Science has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that each human life begins at conception. From this point on, the developing being is a unique, irreplaceable member of our human family. Sound public policy must reflect this definitive scientific consensus, safeguarding the right to life for every human being at every stage of development irrespective of his or her age, health, or utility to others.

Protecting Life, Not Punishing Women

Tim Bradley  

The treatment of women seeking abortions has arisen several times during the ongoing election cycle. Some abortion advocates claim that pro-lifers want to punish women seeking abortion. They argue that women were punished for having abortions before Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court in 1973, and that if Roe is repealed women will once again be subject to punishment.

March for Life Announces 2017 Theme: “The Power of One”

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Last Thursday, the March for Life hosted a Capitol Hill policy briefing to announce their theme for 2017: “The Power of One.” The event also highlighted the importance of the Hyde Amendment, featuring Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) senior policy analyst, Genevieve Plaster, M.A. and CLI associate scholar, Michael J. New, Ph.D. who provided policy background and explained the law’s measurable impact over the past 40 years.

Baby

Ireland High Court: Unborn Child Has Rights “Beyond the Right to Life Alone”

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

Earlier this month in Ireland, a High Court judge ruled that the unborn child possesses “significant” rights by common law, by statute, and under the Irish Constitution. Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys went on to say that the unborn child enjoys rights “going well beyond the right to life alone” and that these rights “must be taken seriously” by the State.

Baby;s feet

Ending Lethal Discrimination before Birth

Tim Bradley  

On March 24 of this year Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law legislation that forbids doctors from performing an abortion, before or after the unborn child reaches 20 weeks of post-fertilization age, if the reason for the abortion is based on the “race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability.”

In his statement announcing his signing of the bill, Pence said, “I believe that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable—the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn.

MI state flag

New Michigan Laws Deter and Punish Coerced Abortion

Tim Bradley  

Proponents of abortion are all about “choice.” Yet in many cases, it seems, a woman’s decision to procure an abortion does not feel like much of a choice at all.

The best estimates indicate that somewhere between 30 to over 60 percent of women seeking abortions in the United States do so under pressure—from the father of her child, her parents, her family members, friends, or employer. One study shows that up to 64 percent of women who had undergone an abortion reported that they were pressured to do so. What can be done to counteract this phenomenon of coerced abortions? Coerced abortions are especially harmful to women—not only does the voice of the unborn child, who cannot plead on his own behalf, go unheard, but also the voice of the mother is muted by outside pressure.

New York state flag

New York’s Hidden Abortion Mandates Force Churches to Subsidize Abortion

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Now half a year since the opening of the 2016 Obamacare enrollment period, new state abortion mandates are just coming to light in New York. The Catholic Diocese of Albany and 12 other entities who have deeply-held objections to abortion were recently informed they had been covering elective abortions, unbeknownst to them, in their employer insurance plans under two state abortion mandates.

Ana Carolina Caceres

A Baby is Not a Mosquito

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

Ana Carolina Caceres is a journalist in Brazil. In a photograph in a recent story about her, she wears a garland of flowers, a simple necklace and a pleasant if somewhat nonplussed expression on her face. Caceres’ writing is clear and straightforward, as befits the blogger she is, but the story is not about her chosen profession – about what she does – but about who she is. Or rather a condition she has that some think should define her – or even have prevented her coming to birth.

Ms. Caceres was diagnosed at birth with microcephaly, the condition so much in the news as a result of a spike in cases associated with the spread of the Zika virus across Latin America.

meeting

Three Life Policies that Challenge Supreme Court Abortion Standards

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

Today I’m going to talk about three legal policies involving life protections for unborn children. I’m going to explain how each of these policies could actually be upheld under current Supreme Court abortion precedent. However, at the same time, each of these policies represents a serious challenge to current Supreme Court abortion standards by forcing the Court to consider and, hopefully, uphold policies that narrow the abortion right and call into question its continued legitimacy. But first, let’s step back and consider three basic points that help us put pro-life legislative initiatives into context.

Premature infant pain

Abortion Increases Risk of Preterm Birth: More Evidence in New Publication

Donna Harrison, M.D.  

The recent systematic review published by Gabrielle Saccone and colleagues joins the long list of over 150 studies over the past four decades which extensively document that having an induced abortion increases a woman’s risk of preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies. Saccone et al. clearly document again what other authors have repeatedly published; a fact also acknowledged by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in their report on preterm birth in 2005. However, unlike the IOM, who hid the association on page 625 in Appendix B, Saccone places the facts in the open: “Prior surgical uterine evacuation for either I-TOP [induced termination of pregnancy] or SAB [spontaneous abortion] is an independent risk factor for PTB [preterm birth].” Translated, that means any time the womb of a pregnant woman is forced open, there is a risk of damaging the opening of the womb.

CLI amicus brief cover

Lozier Institute Files Brief in Support of Daleiden & Center for Medical Progress

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) and Americans United for Life (AUL) recently filed an amicus brief in a major lawsuit over the late-term abortion videotapes collected by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). This lawsuit involves a vital public policy question: Can an association of abortion providers like the National Abortion Federation (NAF) successfully block the release of videos that show members of their organization potentially engaged in encouraging, supporting or facilitating the acquisition and/or sale of body parts from the unborn during the abortion process?

Baby

An Outstanding History of the Pre-Roe Pro-life Movement

Michael J. New, Ph.D.  

The history of the pro-life movement has received precious little attention from either journalists or academics. In 2014, Dr. and Mrs. John C. Willke published Abortion and the Pro-Life Movement: An Inside View which is the first truly comprehensive history of the modern pro-life movement. Their book first explores the history of pro-life activism before Roe v. Wade and then devotes a chapter to every year after 1973. This year, Daniel K. Williams, associate professor of history at the University of West Georgia, published Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement Before Roe v. Wade, a helpful augmentation to the Willke’s book.

