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Pro-Lifers Should Start to Imagine What a Post-Roe World Would Look Like

Dare we think that in the not too distant future, Roe v. Wade will be corrected?

Let us assume that whoever almost-President Donald Trump appoints to the Supreme Court believes that unborn children have value under the law and merit the right to life. Or, at least, that Roe was decided wrongly.

A case then comes before the Court challenging the validity of Roe which has resulted in the deaths of nearly 60 million children within the wombs of their mothers.

First, some background regarding our anti-natal culture. As my former Family Research Council colleague Cathy Ruse and I wrote a few years ago, Roe “did not create a limited right to abortion but a virtually unlimited right to abortion throughout pregnancy.” Indeed, the Supreme Court

ruled that abortion must be permitted for any reason a woman chooses until the child becomes viable; after viability, an abortion must still be permitted if an abortion doctor deems the abortion necessary to protect a woman’s ‘health,’ defined by the Court in another ruling issued the same day as ‘all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient’. In this way the Court created a right to abort a child at any time, even past the point of viability, for ‘emotional’ reasons.

Unrestricted access to abortion on demand became the national norm that grim day in January 1973. Under President Obama, that access became even easier: As noted by the director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) subsidizes abortion through a number of funding streams.

In 1973, the Supreme Court said the foundation of Roe is that abortion is an element of the “right to privacy.” The Court admitted that such a right was not explicit in the Constitution but only resident in a conceptual haze of implicational rights. Using that criterion, this “zone of privacy” should include my right to receive free Internet services, psychiatric treatment, multivitamins or anything else I can convince at least one federal judge is necessary for my well-being.

Justice Blackmun also noted that another reason for jettisoning all state laws against abortion “is also the distress, for all concerned, associated with the unwanted child, and there is the problem of bringing a child into a family already unable, psychologically and otherwise, to care for it.”

Interesting criterion. How about the distress to the child herself, dismembered without anesthetic in her mother’s womb? How about the distress of the couple who desperately want a child and are denied her because so few babies are available for domestic adoption? And how about the untold numbers of families which, thinking they are “unable” to rear a child, have been enriched and filled with love because the “unwanted” baby has become the apple of its eye?

It is my hope that these arguments will become, if not mute, at least dormant in light of a Supreme Court decision to bring legal sanity back to the jurisprudence of abortion.

After Roe?

So: Imagine it’s the first day of a post-Roe America. What then?

According the respected legal scholar Paul Linton, “the immediate impact of such a decision (overruling Roe) would be far more modest than most commentators — on both sides of the issue — believe.” According to Linton, “More than two-thirds of the States have repealed their pre-Roe laws or have amended those laws to conform to Roe v. Wade, which allows abortion for any reason before viability and for virtually any reason after viability.

Pre-Roe laws that have been expressly repealed would not be revived by the overruling of Roe. Only three States that repealed their pre-Roe laws (or amended them to conform to Roe) have enacted post-Roe laws attempting to prohibit some or most abortions throughout pregnancy. Those laws have been declared unconstitutional by the federal courts and are not now enforceable. Of the less than one-third of the States that have retained their pre-Roe laws, most would be ineffective in prohibiting abortions.”

Linton concludes that only seven states (Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin) “would be able to enforce their pre-Roe statutes prohibiting most abortions should Roe be overturned.”

At the same time, Tim Bradley of the Charlotte Lozier Institute notes that just four states have “enacted ‘trigger’ statutes that would prohibit abortion in the event that Roe is overruled: Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota. In Mississippi, however, the state Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to abortion in the state constitution in 1998, meaning that its trigger statute will not be allowed to go into effect.”

Could Congress Prohibit Abortion?

Could Congress pass a law prohibiting abortion except in rare cases? Yes. But as Bradley observes, there is no guarantee that the Supreme Court would find such a law constitutional. If the Constitution is silent on abortion, its silence extends not only to acceptance of the procedure but also to rejection of it. In other words, it becomes a state issue.

It is also unlikely that there would be any quick enactment of a constitutional amendment to prevent abortion-on-demand. Amending the Constitution is a laborious process and given the passions aroused by the abortion debate, inclusion of a pro-life amendment in the Constitution is far from a certainty.

The Guttmacher Institute, once an adjunct of the nation’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, noted last year that “states enacted 334 abortion restrictions between 2011 and early July 2016. According to the analysis, the new laws account for 30 percent of all abortion restrictions since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade in 1973.”

These state provisions include such things as banning dismemberment abortions (performed on fully-formed unborn babies), health regulations for abortion centers, and mandatory viewing of ultrasound photographs of their unborn children by women considering abortion.

These common-sense and compassionate provisions are partial steps toward a culture of life. But now is the time when pro-life leaders in all 50 states need to be planning how to safeguard unborn children and their mothers from a predatory abortion industry in a post-Roe America.

This should include a careful review of all existing state laws concerning abortion and what specifically needs to happen to build a wall of legal protection around women and their unborn little ones. This should take place even in states like California, Washington and New York, where the sanctity of unborn life is barely discussed in their statehouses.

