|A Publication of the Republican National Coalition for Life||March/April - No. 43|
"Pro-Life With Exceptions" - A Contradiction in Terms
The Exception Makes the Rule
When will legal abortion be ended in America? When will the hearts and minds of the American people be turned toward a culture of life, rather than the existing culture of death? When will elected officials exercise the political will to do what is necessary to overturn Roe v. Wade? When will our government protect and defend the right to life of every innocent human being, no matter how small, no matter how imperfect?
Those things will happen only when the conviction, the action, the policies and the laws match the rhetoric. They will happen only when the pro-life movement, its leaders and its supporters, speak with one voice, with no exception and no compromise.
For more than 29 years millions of us have done whatever we could on many fronts to restore respect for life in our country. Nearly 50 million dead babies and wounded mothers later, we are still no closer to our goal of legal protection of unborn babies, whether they reside in the fallopian tube where they begin the journey toward birth, the womb, a petri dish, a liquid nitrogen tank, a cloning laboratory, or a research facility.
Year after year, we observe the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade. This year, President Bush issued a proclamation, as have other Presidents before him, declaring Sunday, January 20, 2002 as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. It says that the right to life itself is chief among the rights on which the American republic is founded. It says, "Unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law. Wonderful rhetoric, except for the fact that there are millions of babies who are not welcome and are at risk for death by abortion because they have no protection under the law."
The AP reported on January 20 that Mr.Bush called on Americans to reject the notion that some lives are less worthy of protection than others . . . A noble thought, and one we share, but how will that happen when the President himself has never said that he would do anything to try to overturn Roe? How can that happen when he, and many politicians in the Republican Party have clearly said that abortion can be justified in some cases? How can that happen when President Bush's own position contradicts the proclamation? Indeed, he supports exceptions for babies conceived through rape or incest, a view that deems those babies less worthy of protection than others. How can that happen when the President and others in power think abortion is justified if the mother's life is in jeopardy, when today's medical science and technology make it unnecessary to ever kill a baby to save his mother's life? How can it happen when Laura Bush, First Lady of the land and the person closest to the President, joins his mother, Barbara Bush, in saying that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned?
Beyond that, how can protection of the right to life be restored when important leaders in the pro-life movement endorse as pro-life, politicians whose commitment and actions do not match their rhetoric? How can it be restored as long as grassroots pro-lifers don't demand, in exchange for their support, that candidates take a position on innocent life at every stage of development that leaves no room for exceptions or compromise? After all, it's one thing to prefer a less-than-perfect candidate who is running against a pro-abortion activist like Bill Clinton or Al Gore. But its quite another to pronounce him or her PRO-LIFE in big headlines, giving the false impression that the candidate intends to actively pursue our goals. While it appears that hearts and minds are changing, albeit slowly, in the end it will be public policies and laws that will restore respect for life in America. As long as pro-lifers are willing to bestow the pro-life mantle on politicians who truly are not, abortion, deadly experiments on human embryos, human cloning, and yes, infanticide, will remain legal.
The exception makes the rule. And so, we pray for unity in the pro-life movement. The politicians will say and do what they think they must to get our support. The outcome is our responsibility. If we are to succeed in this our Godly mission, we must demand of them total respect for all innocent life no exceptions, no compromise.
Please act now by taking advantage of the public comment period, which ends at 5 p.m. on May 6, 2002.
Your comment can be as simple as this: "It is simply common sense that unborn children are human beings who should be eligible for health care. That is what prenatal care is all about."
No fax or e-mail comments will be accepted. You must comment only via mail or hand delivery.
For pro-life conservative Republicans, this appointment is an insult, delivered on the very weekend we commemorated the 40 million babies who have been killed since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. This isn't the way to win back the reported 4,000,000 pro-life Christians who stayed home on Election Day in 2000.
Until now, only stem cells from early embryos were thought to have such properties. If the finding is confirmed, it will mean cells from your own body could one day be turned into all sorts of perfectly matched replacement tissues and even organs. The cells were found in the bone marrow of adults by researcher Catherine Verfaillie at the University of Minnesota.
The news, which has been called dramatic and remarkable by Irving Weissman of Stanford University, sparked a press release from Congress-man Chris Smith (R-NJ), headlined:
"Since Adult Stem Cells Can Do the Same Things Embryo Stem Cells Can Do (without the cancer-like tumors), Why donšt we use Ethically Obtainable Stem Cells Instead of Killing Embryos?" Indeed, why don't we?
A display of such profound ignorance is becoming less and less rare among those who hold positions of great responsibility in America. Somebody needs to give Senator Feinstein a lesson in Human Reproduction 101.
"Senator Feinstein, do you believe that cloning creates a human life and are therapeutic clonings, stem cells, dubious?" (Tim Russert, Meet the Press, February 24, 2002) This convoluted question makes no sense and is unanswerable except that Senator Feinstein answered it, displaying even more ignorance of the subject at hand. If Mr. Russert is going to talk about these matters on his program, he should know that a clone is not a stem cell. A human clone would be a human being. That human being would be made up of cells, just as we all are. The earliest cells are stem cells.
So-called therapeutic cloning would involve the creation of a human being through cloning and the killing of that human being so that his or her stem cells can be harvested for scientific experiments. The American people overwhelmingly oppose this and so should Mr. Russert and Senator Feinstein, but then, they would have to know what they are talking about.
To read a transcript of Meet the Press featuring Senators Dianne Feinstein and Sam Brownback, go to the transcript online
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