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Religious Tolerance logo

Abortion news

For the year 2009

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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.

News items:

bullet2009-MAR-05: Brazil: Family and doctor involved in abortion excommunicated: A nine-year-old who had been sexually molested since the age of three by her father became pregnant with twins. Because the pregnancy resulted from rape, she was given an abortion at a Brazilian hospital. The Roman Catholic Church has excommunicated the doctor and those family members involved with the abortion, but not the girl herself. Jos. Cardoso Sobrinho, Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, was preparing to file a motion to block the abortion, when he was told that the procedure had already been carried out. He said: "To be subject to this penalty it is necessary to be of age. The Church is very benevolent, especially with minors. Now the adults, those who approved, who carried out this abortion, are excommunicated. ... [Abortion is] homicide against innocent life.  We are talking about a silent holocaust, that kills a one million innocents in Brazil and fifty million in the world every year, a holocaust worse than the six million Jews, which we lament every year." Earlier in March, he condemned the distribution of millions of condoms during the Carnival festival. 1
bullet2009-APR-18: USA: Misrepresentation of James Dobson's "defeat" speech:" The Telegraph newspaper in London, UK, used some selective editing to reverse the meaning of a speech by James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. When he gave a farewell speech to his employees in February, he said, in part:

"We tried to defend the unborn child, the dignity of the family, but it was a holding action. We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged. We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?"

The reference to the "unborn child" appears to refer to Focus' efforts to restrict abortion access. The reference to "dignity of the family" seems to refer to their effort to prevent loving, committed same-sex couples and their families to attain marriage equality.

The Telegraph allegedly published the above quotation but left off the final phrase: "but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?" This, of course, reversed the entire meaning of the excerpt. 2

bullet2009-MAY-31: KS: Dr George Tiller assassinated: Dr. George Tiller, an advocate for abortion rights and a specialist in late-term abortions was fatally shot dead in Lutheran church in Wichita, KS. A 51-year-old suspect was arrested three hours later near Kansas City. He was the eighth abortion provider to be murdered in the U.S. since 1977. There have been 14 instances of attempted murder. Since President Obama took office, there has been a precipitous rise in threats and actions against abortion clinics in the U.S. 3
bullet2009-JUN-23: USA: President Nixon believed abortion necessary in some cases: The Nixon Presidential Library released over 154 hours of audio tape recordings of activity at the White House during 1973-JAN/FEB. On 1973-JAN-23, Nixon and an unknown aide discussed the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. Nixon expressed concern that greater access to abortions would foster "permissiveness." He said that "it breaks the family." But he also said that abortions are necessary in some cases, like terminating interracial pregnancies. Nixon said:

"I know that there are times when abortions are necessary. I know that [like] when you have a black and a white."

The aide interrupted: "or for rape. "Nixon agreed: "or rape." 4

bullet2009-JUL-14: DC: Judge Sotomayor confirms validity of Roe v. Wade: At her confirmation hearings, Judge Sonia Sotomayor said that she regarded the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision to recognize all women's access to early abortions to be settled law, that has been settled on the basis of a personal right to privacy. However, LifeSiteNews,com reported that when she was asked about the court's decision to uphold the D&X ban (a.k.a. partial birth abortion ban), she:

"indicated that she did not consider the unequivocal nature of the ban part of the 'precedent' set by the ruling. 'The health and welfare of a woman must be a compelling consideration,' Sotomayor admitted." 5

bullet2009-JUL-28: NY: Catholic nurse forced to assist in abortion: Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, 35, is a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. On MAY-24, she was told to assist in an late-term abortion in order to save the live of a patient. The patient was 22 weeks into her pregnancy and was suffering from preeclampsia. 6

"Preeclampsia ... is a rapidly progressive condition ... Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year." 7

Cenzon-CeCarlo is a Roman Catholic. Her church teaches that abortions are never permitted, even to save the life of the mother. Catholic medical personnel are required by the church in such situations to only give comfort care and to allow both the mother and fetus to die. The New York Post reported:

"Bosses told the weeping Cenzon-DeCarlo the patient was 22 weeks into her pregnancy and had preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure that can lead to seizures or death if left untreated. The supervisor 'claimed that the mother could die if [Cenzon-DeCarlo] did not assist in the abortion'."

