Trojan Donkey
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Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 03:07:54 AM EST
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingDemocrats for Life of America is celebrating. After more than a year's delay, its 95-10 Initiative has finally found a sponsor in Congress.

The 95-10 Initiative is becoming legislation in the U.S. House!

Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-TN) introduced the Pregnant Women Support Act on Wednesday, September 20th at 10:00 am.  

We now have a comprehensive measure that will support pregnant women who don't want to have abortions by ensuring health care, child care, support to stay in school, and other important support for pregnant women and their families.

Gee, that all sounds just great, doesn't it?  What's not to like?  Why should such a compassionate program have had to wait so long for a sponsor?

Maybe it's because 95-10 calls for preventing pregnancy, but mentions contraception only in regard to failure rates -- anti-choice dog whistle code for "abstinence-only."  Maybe it's because 95-10 also calls for the imposition of repressive legislation upon every physician in the country. Maybe it's because 95-10 mandates federal funding for a nationwide network to funnel unsuspecting women seeking information about abortion into crisis pregnancy center "ministries."

Maybe it's because most Democrats have scruples about crawling into bed with Concerned Women for America, Priests for Life, the March for Life, the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, Lutherans for Life, CareNet, Heartbeat International, Project Rachel, the "abortion is genocide" Abortion in Black America, Life Issues Institute, LifeSite, Joe Scheidler's Pro-Life Action League, Americans United for Life, the American Life League's Stop Planned Parenthood International, Human Life International, Feminists for Life, National Right to Life, and the same Life Dynamics that lists every provider of abortion care in the country as "American Death Camps" -- all of them directly linked from the DFLA site.  

Maybe it's because DFLA opposes embryonic stem cell research. Maybe it's because DFLA is still spreading the discredited lie that abortion causes breast cancer. Maybe it's because DFLA officers publicly refused to support the Democratic presidential ticket in 2004, calling John Kerry the "Hitler of the Unborn."  

Yes, maybe those are some of the reasons -- the same reasons that DFLA is a Trojan donkey.

Nevertheless, in an election season distinguished by the efforts of even some Rove-spooked Democratic politicians to "out-Jesus" each other, 95-10 has finally found a Democrat willing to attach his name to it in public, and a Democratic site to promote it.

The 95-10 Initiative

A comprehensive plan that will reduce the number of abortions by 95% in the next 10 years by promoting abstinence, personal responsibility, adoptions and support for women and families who are facing unplanned pregnancy.
:::
Much attention has been given to ending abortion or keeping it legal. We believe that we must do more to reduce the abortion rate by helping and supporting pregnant women.

Preventing pregnancy is an important part of reducing the abortion rate in America. There are several ways to address prevention, but there is no clear consensus because of ethical, religious or personal reasons. ... We cannot deny that abstinence is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy, but we also cannot turn our heads and pretend that our children are not engaging in risky behavior or the fact that contraception is not 100 percent effective.
:::
Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-TN) and Pro-life Democrats in Congress who share this same commitment will introduce the Pregnant Women Support Act, a comprehensive bill to provide support for pregnant women who want to carry their child to term. Some of the programs included are: establishing a toll-free number to direct women to places that will provide support and Pregnancy Counseling and Childcare on University Campuses, requiring doctors to provide accurate information to patients receiving a positive results from prenatal testing and counseling in maternity group homes, making the Adoption Tax Credits Permanent and Increase Tax Credit The legislation would eliminate pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, supports Informed Consent for Abortion Services, increases Funding for Domestic Violence Programs, requires the SCHIP to cover pregnant women and unborn children.

DFLA refuses to support the recently introduced "Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act" -- a bill sponsored by a longtime DFLA champion, Rep. Tim Ryan -- because it provides access to contraception for low-income women, focusing on preventing unintended pregnancies through federal support for sex education, family planning and contraception. But the DFLA leadership maintains that the "contraceptive mentality" causes an increase in the abortion rate. That's right: just like Frank Pavone and his buddy Joe Scheidler, DFLA claims to believe that birth control actually causes abortion.

Of course, DFLA supports the defiantly unconstitutional South Dakota abortion ban that refuses exceptions even for rape survivors or for women whose health is jeopardized by pregnancy.

DFLA's director, Kristen Day, on occasion owns up to 95-10's goal of eliminating all elective abortions within ten years, while regretting that it's "realistic" to expect that outlawing those procedures performed for medically necessary reasons -- such the threat to a woman's life or severe fetal abnormality -- will take a little longer.

