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Author Topic: Abortion news  (Read 15176 times)
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« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2006, 06:12:06 PM »

Coalition Calling for Criminal Investigation into Abortion Death of Texas Teen

Signatures demanding the convening of a Grand Jury to investigate George R. Tiller in the third-trimester abortion death of Christin Gilbert will be presented to Sedgwick County, KS after a Petition Presentation Ceremony that will be held at noon at the Sedgwick County Administration Building on Friday, April 7.

A grassroots Justice for Christin Coalition launched the petition effort on January 13, 2006, on the one- year anniversary of the death of Gilbert, a 19-year old Texas Down Syndrome girl, who died at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, after complications from a botched third-trimester abortion received at Tiller’s abortion mill were misdiagnosed. Coalition representative Cheryl Sullenger says that the group has gathered over three times the number of signatures required by law.

“Because of interest in this effort to bring Christin’s killer to justice, the petition deadline has been extended to Monday, April 3,” said Sullenger. “The petitions will be presented to the County Clerk immediately following a brief ceremony on Friday, April 7.”
The State of Kansas allows citizens to convene a Grand Jury to investigate wrong-doing through a petition process. By law, the county will have 60 days after the required signatures are submitted to convene the Grand Jury."

“We were forced to take this route because we believe that political pandering to Tiller has thwarted his discipline through traditional channels,” said Sullenger.

The group maintains that Tiller’s large campaign contributions to pro-abortion politicians, including Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius, has bought Tiller cover with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, a Board whose Executive Director, Larry Buening, is a Sebelius appointee. The KSBHA refused to discipline Tiller for Christin Gilbert’s death in spite of an autopsy report that indicates Tiller was at fault and 911 documents that indicate his employee, Marguerite Reed, tried to cover up the true nature of Christin’s fatal condition.

“All we are asking is for an independent investigation into Christin’s death and attempted cover-up by people unassociated with Tiller politically, professionally, or socially,” said Sullenger. “We have yet to get that from any authority in the State of Kansas.”

More information about Christin Gilbert’s tragic death and the Grand Jury effort, including photos and public documents obtained by Operation Rescue investigators, can be found at  http://justiceforchristin.com.

Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian organizations in the nation. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to restore legal personhood to the pre- born and stop abortion in obedience to biblical mandates.

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« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2006, 09:31:00 PM »

Mich. Governor OKs Abortion Ultrasound Law

1 hour, 54 minutes ago

LANSING, Mich. - Doctors who order ultrasound imaging for women considering an abortion will have to give them the chance to see the ultrasound under legislation signed Friday by Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

The law allows, but does not require, clinics to do an ultrasound exam.

If a patient gets an ultrasound or the doctor determines the imaging will be used during an abortion, the doctor will have to give the patient the opportunity to see a picture of the fetus before performing the abortion.

Until now, Michigan law has required that women seeking abortions have a chance to review diagrams and descriptions showing a developing fetus, but not their own.

The abortion ultrasound bill is House Bill 4446.

Mich. Governor OKs Abortion Ultrasound Law
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« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2006, 04:15:00 PM »

                
Program Equips 200th Pregnancy Center With Ultrasound Imaging

The Sanctity of Human Life Director for Focus on the Family says the ministry's Option Ultrasound program has reached an exciting milestone. The initiative to equip pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) nationwide for ultrasound services as a way to prevent abortions recently saw the placement of its 200th imaging machine in Joplin, Missouri.

Focus on the Family's Kim Conroy says since the program started two years ago, Option Ultrasound has heard numerous stories about how the program has helped save the lives of unborn children. One story in particular is "very unusual," she recalls, "because this clinic is down the road from an abortion clinic."

In that instance, Conroy recounts, the pregnant woman had actually gone into the nearby abortion facility to have a procedure and learned there from the abortionist that she would be charged twice as much money because she was pregnant with twins.

"And so she left just in shock and went down to the PRC and got to see those babies," the Focus on the Family official says. "Because of the ultrasound she was able to meet those babies face to face. She just broke down and said, 'I cannot believe I was considering doing this.'"

