Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas is a man you want to know if you care about human rights. Whether you’re talking about the poor in Africa or the unborn child scheduled to be killed by abortion, you will find an advocate for them in Senator Sam Brownback.
For us in the pro-life movement, Senator Brownback is a key ally. There are many in Congress who will vote the right way on pro-life bills. Fewer are they who will take initiatives to advance the cause - and not for purposes of political gain, but rather because the cause is right, and they believe the cause can, must, and will prevail. Sam Brownback is that kind of Senator.
In the Summer of 2004, the Human Life Review published an article by Senator Brownback titled, "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation," Revisited. As you may recall, President Ronald Reagan, one of the most pro-life presidents in our history, wrote an essay called "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation" in 1983. As Senator Brownback writes, "Twenty-one years later, and 31 years after Roe v. Wade, we need to revisit "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation." We need to reflect on whether we are closer to - or further away from - having a culture of life. "We need to contemplate what personal and legislative steps we must take to draw out the best in the freedom-loving, life-loving American spirit."
Senator Brownback goes on to examine why the American conscience cannot continue to tolerate abortion any more than it tolerated slavery. He discusses how Mother Teresa of Calcutta influenced his life and thinking. He examines how Roe v. Wade has damaged our society. And he expresses the firm hope that we will win: "I believe that I will live to see the end of the abortion industry, and the sanctity and dignity of every human life affirmed. ...Great labors remain before us, but the rights and lives of unborn children are absolutely worth our efforts."
The Senator makes those efforts, not only by sponsoring legislation like the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, but also by taking the initiative to hold hearings in the Senate on various aspects of abortion. For example, on June 23, 2005, Senator Brownback convened a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee on the topic, "The Consequences of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton." He had Norma McCorvey (former "Jane Roe") and Sandra Cano (former "Mary Doe") there to testify, along with various legal experts. The Senator declared, "To put it simply, Roe was a mistake. A very, very costly one."
On March 3, 2004, Senator Brownback held hearings called "Examining the Impact of Abortion on Women," and he is a strong supporter of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. On May 25, 2006, he held hearings on "The Consequences of Legalized Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia."
To see an example of encouraging leadership in the cause of life, read the Senator's remarks and essays at http://www.priestsforlife.org/government/brownback.htm.
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