Pro-Life Page

Thursday, April 17, 2014

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 4/16/14 1:06 PM

Last year, Tiona Rodriguez and Francis Estevez, both 17, were stopped for suspected shoplifting and a security guard found the baby’s body inside a bag. After questioning, Rodriguez told police officers that she had suffered a miscarriage the day before and did not know what to do.

Reports at the time indicated the dead newborn child found in her Victoria’s Secret bag was born alive and then likely asphyxiated to death. An autopsy done on the infant showed the baby was born alive at full term and it revealed that Rodriguez’s baby boy was actually born alive at full term and could have died of asphyxiation.

Now, the death of the baby boy has been ruled a homicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Tuesday – months after his October, 2013 passing. The child, who hasn’t been identified, died as a result of homicidal asphyxia, a spokeswoman said and she added that he was alive for less than a day.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment to the New York Daily News on whether Rodriguez will now face murder charges. The teen, who has a 2-year-old son, reportedly said Tuesday that she had ‘no idea’ about the homicide ruling.

Officials also found hundreds of dollars worth of stolen goods inside the bags and then a security guard noticed there was a strong odor inside and found a tiny body under the loot. Rodriguez told officers that she had suffered a miscarriage the day before and did not know what to do, so had stashed the baby in the bag.

The London Daily Mail provides additional reporting:

Homicide prosecutors had been probing the case since the teen was arrested. She wasn’t initially charged over the macabre find.

The then-17-year-old, was released without bail after she pleaded not guilty to petty larceny and possession of stolen property charges.

However at the time, authorities said they couldn’t bring charges over the dead baby until forensic tests determined exactly how the full-term newborn died.

Preliminary reports from detectives suggested the fetus was born alive and may have been asphyxiated.

Like this pro-life news article? Please support LifeNews with a donation during our April fundraising campaign!

‘I don’t want to ignore the elephant in the room, but we are only arraigning the shoplifts,’ Assistant District Attorney Robert Hettleman told the court at the October hearing, according to New York Daily News.

The court released Rodriguez’ friend Francis Estevez without bail and soon after more than a dozen uniformed police officers and detectives had descended on her Queens home with a crime scene unit truck, a neighbor said.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

by Dave Andrusko | Salt Lake City, UT | | 4/15/14 2:43 PM

More details are coming in following the horrific discovery of the bodies of seven babies in a garage in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Megan Huntsman told police that “she either strangled or suffocated them immediately after they were born,” the Associated Press reported. “She wrapped their bodies in a towel or a shirt, put them in plastic bags and then packed them inside boxes in the garage of her home south of Salt Lake City.” Huntsman, 39, is charged with six counts of murder; she told authorities the seventh baby was stillborn.

Authorities are trying to find out why Huntsman killed the babies, as if there could be a “why.” She is being held on $6 million bail, $1 million for each baby.

Pleasant Grove police Lt. Britt Smith said that during the interview with police, Huntsman was “unemotional and matter of fact.”

The Salt Lake City Tribune reported that she appeared Monday in 4th District Court. Michael McFall, Jim Dalrymple II, and Jessica Miller described the scene.

“Huntsman, wearing a worn blue jumpsuit with the sleeves rolled up to her shoulders, appeared tired during the hearing.

“As she stepped in front of the camera, she pressed her hand to her face, covering her eyes. Seconds later when prosecutors asked for a $6 million bail, Huntsman merely blinked and showed no perceptible emotion.

“’That’s fine,’ she told Judge Steven Hansen blankly when he asked her what she thought of the massive sum.

“Huntsman has been on suicide watch ever since she was booked into the jail, said Utah County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Darin Durfey.”

Huntsman’s former husband, Darren West, found the body of one baby last Saturday with fellow family members while cleaning out the garage of the house, which is owned by his parents. According to court documents, West called Huntsman, who admitted to him it was her baby.

When police arrived, they found the bodies of the other six babies, all apparently full term, stuffed individually into boxes.

Besides why Huntsman would murder six babies between 1996 and 2006, there are many other unanswered questions. For example, although West is currently not a suspect, Smith told reporters authorities believe he was living in the house during the time span the babies were killed.

(A later story from The International Business Times is that West is now denying that he was the father of the babies.)

