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March 18, 2010 Action Alert:Last Alert

Consistent Life Final Action Alert

These occasional action alerts have been entirely too occasional, and Consistent Life has more to share than just small action suggestions. So we've decided to replace the action alerts with a short one-page weekly e-newsletter. It will have not only participation suggestions but news items of interest that don't require action. We're hoping the new format will also build up the community of consistent-life activists by encouraging us to share more tidbits with each other.

You should be getting your first newsletter this Friday, if all goes well, and then on Fridays after that (excluding holidays). The new email address to send in items for consideration for publishing, will be weekly@consistent-life.org. We'd be delighted to get:
  • letters to the editor concerning the consistent life ethic which you wrote and were published or weren't published, and why should writing put so well go to waste?
  • blog postings, or the links to them if they're lengthy or if it helps the reader to read the whole set
  • action opportunities
  • we'll have a “quotation of the week,” so send in your favorite short quotations on any aspect of the consistent life ethic
  • Member groups of the Consistent Life network are invited to submit updates on your activities promoting the cause (50-150 words) and links to your web page.
If you decide you're not interested, there will be an easy unsubscribe option at the bottom of the page.

This won't be replacing the paper newsletters only the action alerts. Please feel freee to personally forward the newsletters to friends who might be interested in subscribing. It won't be copyrighted, so if you want to use items in your own newsletters or other venues, feel free to do that with proper credit.

January 25, 2010 Action Alert:Video Project

The appeal for this project comes from Jen Roth:

The Center for Reproductive Rights is beginning a campaign to end the Hyde Amendment and bring back Federal funding of abortion. One of their tactics is a series of videos: http://reproductiverights.org/en/feature/no-abortion-ban.

This would be a great chance for Consistent Life to counter with a video pointing out all the different ways in which the destruction of life is promoted by our tax dollars, and emphasizing that we can and should oppose all of them.

To contribute, record a video of no more than 30 seconds in which you discuss what life-destroying programs *you* don't want your tax dollars spent on, and/or what life-affirming programs you would like them spent on instead. Preferred format is .mov, although .avi is also acceptable. Then, contact video@consistent-life.org for uploading instructions.

January 11, 2010 Action Alert:2010 March for Life Participation

January 15 Update: Democrats for Life has changed the time of their breakfast to 10 AM-Noon, with the main speaker at 11:30 AM. We still plan to be present at our contingent gathering point at 11:30 AM, but some may come over later from the breakdast.

We try to have a presence each year at the annual March for Life held in Washington, DC on or near the anniversary of Roe v Wade's passage. The main organizer is not sympathetic, and has threatened several of our member groups with arrest in the past, but we definitely receive much more positive than negative vibes from fellow marchers. We need to show the pro-life community and the watching world that many who are pro-life on abortion have a different perspective than the organizer. Join us on Friday, January 22, 2010 between 11:30 AM and Noon in front of the Sculpture Garden, on Constitution Ave. NW near 7th St. The location is across from the National Archives and about 2 blocks from the Archives Metro station.

We will proceed together with our banner from there to the rally and march. RSVP not required but it is helpful to know who plans to come. You can email our President Bill Samuel to say you're coming or with any questions. Bill can be reached by cell phone at 301-943-6406 during the March if you're having trouble connecting with the CL contingent.

Consistent Life member group Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) is having a breakfast that morning, 9-11 AM (now changed to 10 AM-Noon), at the Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20024. (One block from the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station.) $30 paid at the door; proceeds benefit DFLA. Some folks in the Consistent Life contingent for the March will be coming over from the DFLA breakfast.

December 4, 2009 Action Alert: Internet Poll & Calls to Congress

#1: Quick Internet Action Suggestion
sent from a friend

I rarely forward things but the abortion funding debate in Congress and the weight given to prestigious medical groups compels me to send this.

This is a New England Journal of Medicine poll.

See the on-line poll on the left. Please distribute and encourage YES votes.

