Friday, March 30, 2012

My NRLC Congressional Questionnaire


The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) believes that unborn children should be protected by law, and that abortion should be permitted only when necessary to prevent the death of the mother. Under what circumstances, if any, do you believe that abortion should be legal?

(a)Only to prevent the death of the mother (the NRLC position). (b)To prevent the mother’s death, in cases of incest committed against a minor, and in reported cases of rape involving force or threat of force.

(c) Other (please explain):

Phil Jennerjahn: (C) None.


In its 1973 rulings in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the U.S. Supreme Court created a “right to abortion” for any reason until “viability” (into the sixth month), and for any “health” reasons – including “emotional” health – even during the final three months of pregnancy. This ruling invalidated the abortion laws that were in effect in all 50 states at that time. In the 1992 ruling of Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the “core holdings” of Roe v. Wade, and said that any law placing an “undue burden” on access to abortion would be struck down.

(1) Do you advocate changing the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, so that elected legislative bodies (the state legislatures and Congress) may once again protect unborn children by limiting and/or prohibiting abortion?

Phil Jennerjahn: Yes.


In 2004, Congress enacted the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which recognizes a “child in utero” as a legal victim if he or she is injured during the commission of any of 68 federal crimes of violence. The law defines “child in utero” as “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”

(2) Would you vote against any attempt to repeal or weaken the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA), and do you generally support the underlying principle embodied in UVVA, that federal laws that protect born persons should, wherever possible, also recognize and protect unborn children as members of the human family?

Phil Jennerjahn: I would not weaken UVVA. I support the underlying principle.


(3) Would you vote against any legislation that would weaken any pro-life law or policy that is in effect on the day that you are elected?

Phil Jennerjahn: I would not support legislation or policies that are not pro-life.

(4) Would you vote against any federal legislation (for example, the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act”) that would place new limits on the ability of states to enact and enforce abortion-related laws?

Phil Jennerjahn: I would not support legislation or policies that are not pro-life.


There is now compelling scientific evidence that at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, if not earlier, the unborn child is capable of experiencing pain when subjected to abortion. On this basis, in 2010, Nebraska enacted the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to prohibit abortions after that point (with narrow exceptions). A number of other states subsequently enacted similar bills, and legislation along the same lines could be introduced in Congress.

(5) Would you vote for legislation to strictly limit abortion from the point in development that evidence suggests an unborn child has the capacity to feel pain?

Phil Jennerjahn: No, I feel this distinction is ridiculous, and only a liberal would argue to the contrary. I support stopping abortion from conception.


On May 4, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3). This bill would establish a permanent policy against funding abortions and health plans that cover abortions, consistent with the principles of the Hyde Amendment, to all federal programs, including those created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. No. 111-148) (“ObamaCare”).

(6) Would you vote for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act?

Phil Jennerjahn: I do not support spending taxpayer money on abortions. Never have, never will.

Congress votes from time to time on the “Hyde Amendment,” a law that prohibits federal Medicaid money from being used to pay for abortions or for health care plans that include abortion, except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest. Other similar provisions of law restrict federal subsidies for abortion in certain other federal health programs, including those covering the military and federal employees.

(7) Would you oppose any legislation that would weaken the Hyde Amendment and other current laws that restrict federal subsidies for abortion, and would you support legislation to ensure the fullest possible enforcement of such laws and the application, wherever appropriate, of their underlying principles?

Phil Jennerjahn: I do not support spending taxpayer money on abortions. Never have, never will.

The District of Columbia is an exclusively federal jurisdiction. Article I of the Constitution provides that Congress must exercise “exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever” over the District. In December 2009, at the urging of President Obama, Congress effectively repealed a longstanding ban on government funding of abortions in the District. However, in April 2011, at the insistence of congressional Republican leaders, a prohibition was restored to prohibit any use of government funds for abortion in the District, whether designed as “federal” funds or so-called “local” funds (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest). This issue will continue to arise during future congressional appropriations cycles.

(8) Would you vote to preserve the prohibition on public funding of abortion in the District of Columbia – applicable to all government funds however they are labeled – and would you vote against any legislation that would permit a resumption of government-funded abortion in the District?

Phil Jennerjahn: No federal money for abortions in D.C. -- or anywhere else.

