Uniting for Life
Pro-Life Coalition Celebrates
Title X Victory -- Bush Veto Sustained
Washington (Nov. 19) A coalition oftwenty three pro-life
groups including the National Right to Life Committee, and
the National Pro-Life Religious Council celebrated a legislative
victory as the Congress attempted and failed to overturn the
Bush administration's Title X regulations, which prevent federally
funded family planning clinics from counseling or referring
for abortion. President Bush vetoed a congressional bill which
would have nullified the pro-life policy; hours later,
pro-abortion forces in the House failed to garner the 2/3
margin necessary to override a veto.
The Abortion is Not Family Planning Coalition used
a series of high quality ads to make known the facts surrounding
the Title X issue. The ads point out that
Abortion advocates pretend to want the government out
of the abortion debate. But when it comes to subsidizing abortion,
they want the government involved - on their side.
Pro-life groups have called the battle to maintain the Title
X regulations the most important issue since the Hyde amendment,
which bars federal funding of abortions unless the mother's
life isin danger.
Planned Parenthood, the largest recipient ofTitle
X funds, launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed
at overturning the regulations shortly after the Supreme Court
ruled that they were constitutional in its May 23 Rust
v. Sullivan decision. Once the regulations go into
effect, Planned Parenthood and other recipients ofTitle
X funds must agree not to discuss abortion as a family planning
option with pregnant women, or risk losing their federal funds.
NPRC Challenges Ambiguous Abortion
Statements from Dr. Billy Graham
In the August 30th issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, (2-C),
well-known Evangelist Reverend Dr. Billy Graham is quoted
as saying that he has no stand on when life begins. "I'm going
to let the scientists sort that one outů.I have my ideas but
I try to stay away from these things that are so emotional
and I don't have clear cut answers to." The Reverend Ben Sheldon,
President of Presbyterians Pro-Life, has expressed both support
for Dr. Graham and concern over the statement.
"In a society which has so cavalierly accepted the slaughter
of 1,500,000 unborn babies every year for the past 18 years,
you must not evade the issue of when life begins, and the
whole matter of the sacred value of human life," Dr. Sheldon
wrote in a letter to Dr. Graham. "The babies lives hang in
the balance, and your courageous statement in defense of life
could be so vital."
The Reverend Ralph L. Williams of the Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association responded, indicating that Dr. Graham was "not
quoted in full," and that Billy Graham "has not hesitated
to speak out concerning abortion." Dr. Graham, he points out,
was instrumental in the establishment of the Christian Action
Council, the "largest Protestant anti-abortion group." Dr.
Graham simply chooses to avoid "social and moral issues purely,
feeling this would sidetrack him from the main purpose of
In a joint letter, various members of the National Pro-Life
Religious Council point out that they understand Dr. Graham's
attempt "to steer away from controversial issues," but they
pointed out that "the abortion question is not just another
social issue. It is the transcendent moral issue of our time."
Bigotry Becomes Factor in Supreme
On the day Judge Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme
Court, Governor Douglas Wilder of Virginia told reporters
that Thomas should be questioned closely about his abortion
views because of his Catholic background. Justice Thomas is
a former Catholic seminarian who now attends an Episcopal
church. In his comments, Gov. Wilder made reference to Pope
John Paul II's frequent condemnation of the evil of abortion,
and his efforts to persuade legislators in his home country
to enact laws to protect the rights of the unborn. "The question
is," Gov. Wilder said, "how much allegiance is there to the
Gov. Wilder apologized "if anyone was offended" by his remarks.
The Senate confirmed Thomas' nomination by a vote of 52-48.
He replaced retiring Justice Thurgood Marshall, who voted
with the majority in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Child of Rapist Tells Happy
Ending at NPRC Meeting
At the fall quarterly meeting of the National Pro-Life Religious
Council, Julie Makimaa discussed the story of her conception
and birth. Shortly after she located and contacted her birth
mother, she discovered the fact that she was the daughter
of a rapist. Julie believes that she would not be here today
if abortion had been legal and as widely available as it is
today. Her mother said that she is not sure what she would
have done if abortion had been an option.
