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Pro-Life Infonet

Today's Topics:

Texas Abortion Facility Regulations on Hold
Pennsylvania Abortions Decline Four Percent in 98
Missouri State Legislature Will Tackle Abortion Again in 2000
Thirteen Baby Abandonments Stun Houston

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Texas Abortion Facility Regulations on Hold

Texas Abortion Facility Regulations on Hold

Houston, Texas -- A federal judge Wednesday barred the state from
enforcing a new law that expands licensing requirements for abortion
facilities, ruling it unconstitutional on two counts.

U.S. District Judge John Rainey said the 1999 amendments to the Abortion
Facility Reporting and Licensing Act violate the equal protection clause
of the U.S. Constitution and are unconstitutionally vague.

Texas Right to Life legislative director Joe Kral said the decision, like
abortions, hurts women. " It is unfortunate that this ruling does not keep
in mind the safety of women," Kral noted. " These laws are meant to stop
the shady practices of unlicensed predatory abortionists and protect women
from potential health hazards."

The law, which took effect Sept. 1, requires individual facilities to be
licensed if anyone performs more than 300 abortions per year. It also
upgrades the criminal liability of those who operate abortion facilities
without a license.

Rainey granted the temporary injunction after a two-day hearing on the new
law's background and effects. Rainey's order stands pending a response
from Texas Attorney General John Cornyn. If the state appeals, a trial
will likely be held.

Abortion facilities in Houston, Denton and Austin and five individual
abortion practitioners challenged the law in October, contending that it
violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Rainey agreed
that the law is unconstitutional because it sets those who perform
abortions apart from those who perform outpatient surgeries, violating
their right to equal protection under the law.

He also said the law contains three provisions unconstitutionally vague,
requiring abortion practitioners to:

* Ensure that patients are cared for in a manner that enhances their
* Ensure that patients receive care that maintains their self-esteem.
* Ensure quality care, defined as " the degree to which care meets or
exceeds the expectations set by the patient."

But Rainey took issue with the contention that the statute deprives the
right to due process rights under the Constitution. Although the abortion
practitioners had maintained that the legislation was developed for the
constitutionally invalid purpose of placing a substantial obstacle in the
path of women seeking abortions, Rainey said the evidence was to the

Current regulations appear to have been spawned by health concerns, he

Prior to Sept. 1, state law provided an exemption from licensing for those
whose practice included less than 51 percent to performing abortions.
The new law not only expands licensure requirements, but also makes it a
Class A misdemeanor, instead of Class C, to operate an unlicensed abortion
facility. That increases the penalty from a $400 fine to a possible jail
term of up to one year and a $4,000 fine.

Rainey said department data indicated that 12 abortion practitioners
statewide (20 percent of the total) must obtain licenses under the new

In 1997, more than 84,000 abortions were performed in Texas, at 31
licensed abortion facilities by fewer than 30 abortion practitioners.
Licensed facilities must meet strict mandates on equipment and
credentialing and training of personnel, be inspected every year and pay a
$2,500 application fee.

Judy Vatterott, a board member of Life Advocates, said the law is needed
to protect women's health and safety.

The pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Law & Policy, filed the lawsuit
for the abortion practitioners. The center, which is funding the lawsuit
in Texas, recently got a similar South Carolina law struck down. It
required licensure in places that performed more than five abortions per

Bill Price of Texans United for Life said the law is meant to make
abortion safer. " These places are really in the pursuit of the dollar, not
the pursuit of helping women," Price said.

In the 12/28/99 Pro-Life Infonet story " Parental Notification Law Takes
Effect Saturday" we mistakenly reported that Texas Right to Life
legislative diredctor Joe Kral said that closed circuit cameras could be
used in a judicial bypass procedure. What Mr. Kral had actually said was
that " in camera" , a latin phrase for " in chambers" or " in private" , court
proceedings could be used in order to protect privacy and comply with the
law at the same time. " In camera" proceedings, also known as closed court
proceedings, are commonly used when dealing with victims of domestic
abuse, adoption cases, and children who have been sexually molested.

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Pennsylvania Abortions Decline Four Percent in 98

Pennsylvania Abortions Decline Four Percent in 98

Harrisburg, PA -- Abortions performed in Pennsylvania declined 4.1 percent
in 1998, an all-time low for the third straight year, state Department of
Health statistics released Wednesday show.

A total of 35,617 abortions were performed statewide in 1998, a drop of
1,518 from the year before. Of the total, 33,954 were performed on
Pennsylvania residents -- also the lowest on record -- representing a
decrease of 1,524 from 1997.

Since the state started tracking the statistic in 1974, the highest number
of abortions performed in the state came in 1980, when 65,777 were done.

Michael Geer, the president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute and a
member of the local anti-abortion group Lancaster United For Life, said he
was generally pleased to see the numbers falling, but was dismayed by the
number of abortions still being performed.

" It is certainly a positive to see the numbers dropping, but it is still a
tragedy when you look at the number of abortions as a whole. When you see
abortion as the taking of a life, 33,000 is nothing to be happy about."

