US Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Partial Birth Abortion Ban, Declared Unconstitutional by Lower Courts
Mandatory Abortion Proposed in Holland
Valiant Aussie RU486 Fight; Nat’l Day of Action Fails to Stop RU 486; Health Minister Seeks $$ for Abortion Alternatives
2-Child Policy Stalled in Filipino Congress
Analysis of Severe Adverse Events Related to the Use of Mifepristone as an Abortifacient (2/06)
Congressional Letter Calls on NIH to Address Abortion-Depression Link
New York City: Abortion Capitol of the USA
Abortion Activists Say They are Losing
WalMart Sued Over EC/MAP; Lawsuit Staged
UK Women Want Tougher Laws to Curb Abortions
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Students Act
FL Grant Will Fund Abortion-Prevention Work
To locate Abortion Headlines from the recent past, click here.
To locate older headlines, check the Abortion Archives.
MANDATORY ABORTION PROPOSED IN HOLLAND. Health official van den Anker has called for a debate on the idea of forced abortion and contraception to deal with what she sees as a crisis of unwanted children. Her comments have stirred protest by a health foundation working with those communities in Rotterdam, which called the comments degrading. The target groups for her program are Antillean & Aruban teenage mothers; drug addicts and people with mental handicaps [Expatica]. Van den Anker pointed to the growing number of Antillean youth gangs in Rotterdam whose members come from loveless homes. [21Feb06 WorldNetDaily.com, N. Valko RN, 23Feb06]
US SUPREME COURT TAKES ON PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION BAN 23Feb06. An analysis by National Right to Life notes that the federal law now stands a good chance of being approved and the decision will rest on Justice Anthony Kennedy. Among currently sitting Supreme Court justices, five have voted in favor of Roe v. Wade — that is, in support of the doctrine that abortion must be allowed for any reason until “viability” (about five and one-half months), and for “health” reasons (broadly defined) even during the final three months of pregnancy. Two justices (Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas) have voted to overturn Roe, and two (John Roberts and Samuel Alito) have not voted on the matter. Justice Kennedy, although a supporter of Roe, voted in the 2000 Stenberg case to allow Nebraska to ban the partial-birth abortion method.
In 2000, five justices of the Supreme Court, including retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, ruled that the abortion right originally created in Roe v. Wade allows an abortionist to perform a partial-birth abortion any time he sees a ‘health’ benefit, even if the woman and her unborn baby are entirely healthy. (Stenberg v. Carhart, June 28, 2000). This ruling struck down the ban on partial-birth abortion that had been enacted by Nebraska, and rendered unenforceable the similar bans that more than half the states had enacted.
Nevertheless, in 2003 Congress approved and President Bush signed a national law, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. When he signed the ban, the President called partial-birth abortion “a terrible form of violence [that] has been directed against children who are inches from birth.”
The federal law bans “partial-birth abortion,” a legal term of art, defined in the law itself as any abortion in which the baby is delivered “past the [baby’s] navel . . . outside the body of the mother,” OR “in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother,” BEFORE being killed. The complete official text of the law, in a searchable format, is here: http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/partial_birth_abortion_Ban_act_final_language.htm
The law would allow the method if it was ever necessary to save a mother’s life.
The federal law has faced legal challenges in three different federal circuits, and its enforcement has been blocked by court orders. Federal district courts in all three circuits ruled that the federal law violated the 2000 Supreme Court ruling. In all three cases the adverse judgments were affirmed by the appellate courts.
[(with files from National Right to Life) LifeSiteNews.com – 21Feb06 By John-Henry Westen and Gudrun Schultz, D.C.]
2-CHILD POLICY STALLED IN FILIPINO CONGRESS; Lack of Support Cited. Proposed legislation in the Philippines that would impose radical limits on the number of children that families can have appears to have less support in the Congress than was once reported. But pro-family opponents of the bill warn that it remains on the legislative calendar and remains a threat despite the fact that the proposed act is very unpopular in the majority Catholic country.
In January the Friday Fax reported that some Filipino legislators, arguing that the Philippines needs a much more aggressive policy of population control, introduced a bill that is strikingly similar to the one-child policy of Communist China. The “Responsible Parenting and Population Control Act of 2005” includes a preference in education for two-child families, free access to abortifacients, mandatory sex education for children as young as 10-years-old and imprisonment penalties for health care providers who refuse to perform or provide sterilization services for a population that is 87 percent Catholic and 5 percent Muslim.
