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Archive for July, 2010

The national council of Catholic Bishops and Washington state pharmacists –among other pro-life entities–are pushing back hard to keep the right to refuse involvement in abortions.

And that’s why 105 Congressmen have co-sponsored the “Protect Life Bill,” H.R. 5111– to undo Obamacare health reform that forces all health care entities and providers to treat abortion as basic care for women, including taxpayer funding for it.

STATE SITUATIONS
First, a pro-life victory. After a 3-year battle in the state of Washington,  state attorneys announced they will accommodate pharmacists’ conscience rights.

Washington state has now conceded it does not have to restrict the religious freedoms of pharmacies and pharmacists in order to “ensure patient access” to abortion.

Under pressure from pro-abortion Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, the state pharmacy board had approved rules in 2007 making pharmacists dispense all drugs, including those that would violate their moral or religious views.  Read more here.

In Kansas, hospitals and physicians do have a specific right to refuse to do abortions.  However, other heath care workers (nurses, physician aides, nursing home attendants, stem cell lab workers,etc.) are without legal “conscience” protection.

Kansas pharmacists do not have clear religious or moral protection, although Kansas statute 65-1637 does allow a pharmacist to refuse ” to fill or refill any prescription if (more…)

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The pro-death agenda (rationing and abortion) in Obamacare cannot be justified, but the administration is hoping a grant program authorized in Sections 10211- 10214 might somehow magically erase that fact.

Unfortunately, Democrats for Life argue that providing a limited amount of support for pregnant women redeems Obamacare and those politicians who voted for it.

A surprise announcement Friday from the federal Health & Human services division(HHS) introduced a $25 million taxpayer-funded Pregnancy Assistance Fund to be funneled through universities, high schools, State Attorneys General offices and  “community organizations.”  The latter term –undefined–might easily include renovated ACORN groups or Planned Parenthood!  UPDATE July 12: Non-profit pregnancy centers cry Foul.

It is anticipated that up to 25 grants in the amounts of $500,000 – $2,000,000 per year will be awarded.  Obama-insiders like Planned Parenthood are undoubtedly well-prepared to apply for these grants, but it seems unlikely that our 72 Kansas non-profit pregnancy centers will be able to qualify on such short notice.  By Aug. 2, applicants have to submit a completed 25-page form (more…)

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Will FTC & YellowPages outlaw pregnancy center ads?

The nationwide “war” on pro-life pregnancy assistance centers continues, spearheaded by the national abortion rights group, NARAL pro-choice America.  UPDATE July 27: women helped at these centers to visit Congress

NARAL president Nancy Keenan has announced she has sent 59,000 signatures to the main two Internet directories (YellowPages.com and SuperPages.com)  demanding they remove pregnancy center listings.

In an earlier email to supporters, Keenan had solicited the signatories, complaining about alleged internet fraud in that

pregnancy centers are “flooding the internet… to trick unsuspecting women…Their number one goal is to make women too guilty or scared to choose abortion by providing medical information that is inaccurate and manipulative.  We need a federal bill to put an end to [these]deceptive ads everywhere.”

Lifenews.com reports that Keenan is pushing the so-called Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act, filed by abortion supporters, New York Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the House, and New Jersey Democrat Sen. Robert  Menendez in the Senate.   Both versions would have the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fine pregnancy centers for supposedly engaging in false advertising.  UPDATES: Pregnancy centers rebut deception charges here. And here. (more…)

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On Thursday, New Mexico was stopped from wrongly treating advocacy groups as political entities.  The ruling for the case of New Mexico Youth Organized v. Herrera came from the 10th Circuit Court, whose geographical jurisdiction includes Kansas.

Two New Mexico groups sought relief when the state Attorney General acted on complaints about their informational mailings (“issue advocacy”) as being “express advocacy” or “electioneering”  for candidates.  The latter activities require state registration, fees and reporting burdens.  The court ruled:

New Mexico’s attempt to classify a group as a “political committee,” based upon the fact that it spends at least $500 a year for political purposes, is not constitutionally permissible.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly admonished that only organizations that have “the major purpose” of electing or defeating a candidate may be forced to register as political organizations.

As the Court has explained, governmental registration and reporting  burdens are so onerous that many organizations, rather than complying with them, will just forego their political speech.  This is at odds with the Supreme Court’s repeated holdings that political speech is at the very core of what the First Amendment protects.

“This is another victory for free speech,” said James Bopp, Jr., general counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech, which had provided an amicus brief (a “friend-of -the-court” opinion) for the plaintiffs.   The Tenth Circuit  now joins many courts that have recognized that a legislated spending threshold cannot automatically convert organizations into political committees.

In the New Mexico cases, neither group was structured  for electioneering and the portion of their budget spent on mailers with legislative information was 1/2% for one group and and 7% for the other group.

The climate for muzzling politically incorrect speech has spawned the current federal anti-constitutional DISCLOSE act and several state attempts that were narrowly defeated by pro-life Kansas Senators this past spring.   That’s why this 10th Circuit Court ruling is so welcome for Kansas.

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