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ABORTION NEWS:

2000-JUL to 2000-DEC

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Background information on many aspects of abortion is found in individual essays, e.g. public opinion, clinic protests, clinic violence, parental notification, abortion methods, and post abortion syndrome. Information about the use of stem cells is elsewhere.

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News items:

bullet2000-JUL-6: USA: Senate moves to block emergency contraception pills: Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) has sponsored an amendment to the annual funding bill for the Labor, Health and Human Services and the Education departments of the federal government. It would allegedly prohibit the distribution of EC (Emergency Contraception," commonly called the "Morning After Pill.") It would also prohibit distribution of RU-486 when it becomes otherwise available. Some pro-life supporters have a unique definition of when pregnancy begins. Thus, they believe that EC may, in some cases, act as an abortifacient. Stephanie Mollins, spokesperson for the Family Research Council, said: "I don't even think parents would believe it if they found out that, indeed, their children can receive chemical abortions in their school." The pro-life movement and medical professionals affirm that EC is a contraceptive. The first hurdle that the amendment must pass is the review by the conference committee which is led by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA). 1
bullet2000-JUL-7: New York: Pro-life group's subway ad blocked: According to Family News in Focus, the American Life League (ALL) has been unsuccessfully trying to have their poster placed on subway cars in the New York, NY, subway. According to ALL spokesperson Judie Brown, the ad consists of a full color picture of an eight-week old embryo. The caption reads "Please don't do it. She's your baby." 2
bullet2000-JUL-17: Florida: Pro-life group's newspaper D&X ad blocked: The ads show the various stages of a D&X procedure. The title reads: "Help rescue those being led away to death! Supreme Court overturns partial birth abortion ban." The text of the ads contain parts of the dissenting opinion in the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The Christian Coalition of Florida (CCFLA) asserts that the Orlando Sentinel accepted a check for $1,245 to run the ad as a test print in two sections of the newspaper. They further state that the Sentinel later called them, said that the cost was increased to in excess of $5,000, and that the pictures and Supreme Court text could not be printed because they are "too graphic and too controversial." The Florida Seminole Herald will be running the ad. Negotiations with another 17 newspapers in Florida are underway. 3
bullet2000-JUL-21: Switzerland: Plebiscite: A Federal Popular Initiative in Switzerland has received sufficient signatures and will be voted upon by the public. If passed, the initiative will require legislators to pass laws outlawing abortion "unless the continuation of the pregnancy would cause acute physical danger to the mother's life that cannot be avoided by any other means."
bullet2000-JUL-27: USA: Healthcare coverage for federal employees: Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) led an attempt to remove the ban on abortion coverage for federal employees. She said: "Since November 1995, federal employees have been unable to choose a healthcare plan which includes coverage of this legal medical procedure." Her amendment was defeated 184 to 230. Referring to those lawmakers who voted to keep the ban, Rep. Carrie Meek , (D-FL) commented: "It is not their right to impose their personal beliefs to Congress or to this country." Some supporters of the ban felt that abortions are not a health need. Also, since about 75% of the cost of the health plan is paid for by the taxpayer, Americans who are opposed to abortions should not have to fund them.
bullet2000-JUL-28: USA: Total ban on abortions? Focus on the Family, commenting on the year 2000 Republican Convention, stated that: "On abortion, the delegates indicated they are more pro-life than ever, with an increase in the number who would ban abortions under all circumstances." The American Conservative Union Foundation conducted a poll of GOP delegates. They reported: "A clear majority of delegates agreed...that abortion should be allowed rarely, only for rape or incest or if the motherís life is at risk. Nearly one-fifth of delegates said abortions should never be allowed. In other words, roughly three quarters of the delegates believe abortion should be rarely, if ever, aloowed. [sic] This contrasts to about one-tenth of delegates who favored abortion [access] generally, and about half that number who favored abortion [access] in all cases." 4 The GOP has written an abortion plank in their political platform. The party will seek to eliminate almost all abortions, including terminations of pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Thus, a woman who was raped and who became pregnant, would be forced to carry the pregnancy to term. Forced parenthood would also be required of a child who became pregnant as a result of a sexually assault by her father. Only abortions required to save the life of the mother would be legal.
bullet2000-JUL-26 (approx) Ohio: Child can sue for injury received as a fetus: According to ReligionToday: 5 County judge Christopher Collier of Medina, OH ruled that Sarah Leinweber, now 2 Ĺ, of Elyria was a "viable child" who was "capable of existing independently" when she was involved in an accident two months before she was born, Thus, she has the right to sue the other driver involved in the accident for damages. Robert Gray, the Leinwebers' attorney, commented: "The ruling is unprecedented in Ohio and could have far-reaching implications regarding the rights of the unborn." Sara was born healthy, but suffered stress in the womb because of her mother's injuries.
bullet2000-AUG-11: USA: New pro-life strategy to close abortion clinics: According to EWTN News: "The...American Life League (ALL) said they are filing a series of lawsuits on behalf of women who have had abortions with the goal of bankrupting the abortion clinics. 'The right to choose includes the right to know,' said Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries. She said the 1.3 million women who receive abortions each year should be told that the procedure can lead to suicide, breast cancer, child abuse, infertility, depression, and alcoholism." 6
bullet2000-AUG-15: Russia: Church condemns abortion & emergency contraception: The Russian Orthodox church is the state religion of Russia. During the lifetime of the USSR, the Church was not free to issue statements on social matters. On AUG-15, the Church "adopted a strictly conservative social policy platform that contained harsh criticisms of homosexuality, euthanasia, abortion and artificial insemination. The social policy platform was adopted at jubilee-year meeting of the Council of Bishops, an assembly of top [Russian] Orthodox clergy, held at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior." This was the church's first "formal pronouncement on contemporary social issues" since the fall of the USSR. On abortion, the church ruled that "if the continuation of pregnancy threatens the mother's life, especially if she has children already, pastors may be lenient." They denounced contraception medication that ends the embryo's life at any stage after conception. This presumably condemns emergency contraception, aka the morning-after pill. 7,8

This essay continues below.

