Senate Rejects Amendment Protecting Abortion-Conscience Rights for Doctors
The "Normalization" of Elective Abortion as "Standard of Care" Continues. How will this affect physicians?
[They] will be expected to provide "standard of care" service (if you are going to get paid by govt or insurance sources). And obviously, a doctor not providing "standard of care" care will become a non-preferred provider.
Then as elective abortion morphs over from "standard of care" to a "fundamental human right," [physicians] will be guilty of denying a fundamental human right. (and that is where it is going, folks!).
It is extremely important that Hippocratic physicians work to protect the right to practice as the future becomes the present.
THE ROAD TO ABORTION AS STANDARD OF CARE: (this is straight out, no innuendos here. It is not often that a "choice" politico will be this candid):
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Admits to Congress Reproductive Health Means Abortion
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday and made a huge admission.
She conceded what pro-life groups have worried about at the United Nations and other international meetings for years that abortion advocates want to include terms like "reproductive rights" and "reproductive health" in key documents and that the phrases mean unlimited abortion.
In response to questions from Reps. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, and Jeff Fortenberry, a Nebraska Republican, Clinton said reproductive health includes abortion, and further stated (speaking on international policy) that the Obama administration would promote abortion overseas. "It is my strongly held view that you are entitled to advocate and everyone who agrees with you should be free to do so anywhere in the world, and so are we," Clinton said.
[Clinton:] "Reproductive health includes access to abortion. We are now an Administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care."
DON'T MISS THE QUOTE FROM SEC. CLINTON-THIS REFLECTS GOVERNMENT POLICY:
Clinton said: "Reproductive health includes access to abortion…" THE NEXT STEP IS TO DENY US OUR CONSCIENCE RIGHTS TO REFUSE TO REFER FOR ABORTION. DON'T FALL ASLEEP.[4-24-09, aaplog.org]
Secretary Clinton, Congressman Smith Spar on Abortion
During a House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) questioned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about whether the Obama administration is seeking to weaken or overturn pro-life laws and policies in other countries.
Secretary Clinton responded to his questions, affirming that the U.S. government’s definition of reproductive health includes access to abortion. Rep. Smith began his comments by criticizing Secretary Clinton’s reception of the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood in Houston in March.
Secretary Clinton said she was in “awe” of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and claimed her “life and leadership” was “one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race.”
Secretary Clinton also said that Sanger’s work was “not done.” Rep. Smith said Sanger’s work was indeed “transformational,” but “not for the better if one happens to be poor, disenfranchised, weak, disabled, a person of color, an unborn child, or among the many so-called undesirables Sanger would exclude and exterminate from the human race.”
“Sanger’s prolific writings drip with contempt for those she considers to be unfit to live,” Rep. Smith said. Noting that he had read many of Sanger’s articles and books, Rep. Smith characterized Sanger as an “unapologetic eugenicist and racist” who said “the most merciful thing a family does for one of its infant members is to kill it” and also characterized eugenics as the “most adequate and thorough avenue” to solve “racial, political and social problems.”
He quoted Sanger’s book “Pivot of Civilization” in which she decried charitable work as “not merely superficial and near-sighted” but also as concealing “a stupid cruelty” that leads to “the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents.”
Rep. Smith said it was “extraordinarily difficult” to understand how a Secretary of State could be in “awe” of Sanger, saying she had openly professed views “antithetical to protecting human rights.”
[http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=95114; ALL Pro-LIfe Today, 23Apr09]
Over Counter Sales of Morning-After Pill for Over 17 Year Olds
The US Food and Drug Administration on 22 April 2009 announced that so-called "morning-after" emergency contraceptives [Plan B] will be available without a prescription for women aged 17 and older. "Consistent with scientific findings since 2005 by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA sent a letter to the manufacturer of Plan B that the company may … market Plan B without a prescription to women 17 years of age and older," the FDA said in a statement.
