Uniting for Life
Pro-Life Coalition Celebrates
Title X Victory -- Bush Veto Sustained
NPRC Challenges Ambiguous Abortion
Statements from Dr. Billy Graham
Bigotry Becomes Factor in Supreme
Child of Rapist Tells Happy Ending
at NPRC Meeting
Lutheran Body Approves Moderately
Pro-Life Statement on Abortion
United Church of Christ Abortion
NPRC Seeks New Members
Celebrates Title X Victory -- Bush Veto Sustained
Washington (Nov. 19) A coalition of twenty 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
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 is in danger.
Planned Parenthood, the largest recipient of Title 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 of Title 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 out….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 his ministry."
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."
Factor in Supreme Court Nomination
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
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 children conceived."
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
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
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 challenges.
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 Court ruling.
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 and Heals."
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 single demonstration.
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 % - 27%.
"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 ill.
Washington would have been the first state to allow the practice of assisted
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
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
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, D.C.
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) 861-1842.
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
The book is available for $5.00 plus $.95 postage and handling, from the UCC
Friends for Life, P.O. Box 255, Telford, PA, 18969.
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 human life.
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.
Please join NPRC today and help us end the tragedy of abortion!
NPRC Home Page