Pro-Life News Briefs: Abortion, Stem Cell Research, Plan B Drug

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 18, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life News Briefs: Abortion, Stem Cell Research, Plan B Drug Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 18
, 2007

British Children’s Commissioner: Don’t Report Underage Sex to Police
London, England ( —
The Children’s Commissioner for England said last week that underage sex involving teenagers and adults should not be reported to the authorities. The comments come at a time when states in the United States are turning their attention to prosecuting abortions done on young teens who are victims of statutory rape. Prof Sir Albert Aynsley-Green said nurses, teachers and youth workers must follow government guidelines published last April which state that while there is a "presumption" that information is passed on to social workers or police, decisions should be made using individual discretion on a case by case basis. But Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust said that trumpeted the importance of parents and held them responsible for their children’s behavior. He said the commissioner is "effectively saying that children have a right to a private sex life and are treating with contempt the protection given by the age of consent." He added, "Confidentiality policies drive a wedge between parents and their children and expose young people to risk of abuse and disease."

Kansas Senate to Consider Alexa’s Law to Protect Women, Unborn Kids
Topeka, KS ( —
Kansas legislators have been debating a measure that would protect pregnant women and unborn children who become victims of violence. It charges criminals with two crimes instead of one when they kill and injure both mother and child. The legislation was introduced after the murder of 14-year-old Chelsea Brooks and her unborn baby Alexa. The Kansas House has already passed the law and now it heads to the state Senate. On Thursday, supporters and opponents testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the issue. "This is about my granddaughter Alexa. I can’t say much because I never got to know her. I can’t tell you what she was going to look like because she was killed before she was born," Terry Brooks told senators. Brooks’ not only lost Alexa, she also lost her daughter Chelsea last summer. But in the eyes of the law, only Chelsea’s death counts as murder. "Even though it’s too late for her (Alexa), her life can count for future victims of violence. We need this law," Brooks said. Pro-life groups, including Kansans for Life, strongly support the legislation.

Uruguay Legislators Want to Try to Weaken Nation’s Abortion Law
Montevideo, Uruguay ( —
Legislators from the ruling frente Amplio alliance in Uruguay will submit a draft bill to legalize abortion despite possible opposition by President Tabare Vazquez. Sen. Monica Xavier said they will fight for the pro-abortion bill even with a veto threat and called to change a pro-life law of the 90s she called unfair and discriminatory. The stand is shared by Senators Margarita Percovich and Victor Vaillant said there is ample support from Frente Amplio. President Vazquez met with members of the Women’s National Coordination, made up of 50 female organizations, that call for a new law to stop illegal abortions. The abortion advocates claim there are as many as 33,000 annually despite the country’s low population. Uruguay saw its House approve a bill to legalize abortions in 2004, but the Senate wound up defeating the measure. American lawmakers said at the time that they hoped it would not follow the US. Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who is considered the top pro-life Congressman, said he hoped he played a small part in stopping Uruguay from "the same costly mistake” the U.S. did when it allowed legal abortions 31 year ago and "legalized the violent murder of unborn children.” Norma McCorvey, the former Roe of Roe v. Wade, also went to the South American nation to urge a no vote. "Children will not be killed in their mothers’ wombs, and women will not be maimed in Uruguay," she said. The country’s Senate rejected the bill on May 5 with a 17-13 vote and President Jorge Batlle said he would veto the bill if approved.

Arkansas House Votes to Create Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Bank
Little Rock, AR ( —
The Arkansas state House voted 93-1 last week to create an umbilical cord blood bank where parents can store the cord blood from their newborn children to use down the road for treatments. The state-run bank would store blood for possible use later in transplants and stem-cell research. The legislation includes a provision that would allow taxpayers to direct part or all of their state income tax refunds to the program. Pro-life groups strongly support adult stem cell research as a more effective and ethical alternative to embryonic stem cell research.

Oregon State House Backs Bill Mandating Insurance Coverage of Birth Control
Salem, OR ( —
The Oregon House on Thursday voted to mandate health insurance coverage of birth control prescriptions. The 49-9 vote requires such coverage for all insurance plans that help pay for other drugs and will cover the morning after pill, also known as Plan B. Pro-life groups worry it could lead to coverage of drugs used in assisted suicides or the abortion drug RU 486. Republicans have been able to kill the legislation in the past but, with Democrats controlling the legislature now, it has no trouble moving ahead. The bill requires all plans to cover all drugs unless they are a religious employer. It also requires hospitals to tell patients who are victims of sexual assault that the morning after pill drug is available for them to use. Maura Roche, a lobbyist for Planned Parents Advocates of Oregon, said her group supported the bill.