The move lowers by one year the cut-off age for women to get the morning-after pill without a prescription. In 2006, the emergency contraception pill was approved as an over-the-counter drug for women 18 and older by the FDA.
Younger girls are able to get the pill, which is meant to be used only when regular contraceptive methods fail or after unprotected sex, with a prescription.
[http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g0DG3T6lTvEB5oz0RnSCfMW6O0jw; ALL Pro-LIfe Today, 23Apr09]
OPERATION OUTCRY CONFERENCE
Organized by Operation Outcry, A Project of The Justice Foundation and in cooperation with Georgia Right to Life April 16 – 18, 2009
"How Do We End the Pain of Abortion?"
Hope in Healing ‐ Hope in Action ‐ Hope for Life March and Rally ‐ Awareness Month and April 18th Hope for Life Day.
For more information – www.operationoutcry.org
UN Commission Ends with Delegations Saying No to Abortion Language. As the sun rose on the last day of negotiations at the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) at the United Nations (UN) today, delegations were still embroiled in a contentious debate over language concerning "sexual and reproductive health and rights," which some radical NGOs and UN committees have interpreted and used to promote abortion. As UN member states came together at the closing meeting to adopt the document, delegations took the floor to define abortion out of the document.
Up until the eleventh hour, the contentious term "sexual and reproductive health and rights" remained in the draft document. Just prior to adoption, Iran took the floor to object to the phrase which has never before been included in any negotiated UN document. Iran stressed that the term remained problematic for a number of delegations and urged the Commission to revert back to previously agreed upon and carefully negotiated language from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action, which is understood not to create any right to abortion.
In an attempt to get consensus, the chairwoman from Mexico suspended the meeting and after twenty minutes, returned to the room and announced that Iran"s proposal would be accepted and that the term "sexual and reproductive health and rights" would be removed from the text. The document was then adopted by consensus.
Several delegations, however, went further and made statements to explicitly define abortion out of the CPD document and to reiterate that the document created no new rights. Comoros, Peru, Poland, Ireland, Chile, the Holy See, Malta, and Saint Lucia spoke out against the other remaining reproductive health-related terms such as "reproductive rights," "reproductive health services" and "sexual and reproductive health" and emphasized that these could not be construed to "support, endorse or promote" abortion.
Malta's ambassador stated that his delegation was finding it more difficult in accepting the resolutions of UN bodies like the CPD where there were consistent attempts to expand "reproductive health" to include abortion.
Saint Lucia made an explicit objection to the term "safe abortion" because the term could "give the impression that abortion was a procedure completely free of medical and psychological risks." Saint Lucia also highlighted a provision in the CPD document which called on states where abortion was legal to
"train and equip health service providers and should take such measures to ensure that such abortion is safe and accessible." The Saint Lucian representative stressed that her delegation understood this provision did not impact the right of healthcare providers to refuse to perform or be complicit in abortions as a matter of conscience, stating, "Again, no new rights are created or acknowledged in this document, and the universal right to conscience can in no way be overridden or weakened."
Only the representative of Norway expressed regret that the term "sexual and reproductive rights" was not accepted in the text, saying that his country had widespread access to abortion and virtually no negative effects on women.
The CPD will next meet in April 2010.
[Friday Fax, April 3, 2009 | Volume 12, Special Edition; Samantha Singson, New York / C-FAM]
UN Population Meeting Split over Whether People Are a Burden or a Resource:
EU, Canada, U.S. administration propose broad "sexual and reproductive rights," including "safe abortion".
As the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) meets at the United Nations (UN) this week to mark the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held at Cairo, fault lines have appeared between states that see people as a resource to be promoted, and those that see people as a burden to be controlled.
On the one hand… a number of Muslim nations in particular are defending a pro-people vision of development, emphasizing poverty reduction, basic education and health care, while the European Union, Canada and the new Obama administration propose fertility reduction and broad "sexual and reproductive rights," including contraception, "safe abortion" and "sexuality education."
