Blog

Happy Thanksgiving: We’re Thankful for YOU!

By Americans United for Life
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

image

Pro-life Americans have so much to be thankful for this year, with record numbers of newly elected legislators preparing to defend life in law. Still the real legacy of what we accomplish will be told in families, not law journals. We work so that a new generation will be born to carry on this great adventure called LIFE.

It is from the families formed that America has grown into a great nation. President George Washington, in his first year as president, called for a day of Thanksgiving following the hard, dark days of war that birthed a country. Later, President Abraham Lincoln created the official Thanksgiving holiday that we continue to celebrate today.

Lincoln also knew the hardship of war, of families torn apart through slavery, of laws used to benefit callous slave owners against the humanity of people they claimed to own. When I consider how the abortion industry fights to put profits over people, I see that same disregard for the humanity of women and their unborn children, who are viewed as property that can be discarded.

Which makes it all the more significant that Lincoln in his Thanksgiving address celebrated America’s people as an asset.

The hardship of war, he noted, had not stripped all that is good from America, and among our strengths, Lincoln focused on our people:

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.”

You are among the people who have fought for the legacy that Lincoln envisioned, in standing with your team at Americans United for Life in defense of the weak, in calling for a change in laws that dehumanize the helpless, and in working to build great families of your own, however your stories began.

As you sit down with the people you care about this Thanksgiving, let’s join together in offering a prayer of thanks for the great heritage Washington and Lincoln gave us as Americans… for the many ways we’ve seen success in defending life this year… and for the opportunities we see before us in the year ahead.

And from our whole team at Americans United for Life: we are thankful for you.

Obama Administration Doubles Down on Life-ending Policies While AUL Defends Conscience Rights in 22nd and 23rd Legal Briefs

By Americans United for Life
Friday, November 21st, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. (11-21-14) – Defending the First Amendment conscience rights of Americans, Americans United for Life filed two amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs today in the Fifth and Eighth Circuits challenging the Obama Administration’s anti-life edicts in Obamacare. “Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s clear directives favoring freedom of conscience in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Obama Administration has doubled down on its coercive, anti-life policies, refusing to respect the beliefs of those who do not wish to provide coverage of life-ending drugs and devices,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

Including these two cases, AUL has filed 23 briefs in challenges to Obamacare’s HHS Mandate that requires employers to offer life-ending drugs and devices in health insurance policies. In our briefs, AUL defends the constitutional rights of all Americans when it comes to healthcare purchases.

In a recent and meaningless “accommodation,” the Obama Administration announced that those with religious beliefs opposed to life-ending drugs and devices must hand over to the federal government the name and contact information “for any of the plan’s third party administrators and health insurance issuers.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made clear its intention to use the information to force the religious employer’s insurance provider to include the objected-to items and services.

“Rather than respecting the beliefs of Americans concerned about the impact of deadly drugs on women and their unborn children, the Obama Administration uses its power to forcibly violate the conscience rights of pro-life Americans,” said Dr. Yoest. “The accounting gimmicks touted as a fix change nothing.”

As noted in the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, if a non-profit religious employer does not “yield to this demand” by the Obama Administration to facilitate coverage for life-ending drugs and devices “the economic consequences will be severe.”

Importantly, the U.S. Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby decision held that the Green and Hahn families “sincerely believe that providing the insurance coverage demanded by the HHS regulations lies on the forbidden side of the line, and it is not for us to say that their religious beliefs are mistaken or insubstantial.”

“Here, as in Hobby Lobby, it is not for the Obama Administration to determine what ‘lies on the forbidden side of the line’ for these employers who deserve to enjoy their constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of conscience,” said Dr. Yoest.

One brief (available here) was filed in the Fifth Circuit in the consolidated cases of East Baptist University v. Burwell, University of Dallas v. Burwell, Catholic Diocese of Beaumont v. Burwell, and Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fort Worth v. Burwell. The second brief (available here) was filed in the Eighth Circuit in Archdiocese of St. Louis v. Burwell. In each of the cases, a lower court had ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and the Obama Administration appealed.

In the briefs, AUL demonstrates that the life of a new human being begins at fertilization (conception), that so-called “emergency contraception” has a post-fertilization effect that can prevent a new human being from implanting in the uterus and thus ending his or her young life, and that forcing employers to provide coverage for life-ending drugs or devices violates their freedom of conscience.

