Roundup: Scott Roeder is Going to Trial

Amy Dempsey

Scott Roeder is Going to Trial; Abortion is Banned in Nicaragua; Florida Woman Promised Her Unborn Baby to Two Adoption Agencies

Scott Roeder is Going to Trial
At the end of Tuesday’s
hearing, a judge decided that there was enough evidence to try Scott
Roeder, an anti-abortion advocate who is accused of killing abortion
provider Dr. George Tiller. Roeder is charged with first-degree murder,
to which his lawyers entered a not-guilty plea, according to the New York Times.

Tiller’s
family was not at the hearing, and neither were members of Operation
Rescue, an anti-abortion group whose national headquarters were moved
to Wichita, KS, which was also the home to Tiller’s clinic, the New York Times reported.

If
convicted, Roeder could serve a life sentence. Prosecuters say the case
does not meet Kansas’s requirements for the death penalty, which
include killing a law enforcement officer or killing multiple people,
according to the article.

Roeder
is also charged with two counts of aggravated assault for threatening
two other men serving as ushers that day. One of the men was Gary
Hoepner, who had been talking with Tiller moments before he was shot.

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"Mr.
Hoepner said he followed Mr. Roeder outside toward the parking
lot, but stopped when the man turned and called out, "I’ve got a gun,
and I’ll shoot you." Mr. Martin ran after Mr. Roeder, too, he
testified, and at one point called out to him, "How could you do that?"
The man yelled back something, Mr. Martin said, like, "he was a
murderer" or "he was a killer."

When
the man reached his car, Mr. Martin was about 10 feet away, blocking
the car’s exit. Mr. Roeder yelled "Move!" Mr. Martin recalled, but he
stayed put. At that, Mr. Martin said, the man pulled out the gun,
pointed it at him, and said, ‘I’ll shoot you.’"

 

Abortion is Banned in Nicaragua

Amnesty
International called Nicaragua’s abortion ban a "cruel, inhuman
disgrace" and has led to increased maternal deaths, according to CNN.com. The ban includes prohibiting therapeutic abortion-terminating a pregnancy in protection of the mother’s health.

In the article,
Amnesty International’s Executive Deputy Secretary General Kate Gilmore
said:

"Nicaragua’s ban on therapeutic abortion is a disgrace…It is a
human rights scandal that ridicules medical science
and distorts the law into a weapon against the provision of essential
medical care to pregnant girls and women."

Gilmore was part of the Amnesty group that went to Nicaragua to gather
accounts from Nicaraguan women and medical professionals, who receive
prison sentences for getting abortions or provide services linked to
abortions. CNN
reported that Amnesty concluded that doctors are nurses are afraid of
treating pregnant women or girls for illnesses like cancer, malaria
HIV/AIDS or cardiac emergencies, where treatments could injure the
fetus or cause death to the fetus.

Nicaragua is one of few countries worldwide where abortion is illegal
regardless of the circumstances. Other countries include Chile, El
Salvador, Malta, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic, according
to CNN.

Florida Woman Promised Her Unborn Baby to Two Adoption Agencies
In Orlando, FL, Latasha Harlee, 25, was sentenced to six months in jail
for offering her baby to two adoption agencies, and collecting $6,300
before telling the soon-to-be adoptive parents she changed her mind.
She also lied about her due date, according to The Associated Press.

OTHER NEWS TO NOTE:

July 28: The Independent: Pro-life zealot on trial over US murder of ‘hated’ doctor

July 28: Examiner: Review of Perspectives on Confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court

July 28: LifeNews: Oakland Still Wants to Stop Pro-Life Pastor Walter Hoye From Protesting Abortion

July 28: Tapestry Health: Early Coital Debut and Associated HIV Risk Factors Among Young Women and Men in South Africa

July 28: Politics Daily:Margaret Sanger: The Other Side of the Story

July 27: Truthout: These Denialogues Don’t Care if Their Own Children End Up With Syphilis

July 28: Tapestry Health: Role of Parents in Adolescent Sexual Activity And Contraceptive Use in Four African Countries

July 28: USA Today: Religious voices stake moral claims on health care reform 

July 28: Michigan Messenger:In health care debate, Stupak gives mixed signals on abortion funding

July 28: NYTimes: Witness Tells of Abortion Provider’s Last Moments

July 28: Moderate Voice: Keep Abortion Funding Out Of Health Reform 

July 28: Feministing: The cost of Nicaragua’s abortion ban

July 28: The Swamp: Healthcare hurdle: Abortion funding    

July 28: Pro-Life Blogs: FRC Action to Host Webcast on the Government Takeover of Health Care

July 28: Creative Minority Report: More Condoms Needed!

