Pro-Life News: West Virginia, Minnesota, New Zealand, Canada

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 15, 2011   |   7:25PM   |   Washington, DC

The following are pro-life news updates from across the country and around the world.

West Virginia Candidates Urged to Abide by No Abortion Funding Pledge

Charleston, WV — In a joint letter sent on Monday to each candidate running in the special election for governor, leaders from West Virginians for Life and the Family Policy Council of West Virginia (FPCWV) challenge lawmakers to sign the, “Vote for Life” Pledge.  The letter, signed by Karen Cross and Jeremiah Dys, also urges the pro-life community in West Virginia to commit to voting only for a candidate who refuses the millions of dollars the abortion industry offers to many candidates today.

“Every innocent human life is worthy of protection,” said Jeremiah Dys, president and general counsel of the FPCWV.  “Proponents of abortion invest millions in politicians that they expect to steer millions of taxpayer dollars into the abortion industry.”
The challenge comes after rumors that Emily’s List, a multi-million dollar, out-of-state political action committee, has met with at least one candidate in the race for governor.  In 2010, PAC’s like Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and NARAL Pro-Choice America spent more than $30 million dollars to elect pro-abortion candidates.  The same groups have spent more than $184 million over the past decade.
In return, pro-abortion activists expect politicians to steer millions of taxpayer dollars to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.  In fact, the Federal government now invests over $330 million taxpayer dollars to subsidize Planned Parenthood and other providers of abortion.

New Zealand Medical Council Appeals Abortion Ruling

Wellington, New Zealand — The Medical Council is appealing a High Court judgmentthat it must change its advice to doctors who conscientiously object to abortion. Council chairman John Adams said Tawa Medical Centre GP Catherine Hallagan and the New Zealand Health Professionals Alliance had last year instigated a judicial review which challenged the council’s advice to doctors on abortion and their own personal beliefs.

Wellington High Court judge Justice Alan MacKenzie ruled in their favour, saying when a woman requests an abortion, the proper course for a doctor who has a conscientious objection is to decline to embark upon the process and to inform her she can obtain the service from another health practitioner or from a family planning clinic. But the Medical Council wanted doctors to be required to be sure they were referring the patient to another doctor who could give information on abortion.

Minnesota Bills Target Taxpayer Funding of Abortions

St. Paul, MN — Minnesota Republicans have offered four identical bills that would ban state funding for abortions in both the House and Senate. The DFL and pro-abortion groups are opposed and Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, predicted that the bills were likely an attempt to challenge a Minnesota Supreme Court decision that upheld the right of Minnesotans on public assistance to receive abortions.

The bills contain a severability clause stating that if part of the bill is ruled unconstitutional, the rest should still stand. Winkler sees that as an indication that the bill is designed to challenge state law; a previous ban on state funding for abortion was ruled unconstitutional by the Minnesota Supreme Court in the 1995 case Doe v. Gomez.

“All this bill does is create an opportunity for a lawsuit,” said Winkler. “They know that Tim Pawlenty appointed a majority to the Supreme Court that could overturn [Doe v. Gomez].”

Colorado Bill Would Help Protect Women, Ignores Unborn Children

Denver, CO — Responding to a case in which a pregnant woman was injured and her baby killed in a hit and run accident, Colorado state legislators are putting forward a bill that would punish criminals with two crimes when they attack a pregnant women. But, the bill would not include a separate and distinct crime for killing or injuring an unborn child. It comes after a hit-and-run crash in Stapleton last December that badly injured Laurie Gorham and killed her nearly full-term baby. Under current law, even though Gorham lost her unborn child, the person responsible wouldn’t face homicide charges for killing her unborn child.

House Bill 1256 aims to change that, making it a crime to cause a woman to lose her unborn child. The law would also include degrees of severity based on the nature of the crime. The bill also maintains abortion is legal and has many exclusions. (More)

Canada: University of Victoria Student Govt Censures Pro-Life Org

Last week, the University of Victoria Students’ Society finally ruled that a pro-life club broke the school’s harassment policy by comparing abortion to the Holocaust in October 2010. At a Feb. 7 meeting, the students’ society voted to censure Youth Protecting Youth over “Echoes of the Holocaust,” a talk led by a visiting representative of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

The censure is little more than a public disapproval, Coccola said, confirming that YPY’s club status, reinstated last spring in B.C. Supreme Court, is not in question. YPY president Anastasia Pearse worries possible revisions to the off-campus speakers policy would not be applied equally to all clubs and could be used to censor her group. “Although we welcome and encourage dialogue on the abortion issue, we have not harassed anyone, and so the actions taken by the board are based on a false guilty verdict,” Pearse wrote in an e-mail to the News.