by Steven Ertelt
July 17, 2007
Barack Obama Bashes Supreme Court on Partial-Birth Abortion at Planned Parenthood Mtg
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Illinois Sen. Barack Obama spoke to abortion advocates at a Planned Parenthood conference in Washington this afternoon and he harshly criticized the Supreme Court on its recent decision upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion. Instead of judges who would vote to protect the right to life, he promised he would appoint justices with “empathy.” He called the decision on the partial-birth abortion ban part of “a concerted effort to steadily roll back" legalized abortion. He also ridiculed Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority decision in the case and highlighted how some women regret their abortions and experience physical or mental health issues afterwards. "Justice Kennedy knows many things," he declared, "but my understanding is that he does not know how to be a doctor." Obama also drew laughs from those at the abortion business’ conference by criticizing Chief Justice John Roberts. He said that judgments of Robert’s character during his confirmation hearings — based on things such as him loving his wife and being good to his dog — should have been weighed more seriously. "We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom,” he said, assuming that abortion was the best answer for a young woman in an unplanned pregnancy situation. “And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges." Obama also criticized pro-life advocates saying that their concerns about abortion are old hat in the face of international and national security concerns. "At a time when the real war is being fought abroad, [some] would have us fight Culture Wars here at home." But he added smilingly, "I am absolutely convinced that culture Wars are just so ’90s. Their days are growing dark." Hillary Clinton, and Elizabeth Edwards (appearing in lieu of her husband while he continues his three-day poverty tour) also spoke to the Planned Parenthood activists.
Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Edwards Talk Abortion, Edwards Slams Clinton as Disingenuous
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — While Barack Obama was busy slamming the Supreme Court at the recent Planned Parenthood conference, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards appeared on a crash course with each other as to whether Clinton or Edwards’ husband John is the most pro-abortion Democratic candidate for president. During the speech, Clinton pointed with pride her to votes against the confirmation of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. Clinton attacked them for their recent decision upholding a federal ban on partial-birth abortions and accused President Bush of trying to tilt the high court against abortion. "At the top of the list was this effort to try to overturn Roe vs. Wade or at least try to chip away at it," Clinton said, saying the Bush administration has “waged war” against contraception education and "set out from Day One to dismantle reproduction rights around the world." "They don’t just want to wage a war on choice," Clinton said. "They want to wage a war on contraception. They are against family planning." On judges she added, "I would appoint well-qualified judges who really respect the Constitution.” Meanwhile, Edwards said that her husband’s health insurance proposal would promote abortions — something that Obama supports as well. Clinton has not yet released a proposal related to health care after her 1993 debacle in which she tried to have the federal government take over the health care industry. But Edwards went further in an interview after the Planned Parenthood event. She said she thinks her husband is a better warrior for women than Clinton — claiming the former First Lady is "not as vocal a women’s advocate as I want to see." She also questioned Clinton’s commitment to promoting abortion and pointed out past statements Clinton has used to try to moderate her stance by saying abortions are tragedies. "I don’t think we should muddle the language," Edwards said Tuesday. "Yes, we have to be able to talk to someone who’s squeamish about it, but the question really is, who should make the decision? And it has to be the woman. Hillary may be expressing exactly what she believes — I hope she is — but the wiggle room in what she says makes me feel uncomfortable." Clinton didn’t directly respond to the criticisms.
Poll Shows Republican Voters Favor “None of the Above” in 2008 Presidential Race
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll conducted by the Associated Press finds that Republican voters are so torn about next year’s presidential election that more respondents said they prefer “None of the above” to any of the candidates currently running for the GOP nomination. About one-quarter of respondents had no preference when asked compared with top candidates Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain or Mitt Romney. The percentage of those polled who have no preference has increased from 14 percent in June to 23 percent this month. The AP poll finds support for abortion advocate Giuliani is now at 21 percent, down from 27 percent in June and 35 percent in March. Thompson is now running about even with the New York mayor — at 19 percent — even though he has not officially entered the race. Arizona Sen. John McCain has dropped to 15 percent with recent campaign troubles and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney remains at 11 percent. Among Christian and conservative voters, none of the top candidates has a clear lead as the results are split among the top four. On the other hand, pro-abortion New York senator Hillary Clinton has a sizable lead over pro-abortion Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. The poll also found that she fares better with black and Hispanic voters despite Obama’s status as one of just two ethnic minorities seeking the Democratic nod. The AP poll found Clinton at 36 percent, Obama at 20 percent and pro-abortion former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards at 11 percent. Despite the AP’s national poll, Obama has been leading Clinton in national fundraising and Edwards is doing well in some early states such as Iowa and South Carolina. About 13 percent of Democrats said they had no candidate as a favorite a this time.
