Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Iowa Republicans ban taxpayer-funding of abortion

Good news from Iowa, as reported by Caffeinated Thoughts.

Excerpt:

The Iowa House passed on a 58-37 vote an amendment (H-8489) to the SF 2336 the Health and Human Services appropriations bill.  The amendment provided clear and strong language which defunds abortion of state and federal family planning funds with the only exception being to save the life of the mother.  It removes exceptions for rape and incest, as well as, fetal abnormalities.  It also largely defunds abortion providers in the state of Iowa.  The amendment reads:

A department shall not distribute state or federal family planning funds under this section to any entity that performs abortions or that maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.

In addition all state departments that distribute state and federal family planning money are required to report to the Governor and the General Assembly who received state or federal family planning funds.  If they do distribute state or federal family planning funds to an entity that doesn’t provide primary health services they have to explain why it was necessary to prevent severe limitation or elimination to family planning services to that region of the state.  This amendment had the full support of the Republican caucus.

 Shane also quotes Thomas Jefferson in his post as follows “to compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical”. I think that de-funding abortion is a great first step to reducing the number of abortions, and particularly sensible in a time of fiscal crisis. This is common sense.

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Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum: who has the pro-life record on abortion?

Let’s start with an article from Stand to Reason which explains what pro-life politicians should sound like. (H/T Drew)

Excerpt:

Why are major pro-life presidential candidates so bad at answering for the pro-life position?

During the 1992 race, vice-presidential candidates Gore and Quayle went face to face. Quayle fumbled badly when Gore asked him directly, “Would you take away a woman’s right to choose abortion?” Here was a great chance to bring some moral clarity to the discussion. Instead, he babbled.

Mr. Quayle might have simply answered: I think the question is phrased wrong. Rather, “Why do you think it’s OK to kill an innocent human being just because it’s in the way and can’t defend itself?” If Al Gore objected to that characterization, it would be very fair to say, “Which one of my terms is inaccurate? Kill? Innocent? Human being? Defenseless? In the way? (Maybe you’d prefer “troublesome,” “expensive,” or just simply “crippled”?)

The most recent squandered opportunity came last night. (Alan Keyes went on a hunger strike. Maybe if that doesn’t work he’ll just hold his breath until he turns blue. That’ll really show ‘em.)

“If a woman was brutally raped and would be emotionally traumatized by carrying to term, would you allow her to have an abortion, or would you force her to have the child?”

This is a perfect forum for clarifying this issue, an ideal opportunity for a leader to offer clearheaded advocacy for the unborn, a terrific time to clear the rhetoric from the air and get to the real issue.

The simple answer is: Why complicate the crime of rape with the crime of taking an innocent child’s life? Or, to put it another way: Why should the child pay with its life because its father is a rapist? (This is even a better response because it asks a question.)

Greg was writing this in 1996, but we do actually have several pro-life candidates this time, and one of them, Rick Santorum, is actually pretty articulate on social issues.

Excerpt:

As a member of the U.S. Senate from 1995 until 2007, Santorum was the prime author and champion of key pro-life bills, including the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, a ban on partial-birth abortion, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it a separate crime if an unborn child is harmed or killed during the commission of a stipulated list of federal crimes.

Santorum not only has signed the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life Presidential Pledge, but he has helped raise money for that organization, too.

Santorum believes that abortion is never justified, including in cases of rape or incest. During a Republican presidential debate last summer in Ames, Iowa, when panelist Byron York noted that many Americans favor abortion under certain circumstances, Santorum didn’t flinch or back off from his uncompromising position.

“You know, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a recent case, said that a man who committed rape could not be killed, would not be subjected to the death penalty; yet the child conceived as a result of that rape could be,” he said. “That sounds to me like a country that doesn’t have its morals correct. That child did nothing wrong. That child is an innocent victim.”

Rick Santorum actually tries to convince you if you don’t see things his way on social issues. I think there are two candidates who would be pro-life activists if they were elected – Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. But I have more confidence in Santorum’s ability to persuade people who are not already pro-life  to be sympathetic to the pro-life view. He can build consensus, because he is a pro-life apologist, rather than just being pro-life. Rick Santorum is doing exactly what Greg Koukl said that real pro-lifers do.

Now let’s take take a look at Mitt Romney’s record on abortion.

Excerpt:

Two months after his pro-life conversion, Mitt Romney appointed Matthew Nestor to the bench in Massachusetts. Romney seeming bowed to political pressure making Nestor a judge even after Nestor, according to the Boston Globe as far back as 1994, had campaigned for political office championing his pro-abortion views.

