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Monthly Archives: July 2016



It’s been a fascinating week in American politics. No doubt your inbox, social media feeds and the news have been filled with “RNCinCLE” posts, news, pictures, commentary and videos. Many of our pro-life friends from Georgia have been in Cleveland for the GOP Convention and some went a week early to serve on Committees ranging from the Rules Committee to the Platform Committee, which we take a special interest in. As Convention week comes to a close, we wanted to share some good news for unborn children and prolife advocates.

It may not have been mentioned in the long list of policy positions during Republican Nominee Donald Trump’s speech to the RNC Convention last night, but the cause of the unborn child was certainly not ignored by the Republican Party. It started with the Platform Committee. The issue of Life is traditionally expected to be a key issue on the platforms of both the Republican and Democratic national conventions. The Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio started by exhibiting a strong stance for Life with its recently adopted platform. (The full text of Prolife Plank is included at end of this article.)

In what has been touted as their “most pro-life platform”, the Republican National Convention’s delegates resoundingly adopted the proposed platform with a voice vote. The platform’s section on “The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life” begins with the following statement:

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.

The platform goes on to endorse legislation that extends 14th amendment protections to unborn children. The platform also condemns the spending of taxpayer dollars on funding organizations that perform or promote abortions in addition to calling for a ban on using body parts from aborted fetuses for research. Furthermore, this platform also commends Republican legislators at the federal and state levels for leading the charge to provide children with health care coverage before birth.

The Chair of the Republican National Convention’s 2016 Platform Committee, United State Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) has a perfect 100% Pro-Life Voting Record from the National Right To Life Committee.

We at the Georgia Life Alliance salute the Republican National Convention & the Republican Party for their renewed and robust support for the cause of Life.

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Republican Platform

We The People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government

The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life 

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

For the full platform language CLICK HERE.

Georgia Life Alliance is the National Right to Life Affiliate in Georgia.  To support our work on behalf of the unborn in Georgia, CLICK HERE.

Dr. Kathleen Raviele

By GUEST AUTHOR: Kathleen M. Raviele, MD FACOG

When abortion was legalized in the U.S. in 1973, under any circumstances, the one limiting factor was the availability of physicians willing to perform the procedure. Despite identifying themselves as “pro-choice”, most physicians had a distaste for actually participating in the procedure. Those who did perform abortions were marginalized by the medical community. As a result, abortion clinics had to import abortionists, even from other states, to come in over the weekend, as they lined up the women for a procedure lethal to their unborn babies and potentially dangerous for them.

As a result, drug combinations were developed to abort the woman without surgery. Approved for use by the FDA in 2000, the original regimen was 600 mg (three 200 mg tablets) of mifepristone orally on day 1, followed by 400 mcg of misoprostol orally on day 3. Mifepristone, also known as RU-486,  binds to progesterone receptors, preventing progesterone from supporting the pregnancy. This can be likened to a deep sea diver losing the oxygen in his tanks. Misoprostol then causes the uterus to contract and expel the baby and placenta. The FDA initially approved this regimen up to 49 days from the first day of the last period but Planned Parenthood used it off-label later in pregnancy and with different regimens.

About 3% of women who take RU-486 have to have a D&C because of bleeding and incomplete passage of tissue. Early on, 8 women died in the U.S. because of a pelvic infection with Clostridium Sordelli after using the misoprostol vaginally. It should be kept in mind that the reporting of complications from abortion in the U.S. is voluntary with several states never reporting them, including California. Despite just being handed a few pills for the woman to take herself, the cost of a medical abortion as of 2009, the year of the most recent data, is $490 which is higher than the $470 fee charged for a surgical abortion. If a woman experiences complications from either procedure, the abortion clinic does not provide follow-up care or admission to the hospital.

Medical abortions will expand the number of abortions in the U.S. and the world. By 2011 they accounted for 36% of abortions before 9 weeks in the U.S. The woman can choose abortion on impulse, she can drive herself to the clinic and back home and no one else needs to know. Medical abortions cause more bleeding than surgical abortions and the further along she is in pregnancy, the greater the bleeding and the more likely she will also need a D&C. In March of 2016, the FDA approved medical abortions up to 70 days from the first day of the last menstrual period using mifepristone 200 mg orally in the clinic, under a “certified healthcare provider” followed in 24-48 hours by 800 mcg of misoprostol taken buccally. Medical abortions do not require a physician, only that it is “dispensed in clinics, medical offices, and hospitals by or under the supervision of a certified healthcare provider.” Spontaneous miscarriages at 70 days are associated much more commonly with heavy bleeding and incomplete passage of the placenta.

Some women change their minds after taking the abortion pill. Through a website developed and manned by Dr. George Delgado and a group of RNs, patients are finding they can stop their medical abortion on www.AbortionPillReversal.com. Dr. Delgado’s office puts them in touch with a physician in their area who can start them on high doses of progesterone to override the effects of the mifepristone. The protocols were developed based on case reports. Mifepristone does not cause fetal abnormalities, but if the second drug has been taken, the pregnancy cannot usually be saved and misoprostol does cause fetal anomalies. So far, about 60% of the abortions have been reversed at the request of the mother. Even if the abortion cannot be stopped, these women encounter caring physicians who treat them with respect and concern for their unborn child. These physicians adhere to the Hippocratic Oath, written in the 5th century B.C. by Hippocrates, a Greek physician and the father of Western medicine. Sadly, it is no longer administered to medical students at graduation. The oath states “I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion.” If only physicians and all healthcare providers returned to the principles of the Hippocratic Oath.