The federal government annually provides many millions of dollars to organizations that operate abortion clinics. For example, roughly one-third of the aggregate income of clinics operated by affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) comes from selling abortions (PPFA-affiliated clinics perform more than 300,000 abortions annually). Yet, PPFA affiliates are also major recipients of funds from various federal programs, including the Title X “family planning” program and Medicaid.

(9) Would you vote for legislation that would make organizations that operate abortion clinics (not bona fide hospitals), including Planned Parenthood, ineligible to receive federal funding?

Phil Jennerjahn: I think no federal money should go to abortion providers.


The U.S. spends about $600 million annually for birth-control programs overseas. Under President Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, executive orders collectively referred to as the “Mexico City Policy” established that

in order to be eligible for U.S. population-control funds, a private overseas organization must agree not to perform abortions (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest) or to “actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.” However, in January 2009, President Obama overturned this pro-life policy by executive order. In congressional testimony on April 22, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the Administration’s international policy is to “protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care,” and that “reproductive health includes access to abortion.”

(10) Would you vote for legislation to codify (enact into permanent law) the principles of the “Mexico City Policy,” to deny U.S. “family planning” funds to overseas organizations that perform or actively promote abortion?

Phil Jennerjahn: The U.S. should not be supplying foreign countries with funds for abortion.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) participates in China’s population control program, which relies heavily on coerced abortion. The UNFPA also promotes expanded access to abortion in developing nations, and has promoted the abortion pill, RU 486. The administrations of Presidents Reagan, G.H.W. Bush and George W. Bush cut off U.S. funding to the UNFPA because of its role in China, but the Obama Administration restored U.S. funding to the UNFPA.

(11) Would you vote for legislation to prevent further U.S. funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)?

Phil Jennerjahn: The U.S. should not be supplying foreign countries with funds for abortion.


Laws are already in effect in about half the states that require notification or consent of at least one parent (or authorization by a judge) before an abortion can be performed on a minor. However, these laws are often circumvented by minors who cross state lines in order to evade parental notification requirements (often with the aid of older boyfriends, abortion clinic staff, or other adults lacking parental authority).

The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), sponsored by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl.) (H.R. 2299) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) (S. 1241), would require any abortionist, encountering a minor client from another state, to notify one parent before performing an abortion, unless presented with authorization from a court, or in cases of life endangerment, or in cases of sexual or physical abuse or neglect by a parent, in which case the appropriate state agency must be notified instead of a parent. The bill would also make it an offense to transport a minor across state lines to evade a parental involvement requirement.

(12) Would you vote for the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act?

Phil Jennerjahn: I would have to read this bill very carefully. There is troubling language here involving third parties...who may not know that someone else is underage or pregnant. I am interested in protecting human life, but I am not interested in inflicting tyranny on others.


Across the nation, pro abortion officials and advocacy groups have sought to use the compulsory powers of government to compel health care providers to participate in abortion. As one response, in 2004 Congress first attached the “Hyde-Weldon Amendment” to the appropriations measure that funds the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The amendment prohibits state and local governments that receive federal HHS funds from discriminating against any health care professional, hospital, HMO, insurance plan, or other “health care entity” because of that provider’s decision not to perform, cover, or pay for induced abortions. However, the Obama Administration has greatly weakened enforcement of the law. Moreover, this restriction must be renewed annually. In contrast, the “Abortion Non-Discrimination Act” (ANDA) (H.R. 361, S. 165), as proposed in the 112th Congress, would permanently codify the principles of the Hyde-Weldon provision, and would provide for private lawsuits to enforce its provisions.

(13) Would you vote for legislation, such as the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA), to increase protections for health care providers who do not wish to participate in providing abortions?

Phil Jennerjahn: I believe every health care provider in America should be able to follow their conscience and refuse to participate in abortions.


The proposed “Equal Rights Amendment” (also called the “Women’s Equality Amendment”) (H.J. Res. 69 in the 112th Congress) would amend the federal Constitution to invalidate any law or government policy that discriminates “on account of sex.” In some of the states that have already added similar provisions to their state constitutions, courts have used them to invalidate limits on abortion. For example, the New Mexico Supreme Court in 1998 unanimously ruled that the New Mexico ERA required state funding of abortion.

