Pro-Life Page

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Aug. 13, 2013 (MarchforLife) - One year ago on August 13, 2012, Nellie Gray, foundress of the March for Life and pioneer of the pro-life movement, went home to be with God. On this, the first anniversary of her death, the March for Life is inviting local pro-lifers to join us for a mass in her memory at the Blessed John Paul II Shrine August 13, 2013, at 11:30 am.

Additionally, we are asking all pro-lifers worldwide- those who have (and have not) participated in the March for Life - to do something beautiful for life (something small!) and post it on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #marchforlife. This act could be a prayer, an act of charity, a donation to a pro-life group, praying in front of an abortion clinic, etc.

For those who may not have known Nellie Gray, following the Supreme Court decisions in Roe verses Wade and Doe verses Bolton in 1973, she retired from her federal career and dedicated the remainder of her life to the protection of pre-born babies. With the help of others, Nellie founded the March for Life, and coordinated the peaceful protest right out of her Capitol Hill townhouse for the next 39 years. Until her death on August 13, 2012, Nellie never stopped advocating for the preborn. Nellie was described by Cardinal Sean O'Malley as the "Joan of Arc of the pro-life Movement."

Today, the March for Life is the largest Civil Rights event in the world. The number of people who have traveled to Washington over the past 40 years to participate is in the millions. There have been countless stories of the young prolife activists who were "born" out of the March for Life, and are now changing the face of the pro-life debate. The March for Life is the engine of the prolife movement and we are all indebted to Nellie Gray.

If Nellie were here today, she would not want to be praised for her work; rather she would want everyone to do something concrete that will help to build a culture of life. Please consider making August 13 a special day for building a culture of life, and commemorate Nellie's work by doing something in her memory.

Here are a few ideas:

1.      Pray: Organize a group to pray for the end to abortion in front of a local abortion clinic.

2.      Advocate: call or write a letter to your member of Congress and ask him or her to support prolife laws which recognize the humanity of all people from conception to death.

3.      Write: a letter to the editor of your local news paper about the value of life, your experience at the March for Life, or the atrocity of abortion.

4.      Volunteer: at a local pregnancy resource center, there is nothing more prolife than helping pregnant mothers and their babies.

5.      Share this video about Nellie and her work at the March for Life!

Then, post it to facebook and tweet about it: #marchforlife.  Email us at info@marchforlife.org , and let us know what you did to commemorate Nellie Gray and her heroic work, and we may feature it on our website or on our social media! 

 

Monday, August 12, 2013

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/12/13 11:08 AM

 

The dangerous RU 486 abortion drug has nearly claimed the lives of two million unborn children in the United States since its approval at the end of the Clinton administration.

The Food and Drug Administration, which approved the drug in late 1999, estimated in April 2011 that 1.52 million American women had taken RU-486 to induce an abortion. According to CDC reports, about 16.5 percent of the estimated 1.2 million abortions that take place annually in the United States involve the mifepristone drug, commonly known as RU 486.

In other words, about 198,000 abortions take place each year with the drug, or 16,500 each month, and the RU 486 drug has claimed the lives of approximately 462,000 unborn children in the 28 months since the FDA released its April 2011 estimate — for a total of 1,982,000 abortions. With the Planned Parenthood abortion business pushing increased usage of the mifepristone abortion pill via webcam abortions over the last few years, it’s likely the number of two million abortions involving the RU 486 abortion pill since its approval in the U.S. has already been surpassed.

In addition to the number of unborn children whose lives have been lost to the abortion drug, women have suffered as well, as a Planned Parenthood study admitsat least one woman is seriously injured from the abortion pill daily.

Following its approval during the Clinton administration, the FDA released a report in 2006 that received widespread attention for showing more than 1,100 women had been subjected to “adverse effects” resulting from their taking the abortion drug.

The FDA, with no fanfare, released its April 2011 report showing 14 women in the United States alone have died from using the mifepristone abortion drug and 2,207 women have been injured by it.

Of the women experiencing medical and physical problems resulting from the abortion drug, 612 women required hospitalizations, 339 experienced blood loss significant enough to require a transfusion, 256 experienced infections and 48 women experienced what the FDA labeled as “severe infections.” Given that the RU 486 abortion drug caused sepsis, a potentially lethal infection that resulted in the deaths of women from around the world, the “serious infections” were very likely life-threatening situations.