The briefs were filed on behalf of Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Alabama Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro Life Nurses, and National Association of Catholic Nurses.

“Real healthcare respects life,” noted Dr. Yoest. “Whether the issue is punishing Americans for their beliefs, pushing life-ending drugs that have been deceptively labeled as contraception, or creating new income streams for the abortion industry, the anti-life implications of Obamacare are far reaching.”

Abortion is woven into Obamacare at multiple levels, making repeal of the law a pro-life necessity. The abortion-related provisions of Obamacare include:

  • Failing to prohibit the use of federal tax dollars for abortion, abortion coverage, and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.
  • Pretending that the Hyde Amendment protections were enough to prohibit direct payment for abortions.
  • Permitting federally subsidized Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) to provide abortion coverage through the state insurance exchanges required in all 50 states.
  • Failing to prohibit all multi-state qualified health plans from providing coverage for abortion.
  • Including a “preventive care” mandate that is being used to force coverage of drugs and devices known to end life.
  • Failing to provide comprehensive First Amendment conscience protections for individuals, employers, and insurance companies that have religious or moral objections to abortion.

Click here to understand how the Obama Administration put “The Con” in Contraception.

Click here to learn more about life-affirming healthcare.

AUL Stands with Iowa Doctors Protecting Women from Dangerous Life-Ending Drugs

By Americans United for Life
Friday, November 21st, 2014

“What is the abortion industry’s response to women’s deaths from life-ending drugs?
They go to court to keep their profits high and their standards low,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (11-21-14) – Standing with Iowa doctors, Americans United for Life filed an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief today in the Iowa Supreme Court defending the Iowa Board of Medicine’s rule requiring physicians to provide physical examinations for women before administering abortion-inducing drugs. Iowa physicians recommended the rule out of concern that non-physician and untrained abortion clinic employees were conducting physical exams and sonograms. The Iowa rule requires the presence of a physician and that the physician physically examines the woman before providing life-ending drugs because the physician-patient relationship is crucial to ensuring better health outcomes.

As of 2011, the FDA reported more than 2,200 adverse effects related to use of abortion-inducing drugs, including 14 deaths and 58 ectopic pregnancies. The drugs are particularly dangerous because side effects are confusingly similar to the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. Failing to properly diagnose an ectopic pregnancy can lead to a rupture of the fallopian tube, causing bleeding, severe pain, and even death. In fact, at least two of the 14 U.S. deaths resulted from ruptured ectopic pregnancies. In fact, the risk of complications rises the longer a woman is pregnant, making a proper determination of gestational age imperative.

“What is the abortion industry’s response to women’s deaths from life-ending drugs? They go to court to keep their profits high and their standards low,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “In this case, the Iowa Board of Medicine passed a rule that simply requires that a physician examine a woman before providing life-ending drugs. But Planned Parenthood is fighting this commonsense, woman-focused rule, in a move that would allow an abortion mill to push through more women by reducing the time that they spend examining and assisting a patient. The abortion industry fights a rule designed to ensure that the drugs they sell to end the life of the baby won’t also kill the mother.”

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is currently the only abortion provider in Iowa to provide Webcam Abortions —a process in which a woman sits in one office while a physician communicates with her via telecommunications from another office, potentially many hours or several states away. Despite the fact that the physician never examines the woman nor even meets with her in person, the process ends with the physician prescribing the potentially deadly drugs and sending the woman on her way.

“This is drive-by medicine at its worst,” said Dr. Yoest. “The abortionist doesn’t even take the time to once see a woman in person before abandoning her to whatever may happen.”

Planned Parenthood filed suit in September 2013, but an Iowa trial court upheld the rule, noting that the Board made a medical determination and that it would be improper for a court to overrule a decision the Board made in light of medical data. The trial court acknowledged that drug-induced abortions are not safe for some women, and that the Board’s stated purpose was to ensure the health and safety of women considering such abortions by requiring physician presence. Planned Parenthood then appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.

AUL’s brief, available here, demonstrates that the trial court properly deferred to the Iowa Board of Medicine’s decision and expertise. It also establishes that the FDA intended to restrict use of the RU-486 drug regimen, that drug-induced abortion carries significant risks, and that, because the drugs are contraindicated for certain medical conditions, a physical examination by a physician best protects the woman.

The brief was filed on behalf of Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro Life Nurses, Christian Medical Association, National Association of Catholic Nurses, and The National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Click here to learn more about the health and safety standards designed to protect women from abortion industry abuses in AUL’s Women’s Protection Project.

