Which candidates are pro-life?

A Publication of the Republican National Coalition for Life May/June 1996 - No. 10

Dr. Dobson Champions Pro-Life Platform Plank

In a statement released on March 6, Dr. James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, joined over a dozen Christian leaders in signing a letter to Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and the GOP presidential primary candidates, urging them to uphold the pro-life plank in the national Republican Party platform. "Politics aside, our primary concern is the defense of the most helpless in our society -- the unborn -- and the unjustified taking of a human life," the letter states. "Some of us who signed below do not believe that Christian leaders should make any partisan endorsements, and many of us do not. Nonetheless, we feel it is our duty to speak on moral issues, and felt it only prudent to address this issue at this time to the party that has been the most consistently pro-life."

The letter concludes, "As the Republican National Convention fast approaches, millions of Catholics and evangelicals will be anxiously awaiting to see what route you will take on this issue. We are praying that you will not abandon principle." In addition to Dr. Dobson, the letter was signed by William Bentley Ball, Dr. William R. Bright, Dr. Paul A. Cedar, Charles W. Colson, Dr. Ted Engstrom, Dr. Brandt Gustavson, Dr. Jim Henry, Dr. James Kennedy, Father Richard Neuhaus, John M. Perkins, Dr. Adrian Rogers Sr., Russell Shaw, Dr. Charles Swindoll, George Weigel, and Dr. Edwin Young.

Ralph Reed Issues Warning to Dole

At a "God and Country" rally in Clawson, Michigan, Ralph Reed and Pat Buchanan sternly warned Senator Bob Dole not to veer from his party's opposition to abortion. Before about a thousand people at the rally, Reed made clear what he expects from the Republican Party in exchange for his support. "If you want to retain the majority that you won in 1994, and you want to add to it in 1996, then you cannot, you should not, and you must not retreat from the pro-life and pro-family stand that won you that majority in the first place," Reed said to a standing ovation. When it came to protecting "the tiny human beings done to death every day in the abortion clinics of America," Buchanan said, "there can be no compromise. (Times News Service, "Foes Of Abortion Unite On A Warning To Dole," 3/17/96)

Will Pat Buchanan Be Allowed to Speak to the Republican National Convention?

Despite the fact that Pat Buchanan has earned the support of millions of Republican primary voters, prominent Republican leaders, among them Jack Kemp, are urging Dole to deny Pat the opportunity to speak to the Republican National Convention. But Tom Pauken, Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, in an interview with Ralph Hallow of the Washington Times on 3/19/96, told it like it is, "The Dole campaign can't make the same mistake Bush made in 1992, when he took conservatives for granted and told them. 'You have nowhere else to go.' " As to whether Mr. Buchanan should address the convention in August, Mr. Pauken said, "Pat ought to be able to speak. We join Gary Bauer of Family Research Council in pointing out that, if the party of "inclusion" excludes Pat Buchanan, that will destroy the GOP!

Bob Dole Cites "Political Reality"
Over Principle On Abortion

WASHINGTON - Continuing to display discomfort with the abortion issue, Sen. Bob Dole cited "political realities" as the reason he would allow abortions in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is in danger. Dole appeared on ABC's "This Week with David Brinkley." giving testy responses to questions about his stance on abortion. Asked if he believes abortion is murder, Dole said it is immoral and wrong. Asked again if he believes it is murder, Dole said: "I don't know. It's obviously taking a life." He said he does not believe women have a constitutional right to abortion, though he would make three exceptions, for women who have been raped, are victims of incest or whose lives are in danger. When asked why he would allow exceptions for rape incest if he believes abortion is the taking of a life, Dole said, "That's true. But I think also, as true as that may be, there's also political realities." (Boston Globe, "Bob Dole: Abortion issue handled uneasily," 3/4/96)

We would suggest a "reality check" for the Dole forces. Unless the vice presidential running mate is stronger than Dole and supports the principle that each and every unborn baby has a fundamental right to life that should be protected, it will not be possible for the Republican ticket to be presented to grassroots voters as "pro-life."

Wilson Continues Efforts to Remove Pro-Life Plank

California Gov. Pete Wilson -- who serves as Bob Dole's California chairman and is on the list of those being considered as his running mate -- acknowledged last week that he will try to remove the pro-life plank from the GOP platform this summer. "We are going to try [to remove abortion language from the platform]," said Wilson, ... . (Capital Briefs, Human Events, 3/22/96)

Hutchison Unacceptable as Vice President

Recent press reports have floated, the name of Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison as a possible vice presidential choice for Bob Dole. Senator Hutchison is not pro-life and should be eliminated from consideration. During her campaign for Texas State Treasurer, Mrs. Hutchison said she supports a woman's right to choose until viability, a position that favors the vast majority of abortions being performed in the U.S. (Austin American Statesman, "3 women's groups back Hightower," 7/18/90.) In 1992, Ken Herman wrote in a column for the Houston Post on 8/14/92: "State Treasurer Kay Bailey Hutchison, ... said she opposes the proposed platform plank calling for a constitutional amendment banning abortion 'I think that there should be a responsible window for a woman to be able to make that decision without government interference, but with some reasonable restrictions,' said Hutchinson." On 12/20/95 the Houston Chronicle reported that Senator Hutchison endorsed rewriting the anti-abortion provision in the party platform ... . "I think we need to be very inclusive on that issue. We cannot form a party around people's views on abortion," Hutchison said at a breakfast meeting with Texas reporters.