Another question is how Huntsman’s three older daughters, aged 13 to 20, who still live in the house owned by West’s parents, could not have known their mother had been pregnant, or not see anything suspicious. Hutchinson left in 2011, reportedly kicked out by her former in-laws.

“Neighbors said they noticed Huntsman’s weight fluctuated over the years, with her toggling between baggy and tight clothes, but they didn’t realize she was pregnant,” the Associated Press reported. “Smith declined to say if Huntsman gave birth to the babies in the home or at a hospital.”

Still another question stems from the fact that Huntman’s youngest daughter, now a teen, was born during the decade she told police she killed the babies. “Why was one of them saved?” neighbor SanDee Wall said.

Huntsman will be back in court April 21, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune

“Buhman explained the high, cash-only bail by saying that Huntsman is a ‘flight risk and because this is a heinous, horrible crime.’

Buhman added: ‘This is a little shocking because of the number of babies that were killed.’

“Pleasant Grove detective Dan Beckstrom said after the hearing: ‘I’ve never seen anything like this in my career.’”

Monday, April 14, 2014

By Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 4/13/14 7:28 PM


In a shocking discovery, police have found seven dead babies in a Utah woman’s home, six of them packed away in cardboard boxes.

Police believe Megan Huntsman, 39, gave birth to the babies then killed them over the past decade and they arrested her on Saturday after the grisly discovery. They found the babies following a call from Huntsman’s ex-husband about a dead infant found inside a Pleasant Grove home that Huntsman lived in until 2011. Officers arrived and found the body of a newborn infant, who appeared to be full term.

meganhuntsmanAs police officials said in press statements picked up by multiple news agencies, police searched the home after getting a search warrant and found six more babies packaged in separate cardboard boxes inside the garage.

Huntsman allegedly gave birth to the infants, then killed them over a 10 year period. Her ex-husband is believed to be the father, but investigators are still looking for information from DNA tests to provide them with additional information. Police indicate they are not currently pursuing charges against the former husband.

Neighbors said they never suspected Hunstman was pregnant and they had trusted her to look after their children over the years and indicated there were no problems.

ABC News has additional details:

“A family member was cleaning out the garage and came across a box that looked suspicious. Upon opening the box they found the infant inside,” Capt. Michael Roberts of the Pleasant Grove Police Department told ABC News.

Authorities obtained a search warrant to inspect the home, where they found six more infant bodies inside, packaged in separate containers, the police statement said.

Roberts said that through their investigations, they had reason to believe that Huntsman had given birth to the six other babies in the period between 1996 and 2006 and murdered them.

Authorities arrested Huntsman and booked her at the Utah County Jail on six murder counts, but did not comment on why she was not charged with seven counts.

The adult residents of the home claimed to have no knowledge of the dead babies, police said. Roberts could not confirm whether Huntsman had any other children or if she was married.

“It’s still an ongoing case so we’re still working on some information we’ve received ,” Roberts said.



Friday, April 11, 2014
April 11, 2014|7:42 am

The New York Department of Health says it has "vigorously" investigated complaints against 25 licensed abortion clinics in the state since 2005, despite pro-life groups' outcry that 200 continue to go unchecked.

A pro-life nonprofit organization known as the Chiaroscuro Foundation submitted a Freedom of Information Law request to the New York Department of Health on April 11, 2013, to acquire state inspection records of both licensed and unlicensed abortion facilities from as far back as Jan. 1, 2000.

Bill Schwarz of the New York State Department of Health told CP in a Wednesday statement that the department "vigorously and aggressively investigates any and all allegations of physician misconduct, or complaints against a facility under its direct supervision. This includes 22 complaints since 2005 against the 25 DOH-regulated facilities that provide reproductive health services — all of which will also be subjected to re-inspection within the coming days."

Among the 17 licensed abortion clinics that were inspected, the Chiaroscuro Foundation says the state found "cringeworthy violations," including an "anesthesiologist cited for relying on a broken monitor to assess the patient's vital signs, failure to ensure a registered professional nurse is present in the recovery room to monitor postoperative patients and unsanitary practices of reusing suction tubing for aspiration of human contents."

"These revelations are very concerning," said Greg Pfundstein, president of the Chiaroscuro Foundation. "It doesn't matter where you stand on the issue of abortion; this is a gross failure of our public health system and puts women's safety at risk. It's absurd that restaurants and tanning salons are routinely inspected, yet the State Health Department has completely abdicated its responsibility to monitor providers of medical procedures that involve anesthesia."