Click here to learn more about the health risks of abortion for women.

What is the Pro-Life Path to Overturning Roe v. Wade?

By Jeanneane Maxon
Friday, November 14th, 2014

The title of this week’s feature in the Deseret News is “No longer silent and incremental: the pro-life path to overturning Roe v. Wade.”

Reporter Sara Israelsen-Hartley wrote:

“The anti-abortion movement has gradually shifted its tactics away from the aggressive in-your-face demonstrations to discreetly working the state political system, and observers, legal experts and even pro-abortion rights groups admit the strategy is working. Since 2000, state legislatures have passed 435 abortion restrictions nationwide (260 in the past five years alone), a continuous streak of small, strategic and often overlooked anti-abortion victories.”

Talking about health and safety standards so popular with legislators, AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest said:

“One of the things we’re really focused on moving forward is clinic regulations …It’s one of the things that upsets the other side the most, because they are profit driven, and the cheaper and shoddier they can provide their horrible product, the higher their profit margin. That’s why they’re so upset about clinic regulations.”

Such laws have had the “biggest, immediate impact” in protecting lives, the reporter agreed. “Anti-abortion activists are quite strategic,” says Joshua C. Wilson, a political science professor at the University of Denver.”If they have trouble at the federal level, fertile ground is at the state level.”

And so it has been with your help. Consider this chart from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute:

You made a difference in protecting lives across the country. In the article Yoest said:

“The anti-abortion campaign is wonderfully diverse … and the variety of approaches play an important role in the overall strategy. Some groups reach out to post-abortion women, others educate pregnant women and their partners about alternatives to abortion while others focus on getting anti-abortion legislators elected.

We (at AUL) deliberately set out to put a strategy together that addressed the fact that the courts were blocking any kind of major overarching strategy.”

So what’s next? The abortion lobby is talking about it. Donna Barry, director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress, said:

“It’s possible (the anti-abortion activists) have more stuff up their sleeve we don’t know about.”

And so we do, but we can’t do it without you.

Thanks for supporting AUL’s work of saving lives through law. Next year is going to be even better!

Click here for the full article at DeseretNews.com.

AUL Supports Texas in Efforts to Protect Women from Dangerous Conditions in Abortion Clinics

By Americans United for Life
Monday, November 10th, 2014

“These laws close no clinics. Abortion clinics close when they refuse to invest in protecting women,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Contrast real out-patient medical facilities that establish health and safety standards, with abortion clinics that rush to court to fight against keeping women safe.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (11-10-14) – Americans United for Life filed an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief today arguing that a high-profile Texas law requiring that abortion clinics meet basic health and safety standards is needed to protect women and is constitutional. “The abortion industry puts profits over people,” observed AUL’s President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Ironic isn’t it that the people who say they support ‘safe’ abortions actively work against the most basic health and safety standards in court, protecting abortionists’ profits rather than women.

“This case represents a desperate Big Abortion industry fight to provide substandard, dangerous ‘care’ to the very women they claim to serve; and shows how Texas law makers are the true champions of women’s health.”

The requirement that abortion clinics comply with Texas’ ambulatory surgical center standards was part of House Bill (HB) 2, a measure passed during a special legislative session in the summer of 2013. HB 2 also included a requirement that individual abortion providers maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital, so that in an emergency, medically appropriate care can be accomplished. Both requirements have been challenged by abortion providers.

Rather than addressing the obvious benefit these requirements provide to women, the abortion industry is, instead, arguing that the requirements will be expensive.

“Contrast real out-patient medical facilities that establish health and safety standards, with abortion clinics that rush to court to fight against keeping women safe,” said Dr. Yoest. “These laws close no clinics. Abortion clinics close when they refuse to invest in protecting women.”

As AUL’s brief argues, under the abortion industry’s self-interested logic, an abortion clinic—such as that formerly run by convicted felon Kermit Gosnell—could automatically veto any maternal health law because it would cost the clinic “too much” to come into compliance with rational, medically-based regulations intended to protect women’s health and safety.

AUL’s brief (available here) was filed on behalf of 44 Texas Legislators and demonstrates that, under clear Supreme Court precedent, states have a strong interest in protecting women from potential harms related to abortion.

