AUL Fights for Life-Saving Procedures in Wisconsin Admitting Privileges Court Case

By Americans United for Life
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-27-15) – Americans United for Life filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) legal brief this week in Planned Parenthood v. Schimel, urging the Seventh Circuit to overturn a decision invalidating Wisconsin’s admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers. “Requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortionists is a life-saving law,” noted AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “The purpose of this health and safety standard is to have a plan in place should a woman experience a life-threatening crisis during an abortion. You would think making a plan for keeping women safe would be something everyone could agree on. Sadly, the abortion industry puts profits before women every time.”

Admitting privileges requirements have been on the books for nearly 30 years and are currently in place in more than a dozen states. Consider this: Abortion providers routinely claim that 2.5 percent of women who have a first-trimester abortion “undergo minor complications,” while fewer than 0.3 percent experience a complication requiring hospitalization. Taking these conservative estimates at face value and using the latest abortion statistics from Guttmacher Institute (for 2011), that would mean, across the U.S., 26,500 women experienced complications and approximately 3180 women required post-abortion hospitalization in 2011.

In fact, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) has previously conceded the appropriateness and patient safety basis of an admitting privileges requirement. NAF’s publication, “Having an Abortion? Your Guide to Good Care” (2000), provides that abortion patients searching for a doctor should find one who, “[i]n the case of an emergency,” can “admit patients to a nearby hospital (no more than 20 minutes away).”

“It’s unconscionable that the abortion industry fights in court to stop life-saving guidelines, rather than putting women first,” said Dr. Yoest. “These numbers represent a significant risk and a serious public health concern to women across the country.”

Experts have testified that there are four main benefits supporting admitting privileges requirements for abortion providers: (a) such requirements provide a more thorough evaluation mechanism of physician competency which better protect patient safety; (b) they acknowledge and enable the importance of continuity of care; (c) the requirements enhance inter-physician communication and optimize patient information transfer and complication management; and (d) they support the ethical duty of care for the operating physician to prevent patient abandonment.

AUL’s brief was filed on behalf of legislators from the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas, which maintain similar admitting privileges laws. AUL’s brief, available here, demonstrated that, in striking down the Wisconsin law, the district court used an erroneous legal standard that contradicted established Supreme Court precedent. When considered in light of Supreme Court directives, it is clear that the State of Wisconsin has a legitimate interest in protecting women from the outset of pregnancy and that a commonsense regulation aimed at protecting women’s health through the admitting privileges of an abortion provider is not an “undue burden” on a woman’s “right” to choose an abortion.

To learn more about the health risks of abortion for women, click here

A Day for Heroes

By Denise Burke
Monday, May 25th, 2015

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
- Joseph Campbell

Memorial Day is a day for heroes – an opportunity to remember those who gave their lives in service of something greater than themselves. While we rightly commemorate the sacrifices of those who came before us, it is also important to gratefully acknowledge that we are still surrounded by modern-day heroes who continue to fight for the most important of America’s founding principles: Life.

Like many Americans, I come from a family of heroes – generations of ordinary people who chose to serve their nation and their families with equal dedication. My grandfather, Francis “Al” Burke, served in the U.S. Navy in the years leading up to World War II. My father, Dennis Burke, spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroism in Vietnam.

As a little girl, I could often be found clomping around the house in my father’s combat boots or crisply marching off to bed to a drill-sergeant cadence. For all the fun my family had with the outward symbols of military service, it was the military’s core principles of dedication, honor, service, and sacrifice that remained with me.

After graduating law school, it was my turn to serve. Following in my father’s footsteps, I was commissioned as an Air Force officer and served for 14 years, both on active duty and in the Reserves. I have many wonderful and poignant memories of my time in uniform. Easily one of the most vivid is the early fall day when I was returned to active duty in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. My new job at AUL and my everyday life were obviously disrupted by this call to wartime service, but the sacrifices were well worth the costs. I was given an inestimable gift: the chance to defend everything that I loved and to serve an end far more important than my own plans or desires.

Service in what is now America’s longest war was not my only or last opportunity to serve with heroes. For the last 15 years as an attorney with AUL, I have worked with men and women who have dedicated their lives and sacrificed professionally and financially for the sake of a profound truth: everyone should be welcomed in life and protected in law. Yet again, I am grateful to be counted among those who daily focus their attention and efforts on a greater good.

My thoughts and prayers this Memorial Day turn to those who – like me – have worn our nation’s uniform and served with honor and distinction in places like Normandy, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They also reflect the pride and tremendous respect I feel for my current “comrades in arms” at AUL and in the larger pro-life movement. It has truly been an honor to serve alongside these selfless and dedicated heroes.