Public Persuasion

Additionally, public persuasion is essential. Part of this is exposing the predatory nature of the abortion industry, as has been demonstrated by the gruesome Planned Parenthood videos regarding the sale of the body parts of aborted babies. The pro-life movement also needs to make strong public arguments about the injustice of encouraging women in crisis to abort their unborn children, as if the lives within them were similar to infected appendices or swollen tonsils. As has been said, women deserve — always deserve — better than abortion.

The late Dr. Mildred Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and a courageous champion of the unborn, said, “The fight for the right to life is not the cause of a special few, but the cause of every man, woman and child who cares not only about his or her own family, but the whole family of man.”

Now is the time for the right-to-life movement to think about our post-Roe strategy. The fight for the unborn and the women carrying them is one we must win. (For more from the author of “Pro-Lifers Should Start to Imagine What a Post-Roe World Would Look Like” please click HERE)

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The Left’s “Abortion-Armageddon” Hysteria Now in Full Force with Trump

Remember when conservatives thought President Obama was so pro-choice he would practically require women to have abortions to both show how thankful they were that they even had such a right and to demonstrate the importance of it? No? Me neither. That’s because President Obama never said such a thing — nor did any media, right of center, speculate he might believe that. To do so would have been false, dangerously reckless, and just plain absurd.

Yet, ever since President Trump won the election, the media has been anxiously predicting the era of a woman’s “right to choose” will soon be over, as all Republicans are apparently working to curtail access to the wonder of abortion. (Strangely, nothing is said of the lives of actual babies at stake.)

In this, the Left not only acts unfairly, but misses the point altogether of where much of the conservative movement stands on abortion. Hint: It’s not in the middle of a back alley, beckoning women to get abortions via coat hangers, risking life and limb.

What Trump will do

In this New York magazine cover story, “Warning: Abortion’s Deadly DIY Past Could Soon Become Its Future,” the writer all but predicts Trump will single-handedly overturn Roe v. Wade, forcing women to have abortions illegally in secret.

Upon his November election win, Americans Googled “abortion” so much it looked like the “manifestation of collective anxiety about what would become an early flash point in the Trump administration—and a first test of whether much of the social progress of the past 40 years can be undone over the next four.”

The piece describes how our great grandmothers had to seek abortions secretly and dangerously: “This isn’t ancient history; this was the lived reality of many of our mothers and certainly of our grandmothers. And it is entirely possible that it could become our future as well.”

One of the things they worry Trump will do is what Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. (F, 52%) has often said Congress will (and attempted to do last year) — defund Planned Parenthood. The New York cover story suggests that if this were to occur:

60 percent of Planned Parenthood patients — who rely on those programs for Pap smears, breast exams, STD testing, and, of course, contraception would no longer be able to get that care from Planned Parenthood. For many, that would mean not being able to get treatment at all.

This could not be more false. Defunding Planned Parenthood simply means they won’t receive taxpayer dollars. In fact, last year the House Oversight Committee found Planned Parenthood was able to function without taxpayer subsidies. If the absence of taxpayer dollars forces the group to shut down, perhaps they never should have been in operation in the first place.

So is this an attempt by Republicans to handle taxpayer dollars wisely that doubles as an attempt to save the lives of unborn babies? Absolutely. Bloomberg did report last February abortion clinics were closing at a “record pace.” Since 2011, 162 clinics closed, not all operated by Planned Parenthood.

And while most of those closings were due to legislation, some closed because they were not fit to practice medicine — a fact that doesn’t seem to bother the Left. By contrast, the number of crisis pregnancy centers, which typically steer patients away from abortion, are growing at an alarming pace.

Babies have rights, too

New York mag explains, “The truth is, conservative activists and legislators have been chipping away at American women’s access to reproductive health care for years, with more and greater restrictions in more and more states.”

While the above might appear to the Left as a strategic maneuver to strip women of the supposed right to choose, the statistics — abortion clinics defunded or closing and crisis pregnancy centers rising — more accurately show a two-pronged effort to stop murdering babies in utero.

The piece continues:

That the right wing’s focus is not simply opposition to abortion but also reducing women’s access to contraception gives away the game: Theirs is an effort to keep women from making decisions about when, if, and under what circumstances to have children, and thereby to keep them from exerting agency over their families, their work, their partnerships, their sex lives, and their bodies.

Sigh.

Speaker Paul Ryan, when asked if birth control would still be free when Republicans repeal Obamacare, called it a “nitty-gritty detail,” and was lambasted for his callousness toward what is apparently a central issue in U.S. health care. The issue is neither central nor an “effort to keep women from making decisions about when, if, and under what circumstances to have children.”

Remind me again why and with what logic should the government provide health care, birth control et al., for free? That’s the central issue. When my husband and I were newly married and just beginning to talk through if or when we might like children, it never occurred to me the government should pay for my birth control, just like the government does not pay for my dentistry.

While they’re not always successful at implementing this, the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility sometimes tries to enforce these ideas.

