Life Advocacy Briefing

December 13, 2010

Bullet Dodged / Energy & Commerce Leadership Contest Settled
/ Pro-Life Caucus Welcomes New Co-Chairman / Chutzpah / This License is Revoked / Bullying Ethical Doctors / Diminishing Returns / Senate Voting Record

Bullet Dodged

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID JUST COULDn’t LEAVE IT ALONE. He had to bring back the already failed (in September) motion to end debate on the Defense Authorization bill.

How else, after all, could the Nevada Democrat pay back the liberal special interests who saved his re-election bid in November?

Riding on the Defense policy bill was the pet proposal of the homosexual activist lobby to repeal the ban on homosexual behavior in the military, as well as the abortion lobby’s Burris Amendment to corrupt US military hospitals with abortion.

But Republicans had put the Majority Leader on notice that they would stand together – 42 strong – against bringing forward any legislation before resolving the pending tax hike crisis. And stand together they did – with the exception of Sen. Susan Collins (ME) – to block the “cloture” motion. We publish the voting record at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. And we thank the 39 Republicans and one Democratic Senator who voted “no” on the Reid motion. (One Democrat and two Republicans were recorded as “not voting.”)


Energy & Commerce Leadership Contest Settled

REP. FRED UPTON IS GOING TO BE UNDER A MICROSCOPE, wielded by outside observers and by his own more conservative colleagues, now that the House Republican Conference has ratified his appointment to chair the House Committee on Energy & Commerce.

The wobbly Michigan Republican insisted, during his campaign for the post, that he has reformed or at least will conform to the conservative majority in his party. No longer, for example, will he champion the banning of incandescent light bulbs; now he’ll champion repealing his own law.

Perhaps he’ll lose his taste for vivisection of tiny, defenseless human beings in the name of “research” as well. We can hope so.

He will be receiving pressure on pro-life issues not only from the right-to-Life lobby but also from within his committee, with its subcommittee on Health, to which many pro-life issues are referred, to be chaired by pro-life champion Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), appointed by Rep. Upton.

Rep. Pitts has built a career on effective advocacy of Life and the traditional family.

We congratulate Mr. Pitts and commend Mr. Upton for naming Rep. Pitts to this key subcommittee post.


Pro-Life Caucus Welcomes New Co-Chairman

ONE OF THE REASONS Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) was so important a year ago to the fight to block abortion funding in ObamaCare (before he fell for the phony executive order that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory) was that he had long co-chaired the House Pro-Life Caucus along with Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). The caucus, after all, is appropriately bipartisan; the right to Life is an American principle, not “owned” exclusively by either political party.

With Rep. Stupak leaving the Congress next month, a new co-chairman was needed, and that leader was announced last week. We welcome the Caucus’s announcement that Illinois Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski will join Rep. Smith in co-chairing one of the most effective units of the pro-life movement, the House Pro-Life Caucus, in the 112th Congress, whose Members will take the oath of office on Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Rep. Lipinski was the sole Democratic Member to vote “no” on the Senate version of ObamaCare because of its anti-Life implications. He is also prime co-sponsor of Rep. Smith’s “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR-5939) to codify the Hyde Amendment across the federal budget, with Virginia GOP Rep. Randy Forbes of the “Patients First Act” (HR-877) to “intensify stemcell research showing evidence of substantial clinical benefit to patients,” and of HR-5111, the “Protect Life Act” authored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) to explicitly bar abortion funding from ObamaCare.

“Protection of unborn children must be a legislative priority in the 112th Congress,” said Rep. Lipinski in a Caucus news release announcing his new leadership post. “I look forward to leading this bipartisan coalition of pro-life Members with Chris Smith as we continue our work to protect innocent human life.”



REP. STEVE DRIEHAUS (D-OH) LOST HIS Re-ELECTION BID in November, as did many others of his party who voted to enact ObamaCare. But Rep. Driehaus had always declared himself “pro-life,” and he both resented and feared the announced plan of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) to report to his constituents – after he voted for the Reid/Obama healthcare takeover – that he had voted for taxpayer funding of abortion. After all, this was the version from which the House-passed pro-life Stupak Amendment had been excluded.

The SBA billboards did not actually appear in the Cincinnati-area district, because Rep. Driehaus headed them off with a complaint to election authorities in Ohio, which has a political speech censorship law to protect incumbent officeholders. In so doing, Rep. Driehaus brought more attention to the controversy over his ObamaCare vote than even the billboards could have done.