AUL files 21st Amicus Brief Defending Conscience Rights of Pro-Life Americans Burdened by Obamacare’s Draconian “HHS Mandate”

By Americans United for Life
Monday, November 10th, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. (11-10-14) – Americans United for Life filed an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) brief today in yet another legal challenge to the most obvious “Obamacare” deception: the “HHS Mandate.” The Mandate forces employers to provide insurance coverage for life-ending drugs and devices. This 21st brief demonstrates that Obamacare funds drugs and devices that can end unborn life, and are damaging to women.

“Voters spoke clearly about their opposition to the landmark, anti-life law that is Obamacare,” noted AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “This law violates the First Amendment conscience rights of Americans by leveling job-killing, business-destroying fines on those who do not want to fund life-ending drugs and devices. Thankfully, there are schools like Dordt College that are rising up to push back against the Obama Administration’s efforts to trample on our most cherished freedoms.

“And AUL’s brief in this case details how the life-ending drugs and devices that are misleadingly labeled as ‘contraception’ actually end life. Through the influence of Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby, Americans are coerced to comply with these life-ending drugs and devices through the coverage mandates,” noted Dr. Yoest.

The case, Dordt College v. Burwell, was filed by Dordt College and Cornerstone University, both private Christian colleges. While the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has expressly exempted churches and their auxiliaries with the same religious objections, it refuses to do the same for Dordt, Cornerstone, or other non-profit, faith-based universities. In May, a federal district court granted Dordt College and Cornerstone University a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the coercive Mandate. The Obama Administration then appealed to the Eighth Circuit.

AUL’s brief (available here) demonstrates that some drugs defined by the FDA as “contraception” can work after conception, ending the life of an already-developing human being, and that the so-called “accommodation” announced by HHS does not protect employers who object to the known life-ending effects of these drugs.

The brief was filed on behalf of Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Alabama Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro Life Nurses, and National Association of Catholic Nurses.

Across the Country: #VotingforLife Paid off

By Americans United for Life
Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

joni ernst victory speech

Congress Turns Pro-Life! Senate Joins House: Offers Historic Opportunity to Protect Women and Children from Abortion Industry Abuses

“It’s time to stand with women against this politically protected abortion conglomerate that values profits over people,” said AULA’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (11-04-14) – Following a sweep of the Senate with pro-life wins in North Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and other states, we are now positioned to BREAK THE BLOCKADE surrounding the U.S. Senate and protect women and girls from abortion industry abuses. “We know that abortion harms women, and yet abortion industry abuses are ignored and at least half a billion tax dollars given to them with little oversight, little regulation and little concern for what happens behind the closed doors of abortion clinics. We must stand with women against this politically protected abortion conglomerate that values profits over people,” said AULA President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

“We celebrate new leadership in the fight for life in the elections of Senators whom AULA worked to elect,” said Dr. Yoest. “And the governors’ races are just as important, given the tremendous momentum for protecting life at the state level.”

While pro-life legislation has been blocked at the federal level, women and their unborn children have seen increasing protection across the country, as pro-life measures have become law, through the hard work of pro-life legislators and compassionate governors. The pro-abortion think tank, the Guttmacher Institute recently noted that more pro-life legislation was passed at the state level from 2011-2013 than in the previous decade. In just the last four years, AUL and our sister organization AUL Action have helped enact 74 life-affirming measures, fully one-third of all the protective measures enacted since 2011.

“AULA also welcomes back the pro-life leadership in the U.S. House who have championed legislation to protect women and their unborn children,” said Yoest.

Consider this list of key life-saving measures passed by the House and blocked by the Senate since pro-life Republicans took control of the House in 2011:

  • Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 5 months of pregnancy (i.e., 20 weeks gestation);
  • No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act applying the restrictions on abortion funding found in the Hyde Amendment to all federal funding streams and requiring that all plans offered through the ACA Exchanges disclose if abortion coverage is included;
  • Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act­ prohibiting sex-selective abortions;
  • Protect Life Act ensuring that no funds appropriated or authorized through the ACA can be used for abortion or insurance plans that provide abortion coverage;
  • The “Pence Amendment” (House. Amendment. 95), this measure would have prohibited the use of federal funds for Planned Parenthood;
  • The “Black-Roby Resolution to Defund Planned Parenthood” (House Continuing Resolution 36), this measure would have defunded Planned Parenthood in the Continuing Resolution;
  • The “Foxx Amendment” (House Amendment 298), prohibits federal funds from being used to train abortion providers.