Ignorance is bliss

Despite the fact that Roe v. Wade was decided decades ago, the Left still feigns outrage when conservatives try to curtail abortions by any means, legislatively or otherwise. Articles like and the New York mag story show how they even pretend to not understand why.

Over the years, conservatives have embraced science from Princeton that shows when life begins, studies from Oxford that describe how babies feel pain in the womb, and how ultrasounds change women’s minds about their babies. The Right has encouraged marches, picketing, legislation, safe clinics, care for moms and babies postpartum, and adoption. In fact, conservatives are doing this so successfully it’s spawned abortion-armageddon hysteria.

It’s baffling as to how the Left continues to insist, after four decades, that Republicans — who have repeatedly fought for women’s rights over the last century — actually care more about limiting women’s freedoms than saving lives.

It’s such an obvious truth it’s hard to know if this ignorance is feigned or real. Only one of these efforts between the two political parties is beneficial for mom, baby, dad, and society. The other is harmful, if ever progressive and “liberating.”

Conservatives can and do care about women’s rights and babies’ rights — the two aren’t mutually exclusive. And doing both doesn’t mean women are going to be forced to have abortions in back alleys; it means women might actually think twice about aborting their babies, thus sparing emotional trauma, life, and making a difference in society’s cultural makeup. That’s what conservatives are trying to do. (For more from the author of “The Left’s “Abortion-Armageddon” Hysteria Now in Full Force with Trump” please click HERE)

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Babies Left to Die: UNM Abortion Doctors Not Trained to Deal With Babies Born Alive

“Imagine an infant in an abortion clinic without food, without care, defenseless, confused, crying and grasping for life — being left alone to die on its own.”

That was the response of New Mexico Alliance for Life Executive Director Elisa Martinez, after she read the final report of the Select Panel on Infant Lives. Martinez continued, “It’s almost too difficult to imagine, but this is the reality taking place at UNM Hospital and Southwestern Women’s Options, confirmed by testimony from the abortionists themselves.”

Released Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, the report covers more than a year of investigative effort by the panel, which was established on Oct. 7, 2015, in light of the Center for Medical Progress videos.

One particularly disheartening account is that of abortion doctors at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where a faculty member, whose name is redacted from the report, admitted that doctors at the university were not trained on how to handle children who were born alive during an induced abortion.

This flies in the face of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act — which requires that children born alive in the case of an abortion or attempted abortion receive “immediate admission to a hospital,” “diligence to preserve the life” and the mandatory reporting of any failure to comply with the law.

When pressed for more information, such as if the doctors took resuscitation training, the faculty member, who is also a doctor, simply replied, “OB/GYN doctors do not resuscitate neonates.”

Upon being read the language of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, the faculty member claimed she had not discussed the law with her council, nor did she “understand the relevance” of the law to her practice — despite admitting that she was aware of instances “where a planned abortion … [was] born alive,”

“Coming from the official who is arguably most responsible for making UNM an abortion provider,” the report declares, ” this testimony is a startling reflection of the absence of attention given to any standard of care for infants that survive the abortion procedure.” (For more from the author of “Babies Left to Die: UNM Abortion Doctors Not Trained to Deal With Babies Born Alive” please click HERE)

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Scientists Keep Trying to Deny the Heartache of Abortion — With Poor Science

Our culture is in a worrisome state when major medical journals ignore the foundation and methods of science in service to a political end. Equipped for decades with billions in grant revenue, ideological control of the academy, and agenda-driven professional organizations, scores of scientists have suspended personal and professional ethics to safeguard women’s right to end the lives of their children and suffer the concomitant effects. Dr Antonia Biggs and colleagues are just the latest to march down this path with their JAMA Psychiatry article titled “Women’s Mental Health and Well-Being 5 Years after Being Denied an Abortion: A Prospective, Longitudinal Cohort Study.”

What once appeared to be a subtle mainstream journal bias in favor of publishing results, suggesting abortion poses no threat to women’s psyches, has morphed into a peer-review process, blind to scientific deficiencies as long as the results further leftist abortion rights initiatives. These are desperate times for the pro-choice community, as they seek to block women-centered abortion laws rooted in strong empirical evidence and the voices of brave women standing up to share their post-abortion struggles.

What better way than to grab bullet points from a JAMA article and flood the popular media with them? Women deserve better and here is why the latest study results have absolutely no merit and will not hold up in any court.

Study results and their obvious bias

The authors compared women who received abortions just under legal gestational limits with women who wanted an abortion but were denied, because they were just over the facility gestational limit (Turnaway Group) relative to psychological outcomes. The Turnaway Group was subdivided into those who gave birth and those who obtained an abortion subsequently or miscarried. The authors summarized the results by stating “Women who were denied an abortion, in particular those who later miscarried or had an abortion elsewhere (Turnaway no-birth group), had the most elevated levels of anxiety and lowest self-esteem and life satisfaction 1 week after being denied an abortion, which quickly improved and approached levels similar to those in the other groups by 6 to 12 months.”

