Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 31, every member of the U.S. House of Representatives will have to go on record on whether abortion should be legal for any reason to the moment of birth.
The legislation that will be voted on, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803), is strongly supported by Wisconsin Right to Life.
In the bill, Congress adopts findings that by 20 weeks after fertilization (if not earlier), the unborn child has the capacity to feel great pain. The bill prohibits abortion after that point, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother. Seven states have already enacted similar legislation and no court orders have blocked enforcement of any of those laws.
The bill is focused on the District of Columbia because the Council of the District of Columbia, employing authority delegated by Congress, repealed the entire D.C. abortion law. Thus, in the nation’s capital, abortion is currently legal for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy. An abortion facility near the White House now advertises dismemberment (D&E) abortions on request, to 26 weeks of pregnancy - the beginning of the 7th month! There is nothing to stop abortionists from performing abortions even closer to birth.
“Five of Wisconsin’s U.S. House delegation strongly support H.R. 3803 and are all co-sponsors of this important legislation,” said Susan Armacost, Wisconsin Right to Life Legislative Director. “We thank Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, Paul Ryan, Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble for their tremendous advocacy on behalf of this ground-breaking legislation. Now the question is, will Tammy Baldwin, Ron Kind and Gwen Moore vote to allow abortion, for any reason, until the moment of birth?”
Wisconsin Right to Life’s parent organization, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) is the lead organization promoting the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. NRLC’s Legislative Director, Douglas Johnson said, “This roll call will be a landmark - the House has never before voted on the question of whether to endorse legal abortion for any reason until birth. Any lawmaker who votes against this bill is voting to ratify the extreme policy currently in effect in the nation’s capital, where abortion is perfectly legal for any reason until the moment of birth.”
Great news! The U.S. House will vote on Tuesday, July 31 on legislation that would end the current legal policy of allowing abortion, for any reason, until the moment of birth in our nation’s capitol.
The bill, H.R. 3803, is known as the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. In the bill, Congress adopts findings that by 20 weeks after fertilization, if not earlier, the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain and prohibits abortion after that point except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother. Seven states have enacted similar measures and no court actions have prevented those laws from going into effect.
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) , our parent organization, was the lead organization promoting H.R. 3803. According to NRLC Legislative Director, Douglas Johnson, “This roll call will be a landmark - the House has never before voted on the question of whether to endorse legal abortion for any reason until birth. Under the Constitution, members of Congress and the President are ultimately accountable for the current abortion-until-birth policy. Any lawmaker who votes against this bill is voting to ratify the extreme policy currently in effect in the nation’s capital, where abortion is perfectly legal for any reason until the moment of birth. If we can achieve a big majority on this groundbreaking initial vote, it will lay the groundwork to achieve legal protection for pain-capable babies in the not-distant future.”
H.R. 3803 currently has 223 House co-sponsors. 218 constitutes a House majority when all members vote. We are happy to inform you that among the co-sponsors of H.R. 3803 are Wisconsin House Members Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble. Many thanks to these champions of life.
The Washington Surgi-Clinic, located just five blocks west of the White House, advertises on its website that it performs abortions 26 weeks (6 months) into pregnancy. The website of another clinic advertises second- and third-trimester abortions involving the “intercardiac injection of medication into the fetal heart” at a “private facility in the Washington, D.C. area.” All of this is perfectly legal.
Abortions may be performed in the nation’s capital for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy. But a bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee last week would curb D.C.’s abortion-until-birth policy by putting a limit on abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization, when science suggests an unborn child can feel pain. And national grassroots pro-life groups are making a strong push to bring the bill to the House floor.
“There is ample biologic, physiologic, hormonal, and behavioral evidence for fetal and neonatal pain,” Dr. Colleen A. Malloy, assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said during congressional testimony in May. Malloy, who works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, said that infants born 20-weeks and later “are the patients that I perform procedures on every day and I can guarantee you that when I put a test tube in and I incubate a patient or put an IV in, they feel it.”
