Monday, August 23, 2010 Pro-Life News Report 8/24/10 Pro-Life News Report

Tuesday, August 23, 2010

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Current Headlines

Judge Forces Obama Admin to Stop Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Catholic Bishops Say FDA Betrayed Women Approving Ella Abortion Drug

Pro-Life Group Seeks Investigation of Forcing Students to Pay for Abortions
Catholic Campaign for Human Development Still Under Fire for Abortion Ties
United Nations Uses International Year of Youth to Promote Abortion Globally
American Idol Winner Fantasia Barrino Shows Suicide's Not a Solution
Louisiana Court Backs Law Allowing Women to See Ultrasound Before Abortion
New Jersey Returns $2.9M to Medicaid After Planned Parenthood False Billing
Iowa Board of Medicine Hears From Opponents of Telemed Abortion Process
Virginia Attorney General: More Limits Can be Placed on Abortion Businesses
Human Rights Watch Charges Argentina With Violating CEDAW on Abortion

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Judge Forces Obama Admin to Stop Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Washington, DC ( -- A federal judge on Monday issued a decision forcing the Obama administration to stop funding embryonic stem cell research with taxpayer funds. The judge ruled the executive order Obama issued allowing such funding contravened a federal law prohibiting taxpayer funding of the destruction of human embryos.

U.S. district court Judge Royce Lamberth granted a preliminary injunction against the funding.

Judge Lamberth's ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by stem cell researchers who said the Obama executive order and subsequent funding from the National Institutes of Health violated the Dickey amendment.

Judge Royce Lamberth noted that the imposition of an injunction required that those challenging the government's funding demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits for their arguments. Apparently, they succeeded.

"(Embryonic stem cell) research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed," Lamberth wrote in the 15-page ruling

The Court noted, "Embryonic stem cell (ESC) research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo," and concluded that funding such research violates existing law.

The Obama administration can try to appeal the decision granting the preliminary injunction or could try to rewrite the guidelines to comply with the law. With the initial decision in place, both sides will likely present arguments about whether the order should be permanently blocked. Full story at

Catholic Bishops Say FDA Betrayed Women Approving Ella Abortion Drug
Washington, DC ( -- A spokeswoman for the nation's Catholic bishops says the Food and Drug administration betrayed women when it approved the unproven and little-researched Ella abortion drug. The Ella pill is hailed as an improved morning after pill but it causes abortions because it begins working after conception.

The drug reportedly can be used longer after sexual intercourse than the traditional Plan B drug and the FDA approved the drug with prescription-only status for use as an emergency contraceptive up to five days after sexual intercourse.

Supporters of Ella have gotten around that fact by redefining the beginning of pregnancy as implantation rather than conception, or fertilization.

But Deirdre McQuade, the Assistant Director at the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says it crosses the line between contraception and abortion.

"It is similar in its formula and biological effects to the abortion drug RU-486, which can be used to induce abortion up to 49 days gestation," McQuade explains.

"Both drugs inhibit progesterone a hormone needed to sustain a healthy pregnancy by blocking progesterone receptors in the lining of the womb (the endometrium) and causing it to deteriorate. But if the mother s endometrium is not hospitable or starts to shed prematurely, the 6-to-10-day-old embryo will have difficulty becoming or remaining implanted in the womb," McQuade says.

That's important because the "vulnerable child will die from the lack of nutrients and oxygen." Full story at

Pro-Life Group Seeks Investigation of Forcing Students to Pay for Abortions
Charlotte, NC ( -- A national pro-life student group is seeking a federal or state investigation into a situation it exposed about how students who attend public universities in North Carolina may have been forced to pay for abortions under the required health insurance plan.

Students for Life of America brought the information to light and noted concerns that federal funds may come into play.

SFLA discovered the North Carolina Board of Governors will require all students enrolled in a University of North Carolina public institution, starting with the 2010-2011 school year, to have health insurance.

Students who do not already have private health insurance are required to buy a state selected policy from Pearce & Pearce, Inc -- and it covers up to $500 toward elective abortions and has 80% PPO coverage for elective abortions.

Following SFLA's national outcry, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors announced that they will allow students opposed to abortion to "opt-out" of paying for abortion coverage.

Despite the opt out, students would be required to pay the same premium amount.