Pennsylvania is the only state that funds centers which offer counseling,
financial guidance and adoption referrals as alternatives to abortion.
Women appear to be responding favorably, said David Bunnell, director of
education for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

" We're pleased to see the abortion numbers continue to drop and give
credit to pro-lifers providing real alternatives to women facing problem
pregnancies," said David Bunnell, director of education for the
Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

Geer credited many of those agencies offering alternatives to abortion
with reducing the number of abortion procedures performed.

" One of the often not-reported sides of the pro-life movement is the
abortion alternative movement, which was in its infancy in the 1980s. In
the '90s it has come into full fruition and Lancaster County is the sight
of numerous well-funded and well-run organizations that serve women and
families in need. That in and of itself we can credit with some of the

The figures show that those who had abortions last year were more likely
to be unmarried white women age 20 to 24. About 55 percent of the total
abortions were performed on white women, compared to 41 percent for blacks
and 3.9 percent for Hispanics.

Meanwhile, those age 20 to 24 accounted for 31.8 percent of the total
abortions, compared to 23 percent who were age 25 to 29. Women aged 19 and
younger represented 19.2 percent of total abortions.

By county, Philadelphians had the most abortions performed (41.9 percent),
followed by residents of Allegheny (11.6 percent), Montgomery (4.8
percent), Delaware (4.6 percent) and Bucks (3.3 percent). An overwhelming
majority of those abortions (92.6 percent) were performed in six counties:
Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery and Philadelphia.

" This consistent downturn in the number of abortions is heartening," said
Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) Executive Director Robert O'Hara,
Jr. " Still, the loss of more than 35,000 innocent lives and the many women
who felt they had no choice but to end their baby's life is tragic."

As the number of abortions continues to decline, Planned Parenthood and
other abortion advocates are seeking to increase the number of abortions
facilities in Pennsylvania. Abortion facilities in Lancaster, Erie, and
Bucks County have been proposed. In addition, it has been rumored that
RU-486, the dangerous abortion pill, may be available in early 2000.

A seldom-reported but troubling statistic is the number of repeat
abortions. Repeat abortions were done on 16,007 women in 1998, or 44.9% of
all abortions. " While the percentage of repeat abortions is about the same
as last year, clearly, these are cases where abortion IS the birth control
used," said Francis Viglietta, director of the PCC Social Concerns
Department. " It's alarming."

Pennsylvania's Project Women in Need (WIN), which provides women with
alternatives to abortion, saw an average of 2,498 women visit Project WIN
centers per month.

Other factors may have contributed to the decline include abstinence
education, education about fetal development, and the Pennsylvania
Abortion Control Act, which requires voluntary and informed consent for
women, a 24-hour waiting period, and parental consent for minors.

You can help women find abortion alternatives with your link to Pregnancy
Centers Online at

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Missouri State Legislature Will Tackle Abortion
Again in 2000

Missouri State Legislature Will Tackle Abortion Again in 2000

JEFFERSON CITY Both sides of the abortion debate in Missouri dont expect
the same kind of intensity on display earlier this year over the issue
when lawmakers return to work next month.

For now, the debate over a ban on partial-birth abortion has been put on
hold while the courts decide the issue.

Thats not to say, however, that legislation dealing with alternatives to
abortion wont be floating around the Capitol when lawmakers return to work
at noon Jan. 5.

Nor does it mean that abortion advocates wont be seeking increased

" The intensity, I dont expect that," said Louis DeFeo, a lobbyist for the
Missouri Catholic Conference. " But its not a throw-away year for
abortion-related legislation." DeFeo said possible legislation could
include strengthening informed consent laws for abortions and banning the
sale of fetal organs.

Legislation streamlining Missouris adoption system is also being
considered as an alternative to abortion, DeFeo said. A legislative
committee is currently studying the issue.

" Theres many things we can do to remove the need or perceived need for
abortion and provide positive support for women," DeFeo said. " We are
always, in a general sense, promoting alternatives to abortion."

Melissa Jobe, executive director of the Missouri affiliate of the National
Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, said her organization
plans to have a strong presence in the Jefferson City next year. Jobe said
that while no final decisions on what legislation will be promoted next
session have been made.

The legislation banning partial-birth abortions was approved
overwhelmingly by the General Assembly after more than 40 hours of debate.
Outside the Capitol, supporters on both sides of the issue held emotional

The Missouri law subjects anyone who causes " the death of a living
infant... by an overt act performed when the infant is partially born or
born," to charges equivalent to murder.

The legislation was quickly vetoed by pro-abortion Gov. Mel Carnahan. In
September, lawmakers took the unusual and historic step of overriding
Carnahans veto.

Within hours of the vote, Planned Parenthood, Missouris largest abortion
performer, filed a lawsuit claiming that the ban was unconstitutional. An
appeals court later issued a stay preventing the ban from going into
effect. The case has been sent to a federal judge in Kansas City, who has
set a March 27 trial date.

Pro-life state Rep. Ted House, D-St. Charles, who sponsored the
legislation that creates the crime of " infanticide," said its unlikely
that the court case will impact lawmakers in 2000 because of likely
appeals. He also doesnt expect another 40-hour debate in the Senate on
abortion-related issues that was the case earlier this year.

Meanwhile, pro-life lawmakers won a victory in November when a circuit
judge ruled that the General Assembly acted legally when they wrote budget
language aimed at preventing Planned Parenthood from receiving state
funds. Planned Parenthood is fighting the ruling.

