Federal Abortion Ban Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal District Judge

US Newswire: "The federal abortion ban passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush last year is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced, Federal District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton ruled today. The ban, challenged in Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) v. Ashcroft, could have outlawed abortions as early as 12 to 15 weeks in pregnancy, including those that doctors say are safe and among the best to protect women's health. PPFA hailed the ruling and questioned the Bush administration's efforts to enforce the blatantly unconstitutional ban. 'Today's ruling is a landmark victory for medical privacy rights and women's health,' PPFA President Gloria Feldt said. 'The Ashcroft Department of Justice can no longer threaten Planned Parenthood doctors with the daunting specter of criminal prosecution for putting their patients first.' "

Million Feminist March Produces First Victory

One day after a million feminists marched in front of the White House, BushCroft abandoned their efforts to subpoena the medical records of abortion patients in NYC. Of course they didn't admit that was what they were doing, but you don't have to be as smart as John Ashcroft (NOT!) to connect these dots. Maybe if we get 2 million feminists in front of the White House, we can persuade Bush to admit that he CAUSED at least one abortion, as Larry Flynt plans to prove in an explosive book due this summer (http://democrats.com/preview.cfm?term=Bush%20Abortion)

One Step Closer to Overturning Roe v. Wade: Senate Passes Fetus Rights Bill

"The Senate voted Thursday to make it a separate crime to harm a fetus during commission of a violent federal crime, a victory for those seeking to expand the legal rights of the unborn. The 61-38 vote on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act sends the legislation, after a five-year battle in Congress, to President Bush for his signature, which he promised to provide... The House passed the bill last month... It was the second big win for social conservatives, who last year pushed through protections for the unborn with enactment of the so-called partial birth abortion ban. That ban is now tied up in the courts. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif... said that by defining when life begins, the bill was 'the first step in removing a woman's right to choice, particularly in the early months of a pregnancy before viability.' She said it could also chill embryonic stem cell research."

Girl Scouts-Planned Parenthood Link Probed

"A pro-life organization announced yesterday it will compile a 'definitive list' of Girl Scout councils nationwide that shows whether or not each group is partnering with abortion provider Planned Parenthood...STOPP International's project to document each council's positions on Planned Parenthood was sparked after hearing Kathy Cloninger, CEO for Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., tell NBC News: 'We have relationships ... with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls.'.. 'Historically, parents have viewed the Girl Scouts as a safe, wholesome educational organization for their daughters to join,' Sedlak said... 'STOPP is creating a tool by which parents can determine if their local Girl Scouts still deserve that trust.' Sedlak doubted the Girl Scouts' contention that all programs 'are age-appropriate' and that scouting will 'help girls develop meaningful values and ethics.'" Outrageous!

Federal Judge Says Abortion Providers Have Right to Refuse Justice Dept. Demand for Private Medical Records

AP reports: "A federal judge ruled Friday that an abortion provider's affiliates do not have to turn patient medical files over to the government in a battle over the Partial-Birth Abortion Act." On the pretext of providing evidence in a federal case challenging the partial birth abortion act, Ashcroft's justice department went on a fishing expedition against women who have had abortions. Reportedly scores of private medical records were demanded from hospitals and doctors without reasonable need for such an action being established. "The judge strongly urged the government to end its pursuit of medical files from Planned Parenthood affiliates in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., New York City, Kansas City, Mo., San Diego and Los Angeles."

Rightwingers Exploit Laci Peterson Case for a Bill that Makes Harming an Embryo a Federal Crime

As rightwingers in South Dakota and Louisiana challenge Roe Vs. Wade, the U.S. House is expected to pass legislation that would make it a federal crime to kill or injure a fetus -or embryo AT ANY STAGE AFTER IMPLANTATION in the womb. In an obvious attempt to play on emotional hysteria to promote their cause, House Republican supporters of the bill have named it the "Laci and Conner's Law." Because of the wording of this bill, rightwing judges could easily declare women that receive abortions -- and their doctors -- "murderers." Call your rep and demand that this bill be rejected! (202)224-3121

Federal (Kangaroo?) Court to Hear Challenge to Roe Vs. Wade Sans Opposition Testimony!

The rightwing wackos can see that their hourglass is running out, as Bush slips further downhill toward the end of his 'reign.' So they are trying to ram through a challenge to Roe Vs Wade any way possible. Now the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear a challenge from 'Jane Roe' (Norma McCorvey), even though a federal district judge threw the case out in June, saying (rightly) that the time for such a challenge by Roe had run out. The Federal court will hear the case Mar. 2 - WITHOUT any opposition testimony. However, over 20 Texas law school professors concerned about an unbalanced hearing filed a brief Wednesday asking to be allowed to argue the other side of the case.

Ashcroft Harassing More Doctors

"John Ashcroft rebuffed calls from Congressional Democrats and abortion rights groups on Thursday to drop the Justice Department's demands for abortion records from a half-dozen hospitals. Mr. Ashcroft said the records were essential to the department's courtroom defense of a new law banning what he called 'the rather horrendous practice of partial-birth abortions.' A group of doctors have sued to overturn the law... They say they have performed medically necessary abortions that would now be banned. Mr. Ashcroft told reporters that 'if the central issue in the case, an issue raised by those who brought the case, is medical necessity, we need to look at medical records to find out if indeed there was medical necessity.'... A federal judge in Chicago has thrown out a subpoena against Northwestern University Medical Center because he said it was a 'significant intrusion' on patient privacy, and hospital administrators in other cities are contesting the demand as well."

South Dakota Criminalizes Abortion in Effort to Overturn Roe Vs. Wade

The Bush Christian fundie movement is pushing ahead like a steam roller, oblivious to the will of the majority. Now South Dakota legislature has passed a bill criminalizing abortion. Any doctor performing an abortion faces 5 years in prison. The Rapid City Journal reports: "There isn't any question that HB1191 is designed to spur a court challenge. Backers of the bill said they hope they have crafted a legal instrument that will allow or lead the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that required South Dakota and other states to allow women to seek an abortion legally. Critics of the bill fear it will spend $1 million of taxpayer money on a futile effort." A poll in another SD paper showed that 49% of So. Dakotans opposed the legislation while only 46% support it (capital journal in Pierre).

Steinem: If Bush Wins, 'Abortion Will Be Criminalized in this Country'

Gloria Steinem: "If Bush is elected in 2004, abortion will be criminalized in this country. We will continue to injure and kill millions of women in other countries by the gag rule and the withdrawal of funds for family planning, for AIDS education. And we will endanger many other advances we take for granted - Title IX and so on. If Bush is elected, it will only breed disrespect for the government because it will put a right-wing extremist regime in a position to make decisions in our lives - decisions with which the majority doesn't agree. And I fear that fewer and fewer people will vote. We'll become more and more disillusioned with the government, and the very idea of democracy - the fact of democracy - will be damaged... The whole question of majority rule is threatened when so few people vote with so little knowledge of the issues that we get an unrepresentative, extremist government like we have now."

