Annie Murphy Paul has an eye-opening and even-handed piece in the New York Times today entitled “The First Ache” which extensively documents the medical evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain. As noted in the piece, this knowledge has enabled pro-lifers to promote “unborn pain awareness” legislation aimed at humanizing unborn children and attempting to foster a “culture of life” and a culture of concern for the unborn.
New evidence, however, has persuaded him [Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand] that fetuses can feel pain by 20 weeks gestation (that is, halfway through a full-term pregnancy) and possibly earlier. As Anand raised awareness about pain in infants, he is now bringing attention to what he calls “signals from the beginnings of pain.”
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) have proposed legislation, on the federal level, to inform women seeking abortions that their unborn child is likely to experience pain. For more information on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act check the AdvanceUSA home page or pro-life page.
Consider contacting your representative and both your senators and urging them to support the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (S. 356 / H.R. 3442). Also consider writing an op-ed piece in your local newspaper to inform people about the pain unborn children experience during an abortion.
Today the states of Maryland and Virginia as well as the District of Columbia, hold their presidential primaries. AdvanceUSA Blog will post the results tomorrow. Until then, USA Today will have updated vote results here throughout the night.
Make sure you know where the major presidential candidates stand on important issues with AdvanceUSA’s 2008 Candidate Comparisons.
AdvanceUSA has learned that Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) passed away this morning from lung cancer complications. AdvanceUSA expresses its condolences to the family of Congressman Lantos, and is thankful for his willingness to serve his nation in Congress. The House Foreign Affairs Committee (which Lantos chaired) will likely postpone Thursday's hearing on PEPFAR until leadership and membership changes are made to the committee.
AdvanceUSA will continue to monitor the PEPFAR issue, and is encouraged that President Bush has indicated his opposition to the bill until the abortion and abstinence policy changes are removed.
Wall Street Journal mentions the dangerous
Employment Non-Discrimination Act in an article on several anti-business
bills that could progress in the current Congress. Another concern with ENDA, besides
restrictive government regulation of business, is the threat that
non-discrimination laws based on “actual or perceived” sexual preferences could
pose to religious freedom.
…the Employment Non-Discrimination Act,
passed the House of Representatives last fall. It would prohibit discrimination
on the basis of "sexual orientation." In short, private-sector
employers who have religious or other objections to homosexuality would be told
their moral views lack legitimacy.
The Bush administration has announced its
opposition, noting that the bill raises constitutional problems and "turns
on imprecise and subjective terms that would make interpretation, compliance,
and enforcement extremely difficult" and is "virtually certain to
encourage burdensome litigation." Sen. John McCain is opposed to such
legislation; Sens. Obama and Clinton are supporters. Sen. Edward Kennedy is
expected to introduce the bill later this year in the Senate.
For more information on ENDA click here
closing of five Planned Parenthood “clinics” is great news for pro-lifers. LifeNews
The Daily Breeze reports. Excerpt:
Researchers at UCLA have become the first
in the state to successfully create skin cells that can be used to treat a
number of fatal or debilitating conditions without the use of human embryos or
choice” is what allows religious charities to maintain their non-profit,
tax-exempt status while being able to take religious or moral beliefs into
consideration when hiring employees.
Without these protections religious charities would be forced to
compromise their most cherished beliefs in order to continue to minister
effectively. For example, charitable
choice is what allows a Catholic charity to only hire Catholics while refusing
to hire someone who is an openly practicing homosexual.
Center blog reports on the latest efforts
to restrict this important religious liberty in the statutory provisions
governing the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Over the weekend the battles between the Democrat and Republican nominees continued. On the Democrat side, Barack Obama won the contests in Nebraska, Maine, and Louisiana. On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee won Kansas and Louisiana while John McCain won the Washington State caucuses. However, the Huckabee campaign intends to contest the Washington State results.
For full results of the past weekend’s primaries and caucuses check the USA Today election coverage website.
LifeNews and Breitbart have some helpful analysis of the races tomorrow (Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC).
To find out where the presidential candidates stand on important issues check out AdvanceUSA’s 2008 Candidate Comparisons.
Yesterday, at the White House, President Bush “called out” the Senate for its lack of action on important judicial nominations. Appointing qualified, originalist judges to the federal bench is of the utmost importance, but over 180 nominees are currently in judicial limbo. Call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today (his DC number is 202-224-3542) and politely ask him to end the obstruction of the President’s judicial nominees and grant them hearings and a fair up-or-down vote, as is the Senate’s constitutional duty. Excerpt of the President’s remarks:
As President, I have a constitutional responsibility to nominate qualified men and women for public office. That's my responsibility, I take it very seriously. I have nominated skilled and faithful public servants to lead federal agencies and sit on the federal bench. The Constitution also gives senators an important responsibility. They must provide advice and consent by voting up or down on these nominees. Unfortunately, the Senate is not fulfilling its duty.
