Des Moines Register: Abortion opponents are hailing news that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is closing four Iowa clinics. The agency, which is Iowa’s largest abortion provider, confirmed today that it will close clinics in Ankeny, Fort Dodge, Mount Pleasant and Washington. The closings will take effect Dec. 12.
Journal Sentinel: ust after that vote, Republicans said they were abandoning the compromise on license plates and instead advancing a bill creating a “Choose Life” plate that would funnel money to an anti-abortion group. It passed 54-39 on party lines at about 12:15 a.m. Friday.
PoliticsSpa.com: A majority of Democrats, 52%, said abortion should be legal in most or all cases. 43% said it should be illegal, or legal only in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger. Men took a more liberal view of the issue than women. They were about 4% more likely to support access to abortion. Interestingly, younger Democrats were most likely to support restrictions on abortion
MSNBC: Backers of an initiative to require doctors to notify parents when a minor seeks to have an abortion received permission to begin gathering signatures from Secretary of State Debra Bowen this week.
Ed Whelan at NRO: Now let’s turn to the next question under RFRA: whether the HHS mandate substantially burdens plaintiffs’ refusal, on religious grounds, to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives (including drugs that sometimes operate as abortifacients) and sterilization.
LifeSiteNews: A new report from the Italian government has revealed that the abortion rate in the country is continuing to decline at the same time as 80-90 percent of Italian gynecologists are refusing to abort babies – the highest number on record.
LifeSiteNews: The president of the Association of Obstreticians and Gynecologists of Quebec has offered a stark condemnation of late-term abortion, saying her group believes the grisly practice is comparable to “infanticide.”
LifeSiteNews: The participants unanimously came to the conclusion that: “Physicians performing office-based surgery must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, a transfer agreement with another physician who has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, or maintain an emergency transfer agreement with a nearby hospital.”
Catholic News Agency: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, argued before the court on behalf of the company. “The decision rightly foresees the dangers of allowing government to have this kind of power,” he stated Nov. 12. “If the government can force family business owners to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody.” Bowman said a majority of other rulings on the mandate have found it to “excessively conflict with our nation’s guarantee of religious freedom to all Americans.” “All Americans, including job creators, should be free to honor God and live according to their faith.”
Jill Stanek at LifeNews: spoke with Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Michael Norton about this apparent PP hustle. He said if it is true that PP isn’t providing full disclosure before the onset of one’s abortion in order to pull her in so deep financially she feels she can’t back out, then PP may be violating a state health standard and may also be liable for medical malpractice, which is suable. “Women who have been tricked and coerced to complete the abortion procedure after being baited to begin the process may have claims of fraud, failure to provide adequate informed consent, reckless endangerment, and pain and suffering,” said Norton. “In addition, Planned Parenthood may be committing both civil and criminal violations.”
The Washington Free Beacon: The Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Ave Maria School of Law against the Obama administration on Tuesday to challenge the insurance mandate coverage for abortifacients, sterilization, and contraception. Life News reports: . . . “The question is whether the government can pick and choose what faith is, who the faithful are, and when and where they can exercise that faith,” added Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The cost of religious freedom for Americans and organizations across the country that face this mandate is severe. The potential for massive fines and lawsuits could shut down religious educational institutions as well as private employers with similar religious convictions.”
The Boston Pilot: Alliance Defending Freedom, until recently known as the Alliance Defense Fund, is a Christian legal organization founded in 1994 that advocates for the religious liberty of Americans and people around the world. Bill Grote, chairman of the board of his family’s business, received a phone call around 8:30 p.m. Nov. 8 from a lawyer affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom who told him of the legal victory. “He said, ‘You’ve got a big win.’ That was great news to hear,” said Grote, a member of Prince of Peace Parish in Madison.
LifeNews: “Faith-based educational institutions should be free to live and operate according to the faith they teach and espouse,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “If the government can force Ave Maria to violate its faith in order to exist, then the government can do the same or worse to others.” . . . Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys are also litigating 15 other lawsuits against the mandate. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate.
Religion Clause Blog: On Tuesday, a petition for certiorari (full text) was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in Eden Foods Inc. v. Sebeius, (cert. filed 11/12/2013) . . . As reported by BNA Daily Report for Executives [subscription required], the Christian college has now filed a motion and supporting Memorandum of Law (full text) seeking a similar preliminary injunction for the health plan covering its employees.
How Roe Happened: The road to and away from our current abortion regime. | NRO Intervierw with Clark D. Forsythe
Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews Clark D. Forsythe of Americans United for Life at National Review: The political, social, and medical turmoil caused by the decisions has lasted for forty years and shows no signs of abating,” Clarke Forsythe writes in his Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade. The book is an authoritative resource on the back story behind the decision — the uncertainties, the politics, the all-too-human influences that went into the Roe and Doe decisions issued that day. Forsythe talks with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about what happened and how these four decades of knowledge and grave experience can shape our future.
