* Steve Curtis: former chairman of the State of Colorado Republican Party, thanks Colorado Right To Life for publishing their open letter confronting Focus on the Family and the pro-life industry for destroying the moral foundation of the pro-life movement. Industry leaders continue to ignore the substance of the rising tide of criticism, but the fundamental truth in Steve's argument, and the passion in his voice, should advise Focus to re-evaluate their moral relativist strategy.
* Tim from Chicago: listens to BEL via Podcast, thanks Steve and Bob for proposing a moral Christian political strategy, and related his own experience calling Focus on the Family.
* This Week's Press Release:
For Immediate Release:
Focus on the Family Responds with Misinformation
to Rebuke from Major Pro-Life Ministries
Open Letter Published Again, Now in the Washington Times
Focus on the Family has responded to criticism of Dr. James Dobson from major pro-life ministries with further extraordinary misrepresentations of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on partial-birth abortion. The seriousness of these misrepresentations cannot be overestimated, as they continue a pattern of misleading the public and financial supporters.
Extensive private efforts to warn the management of Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family have failed to convince them to stop their misrepresentation of the partial-birth abortion ban Act, and now of the recent ruling. An ad hoc coalition of major pro-life ministries published a full-page open letter to Dr. Dobson in the Colorado Springs Gazette on May 23, and again today, May 30, 2007 in the Washington Times. We have documented our meetings with the Public Policy management at Focus, with their judicial analysts, and a staff lawyer, and correspondence with and to upper management. Yet Dr. Dobson's organization continues false claims including that the recent decision "outlaw[s] the brutal killing of a nearly born fetus" (CitizenLink.com, 5-23-07, Carrie Gordon Earll, senior Focus spokesperson). This claim is false.
Focus on the Family's published rebuttal falsely maintains that the signers of the letter are "wrong about the court ruling," regarding our assertion that it "granted no authority to save the life of even a single child." The ruling in fact explicitly instructs abortionists on legal ways to perform partial-birth and other abortions. Focus also refuses to correct Dr. Dobson's false claim that this PBA effort has the authority to "protect children" (family.org), and specifically, "protect preborn children" (CitizenLink.com).
We also document similar misinformation being given out by the Focus on the Family call-center including with recorded phone calls to Focus made over the last month and as recently as May 25, 2007, and with affidavits from callers to Focus' Correspondence Department. Focus on the Family employees have told callers and financial supporters that the PBA ruling means that in a late-term abortion, the baby "couldn't be out of the womb at all, it can't be out of the womb at all... they can't perform [an abortion] while any part of the body is outside." And they told other callers, as can be heard in one call at KGOV.com, that, "The U.S. Supreme Court made it illegal for women to have an abortion in the last trimester." These well-meaning Focus employees are repeating the misinformation provided to them by their leadership such as CitizenLink editor Tom Hess' misleading online article reporting that perhaps, "CRTL [Colorado Right To Life] would prefer that viable babies would continue to be killed without anesthetics." CitizenLink continues to mislead Focus' employees and donors everywhere by implying the Gonzales v. Carhart PBA ruling prohibits the killing of "viable babies" or that it requires "anesthetics."
The signers of this open letter to Dr. James Dobson, including the largest international prolife ministry, Human Life International, and one of the most well-respected and largest national organizations, American Life League, grieve over this tragedy. Colorado Right To Life decries the many years of misleading fund-raising pleas, which falsely led pro-lifers to believe that the partial-birth abortion ban had the authority to stop the killing of at least some late-term babies. It has no such authority, and never did. Misled pro-lifers donated tens of millions of dollars to the pro-life industry under false pretenses. And now Gonzales v. Carhart instructs abortionists that they can legally continue to perform partial-birth abortions, simply by delivering a late-term baby halfway (to his bellybutton), and then killing him by various methods including by causing "the fetus to tear apart."
Some well-known organizations in the pro-life industry are not willing to lose the most profitable fund-raising tool of the last decade, the PBA ban. They are now attempting fraudulently to raise more PBA funds with nationwide phone solicitation and fund-raising letters, claiming they need funds to ensure the government enforces the ban. Perhaps they expect federal marshals to make sure mothers are in fact over "dilate[d]" as the ruling requires, for continued legal performance of standard partial-birth abortion, or ensure that the abortionist only delivers the baby half-way (just not "past the navel"), and then the ruling declares, "a leg might be ripped off the fetus." The false information from Focus on the Family enables many groups to continue deceptive partial-birth fundraising.
We are preparing further actions to confront Focus on the Family including running this open letter in other major media outlets (a copy of which is attached and also available at ColoradoRightToLife.org). We call upon Dr. James Dobson, as the founder of Focus on the Family, to publicly correct the record, stating that: this recent ruling actually permits partial-birth abortion (to the navel); that the PBA ban never had the authority to save a single child's life; and that the claim from Focus on the Family that this ruling protects children is false.
Media Contact Leslie Hanks
V.P., Colorado Right To Life
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