Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reversing Roe Gaining Momentum

Bench Briefs


Thursday, June 16, 2011


IN THIS ISSUE: Political victories lead to pro-life advances across the country.

AUL Reports That Reversing Roe Gaining Momentum


With surgical precision, Americans United for Life Action has been targeting political races across the country, to lay the groundwork for reversing Roe legislatively while AUL is working simultaneously on a legal track. AUL and other pro-life groups are playing the long game with strategic intent. In an analysis titled “The New Pro-Life Surge,” Christianity Today’s Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra noted that pro-life advocates are having tremendous success at the state legislative level.

“By early April, 142 abortion-related provisions had passed at least one chamber of a state legislature, compared with 67 in 2009. More than half of the 142 bills (57 percent) introduced this year seek to restrict abortion access, compared with 38 percent in 2010.

About 40 new anti-abortion laws were on the books by mid-April,” reported Zylstra.

“Republican victories in the 2010 mid-term elections account for much of the legislative surge. Republicans won control of the House of Representatives and made gains in the Senate. But their success at the state level was more significant. They took 29 governorships and 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.”

AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest told the reporter, “We've been tilling this ground for a while,” noting that the forward momentum began when the Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion in 2007.

"They chipped away at the absolute right to abortion," Yoest said. "The Supreme Court said that states do have the right to limit abortion. That was a seismic shift." Pro-life advocates began to see how far they could get with restrictions, such as parental notification and informed consent laws, she said.

The legislation has been snowballing since the Republican sweep: "Just in the first three months of this year, we've provided testimony on 17 life-related legislative matters," she said. In previous years, the average number of testimonies provided was two or three for the entire year.

For the complete Christianity Today piece on national, pro-life trends, click here.

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Defunding Planned Parenthood
Becomes a Campaign Issue

Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Pawlenty, & Romney

On the campaign trail, fiscally and socially conservative candidates are beginning to make defunding Planned Parenthood one of their top pro-life issues.

Taxpayer subsidies for abortion providers were central to the debate over President Obama’s health care plan and now are front and center in budget debates. The president has put the weight of his administration behind efforts to push funding to abortion providers, weighing in with threats of legal action and of cutting all Medicaid funds against the states where abortion providers are denied taxpayer dollars. Already, Indiana is embroiled in legal action. Last week, a Louisiana lawmaker told Reuters that fears of losing that state’s Medicaid money led legislators to drop some pro-life measures. Click here to read more.

Dr. Yoest noted: “Elections have consequences, and President Obama is clearly supporting the use of federal government power to influence states in favor of abortion-subsidizing policies. It is an area where voters will be able to see clear distinctions between the candidates.”

One pro-life leader told Politico that cutting Planned Parenthood funding is a “must-have” in any candidate’s resume.  It is a position that could impact the outcome of an election.

LifeNews’ Steven Ertelt, also reporting on this issue, noted that in the last election cycle groups like AULA “were successful in defeating several lawmakers who voted for the Obamacare bill that contained loopholes allowing abortion funding.”

On the campaign trail, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Michele Bachmann and businessman Herman Cain have recently taken on cutting funding to Planned Parenthood recently, reported Ertelt. And in the past, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have also supported ending such funding. To read Ertelt’s entire account, click here.

“In these harsh economic times, directing dwindling resources to the highly profitable abortion industry is outrageous,” said Yoest.

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International Telemed Abortions Used to
Circumvent Pro-Life Laws

bb-telemed.jpgAUL’S Mary Novick noted a disturbing trend in international policies related to drug induced abortion. A pro-abortion website is targeting women in pro-life countries like Poland, Ireland, Malta and others for distribution of the abortion drug, RU-486. The goal of this website is to undermine pro-life laws. directs women through an online questionnaire, where they answer questions about gestational age etc. Then this organization will ship abortion drugs to the women in these pro-life countries, where the woman will take the drugs at home. The physician disseminating the drug does not physically examine the woman before sending her the drug, nor is he/she available should complications arise. And complications can arise. To read more about this disturbing development, click here.

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In the News

According to the Omaha World-Herald, “The head of Nebraska's oldest anti-abortion group believes in making hay while the sun shines. And the sun has been shining plenty recently for abortion opponents.” To read more on AUL’s involvement in pro-life victories in Nebraska, click here.

AUL’s Sr. Vice President and Sr. Counsel William Saunders weighs in on the reason why the abortion lobby is attacking pregnancy care centers in a blog post. Click here to read more.



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