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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #60 on: June 20, 2006, 11:48:15 AM »

Supreme Court to Expand Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Review


Lifesite News

    The Supreme Court is set to revisit a second Bush Administration appeal that seeks to reinstate a ban on partial birth abortion, reports the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

    The ACLJ, which specializes in constitutional law, said it is pleased the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case, which involves the constitutionality of the national ban on partial-birth abortion.

    “The Supreme Court took a significant step today that clearly puts the issue of partial-birth abortion front-and-center,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, which litigates pro-life issues. “By taking a second case involving the constitutionality of the national ban on partial-birth abortion, the Supreme Court puts the spotlight on one of the most horrific medical procedures in existence today. The high court not only will determine whether Congress acted appropriately in enacting the ban, but the high court also has a critical opportunity to bring to an end – once and for all – the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. Taking a second case clearly elevates one of the most culturally significant issues of our time. The stakes are high and we are very pleased that the Supreme Court now has two opportunities to abolish what can only be described as infanticide.”

    In 2000, five justices of the Supreme Court, including retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, ruled that the abortion right originally created in Roe v. Wade allows an abortionist to perform a partial-birth abortion any time he sees a ‘health’ benefit, even if the woman and her unborn baby are entirely healthy. (Stenberg v. Carhart, June 28, 2000). This ruling struck down the ban on partial-birth abortion that had been enacted by Nebraska, and rendered unenforceable the similar bans that more than half the states had enacted.

    Nevertheless, in 2003 Congress approved and President Bush signed a national law, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. When he signed the ban, the President called partial-birth abortion “a terrible form of violence [that] has been directed against children who are inches from birth.”

    The federal law has faced legal challenges in three different federal circuits, and its enforcement has been blocked by court orders. Federal district courts in all three circuits ruled that the federal law violated the 2000 Supreme Court ruling. In all three cases the adverse judgments were affirmed by the appellate courts.

    The ACLJ has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court representing 78 members of Congress and more than 320,000 Americans asking the high court to uphold the constitutionality of the national ban on partial-birth abortion in a case out of Nebraska.

It probably isn’t too suprising that we agree with the ACLJ. Of course, the ACLU have a different point of view.
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« Reply #61 on: June 22, 2006, 02:54:24 AM »

S.D. Voters to Decide Fate of Abortion Ban
S.D. Voters Will Decide Fate of Abortion Ban; Opponents Get Enough Names to Put It on Ballot
By CHET BROKAW
The Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. - Voters will have the final say on South Dakota's tough new law that bans almost all abortions.

Secretary of State Chris Nelson said Monday that the law's opponents had collected enough signatures to put a question on the Nov. 7 ballot asking voters if the law should go into effect as planned or be dumped.

The state's abortion law, among the strictest in the nation, bans the procedure in all cases except when necessary to save a woman's life, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Supporters hoped it would prompt a court challenge that would give the U.S. Supreme Court an opportunity to overturn its 1973 Roe. v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

Instead of challenging it in court, opponents, who argue the law is too extreme, gathered enough petition signatures to put the question directly to voters.

A coalition of groups opposed to the law turned in about 38,000 petition signatures on May 30 to put the question on the ballot. The secretary of state's office determined that the petitions contained at least the 16,728 that were required.

The Legislature passed the measure and the governor signed it in March. It was scheduled to take effect July 1 but is now on hold pending the outcome of the public vote.

Both sides pledged Monday to conduct all-out campaigns on the issue.

Leslee Unruh, one of the main promoters of the new law, said the campaign to preserve the ban will seek to convince voters that abortion must be stopped because it harms both unborn babies and the women who have abortions.

"It's probably the loudest cry we've heard," said Unruh, who runs a center that counsels women considering an abortion. "It's because there are so many women who have been harmed by abortion, myself being one of them, who have come together."

Jan Nicolay, a former state lawmaker who led the effort to refer the ban to a statewide vote, said the issue should remain about South Dakota.

"It's no slam dunk. We've got a lot of work ahead of us," Nicolay said. "We'll give it all we've got, I can tell you that."

S.D. Voters to Decide Fate of Abortion Ban
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« Reply #62 on: June 22, 2006, 06:52:31 AM »

Boycott brewing after store owner refuses to stock morning-after pill

By The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Activists are planning a monthlong boycott of two grocery stores here after the owners said they won't stock morning-after contraceptive pills.

The controversy may affect business at the two popular Thriftway stores owned by Stormans Inc., but that won't change the policy, co-owner Kevin Stormans said.

"We've made our decision, and it's what we have determined. We're not going to change our position based on what happens. It's not a negotiable issue," he told The Olympian newspaper in Wednesday's editions.