The confirmation process has turned into a never ending political game, where everyone loses. With more than a 180 of my nominees waiting for the confirmation process in the Senate, it is clear that the process is not working. About half these nominees have been waiting for more than a hundred days. More than 30 have been waiting a year or more. And nine have been waiting for more than two years.
That's no way to treat men and women who have stepped forward to serve our country, and it's got to stop. It's in our nation's interest that this process change. It's not right to treat these good folks this way. These nominees deserve an up or down vote. Many of them have had their careers on hold. They've got spouses whose lives are stuck in limbo. They have children waiting to find out where they're going to go to school.
To read the full speech click here.
For a helpful White House fact sheet on judicial nominees click here.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) also spoke out on this crucial issue and his remarks can be read here.
For more information on judicial issues and to view a chart illustrating the Senate’s lack of progress on judges check the AdvanceUSA pro-justice page.
the AP reports, proposed changes to PEPFAR funding would side-step the crucial
Mexico City Policy allowing
tax dollars to support overseas abortions.
The AP report also mentions that the Lantos bill would undermine
ant-prostitution regulations and withhold funding from successful abstinence
and faithfulness anti-AIDS education.
Foreign Affairs Committee will likely vote on PEPFAR on Thursday, February
14. Be sure to contact
members of this committee and urge them to preserve the crucial pro-life
and pro-morality provisions PEPFAR.
NOTE: Mitt Romney just dropped out of the race. It is not clear how this will affect the upcoming primaries. Will Romney supporters rally behind Mike Huckabee or will he soon drop out?
LifeNews provides helpful reporting and analysis on some of the upcoming presidential races.
On Saturday, three states (LA, WA, and KS) will hold presidential contests. On Tuesday (February 12), Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC will hold their primaries.
I you or someone you know plan to vote in one of these races, AdvanceUSA encourages you to make use of our 2008 Candidate Comparisons with which you can compare the major presidential candidates on important issues.
Be in prayer for your country as momentous decisions are being made which will determine the future of conservatism and of our nation.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee markup for PEPFAR originally scheduled today has been postponed to next week. As currently written, the legislation undermines effective abstinence programs and mandates taxpayer support of overseas abortions. FRC has provided a helpful list of committee members. If your representative is in this list, be sure to encourage him or her to oppose any provisions which undermine the Mexico City Policy, allow tax dollars to support overseas abortion providers or proponents, undermine anti-prostitution regulations, or weakens support for successful abstinence and faithfulness education programs. If these concerns are not met, your representative should be encouraged to oppose the underlying bill. For more information on this issue check the PEPFAR blurb.
Liberals in Congress should stop endangering critical AIDS funding with attempts to advance their anti-life, liberal social agenda.
Connor writes a helpful
piece at Townhall.com in which he praises President Bush’s bold proposal of
a cloning ban in his recent State of the Union address and also highlights the
recent breakthrough in obtaining embryonic-like pluripotent stem cells from
ordinary skin cells.
We’ve seen some exciting news in the area of ethical adult stem cell research (which does not destroy or endanger human embryos).
- Reuters reports that a 65-year old man received a new upper jaw which was derived from stem cells from his own body. This spectacular operation shows the enormous potential of regenerative medicine apart from life-endangering forms like embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. Excerpt from Reuters:
Scientists in Finland said they had replaced a 65-year-old patient's upper jaw with a bone transplant cultivated from stem cells isolated from his own fatty tissue and grown inside his abdomen.
- The Telegraph (UK) reports that two-year old toddler Sorrel Mason’s life was saved by umbilical cord stem cells donated by a Japanese mother which had been frozen and shipped to the UK. This is another instance of ethically obtained adult stem cells showing life-saving results. Fox News reports here. Excerpt from the Telegraph:
Sorrel's mother described the bone marrow transplant carried out at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children as a "miracle".
"Sorrel would be dead now if she had been left untreated," said Samantha Mason, from Great Wratting, Suffolk, who runs a garden centre with her husband, Robert.
Sorrel Mason: two-year old cancer survivor and adult stem cell recipient
Graphic source: Telegraph (UK)
For more information about the breakthroughs in ethical adult stem cell research click here. To learn more about the stem cell issue check the AdvanceUSA stem cell page and human cloning page.
has been notified by contacts attending C-PAC that Mitt Romney has withdrawn
from the presidential race. CNN
Because of a court ruling so called “fleeting instances” of indecency or profanity are allowed on broadcast television. CtizenLink reports that federal legislation to close this broadcast indecency loophole is stalled in the U.S. Senate. Excerpt:
Legislation stuck in the U.S. Senate would give the government more power to clean up television.
In order to ensure the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ability to fine broadcasters over "fleeting" instances of profanity or nudity, the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act (S. 1780) needs to be voted on by the full Senate.
Weiss said the law is needed after four television networks sued the FCC for the right to air profanity at any time of day. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the networks last year; the FCC has appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The networks act as if they own the airwaves and are fighting with everything they have for the ‘right’ to pollute them as they see fit,” Weiss said. “The law, however, states that the public owns the airwaves and has some say over how they are used. We have an opportunity right now to directly impact our culture, but we must make our voices heard for that to happen.”
