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Hear daily news updates, breaking news from across the LCMS, web only specials, and other items from the KFUO News Desk, brought to you by staff journalist Kip Allen.
498 Episodes
In today's News: New nursing satellite campus opens  At a time when the demand for nurses in central Texas is surging, Concordia University, Austin, Texas, has welcomed 288 new students so far this year to its traditional and accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. But they didn’t report to main campus as usual. In August 2020, under many COVID-19 constraints, the university opened the doors to its Austin Nursing Satellite Campus. The new, interactive learning environment spans 17,000 square feet, complete with a cutting-edge simulation lab, a 10-bed clinical skills lab and simulation debriefing rooms. The building also houses a student lounge and administrative and faculty offices. Rooted in the university’s Christian values, the nursing program features an accredited and rigorous curriculum delivered utilizing an interactive e-learning platform, along with hands-on skills training and clinical rotations at the area’s top hospitals.  Pro-life demonstrators are sued  New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against Republican activists Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes for protesting at Planned Parenthood. The federal lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction prohibiting the women from going near the abortion provider’s building. The lawsuit says that the women, who gained viral recognition for repeatedly painting over Black Lives Matter street murals in New York, have been protesting at the clinic nearly every week since 2019. James claims that the women would get close to patients and staff without masks and harass them as they entered the building.  New Mexico considers abortion up to birth  Two extreme abortion bills are heading to the New Mexico House and Senate this week. The bills would allow abortion up to birth in the state. The bills would repeal sections of New Mexico’s 1969 abortions statute. In doing so, they would allow abortion on demand throughout pregnancy and would also end conscience protections that allow medical personnel to opt-out of abortion based on moral or religious grounds. The bills would also remove requirements that parents be aware of a minor daughter’s abortion. According to New Mexico Alliance for Life, the bills will repeal all abortion restrictions put in place by the state’s 1969 criminal abortion statute and would fail to replace the statute with any laws that protect women, their babies or pro-life health care workers. The bills will actively codify abortion up to birth in New Mexico state law, force medical professionals to commit or assist in abortions and force New Mexico taxpayers to continue funding abortions on healthy babies and women throughout pregnancy.  Supreme Court asked to rule on tuition assistance  A group of parents in Maine seeking state tuition assistance to put their children in a religious private school have asked the United States Supreme Court to rule on their behalf. At issue is a state provision that only allows for tuition assistance if a private school is "nonsectarian in accordance with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution." The First Liberty Institute, the Institute for Justice, and others filed the appeal on behalf of the families to the Supreme Court on Friday in the case of Carson v. Makin.
In today's News: Bull selected to head Concordia Nebraska In August, Dr. Bernard D. Bull will become the 11th president of Concordia University, Nebraska, Seward, Neb. (CUNE). Bull, who currently serves as president of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, will succeed the Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, who accepted a call last year to serve as president of Concordia University, St. Paul, St. Paul, Minn. Stuart Bartruff, chair of the CUNE Board of Regents, said that Bull is “known nationally for his innovative insights regarding Christian education at all levels” and that he had the unanimous support of the board. The Rev. Russ Sommerfeld, currently serving as interim CUNE president, will continue in that role until Bull’s arrival.  Court hears argument concerning ministerial exception  The Archdiocese of Chicago will be in court this week for oral argument before the entire Seventh Circuit to defend its right to select and supervise its own ministers of the faith. In Demkovich v. St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, the former music director of St. Andrew parish is suing the Archdiocese of Chicago for requiring its liturgical leaders to follow the tenets of the Catholic faith. As the church music director, Sandor Demkovich played a central role in conveying the Catholic faith to the congregation. When Demkovich entered into a same-sex marriage in violation of his employment agreement and 2,000-year-old Church teachings, the pastor let him go. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru reaffirmed that religious groups have the right to choose who teaches the faith. Today, the Archdiocese, represented by Becket Law, will argue before the entire court that religious organizations must be free to select, supervise, and communicate with their own ministers of the faith without government interference.  Baby is found in a garbage bag  An Illinois woman is facing both first degree attempted murder and child abandonment charges for the attempted killing of her newborn child, who was found tied up in a trash bag inside a nursing home restroom. Forty-year-old Verna Tolentino. was an employee at Glenview Terrace Nursing Home in Glenview, Illinois, at the time of the incident. According to an NBC News affiliate, Tolentino locked herself into a bathroom and called 911 during her shift on Jan. 11th, reporting “abdominal pain.” More than two hours later, janitorial staff cleaning up that restroom were shocked to find a baby boy in a tied-up garbage bag. The baby was taken to a local hospital where he was stabilized. Tolentino was subsequently transferred to the Labor and Delivery unit of the hospital where she was admitted in order to receive postpartum care. The Cook County State’s Attorney Felony Review Unit approved the attempted murder and child abandonment charges in early February after reviewing the case.  ‘Abortion Center to the Stars’ closes  A late-term abortion facility in Beverly Hills, California, which was known as the “Abortion Clinic to the Stars,” has closed and its office has been vacated. According to a business record obtained by Operation Rescue, the Sinai Women’s Center, which also went by the name Pro-Choice Medical Center, had its last day of business on Dec. 31, 2020.  The office was vacated over the weekend of January 30-31, 2021, according to a City official. The abortion business, which was owned and operated by abortionist Josepha Seletz, was one of eight abortion facilities to openly conduct risky, multi-day abortions into the third trimester of pregnancy.
