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Jul. 19th, 2006

feminist fist


Tribal president who proposed abortion clinic ousted again a day after being reinstated - AP


Tribal president who proposed abortion clinic ousted again a day after being reinstated

By Carson Walker

4:49 p.m. July 18, 2006

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A tribal president who was ousted and then reinstated after proposing an abortion clinic on the reservation was again stripped of her leadership role Tuesday.

An Oglala Sioux tribal judge had reinstalled Cecelia Fire Thunder to office Monday after she argued that her removal on June 29 violated tribal procedure.

The judge acted after the tribal council removed Fire Thunder from office for proposing a clinic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that would be beyond the reach of South Dakota's strict new abortion ban.

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keep abortion legal


Archbishop's adviser resigns over abortion claims - Guardian Unlimited


Archbishop's adviser resigns over abortion claims

Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
Wednesday July 19, 2006
The Guardian

One of the closest advisers to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, announced his resignation last night following tabloid claims that his former girlfriend had an abortion nearly 20 years ago.

Austen Ivereigh, the cardinal's director of public affairs, who has been credited with raising his public profile, said in a statement that he was resigning "as a result of persistent and untrue reports" about his private life. He said he was planning to take legal action.

He said: "The decision, which has been my own, was taken in order to avoid further distractions from the cardinal's crucial role as Archbishop of Westminster."

Dr Ivereigh's position became untenable because the Catholic church is opposed to abortion in all circumstances. The cardinal has recently been pressing the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, to agree to a reduction in the upper age limit for terminations.

The Daily Mail reported last month that Dr Ivereigh had "manoeuvred" a former girlfriend into having an abortion in 1989 when he was a student at Oxford University, and that last year another former partner, understood to be a journalist on a Catholic newspaper, miscarried twins after their relationship ended. The Sunday Times last weekend reported pressure from the Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols, that he should go.

Dr Ivereigh, who was briefly a Jesuit novice and later a journalist and deputy editor of the Tablet Catholic magazine before joining the cardinal's office in 2004, said that he opposed his girlfriend's abortion at the time and that the trauma of it had led him back to religious observance.

The cardinal said that the resignation had been offered some time ago but he had only now decided to accept it.
pro-choice America


Report: Women misled on abortion risks - AP via USA Today


Report: Women misled on abortion risks
Posted 7/18/2006 10:27 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — Women who consult with pregnancy resource centers often get misleading information about the health risks associated with having an abortion, according to a report issued Monday by Democrats on the House Government Reform Committee.

Congressional aides, posing as pregnant 17-year-olds, called 25 pregnancy centers that have received some federal funding over the past five years.

The aides were routinely told of increased risk for cancer, infertility and stress disorders, said the report, which was prepared for Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

Only a small fraction of the more than 4,000 pregnancy clinics nationwide get any federal funding, mostly for promoting sexual abstinence.

With a few exceptions, the federal government doesn't give money specifically for the counseling operations, but Waxman's staff said 25 centers got "capacity building grants." Thus, Waxman said, they should be held accountable for the information they dispense.

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May. 11th, 2006

keep abortion legal


Colombia to Permit Abortions in Certain Cases - AP via Feminist Daily News Wire


May 11, 2006

Colombia to Permit Abortions in Certain Cases

Reversing its complete ban on abortion under any circumstances, Colombia will now grant access to abortion when a pregnancy results from incest or rape or when the woman's life is endangered. According to the Associated Press (AP), Chile and El Salvador remain the only Latin American countries with a total ban on abortion.

After Colombia's Constitutional Court rejected a lawsuit demanding access to abortion late last year, Colombian lawyer Monica Roa filed a second suit in December 2005 that specifically addressd the questions raised by the Court in hope of overturning the ban. The AP reports that Colombia’s Constitutional Court has legalized abortion under certain conditions by a 5-3 vote. The decision cannot be overruled with the country’s Supreme Court.

Speaking to the AP after the decision was announced, Roa stated, “The Court fulfilled its duty in recognizing the right of Colombian women.”

Media Resources: Associated Press 5/11/06; Feminist Daily News Wire 12/14/05

May. 10th, 2006

pro-choice America


Lawrence Lader, Campion of Abortion Rights, is Dead at 86 - New York Times


Lawrence Lader, Champion of Abortion Rights, Is Dead at 86
Published: May 10, 2006

Lawrence Lader in 2001.
Correction Appended
Lawrence Lader, a writer who so successfully marshaled his literary and political efforts in support of abortion rights that Betty Friedan, the feminist author, called him the father of the movement, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 86.

The cause was colon cancer, his wife, Joan Summers Lader, said.