He lost to the veteran Congressman he had bested in 2008 (Steve Chabot).

And now Rep. Driehaus has filed a federal defamation lawsuit against SBA List in which he claims – get this – that the pro-life political action committee has deprived him of his livelihood!


This License is Revoked

KUDOS TO MARYLAND’s MEDICAL LICENSING BOARD for permanently revoking the license of an 88-year-old “obstetrician” who managed the notorious, unlicensed abortionist Steven Brigham’s Elkton abortuary for him.

The move completes disciplinary action against George J. Shepard Jr., whose license was suspended earlier after the Elkton shop of “American Women’s Services” was found to be used by its owner Mr. Brigham to complete second-trimester abortions begun in New Jersey and after an incident in which, reports Jim Walsh for The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, “a critically injured patient who needed emergency surgery for a perforated uterus was driven to a hospital in a private car.”

Also noted in the revocation order, reports Mr. Walsh, was the discovery by investigators of the remains of “about 35 late-term fetuses … [in] a chest freezer” in the Elkton mill.

“The Maryland board on Thursday,” writes Mr. Walsh, “said [Mr.] Shepard was guilty of unprofessional conduct and that he had practiced medicine with an unauthorized person. The consent order said [Mr.] Brigham, who does not have a medical license in Maryland, ‘has been observed performing surgical procedures on approximately 50 occasions’ in Elkton this year.”


Bullying Ethical Doctors

AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE (A.U.L.) IS WARNING of a renewed risk to the conscience rights of pro-life doctors and medical personnel.

The AUL Bench Briefs bulletin for Dec. 8 cites a recent review and reaffirmation by the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG) of “the Orwellian sounding Ethics Committee Number 385, which states that physicians have a duty to perform or refer patients for ‘standard reproductive service.’ The rule even suggests,” notes AUL, “that pro-life physicians should relocate in order to be closer to an abortionist to whom they might refer patients.

“While the ACOG cannot force pro-life doctors to comply,” reports AUL, “the medical licensing board, the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ABOG) has that power. And ABOG does require compliance with the ACOG rule for doctors who wish to renew their medical licenses.

“During the Bush Administration,” AUL reminds us, “the Secretary of Health [Mike Leavitt] reprimanded ABOG and ACOG when they first attempted this one-two punch to a physician’s right to act according to his or her values. But healthcare providers no longer have the benefit of an administration that will advocate for their right to practice medicine in accordance with their conscience.”


Diminishing Returns

Dec. 6, 2010, PRI Weekly Briefing by Steven W. Mosher, president, Population Research Institute

Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, called on world leaders Sunday to address the global warming crisis by drastically reducing the number of people on the planet. Maintaining that the very future of humanity was at stake, Turner urged immediate action: “If we’re going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we’re not going to do it with seven billion people,” said Turner, who went on to propose the immediate adoption of a global one-child policy.

The media mogul has long been infatuated with Chinese-style “family planning.” Appearing on National Public Radio on May 7th of this year, he praised the Chinese government for “wisely institut[ing] … the one-child family policy, … put[ting] in penalties, tax penalties and so forth, for people that have more than one child.”

Now the father of five, who has often publicly regretted having so many children, wants to extend China’s policy to the rest of us.

Turner makes it clear that he is not proposing an unplanned pregnancy be viewed as a criminal act, and that women who violate his one-child policy should not be forced to have abortions and sterilizations. In fact, he flatly denies that such things happen in China at all, instead claiming that the Beijing regime has enforced the policy “without, as far as I can see, Draconian steps.”

In his panic about global warming, Turner apparently hasn’t looked very far, for Draconian is precisely what China’s forced-pace population control is. I know. I have spent three decades studying it.

The Chinese population control police don’t merely “encourage people to have one child,” as Turner says, they arrest women for the crime of being pregnant with an illegal child, they subject them to detention without trial, and they forcibly abort them if they don’t “voluntarily consent” to an abortion.

CNN has reported such stories before, but apparently he doesn’t even watch the news network that he founded. Or any other, for that matter.

Of course, Turner does not want to resort to violence of the kind common in China. Instead, he wants to pursue a less populated world by bribing women into giving up their fertility. Under his scheme the world’s poor could sell their fertility rights and thereby, in his words, profit from avoiding procreation.

