Which candidates are pro-life?

A Publication of the Republican National Coalition for Life May/June 1997 - No. 16
Pro-Abortion Republicans Organize For 1998-2000

A few conservative members have added their names, for the sake of "diversity", to the ranks of two newly formed coalitions of liberal, pro-abortion, mostly wealthy Republicans. According to George Weeks' column in the Detroit News (April 9, 1997), the Main Street Coalition is led by pro-abortion stalwarts like Rep. Amo Houghton of NY, whose family owns Corning Glass Works, Former Michigan Governor Bill Milliken, and former President Gerald Ford. At least eight former Cabinet officers have signed up including three from the Ford administration along with about 40 members of Congress, including conservative Rep. Dave Camp and former Rep. Vin Weber who once championed the pro-life cause in the U.S. House. Mr. Weber is listed as an advisor to the group, although he declined to join it. The Coalition, which was formed to "provide a means for its members to play a prominent role in shaping U.S. political debate", said in its draft mission statement that it " . . . is dedicated to the conservative principles on which the Republican Party was founded, but opposes rigid, narrow or dogmatic applications of those principles [read: the pro-life platform plank and pro-life legislation] in setting national policy." Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan said the group will have "no litmus test" of political leanings but it will challenge the far right.

Michigan Governor John Engler, New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici and New York Congressman Bill Paxon, all of whom are pro-life, have formed a curious alliance with the pro-abortion Governors who led the failed effort to strip the pro-life plank from the 1996 Republican National Platform, Christine Whitman (NJ), William Weld (MA), George Pataki (NY), John Rowland (CT), Pete Wilson (CA), and former NJ Gov. Tom Kean. According to an AP wire story (4/10/97), they have agreed to join the Republican Leadership Council, a brand new offshoot of a 5-year-old organization controlled by northeastern, pro-abortion, Rockefeller-style Republicans, the Committee for Responsible Government. In 1995, Witman devoteé Lewis Eisenberg publicized a $1000-a-head fund-raiser chaired by Govs. Whitman and Pataki, by declaring that donors were being asked to contribute "to help like-minded Republicans in both states and nationally who share the view of cutting taxes and supporting a woman's right to choose." If successful, he said "the committee would build a far bigger war chest to help pro-choice GOP candidates."

The chairman of the Republican Leadership Council is Lewis Eisenberg. It is set up to maintain federal and state political action committees to raise money for candidates who meet their criteria. The goal of the Council according to Eisenberg, is to "work with the national party to keep us together on the common principles that guide us as the common sense conservative party." (Of course, in their book, being pro-life shows a lack of "common sense.") Governor Witman served as co-chairman of its recent fundraiser in Washington on April 9 with none other than Bob Dole at her side.

All of these groups exist to try to erode pro-life influence within the Republican Party. That's OK. We've been winning in spite of them for more than 20 years. What we cannot understand is why a few pro-life Republicans are allowing themselves to be used as window dressing for them!

RNC/Life PAC A Way To Help Truly Pro-Life Candidates

In 1996 the Republican National Coalition for Life PAC raised and spent approximately $150,000 to help elect truly pro-life candidates to Congress. We determine who is truly pro-life by submitting to them our Candidate Questionnaire which must be answered 100% in order for them to qualify for support by RNC/Life PAC. We are one of very few pro-life PACs and we depend on contributions from grassroots RNC/Life supporters. While RNC/Life PAC contributes financially to pro-life congressional candidates, our supporters also work hard for them in their campaigns and, because each of our supporters represents a family of voters, we get more "bang for our bucks." But it is going to be very difficult to compete with our financially formidable adversaries on the political battlefield in 1998.

If you are not yet a member, please join RNC/Life by filling out the form at the bottom of this Report. As a member, you can receive information on how you can help RNC/Life PAC elect truly pro-life candidates in 1998. If you would like to be on the list to receive PAC Updates on the Republican candidates who are eligible for our support, please tell us. Your e-mail address would help expedite the process.

If you would like to see a copy of the RNC/Life Candidate Questionnaire please fax or e-mail your request. You should have it in any case, so that you can submit it to Republican candidates for public and Republican Party office at every level in your own state.

Pro-Life State Watch

As we review these small victories, let us not forget that our goal is the legal protection of every innocent human life from conception until natural death, without discrimination.

Arkansas - Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee signed into law a bill banning the use of the partial-birth abortion procedure on April 1. Arkansas became the fifth state to ban partial-birth abortions. Abortion advocates plan to challenge the law in the courts.

Georgia - Georgia's House voted to ban partial-birth abortions by a vote of 132-43 on March 24. The measure had already passed in the Senate. Pro-abortion-choice Gov. Zell Miller (D) has said he will sign it.

Michigan - On March 27, by a unanimous vote, the Senate passed a law establishing criminal penalties for any person who inflicts injury upon a pregnant woman, resulting in the death or serious injury to the unborn child she is carrying. In addition, the Michigan House is expected to pass HB 4524, which would allow parents who have lost their unborn child to a wrongful act, the opportunity to recover damages through a civil suit.

Montana - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 31 that the Montana parental notification law is valid. The law provides that a minor girl must notify a parent or get a judge's approval before undergoing an abortion. The Court has said in past rulings that a judicial bypass is necessary in order for the law to be enforceable. The decision was unanimous.

Ohio - An amendment to the Ohio budget was approved by the House on March 21 which prohibits the use of family planning grants to provide abortion services, including counseling or referrals for abortion. Ohio pro-life forces are urging passage by the Senate.

