here for Today's News & Views
WASHINGTON (April 14, 2002) In a historic speech, President
George W. Bush has called on the U.S. Senate to approve a total ban on
the cloning of human embryos.
-- Within hours of its passage, "campaign finance reform"
legislation that places substantial new restrictions on free speech
about politicians was challenged in court. The National Right to Life
Committee is among many citizen groups to file legal challenges to the
so-called "Bi-partisan Campaign Reform Act," popularly
referred to as "McCain-Feingold." Unless struck down by the
federal courts, most of its restrictions will take effect after the
November 5 general election.
BULK SUBSCRIPTIONS of
From the President
Wanda Franz, Ph.D.
A high school student wishing to inform herself on the legal status of abortion might reach for the 2001 New York Times Almanac. In the "U.S. Health and Medicine - Abortion" section (page 370) she would find this: "The deliberate termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is capable of living outside the womb has generally been legal in the United States since 1973, when the Supreme Court ruled (in Roe v. Wade) that abortions cannot be prohibited during the first three months of pregnancy."
This high school student would not find in the almanac a reference to a 1983 report from a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee concluding that "no significant legal barriers of any kind whatsoever exist today in the United States for a woman to obtain an abortion for any reason during any stage of her pregnancy."
In fairness to the New York Times, I should point out that its editorial news policy on the description of Roe has changed. Responding to a letter from our legislative director, Douglas Johnson, an assistant to the editor announced on July 26, 1982--nine years after Roe v. Wade--the New York Times' new policy: "After examining the substance of your point, our National News editor is promulgating a memorandum for our national desk and our Washington Bureau instructing our editors and reporters that brief references to the Supreme Court's 1973 decision on abortion should say simply that the Court legalized abortion. As you indicate, the phrase 'in the first three months of pregnancy' might be incorrectly interpreted to mean that abortions in the last six months of pregnancy remain illegal." And for the most part, the Times has stuck to this policy in its newspaper reporting.