Interfaith Coalition Blasts Bush's Speech to Anti-Abortion Rally

Interfaith Coalition for Reproductive Rights writes, "Bush addressed the annual anti-abortion rally on the National Mall with facile words about creating a 'culture of life' -- without mentioning women's lives or suggesting how a compassionate society can be created unless women are equal, free, and respected. We ask Bush how he can believe that all life is sacred and yet promote legislation and policies that result in exactly the opposite outcome for women and men, adults and teens. He boasted of refusing to spend tax dollars on promoting abortion overseas -- when in reality, the Administration's refusal to fund humanitarian family planning programs in poor countries has left millions of women without basic health care. He boasted of opposing 'the destruction of embryos for stem cell research' -- when, in reality, those embryos, which could be used for life- saving research, were created for in vitro fertilization and will be discarded."

Jessica Lynch Was Raped - and Bush Would Have Forced Her to Have the Child

"Former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch was raped by her Iraqi captors, a new authorized biography of the Army supply clerk says. The 20-year-old private who was hailed as a hero after her capture and rescue has no memory of the sexual assault, but medical records cited in the book - 'I am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story' - indicate it occurred. 'Even just the thinking about that, that's too painful,' Lynch told Diane Sawyer in an ABC 'Primetime' interview set to air on Tuesday, the day the book is to be released." Now imagine if Lynch got pregnant... Despite repeated efforts by Congressional Democrats, Bush and the Republicans adamantly refuse to allow US soldiers to get safe abortions from American doctors at military facilities. So Bush would force Lynch to carry her rapist's child to term - even as they parade her around for Pentagon propaganda. Defeat ALL Republicans!

Bush Gets his Butt Kicked in Court as 3 of 3 Federal Judges Block Abortion Ban

"The legal attack against a new ban on certain late-term abortions rapidly escalated Thursday as federal judges in NY and CA blocked the law, delivering a major setback to Bush only a day after he signed the measure. The ruling by the San Francisco judge affects doctors who work at 900 Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide. The decision and the ruling in NY hours earlier together cover a majority of the abortion providers in the US. And on Wednesday, a federal judge in Nebraska made a similar ruling that covers four abortion doctors licensed in 13 states across the Midwest and East. The ruling came less than an hour after Bush signed the law. The rulings prevent enforcement of the ban until a challenge to the law's constitutionality can be heard... U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton of San Francisco ruled the law appears unconstitutional because it provides no exemptions for a woman's health. The basis for her ruling essentially mirrors the reasons cited by the other judges."

Bush Signs 'Partial Birth' Abortion Ban While Hundreds Die from 'Bush Abortions' in Iraq

Nothing could better demonstrate the utter bankruptcy of RepubliNazi policy on "life" than Bush's signing of the "partial birth abortion" ban. First, the term does not exist in medicine. Second, the ban was already ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Third, Bush's claim that "he would not seek a total ban on abortion" is belied by the fact that the bill is a DIRECT assault on Roe v. Wade, because it deliberately blurs the line between 2nd term and 3rd term abortions. But finally, while Bush proclaims his devotion to "life," 378 American soldiers are now dead in Iraq, plus 10,000 or more Iraqis. If we call these "Bush abortions," will the RepubliNazis start to care about them? For RepubliNazis, protection of human life begins at conception - and ends at birth.

Pregnancy and Abortion Rates Were Down During Clinton's Presidency

AP writes, "U.S. pregnancy, birth and abortion rates decline in 1990's. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says pregnancy, birth and abortion rates dropped from 1990 to 1999. Pregnancies fell 7%, to 6.28 million in 1999. The birth rate declined 9%, to 64.4 per one-thousand women ages 15 to 44. And the abortion rate went down 22% , to 21.4 per one-thousand women. Teen pregnancy rates reached historic lows, dropping 25%. The teen birth rate dropped 19%, and the teen abortion rate was down 39%."

Bush's 'Global Gag Rule' is Killing Women

WomensENews: "The Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule, has led to closed clinics, cuts in healthcare staff and dwindling medical supplies, leaving women, children and families without access to vital healthcare services, according to a report released yesterday by policy opponents. The policy, reinstated by Resident Bush as one of his first acts in office, prohibits any organization receiving population funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development from using those or other funds to provide or promote abortion as a method of family planning. 'I think they are killing these women, just as if they are pointing a gun and shooting. There is no difference,' said Hilary Fyfe, chair of the Family Life Movement of Zambia. Her organization opposes abortion, but still lost approximately $30,000 in U.S. funds for telling adolescents and young adults that unsafe and potentially fatal abortions are one possible consequence of unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancies."

Interfaith Delegation Says There's No Evidence of Bush's Claim that UN Group Supports Forced Abortions

"A group of religious leaders who studied the United Nations Population Fund's family planning work in China said that they found no evidence to back accusations by the administration that the UNFPA supports forced abortions.... One member of the delegation asserted that he believes 'we can say with some degree of confidence that all the programs with which the UNFPA is currently associated are committed to avoiding any practice of forced abortion or involuntary sterilization.'.... Bush made the decision to withhold funding...based on allegations by the right-wing Population Research Institute... These allegations were denied by the UNFPA as well as a State Department fact-finding team. The US contribution to the UNFPA makes up 13 percent of the total funding for its international family planning programs - enabling UNFPA to prevent two million unwanted pregnancies, 4,700 maternal deaths, nearly 60,000 cases of maternal illnesses and over 77,000 cases of infant and child death."

Help Prevent Unwanted Pregnancies - FDA to Rule on Over the Counter Emergency Contraceptive Soon!

"In early December, the Food and Drug Administration will hold a hearing to review Women's Capital Corporation's application to offer Plan B - a progestin-only emergency contraceptive - over the counter or without a prescription. A decision is expected within one month after the hearing, which will be held before the FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. The change to over the counter status for EC could prevent millions of unintended pregnancies. EC, which is known to be safer than aspirin, is 95% effective if taken within 24 hours of sexual intercourse.... [D]espite the fact the EC has been available in the US for several years, recent surveys by the Reproductive Health Technologies Project show that 60% of American voters do not even know that products such as EC exists. Tens of thousands have already signed a petition to the FDA in support of EC over the counter." Have you signed?

Stop the Most Deceptive Anti-Choice Legislation Yet

"In a transparent public relations maneuver, anti-choice leaders in Congress and resident Bush are drumming up support for the so-called 'Unborn Victims of Violence Act' by renaming it 'Laci and Conner's Law.' This is a blatant exploitation of a human tragedy to dishonestly undermine our right to choose. For years, the pro-choice community and women's movement have worked to educate society about the tragic epidemic of domestic violence in America and to pass legislation protecting women from harm. Don't be fooled. This bill isn't about protecting pregnant women from violence. Rather, as many of the bill's leading proponents freely admit, it is cleverly designed to erode the legal foundation of Roe v. Wade. Don't believe us? Ask anti-choice Senator Orrin Hatch, who in a moment of unusual candor admitted to a reporter, 'They say it undermines abortion rights. It does.' We can't afford to sit back passively while this bill becomes law." Show the anti-choice Right how un-passive you are!

