Blackbird singing in the dead of night Take these broken wings and learn to fly
- The Beatles
Alexa lives in the far east with her son Tyler and their cat Brownie. She can be reached via email here
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|Fifty-three percent of Americans now disapprove of Obama's handling of health-care issue
, says Gallup poll
The report, released Monday, shows that only self-identified Democrats support the plan, with strong majorities of both Republicans and Independents opposing the president.
Gallup initially asked respondents which way they wanted their representatives to vote on health care reform. Forty-two percent said their congressman should vote "no" while only 35 percent said their congressman should vote in favor of the bill. Another 22 percent were undecided.
When those undecided respondents were pressed to say whether they "leaned" towards either a 'yes' or a 'no' vote, the gap between support and opposition tightened--with 49 percent saying they either leaned toward or desired a 'no' vote from Congress, while 44 percent said they either leaned toward or wanted a 'yes' vote on health reform.
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SPUC wins Northern Ireland case: Official guidelines on abortion must be withdrawn, Belfast's High Court rules
The court found the current advice on terminating pregnancies failed to give clear guidance in the areas of "counselling and conscientious objection”.
In his ruling, Lord Justice Girvan, however, stopped short of quashing the document issued by the North's department of health in March.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Spuc) brought judicial review proceedings in a bid to win a declaration that the decision to publish the advice was unlawful.[..]
Spuc wanted the High Court to declare that what has been produced does not properly set out the law.
Lawyers for the group claimed the guidance also fails to deal with the rights of the unborn child and provides inadequate advice for conscientious objectors within the medical profession.
The department's legal representatives rejected allegations it had failed to make clear that abortion was illegal in Northern Ireland apart from in the most exceptional circumstances.
It was also stressed that the document was for health workers rather than the general public.
But Lord Justice Girvan held that the section in the guidance on counselling needs to be reconsidered because it is unclear and could lead to the adoption of potentially unlawful procedures.
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Personhood initiative heads to court in Alaska
The Anchorage Daily News reports that the Alaska Civil Liberties Union is supporting the lawsuit challenging the ballot drive, which was filed last week by plaintiffs including Vic Fischer, a former Democratic legislator and delegate to the state constitutional convention.
The lawsuit argues that Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell should never have certified the measure and that sponsors should be blocked from collecting signatures.
"It is just insane," said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the Alaska Civil Liberties Union.
The plaintiffs contend the proposal could have serious consequences and there is no way voters can know what it might mean for state laws if it passed. They argue that the measure is so broad it could result in women being sued over miscarriages.
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Planned Parenthood pauses personhood effort in Missouri
The measure would declare that a human is a person at the biological beginning of life. Personhood Missouri went through all the obstacles in order to launch a petition drive and get a slot on a future election ballot. Personhood Missouri spokesman Dr. Gregory Thompson tells OneNewsNow that a lawsuit has brought the effort to a halt.
Planned Parenthood"Planned Parenthood is the number-one murderer of babies in our country and is being represented by the ACLU, which takes on every perversion that's against God, family and country," the spokesman reports. "They're coming against the secretary of state and the state auditor because they don't like the language of the ballot title."
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Tennessee hospital changes mind, will provide care for nine month old
Baby Gabriel Palmer was born prematurely with a club foot and pulmonary vascular problems, reports OneNewsNow. In October, his mom brought him back to the hospital because he was having trouble breathing. He responded to treatment by going into shock and developing pulmonary vascular disease. Since then, he has been on a respirator and medication.
Though Baby Gabriel is stable and doctors say he could live a long time, the East Tennessee Children's Hospital informed his mother that they may cease giving him medical care, which includes taking him off the respirator.
Neither the mother's complaints nor a letter sent by the ADF on her behalf changed the hospital's decision. Yesterday, the ADF filed a lawsuit against the hospital, which prompted the hospital's ethics board to change its mind and say the hospital will continue providing care to the child.
However, just to be safe, the ADF has not withdrawn the lawsuit until they have confirmation in writing that the hospital will continue treatment.
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Baltimore City Council OKs legislation requiring pregnancy centers to post signs if they don't offer abortions
The measure, which must still get a final ruling from the city's mayor, is thought to be the first of its kind in the nation.
Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, called the vote a victory for women's well-being. She cited a study by an advocacy group indicating that women have been misled at pregnancy centers that provide counseling, clothing and food for expectant mothers -- but not abortions.
"It's a step toward making sure that women have the information they need to make the right decision for their health and their future," Rawlings-Blake said.
But those who oppose abortion say the bill unfairly targets centers that provide information and assistance to poor women.
"The thing that's most disappointing about it is not the particular signs that are put up or the particular bill itself, but the message that it sends," said Maryland Right to Life legislative director Jeffrey D. Meister. "This is the first time in the United States that any elected body has chosen to vote to condemn pregnancy centers."
