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2005-2006 News I

The articles contained here do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of Nebraskans United for Life or its affiliates. They are a sampling of what the media is saying in relation to Life Issues and for informational purposes only.

Archived News: Part I:

Court gives legal victory to abortion foes:
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court handed a legal victory on Friday to medical groups working on behalf of health-care providers who refuse to offer abortion services.

Would-be abortion clinic bomber due in court Monday:
The man accused of fashioning a bomb intended for an attack on a Greenbelt abortion clinic is scheduled to appear in federal court June 12.

Nussle calls for new abortion restrictions:
JOHNSTON, IA – Republican gubernatorial nominee Jim Nussle called today for new restrictions on abortion and refused to say if he would sign an outright ban on the procedure similar to one approved in South Dakota.
Nussle said it’s unlikely a closely divided Legislature would send him a sweeping ban and “I don’t think speculating about it makes much sense.”

Abortion Protestors Arrested:
OMAHA, Neb. — An anti-abortion group is targeting clinic workers in an attempt to force them to leave their jobs.
Employees of the Abortion Contraceptive Clinic of Nebraska, 1002 W. Mission Avenue, received letters from the group “Rescue the Heartland.”
They were warned to either quit their jobs or face protestors at their homes.

GOP lawmakers urge FDA to halt sales of RU-486:
Through March 31, the FDA has received reports of 950 serious side effects after use of RU-486, including nine life-threatening incidents, 232 hospitalizations, 116 cases of heavy bleeding that required transfusions and 88 infections. Four of the five women who died of septic shock were from California, the other from Canada.
Another American died of septic shock after taking the abortion pill, but she had an infection different from the Clostridium sordellii infection linked to the other deaths, said Dr. Janet C. Woodcock, an FDA deputy commissioner.

Menstruation Is Fast Becoming Optional:
TRENTON, N.J. – For young women with a world of choices, even that monthly curse, the menstrual period, is optional.
Thanks to birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives, a growing number of women are taking the path chosen by 22-year-old Stephanie Sardinha.
She hasn’t had a period since she was 17.

Pro-life MP in UK gets death threats:
An MP who called for Parliament to debate abortion limits has been bombarded with hate mail and death threats, forcing him to take stringent new security precautions.
Dr Evan Harris has been told by senior police officers to take measures to protect his staff after receiving piles of abusive messages from anti-abortion activists. The former hospital doctor was sent the abuse after calling for a “review” of abortion limits.

Abortion clinic violations detailed:
The state health department issued a more detailed report Friday on the closing of Summit Medical Center, saying that other women received abortions without the presence of a doctor, in addition to the woman who delivered a 6-pound, 4-ounce stillborn child.
“Four of 10 sampled patients did not have a physician present,” said Dr. Don Williamson, state health officer. “There were multiple violations of rules over multiple days.”

Davenport Man Attacks Abortion Clinic Employee:
IOWA CITY, IA – A Davenport man is accused of attacking an Iowa City abortion clinic employee and breaking into the clinic.

Abortion in India: Selecting by Gender:
NEW DELHI — In a tight alleyway in East Delhi, Radhika Devi, a bashful mother of two girls, and Manjula Thomas, a health worker who cares for pregnant women, rush to an ultrasound clinic. Devi is five months pregnant and desperately wants to know the sex of her unborn child.
“It’s better if it’s a boy,” Devi said, her hands shaking nervously. “If it’s a girl, we will get it aborted.”
SD Oglala Lakota Teens Proudly Wear ALL’s Pro-Life T-Shirts Despite Reports of Attempt to Open Abortion Clinic on Reservation:
“Native American teens in South Dakota are showing their support for the pro-life movement by participating in this year’s National Pro-life T- shirt Day,” said Erik Whittington, American Life League’s youth outreach director. “As we prepare to kick off this year’s event on April 25, American Life League joins with the youth of South Dakota to speak out about the horrors of abortion.”

Hospital to ‘kill’ sick woman?:
On April 30, Andrea Clark is scheduled to be on the receiving end of a Texas law that allows a hospital ethics committee to terminate care with 10 days’ notice, giving the patient’s family that length of time to find a different facility.
“They just say, ‘Well she’s miserable.’ Well, to me that’s a quality of life decision that is up to her and her family,” Lanore Dixon told KHOU-TV. “That is not a medical decision.”

Cloned dog celebrates first birthday:
The team led by scientist Hwang Woo-Suk unveiled the dog named Snuppy last August amid global fanfare. Time magazine named Snuppy one of the most amazing inventions for 2005.

Richards: ‘Sheen Wanted Me to Have an Abortion’:
In legal documents, presented to officials in Los Angeles last week, the actress claims Sheen asked her to “get an abortion” when he discovered she was pregnant in 2003, and became “furious’ when he learned the child was a girl.
Wombs for Rent, Cheap:
If everything goes according to plan, Mehli, 32, will deliver a healthy baby early next year. But rather than join her other three children, the newborn will be handed over to an American couple who are unable to bear a child on their own and are hiring Mehli to do it for them.
She’ll be paid about $5,000 for acting as a surrogate mother, a bonanza that would take her more than six years to earn on her salary as a schoolteacher in a village near here.

Abortion measure tacked onto schools bill; sex ed bill stalled:
Topeka A proposal requiring sex education courses to discuss abortion methods and fetal development became part of a school finance bill Tuesday, but a bill to keep school districts from canceling sex ed classes remained stuck in committee.
The House voted 74-49 to add the abortion-related amendment to the school finance bill. Teachers would have to show photos or drawings of fetuses, discuss the medical risks associated with abortion procedures and provide information about whether the fetus feels pain.

Supreme Court Rejects Abortion Poster Case:
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday ended a decade-long fight over the use by anti-abortion protesters of “wanted” posters to identify clinic doctors.
Activists who created Wild West-style posters and a Web site targeting abortion doctors had been ordered to pay nearly $5 million in damages, and the court refused without comment to take up their appeal.
Operation Rescue: AGI Abortion Report is Flawed Science:
NEW YORK, May 2 /Christian Wire Service/ — Operation Rescue has learned that the Alan Guttmacher Institute plans to release a new abortion report on May 4 that OR says is little more than biased propaganda meant to prop up a failing the abortion industry. The Guttmacher Institute is the research arm of Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion supplier.
The report, titled “Abortion in Women’s Lives” attempts to pass off as fact such discredited notions that first trimester abortions have virtually no risks, there is no relationship between abortion and breast cancer, and that abortion poses no hazard to women’s mental health.
Fetal Assault Bill Passed:
A bill that makes it a crime to harm a human fetus has won final approval in the Unicameral.
Under the measure, intentionally causing serious injury to an unborn child will be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
See Also:

FDA says one abortion pill death unrelated:
One of two recent deaths of women taking the abortion pill RU-486 was unrelated to an abortion or use of the drug, but the second case is still under investigation, U.S. regulators said on Monday.