The Chiaroscuro Foundation website reveals that 1,145,261 abortions were performed in New York City from 2000-2012. Forty-eight of the 225 abortion clinics in New York are owned and operated by Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.

Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action, a pro-life group based in Arlington, Va., said that her organization went to New York as part of its undercover film project, titled "Inhuman: Undercover in America's Late-Term Abortion Industry," because the state has among the highest rates of abortion in the United States.

"This is one of America's most pro-abortion states, with an outrageously high abortion rate and next to nothing in the law to protect mothers and their babies from the industry's profit-hungry vultures," Rose said. "The 'Inhuman' project showed hideous crimes being perpetrated at an abortion center in the Bronx, yet when we called for an official investigation, the state stonewalled us at every turn."

Live Action's investigative report shows an 11-year veteran employee at Dr. Emily Women's Health Center in Bronx, N.Y., describing the abortion in detail, as she advises the patient, who is six months pregnant, to flush her baby down the toilet if she goes into labor at home while undergoing a two-day abortion procedure.

"These filthy killing centers maim mothers and destroy their babies for money, and the state does nothing," Rose added.

The FOIL documents showing inspection results and corrective/enforcement actions taken at the licensed abortion facilities are available here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

by Lauren Enriquez | Washington, DC | | 4/8/14 12:10 PM

Students at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids Michigan delivered an epic April Fool’s Day prank for their professor last week. With cell phone interruptions becoming increasingly problematic in college classrooms, Economics Professor Stephen Barrows developed a creative solution: if a student’s cell phone rings during class, the student has to answer the call – on speaker.

On April 1, student Taylor Nefcy’s phone rang during class, and per the professor’s mandate, the whole class heard the caller on the other end:

cellphoneprankHi, this is Kevin from the Pregnancy Resource Center. Per your request, I am calling to inform you that the test results have come back positive. Congratulations.

“Kevin” goes on to inform Taylor of the services his center provides to young women in her shoes:

There is no need to worry,” says the caller. “I know you told us the father is no longer in the picture, but we will be in contact with you throughout this whole process, so don’t worry about anything. We provide counseling and other maternity services at no charge.

Visibly shaken, the professor says “I would like to publicly apologize –“ but is cut off by Taylor, who explains that she’s been expecting the call, and it’s OK. “I already know what I’m going to name the baby. Her first name will be April and her middle name will be Fools.”

Here’s the kicker: The viral prank has a pro-life vibe. Notice how Taylor uses a pro-life pregnancy center to pull off the prank rather than an abortion clinic. Perhaps this is another sign of how the next generation is truly pro-life.

The video, which wasn’t published until the following Friday, has already garnered 12.5 million views on YouTube.

Monday, April 7, 2014

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 4/4/14 5:31 PM

It’s not easy being pro-life in Hollywood. Tinseltown USA is notorious for its left-wing politics and actors and actresses who push all sorts of political causes that are politically correct or en vogue at the time.

But when it comes to abortion, a few Hollywood celebrities and entertainment icons are willing to speak out and say they are pro-life. Here are a few of them, in their own words:

Jack Nicholson

Nicholson’s opinions on abortion were formed by personal experience. He was a grown man when he discovered the woman he thought was his sister was actually his mother, and the woman he knew as his mother was his grandmother. His mother became pregnant as a teenager and was encouraged to have an abortion, even back in 1937, but she chose life for her son. The revelation that his sister was his mom was understandably difficult for Nicholson, and had a profound affect on him. For one, it made him pro-life:

I’m very contra my constituency in terms of abortion because I’m positively against it. I don’t have the right to any other view. My only emotion is gratitude, literally, for my life.

This short statement is full of humility, wisdom, and courage. Note that he says, “I don’t have the right to any other view.” He has understood, thanks to the knowledge that his own life almost never happened, that life is a gift for which we should all feel gratitude. His willingness to vocally oppose abortion in the face of Hollywood and his own political party is inspiring and should be encouraged.

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson is not without controversy and he’s admittedly made some mistakes in his life. Still, Gibson has never wavered on the issue of life.

In a Barbara Walters interview in 1990, at the height of his fame, Gibson said:

One can’t decide for oneself who comes into this world and who doesn’t. That decision doesn’t belong to us.