The latter theme has been consistently stressed by UN agencies, radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and "progressive" nations throughout this CPD session. In her opening address, Hania Zlotnik, the director of the UN Population Division, called on states to applaud the "rapid reduction of fertility in most developing countries" which has been achieved "mainly by expanding access to effective methods of contraception. Zlotnik asserted that "if the evils of poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment, disease and hunger are to be eliminated, population policies that ensure reproductive health and access to family planning have to be part of the arsenal."
There have been some positive surprises for pro-lifers. Japan made a strong statement recognizing the major demographic problem faced as a graying, aging nation, concluding that it was essential to encourage citizens to "get married, give birth and raise children." Croatia and Bulgaria spoke of the measures they were taking to promote birth, such as maternity allowances and paid pregnancy, maternity and paternity leave. Russia, aware of its drastic demographic collapse, also took a pro-natalist position, as it did last year.
Latin American states have been a major disappointment to pro-lifers. Brazil and Uruguay in particular have been pushing "reproductive rights" language. The contrast, between last year's Uruguayan statement, introduced by a professional demographer who recognized the problems caused by an aging populace, and this year's is striking, says the pro-life group C-Fam. The Brazilian representative also stated the government was discussing the inclusion of specialized health services, including surgical procedures, for homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals. In comparison, Cuba has been relatively restrained, inviting criticism from feminist NGOs.
Pro-life Latin voices have been muted. It is rumored that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the pro-abortion NGO Ipas are pressuring pro-life Honduras to go along with a new Latin American "consensus" that does not challenge reproductive rights language.
Malta, however, made a strong statement defending its pro-life laws and stated that it "has consistently expressed its reservation on the use of terms such as 'reproductive rights,' 'reproductive services' and 'control of fertility.'" Malta restated its reservation to the ICPD provision "In circumstances where abortion is not against the law, such abortion should be safe," stating that the phrase "could lend itself to multiple interpretations, implying among other things, that abortion can be completely free of medical and other psychological risks, while ignoring altogether the rights of the unborn."
Saint Lucia stressed that the unborn should be included in promoting maternal and child health, and also spoke of the success of its abstinence-based programs. Throughout negotiations, the Holy See has been a constant voice in support of human dignity and development. It faulted the UN for "giving priority to population control and getting the poor to accept these arrangements" rather than on development issues such education, basic health care, access to water, sanitation and employment."
The CPD session is to conclude on Friday. Given the apparent ideological gap, a failure to produce an outcome document – an extremely unusual occurrence, which is seen as a black mark on the presiding chairperson- is possible, though unlikely.
(This article reprinted with permission from http://www.c-fam.org; 2Apr09, Samantha Singson and Piero A. Tozzi, NY]
Pro-Abortion Language Blocked at UN Status of Women Meeting. The 53rd UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was held in New York March 2-13 and representatives from pro-family/ pro-life NGOs, including Canada's Campaign Life Coalition, were present to distribute information to delegations and monitor the negotiations of the "Agreed Upon Conclusion," the outcome document of this annual commission, which this year examined the theme of AIDS/HIV.
During this year's CSW, the U.S. delegation decided on its own to revert to positions from the Bill Clinton era, rather than maintain the positions from the Bush administration, until the chain of command is established and they are advised otherwise. In spite of the lack of instructions to the U.S. mission, it was expected that the U.S. would align itself with Canada, the European Union and other countries pushing for the creation of an international "right" to abortion.
A pro-life/pro-family observer reported that during the closed negotiations, the Canadian delegation opposed a suggestion by Iran and Qatar to incorporate language that would emphasize respect for the sovereignty of nations and for their cultural heritages. The two Persian Gulf countries suggested the addition of the words "with full respect for the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of each country's people" to an article that spoke of "the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men."
It is unclear whether the Canadian delegation is acting on the direction of the Conservative government or whether the Harper Conservatives are closely following what is happening at the UN. One observer at the UN noted that there has been little change in the activities and worldview of the Canadian delegation since the Conservatives took power in Ottawa in 2006. During the long reign of Canada's previous Liberal government, Canadian delegations were often lead players in anti-family, anti-life initiatives at the UN. This still appears to be the case.
