Oregon Governor Kate Brown broke what theater patrons would call the “fourth wall” when she signed House Bill 3391 into law on August 14, dragging every resident of her state into the vast public drama over abortion and human rights. In an egregious and unprecedented move, Oregon has become the first state to guarantee free abortions for all residents—backed by the full faith and credit of the taxpayer. With this step, it becomes increasingly difficult for any Oregonian to sit in the audience on so important as issue.
In 2013, the Charlotte Lozier Institute published a report titled, “The Adoption Tax Credit: Progress and Prospects for Expansion.” The report both outlines the history of the adoption tax credit at the federal level and analyzes the number of states that provide some form of tax relief for adoption. Since the report was published, the federal adoption tax credit has continued to increase in dollar amount and is utilized by tens of thousands of Americans pursuing adoption each year. In addition, several states have created or expanded adoption tax credits at the state level, helping to offset adoption costs for American families.
In its most recent annual report, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America makes two fundamental claims, both of which are directly relevant to the question involving continued government funding for its services, approximately $555 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. These claims are:
• First, that Planned Parenthood health centers are “an irreplaceable component of our country’s healthcare system”, and;
• Second, that Planned Parenthood provides “lifesaving care.”
Pregnancy help centers (PHCs) have won a victory in their struggle against oppressive regulations.
At issue is a 2016 Illinois law regulating physicians and other health care personnel. Plaintiffs, including the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), challenged the law, arguing, in the words of a federal district court, that it “compels [PHCs] to tell pregnant women the names of other doctors they believe offer abortions, and compels them to tell pregnant women that abortion has ‘benefits’ and is a ‘treatment option’ for pregnancy.”
Proponents of assisted suicide often dismiss “slippery slope” arguments on the grounds that proper safeguards will assure that assisted suicide will not devolve into euthanasia, either voluntary or not.
Earlier this year, for example, Hawaii became another of several states to consider legislation to legalize assisted suicide (the effort failed). During debate, one lawmaker who supported the bill dismissed concerns over where legalization might lead, saying “the inclusion of protections, such as euthanasia bans, helps allay the fears of critics who worry about the ‘slippery slope.’”
Oregon lawmakers have passed a bill that would force health benefit plans offered in the state to provide coverage for abortion and voluntary sterilization.
The bill, known as HB 3391, also would require health benefit plans to cover any contraceptive drug, device, or product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As this Lozier paper explains, some contraceptives can also cause abortions.
“My biggest issue is this: a parent is a caregiver and then of course the health professionals are the caregivers, but you know, who gets the final say?”
-Mother whose daughter has osteosarcoma
This essential question was posed by the mother of one of 33 children living with chronic conditions whose parents I interviewed for my recently published study in the current issue of Health Communication. The study is titled, “You know the medicine, I know my kid”: How parents advocate for their children living with complex chronic conditions.
Charlotte Lozier Institute submitted a “friend of the court” brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on April 20 in support of pregnancy help centers (PHCs). The PHCs have challenged a California law, arguing that it forces them to post contact information for a county office that refers for abortion and burdens their ability to advertise their services.
March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day. Fitting, then, that on the same day Oklahoma’s House of Representatives passed its Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2017.
Kristi Burton Brown, J.D., is an attorney focusing on First Amendment and sanctity of life issues. In this interview, she discusses the legal defensibility and value of pain-capable abortion prohibitions, as well as fetal disposition and laws governing that practice.
Missouri HB 908 would prohibit abortions after the point at which unborn children are capable of feeling pain. Kristi Burton Brown, J.D., submitted the following written testimony in support of HB 908.
Missouri HB 194 would regulate the disposition of fetal remains from abortion and ensure greater transparency and accountability on the part of abortion facilities. Kristi Burton Brown, J.D., submitted the following written testimony in support of HB 194.
Last December a Canadian appeals judge ruled against the appearance of a provocative pro-life ad campaign on the exterior of municipal buses in Grand Prairie, Alberta. Justice C. S. Anderson stated in her decision, “Expression of this kind may lead to emotional responses from the various people who make use of public transit and other uses of the road, creating a hostile and uncomfortable environment.”
On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the Texas Committee of Health and Human Services held a hearing regarding Texas Senate Bill 415 (SB 415). SB 415 prohibits dismemberment abortions, in which a person, with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, dismembers the unborn child and extracts the unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus. Charlotte Lozier Institute Associate Scholar Sheila Page, D.O., submitted the following written testimony in support of SB 415.
On Thursday, February 9, 2017, the Colorado House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee held a hearing regarding House Bill 1086 (HB 1086), the Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act. HB 1086 provides that prior to initiating a chemical abortion, a physician must alert the woman to the fact that it may be possible to reverse the abortion should she change her mind and that information on the possibility of reversal is available in state-prepared materials.
On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the Texas Committee of Health and Human Services held a hearing regarding Texas Senate Bill 8 (SB 8). SB 8 prohibits partial-birth abortions, prohibits donation of human fetal tissue except by certain authorized facilities to accredited universities, and prohibits the purchase or sale of human fetal tissue. Charlotte Lozier Institute Associate Scholar Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., submitted the following written testimony in support of SB 8.
Samuel B. Casey, J.D., is a public interest lawyer well-known for his defense of the sanctity of human life. In this interview, he discusses the history and current state of abortion law in the United States.
