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AUL Applauds U.S. House Investigation Into Possible Illegal Profiteering from Trafficking in Human Remains of Unborn Infants, Notes 6 Possible Violations of Law

By Americans United for Life
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

“This Congressional investigation is right on track. Abundant probable cause supports the Congressional investigation in whether Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry’s trafficking in the remains of unborn children violates federal law,” said AUL attorney Anna Paprocki.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (04-19-16) – “U.S. law requires that the mortal remains of human beings be treated with respect. A human person is not to be thrown into a landfill or dismembered and sold for parts,” noted Anna Paprocki, Staff Counsel at Americans United for Life, as the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives held a hearing on whether abortion clinics and middlemen businesses were  illegally profiting from the trafficking of the remains of unborn children, dismembered and sold for parts after abortions. She continued: “Abundant probable cause supports the Panel’s investigation into the abortion industry’s practice of harvesting baby hearts, lungs, and brains in exchange for money. Planned Parenthood senior officials have been caught on camera explaining the compensation they take for harvesting baby body parts, exclaiming that ‘if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.’  Doing better than breaking even is illegal under federal law, no matter how happy that profit might make Planned Parenthood.”

As AUL has extensively documented, the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) raise probable cause to investigate the violation of six federal laws, including 42 U.S.C. §289g-2(a), which prohibits any person from receiving valuable consideration for fetal tissue.

Ms. Paprocki explained that the Panel’s investigation is especially warranted given the consistent theme in the comments made by Planned Parenthood officials to undercover reporters that their primary concern was creating the perception that they are following the law and not  whether they do, in fact, receive valuable consideration in exchange for the body parts of the babies it aborts.

“Chairman Marsha Blackburn was absolutely right when she explained that ‘Congress has a duty to taxpayers to find the facts and get to the bottom of what is going on,’” said Paprocki.

“Instead of the transparency and accountability that we should expected from an organization that receives a half a billion dollars of taxpayer funding each year, Planned Parenthood has taken a brazen ‘above the law’ attitude. Planned Parenthood’s response to serious allegations has been to issue statements crafted by PR firms that dodge and distract from the facts and bully those who attempt any genuine inquiry into the truth.”

To watch the hearing on line, click here.

For more on AUL’s analysis on Planned Parenthood and the issues surrounding the disturbing videos showing their employees and associates discussing fetal tissue trafficking, click here. To learn more about AUL’s Planned Parenthood monitoring, click here.

Job Opening: Director of Online Communications

By Americans United for Life
Thursday, March 24th, 2016

AUL is hiring a Director of Online Communication. This position is responsible for managing and innovating AUL’s online presence, managing e-mail lists, scheduling e-blasts and coordinating on-line marketing and helping to grow AUL’s brand awareness. The director provides a creative element as well as a point of implementation for AUL communications strategy. Send Cover letter and resume to press@aul.org

Core Responsibilities

●      Maintain AUL.org Website

o      Create visuals to supplement AUL’s messaging, products and involvement.

o      Keep front page of website updated with fresh content, includes sliders, blog posts, latest media hits

o      Updating the website with on-going AUL communications

o      Create landing pages for AUL campaigns

o      Create blog posts for press releases, updates, articles and more

o      Maintain and update staff/board listing on website

o      Manage security of website with in-house tools and vendors

●      Manage Social Media Platforms

o      Lead and develop strategies for reaching people through new media.

o      Facebook: Grow “likes”; grow engagement, direct users to AUL email list and content on AUL website

o      Increase presence through targeted ad/marketing purchases

o      Twitter: grow follows; grow engagement (retweets, mentions), direct users to AUL mentions in the media, AUL storylines and content on AUL website. Also, engage with pro-life allies and legislators, work with the team to create social media content in advance of events and in real time as they occur

o      Instagram: Tell AUL story through photos, avoiding politics/rhetoric as much as possible and instead focusing on the AUL team & day-to-day activities

o      YouTube: Post media coverage, interviews, testimony, event footage & AUL promotional videos

o      Assisting in the creating of video tools as needed

o      LinkedIn: Monitor, occasional updates

o      Google+: Monitor

o      Wikipedia tracking of AUL and strategic topics/partners

o      Other social media sites as assigned

●      Oversee Email and Database

o      Implement email acquisition campaigns around breaking news items

o      Working with the Development team, planning and Implementing AUL’s online fundraising campaigns

o      Implement/Improve/Maintain email tracking and analytics to learn about our list and engage with them optimally

o      Maintaining the e-mail schedule as well as setting up and sending e-mail communications

o      Set up & send press releases and other emails as directed

o      Write copy for informational emails and emails inviting supporters to events

o      Review & edit test copy

o      Create visuals to increase reach of printed media (such as charts/graphs)

o      Assist database administrator with list management and maintenance

o      Run reports on constituent interactions with AUL

o      Update constituent profiles (unsubscribe, subscribe, update address, etc.)

