Sunday, February 26, 2006

Person or Property

Senator Brownback spoke at the Arizona Right to Life Second Annual Carolyn Gerster Awards Gala last night. The event honored Virginia Evers, designer of the "Precious Feet" pin for her lifelong commitment to the pro-life cause. The senator was introduced by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl who explained the attendants Brownback's important contribution to the Roberts and Alito confirmations.

Brownback made some very important comments, but none was more compelling than the categories to which all the exists belong. Everything is either person or property.
He gave us some examples and then asked the rhetorical question:
Is the unborn child person or property?
It is such a powerful question and one we should consider in our discussions with those who do not share our viewpoint.

Senator Brownback was very comfortable during his stay in Arizona. He was very well received by those in attendance. Arizona Right to Life thanks the Senator once again for his willingness come to Arizona and for his commitment to the cause of life.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Brownback in Arizona

Arizona Right to Life holds its annual Carolyn Gerster Awards Gala tonight to honor Virginia Evers for a lifetime of service to the pro-life cause. Virginia and her late husband Ellis Evers founded Heritage House'76 and she became known for her creation of the
Precious Feet
pin which presents the feet size of an unborn baby at 10 weeks in utero. The pin is seen around the world and is one of the most recognized symbols of the pro-life movement.

Addressing the attendants that evening will be Senator Sam Brownback, Republican from Kansas, who is often mentioned as a possible potential presidential candidate in 2008. Regardless of the presidential politics, Senator Brownback is well known as a stalwart defender of the pro-life cause in the Congress and as a ranking member of the Judiciary was very instrumental in the advancement of both John Roberts and Sam Alito to the Supreme Court.

Recognizing the need to hear from the grassroots, Senator Brownback accepted AZRTL's invitation to join us to honor Virginia Evers, a respected pro-life woman, and to share with us the vision of an America that protects her children.

Arizona Right to Life thanks its own pro-life congressional delegation for supporting this event. Our thanks to Senators Kyl and McCain for their years of service to the cause of life and to our congressmen, Flake, Franks, Hayworth, Renzi, and Shaddegg for their efforts to provide protection for the innocent unborn children and their mothers.

It is time for this country to show the world that the care and protection of all human life are not just platitudes carved in marble walls but the true reflection of a nation which acknowledges that future generations have a right to life.

Supreme Court agrees to hear partial birth abortion case.

I expected the U.S. Supreme Court to accept review of the controversial partial birth abortion cases after all three circuit courts declared the federal law passed by Congress to be unconstitutional. And given the history of the discussion and the overwhelming opposition to late term abortions, I fully expect the Court to declare the statute constitutional. The court will hear arguments in the fall.

So what does it mean for the long term?

Prior to 1973 laws concerning abortion were addressed at the state level through what was commonly referred to at the state's police powers. Until Roe v. Wade was decided, the states had the authority to pass legislation regulating, restricting, preventing or permitting abortion in their own jurisdiction.

The U.S. Supreme Court changed all that on January 22, 1973. And like the toothpaste squeezed out of the tube, and despite arguments to the contrary, the court cannot simply return the matter to the states and pretend it did not permanently affect the landscape of the subject matter forever.

In Roe, the court stated that
"We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer."

The court previously stated that
"The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument."

The Supreme Court therefore finds within Roe v. Wade the very means to outlaw abortion and resolve this national question in a way that restores the dignity of the Constitution and prevents the further balkanization of this great nation.

By revisiting that very question and acknowledging the very biological and scientific evidence rejected by the Blackmun court, the current judges can rectify the error that has caused the deaths of 46 million lives. Just as the use of DNA evidence can establish the innocence of someone convicted of a capital crime and thus save them from the death penalty, the court must use current scientific information to preserve the lives of those who would be killed by abortion.

