Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of August 27, 2007

RU Kidding? / Planned Parenthood Back in Court / Reinforcements / Mega Mill on Schedule
/ Another Mega Mill Planned for Denver / Abortion the Exception, Worldwide /
IPPF & UNFPA Ramping Up Abortion Campaigns in Africa  

RU Kidding?

NEWS COVERAGE OF AN RU-486 STUDY published in mid-August by the NewEngland Journal of Medicine (NEJM) purports to show the abortion drug is “safe.”

“The analysis relied on Denmark’s 35-year-old national abortion registry,” notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in FRC’s Washington Update, and related to the likelihood of an aborted mother who ingested RU-486 to later suffer a miscarriage or an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.

The mainstream media to which the results were released, Time, the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters news service “splashed grossly misleading headlines,” writes Mr. Perkins, “like: ‘Study Finds Abortion Pill Safe’ (Time).”

Sadly, there was no acknowledgment of the maternal toxic shock deaths which have hit the headlines too often since the Food & Drug Administration rushed RU to the market. Indeed, noted CWA president Wendy Wright in a Concerned Women for America news release, “Medical experts have acknowledged that the abortion pill RU-486 is ten times more likely to cause fatal infections than surgical abortion.” Nor, she noted, did the study “take into account the direct risk that comes from chemical and surgical abortions, such as hemorrhage, pelvic infections and causing damage to the cervix.”

What about the fact that the drug sold in America is manufactured in Red China, at a factory which cannot be inspected by the FDA? And far be it from the mass media to recognize the growing body of research demonstrating the psychological, emotional fall-out from abortion.

But even without going beyond the researchers’ narrow focus on later miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies, the conclusion that RU is “safe” just cannot be sustained.

The researchers did not compare future pregnancy outcomes in RU users to the miscarriage and ectopic rates among those mothers who had not previously aborted a baby. No, the comparison was between RU users and mothers who had undergone surgical abortions, a comparison which Miss Wright likens to “comparing whether it is worse to burn your hand on a gas stove or an electric stove; you still end up burned.”

The NEJM authors – which included at least one scientist from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – dismissed the study’s essential flaw with what Mr. Perkins calls “unbelievable spin”: “‘… women who have never had an abortion,’” the authors wrote, quoted by FRC, “‘tend to have a different pattern of income, smoking rates and other health-related behaviors that would make a comparison difficult … .’”

We join Mr. Perkins in calling on Health & Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt to “look into having this study re-done using proper methodology and unbiased scientists,” assuming he can find any among the stable at NIH. And while he’s at it, he should direct the

FDA to withdraw its hasty, politically motivated approval of the lethal, made-in-China RU-486.


Planned Parenthood Back in Court

PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS SUING THE STATE OF MISSOURI in a bid to relieve its abortuaries from licensure under the state’s ambulatory surgical center regulations.

Until Missouri’s new law takes effect tomorrow, Aug. 28, statutes have limited such licensure to abortuaries for which abortion represents half their business. The new law, which PP is seeking to block, “pulls more clinics under the state’s umbrella,” reports AP writer David Lieb, “by requiring any facility that performs more than five first-trimester abortions a month, or any second- or third-trimester abortions, to meet the licensure requirements.”

Under the new law, “Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri claims it will be forced to halt abortions at its Columbia and Kansas City offices,” writes Mr. Lieb, “either permanently or while costly and ‘medically unnecessary’ renovations are made.” Georgette Forney of the Silent-No-More Awareness Campaign retorted, in a news release issued by her organization of post-abortive mothers, “That speaks volumes not only about the conditions of those clinics but also [about] Planned Parenthood’s concern for the well-being of the women it claims to serve.”

The added requirements to which PP objects include, reports AP’s Mr. Lieb: “Outpatient surgery centers must have halls at least six feet wide and doors at least 44 inches wide; there must be separate male and female changing rooms for personnel; and a recovery room with space for at least four beds with three feet of clearance around each.”

A PP spokesman estimated the required renovation of the Columbia abortuary alone would cost “about $600,000,” writes Mr. Lieb. “The organization contends,” he writes, “that because both [Columbia and Kansas City] facilities already exist, they should be exempt from meeting the new physical requirements.” Does that mean hospitals should have been permitted to continue operating in candlelight after electricity was harnessed or that attaching leeches to control infection should be considered just as valid as administering antibiotics?



