The Hyde Amendment Initiated the Incremental Strategy which has Saved Millions and Millions of Lives

NRL News Today

The Hyde Amendment initiated the incremental strategy which has saved millions and millions of lives

By Dave Andrusko

More than two million people are alive today thanks to the tireless efforts led by Rep. Henry Hyde

More than two million people are alive today thanks to the tireless efforts led by Rep. Henry Hyde

As we’ve highlighted multiple times, 2016 is the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, whose life-saving impact (in the words of NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson) “has proven itself to be the greatest domestic abortion reduction law ever enacted by Congress.”

The law, first enacted in 1976 and finally upheld by the Supreme Court in 1980, has saved upwards of two million lives, according to a study by Prof. Michael New.

As we discuss elsewhere today (and many times previously), gutting the Hyde Amendment is a top priority for pro-abortion Hillary Clinton. Her position as her party’s nominee for President has afforded the campaign to force taxpayer funding of abortion much greater visibility.

When Rep. Henry Hyde, for whom the amendment is named, passed away in 2007, the entire Movement, led by NRLC, praised his enormous contributions. For example we explained

Henry Hyde will be remembered by history as the father of the modern pro-life movement for his introduction and sponsorship of the amendment that bears his name, prohibiting federal funding of abortion. Hyde first offered the amendment as a freshman member of Congress in 1976, and it remains in place to this day. The editors of National Review said the Hyde Amendment “is without question the most important piece of pro-life legislation ever to pass Congress.”

The Hyde Amendment also charted a new course for the pro-life movement after 1976 by implementing a strategy to pass protective pro-life measures that would incrementally reduce the number of abortions, while continually seeking the eventual overturn of Roe v. Wade. That strategy has been successful in saving millions of lives from abortion.

In his 1985 book, “For Every Idle Silence,” Congressman Hyde wrote, “It is becoming culturally fashionable to protect the defenseless unborn.” Those words hold true today as polling continually shows the majority of Americans oppose the vast majority of abortions.

Congressional Quarterly once described Hyde as “one of the premier orators in the House. … He speaks with wit, passion, and deep convictions about the conservative causes he holds dear. Nowhere was that better illustrated, perhaps, than during the House floor debate of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2000.

Hyde said

This is not a debate about religious doctrine or even about public policy options. It is a debate about our understanding of human dignity, what it means to be a member of the human family, even though tiny, powerless and unwanted. … We are knee deep in a culture of death. … Look, in this advanced democracy, in the year 2000, is it our crowning achievement that we have learned to treat people as things? Our moment in history is marked by a mortal conflict between a culture of life and a culture of death. God put us in the world to do noble things, to love and to cherish our fellow human beings, not to destroy them. Today we must choose sides.

In honoring Rep. Hyde with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President George W. Bush said that Rep. Hyde “was a gallant champion of the weak and forgotten, and a fearless defender of life in all its seasons.”


Perhaps Hyde’s best-remembered commentary on abortion is this passage, familiar to millions of pro-lifers:

When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God and a terror will rip through your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there will be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, “Spare him because he loved us,” and God will look at you and say not, “Did you succeed?” but “Did you try?”


The Lessons a Formerly Pro-Choice Nursing Instructor Can Teach Us All

NRL News Today

The lessons a formerly pro-choice nursing instructor can teach us all

By Dave Andrusko

BernardNathanson4I hope you are one of the thousands of people who read NRLC’s Facebook page. It is a deep reservoir of very interesting and very informative pro-life news.

If you’re not, click on and be prepared to learn and to be inspired.

A woman was kind enough to forward to NRLC’s Facebook page a link to a post titled, “How a Formerly Pro-Choice Nursing Instructor Discusses Abortion with her Students.” Written by Cynthia Isabell, it is a long post, but very, very much worth reading.

With that encouragement in mind, let me offer an overview.

Since 1980, Cynthia has been a labor and delivery nurse who also worked in a hospice. “Being a nurse,” she writes, “has allowed me to be present with people through their early beginnings of intrauterine life, and with others through their last breaths. It has been an amazing and rewarding journey. Life is precious and life is fleeting, and life should be respected. I am pro-life.”

The first half of the post is an exceptionally thoughtful point-by-point explanation of how Cynthia skillfully addresses abortion with her nursing students. She addresses the stereotype that opposition to abortion must be/can only be based on religious faith.

Unbornbaby992In fact her current position on abortion relies, she tells her readers, on her “understanding of human biology and embryology as well as my own experiences with abortion and thousands of pregnant patients which have shaped my current position on abortion.”