Every time I read Roe v. Wade I am appalled by the arrogance of that decision. I recall the political machinations of Douglas and Brennan and the dimwitted arguments by Blackmun. I believe they thought that everyone would simply bow before the court and worship at the altar of their decision. The court, in a total failure to understand the nature and will of the American people, set the stage for the battle for the soul of the American nation. Not since slavery has an issue so paralyzed the American political landscape. For 33 years the pro-life movement has refused to play along with the elites of both political parties and gone home. And while the Republicans have been afraid to win on this issue, the Democrats have seen their once multi-faceted party become a characature of itself as it is controlled by pro-abortion extremists who require any Democratic candidate to sell his or her soul to the goddess of abortion.

The Congress therefore should assist the Supreme Court in doing its duty. The Congress should hold hearings similar to those held in 1981 for the purpose of educating the American people on the humanity of the unborn child and the harm that abortion causes women. Congress should pass the Right to life Act, declaring the unborn child a person and outlawing abortion. The several states should follow South Dakota's courageous example and pass legislation prohibiting abortion.

And we in the pro-life community should redouble our efforts to offer real "choices" to women with unplanned pregnancies. We must put our money where our beliefs are. We must put educational information on the airwaves and get the message out to those who need our help. Churches must offer more that pius platitudes. They must become sanctuaries to protect all innocent human life.

Now is not the time for the feint of heart. Now is the time for leadership. Now is the time for life.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Justice for All

The Justice for All exhibit has been at Arizona State University this week. David Lee and his colleagues have been talking to college students about the impacted abortion on this culture and more than that "listening" to the students no matter what they say, hoping that be listening to them a dialogue can begin.. I use the term dialogue because after speaking with David, I learned that part of the purpose of the exhibit is to allow the students to vent, to ask questions, to challenge the Pro-life argument, and then simply, with charity and understanding, present the truth on the subject of abortion and the effect it is having on today's society. The large graphic pictures attract the crowds, along with a small group of pro-abortion supporters.

I stopped at the exhibit on Tuesday and had a lively debate with a young man who agreed that the 'fetus' was a human being, agreed that it was a killing, but argued that if the winsome wants one, she ought to be able to have one. After speaking with him and a few others, I was once again reminded of how much of their education comes from entertainment, propaganda, and old truisms coined up be the pro-aborts to keep abortion 'safe and legal' when the truth is that it is neither safe, nor is it ever "legal" in the eyes of God.

This event reminds us that we at AZRTL must take a more acrtive role in the lives of our college students. They need accurate information about the nature, aim, and purpose of the pro-abortion movement, how it manipulates people and away from their naturally pro-life position.

We at AZRTL have a reach-out need.
More later.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Reverend Eugene Maguire (1919 -2006) R.I.P.

Allow me a personal note. On Friday a man of God died. His name was Father Eugene Maguire. He was a Roman Catholic priest and a man who served the church and the people of Arizona, and in particular the people of Scottsdale, Arizona with a grace, humility and fervor that I hope is emulated by all who answer the call to the priesthood. He came to Arizona from his beloved Ireland to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His life reflected the love and especially the mercy of God as he was a constant fixture at the Scottsdale Hospital downtown.

I have known him for over 42 years. As an altar boy, I served mass for him. He was a Knight of Columbus and a dear friend of my parents. Later, after law school, when I returned to the valley, I would serve as a lecture and play the piano for the Sunday 5:30 pm mass. He always seemed to say that mass. He was a constant presence in an ever-changing world.

He was a good priest and always available for the people in his parish. With a school attached to the church, he was always dropping into our classes. The guys looked forward to the visits, always hoping that he would pull us out of class so we could serve a mass for a visiting priest or assist at a funeral.

He was a vital part of the history of Scottsdale and frankly the next time antytone wants to commission a statue for the civic plaza, it should be of Fr. Maguire.

One man who touched a lot of hearts.

