Pro-Life Hero Jill Stanek Endorses Mitt Romney

It’s been a good day for Mitt Romney, as he won the pro-life seal of approval from the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List, but for my money the biggest get is Jill Stanek’s endorsement. In a great post, Stanek stresses the importance of embracing pro-life converts and reminds people that a Romney presidency holds much more pro-life promise than the naysayers suggest:
There are also many intangibles a pro-life president brings to the table. Just imagine a president whose Justice Department allows states to defund Planned Parenthood without suing, for instance?
But as to the most consequential duty of our next president, choosing 2-3 Supreme Court justices, Romney has already started down the path he promised. In August 2011 Romney formed a Judicial Advisory Committee, with two of the best pro-life minds agreeing to serve as chairpersons: Judge Robert Bork and Professor Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.
As for lingering pro-life complaints against Romney, Glendon was part of a group of pro-life leaders from Massachusetts, which also included Kris Mineau, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Family Institute, and Ray Ruddy, President of the Gerard Health Foundation (which biannually awards Life Prizes), who corrected the record in a statement in January, posted on LifeNews.com:

Governor Romney vetoed bills to provide access to the so-called “morning-after pill,” which is an abortifacient, as well as a bill providing for expansive, embryo-destroying stem cell research.  He vetoed the latter bill in 2005 because he could not “in good conscience allow this bill to become law.”
We do not agree with the claims that Gov. Romney is responsible for tax payer funded abortion under the Massachusetts health care system. That blame lies solely on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court who ruled in 1981 that the Massachusetts Constitution required payment for abortions for Medicaid-eligible women. In 1997, the Court reaffirmed its position that a state-subsidized plan must offer “medically necessary abortions.”
In 2006, under Governor Romney’s leadership, Massachusetts’ public schools began to offer a classroom program on abstinence from the faith-based Boston group Healthy Futures to middle school students.  Promoting the program, Governor Romney stated, “I’ve never had anyone complain to me that their kids are not learning enough about sex in school. However, a number of people have asked me why it is that we do not speak more about abstinence as a safe and preventative health practice.”
We are aware of the 1994 comments of Senate candidate Romney, which have been the subject of much recent discussion.  While they are, taken by themselves, obviously worrisome to social conservatives including ourselves, they do not dovetail with the actions of Governor Romney from 2003 until now – and those actions have positively and demonstrably impacted the social climate of Massachusetts.
Since well before 2003, we have been laboring in the trenches of Massachusetts, fighting for the family values you and we share.  It is difficult work indeed – not for the faint of heart.  In this challenging environment, Governor Romney has proven that he shares our values, as well as our determination to protect them.

I agree with the sentiments express by Eric Scheidler, who wrote in an email (as a private citizen and not as Executive Director of Pro-Life Action League):

Now that Santorum is out, it’s this man’s opinion we all need to cowboy up and help Romney beat Obama.

And that starts, now, with avoiding all disparaging remarks about “holding one’s nose” and the like, which I’ve been seeing on Facebook these last few hours. From now on, I’m nothing but thrilled I’ve got a good man to rally behind, and I’ll leave it to Team Obama to make Romney look like anything less.

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How Not to Discredit Pro-Choicers

Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek has been critiquing a Salon blogger, Mikki Kendall, who claims she almost died because of a doctor who refused to perform an abortion. Stanek raises some good, important questions about the credibility of Kendall’s story, but she undermines her own work by claiming to have found a smoking gun that’s anything but.

Stanek first highlights this quote from Kendall’s original piece:

I don’t know if his objections were religious or not; all I know is that when a bleeding woman was brought to him for treatment he refused to do the only thing that could stop the bleeding. Because he didn’t do abortions. Ever.

Then Kendall’s follow-up quote:

Some say I should name and shame the doctor that refused to do the procedure. If I knew why he refused I might have done just that, but since I know that there are many possible reasons that he did not do it? I’ve left him to deal with the internal procedures in place.

Stanek’s reaction:

Excuse me? Kendall’s entire Salon story was built upon her accusation that a heartless, negligent, anti-abortion doctor was willing to let her hemorrhage to death rather than provide a life-saving abortion.

And she has now admitted her story was a big, fat, fabricated lie.

Except the quote shows nothing of the sort. At most, Kendall’s latest words admit she doesn’t know the doctor’s motives, whereas she earlier implied that she knew the doctor had personal objections to abortion. That “inconsistency” is shaky enough, but the main problem is that it does nothing to show Stanek’s allegation that Kendall’s story “was a big, fat, fabricated lie.” It doesn’t change any of the much more germane details of the story, like what Kendall’s condition was, whether the doctor did in fact refuse, or whether the incident occurred at all.

Jill Stanek, as well as the folks at NewsBusters who re-posted her piece, simply can’t afford to be so careless when it comes to ensuring the evidence backs up their arguments.

Who Said Anything About Repealing the 14th Amendment?

Jill Stanek is a tremendous pro-life blogger, but she’s unfortunately framed the question of birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants all wrong. She asks her readers: “Do you think the 14th Amendment should be repealed?” But nobody’s talking about repealing the 14th Amendment. Some people have suggested a constitutional amendment repealing birthright citizenship, but all this would do would be to modify one aspect of the Amendment. To suggest anything like a full repeal is on the table is unfounded and absurd.

Second, those talking amendment are mistaken: the 14th Amendment as originally written and intended does not automatically give citizenship to the children of illegals born on American soil. Dr. John Eastman explains:

The text of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Citizenship Clause provides that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”  That text has two requirements: 1) Birth on U.S. soil; and 2) Being subject to the jurisdiction of the United States when born.  In recent decades, the opinion has taken root, quite erroneously, that anyone born in the United States (except the children of ambassadors) is necessarily subject to its jurisdiction because everyone has to comply with our laws while physically present within our borders.  Those who drafted and ratified the Fourteenth Amendment had a different understanding of jurisdiction.  For them, a person could be subject to the jurisdiction of a sovereign nation in two very different ways: the one, partial and territorial; the other full and complete.  Think of it this way.  When a tourist from Great Britain visits the United States, he subjects himself to our “territorial jurisdiction.”  He has to follow our laws while he is here, including our traffic laws that require him to drive on the right rather than the wrong (I mean left!) side of the road.  He is no longer subject to those laws when he returns home, of course, and he was never subject to the broader jurisdiction that requires from him allegiance to the United States.  He can’t be drafted into our army, for example, or prosecuted for treason for taking up arms against us.

So which of the two understandings of jurisdiction did the drafters and ratifiers of the citizenship Clause have in mind?  Happily, we do not need to speculate about that, as the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment were quite explicit when asked this very question.  Senator Lyman Trumbell, a key figure in the drafting and adoption of the Amendment, stated that “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States meant subject to its “complete” jurisdiction, “[n]ot owing allegiance to anybody else.”  And Senator Jacob Howard, who introduced the language of the jurisdiction clause on the floor of the Senate, contended that it should be construed to mean “a full and complete jurisdiction,” “the same jurisdiction” requirement as applied under the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which afforded citizenship to “all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power.”  Although the subsequent ratification debates are not very comprehensive, one thing is quite clear: Everyone understood that the Fourteenth Amendment was at least designed to constitutionalize the 1866 Civil Rights Act, with the birthright citizenship caveat that one not be “subject to any foreign power.”

We have to understand the 14th Amendment before we can defend it.
(Hat tip: Lisa Graas)