Brownback, Landrieu introduce Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act

 

For Immediate Release

July 9, 2009

Contact: Brian Hart or Becky Ogilvie

 

Brownback, Landrieu introduce Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009.

“This legislation works to ensure that our society recognizes the dignity and sacredness of human life,” said Brownback.  “Creating human-animal hybrids, which permanently alter the genetic makeup of an organism, will challenge the very definition of what it means to be human and is a violation of human dignity and a grave injustice.”

The Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act would ban the creation of human-animal hybrids.  Human-animal hybrids are defined as those part-human, part-animal creatures, which are created in laboratories, and blur the line between species.  The bill is modest in scope and only affects efforts to blur the genetic lines between animals and humans.  It does not preclude the use of animals or humans in legitimate research or health care where genetic material is not passed on to future generations, such as the use of a porcine heart valve in a human patient or the use of a lab rat with human diseases to develop treatments.

Brownback continued, “This legislation is both philosophical and practical as it has a direct bearing upon the very essence of what it means to be human, and it draws a bright line with respect to how far we can go in attempting to create new creatures made with genes from both humans and animals.

“My background is in agriculture, and for a number of years we have been working with crops and animals to produce a superior soy bean, a superior cow, and so-on.  We can genetically engineer safe products and herds that are disease resistant or that possess more desirable attributes.  But doing this in plants and livestock is very different than doing this in humans.

“The issue is that when you make changes in the germ-line, such changes are passed along to one’s offspring.  You could make a change now that could be passed along through the gene-pool for the rest of humanity.  We do not know what the full effect of this could be, and it could be disastrous. 

“Tampering with the human germ-line could be the equivalent to setting a time-bomb that might detonate many generations down the line; but once it is set, there is no reversing course.

“I am optimistic that our nation we will make a sound choice for the generations to come.  Already, in Louisiana last month, Governor Jindal signed legislation into law that would prohibit the creation of human-animal hybrids.  That law is modeled after earlier versions of the legislation that we introduce today.”

The following senators are orginal co-sponsors:  Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Mel Martinez (R-FL), John McCain (R-AZ), James Risch (R-ID), John Thune (R-SD), David Vitter (R-LA), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). 

Sam Brownback
United States Senator – Kansas
303 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Planned Parenthood Hails Abortion Drug as Safe, Ignores How It Killed Women

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 8
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Planned Parenthood has released a new study it claims shows the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone is now safe, but the study ignores how Planned Parenthood’s own protocol resulted in the deaths of women. The research, done at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country, supposedly shows that the new way of giving women the abortion drug orally, instead of vaginally, boosts its safety. “This is the first really huge documentation of how safe and effective medical abortion is,” said Dr. Beverly Winikoff, a professor of family health and population at Columbia University. “The technology is very good and very well used in this country, and probably will be used more and more.” The study’s lead researcher, nurse practitioner Mary Fjerstad, added, “We decided we needed to make a safe procedure even safer.” When used normally, RU 486 involves a two drug combination involves mifepristone, which deprives the developing newborn baby of food and water and essentially starves the child to death. The second drug, misoprostol, causes contractions to force the woman to birth the dead baby. The abortion business had been telling women to use the drug in a different way than the FDA guidelines suggested and the study showed it contributed to the deaths of six women who got the abortion drug at its centers. In fact, a June 2008 University of Michigan study suggests Planned Parenthood is at fault in the deaths of women in the United States from the abortion drug. It wasn’t until four California women all died within a week of using the abortion drug they received from Planned Parenthood abortion businesses that it changed its policy to conform to the FDA protocol.