Mr. Lader was a major voice in the abortion debate for four decades, becoming a lightning rod for its critics as well as a beacon for its proponents. He wrote influential books and articles on the subject, organized ministers to refer women wanting abortions to doctors as well as referring 2,000 himself, helped found what was long known as the National Abortion Rights Action League and helped win New York State's repeal of abortion restrictions in 1970.

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X-posted to abortion_info & feminist.

May. 7th, 2006

keep abortion legal


Bombing Victims Get Pittance From Rudolph - AP via Yahoo! News


Bombing Victims Get Pittance From Rudolph
By JAY REEVES, Associated Press WriterTue Apr 25, 1:06 PM ET
For the pain of losing an eye and going through 21 operations since she was maimed by a blast at an abortion clinic, Emily Lyons has gotten all she ever expects to receive from the bomber, Eric Rudolph: $57.69.

Lyons was among the first victims to receive a share of the $2.3 million in restitution that Rudolph was ordered to pay after pleading guilty last year in a string of crimes that included the Birmingham clinic attack and the Atlanta Olympics bombing.

While Lyons laughs at the amount she received — "Right now it's a tank and a little more of gas," she said Monday — others view the paltry payments as a disgrace.

"The best thing would have been not to do anything," said Diane Derzis, owner of the clinic that was bombed in 1998 in an attack that also killed a police officer. "To almost lose your life, to lose an eye, to go through all those surgeries and get that little amount — it's unbelievable."

Lyons got her check in January. Derzis got $38.42 around the same time. John Hawthorne, whose wife, Alice, was killed in the Olympics bombing in 1996, is still waiting for his.

Hawthorne said he is not concerned about the money. Instead, he said, "We just want to make sure that if there are any royalties to be made from books or movies or anything that that money doesn't go to him or his family."

Rudolph is serving four life terms for the Birmingham and Atlanta attacks and two other bombings in Atlanta in 1997. In all, about 110 people were considered victims in the Atlanta cases.

In closing the file on the case, judges ordered Rudolph to pay $2,311,703 to everyone identified as a victim. The order was largely symbolic since Rudolph was previously declared indigent, but there were a few sources of money.

Court officials seized $1,700 in cash that was found in Rudolph's rented trailer in Murphy, N.C., and they also raised $2,639 in an auction of items Rudolph left in a rented storage space.

After deducting $1,000 for court costs, the remainder was to be split among the victims. It is unclear how many people have gotten checks or how much has been paid out because those records are not open to the public.

Aside from the restitution, an Alabama judge in 2003 awarded Lyons and her husband $115 million in a lawsuit against Rudolph. Nothing was ever paid.

Lyons' husband, Jeff Lyons, said the small restitution checks were ironic, considering court-appointed attorneys were paid $4 million to defend Rudolph. But Jeff Lyons said he is not complaining.

"I wanted Emily to be alive and I wanted Rudolph to be gone, and I got that," he said.


FDA says one abortion pill death unrelated - Reuters via Yahoo! News


FDA says one abortion pill death unrelated
By Susan HeaveyMon Apr 10, 7:50 PM ET

One of two recent deaths of women taking the abortion pill RU-486 was unrelated to an abortion or use of the drug, but the second case is still under investigation, U.S. regulators said on Monday.

The woman in the second case showed symptoms of infection, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. Both cases were reported in March, making a total of 6 deaths in women after use of the drug.

RU-486, also known as Mifeprex or mifepristone, is approved for terminating a pregnancy of 49 days or less. Another drug, misoprostol, is given two days later to complete the abortion.

"Of the two most recent deaths ... one has been determined to be unrelated to an abortion or to the use of Mifeprex and misoprostol and the other, with symptoms of infection, continues to be under investigation," the FDA said in a statement.

Four other previously reported deaths in women who took the abortion pill were linked to complications from infection, but the FDA has not attributed them to the drug. In those cases, the women were given misoprostol vaginally -- an unapproved method -- rather than orally.

The update comes as the FDA prepares to hold a public hearing in Atlanta next month on the growing number of infections from the bacteria, called Clostridium sordelli.

The meeting is not explicitly aimed at the drug, sold by privately held Danco Laboratories, and will also examine other bacteria infections found with tissue grafts.

About 560,000 women have taken RU-486 since its approval in September 2000, according to its maker. The drug label warns about the possibility of serious or even fatal infections in rare cases, which also can happen after surgical abortions.

A representative for Danco Laboratories could not be reached.

Separately, nearly 50 members of Congress are expected to ask for a U.S. House of Representatives vote on a bill calling for RU-486's withdrawal and an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.

Lisa Lyons Wright, spokeswoman for Maryland Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (news, bio, voting record), said on Monday 45 Republicans and two Democrats are expected to sign the letter to House Majority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican. It should be sent Tuesday, she added.

