LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
|For pro-life news updated throughout the day, visit LifeNews.com.|
• Obama Admin Will Appeal Ruling Against Forcing Embryonic Stem Cell Funding
• Groups Behind Obama Embryonic Stem Cell Research Lawsuit Applaud Decision
• Obama Admin Relents, Posts Pro-Abstinence Education Study After Complaints
• Pro-Life Advocates Hail Ruling Against Obama's Embryonic Stem Cell Funding
• Catholic Hospitals Get Support Against ACLU Effort to Make Them to Do Abortions
• "Pro-Life" Obama Defenders Sojourners, Jim Wallis, Funded by George Soros
• Catholic Bishops Urge Support for Bill Banning All Federal Funding of Abortions
• Pam Tebow to Speak at Pro-Life Event Sharing Her Story of Refusing Abortion
• Texas Pro-Life Governor Rick Perry Still Leads Pro-Abortion Candidate Bill White
• Michigan Asked to Reveal Why Abortionist Evaded Illegal Dumping Charges
• California City Drops Charges Against Pro-Life Abortion Sidewalk Counselor
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Obama Admin Will Appeal Ruling Against Forcing Embryonic Stem Cell Funding
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The Obama administration announced today that it will appeal a federal judge's decision striking down President Barack Obama's executive order forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. The judge said the order contravened a federal law against funding 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, the federal law prohibiting funding the destruction of human embryos via research.
Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters today at a press conference that the Obama administration will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to lift the preliminary injunction Judge Lamberth issued.
White House spokesman Bill Burton added that Obama still believes his policy of using taxpayers' money to pay for research that involves the destruction of human life "is the right one."
Meanwhile, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins held her own press conference today and said the injunction will not stop scientists who already received some federal funds from conducting embryonic stem cell research, which has never helped any patients.
"We are reassuring those who already have grants that were funded that they can continue with their research," he said. Collins said NIH officials were surprised by the ruling but said some $130 million worth of ongoing research would not be halted. Full story at LifeNews.com
Groups Behind Obama Embryonic Stem Cell Research Lawsuit Applaud Decision
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Two of the groups behind the lawsuit against the Obama administration over President Barack Obama's decision to force taxpayers to fund destructive embryonic stem cell research are applauding a judge's decision on Monday to temporarily halt the funding while the lawsuit proceeds.
The Christian Medical Association was one of the parties that brought the lawsuit saying the Obama executive order and subsequent funding from the National Institutes of Health violated the Dickey amendment, a federal law prohibiting taxpayer funding of research that destroys human embryos.
David Stevens, MD, the head of the CMA, responded: "This case highlights the harm that diverting federal funds away from proven effective research poses to those patients who are waiting for cures. We are grateful that the Court also recognizes the clarity of the law and the harm that funding illegal and unethical embryo-destroying research poses to ethical researchers."
"The bottom line is that ethical stem cell research that does not destroy a living human embryo is the fastest, most efficient and effective means to obtaining real cures for real patients," he told LifeNews.com. "Already providing hope and help for patients with over 70 diseases, ethical stem cell research that does not destroy living human embryos holds proven promise for even more amazing breakthroughs in the future."
The Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life legal group that served as co-counsel in the case, also hailed the order that prevents the Obama administration from carrying out its embryonic stem cell research policy while the court considers the lawsuit. Full story at LifeNews.com
Obama Admin Relents, Posts Pro-Abstinence Education Study After Complaints
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The Obama administration relented on Monday in the face of public pressure and national news highlighting how the Health and Human Services Department refused to make public a new study showing the effectiveness of abstinence education programs.
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of HHS, funded a survey of 1,000 adolescents 12-18 years-old in order to measure parent-adolescent communication and adolescent attitudes toward sex and abstinence.
The study found parents strongly support the concept that sexual relations are best saved for a marital relationship and parents' attitudes are more important in influencing adolescent views than the level of parent communication with their adolescent.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) highlighted the results on its web site: Adjusting for all other factors in the model, parent and peer factors are more consistently associated with differences in adolescent attitudes about sex and abstinence than are measures of adolescent exposure to sex and abstinence topics in a class or program."
However, during an APHA conference, researcher Lisa Rue, Ph.D., who specializes in adolescent behavior, was intrigued by the study and requested the full report. She was denied access and the Obama administration denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for it.
