30 Apr

North Carolina Committee Passes Bill Stopping Infanticide, Requiring Medical Care for Babies Born Alive After Abortions

via LifeNews.com April 11, 2019 at 03:29PM

A North Carolina legislative committee has approved a bill to protect newborns who survive abortions from infanticide. The vote follows another by the Texas Senate on legislation that also requires appropriate medical care for babies who survive abortions.

Here’s more:

Senate Bill 359 requires doctors to provide the same care to an infant that survives an abortion as they give any other newborn. It includes a duty for health care practitioners to report any violations, and it makes those violations a class D felony, the same category as arson, armed robbery and voluntary manslaughter.

The bill, which has inspired passionate debate, cleared the Senate Rules Committee Thursday. Supporters say it’s not an abortion bill — though the phrase “abortion survivors” is in the title they gave it — but about ensuring that basic care is provided to infants that survive abortions.

There is also a House version of this bill, which moved through committee Thursday, largely on a party-line vote.

State Rep. James Gailliard, a pastor from Nash County, was the only Democrat to vote for House Bill 602 in committee Thursday. This version will go to the House Rules Committee before heading to the chamber floor.

The North Carolina and Texas bills are similar to federal legislation that pro-abortion Democrats are blocking in the U.S. House and Senate. The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires abortionists to provide the same level of medical care to an infant who survives an abortion as a doctor would to any other baby at the same stage of life.

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Currently, 19 states do not have laws requiring medical care for babies born alive after botched abortions, according to research by Americans United for Life. However, Kentucky lawmakers are considering legislation similar to the Texas bill.

Some states never have passed laws to protect abortion survivors, while at least one other, New York, recently repealed its law requiring medical care for infants who survive abortions.

Reports by the Centers for Disease Control indicate that there are infants born alive after botched abortions in the U.S. According to Congressional testimony:

Data that the CDC collects also confirms babies are born alive after attempted abortions.  Between the years 2003 and 2014 there were somewhere between 376 and 588 infant deaths under the medical code P96.4 which keeps track of babies born alive after a “termination of pregnancy.”

The CDC concluded that of the 588 babies, 143 were “definitively” born alive after an attempted abortion and they lived from minutes to one or more days, with 48% of the babies living between one to four hours.  It also admitted that it’s possible the number is an underestimate (B).

Data from other countries suggest the same. In 2018, for example, the Canadian Institute of Health Information reported 766 late-term, live-birth abortions over a five-year period. In Western Australia, at least 27 babies survived abortions between 1999 and 2016, according to the state’s health minister.

Several known abortion survivors, including Melissa Ohden, Josiah Presley, Giana Jessen and Claire Culwell have been giving their testimonies in government hearings across the country this year. Some of them recently appeared on Fox News to urge Congress to pass a law requiring abortionists to provide basic medical care to babies who are born alive in botched abortions.

30 Apr

North Dakota Governor Signs Bill Banning Dismemberment Abortions Tearing Babies Limb From Limb

via LifeNews.com April 10, 2019 at 07:02PM

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum today signed a bill to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions.

The new law prohibits dismemberment abortions, a method typically used in the second trimester to kill nearly fully-formed, living unborn babies. It is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn baby is ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces while his or her heart is still beating.

The dismemberment abortion ban embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee that would prohibit “dismemberment abortion,” using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a living unborn baby to remove him or her from the womb in pieces. Such instruments typically are used in dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures.

HB 1546 passed overwhelmingly in the state legislature. Here’s more:

Burgum’s spokesman, Mike Nowatzki, says the first-term Republican governor signed the bill Wednesday outlawing the abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation. The bill uses the non-medical term “human dismemberment abortion” to describe the second-trimester procedure.

Doctors performing the procedure could be charged with a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The bill becomes effective if a federal appeals court or the U.S. Supreme Court allows its enforcement.

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“Banning the brutal dismemberment abortion technique is among NRLC’s highest legislative priorities,” said Ingrid Duran, director of State Legislation. HB 1546 builds on the precedent set by the Supreme Court in the famous case on partial-birth abortion, Gonzales v. Carhart,” she noted.

“Dismemberment abortion, like partial-birth abortion is a brutal procedure which literally rips a living child apart limb from limb.

Duran added. “In Carhart, the Supreme Court said, ‘No one would dispute that, for many, D & E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life.’”