“Severe infections generally involve death or hospitalization for at least 2-3 days, intravenous antibiotics for at least 24 hours, total antibiotic usage for at least 3 days, and any other physical or clinical findings, laboratory data or surgery that suggest a severe infection,” the FDA report stated.

Women developing infections from usage of the RU 486 abortion drug experienced endometritis (involving the lining of the womb), pelvic inflammatory disease (involving the nearby reproductive organs such as the fallopian tubes or ovaries), and pelvic infections with sepsis (a serious systemic infection that has spread beyond the reproductive organs).

The FDA figures also reveal that abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood are still misusing the abortion drug.

Despite the FDA indicating, “Administration of mifepristone and misoprostol is contraindicated in patients with confirmed or suspected ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus,” the abortion drug was given to women in 58 cases where they had an ectopic pregnancy at that time.

An FDA panel eventually investigated the deaths and found that the vaginal, rather than oral, use of the abortion drug was likely contributing to the deaths. Planned Parenthood had been going against the FDA guidelines on using the abortion drug and changed its protocols to allow for oral use after women died at their facilities.

In 2012, Chris Gacek, who received a Bachelors of Science in economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, a Masters and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, authored a comprehensive report on mifepristone.

On the unsafe effects of RU 486 for women:

Dr. Ralph Miech, emeritus professor at Brown University’s medical school, has published two peer-reviewed articles describing potentially undesirable effects related to RU-486 and its anti-glucocorticoid properties.[8] First, he believes that RU-486′s blockade of cortisol receptors on bacteria-destroying white blood cells may impede the antibacterial defense mechanism of the innate immune system. Such interference, he hypothesizes, played a significant role in the deaths of at least five North Americans in which there was a post abortion, bacterial invasion of the uterus and subsequent septic shock.[9] Second, prompted by an article describing mifepristone-related adverse events with significant and unexpected levels of hemorrhage, Miech’s second article argues that RU-486 appears to interfere with the body’s ability to control uterine hemorrhage.[10] Such interference, if true, would be a dangerous feature of an abortion procedure that is designed to produce a simulated miscarriage. As will be noted below, the number of hemorrhage/transfusion and serious infection cases revealed by FDA support Miech’s concern about RU-486 and hemorrhage.

Looking at specific cases of the abortion drug hurting women:

FDA’s April 2011 RU-486 Adverse Events Summary states that “[t]he estimated number of women who have used mifepristone in the US through the end of April 2011 is approximately 1.52 million women.” As noted above, FDA calculated that by that date there had been 2,207 adverse event reports submitted to FDA.[25] Prior to a 2006 oversight hearing on RU-486 safety, FDA told Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) that it had received 1,070 AERs.[26] Thus, in the second five years of mifepristone marketing in the United States, the FDA received an additional 1,137 AERs-a total which seems consistent with the first five years.

The April 2011 RU-486 Adverse Events Summary states that there were 612 reports of hospitalization received as of April 30, 2011.

FDA’s April 2011 RU-486 Adverse Events Summary indicates that 339 women “experienced blood loss requiring a transfusion” after taking the RU-486 abortion regimen.

By April 2011 FDA had fifty-eight reports of ectopic pregnancy cases – with two resulting in death – in conjunction with mifepristone-misoprostol use.

In the April 2011 RU-486 Adverse Events Summary FDA associated fourteen American deaths to the use of the mifepristone-misoprostol abortion regimen.

And, according to a study on medical abortion’s safety and effectiveness published in Obstetrics & Gynecology and that Gacek noted, the abortion drug is more dangerous for women than surgical abortions:

“Overall, medical abortion had roughly four times the rate of adverse events than surgical abortion did: 20.0% of women in the medical-abortion group and 5.6% of women in the surgical-abortion group had at least one type of adverse event.  Hemorrhage, as an adverse event, was experienced by 15.6% of medical abortion patients compared with 2.1% for surgical patients. Incomplete abortions were experienced by 6.7% of medical abortion patients while only 1.6% of surgical patients had incomplete abortions. The rate for surgical (re)evacuation of the uterus was 5.9% (medical) versus 1.8% (surgical) for all causes (hemorrhage, infection, incomplete abortion).

Jeanne Monahan, formerly of the Family Research Council, previously said the danger associated with the RU 486 abortion drug are abortion drug is not limited to the United States.