Unsurprisingly, the U.S and the European Union co
untries also opposed this pro-sovereignty language.
Along with the E.U., Brazil and a few others, the Canadian delegation worked to incorporate language about sexual and "reproductive" rights in the Agreed Upon Conclusions. Historically, "sexual and reproductive rights" has been interpreted as including abortion.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation hosted a side event during the first week of the CSW. In an opening statement, Swedish Ambassador Lennarth Hjelmaker stated that women should "decide over their own body, sexuality and reproduction." Hakon A. Gulbrandsen, state secretary of Norway, declared that the "IPPF was the single most important partner of Norway." Pro-abortion forces made a concerted effort to tie the HIV/AIDS pandemic to other "sexual and reproductive rights," which would divert funds from treatment of HIV/AIDS and reallocate it to the promotion of abortion and family planning.
Other noteworthy events included a demonstration against the Harper government by Canadian feminist NGOs. NDP MP Nikki Ashton joined the crowd of about 30 protesters.
The pro-family/pro-life coalition was successful in keeping negative language out of the Agreed Upon Conclusions. Many members of the coalition worked double shifts and overnight during the meetings, encouraging and materially supporting friendly delegations, while demonstrating to the opposition that they are ready to push back, even if they no longer have the support of the U.S. delegation.
[This article has been republished with permission from the April, 2009 edition of The Interim newspaper. http://www.theinterim.com/2009/feb/index.html; NY, April 2, 2009]
Nation's Oldest Abortion Mill To Close. Unable to pay rent and facing bankruptcy, the feminist-run Women's Choice Clinic of Oakland is being forced to close after the financially-strapped State of California froze Medi-Cal payments, which comprised of 90% of the clinic's income. It claims to be the oldest abortion clinic in the nation still in operation.
"The state had been bailing out this abortion mill for years. Finally, when the economic crisis hit, there just was no more bail-out money and they were forced into financial ruin, something that should have happened naturally long ago," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
The abortion business must be out of its office within two weeks. It boasted of having seen 64,000 patients over the past three decades. The clinic specifically targeted teens and Hispanic women for abortions, but also catered to lesbian and transgender clientele.
For years the California budget has provided open-ended funding for abortions to anyone who can qualify for Medi-Cal, which is relatively easy to do, especially for teens seeking to hide their abortions from their families and those in this country illegally.
So lucrative are Medi-Cal funded abortions that, over the years, several abortionists have been disciplined by the California Medical Board for fraud related to the submission of phony Medi-Cal claims.
Newman: "It looks like the financial crisis has forced California to do the right thing in halting payments for abortions, even if it is for the wrong reasons. We hope that California will learn its lesson and terminate all future funding for abortions in that state."
[April 10th, 2009, Oakland, CA, www.operationrescue.org]
Mother Who Gave Permission for Abortion on Nine Year Old Daughter Indicted for Negligence in Daughter's Sexual Abuse. The mother of a nine-year-old girl who consented to her abortion against the will of the girl's father, has been indicted for negligence in the sexual abuse committed against her child, according to reports in the Brazilian media.
The woman, whose name has been revealed by the Brazilian media as Esmeralda Aparecida, denies that she knew that her husband, the stepfather of the girls, was abusing them. "He always treated them very well, I wouldn't have noticed that the situation was bad," she reportedly told the police.
Antonio Luiz Dutra, the detective handling the case, says that Aparecida was negligent. "She failed in her responsibility to protect her daughters," he told the media.
"How can she say that she was bathing the girls every day and didn't perceive anything strange about them?" he asked.
The case of her daughter's pregnancy at the age of nine made international headlines last month after the child's twins were aborted (see LifeSiteNews coverage at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09030601.html).
Although the hospital in Recife where the child was originally admitted acknowledged that her life was not in immediate danger from the pregnancy, the media widely reported claims advanced by pro-abortion doctors that the procedure was necessary to save her life (read full account at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032018.html).
