Life Advocacy Briefing

May 7, 2012

Mother’s Day / Worth Reading / Up in the Air / Inconvenient Guest? / Confirmation
Star Witness / Speaker’s Statement / Pepsi Repents

Mother’s Day

MOTHER’s DAY IS ONE OF THOSE FAMILY OCCASIONS, especially meaningful to those who cherish the family as God’s design for the fundamental unit of society. That is certainly the case – historically, at least – in our blessed land. We extend to our readers our best wishes for Mother’s Day and our salute to those who have labored to make motherhood a blessing to those for whom its early days were fraught with fear and uncertainty. And we ask your forgiveness if our Life Advocacy Briefing is off-schedule next week, as we are planning a time away together as our family’s celebration of this unique holiday. May your mother-memories and your time with family be a blessing to you and yours.


Worth Reading

IT’s TOO LONG TO REPRINT HERE, but we have posted on our Internet website ( an inspiring account by Colorado State Sen. (then Rep.) Ted Harvey on the day he got to introduce a Planned Parenthood abortion survivor – the amazing Gianna Jessen – to the state House of Representatives on the very day his liberal colleagues planned to adopt a resolution congratulating the abortion behemoth on its 90th anniversary. Among our favorite quotes from “Planned Parenthood Celebration Jolted by Abortion Survivor”:  “I have been in the Legislature for five tough years, and this made it all worthwhile.” What inspiring, bold advocates for Life are both Miss Jessen and Sen. Harvey. We reprinted it from and urge our readers to go to either website, read the story and pass it along to others. Get ready to smile!


Up in the Air

AT THIS WRITING, HOPE CONTINUED FLICKERING – though dimly – in the case of the Chinese pro-life hero about whom we reported last week. By the time you receive this bulletin, the fate of Chen Guangcheng may have been settled – we fervently hope, in the direction of freedom. Regardless of the outcome, we consider the conduct of the US government in this matter to have been craven, and we believe the saga, as we have been able to piece it together from numerous reports during the tumultuous ten days we’re covering here, is worth reflecting about. So we plunge forward with the situation as we knew it on the morning of May 4.


Inconvenient Guest?

WE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER, but the escape ten days ago of blind pro-life champion Chen Guangcheng from house arrest in Red China so cheered us that we neglected to ponder how the “diplomats” of the Obama Regime and the Clinton State Dept. would respond to this hero.

As we reported last week, Chen – imprisoned and persecuted after seeking to use his lawyer training to litigate against Beijing’s forced abortion scheme – escaped to the US Embassy in Beijing, which should have been a place of refuge. To top it off, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself was on the way to the Communist capital at the time of Chen’s daring flight to our outpost of freedom.

We should have realized, with the current regime in power, that the news would take on a more frightening hue. Sure enough, the plot has thickened to a murky mess. The future of Chen and his family is very much in doubt as of this writing, and a Chinese woman who aided his escape is now being “detained” by Chinese authorities for her part in Chen’s effort to secure his God-given right to liberty.

After reaching what he thought was safety in the US Embassy, Chen Guangcheng was said by US authorities to be wanting to stay in Red China. Then why did he flee to American soil?

Chen had left the embassy, as of this writing, and was photographed being wheeled down a hospital hallway. Obama Regime spokesmen claimed Chen left of his own free will and without having received any threats. What? “I changed my mind? Forget the freedom thing?” Please.

Here is a brief excerpt from a report by ChinaAid’s Bob Fu, a refugee from the Tiananmen Square tragedy who closely monitors and liaises with human rights activists in Red China. After reporting the soothing assurances of Assistant Secretary of State Mike Posner, Mr. Fu writes in a news release: “China Aid also receives reports from reliable source that Chen’s decision for departure from the US Embassy was done reluctantly because ‘serious threats to his immediate family members were made by Chinese government’ if Chen refuses to accept the Chinese government’s offer. Relevant reports,” writes Mr. Fu, “also show that unfortunately the US side ‘has abandoned Mr. Chen.’”

Mr. Fu suggests the Beijing government is likely to go along with Chen’s freedom of movement for the moment. “He has the admiration of the world right now, and that will perhaps keep him safe in the short term, but I am fearful,” writes Mr. Fu, “what could happen if the world loses interest. The government sees him as a troublemaker and a threat to their legitimacy, a very serious concern in the aftermath of the Bo Xilai scandal.

