Which candidates are pro-life?

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Jan. 31, 2003
Catholics in Congress  
Why Do They Matter to the Pro-Life Cause? 
The "Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life" recently issued by the Vatican has caused quite a stir among faithful Catholic pro-lifers and members of the media who follow such things. The document reminds Catholic Bishops, politicians, and voters alike of the Church’s "constant teaching," reiterated once again by Pope John Paul II, "that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life." It further states that, "what is at stake is the essence of the moral law" and points out that laws concerning abortion and euthanasia "must defend the basic right to life from conception until natural death." In addition, it points out the necessity to "recall the duty to respect and protect the rights of the human embryo."

In an unexpected move apparently motivated by the Vatican statement, the Bishop of Sacramento, CA, William K. Weigand, at a mass commemorating the 30th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, denounced Governor Gray Davis’ support of pro-abortion policies and called on him to renounce them or refrain from receiving Holy Communion. "As your Bishop, I have to say clearly that anyone — politician or otherwise — who thinks it is acceptable for a Catholic to be pro-abortion is in very great error, puts his or her soul at risk, and is not in good standing with the church," Weigand said. The Bishop added, "Such a person should have the integrity to acknowledge this and choose of his own volition to abstain from receiving Holy Communion until he has a change of heart." [Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament (Holy Communion) and that one must be free from sin (in the state of grace) in order to receive it. To be denied the Sacrament is a VERY big thing for a Catholic.] As expected, Governor Davis re-stated his support for "a woman’s right to choose." What does it say about a public figure who rejects the central aspect of his faith?

On the same day, January 22, 2003, Judie Brown, president of American Life League, announced a new "Deadly Dozen" ad campaign, a project of The Crusade to Defend Our Catholic Church. The campaign identifies 12 members of the U.S. Senate who openly support legalized abortion while also claiming to be faithful Catholics. Subsequent campaigns will focus on more "Deadly Dozens" among the ranks of U.S. House Members and Governors. "For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has steadfastly defended the sanctity of all human life," Mrs. Brown said. "The simple fact is you cannot actively support abortion and be a faithful Catholic. You can’t have it both ways." The ad campaign is designed to identify those public officials who are flagrantly ignoring this truth, to bring this to the attention of both their bishops and the public-at-large, and to demand that these public officials either recant their openly pro-abortion stance or cease claiming to be Catholic." (http://www.all.org)

Why Does This Matter to the Pro-Life Cause? 
It matters because Roman Catholics represent the largest religious denomination in Congress. 145 Members of the U.S. House and Senate describe themselves as Catholic. The majority of those, 77 in number, vote pro-abortion or have mixed records. The rest have pro-life voting records, although it is well known that many of them justify abortion in some instances and/or hold conflicting views on respect and protection of the human embryo. Embryonic stem cell research is an example. This reality presents a bleak landscape for progress on the pro-life agenda in Congress.

As President Bush’s judicial nominees come before the Senate Judiciary Committee, they will be greeted by pro-abortion "Catholic" Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Joe Biden (D-DE), and Richard Durbin (D-IL) who have vowed to oppose and possibly filibuster any nominee not pledged to support a woman’s right to kill her unborn baby.

The proposed ban on human cloning will meet stiff opposition from Catholics in the Senate. Yet, these people keep getting re-elected by more than 60% of the vote in most cases, and most of them come from states with large Catholic populations.

In the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a strong advocate of abortion and a Catholic, leads pro-abortion Members in fighting bills prohibiting funding for abortions in military hospitals, federal prisons, and in federal employees’ health insurance. They will continue to work against efforts to de-fund international population control programs, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the Child Custody Protection Act, and the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.

Yes, whether you are Catholic or not — IT MATTERS!

It is past time for pro-lifers to raise the standard high once again, identify credible pro-life candidates who will challenge these people in primaries and general elections and ultimately, vote them out of office.

** In the U.S. SENATE, 24 Senators describe themselves as Catholic. Of these, 15 vote pro-abortion and 9 vote pro-life.

Senators who Vote Pro-Life: Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Jim Bunning (R-KY), John Breaux (D-LA), John Sununu (R-NH) (new), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Mike DeWine (R-OH), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Rick Santorum (R-PA).

