When the killing of human beings becomes a pre-meditated methodical policy — put forward as a public good — massive slaughter results, and can be called a “holocaust.”

History puts a face on leaders who considered mass murder a political “good” — leaders like Adolph Hitler of Germany, Mehmet Talaat of Turkey, Pol Pot of Cambodia, Mao of China and Joseph Stalin of Russia.

But what about American leaders responsible for our own ongoing holocaust: abortion? History has yet to put a face to them, but those who value the sanctity of human life are obligated to ferret them out and hold them responsible.

This is the latest in an occasional California Catholic Daily series, “Faces of the American Holocaust,” in which we put faces to those behind the mass murder of innocents in the U.S.


By R.J. Grace

U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez stunned the political world in 1996 when she upset six-term Republican pro-lifer Bob Dornan by 984 votes in an election so close it is still disputed today.

During the 1996 campaign, Sanchez used images of Our Lady of Guadalupe in some appearances and was permitted to stump for election in Catholic parishes in Orange County. She has also distributed campaign flyers on the windshields of cars parked at churches during Mass.

But as the representative of California’s 47th Congressional District, Sanchez can hardly be said to represent Catholic values: she has been one of Congress’ most ardent supporters of abortion, is divorced and re-married, and has been a longtime friend of Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner.

In her earlier forays into politics, Sanchez used her married name – Loretta Brixey – and ran as a Republican. But in her 1996 race for Congress, she dropped her married name for her maiden name – Sanchez – and switched party registration to Democratic. The tactic worked, with most political observers citing strong support from Hispanic voters for her narrow victory. (In 2004 she divorced her husband, Steven Brixey, and she remarried last year.)

Sanchez has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW. She gets a 0% rating from the Family Research Council, the National Right to Life Committee, Life Priority Network, and the Democrats for Life of America. She has become one of the most adamant pro-abortion members of Congress, in spite of the fact that she identifies herself as a Catholic.

In 2009, in a reprise of her 1996 campaign, Sanchez was allowed to speak at an event at St. Callistus Catholic Church in Garden Grove, where she participated in a “prayer vigil” during which she ranted and raved against Republicans for opposing Obamacare. The federal healthcare plan, opposed by Catholic bishops before its passage, forces Catholic schools and charities to fund abortion and contraception. Not once during the so-called prayer vigil was Sanchez’s support for abortion even mentioned, let alone challenged.

One of her biggest campaign contributors has been Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner, and Sanchez has visited the Playboy Mansion as recently as 2010, reportedly to consider the viability of a run for governor. Sanchez created an uproar in 2000 when she planned a campaign fundraiser at Hefner’s 22,000-square-foot mansion in Los Angeles. Under pressure from Democratic Party leadership – including then presidential candidate Al Gore, who refused to attend – Sanchez reluctantly agreed to change the venue to Universal Studios.

Since her election in 1996, Sanchez has repeatedly introduced a measure that would allow overseas military hospitals to perform abortions. Her anti-life voting record is long and telling:

In 2011, she voted against a ban on federal healthcare coverage that includes abortion. In 2005 and again in 2007 she voted to expand research that uses embryonic stem cells harvested from abortions. In 2005, she voted against a law that would have made it illegal to take under-aged girls across state lines for an abortion as a means to get around parental notification/consent laws.

In 2004, Sanchez voted against a law that would have made harming an unborn child a crime in instances where another crime was being committed. In 2003, she voted against a law that would have made partial-birth abortion a crime, except for cases where it would save the life of the mother. In 2001 she opposed a ban on federal funding in foreign aid for family planning.

And that was just a sample of Sanchez’s votes. Her actual anti-life voting record is much more extensive. It is difficult to imaging how she can look her constituents in the face and say, “I am a Catholic.”