Roundup: Operation Rescue President Wants to Purchase Tiller’s Clinic

Amy Dempsey

Operation Rescue President Wants to Purchase Tiller's Clinic; A Young, Single and Pregnant Woman Needs Advice; The White House May Support Act That Aims to Reduce Abortions.

Operation Rescue President Wants to Purchase Tiller’s Clinic
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, a group that has fought for years to close Dr. Tiller’s abortion clinic, told the New York Times
Wednesday the group is considering purchasing the building and turning
it into a memorial, "a tribute to all the babies," Newman said.
According to the NYT, Operation Rescue’s national headquarters in Wichita is another former abortion clinic Newman owns.
He told NYT:

"That is hallowed ground," Mr. Newman…said of Dr. Tiller’s clinic. "It’s iconic of the abortion movement, of
abortion itself. It holds memories, sorrowful memories for countless
women and for the babies that have died there. You can’t turn it into a
coffee shop. You wouldn’t pave over Auschwitz or Dachau."

The Tiller family’s lawyer called the proposal a publicity stunt.
LeRoy
Carhart, a Nebraska abortion provider who also performed abortions at
Tiller’s clinic in Wichita, said he would perform third-trimester
abortions in Kansas after Tiller’s murder, but did not give details as
to whether it would be at Tiller’s clinic or at a new location.

A Young, Single and Pregnant Woman Needs Advice
A 22-year-old college graduate, who is also starting graduate school, wrote an e-mail to the New York Times Motherlode Blog
asking for advice about her pregnancy. Without family nearby or a
boyfriend to support her, Emmie does not know whether she should keep
her child, put the baby up for adoption or terminate the pregnancy.
In her e-mail, Emmie writes:

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People talk about teen pregnancy all the time, but I’m no Bristol
Palin. I don’t have parents or siblings to help out. I don’t have a
boyfriend that wants to see the child. But I am financially stable (for
a grad student) and I have a college education. I’m a good person and
everyone agrees that I’d be a great mom but I just don’t know what’s
the smart play here. I always assumed I would be a single mom (I’m not
a huge fan of marriage) but this is about 6 years too early. Everyone
is being so supportive and saying "congratulations" but that doesn’t
necessarily make me feel better.
Do I really want to have a baby at 22? Do I really want to have this
guy’s child? Can I finish my master’s and raise a newborn? Can I do it
alone? Will I be happy?

The White House May Support Act That Aims to Reduce Abortions
In the US News blogger Dan Gilgoff’s latest post,
he suggests that sponsors of the Pregnant Women Support Act are
becoming more optimistic about gaining White House support. The Act’s
purpose is to provide provide assistance to distressed pregnant women
and is backed by anti-abortion groups like Southern Baptist Convention,
the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and Democrats for Life, according
to Gilgoff.
He
said although Planned Parenthood has not come out against the Act, it
is opposed to the sections of the bill that are meant to persuade women
to forgo abortion. Instead, Planned Parenthood wants to "inform
pregnant women of options but not influence them either way," the blog said.
Gilgoff
also says the recent appointment of Alexis Kelley of Catholics in
Alliance for the Common Good, which opposes abortion, to head the
Department of Health and Human Services is leading sponsors of the bill
to be hopeful.

OTHER NEWS TO NOTE:

June 11: Zanesville Times-Recorder:Abortion must be outlawed

June 11: Grand Forks Herald: Outspoken N.D. anti-abortion activist Habiger dies

June 11: Globe and Mail: Withdrawal gaining favour as birth-control method

June 10: Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Morning Sickness Drug Gets Green Light in Study

June 11: Informante: Alcohol, HIV what’s the fuss

June 10: LifeNews: Abortion Business in Philadelphia Gives Away Free Abortions Honoring George Tiller

June 11: Catholic Exchange: By His Fruits You Shall Know Him: A Defense of Christopher West

June 11: Citi FM Online: 500 JHS, SHS girls involved in abortion

June 10: NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Blog: Hateful Rhetoric Dehumanizes Providers

June 11: Goole Courier: Campaign to reduce teen pregnancy

June 5: WSJ: Absence of Aggravators: Why Scott Roeder Isn’t Death Penalty Eligible

June 11: Arizona Republic: Arizona GOP advances limits on abortion

June 11: Healthcare Republic:Sexual health is still a Cinderella service

June 11: Boston Globe: Caritas insurance deal faces changes

June 11: Bay Windows: Pro-gay, pro-choice

June 10: Christianity Today: U.S. News: Pregnant Women Support Act May Have White House Support

June 10: Topeka Capital-Journal:Tiller’s slaying no help to pro-life message

June 10: NYTimes Motherlode Blog: Young, Single and Pregnant – What Now?

June 10: AP: Ore. lawmaker wants charges for killing unborn

June 10: Ruth Institute: Nancy Pelosi’s New Ideology: Condom-ism

June 10: HuffPo: Recession Kills The Mood: Americans Put Off Marriage, Children (And Divorce) Because Of Economy

June 10: Soul Salon Blog: MTV’s New Show: Sometimes the Truth isn’t Easy

June 10: NWTN Today: Construction of LifeBeat’s center is a labor of love for volunteers

June 10: NYTimes: Abortion Rights and the Constitution

June 10: Calls for Action: What’s The Role for Religion in Reducing the Need for/Number of Abortions?

