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May/June, 1999 Volume XIII Number 6
Kevorkian stoppedPontiac, MI -- Jack Kevorkian, the eccentric champion of euthanasia and “freedom” to kill, lost his freedom on April 13 as a judge sentenced him to 10 to 25 years in prison for the videotaped death of a Lou Gehrig’s disease patient. Judge Jessica Cooper sentenced the 70-year-old Kevorkian after harshly criticizing his methods in killing Thomas Youk, whose death by injection was videotaped and shown on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Kevorkian also was sentenced to three to seven years for delivery of a controlled substance. He could have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder charge.
“This trial was not about the political or moral correctness of euthanasia,” Cooper told Kevorkian. “It was about lawlessness. It was about disrespect for a society that exists because of the strength of the legal system. No one, sir, is above the law. No one. “You had the audacity to go on national television, show the world what you did and dare the legal system to stop you. Well, sir, consider yourself stopped.”
Baby Ryan dies at fourPortland, OR – After four years of life, Baby Ryan died in the same hospital that saved him from an active euthanasia attempt by another hospital.
Ryan Nguyen was born in Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington in 1994 (Life Advocate, February 1995) where doctors took him off a life-saving dialysis machine despite the wishes of the parents. After 11 days, the Nguyens obtained a court order to have the treatment reinstated. Afterwards, the family sought a hospital where baby Ryan would be treated as alive. After three hospitals refused – upon hearing negatively-slanted reports from Sacred Heart staff – Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon had Ryan brought to them by LifeFlight helicopter and he was treated by Dr. Randall Jenkins.
Ryan’s circumstances sparked a national debate on whether or not expensive treatment was “worth it” for such children.
While Ryan’s life was fraught with difficulties, he had four years of love and care from his family. He may have lived a lot longer had he not been denied treatment for 11 critical days at Sacred Heart.
Ryan’s parents, Jack and Darla, both cared for him 24 hours a day.
“It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it,” said Darla. I’m glad we had the time we had, but we wish we had him longer.”
Aussie abortionist kills selfBrisbane, AUSTRALIA -- Controversial Brisbane abortionist Peter Bayliss is believed to have taken his own life less than four weeks after a failed suicide bid.
Police sources said it appeared the doctor, found dead at his New Farm home on March 30, had taken a lethal dose of sleeping tablets. They said he had made a similar, unsuccessful attempt “about a month ago.” Police have yet to establish a reason why Bayliss, 70, would commit suicide.
Although he had a heart condition, it is believed Bayliss made no mention of chest pains when a person rushed to his aid moments before his death at the bottom of stairs at his two-story home in Griffith Street. At the time of his death, Bayliss was serving a three-month suspension after a patient suffered brain damage during an abortion at his Greenslopes Fertility Control Clinic.
Family members closed ranks around Bayliss’s live-in girlfriend of 23 years, Claudia McEwan. A son of the doctor said the family would not comment on any aspect of his father’s death.
A detective investigating the matter said a post-mortem examination conducted on March 31 proved inconclusive.
Results of toxicology tests were not expected for several weeks.
Police media spokesman Brian Swift said it was unlikely the cause of Bayliss’s death would be made public if it was found he had committed suicide.
Bayliss had been in the news over the past 20 years with his abortion clinic repeatedly targeted by anti-abortion activists.
Right to Life Australia issued a press release yesterday saying the organization took no joy in Bayliss’s death.
But Queensland coordinators Graham and Liz Preston said he had had a “sordid career” as an abortionist and had left a “truly grim legacy.”
“We take no joy with the news of his death though as he would seem to have died in an unrepentant state. However, it is good to know that Peter Bayliss will no longer be able to end the lives of innocent preborn babies,” Preston said.
Bullet bits found after abortion doctor shootings offer few cluesBuffalo, NY -- Police investigating the October shooting of abortionist Barnett Slepian say they are having trouble linking the sniper shooting to the shootings of four other abortion providers.
Slepian was killed by a sniper lurking in the woods behind his East Amherst home on October.
Police have evidence linking a anti-abortion protester to the shooting, but an anonymous source told The Buffalo News that problems with ballistics testing are hampering efforts to connect Slepian’s murder with previous shootings.
Ballistics testing has played a key role in the massive US-Canadian investigation into the Slepian killing and shootings of abortion providers in the Rochester suburb of Perinton; Ancaster, Ontario, Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Slepian was the only abortion provider killed. All five abortionists were wounded by shots fired through windows in their homes.
All the shootings occurred within a few weeks of November 11, Veteran’s Day, which is known as Remembrance Day in Canada. The first shooting was in 1994.
Investigators have determined that the same sized bullet was used in most of the shootings, but said they have been unable to make a positive match between any of the weapons used in the shootings.
Many of the bullets and casings taken from the shooting scenes were so damaged that testing was difficult, because a bullet fired from a high-powered rifle can become disfigured and provide few clues.
Investigators need to examine a bullet’s “copper jacket” to identify the gun that was used to shoot the bullet. But in many cases, bullets lose their copper jackets when they strike objects, making it impossible to get a ballistics comparison.