Planned Parenthood Study Shows One-Fourth of Abortions Involve Dangerous Drug

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 8
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new Planned Parenthood study finds one-fourth of all of the abortions done in the United States now involves the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone. That is the drug that has caused the deaths of more than a dozen women worldwide — including at least six in the United States — and has injured more than 1,200 nationwide according to figures from 2007. Sales of the abortion drug Mifeprex, the first part of the two-part RU 486 abortion pill process, rose 16.5 percent last year and 184,000 women used the drug. The Planned Parenthood study also finds the abortion drug, which can be used at around seven weeks into pregnancy, now accounts for about one-third of all early-term abortions. The study, which will be reported in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed 228,000 abortions at Planned Parenthood centers between 2005 and 2008. Chris Gacek, of the pro-life Family Research Council, was not surprised by the increased use of the abortion drug. “I don’t think at this point we’re going to do anything” to try to limit its use, he said. “It’s hard to know whether this increases the (total) number of abortions.” Last year, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a former Planned Parenthood research arm, released a report showing the number of abortions has declined to record lows in the United States. But, women having abortions were more frequently using the dangerous abortion drug. According to AGI, about 13 percent of all abortions involve mifepristone. The report also showed that 57 percent of places that do abortions now have the abortion drug, compared with just 33 percent in 2001.

Swimming Against the Mainstream

July 13, 2009 – Monday

Swimming Against the Mainstream

Today the confirmation hearings begin for President Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. Once the questioning starts, the Senators should be earning their salary as they try to discover what exactly Ms. Sotomayor meant by some of her controversial statements; why she tried to suppress her ruling in the Connecticut firefighters’ discrimination case, and what her role was in the anti-life work at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF)? From 1980 to 1992 Judge Sotomayor was an active governing board member of the PRLDEF, where she helped to shape the group’s controversial legal policy. Just one example of this is the PRLDEF brief in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services in 1989. Sotomayor’s group called the right to abortion “precious.” I would think that most Americans would disagree that the ability to take a young human life is “precious!”

Ms. Sotomayor’s troubling history as a jurist and activist has raised numerous other concerns on the life issues, on sovereignty issues, marriage issues, and more. Finally, she is entering the hearings with some of the highest levels of public opposition any Supreme Court nominee has fared in the last two decades according to a new CNN poll. FRC Senior Fellows Chris Gacek and Cathy Ruse and researcher Michael Fragoso have put together a host of questions that Senators on the Judiciary Committee need to ask the nominee.

FRC: Assessing Judge Sonia Sotomayor Before Her Confirmation Hearings
Read our Pamphlet, ‘Judicial Activism and the Threat to the Constitution’


Leaving Integrity on the Cutter Room Floor

Many in Washington complain that the “process of judicial nominations is broken.” Any hopes of trying to fix that process are severely limited when you consider who President Obama asked to escort his Supreme Court nominee, Stephanie Cutter. In 2005, Ms. Cutter led a Democratic “war room” to defend the Democrats’ filibuster against President Bush’s nominees, both judicial and otherwise. Ms. Cutter created “laminated, pocket-size message cards” that the Democrats in the House and Senate carried to defend their filibustering ways. Also in 2005, she defended the right to “Bork” candidates, saying, “If ‘borked’ means fulfilling your constitutional duty by protecting the rights and freedoms of the American people, then every senator should wear that as a badge of honor.” Borking refers to blocking a nominee based solely on distorted personal and political attacks.

Cutter is no stranger to Supreme Court battles, having helped coordinate, while on Senator Ted Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) staff, the left’s fight during the confirmations of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito, at times hand-feeding talking points to liberal groups — or vice-versa. She continues this practice today, first organizing a number of liberal groups to show up at the White House press conference announcing the nominee. Now, to the surprise of few, one of those groups is coordinating personal attacks on one of the firefighters scheduled to testify this week against the nominee regarding the discrimination he suffered in the Ricci case.

Cutter was “no holds barred” in blocking some of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees. In one case a memo was leaked from Ms. Cutter’s office that pointed out that Hispanic judicial nominee Miguel Estrada was especially “dangerous” because “he is Latino.” While President Obama might have campaigned on a “Washington outsider” message, the thugs he is hiring around him bring the wrong kind of change.