At that time one sponsor of the act reported that he had the votes of 135 of 238 members of the Filipino House. It was thought that the bill could be debated and voted on at any time. It now appears that this particular statement was hyperbole. According to Eileen Macapanas Cosby, Executive Director of the Filipino Family Fund, the act was not debated, let alone passed, by the Filipino House last January. Nevertheless, Cosby warns that the bill remains a threat. She said supporters of the “two-child” policy have pressed on. According to Cosby, the act is “still on the schedule” of the House’s legislative calendar, listed as “unfinished business,” which means that it can be brought up for debate and a vote at any time during the early days of the work-week during any one of the next few weeks.
If passed the act would provide for a centralized bureaucracy that would be run by three non-elected officials from NGOs. This new bureaucracy would oversee the implementation of the legislation. Cosby said the bill “paves the way” for “the kind of human rights nightmare that is already” taking place “in China, with its coercive sterilization and contraception practices.” She calls the proposed bill “China-lite.”
Filipino President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is likely to veto the proposed act if it passes both houses of Congress. As in the American system, the act would then return to Congress where it must receive two thirds of the vote in both chambers to override the veto.
[Friday FAX, 24Feb06; By Bradford Short, C-FAM Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required. www.c-fam.org]
VALIANT AUSSIE RU486 FIGHT; NATL DAY OF ACTION FAILS TO STOP RU486; SEEK $$ FOR ABORTION ALTERNATIVE
bsp; Tens of thousands of people rallied 29Jan06 to oppose a bill giving Australian women access to the abortion pill, RU-486. The Family Research Council & Amer Assoc of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists jointly filed an analysis of RU-486 safety taken from American data. However, the Australian Senate voted on a private members bill to overturn current laws that allow pro-life Health Minister Tony Abbott to prevent the pills distribution in the country. Abbott is now seeking $60 Million over 5 years for Abortion Alternatives Plan to provide women counseling and assistance in finding abortion alternatives (18Feb06, LifeNews.com). Australians Against RU-486: “We’re pleased with the amount of public support – greater than we expected given the time of year. It indicated that there’s a significant feeling in the community.” [S. Holzapfel, exec dir, Australians Against RU-486]. She expected ~ 75,000 letters had been written to individual senators as a result of the rally. Dr. David van Gend [World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life] said the drug requires a unique level of public accountability because of the nature of its intended use: “RU-486 is a unique drug in that no other drug is designed to end a human life. Pregnancy is not a disease; RU-486 is used on the entirely healthy offspring of entirely healthy women. That is unique, & medically unjustifiable.” RU-468 has been linked to the deaths of at least 10 women in Europe & the U.S, as well as a multitude of cases of severe complications in women who have used it. In the US alone, there have been 600+ adverse events reported to the FDA. The pill, taken within the first 7 weeks of pregnancy, causes a medical abortion by preventing the placenta from delivering nutrients to the baby, who dies. The drug may cause severe pain and bleeding. Deaths have resulted from septic shock after infections have occurred. Up to 10% of women have an incomplete abortion after taking RU-486 and then need a surgical abortion. Up to 5% of women suffer severe blood loss that requires medical intervention. RU-486 was effectively banned in Australia under present laws. About 91,000 surgical abortions take place each year: 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in abortion. [CNSNews, Schultz, Australia, 30Jan06 LifeSiteNews.com]
ANALYSIS OF SEVERE ADVERSE EVENTS RELATED TO THE USE OF MIFEPRISTONE AS AN ABORTIFACIENT [Feb 06]
BACKGROUND: The systematic analysis of morbidity and mortality for the FDA-approved medical abortion regimen using mifepristone is possible using data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System.
OBJECTIVE: To assess mifepristone’s mortality, morbidity, sentinel events, and quality of post-marketing surveillance using mifepristone adverse event reports (AERs).
METHODS: Six hundred seven (607) unique mifepristone AERs submitted to the FDA over a 4 year span were coded using the National Cancer Institute’s Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. Coding was based only on data in AERs and may underestimate severity and treatment rendered. Two board-certified obstetrician/ gynecologists, the authors, made individual evaluations, compared them, and agreed upon final coding.