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From Students for Life of America
:World's largest youth pro-life conference sells out 2 months before event
ARLINGTON, VA- Last Thursday, November 19, 2009, the Students for Life of America National Conference sold out with 2 months before the event. Over 800 students are currently registered for the the 1 day conference scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 23, 2010 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. While this is the 3rd consecutive year for the conference to sell out, this is the first time to do so before the month of January.
After selling out the conference, Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America, remarked, "This is an incredible day for the youth pro-life movement. For over 20 years, Students for Life has been hosting a national conference. Never before have we seen this number of registrations so early. It's amazing considering our advertising is mainly through word of mouth."
Hawkins further reflected, "I believe this marks a turning point for our organization and movement as the youth of America are becoming increasingly more motivated and active in standing up for Life. The youth of America are rejecting the actions being taken by the this pro-abortion Presidential Administration and Congress and are responding loud and clear."
A waiting list has been developed for additional registration requests and overfill rooms are being scheduled. To get on the waiting list, contact Students for Life of America at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 703-351-6280.
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South Korean obstetricians demand enforcement of abortion law
The Korean group of obstetricians called Gynob has launched a movement against abortion, Joon Ang Daily reports. Their spokeswoman, practicing obstetrician Choi Anna, said she intends to advocate against abortion until the practice is entirely wiped out though she has reportedly received death threats from other private obstetricians who say her activities are bad for business.
"Our group has made it clear that we as obstetricians won't rely on abortion for a living anymore," Anna said.
The 43-year-old Anna admits to having once profited from abortions at her hospital. She told the Joon Ang Daily that Korean society's tacit consent to abortion has prompted many obstetricians to secretly provide the procedure.
"The country is now suffering from a low birthrate," Anna said, attributing it to a past population control policy that encouraged abortion. "The government seems to be reluctant now to clamp down. But we believe when doctors halt abortions, births could increase by more than 100,000 in one to two years.
"If this movement becomes successful, obstetricians won’t have to provide abortions for a living," she added.
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China arrests attorney for forced abortion opponent after Obama visit, hearing
A Chinese human rights lawyer who is one of the attorneys for forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng, was arrested shortly after President Barack Obama departed China. Jiang Tianyong testified before a Congressional panel on November 10 sponsored by pro-life Rep. Chris Smith.
Tianyong, of Beijing Global Law Firm, had requested a meeting with President Obama with other human rights lawyers during Obama's visit this week, but was turned down.
Smith's office informed LifeNews.com late Friday that, after Obama left the country, Tianyong’s wife was beaten and he was hauled off by Chinese officials.
As legal counsel to Chen, who has helped draw international attention to the brutality of the one-child policy and the forced abortion and sterilization campaign used to enforce it, Tianyong testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
He testified on these and other abuses of the family planning policy, which marks its 30th anniversary this year.
Smith will join Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu, 18-year political prisoner Wei Jingsheng, Tiananmen Square survivor Yang Jianli, and Michael Horowitz of the Hudson institute for a press conference on Monday to discuss the situation.
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Fourteenth Fort Hood victim forgotten
Maj. Nadil Malik Hasan was indicted on 13 counts of murder for the shootings at Fort Hood which took place on Nov. 5. Missing from the list of victims is the three-month-old unborn child of Private Francheska Velez. The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance of Christian attorneys, has sent a letter to the Office of Staff Judge Advocate at Fort Hood requesting that the murder of Velez's child be included in the case against Malik.
"It would cause a severe and negative impact on morale if Army women were made to believe that the Army valued their children less than they did adult victims of crime. We respectfully request that you enforce UCMJ Article 119a against the suspect," the ADF's letter stated.
Velez, who was three months pregnant, had just returned from Iraq, and was a month away from going home to Chicago on maternity leave.
Thanks to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 119a, also known as "Laci and Connor's Law", which was signed into existence by President George W. Bush in 2004, anyone who inflicts violence upon a pregnant woman which leads to the death of the child, whether or not the perpetrator was aware the woman was pregnant, is criminally liable for the death of the child.[..]
Under the law, Maj. Nadil Malik Hasan can be held criminally liable for the death of Velez's child, referred to as "Baby Velez." However, at this point in time, Army officials have only indicated that additional charges against Hasan are under consideration.
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Schools let students seek secret abortions
; Parents not notified when 12-year-olds obtain 'confidential' medical procedures
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New study provides fresh information on potential harm of the abortion drug, RU-486
The study comes from Finland and was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Dr. Randall O'Bannon of National Right to Life tells OneNewsNow that what the public typically sees from the abortion industry is a claim that RU-486, also known as Mifeprex, is a safe and simple process for abortions.
"But this latest study from Finland shows that at least 20 percent of the women that use RU-486, the abortion pill, they suffer from at least one significant complication, and in many cases, from two complications," O'Bannon reports.
The three most significant problems are hemorrhaging, infection and incomplete abortions, which are the same troubles patients face in surgical abortions. Resulting from the chemical method, 15.6 percent of those undergoing this form of abortion hemorrhaged while 1.7 percent encountered infection and 6.7 percent experienced incomplete abortions.
