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Oct. 17, 2002
Court Rules Fetus Can Be Defended 
LANSING, Mich.- In a ruling that could add new dimensions to the abortion debate, a Michigan court said a pregnant woman can use deadly force to protect a fetus from attack even if her own life is not in danger.

The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a Kalamazoo County Circuit Court's conviction of a woman for killing her boyfriend and ordered a new trial because Judge Richard Ryan Lamb had not instructed the jury about the "defense of others" theory.

The appeals court did not address a key issue in abortion cases: when a fetus becomes a person. "This issue ... is not raised by the parties, is not pertinent to the resolution of the ... case, and does not drive our ruling today," the court said in its 3-0 decision last week.

The court said the issue was whether an unborn fetus was "entitled to the protection of the laws of the state of Michigan such that an individual, typically the mother, may defend the fetus during an assault against the mother."

Jaclyn Louise Kurr was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for using a knife to kill her boyfriend, Antonio Pena, on Oct. 9, 1999. She was sentenced to 5 to 20 years in prison. The court said she stabbed Pena after he punched her twice in the stomach and came toward her again. Lamb said the "defense of others" theory only applied when there was a "living human being" independent of the mother. (AP – 10/16/02)

Costa Rican President Defends Life “Above Everything” 
Abel Pacheco, President of Costa Rica, was angered by a confrontation with Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland who is currently serving as U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Costa Rican newspaper Al Dia (9/4/02) reported that Mrs. Robinson visited Mr. Pacheco at his hotel demanding he support objectionable language in the Earth Summit document.

“She wanted Costa Rica to sign an amendment that some of us believe would be an opening for abortion. The text does not mention it specifically, but it speaks about guaranteeing the right to health for women all over the world, with which I agree. But it seems that in prior meetings it had been determined that one of the health rights of women was abortion, and that I cannot support,” explained Pacheco. He was astonished and incensed with Robinson’s reaction to his refusal to support the abortion language. She stormed out of the meeting “very upset” according to the report. “I told her that Costa Rica in its Constitution, is a Catholic country, that I am Catholic, and as a doctor I have taken an oath to defend life above everything, and if that was going to be an opening to legalize abortion, I could not agree with it, and Costa Rica would not support it.” (IRISH PRO-LIFE NEWS - 9/9/02; http://www.familyandlife.org)


38 Members of Congress Commend and Encourage Miss America 
Responding to Erika Harold’s courageous refusal to be “bullied” by Miss America Pageant officials who tried to prevent her from speaking out in favor of sexual abstinence for young people, 38 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives congratulated her on being crowned Miss America 2003 and encouraged her to “continue to use your national platform to bring your message of hope and health to our nation’s youth.” Miss Harold has spent the past few years working with Chicago-based Project Reality, the pioneer in abstinence education.

In a letter dated October 10, 2002, the Representatives called attention to an e-mail message received by Miss Harold from a young girl from an inner city Chicago school in which she said, “You changed my life because of what you said, and now I made the decision to be abstinent because of what you said. And I really hope that as Miss America you continue to share that because it changed my life and I think it can change lots of others.” The Members encouraged her “ . . . to stand strong in your commitment and your willingness to stand up for your beliefs and promote the healthy message of abstinence until marriage.”

Miss Harold and pageant officials have agreed that she will continue to promote abstinence education throughout her reign as Miss America.


Life Advocacy Publishes House/Senate Voting Record Index for the 107th Congress 
Republican House Members with the most anti-life voting records are: Kolbe, Horn, Shays, Castle, Biggert, Morella, Bass, Boehlert, Houghton, Greenwood, Johnson and Gilman. For a copy, call 1-888-344-5433 or e-mail [email protected].


Republican National
Coalition for Life


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