After both of the girl's parents stated their opposition to an abortion for her twins, an international pro-abortion organization worked with hospital staff to convince Aparecida and her daughter's father, Erivaldo Francisco, to change their mind.
Although both eventually consented to the abortion, Francisco retracted permission later, after consulting with physicians about the true medical situation of his daughter. However, an international pro-abortion organization and a member of the hospital staff managed to move the child and her mother to another hospital before the father could officially notify the hospital of his retraction.
The abortion was done later the same day. The case has been used by pro-abortion forces to advance the cause of the legalization of abortion in Brazil. Currently, abortion is not penalized in cases of rape or danger to the life of the mother.
Previous: International Pro-Abortion Group Conspired With Hospital to Kill Unborn Twins in Famous Brazilian Case
[2Apr09, M.C. Hoffman, Brazil, www.LifeSiteNews.com]
Wales Sees Teen Abortions Rise to Five-Year High, New Government Figures Show.
New government figures from Wales show the number of abortions done on teenagers at a five-year high. The stats show 1,043 teenage girls had abortions in 2007, up from 906 in 2002 and the numbers are worrying pro-life groups and conservative lawmakers.
Overall, the total number of abortions done in Wales rose to 8,765 in 2007, up a staggering 18 percent from the 7,396 abortions in 2002. Of the women who had an abortion in 2007, the government figures show abortion is increasingly used as a form of birth control as more than 2,400 of the women had a previous abortion at the time of the one they had in 2007. [4Apr09, London, England www.LifeNews.com]
Thanks to Administration and Congress, U.S. Now Funding China Forced Abortions. You are funding forced abortions in China. So am I. Not only elective abortions. Forced abortions. It doesn't matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice on this issue. No one can support forced abortion, because it is not a choice.
What are “forced abortions”? Here are some examples from the U.S. Department of State China Report,
released on Feb. 25: “In March  family planning officials in Henan Province reportedly forcibly detained a 23-year-old unmarried woman who was seven months pregnant. Officials reportedly tied her to a bed, induced labor, and killed the newborn upon delivery.
"In April  population-planning officials in Shandong Province reportedly detained and beat the sister of a woman who had illegally conceived a second child in an attempt to compel the woman to undergo an abortion.”
According to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China report, released on Oct. 31, 2008, “Violators of the [one-child] policy are routinely punished with exorbitant fines, and in some cases, subjected to forced sterilization, forced abortion, arbitrary detention, and torture.” [9Apr09,#4585, www.Lifenews.com, Reggie Garcia Littlejohn]
Practice of Obstetrics Will "Suffer" If Administration Abolishes Conscience Protections: Obstetricians Group
An international group of obstetricians and gynaecologists has formally protested plans by the US government to rescind legislation protecting the rights of conscience of doctors to refuse to participate in abortions.
Dr. Robert Walley, head of MaterCare International, has warned that the practice of obstetrics in the US "will suffer" should the plans go ahead. The proposal, he writes, "is an attack on an inalienable right" and will usher in a "form of totalitarianism" that amounts to "discrimination and persecution."
In an open letter, Dr. Walley wrote, "By interfering in the freedom to practise according to conscience, the principles of autonomy of the physician and the rights of mothers will be removed."
"The practice of obstetrics in the United States will suffer as there will be a sameness of practice which will stifle further thought and progress in maternal health care."
Dr. Walley, an obstetrician with over 35 years experience in the field, denounced the abortion ideology that he said is working against the traditions of freedom of conscience at the expense of women. "The so called freedom to choose that one group of women has supposedly gained through the introduction of abortion will now be lost by all women as a consequence of their inability to consult an obstetrician whose practice is based on respect for life and on hope from its very beginning."
"It will be bought at the expense of a once noble profession."
With representatives in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland, MaterCare International is one of the few completely pro-life medical associations in the world, that offers pre- and post-natal care to mothers in developing countries.