The authors’ objective for publishing the study is introduced in the opening line: “The idea that abortion leads to adverse psychological outcomes has been the basis for legislation mandating counseling before obtaining an abortion and other policies restricting abortion” and it is nailed down at the end of the article when they state “…there is no evidence to justify laws that require women seeking abortion to be forewarned about negative psychological responses.” As scientists we never make such sweeping conclusions based on a single study, particularly when there is an abundant literature comprised of sophisticated studies with discrepant conclusions.

Courts throughout the US have concluded that women should be appraised of the risks before consenting to abortion; it is absurd that these researchers have attempted to shift the tide based on this one study. Funding was predictably secured from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation among other sources with a political agenda. As described on their website, “Our work in the United States seeks to advance reproductive health and rights for women and young people by improving access to quality comprehensive sexuality education, family planning and safe abortion care.”

Results are inconsistent with the current state of knowledge

The results of hundreds of studies published worldwide over the past three decades indicate that abortion is a substantial contributing factor to women’s mental health problems. I published a meta-analysis on the association between abortion and mental health in the British Journal of Psychiatry (BJP) in 2011. In a meta-analysis, the contribution of any particular study to the final result is based on objective scientific criteria (sample size and strength of effect). The BJP sample consisted of 22 studies and 877,297 participants.

Results revealed that women who aborted experienced an 81% increased risk for mental health problems. When compared exclusively to unintended pregnancy delivered, women were found to have a 55% increased risk of experiencing mental health problems. This review offers the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion currently available. Evidence of this nature has influenced informed consent legislation in many states. For example, upholding the South Dakota law in 2012, the US Court of Appeals relied upon the emerging body of data.

Methodological shortcomings

• Only 37.5% of women invited to take part in the study actually participated, and across the study period 42% of these dropped out, rendering the final sample comprised of under 22% of those eligible for inclusion! The 78% of women whose voices are not included were likely those who had the most serious post-abortion psychological complications. With sensitive topic research, securing a high initial consent rate and avoiding sample loss are vitally linked to the validity of the conclusions. The authors acknowledge this fact as they state “we cannot rule out the possibility that women with adverse mental health outcomes may have been less likely to participate and/or been retained.” We really can just stop here, because this is a fatal flaw.

• In a previous article with the same data published last year in PLoS ONE, the authors noted that the sample had a high concentration of women from low socioeconomic backgrounds, obviously not representative of US women undergoing abortion today. Now we hear from the research group that “given the large number and range of recruitment facilities representing geographically diverse regions in the US (30 clinics from 21 states), and that our sample demographics are consistent with those of nationally representative samples of women seeking abortion, we believe these results are generalizable.” A sample is either representative or it is not.

• The authors failed to reveal the specific consent to participate rates for each group. Second trimester abortions have been established as potentially more traumatizing than first trimester procedures; therefore it is likely that a significantly higher percentage of women in the first-trimester group compared to those in the second trimester group consented to participate. If the rates were comparable, why not report this? Failure to report critical information increases suspicion that this “near limit’ group is in no way representative.

• In the Turnaway Study, women who secured abortions near the gestational limits included women for whom the legal cut off ranged from 10 to 27 weeks. There is a wealth of data indicating that women’s reasons for choosing abortion and their emotional responses to the procedure differ greatly at varying points of pregnancy. Women aborting at such widely disparate gestational ages should therefore not be lumped together, particularly when such information is available in the data.

• The authors do not explain how the sites were actually chosen. What type of sampling plan was employed? Why were only those identified with the National Abortion Federation used? What cities were included? Which areas of the country were sampled?

• All 4 outcome measures are shockingly simplistic with 2 variables containing only 6 items and 2 variables measured with single items. This is inexcusable given the many psychometrically sound multiple item surveys available in the literature. Further, no theoretical basis is given for the cut-score employed to determine clinically relevant cases of depression or anxiety. Well-trained behavioral science researchers should not measure complex human emotions in such a superficial manner; and ethically responsible scientists would not extrapolate from minimalistic assessments to women’s emotional reactions to one of life’s more challenging decisions.

The authors suggest that later abortions are healthier for women than childbirth when women seek abortions, obscuring the well-documented risks of late abortions to women’s physical well-being in addition to the elevated psychological risks. For example, using national data, Bartlett and colleagues reported in 2004 that the relative risk of abortion-related mortality was 14.7 at 13–15 weeks of gestation, 29.5 at 16-20 weeks, and 76.6 at or after 21 weeks. This compares to a 12.1 rate for childbirth. Bartlett reported that the causes of death during the second trimester included hemorrhage, infection, embolism, anesthesia complications, and cardiac and cerebrovascular events.

Many women who make the decision to abort do so without a thorough understanding of the procedure. A number of studies have revealed that feeling misinformed or being denied relevant information often precipitates post-abortion difficulties. There is also considerable evidence that a high percentage of women walking into abortion clinics are conflicted about the choice.

