Abortion - Archive

May 2006: Abortion

7TH U.S. Woman Dies From Drug-Based Abortion, FDA Meeting Reveals

Maternal Death 

Colombia High Court Allows Abortions in Cases of Rape and Incest

House Says No Again to Allowing Military Doctors, Hospitals to do Abortions

Planned Parenthood AGI Report Shows Desperation of Abortion Industry

New Zealand Branch of Amnesty Int'l Approves Abortion Push 

Canada MPs Speak Out Against Forced Abortions, Cite Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

Lawrence Lader, Man Who Co-Founded Key Pro-Abortion Group NARAL, Dies

Online Video Demonstrates Partial Birth Abortion Technique

Second Abortion Drug May Be Unsafe for Women

Louisiana Senate Passes Abortion Ban – No Exceptions for Rape or Incest

7TH U.S. WOMAN DIES FROM DRUG-BASED ABORTION, FDA MEETING REVEALS. During a meeting of scientists and federal officials about the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 and how it has been responsible for killing six women, a Centers for Disease Control official revealed a seventh woman has died from a drug-based abortion.

The seventh woman died from a drug-induced abortion but did not use the first part of the two-part RU 486 abortion drug. Clifford McDonald, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control, reported on the latest death and told the FDA officials and scientists at the meeting that the woman in question was given the drug misoprostol.

That's the second part of the RU 486 abortion drug. The first, mifepristone, deprives the developing unborn child of the nutrition she needs to survive and the second, misoprostol, is a prostaglandin that is given to induce contractions and expel the body of the dead baby.

Searle, the maker of the drug, also known as Cytotec, has repeatedly issued letters to doctors and warnings that it should not be used to produce abortions. The drug is intended to treat ulcers but abortion practitioners engage in what is known as "off-label" use because it has been found to be relatively effective in producing contractions. McDonald said the woman in question used the drug vaginally, which has been a concern in the deaths of five of the recent RU 486 abortion drug deaths.

The FDA has only approved using misoprostol orally, but abortion business Planned Parenthood had been advising women to use it vaginally until the announcement last month that another woman had died from developing a lethal bacterial infection in her vagina brought on by the aboriton pill. According to a New York Times report, the seventh woman who died from a drug-induced abortion was also given a laminaria, a drug made from sea algae that is sometimes used to dilate the cervix during a surgical abortion.

The Times reported that McDonald told the meeting the two most recent women who died, suffered from Clostridium perfringens infections while the four California women who died had Clostridium sordellii infections. McDonald said the latest death occured in a Midwestern state.

The first victim of RU 486 was a Tennessee woman who died after using the abortion drug. She had an undetected ectopic pregnancy, and the drug is not supposed to be used in such situations. Following her death, four California women died from using the abortion drug and the FDA announced last month that a Colorado woman had died as well. Internationally, women have died in Canada, Sweden and France and two women died after using the abortion drug in England. In total, now, seven American women have died from the abortion drug and twelve had died worldwide. [14May06, Atlanta, LifeNews.com]

FDA TOLD ABORTION DRUG MAY SUPPRESS IMMUNE SYSTEM, CAUSE DEATHS. While the joint FDA-CDC meeting got somewhat off topic in its discussion of the deaths of 5 women in the last 3 years form the RU 486 abortion drug, some scientists told the federal agencies they think the abortion drug is suppressing women's immune systems — creating an environment where a normally nonlethal bacteria causes death.

The abortion drug has already been linked to the bacteria Clostridium sorreli and one researcher pointed to immune system problems as the reason for the abortion deaths. Dr. Ralph Miech, an associate professor of pharmacology at Brown University, has already done some of the most comprehensive research on the problem.

As a panelist at the meeting, he told officials the abortion drug suppresses the immune system and increases the possibility for a lethal infection. Dr. Randall O'Bannon [dir, research, NRLC] said that suggestions that the presence of the bacteria in a woman's vaginal tract is a cause of the abortion deaths is unlikely because the bacteria is already present in the vaginas of 10 percent of women, and they are not dying from lethal infections: "The best explanation for this sudden spate of deaths among RU-486 patients appears to involve the immunosuppressant properties of the abortion pill RU-486…A woman's immune system is normally capable of protecting her from deadly bacteria like Clostridium sordellii, but RU-486 appears to compromise her immune system, so that it is unable to help her fight off such infections," Dr. O'Bannon explained.

