Life Advocacy Briefing

June 18, 2012

Hurwitz Confirmed / No More Mr. Nice Guy / Expanding Military Abortions
Party Hemorrhaging? / Putting A Face on Red China’s Brutal Pogrom
What About This War on Women, Mr. President? / Senate Voting Record

Hurwitz Confirmed

WE PUBLISH AT THE CLOSE OF THIS LIFE ADVOCACY BRIEFING the Senate’s cloture voting record on ending the Andrew Hurwitz debate last Monday before confirming the Arizona Supreme Court jurist for a lifetime seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. We cannot publish the roll call on his actual confirmation; there was none. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) brought forward the confirmation for a voice vote Tuesday, apparently with the acquiescence of Arizona’s Sen. Jon Kyl, the Republican who was – in our opinion, shamefully – handling the nomination of the judge from his home state.

This procedure – almost never used for confirmation of an appellate judge – drew a sharp response from Iowa GOP Sen. Charles Grassley, who opposed the nomination and was not on the Senate floor at the time Mr. Reid popped the question.

“‘I find this to be quite irregular and outside the recent precedents of the Senate,’ [Sen.] Grassley said,” quoted by reporter Dan Friedman in the National Journal. “‘Typically Members are informed of such actions in advance,’” said the aggrieved Sen. Grassley. “‘I was not so informed, and I’m the ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee,’” who would normally have received the courtesy of notification. “‘I certainly did not intend to yield my [opportunity to speak],’” he said. “‘And in fact, I intended on speaking further on the nominee.’”

Sen. Grassley was a leading opponent to Mr. Hurwitz when the nomination came out of the Judiciary Committee earlier this year.  Sen. Grassley also spoke against the cloture motion, which carried Monday on a vote of 60 to 31, needing 60.

“‘When the ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee isn’t notified of this action or any other Senator notified of this action,’” he said, “‘it seems to me that that trust has been violated.’” This, in a body which prides itself on comity.

Though Sen. Grassley has urged that a roll call vote be held even after the fact, it is highly unlikely that Sen. Reid will acquiesce to that request, and we are just as glad. We fully expected that some Senators who voted to advance the confirmation of this judicial extremist on cloture would have turned their votes to “no” on the final motion. This way, thanks to Sen. Reid’s heavy hand and self-image of cleverness, these Senators have no opportunity for redemption. The cloture vote now is the vote on Judge Hurwitz, and those who voted for the man who brags about himself as, effectively, the progenitor of Roe v. Wade will have to wear their votes into their re-election contests.


No More Mr. Nice Guy

SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY) DREW A LINE last week on confirmations of Obama judicial nominees, declaring the GOP “would block the confirmation of any more federal appeals court judges before the election,” reports the Daily Briefing published by Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call.

CQ/Roll Call notes the McConnell declaration is effectively “invoking the prerogative (known either as the Thurmond rule or the Leahy rule) of the Senate caucus opposite a President seeking a second term.

“Such unilateral obstructionism on judicial nominees in the months before an election … allows the party out of power to make a legitimate point about how the ideological makeup of the federal courts for decades or more is an important part of what every Presidential election is about.”

So bravo, Mr. McConnell, for throwing down the gauntlet on appellate court nominations. We have just one question for the Senate Minority Leader: Why did you have to wait until Andrew Hurwitz was confirmed instead of putting your party into pre-election obstruction mode in time to protect this nation from the poster child for judicial activism? You drew the line only hours after Mr. Hurwitz was safely on his way to the appellate bench.

(If, Mr. Leader, you waited in order to be able to use the yes-on-Hurwitz votes against the likes of Missouri’s endangered Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, you ought to have done a better job of persuading your own team – Senators such as Jon Kyl, John McCain, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander – to vote with their constituents against this radical judicial activist. Those GOP votes and others gave the McCaskills and Caseys of this world political cover for this vote. Not good, Sen. McConnell. Not good at all.)


Expanding Military Abortions

THE LEFT IS MAKING A SIGNIFICANT ADVERTISING BUY in the Washington, DC, media market to pressure Congress to ease the long-standing prohibition on forcing military hospitals – at taxpayer expense – to kill the preborn children of military personnel who claim pregnancy-by-sex-crime. Currently, abortions at military facilities – home or abroad – are limited to the extremely rare situation of actual threat to the life of the mother.

That is why pro-life citizens should take this threat seriously and contact Senators to ask them to reject the abortion lobby’s bid to enlist our military into the abortion industry. Senators may be contacted at their in-state offices or via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

The long-standing prohibition would be stripped from the Defense Authorization Act under an amendment already adopted in the Committee on Armed Services. An effort by pro-life Senators to restore the provision is expected when the full Senate considers the measure soon.