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New poll: Majority favor abortion funding ban in health care bill
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning indicates that 61 percent of the public opposes using public money for abortions for women who can not afford the procedure, with 37 percent in favor of allowing the use of federal funds.
And by a 51 percent to 45 percent margin, those questioned in the survey think that women who get abortions should pay the full costs out of their own pocket, even if they have private health insurance and no federal funds are involved.
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Hodari forced abortion suit alleges woman's mouth covered to muffle her screams
On June 17, 2009, Caitlin Bruce filed a suit against Hodari and his assistant, "Victor", over an incident that took place at Hodari's Flint, Michigan, abortion clinic in April, 2008. In that suit, Ms. Bruce alleges that she went to Hodari's clinic seeking an abortion, but before the procedure began, she changed her mind and decided against it. She notified Hodari that she no longer wanted the abortion.
However, Hodari and his assistant, Victor, forcibly restrained Ms. Bruce, holding her down. Ms. Bruce screamed "Stop, stop, I don't want this," but her mouth was covered to muffle her pleas while Hodari forced the abortion upon her.
Included in the suit are six counts against Hodari, including lack of informed consent/medical malpractice, battery, fraud, misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and ethnic/gender intimidation.
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Virginia principal criticized for inviting pro-abstinence speaker
More than 10 faculty members e-mailed Douglas Freeman High School Superintendent Patrick Russo, saying they opposed the appearance of Pam Stenzel, founder of Enlighten Communications. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and the local chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network also voiced opposition.
Principal Anne L. Poates gave parents the choice to opt their children out of the session.
"No, it does not present all sides of this issue," Poates wrote in an e-mail to staff. "It presents one choice - abstinence - as an important choice for teenagers in a way that seems to reach them and have a lasting impact."
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New Jersey teen sues school for violating her First Amendment free-speech and religious-freedom rights after she was barred from participating in pro-life protest
The girl, identified in court papers as C.H., says she asked the Bridgeton High School principal last month for permission to join in the Pro Life Day of Silent Solidarity, a worldwide protest organized each year by Stand True, a ministry in Troy, Ohio. But the principal said no, telling her she couldn't do anything "religious," according to her lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Camden by a lawyer hired by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based legal group that takes on religious freedom cases on behalf of Christians.[..]
ADF senior counsel David Cortman says his group has intervened in dozens of cases across the country over the six years the protest has been held and has filed suits in about a dozen. He said some have been successful and others are still pending.
Cortman said the group has heard from students barred from protesting last month at two other New Jersey schools, as well as schools in Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas and Idaho.
When schools bar the protests, he said, they usually cite the separation of church and state — which his group says is not in the Constitution.
"The school district basically held that there is no religion allowed in school, which violates the students' First Amendment rights," Cortman said.
In the Bridgeton case, the student planned to remain silent on Oct. 20, except when called on in class at her public school. She also wanted to wear an armband with the word "life" on it and to hand out anti-abortion pamphlets. Some students who participate in the protest put tape across their mouths to show they're speaking for the unborn, who can't speak for themselves, Cortman said.
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Open letter to Obama regarding forced abortion in China
This is not a political issue. It's a human rights issue and a women's rights issue. On April 22 of this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned forced abortion and forced sterilization in China, saying that they are "absolutely unacceptable." It does not matter whether you are pro-choice or pro-life on this issue. No one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice.
When we say, "forced abortion," what do we mean? At the Novembeer 10 hearing, we heard the heart-wrenching testimony of "Wujuan" (not her real name) who was a victim of China's One Child Policy in 2005. Wujuan went into hiding when she became pregnant because she did not have a birth permit. She brought her pregnancy to term in hiding. A neighbor found her and told her that her father-in-law was being beaten daily and might soon die if she didn't give herself up. She was caught in a terrible choice: the life of her father-in-law, or the life of her baby. As she agonized about this, the Family Planning Police discovered her hiding place, broke into her shack, and dragged her out for a forced abortion. When the oxytocin injection failed to induce labor, they forced her onto an operating table and cut her full term baby to pieces with scissors while she was fully awake. When the surgery was complete, the doctor dumped the small body into a trash can. Wujuan says that a part of her died forever at that moment.
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From Pro-Life Action League:Pro-life activists to burst Planned Parenthood's bubble on limiting free speechPro-Life Action League to oppose new bubble zone ordinance and reveal malpractice lawsuits against near North Planned ParenthoodWhen:
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
10:00 a.m. – Press conference and ProtestWhat:
Chicago's new "bubble zone" ordinance goes into effect Tuesday, which prohibits pro-lifers from coming within eight feet of any person approaching an abortion facility. This ordinance limits sidewalk counseling by pro-life activists and violates the First Amendment rights of protesters outside abortion facilities in Chicago. The Pro-Life Action League has organized a press conference and protest at Planned Parenthood's Near North facility to send a message that the new ordinance is an unconstitutional attempt at stopping free speech.
