This evening, Americans United for Life honored Minority Leader John Boehner by conferring on him the Henry Hyde Defender of Life award. The award, presented by Dr. Charmaine Yoest, is well-deserved. It would be warranted based solely on Boehner’s valiantt fight against making taxpayer-funded abortion part of health care reform.
However, the Minority Leader’s pro-life efforts extend much further. For one thing, he has fought to uphold an Ohio law requiring that physicians who prescribe RU-486 abide by the FDA-approved protocols when dispensing this dangerous drug. Under the FDA regimen, a woman first takes three tablets at a doctor’s office or abortion clinic. She is to return 36 to 48 hours later to take a second drug which causes the fetus to be expelled. Finally, she is to return three weeks later to monitor bleeding and confirm the abortion.
These requirements promote women’s health. Misuse of RU-486 can, and has, resulted in death.
When Planned Parenthood nonetheless filed a constitutional challenge to Ohio’s law, Minority Leader Boehner stepped up and, together with Americans United for Life, filed an amicus brief before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court urging that the law be upheld. Although some aspects of the law remain in litigation, both courts have rejected Planned Parenthood’s basic claim that it should not have to abide by FDA-approved procedures and instead should be permitted to provide RU-486 as it sees fit.
Boehner has also stepped to try to protect minors from the harms of sexual abuse and secret abortions. A while back, a 14 year-old Ohio girl was impregnated by her 21 year-old soccer coach. After the coach pressured her to have an abortion, she called a local Planned Parenthood clinic and gave the clinic the coach’s phone number, claiming it was her father’s. Well-aware that the girl was likely the victim of statutory rape, Planned Parenthood performed the abortion, which was paid for by the coach.
The girl’s parents sued Planned Parenthood on the theory that it had violated Ohio law requiring parental involvement before abortion, and also had failed to report a sexual crime against a minor. A dispute arose over whether Planned Parenthood was required to turn over documents that might establish a pattern and practice of failing to follow Ohio parental involvement and mandatory sexual crime reporting laws.
John Boehner teamed up with Americans United for Life to file an amicus brief. Though their position did not prevail before the Ohio Supreme Court, Boehner once again showed himself to be a defender of life.
In accepting the award tonight, an emotional Boehner vowed to continue the fight against federal funding of abortion. In this connection, he estimated that 100 seats in the House of Representives are in-play this year.
Boehner described Henry Hyde as an idol. The late Illinois congressman has a worthy successor in the House Minority Leader.
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