I sent a question to Rick Santorum, our state Senator. In short, I asked
what his position on stem cell research is. I feel that stem cell research
is essential to finding cures for such things as cancer, Muscular Dystrophy,
paralysis, Parkinsons, and a host of other diseases.
If you agree with Senator Santorum, I urge you to vote for he, or those in
your state like him. If you agree that stem cell research is essential to
medical advancements, I urge you to vote AGAINST Senator Santorum and those
that share his views.
Sadly, Santorum's reply shows me exactly how short sighted and how assuming
our Congressmen are. This is one of many issues that may be decided next
week, I urge everyone to VOTE, regardless of position. Perhaps we can put
our values back into the government, since they seem to have lost sight of
My reply to him follows, while his reply is below that.
Senator Santorum and Staff:
My question was one about stem cell research. Your reply dealt with the
issue of abortion, and not stem cell research. Sadly, it is all too often
that these issues become somehow confused and intertwined.
Let me state clearly:
Abortion has little to do with stem cell research.
On the issue of abortion, I am determined that it is a very personal
decision to be made by a medical professional and the patient involved. The
Hippocratic Oath covers this. The last time a government was allowed to
start issuing medical decisions, that same government also believed genocide
was a logical means of population control. While I do NOT believe the
practice of abortion is a good idea, I also firmly believe it is NOT an
issue the government has reason to be involved.
But let me return to the original question:
Where does Senator Santorum stand on the issue of stem cell research?
It is my firmly held belief that stem cell research should be supported by
our government. I am not advocating the spending of funds, although that
would help. I am advocating the support of stem cell research, and clearing
of legal hurdles for that research, that could potentially cure a wide range
of disease and maladies suffered by mankind.
This is not a question of abortion or right to life in the traditional
sense. It is literally the right to many people, such as celebrity Michael
J. Fox, or my brother, to gain hope that stem cell research might one day
lead to a cure for Parkinsons, or in my brother's case, Muscular Dystrophy.
It is their right to a life of hope that some day, they might be lucky
enough to have a chance to test these new methods of treatment, let alone be
cured by these new methods.
Sadly, given the ease with which you, Senator, and your staff, mixed up an
issue of abortion with the issue of stem cell research, I cannot support
you. I asked about stem cell research, not abortion. I never mentioned
abortion. You failed to even mention stem cell research in the reply to my
"Stem cell research" does NOT equate with "abortion" when posed in a phrase
or question. I urge you to change your position, or at least FIND a
position, regarding stem cell research, should you be re-elected.
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 4:26 PM
Subject: Responding to your message.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the protection of human life. I
appreciate hearing from you and having the benefit of your views.
Since the Roe v. Wade decision over 30 years ago, abortion has been one of
our country's most important moral issues as it relates to the most
fundamental human right - the right to life. I am proud to say that during
my time in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, I have maintained
a very strong pro-life voting record. I have sponsored and cosponsored
numerous pieces of legislation that defend the sanctity of human life.
During the 109th Congress, I am looking forward to leading my colleagues in
passing legislation that remains consistent with those values.
The recent confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice
Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to the Supreme Court of the United States mark a
pivotal point in our highest court's history as several issues related to
abortion are anticipated to come before the court for consideration. While
we do not know with certainty how the Court will rule on many of these
matters, there is optimism among pro-life supporters about further review of
some of these important issues.
Building a culture of life in our society will also require efforts that
reach beyond the courts. Through participation in rallies, demonstrations,
and marches; being a continual voice in society; and most importantly,
individually caring for women with unplanned pregnancies pro-life advocates
are instrumental in furthering this culture. I am always encouraged when I
see examples of this action throughout the country, and I am even more
excited to see that our young people are helping to fight for this cause as
well. While we have seen some successes, restoring respect for all human
life will require patience and perseverance, which exemplifies why it is so
heartening to see our children share these values, as they will soon be the
new champions of this issue.
I will continue to advocate for life in Congress. You may be interested to
know that I was a proud cosponsor of S. 403, the Child Custody Protection
Act, introduced by Senator John Ensign of Nevada. This legislation would
prohibit individuals from taking minors across state lines for abortions in
order to circumvent state parental involvement laws. Individuals who
knowingly take a young girl to another state for an abortion which would be
illegal in the minor's state of residence would be subject to criminal
penalties including a fine and/or imprisonment. The bill would also give
parents of the minor the right to sue violators of the act.
