Monday, June 27, 2005

Gwen Moore: Marquette’s Pet Anti-Life Representative

At the moment on the front page of the official Marquette University web site, a laudatory article on Gwendolyn Moore, a Marquette alumna and Representative in the U.S. Congress from Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District. The effusive rhetoric in the article includes the following:
Congresswoman Gwendolyn Moore took an untraditional path to Washington, one that gave Wisconsin voters a sense of what she’s made of. She will tell you the journey prepared her in a unique way to represent the interests of the people in the 4th Congressional District, a cross section of socioeconomic and cultural groups who share a compelling interest in issues battering southeastern Wisconsin. She has not only walked in their shoes, but overcame the daunting challenge of being a teen mother on welfare putting herself through Marquette.
What has been sanitized out of the article? The fact that Moore has a pro-abortion voting record both in the Wisconsin legislature and in the U.S. House. Indeed, she had not only votes for abortion to be legal, she has opposed even the most modest limits on the practice.

Let’s look at the record:
  • In 1991, in the Wisconsin Assembly, she voted against Assembly Bill 180 that would have required a minor girl to get her parents permission to have an abortion. Not only did she vote against the bill, she supported several amendments the purpose of which was to gut it before it came up for a final vote.
  • In 1997, Assembly Bill 220, to outlaw partial birth abortion, came before the State Senate. Although liberal Senate leadership evaded a roll-call vote on the issue, Moore opposed the bill in one key procedural vote, and also offered several amendments that had the intention of watering the bill down.
  • In the 2001-2002 session, Moore voted against a bill (Senate Bill 379) that would have outlawed cloning human beings.
  • Also in the 2001-2002 session she voted in favor of stem cell research by voting in favor of a Senate Joint Resolution (SJR 46) to commend a stem cell researcher (Dr. James Thompson) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for stem cell research.
  • In the same session she voted for Senate Bill 128 that would have forced employers (including Catholic organizations with religious objections) to provide contraceptives as part of employee health benefits.
  • In the 2003-2004 term of the legislature she voted against the Conscience Clause Bill that protected the rights of health care workers and organizations to refuse to participate in activities that involve the deliberate destruction of human life. Under the bill, people could not be forced to participate in abortions, assisted suicide, or the deliberate destruction of human embryos.
  • When Moore entered the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005, her voting didn’t improve. She voted against the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would have made it a Federal crime to transport a minor across state lines to evade parental notification requirements in the state where the minor lives.
  • She voted in favor of Federal funding of embryo-killing stem cell research (H.R. 810).
  • She voted to allow abortion in U.S. military hospitals.
Gwen Moore, in other words, is not somebody who has concluded, perhaps reluctantly, that abortion should be legal. She has decided that it should be legal, that it should be legal for minors no matter what their parents think, that health care workers should be forced to perform abortions and that even partial-birth abortion should be legal.

And when the usual feminist suspects turn out to support abortion, Moore is right there with them.

The current puff piece on the Marquette web page isn’t the first honor Marquette has bestowed on Moore. Marquette’s Les Aspin Center honored her with a lavish reception when she was sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. According to the Journal-Sentinel:
Sponsors of the Washington reception include Broydrick & Associates, Marquette University, Miller Brewing Co., Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and We Energies.

Jay Heck, executive director of the government watchdog group Common Cause in Wisconsin, said it’s not uncommon for corporations to sponsor such receptions for members of Congress, a practice that is prohibited for members of the state Legislature.
What kind of interests gave Moore money (and will expect her to vote their way)?
Campaign finance reports show Northwestern Mutual’s political action committee donated $5,000 to Moore; Miller’s PAC contributed $3,000 to Moore’s campaign, and executive vice president Virgis Colbert added another $1,000; and the We Energies PAC donated $2,500, and retired chief executive officer Richard Abdoo kicked in another $2,000.

Moore’s campaign took in money from a broad range of business, labor and activist groups. Among those donating at the $10,000 maximum were PACs for 10 unions, plus Johnson Controls Inc., the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the National Abortion Rights Action League and the Human Rights Campaign Fund, which backs candidates who support gay rights. She also received $2,000 each from the Ho-Chunk and Oneida American Indian tribes.

But Moore’s largest benefactor remained EMILY’s List, the national organization that backs Democratic women who support abortion rights. EMILY’s List served as a conduit for $289,736 in contributions from its members and spent more than $600,000 on its own, mostly on independent efforts backing Moore.

Overall, political action committees contributed 30% of the $1 million that Moore raised, and EMILY’s List members accounted for another 27%. Her campaign spent $858,578 and had $172,553 left as of Nov. 22.
Moore, in other words, was elected with the money of feminists and gay rights activists. She also got the support of the Trial Lawyers and the Indian Tribes. But business interests also chipped in considerable cash.

While Catholic social teaching has little or nothing to say about tort reform nor about Indian Casinos, it certainly has a lot to say about abortion and “gay rights,” and Moore is about as diametrically opposed to the Catholic position as it’s possible to be.

Why in the world would Marquette go out of its way to honor her?

An article on a black alumna, of course, fits nicely into Marquette’s desire to be seen as favoring “diversity.” But among the blacks who have graduated from Marquette, aren’t there many who have done outstanding things without pushing an anti-life anti-Catholic teaching agenda?

Likewise, the Aspin Center has an incentive to curry favor with the “movers and shakers” in Washington, especially since they are always seeking attractive internship opportunities for their students.

But those “movers and shakers” have an incentive to have good relationships with the Aspin Center, even if the latter isn’t sucking up to them. They, after all, want good interns.

It appears that key decision makers, both the the Office of Public Affairs (which was responsible for the article) and at the Aspin Center, simply aren’t much concerned with the Catholic mission of the University. They will use the rhetoric when it’s convenient (trying to convince students and parents to choose Marquette), and especially when it’s convenient for doing something politically correct — like refusing to go back to “Warriors” as a nickname or refusing to allow the College Republicans to raise money for American military snipers.

But at other times, it’s just not something that they care about. They say they do, but actions speak louder than words.

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