Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Two prominent pro-life congressmen are challenging President Barack Obama on his recent comments during his Notre Dame graduation speech that he supports a conscience clause. Obama told students he wanted to find common ground on abortion and used the conscience clause as an example. However, his administration has already proposed overturning a measure President Bush put in place to uphold three conscience laws. "Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women," Obama said. In response, Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin and Chris Smith of New Jersey held a press conference today and called on Obama to forgo rescinding the Bush Administration conscience protection regulation. "You indicated that you wanted to 'honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion.' Given our agreement in regard to a conscience clause, we respectfully request that you put an end to your Administration's review of the Bush Administration rule that enforces existing conscience protection laws and completely forgo the rescinding of this rule," they said in a letter to Obama. Full story at LifeNews.com
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A leading pro-life legal group has compiled a detailed analysis of the pro-abortion views of the several leading contenders from which President Barack Obama is expected to pick the next Supreme Court justice. Americans United for Life indicates pro-life advocates should expect a fierce battle over abortion with virtually any of the leading candidates. Elena Kagan, the Solicitor General of the United States and the former dean of Harvard Law School, has made the high-end of the list of potential nominees from most political observers. AUL indicates Kagan is at odds with a Supreme Court decision that upholds the right of government to stop taxpayer-funded abortions. Justice Leah Ward Sears, the chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, is another potential pick. Justice Sears has not issued any known decision on life-related issues, but AUL indicates "Sears has evidenced a broad conception of substantive constitutional privacy -- the very basis upon which Roe v. Wade is predicated." Another potential Obama pick, Kathleen Sullivan of the Stanford Law School, is pro-abortion as well. "Sullivan, who has no judicial experience, published an article in the August 1992 New Jersey Law Journal, commenting on the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and arguing that legal status of abortion should be decided by the courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, and not the American people through the democratic process," AUL indicates. Full story at LifeNews.com
Pro-Life Groups May Have to Lead Battle Against Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Pick
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- There is a growing feeling in the nation's capital and within the pro-life community that pro-life groups may have to lead the fight against a pro-abortion Supreme Court pick. With their numbers sagging and even the ability to mount a filibuster appearing to be beyond their grasp, Senate Republicans are already sounding defeatist tones. They appear to be ready to truckle to pro-life and other outside groups, which are geared up to take on Obama and his expected pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee. Sen. Jeff Sessions, the pro-life lawmaker who is the new top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and top Republican aides appeared dispirited in recent comments to the New York Times. "Well, the Democrats have a strong majority on the committee," he said, referring to the fact that Senate Democrats now hold a 12-7 majority on the panel, shifting from their 11 to 8 majority before Senator Arlen Specter changed parties. "Assuming no serious problems, we should have a good discussion about the role of a judge," he added. Sessions didn't appear to believe that Obama's nominee would be defeated unless the nominee wanted "to promote a political agenda" or had problems such as tax payment or personal issues. Full story at LifeNews.com
by Bradley Mattes
The controversy surrounding President Obama and Notre Dame University culminated with his speech Sunday in Indiana. I had returned from Washington, DC just in time to drop my bag and tune in to watch the address. His most pronounced message -- certainly the one emphasized by the media -- was that we shouldn't demonize those who disagree with us on abortion. I couldn't agree more, but wonder why the President doesn't follow his own advice.
Certainly his memory isn't that short. Only a few weeks ago his administration released a memo cautioning against "rightwing extremists". In the crosshairs of its inflammatory remarks were pro-lifers. How can the President claim verbal high ground in the abortion debate when his administration is demonizing individuals as "domestic rightwing terrorists" when they"in the words of the memo"are "dedicated to [an] opposition to abortion?" Full story at LifeNews.com
Pro-Life Ad on Adoption, Abortion Confirmed for American Idol Finale Tonight
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A pro-life ad touting adoption as an alternative to abortions has been confirmed for airing tonight on the series finale of American Idol, the popular entertainment show. The same pro-life group that produced a well-received advertisement on President Barack Obama is behind this ad. CatholicVote.org, sponsored by the pro-life Catholic group Fidelis, is sponsoring the commercial, which is part of its 'Imagine the Potential' series of television spots. The ad will only air in select markets, according to representatives of the group. "We are pleased to announce that our latest commercial ' Imagine Spot 2 ' will begin airing tonight on the American Idol finale," spokesman Brian Burch told LifeNews.com Tuesday afternoon. "We have secured ad space in select markets in six states, beginning tonight in Baltimore." "Our ad will also be running tomorrow night during the second night of the finale in select markets in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and Florida," he added. The latest ad focuses on the lives of political and business leaders, sports figures, and others who all could have become victims of abortion, but, instead, were welcomed into loving families via adoption. Full story at LifeNews.com