Bicameral Congressional Letter Demands Transparency from FDA

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

Yesterday 75 members of Congress, led by Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration demanding answers to questions about the FDA’s surprise approval of relaxed protocols for the distribution of the abortion-inducing drug regimen known as Mifeprex. The changes, announced on March 30, significantly increase the duration of pregnancy at which the drug regimen may be administered, raising it from 49 days (7 weeks) from the last menstrual period (LMP) to 70 days (10 weeks) post-LMP.

New CLI Scholar to Testify at “Pricing of Fetal Tissue” Congressional Hearing

Catherine Glenn Foster, J.D., M.A.  

On April 20, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives will hold a hearing on “The Pricing of Fetal Tissue” in response to information brought forth by the Center for Medical Progress’ undercover video exposé.

Charlotte Lozier Institute’s new associate scholar Catherine Glenn Foster, J.D. has been invited to testify as an attorney on the federal statutes governing fetal tissue research. Below is a preview of her testimony.

Prolife witnesses with Rep. Trent Franks

Testimony of CLI Assoc. Scholar in Support of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act

  

On April 14, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on HR 4924, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2016, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks. The bill would prohibit discrimination against the unborn based on the preference of sex or race alone. Charlotte Lozier Institute associate scholar Anna Higgins, J.D. testified in support of the bill, and summarized her newly published paper on sex-selection abortion.

Sex Selection Abortion

Sex-Selection Abortion: The Real War on Women

  

Despite advances in civil rights and the recognition by most developed nations that discrimination on the basis of sex alone is inherently unjust, a very real and pervasive form of sex discrimination is still permitted and practiced in the world today. Prenatal sex discrimination crosses cultural, ethnic, and national lines. It is practiced with impunity in many countries, including the U.S., via sex-selective abortion – choosing to abort a preborn child based solely on the child’s sex.

Medication Abortion: FDA Guidelines and Personal Experience

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the regulations for RU-486, the “abortion pill,” allowing its use up to 70 days into pregnancy, three weeks past the previous guidelines. On the same day, Abby Johnson’s The Walls Are Talking: Former Abortion Clinic Workers Tell Their Stories, was officially released. One chapter in particular stood out as especially timely in regards to the news: “Medication Abortion.”

Minnesota Reports Show Smaller Abortion Centers Shrinking as Planned Parenthood Consolidates into Mega-Clinics

Rebecca Gonzales  

The Minnesota Department of Health publishes an extensive and organized annual abortion report that presents important public health information, including demographic statistics, while protecting the anonymity of women. Additionally, Minnesota reports the volume of abortions performed at each clinic in the state.

Minnesota’s abortion trends provide a glimpse of what is happening to the abortion market on a national scale. Similar to national trends, the total number abortions in Minnesota has decreased, one abortion clinic has closed, several have merged, and Planned Parenthood increasingly dominates the market.

Compassion, Not Punishment, for Women Who Have Had Abortion

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Yesterday, during an MSNBC townhall event with Chris Matthews, presidential candidate Donald Trump was asked if he believes in “punishment for abortion” to which he replied that there should be “some form of punishment.” When asked whether this applied to women who have had abortions, Mr. Trump replied in the affirmative, though he later clarified that he believes only abortionists should be held accountable.

Pro-life groups have quickly, and with a united voice, used this incident to clarify that the pro-life movement has never advocated, in any context, for the punishment of women who undergo abortion, but rather acknowledges that abortion harms and exploits women.

On Top of Everything Else, Contraception Mandates Don’t Work

Thomas M. Messner, J.D., Michael J. New, Ph.D.   

It’s hard to believe the Obama Administration is still fighting the nuns over abortion and contraception.

The Little Sisters of the Poor object on religious grounds to the government hijacking their health insurance plan to provide contraceptives including some that can cause abortions.

They’ve filed a lawsuit and today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case.

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day: Societal Inclusion for Prenatally Diagnosed Unborn Babies

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

This year, the theme is “’My Friends, My Community’ – The benefits of inclusive environments for today’s children and tomorrow’s adults.” Highlighting the many ways in which people with Down syndrome are included in society is a noble goal – one which should naturally encompass the inclusion of unborn babies who are prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome and who have all too often become vulnerable to abortion.

World Down Syndrome Day: Celebrating Life and Facing Challenges of Prenatal Discrimination

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Today is a very special day for all those living with Down syndrome and for all those who love them. Today is a day to celebrate the special gifts those living with Down syndrome bring to our human family. It is also a day to celebrate the progress made from a time when those living with Down syndrome were shunned, feared, and most often hidden away in bleak and often squalid institutions. So much has changed for the better, but there are still many challenges to overcome.

Testimony of Dr. David Prentice in Support of Arizona Bill to Prohibit Fetal Tissue Trafficking

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, the Arizona House Judiciary Committee panel held a hearing to consider SB 1474, introduced by Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) to prohibit fetal tissue trafficking. After the hearing, the panel voted to pass the bill, which will now head to the full House.

Charlotte Lozier Institute Vice President and Director of Research, Dr. David Prentice, Ph.D. submitted the following written testimony in support of the legislation.

Testimonies of Legal Expert, Medical Experts and Abortion Survivor on Pain-Capable and Born-Alive Abortion Legislation

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

On March 15, 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act – historic legislation to stop abortion more than halfway through pregnancy and strengthen equal protection measures for babies born alive after a failed abortion.

Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) associate scholar Angelina Baglini Nguyen, J.D. testified as an expert witness on the United States’ permissiveness on abortion limits in comparison to international abortion norms as well as the constitutionality of 20-week abortion limits based on fetal pain.