The press conference will share information about the malpractice lawsuits against Planned Parenthood's Near North facility, including:
- Wrongful death due to bleeding from a careless abortion procedure
- Perforation of the uteri of several women during abortion procedures
- Misdiagnosis of pregnancy and age of the unborn child
- Careless performance of blood tests and follow-up care
Planned Parenthood – Near North facility
1200 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, Ill.Who:
Dozens of protesters are expected to be outside Planned Parenthood with picket signs.
A press conference organized by the Pro-Life Action League will include the following speakers:
- Joe Scheidler, National Director, Pro-Life Action League
- Julie Grisalano, Sidewalk counselor at Planned Parenthood
- Catherine Mieding, Sidewalk counselor
Pro-Life protesters with signs
Speakers at podium delivering information
Enlarged malpractice lawsuit documents in "bubbles"
Planned Parenthood facility
Bubble Zone ordinance in action
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Center For Reproductive Rights to Launch TV ad fighting Stupak restrictions
The ad, which is presented as a stand-up comedy routine, is paid for by the Center For Reproductive Rights. It is slated to air on cable networks in the Washington, DC, market and on Internet news sites starting Tuesday.[..]
The Center for Reproductive Rights is pushing back on the notion that subsidized private insurance should follow the FEHBP model by circulating a statement from D.J. Feldman, a federal employee denied insurance coverage after a termination of a anencephalic fetus.
Feldman said the denial of abortion coverage surprised and shocked her.
"That's when I learned just how punishing, invasive, and painful federal policy is when it comes to women's lives. A decision that should have been left between me and my doctor was made instead by politicians," said Feldman in a statement circulated by the Center for Reproductive Rights.
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RNC health insurance plan covers abortions
Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele learned of the policy's abortion coverage Thursday through a news report and immediately instructed staff to inform the insurance carrier that the RNC wanted to opt out of elective abortion coverage, RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said.
"Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," Steele said in a statement. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."
Gitcho said the policy has been in effect since 1991.
A memo earlier from RNC Chief of Staff Ken McKay to the organization's members said Steele was taking the issue very seriously and "has been engaged by phone on this issue."
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Democrat questions Catholic group's tax-exempt status after bishops pressed for ban on abortion funding
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), in a November 9 op-ed on the Politico Web site, said that in light of heavy pressure from USCCB against federal funding for abortion, the Internal Revenue Service should investigate whether the organization exceeded the limitations of its tax-exempt status – a move that could lead the Internal Revenue Service to revoke that status.
Woolsey's comments came after USCCB lobbied pro-life Democrats to support the efforts of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who sponsored an amendment prohibiting federal funding of abortion through any of the health insurance subsidies created by the House health care bill.[...]
Woolsey – who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus – said the USCCB should have stayed out of the legislative process: "The role the bishops played in the pushing of the Stupak amendment, which unfairly restricts access for low-income women to insurance coverage of abortion, was more than mere advocacy," she wrote in the Politico piece.
Woolsey said the IRS should treat the bishops' lobbying efforts with the same scrutiny it applies to religious groups that involve themselves in elections. Non-profits, including religious groups, are prohibited from taking sides in political campaigns and can lose their tax-exempt status if they do.
"The IRS is less restrictive about church involvement in efforts to influence legislation than it is about involvement in campaigns and elections," Woolsey admitted. "Given the political behavior of USCCB in this case, maybe it shouldn't be."
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Liberal group raises cash to challenge Stupak on abortion
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee sent out an e-mail challenge Wednesday to its members, saying it could air anti-Stupak ads online in Michigan if it raised $10,000. In under five hours, $12,107 had been pledged from 425 contributors, with more money being accepted, according to www.boldprogressives.org.
The proposed online anti-Stupak ad pictures a distressed-looking young woman, with the text, "Women, not sure what to do with your body? Rep. Bart Stupak will tell you."
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From Pro-Life Action League:Pro-Life Protesters Reach Common Ground with Aurora on Protests at Planned ParenthoodPro-Life Action League and City of Aurora Settle Years-Long Dispute over Protesters' and Free Speech Rights at the Nation's Second Largest Abortion Clinic
(Aurora, IL) Last night the City of Aurora agreed to a long-awaited settlement between the city and the Pro-Life Action League that lays out provisions protecting the rights of pro-life protesters at the Planned Parenthood facility in the city. A win for pro-lifers, the agreement recognizes the rights of protesters and secures comprehensive protection for citizens who wish to speak out in front of one of the nation's largest abortion facilities.
"With this new agreement in place, the pro-life community's peaceful outreach to abortion-bound mothers can proceed without hindrance, and the uncertainty and confusion that has characterized the police response to pro-life protests at Planned Parenthood should finally end," said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League.
The settlement ends a dispute between the pro-life protestors and the City of Aurora that has gone on for more than two years, and exemplifies the kind of cooperation between municipalities and peaceful pro-life activists that is needed across the country. The new agreement demonstrates that there is no need to silence protesters in "bubble zones" like the one to be enacted later this month in Chicago and another that was recently struck down by Philadelphia's Third Circuit Court.