House Committee Adopts Amendment for Adult Stem Cell Research Inventory Program
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House of Representatives adopted an amendment to a fiscal year 2008 budget bill that will promote adult stem cell research. It added an amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill Tuesday night offered by pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, and Artur Davis, a pro-abortion Alabama Democrat. The amendment makes it so the federal government fully funds the National Cord Blood Inventory program at $15 million for the fiscal year after giving only partial funding in previous years. The program provides for banking of ethically non-controversial stem cells that are treating people today, unlike embryonic stem cell research. Rep. Dave Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who heads the House Appropriations Committee, accepted the amendment without a roll call vote, so it will now be included in the bill. The Senate has not yet passed its version of this bill, however the Senate Appropriations Committee Report provides $12 million for cord blood. Pro-life advocates hope that the final enacted bill will fully fund this important program at the House-passed level.
Republican Presidential Candidate Jim Gilmore Drops Bid for GOP Nomination
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — One of the two pro-abortion Republicans seeking to carry the party’s banner in 2008 has dropped out. Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore, a former Virginia governor, has officially dropped his long-shot bid for the Republican Party’s nomination. Gilmore had troubles fundraising and coming up with enough money to stay competitive against a large field of candidates. Gilmore, also a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, was not as well known as his rivals and said in a statement that it “has become apparent to me that the combination of my late start and the front-loaded nature of the primary schedule have made it impractical to continue to pursue this path towards further public service.” Gilmore said, “I believe that it takes years of preparation to put in place both the political and financial infrastructure to contest what now amounts to a one-day national primary in February.” The Republican also had emergency surgery for a detached retina, which prevented him from campaigning for several days. Gilmore claimed Republicans should support his candidacy because he is more conservative than some of the party’s presidential frontrunners. However, Gilmore supported legal abortion even though he also backed some limits such as parental notification and a ban on taxpayer funded abortions. With Gilmore’s exit, ex-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is the lone Republican presidential hopeful who backs legalized abortion.
Ireland Neurologist: Patents Being Mislead About Embryonic Stem Cell Research Benefits
Belfast, Ireland (LifeNews.com) — A prominent neurologist in Ireland says patients with incurable diseases are being mislead about how embryonic stem cell research could possibly help them. Dr Orla Hardiman spoke with the Irish Medical Times in advance of the annual Neurology Update Meeting. She said some of her patients have been “exploited” by the stem cell industry and have traveled to foreign countries with the hope that miracles cures will alleviate their medical issues. “It is important to put into context the potential benefits, but also the current limitations, in the use of stem cells,” said Dr Hardiman, a consultant neurologist in Beaumont Hospital. “I’ve had patients who have raised money to go to places like Ukraine or Rotterdam in the vain hope that stem cell therapy is going to cure their incurable disease. I think it’s very important to be clear about what stem cells can do. What we want to do, with this conference, is inject a bit of realism into the media coverage about stem cell research.” Dr. Hardiman said that the potential exists for stem cell research to bring forth benefits for patients with neurological disorders, it is “very premature” to think about stem cells curing certain ones, she told the Medical Times. “There are just a lot of technical and logistical problems in figuring out how best to manage stem cells, where to get them, and, when you get them, how to manipulate them to turn into the cells you want them to turn into,” she said.