The modest restriction would still leave Washington’s abortion law more liberal than many western European nations, which restrict abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy. But the D.C. late-term abortion ban would present a challenge Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade’s 1973 companion case, Doe v. Bolton, that there must be “emotional, psychological, [and] familial” health exceptions to late-term bans. The D.C. ban has exceptions if a late-term abortion is necessary to save the life of the pregnant women or prevent the “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions, of the pregnant woman.”
Democrats have focused their attacks on the bill by pointing out it does not allow a late-term abortion of a severely disabled child who is not expected to live long after birth. “These are really arguments for prenatal euthanasia,” says Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee. Johnson says that in light of the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, “we think that the court majority has opened the door to defer more to elected lawmakers on extended protections.” The partial-birth abortion ban prohibited abortions when an unborn child had been delivered past its navel. But it did not ban any abortions based on an unborn child’s gestational age or development.
“The American public’s been actively misinformed for decades about the status of late-term abortion by shoddy journalism and misleading propaganda from pro-abortion advocacy groups,” says Johnson. “I do think a great number of Americans believe that you can’t get a late abortion unless there’s a very compelling reason.
“This is news even to some members of Congress that it is only one method that has been banned by federal law. That involves the partial-live delivery before being killed,” Johnson continues. “For everything else it still depends on state law. Or in the case of the federal enclave, Congress.”
A poll conducted by the Polling Company for the National Right to Life Committee found strong support for a ban on late-term abortion. The poll asked Americans: “Unless an abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life, do you think abortion should be permitted after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain?” Sixty-three percent said abortion should not be permitted, while 21 percent said it should be permitted.
Of course, pro-choice Democrats point to some studies that contend unborn children can’t feel pain until a few weeks beyond what the D.C. bill would ban. They also argue that the issue should be left to the D.C. city council (supporters of the ban point out the law would be perfectly constitutional; Congress has explicit constitutional authority over the District and banned slavery there during the Civil War). But this isn’t an argument Democrats want to have.
Nancy Pelosi declined to comment on the bill last Thursday, after the Judiciary Committee had passed the bill. “I’m just not familiar with it. I’m sorry,” Pelosi told THE WEEKLY STANDARD following her weekly press conference. During a subcommittee on the hearing in May, New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler slipped up and accidentally referred to an unborn child protected by the bill as “a preemie at 20 weeks in utero” before catching himself. “Excuse me,” Nadler said, “a fetus at 20 weeks in utero.”
The White House has not yet issued a statement on the bill. The issue of late-term abortion has tripped up Obama in the past. “I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother,” Obama said in 2008. “Now, I don’t think that ‘mental distress’ qualifies as the health of the mother.” But days later he backtracked on the issue.
Despite the law’s popularity—there are 221 cosponsors in the House—it’s not clear that the House GOP leadership will bring the bill to the floor. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has not scheduled a vote on it.
“We are urging strongly for there to be a vote,” says NRLC’s Douglas Johnson. “If it’s not brought up and passed in the House, it’s going to be viewed by many Americans as a dereliction or some kind of a ratification of this policy that they’ve learned about and are outraged by.”
A U.S. District judge in Nebraska dismissed a lawsuit brought by seven states in opposition to the Obama administration mandate which denies freedom of religion by requiring religious institutions to cover treatments which violate conscience. Judge Warren Urbom, in throwing out the suit, stated that the plaintiffs “face no direct and immediate harm” from the mandate which will not go into effect for most until August 1, 2013. Urbom swallowed arguments raised by the Department of Justice that the suit was premature because plaintiffs faced no immediate threat, and that states lack the legal grounds to sue because they don’t enjoy First Amendment protections.
On another front, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/HHS included two provisions to protect conscience rights in the 2013 appropriations bill: (1) the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (HR 361), and (2) the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR 1179).
Finally, Governor Romney included in a major Ohio speech the following comments on the HHS mandate: “Religious liberty, our first freedom, of those enumerated in the Bill of Rights…Our president and his administration, said they are going to usurp your religious freedom by demanding that you provide products to your employees — if you’re the Catholic Church — that violate your own conscience….That attack on religious freedom I think is a dangerous and unfortunate precedent. And I know we’re not all Catholic in this room — many others of you are. But I feel that we’re all Catholic today….”