Hawaii Lawmakers Approve Bill To Protect Abortion Rights:
A woman’s right to abortion could be protected in Hawaii even if Roe v. Wade were overturned in a bill approved by state lawmakers.
They sent a bill to the governor on Tuesday that they hope will be able to withstand constitutional challenges if the Supreme Court overturned the right to an abortion.

Schiavo battle changed attorney’s view of abortion:
‘In many ways, it’s the other end of the abortion debate, frankly,’ Anderson said, admitting she has completely changed her mind on the issue of abortion, despite having defended the practice since she was a young woman.
‘Once you really examine the evidence and take a cold, hard look at it, it’s almost inescapable that killing a baby is not a solution,’ Anderson said. ‘Killing babies is not the way out of social problems or personal problems. Killing off your elderly or disabled is not the way to keep your healthcare budget in balance.’

Damage to Ky. Anti-Abortion Display Probed:
Sally Jacobsen, a professor of literature and language at Northern Kentucky University, said nine students in one of her graduate-level classes dismantled the display Wednesday.
‘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,’ Jacobsen said. She declined to say if she took part.
Dr Jacobsens Home Page, CLICK HERE

Annual march targets abortion:
As they’ve done for the past 30 years, a group of Bay Area opponents of abortion marked Good Friday with a nine-mile walk from San Jose to Santa Clara, chanting the rosary and holding up signs that said, ‘Stop Abortion Now.’
More than 100 people took the ‘prayer walk’ from St. Martin of Tours church in San Jose to Our Lady of Peace church in Santa Clara. Along the way, the group stopped briefly at the offices of Planned Parenthood on The Alameda and Taylor Street.
‘It’s worth a little sacrifice on Good Friday,’ said Paul Ryan, 23, of Sunnyvale, one of the men who took turns carrying a 7-foot-tall wooden cross.

Two die after RU-486 abortion pill: US:
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Two women reportedly died after using the RU-486 abortion pills, US drug regulators said without having confirmed the causes of the deaths.
The Food and Drug Administration said that the manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, had reported the deaths and that the FDA was investigating.

‘Choose Life’ Plates Allowed in Tenn:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A federal appeals court Friday allowed Tennessee to offer anti-abortion license plates bearing the message “Choose Life.” ADVERTISEMENT
A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati overturned a lower-court ruling that said the tag illegally promoted only one side of the abortion debate.
“Although this exercise of government one-sidedness with respect to a very contentious political issue may be ill-advised, we are unable to conclude that the Tennessee statute contravenes the First Amendment,” Judge John M. Rogers said in a 2-1 ruling.

Lawmakers Accuse Senator Of Being Dishonest During Debate/Chambers Lashes Out At Foley:
Lincoln Sen. DiAnna Schimek and others said they felt betrayed by Foley. State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha said he and others asked Foley if he was trying to cut funding to Planned Parenthood and Foley denied that’s what he was doing.
“Not once did Sen. Foley respond he was trying to cut out these types of programs. Now he said he’s focusing only on Planned Parenthood,” Chambers said.

Foley said his distaste for Planned Parenthood is well known and no one should have been surprised as to his motives.
“I’m sorry friends,” Foley said. “I’m just not buying that anyone got hoodwinked into thinking this wasn’t a pro-life discussion, because you all knew it was.”

Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs is now concerned it will lose funding.
“There is going to be more funding, but to a broader array of providers, and it may mean that family planning agencies across the state will receive less funding, said the clinic’s Chris Funk.
Pro-life advocates believe that’s the way it should be.
“Now if this passes, they will be able to go to their own area or county, or their own doctor to have this done, and they don’t have to walk in the doors of that death camp,” said Ann Marie Bowen, of Nebraskans United for Life.

Congressman Ratchets Up Campaign Against Abortion Drug:
WASHINGTON With two new deaths linked to the abortion drug RU-486, the leading congressional opponent to the drug stepped up his call to yank it off the market, saying manufacturers have made pregnancy “a near fatal disease.”
At his news conference Wednesday, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., held aloft a picture of 18-year-old Holly Patterson, who died after taking the drug. He urged an immediate vote on his bill, HR 1079, “Holly’s Law,” which would force the Food and Drug Administration to remove the drug from the market for further investigation

Massachusetts Demands Wal-Mart Stock Morning After Pill:
BOSTON The state board that oversees pharmacies voted Tuesday to require Wal-Mart to stock emergency contraception pills at its Massachusetts pharmacies, a spokeswoman at the Department of Public Health said.

Schiavo’s Parents Vow to Keep Up Fight:
By SAM HANANEL The Associated Press Thursday, March 30, 2006; 8:02 PM
WASHINGTON — One day before the first anniversary of Terri Schiavo’s death, her family came to the nation’s capital with a pledge to keep fighting “the growing culture of euthanasia.”

Senate to consider changes to “informed consent” law:
By JOHN MILLER Associated Press Writer
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Proposed changes to a 1983 Idaho law that requires women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion and be told by doctors about their fetuses, the procedure and its potential complications will be debated in the Senate after a committee approved the package Friday.
The changes, sponsored by Sen. Hal Bunderson, R-Meridian, are meant to allow doctors to skirt the waiting period and information requirements in medical emergencies.
Netherlands allows ‘baby euthanasia’ :
GRONINGEN, Netherlands, March 4 (UPI) — In the next few weeks, the Netherlands will become the first country to allow the euthanasia of young children with incurable illness.
A committee will be formed to decide when ‘baby euthanasia’ is warranted, the Times of London reported.
Eduard Verhagen, clinical director of pediatrics at the University Medical Centre in Groningen, has admitted participating in four ‘assisted neo-natal terminations.’ He has drawn up a protocol that has been adopted by the government, saying euthanasia can be considered only in cases with ‘unbearable suffering,’ with parental consent and consultation with other doctors.

Wrongful birth claim supported :
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Friday parents can sue doctors if a genetic screening misses a greatly disabling or fatal condition that would have caused the parents to seek an abortion if detected.