The people behind the Option Ultrasound initiative hope to place ultrasound services in 650 PRCs by the year 2010. Conroy is pleased to report that the growth of the program is right on track. "We've been pleasantly surprised at how many centers really have the vision to convert into a medical clinic," she says.

Turning a PRC into a medical facility equipped to offer ultrasound imaging to pregnant women is not as simple as some might suppose, the Sanctity of Life specialist points out. "It's not just a service you add [by] providing ultrasound and machines," she explains. "You really have to do a lot of work to change your legal status, and these centers have worked so hard."

Providing centers with the equipment is "just a great gift that we can give them," Conroy says. "It's really an investment in that center that they will use for years to come."

To date, Conroy notes, Option Ultrasound has been told of more than 6,300 babies that were saved because of the program. But as the effort continues to establish ultrasound service in more PRC's, she emphasizes, the local centers will require monetary support from the public in order to keep the program going.

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« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2006, 01:50:38 PM »

Miss. abortion ban dies in House-Senate conference
Mar 28, 2006
By Michael Foust
Baptist Press

JACKSON, Miss. (BP)--A bill that would have banned most abortions in Mississippi died March 27 when members of the state House and Senate failed to reach a compromise.

The bill, passed March 2 by the House, would have banned all abortions in the state except in the cases of rape, incest and to save the mother's life. The two chambers entered into a conference upon the Senate's request.

Some legislators, including some pro-lifers, opposed the House bill because it jeopardized Mississippi's informed consent law, which is already on the books and being enforced. That law requires, among other things, a 24-hour waiting period before obtaining an abortion and a face-to-face meeting between a woman and a doctor.

In essence, the House bill repealed the informed consent law in favor of an abortion ban.

Terri Herring, president of Pro-Life Mississippi, opposed the House bill in its current form.

"We would not accept a conference report that strips us of current law for a law that we can't enforce, because we know that any kind of ban that goes into effect goes to the courts," Herring told Baptist Press. "… If we had accepted the House provisions, we would have lost everything we had worked for in the last several years in regards to what women are told and what women are offered."

South Dakota's governor signed a bill into law in early March that bans all abortions except to save the mother's life. Supporters of such proposals acknowledge the bills will be overturned in federal court, but they hope to see the Supreme Court eventually take the case and overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

The original bill in Mississippi, as passed in February by the state Senate, amended the informed consent law to require abortionists to offer a woman a sonogram and a chance to hear her baby's heartbeat. But in a surprise move, the House gutted that provision -- and by doing so gutted the current informed consent law -- and replaced it with an abortion ban.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, had indicated he would have signed the bill.

"We basically have gone on a wild ride that led us to the point of keeping in effect what we have right now," Herring said.

The abortion ban divided pro-lifers, with some saying such a move should wait until the U.S. Supreme Court has the votes to overturn Roe. Of the court's nine members, five are on record as supporting Roe.

"We did not initiate this abortion ban, so we were still -- and we are still -- in favor of working on incremental legislation until we know a little bit more about the court," Herring said. "… [W]e felt like to oppose this legislation was not a good idea. When it came up, we were willing to work with it on our terms.

"Mississippi's very pro-life," she added. "We have the votes on the House and the Senate, overwhelmingly, to ban abortion. And that's not something that we have supported in the past. But I do think a time is coming when the states have got to have a show of power. … If you have 10 states that are willing to ban abortion, you're sending a strong statement."

That statement to the court, Herring said, would be, "You've taken away the states' rights, you've taken away the peoples' rights, and it's time to restore those rights to the states."

The worldwide attention on Mississippi helped the pro-life cause, she added.

"The best thing we got was a lot of free press to be able to talk about how abortion hurts women and kills children," she said. "We've been interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, the British press, the Canadian press, the German press, the French press. So, the world is watching to see what America is going to do. … The world is concerned. They know that America is the leader. The rest of the world is watching to see what the Christian nation is going to do about abortion."