The Pro-Life Infonet is a daily compilation of pro-life news and
information. To subscribe, send the message " subscribe" to: Infonet is sponsored by Women and
Children First ( For more pro-life info
visit and for questions or additional
information email

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Thirteen Baby Abandonments Stun Houston

Thirteen Baby Abandonments Stun Houston

HOUSTON -- The newborn babies were found on doorsteps, in streets, at
schools and in trash bins. With each new discovery, authorities grew more
and more incredulous.

Abandoned children are a sad reality in the nation's fourth-largest city,
but by the time the rash ended in September, the total - 13 discarded
babies in 10 months - stunned child-protection officials.

" If we get one or two a year, that wouldn't be unusual," said George Ford,
executive director of Harris County Child Protective Services. " But to
have 13 within this time period is certainly extraordinary."

The reasons for the increase aren't clear. But officials hoping to prevent
a tragic trend have organized the Harris County Baby Abandonment Task
Force, which has begun an educational campaign targeting poor, pregnant
teen-agers such as those thought responsible for most of the 13
abandonments. Three of the 13 were found dead.

" Don't Abandon Your Baby!" say 75 billboards going up around the city. The
signs, along with radio and television announcements that begin airing
Saturday, urge women to call a toll-free number (1-877-904-SAVE).
Counselors will direct callers to agencies providing temporary housing,
prenatal health care, adoption, abortion or other services.

" If she's saying, `Come pick up the baby right now,' we can do that," said
task force member Marie Dixon.

The billboards and advertisements also refer to a new Texas law that
encourages mothers to take newborns to hospitals or fire stations rather
than abandoning them. The law, which took effect Sept. 1, allows a person
who delivers a newborn to an emergency medical services provider to use
that as a defense against prosecution.

Most of the babies that survived after being abandoned in the Houston area
in the past year have been adopted.

Only four mothers were identified in the 13 cases in Houston. Of those,
one was charged: a 15-year-old girl whose dead newborn daughter was found
in a high school trash bin. Police said the baby died of blows to the
head. The teen-ager will stand trial as an adult on murder charges.
Identifying the mothers and gathering information on their medical
histories are crucial to providing care for the newborns, Ford said.

While the federal government tracks statistics on so-called " boarder
babies" - children left in hospital maternity wards by drug-addicted or
HIV-infected mothers - it does not gather data on discarded newborns.
Most major cities, such as New York, keep no records on the problem
either. Houston only began tracking discarded babies this year when the
disturbing pattern became apparent.

" I don't think we know enough to say why this happens," said Michael
Kharfen, a spokesman for the federal Administration for Children and
Families. " This must be the most extreme act a person can take, to leave a
child in a Dumpster or a public park. It's hard to fathom that this is the
act of somebody methodical enough to say, `I've seen this in the
newspaper' so this is something I can do as well." '

An example of the billboards can be seen at

The Pro-Life Infonet is a daily compilation of pro-life news and
information. To subscribe, send the message " subscribe" to: Infonet is sponsored by Women and
Children First ( For more pro-life info
visit and for questions or additional
information email

Today's Topics:

Westin Hotel Phasing Out UNICEF " Donation" in U.S.
Fallout is Intense From Nebraska Fetal Tissue Research Revelations
Federal Funds Proposed for Human Embryo Research
National Right to Life on Funding Human Embryo Research
President 2000: Pro-Abortion Organization Launches Ad Against Bush

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Westin Hotel Phasing Out UNICEF " Donation" in U.S.

Westin Hotel Phasing Out UNICEF " Donation" in U.S.

Seattle -- After customer complaints Westin Hotels and Resorts told it is phasing out a $1 " donation" per customer in its hotels
located in the U.S.

Westin spokesperson Gretchen Kloke said that the " voluntary dollar is
asked from the guest at check out. There is a space to indicate if they'd
like to donate a dollar and the agent is supposed to ask if the guest
wants to do that."

An invoice from a Westin hotel in Washington, D.C. does not furnish the
guest with that option. Asked why the Washington, D.C.-area hotel did not
provide their customers with the option in advance, Kloke said the program
is in a modification period and that particular location may not have
fully implemented those changes.

Kloke acknowledged that the program has suffered some " negative reaction"
and will be phased out in the United States within the next month. Westin
will, however, continue the deceptive program in its locations in 71 other
countries, according to Kloke.

Westin Hotels and Resorts purports the program is designed to " invite
guests to make a donation" to UNICEF, established by the United Nations in
1946 to help suffering children in war-torn Europe. But the invitation
comes in the form of a $1 line-item charge on the invoice, noticed only
when guests wake-up to find the surcharge on the express check-out bill on
the last morning of their stay.

The Pro-Life Infonet is a daily compilation of pro-life news and
information. To subscribe, send the message " subscribe" to: Infonet is sponsored by Women and
Children First ( For more pro-life info
visit and for questions or additional
information email

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Fallout is Intense From Nebraska Fetal Tissue
Research Revelations

Fallout is Intense From Nebraska Fetal Tissue Research Revelations
Source: December 1, 1999 Omaha World-Herald

Omaha -- Nebraska's Creighton University is re-evaluating its relationship
with the University of Nebraska Medical Center after learning that part of
the center's work involves human fetal cells from aborted unborn children.

