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ABORTION NEWS

From 2003-JULY TO SEPTEMBER

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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:

bullet2003-JUL: VA: Two restrictive laws become effective: The 2002/2003 winter session of the state general assembly passed two laws which become effective in July:
bulletOne law prohibits D&X procedures, commonly called partial birth abortions, and misnamed "partial-birth infanticide" in the legislation. It is the first state law to take effect since the 2000-JUN U.S. Supreme Court's ruling which overturned the Nebraska D&X law and made dozens of similar laws unconstitutional. That court decision determined that previous state laws were unconstitutional because they did not include an exception to protect the woman's health. The Virginia law did not include such an exception and so is clearly unconstitutional as well. A federal lawsuit has been filed to overturn the law.
bulletThe second law requires minors to get notarized consent from a parent before they can get an abortion. If she feels that informing her parents might subject her to abuse, she can seek permission from a judge. However, the law allows the judge to inform her parents of her pregnancy if he/she feels it is warranted. Virginia is the 23rd state to adopt a consent law. The Washington Post, quoted Ben Greenberg of Planned Parenthood of Virginia as saying that the new laws "are a sign of much greater advancement by opponents of reproductive rights. It suggests they are making real progress toward their goal of ultimately outlawing abortions in Virginia and elsewhere." 6
bullet2003-JUL-10: FL: Parental notification law overturned: The legislature of the State of Florida passed a bill in 1999 that would have required women under the age of 18 to notify their parents at least 48 hours before they obtained an abortion. Some pro-choice advocates suggest that for young women who have a good relationship with their parents, such a law is not needed, because the daughter would be certain to involve her parents in any abortion decision. For women who fear abuse, the law might trigger family violence. Pro-choice groups obtained an injunction at the time that the bill was signed into law, so that the legislation was never enforced. By a vote of 5 to 1, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional because it violates privacy rights guaranteed by the state constitution. Senior Justice Leander Shaw wrote the majority ruling. He said that the court had to base its decision on law rather than morality, and that the privacy guarantee in the state's constitution is more extensive than the one implied by the U.S. Constitution. The decision may have been influenced by the 2003-JUN U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned sodomy laws across the U.S. That ruling was unusually broad in that it severely restricts states from passing legislation that implements moral codes. 1
bullet2003-JUL-18: NC: Protestors charged: Members of Operation Save America, an anti-gay, anti-abortion group, and anti-religious diversity group were arrested during a series of anti-abortion protests in Charlotte NC. A member of the American Life League was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon -- a knife. 2
bullet2003-JUL-21: USA: Federal anti-D&X (a.k.a. Partial Birth Abortion) law in difficulty:  The House and Senate bills have passed different laws which have not yet been harmonized. A major problem is a pro-choice amendment that was added to the Senate version of the bill, SA 260. It says, in part:
bullet "It is the sense of the Senate that--
(1) the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and
(2) such decision should not be overturned
."

The House version contains no such amendment. Resolving this in committee will be very difficult. But it must be done so that a compromise bill can be presented to both houses. The House and Senate must vote on a single version, before the President can sign it into law.

bullet2003-JUL-21: USA: Conflict over cheaper medication: Americans generally pay more for their prescription medications than citizens of other countries. Present legislation prohibits the importation of prescription drugs into the U.S. But some Americans have gone on bus trips to Canada or have used the Internet to obtain low cost medication. A bill before the House would legalize the importation of cheap drugs. The pro-life movement appears to be split in its support of the bill. Three groups which oppose abortion access have issued conflicting statements:
bulletThe Traditional Values Coalition says that if the bill were passed, RU-486 would become more easily obtained.
bulletThe Family Research Council said that "drug re-importation [is a] bad idea, but not a pro-life issue."
bulletIn mid-July, the Republican Study Committee wrote in a memorandum "The bill has nothing to do with abortion....In short, it would be as illegal for the average citizen to acquire RU-486 after enactment [of the proposed bill] as it is now."

The statement of the Coalition appears to be a factual error, because other existing legislation allows only hospitals and licensed physicians to acquire and administer RU-486. 3

bullet2003-JUL-23: Slovakia: President vetoes liberal abortion law: President Rudolf Schuster of Slovakia vetoed an abortion bill that had been passed by their federal Parliament. The bill was sponsored by the liberal ANO party. The Christian Democrat party (KDH) in the ruling coalition threatened to eject the ANO party from the coalition if the bill becomes law. It would have permitted abortions as late as the 24th week of pregnancy in cases of severe genetic defects. The bill will probably be debated again in September. 4
bullet2003-SEP-3: FL: Paul Hill executed: Paul Hill was executed by lethal injection in Florida, being the first person to be executed in the U.S. for murdering an abortion provider. His last words were: "If you believe abortion is a lethal force, you should oppose the force and do what you have to do to stop it. May God help you to protect the unborn as you would want to be protected." Comments of others:
bulletHis spiritual adviser, Don Spitz, said: "He is in his father's house now."
bulletJeff White, a minister from Lake Arrowhead, CA, and protestor outside the prison where Hill was executed said: "May his children know the hero that their father is. We are killing a man that had enough love within him to say 'Not today'."
bulletAnother protestor, the Rev. Michael Bray, of Bowie, MD said: "We thank you for the little children that he saved. A man died here today for the sake of the truth and the sake of justice."
bulletAnother protestor, Dan Holman, said: "If he would have prevented a kindergarten class from being killed by two men, he would have been honored. Paul Hill should be honored today. The abortionists should be executed."
bulletStill another demonstrator, Ruben Israel, said: "This man became exactly what he preached against. He is a hypocrite. God hates sin...God is not having a double-standard. When He says 'no murder,' He says 'no murder'." 5
bullet2003-SEP-11: MO: Legislature overrides veto:  The Missouri state legislature overrode governor Bob Holden's (D) veto of a bill which would require women to wait 24 hours after consulting a physician before undergoing an abortion. 7
bullet2003-SEP-17: CA: Holly Patterson, 18, of Livermore, CA, died of complications after taking RU-486 on 2003-SEP-10. Full details are not available. However, she allegedly experienced bleeding and very severe cramps. She went to a medical center and was only given painkillers. She went to a hospital a few days later and died on SEP-17. Her father speculates that RU-486 induced a partial miscarriage. Fragments of the embryo left inside her uterus became infected and caused her to go into septic shock. A spokesperson for Danco Laboratories, the producer of RU-486 in the U.S. estimated that 200,000 women in the U.S. have used the pill.

