Current Pro-Life News
CALL TO PRAYER: 5TH CIRCUIT COURT RULING ON MIFEPRISTONE
Yesterday, a ruling has come down on the abortion pill from the three-judge panel at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The decision allows the abortion drug mifepristone to remain authorized by the FDA, but it places the following restrictions on the drug:
- No more mail order distribution
- Patients have to receive a prescription from a doctor and have 3 follow-up appointments in person.
- The time period when women can take the pill is reduced to 49 days into their pregnancy, down from 70 days.
In the panel’s opinion, Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod wrote, “In loosening mifepristone’s safety restrictions, FDA failed to address several important concerns about whether the drug would be safe for the women who use it.”
The Biden Administration has already appealed the ruling. Pro-life groups are also considering an appeal seeking to have the FDA approval of the drug revoked.
Until the Supreme Court rules on the most recent appeal, changes in the restrictions won’t go into effect. The court could make a ruling in its next term which begins in October.
Here is a link to a brief testimony by Dr. Andy Harris, Representative from Maryland, explaining to the House Rules Committee about the FDA’s failure to apply normal safety standards to the chemical abortion drug.
In this crucial time in our country’s history, let us all pray together for healing for those families affected by use of this drug, for hope for a future where abortion is considered unthinkable, and for our lawmakers and leaders to act with wisdom and charity towards life in all its stages.
St. Philomena, patron saint of children, please pray for an end to abortion, for the courts to rule in our favor, and for us to remain constant in the fight for life. Amen.
Texas Sues Planned Parenthood for millions in Medicaid payments
On Tuesday, August 15, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk heard arguments in a state lawsuit seeking to be repaid millions of dollars by Planned Parenthood for the monies the abortion giant received through Medicaid.
For several years, Texas has fought to get Planned Parenthood out of the state, limiting the business from receiving funding for cancer screenings, contraception, and other sexual health care. In 2017, the provider was officially ineligible to receive payouts from the state’s Medicaid program after being cut off in 2016 by the Inspector General of the Texas Health and Human Services.
Apparently disregarding their ouster, Planned Parenthood continued to receive millions of dollars from the state over the next four years until 2021. The Texas Attorney General sued under the False Claims Act, which enables plaintiffs to add fines for every improper charge. Planned Parenthood has argued that with fines imposed for the payments, the total owed could be in excess of a billion dollars.
It is possible that Judge Kacsmaryk could send the case to trial rather than issuing a summary ruling.
Planned Parenthood receives over $1.8 million from taxpayers every day. Their excess of revenue over expenses is an incredible $204.7 million.
On Thursday, August 25, the Texas Human Life Protection Act (HLPA), also known as the Trigger Ban, went into effect, completely protecting the life of the unborn from abortion from the moment of conception. The Texas Legislature had passed HPLA in anticipation that Roe would be overturned, and the bill was signed into law by Governor Abbott in 2021.
All 23 of Texas’ abortion centers had stopped performing abortions because of state laws already on the books before Roe v. Wade, thanks to an earlier ruling in July by the Texas Supreme Court to an appeal by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The pre-Roe statutes come with two to five years in prison, compared to five years to life in prison in the Trigger Ban.
Under HLPA, abortion providers can also be fined $100,000 and lose their medical license. Despite misinformation spread by those on the pro-abortion side, HPLA does not allow prosecution for the treatment of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, and women cannot be charged.
The Heartbeat ban is also still in effect, allowing for anyone who performs or aids in an abortion to be sued (Abortion patients can’t be sued). As more prosecutors say they won’t prosecute and major cities are considering or have passed resolutions to prohibit using local funds to investigate or prosecute abortion-related crimes, private citizens can file lawsuits. Texas legislators are also exploring laws that would allow prosecutors to file charges in abortion cases if the local district attorneys refused to do so.
In addition, Governor Abbott also approved an appropriation of $100 million for the current two-year budget for the extremely effective Alternatives to Abortion program. For at least three years after birth, support is available from almost 200 pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies throughout the state, providing help for 150,000 clients each year. Governor Abbott also approved $1.2 billion/year in the Medicaid program for prenatal, childbirth, and follow-up care for low-income women and their babies.
On Friday, July 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act.
The final vote was 219 - 210.
The bill will now go to the Senate, where it is expected to be blocked.
The second bill that has been submitted for vote following the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe vs. Wade is the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022.
The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022 bill prohibits people from interfering with a person's ability to access out-of-state abortion services.
This bill, unfortunately, passed in the House of Representatives and has been sent to the Senate.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Gets Federal Citation for Discriminating against Moms
On Wednesday, July 13, America First Legal (AFL) filed a federal civil rights complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Dick’s Sporting Goods for discriminating against moms.
When the Supreme Court found in favor of Dobbs and overturned Roe and Casey, Dick’s announced that they would provide “up to $4,000” in travel reimbursement for an employee, spouse, or dependent, along with one support person, to get an abortion. The money would be an employee benefit.
However, Dick’s didn’t offer the same equal benefit to moms who decide to keep their babies.
Discrimination based on childbirth is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.