In a 2006 study I published with colleagues in the Journal of Medical Ethics, we found that 95% of a socio-demographically diverse group of women wished to be informed of all possible complications associated with drugs, surgery, and/or other forms of elective treatments, including abortion. Fortunately state-level legislation has responded to the needs of women, respecting the gravity of an abortion decision by mandating dissemination of accurate information on the procedure and risks involved, time to reflect on the decision, and sensitive pre-abortion counseling.

This latest study in JAMA will be aptly tossed on the dusty stack with other similarly compromised studies that have yielded results palatable to a culture fighting to normalize a procedure that will never feel natural or right to countless women. The studies will be unattended to by the average person, clinicians, and the science-savvy alike, because the results simply do not align with the lived experiences of women. (For more from the author of “Scientists Keep Trying to Deny the Heartache of Abortion — With Poor Science” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

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Texas Looks to Bury Aborted Babies Despite Legal Objections from Abortion Groups

A new set of rules in Texas requiring aborted babies to be cremated or buried has prompted a legal battle in the Lone Star State. Pro-abortion groups are attempting to halt the law with a lawsuit, and its implementation has now been delayed by a court order.

The abortion burial measure, which would also apply to miscarriages that happen at hospitals, abortion centers, and other health clinics, was set to go into effect Dec. 19.

The state department of health approved the measure, but it has been delayed until Jan. 6 by a court order.

Advocates for the new law say it is necessary to protect the dignity of life and also public health.

“All human beings deserve to be treated with respect after death,” Marc Rylander, a spokesperson for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, said in a statement before the court hearing delaying the measure on baby tissue remains. “To that end, Texas will continue to defend the safety and dignity of the unborn up to and as far as Supreme Court precedent will allow.”

Rylander added:

These new rules simply provide for the humane disposal of fetal tissue instead of sending it to landfills like unwanted trash, as is the abortion industry’s current practice. They do not, in any way, interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Our office looks forward to proudly defending these commonsense rules in court.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit last week, challenging the required burial for aborted babies.

“The politically-motivated rules are designed to restrict a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion by increasing both the cost of reproductive health care services and the shame and stigma surrounding abortion and pregnancy loss,” the organization said in a press release.

After the Center for Reproductive Rights sued John Hellerstedt, in his official capacity as commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks temporarily delayed the implementation of the new rule, ABC News reported. Sparks is expected to decide, after a preliminary hearing on Jan. 3, if the burial rules will go into effect.

“Texas has chosen to dignify the life of the unborn by requiring the humane disposition of fetal tissue,” Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement following the hearing last week. “I am confident in the constitutionality of these rules and look forward to the court upholding their validity by Jan. 6.”

“Medical facilities will be required to either cremate or bury the unborn babies they kill, not contingent on the period of gestation—as opposed to sending the baby’s remains to be incinerated or dumped into a landfill, as most facilities currently do,” The Daily Wire reported on Nov. 29.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission proposed the law in July. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, supported the rule change.

“I believe it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life,” Abbott said in a fundraising email in July, reported The Texas Tribune.

“Gov. Abbott believes human and fetal remains should not be treated like medical waste, and the proposed rule changes affirms the value and dignity of all life,” Ciara Matthews, Abbott’s deputy communications director, said in an emailed statement to The Daily Signal. “For the unborn, the mothers, and the hospital and clinic staff, the governor believes it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life.”

“Further, it is Gov. Abbott’s hope that the Legislature will consider legislation next session to enshrine the new rules into state law,” Matthews added.

The Texas department of health said that the measure could also be effective in stopping the spread of disease.

“While the methods described in the new rules may have a cost, that cost is expected to be offset by costs currently being spent by facilities on disposition for transportation, storage, incineration, steam disinfection, and/or landfill disposal,” Carrie Williams, Texas health department spokesperson, told LifeNews.

Pro-abortion activists are unhappy that the rules could “create more obstacles for people obtaining abortions,” The Dallas Morning News reported.

Critics of the law say burial and cremation costs could get in the way of access to abortion.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement that the law is an “insult to Texas women” and a “new low.”

“This restriction, just like the many before it, all across our nation, does not create any health benefit for women and is strictly designed to limit access to safe, quality abortion care,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, said in a statement.

Whole Woman’s Health is part of the lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of multiple health clinics.

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, in a press release last week, said the Catholic Church would pay for the burial costs at Catholic cemeteries.

“Catholic cemeteries estimate that their costs will range from $1,500 to $13,000 annually to inter children who die from abortions,” the press release said. “There are more than 50 Catholic cemeteries in the state; the [Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops] also hopes to collaborate with other cemeteries, funeral homes, and mortuaries.”

Abortions and miscarriages that take place at home are exempt from the rules.

Pro-life advocates point out the “humanity” that comes with burying a dead baby.

“It’s no surprise the abortion industry is adamantly opposed to this law. They would rather sell those body parts for money or find some other nonhumanitarian way to dispose of the remains,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, told LifeSiteNews.