Faced with a charge of insubordination and patient abandonment, which could result in the lost of both her job and her license, she reluctantly assisted in the procedure. With the help of the Alliance Defense Fund, a fundamentalist Christian legal defense group, she is suing the hospital.

There is an indication that the patient's situation was a rapidly developing emergency: she was not on magnesium therapy which is given to women showing first signs of preeclampsia. Later medical records showed that the procedure was a Category II emergency -- one that is not immediately life threatening. 8

bullet2009-AUG-18: OK: Judge halts law requiring ultrasound: Oklahoma County District Judge Vicki Robertson declared a state law unconstitutional. It required pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound and to hear a doctor's description of the embryo or fetus. To be constitutional, a law can deal with only one topic. This law dealt with several topics. The law had been vetoed by Governor Brad Henry but the legislature overrode the veto. 9
bullet2009-SEP-11: MI: Pro-life picketer shot and killed: Two men were killed by in Owosso, MI. One was Jim Pouillon, 63, who was standing in front of a high school, reportedly carrying a pro-life sign showing a picture of a bloody aborted fetus. The man believed responsible appears to have objected to the image being shown to high school students. He then drove to a gravel pit and killed Mike Fuoss for unknown reasons. Police feel that the perpetrator was also planning to murder James Howe, a local real estate agent, apparently because he felt that Howe had wronged his mother in a business deal. He was arrested before being able to carry out the plan.
bullet2009-SEP-15: AZ: Restrictive abortion law being challenged: A new informed consent bill was signed into law on 2009-JUL-13. It is being challenged in courts in order to prevent its implementation on SEP-30. Planned Parenthood Arizona, Inc. launched a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court.  It is also being challenged in U.S. District Court by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Provisions of the law that are being challenged include:
bulletProhibiting nurse practitioners from performing surgical abortions.
bulletRequiring abortion providers to supply information about abortion procedures, risks, and alternatives 24 hours or more before performing an abortion. This requires a woman to make two trips to the facility -- a serious inconvenience in some areas of the state.
bulletRequiring that physicians provide this information in person.
bulletProhibiting an abortion provider from collecting payment from a woman for health services on the same day that she consults with them about an abortion.
bulletExpansion of the state's conscience right for health care providers so that they can refuse to "facilitate" an abortion or dispensing of  emergency contraception. 10

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, "Archbishop Announces Excommunication of Doctor and Family Members for Abortion on Nine-Year-Old Girl. Calls abortion a "holocaust worse than the six million Jews, which we lament every year," LifeSiteNews.com mailing, 2009-MAR-06.
  2. Tasha Easterling, "Dobson Didn't Waive a White Flag," OneNewsNow, 2009-APR-18, at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/
  3. Peter Rothberg, "George Tiller's Assassination," The Nation, 2009-JUN-01, at: http://www.thenation.com/
  4. "Nixon Tapes: Abortion Necessary 'When You Have A Black And A White'," New York Times, 2009-JUN-23, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  5. Kathleen Gilbert, "Sotomayor Confirms Commitment to Roe v. Wade as "Settled Law," but not Partial-Birth Abortion Ban," LifeSiteNews.com at:  http://www.lifesitenews.com/
  6. Kathianne Boniello, "Nurse 'forced' to help abort; faith objector sues Mt. Sinai," New York Post, 2009-JUL-28, at: http://www.nypost.com/
  7. "What is Preeclampsia?," Preeclampsia Foundation, 2008-JUL-19, at: http://www.preeclampsia.org/
  8. Kathleen Gilbert, "NY Catholic Nurse Sues Hospital after Forced to Participate in Late- Term Abortion," LifeSiteNews.com, 2009-JUL-23, at: http://www.lifesitenews.com/
  9. "OK judge halts abortion law requiring ultrasound," OneNewsNow, 2009-AUG-18, at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/
  10. "New Arizona abortion law faces court challenges," Associated Press, undated, at: http://www.kvoa.com/

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

Copyright © 2009 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Created: 2009-MAR-07
Latest update: 2009-SEP-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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