The post is fascinating on many levels, one of which we learn early on and developed later: she has not always been pro-life. She assisted in so-called “therapeutic abortions” until being around this kind of deliberately- induced death proved to be too much.

Perhaps the most powerful section details how she had persuaded herself to take part in an abortion–“I believed that it was acceptable because I was not actually performing the abortion and I was only taking care of the mother while the physician performed the abortion”– and how the brutality of abortion gradually removed the scales from her eyes.

However Cynthia “continued to care for the women who were having medical, ‘therapeutic’ abortions.”

With these abortions, the labor is induced and the woman delivers an intact baby which will then slowly die by suffocation. We wrap the baby in a blanket and the parents often want to hold the baby they are killing and bond with it while it slowly suffocates, believing the lie they were told that the baby is not suffering. There was one that was performed for what were dubious reasons, but the patient and her family were adamant that it needed to be done. I arrived to work after the baby had already been born and had died. I was supposed to take the baby to wrap it to go to the morgue, but I took the baby to another room and held it while I cried. I never helped with another abortion after that.

Her post ends on the reassuring note that all of us–not just nursing instructors or writers or anyone else who has a lot of experience communicating–can and should tell the pro-life story in their circles.


Cynthia writes, “We can combat the abortion industry through education, through conversation with our friends and coworkers.” We may not realize it, but “Our friends and family members and coworkers are listening, so it’s time we start offering a different message than the one that the media bombards them with.”

Amen to that.


New Trial With Adult Stem Cells Will Investigate Treating People With Traumatic Brain Injuries

New Trial With Adult Stem Cells Will Investigate Treating People With Traumatic Brain Injuries

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Dave Andrusko   Sep 27, 2016   |   6:13PM    Washington, DC

Contained in a “Q&A” that ran today in the Texas Tribune is still more evidence that the truth is gradually seeping out: the wave of the future is not embryonic stem cells but adult stem cells that come from morally acceptable sources.

Reporter Sarah Schroeder interviewed Dr. Charles Cox, a pediatric neurosurgeon at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the co-director of the Red Duke Memorial Hermann Trauma Institute.

Schroeder tells us, “He and his research team were recently awarded $6.8 million by the Department of Defense to test the safety and efficacy of stem cell therapy in adults with traumatic brain injury.”

As we always do with stem cell-related stories, we asked Dr. David Prentice what this means and what is its significance. He told NRL News Today

The award to Dr. Cox and his team is a big step forward. There is currently little that can be done for people who have such an injury, civilians and soldiers alike. And evidence suggests that this injury can be chronic and progressive, with damage developing well after the initial trauma due to inflammation and further brain cell death.

This clinical trial will attempt to address these problems of traumatic brain injury by using the patient’s own bone marrow adult stem cells. The cells will be taken from the patient’s bone marrow after the patient is admitted to the hospital, and the adult stem cells will be re-infused into the patient’s bloodstream soon thereafter.

The hope, based on previous studies, is that the adult stem cells will help stabilize the brain after trauma as well as decrease any inflammation or secondary effects that could lead to brain damage.

Dr. Cox told Schroeder that traumatic brain injury (TBI) “is realistically the primary unsolved problem in trauma.” He explained that initially they misunderstood how adult stem cell therapy might work.

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They thought “that certain stem cell-based therapies could repopulate the damaged tissue and kind of bridge the gaps between good cells and injured cells. At the time, that was the thinking. And there were some erroneous conclusions, based on preclinical data that was out there, that drove that.”

In fact, “Our first real significant observation was that, when you infuse these adult stem cells, they really aren’t engrafting in the brain, and they really aren’t transdifferentiating — that’s the idea that they would turn into desired cells based on environmental cues of the tissue they were in — but we were seeing these functional benefits.

“As time went on, more and more experiments and studies and papers, we then made the observation that these cells really are altering the body’s innate immune response to injury. (Emphases added.)

Dr. Cox explained the considerable costs, emotional and fiscal, of TBI. There are “somewhere between 50 and 300 thousand patients a year that have between moderate and severe TBI.”

He then talked about what he called “the other kind of big picture thing to understand”:

Most people die from heart disease and cancer. But all those people are old folks. You take a healthy baby home from the hospital, the most common reason that they are going to die between age 1 and 44 is trauma.

It’s important how we understand and look at it — the significance of the problem is in young, quality adjusted life years that are lost. Not just death. And I think that’s an important distinction.

It’s young people who are dying and are disabled from trauma. That’s why it’s important. Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.