Dr. M. Roy Wilson, Creighton's interim vice president for health sciences,
said Wednesday that Creighton faculty have had no involvement in the
fetal-cell work and were not aware of it until it was reported by The

Dr. L. Dennis Smith, president of the University of Nebraska, said Tuesday
that the research using human fetal tissue to learn more about the brain
will continue because of its potential benefits.

Smith's announcement came in a letter and telephone call in response to
pro-life Gov. Mike Johanns, who earlier Tuesday requested that the
research cease.

The one Creighton faculty member who had been working on a sabbatical
project at the NU research center planned to end his work there Wednesday,
Wilson said. He said it is better not to have a faculty member at a center
that is involved in such a controversy.

As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Creighton supports the Catholic stance
respecting the sanctity of human life, Wilson said. Creighton will help
its faculty member find another site to continue his sabbatical work,
officials said. He has been learning how to develop cell cultures based on
rat nerve cells.

Wilson said " no one ever mentioned they were going to be involved in human
fetal cell research," Wilson said. Creighton has not given any financial
support to the NU center.

Governor Johanns said in a letter to Smith on Tuesday that the research
" is disturbing and causes me grave concern."

Smith said in an interview Tuesday night that the major issue is " there
are some people, including the governor, who tend to link use of aborted
fetuses as a source of tissue to the issue of pro-life and pro-choice. I
don't think that is true."

" We have no position on the abortion issue," Smith said. " We are not
pro-choice or pro-life. We are pro-research." University research has no
effect on the number of abortions performed in Nebraska or nationally,
Smith said.

The federal government, after a long national debate in the late 1970s and
1980s and after a pro-life ban on use of fetal tissue, decided in 1993,
thanks to President Clinton, to approve the use of such tissue, Smith

Smith's letter to Johanns said that agreeing to the governor's request to
stop the research would strike " at the very heart of the academic freedom
accorded faculty in American universities."

Smith and Johanns had about a half-hour telephone discussion Tuesday that
ended with them agreeing to disagree, said Chris Peterson, a spokesman for
the governor.

" The governor has made it clear that he is not going to engage in
threats," Peterson said. " Funding for the university is not in danger over
this. This is a philosophical disagreement."

This issue now moves to the NU Board of Regents and the Legislature,
Peterson said.

Others who expressed opposition Tuesday to the research included the three
Catholic bishops in Nebraska and pro-life U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.
The bishops - Elden Curtiss of Omaha, Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln and
Lawrence McNamara of Grand Island - were drafting a statement condemning
the use of human fetal tissue derived from elective abortions.

Hagel said the experiments being done by the Medical Center are " wrong and
should not be pursued."

Meanwhile, NU Regent Drew Miller of Papillion said the regents should
continue to support and encourage the research.

Johanns, who was traveling in western Nebraska, probably will write to
university officials in the next day or two, Peterson said.

Kim Robak, a University of Nebraska vice president, said university
officials are ready to discuss the Medical Center's human fetal-cell
research with Johanns and policy-makers.

Chuck Hassebrook of Walthill, a member of the NU Board of Regents, said he
does not have a problem with the research.

Johanns said he opposes abortion, and the thought of fetal tissue being
used for research disturbs him. He said he believes it also is disturbing
to the majority of Nebraskans. If there is a way other than using aborted
children to obtain cells for research, that option should be evaluated,
Johanns said.

The speaker of the Legislature, Doug Kristensen of Minden, said Monday
that if the university refuses to stop using tissue from aborted unborn
children, lawmakers may threaten to cut university funding.

" I think it's in very poor political judgment and obviously sparks a
debate that will question all sorts of other things they do," Kristensen

Asked whether the research bothered them, Regents Nancy O'Brien of
Waterloo and Don S. Blank of McCook declined to comment. They said they
could not remember any discussion about the research when funding was

Regents Kent Schroeder of Kearney, Drew Miller of Papillion and Rosemary
Skrupa of Omaha did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The chairman of the Nebraska Legislature's Health and Human Services
Committee said Sunday he was " shocked" to learn that the University of
Nebraska Medical Center is using tissue from aborted human fetuses for

" I personally don't feel fetal tissue is an area we need to be going
into," Sen. Jim Jensen of Omaha said. Jensen, who opposes abortion, said
he was not ready to comment on whether his panel, which oversees the
state's hospitals and clinics, would hold hearings on the matter.

Sen. LaVon Crosby of Lincoln, another pro-life lawmaker and a member of
the Appropriations Committee, said she would talk with committee staff to
see whether the Legislature could do anything to get the federal grant
stopped. " It makes me cringe," she said of the fetal tissue research. " I
just don't like the idea at all."

You can support the Pro-Life Infonet with your donation to: Women and
Children First, PO Box 4433, Helena, MT 59604-4433

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Federal Funds Proposed for Human Embryo Research

Federal Funds Proposed for Human Embryo Research

WASHINGTON -- Research using master stem cells derived from human embryos
will be funded by the government for the first time under guidelines
proposed by National Institutes of Health.

The draft guidelines, to be published Thursday, would ``help ensure that
NIH-funded research in this area is conducted in an ethical and legal
manner,'' the agency said. The research rules specifically forbid human
cloning or mixing human stem cells with animal or human embryos.

