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Stop the AFL-CIO from supporting abortion

By Editorial Staff
Published March 31, 2008

You Can Help to Turn the Tide

By Dave Andrusko
Editor, National Right to Life News

In the ongoing abortion battle, few people on either side would ever thought that pro-abortion forces would make inroads into organized labor. For years, the two most fertile recruiting grounds for pro-life forces have been members of faith communities and labor. The members of both are disproportionately committed to protecting the unborn.

Alas, the 14.1 million member AFL-CIO now stands poised on the brink of adopting a resolution supporting abortion, unless pro-life members of union households, and other concerned citizens, immediately =write to President Lane Kirkland. A stacked “Ad Hoc Committee on Reproductive Issues” is about to hold its second meeting and there is every reason to believe the committee will recommend that the AFL’s Executive Committee lend its authority, political muscle, and influence to the cause of the anti-life forces.

Some background: Last November, six pro-abortion resolutions were discussed at the AFL-CIO’s biennial national convention held in Washington, D.C. In a move billed as a “compromise,” the resolutions were forwarded to the AFL-CIO’s 35 member Executive Council for further consideration. Then, at a press conference on February 19th, Kirkland announced the formation of a 14 member committee comprised of members of the Executive Council to consider whether the AFL-CIO should take a position on abortion.

Kirkland’s comments at the press conference encapsulated much of the history of the events between November and February 19. He readily conceded that he had been “flooded with mail.” He added that, “There is evidently a campaign going on to write me and other members of the council.”

Unfortunately, having first correctly noted that most of the mail was “anti-abortion,” Kirkland then commented that “I’ve been around a long time, and I think I can tell grassroots from Astroturf.”

But there is no question that there is intense opposition from all sectors of the labor movement, including state and local leaders. They have flooded the national headquarters with letters, pleading with the Federation to avoid taking a position on abortion.

And the grassroots opposition is, if possible, even more pervasive, as evidenced by the responses to two questions asked in a nationwide poll conducted in march by the prestigious Wirthlin Group, a national public opinion research organization. The company asked 1000 respondents whether they wanted the AFL-CIO to take a position on abortion, “or should it concentrate on issues such as wages and workplace safety?” An incredible 77% of members of union households said concentrate in the latter, while only 12% favored taking a position on abortion.

The polster then asked that if the AFL-CIO did take a position on abortion, should it it be in support of or opposed to abortion? Again, pro-life sentiment prevailed: 43% to 31% among members of union households, with almost identical split between non-union households.

But most revealing of all, female union members wanted the position to be opposed to abortion by nearly a 2 to 1 margin – 52% to 28%.

Neil Newhouse, senior vice president of the Wirthlin Group, summarized the results by saying that the “AFL-CIO is out of step with its membership in two respects. First, members of union households overwhelmingly do not want the Federation to take a position on abortion. Second, if the AFL-CIO does take a position, its members want it to be anti-abortion.”

Just how crazy it would be for the AFL-CIO to take a position – any position – on abortion was made clear in a column that appeared recently in the Washington Post. Written by Nat Hentoff, it showed that two recent court decisions make it clear that it would border on organizational suicide for the Federation to be co-opted by the abortion establishment.

One case out of Baltimore (Kidwell) seems to have extended to earlier Beck decision – which means that the Kidwell case appealed to the Supreme Court and upheld, no union employee could be forced to have any of his/hers dues go to political or other purposes not related to collective bargaining. And recent Supreme Court decisions having to do with limitations on political contributions by corporations would seem to make it abundantly clear that the Supreme Court would hold that no union may compel an employee to financially support union activities that ‘infringe on their First Amendment rights” (to quote Hentoff).

But it’s not too late … if people write today. If you want the AFL-CIO to stay neutral on abortion, please write today to:

Lane Kirkland, President
AFL-CIO
815 16th St., NW
Washington, DC 20006

It would be a minimal expenditure of time with the promise of maximum payoff for the babies.


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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.

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