Nashville, TN (LifeNews.com) -- The Tennessee state House has approved an amendment that pro-life advocates have fought for to limit the reach of a pro-abortion state Supreme Court ruling. The amendment, pro-life advocates say, is critically needed to be able to pass laws to limit and reduce abortions. The amendment is necessary because the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled 4-1 in 2000 that the state constitution allows unlimited abortions. The ruling claimed the Tennessee Constitution contains a fundamental abortion right even broader than Roe v. Wade or the federal constitution and it resulted in the striking down of numerous pro-life Tennessee laws that were helping women and limiting abortions. The Senate-approved amendment, SJR 127, received a strongly bipartisan 76-22, to the delight of Ed Albin of Tennessee Right to Life, which has spearheaded the lobbying for it. "After a nine-year struggle by Tennessee's pro-life grassroots movement to force a House floor vote on the proposed constitutional amendment, the House has finally joined the state Senate which has already passed SJR 127 five times since 2000," he told LifeNews.com. Although the legislature finally approved the amendment, Albin explains that the battle continues and pro-life advocates need to prepare for continuing the battle next year. Full story at LifeNews.com
Springfield, IL (LifeNews.com) -- An Illinois state legislator is leading a move during the final weeks of the legislative session to cut funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business out of the state budget. Rep. David Reis says that, with the economy in bad shape, now is not the time to spend tax dollars funding the pro-abortion group. As Illinois general revenue fund revenues continue to deteriorate and the state budget outlook for the next fiscal year for the state shows substantial red ink, Reis says cutting Planned Parenthood funds makes sense. "Here in Illinois, taxpayers have provided over $25 million in funding to Planned Parenthood over the past five years for an average of $5 million per year," he told LifeNews.com on Tuesday. In a letter sent to his colleagues, Reis writes that cutting Planned Parenthood funding allows the state to divert the needed money to providing health care for Illinois residents. ACTION: Contact your Illinois legislators and urge them to support the Reis measure to shift funding away from Planned Parenthood. Find contact info at the Illinois legislature web site at http://www.ilga.gov. / Full story at LifeNews.com
Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry Gets Sex-Selection Abortion Ban, Reporting Bill
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) -- Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry has received a bill from the state legislature that would tighten abortion reporting requirements and ban sex-selection abortions. A statewide pro-life group is urging pro-life advocates to contact Governor Henry to ask him to sign the measure into law. The House passed the legislation 93-4 in February and the state Senate backed HB 1595 on a 34-10 vote last month. The bill, a priority of Oklahomans for Life, would prohibit using abortions for purposes of sex-selection and would allow better reporting information about abortions done across the state. The measure was given final approval by the state Senate on Friday and now Henry will decide whether to sign or veto it. ACTION: Contact Governor Henry by going to http://www.gov.ok.gov/index.
Illinois Choose Life License Plate Gets Second Legal Brief at Supreme Court
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A second pro-life legal group has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to overturn a decision handed down against Choose Life license plates in Illinois. The appellate court ruled in November that Illinois officials who don't want to issue Choose Life license plates for state motorists don't have to do so. The appeals court overturned a ruling issued by a federal judge who denied a request by Secretary of State Jesse White to stall on producing the plates. The appellate court said state officials are within their rights to keep the abortion debate off Illinois license plates, even though other states have approved the plates. Today, attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief. Pro-life and pro-adoption organizations shouldn't be censored just because not everyone agrees with their viewpoint, ADF senior legal counsel Steven Aden told LifeNews.com. Full story at LifeNews.com
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has officially dropped Planned Parenthood from a health fair that her administration is sponsoring. The move has upset officials with the abortion business, but won her praise from pro-life advocates who say Brewer is quickly becoming a better governor than pro-abortion Janet Napolitano. Planned Parenthood Arizona had requested to be a participant in this year's Womens Health Expo, a one-day event at two locations in Maricopa County that featured community groups with booths and information. The governor's of Children, Youth and Families coordinated the event, which saw the participation of more than 60 organizations, except Planned Parenthood. Brewer's office reportedly rejected its request to be involved. "The organization was never invited to the event by Gov. Brewer," press aide Paul Senseman said, according to the East Valley Tribune. "It is certainly no secret that the governor has a pro-life track record and accomplishments dating back to her very first years as an elected official at the Arizona Legislature." ACTION: Contact Governor Jan Brewer and express your support for excluding the Planned Parenthood abortion business from the health fair. Go to http://azgovernor.gov/Contact.
Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) -- The Caritas Catholic health care system faces continued criticism over a health insurance bid that will result in it making abortion referrals. Massachusetts state officials awarded the bid, which has Caritas Christi Health Care joining with Centene Corporation. The bid allows the joint effort to provide government-subsidized health insurance in Massachusetts that would include coverage for abortion. The bid to provide state-subsidized health insurance would take place through the Commonwealth Care program. Massachusetts pro-life advocates have been up in arms because an ostensibly Catholic health system appears to be the latest to deliquesce to a secular government and health care provider that has no problems with abortion. In March, state officials told the Boston Herald that Caritas officials will refer women seeking abortions to a consumer hotline to find other insurance providers who will cover an abortion. Since then, in response to an inquiry from the Catholic Action League, Brian Delaney, communications director for CeltiCare, owned by Centene, confirmed that the joint venture will be operational by July 1 and that it "will meet all the state's requirements under the Commonwealth Care program, including providing family planning services as appropriate." Full story at LifeNews.com