Party Hemorrhaging?

A PARTISAN SHIFT APPEARS TO BE UNDERWAY, as reports are surfacing of Democratic officials, reports Ben Johnson for, “changing parties over issues like the right to Life, the definition of marriage and the Obama Administration’s mandate that religious institutions cover abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plans.”

Late in May, for example, seven local officials in Mississippi “announced they had voted with their feet,” writes Mr. Johnson. The LifeSiteNews reporter quotes Mississippi GOP communications director Brett Kittredge with a startling estimate of “more than 50 Democrats in Mississippi hav[ing] joined the Republican Party since January 2009. ‘They cannot be affiliated any longer with the Democratic Party,’” Mr. Kittredge told Mr. Johnson, “‘because of the Obama Administration and all the leaders of the Democratic Party – Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, on down the line.’”

The mayor of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, notes Mr. Johnson, announced his switch in April, following a pattern which apparently has been going on under the media radar for quite some time. Reports LifeSiteNews: “Two dozen state officials changed registration from Democrat to Republican in the first three months after the 2010 midterm elections.”

Texas State Rep. J. M. Lozano said in March he was “‘tired of being “bullied” by Democrats,’” writes Mr. Johnson. “Like his constituents in Jim Wells County, he cherished ‘pro-life, pro-business’ sentiments in ‘my heart and my soul.’”

And party-switching Ohio State Rep. Doug McKillip has moved away not only from the Democratic Party through which he first won election but also from the abortion lobby. The Athens Representative, reports Mr. Johnson, “accepted a $500 donation from Planned Parenthood in 2006 as a Democrat [but has now] introduced a bill to limit abortions in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.”

The first Democrat to catch significant media attention with her party switch was in Pennsylvania, where lifelong Democrat JoAnn Nardelli, “active as a pro-life Democrat at the state and local level[s],” writes Mr. Johnson, declared last month she “could no longer stand by the party. … ‘Due to personal matters and faith beliefs, at this time it is only fair to resign,’ she wrote,” according to Mr. Johnson. “‘It is time to move forward with my life in a direction that is more in line with my faith.’ At a press conference,” Mr. Johnson reports, “she endorsed Mitt Romney, then switched parties.”  Ms. Nardelli has not held public office but was prominent in a variety of high-level party offices in her state.

“‘I thought I could make a difference to change our party,’” Ms. Nardelli said, quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘It didn’t work.’”

Former Alabama US Rep. Artur Davis is the best known Democrat to have left his party for the GOP.  Mr. Davis was “an early Obama supporter who ran for governor in 2010,” writes Mr. Johnson. He “hinted” late in May “he may run for office in his new home state of Virginia. ‘If I were to run,’” he wrote, “‘it would be as a Republican.’ …

“He jabbed the Administration for plunging ‘headfirst into a fight over contraception and Catholic hospitals,’” writes Mr. Johnson. “A Democrat who voted against the President’s healthcare reform, [Mr.] Davis said he still thinks the [law] ‘goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.’”


Putting a Face on Red China’s Brutal Pogrom

THE FORCED ABORTION OF A SEVEN-MONTHS BABY in Red China is stirring an uproar throughout the country and international outrage following publication of a photograph of 23-year-old Feng Jianmei in her hospital bed, the body of her dead and blood-smeared but otherwise seemingly intact baby placed next to her and on full display.

“According to the Chinese news service Global Times,” writes Matthew Cullinan Hoffman for, “the woman … was ‘forced to the hospital and given an injection to kill her unborn baby on June 2 after her family failed to pay a [massive] fine, according to her family.’ Although authorities in the Zhenping district, where the abortion was carried out, claimed that the abortion was voluntary,” adds Mr. Hoffman, “the French Press Agency (AFP) says that it has confirmed with a source close to the family that the abortion was forced on the couple and that the photos are authentic.”

The photo was released by a China-based human rights group called 64Tianwang, which, writes John Jalsevac in, “claims the woman … was beaten and dragged into a vehicle by a group of family planning officials while her husband Deng Jiyuan was out working.” The assault, according to AFP, followed the couple’s inability to pay a $6,270 fine “for exceeding China’s ‘one-child’ population control policy. …

“‘Feng Jianmei’s story demonstrates how the one-child policy continues to sanction violence against women every day,’ said Chai Ling, head of the US-based rights group All Girls Allowed,’” quoted by AFP.

The abortion on Feng Jianmei, according to Mr. Hoffman, “follows the case of Cao Ruyi, a Chinese woman who was imprisoned in a hospital in the city of Changsha, … where family planning officials offered her the choice between paying a huge fine or undergoing a forced abortion.