In today's News: Egger extended call for President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Concordia Seminary, St. Louis has extended a call to Dr. Thomas J. Egger, the Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Professor of Exegetical Theology and chairman of the Department of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, to serve as the 11th president in the school’s 182-year history. The call was extended after a unanimous vote on the first ballot by the electors and following interviews with the final slate of two candidates. Egger was originally nominated for the presidency by all three sources that Synod Bylaws allow to submit nominations: the faculty of Concordia Seminary, the Board of Regents of Concordia Seminary and numerous LCMS congregations.  Republicans move to save women’s sports  Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah last week led 13 of his colleagues in introducing the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, legislation that would protect athletic opportunities for female athletes. Specifically, the bill would ensure that Title IX provisions relating to athletics treat sex as that which is "recognized based solely on a person's reproductive biology and genetics at birth." Further, if any recipient of federal funding who operates, sponsors or facilitates athletic programs or activities permits a male to participate in a women's sporting event, they would be found to be violation of the statutory regulations outlined in Title IX.  Supreme Court reopens California houses of worship  The Supreme Court issued an injunction stopping California’s extreme COVID-19 ban on indoor worship in churches, synagogues and other houses of worship. The Court ruled in two cases, South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom and Harvest Rock Church v. Newsom. Both churches sued California Gov. Gavin Newsom, challenging the state’s total ban on indoor worship services — the most extreme in the nation — that targeted churches for closure while allowing non-essential retail stores such as Macy’s to open to hundreds of customers, as well as hair salons, nail salons and Hollywood soundstages. The Justices wrote several opinions in addition to the Court’s order. Senate Democrats block ‘Born Alive’ legislation  With a vote of 52-48, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed as an amendment to the 2021 Budget Resolution in the Senate. All Senate Republicans, along with Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, voted in favor of the amendment. Forty-eight Senate Democrats blocked the amendment, which required 60 votes to pass. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires that, when a baby is born alive following an abortion, health care practitioners must exercise the same degree of professional skill and care that would be offered to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. It also requires that, following appropriate care, health care workers must transport the child immediately to a hospital.
In today's News: Texas Planned Parenthood wins an extension  On Wednesday, a Texas judge blocked the state from removing Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood, after it filed a last-minute lawsuit against the state. The new rule was set to go into effect on Feb. 4 after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state could defund the abortion corporation. Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit alleges that the state did not give Medicaid patients who use Planned Parenthood adequate time to find a new provider. Patients had been given 30 days to find a new health care provider as opposed to the six months Planned Parenthood requested. Now that the grace period has ended, Travis County Judge Maya Guerra Gamble ruled that patients should be given more time, set a hearing for Feb. 17 and placed a temporary restraining order on the rule.  Kansas voters to decide on abortion  Lawmakers in Kansas last week overwhelmingly passed a ballot proposal that if approved by state voters would amend the state constitution to clarify that there is no right to an abortion. Senators in the Sunflower State voted 28 to 11 last Thursday to support Concurrent Resolution 5003, which places the amendment on the Aug. 2, 2022, state ballot, where a simple majority would be needed to change the state’s constitution. The language of the amendment states that “The constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion.” The measure, known as the “Value Them Both Amendment,” was passed in the Kansas House by a vote of 86 to 38 on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a pro-abortion Democrat, denounced the proposed amendment and claimed that it would harm the economy and send the state back “to the Dark Ages.”  School grants a student a religious exemption  A public high school in Illinois has approved a student’s request for a religious exemption from a required sexuality program after a national legal group voiced concern that the student faced the threat of possible discipline for her refusal to take part in the program. The First Liberty Institute announced yesterday that senior Marcail McBride's parents are satisfied with the offer from administrators at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora for their daughter to complete an alternate assignment instead of participating in the school’s Student Gender and Sexuality Program. In a statement, the legal group said that the academy “reversed its position and approved senior Marcail McBride’s request for a religious accommodation.”  Christian movie studio changes its name  The faith-based studio Pure Flix Entertainment has changed its corporate name to Pinnacle Peak Pictures as it begins production on “God's Not Dead: We the People.” Pure Flix Entertainment is the studio behind the “God's Not Dead” franchise. It's rebranding to Pinnacle Peak Pictures follows AFFIRM Entertainment acquiring the Pure Flix subscription VOD service last year. Pure Flix’s subscription video on demand will keep its name, but because of Sony’s AFFIRM deal, Pure Flix Entertainment became a separate company. Pinnacle Peak Pictures, which has offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale, Arizona, will continue to operate as a leading independent faith and family studio. Along with the “God’s Not Dead” franchise, the indy studio's most popular film releases include “The Case for Christ” and “Do You Believe?” Pinnacle Peak Pictures has also produced, acquired, marketed and distributed more than 100 faith and family-friendly films.
In today's News: Virtual life conference is scheduled LCMS Life Ministry will host its first-ever virtual life conference March 19–20. The conference will include both live sessions and on-demand videos, as well as the opportunity to engage with speakers through question-and-answer sessions. The theme of the 2021 conference is “Making Disciples: Valuing Life.” Conference sessions will explore the Lutheran understanding of the sanctity of human life. Scheduled speakers include the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, LCMS president; Timothy Goeglein, vice-president of External and Government Relations for Focus on the Family; and Deaconess Tiffany Manor, LCMS Life Ministry executive director. A Spanish-language track will also be available. To register for the conference, visit Education nominee supports transgender sports President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Department of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, said he will work to protect a new executive order that mandates biological males be allowed to compete against biological females. Specifically, he will work to make sure the practice is allowed in high schools, where female athletes are often stripped of scholarship opportunities and athletic titles after being forced to compete against biological men. This policy has been a major focus in Connecticut where several female athletes are suing. Female athletes want to preserve women’s sports High-profile female athletes and women’s sports advocates are hoping to enact federal legislation that would protect women and girls’ competitive sports by limiting the impact of Biden’s executive order mandating the inclusion of transgender athletes in sports. Biden’s sweeping executive order, dubbed the Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation Act, provides across the board transgender rights. The group is planning to propose federal legislation to codify protections for girl and women athletes from competing against biological men in sports while creating a way for transgender competition. ‘Hurt After Abortion’ campaign starts A prominent pro-life activist has started a new project designed to help women who want to take legal action after experiencing complications from an abortion. Hurt After Abortion, launched last month, is the latest project of Pro-Love Ministries, which was founded by pro-life activist and former Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year, Abby Johnson. The project is a partnership with the Thomas More Society, a notable Catholic law firm. Spiritual confidentiality continues in North Dakota A bill in North Dakota that would have criminalized priests unwilling to report on what they heard during confession and violate the seal of confession under certain circumstances has been withdrawn. SB2180 sought to amend a state law regarding mandatory reporting of abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults. On January 29, Republican state Sen. Jerry Klein moved that the bill be withdrawn. His motion prevailed. The bill’s intent was to force members of the clergy to report what they heard about abuse or neglect as spiritual advisors. Two passages exempting clergy from mandatory reporting would have been eliminated from the North Dakota Century Code.