You may be pleased to know that S. 403 passed the Senate with my support by
a vote of 65-34 on July 25, 2006. The House of Representatives passed a
similar bill, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (H.R. 748), on
April 27, 2005. Since the House and the Senate passed slightly different
versions of this legislation, a conference committee of Senate and House
delegates must iron out any differences in order to produce a final version
of the bill for passage by both houses of Congress. Objections from some
Senators on a purely procedural step have blocked Senate conferees from
being appointed and, as a result, stopped further progress on the bill. I
believe it is important that the law recognize that parents have a vital
role to play in the lives of their children, especially during a crisis
pregnancy, and I am hopeful that this legislation will be signed into law
The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (S. 51), which I was also proud to
cosponsor, was reintroduced by Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas in this
Congress on January 24, 2005. This bill would ensure that pregnant women
seeking abortions are informed about the pain the abortion will cause to
their unborn child. Specifically, this legislation would require personnel
performing an abortion on a woman twenty weeks or more into her pregnancy to
fully inform the pregnant woman of the overwhelming scientific data that
suggest that unborn children beyond twenty weeks are capable of feeling
pain. I am hopeful that the Senate will act to pass this important
legislation, which would make sure that pregnant women are more educated
about the facts surrounding an abortion procedure before making this
potentially life-changing decision.
On March 3, 2005, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina introduced S. 511,
the RU-486 Suspension and Review Act of 2005. I cosponsored this bill that
would take the abortion pill, commonly referred to as RU-486, off the market
until the Government Accountability Office can review the Food and Drug
Administration process by which it was hastily approved.
On November 7, 2005, Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina introduced S.
1966, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act
of 2005. This legislation, which I have cosponsored, provides grants to
eligible institutions of higher education to establish and operate offices
for pregnant students, parenting students, prospective parenting students
anticipating a birth or adoption, and student parents who are placing or
have placed a child for adoption. This would ensure pregnant students have
access to valuable services and benefits so that no woman feels pressure to
make a decision between her education and her child. It is important that
women facing unplanned pregnancies know that there are people and resources
available to help them through this unexpected situation.
In previous Congresses, I also fought for the enactment of pro-life
legislation. I was the proud sponsor of the Born Alive Infants Protection
Act, which was signed into law near the end of the 107th Congress. This law
states that federal laws and regulations referring to a "person," "human
being," "child," and "individual" should include every infant who is born
alive regardless of their stage of development. The signing of this law was
an important victory in the fight to protect innocent human life, by
recognizing that once a baby is completely born, independent of the mother,
he or she deserves the full protection and dignity afforded to you or me.
In the 108th Congress, I sponsored and worked to secure passage of the
Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act (S. 3) in 2003 after a hard fought eight-year
battle in Congress. This bill completely bans the horrific late-term
abortion procedure known as partial birth abortion. I was very pleased to
see President Bush sign this legislation into law, as similar legislation
had been defeated twice because of vetoes by the previous administration.
While this law currently faces a court battle over its constitutionality,
rest assured that the law was carefully drafted to pass constitutional
muster and that the U.S. Department of Justice is vigorously defending its
legality. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on this law
Another important step toward protecting the life of an unborn child was
achieved when President Bush signed into law the Unborn Victims of Violence
of Act on April 1, 2004. This law, which I cosponsored, protects unborn
children from assault and murder by making it a federal offense to injure or
kill a fetus while committing a federal crime. Until now, federal law
recognized only the mother as a victim, even in cases in which a criminal
intentionally targeted the unborn child. I believe it reflects the view
held by most Americans that when a pregnant woman and her unborn child are
attacked, there are two victims. I am pleased that Congress and President
Bush have enacted this important law.
Lastly, we have been able to ensure that several life-affirming provisions
continue to be included in the yearly appropriations bills, which provide
funding for government agencies. As one important example, Congress adopted
a conscience protection amendment, which will prevent hospitals and
healthcare entities from being required to provide or refer for abortions.
I strongly believe that hospitals and other healthcare entities should not
be forced to support procedures that are contrary to their mission or creed.
To this end, I have sent letters to Senator Arlen Specter, Chairman of the
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee,
urging that this provision be included in the yearly funding bills. This
provision will give the protection of the law to organizations that choose
to support life. I have also introduced the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act
which would write similar protections into permanent law. In addition,
Congress has acted to continue to ensure that federal tax dollars are not
used to fund abortions here in this country or to fund entities in other
countries that provide or promote abortion overseas.
Please be aware that I sincerely appreciate your support and commitment to
protecting life. In the end, the debate over abortion will be won as
individuals, families, churches and community groups reach out and support
those in need-especially young women facing crisis pregnancies-while
educating the public about the tragedy of abortion. Working together, we
can change the hearts and minds of the American people concerning these
important pro-life issues.
Thank you again for contacting me. If I can be of further assistance on
this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to call on me.
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