Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Planned Parenthood Fights Back

Bench Briefs


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


IN THIS ISSUE: Lessons to be learned from a battle with Planned Parenthood in Indiana could have an impact on presidential politics, and pro-life victories continue across the country.


Planned Parenthood Fights Back, Goes to Court Against Indiana Law Restricting Its Funding 


Gov. Mitch Daniels & Judge Tanya Walton Pratt

In a week replete with news of presidential candidates entering and leaving the race, a story brewing in Indiana points the way toward greater political cooperation between pro-life and small government activists – cooperation that could be key for politicians working to build broad coalitions.

In late April, the Hoosier state became the first in the nation to prohibit state officials from entering into contracts with or making grants to any entity (including, notably, Planned Parenthood) that performs abortions or that maintains or operates facilities where abortions are performed when Governor Mitch Daniels signed a law that also bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.  The effect of the new law is to deny Planned Parenthood about $3 million in public funds unless they decide that providing common preventive care for women (such as prenatal care, pap tests, and screening for sexually-transmitted diseases) is more important than providing abortions.

Hours after the governor signed the bill into law, Planned Parenthood was in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis requesting a restraining order. U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt refused to enter a temporary injunction.  A full hearing on Planned Parenthood’s request for a permanent injunction against the law is expected in June.

Despite the judge’s initial ruling, Planned Parenthood of Indiana continues to claim that the bill is unconstitutional. To read the legal analysis of the law from AUL’s premier pro-life legal team, click here.

Media analysts have noted that the law defunding Planned Parenthood could improve Gov. Daniels standing among social conservatives as he considers a run for the presidency in 2012, but AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest observed that the cost-cutting bill is a roadmap to success for all politicians.

“The most bi-partisan budget cuts available are those that get the American taxpayer out of the business of subsidizing abortion,” Dr. Yoest noted. “Socially conservative activists stand in agreement with budget hawks and independents in keeping tax money away from the abortion lobby. Politicians will find that the decision to cut such funding has broad support with voters of all kinds.”

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Victories at the State Level:
AUL Praises Nebraska Legislature for Passing "Opt Out" of Abortion Mandate in Federal Health Care Law 

At left: Daniel McConchie of AUL, Dave Bydalek of Family First, Sen. Lydia Brasch, Former Gov. Kay Orr.

bb-nebraska-dan-byrdalek-brasch-orr.jpgNebraska took steps to untangle insurance monies from the abortion industry when the state legislature passed LB22, the “Mandate Opt-out and Insurance Clarification Act,” prohibiting both private insurance coverage of abortion and the use of federal subsidies to purchase abortion coverage in the Nebraska Exchange.

“The federal government should not be forcing Americans to pay for abortions or abortion coverage,” said Dr. Yoest. “During the health care debate we learned that more than 70 percent of Americans – pro-life and pro-abortion – do not want to see their tax dollars used to support abortions. This bill is a bipartisan effort to respect their wishes.”

In January, Sen. Beau McCoy (District 39) introduced LB22, which is based on model language from Americans United for Life, to prohibit insurance plans that participate in the soon-to-be-implemented state insurance exchange from covering abortions. The bill also prohibits private insurance coverage of abortion except through the purchase of a separate rider.   

Oklahoma's Governor Signs Law Protecting Women and Girls from Dangerous, Off-Label Use of Abortion-Inducing Drugs

bb-fallin.jpgLast week, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (at right) signed another pro-life bill into law, HB 1970 — this time prohibiting dangerous, off-label use of the abortion-inducing drug RU 486, also known as mifepristone.

The law was based on AUL’s model legislation and was sponsored by Rep. Randy Grau and Sen. Greg Treat. The new legislation requires that abortion-inducing drugs be distributed in accordance with the FDA-approved drug label and does not allow dangerous off-label use by abortion providers seeking to maximize their profits at the expense of women’s health. To read Dr. Yoest’s reaction to the good news, click here.

Missourians Say "Thank You" to 
Pregnancy Care Centers

Last week, Care Net and Americans United for Life joined the Missouri legislature last in praising the work of pregnancy centers. The Missouri House of Representatives passed a “Resolution Honoring Pregnancy Care Centers,” thanking the non-profit organizations throughout the state for their tremendous service to women, children, and the community. Missouri is the sixth state this year to pass such a resolution, a model of which was drafted by Americans United for Life (AUL). Rep. Thomas Long introduced HR 1826 and led the efforts for its passage. 

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In the News:
UN Calls for Population Control as
Global Birthrates Decline

bb-saunders-wide.jpgAt left: William Saunders of AUL.

"At a time when we are experiencing a worldwide decline in birthrates, and many countries find themselves in a demographic crisis that will leave their nations in economic and social ruin if something doesn’t change, the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) continues to call for more population control,” noted AUL’s Sr. Vice President for Legal Affairs William Saunders, in a blog post at Life News. To read the entire analysis of how population policies are hurting nations, click here.


And from the Oklahoma Gazette

AUL’s success at the state level is drawing the ire of pro-abortion activists. Click here to read about their reactions to AUL’s success in Oklahoma.




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