Court Dismisses 'Roe's' Challenge to Abortion

From Reuters: "'Jane Roe' failed on Friday to overturn the historic decision made on her behalf that legalized abortion in the United States 30 years ago. A U.S. federal judge on Friday dismissed a suit brought by 'Roe,' whose real name is Norma McCorvey, in which she sought to reverse 'Roe v. Wade.' U.S. district judge David Godbey said McCorvey... did not bring her motion within a reasonable time. Since being the woman behind the case that made abortion legal in the United States, McCorvey has joined the anti-abortion movement... Danielle Tierney, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Texas in Austin, said she was not surprised by the quick court decision to dismiss the suit. 'We felt like this was a publicity stunt to get some attention for the anti-choice movement,' Tierney said. The court case was the latest challenge to U.S. abortion rights and comes after the House of Representatives and the Senate each approved a ban on a procedure critics call 'partial birth' abortion."

The Beginning of the End of Roe v. Wade: House Outlaws Safe, Legal Abortion Procedures

"NARAL Pro-Choice America President Kate Michelman predicted that with the passage of legislation banning safe abortion procedures in the House ...Bush will be the first [Chief Executive] in the nation's history to criminalize safe abortion procedures. American women will not tolerate this threat to their health and their rights. 'Anti-choice leaders should be very careful for what they wish for because when this bill is signed into law, the sleeping giant that is pro-choice America will awaken,' said Michelman. '... Bush and anti-choice leaders in the Congress have crossed the Rubicon towards rolling back Roe. This is a broad, unconstitutional bill which sacrifices women's health and future fertility on the altar of extreme right wing ideology... The best way to reduce the number of abortions is to assure women have access to contraceptives, affordable health insurance and family planning services, not criminalize doctors who provide them.'"

Supremes Reject Abortion Privacy Case

"The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for health authorities in South Carolina to collect names, addresses and other information about women seeking abortions, a power doctors say violates a fundamental duty to protect patient privacy. The high court rejected a challenge to the state's plan to catalog medical records from clinics and abortion doctors. The court's action, taken without comment, ends a lengthy legal challenge that had kept the law on hold... South Carolina is the only state whose law allows regulators to see, copy and store abortion patients' medical records without stiff requirements that the information be kept confidential, lawyers representing the clinic and outside medical organizations said."

Bush: Harming a Fetus Should Be Fed Crime

AP reports: "The White House urged Congress on Friday to pass a law making it a federal crime to harm a fetus during an assault on its mother, a subject currently in the news in connection with a California murder case. The House passed legislation in 2001 supported by Bush that would make it a criminal offense to injure or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. The Senate never took up the measure. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer declined to comment specifically on the California case in which Scott Peterson has been charged with murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn child."

Freedom of Choice - Sign the Petition!

"We the People of Pro-Choice America, in order to form a more just and equitable society for America's women and families, regardless of where they live, the color of their skin or their economic status; To remedy the erosion of our constitutional freedoms by state and federal politicians and judges; To counter anti-choice forces who have now captured all political power in Washington, D.C.; To secure the promise of Roe v. Wade for generations to come; Do affirm the right to choose and sign below in unity with other pro-choice Americans to guarantee the future of this freedom." Sign the petition!

Urgent! Tell Your Senators to Vote NO on the Congressional Gynecology Bill

NOW writes, "The Senate will be voting this week on the so-called Partial-Birth Abortion Ban bill, S. 3, sponsored by arch abortion rights opponent Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and 43 co-sponsors. A ban such as proposed in S. 3 would prohibit virtually all methods of safe abortion and threatens the health of thousands of women. I am sure that you are aware that because S. 3 does not limit the ban to post-viability abortions and that it does not clearly specify a type of abortion procedure that would be commonly understood, the ban could apply to nearly all abortions performed in this country. I am counting on you to stand up for women, their constitutional right to abortion and safe medical practice in opposing this horrendous legislation." Send the letter to your Senators, courtesy of NOW!

National Cancer Institute Discredits Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

NY Times writes, "A crude effort by anti-abortion groups and their supporters in Congress to associate abortion with an increased risk of breast cancer can now be stopped in its tracks. A definitive scientific judgment has been rendered on this overheated issue. The best minds that could be assembled by the National Cancer Institute have determined unequivocally that no such link exists. The epidemiological evidence to support this conclusion is considered 'well established,' the highest of four categories of proof in the government's rankings of strength of evidence. Anti-abortion groups have used the allegation of a link in campaigns intended to frighten women away from having abortions... experts have now concluded that earlier studies - some of which found a link between abortion and breast cancer and some of which didn't - had serious flaws that made their findings unpersuasive. That should blow away much of the evidence brandished by the anti-abortion groups."

Michigan School Snubs Governor

For a fundraiser, newly-elected Michigan Governor, Jennifer Granholm, donated a free luncheon at the request of a Mercy High School alumna. Initially, the school was thrilled to accept the donation until a few parents and alumnae complained to the school because of Granholm's stand on abortion rights. Although a Roman Catholic and personally opposed to abortion, Granholm campaigned that her religious convictions would not dictate policy. A religious group, Stop Granholm Truth and Church Project, which has criticized Granholm during and after the election praised the move by Mercy High School.

Bush the 'Uniter' Embraces the Divisive and Terrorist Anti-Abortion Movement

Two years ago, the media hailed the new Commander-in-Thief as a "uniter, not a divider," and someone who was going to "change the tone in Washington." Well, since Bush has united America and the world AGAINST his W-ar with Iraq, he's not real happy with the results of being a "uniter." So now he's back in the "divider" business, making the same annual call to anti-abortion extremists that Poppy and Ronny did, for the same cynical reason - not wanting to be SEEN saying what he believes. Thus is Bush "changing the tone in Washington" back to the same reactionary pitch that provoked terrorism across the land - including bombings, chemical warfare, and murder - long before Al Qaeda. Impeach Bush Now!

Right-Wing Republican Judges Use High-Pressure Tactics to Turn Teens against Abortions

NY Times reports, "Teenage girls in Alabama who want an abortion without a parent's permission must go to juvenile court first, to get permission from a judge. Some of these girls wind up before Judge Walter Mark Anderson III, a conservative Republican who says he hates abortion... In 1998, he started appointing a lawyer, known by the legal term as a guardian ad litum, to represent the fetus in each hearing. Now... pregnant girls seeking consent waivers face cross-examination... He acknowledged that he had adopted this novel tactic when he was running for re-election and was facing what looked like stiff opposition... In the first hearing using his new tactic, Judge Anderson appointed a lawyer who put a doctor on the stand. The doctor testified about what he said were the potential complications, including psychological trauma, sterility, breast cancer and death. The lawyer also questioned the girl. After the four-hour hearing, Judge Anderson granted the girl's request."