In the settlement agreement, the City of Aurora agrees to:
- Recognize the rights of pro-life citizens to protest abortion and offer alternatives.
- Provide special First Amendment and non-discriminatory law enforcement training to police officers in collaboration with pro-lifers.
- Amend two ordinances related to parades and residential picketing to make them less restrictive of Constitutionally-protected public protests.
- Refrain from arresting pro-life protestors for trespassing if they are walking or standing on the Planned Parenthood side of the access road in front of the facility.
- Concede pro-lifers’ right to post a reasonable number of signs in the ground during protests and vigils.
- Remove signs erected on Oakhurst Drive in 2007 prohibiting protest activity
In return, the pro-life group agreed to limit protest activity on the east side of Oakhurst Drive, continue their standard practice of posting warning signs when graphic abortion posters are used at their monthly protests and drop their federal lawsuit against the City.
"I am encouraged by the spirit of collaboration that gave rise to the settlement, and hope that it will become a model for other municipalities reluctant to fully recognize and respect the Constitutional freedoms of pro-life activists," said Scheidler.
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When abortion isn't a choice
While the Chinese Communist Party insists that abortions are voluntary under the nation's one-child policy, electronic documentation recently smuggled out of the country tells a different story.
Congressional members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission heard some of that story Tuesday, two days before President Obama was slated to leave for Asia, including China, to discuss economic issues. Among evidence provided by two human rights organizations, ChinaAid and Women's Rights Without Frontiers, were tales of pregnant women essentially being hunted down and forced to submit to surgery or induced labor.
Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of the Frontiers group, told the commission that China's one-child policy "causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on Earth."[...]
Here's the question Littlejohn insists we consider: What really happens to a woman who doesn't have a "birth permit" and has an "out of plan" pregnancy?
The answer is simple and brutal: A woman pregnant without permission has to surrender her unborn child to government enforcers, no matter what the stage of fetal development.
Late-term abortions are problematic, but the Chinese are nothing if not efficient. On one Web site for Chinese obstetricians and gynecologists, doctors recently traded tips in a dispassionate discussion titled: "What if the infant is still alive after induced labor?" ChinaAid provided a translation of a thread regarding an eight-month-old fetus that survived the procedure.
"Xuexia" wrote: "Actually, you should have punctured the fetus' skull." Another poster, "Damohuyang," wrote that most late-term infants died during induced labor, some lived and "would be left in trash cans. Some of them could still live for one to two days."
To be clear, some of the doctors online expressed concern for the rights of the child. Others, however, worried only about potential legal ramifications. Technically, it is illegal in China to kill a baby, one is relieved to learn, but family-planning imperatives sometimes prevail. According to a 2009 State Department report, monetary incentives and penalties are attached to population targets, creating what amounts to bounties on the unborn.
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Planned Parenthood injunction request fails; Former clinic director scores victory in court
A district court judge denied a request for an injunction against Abby Johnson, who resigned as director of a Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas abortion facility in Bryan/College Station last month. The judge also denied a similar request directed at the Coalition for Life, the local pro-life organization that started the 40 Days for Life campaign in Bryan/College Station five years ago.
According to news reports, Judge J.D. Langley said Planned Parenthood did not offer convincing reasons "to warrant the extreme remedy of injunctive relief." Planned Parenthood had initiated the court action to block disclosure of confidential information about patients, which is something Johnson said she had never intended to do.
Johnson was very pleased with the court's decision, which opens the door for her to offer more specifics about her work at Planned Parenthood and the reasons she resigned. After watching an abortion procedure on an ultrasound machine, she had a change of heart about abortion and was unable to continue working at the clinic.
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Peru's Constitutional Court says Ministry of Health cannot sell morning-after pill
Speaking on Peruvian radio, Justice Ernesto Alvarez said, "The State cannot participate in the sale or the free distribution of this pill" because it cannot be "proven that this medicine does not have an abortifacient nature."
Alvarez explained that the court reached the conclusion that the pill's abortifacient potential exists regardless of whether or not it is sold or given away. "The court has not found any basis that could decisively establish that it does not have an abortifacient nature." For this reason, he added, the State cannot participate either in the sale or in the distribution of the morning-after pill and must exclude it as a valid tool for family planning."
Regarding the question of what to do with the previously manufactured pills, Alvarez answered that, "The legal advisors of the Ministry of Health have a variety of possibilities within the framework of the law."
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New Mexico pro-choice group condemns abortion restrictions in House health bill
"Major Christian and Jewish denominations and millions of Americans disagree with this position and support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health decisions. This action by the House is an unacceptable denial of our constitutional right to live according to our own moral beliefs," Joan Lamunyon Sanford, of the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, said in a statement released Monday.
Sanford said it was "appalling" that abortion was singled out for exclusion from the bill–through the efforts of the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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Powerful pro life message in November 17th release of 'Sarah's Choice' -- Rebecca St. James' first leading role in film -- Grammy winner applauds this week's defection by Planned Parenthood exec
NASHVILLE, Nov. 4 -- GRAMMY® Award winning Christian singer Rebecca St. James took heart this week at the news that Planned Parenthood Director, Abby Johnson, had a change of heart on the issue of abortion. As reported by national media on Monday, Johnson, a Planned Parenthood executive in southeastern Texas, made a dramatic move to the side of 'life' after witnessing the devastation of one too many abortions in her eight year career with the organization.