In February, President Barack Obama indicated that his government is poised to rescind legal protections for health care workers who object to procedures, such as abortion and sterilisations, that conflict with their religious or moral beliefs. The conscience protections were one of the last acts of the Bush administration and they came into effect on January 20 of this year, the same day as President Obama's inauguration. The Bush rule was universally condemned by the abortion lobby.
Related: Obama to Revoke Bush Abortion Rule Protecting Conscience Rights
[7Apr09, Hilary White, www.LifeSiteNews.com]
Women's Group: In Tough Economy, Women Need Real Abortion Alternatives. In a challenging economic climate — where some opinion columnists are celebrating what appears to be a temporary abortion increase — Feminists for Life of America says more must be done to give women alternatives.
Recent news articles have shown Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, talking about certain locations across the country experiencing record abortion numbers.
But FFLA president Serrin Foster has noticed that none of the stories include quotes from abortion advocates lamenting the situation and proposing concrete solutions for stopping the increase.
"Abortion providers speak in a compassionate-sounding way about women who are driven to abortion by the loss of a job, lack of health care, low income, or lack of support from the father of the child, who may also be facing dire straits," Foster told LifeNews.com in an email.
"But they do nothing to address the root causes that drive these women to abortion," she says. "Women deserve better. We must do more than simply wring our hands and accept failures [of more abortions in a bad economy.]"
Foster says abortion centers may provide a supposed solution to a woman and her partner's temporary problem, but they fail to help women and couples alleviate the problems further.
"These women still face the same economic strife. They went back to work for the same employers who didn't accommodate their needs," Foster says. "They went home to the same husbands or partners who wouldn't or couldn't provide the support they needed and deserved."
"How did abortion address any of these issues?" Foster questions.
Foster says abortion advocates aren't doing any more than pointing figures at the problem and ignoring — even opposing — good solutions.
She said "abortion providers simply bemoan the lack of health care for working uninsured and poor pregnant women" when they should "demand that all states apply for available funding under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program."
While "abortion providers simply talk about women who are poor and need prenatal care," Foster says she can "tell women in need that pregnancy resource centers help lead women through the maze of available resources, including how to access Medicare funding and private sources of help."
Foster is calling for pro-life advocates and pro-life feminists "who believe women and men are capable of working together for nonviolent, holistic solutions" to "lead the way" in providing solutions to pregnant women in dire financial straits other than abortion.
Feminists for Life of America publishes a magazine entitled the American Feminist and its next issue puts its money where Fosters mouth is. It is an expanded and improved edition of “Raising Kids Cheap," a prior publication that provides resource listings for pregnant and parenting women.
"As you can imagine, this tool will be a welcome source of support for parents as well as pregnant women who feel forced to choose between their children and their education or careers, which are vital to caring for their children," Foster says.
Feminists for Life of America – http://www.feministsforlife.org
[2Apr09, Ertelt, www.LifeNews.com Editor, D.C.]
Texas Governor Perry Proclaims April as Abortion Recovery Awareness Month.
In a statement released in late March, the governor stated, "Ending a pregnancy through abortion interrupts the natural birth process and creates significant trauma and stress for those involved in the pregnancy. An abortion is a tragic ending, not only because of the loss of a life, but also because of the physical and psychological trauma caused by the procedure itself. Th
is often leads to lasting emotional and mental health problems for the mother, father and other involved family members. Peer-reviewed research has shown that women who obtain abortions are often plagued by feelings of anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, grief and guilt due to the procedure."
The statement continued, "Many organizations throughout the state are assisting the process of healing and recovery after abortion by promoting policies that reinforce a culture of life and hope. Abortion recovery programs offer invaluable services that help abortion's living victims to forgive and heal through individual counseling, support groups, encouragement and education."
"The month of April has been designated as a time to highlight and reflect on the traumatic effects of abortion. At this time, I urge all Texans to learn about the lasting ramifications of abortion and the support and counseling options available after an abortion. Together, we can make a difference."