Former Abortionist Describes Abortion Procedures in New Website

Rebecca Gonzales  

Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino has partnered with Live Action to create a series of informational videos with detailed illustrations of dilation and evacuation, aspiration, and medication abortions. The videos are featured on a new website, just released at www.abortionprocedures.com.

Dr. Levatino is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist who has performed as many as 1,200 abortions. After the death of his daughter he stopped performing abortions. He is now a committed opponent of abortion who has testified before the U.S. Congress on behalf of pro-life legislation.

AAPLOG on Zika and Abortion: An “Abuse of Power”

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) has issued a helpful statement on the Zika virus and the effort by the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights to exploit its spread to promote abortion and repeal of national laws against the practice. The statement contains a number of useful links regarding what is known about the virus and the recommendations of responsible agencies. Footnotes are supplied by Charlotte Lozier Institute. The AAPLOG website can be accessed at www.aaplog.org.

Testimony of Dr. James Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. in Support of Missouri Bills regarding Humane Treatment of Aborted Fetal Remains

James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D.  

On February 23, the Missouri House Children and Families Committee heard five bills on issues stemming from the Center for Medical Progress’s undercover video exposé of Planned Parenthood, including: the sale and final disposition of aborted fetal remains, post-abortion tissue reporting requirements, and employee protections for whistleblowers.

Among those who testified in support of the bills was Dr. James Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., a physician scientist with expertise in biomedical research, cancer biology, and adult stem cell engineering. Dr. Sherley is founder and director of Asymmetrex, LLC, which develops new technologies for ethical adult stem cell medicine and drug discovery.

Fact Sheet: Government Funding Sources for Planned Parenthood

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Thanks to a data point in Planned Parenthood’s annual report for 2013-2014, it’s public knowledge that the organization received $528.4 million in funds from all levels of government in that fiscal year. This fact sheet provides a chart of total government funding sources for Planned Parenthood from prior years, according to a 2015 report by the Government Accountability Office.

Charlotte Lozier Institute Letter to Congressional Budget Office regarding Defunding Planned Parenthood Estimates

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

On November 9, 2015, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, at CBO’s invitation, submitted a detailed letter to CBO describing six ways in which its analysis leads to misleading conclusions about the federal budget impact of the Planned Parenthood cutoff. In fact, among other points CLI argues that rechanneling funds from Planned Parenthood to primary care providers will lead to budget savings in Medicaid, that CBO underestimates Planned Parenthood’s private sector fundraising resilience, that CBO uses an incorrect (too high by 20%) figure for Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive client base, and that the 10-year budget window analysis artificially shows new costs for Medicaid enrollees but neglects the contributions human beings make to sustain government programs in the second decade of their lives and beyond.

PRESS RELEASE: Lozier Scholar Submits Amicus Brief in Little Sisters Case

Michael J. New, Ph.D.  

Michael New, Ph.D., an Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education arm of Susan B. Anthony List, submitted an amicus curiae brief yesterday to the U.S. Supreme Court in Zubik v. Burwell and consolidated cases.

These cases represent a challenge against the Obamacare contraception mandate and its impact on the religious freedom of the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious nonprofits. The religious nonprofit organizations are arguing that the so-called “accommodation” crafted by the Obama Administration violates religious freedom protections secured by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

China’s Two-Child Policy Would Continue Crimes against Women and Children

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

“First the [Chinese Communist Party] would kill any baby after one. Now they will kill any baby after two.” – Chen Guangcheng, Chinese human rights advocate (Oct. 29, 2015).

When Chinese mother Sarah Huang learned she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband were elated at first as news reached them of a new “two-child policy.” Things turned grim, however, when her husband’s employer, the Chinese government, informed them they would be mandated to abort the baby if they couldn’t provide proof Sarah had an IUD inserted. Fearing a forced abortion in the near future, the Huangs went into hiding and eventually risked fleeing to the United States, where they arrived this Thanksgiving.

No One Seems to Know How Many Abortion Clinics Collect Fetal Tissue

Rebecca Gonzales  

An editorial in Nature, one of the world’s leading scientific journals, recently covered the political debate surrounding fetal tissue harvesting and the editors’ perceived threat to this form of research with the defunding of abortion giant, Planned Parenthood. The article, “Fetal tissue research under threat,” was published on December 7th but was corrected soon after on December 8th.

Nature issued a correction in an area where there is a significant amount of uncertainty. The correction states, “An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that six clinics recovered legally allowed costs for fetal tissue. In fact, we are unable to determine the exact number of clinics. Also uncertain is the number of remaining clinics that still supply the tissue. The text has been updated to reflect these uncertainties.”

More Positive Opinions and Experiences Reported for Life-affirming Pregnancy Centers Than with Abortion Providers

Moira Gaul, M.P.H.  

By an overwhelming margin, American women and men report more favorable opinions of life-affirming pregnancy centers offering abortion alternatives, as compared to organizations providing abortions such as Planned Parenthood, according to a 2014 national poll commissioned by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI).

One thousand American women aged 18-44 years and 300 men of the same age range were surveyed about questions related to health behaviors, specifically geared towards unexpected pregnancy decisions and care. Overall opinions and impressions about experiences were measured to contrast views towards organizations which provide abortion alternatives at the community-based level and those which offer and refer for abortion.

Obamacare Year 3: Abortion Coverage Still Hidden

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

“Do your health plans on the exchange cover elective abortion?” Since the first Obamacare Open Enrollment Period in November 2013, the Charlotte Lozier Institute has asked this simple question of insurance companies, only to find mostly confusion, an inability to share relevant plan documents, and few companies able to give a direct answer to our simple question. For 2016, CLI and the Family Research Council (FRC) have once again researched plans and updated the ObamacareAbortion.com resource website with the abortion coverage policies for each individual and family plan on the Obamacare exchanges.