Teresa S. Collett
Professor of Law
University of St. Thomas School of Law


#2: Calls to Congress

Two of the prime issues of the consistent life ethic are having major votes coming up in Congress:

For war, there will be funding questions on the expansion of war just proposed by President Obama. So far, there is not specific legislation, but Congress does hold the purse strings for this.

For abortion, the Senate is now considering the health care reform bill. The consistent-life stand against the ravages of poverty means that we would clearly like to see something productive pass so that those of low income don't die from lack of coverage, as is reported to be happening now. But it is absolutely crucial that abortion not be funded, because we know from past experience with Medicaid funding that when government subsidizes abortion, far more abortions happen.

The Stupak amendment passed in the House of Representatives, clearing all federal funding of any abortion. The analogous amendment in the Senate will apparently be offered by Democrat Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska in the next week or two. Senators should be encouraged to vote for it.

There is also a possibility that Democrat Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania will join in and/or offer his Pregnant Women Support Act as an amendment to the bill. In addition to some abortion regulation, this includes specific services pregnant women need. It's not yet clear whether this will happen, but it can be encouraged through phone calls in the mean time.

Senators who are anti-abortion and Republican need to be called to make sure they understand the importance of voting for this even if they oppose the bill as a whole. In the House, there was a move to have such Republicans vote "present" in order to keep from having an amendment that would help the bill as a whole get passed -- only one actually ended up voting so, but it is disconcerting enough that one did.

Senators who are Democrat and favor abortion availability should have it impressed on them that this is necessary for the whole bill to pass, in addition to its basic merits.

Those that were outraged by the Stupak amendment held a rally against it and had remarkably low turnout -- in the lower hundreds. This is a highly strategic time to advance the pro-life cause on abortion; there are plenty of abortion availability advocates who understand that insisting on abortion funding here is too extreme.

CL members that would like to link opposition to the expanded war to opposition to abortion funding in the same phone call may find that a productive approach, depending on who your Congresspeople are. At least, it could lead to some interesting discussions with staff people, and getting across the connectios of violence is something that is worth educating Congressional staff about over the course of time.

October 9, 2009 Action Alert

Respond to Attack on Jim Wallis for Being Pro-Life

From: Bill Scheurer
Subject: Supposed Progressive Obama Religious Leader Uses Health Care Debate for Anti-Abortion Views

Rachel, I urge Consistent Life to log in on this article. Our ministry is among the left (abortion) and the right (war, death penalty, social justice). CL should not stand silently by when people are eating someone alive someone like Jim Wallis who walks in that narrow valley with us. Bill

Jim Wallis

Supposed Progressive Obama Religious Leader Uses Health Care Debate for Anti-Abortion Views
By Adele Stan, AlterNet
Rev. Jim Wallis says he's progressive. That got him a seat on a White House council despite his opposition to abortion -- which he's using to monkey-wrench health-care reform. more

Responding can be done near the bottom of the page.

In the event the link doesn't work, here's a shortened url to copy and paste:

September 30, 2009 Action Alert

Common Ground On-line Discussions

Mary Krane Derr sent in the following. Remember that these Action Alerts are meant to be a community project, and we encourage everyone on this list to send in action items as they find them, such as places that need letters in response from a consistent-life point of view, or as in this case, on-line forums where our voices could be especially helpful.


The prochoice site RHRealityCheck has started a regular common ground feature that includes the voices of such CL mission statement endorsers as
David Gushee

and

Mary Krane Derr
CLE advocates are encouraged to register on the site & take part in the often spirited debates/discussions that accompany these articles. We are so often ignored in abortion discourse, so please stand up & be counted.

September 10, 2009 Action Alert

Crucial Amendment - Write Your Reps!

In March of 2003, George W. Bush gave a speech that had in it many admirable anti-war sentiments. These would have been gratifying had it not been glaringly obvious that he would see to it that actual war was starting the very next week. Some view this with cynicism, but there is still the point that the peace movement had made enough progress that pushing war could no longer be done forthrightly as it had many times in the past.