The Politico: Ex-Inspector General Gerald Walpin is still endorsing Sonia Sotomayor


Ruth Bader ‘Populations We Don’t Want Too Many Of’ Ginsburg

Do you think Supreme Court justices are immune from all kinds of prejudices that affect their thinking? Let’s look at the mindset of someone already sitting on the Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently told the New York Times she was surprised when the high court ruled, in 1980, that taxpayers do not have to pay for abortions under the federal Medicaid program. “Frankly, I had thought at the time Roe was decided there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations we don’t want too many of.” Who might those populations be, Justice Ginsburg? The poor? Minorities? Persons with disabilities? Residents of Appalachia? It cannot be criminals–even if you assume that unborn children could qualify as criminals–since they’re not the ones accessing Medicaid.

I hope that members of the Judiciary Committee will closely question Judge Sotomayor. Does she embrace the views of Justice Ginsburg? Does she think it’s appropriate for public servants to talk about getting rid of large segments of the public? When she was an attorney with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, that group argued for federal funding of Medicaid abortions for the poor. Does she think Puerto Ricans are among “those populations we don’t want too many of?”

Read our pamphlet, ‘The Top Ten Myths About Abortion’

California Mom Sues Over Daughter’s Right to Wear Pro-Life T-Shirt to School

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 6
, 2009

Merced, CA (LifeNews.com) — A California mother is filing a lawsuit against her daughter’s school district alleging that officials made her remove the pro-life t-shirt she wore. Anna Amador says her daughter wore the shirt on National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day in April 2008 but officials at McSwain Elementary School prohibited her from doing so.

Amador says the school violated her daughter’s First Amendment rights, and so she is headed to court to defend the seventh-grader.

The shirt displays the word abortion with two images of a developing unborn child and a black box. It says, “Abortion: Growing, Growing, Gone.”

In the complaint, according to a Fox News story, Amador says school principal Terrie Rohrer office clerk Martha Hernandez mistreated her daughter and ordered her to leave the cafeteria, where they found her wearing the shirt.

“Upon arriving at the main office, Defendant Hernandez, intentionally and without Plaintiff’s consent, grabbed Plaintiff’s arm and forcibly escorted her toward Smith’s office, at all times maintaining a vice-like grip on Plaintiff’s arm,” the complaint alleges. “Hernandez only released Plaintiff’s arm after physically locating her in front of Smith and Defendant Rohrer.”

“Smith and Rohrer ordered Plaintiff to remove her pro-life T-shirt and instructed Plaintiff to never wear her pro-life T-shirt at McSwain Elementary School ever again,” it says.

The suit says the young girl was “completely humiliated and held out for ridicule” and that school officials would not let have her shirt back until the end of the day.

Anthony N. DeMaria, attorney for the McSwain Union Elementary School District, told Fox News the school disputes the lawsuit’s account of the events.

“I think the school district has a very strong defense,” DeMaria said. “The complaint does not properly characterize the events that happened. Certainly we dispute some of the events.”

The school district tried to get a judge to throw the case out, but the U.S. Eastern District Court judge allowed all but one of Amador’s claims to proceed.

Fox News indicates school officials claimed abortion constituted “inappropriate subject matter” and that the shirt violated the school’s dress code.

Protecting Healthcare Freedom of Conscience: A National Tradition

  PDF
by Patrick Nagorski, 2009 AUL Fellow   
aul_logo.jpg Most Americans know that this year marks the 36th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.  However, 2009 is also the 36th anniversary of important federal protections for healthcare providers:  the Church Amendments.  For more than three decades, these Amendments have provided a much-needed foundation for protecting the moral and ethical freedoms of healthcare providers.
Today, these protections are increasingly important as abortion proponents seek to weaken and, ultimately, remove common-sense abortion laws such as informed consent and parental involvement, as well as federal and state laws and regulations protecting healthcare providers who do not wish to participate in abortions or other conflict-ridden procedures.  Moreover, these protections are also implicated as Congress and the Administration debate a government take-over of America’s healthcare industry.