Authorities have said that in the five shootings, the bullets passed through windows before striking the abortionists and in some cases also struck walls inside their homes.
As in most of the other cases, the Slepian shooting took place at night and the shooter fired from a wooded area behind the house.
Anti-abortion protester James Kopp is being sought as a material witness in the shooting. Police said they have obtained evidence linking Kopp to the shooting.
A car once owned by Kopp was reported seen in the neighborhood in the days before the shooting, and the vehicle was found abandoned at New Jersey’s Newark International Airport in December.
Officials said DNA test results showed a likelihood that a strand of hair discovered behind Slepian’s home came from Kopp, whose last known address was in Vermont and who vanished after the shooting.
Judge upholds IRS action against churchNew York, NY -- The Internal Revenue Service properly stripped tax breaks from a New York church that opposed candidate Bill Clinton in full-page newspaper advertisements during the 1992 campaign, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman decided that the IRS acted lawfully when it took away tax-exempt status from The Church at Pierce Creek in Vestal, New York. He dismissed the church’s claims that the IRS violated religious freedoms and engaged in selective prosecution.
Churches that claim exemption from taxation cannot take sides in an election campaign, the federal tax code states. The IRS concluded after a two-year investigation that the nondenominational Christian church had done just that and no longer was entitled to the exemption.
The case centered on a full-page advertisement that appeared in USA Today and the Washington Times four days before the 1992 general election. The advertisement said, “Bill Clinton is promoting policies that are in rebellion to God’s laws.”
Among the policy positions attributed to Clinton by the advertisement were support for abortion on demand, homosexuality and the distribution of condoms to teenagers in public schools, Friedman wrote in his 22-page opinion.
“Christian Beware,” the advertisement warned. “Do not put the economy ahead of the Ten Commandments.”
At the bottom of the advertisement was a notice informing readers that The Church at Pierce Creek and its pastor, Daniel J. Little, helped sponsor the campaign: “Tax-deductible donations for this advertisement gladly accepted.”
The IRS notified the church three weeks later that it was beginning an inquiry. The church responded that the advertisement was a “warning to members of the body of Christ” and did not amount to participation in a political campaign.
In 1995, the IRS revoked the church’s tax-exempt status, retroactive to January 1992. The church and its affiliated corporation, Branch Ministries Inc., challenged the decision in the federal lawsuit assigned to Friedman.
Friedman ruled that church attorneys had failed to show that the IRS unfairly targeted the church while overlooking similar behavior in other churches and synagogues. He said the advertisement differed significantly, for example, from churches offering their pulpits to political candidates.
To the church argument that losing its exemption would make it harder to raise money, Friedman said the church leadership had faced a choice. It could retain its tax-exempt status or engage in partisan political activity, the judge said, but it could not have it both ways.
Catholics picket Catholics over abortion supporterPhoenix, AZ -- A Catholic anti-abortion organization, Children of the Rosary, has announced a formal picket against one of the largest Catholic organizations in Arizona, St. Vincent de Paul Society, because they insist on honoring a well-known Catholic pro-abortion public figure in Arizona, Eddie Basha.
St. Vincent de Paul Society announced Eddie Basha will receive their Servant of the Year Award April 8 despite prolonged protests from many of the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s membership, anti-abortionists throughout Arizona, as well as calls of protests from other major anti-abortion organizations.
St. Vincent de Paul Society of Maricopa County acknowledges that Basha is “pro-choice but has given a lot of financial support to the organization,” according to one of their spokesmen, Steve Jenkins.
Children of the Rosary made every attempt to convince St. Vincent de Paul Society that the defense of the preborn child is the first priority. It does no good to help the poor and homeless, while honoring a man who stands for the killing of the innocent, voiceless babies, they argued.
Katherine Sabelko, president of Children of the Rosary, stated, “It is impossible to support an organization that knowingly supports and honors a man who, though known for his financial donations, publicly supports Planned Parenthood as well as abortion in general. This action is the last thing Children of the Rosary and other organizations want to do but we must defend the sacredness of all human life.”
Rudolph lookalike not released until fingerprints prove identityWoodruff, SC -- Police in this South Carolina town thought they had caught one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, only the man’s fingerprints proved otherwise.
Woodruff police, responding to a 911 call at about 8 p.m., picked up a man they thought was accused bomber Eric Robert Rudolph.
The caller said the man kept trying to hide his face.
Rudolph is a suspect in a number of bombings, including the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics that killed one; the 1997 bombing of an Atlanta abortion clinic; and a January 1998 explosion at a Birmingham, Ala. abortion clinic that killed a policeman.
Woodruff is not far from the North Carolina mountains where authorities have been searching for Rudolph.
Police said the man looked so much like Rudolph they could not let him go until he was identified. The FBI told police to fingerprint the man.
“Take 20 pounds off the wanted poster, and that would have been him,” said Woodruff Police Sergeant Kenny Puckett.
The man, who was carrying only a credit card and release papers from a North Carolina psychiatric hospital, turned out to be Joseph Andre Malo.
Puckett said the descriptions and pictures of Rudolph matched Malo almost exactly, from height, hair and eye color all the way down to earlobes, which protrude on both men. Malo had a 2- or 3-day-old beard and was blistered from being in the sun, Puckett said.
