THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE IS ON!
By Carol Tobias
NRL Political Director
The race is on!
As I write this story, it is only a little over a week before the first caucus in Iowa and two weeks before the first primary in New Hampshire. Collectively, the results of caucuses and primaries over the next couple of months will determine which pro-abortion Democrat will face pro-life President George W. Bush in November. Congressional primaries to select party nominees for the U.S. House and Senate begin in March.
Since the 2000 election, pro-lifers have enjoyed the wonderful experience of having a pro-life president in the White House. Since the 2002 elections, there has also been pro-life leadership in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
However, that could all change, depending on the outcome of this year's election.
There are nine Democrats seeking the nomination to run for president, all of whom are pro-abortion: Senators John Edwards (N.C.), John Kerry (Mass.), and Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, retired General Wesley Clark, Reps. Richard Gephardt (Mo.) and Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, and the Reverend Al Sharpton (N.Y.).
Most polls show Howard Dean leading the pack. Kerry, Gephardt, Lieberman, and Clark are fighting for second and third places.
A review of the candidates' records and statements shows that there is practically no difference in their extremist positions on abortion.
Howard Dean is opposed to any limits on abortion. He has said that he would veto any parental notification bill. Dean stated he will do everything he can to overturn the recently enacted Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. He has also said that he "can't imagine any circumstances that I would appoint a judge who is against Roe v. Wade."
Not many people know that, as an intern, Dean chose to do an extra rotation in ob/gyn at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England's clinic in Burlington. He subsequently served as a member of its board of directors. Later, as governor of Vermont, Dean secured $350,000 a year in taxpayer funding for the organization.
While Dean insists that he has never performed an abortion, he occasionally tells the story of a young pregnant girl who came to his office.
Dean says he suspected that the girl's father was also the father of her baby. He uses this story to defend his stance against parental notification laws.
But subsequently, when pressed, Dean has admitted that the girl's father was not the father of the baby. When asked on a Vermont radio station, in 2001, if he ever reported the case to child welfare authorities, either as incest or (statutory) rape, Dean questioned whether those laws apply to doctors and admitted that he perhaps did break the law.
Dean continues to use the story, as he did at a NARAL January 21, 2003, fundraising dinner.
As governor, Dean was determined to subsidize abortion, making it widely available to income-eligible women at virtually no cost. For example, in 1993-94, as part of a statewide health care proposal, abortions for income-eligible Vermonters would have cost just $5.00. The package did not pass.
However, the "Dr. Dynasaur Program," for which Dean constantly takes credit, is in effect. Teenagers who are income-eligible can receive free abortions. Since there is no parental notification law in Vermont, parents do not know when the state is financing a secret abortion for their minor daughter.
Dean also criticized the Bush administration for its efforts to prevent the use of federally-controlled drugs in assisted suicides in Oregon. He has said, "I think states have to make up their own mind" regarding the legality of assisted suicide.
Kerry, Lieberman, and Edwards have solid pro-abortion voting records, voting to endorse Roe v. Wade, voting against the ban on partial-birth abortions, and voting against an amendment that would have required reporting on the sale of body parts that result from an abortion.
In his speech formally launching his presidential campaign, Kerry emphatically stated, "As President, I will only appoint Supreme Court justices who will uphold a woman's right to choose."
Moreover, Kerry has expressed opposition to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act despite a personal appeal from Sharon Rocha - - whose daughter Laci and unborn grandson Conner were murdered in California - - that he support the bill.
Lieberman has frequently expressed his support for creating human embryos in order to harvest their stem cells for experimentation. In October, he told the Associated Press, "[T]he day I walk into the Oval Office, the first thing I'm going to do is rescind the Bush administration restrictions on stem-cell research.'' Wanting to make sure that everyone understands that he's serious, Lieberman re-stated that position again when the AP asked all the Democratic candidates what their first act as president would be.
Clark does not have a voting record on abortion, but he has been equally upfront about his pro-abortion position. During a September 17 interview with ABC's Good Morning America, Clark was asked if he "would put restrictions on abortion." He stated, "No. I'm pro-choice."
Clark has also expressed his disappointment with President Bush for signing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and "applauded" Planned Parenthood's efforts to stop enforcement of the new law.
In an interview with The Union Leader, in Manchester, New Hampshire, Clark stated that the government has no right to influence a mother's decision on whether to have an abortion. "Life begins with the mother's decision," he said. He also told the Leader that he was "not going to be appointing judges who are pro-life."
Meanwhile, as the Democratic candidates try to out-do each other on who is the most pro-abortion, President Bush's record should be well-known to pro-lifers:
* President Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
* President Bush reinstated the Mexico City Policy so that our tax dollars are not going to organizations that promote abortion in other countries.
* President Bush has actively pursued a ban on human cloning and helped to defeat a "clone and kill" proposal in Congress.
* President Bush signed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act to protect babies who survive abortion.
* President Bush has used the threat of a veto to stop anti-life measures from being included in legislation.
* The Bush administration is fighting to protect the vulnerable from assisted suicide.
* President Bush declared that no federal funds will be used to support research that requires the destruction of human embryos.
* The Bush administration is supporting pro-life measures at the many United Nations' conferences.
* The Bush administration changed the regulation so that unborn children can be covered in the federal health insurance program for poor children.
President Bush has actively supported other major pro-life legislation under consideration in Congress, including the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the Child Custody Protection Act, and the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act
In summary, President Bush is promoting a culture of life where unborn children are welcomed in life and protected in law.
Along with the presidential race, 34 seats in the U.S. Senate and all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election. While the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was passed by both houses and signed by President Bush, most pro-life bills face slow going in the Senate due to resistance from a strong pro-abortion bloc, which on some issues is a majority and on other issues a minority large enough to successfully employ obstructionist tactics.
Several Senate races will be pivotal in the coming election. So far, seven senators have announced that they will not run for re-election: pro-life Senators Don Nickles (R-Ok.), Peter Fitzgerald (R-Il.), John Breaux (D-La.), and Zell Miller (D-Ga.); and pro-abortion Senators John Edwards (D-N.C.), Bob Graham (D-Fl.), and Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.).
Other close races are expected in Alaska where Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) is being challenged by former Gov. Tony Knowles (D), who has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, and in South Dakota, where pro-life Rep. John Thune (R) is challenging pro-abortion Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D).
Another tough race could develop in Washington where Rep. George Nethercutt (R) is giving up his House seat to challenge pro-abortion Senator Patty Murray (D). In Pennsylvania, pro-life Rep. Pat Toomey is challenging pro-abortion Sen. Arlen Specter for the Republican nomination. The winner of that primary will likely face pro-abortion Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D).
Pro-abortion groups such as Moveon.org, America Coming Together, EMILY's List, the National Education Association, and other unions are vowing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat President Bush and elect pro-abortion U.S. Senators and House members.