Whitman To Push Pro-Choice Views At Convention

Governor Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey, who has withdrawn her name from consideration as a potential running mate for Bob Dole, will continue to press her pro-choice views at the San Diego convention in August. Whitman, talking to Statehouse reporters, was responding to comments made by Pat Buchanan on "Face the Nation," where he said Dole would have "the fight of his life" if he chose a vice presidential candidate who supports abortion rights.

"Certainly, as I've said over and over again, when we get to the convention, I'm going to be very interested in seeing that there's flexibility provided in the [platform] language that sends a very clear message that you can be pro-choice and still be a good Republican," Whitman said. (New Jersey Star Ledger, "Witman casts doubt on Buchanan", 3/12/96)

What foolishness! The Republican Party platform opposes raising taxes. It supports the right of parents to oversee the education of their children, the full development and deployment of SDI, and a strong national defense, among many other things. Would Whitman have us include language that says we can still be good Republicans if we don't agree with these principles? Shall we add such a caveat after every statement in our platform? Is this what is called "the politics of meaninglessness?"

Pro-Life Californians Upset With Lungren

Recently California Governor Pete Wilson nominated openly pro-abortion Judge Ming Chin to fill the state Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Armand Arabian. Wilson's choice was approved by a three man committee made up of Attorney General Dan Lungren, Chief Justice Malcolm Lucas and Appellate Court Justice Robert Puglia. Lungren, a pro-life Catholic, has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate for Bob Dole.

STATE WATCH

ILLINOIS

Salvi Wins Primary:
Sends Republican Establishment Reeling

Pro-life state representative Al Salvi won the Republican nomination for the open Illinois U.S. Senate seat against all odds and in spite of the unanimous support of his opponent, pro-abortion Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra, by the entire Republican organization, from pro-abortion Governor Jim Edgar to virtually every Republican office holder in the state. Steve Neal, a writer for the Chicago Sun Times said that Salvi beat Kustra, who did not take a stand on controversial issues", because voters told him that "they voted for Salvi because he took firm positions on the issues, even if they disagreed with some of his views. Two pro-choice women said they backed Salvi even though he is opposed to a woman's legal right to have an abortion. They credited Salvi with standing up for his convictions." SaIvi's supporters are fired up to defeat Democrat Congressman Dick Durbin in November.

NEVADA

Washoe County Republicans adopted strong anti-abortion language in the county's platform that will be presented at the state convention in May. "Republicans have been the pro-life party for 20 years," said delegate Penny Brock, who argued successfully for the strong anti-abortion plank. Delegates voted on a platform calling for a human life amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They opposed spending tax money for any abortions and they endorsed legislation saying the 14th Amendment -- which extends rights to all citizens -- should apply to unborn children. RNC/Life leaders Bonnie Weber and Penny Brock and pro-life Republicans in Washoe County are doing a great job!

OHIO

Janet Folger, legislative director of Ohio Right to Life, was elected to the Ohio Republican State Central Committee on March 19. She won the seat despite a $100,000 campaign mounted against her by pro-abortion forces. Congratulations Janet!

LEGISLATION

Medical Schools Won't Have to Train Doctors to Perform Abortions
On March 20 the Senate voted 63-37 to adopt an amendment by Dan Coats (R-IN) protecting medical schools against a new mandate to train obstetricians and gynecologists in abortion techniques. After the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association broke ranks with the pro-abortion camp and endorsed Sen. Coats' efforts, the amendment passed handily. (Washington Report, Family Research Council, 4/21/96) Senator Coats released a statement announcing the victory saying, "Hospitals will no longer be forced to train for abortions or risk loss of accreditation. Accreditation is important because it is generally required for government reimbursement and licensing. The threat was substantial.

Engler Signs Bill Prohibiting Medicaid Reimbursement for Abortions
On March 13, Michigan Governor John Engler signed HB 5458 sponsored by Rep. Michelle McManus (R-Lake Leelanau) which prohibits seeking or accepting reimbursement to perform abortions when it is known that public funds will be used for reimbursement. The law establishes a civil fine up to $10,000 for violations. Governor Engler said in a press statement, "This important legislation will stop unscrupulous people from circumventing Michigan's voter-approved ban on tax-funded abortions." "This law sends a clear message" Michigan will abide by the vote of the people and not tolerate the use of tax dollars for funding abortions."

Bill Opposes Federal Funding of Assisted Suicide
On the heels of the March 6 ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Compassion in Dying v. State of Washington legalizing assisted suicide in 9 western states (Alaska, Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii), Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) has introduced The Integrity in Medical Funding Act which would prevent federal funding of assisted suicide. (Catholic Alert, Catholic Campaign for America, 4/1/96)

Hurting or Killing a Fetus Could Become a Crime in Michigan
Planned Parenthood described attempts by Michigan lawmakers to institute criminal penalties and lawsuits for damages against anyone responsible for killing or hurting an unborn baby (excluding abortions) as thinly veiled attempts to "lay the legal groundwork for restrictions on the fight of a women to choose to have an abortion." (AP,"House Considers Bill to Create Crimes Against Unborn Children", 3/21/96)


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