Video: How We Know We’re Winning

By Americans United for Life
Friday, May 22nd, 2015

In the last few months we’ve heard Big Abortion say they want a national discussion on abortion. We both know this profit-driven industry is trying desperately to normalize this injustice.

But do they really want to talk about abortion? Or do they just want to shut down any opposition to their pro-abortion narrative?

Watch our new one-minute video to find out:

Illinois SB 1564 Continues to Move – Get Your Pastor’s Briefing Book

By Americans United for Life
Thursday, May 14th, 2015

IMG_2556Illinois SB 1564, a bill that would dramatically reduce the state’s conscience protections for health care providers and pro-life pregnancy centers, continues to advance.

Yesterday, the House Committee on Human Services voted along party lines to advance this dangerous bill to the House floor. If the bill passes the House, it will go to Governor Rauner for consideration.

People from across Illinois have been asking what more they can do to help. That’s why we’ve created the Pastor’s Briefing Book on SB 1564. We ask that you download it today and send it to your pastor asking them to speak up on the dangers to religious freedom for both health care providers and patients.

Click here to download AUL’s Pastor Briefing Book on SB 1564.

When the committee considered SB 1564 yesterday, AUL was there. Chicago resident and AUL staff attorney, Anna Paprocki, testified explaining that this bill will not only affect the ability of health care providers to live their lives according to their religious beliefs, but it will also limit the ability of patients to choose a doctor who believes like they do.

In regards to how the bill would affect the state’s pro-life pregnancy resource centers, Mrs. Paprocki testified, “These centers exist to offer women hope and alternatives to abortion. Under this bill they would have to, at minimum, provide in writing a list of providers they reasonably believe offer abortion.” Mandating pregnancy centers to promote and facilitate abortions “violates their core mission,” she said. We should not be “forcing pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion clinics.”

Now that the bill has passed the committee hearing, it could be brought up at any time for a vote. Our contacts in Springfield say that the vote count is very close. Please send your pastor the AUL Pastor’s Briefing Book today so your church is equipped to speak out on SB 1564.

AUL Commends U.S. House for Standing Up for Women and Their Unborn Children with Passage of an Abortion Limit at 5 Months of Pregnancy

By Americans United for Life
Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

“There is a war on women in abortion clinics today, where they are exposed to tremendous risks for profit from a secretive, taxpayer funded, billion-dollar industry,” said AUL’s Dr. Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-13-15) – Americans United for Life President & CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called the House of Representatives passage of H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”, “long overdue and one of the most commonsense laws under consideration. There is a war on women in abortion clinics today, where they are exposed to tremendous risks for profit from a secretive, taxpayer funded, billion-dollar industry. It’s time to protect women from dangerous conditions and the unborn from a torturous death.”

She continued: “It is fitting that the House of Representatives debated and passed a bill that would protect unborn children from late-term abortion as well as their mothers on the second anniversary of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s conviction for killing a young woman and countless newborns in his clinic. This debate comes as even the New York Times is reporting on the survival rates of children born early in pregnancy. The humanity of an unborn child combined with the health risks of abortion for women make limiting abortion after 5 months the right thing to do.”

The health risks of abortion to women are severe and become greater the longer a woman is pregnant. Medical research shows that after 2 months of pregnancy, chances of dying from an abortion increase 38 percent each week. At 5 months of pregnancy, a woman is 35 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester and after 21 weeks, a woman is 91 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester.

In fact, the U.S. is so radical in abortion policies that we are 1 of 4 nations out of 195 (along with China, North Korea, and Canada) allowing abortion through all 9 months, for any reason at all, and sometimes with taxpayer funding.

Click here to read H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

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

AUL Action Supports Limiting Abortion at 5 Months of Pregnancy Because of Dangers Faced by Mothers and Their Unborn Children

By Americans United for Life
Monday, May 11th, 2015

Pledges Scored Vote on H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-11-15) – Americans United for Life Action President & CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called on members of the U.S. House to vote in favor of H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and released today. Click here to read the bill. The vote in the House expected this week will be scored. “Limiting abortion at 5 months of pregnancy, as an unborn child becomes able to live outside the womb and as the abortion procedure becomes even more dangerous for women, is a commonsense law long overdue,” said Dr. Yoest. “This type of legislation represents the mother-child strategy that AUL Action recommends because it deals directly with the ugly reality of abortion, which hurts both mother and child who are exposed to an industry willing to harm people for profit.”

H.R. 36 contains new women-centered provisions which are enhancements from the original version of the bill, H.R. 1797, passed by the House in June 2013. Specifically, these provisions include counseling requirements, informed consent and data reporting to the CDC required of providers.