Right Wing Welfare Restrictions INCREASED Abortions

When Gingrich's right-wing Republicans seized Congress in 1994, they quickly passed a harsh welfare bill that denied additional benefits to women who already had children on welfare, and limited children to 5 years of welfare support. Feminists warned this would drive up abortions, and it did. "After years of heading down, abortion rates for poor women rose sharply between 1994 and 2000, according to Guttmacher numbers. The rate for women below the federal poverty level - $8,350 for a single woman and $14,150 for a family of three in 2000 - rose 25%. The rate for women earning up to twice that went up 23%. Meanwhile, the rate among the most well-off of those surveyed fell 39%." Just like militant abortion foe Bob Barr driving his wife to get an abortion, right-wing Republicans are directly responsible for abortions they claim to abhor.

NY Times Finally Denounces Bush's 'War Against Women'

NY Times opines, "Two years into the Bush [dictatorship], it is apparent that reversing or otherwise eviscerating the Supreme Court's momentous 1973 ruling that recognized a woman's fundamental right to make her own childbearing decisions is indeed Mr. Bush's mission. The lengthening string of anti-choice executive orders, regulations, legal briefs, legislative maneuvers and key appointments... suggests that undermining the reproductive freedom essential to women's health, privacy and equality is a major preoccupation of his administration - second only, perhaps, to the war on terrorism... People can debate whether [this] flows from his own deeply felt moral or religious beliefs, or merely caters to extreme elements within his party. What is important is the actual impact of Bush's assault: women's constitutional liberty has been threatened, essential reproductive health care has been denied or delayed, and some women will needlessly die." Geez Timespersons - what took you so long?

Pro-choice Movement Holds Student Leadership Conference in DC on January 22-23

If we do not act now, women's most fundamental right - the right to control their bodies - could be obliterated. Join pro-choice, feminist students from across the country in demanding the preservation of abortion rights at our Never Go Back Student Leadership Conference: Mobilizing Youth to Save Abortion Rights in Washington, DC, where you will: Attend seminars about women's rights and reproductive freedom with prominent leaders of the women's movement; Learn leadership and mobilization strategies for advancing grassroots campaigns to defeat anti-choice Supreme Court nominees; Train to be a stronger advocate of reproductive freedom on your campus and in your community; Visit legislators on Capitol Hill to show support for abortion rights; Commemorate the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade - the landmark Supreme Court decision that gave women the right to safe, legal abortion; Network with fellow student feminist activists. Register asap!

Republicans Plan Assault on Abortion Rights

NY Times reports, "Galvanized by the Republican takeover of the Senate, opponents of abortion are preparing a major push for new abortion restrictions in the next Congress, beginning with a ban on the type of medical procedure they call 'partial birth' [sic] abortion. They say they will also push for some other measures already passed by the Republican-controlled House, including a bill making it a crime to evade parental notification laws by taking a minor across state lines for an abortion and legislation making it a separate crime to harm a fetus during an attack on a pregnant woman... At the center of the legislative maneuvering will be Senator Bill Frist, who replaced Senator Trent Lott as incoming majority leader last month. While a few social conservatives have voiced concern about his record, Dr. Frist is considered a strong ally by the National Right to Life Committee, which has given him a 100% rating on major votes for the last six years."

Sign NOW's Roe v. Wade Petition to Defend the Right to Safe and Legal Abortion

"Dear Senator: When the time comes for the Senate to conduct hearings and cast a vote on a Supreme Court nomination, I urge you to carefully study the record of the candidates and demand full public disclosure of their writings and views. Any nominee must be asked her/his position on Roe v. Wade and the people of the U.S. must be informed of their views and records regarding privacy, family planning and abortion rights. Reproductive freedom and a woman's ability to determine her childbearing is a crucial issue to me, and to the majority of American voters. We will be watching carefully to see how the Senate conducts itself when faced with a nomination that could affect generations of women, and it will certainly determine my vote." Sign the petition from NOW!

Showtime for the GOP

Robert Scheer writes, "the GOP's moment of truth may have finally arrived -- the mere pretense of commitment to an extremist social agenda may no longer be enough for anti-abortion voters...The social conservatives in the party provided the foot soldiers in the midterm election, and they will now demand concrete victories, beginning with a right-wing makeover of the judiciary...with the relatively moderate Sandra Day O'Connor the most likely to step down, Bush has promised to appoint an anti-choice Antonin Scalia clone to solidify right-wing dominance of the Supreme Court. Under such leadership, the highest court in the land would be likely to strike down Roe vs Wade. But the mere thought of this long-sought 'victory' makes the GOP's political pros squirm: To go back to the days when abortion was illegal and women routinely died as a result of self-inflicted coat-hanger wounds is hardly a prescription for future Republican victories."

Bush Broadens HHS Research Committee Responsibility to Include Embryos

Reuters.com reports: "Key groups in Washington reacted Wednesday to reports that the Bush Administration has broadened the charge of an important research advisory committee to include human embryos. The Department of Health and Human Services has rewritten the charter of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections, extending the panel's purview to include human embryos for the first time, according to a report in the Washington Post. The National Institutes of Health panel is responsible for advising the HHS Secretary on human research ethics and safety issues and has no direct control over federal research regulations or policy. But the move, reportedly completed in October but revealed six days before the federal mid-term elections, is the second time in recent weeks the administration has used seemingly obscure health policies to the pleasure of anti-abortion groups."

House Allows Health Care Providers to Refuse Abortion Services or Information - Send a Free Fax to Your Senators

"On September 25, the House of Representatives passed legislation, by a vote of 229 to 189, that would allow health care entities to refuse to provide abortion services or give information regarding those services... This measure is nothing less than a broad and dangerous federal 'refusal clause.' Sometimes called 'conscience clauses,' refusal clauses permit a person or entity to refuse to provide abortion and information about abortion services... This bill threatens women's health and safety because it would permit health care institutions to ignore public health laws that require them to provide pregnant women complete information about all of their options, to treat abortion patients whose health is at risk, or to cover abortions in cases of rape or incest." Send a free fax to your Senators now, courtesy of the ACLU.

Under Cover of the Iraq Debate, House GOP Slip through an Anti-Abortion Bill

Like thieves in the night, the GOP stole yet another right while Bush distracted the public with his outrageous Iraq posturing. In the most aggressive direct assault on abortion rights in the U.S. since Bush took office, the House GOP pushed through a bill that will make it legal for hospitals and other providers to refuse to perform or pay for abortions without losing fed money. "This measure is cynical. This measure is unconstitutional," said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. "Under the legislation the administrative hospitals or HMOs could gag the doctors who work under them from discussing abortion services." Guess who made sure the bill was rammed through? None other than Dick Armey (R-TX), who was a busy little Nazi this week, first insulting liberal Jews, then refusing to allow the House to reauthorize desperately needed community health centers until they voted in his anti-abortion bill.