The National Abstinence Education Association responded by encouraged interested persons to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the public release of a study. Full story at LifeNews.com
Pro-Life Advocates Hail Ruling Against Obama's Embryonic Stem Cell Funding
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Leading pro-life groups and advocates were quick to respond to a judge's decision on Monday saying the executive order President Barack Obama issued forcing taxpayers to finance embryonic stem cell research violates the Dickey-Wicker law prohibiting paying for the destruction of human embryos.
A U.S. District Court halted the Obama Administration s policy of funding research that necessarily entails the destruction of human embryos.
Judge Royce Lamberth issued a preliminary injunction against the Administration s policy in the case Sherley v. Sebelius.
Since 1996, Congress has been clear that no federal funds are to be used in research that destroys, or even harms, embryos, said Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life.
The Obama Administration has attempted to skirt the law by arguing that they are only funding research after the embryos are destroyed," she told LifeNews.com, adding that the "sensible ruling reconfirms what we already knew, that Administration policy is in violation of the law."
On March 9, 2009, President Obama, by executive order, directed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to issue new stem cell guidelines to include the funding of human embryonic stem cell research.
Since 1996, the Dickey-Wicker Amendment has expressly banned NIH from funding research in which human embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death. The amendment has been renewed every year by Congress. Full story at LifeNews.com
Catholic Hospitals Get Support Against ACLU Effort to Make Them to Do Abortions
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Catholic hospitals across the nation are getting support from a pro-life legal group that says it will provide legal assistance at no cost to those medical centers feeling pressure from a new ACLU-sponsored campaign to make them do abortions against their will.
The ACLU is making a claim that Catholic hospitals nationwide refusing are abortions for women in very rare instances in which it may somehow be necessary to save their life.
The ACLU has sent a letter to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services demanding an investigation into what it calls "potential violations" of law regarding the supposedly life-saving abortions.
After sending the letter, the ACLU called on its members to mount a letter campaign to demand abortion services at Catholic hospitals.
In a letter sent late last week, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty threatened to sue the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) if it tried to force religiously-affiliated hospitals to do abortions against the conscientious objections of their doctors and nurses.
"We will represent, pro bono, any religious hospital or its personnel that HHS threatens because of their conscientious objection to abortion," said Kevin Hasson, president of the Beckett Fund. "And we will, if necessary, sue to block any such proposed policy."
The letter pointed out that conscience has been protected in the medical profession in the United States since unlimited abortions were allowed nationwide in Roe. Full story at LifeNews.com
"Pro-Life" Obama Defenders Sojourners, Jim Wallis, Funded by George Soros
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Jim Wallis, the publisher of the religious left newspaper Sojourners has long been a thorn in the side of the pro-life movement. Claiming to oppose abortions, Wallis has been one of the staunchest defenders of pro-abortion Barack Obama -- both before and after his elected as president.
Wallis is a member of the White House Faith Council which has been criticized for failing to implement a promised plan to reduce abortions despite two years of the Obama administration.
Wallis has attempted to rebut criticisms of his Obama apologetics and his boasting of his ties to the Obama administration by claiming his "progressive Christian" Sojourners movement has not received funding from leftist billionaire George Soros' Open Society Institute.
He originally rebutted a criticism of "religious progressives" in 2005 for the alliance with Soros.
"I know of no connections to those liberal funds and groups that are as direct as the Religious Right's ties to right-wing funders," he said then.
Earlier this month, in Patheos, Wallis wrote, "No, we don't receive money from George Soros."
Now, a new report in World magazine finds Soros, a billionaire who has financed groups promoting abortion, bankrolled Sojourners with a $200,000 grant in 2004. Since then, the magazine indicates, Sojourners has received at least two more grants from Soros organizations altogether totaling $325,000, the most recent in 2007. Full story at LifeNews.com
Catholic Bishops Urge Support for Bill Banning All Federal Funding of Abortions
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chair of the U.S. bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called on members of the House of Representatives to support the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 5939), introduced by Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey at the end of July.
He called for support in a recent letter of the measure that already has 166 co-sponsors including 20 Democratic members.
H.R. 5939 will write into permanent law a policy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for over 35 years: The federal government should not use taxpayers money to support and promote elective abortion, Cardinal DiNardo said.
Even public officials who take a pro-choice stand on abortion, and courts that have insisted on the validity of a constitutional right to abortion, have agreed that the government can validly use its funding power to encourage childbirth over abortion," he added.