Other researchers, including Dr. Sandra Kweder of the FDA's for Drug Evaluation and Research's Office of New Drugs, had another theory. She said the second part of the abortion drug causes contractions to expel the body of the dead baby and could increase a woman's susceptibility of getting the bacteria in her uterus.

Dr. James McGregor, an obstetrics professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, agreed that the problems are sufficient to warrant limiting the use of the abortion drug or pulling it from the market entirely. "I recommend we reduce or eliminate mifepristone, or at least consider that," McGregor said, and indicate that chemical abortions were much more dangerous for women than surgical abortions. O'Bannon agreed and said that claims from abortion advocates that the drug is safe because only six women have died in the United States when 500,000 have used the drug are misstating the facts. He indicated the "figures are based on sales from the distributor to prescribers, not on field tallies of actual uses by patients, so uses may be grossly inflated." [11May06, LifeNews.com http://www.lifenews.com/nat2264.html]

MATERNAL DEATH. Hemorrhage and hypertension are the chief causes of maternal deaths in developing countries, according to a report by scientists from the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland; the University of Birmingham, in London, England; and the Centro Rosarino de Estudios Perinatales, in Rosario, Argentina (Khan KS et al. Lancet.2006;367:1066-1074).

In an analysis of 35 197 maternal deaths in which the reported cause of death was hemorrhage, a hypertensive disorder, sepsis, abortion, obstructed labor, ectopic pregnancy, or embolism, the researchers found that nearly 34% of maternal deaths in Africa and nearly 31% in Asia resulted from hemorrhage. Hypertensive disorders caused nearly 26% of such deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean. Abortion-related deaths were 12% in Latin America and the Caribbean and as high as 30% in some individual countries in this region. Deaths due to sepsis were also higher in developing countries than in developed nations. [http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/295/19/2240?etoc, Vol. 295 No. 19, 17May06, Joan Stephenson, PhD, JAMA. 2006;295:2240]

COLOMBIA HIGH COURT ALLOWS ABORTIONS IN RARE CASES OF RAPE, INCEST. The highest court in Colombia has weakened the South American nation's abortion law by changing it from a complete ban on abortions to allowing them in cases of rape or incest. The court also allowed abortions in very rare situations when it could be necessary to save the life of the mother. The 5-3 ruling by the Colombia constitutional court puts the nation's abortion law in line with most other South American nations, which prohibit abortion but allow them in the rare cases.

The court also ruled that abortions could be done in cases where the baby has severe physical and mental disabilities.

There is an outside chance that pro-life advocates could appeal the ruling, and a determination on that will be made soon. Should an appeal occur, it would likely be years down the road, once some of the pro-abortion judges are off the court. Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic outreach director for the National Right to Life Committee, said the decision "is a monumentous defeat for unborn children in Latin America."

Should the ruling stand, El Salvador and Chile will be the only Latin American nations to completely prohibit abortions. Attorney Monica Roa, affiliated with the pro-abortion group Women's Link, applauded the decision, saying "This is a victory for women unparalleled in our country." She led the court battle to weaken the abortion ban. "We must educate people as to the meaning of this decision and work with all of the branches of government so that when the first woman comes forward needing a legal abortion, she will be able to exercise this right," she said in a statement LifeNews.com obtained. Rojas told LifeNews.com that Roa's group was trying to use "the 'American approach' to legalizing abortion on demand in Colombia" by getting abortion approved in the courts.

"The ramifications for the women, the families and the children of Colombia will be as disastrous as they have been in the United States," he added. Roa's group claims that about 24 percent of pregnancies in Colombia end in abortion, despite the ban.  President Alvaro Uribe also voiced his concerns about the court's decision saying he worried that abortions would be done for any reason by abortion practitioners seeking to exploit the court's ruling. Pro-life groups countered with a submission of two million signatures from Colombia residents who opposed making abortion legal.

Meanwhile, a poll last year conducted by the RCN radio network found 65.6% of the public backed the ban on abortion.  Magaly Llaguno, director of Vida Humana Internacional, which has helped pro-life groups in Colombia, says many other pro-abortion groups based in the U.S. signed on to the lawsuit Roa filed, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Catholics for a Free Choice, and several student pro-abortion organizations.