Pro-life organizations immediately objected to the plans. The National
Right to Life Committee said the guidelines ``would result in federal
sponsorship and funding of experiments in which living human embryos are
dissected and killed - a clear violation of federal law."

The research involves what are called pluripotent stem cells. These are
the basic biological building blocks of the body. During gestation, they
evolve into the many organs and tissues. Scientists believe it may be
possible to use these cells to grow new organs to replace ailing hearts
and treat brain disorders, or even cure diabetes by growing new
insulin-producing cells.

Pluripotent stem cells used in research are isolated from human embryos to
create an endless-growing population of identical cells. The cells can
then be manipulated to create other types of cells and, possibly, whole
organs, scientists say.

Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the NIH, has contended that using stem
cells does not violate laws forbidding federally funded human embryo
research because the cells were developed by researchers using private
funds. And lawyers in the Department of Health and Human Services have
concluded that federal funding of stem cell research is legal because the
cells are, technically, not embryos.

In effect, NIH funding would not be involved in working with embryos
themselves, but only with the cells that were derived from embryos by
private researchers.

However, the guidelines would allow federal funding for research that
includes extracting stem cells from human fetal tissue, as well as
research utilizing such cells.

President Clinton directed the National Bioethics Advisory Commission to
consider the issue. The group's report recommended that the NIH be
permitted to fund pluripotent cell research, and the new guidelines
generally follow the commission's recommendations.

A number of pro-life groups, including 70 members of Congress, have
objected to federal funding of stem cell research because the cells must
originate from the killing an unborn child. The lawmakers sent a letter
last February to HHS secretary Donna Shalala asserting that human stem
cell research would be a violation of federal law.

Pro-life Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., a leading opponent of the
research, called the new guidelines ``a sham.''

``They attempt to give a glow of respectability to truly barbaric and
grotesque experiments on human beings,'' Smith said Wednesday.

Many pro-abortion members of Congress, however, support the research. Rep.
Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. is a leading advocate of it.

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of National Right to Life, said
in a statement the guidelines mean that ``for the first time, human
embryos will be deliberately killed under the sponsorship of the federal

Johnson said National Right to Life encourages research on stem cells
``obtained in ways that do not kill living members of the human family.''

A U.S. senator also said the new guidelines violate federal law. Pro-life
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) called the research ``illegal, immoral and

``The responsible thing to do is for government to serve human life in
ways that do not destroy life,'' Brownback said.

Find pro-life books on abortion and euthanasia

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] National Right to Life on Funding Human Embryo

National Right to Life on Funding Human Embryo Research

WASHINGTON -- Under guidelines being proposed tomorrow by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH), " For the first time, human embryos would be
deliberately killed under the sponsorship of the federal government," said
a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

" This proposal would result in federal sponsorship and funding of
experiments in which living human embryos are dissected and killed -- a
clear violation of federal law and of ethical standards governing
non-consenting human subjects," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas

NIH today posted on its website proposed " guidelines" for funding embryo-
destructive research involving human stem cells, which will be formally
published in tomorrow's edition (December 2) of the Federal Register.
The proposal will be open to public comment through January 31. (See stemcell/draftguidelines.htm)

Many medical researchers utilize stem cells taken from adults or umbilical
cords, to which there is no pro-life objection or legal barrier. " We
strongly encourage federal funding of research on stem cells obtained in
ways that do not kill living members of the human family," Johnson said.
However, today's NIH guidelines concern the very different question of
research using stem cells from human embryos. Human embryos are killed by
the act of removing the stem cells.

Since 1996, federal law (the " Dickey-Wicker Amendment," extended through
FY 2000 by Public Law 106-113) has prohibited federal funding of any
" research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded or
knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death . . . "

Yet, under the proposal published today, a researcher would seek and
receive from NIH advance approval for an experiment in which the
researcher specifically says that he will obtain and kill living human
embryos. Indeed, the NIH proposal specifically requires parents to be
informed that the embryos " will not survive the human pluripotent stem
cell derivation process." (See " informed consent" requirement vii.)
After receiving NIH approval and funds, the researcher then will make
arrangements with an infertility clinic to obtain living human embryos
pursuant to detailed federally dictated guidelines. The federally funded
researcher then will kill the embryos, harvest the stem cells, and proceed
with the rest of the federally sponsored experiment.

" Everything that precedes and follows the killing of the embryos is
federally approved and federally funded, and it is a transparent and
shameful pretense for the Administration to claim that the killing itself
is not federally sponsored," said NRLC's Johnson.

NIH's proposal reflects an earlier political decision by the Clinton-Gore
Administration to evade the prohibition on federal sponsorship of
experimentation harmful to human embryos. NIH is proceeding under cover
of a " legal opinion" issued in January, 1999, by Harriet S. Rabb, general
counsel of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), based on
work done by her deputy, Marcy Wilder whose immediate previous position
was as legal director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights
Action League (NARAL). The Rabb-Wilder memo says that federal funds can
be used for experiments using embryonic stem cells because those cells are
not themselves a " human embryo" protected by the Dickey-Wicker law. This
red-herring analysis evaded the undisputed fact that an embryo is killed
by the very act of removing the stem cells, and that a research protocol
that requires the killing of embryos clearly falls under the law's
prohibition on funding of " research in which" embryos are harmed.