 

Dr. Kathleen Raviele is a board-certified ob-gyn in the private practice of gynecology in the Atlanta area. She is a revert to the Catholic faith and has been an NFP-only gynecologist since 1991. She is certified to teach four methods of NFP and is a medical consultant for the Creighton program as well as having helped develop the Marquette Method of NFP. She is a past president of the Catholic Medical Association and a former board member of Georgia Right to Life. She currently serves on the board of the Catholic Medical Association as a presidential advisor and as a consultant to the Pro-Life Secretariat of the USCCB. She is the volunteer Medical Director for the Pregnancy Aid Clinic.

A part of the GLA Medical Alliance, Dr. Raviele has advised Georgia Life Alliance on issues related to her profession since early 2015.

40 Years of Life-Saving Hyde Amendment

NRL News Today

Commemorating 40 Years of the Life-Saving Hyde Amendment, Over a million lives saved

Hillary Clinton wants to end the Hyde Amendment

Editor’s note. The following is taken from the NRLC Yearbook which was distributed at the annual National Right to Life Convention held July 7-9. If you haven’t read the July digital edition of NRL News, please do so at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsJuly2016.pdf. We have 12 stories from the pro-life educational event of the year.

“We believe that the Hyde Amendment has proven itself to be the greatest domestic abortion reduction law ever enacted by Congress.”
Douglas Johnson, National Right to Life, Federal Legislation Director

Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Il.)

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the “Hyde Amendment,” named for prolife champion the late Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Il). The Hyde Amendment is conservatively credited with saving the lives of over a million people.

First enacted in 1976, the Hyde Amendment is a provision attached to the annual appropriations bill that covers many federal health programs (including Medicaid). The Hyde Amendment currently prohibits the use of federal funds in those programs for abortion, except in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

As National Right to Life Federal Legislation Director Douglas Johnson testified at a congressional hearing in 2011, the battle over federal funding of abortion did not begin in 1976.

It “became an issue soon after the U.S. Supreme Court, in its 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, invalidated the laws protecting unborn children from abortion in all 50 states,” Johnson told the Health Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives. “The federal Medicaid statutes had been enacted years before that ruling, and the statutes made no reference to abortion, which was not surprising, since criminal laws generally prohibited the practice. Yet by 1976, the federal Medicaid program was paying for about 300,000 elective abortions annually, and the number was increasing rapidly.

“That is why it was necessary for Congressman Hyde to offer, beginning in 1976, his limitation amendment to the annual Health and Human Services appropriations bill, to prohibit the use of funds that flow through that annual appropriations bill from being used for abortions.” Initially blocked by a federal judge, the Hyde Amendment was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980 in Harris v. McRae by the narrowest of margins, 5-4. The justices said Congress could distinguish between abortion and “other medical procedures” because “no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of a potential life.”

While the Supreme Court did not back away even a little from its 1973 conclusion that a woman had a right under the Constitution to an abortion, the justices concluded the government was not required to fund the exercise of that right.

At a press conference following release of the Harris ruling, Hyde said “Since that fateful decision [Roe v. Wade], millions of my fellow citizens have struggled tirelessly to reverse what the Court did, and to stop by any means available the terrible slaughter of the innocents that the Court’s decision unleashed. I am proud to have been a part of this historic effort, and happy to have had my name associated with one part of it, namely the legislation to limit spending of tax monies to pay for abortions. …

“What today’s decision really means is life for countless unborn children, just as surely as unrestricted abortion means death for them. So the true victors [unborn children] don’t even know about the battle, much less the victory.”

In his 2011 testimony, NRLC’s Johnson documented the lifesaving impact of the Hyde Amendment: “There is abundant empirical evidence that where government funding for abortion is not available under Medicaid or the state equivalent program, at least one-fourth of the Medicaid-eligible women carry their babies to term, who would otherwise procure federally funded abortions. . . . it means that well over one million Americans are walking around alive today because of the Hyde Amendment. … We believe that the Hyde Amendment has proven itself to be the greatest domestic abortion reduction law ever enacted by Congress.”

Hillary Clinton wants to overturn the Hyde Amendment.
But polls show 68 percent of Americans oppose federal funding of abortion

As noted, the Hyde Amendment is a limitation that is attached to an annual appropriations bill. As such it must be renewed each year by Congress, which means that pro-abortion forces in Congress can and sometimes do launch efforts to try to prevent its renewal. Because there are never, ever enough abortions for the likes of Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood, overturning the Hyde Amendment remains a high priority, one to which pro-abortionists have returned with renewed vigor. Back in January when Clinton accepted Planned Parenthood’s first ever presidential primary endorsement, she touched all the bases.

“Any right that requires you to take extraordinary measures to access it is no right at all,” she intoned at a New Hampshire rally, and that included “laws on the book like the Hyde Amendment making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights.”

Asked at an Iowa Brown and Black Forum this year if she would support congressional efforts to repeal the Hyde Amendment, Clinton said yes, adding (according to Katie McDonough), “And actually I have for a very long time.”

This was just what Kierra Johnson, executive director of Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, wanted to hear. She told Slate magazine in January, “We are thrilled that pro-choice champions are no longer accepting the Hyde Amendment as the status quo.”

Yet theirs is a minority opinion, if ever there was one. Strong majorities have long opposed federal funding of abortion. In a Marist poll conducted for the Knights of Columbus released just prior to the 2016 March for Life, “nearly 7 in 10 Americans (68 percent), including 69 percent of women, oppose taxpayer funding of abortion,” according to the poll’s summary. “This includes 51 percent of those who consider themselves pro-choice. Fewer than 3 in 10 Americans (29 percent) support it.”

For More NRL News CLICK HERE.

Georgia Life Alliance is the Georgia Affiliate of National Right to Life.
Learn how you can support our work in Georgia by CLICKING HERE.

Re-printed by Permission.