South Dakota Right to Know Abortion Bill Gets Backing From Pro-Life Legal Group

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 25
, 2010

Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life legal group filed a friend-of-the-court brief Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit asking the court to reject Planned Parenthood’s attempt to block a South Dakota law. The informed consent law is designed to help persuade women to consider positive alternatives to abortion.

The law requires the state’s lone abortion center, run by Planned Parenthood, to detail the links between abortion and the increased risk of depression and suicide.

The Alliance Defense Fund brief seeks to overturn a lower court’s decision that abortion providers in South Dakota are not required to inform women of these risks.

The brief argues that Planned Parenthood does not have the legal right to bring its lawsuit because it actively works to keep the truth about abortion from mothers.

The brief also asks the court to reverse a portion of a lower court ruling that struck down a part of the law that required doctors to inform women that they are terminating a legally protected relationship with an “unborn human being.” The judge concluded that pre-born children are not “persons.”

“A child’s life is worth more than Planned Parenthood’s bottom line,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden.

He continued: “The proponents of death work diligently to restrict the information mothers have about the life within them. Women need to know all the facts about abortion because it’s not a one-time event; women have testified, and research shows, that aborting a child is an ongoing, painful struggle with guilt and doubt. It’s incredible for the court to have determined that the law cannot acknowledge that a ‘pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being’ because some human beings are somehow not ‘persons.’”

In 2005, the South Dakota Legislature passed House Bill 1166, which revised state law to require that women be given critical biological, relationship, and medical information before undergoing an abortion.

Planned Parenthood, the operator of the state’s only abortion center, in Sioux Falls, filed to suit to block implementation of the law. After the 8th Circuit lifted a lower court injunction against the law, it was returned to federal district court.

In August 2009, Judge Karen Schreier of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, Southern Division, ruled that portions of the law requiring doctors to inform women contemplating abortion that they are terminating a human life are constitutional.

But, she also ruled that other portions requiring doctors to tell women of their legally protected relationship with the preborn child and warning them of the documented risks of depression and suicide from abortion were unconstitutional.

ADF attorneys authored and filed the brief in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds on behalf of the Family Research Council, CareNet, Heartbeat International, and The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates.

ADF-allied attorney Harold Cassidy, representing a group of pregnancy centers that successfully intervened in the lawsuit to protect the interest of women, filed the appeal to the 8th Circuit.

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Remembering Roe v. Wade: A Forgotten Warning From President Ronald Reagan

by Dr. Paul Kengor
January 22, 2010

LifeNews.com

Given the somber anniversary of Roe v. Wade — source of 40 million abortions since 1973 — I thought I’d share an excellent but forgotten speech by President Ronald Reagan. The speechwriter was Peter Robinson, featured guest of our Reagan Lecture this year.

Reagan’s remarks, made in July 1987 to pro-life leaders, are moving to read and watch. They are prescient in light of the widening abortion abyss we face under the Obama administration and Pelosi-Reid Congress.

Reagan began with a reminder I often share with my secular-liberal friends. He told the pro-life activists: “[M]any of you, perhaps most, never dreamed of getting involved in politics. What brought you into politics was a matter of conscience, a matter of fundamental conviction.”

That point cannot be underscored enough. Few things rile me more than demands that pro-lifers—especially those motivated by their faith—keep out of politics. Quite the contrary, many did just that, quietly going to church and reading their Bibles, until one day they awoke to learn the Supreme Court had passed Roe v. Wade … and the hellacious assault was on. They entered pro-life activism reluctantly, as a reaction to what was thrust upon their culture and country. The last thing they wanted was to get involved in politics. The Death Culture came to them.

Reagan next added: “Many of you’ve been attacked for being single-issue activists or single-issue voters. But I ask: What single issue could be of greater significance?”

Agreed. For me, the life issue is my starting point, of far greater value than where a politician stands on social security or the minimum wage. Obviously, other issues matter. The right to life, however, is the first and most fundamental of rights, without which other rights are impossible. And if you, personally, are unsure when life begins, consider Reagan’s recommendation: “If there’s even a question about when human life begins, isn’t it our duty to err on the side of life?”

Reagan saw the onslaught against America’s unborn as so ferocious that he favored a “human life amendment” to the Constitution. At the time, this seemed extreme, but we’ve learned that unless amendments are attached to bill after bill—the Hyde Amendment, the Stupak Amendment—anonymous powers ensure all sorts of “unintended” consequences, including taxpayer funding of abortion.

Speaking of such funding, Reagan also acknowledged his “Mexico City policy,” which blocked U.S. taxpayer funding of international “family planning” groups. One of the first things President Obama did was rescind that policy—immediately after the March for Life last January.

Another policy Reagan highlighted in his speech was the prohibition of federal funds to finance abortions in the District of Columbia. This, too, was overturned last year, thanks to a Democratic Congress and president that rejected funding for school vouchers for poor children in Washington, DC, but supported funding for abortions for the mothers of those children.