For information on medical advances in stem cell research that does not
require the killing of human embryos, see For further commentary
on the Administration's ongoing effort to evade the law prohibiting
federal funding of embryo-destructive research, see and

The Pro-Life Infonet is a daily compilation of pro-life news and
information. To subscribe, send the message " subscribe" to: Infonet is sponsored by Women and
Children First ( For more pro-life info
visit and for questions or additional
information email

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] President 2000: Pro-Abortion Organization Launches
Ad Against Bush

President 2000: Pro-Abortion Organization Launches Ad Against Bush

CONCORD, N.H. -- A national pro-abortion group wants all the Republican
presidential candidates in Thursday's debate to say whether they intend to
ban abortion. But it reserved special criticism for Texas Gov. George W.

The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League issued its
latest ad Wednesday, one saying that Bush will appoint pro-life judges to
the Supreme Court if elected president, a move which would threaten the
so-called " right" to abortion.

The 30-second spot running locally intersperses images of the Supreme
Court building with photos of Bush, the front-runner for the Republican
presidential nomination. It says he would appoint judges who would
overturn the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized
abortion on demand.

``The next president of the United States may have the opportunity to end
legal abortion,'' a female announcer says. ``And that is just what George
W. Bush wants to do.''

Bush has said he would nominate Supreme Court justices based on their
strict interpretation of the Constitution. He also has said he would
support a human life amendment to the constitution.

``Americans are tired of these kind of third-party special interest group
attack ads,'' Bush campaign spokesman Scott McClellan said. ``They are
ready for the new style of positive campaign Governor Bush is running and
always has.''

NARAL President Kate Michelman said in a telephone interview that all of
the candidates should ``declare unequivocally whether they will use the
power of the presidency to end legal abortion.'' The ad, however, focuses
exclusively on Bush.

[Moderator's Note: The Pro-Life Infonet publishes educational news
stories on the stands *all* candidates for president take on abortion,
euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Pro-Life Infonet does not endorse any
candidate for the presidency and we encourage you to read the information
we publish and formulate your own decisions as to the candidate you

Roe v. Wade: 26 Years of Life Denied

December 1. 1999

Today's Topics:

Supreme Court Justice Temporary Blocks Partial-Birth Abortion Bans
University of Nebraska Med Center Using Aborted Children's
Brain Cells for Alzheimer's Research
Montana Attorney General Decides Not to Appeal Parental Notification Law
Clinton Waives Restrictions on " Family Planning" Money

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Supreme Court Justice Temporary Blocks
Partial-Birth Abortion Bans

Supreme Court Justice Temporary Blocks Partial-Birth Abortion Bans

WASHINGTON -- Laws in Illinois and Wisconsin banning partial-birth
abortions were put on hold Tuesday by a Supreme Court justice.

Justice John Paul Stevens barred the two states from enforcing the
pro-life laws while pro-abortion opponents ask the Supreme Court to decide
whether they are constitutional. A lower court upheld both laws.

Wisconsin Department of Justice lawyer Susan Ullman said the appeals court
ruled correctly to render the bans constitutional ``because [abortion
practitioners] know that this law just limits one method of abortion and
it can certainly go into effect in Wisconsin constitutionally.''

Pro-life advocates expressed their displeasure with the decision.

" The real losers in the delay are babies who can continue to be killed in
the process of being born right here in Wisconsin," said Barbara Lyons,
Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. " The delay can only be
measured in terms of loss of human life. In the end, if even one baby can
be saved from the brutality of partial-birth abortion, that is more
important than Doyle's desire to save on paperwork."

Lyons said Stevens' action is " a signal the entire court will take up the

The Wisconsin law, enacted last year, provides for life in prison for
anyone performing a partial-birth abortion except to save the mother's
life. The Illinois law, enacted in 1997, makes the abortion a felony.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 5-4 to uphold the laws on Oct.
26, saying, ``We conclude that both laws can be enforced in a
constitutional manner.'' Since then, the appeals court twice refused to
halt the laws' enforcement but each time decided to reconsider. On
Tuesday, the court refused a third time to block the laws, voting 5-5.

In September, another federal appeals court threw out similar laws in
Nebraska, Arkansas and Iowa. The conflicting results make it more likely
the Supreme Court - which has not issued a major ruling on abortion since
Casey vs. Planned Parenthood in 1992 - will make a decision on
partial-birth abortion bans.

The 7th Circuit court's ruling acknowledged the Illinois and Wisconsin
laws could be wrongly applied by local authorities to abortion procedures
other than the one they were aimed at. However, the appeals court said
lower courts could issue orders designed to prevent the misapplication of
the two laws to other forms of abortion.

" It is regrettable that Justice Stevens has unilaterally blocked
enforcement of bans on partial-birth abortions that were democratically
enacted by the legislatures of two states and upheld as constitutional by
a full federal court of appeals," Doug Johnson, legislative director for
National Right to Life commented. " Stevens has long demonstrated a
hostility to any limitation on abortion on demand. We hope that Wisconsin
and Illinois will request immediate review of Stevens's action by the
other eight justices."

