Pro-Life News: Abortion in Nicaragua, Disabled Activist, South Dakota, Louisiana

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 15, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life News: Abortion in Nicaragua, Disabled Activist, South Dakota, Louisiana Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 15,

Magazine in Germany Urges People to Lobby Nicaragua to Allow Abortions
Berlin, Germany ( —
A German magazine is encouraging citizens of the European nation to lobby Nicaragua officials to legalize abortions there. The magazine Lateinamerika Nachrichten (Reports on Latin America) is encouraging Germans to send postcards to the president of Legislative Assembly of Nicaragua, Rene Nunez Tellez, to pressure the country to turn back from its pro-life policies and legalize abortions. The post cards, which Germans are asked to send to the Nicaraguan embassy in Germany, include false information about the number of deaths the country’s pro-life laws have supposedly caused. According to Carlos Polo, director for Latin America of the Population Research Institute, the campaign is being led by a small sector of German society and is an “intolerable meddling of German citizens in the affairs of another country.” “The message on the post cards demonstrates serious ignorance about what is being debated in Nicaragua and about what concerns Nicaraguans,” he said. Polo said Nicaraguans should decide for themselves about their own laws and that the small group of Germans promoting this campaign see themselves as superior to Nicaraguans.

Disabled Veteran Becomes Leading Activist Against Abortion, Euthanasia
Columbia, SC ( —
South Carolina resident Wayne Cockfield says his wheelchair gives him an advantage when it comes to lobbying. That’s because he thinks it’s difficult for a legislator or a UN official to look him in the face and say he can’t have a good quality of life because he is disabled. Cockfield, 58, lost both his legs in 1969 while on a river patrol during the Vietnam War. Just as he landed his rubber raft, a huge explosion blew him at least 20 feet into the air. "It was a miracle that I didn’t die," he said. "I was literally even with the top of a tree. One second I was on the ground, next second I was looking at the top of a tree." Some 27 operations and decades later, Cockfield is now a lobbyist for the pro-life movement as he has served as a non-governmental organization representative to the United Nations for the National Right to Life Committee. He’s worried that doctors are increasingly deciding for themselves what lives are worth value and should be treated. "You literally have a values test for your worth now," Cockfield told the Midland Daily News. "There is a mindset in this country now that, if you cannot function to a certain level, you’re not human." He told the newspaper, "My goal in life is … to do every single thing that is within my power to convince people that if we continue to kill the unwanted, then the future in this country is going to be hell, a living hell."

South Dakota Pro-Abortion Group Wants Abortion Out of State Legislature
Pierre, SD ( —
A South Dakota pro-life group wants to keep abortion out of the state legislature in its upcoming session. The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, the pro-abortion group that led the fight against the abortion ban in 2006, is behind a new petition effort. Campaign director Nathan Peterson said, "There have been rumblings now from legislators and special interest groups about bringing an abortion ban to the forefront and one thing we’ve heard overwhelmingly since 2006 is that people are tired of that same bitter debate." His group is going door to door in the state to get petition signatures for asking lawmakers to not deal with abortion issues. But pro-life advocates are organizing too. "We’ve got some plans, we’ve got energy. We’ve got a great team and we’re here to protect unborn children," said Leslee Unruh, who headed the group behind the ban. "We have not stopped since the last campaign. We have been educating. We have been working. We’ve had our own door-to-door and we are really excited about what’s going to be happening in the next few months."

Louisiana Pro-Life Group Says Lawmakers Wrong on Human Cloning Bills
Metairie, LA ( —
The Louisiana Right to Life Federation (LARTL) opposed HB 736 (2005) authored by Rep Eric LaFleur and Senator Hines. LARTL opposed then, and opposes today, cloning for both reproduction and for research. Benjamin Clapper, LARTL Executive Director, states: “The article entitled ‘Pro-Life Groups Target state Senate Hopefuls’, which appeared on October 10th in the Lafayette Advertiser and Shreveport Times, included responses by members of the “Ten Least Wanted” ( These responses failed to address the actual facts of HB 736 or the other “clone and kill” bills that the candidates supported.” HB 736 was a “clone and kill” bill because it required the destruction of the cloned human embryo in order to remove his or her cells for laboratory experiments. It criminalized only the implantation of the cloned embryo to initiate a pregnancy. Clapper continues, “While we oppose cloning for reproduction, this bill would have created a right to clone human embryos for the purpose of using them as raw material for failed science experiments. 54 Members of the House agreed with us and HB 736 was defeated. This is an important pro-life issue because it determines whether legislators who oppose abortion will respect all human life as a gift created to be loved, not a product manufactured to be used.”

Abstinence Education Has Strong Voice in New York TV Debate
Albany, NY ( —
The issue of abstinence education funding in New York State took to the television airwaves recently, with the proponent of abstinence education exhibiting excellent knowledge and poise despite hostile questioning from the Regional News Network (RNN) host. The debate took place in the wake of the New York State Health Commissioner’s controversial decision to reject more than $3 million in federal abstinence education grants, while diverting state abstinence funds toward so-called "comprehensive" programs. The decision has raised major concerns among health educators given that the government already spends $12 on safe sex and contraceptives for every $1 spent on abstinence. In the televised debate, Christine Kim, a policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation got her facts straight. Kim said that the majority of teens are not sexually active, citing a study from the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control which points to a drop in sexual activity among high school students during the past 15 years. Kim cited other reliable studies which indicate that teens respond positively to a clear and consistent message that abstinence is the healthiest choice. She noted that a study of "comprehensive" sex-ed programs revealed that they devote only about 4.7% of their time and content to abstinence, so that the abstinence message is lost within the overwhelming message that teen sex is acceptable as long as you "protect" yourself.