Abortion - Archive

May 2009: Abortion

New Report Details Fudged WHO Numbers on Maternal Mortality

EU Intervenes in Internal Philippines "Reproductive Health" Debate

Over Half of UK Teen Pregnancies Aborted

Kansas Supreme Court Holds Hearing in Planned Parenthood Illegal Abortion Case

Ten Years Later – Samuel Armas (baby in photo on this homepage) Sees This Amazing Photo as Confirming Abortion to be Wrong 

Amnesty International Twists International Law in Dominican Abortion Debate

Abortions Not Increasing Among Cancer Survivors, New Denmark Report Shows

Alabama Nurse in Botched Abortion Case Will Face Trial in November

China's Forced Abortions Spark Infertility, Surrogacy, Crackdown, More Abortions

Commentary: The Obama/Clinton Position on Family Planning & Abortion Violates Cairo Agreement

340,000 Comments Support Conscience Rights of Healthcare Workers

Abortionists Fighting to Keep Taxpayer Money: Battle Arose after Planned Parenthood Counseled Patient to Lie to Judge

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: Public Takes Conservative Turn on Abortion / Percentage of Americans Approving Abortion Dropped 8% since August: Pew Poll

Supreme Court Justice Souter Expected To Retire

Conscience: Missouri House Approves Amendment Allowing Pharmacies to Refuse to Stock Abortifacient Emergency Abortion Plan B, other Medication Abortion Drugs

New Report Details Fudged WHO Numbers on Maternal Mortality. A newly released research paper identifies structural flaws in United Nations (UN) data collection and analysis of global maternal health, finding that UN maternal heath policies based on the bad data are jeopardizing women's health in the developing world.

The paper, "Removing the Roadblocks from Achieving MDG 5 by Improving the Data on Maternal Mortality," by Donna Harrison, M.D., was published by the International Organizations Research Group (IORG) [IORG is a division of C-FAM, publisher of the Friday Fax]. The paper shows how the World Health Organization's (WHO) guidelines to UN member states require nations to collect faulty data while at the same time pressuring them to enact UN policies such as liberalizing abortion laws based on that data. (Read the paper: http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.1158/pub_detail.asp)

Harrison finds that the WHO's Reproductive Health Indicators are flawed because of "quasi-legal, rather than scientifically-based definitions used to define maternal health." Specifically, she examines WHO documents that equate "safe abortion" to legal abortion, and "unsafe abortion" to illegal abortion. Harrison said that even pro-abortion groups have taken WHO to task for its faulty definitions. She gives the example of Marie Stopes International, which claims that the abortions it performs in countries where it is illegal are safe.

WHO definitions also create confusion about the true number of deaths attributable to abortion, Harrison argues. This is because WHO guidelines require hospitals to count deaths from miscarriages (spontaneous abortions) in calculating maternal mortality, but not deaths from planned abortions. Maternal deaths due to planned, induced abortion are therefore not required to be recorded in government statistics, and the extent to which such abortions harm women is impossible to measure.

Despite this fact, WHO is promoting planned abortion as a way to improve maternal health. Citing WHO's 2006 report "Sexual and Reproductive Health: Laying the Foundation for a More Just World through Research and Action," Harrison says that "the report details its extensive research and promotion of chemical or medical abortions in developing countries using mifepristone and misoprostol and manual vacuum aspirators, a technique used by some to perform abortions in countries where the practice is illegal under the auspices of 'fertility regulation.'…Without accurate data collection and analysis, the effects of such changes are often not perceived until years after damage has been done and may not be reversible at that late point."

Harrison quotes WHO researchers who admit to "adjusting the data" up to 50 percent based upon what they "expect to find" in order "to make the numbers turn out right." To improve WHO statistics and policies Harrison offers several policy recommendations, including the collection of data "for all pregnancy outcomes," separating the data on miscarriages and induced termination, and refining the definition of "induced abortion" to distinguish among terminations medically necessary to save the life of the mother, voluntary terminations performed in the hospital, and voluntary terminations performed in an outpatient setting.

If WHO does not improve what one World Bank researcher calls "tortuous statistical techniques and educated guessing," Harrison concludes, "Policy decisions will be founded on political assumptions, rather than scientific fact."
[14May09, Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D., NEW YORK, NY, www.LifeSiteNews.com; reprinted with permission from http://www.c-fam.org]

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EU Intervenes in Internal Philippines "Reproductive Health" Debate

The head of the delegation of the European Commission in the Philippines, Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, has vocally intervened in a contentious legislative debate in the Philippines, pushing legislators to pass a controversial "reproductive health" bill while linking increased foreign aid to passage, according to critics.
 