Wisconsin Attorney General James E. Doyle told Stevens he did not oppose
Planned Parenthood's request to put the 7th Circuit court's ruling on
hold. Illinois Attorney General James E. Ryan, who is pro-life, opposed
halting enforcement of the law in his state.

Wisconsin Right to Life officials indicated they were distressed by
Doyle's non-objection to the stay.

Meanwhile, Nebraska has requested Supreme Court review of an earlier
ruling by a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit, striking down
Nebraska's ban on partial-birth abortions. Challenges to state bans are
pending before five other circuit courts (the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and

The cases are Hope Clinic vs. Ryan, A-427, and Planned Parenthood of
Wisconsin vs. Doyle, A-428.

The Pro-Life Infonet is a daily compilation of pro-life news and
information. To subscribe, send the message " subscribe" to: Infonet is sponsored by Women and
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From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] University of Nebraska Med Center Using Aborted
Children's Brain Cells for Alzheimer's Research

University of Nebraska Med Center Using Aborted Children's Brain Cells for
Alzheimer's Research
Source: Omaha World-Herald, 11/28/99; Daily Nebraskan, 11/29/99

Omaha, Nebraska -- Scientists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
are using brain cells from aborted unborn children in research aimed at a
better understanding of Alzheimer's disease.

Their studies, financed by the federal government, are the NU Medical
Center's first venture into controversial research involving fetal tissue.

The tissue in the studies is provided by LeRoy H. Carhart, who operates
the Bellevue, Nebraska based Abortion & Contraception Clinic of Nebraska.

Dr. William O. Berndt, vice chancellor of the Medical Center, said the
research has been under way for several years. He acknowledged that
fetal-tissue research is controversial but said it is " a tremendous
opportunity to bring a brighter future to people down the road."

" This is important stuff," Berndt said. " The history of science tells us
the important stuff always has been controversial."

The studies have been reviewed by a Medical Center oversight committee and
by the National Institutes of Health, he said, and are supported by more
than $1 million a year in taxpayer-funded NIH grants.

For several years, the federal government had banned the use of federal
funds to support research involving fetal tissue. The ban was lifted in
1993 at the diretion of President Clinton.

Berndt declined to identify members of the Medical Center's research team.
He said they were concerned about possible adverse public reaction.

Preliminary studies were started at the Medical Center in mid-1993, said
Tom O'Connor, a spokesman. Major studies started about two years ago when
federal funding was approved. The studies are being done in conjunction
with five other universities - Columbia, Harvard, Northwestern, Rochester
(N.Y.) and Arizona.

As with the awarding of all federal grants, the NU Board of Regents was
given a summary of the fetal brain-cell research, O'Connor said.

Women whose aborted children are used for research must agree to it and
sign release forms, he said. Carhart is not paid for the fetal tissue that
he supplies, O'Connor said.

Robert R. Blank, chairman of the board of Metro Right to Life in Omaha,
said it was " abhorrent and repulsive" that the Medical Center " would be
using tax dollars to perform experimentation on aborted babies."

It is also repulsive, Blank said, that the Medical Center would have a man
on its staff who primarily performs abortions. Metro Right to Life is
concerned whenever public money and public officials become involved with
the abortion business, Blank said.

Berndt said Carhart does not teach at the Medical Center or perform
abortions there, though he is on its staff. The Medical Center does not
perform abortions.

Carhart said several women who had come to his abortion facility asked if
fetal tissue couldn't be given to a university for research rather than
disposed of in the medical waste incinerator.

" It's like donating organs," he said.

Carhart said he began providing tissue for research after President
Clinton in 1993 gave his support to such studies. He said he has provided
fetal tissue to the Medical Center for several years.

Berndt said the Medical Center is not involved in another controversial
type of research - that involving embryonic stem cells from aborted

The research uses questionable medical ethics, said Richard Duncan, a
University of Nebraska law professor. Nebraska is traditionally a pro-life
state, so the University of Nebraska's use of taxpayers' money to fund
this research is inconsiderate, Duncan said. Even though the use of the
fetus' tissue could benefit others medically, it is unwise for any medical
school to conduct this research, especially when it is federally funded,
Duncan added.

Meanwhile, Julie Schmit-Albin, the executive director of Nebraska Right to
Life said her organization is horrified and disgusted by the news.

We are drafting a letter to [pro-life] Governor Johanns and pro-life state
senators asking them to get answers to the following questions: What
information was the Board of Regents given prior to approving this grant?
What is involved in the exchange of fetal tissue between LeRoy Carhart and
UNMC? Given the fact that LeRoy Carhart has challenged our state
partial-birth abortion ban because he is concerned it will prohibit some
of his practices; what assurance do we have that Carhart is not
benefitting financially in some way from providing fetal tissue? What can
be done to stop the federal grant funding the research? said Julie
Schmit-Albin, Executive Director of Nebraska Right to Life.

Giving women a humanitarian justification to abort their unborn children
could increase the number of abortions, which is already at 1.6 million a
year in the United States. said Schmit-Albin. The majority of Nebraskans
are pro-life. We believe when the whole story is told they will be
appalled that UNMC has taken us one step further down the slippery slope.