During the years he was pastor, the Pro-Life movement always had a friend at our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Scottsdale. He supported the cause with his prayers and sermons, but mostly encouraged us, the laity, to get involved. Whether it was having Dr. Carolyn Gerster M.D. speak at all the masses, or supporting a concert by Dana in the church, Fr. Maguire reminded his flock that being pro-life was very important. He was always there to help a young pregnant mother in need (not to mention anyone who knocked on his door - He was known as a soft touch). He was not afraid to call you and ask you to help some of these people who were in trouble. And you always knew that it was the right thing to do.

Finally Father was a man of prayer. His relentless energy came from his love of God and his vocation. I remember as a young boy seeing him walking around reading the daily office - the official prayers of the church. And while his Irish brogue remained with him until the end, there was a precious way in which he would celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass that was uniquely "Fr. Maguire."

So on behalf of all pro-lifers, including myself, that you have touched these last 40 years, thank you for saying yes to God's call to the priesthood, and for living fully the Gospel for Life.

The funeral mass is set for 10:00 am on Wednesday February 22, 2006.
A rosary will be said on Tuesday night at the church starting at 7:00 pm. Visitation starts at 5:00 pm Tuesday at the church.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

South Dakota bill advances.

A lot of people are afraid if the South Dakota legislature passes a bill outlawing abortion that it could mark the beginning of the end to legalized abortion. Good.


It was because of a group of patriots known as the minutemen that the Americans in 1775 were able to stand up to the British and prevent His majesty’s army from seizing a cache of munitions at Lexington and Concord. The “shot heard ‘round the world” signaled the start of the War of Independence and the American Revolution.

Soon thereafter representatives from the thirteen colonies gathered in Philadelphia and in the summer of 1776 had written and ratified the Declaration of Independence.

This past January while in Washington for the March for Life, my son and I went to the National Archives to see this historic document. It was appropriate that during a march to protest the failure of this government to protect its people we would view the document that acknowledges what all free peoples have known since the dawn of time – our right to life is from God who alone is the giver and taker of innocent human life.

So consider today and the current status of the crisis. What are we doing to prepare for the following eventualities? What are we doing to educate ourselves as to the message and also as to the propaganda campaign that the Left will commence? How do we reach a generation that may be without real awareness as to of the gruesome nature of abortion?

I spent an hour on the phone yesterday with a person trying to find a handle on how to convey to the girl’s mother the long-term harm of abortion to the whole family. I though to myself, how many are out there that just don’t know.

Later this evening as I was thinking about the cause and the amount of work needed to network those who can make a difference, it became clear that we all must be like the minutemen - ready at a moment’s notice, knowledgeable, ready to make sacrifices, committed to the long term goal of changing the heart and soul and law of this country. .

So how does one get prepared?

Here are some concrete suggestions.

1. Stay informed. Make your home page.
2. Stay connected. Sign up for our e-alerts to get our latest messages.
3. Read Roe v. Wade.
4. Know the basic facts of fetal development.
5. Have available the names and phone numbers of the various pro-life emergency
Pregnancy help centers.
6. Find out if there is a pro-life or sanctity of life group at your church or
synagogue. If there is a group, join it. If there is not, start one. If you need
help starting one, call us and ARTL will help you.
7. Write a letter to the editor or send an email to the newspapers.
8. Pray daily.

If all those who were against abortion acted like it and involved themselves in the battle, then this modern day holocaust would end immediately.

Think about it. What are we doing? Is it anything? Is it enough? Are we not supposed to be prepared?

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Abortion holocaust - why words have meaning

In Maryland last week, some people got upset that Lt. Governor Michael Steele used the term 'holocaust' to describe destructive embryonic stem cell research. Mr. Steele is running for the U.S. Senate and has since 'apologized' for the use of said remarks. Certain Jewish leaders in Maryland were offended, while others said the use of the remark would not affect his ability to gain their support. Following the episode there was an article on the fact that the term is used by many in the pro-life movement to describe the systematic destruction of a class of human beings -the unborn child. So in the interest of the truth, it is important to understand why the use of this term and a comparison of the current assault on human life to the terrible Nazi holocaust perpetrated upon the Jews and others (Catholics, Poles, et al) is very appropriate to the current controversy.