More than a dozen activists, who held a planning session this week, said they hope to launch a boycott of Stormans' two Thriftway stores in July.

"This is a very liberal community," Olympia resident Janet Blanding said. "I think enough people care enough about women's rights to boycott a store that is doing something like this."

The flap comes as the state Board of Pharmacy considers a rule that would allow druggists to refuse to fill prescriptions because of their personal objections.

The state pharmacy association favors that stance, but some women's rights groups and Gov. Chris Gregoire are opposed.

Both debates center on morning-after contraceptives, a high dose of regular birth control pills that dramatically cut the chances of pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

Some opponents feel the drug's interference with a potential or imminent pregnancy comes too close to abortion.

"I don't want to get into a detailed debate," Stormans told The Olympian. "I just think people have to choose when they believe life begins. There are questions about this drug on that issue."

Under state law, a pharmacy must maintain a representative assortment of drugs in order to meet the pharmaceutical needs of its patients — but the only drug pharmacies are required to stock is ipecac syrup, to treat accidental poisoning.

"No pharmacy will ever carry every drug," said Steve Saxe, the Pharmacy Board's director.

Blanding said she plans to file a complaint with the board about the Stormans' policy. Saxe said was not aware of any similar complaints.

The local chapter of the National Organization for Women is supporting the planned boycott. "I think we will see hundreds of people and have quite an impact," said Linda Malanchuk-Finnan, the chapter's president.

The state Pharmacy Board's draft rule on refusing prescriptions is set for a final vote at the end of August. Gregoire has warned the board to change course, saying its members could be overruled or replaced if they do not heed her wishes.
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« Reply #63 on: June 22, 2006, 06:53:40 AM »

Abortion foes celebrate closing of Birmingham clinic

About three dozen activists celebrated the closing of a downtown Birmingham abortion clinic that surrendered its license last week.

Activisits gathered outside the Summit Medical Center Wednesday where they prayed for the women and unborn children who had passed through its doors.

They promised to keep fighting to close Birmingham's two remaining abortion clinics.

The Reverend Jim Pinto says he and others won't stop until the city is - quote -- "abortion free."

Pinto is the founder of Sanctity of Life Ministries.

Abortion rights supporters called the closing an unfortunate blow to women.

Summit Medical Center gave up its license rather than fight state charges a worker was improperly allowed to perform an abortion without a doctor being present.

The Alabama Department of Public Health canceled a hearing on the matter after the clinic gave up its license and closed.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King has said his office would investigate the abortion clinic.
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« Reply #64 on: June 23, 2006, 03:32:13 PM »

Planned Parenthood Celebration Jolted by Abortion Survivor

She sings the anthem to applause, then her secret is revealed to stunned silence.

I want to share with you an awesome experience I had in the Colorado House of Representatives on May 8. It is a humbling experience to look back and realize that God used me to play a role in His divine orchestration.

I was leaving the House chambers for the weekend when our Democrat speaker of the House announced that the coming Monday would be the final day of this year's General Assembly. He went on to state that there were still numerous resolutions on the calendar which we would need to be addressed prior to the summer adjournment. Interestingly, he specifically mentioned that one of the resolutions we would be hearing was being carried by the House Majority Leader Alice Madden, honoring the 90th anniversary of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

As a strong pro-life legislator I was disgusted by the idea that we would pass a resolution honoring this 90-year legacy of genocide. I drove home that night wondering what I could say that might pierce the darkness during the debate on this heinous resolution.

On Saturday morning, I took my 8-year-old son up to the mountains to go white-water rafting. The trip lasted all day. As we were driving home, exhausted and hungry, I remembered that I had accepted an invitation to attend a fundraising dinner that night for a local pro-life organization. One of my most respected mentors had personally called me several weeks earlier and asked me to attend, so I knew I'd have to clean up and head over.

After our meal, the executive director of the organization introduced the keynote speaker. I looked up and saw walking to the stage a handicapped young lady being assisted to the microphone by a young man holding a guitar.

Her name was Gianna Jessen.

Gianna said "Hello," welcomed everyone, and then sang three of the most beautiful Christian songs I have ever heard.

She then began to give her testimony. When her biological mother was 17 years old and seven and a half months pregnant, she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to have an abortion. As God would have it, the abortion failed and a beautiful 2-pound baby girl was brought into the world. Unfortunately, she was born with cerebral palsy and the doctors thought that she would never survive. The doctors were wrong.

Imagine the timing! A survivor of a Planned Parenthood abortion arrived in town just days before the Colorado House of Representatives was to celebrate Planned Parenthood's "wonderful" work.