Later, he vocally spoke out against life destroying embryonic stem cell research. He said this on a television commercial:

…[I]n 23 years embryonic stem cell research has not produced a single human cure. All it has yielded is tumors, rejection, and mutations. See bad science doesn’t attract venture capital. So why should the taxpayers be bled dry? This is Mel Gibson and I’m voting NO on Prop 71. Creating life simply to destroy it is wrong.


Patricia Heaton

Patricia Heaton is one of the few prominent pro-life women in Hollywood. Recently, LifeNews notedhow Heaton takes to Twitter to voice her pro-life convictions as she often does, most recently highlighting how abortions target a disproportionate number of black babies.

But where do her pro-life convictions come from? As she tells The Blaze, her pro-life views and Christian faith go hand in hand and that becoming a mother made it so abortion was something she felt more passionate about and gave her an additional reason to do so.

Heaton said, as far back as 2004, that she and her pro-abortion Hollywood colleagues didn’t see eye to eye on abortion – explaining why her name was not on a list of Hollywood celebs supporting a pro-abortion march that year.

“Many of the celebrities on the list are my friends,” Heaton explained, “but when it comes to championing abortion, we go our separate ways.”

“I find it impossible to subscribe to a philosophy that believes that the destruction of human life is a legitimate solution to a problem that is mostly social, economic and psychological,” said Heaton. “In reality, most women ‘choose’ abortion because they believe they have no other choice.”

Donald Trump

Donald Trump shocked attendees at a CPAC conferencewhen he declared himself pro-life after years of supporting the pro-abortion position.

“One thing about me, I’m a very honorable guy. I’m pro-life, but I changed my view a number of years ago. One of the reasons I changed… a friend of mine’s wife was pregnant, in this case married. She was pregnant and he didn’t really want the baby. And he was telling me the story,” Trump said. “He was crying as he was telling me the story. He ends up having the baby and the baby is the apple of his eye. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him. And you know here’s a baby that wasn’t going to be let into life.


Justin Bieber
A young Justin Bieber was widely criticized for his open stance on abortion. “I really don’t believe in abortion,” Bieber told Rolling Stone in 2011. “It’s like killing a baby.” When asked about cases of rape, the pop star said, “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”

Bieber may have made mistakes in his life since then and needs to get on a more upstanding path, but he apparently still holds to his pro-life views.


Kenny Chesney
Chesney’s most notable example of pro-life advocacy is in the song he has called one of his favorites, “There Goes My Life.” It spent seven weeks at number one, and it tells the story of a teenager whose girlfriend gets pregnant and has the baby rather than having an abortion. The teen initially believes that his life has been ruined, but in the end, he realizes how much of a blessing the child is.


Jordin Sparks
Sparks has repeatedly participated in pro-life conferences as a volunteer and singer. She sang at Arizona’s Right to Life 2005 conference and attended the conference with Dr. Alveda King, the pro-life niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the keynote speaker at the event.

Sparks hasn’t been shy about her pro-life beliefs either. She appears on Fox & Friends last year with Brian Kilmeade who asked her questions based on emails from viewers. Sparks was asked about a ring she wears on her wedding ring finger even though she is 17 year-old and unmarried.

She said, without hesitation, that it was her Purity Ring, and that it says she’s waiting until she is married, and saving herself for true love.

Jim Caviezel
Jim Caviezel, famed for his role as Christ in The Passion of the Christand currently starring as the leading man in TV’s Person of Interest, is no stranger to being, well, different in Hollywood. From his publicly Catholic faith to his committed pro-life views, he stands in stark contrast to the typical movie star.

Caviezel’s personal life is even more remarkable than his incredible on-screen talent. Taking the road less traveled, Jim and his wife Kerri have adopted two children from China, both of whom had special needs.

Their first adopted child, Bo, came to the Caviezels after a traumatic first five years of life. The little boy had a brain tumor and had been abandoned before he was taken in by an orphanage and subsequently adopted by his loving parents. Bo is a remarkably boisterous child, and with the love he has received from Jim and Kerri, it is hard to believe that just a few short years ago he was struggling to survive in a hostile environment.