From a combination of two sermons called "The Abortion Holocaust" by Pastor Jeffrey J. Meyers preached at Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church October 2, 1994 & January 19, 1997 and referring to William Brennan’s magnificent, but haunting book The Abortion Holocaust: The Final Solution (St. Louis: Landmark Press, 1983), I found some rather compelling passages. I will cite a few of them below. First Pastor Meyers defined the definition of abortion.

"In 1859, the official definition of abortion by the American Medical Association (the AMA!) was, “The slaughter of countless children; no mere misdemeanor. . . the wanton and murderous destruction of the mother's child; unwarrantable destruction of human life.” In 1871 the AMA added that abortion is “the work of destruction; the wholesale destruction of unborn infants. It is a foul, unprovoked murder.” Notice the candid, non-euphemistic portrayal of the act of abortion!

"In 1871, Here's how the AMA described physicians who stooped to perform abortions. They are “men who cling to a noble profession only to dishonor it; false brethren; educated assassins; these modern Herods; these men, who, with corrupt hearts and blood stained hands, destroy what they cannot reinstate. They destroy the fairest fabric that God has ever created under the cloak of medical professionals. They are monsters.” AMA went on to say that “the members of the profession should shrink with horror from all social intercourse with them, professionally or otherwise; these men should be marked as Cain was marked; they should be made the outcasts of society; it becomes the duty of every physician in the Unites States to resort to every honorable and legal means in his power to crush out from among us this pest of society.”

"By 1967, however, this prestigious association of medical doctors had changed their tune. The definition changed to reflect the ungodly, drift of our country away from biblical standards in social ethics: The AMA in the late 60’s called abortionists “conscientious practitioners performing therapeutic abortions for reasons other than those posing as a threat to the life of the mother; equally conscientious physicians who believe that all women should be masters of their own reproductive destinies and that the interruption of an unwanted pregnancy, no matter what the circumstances, should be solely an individual matter between the patient and her doctor.”

"The AMA in 1967 also defined abortion as “the interruption of an unwanted pregnancy.” In 1970, they shortened it to merely “a medical procedure,” and now instead of marking these licensed killers with the sign of Cain the AMA ruling was that “they should be allowed to perform abortions as long as they are done in an accredited hospital acting only after consultation with two other physicians.” And now in 1997 the murderous act has been euphemized out of existence. Today we are so much more sophisticated, so much more civilized and genteel. Today, what the AMA once called “the murderous and unwarranted destruction of human life” is now called a “clean up procedure”, “evacuation”, “emptying”, “removal.” Once Doctor's called the fetus “a human life,” now the unborn child is a “nonperson”, “a subhuman”, “a parasite”, “a mass”, and even “trash”, “waste”, and “garbage.” And, of course, everything is just peachy because it’s all perfectly legal, socially acceptable, performed by educated, licensed, state-supervised physicians wearing white robes

"In Nazi Germany Six million Jews were exterminated because they were consider to be subhuman expendables. The Nazi's rationalized their slaughter by denying the Jew's humanness and personhood. Dr. Agustus Hirt, Nazi Germany, described a Jew as “a repulsive, yet characteristic subhuman.” Adolf Hitler, in 1923 said, “The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human.” Dr. Augustus Hirt again, in 1944, “The prisoners here are animals, nothing more.” In America, I don't have to quote, it is common to describe the unborn child as a subhuman expendable. One doctor has recently portrayed a living aborted baby as “a spinal animal” Maybe the most telling comparison is this Adold Hitler in Mien Kampf, 1925, labeled the Jews as “a parasite in the body of other peoples” and in 1973 a Boston Feminist group called the unborn baby “a parasite within the mother's body.”"