Miss. abortion ban dies in House-Senate conference
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« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2006, 07:40:13 PM »

Researcher Saying Unborn Babies Can't Feel Pain Tied to Pro-Abortion Groups

London, England (LifeNews.com) -- A British researcher is claiming that unborn children do not feel pain before birth and, therefore, legislation telling women that is the case is unnecessary. However, the claim flies in the face of other research showing that both unborn children and premature babies feel pain and the researcher is tied to pro-abortion groups.

Stuart Derbyshire, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Birmingham, says babies do not feel pain before birth, even in later stages of pregnancy. He criticized pro-life lawmakers who support legislation telling women that fact.

"This is an unwarranted piece of legislation because there is good evidence that the fetus cannot feel pain at any stage of gestation," Derbyshire said.

The researcher authored a review of the subject that the British Medical Journal printed in its April 15 edition.

"ts illegitimate to use the possibility of pain as a way of trying to prevent abortion from occurring, because the possibility of pain doesn't exist," he wrote.

However, Derbyshire's views may be colored by abortion politics.

According to Forbes magazine, he has served as a consultant to Planned Parenthood affiliates in Virginia and Wisconsin as well as the U.K.-based Pro-Choice Forum.

Congress is considering legislation to tell women that their unborn child after 20 weeks of pregnancy has the capacity to feel pain. It would require abortion practitioners to offer them the chance to give the baby anesthesia to lessen the pain during the abortion.

State legislatures in more than a dozen states are considering similar bills and several have already passed laws to that effect.

Other research has shown that premature babies and those in the womb have the capacity to feel pain.

A new British study finds that premature babies experience pain and don't merely exhibit reflexive actions in response to painful events.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience by a team from University College London, analyzed brain scans taken on premature babies when blood was being drawn from them. The results found that babies as young as 24 weeks after pregnancy can feel pain and the researchers hope the study will prompt new pain treatment methods.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center says he and other specialists have found that babies feel pain before birth as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

Anand has said other medical studies conclude that unborn babies are "very likely" to be "extremely sensitive to pain during the gestation of 20 to 30 weeks."

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« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2006, 07:41:28 PM »

This article just shows how stupid the prior one is.


British Study Finds Premature Babies Experience Pain, Abortion Implication

London, England (LifeNews.com) -- A new British study finds that premature babies experience pain and don't merely exhibit reflexive actions in response to painful events. The study's results could have a ramification on the abortion debate as late-term abortions are done during the same time period when viable babies are born.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience by a team from University College London, analyzed brain scans taken on premature babies when blood was being drawn from them.

The results found that babies as young as 24 weeks after pregnancy can feel pain and the researchers hope the study will prompt new pain treatment methods.

"This is the first time we have actually measured pain activity in the human brain," lead researcher Professor Maria Fitzgerald said.

"Beforehand, although we could assume it, we did not know for sure that these babies could feel pain," Fitzgerald explained. "These babies' brains are so immature that it was difficult to genuinely know that the pain was going to their brain."

In the study, researchers scanned the brains of 18 babies born anywhere from 25 to 45 weeks after conception. The scans were performed before, during, and after nurses drew blood from their heels.

The scans found an increase in blood flow and oxygen to the brain indicating the babies felt the pain.

The results of the study could have implications for the abortion debate.

Pro-life groups have been pressing for legislation in Congress and state legislatures that would require abortion practitioners to tell women who are late in pregnancy and considering an abortion that their baby will feel intense pain during the abortion.

The British study backs up research conducted by Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center who said he and other specialists have found that babies feel pain before birth as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

Anand has said other medical studies conclude that unborn babies are "very likely" to be "extremely sensitive to pain during the gestation of 20 to 30 weeks."

"Now that we have this scientific, objective measure of pain, we'll be able to assess pain-relieving therapies much more precisely," Fitzgerald concluded about the study.