Her father, Monty Patterson, said, "I think it's a sad day when a father has to bury his daughter because she suffered in silence. I think it was fear and shame that made her decide she could do this, that she could take a pill and make it all go away. If she could have just talked to us, things would be different." Her mother, Deborah Patterson, said: "We hope with Holly's passing that other families can come together and take care of issues. We want to save other girls from the same demise and heartbreak. It was so needless, so needless....We're in this convenient society, this microwave society where things are quick and easy, and they're not. Talk to your parents ... there's nothing so bad that you could turn them away." 8,9
bullet2003-SEP-24: IN: Supreme court overturns lower court ruling: In the past, the state of Indiana would only pay for an abortion of a poor woman if it was necessary to save her life or if the pregnancy had resulted from rape or incest. The state did not pay for any abortions during the previous fiscal year. The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that had prevented Indiana Medicaid paying for financially eligible women to have abortions if their continued pregnancy created a very serious health problem. Mike Fichter, executive director Indiana Right to Life says, "This will provide a loophole big enough to drive a truck through. A lot of hard working Hoosiers have just been presented with the bill for the killing of unborn babies in Indiana." 10

This essay continues below.

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bullet2003-SEP-24: MO: Miss Missouri admits to taking emergency contraception: Amber Ethridge was one of a group of speakers at a seminar on EC sponsored by Planned Parenthood. Other speakers were an ex-state senator, a physician, and clergyperson. They stated that all women need to be aware of the possibility to take emergency contraception. Ethridge discussed a personal crisis in her life: "This is not abortion. I myself am a victim of rape. I chose to take the morning after pill, emergency contraception the next day so if I was to become pregnant, I would not be. That was my choice. In my mind, that's not abortion. That's me taking my own life back." On SEP-26, the fundamentalist Christian news group Covenant News covered this story in its "Abominations: and the land is defiled" section. They assigned this story the title: "Miss Missouri admits she's a fornicator and taken the morning after pill." 11
bullet2003-SEP-30: USA: Senate-house conference agrees on wording of anti D&X bill: A joint conference harmonized the Senate and House version of an anti-PBA bill. It no longer contains an amendment which reaffirms support for Roe v. Wade and abortion access.  With a Republican majority on conference, the amendment was simply deleted. 12 The House and Senate must vote on a single version, before the President can sign it into law.

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References:

  1. "Florida Court Strikes Down Abortion Parental Notification Law," Associated Press, 2003-JUL-10, at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/
  2. "Head of abortion group, others charged during Charlotte protests," Associated Press, 2003-JUL-18, at: http://www.charlotte.com/
  3. John Godfrey, "US Rx Drug Import Bill Prompts Fight Among Abortion Foes," Dow Jones Business News, 2003-JUL-21, at: http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/
  4. "Slovak President Vetoes Abortion Law," Reuters, 2003-JUL-23, at: http://reuters.com/
  5. "Quotes from the execution of Paul Hill," Associated Press, 2003-SEP-4, at: http://www.heraldtribune.com/
  6. "Virginia Approves Tougher Abortion Laws," Agape Press, 2003-SEP-9, at: http://headlines.agapepress.org/
  7. "Missouri's Sensible State Legislature," Washington Update, Family Research Council, 2003-SEP-12.
  8. "California Teen Dies After Complications from Abortion Pill," Associated Press, 2003-SEP-33, at: http://abclocal.go.com/
  9. Steven Ertelt, "Investigation Into RU 486 Abortion Death Begins," LifeNews.com, 2003-SEP-22, at: http://www.lifenews.com/nat125.html
  10. "Indiana abortion ruling causing controversy," 14wfie.com,  at: http://www.14wfie.com/
  11. "Emergency Contraception Debated in Springfield," KOLR10, Springfield MO, undated, at:  http://www.kolr10.com/
  12. Jim Abrams, "House and Senate agree on bill banning abortion procedure," Associated Press, 2003-SEP-30, at: http://www.sfgate.com/

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Site navigation: Home page > Hot topics > Abortion > Abortion news > here

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Copyright 2003 & 2004 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Created: 2003-APR-8
Latest update: 2004-MAR-10
Author: B.A. Robinson

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