LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report
Saturday, June 26, 2010
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• Top Republican Suggests Filibuster of Pro-Abortion Elena Kagan Still a Possibility
• House Passes Disclose Act Bill That Would Place Heavy Restrictions on Pro-Life Organizations
• New Study Shows Link Between Abortion and Physical, Sexual Abuse by Women's Partners
• Catholic Bishops Criticize Ella Abortion Drug, Which Media Calls Morning After Pill
• Republican Leader Boehner Gets Pro-Life Award for Opposing Pro-Abortion Health Care
• Study From British Doctors Claims, Despite Evidence, Unborn Children Can't Feel Pain
• Forced Abortion Expert Tells National Right to Life Audience Terrible China Policy Continues
• Iowa Planned Parenthood Subject of Criminal Complaint Over Telemed Abortions
• Kansans for Life Endorses Patricia Lightner for Republican Congressional Primary
• Omaha, Nebraska to Get New Abortion Center Run by Planned Parenthood Business
• British Prime Minister David Cameron Defends Taxpayer Funding of Foreign Abortions
• Bishops Issue Statement on Abortion After Phoenix Catholic Hospital Okays One
• University of Calgary Pro-Life Student Group Retains Status After Discrimination
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Top Republican Suggests Filibuster of Pro-Abortion Elena Kagan Still a Possibility
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The leading Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee says there is still a possibility that Republicans will mount a filibuster against pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. She has drawn strong opposition from a number of pro-life organizations that cite her support for abortion, human cloning, and assisted suicide.
"I wouldn't take it off the table," Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, a pro-life Alabama lawmaker, said, according to USA Today.
Sessions said any decision on a filibuster by Senate Republicans would happen after the hearings take place next week, adding "I don't think you can predict the outcome."
"Each senator will have to decide," Sessions said about whether they will mount a filibuster.
He told the newspaper GOP lawmakers will ask Kagan during the hearings about her lack of judicial experience and her writings that show a reliance on and support for judicial advocacy, making law from the bench, and using international law to make decisions on American jurisprudence.
Sessions said the one big difference between the vote on Kagan and that of pro-abortion advocate Sonia Sotomayor last year is that Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts and provides the party with the 41st vote necessary to uphold a filibuster.
However, Kagan may earn the support of some moderate, pro-abortion GOP senators like Brown, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, or others. Full story at LifeNews.com
House Passes Disclose Act Bill That Would Place Heavy Restrictions on Pro-Life Organizations
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation that pro-life groups oppose because it would place significant limits and restrictions on their ability to communicate with the public about legislation and political candidates. Lawmakers approved the DISCLOSE Act 219-206 that had the support of most Democrats and drew opposition from almost every Republican.
The bill is a response to the Supreme Court's decision striking down some of the unconstitutional provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill that limited free speech and received strong opposition from pro-life groups and most pro-life lawmakers in Congress.
The biggest problems are that it would require pro-life groups to disclose donors' names and require them to restrict 501(c)4 activities that allow them to educate their members and the public about legislative and election issues.
The measure now heads to the Senate, where pro-life groups hope Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be able to keep the GOP caucus together, perhaps with the help of a Democrat or two, in support of a filibuster against the legislation. Should the Senate approve and President Barack Obama sign the DISCLOSE Act, it could hamper the efforts of pro-life groups to raise and spend money educating the public about the voting records and stances of elected officials and candidates for Congress.
The National Right to Life Committee helped lead the way in opposition to the bill, which it calls "a blatant political attack on the First Amendment rights of NRLC, our state affiliates, and our members and donors." The so-called "NRA carve out," a revision agreed to by the House Democratic Leadership "is not only worthless, but adds insult to injury," and would not apply to NRLC or to any of NRLC's 50 state affiliates, the pro-life group explains.
"This is not about informing the public," said Douglas Johnson, the NRLC's legislative director. "This is about deterring communication about those who hold or seek federal office."
While a handful of conservative Democrats and members of the Congressional Black Caucus voted against the bill, just two Republicans -- Reps. Mike Castle of Delaware and Joseph Cao of Louisiana -- voted for it.
In the Senate, the bill may face a rocky future as even some Democrats are concerned about the exemptions carved out in the bill for the NRA and other groups and even moderate Republicans like Scott Brown of Massachusetts suggest they may not join Democrats in supporting the bill. Full story at LifeNews.com
New Study Shows Link Between Abortion and Physical, Sexual Abuse by Women's Partners
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new study shows the link between abortion and the physical and sexual abuse women may be subjected to in the relationship by their husband or boyfriend following the abortion. University of Iowa researchers led the study, which shows women seeking abortions have experienced a high rate of violence and abuse from their partners.
