Saturday, July 29, 2006
An Update on Congress July-28-2006
Despite a wide margin in favor of passing the Child Custody Protection Act in the US Senate, the Senate Democratic leadership immediately erected a procedural roadblock in an attempt to kill the bill. The Senate earlier rejected all weakening amendments to the Child Custody Protection Act and voted 65-34 to approve this much needed measure. Immediately following the vote to pass the bill, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) made a routine move to allow appointment of a conference committee to work out differences with a bill already passed by the House. There was objection to this routine move on behalf of pro-aborts in the Senate led by the assistant Democratic leader, Senator. Dick Durbin (IL).
Fourteen Democratic senators voted to pass the bill, including Hawaii’s Senator Inouye, yet only minutes later, the Democratic caucus collectively objected to the routine, necessary step of sending the bill to a conference committee, thereby killing the bill. This allowed Senator’s like Inouye to have it both ways, saying they voted for the bill but then immediately blocking it from going forward. The House of Representatives has passed such legislation four times since 1998. Each time, the Senate Democratic caucus has killed the measure. Hawaii’s Senator Akaka voted against the bill with the original minority.
The Child Custody Protection Act (S.403) would prohibit a non-parent from transporting a minor girl across a state line to obtain a secret abortion when doing so would abridge a parent's legal right. Over half the states, have enacted some type of parental involvement law mandating a parent or guardian be notified before a minor undergoes an abortion. Just this year Hawaii’s State Legislators overwhelmingly passed a law allowing adult predators to take minors across state lines to circumvent these parental involvement statutes. The Child Custody Protection Act will prohibit the trafficking of minors across state lines for secret abortions.
Last week in Washington, President Bush vetoed H.R. 810, a bill that would have required the federal funding of stem cell research that kills human embryos created by in vitro fertilization. The House promptly sustained the veto, 235 to 193 (which was 52 votes short of the two-thirds margin necessary to override). The Senate, which passed the bill on July 18 by a vote of 63-37, will not vote on the veto override. Senator’s Inouye & Akaka voted for the bill as they support embryonic stem cell research that ends the life of the tiny human embryo.
Joining the President at the press conference were children who were adopted as embryos. These boys and girls began their lives as frozen embryos who were created for in vitro fertilization and remained unused after fertility treatments were complete. However, rather than be destroyed for research purposes, these tiny little ones were adopted by loving families while still in the embryonic stage, implanted in the adoptive mothers’ wombs, and are now indistinguishable from other children their age. After introducing these adopted children, the President stated emphatically, “These boys and girls are not spare parts. They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research.”
In addition, President Bush signed into law S. 3504, sponsored by Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS). This bill bans some forms of human "fetus farming," specifically the use of tissue and organs from humans gestated for research purposes in a human or animal womb. S. 3504 passed the Senate 100-0 and the House 425-0 on July 18. Such forward-thinking legislation is critical since some biotech researchers have already gestated cloned cows for four months and then aborted them to harvest tissues for transplantation.
For more information on human embryo research, human cloning, and related issues, please visit HRTL, NRLC, and Stem Cell Research.