In today's News: Head of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod called home  The Rev. John Arthur Moldstad, Jr., president of the evangelical Lutheran Synod, died in Madison Lake, Minnesota, on Jan. 29. He was 66. For almost 10 years, LCMS president Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison has met informally once a year with Moldstad and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod President Rev. Mark Schroeder. A funeral is set for Saturday, Feb. 6, at 11 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, North Mankato, Minnesota, with committal immediately following at Norseland Lutheran Cemetery in St. Peter, Minnesota. Visitation will be held at Peace on Friday, Feb. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.  Democrats urge elimination of religious protection  President Joe Biden is facing pressure from fellow Democrats to eliminate a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created under the Trump administration in 2018. The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights was established to ensure the federal enforcement of laws that exist to protect the fundamental rights of conscience and religious freedom. Both the Democratic Women’s Caucus and Secular Democrats of America are calling on Biden to end the division. Sixty female Democrat lawmakers penned a letter to Biden in December encouraging him to “use executive powers to immediately begin reversing the harm wrought by the outgoing administration…” on the list of their demands is the elimination of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of HHS, claiming that it “has been weaponized to justify discrimination.”  First Liberty seeks conscience exemption  Yesterday, First Liberty Institute sent a letter to the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) demanding that it immediately approve senior Marcail McBride’s request for a religious accommodation exempting her from the school’s student gender and sexuality program. IMSA requires students to complete the student gender and sexuality program before graduation. Students must agree to both “stay engaged” and “experience discomfort” while participating in the program, which uses sexual language to identify sexual preferences and gender identity. In November, Marcail’s parents notified IMSA leadership that Marcail could not participate in the program because it forces Marcail to violate her religious beliefs. The IMSA leadership repeatedly denied the McBride’s request and threatened to punish Marcail if she does not participate in the program.  Court okays a Nativity Scene  The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a Nativity Scene displayed annually at the Jackson County Courthouse in Indiana. Liberty Counsel represents Jackson County. The Seventh Circuit ruled that the Nativity Scene is Constitutional under the Supreme Court’s recent decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association, which upheld the Peace Cross in Maryland. The Seventh Circuit wrote, “applying American Legion, we conclude that the county’s Nativity Scene is Constitutional because it fits within a long national tradition of using the Nativity Scene in broader holiday displays to celebrate the origins of Christmas — a public holiday.
In today's News: Concordia Irvine raises $100 million  Concordia University, Irvine yesterday announced the successful completion of its comprehensive campaign exceeding $100 million and surpassing its original goal of $85 million, making it the largest campaign in the University’s history. Launched in 2013, Forward in Faith — The Campaign for Concordia focused on new facilities, scholarships, academic programs and the University’s endowment. More than 10,000 donors — made up of alumni, parents, churches and community members — contributed to the record-breaking campaign that exceeded $100 million through private donations.  Pro-life Lutherans rally at Seminary  On a cold and windy Saturday afternoon in mid-January, Lutherans and other pro-life allies gathered in their cars on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., to show support for the sanctity of human life. The Jan. 16 event, sponsored by LCMS Life Ministry, was one stop on the March for Life Chicago’s “Moving the Movement Tour,” which connected participants across five Midwestern states in a series of pro-life car rallies and caravans. Following the rally, the cars — led by the March for Life Chicago van and decorated with signs and flags — caravanned through Fort Wayne ending at the Allen County Courthouse. The Fort Wayne “Moving the Movement” event was hosted by LCMS Life Ministry and organized with the help of Right to Life of Northeast Indiana, formerly Allen County Right to Life, in addition to the March for Life Chicago. The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, LCMS president, spoke at the beginning of the rally, which was broadcast locally over the radio and worldwide online. Participants tuned in from their cars and honked their horns where, previously, they would have cheered and clapped.  Ohio abortion center injures woman  According to pro-life watchdog group Operation Rescue, an ambulance was called to the Women’s Med Dayton abortion business on Jan. 13 for a woman who was suffering from heavy bleeding following an abortion. The abortion center has a history of injuring women. The 24-year-old woman reportedly required “urgent” transportation to the Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, for medical assistance that the abortionist was not able to provide. Abortionist Jeanne Corwin was present at the facility at the time of the botched abortion. The facility is owned by Martin Haskell, who is known for creating the now federally outlawed partial-birth abortion procedure.  Army chaplain investigated for stand on transgenders  A U.S. Army chaplain based in Texas faces an investigation after he made a social media post suggesting that transgender individuals are “mentally unfit” to serve in the military. In a Jan. 26 tweet, the Army’s Security Force Assistance Command announced that “the recent comments posted to the Army Times Facebook page by Maj. Andrew Calvert regarding President Joe Biden's policy on transgender service members are “under investigation.” A Twitter user flagged Calvert's posts and argued that Calvert "cannot be trusted to support soldiers for another minute." In his post, Calvert argued that there is "little difference" between those who believe in transgenderism and "those who believe and argue for a ‘flat earth' despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary."