●      Graphic Design

o      Create memes for social media themed around AUL messaging

o      Convert articles with AUL mention, or AUL op-ed into clean, simple PDF format

o      Create ads for conferences

o      Create sliders for front page of website

o      Create graphical elements for use in emails, etc.

●      Video and Visuals Oversight

o      Create video footage in the office and at events

o      Work with vendors to create video footage

o      Oversee video media products for use whether for website, development, social media audiences, etc.

o      Take photos in the office and at events

o      Obtain and archive all AUL photos

o      Obtain and archive all AUL video footage, i.e. event footage, interview footage

o      Obtain and archive all AUL audio clips, i.e. interviews

●      Manage Other AUL Web applications

o      RealHealthCareRespectsLife.com website

o      AUL Rapid Response Unit

o      AULAction.org website

o      Other websites as directed

●      Other Communications Needs

o      Assistance in monitoring the press box and press inquires, handled by designated spokesperson

o      Monitor in-office interviews as needed

o      Monitor requests for AUL participation at Events.

o      Other Duties as may be assigned that relate to the role of on-line communications

Requirements

o      Possesses a strong commitment and dedication to the pro-life position. Agrees with AUL’s mission and vision of a world in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law.

o      Holds a Bachelor’s Degree in online technology or marketing.   Masters or Professional Degree preferred.

o      Experience with WordPress, Microsoft Office Suite, Luminate Online, HTML, PHP, CSS, Photoshop, Fireworks, Adobe Premiere/Final Cut Pro

o      Demonstrates strong interpersonal skills and integrity

o      Turn-Key skills: Self-starting, able to follow through on a plan with minimal oversight and able to seek help to overcome obstacles when encountered

o      Engages empathetically with people

o      Shows strong natural instincts and high energy relating well to a diverse group of people.

o      Demonstrates skills as an organizer, project manager, and communicator

AUL’s 29th Obamacare Brief Defends Freedom of Conscience as Supreme Court Hears Case

By Americans United for Life
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

“Federal law and the Constitution prohibit the Obama Administration’s attempt to bully nuns who care for the elderly poor by forcing them to buy life-ending devices they don’t want or face the punishing hand of government” said AUL attorney Evangeline Bartz.

MEDIA ADVISORY: AUL Legal Experts Available for Comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. (03-23-16) – Americans United for Life attorney Evangeline Bartz spoke outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the Justices heard oral arguments in seven consolidated cases that challenge the Obama Administration’s “HHS mandate” that forces religious non-profit employers to facilitate insurance coverage of life-ending drugs and devices.  “The Obama Administration’s true colors are exposed by its decision to bully nuns who care for the elderly poor with the threat of millions of dollars in fines and years of litigation—while large corporations such as Exxon, Chevron, and Pepsi are not subject to the mandate because their plans are grandfathered,” said Mrs. Bartz.  She continued: “The HHS Mandate is about coercion, not choice. It is a product of the Administration’s extreme commitment to a pro-abortion agenda and is an attack on hard-won constitutional freedom of conscience.”

The amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief filed by Americans United for Life’s legal team in the consolidated cases was AUL’s 29th amicus brief defending the rights of Americans under assault by the landmark anti-life law that is known as Obamacare. In its brief, AUL represents national medical groups and demonstrates that the life of a new human being begins at fertilization, that so-called “emergency contraception” has post-fertilization effects that can end the life of a new, developing, unique human being, and that forcing the religious employers to facilitate and provide coverage for such drugs violates their freedom of conscience guaranteed by the Constitution and federal law.

For six years, since the enactment of the healthcare law known as “Obamacare,” AUL has led efforts to mitigate the coercive anti-life provisions of the law, following up on efforts during the legislative process to fight for conscience rights. Abortion advocates, like Planned Parenthood, helped shaped the pro-abortion law now in court, and have had a pattern of intimidating those who do not wish to fund its life-ending products.  With Planned Parenthood’s help, President Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to put abortion at “the heart” of his healthcare plan came to fruition.