When asked how becoming a father had affected him, Caviezel told Catholic Digest, “Even though they’re adopted, it’s as strong as any instinct. That’s what blew me away. I always thought if I adopted that I wouldn’t have the same feeling [as I would] if they were genetically my own children. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The actor told Catholic Digest in 2009 that being pro-life is more important to him than his career. He told the digest, “How are we so arrogant to think the 51.5 million babies who have died in this country… Look, I am for helping women. I just don’t see abortion as helping women. And I don’t love my career that much to say, ‘I’m going to remain silent on this.’”

Kathy Ireland
Kathy Ireland rose to fame in the 1980s as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. In 2011, Ireland was the keynote speaker at the Council for Life’s annual luncheon, where she professed her religious beliefs and detailed her journey from being an advocate for women’s right to choose to become a pro-life supporter.

As a supermodel who graced the covers of magazines world wide, Kathy Ireland told over 300 people gathered in Columbia, Mo., on September 24 she was told by photographers to “shut up and pose.”  Now this design company mogul tells those fighting for the pro-life cause to “speak the truth and never let anyone silence you.”

The former Sports Illustrated (SI) swimsuit cover model considered herself a “Pro-Choice Christian” until she dove into the medical books of her husband, an emergency room doctor.  She used those science texts to even change her husband’s view on abortion.  Then she did something many told her not to do—go on Bill Maher’s HBO show “Politically Incorrect” and take the pro-life view.

“I was told it was a lose-lose situation and would kill my business.  But I thought if I did this maybe one woman watching wouldn’t kill her baby,” Ireland shared.  Thankfully she had a business partner who encouraged her to do it, saying if one woman watching cancelled her abortion appointment, it would be so worth it.”


Nick Cannon
Nick Cannon, the rapper and husband of R&B/pop superstar Mariah Carey, released a song in 2005 entitled “Can I Live.” The song tells of Cannon’s near abortion death.


Phil Robertson

Robertson is very strongly pro-life.

In a video featuring Duck Dynasty’s Robertson, the TV star – in what appears to be a religious sermon – declares his pro-life stance on the issue of abortion.  When discussing the ethics of, and that there’s even a debate on, the issue, he asks, “What in the world happened to us?”

“Listen, from the time you started inside your mother’s womb, Thomas Jefferson had it right, you have the God-given right to life for crying out loud. You’re this long (pointing to his finger). You’re a week old inside your mother. They suck you out of there when you’re about like that (point to finger again). You wouldn’t be here tonight!

“And, when you got to be the size of my thumb, they suck you out. You wouldn’t be here. Then, you grow a little bigger, like my fist – and finally eight, nine months later you come out.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 4/2/14 1:32 PM

Nathan Trapuzzano was a young 24-year-old man who served as a sidewalk counselor at a local abortion clinic in Indiana and had a baby on the way. Tragically, he was murdered in a shooting while out walking his neighborhood.

“I am saddened to report that a young man who served as a sidewalk counselor at one of Indianapolis’ abortion clinics was killed while walking near his home on Tuesday morning,” said Cathie Humbarger of Allen County Right to Life. “His wife is due to deliver their first baby next month.”

trapuzzanoIndianapolis television station WISH-TV has more details on what happened:

From early evening on into the night Tuesday, patrol cars and extra eyes watched the streets where an innocent man was gunned down.

“This is a safe city and that’s why this murder is particularly troubling because this is a gentleman who was just living his life, who was shot dead for absolutely no reason,” said IMPD Southwest District Commander David Hofmann.

Police have now put up a picture of the victim, Nathan Trapuzzano, reminding officers why they are here: to look for the men responsible for his death.

Police plan to canvass the area over the next couple days, asking everyone for information, and talking with the community.

trapuzzano2Late Tuesday afternoon, IMPD released surveillance video taken from outside a tire store moments before the shooting. It showed the victim walking towards the right of the screen with a suspect quickly trying to catch up. A short time later, both come back into view.

Police said while one man forced Trapuzzano between two businesses, another other acted as a lookout.

“You can’t even say it’s a shame, it’s worse than that. You know what I mean. It’s senseless situations,” said James Deamus-el of Indianapolis.

A donation web site has been set up to help Trapuzzano’s family. So far it has raised more than $22,000.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
April 1, 2014|4:23 pm

A district court judge who blocked the implementation of an Alabama abortion law last year announced Monday that a trial will be held on the merits of the law.

Judge Myron Thompson gave an 86-page decision explaining that an Alabama law, if enacted, might lead to the closure of some or all of the state's five abortion clinics.

