Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Texas Alliance for Life endorses Abortion Squish (UPDATED)


UPDATE: AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS POST INCLUDED A HEADLINE THAT TOOK A CHEAP, UNFAIR, LOW BLOW AT TAL.  WHILE THIS WEBSITE REMAINS UNCONVINCED ABOUT THE DEPTH OF DAN BRANCH'S PRO-LIFE CONVICTION, TAKING A CHEAP SHOT AT A THIRD PARTY WASN'T NECESSARY.  CAHNMAN'S MUSINGS APOLOGIZES TO TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR LIFE AND HAS CHANGED THE HEADLINE (and, to be honest, the updated headline is a more accurate description of Branch's position).

WE WILL ADDRESS THE SUBSTANCE OF THE POLITIFACT REBUTTAL BELOW THE ORIGINAL POST.

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"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves."
Matthew 7:15

Earlier this week, for anyone who hadn't yet noticed, Texas Alliance for "Life" revealed their true colors:
"Dan Branch is a pro-life champion and an effective and trusted conservative," said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life PAC. "As his recent defense of Texas' pro-life laws in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals shows, Dan Branch has the legal skills and strength of character to tenaciously fight for the right to life of unborn Texans. As a member of the Texas House, he voted to ban abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy, require parental consent for abortions on minor girls, protect babies from murder and assault before birth by recognizing the personhood of unborn children, require sonograms before abortions, and defund Planned Parenthood millions of tax dollars. These measures have closed abortion facilities and saved lives. We are pleased and proud to endorse Dan Branch for Attorney General." (ASCs).
This, of course, is the same Dan Branch who attempted to expand create a new loophole late-term abortion in 2005:
At issue is an amendment authored by Branch back in 2005 that attempted to add to legislation dealing with health care issues. During floor debate, former Rep. Will Hartnett (R-Dallas) offered an amendment to ban third trimester abortions. Branch then offered his amendment to the amendment, that could have expanded the situations in which third-trimester abortions are allowed in the state.

His proposed language would have banned third-trimester abortions "when the viable unborn child does not have a severe, irreversible brain or vital organ impairment.” The original bill allowed for such late-term abortions in the instance of “irreversible brain” impairment only.

According to a Breitbart Texas interview with Texas Right-to-Life Executive Director Elizabeth Graham, Branch’s proposed amendment gave broader latitude to third-term abortions.

"Had Branch’s amendment passed, abortions would be allowed in the third trimester if the child suffered ’impairment of a vital organ,' a judgment call that would have been made by the abortionist who makes a substantial profit off these late abortions," said Graham, whose organization has endorsed Branch's opponent in the run-off. Graham added, “And what exactly was meant by 'impairment'—diminished function? Temporarily slowed function? Function that could be improved or cured with treatment? The term was undefined, ambiguous at best, and left to the interpretation of the abortionist."

....

Branch's amendment failed on a "motion to table," but did garner 55 votes in the 150-seat House. Republicans overwhelmingly rejected the measure, with the exception of Rep. Joe Straus (then a first-time legislator from San Antonio) and a handful of others. The release sought to drive home his “pro-life” record.

[Emphasis added]
Dan Branch's record of support for late-term abortion is obvious to anyone with access to Google.  For an allegedly 'pro-life' organization to call such a person "a pro-life champion" speaks for itself.

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Update II: To address the substance of the politifact 'rebuttal', consider the following:
Recapping: Hartnett’s amended amendment would allow late abortions if a "viable unborn child" had irreversible brain damage. Branch’s amendment, which Hartnett opposed, would have added another exception, allowing third-trimester abortions if the viable unborn child had irreversible damage to vital organs.

....

Branch, saying he was "strongly opposed as a general matter to third-trimester abortions," told the House, "If you’re going to have this exception for severe, irreversible brain damage, then my point is, as a son of a neurosurgeon, as a brother of a neurosurgeon, as someone who’s lived through this with multiple children and multiple miscarriages, the term ‘or vital organ’ merely says that the heart -- it acknowledges that the heart or the lack of lungs or the kidney or the liver are all also vital organs in addition to the brain."

Branch in debate: 'Pro-life position'

After about 40 minutes of debate on his proposal, Branch said, "I hope you understand I’m coming from this in a pro-life position; I’m really just trying to be careful and precise and intellectually honest. If we’re going to make this exception for the brain, then we ought to include absolutely essential organs."

Hartnett, moving to table Branch’s proposal, told House members that "vital organ" was too broad: "I just think ... we’re getting into the posture of trying to water it down by drip, drip, erosion," he said. "You can live without a kidney is my understanding, you can live without a lung, you can live without just about anything except your brain, and that’s why we’re drawing the line at the brain."