July 28: AP: Witness describes shooting of Kan. abortion doctor

July 28: Fort Wayne: Largest abortion provider should not continue to get federal funds  

July 28: LifeSiteNews: Pro-life Gov. Palin Resigns, Thanks Alaska in Farewell Address Sunday

July 28: Human Events: Sotomayor: Fundamental Right To Abortion, Not to Bear Arms  

July 28: CNN: Nicaragua abortion ban ‘cruel and inhuman disgrace’ 

July 28: Cleveland Plain Dealer: Catholic church touts its own natural plan for effective birth control: Healthy Cleveland 

July 28: Ethica: Fighting for "orphans" 

July 28: Experience Project: Trying to Outlaw This Is Ridiculous

July
28: Metro Catholic: Ribbon-cutting
ceremony moved inside after pro-life activists staged a public witness
during an appearance by the First Lady at a Virginia health clinic.

July 27: Catholic News Agency: Church does not approve of therapeutic abortion, reiterates diocesan official in Nicaragua

July 27: NRC Handelsblad: Dutch abortion boat to sail no more

July 28: STL Today: Stop taxpayer-funded abortion

July 28: AP: Woman promised baby to 2 adoption agencies

July 28: Human Events:Obamacare Pushes Abortion

July 27: Kansas City Star: Letters reveal evolving beliefs of man charged with killing George Tiller  

July 27: KAKE 10: Both Sides Of Abortion Issue Watching Roeder Case Closely   

News Abortion

Anti-Choice Leader to Remove Himself From Medical Board Case in Ohio

Michelle D. Anderson

In a letter to the State of Ohio Medical Board, representatives from nine groups shared comments made by Gonidakis and said he lacked the objectivity required to remain a member of the medical board. The letter’s undersigned said the board should take whatever steps necessary to force Gonidakis’ resignation if he failed to resign.

Anti-choice leader Mike Gonidakis said Monday that he would remove himself from deciding a complaint against a local abortion provider after several groups asked that he resign as president of the State of Ohio Medical Board.

The Associated Press first reported news of Gonidakis’ decision, which came after several pro-choice groups said he should step down from the medical board because he had a conflict of interest in the pending complaint.

The complaint, filed by Dayton Right to Life on August 3, alleged that three abortion providers working at Women’s Med Center in Dayton violated state law and forced an abortion on a patient that was incapable of withdrawing her consent due to a drug overdose.

Ohio Right to Life issued a news release the same day Dayton Right to Life filed its complaint, featuring a quotation from its executive director saying that local pro-choice advocates forfeit “whatever tinge of credibility” it had if it refused to condemn what allegedly happened at Women’s Med Center.

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Gonidakis, the president of Ohio Right to Life, had then forwarded a copy of the news release to ProgressOhio Executive Director Sandy Theis with a note saying, “Sandy…. Will you finally repudiate the industry for which you so proudly support? So much for ‘women’s health’. So sad.”

On Friday, ProgressOhio, along with eight other groupsDoctors for Health Care Solutions, Common Cause Ohio, the Ohio National Organization for Women, Innovation Ohio, the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus, the National Council of Jewish Women, Democratic Voices of Ohio, and Ohio Voice—responded to Gonidakis’ public and private commentary by writing a letter to the medical board asking that he resign.

In the letter, representatives from those groups shared comments made by Gonidakis and said he lacked the objectivity required to remain a member of the medical board. The letter’s undersigned said the board should take whatever steps necessary to force Gonidakis’ resignation if he failed to resign.

Contacted for comment, the medical board did not respond by press time.

The Ohio Medical Board protects the public by licensing and regulating physicians and other health-care professionals in part by reviewing complaints such as the one filed by Dayton Right to Life.

The decision-making body includes three non-physician consumer members and nine physicians who serve five-year terms when fully staffed. Currently, 11 citizens serve on the board.

Gonidakis, appointed in 2012 by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, is a consumer member of the board and lacks medical training.

Theis told Rewire in a telephone interview that the letter’s undersigned did not include groups like NARAL Pro-Choice and Planned Parenthood in its effort to highlight the conflict with Gonidakis.

“We wanted it to be about ethics” and not about abortion politics, Theis explained to Rewire.

Theis said Gonidakis had publicly condemned three licensed doctors from Women’s Med Center without engaging the providers or hearing the facts about the alleged incident.

“He put his point out there on Main Street having only heard the view of Dayton Right to Life,” Theis said. “In court, a judge who does something like that would have been thrown off the bench.”

Arthur Lavin, co-chairman of Doctors for Health Care Solutions, told the Associated Press the medical board should be free from politics.

