Obama appointee has interesting take on the law

From the blog of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) comes this shocker: James B. Steinberg, President Obama’s nominee to be the next Deputy Secretary of State, claimed in written testimony to the Foreign Relations Committee that Congress cannot constitutionally restrict taxpayer funding to perform or promote abortions. Mr. Steinberg stated that the Mexico City policy, which bars taxpayer funding of abortions overseas, “is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech.” Here is the Q&A:

Question from Senator DeMint: For more than 30 years the Hyde amendments, which prohibit federal funding for abortion services, have been supported by Republican and Democrat administrations and Congresses. Unfortunately, while this is the domestic policy of the United States, President Obama has vowed to reverse our foreign policy by repealing the Mexico City policy and use the federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortion services overseas. Do you support President Obama’s efforts to lift the Mexico City restrictions? Do you believe our foreign policy should contradict long held domestic policies?

Answer from James Steinberg: President Obama has supported repeal of the Mexico City policy, as has Secretary Clinton. Longstanding law, authored by Senator Jesse Helms, expressly prohibits the use of U.S. funds of abortion. The Mexico City policy is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech.

DeMint explains in the same post that this statement is a direct contradiction of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Rust v. Sullivan, in 1991. But then again, this is all about change, not about laws and things like that.

HT: NRO’s The Corner

Richard Doerflinger: A happy, pro-life warrior

Richard Doerflinger was one of six recipients at Fridays Life Prizes in Washington, D.C.
Richard Doerflinger was one of six recipients at Friday's Life Prizes in Washington, D.C.

NRO recently did an interview with Richard Doerflinger, who was one of six recipients last Friday at the first-ever Life Prizes in Washington, D.C.

Doerflinger is associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he has worked for almost 29 years. He monitors, analyzes, and responds to federal and medical developments on life issues. He writes and he educates—colleagues, bishops, Congress, the media.

During the interview, Doerflinger was asked how devastating the Freedom of Choice Act  would be in this country:

We have said this is the most extreme piece of abortion legislation ever introduced in Congress. It would elevate abortion to the status of a “fundamental” right, and call on all public-health programs not to “discriminate” against abortion—in other words, any government effort to support childbirth would also be mandated to support abortion to the same extent. It would overturn hundreds of modest pro-life laws passed over the last 35 years—conscience clauses, public-funding restrictions, informed-consent and parental-involvement statutes, and so on.

Doerflinger also discusses in the interview how effective former President Bush was in eight years in promoting pro-life issues and how his stance on stem cell research has been totally misrepresented. I encourage you to read the interview. To read more about the Life Prizes and those who were recognized, go here.