The following are some of the latest pro-life news briefs from across the country and around the world.
Beijing, China (LifeNews.com) — Women’s Rights Without Frontiers applauds Cori Schumacher, the reigning Women’s World Longboard Surfing Champion. Schumacher is boycotting the 2011 World Tour on moral grounds, because one of the events will be held in China.
Schumacher wrote the following to the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP):
“I have deep political and personal reservations with being a part of any sort of benefit to a country that actively engages in human rights violations, specifically those in violation of women. The ASP’s reconnaissance of possible sites in China for events last year and its first ASP event in China followed an important US congressional hearing on China’s ‘One Child Policy,’ a policy sanctioned by the Chinese government that is implicated in gendercide, sexual slavery, forced sterilization and forced abortions.”
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers issues the following statement:
“To Ms. Schumacher: You are a woman of tremendous courage, conviction and backbone — a shining light not only to female athletes, but to all women who are struggling for basic human dignity, all over the world. Your decision to boycott the ASP 2011 World Tour comes at a price. You embody the highest ideals of athleticism – not only outstanding achievement in your sport, but also a consummate moral vision that finds expression in courageous and self-sacrificing action. We salute you.”
Missouri Senate Committee OKs Umbilical Cord Blood Bill
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — The Senate Health Committee approved a bill on Tuesday that would require the Missouri Health Department to share information about umbilical cord blood banking with pregnant women.
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood “can be used to treat almost 80 diseases, including different forms of leukemia, bone-marrow failure syndromes and sick-cell anemia,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tishaura Jones, D-St Louis City. She told the Senate committee a personal story about donating cord blood after giving birth to a son.
“Missouri is home to one of the best cord blood banks, and I donated my son’s cord blood there,” she added, referring to the St. Louis cord blood bank on the campus of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.
Jones introduced Darlene Davis from Texas who told the committee that stem cells from cord blood stored from the birth of her second child cured her first child, who suffered from sickle cell anemia.
“My son Joseph was in and out of the hospital from 8 months to 3 years old 20 times,” Davis said. She narrated how devastating it was for her to hear that the disease was not curable. (Columbia Missourian)
IRS Capitulates and Grants Tax Exempt Recognition to Pro-Life Group
Fort Bend, TX (LifeNews.com) — Last week, the Thomas More Society received notice from the Internal Revenue Service that the IRS has agreed to drop its objections and recognize Christian Voices for Life of Fort Bend County, Texas, as a tax exempt public charity.
The IRS had withheld approval from the group while issuing repeated requests for information, including whether group members “try to block people to [sic] enter a . . . medical clinic” during 40 Days for Life and Life Chain events and whether the group does “education on both sides of the issues.” In their response letter of April 12, Thomas More Society attorneys had alleged that the IRS’ requests were unconstitutional and demanded tax exempt recognition. The IRS’ notice of recognition is dated April 14.
“The illegal IRS requests here clearly sought to delay and hinder the good work of this new pro-life organization,” said Thomas More Society executive director and legal counsel Peter Breen. “This is not the first time that Internal Revenue Service personnel have attempted to place unconstitutional restrictions on pro-life organizations, but we do hope that this will be the last time.”
Christian Voices for Life is a small charitable organization based in Fort Bend County, Texas, dedicated to peaceably promoting a culture of life through education, prayer and other ministry activities.
Nevada Committee Kills School-Based Clinics Bill Pro-Lifers Opposed
Carson City, NV (LifeNews.com) — Senate Bill 247 (SB 247), the bill that would have established school based health care clinics in Nevada schools, has died in committee due to failure to be voted out of committee by April 15.
After protections to prevent abortion counseling, referrals to advocates for abortion, distribution of contraceptives and abortifacient drugs and to prevent services from being given without written parental consent were stripped from the bill, they were put back in after an avalanche of calls and emails from pro-lifers.
The bill appears to have died over concerns about liability. SB 247 did make provisions for liability for those acting with “gross negligence or reckless, willful or wanton conduct,” etc, but it appears that agreement could not be reached on exempting those providing care and school board trustees or the governing body of a charter school in other instances (see sections 15 and 16).
“SB 247 is dead. We don’t have to worry about groups like Planned Parenthood getting into our schools by these means, for now,” said Don Nelson of Nevada Life. “Thanks to everyone who sent an email or made a call.”
Missouri Right to Life Mourns Death of Pro-Life Congressman Harold Volkmer
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Harold Volkmer, former Missouri State legislator and U.S. Congressman died on Saturday, April 16, 2011. Representative Volkmer was a gifted pro-life leader both in the state legislature and the U.S. Congress.
“Missouri Right to Life mourns the death of former Rep. Harold Volkmer of Hannibal,” said Pam Fichter, President of Missouri Right to Life. “Rep. Volkmer was a staunch promoter of the right to life in the halls of Congress. By his hard work and advocacy among his colleagues, he always brought in additional votes to augment his own for the pro-life cause on the floor of the House. The Democratic Party was strengthened in Missouri because of his pro-life stand. Our condolences go to his family and friends,” continued Fichter.
Missouri Right to Life and The National Right to Life Committee, worked closely with Harold Volkmer especially in the last years of his service. A number of serious legislative attempts were made to promote abortion in the early to mid-90s. “Harold Volkmer was a leading congressional champion of the right to life of unborn children for many years. He was determined and fearless — defying leaders of his political party, including a president, when necessary to protect the unborn,” said Douglas Johnson with National Right to Life.