THE BLUNT ADMINISTRATION IN MISSOURI HAS ENGAGED a pair of private attorneys, serving without fee, to defend the abortuary licensing law being challenged by Planned Parenthood.

Customarily, the defense in such a lawsuit would be taken by the state’s attorney general, but Atty. Gen. Jay Nixon (D) is challenging the governor for re-election, and Gov. Matt Blunt’s Health Director Jane Drummond “said Wednesday that she does not trust [Mr.] Nixon,” reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “She asserted,” reports the Post-Dispatch, “that the attorney general is a supporter of ‘abortion-on-demand and a political ally of Planned Parenthood.’”

The attorneys engaged by Ms. Drummond on behalf of the governor and the people of Missouri are associated with the Kansas City office of Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a non-profit organization which supports the costs of attorneys taking pro-bono cases in defense of freedom of speech, religious liberty, the right to life and traditional family law.

Though Director Drummond criticized Mr. Nixon and his past record appearing to favor abortion advocates even in his official duties, a spokesman for Mr. Nixon’s office told the Post-Dispatch, “The issue is ‘about law, not politics. … We will certainly attempt,’” said spokesman Scott Holste in the Post-Dispatch story, “‘to work with the Dept. of Health & Senior Services to make sure we have a coordinated, united defense.’” ADF attorney Dale Schowengerdt said, in the Post-Dispatch story, “‘We have every intention to work with the attorney general and defend this law together.’”

“Allowing abortion clinics to be exempt from these standards makes an already dangerous situation even more dangerous,” said ADF senior counsel Kevin Theriot in an ADF news release. “Making abortion clinics safer is certainly in the best interest of patients. The new law that Planned Parenthood wants struck down is one that serves the health and safety of the people of Missouri.”


Mega Mill on Schedule

PLANNED PARENTHOOD CLAIMS TO BE ON SCHEDULE to open its 22,000-square-foot, $7.5 million abortion-and mill in Chicago-suburban Aurora, Illinois.

The facility, set to open Sept. 18, will “offer birth control, pregnancy and pap tests, counseling, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment and abortion services, among others,” writes Amy Boerema in the suburban Daily Herald newspaper. “In their first year,” she writes, “they expect to handle 8,000 patients and 10,500 visits. Of those visits,” Ms. Boerema reports, “about 2,400 will be for abortions.” The mill’s schedule will begin with a five-day week, open Tuesday through Saturday, though PP leaders, according to Ms. Boerema, intend eventually to be open for business seven days a week.

The facility will also house a call center which can handle as many as 15,000 phone calls per month, reports the Daily Herald, which does not note whether all those calls will be incoming or whether the Aurora center will be used at election time, for example, as a massive phone bank for outgoing calls.

“Privacy,” writes Ms. Boerema, is “a top concern. The entrance is off private property,” she notes, “so guests [sic] won’t face protesters, [PP leaders] said.”

Pro-life activists like Pro-Life Action League’s Joseph Scheidler acknowledge the siting of the building will present challenges to advocates seeking to dissuade customers from subjecting their babies to PP’s contract killers.

But the strategic location of the building cannot block prayer warriors from interceding even before the facility opens. Some 400 pro-life citizens rallied last week to kick off a 40-day prayer vigil focused on the Aurora megabortuary.


Another Mega Mill Planned for Denver

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HAS NOW ANNOUNCED PLANS to build a $4.2 million, 50,000-square-foot abortion mill in the Stapleton neighborhood of Denver.

“The organization initially intended to complete the whole project in secrecy,” writes Denver Post report Karen Auge, “in order to avoid the kind of protests and delays that PP’s building projects have ignited elsewhere, said Leslie Durgin,” a senior vice president for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, which, reports Ms. Auge, claims 125,000 customers from five states last year, of whom 8,800 underwent abortions.

American Life League’s Jim Sedlak, who heads ALL’s Stop Planned Parenthood project, told Focus on the Family’s Family News in Focus that just as in Aurora, Illinois, “the property was purchased without using the Planned Parenthood name. ‘What they’re doing,’” he said, “‘is going under the name of a general health clinic and saying they’re putting a health clinic in.’”

Ms. Durgin said the outfit “‘anticipate[s] we will have protests,’” reports the Denver Post.