In 1994, Chief Magistrate Antonio Barrera ruled that “the Constitutional protection of human life begins at the moment of conception, considering that a separate human life exists apart from the mother.” The high court also ruled that the right of a couple to limit the number of children they will raise ends at the “moment of conception of a new human life.” The move to overturn pro-life laws is also taking place in other South American nation's and lawmakers in Brazil are expected to vote any day on whether to legalize all abortions in the early part of pregnancy. [11May06, LifeNews.com http://www.lifenews.com/nat2258.html; N Valko RN, 13May06]

HOUSE SAYS NO AGAIN TO ALLOWING MILITARY DOCTORS, HOSPITALS TO DO ABORTIONS, the U.S. House voted against a pro-abortion amendment that would have had military doctors and hospitals performing abortions, with a 237-191 vote — an even wider margin than last y

ear's 233-194 vote to prohibit military abortions. Abortion advocates introduce this amendment every year as Congress debates legislation funding the Defense Department. The U.S. military currently prohibits doctors from doing abortions at military medical facilities except in the rare cases or rape or incest or to prevent the death of the mother. [12May06, LifeNews.com]

PLANNED PARENTHOOD AGI REPORT SHOWS DESPERATION OF ABORTION LOBBY.  In its weekly briefing today the Virginia based Population Research Institute slams the credibility of the Planned Parenthood Guttmacher Institute’s latest report. PRI says the report, “Abortion in Women’s Lives”, “has holes so big and assertions so far from being scientific that its authors should be ashamed”. PRI’s Joseph D’Agostino indicates that the report reflects the current desperation of the abortion lobby over the impending, eventual demise of the infamous Roe decision.

The statistics used in the report are seen to be gross exaggerations to bolster Planned Parenthood’s claims for the need for unlimited, taxpayer-funded abortion. PRI says the study “uses the common statistical chicanery of grossly exaggerating the number of abortions taking place in the United States before Roe.  ‘In the 1950s and 1960s, it is estimated that 200,000 to 1.2 million women each year had illegal abortions in the United States, many of which were under unsafe conditions,’ it says. 

‘According to another estimate, which extrapolated data from North Carolina, 699,000 illegal abortions occurred nationwide in 1955 and 829,000 illegal procedures were performed in 1967.’ However, Ramesh Ponnuru is quoted by PRI as responding, “The upper end of that estimate isn't remotely plausible.  The number of reported abortions in 1974, when Roe had made them all legal, was 899,000.  The number in 1975 was 1 million.  Are we really supposed to believe that the number of abortions fell when abortion became legal?  (And then immediately started to climb for a decade and a half?)”

D’Agostino addresses additional aspects of the report revealing it is far more of a propaganda exercise than a legitimate scientific study of the relationship of abortion to women’s lives in today’s world. [PRI analysis: Planned Parenthood's Guttmacher Institute Getting Desperate http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/may/060505a.html; Steve Jalsevac, 5May06, LifeSiteNews.com]

NEW ZEALAND BRANCH OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL APPROVES ABORTION PUSH.  At its recent annual meeting in Wellington, the New Zealand branch of Amnesty International decided to endorse the proposal that the international organization enter into abortion advocacy.  The move follows the decision of the organization's UK branch which decided similarly last month (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/may/06050504.html) New Zealand Right to Life expressed disappointment over the decision. 

In a press release, the pro-life group condemned Amnesty for their decision "to actively fight to deny the human rights of unborn children and their inalienable right to life."  New Zealand Right to Life added, "In taking this step it is turning its back on human rights. Abortion entails the destruction of an innocent unborn child, the weakest and most defenceless member of the human family." The final decision on the whether the international organization will advocate for abortion as a 'human right' is expected in 2007, after regional branches have submitted their decisions on the matter. The Canadian branch of Amnesty International is set to decide on the abortion question on May 20.  (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/apr/06042511.html) [16May06, LifeSiteNews.com, John-Henry Westen]

U.S. ABORTION GROUP PUSHES FOR MORE ABORTIONS IN CANADA. The National Abortion Federation, a U.S. based group of abortion providers announced the launch of a Canadian public policy and outreach program. "This US based group has expanded into Canada and they held a press conference today at the Centre Block of Parliament with the help of three pro-abortion MPs; Carolyn Bennett (Liberal MP and a current candidate for the Liberal leadership), Irene Mathyssen (NDP MP) and Penny Priddy (NDP MP)," said Jim Hughes National President of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC). The program, says a release by the pro-abortion organization, seeks "to improve abortion access for women in Canada."

