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Archive for the ‘Abortion.’ Category

Guttmacher Study: Abortions Fall to 40-Year Low.


The number of abortions performed in the United States has dropped to the lowest level in 40 years, a study said, pointing to more contraception use rather than increased restrictions on access to the procedure.

In 2011, an estimated 16.9 abortions were carried out per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 44 — 1.1 million in absolute terms.

It was lowest number since 1973, when the figure stood at 16.3 per 1,000, the Guttmacher Institute found.

Between 2008 and 2011, the abortion rate fell by 13 percent, as procedures were performed increasingly earlier in pregnancy.

The study, being issued Monday, noted that during that same period, the number of abortion providers fell by just 4 percent and clinics offering the service by just 1 percent.

The number of abortions reached a peak in 1981, with 29.3 terminations for every 1,000 women.

“With abortion rates falling in almost all states, our study did not find evidence that the national decline in abortions during this period was the result of new state abortion restrictions,” said Rachel Jones, lead author of the study.

“We also found no evidence that the decline was linked to a drop in the number of abortion providers during this period.”

Instead, the drop coincided with a steep dip in the numbers of overall pregnancy and birth rates.

“Contraceptive use improved during this period, as more women and couples were using highly effective long-acting reversible contraceptive methods,” Jones said.

The devastating economic recession had also prompted many women and couples to delay pregnancy or childbearing.

Since early 2011, many states have implemented laws making it harder for women to seek abortion — with 205 new restrictions enacted between 2011 and 2013, more than the entire decade before.

“As we monitor trends in abortion going forward, it is critical that we also monitor whether these state restrictions are preventing women who need abortion services from accessing them,” said Guttmacher Institute official Elizabeth Nash.

The study was based on analysis from a census of all known abortion providers in the United States and will appear in the March 2014 issue of the Guttmacher Institute’s “Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.”

Anti-abortion activists welcomed the reported dip in the numbers, insisting it validated their campaigning.

“That abortion rates and numbers continue to decline is heartening because it shows that women are rejecting the idea of abortion as the answer to an unexpected pregnancy,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life group.

“Overall, this latest report from Guttmacher shows the long-term efforts of the right-to-life movement to educate the country about the humanity of the unborn child and to enact laws that help mothers and their children are having a tremendous impact.”

 

© AFP 2014
Source: Newsmax.com

Pope Tweets Backing for Huge American March for Life Rally.


Pope Francis has used Twitter to back an annual anti-abortion rally, the March for Life, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of activists to Washington on Wednesday.

“I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable,” he said on his Twitter account in a message that was quickly re-tweeted thousands of times.

 

The Argentinian-born pontiff has some 11.5 million followers on his Twitter account in several languages, @pontifex.

The Washington rally is one of the key events of the pro-life movement in the United States, where abortion is one of the most polarising issues in politics.

 

Earlier this month, Francis called abortion “horrific”, using some of the strongest language on the issue since his election last March.

Francis alarmed some conservatives last September with comments in an interview with a Jesuit magazine suggesting the Church should shake off an “obsession” with such divisive issues as abortion, contraception and homosexuality.

Editor’s Note: Do You Approve of Pope Francis? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Obama Reaffirms Commitment to Legal Abortion.


President Barack Obama is marking the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion by reaffirming his administration’s commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom.

In a written statement, Obama says the guiding principle of the court’s landmark decision is that all women should be free to make their own choices about their bodies and health. The justices’ Jan. 22, 1973 has been challenged ever since.

Obama commented Monday as thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in Washington’s sub-freezing weather for an annual march protesting the decision.

Obama says his administration also resolves to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and build safe, healthy communities for children.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Huckabee: Democrats’ ‘War on Women’ Claim Demeans Females.


Republicans must fight the phony “war on women” tag that Democrats have slapped on them — a charge that is “incredibly demeaning” to U.S. women, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says.

“Every woman I know who has an IQ above broccoli tells you that it’s an insult to them that the Democrats play them to be incapable of anything other than helpless and hopeless victims of their own gender, who are just sitting around wringing their hands hoping that Uncle Sugar will provide for them free birth control and a free abortion because it’s the only thing in life that they really care about,” Huckabee told “The Steve Malzberg Show” On Newsmax TV.