As I listened to Gianna's amazing testimony, the Lord inspired me to ask her if she could stay in Denver until Monday morning so that I could introduce her on the floor of the House and tell her story. Perhaps she could even begin the final day's session by singing our country's national anthem!

To my surprise she said she would seriously consider it. If she were to agree, she wanted her accompanying guitarist to stay as well. A lady standing in line behind me waiting to meet Gianna overheard our conversation and said that she would be willing to pay for the guitarist's room. Gianna then said that she would think about it.

As I was driving home from the banquet, my cell phone rang. It was Gianna, and she immediately said, "I'm in, let's ruin this celebration." Praise God!

When Monday morning came, I awoke at 6 a.m. to write my speech before heading to the Capitol. As I wrote down the words, I could sense God's help and I knew that this was going to be a powerful moment for the pro-life movement.

Following a committee hearing, I rushed into the House chambers just as the opening morning prayer was about to be given. Between the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, I wrote a quick note to the speaker of the House explaining that Gianna is an advocate for cerebral palsy. I took the note to the speaker and asked if I could have my friend open the last day of session by singing the national anthem. Without any hesitation the speaker took the microphone and said, "Before we begin, Representative Harvey has made available for us Gianna Jessen to sing the national anthem."

Gianna sang the most amazing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner that you could possibly imagine. Every person in the entire chamber was completely still, quiet and in awe of this frail young lady's voice.

Due to her cerebral palsy, Gianna often loses her balance, and shortly after starting to sing she grabbed my arm to stabilize herself, and I could tell that she was shaking. Suddenly, midway through the song, she forgot the words and began to hum and then said, "Please forgive me; I am so nervous." She then immediately began singing again and every House member and every guest throughout the chambers began to sing along with her to give her encouragement and to lift her up.

As I looked around the huge hall I listened to the unbelievable melody of Gianna's voice being accompanied by a choir of over 100 voices. I had chills running all over my body, and I knew that I had just witnessed an act of God.

As the song concluded the speaker of the House explained that Gianna has cerebral palsy and is an activist to bring awareness to the disease. "Let us give her a hand not only for her performance today, but also for her advocacy work," he said. The chamber immediately exploded into applause -- she had them all in the palm of her hand.

The speaker then called the House to order, and we proceeded as usual to allow members to make any announcements or introductions of guests. For dramatic effect, I waited until I was the last person remaining before I introduced Gianna.

As I waited for my turn, I nervously paced back and forth praying to God that he would give me the peace, confidence and the courage necessary to pull off what I knew would be one of the most dramatic and controversial moments of my political career.

While I waited, a prominent reporter from one of the major Denver newspapers walked over to Gianna and told her that her rendition captured the spirit of the national anthem more powerfully than any she had ever heard before.

Finally, I was the last person remaining. So, I proceeded to the microphone and began my speech.

    Members, I would like to introduce you to a new friend and hero of mine -- her name is Gianna Jessen. She is visiting us today from Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an accomplished recording artist.

    She has cerebral palsy and was raised in foster homes before being adopted at the age of four.

cont'd

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« Reply #65 on: June 23, 2006, 03:33:14 PM »

 She was born prematurely and weighed only 2 pounds at birth. She remained in the hospital for almost three months. A doctor once said she had a great will to live and that she fought for her life. Eventually she was able to leave the hospital and be placed in foster care.

    Because of her cerebral palsy, her foster mother was told that it was doubtful that she would ever crawl or walk. She could not sit up independently. Through the prayers and dedication of her foster mother, she eventually learned to sit up, crawl, then stand. Shortly before her fourth birthday, she began to walk with leg braces and a walker.

    She continued in physical therapy and after a total of four surgeries, she was able to walk without assistance.

    She still falls sometimes, but she says she has learned how to fall gracefully after falling for 29 years.

    Two years ago, she walked into a local health club and said she wanted a private trainer. At the time her legs could not lift 30 pounds. Today she can leg press 200 pounds.

    She became so physically fit that she began running marathons to raise money and awareness for cerebral palsy. She just returned last week from England where she ran in the London Marathon. It took her more than eight-and-a-half hours to complete. They were taking down the course by the time she made it to the finish line. But she made it, nonetheless. With bloody feet and aching joints, she finished the race.

    Members would you help me recognize a modern-day hero -- Gianna Jessen?

At this point the chamber exploded into applause which lasted for 15-to-20 seconds. Gianna had touched their souls.

Ironically, Alice Madden, the majority leader and sponsor of the Planned Parenthood resolution, walked over to Gianna and congratulated her.

