In This Issue: New Study on the impact of abortion on women’s health shows positive health trends in Ireland where abortion is prohibited; AUL’s premier legal team weighs in on three, significant pro-life cases around the country.
AUL reports on critical South
Dakota case involving
“The Suicide Advisory”
This week, all 11 active judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis heard one of the most important abortion cases in the courts today. The case, Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, involves a 2005 South Dakota statute requiring informed consent before a woman undergoes an abortion. Monday’s hearing focused on what the courts have called “the suicide advisory”: the statute’s requirement that abortion providers give patients “a description of all known medical risks of the procedure and statistically significant risk factors … including … depression [and] increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide.”
Attending the hearings for AUL was Clarke Forsythe (above left outside the hearing) who said that the issues could be summed up in one question: “Should women be informed about an increased risk of suicide after abortion?”
In late 2011, AUL attorneys were asked by the court to resubmit legal arguments about the medical data that points to risks for women. One key study, for example, finds that women who undergo abortions are at a more than 80 percent increased risk of subsequent mental health problems attributable to the event, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry by Priscilla K. Coleman, Ph.D. This study, along with others, is part of a growing body of work on the physical and mental health ramifications of abortion on women.
“This case is the latest example of how the lower federal courts have repeatedly tied up reasonable abortion regulations for years, preventing the regulations from taking effect, even when there is direct language from prior Supreme Court decisions supporting the purpose of the law,” said Forsythe. “In light of these studies in peer-reviewed, international medical journals, there can be no reasonable doubt that information about the ‘increased risk’ of suicide after abortion is ‘truthful, non-misleading information.’” For more on this case, click here.
New study of Irish health and population data shows positive women’s health trends while Ireland’s
abortion law has been in effect
For years, the United Nations (UN), the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and other abortion proponents have claimed that legal abortion contributes to reducing maternal mortality and to women’s health. Abortion advocates argued that the effects of abortion were negligible while pregnancy, they said, could be dangerous.
In fact, one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Goal 5, is to improve maternal health
by 2015, and legalizing abortion in developing countries is part of the strategy.
But a report published recently in Ireland contradicts the premise that abortion is necessary for women’s health. The report, entitled Ireland’s Gain, published December 15, 2011 by the Pension And Population Research Institute (PAPRI) of London, shows positive women’s health trends, and positive population trends, while Ireland’s abortion law has been enforced for over a 40 year span.
"This study shows that the claim of abortion advocates that abortion is necessary for improved maternal health is false," said AUL’s Clarke Forsythe.
The study compares the populations living in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland with those in Scotland and England, and examines women’s health indicators and trends between 1969-2009. The report examines numerous women’s health factors including fertility, premature birth rates, stillbirth rates, mental health resource usage, medication usage for mental health, breast cancer rates, and immunological disorders.
Among other health factors, the report looked at maternal mortality. Maternal death rates per 100,000 live births are significantly higher in the English/Welsh populations and Scottish populations (10/100,000 in England/Wales, and 10-12/100,000 in Scotland) compared to the Irish population (1-2/100,000 live births in the Irish Republic). This was only one of a number of data points that detailed how well women fare in Ireland compared to their cohorts in the surrounding countries.
Patrick Carroll, an actuarial expert with PAPRI and author of the study, said, "The strength of Ireland’s Gain is in its analysis of 40 years of data from four countries with completely different abortion policies."
AUL’s Senior Counsel and noted author Clarke Forsythe has tracked such data for years. “This Irish data should put the brakes on any notion that legalizing abortion will advance maternal health. This study will greatly influence the discussions of the true impact of abortion on women,” said Forsythe.
AUL files amicus brief supporting Ohio’s RU-486 regulation on behalf of key members
of the U.S. Senate and House
“Protecting women’s lives should be something that can be achieved with
bipartisan agreement,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.
AUL filed a brief this week in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives - including Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner and U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn - supporting Ohio’s commonsense regulation of the dangerous abortion-inducing drug RU-486. AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted that today’s filing was part of an on-going effort from AUL in the strategic legal case because “women’s lives hang in the balance.”