New York - In a letter to members of the New York State Legislature, Rev. John S. Bonnici, director of the Family Life/Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of New York, asked for support for the ban on partial- birth abortions, and he enclosed statistics regarding abortions performed in 1994. "These statistics conclusively refute the often-made claim that late-term abortions are illegal and are not performed in New York State. The DOH statistics show that over 2,500 abortions were performed after 20 weeks of gestation, including 49 abortions at over 30 weeks, and 12 at over 40 weeks. These statistics demonstrate the fact that late-and full-term babies are being aborted in New York State."

Louisiana - On Monday, April 14, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down 1995 revisions to Louisiana's parental consent law. The law, enacted in 1983, requires one parent's consent before a minor can obtain an abortion, but allows the girl to get it without permission if a judge feels she is mature enough to make the decision. (This is called a "judicial bypass" which the Supreme Court has ruled must be included in parental notice or consent bills in order for them to be enforceable.) The '83 law says that the judge "shall" allow the abortion if he finds that the child is mature enough. The 1995 revision said the judge "may" allow it, causing abortionists to sue the state, claiming this language makes it easier for a judge to alert the parents. Monday's ruling causes the 1983 law to remain in effect. (AP - 4/15/97)

Indiana - Both Houses have passed a ban on partial-birth abortions and Gov. Frank O'Bannon (D), who is not pro-life, has signed it.

Arizona - Pro-abortion-choice Gov. Fife Symington (R) has said he will sign a bill banning partial-birth abortions.

Illinois - Both Houses passed the PBA ban by veto-proof majorities. It passed in the Senate by a vote of 44 -7 and in the House by 49-3 on May 13. It now goes to pro-abortion-choice Gov. Jim Edgar (R).

Tennessee - A House committee passed a bill on May 13 that would ban partial-birth abortions. On the same day, the Senate passed the ban 30-3.

Rhode Island - The House overwhelmingly approved a bill to ban partial-birth abortions on April 29 by a vote of 73 -22. The debate was described as "grueling" as the partial-birth abortion technique was described in detail. The vote was particularly sweet for pro-life forces in Rhode Island because, as recently as 1993, the same legislative body voted 51-42 to approve a bill that would have given RI one of the strongest abortion rights laws by allowing abortion "even if the Supreme Court overturned" the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.

Pennsylvania - The state House, deciding that life begins with conception, voted 165-35 on April 29 to allow prosecution for injuring a fetus while striking a pregnant woman. The bill is expected to pass in the Senate. It is not known whether pro-abortion-choice Gov. Tom Ridge (R) intends to sign it. Sponsor of the measure, Rep. Dennis O'Brien (R-Philadelphia) said "The law should protect the mother and her unborn child at all stages of her pregnancy. It's a crime to kill your own dog, but it's not a crime to kill an unborn child." Lawmakers like Representative O'Brien make us proud.

Alaska - Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto -- Twice! Two bills, one requiring pregnant teens age 16 and under to obtain the consent of a parent or a judge prior to an abortion and the other criminalizing partial-birth abortions (with a life of the mother exception) were passed by the Alaska legislature on May 2, overriding the vetoes of Governor Tony Knowles. RNC/Life leader Virginia Phillips attributes the unexpected pro-life outcome to the intervention of Almighty God - a reminder that we are only foot soldiers in His battle. (New York Times, May 3,1997)

Texas - The long-awaited parental notification bill which passed the Senate is bottled up in the House State Affairs Committee by a hostile committee chairman, pro-abortion Democrat, Steve Wolens of Dallas. In the wake of the recent abortion-related death of a 16 year old San Antonio girl, pro-life leaders have appealed to Governor George W. Bush, the father of two teenage daughters, to intervene in order to get the bill to the floor for a vote where it would surely pass.

Texas State Senator
Censured by
Republican Party

The Travis County (TX) Republican Party censured pro-abortion Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) on Thursday, April 17, and adopted policies barring him from attending any of their functions or using party resources. A flyer, passed out at the Republican Party meeting by the Rep. Caucus, documented ten economic and social issues where Senator Wentworth has voted or acted in direct opposition to the Rep. Platform. Among the issues included were tripling legislative pay, decriminalization of sodomy, and opposition to parental involvement before minors can obtain abortions.

The Republican Caucus is a group of conservative precinct chairmen and activists dedicated to advancing the ideas and principles of the Republican Platform. They will be working with other counties in Wentworth's district to pass similar sanctions. 'This is just the first shot of this battle," said Mike McNamara, chairman of the Caucus. "We're going to revolutionize the way the Republican Party holds elected officials accountable."

A Vote for 'MFN'
is a Vote Against
Life and Liberty

Gary Bauer, President of Family Research Council and co-chairman, is leading the grassroots opposition to Congress, continuing to grant Most Favored Nation (MFN) Status to Communist China. Congress is expected to vote on this matter sometime in June. RNC/ Life is working with Gary to mobilize the millions of Americans who understand the gravity of the issues involved in our dealings with the Red Chinese. Their policies of forced abortion and sterilization mirror the worst regimes in history. Religious persecution in China continues unabated, with every Catholic Bishop loyal to the Pope in prison and every priest considered a criminal. "House Christians", those who practice their faith in hiding, live in fear for their lives. Slave laborers make products that are sold in the United States in factories owned by the Peoples Liberation Army. China is a police state. China must not continue to receive the same trading status that we give to nations that respect life and liberty.

Polling data released by the Weekly Standard in its April 28th issue show that MFN status for China is opposed by the American people 61%-29%. It is particularly notable that women are opposed to MFN for China by a whopping 42 point margin (67-21)! The American people are not confused over this issue -- Congress shouldn't be either.
Our Congressmen and Senators need to hear from us now.

Republican National Coalition for Life    Box 618    Alton    Illinois 62002
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