Bush 'Adopt-an-Embryo' Program May Be First Step Toward Conferring Full Legal Rights on Unborn Fetuses and - Ultimately - Declaring Abortion Murder

The same week Bush rejected funding for firefighters and veterans, he announced plans to hand over $1 million to promote "adopt an embryo" programs. Most recipients are likely to be Christian agencies. Though Bush describes the scheme as "one couple donating embryos to another couple," fertility clinics and abortion rights activists are worried. Says one fertility clinic trade group spokewoman, "Some patients are extremely uncomfortable about the idea of other people bearing and raising their genetic offspring." Kate Michelman of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League fears the plan is just the first step toward giving embryos the same legal status as born human beings. "By using the term "adoption" rather than "donation," Bush makes it appear that the program views embryos as children. If an embryo were a person with equal rights, abortion could be more easily declared illegal. It can be used to support their effort to roll back Roe vs. Wade."

Pennsylvania Judge Removes Injunction against Woman Seeking Abortion

"After a delay of over 7 days, a Pennsylvania Judge has finally dissolved an injunction preventing a 22 year old woman from seeking her legal right to an abortion. Judge Michael Conahan of the Luzerne County Court issued his decision today stating that the woman's ex-boyfriend who had originally filed the suit, had failed to cite any legal authority establishing his right to block her from getting an abortion. Over the course of the past week, the case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania as the woman's attorneys, The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP), sought emergency appeals to allow the woman access to the medical procedure...The case began last Monday when the woman's abusive ex-boyfriend, John Stachokus, who had previously been served with a Temporary Protection from Abuse Order, filed the suit to prevent her from terminating the pregnancy."

Pennsylvania Judges Give Abusive Boyfriend a Veto over Ex-Girlfriend's Abortion

"A 22 year old woman's struggle to exercise her legal right to an abortion continues to be stymied by the legal system as the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg refuses to immediately dissolve an injunction preventing her from obtaining an abortion. Ignoring the emergency nature of the appeal as well as clear federal and Pennsylvania law addressing the issue, the Court instead directed the other side to file a brief by noon on Tuesday, August 6, 2002... 'My client has the constitutional right to obtain an abortion and each delay in this process illegally undermines that right,' said Linda Rosenthal, a staff attorney for the CRLP and lead counsel on the case. 'It is unbelievable that this travesty has now been sanctioned at all levels of the Pennsylvania Courts, but we remain determined to bring the rule of law back to Pennsylvania and put an end to our client's needless suffering,' added Rosenthal."

Scandal-Ridden Catholic Church Still Attacks Pro-Choice Democrats

After this year's mega-scandal of child rape by Catholic priests, one might think Catholic bishops would heed Jesus' admonition to judge not, lest ye be judged. NOT! "The Catholic diocese in which Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez grew up has banned him from speaking at church facilities because of his position favoring abortion rights... Sanchez has spoken out twice publicly over the past 10 days about his support for abortion rights... 'The only thing that is really important to me is how I think about abortion. I consider myself a devout Catholic. I go to Mass and communion a couple of times a week. I don't feel I'm wrong in my position,' he added." As always, the Catholic bishops are only punishing Democrats, just as they did when Mario Cuomo was Governor of NY. Pro-Choice Republicans like former PA Gov. Tom Ridge are never targeted. And of course Republicans who support the death penalty - despite the Church's opposition - are never punished. Where is the outrage?

Anti-Abortion Terrorists Are Using Cameras and the Internet to Assault Women Seeking Reproductive Health Care

Emboldened by the Bush administration's flagrant disrespect for privacy, their trashing of civil rights and general lack of human decency, anti-abortionists have escalated their attacks on patients at reproductive health clinics. In the past, women entering clinics were subjected to verbal and physical abuse - regardless of whether they were seeking abortions. But now anti-abortion terrorists have discovered the Internet - and women entering clinics are having their photos taken against their will and posted, along with their medical records (wonder how they are getting these?) on an anti-abortion Internet hate site. This is tantamount to being Jewish and having your family's photographs and personal records posted on a Neo-Nazi hate site. Yet since taking office, Bush has done NOTHING to curb domestic hate groups, be they Neo-Nazis or anti-abortion terrorists. Will it take a major tragedy?

Roe v. Wade v. Ashcroft

Ben Ehrenreich writes in Alternet, "It's hard to imagine a politician with a more steadfastly anti-abortion record than John Ashcroft, that Lurch-like religious warrior with politics more appropriate to 17th-century Salem, Mass. -- or late-1990s Kandahar -- than to the world's most vocal champion of secular democracy."

Stop Bush from Defining Zygotes as Children!

According to Planned Parenthood, "The Department of Health and Human Services wants to change the definition of 'child' to include the period from conception to birth. This would allow the fetus to become eligible for health insurance coverage under SCHIP, and effectively raises the status of the fetus above that of the mother. Planned Parenthood opposes this change. It relegates women to second-class status and is little more than a thinly veiled attempt to advance fetal personhood. Furthermore, by making the fetus eligible for health care under SCHIP and not the mother, it fails to cover necessary postpartum care for women." Use the sample letter to send a protest to HHS before May 6!

GOP Attacks Abortion Rights Once Again

"In recent years, opponents of women's reproductive freedom have come up with increasingly creative schemes to curb abortion rights. One of the newest and most deceptive of these, the egregiously mislabeled Child Custody Protection Act, won easy approval in the House on Wednesday. Far from protecting vulnerable minors, the measure's actual result would be to endanger the lives of desperate young women seeking abortions by denying them assistance from their grandparents or other trusted adults... This is the third time the House has given its blessing to this misguided proposal. But on the other two occasions there was a Democratic president in the White House ready to use his veto pen had the Senate failed to block the bill. Not so now, which makes it crucial that the Senate majority leader, Tom Daschle, rally his pro-choice colleagues to keep the anti-abortion measure from reaching President [sic] Bush's desk — and keep grandmothers out of prison." So writes the NY Times.

Why a Candidate's Position on Abortion Matters

"In the 30 years since Roe v. Wade... opportunities for women to become full members of society have steadily widened. The decisions whether and when to have children, whether to marry, have a career, pursue higher education, even whether to run for elective office - these are the real freedoms that reproductive rights confer on American women. In 2002, the phrase 'abortion rights' is not so much about abortion as it is about rights. Many women understand this almost instinctively. Abortion has become a kind of plebiscite issue, a marker for a candidate's essential view of women's roles in society. It is an issue that supports a wider philosophy about the role of government in regulating private behavior, about civil liberties and religious pluralism... Most genuinely prochoice candidates can also be counted on to support equal opportunity, affirmative action, pay equity, quality day care, and gay rights." So writes the Boston Globe.