Pastor Meyers identified four areas of comparison:

"1. The power of the legal code is used to mold the ethical conscience of the people. Given time, what is legal is moral.
2. The power of technology is brought to bear in order to conceal the victims and reduce mass killing to the trivial level of a technical procedure.
3. Physicians who performed abortions are transformed into credentialed executioners of the unwanted, a role diametrically opposed to the physician-as-healer ethic embodied in the Hippocratic Oath and its modern counterpart, the Declaration of Geneva.
4. Cultural leaders in Government, media, and apostate pulpits utilize the power of terminology to relegate the victims to a less-than-human level and obscure their extermination under a blanket of semantic camouflage.
This is how Germany succeeded in duping the population concerning the extermination of the over 10 million Jews, the handicapped, and the foreign undesirables."

It is interesting that some people are offended by the comparison and yet are unwilling to address the reality that children are being killed in the name of "choice" and "convenience." It is a reflection of a society that will permit abortion but ban smoking in public buildings.

So it is that Pastor Meyers challenged his congregation to see the horror that was taking place while they and everyone else went about their business - as if nothing wrong was going on.

Those of us in the pro-life movement have the unenviable task of reminding people that all is not well in America so long as we are killing our future. The sooner we end this holocaust, the better it will be for the children, their mothers and fathers and this nation and this world. It is not a job for the weak, yet we must carry in our beings the weakness of the child who cannot speak for himself. We must share his pain as we pray and work to end this horrible nightmare. Yet I am reminded of another's words. "Be not afraid." So we continue, each in his own way, to make a difference - one life at a time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Press highlights "Christian" agenda

Expect the press to try to pigeon-hole Len Munsil as strictly a social conservative candidate. Expect them also to bring up his religion and his moral philosophy a lot. You see, the mainstream media believes that such a label will turn people off. Let them think that. When people hear Len Munsil outlined his vision for a better Arizona, when people hear about how he and his wife Tracy are raising eight children, when people hear how he believes in family values and the importance of laws supporting the family unit, people will want to elect Munsil governor.

Len Munsil believes in God, loves his family, is concerned about his country and the future of his state. He has core values that will resonate with the voters in Arizona. People want someone in government who will invest in the future - walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

Munsil will outline an agenda that at its core respects the dignity of every human person, and believes law should protect every human life - from womb to tomb. When one starts from a position that respects the right to life of persons, then protecting their property, promoting the rule of law and providing for the common good take on a greater significance. Government must start with respect for all human life. Then it can discuss how to best protect and defend such a person. This is not a "Christian" agenda per se. It is an approach to government that goes all the way back to Moses, was developed in that last 2000 years and finds itself in the crucible of American politics.

During his announcement, Len Munsil touched on many subjects, most of which have nothing to do with religion, per se. But placed within all law is a sense of morality to understand whether the law is good or bad, will respect the dignity of the human person and whether it provides an across the board attitude that is both principled and refreshing.

It will be an exciting race.

The "photo-op" governor

Len Munsil made the formal announcement of his bid to be the Republican candidate for governor on February 14, 2006. Displaying the skills that have served him well as a lawyer, public policy expert and advocate for families, Len gave a speech that could aptly be described as a "State of the State" with substance. He introduced himself to the people of Arizona by way of his Arizona family roots. He continued with a rendition of his growing up in Arizona and his being educated here in Arizona. He capped off his reasons for running for governor by inviting the packed house of supporters to meet his family, starting with his wife Tracy and continuing with each of his eight children. Such a was visible expression of Len's desire to impact the state of Arizona for the better.

But his most potent "stuff" was reserved for his perspective of the sitting incumbent. Calling her the "photo-op" governor, Munsil delivered a scathing indictment of napalitano's years in public office. It will be interesting to see how the press reports his announcement. Immediately after the speech, Munsil spoke with reporters, some of whom wanted him to give them specific details of campaign positions. Deftly turning the cards, Munsil told them that it was the start of a long campaign and that he would be giving his campaign position papers in the months ahead. Some of the press were not happy at not being in control. But as one reporter said weeks ago with Len's announcement, "This is going to liven things up." If yesterday's reception and the energy of that room is any indication, he will be right and the people of Arizona will get a real choice of candidates come November.