Christian Concern: The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research launched the book entitledComplications: Abortion’s Impact on Women at the University of Toronto.
MySanAntonio: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office urged the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday to allow the state to continue enforcing strict abortion restrictions. Abbott’s office said that clinics seeking to stall the state law haven’t proven that the requirements post an undue hardship for women.
The Durango Herald: The American Civil Liberties Union wants Durango’s Mercy Regional Medical Center to end its policy regarding anti-abortion practices because, the ACLU said, the policy violates state and federal laws.
USA Today: Justices won’t reconsider decisions striking down Oklahoma laws on mandatory ultrasound and abortion-inducing drugs, but more states are seeking to defend their laws.
TimesOnline: According to the documents submitted Tuesday by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a coalition of Christian attorneys that filed the lawsuit last year on behalf of the college, forcing Geneva to provide employees access to the “morally objective abortion-inducing drugs and devices” violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “Requiring the College’s employee plan to facilitate access to abortifacients substantially burdens its ability to exercise its religious beliefs in the sanctity of life,” Geneva’s motion said.
CatholicPhilly.com: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, has helped represent the Grote family in their suit. “We’re very glad that the court recognized that all Americans have religious freedom, including when they try to earn a living in business,” Bowman said. Alliance Defending Freedom, until recently known as the Alliance Defense Fund, is a Christian legal organization founded in 1994 that advocates for the religious liberty of Americans and people around the world.
Townhall: Now, however, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is letting their grievances known (once again), informing Team Obama they can never, in good faith, support such a liberty-crushing law. They’ll pay the fine instead. LifeNews has the details . . .
Politico: Albuquerque could become the first city in the country to pass a ban on abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy after a vote next Tuesday.
ABQ Journal: “Albuquerque is one of three in cities in the nation that has late-term abortions. One website says they will provide abortions at 28 weeks or later, with cause,” Farnsworth said. “You have citizens right here in Valencia County born at 25 weeks. That is viability . . . Assuming the Albuquerque ban will pass, Farnsworth said that “huge business” will be looking to relocate to the next closest place to the airport — Valencia County, to the south.
Ed Whalen at National Review: Let’s start with the questions whether each plaintiff corporation (1) is a person under RFRA, and (2) is engaged in an exercise of religion when it refuses to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives.
One News Now: “The decision rightly foresees the dangers of allowing government to have this kind of power,” says Bowman. “If the government can force family business owners to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody.” . . . ADF is handling14 other lawsuits against the mandate. A total of 77 are currently in the federal court system.
Richard Meyers at Mirror of Justice: On November 7-8, 2013, Washington & Lee University School of Law hosted a conference marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The conference, Roe at 40: The Controversy Continues,http://law.wlu.edu/lawcenter/page.asp?pageid=1620 , was largely organized by Sam Calhoun. The conference was co-sponsored by University Faculty for Life, ACLU of Virginia, Virginia NOW, the Frances Lewis Law Center, the Washington and Lee Law Review, and the Provost’s Office of Washington and Lee University.
A couple of observations about the Seventh Circuit’s discussion of RFRA’s reach in the contraceptives mandate challenges | Kevin Walsh at Mirror of Justice
Kevin Walsh at Mirror of Justice: I have finally finished reading through the 154 pages of the Seventh Circuit opinions in Korte v. Sebelius (mentioned by Rick a bit earlier today). To Rick’s assessment of Judge Sykes’s “excellent opinion” as “one of the most detailed and deep” analyses of the interaction between RFRA and the contraceptives mandate, I would add that Judge Rovner’s dissent is one of the most thorough expositions of the government’s side of the case (although Judge Rovner’s mode of analysis does not map directly onto the government’s). Reading the majority and dissenting opinions together provides a good overview of the state of the arguments on both sides.
Denver Post: A new round of advertisements unveiled by supporters of Colorado’s health insurance exchange has ignited controversy that rippled through social media Tuesday and launched debate over their portrayal of women.
Catholic News Agency: The U.S. bishops have voted to add a bishops’ conference staff member to work with the post-abortion healing ministry Project Rachel at a national level, citing growing demand for help.
“Introduction of Women’s Health Protection Act is Critical Step in Safeguarding Reproductive Rights for All U.S. Women” | Center for Reproductive Rights
Center for Reproductive Rights: The Women’s Health Protection Act creates federal protections against state restrictions that fail to protect women’s health and intrude upon personal decision-making. Under the Women’s Health Protection Act, states could no longer impose oppressive restrictions on reproductive health care providers that apply to no similar medical professionals.
LifeSiteNews: The mayor of Florence has roused the fury of feminists and the far left after he announced that city hall would recognize an established section of the municipal cemetery of Trespiano dedicated to babies who have died “before birth,” including by abortion.