In today's News: March for Life last Friday  Last Friday, 50 pro-life leaders marched through Washington, D.C., and concluded their protest at the back of the U.S. Supreme Court. The march was held to remember the more than 60-million children who have been killed by abortion since the 1973 Roe. v. Wade decision, and to demonstrate that pro-life Americans are not going away despite the pro-abortion policies of the Biden administration. Because of COVID, the annual March for Life rally that usually draws tens of thousands of supporters took place virtually this year.  Senate bills to cut off Planned Parenthood  Two new bills before the U.S. Senate would stop taxpayer dollars from funding the billion-dollar abortion industry. On Friday, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act to prohibit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from giving Title X grants to groups like Planned Parenthood that promote and/or provide abortions, Fox 17 WZTV reports. Planned Parenthood receives more than a half-billion taxpayer dollars annually, mostly through Medicaid reimbursements and Title X grants. Former President Donald Trump issued an executive order that defunded Planned Parenthood from Title X, but President Joe Biden reversed it Thursday. Planned Parenthood does about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S., or about 345,000 a year, according to its annual reports.  Iowa lawmakers to amend state constitution  Lawmakers in Iowa last week passed a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution which would exclude a “right to abortion” or to public funding for abortion. House Joint Resolution 5 would amend the Iowa state constitution to clarify that it “does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion.” The amendment is particularly prescient for Iowa, as the state’s Supreme Court found a “right to abortion” in the state’s constitution in 2018. The Iowa Supreme Court in 2018 struck down a 72-hour waiting period for abortion on the grounds that “a woman’s right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy is a fundamental right under the Iowa Constitution.” The proposed amendment would nullify the court’s finding.  ILC postpones its annual World Conference  The Board of the Directors for the International Lutheran Council (ILC) met online on Jan. 18 for regularly scheduled meetings. During this time, the board decided to postpone the upcoming ILC World Conference, which had been tentatively scheduled for September 2021, until 2022. The decision comes in response to current challenges in the world related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board considered the possibility of holding the conference online but recognized disparities in internet access across the world could limit the ability of some members to participate in the conference fully. The board continues to discuss what impact the delay may mean for other planned events, including the ILC’s 2022 World Seminaries Conference.
In today's News: Concordia NY campus will close  On Jan. 28, Concordia College New York, Bronxville, N.Y., and Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y., issued a joint news release detailing the closure of Concordia, Bronxville, in the fall of 2021. The release “announced the institutions are proceeding with a formal agreement for Iona College to acquire Concordia’s Bronxville campus and provide continued education for Concordia’s students through a teach-out plan, enabling most students to continue their degrees to completion at Iona. Concordia College New York classes will cease beginning with the fall 2021 semester and the college will close.” Concordia, Bronxville, though a separate legal entity governed by the Board of Regents, is part of the Concordia University System and, as such, has been an important part of the mission and ministry of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). The impact of the Concordia, Bronxville, closure will be felt by the entire LCMS community. LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison said, “Today our hearts are heavy at the news of the coming closure of Concordia College New York. For 140 years, its graduates have served — and are serving the church and the world — in God-pleasing vocations around the globe.  Virginia adoption agencies under threat  A bill introduced in the Virginia House would repeal a provision that allows certain state adoption agencies to refuse to place children with homosexual couples because of the agencies’ religious or moral convictions. The bill was introduced by House Del. Mark H. Levine and several other Assembly members on Jan. 13. According to the pro-LGBTQ Movement Advancement Project, Virginia is one of 11 states that allows adoption agencies to deny the placement of children with families or same-sex couples that conflict with their religious beliefs. It is legal for single LGBT persons and gay couples to adopt in Virginia, and numerous adoptions agencies provide the service.  Facebook suspends Christian professor  A Christian university professor has been suspended from Facebook for voicing disagreement with President Joe Biden’s executive order allowing gender confused individuals to serve in the U.S. military. Robert Gagnon, who teaches New Testament theology at Houston Baptist University and is a renowned scholar on the subject of sexuality, was locked out of his Facebook account for 24 hours on Tuesday after he posted a comment in defense of a friend who posted a satirical commentary about Biden's executive order. Facebook suspended Gagnon's account for what it deemed as “incitement” to violence. In his post, Gagnon said the executive order will endanger women and noted that those who promote transgenderism are allowing males to invade women’s athletics and shelters. He also likened transgender ideology to a “religious cult” and said it “is indeed a pseudo-science,” in that it forces people to reject basic biology. That Facebook suspended his friend for similar comments proves the cult-like dimension, he said.
In today's News: Concordia Texas expands residence halls Concordia University Texas will open the doors on a third residence hall in August 2022, one that puts the emphasis on collaborative learning, technology and student community. Every floor will feature study lounges and collaborative learning spaces equipped with technology. Large, open common areas will also provide students with a place to connect with others and build meaningful relationships. Nearly doubling the university’s housing capacity and eliminating the annual waiting list, the new residence hall’s location and design were developed in accordance with environmental guidelines that protect the adjacent nature preserve. An outdoor amphitheater will provide a space for university events and gatherings as well as study, relaxation, and socializing. Hundreds of cars in Chicago’s Life Car Rally Nearly 600 carloads of pro-life advocates participated in March for Life Chicago’s first-ever car rally through the streets of downtown Chicago on Jan. 23. The procession started at St. John Cantius Church on the city’s Northside. Cars were decorated with pro-life signs. About 1 p.m., drivers began to make their way through downtown on a route that brought them past key city, state and federal buildings. Small pro-life groups along the route cheered as the cars bedecked with pro-life signs drove by. The procession ended at Southside Pregnancy Center where participants had the opportunity to support babies and their parents by donating diapers to local pregnancy resource centers. Republicans pledge to support Hyde Amendment This week, 200 Republicans in Congress pledged to stand in support of the Hyde Amendment — which prevents federal taxpayer funding of abortion through government programs such as Medicaid — as President Joe Biden works with abortion supporters in Congress to end the nearly five-decade-long rider. Rep. Jim Banks sent a letter Tuesday to congressional leaders that pledged to oppose any legislation that would either eliminate or weaken the Hyde Amendment. That letter describes the push to end the Hyde Amendment as “pro-abortion crusade.” The Hyde Amendment preventing taxpayer funding of abortion has long had bipartisan support, with every president since 1976 signing the appropriations bill with the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment. Up until June 2019, Biden also supported the Hyde Amendment. LGBT flags to fly over us embassies The newly confirmed U.S. secretary of state has vowed to support the LGBT agenda by flying pride flags at United States embassies and resurrecting the "special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons." Antony Blinken, who was confirmed 78-22 by the United States Senate Tuesday, shared his thoughts about LGBT issues during his Senate confirmation hearing last week, which took place before President Joe Biden took office. During the Trump administration, U.S. embassies were told not to fly the pride flag, which consists of the rainbow colors and is designed to show support for LGBT rights. Then-Vice President Mike Pence defended the State Department's declaration that "on the flagpole of our American embassies that one flag should fly and that's the American flag," saying "I support that." Blinken is the fourth member of Biden's cabinet that has been confirmed by the Senate.