“That is incredibly demeaning,” he said Monday.

“It’s extraordinarily outrageous to assume that women, who are capable of running everything from major corporations in this country to running a household, that they’re somehow incapable of controlling their own libido and their reproductive system to the point that if the government doesn’t step in with $9 a month worth of birth control, they’re going to completely fall apart,” Huckabee said.

In recent years, Democrats have tagged the GOP as waging a “war on women” for its efforts to regulate abortion and because of a series of insensitive remarks by Republican lawmakers.

The most infamous example was that of former Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, who said that abortion in cases of rape was unnecessary because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Huckabee said he can’t believe the GOP hasn’t fought back against the Democrats’ “ridiculous” tag — but he has a theory.

“Why Republicans haven’t taken that on is beyond me except for this: you have to believe something in your heart before it can come out of your mouth with much effectiveness, and a lot of times, some of our Republican leaders, they’re not too sure what they believe in their hearts, and therefore they find it more difficult to articulate,” he said.

“But anybody who . . . thinks about it rationally and logically would say that on its face the Democrats [who are] creating this phony ‘war on women’ ought to be pushed back and the Republicans ought to be talking about . . . [women being] accepted as equals, for them to be respected as people who are not victims of gender but capable of anything that a man is capable of. That’s what we ought to be talking about.”

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Bill Hoffmann

Responding to Conservatives, Pope Calls Abortion ‘Horrific’.


Image: Responding to Conservatives, Pope Calls Abortion 'Horrific'

Pope Francis, whom conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church have accused of not speaking out forcefully enough against abortion, on Monday called the practice “horrific”.The pope made his toughest remarks to date on abortion in his yearly address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, a speech known as his “State of the World” address.

“It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day,” he said in a section of the speech about the rights of children around the world.

Since his election in March, the pope, while showing no signs of changing the Church’s position against abortion, has not spoken out against it as sternly or as repeatedly as his predecessors Pope Benedict XVI and the late John Paul II.

Both of those popes often delivered sermons against abortion, which the Church considers murder.

Conservatives in the Church were alarmed when Francis, in a landmark interview in September with the Italian Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica, said the Church must shake off an “obsession” with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.

His stance favoring mercy over condemnation has disoriented conservative Catholics, notably in rich countries such as the United States, where the Catholic Church has become polarized on issues such as abortion.

Last year, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, spoke for many conservative Catholics when he said he was disappointed that the pope had not addressed “the evil of abortion” more directly.

Conservative Catholic websites have criticized the pope in the past months for what they called his silence on abortion.

 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Pro-Life Advocates Pray Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Clinic ‘Bubble Zones’.


 

pro-lifers fighting 'bubble zone'
Chicago enacted a ‘bubble zone’ law, which deprives pro-life sidewalk counselors of their constitutional right to freedom of speech, in 2009. (Courtesy of Illinois Family Institute)

The Pro-Life Action League is calling on all pro-life Christians to pray daily from now until Wednesday, Jan. 15. The focus of these prayers is that the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down all of the restrictive “bubble zone” laws that have deprived pro-life sidewalk counselors of their constitutional right to freedom of speech.

On Jan. 15, the high court will hear oral arguments in the case of McCullen v. Coakley, challenging Massachusetts’ “bubble zone,” the most restrictive in the country. Under the law, pro-lifers may not speak to abortion clinic clients within 35 feet of the entrance. This prohibition effectively scuttles the life-saving outreach of pro-life sidewalk counselors while exempting clinic staff and “agents” (a term which could apply to any abortion advocate).

The pro-life plaintiffs are also asking the court to overturn its ruling in Hill v. Colorado, which upheld a less restrictive “bubble zone” in 2000. Since that time, similar laws have been enacted in many jurisdictions across the country—including a 2009 “bubble zone” in the city of Chicago, where the Pro-Life Action League is headquartered.

Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, offers some specifics.

“Three of the dissenters in the Hill v. Colorado ruling—Justices Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy—are still on the court,” he explains. “Only Justices Ginsberg and Breyer remain from the majority. If any two of the new justices on the court—Kagan, Sotomayor, Alito and Roberts—were to side with the Hill minority, all the ‘bubble zone’ laws in the country could be struck down.

