Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Judge Rejects Planned Parenthood Suit Against Trump Prioritizing Abstinence Education

By Calvin Freiburger
Life Site News

A federal judge has sided with the Trump administration in a lawsuit challenging its move to prioritize faith-based, abstinence-focused programs for dispensing family-planning dollars.

In May, three Planned Parenthood groups and the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) sued the administration over the Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) February guidelines overhauling how it evaluated applications for Title X family planning grants.

The new rules gave priority to abstinence, ease of primary care access, more family participation, and cooperation with faith-based groups.

On Monday, District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, issued his ruling in the case, Reuters reports.
“[C]ourts cannot review substantive objections to a non-final agency action, nor can they require formal rulemaking for a change in agency procedure,” he wrote. McFadden added that his ruling was not a decision on the merits of the case, but if it was he would conclude that the administration’s priorities were consistent with the Title X program’s mission of supporting “voluntary family projects ... offering a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods and services.”
All told, the case is estimated to impact the fate of up to $260 million in federal tax dollars. Abortion giant Planned Parenthood handles more than 40 percent of patients receiving Title X care.

President Donald Trump and his administration have supported sexual risk avoidance education over contraceptive distribution throughout his presidency. Last year, Trump's HHS recommended abandoning an Obama-era contraception-based teen pregnancy prevention program on the grounds that the results appeared to be an increased likelihood of teen pregnancy.

In January, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a study finding downward trends in teen sexual activity from 2005 to 2015. The study did not declare a direct link between the results and abstinence education funding, but pro-family advocates say that message is clear when the CDC findings are combined with other studies connecting condom distribution and the promotion of promiscuity to increased teen pregnancy.

Federal Judge Condemns the “Moral Tragedy of Abortion”

By Micaiah Bilger
Life News

In a strongly-worded ruling this week, a federal judge criticized the abortion industry’s apparent attempt to “retaliate against people of faith” who believe unborn babies deserve a right to life.

Judge James C. Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit also described abortion as a “moral tragedy” in his opinion about a case involving pro-abortion groups and the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Fifth Circuit permanently blocked a ruling that would have forced the Texas bishops to hand over private emails and other communications as part of a lawsuit between the abortion business Whole Woman’s Health and the state, World News Daily reports. The bishops are not part of the lawsuit.

The abortion chain is challenging a law that requires abortion facilities to bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies.

The Catholic bishops offered to allow the free burial of aborted fetal remains in Catholic cemeteries in Texas after abortion activists complained about burdensome costs of the new law, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the bishops.

Earlier this year, a lower court sided with the abortion industry in its subpoena for documents, but the Fifth Circuit disagreed this week.

Judge Edith J. Jones wrote the majority opinion, but Ho’s strong concurring opinion has received the most attention. Ho is an appointee of President Donald Trump.

“The First Amendment expressly guarantees the free exercise of religion – including the right of the Bishops to express their profound objection to the moral tragedy of abortion, by offering free burial services for fetal remains,” Ho wrote.
Referencing the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving Masterpiece Cakeshop and gay wedding cakes, Ho wondered if the abortion groups sought the documents “to retaliate against people of faith for not only believing in the sanctity of life – but also for wanting to do something about it.”
“It is hard to imagine a better example of how far we have strayed from the text and original understanding of the Constitution than this case,” he continued.
Crux reports more:

In a move that has been described as punitive by Becket Law, who is representing the Conference, Whole Women’s Health subpoenaed the bishops in March 2018 to release all of its internal documents concerning embryonic and fetal tissue remains, miscarriage, or abortion – including deliberations on matters of theology and philosophy, along with all correspondence between state agencies and their employees and any documentation pertaining to the lawsuit.

While the bishops provided more than 4,000 pages of documents, they insisted that all internal communication remain private. Last month, however, a district court ruled that they must turn over all documentation within 24 hours.

The decision, which came down on June 17 – Father’s Day – provided a 24 hour window to comply, which the bishops appealed, leading to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granting an emergency stay in the case.

WND reports the circuit court also said the request “looks like an act of intimidation” against the bishops whose representative agreed to testify in the case. The pro-abortion groups agreed to withdraw the request for documents if the representative would not testify, according to the report.

What Really Happened with the Breastfeeding Scandal in Geneva

by Susan Yoshihara
for The Hill

After the fire bombings leveled Tokyo in the Pacific War, my father-in-law watched his parents bury his infant sister, who starved to death. His mother, malnourished in her poverty, had no breast milk to give. Formula could have saved his sister’s life and his mother a lifetime of guilt.

It is a shocking and sad sign of our times that the Trump administration finds itself excoriated this week for taking a step toward helping poor women in similar situations.

U.S. delegates to the World Health Organization in Geneva three months ago stand accused of greedy motives for seeking to expand information about breastfeeding alternatives. They were accused of not caring about women and children. They were accused of threatening a poor country’s national security to funnel billions of dollars to U.S. corporations.

What really happened is that a U.S. delegation, including women who were experienced breastfeeding advocates and savvy negotiators, bested the entrenched interests of a powerful activist lobby in a fair fight and for good reasons. As the New York Times accurately reported, this “stunned” global health officials who had gotten all too accustomed to the status quo, including the previous U.S. administration’s reluctant acquiescence to the 2016 version of the resolution.

Continue reading this article here

Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D., has taken part in United Nations negotiations on maternal and child health since 2006 as a delegation member and civil society participant. She is senior vice president for research at the Center for Family and Human Rights in Washington.

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