of US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings. The week-long question-and-answer session is held before the Senate Judiciary Committee in hopes of uncovering more about her background and judicial philosophy.

What we already know about Kagan is deeply alarming. Even before serving as Pres. Obama’s solicitor general (arguing the Administration’s point of view before the Supreme Court), Kagan showcased a deep-rooted hostility for the unborn, the vulnerable and those who would seek to protect them.

    • She sent financial contributions to groups aligned with pro-abortion agendas.
    • She criticized regulations keeping American tax dollars from paying for pro-abortion programs.
    • She tried to silence critics of activist judges, actually calling the critics “irresponsible!”
    • She recommended Pres. Clinton support a phony ban on partial-birth abortion, in spite of her belief it would be unconstitutional.
    • She argued that federal funding for pregnancy-related programs should be completely off-limits to religious groups.
    • She expressed a belief that making physician-assisted suicide a federal crime would be “a fairly terrible idea.”
    • She supported cloning of human embryos for research.

There’s no doubt that Elena Kagan is a liberal activist intent on pushing aside the US Constitution in favor of a radical social agenda. We can hardly expect less. She was, after all, nominated by the most pro-abortion President in the history of our nation.

In fact, Pres. Obama envisioned this very situation on the campaign trail in 2008. “With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court,” he said, “we could be looking at a majority hostile to a woman’s fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade. The next President may be asked to nominate that Supreme Court justice. That is what is at stake in this election.”

If Obama’s wish comes true and people like Kagan get a majority on the Supreme Court, we’re in big trouble. It will no longer matter who we elect in Novembers to come. Those nine judges will have all the power they need to overrule Congressional and Presidential efforts to protect life. That’s why we can’t afford to sit back. Each new appointment is so crucial.

The Supreme Court’s rulings affect us every day – in matters of racial equality, labor laws, medical ethics, property rights, even how we spend our money – so certainly, this nomination is about more than abortion. But how a potential Justice views the right to life is the most basic indicator of their ethics and values. Unfortunately, Kagan has displayed a longstanding disdain for life-affirming policies.

Please don’t let Elena Kagan be a shoo-in to the Supreme Court. Contact your senators [ or 1-202/224-3121] and tell them they must oppose her nomination. The decision is in their hands, but we can do our part to let them know we care.



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