SFLA has been trying to work with the University of North Carolina system, but it still has numerous concerns and questions. Full story at

Catholic Campaign for Human Development Still Under Fire for Abortion Ties
by Colin Mason
Washington, DC ( -- Despite efforts to respond to some of the problems pro-life advocates have brought up, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is still coming under fire for supporting groups with ties to promoting abortion.

Catholic writer Deal Hudson writes in a new column at for some of the CCHD watchdogs.

The anti-poverty program run by the USCCB received criticism as early as October 2009 for funding groups who were explicitly supporting abortion.

"After its internal investigation, the CCHD claimed there were problems with only five groups out of the 51 listed as problematic by the Reform CCHD Now coalition. These five groups were subsequently de-funded," Hudson noted today. "However, new evidence has emerged that adds 16 new groups to the 51 originally listed as problematic."

"The 2010 CCHD list of grantees has yet to be released, so we have to wait to learn how many of the problematic groups were funded once again," Hudson continued.

Hudson says one of the big problems has been participation in an event titled U.S. Social Forum 2010 that was held in Detroit in late June. Dozens of People's Movement Assemblies (PMAs) from across the country attended the Forum, "to set a national action agenda," Hudson notes, and 21 CCHD grantees also attended the event.

"Unfortunately, the program attended by these groups supported by the donations of U.S. Catholics contains numerous workshops promoting abortion," Hudson writes. Full story at

United Nations Uses International Year of Youth to Promote Abortion Globally
New York, NY ( -- Last Thursday, the United Nations (UN) officially launched the International Year of Youth (IYY) in the UN General Assembly Hall. The theme for the year is Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, with a focus on health and development, particularly the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

But some observers fear that the IYY agenda has been taken over by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and its allies who are using it to promote new rights to sexual and reproductive health education and services for young people.

The UN has devoted considerable resources for the IYY, including for a new cutting-edge website, and has incorporated the youth agenda into the work of all of the major UN agencies. At the UN launch, the Joint Statement of the Heads of UN Entities was delivered by the head of UNFPA, Thoraya Obaid.

Obaid s statement emphasized new rights for youth under a right to health. We all agree that health is a human right and an integral part of youth development. Investments in health care, including universal access to evidence-based sexual and reproductive health programmes are crucial to prevent unwanted pregnancies, maternal mortality, sexually transmitted infections and other threats to young people s health.

The blueprint for the IYY is the World Program of Action for Youth (WPAY), a document that was adopted by the UN General Assembly without debate in 1995. In the area of health, WPAY calls for the leadership of UNFPA (the only named agency in the section). Full story at

American Idol Winner Fantasia Barrino Shows Suicide's Not a Solution
Washington, DC ( -- An American Idol s traumatic story demonstrates how despair can lead those who have everything to live for down a dangerous path.

In an interview with VH1 s Behind the Music, American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino provides details of her recent suicide attempt.

I didn't have any fight in me. I didn't care about anything. I just wanted out, the 26-year-old tells VH1.

Her manager, Brian Dickens, tells VH1: She'd been crying all day. Fantasia was just numb. Fantasia texted me, saying I love you. I wrote back, I love you more. Then it hit me.

I wrote, You better not do anything or think about doing anything stupid. Ten minutes later, Fantasia texted back, Already did.

Dickens found the pop star on the floor of her room. She was ultimately hospitalized for overdosing on aspirin and a sleeping aid. Full story at

Louisiana Court Backs Law Allowing Women to See Ultrasound Before Abortion
Baton Rouge, LA ( -- Backers of the Louisiana law allowing women to see an ultrasound of their unborn children have beaten a lawsuit filed by abortion advocates who don't want women given a chance to see an image of their baby before the abortion. A temporary restraining order issued against the law was dissolved.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Ralph Tyson of the Middle District of Louisiana reversed the order entered against the Louisiana Ultrasound Before Abortion Act at the request of the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed suit against it.

Benjamin Clapper, the director of Louisiana Right to Life, responded to the decision in a statement to

"As we expected, the baseless lawsuit promoted by the Louisiana abortion industry to temporarily stall our 'Ultrasound Before Abortion Act' has been cleared up," he said. "This life-saving piece of legislation will now go into effect in abortion facilities across Louisiana."