"If the court finds that the statute was motivated by a purpose of protecting fetal life, then the statute had the unconstitutional purpose of creating a substantial obstacle," wrote Thompson.

"The court has concluded that there are genuine disputes of material fact regarding whether the clinics will close, the extent of the obstacle clinic closures would create, and the strength of the government's justifications for the statute."

Last year Alabama passed a bill meant to increase regulations for abortion clinics, with the intention of holding the clinics to the same health and safety standards as ambulatory care centers.

Signed into law by Republican Gov. Robert Bentley last April, the bill was the subject of a lawsuit filed by multiple pro-choice groups, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the ACLU, and Reproductive Health Services.

Last June, Thompson blocked enforcement of part of the law, stating that evidence had to be reviewed as to the effects of the new measure. 

"The part of the law at issue requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit patients to a nearby hospital," according to the AP. 

One clinic worker told AP, "it's difficult for abortion clinic operators to get hospital privileges, and the law should shut down three of Alabama's five clinics."

She further commented that "clinics in Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham performed 40 percent of all abortions" in that state last year.

Supporters of the bill say that it would help to secure the wellbeing of women who use abortion clinics while critics argue that the bill's sole purpose is to close down abortion facilities.

Pastor James Henderson, a pro-life advocate, told WAFF-TV that he believes the law "should be upheld."

"I think you have to question Planned Parenthood's motives. They are all about making money and they are not very objective in their stand," he said.

Thompson's decision for a trial comes as the Alabama legislature is considering three abortion-related bills.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014
March 31, 2014|9:45 am

The governor of West Virginia has vetoed a bill that would have outlawed most abortions after 20 weeks gestation, claiming the bill is unconstitutional.

Despite being passed with overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of the state legislature, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the bill late Friday.

In a statement issued Friday, Gov. Tomblin explained that he felt House Bill 4588 had problems regarding its constitutionality and how it affected healthcare.

"I am advised, by not only attorneys from the legislature, but through my own legal team that this bill is unconstitutional as shown by actions of the Supreme Court of the United States," stated Tomblin.

"The bill is also problematic because it unduly restricts the physician-patient relationship. All patients, particularly expectant mothers, require the best, most unfettered medical judgment and advice from their physicians regarding treatment options."

Earlier that same day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit saida 20-week abortion ban in Texas is constitutional, and in Nov. the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stop that law from going into effect while the case was being debated in the courts.

Sponsored by Delegate David G. Perry and introduced in February, H.B. 4588 sought to provide legal protection for fetuses that could feel pain.

"The purpose of this bill is to protect unborn children who are capable of experiencing pain by prohibiting abortion after twenty weeks post-fertilization except when the mother has a medical emergency. The bill provides for civil and criminal remedies," read H.B. 4588's summary.

HB 4588 passed the House of Delegates in late February with 79 ayes, 17 nays, and 4 not voting. It passed the Senate amended in early March with 29 ayes and five nays. The House then passed the amended version on the same day in a vote of 83 ayes, 15 nays, and 2 not voting.

Margaret Chapman Pomponio, executive director of the pro-choice group West Virginia Free, said in a statement that she was pleased with the veto.

"We're encouraged that the governor listened to the medical community and the women of West Virginia," said Pomponio.

"Throughout the legislative session, doctors, nurses, their patients and patients' family repeated serious concerns with this bill ... but their voices were largely ignored."

Various pro-life groups denounced Tomblin's veto. West Virginians for Life President Wanda Franz stated that Tomblin "has placed himself in a minority position on this bill."

"We expect a groundswell of support leading up to the 2015 session," stated West Virginians for Life Legislative Coordinator John Carey. "Nothing the Governor has done has changed the fact there is a substantial body of scientific evidence that unborn babies from 20 weeks old feel pain."

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement that the governor's actions were a "shame."

"Shame on Governor Tomblin for turning his back on unborn children and women by vetoing a compassionate, common sense limit passed with overwhelming bipartisan support," said Dannenfelser.

Monday, March 31, 2014

by Steven Ertelt | Austin, TX | | 3/27/14 11:26 PM

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling upholding the Texas law Wendy Davis opposed that was responsible for closing abortion clinics in the Lone Star State.