June 11: LA Times: Study finds little risk from a morning sickness medication

June 10: BeliefNet:Tiller’s clinic to be anti-abortion museum?

June 10: NRO:Sotomayor and Abortion

June 10: CBS 3: New Contraceptive Ring Shows Promise Against AIDS

June 10: National Post: Barbara Kay: The abortion issue we’re ignoring

June 10: Feministing: Read the Fine Print: It Might Save Your Life

June 10: American Spectator: An Abortion Extremist in Moderate Clothing

June 10: NYTimes: Opponent of Abortion May Buy Closed Clinic

June 11: Times of India: Adoption body orders inquiry into US case

June 10: American Prospect: ABORTION REDUCTION GAMESMANSHIP

June 10: Fem 2.0: dr. george tiller: a life lived on the line

June 10: Politico: Religious Right is left behind

June 10: Natural Family Planning Blog: NFP Awareness Week is Six Weeks Away

June 10: LifeNews: Virginia Governor’s Race Features Pro-Life vs. Pro-Abortion Contrast After Primary

June 10: Reuters: Murder leaves just two U.S. clinics for late abortions

June 10: BeliefNet: Abortion and civil rights

June 10: Kansas City/Wire Services: Both sides of abortion issue look beyond closing of Tiller’s clinic

June 10: Catholic Culture: PERUVIAN BISHOPS PROTEST CANADIAN CATHOLIC AGENCY’S SUPPORT FOR ‘PRO-CHOICE’ WORK

June 10: Catholic News Agency: Contraception and debt relief tackled by Catholic-Anglican dialogue

June 10: Ada Evening News: Teen pregnancy rates on the rise

June 10: Dane101: Pharmacists should do their job

June 10: LifeNews: World Congress of Families African Event Promotes Pro-Life Values on Abortion

June 10: LifeNews: Pro-Life Advocates to Protest National Education Association Convention Next Month

June 10: Slate: Vaginal Probes — Abortion, morality, and the law.

June 10: Times-Herald: Pro-life … pro-choice

June 10: Lawrence Journal-World: Pro-life protest

June 10: CTV.ca: At-home prenatal gender test raises concerns

June 10: BeliefNet: Is protesting against abortion a hate crime?

June 10: Alternet/Earth Island Journal: Why My Vasectomy Will Help Save the Earth’s Resources

June 10: CNS News: D.C. Abortion Funding Ban is in Danger of Being Side-Stepped

News Politics

Anti-Choice Democrats: ‘Open The Big Tent’ for Us

Christine Grimaldi & Ally Boguhn

“Make room for pro-life Democrats and invite pro-life, progressive independents back to the party to focus on the right to parent and ways to help women in crisis or unplanned pregnancies have more choices than abortion,” the group said in a report unveiled to allies at the event, including Democratic National Convention (DNC) delegates and the press.

Democrats for Life of America gathered Wednesday in Philadelphia during the party’s convention to honor Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) for his anti-choice viewpoints, and to strategize ways to incorporate their policies into the party.

The group attributed Democratic losses at the state and federal level to the party’s increasing embrace of pro-choice politics. The best way for Democrats to reclaim seats in state houses, governors’ offices, and the U.S. Congress, they charged, is to “open the big tent” to candidates who oppose legal abortion care.

“Make room for pro-life Democrats and invite pro-life, progressive independents back to the party to focus on the right to parent and ways to help women in crisis or unplanned pregnancies have more choices than abortion,” the group said in a report unveiled to allies at the event, including Democratic National Convention (DNC) delegates and the press.

Democrats for Life of America members repeatedly attempted to distance themselves from Republicans, reiterating their support for policies such as Medicaid expansion and paid maternity leave, which they believe could convince people to carry their pregnancies to term.

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Their strategy, however, could have been lifted directly from conservatives’ anti-choice playbook.

The group relies, in part, on data from Marist, a group associated with anti-choice polling, to suggest that many in the party side with them on abortion rights. Executive Director Kristen Day could not explain to Rewire why the group supports a 20-week abortion ban, while Janet Robert, president of the group’s board of directors, trotted out scientifically false claims about fetal pain

Day told Rewire that she is working with pro-choice Democrats, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, both from New York, on paid maternity leave. Day said she met with DeLauro the day before the group’s event.

Day identifies with Democrats despite a platform that for the first time embraces the repeal of restrictions for federal funding of abortion care. 

“Those are my people,” she said.

Day claimed to have been “kicked out of the pro-life movement” for supporting the Affordable Care Act. She said Democrats for Life of America is “not opposed to contraception,” though the group filed an amicus brief in U.S. Supreme Court cases on contraception. 

Democrats for Life of America says it has important allies in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Sens. Joe Donnelly (IN), Joe Manchin (WV), and Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL), along with former Rep. Bart Stupak (MI), serve on the group’s board of advisors, according to literature distributed at the convention.