“Eight women in the U.S. have died from bacterial infection following the misuse of RU-486—a misuse advocated by Planned Parenthood,” said Dr. Yoest. “Ohio’s law is simply a medical regulation aimed at promoting the safest use of a drug, as it was approved to be used by the FDA. Requiring the proper distribution of drugs should be an area of bipartisan agreement.”
The brief focuses on the medical data demonstrating that misuse of RU-486 is dangerous, and that U.S. Supreme Court precedent clearly demonstrates that the regulation imposes no “undue burden” on women. To read the document, click here.
The list of U.S. House and Senate members who are being represented by AUL include: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner (OH), U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (OK), and U.S. Representatives Steve Austria (OH), Dan Benishek, M.D. (MI), Diane Black, R.N. (TN), Charles Boustany, M.D. (LA), Paul Broun, M.D. (GA), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA), Steve Chabot (OH), John Fleming, M.D. (LA), Bob Gibbs (OH), Andy Harris, M.D. (MD), Bill Johnson (OH), Jim Jordan (OH), Robert Latta (OH), Jean Schmidt (OH), Steve Stivers (OH), and Pat Tiberi (OH).
AUL supports parental notice law in
brief to Illinois Supreme Court
AUL filed an amicus brief as the year began in the Illinois Supreme Court supporting a state law requiring parental notice before minors can obtain abortions. The Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act was enacted in 1995, but the ACLU has been using litigation to stall its enforcement. Considering almost 17 years have passed since the law’s enactment, practically an entire generation of young girls has been left unprotected. The ACLU has argued that there is “no justification” for the General Assembly’s action in passing the law. In its brief, AUL refutes that claim, demonstrating that there are numerous studies showing that parental involvement laws decrease both minor abortion and birth rates. AUL also details numerous studies demonstrating that abortion harms women—and especially minors—both physically and psychologically, and that parental involvement laws help shield minors from sexual exploitation. For more information on this on-going case, click here.
In the News
From the Washington Post: 2011: The year of the abortion restriction: In analyzing events in 2011 on the life issue, reporter Ezra Klein made the following observations: “Since the reform law passed, it’s been a hot-button issue. Americans United for Life, the country’s oldest anti-abortion organization, wrote up draft legislation on how to limit insurance coverage. Eight states now bar any private insurance plan from covering abortion and five more will limit such coverage on the exchanges, the new health insurance marketplaces that are scheduled to launch in 2014.” Click here to read more.
From the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters: Analysis of the events impacting Planned Parenthood in 2011 from reporter Paul Wilson included this: “Even a congressional probe into the finances of Planned Parenthood could not spark the networks' interest.
“Americans United for Life (AUL) published a report on July 7, 2011, alleging that Planned Parenthood engaged in potentially illegal activity - including the systematic cover-up of sex crimes and misuse of federal funds to support abortion.
“The AUL report, titled "The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood," alleges that Planned Parenthood engaged in illegal and potentially criminal activities. It documents multiple instances where Planned Parenthood clinics allegedly covered up sex trafficking and child abuse and misappropriated federal funds for abortions.
“AUL spokeswoman Kristi Hamrick told CMI: ‘Our report documents evidence of financial improprieties within Planned Parenthood and instances in which laws requiring notification of public officials of suspected sexual abuse were not followed. Congress has the right and the duty to make sure that all institutions receiving federal funds deserve that support.’
“Congress has taken the report seriously. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-FL., chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called for a government investigation of the organization, based on the findings of the AUL report. On Sept. 15, 2011, Stearns sent a letter to Planned Parenthood, demanding that the organization hand over its records to a congressional investigation.”
Click here to read more.
From Fox News Channel's “O’Reilly Factor”
Bill O’Reilly and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham talked recently about AUL and the recent headlines involving Planned Parenthood. Click here to watch.
Remembering Tony Blankley
AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted with sorrow the passing of Tony Blankley this weekend, and offered the following tribute: “Tony Blankley is rightfully being lauded for many things as he is memorialized and mourned. He is known for his remarkable intellect and brilliant political judgments. He also held a deep commitment to the life agenda, helping me to prepare to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. All who knew him will find themselves missing the unique combination of charming wordsmith, principled ideals and wise engagement in the issues of the day.”
To read more, click here.