In sum for 2016: The abortion coverage remains difficult to discern for many plans without enrolling first; an estimated 59% of Obamacare plans for individuals and families cover abortion on demand; two states still have no plans excluding elective abortion; and compared with last year, there are three fewer states with Multi-State Plans (MSPs) which generally exclude elective abortion.

Federal Report Shows New Drop in Abortions

Rebecca Gonzales  

During the Thanksgiving holiday week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control published its annual abortion surveillance report, revealing a historic decline in the incidence of abortion across the nation since 1973.

Lagging three years behind, this year’s report covers the national abortion data for 2012. The abortion data is analyzed from the 47 areas that voluntarily report abortion statistics to the CDC. States that do not report to the CDC include several large jurisdictions – California, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. According to the Guttmacher Institute in 2011, these four were among the jurisdictions with the highest abortion rates in the nation.

Testimony of CLI Legal Policy Fellow in Support of Ohio’s Defund Planned Parenthood Bill

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

On November 17, the Ohio House Committee on Community and Family Advancement held a hearing on proposed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and reallocate over $1 million yearly in government funding to other Ohio medical health centers. Following the hearing, the Committee recommended and the Ohio House passed H.B. 294 by a vote of 62-33.

Thomas M. Messner, J.D., Senior Fellow in Legal Policy for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, submitted the following written testimony in support of the bill

Access to Care: A Mission for Community Health Centers

Genevieve Plaster, M.A., Rebecca Gonzales   

In response to the Planned Parenthood scandal involving late-term abortions and harvesting fetal tissue from aborted babies, some are clinging to the claim that women, especially low-income women living in medically underserved areas, rely on the organization as their only healthcare provider. Further scrutiny has revealed that low-cost, publicly-funded health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to one nationwide, care for 23 million Americans, and even provide more health services.

Aside from the sheer number of the combined sum of 13,000+ Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) service sites and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), two aspects of these centers distinguish them and their mission: transportation assistance and accessible locations.

Good News for Pregnant Moms Diagnosed with Cancer, and Good News for their Unborn Babies

Donna Harrison, M.D.  

Separation of a mother and her unborn child is tragically sometimes necessary to save the life of the mother. But the number of conditions which truly threaten the mother’s life, and which require a life-saving separation of the mother and her baby are vanishingly small. A new study by Amant and colleagues, entitled “Pediatric Outcome after Maternal Cancer Diagnosed during Pregnancy,” brings tremendous hope to pregnant women who have courageously carried their unborn children to birth, despite the need for chemotherapy or radiation therapy. And the successful outcome of these children exposed in utero to radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of both is reassuring to pregnant women who no longer need be told outdated information that they must abort their children or else risk compromising their own care or their child’s life.

Charlotte Lozier Institute’s Legal and Medical Scholars Testify in Support of Ohio’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Sheila Page, D.O., David Prentice, Ph.D.,   

This Tuesday, the Ohio House Committee on Community and Family Advancement held a hearing on SB 127, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) associate scholars Anna Higgins, J.D., an attorney and legal researcher, and Sheila Page, D.O., an osteopathic physician, testified in support of these bills. CLI welcomed both women as recent additions to the associate scholar team in September.

On Wednesday, Anna Higgins also testified in support of SB 214, a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood by way of “ensur[ing] state/certain federal funds [are] not used for nontherapeutic abortions.”

Planned Parenthood and the Public Purse

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

In a radio interview on the Diane Rehm Show on July 30, Terry O’Neill of the National Organization for Women (NOW) made a series of claims regarding Planned Parenthood that deserve a much closer look. O’Neill asserted that, “The claim that we can somehow replace Planned Parenthood overnight – you shut down all the Planned Parenthood’s [sic] clinics and that they could be replaced overnight, is silly and specious.”

It is indeed silly and specious because none of the proposals pending in Congress would shut down Planned Parenthood clinics and replace them, overnight or anytime. Instead, the discussion is about shifting the $528.4 million of total government funds away from Planned Parenthood and to the thousands of existing community health centers and other providers.

Planned Parenthood Shows $¾ Billion of Excess of Revenue Over Past Decade

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

As debate over the relative capacity of Planned Parenthood clinics and federally qualified health centers has emerged, one element of the argument has focused on funds that may be available to the former to replace certain government grants and reimbursements. CLI examined nine consecutive years of annual reports for the organization and the available information there on “excess of revenue over expenses” is shown below. While consistent details on certain financials in these documents are absent, particularly prior to 2008, the annual reports provide a glimpse of the general pattern of net income for the organization over nearly a full decade.

March for Life Wins Major Victory in Federal Court

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

The national pro-life organization March for Life has won an important federal court case against the Obamacare “contraception mandate.”

The “contraception mandate” stems from the Obamacare health care law and regulations issued by the Obama administration. The contraception mandate includes drugs that can cause abortion by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg.

Earlier this week a federal district court judge ruled that March for Life should be free to offer employee health insurance coverage that does not include drugs and devices that can cause abortions.

Maps: Health Clinics Nationwide Compared to Planned Parenthood Centers

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

This map and state chart depict the number of health clinics that serve low-income, medically under-served populations in the United States in comparison to the number of Planned Parenthood centers. If Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, were to be defunded from receiving over $500 million in taxpayer funds per year, there already exist over 13,000 non-abortion providing federally qualified health center (FQHC) service sites and rural health clinics (RHCs) that could receive this sum instead and continue to provide comprehensive women’s healthcare.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Defends Planned Parenthood as Videos Continue to Emerge

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

Late last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rose to the defense of the embattled Planned Parenthood organization, which is currently caught up in a fetal tissue and organ harvesting scandal following an undercover investigation by the Center for Medical Progress.