ACTION: You can contact the Dr. William O. Berndt, vice chancellor of the
Medical Center, and Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns and express your
opposition to the use of aborted unborn children in scientific research at
the following. Stay tuned to the Pro-Life Infonet for further updates and
information on this situation. To subscribe, send the message " subscribe"

Dr. William O. Berndt
Office of the Dean for Graduate Studies and Research
University of Nebraska Medical Center
986810 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-6810
Phone: 402-559-6531 or 1-800-626-8431
FAX: (402) 559-7845

Governor Mike Johanns
State Capitol, PO Box 94848
Lincoln, NE 68509-4848
Phone: 402-471-2244

The Pro-Life Infonet is a daily compilation of pro-life news and
information. To subscribe, send the message " subscribe" to: Infonet is sponsored by Women and
Children First ( For more pro-life info
visit and for questions or additional
information email

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Montana Attorney General Decides Not to Appeal
Parental Notification Law

For Immediate Release: For More Information:
November 30, 1999 Steven Ertelt, Executive Director

Montana Attorney General Decides Not to Appeal Parental Notification Law

Helena, MT -- Montana Right to Life is disappointed to learn today that
Attorney General Joe Mazurek has decided not to appeal a state law
requiring parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion.

" The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that parents have a right to know
if their daughter is having an abortion," noted Steven Ertelt, Executive
Director of Montana Right to Life. " Parents are left to pick up the pieces
after the physical and emotional damage of an abortion, but before that
they are not entitled to have any knowledge of their daughter's abortion
decision. Thats outrageous."

The Attorney General decided to have the case dismissed in response to a
far-reaching pro-abortion ruling by the Montana State Supreme Court in
October. The ruling, concerning a 1995 law to ensure that only physicians
can perform abortions, essentially has denied sensible abortion
legislation any chance of surviving in Montana courts.

" The October ruling erroneously said the 'right to privacy' in Montana's
state constitution allows for unrestricted abortion on demand," Ertelt
explained. " Those who drafted the state constitution in 1972 made no
mention of the right to privacy allowing abortion on demand and
transcripts of the proceedings indicate they left the abortion issue to
the state legislature to decide. The Montana Supreme Court is engaging in
revisionist history."

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Montana's parental notification statute in
the 1997 case of Lambert v. Wicklund prior to Planned Parenthood taking it
to state courts. The Supreme Court also upheld parental notification
statutes in the 1990 cases of Hodgson v. Minnesota case and Ohio v. Akron
Center for Reproductive Health.

The Montana Right to Life Association is a pro-life organization
representing more than 40,000 pro-life people statewide. Through
education, legislation, and political action, Montana Right to Life works
to protect the lives of those persons threatened by abortion, euthanasia,
and infanticide.

We're looking for friends of the Pro-Life Infonet who would like to
support our work with a monthly donation. If this is you, please email
Sally Winn at

From: Steven Ertelt <>
To: The Pro-Life Infonet <>
Subject: [infonet-list] Clinton Waives Restrictions on " Family Planning"

Clinton Waives Restrictions on " Family Planning" Money

WASHINGTON -- President Clinton waived restrictions Tuesday on federal tax
dollars for so-called family planning abroad, triggering a $15 million
limit on aid to groups that advocate or perform abortions overseas.

Clinton promised to try to wipe the restriction from future budgets.

As part of a deal to get Congress to release $926 million in back payments
to the United Nations, the White House accepted restrictions on $385
million in federal funds for groups that perform abortions, or lobby for
pro-abortion laws internationally - on condition that Clinton could waive
the restrictions.

By issuing the waiver, Clinton had to strike 96 percent of the funds for
abortion advocacy. His action limited money for abortion advocacy to $15
million, or 4 percent of the total. The waiver also automatically routed
$12.5 million from the " family planning" budget to children's health
programs overseas, 3 percent of the $385 million total.

The restrictions restored the pro-life ``Mexico City Policy'' of the
Reagan era, which barred U.S. money to groups that perform or promote
abortions. The policy, named after a world population conference in the
Mexican capital, was in effect until Clinton abolished it in 1993.

Clinton said Tuesday he instructed the U.S. Agency for International
Development to ``minimize to the extent possible'' the impact that the
funding limits will have on " family planning" efforts.

Pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House International
Relations operations and human rights subcommittee, said in a statement
that Clinton's action means more money will go toward immunizing children
against diseases such as polio and diphtheria than abortion.

That the bulk of " family planning" money cannot go to encourage abortion,
Smith said, ``establishes a bright line of demarcation between those
groups that support family planning and those that cannot divest
themselves from the grisly business of abortion.''

Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America,
said her group will work closely with the Clinton administration next year
to restore international " family planning" funds and ``ensure that this
onerous law is not reinstated.''

``We made it very clear at the time that the president was going to
exercise the waiver,'' a White House spokesman said.

``The bottom line is that once the president hits the $15 million cap, he
can no longer fund or support foreign groups that will not comply with the
pro-life safeguards,'' Smith concluded. ``Our goal is to limit the
exportation of abortion and this legislation helps us accomplish that,''
he added.

Pregnancy Centers Online

The Pro-Life Infonet is a daily compilation of pro-life news and information. To subscribe, send the message " subscribe" to: Infonet is sponsored by Women and Children First ( For more pro-life infovisit and for questions or additional information email