Which candidates are pro-life?

A Publication of the Republican National Coalition for Life July/August 1997 - No. 17

Pro-Life Republicans Are
Winners With the Voters

Redmond Elected to Congress in New Mexico Special Election
Senator Earley wins Virginia Primary

Newly elected pro-life Rep. Bill Redmond, whose election to Congress in New Mexico's 3rd District was a stunning upset to the establishment, was sworn into office on May 20, 1997. GOP chairman Jim Nicholson took the occasion to issue a news release expressing his "warmest and heartiest congratulations" to Mr. Redmond. Noting that Bill Redmond is the first Republican ever to represent the Third District, Mr. Nicholson cited several reasons for the victory, namely the "common-sense conservative ideas of the Republican Party - ideas such as smaller government, lower tax burdens on families, individual freedom, responsibility and opportunity." Unfortunately, he failed to mention the crucial role that Mr. Redmond's unconditional pro-life stance played in his election.

However, we have the exciting news straight from the horse's mouth. Gary Risley, 2nd Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico and former chairman of the San Juan County Republican Party, was kind enough to send us his on-the-scene analysis of the election which appears below, and explains why Bill Redmond won against what most pundits thought were overwhelming odds:

"There were three key factors in this election: a strong pro-life, anti-gun control Republican candidate with impeccable character, a Democrat with severe character flaws, who was strongly pro-abortion-choice and strongly pro-gun control, and a strong Green Party candidate who appealed to the leftist people in Santa Fe.

". . . there were Hispanic women standing outside of Catholic churches on Sundays carrying signs that said, 'Pray for Serna, vote for Redmond.' "

"We learned that the Navajos are strongly pro-life when the situation is explained to them orally in their language, and the Hispanics in the district are devout Catholics, and the life issue was an important factor to them.

"I could tell the abortion position was really hurting Serna, (the Democrat) because he began backing off his initial hard-core [pro-abortion] stance. He kept proclaiming that he was a good Catholic. Redmond kept pounding the pro-life issue, and there were Hispanic women standing outside of Catholic churches on Sundays carrying signs that said, 'Pray for Serna, Vote for Redmond.' On the back of the sign was a picture of a mother with a baby.

"On the Navajo reservation where we usually lose at least two to one, we kept the race very close. We have had some Navajo Republicans working hard the past four years, and they really started talking about abortion this election. Many Navajos came into the polls saying they wanted to vote for the anti-abortion candidate.

"This will not be an easy seat to keep, but the pro-life position gives us a good head start. This was truly an issue-oriented race. I felt it important that you know how crucial the pro-life issue was in this election."

Thank you Gary! Without your report, we, and all of our readers would not have learned the real story. Evidently, it won't be publicized by the leadership at the Republican National Committee, who appear to be cowed by members of the big money, Northeastern establishment who resent it when pro-lifers win elections.

Pro-Life Senator Wins Virginia
Primary for Attorney General

State Senator Mark Earley (R) who sponsored the parental notification law passed in 1997 by the Virginia Legislature and signed by Governor George Allen (R) on March 22, defeated three challengers for the Republican Primary nomination for Attorney General. Earley received 36% of the vote, while Jerry Kilgore received 25%, Kenneth Stolle got 21% and attorney Gil Davis (Paula Jones' lawyer) got 19%. Another victory resulting from committed pro-life activism in the precincts. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/11/97)

NJ Governor Whitman Vetoes
Partial Birth Abortion Ban

On Monday, June 23, Governor Christine Todd Whitman once again delivered for her feminist, pro-abortion supporters by vetoing a ban on partial birth abortions. In her statement, "Whitman said that the partial birth abortion procedure is "horrific", but that "it simply does not follow, however, as a matter of constitutional law or personal conscience, that opposition to abortion requires an extension of governmental oversight into the most intimate sanctum of human life." She went on to say that women are more than "mere birthing vessels." Whitman remains one of the Republican Party's staunchest supporters of the Sarah Weddington/Bill Clinton/Democrat Party position that an unborn child is nothing more than property, undeserving of respect or protection. Whitman has been described by a high level staffer as "pro-abortion in her core", a view confirmed by her opposition to banning the brutal partial birth abortion technique in her state.

Marie Tasy, legislative director of New Jersey Right to Life, said in response to Whitman's veto; "While we agree with Governor Whitman that women are more than mere birthing vessels, we differ with the Governor in that we don't think babies are trash."

On July 9, The Abortion Report published an interview with Mrs. Tasy in which she was asked her opinion on whether Governor Whitman could be a national political figure, given her views on abortion. Mrs. Tasy replied; "No. She has sold out women's health and babies' lives to side with a minority of militant extremists. Her position on partial-birth-abortion is indefensible, and it will diminish her national visibility considerably."

Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson said in an April interview on Evans and Novak that he could support Governor Whitman if she were nominated by the Party for President. Party officials would do well to heed the reaction of pro-life voters to Whitman's action, which was summed up by Mike Fichter in his June 25 edition of FAX Lifeline, from Indiana Citizens for Life: "If this is what pro-life voters can expect from the GOP leadership of the future, the GOP leadership of the future can expect to find pro-life voters outside of the flaps of their big tent, -- guaranteed."