In a letter addressed to Senators Joni Ernst and Roy Blunt, HHS insisted that they know of no breach of the law in the actions taken by Planned Parenthood in its selling of fetal remains. In the letter, Jim Esquea, the HHS’s assistant secretary for legislation, wrote, “We have confirmed that HHS researchers working with fetal tissue obtained the tissue from non-profit organizations that provided assurances to us that they are in compliance with all applicable legal requirements.”

Little Sisters of the Poor Ask Supreme Court to Hear Case

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

The Little Sisters of the Poor are heading back to the Supreme Court in their quest to defend their religious freedom.

The Little Sisters are represented by legal counsel including attorneys from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. According to a statement issued by the Becket Fund, “for the second time in two years, the Little Sisters of the Poor must ask the Supreme Court to protect them from the government.”

The Little Sisters case involves the “contraception mandate” stemming from the Obamacare health care law and regulations issued by the Obama administration. The contraception mandate includes drugs that can cause abortion by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg.

Written Testimony of David A. Prentice, Ph.D. in Support of Wisconsin Bill to Prohibit Sales and Use of Fetal Body Parts from Abortion

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the Wisconsin Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 305, which would prohibit certain sales and uses of fetal body parts “from an unborn child aborted from an induced abortion.”

Charlotte Lozier Institute Vice President and Research Director, Dr. David A. Prentice, Ph.D submitted the following written testimony in support of AB 305.

Planned Parenthood’s Fetal Tissue and Organ Harvesting Forces a Reconsideration of Medical Ethics

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

Over the past few weeks you have most likely seen – unless you work at the White House – the undercover videos released by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, which show various Planned Parenthood employees discussing the harvesting and sale of fetal organs and body parts. The negotiations caught on camera suggest that these transactions are not at all unusual for the organization nor are they limited to these few incidences but are, in fact, systemic throughout the organization. This suggests that Planned Parenthood, which performs about 330,000 abortions a year in the United States, has found a way to make abortion even more profitable.

Planned Parenthood: The Way of the Fotomat

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

In the wake of the spreading scandal over the sale of human organs extracted from unborn children, members of Congress are calling for the end of federal funding of Planned Parenthood. A first attempt in the U.S. Senate to do this failed on Monday of this week, but a dozen more Senators voted for the cut-off than did so the last time it was considered, in 2011. A cut-off would be condign punishment for an elite institution long given to dismissive responses to evidence of ethical misconduct, but the latest charges are hardly the only reason to wean this mega-wealthy nonprofit from the federal dole. In truth, the stand-alone Planned Parenthood facility is obsolete.

Pregnancy Help Centers More Likely to be Welcomed into Neighborhoods Than Planned Parenthood

Moira Gaul, M.P.H.  

Pregnancy help centers (PHCs), also known as pregnancy resource or care centers and in the past as crisis pregnancy centers, are more likely to be welcomed than Planned Parenthood facilities into communities across the country, according to a 2014 poll commissioned by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

Survey respondents were asked, in separate questions, whether as far as they knew there was either a Planned Parenthood facility or PHC currently in their community. To measure desirability, each set of respondents who said there was no such facility was then asked a follow-up question, “Would you like one?”

Planned Parenthood and Federally Qualified Health Centers

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

While Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, having performed 327,653 abortions in 2013, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), which operate in service sites in both rural and urban locations, offer low-income populations health services similar to those provided by Planned Parenthood, but do not perform abortions.

See here for comparisons between the two regarding the number of centers and individuals served by year both nationally and by state.

World Leaders in Abortion: Top 10 Countries

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

The United States is second in the world in number of abortions each year. If Planned Parenthood were included for comparison, it would rank sixth in the world in number of abortions carried out annually; and the International Planned Parenthood Federation would be fourth in the number of abortions carried out per year.

Pro-life Concerns about the Pending Expansion of Medicaid in Alaska

Michael J. New, Ph.D.  

Last Thursday Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced that he would use his executive authority to expand Alaska’s state Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Walker’s proposal would extend Medicaid eligibility to all Alaskans earning less than 133 percent of the poverty line. Walker reported that he sent a letter to the Alaska legislature’s Budget and Audit Committee, giving legislators the required 45-day notice of his plan. The committee can make recommendations, but Walker said he has legal authority to move forward without the legislature’s approval.

This action by Governor Walker will likely prompt both a political and a legal battle. Earlier this summer, the Republican-controlled state legislature rejected Walker’s plan to expand Medicaid. They even included language in the state’s budget prohibiting any such move. However, opinions from both the Alaska Department of Law and from the legislature’s legal counsel declared that the effort to block Walker likely doesn’t adhere to the state’s constitution.

Nebraska’s Annual Abortion Report: A Unique Set of Abortion Statistics

Rebecca Gonzales  

According to Americans United for Life, Nebraska is ranked in the top 10 best states for life. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Nebraska publishes a timely and extensive annual abortion report revealing a 4.3 percent decrease in abortions from 2013 to 2014.

Nebraska’s report includes a wealth of unique data. Not only does Nebraska report the common patient demographics such as age, race, and education level, but Nebraska’s report presents detailed information that other states often neglect to report. For example, Nebraska reports the number of abortions per month and the reason given for those abortions. Additionally, Nebraska’s report reveals the ancestry of patients, the length and weight of the fetus, and the patient’s gravidity.

Idaho Annual Abortion Report Deserves Wider Access and Attention

Rebecca Gonzales  

Editor’s Note: In 2012 CLI published a lengthy paper summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of federal and state abortion reporting policies and practices. Beginning with this overview of the state of Idaho’s latest published report, CLI is reexamining these policies and practices, looking forward to an update of the 2012 report with more comprehensive evaluations of the states and recommendations for specific improvements. As these overviews will make clear, the quality of state reports does not depend on the political composition, size, or budgets of the various states. The information contained in these documents is of surpassing public interest and enhanced efforts are within the reach of even the smallest government units in this age of the Internet.