“The health risks of abortion to women are severe and become greater the longer a woman is pregnant,” noted Dr. Yoest. Medical research shows that after 2 months of pregnancy, chances of dying from an abortion increase 38 percent each week.

At 5 months of pregnancy, a woman is 35 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester and after 21 weeks, a woman is 91 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester.

“Not only is big abortion willing to expose women to great risk, abortionists are ignoring the pain experienced by unborn children who may even be able to survive outside the womb, as their lives are ended in agony,” Dr. Yoest said. “Ironically, as the New York Times is reporting that more children are surviving premature births, the abortion lobby fights to kill viable babies, people who could live full lives if born. The U.S. is so radical in abortion policies that we are 1 of 4 nations out of 195 (along with China, North Korea and Canada) allowing abortion through all 9 months, for any reason at all, and sometimes with taxpayer monies.

“I urge the House to swiftly pass H.R. 36 and urge the Senate to do the same,” concluded Dr. Yoest. “Lives are at stake.”

To read more about the harms of abortion to women click here. To learn more about the cutting-edge legislation in the Women’s Protection Project, click here.

AUL at New York Times on “Surge” of Pro-Life Bills

By Americans United for Life
Saturday, May 9th, 2015

On May 8, 2015, AUL staff counsel Anna Paprocki provided comment to the New York Times in an article entitled “State Legislatures Put Up Flurry of Roadblocks to Abortion.” An excerpt is copied below.

Oklahoma’s governor this week approved a law extending to 72 hours the mandatory waiting period before a woman can have an abortion. Here in Florida, lawmakers enacted a 24-hour waiting period that requires two separate appointments — one for an ultrasound and information about fetal development and another for the actual procedure.

These are just two laws in a surge of bills passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures this year that make it harder for women to have abortions.

Arkansas led the nation with six new abortion-related laws, including one requiring minors to present a notarized consent from a parent and another saying that a woman more than 20 weeks along must be told that her fetus can feel pain…

…“State legislatures are restricting how doctors provide medical care related to abortion, where doctors can provide that care, what doctors can say to patients when they provide that care and more,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, the director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.

But Anna Paprocki, staff counsel for Americans United for Life, which opposes abortion, said, “The Supreme Court has been clear on this: Not every burden is unconstitutional.” She added, “A lot of the arguments made by the abortion industry against any regulation are red herrings.”

Ms. Paprocki’s group drafted 50 pieces of “model legislation” this year, which made their way to statehouses across the nation. The most frequently proposed bills from these suggestions included limitations on later-term abortions, clinic regulations, hospital admitting privilege requirements for clinic doctors and regulations on abortion-inducing drugs, Americans United for Life said in a report on the 2015 legislative session.

Click here to continue reading >>

AUL Joins Illinois Women’s Health and Life Alliance in Opposing SB 1564, an Assault on Speech and Conscience Rights

By Americans United for Life
Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

MEDIA ADVISORY: AUL Attorney Anna Paprocki to speak at noon (Central) Event

WASHINGTON, D.C./CHICAGO, IL (05-05-15) – Americans United for Life attorney Anna Paprocki will participate in a Tuesday media event as part of the Illinois Women’s Health and Life Alliance to oppose SB 1564 and its draconian punishments for pro-life Americans who do not comply with the abortion industry’s agenda in Illinois.

In her remarks, Paprocki will observe: “SB 1564 is detrimental to both healthcare providers and patients. It violates people’s constitutional rights of conscience and free speech, and illustrates the abortion industry’s strategic shift from choice to coercion in their attempts to force all to comply with their anti-life agenda or face the force of law.”

The measure would force Pregnancy Care Centers to discuss so-called “benefits” of abortion and refer for or provide information on where to obtain abortions. Doctors also would be required to facilitate abortions for any reason, and at any stage of pregnancy, despite their conscientious and professional objections.

“Many pro-life healthcare providers—for religious and moral reasons alike – cannot in good conscience comply with a government mandate to promote and facilitate abortion-on-demand, including late-term abortions and abortions performed on babies because of their disabilities,” said Paprocki. “Gutting Illinois’ conscience law is more than bad policy – it violates longstanding federal law and the United States Constitution, with a high financial cost to the people of Illinois.” Click here to read her remarks.


WHEN: Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 12 p.m. noon (CENTRAL)

WHAT: Illinois Women’s Health and Life Alliance press conference urging an Illinois House defeat of SB 1564.