WASHINGTON (July 18, 2012) — The Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved legislation to end the current legal policy in the nation’s capital, where abortion is legal for any reason until the moment of birth.
The committee voted 18-14 to favorably report the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803), which would make abortion impermissible in the federal District after 22 weeks of pregnancy (22 weeks LMP, equivalent to 20 weeks fetal age), unless necessary to prevent the death of the mother.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Az.), currently has 215 House cosponsors.
Today’s committee vote was along party lines.
“A vote against this bill amounts to a vote to ratify the extreme policy currently in effect in the nation’s capital, where abortion is completely legal for any reason until the moment of birth,” said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. “Under the Constitution, members of Congress, and the President, are ultimately accountable for this extreme policy.”
By more than a 2-to-1 margin (58-27%), American adults would be more likely to vote for lawmakers who support the bill approved by the committee today, according to a nationwide live telephone poll of 1,010 adults (MOE +/-3.1%), conducted July 12-15 by The Polling Company, Inc./WomanTrend. In response to a separate poll question, respondents favored, by a 3-to-1 margin (63-21%), a policy of not permitting abortion anywhere “after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain,” unless it is “necessary to save a mother’s life.”
In the bill, Congress adopts findings that by 20 weeks after fertilization (if not earlier), the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain. The bill then prohibits abortion after that point, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother. Expert testimony was presented at a May 17 hearing on the bill showing that at 20 weeks fetal age, 6% of infants born spontaneously now survive long term in good neo-natal units. The long-term survival rates are 26% at 21 weeks fetal age and 55% at 22 weeks fetal age. (To convert to the alternate “LMP” dating system used by ob-gyns and abortion providers, also known as “weeks of pregnancy,” add two weeks to each figure.)
A Senate companion bill (S. 2103) has 30 cosponsors. Seven states have already enacted similar legislation.
What has Planned Parenthood (PPFA) been up to lately? Quite intriguing.
1. Students for Life of America obtained a PP of New York City document with talking points on how to discuss abortion. It appears the underlying goal is to create confusion and a little bit of guilt. Readers are urged to “evoke empathy, emphasize personal decision making and accept ambivalence” when talking to friends. Another key point to win your friends over to the pro-choice side is to express relief that the person didn’t have an abortion. (Note: doesn’t this make abortion a bad thing?) Tips for Fielding Questions apparently suggest that you don’t really answer the question but mouth the usual soundbites about the greatness of Planned Parenthood.
2. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards is giddy over the close relationship PP has had with the Obama administration. “I’ve been working with this administration for the last three years on getting women better health care access in a whole host of ways,” she says in a National Journal interview. Obamacare and its abortion funding components “is the single most important opportunity to expand women’s health care access in this country that we will ever see.” Of course, to PP, abortion is somehow health care.
In another development, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Sue Thayer has filed a lawsuit against Iowa’s PP claiming that PP engaged in “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements” to Medicaid. “During my last years working at Planned Parenthood, it became increasingly clear to me that not all of their policies and protocols were completely legal and ethical. After much thought, I contacted the Alliance Defending Freedom,” says Thayer. “I believe that it is an important piece in the nationwide effort to shed light on the darkness and deception surrounding America’s largest abortion provider — Planned Parenthood.” Way to go Sue!!!
In spite of a crescendo of criticism and the alienation of many religious groups, President Obama is standing firm, firm, firm with his mandate which denies religious freedom to religious institutions by requiring them to provide services that violate their consciences.
In a recent interview with a television station, President Obama responded to questions from local viewers. The President was asked “What can you say about a healthcare bill that’ll mandate insurance companies to provide birth control, sterilization, etc. to employees of Catholic universities, hospitals and churches since this goes against the Catholic religion?” Undaunted, the President responded: “But we did say that big Catholic hospitals and universities that employ a lot of non-Catholics and who receive a lot of federal money — that for them to be in position to say to a woman who works there that you can’t get that from your insurance company even though the institution isn’t paying for it — that that crosses the line and the woman is going to have to bear the burden and pay the cost for that. That’s not fair.”
It’s not fair? What is fair about trampling on the precious freedom of religion guaranteed by the first amendment? One of our most treasured rights? It appears the President has no concept of how egregious and hated this mandate is.