Speaking at a forum sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to promote the Reproductive Health Care Act of 2008 in Manila last week, MacDonald chided Filipino legislators for failing to pass the bill, calling the "provision of effective and accessible" reproductive health services "a responsibility of the State towards the people of the Philippines."
 
Australia's Agency for International Development and Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional, the international aid agency of Spain's socialist government, also called for passage of the bill at the UNFPA forum.
 
According to news reports, MacDonald noted that 60 percent of European Union (EU) aid is already channeled to reproductive health programs. He hoped to link increased direct aid at the provincial level to increased contraceptive usage, rewarding those provinces that most effectively promoted contraception.

MacDonald denied that he was linking passage of the bill to funding, stating

that passage simply "would help secure that the health care funds would be spent for the welfare of those who need the health care the most."
 
MacDonald's intervention has rankled some Filipino critics, however, who consider it an unwarranted intrusion in the legislative affairs of a sovereign nation.
 
MacDonald's actions call to mind the similar actions of the European Commission ambassador to Nicaragua, Francesa Mosca, who in 2006 joined UNFPA, other UN agencies and several European donor nations in demanding that Nicaragua rescind legislation strengthening protection of unborn life. Sweden reportedly cut over $20 million in foreign aid to the Central American nation, and Finland threatened to link continued aid to changes in Nicaragua's abortion law.
 
Among other things, the Filipino reproductive health legislation would promote sex education and contraceptives, including some which critics say function as abortifacients. 
 
Some UN committees and non-governmental organizations — and, most recently, new U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — have included abortion within the term "reproductive health," though this has never been agreed to by the UN General Assembly. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines, and the Constitution protects "the life of the unborn from conception." MacDonald stopped short of linking abortion with "reproductive health," claiming instead that a lack of "an effective framework for reproductive health" was a cause of "illegal abortion."
 
EU officials in the past have denied that it is EU policy to promote abortion under the framework of "reproductive health." A senior staff member in the European Parliament reminded the Friday Fax that in response to a direct question in 2003 from Dana Rosemary Scallon, then an Irish Member of the European Parliament, as to whether the "term 'reproductive health include[s] promotion of abortion," the EU Council responded "no," adding that "we do not accept that abortion should form part of the policies on reproductive and birth control education."
 
In order to enter into effect, the reproductive health bill would need to pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines and be then signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
[14May09,  Piero A. Tozzi, J.D. & Katharina Rothweiler,
NEW YORK, NY, www.lifesitenews.com, reprinted with permission from http://www.c-fam.org)

OVER HALF OF UK TEEN PREGNANCIES ABORTED
For the first time, data shows that for British teens under 18, a pregnancy is now more likely than not to end in abortion, not a baby. The government has spent over $450 million on contraception and graphic sex education since 1998 in an unsuccessful effort to reduce teen pregnancy. Critic Phyllis Bowman said, said: 'Contraception campaigners and clinics depend for their living on providing contraception and abortion to underage girls. The Government listens to them, but they are responsible for this disaster. We have the highest level of sexually transmitted disease in Europe and the highest level of sexual activity among teenagers in Europe. Unicef says we have the unhappiest teenagers in Europe. The young have been deliberately sexualised in a culture which sneers at the idea of telling teenagers they should not have sex.”

(13May09, www.abstinence.net; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1180262/Most-teenage-pregnancies-end-abortion.html)

 

 

Ten Years Later Samuel Armas Sees Amazing Photo as Confirming Abortion Wrong
For veteran advocates within the pro-life community, it is hard to believe it has been ten years since little Samuel Armas grabbed the hand of a surgeon while in the womb [photo on this website homepage].

Now an active nine-year-old boy, Armas is a pro-life advocate who says the picture of him shows abortion is wrong.

Armas was in the womb when Dr. Joseph Bruner performed a surgery on him to help correct some of the potential effects of spina bifida before his birth.

The operation made Armas' life a little easier, and now he is an active young boy who faces far fewer effects and additional surgeries than other children with the condition.
Armas loves to swim and proudly holds his ribbons from events he's won and he likes to collect bugs — but he is a little boy with an understanding and appreciation of the value of human life that far surpasses some adults.