In the spring of 1990, Makimaa founded Fortress International,
an organization committed to "defending both victims of sexual
assault pregnancies: the women who become pregnant, and the
In a Fortress International brochure, the organization says;
We know that there are marry women who...had abortions
and are now struggling with that decision to end the life
of the child... We know that there are many possible physical
and psychological effects of abortion, and we want to reach
out to these women, with compassion and love. We need to let
women know that there is a better alternative than abortion.
For more information on Fortress International, contact Fortress
International, P.O. Box 7352, Springfield, IL, 62791-7352.
Lutheran Body Approves Moderately
Pro-Life Statement on Abortion
Orlando (Sept. 3) - In a 905-70 vote, the 5.2 million member
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) adopted a statement
on Sept. 3 that accepts some abortions but only as a "last
resort" in the most extreme circumstances. The ELCA was formed
in 1988 as the result of a merger of three Lutheran bodies,
each with differing positions on abortion. These differences
necessitated the formation of a new statement.
The statement marked a departure from the stand of a number
of mainline denominations, which have opposed legal restrictions
on abortion and treated it as a matter of personal conscience.
Saying that the "strong Christian presumption is to preserve
and protect life", the new statement opposes abortion except
in cases of "clear threat to the life of the woman," "extreme
fetal abnormality" incompatible with life, and in cases of
rape and incest. Apart from these cases, it says, "we as a
church disagree on what conditions, if any, make abortion
a morally responsible act."
On the public policy level, the statement called for abortion
to remain legal in the above cases, and called for public
funding of abortion for low income women in these circumstances.
The statement calls for protection of unborn life once the
child can survive outside the womb, saying that "every effort
must be made to support this life" if a pregnancy must be
interrupted after viability. Beyond these cases, "this church
neither supports nor opposes" other abortion restricting legislation.
A resolution opposing all abortions except to save the mother's
life, and one supporting "acceptance" of whatever choices
a woman makes, were rejected.
Pro-Abortion Groups, Attorney General Push For Immediate
Review of Roe in PA case - At a Washington press conference
on Nov. 7, representatives of two pro-abortion groups, the
American Civil Liberties Union and the Planned Parenthood
Federation of America said they had filed a petition with
the Supreme Court asking for a decision "whether a woman's
right to have a child is worthy of the highest level of constitutional
protection." The request came in the wake of a decision by
the 3rd U.S, Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld parts of
a Pennsylvania law requiring a 24-hour waiting period and
informed consent before performing an abortion. The Abortion
Control Act of 1989 has never been enforced because of court
In December, PA Attorney General Ernie Preate also filed
a request for review of the appeals court decision, and asked
the Supreme Court to deny the pro-abortion groups' appeal
of those provisions of the law upheld under the 3rd Circuit
Churches Join in Life Chains to Cover Road in U.S., Canada
- Washington - On Sunday, Oct. 6, demonstrators from many
denominations gathered in cities across the U.S. and Canada
carrying signs saying "Abortion Kills Children." Clergy participating
in various chains carried signs proclaiming "Jesus Forgives
According to National Life Chain in Yuba City, CA, the chains
included more than 665,000 people in 350 cities. With an estimated
28,000 demonstrators, stretching for 29 miles, the chain in
St. Petersburg/Clearwater, FL is believed to be the largest
Euthanasia Initiative Fails in Washington - Seattle
(Nov. 6) With a vote of 54% to 46%, pro-life voters in Washington
state defeated a measure supported by the Hemlock Society
that would have given doctors the right to kill or assist
in the suicide of terminally ill patients who ask to be killed.
Polls prior to the vote had shown the measure ahead 61 % -
"The people of this state have set an example for the world
by deciding that doctors should not be asked to kill the dying,"
said Archbishop Thomas Murphy of Seattle. He called on his
listeners to accept the Gospel challenge to "apply Christian
values to the critical issues" of treatment for the terminally
Washington would have been the first state to allow the practice
of assisted suicide.
Catholic Hospital Cancels Luncheon Featuring Pro-Abortion
U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari -New York (Dec. 3) -
Concerns from pro-lifers apparently led to the cancellation
of a luncheon to raise funds for Foundling Hospital. U.S.