“It is not only women in the U.S. who are suffering as a result of chemical abortion, it is a worldwide trend. A recent Australian health department audit of nearly 10,000 abortions performed in 2009 and 2010 compared the safety of RU-486 with surgical abortion, with the outcome being in the words of one major media outlet “The Abortion Pill ‘Less Safe than Surgery,’” Monahan explained. “The Australian report showed that 1 in 18 patients who used RU-486 had to be re-admitted to hospitals (a total of 5.7% of women vs. only .4% of surgical abortions.) The same study revealed that as many as 33% of women who had second trimester RU-486 abortions required some form of surgical intervention.”

“Despite the seriousness and intensity of adverse effects related to RU-486, use of this form of abortion is on the rise, and frequently the regimen is dispensed with less medical oversight than surgical abortion,” Monahan said. “Even more troubling, nationally and internationally, “telemed” dissemination of RU-486 is increasing. Telemed abortions involved doctors proscribing RU-486 through Skype or over the Internet rather than during a patient visit.”

“The bottom line is that abortion drugs are not about improving women’s health but are more accurately about advancing a radical pro-abortion agenda regardless of the impact on women’s health, even when it proves deadly,” she concluded.

Danco Laboratories has been granted an exclusive license from the Population Council, a pro-abortion group, to manufacture, market and distribute Mifeprex in the United States.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


The Texas crusader let it slip this week that she is badly misinformed on the late-term abortion ban she crusaded against. And she’s not the only misinformed Democratic woman, writes Kirsten Powers.

by  | 

Wendy Davis says the darndest things.

The Democratic star du jour was asked this week to explain the difference between the late-term abortions she fought to keep legal in Texas and the illegal killings by Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. “I don’t know what happened in the Gosnell case,” she told the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack, who cornered her after her National Press Club speech on Monday.

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis speaks at a fundraiser in Washington D.C. on July 25, 2013. (Nick Wass/AP)

This is incredible. After all, Davis is the state senator who held an 11-hour filibuster to fight legislation drafted in response to the abuses at Gosnell’s clinic. A passing knowledge of the case seems like basic due diligence.

She went on: “But I do know that [Gosnell] happened in an ambulatory surgical center. And in Texas changing our clinics to that standard obviously isn’t going to make a difference.” It takes real skill to pack so many falsehoods into so few words.

According to the Gosnell grand jury report (PDF), “The abhorrent conditions and practices inside Gosnell’s clinic [were] directly attributable to the Pennsylvania Health Department’s refusal to treat abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical facilities.” In December 2011, the governor of Pennsylvania signed a law inspired by the Gosnell tragedy requiring exactly that. This legislation was opposed by the pro-abortion rights forces in Pennsylvania, but had the full-throated support of Democratic state Rep. Margo Davidson, whose 22-year-old cousin died from a botched abortion at Gosnell’s clinic. Davidson rejected the claims that abortion clinics didn’t need additional regulation and oversight to ensure safety. Three former Planned Parenthood employees who have acted as whistleblowers in Delaware also have rejected this claim. They have testified twice before the Delaware legislature to call for stricter regulationsof clinics to protect women after witnessing horrors one compared to Gosnell’s clinic.  Wendy Davis should call them.

At one point in his interview, McCormack asked Davis what she made of the fact a majority of womensupport late-term abortion bans. Davis told him, “I…think that a lot of people don’t really understand the landscape of what’s happening in that arena today and what an incredibly small percentage of procedures take place there.”

Actually, the people who “don’t really understand” the issue are the Democratic ladies crusading against laws the majority of the country supports.

Actually, the people who “don’t really understand” the issue are Democratic ladies.

Despite frequently mocking anti-abortion activists as anti-science know-nothings, abortion rights absolutists are the ones who play fast and loose with the facts of abortion. Because they are so rarely asked to defend their positions, Davis and her ilk apparently don’t feel the need to be informed.  Follow-up questions to their strange and often empirically false statements are almost nonexistent, while offensive or misinformed comments from GOP back benchers are greeted with full-scale media hysteria.

John McCormack has been the dogged fly in the ointment here. On a noble quest to get a response to an eminently reasonable question, he has yet to get a straight answer. In June, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi convened a press conference to condemn a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks. McCormack asked her essentially the same question he asked Davis: “What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?  Pelosi answered, “You’re probably enjoying that question a lot, I can see you savoring it.” This insulting nonsense inexplicably elicited laughter from some of the assembled reporters.

