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JULY 2005
Vol. 32, No. 7


O’Connor’s Retirement Means First Supreme Court Vacancy in Eleven Years
By Dave Andrusko

Washington (July 5)—When Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a 24-year veteran of the High Court, unexpectedly announced her retirement, her impending departure touched off a media frenzy of speculation. Her announcement came as NRL News was about to go to press, so NRLC cannot comment on her replacement in this edition. (Be sure, however, to check www.nrlc.org.)

In the immediate aftermath, pro-abortion organizations bragged about their ability to raise money to fight President Bush’s nominee. For example, NARAL said in a July 2 press release that it has “surpassed its fundraised [sic] goals in the hours following Justice O’Connor’s announcement. Pro-choice Americans from all over the country have made financial contributions, because they understand the importance of a mainstream nominee who recognizes the impact his or her decisions will have on the average American.”

As explained on page five of this edition, President Bush’s nominee “must survive the minefield of Senate confirmation. Senators Boxer, Leahy, Schumer, Clinton, Kennedy, and others will stand in the way. In some ways the coming fight to confirm a true constructionist who respects the words and real meaning of the Constitution will be every bit as bitter as the fight to confirm Robert Bork in 1987.”

National Right to Life’s grassroots effort needs your help. Please read the alert, contribute as much as you can, and pass the message along to your pro-life family, friends, and colleagues.

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U.S. House Committee Rejects Amendment to Erect Barrier to Human Cloning in the U.S.

WASHINGTON (June 29, 2005)—An amendment to enact a barrier to human cloning in the United States was rejected by the powerful Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 16.

The committee rejected, 29–36, an NRLC-backed amendment offered by pro-life Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fl.) that would have required any state, university, corporation, or other entity to refrain from involvement in human cloning in order to remain eligible for funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Weldon offered the amendment during the committee’s consideration of a $602 billion appropriations bill for the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which includes $28.5 billion in funding for NIH. (The text of the Weldon Amendment appears in a box on this page.)

Some researchers wish to use the process of cloning (technically called “somatic cell nuclear transfer”) to create human embryos and kill them to obtain their stem cells for research or use them in other forms of research that would kill them. This is sometimes called “therapeutic cloning.”

In 2001 and 2003, the full House passed a bill to ban the creation of human embryos by cloning, sponsored by Weldon and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi.), but that legislation has never been passed by the Senate. If Weldon had succeeded in attaching his amendment to this DHHS appropriations bill, it could have forced Senate action on the issue. President Bush supports a ban.

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From the President

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

DEEPER INTO THE DARKNESS OF “PRIVACY”

... The above quotes from editorials upon the release of the report on the autopsy of Terri Schindler Schiavo and the sample of poll questions surrounding her case should alarm everyone of us—especially if you are disabled.

The editorial misrepresentations and baffling distinctions are astounding.  Mrs. Schiavo “was not starved to death, she died of dehydration” is the petulant observation of the Miami Herald.  Does that make killing her morally acceptable?

 

No, the autopsy did not show that Mrs. Schiavo was “irreversibly brain dead” as the Minneapolis Star Tribune falsely claims.  Had she been, she would have been on a ventilator.  The autopsy did not show “beyond dispute” that she was in a “persistent vegetative state”—that is a clinical diagnosis to be made on a living patient.  And physicians disagreed whether she was or not.  No one had “to make difficult end of life choices” because she was not dying.  She “might have lived another 10 years,” the medical examiner said. 

 

But “the only issue was privacy,” states the editorial headline in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  Indeed, it is judicially invented “privacy” that allows one to make the decision to end the life of a disabled relative—as long as that relative is physically unable to voice an objection.  The “private” decision to end the disabled person’s life still requires that the actual killing take place outside the privacy of one’s home, with the cooperation of others.  You can’t just quietly suffocate that relative at home—not yet.

Read Dr. Franz's Entire Column


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