As the applause began to die down, I raised my hand to be recognized one more time.

    Mr. Speaker, members, if you would allow me just a few more moments I would appreciate your time.

    My name is Ted Harvey, not Paul Harvey, but, please, let me tell you the rest of the story.

    The cause of Gianna's cerebral palsy is not because of some biological freak of nature, but rather the choice of her mother.

    You see when her biological mother was 17-years-old and 7-and-a-half months pregnant, she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to seek a late-term abortion. The abortionist performed a saline abortion on this 17-year-old girl. This procedure requires the injection of a high concentration of saline into the mother's womb, which the fetus is then bathed in and swallows, which results in the fetus being burned to death, inside and out. Within 24 hours the results are normally an induced, still-born abortion.

    As Gianna can testify, the procedure is not always 100 percent effective. Gianna is an aborted late-term fetus who was born alive. The high concentration of saline in the womb for 24 hours resulted in a lack of oxygen to her brain and is the cause of her cerebral palsy.

    Members, today, we are going to recognize the 90th anniversary of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood…"

BANG! The gavel came down.

Just as I was finishing the last sentence of my speech -- the climax of the morning -- the speaker of the House gaveled me down and said, "Representative Harvey, I will allow you to continue your introduction, but not for the purposes of debating a measure now pending before the House."

At which point I said, "Mr. Speaker, I understand. I just wanted to put a face to what we are celebrating today."

Silence.

Deafening silence.

I then walked back to my chair shaking like a leaf. The Democrats wouldn't look at me. They were fuming. It was beautiful. I have been in the Legislature for five tough years, and this made it all worthwhile.

The House majority leader wouldn't talk to me the rest of the day.

Was it because I introduced an abortion survivor, or was it because we touched her soul? She could congratulate an inspirational cerebral palsy victim and advocate, but was outraged when she discovered that the person she congratulated was also an abortion survivor.

The headline in The Denver Post the next day read "Abortion Jab Earns Rebuke." The majority leader is quoted as saying, "I think it was amazingly rude to use a human being as an example of his personal politics."

Yes, Representative Madden, Gianna Jessen is a human being. She was when she was in her mother's womb, and she was when she sang the national anthem on the floor of the Colorado House of Representatives.

The paper went on to quote Gianna, stating she was glad I told her story.

"We need to discuss the humanity of it. I'm glad to be able to speak up for children in the womb," she said. "If abortion is about women's rights, where were my rights?"

All I can say is, "Glory to God!" He orchestrated it all, every minute of it, and I was so honored to have been chosen to play a part. May we all continue to be filled with and to fight for the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ!

_______________

AMEN!

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« Reply #66 on: June 23, 2006, 07:27:47 PM »

Abortion foes focus on fall elections

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Anti-abortion activists who have been a big part of the Republican coalition in recent years are working to ensure that President Bush's sagging popularity won't harm re-election prospects for incumbents who've supported their cause.

The activists also are nervous about whether a far-reaching South Dakota law banning almost all abortions could withstand a legal challenge.

Against this setting, leaders of the National Right to Life Committee acknowledged Friday that several congressional races will be tough, with the possibility that discontent with Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress will result in losses in November and a setback for the movement.

"It's going to be a difficult year," said Karen Cross, political director for the group, which is holding its annual, three-day meeting in Nashville. "We're going to try to protect our pro-life incumbents and win open seats and defeat pro-abortion candidates or incumbents."

The group is considered the nation's largest anti-abortion organization with affiliates in all 50 states and 3,000 local chapters.

Many in attendance were encouraged by the South Dakota law, which bans abortion in all cases except when necessary to save a woman's life, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Voters in the state will decide on Nov. 7 if the law should go into effect; opponents recently collected enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

But anti-abortion activists expressed concern about whether it could survive a legal challenge before the Supreme Court.

"The effort there is premature at this point," said Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life. "We know for sure we don't have enough justices to overturn Roe at this point. We feel that any effort to try to prematurely pass legislation that might go before the court is misplaced at this point because we know it will be overturned.

"We want to have the court in place before we have legislation going up there. We want the best possible outcome," she said.

The activists were heartened by Bush's appointment of conservative justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito, seeing them as two votes to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling legalizing abortion.

The activists credit Bush with doing all he can to reshape the federal courts with anti-abortion rights judges. "We think Bush has been a phenomenal pro-life president," Franz said.

Bush spoke to the convention Friday by recorded video message, praising the group's work to ban abortion and citing his own efforts to outlaw what critics call partial-birth abortion.

"Human life is the gift of creation, and it deserves protection at all its stages," Bush said.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said she expects abortion to be a critical issue in the midterm elections and that a backlash against Republicans could endanger anti-abortion candidates.