The Church Amendments were originally enacted to protect the freedom of healthcare providers to decline to participate in abortion and sterilization, two of the most conflict-ridden procedures in medicine.  The impact of these protections has been significant.  For example, they have helped to stem the tide of healthcare providers leaving the obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) specialty and, thus, have protected the lives of mothers and unborn and newly-born children who depend upon those providers for care.  Furthermore, these laws protect communities at large by ensuring that healthcare providers are generally available and that patients will be able to choose providers who share their values.
A Brief History of Federal Conscience Protections.
The Church Amendments were sponsored by Democrat Senator Frank Church in 1973 in direct response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v Wade.  These four amendments focus upon a healthcare provider’s right to object on moral and religious grounds to being forced to take part in abortions and sterilizations.

The first Church amendment prevents courts and other public officials from requiring any person, institution, or organization to perform, assist in, or provide facilities or resources for abortions or sterilizations.  The second amendment forbids employment-related discrimination against doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and other medical providers if they refuse to participate in abortions or sterilizations based on moral or religious grounds.  The third amendment extends this protection against employment related discrimination to researchers and laboratory workers who are either working on a lawful Health and Human Services (HHS)-funded research project or who refuse to take part in such a project because of conscientious objections, protecting those working in emerging biotechnologies from being forced to participate in human cloning and destructive stem-cell research.  Finally, the fourth Church amendment prevents HHS from requiring a recipient of funding to participate in certain programs if the recipient objects on moral or religious grounds to the program.

At the federal level, the Church Amendments were followed by several amendments that expanded upon the originally-offered protections.  In 1996, Section 245 of the Public Health Service Act, also known as the “Coats Amendment,” extended conscience protection from federal, state, and local governments receiving federal funds to individuals who refuse to train in abortions or refer patients to an abortion provider.[1]  Later, the Hyde-Weldon Amendment extended the same protection to hospitals and insurance companies.[2]

  
Most recently, in December 2008, the outgoing Bush Administration enacted further HHS regulations that provided much-needed enforcement mechanisms for the previous protective legislation.  These new regulations provided for the federal defunding of any hospital or public agency that engaged in discriminatory behavior and mandated a short certification of compliance to be submitted to HHS by all entities receiving specified federal healthcare funds.

 
After the Church Amendments were passed, many states followed suit, creating legal protections for healthcare providers – both individual and institutional – who conscientiously object to providing abortions and other conflict-ridden services.  As of 2009, the only states that do not have any right of conscience protections are Alabama, Vermont, and New Hampshire.  Conversely, Mississippi is the only state that provides full right of conscience protection to all individuals, institutions, and healthcare payers.  The rest of the states provide varying degrees of protections for conscience.[3]

 
The Impact
The Church Amendments and other federal and state conscience protections have served as effective protection for the healthcare community and the people they serve.  For example, such protections have helped stem the tide of doctors leaving the OB/GYN specialty.

 
From 2000 to 2004, America experienced a large shortage in the number of medical students entering into OB/GYN residencies and a large number of experienced OB/GYN doctors started retiring or leaving the field for another medical specialty.   This exodus was due, in a large part, to the vast number of medical malpractice suits brought against OB/GYN doctors by opportunistic lawyers and bereaved parents whose children were born with birth defects.  These lawsuits caused a spike in the malpractice insurance rates for OB/GYNs to the point where they now pay the second highest premiums behind neurosurgeons.[5]

