Pro-abortion justice retires

WASHINGTON – Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a pro-abortion liberal appointed to the Supreme Court by Republican President Gerald Ford in 1975, has announced he will retire after the current term ends in June at the age of 89. He voted to uphold Roe v. Wade in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and endorses the notion that the U.S. Constitution supports a woman’s “right” to abort her child. Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, praised Stevens as “among the strongest supporters of the right to choose currently serving on the Supreme Court, and his retirement serves as yet another stark reminder of the important role the court plays in our everyday lives.” Americans United for Life noted that every name being mentioned as under consideration by President Barack Obama to replace Stevens is pro-abortion, including Elena Kagan, Solicitor General of the United States, and Diane Wood of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Last year, Obama appointed pro-abortion justice Sonia Sotomayor to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.

Health care reform and abortion

WASHINGTON – The Heritage Foundation issued a report, “Obamacare: Impact on Taxpayer Funding of Abortion,” which finds that the health care reform bill, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” ensures continued turmoil in the abortion debate in three ways: new funding for abortion through community health centers, permitting states to subsidize abortion, and the invitation of courts to mandate abortion funding if they over-rule President Barack Obama’s executive order restricting abortion. Chuck Donovan, a senior research fellow at Heritage, said new state and federal regulations specifically outlawing abortion from being taxpayer-funded are necessary and would settle the issue for the foreseeable future.

Stupak announces retirement

WASHINGTON – Rep. Bart Stupak (D, Mich.) announced he would not seek re-election in November. The decision was announced two weeks after he came under heavy criticism from pro-lifers for supporting health care reform after securing what pro-life legal experts say is a meaningless presidential executive order that claims to restrict taxpayer-funding of abortion. The nine-term incumbent was facing a primary opponent for the Democratic nomination from a pro-abortion candidate supported by organizations such as NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Organization of Women and Planned Parenthood, and that for the first time in more than a decade looked vulnerable to a Republican challenge in the general election. Last November, Stupak fought for an amendment to the House health care reform bill that would prohibit direct and indirect federal subsidies to pay for abortion. The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group, rescinded an award they were scheduled to present to Stupak the week after the health care vote, saying the presidential order restricting abortion funding was unenforceable and criticizing the Michigan Democrat for selling out his pro-life principles. Stupak denies that the possibility of defeat in the primaries or general election or the long, drawn-out health care debate factored into his decision, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and that he was young enough to start a second career. In the days after the health care reform vote he began to criticize the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their opposition to the bill and defended Planned Parenthood in his district saying they did not do abortions.

Tiller’s killer convicted

WICHITA, Ks. – Scott Roeder, the anti-abortion activist who murdered late-term abortionist George Tiller in June 2009, has been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison by a Kansas judge. Judge Warren Wilbert did not give Roeder a lighter sentence of 25 years to life, because Roeder admitted he stalked his victim and planned his murder. Wilbert said Roeder was deserving of a full 50 years because he killed Tiller in a church, which is to be “a place of peace and tranquility.” The pro-life community denounced the murder of Tiller, saying that a response to abortion should be found within the legal framework.

Nebraska bans late-term abortions

OMAHA – On April 13, Dave Heineman, the governor of Nebraska, signed a bill that bans abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation. The basis of the legislation is that an unborn child of that age can feel pain because of the abortion. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was approved 44-5. Abortionists caught breaking the law could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Some believe the legislation may become a historic challenge to Roe v. Wade, as the Nebraska law considers the unborn child’s capability of feeling pain as the standard for restricting abortion, as opposed to fetal viability, which is the standard that Roe v. Wade used. Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee, said, “There are strong grounds to believe that five members of the current U.S. Supreme Court would give serious consideration to Nebraska’s assertion of a compelling state interest in preserving the life of an unborn child, whom substantial medical evidence indicates is capable of feeling pain during an abortion.” The law takes effect Oct. 15.

Anti-decapitation abortion law sought

MINOT – A North Dakota pro-life organization is attempting to make it illegal for physicians to decapitate and crush the skulls of unborn children during abortions. North Dakota’s Stop Decapitation Network is waiting for approval from the Dakota secretary of state and attorney-general to start collecting signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. “It’s unconscionable and unthinkable that any physician who claims to care for the health of others would remove the heads of children or crush them and toss them in the trash,” said Daniel Woodard, the head of the network. The measure would give a class A felony penalty to physicians committing these types of abortions.