Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners

Two pro-life activists will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom this year, Congressman Henry Hyde and Cuban physician and activist Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet.

Per, Henry Hyde is a former congressman and author of the Hyde Amendment:
Hyde was first elected to the House in 1974 and served as chairman of the House International Relations Committee and the House Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2001.

In those positions, Hyde advanced pro-life legislation and worked to stop using taxpayer dollars to subsidize abortions in other countries.

Hyde's lasting legacy will be the federal Hyde amendment, which has prevented federal tax dollars from being used to fund almost all abortions since the 1976. The Supreme Court heard a case in 1980 challenging the law and upheld it as constitutional.

Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet is a Cuban physician who spoke out against Castro's government and refused to do abortions in his country and is currently serving 22 years in prison:
Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1961, Biscet received his degree as a specialist in internal medicine, and, by 1987, he was practicing and teaching obstetrics at the Hijas de Galicia hospital in the nation's capital city.

In the early 1990s, the drug Rivanol was being used to provide young Cuban women with chemically induced abortions, Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic Outreach Director for National Right to Life, tells

Dr. Biscet began researching and compiling evidence as to how this strong abortifacient was being used to destroy children. He also documented many accounts of children being killed after surviving this type of abortion.

Biscet eventually wrote a paper titled "Rivanol: A Method to Destroy Life," that he published in April 1998. Later that year, he denounced the Cuban National Health System as being a party to genocide, Rojas said.

Shortly thereafter, the nation's health system officially expelled Biscet, preventing him from practicing medicine in Cuba.

"He was tried and sentenced to three years in jail for simply stating the truth," Rojas told

Biscet served the entirety of his three year term.

One month after his release, Dr. Biscet was arrested while meeting with other dissidents in a private home. He was again savagely beaten and this time sentenced to 25 years in jail, Rojas explained.

"His torture at the hands of Castro's henchmen is well documented and he continues to speak from his cell for the dignity of all life including that of the unborn," Rojas says.


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