"When I see that picture, the first thing I think of is how special and lucky I am to have God use me that way," Samuel told Fox News. "I feel very thankful that I was in that picture."

Armas said he understands that the photo of him has likely resulted in the birth of unborn children who may have otherwise died from abortions had their mothers not changed their mind after seeing him reach up from the womb.

"It's very important to me," Samuel told Fox News. "A lot of babies would've lost their lives if that didn't happen."

Julie Armas, Samuel's mother, told the news outlet that Armas definitely associates the pictures with the pro-life message and that he has a "very strong sense of right and wrong."

"He identifies it more in terms of a pro-life message more than anything," she said. "This photo happened and God used it to show people that this baby in mom's tummy is alive. He's pleased that his photo conveyed that message."

Michael Clancy, the photographer who took the now-famous picture, told Fox News he supported legal abortion before the picture and now he makes a living sharing the story with pro-life groups.

"And that's what I'm going to do, keep telling this story," he said. "It can change people's hearts. What started off as an assignment turned into a responsibility to keep telling the story behind it."
[6May09, http://www.lifenews.com/nat5028b.html; 7May09, #4605, www.LifeNews.com, Washington, DC]

 

Kansas Supreme Court Holds Hearing in Planned Parenthood Illegal Abortion Case

 The Kansas Supreme Court on Wednesday held a hearing in a case involving an Overland Park Planned Parenthood center under investigation for allegedly doing illegal abortions and falsifying medical records. The hearing covered disputed subpoenas filed by former state attorney general Phill Kline.

The court will eventually determine whether subpoenas Kline issued for medical records from the Planned Parenthood facility can be enforced.

Kline, also the former Johnson County District Attorney, filed 107 charges, including 23 felonies, against the abortion business for allegedly violating state law. Planned Parenthood has been trying to get back copies of the abortion records Kline obtained.

During the hearing, Steven Obermeier represented the District Attorney's office and indicated that district court Judge Richard Anderson, who initially allowed Kline to receive the records, is prevented from testifying before the Kansas Supreme Court because of a gag order it issued.

Because the gag order relates to a separate case, he asked the high court that Anderson be allowed to testify.

Obermeier explained that the District Attorney's office frequently handles confidential documents and that state law calls the abortion records confidential doesn't mean they are beyond a subp

oena. He said judges typically never quash subpoenas for documents from the state health department.

Planned Parenthood attorney Pedro Irigonegaray opposed the District Attorney's office appeal of Judge Steven Tatum decision to quash the subpoenas and claimed it was "motivated by politics rather than by rule of law."

He argued that abortion cases should be given special treatment under law and handled different than cases about other topics, citing a concern for "patient privacy."

That comment was seized on by pro-life advocates monitoring the hearing.

"That statement by Planned Parenthood's lawyer was very telling, because he is trying to carve out special privileges under the law for abortion cases, placing them above the laws and procedures that would apply to any other case," Operation Rescue president Troy Newman told LifeNews.com.

"In other words, Planned Parenthood would have abortion records treated with more sensitivity than rape or murder records. This is ridiculous and is simply a ploy to keep incriminating evidence out of court," Newman added.

Meanwhile, Kansans for Life director Mary Kay Culp told LifeNews.com that Planned Parenthood continues to play politics.

"Today the defendants again tried to make the illegitimate claim that the prosecution was political because of something Phill Kline said," she explained. "The prosecution issue is simple, but has become absurdly distorted because the issue involves abortion."

"The only real 'politics' in this case is the abortion industry political money in play, which gave us this Supreme Court, got rid of Kline, gave us this Attorney General,and some key legislators that keep us from overriding the governor's vetoes," Culp added.

The justices took the case under advisement and a ruling in the case is expected in June. Their decision could determine whether the criminal case against Planned Parenthood moves ahead

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe told AP, "Upon the ruling by the Supreme Court, we'll be evaluating the case and making a decision on how to proceed."

Two judges have determined that the files show "probable cause" that the abortion business violated state abortion laws and falsified medical records. Kline legally received the records during his investigation of Planned Parenthood and transferred them to his new office when he became the county attorney.

Judge Anderson originally validated Kline's access to the files and testified he had reason to believe documents filed by Planned Parenthood with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment had been falsified before Kline's investigation while he was attorney general.
The records showed, according to Anderson, that the age of the babies involved in the abortions had been altered to hide the fact that Planned Parenthood was engaging in illegal late-term abortions.

They also include a Topeka attorney and two Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials.