  
Abortion advocates have tried to exacerbate this shortage by demanding that healthcare providers perform abortions and sterilizations and prescribe or provide contraception even if the provider has a moral, ethical, or religious objection to such actions.  Unfortunately, abortion advocates have convinced a number of legislatures and courts to side with them and pass or uphold laws and ordinances requiring participation in such practices and providing few or meaningless exemptions to the mandates.[6]   The providers targeted by abortion advocates – men and women who have devoted years of their lives to extensive and challenging study so they could help others and who compassionately care for their patients out of the sheer strength and power of their convictions — have, understandably, responded to these demands by leaving their fields for more accommodating environments.  For the most part, abortion advocates readily accept this exodus and the shortage of qualified providers that results.  As one short-sighted governor responded to pharmacists who refuse to dispense Plan B, so-called “emergency contraception,” “Those with moral objections should find another profession.”[7]
The effect of this exodus has been to leave many women without OB/GYN care – especially women in rural areas and poor women.  In many states, pregnant women have to drive several hours to find a doctor or other trained professional who can provide their prenatal care and, ultimately, deliver their babies,[8]  if they can reasonably find one at all.
Abortion advocates, who routinely decry the declining number of abortion providers, vocally oppose rights of conscience.  However, the sheer irony of their position seems lost on them as they seek to expand access to abortion at the expense of individual providers’ rights.  In their lexicon, conscience and choice matter, but only the conscience and moral choice of the woman who wants an abortion.  Thus, her choice must be accommodated even to the detrimental of the provider and the community that he or she services.
Conscience protections help ensure that individuals and communities have qualified healthcare providers who share their values.  Healthcare providers work with patients to achieve positive and healthy outcomes.  To do so, a patient has to trust her provider.  She has to trust the provider to give her accurate and correct information.  She has to trust that the provider will do nothing to harm her or those she loves.  Frankly, many patients and their families simply do not feel comfortable receiving pre-natal and post-natal care and advice from an OB/GYN whom they know only an hour before was performing or assisting in an abortion.

The Future:
The future of conscience protections is uncertain.  Recently, the Obama Administration pledged to do away with the Bush Administration’s HHS regulations that effectively implemented the conscience protections encompassed in the Church Amendments and other federal laws.  Furthermore, abortion advocates are focused upon forcing providers to participate in abortions, to provide ready access to contraception, and to ignore their deepest-held beliefs to facilitate unfettered access to these conflict-ridden procedures.  Attacks upon conscience are likely to increase in number and intensity, eventually forcing providers to participate in objectionable procedures or leave the medical professions.  This would certainly result in a shortage of providers and a decrease in the quality of life for all Americans.

Pro-Life Group Challenges Federal Order to Sell Morning After Pill to Minor Girls

A pro-life legal group has filed the papers necessary for a pro-life organization to challenge a federal court order that required the Food and Drug Administration to allow the Plan B drug to be sold to minor girls. Bowman, a top lawyer on the case, explains “The order allows minors to bypass being seen by a doctor who can check for sexually transmitted diseases and other potentially serious medical conditions.” By making this drug available over-the-counter it allows an abuser to easily destroy evidence of their crime. It is extremely easy for ANYONE, even a man, to go to the store and purchase this pill and force the abused to take it. Because of such low regulation the ruling would allow for an older friend, sibling or stranger to purchase it for a minor even if there were more restrictions for minors. This drug needs to be more carefully regulated in general to help protect children and their well being. Take for instance the RU 486 drug, certain restrictions by the FDA were placed on the dangerous abortion drug , but those haven’t been followed through on by Planned Parenthood or other abortion advocates.

“Those restrictions have never been followed, women have died, yet no one has been punished nor the drug approval pulled,” said Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, in referrence to the RU 486 drug.

Let’s keep in mind minors cannot purchase diet pills, or get their ears pierced without parental consent but we will allow them to take a drug that could potentially be harmful and not even have them be seen by a doctor to ensure the child is medically healthy enough to even consume the drug and that they have not contracted any STDs. And what for? So they don’t have to tell their parents they had sex? What are we really willing to sacrifice in order for minors to get this drug hassle free? Minors do no have the reasoning abilities to understand the effects that may come along with this drug. They think in the here and now. That is why there are so many restrictions on minors and why it is important that we also protect them in this situation and support strong regulations on this drug and other similar ones to ensure the well-being of children.