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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:

bullet2004-OCT-14: FL: "Right to Know" law's unconstitutionality confirmed: The 4th U.S. District Court of Appeals confirmed a lower court ruling that the "Right to Know" law is unconstitutional. Judge W. Matthew Stevenson wrote that the law "imposed significant obstacles and burdens upon the pregnant woman which improperly intrude upon the exercise of her choice between abortion and childbirth. The law would have required doctors to inform their clients about the risks of having an abortion, and to give them a state-produced flyer on alternatives to abortion. Carrie Gordon-Earll, a bioethics analyst for the Fundamentalist Christian group, Focus on the Family, said: "Florida's Woman's Right to Know law provides uniform counseling content to ensure that every woman receives the same scientifically accurate information about her pregnancy and all of her choices. For years, abortion advocates have fought these laws because they know that an informed woman is more likely to reject abortion. This is another case of the patriarchal pro-abortion movement denying women accurate information.  If you entrust women with access to abortion, at the very least you should trust them with the information they need to make a decision they can live with."
bullet2004-OCT-22: USA: Pro-life group recommends severing ties with Girl Guides: According to the Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI), the American Life League (ALL) is recommending that families and groups sever all ties with the Girl Scouts. ALL surveyed Girl Scout councils across the U.S. and found that one in five had some sort of relationship with Planned Parenthood. MFI is also critical of the Girl Scouts because they do not ban lesbians from the organization. 2
bullet2004-OCT-29: MD: Woman attempted to immolate herself: A woman in Berwyn Heights, MD, doused herself with gasoline in the vicinity of an abortion clinic. A police officer extinguished the flames, but she was burned over much of her body. She was hospitalized in critical condition. An envelope was found in her car with the word "Kerry" written on it. It may have been intended for the Democratic presidential candidate. 3
bullet2004-NOV-13: USA: Senator Arlen Specter to head Judiciary Committee: Senator Specter (R-PA) is set to become the head of the Judiciary Committee. This may turn out to be a position of greater influence over the future of the United States than any other person other than President Bush himself. It is this committee which receives and initially processes nominations for new Supreme Court justices. Any review of Roe v. Wade at this time would probably produce a 5:4 split in favor of its retention. But Chief Justice Rhenquist has major health problems and is expected to resign shortly. Replacing him with a person with a similar political philosophy to Justices Scalia and Thomas would probably result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade by a 5:4 vote. These justices view the U.S. Constitution as an enduring document: Justice Scalia, and other conservative judges, agrees with this position. They are often referred to as "strict constructionists." They interpret a legal document as meaning "today not what current society (much less the Court) thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted." 4 Viewing the Bill of Rights and the rest of the U.S. Constitution as an enduring document requires that the courts consider the century in which the text was actually written. They interpret the text within the belief systems of that time. President Bush has indicated that he will look for new justices similar to Justice Scalia and Thomas. He will probably have the opportunity to nominate about 4 justices during his 2004-2008 term. More information. 5
bullet2004-DEC-06: MT: State bill would have death certificates issued after abortions:
A new member of the Montana House, Rep.-elect Roger Koopman (R- Bozeman) has sponsored a bill that would require death certificates to be filed after each abortion in the state. He said: "It's a small way for our society to acknowledge that a life did exist, even if they didn't get to see a sunrise or blow out a birthday candle." He hopes that this will cause some women seeking an abortion to reconsider their decision.

Some pro-choice supporters advocates called the bill "mean-spirited" and predicted it will not become law. Jessica Rhoades, spokesperson for NARAL, said the proposal serves no purpose "other than making women feel bad for making a difficult decision." She said that the government should pay more attention to preventing unintended pregnancies. NARAL supports the concept that all insurance companies who cover some prescription drugs in the state be required to cover prescription birth control. 6
bullet2004-DEC-08: CA: Lawsuit planned to challenge federal anti-abortion law:
The Attorney General of California, Bill Lockyer, said that he will file a lawsuit to block a new federal law that would terminate funding to those states who enforce laws to protect abortion access and related care. He calls it a "back door attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade." The law, called the Weldon Amendment after its creator David Weldon (R-FL), was imbedded in the multibillion-dollar Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill for 2005. The latter cleared Congress with little debate and was signed into law by President Bush on DEC-08. The amendment would prevent states from requiring medical personnel, facilities, insurers and HMOs to provide abortion services or refer a patient to abortion services. The law would terminate federal support for all medical, education, labor and other unrelated programs in the state. Lockyer said: "This is an unacceptable attack on women's rights and state sovereignty, and a back-door attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. With this provision, what the federal government says to California is this: If you want back your own taxpayer dollars for important programs that serve all the people of your state, you first have to refuse to protect the constitutional rights of the women who live in your state. That is wrong, it is unlawful, and I will fight to make sure it doesn't happen." The lawsuit will be based on the argument that Congress had violated state sovereignty which is guaranteed by the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Kathy Kneer, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California said: "The Weldon Amendment is another example of the Bush Administration's efforts to limit women's access to reproductive services with the ultimate goal of eliminating women's right to choose. The effect of the Weldon Amendment is to deny women full access to emergency medical care. It also undermines a state's authority to protect women's health and a state's ability to ensure that women have access to a full range of reproductive choices."

Cathy Cleaver Ruse, of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, supports the law. She said: "We applaud President Bushs recognition that hospitals and other health care providers have a right to choose not to be involved in destroying life. It is outrageous to suggest that Catholic health care providers and others with moral objections should be forced into the practice of abortion."

US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) said that the law is an "unconscionable display of ideology over health care....Holding federal funds for health care and other critical services hostage because reproductive health services are offered is an extraordinary and unacceptable attack on women's rights." 7
bullet2004-DEC-23: Court orders Manitoba, Canada, to pay for abortions in private clinics: Justice Jeffrey Oliphant of The Court of Queen's Bench ruled that the Province of Manitoba had violated the rights of two women when it refused to pay for their abortions. He ruled that the province must pay for all therapeutic abortions. In both cases, the women had tried to obtain a free abortion in a hospital, but were faced with long delays. They paid fees to have the procedure performed at a private clinic.

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References used:

  1. "Women's Right to Know Act Struck Down in Florida," Citizen Link newsletter, Focus on the Family, 2004-OCT-14.
  2. Massachusetts Family Institute, E-Alert, 2004-OCT-22.
  3. "Woman Sets Self Afire In Abortion Protest," Associated Press, 2004-OCT-29, at: http://www.nbc4.com/
  4. Antonin Scalaia, "God's Justice and Ours," First Things 123, 2002-MAY, Page 17 to 21.
  5. "Say NO to Arlen Specter's litmus test," E-alert, Massachusetts Family Institute, 2004-NOV-11.
  6. "New lawmaker proposes death certificates for all abortions," Associated Press, 2004-DEC-07, at: http://www.billingsgazette.com/
  7. "New Anti-Abortion Law to Face First Challenge Within Weeks," The NewStandard, 2004-DEC-09, at: http://newstandardnews.net/
  8. "Manitoba must pay for private abortions, judge rules," Canadian Broadcasting Commission, 2004-DEC-24, at: http://www.cbc.ca/

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

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Copyright 2004 & 2005 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Created: 2004-OCT-15
Latest update: 2005-MAY-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

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