The study was published online June 17 in the American Journal of Public Health.
Audrey Saftlas, a Universiy of Iowa professor of epidemiology and lead author of the study, talked about the results her team found.
"Women seeking termination of pregnancy comprise a particularly high-risk group for physical or sexual assault," she said. "In our study, almost 14 percent of women receiving an abortion reported at least one incident of physical or sexual abuse in the past year."
"These findings strongly support the need for clinic-based screening with interventions. These high-risk women need resources, referrals and support to help them and their families reduce the violence in their lives," Saftlas added.
The researchers examined 986 women who had abortions and completed questionnaires.
Overall, the researchers found the combined one-year prevalence of physical or sexual abuse by any perpetrator was 13.8 percent. The prevalence of physical and sexual violence by an intimate partner was 9.9 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. Full story at LifeNews.com
Catholic Bishops Criticize Ella Abortion Drug, Which Media Calls Morning After Pill
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A representative of the nation's Catholic bishops is criticizing the Ella abortion drug, which a Food and Drug Administration panel recently approved the sale of as supposedly an "emergency contraception." USSCB spokeswoman Susan Will said the decision was essentially a "foregone conclusion."
Willis said she "can t recall the last time the FDA rejected an application for any new 'reproductive health' drug or device no matter how risky it proved to be for mothers or unborn children?"
"The agency routinely approves drugs and devices to block reproduction that are later found unacceptably dangerous for women," Willis said, noting the FDA still has not recalled the patch, despite its link to the deaths of at least 29 apparently healthy young women due to blood clots. "While some at the FDA may believe their deaths to be an acceptable trade-off so that others can avoid pregnancy, the victims families no doubt feel differently."
Willis, who is the Assistant Director for Education & Outreach for the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, says it is "false and deceptive" for the FDA panel, the media and abortion advocates to promote Ella as an "emergency contraceptive" like Preven and Plan B.
"Depending when they are taken relative to ovulation and intercourse, Preven and Plan B may act primarily as contraceptives (by disrupting ovulation, for example), or sometimes as very early abortifacients (by modes of action that interfere with the embryo s movement to the womb or ability to implant there)," the USCCB official explained.
But the reason the backers of Ella can promote it as "more effective" is because Ella, "like its close chemical cousin RU-486 blocks progesterone receptors in the uterine lining," Willis explains. "This destroys the capacity of the mother s reproductive organs to produce the progesterone necessary to support the embryo through the first 10 weeks of pregnancy." Full story at LifeNews.com
Republican Leader Boehner Gets Pro-Life Award for Opposing Pro-Abortion Health Care
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- House Republican Leader John Boehner received an award from the National Right to Life Committee today for his part in leading the opposition in Congress to the pro-abortion health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law.
Boehner made opposition to the massive abortion funding it contained a centerpiece of his opposition to it.
"In all the important leadership offices he has held, John Boehner has been a faithful defender of unborn children, disabled persons and seniors whose right to life may be jeopardized. He has consistently voted to pass pro-life leg and block anti-life legislation in his two decades in the House," NRLC co-director Darla St. Martin said in introducing Boehner.
She told the crowd of hundreds of cheering pro-life advocates, "Boehner has been an active supporter of a number of successful pro-life efforts over the years.
"He has been a major impediment to the advance of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid pro-abortion agenda," she said. "Boehner relentlessly used his office to attempt to thwart" the massive abortion funding in the health care bill and he used the "sheer force of his his as he confronted Pelosi and other pro-abortion leaders" on the legislation.
"Not a single one of the 178 House Republicans voted for that deadly pro-abortion Obamacare bill," thanks to Boehner, St. Martin added. "On behalf of every pro-lifer here and across America, we thank you John Boehner."
"Respect for life has never been a political position for me, it's just who I am," Boehner said. He accepted the award, saying he was "deeply, deeply honored," and it is "truly a badge of honor." Full story at LifeNews.com
Study From British Doctors Claims, Despite Evidence, Unborn Children Can't Feel Pain
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new study put out by a British group of doctors makes the false claim that unborn children don't have the ability to feel pain before birth. The new research published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says an unborn baby can't feel pain until the later parts of pregnancy, at about 24 weeks.