St. James, who over the past year has spent considerable research time with 'boots on the ground' in the world of crisis pregnancy, is hoping that her new film, "Sarah's Choice
" will be the catalyst for a 'change of heart' for many, many others.
Her debut lead role is in the November 17th national release on DVD of "Sarah's Choice," a faith and values based production with a strong pro life message. The film is being released by Pure Flix Entertainment.
The film's story line follows a young career woman on the fast track to success in the corporate world when she discovers she's pregnant outside of marriage.
The role is a courageous one for the single Aussie singer who has made her home in the U.S. since moving from her native homeland while still in her teens to find major success in both contemporary Christian music and as a best selling author. St. James has made a consistently bold statement on the abstinence agenda throughout her career--a statement that has taken her to the White House, as well as into the broader stage of the national mainstream spotlight for her outspoken stand on faith and values issues facing America's youth.
Rebecca feels that the pro life message in "Sarah's Choice" is one that holds promise of helping young women to choose "life" as the decision of choice in unplanned pregnancy. She was personally deeply impacted by her role in the film, noting in a recent interview: "I think the biggest thing the film imparted to me--both in researching the role and in portraying the character--was a real sense of empathy for women who find themselves in the situation my character found herself in. My heart goes out to them as I have seen the extreme amount of pressure and fear that can come from outside sources at a vulnerable time such as this. Too often, young women choose abortion and subsequently suffer the immeasurable pain that often comes with living with regret and guilt. I came away from the movie with a real passion to positively impact this cycle with the message of God's heart for the unborn."
In a series of national pre-screenings of "Sarah's Choice," reaction to the film's message has been consistently powerful. "This is a film that delivers the message of God's love, forgiveness and grace on a subject matter thousands need to see and hear--it's a movie that every pregnancy center in America should have in their library and consider showing as a special event," noted Bill Donovan, executive directorship member of the CPC Pregnancy Center in Anchorage, Alaska.
The film also stars comedian Brad Stine, Charlene Tilton (Problem Child 2), Dick Van Patten (That 70's Show, Arrested Development), and Staci Keanan (Step By Step, My Two Dads).
The DVD, which features bonus content, including "The Making Of," "Trailers," and "Commentary," will be available at national retail on November 17 from EMI CMG Distribution.
You can watch the trailer here
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:Statement regarding Cardinal Rigali's memo protecting the "status quo" on lifeBrown: "Faithful Catholics have a responsibility to vigorously oppose abortion in healthcare, not negotiate the status quo."
Washington, DC (07 November 2009) American Life League president Judie Brown released the following statement on the news that Cardinal Justin Rigali will support Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), provided an amendment preserving the status quo for abortion is voted upon.
"Our Catholic bishops should be fearlessly leading the way towards a culture of life. Fighting to maintain a status quo credited to the destruction of 51 million preborn children is wrong and confusing to 65 million Catholics united in the defense of life.
"What Cardinal Rigali has permitted by way of political maneuvering is to allow an amendment to be heard and watch it be defeated. While our Catholic bishops will scramble to define their opposition to abortion in the aftermath, Pelosi will wave Rigali's support for health care reform as evidence that lay Catholics would somehow be wrong in opposing her bill.
"In endorsing Pelosicare, our Catholic bishops have risked making themselves political pawns in advancing a culture of death that treats human life as disposable.
"Once again, this incrementalist approach to abortion will serve to enshrine in law grave injustices condemned unequivocally by the Catholic Church. Among these are rationed health care, In vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, human experimentation, euthanasia and birth control.
"Faithful Catholics have a responsibility to vigorously oppose abortion in healthcare, not negotiate the status quo.
"Our bishops, when they negotiate anything less than the full protection all human beings deserve, undermine the very principles of the Catholic Faith and destroy the confidence of faithful Catholics across America.
"Our Catholic bishops should point to the unchanging principles and doctrines of the Catholic Faith, not negotiate a status quo that ends human lives. Today's letter abrogates those principles. Americans should know that a truly Catholic position on health care protects human life at all stages and at all times.
"Negotiation on truth is never a Catholic principle. Truth alone should inform the consciences of faithful Catholics, and truth demands the full protection of human life."
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Late term abortion practitioner Curtis Boyd admits "yes I am" killing unborn children during abortions
In an interview with WFAA yesterday after news surfaced that he re-opened his late-term abortion center, Southwestern Women's Surgery Center, in the huge metro area last week after more than a year following the closure of the Aaron's abortion facility, he makes a startling admission.
"Am I killing?" Boyd said. "Yes, I am. I know that."
He told WFAA that he is a former Baptist ordained minister who is now a part of the pro-abortion Unitarian Universalist church who says he prays often about the abortions he does.