Pakistani nurse raped for abortion refusal :
Mattrai (Pakistan), Feb. 27: The gangrape of a nurse who refused to perform illegal abortions has outraged Pakistan and intensified calls for the repeal of its rape laws.
Rubina Kousar, 26, was attacked by three men after they burst into her lodgings at a rural health centre at Mattrai in Pakistan’s Punjab province last Wednesday.
‘I was constantly put under pressure over the course of six months to carry out illegal abortions on two women but I refused,’ said Kousar. ‘And so revenge was taken.’

Walmart To Carry ‘Morning After Pill’ :
Walmart says they have changed their minds and do plan to carry the ‘The Morning After Pill’ in all of their stores’ pharmacies across the country.
If taken within the first five days after unprotected sex, the pill can prevent unintended pregnancy. But until Friday, you could only get it at the Walmart pharmacies in Massachusetts and Illinois, where stores were required to stock it.
8 News contacted Walmart who previously refused to sell the pill locally about their change in policy. They would not speak to us on camera but did release this statement.
‘We expect more states to require us to sell the emergency contraceptives in the months ahead, because of this and the fact this is an FDA approved product, we feel it is difficult to justify being the country’s only major pharmacy chain not selling it.’

Cambodia deports American over ‘Euthanasia cafe’ :
PHNOM PENH (AFP) – Cambodia has deported an American for running websites that promoted the impoverished kingdom as a destination for people who wanted to end their lives.
‘We deported him this morning at 10 am because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received a lot of complaints from many diplomats from other countries,’ the deputy chief of national police, General Sok Phal said Saturday.
‘Unlike what he said, Cambodia is not a place where foreigners can come to commit suicide.’
Californian Roger Graham, 57, who owned the Blue Mountain Coffee and Internet Cafe in the quiet coastal backwater of Kampot, had advertised his avid support of euthanasia, or mercy killing, on his websites (Website names not shown).

Euthanasia probe continuing in New Orleans, NPR reports :
NEW ORLEANS (BP)An investigation continues into allegations of euthanasia in the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina, when New Orleans hospitals were surrounded by water and conditions were dire with little hope of evacuating patients. National Public Radio has reported that it gained access to court documents that reveal eyewitness accounts of what happened during those days.
The documents, not yet released to the public, shed light on an investigation by the Louisiana attorney general’s office of doctors and nurses at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans, where rumors indicate patients were given lethal doses of medicine because no end to their suffering was in sight.
Though more than 70 witnesses have been subpoenaed by investigators and massive amounts of evidence are being assessed, no one has yet been charged and no one has confirmed seeing doctors or nurses actually administer lethal drugs, NPR said.
Miss. House Advances Bill to Ban Abortion:
JACKSON, Miss. – Gov. Haley Barbour said Wednesday he would probably sign a bill under consideration in the state House that would ban most abortions in Mississippi.
The measure, which passed the House Public Health Committee on Tuesday, would allow abortion only to save a woman’s life. It would make no exception in cases of rape or incest.
Barbour, a Republican, said he preferred an exception in cases of rape and incest, but if such a bill came to his desk: ‘I suspect I’ll sign it.’
The full House could vote on the bill next week, and it would then go to the Senate.

(Pro-Life) protests legal, high court rules:
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said again Tuesday that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used to block protests at abortion clinics, this time saying the legislation does not regulate violence that is unconnected to illegal shakedowns

See Also…

Fr. Pavone Praises Supreme Court Victory for Pro-life Activists:
Priests for Life National Director Fr. Frank Pavone congratulated Joseph Scheidler and the Pro-life Action League for their victory at the Supreme Court, which ruled in the Scheidler vs. NOW case in favor of the pro-life activists.
‘For decades, in this case and many others, pro-choice groups have tried to paint us who oppose abortion as violent people. Today, yet again, that strategy fails.’

Bush differs with South Dakota abortion bill:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President George W. Bush said on Tuesday said his view on abortion differs from that of a South Dakota measure that would ban the practice in all cases except when the mother’s life was at stake.
Asked about the provisions in the state law, Bush replied, ‘Well, that, of course, is a state law, but my position has always been three exceptions: rape, incest and the life of the mother.’
Study finds home abortion ‘safe’:
A pilot study into whether women could have abortions at home has shown early signs of success, it has been reported.
Women less than nine weeks pregnant can safely have the medical abortion outside hospital, the Department of Health backed project found.
In a medical abortion, a woman takes a tablet of the drug mifepristone under supervision before returning two days later to take four pills of misoprostol which leads to a termination within a few hours.

Rejection prompts unwed mothers to resort to abortion: study:
THE fear of getting ostracized or being declared an outcast is the most common reason why many unmarried and pregnant women prefer to undergo abortion.
This was the result of a 2002 to 2004 survey conducted by the Prolife Philippines in its bid to understand deeper why many Filipino women resort to abortion.

South Dakota passes abortion ban

See also: South Dakota passes abortion ban:
SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (Reuters) – South Dakota’s state senate voted on Wednesday for an abortion ban aimed at giving the conservative-tilting Supreme Court an opening to overturn rulings granting women the right to the procedure.
Only an unlikely veto by Republican Gov. Michael Rounds could prevent the legislation from becoming law, people on both sides of the issue said.
‘We hope (Rounds) recognizes this for what it is: a political tool and not about the health and safety of the women of South Dakota,’ said Kate Looby of Planned Parenthood, which operates the sole clinic providing abortions in South Dakota.
‘If he chooses to sign it, we will be filing a lawsuit in short order to block it,’ she said after attending the afternoon debate at the state capitol in Pierre.
Proponents have said the law was designed for just such a court challenge.

Justices to Revisit Late-Term Abortion Ban:
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said Tuesday it would consider reinstating a federal ban on what opponents call partial-birth abortion, pulling the contentious issue back to the high court on conservative Justice Samuel Alito’s first day.
Alito could well be the tie-breaking vote when the court decides if doctors can be jailed for performing the abortion procedure.
It is the first time the court has considered a federal restriction on abortion, and conservatives said they expect the membership change to affect the outcome.
‘This is the frontline abortion case in the country,’ said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, who represents members of Congress in the case.
Justices split 5-4 in 2000 in striking down a state law barring the same procedure because it lacked an exception to protect the health of the mother. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the tie-breaking vote, retired late last month and was replaced by Alito.