Yes, I know the contrast is breathtaking, but it’s true.

Reagan talked more about abortion funding, and specifically “the so-called Grove City [College] legislation sponsored by Senator [Ted] Kennedy.” “This bill,” noted Reagan, “would mean that all hospitals and colleges receiving federal funds, even those with religious affiliations, would be open to lawsuits if they failed to provide abortions.” The usually affable Reagan said: “this one really touches my temperature control.”

Needless to say, all of this is extremely relevant right now, thanks to how Americans voted on November 4, 2008.

There was much more Reagan said in this speech, but I’ll close with two poignant thoughts:

“Many who turn to abortion do so in harrowing circumstances,” Reagan emphasized, including women “misled by inaccurate information.” “[W]e must remind those who disagree with us, and sometimes even ourselves, that we do not seek to condemn, we do not seek to sit in judgment…. [I]t is our duty to rise above bitterness and reproach.”

Pro-lifers must heed that call, respecting the human dignity of everyone. All victims require love and charity. On that, Reagan finished with this:

“I’d like to leave with you a quotation that means a great deal to me. These are the words of my friend, the late Terence Cardinal Cooke, of New York. ‘The gift of life, God’s special gift, is no less beautiful when it is accompanied by illness or weakness, hunger or poverty, mental or physical handicaps, loneliness or old age. Indeed, at these times, human life gains extra splendor as it requires our special care, concern, and reverence. It is in and through the weakest of human vessels that the Lord continues to reveal the power of His love.’”

Here was a warning against the pallbearers of the progressive death march, from Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger—who hoped to expunge the gene pool of “human weeds”—to the euthanasia precipice to which America is being dragged. It starts with the weakest of vessels: the infant in its mother’s womb.

Timeless words of wisdom to bear in mind this week, as America struggles to survive another year of Roe v. Wade.

Poll Shows Youngest Americans More Pro-Life on Abortion Than Baby Boomers

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 22
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — As hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans young and old participate in the March for Life in Washington today, a new poll finds most marchers will likely be from the millennial generation or Generation X. The most recent Marist survey finds them the most pro-life on abortion.

Conducted by Marist Institute for Public Opinion in late December and early January, the new poll finds Americans of all generations are pro-life on abortion.

But it is Americans who are under the age of 44 who oppose abortion more than older Americans.

The survey, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, finds Baby Boomers (those aged 45-64) are the least pro-life, with 51 percent saying abortion is “morally wrong.”

The good news for the pro-life movement is the next two generations of Americans are pro-life.

Millennials, those young Americans between the ages of 18-29, have 59 percent of their generation saying abortion is morally wrong. Members of Generation X (30-44 years of age) say abortion is morally wrong at a 60% clip.

More than 6 in 10 of the Greatest Generation (those 65+) feel the same about opposing abortion.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson told LifeNews.com today that the survey results are exciting to him because it represents hope for an abortion-free future.

“Americans of all ages — and younger people in even greater numbers than their parents — see abortion as something morally wrong,” he said. “America has turned a corner and is embracing life — and in doing so is embracing a future they — and all of us — can be proud of.”

“Advances in technology show clearly — and ever more clearly — that an unborn child is completely a human being. That, coupled with the large number of Americans who know one of the many people who has been negatively affected by abortion are certainly two of the reasons that Americans are increasingly uncomfortable with Roe v. Wade’s legacy of abortion, and with abortion generally,” Anderson continued.

“The majority of Americans now understand that abortion has consequences, and that those consequences are not good,” he said.

This is the third of three similar surveys Marist has conducted for the pro-life group and the polls in October 2008 and July 2009 also showed younger Americans more pro-life than their middle-aged counterparts.

This report presents the findings from a survey of 2,243 Americans — including an oversample of 1,006 members of the Millenial generation.

Reports for Americans have a margin of error of +/-2% and for Millennials it is +/-3%.

Pro-Life Medical Group Responds to Planned Parenthood Exploiting Haiti for Money

by Susan Yoshihara
January 21, 2010

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (LifeNews.com/CFAM) — Immediately after the earthquake that devastated Haiti last week, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) used the crisis to solicit funds for its family planning clinics in the country.

At the same time, a pro-life medical team arrived in Port au Prince to provide emergency medical services and skilled birth attendants.

The responses highlight a rising dispute over the current United Nations (UN) program for reducing maternal mortality which puts fertility control first, a program in which Haiti has been a main target but has nonetheless maintained one of the world’s highest rates of maternal death.

Carmen Barroso, regional director for IPPF, the world’s top abortion provider, justified the fund drive for the IPPF affiliate, Profamil, saying “Since 1984, PROFAMIL has worked to improve sexual and reproductive healthcare in Haiti, often providing the only healthcare available in some areas.”