"I'll ask that the spirit of this pregnancy be returned to God with love and understanding," he said.
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No deal: Pro-life Democrat still vowing to kill health care bill
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who has organized a group of about 40 Democrats who are committed to killing the health care bill if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) does not give them a straight up-or down vote on an amendment that would prohibit federal dollars from paying for any part of any health insurance plan that covers abortions, told CNSNews.com today that he has not reached an agreement with the speaker and that his group is still poised to kill the bill.
Stupak and his approximately 40 allies plan to vote against the special "rule" that would govern the terms of the House floor debate on the health care bill. If this rule does not win a majority vote, the House cannot proceed to consideration of the bill itself. Stupak has said he believes he has enough votes to defeat the rule if Speaker Pelosi does not relent. The vote on the rule is likey to occur late Friday afternoon or Friday evening.
"I will continue to oppose, and will continue whipping my colleagues to oppose, bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until there is satisfactory language to prevent public funding for abortion," Stupak told CNSNews.com in a statement on Thursday.
A senior aide in Stupak's office told CNSNews.com, "Right now, the group of those pro-life Dems are holding together pretty well. The coalition is standing strong behind Congressman Stupak." The group is committed to killing the bill if the Stupak amendment is not allowed a vote, the aide said.
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Sen. Casey won't 'draw line in sand' on abortion-funding in health care bill
Casey said he would not answer a "hypothetical" question about whether he would vote for the final version of the health care bill even if it permitted federal funding of abortion.
Casey, who is pro-life, spoke with CNSNews.com after his speech on Tuesday to The Jerusalem Conference on Capitol Hill, where he discussed the Middle East peace process and health care reform.
CNSNews.com asked Casey if he thinks it is morally right to force taxpayers to pay for any part of a health care plan that covers abortion. He said, "No, I think what we should do is have a health care plan that's consistent with what the Hyde amendment has done over 25 years with regard to the appropriations process. That's what we're trying to do now."[..]
"What I will do is what I did in the committee when, if there will be amendments to the bill, if necessary, I think it will be necessary that involve making sure public dollars don't pay for abortion, and I'll vote for those amendments," Casey told CNSNews.com.
"But I've tried on every issue not to draw lines in the sand about if this is in the bill or that," he said. "I've done the same thing on the public option. Some people say, some people in the Democratic Party say if there's not a public option, they won't vote for the bill. I'm a supporter of that: the public option."
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Judge issues restraining order blocking start of Illinois abortion notification law
Just hours after a state board voted Wednesday to allow the enforcement of a long-debated Illinois law requiring a teenage girl's parents be notified before she has an abortion, a judge issued a temporary restraining order putting the measure back on hold.
The order will remain in effect until the judge can hear arguments on the issue. Cook County Judge Daniel Riley said he felt the American Civil Liberties Union, which sought the order, "demonstrated the distinct possibility of irreparable harm."[..]
Allowing the law to take effect raised the possibility that "young women in this state would be abused, they would be kicked out of their homes," Lorie Chaiten, head of the Illinois ACLU's reproductive rights project, said after the court hearing.
Assistant Illinois attorney general Thomas Ioppolo argued against the restraining order.
"Why does Illinois have to have a law that doesn't take the parents into account?" Ioppolo said. "The idea of having parental notification serves legitimate interests."
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Vote clears way for Illinois abortion notification law
The state's Medical Disciplinary Board voted not to extend a 90-day grace period put into place in August. That means the law takes effect, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said.
Illinois' law was passed in 1995, but never enforced because of various court actions. Thirty-five other states have similar laws, which meant some teens seeking abortions came to Illinois for them.
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Religious order rebukes Chicago-area nun who volunteers at abortion clinic
"Several months ago, the leadership of the Sinsinawa Dominicans was informed that Sister Donna Quinn, OP, acted as a volunteer escort at a Chicago area clinic that among other procedures, performs abortions," according to a statement released Tuesday by the Wisconsin-based religious community.
"After investigating the allegation, Congregation leaders have informed Sr. Donna that her actions are in violation of her profession as a Dominican religious. They regret that her actions have created controversy and resulted in public scandal."
Quinn could not immediately be reached by ChicagoCatholicNews for comment. But she indicated to the Chicago Tribune that she would stop volunteering as a clinic escort.
"I want to be clear that this is my decision," she said. "Respect for women's moral agency is of critical importance to me, and I look forward to continuing to dialogue with our congregation on these matters as a way of informing my actions as well as educating the community."
What all this ultimately means for the controversial nun -- who for years has been involved in feminist and social justice causes -- is uncertain. The prioress of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, Sister Patricia Mulcahey, declined further comment.
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Pro-life congress to attract more than 1,000 from around the world
The fourth International Pro-life Congress will take place from November 6-8 in Zaragoza, Spain featuring speakers from 14 different countries including the U.S., Canada, Uganda, Cuba and France. Organizers expect 1,000 participants to attend from Spain and around the world.
