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News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
As a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (class of 1950) and a former instructor there, I was happy to see that Notre Dame has refiled its lawsuit challenging the federal government’s Health and Human Services mandate that religious employers must provide contraceptive coverage (including abortion-inducing drugs) to their employees.
The lawsuit [PDF] was filed Tuesday in the Northern District of Indiana. It says the government does not have the right to impose any rules on the university that violates its Roman Catholic principles, but that the University should have the same blanket exemption that applies to houses of worship.
Notre Dame had first filed against the government in May of last year, but a federal judge deemed it premature because the Obama administration had not yet enforced the mandate, but held it off until January 2014.
Father John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, said the lawsuit is about one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference. [Continue reading ...]
In response to a series of new abortion restrictions enacted in Texas, abortionist Sarah McNeil wrote recently in USA Today:
I and my physician colleagues across the country continually seek out and welcome measures that improve patient safety, but absurd laws such as this one only hurt women and families by decreasing access to essential reproductive health care services.
It’s no surprise, of course, that the abortion industry and its allies are wailing and gnashing their teeth and bandying about phrases like “absurd laws” in reference to Texas’ new abortion restrictions.
But what’s really absurd is the implication behind their bellyaching: namely, the idea that abortion clinics can be trusted to police themselves. [Continue reading ...]
Earlier this week a Colorado-based group called Thanks Obamacare released a series of graphics.
Here’s one of them: [Continue reading ...]
Last week another court sided with plaintiffs seeking to stop enforcement of the HHS Mandate against them for refusing to provide free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to employees.
This time it was the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Chicago, which instructed a lower court to enter a preliminary injunction to prevent the federal government from enforcing the HHS Mandate against Cyril and Jane Korte, and their southern Illinois construction company, Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc.
The Kortes are devout Catholics who say the HHS Mandate requires them to violate their religious faith. But a district court judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction to prevent the federal government from imposing huge fines on them while they fight the HHS Mandate in court.
A court can grant such a preliminary injunction when a judge determines that plaintiffs are likely to prevail—as the Seventh Circuit clearly thinks the Kortes are.
Attorney Edward White of the American Center for Law and Justice, who argued on behalf of the Kortes at the Seventh Circuit, offers more details about the case here.
Here’s hoping that the Kortes will prevail in their lawsuit against the HHS Mandate, which can not proceed without destroying their business, and that all employers will soon see their religious freedoms protected from this kind of government intrusion.
Twenty week fetus in the womb [Photo courtesy of Life Issues Institute]
Today, Senator Lindsey Graham introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation nationwide.
Sen. Graham acknowledges from the outset that the bill stands little chance of passing in the Senate at the moment, but stated that he believes it is important to promote debate on the topic among our nation’s leaders because, “the state, the government has a legitimate interest to protect the child at the 20-week period of development, because they can feel pain. That’s what a rational humane society should do.”
It’s great that Sen. Graham is kickstarting this debate, even if the bill’s passage is unlikely. One of the immediate fruits of the bill even being proposed is a face on the floor, kicking and screaming tantrum from pro-abortion forces. Always a good sign.
But some argue that using fetal pain as a benchmark for protecting babies is a bad idea, claiming if we protect babies on that basis, people will think that babies who can’t feel pain aren’t worth protecting. Is there anything to this? Does fetal pain matter? [Continue reading ...]
A new article on so-called “emergency contraception” (hereafter: EC) was published last week in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.
Its central finding:
We find that expanded access to EC has had no statistically significant effect on birth or abortion rates.
If you’ve been following the research on EC in recent years, you’ll recognize that this is not so much news as it is further confirmation that the ever-increasing propagation of EC has been an utterly failed strategy.
How utterly? Consider that when the FDA first approved EC pills in 1998, supporters predicted that “50 percent of all abortions and unintended pregnancies in this country could be avoided if women had access to emergency contraception.”
Since then, these predictions have proven to be hopelessly wrong. [Continue reading ...]