"We are confident that America's pro-choice majority will go to the polls in November to elect candidates who share their mainstream values," she said.
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« Reply #67 on: June 24, 2006, 04:09:22 PM »

June 23, 2006
Ohio Abortion Clinic Must Hand Over Files on Underage Clients

An Ohio judge has told a Planned Parenthood clinic it must release records on abortion patients under 18 in order to see if the group routinely performs abortions on minors without the parental consent required by state law, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The parents of a teen who received an abortion in 2004 filed a suit against Planned Parenthood, claiming the organization failed to obtain their consent or notify them before their daughter's abortion. It also charges the abortion provider with failing to notify authorities that a 21-year-old man had been in a sexual relationship with a minor.

Becki Brenner, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, said medical information should not be viewed by outside parties.

"We're very concerned about the exposure of private medical information," she said.

Brian Hurley, attorney for the family, said the patients' names will be blacked out to protect their identity, but they will be looking for a pattern of practice.

"Our position," he said, "was that in order to determine whether this was a one-time deal . . . or whether this was something they do routinely, we need to look at the records."

Despite objections from Planned Parenthood, Hamilton County Judge Patrick Dinkelacker ruled that the plaintiff's needs outweighed the patients' right to privacy.
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« Reply #68 on: June 30, 2006, 07:01:40 AM »

Operation Rescue buys abortion clinic
Gruesome discoveries after evicting renter, facility now pro-lifers' HQ

The pro-life Operation Rescue shut down an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kan., by purchasing the building that housed it and turning the facility into new headquarters and a "memorial to the pre-born."

The move began when Operation Rescue learned in late April that Central Women's Services was months behind on its rental payments and that the property was for sale.

The pro-life group quickly made an offer on the building through a third party, stipulating in the contract that the current tenant not be retained.

Later, Operation Rescue learned Central Women's Services had come up with the back rent after the building had entered escrow and had asked to continue the rental agreement under the new owner.

Under the new contract, however, the abortion clinic was forced to close.

"We have no doubt that if we had not moved quickly to buy that building, this abortion mill would still be in operation today," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

The clinic had operated under a variety of names since opening in 1983, aborting an estimated 50,000 babies. It drew attention in 1991, when a demonstration there led by Operation Rescue resulted in the arrests of 80 pastors.

Operation Rescue relocated its offices from Southern California to Wichita in 2002 and launched an effort to expose the abortion industry in Kansas. The group says its efforts have resulted in a 16 percent drop in abortions in the state.

Operation Rescue believes the decrease in abortions contributed to Central Women's Services financial difficulties.

"Any company that loses 16 percent of their business is going to be hurting," said Newman.

The group previously bought an empty lot next to the clinic where it placed a large billboard warning women of the dangers of abortion. Since the clinic's closure, the lot has been donated to a crisis pregnancy center called A Better Choice.

"God accomplishes his work through the obedient lives of his people. We believe that God brought us to Wichita to stop abortion, and that closing this mill and reclaiming it for Christ was part of his plan for us," said Newman. "We are humbled and thankful that he chose to use us in this way."

Operation Rescue staff member Cheryl Sullenger had an opportunity to see the abortion clinic in May before it closed, during a yard sale of office supplies and equipment. She described it as dingy, cramped and dirty.

After the abortion business moved out, Sullenger got a closer look.

"There was mold, and general filth," she said. "The carpets outside the abortion rooms were stained with blood, even though it was evident that some effort had been made to clean them. The ceiling nearby was broken. All of the walls were dirty and some were covered with cheap contact paper instead of being properly maintained."

Newman, Sullenger and Jeff White, who helped Operation Rescue obtain the property, discovered a small closet between the clinic's two "procedure" rooms. The closet had a sink surrounded by gallon bottles of bleach and drain cleaner.

"Under the sink was one of the biggest garbage disposals I have ever seen," said Newman. "The entire area had the stench of death. It was the sink where the suction machine bottles were washed. In fact, dried blood could be seen that had seeped out from the metal band that surrounded the sink top. There was a bucket marked 'biohazard' next to the sink.

"We were all sickened by the thought of all those thousands of innocent children whose blood had been washed down that sink. It was an experience I will never forget."

Norma McCorvey, the "Roe" of Roe v. Wade who once ran abortion clinics but now is a pro-life activist, confirmed it once was common practice to put aborted baby remains down such disposals.

"Oh, yes!" she told Newman in a phone call. "And you can't pour enough bleach down that drain to get rid of the smell."

