3 - White House changes rules regarding conscience protection
For some time now, there has been concern that health care workers would be forced to take part in activities that violate their deeply-held beliefs, such as participate in abortion or prescribe medication that would contribute to the taking of a human life, or face dismissal from their career field.
During the Bush administration, the White House issued guidelines that would provide for conscience protection for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others. This week, the Obama adminstration abandoned those Bush-era provisions and issued new guidelines that remove some of those conscience protections. Here's the word from the 16,000 member Christian Medical Association.
So, without evidence that these conscience provisions resulted in a reduction in the quality of medical care, the White House has changed the rules of the game, which could result in some medical professionals leaving the field. But, is it any surprise, with a new wave of pro-life sentiment sweeping the country, and with pro-abortion organizations such as Planned Parenthood coming under closer scrutiny, that those who favor the destruction of human life through abortion are essentially "fighting back"?
2 - CA Supreme Court agrees to address who can defend supporters of Proposition 8
After a ruling last year by Federal district judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco creating a "right" to same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals took up the case. One of the issues at hand was who, in fact, had the legal right to represent the over 7 million California voters who approved Proposition 8, the amendment to California's constitution that defined marriage as one man for one woman. Typically, in this sort of situation, a state constitutional officer would appeal on behalf of state law, but here, neither then-Governor Schwarzenegger and then-Attorney General, now-Governor Jerry Brown would defend this new law.
So, the 9th U.S. Circuit, deciding not to address this topic of "standing", as it's called, sent the matter back to the California Supreme Court. This is the same court that allowed supporters of Proposition 8 to defend the amendment's constitutionality in the first place, the same court that had held that Proposition 8 was constitutional. Here is a report from CitizenLink. Generally, pro-marriage groups such as ProtectMarriage.com, which was the leading group supporting Proposition 8, and the National Organization for Marriage, are pleased with the ruling. Expectations are that the case will reach the U.S. Supreme Court, but this move by the appeals court definitely slows down the timetable.
1 - U.S. House votes to defund Planned Parenthood
It's been a miserable last few months for the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Polling data is showing that the nation is trending more pro-life. The health care law that PP and other pro-abortion organizations supported is coming unraveled in the wake of court defeats, states opting-out of abortion being funded by taxpayer dollars, and the moves to repeal and defund the overall structure.
Then, Planned Parenthood centers were shown on hidden camera video to aid and abet representatives of underage girls seeking abortion, STD treatment, and contraception. These videos were released by Live Action, a pro-life advocacy organization, and gathered news coverage by a number of national news organizations.
This round of incriminating videos added one more card to the shaky house of cards that Planned Parenthood has built for itself, and 240 members of the U.S. House of Representatives said, "enough is enough", voting to discontinue government funding of the organization, which had been receiving some $363 million per year in taxpayer money. An amendment to the government funding bill was passed on Friday, sponsored by Congressman Mike Pence, which discontinues funding for Planned Parenthood. Here is coverage from LifeNews.com.
This legislation still has to pass through the Senate, as well as travel to the desk of President Obama, who was supported heavily by PP and abortion proponents. But, the message has been sent, and it's reflective of a number of Americans who do not want their tax dollars funding abortion and other objectionable activities in which Planned Parenthood is involved.