Pro-Life News Briefs: Abortion, Samuel Alito, China, Euthanasia, etc.

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life News Briefs: Abortion, Samuel Alito, China, Euthanasia, etc. Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 21, 2005

Associated Press, CNN Jump the Gun on Samuel Alito Abortion Memo
Washington, DC ( —
CNN and the Associated Press jumped the gun on reporting the release of a third memo supposedly written by Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito on the issue of abortion. The media outlets reported the existence of a third memo among a group of other papers released by the National Archives on Friday of papers Alito wrote during his stint in the Reagan administration. One problem. The abortion memo was a copy of one that made headlines back in November concerning his desire to overturn Roe v. Wade and his advice to President Reagan’s top attorney to use an upcoming Supreme Court case to limit abortions. Later stories released by both media outlets late Friday clarified the error, saying the new document was a copy of the older one, without admitting the mistake. Thousands of news organizations cited the original AP and CNN stories and touted the existence of a new memo.

China Considers Amendment One-Child Forced Abortion Law
Beijing, China ( —
Responding to problems associated with its coercive family planning laws allowing just one child per couple, China is considering some reforms aimed at curbing the gender imbalance that has resulted. An amendment to the criminal law on having two children is in the works in China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee. Members of the legislature debated the idea Saturday. Officials worried that some parts of China are seeing a lopsided gander balance because girls babies are either aborted or become victims of infanticide because rural Chinese prefer boys. The ratio of boys to girls in some parts of China is as high as 1.19 to 1. The amendment would put forward fines and prison sentences for people who help someone in selecting the sex of the unborn child and targets those who use ultrasounds to determine the baby’s gender before birth. China’s population control programs have been the source of controversy for years because they involve forced abortions, sterilizations, fines, and imprisonment for those who violate the one-child law or their families.

Massachusetts Abortion Advocates Want Expanded Buffer Zones
Boston, MA ( —
Abortion advocates in Massachusetts want to expand the size of buffer zones in place around abortion centers there. State law already mandates 6 foot buffer zones around those entering the abortion facility in an 18 foot radius around the abortion business. They prohibit anyone distributing handouts from giving the information to people entering the abortion center without their consent. All that isn’t enough for abortion advocates, who now want to expand the buffer zone to 35 feet around the abortion center. Melissa Kogut, executive director of NARAL’s Massachusetts affiliate, claims the current la it too hard to enforce. She adds that, because its a moving zone that pro-life protesters can follow those entering an abortion facility and continue to talk to them as they enter. Sen. Jarrett Barrios is sponsoring the bill on behalf of Planned Parenthood, according to an AP report. Massachusetts Citizens for Life took the current law to court and the U.S. Supreme Court in April declined to hear a case on it.

Hurricane Katrina Euthanasia Investigation Focusing on More People
New Orleans, LA ( —
The investigation into whether staff at New Orleans’ Memorial Medical Center euthanized any patients during and after Hurricane Katrina is focusing on more than just one person, officials reported. After the storm hit, one doctor temporarily working at the medical center at the time said he overhead staff members discussing euthanizing patients. Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti has commented on the investigation for the first time and told CNN that the allegations are "credible and worth investigating." Hundreds of deaths in hospitals and nursing homes are being investigated and Foti, in October, said autopsies would be performed on all 45 patients who died at Memorial during Katrina’s aftermath. Later, he issued dozens of subpoenas to facilitate the investigation. But Foti told CNN that lately cooperation "has not been as good as I had hoped." Dr. Bryant King, who was working at Memorial when conditions were at their worst, told CNN exclusively that while he did not witness any acts of euthanasia, "most people know something happened that shouldn’t have happened."

Switzerland Hospitals Allow Euthanasia Group to Help Patients Die
Geneva, Switzerland ( —
A hospital in the Switzerland is allowing a euthanasia group to come in and meet with patients and help them kill themselves via assisted suicide. The Vaud University Hospital Center will allow the Exit euthanasia group access to patients starting in January. Representatives of the organization will be allowed to meet with those patients who have no chance of ever leaving the hospital. The hospital claims it will put policies in place to prohibits patients from being admitted solely on the basis of attempting to end their lives with the group’s assistance, a VUHC spokesman told the Associated Press. Lausanne University Hospital confirmed it, too, will allow the euthanasia group after January 1. Switzerland law allows patients to be give help in killing themselves.

Virginia Man Convicted of Beating Pregnant Woman, Killing Unborn Baby
Manassas, VA ( –
– A Virginia man has been convicted of killing his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn child. Carlos WIlliams, 27 of Dale City, was charged with the death of 17 year-old Cheri Washington and her unborn chid. Washington was Williams’ girlfriend and a senior at C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, according to an AP report. After discovering Washington was pregnant, Williams believed the baby to be his own, though DNA tests later showed he was not the father. Williams beat her with a baseball bat and both she and the baby died the next day at a local hospital. He faces life in prison when the court holds a sentencing hearing in May.