Rep. Susan Molinari (R, NY-4) was to speak at the event, but
pro-lifers felt that her strong pro-abortion stance made her
an inappropriate choice. The hospital blamed the cancellation
on "inadequate support for the planned giving luncheon."
A spokeswoman for the hospital declined to say who made the
decision to cancel the luncheon.
Cardinal O'Connor Addresses Presbyterians Pro-Life
John Cardinal O'Connor of the Archdiocese of New York addressed
more than 450 commissioners and guests of the 1991 Assembly
of the Presbyterian Church USA. At the meeting, sponsored
by Presbyterians Pro-Life (PPL), the Cardinal said that his
own commitment to "the sacredness of human life, the worth
and dignity of every human person," began when he stood in
the ovens of Dachau.
O'Connor challenged those at the gathering to tell the truth
of God's Word, disturb the apparent calm which covers up disorders,
and to bring order by starting ferment. He told his audience
to respond to the law of man by appealing unceasingly to the
law of God. What results from toleration of immoral practices,
he said, referring to Romans 1, is a deadened conscience,
and the loss of "community conscience."
A video of his speech is available from PPL, P.O. Box 19290,
Minneapolis, MN 55419.
Fetal Tissue Funding
On July 25, the House of Representative passed a bill revising
the laws governing the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The bill (HR 2507) contained language that would overturn
the Bush administration's ban on federal funding for transplantation
of tissue taken from aborted fetuses.
Administration officials have threatened a veto because of
the pro-abortion position. The vote passed the House 5 votes
short of the two-thirds needed to override a veto.
Pro-abortion Senator Ted Kennedy has introduced a different
version of the NIH bill in the Senate (S. 1523). The original
version does not contain the pro-abortion fetal tissue language.
But on Nov. 21, Kennedy sponsored a Senate public hearing
which heard heavily slanted testimony on overturning the administration's
pro-life policy. Testifying on behalf of the current regulations
was James Bopp, general counsel for the National Right to
Life Committee. Only two witnesses spoke for the ban, and
nine spoke against it.
Princeton Consultation on the Church and Abortion
On Feb. 28-29, 1992, representatives of various Christian
groups will come together to "show the relationship between
fundamental doctrines of the church and issues of human life."
A luncheon, featuring an address by the Rev. Paul Hinlicky,
will open the Consultation at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 28,
and Richard John Neuhaus will give the closing address on
Saturday, ending at 5:00 p.m. Other speakers will include
Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission,
John Richard de Witt of Memphis, TN, John Jefferson Davis
of Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and O. Palmer Robertson of Washington,
Registrations must be received by Jan. 15. For information
on registration and hotel accommodations, contact Presbyterians
Pro-Life, P.O. Box 19290, Minneapolis, MN 55419, or call (612)
United Church of Christ
Abortion Book Available
The United Church of Christ (UCC) Friends for Life has put
together a book titled Affirming Life - Biblical Perspectives
on Abortion for the United Church of Christ. The
authors seek to "recall the United Church of Christ to a recovery
of its historic position on the sanctity and rights of unborn
children, while maintaining a wholesome and helpful ministry
to women and men who are struggling with an unintended pregnancy."
The book is available for $5.00 plus $.95 postage and handling,
from the UCC Friends for Life, P.O. Box 255, Telford, PA,
NPRC Seeks New Members
This is your opportunity to join with other Christian pro-life
leaders to help restore legal protection to the unborn child.
The National Pro-Life Religious Council, Inc. (NPRC) is a
Christian pro-life coalition which acknowledges Jesus Christ
as Lord and Savior, and is called to witness to and affirm
the biblical standard of the value, dignity and sanctity of
NPRC's Board of Directors consists of leaders of pro-life
religious groups or pro-life groups with a religious outreach.
Associate membership is open to any individual, church, or
group who subscribes to NPRC's principles.
NPRC currently has members working within pro-life groups
associated with the following denominations/churches: American
Baptist, Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Evangelical, (national
Association of Evangelicals), Lutheran, Lutheran Missouri
Synod, Mormon (LDS) Presbyterian, Southern Baptist, United
Church of Christ, and United Methodist.
Click here for a membership form.