As is common with issues of violence, a similar dynamic is appearing on aborton within the new health care reform proposals. President Obama in his speech last night did not come out with a statement that abortion should be covered like any ordinary health care, as Planned Parenthood advocates would have liked him to do. Instead, he assured us that no federal dollars would be going to abortion. So we do know that we've made enough progress that even a president who has strongly indicated agreement with Planned Parenthood's position in the past feels it necessary to regard the idea of taxpayer-funding of abortion as a controversy to avoid.

Nevertheless, the wording is a game. All amendments to keep abortion from being paid for under the reforms were voted down in committee. Obama is referring to the Capps amendment to H.R. 3200, which is what abortion defenders have offered as a "compromise." It's a compromise in the sense that they cede ground on the idea that abortion should be treated no differently from ordinary medical care. Abortion would be covered under "private" dollars of premiums instead of "federal" dollars of taxes. For a neutral assessment on this, see:


The issue of funding for abortion is absolutely crucial. When the Hyde Amendment that stopped Medicaid funding of abortion went into effect, states who stopped funding saw a dramatic downturn in abortions immediately. Experience shows that the availability of funding is a major factor in whether abortions happen. There has been for several years now a downward trend in abortions, and an even more dramatic downward trend in first-time abortions. This is good news about violence that didn't happen, and also good news about progress that is being made. The abortion business is in the middle of a state of collapsing. It could be resuscitated by an infusion of "private" dollars mandated by government policy.

Consistent Life is naturally one of the groups quite interested in seeing health insurance reform happen in such a way as to remove one of the mechanisms whereby poverty causes death. We have member groups who are working hard on this point. Therefore, most of us when contacting our Senators and Representatives will be asking for a friendly amendment rather than attacking the current proposals as a whole. But we really do need to push for an amendment that has clear and unambiguous language that there be no abortion coverage.

Now is an excellent time to contact your national elected representatives with this point. Now and in the next few weeks are the strategically crucial time to push this point, and then push it again.

September 3, 2009 Action Alert

Pro-Peace/Pro-Life Harmony Pilot Project

Do you know of groups in the same campus, denomination, or community that define themselves as either pro-peace or pro-life, but might be willing to dialog with each other? Consistent Life's emphasis on how the issues are connected and on cooperation of violence-opposing groups gives us a prime opportunity to change the destructive right/left dynamics of these debates. We have a PowerPoint presentation designed for joint meetings of such groups to encourage discussion.

Before launching this as a program, complete with a manual with good advice on what experience has shown, we need to have experience to know what experience has shown. Anyone who might like to organize a session with appropriate local peace & life groups to help us develop this program, please contact project coordinator Rachel MacNair by email or call (816)753-2057, Central Time Zone.

September 1, 2009 Action Alert

Prolifeamerica Forum

On-line forums are a prime place to get across various aspects of the consistent life ethic. One current thread is at a large forum at www.prolifeamerica.com. This is the forum for Life Dynamics, whose August DVD LifeTalk show included an attack on the consistent life ethic as a ploy to water down the abortion issue. A message was posted with the subject "Challenging the Abuse of the Consistent Life Ethic." The responses have started coming in quickly, and it's a good spot for people who do know what the consistent life ethic really is to at least read through the thread, and hopefully to contribute cogent points. In this case, it's not intended to bog down into arguments on war and death penalty, since that's off-topic to the particular forum, but to help pro-lifers understand what the consistent life ethic is when it's used well.

The forum is at http://www.prolifeamerica.com/fusetalk/forum/categories.cfm?catid=7&entercat=y.

If you want to post a response and have not already done so, you'll need to register, but that's easily done.

There are surely several other forums on the web where it would be good for us as a consistent-life community to be contributing to threads. Anyone who is aware of specific places, please send them in -- this is part of what Action Alerts are for, allowing our community to respond quickly. We always had in mind community participation in coming up with needed actions.


To receive e-mail alerts about actions you can take to promote the consistent life ethic, send e-mail to action-request@consistent-life.org with subscribe in the Subject line (should happen automatically if you use this link).
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