"It is certainly something we need to be aware of. It is another good reason for treating the pain and alleviating it at this very early stage when they are so vulnerable," he said.
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« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2006, 07:44:30 PM »

Quote
Researcher Saying Unborn Babies Can't Feel Pain Tied to Pro-Abortion Groups

I take it, they have never seen "Silence Scream." I wonder what they would think if they would have been aborted. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2006, 07:47:25 PM »

I take it, they have never seen "Silence Scream." I wonder what they would think if they would have been aborted. Roll Eyes

One thing is for certain ....  they would at least have known the truth then.

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« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2006, 08:27:18 PM »

Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill Telling Women of Fetal Pain During Abortion

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would allow women to know that an unborn baby will feel intense pain during an abortion procedure. The veto came despite researching showing that unborn children have the capacity to feel pain at least after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

In a statement about the veto, Napolitano said the bill "represents an unwarranted intrusion by politicians into the doctor-patient relationship."

"The Legislature should not attempt to substitute its judgment for that of trained physicians with respect to professional advice given to patients," she claimed.

The Senate signed off on the measure, HB 2554, on a 17-13 vote last week and the House previously approved the bill 36-21.

There is no word yet on whether pro-life lawmakers will attempt to override her veto.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, the state Senate approved and returned to the House a measure requiring notarized written parental consent before a minor teenager can have an abortion. The House will now vote on changes the Senate made to the bill, but it is expected to sign off on the measure.

The fetal pain bill, opposed by abortion advocates and supported by pro-life groups, also allows the woman to ask for anesthesia to be provided to the baby during the abortion.

An abortion practitioner who fails to inform a woman about the fetal pain information would be guilty of unprofessional conduct and could have his medical license suspended or revoked.

Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center says he and other specialists in development of unborn children have shown that babies feel pain before birth as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

Anand has said other medical studies conclude that unborn babies are "very likely" to be "extremely sensitive to pain during the gestation of 20 to 30 weeks."

An April 2004 Zogby poll shows that 77% of Americans back "laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion."

Only 16 percent disagreed with such a proposal, according to the poll.

Napolitano, a Democrat, has vetoed pro-life bills before.

The governor vetoed a bill in 2004 that would have allowed women to receive information about abortion's risks and alternatives that abortion businesses sometimes withhold from women considering abortions.

Napolitano has also vetoed a measure that would have protected pro-life pharmacists from being forced to dispense drugs that could cause abortions.
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« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2006, 08:49:06 PM »

One thing is for certain ....  they would at least have known the truth then.


Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2006, 09:34:22 AM »

NKU weighs response to display's vandalism


HIGHLAND HEIGHTS - Northern Kentucky University officials are working on a statement to faculty and students regarding this week's destruction of an anti-abortion display on campus.

Sally Jacobsen, an English professor scheduled to retire in a few weeks, said she invited students to destroy the display of 400 crosses representing aborted fetuses. It was erected by a student Right to Life group last weekend and was to be taken down today.

Campus police are investigating the vandalism, which occurred about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in front of University Center. About 10 students were involved, witnesses said.

Jacobsen declined to comment on whether she participated.

The crosses were pulled up and thrown in the trash. But a picture that appeared Thursday in the online edition of the campus newspaper, the Northerner, showed Jacobsen tearing up the "Cemetery of Innocents" sign that explained the display. Small white crosses are strewn on the grass around her in the picture, which The Northerner said was taken by editor Sarah Loman on Wednesday evening.

Since the vandalism became public, NKU President James Votruba has received about 100 e-mails from faculty and students expressing their concern, spokesman Chris Cole said.

"The tenor has been, 'We don't approve of or condone this.' They don't want that conduct to reflect on NKU faculty," Cole said.

Once the police investigation is over, the university will take appropriate action against Jacobsen and the students involved, he said.

In the meantime, NKU officials are working on an e-mail statement to be sent to faculty and students next week, Cole said.