He said some people assume this position already is fully reflected in U.S. law, and noted, for example, that some wrongly argued during the recent debate on health care reform that there was no need for restrictions on abortion funding in the new health legislation, because this matter had already been settled by the Hyde amendment. Full story at LifeNews.com
Pam Tebow to Speak at Pro-Life Event Sharing Her Story of Refusing Abortion
Flint, MI (LifeNews.com) -- Pam Tebow, the mother of first found NFL football draft pick Tim Tebow, is headed to Michigan to share her story of refusing a doctor's suggestion to have an abortion when pregnant with him. The Tebows received national attention with a pro-life Super Bowl sharing her story with millions of viewers.
Now, the mother of the Heisman Trophy winner will speak to the Flint Right to Life pro-life group at its annual Embrace Life benefit dinner in September.
Judy Climer, director of Flint Area Right to Life, says she thinks this is the first time the organization has had a speaker so well-known nationally.
She gave birth to Tim Tebow and of course the rest is history. He grew up to play football, Climer said. "He not only won the coveted Heisman trophy as a sophomore in college, but he went on to lead the Florida Gators to the national championship."
Texas Pro-Life Governor Rick Perry Still Leads Pro-Abortion Candidate Bill White
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) -- Governor Rick Perry, who is pro-life, is still leading in his race for re-election in the Lone Star State against pro-abortion opponent Bill White. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Texas shows neither candidate gaining ground but Perry holding his lead.
The new poll has Perry earning 49% support, while Democrat Bill White, a former mayor of Houston, receives 41% of the vote.
Three percent prefer some other candidate, and seven percent are undecided.
Perry is favored by 72% of Republicans, while 84% of Democrats support White. Among voters not affiliated with either political party, the pro-life governor leads by a 59% to 33% margin.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters in the state approve of the job Perry is doing as governor while 45 percent disapprove.
"Last month, Perry held a nearly identical 50% to 41% advantage over White. In match-ups since February, Perry s support has ranged from 47% to 51%. White has earned 38% to 44% of the vote in that same period," Rasmussen noted. "White faces a tough race in a state that trends conservative Republican, especially given the national electoral mood." Full stories at LifeNews.com
Michigan Asked to Reveal Why Abortionist Evaded Illegal Dumping Charges
Lathrup Village, MI (LifeNews.com) -- Why did Michigan-based abortion practitioner Alberto Hodari essentially avoid being held accountable for illegally dumping patient records and biohazard waste? That's what the Thomas More Society, a pro-life legal group, wants to know and it has filed a lawsuit to learn more.
In 2008, members of a local pro-life group found the illegal dumping at a couple of the abortion businesses Hodari owns and operates in the Detroit area.
Monica Miller of the Citizens for a Pro-Life Society found the patient records, medical waste and bodies of unborn children in the dumpster.
The incident caused a national controversy when Womancare received only a slap on the wrist from Michigan environmental officials for violating illegal dumping laws.
Hodari didn't receive a fine from the state nor was he prosecuted on any charges. He did eventually receive probation from a local judge on local charges in the case.
Hodari pled no contest to twelve counts from the Oakland County prosecutor's office of violating Michigan law requiring the proper filing and disposal of patient records, even though records were found concerning hundreds of abortion patients. Full stories at LifeNews.com
California City Drops Charges Against Pro-Life Abortion Sidewalk Counselor
San Marcos, CA (LifeNews.com) -- A California city has dismissed all criminal charges against a pro-life sidewalk counselor that arose out of a loitering citation she received in May 2010. The San Marcos City Attorney's office confirmed yesterday the charges have been dismissed as the Life Legal Defense Foundation helped Elena Di Ventra.
Di Ventra was issued a citation for loitering after she walked into a parking lot adjacent to an abortion center to speak with a pregnant girl and offer her life-saving information about her baby.
The parking lot is open to the public and Di Ventra immediately returned to the sidewalk after her brief conversation with the girl. Still, local police officers accused her of wandering idle about the property without an apparent reason to be present.
When the matter was brought to LLDF's attention, Life Legal Defense Foundation staff attorney Allison Aranda contacted the San Marcos City Attorney's Office and demanded that it drop what the pro-life legal group considered a meritless criminal charge.
The City Attorney's Office quickly reviewed the matter and agreed to dismiss the case. Full stories at LifeNews.com
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