A Pro-Life Setback in Iowa

Michael J. New, Ph.D.  

Pro-lifers received some disappointing news last Friday when the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down Iowa’s telemed abortion ban. In 2013, the Iowa Board of Medicine issued administrative regulations that required physicians to perform in-person examinations (rather than webcam consults) on women before prescribing abortion-inducing drugs. These regulations would have effectively banned the webcam abortion practice in Iowa, in which a woman could receive the abortion-inducing drugs through a remote-controlled drawer after speaking to a doctor via webcam. However, these administrative rules set off a flurry of legal challenges. In August 2014, a Polk County District Court judge ruled to uphold the ban. However, in September the Iowa Supreme Court issued a stay on the decision, allowing telemed abortions to continue.

Medicaid Expansion’s Dramatic Effect on Tax-Funded Abortions in Key States

Michael J. New, Ph.D.  

This summer many people are anticipating the Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell. This case deals with whether health care exchange plans that are created by the federal government are eligible for federal tax subsidies. Right now the federal government is effectively running exchanges in about 34 states, a third of which allow the participation of insurance plans with elective abortion coverage. The ruling in this case has important implications for pro-life public policy. One major objection that pro-lifers had to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was that it included taxpayer subsidies for exchange-based insurance plans that cover abortion.

Abortion and Preterm Birth: Educational Campaign Recognizes the Well-Documented Link

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Baby Elizabeth was born nine weeks premature. With under-developed lungs, she struggled to breathe and needed to remain in intensive care in the hospital for two and a half weeks. “I couldn’t even hold her for the first five days… We dressed her in doll clothes,” says Jenn, her mother, recalling Elizabeth’s tiny size. Jenn attributes her daughter’s premature birth – and a host of other health complications – to a previous abortion she had, and now shares her story as part of a newly launched educational campaign called Prevent Preterm.
Prevent Preterm (PreventPreterm.org) was launched this June to educate the general public on three known risk factors for preterm, or premature, births: tobacco use, lack of prenatal care, and prior abortion. Despite a large body of medical research showing that abortion increases the risk of a subsequent preterm birth, information on this link is not nearly as accessible to the general public as that of smoking and prenatal care. PreventPreterm.org fills this need by providing a user-friendly, comprehensive chart summarizing more than 100 peer-reviewed published studies that identify abortion as a risk factor for preterm birth.

Medical and Legal Experts Testify in Support of Ohio’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – Full Written Testimonies

Sheila Page, D.O., David Prentice, Ph.D.   

On June 17, 2015, the Ohio Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on S.B. 127, the state’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Among the experts testifying in support of the bill were Dr. Sheila Page, D.O., an osteopathic physician, board certified in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Angelina Baglini Nguyen, J.D., a legal expert and Associate Scholar of the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI). CLI thanks both Dr. Sheila Page and Angelina B. Nguyen for their permission to reprint the full text of their testimonies here. In addition, CLI’s Vice President and Research Director, Dr. David A. Prentice, Ph.D., submitted the testimony below in writing.

U.S. Abortion Reporting: An Issue We Can Agree On

Rebecca Gonzales  

Abortion is one of the most highly debated political topics, and is almost always in the national spotlight. There were an estimated 1.1 million abortions in the United States in 2011. If historical trends continue, it is estimated that by age 45, roughly 26 percent of American women will have had an abortion. Therefore, abortion, and abortion policies impact millions of women’s lives every day. Consequently, abortion policy must be grounded on the most accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date statistical information and health data. Unfortunately, after 42 years and over 55 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade decision, our country still doesn’t have a timely and streamlined system to report and publish state abortion records.

Victory for Rhode Island Pro-Lifers: New Rule Requires Abortion-Excluding Healthcare Plans for 2016

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Beginning in 2016, Rhode Island health insurance carriers who will offer plans either on or off the exchange will be required to provide an elective abortion-free plan at each metal level at which they will offer plans. Research from the Charlotte Lozier Institute and the Family Research Council in November 2014 showed that Rhode Island was one of four states that offered only plans covering elective abortion for the 2015 enrollment period.

U.S. House Votes on Five-Month Pain-Capable Abortion Bill on Second Anniversary of Gosnell Conviction

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Today, the United States House of Representatives will vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion nationwide at twenty weeks, or five months, into pregnancy based on substantial scientific evidence that the unborn child can feel pain by this time. This historic vote coincides with the two-year anniversary of the conviction of Philadelphia’s “House of Horrors” late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

PRESS RELEASE: Alaska Medicaid Expansion Would Significantly Increase Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Washington, D.C. – This morning the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the education and research arm of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, published a new paper examining how expansion of the Medicaid program in Alaska will significantly increase the number of abortions in the state. The analysis comes as the Alaska legislature considers a law that would expand Medicaid enrollment.

Constitutional Law Scholar Urges Constitutionality of Five-Month Abortion Laws

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

Professor Randy Beck is the Justice Thomas O. Marshall Chair of Constitutional Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. He has authored a new article discussing the constitutionality of five-month abortion laws. The article is not yet published in a journal but has been posted on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) with a date of March 2, 2015.

The article is titled “Fetal Viability and Twenty-Week Abortion Statutes.” According to the abstract, the article “advances four arguments for the constitutionality of a 20-week statute, including three based on current case law or minor modifications to current case law.”

Written Testimony of Chen Guangcheng: A Matter of Life and Death

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

A Matter of Life and Death: How Violent Birth Control in China Is Breaking Down the Traditional Morality of Chinese Society

To address the issue of violent birth control in China, let me start by listing birth control slogans from some of the following provinces:

In Yunnan: All villagers will be sterilized once a single villager violates the birth quota.

In Sichuan: Anyone avoiding sterilization must be put in custody; anyone avoiding sterilization must be punished by bulldozing their house; anyone avoiding abortion shall surrender their cattle and house.