In today's News: Lutherans help tornado victims  Late Monday, a devastating tornado went through Fultondale, Alabama, leaving a path of destruction through the town that has killed and injured residents as well as destroyed homes, schools and businesses. This tornado was located just a few miles from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gardendale, where Pastor Ed Brashier, Southern District Disaster Response Coordinator, serves. Kathy O'Day, Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) director of Disaster Response, spoke to Brashier, who has been checking on congregation members and will be assessing damage in Fultondale as soon as first responders say it is safe to do so. He and his L.E.R.T. team began work early Tuesday morning helping a congregation member remove a tree from the roof of their home. LCC L.E.R.T. chainsaw teams are on standby to deploy and assist if requested.  Concordia Texas welcomes nursing students  At a time when the demand for nurses in central Texas is surging, Concordia University Texas has welcomed 288 new students so far this year to its traditional and accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. But they didn’t report to main campus as usual. In August 2020, under many COVID constraints, the university opened the doors to its Austin Nursing Satellite Campus. The new, interactive learning environment spans 17,000 square feet, complete with a cutting-edge simulation lab, a 10-bed clinical skills lab and simulation debriefing rooms. The building also houses a student lounge and administrative and faculty offices. Rooted in the university’s Christian values, the nursing program features an accredited and rigorous curriculum delivered utilizing an interactive e-learning platform, along with hands-on skills training and clinical rotations at the area’s top hospitals.  Illinois insurance guidelines investigated  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has informed the Thomas More Society that it is investigating whether Illinois has violated federal law by promulgating and enforcing the Illinois Reproductive Health Act, which generally requires Illinois health insurance plans to cover abortion. A Jan. 19, 2021, letter to the Thomas More Society from Luis Perez, deputy director of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of the Office for Civil Rights, states that the Office for Civil rights has reviewed the Thomas More Society’s October 2019 complaint and is investigating whether the state of Illinois, which receives various funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, complies with the federal Weldon Amendment. Specifically, the Office for Civil Rights is investigating whether Illinois, through its Department of Insurance and Department of Central Management Services, is discriminating against health plan issuers and plans that would offer health coverage that limited or excluded abortion coverage but are prohibited from doing so by the Reproductive Health Act.  Connecticut legislature considers euthanasia bill  An assisted suicide bill being considered in Connecticut faces opposition from disability rights activists over what they contend is a lack of safeguards against the abuse of vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or the disabled. The legislature in the Nutmeg State is considering a bill that would allow physicians to provide lethal prescriptions to terminally sick adult patients who want to end their lives.
In today's News: Court hears arguments for praying coach  Yesterday, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit again heard oral argument in the case of Coach Joe Kennedy, the longtime Bremerton, Washington, football coach who was fired after the 2015 season because he took a knee in brief, personal prayer after football games. First Liberty Institute and others collectively represent Kennedy. In January 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review the case at that time and instead allowed Coach Kennedy’s case to continue through the court system. In a separate statement written by Justice Alito and joined by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, the justices explained that the Court needed more information in order to resolve the matter. As Alito wrote, “The Ninth Circuit’s understanding of the free speech rights of public school teachers is troubling and may justify review in the future.” The case then returned to the district court for further review where, in January, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton granted the Bremerton school district’s motion for summary judgment. Kennedy’s attorneys then appealed to the Ninth Circuit.  Texas’ abortion ban thrown out  The United States Supreme Court has reversed a lower court decision that upheld a temporary ban on most abortions in Texas, asking the appellate court to dismiss the case as moot. The Supreme Court granted the petition of Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics to reverse a ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld an executive order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banning most abortions in an effort to free up hospital space for coronavirus patients. The Fifth Circuit's ruling itself reversed a judge's ruling at the district court level. Abbott's executive order came in March, 2020, a time when most U.S. states had implemented shutdowns of varying intensity in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.  Pro-life views termed ‘violence’  In a recent trend, abortion activists have been declaring the at espousing pro-life views is “violence.” One example came on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris released a joint statement celebrating the “landmark ruling.” The statement lamented the “relentless and extreme attack” of the previous administration on “reproductive health, including the right to choose,” and they pledged to appoint Roe-friendly judges and to codify the ruling into federal law. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee responded to Harris’ tweet linking the statement with his own tweet pointing out “abortion isn’t healthcare.” In a subsequent tweet, he urged followers to support Hope Clinic, a pregnancy resource center that staffs OB/GYNS and nurses and offers a variety of health services. In response, Francie Hunt, executive director of Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood, an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Action, falsely claimed that the governor’s tweet could lead to violence. “political violence is a real danger in this country, and when the governor implies that abortion is something other than life-saving health care, it puts us all in danger,” she asserted.
