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Eagle Forum Capitol Alert
Nov. 14, 2002

UPDATE: Pro-Life Members Triumph Over Business Demands
On November 14, pro-life House Members won the day by defeating the bankruptcy reform conference report, which contained Sen. Chuck Schumer's language targeting peaceful pro-life protesters. Pro-life Reps. Joe Pitts (R-PA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Mike Pence (R-IN) led the uphill battle to take down the entire bill since there was no opportunity to amend the conference report. With no time left on the clock for voting on the rules of debate, pro-lifers led by 1 vote, then 4 votes, and after 30 minutes a wave of Members voted down the rule 243 to 172. At 1am, a revised bankruptcy bill, minus the pro-abortion Schumer language, passed the House, a tremendous win for the pro-life cause!  
House Passes Revised Bankruptcy Bill
Abortion-Related Provision Dropped After Earlier Bill Is Scuttled
      Washington Post, November 15, 2002; Page A04  
With Bankruptcy Bill, A Surprise Show of Force
GOP Abortion Foes Object to Provision, Block Law
      Washington Post, November 18, 2002; Page A04  
House Roll Call Vote 478   
 

Don't Let Your Member Jeopardize His Pro-Life Rating  
Tell Him to Oppose the Pro-Abortion Bankruptcy Bill

ALERT This afternoon, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Bankruptcy Reform Conference Report (H.R. 333). There will be no opportunity for amendments. Over the last five years, Congress has debated bankruptcy reform. However, every pro-life Member should oppose the current Bankruptcy Reform conference report because of the pro-abortion provision attached by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Presently under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, abortion clinics can bring civil lawsuits against pro-life protesters for physically obstructing access to the clinic even if the obstruction is completely non-violent. Those protesters are permitted under current law to declare bankruptcy as long as the underlying action is not willful and malicious.

Protesters who commit violent actions are already prevented from declaring bankruptcy, but now, Sen. Schumer is targeting peaceful protesters. The Schumer language reverses current law by preventing peaceful pro-life protesters, penalized under the FACE Act, from discharging their debts.

Members voting for the pro-abortion bankruptcy bill will be forcing peaceful pro-lifers penalized under FACE to spend a life-time paying so-called damages to abortion clinics. Such a reversal of current law is an affront to peaceful people exercising their freedom of speech.

Does your Member agree with Senator Schumer on targeting peaceful pro-lifers? 
"They'd pay their fine and go back and stand in front of the clinic again . . . They were taking the law into their own hands - in a peaceful way, but a very serious way that led us to write the law. That is why the FACE law mandated not fifty-dollar fines [but large ones instead]." Sen. Chuck Schumer, September 18, 2002

ACTION ITEMS 
Call your Representative NOW! Tell him to vote 'NO' on the Pro-Abortion Bankruptcy Reform Conference Report. Also inform him that Eagle Forum is scoring the vote on the rule and final passage.

Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Call the House Leaders and urge them to pull the bankruptcy bill from the floor.

  • Speaker Dennis Hastert (202) 225-0600 
  • Majority Leader Dick Armey (202) 225-4000 
  • Majority Whip Tom DeLay (202) 225-0197
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