NRLC opposes the federal ERA unless the following “abortion neutral” amendment is added to ensure that the ERA will not change abortion policy in either direction: “Nothing in this article [the ERA] shall be construed to grant, secure, or deny any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof.”

(14) Would you vote against the proposed federal ERA, if it does not contain this “abortion-neutralization” amendment?

Phil Jennerjahn: I don't like the phrasing here. I think this "abortion neutral" language is Big Government meddling designed to counteract even Bigger Government meddling. The Constitution and BIll of Rights do a fine job of protecting individual rights without being sex-specific.


The right to life of human beings must be respected at every stage of their biological development. Human individuals who are at the embryonic stage of development should not be used for harmful or lethal medical experimentation. This applies equally to human beings whether their lives were begun by in vitro fertilization, by somatic cell nuclear transfer (human cloning), or by any other laboratory techniques.

NRLC opposes harvesting “stem cells” from living human embryos, since this kills the embryos. Note: NRLC is NOT opposed to other research on “stem cells” that are obtained without killing embryos – for example, stem cells harvested from umbilical cord blood and from adult tissue.

In 2001, President George W. Bush issued an executive order to prevent the federal government from funding research that would encourage the destruction of human embryos, and vetoed bills that would have overturned that policy – but in 2009, President Obama issued a new executive order that nullified the previous pro-life policy, and has allowed federal funding of stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos.

However, embryonic stem cell research has not produced therapies, while other types of stem cells, obtainable without killing human embryos, are producing breakthroughs. On November 14, 2011, Geron Corporation, which had been the world’s leading embryonic stem cell company, announced that it “will discontinue further development of its stem cell programs.”

(15) Would you vote for legislation to prevent federal support of research that harms or destroys human embryos, or that uses cells or tissues that are obtained by harming or killing human embryos?

Phil Jennerjahn: I generally support the policies of President Bush on this issue. No Federal money to destroy embryos.


Human cloning is a process (technically known as “somatic cell nuclear transfer”) in which genetic material from one person is artificially transferred into a human or animal egg cell, thereby beginning the life of a new human individual who is genetically nearly identical to the unitary parent. NRLC believes that human life at every stage of biological development is deserving of respect and protection regardless of the circumstances under which that human life was created. Some researchers wish to create human life through cloning for the purpose of destructive experiments on those humans, resulting in their deaths, a process sometimes referred to as “therapeutic cloning.”

In Congress, NRLC-backed legislation would prohibit the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer (cloning) to create any humans, including human embryos. In order to deflect a genuine ban on all human cloning, some members of Congress have proposed legislation (such as H.R. 2376, sponsored by Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Co., and Charlie Dent, R-Pa.) that would permit the use of cloning to create human embryos to be used in medical research (so called “therapeutic cloning”), but prohibit the implantation of such an embryo into a uterus. These bills are sometimes misleadingly referred to as “bans on reproductive cloning,” but they really do not ban human cloning at all – rather, they ban the survival of the human embryos who are created by cloning. Such a bill would impose a legal mandate that every such human embryo must be killed or allowed to die. NRLC strongly opposes such “clone-and-kill” legislation.

(16) Would you vote for a ban on the creation of human embryos by cloning, and would you vote against any “clone and kill” legislation (i.e., legislation that would allow the creation of human embryos by cloning but prohibit allowing such human clones to live past a defined point of development)?

Phil Jennerjahn: Again, I agree with President Bush here. No Federal money for these type of activities.

(17) Would you vote for legislation to prohibit any recipient of federal NIH funds from involvement in the creation of human embryos by cloning, and from use of such human embryos in research?

Phil Jennerjahn: Again, I agree with President Bush here. No Federal money for these type of activities.


On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (Pub. L. No. 111-148) (“ObamaCare”), which passed Congress over the objections of NRLC. When the government rations health care in a way that makes it illegal or impossible for Americans to choose life-saving medical treatment, food, and fluids, it imposes a type of involuntary euthanasia.

Through objectionable features separately described in questions 19-21 below, this legislation will result in unacceptable involuntary denial of life-saving medical treatment through rationing. It also provides subsidies for private health plans that cover elective abortion, and contains provisions that are likely to result in further expansions of abortion through administrative actions by various federal agencies.