Breakthrough Study on the Brain Shows Newborns Experience Pain Like Adults

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

This week, an innovative study conducted by an Oxford University team revealed that newborn infants experience pain like adults. The researchers compared newborn and adult brain scans taken after administering mild pencil point-like pricks on the soles of the participants’ feet. The results showed that 18 of the 20 examined brain regions which were active in adults feeling pain were also active for the newborns. The study also found one major difference, though – the newborns were much more sensitive to pain than the adults.

New Study: Abortion after Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome Reduces Down Syndrome Community by Thirty Percent

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

How many babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome (DS) are aborted in the United States each year? Well, we don’t know. While new data suggesting lower numbers has recently been published, we continue to see most often in print a statistics of 90% – 92%. While that certainly draws attention to the horrifying reality that the majority of children prenatally diagnosed with DS are aborted, it is not accurate. That number relies on a 1999 European study with little data drawn from the U.S. There are good reasons for advocates to use the best data available to raise awareness of the problem that exists in the link between prenatal diagnosis and abortion.

Fact-Check: Arizona Bill Protects Against Taxpayer-Funding of Abortions

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

In a March 16 article appearing in AZCentral, Brandon Kutzler fact checks a statement made by Arizona state senator Nancy Barto on taxpayer-funding of abortion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last month, Sen. Barto introduced Senate Bill 1318, which would prohibit qualified health insurance policies that are offered through any exchange operating in Arizona from providing coverage for elective abortion. The fact check reviews the following statement that Barto made on February 11, 2015 during a Senate Health Committee meeting: “Taxpayers are on the hook for elective abortions.”

Kutzler rated Barto’s statement, “No stars, unsupported;” however, his review contains major errors and is misleading on several points.

Thirteen Million “Hidden” Children due to China’s One-Child Policy

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

In 1968, Dick van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes starred in a children’s fantasy movie based on a book written by James Bond creator Ian Fleming. While Chitty Chitty Bang Bang celebrates whimsy embodied in a flying (and water-compatible) English racing car, it also features a rather dark storyline: In the faraway land of Vulgaria, children are banned from the country by the baron and baroness, resulting in a sizable subpopulation of illegal minors hiding underground or locked in prison.

When the children are freed by Van Dyke’s crew, they storm the castle and a shocked Baron Bomburst exclaims, “Where are all these children coming from? I thought we passed a law against children!” Eerie, the parallel between fiction and reality.

In 2010, China conducted its latest census, which revealed that the country had 13 million undocumented children…

PRESS RELEASE: “Incompatible with Life” Is Medically Inaccurate

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

“Incompatible with Life” Is Medically Inaccurate

Charlotte Lozier Institute Joins International Effort to Increase Respect for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, endorsed the Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care. The Declaration is a global statement of medical practitioners calling for an end to use of the term “incompatible with life” to describe unborn children who may have a life-limiting condition. This global initiative will be launched Wednesday, March 11, at the United Nations in Geneva.

Removing Choice in Washington State: Mandating Abortion in Health Insurance

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

On February 10, the Washington state House of Representatives held a public hearing on a bill that would mandate coverage of elective abortion in health insurance plans for 2016. House Bill 1647 states that any plan in the state that covers maternity services must also provide “substantially equivalent coverage to permit the voluntary termination of pregnancy.”

The bill asserts that it seeks to “improve access to reproductive health,” yet there is no evidence of statewide lack of access to a health plan covering elective abortion. The mandate would affect plans sold on the state exchange or privately from insurance companies and through employers, meaning that most, if not all, insurance consumers in the state would subsidize abortion on demand. According to the CDC’s latest figures, Washington state’s abortion rate has fallen more than 20% from 2006 to 2011.

A Second Chance at Life: Reversing the Abortion Pill

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

On February 23, the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists (AAPLOG) co-hosted a press conference with Priests for Life at the National Press Club to increase awareness about a relatively new medical protocol for reversing medication abortion and to unveil a new Abortion Pill Reversal Kit now available to doctors.

Abortion Rill Reversal (APR) is a program that seeks to provide medical support to women who have taken mifepristone, the first of two drugs in the RU-486 abortion regimen, and then changed their minds, wanting to continue their pregnancy and save their baby’s life. APR connects with these women through its website (www.abortionpillreversal.com) and a 24/7 emergency hotline (877-558-0333) staffed by nurses and an international network of doctors and pregnancy medical clinic (PMC) hubs.

Holding, Listening, Rocking – and a Blessing in Turn

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

We deal with it fairly often. Or maybe not that often; perhaps it just seems more frequent than it actually is. But at least a couple times a year, at least for the docs anyway.

Pregnant women get sick. At times very, very sick. And I will forever be grateful for obstetricians and obstetrical nurses, because their job is a difficult one. Very difficult. Often a woman will come in needing an emergency delivery. And sometimes she will need to go to surgery and require general anesthesia. In most cases she will wake up soon afterward, but not always. Sometimes she does not recover. Sometimes she needs the ICU. And there are rare and tragic instances in which she never wakes up again at all.

Science Supports Pain-Capability of Unborn by 20 Weeks

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

The subject of fetal pain is and has been both a controversial and compelling aspect of the debate surrounding abortion. Whether a child in the womb can feel pain and at what stage raises many ethical issues and, for many, introduces another source of uncertainty into personal views on the matter of abortion. With advances in modern science and ongoing research, it is becoming more apparent that the unborn child can feel pain by 20 weeks, i.e., five months, or even earlier in the pregnancy.

This January, an extensively researched document on the science of fetal pain was published by the Family Research Council (FRC). The report cites more than 30 scientific studies, testimonies, medical evidence, and real-life experiences in its exposition of the science of fetal pain as the weeks advance post-fertilization.

