We Will Not Comply: California Forces Churches to Directly Fund Abortions

Sacramento, CA – To the dismay of California’s people of faith, the California Department of Managed Health Care has reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical abortions immediately. Even churches are not exempt from funding abortions.

Operation Rescue opposes this policy that forces men and women who deeply oppose abortion on religious grounds to fund surgical abortion in violation of their faith, and encourages others to oppose it as well.

“Since Obamacare was first introduced, we warned that the day could come when Christians would be required by the state to violate their consciences through forced payments for abortion,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Now, with this mandate in California that imposes forced abortion funding on churches, it has come time for men and women of faith to stand against this tyranny and refuse to comply with this unjust law that would make us accessories to the taking of innocent human life.”

Last year, Operation Rescue launched the “Pledge for the Preservation of Life and Liberty,” which has been signed by most of the nation’s best respected pro-life leaders.

This Pledge has been carefully crafted to stand as a ‘line in the sand’ regarding any scenario in which the Affordable Care Act forces individuals to participate – whether directly or indirectly – in the destruction of human life. In short, the pro-life movement has chosen one answer to being forced to fund abortion through healthcare: We will not comply.

“I have made the decision not to comply with any unjust law that would force me to pay for abortions – no matter the personal cost to me,” Newman said. “Instead, I have chosen to engage in peaceful civil disobedience rather than violate my faith and conscience. Those in California need to understand that this assault on our religious liberties is just the beginning. It will never end if we do not stand firm today and refuse to fund abortions. Religious freedom and the lives of babies that would be lost if we capitulate are more than worth the personal sacrifice. I invite Californians to join me in resisting this evil mandate.”

Read and sign the Pledge
Read Troy’s commentary “Now I’m an Unwilling Obamacare Outlaw

Five Abortion Facilities Stay Closed After Supreme Court Blocks Enforcement of Texas Safety Standards

Austin, TX — While the status of abortion facilities in Texas remains in flux, a new survey of Texas abortion businesses conducted by Operation Rescue on Monday, October 20, 2014, shows five abortion facilities still remain closed even though they were temporarily allowed to reopen under last week’s Supreme Court ruling.

Earlier this month, 14 abortion facilities that failed to comply with HB2’s requirement that abortion clinics meet Ambulatory Surgical Center standards shut down after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Texas to enforce abortion clinic safety standards pending the State’s appeal of a lower court ruling that decided the safety law was unconstitutional.

Nine of those reopened last week after the High Court’s ruled abortion facilities may remain open pending the appeal. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to expedite the case and could hear it as early as December. If the State is successful, the abortion facilities could once again be ordered to close.

Of the 14 abortion facilities that shut down earlier this month, the following have remained closed:

• International Health Solutions in Austin
• Hilltop Reproductive Health Services in El Paso
• Whole Women’s Health in Ft. Worth
• AAA Concerned Women’s Center in Houston
• Aalto Women’s Center in Houston

The two Houston abortion facilities have shut down permanently while the other three clinics appear to be attempting to reopen at some future time.

“Last week’s Supreme Court ruling is only a temporary one that is pending the outcome of the state’s appeal in the Fifth Circuit. We remain confident that the full Fifth Circuit will uphold HB2, then the abortion facilities that reopened will once again shut down,” said Newman. “The courts various rulings has put us on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Certainly we are not happy that nine facilities that cannot meet minimum safety standards remain dangerously open, but we remain optimistic that a permanent victory is forthcoming.”

Fifteen abortion facilities that were shuttered last year due to a provision in the law that requires abortionists to maintain local hospital privileges remain permanently closed, resulting in a 13 percent reduction in the number of abortions in the past 16 months.

“Every time one of these sub-par abortion mills shuts down, lives are saved and women are spared from possible harm,” said Newman. “Women have a right to be protected from shoddy operations that endanger their health, so closing these facilities benefits women.”

A full listing of active Texas abortion facilities are available at AbortionDocs.org. A listing of all recently closed abortion facilities can be viewed at AbortionDocs.org/closed-clinics.

Below is a timeline of events in Texas that have resulted in the permanent closure of half the state’s 42 abortion clinics.

July 13, 2013: Texas passes HB2, a sweeping abortion clinic standards law that includes requirements that abortionists must maintain local hospital privileges and that facilities must meet Ambulatory Surgical Facility standards. Gov. Rick Perry signed it into law on July 18, 2014.