“We hope that this law helps our nation to see the humanity of the child in the womb and also helps women who are contemplating abortion to understand more fully the unique gift of a child.”

“What we’re saying is, it needs to be humane, and the mother needs to be given the opportunity to have a say and be informed with what’s happening,” Kristi Hamrick of Americans United for Life says, according to NPR. (For more from the author of “Texas Looks to Bury Aborted Babies Despite Legal Objections from Abortion Groups” please click HERE)

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Will Texas Grant the Unborn Decent Burial?

Today, a Texas regulation was supposed to be implemented to preserve the dignity of unborn children’s lives by requiring that they be buried or cremated after an abortion or miscarriage.

Proposed by the state’s Health and Human Services Commission, the new regulation was simply an amendment to the existing code. The health services provisions previously allowed for aborted or miscarried fetuses to be ground up and discharged into sewer systems as alternatives to cremation or burial. The proposed law now requires internment via one of the latter two options, which are customarily applied to the deceased.

However, that regulation was blocked by a temporary injunction last Thursday by a U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in Austin, Texas. He expects to make a final ruling regarding the regulation on January 6, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Pro-choice groups joined with the Center for Reproductive Rights to challenge the regulation in a lawsuit in July. According to the AP, the Center for Reproductive Rights called the regulation “unwise, unjustified and unconstitutional.”

Mainstream Culture Living in Denial

Their outrage comes as no surprise. Required burial or cremation assumes that the deceased being is human, and such assumptions are inconvenient for pro-choice activists and abortionists. After all, it’s easier to justify the killing of millions of fetuses every year if you deny their humanity.

According to Amy Hagstrom-Miller, president and CEO of the case’s lead plaintiff Whole Women’s Health, it’s not the dignity of the unborn, but the dignity of women at stake.

“We will not stand for Texas putting more undue burdens on women and families who deserve the safe and compassionate abortion care that we provide at Whole Woman’s Health,” she said in a press release from the Center for Reproductive Rights

While the burial of the deceased is often acknowledged as a burden to the family they leave behind, no one argues that it’s “undue.” Unless, of course, the deceased isn’t recognized as a human being.

The lawsuit claims that “Women and their families hold a diversity of views on whether and when an embryo or fetus attains the status of a human being.” (Emphasis added.)

Whether and when. Not only is the lawsuit highlighting the hotly contested issue of when an unborn baby becomes alive — it is alleging that an unborn baby may not even be human at all!

The lawsuit claims that these diverse opinions about a baby’s humanity are “informed by science, culture, spirituality and religion.”

By suggesting that a fetus may not actually be human (and therefore completely eligible for killing, with no moral qualms), pro-choice culture is attempting to assuage the conscience of a society that aborts millions of unborn human children each year.

Mainstream Media Devalues Life in the Womb

The euphemistic bias has, unsurprisingly, seeped into the mainstream media.

The AP’s report on the judge’s block of the Texas regulations last Thursday is a perfect example. Consider this paragraph from AP reporter Will Weissert:

The Center for Reproductive Rights and other national advocacy groups sued to prevent Texas from requiring hospitals and clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains from abortions or miscarriages rather than disposing of them in a sanitary landfill, as they often currently do with such remains and other biological medical waste. (Emphasis added.)

Weissert is equating the bodies of unborn human beings with “biological medical waste,” as if an aborted child were the same as a discarded tumor.

The Truth Regarding Life

It doesn’t take a degree in science to recognize three simple truths that appear in grade school biology textbooks:

1. The being that grows inside a womb is human. Conceived of two humans, it can’t be anything else.

2. Since that being is constantly growing from the moment it enters the womb, we know it is alive.

3. Abortion ends that life.

Pro-choice activists and the media which follow their lead aren’t just rejecting religion and ethics; they are sunk in denial of basic medical facts. (For more from the author of “Will Texas Grant the Unborn Decent Burial?” please click HERE)

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Saturday’s ‘Peace in the Womb’ Christmas Caroling to Shine Light on the Darkness of Abortion

Warm up your voice. A pro-life group is organizing Christmas caroling nationwide in front of abortion clinics to bring the “Christmas message of peace and joy to the darkness of the abortion clinic.” Pro-Life Action League’s “Peace in the Womb” caroling will be held tomorrow, December 17, in 60 cities across 28 states. This year marks the 14th anniversary of the event, initiated by executive director Eric Scheidler, son of Pro-Life Action League founder Joe Scheidler.

In an interview with The Stream, Eric Scheidler said that one of the motivations for the caroling event is the great sorrow he feels at the thought of a woman getting an abortion at Christmas. “It’s a weight they could carry around every Christmas,” he said. “At the same time, what a wonderful time of year to choose life.”

“We gather to sing carols, reminding abortion-bound mothers that the salvation of the world came through an unplanned pregnancy. … We want to offer hope, help and alternatives to assist women in choosing life for their children,” Scheidler said. “We’re there to really put the emphasis on the image of the Christ-child being born in Bethlehem so many years ago.”