Responding Hughes stated: "Almost three million babies have already been put to death in their mothers' wombs in Canada since 1969 . . . They intend to increase the number of babies killed by abortion." Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer of CLC reacted to the NAF statement that they seek to "promote health and justice for women." Douglas commented, "Abortion is a disaster for women's health. The medical and psychological complications from abortion can continue for years and even for a lifetime after the child is killed. Post-abortion syndrome is a painful reality which this federation is prepared to ignore." [16May06, LifeSiteNews.com]

CANADA MPS SPEAK OUT AGAINST FORCED ABORTIONS, CITE BREAST CANCER LINK. While thousands of Canadian participated in the annual March for Life in the nation's capital on Thursday, two members of the Canadian parliament held a news conference with a breast cancer surgeon and a researcher to tell the media that women are at a higher risk for breast cancer if they have an abortion.

Paul Steckle, a Liberal, and Maurice Vellacott, a Conservative, were joined by New Jersey breast cancer surgeon Angela Lanfranchi, who has written extensively about abortion's link to breast cancer. Vellacott and the others also discussed how women are increasingly pressured by a boyfriend or husband to have an abortion, according to a Toronto Globe and Mail report. "We are opposed to unwanted abortions that do happen in this country where women are coerc

ed, pressured, harassed, badgered if you will, by a boyfriend, by a husband, by a doctor, an employer, friends, family circumstance," he said. Saying that women need to be informed about the link between abortion and breast cancer, Steckle said "we have issues that we believe are important and we believe it's important that Canadians are informed."

In explaining the link, Dr. Lanfranchi said there had been a 40 percent increase in the incidence of breast cancer in the last 30 years — when abortion has been allowed in both the U.S. and Canada. "It's the women of the Roe v. Wade generation that account for most of this increase," Lanfranchi explained. "Dramatic lifestyle changes brought about by the sexual revolution and the women's liberation movement are largely responsible for the rampant breast cancer we see today," she added. Unfortunately for women in Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society denies the link's existence even though most statistically significant studies show it exists… Lanfranchi pointed to a 1996 report published by the British Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health looked at 23 previous studies and found abortion increases the breast cancer risk by 30 percent. Research and biochemist Joel Brind, also appeared at the conference and said that abortion exposes women to high levels of estrogen and affects the breast in a negative way, allowing a greater chance of contracting breast cancer. Vellacott indicated that he and Steckle are part of a parliamentary pro-life caucus of lawmakers from various parties. [Toronto Globe and Mail; 14May06, Atlanta, LifeNews.com]

SURGEON STRESSES ABORTION/BREAST CANCER LINK at Ottawa Press Conference. An expert in the field of breast cancer presented strong evidence linking breast cancer to abortion, in a press conference held by members of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus 11May06. Dr. Angela Lanfranchi [clinical asst prof, surgery, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, NJ; co-founder, Breast Cancer Prevention Institute]: “The link between abortion and breast cancer is simply the result of a woman’s biology”.

She cited multiple scientific studies that link induced abortion with a significant increase in breast cancer rates. Breast cancer rates have increased by 40% over the 30 years since abortion was legalized. “It’s the women of the Roe v. Wade generation that account for most of this increase. Dramatic lifestyle changes brought about by the sexual revolution and the women’s liberation movement are largely responsible for the rampant breast cancer we see today,” she said, [Globe and Mail].

Liberal MP Paul Steckle and Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott invited Dr. Lanfranchi to speak in an effort to raise awareness of the dangerous effects of abortion on women’s health.  “Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women, according to the Canadian Cancer Society, yet that organization is not telling women about a well-documented preventable risk-factor,” said Mr. Vellacott, Conservative co-chair of the PPLC, in a press release. “Women have a right to be told about this increased risk.” Since 1957, over 40 studies worldwide have shown a link between induced abortion and breast cancer. A 1996 meta-analysis conducted by Dr. Joel Brind, professor of endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York, established abortion as a significant independent risk factor for developing breast cancer. (See Dr. Brind’s review of studies conducted over the last 9 years at: http://www.jpands.org/vol10no4/brind.pdf)