Pro-Life Champions Harold Brown and Tom Marzen Pass Away, Leaders Remember Efforts
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Two key pro-life advocates have passed away in recent days. One of the pioneering heroes of the pro-life movement died as cancer claimed the life of Harold Brown — a distinguished theologian who taught at both Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Reformed Theological Seminary. He was also the director of the Center on Religion and Society at the Rockford Institute. However, Joe Brown may be best remembered as one of the key thinkers, along with the late Francis Schaeffer, who brought evangelicals into the pro-life movement after Roe v. Wade and supplied them with intellectual arguments for the debate. Brown also joined Dr. C. Everett Koop (later Surgeon General) in founding the Christian Action Council in 1975. It later became Care Net, a network of over 1,000 pregnancy resource centers across the country. Dr. Brown also served on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Human Life and Bioethics at the Family Research Council. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” FRC’s president Tony Perkins said. Meanwhile, LifeNews.com is also sad to learn that Tom Marzen the lead attorney for the National Center for the Medically Dependent and Disabled, has died of lung cancer. Tom was a tireless advocate for the equal humanity and human rights of people with serious cognitive or developmental disabilities. He was very actively involved in trying to stop the promotion of euthanasia and assisted suicide well before they came to the full attention of the pro-life movement. “By the time I first became aware of these issues, Tom was already deeply immersed, striving to prevent dehydrations and protect disabled babies against the imposition of futile care treatment removals, as in the Baby Terry case,” noted bioethicist Wesley J. Smith said. “Tom never tired and never allowed setbacks to discourage him from seeking to protect the weak and vulnerable. He will be missed.”
New Jersey Pro-Life Advocates Upset by Potential Sale of Abortion Facility
Atlantic City, NJ (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in New Jersey are upset by the potential sale of an embattled abortion business to an abortion practitioner who has had significant malpractice issues. Dr. Steven Chase Brigham says he plans to by the Alternatives abortion center in Atlantic City, which the state health department recently closed down after an investigation revealed health code violations. But Brigham has violations of his own and botched abortions and substandard medical treatment let him to lose his license in New York and Florida. And, in 1994, New Jersey restricted him from doing second-trimester abortions after allegations of gross negligence. He recently told the Press newspaper that he had begun the process of purchasing the abortion business and paying its employees before health officials temporarily closed it down on June 22. Yet Alan Kline, a spokesman for the current owner claims the abortion facility is not for sale and state officials say they have not received an application for the sale of Alternatives. Still, pr-life advocates say the process of an abortion practitioner who has put women at risk running Alternatives presents real concerns. Ironically the state appointed Kline to oversee Brigham’s abortions 13 years ago when he ran into trouble with health officials. Chris Slattery, president of Expectant Mother Care, a New York-based group with pregnancy centers in New Jersey, talked with AP about his concerns. “Our main focus is to block this Brigham sale,” he said. "He has clearly shown a contempt for women’s health."
Ohio State Legislator Tries Again for Bill to Ban All Abortions There
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — An Ohio state legislator is again trying to get a bill approved in the state legislature that would ban all abortions there. Rep. Tom Brinkman Jar knows his bill likely won’t go far because it faces a virtually certain veto from the governor, but he hopes the debate will draw attention to how abortion hurts women and destroys the life of unborn children before birth. His House Bill 284, which ban all abortions in the state, is similar to one he introduced last legislative session, which House Speaker Jon Husted said would not be placed among the legislature’s priorities. This time, Husted’s media representative said the bill will probably get a hearing. Brinkman hopes the bill will become a vehicle for overturning the Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on partial-birth abortions earlier this year but pro-life advocates say the high court is still at least one vote away from having the pro-life majority needed to reverse Roe. Ohio Right to Life Director Denise Mackura said the Supreme Court decision "opens the door for some kinds of legislation — more restrictions (on abortion) — but there was no indication that Justice Anthony Kennedy would be voting to overturn Roe." A spokesman for pr-abortion Gov. Ted Strickland, Keith Dailey, confirmed that the governor would veto the abortion ban if it somehow got to his desk. Mackura said any bill to ban abortions is fruitless with Strickland in office. "With the governor that we have, I don’t think there is any possibility of getting a ban passed," she said. "While we do have a majority of pro-life legislators in the House and Senate, I don’t know that we have a veto-proof majority."