If you’ve been around the abortion debate for any length of time, you’ve probably come across the term “TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws.” TRAP is a term used by supporters of legal abortion to describe any number of health, safety, or licensing regulations placed on abortion clinics at the state level.
And if you google the term “TRAP laws,” you’ll discover a cruel irony: The so-called pro-choice movement wants to “keep” abortion “safe, legal”
and rare“, but they’ll wail and gnash their teeth when lawmakers call for increased scrutiny of abortion clinics, so we have to wonder how concerned they really are about women’s safety.
Take, for instance, the National Abortion Federation (NAF). The very first sentence on the NAF’s page on TRAP bills defines them as those which “single out abortion clinics for unnecessary, politically motivated, restrictive regulations.” Such “onerous requirements,” NAF complains, “are also unnecessary because abortion clinics are already highly regulated.”
Later, they return to the use of the adjective “unnecessary” and, for good measure, slap on “burdensome” to describe “regulations on clinics that are irrelevant to the functionality and safety of abortion practice.”
You may recall that when abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s infamous “House of Horrors” in West Philadelphia was raided by the DEA in 2010, it hadn’t been inspected in 17 years. Clearly, if there was a state that needed to get its act together and step up its oversight of abortion clinics, it was Pennsylvania. [Continue reading ...]
George Weigel, writing at First Things:
The Council of the District of Columbia is considering a bill, sponsored by its most aggressively activist gay member, to legalize surrogate child-bearing in your nation’s capital. Infertility is a heart-rending problem. But solving that problem is not what’s at issue here, for the D.C. surrogacy bill is being pushed by the same people who brought “gay marriage” to the shores of the Potomac River: people who affirm what are, by definition, infertile “marriages.”
Moreover, in their determination to deny reality—or perhaps reinvent it—the proponents of the D.C. surrogacy bill have adopted a species of Newspeak that would make George Orwell cringe. You can get a flavor of it in a letter written by a friend of mine to his D.C. councilman: [Continue reading ...]
Eric Scheidler speaks on religious freedom in Indianapolis on Sep 22
[Photo by Bill Spence]
On September 22, it was my great honor to deliver the keynote address at an event at St Barnabas Catholic Church in Indianapolis entitled “Religious Freedom: As American as Apple Pie.” The great program was organized by Chuck Stumpf and the St Barnabas Religious Liberty Action Committee, and featured a Boy Scouts color guard, singing of the national anthem, and four speakers, followed by an apple pie social.
I was preceded at the podium by Sr Rose Marie of the Little Sisters of the Poor, which provides elder care at St Augustine Home and Sr Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission services for the Franciscan Alliance healthcare network, who both spoke about how their charitable work is being undermined by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and its restrictions on religious freedom.
Then the Thomas More Society‘s Kevin White offered an encouraging update on the legal fight against the HHS Mandate, the Obamacare rule that requires employer health plans to provide free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.
In my talk, I echoed the theme of the event, “freedom to be faithful,” reviewing just how the HHS Mandate tramples religious freedom [Continue reading ...]
Planned Parenthood Aurora in the fall of 2007, shortly after opening [Photo by Eric Scheidler]
Yesterday, DuPage County Judge Paul Fullerton dismissed a zoning lawsuit against the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Aurora, Illinois that has been ongoing for nearly six years.
In 2007, the Pro-Life Action League was notified that Planned Parenthood was building the largest abortion clinic in the nation in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Illinois. Coincidentally, Aurora is the hometown of League Executive Director Eric Scheidler.
From the moment we heard the news, opposing the opening of this facility became the League’s central project, and opposing their operation with prayer, protest and sidewalk counseling remains a large part of our mission.
One of the avenues we pursued in attempting to shut down this abortion mega-center was a lawsuit against the City of Aurora and Planned Parenthood for improper zoning of the facility. The center sits in a business district where the operation of a non-profit health facility like Planned Parenthood is specifically prohibited. [Continue reading ...]