Several companies have offered to pay for travel expenses for employees who would have to go out of state to obtain an abortion, including Amazon and Walt Disney, thereby avoiding payment for pregnancy and maternity benefits for moms on their payrolls. Strong speculation has been that corporations were more concerned about their bottom line than following their convictions about access to abortion.
Few, if any, businesses will provide both sets of benefits.
We look forward to following this story.
Joe Biden signed an executive order on Friday, July 8, to encourage abortion and to direct several government agencies to provide incentives for abortion. His order will allow federal employees to use taxpayer money to travel to get their abortions.
He also said he would be instructing the Department of Health and Human Services, which is over the FDA, to make sure that people can continue to access medication abortion, which his order funds.
There is no action available to Biden to counter the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe and Casey. He cannot re-establish abortion as a national legal right, but he is pushing Congress to pass legislation to codify Roe and calling for voters to elect pro-abortion politicians in November.
Read the Executive Order here
At midnight on July 2, the Texas Supreme Court blocked a Harris County Court temporary restraining order allowing abortions of babies up to six weeks.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an emergency motion asking the Texas Supreme Court to vacate the order, arguing that the lower court was wrong to ignore the state’s pre-Roe ban. He also stated that abortion providers could face punishment once the temporary restraining order was no longer in effect.
Abortion providers appear to be left with few options after the Dobbs ruling, for which we are most grateful.
On June 24, Roe vs. Wade was finally overturned.
Here is what our local District Attorneys are saying about the ruling and what it means for North Texas:
Regarding enforcing Texas laws on abortion, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson issued this statement: “My oath and that of everyone in my office is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States and Texas. Wilson added, “Prosecutors do not make the law — we follow it. We followed Roe v. Wade when it was the law, and we will follow Texas state law now.”
However, Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot has responded to the Texas ban on abortion saying, “I want women across Texas, and especially here in Dallas County, to rest assured that my office will not stand in the way of them seeking the health care they need.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told prosecutors across Texas immediately after the Supreme Court released its decision, that they could begin to criminally prosecute abortions. He has no power, however, to make the Dallas County DA do that.
In response to a lawsuit filed June 27, 2022, in a state court by pro-abortion groups, the court issued a temporary restraining order to block the enforcement of pre-Roe laws banning abortion.
Only Texas abortion centers involved in the lawsuit can temporarily resume abortions up to six weeks of pregnancy. In North Texas, those abortionists are Whole Women’s Health in McKinney and Fort Worth, and Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center in Dallas.
Another hearing is scheduled for July 12, 2022.
What Should I Know?
What is Roe v. Wade?
On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued a decision that a woman's right to an abortion falls within the right to privacy protected by the 14th Amendment. The decision gave a woman a right to an abortion during the entirety of the pregnancy. Read More
Timeline Since Roe v. Wade
- Roe v Wade: All women have access to abortion, and Medicaid covers abortion.
- Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v Casey: The Supreme Court was asked to overrule Roe v Wade. The Court reaffirmed Roe’s “essential holding,” the woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy before viability.
- HB 15 passed by Texas Legislature: Mandatory 24 hour waiting period before abortion. Mandatory ultrasound. Abortionist must offer the option to listen to the sonogram and view the ultrasound.
- SB 835, companion bill, passed by Texas Legislature: Women’s Right to Know Act, requiring abortionists to provide women with state-provided printed materials describing the growth stages of the baby along with additional regulations.
- Texas Department of Health and Human Services is prohibited from contracting with health care providers who perform abortions or who are affiliated with facilities that provide abortion care.
- Texas begins to fund pregnancy help centers.
- A parent’s written consent must be notarized before a girl under the age of 18 can get an abortion.
- Texas Legislature passes law requiring abortion facilities to meet same standards as required for ambulatory surgical centers.
- Abortionists are also required to hold admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
- Abortions after 20 weeks are banned, unless the woman’s life or health is at risk or in the case of a fetal anomaly.
- Texas Heartbeat Bill: Bans abortion after fetal heartbeat is detected. Since the law went into effect on September 1, 2021, client visits to abortion centers have been reduced by 50%. Client visits to pregnancy resource centers have increased by 40%. The law survived several court challenges.
- Texas Legislature passed Chemical Abortion Safety Protocols that went into effect on December 1, 2021, with the following provisions: A woman can be no more than 7 weeks along in her pregnancy, and she must be seen and assessed in person by the abortion doctor. Mail-order abortions are prohibited and there are criminal penalties for violating the law.
- The Human Life Protection Act was passed during the same legislative session. This law is triggered and goes into effect when and to the extent that the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade. Within 30 days of the Court’s decision, this law goes into effect.
- Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health: Supreme Court heard case that challenges a state law prohibiting abortions of unborn babies after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The question they are deciding is whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional. Ruling will be made May/June and may overturn Roe.
According to research done by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, “as of April 21, 42 states have introduced a total of 417 pro-life bills (or bills containing at least one pro-life provision) in 2022 or the current legislative session. This includes 273 bills introduced in 2022, and 144 bills introduced in 2020-2021 for the current legislative session. These bills contain a total of more than 600 pro-life provisions. Currently, 12 states have enacted 15 pro-life bills into law in 2022 or in the current legislative session.