The criminal case against Planned Parenthood, which also includes allegations that it engaged in a felony by making copies of state health department abortion reports that it failed to keep on file as required by law, is on hold.
[14May09, Ertelt, www.LifeNews.com, #4611, Topeka, KS, http://www.lifenews.com/state4137.html]

 

Amnesty International Twists International Law in Dominican Abortion Debate
The politicized human rights organization Amnesty International has again taken a pro-abortion position in a nation’s internal debate over abortion, coming out against the Dominican Republic’s proposed protections for unborn life in its draft constitution and in the country’s penal law. In so doing, Amnesty pits the rights of the mother against those of the unborn child while misrepresenting what international law says – or doesn’t say – about abortion.

     In a statement issued a few weeks ago, Amnesty International claims that the country’s constitutional and legal reforms “could lead to violations of women’s human rights” and further claims that laws penalizing abortion would lead to increased maternal mortality. It also argued that the proposed protections of the unborn were inconsistent with the Dominican Republic’s “obligations under international human rights law.”

     According to Amnesty, the penal law revisions “would increase penalties for persons involved in carrying out an abortion.” Amnesty criticized the proposed revisions for allowing criminal prosecution of abortionists “for providing abortion services that are safe.” 

     Critics point out, however, that in addition to being fatal to the child in utero, maternal health risks from abortion outweigh those associated with childbirth, particularly where the level of obstetric care is low.

     Moreover, such claims about “international human rights law,” which Amnesty also made in an informal “friend-of-the-court” memorandum circulated last year among the justices of the Mexican Supreme Court, are contradicted by prior statements by the group. As recently as 2005, Amnesty acknowledged that “There is no generally accepted right to abortion in international human rights law.”

     Two years later, however, Amnesty International formally abandoned its previous objectivity and embraced abortion advocacy. According to Dr. Rachel MacNair, a former Amnesty member and Vice President of the group “Consistent Life,” Amnesty’s board “railroaded” the new policy through, never announcing the results of a member vote on the issue.

     Since Amnesty International abandoned neutrality on abortion, it has become an increasingly aggressive abortion advocate.  Earlier this year it demanded that Mexican physicians be forced to perform abortions in cases of rape, even where doctors had conscientious objections to abortion. Noting the irony of a group founded to defend prisoners of conscience seeking to override conscience rights, MacNair called Amnesty’s Mexican position “too bizarre for words.”

     Amnesty International’s Dominican statement closed by praising the judicial activism of the Colombian constitutional tribunal that in 2006 struck down certain penal laws in that country protecting unborn life, implicitly calling on Dominican courts to do the same.
 
     Amnesty’s revisionist approach to global human rights is unsupported by traditional understandings of international law based principally on the consent of state parties to precisely-drafted and duly-ratified treaties. Activists have been pressing national courts to modify abortion laws to conform to their notions of evolving obligations and non-binding “interpretations” by United Nations treaty compliance committees, which are often staffed with radical advocates.
 
     Among major human rights organizations, Human Rights First still maintains neutrality on the abortion issue, in contrast with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. [7May09, Friday Fax, Volume 12, Number 21, Piero A. Tozzi, J.D., C-FAM, New York]  

 

 

 

Abortions Not Increasing Among Cancer Survivors, New Denmark Report Shows
A new report shows women who survi

ve childhood cancer are no more or less likely to opt for an abortion during pregnancy than unaffected women, new research from Denmark suggests.

These findings run counter to those in a recent report from the United States in which induced abortions were significantly more common among female cancer survivors than among their female siblings without a cancer history.

The current population-based study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, included 1688 childhood cancer survivors. Dr. Jeannette Falck Winther, from the Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, and colleagues compared the abortion rate in this group with the rate in 2737 sisters of the survivors and in 16,700 randomly selected "control" subjects. The abortion rate in the survivor group was 19.7 percent, exactly the same rate noted in the population control group and only slightly higher than that in their sisters, 18.9 percent.

"The findings of the study suggest that female cancer survivors who are able to become pregnant believe and act as if they are healthy enough to be parents and are willing to carry through a pregnancy," the authors conclude. [4mAY09, #4602, New York, NY, www.LifeNews.com]

 

Alabama Nurse in Botched Abortion Case Will Face Trial in November 09
The nurse in a botched abortion and medical paperwork falsification case is set for a trial to begin in November. Janet F. Onthank King, a nurse at the now-defunct Summit Medical Center abortion business in Birmingham, gave the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug to a woman with severely high blood pressure who needed medical attention.