Theis said ProgressOhio also exercised its right to file a complaint with the Ohio Ethics Commission to have Gonidakis removed because Theis had first-hand knowledge of his ethical wrongdoing.

The 29-page complaint, obtained by Rewire, details Gonidakis’ association with anti-choice groups and includes a copy of the email he sent to Theis.

Common Cause Ohio was the only group that co-signed the letter that is decidedly not pro-choice. A policy analyst from the nonpartisan organization told the Columbus Dispatch that Common Cause was not for or against abortion, but had signed the letter because a clear conflict of interest exists on the state’s medical board.

News Politics

Missouri ‘Witch Hunt Hearings’ Modeled on Anti-Choice Congressional Crusade

Christine Grimaldi

Missouri state Rep. Stacey Newman (D) said the Missouri General Assembly's "witch hunt hearings" were "closely modeled" on those in the U.S. Congress. Specifically, she drew parallels between Republicans' special investigative bodies—the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and the Missouri Senate’s Committee on the Sanctity of Life.

Congressional Republicans are responsible for perpetuating widely discredited and often inflammatory allegations about fetal tissue and abortion care practices for a year and counting. Their actions may have charted the course for at least one Republican-controlled state legislature to advance an anti-choice agenda based on a fabricated market in aborted “baby body parts.”

“They say that a lot in Missouri,” state Rep. Stacey Newman (D) told Rewire in an interview at the Democratic National Convention last month.

Newman is a longtime abortion rights advocate who proposed legislation that would subject firearms purchases to the same types of restrictions, including mandatory waiting periods, as abortion care.

Newman said the Missouri General Assembly’s “witch hunt hearings” were “closely modeled” on those in the U.S. Congress. Specifically, she drew parallels between Republicans’ special investigative bodies—the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and the Missouri Senate’s Committee on the Sanctity of Life. Both formed last year in response to videos from the anti-choice front group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) accusing Planned Parenthood of profiting from fetal tissue donations. Both released reports last month condemning the reproductive health-care provider even though Missouri’s attorney general, among officials in 13 states to date, and three congressional investigations all previously found no evidence of wrongdoing.

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Missouri state Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R), the chair of the committee, and his colleagues alleged that the report potentially contradicted the attorney general’s findings. Schaefer’s district includes the University of Missouri, which ended a 26-year relationship with Planned Parenthood as anti-choice state lawmakers ramped up their inquiries in the legislature. Schaefer’s refusal to confront evidence to the contrary aligned with how Newman described his leadership of the committee.

“It was based on what was going on in Congress, but then Kurt Schaefer took it a step further,” Newman said.

As Schaefer waged an ultimately unsuccessful campaign in the Missouri Republican attorney general primary, the once moderate Republican “felt he needed to jump on the extreme [anti-choice] bandwagon,” she said.

Schaefer in April sought to punish the head of Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis affiliate with fines and jail time for protecting patient documents he had subpoenaed. The state senate suspended contempt proceedings against Mary Kogut, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, reaching an agreement before the end of the month, according to news reports.

Newman speculated that Schaefer’s threats thwarted an omnibus abortion bill (HB 1953, SB 644) from proceeding before the end of the 2016 legislative session in May, despite Republican majorities in the Missouri house and senate.

“I think it was part of the compromise that they came up with Planned Parenthood, when they realized their backs [were] against the wall, because she was not, obviously, going to illegally turn over medical records.” Newman said of her Republican colleagues.

Republicans on the select panel in Washington have frequently made similar complaints, and threats, in their pursuit of subpoenas.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the chair of the select panel, in May pledged “to pursue all means necessary” to obtain documents from the tissue procurement company targeted in the CMP videos. In June, she told a conservative crowd at the faith-based Road to Majority conference that she planned to start contempt of Congress proceedings after little cooperation from “middle men” and their suppliers—“big abortion.” By July, Blackburn seemingly walked back that pledge in front of reporters at a press conference where she unveiled the select panel’s interim report.

The investigations share another common denominator: a lack of transparency about how much money they have cost taxpayers.

“The excuse that’s come back from leadership, both [in the] House and the Senate, is that not everybody has turned in their expense reports,” Newman said. Republicans have used “every stalling tactic” to rebuff inquiries from her and reporters in the state, she said.

Congressional Republicans with varying degrees of oversight over the select panel—Blackburn, House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI), and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (MI)—all declined to answer Rewire’s funding questions. Rewire confirmed with a high-ranking GOP aide that Republicans budgeted $1.2 million for the investigation through the end of the year.

Blackburn is expected to resume the panel’s activities after Congress returns from recess in early September. Schaeffer and his fellow Republicans on the committee indicated in their report that an investigation could continue in the 2017 legislative session, which begins in January.

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