Minnesota Supreme Court Overturns Convictions of Pro-Lifers Who Held Abortion Signs
Minneapolis, MN (LifeNews.com) — On Thursday, July 12, the Minnesota Supreme Court handed down an important ruling, reversing the criminal convictions of pro-life protesters Ron Rudnick and Luke Otterstad for displaying large signs on an overpass on two occasions in the Twin Cities suburb of Anoka, Minnesota just weeks before the 2004 national elections. One sign displayed a large color photo of the aborted infant, "Baby Malachi," while next to it was a large handwritten sign that branded a local Congressional candidate as "pro-abortion." On both occasions the pro-lifers were arrested and jailed by Anoka police, who also took their signs. Charges of "criminal nuisance" and a violation of Anoka’s sign ordinance were upheld by a trial judge. Stiff fines and prison sentences were imposed. Chicago’s Thomas More Society was asked to help and underwrote an appeal, but appellate Judges upheld both convictions. Thomas More Society reassembled its team of appellate and Minnesota’s Supreme Court allowed a further appeal. Oral arguments were held last November, and last week when a four Justice plurality ruled that the prosecution hadn’t proven the signs a criminal "nuisance" or that Anoka’s sign ordinance even applied. Two other Justices agreed with Justice Alan Page who wrote in his concurrence that defendants’ First Amendment rights were violated as the prosecution had been "content-based" – aimed at the pro-life message. Tom Brejcha, chief counsel of the Thomas More Society told LifeNews.com, "Graphic photos are controversial even among pro-lifers. We urge that they be used prudently and sparingly – with warning signs wherever possible. But our society has to confront the brutal, bloody realities of this murderous atrocity, as mere abstract rhetoric too often fails to trigger the deep, visceral reaction needed to overcome contemporary America’s bland indifference to this carnage."
Alabama Pro-Life Advocates Stage Rally at Tuscaloosa Abortion Business
Tuscaloosa, AL (LifeNews.com) — More than 150 pro-life advocates gathered at the West Alabama Women’s Center abortion facility for a protest. Bryan Cranford, a 29 year-old was one of the attendees. “We’re just Christians living out our faith in the street,” he said. “We’re taking a stand against what’s not right. Everyday this nation is killing babies.” He came along with his pregnant wife and three children to stand on the grass near the abortion center and added that Americans need to know more about how abortion is destroying unborn children in a painful manner one life at a time. Meanwhile, a staff member of the abortion facility was arrested on a misdemeanor charge during the demonstration. Gloria Gray, a 55 year-old who is the office manager of the abortion center, was charged with disorderly conduct during the protest and eventually freed on a $500 bond. The Associated Press reported that police Captain Greg Kosloff said Gray was outside the abortion business during the protest and engaged in an argument with pro-life advocates. After police told her to go back inside the building, she refused and was arrested. The protest is a part of a series of events pro-life advocates are planning that also includes protests at abortion centers in Birmingham. The protests began there and then moved to Tuscaloosa, where the abortion center is near the University of Alabama. Abortion facilities in the state have been increasingly under fire after several of them ran afoul of state health and safety laws and were closed because they put women at health risks.
New Zealand Pro-Life Group Disappointed by Abortion Supervisory Appointment
Auckland, New Zealand (LifeNews.com) — Right To Life New Zealand is disappointed that the Hon.Peter Dunne, leader of United Future, voted on 15 June to support the appointment of abortion practitioner Rosemary Fenwicke to the Abortion Supervisory Committee [ASC]. “His vote is highly significant as United Future is promoted as the party that upholds the family as the foundation of a sound society. The unborn child is the weakest and most defenseless member of the human family. At conception the child is endowed by God with an inalienable right to life. The child because of its helplessness is entitled to effective legal protection both before and after birth,” the group said. The Minister of Justice moved that Fenwicke and Patricia Allen be appointed as members of the Committee and that Professor Linda Holloway be appointed chairman. Mr. Copeland moved that Dr. Ate Moala, a highly respected Tongan medical practitioner be appointed in preference to Fenwicke. Dunne voted against this amendment. He subsequently voted to support the Minister’s motion. “We all have a duty to defend life, to promote a culture of life and oppose a culture of death. Dr Rosemary Fenwicke is an abortion certifying consultant, she is also an operating surgeon employed at the Level J abortion facility at the Wellington Hospital,” the group said. “She has been terminating the lives of unborn children since at least 1989. During this period she has probably been personally responsible for killing several thousand innocent and defenseless unborn children.”