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Religious Tolerance logo

Abortion news

For the year 2008

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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:

bullet2008-JUN-10: U.S.: Focus on the Family reminds Americans of Obama's promise: CitizenLink, a news service of Focus on the Family, reminded voters of a promise by Barack Obama -- the Democratic candidate for president -- of his support for the Freedom of Choice Act. The bill reinforces the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 "Roe v. Wade" decision that legalized early abortions. The bill states: "It is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman."
bullet2008-JUN-27: Romania: Abortion approved for 11 year-old-girl: In Romania, abortions are illegal after 14 weeks gestation unless needed to protect the health of the woman. However, a government panel approved an abortion for a 11-year-old at more than 20 weeks gestation because of her age and in order to preserve her mental health. Twenty Romanian Orthodox religious groups urged the government to force her to give birth; they offered to raise the child if the family lacked the resources. The Romanian Orthodox Church itself, however, did not denounce the abortion because they feel that abortion in case of rape and incest may be acceptable. The girl had been apparently raped by her uncle. 1 The girl later went to London, UK, and had an abortion there.
bullet2008-JUL-11: Brazil: Bill legalizing abortion defeated in Congress: Abortion is legal in Brazil only to save the woman's life or in cases of rape. Liberalizing legislation, which has been before the Brazilian National Congress for seventeen years, has suffered a major defeat. The Constitution, Justice, and Citizenship Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, defeated the bill 30 to 4. 2
bullet2008-SEP-05: Spain: The Spanish government has appointed a group of lawyers, doctors and academics to develop recommendations to liberalize the country's abortion access laws, probably at the end of 2009. Abortions are currently only available up to 12 weeks for sexual assault victims, 22 weeks for instances of serious abnormalities in the fetus, and at any time in gestation if needed to save the woman's physical or mental health.
bullet 2008-SEP-26: USA: Bill to help parents of fetuses and babies with genetic defects: There have been literally dozens of laws passed by federal and state governments that try to forcibly lower the abortion rate by restricting or eliminating women's access to abortion. The general philosophy is to make abortion "safe, legal and unavailable." 4

A new bill has been passed by Congress -- the first of which we are aware -- that will try to lower the abortion rate using a different technique. It attempts to make childbirth a more desirable option by increasing support services
to the parents. They may be able to obtain sufficient emotional and physical support so that allowing the pregnancy to continue to childbirth may become a viable option for some parents who would otherwise choose abortion.

At the present time, over 90% of parents of fetuses that are diagnosed as having serious genetic defects choose the abortion route, if one is obtainable in their area. In an unusual display of bi-partisanship, one of the most conservative legislators -- Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) -- joined with one of the most liberal, -- Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) -- to cosponsor the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act. If signed by President Bush, it will help provide current information to families that receive an adverse prenatal genetic diagnosis. It will link them to support services and networks that may be able to offer them help. 5
bullet 2008-NOV-05: SD: Unconstitutional constitutional amendment voted on: Voters cast their ballots on Initiative Measure 11. If passed, it would prohibit all abortions in the state except those that ended pregnancies caused by rape or incest, or which posed a serious health threat to the woman. Doctors who performed an abortion in violation of this initiative could face up to 10 years in jail and/or a fine of $20,000. According to BallotPedia:

"A poll taken in 2007 by a Washington, D.C.-based polling company showed that 75% of South Dakotans believe there are alternative methods short of criminalizing abortion in order to reduce the abortion rate in the state. The poll also showed that 52 percent do not support the issue being on the ballot."

As of the morning after the election, results were too close to call. The final vote was 55.3% opposed and 44.7% in favor. If it had been passed, it would certainly lead to a court case that would probably end up at the U.S. Supreme Court as a test to Roe v. Wade. 6

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 Hoffman, "Romania Capitulates to International Pressure and Approves Abortion for 20-Week-Old Fetus. Nation's physician's council denounces verdict, warns that it has no legal validity," LifeSiteNews, 2008-JUN-27, at: http://www.lifesitenews.com/
  2. Matthew Hoffman, "Abortion Decriminalization Bills Overwhelmingly Rejected in Brazilian Congress," LifeSiteNews, 2008-JUL-11, at:  http://www.lifesitenews.com/
  3. "Spain considers expanding abortion," CitizenLink, 2008-SEP-05, at: http://www.citizenlink.org/
  4. Melody Rose, "Safe, Legal and Unavailable? Abortion politics in the United States," CQ Press, (2007). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  5. "Good News: Prenatal-Awareness Bill Heads to President's Desk," CitizenLink.com, 2008-SEP-26, at: http://www.citizenlink.org/
  6. "South Dakota Abortion Ban Initiative (2008), BallotPedia.org.

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

Copyright © 2008 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Created: 2008-JUL-28
Latest update: 2008-NOV-05
Author: B.A. Robinson

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