Abortion is woven into the healthcare law at multiple levels, making repeal of the law a pro-life necessity, including:

  • 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.

To learn more about how real healthcare respects life, click here.

To learn more about how abortion harms women, click here.

AUL Calls on the Senate To Hold the Line Against Obama’s Supreme Court Pick

By Americans United for Life
Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

“Judge Merrick Garland is President Obama’s pro-abortion pick to tempt some Republicans to act now to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court” said AUL’s Clarke Forsythe.

MEDIA ADVISORY: AUL Legal Experts Available for Comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. (03-16-16) – Americans United for Life Senior Counsel and Acting President Clarke Forsythe called on the U.S. Senate to stand firm in its resolve to wait until after the election to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia following the announcement of President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. “Judge Merrick Garland is President Obama’s pro-abortion pick to tempt some Republicans to act now to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. The President’s commitment to unrestricted, unmonitored and taxpayer funded abortion is well known,” said Forsythe. “Pro-life Americans agree with the assessments of President Obama, Vice President Biden and even Sen. Chuck Schumer, all of whom urged the Senate to hold the line against Supreme Court picks late in a president’s term. The voters need to weigh in on the direction of the nation’s most powerful court, and given the reality that the Supreme Court has set it self up as the nation’s ‘Abortion Control Board’ in its sweeping Roe v. Wade decision, it is time let the people have a voice.”

Consider that Judge Garland spoke at a gathering celebrating Linda Greenhouse’s book on Justice Harry Blackmun, Becoming Justice Blackmun. He described the release of the papers of the late Justice Blackmun—the author of one of the Supreme Court’s worst decisions, Roe v. Wade—as a “great gift to the country.”

“Americans United for Life looks forward to assisting the Senate leadership in evaluating prospective nominees when the time is right,” Forsythe said. As the nation’s oldest, national pro-life organization, AUL has been recognized four times by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee when AUL was asked to address pro-life concerns in confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees.  AUL leaders testified during confirmation hearings for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan.

AUL recently sent a letter to the Senate, urging them to hold the line. To read more click here. Writing in an op-ed for The Hill, which accompanied the letter, Forsythe said: “There are numerous instances where the Senate has rejected presidential nominees to the Supreme Court.  Approximately 31 of 160 Supreme Court nominees have been rejected.  (Henry Hogue did a detailed analysis for the Congressional Research Service in 2010.) A list of some relatively recent ones (listing president-nominee) include: Hoover-Parker (1930), Johnson-Fortas (1968), Nixon-Haynsworth (1969), Nixon-Carswell (1970), and Reagan-Bork (1987).”

And contrary to partisan advocates who say that nine justices are required for the work of the court, Forsythe observed, “There’s no magic to the number nine.  The number of Justices is not set by the Constitution, but by statute.  The number of justices, for example, fluctuated between 1866 and1871.  Congress reduced the number of Justices in 1866, then increased the number to ten, before reducing the number to nine in 1871, where it has remained.”

In addition to calling on the Senate to hold the line, AUL is also engaged in building grassroots support in a national petition urging the Senate to wait until after the election to confirm a replacement for Scalia. To view or sign the petition, click here.

To learn more about the dangers of abortion for women, click here.

AUL Calls on Senate to Highlight Health Risks of Abortion for Women and Their Unborn Children As Senate Considers Historic Bill

By Americans United for Life
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

“For too long, an under supervised, rarely accountable abortion industry has hidden behind political allies and failed to protect women from abortion’s many risks,” said AUL attorney Anna Paprocki.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (03-15-16) – As the Senate Judiciary Committee considers an historic bill to limit abortion at 5 months, when abortion’s risks to women increase and when unborn infants can experience pain, Americans United for Life attorney Anna Paprocki urged Senators to strengthen the bill by emphasizing abortion’s harms and risks to all. “For too long, an under supervised, rarely accountable abortion industry has hidden behind political allies and failed to protect women from abortion’s many risks. Especially for women who are harmed by abortion and infants who do survive that horrific procedure only to be abandoned alive, legislators must act to protect victims of a greedy abortion industry.”

 Paprocki continued: “As a result of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, the U.S. is so radical in our abortion policies that we are one of four 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 dollars. And abortion carries increasing risks as pregnancy continues.”

Consider: After two months of pregnancy, chance of dying from an abortion increases 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. After 21 weeks, a woman is 91 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester.