The new study claims the nerve connections to the brain are not fully developed to the point at which babies before birth have the ability to feel pain.
While claiming fetal pain doesn't begin until late in pregnancy, the doctors also suggest that, after 24 weeks into the pregnancy, sunburn children are in a state of "continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation."
Dr. Steven Zielinski, an internal medicine physician from Oregon, is one of the leading researchers into the concept of fetal pain and published the first reports in the 1980s to validate research show evidence for it.
He has testified before Congress that an unborn child could feel pain at "eight-and-a-half weeks and possibly earlier" and that a baby before birth "under the right circumstances, is capable of crying."
Dr. Vincent J. Collins, Zielinski and attorney Thomas J. Marzen were the top researchers to point to fetal pain decades ago. Collins, before his death, was Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois and author of Principles of Anesthesiology, one of the leading medical texts on the control of pain.
"The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child's development in the womb," they wrote.
"Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body," they continued. Full story at LifeNews.com
Forced Abortion Expert Tells National Right to Life Audience Terrible China Policy Continues
Pittsburgh, PA (LifeNews.com) -- Steven Mosher, the expert on the China one-child policy credited with exposing and bringing attention to the problem of forced abortions carried out under it, reminded the audience at the National Right to Life convention that the forced abortions on women continue.
Moreover, Mosher says they are producing a male-dominated culture that is responsible for an increase in prostitution, sexual trafficking of women, and even the sale of young girls.
Mosher says he has been in classrooms in China where 20 of the approximately 30 students in the room were girls. He has also seen girls become victims of mysterious deaths.
"The little boys always seem to do just fine, " says Mosher, "and so I went and asked elderly midwives what was happening and they said they were being given instructions by some parents that any girls children being born should not be allowed to survive."
The problem of forced abortions and a skewed gender ratio is not limited to China and he has seen the problems in India and throughout other nations in southeast Asia. The worst rate he has seen is among the upper caste in Punjab where there are 300 girls in every 1,000 live births.
"That means 7 of 10 unborn baby girls are being killed," says Mosher. India has a law against sex selective abortions but it is rarely enforced. Full story at LifeNews.com
Iowa Planned Parenthood Subject of Criminal Complaint Over Telemed Abortions
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) -- Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, an Iowa-based abortion business, is the subject of a criminal complain from a pro-life group that says it is engaging in illegal telemed abortions. That's the process where women are not given the ability to meet with a physician in person before receiving the dangerous abortion drug.
Operation Rescue has filed a formal complaint with the Iowa Attorney General's office asking for a criminal investigation of a remote-controlled push-button Internet abortion pill scheme.
"We believe that telemed abortions are illegal for several reasons and may rise to the threshold of criminal negligence," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "Planned Parenthood's scheme to deny women personal access to licensed physicians is a prescription for disaster."
This is not the first time the pro-life organization has asked Iowa officials to investigate the controversial abortion process.
In April, Operation Rescue filed formal complaints with the Medical Board of Iowa asking for an investigation into the process and asking officials to stop allowing abortions without a licensed physician on site and discipline those involved.
The new complaint with the state attorney general names abortion practitioners Thomas William Ross and Susan Haskell, both osteopaths who are employed with PPH and are known to participate in the telemed abortion scheme.
The complaint lists five major areas of concern regarding telemed abortions, including a potential violation of Iowa law requiring that only licensed physicians perform abortions and that its remote dispensing practice for abortion drugs RU 486 and misoprostol ignores FDA protocals and are intentionally endangering womens' lives. Full story at LifeNews.com
Kansans for Life Endorses Patricia Lightner for Republican Congressional Primary
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) -- The Kansans for Life Political Action Committee has endorsed Patricia Lightner in the Republican primary race for the Kansas 3rd U.S. Congressional seat. KFL Executive Director Mary Kay Culp told LifeNews.com that pro-life advocates in Kansas should consider supporting her.
"Although there are many pro-life Republican candidates running in the 3rd district congressional primary in Kansas, our PAC is endorsing Patricia Lightner because she has six years of legislative experience, and during those years had a 100% pro-life voting record," she said.
"Patricia served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1999 through 2004. The last two years that she served coincided with the first two years that Kevin Yoder served in the Kansas House," Culp continued. "A comparison of how they voted on the same bills shows Yoder voting pro-life only 3 out of 14 times, while Patricia voted pro-life 13 out of 14 times--the 14th being simply an absence."