Media speculation on the person Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will select as his vice-presidential running mate reached a fever pitch today with media outlets, led by the Drudge Report, guessing it will be Bush defense official Condoleezza Rice.
However, pro-life advocates would reject the selection because Rice has continuously defended her stance supporting legal abortions.
Rice has said that abortion should be “as rare a circumstance as possible,” but added that government should not interfere, according to a Washington Times interview.
“We should not have the federal government in a position where it is forcing its views on one side or the other,” she has said. “So, for instance, I’ve tended to agree with those who do not favor federal funding for abortion, because I believe that those who hold a strong moral view on the other side should not be forced to fund it.”
But she called pro-life people, “the other side,” and explained how she has a “mildly pro-choice” view that makes her essentially one who is “in effect kind of libertarian on this issue”
“I have been concerned about a government role,” she told the Times, “I am a strong proponent of parental notification. I am a strong proponent of a ban on late-term abortion. These are all things that I think unite people and I think that that’s where we should be. We ought to have a culture that says, ‘Who wants to have an abortion? Who wants to see a daughter or a friend or a sibling go through something like that?’”
“You told the Washington Times on Friday you were mildly pro-choice. What does that mean?” Russert asked.
“It means that, like many Americans, I find the issue of abortion very difficult,” said Rice. “I believe it ought to be as rare as possible. Nobody wants to see anyone go through that. I favor parental notification. I favor a ban on late-term abortion. But I, myself, am not a fan of having the government intervene in the laws.”
“You would not outlaw it?” asked Russet.
“No,” said Rice.
Later, Rice said in 2008 in a 60 Minutes interview: “I myself am someone who believes strongly in parental notification. … I’m against late-term abortion, which is, I think, really very cruel.” But, Rice added, “I have not wanted to see the law changed because it’s an area that I worry about the government being involved in.”
UPDATE: Rice’s chief of staff indicates she is not interested in the vice-presidential slot. As Yahoo News reports:
Rice has previously said she would not consider the job. “There is no way that I will do this,” Rice told CBS News in June when asked if she would agree to joining the Republican ticket. Despite Thursday’s report, she’s sticking to her word, says Georgia Godfrey, Rice’s chief of staff.
In response to reports that the Romney campaign may be considering former Secretary Condoleezza Rice as a potential running mate, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said: “Former Secretary Rice’s position on the sanctity of human life makes her an unqualified candidate for Governor Romney to choose as a running mate. Throughout the campaign, including at the Palmetto Freedom Forum last September, he has pledged to us in no uncertain terms that he would choose a pro-life running mate. We have taken Governor Romney at his word and therefore believe Secretary Rice will be ruled out of consideration. Secretary Rice’s position violates criteria that Governor Romney himself has laid out.”
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council previous said Rice is a non-starter for a vice-presidential pick.
“Although she has stellar credentials on national defense, the former Secretary of State has long held pro-abortion views, which makes her a non-starter with social conservatives,”he said.
Ultimately, Romney will not likely select Rice as his running mate, despite the media hoopla today — as he has pledged to select a pro-life running mate.
Sometime during the week of July 16, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on H.R. 3803, legislation that would protect unborn children from abortion in the District of Columbia, based on their capacity to feel pain. The scientific evidence is overwhelming that unborn children, by 20 weeks (if not before), have the capacity to experience pain. Just imagine the excruciating pain and agony these little ones must go through when gruesome late-term abortion procedures are employed to end their lives. The abortion method most often used at this stage is the “D&E” which is depicted in a medical illustration posted on the website of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the organization leading the charge on this important issue.
H.R. 3803 prohibits abortion 20 weeks after fertilization and beyond, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother.
Visit NRLC’s website at nrlc.org for comprehensive information on H.R. 3803 and then contact your U.S. House member in support of the bill. You will find a handy link at NRLC’s site to communicate directly with you House member. But don’t delay - the vote could come any time next week!
There is a built-in problem with rebutting in detail even the most blatantly spurious/misleading/false accusations lodged against pro-life former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney: inevitably you give additional oxygen to a fire that will eventually extinguish itself.