Appeals Courts Uphold Abortion Finding:
Two federal appeals courts on opposite sides of the country declared the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional Tuesday, saying the measure lacks an exception for cases in which a woman’s health is at stake.
The first ruling came from a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hours later, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued a similar decision in a 2-1 ruling.
The New York decision affirmed a 2004 ruling by a judge who upheld the right to perform the procedure even as he described the procedure as ‘gruesome, brutal, barbaric and uncivilized.’
Tuesday’s ruling was marked by an unusually sharp dissent by Judge Chester J. Straub, who said he believed Congress’ determination that the procedure was never medically necessary to protect a women’s health was well founded and supported by a lower court ruling.
‘Allowing a physician to destroy a child as long as one toe remains within the mother would place society on the path towards condoning infanticide,’ he said.
He added: ‘I find the current expansion of the right to terminate a pregnancy to cover a child in the process of being born morally, ethically and legally unacceptable.’

Senate confirms Bush nominee Alito to US Supreme Court:
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Senate confirmed conservative judge Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court, handing President George W. Bush a major victory in his bid to steer the US high court to the right.
The largely party-line vote was 58 to 42 in the Republican-dominated Senate.
Alito, 55, a federal appeals court judge, fills the seat vacated by departing justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the first woman ever seated on the court.
Republicans Clear the Way for Alito Vote:
Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito enjoys sufficient bipartisan support to surmount any Senate filibuster attempt by minority Democrats, members of both parties indicated Friday.
A final vote making the New Jersey jurist the nation’s 110th Supreme Court justice is scheduled for Tuesday, hours before President Bush gives his State of the Union address to Congress and the nation.
Democrats and Republicans both said that the 55-year-old conservative jurist will get more than the 60 votes need to cut off debate on the Senate floor Monday. “Next Tuesday, a bipartisan majority will vote to confirm Judge Alito as Justice Alito,” said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

Native American Women Denied Abortion Services (Webmasters note: We were disappointed to learn that there is still a political interest in the death of Native American Children):
Native American woman activist Charyn Asetoyer met with a group of abortion rights advocates on Capitol Hill today to talk about the dismal state of reproductive healthcare on Indian reservations in the US. As outlined in the Hyde Amendment, the Indian Health Service (IHS) is required by law to provide abortion services to Native American women in need of abortions because of rape, incest and life endangerment. However, IHS facilities have only provided 25 abortions in the past 20 years, according to IHS statistics. Meanwhile, Native American women are victims of rape at a rate that is three and a half times higher than women of all other races in this country, according to the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center.
‘Twenty-five in 20 years is obviously a contradiction of the number of violent crimes committed against indigenous women,’ said Asetoyer, who is a member of the Yankton-Sioux tribe in South Dakota. ‘When a woman is turned down for rape, incest and life endangerment a law is being broken. (IHS) needs to be held accountable.’
Asetoyer noted that many doctors who work on the Indian reservations tend to be from Catholic nations such as Puerto Rico and are either ideologically opposed to abortion or have not received training in reproductive healthcare. Many doctors refuse to provide emergency contraception and no IHS facility provides mifepristone for early medical abortion.

Abortion bills move forward in House:
INDIANAPOLIS Clinics would be required to tell Indiana women seeking abortions that life begins at conception, according to one of several contentious abortion bills that cleared a House committee Thursday.
That bill also would require providers to tell women that their fetus may feel pain during the procedure.
The House public policy committee advanced another bill that would require providers to meet certain physical building standards rules Planned Parenthood of Indiana says would essentially shut down all of the state’s nine abortion clinics.

Women want abortion limit changed:
The majority of women in Britain want the abortion laws tightened to make it harder to terminate a pregnancy, a new survey has found.
Cutting the legal time limit for an abortion from its present 24 weeks is backed by 47% of women, according to the study published in the Observer.

Target pharmacist is fired over Plan B controversy:
By Jo Mannies
Pharmacist Heather Williams believes there’s no middle ground when it comes to the so-called ‘morning-after’ pill known as Plan B.
Williams opposes use of that pill, or any other emergency contraception taken after unprotected sex, because they can prevent a fertilized human egg from implanting in the uterus. ‘For me, life begins with two cells,’ Williams said Thursday.
As a part-time pharmacist at a Target store in St. Charles, Williams had refused to fill such prescriptions without incident for the past five years. But she also declined to refer physicians or patients to others who would fill such prescriptions.
‘I just can’t be a link in the chain at all,’ she said.
As of Jan. 1, that stance cost Williams her job.
She and her lawyer, Ed Martin, filed a complaint this week against Target with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A lawsuit also is being considered.

Terri Schiavo’s sister speaks at pro-life rally:
(Columbia-AP) January 21, 2006 – The sister of Terri Schiavo says her family’s failed struggle to keep Schiavo alive shows a society that has lost sight of the value of human life.
Suzanne Vitadamo is the sister of Schiavo and was the featured speaker Saturday at the ‘Stand Up For Life’ rally, sponsored by the South Carolina Citizens for Life.
About 1,000 people turned out in front of South Carolina’s capitol to listen to Vitadamo recount her sister’s ordeal.
Vitadamo says Schiavo did not want to die and was not terminal when she passed away of dehydration in March 2005. Schiavo’s husband had a court order allowing him to remove his wife’s feeding tube.
Vitadamo told the group that ‘Our society has shifted to a quality of life mentality and has lost sight of the value (and) sacredness of all human life. We now as a nation are deciding when it is OK or not OK to kill those suffering from disabilities.’

American Life League Brings Next Generation of Pro-Life Activists to Washington for the Weekend:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ — This Saturday through Monday, January 21- 23, American Life League’s Rock for Life will host its annual training weekend in Washington, D.C. Young people will gather to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which decriminalized abortion in all fifty states ‘Rock for Life’s mission is to educate, activate, mobilize and unite the youth of our nation to fight the culture of death,’ said Erik Whittington, director of Rock for Life. ‘Young activists from across the country will gather in our nation’s capital this weekend to speak out against the assault on the most essential human right – the right to life.’

Rallies Mark Roe V. Wade Anniversary:
Thousands of abortion opponents shouldering signs with slogans such as ‘Peace Begins in the Womb’ marched in protest of the 33-year-old Roe v. Wade decision, while abortion rights supporters along the march route waved clothes hangers and shouted ‘Bigots go home.’
The dueling protests marking Sunday’s anniversary of the Supreme Court decision reflected the growing tension at a time the makeup of the high court is about to change with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement.
‘It’s a crucial time,’ said abortion rights supporter Carol Norris, 43, who joined the counter-protest in San Francisco Saturday. ‘We have (Judge Samuel) Alito poised to be on the Supreme Court, and he’s clearly an anti-choice person.’
On the other side, college student Laura Arnold, 20, of Pleasanton, Calif., marched with her mother opposing abortion, saying: ‘We’re here to stand up for the babies that don’t have a voice.’
‘I know so many girls who did it and they are hurting every day of their life,’ Arnold said. Oregon Law May Pave Way for More States:
PORTLAND, Ore. – After more than a decade of legal battles over assisted suicide, a Supreme Court ruling affirming that states have the authority to regulate medical treatment of the terminally ill may help turn an Oregon law into a national model.

