Friday, July 21, 2006

Invited to White House

I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to the White House to hear the President discuss his policy on stem cell research on Wednesday, July 19, 2006, in the East Room. The invitation came at the last minute on Monday, and I flew into Washington D.C. on Tuesday evening on the late flight, which was an hour delayed because of weather conditions over the Midwest.

The flight was interesting, because that evening on the plane, I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman recently admitted to the bar, discussing these current issues. I learned once again that we in the pro-life movement have a great deal of work to do in explaining to the public the facts, and addressing the misconceptions and misunderstandings held by public on this issue. simply put, they are not aware of the incredible work happening within the pro-life community. This gentleman, a very kind and considerate fellow, who was involved in helping amputees from the war, had no idea that the pro-life movement was involved operating crisis pregnancy centers, and assisting women and children after their babies were born. He was not aware of the thousands of small operations throughout the country reaching out and offering hope and healing to women, both prior to and/or after the abortion experience. It is this kind of one-on-one conversation that is necessary in order for us to dispel the prejudicial image created by a media that hates us and wishes us ill.

On Wednesday I arrived at the White House, and had the pleasure of visiting with Johnny Ericson-Tada, an eloquent spokesman for the disabilities community. I saw at least eighteen families with children who were at one time in theri lives "frozen embryos." It was powerful to see the President standing there with moms and dads holding their children as he spoke about the value of the human person, the importance in our Constitution that we recognize the right to life of every human being, and how that right to life is founded in our founding documents, including specifically the Declaration of Independence.

The President said that "boys and girls are not spare parts." Never a truer statement was made. The room was filled with members of the pro-life community, members of the scientific community, ethicist, politicians, and administrative heads of departments, who were all intimately involved in the stem cell research issue. The press was there in all its glory, and it was humorous to hear them constantly telling people to sit down so they could get pictures of the president. The President's remarks were warmly received as he told the audience that he signed the bill to ban the creating of human fetuses for the sole purposes of harvesting the organs.

Bush also received applause as he praised those who would adopt these unborn children, known as "Snowflake Babies,." and have them implanted in their wombs and bring them to term.

The press has tried to make this a wedge issue among pro-lifers, and separate those who would otherwise support the President. In future blogs I will comment on effects of this strategy..

I was very pleased to represent Arizona Right to Life at the White House on July 19, 2006. It was an honor to shake hands with the President of the United States, but it was also an honor to stand with those men and women who have been involved with the pro-life struggle, some for thirty-five years. I was happy to see Jack Wilkie, one of the founders of the National Right to Life Committee and a father of the pro-life movement, present in support of the President's actions. It was also exciting to see the next generation of vibrant young pro-lifers also present and a reminder to the press and this country that the pro-life movement is made up of persons from all backgrounds, all nationalities, all races, all cultures, all creeds and all ages. The one common component is that we believe in the dignity of every human being from conception to the moment of natural death.


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