Late-Term Abortion: Many-Layered Social Injustice

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

The issue of late-term abortion is among the most agonizing and controversial areas within the larger, contentious debate on the morality and legality of abortion. To begin with, by the 20th week or fifth month of pregnancy, the fetus is clearly recognizable as a neonate and she is routinely described on professional medical websites in terms that stress her individuality and humanity; in addition, the methods used to terminate fetal life after five months are particularly grim and are often cited by abortion practitioners themselves in ways that indicate their ethical or aesthetic revulsion.

The Reality of Late-Term Abortion Procedures

Elizabeth Ann M. Johnson, M.D.  

Of interest to the medical, moral, sociological, and political issues surrounding late-term abortion is the question of why women seek abortion after twenty weeks gestation. Any data considered to answer this question must be examined carefully for limitations. However, a greater understanding of the reasons why women choose these late-term procedures is valuable to those who seek to offer alternative, compassionate options.

The Constitutional Viability of Five-Month Abortion Laws

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

Five-month abortion laws restrict abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy—when an unborn child can feel pain from abortion. Opponents of five-month abortion laws argue they violate the “viability rule” created by the U.S. Supreme Court. The viability rule provides that government “may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.” In most cases viability will occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, the viability rule is unworkable, arbitrary, unjust, poorly reasoned, inadequate, and extreme. The viability rule cannot be justified, especially as applied to five-month laws. In a challenge to a five-month law it is reasonable to conclude that the Court might abandon the viability rule altogether or not apply it to five-month laws.

Honoring Pre-Existing Convictions: Lawsuits Question Abortion-Only Plans in Rhode Island and Vermont

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Last Tuesday, two individuals from Rhode Island and Vermont filed separate lawsuits in federal court to challenge the abortion surcharge mandate. Both men are pro-life and reside in states whose marketplaces currently offer only plans that include elective abortion. Because of this, every individual enrolled in a plan through these states’ marketplaces is required by law to pay a separate abortion surcharge each month.

Fetal Surgery: Hope for Families and the Patient in Utero

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. In the United States, about 120,000 babies each year have a congenital anomaly, otherwise known as a birth defect, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That is, about one in every 33 babies is diagnosed either prenatally or after birth with a health problem or physical abnormality that varies in degree of severity. Severe birth defects account for the death of one out of every five infants, making it the leading cause of infant mortality.

For parents who receive the heartrending news that their unborn child has a severe or life-threatening fetal anomaly, fetal surgery – surgery performed on a child in the womb – is one option that offers hope.

Ohio Passes Down Syndrome Bill Requiring Healthcare Professionals to Provide Support Information to Parents

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

On December 19, Ohio passed the Down Syndrome Information Act, which requires medical professionals to distribute up-to-date, evidence-based information on Down syndrome to parents who receive the diagnosis, either prenatally or after birth, that their child has Down syndrome (DS). Included in the required material is contact information for support organizations and local resources available to the parents. The Down Syndrome Information Act (Sub. HB 552), sponsored by Rep. Peter Stautberg, was signed into law along with 39 other pieces of legislation by Governor John Kasich last Friday. The bill passed the House and Senate both times with no opposing votes this November and mid-December.

Charlotte Lozier Institute, alongside Family Research Council, Joins Comment Filed by Alliance Defending Freedom on New Federal Transparency Rules

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

On Monday, December 22, Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) joined with Family Research Council (FRC) as cosignatories on comments filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) regarding new federal rules from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Personnel Management on transparency in health insurance coverage of abortion. The comment covers two separate rulemakings, one of which concerns the general use of federal tax subsidies to purchase health insurance plans on the federal and state insurance exchanges, and another which addresses transparency with respect to certain multi-state plans (MSPs) managed by OPM under the Affordable Care Act.

Non-invasive Prenatal Screening Expands Disability Discrimination Abortion

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

A recent report on prenatal genetic screening from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has caused quite a stir. The report showed significant inaccuracies in non-invasive (i.e., using blood tests and not invasive means such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis) prenatal screening and told the stories of a number of women who chose to terminate based on these inaccurate test results. The report, which is the result of a three-month investigation by the group, found that prenatal testing companies are overselling the accuracy of their screening tests and doing little to inform parents and doctors of the major risk of unreliability of these test results – a circumstance that can lead to a multitude of problems.

CDC Reports Abortion Incidence at Lowest Point Since 1973

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Late last month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released its annual Abortion Surveillance Report for 2011, revealing that abortion incidence is at its lowest level since the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973.

According to the data, 730,322 abortions were reported in 2011, down 5% from the previous year and 13% since 2002. Of the 48 areas reporting for both 2010 and 2011 (the District of Columbia and New York City included), 41 reported a decline in the abortion rate (i.e., number of abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age). Maine experienced the greatest dip with its rate decreasing from one year to the next by almost a quarter, and its state rate holding at almost half the national rate of 13.9.

New Website Exposing Abortion in Obamacare, Continued Lack of Alternatives and Transparency

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

On November 20, the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Family Research Council launched a new website to expose which health insurance plans on the Obamacare exchanges cover and do not cover elective abortion for the 2015 enrollment period. The website, ObamacareAbortion.com, is a joint effort between the two groups. Researchers have examined new plan documents, contacted insurance carriers and the exchanges seeking plan information. Here are some of the findings for select states.

The Term “Incompatible with Life” is Incompatible with the Best Care

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

This past week, a new campaign was launched in Dublin, Ireland seeking to end the use of the term “incompatible with life” to describe unborn children prenatally diagnosed with life-limiting conditions. The campaign, which is calling on the media as well as those in the medical and legal fields to stop using the term, is part of an effort by the group Every Life Counts, which represents families whose children have been diagnosed with such severe conditions as anencephaly and Trisomy 18.