....

So Hartnett’s measure tightened abortion limits; Branch’s amendment would have added a second exception to one of them.
 In other words, Branch didn't explicitly seek to 'expand' late term abortion.  He attempted to water down a bill restricting late-term abortions.  "Vital Organ" is a loophole that a skilled trial lawyer working with a progressive judge could drive a truck through.

3 comments:

  1. It is untruthful to claim that Dan Branch tried to expand third trimester abortions

    http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2014/apr/24/texas-right-life/texas-lawmakers-including-dan-branch-tightened-lim/

    Branch voted to ban third trimester abortions, along with the majority of the legislature. read this politifact article, it goes into detail and can help explain why your claims are also mislead.

    It is even more untruthful to claim that Texas Alliance for Life "endorsed dead babies." They endorsed a candidate who has been devoted to protecting innocent human life throughout his entire time in the House.

    Do you ever stop to think of the damage you are potentially doing to innocent human babies by spreading these false claims about an organization committed to protecting them? Do you ever stop to think maybe you should do research before making such far fetched and hostile claims?

    Stop using babies as tokens in your political games. And stop writing about Jesus, because you aren't doing Him any favors either when you follow your posts about Jesus with posts that are so mislead as to accuse a prolife organization of endorsing dead babies. That's called lying and slandering. Jesus doesn't like lying or slandering.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This bogus claim about pro-life Dan Branch made by Texas Right to Life (who endorsed Branch' opponent) has been entirely discredited by PolitiFact Texas and rated "False":

    http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2014/apr/24/texas-right-life/texas-lawmakers-including-dan-branch-tightened-lim/

    "Texas Right to Life said, 'In 2005, Dan Branch tried to expand third-trimester abortions in Texas.'

    This statement would hold up if Branch's amendment loosened established limits. To the contrary, lawmakers including Branch embraced specific restrictions superseding a broad limit stating that any fetus with a severe, irreversible abnormality could be aborted in the third trimester.

    If Branch's proposal had been adopted, such abortions could have taken place if a fetus had a severe irreversible impairment to the brain or--Branch’s wrinkle--another vital organ. The bottom line is Branch’s proposal would have restricted such abortions more than they'd been limited, which makes this claim False."

    The truth is that beginning with Dan Branch' first legislative session in 2003, he has been voting pro-life for:

    * Defunding Planned Parenthood, which has closed many of their abortion facilities and saved lives,
    * For parental consent for abortion, which has substantially decreased abortions on minor girls,
    * A ban on abortions in the third-trimester, which caused a drop by more than half.
    * Personhood of the unborn child to protect unborn babies from assault and murder,
    * Informed consent for women, including the sonogram bill,
    * Ban on abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy (HB 2),
    * Dramatically increased safety regulations at abortion facilities (HB 2), which is closing more abortion facilities.

    Dan Branch is pro-life, and his voting record proves it. We urge voters to support Dan Branch for Attorney General.

    Joe Pojman, Ph.D.
    Executive Director, Texas Alliance for Life PAC

    ReplyDelete
  3. To be clear, Texas Alliance for Life opposes all exceptions to abortion bans for any sort of disability of the unborn child. We oppose exceptions to a ban on late term abortions in cases when the child has a "severe, irreversible brain impairment" (the Hartnett amendment) and when the child has a "severe, irreversible . . . vital organ impairment" (the Branch amendment). Medical experts we have consulted tell us both conditions would render the unborn child to be non-viable, i.e., incapable of living very long after birth even with the best medical treatment.

    We can no sooner advocate the destruction of an unborn child with those conditions than the destruction of a newborn child with those conditions, even though those children are not viable.

    However, fortunately those conditions are rare, and we will support abortion bans with those exceptions if they are necessary to garner enough votes to pass a bill that will protect the vast majority of babies who would otherwise not be protected. We know from experience that laws can be improved in future legislative sessions.

    The issue here is whether Dan Branch is pro-life, and his record is overwhelmingly pro-life.

    Why did Branch offer his amendment in 2005? He explained his reason several times during the floor debate (which can be seen on the archived video feed). He wanted the Hartnett amendment to be consistent with the reality of medical practice. Branch has since explained that would help protect the law from a constitutional challenge. While the 2005 law has not be challenged, there was always the risk of an attack in the courts.

    We point out that Dan Branch supported HB 2, with the ban on abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy. That law, authored by Rep. Jodi Laubenberg, also has an exception for cases when the unborn child is not viable. We hope this blogger will not attack Rep. Laubenberg, whom we hold in very high regard.

    ReplyDelete