WHERE: Blue Room, Illinois State Capitol Building, 401 S 2nd Street, Springfield, IL 62701

ONLINE STREAMING AT: (for subscribers)
Choose 05-05-2015 LIVE 12:00 p.m. Rep. Morrison Press Conference (SB 1564 Health Care Right of Conscience) Blue Room Springfield

AUL Action Says a Vote to Disapprove RHNDA Vital for Preserving the Constitutional Freedoms of Pro-life Americans

By Americans United for Life
Thursday, April 30th, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. (04-30-15) – Calling for passage of H.J. Res 43, the Joint Resolution of Disapproval on the implementation of the “Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014” (RHNDA) enacted by the D.C. government, Americans United for Life Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted that defeating RHNDA “is vital for preserving the Constitutional freedoms of pro-life organizations based in Washington, D.C. who could be forced to hire people who work in opposition to the mission of creating a country in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law.” In a letter that went to Capitol Hill today, Dr. Yoest informed House members that the vote regarding H.J. Res 43 would be scored.

“The Joint Resolution of Disapproval is designed to protect the rights of organizations such as Americans United for Life, as it ensures that people who have a pro-abortion viewpoint are not permitted to call themselves a special, protected class able to use discrimination laws to force their way into pro-life organizations and undermine their mission,” said Dr. Yoest.

In the letter, Dr. Yoest noted: “At a minimum, RHNDA violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), and infringes upon the freedom of association protected by the First Amendment, as recognized in Supreme Court precedent.”

According to media reports, a vote is expected on RHNDA in the U.S. House on Friday.

Click here to read the entire letter.

AUL Reveals 2015 Legislative Trends – Pro-Life Innovations and Dangerous Bills Targeting the Sick and Elderly

By Americans United for Life
Monday, April 27th, 2015

“Mothers and their unborn children should not be abandoned to a callous, profit-motivated abortion industry that lobbies for us to ‘Trust but Never Verify’ women’s health and safety,” said AUL’s Dr. Yoest.

Click here to download a copy of AUL’s 2015 State Legislative Sessions Mid-Session Report.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (04-27-15) – “Innovative additions to informed consent enhancements on health risks and realities of abortion, medically appropriate health and safety standards for abortion providers, abortion limits at 5 months of pregnancy, and dangerous legislation targeting the sick and elderly represent key legislative trends across the country on life issues,” noted Americans United for Life President & CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest, in releasing AUL’s mid-session legislative analysis.

“Despite efforts to shut down pro-life legislation at the federal level, pro-life Americans across the country have worked together at the state level to ensure that mothers and their unborn children are not abandoned to a callous, profit-motivated abortion industry that lobbies for us to ‘Trust but Never Verify’ women’s health and safety,” said Dr. Yoest. “Successes across the country illustrate the growing national conviction that the reality of human life in the womb and the dangers of abortion to women must be addressed in the law.”

Number One Trend: Informed Consent Enhancements, Chemical Abortion CAN be Reversed

“Innovative informed consent laws have been enacted in Arizona and Arkansas, based on AUL model legislation, that require women to receive vital information on the possibility of reversing a chemical abortion. This represents another victory for Life as a result of AUL’s mother-child strategy,” said Dr. Yoest. “With chemical abortions now accounting for 1 in 4 abortions, women need to know what all their options are.” Click here to learn more about chemical abortion reversal.

Number Two Trend: Continued Protections for Women in Abortion Clinics
Question: Is Your State Rated “Dangerous” Because of Poor Legal Protections?

In addition to enhancements to informed consent laws and limits on abortions at 5 months, abortion clinic regulations and admitting privileges requirements continue to advance at the state-level. Abortion advocates are actively opposing such protective legislation and, in 2015, have spearheaded the consideration of at least 25 measures to rollback recent pro-life gains at the state level. Click here to learn whether your state has been rated “Dangerous” because of poor legal protections for women.

Number Three Trend: The Elderly and Sick More Vulnerable to Pressure to End their Lives

“While we see increasing national consensus to protect life in the womb as a pregnancy advances, most disturbing is a trend to make the sick and elderly less safe,” noted Dr. Yoest. At least 24 states and the District of Columbia are considering measures to legalize physician-assisted suicide, a more than threefold increase in such measures. Much of the momentum supporting these measures derives from the publicity surrounding the assisted-suicide death of Brittany Maynard in November 2014.

A number of measures based on AUL model language have been enacted or have made significant progress this legislation session. As of April 23, 2015, six AUL measures have been enacted and three AUL model resolutions have been adopted. Further, AUL has assisted in the enactment of chemical abortion regulations in Idaho and in the defeat of anti-life measures in New York and Connecticut.

To read AUL’s analysis of life-related laws during this 2015 legislative session, click here.

To learn more about AUL’s cutting-edge model legislation, found in Defending Life, click here.

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