“It would be a great victory for the Massachusetts ‘bubble zone’ law to be stricken down, since similarly restrictive laws continue to be enacted against sidewalk counselors, most recently in Portland, Maine. If all the ‘bubble zones’ in the nation were to be invalidated, it would be a tremendous victory not only for the First Amendment but for the countless unborn children whose lives would be saved.”

Scheidler describes how in the time since the Chicago “bubble zone” was enacted in November 2009, sidewalk counselors in the city have faced continued harassment from police, many of whom are unclear about the actual provisions of the confusing ordinance, and that “bubble zones” elsewhere have likewise hampered sidewalk counselors.

It is with these variables in mind that Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League are calling for this specific period of daily prayer by all pro-life supporters. Scheidler, who is Catholic, suggests a daily novena of the Lord’s Prayer but welcomes the petitions of all pro-life people that the Supreme Court justices will listen to the plaintiffs’ arguments in McCullen v. Coakley with open hearts.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

US Asked Supreme Court Not to Allow Catholics’ Contraception Exemption.


 

birth control pills
The U.S. government asked the Supreme Court not to allow Roman Catholic-affiliated groups a temporary exemption from a part of Obamacare that requires employers to provide insurance policies covering contraception. (Ashley Fraser/Postmedia News)

The U.S. government asked the Supreme Court on Friday not to allow Roman Catholic-affiliated groups a temporary exemption from a part of the Obamacarehealth care law that requires employers to provide insurance policies covering contraception.

On Tuesday night, Justice Sonia Sotomayor had granted Little Sisters of the Poor, a Baltimore-based order of nuns that runs nursing homes across the country, and Christian Brothers Services, a group that administers health care plans for Catholic organizations, a temporary injunction preventing enforcement of the so-called “contraception mandate” against them while litigation continues.

Now that the court has received the government’s filing, Sotomayor—or the nine justices if she chooses to refer it to the whole court—will decide whether the injunction should be extended while the case continues in lower courts. There is no deadline by which the court has to act.

The case coincides with the expansion this year of coverage under the 2010 Obamacare law, the most sweeping U.S. social legislation in 50 years. Over time, the law aims to dramatically reduce the number of Americans who lack health insurance, which the U.S. government has estimated at more than 45 million.

The highly partisan issue of health care promises to play a prominent role in November’s Congressional elections, especially amid glitches that have included problems with the website used to enroll people in coverage.

‘No Legal Basis’
In its filing, the government says the groups have no legal basis to file the challenge because of the type of health insurance plan in question. It is a so-called “church plan,” which the government cannot require to provide contraception coverage under existing law.

That’s because church plans are exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the federal law under which the authority of the government to enforce the contraception mandate rests, the government has admitted.

The religious organizations accuse the federal government of forcing them to support contraception and sterilization in violation of their religious beliefs or face steep fines.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, requires employers to provide health insurance policies that cover preventive services for women, including contraception and sterilization.

The act makes an exception for religious institutions such as houses of worship that mainly serve and employ members of their own faith, but not schools, hospitals and charitable organizations that employ people of all faiths.

As a compromise, the administration agreed to an accommodation for nonprofits affiliated with religious entities that was finalized in July.

Under the accommodation, eligible nonprofits have to provide a “self certification”—described by one lower court judge as a “permission slip”—that authorizes the insurance companies to provide the coverage. The challengers say that step alone is enough to violate their religious rights, regardless of whether employees ultimately receive contraception coverage.

A federal judge in Colorado, William Martinez, denied the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction on Dec. 27. The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals followed suit on Tuesday, prompting the last-minute plea to the Supreme Court.

Throughout the country, Catholic groups are asking the courts to exempt them temporarily from the mandate while litigation continues. Most courts have granted the requests. The mandate, which was due to take effect for the organizations on Wednesday, is already in place for many women who have private health insurance.

In separate cases, the Supreme Court already has agreed to hear oral arguments on whether for-profit corporations have the basis to object to the contraception mandate on religious grounds. The court is due to hear the arguments in March and decide the two consolidated cases by the end of June.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.


Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Chizu Nomiyama

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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