State health officials found significant concerns at Summit and the abortion facility was permanently closed in June 2006 after state health officials found numerous violations, including the botched abortion case.

Following the incident, King falsified the medical records and authorities eventually charged her with misdemeanor charges including performing illegal abortions. The abortion center nurse could face six months on each conviction.

A Jefferson County, Alabama, judge recently set the trial date of November 2. Originally set for January 2008, the trial was postponed while state appeals courts considered appeals of a pretrial ruling by Circuit Judge Gloria Bahakel.

Bahakel had ruled that defense lawyers Richard Jaffe and Derek Drennan could present evidence that King was acting under authorization from the abortion practitioner, Deborah Lyn Levich.

Although the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the evidence could not be presented at trial, the state's high court later overturned the lower appeals court ruling and sided with Bahakel. [4May09, #4602, Montgomery, AL, www.LifeNews.com]  

 

 

 

 

 

China's Forced Abortions Spark Infertility, Surrogacy, Crackdown, More Abortions
The population control campaign put in place by family planning officials in China to enforce its one-child policy has always involved forced abortions. A new report indicates that has sparked infertility and given rise to an underground network of surrogate mothers.

Now, family planning authorities are cracking down on the surrogacy and more forced abortions are occurring as a result.

Infertility has long been a one of the panoply of negative consequences for women resulting from abortions and the incidence of infertility is higher in China. As couples find themselves unable to have children, a new Reuters report indicates they are increasingly relying on surrogate mothers to carry children.

The news service indicates the underground surrogacy network is beginning to crumble as local officials in places like the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are making them have abortions.

"I was crying 'I don't want to do this'," a young woman named Xiao Hong, who was pregnant with four-month-old twins, told Reuters about her abortion in February. "But they still dragged me in and injected my belly with a needle."

She said the men from the family planning agency forced her to put her thumbprint on a consent form before the abortion to validate their coercive actions.

Another woman indicated she was forced to take pills that put her to sleep and had a surgical abortion done on her while she was unconscious.

The official Guangzhou Daily newspaper indicated local officials said the women were unmarried and had illegal pregnancies and that three women "agreed" to the abortions.

As affluent Chinese couples find themselves unable to have children due to infertility, the black market of hospitals, doctors and agencies for surrogate mothers has increased. Some reports indicate surrogate mothers and the agencies that find them earn more profit than people involved in drug trafficking.

Surrogacy agencies have taken to recruiting girls from poor villages to carry children in a way to provide their families with money. Some girls and their families could earn as much as $15,000 by becoming a surrogate mother, an amount of money that dwarfs the typical income in these rural areas.

The Southern Metropolis Weekly estimates as many as 25,000 surrogate babies have been born in China, with some of them going to parents in the United States.
[1May09, Ertelt, www.LifeNews.com,
Beijing, China]

Commentary: The Obama/Clinton Position on Family Planning & Abortion Violates Cairo Agreement
Last week at a United States (US) House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that there was a new administration in place with different values, beliefs and global agenda.  Nothing illustrated this rupture with previous US policy more than her admission that the Obama administration interprets the term "reproductive health" to include abortion.

In response to a question from Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ) on whether her definition of the phrases "reproductive health," "reproductive services," and "reproductive rights" includes abortion, Secretary Clinton stated that, "We [the current US administration] happen to think that family planning is an important part of women's health and reproductive health includes access to abortion that I believe should be safe, legal and rare."

Clinton's linkage of family planning with abortion is not just a severe break with the previous administration; it is a clear violation of the Cairo Program for Action, which her husband's government helped to negotiate in 1994. The Cairo document explicitly states in two places that abortion should in no case "be promoted as a method of family planning."

Secretary Clinton's statement of the current administration's position is in stark contrast to previous US policy. Over the last eight years at the United Nations (U

N), the US delegation made dozens of interventions underscoring that there is no international consensus on abortion. Up until the week prior to Barack Obama's election, the US delegation at the UN stated that "sexual and reproductive health does not include abortion or constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion or the use of abortifacients" and that "none of these references can be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, for promotion of abortion."

At the UN, nations regularly engage in heated debates over "reproductive health" language. When the term was introduced at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, states only agreed to its inclusion in the non-binding outcome document with the understanding that it could not be used to create any new right to abortion. More than 13 states also made explicit reservations to ensure that none of the terms related to reproductive health would be defined to include abortion.