Court Avoids Abortion Issue in N.H. Case :
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court gave New Hampshire a chance to salvage its restrictions on abortion Wednesday, sidestepping for now an emotional subject that is likely to be revisited when a new justice joins the court.
New Hampshire’s victory may be short-lived because the justices ordered a lower court to consider how to fix problems with the 2003 law requiring a parent to be told before a minor daughter ends her pregnancy.
The 9-0 decision reaffirmed that states can require parental involvement in abortion decisions and that state restrictions must have an exception to protect the mother’s health. It also gave states new ammunition in defending restrictions on the procedure.

Fetal Assault Measure:
Nebraska lawmakers gave first-round approval Wednesday to a bill that would make it a crime to harm a human fetus, but the measure’s main opponent vowed to keep fighting against it.
The bill was advanced on a 39-1 vote after its sponsor, Sen. Mike Foley of Lincoln, asked lawmakers to end a filibuster against the measure.
He needed 33 votes to end debate. He got 36.

State Lawmakers Look at Bill to Protect Unborn Children:
Unborn babies can be vulnerable and their mothers can be too. They’re too often victims of assault, usually at the hands of their partners. ‘With pregnancy there’s going to be another life involved, they may feel they’re losing more control, less attention given to them,’ said Sue Andersen of the Rape/Spouse Abuse Crisis Center.
That’s why lawmakers are looking at a bill that would make hurting an unborn baby a crime. It would call hurting or seriously injuring an unborn child assault.
Some aren’t sure protecting the fetus from harm is what’s at stake. ‘This requires the fetus to become separated and become a separate legal entity. Ultimately what that means is that separate personhood would be used to overturn abortion rights,’ said Bobbie Kierstad of Planned Parenthood. ‘It simply recognizes rights that they already have. These rights were never take away, even under Roe versus Wade. Roe versus Wade did not say that a state could not protect an unborn human life outside the context of abortion,’ said Greg Schleppenbach of the Nebraska Catholic Conference.
The bill does not include any action taken by the mother or by a physician with the mother’s consent.

Reverend rescues destitute ‘Jane Roe’:
DALLAS — Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff “Jane Roe” in the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide, is destitute, unemployed and spends all of her time caring for her godmother and a long-time friend who is partially paralyzed.
“I’ve eaten so much spaghetti and prepared it so many different ways, I can hardly look at it anymore,” Miss McCorvey told The Washington Times. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to us, but I still have faith.”
She said that “outside of some bread and a few potatoes, we don’t have anything left.”
But within hours, things suddenly began to improve, greatly.
“When I came back from the Post Office Thursday,” she said, “a man was sitting in his car in my driveway. When he saw me, he jumped out of his car and started opening doors and carrying in sacks and sacks of groceries.
“I never saw so many groceries all at one time,” Miss McCorvey said. “He was sent from God.”

Oregon assisted suicide law upheld:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked the Bush administration’s attempt to punish doctors who help terminally ill patients die, protecting Oregon’s one-of-a-kind assisted-suicide law.
It was the first loss for Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined the court’s most conservative members — Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — in a long but restrained dissent.

Status of assisted-suicide initiatives:The Associated Press
A ruling Tuesday by the Supreme Court offered protection for Oregon’s one-of-a-kind assisted-suicide law. Some other states where assisted-suicide proposals have been discussed:
CALIFORNIA A bill to allow doctor-assisted suicide comes up for a vote in March in the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee. Likely facing defeat, backers of the bill had suspended their efforts to win legislative approval of the measure last June.
VERMONT Backers of assisted suicide tried unsuccessfully to bring a proposed law to a vote in the Legislature last year. A similar death-with-dignity bill was filed this year and awaits action.
CONNECTICUT A bill was introduced in the General Assembly last year dealing with assisted suicide in response to the prosecution of a man who helped a friend with terminal cancer kill himself. The bill did not survive last year’s legislative session.
HAWAII In 2002, Hawaii came within just three votes of becoming the second state to allow doctor-assisted suicide. Similar bills have stalled in the Legislature since then.
MAINE Voters in 2000 narrowly rejected a proposal to allow physician-assisted suicide. Similar proposals were rejected by the state Legislature four times before supporters launched an initiative drive that forced the proposal to the ballot.
MICHIGAN A law enacted in 1998 made physician-assisted suicide a felony. Voters later that year soundly defeated a ballot measure that would have made assisted suicide legal under certain guidelines and in effect overturn the Legislature’s ban.
WASHINGTON Voters in 1991 rejected a proposal to allow doctor-assisted suicide. The measure would have overturned an existing ban on the practice.

Fetal Assault Debate Measure not advanced:
Nebraska lawmakers tackled but failed to advance a controversial measure on Friday that would make it illegal to assault or otherwise do bodily harm to an unborn child.
The question is whether you can do bodily harm to a human zygote.
Senator Mike Foley of Lincoln says yes and Omaha Senator Ernie Chambers says no. That’s how the debate is breaking down on the floor of the Unicameral.
Chambers argued that a zygote does not have a body.
He said, “Where there is no body, there cannot be serious bodily injury.”
Foley, sponsor of the bill, argued that human life begins at conception.

76-year-old killer executed:
California’s oldest condemned inmate was executed this morning at San Quentin State Prison after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final appeal Monday.
Clarence Ray Allen, 76, was pronounced dead at 12:38 a.m., less than an hour after his 76th birthday ended at midnight.

Women Are More Likely To Be Treated For Sleep Problems After An Induced Abortion:
Results of a study show that women are significantly more likely to be treated for sleep disorders or disturbances following an induced abortion compared to a birth. The observed risk was highest in the first 180 days after pregnancy outcome but was not significant after the third year.
The authors examined the records of 15,345 women who had an induced abortion and 41,479 women who gave birth. Women with a history of treatment for sleep disorders during the period prior to the pregnancy outcome were excluded.