Finally Arizona Right to life PAC has formally endorsed Len Munsil for governor. AZRTL-PAC recognized Len's years of service to the pro-life cause and to the preservation and protection of families. I encourage you to join the effort to make Len Munsil the next governor of the great state of Arizona.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Disasters at the Appeals Courts

If there was ever a reason to thank God and the president for the elevation of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court, the two decisions handed down by the 2nd and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals are exhibits 1 and 2. In those two opinions the respective courts both struck down the partial birth abortion ban passed by the Congress and supported overwhelmingly by the American people.

The 9th Circuit even had the gaul to claim it considered the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision of Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, which the court sent back to the lower court with instructions to determine if it could be held constitutional. The 9th circuit decision explained in detail the procedure. You can read the entire opinion if you dare.

Here is an excerpt to show you the court knows the process destroys a human being

The second step of the procedure, the evacuation phase, is when the two forms of D&E become different. When performing a non-intact D&E, the doctor, under ultrasound guidance, grasps a fetal extremity with forceps and attempts to bring the fetus through the cervix. At this point, the fetus will ordinarily disarticulate, or break apart, because of traction from the cervix, and the doctor must return the instrument to make multiple passes into the uterus to remove the remaining parts of the fetus, causing further disarticulation. To complete the removal process, the doctor evacuates the placenta and any remaining material using a suction tube, or cannula, and a spoon-like instrument called a curette.

In an intact D&E, the doctor, rather than using multiple passes of the forceps
to disarticulate and remove the fetus, removes the fetus in one pass, without any
disarticulation occurring (i.e., the fetus is "intact"). An intact D&E proceeds in
one of two ways, depending on the position of the fetus in the uterus. If the fetus
presents head first (a vertex presentation), the doctor first collapses the head, either by compressing the skull with forceps or by inserting surgical scissors into the base of the skull and draining its contents. The doctor then uses forceps to grasp the fetus and extracts it through the cervix.5 If the fetus presents feet first (a breech presentation), the doctor begins by grasping a lower extremity and pulling it through the cervix, at which point the head typically becomes lodged in the cervix. When that occurs, the doctor can either collapse the head and then remove the fetus or continue pulling to disarticulate at the neck. (If the doctor uses the latter option, he will have to use at least one more pass of the forceps to remove the part of the fetus that remains, and the procedure is not considered an intact D&E.)

As the district court found, some doctors prefer to use the intact form of D&E, whenever possible, because they believe it offers numerous safety advantages over non-intact D&E. As the district court also found, intact D&E may be significantly safer than other D&E procedures because it involves fewer 6 The primary alternative to the D&E procedures is induction, which comprises approximately 5 percent of abortions performed between weeks fourteen and twenty and 15 percent of abortions performed after the twentieth week. Many doctors consider inductions less safe than D&Es. When employing this procedure, the doctor starts an IV and uses a prostaglandin suppository (or a saline injection) to induce uterine contractions and labor. The entire process takes between eight and seventy-two hours, with most inductions concluding within twenty-four hours. Some inductions will not completely expel the fetus, requiring the doctor to perform a D&E to finish the procedure. Although a D&E may be performed in an outpatient setting, a woman choosing to undergo induction must be admitted to a hospital.
Planned Parenhood v. Gonzales at 5,6.

This opinion discusses quite calmly the extent to which the killing of children is treated in this country. It takes for granted that women may kill their babies through the abortion technique. It finds the law unconstitutional because it presents an undue burden for women who want to kill their babies. It finds the language of the statute vague, claiming that the hitman from Planned Parenthood (oops excuse me, the abortionist) may not know that what he is doing would violate the law. And then there is the imfamous "health" exception that was lacking in the language of the law. After all, when the baby is almost out of the birth canal and presenting to be born, there just may be a reason to stick some scissors into the base of the skull to protect the mother's health.

The more I think about it, the more disgusted I get.