Monday, September 08, 2008
Response to NYT of 9/8/08
1. Front page article ["Fusing Politics and Motherhood in New Way"]: She had the baby, loves the baby, works better with the baby. 2; She doesn’t need experience ["A Heartbeat Away," William Kristol, A 23]; 3. New York Times gives publicity to Biden’s statement that Life beings at Conception ["As a Matter of Faith, Biden Says Life Begins at Conception" A 19]. This could be confusing without knowing his past record.
I sent the following letter to the NYT to affirm them on positive reporting.
Thank you for your article “Fusing Politics and Motherhood in New Way,” [NYT 9/8/08. A1 and 19] the op-ed by William Kristol [A 23] “A Heartbeat Away” and “As a Matter of Faith, Biden Says Life Begins at Conception” [A 19]. The first two were honest reporting and commentary on the real situation. The latter on Biden was most revealing on the fear of the democrats for the larger than life pro-life reality of Sarah Palin. It gives reality to Peggy Noonan’s remark: “It is starting to look to me like a nation-defining election. And in this it seems almost old-fashioned. 1992 for instance didn't seem or feel nation-defining, not as I remember it, nor did 2000. 1964 did, and '80 did, but they both ended in landslides. Landslide is not what I'm seeing here. Where are the democrats going to go?” [“A Servant’s Heart” 9/6/08, A11]. It looks like the foolish virgins going to get oil while the Bridegroom bars the door. [Matt. 25, 13].
However, on Senator Biden’s pro-life appearance, I think it is important to know the underbelly of that statement that the Times is giving notoriety to today [9/8/08]:
[I take the below from “newsmax.com”]
Q: You have changed your position on abortion. When you came to the Senate, you believed that Roe v. Wade was not correctly decided and that you also believed the right of abortion was not secured by the Constitution. Why did you change your mind?
A: Well, I was 29 years old when I came to the US Senate, and I have learned a lot. Look, I'm a practicing Catholic, and it is the biggest dilemma for me in terms of comporting my religious and cultural views with my political responsibility.
* * * * * * * *
Notice that the Senator frames his answer concerning the life of the person at conception in religious terms such that his position is not to be construed as having any standing as an empirical matter of fact.
* * * * * * * *
Hence, today’s response in the NYT:
Q: Do you believe that life begins at conception?
A: I am prepared to accept my church's view. I think it's a tough one. I have to accept that on faith. That's why the late-term abortion ban, where there's clearly viability.
Source: Meet the Press: 2007 "Meet the Candidates" series Apr 29, 2007
Nominees should agree on constitutional right to privacy
Q: As president would you have a specific litmus test question on Roe v. Wade that you would ask of your nominees for the high court?
A: I strongly support Roe v. Wade. I wouldn't have a specific question but I would make sure that the people I sent to be nominated for the Supreme Court shared my values; and understood that there is a right to privacy in the United States Constitution. That's why I led the fight to defeat Bork, Roberts Alito, and Thomas.
Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007
Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion.
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To increase funding for the vigorous enforcement of a prohibition against taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions consistent with the Child Custody Protection Act.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ENSIGN: This amendment enables enforcing the Child Custody Protection Act, which passed the Senate in a bipartisan fashion by a vote of 65 to 34. Too many times we enact laws, and we do not fund them. This is going to set up funding so the law that says we are going to protect young children from being taken across State lines to have a surgical abortion--we are going to make sure those people are protected. OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. BOXER: We already voted for $50 million to enhance the enforcement of child protective laws. If Sen. Ensign's bill becomes law, then that money is already there to be used for such a program. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 49-49 (1/2 required, or 50 votes; Sen. Byrd & Sen. McCain absent)
Reference: Bill S.Amdt.4335 to S.Con.Res.70 ; vote number 08-S071 on Mar 13, 2008
Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.
Allows federal funding for research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos:
1. have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
2. were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
3. were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would otherwise be discarded; and
4. were donated by such individuals with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Since 2 years ago, the last Stem Cell bill, public support has surged for stem cells. Research is proceeding unfettered and, in some cases, without ethical standards in other countries. And even when these countries have ethical standards, our failures are allowing them to gain the scientific edge over the US. Some suggest that it is Congress' role to tell researchers what kinds of cells to use. I suggest we are not the arbiters of research. Instead, we should foster all of these methods, and we should adequately fund and have ethical oversight over all ethical stem cell research.