The Christmas carols are selected specifically to “evoke this Christmas image that really is so powerful of the hope and the joy that came in the world through the birth of a child during a difficult time,” Scheidler explained. “Quite the unexpected pregnancy. And it’s a great example to all parents — saying ‘yes’ to life, even when there’s a tremendous challenge to it, there’s a great hope still available to people.”

The caroling elicits a much more positive response than any other activity the group does. “There’s something about Christmas carols, people — even the people who escort the pregnant women into the center for the abortion — enjoy the Christmas caroling,” said Scheidler. “The most powerful reaction is when women have decided not to go through with the abortion.”

Scheidler told the story of one year’s caroling in Chicago when logistics made their singing heard quite easily from inside the abortion center. The group sang “Silent Night,” and afterwards, a woman emerged from the clinic and told them she’d decided not to have the abortion because she heard the song and imagined Mary and the baby Jesus. “We’ve seen it again and again,” said Scheidler.

Forty groups participated last Christmas, and this year’s event will be much bigger. Thousands of carolers are expected to show up nationwide. Scheidler believes that the release of the undercover Planned Parenthood videos has contributed to the uptick in participants. He also believes that, now that the election is over, people want to be involved in something other than politics — to get out on the streets and make a difference.

In addition to Christmas caroling and depending on location, participants could hold Pro-Life Action League signs, provide sidewalk counseling and stand around an empty cradle — symbolizing the anticipation of birth as well as what would happen if an abortion takes place.

Scheidler prays this years’ event will make a difference for women and their unborn babies this Christmas season. “What we hope will happen is that a woman will choose not to abort a child because she hears the carols, or maybe the father hears the carols and thinks about what abortion really means, especially at Christmas time.” (For more from the author of “Saturday’s ‘Peace in the Womb’ Christmas Caroling to Shine Light on the Darkness of Abortion” please click HERE)

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Major New Research Devastating to Abortion; Times Flips It the Other Way Around

Abortion proponents have been telling us for years the damage it would do to women if abortion were made illegal. Now a major gold-standard study has shown that argument to be fatally flawed. In a bizarre twist, however, The New York Times has reported on the research as if it favored the pro-abortion position.

The Times article, written by Pam Belluck, carries the headline “Abortion Is Found To Have Little Effect On Women’s Mental Health.”

Science journalism can be tricky. Sometimes it’s embarrassingly oversimplified, sometimes it’s distorted, especially on topics with potential political implications. It’s always important to consult the original source.

What It Says

Here’s what the actual research report says: Researchers compared mental health outcomes for women who had been granted abortions and those who had been denied it due to the baby’s gestational age. It found that those who seek abortions have similar mental health outcomes whether they are granted the abortion or denied it for reasons of law or policy beyond their control.

What It Tries To Say

But the Times tries to extend its findings far beyond that. For example:

Some states require women seeking abortions to be counseled that they might develop mental health problems. Now a new study, considered to be the most rigorous to look at the question in the United States, undermines that claim.

Is that true? No, because of what isn’t said in either the Times article or the original research.

What It Doesn’t Say

The research report says nothing about the effects of counseling women before abortion. All of the study participants had visited abortion clinics seeking the procedure. Some of them were allowed to abort, others were denied; none were actually persuaded not to have the abortion.

In other words, the study is completely silent on the mental health effects of deciding not to have an abortion, whether that’s because they know it is wrong, or they’re persuaded by family members not to have it, or even if there’s no facility nearby where they might hope to obtain an abortion.

So there’s nothing in this study that measures the effect of moral persuasion.

What It Says Again

If a woman chooses abortion but is coerced out of it against her will, her long-term mental health is likely to be the same as if she were allowed it.

What can we conclude from that, then, about the value of counseling or persuading women not to have an abortion? What can we conclude about the value of making a moral choice? What can we conclude about the difference it makes when a family member supports a mother carrying her pregnancy to term?

In other words, what do we really know (from this study, that is) about the full range of differences between having an abortion and not having one?

Practically nothing — except that being coerced out of having a desired abortion doesn’t seem to help the mother much. (It helps the baby. A lot.)

The Bombshell: No Evidence for a Major Pro-Abortion Argument
But there is more — and it’s a bombshell. Abortion proponents are so eager to tell us this study undermines arguments against abortion, they’ve missed its devastating assault on their own position.

They say it’s good for women to have “choice.” For example, “Reproductive choice empowers women by giving them control over their own bodies,” and “Women who receive abortions are less likely to suffer mental health problems than women denied abortions” (abortion.procon.org).

Care to show some evidence for that? Previous research studies have differed on it. This “gold standard” study says there is no such evidence. Women who want an abortion but are legally denied the opportunity may not come out any better for it, but they don’t come out any worse, either.

In fact the evidence strongly suggests that legally denying abortion has no long-term adverse mental health effects on women at all. So much for that “pro-choice argument”!

Policy Implications

Is there any mental health argument in favor of abortion, then? Not according to this study. Women’s mental health ought not be a consideration in abortion policy — not because women’s health is unimportant, but because this study shows that legally allowing or denying abortion has no real effect on it.