Abortion is legal but highly restricted in Haiti. Profamil boasts delivering 600,000 condoms in a single year in 2005 and IPPF awarded the group for keeping up an aggressive contraceptive campaign from 2003-2005 during a period of political and economic instability.

According to IPPF’s last annual report, contraceptive sales are its second highest source of income in the Western hemisphere after patient fees, accounting for more than $25M annually. The World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) are among IPPFs top international donors, and the three are part of a UN group called the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health which promotes family planning as the number one way to prevent maternal death.

Pro-life UN experts have expressed grave concern because UN staff have stated that the UN’s “family planning first” approach to maternal health includes abortion, and because it runs counter to the long-standing consensus of the medical community that skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care are the best ways to reduce maternal mortality.

A pro-life obstetrical team from Matercare International (MCI) went to Haiti this week to conduct a needs assessment for a long-term operation serving Haitian women.

Dr. Robert Walley, director of MCI and leader of the team, told the Friday Fax that they will provide emergency obstetric care to mothers, many of whom have reportedly had to give birth in the streets since the crisis began a week ago.

“It almost seems that with these type of tragic circumstances somehow the world believes that life simply stops, so emergency obstetrical care for life threatening complications is not an immediate priority,” an MCI fundraising appeal stated. “The result is an enormous increase in the number of maternal deaths,” it said.

Haiti is the only country in the Western hemisphere that is on the UN’s list of 25 priority countries for maternal health programs, and therefore has received maximum distribution of contraception and reproductive health services. Despite this fact, Haiti has one of the highest rates of maternal deaths in the world, and the highest in the Western hemisphere.

Whereas about 11 women die in the United States for every 100,000 live births, about 700 Haitian suffer this fate, a rate more than five times higher than the average for the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Planned Parenthood Raising Funds to Push Birth Control, Contraception in Haiti

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 15, 2010

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (LifeNews.com) — Following the earthquake in Haiti, millions of people are dealing with death, a lack of food and water, shelter, and basic medical care. Planned Parenthood, sending a good time for a fundraising opportunity, is asking for donations for its local affiliate to promote birth control and condoms.

In a new note sent to its supporters on Facebook, Planned Parenthood talked about the giving opportunity.

“The international Planned Parenthood arm is accepting donations for PROFAMIL, a locally based Haitian organization,” the abortion business says. “Fully 100% of donations will go directly to PROFAMIL’s operations.”

At the International Planned Parenthood secure giving web page, the abortion giant says PROFAMIL has been operating in Haiti since 1984 to provide “sexual and reproductive healthcare.”

The group “educates the public about prevention and ensures widespread access to condoms” to “young people aged 10-25” with “regular condom demonstrations.”

In other words, Planned Parenthood is asking for money to help it pass out condoms and birth control to children who are looking for their next meal and medical care for injuries they and their family sustained in the earthquake.

The Planned Parenthood Help Haiti fundraising site says its local affiliate “meets regularly with the Minister of Health to develop strategies for increasing access” to birth control and contraception and that the group regularly targets “rural communities where the people are totally isolated” and likely have little access to food and water now.

Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright talked with LifeNews.com about the fundraising appeal.

“Haitians need food, water, shelter, safety, comfort. They are wandering in a daze and in pain,” she said. “Yet all Planned Parenthood thinks about is how to benefit from their suffering. Instead of offering a cup of water, they offer a condom.”

“As corpses fill the streets and the world wonders how few Haitians will survive this crisis of mass proportions, Planned Parenthood’s goal is to reduce their numbers even more,” Wright said.

“Planned Parenthood exhibits its racist intentions again. If successful, Haitians would be denied the joy of children and the hope that their country will live on,” she added.

Another web site touting PROFAMIL notes that the pro-abortion group ‘does everything possible to ensure widespread access to condoms” and that, during “2005, the organization distributed over 600,000 condoms through its network of clinics, mobile health units, and community promoters.”

The group has also complained that Haiti is a pro-life nation that prohibits the killing of unborn children and injuring women in abortions.

This isn’t the first time Planned parenthood has sought to exploit the victims of a natural disaster.

In August 2005, Planned Parenthood announced it was giving out free morning after pills to victims of Hurricane Katrina who were battling rising waters, destroyed homes and are seeking basic necessities like food, water and shelter.

“As Hurricane Katrina ripped through the southeastern United States, Planned Parenthood [is] there to offer one free month of birth control or one free emergency contraception kit to women from Louisiana and Mississippi,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America interim president Karen Pearl wrote at the time.

Also, Planned Parenthood of New York City offered women free abortions and morning after pills to area victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The goal of the 12 days of free services was to “reach out to women who have been displaced and ease their fears,” the abortion business said at the time.

News of the donation request follows a LifeNews.com expose‘ of a former abortion business owner who said she thought Haiti had too many people.