RESULTS: The most frequent AERs were hemorrhage (n = 237) and infection (66). Hemorrhages included 1 fatal, 42 life threatening, and 168 serious cases; 68 required transfusions. Infections included 7 cases of septic shock (3 fatal, 4 life threatening) and 43 cases requiring parenteral antibiotics. Surgical interventions were required in 513 cases (235 emergent, 278 nonemergent). Emergent cases included 17 ectopic pregnancies (11 ruptured). Second trimester viability was documented in 22 cases (9 lost to follow-up, 13 documented fetal outcome). Of the 13 documented cases, 9 were terminated without comment on fetal morphology, 1 was enrolled in fetal registry, and 3 fetuses were diagnosed with serious malformations, suggesting a malformation rate of 23%.
CONCLUSIONS: Hemorrhage and infection are the leading causes of mifepristone-related morbidity and mortality. AERS relied upon by the FDA to monitor mifepristone’s postmarketing safety are grossly deficient due to extremely poor quality. Key Words: adverse event reporting system (AERS), medical abortion, Mifeprex, mifepristone, mifepristone adverse events, mifepristone-induced septic shock (MISS), RU486 [PubMed, Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Publ Online, 27 Dec 2005, www.theannals.com, DOI 10.1345/aph.1G481. M.M. Gary MD1 Donna J Harrison MD2* ]
Here are some edited excerpts from the filing describing RU-486 serious adverse events reported to the FDA from September 2000 to September 2004: Infection and Septic Shock – Since 2001, 5 North American women (4 US, 1 Canadian) have died from septic shock after taking RU486…. In addition to these deaths, Gary and Harrison found 66 infection cases in their review of FDA adverse event reports. At least forty-six were serious or life-threatening – two of these infections occurred in girls age 13-17 years old. Four women who survived life-threatening infections were in septic shock at the time of presentation to the emergency department. Life-Threatening and Severe Hemorrhage – Gary and Harrison recorded 237 adverse events reporting hemorrhage. One teenage Swede died, and 68 patients required transfusions. The authors characterized 42 of these cases as life-threatening…. All of the patients who experienced “life-threatening” bleeding would have died had they not received timely access to medical and surgical services. Ectopic Pregnancies – In the USA about 2% of pregnancies are ectopic. When an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, a woman will rapidly bleed to death internally unless she undergoes immediate surgery, and one American has died in this manner after beginning an RU486 abortion. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, like cramping and bleeding, mirror those a woman experiences while undergoing an RU486 abortion. An endangered patient would reasonably expect her symptoms to stem from the RU486 abortion and not from a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy. This danger will be heightened for women who do not have immediate access to surgical services, and this will be particularly true for women in rural areas. Gary and Harrison indicate that 17 adverse events involving undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies were reported; 11 involved ruptures and one resulted in death.
[Issue No.: 33, by: Chris Gacek, 17Feb06, frc.org]
CONGRESSIONAL LETTER CALLS ON THE NIH TO ADDRESS THE ABORTION-DEPRESSION LINK. A recent letter from a House subcommittee to the National Institutes of Health reveals a new strategy in the fight to get the scientific community to address the question of abortion and depression. The letter presents the findings of a recent study out of New Zealand recently reported in Culture & Cosmos that shows a strong link between abortion and poor mental health and asks the director of the NIH to address the study’s findings with US research.
The letter comes from the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources and was authored by that committee’s chairman Rep. Mark Souder. The Indiana Republican wrote that his committee was seeking NIH’s “advice on searching out the best US research data on the effects of abortion on women in the United States.” According to the letter the request was occasioned by the New Zealand study. That study is thought to be highly credible because it is based on data from a 25 year longitudinal survey that followed more 500 girls from birth to age 25.
In his letter Souder asked NIH to respond to seven questions regarding the New Zealand study. Among the questions asked were whether there were “studies of comparable methodological rigor published on U.S. women”; “any significant reasons to suggest the New Zealand conclusions would vary for U.
S. women”; if
“there [was] any way to quickly replicate, modify, or debunk these findings”; and if “any studies presently being funded by NIH . . . address any of effects of abortion enumerated in the New Zealand study.”
The questions may force the mainstream scientific community to address the new research and also to concede that nothing similar exists in the US. It has been 17 years since Surgeon General C. Everett Koop told President Ronald Reagan that not enough research existed to show definitively whether or not there was a link between abortion and depression. In a 1989 letter to the president, Koop called on the scientific community to take on such a project. There have been repeated calls since that time for the NIH to fund a study that would examine a large cohort of women beginning in early childhood and proceeding thought their child bearing years.
