LIFE NOTES

Abortionists Gain from Vote by Senate Republicans

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Feb. 3—The Senate Feb. 2 approved an amendment to a bankruptcy bill which would financially benefit groups that bring suit against pro-life protesters under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, the AP reported.

The courts have imposed extremely large fines against pro-life individuals and groups convicted of violating the act, forcing many of the pro-lifers and their families to declare bankruptcy, AP said.

The amendment, introduced by pro-abortion Sen. Charles Schumer, DN.Y., singles out pro-lifers and reduces their ability to seek bankruptcy protection. Republican senators were prepared to vote against the amendment but many changed position and voted for it to prevent Vice President Al Gore from casting a high-profile, tie-breaking vote, reported AP. The wire service added that Gore had hoped to show his opponent, Bill Bradley, and the abortion lobby his support for abortion by voting for the amendment

Planned Parenthood Agrees Not to Perform Abortions

NEWSDAY, Feb. 2—After submitting a written pledge to town officials stating that it would not perform abortions, Planned Parenthood opened a clinic this month in Massapequa, N.Y., reported the Long Island daily.

The facility's application approved by the Department of Health last year listed a number of “services” that it would perform, which did not include abortion.

Nonetheless, said Newsday, Planned Parenthood received the go-ahead only “after Town Supervisor John Venditto received a written promise from the group” assuring it would not perform abortions on site. Venditto, who won re-election on the pro-life Right to Life Party line, said “he had no regrets about slowing the process or taking the unusual step of getting a written promise from the group.”

Under the agreement, Planned Parenthood would have to re-apply to the state Department of Health before being allowed to perform abortions at the location.

‘Choose Life’ Tags Stir Controversy

THE TENNESSEAN, Feb. 4—A state senator wants Tennessee to have a “Choose Life” license plate and give half the proceeds of its sale to adoption facilities and crisis pregnancy centers, reported the state-wide daily.

“I want to educate people that you can choose life,” said Sen. Micheal Williams, R-Maynardville. “I'm not trying to … make a political statement.” Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Tommy Haun, R-Greeneville, said he opposes the plates, said The Tennessean.

The “Choose Life” plate would be patterned after one Florida adopted last year, Williams said. Proceeds in Florida go to crisis pregnancy centers, but the plate is facing a legal challenge from the National Organization for Women.

A Florida judge blocked distribution of the license plates while she decides whether they amount to a political statement against abortion, said The Tennessean. NOW argued that the state improperly approved a “religious motto, which has frequently been used to harass, intimidate and, at times, [to] kill and maim those who seek to exercise their rights, including the right to choose abortion.”

Abortionist Begins 120-day Jail Sentence

ALBANY TIMES UNION, Feb. 8—Controversial Pennsylvania abortion practitioner Steven Brigham, medical director of an abortion facility in Phillipsburg, Pa., has begun a 120-day jail sentence in Albany, N.Y., on a tax conviction, said the state capital's daily.

Brigham, who must make $8,188 restitution to New York state, could be released as early as April 6 for good behavior.

Brigham also was convicted in Albany County in 1998 of a felony count of scheming to defraud, but that conviction was overturned in December by the New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division.

Brigham's medical license was revoked in New York in 1994 after he was accused of botching abortions.

In 1996, the New Jersey state attorney general filed 14 counts of negligence, gross negligence, malpractice and professional misconduct against Brigham for his abortion activities in that state.

The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy