Life Advocacy Briefing

January 27, 2014

Funding Ban Up This Week / Calling for Love & Mercy in D.C.
Pope ‘Joins’ March / Obaminable Remarks / Late-Term Abortionist Shut Down
Americans Want Abortion Restricted, at the Least
On the Anniversary of the Dreadful Edict / March for Life Speeches: Rep. Cantor

Funding Ban Up This Week

THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE AT LAST WEDNESDAY’s MARCH FOR LIFE: HR-7 will be voted on by the US House this week.

Readers are asked to contact home-district Representatives to request they vote in favor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, and 164 co-sponsors. The Capitol switchboard number is 1-202/224-3121.

The Smith bill would permanently enact a government-wide ban on taxpayer funded abortion, putting into statutory law the Hyde Amendment, which has had to be reenacted annually in the appropriations process. Further, it broadens the application to non-HHS appropriations, including ObamaCare and foreign aid.

Enactment of this proposal should be a major goal for every pro-life citizen. The recorded roll call should be a definitive signal as to where our public officials stand on the right to life in America. Notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in his Jan. 22, 2014, Washington Update, “The stakes have never been higher. Unfortunately the healthcare law has only entangled taxpayers deeper in the web of abortion. With ObamaCare barreling down the track, FRC and our allies are racing to build a wall between taxpayers and the bloody business of abortion.” That is the point of HR-7. Please help enact it.


Calling for Love & Mercy in D.C.

LAST WEDNESDAY’s MARCH FOR LIFE was one of the coldest in the past 40 years of bringing witness to Washington, yet hundreds of thousands of pro-life citizens rallied for Life and filled first the National Mall and then Constitution Avenue in temperatures which deepened to minus-two-degrees, taking into account the wind chill. Indeed, we noted the teeth-chattering challenge for several speakers, a first from our experience of observing March rallies. The March ended at the steps of the Supreme Court.

Under leadership of Jeanne Monahan, the March and related activities this year focused on showing the youthful face of the pro-life movement, with many participants representing high schools and colleges brought by buses and trains. (Participation would have been even more overwhelming had not the weather stymied some of the vehicles transporting intended participants from other cities.)

Participation by elected officials was robust but varied from previous years’ rallies. Rather than hearing minute-long speeches from every Member of Congress who attended, the rally organizers presented three House Members to speak and simply introduced the others. The Congressional speakers were House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Pro-Life Caucus Chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), an adoptive mother whose personal story drew attention to the 2014 March theme: Adoption, the noble option.

We at Life Advocacy have transcribed these speeches from the live televised coverage of the March and plan to publish the three transcripts as space allows, in line with our annual tradition. The first, by Rep. Cantor, appears at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

Other lawmakers who mounted the platform and were introduced to the crowd were GOP Representatives Randy Hultgren (IL), Dr. Andy Harris (MA), Kerry Bentivolio (MI), Ann Wagner (MO), Robert Pittenger (NC), Robert Latta & Dr. Brad Wenstrup (OH), and Mike Kelly & Keith Rothfus (PA). Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL), who co-chairs the Pro-Life Caucus with Rep. Smith, was scheduled to speak to the crowd but, stuck at a Chicago airport, was another weather casualty. (The House was not in session last week.)

Among other featured speakers was famed family psychologist and talk host Dr. James Dobson, who spoke of his own experience as an adoptive father and who gave the benediction which closed the hour-long rally. We hope to reprint his speech and prayer in a future edition of Life Advocacy Briefing. We publish also the text of a statement issued Wednesday by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).


Pope ‘Joins’ March

A “TWITTER” MESSAGE was sent to the rally by Pope Francis and read to the crowd by Ms. Monahan. Quoted by Natalie DiBlasio in her March report for USA Today, the Pope said, “‘I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable.’”

He also issued, through the Vatican’s Secretary of State, a letter to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, which was delivered, reports Patrick Craine for, “at a Mass for youth in Washington on Wednesday morning.

“The pope offered special thanks,” writes Mr. Craine, “to youth ‘for their willingness to show solidarity with the most innocent and vulnerable members of our human family. In this way, as responsible citizens concerned for the building of a true just and free society,’” the letter read, quoted by Mr. Craine, “‘they give prophetic expression to our deepest conviction about the … right of each human person, beginning with the right to life.’”


Obaminable Remarks

UNLIKE HIS WHITE HOUSE PREDECESSOR, who addressed the annual March by telephone or video hookup, Pres. Obama chose to issue a statement commending the Supreme Court on its dreadful 1973 ruling which usurped the authority of states and local governments to prosecute abortion crimes.

“‘Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade,’” his statement read, as quoted by LifeSite’s Patrick Craine, “‘we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health. … We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional [sic] right to privacy, including the right [sic] to reproductive freedom,’ he continued.

“‘And we resolve to reduce [ha!] the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health [a/k/a the conditions in Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia “house of horrors” abortuary] and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children [who succeed in getting born].

“‘Because,’” Mr. Obama said in the statement quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.’”

On the other hand, Mr. Obama: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,  Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” That without the first enumerated “unalienable Right,” the second and third are unachievable. Thus, Mr. Obama, we will continue to work, pray and march for the restoration of justice and mercy to American jurisprudence, no matter what or whom we have to put up with or how long it takes.


Late-Term Abortionist Shut Down

MARTIN HASKELL BECAME NOTORIOUS when he delivered a paper to a medical group describing, defining and endorsing what became known as “partial-birth abortion,” a technique for partially delivering and then killing babies of advanced gestational age.

Though the nation – through years of Congressional v. Clinton White House battles which helped educate Americans about this shocking practice – and eventually even the Supreme Court rejected what many in the media termed “a certain method of late-term abortion,” Martin Haskell has continued to operate an abortuary in Sharonville, Ohio.

