Jack Kemp: RIP

When I learned Saturday that former pro-life congressman Jack Kemp had died of cancer, in addition to the sorrow I felt for his family, three thoughts flashed through my mind.

Jack Kemp attended several NRL Conventions, not only speaking to General Sessions, but also taking time to speak informally to young people and get acquainted with them personally. He had a profound impact on a whole generation of pro-lifer youth who came of age in the 80s and 90s. Kemp is photographed during a discussion with youth at the 1986 NRL Convention held in Denver. Photographed with Mr. Kemp are Paul Hunker (left) and Billy Gans.

First, I remembered how I had thought of the nine-term congressman from western New York almost the instant that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was added to the Republican ticket. Like the choice of Palin, Sen. Bob Dole's selection of Kemp in 1996 energized and fired up pro-lifers across the land. Kemp was not only solidly pro-life, he was handsome, charismatic, and deeply committed to making America equally hospitable to all its citizens.

Second, ebullient and enthusiastic, Kemp poured out a seemingly limitless stream of proposals. It is no exaggeration to say that he believed ideas were Archimedes' lever that could move the world.

One of those ideas was that the America taxpayer should not be forced to underwrite horrific human rights violations abroad. Kemp was the author on the house side of the Kemp-Kasten law.

The bill was first enacted in 1985. Kemp-Kasten prohibited U.S. funding of organizations that participated in programs of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization. Republican Presidents looked at the facts on the ground (as opposed to the briefing books compiled by pro-abortion organizations), and concluded that the UNFPA was up to its eyeballs in both practices.

"The UNFPA is a cheerleader and facilitator for China's birth-quota program, which relies heavily on coerced abortion,"  NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson said several years ago. "Top UNFPA officials have been completely cozy with China's birth-quota bosses. For 20 years, top UNFPA leaders have consistently praised China's program and attacked its critics." Kemp-Kasten was part of that attempt to quarantine taxpayer dollars

Third, Kemp had an enormous impact on young pro-lifers. I remember like it was yesterday a private meeting he had with a number of pro-life teens. To say that he inspired them would be the understatement of the year.

Our prayers go out to Mr. Kemp's family.

Dave Andrusko
Source: National Right to Life
Publish Date: May 4, 2009
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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.


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