Women in the United States have possessed a broad legal right to abortion since Roe v. Wade and its companion case were handed down by the Supreme Court in 1973. Outside of the abortion context, though, the unborn child possesses broad legal rights in American property, torts, and criminal law.
Kimberly Stinnett learned from her obstetrician on May 9, 2012, that she was pregnant. Stinnett called her doctor’s answering service just two days later when she experienced fever and abdominal cramps. Karla Kennedy, M.D., called back and told Stinnett to report to the emergency room at a nearby hospital. Kennedy was not Stinnett’s regular obstetrician, but was sharing calls with him that weekend.
A group of pro-life doctors and pregnancy help centers in Illinois was granted temporary relief on December 20 from the conscience-compromising aspects of an amended state law that took effect on January 1.
On December 28, 2016, CLI’s Vice President and Research Director, Dr. David Prentice, co-authored an op-ed with Congressman Dr. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) on the ethical and unethical uses of human gene editing, especially in light of the advent of the CRISPR-Cas System.
Jessica Duran underwent an abortion at Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), an abortion center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in October 2012. Last week she filed a lawsuit against the abortion center and its licensed physicians in Second Judicial District Court for the County of Bernalillo.
With roughly 1.06 million abortions in the nation every year, abortion facilities have a need to dispose of approximately 2,700 baby bodies every day. This paper will examine the problems that occur when laws fail to hold abortion clinics accountable and when the clinics are allowed to choose methods of disposal that most benefit their businesses. It will also suggest a variety of changes that could be made to state laws to end some of the dangerous practices of the abortion industry.
A legislator in Indiana has announced plans to introduce a bill that would ban abortion in that state when its legislature convenes in January. In Texas, lawmakers introduced several pro-life measures on November 14, including a proposed amendment to the state constitution prohibiting abortion to the extent permitted by federal law.
A federal judge heard arguments on November 9 on Planned Parenthood’s challenge to an Indiana law requiring that an ultrasound be performed on a woman seeking an abortion at least 18 hours before the abortion is scheduled to take place.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is seeking to force Ascension Health, the largest non-profit health system in the United States, to violate the principles animating its Catholic mission by performing sterilizations on patients.
The legal system since Roe v. Wade and through Planned Parenthood v. Casey has neglected to ask the question about the consequences of fetal personhood, fearing—rightly—the damage the answer could do to the right to abortion. But this insulation of abortion rights leaves the courts unable to rule consistently in a variety of cases where the fetal right to life has become lodged in law.
Innovative pro-life legislation signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence in March of this year is now facing extinction via the legal process.
A pro-life pregnancy help center (PHC) in Baltimore has won another legal victory in its fight against a city ordinance.
Those watching the nation’s capital earlier this year witnessed three important events bearing on religious freedom and rights of conscience in the abortion debate.
In the years leading up to and following the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion nationwide, the federal government—primarily Congress—has enacted various measures governing the availability of federal funds for abortion and related services.
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.
On October 5, the District of Columbia’s Committee on Health and Human Services (HHS) will mark-up and vote on a bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The so-called “Death with Dignity Act” (Bill 21-0038) would permit D.C. adult residents to request and be prescribed drugs to end their lives, if they are given a prognosis of six months or less to live. Last year, during a hearing on the legislation, the Director of D.C.’s Department of Health testified in staunch opposition as the executive witness, stating that the bill would “catapult the District into unchartered territories.”
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.
On Friday, September 23, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee held a public hearing, “The Ultimate Civil Right: Examining the Hyde Amendment and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act,” which was hosted by the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
Congress enacted the first Hyde Amendment on September 30, 1976. Its passage was one of the pro-life movement’s first major legislative victories. As such, now is an apt time to look back on the amendment’s history and analyze its impact during the past 40 years.
Whether the U.S. Constitution permits a government to prohibit abortion in the context of commercial surrogacy is a question of first impression. I have found no court decision directly addressing this issue under either the federal constitution or a state constitution.
Voters in Colorado will determine whether physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is to be legalized in their state when they head to the polls this November. California, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont are the only other states that have voted to allow physicians to assist their patients in committing suicide. In Montana, the practice was legalized via a state court decision.
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.
Death by euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is primed to take off in Canada, as Parliament passed Bill C-14 on June 17. The law, which establishes guidelines under which Canadians can receive assistance in killing themselves or be euthanized by medical personnel, received royal assent the same day. Royal assent can be supplied by the Governor General and does not denote approval by Buckingham Palace.
Pharmacists Luke Vander Bleek and Glenn Kosirog faced a bleak situation in the summer of 2005: they either had to stock and dispense abortifacients or close up their shops.
Abortion ends the life of a unique human being. Children in Oklahoma public schools will learn that lesson beginning this fall.
Recently, the Atlantic published an article entitled “Why America is a Global Outlier on Abortion.” The author, Olga Khazan, wrote that the United States stands apart from the rest of the developed world due to restrictions to public funding of abortion.
Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 (S. 304) by 245-182.
In June, while the U.S. Supreme Court was sentencing women to the modern-day abortion back alley, Kentucky’s Court of Appeals unanimously, though temporarily, stopped EMW Women’s Clinic from performing abortions.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.