Thursday, September 22, 2011

AUL celebrates as President Obama Signs Pro-Life Protections and Other Victories

Bench Briefs



Thursday, September 22, 2011



In This Issue:  AUL celebrates victories as President Obama signs pro-life protections; Virginia closes the door of some abortion clinics; Alabama allows justice for unborn victims; and two new pro-life Congressmen head to Washington, D.C.

 Congress passes and President Obama signs Historic Pro-Life Protections for human embryos

“Human beings should never be property or a commodity,” says AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “The intrinsic value of human life should not be measured in dollar signs.”

biotech stock
(Photo Credit: IRRI Images)

Americans United for Life celebrated late Friday the quiet passage of the “Weldon Patent Ban” that was quickly signed into law by President Obama. It marked one of the first times in U.S. history that a major pro-life rider has been codified. The ban makes permanent the protections of the Weldon amendment, an existing pro-life policy rider that ensures the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not issue patents that are “directed to or encompassing a human organism.”

“Human kind should not be for sale at any state of development,” said Dr. Yoest. “Making permanent this important pro-life policy to ensure human organisms are never patented is a notable victory for Americans who believe that human beings -- regardless of their stage of development -- are not considered property to be licensed for financial gain.  We applaud Congress for preserving the USPTO’s longstanding policy respecting all humans.” 

Since 1987, the USPTO had an internal policy against any company profiting from patenting human embryos. Congress placed its support behind the USPTO policy in 2003, and since then has voted each year to extend protections so that human beings do not become the property of corporations or individuals. 


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Washington Post bemoans “Virginia’s
Abortion End Run”
Virginia Capitol

“Safe, Legal and Rare” has been the mantra of the abortion lobby for years in their effort to normalize abortion throughout American culture. Ironically, the choice to highlight “safe” when in comes to abortion clinics has produced growing bipartisan agreement across the country’s as legislators have turned their attentions to horrific conditions inside of some abortion clinics.

bb-mcdonnell-cuccinelli.jpg Consider recent events in Virginia where Gov. Robert McDonnell (R-VA) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (both pictured at left) have worked to ensure that if Virginia abortion clinics don’t meet the highest medical standards, the doors will be shut.

New regulations “are likely to result in the closure of many or most of Virginia’s 23 abortion clinics,” bemoaned editorial writers at the Washington Post. The regulations would require clinics to meet construction and design standards intended for medical facilities such as hospitals. Rather than celebrating the fact that Virginia legislators want women to get good medical care, the Washington Post editorial writers complained that “poor African Americans and Hispanics” might have fewer abortions.

“Everyone should be able to agree that American women should not be forced to endure care in substandard medical facilities,” said Dr. Yoest. “Virginia is leading the way in protecting the lives of women.”

AUL has long championed model legislation to better regulate the facilities in which women receive the outpatient medical surgery of abortion. To read more, click here.

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The Votes are Are In: Life Wins

Two New Pro-life House Members
head to Washington, D.C.
Rep. Mark Amodei & Rep. Bob Turner 

Washington, D.C. insiders were shaken last week with the news that in two special elections, pro-life candidates won in upset battles to fill empty House seats.

Rep. Bob Turner (NY-6)

In New York, Republican Bob Turner defeated Democrat David Weprin in the race to fill the seat left vacant by pro-abortion Congressman Anthony Weiner, in a district in which no Republican had won since the early 1920s. During the race, Turner said he will work to end federal funding of abortion providers. Click here to read more about AUL’s De-Fund Planned Parenthood project:

Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-2)

In Nevada, pro-life Republican Mark Amodei trounced pro-abortion Democrat Kate Marshall by a margin of 22 points (58%-36%).

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Alabama Supreme Court Gives Legal Recognition to the Unborn Child

Alabama Supreme Court
 At Right: Alabama Supreme Court (Photo Credit: J. Stephen Conn)

In a unanimous decision last week, the Alabama Supreme Court expanded legal protections for the unborn child when it ruled that Alabama’s wrongful death statute applied to the unborn child at any stage of development. For expectant parents, this means that a person can be tried civilly for the death of an unborn child even when that child cannot yet live outside the womb.

The case in question sadly begin in September 2007, when April Mack was 12 weeks pregnant. She and her fiancé were injured in a car accident in which her child’s life was lost.  In the first legal round that followed, the county court found that the unborn child did not enjoy the legal protection of the wrongful death statute because the child could not survive outside of the womb. The case made its way to the Alabama Supreme Court where the justices unanimously overturned the lower court decision.

This decision makes Alabama the tenth state to specifically permit wrongful-death actions pre-viability. This is a huge victory not only for April Mack, but also for the legal recognition of the unborn child, as the Alabama Supreme Court has recognized the personhood of the unborn child under the State’s civil law.  

To read more on the case from AUL’s Mary Novick, click here.

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In the News:
AUL ranks high in social media ranking

AUL’s commitment to innovative media and new media strategies is paying off. AUL’s social media influence has been ranked as high as 5th and consistently ranks in the top 10 for public policy groups, according to the Social Media Scorecard. The rankings use Klout scores, which are a standard tracking tool, to rank public policy groups, consultants and candidates. Klout scores measure the number of people influenced, how much they are influenced, and how influential those people are. Today’s updated Social Media Scorecard ranking for groups is online here.


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