Honoring an Early Pro-Life Democrat

Michael New: “Ellen McCormack was one of the most well-known pro-life activists of the 1970s. She was a wife, a mother, a homemaker, and a two-time presidential candidate. Although her name might be unfamiliar to young pro-lifers, many pro-lifers of an older generation fondly recall her 1976 campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. This campaign is nicely chronicled in Jane Gilroy’s new book A Shared Vision. Gilroy gives some well-deserved attention to the accomplishments of a pro-life pioneer. She also details a presidential campaign that, despite taking place 36 years ago, still contains important lessons for today’s pro-life activists.”

Affordable Care and Protection: Substance, not Politics

Morna Murray: “Two Senators – one pro-life and one pro-choice – Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced an amendment based upon the Pregnant Women Support Act (a bill introduced by Senator Casey), which was included and appropriated by the ACA (meaning it was automatically funded upon passage of the law).  This is extremely rare – typically a law must go through a rigorous appropriations process, and often is severely defunded or even dismantled.  The Pregnant Women Support Act was renamed the Pregnancy Assistance Fund when housed at the Health and Human Services Administration.  Seventeen states and 13 Indian tribes received 3-year funding in 2010 to find innovative ways to help pregnant women and teens get good prenatal care and maintain healthy pregnancies while continuing their education, obtaining job skills, getting housing or childcare assistance, receiving protection from domestic abuse, among other vital avenues of assistance.  In other words, a pro-life Senator and a pro-choice Senator came together to agree upon much-needed assistance for vulnerable pregnant women and teens who wanted to continue their pregnancies and give their children the best chance possible.  This was codified into law and actually funded, for $250 million over 10 years, with passage of the ACA.”

Fond Farewells: Sargent Shriver

Mark Shriver: “For all the great things my father did — creating the Peace Corps; running the War on Poverty, including Head Start and other programs; helping my mother grow the Special Olympics; fighting in World War II and being wounded in battle; working for interracial justice — I was most amazed that he rarely spoke about the past and instead focused on the moment and on the person he was with.”