Senators who Vote Pro-Abortion: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)(new); Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Joe Biden (D-DE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Edward Kennedy (D-MA-), John Kerry (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). NOTE: Lisa Murkowski, the new Senator from Alaska, is included in the pro-abortion group because our Alaska sources tell us they expect her to join them. She was appointed by her father, former Senator Frank Murkowski (who is pro-life and who was elected Governor of Alaska in November) to fill out his un-expired term. We are told she does not share her father’s pro-life views.

** In the U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 121 Members describe themselves as Catholic. Of these, 56 are pro-life in their voting patterns, 52 vote pro-abortion, 10 have mixed records, and 3 are unknown to us at this time.

Catholic Representatives Who Vote Pro-Life 
Republicans: AZ — Rick Renzi; CA — Richard Pombo, George Radanovich, Ed Royce, Chris Cox; CO — Scott McInnis, Bob Beauprez (new); FL — Ileana Ros-Lehtinin, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart (new); ID — C.L. Otter; IL — Henry Hyde, Ray LaHood; IA — Steve King (new); KY — Anne Northup; LA — David Vitter, Billy Tauzin; MI — Dave Camp, Joe Knollenberg, Thad McCotter (new); MN — Gil Gutknecht, Mark Kennedy; MO — Kenny Hulshof; NJ — Frank LoBiondo, Chris Smith, Michael Ferguson; NY — Peter King, Vito Fossella, John McHugh, James Walsh, Jack Quinn; NC — Walter Jones; OH — Steve Chabot, John Boehner, Pat Tiberi, Bob Ney; OK — John Sullivan; PA — Melissa Hart, Pat Toomey, Phil English; TX — Kevin Brady; and WI — Paul Ryan, Mark Green.

Democrats: IL — Bill Lipinski, Jerry Costello; LA — Chris John; MI — Bart Stupak, Dale Kildee; MN — James Oberstar; MS — Gene Taylor; OH — Tim Ryan (new); PA — Tim Holden (new), Paul Kanjorski, John Murtha, Mike Doyle; and RI — James Langevin.

Catholic Representatives Who Vote Pro-Abortion 
Republicans: DE — Mike Castle; FL — Ginny Brown-Waite (new); and NY — Sherwood Boehlert.

Democrats: AZ — Ed Pastor; CA — Mike Thompson, George Miller, Nancy Pelosi, Ellen Tauscher, Anna Eshoo, Dennis Cardoza (new), Xavier Becerra, Diane Watson, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Grace Napolitano, Linda Sanchez (new), Joe Baca, Loretta Sanchez; CT — John Larson, Rosa DeLauro; IL — Luis Gutierrez, Lane Evans; IN — Peter Visclosky; MA — Richard Neal, James McGovern, Marty Meehan, Edward Markey, Michael Capuano, William Delahunt; MI — John Dingell; MN — Betty McCollum; MO — William Clay, Karen McCarthy; NJ — Frank Pallone, Robert Menendez; NY — Carolyn McCarthy, Joseph Crowley, Nydia Velasquez, Charles Rangel, Jose Serrano, Maurice Hinchey; OH — Marcy Kaptur; OR — Peter DeFazio; PA — Robert Brady; RI — Patrick Kennedy; TX — Nicholas Lampson, Ruben Hinojosa, Silvestre Reyes, Charles Gonzalez, Ciro Rodriguez; VA — James Moran; and WI — Jerry Kleczka, David Obey.

Catholics With Mixed Records and Views: CA — Devin Nunes (R); FL — Mark Foley (R), Clay Shaw (R); GA — Phil Gingrey (new) (R); ME — Michael Michaud (new) (D); MA — Stephen Lynch (D); NJ — Bill Pascrell (D); NY — Michael McNulty (D), John Sweeney (R); and OH — Dennis Kucinich (D).

Catholics With Unknown Views on Life Issues: GA — Jim Marshall (new) (D); NV — Jon Porter (new); PA — Tim Murphy (new) (R).

** National Right to Life Committee Scorecard — 107th Congress

Republican National
Coalition for Life

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