Abortion’s harms to women convincingly demonstrate the truth that the ongoing abortion debate is not about competing interests between mother and child. Instead, protecting the right to life of the unborn protects women as well.

For more on the health risks of abortion, click here.

For more on legislation from Americans United for Life designed to protect women from abortion industry abuses, click here.

For more on the risks of abortion to women from radical abortion policies, click here.

AUL urges Senate to Hold the Line and Allow Next President to Fill Supreme Court Vacancy

By Americans United for Life
Thursday, March 10th, 2016

“Given President Obama’s pro-abortion litmus test, his nominee will prohibit the states from passing health and safety regulations and leave women completely unprotected from substandard providers and clinics,”
said AUL’s Clarke Forsythe.

MEDIA ADVISORY: AUL Legal Experts Available for Comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. (03-10-16) – In a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, Americans United for Life Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe urged Senators “to stand resolutely against filling the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia until the election and inauguration of the next President.  Doing so is a proper exercise of the authority granted to the Senate by the Constitution and necessary to the preservation of self-government, especially on the life issue.” Not only does the Constitution allow this, according to Article II, Section 2, which gives the Senate the role of “advice and consent” for “judges of the Supreme Court,” the Senate has often taken advantage of that option, noted Forsythe.

Writing in an op-ed for The Hill, which accompanied the letter, Forsythe said: “There are numerous instances where the Senate has rejected presidential nominees to the Supreme Court.  Approximately 31 of 160 Supreme Court nominees have been rejected.  (Henry Hogue did a detailed analysis for the Congressional Research Service in 2010.) A list of some relatively recent ones (listing president-nominee) include: Hoover-Parker (1930), Johnson-Fortas (1968), Nixon-Haynsworth (1969), Nixon-Carswell (1970), and Reagan-Bork (1987).”

And contrary to partisan advocates who say that nine justices are required for the work of the court, Forsythe observed, “There’s no magic to the number nine.  The number of Justices is not set by the Constitution, but by statute.  The number of justices, for example, fluctuated between 1866 and1871.  Congress reduced the number of Justices in 1866, then increased the number to ten, before reducing the number to nine in 1871, where it has remained.”

Forsythe commended Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his leadership in calling for the Senate to wait until after the election to move on any nomination, and called on the Senate to support such an effort.

“President Obama’s pro-abortion litmus test for Supreme Court justices is long-standing and well-known. In 2010, President Obama expressly stated that a prospective nominee’s position on abortion was ‘very important,’” Forsythe wrote. “At stake are the long-recognized legitimate state interests in protecting maternal health and unborn life. Any nomination by President Obama promises to jeopardize these critical state interests, which were even acknowledged by the Court in Roe v. Wade.”

In addition to calling on the Senate to hold the line, AUL is also engaged in building grassroots support in a national petition urging the Senate to wait until after the election to confirm a replacement for Scalia. To view or sign the petition, click here.

To learn more about the dangers of abortion for women, click here.

Abortion Industry Would Rather Invest Money in Lawyers than Women’s Health

By Americans United for Life
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

“Seeking to keep profits high and standards low has motivated the abortion industry for years,”
noted AUL’s Denise Burke. “It’s time to put women’s health and safety first.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (03-02-16) – Americans United for Life, the nation’s leading advocate for protecting women’s health through commonsense legislation, and co-counsel with The Bioethics Defense Fund in an amicus curie (friend of the court) brief in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, (formerly known asWhole Woman’s Health v. Cole) will be at the U.S. Supreme Court today as ground breaking health and safety standards get their day in the highest court in the land. AUL legal experts are available to discuss the heath and safety standards that have become law nationwide, such as those found in AUL’s innovative Women’s Protection Project and Infants’ Protection Project. “The Texas law provides a template for the nation’s officeholders who care about what happens to women behind the closed doors of abortion clinics,” said AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke. “Abortion advocates argue that ‘access’ to whatever they choose to sell trumps women’s health and safety, but abortion harms women. Every day, women are put at risk in abortion clinics in part because the abortion industry will invest in lawyers but not in health and safety standards.”