Pro-Life State Watch

Michigan - Governor John Engler on June 19 issued a release noting a 2.8% decline in abortions in Michigan between 1995 and 1996. Abortions there have decreased by 15.5% since 1993 and by 35.4 % since 1988. These figures reflect the impact of informed consent and parental consent laws which were enacted in Michigan with the strong support of Governor Engler.

Illinois - The Chicago Tribune reports that in 1996 there were 53,613 abortions reported in Illinois, a 2.5 percent increase from the 52,300 abortions reported in 1995. The statistics are provided by the Illinois Public Health Department. (Indiana Citizens for Life, FAX Lifeline, 7/15/97)

Missouri - Governor Mel Carnahan, who is a Democrat and pro-abortion-choice, signed the state budget which bars Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from receiving family planning funding, rather than risk an almost-certain override of his veto by the pro-life legislature. This year, Planned Parenthood received about $636,000 in taxpayers money from the state of Missouri.

Texas - The Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Texas, at their quarterly meeting on June 21, voted unanimously for a resolution urging Governor George W. Bush to call a Special Session of the legislature to consider the Parental Notification Bill which never reached the floor of the House during the regular session. While Pro-life Texans are pleased that Governor Bush vetoed a Senate bill that dealt with advance directives for terminally ill patients which contained loop-holes that would have opened the door for physician-assisted suicide, they are awaiting his decision with cautious optimism. Passage of a parental notice or consent bill during a Special Session is a virtual certainty and many lives could be saved if the Governor acts now.

Major Denominations Oppose
Human Cloning Experiments

Vatican/American Catholics Condemn Human Cloning

On June 24 the Vatican launched an attack on human cloning and called for a worldwide halt to such practices. Speaking through the Vatican Academy for Life, the Church called cloning a "tragic parody of the omnipotence of God" which could pervert the fundamental relations of humanity -- "a woman could be the twin sister of her mother, not have a biological father and be the daughter of her grandfather." The Vatican statement warned against the promotion of the idea that a handful of people "could have total domination over the existence of others, to the point of biologically programming their identity, selected through arbitrary criteria or for pure exploitation" and said that "cloning would violate two fundamental human rights -- equality and non-discrimination."

In the United States, Cardinal John O'Connor testified before the New York State Senate Committee of Investigation hearings on cloning on March 13. In his testimony, Cardinal O'Connor said that human cloning "is a drastic invasion of human parenthood. A clone technically has no human parents ... by design. This does disrespect both to the dignity of human procreation and dignity of the conjugal union (marriage). There remains a profound ethical difference between 'having a child' and 'making a child.' A child begotten can always be seen as a gift; whereas a child made or manufactured can always be seen as a thing, a product for use, not to be respected for what he/she is, but priced for what it can do, have, or be used for. That is no way to treat or value a human being."

Southern Baptist Convention
Opposes Human Cloning Experiments

A resolution was passed at the Southern Baptist Convention held in Dallas on June 17-19 which restated the Southern Baptist's "consistent and vigorous opposition to the devaluation of human life and the encroachment of the culture of death." The resolution further opposes "the use of prenatal genetic testing for the purpose of abortion decisions, and calls on Congress to enact federal legislation against providing human embryos for the purpose of experimentation, whether by tax-funded or privately-funded researchers." It urges Congress to "pass a legal ban on cloning human beings in the United States and to work to make human cloning illegal around the world." Finally, the resolution "solicits lawmakers to pass federal legislation protecting genetic privacy and prohibiting the use of information gathered through genetic testing to stigmatize and discriminate against individuals on the basis of their genetic information."

Oklahoma Archbishop
Tells it Like it Is: Is Anybody Listening?

In the diocesan newspaper The Sooner Catholic, 5/30/97, Archbishop Eusebius Beltran of Oklahoma City, OK, discussed the proposed ban on "partial-birth" abortions. Archbishop Beltran wrote, "Any politician who would even object to such a ban is not fit to represent people. Such politicians have turned their backs on innocent life and we should turn our backs on them. They are not capable of making decisions based on truth when they object to a ban against killing a baby as it is being born. Such politicians should never again receive our vote." (Communiqué, 6/27/97) Bill Clinton received 44% of the Catholic vote in 1992, and 48% in 1996. 58% of Catholics voted for Democrats [most of whom are pro-abortion] for Congress in 1996. There is something very wrong with this picture.

RNC/Life Welcomes Newest
Board Member

Thanks to everyone who participated in the election of our new at-large member of the RNC/Life Board of Directors, Barbara Leonard of Florence, SC. Barbara, a pro-life activist since 1969, is chairman of RNC/Life of South Carolina. She currently serves as 6th Congressional District Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. Barbara was a Delegate to the Republican National Convention in San Diego in 1996 and, as a member of the Platform Committee, worked with us to preserve the pro-life platform plank. Welcome Barbara!

"The God Who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Important principles may and must be inflexible."
-Abraham Lincoln

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