The block-long work site for the three-story building “will be fenced,” writes the Post’s Ms. Auge, “and protesters will not be allowed inside the boundaries of private property, [Ms.] Durgin said. ‘We don’t expect to have a police presence on a daily basis unless we need it, in which case we’ll call for it,’” said Ms. Durgin, quoted in the Denver Post, “‘and I have been assured we will get it.’”

Colorado Right to Life vice president Leslie Hanks indicated her group’s protests could include a focus on the project’s builders, along the lines of the successful 2003 campaign in Austin, Texas, which significantly delayed the construction of a PP mill “after anti-abortion activists,” writes Ms. Auge, “persuaded contractors to walk off the job or face future boycotts. … ‘Companies in the business of trying to build a death camp,’” Ms. Hanks told Ms. Auge, “‘need to be exposed.’”


Abortion the Exception, Worldwide

A STUDY OUT OF THE UNITED NATIONS SHOWS only 28% of the world’s countries permit abortion-on-demand, reports Elizabeth O’Brien for

“The percentage in the developing world is even lower,” writes Ms. O’Brien, “where 15% of the countries offer abortion-on-request. The percentage of countries that allow abortion due to ‘fetal impairment’ is also a minority,” she writes, “with 45% offering the option.”

When it comes to legalizing abortion “for economic or social reasons,” writes Ms. O’Brien, “78% … of the wealthier [countries] favor abortion on these grounds, whereas only 19% of the poorer areas permit it. Similarly, in the case of rape or incest,” she reports, “the percentage of wealthy to developing regions is 84% to 37%.”

Full details from the UN report can be viewed via the Internet here .


IPPF & UNFPA Ramping Up Abortion Campaigns in Africa

Aug. 16, 2007, Friday Fax bulletin by Samantha Singson for Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, Copyright C-Fam

In a bid to make abortion widely legal in Africa, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) have been working diligently at the African Union (AU) for a continent-wide strategy that delivers “sexual and reproductive health services,” including “safe abortion.”

IPPF and UNFPA have been key players in drafting and promoting the controversial yet non-binding AU “Continental Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights”  and another document called the Maputo Plan of Action, both of which aim to implement “sexual and reproductive health and rights” into national health systems across Africa. In 2005, IPPF co-authored a draft of the Framework which calls on all AU states to “create an enabling environment for preventing unsafe abortion,” “promote the expansion of post-abortion care and the use of menstrual vacuum aspiration (MVA) techniques,” as well as “encourage a responsible debate to demystify taboos about abortion.”

IPPF’s financial statements show the organization spent $100,000 on the special session for African health ministers held in Maputo, Mozambique, in September, 2006, aimed at producing a three-year plan to implement the Framework.

The three-year plan to implement the Framework became known as the Maputo Plan of Action. The Maputo Plan of Action includes proposed health program costs, targets and measures for abortion services, calling on states to “enact policies and legal frameworks,” to “prepare and implement national plans of action” as well as “refurbish and equip facilities for provision of comprehensive abortion care services.”

One of the ways abortion advocates assert the legitimacy of these two documents is by pointing out that they were discussed at meetings of national ministers of health and therefore have national backing. It is unclear who actually attended these meetings, and critics point out that the decisions of health ministers do not necessarily bind governments.

The Maputo Plan of Action bears a similar name with yet another document called the Maputo Protocol, which calls for legalized abortion. The Maputo Protocol is a legally binding document on states which have ratified it. So far this includes 21 of the 53 AU members. Future ratifications remain uncertain as controversy swells around the Protocol’s provision for legalized abortion-on-demand. At least one state that ratified the Protocol explicitly rejected this provision.

IPPF and UNFPA are hedging against stalled ratification by using a two-pronged approach to promote abortion on the continent. While they work to get more states to ratify the legally binding Protocol, they are insinuating abortion into health ministries by getting health bureaucrats to implement the non-binding Framework and Maputo Plan of Action, both of which call for abortion.

UNFPA’s most recent program proposal, reported in last week’s Friday Fax, states that the Maputo Plan of Action will be “the focus of future activities” for the organization’s work in Africa. Calling the Plan of Action a model for other regions to emulate, UNFPA executive director Thoraya Obaid said, “Now the real work begins on national implementation. We all stand ready to support Africa in this clear commitment.” 

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