An attorney in Texas, Burke noted: “Ironically, Texas is again at the forefront of the continuing national debate over abortion. In January 1973, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ prohibition on abortion in Roe v. Wade, unleashing an extreme abortion-on-demand agenda that has claimed more than 50 million children and left millions of American women at the mercy of an under-scrutinized, inadequately regulated, and profit-driven abortion industry. Now another Texas abortion law has presented the Court with the opportunity to strike a decisive blow for women’s health and safety. It is important to remember that convicted Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell provided ‘mere access’ to abortions in a clinic where a woman died because a stretcher could not fit through the hallways, where unsterilized instruments spread infections, and where parts of unborn babies were stored in jars like macabre trophies. This case offers a unique and much-needed opportunity to educate the Court and the American public about the reality of “back-alley” abortions in America”

On the possible impact of Justice Scalia’s passing on the case:

AUL Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe observed: “Following the tragic death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the State of Texas – and the women it seeks to protect from abortion industry abuses – only needs 4 votes to win. In the case of a 4 to 4 split, the well-reasoned decision by the Fifth Circuit upholding the Texas law will be affirmed. Importantly, the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the need for health and safety standards for abortion provideres. Since Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly acknowledged that a state has ‘a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that ensure maximum safety for the patient.’”

AUL Experts available for interview on the Texas case:

AUL Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe, foremost legal expert on abortion law, author of Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade, published by Encounter Books in 2013. His thirty-one years of service to AUL includes founding and directing the AUL Project in Law & Bioethics and arguing cases before federal and state courts, as well as testifying before Congress and state legislatures.

AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke, editor of Defending Life, drafter of pro-life legislation including health and safety standards for abortion providers, and co-author of AUL’s amicus brief filed in the Texas case.

AUL attorney Anna Paprocki is a contributing author to AUL’s publication Defending Life and a leading expert on Planned Parenthood’s predatory corporate practices.

Some Background: The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, involves Texas House Bill 2, a measure enacted in 2013 with a number of life-affirming provisions. Placing profit above women’s health, abortion providers challenged provisions requiring them to meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), as well as to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. In June 2015, the Fifth Circuit upheld the provisions, and the abortion providers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in their continued effort to avoid compliance with the commonsense requirements. AUL has been active in this case since its inception, submitting an amicus brief to the Fifth Circuit as well as to the Supreme Court.

In the amicus brief before the Supreme Court, AUL and The Bioethics Defense Fund represents more than 460 Republican and Democratic officeholders from across the nation and demonstrates to the Court that state efforts to protect women through reasonable health and safety standards must be upheld for reasons of common sense and medical reality.

For legal analysis of the issues in the Texas case, click here.

For more on the health risks of abortion for women, click here.

AUL Team of Experts Available to Discuss Protective Health and Safety Standards being debated in Texas Abortion Case

By Americans United for Life
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

“At every turn, the abortion industry fights health and safety standards that offer real protection to women, going to court to keep profits high and standards low,” said AUL’s Denise Burke. “They’ll invest money in attorneys, but not in protecting women.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (02-23-16) – Americans United for Life has been the leader in developing constitutionally sound model legislation designed to equip elected officials with tools to protect women and their unborn children from the abortion industry. Such legislation is the subject of the case to be argued before the Supreme Court on March 2, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (formerly Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole v. Cole). AUL attorneys were advocates for Texas House Bill 2, the pro-life law enacted in Texas and now in court as a result of abortion industry objections to following the laws that protect women in other healthcare settings.

AUL also filed an amicus curie (friend of the court) brief, along with co-counsel The Bioethics Defense Fund, representing more than 460 Republicans and Democrats state legislators and officeholders from across the nation and demonstrating to the Court that state efforts to protect women through reasonable health and safety standards must be upheld for reasons of common sense and medical reality.

AUL Experts available for interview, before the arguments and at the Supreme Court March 2:

AUL Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe, foremost legal expert on abortion law, author of Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade, published by Encounter Books in 2013. His thirty-one years of service to AUL includes founding and directing the AUL Project in Law & Bioethics and arguing cases before federal and state courts, as well as testifying before Congress and state legislatures.

AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke, editor of Defending Life, drafter of pro-life legislation including health and safety standards for abortion providers, and co-author of AUL’s amicus brief filed in the Texas case.

AUL attorney Anna Paprocki is a contributing author to AUL’s publication Defending Life and a leading expert on Planned Parenthood’s predatory corporate practices.

The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, involves Texas House Bill 2, a measure enacted in 2013 with a number of life-affirming provisions.  Placing profit above women’s health, abortion providers challenged provisions requiring them to meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), as well as to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.  In June 2015, the Fifth Circuit upheld the provisions, and abortion providers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in their continued effort to avoid compliance with the commonsense requirements.