Graphic source: CitizenLink
NOTE: For different conservative perspective on TV indecency regulations check out Stuart Epperson’s testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee in 2006 which was reposted at Townhall recently under the title “The Law of Unintended Consequences: Well meaning efforts to target indecency could come back to haunt us.” Conservatives often disagree about the proper role of government in these matters, but many conservatives recognize a legitimate role for government to prohibit indecency on publicly owned wavelengths (much as governments rightfully prohibit public indecent exposure).
the major candidates pledged to continue their campaigns last night. Here is how the delegate race stands for both
according to Real Clear
the full results of all of last night’s races check this USA
sure you know how the remaining candidates stand on important issues with
Excerpt from Reuters report:
A New York appeals court ruled on Friday that valid same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries must be recognized in New York, the first known ruling of its kind in the country, a rights group said.
Court rulings such as this one powerfully illustrate the need for a federal constitutional amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage. Otherwise, unelected federal judges will spread gay marriage across the country by judicial fiat, all while misapplying the “equal protection” and “full faith and credit” clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
For more information on protecting marriage click here. Check out AdvanceUSA’s 2008 Candidate Comparisons and see how the presidential candidates stand on the Federal Marriage Protection Amendment.
blogger Daniel Herbster will be live-blogging tonight from an undisclosed
location with other conservative activists as the Super Tuesday vote results
come in. USA Today will be posting
the latest poll results here.
“read more…” to see the latest updates from AdvanceUSA.
AdvanceUSA’s 2008 Candidate
Comparisons for more information on where the candidates stand on important
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was begun in 2003, has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and will be up for renewal this year. Unfortunately, there is an aggressive push by liberals to disregard current stipulations that mandate funding for the “AB” (“abstinence” and “be faithful”) portion of “ABC” education (“C” = condoms). The new efforts would allow funding for “reproductive health” (a.k.a “abortion”) and ease the regulations that require groups receiving PEPFAR funds to pledge opposition to prostitution. The liberals claim to want only to fund “what works” despite the mounting evidence that teaching abstinence and faithfulness (as is done in Uganda) and taking a strong stance against prostitution are the most effective ways to combat the spread of the dreaded AIDS virus. Also, Americans should not have to subsidize overseas abortions with their tax dollars so Congress should be wary of allowing funds for “reproductive health” purposes as this is a broad term used by liberals to promote abortion.
Our friends in Congress tell us that PEPFAR will likely be considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on February 7. If your representative sits on this committee call him or her today and encourage them to be sure to 1. attend the February 7 hearings, 2. voice their support for abstinence funding and anti-prostitution efforts, 3. oppose taxpayer funded “reproductive health” (abortion), and 4. vote against any amendments which would weaken these crucial provisions.
cloning forces often resort to distorting the terms of the debate in order to
advance their cause. The cloning battle
in Missouri provides many examples.
Missourinet reports on the attempt
to correct the inaccurate ballot summary language
issued by the Missouri Secretary of State.
Unless fixed, the current summary language totally distorts what the
proposed amendment to completely (and truly) ban human cloning would actually
more news and information on the cloning battle in Missouri (and to read
the text of the actual amendment) click here.
AdvanceUSA will be covering the results. For a list of states holding primaries or caucuese tomorrow scroll down to Thursday's postings.
Arlen Specter spoke out today in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal
about the deportable
lack of progress in the Senate on approving federal judges. In
particular, he cited the cases of Peter Keisler and Robert Conrad, both highly
qualified nominees who have been nominated to important Circuit Courts, who are
still awaiting approval or committee hearings. Here are some excerpts of the
In President Clinton's
final two years in office, the Senate confirmed 15 circuit court nominees;
thus, much work remains to be done. There are currently 14 circuit court
vacancies, with a nominee pending for nearly all of the seats. The Senate must
confirm nine more circuit court nominees this year to keep pace with President
Clinton's confirmations during his final two years in office.
It would be a shame if the
preliminary steps the Senate Judiciary Committee took in 2007 were lost in
2008. To date, it has been four months since the committee held a hearing on a
circuit court nomination. Several highly qualified candidates have been
awaiting hearings for many months, and it is my hope that Chairman Patrick
Leahy and I will be able to schedule prompt hearings for all of these fine men
and women. At a bare minimum, nominees received from the president in 2007
deserve a committee hearing and a vote before the end of 2008.
In 2008 we will set
important precedents for how the next president's nominees, whether Republican
or Democrat, are treated in the Senate. Americans of both parties are demanding
change; we should not wait until November to give it to them.
year AdvanceUSA prepared a graphic which visually illustrates the statistics
cited in Senator Specter’s piece. The statistics don’t lie. See for
can view this graphic by clicking
here or by checking the home page
or pro-justice page. Or
see the smaller version below.
see a larger version click here.