March 28, 2013: In response to a suit filed by several Texas abortion facilities, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that HB2’s hospital privilege requirement is constitutional.

November 5, 2013:
Operation Rescue confirms the closure of 16 abortion facilities as the result of enactment of HB2, specifically the local hospital privilege requirement for all abortionists

July 24, 2014: A new study was released that showed abortions in Texas decreased a dramatic 13% since HB2’s hospital privilege requirement went into effect.

August 29, 2014: Federal Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the building requirements of Texas’ abortion facility licensing law, known as HB2, were unconstitutional and also set aside the requirement that abortionists maintain local hospital privileges only for abortion businesses in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso areas. One abortion facility in McAllen reopens.

October 2, 2014: A three-member panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issues a ruling that the state of Texas may enforce the clinic standards law pending the state’s appeal. As a result 14 abortion businesses shut down, leaving Texas with only nine remaining abortion facilities.

October 14, 2014: U.S. Supreme Court vacates the Fifth Circuit’s nullification of a lower court’s injunction that barred parts of HB2 from being enforced. The result was that nine abortion facilities that cannot meet minimum safety standards have been allowed to reopen.

Joan Rivers Cause of Death Same as Dead Abortion Patient

By Cheryl Sullenger

New York City, NY – What could the famous and wealthy comedienne Joan Rivers have in common with a poor urban black woman from Cleveland, Ohio?

Both suffered avoidable deaths during outpatient surgical procedures that share the same unusual cause of death: “anoxic encephalopathy” as the result of complications to a medical procedure. Anoxic encephalopathy refers to brain damage suffered as a result of oxygen deprivation.

Yesterday, a New York medical examiner released the cause of death ruling for Rivers, 81, who went into cardiac arrest after a throat biopsy and stopped breathing on August 28, 2014. She was rushed to a hospital and declared dead on September 4.

Wilson, 22, suffered cardiac arrest and stopped breathing after an abortion in her 20th week of pregnancy at Preterm abortion clinic in Cleveland on March 21, 2014. She was transported to Case University Medical Center, where she was placed on life support and pronounced dead on March 28.

According to a USA Today article about River’s cause of death, “The death was classified as a complication of a medical procedure. The classification is not commonly used; more deaths are certified as homicides, suicides or natural causes.”

But there is a stark difference in the way the two similar deaths have been handled. The “medical complication” ruling was used to excuse physician culpability in Wilson’s death while River’s doctors remain not only under a cloud of suspicion, but active investigations.

Because of River’s fame and popularity, the public demands that those accountable for River’s tragic death be held accountable and the authorities are more than ready to comply.

Wilson’s abortionists, on the other hand, who are believed to be Lisa Perierra and Mohammed Rezaee, were quickly cleared of wrong-doing by the Ohio Medical Board – ironically just days after River’s death. An investigation by the Ohio Department of Health appears to have stalled and Cuyahoga County District Attorney Timothy McGinty has been reluctant to get involved.

“We don’t want to think that Lakisha’s race and social status as a poor urban woman of color has anything to do with the disparity in the way these very similar death investigations are being handled, but that appears to be the case. Add to it that Lakisha died during a late-term abortion, and it becomes clear that racial and political biases are allowing her death to be swept under the rug,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “In America, we are supposed to have equal protection under the law — except apparently when you happen to be a black woman at an abortion clinic. Then, killing you is not a problem.”

Operation Rescue uncovered Wilson’s death after obtaining 911 records that indicated Wilson was “not breathing at all” for about a half hour before she was transported to the hospital. A Computer Aided Dispatch Transcript noted “Patient Death” was involved. Operation Rescue then joined with state and national pro-life leaders in calling for a full investigation into Wilson’s death.

Operation Rescue continues to call on District Attorney McGinty and the Ohio Department of Health to hold those accountable for Wilson’s avoidable death accountable and give her the same consideration and justice that is being extended in the Rivers case.

“When abortionists get away with killing women during abortions, it only fosters conditions that continue to place the lives of women at risk. We simply cannot afford to ignore abortion-related maternal deaths and pretend justice has been done. Certainly no one would stand for a cover-up in the River’s death. We cannot tolerate a cover-up in Lakisha’s death, either, if we truly believe that all of us are created equal and deserve equal justice under the law,” said Newman.

Operation Rescue is urging the public to contact Cuyahoga County District Attorney Timothy McGinty and demand that he order a full, impartial investigation into Lakisha Wilson’s suspicious abortion-related death.

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