Pelosi then told an outright lie: “[The 20-week ban] would make it a federal law that there would be no abortion in our country.”  No reporter questioned this absurdity, even though they’ve heard pro-abortion rights leaders assert a thousand times that “only” 1.5 percent of abortionsoccur after 20 weeks. (For those who care, that’s “only” 18,000 late-term abortions each year.)

Pelosi then expressed outrage at the line of questioning, raised the fact she had five children in six years, and snapped, “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this.” When you are pulling the Catholic card to defend your support of unrestricted late-term abortion, you’ve officially gone off the rails.

In May this year, former abortion doctor Dr. Anthony Levantino described late-term abortion in congressional testimony before a House subcommittee debating the 20-week abortion ban Pelosi and most Democrats opposed. It is similar to the one Davis opposed in Texas. Levantino told the committee: “The toughest part….is extracting the baby’s head. [Y]ou will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you.”

Nothing to “savor” there.

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/7/13 11:40 AM

Americans United for Life today filed its 15th amicus curiae brief in a legal challenge to Obamacare’s HHS mandate, in defense of freedom of conscience.

The mandate went into effect last year on August 1 and the very minimal religious protections were set to go into effect August 1, but they will be implemented and enforcement will take place starting on January 1.

In its brief filed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, AUL argues that the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate—which forces many employers to provide insurance coverage for life-ending drugs and devices without regard to the employers’ consciences or religious beliefs—violates the First Amendment freedom of conscience.

“Defending the conscience rights of all Americans is the liberty issue of our day, and a priority for the legal team of Americans United for Life,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

“Americans who own and operate businesses have the same First Amendment right of conscience as Americans who work for churches,” said Dr. Yoest. “The First Amendment was written to protect our rights and must not be discarded to suit the political whims of this administration.”

AUL’s brief was filed in Armstrong v. Sebelius, a case filed by two families who own, manage, and operate Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Inc. The Armstrongs and the Mays do not want to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs that abortion is immoral by providing insurance coverage for life-ending drugs and devices.

Previously, a federal district court denied the families’ request for a preliminary injunction, which would have barred enforcement of the HHS Mandate against them and their business. The Armstrongs and the Mays appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

AUL’s brief, available here, demonstrates that the life of a new human being begins at fertilization (conception), that “emergency contraception” has a post-fertilization effect of preventing a new human embryo from implanting in the uterus. Forcing employers to provide coverage for such drugs and devices violates their constitutionally protected freedom of conscience.

The brief was filed on behalf of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, National Catholic Bioethics Center, Physicians for Life, and National Association of Pro Life Nurses.

Last month, a federal court granted Hobby Lobby a preliminary injunction against the HHS abortion-drug mandate. The injunction prevents the Obama administration from enforcing the mandate against the Christian company, which does not want to be compelled to pay for birth control or drugs that may cause abortions.

“The tide has turned against the HHS mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and lead attorney for Hobby Lobby. “This is a major victory for not only Hobby Lobby, but the religious liberty of all for-profit businesses.”

Duncan says there are now 63 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate. The Becket Fund led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate. The Becket Fund currently represents: Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, Ave Maria University, and Belmont Abbey College.

The most recent polling data from December 2012 shows Americans support a religious exemption to the mandate.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/6/13 10:26 AM

The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO), a Congressional agency, has indicated it will conduct an investigation of the Planned Parenthood abortion, business, which was recently busted for millions of dollars of Medicaid fraud in Texas.

The abortion giant has engaged in at least $12.5 million in fraud over multiple states — that has become public knowledge so far.

Representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Pete Olson (R-TX), Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) issued states late Monday saying they are grateful the agency will look into the abortion corporation and its financial dealings.

“The federal government providing funding to abortion providers is a serious problem in our nation,” Rep. Black said.

She added: “I am pleased with the decision from GAO to investigate the use of taxpayer money designated to any abortion provider, particularly Planned Parenthood. This independent study of how much and for what purpose these dollars are allocated to all abortion providers is necessary for Congress to ensure accountability and oversight. I look forward to reviewing the results and ultimately, mobilizing the support needed to stop federal funding of abortion providers once and for all.”

Senator David Vitter added: “Planned Parenthood performed a record 333,964 abortions last year – almost 1 million in the past three years. At the same time, they also received more federal taxpayer dollars than ever before – a record $542 million, an 11 percent increase over the past two years. Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions clearly benefit from Uncle Sam, but there’s no accounting to prove how they actually use that money. This GAO report would shine a light on how our tax dollars are being spent.”