Bush's Health Plan for 'Unborn Children' Is Beyond Outrageous - It's Moronic, Like Bush Himself

"The US ranks 27th in infant mortality and 21st in maternal mortality - the worst among developed nations. Unfortunately, the administration's solution - extending the Child Health Insurance Program, which covers children from low-income working families, to cover fetuses - would set up a long regulatory and legal process and a battle over abortion rights in virtually every state. It would create controversy where none need exist, as well as posing puzzling medical questions. How does a doctor provide care for a fetus outside the context of providing care for the pregnant woman? Why would a doctor want to? If a woman develops high blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy, do we simply ignore her condition unless or until it affects the fetus? Once the woman gives birth, do we then deny her the necessary postpartum care because she is no longer carrying the fetus?" So write Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ).

Bush Puts Fetuses Before Children

Columnist Clarence Page writes, "It says something quite revealing about the Bush administration that it rushes with greater urgency to win health insurance for the unborn than it does for the born. Administration officials declared last week that a developing fetus should be eligible for government-funded health insurance for low-income children. So, why, one wonders, has the administration chosen this politically charged way to expand health care to improve healthy childbearing among pregnant mothers? Administration officials assure us with a straight face that this is not a ploy to create new grounds for outlawing abortion. No, it is not a 'stretch' to believe the Bush White House is trying to score some points with social conservatives. It's traditional politics. No smart politician forgets his or her base. But, to the rest of us, this sly move sends a message that the anti-abortion movement usually tries to dodge — that it cares more about the unborn than it does about the born."

House Health Bill Scuttled by Dick Armey's Abortion Rider

"Legislation to fund community health centers was effectively killed late Wednesday night after abortion opponents added language that would have allowed hospitals and health plans to opt out of providing abortion services and referrals. The move by House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) highlights the kind of trench warfare that has come to dominate the abortion debate on Capitol Hill. Faced with a divided Congress, GOP leaders have sought to place abortion restrictions on popular bills that stand the best chance of making it into law...Dan Hawkins of the National Association of Community Health Centers said the legislative wrangling 'endangered health care for millions of poor Americans and people of color.'" Is this more compassionate conservatism? Bipartisanship? Imagine if Democrats adapted the same stance - CoupNewsNetwork (CNN) would be waxing poetic for hours on the forestalling tactics of those inconsiderate Democrats.

Anti-Choice Movement Launches Baby Rattle Campaign - Send Your Coat Hangers Today!

"Seeking to show a united front after deep divisions over embryonic stem cell research, a coalition of socially conservative groups plans to kick off a campaign this week to pressure President Bush and the Democratic- controlled Senate to fill the next Supreme Court vacancy with an opponent of abortion. The multifront campaign, which begins with a budget of $2 million, will start on Tuesday with television advertising in Washington. It is expected to spread to other cities throughout the fall. As part of the effort, the coalition plans to encourage thousands of abortion opponents to mail baby rattles to their senators." Well, we don't have $2 million, but we have the pro-choice majority on our side. So if you want to protect a woman's right to choose, send a coat hanger to each of your Senators (Senator X, Washington DC 20510). Enclose a note saying: "No New Justices for the Thief - Impeach the Supreme Court 5!" Do it today!

Bush Drives a Wedge into the Anti-Abortion Movement

On closer scrutiny, Bush's stem cell policy is actually more liberal than Clinton's. "While Mr. Clinton would have required the cells to be derived only from frozen embryos held by fertility clinics, to ensure that fresh embryos were not taken from couples at the moment the woman was trying to become pregnant, some of the cell lines approved for use by Mr. Bush were derived from fresh embryos that were created in excess of patients' need." As a result, the true believers in the anti-abortion movement are slowly beginning to criticize Bush. But these true believers have been stabbed in the back not only by Bush, but also by all of the "pro-life" whores who report to Republican whoremonger Ralph Reed (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, the NRLC, Tom DeLay, and Dick Armey). To keep the true believers in line, Bush will nominate anti-choice zealots for federal judgeships and the Supreme Court. Will the true believers let themselves be bought off so cheaply? Stay tuned...

National Council of Jewish Women Mobilizes against Bush's Hated Global Gag Rule

The NCJW is marshalling its forces to fight the global gag rule, an odious measure imposed by Bush that blocks aid to international family planning programs that dare to so much as provide information on abortion. NCJW plans to attack the problem with an education and grass roots organizing campaign. Says NCJW National President Jan Schneiderman, "NCJW is comitted to making a difference on this critical issue." The latest issue of the NCJW Journal features a "pull-out" Action Guide, complete with sample letters to legislators and editors, answers to frequently-asked questions, a resource list, and project ideas to help readers make a difference. Go NCJW!!

Gag Rule Will Contribute to Death of 78,000 Women Each Year in Nepal Alone

Thanks to Bush's odious "global gag rule," the health of thousands of women and children around the globe is being seriously threatened. For example, three family planning clinics in densely populated, high-need areas have already been forced to close in Nepal, a nation with the fourth highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Here, each year an estimated 78,000 women are killed by unsafe abortions - many of them die an agonizing death from gangrene. Bush's gag rule will not stop abortions - it will only kill women. Dr. Nirmal K. Bistra, head of the Nepal Family Planning Association, which runs the three clinics, has refused to accept aid with the gag rule's bloody strings attached to it. On Thursday, he made an impassioned plea before one of the coldest, least compassionate audiences on Earth today: the U.S. Congress.

Fire In Baton Rouge, Murder of Australian Security Guard and Wichita Anti-Abortion Protest May All be Part of Single Vicious Scheme

On Monday, the only clinic in Baton Rouge performing abortions was burned to the ground. The same day, a security guard at a clinic in Melbourne was shot to death. Meanwhile, also on Monday, a supposedly "prayerful" protest march of 1,000 anti-abortion protestors stormed through Wichita, unchecked by local police. In the midst of this mob were Paul DeParrie and Joseph O'Hara, two men who signed a public declaration endorsing the murder of doctors performing abortions. The "prayerful protestors" were reported to have threatened people along the route, telling them to "expect injury and a violent death." The day before, Wichita protestors terrorized children at a Lutheran Sunday School because they thought a doctor on their hit list was in the building. It is obvious the vicious events of Monday were not random. As a result of Bush's phony Christian, anti-abortion stance, these misogynistic thugs are feeling empowered.

Rightwing Anti-abortion Protestors Terrorize Sunday School in Wichita

Without their guns (like the reportedly armed bunch that recently tried to intimidate Sen. John McCain), rightwingers are a cowardly bunch. This past Sunday, a gang of abortion protestors massed outside a Lutheran Church attended by physician George Tiller. Tiller, who performs late term abortions on occasion, has already been shot and wounded by rightwingers once and had his clinic bombed. Shouting angrily and wielding the usual horror movie graphics on posters, the thugs accosted children on their way into Sunday School (Tiller wasn't even at church that day!) reducing many kids to terrified sobs. No matter what one may feel about late-term abortions (and even some liberals have very mixed feelings), terrorizing kids only proves that hate, not true ideology, is at the root of such "anti-abortion" groups.