“The free world has a moral imperative and obligation,” declares Mr. Fu, “to ensure Chen’s protection. His fight for freedom is one shared by us all.”



FURTHER REPORTS ON CHEN GUANGCHENG WERE RELEASED last week by Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, who has worked tirelessly to bring the plight of Red China’s persecuted families to world attention.

“US officials contend,” writes Ms. Littlejohn in a news release, “that Chen left the US Embassy … of his own volition to seek medical treatment at a hospital [for a foot injury suffered during his escape from house arrest]. From the hospital, however, Chen told friends and the media that he was not given full information on which to base his decision. He told Associated Press (AP), moreover,” writes Ms. Littlejohn, “that a US official relayed a threat that if Chen did not leave the Embassy, his wife would be beaten to death. He told CNN, ‘I am very disappointed in the US government.’”

According to Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers, Chen has told the media he did not expect US officials to abandon him in the hospital, even though he was then physically outside the Embassy. He was escorted to the hospital, reports AP, personally by US Ambassador Gary Locke.

On Thursday, Chen told CNN in a telephone interview, reports John Jalsevac for, “that US embassy officials in Beijing [were] no longer answering his telephone calls, even though he has called ‘numerous’ times, and [said] he feels a ‘little’ like he was lied to by the embassy officials.

“In his interview with CNN [Thursday], conducted at 3 a.m. Beijing time,” writes Mr. Jalsevac, “Chen said that US embassy officials had repeatedly urged him to leave the embassy. ‘The embassy kept lobbying me to leave and promised to have people stay with me in the hospital,’” he told CNN, quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘But this afternoon, as soon as I checked into the hospital room I noticed they were all gone,’ he said.

“Chen also told CNN,” writes Ms. Littlejohn, “that after he escaped, his wife was tied to a chair in their home for two days. Guards carried sticks into their home and threatened to beat her to death. They also moved into their house,” reports Ms. Littlejohn, “eating at their table and using their belongings. They have installed seven surveillance cameras inside their home. These facts,” she reports, “convinced Chen that it would not be safe for him or his family to remain in China. He did not learn these facts until he was reunited with his wife in the hospital,” which explains why his appeals for asylum have come after he physically left the Embassy.

He has now made plain his desire that and his family be allowed to come to the United States. How that can be achieved, once he left the Embassy, is unclear. But his appeal should be ringing in the ears of those in power in Washington who claim an affinity for what they call “justice.”

“Chen … told CNN,” writes Ms. Littlejohn, “‘I would like to say to (Pres. Obama): Please do everything you can to get our whole family out.’ He told the Daily Beast [blog], ‘My fervent hope is that it would be possible for me and my family to leave for the US on Hillary Clinton’s plane.’” Chen is known to be seeking a meeting with the Secretary of State while she is visiting Red China.

Ms. Littlejohn explains why the Chen situation is extraordinary in the context of the Chinese people’s yearning for freedom. “Chen is hugely symbolic in China,” she writes, “widely loved and admired. By challenging the One-Child Policy,” she notes, “he is challenging the lynchpin of social control in China. This explains why Chen is not just an ordinary dissident,” she writes, “but rather symbolizes the heart and conscience of the nation. It also explains the ferocity of the Chinese Communist Party’s reaction to him.” And may, tragically, explain why the Obama Regime views him as the hottest of potatoes. After all, granting asylum to an abortion protester does not advance the President’s mobilization of his “base.”

The President himself, reports Kathleen Gilbert for citing Fox News as source, refused to comment when asked about Chen during a joint news conference Monday with Japan’s prime minister, though he did not hesitate to speak in biting partisan fashion on domestic issues in front of the visiting head of state.

“‘Obviously,’” he said, as quoted by Miss Gilbert, “‘I’m aware of the press reports on the situation in China. But I’m not going to make a statement on the issue.’” (Mr. President, this is not an “issue;” it is a man – a hero for freedom and Life – who is at risk of his own life and fears also for his family and for the friend who abetted his escape and has now disappeared. Can you even care?)