29 Apr

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05 Apr

South Carolina Committee Passes Bill to Ban Abortions After an Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat Begins

via LifeNews.com April 2, 2019 at 03:37PM

A South Carolina committee has approved a bill that would protect unborn babies from abortion after they have a detectable heartbeat. The South Carolina House Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee passed the Heartbeat Bill (H3020) by a vote of 3-2. The bill now advances to the full Judiciary Committee.

State House Bill 3020, which already has more than 50 sponsors, was introduced Tuesday and sent to the House Committee on Judiciary, Fox 46 Charlotte reports.

It would require abortionists to test for a fetal heartbeat before every abortion and prohibit abortions if a heartbeat is detected. Exceptions would be allowed for medical emergencies.

An unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable by about six weeks of pregnancy, though new research suggests the heartbeat may begin as early as 18 days after conception.

State Rep. John McCravy, R-Greenwood, is behind the effort.

“It’s a common-sense bill. If a heart stops beating permanently, the person is dead,” McCravy said when he pre-filed the bill in December. “Common sense should tell us that when a heart is beating, we have a precious human life that should not be terminated.”

About 5,100 unborn babies were aborted in South Carolina in 2017, and most were later than six weeks of pregnancy, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

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Jeannie Smith, CEO of Coastline Women’s Health Center, a pro-life pregnancy center, told WMBF News that she hopes the bill will end abortions in South Carolina.

“If we have someone who has a beating heart, that is a live person, and it’s the government’s duty to protect that life,” Smith said.

The controversial legislation could have a rough time getting through the state Senate, though. According to the local news, Democrats have enough members to filibuster the bill.

Pro-life Gov. Henry McMaster, who also is in a battle to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, said he would support the legislation.

Heartbeat bills have been met with skepticism in the past, even by many pro-life groups, because of pro-abortion legal challenges. When states lose legal challenges to the abortion industry, their taxpayers often are forced to pay the abortion group’s legal fees.

North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down both laws. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the following about their ruling: “Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota’s law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs.”

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the cases in 2016.

There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain. Some legal scholars have speculated that the conservative court would be more likely to consider cases that gradually chip away at Roe v. Wade rather than reverse it completely.

05 Apr

“Unplanned” Movie Opens in 5th Place Despite R Rating and Media Blackout, Expands to More Theaters

via LifeNews.com April 1, 2019 at 09:31AM

Despite a media blackout, a ‘R’ rating designed to discourage viewers and little coverage outside conservative media circles, the new movie “Unplanned” opened in 5th place this past weekend and it will expand to even more theaters next weekend.

The film doubled its projection for expected box office earnings – bringing in $6.1 million in its opening weekend despite a projection of $2-3 million. That came despite the fact that Twitter has done its best to censor the movie’s account, suspending it on Saturday and resetting it on Sunday. And major television networks, including Lifetime, Hallmark Channel and HGTV all rejected commercials promoting the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Fox News reportedly was the only major network to agree to run the ads.

The film took in an estimated $6,110,000 or a cumulative per-screen average of $5,770 on only 1,059 locations across the country.

The average would have put the movie in third place, according to Box Office Mojo.

Due to the storage showing, Pure Flix, the film’s distributor, told LifeNews yesterday it will add an additional 600 screens to those already showing the film. That makes it so 1,700 screens will show the “Unplanned” movie, which earned a rare A-plus rating from CinemaScore.

“We are thrilled, gratified and humbled. We are so pleased that the American people have responded with such an enormous outpouring of support at the box office,” Pure Flix told LifeNews.

“We are very happy for the success of this film,” said Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott. “We hope that those on both sides of the debate will see Unplanned and begin to have their own dialogue. This film can be that spark to bring more hearts and minds to understanding the value of life. To bring the story of Abby Johnson to audiences and have them show up in such large numbers shows how the topic of abortion is so important to our nation.”

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Partially financed by MyPillow executive Mike Lindell, the film is the true story of Abby Johnson, a former rising star in the Planned Parenthood corporation. As one of the youngest clinic directors in the nation, Johnson was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women on their reproductive choices. Her passion surrounding a woman’s right to choose led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in, until the day she saw an ultrasound guided abortion that changed everything.