According to organizers, the Congress aims at both raising social awareness in support of women with unexpected pregnancies and defending the life of the unborn. Speakers hail from various countries including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Uganda, Chile, Cuba, Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Sweden, Italy, France and Spain.
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Planned Parenthood director quits after watching abortion on ultrasound
Abby Johnson, 29, used to escort women from their cars to the clinic in the eight years she volunteered and worked for Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas. But she says she knew it was time to leave after she watched a fetus "crumple" as it was vacuumed out of a patient's uterus in September.
'When I was working at Planned Parenthood I was extremely pro-choice," Johnson told FoxNews.com. But after seeing the internal workings of the procedure for the first time on an ultrasound monitor, "I would say there was a definite conversion in my heart ... a spiritual conversion."
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Human rights for all human beings? Not if Planned Parenthood can help it
Washington, DC (02 November 2009) – Planned Parenthood is suing the state of Missouri over approval of a proposed personhood amendment to the state constitution.
The proposed Missouri Personhood Amendment reads:Section 35. Person defined. As used in sections 2, 10, and 14 of Article I of the state constitution, the term "person" shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.
The Planned Parenthood lawsuit contends the wording of the personhood ballot initiative does not warn voters of the legal and constitutional implications if the measure passes.
Initiative sponsor Dr. Gregory Johnson points out it is unnecessary for ballot proposals to outline every legal scenario and that the lawsuit will cost state taxpayers additional funds and government resources.
"Planned Parenthood is again trying to stifle the will of the people by forcing their twisted political and business agenda through court action. They know the people are against them," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. "The only legal implication of any personhood proposal, including Missouri's, is equal justice and human rights for all human beings – if Planned Parenthood wants to oppose that, then their true motivation has been exposed and they should have the courage to say so."
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Pittsburgh abortion clinic buffer law struck down
In a ruling issued Friday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the 2005 Pittsburgh ordinance unduly restricted leafletting and other free speech by abortion protesters. The Pittsburgh ordinance bans protesters from within 15 feet of entrances, but also makes them stay eight feet away from clients in a 100-foot zone around entrances.
The court says either zone, by itself, could be legal. But, combined, the court found the zones violate the free speech rights of the protesters who find it difficult to hand leaflets to clinic clients.
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Abortion can put women at increased risk of mental health problems
, says new study in New Zealand
The University of Otago study, reported in the British Journal of Psychiatry, found the risk of mental illness was "proportional to the degree of distress" associated with the abortion.
Prof David Fergusson, of the department of Psychological Medicine, and his team, studied data from women who had been interviewed six times between the ages of 15 and 30, each time being asked whether they had been pregnant and, if so, what the outcome of that pregnancy had been.
More than 85 per cent of women reported a least one negative emotional reaction, including sorrow, sadness, guilt, regret, grief and disappointment. A similar number reported at least one positive reaction, including relief, happiness and satisfaction.
The study found that women who reported at least one negative reaction had rates of mental health problems "approximately 1.4 to 1.8 times higher than women not exposed to abortion".
The report concluded: "Collectively, this evidence raises important questions about the practice of justifying termination of pregnancy on the grounds that this procedure will reduce risks of mental health problems in women having unwanted pregnancy.
"Currently there is no evidence to support the assumptions underlying this practice, and the findings of the present study suggest that abortion may, in fact, increase mental health risks among those women who find seeking and obtaining an abortion a distressing experience."
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Casa de Vida gives hope to unwed mothers
Before moving into Casa de Vida, a residential program for young, pregnant women, 22-year-old Dominique Sawyer had two options: the street or a homeless shelter. "It was the shelter, the streets or here," said Sawyer, who is expecting a baby girl in December. "I thank God every day that I was sent here. Everything turned around for me. It opened a lot of doors." Casa de Vida in Reno provides support and services for young, pregnant woman who have nowhere to turn. They may be homeless. They may be drug addicts. They may be rejected by their family and friends for being pregnant out of wedlock and refusing to have an abortion.
Some girls are as young as 12.
"A lot of the girls would not be in a very good situation," said Valerie Luevano, executive director. "This is a ray of hope for them."
Casa de Vida, a nonprofit program, gives them a roof over their heads, nutritious meals that support maternal health and access to medical care. For many of the women, it's the first time there's been enough to eat.
"Sometimes there's some hoarding and stockpiling of food," Luevano said. "So we really have to teach them that it's safe to be here. You never have to worry about being hungry."
Casa de Vida was founded in 1982 by three Catholic women: Pat Glenn, Terry Ricciardi and Sister Peter Damian. The women were answering phones at a crisis pregnancy hotline and realized the community lacked a residential resource for the women they were counseling.
The program, which is privately funded through grants and donations, has the capacity to house six women. Some women stay after the babies' births in order to get on their feet. A social worker provides case management services to the clients, as well as any other pregnant or parenting women in the community. The women receive individual and group counseling by a behavioral health care professional, and classes on parenting, budgeting and child development.
"When girls come in, we make sure they are physically prepared to care for their babies," Luevano said.
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