Also in the win column, AULA congratulates the voters of Tennessee who voted “Yes” on Amendment 1, which requires the Tennessee state constitution to be neutral on abortion, allowing legislators to pass health and safety standards. Currently, the state Supreme Court has ruled that Tennessee’s Constitution provides for an even more radical abortion environment than created in Roe v. Wade.

#VotingforLife is a unique AULA campaign in this election through get-out-the-vote efforts of all kinds across the country, in strategic races. For interviews with Dr. Yoest or other AULA experts the implications of this election, e-mail press@aul.org

North Dakota Supreme Court Rejects Abortion Advocates’ Challenge to AUL-based law that Protects Women from Misuse of Life-ending Drugs

By Americans United for Life
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

“The abortion lobby puts profits over people, but today’s decision validated the hard work of North Dakota legislators who cared enough about women to fight for them,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

bette-grande
Sponsor of the bill, AUL ally State Representative Bette Grande

WASHINGTON, D.C. (10-28-14) – North Dakota women will be better protected from dangerous, life-ending drugs as the result of a decision by the North Dakota Supreme Court today. The state’s high court reversed a North Dakota trial judge and set aside his injunction of a law that regulates chemical abortion drugs, based on Americans United for Life model legislation. The law requires that the drugs used to end pre-born life be administered only in the way approved by the FDA.

“We know that women have died when given life-ending, chemical abortion drugs,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Big Abortion is determined to increase profits and take advantage of women by selling the dangerous drugs in ways that have been linked to at least eight deaths. But one by one, courts are telling Big Abortion ‘no.’”

The case, MKB Management v. Burdick, stems from a challenge to HB 1297, enacted in 2011 and sponsored by AUL ally Representative Bette Grande. A North Dakota trial court invalidated the law, and the State appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court, which, under applicable state laws, will declare a state law unconstitutional only if four Justices agree. Today, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled that there was not a sufficient majority to invalidate the law, meaning that trial court’s decision permanently enjoining the law is reversed.

AUL filed an amicus curiae “friend-of-the-court” brief on behalf of 49 North Dakota Legislators, including bill sponsor Representative Grande. The brief argued that the State Legislature had a substantial interest in regulating abortion to protect women’s health, and that the U.S. Supreme Court’s precedents supported the law.

Similar laws have already been upheld in Texas and Ohio, and last week a state trial court in Oklahoma refused to enjoin a 2014 abortion-inducing drug regulation while it evaluates abortion advocates’ challenge to that law. An Arizona law, preliminarily enjoined by the Ninth Circuit, is currently pending on a cert petition in the U.S. Supreme Court.

For more on the health-risks of abortion to women and their unborn children, click here.

AUL Calls on HHS to Exempt All Those with Moral Objections to Anti-Life Policies in Obamacare

By Americans United for Life
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “failure to sincerely address the abuses of its anti-American, anti-life, coercive mandate is reprehensible,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (10-21-14) – To hold the Obama Administration accountable for its anti-life policies in Obamacare regulations, Americans United for Life filed an official comment with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and called on AUL’s nationwide grassroots network to also comment on anti-life policies that trample on American’s First Amendment Conscience Rights. “HHS cannot claim ignorance regarding these serious concerns and anti-life policies,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Numerous times pro-life advocates, including AUL, have urged HHS and the Institute of Medicine to respect life and First Amendment conscience rights in developing the guidelines. Instead, abortion and anti-life policies pervade the mandate.”

In its official comment filed today (available here), AUL called HHS to exempt all religious and moral objectors from its coercive Obamacare mandate in accordance with state and federal laws and the U.S. Supreme Court’s clear directive in the Hobby Lobby decision. The AUL comment also extensively documents that including life-ending drugs and devices, deceptively labeled as “contraception,” goes against the stated intent of the preventive services provision of the Affordable Care Act. Rather than focusing on women’s health, an ideologically driven recommendation from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) intertwined anti-life polices in Obamacare, under the influences of the pro-abortion advocates who made up the committee. The AUL comment demands that HHS remove life-ending drugs and devices, such as the abortion inducing drug ella, from the mandate.

“HHS’ failure to sincerely address the abuses of its anti-American, anti-life, coercive mandate is reprehensible,” said Dr. Yoest.

“All Americans with religious or moral objections must be exempted from the mandate and drugs and devices with known life-ending mechanisms of action must be removed from the list of required coverage.”