(18) Would you vote to repeal the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (“ObamaCare”)?

Phil Jennerjahn: Absolutely. Destroying Obamacare is one of my primary goals if elected. The bill is unconstitutional and changes the very nature of our government. Obamacare makes us subjects, not citizens.


The law (“ObamaCare”) establishes an “Independent Payment Advisory Board” which is directed to make recommendations to prevent private health care spending from keeping up with the rate of medical inflation. The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is empowered to implement these recommendations through the imposition of “quality and efficiency” measures on health care providers. For example, no insurance plan offered through any of the state insurance exchanges may contract with a health care provider who fails to abide by the federally imposed “quality and efficiency” measures.


(19) Would you vote to eliminate the law’s directive and authority to impose measures to limit what private citizens are allowed to spend for health care?

Phil Jennerjahn: EVERYTHING about Obamacare has to be destroyed. It is the pathway to tyranny.

While cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from federal payments in Medicare, the law empowers HHS to limit senior citizens in spending their own money to make up the difference.

Under the law as it existed before, older Americans were permitted to add their own money, if they chose, on top of the government payment, in order to get insurance plans less likely to ration care (known as Medicare Advantage private-fee-for-service plans). The new law gives HHS the standardless discretion to reject any such plan and thus to limit or even eliminate senior citizens’ legal ability to add their own money to obtain health insurance less likely to ration their health care.

DOCUMENTATION: MedicareLimitsPFFS.html

(20) Would you vote to restore the previous law so that HHS could not limit the right of senior citizens to choose to add their own money on top of the government Medicare payment in order to obtain private-fee-for- service plans less likely to ration health care?

Phil Jennerjahn: If I am elected, Obamacare will be destroyed. I believe that the free market provides wonderful medical services. We need to get the government out of paying for health care.

Health insurers will be excluded from the new state-based insurance exchanges whenever government officials think plans offered by the insurers, inside or outside the exchange, allow private citizens to choose to spend an amount the government officials, in their standardless discretion, think is an “excessive or unjustified” amount on their own health insurance.


(21) Would you vote to remove the authority of state- based insurance exchange officials to exclude health insurers from competing within the exchange on the basis of how much the insurers permit private citizens to choose to spend on health insurance?

Phil Jennerjahn: These rules reek of tyranny. I do not support these limitations. The free market will provide the best health care options for all.


When the government limits by law what can be charged for health care, it limits what people are allowed to pay for health care. While everyone would prefer to pay less – or nothing – for health care (as for anything else), government price controls in fact prevent access to life-saving medical treatment that costs more to supply than the price set by the government. The same is true when price controls are imposed on what people are permitted to pay for health insurance.

(22) Would you vote AGAINST legislation that would impose price controls on health care?

Phil Jennerjahn: Socialism destroys quality. Price controls only create a black market. Free markets provide innovation and high-quality services. Let people compete. Everyone wins.

(23) Would you vote AGAINST legislation that would impose price controls on health insurance premiums?

Phil Jennerjahn: I support free markets. I would vote against ALL Socialist attempts at price-controlling legislation.


From its inception, the pro-life movement has been as dedicated to protecting people with disabilities and older people from euthanasia as it has been to protecting unborn children from abortion.


Some hospitals have implemented formal policies authorizing denial of life-saving medical treatment against the will of a patient or the patient’s family if an ethics committee thinks the patient’s so-called “quality of life” is unacceptable, even though the patient and family disagree. The federal Patient Self-Determination Act currently requires health care facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid to ask patients on admission whether they have an advance directive indicating their desire to receive or refuse life-saving treatment under certain circumstances.

(24) Would you vote to prevent involuntary denial of life-saving medical treatment by amending the Patient Self-Determination Act to provide that, if failure to comply with a patient’s or surrogate’s choice for life- saving treatment would be likely, in reasonable medical judgment, to result in or hasten the patient’s death, a health care provider may not refuse to implement the choice for life-saving treatment either;

a. on the basis of a view that treats extending the life of an elderly, disabled, or terminally ill individual as of lower value than extending the life of an individual who is younger, non-disabled, or not terminally ill; or

b. on the basis of the health care provider’s disagreement with how the patient or surrogate values the trade-off between extending the length of the patient’s life and the risk of disability.