Bush Uses 'Healthcare Benefits Extortion' Ploy to Push Anti-abortion Agenda

Bush used his tax cut carrot to try to whip up support for his budget even before he unveiled it. Now he is trying to do the same thing, though more sneakily, with his anti-abortion agenda. A new policy that would allow state health insurance programs to pay for prenatal care and childbirth by reclassifying the unborn as a person just as eligible for services as the mother is now on the table. Health and Human Services mouthpieces parrot Bushspeak propaganda that this is "just another tool" to expand healthcare access -- which is total nonsense. To expand health care access, the pregnant women should receive increased coverage, which can be done without stealth tactics to accomplish the goals of the anti-abortionists.

Shrub Sued by Coalition of Human Rights Groups for Global Gag Rule

The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy has been joined by Human Rights Watch, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and other groups in filing a lawsuit against Shrub. The suit accuses Bush of suppressing free speech through his Global Gag Rule, which bars foreign organizations receiving U.S. aid from speaking out about abortion law reform. The coalition points out that without free speech, no human rights abuses, from torture to landmines, would ever be exposed. "Since founding CRLP nearly ten years ago...only one nation has censored my speech: the U.S. Not the Taliban. Not the Chinese," says CRLP Pres. Janet Benshoof, who has worked with governments all over the world. "Only President [sic] Bush has censored my speech."

Bush Nominates An Anti-Abortion Advocate - And Vatican Representative - To Run Refugee Bureau

"The White House has overruled Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on his choice to [the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration] at the State Department and has insisted on a nominee who represents the Vatican's diplomatic mission at the United Nations. The White House decided last week that the nominee would be John M. Klink, who holds dual Irish and American citizenship and represents the Vatican at United Nations conferences on social issues… " Like Bush's global gag rule, this nomination is another slap against the women's rights movement. It "is expected to please conservatives who have been concerned about the distribution of what are known as emergency contraceptive pills to some women in refugee camps. The availability of such pills, which are included in some health kits provided by some of U.N.H.C.R.'s health clinics, has been vehemently opposed by right-to-life advocates on Capitol Hill." The goal is simple: to force rape victims to bear their rapists' children.

Shrub Determined to Override Will of People, Pushes to Reinstate Ban on Overseas Clinic Aid

Shrub's odious global gag rule, which banned U.S. aid to international groups that used their OWN funds to offer abortion counseling or services (i.e., most overseas family/women's clinics) - or simply lobbied for legal abortion - was overturned by the House International Relations Committee. However, Shrub and Co. have since been waging a secretive, underhanded campaign to reinstate the ban, intentionally misleading lawmakers into believing taxpayers are subsidizing overseas abortions. Washington Post reporter Julie Eilperin tells it like it is!

Molly Ivins Predicts Abortion Will Be Outlawed Under Bush

Columnist Molly Ivins, the country's foremost Bush critic, told a Planned Parenthood audience, "I think we are going to lose Roe [v. Wade], and I think we've got to be ready for it. That means we who care about this issue may be looking at rebuilding an entire movement."

Unified House Democrats Win Family Planning Vote

Dealing Bush his first foreign policy setback in Congress, the House International Relations Committee voted 26-22 to overturn Bush's prohibition on U.S. aid to groups based abroad that provide abortions with their own funds, counsel women on abortion, or merely advocate the legalization of abortion. "The Democrats stood united without a single defection. The Republicans were divided," ranking committee Democrat Tom Lantos of California said after the vote, which he called a "good omen" for the battle in the full House. "The real fight will be on the floor of the House of Representatives," said Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), who is the House's leading champion of condemning 80,000 women each year to death from unsafe abortions, and millions more to unplanned pregnancies. Call your Representative (202-224-3121) and demand a vote in favor of women's access to family planning and abortion.

House Passes Stealth 'Human Life Amendment'

By a vote of 252-172, the House voted to impose criminal penalties for killing or injuring a "child who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place." The so-called "child" can be no more than a fertilized egg. This bill is just an updated version of the 1980's "Human Life Amendment" to the Constitution, which would have declared that "life begins at conception," so abortion would be treated as a criminal act of murder. The new bill is the handiwork of Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the most obnoxious members of the House Judiciary Committee during Impeachment, who is the Republican candidate for Senate in 2002 to replace Strom Thurmond.

Unborn Victims Of Violence Act - Stealth Anti-Freedom Of Choice Tactic

"Congressional opponents of abortion have no appetite for a direct and politically unpopular assault on Roe v. Wade. So they are pursuing other legislative strategies that would undermine women's reproductive freedom. One of the most deceptive of these schemes is the benign-sounding Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which is expected to come up for a vote in the House this week." So writes a New York Times Editorial.

Bush Wants To End Contraceptive Funding For Federal Employees

Bush "stunned many last week by presenting a budget that included ending contraceptive coverage in the health plans of federal employees. This move will affect even more women ... because private insurance companies often take their lead from what is covered under the federal health insurance plan. In an ironic twist, [Bush Sr.], as a congressman from Texas, was a key sponsor of legislation establishing the first federal program [in 1967] to make family planning services more widely available in the United States." At the time, Bush's motivation was to limit the number of children born to poor and non-white women, both at home and abroad. But after the religious right gained power, Bush Sr. changed his tune. "As president, the senior Bush dutifully did everything possible to impede access to contraception and abortion, including attacks on the family planning program he sponsored."

Supreme Court Rules Without Comment To Uphold Law Banning Violent Protests At Abortion Clinics

"The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Monday a constitutional challenge to a federal law aimed at stopping violent protests that had blocked access to abortion clinics. Without any comment, the justices let stand a ruling by a U.S. appeals court that upheld the constitutionality of the federal law, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act."(A good history of the abortion protest case is at Salon.com 's page of wire reports.) Does "without comment" mean that certain justices such as Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist can avoid reminding us of their anti-choice views, now that their belief in constitutional protections is in serious question? By the way, in 1964 Rehnquist physically blocked minorities from accessing a Phoenix polling place -- long before he got to legally disenfranchise them in Bush v. Gore.

Appeals Court OK's 'Nuremberg Files'

Recently the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit threw out a jury verdict in favor of abortion providers who were threatened by anti-abortion posters and the infamous "Nuremberg Files" web site. The case will be appealed to the US Supreme Court. Someone should create a similar site with photos of the Felonious Five - maybe they will suddenly see the world the way it looks to heroic abortion providers like Dr. Warren Hern.

Bush Limits Medicaid Coverage Of RU-486 To That Of Surgical Abortions

"The Bush administration yesterday notified states that the government will pay for low-income women to take the abortion pill RU-486 [mifespristone] only under rare circumstances, applying the same restrictions that have long been imposed on federal coverage of surgical abortions...[in other words] to end pregnancies caused by rape or incest, or when the woman's life is in danger...The one-page letter emphasized that states with restrictions on surgical abortions are free to apply them to the abortion pill. These include parental notification laws and requirements that women first receive counseling on alternatives to abortion." Although HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and Chief of Staff Andy Card previously stated that they would review the FDA's approval of the drug, the "letter...gave no hint of what the administration will decide about whether the drug should remain legal."