“I’m thrilled that GAO has agreed to again investigate the amount of taxpayer funding that has been allocated to Planned Parenthood and similar groups that perform or promote abortions,” Rep. Pete Olson said.

Olson continued: “Federal tax dollars are legally prohibited from being used for abortions. Under the U.S. constitution, the Obama Administration has a duty to enforce these laws. And under that same constitution, Congress has a duty to ensure that the executive branch follows the law of the land. I look forward to seeing the report and following up on behalf of all American taxpayers.”

“Despite the best and slickest market branding money can buy, the stubborn fact remains that Planned Parenthood clinics are among the most dangerous places on Earth for a child. It is deeply troubling that despite the fact that Planned Parenthood claims direct responsibility for killing over 6 million unborn babies, including a record 333,964 abortions in 2011 alone, they still receive taxpayer money—since Obama’s election, U.S. subsidies to the abortion industry at home and abroad, have significantly increased,” Olson added.

These members of Congress led a group of more than 50 members of Congress requesting a report from the GAO on how taxpayer funding is specifically used by Planned Parenthood and other federally funded organizations that perform or promote abortion. Black and Vitter are the lead sponsors of the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 217/S. 135), legislation to block any Title X federal funding from going to organizations that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood.

Congressman Chris Smith concluded: “It’s time for Americans and especially Congress to take a second look and defund Planned Parenthood. I’m pleased that the GAO will be investigating how much taxpayer money the abortion industry is receiving. Hopefully this will help us finally put an end U.S. taxpayer support, funding and complicity with this violence against children.”

Monday, August 5, 2013

BY SUSAN MICHELLE TYRELL

August 2, 2013 (Live Action News) - Sometimes people march on the streets, and sometimes they march on Twitter. In this generation, a hashtag goes a long way in changing a situation. Live Action is now using this media to gain media attention.  #MarchOnMedia is a Twitter rally taking place on Thursday,  August 8, “ to protest the mainstream media’s censorship of the truth regarding abortion.”

Live Action has contacted the major media outlets, ABC, NBC, and CBS, asking for fair and accurate reporting of abortion-related issues. This Twitter rally, and a corresponding  actual physical rally at ABC studios in Washington DC, aim to expose the partnership of the media with the abortion industry.

 

The media has flinched from the reality of abortion for decades,” said Live Action President, Lila Rose, “we call on the press to end the censorship of what abortion actually does to our smallest children and women as well as an end to the lionizing of abortion advocates. 

Live Action seeks to point the media in a new direction.  The rally will focus both the dangers of the existing bias and on calling for change. As Ms. Rose commented, “A change is long overdue for our big news distributors. It’s time for these networks to end their blackout of the truth on abortion – how it irreparably harms women, babies, and society.”

While the accusations of medial collusion may seem to some mere paranoia from pro-lifers, the facts themselves prove otherwise. This page cites numerous recent stories in which the media blatantly displayed its bias—in just the past few months.

One example took place with the Texas pro-life legislation, one of the largest and most respected news services, the Associated Press (AP), tweeted with the hashtag #StandWithWendy, which was being used to support the Texas senator who became a household name overnight with her attempt to filibuster the legislation. Hailed a hero by Planned Parenthood, the AP seemed to get caught up in the whirlwind of hail Wendys until readers called the news association out on its tweet. The tweet disappeared—and so did they. No public apology was issued for a supposedly objective news organization with strong anti-bias policies at its core taking a decidedly pro-abortion stand on its public Twitter.

Davis seems to steal of a lot of the limelight, as other analysis showed she received three times the coverage as did abortionist Kermit Gosnell, the man who was convicted of three counts of murder and whose trial revealed details of destruction of babies far beyond our imaginations, all while running an abortion clinic. For some reason, a filibuster that supported the right to take a baby’s life and hold off legislation to prevent murder was worth more national media attention than this destruction which revealed the truth behind the pretty pink industry.

Live Action says, “enough” and says “participants are asked to join Live Action (@LiveActionFilms) in barraging the presidents of ABC, NBC, and CBS with tweets regarding the truth about abortion and calling for an end to media bias.” Use the hashtag #MarchOnMedia.

For further information see this page. Here’s the summary of what you need to know to participate:

What: Life March on Media Rally  Twitter Rally for an end to the media cover-up of abortion.

