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[Editor's Note: Please see the Action Alert on page 21 to learn what you can do to affect the outcome of the crucial congressional battle on human cloning outlined below. For the latest updates on the legislative situation, frequently visit the NRLC website at www.nrlc.org. The website now includes new powerful and easy-to-use tools to facilitate contacting your elected representatives with the right message at the right time. See back cover.]
WASHINGTON (June 9, 2002) - - At NRL News deadline, the U.S. Senate was bracing for historic votes on the issue of human cloning.
Before the end of June, the Senate is expected to choose between two radically different approaches to human cloning.
NRLC supports the Brownback-Landrieu bill (S. 1899), which would ban the cloning of human embryos. This bill passed the House of Representatives nearly a year ago, and is supported by President Bush. It is sponsored by Senators Sam Brownback (R-Ks.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.).
By Douglas Johnson
[Editor's Note: The congressional roll call votes on the key pro- life issues described below have been published in past editions of NRL News. Those votes, and many earlier votes, are now compiled in an easily readable format in the Legislative Action Center at the NRLC website, www.nrlc.org.]
WASHINGTON (June 10, 2002) - - The 107th Congress is more than three-quarters over. Because the Democrats hold a one-vote margin in the U.S. Senate, so far it has not been a very productive session for pro-life forces.
The Senate Democratic leadership and most of the Democratic senators are profoundly hostile to pro-life positions. They are the main barrier to enactment of numerous crucial pro-life measures that have passed or could pass the House of Representatives, and that are supported by the president.
From the President
Wanda Franz, Ph.D.
A recent survey (May 6-9, 2002; released May 21, 2002) by the Gallup Organization deals with "the state of moral values" in this country.
Abortion is considered "morally wrong" by 53%, is "morally acceptable" to 38%, and is to be judged "depend[ing] on the situation" in the opinion of 8%.
It is revealing to contrast this polling result with the responses to a question posed in the Los Angeles Times poll of June 8-13, 2000. The question was whether the respondent would consider abortion as an option if she (or the female partner, in the case of a male respondent) had an unplanned pregnancy. Overall, 66% said that abortion would not be an option. Accepting it as an option were 23%. A small fraction, 1%, would consider abortion but not do it. And 6% volunteered that their decision would depend on the circumstances. Even "liberals," the group most supportive of abortion (37% considered it an option), rejected abortion as a personal option with a clear majority (54%).
The comparison of the responses to the two poll questions suggests that the respondents make a distinction between "public" and "private" or personal morality.
The most obvious reason for the discrepancy is that the Supreme Court declared abortion a constitutional "right." This has been the law of the land for nearly 30 years; and "the law teaches" and instructs. Given the widespread tendency to consider what is legal also to be "moral" (in spite of personal reservations), it should not surprise that 38-40% of the public consider abortion "morally acceptable" (in a "public" sense, we can suppose), while only 23-25% would consider it as a personal option.