The film made national news last year when its lead actress Ashley Bratcher revealed that it wasn’t until she was on set and filming that she learned that when her mother was pregnant with her, she nearly aborted her. Controversy has subsequently dogged the film, first when it earned an R rating from the MPAA, then when several television and radio networks refused to air commercials for the film and most recently on Saturday when Twitter suspended the film’s page only to reverse itself an hour later after fan outcry and media inquiries. Going into the weekend, trailer views for the film had reached 250K. By Saturday morning, after an evening of strong word-of-mouth, trailer views climbed to 1.7 million. The film has a 93% positive audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“I am blown away by the public response to UNPLANNED as well as the box office numbers,” said Bratcher. “Not only is it beyond my wildest dreams, but it has surpassed the expectations of critics across the country. Despite biased critic reviews written more like op-eds, the audience has spoken. I just learned that Unplanned received a coveted A+ CinemaScore. While that is truly an honor, the most rewarding thing about this weekend’s opening is the flood of messages I’ve received from people experiencing healing and a change of heart.”

UNPLANNED was written and directed by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, the writers/co-producers of God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2, also distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment.

“We are thrilled, gratified and humbled,” noted Solomon and Konzelman. “We are so pleased that the American people have responded with such an enormous outpouring of support at the box office. It humbles us, and we look forward to seeing what happens in the weeks ahead.”

Commercials for “Unplanned” are running on Fox News, The Christian Broadcast Network and conservative talk radio shows, including Glenn Beck’s, according to the report.

Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life, told LifeNews that she was not surprised to hear about the rejections. She pointed to shows that openly promote abortion on television and the internet. The new Hulu series “Shrill” drew outrage earlier this month when the main character bragged about feeling “really, really good” and “powerful” after having an abortion.

“The entertainment industry no longer hides the fact that it lacks basic moral decency,” Foster said. “It’s now overtly dedicated to indoctrinating its viewers with a pro-abortion agenda, hiding from them the pain and emotional toll involved with the destruction of human life.”

Visit UnplannedFilm.com for more details.

01 Apr

Twitter Suspends “Unplanned” Movie’s Account as Pro-Life Film Opens in Theaters Nationwide

via LifeNews.com March 30, 2019 at 05:34PM

Opening weekend has not been without issue for the pro-life movie “Unplanned.” The film, which covers the amazing conversion story of former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director Abby Johnson, had its twitter account suspended for a brief time today.

The Hollywood Reporter has more:

After several users screenshotted notices of the suspension on the service and tagged Twitter and its co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, the account was restored.

The Twitter account for the anti-abortion movie Unplanned was briefly suspended on Saturday, but has been restored to Twitter.

After several users screenshotted notices of the suspension on the service and tagged Twitter and its co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, the account returned. “Thank you everyone for your support in letting @Jack & @Twitter know when our Unplanned Movie account was recently suspended without cause. We are back and excited for the great response we’re getting in theaters this weekend. #grateful,” read its first tweet after the disappearance.

According to Twitter, Unplanned was not suspended on purpose, but rather was linked to another account that had violated Twitter’s rules. When one account violates those rules, the system then cracks down on linked accounts to mitigate the risk that the original, banned account would simply move accounts. After reviewing this case a second time, Twitter decided the Unplanned account should not be affected by the other’s suspension and restored it.

“It is a sad time we live in when corporations can remove individuals freedom of speech at will. When did we empower these corporations to have such authority? More importantly, why do we empower them to do so?” Cary Solomon, the co-writer and co-director of the film, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Despite the suspension, a source close with the movie informed LifeNews that the film’s box office take this weekend is surpassing expectations. Producers had a $3 million expectation for opening weekend and ticket sales have already reached $7 million and could rise higher.

An the suspension may have backfired on Twitter. It produced such a firestorm of controversy that the movie’s Twitter account has picked up tens of thousands of new followers:

As LifeNews has reported about the movie:

Unplanned is not a film to go see lightly. It certainly does not offer a fun cinematic experience, and it’s far from the kind of flick you’d enjoy over popcorn or nachos. But it is an important film, which is made painfully clear in the first seven minutes as Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson (Ashley Bratcher) watches a gruesome first-trimester abortion take place before her very eyes.

The film, which opens in theaters nationwide today, follows Johnson’s rise from clinic volunteer to clinic director, and her eventual pro-life conversion and spiritual redemption.

