Who’s behind the public policies that have led to millions dead from abortion?
By R.J. Grace
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 a California Catholic Daily’s series, “Faces of the American Holocaust,” in which we put faces to those behind the mass murder of innocents in the U.S.
Edmund G. (“Jerry”) Brown Jr. served two terms as governor of California from1975-83 — and is currently serving a third term as the 38th governor of California.
He was born on April 7, 1938 in San Francisco. A Catholic from birth, he graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1955 and attended his freshman year at the University of Santa Clara before entering the Jesuit Novitiate in 1956. He left the Jesuits four years later to enter UC Berkeley to complete a BA in Classics, then was off to Yale Law school, where he earned a JD in 1964.
Ten years later, Brown was elected governor. He served two terms — then went on several lecture tours. He also went on learning tours in several countries and at one point worked with Mother Teresa in India at the Home for the Dying. It was following this time working with Mother Teresa that he made the statement that he could “no longer support abortion” during a phone interview with the National Catholic News Service in 1988. Brown has since “clarified” the statement by saying he is personally opposed to abortion, but believes women should have the legal right to choose an abortion. As a politician, he has done everything he can to ensure that abortion remain legal and available. Brown returned to practicing law and eventually became chairman for the California Democratic Party in 1989. He resigned from the chairmanship in 1991 and ran for the Democratic nomination for US President in 1992, but lost to Bill Clinton. In 1998 he ran for and was elected mayor of Oakland, where he served two terms — from 1999 to 2007. While serving as mayor of Oakland he ran for and was elected Attorney General of California. He served in that capacity from 2007 to 2011. During the campaign, his opponent, Rocky Delgadillo, accused Brown of being against “abortion rights.” Brown again defended himself as being personally against abortion but committed to protecting “abortion rights.”
In 2010 Brown successfully ran for Governor of California against Republican Meg Whitman. He was sworn in on January 3rd 2011 and is currently serving his third term as governor. During his campaign against Whitman, Brown’s campaign touted his pro-abortion credentials.
In August 2010, the Brown for Governor campaign issued a news release announcing support for Brown from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. “In recognition of California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s record of strong and consistent support for women’s health issues, NARAL Pro-Choice California, and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) today announced their support for Brown for Governor and condemned Republican candidate Meg Whitman for her cynical double talk on fundamental women’s health issues,” said the August 25, 2010 news release.
“‘For those who believe in a woman’s right to choose, the choice is clear,’ said Amy Everitt, State Director for NARAL Pro-Choice California. ‘Jerry Brown has always been an uncompromising champion of a woman’s right to choose; having proven time and again his commitment to preserving a woman’s right to a safe, legal abortion,’” the news release continued.
“‘Planned Parenthood only endorses candidates who are 100% respectful of a woman’s right to make the very private, very personal decisions regarding her own reproductive health, 100% of the time,” said Kathy Kneer, President of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California,” said the press release. “We know that Jerry Brown is 100% respectful of these fundamental rights.”
And Brown has kept faith with his pro-abortion supporters. In August of 2011, Brown signed a law that made it a misdemeanor to “create a disturbance” near the campus of an elementary or middle school. Right to Life activists have pointed out that the law could be used to attack peaceful pro-life demonstrations.
Having never served as a legislator, there have been few abortion-related laws Brown has been called to vote on. However, his judicial appointments have consistently been of individuals who support “abortion rights.”
One such example is that of California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu. President Obama unsuccessfully tried to appoint Liu to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. When the president failed, Brown appointed Liu an associate justice of the state’s highest court. Liu has supported same-sex marriage and chaired what the San Francisco Chronicle characterized as “the left-leaning American Constitution Society.” He previously was a law clerk for one of the US Supreme Court’s most liberal jurists, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Liu also publicly opposed the nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, using particularly harsh rhetoric against Alito. “Judge Alito’s record envisions an America where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse… where a black man may be sentenced to death by an all-white jury for killing a white man,” Liu wrote of Alito’s nomination court. Critics describe Liu as a “judicial activist” who, among other positions, supports the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in the U.S.
Brown also has argued in favor of keeping laws in place that permit the murder of unborn children. He has a string of endorsements from fellow politicians who are also in favor of promoting and defending abortion, such as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Diane Feinstein. In a campaign letter from 2006 — signed by both Pelosi and Feinstein — they say, “Jerry’s record on choice is not just rhetoric and we will need someone with his courage to fight the efforts to erode a woman’s right to choose. Please join us in supporting Jerry for Attorney General.”
Other support for Brown by pro-abortion politicians and groups include endorsements from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former president Bill Clinton, former California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, and the National Organization for Women.
Last year, Brown wrote a letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner asking him to preserve public funding for organizations that provide abortions. The Los Angeles Times story reporting on Brown’s letter ran under the headline, “Jerry Brown wades into abortion debate.” The letter left no doubt on which side of the ‘debate’ Brown stood. He did not want the federal government to cut off funding to groups like Planned Parenthood that helped him get elected.
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