Which candidates are pro-life?

A Publication of the Republican National Coalition for Life March/April 1998 - No. 21
Republicans Mixing It Up

The Republican Leadership Council (formerly The Committee for Responsible Government), a political instrument of pro-abortion Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whit-man and the northeastern Republican establishment, issued a news release on March 11 in which executive director Mark Miller blasted Gary Bauer, chairman of Campaign for Working Families, accusing him of holding "intolerant viewpoints" and focusing on "narrow litmus tests".

Miller attacked the role that Mr. Bauer and the pro-life, pro-family movement played in the CA-22 special election, and blamed Tom Bordonaro's defeat on "election appeals based in division and intolerance." Translated, that means that Gary Bauer and the pro-life/pro-family coalition pointed out that Tom Bordonaro is pro-life while his primary and general election opponents would not even support a partial-birth abortion ban. Since the Republican Leadership Council (RLC) was originally formed to advance the political fortunes of pro-abortion Republican candidates, and since everyone on its advisory board and executive committee (with the exception of five pro-life politicians who have lent their names to this group) is an advocate of pro-abortion public policy, their attack is no surprise.

Among the five pro-life politicians who lent their names to the RLC, is Michigan Governor John Engler, who has been actively pro-life throughout his career. Without the tremendous efforts of Michigan Right to Life and its supporters, Governor Engler would probably not be Michigan's chief executive today. When the RLC news release was brought to his attention, Governor Engler responded with a letter to RLC chairman Lewis Eisenberg saying the statement had caused him "considerable embarrassment." He continued, "Since my name is on the letterhead, people assume that I have either consented to or agree with the statements contained therein. This was not and is not the case. Had I been notified in advance I would have strongly counseled against making such statements. Intemperate criticism by one Republican of another Republican is not productive."

We suggest that it is not productive for pro-life elected officials to give credibility and cover to groups that are philosophically opposed to the social and cultural values we are trying to restore in this country. As long as pro-life politicians are willing to go-along to get-along with those who have little or no regard for innocent human life, the pro-life cause will make only limited progress. We urge Governor Engler, Senator Pete Domenici (NM), Senator Jon Kyl (AZ), Senator Frank Murkowski (AK) and Congressman Bill Paxon to remove themselves from the advisory board of the Republican Leadership Council. Engler for Governor: 517/371-1998 Capitol Switchboard: 202/224-3121.

Illinois Republicans Choose Pro-Life Nominee for U.S. Senate Race 
The March 17 Republican Primary in Illinois resulted in a victory for pro-life state Senator Peter Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's 52 to 48 per cent win came in spite of lame-duck Governor Jim Edgar, Secretary of State and Republ-ican nominee for Governor George Ryan, and most of the Illinois Repub-lican establishment who supported Fitzgerald's opponent, State Comp-troller Loleta Didrickson, who was also supported by the pro-abortion lobby. Senator Fitzgerald is a conservative who is pro-life without discrimination. An effective member of the Illinois Legislature, he will run against incumbent pro-abortion Democrat, Senator Carol Moseley-Braun in November.

Fitzgerald's personal wealth (he reportedly spent $7 million in the primary) enables him to remain independent and strongly connected to the grassroots people whose values he shares. RNC/Life PAC supported Peter Fitzgerald in the primary. We congratulate him and his family on his well-deserved victory and we look forward to helping him win the general election.

The Illinois Republican establishment received another shock on Tuesday when Rep. Glenn Poshard, a solid pro-lifer throughout his tenure in Congress, won the Democratic nomination for Governor. Mr. Poshard will oppose Republican Secretary of State George Ryan who angered his pro-life, pro-family political base by choosing a running mate (for Lt. Governor) who is pro-abortion-choice. Speculation that pro-life voters may vote for a Republican (Fitzgerald) for Senate and a Democrat (Poshard) for Governor is giving Republicans cause for concern.

In another pro-life victory, Brent Winters earned 56% of the vote in a three-way race for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 19th District of Illinois. RNC/Life PAC endorsed Mr. Winters because of his solid pro-life views which form the basis for the integrity he brings to consideration of other issues.