According to the latest update from ChinaAid,” reports LifeSiteNews, “after an international outcry, Cao was released from the hospital on Sunday, although officials are still attempting to force her to pay a fine of $25,000 to keep the baby, on top of the $1,500 already paid.”


What About This War on Women, Mr. President?

TWO MAJOR U.S. PRO-LIFE GROUPS ARE CALLING ON PRES. OBAMA and other US officials to take action against Beijing’s depopulation pogrom, following the notorious forced killing of a seven-month-old gestating baby whose photograph is stirring outrage across Red China and around the world.

“This is nothing less than a crime against humanity,” said Alliance Defense Fund Global Activities director Benjamin Bull, a distinguished attorney. “Every innocent life deserves to be protected,” he said in an ADF news release, “and no woman deserves this type of barbaric, dehumanizing treatment.”

Mr. Bull went on to “call upon our leaders in Washington to thoroughly condemn China’s practice of forced abortion and demand that it stop immediately. This is one event,” he said, “but it is undoubtedly only one example of many more such forced abortions that occur in China.”

And they occur with the aid of US taxpayers, thanks to Pres. Barack Obama, notes the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) pro-life political action committee.

“SBA president Marjorie Dannenfelser called on the US President,” writes Kathleen Gilbert for, “to condemn China’s one-child policy and immediately cut off funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through an executive order. …

“‘By sending millions of US taxpayer dollars per year to the UNFPA,’” said Mrs. Dannenfelser, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘we are made complicit in the death of Feng’s child. … What’s more,’” she noted, “‘we are effectively sabotaging the efforts of human rights activists like [the celebrated blind Chinese lawyer] Chen Guangcheng who are fighting desperately to protect Chinese women and children.

“‘Women in China and around the world deserve better from Pres. Obama and the United States,’” said Mrs. Dannenfelser, quoted by Miss Gilbert. “‘We must stand up for them.’”

Cutting off US payments to UNFPA is one immediate action that could be taken in response to the conscience-searing revelation of this latest brutal Communist-forced abortion.

UNFPA “‘helps to implement these atrocities,’” Mrs. Dannefelser noted, reports Miss Gilbert. “Although the UN group denies involvement in the atrocities,” writes Miss Gilbert, “private and federal investigations have concluded to the contrary, finding citizens under UNFPA-run population control programs in China suffering from brutal forced abortions and other methods of coercive population control.”

Indeed, even then-Secretary of State Colin Powell declared in 2008, reports LifeSiteNews, “‘UNFPA’s support of and involvement in China’s population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion. Therefore,’” he said, “‘it is not permissible to continue funding UNFPA at this time.’”

But that fact – unchanged since – did not deter Pres. Obama from restoring funding to UNFPA by his own order immediately upon taking office in 2009, “a move,” writes Miss Gilbert, “the Administration touted as showing ‘strong commitment to international family planning, women’s health and global development.’ …

“From 2009 to 2011, $145 million has been appropriated for UNFPA,” reports Miss Gilbert, “with another $47 million requested by Pres. Obama for the 2012 budget.”


Senate Voting Record

Motion to Invoke Cloture for Confirmation of Judge Andrew Hurwitz to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – June 11, 2012 – Adopted 60 to 31, needing 60 (Democrats in italics; “Independents” marked “I”)

Voting “no” / pro-Life: AL/Sessions & Shelby, AR/Boozman, FL/Rubio, ID/Crapo & Risch, IN/Coats, IA/Grassley, KS/Moran & Roberts, KY/McConnell & Paul, MS/Cochran & Wicker, MO/Blunt, NE/Johanns, NV/Heller, NH/Ayotte, ND/Hoeven, OH/Portman, OK/Inhofe, SC/DeMint & Graham, SD/Thune, TN/Corker, TX/Cornyn & Hutchison, UT/Lee, WV/Manchin, WI/Johnson, WY/Barrasso.

Voting “yes” / anti-Life: AK/Begich & Murkowski, AZ/Kyl & McCain, AR/Pryor, CA/Boxer & Feinstein, CO/Bennet & Udall, CT/Blumenthal & Lieberman (I), DE/Carper & Coons, FL/Nelson, HI/Akaka & Inouye, IL/Durbin, IN/Lugar, IA/Harkin, LA/Landrieu, ME/Collins & Snowe, MD/Cardin & Mikulski, MA/Brown & 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, OH/Brown, OR/Merkley & Wyden, PA/Casey, RI/Reed & Whitehouse, SD/Johnson, TN/Alexander, VT/Leahy & Sanders (I), VA/Warner & Webb, WA/Cantwell & Murray, WV/Rockefeller, WI/Kohl.

Not voting: GA/Chambliss & Isakson, IL/Kirk, LA/Vitter, NC/Burr, OK/Coburn, PA/Toomey, UT/Hatch, WY/Enzi.