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Wednesday, August 18, 2010Bench Briefs Forward Button
This Week's Feature

Coming Soon: Turning Military Facilities into Abortion Clinics?

Burris McCainEvery American opposed to taxpayer-funded abortion should be aware of a major legislative battle coming in September. When the Senate reconvenes, debate is expected to begin on this year’s Department of Defense (DOD) Authorization bill. Last May, when the Senate Armed Services Committee was putting this bill together, Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) added an amendment that would strike a provision in the U.S. Code that prohibits DOD medical personnel or facilities from performing abortions.

The Burris amendment would - simply put - turn U.S. military facilities into abortion clinics.

Advocates for the amendment argue that the change would not amount to taxpayer funding for abortion, but this is completely false. American taxpayers will be footing the bill for elective abortions by paying for these military facilities, additional equipment, and the use of needed military personnel to perform abortions. Further, more money may be used to search for, hire, and transport new personnel to perform those abortions. From 1993 to 1996, when President Clinton allowed abortions in military facilities, the administration had to seek out civilians to perform the abortions – all military physicians refused to perform or assist in elective abortions.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), arguing on the floor of the Senate that “abortion now is going to be performed in military hospitals,” temporarily stopped this bill from moving forward. But this was only a delay and the Senator is preparing to lead this fight again in the fall. We expect at least one amendment to be offered on the Senate Floor to strike the Burris Amendment. We’ll keep you updated on this important issue. For more information, check out the website of our sister organization, AUL Action.


On The Docket

FDA gives “Green Light” to dangerous new Abortion Drug

Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had approved ella, a new abortion drug similar to RU-486 that is being marketed as an emergency contraceptive. “The FDA’s irresponsible approval of ella (Ulipristal), without adequate safety studies, places women’s health and lives at risk,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life. “Furthermore, billing this abortion-causing drug as an ‘emergency contraceptive’ is misleading to the public.”

The announcement, made late on a Friday in the middle of August, was likely timed to avoid media attention and the public scrutiny that comes with it. But ella’s approval clearly places women at risk and should raise serious questions from the American people.

RU-486, which has a similar chemical make-up to ella, is known to cause serious adverse health risks such as severe bleeding, ruptured tubal pregnancies, serious infections, and even death. To ensure that ella is actually safe for women, particularly if it is used off-label, the drug needs further study.

In addition, ella has been falsely represented as just an emergency contraceptive, yet the FDA’s own labelling for ella acknowledges that the drug may cause abortions and is not just a contraceptive. Read more about ella on the AUL blog.

Working with State Legislators to Advance Life

AUL’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Dan McConchie, recently returned from networking with state legislators from across the country at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in San Diego, CA. It was ALEC’s largest meeting ever with more than 1,600 attendees. Legislators were particularly interested in AUL’s model bill - the Abortion Mandate Opt-Out Act - which helps states opt-out of the abortion mandate in the new federal health care law. “Five states have enacted opt-out laws so far,” said McConchie, “and this is just the beginning. There was a real excitement at ALEC over our model bill - I think you’ll see this type of legislation moving forward in several states during their coming legislative sessions.” Read more at the AUL blog.

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