Friday, October 31, 2014

How pro-life laws save lives

The election of pro-life candidates leads to pro-life laws proven to reduce abortions

Some people believe that the election of pro-life candidates to public office does nothing to reduce abortions or protect unborn children. But that's simply not true.

The success of pro-life candidates has led to the enactment of pro-life laws and policies at both the state and federal level. And those laws have saved many lives from abortion.

Evidence: Laws reduce abortions

A substantial body of research shows that pro-life laws—e.g., informed consent, parental involvement, bans on taxpayer funding of abortion—help to modestly but significantly reduce the incidence of abortion.

Consider the evidence here in Minnesota:

  • The Woman's Right to Know informed consent law was enacted in 2003. Under this law in 2013, a total of 12,164 abortion-minded pregnant women received factual information about fetal development, abortion procedures, abortion risks and complications, and alternatives to abortion. That number is 2,261 more than the number of women who actually underwent abortions. Since Woman's Right to Know became law, as many as 20,687 women have chosen life for their unborn children after receiving the information.

  • The Positive Alternatives Act of 2005 created a program to provide grants to pregnancy care centers and other programs that help women in difficult circumstances and offer life-affirming alternatives to abortion. More than 35,000 women statewide were helped through the Positive Alternatives program in its first six years (July 2006-Aug. 2012).

  • The number of abortions performed on Minnesota minors peaked in 1980 at 2,327. In 1981 Minnesota passed a law requiring that both parents be notified at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed on a minor (a court-required judicial bypass option is included). After years of steady decline, minor abortions in 2013 fell to 295, the lowest number on record and only 3 percent of all abortions.

Success in Minnesota

The number of abortions in our state has declined for seven straight years, and dropped 30 percent from 2003 to 2013. The abortion number and rate are now at their lowest levels since 1974.

Thousands of Minnesotans are alive today who would have been killed in utero if not for pro-life laws. Those laws continue to save lives from abortion every day.

Pro-life candidates essential

But they would not exist if we had not elected pro-life candidates to public office. And no new pro-life laws can be enacted if we do not elect pro-life candidates this year. Several recent pro-life measures in Minnesota—including bills banning taxpayer funding of abortion and protecting pain-capable unborn children—were stopped precisely because voters had chosen pro-abortion candidates.

Progress has been made, but abortion remains the supreme injustice and leading cause of human death in Minnesota. Much more work lies ahead, and it begins on Nov. 4.

This article was published in the Sept./Oct. 2014 issue of MCCL News.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Al Franken's record: Advocating unfettered abortion until birth

U.S. Senator Al Franken is up for re-election this year. What's his record on right-to-life issues?

Franken's consistent record

Since taking office in 2009, Franken has earned a zero percent pro-life voting record, according to the National Right to Life Committee.

In 2009 he vocally opposed and voted against an amendment to remove abortion subsidies from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). In 2011 he denounced legislation in the House that would have stopped federal funding of abortion.

In 2011 Franken also spoke out and voted against a measure to deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading performer and promoter of abortion.

In 2013 he voted against the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, a bill intended to curb the transport of minor girls across state lines for abortions without parental involvement.

Abortion until birth

Franken is currently one of 35 Senate co-sponsors of the "Women's Health Protection Act" (S. 1696), a misleadingly titled bill designed to nullify most state and federal limits on abortion.

The proposed legislation would (for example) wipe away state laws protecting unborn children after 20 weeks as well as meaningful restrictions after viability (when a broad "health" exception would make bans impossible). It effectively would establish abortion on demand until birth nationwide.

The bill also would eliminate informed-consent laws such as Minnesota's Woman's Right to Know, which requires that women be provided with basic factual information at least 24 hours before an abortion. Woman's Right to Know empowers pregnant women and, in doing so, makes abortion less likely.

But Franken won't stand for any of it.

Standing with abortion industry

Franken, whose campaign website boasts that he is "a fierce defender of a woman's right to choose," doesn't just vote against the lives of unborn children—he actively champions his commitment to the abortion industry.

In 2010 Franken delivered the keynote address at a NARAL Pro-Choice America luncheon celebrating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. He called the abortion advocacy group's work "indispensable" and told them, "I'm proud to stand with you."

Franken was one of only two elected officials to speak at a July 2013 Planned Parenthood rally in opposition to the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would protect unborn children at the point (20 weeks) when they can experience pain.

"You have my promise to keep fighting. Thank you, Planned Parenthood," he told the crowd.

Minnesotans should know what Al Franken is fighting for.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Who is Tina Smith? Dayton running mate, former abortion industry leader

Who is Tina Smith? Most Minnesotans have no idea.

Smith is Gov. Mark Dayton's running mate in the Nov. 4 election. She served as his chief of staff during his first term. And she’s a former vice president for the state’s leading performer and promoter of abortion.

Smith put her marketing background to work for Planned Parenthood from January 2003 to February 2006. The organization performed 9,717 abortions in Minnesota during that period. It was also reimbursed $458,574.74 by Minnesota taxpayers for performing 1,892 abortions on low-income women. Planned Parenthood became the largest abortion provider in the state in 2004—and has held that position ever since. It received $12.65 million in government grants from 2003 to 2005.

As a top representative for the abortion industry, Smith strongly opposed commonsense legislation such as the Positive Alternatives Act of 2005, which provides pregnant women in need with practical assistance and life-affirming alternatives to abortion. During Smith's tenure as chief of staff, Dayton vetoed seven different pro-life measures, including licensing of abortion facilities and protection for pain-capable unborn children. He also vetoed a bill to stop the public funding of abortions at facilities like Planned Parenthood.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund honored Smith in 2012 "for her passion and commitment to Planned Parenthood." It's clear what Tina Smith fights for: no-limits abortion, subsidized by taxpayers.