Texas GOP Leaders Pass Lambert Resolution  
Tim Lambert, Republican National Committeeman from Texas, author of a resolution calling for the denial of Republican Party financial support to candidates who oppose banning partial-birth-abortions that was defeated by the Republican National Commit-tee (RNC) in January, submitted the resolution to the State Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Texas on Friday, March 13. The Lambert resolution passed unanimously, setting the stage for a bylaws change to be voted on in June, that would make the resolution binding on the Republican Party of Texas now and in the future.

Passage of the resolution by Texas Republican leaders follows closely on the heels of its passage by the California Republican Convention on February 21. In the aftermath of the defeat of the resolution at the national level, state party leaders are eager to show that the will of grassroots Republicans will not be thwarted by those who use and abuse the pro-life cause.

Governor George W. Bush, who publicly opposed the Lambert resolution when it was presented to the RNC, said through his spokesman Karen Hughes, that he is "strongly opposed to partial-birth abortions." She said the governor has "some concerns about the party withholding support for candidates who have been selected by Republican voters," but "he doesn't think that is very likely since most Texas Republicans are strongly opposed to partial-birth abortions." (Dallas Morning News, 3/17/98)

Dr. James Dobson Considers Leaving Republican Party 
In a speech to a private meeting of conservative leaders on February 7 in Phoenix, AZ, Dr. James Dobson accused the GOP leadership of betraying the millions of pro-family voters who had helped the party win control of congress.

"Does the Republican Party want our votes, no strings attached - to court us every two years, and then to say, 'Don't call me, I'll call youâ' - and to not care about the moral law of the universe?" Dr. Dobson said. "Is that what they want? Is that the way the system works? Is this the way it's going to be? If it is, I'm gone, and if I go, I will do everything I can to take as many people with me as possible."

Dr. Dobson's list of Republican betrayals include the confirmation of Dr. David Satcher as Surgeon General "with the help of Republican Senators," the failure to pass a parental-consent amendment to Title X funding, "providing $200 million in funding for safe-sex ideology and condom distribution in schools, which is an affront to every parent who is trying to teach moral principles at home," and the Republican National Committee's failure to pass a resolution denying campaign funding to candidates who favor partial-birth abortions. Dr. Dobson is a psychologist who reaches an estimated 5 million listeners a day through his half-hour radio show. (Washington Times, 2/17/98)

What Happened in California - 22  
Former California Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro, a pro-life conservative who won an upset victory over pro-abortion Brooks Firestone in the primary, was defeated in the March 10 special election by a vote of 53% to 45%. The seat was vacated due to the sudden death of Rep. Walter Capps, whose widow Lois Capps, will represent the district until next Nov., when she will face Bordonaro again in the general election.

Tom Bordonaro's primary victory was largely due to his pro-life record. Gary Bauer's Campaign for Working Families (CWF), independent of the Bordonaro campaign, ran $100,000 worth of TV ads focusing on the effort in the California Legislature to ban partial-birth abortions, pointing out that Brooks Firestone, the hand-picked candidate of the Republican establishment, had opposed the ban, and Tom Bordonaro had sponsored it. In addition, RNC/Life PAC, Eagle Forum PAC, Christian Coalition, The Catholic Alliance and the California Republican Assembly joined forces to promote Bordonaro's candidacy, resulting in Bordonaro's surprise win.

CWF came through again in the special election, as did RNC/Life and the rest, but it wasn't enough to offset the incredible financial resources showered on Lois Capps. U.S. Term Limits alone reportedly spent $300,000 against Bordonaro. The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) did TV ads attacking Gary Bauer, in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy Bauer's credibility. The Democratic Party, Democrat Members of Congress, the labor unions, pro-abortion and anti-family groups poured over $1 million into the Capps campaign since November, 1997.

Here is what the California Republican Assembly had to say in a release dated March 12, 1998:

  1. Why was Tom Bordonaro allowed to be outspent by better than 2 to 1 in the critical first 5 weeks of the general election cycle as reported in the press? This allowed several periods in which the Republican was off the air while being blasted by the Democrats and special interests; 
  2. Why, just 2 weeks prior to the election, had roughly 150 Republican Congressmen still not contributed to the Bordonaro campaign? Everyone publicly claimed that this was a bellwether race, yet significant evidence exists that it was treated much differently than that; 
  3. Why was no absentee ballot program ready and in place to run by January 14, no matter who the Republican nominee was? This is clearly a State Party responsibility. An analysis of this most critical part of the campaign shows that, had the absentee vote been just 5% better than the election day results, Tom would have won by 408 votes; 
  4. Why did respected Republican leaders like former President Gerald Ford call Tom Bordonaro an "extremist" following his primary victory? These statements were used very effectively by the Democrats with devastating effects in the closing days of the campaign; and 
  5. Why was there once again an organized group of Republicans, "Republicans for Capps" supporting the Democrat? What is the California Republican Party going to do about it?"