To date, no international consensus on the precise meaning of the term "reproductive health" exists.  At the Commission for Population and Development meeting earlier this month, several countries made explanations of position reiterating that there is no international consensus on the term "reproductive health" and that abortion should not be included as part of its definition.

The term "reproductive health" is currently the focus of legislation in a number of countries like the Philippines and contained in various declarations and proposals at the Organization of American States, the African Union and the UN. As the Philippines' Constitution explicitly protects unborn life, its usage in national legislation excludes any abortion linkage.

For years, pro-life UN lobbyists have urged countries to issue strong interpretive statements to protect their laws on abortion
[Commentary by Samantha Singson, New York, NY, April 30, 2009, C-FAM; www.lifesitenews.com 30Apr09]

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press:
Public Takes Conservative Turn on Abortion

April 30, 2009
http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1212/abortion-gun-control-opinion-gender-gap


Percentage of Americans Approving Abortion Dropped 8% since August: Pew Poll
Despite President Barack Obama's strong promotion of abortion in his first 100 days as president, a new study has revealed an overall increase in the number of Americans believing abortion should be illegal in most cases.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press was conducted from March 31-April 21, among 1,521 adults.

The survey found that the overall support for legal abortion dropped from 54% last August to 46% this month, with the number of people supporting the illegalization of abortion rising 3% to 44%.

The slide in abortion support is due mainly to a change in the persuasion of men, with the percentage of males believing abortion should be legal falling 10% to 43% and the proportion feeling it should be illegal rising 4% to 46%.

The greatest change among religious groups was found among white mainline Protestants, with 54% believing abortion should be legal, compared with 69% in August.  Only 23% of Evangelical Protestants thought abortion should be legal, making them the most pro-life religious group.

Support for abortion also declined by 24% among moderate and liberal Republicans. The Center reported that 67% of liberal and moderate Republicans said abortion should be legal in August 2008. In this month's survey, that number had fallen to only 43%.

Support for abortion declined by 11% among independents. The Center reported 55% of independents said abortion should be legal in August 2008. In this month's survey, that number had fallen to 44%.

See the full Pew Research report here:
http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1212/abortion-gun-control-opinion-gender-gap
[1May09, Tim Waggoner, D.C., www.LifeSiteNews.com]

CONSCIENCE
340,000 Comments Support Conscience Rights of Healthcare Workers

The 30 day comment period on the Obama administration's plan to rescind a regulation protecting health care workers' conscience rights, saw 340,000 Americans tell the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) that they are at odds with the proposed initiative, reports Citizenlink.

Just before his second term ended, President Bush established regulations protecting the rights of healthcare workers to refuse to participate in practices objectionable to their consciences, such as performing abortions or prescribing contraceptives. 

President Obama, however, wasted little time initiating the first step in striking down Bush's policy, with the official proposal to rescind the Bush-era regulation appearing in the federal register in early March.

Carrie Gordon Earll, senior bioethics analyst at Focus on the Family Action, called it a serious situation.

"If the Bush regulations are reversed and the trend to discriminate continues, people of faith and strong conviction will stop going into medicine," she said. "In 20 years, you may not be able to find a pro-life doctor. Reversing the regulations puts medical professionals and patients at risk."

According to an internet poll commissioned by the Christian Medical Association (CMA), which was released the day before the 30-day comment period ended, April 8, 95% of faith-based physicians agreed with the statement: "I would rather stop practicing medicine altogether than be forced to violate my conscience." (http://www.freedom2care.org/learn/page/surveys)

Freedom2Care, an ad hoc organization of the CMA dedicated to protecting the consciences of healthcare workers, says this poll indicates that that a removal of the conscience rights of physicians will mean that "healthcare access for hundreds of thousands of patients nationwide will be threatened and healthcare costs will rise because of the lack of facilities to provide needed services."

This concern was echoed in a Freedom2Care video aimed at spreading awareness of the issue, during which several healthcare professionals said they would have to quit their practices if they are stripped of their first amendment rights. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxCVw1vX1lM)

A related poll that was also commissioned by the CMA found that the majority of Americans are strongly opposed to Obama's initiative. 

"87% of American adults surveyed believed it is important to 'make sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections,'" reported Freedom2Care.

