|A Publication of the Republican National Coalition for Life||Jan/Feb 1998 - No. 20|
25 Years of Roe v. Wade
In this 25th year of legalized abortion in America, we invite you to join us in a brief reflection upon the past as we move ahead in active pursuit of justice for babies in the womb, as well as the elderly and infirm. On behalf of all pro-lifers everywhere, we want to express our deepest gratitude to the national chairman of RNC/Life, Phyllis Schlafly, for
Now, 25 years and more than 35 million dead babies later, our commitment is stronger than ever. We are prepared to address the host of right to life issues that have come about as a direct result of the cheapening of human life since the Roe v. Wade decision. Euthanasia, assisted suicide, human cloning, fetal tissue experimentation, human embryo experiments, genetic manipulation, chemical abortion through drugs disguised as "contraceptives", RU-486, fetal reduction, in-vitro fertilization - the list grows as does the challenge to the pro-life movement. More than ever before, it is absolutely essential that we elect lawmakers who understand the value of each human life at the moment of fertilization and who are willing to do whatever it takes to restore legal protection of their right to life.
As we look ahead, we know that the key to regaining an American Culture of Life lies in reestablishing a deep reverence for life in the hearts of our fellow Americans. The Republican Party and those who carry its banner can play a central role in that effort, and the Republican National Coalition for Life will continue to work to establish in public policy the principles we so proudly place in the Republican National Platform every four years.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) met in Palm Springs, CA on January 15-17, where a resolution was offered that would have stopped the current practice of giving RNC contributor's money to Republican candidates who have so little regard for human life that they do not support banning partial-birth abortions. The Resolution, introduced by National Committeeman Tim Lambert of Texas, was defeated and a substitute amendment, introduced by State Chairman Betsy DeVos of Michigan, was adopted. The DeVos amendment was nothing more than a toothless re-statement of the Republican Party's opposition to partial-birth abortion which is already in the National Platform. 43 RNC members who supported the Lambert resolution, as written, voted against the DeVos amendment. Because it was a standing vote, it was impossible to get the names of everyone of the 43, so we are listing those we are sure of. Please contact us with the names of anyone who should be added to the list.
The committee members who put their principles into practice by supporting the Lambert resolution are: Bettye Fine Collins and Roger McConnell (AL), Edna DeVries, Wayne Ross and Pete Hallgren (AK), John McGraw (CA), Steve Curtis (CO), Carolyn Meadows (GA), David Miller, Mary Alice Lair and Dwight Sutherland (KS), Mike Francis and Roger Villere (LA), Evie Axdahl (MN), Chuck Sigerson (NE), Sam Currin and Ferrel Blount (NC), Steve Easton (ND), Bunny Chambers, Quineta Wylie and Lynn Windel (OK), Eileen Slocum (RI), Cindy Costa, Buddy Witherspoon and Henry McMaster (SC), Mary Jean Jensen and Ron Schmidt (SD), Tim Lambert, Susan Weddington and Susan Feldtman (TX), David Opitz (WI), Donna Boley, Bill Pauley and Richard Tyson (WV), and Morton Blackwell and Flo Traywick (VA). They deserve our thanks and respect.
The following is our report on the events that occurred at the Palm Springs meeting. They reinforce the necessity of electing to party or public office only those candidates who are serious about stopping abortion in America and are willing to put principle ahead of politics even under duress. We encourage our many supporters among pro-life Republican delegates to Republican conventions, to keep this copy of the RNC/Life Report and refer to it the next time you vote on members of the RNC from your state.
"Look at the New England Republicans, for example, their votes are (almost) always the swing votes on a whole fist of issues. That gives us a great deal of clout. If we vote with moderate to conservative Democrats, we affect the outcome. Look at who controls the votes of the Senate. ... " (An Interview with United States Senator Susan M. Collins, The RIPON FORUM, Autumn, 1997)
Yes, Senator Collins (R-ME), Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Senator James Jeffords (R-VT), and Senator John Chafee (R-RI), do control the votes in the Senate and they are standing in the way of a Senate override of President Clinton's veto of the Partial--Birth Abortion Ban Act. They, and the 8 Republicans in the House who oppose the ban, along with NJ Governor Christine Todd Whitman, CA Governor Pete Wilson, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York, are among those who would have been affected by passage of the Lambert resolution. Exercising their considerable "clout," these Republican officials and the North-eastern establishment, pro-abortion donors who support them, pulled out all the stops to ensure defeat of the resolution. They brought Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) to Palm Springs, who, instead of supporting the resolution and calling for electing a new pro-life Republican majority, spoke against it. He claimed it would hurt the Republican majority, when in fact, it is the 30-40 House members and 10 Senators who are pro-abortion and do not support the party platform, who consistently manage to stop or water-down pro-life legislation. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, using his keynote address to lobby against the resolution, referred to grassroots, pro-life Republicans as a "special interest", a comment that qualified for "outrage of the week" among conservative commentators, and appears to reflect where we fit in the over-all scheme of things for Mr. Gingrich.