Based on Johnson’s 2012 memoir, the film’s true-to-life depiction of abortion earned it an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) last month. Since then, many have pointed out the hypocrisy in our culture which allows a teen to have an abortion but prevents her from seeing a film about abortion.

But Johnson and the film’s producers have taken the rating in strides, refusing to cut the graphic scenes and embracing the MPAA’s categorization of the scenes as “violent.”

“We are pushing the boundaries of what has never been before on such a wide scale by showing America exactly what abortion is—and abortion is disturbing. It’s violent,” Johnson said.

Along with the opening scene, the film’s other graphic scene comes when Johnson endures the horror of a chemical abortion in her home bathroom. In an open letter to parents about the film’s rating, Johnson said, “In real life, I hemorrhaged so badly I thought I was going to die,” noting the movie captures her experience “without being gratuitous or gory.”

01 Apr

Georgia Legislature Passes Bill Banning Abortions After Unborn Baby’s Heart Starts Beating

via LifeNews.com March 29, 2019 at 03:37PM

The Georgia state legislature on Friday advanced a pro-life bill Monday that would prohibit abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. Georgia’s Republican-controlled House passed the bill Friday in a 92-78 vote.

Georgia House Bill 481, the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (L.I.F.E.) Act, would ban abortions on an unborn baby after their heartbeat is detectable, around six weeks. It would allow exceptions for rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life. In addition, the bill would allow parents to claim unborn babies as dependents on their taxes and include the unborn baby in census data. It also would allow mothers to collect child support for pregnancy and delivery costs from the father prior to the baby’s birth.

“Modern medical science, not available decades ago, demonstrates that unborn children are a class of living, distinct persons… The state of Georgia, applying reasoned judgment to the full body of modern medical science, recognizes the benefits of providing full legal recognition to an unborn child above the minimum requirements of federal law,” the bill states.

State Rep. Ed Setzler, the lead sponsor of the bill, said his goal is to protect unborn babies, who already are unique, living human beings by six weeks of pregnancy.

“Protecting life in the womb with a human heartbeat is what science, law and human conscience would suggest,” Setzler said.

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The legislation now heads to Governor Brian Kemp, who has said he would sign it into law but who is facing a massive protest from Hollywood elites threatening to boycott the state and take their millions in movie and television productions with them.

“Georgia values life. We stand up for the innocent and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. The legislature’s bold action reaffirms our priorities and who we are as a state. I thank these lawmakers for their leadership and applaud their undeniable courage,” Kemp said in a statement Friday. “Our efforts to protect life do not end here. We must work to ease the adoption process, find loving homes for those in our foster care system, and protect the aging and vulnerable. Together, we will ensure that all Georgians are safe and have the opportunity to live, grow, learn, and prosper.”

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has already announced its intention to sue the state over the legislation.

The bill passed on a party-line vote in the Senate 34-18.

Republican Sen. Greg Dolezal, speaking in favor of the legislation, said that every life is a miracle.

“I don’t know how many of us are in this room right now, probably 200, but I am looking at 200 miracles,” Dolezal said. He then began to look around the chamber. “Senator, you are a miracle. Senator, you are a miracle,” then up to the balcony, “Sir, you’re a miracle. Ma’am, you’re a miracle.”

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“Today, we took another step to ensure that life is valued and protected in Georgia,” Kemp wrote on Twitter Monday after a Senate committee approved the bill. “I thank the Senate Science and Technology Committee for their work and look forward to HB 481 receiving consideration by the full Senate.”

The bill passed the state House earlier this month after a contentious debate. Pro-abortion Democratic lawmakers turned their backs on Setzler at one point in the debate, according to the Gainesville Times. Others walked off the floor while he was speaking. At another point, state Rep. Renitta Shannon, a pro-abortion Democrat, refused to yield the floor and had her microphone cut off.

This winter, pro-life lawmakers have introduced a number of heartbeat bills including in Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. Others, however, are hesitant because of concerns about losing the court battle and being forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.

Recently, a federal judge blocked Kentucky’s new heartbeat bill. In January, a judge also declared Iowa’s heartbeat law unconstitutional. North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down their laws as well.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the following about its ruling on the six-week abortion ban: “Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota’s law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs.”

There is more hope that the U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain – especially after Chief Justice John Roberts recently sided with the liberal justices on an abortion case.