We are single-issue pro-lifers, so we wouldn’t address the Obama attacks on other aspects of Mr. Romney’s experience, for example, his role at Bain Capital. Suffice it say, as we noted yesterday in citing non-partisan sources, after spending gobs of money, this slam by the Obama campaign is having no effect.
Likewise, the hit job executed by the Washington Post on Mr. Romney when he was a teenager! It was so one-sided and so ludicrously overblown, the attempt to undercut Mr. Romney boomeranged on the Post.
But how about our issues? What we need to remember is that there have been, are, and will continue to be cynical attempts to separate the pro-life community from Mr. Romney. And by cynical I mean in bad faith, allegations that have no basis in fact. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that the Obama re-election team is to subtlety (let alone truth) what Planned Parenthood is to motherhood: never the twain shall meet.
They can’t help themselves. Obama’s team assumes we are all idiots and that the press (which IS, by and large VERY favorably disposed to the President) won’t take five minutes to check to see whether there is any validity to Obama’s latest made-up-out-of-whole cloth assertion.
The problem for Obama is that his distortions—and those by his allies in the blogosphere—are so transparently untrue, so obviously layered in misrepresentation, that it takes less than five minutes to disprove them.
In case anyone missed this the first time around, I have included the text of Gov. Romney’s video to the 2012 National Right to Life Convention. His words say a great deal about who he is and how he came to be a strong pro-lifer.
Good Morning! I appreciate the invitation to speak with you today. I’m sorry I am not able to join you in person. I’d like to begin by thanking Carol Tobias and Darla St. Martin for their important work. Carol and Darla are two of a long line of leaders who have helped this organization grow from a small committee to a large community that has a welcome presence in all 50 states. I’m honored and grateful to have the endorsement of National Right to Life. If you ever question whether your advocacy changes hearts and minds, let me assure you that it does.
I’m just one of many Americans from every walk of life who found themselves asking an important question and after thoughtful deliberation and came to a heartfelt conclusion: Innocent life must be respected and protected from its beginning to its natural end. When I first ran for office, I said that I would retain the laws relating to abortion that were already in place despite my personal belief that abortion is wrong. But after being elected Governor of Massachusetts, I was confronted with legislation that called on me to expand the legal taking of unborn life, treating human embryos as mere research material to be experimented upon and then destroyed. I could not support that. Government sanction of abortion devalues human life.
As a governor then, whenever the question of life came before me, I answered that we must protect it. I fought to ban human cloning. I fought to ban embryo farming. I fought to define life as beginning at conception. I fought for abstinence education in our schools. And I vetoed a bill that would have given young girls abortion-inducing pills without prescription or parental consent. I fought those fights because in the quiet of conscience I knew it was the right thing to do. And I will always be grateful for advocates like you who stand to protect human life.
Today I’m running for a different and higher office. It comes with an even greater set of responsibilities and even tougher challenges than I faced as governor. More than 23 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or have left the workforce altogether. New business startups are at a thirty year low. Our nation is running trillion dollar deficits every year. Food and energy costs have soared while home values and incomes have plummeted. President Obama’s economic policies have failed. He’s had his chance. Now it’s time for a change in leadership.
If I’m fortunate enough to be elected this November, putting America back on the right track and getting Americans back to work will be my priority from day one. But I will not forget that a strong country needs more than a strong economy. It needs strong families and strong values as well. President Obama once said that decisions about abortion are “above his pay grade.” I’ll never be so cavalier about life. I will be a pro-life president.
I’ll reinstate the Mexico City Policy. I’ll cut off funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which supports China’s abhorrent One Child Policy. I’ll ensure that abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood get no taxpayer dollars. And I’ll reverse Obama regulations that attack our religious freedom and threaten innocent life. I’ll nominate judges who respect the Constitution, are proponents of judicial restraint and know the difference between personal opinion and the law.
If elected President I will work with you to foster respect for innocent human life with an understanding that a culture that fails to do so ultimately becomes a culture in which respect for all fellow human beings is diminished. I’m heartened by the advances made by the pro-life movement over the last several years. The ranks of our pro-life partners are growing every day. That progress would not be possible without your passion and your dedication. God bless you for it and God bless the United States of America. Thank you so much.