Gary Bauer released a statement on March 12 in which he said, "While we at Campaign for Working Families regret Tuesday's results, we are not disheartened. We intend to seek out and support candidates across the country who are willing to stand up for conservative Reagan principles. We are encouraged that Tom Bordonaro will have an opportunity between now and his rematch with Lois Capps in Nov. to take his case to the people of the 22nd Congressional District."

RNC/Life stands with Gary and the rest of our coalition in support of Tom Bordonaro. The question is, will the Republican Party of California, the RNC, the NRCC and individual Republicans in Congress be there for him next time?

Why, just 2 weeks prior to the election, had roughly 150 Republican Congressmen still not contributed to the Bordonaro campaign?

South Carolina - Attorney General Wins Personhood Case In October, a majority of the South Carolina state Supreme Court supported Attorney General Charles Condon in his assertion that a viable fetus is a person under the state's child abuse laws, and that a mother who uses illegal drugs during pregnancy can be charged with neglect, manslaughter, and even murder. The court upheld the conviction, 3-2, of Cornelia Whitner, sentenced to eight years for neglect in 1992 after she gave birth to a baby with traces of cocaine in his blood.

Lawyers for Whitner are expected to appeal her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. "It is a wedge into reconsidering Roe v. Wade," said Steven Bates, of the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's kind of scary to open that door of opportunity to the Supreme Court."

What Mr. Condon has done is revisit the question of when life begins. "You don't have the right to have a drug-impaired child," said Condon. "The child comes from God. We think we're in line with how most people feel in this country. We recognize the fetus as a fellow South Carolinian. And the right to privacy does not overcome the right to life." (Houston Chronicle, 1/18/98)

Outrage in Oregon - By a 10 to 1 vote, the 11 member Oregon Health Services Commission, a state panel, authorized the delivery of lethal prescription drugs as a "medical service" for the 340,000 low-income residents insured under the Oregon Health Plan, the state's Medicaid program. Oregon voters passed the so-called Death With Dignity Act in 1994. Wesley J. Smith, legal counsel for the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force said, "This illustrates the dishonesty of the people who pushed" legalizing assisted suicide. He added that, "No one said taxpayers would have to help kill people." Most private insurers, except for Catholic health plans, have said they will cover the costs of lethal prescriptions. "One HMO organization in Oregon has set $1,000 as the maximum it will pay for hospice and home health care benefits, but they've announced they'll pay for assisted suicide," said Mr. Smith. (The Washington Times, 2/28/98)

Kansas - A resolution has been introduced in the Kansas House that would force the courts to determine when life begins. 23 pro-life House members have co-sponsored the resolution. They argue that life begins at conception and that constitutional rights should be extended to unborn babies. "As medical science has advanced since the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, we submit that the fetus can now be medically determined to be clearly a separate person from his mother," Rep. Jan Pauls, a Democrat, said at a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee. "Roe v. Wade stated that if personhood is established, then the fetus has a right to life guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and Section 1 of the Bill of Rights of the Kansas Constitution." Passage of the resolution would force the state Attorney General to challenge state laws and regulations that allow public funding of abortions or authorize them to be performed at public institutions. Elmer Feldkamp, president of Right to Life of Kansas, said such a challenge is likely to force a court battle that ultimately could reach the Supreme Court and result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. (Infonet List, 3/13/98)

Michigan - Henry Ford Hospital and the University of Michigan Hospital are considering taking organs from people who have brain damage and are on life support systems. Currently, organs are harvested only from people who are brain dead. The new approach, already used in nine states, would allow quick removal of organs from a brain damaged - but not brain-dead - patient whose family chooses to withdraw life support. (The Detroit News, 3/10/98)

Republican National Coalition for Life    Box 618    Alton    Illinois 62002
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