One year after his pro-life conversion, in July of 2005, Mitt Romney vetoed legislation that would expand the use of the morning after pill arguing that it would contribute to abortions. But just three months later Mitt Romney slid back and signed a bill that expanded state subsidized access to the morning after pill.

Writing in the Boston Globe on October 15, 2005, Stephanie Ebbert noted:

Governor Mitt Romney has signed a bill that could expand the number of people who get family-planning services, including the morning-after pill, confusing some abortion and contraception foes who had been heartened by his earlier veto of an emergency contraception bill. … The services include the distribution of condoms, abortion counseling, and the distribution of emergency contraception, or morning after pills, by prescription …

But that’s nothing. Two whole years after the pro-life view had settled into Mitt Romney’s conscience and a year after Mitt Romney had vetoed legislation expanding access to the morning after pill, he expanded access to abortion and gave Planned Parenthood new rights under state law. Yes, that Planned Parenthood.

[Romneycare], in addition to providing healthcare coverage for the uninsured and forcing everyone to have insurance, expanded abortion services in the State of Massachusetts. It also required that one member of the MassHealth Payment Policy Board be appointed by Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts.

From Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006:

SECTION 3. Chapter 6A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 16I the following 6 sections: . . . Section 16M. (a) There shall be a MassHealth payment policy advisory board. The board shall consist of the secretary of health and human services or his designee, who shall serve as chair, the commissioner of health care financing and policy, and 12 other members: … 1 member appointed by Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts … (Massachusetts General Court Website, http://www.mass.gov, Accessed 2/5/07)

That’s an example of Mitt Romney’s record on abortion. Those are the facts on Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney when it comes to abortion.

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum on abortion – in their own words

We’ve already seen that Santorum has the pro-life record and Romney has the pro-abortion record. So now let’s compare Mitt Romney in his own words with Rick Santorum in his own words.

Mitt Romney:

Rick Santorum:

Just to be clear, if you are a pure social conservative, there here is the candidate ranking for you:

  1. Rick Santorum
  2. Michele Bachmann
  3. Newt Gingrich
  4. Rick Perry
  5. Ron Paul
  6. John Huntsman
  7. Mitt Romney

Social conservatives need to vote for a candidate that has a pro-life record, not just pro-life rhetoric and a charming smile.

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Trent Franks introduces bill to ban sex-selection and race-selection abortions

Scheming unborn baby is pleased with incremental pro-life laws

Scheming unborn baby is pleased with incremental pro-life laws

Life News news reports on the new Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act “PRENDA” bill.

Excerpt:

A U.S. congressman has reintroduced legislation that would ban sex-selection or race-based abortions. Congressman Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has brought back the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act.

The measure would prohibit knowingly performing or financing sex-selection or race-based abortions.

[...]“[T]he Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, or “PRENDA,” … restricts sex-selection abortion and race-selection abortion, and the coercion of a woman to obtain either. The woman seeking an abortion is exempted from prosecution, while abortion providers are held to account,” wrote Franks in a letter to colleagues on Monday.

“Sex-selection abortion is happening in the United States. A study published in the April 2008 Journal of the National Academy of Sciences shows through U.S. Census data that certain segments of the U.S. population – particularly those coming from countries that practice sex-selection abortion – have unnaturally skewed sex-ratios at birth caused by sex-selection ‘most likely at the prenatal stages,’” Franks added.

Franks also noted that abortion centers are disproportionately placed in African-American communities and he pointed out that Planned Parenthood has come under fire for accepting donations from people claiming to want the abortion business to target blacks.

“Following the unearthing of the nation-wide race-targeted abortion donations, civil rights activists and African-American pastors from across the country protested government acquiescence in race-targeted abortion and the government funding of clinics that they believe are purposefully placed in the inner city and targeted to minority women,” he said.

A few years ago, a national study showed the possibility that the practice of sex-selection abortions has made its way from Asia to the United States. Researchers Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund of the National Academy of Sciences say their analysis of the 2000 Census shows the odds prematurely increasing for Asian-American families from China, Korea and India to have a boy if they already have a girl child.

The data “suggest that in a sub-population with a traditional son preference, the technologies are being used to generate male births when preceding births are female,” they wrote in the paper.

Meanwhile, a 2006 poll showed a majority of Americans would likely support the bill. A 2006 Zogby International poll shows that 86% of the American public desires a law to ban sex selection abortion. The poll surveyed a whopping 30,117 respondents in 48 states.

