Roundup: “Abortion Reduction” a Priority for White House Office of Faith-Based Partnerships

Emily Douglas

"Abortion Reduction" to be priority for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; replacing Daschle; Spain defends plan to liberalize abortion law to the Vatican; Kenyan woman tells BBC about her illegal abortion; University of Wisconsin hospital board votes in favor of abortion clinic.

"Abortion Reduction" to Be Priority for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

"Abortion reduction" will be one of the four priorities for the White Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, reports TIME.  On the priorities, TIME writes, "They will include focusing on global poverty (not surprising), the
impact of economic recovery plans on low-income Americans (ditto), the
faith-based initiative (OF COURSE), and…abortion reduction."

Religious Right Call Obama’s Picks for Justice Department "Pro-Abortion"
of the Christian right are assailing President Obama’s pick for
deputy attorney general, David Ogden, saying he has been an
"activist…in support of the right to abortion," reports the Associated Press.  The AP writes,

Besides Ogden, conservatives also have taken aim at two other Justice
picks — Indiana University professor Dawn Johnsen for her association
with an abortion rights group, and Thomas Perrelli, who represented the
husband of Terry Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman at the center of a
right-to-die case that energized evangelical groups across the country.

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Replacing Daschle: Who Will It Be?

Ezra Klein worked the phones
to come up with a list of potential replacements for Tom Daschle. 
Ezra notes,

There are fewer of them than you’d expect…In part,
that’s because Daschle was of unique stature for a presidential health
policy appointment. There just aren’t a lot of recent Senate majority
leaders with an interest in insurance regulation and a willingness to
move into a small White House office to work grueling hours at a task
that will probably fail. People are trying to think of replacements,
but few candidates have the constellation of skills that Daschle did.
But here’s who I’m hearing. 

Ezra considers John Podesta, chair of the
Obama transition team, a "Tier One" candidate, and Ed Rendell, Kathleen
Sebelius, and John Kitzhaber "Tier Two."

Spain Defends Plan to Liberalize Abortion Law to the Vatican
Spain’s deputy premier has defended the country’s plans to liberalize its abortion laws to the Vatican, reports the International Herald Tribune.  The IHT adds, "Since taking office in 2004, the Socialists have irked the Roman
Catholic Church by legalizing gay marriage and making it easy for
people to divorce. They are now studying easing the restrictive
abortion law."

Kenyan Woman Tells BBC about Her Illegal Abortion
A 26-year-old Kenyan woman is grateful
that President Obama has lifted the global gag rule, saying, "It makes
me very angry when I think of what I had to go through. But I am very
happy that clinics in Kenya can now provide abortion advice." 
Detailing her experience with an unsafe, illegal abortion, "Judy"
concludes, "The best thing would be if abortion were made legal in this
country. Abortion should be the last option, but if it were legal at
least it would be done properly."

University of Wisconsin Hospital Board Votes in Favor of Abortion Clinic
"The University of Wisconsin Hospital board voted 11-3
Wednesday to support a proposed clinic that would perform
second-trimester abortions at the Madison Surgery Center," reports the Wisconsin State Journal .  Speakers gave testimony both in support and in opposition to the new clinic.  Questions of protections for provider conscience surfaced:

Opponents included Dr. Nancy Fredericks, an
anesthesiologist at the surgery center. She said she and two of the
three other anesthesiologists there, along with many other employees,
have said they won’t participate in abortions.

Dr. Laurel Rice, chairwoman of obstetrics and
gynecology at the university, said workers can opt out and other staff
will perform the procedures. "There will be no coercion at all," she

The new clinic’s services would replace those
provided by a retiring physician who offered second-trimester abortions
in Madison.

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