In today's News: President celebrates Roe v. Wade anniversary  President Joe Biden released a statement celebrating the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that has resulted in killing 62-million babies abortions. The decision, handed down on Jan. 22, 1973, overturned pro-life laws offering protection for unborn children in most states across the country, and made abortions legal and virtually unlimited. In the last two years, several states have approved new legislation making abortions legal up to the moment of birth. The state of New York led the way and even infamously cheered passage of the bill for unlimited abortions and lit up One World Tower pink to cheer baby-killing. Other states such as Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont and Massachusetts followed suit — either passing or attempting to pass laws overturning every single pro-life law in the state and implementing unfettered access to abortion any time, for any reason and at taxpayer expense.  Kentucky moves to protect abortion survivors  The Kentucky Born Alive Infant Protection Act became law Friday, ensuring that babies who survive abortions in the state will receive the basic medical care that they deserve. State Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Crofton, who sponsored the pro-life legislation, noted the significance of the date: the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, The Lexington Herald-Leader reports. The new Kentucky law protects babies from infanticide by requiring abortionists and medical workers to provide “appropriate and reasonable” medical care to newborns who survive abortions. It also recognizes abortions survivors as legal persons and imposes penalties on those who fail to provide basic medical care to them.  Judge refuses to restrain pro-abortion harassers  A Tennessee woman is appealing to the Tennessee Court of Appeals after a lower court refused to issue protection orders against four radical abortion militants for stalking her outside an abortion facility in Bristol, Tenn. Thomas More Society attorneys filed their opening brief with the Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville, Jan. 15, 2021, on behalf of the petitioner, Erika Schanzenbach. The appeal asks the court to correct the Sullivan County Chancery Court’s refusal to grant Schanzenbach relief after erroneously concluding that protection orders were not “the proper avenue” for stopping the accused’s repeated and relentless harassment against her outside an abortion facility. The judge ruled that Schanzenbach did not prove she was distressed since she continues to witness to life outside the abortion facility — even though Schanzenbach testified that she persists only because of her sincerely held religious duty to speak up for the voiceless no matter her opposition.  Boston refused to fly Christian flag  The city of Boston can stop a citizen from flying a Christian flag over City Hall, the First Circuit ruled on Friday. The petitioners say they will go to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that censoring a private flag because it contains a cross amounts to violation of the First Amendment,
In today's News: Concordia alumni/student fights infant mortality  The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that Detroit’s infant mortality rate is 2.5 times higher than the national average, putting it on par with a developing nation. Three alumni and one current student at Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., are attempting to reduce that mortality rate by working with the Luke Project 52 Clinic, which provides personalized prenatal and infant care at no cost to any family who needs it. The clinic was started in 2016 by the Rev. Brad Garrison, a Lutheran pastor and pharmacist, and his wife, Sherie, who has more than 40 years’ experience as a nurse.  Today is National Sanctity of Human Life Day  Before leaving office, President Donald Trump proclaimed today, Jan. 22, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day as it marks the 48th year since the U.S. Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton — the infamous abortion opinions that opened the door to kill unborn babies up to birth. Since 1973, more than 62-million unborn children have been killed in what should be the safest place — the womb. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating Jan. 22 as the National Sanctity of Human Life Day as the result of the influence of one woman, Dr. Mildred Jefferson, who worked tirelessly in support of personhood for every unborn child. Dr. Jefferson was the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and the first female surgeon at the Boston University Medical Center.  Supreme Court may consider another abortion case  The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled today to consider a Mississippi law that protects unborn babies and mothers by banning abortions after 15 weeks. Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch asked the high court to uphold the pro-life law last year, but the justices have not decided yet whether to take up the case. SCOTUS blog reports the justices did not act on the case during their private conference on Jan. 15, but they are scheduled to meet again today. Notably, today is the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that forced states to legalized abortion on demand. The Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, challenges the current legal precedent that blocks states from protecting unborn babies from abortions before they are viable.  Lawmakers move to protect women’s sports  Montana lawmakers have introduced a bill protecting girls’ sports in schools, after President Joe Biden signed an executive order forcing them to allow transgender biological males to compete with them. The Save Women’s Sports Act will require public school athletic teams to be designated based on biological sex. The bill cites testosterone levels and other differences between the genders that would create an unfair playing field for young girls to compete under Biden’s order.  Gender-confused victory in Alabama  A federal judge has ruled that an Alabama law requiring residents to provide proof of gender reassignment surgery before they can change the sex listed on their driver's license is unconstitutional.
In today's News: Biden’s committee funnels money to abortion/LGBT groups The Biden Presidential Inaugural Committee has listed Planned Parenthood and LGBT organizations as the beneficiaries of any donations made for the flags which took the place of spectators on the National Mall, as Biden marks his first day in office by emphasizing his links to abortion and LGBT ideology. Some of the groups mentioned include: Stonewall Community Development Corporation; Rainbow Family 808 Com Inc; Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund; National Center for Lesbian Rights; The Trevor Project; Wanda Alston Foundation; Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center; Howard Brown Health Center; Henderson Equality Center; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; LGBT Center of Greater Reading; Equality Maine Foundation; GLAAD. White House website now asks for pronouns Just hours after Democrat Joe Biden’s swearing-in as President of the United States, the official White House contact page has already been updated to ask users to include their preferred gender pronouns, another early gift to LGBT activists. Among the White House website contact page’s usual fields for name, prefix, phone number, and such is a new “pronouns” field, with the options “she/her,” “he/him,” “they/them,” “Other,” and “Prefer not to share.” The change is in line with the aggressively pro-LGBT platform Biden ran on, the centerpiece of which was forcing widespread accommodation of homosexuality and “gender fluidity” on private citizens by urging passage of the so-called Equality Act. During the campaign, he went so far as to endorse children as young as eight “deciding” they’re transgender, and earlier this week he chose Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine, a man who claims to be a woman, as Assistant Secretary of Health. Medical group affirms adoption In an updated statement published today, the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) affirms adoption as the best option for children who cannot be raised within their natural families. An appropriate adoptive family provides a child with love, permanency, stability, and the same legal rights as a child born into that family. Dr. Leah Wilson is a board-certified pediatrician, ACPeds director, and adoptive parent. She knows firsthand that an infant’s adoptive placement is a courageous, loving, and life-giving alternative to abortion. Dr. Wilson states, “Women experiencing a crisis pregnancy should receive counseling about options including open and semi-open adoption arrangements. Women considering abortion due to an adverse prenatal diagnosis should also be informed of the availability of adoptive families for children born with disabilities.” Governor vetoes pro-life legislation As expected, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a pro-life bill Tuesday that would give the attorney general power to hold abortion facilities accountable to basic health and safety standards. WAVE 3 News reports state House Bill 2 was one of five bills that the pro-abortion Democrat governor rejected this week. The others involved the governor’s powers in a crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Sponsored by state Rep. Joseph Fichter, R-Fort Thomas, the pro-life legislation would give the state attorney general power to hold abortion facilities accountable if they do not comply with state health regulations. Currently, that power rests with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which is led by the current governor’s appointee.
