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Thursday, March 31, 2016

No, pro-life abortion legislation does not punish but protects women

The question arose in the presidential campaign whether women should be punished for abortions. The answer below from colleagues on Capitol Hill should set the record straight:
Many pro-life leaders view women as co-victims of abortion (e.g. The March for Life).  Pro-life groups and Members have supported legislation that holds abortionists who prey on women accountable for their actions while holding the women on whom the abortion is performed harmless under the law.  Some examples of such legislation are included below. 

Recently Considered Pro-life Laws, Not Enacted

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
HR36 (114th Congress) as introduced and as passed the House (also 113th H.R. 1797 as introduced and as passed the House, H.R. 3803 as introduced and as considered by the House on Suspension):
BAR TO PROSECUTION.—A woman upon whom an abortion in violation of subsection (a) is performed or attempted may not be prosecuted under, or for a conspiracy to violate, subsection (a), or for an offense under section 2, 3, or 4 of this title based on such a violation.

Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
Bar to prosecution.—The mother of a child born alive described under subsection (a) may not be prosecuted under this section, for conspiracy to violate this section, or for an offense under section 3 or 4 of this title based on such a violation.

PRENDA (Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act)
H.R. 3541 as introduced in the 112th and as considered by the House under suspension of the Rules in the 112th Congress
Exception.—A woman upon whom a sex-selection or race-selection abortion is performed may not be prosecuted or held civilly liable for any violation of this section, or for a conspiracy to violate this section.

Enacted Pro-life Laws

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
As enacted in 2003:
A woman upon whom a partial-birth abortion is performed may not be prosecuted under this section, for a conspiracy to violate this section, or for an offense under section 2, 3, or 4 of this title based on a violation of this section.

Unborn Victims of Violence Act
As enacted in 2004
Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the prosecution—…
‘(3) of any woman with respect to her unborn child.


Personhood bill not enacted or recently considered by the House but viewed by some as a position statement on the legality of abortion:

However, nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Senate hears from abortion survivor, former abortionist

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on why the law should protect babies born alive after an abortion, and why we should at the very least ban abortions after the age at which babies can feel pain. 
Witnesses included an abortion survivor and a physician who did abortions before making the connection between "fetus" and baby. I was privileged to accompany Dr. Kathi Aultman to the hearing, where she noted, "We have moved further away from the idea that life is precious and closer to the utilitarian attitudes that ended so many lives during the last century."
Witnesses for the Republican majority included:
Dr. Kathi A. Aultman
Retired Gynecologist
Orange Park , FL
Ms. Melissa Ohden
Founder, The Abortion Survivors Network
Gladstone , MO
Dr. Colleen A. Malloy
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics-Neonatology
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago , IL
Ms. Angelina Baglini Nguyen
Associate Scholar
Charlotte Lozier Institute
Washington , DC

Video and testimonies

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Supreme Court weighs health and safety requirements for women in abortion clinics

The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case to decide whether or not legislators can require abortion clinics to adhere to the same safety and health requirements of similar clinics.
The following op-eds by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) address what's at stake:

Rep. Black -

Before I came to Congress, I served as a registered nurse. During my time in the emergency room, I cared for a young woman who came to my hospital after undergoing a botched abortion at a clinic that was not properly regulated. When her complications occurred, there was no answer at the after-hours number that she called and by the time she entered my care she was dying and there was nothing that the doctors or I could do to save her.
That young woman lost her precious life; a life that could have been saved if proper regulations were in place to protect her safety and to hold the abortionist accountable. This is what is at stake at the high court.
Sadly, my story is not the only one of its kind. Americans were awakened to the dangers of unregulated abortion clinics on a grander and more sinister scale with the grisly murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell in 2013 – which served as the genesis for the Texas law in dispute today.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler - The Hill:

In the Grand Jury report regarding Gosnell, the jurists stated, “There is no justification for denying abortion patients the protections available to every other patient of an ambulatory surgical facility, and no reason to exempt abortion clinics from meeting these standards.” They went further to say that abortion clinics “should be explicitly regulated as ambulatory surgical facilities, so that they are inspected annually and held to the same standards as all other outpatient procedure centers.”
Overturning the Texas law, on the other hand, endangers women’s health, allowing facilities like the Women’s Medical Society to go uninspected and unaccountable. Adding to this danger, ruling against this law could place other reasonable regulations on abortion in jeopardy as fringe groups, aiming to make unregulated abortion the norm and not the exception, use this as a precedent to overturn laws around the country.
To this end, joined by 173 other members of Congress, I led an amicus brief in support of this Texas law. Further, over 3,300 women injured by abortion have signed a similar amicus brief in support of these regulations. Simply put, medical procedures as serious and consequential as abortion should not be allowed to go unregulated. The infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell was not an outlier—we must protect women and children from other Gosnells.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Event: "Making Life & Taking Life: Ethical Questions in Medical Science"

"Making Life & Taking Life: Ethical Questions in Medical Science,"
Thursday, March 10, 2016 | 7:00pm.
Christ the King Anglican Church
1801 North Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA.
Elaine Petty, Consultant on bioethical issues
Dr. Allen Roberts, Medical Director of the Surgical ICU,
Georgetown Hospital
Phone: 703-535-6815