Operation Rescue said it has no doubt Central Women's Services once disposed of the babies this way. More recently, as the group discovered last year, the clinic packaged and delivered the remains by courier to Engineered Recovery Systems in Newton, Kan., where they were "processed" and dumped in a landfill near Kansas City.

Sullenger said that after she walked through the clinic with the realtor in May, she was approached by a woman seeking an abortion. Sullenger gave the young woman a tour of the clinic, which, along with a discussion of the "blessings of children," persuaded her to change her mind.

Operation Rescue's plans for the building include a "memorial to the pre-born" and a chapel along with the group's corporate offices.

"We want this building to be a testament to the redemptive power of Jesus Christ," Newman said. "If Jesus can redeem a building, he can redeem lives and heal hurting hearts."

The group says it now plans to focus attention on exposing the work of abortion-provider George Tiller and his Women's Health Care Services in Wichita.

Tiller is under investigation by a grand jury in the third-trimester abortion death of 19-year-old Christin Gilbert.
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« Reply #69 on: June 30, 2006, 07:02:49 AM »

Clinics promoting birth not abortion get more state funds

The trappings of motherhood greet women who walk into North Side Life Care Center for free pregnancy tests: Hospital photographs of blinking newborns, a cute mural of Noah's Ark, shelves filled with pastel onesies and other baby clothes.

Starting Saturday, the center and 36 other groups that steer pregnant women away from abortion will get a combined $4.75 million from the state over two years. Lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty approved the "Positive Alternatives Act" last year at the urging of abortion foes.

At North Side, located in a former dentist's office, a $129,180 grant will help expand prenatal care and other services - including free ultrasounds, infant formula and car seats - to more expectant mothers. The staff here are on a mission to persuade low-income pregnant women from north Minneapolis and nearby suburbs to have babies, not abortions.

"We know that abortion kills babies, but it also hurts women," said Cindy Lorsung, the center's executive director. "I know that women suffer and I don't think they need to suffer."

The grants can't go to groups that provide abortions or refer women to others for abortions, but they can mention abortion among the list of options. North Side clients get a Minnesota Department of Health brochure showing images of fetuses from two weeks to birth, describing abortion procedures and their risks, and warning of "emptiness and guilt" after an abortion.

Groups that provide family planning services including abortion still get more money from the state -- some $3.7 million a year, with nearly half of that to Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. But family planning funds are slated to drop to $1.8 million a year starting next summer.

The newest grants will make services such as free ultrasounds and parenting classes available in more communities across Minnesota and help expand services for Hispanic and Hmong women, said Mary Bochek, who coordinates the program at the Health Department.

Cradle of Hope, a Roseville-based group that provides cribs to pregnant women statewide, got the biggest amount -- $285,000. That more than doubled its budget, enough to help cover three or four new outstate locations to process crib applications and more housing assistance, said program director Kathy Rosenthal.

"It's a big help," Rosenthal said. "We're thrilled to reach out to more women."

Some 13,788 abortions were performed in Minnesota in 2004. The Health Department is due to release 2005 numbers Friday.

A handful of Positive Alternatives grantees don't oppose abortion. Face to Face Health and Counseling Service in St. Paul doesn't take a position; it gives teenage and young adult clients information on abortion along with other options, said Dana Hays, director of public funding. The group will use its $145,215 grant to provide pregnancy support services.

Abortion rights supporters criticize crisis pregnancy centers for not discussing all the options for pregnant women, including abortion and contraception. Women may assume centers offering ultrasounds and other medical tests are full-fledged medical clinics, but most aren't, said Connie Perpich of Planned Parenthood.

"These are organizations that don't provide women with all the necessary medical information to make their own informed medical choices," said Perpich, the group's senior director of legislative affairs.

Lorsung describes it differently. North Side's staff recommend sexual abstinence for unwed women and, for married couples, timing intercourse during the least fertile parts of a woman's menstrual cycle to avoid pregnancy. But they also give out brochures on various forms of birth control, she said.

Medical services are provided by midwives and nurses from Fairview Riverside Women's Clinic.

Lorsung said she spends a lot of time listening to women about their situations and finding out how much support they have. Sometimes the promise of some assistance -- medical care, a crib, a partial supply of diapers -- is enough to help a woman decide to have her baby, she said.

"I don't think one thing changes their mind. It's the whole package -- that we care about your baby but we also care about you," said Lorsung, whose glasses and short brown hair give her a librarian look. "It's helping you plan your life."

Some women come for the free secondhand toys and maternity and children's clothing.

Camisha Terry didn't use North Side's prenatal services, but she drops by when the seasons change to get clothes for her daughters, 2-year-old Amari and 3-year-old Philisha.