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bullet2000-AUG-15: New Jersey: Parental notification law struck down: According to ReligionToday: The state Supreme Court ruled 4-2 that young women under 18 do not have to notify their parents before terminating a pregnancy, as the state law had required. Chief Justice Deborah Poritz wrote in the majority opinion: "A minor's right to control her reproductive process is among the most fundamental rights she possesses." The bill had been signed into law in 1999-JUN by Governor Christine Whitman, but was never implemented because of legal challenges.
bullet2000-OCT-26: USA: Jimmy Carter is pro-life: According to ReligionToday, in an interview with Baptist Press, Carter said that he is pro-life. "I have never believed that Christ would approve of abortion. When I was governor and president, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I had to administer the [abortion] law, but I did everything I possibly could to discourage abortion."
bullet2000-OCT-26: British Columbia, Canada: Morning-after pills: According to Canadian Press: Premier Ujjal Dosanjh of British Columbia announced that women will be able to buy "morning after" pills from their pharmacists without a prescription, starting 2000-DEC. He said "Too many women for too long have been denied the use of emergency contraception bills because they couldn't get them when they needed them." However, the pills will continue to be unavailable at Wal-Mart in Canada and the U.S.
bullet2000-NOV-7: Colorado: Abortion restriction defeated: A measure requiring a 24 hour "cooling-off" period before a woman could obtain an abortion was added to the NOV-7 ballot. The proposal originally had considerable support in the state, having been backed by the governor, Roman Catholic church, and the fundamentalist Protestant group "Focus on the Family." Surveys showed that 61% of adults in the state favored the motion. However, the initiative lost by a ratio of 60 to 40 at voting time. According to Colorado Pro-Life Alliance President Gary Rogers, various pro-choice groups outspent pro-choice organizations by a ratio of 10 to 1 in promoting their cause.
bullet2000-NOV-22: USA: RU-486 pills available: According to ReligionToday: These abortion-producing pills will be available to women in the U.S. today. Pro-life Wisconsin is distributing Community Action Kits. They describe how pro-lifers can find out which physicians in the community will prescribe RU-486 and which pharmacies will fill prescriptions. State director Peggy Hamill explained that "Physicians who are considering dispensing Mifeprex need to know that if they do, they will be labeled an abortionist in their community. We truly believe the reputable doctors will not get involved in this at all, because they know what it is." The kit also contains sample letters to the editor and newspaper ads.
bullet2000-NOV-30: Mexico: Move to criminalize all abortions: According to the Toronto Star: Abortion is generally illegal in all 31 states of Mexico and in the Federal District (Mexico city). Exceptions are made when an abortion is required to save the life of the woman. Some states also permit abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape. The Guanajuato legislature recently voted to ban abortion in rape cases. However, the bill was vetoed by the governor. Cardinal Noberto Rivera said in a recent homily "Even in the case of a pregnancy that is the result of rape, we must ask the woman to accept the mysterious designs of God." Bishop Juan Sandoval Iniguez blamed rapes on "society being bombarded by messages of sex and violence." He suggested that women "must do their part because the way they dress is provocative. Women must be more decent and not encourage it."

Ana Cristina Fox, eldest child of the new president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, is advocating the total criminalization of abortion, even in cases where it is needed to prevent the death of the mother.

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Continue with news items starting 2001-JAN

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References:

  1. Martha Kleder, "Amendment would block abortion drugs in schools," at: http://www.family.org/
  2. Stuart Shepard, "Pro-life group's subway ad blocked,"  at: http://www.family.org/
  3. "Group says pro-life ad is being censored," CNSNews. See: http://www.mcjonline.com/
  4. "Summary of Poll," American Conservative Union Foundation, at: http://www.conservative.org/
  5. ReligionToday provides free newsletters to which you can subscribe at: http://www.ReligionToday.com. These summaries are part of GOSHEN.net, which also includes LiveIt.net, Devotionals.net, ChristianShareware.net, ChristianClassifieds.net, ChristianMessageBoards.net, BibleStudyTools.net, MediaManagement.net, WorldNewsToday.net, WebCastGuide.net, and ChristianCollegeGuide.net
  6. "Pro-lifers to use 'big tobacco' lawsuit tactics to close clinics," EWTN News at: http://www.ewtn.com/
  7. The Rockford Institute, Srdja Trifkovic, "Christianity and Homosexuality: Russians speak out," at: http://www.orthodox.net/ (A fundamentalist Protestant interpretation of a Russian Orthodox statement)
  8. Interfax, "RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH TAKES OFFICIAL POSITION ON RELATION WITH STATE, SOCIETY" 2000-AUG-15, at: http://www.stetson.edu/

Copyright © 1999 to 2001 incl., and 2004 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2004-MAR-9
Author: B.A. Robinson

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