But that's not what Day said as one of the inaugural featured writers at Faithful Democrats.

I applaud the Faithful Democrats for providing a forum for upfront and honest discussion on critically important issues facing our nation.  The forum is one that will foster cooperation and help to find real solutions and common ground on difficult topics.  The discourse and actions prompted by Reducing Abortion Week demonstrates the importance and necessity of thoughtful discussion.  
:::
Congressman Lincoln Davis has introduced the Pregnant Women Support Act (PWSA) also stemmed from the 95-10 Initiative. ... By ensuring help to those who need it the most, the PWSA offers a new hope for our society.  When women are given the support they need to raise their children, there is no other choice but life.  In eliminating the need for abortion, we unite our country by solving the highest moral question of our time.

That post is just a little vague on detail, isn't it? That's no accident, so let's take a look at some 95-10 provisions [pdf link] that DFLA is less than "upfront and honest" about in its current press releases.

These are some of the ways in which DFLA claims that "[t]he 95-10 Initiative will: Empower Women."

Federal Funding for Toll-Free Number/National Public Awareness Program

Enact an advertising campaign in each state to provide a toll free number that will direct a woman to organizations that provide support services for pregnant women who want to carry their children to term and/or direct women to adoption centers.

Organizations that qualify for the referral from the toll-free hotline must be nonprofit, tax exempt organizations that do not provide abortion referral services.

For the uninitiated, that means instituting federal funding for nationwide expansion of a program already underway in Florida, which was explored here at Talk to Action last February in Pregnant? Need help? Call 1-800-PROPAGANDA.  Public funding of crisis pregnancy center ministries, with a toll-free hotline network to funnel unsuspecting women inside their doors to be exposed to shock graphics, is seen as a vital element of abortion prevention by folks who believe that lying for Jesus -- as exposed in Crisis Pregnancy Centers Unplugged -- is the Christian thing to do.

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CareNet interns working with Democrats for Life
[Photo: DFLA]

Provide Ultrasound Equipment

Provide grants to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations for the purchase of ultrasound equipment to provide free examinations to pregnant women needing such services. This equipment will be operated by licensed
professionals.

This ultrasound equipment is not intended for medical purposes. As revealed in CPCs Unplugged, Part 2: Free Ultrasound, But At What Cost?, there are plenty of "licensed professionals" who believe that repeatedly irradiating developing fetuses with any amount of potentially harmful ultrasound energy is perfectly ethical, as long as it helps to influence an "abortion-minded" woman or increase the take at a fund-raising banquet.

Conduct a National Study & Update Abortion Data

The Centers for Disease Control will collect accurate data on why women choose abortions. Within five years of enactment, the CDC will present its findings to Congress.

Although the plan ostensibly calls for the collection of such highly personal information to be voluntary, legislation was introduced in Texas last year that would have denied a woman an abortion unless she provided the state with such information as her previous pregnancy history, number of previous abortions, her method of payment for the abortion, and personal information about the man involved in her pregnancy.  With a federal mandate for government intrusion into the intimate details of a woman's life, it is beyond absurd to presume that anti-choice legislators in this state or any other would restrain themselves.  

Women's Right to Know

Any women's health center or clinic that provides pregnancy counseling or abortion services must provide accurate information on abortion and the adverse side effects to a woman's health.

This provision imposes TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) on every physician in the country. In addition to requiring doctors to provide women with misleading and exaggerated information about the risks of abortion, Women's Right to Know laws impose arbitrary waiting periods that delay women's access to care and deter physicians from providing abortion care at all.

Many states already have passed this discriminatory legislation. Although TRAP statutes such as this one are often painted as a "reasonable restriction" of abortion rights, they are harmful to both women and their physicians in a number of ways.

First, by treating abortion differently from all other comparable medical procedures and subjecting it to a unique level of micro-management and governmental oversight, TRAP laws segregate abortion providers and patients from the rest of medical practice and relegate abortion services to a status below other health care.

Second, by subjecting abortion providers to criminal and civil penalties, exposing them to harassment, and intruding significantly into their practice of medicine, TRAP laws deter physicians from becoming or remaining abortion providers. Thus, TRAP laws threaten to reduce the number of abortion providers, particularly in private practices, resulting in less access for women to abortion services.