Opponents support voting NO because:
A good deal has changed in the world of science. Amniotic fluid stem cells are now available to open a broad new area of research. I think the American people would welcome us having a hearing to understand more about this promising new area of science. As it stands today, we will simply have to debate the bill on the merits of information that is well over 2 years old, and I think that is unfortunate.
The recent findings of the pluripotent epithelial cells demonstrates how quickly the world has changed. Wouldn't it be nice to have the researcher before our committee and be able to ask those questions so we may make the best possible judgment for the American people? Status:
Vetoed by Pres. Bush Bill passed, 63-34
Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill S.5 & H.R.3 ; vote number 2007-127 on Apr 11, 2007
Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions.
This bill prohibits taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions. Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to save the life of the minor. Authorizes any parent to sue unless such parent committed an act of incest with the minor. Imposes a fine and/or prison term of up to one year on a physician who performs an abortion on an out-of-state minor in violation of parental notification requirements in their home state.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
This bill deals with how young girls are being secretly taken across State lines for the purpose of abortion, without the consent of their parents or even the knowledge of their parents, in violation of the laws of the State in which they live. 45 states have enacted some sort of parental consent laws or parental notification law. By simply secreting a child across State lines, one can frustrate the State legislature's rules. It is subverting and defeating valid, constitutionally approved rights parents have.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Some States have parental consent laws, some don't. In my particular State, it has been voted down because my people feel that if you ask them, "Do they want their kids to come to their parents?", absolutely. But if you ask them, "Should you force them to do so, even in circumstances where there could be trouble that comes from that?", they say no.
This bill emanates from a desire that our children come to us when we have family matters, when our children are in trouble, that they not be fearful, that they not be afraid that they disappoint us, that they be open with us and loving toward us, and we toward them. This is what we want to have happen. The question is: Can Big Brother Federal Government force this on our families? That is where we will differ.
Reference: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act; Bill S.403 ; vote number 2006-216 on Jul 25, 2006
Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives.
Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget that allocates $100 million for the prevention of unintended pregnancies. A YES vote would expand access to preventive health care services that reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women's health care. A YES vote would:
Increase funding and access to family planning services
Funds legislation that requires equitable prescription coverage for contraceptives under health plans
Funds legislation that would create and expand teen pregnancy prevention programs and education programs concerning emergency contraceptives
Reference: Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services; Bill
S.Amdt. 244 to S Con Res 18 ; vote number 2005-75 on Mar 17, 2005
Voted NO on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime.
Bill would make it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. The measure would set criminal penalties, the same as those that would apply if harm or death happened to the pregnant woman, for those who harm a fetus. It is not required that the individual have prior knowledge of the pregnancy or intent to harm the fetus. This bill prohibits the death penalty from being imposed for such an offense. The bill states that its provisions should not be interpreted to apply a woman's actions with respect to her pregnancy.
Reference: Unborn Victims of Violence Act; Bill S.1019/HR.1997 ; vote number 2004-63 on Mar 25, 2004
Voted NO on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions.
Vote on a motion to table [kill] an amendment that would repeal the ban on privately funded abortions at overseas military facilities.
Reference: Bill S 2549 ; vote number 2000-134 on Jun 20, 2000
Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions.
This legislation, if enacted, would ban the abortion procedure in which the physician partially delivers the fetus before completing the abortion. [A NO vote supports abortion rights]. Status:
Bill Passed Y)63; N)34; NV)3
Reference: Partial Birth Abortion Ban; Bill S. 1692 ; vote number 1999-340 on Oct 21, 1999
Voted NO on banning human cloning.
This cloture motion was in order to end debate and move to consideration of legislation banning human cloning. [A YES vote opposes human cloning].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)42; N)54; NV)4
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on motion to proceed to S. 1601; Bill S. 1601 ; vote number 1998-10 on Feb 11, 1998
Rated 36% by NARAL, indicating a mixed voting record on abortion.