LifeNews: Last month, pro-life advocates in Michigan submitted more than 315,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to keep their tax dollars and insurance premiums from paying for the destruction of innocent human life. Volunteers across the state circulated petitions throughout the summer to initiate Abortion Insurance Opt-Out legislation. Now, Right to Life of Michigan is starting phase two of the campaign.
American-Statesman: In a brief filed late Tuesday afternoon, lawyers for Texas urged U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to allow the state’s abortion regulations to remain in effect while an intermediate court weighs the constitutionality of House Bill 2.
Bishop Harry Jackson Jr. at Christian Post: Abortion has been a shadowy and divisive topic for decades, but that is changing. Americans are becoming increasingly pro-life, and this shift in sentiment has led to the closure of a record number of abortion clinics this year.
LA Times: For the second week in a row . . . The justices Tuesday turned down Oklahoma’s appeal seeking to revive a law that would have required pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound and hear about the fetus’ size and possible heartbeat.
The American Prospect: Last June, Ohio Republicans quietly slipped a handful of abortion restrictions into the state’s budget, alongside provisions to invest in Ohio’s highway system and a new funding model for the state’s colleges and universities. Eight states, including Ohio, already require clinics that perform or induce abortion to have a “transfer agreement” with a local hospital so that patients can be transported quickly to a more sophisticated medical center in case of an emergency.
AP: Mellet’s is the first of three Irish cases being filed with the United Nations seeking to build international pressure on Ireland to permit abortions in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities.
The Hill: Democratic Senate candidate John Bohlinger supported some legislation to restrict abortion rights in Montana, according to a local blog, votes that don’t match his rhetoric.
Catholic Register: att Bowman, senior legal counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, has helped represent the Grote family in their suit. “We’re very glad that the court recognized that all Americans have religious freedom, including when they try to earn a living in business,” Bowman said.
Appeals Court Blasts Obamacare As ‘unsound’: Rules that abortion-pill mandate violates religious liberty | WND
WorldNetDaily: According to ADF, the mandate “forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties” in violation of owners’ faith. “All Americans, including job creators, should be free to honor God and live according to their faith,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, who argued before the 7th Circuit in May. “The court’s decision joins the majority of other rulings on the mandate, which have found it to excessively conflict with our nation’s guarantee of religious freedom to all Americans. The decision rightly foresees the dangers of allowing government to have this kind of power. If the government can force family business owners to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody.”
SCOTUS Blog: Arguing that doctors and clinics are exaggerating the impact of a new abortion control law on women in Texas, state officials on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to allow the state to continue enforcing that law while an appeals court reviews its constitutionality.
Care2.com (Nov. 8): “Every innocent life deserves to be protected,” said Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton. “This ordinance will protect children in the womb who experience horrific pain during a late-term abortion. It also protects mothers from the increased risk of physical harm and potentially devastating psychological consequences that come with late-term abortions.” . . . The Alliance Defending Freedom letter explains, “Whether one views an unborn child as a ‘life or potential life…,’ allowing abortions to unnecessarily impose substantial pain on an unborn child ‘is incompatible with the concept of human dignity and has no place in civilized society.’” . . . “Numerous states have decided to limit non-emergency abortions beyond 20 weeks to protect the health of mothers and ensure that their babies are free from excruciating pain,” added Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “Albuquerque voters can be confident that this proposed ordinance is both medically and legally sound.”
USA Today: Whatever cases the justices ultimately agree to hear, it will offer the court a chance to clarify its 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld abortion rights but gave states broader authority to impose restrictions such as 24-hour waiting periods and parental consent. “The stakes have been ratcheted up,” says Teresa Collett, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis who had hoped to defend Oklahoma’s mandatory ultrasound law at the Supreme Court. “The stakes are higher for both sides.”
LifeNews: As of yesterday, over 25,000 Albuquerque citizens had cast early ballots in a city-wide initiative that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and is on pace to set a new early-voting record. This trend is generally a positive sign for Conservatives, who have a history of early voting.
Undercover Plan B Investigation Reveals Access To Abortion-inducing Drug Easier Than Sudafed | Students for Life
Earlier this year, the Food & Drug Administration announced that “Plan B,” aka the “morning after pill”, should be sold over the counter to anyone of any age. Before that it could only be sold to those 17 and older.
7th Circuit: Obama’s defense of abortion pill mandate ‘unsound and extraordinary’ | Alliance Defending Freedom
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a strongly worded decision Friday that found the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate to be in violation of federal religious liberty protections.
Abortions that cause babies pain: AZ law at the Supreme Court | Casey Mattox on The Source with Paul Anderson
LifeNews: In a 2-1 decision issued Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the court reversed the federal district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction and remanded the case for the district court to enter the preliminary injunction. The appeals court upheld the rights of both individuals and companies to challenge the ObamaCare HHS Mandate – the first decision of its kind in the ongoing HHS Mandate litigation.