Who:   Everyone concerned about ending the media cover-up of abortion

Where: Twitter #MarchonMedia

When:  Thursday, August 8, at 12:00 to 1:30 PM

 

 

 

 

Friday, August 2, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite pledges to “get to the bottom” of the IRS harassment of Tea Party groups, pro-life activists, and Christians, the tax agency continued to ask inappropriate questions, allow interminable delays, and engage in “illegal” tactics, according to substantial evidence presented by a legal watchdog group.

The Thomas More Society submitted a new memo and 250 pages of additional evidence to Congressman Aaron Schock, R-IL, today.

The Chicago-based law firm had delivered a different 150-page memo to Rep. Schock in May, showing that the IRS asked such probing questions of one of the Society's clients, the Coalition of Life for Iowa, as, “Please detail the content of the members of your organization's prayers.”

The new evidence shows the agency has not reformed, using the same methods to deny or delay tax-exempt recognition to pro-life groups from 2009 until the present day.

“Even after public disclosure of this wrongdoing, the Obama administration’s IRS has refused to cease its illegal activity,” said Peter Breen, the society's vice president and senior counsel.

The 250-page exhibit involves three of the firm's client organizations: Cherish Life MinistriesLIFE Group, and Emerald Coast Coalition for Life.

Two of them, Cherish Life and LIFE Group, had multiple similarities:

  • Both were contacted by “Mrs. R. Medley” of the Cincinnati office of the IRS;

  • Both received identical denial letters on the same day, April 8;

  • Both were asked how much time they would spend being a “presence” in front of abortion facilities; and

  • Both were asked if they would present a competing view alongside the pro-life view.

For instance, Medley asked the LIFE Group on February 2, “Does your organization provide information regarding other alternatives to 'pro-life'? If so please indicate where.”

The group responded on February 15, “Any alternatives to pro-life would run directly contrary to the organization's beliefs, mission, and purpose…The ultimate purpose is to save the lives of both the mother and the child in a life-affirming way.”

The question outraged Peter Shinn when an agent asked him by phone. “Do you think that Planned Parenthood teaches pro-life?” he told LifeSiteNews.com in May. “I don’t think so.”

The IRS seemed keen to learn whether the right to life groups would standing in front of abortion facilities, asking all three the extent of their involvement outside such offices.

On June 19, IRS agent Tyrone Thomas asked ECCL, “Will you promote demonstrations and/or rallies at clinic and/or hospitals to stop abortions in your community? If yes, Please [sic] explain.”

However, nothing in the tax code prevents peaceful assembly or prayer.

After enduring months of harassing treatment, all three groups received the legal assistance of Sally Wagenmaker, special counsel at the Thomas More Society.

When Wagenmaker asked Medley why she asked unauthorized questions of Peter Shinn, the agent tried asked the same questions of the lawyer.

“First, Mrs. Medley asked more questions about the organization's activities, particularly whether CLM would have a 'continuous presence in front of abortion mills,'” Wagenmaker wrote. “I asked her about why, if that were true, that would be a problem given the CLM’s participants’ First Amendment rights of assembly, free speech, and religious liberty. She would not respond.”

Upon hearing the same line of questioning in the ECCL case, Wagenmaker wrote IRS officials on July 9, “Frankly, most of your questions do not appear to be warranted here.”

Both CLM and LG ultimately received 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. However, all three groups have experienced bureaucratic foot-dragging, as agents sometimes did not contact the organization for nine months at a time.

LG, best known for running alongside highways with t-shirts that bear a pro-life message as LIFE Runners, waited 15 months for its application to be approved. CLM's petition lingered with the agency for 16 months.

ECCL has waited 14 months and has not yet received the tax authorization to which Wagenmaker says it is entitled.

“We have now produced irrefutable evidence of six clients whose First Amendment rights were trampled upon by the IRS because of their position upholding the sanctity of life,” Breen said this afternoon.

Although the Obama administration's defenders have tried to portray this action as confined to “rogue agents” in the Cincinnati office of the IRS, the six groups had also received such treatment from agents in Chicago, and El Monte, California.

One of the agents who wrote to ECCL was Lois Lerner, who oversaw whether non-profits were granted tax-exempt status. Lerner, who had a history of harassing Christian organizations in the Federal Election Commission, has since been placed on administrative leave.

When called before Congressional investigators, she invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination – but prefaced the motion by saying she was innocent.

Congressmen believe such a statement invalidates the Fifth Amendment's protection. She is now asking for immunity before testifying before the body. 

 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Most Americans would favor sweeping new national restrictions on abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. But the poll also shows many Americans remain conflicted in their views on abortion.