Asking the NIH whether there is a data set in the US equivalent to New Zealand’s will likely force them to admit there is not. “To the best of my knowledge we have nothing comparable,” said Patrick Fagan, the William H. G. Fitzgerald Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
The letter notes that in the past the NIH has not been overly cooperative with Congressional inquires. “Recall that this Subcommittee initiated a request to NIH on October 8, 2002 dealing with critical stem cell research issues, to which we did not receive a response until June 18, 2004: an unreasonable delay met by an inadequate response. . . We will not allow the present inquiry to be delayed, and will be in close communication with the Office of the Secretary to ensure that the response to this inquiry will be timely and accurate.” The letter asks that the NIH respond by February 22. [Culture of Life Fdn, Culture & Cosmos, Volume 3, Number 26, 1Feb06]
NEW YORK CITY: ABORTION CAPITOL OF THE UNITES STATES. There were 91,700 abortions in New York City in 2004; i.e. 40 of every 100 pregnancies in the city ended in a planned abortion. 11,000 of these abortions occurred at Planned Parenthoods Margaret Sanger Center in Manhattan. Named after the eugenicist who hoped to alter the human race through birth control and abortion, the clinic is the largest abortion provider in New York.
But putting it bluntly, 91,700 abortions represents quite a bit of money. Using an average cost of $500 per abortion, New York has a $45 million dollar a year abortion industry. [posted 1Feb06, http://www.ccbama.org; 27Jan06, http://www.ccbama.com/audio/CCBAMA-012706.mp3 ]
LEGISLATURES TO CONSIDER ABORTION BAN. South Dakota lawmakers will decide whether to make abortion a crime. The Woman’s Health & Life Protection Act will ban abortion, but won’t prosecute a doctor who performs one to save a woman’s life. Rep. Roger Hunt says he thinks now is the right time to try and over-turn Roe v. Wade: “Abortion should be banned.”
The bill’s supporters are using findings from an abortion task force report recently given to the legislature. Hunt says, “DNA testing now can establish the unborn child has a separate and distinct personality from the mother. We know a lot more about post-abortion harm to the mother.” The legislature debated a similar bill two years ago, but Governor Mike Rounds vetoed it because of concerns over some technicalities. Hunt says, “We have made those corrections to the bill.” [22Jan06] As of 30Jan06, 5 states are proposing such abortion bans this legislative term.
ABORTION ACTIVISTS IN U.S. SAY THEY ARE LOSING THE BATTLE. After 33 years of abortion-on-demand in the US: “I think [Roe vs. Wade] in the short term will be dismantled,” said Nancy Keenan [pres, NARAL Pro-Choice America]. Judge Samuel Alitos appointment to the Supreme Court has given pro-life advocates concrete hope that Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 judicial activist decision to make abortion a constitutional right, may finally be overturned. There are many other factors, however, which are contributing to the sense that the balance is beginning to shift toward the side of life.
A survey conducted in November 2005 by the Pew Research Center showed that a majority of Americans think abortion is the central issue before the Supreme Court. Organizations working for the protection of the unborn say research that shows babies complex development at very early stages has undermined support for abortion. Testimonies of women who have suffered emotional and physical damage from aborting their babies have also helped turn public opinion.
Above all, technological advances have had an impact. Ultra-sound technology that lets pregnant women see the faces of their babies have been a significant force in turning people away from abortion. “The technology has allowed someone who before had no face and no voice to become an actual child,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee.
Across the country, state legislation restricting abortion is being brought forward, ranging from laws banning abortion outright, to laws restricting access, requiring parental notification, longer cooling off periods before obtaining abortions, and even restrictions on birth control and sex education.
Twenty-six states have laws banning abortion after three months of pregnancy. Legislation underway in South Dakota, TN, Indiana, GA, and OH, would ban abortions entirely unless the mothers life was clearly in danger. “There is a growing public realization that abortion is an injustice, the destruction of an innocent human life,” said American Life League executive director David Bereit. When Roe vs. Wade is removed, abortion decisions will return to the states.
[Related: Abortion Ban Considered in Growing Number of States: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jan/06012303.html; Reuters; LifeSiteNews.com, 30Jan06, By Gudrun Schultz]
WALMART SUED OVER EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION / MORNING AFTER PILL: Pro-abortion groups want to force the company to
stock it. Three women in MA filed suit against Wal-Mart 1Feb06 because its pharmacies do not stock or sell Plan B, the so-called morning-after pill.
Plan B is controversial because it may sometimes cause an early abortion.