Terry, a slim 30-year-old from Minneapolis, dug through a plastic laundry basket of children's shoes earlier this week looking for sandals. She got a stack of diapers. Meanwhile, Amari nabbed a plastic dog on a string, while Philisha clutched a Buzz Lightyear figure and a clear bag full of brightly colored dishes.

"She had one Pamper left, and I said, 'Let me call North Side and see,"' said Terry, a single mother who said she's looking for a job, an apartment and daycare. "They don't put you down. They just ask you what you need and make sure you have everything."

The state grant is a big increase in North Side's annual $100,000 budget. Last year, the organization guided 73 women through pregnancy and birth at University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview and logged 1,800 client visits. Lorsung said those numbers are going up.
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« Reply #70 on: June 30, 2006, 07:06:32 AM »

Pro-lifers against Buffett-Gates alliance

Warren Buffett's new philanthropic alliance with fellow billionaire Bill Gates won widespread praise this week, but anti-abortion activists did not join in, instead assailing the two donors for their longtime support of Planned Parenthood and international birth-control programs.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to which Buffett has pledged the bulk of his $44-billion fortune, devotes the vast majority of its funding to combating disease and poverty in developing countries. Less than 1 percent has gone to Planned Parenthood over the years.

"The merger of Gates and Buffett may spell doom for the families of the developing world," said the Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, a Roman Catholic priest who is president of Human Life International.

Referring to Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi death camp doctor, Euteneuer said Buffett "will be known as the Dr. Mengele of philanthropy unless he repents."

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America issued statements praising Buffett and Gates for their generosity. Gloria Feldt, a former Planned Parenthood president, said she was appalled by the harsh attacks on them.

"What an outrage that these people have the gall to cast aspersions on other citizens for standing up for what they believe," Feldt said Thursday. "They have no right whatsoever to criticize people who put their money where their mouths are."

The foundation founded by Buffett, and now named after his late wife, Susan, came under fire from some anti-abortion groups in the 1990s after it gave $2 million to fund clinical trials of mifepristone, more commonly known as the RU-486 abortion pill. The foundation also has supported various abortion-rights and family-planning groups, and Susan Buffett was eulogized after her death in 2004 as a champion of women's reproductive health.

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, wrote a commentary this week holding the Buffetts partially responsible for the approval of RU-486 in 2000.

"Since then, approximately 500,000 American babies have been killed with RU-486," Perkins wrote. "Buffett's billions have the potential to do damage like this on a global scale."

Staff at the Susan T. Buffett Foundation office in Omaha, Neb., said its executive director, Allen Greenberg, would have no comment on the criticisms.

The Gates Foundation also is a patron of reproductive-health programs, funding research on new contraceptive technologies and initiatives to improve access to birth control.

Planned Parenthood, which is the leading provider of abortions in the United States, has received $34 million from the Gates Foundation over the years - out of a total of $10.5 billion in grants worldwide, according to foundation spokeswoman Jacquelline Fuller. She said the foundation does not fund abortion services, earmarking the grants for other Planned Parenthood programs.

Joseph D'Agostino, a spokesman for the anti-abortion Population Research Institute, said the foundation position "is simply dishonest."

"Abortion services are the primary mission of Planned Parenthood," he said. "If you fund one side of an organization, that frees them up to transfer funds to the other things they do."

Feldt confirmed that the Gates Foundation stipulated that its gifts to Planned Parenthood not be used for abortion services. But that policy has not spared Bill Gates' Microsoft Corp. from anti-abortion protests over the years.

At the 2003 annual shareholders meeting, anti-abortion activists cited Microsoft's support for Planned Parenthood during an unsuccessful attempt to stop the company from directly contributing to charities.

Beyond the issue of abortion, some critics oppose the Buffett and Gates foundations' support for global family-planning and population control programs.

"Some of the wealthiest men in the world descend like avenging angels on the populations of the developing world," wrote Population Research Institute president Steven Mosher, a frequent critic of Gates and Buffett. "They seek to decimate their numbers, to foist upon vulnerable people abortion, sterilization and contraception."
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« Reply #71 on: July 01, 2006, 09:12:53 AM »

International Campaign Asks UN To Recognize The Rights of Unborn Babies



In Geneva on Wednesday night John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), launched a UN declaration on unborn babies' rights.

"We appeal to all UN member states to put protection in place for the most vulnerable members of our society; the genuinely voiceless ones; the child before birth. The declaration on the right to life of the child before birth is the first initiative in this campaign and is central to the reason SPUC was founded,” said Smeaton.