Third, by imposing requirements that significantly raise the cost of providing abortions, TRAP laws increase abortion prices, causing some women to delay or even forego desired abortions.

Fourth, by imposing medically unnecessary, and at times inappropriate, requirements on abortion provision, TRAP laws interfere with physicians' ability to exercise their medical judgment in the best interests of their patients.

Innocuous-sounding Women's Right to Know laws are the hidden TRAP behind "Safe, Legal and Rare."

Courtesy of Priests for Life, headed by Randall Terry's bosom friend, Frank Pavone, DFLA's first president, Lois Kerschner, explains why Democrats for Life will do whatever it takes to criminalize abortion care.

On Judgment Day you will not be asked if you are a follower of the Democratic platform, but if you were a follower of the word of God. A little political power is not worth becoming an accomplice to the murder of millions of babies.

That was in back in 1997, but DFLA has improved its political game in the intervening years.  

When the fastest path to the political power DFLA wanted was to March for Life with the most radical elements of the Religious Right in America, they not only got happy feet, but hosted a breakfast for Frank Pavone's favorite "abortion is genocide" guest star, Alveda King.

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[Photos: DFLA]

In its search for political allies, DFLA has gravitated into the orbit of groups such as Concerned Women for America -- which promotes Bush administration policies directly contributing to the deaths of untold numbers of women and their children around the world. But DFLA has joined the Religious Right with a smile.

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DFLA's Kristen Day (left) joins Kate O'Beirne, Ramesh Ponnuru and Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright in a press conference calling for increased anti-choice legislation. [Photo: Concerned Women for America]

If you follow this Concerned Women for America link to click on this photo ...

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... the sound you will hear is the bray of a Trojan donkey.




Display:
some of us need to open our eyes and read the fine print, not just DFLA's press releases.

by moiv on Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 03:26:10 AM EST

the Democratic Party has some house-cleaning to do.  

Comparing Sen. John Kerry...  to Hitler?  

(Of course, we have to wonder why  they want to be in the same party with Hitler in the first place? But I digress.)

Prochoice groups have been fiercely criticized for not supporting prolife Democratic candidates. The argument is that a Democratic majority will protect abortion rights better than a Christian Right GOP with a smattering of prochoice Republicans.  Fair enough argument.  

But I have not heard any of the critics of the prochoice groups extend the same scrutiny to Democrats for Life, which evidently had little to no history of party loyalty, and are explicity aligned with the Christian right.

by Frederick Clarkson on Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 03:32:02 AM EST

When it comes to criticism of DFL and its alliance with some of the most hardline elements of the Christian right, there's nothing out there but the sound of crickets chirping.

That's what happens when any criticism of a religious group's activities is seen as tantamount to enlisting in the so-called "War on Christianity." And far too many politicians from both parties are too cowardly to risk a full-scale counterattack from the powerhouse organizations of the religious right.

by moiv on Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 04:13:08 AM EST
Parent

I'd looked over DFLA's links in some detail early last Spring and had decided that the group was a bit of a trojan donkey too but I didn't have enough background to inhabit the story nearly as fully as you've done.

Trojan Donkey indeed.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 06:49:06 AM EST
Parent




DFLA's "religion" links section features many groups - some associated with the Institute On Religion and Democracy - that are working to undermine the mainstream religious denominations in America. These groups tned to feature similar positions - Biblical inerrancy, opposition to gay rights and same sex marriage, opposition to abortion rights (and in some cases contraception as well). It's striking to find those three issues so central to the groups DFLA sees fit to link to from its website given that those three issues ( or issue-clusters ) have become central  definitional for the Christian right.

Indeed, the some of the "Democrats Pro-Life" of DLA would likely have been quite at home at the recent hard Christian right "2006 Values Voters Summit" I attended in Washington D.C.

Presbyterians Pro-Life ( ACR member )

Conservative Congregational Christian Conference ( cccusa statement of belief )

Good News ( "Good News" is published by the chairman of the "Association For Church Renewal" , James V. Heidinger II.

Lutherans For Life ( Lutherans For Life : Who We Are )

National Episcopalians For Life ( NOEL )

TUMAS ( more about TUMAS. )

Then, there's Priests For Life : Frank Pavone, head of Priests For Life, gave the invocation at the Family Research Council's recent Values Voters Summit


by Bruce Wilson on Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 02:54:47 PM EST


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