AUL has been active in this case since its inception.  In addition to providing expert consultation on the constitutionality of HB 2 before and after it was enacted, AUL filed an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit on behalf of Texas Legislators. 

AUL’s current brief, available here, was filed on behalf of more than 460 officeholders from states with provisions similar to the Texas health and safety standards.  The brief demonstrates that the Supreme Court has promised “wide discretion” to state lawmakers in the regulation of abortion and has given significant deference to legislative determinations as to the medical necessity for enacting health and safety regulations.  Here, both the legislative record and the evidence before the trial court confirm that the state acted in the best interest of women, and the Supreme Court must upheld HB 2.

For more on the health risks of abortion for women, click here.

AUL’s Yoest Calls Justice Scalia’s Death “a Tragic Loss” and urges the Senate to confirm a worthy successor after the election

By Americans United for Life
Saturday, February 13th, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. (02-13-16) – Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called news of the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia “a tragic loss for our country. Americans mourn the passing of a man with deep integrity and unparalleled intellectual force, who valued the Constitution over the whims of popular culture.”

She continued: “Known for his great wit and wisdom, Justice Scalia continually reminded us that the rule of law and protections enshrined in the Constitution are essential. His contribution to our country has been immeasurable.  His respect for life in law, calling himself a ‘textualist,’ allowed him to decide on the tough cases more easily: he once said to reporters, ‘Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion.’”

Yoest added, “His loss is tragic, and we hope that when it comes time for the Senate to vote on his replacement, that a worthy successor who can pick up his banner can be found after the election.”

Justice Antonin Scalia was a long-standing and consistent voice on the Court for allowing the American people, through the democratic process, to protect human beings from abortion or assisted suicide.  He was one of the strongest critics on the Court of the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, as unconstitutional and illegitimate.  And he voted with the majority of the Court in 1997 against a constitutional right to assisted suicide.  In both cases, he affirmed that the Constitution leaves these issues to the people to formulate public policies through their elected representatives.

AUL’s leadership on pro-life law and policy and its reputation as a thoughtful pro-life advocate has been recognized four times by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee when AUL was asked to address pro-life concerns in confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees.  AUL leaders testified during confirmation hearings for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer. Recently, AUL’s current President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest testified during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. AUL has also given Congressional testimony before both the House of Representatives and the Senate regarding federal legislation.

For interviews, e-mail: press@aul.org

AUL Joins Bioethics Defense Fund in Legal Brief Defending First Amendment Conscience Rights of Pharmacists

By Americans United for Life
Friday, February 5th, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. (02-05-16) – Americans United for Life joined a medical amicus curie (friend of the court brief) as co-counsel in an effort headed by the Bioethics Defense Fund (BDF) and lead attorney Dorinda Bordlee to defend the First Amendment freedom of conscience of pharmacists. The case, Stormans Inc. v. Wiesman, involves a 2007 Washington Board of Pharmacy rule regarding “emergency contraceptives,” which can end unborn life. Noting that pharmacists with faith-based conscience objections must stock and dispense so-called “emergency contraceptive” drugs that have the capacity to end early human life, a federal district court invalidated it in 2012 and found that it violated religious freedom. However, in July 2015, the Ninth Circuit overruled the district court and upheld the constitutionality of the rule. The brief filed by BDF and AUL urges the Court to accept the appeal of the erroneous Ninth Circuit ruling. 

“At stake in this case are the rights of medical professionals to refuse to engage in the sale and distribution of life-ending drugs,” noted AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “As the abortion industry has moved from ‘choice’ to coercion, we have repeatedly witnessed violations of Americans’ basic rights, as they and their businesses are attacked by abortion advocates.”

Bordlee noted, “This amicus brief by five medical associations is important because it educates the Supreme Court that the Washington pharmacists’ conscience objections to ‘emergency contraceptives,’ specifically Plan B and ella, are consistent with objective science showing that the drugs have the capacity to end the life of a human being at the embryo stage of development.”

Asserting that it is immoral to force medical professionals to engage in commerce that offends their consciences, the following organizations are represented by the brief: the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Catholic Medical Association, Christian Medical Association, and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International.

The brief also specifically notes that, according to established medical science, a new, distinct, human being comes into existence at the moment of sperm-egg fusion, and that “emergency contraceptives” such as Plan B and ella  have the capacity to end the life of a new human being at the embryonic stage of development.   

Click here to read the brief.

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

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