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Nov. 30, 2005|
Supreme Court to Hear Parental Notice Case |
Today the United States Supreme Court, with newly-confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts presiding, will hear arguments in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
The case could impact future court challenges to state laws regulating or restricting the practice of abortion.
While the Ayotte case involves a New Hampshire law that requires a minor child to notify her parents before undergoing an abortion, there is another aspect to the case that has gained the interest of experts on both sides of the life issue. That is, whether court challenges can be brought before a law is applied or enforced. For years, state legislatures have enacted laws requiring parental notice or consent, informed consent, and abortion clinic regulation, but before the laws are ever enforced, Planned Parenthood files suit and a lengthy court process is begun, often ending in the law in question being struck down. All the while, legislators and the citizens they represent, never see the fruit of their hard work.
Pro-life Americans are watching this case carefully. It’s common sense that parents, who bear the responsibility for the physical, emotional, psychological, and economic health of their minor children, have the corresponding authority to supervise their behavior. The courts have no right to trample on parental rights. When a child engages in risky or dangerous behavior, such as having an abortion which often results in physical and emotional problems, it is the parents, not the courts, who are obligated to try to clean up the mess the child has made of her life.
As long as abortion is legal in this country, and until legal protection is restored to the human being from the moment of conception, it is our opinion that a minor child be required to gain the consent of her parents before she kills their grandchild. At the very least, parents are entitled to be notified if a child is considering such a monumental decision.
In addition, the outcome of the Ayotte case will provide insight into whether the Court will restore respect for the American people who, speaking through their state legislators, want laws enacted that will at least reduce the numbers of abortions while we continue to seek justice for the innocent unborn.
Despite British guidelines requiring that babies aborted after more than 21 weeks and six days of gestation have their hearts stopped by an injection of potassium chloride before being delivered, and younger babies are aborted using labor-inducing drugs in the hope they will not survive the birth process, in practice some babies do survive. “They can be born breathing and crying at 19 weeks’ gestation,” according to Stuart Campbell, former professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at St. George’s hospital, London.
Doctors are increasingly uneasy about aborting babies who could be born alive. “If viability is the basis on which they set the 24-week limit for abortion, then the simplest answer is to change the law and reduce the upper limit to 18 weeks,” said Campbell, who last year published a book showing images of fetuses’ facial expressions and “walking movements” taken with a form of 3-D ultrasound.
This calls to mind something that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said in her dissent from the majority in the first abortion-related case after her confirmation, Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health. Justice O’Connor wrote that Roe v. Wade is on a “collision course with itself.” She said that improvements in technology would continually push the point of fetal viability closer to the beginning of the pregnancy, allowing states greater opportunity to regulate the right to an abortion. As the years went by, however, Justice O’Connor successfully avoided getting involved in that collision.
Nevertheless, it is true that technology is making it possible that babies born as early as 18 weeks can now survive and be healthy. In our mind, the embryo in the IVF Petri dish is viable. If he isn’t viable, what would be the reason for implanting him in his mother’s uterus?
Think about it.
On May 7, 2004, 14-year-old Alycia Brown of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, died suddenly of blood clots in her lower pelvis as a result of her use of the patch, which has been responsible for at least 17 deaths in women age 17 – 30 since its release in 2002, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Alycia, the youngest of its victims, was given the patch by her parents upon their discovery that their daughter was sexually active.
In September 2004, a study by the FDA revealed 21 “life-threatening” conditions related to the patch such as blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. Mr. and Mrs. Brown have sued the company, claiming that Ortho-McNeil intentionally withheld information from its own clinical trials and FDA records suggesting the increased risks.
Earlier this month, Ortho-McNeil agreed to improve the warnings on the labels for the patch to include the information that it had possible fatal side effects.
Questions arise: Why does the FDA allow this dangerous patch to be on the market in the first place? Where is Congressional oversight in this matter? And, putting aside the moral implications of the situation, why would parents, who are supposed to know better than a 14-year-old, expose her to a drug they hadn’t researched themselves? (Life Site News, 11/21/05)
RU-486, marketed as Mifeprex, otherwise known as mifepristone, is under investigation by the FDA after five women four Americans and one Canadian died of the same rare bacterial infection within days of taking the drug, writes Joyce Howard Price (The Washington Times, 11/24/05).
All five women, who underwent chemical abortions after taking RU-486 in combination with a second drug called misoprostol, all contracted a rare and highly lethal bacterial infection known as Clostridium sordellii, which infiltrated the uterus and then spread to the bloodstream.
The FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are planning to convene a scientific meeting next year to investigate whether mifepristone and/or misoprostol make women vulnerable to this deadly bacterium.
Republican National Coalition for Life Box 618 Alton Illinois 62002|
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