Wal-Mart called it a bad business decision to carry the seldom-used drug, and pro-life groups say no business should be forced to participate in the possiblity of abortion. Samuel Perkins, the attorney for the women, accused Wal-Mart of breaking a Massachusetts regulation requiring every pharmacy to carry all “commonly prescribed medicines.”
Patrick Gillen of the Thomas More Law Center said Plan B does not fit under that requirement. “I think that’s an improper understanding of the word ‘commonly prescribed,’ ” he told Family News in Focus. Not surprisingly, the Planned Parenthood Federation and NARAL are also behind the suit. [3 Feb 06, CitizenLink Daily Update, http://www.citizenlink.org; http://www.family.org/cforum/fosi/bioethics/facts/a0030438.cfm] This Wal-Mart Lawsuit Staged – the Women ‘Denied’ Abortion Drug Admit Scheming. They admitted to the Associated Press that the action was planned with abortion rights groups and lawyers.
Moreover LifeSiteNews.com has learned that at least two of the women involved are themselves activists pushing the abortifacient drugs. Dr. Rebekah Gee and nurse and midwife Julia Battel, with Katrina McCarty, launched the suit in an attempt to force Wal-Mart to stock the drug on the grounds that it is a “c
nly prescribed medicine,” the definition given to drugs that pharmacists are required to stock.
A new MA state law allows pharmacists to dispense Plan B without a prescription, but they aren’t required to make it available. Gee and Battel have been active promoters of emergency contraception (EC). Gee worked with the Massachusetts Medical Society to push for Bill 1643, an “emergency contraception” access act that passed late last year, allowing women to get Plan B without seeing their doctor. Gee is featured on the Pharmacy Access Partnership website, an organization that works to make EC widely available. Battel also worked to ensure the passage of Bill 1634, promoting the work of the Massachusetts Coalition for Choice, which backed the legislation, and encouraging colleagues to contact legislators in support of the bill.
In the April 2005 newsletter for the Massachusetts’ Nurses Association, posted on their website, Battel makes misleading statements about emergency contraception, stating: “EC does not cause an abortion EC will not disrupt an already established pregnancy and will not harm the developing fetus if mistakenly taken during pregnancy.” Battel includes the term “established” before pregnancy but does not inform her readers that by this she means that she only regards pregnancy as established when the unborn child implants in the mother’s uterus.
[While the exact mechanism of action is still debated, it is widely accepted that Plan B causes a “pre-implantation effect”, meaning that it probably interrupts a pregnancy by preventing implantation of the early embryo (blastocyst) in the endometrium (uterine lining). Simple biology however, informs that a new member of the human race begins when a sperm and ovum join (fertilization). Thus Plan B may kill live embryonic children if they have not yet implanted in their mothers’ wombs.]
To express support for Wal-Mart on line, go to:
1-800-925-6278, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Customer Service, 702 S.W. 8th Street, Bentonville, AR 72716
[By G. Schultz 2Feb06 LifeSiteNews.com]
UK: WOMEN DEMAND TOUGHER LAWS TO CURB ABORTIONS. A majority of women in Britain want the abortion laws to be tightened to make it harder, or impossible, for them to terminate a pregnancy. Evidence of a widespread public demand for the govt to further restrict women’s right to have an abortion, as revealed in this opinion poll, have reignited the highly-charged debate on abortion, and increased the pressure on Tony Blair to review the current time limits.
The survey by MORI shows that 47 per cent (47%) of women believe the legal limit for an abortion should be cut from its present 24 weeks, and another 10 per cent (10%) want the practice outlawed altogether. Among the population overall, reducing the upper limit was the preferred option backed by the largest proportion of respondents, 42 per cent, made up of a 36-47 per cent split among men and women.
Only one person in three agreed that ‘the current time limit is about right’, with slightly fewer women (31 per cent) than men (35 per cent) saying that. Just 2 per cent of women and 5 per cent of men think the last possible date after which a woman can end a pregnancy should be increased from 24 weeks.
‘There has been a moral awakening over the last few years about abortion; the British public have been undergoing a reality check,’ said Dr Austen Ivereigh. ‘[This is seen as a] moral awakening a growing unease with, and erosion of, the idea of abortion as simply a woman’s right.‘
Increased awareness of the realities of abortion, and the impact of ultrasound images of a 23-week-old foetus smiling and grimacing, have made people change their views, said Ivereigh. The latter ‘very dramatically showed that what had been depersonalised in many people’s minds as a foetus was clearly seen to be a baby, a human being in formation, and that has come as a shock to many people’, he added.