Now comes good news from Operation Rescue: “The Ohio Dept. of Health has denied an operating license to late-term abortionist Martin Haskell and ordered him to cease operations at his … abortion clinic … by Feb. 4, 2014.” Hurrah! Long overdue.


Americans Want Abortion Restricted, at the Least

A NEW POLL COMMISSIONED BY THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS “reveals more than ever,” reports Peter Baklinski for, “that an overwhelming majority of Americans are not satisfied with the status quo on abortion.”

The survey of 2,001 adults over 18, taken in December by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, showed “a staggering 84%,” writes Mr. Baklinski, “believe abortion should be restricted. In this group belongs those who would restrict abortion to the first three months of pregnancy (28%), the cases of rape, incest (33%) or to save the life of the mother (12%), and those,” he continues, “who would never permit abortion under any circumstances (11%).

“The survey surprisingly found,” writes Mr. Baklinski, “that 58% of strongly pro-choice Americans would support such limits.”

What is more, “only 9% believe that abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her entire pregnancy,” the survey found, according to the LifeSiteNews reporter.

Even in “liberal” New York State, a poll quoted but not identified by syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin last week, “showed that the vast majority [of New Yorkers] ‘support sensible restrictions on abortions, with 80% opposing unlimited abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy and 75% opposing changes in current law so that someone other than a doctor can perform an abortion.’” (Such liberalizing legislation is a pet project of the Empire State’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.)

“‘The American people understand,’” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson in a news release quoted by Mr. Baklinski, “‘that abortion is bad for everyone, and even those who strongly support abortion want it reduced significantly, so it is time,’” he urged, “‘that our lawmakers and our courts reflected this reality.’”


Dr. Coburn Stepping Down

We join Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, in the sentiments expressed in his Jan. 17, 2014, Washington Update. Indeed, we are heartsick.

It was with a heavy heart that Republican Tom Coburn announced yesterday his decision to step down from his Senate seat, where he has been serving Oklahomans for the last 10 years. Coburn, a former FRC board member, fought – and beat – a serious case of cancer before. Now that the disease is back, he felt it best to spend as much time with his family as possible. For conservatives, who’ve admired his tough-as-nails approach on spending (including the Wastebooks his office is famous for), his voice will be missed.

“Carolyn and I have been touched by the encouragement we’ve received from people across the state regarding my latest battle against cancer,” the OB/gyn said in a statement. “But this decision isn’t about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires,” [Dr.] Coburn said. “As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere.” Like so many others, FRC will be praying for a speedy recovery for one of the Senate’s most reliable leaders. We continue to be grateful for all Tom has done in the cause of faith, family and freedom.


On the Anniversary of the Dreadful Edict

Statement issued Jan. 22, 2014, by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

For more than four decades, Americans of all ages and walks of life, including many dedicated Kentuckians, have braved the late January cold and descended on Washington to give witness to a simple truth: that all human life is sacred and worthy of protection by law. The growing support for this important cause, particularly among the young, should be a reason for optimism and hope for people from all across the political spectrum who long for a more just society.

During this annual March for Life, we can all hope for a day when those on the margins of life, including the unborn child, are seen as a gift. And when that day comes, all who are engaged in this great life-affirming movement will be able to look back and say that they made a real difference for those who could not speak for themselves.


March for Life Speeches: Rep. Cantor

Congressional speeches from the Jan. 22, 2014, rally on the National Mall, transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing from C-Span coverage

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), US House Majority Leader: Good afternoon. Thank you, thank you very much for all being here today. Thank you for braving these unbelievably cold temperatures. Thank you for coming to give voice to our cause of protecting life. I especially want to welcome those from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the 7th District in particular.

I believe that one day in the not too distant future, our movement will be victorious because we will prevail in securing a culture of life in America. I believe this for one very simple reason: the truth is, there is an inalienable right to life, and this right extends to the unborn. This is not a political truth subject to the whims of man. It is a moral truth and was written, as one famous Virginian noted, by our Creator. All attempts to rewrite or obscure this truth may prevail in the moment but will ultimately fail.

You, the marchers – the advocates, who don’t mind enduring the worst weather Washington could throw at you for the opportunity to change one heart, one mind – you are our movement’s not-so-secret weapon. You are our strongest advocates, and those of us in public office are merely fortunate to stand on your shoulders.

Now, I stand here today with colleagues, with others, with much hope. Now, some of you have been marching for over 40 years and have endured many setbacks, including the recent expansion of abortion coverage in ObamaCare. Now, it is important more now than ever that we remain strong and stand together. We cannot allow the opponents of life to continually weaken the moral fabric of our country. They need to know and they need to understand that we will continue to march, we will continue to educate, we will continue to advocate, and we will continue to fight for the unborn because it is the right and moral thing to do. Now, those of us in the House of Representatives will be right there beside you.

Last year, the House, for the first time, passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This bill is an utterly decent and moral proposal that would recognize, in law, the physical pain an abortion can cause an unborn child and would protect that child. This remains a top priority for me and for my colleagues.

I am also proud to announce that next week, the House will vote once and for all to end taxpayer funding for abortions. The No Taxpayer Funds for Abortion Act, written by our good friend and colleague Chris Smith, will respect the morals and consciences of millions of Americans – and ultimately will save lives. Getting this bill through the Senate, however, and signed by the President will be a much tougher task. But I can make you this promise: the people’s House will stand for life. And we will do everything in our power to make sure that our values and the sanctity of life are reflected in the law of the land.

Thanks to you and the greater pro-life community around the country, and with the help of great pro-life leaders – like my colleagues who are here with me today in Congress – all of us together working, I know we will continue to make promise to make progress so that one day every child in America will be protected by law and welcomed to life. Thank you all very, very much.