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, 102 Canadian women will die of breast cancer every week. “Withholding from women information about this preventable risk factor could literally be a matter of life and death,” said Steckle. “This is an important women’s health issue,” said MP Paul Steckle, Liberal co-chair of the PPLC. “We are doing women a disservice by ignoring the epidemiological and biological evidence that shows women who have had abortions are at an increased risk for developing breast cancer.” Despite mounting well-documented evidence, leading cancer research centres such as the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, (along with their U.S. counterparts), have refused to acknowledge a connection between the effects of abortion on women’s bodies and their subsequent development of breast cancer. Related: U.S. Breast Cancer Foundation Funding Abortion Provider Planned Parenthood http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/feb/05022203.html; Canadian MP says Cancer Society Withholding Pill/Cancer Link http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/mar/06031707.html [16May06, LifeSiteNews.com, Schultz]

NOT ALL NURSING PROGRAMS HAVE ABORTION EDUCATION. A national trade group for abortion businesses, the National Abortion Federation, has released the results of a study it conducted and is complaining that just half of the nation's nursing programs have abortion training. They surveyed advanced practice clinician training programs, which provide training for nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives. NAF asked program directors at 486 accredited APC programs in the U.S to provide information about whether they train students in how to perform or assist in abortions.

Fewer than half (202 programs) responded and "slightly more than half" reported to NAF that they include training on surgical or drug-induced abortions or on manual vacuum aspiration, an abortion procedure often used in third-world countries. Dr. Angel Foster of Ibis Reproductive Health, which co-sponsored the survey with NAF, called the findings "striking" saying they were "upsetting" given the "important role" of abortion. Foster said nurses and PAs "should be required" to learn how to do abortions or assist in them and called abortion an "integral component of women's health care." [16May06, LifeNews.com, NY]

LAWRENCE LADER, MAN WHO CO-FOUNDED KEY PRO-ABORTION GROUP, DIES. A writer and political activist, called the father of the pro-abortion movement in the United States, died at his home on 7May at the age of 86. Lader was a significant pro-abortion figu

re, writing books and articles and eventually co-founding the pro-abortion group now known as NARAL. Lader was also instrumental in getting the pro-abortion movement involved with religious leaders — something activist groups are working to rebuild today.

He was successful in getting pro-abortion clergy to refer girls to abortion businesses and made some 2,000 abortion referrals himself, he said.

As an early pro-abortion advocate, before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, Lader was instrumental in getting New York to become one of the handful of states to legalize abortion before Roe. The New York victory was the first on the heels of a meeting in his apartment in New York City in July 1968 of pro-abortion activists. Out of that meeting came an organizing meeting in Chicago in February 1969 where NARAL was born. [NY, 11May06, LifeNews.com]

 

ONLINE VIDEO DEMONSTRATES PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION TECHNIQUE.   The free, short video clip uses dramatization to show the viewer the basic technique involved in a partial birth abortion. A chair, a sheet, a baby doll and the actual instruments of an abortionist are used — no blood or disturbing images. “Seeing the actual procedure’s steps, even so simply demonstrated, strips away the arguments of why this barbaric procedure should be allowed,” said Paul Nowak, president of R.A.G.E. Media, who posted the video on his blog site. (http://wildreelingtruth.blogspot.com/2006/04/free-online-video-partial-birth_17.html)

The clip is part of a presentation on pre-birth development by Dr. William Lile, a pro-life obstetrician and gynaecologist. Dr. Lile has created a multi-media presentation, “The Miracle of Life,” on the unborn child, using ultrasound images and videos of fetal surgery. He includes in the presentation a demonstration of the instruments of abortion, showing how they are used to end the life of the developing child in all three trimesters. Dr. Lile’s website states, “[My] goal is to use the visual technology of modern obstetrics to reveal the personhood of unborn babies threatened by abortion.” Dr. William Lile’s website:
http://www.prolifedoc.org/pages/1/index.htm. The video is available at Rage Media: http://dyinglight.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=19
[Schultz, LifeSiteNews.com, 19Apr06]
 

SECOND ABORTION DRUG MAY BE UNSAFE FOR WOMEN.  British doctors have released the results of a study on the off-label use of the anti-ulcer drug Cytotec, a prostaglandin known generically as misoprostol. They strongly warn those misusing the drug to induce labor or with abortions that it can cause medical problems for women. In the RU 486 abortion drug process, women take two pills to complete the abortion.