Study could lead to challenge to abortion:
An anti-abortion group says 98 per cent of abortions performed in New Zealand could be legally challenged as a result of a Christchurch study, which shows young women who have had a pregnancy terminated may be at increased risk of developing mental health problems.
The Canterbury Health and Development Study, which is following the progress of a group of 1265 children born in Christchurch in mid-1977, showed that 42 per cent of those who had had an abortion by age 25 had also experienced major depression in the previous four years.
This was nearly double the rate of those who had never been pregnant and 35 per cent higher than those who had chosen to continue with their pregnancies.
Right to Life spokesman Ken Orr said the findings were “just the tip of the iceberg”.
“Overseas studies reveal that mental health conditions following an abortion may last a lifetime,” he said.

Catholic Philippines Mulling Limits on Family Size:
( – Lawmakers in the predominantly Catholic Philippines will soon consider legislation promoting artificial contraception and promoting the idea of a two-child limit for families.
The House of Representatives has agreed to hold a plenary debate, starting around mid-January, on the “Responsible Parenthood and Population Management Act,” known locally as House Bill (HB) 3773.
Proponents say the bill is urgently needed to curb population growth and fight poverty in the Southeast Asian nation — a country of 84 million people, an estimated 40 percent of whom live below the poverty line.
But the move has drawn strong opposition domestically from the Catholic Church and prolife groups, as well as from campaigners based in the U.S.

Some lawmakers hope for silence on embryonic stem cell research:
With voters across Missouri likely to consider a proposed constitutional amendment soon, the debate over embryonic stem cell research is emerging as one of the top statewide political issues in 2006.
Just don’t expect much of that conversation to occur in the state Capitol.
As lawmakers prepare for Wednesday’s start of the legislative session, five different bills dealing with the use of human embryos for scientific research already have been filed.

‘Anguish of abortion is worse than miscarriage’:
A study in Norway compared a group of 40 women who had suffered a miscarriage with 80 women who had an abortion, questioning them 10 days, six months, two years and five years after the event.
Although women who had a miscarriage suffered more mental distress up to six months after losing their baby, women who had an abortion experienced more mental distress at the two- and five-year intervals.
The study, by the University of Oslo, published in the journal BMC Medicine, measured the extent of intrusive thoughts, feelings and flashbacks about the end of pregnancy. The researchers also assessed how much women avoided thinking or talking about the event.

American Life League helps lead successful fight in keeping abortion illegal in Colombia:
American Life League and Human Life International took on this fight when it was discovered that many pro-abortion organizations were aiming to overturn the current Colombian law, which protects preborn babies in the womb. The Center for Reproductive Rights, International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Allan Guttmacher Institute, Human Rights Watch, and “Catholics” for a Free Choice are just a few of the American groups that were working to overturn the law and decriminalize abortion in Colombia.
“This was truly a case of David vs. Goliath,” said Garcia-Jones. “These organizations had been actively involved in this case for months and many had filed briefs with the Constitutional Court of Colombia. Thankfully, their efforts were fruitless.”

Abortion calls flood Johnson’s office:
WASHINGTON (AP) Abortion groups are battling over Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson’s vote on the next Supreme Court justice.
Fidelis, a Michigan-based Catholic organization that opposes abortion, is criticizing Planned Parenthood for encouraging citizens to call Johnson’s office in opposition to nominee Samuel Alito.
Planned Parenthood is engaged in very risky politics by bringing their extreme position on abortion into South Dakota, a well known pro-life state, Fidelis president Joseph Cella said in a news release this week.

Mother sacrifices self for unborn baby:
Bernadette Mimura, 37, was diagnosed with cancer a month into her pregnancy and lived just long enough to see her son, Nathan, baptised.
Her partner, Adam Taylor, 33, said doctors offered her the choice of her unborn baby or her life.
He said: “Being a Catholic, abortion was out of the question for her. It was a tough decision, but we could not give up on Nathan.”
Miss Mimura, who lived with Mr Taylor in Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, was given a mild form of chemotherapy to do no more than suppress the illness while carrying Nathan, now four months old.

Nevada Pharmacy Board won’t decide conscience rule:
RENO, Nev. State regulators have abandoned a plan to formally authorize Nevada pharmacists to deny a prescription based on moral grounds. The Nevada Board of Pharmacy decided yesterday to leave the controversial matter up to the state legislature.
The panel had been considering a new regulation that would make it clear a pharmacist can refuse a prescription if they are able to find another way for the patient to get the medicine.

Groundbreaking Abortion Report Approved in South Dakota:
PIERRE, S.D., Dec. 9 /U.S. Newswire/ — After hours of debate, the South Dakota Taskforce to Study Abortion approved a groundbreaking report on the effects of abortion on women, children and society.
The report examined the available scientific research, expert testimony, affidavits, and public testimony to determine the effects of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. The report includes findings on the physical and emotional complications of abortion, the lack of proof that condom-based sex education prevents teen pregnancy, and the destruction abortion has wrecked on the family structure.

Schiavo’s husband sets up PAC to target those who intervened:
WASHINGTON Michael Schiavo, who fought for years to remove his wife, Terri, from a feeding tube that kept her alive, has turned his anger over Congress’s intervention into political action.
Mr. Schiavo announced Wednesday that he has organized TerriPAC to strike back at politicians who tried to keep his brain-damaged wife alive through congressional legislation he termed a “sickening exercise in raw political power.”
Throughout the years, Mr. Schiavo maintained that his wife would not have wanted to be kept alive artificially after being robbed of her brain function. Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, had sought to keep the feeding tube intact and had rallied anti-abortion forces to their side.
The case became a media spectacle, and then a congressional slugfest, when GOP leaders brought lawmakers back from Easter recess for an emergency vote on behalf of the Schindlers.

Alito says views on abortion no factora:
WASHINGTON — Despite recently unearthed documents showing his strong opposition to abortion two decades ago, Judge Samuel Alito said Friday that his personal views on the socially divisive subject “would not be a factor” if he is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.
In response to alarms raised by liberal critics about Alito’s attempts to bolster abortion restrictions in the mid-1980s, Alito responded to questions about his decades-old writings from Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who then relayed the answers to reporters.

Father backs ban on abortion pill:
The father of a Livermore woman who died in 2003 after taking the RU-486 abortion pill is going international with his concerns over its safety.
Monty Patterson, who has called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to withdraw its approval of RU-486, this week urged the Australian government to reject moves to legalize RU-486 there.

GOP leader fears backlash if Roe v. Wade is overturned:
WASHINGTON — The Republican lawmaker who helped guide the GOP to an expanded majority in the House three years ago warned yesterday that a Supreme Court ruling overturning a woman’s legal right to an abortion — a possibility if the high court shifts further to the right — could hurt his party’s political prospects and cause a ”sea change” in suburban voting habits.
At a breakfast gathering of reporters, Davis said Republicans have a political cushion with voters as long as Roe is intact. Currently, ”you can be prolife and no one feels that’s a threat to someone having to make a difficult decision” if abortion is illegal, he said.