Even if a Boehner plans a vote on the bill, called Holly's Law, House lawmakers are not expected to return from a two-week recess until April 25.

May. 2nd, 2006

pro-choice America


Louisiana Senate Approves Strict Abortion Ban - AP via Ms. Magazine Feminist Wire Newsbriefs 4.28.06


April 28, 2006

Louisiana Senate Approves Strict Abortion Ban

The Louisiana State Senate approved a near-total ban on abortion on Wednesday, allowing abortion only to save a woman's life. This ban demonstrates the strong anti-choice politics of the Senate, as there were no arguments against the ban, but only questions of whether to include exceptions for cases of rape and incest. An amendment to include rape and incest exceptions was defeated.

The ban does not punish women directly, but would fine anyone who performs an abortion between $10,000 and $100,000, a jail term of one to ten years, or a combination of a fine and jail time. The ban is a trigger law, meaning it will only go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The bill will now move to the House of Representatives. Governor Kathleen Blanco has told reporters she would sign “some kind of abortion bill,” reports the Times-Picayune and that she appreciates the trigger law, as it would prevent the kinds of lawsuits that resulted in Louisiana’s previous abortion ban being declared unconstitutional.

Media Resources: Associated Press 4/26/06; KPLC 4/26/06; New Orleans Times-Picayune 4/27/06
pro-choice America


Supreme Court Denies Anti-Abortion Extremists' Appeal - Feminist Daily News Wire 05.02.06


Supreme Court Denies Anti-Abortion Extremists' Appeal

The Supreme Court refused without comment to hear an appeal by anti-abortion extremists on Monday in the "Nuremberg Files" case. The case, American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA) v. Planned Parenthood, originated as a suit filed in 1999 by Planned Parenthood of Oregon and four Oregon doctors listed on WANTED-style posters on the Nuremberg Files website against 13 anti-abortion extremists and the anti-abortion groups American Coalition of Life Activists and Advocates for Life Ministries. The website included personal information about the doctors, and the names of doctors who were murdered had lines through them crossing them off. “[This case] is about protecting doctors’ lives,” said Maria Vullo, attorney for Planned Parenthood, according to the Associated Press.

The anti-abortion extremists were ordered by an Oregon jury to pay $108 million in damages, which was reduced to $4.73 million by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to comply with a 2003 Supreme Court precedent. The Supreme Court's decision not to rehear the case lets stand the reduced damages.

May. 1st, 2006

plan b


No show for deposition - Newsday April 29, 2006

Link courtesy of linkytang.

Ex-FDA commissioner fails to testify about Plan B contraceptive

Newsday Staff Writer

April 29, 2006

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester Crawford failed to show up Friday for a court-ordered deposition in Washington, D.C., where he was scheduled to testify about the agency's refusal to approve over-the-counter sales of an emergency contraceptive.

Earlier in the week, two key FDA officials testified in closed sessions that in January 2005, Crawford began shutting them out of the decision-making process for Plan B, the controversial emergency contraceptive.

Barbara Van Gelder, Crawford's personal attorney, told the federal magistrate overseeing the case Thursday that her client might have to invoke Fifth Amendment rights if forced to testify, according to a transcript of a telephone conference.

"What basically occurred is, at least it seems, Dr. Crawford's lawyer believes that he may be in some sort of criminal jeopardy," said Simon Heller, an attorney who was prepared to depose Crawford. Heller works for the Center for Reproductive Rights in Manhattan, which is suing the FDA to try force non-prescription sales of Plan B.

Conservative groups have lobbied the FDA to prevent non-prescription sales of Plan B, alleging it causes abortions. Barr Laboratories, the maker, counters that the pill prevents pregnancy.

Earlier this week, Heller deposed FDA officials Dr. Steven Galson and Dr. Janet Woodcock in Rockville, Md. Heller said they testified that Crawford began shutting them out of the Plan B decision-making process in January 2005.

FDA spokeswoman Kathleen Quinn confirmed that the depositions had taken place but wouldn't elaborate.

Van Gelder told U.S. Magistrate Viktor Pohorelsky, according to the transcript of the telephone conference, that Crawford did not tell her about the deposition until Wednesday. She said she was representing Crawford "in connection with a number of congressional and inspector general and, now, criminal investigations having to do with a number of issues that have come up with Dr. Crawford."

Van Gelder gave only a sketchy description of the investigations. She said she has been advising Crawford about legal matters related to his FDA tenure, including the Plan B controversy and his finances. It has been widely reported that Crawford may have had a conflict of interest related to his ownership of shares of a medical devices company. Crawford left the FDA in September

The deposition has been rescheduled for May 24.
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

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