Is this who Minnesotans want in the governor's office?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cairo and abortion

MCCL Global Outreach (MCCL GO) has written an article for Truth and Charity Forum about the effects of the landmark International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. The article begins:
Abortion advocates didn't get what they really wanted 20 years ago. They have not stopped trying.

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which took place in Cairo, Egypt, in September 1994, adopted a Program of Action seeking to achieve a range of important development goals. The plan does not call for the legalization or expansion of abortion.

On the contrary, the Program of Action affirms the equal dignity and right to life of every human being (chapter II, principle 1). It also instructs governments to help women avoid abortion and states that abortion should never be promoted as a method of family planning (paragraph 7.24). And it states that changes to abortion policy should be made at the local or national level (paragraph 8.25).

The debate about Cairo has continued, however, as the world now looks to the post-2015 development agenda.
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Melchert-Dinkel headed to jail for assisting suicide

The following news release was issued on Oct. 15, 2014.

FARIBAULT — A Faribault man who went online and urged people to commit suicide while he watched has been sentenced to nearly six months in prison for assisting in a suicide. William Francis Melchert-Dinkel was convicted in September and sentenced today under a Minnesota law which prohibits assisted suicide.

"Assisted suicide is illegal in Minnesota, and if you violate the law you will be caught, convicted and imprisoned," said Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). "Justice has finally been served for these families, even though it has been long delayed. No more stays were granted; this criminal is headed to jail."

Rice Co. District Court Judge Tom Neuville sentenced Melchert-Dinkel to 178 days in jail (to begin no later than Oct. 24) and fined him $3,000 after earlier finding him guilty of assisting the suicide of an English man and of attempting to assist in the suicide of a Canadian woman. The law allows imprisonment for up to 22 years and fines up to $44,000 combined for the two crimes of which Melchert-Dinkel was convicted.

Melchert-Dinkel admitted to posing as a depressed female nurse in online chat rooms using several names. He claimed that no treatment had helped ease his suffering and entered into suicide pacts with his victims. He urged each of them to use a webcam as they committed suicide, as he would, so that they would not be alone as they died. Melchert-Dinkel was not suicidal but secretly wanted to watch others kill themselves.

His victims include 32-year-old Mark Drybrough of Coventry, England, and 18-year-old Nadia Kajouji of Brampton, Ontario. Drybrough hanged himself in his home in 2005. Kajouji jumped into a frozen river and drowned in 2008.

Melchert-Dinkel encouraged his victims to hang themselves and he gave them details about how to do so. He boasted online about watching the death of Drybrough. Melchert-Dinkel admitted he entered into about 10 suicide pacts and believed five killed themselves.

Melchert-Dinkel was convicted in 2011 under Minnesota Statutes section 609.215, subdivision 1, which provides criminal penalties for anyone who "advises, encourages or assists" suicide. MCCL was instrumental in the passage of this protective law in 1992. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled earlier this year in State v. Melchert-Dinkel that "advising" or "encouraging" suicide is protected speech under the First Amendment. The case was remanded to the lower court to rule on whether Melchert-Dinkel assisted in the suicides of Drybrough and Kajouji.

"Whatever their reasons, people who attempt to assist others in killing themselves need to be prevented from doing so," Fischbach said. "Assisted suicide is a violent, inhuman act against an individual in desperate need of help. Vulnerable people need protections, including the medical and mental health care they need to live."

Melchert-Dinkel plans to appeal his conviction.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Oct. 11 marks International Day of the Girl Child

The following news release was issued on Oct. 10, 2014.

The third annual International Day of the Girl Child is Oct. 11, 2014, declared by the United Nations as a day to acknowledge and promote the rights of female children. The theme of this year's observance is "Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence."

"The theme should draw attention to the plight of young women forced to undergo abortion in certain parts of the world," noted Scott Fischbach of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO). Under rigid population control policies in China, countless women have been coerced into choosing abortion. Many have even been violently and forcibly subjected to it.

"Adolescent girls need support, protection and empowerment—not violence," Fischbach said. "This abuse of human rights and women's rights must stop, for the sake of both women and children."

Girl children are most at risk from abortion. Today, parents can identify the gender of their unborn child early in pregnancy, and abortion can be performed solely on the basis of the baby's sex. The victims of these sex-selective abortions are overwhelming female.

Sex-selective feticide, which has appropriately been called "gendercide," is commonplace in China, India and Korea, where culture and tradition favor boys. U.N. estimates indicate that more than 200 million females are "missing." This gender imbalance has serious social and demographic consequences.

The Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, which is marking its 20th anniversary this year, acknowledges that the practices of sex-selective abortion and female infanticide reflect a harmful son preference and calls on governments to take steps to prevent these forms of discrimination.

"Legal and educational initiatives to protect the girl child ought to be implemented," said Fischbach. "As we celebrate the rights of girls, we must remember that the most basic human right is the right to life. Before everything else, the right to life must be protected for all girls."

MCCL GO is a pro-life NGO global outreach program of the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Education Fund with one goal: to save as many innocent lives as possible from the destruction of abortion. Learn more at

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

MCCL's 2014 General Election Voter's Guide is available online

MCCL's 2014 General Election Voter's Guide is now available online. It shows where candidates for the U.S. Senate and House, Minnesota House, governorship and state offices stand on right-to-life issues such as abortion, assisted suicide and health care rationing. It also explains what is at stake and how pro-life laws save lives (see page 2). Candidate comparison fliers for the governor's race and U.S. Senate race are also available online.

The election will be held on Nov. 4. More information about voting is available here.