"I think it will be telling our campus community that NKU doesn't condone what took place Wednesday night, and there is an investigation going on, and action will be taken," he said.
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« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2006, 09:43:50 AM »

Ripples From Law Banning Abortion Spread Through South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Plenty of places would wish to find themselves at the center of a national philosophical debate, but this is South Dakota.

In the two months since the State Legislature set off a political and legal war by passing the most sweeping abortion ban in the country, residents have seemed awkward and uneasy in their spot at the leading edge of the country's clash over abortion.

Some say that they are stunned to find South Dakota, the fifth least populous state, at the center of any such thing and that they are put off by the thought of outsiders arriving here with fancy advertising campaigns. And although they have seen nasty political skirmishes before, as recently as the 2004 defeat of Senator Tom Daschle, they say they are uncomfortable with the prospect of such a personal matter becoming fodder for so much public debate.

Political war, after all, is not cordial, and most South Dakotans are.

Outside the Minnehaha County administration building here on a blustery morning, Elizabeth M. Hulscher approached anyone who came her way, asking them to sign a petition that would put the abortion ban on hold and send it to the ballot for the state's voters to consider in November.

"I have been waiting for the chance to sign this," one woman told her. A man in a suit stopped, too, and politely agreed to sign. Only after he left did Ms. Hulscher, 43, notice that he had written something other than his name: "No abortions. I pray for you."

Another woman pushing a stroller smiled but declined to sign. With that, Ms. Hulscher set aside her clipboard to hold the door open for her.

Effects of the ban seem to be emerging all around, with fallen poll numbers for the governor who signed the law and growing ranks of candidates who want to replace the state's lawmakers. Ordinary people, too, said they had found themselves tangling unpleasantly with their closest friends over a question they had never really discussed much outside their homes. Some said they feared that as the fight over the ballot measure intensified, it would bring only more painful division.

Toni L. Popham, 48, grew emotional as she wondered aloud what her acquaintances near Watertown, 100 miles north of Sioux Falls, might think if she agreed to gather signatures in the beauty shop she owns. "Some of my clients may not like it," Ms. Popham said on a recent evening, tears suddenly filling her eyes. "I guess this is the time to stand up, but I don't know what people will think."

The sponsors of the bill, which outlaws abortions except when a woman's life is in jeopardy, intended it to set up a direct challenge — the first in more than a decade — to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision making abortion legal.

For now, though, the fight is taking place not in the courts but on the mainly quiet streets of places like Sioux Falls, the state's biggest city, with more than 130,000 residents, and Estelline, a corn and soybean town of about 700. Rather than filing a lawsuit immediately, opponents of the abortion ban have called on a state provision dating to 1898 that allows voters to reconsider a law passed by the Legislature if enough signatures are gathered.

As opponents of the ban went to gather signatures outside public buildings, at bowling leagues and in coffee shops, those who favor it said they were setting out across the state as well, on a bus they had dubbed "the Fleet for Little Feet," complete with an ultrasound machine and plastic models of a growing fetus. The leader of the largest Indian reservation here, meanwhile, has pledged to open an abortion clinic on tribal land if the state ban stands.

Reeling from all the attention, some here said they were still confused about how South Dakota had become the focus of such a fundamental fight. Many said they had been swamped with phone calls and e-mail messages (some supportive; others not) from relatives and friends in other states, and only then recognized the significance of what was happening.

The political ripples are already being felt. After signing the bill in March, Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican seeking re-election in November, saw his job approval ratings drop to 58 percent from 72 percent in the next month, according to a Survey USA poll. Mr. Rounds faces two Democratic challengers, whose campaigns, political analysts say, have been energized by the abortion decision.

And many more candidates than usual filed to run for the Legislature, all 105 seats of which are on the ballot this fall, said Chris Nelson, the secretary of state. Democrats, the minority in both legislative chambers, have challengers in most of the races, a fact that some here tie directly to the abortion fight.

"Frankly, we had been anticipating a ho-hum election year," said Robert Burns, a political scientist at South Dakota State University in Brookings. "But this issue is spilling over in the House race, into the governor's race, and into many of the legislative races."