Another alleged ally, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), came up during Edwards’ speech. Edwards said he had discussed the award, named for Casey’s father, former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey, the defendant in the landmark Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which opened up a flood of state-level abortions restrictions as long as those anti-choice policies did not represent an “undue burden.”

“Last night I happened to have the opportunity to speak to Sen. Bob Casey, and I told him … I was in Philadelphia, receiving this award today named after his father,” Edwards said.

The Louisiana governor added that though it may not seem it, there are many more anti-choice Democrats like the two of them who aren’t comfortable coming forward about their views.

“I’m telling you there are many more people out there like us than you might imagine,” Edwards said. “But sometimes it’s easier for those folks who feel like we do on these issues to remain silent because they’re not going to  be questioned, and they’re not going to be receiving any criticism.”

During his speech, Edwards touted the way he has put his views as an anti-choice Democrat into practice in his home state. “I am a proud Democrat, and I am also very proudly pro-life,” Edwards told the small gathering.

Citing his support for Medicaid expansion in Louisiana—which went into effect July 1—Edwards claimed he had run on an otherwise “progressive” platform except for when it came to abortion rights, adding that his policies demonstrate that “there is a difference between being anti-abortion and being pro-life.”

Edwards later made clear that he was disappointed with news that Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock, whose organization works to elect pro-choice women to office, was being considered to fill the position of party chair in light of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation.

“It wouldn’t” help elect anti-choice politicians to office, said Edwards when asked about it by a reporter. “I don’t want to be overly critical, I don’t know the person, I just know that the signal that would send to the country—and to Democrats such as myself—would just be another step in the opposite direction of being a big tent party [on abortion].” 

Edwards made no secret of his anti-choice viewpoints during his run for governor in 2015. While on the campaign trail, he released a 30-second ad highlighting his wife’s decision not to terminate her pregnancy after a doctor told the couple their daughter would have spina bifida.

He received a 100 percent rating from anti-choice organization Louisiana Right to Life while running for governor, based off a scorecard asking him questions such as, “Do you support the reversal of Roe v. Wade?”

Though the Democratic Party platform and nominee have voiced the party’s support for abortion rights, Edwards has forged ahead with signing numerous pieces of anti-choice legislation into law, including a ban on the commonly used dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedure, and an extension of the state’s abortion care waiting period from 24 hours to 72 hours.

News Law and Policy

No Need to Block Bathroom Access for Transgender Student, Attorneys Tell Supreme Court

Jessica Mason Pieklo

A transgender student in Virginia sued the local school board, arguing that its policy of mandating that students use bathrooms consistent with their “biological sex” rather than their gender identity was unconstitutional.

Attorneys representing transgender student Gavin Grimm told the U.S. Supreme Court this week that there was no reason to block a lower court order guaranteeing Grimm access to school restrooms that align with his gender identity while Grimm’s lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board proceeds.

Grimm in 2015 sued the school board, arguing that its policy of mandating that students use bathrooms consistent with their “biological sex” rather than their gender identity—thus separating transgender students from their peers—was unconstitutional. Attorneys representing Grimm argued that the policy violates the 14th Amendment and Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination at schools that receive federal funding.

A lower district court ruled the school board’s policy did not violate Grimm’s rights. But the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, reversing that decision and sending the case back to the lower court, which then blocked the school district from enforcing its policy while Grimm’s case proceeds.

In response, the school board notified the Fourth Circuit of its intent to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court and requested the appellate court stay its order granting Grimm access to bathrooms aligned with his gender identity—a decision the Fourth Circuit granted in June.

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The school board then asked the Roberts Court to issue an emergency stay of the lower court decision blocking its bathroom policy while the Court considers taking Grimm’s case.

Grimm’s attorneys argue there is no basis for the Roberts Court to grant the emergency stay requested by the school board. The board has “utterly failed to demonstrate that it will suffer irreparable harm” if Grimm is allowed to use the boys’ restroom at Gloucester High School while the Roberts Court considers stepping into the case at all, according to Grimm’s attorneys.

Attorneys for the school board filed their request with Chief Justice John Roberts, who handles petitions from the Fourth Circuit. Roberts can rule on the school board’s request to block the lower court decision, or he can refer the request to the entire Court to consider.

It is not known when Roberts or the Court will make that choice.

The Gloucester County School Board has argued that the Obama administration overstepped its authority in protecting transgender student rights. Attorneys for the school board said that overreach began in 2012, when an administration agency issued an opinion that said refusing transgender students access to the bathrooms consistent with their gender identity violated Title IX.

The administration expanded that opinion in October 2015 and filed a friend of the court brief on Grimm’s behalf with the Fourth Circuit, arguing it was the administration’s position that the school board’s policy violated federal law.

The administration again expanded that opinion in May this year into a directive stating that should publicly funded schools deny transgender students access to facilities that conform to students’ gender identity, they would be in violation of federal law, subject to lawsuits, and risking their federal funding.

The Fourth Circuit relied heavily on these actions in initially siding with Grimm earlier this year.