Abortion became a key issue in last year’s general election campaign when Michael Howard, then the Conservative leader, said he wanted to see the maximum time limit cut to 20 weeks.
Former Liberal leader David Steel, the architect of the pioneering 1967 Abortion Act which made abortions legal for the first time in Britain, wants the upper limit reduced to 22 weeks.
The limit was originally set in 1967 at 28 weeks, because that was then taken to be the age at which a foetus would not be ‘viable’, but it was reduced to 24 weeks in 1990. Around 200,000 women a year undergo an abortion in Britain, with 85%-90% occuring within 12 weeks and only ~ 1.5% after 20 weeks. Abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland.
David Cameron, Howard’s successor, backs a new limit of between 20 and 22 weeks. Moves to reduce the time limit are now beginning to win the support of liberal-minded MPs who support the right to abortion.
Dr Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat MP and a former GP, called for an in-depth parliamentary inquiry to examine the scientific evidence about the survival rates of babies born at under 24 weeks, and then recommend any necessary changes to the law: The question has been raised about whether we are going to base the limit on viability – that was the basis under the existing law – and if it’s on viability then viability is subject to change based on medical advances.
Amid the debate last year, prompted by the images of unborn babies in the womb, Blair indicated that the government could be prepared to review the limits on abortion law. The then Health Secretary, John Reid, personally supports a lower time limit. However, Patricia Hewitt, the current Health Secretary, seemed yesterday to rule out any reduction: ‘I think it is very difficult for a woman contemplating a late termination and they need to be given very clear advice and support.’
Toni Belfield of the Family Planning Association, which opposes any reduction, said: ‘The argument about medical advances misses the point. There needs to be access to late abortion after 20 weeks because a woman may not find out she is pregnant until 18 or 19 weeks, or be in a non-consensual relationship, or be told about a foetal abnormality.’ [Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,790 people aged 16 to 64 by online questionnaire, 6-10 January; 30 Jan 2006 Pro-Life E-News<[email protected]> http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1697424,00.html; Denis Campbell and Gaby Hinsliff, 29Jan06, The Observer]
SUPPORT BUILDS FOR LEGISLATION HELPING WOMEN FIND ABORTION ALTERNATIVES. Support is building for federal legislation that would ensure that college women facing unexpected pregnancies know about alternatives to abortion.
The Congressional measure would help women find resources they need to avoid financial and other pressures that make them feel abortion is their only solution. Sen. Elizabeth Dole [R-NC] has teamed up with Rep. Melissa Hart [PA] for legislation that would provide colleges/universities with grants to set up one-stop centers offering information and resources for child care, parenting, family housing, and adoption. A spokesperson for Dole said, The goal here is to provide resources so that students know they can get their education and be a parent.
Under the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Students Act, the federal grants would also be used to provide maternity coverage in student health plans, diaper changing stations in campus restrooms, and desks for pregnant women. The director of the student health center at Winston-Salem State University said, Anything that is going to help these young women is a good thing. They have a lot of big decisions to make. A spokesman for Planned Pare
ristopher Hollis, told the Journal he has concerns about the language of the bill. He’s questioning who would provide the information at the centers and how broad the information would be. However, he said he was supportive of the proposal. [LifeNews.com, 26Jan06]
FL GRANT WILL FUND ABORTION-PREVENTION WORK. Lawmakers in Florida have allocated $2 million in grant money to help support pregnancy-resource centers and fund a program that provides assistance for those facing unplanned pregnancies.
The new state program, administered by the FL Pregnancy Care Network (FPCN), will use the services of The Option Line — a toll-free number that receives more than 10,000 requests for help each month from women seeking advice.
Kurt Entsminger, president of Care Net, co-owner of the phone service, praised the state for its innovation. “By utilizing the Option Line, this program will involve a call center that has proven effectiveness in connecting them with local help and, ultimately, helping to reduce the number of abortions,” he said.
“Care Net is enthusiastic about this new program, which allows meaningful participation by faith-based organizations.”
The funding will also reimburse qualified pregnancy-resource centers for counseling services that stay within the boundaries of the state’s faith-based initiative guidelines. Pregnancy centers can receive
funding to participate in training to qualify for the reimbursement. “We believe that if this program is tested over time,” Entsminger said, “we will see a significant reduction in the number of abortions in the state of Florida.” [3 Feb 06, CitizenLink Daily Update, http://www.citizenlink.org]