"For the first time in Louisiana's history, abortionists will be required to offer women seeking abortion the opportunity to see the ultrasound image, hear a description of the image, and receive a print-out of the ultrasound. We look forward to seeing the positive results of this legislation in our state," Clapper said. Full story at

New Jersey Returns $2.9M to Medicaid After Planned Parenthood False Billing
Trenton, NJ ( -- After a U.S. Inspector General report showed New Jersey-based family planning clinics run by the Planned Parenthood abortion business were improperly billing Medicaid for services that did not qualify as family planning, the state has returned $2.9 million to the Medicaid program.

Last week, the New Jersey Department of Human Services refunded $2.9 million in prescription drug and medical payments, the Star Ledger newspaper reported.

Marie Tasy, the director of New Jersey Right to Life, released the information about the improper billing problems at Planned Parenthood last week.

Falsely billing programs that were not qualified as family planning programs able to be reimbursed by the federal government had the state receiving $9 in reimbursement for each $1 spent on the nonqualified programs.

State officials were sent letters in July 2007, June 2008 and August 2008 notifying them of the problems and requesting action to correct the errors. The reports found billing errors from February 1, 2001 through January 31, 2005.

An initial audit revealed New Jersey improperly received federal reimbursement at the enhanced 90% rate for 160,955 prescriptions drug claims that were billed as family planning, but did not qualify as family planning services. A letter from the Inspector General to New Jersey officials recommended that New Jersey repay $2,219,746 to the federal government.
Full story at

Iowa Board of Medicine Hears From Opponents of Telemed Abortion Process
Des Moines, IA ( -- The Iowa Board of Medicine on Friday heard from a lengthy list of pro-life advocates opposed to the telemed abortion process. That's the new procedure Planned Parenthood is using there to give women the dangerous abortion drug during a video conference instead of in person.

Iowans for Life director Maggie DeWitte submitted a letter to the Board signed by 57 local and national pro-life leaders asking for it to end the usage of telemed abortions in Iowa. ( has signed the letter).

More than 30 people came to address the Board on the topic of telemed abortions but the Board only allowed seven people to comment. It gave the seven speakers a total of ten minutes for their combined remarks and all of the speakers expressed opposition to telemed abortions, according to Operation Rescue, a pro-life group that participated.

Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue who filed the original complaint with the IBM, testified, as did former Iowa Health Commissioner Norm Pawlewski, who now heads Iowa Christian Alliance.

Jennifer Bowden of Iowa Right to Life, Monsignor Frank Bognanno of Christ the King Parish in Des Moines and registered nurse Michelle Locher joined them. Full stories at

Virginia Attorney General: More Limits Can be Placed on Abortion Businesses
Richmond, VA ( -- The Virginia state attorney general issued an opinion today hailed by pro-life advocates because he says more limits can be placed on abortion businesses in Virginia. That means they can be held accountable for not following health and safety standards and could be closed as a result.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an opinion late Friday providing legal guidance for the state Board of Health.

Noting that Roe v. Wade allows still allows virtually unlimited legal abortions, the attorney general said the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision allowing limits in other states makes it so Virginia limits would likely be seen as constitutional.

He said "the Commonwealth has the authority to promulgate regulations for facilities in which first trimester abortions are performed, as well as for providers of first trimester abortions, so long as the regulations adhere to constitutional limitations."

Cuccinelli's opinion is important because it gives the green light for the state legislature to pass bills putting abortion centers in the same category as ambulatory surgery centers and requires them to meet certain standards to protect women's health. Failure to do so would see them close permanently or temporarily while deficiencies are corrected. Full stories at

Human Rights Watch Falsely Charges Argentina With Violating CEDAW on Abortion
New York, NY ( -- A report released last week by the human rights advocacy group Human Rights Watch promotes abortion in Argentina and criticizes Argentina for not complying with international law.

The report, Illusions of Care: Lack of Accountability for Reproductive Rights in Argentina, charges that [i]n Argentina, nationalistic interests combined with an orthodox Catholic discourse on family values have historically underpinned some of the most anti-contraception and pro-population-growth policies in the region.

The report erroneously cites several international human rights treaties and committees, including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), for its claim that international law requires Argentina to provide abortion-on-demand. In fact, no international human rights treaty contains a right to abortion.

When CEDAW and ICCPR were negotiated, many of the negotiating countries had pro-life laws on the books that still remain in place today. Full stories at

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