Malo is originally from the Boston area and told police he was making his way to New Orleans after his release from the mental facility. Malo told police he had put himself in the institution.
Pharmacists’ “conscience clause” in the NJ legislatureTrenton, NJ -- Largely spurred by the introduction of the Preven “emergency contraception” (EC) kit, lawmakers are crafting legislation that would make New Jersey the second state, after South Dakota, to codify a “conscience clause” for pharmacists. Behind the push are anti-abortion pharmacists who contend that EC -- which they refer to as “emergency abortion” -- acts as an abortifacient, despite insistence by experts like James Trussell of Princeton University’s Office of Population Research that it is not. New Jersey pharmacist Gene Rigozzo, who always tells his employees they can refuse to fill prescriptions on religious or moral grounds, said, “Abortions have gone from being a medical procedure to being just a pharmaceutical procedure. I think the issue will actually become more debated and heated as more and more drugs that induce abortion hit the market.”
State legislators sponsoring the legislation have sought the input and support from doctors, nurses and pharmacists “who, in many cases, are pro-choice and liberal minded.”
But John Tomicki, executive director for the League of American Families, who is drafting the legislation along with state lawmakers, said the legislation he’s working on will “remain silent” on whether a pharmacist who will not dispense a drug must help a patient find one who will.
Leslie Davis Potter, executive director of a New Jersey Planned Parenthood affiliate, said, “If (the bill) is written as a conscience clause, that’s going to be a very hard thing for lawmakers to vote against.”
Phyllis Kinsler, president of Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey, added, “What they are saying is they are allowed to avoid their professional responsibilities when the victim is a woman trying to control her fertility. It’s an arrogant imposition of personal values.”
The Trenton Times reported that the ProChoice Resource Center recently launched Pharmacists for Choice, which seeks to ensure that “there is a pro-choice pharmacist in every pharmacy in the country,” according to PRC President Nancy Yanofsky. Pharmacists for Life says it will oppose the New Jersey legislation if it contains a clause requiring pharmacists to refer patients seeking certain prescriptions to other pharmacies.
In wake of bomb, protests at clinic 100 rally weeks after explosionAsheville, NC -- As federal agents continued to investigate the recent bombing of an Asheville abortion clinic, abortion opponents staged their largest demonstration since the explosion.
About 100 people stood mostly in silence outside the Femcare clinic on Orange Street. Young couples, families with children and a pregnant woman prayed for the many babies who have been aborted inside. The demonstration, led by Life Advocates, lasted for almost three hours and was peaceful.
At about 9:45 a.m., a man in a white pickup sped down the street, brakes screeching. “Get out of our neighborhood,’’ he yelled at the demonstrators.
Life Advocate members said Saturday’s gathering had no connection to the Femcare bombing, and instead was planned months before as a demonstration for Easter weekend.
“It’s in my view like going to your grandma’s grave,’’ said Life Advocate member Meredith Eugene Hunt. “You mourn and pay your respects.’’
A bomb partially detonated outside Femcare, Western North Carolina’s only abortion clinic, just before it was to open on March 13. No one was hurt and there was no damage to the building. Investigators say the bomb would have caused major destruction if it had exploded as designed.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) has since analyzed the bomb, but won’t release details of its make-up.
Officials have received several calls and followed many leads, said Ear Woodham, a spokesman for the BATF office in Charlotte. Officials won’t say if they have any suspects or if they’re close to charging anyone. However, investigators maintain that there’s no evidence linking the explosion to Eric Rudolph, the man charged in four bombings, including last year’s fatal attack at a clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, and the explosion at the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta.
“We’re looking at this as an isolated incident,’’ Woodham said. ``It was somebody with a specific political view. They can’t get their point across the legal way, so they revert to illegal ways which gather a lot of attention.’’
The bomb provoked fear and debate in North Carolina, but didn’t sway the clinic from its normal routine. Femcare began seeing patients within a week of the bombing. Abortion opponents also began sidewalk counseling’ shortly after the bombing. Femcare officials haven’t talked publicly about the bombing.
The clinic, usually open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, was closed as Life Advocate members prayed Saturday. The demonstration was much larger than normal. Usually only a handful of people attend.
Four patrol cars stayed parked a block from where the abortion opponents prayed. Two police officers drove down the street within the three hours.
Sodomite elder upheld by church courtStamford, CT -- The election by a church of a sodomite elder to serve on its governing board has been upheld by an ecclesiastical court of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
The announcement came from William Prey, who helped argue the case on behalf of two members of the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church. The member had said the election violated church law prohibiting practicing homosexuals from serving on church boards.
Prey said the Southern New England Presbytery notified the principals of the decision.
Prey issued a statement in which he said the complainants were disappointed that the Presbytery’s Permanent Judicial Commission had ruled against them and that they would consider appealing the decision. “Elder” Wayne Osborne, the person at the center of the controversy, said he would reserve comment until later.
The issue arose last spring after the congregation at First Presbyterian elected Osborne, 38, to serve on the governing board, known as a session. He had previously served on the session but in the interim had begun to live openly as a homosexual.
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