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June 2004



New Bill in Congress
Targets Pain of Unborn



Stark Differences Make for Clear Contrast Between Bush and Kerry

By Dave Andrusko


NRLC Federal Legislative Director Douglas Johnson greets Pres. George W. Bush before the president signs the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

In the 2000 presidential election, only 51.2% of the voting-age population in America chose to take a few minutes out of their schedules to vote in an election so close that its final outcome was not determined for 35 days afterwards.

This dismal turnout came in spite of an election that was both a referendum on the eight years of the Clinton Administration and one that offered as clear a contrast as you could ask for.

Until now, that is. In pro-life President George W. Bush and pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry, the American people have before them two men whose differences on issues in general, and those of interest to pro-lifers, in particular, could not be more marked.

The most recent illustration came in May. A divided three-member panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal government has no authority to stop the use of federally controlled drugs to facilitate physician-assisted suicide in Oregon.




Bill Highlighting Unborn Child's Pain Introduced by Pro-Life Leaders in Congress


Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Ks.), chief Senate sponsor of Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chief House sponsor of Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

WASHINGTON (May 31, 2004) - - Pro-life leaders in Congress, with the strong backing of National Right to Life, have introduced a major new legislative initiative that throws a spotlight on the pain inflicted on unborn children by abortion.

The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act was introduced on May 20 by Senator Sam Brownback (R-Ks.) (S. 2466) and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) (H.R. 4420), with numerous cosponsors.

NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson, who appeared with Brownback and Smith at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol announcing the new legislation, said, "There are numerous laws to prevent cruelty to domestic and wild animals, but no law to prevent well-developed unborn children from suffering excruciating pain as they are torn limb from limb or crushed during abortions."





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Vol. 31, No. 6


From the President

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.


Lately, the obligations of Catholic legislators with regard to the right to life have become a topic of lively public discussion.

Catholics in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives comprise about 28% of the membership: 14 Democrats and 10 Republicans in the Senate, and 71 Democrats and 53 Republicans in the House. (For comparison: In 2000, the total U.S. population was 281.4 million. The number of Catholics in 1999 was 62 million. Thus the percentage of Catholics in the U.S. is about 22%.)

Here are the voting statistics for the current 108th Congress. NRLC's scoring is based on key votes on

* the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act;

* the Human Cloning Ban;

* attempts to repeal the ban of abortions in military facilities;

* attempts to weaken the Kemp-Kasten law, which prohibits funding of organizations that support, facilitate, or participate in coercive abortions;

* the Unborn Victims of Violence Act; and

* the Medicare Modernization Act, which, as passed by the House, allows senior citizens to get insurance for unrationed, lifesaving health care and thus avoid involuntary euthanasia through denial of treatment.

Votes for pro-life legislation and against anti-life legislation were rated as "pro-life."


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