Legislation / Court Cases

Abortion-Related Measures in 109th Congress (4/05)

Senators Find Common Ground: Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act

CIANA: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

Right Of Conscience for Medical Professionals Stands

Life At Conception Act

IL Pharmacists Sue Over ‘Must Dispense’ Order…

SENATORS KENNEDY & BROWNBACK FIND COMMON GROUND: PRENATALLY DIAGNOSED CONDITIONS AWARENESS ACT, S.609 — When expectant mothers learn that they will have a child with Down Syndrome, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, or other prenatally-diagnosed condition, there is ample evidence that many couples do not have access to the best information about these and other genetic defects, including the accuracy of the prenatal test or available help. Kennedy (D-MA) and Brownback (R-KS) have joined together to introduce S. 609, The Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, in an effort to help women (facing a positive prenatal test result) receive up-to-date, scientific information about the life expectancy, clinical course, intellectual and functional development, & prenatal/postnatal treatment options for their child, as well as a host of other information that will empower the parents to welcome their child with greater confidence. Hopefully this is a first step toward bipartisan efforts to avoid “genetic bias” and to aid women with difficult pregnancies. [Washington Update, FRC, 21Apr05]

CIANA: CHILD INTERSTATE ABORTION NOTIFICATION ACT, H.R. 748 — the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on CIANA the end of April. Introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the measure already has 129 cosponsors. In committee, 4 hostile amendments were rejected; the bill was voted out 20-yes, 13-no. CIANA incorporates the provisions of the Child Custody Protection Act (CCPA), which would make it a federal crime to transport a minor girl across state lines to obtain an abortion with the intention of avoiding the parental involvement law of the girl’s home state. CIANA also provides that an abortion provider in a state without a parental involvement law must notify a parent or legal guardian before performing or inducing an abortion on a minor girl who is a resident of a different state. This provision does not apply when the abortionist complies with parental involvement laws of the state in which the abortion is performed or induced, or when the abortion is authorized by a court in the girl’s home state. CCPA passed the House in 1998, 1999, & 2002. Approximately 80% of the public favors parental notification laws. At a March 3 House hearing, Marcia Carroll, from Lancaster, PA, gave compelling testimony on how her 16-year-old daughter was taken across the state line to have an abortion in New Jersey. Once she learned what happened, she stated, “I was so devastated that this could have been done that I called the local police department to see what could be done. They were just as shocked and surprised as I was that there was nothing that could be done in this horrible situation.” On the House floor, it is anticipated that some hostile amendments will again be offered. For e-mail/phone info, see: nchla.org/contcong.asp Votes on the House floor are expected to take place April 27 or April 28. [4/22/05,  [email protected], NCHLA Action Alert]

 

ABORTION ADVOCATE BACKS DOWN ON REPEALING RIGHT OF CONSCIENCE LAW — Boxer, pro-abortion Senator, said she would look to other ways to overturn the law. Contained in a spending bill signed by President Bush, the Hyde-Weldon provision says that the federal government can’t discriminate against doctors, hospitals or health insurance companies that do not want to perform or pay for abortions. As a result, any federal, state or local agency that receives federal money would lose those funds if they engage in such discrimination. Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee told LifeNews.com, “Boxer saw she would lose by a few votes, so she made a face-saving retreat…The battle will be rejoined later in the year when the time comes to renew the anti-discrimination law,” he said. The Hyde-Weldon provision expires on September 30, but pro-life lawmakers are expected to seek an extension of the law. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist had offered Boxer a vote to repeal the provision late last year. With Boxer declining, a spokesman for his office says Frist is under no obligation to allow her another chance. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, in January, filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn it. The National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association has filed another lawsuit and a federal judge held a hearing on that, also in January. U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy made no decision in the case after hearing arguments from both sides about the implications of the new law. [D.C., Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, 20Apr05]

 

LIFE AT CONCEPTION ACT would recognize/define that human life begins at conception and therefore the preborn as well as the born baby is entitled to protection under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.  These bills have been introduced in this 109th Congress. APFLI Sec/Treas Anne Bauer: “This should be supported vigorously…”

 

ILLINOIS PHARMACISTS SUE OVER ‘MUST DISPENSE’ ORDER — IL Gov. Blagojevich was on shaky legal ground when he issued an emergency order requiring pharmacists to dispense medication that violates their religious beliefs, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) which has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 2 pharmacists who are challenging his order amending the state code. In response to the ACLJ’s lawsuit, Blagojevich said that his office “will vigorously defend a woman’s right to get her prescription for birth control filled without delay, without hassle and without a lecture.” The ACLJ lawsuit notes the gov’s order is unenforceable because it violates state law, including the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which makes it unlawful for any public official to discriminate or punish any person who refuses to “participate in any way in any particular form of health care services contrary to his or her conscience.” [14Apr05, Susan Jones, CNSNews.com Morning Ed GOPUSA News Update]

CA ABORTION SUPPORTERS PUSH BILL ON PHARMACIST INVOLVEMENT – Abortion advocates in California are pushing legislation to require pharmacies there to dispense drugs that sometimes cause abortions, especially the morning after pill (MAP/EC) despite possible moral or religious views against promoting abortion. CA Planned Parenthood affiliates and NARAL’s state chapter are lobbying heavily for passage of Senate Bill 644, sponsored by Democrat Sen. Ortiz. The measure would create a requirement to dispense any lawfully prescribed medications. However, pharmacists may tell employers if they have problems dispensing some drugs. Pharmacies are required to find another pharmacist to fill the prescription. To promote the bill, the pro-abortion groups sent dozens of volunteers to pharmacies across the state. The abortion advocates visited 149 independent and chain pharmacies in 29 CA counties; volunteers presented prescriptions for Plan B. Pharmacists in 4 cases declined to fill the scripts. The abortion advocates found that 59% of the pharmacies they contacted had the morning after pills in stock and 71% that did not stock the drugs made a referral to another pharmacy.  [LifeNews.com, 13Apr05]

TN BILL PROTECTS PRO-LIFE PHARMACISTS ON ABORTION DRUGS — As the debate intensifies across the nation about the role of pharmacists and whether they should be able to opt out of dispensing drugs that cause abortions,
a
TN bill would do just that. The measure would allow any of the 5,200 licensed pharmacists in TN to decide against dispensing any objectionable drug based on ”ethical or religious principles.” Sen. Finney introduced the bill in the state Senate; his bill extends ”freedom of choice” to pharmacists to protect “‘their moral, religious, ethical ideas.” ”This codifies what is in practice now,” Finney said. ”In the ethics of the American Pharmacists Association they can refuse to fulfill any prescription that violates their beliefs. In practice — and I’ve run this by several pharmacists — it’s done now. People on the street don’t know about it.” Baeteena Black [exec dir TN Pharmacists Assoc] says her group opposes the legislation. State Rep. Glen Casada, is sponsoring the bill in the state House. The Senate version is expected to get a hearing in the Senate General Welfare Committee when the Senate reconvenes on April 27. [LifeNews.com, 13Apr05]