Along a commercial strip in Sioux Falls, a nondescript building houses Planned Parenthood, the only abortion clinic in the state. In 2004, the last year for which state health records are available, 814 abortions were performed in South Dakota, or about half as many as were performed in this state a quarter century ago. In 1982, for instance, the state reported 1,693 abortions.

For now, the clinic, which has long flown doctors in from Minnesota because it is difficult to find South Dakota doctors willing to perform abortions, is still open. The new law does not go into effect until July 1, but it will be put on hold if opponents can gather signatures from at least 16,728 of the state's 486,000 registered voters by June 19.

"From our standpoint, the opportunity for South Dakota to loudly proclaim that the Legislature has overreached is very important," said Sarah Stoesz, the president of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. If the ballot effort fails, Planned Parenthood officials said, the organization will file a lawsuit in federal court to block the ban, which would set off the legal challenge the ban's authors still hope for.

Less than two miles from the Planned Parenthood clinic, between a taco shop and a carwash, another bland building houses Alpha Health Services, whose sign promises "Free pregnancy tests, abortion information and S.T.D. testing."

Once an abortion clinic, this is now home to the projects of Leslee J. Unruh, one of the most vocal leaders of the effort to ban abortion here. Ms. Unruh, who said she had had an abortion in the late 1970's and regretted it deeply, said 6,000 women came here each year for ultrasound tests, counseling and other assistance.

"The people have already spoken," Ms. Unruh said of the Legislature's vote.

She said the voting patterns here would be simple: "Our polls are, we will win. Our people are not going to be taken in by all the lies."

But a woman from Rapid City, on the state's western edge, drove alone for more than five hours in March to have an abortion at the Planned Parenthood clinic. The woman, who is in her 30's and said she feared for her safety if her name was used in this article, went to the clinic the very day Governor Rounds signed the ban.

Had the law been in effect, she said, she still would have found a way — legal or not — to have an abortion. "Once that type of decision is made, it's going to be done," she said. "Are we really going to go that route?"

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« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2006, 06:15:16 PM »

Judge says West Palm Beach abortion law violates free speech


 
WEST PALM BEACH -- A city law requiring abortion protesters to obey a 20-foot buffer zone violates free-speech rights, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks ruled April 11 that the ordinance is too strict and issued a preliminary injunction, ordering the parties into mediation.


``Freedom of speech is rarely an issue when everyone agrees,'' Middlebrooks wrote. ``Perhaps more than at any other place and any other time, in cases such as this, speech guaranteed by the First Amendment must be protected.''

A related law prohibiting ``unnecessary noise'' and ``amplified sound'' within 100 feet of such facilities can be enforced, Middlebrooks said.

The law was passed in October.

``The ordinance was designed to suppress the speech of pro-life demonstrations,'' said Michael DePrimo, an attorney for three women who regularly protest outside the Presidential Women's Center and had challenged the law in federal court.

DePrimo said the city could be liable for attorneys' fees, which amount to about $40,000 so far.

``Unless my lawyer tells me the fat lady has sung, it's not over,'' Mayor Lois Frankel said.

Clinic director Reis said she hopes a new law can be adopted.

``Needless to say, we're disappointed,'' she said. ``We will continue to do whatever we can do to ensure a safe environment for our patients with dignity.''

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« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2006, 11:54:52 AM »

Kentucky Literature Prof Removed for Vandalizing Pro-life Display
Prof was head of NKU Women's Studies Program

Sally Jacobsen, a professor of language and literature at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) has been dismissed from her post after she incited a group of students to destroy an approved pro-life display erected by a campus pro-life student group.

Jacobsen, who also headed the NKU women’s studies program for three years, told the Kentucky Enquirer she had become so emotional at the sight of a field of white crosses planted as a symbolic cemetery for aborted children, that her strong feelings justified her action.

“Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it. Some of my students felt the same way, just outraged,” Jacobsen said.