Phil Jennerjahn: I am not a fan of any government deciding "quality of life" issues. It is a treacherous path to go down.


In recent years, some powerful members of Congress, and some special-interest groups, have pushed for enactment of regulations on what they call “grassroots lobbying,” by which they mean organized efforts to encourage citizens to contact members of Congress and federal officials, including the President, to express a point of view about a public policy issue.

NRLC believes that such communication by citizens to their leaders should be encouraged, and that efforts to encourage such activity should not be subjected to federally imposed record keeping and reporting requirements.

(25) Would you vote against any legislation that would impose new regulatory burdens on efforts to motivate citizens to contact federal officials (so-called “grassroots lobbying”)?

Phil Jennerjahn: I would not support legislation like that. I think it would violate the First Amendment.

The federal Lobbying Disclosure Act is a law that already requires organizations that lobby Congress to report, on a quarterly basis, all of the legislative matters on which they contacted members of Congress or Executive Branch agencies, but the law does not require the reporting of the names of specific lawmakers or officials with whom they communicated. In January, 2010, President Obama urged Congress to adopt legislation under which every contact between lobbying organizations and lawmakers would be reported into a publicly accessible database. NRLC believes that such “contact reporting” is an infringement on the First Amendment right to petition government officials, is exceedingly burdensome, and serves no legitimate public policy purpose.

(26) Would you vote against any legislation that would require members of Congress or Executive Branch officials to report, into a public database, every contact they receive from an advocacy organization such as NRLC, or that would require an advocacy organization such as NRLC to report its contacts with individual elected officials?

Phil Jennerjahn: I do not support burdensome bureaucracy. Especially in a case like this, where it appears to be politically motivated.

In its January 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right of corporations (which includes nonprofit corporations, such as NRLC) to spend money to express viewpoints regarding those who hold or seek political office. Subsequently, President Obama, and some members of Congress, have advocated adoption of new restrictions to discourage corporations from exercising this right – for example, by telling corporations that if they engage in constitutionally protected speech on political matters, they will lose other rights.

(27) Would you vote against any legislation that would penalize corporations, including nonprofit corporations such as NRLC, for engaging in the types of free speech that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled are protected by the First Amendment?

Phil Jennerjahn: Corporations are created by, run by, and exist because of the free will of the individuals involved. The lefts misplaced hatred and distrust of corporations borders on a mental illness. I have no problem whatsoever allowing corporations to lobby or support their own goals, because those goals usually benefit thousands of their employees and eventually benefit millions of customers in the free market.

President Obama, and some members of Congress, have pushed for enactment of legislation (such as the so-called “DISCLOSE Act”) that attempts to discourage donations to organizations (such as NRLC) that comment on the actions of elected federal officials, by requiring the publication of the identities of such donors. Such restrictions would

________harm organizations engaged in advocacy on contentious issues, including pro-life issues, because many in business and others would be deterred from supporting advocacy organizations for fear of harassment, abuse, or boycotts by people who do not share their political opinions.

(28) Would you vote against any legislation that would curb the right of private citizens to support advocacy organizations without being “outed” by the government?

Phil Jennerjahn: I HATE McCain-Feingold or any other attempt to manipulate or control the lobbying, donations, or communications of like-minded political activists. ALL of these types of laws trespass on the First Amendment, and they should be eliminated.

Under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, the Federal Election Commission promulgated new rules on defining what constitutes illegal “coordination” between candidates (including incumbent members of Congress and incumbent presidents) and citizen groups. The new rules specifically do not require that there be “formal agreement or collaboration” with a member of Congress or other candidate in order for an expenditure by a citizen group or political action committee to be a “coordinated expenditure” and thus a campaign “contribution.” Under the loose new definition of “coordination,” citizen groups and PACs that communicate with Congress on legislative matters and also conduct independent expenditures are at risk of being unintentionally “coordinated,” thereby making their independent expenditures illegal campaign “contributions.”

(29) Would you support legislation to re-establish that “coordination” means only a formal agreement or collaboration on a specific project between a candidate and a citizen group or PAC?

Phil Jennerjahn: Again, I hate McCain Feingold and I do not agree with government attempts to limit or interfere with political activities. There shouldn't even be laws about this.