Does this study give any comfort to people who want to end requirements for pre-abortion counseling on mental health effects? Yes and no; but the yes part is silly. Yes, where abortion is illegal due to the age of the child in the womb, there’s no evidence-based mental health reason to counsel women against an abortion. But what’s there to counsel about when it’s already against the law?

Meanwhile, though, this study says nothing about counseling (persuading) a woman to carry the child to term. This study adds nothing of value to policy discussions on that question — though you can count on many others acting as if it does, along with the Times.

But the big news is that there’s no evidence that legal restrictions on abortion have any negative impact on women’s mental health or well-being. (For more from the author of “Major New Research Devastating to Abortion; Times Flips It the Other Way Around” please click HERE)

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Gov. Kasich Signs Bill Banning All Abortions Once Unborn Babies Can Feel Pain

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act this afternoon, enshrining protections for preborn children from 20-weeks gestation.

At the same time, he vetoed the “Heartbeat Bill,” which would have protected children in the womb much earlier, as soon as their heartbeat can be detected.

In a statement, Kasich said he was working hard “to strengthen Ohio’s protections for the sanctity of human life.”

Defending his decision to veto the Heartbeat Bill, Kasich said, “The State of Ohio will be the losing party in a lawsuit and, as the losing party, the State of Ohio will be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists’ lawyers.”

The Heartbeat Bill divided pro-lifers across Ohio because some thought it will lead to a possible Supreme Court re-affirmation of Roe v. Wade. Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis told Kaiser Health News that he opposes it because, “We believe in an incremental approach to both the legislative side as well as the changing of hearts and minds.” (Read more from “Gov. Kasich Signs Bill Banning All Abortions Once Unborn Babies Can Feel Pain” HERE)

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Oklahoma Supreme Court Overturns Pro-Life Law That Raised Abortion Center Standards

An Oklahoma law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals is unconstitutional, according to the state’s highest court. The 2014 law, called SB1848, included protections for the women’s health and safety and required an abortion facility to have a doctor there who could admit patients to a hospital not more than thirty miles away.

Claiming that the requirement was passed “under the guise of the protection of women’s health,” the Oklahoma Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional “because it creates an undue burden on a woman’s access to abortion, violating protected rights under our federal Constitution.”

U.S. Supreme Court Precedent

The Court cited both the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this summer overturning Texas abortion center standards that included abortionist admitting privileges. The U.S. Supreme Court said the Texas law was an “undue burden” on the health of women, in part because the number of abortion centers in the state dropped by about half once it and another law were implemented.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court noted that there are two licensed abortionists in the state. One of them and the plaintiff in the case, Dr. Larry Burns, said he faced possible heavy fines and/or the closure of his center after being unable to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. According to the court, the risk to his abortion center’s existence meant women would risk not having access to abortion.

The Court also said that Burns’ practice was safe for women who are getting abortions:

In 41 years of private medical practice, Burns has only called an ambulance one time for a patient who was simply observed and released from a local emergency room. We find there is no evidence to support defendants’ position that this legislation protects and advances women’s health.

The court also claimed that the law violated a state constitutional requirement that laws have a “single subject.” The law includes new provisions that “are so unrelated that many of those voting on the law would be faced with an unpalatable all-or-nothing choice.”

“Women are in Danger in Many Abortion Clinics”

Conservative Oklahoma activist and blogger Jamison Faught told The Stream that he was “not surprised that the state Supreme Court once again tossed out a pro-life law. For some reason, Oklahoma has a very liberal state judiciary. One of their favorite strategies in striking down pro-life legislation is their very inconsistent application of the single-subject rule in the state Constitution.”

Governor Mary Fallin said in a statement distributed to the press: “I’m disappointed to see another pro-life law struck down by the courts. Like many bills passed in Oklahoma, this bill was designed to protect the health and welfare of the mother along with the life of the unborn, which always should be among our society’s priorities.” Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The Oklahoma ruling came hours after Americans United for Life (AUL) released a report, Unsafe Conditions, detailing over 1,400 health and safety violations by 227 abortion centers in 32 states around the nation since 2008. In a National Review Online op-ed, AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke wrote that her organization’s report

convincingly demonstrates that the Supreme Court’s claim that abortion clinics are ‘safe’ qualifies as the lie of the year. The report documents that in Texas alone, at least 17 abortion providers have recently been cited by state officials for violations of health and safety standards, including, ironically, five clinics operated by Whole Woman’s Health, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case.

AUL spokesperson Kristi Hamrick told The Stream that “It is clear that women are in danger in many abortion clinics. We can document that. Any court that refuses to see this is not looking at the facts at hand.”

She added: “When the Supreme Court threw out Texas’ health and safety standards, they said at that time that it could be constitutional to have such standards if they were proven to be necessary. Here’s your proof.” (For more from the author of “Oklahoma Supreme Court Overturns Pro-Life Law That Raised Abortion Center Standards” please click HERE)

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