LifeNews: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops today elected Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville as its next president. Kurtz is strongly pro-life and was behind a pro-life blessing for unborn children the Vatican adopted in March 2012.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: In the broadest ruling so far by a federal appeals court barring enforcement of the birth-control mandate in the new federal health care law, a divided Seventh Circuit Court panel decided on Friday that two profit-making companies and their Roman Catholic owners are likely to win their constitutional challenges.
SCOTUS Blog: Without comment, the Court turned down an appeal by Oklahoma officials seeking to revive a law requiring that women seeking abortions be shown ultrasound images of the fetus before the procedure can occur.
LifeNews: A nationwide poll conducted in March 2013 by The Polling Company found that an overwhelming majority of Americans — 64 percent — would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; only 30 percent opposed such legislation. Female voters split 63 percent to 31 percent in support of such a law, and among independents, it enjoyed 63 percent support as well.
National Journal: If you think Tuesday’s elections convinced Republicans that abortion is a losing issue, think again. Sure, anti-abortion crusader Ken Cuccinelli fell short in the Virginia governor’s race while the pragmatic governor of New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie, won re-election in a landslide. But just two days later, anti-abortion leaders rallied around Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as he introduced a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy
One News Now: In answer to legal concerns, ADF attorney Steven H. Aden has written a letter to the Susan B. Anthony List. “Numerous states limit non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks to protect the health of mothers and insure that their babies are free from excruciating pain,” he says. “Albuquerque voters can be confident that this proposed ordinance is both medically and legally sound.”
Is the Supreme Court Punting on Controversial Issues? Okla. Coalition for Reproductive Justice v. Cline
PJTV (video): Amy Howe of the SCOTUSBlog joins Michelle Fields to discuss a recent abortion case that almost went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court initially indicated it would take the controversial Oklahoma abortion case, and then changed its mind. Click to find out if an abortion case could end up at the Supreme Court.
View the post here.
“Every innocent life deserves to be protected. This bill would protect children who experience horrific pain during a late-term abortion and the women whose physical and mental health is in greater danger from such abortions. We commend Sen. Graham and other leaders in the Senate for taking this step, as the House and numerous states have already done, to protect children from the excruciating pain of such abortions.”
LifeNews: It will be a sad day in our country when a judge faces disciplinary action for stating a scientific fact during a hearing—but that is exactly what abortion rights advocates want. NARAL Pro-Choice America and RH Reality Check filed a formal complaint against Judge Peter Bataillon with the Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications, in part because he stated from the bench that abortion kills a child.
C-FAM: Advocates for abortion at the UN are vocally frustrated with their lack of advancement since the Cairo conference on population twenty years ago. This becomes increasing evident as they gear up for two big events in the coming year.
Politico: “If you’re the Republican Party, praying that these issues won’t come up is a losing strategy. They’re going to come up,” Reed said. “I would urge Republicans … to get their head out of the sand and realize that social and cultural issues are going to come up.”
Pruitt v. Nova Health Systems 12-1170
Christian Concern: NHS failures may have led to hundreds of women aborting healthy babies after being wrongly told they had miscarried, a new report has warned.
Jackson Free Press: Preacher Flip Benham and his band of anti-abortion protesters from Operation Rescue America descended on Jackson Monday, two days after a pro-abortion rights rally at Jackson Women’s Health Organization, or JWHO, the state’s sole remaining abortion clinic.
ADF: Albuquerque law protecting unborn babies from pain is legally, medically sound | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom released a letter Wednesday prepared for the Susan B. Anthony List that supports the constitutionality of Albuquerque’s proposed Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance.
National Catholic Register: Concerned about a number of Catholic hospitals merging with secular ones in Washington State, the state’s ACLU has put together a petition to be sent to the Governor to “ensure that religious ideology does not dictate the health care services a patient may choose.”
USCCB: Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged members of Congress to support the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).
Religion Clause Blog: In M&N Plastics, Inc. v. Sebelius, (D DC, Nov. 5, 2013), the federal district court for the District of Columbia granted the government’s motion to transfer a suit by a Michigan small business and its owners challenging the contraceptive coverage mandate to federal court in the plaintiff’s home district– the Eastern District of Michigan.
Casey Mattox at Alliance Defending Freedom: On Halloween night, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that Texas’s health and safety regulations of abortion clinics could go into effect immediately, even while Planned Parenthood’s challenge to the law continues . . . The only part of the District Court judge’s previous order the 5th Circuit left standing was a judge-created “health exception” for chemical abortions (RU-486) to be executed according to the FDA’s proscribed protocol. This begs the question: When is there a need for such a “health exception,” and who should determine when to use it?