In November, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia issued an opinion indicating the Supreme Court would not yet get involved in a case that has abortion facilities there appealing a law that has closed numerous abortion clinics that can’t protect women’s health.

Before that, in a big victory for pro-life advocates, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Judge Lee Yeakel of the Western District Court in Austin and restored key portions of a pro-life law in Texas that will ultimately stop abortions. Abortion clinics appealed that decision to the Supreme Court and Justice Scalia issued a ruling saying the high court would not stop the law while the case continued.

judgepic10Now, the appeals court has issued a positive ruling, according to Texas Right to Life:

A panel of three judges in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit released its ruling upholding HB2, Texas’ Pro-Life law, which took full effect in October of last year. The opinion affirms the constitutionality of the legislation passed last summer and rejects Planned Parenthood’s argument that HB2 places an “undue burden” upon abortionists, abortion facilities, and women seeking abortion.

The court upheld sections of the law that require abortionists hold admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and that the dangerous RU-486 abortion drug be administered according to FDA procedure.  The judges wrote,

“The district court held that parts of both provisions were unconstitutional and granted, in substantial part, the requested injunctive relief.  A motions panel of this court granted a stay pending appeal, and the Supreme Court upheld the stay.  We conclude that both of the challenged provisions are constitutional and, therefore, reverse and render judgment, with one exception, for the State.”

There is a minor caveat to the ruling, abortionists who have applied for admitting privileges prior to the law going into effect, but have not yet received a reply from local hospitals may continue to commit abortions until their applications for privileges are officially denied.

The court asserted that higher standards for an abortionist are, in fact, justified,

“During these proceedings, Planned Parenthood conceded that at least 210 women in Texas annually must be hospitalized after seeking an abortion.  Witnesses on both sides further testified that some of the women who are hospitalized after an abortion have complications that require an Ob/Gyn specialist’s treatment.”

This is the third time recently that this Court of Appeals has upheld Pro-Life policies attacked by abortion advocates.  The same court upheld Texas’ 2011 Sonogram Law and a policy that kept the abortion business Planned Parenthood out of the taxpayer-funded Women’s Health Program.

The decision on House Bill 2 has been expected ever since the New Orleans hearing in Januarywhere the three-judge panel heard Planned Parenthood’s attempts to convince them that such measures provide an undue burden to women seeking abortion.  However, these claims made in court apparently had little effect on the judges, who seem to be unimpressed with the exaggerated nature of the lawsuit and that Planned Parenthood requested the Supreme Court’s precedent establishing the meaning of “undue burden” be overlooked by the Fifth Circuit Court.

Planned Parenthood may have jumped the gun in making such broad and overarching undue burden arguments.  The 5th Circuit justices wrote in their opinion; Planned Parenthood’s case required evidence that could only be provided after the law has been sufficiently applied.  Namely, Planned Parenthood would have to present the court with a sufficient number of documented cases in which the provisions of HB2 caused a severe impediment to a woman seeking an abortion.

“Women deserve real doctors, not transient abortionists who have no connection to their patients or their communities. The health and safety of women is more important than an abortionist’s bottom line–including the bottom line of Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion seller,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “Planned Parenthood’s opposition to these basic health requirements is simply additional evidence that they care more about profit than about what’s best for women.”

A district court had previously struck down the two provisions in Planned Parenthood of Texas Surgical Health Services v. Abbott while upholding the remainder of the larger law of which they were a part. Planned Parenthood did not challenge the law’s prohibition on abortions that take place at 20 weeks or later, a provision based on evidence that demonstrates the baby can feel pain at that stage.

The 5th Circuit concluded that “the State acted within its prerogative to regulate the medical profession by heeding these patient-centered concerns and requiring abortion practitioners to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.”

“Against Planned Parenthood’s claims that these women can be adequately treated without the admitting-privileges requirement, the State showed that many hospitals lack an Ob/Gyn on call for emergencies,” the opinion explains. “Requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges would also promote the continuity of care in all cases, reducing the risk of injury caused by miscommunication and misdiagnosis when a patient is transferred from one health care provider to another.”

“People may hold different views about abortion, but everyone can agree that Planned Parenthood should put the safety and health of women first,” Aden said. “Women’s lives should never play second fiddle to Planned Parenthood’s profit margin.”

Texas legislated in part because Planned Parenthood’s off-label usage of the drug led to numerous deaths and injuries to women.