This Week's Feature
With help from Americans United for Life, attorneys in a northeast Indiana county secured a victory for those who believe that abortionists should be held accountable for endangering women’s health and possibly their lives.
Denise Burke, a senior attorney with AUL and a recognized expert on regulating abortion facilities and providers, provided critical legal assistance to attorneys in Allen County, Indiana, as they worked to defend an important new law.
In 2008, local officials became concerned over reports that travelling doctors were putting patients at risk by performing medical procedures and then heading out of the area, leaving patients without critical follow-up care. In response to this continuing problem, Allen County passed a law that requires doctors to let patients know how to reach them or how to reach another doctor who can assist with follow-up care.
Although the law covers any physician traveling into Allen County to perform medical procedures, Dr. Ulrich Klopfer - an abortionist - was the only physician to challenge its constitutionality and applicability.
“It is the height of hypocrisy for abortionists and abortion advocates to claim that abortion is simply a common, ‘mainstream’ medical procedure and then seek to avoid medically-appropriate and generally-applicable rules and regulations designed to ensure patient health and safety,” commented Burke.
Klopfer, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the Center for Reproductive Rights, asked that the entire law be thrown out. The federal judge presiding over the case, while agreeing to halt a few minor aspects of the new law, ultimately allowed it to go into effect.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest developments.
On The Docket
Kellie Fiedorek, National Coordinator of Advocates for Life, has been working with Advocates chapters across the country as they prepare for the 2010-2011 school year. They’ve been planning lectures, debates, and regional legal symposiums to educate law students and the community at large on leading legal issues that impact Life.
Advocates for Life is particularly excited to be opening new chapters this fall at the University of Virginia School of Law, George Mason University School of Law, and at several other prestigious institutions.
“It is inspiring to meet law students who are passionate about the pro-life cause and eager to influence the culture on law school campuses,” Fiedorek said. “We are looking forward to a successful year. Pro-life law students are establishing themselves through their Advocates for Life chapters as effective players in the fight to defend innocent human Life.”
Advocates for Life is an initiative of Americans United for Life. In addition to fostering balanced and open discussion about the fundamental right to Life in the legal community, Advocates for Life works with Lawyers for Life to promote networking and mentoring between pro-life law students and lawyers across the country.
Future Advocates for Life events may be taking place at a law school in your area. If you are a law student and are interested in becoming a part of an Advocates for Life chapter or starting a chapter at your school please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa law requires that any abortion in the state must be performed by a doctor. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland appears to be violating this standard by using videoconferencing to consult with patients and dispense the abortion drug RU-486 remotely rather than actually having a doctor present.
As a result, Americans United for Life has joined dozens of pro-life and pro-family organizations in sending a letter to the Iowa Board of Medicine opposing Planned Parenthood’s misuse of telemedicine - treating a patient over the phone, using videoconferencing, or online - to bypass the Iowa law when dispensing RU-486.
The letter, co-signed by AUL, notes, “The absence of a licensed physician performing a physical examination poses a significant health threat to the mother of the unborn child. An examination could reveal potential risk factors that may prevent a physician from prescribing RU-486 to the patient. These risk factors, if unidentified, could lead to excessive bleeding, infection, and death. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is ignoring this basic tenet of care by passing responsibility and directing patients to the emergency room if complications do occur.”
We’ll keep you posted as this issue develops. To read the letter, click here.