In hope that the Obama Regime might summon some sense of American values in this episode, Ms. Littlejohn declared in her news release: “When Chen Guangcheng fled to the US Embassy, the US had a golden opportunity to do the right thing – give him and his family asylum and bring them to safety in the US. This would have erased a generation of anti-American propaganda and inspired gratitude, admiration and trust among the Chinese people,” she said. “Instead the US quickly dispatched Chen out the door, shattering our moral credibility before the world and losing the hearts and minds of a generation of Chinese people who share our values. How ‘strategic’ is this?”


Star Witness

REP. CHRIS SMITH (R-NJ) CHAIRED AN EMERGENCY HEARING on Chen last Thursday.  The star witness was Chen Guangcheng himself, who was able to phone into the hearing; reportedly, while he was in the US Embassy, the dissident was not permitted to make phone calls either to friends in Red China or to Rep. Smith, whom he sought to reach.

Rep. Smith is known the world over for his human rights advocacy and chairs the Human Rights Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as the Executive-Congressional China Commission, under whose auspices he chaired Thursday’s fact-finding session.

During the hearing, Chen said via telephone and an interpreter at Mr. Smith’s side, “I want to meet with Secretary Clinton. I hope I can get help from her.” Whether or not his escape was timed intentionally to coincide with the Secretary of State’s visit, her presence in Beijing at this moment certainly offers the Obama Regime a path to doing the right thing, if the will exists.


Speaker’s Statement

May 2, 2012, Statement by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) concerning the Chen situation

Like millions of other Americans, I have followed the story of Chen Guangcheng with admiration for his courage and concern for his safety and that of his family. I am deeply disturbed by the most recent report by the Associated Press, which suggests Chen Guangcheng was pressured to leave the US Embassy against his will amid flimsy promises and possible threats of harm to his family.

In such a situation, the United States has an obligation to stand with the oppressed, not with the oppressor. Having handed Chen Guangcheng back over to the Chinese government, the Obama Administration is responsible for ensuring his safety.

While our economic relationship with China is important and vital to the future of people in both countries, the United States has an obligation to use its engagement with China to press for reforms in China’s human rights practices, particularly with respect to the reprehensible “one-child” policy.


Pepsi Repents

April 30, 2012, Breaking News bulletin from Bradley Mattes, executive director, Life Issues Institute

Your hard work and dedication has paid off. PepsiCo announced they will no longer use HEK293 (human embryonic kidney) cells to test human taste reactions to artificial flavor enhancers.

Life Issues Institute joined with Debi Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, boycotting Pepsi drink products because they contracted with Senomyx to provide research using the kidney cells of aborted babies. Life Issues Institute worked with Debi to create awareness of what PepsiCo was doing.

Debi confirmed with Mr. Paul Boykas, vice president of Global Public Policy for PepsiCo, that a change has been made.

The company conducted internal discussions and recognized that the use of aborted babies was highly sensitive and controversial and not in the best interest of PepsiCo. “We took the matter very seriously,” stated Mr. Boykas. “We have an official Statement on Responsible Research, and we intend to live by that policy.” [Here Mr. Mattes publishes an Internet website link to the policy.]

The policy precludes any research by PepsiCo – or third parties they fund – from using human tissue or cell lines derived from embryos or fetuses. PepsiCo sent a letter to Debi confirming this change. [Here Mr. Mattes publishes an Internet website link to the letter.]

As a result, the boycott of Pepsi drink products has ended. This is a huge victory for those who believe in the sanctity of innocent human life. The boycott had been in place since May of 2011. Pro-lifers are now able to use Pepsi drink products with a clear conscience, knowing PepsiCo will no longer benefit from the human remains of aborted babies.

We’re grateful to PepsiCo but especially to those of you who participated in the boycott and communicated with the company. You made the difference.

There are acceptable cell lines that Senomyx can and should be using – not just for PepsiCo’s research but for all their customers. You can expect future information on companies who are still doing business with Senomyx in a way that uses aborted babies.

Please do one more very important thing. Please contact PepsiCo and thank them for doing the right thing.

Jamie Caulfield, Sr. Vice President; PepsiCo, Inc.; 700 Anderson Hill Road; Purchase, NY 10577; phone: 1-914/253-2000.

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: We covered the disturbing news about the use of cells derived from human tissue a year ago, and we congratulate Life Issues Institute and Children of God for Life on the success of their pressure campaign. The initial response of PepsiCo was disappointing, but it is encouraging that a major company can choose to change its ways when confronted with an effective appeal.]