Pro-life Governors John Engler (MI) and George W. Bush (TX) spoke out against the resolution within days of issuing proclamations declaring January 1998 a "month of prayer to end abortion," an inconsistency not lost on pro-life voters. Rep. John Kasich (R-OH) and Senator John McCain (AZ) also publicly urged the resolution's defeat.
Governor Frank Keating (OK) spoke out for the resolution as did Steve Forbes, whose eloquent letter in support of the Lambert resolution was published in the Wall Street Journal (1/16/98), and Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO) who, when asked about the party imposing a "litmus test" on candidates replied that, when it comes to anti-Semitism, racism and infanticide he would be willing to impose such a test. RNC chairman Jim Nicholson, assisted by the forces with "clout," engaged in arm-twisting to convince committee members to vote for the meaningless substitute resolution, all the while asserting his "strongly pro-life" views. Chuck Yob, National Committeeman from Michigan and chairman of the Resolutions Committee, who was initially a strong supporter of the resolution, ultimately brought it to the floor without recommendation that it be passed. After moving adoption of the resolution, Mr. Yob took the unusual step of publicly noting that his motion did not indicate his personal support for or against the resolution. Betsy DeVos then introduced her substitute amendment followed by an amendment to her amendment by Florida Chairman Tom Slade, which put the blame on President Clinton for vetoing the partial-birth abortion ban.
Chairman Nicholson spoke against the resolution at length and then invited Betsy DeVos to speak against it from the podium. No one in favor of the resolution was allowed the same advantage as its principal opponents. Speakers for the resolution were confined to microphones on the floor along with others who spoke in opposition.
During the debate, many friends joined Tim Lambert in speaking for the resolution, and they gave outstanding presentations. They were, Bettye Fine Collins (AL), Stephen Brown (proxy for Buddy Witherspoon of SC), Chuck Sigerson (NE), Pete Hallgren (AK), John McGraw (proxy for Barbara Alby and incoming Chairman of the Republican Party of CA), Bunny Chambers (OK) and Steve Curtis (CO). Members who spoke in opposition and, at the same time claimed to be strongly pro-life, as well as others who took great pains to condemn partial-birth abortion, were: Betsy DeVos (MI), Tom Slade (FL), Duane Acklie (NE), Denny Smith (OR), Wallace Urlich (WY), Mike Schroeder (CA), John Dendahl (NM), Mike Hellon (AZ), and Mike McDaniel (IN). In addition, Tom Sansonetti (WY), Judy Stanley (NJ) and Harry Singleton (DC) vigorously opposed it in the Resolutions Committee and Indiana National Committeeman Bob Hiler sent a letter to everyone on the committee saying, "I place on notice any member of the RNC who votes for litmus testing of any Republican candidate for public office to seek votes elsewhere if they aspire to a RNC national office."
Tim Lambert had been promised a roll call vote by chairman Nicholson. But when Mr. Lambert asked for the roll call, chairman Nicholson instead called for a voice vote and the roll call was defeated. When the vote was taken on the DeVos substitute, it passed on a voice vote and was adopted. Tim Lambert then called for a division of the house forcing those for DeVos and against Lambert to stand. The 43 members who stood with us against the DeVos amendment are the people on the Republican National Committee who are really serious about stopping abortion in America and restoring respect for human life at all of its stages. You may contact your state Republican Party headquarters for their phone numbers so you can thank and encourage them as they continue to "walk the walk." The 114 RNC members who chose to "talk the talk' and voted for the DeVos substitute will, we trust, be reminded of their vote in the months and years to come, as many of them stand for re-election to the RNC.
Pro-life Americans who were shocked and dismayed by the actions of the RNC in Palm Springs can take this opportunity to become involved in the Republican Party process. If you have just a little time to give to the cause, YOU can become a delegate to Republican Party state conventions and/or become members of your state central committee so that YOU can have a voice in electing the National Committeewoman, National Committeeman, and Republican party chairman from your state.
Last week, a nationwide CNN-Time Magazine poll showed that Republicans favor withholding funds from candidates who won't back a ban on partial-birth abortions by a 51-35 margin. (AP, 1-16-98) It remains unethical for the RNC to take the contributions of the majority of grassroots Republicans and distribute them to candidates who have disdain for the pro-life cause in general, and support partial-birth abortion in particular.
Governor Kirk Fordice of Mississippi, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, issued a proclamation declaring the month of January 1998 a "Month of Prayer to End Abortion." The proclamation reads, in part: "Let us pray that the hearts of mothers and fathers will be turned to their children, born and unborn; that churches in Mississippi will continue to respond appropriately to those considering abortion by offering loving alternatives to women in crisis; that government officials will continue to do all possible to protect the lives of the unborn; and, that those to whom God has given the gift of healing will use their gift not to destroy lives, but to save them." Similar proclamations were issued by Republican Governors Fob James (AL), Terry Branstad (IA), Mike Foster (LA), John Engler (MI), David Beasley (SC), and George W. Bush (TX).
Republican National Coalition for Life Box 618 Alton Illinois 62002|
618-462-5415 Fax: 618-462-8909 E-mail