News In Brief

C-FAM and Culture of Life Foundation to Merge

WASHINGTON — The New York-based Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and the Washington-based Culture of Life Foundation announced June 24 the formation of a strategic alliance.

The boards of each organization also announced that Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute — an advocate for pro-life issues at the United Nations — will assume the title of president of the Culture of Life Foundation and will join its board of directors. Ruse will continue as president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and will run both organizations from Culture of Life Foundation offices in Washington, D.C., according to a joint press release by the organizations.

Also as part of the agreement, two other Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute board members will join the Culture of Life Foundation board: Robert Royal, president of the Faith and Reason Institute; and Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute.

Judge Allows Disabled Florida Rape Victim to Give Birth

ORLANDO, Fla. — A 22-year-old mentally disabled woman who was raped at a state-run facility and is now more than six months pregnant was given a court order to carry her baby to term, CNN's Web site reported June 25.

Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Kirkwood signed off on the recommendation by the woman's court-appointed guardian, Patti Jarrell, who had the woman checked by at least two doctors, one of whom specialized in high-risk pregnancies.

The Orlando Sentinel reported June 3 that Jarrell had said she would have no problem recommending an abortion for the woman if it were medically necessary.

The woman, known in court records only by the initials J.D.S., reportedly suffers from autism and cerebral palsy and has no family. She had lived in the group home where she was raped since she was a child.

Family of Woman Who Died After Abortion Files Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES — The family of Diana Lopez, 25, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against a doctor and the Planned Parenthood clinic where the woman bled to death last year, the Associated Press reported June 25.

The lawsuit alleges Dr. Mark Maltzer “worked so quickly, recklessly and negligently pulling out sharp body parts of Diana Lopez's 19- to 20-week-old unborn infant that severe, irreparable damage was done.”

According to a state Department of Health Services report, within minutes of the operation Lopez's cervix was punctured and she began to bleed profusely. Doctors were unable to control the bleeding. Lopez was taken to a hospital, where an emergency hysterectomy was performed. She died of trauma from the procedure, the coroner's report said.

Martha Swiller, acting president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, said the organization “feels tremendous sympathy for this woman's family and we share their grief.” She added: “While abortion is extremely safe,” Lopez's death “is a tragic reminder that ... some risk does exist.”

The Associated Press noted that Maltzer was still performing abortions in the Los Angeles area despite being under investigation by the Medical Board of California.