The first drug deprives the unborn child of the nourishment she normally receives during the pregnancy from her mother. That kills the developing baby. The second drug causes contractions and induces labor, expelling the baby's body in a miscarriage. Dr. Zarko Alfirevic and Dr. Andrew Weeks, both obstetricians at England's University of Liverpool, completed a study of more than 8,600 women using the drug but said "much more data are needed before we can be confident" that there are no adverse effects from using the drug. "Due to the limited evidence about the safety, oral misoprostol should be used with caution for the induction of labor," they said.

They indicated safety concerns make use of misoprostol problematic "because of a relatively high rate of uterine hyperstimulation and the lack of appropriate dose ranging studies."

When using the drug off label, they warn "clinicians should use as low a dose as possible and report serious adverse outcomes." They suggest a maximum dose of 50 mcg. Higher doses could lead to tearing of the uterus, which could be life-threatening for the mother.

The maker of Cytotec has said before that the medication, intended for treating ulcers, should not be used in abortion.

In August 2000, more than a month before RU 486 was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Searle sent out a strongly worded letter, with the cooperation of the FDA, saying misoprostol "is not approved for the induction of labor or abortion." The letter said misuse of the drug can cause adverse effects such as a ruptured uterus, vaginal bleeding and "maternal or fetal death."

More recently, a representative of Pfizer Australia told The Australian newspaper in January [2006], when that nation was considering allowing the RU 486 abortion drug there, "We would not recommend use outside TGA-endorsed indication and at this stage that just involves stomach ulcers…To get any other use of the drug would involve major clinical trials and that can take years," the Pfizer spokesman said.

Dr. Randy O'Bannon, director of education and research at the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com that the decision to use Cytotec in abortions was "highly irresponsible."

Abortion advocates have also admitted problems associated with using misoprostol in association with an abortion.

In September 2004, Women on Waves, which operates the abortion boat, admitted it is unsafe. "Abortions with misoprostol are less safe and less reliable than a normal abortion by a doctor," the group said on its web site.

WOW said that the makeshift abortion drug could fail as much as 10 percent of the time, leaving women in dangerous medical situations. "There is a risk of heavy bleeding for which a woman will have to be treated by a doctor," WOW indicated. "Also Misoprostol can cause very strong cramps, nausea and vomiting."

The new British study appears in the most r

ecent issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research.
Related web sites:
Misoprostol and Fetal Development Problems –
http://www.nrlc.org/news/1998/NRL7.98/ru.html
[21Apr06, LifeNews.com, http://www.lifenews.com/nat2217.html, Liverpool, England; N Valko RN, 21Apr06]

LOUISIANA SENATE PASSES ABORTION BAN — NO EXCEPTIONS FOR RAPE OR INCEST.  The Senate of Louisiana has passed a ban on abortion in a vote that rejected including exceptions for pregnancies due to rape or incest.
In a 17-20 vote, the Senate defeated an amendment proposal to allow the exceptions and then passed the bill 30-7. If passed into law by the state House and not vetoed by the governor, the proposed law would outlaw all abortions except those which saves the life of the mother. The law would impose up to 10 years in prison and fines of $100,000 for doctors found guilty of performing abortions. The bill contains a clause specifying that it does not apply to the women seeking or undergoing abortion. The bill also precludes outlawing abortifacient drugs such as RU-486 or hormonal contraceptives or Morning After pills.

The bill also rejects the current fashion in medical ethics that claims a woman is not pregnant from fertilization, but only after the embryo has implanted in the uterine wall. It defines pregnancy as “having an unborn living human being within (the mother’s) body throughout the entire embryonic and fetal stages of the unborn child from fertilization to full gestation and childbirth.”

It defines an “unborn human being” as the child from the first instant of penetration of the ovum by the sperm. Sen. Ben Nevers, the Democrat sponsor of the bill said he opposed adding exceptions for rape because abortion after a rape solves nothing for the mother but only compounds the trauma:  “a crime committed by a rapist should not result in the death of an unborn child.” Sen. Joel Chaisson, who tried to add the rape and incest exceptions, argued that the House would be unlikely to pass an abortion ban without them.

The bill contains a provision that says the ban will only come into effect when the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Nevers said he feels the likelihood of such a move is high after the appointment to the Court of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. Text of the bill: http://legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=385269
[by Hilary White, April 26, 2006 LifeSiteNews.com]