The Holy See's permanent observer at the UN in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, attended the launch of the international campaign—called The Amnesty for Babies Before Birth Campaign—which aims to declare and uphold the right to life of unborn children. The campaign, which was announced by Ms Kathy Sinnott, independent MEP for Ireland south, asks nations to sign the declaration. It is also seeking the signatures of pro-life legislators from national and regional parliaments, as well as the endorsement of pro-life, pro-family non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

"The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has attended all major conferences and events at the UN since 1994,” said Smeaton, “and during that time has promoted and fought for the right to life of the child before birth. We have opposed all attempts to make abortion a human right and sought at all times to have language included in UN conventions and other documents that upholds the right to life at all stages and phases of life, from conception to natural death.

"One of the problems we have perceived from our lobbying experience is that so called politically-correct ideologies have been adopted by many governments and powerful NGOs. These are ideologies which are hostile to the life of the child before birth. These ideologies must be confronted and shown to be inadequate and, in fact, detrimental to the future population of all nations and, thereby, their economic viability.

"This is not the first time a declaration on the rights of the child has been made, but it is the first time that anyone has prepared a declaration dealing exclusively with the rights of the child before birth.

"The drawing up of this declaration for consideration of member states is a response to the failure of those charged with the implementation of the UN's 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to properly implement that convention in respect of all children without discrimination.

"We therefore not only encourage all states to sign the new declaration but also to go beyond that and to put in place legislation which will provide the much-needed special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, for the baby before birth, as envisaged by the founding fathers of the UN in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and which was understood by all to be the correct interpretation of the original declaration on the rights of the child at the time that it was made, a full decade after the Universal Declaration had been made."
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« Reply #72 on: July 01, 2006, 03:32:16 PM »

Tribe Impeaches Leader for Abortion Clinic Plan

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has impeached the tribe's president for proposing an abortion clinic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in response to South Dakota's blanket prohibition on abortion.


The 9-5 vote by the council removed Cecelia Fire Thunder, who was elected in November 2004 as the tribe's first female president. She said she would challenge the action.
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« Reply #73 on: July 01, 2006, 03:34:26 PM »

State's abortion rate hits record low
Waiting period, race, education are factors


Abortions in Minnesota dropped to a 30-year low of 13,362 last year.

That's the lowest number since 1975, when the Minnesota Department of Health started tallying abortions. The decline continues a 26-year trend of mostly falling figures since the number topped 19,000 in 1980.

Minnesota's numbers are in line with a national trend toward fewer abortions.

A state law on the books since mid-2003 requires women seeking abortions to get information about fetal development and medical risks of the procedure and wait 24 hours before the abortion. A spokesman for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life said the law appears to have had an impact, because 1,400 more women received the risk information than had abortions last year.

The state spends $3.7 million a year supporting family planning services, including abortion. New grants totaling $4.75 million over two years go out beginning today to groups that encourage women with unplanned pregnancies to have children instead of abortions.

According to the Health Department report, the most common reason for an abortion last year was that women didn't want children at the time, and the second-most common reason was economics. Seventy-one women indicated their abortions were related to rape, and six said they were related to incest.

Figures from 2001 and 2005 show abortion numbers haven't dropped among women who are black or have lower education levels. Minnesota is scheduled to reduce family-planning funds next year, which could increase the number of abortions among low-income women who can't afford contraception, said Sarah Stoesz, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

"Beneath that trend line" of declining abortions, she said, "there is a low-income trend line that is going up. That's a pretty serious problem."
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« Reply #74 on: July 01, 2006, 03:35:32 PM »

Pregnant woman dies attempting to flee forced abortion


A pregnant Chinese woman fell to her death at a hospital while trying to flee an attempt by local officials to force her to abort twins, a human rights monitoring centre said.

Li Shimei was seized at her home and taken to the hospital in the eastern city of Hefei because she already had one child when she became pregnant, a violation of China’s “one child” birth limits, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said, citing unidentified sources.

Li, who was seven months pregnant, fell from the Shuguang Hospital’s second floor while trying to leave because she thought the procedure was too dangerous, the Information Centre said.

An employee who answered the phone at the hospital confirmed that a pregnant woman died in a fall there on June 22 but said she had no other details. The employee would not give her name.

Most urban Chinese couples are limited to one child in an effort to slow the growth of China’s population of 1.3 billion people and ease the strain on food supplies and natural resources.

The government says forced abortions are forbidden. But local officials who are under pressure to meet quotas are often accused of forcing women to end pregnancies, sometimes late in the term.

The Information Centre said Li’s death was under investigation by Hefei police. Employees who answered phone calls to the Hefei police headquarters said they didn’t know about the case.


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