"Most significant, in 2003, Lightner voted to override Gov. Sebelius' veto of the clinic licensing bill, while fellow Republican Yoder voted against overriding the Democratic Governor's veto of the bill which was designed to protect women from medically negligent abortion profiteers," Culp added. "Although Yoder has voted more consistently pro-life on the abortion issue during the last few years, his views on the destruction of embryos for their stem cells, and end-of-life issues, remain of grave concern."
Omaha, Nebraska to Get New Abortion Center Run by Planned Parenthood Business
Omaha, NE (LifeNews.com) -- Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is causing waves with an announcement that it will open a new abortion businessin the biggest city in Nebraska. Although LeRoy Carhart already runs a late-term abortion business in town and state legislators are doing more to try to reduce abortions, Planned Parenthood announced this week it will open a new facility in Omaha that will do abortions.
The abortion center will be located at 3105 N. 93rd St and will be open by the end of the year.
The center is needed, Planned Parenthood says, because neither of its current facilities currently do abortions and one of them will be merged with the new abortion center.
Jill June, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, told the World Herald newspaper: "I anticipate that we will provide a full range of reproductive health services at that clinic, including medication and surgical abortion."
That means the abortion center will give women the danger RU 486 abortion drug, also known as mifepristone, which has killed at least 13 and possible as many as 40 women worldwide and injured another 1,100 women according to 2006 figures from the FDA.
"Expanding access to health care is of critical importance in our society at this time," June said in a statement. "This new facility in Omaha will allow us to expand services to the women of Omaha, while consolidating existing facilities and staff."
Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, told the newspaper she is not surprised that a new abortion center in opening in Omaha and that Planned Parenthood is behind it.
British Prime Minister David Cameron Defends Taxpayer Funding of Foreign Abortions
London, England (LifeNews.com) -- Millions of pounds of British taxpayers money will continue to fund abortions in developing countries, after David Cameron ordered that the Department for International Development s (DFID s) budget be protected from any cuts.
According to the Christian Institute, critics have attacked such a use of public money, and questioned why money intended for abortions should receive special protection at a time when other budgets are being slashed.
A question by the Conservative MP David Amess revealed that a large proportion of the Department s abortion funding has been earmarked for the controversial abortion provider Marie Stopes International (MSI).
Jim Dobbin, a Labour MP and long standing pro-lifer, said: "I am very much against this use of public money. This is not appropriate spending and it should not be protected. I do not see why it is necessary to preserve spending like this on sexual education and abortion."
Figures from the International Development Department revealed that in the year to March 2009 they gave £770,000 to Marie Stopes International,an abortion business. The grants for this year have not yet been made public, but MSI has already been awarded £500,000 under one aid program, according to press reports.
Bishops Issue Statement on Abortion After Phoenix Catholic Hospital Okays One
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Citing confusion about church teaching raised by media reports, the U.S. bishops Committee on Doctrine issued a statement of clarification June 23 saying direct abortion is always wrong and immoral.
As LifeNews.com reported in May, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, which is affiliated with the Catholic Church, is facing questions over a 2009 abortion. A hospital ethics committee deemed the abortion necessary to save the life of the mother, but the top Catholic official is questioning that. http://www.lifenews.com/state5103.html
Sister Margaret Mary McBride, the hospital s vice president of mission integration, was a member of the committee, including patients and doctors, that made the decision.
When Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted learned of the abortion, he asked McBride to step down from her post and informed her that by her act she was under automatic excommunication.
The doctrine committee wrote, "The position that church teaching supports the direct taking of unborn life has been widely reported at the national level by media outlets, which has cause some confusion" among Catholics.
University of Calgary Pro-Life Student Group Retains Status After Discrimination
Calgary, Alberta (LifeNews.com) -- The pro-life student group at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, will retain its club status even though it has come under heavy discrimination from university officials because it has repeatedly held pro-life events featuring graphic pictures.
The Campus Pro-Life Club's standing was under review after the U of C Students' Union club committee moved to revoke it.
"I'm really happy about it," pro-life club president Alanna Campbell told the Calgary Herald. "We're planning to continue as normally as we have in the past couple of years with various activities and we'll put the Genocide Awareness Project in the fall."
"They really didn't give a reason," Campbell said of the move to have the club's status revoked. "We've always asked them which policies we broke. It's a new executive every year and a new set of people dealing with the issues, so I think that probably had a factor or influence."
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