In today's News: Pro-Life Action League founder passes  Joe Scheidler, founder of the Pro-Life Action League, received his eternal reward Jan. 18 at the age of 93. He was affectionately dubbed the “godfather of the pro-life movement” and a “racketeer for life.” The announcement was made on social media by the Pro-Life Action League. Scheidler, a former Benedictine monk and journalism professor, was active in the pro-life movement for decades and may be best known for being a named plaintiff in the RICO lawsuit, NOW v. Scheidler, a landmark case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court three times. With help from the Thomas More Society, the plaintiffs, including Scheidler, prevailed in protecting the free speech rights of pro-lifers.  Oregon abortion business closes  An abortion business in Oregon that killed babies in abortions for almost 50 years has finally closed. Oregon’s largest independent and oldest abortion company, Lovejoy Surgicenter, has closed, just shy of 50 years in business. The abortion center killed babies in abortions up to 24 weeks into pregnancy, when unborn children are viable and can survive outside the womb. Lois Anderson, the director of Oregon Right to Life, told she was excited by the news. Lovejoy Surgicenter conducts abortions through 24 weeks of pregnancy. Those done between 20-24 weeks, 5-6 months gestation, abortions are three-day procedures, according to the abortion facility’s website. These abortions carry more risks, and life-threatening complications can occur that the outpatient facility is not equipped to handle. However, the closing may be short lived. According to Anderson, a Seattle-based abortion practitioner has purchased the abortion center and will be reopening it in March. The Lovejoy web site indicates it will reopen at a new location on March 1, “under new management.”  Court halts religious discrimination policy  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit’s decision last Friday to grant a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit A.H. v. French that stops Vermont officials from excluding religious-school students from the state’s dual enrollment program, which had allowed public, private secular and home-school students to enroll at not cost to them in two college courses before graduating high school but denies that same opportunity to religious-school students. Attorneys for a high school student, her parents and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington filed the lawsuit in district court. They argued that the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue and in the Alliance Defending Freedom caseTrinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, support ending Vermont’s discrimination in its dual enrollment program.  Transgender law put on hold  A federal court in North Dakota just blocked a requirement known as the transgender mandate that would force medical professionals and religious hospitals to perform gender transition procedures on their patients — including children — even when the procedures are potentially harmful.
In today's News: National Sanctity of Human Life Day is proclaimed  Ahead of his departure from the White House tomorrow, President Donald Trump Sunday issued a presidential proclamation recognizing this Friday as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. This year marks the fourth year in a row that Trump has recognized National Sanctity of Human Life Day in January. Jan. 22 marks the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling making abortion a national right. The president used the proclamation to speak out against the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade, tout his administration’s accomplishments on behalf of the pro-life movement and call on the American people to respect the sanctity of life. The proclamation praises the activism of the pro-life movement and its advocates, who support policy initiatives that restrict the legality of abortion.  Ban on aborting Down Syndrome abortions proposed  In her Jan. 12 State of the State address, conservative South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced that she is calling on the state Legislature to pass a law that would ban the killing of unborn children by abortion just because they have Down syndrome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Down syndrome continues to be the most common chromosomal disorder. Each year, about 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome, which is about one in every 700 babies born."  Charges dismissed against church deacon  Thomas More Society attorneys achieved victory for a Moscow, Idaho, church deacon who was wrongly arrested on Sept. 23, 2020, for singing while not wearing a mask at a church-sponsored “Psalm Sing” in the Moscow City Hall parking lot. On Jan. 9, the Idaho District Court signed the order dismissing charges against Gabriel Rench, one of three people arrested among the almost 200 attending the event. The September gathering at which Rench and other churchgoers were arrested was hosted by Christ Church as one of the congregation’s monthly hymn sings. This particular event was held outside City Hall in response to the extension of a restrictive COVID-19-prompted mask mandate imposed by Moscow’s mayor.  Christians make up 88 percent of Congress  The 117th United States Congress is made up of 88 percent Christians, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. In a report called “Faith on the Hill,” the Pew Research Center analyzed the religious affiliations of all members of the 117th Congress and compared them to the religious demographics of the U.S. as a whole. Pew obtained the data from a questionnaire conducted by CQ Roll Call asking members about their religious backgrounds. The publication of the Pew report came just one day after the 117th Congress was sworn into session on Jan. 3. Pew has been analyzing the religious composition of members of Congress since the 111th Congress, which met from 2009 to 2011. While the House of Representatives has 435 members and the Senate has 100 members, two House seats and two Senate seats were either vacant or undecided as of Jan. 4, when the report was published, leaving the number of senators and representatives analyzed at 531.
In today's News: Wedding photographer fights state law  Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is arguing today in federal district court in a Virginia photographer’s lawsuit against state officials. The lawsuit challenges a state law, enacted July 1, 2020, that forces Bob Updegrove to use his artistic talents to photograph same-sex weddings if he photographs weddings between one man and one woman. As explained in ADF’s complaint, that law violates foundational rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution, including the First Amendment’s Free Speech and Free Exercise clauses. ADF attorneys have asked the court to enter an injunction halting enforcement of the law against Updegrove while his lawsuit proceeds, and the state has moved to dismiss the case. The law also forbids Updegrove from publicly explaining on his studio’s own website the religious reasons why he only celebrates wedding ceremonies between one man and one woman. Virginia considers such communications “discriminatory.” The law threatens initial fines of up to $50,000 and then $100,000 per additional violation, along with court orders that could force Updegrove to photograph events against his conscience if he wants to stay in business.  School district considers posting Ten Commandments  A North Carolina school board is exploring the possibility of putting Ten Commandments displays near the entrances at each of its school buildings, a possibility that has upset a secular legal group. The Cleveland County School Board first discussed the idea at its Dec. 14 board meeting, drawing support and criticism in the last week from opposing national First Amendment legal groups. Supporters of the measure contend that displays of the Ten Commandments on school grounds are permitted by North Carolina law, as long as they are accompanied by other historical displays. advocates for a strict separation of church and state, sent a letter to Cleveland County School District attorney Colin Shive. In the letter, Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened legal action against the school district if the push to erect the Ten Commandments displays at its schools was not scrapped.  State’s abortion law challenged by women’s group  Women in New York filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a radical pro-abortion law that legalizes abortions for basically any reason up to birth in the Empire State. The class action lawsuit argues that the New York Reproductive Health Act, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019, puts women in danger and violates the fundamental rights of women and children, including unborn babies who can survive outside the womb. Along with expanding late-term abortions, the law repealed criminal charges for killing an unborn baby even in a violent criminal act against the mother. In the lawsuit, victims of domestic abuse slammed New York for denying them and their children justice, the Catholic News Agency reports.  Pro-life student group wins suit  Oregon’s Chemeketa Community College has settled a federal lawsuit with a pro-life student group by agreeing to pay $25,000 to cover the cost of legal fees and end a policy confining free speech to a small area of campus. The Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal group representing the Chemeketa Students for Life, announced the settlement last Friday. Before the settlement, which is dated Nov. 10, the college limited outdoor free speech in two small areas of campus. According to the legal group, the taxpayer funded school’s policies restricted the free speech rights of students to just 1.5 percent of the school’s 100-acre campus.