Pulling up the crosses was similar to citizens taking down Nazi displays on Fountain Square, she said.

The display was put up in response to a series of lectures on abortion “rights” by a faculty group called, Educators for Reproductive Freedom. The group had held two lunchtime discussions on campus with speakers from the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood. A representative of Educators for Reproductive Freedom disavowed any involvement in Jacobsen’s action.

In response to the faculty lectures, a group of students hastily organized a pro-life group, Northern Right to Life, which was approved by the university administration. The crosses, which were first erected Wednesday April 12, were the group’s first effort at educating the campus on the real nature of abortion. They also handed out literature at the pro-abortion faculty event.

Katie Walker, president of Northern Right to Life, told the Enquirer that her group would like to see charges filed against those responsible for the vandalism. “Campuses are supposed to be public forums. I think professors should encourage that,” Walker said.

Jacobsen admitted to inciting students: “I did, outside of class during the break, invite students to express their freedom-of-speech rights to destroy the display if they wished to.” She said the crosses were a “slap in the face” to women who might be making “the agonizing and very private decision to have an abortion.”

A photo appearing Thursday in the online edition of the campus newspaper, The Northerner, showed Jacobsen tearing up the sign that accompanied the crosses. Campus police are investigating the vandalism, saying that $600.00 in damages was done. About 10 students were involved, witnesses said.

The university’s policies state that even tenured faculty can be dismissed without pay for
misconduct. It reads, “A staff member who conducts himself in a manner that reflects unfavourably upon the University, the department, and himself will be subject to immediate discharge, without advance notice and without further pay.”

Jacobsen’s action has created a stir in high places. The Enquirer reported Sunday that Rep. Paul Marcotte, R-Union, has written to NKU president, James Votruba, demanding that Jacobsen be fired. "I don't want my tax money used by a professor to radicalize the ‘cemetery Gestapo,’” Marcotte wrote. He called her action “illegal and irresponsible” and “disgusting, offensive behaviour by a tenured professor.”

“Strong punishment will send a message to other unrepentant radicals that the university is part of a larger community and that its members must abide by the community's laws,” Marcotte stated.

James Votruba has said the university will be investigating and takes its commitment to freedom of speech seriously.  "I don't know if she was pulling up the crosses, but I think she was out there with the students. If so, as far as I'm concerned, she went outside the conditions of her employment," Votruba said.

In a statement published on the university’s website today, Votruba said, “While the University supports the right to free speech and vigorous debate on public issues, we cannot condone infringement of the rights of others to express themselves in an orderly manner.”

“By leading her students in the destruction of an approved student organization display, Professor Sally Jacobsen’s actions were inconsistent with Northern Kentucky University’s commitment to free and open debate and the opportunity for all sides to be heard without threat of censorship or reprisal.” 
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« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2006, 10:12:03 AM »

Canon-Mac teacher suspended for abortion talk



A fourth-grade teacher at Hills-Hendersonville Elementary School in the Canon-McMillan School District is suspended pending an investigation of a lesson about the election process during which she allegedly described abortion and adoption and asked students to vote on the issue.

The teacher has been suspended with pay since April 6, the day after the incident. James Stienstraw Jr., whose 9-year-old daughter is in the unidentified teacher's class, brought up the issue during the school board's meeting last night.

His daughter told him the teacher gave a detailed description of the abortion process and said she personally would give up a baby for adoption instead of having an abortion.

"My daughter's innocence has been taken away from her," Mr. Stienstraw said.

Principal Dawn Nicolaus sent parents a letter the next day informing them the topic of abortion had been discussed during class. Mr. Stienstraw asked the board to have the teacher fired immediately.

"This board has to follow a process and there's nothing they can do tonight," Solicitor Francis DiSalle said.

The board is not permitted to just fire the teacher, he said. She's in the union and any teacher accused of misconduct is entitled to a public hearing.

The district can't comment on the investigation, but there was no prior knowledge the subject matter would be discussed and action was taken immediately, said Superintendent Nick Bayat.
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