Since 2010, Americans United for Life and the pro-life majority it represents nationwide have submitted thousands of comments about the importance of protecting the First Amendment conscience rights of Americans as well as urging respect for life in healthcare. Americans United for Life has filed amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs in 20 cases on behalf of national medical organizations demonstrating that the life of a new human being begins at fertilization (conception), that so-called ‘emergency contraception’ has a post-fertilization effect that can result in the end of his or her young life, and that forcing employers to provide coverage for such drugs violates their constitutionally protected freedom of conscience.

While the Obama Administration has tinkered with the regulations, nothing has changed. The so-called “accommodation” operates with the same failures after the recent, interim final rule issued in August 2014. HHS makes it explicitly clear that it will force the religious employer’s insurance issuer to include the objected-to items and services. The inappropriate and coercive impact on the plan paid and arranged for by the religious employer remains the same.

To file your own comment with HHS, click here.

AUL Stands with Arizona Legislators Fighting to Protect Women

By Americans United for Life
Friday, October 10th, 2014

“The real war on women takes place in abortion clinics across the country as the abortion industry fights for profits, for secrecy and for reduced protections for women and their unborn children,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (10-10-14) – In an effort to protect women and girls from dangerous life-ending drugs used in chemical abortions, AUL filed an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 38 Arizona legislators. The brief is filed in Humble v. Planned Parenthood in support of a 2012 state law based on AUL model legislation and regulates the administration of life-ending drugs. The health and safety standard at issue in the case requires that life-ending drugs, such as the RU-486 regimen, be provided only as prescribed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. “As the abortion industry fights for higher profits and lower standards, we continue fighting to protect women from the legal back-alley,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Chemical abortion drugs are dangerous. One study found that chemical abortion failed with 18.3 percent of women who are given it – that’s almost one in five – and women have died when given these deadly drugs by abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”

She continued: “The real war on women takes place in abortion clinics across the country as the abortion industry fights for profits, for secrecy and for reduced protections for women and their unborn children.”

The Arizona law in question was challenged by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers seeking to administer abortion-inducing drugs outside of restrictions put in place by the FDA. A federal district court refused to stay the law while litigation proceeds, but the Ninth Circuit reversed that determination and enjoined the law. Arizona is now asking the Supreme Court to grant certiorari to hear the case on appeal and reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision.

Since the RU-486 regimen was approved, thousands of women have faced complications, many of them life-threatening. Both the FDA and the drug manufacturer have acknowledged the substantial risk of complications following use of the RU-486 regimen. In fact, the FDA acknowledged these risks when it approved the drugs under a special code section used for drugs that can be safely used only if distribution or use is restricted.

At least fourteen women are known to have died. Eight of these women died of severe bacterial infections that would not otherwise harm healthy women. All eight of those women were instructed to use the drugs in a manner that directly contravened the approved FDA protocol.

The Arizona law seeks to ensure that the RU-486 regimen is administered only in the way approved by the FDA. Rather than allowing providers to hand out dangerous drugs and send women home to self-administer away from physician oversight and beyond the gestational limit approved by the FDA, the law requires that the drugs be administered in a clinical setting within the gestational limit approved by the FDA.

AUL’s brief, available here, was filed on behalf of Senators Kimberly Yee (bill sponsor), Andy Biggs (President), Gail Griffin, (President Pro Tempore), Nancy Barto, Judy Burges, David Farnsworth, Al Melvin, Rick Murphy, Steve Pierce, Don Shooter, Kelli Ward, and Steve Yarbrough.

AUL also filed on behalf of Representatives David Gowan (Majority Leader), Rick Gray (Majority Whip), J.D. Mesnard (Speaker Pro Tempore), Andy Tobin (Speaker), John Allen, Brenda Barton, Sonny Borrelli, Paul Boyer, Eddie Farnsworth, John Kavanagh, Adam Kwasman, Debbie Lesko, David Livingston, Phil Lovas, Catherine Miranda, Darin Mitchell, Steve Montenegro, Justin Olson, Warren Petersen, Justin Pierce, Carl Seel, T.J. Shope, Steve Smith, David Stevens, Bob Thorpe, and Kelly Townsend. The brief demonstrates that the Ninth Circuit employed an improper legal standard in order to side with Planned Parenthood and ignored clear Supreme Court precedent giving deference to a state’s interest in regulating abortion to protect women’s health.

View The Blog Archive
Blog Archives: