“With God All Things Are Possible”; Blocking Morning-After Pill Distributions to Minors; Pregnancy-Associated Deaths

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March 28, 2001

Ohio citizens are trumpeting the ruling, by the sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on March 17, in favor of keeping the state motto, “With God All Things are Possible.” In a 9-4 vote, the court ruled the motto was not unconstitutional. The motto is taken from Matthew 19:26, a chapter of Scripture where Jesus is teaching his disciples about salvation. Judge Gilbert Merritt disagrees with the Court’s ruling because of its Biblical base, arguing that it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The court found that the Ohio motto does not violate the Establishment Clause any more than the National motto, “In God We Trust.” Republican Gov. Bob Taft said, “Today’s court decision … is a victory for the people of our state and the traditions that bind us together. Our state motto has overwhelming support and I’m pleased that we have survived this challenge.”

Blocking Morning-After Pill Distributions to Minors
San Bernardino, California County supervisors voted last week to prevent county-run family planning clinics from distributing the morning-after pill to minors. They will seek a waiver from the federal government that will allow them to stop distributing the drug while still receiving the same amount of funds in family-planning grants. Jenny Biondi, executive director for the Right to Life League of Southern California asked, “Why should government money be used to fund mini-abortions?”

Pregnancy-Associated Deaths
A recent study written in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that women in Maryland who are pregnant or those who recently completed pregnancy are more susceptible to die by homicide than any other cause. From 1993 to 1998 there were a total of 247 deaths of pregnant women and 20% of those were homicides. The second highest cause of deaths of pregnant women in Maryland was cardiovascular disorders at 19%. Victoria Frye of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, said the reason for using the term “pregnancy-associated” was to “capture more completely all deaths occurring during or after pregnancy.” Frye also said that most of the violent acts are done by “intimate partners.” Diana Cheng suggests women not view pregnancy as an escape from abuse because pregnancy “may stimulate abuse” according to the study. “This study in JAMA raises many questions about our culture and points to yet another negative outcome from the breakdown of the family,” said Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute.

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