Bush Won't Quit on Global Gag Rule

Pro-choice Democrats led by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) have been rounding up the votes to overturn Bush's infamous gag rule on family planning (not abortion) aid to international groups that advocate abortion rights with their own funds. In response, Bush is using yet another devious tactic to impose his will without being subject to Congressional review. Bush proved that he has no clue about the meaning of the gag rule when challenged directly by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at the Democratic Congressional retreat in February. Boxer still plans to fight: "No matter how he executes his policy, it doesn't change the fact that the denying of family-planning assistance will lead to an increase in the number of deaths due to unsafe abortions," Boxer said.

Anti-abortion Zealots Plan Frontal Assault

Republicans are pushing bills that would restrict RU-486, criminalize minors who cross state lines for abortion, declare fetuses to be persons under the law, and outlaw D&E abortions. "The assault we have been under is more intense than at any time since (abortion was legalized in 1973)," said Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. "And now the opponents of a woman's right to choose have a president who will sign their legislation, and that is what makes the threat so much more palpable." Which is why we need to go to Washington on April 22 for NOW's Emergency Action for Women's Lives.

Violent Men Kill Women - and Fetuses

Congressional Republican pinheads are planning to declare fetuses persons, so violent criminals who cause fetal deaths can be prosecuted for murder. They're in for a big surprise when they discover which violent criminals kill fetuses - you guessed it, abusive fathers. Just wait until the pinheads find out - that bill will disappear forever.

Democrats Fight Abortion Gag Rule

Democrats are working to challenge Bush's global gag rule in Congress. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)said she was confident that the 50-50 Senate would vote to repeal the rule and so demonstrate "strong bipartisan support" for family planning. Prospects are poor in the Republican-controlled House, but Rep. Nita Lowey said "we will never back down, because it's too important to the women of the world."

Bush's Global Gag Rule Will Worsen Global AIDS Epidemic

Cambodia's HIV infection rate is the highest in Asia, and the highest in the world outside of sub-Saharan Africa. Each day, between 50 and 100 people in Cambodia contract HIV. But Bush's global gag rule will "cripple" as many as 90% of Cambodia's health-care NGOs, which are desperately trying to slow the spread of AIDS. It's time for AIDS advocates to link arms with feminists to overturn Bush's global gag rule.

Embryonic Brains Want to Declare Embryos Persons

The sex-obsessed Republican fundamentalists are trying to come up with yet another way of outlawing abortions. The Supreme Court narrowly rejected the "partial birth" strategy, so the latest scheme is to declare embryos to be persons under the law - so abortion would become legal murder. The embryonic brains behind this stupidity are Rep. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), who wants Strom Thurmond's Senate seat, and Sen. Mike Dewine (R-OH). Maybe it's time for their constituents to start giving them a piece of their mind.

Abortion Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Nicholas Morency, 30, pleaded guilty Friday to offering a $1.5 million bounty over the Internet to anyone who killed an abortion provider. He also pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, which was found on his computer during the investigation. Apparently, Morency opposes abortion because it reduces the number of children he can abuse. Morency could get a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for intimidating an abortion provider. He could receive five years and a $250,000 fine on the child pornography charge.

Bush Slammed on Anti-Abortion Rule

Family planning experts accused Shrub on Thursday of adopting a "fascist approach" and creating a double standard by blocking U.S. funding for international groups that support abortion rights. With risk of dying during pregnancy and birth is 33 times higher in poor than rich nations, the experts warned that Bush's decision will increase maternal deaths and illegal abortions. "We condemn this double standard," said Dr. Med Bouzidi of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Right-Wing Maps Plan to Outlaw Abortion

"Abortion foes have mapped a two-part strategy to chip away at reproductive rights, as a first step to doing away with them all. The plan begins with stacking the judiciary with antiabortion judges and ends with a string of state and federal legislation that puts services out of reach for many of the most vulnerable Americans." So writes James Ridgeway in the Village Voice.

Supreme Court Upholds Punitive Regulations On Abortion Clinics

In the most serious setback to abortion rights since their 1989 Webster decision, the Supreme Court refused to review South Carolina's punitive regulations on abortion clinics. Critics say that the 27 pages of regulations are out of proportion with those required of similar medical facilities. They charge that the regulations will make abortions more expensive and further limit access. The rules also intrude on patients' privacy, since state inspectors will be allowed access to medical records. "The Supreme Court has given a green light to states to regulate abortion out of existence," said Bonnie Scott Jones, an attorney for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Law and Policy.

Dubya Becomes Planned Parenthood's Chief Fundraiser

Hey, George, we never thought we'd say this, but keep up the good work! Well, let us explain. Because Dubya is such a troglodyte when it comes to reproductive rights, he is becoming the chief fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. Of course, we'd rather he had a heart transplant and supported "choice" issues, but if he's going to dance with the devil, we're happy at least that he's raising money for a good cause.

Boxer and Lowey Challenge Bush's 'Global Gag Rule'

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced the "Global Democracy Promotion Act of 2001" to repeal Bush's "global gag rule." In a recent exchange with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Bush had no clue what his executive order was about. The order has no effect on abortions, which the US government refuses to fund. Instead, it denies family planning funds to international groups which use their own funds merely to lobby local governments to legalize abortion. Worldwide, 80,000 women die each year worldwide from 20 million unsafe abortions.

Back-alley Tragedies Looming Again

More than half a century has passed. But Dr. Quentin Young still remembers the grim details of his 20 days on the septic obstetrics ward at Cook County Hospital in 1948.

Republicans Target RU-486

On Tuesday, Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) and Rep. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation to restrict the use of RU-486, the abortion pill used widely and safely in Europe and China. Anti-abortion terrorists hate RU-486 because any ob/gyn can prescribe it, which undermines the ongoing terrorist campaign to threaten and close surgical clinics. "I hate to be the first to say: we told you so," said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY). "Now we know what George Bush refused to say in the campaign -- that every day, in every way, the Bush administration and its extreme allies in Congress will act to make the right to choose as difficult, uncomfortable and inaccessible as they possibly can."

No Olive Branch, Says Katha Pollitt

"How many times did we hear during the endless campaign that Bush wouldn't go after abortion if elected? Republicans, Naderites and countless know-it-alls and pundits in between agreed: Pro-choice voters were too powerful, the country was too divided, the Republicans weren't that stupid and Bush didn't really care about abortion anyway. Plus whoever won would have to (all together now) "govern from the center." Where are all those smarties now, I wonder? Bush didn't even wait for his swearing-in ceremony to start repaying the immense debt he owes to the Christian right, which gave him one in four of his votes, with the nominations of anti-choice die-hards John Ashcroft for Attorney General and Tommy Thompson to head Health and Human Services." So says peerless columnist Katha Pollitt in The Nation.