The decision on the plan to rescind the conscience-protecting regulation will be announced by the HHS once all of the comments received during the 30 day period are reviewed.
[1May09, Tim Waggoner, D.C., www.LifeSiteNews.com]

Abortionists Fighting to Keep Taxpayer Money: Battle Arose after Planned Parenthood Counseled Patient to Lie to Judge

 Battling to maintain the flow of state tax money, Planned Parenthood officials in Tennessee are attacking a 20-year-old pro-life activist who uncovered an abortion company employee counseling her to lie to a judge to obtain an abortion.

In a letter from Planned Parenthood directed to members of the Tennessee Legislature and posted on the website of WND columnist Jill Stanek, Planned Parenthood officials charged pro-life activist Lila Rose has

been on a mission to "damage" Planned Parenthood facilities.

Rose, through her Live Action Films ministry, has visited a number of Planned Parenthood facilities around the nation under cover, taking with her a witness and a hidden camera.

Her work already has revealed Planned Parenthood workers in Indiana and Arizona either concealing statutory rape or advising a patient on how to avoid various abortion restrictions.

WND reported recently on her latest work at the Memphis, Tenn., Planned Parenthood business at which an employee counseled a patient she believed to be 14 to lie to a judge to obtain a judicial order for an abortion.

In the letter posted on Stanek's site, Barry Chase, the chief executive officer for Planned Parenthood's Memphis business, apparently told state lawmakaers the "edited video is certainly disturbing."

"It depicts Ms. Rose haltingly giving the employee information about herself and eventually admitting that her 'boyfriend' … is a 31-year-old man. … Ultimately, a voice is heard mentioning the possibility of a judicial bypass of the parental notification requirement in Tennessee," the letter says.

However, the abortion business leader said in the letter his employees did not violate any law or regulation because the woman offering the advice was an "interpreter."

He then lobbied state lawmakers to obtain more information from him, visit an abortion clinic or attend a board meeting to hear the corporation's arguments.

Finally, Chase stated that his company has unsuccessfully asked for an unedited copy of the video to examine.

Rose, however, said Live Action never received a request for the unedited video, which already has been delivered to the state's attorney general and the Memphis district attorney for review, and it reveals further concerning statements.

Lawmakers in the state, meanwhile, have begun looking at legislation that would divert taxpayer funds that have been going to the abortion corporation.

Rose said the unedited video includes her statement, "My boyfriend said he could pay for everything – but he shouldn't come here to pay 'cause you'll see him, right?"

The counselor replies, "It doesn't matter. As long as your parents are not here and can't identity him, he can just pay and that's it. He could be like your older brother or whatever."

Tennessee law, however, states a minor must have parental consent before undergoing an abortion.

The unedited video is being made available on the organization's website, and the original edited video is on YouTube and has been embedded here:

Live Action Films said in the video the Planned Parenthood nurse "coaches Lila Rose, posing as a 14-year-old girl, to lie to a judge about the age of her reportedly 31-year-old boyfriend in order to get a secret abortion and hide the statutory rape from her parents."

A WND call to the Memphis Planned Parenthood abortion business was put on a loop of promotional messages, but no spokesman ever picked up the call.

Rose said Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and Sen. Jack Johnson have questioned the $700,000 of state money given to Planned Parenthood.

"Why would citizens tolerate paying the bills of an organization that protects statutory rapists and victimizes young girls? This is the sad result of the careless abortion-first mentality that has persisted at Planned Parenthood for decades," she said.

"It is all the more troubling to think that even a novice counselor at Planned Parenthood would know to recommend this law-evasion strategy," Live Action said in a followup letter to lawmakers. "How prevalent must this evasion be at Planned Parenthood clinics when even the 'interpreters' are implicated?"

"In our undercover video, 'Marie' demonstrates a clear knowledge of the legal boundaries to abortion. The video shows that she is familiar with the process for obtaining a waiver from a judge to the parental consent requirement for abortion (which Mr. Chase incorrectly calls a parental notification law). Marie then deliberately uses her familiarity with the system to forestall the judge from finding out about the statutory rapist. The Planned Parenthood counselor has created a perfect storm for ensuring that the statutory rapist is never found out: the parents will never find out about the pregnancy, the judge will never find out about the statutory rapist, and Planned Parenthood will never again mention either," the letter said.

Live Action has released similar footage from five other clinics, located in Arizona and Indiana, as part of its Mona Lisa Project, which shows Planned Parenthood employees as they respond negligently to reports of statutory rape and offer secret abortions instead.

Brian Harris, president of the Tennessee Right to Life, said the company's disregard for state law means "there is no reason for Tennesseans to continue funding the outrages of the state's largest promoter and performer of abortion."