In today's News: Christian persecution up worldwide 2020 continued a trend of rising persecution around the world, with governments often using COVID-19 restrictions as tools of repression, Christian persecution watchdog Open Doors USA announced in its annual report. Open Doors' 2021 report revealed two important persecution trends in 2020. The number of Christians killed has increased by 60 percent this year, mostly because of Islamic violence against Nigerian Christians. Secondly, anti-Christian governments around the world use COVID-19 restrictions to persecute Christians. In Nigeria, more than 2,200 Christians were murdered by radical Islamists. This number makes up slightly less than half of the 4,761 Christians killed for their faith worldwide, according to Open Doors statistics. Most of the Christians killed in 2020 gave up their lives to extremist groups, not governments. New York considers assisted suicide The state of New York is one of the latest to consider embracing assisted suicide. Senate Bill S3151A, or the Medical Aid in Dying Act, was originally introduced in 2017, but died in committee in March of 2018. Another version failed in 2019, yet Assemblyman Kevin Cahill has announced his intentions to resubmit the bill for consideration in 2021 — and one Planned Parenthood political action affiliate is showing its support. Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts released its 2021 legislative priorities, which largely consisted of expanding abortion — but buried at the bottom was a passage linking abortion and assisted suicide under the “bodily autonomy” umbrella. North Dakota considers spiritual advisors must break confidentiality Three North Dakota state legislators introduced a bill this week that would oblige clergy to violate the confidentiality in cases of confirmed or suspected child abuse, on penalty of imprisonment or heavy fines. The bill was introduced Jan. 12 by state senators Judy Lee, Kathy Hogan and Curt Kreun, and state representatives Mike Brandenburg and Mary Schneider. The current mandatory reporting law in North Dakota states that clergy are considered mandatory reporters of known or suspected child abuse, except in cases when “the knowledge or suspicion is derived from information received in the capacity of spiritual adviser”, such as in the confessional. The bill, SB 2180, would amend that law to abolish this exception. Supreme Court rules against mail in abortion drugs The United States Supreme Court reinstated a requirement enacted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that women seeking to obtain abortion drugs must pick them up in person from a hospital or medical office rather than receiving them by mail. The High Court ruled 6-3 in Food and Drug Administration v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that the FDA abortion drug rule may go into effect and lifted a nationwide injunction against it. It granted the FDA request to reinstate enforcement for the “Elements to Assure Safe Use” in the Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for the chemical abortion pill mifepristone.
In today's News: Abortions stop in Missouri  Operation Rescue believes Planned Parenthood in St. Louis has stopped performing abortions and has done none in months. Instead, the group found that the St. Louis facility is referring women to a new Planned Parenthood a few miles across the border in Illinois for abortions. The St. Louis facility still has a license to do abortions, but it is choosing not to. An Operation Rescue spokesman said he believes the reason is because Planned Parenthood does not want to comply with Missouri’s pro-life laws. The St. Louis facility had a poor reputation. Operation Rescue documented 75 medical emergencies at the facility over the past several years. In 2019, state health leaders tried to revoke its license, citing “multiple life-threatening abortions,” but a state commissioner ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood.  Ohio bans abortion drugs by telemedicine  On Saturday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill banning the use of telemedicine to administer the abortion pill in the state. The bill, SB 260, would effectively ban telemedicine abortions in Ohio by requiring that a physician be present when the first of the two drugs in the abortion pill regimen is administered to a woman. Failure to abide by this law could result in a fourth-degree felony, and repeated violations of the law could result in the suspension of the offending physician’s medical license. According to the FDA, at least 24 known women have died from complications associated with the abortion pill and countless women have shared their personal stories of the horrific effects they have endured after taking the abortion pill regimen. Despite claims that the abortion pill is as “safe as Tylenol,” it carries with it a four times greater risk of complications than a first trimester surgical abortion.  Supreme Court sidesteps a First Amendment case  The U.S. Supreme Court sidestepped an opportunity to rule on behalf of the First Amendment right for pro-life speech around abortion centers. The Supreme Court declined to hear Bruni v. City of Pittsburgh, which challenges a law enacted by the city that bans pro-life speech — even prayer — in painted 15-foot buffer zones outside medical facility entrances. The city then chose to paint such zones outside only two facilities in the entire metropolitan area, Pittsburgh’s two abortion centers, and enforced the ban against pro-life speech only. This bans the free speech of sidewalk counselors and those handing out literature informing pregnant women of resources available for them and their children. However, speech on other subjects has been permitted inside the zone. Despite the language of the ordinance and how it was applied, the lower court interpreted the ordinance in such a way that pro-life speech is permitted. And the lower courts did not apply the Supreme Court’s more recent precedent striking down restrictions on speech (Reed v. Town of Gilbert) and pro-life speech outside an abortion clinic (McCullen v. Coakley), and instead relied upon the older case of Hill v. Colorado.