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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Committee Hearings for Life in Retrospect

Let’s look back at the events this week in the committee hearings for two important pieces of pro-life legislation and glean what can be learned. The Judiciary Sub-committee had three members who claim to be pro-life. These three did in fact vote against tabling the bill, but I think it is important to reflect on their behavior in the committee hearings, and the actions of the other legislators who have signed onto HR 536 and HB1.

We have reached the very unfortunate place of having elected a pro-life majority in our House and Senate, yet there are only a handful of legislators who truly value life and take their responsibility to protect life seriously. This is an election year. Are we going to vote for people who received the pro-life stamp, or are we going to vote for people who aggressively stand against the slaughter of innocent children?

The three legislators who voted not to table HR 536 were Roger Lane (District 167), Rich Golick(District 34), and Barry Fleming (District 117). For seven hours we all sat in the same room and listened to testimony, mostly against protecting innocent life. If you or I had been able to ask questions, would we not have grilled the pro-abort doctors and lawyers with questions pointing out their complete disregard for life, and their biased philosophies and inconsistencies? As I reflect on the questions offered by these three gentlemen, first I cannot recall any questions from Roger Lane. I’m not even sure what he looks like. Immediately following the vote I stopped Rich Golick and asked who the vote on the other side of the room against tabling had come from. He assumed it was Roger Lane, but wasn’t sure, and recommended I ask Roger Lane to confirm.

This is rather alarming. Here you have a panel taking up the consideration of two bills to protect all innocent life, and it is clear the pro-life members have not been in consultation with one another nor were they certain ahead of time how the others would vote. I think basic strategizing is something we should all be able to expect from our legislators.

Now let’s reflect on Rich and Barry. On day two of the hearings their few questions were limited to a strange monomaniacal preoccupation with how the amendment should read on the ballot. Maybe you should read that again to let it sink in. In the face of testimony ripping apart a respect life philosophy, all they could bring up was the way the amendment would read on the ballot. Well, Rich did also make a point to express his anger at being lectured by the pro-abort legal panel on his duty to his oath. The only time Barry shook off his preoccupation with the ballot was when a crisis pregnancy director from Augusta stood and gave testimony concerning a 15 year old forced to have an abortion by the Augusta Planned Parenthood at 20 weeks gestation. This event occurred recently, and Barry was very interested in this. He asked the woman if she had contacted anyone in regard to this atrocity. When she said that she had not, and had no idea whom she should contact, Barry recommended that she contact the Department of Human Resources.

Now far be it from me to imagine that Barry is anything but new to the political arena and has absolutely no idea that DHR (Department of Human Resources) is utterly corrupt and unwilling to investigate even the most shocking reports of cruelty and lawlessness in the abortion facilities of Georgia. It is highly probable that although Barry is pro-life, he knew nothing of DHR’s complete refusal to investigate the infanticide case at Atlanta Surgi-Center in July 2006, in which a handful of legislators tried to intervene by writing letters to the Governor demanding justice. Furthermore, we should all assume that Barry has no idea that the head of Licensing and Regulation within DHR is very pro-abort, the majority of abortion clinics in Georgia operate without ambulatory surgical licenses, and that there are a number of cases of raped women and sexually abused girls forced into abortion clinics to get rid of the evidence every year. I’ve been involved in the pro-life world for 8 months, and the last place I would send anyone for justice would be DHR.

I would also be remiss if I did not point out that Barry Fleming is campaigning against Paul Broun for his congressional seat this summer. Paul Broun is avidly pro-life and has introduced a Human Life Amendment into Congress. It would be tragic for Georgia to replace a man who genuinely values life with a man who genuinely values his own political ambitions. Jerry Keen is in fact helping Barry’s run for office by slandering Paul Broun in his district, and falsely characterizing Broun’s votes in Congress. I’m just saying we should pause and reflect on that for a moment.

Many legislators signed onto HR 536. They were guaranteed a pro-life stamp of approval for this election year if they did so. However, if these legislators had taken innocent life seriously, and had been truly determined to see HR 536 come to the House floor for a vote, would it have died in committee 4 votes against 3 votes?

Before you get out the Thank you notes, pause and reflect on the fact that over 120 “prolife” Representatives voted in favor of the ultrasound bill last year. Where were these 120 plus legislators this year? When they really had the opportunity to protect innocent life, they were no where to be seen.

Posted by Jenny Hodges on 02/23 at 01:40 PM
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