Democrats favor abortion through all 9 months of pregnancy – for any reason, or no reason. Therefore, Democrats favor killing a baby because it is a girl, and killing a baby because it is black. That’s what it means to be for abortion.

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Why did Nancy Pelosi not allow a vote on the Credit Card Fair Fee Act?

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a suspicious stock deal involving Nancy Pelosi.

Excerpt:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is the subject of a report on the stock investments of members of Congress that is to air Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

[...]Kroft asked Pelosi why she and her investor husband, Paul Pelosi, bought an initial public offering of stock in Visa, the San Francisco-based credit card company, in March of 2008.

The same month, former House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., introduced the Credit Card Fair Fee Act, which would have given merchants the power to negotiate lower fees with credit card companies. The bill, hostile to the credit card industry, was passed by the committee but never brought to the floor. Pelosi was speaker at the time, and controlled which legislation came to a vote.

The Pelosis bought the Visa stock in three transactions totaling $1 million to $5 million, according to financial disclosure reports. The first was the IPO, followed by two other purchases of the stock at higher prices, Pelosi said.

It certainly seems suspicious to me. She owns millions of dollars of stock in a credit card company, and then proposed legislation to regulate that industry is not allowed a vote on the floor of the House.

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Democrats mandate that gay history be taught in California schools

From the Christian Post. (Note that the Democrat governor has now signed the bill)

Excerpt:

On Tuesday, a bill that would make the state the first to require textbooks and history classes to include the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans as well as those with disabilities passed in the state assembly. The bill also bans material that reflects negatively on gays.

The measure passed along a party line vote, 49-25, with one Republican voting in favor. It is now on its way to Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown has not indicated whether or not he will sign it. Former Republican Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill five years ago.

On a whole, Republicans are against the bill. According to The Associated Press, Republicans refer to it as a “well-intentioned but ill-conceived bill.” Concerns are raised that it would indoctrinate children to accept homosexuality.

Openly gay Democrat Assembly Speaker, John Perez, is pushing for the governor to sign the bill. “This bill will require California schools to present a more accurate and nuanced view of American history in our social science curriculum by recognizing the accomplishments of groups that are not often recognized,” he said, according to the New York Daily News.

If signed, the bill could take effect as early as the 2013-2014 academic year. The measure leaves it up to the local school boards on how to implement the policy. However, it will require school districts to adopt textbooks and other materials to cover the new agenda. California is one of the largest buyers of textbooks, causing fear that this bill could affect school systems throughout the country.

[...]The bill is formally supported by the California Teachers Association, several school districts and a progressive religious organization, according to SF Chronicle. It is opposed by many churches and conservative organizations.

Democrat governor Jerry Brown signed the bill on Thursday.

And the Pacific Justic Institute adds:

A controversial bill that would require public schools to emphasize the roles and contributions of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people has now passed both houses of the California legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown within days. Legal experts predict, though, that SB 48 will affect schools across the nation.

“The reality is that the major textbook manufacturers do not create different textbooks for each state,” noted Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute. “Instead, they seek to comply with mandates in the largest states, especially California and Texas. As a result, many smaller states are pressured into approving California-focused instructional materials, which must now cater to the gay history mandate.”

There are lots of ways to respond to an event like this:

  • we can vote for more Republicans
  • we can vote to lower taxes, shrink government and privatize education
  • we can vote for more school choice, so parents decide where children go to school
  • we can vote for more federalism – more local control of education issues
  • we can train and educate Christian lawyers to argue for parent’s rights in court
  • etc.

It’s very important for Christians to understand what it means to vote Democrat. It means you go to work and earn money that will be used to indoctrinate your children to disrespect your Christian worldview. That’s why Democrats favor a well-funded, top-down, centralized, state-run education system. And it’s up to parents to vote smarter.

UPDATE: Reader Todd K. sends me this article from City Journal, the journal of the Manhattan Institute.

Excerpt:

California’s budget crisis has reduced the University of California to near-penury, claim its spokesmen. “Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone,” the university system’s vice president for budget and capital resources warned earlier this month, in advance of this week’s meeting of the university’s regents. Well, not exactly to the bone. Even as UC campuses jettison entire degree programs and lose faculty to competing universities, one fiefdom has remained virtually sacrosanct: the diversity machine.

Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing. The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This position would augment UC San Diego’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center.

I don’t agree with Heather McDonald on everything, but this article is awesome.

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