Drug Importation Bill Ignites War Between Religious Conservatives
Traditional Values Coalition, accused of lying and bribery, is banned from Capitol Hill for a year
Is Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) involved in bribery and extortion? Those are just some of the accusations being leveled against it this week. What's more, those accusations are coming from prolife conservatives, furious over the organization's campaign to stop a bill allowing the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and Europe.
The TVC says the bill "would open the floodgates for RU-486 and other harmful drugs to enter America." In fact, says a direct mail campaign from Sheldon, the bill might make the abortion drug "as easy to get as aspirin…Any 14-year-old with her Dad's or Mom's credit card is in business when it comes to buying RU-486." The letter targets several prolife members of Congress (which have received 100 percent ratings from the National Right to Life Committee), suggesting they are "forget[ting] the sanctity of life."
One problem, notes National Review Online's Ramesh Ponnuru, who has been watching this story closely:
The TVC's claims aren't true. The importation bill does not make it legal, or likely, that people are going to be able to get RU-486 along with aspirin at a 7-11. As a matter of law, the importation bill does not appear to override all other regulations. … With the exception of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, no pro-life organization or spokesman agrees with TVC's analysis. Even opponents of the bill disagree with the TVC.
One such opponent not mentioned by Ponnuru is the Family Research Council. Policy analyst Richard Lessner says the group opposes the bill because it essentially means importing other countries' price controls. However, Lessner told The Washington Times, "The ...