Doctor Assisted Suicide Debate Hits The Airwaves:
Lawmakers and the public are being lobbied on an emotional issue. A bill that would allow doctor assisted suicide is being criticized by a group that has taken its message to the airwaves. The TV ads were produced and paid for by the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare.

Death Penalty:
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Kline will argue Wednesday for a reversal of a decision by the Kansas Supreme Court, which held that the state’s 1994 death penalty law was unconstitutional.
The question centers on whether the state’s law gives equal protection to those convicted of murder. The Kansas court struck down the law, saying the state statute is skewed in favor of a sentence of death.

Carter condemns abortion culture:
“These things impact other issues on which [Mr. Bush] and I basically agree,” the Georgia Democrat said. “I’ve never been convinced, if you let me inject my Christianity into it, that Jesus Christ would approve abortion.” Mr. Carter said his party’s congressional leadership only hurts Democrats by making a rigid pro-abortion rights stand the criterion for assessing judicial nominees. “I have always thought it was not in the mainstream of the American public to be extremely liberal on many issues,” Mr. Carter said. “I think our party’s leaders — some of them — are overemphasizing the abortion issue.” While Mr. Carter has previously expressed ambivalence about abortion, his statements yesterday were “astonishing,” said Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute at Concerned Women for America. “He has long professed to be an evangelical Christian and yet he had embraced virtually all the liberal political agenda,” said Mr. Knight. “Maybe with Jimmy Carter saying things he never uttered before, more liberals will rethink their worship of abortion as the high holy sacrament of liberalism.”

Alito abortion stance proving tough to pin down:
His mother may know best, but conservatives don’t share her certainty that Samuel Alito would overturn abortion rights. Alito’s independent streak is complicating what might otherwise be an easy call as people on both sides of the abortion divide try to figure out his likely course if he were confirmed by the Senate for the Supreme Court. The nominee’s 90-year-old mother, Rose Alito, has said of her Catholic son that “of course, he’s against abortion.” But that is her personal understanding, which is not always an accurate indicator of how a justice would vote. “If you asked me to guess what Sam thought about abortion, it’s probably the same thing his mother said,” said Joshua I. Schwartz, a professor at George Washington Law School who worked with Alito in the Solicitor General’s Office during the Reagan administration. “But obviously there is a real difference between what Sam Alito thinks is what’s right and what’s wrong and what does he think the law should be,” Schwartz said

Abortion law troubles both sides:
A pregnant 16-year-old walked into the Broward County courthouse this summer wearing tattered jeans and a pink T-shirt. She wanted an abortion, and she didn’t want her mother to know. She rode a rickety elevator alone, up 10 floors, hoping to win Broward Circuit Judge Robert Lance Andrews’ permission to have the abortion without telling her parents. She waived her right to a free attorney. A witness said she giggled during the hearing. Andrews turned her down because he didn’t feel she was ”mature,” said Fort Lauderdale lawyer Randy Fleischer, who represented the girl in her appeal. ”She looked like a little street urchin that got into trouble and suddenly she has to deal with the court system,” Fleischer said. “It’s hard enough for a young girl, then to have to be questioned by some judge who may or may not have sympathy for them.” She miscarried before her appeal was heard. The lack of state uniformity in procedures is upsetting critics — on both sides of the abortion issue — who believe the girls, or their parents, are not being served by the system. The abortion rights advocates’ camp argues there are too many obstacles; anti-abortion forces think it’s too easy.

Court to Weigh Never-Enforced Abortion Law:
To some, a never-enforced New Hampshire law requiring parental notification before a minor has an abortion is a backward step for women’s rights. To others, it protects parents’ right to know if their child is having an abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider those arguments Wednesday as it begins to weigh whether to reinstate a law that requires parental notification 48 hours before an abortion can be performed on a minor. The 2003 law was struck down, days before it was to take effect, for failing to provide an exception to protect a minor’s health. Under the law, parents or guardians must be notified either in person or by certified mail.

Alito Quotes on Abortion Issues:
“Of course, he’s against abortion.” _Alito’s 90-year-old mother, Rose. “He said, ‘I’m not an advocate, I don’t give heed to my personal views, what I do is interpret the law.'” _Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., after meeting with Alito and asking him about his statement in the 1985 document. Feinstein is the lone woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which plans confirmation hearings on Alito in early January. Alito “joins a long list of jurists who have written that Roe was wrongly decided.” _Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who also is on the committee. “He agreed that it is the unusual case in which a prevailing Supreme Court precedent would be overturned. He basically said – I want to be careful about this, not putting words in his mouth – that Roe was precedent on which people, a lot of people relied, that it had been precedent for decades and therefore deserves great respect.” _Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. “He assured me he has tremendous respect for precedent and that his approach is not to overturn cases due to a disagreement with how they were originally decided.” _Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Planned Parenthood protests Target’s Plan B policy:
Target Corp. is defending its policy on filling prescriptions for emergency contraception after the Planned Parenthood Federation of America accused the retailer of disrespecting customers’ reproductive rights. Target allows pharmacists to choose not to fill requests for emergency contraception, also known as Plan B, if it is against their religious beliefs.

Pope salutes ‘courageous’ anti-abortion movement:
Pope Benedict XVI saluted the “courageous activities” of the worldwide anti-abortion movement during his weekly general audience at the Vatican which included several pro-life associations.
The 78-year-old pontiff told more than 20,000 pilgrims in St Peter’s Square that the anti-abortion movement had helped “write the pages of hope for the future of humanity.”

Be grateful to FDA (Editorial on FDA decision).
FDA NEWS on the “Morning After” pill

Death Penalty Sought:
A Kansas woman accused of cutting an unborn baby from the womb of a Missouri mother-to-be could face the death penalty if convicted.
Lisa Montgomery, 37, Melvern, Kansas, faces trial in Missouri next April on a federal charge of kidnapping resulting in death. U.S. Attorney Todd Graves announced Wednesday his office has filed documents to support a possible death penalty.

