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BY Jim Cosgrove
House Votes Against RU-486
ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 8—The House has voted for the second year to forbid the government to test, develop or approve abortion-inducing drugs such as the French RU-486 pill.
Reported the Associated Press, “Although the 217-214 vote [June 7] was a victory for House abortion foes, the bill's chances for becoming law this year appear dim.”
However, Rep. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said that there is something “terribly wrong” when the Food and Drug Administration uses taxpayers' dollars for “drugs that are designed to kill unborn children.”
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) was reported as saying, “Come up with drugs that heal.”
Sex, Lies and Television
PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, June 7—America has become absorbed in a debate over the epidemic of violence in the media, said the Philadelphia Daily News , but the argument has been going on for decades. “Remember when Congress took on TV Westerns in the early '60s?” it asked.
“But when it comes to an issue that some observers consider to be equally vexing — sexuality on television — these same politicians seem perfectly willing to ignore it.”
The report suggested that that it was perhaps because Hollywood's most vocal critics were “responsible for keeping last year's mature-rated hit, The Bubba and Monica Show, on the air for so long.
However, there are several organizations unwilling to let Washington set the stage and the pace when it comes to TV viewing. Among those the paper cited is the Parent's Television Council.
“L. Brent Bozell's Parents Television Council, which has targeted advertisers of The Howard Stern Radio Show, recently announced the launch of its Green Light Film Review as a resource for parents seeking ‘wholesome’ entertainment fare,” said the Daily News.
“The project promotes family-friendly feature films and made-for-TV movies, including the recent CBS mini-series, Joan of Arc, and hopes to encourage Hollywood to ‘voluntarily refrain from aiming at children those products that glorify sex, drug use and a culture of disrespect and death,’” said the report.
Young Women and Breast Cancer
CHICAGO SUN TIMES, June 6—More than 8,400 women under 40 will, this year, be diagnosed with breast cancer even though it is not usually a young woman's disease, reported the Sun Times.
“More than three-fourths of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50 and nearly half are over 65, according to the American Cancer Society. Only 4.7 percent are under 40,” said the report.
Of the women under age 40 who will get cancer, “some will have a family history, or a gene mutation that causes breast cancer. But many have no risk factors.”
Breast cancer is more dangerous in young women, said the report, because it typically is detected at a later stage, and is more aggressive.
This is one reason why survival rates are lower among younger sufferers compared to older women.
The report suggested that beginning at age 20, a woman should examine herself every month, and “have a clinical exam by a doctor or nurse every three years.”
Even though a lump frequently turns out to be benign, or a cyst, it shouldn't be ignored, said the report.
The Sun Times missed one point: An American Life League statement reports that there have been at least four studies between 1977 and 1992 that conclude that the use of birth control pills by young women, before their first pregnancy, increases the incidence of breast cancer by as much as 88%.
“This data clearly shows that providing birth control pills to young girls — one of the chief aims of the Health and Human Services Title X program — contributes to one of the major medical problems for women, breast cancer. We are calling on any member of Congress who votes in favor of ‘Title X’ funding, to justify why they feel it is more important to facilitate teen sex than to protect our young women from breast cancer,” said Judie Brown, president of the American Life League.
New Center Serves Expectant Mothers
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, May 28-A Salt Lake group opposed to abortion plans to open an office in the Park City area. Park City and surrounding Summit County were chosen because of the area's relatively high numbers of abortions, reported The Salt Lake Tribune.
The branch's activities will include counseling and some material support for women who decide against abortion, said the report.
“Our goal is to provide assistance to women, and couples, really, that have unexpected pregnancies and don't know where to turn,” said Dean Velasco Jr., president of the Pregnancy Resources Centers, according to the report.
He added that he doesn't want to be labeled “anti-abortion.”
“It's a term we're not too fond of. While we don't approve of abortion, it's not our focus. … We're not involved in political lobbying or demonstrations. We're not a militant group,” he said.
The group believes in the sanctity of human life, said the paper, adding that they said they would counsel any woman considering abortion to “make sure they're making a decision with all facts and with open eyes … we want these people to avoid making any rash decision they could regret for the rest of their life.”
An Unborn Child Is Not A Human Being, Rules Court
ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 27-A state appeals court ruled May 26 that a woman accused of trying to drink her unborn child to death could not be charged with attempted murder because a fetus is not a human being, reported the Associated Press.
The appeals court ruled in favor of Deborah Zimmerman, whose daughter was born with a blood-alcohol twice the level considered intoxicated under Wisconsin law, said AP.
“The term ‘human being’ was not intended to refer to an unborn child and Deborah's prenatal conduct does not constitute attempted first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless injury,” said the court.
The report said that Zimmerman allegedly told a nurse, “I'm just going to go home and keep drinking and drink myself to death and I'm going to kill this thing because I don't want it anyway.”
Authorities argued that Zimmerman should be charged with attempted murder based on the state's ‘born alive’ rule” which states that “a person can be charged with murder if he or she harms a pregnant woman and her fetus is born alive and then dies,” reported the paper.
“Prosecutors argued that the law should be extended to attempted murder if a fetus is born with injuries but survives,” said the report. Zimmerman's baby — who is now 3 years old and with foster parents — is healthy.
Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, was reported saying that the appeals court is “behind the times” because Wisconsin has passed laws to protect fetuses.
Yeltsin Move Will End Russian Death Penalty
REUTERS, June 1-Russian President Boris Yeltsin plans to commute all remaining death sentences and empty death row, which in effect will eliminate capital punishment, reported Reuters.
The report said that Robert Tsivilev, head of the presidential Pardons Commission, “expected the president to sign four decrees this week which would commute all Russia's remaining death sentences to lengthy prison terms.
“In practice, Russia will join those countries that do not have the death penalty. I think this is a big step in the direction of democracy and civilization for our country.”
Earlier in the year, Yeltsin commuted the sentences of 400 of the 716 prisoners on death row and the decrees commuting the remaining prisoners were already written and awaiting the president's signature, said the report.
In 1996 Yeltsin placed a moratorium on the death penalty “as part of Russia's bid to join the Council of Europe, which forbids member states to execute prisoners in peace time,” said the report.