As a billionaire, whose wealth insulates him from the concerns of ordinary people, Turner is apparently tone-deaf on the subject of both money and children. There is, after all, something despicable about offering a poor, hungry woman food, money or clothing in exchange for her surrendering her fertility.

In 1998, even the US Congress recognized this fact, passing the Tiahrt Amendment, which forbids the use of bribes and sanctions in government-funded population control programs. Paying women to accept contraception, sterilization or abortion, as Turner proposes, would be a violation of US law.

And what does he propose to do about those couples who will not sell their children, whether conceived or merely hoped for, at any price? Is the coercive power of the state to be used to force them into the sterilization queue?

You bet. That is precisely the path population control programs worldwide have often followed. They are entirely “voluntary” until someone refuses to submit to the knife, at which time the pretense of “voluntarism” is abandoned, threats start being made, and forced sterilizations follow.

Turner justifies his proposed war on people by claiming that we are in the midst of an environmental crisis of the first order – and that we can stop global warming by reducing the number of people.

He spoke in conjunction with economist Brian O’Neill, who claimed that promoting access to “family planning” could be a major boon to those seeking to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Now I personally find it hard to get worked up about rising levels of carbon dioxide, since increased amounts of this atmospheric “fertilizer” will lead to increased food production. Ditto for global warming – if indeed it is happening at all. But these are subjects for another day.

As for Turner, long before he or anyone else began hyping “global warming,” he was an outspoken population controller. Back in 1998, at a Zero Population Growth [ZPG] banquet, he was already speaking of “managing human numbers in a sensible way – I really believe that there are huge forces arrayed against us. The forces of ignorance, lack of education and prejudice and hatred and fear. The forces of darkness in general.”

“In the end,” he concluded, “I’ll put my money on the smart people against the dummies. If the smarts can’t beat the dumbs, we’re really not that smart, are we? And we have a lot more fun than they do, because we’re right and they’re wrong.”

But is it really so smart to align yourself with China’s brutal dictatorship, especially when you admit knowing almost nothing about the subject? Wrong again, Ted.


Senate Voting Record

On reviving S-3454, the Defense Authorization bill, including the Burris Amendment to impose abortion on US military facilities – Dec. 9, 2010 – Failed – 57 to 40 (Needing 60) (Democrats in italics, new Member in ALL CAPS, “Independents” marked “I”)

Voting “no” / pro-life: AL/Sessions & Shelby, AK/Murkowski, AZ/Kyl & McCain, FL/LeMieux, GA/Chambliss & Isakson, ID/Crapo & Risch, IL/KIRK, IN/Lugar, IA/Grassley, KS/Roberts, KY/Bunning & McConnell, LA/Vitter, ME/Snowe, MA/Brown, MS/Cochran & Wicker, MO/Bond, NE/Johanns, NV/Ensign, NH/Gregg, NC/Burr, OH/Voinovich, OK/Coburn & Inhofe, SC/DeMint & Graham, SD/Thune, TN/Alexander & Corker, TX/Hutchison, UT/Bennett & Hatch, WV/MANCHIN, WY/Barrasso & Enzi.

Voting “yes” / anti-Life: AK/Begich, AR/Pryor, CA/Boxer & Feinstein, CO/Bennet & Udall, CT/Dodd & Lieberman (I), DE/Carper & COONS, FL/Nelson, HI/Akaka & Inouye, IL/Durbin, IN/Bayh, IA/Harkin, LA/Landrieu, ME/Collins, MD/Cardin & Mikulski, MA/Kerry, MI/Levin & Stabenow, MN/Franken & Klobuchar, MO/McCaskill, MT/Baucus & Tester, NE/Nelson, NV/Reid, NH/Shaheen, NJ/Lautenberg & Menendez, NM/Bingaman & Udall, NY/Gillibrand & Schumer, NC/Hagan, ND/Conrad & Dorgan, OH/Brown, OR/Merkley & Wyden, PA/Casey & Specter, RI/Reed & Whitehouse, SD/Johnson, VT/Leahy & Sanders (I), VA/Warner & Webb, WA/Cantwell & Murray, WV/Rockefeller, WI/Feingold & Kohl.

Not voting: AR/Lincoln, KS/Brownback, TX/Cornyn.


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