By a margin of 59 percent to 30 percent, respondents to the new poll said they would favor a federal law banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

A recent United Technologies/National Journal poll found Americans divided over the possible ban, with a narrower plurality of 48 percent to 44 percent supporting it.

Respondents to the HuffPost/YouGov poll were split in their views on whether abortion should usually be legal or illegal, with a large number falling somewhere in the middle -- a finding consistent with other surveys. Nineteen percent said they think abortion should always be legal, while 27 percent said it should be generally legal, but with some restrictions. Another 17 percent said that abortion should always be illegal, while 30 percent said it should be generally illegal, except in special circumstances.

Wide variation in poll results is not unusual when pollsters ask about public policy issues, but the reason is usually public disengagement. Most Americans are unfamiliar with the details of many issues and legislative proposals, and so when asked about these, survey respondents often form opinions on the spot based on question wording.

With abortion, however, poll results frequently appear to vary for another reason. Americans have a variety of firmly held attitudes about abortion -- often grounded in personal experience or the experience of friends or family -- that are sometimes in conflict.

Results from the HuffPost/YouGov poll illustrate two of the most important conflicting attitudes. When asked about the morality of abortion, for example, roughly half say they consider abortion "morally wrong" (49 percent), while more than one-third say it is either "morally acceptable" (12 percent) or "not a moral issue" (24 percent). Another 15 percent are unsure.

At the same time, however, a large majority (63 percent) say that the statement "decisions on abortion should be made by a woman and her doctor" comes closer to their opinion on abortion, while only 26 percent say "government has a right and obligation to pass restrictions on abortion."

 

Combining responses to these two questions shows that a third (33 percent) take the "pro-choice" position in both instances, nearly a quarter (24 percent) take the "pro-life" position both times, but the largest group (38 percent) is conflicted. Most of these conflicted respondents (30 percent of the total) say that abortion is morally wrong (or are uncertain about its morality), but also believe that decisions on abortion should be made by a woman and her doctor, not the government.

 

These conflicting attitudes among the middle group help to explain the variation on polling results, and the receptivity of many Americans to "some" (but not all) restrictions on abortion. Most respondents who held consistently anti-abortion or pro-abortion rights views on the morality and role of government questions also fell into the corresponding categories on whether abortion should be generally legal or illegal. But the conflicted respondents tended to fall into the middle two categories -- saying that abortion should be legal in some situations, but not in all.

 

On a 20-week abortion ban, 70 percent of conflicted respondents said they were in favor of the measure, along with 30 percent of respondents who gave pro-abortion rights responses to both questions and 89 percent of those who gave anti-abortion responses to both.

But the underlying clash of values -- on morality and government's role -- tells only part of the story. "These kind of up-or-down [questions] on 20-week bans don't capture what happens in real life," Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg explained in a recent interview with The Huffington Post, "because in real life, people think abortion is a very complicated issue." Greenberg, who conducted a recent poll on the issue for the Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that in focus groups, voters say "that you can never really know what somebody's individual circumstances are, and they can almost always think of some set of circumstances where it would be okay to have an abortion, whether that's rape, incest, life, health or other reasons." 

Put it all together, and questions that focus on specific policy changes on this issue can be highly sensitive to question wording and the specifics of how a proposal is portrayed. (A proposal viewed as one that might shut down abortion clinics entirely, for example, might be viewed in a less favorable light.)

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted June 27-28 among 1,000 adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
By Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter
July 23, 2013|2:41 pm

A federal judge has granted a temporary injunction Monday blocking North Dakota's ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks of pregnancy. 

The law, combined with three other abortion measures passed earlier this year, would have given the state the strictest abortion laws in the country, had it gone into effect on August 1 as originally planned.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland granted the temporary injunction to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the only abortion clinic in the state, Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo.

The new law would require the state's only abortion clinic to perform ultrasounds on women seeking an abortion 24 hours before the scheduled procedure.

Hovland wrote in his opinion of the law that the six-week abortion ban is "clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law" based on the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.

"There is no question that [the North Dakota law] is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restraints on abortion," Hovland wrote in his ruling.

"[It] is clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law based on the United States Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade from 1973 […] and the progeny of cases that have followed," Hovland added.

Although the office of North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) declined to comment on Monday's ruling, Gov. Dalrymple previously has said that the purpose of the law was to test the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.

"Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade," Dalrymple said in a statement when he signed the bill into law in March.

Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Women's Clinic, told MSNBC in an interview that she was "pleased and relieved" of the temporary injunction granted to the abortion clinic, which would have had to stop performing 90 percent of its abortion procedures, had the law been put into effect on August 1.

"I don't think any of these laws have anything to do with women's health," Kromenaker told MSNBC on Monday.

"Six weeks is extremely early, before many women even know they're pregnant. By stopping this law, it will give women an opportunity to find out they're pregnant and think through their decision," Kromenaker added.

In addition to challenging the fetal heartbeat law, the suit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights also contests two other pro-life measures passed by North Dakota legislature earlier this year, the first barring abortions due to genetic defects, and the second barring abortions due to gender selection.

Nancy Northup, the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the Daily Kos that these measures "seek to interfere directly in personal, private medical decisions that the Constitution and more than 40 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent guarantee to women as a fundamental right."

So far, a dozen states have approved bans on abortions after 20 weeks in pregnancy. Arkansas also passed a law earlier this year giving it the second-strictest abortion laws, behind North Dakota, in banning most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy; this law, like North Dakota's, was temporarily blocked by a judge in May.

A series of pro-life legislation is currently being debated in several states; the most publicized being the recent debate in Texas regarding a bill which bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Although the bill was initially filibustered, Republican Gov. Rick Perry called a special session of the state legislature to have the bill reconsidered.

The bill passed, and Perry signed it into law last Thursday, saying it further cemented the pro-life culture in Texas.

"This is an important day for those who support life and for those who support the health of Texas women," Perry said in a statement. "In signing House Bill 2 today, we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built."

Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/six-week-abortion-ban-halted-temporarily-by-judge-in-north-dakota-100691/#0GaJOesvBdOQB2Bm.99

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – Georgetown University, a Jesuit-affiliated Catholic school, has capitulated to the Obama administration’s demand that it offer full coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs to its female students and faculty, without co-pay.

Catholic teaching forbids the use of such drugs and procedures, but a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) requires all employers offering health care coverage to include them at no extra charge. The controversial mandate has led to dozens of lawsuits by Catholic-owned schools and businesses against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), seeking to overturn the new rule. 

But Georgetown says it is satisfied with an “accommodation” offered by the Obama administration which requires the insurance companies of religious-affiliated employers who oppose contraception or abortion to provide the coverage for “free.”

Under the arrangement, Georgetown’s students and faculty will get the contraceptive coverage through their school-sponsored plans, but Georgetown won’t directly pay for it.  Additionally, the student health center will not offer sterilizing drugs or procedures, meaning those desiring them will have to go off campus to get them.  

“These regulations give us the opportunity to reconcile our religious identity and our commitment to providing access to affordable healthcare,” University President John J. DeGioia wrote in an email to staff and students last week.

However, the administration’s “accommodation” has been derided by numerous groups, including the country’s Catholic bishops, who have argued that it amounts to little more than an accounting gimmick. Critics have said while the coverage is being offered “for free” on paper, the insurance companies will simply pass the extra costs onto their customers in the form of higher premiums.

Georgetown junior Evelyn Flashner, who serves as the marketing chair for the campus Right to Life group, told the school newspaper that she thinks the university is making a mistake.

Flashner borrowed an analogy from Bishop William Lori to explain the problems with the Obama administration’s attempt at compromise, telling The Hoya, “There is a Jewish deli that doesn’t sell anything but kosher meat, but the government says, ‘You have to sell non-kosher meat.’  Everyone freaks out, but the government says, ‘Never mind, I take it back. Instead of having you sell kosher meat, we’re going to put a little kiosk in the middle of your store and sell non-kosher meat.’”

Said Flashner, “The university is violating its own principles as a Catholic institution on this issue … Georgetown is diverging from the opinion of the Catholic Church.  The new accommodation does not solve all the problems, and according to the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops], it doesn’t present a feasible version of religious liberty.”

In an email to LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Newman Society spokesman Adam Wilson also criticized the university’s choice to accept the Obama administration’s accomodation.  Wilson quoted Catholic author G.K. Chesterton, who wrote, “A dead thing goes with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” 

 “There's a strong correlation between the state of a university's Catholic identity and its ability and willingness to defend its religious freedom,” said Wilson. “At Georgetown, Catholic identity has eroded over the last few decades.  But many faithful Catholic universities, like those in our Newman Guide, are courageously fighting for religious freedom with lawsuits and public opposition to the HHS mandate.”

 

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