Organizations that assist in the process of healing after abortion include the Texas Abortion Recovery Alliance, Abortion Recovery InterNational, the National Helpline for Abortion Recovery, Operation Outcry and The Justice Foundation.
In 2005, Abortion Recovery InterNational (ARIN) established April as Abortion Recovery Awareness Month. The two key purposes of the month are to: encourage and promote healing opportunities; enlighten society to the aftermath of abortion on individuals and families.
The U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged in April 2007 that abortion causes "severe depression," "loss of esteem" in some women, Carhart v. Gonzalez. The Court referred to testimony of women hurt by abortion given to them in an Amicus Brief filed by The Justice Foundation representing Sandra Cano, the former "Doe" of Doe v. Bolton and 180 women.
[2Apr09, Dallas, Texas, www.LifeSiteNews.com]
Senate Rejects Amendment Protecting Abortion-Conscience Rights for Doctors
The Senate on Thursday night rejected an amendment from a pro-life senator that would have provided conscience protection on abortion for doctors and medical centers. The amendment comes at a time when President Barack Obama is considering overturning further protections. Sen Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, sponsored an amendment to the Senate budget bill that would protect the right of conscience for health care workers. His budget amendment was to "protect the freedom of conscience for patients and the right of health care providers to serve patients without violating their moral and religious convictions." However, the Senate rejected the conscience amendment on a 56-41 vote with most of the chamber's Democrats voting against it along with a handful of pro-abortion Republicans. Three Democrats joined most of the Senate Republicans in voting for the Coburn amendment. [4Apr09, DC www.LifeNews.com]
Idaho Pharmacists Can Now Say No to Emergency Contraception: A new Idaho law gives pharmacists permission to deny people medicine based on religious or moral obligations. The Idaho House voted this week 48-21 to pass a new law which will allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions based on their own moral or religious obligations. This law, known as House Bill 216, does not apply to pharmacist technicians or other staff members.
The bill appears to be an attempt to limit the dispersal of medications such as Plan B, commonly known as “the morning-after pill.” The bill received a great amount of support from conservative activist groups like the Idaho Values Alliance.
According to the American Pharmacists Association’s code of ethics, a pharmacist can already refuse to dispense prescriptions based on personal beliefs. Under this code the pharmacist is required to refer the individual to another pharmacist. However, under the new law pharmacists are not required to do this. Now, a pharmacist can deny prescriptions without fear of being fired or disciplined because of their beliefs.
The law has four key stipulations: First, that “no person shall be required to provide for any pharmaceutical care or drug that violates his or her conscience.” Secondly, that no person can be liable, in either civil or criminal cases, for declining to dispense or distribute pharmaceutical that violate his or her conscience. Third, that it’s unlawful to discriminate against any person based upon their declining to dispense that violate their conscience. And fourth, that a pharmacist or pharmacy cannot refuse to provide pharmaceutical care because of the patient’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Dakota currently have conscience laws which explicitly give pharmacists the right to refuse distribution of the morning-after pill for moral reasons. Four other states have broad refusal laws that, while not exclusively mentioning pharmacists, may be applied to them as well.
[Sophia Victoria Laskovski, http://www.collegenews.com/index.php?/article/idaho_pharmacists_can_now_say_no_04032009328/; PharmFacts E-News Update, 4 Apr 2009 ]
State Can't Force Dispensing 'Morning-After' Pill
A judge has ruled state officials can't force
pharmacists to dispense the so-called "morning-after" pill.
Two Illinois pharmacists won the temporary restraining order in Sangamon County Circuit Court on Friday.
They claim a 2005 order from former Gov. Rod Blagojevich that they must dispense such pills violates state law prohibiting enforcement of health care decisions over religious objections.
The pill may reduce the chance of pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of sex. The pharmacists believe it's tantamount to abortion.
The Supreme Court ruled in December that a circuit court had to hear arguments in the case. A hearing could be held in June.
AP. Apr. 06 2009, SPRINGFIELD, IL]