Alito distances self from abortion stance:
Democrats who met with high court nominee Samuel Alito said he told them he was ‘wiser’ now than in 1985 when seeking a job in the Reagan administration and making conservative statements on abortion.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Wisconsin Right to Life case in 2006:
A Wisconsin Right to Life case is set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court early next year.
Barbara Lyons, executive director of the Wisconsin Right To Life, said in a visit to the Northwoods Tuesday that the case is against the Federal Election Commission and is asking for an exception to the McCain Feingold bill for lobbying.
She said the bill contains a blackout period prior to hearings that prohibits lobbying groups to speak to their legislators.
“We believe this is a violation of our right to petition the government on issues important to us,” said Lyons. Her other concern is that Gov. Jim Doyle has vetoed, and is expected to veto, pro-life legislation.
AB 138, regarding unborn child pain awareness, indicates a woman seeking an abortion who is at least 20 weeks pregnant must be told the unborn child could experience pain. AB 138 passed the assembly this week and has passed the senate.

Judge Samuel A. Alito on abortion, a nuanced stand:
In 3 of 4 cases, Supreme Court nominee Alito voted on the side of abortion rights.

Bush Picks Alito for Supreme Court:
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush, stung by the collapse of his previous choice, nominated veteran judge Samuel Alito on Monday in a bid to reshape the Supreme Court and mollify his conservative allies. Ready-to-rumble Democrats warned that Alito may be an extremist who would curb abortion rights.
“Judge Alito …. has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years,” Bush said, drawing an unspoken contrast to his recent choice, Harriet Miers.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Penn., a supporter of abortion rights, said that Alito’s views “will be among one of the first items Judge Alito and I will discuss.”
Unlike Miers’ nomination, which was derailed Thursday by Bush’s conservative allies, Alito faces vocal opposition from Democrats.

Samuel Alito Jr. brief overview by U.S. News:
In 1997, Alito authored the majority opinion upholding a city’s right to stage a holiday display that included a Nativity scene and a menorah because the city also included secular symbols and a banner emphasizing the importance of diversity. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito was the sole dissenter on the Third Circuit, which struck a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to consult their husbands. He argued that many of the potential reasons for an abortion, such as “economic constraints, future plans, or the husbands’ previously expressed opposition . . . may be obviated by discussion prior to abortion.” The case went on to the Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court’s decision 6 to 3.

Inmate Who Sucessfully Sued Missouri Corrections Department for Denying Her Transport for Abortion Has Procedure:
A Missouri prison inmate had an abortion at a St. Louis clinic on Thursday, three days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order allowing her to be transported to an outside clinic to receive the procedure, a request that was originally denied by the state corrections department, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports

Abortion doesn’t raise depression risk: study:
The authors found that terminating compared to delivering an unwanted first pregnancy was not directly related to risk of depression. Instead, women who delivered before 1980 had a much higher risk of depression than all other groups.
These findings “directly contradict the claim that terminating an unwanted first pregnancy puts women at higher risk of subsequent depression, particularly for younger women,” Schmiege and Russo contend.
Their analysis also showed that women who had aborted a pregnancy had significantly higher mean education attainment and income and lower total family size. These factors could explain the higher risk of depression among women who don’t abort an unwanted pregnancy.
(Our comment: The articles basic point seems to be “Richer is happier, even if it means killing an unwanted baby”)

Death penalty foes call for moratorium in California:
LOS ANGELES Death penalty opponents gathered in Los Angeles to call for a moratorium on all executions in California _ and to urge Governor Schwarzenegger to grant clemency to Stanley “Tookie” Williams. Williams, convicted murderer and co-founder of the Crips street gang, is scheduled to die December 13th.
“Voices From Death Row” is a national speaking tour sponsored by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. The event drew about 80 supporters to East Los Angeles College yesterday and featured Darby Tillis, a former Illinois death row inmate who was later exonerated.

Oregon law hinges on O’Connor Miers’ withdrawal muddles court ruling on assisted suicide :
The ripples from Harriet Miers’ withdrawal of her Supreme Court candidacy could reach the hospitals and hospices for the terminally ill in Oregon and any other state — including California — that is considering a law on doctor-assisted suicide.

Miers Backed Abortion Ban in 1989 Survey:
WASHINGTON Supreme Court nominee Harriet E. Miers told a conservative group in 1989 that she opposed abortion and would “actively support” legislation to severely restrict the procedure should the Supreme Court overturn Roe vs. Wade, documents released Tuesday showed.
Her position 16 years ago, when she was running for the Dallas City Council, is the first indication of Miers’ views on abortion to come directly from her. Since being nominated by President Bush, Miers has declined to discuss the topic.

High Court Allows Inmate’s Abortion:
Issuing its first abortion-related decision under new Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the Supreme Court refused yesterday to block the court-ordered transport of a female prison inmate to an outside clinic for an abortion.
The court’s two-sentence order capped five tense days of litigation. The woman, now 16 weeks pregnant, was battling a new Missouri policy forbidding prisons to assist women seeking to terminate their pregnancies, as corrections officials had done in seven previous cases during the last eight years.
Late Friday night, Justice Clarence Thomas, who handles emergency applications from the judicial circuit that includes Missouri, had intervened at the state’s request to stop the transfer of the prisoner — referred to in the lawsuit as “Jane Roe” — to a Planned Parenthood office in St. Louis on Saturday. Over the weekend, however, Thomas referred the case to the other eight justices, resulting in the decision announced yesterday.

Stem Cell Test Tried on Mice Saves Embryo:
Scientists have devised two new techniques to derive embryonic stem cells in mice, one of which avoids the destruction of the embryo, a development that could have the potential to shift the grounds of the longstanding political debate about human stem cell research.
If it does work in people, which could take many months to find out, the technique might divide the anti-abortion movement into those who accept or reject in vitro fertilization, because the objection to deriving human embryonic stem cells would come to rest on creating the embryos in the first place, not on their destruction.
“This gets around all of the ethical arguments, except for that small minority of the pro-life community that doesn’t even support in vitro fertilization,” said Representative Roscoe G. Bartlett, Republican of Maryland, whose Web site describes him as “a pro-life legislator.”
Until now the only way of deriving human embryonic stem cells has been to break open the embryo before it implants in the uterus, a stage at which it is called a blastocyst, and take out the inner cell mass, whose cells form all the tissues in a human body.
Although the blastocysts used in the procedure are ones that fertility clinics have rejected for implantation, many opponents of abortion say the destruction of any embryo is wrong. Congress has forbidden the use of federal money for any such research, and federally supported scientists can work with only a small number of existing lines of embryonic stem cells that have been exempted by President Bush.

Police: Woman Tried To Cut Baby Out Of Mother:
WAYNE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Doctors performed an emergency delivery after a woman allegedly tried to take an expecting mother’s