There was only sarcasm for Planned Parenthood on a forum page on Stanek's website.

"Poor Planned Parenthood. They just can't get a break. First, they have to follow laws. Then they are told that eugenics are cruel and unusual and the good people of the lower classes and the minorities just aren't going to take it anymore … and now, there are requests that they stop receiving funding from the government. Come on guys, let's not request Planned Parenthood and its workers follow the laws like common plebeians; that's injustice!" wrote one contributor.

Added another, "Yeah … PP's 'clinics' are not even subject to STANDARD rules/ regulations set down for hospitals and TRUE healthcare clinics … and now, they are expected to obey the State laws, too … that's too much!!!"

In the Arizona investigations, Rose and co-worker Jackie Stollar posed as 15-year-olds to enter two Phoenix Planned Parenthood facilities, seeking information about abortions for a "pregnant" teen. They stated the "boyfriend" was 27, but neither office reported the apparent violation of Arizona's statute requiring that law enforcement be notified immediately if an adult-child sexual relationship is known.

Videos of the Indiana visits revealed one Indiana Planned Parenthood business describing how to evade mandatory reporting laws and a counselor at another Indiana Planned Parenthood facilitate advising a "teen" how to hide a felony.

The videos from Indiana resulted in discipline against Planned Parenthood employees and a state promise of investigations.
[1May09
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=96655 ; posted 30Apr09, Bob Unruh]

 

 

 

 

State Lawmakers Clash with Planned Parenthood Officials over Undercover Footage 
Following the release of undercover footage from a Memphis Planned Parenthood clinic, showing a PP employee instructing a 14-year-old girl to lie to a judge in order to obtain a secret abortion, state lawmakers have introduced legislation that could divert taxpayer subsidies from Planned Parenthood in Tennessee.

In the video the girl, who was actually a 20-year-old undercover student, Lila Rose, tells the PP employee that she is 14 years old and her boyfriend is 31, meaning that, according to law, Rose
is a victim of statutory rape.

However, the PP employee nevertheless tells Rose to lie to a judge about her boyfriend's age in order to get permission to have an abortion without her parent's consent.

Tennessee law states that a minor must have parental consent before undergoing an abortion.
[http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09043013.html; News Source; ALL Pro-Life Today, 1May09]

 

Supreme Court Justice Souter Expected To Retire; Move Fuels Speculation Over the Present Administration's Nominees

Supreme Court Justice David Souter is expected to announce plans to retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the court's term in June, which would give President Obama the opportunity to make the first Democratic appointment to the high court in 15 years, USA Today reports (Biskupic, USA Today, 5/1).

According to the Chicago Tribune, Souter is expected to officially disclose his retirement plans to his colleagues on the court during a private meeting on Friday (Savage, Chicago Tribune, 5/1). NPR.com reports that unnamed sources have confirmed that Souter will retire and has informed the White House of his plans (Totenberg, NPR.com, 4/30).

Although Souter is expected to announce on Friday his intentions to retire in June, he is likely to remain on the court until his replacement is confirmed, which could mean he will remain on the court when the next term begins in October, the Washington Post reports (Barnes, Washington Post, 5/1). Supreme Court spokesperson Kathy Arberg declined to comment on Souter's decision.[http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?abbr=daily2_&page=NewsArticle&id=17015&security=1201&news_iv_ctrl=-1; ALL Pro-Life Today, 1May09]

 

 

 

CONSCIENCE:
Missouri House Approves Amendment Allowing Pharmacies to Refuse to Stock Abortifacient Emergency Abortion Plan B, other Medication Abortion Drugs

The Missouri House on Tuesday voted 115-43 to approve an amendment that would allow pharmacies to refuse to dispense emergency contraception or fill prescriptions, the Columbia Missourian reports. According to the Missourian, the bill specifically mentions the emergency contraceptive Plan B and mifepristone.

The amendment, sponsored by state Rep. Ed Emery (R), prohibits lawsuits against pharmacies that do not carry the drugs and prevents the state from revoking the licenses of pharmacies that do not supply the medications. In addition, the amendment stipulates that pharmacies would not be required to advise people on how to obtain the medications.

According to the AP/Springfield News-Leader, Missouri's Senate already approved the original bill (S.B 296), which involves professional licensing regulations. [http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2009/04/28/house-lets-pharmacies-refuse-plan-b/ Columbia Missourian; PharmFacts E-News Update, 1May09]