DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     June 10, 1999     vol. 10, no. 112

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to prevent the federal government from testing, developing, or approving any drugs intended to induce abortion, such as the French RU-486 pill.

          The House passed the bill 217-214, but the Senate is not expected to approve it. Last year, the Senate failed to approve the measure after it was passed by the House then. "There is something terribly wrong" when the Food and Drug Administration uses taxpayers' dollars for "drugs that are designed to kill unborn children," said sponsor Rep. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma. "Another baby pesticide that kills babies," said Rep. Christopher Smith, R-New Jersey. "Come up with drugs that heal."

          The ban was part of the $61 billion agriculture, food, and drug funding bill approved by the House by 246-183.

          In Dallas, Monday Texas Gov. George W. Bush, a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for US president next year, signed into law a bill requiring that parents be notified when their underage daughters seek abortions.

          Under the law, effective Sept. 1, an unmarried girl under age 18 cannot get an abortion until one of her parents is notified or she gets a judge's permission. The law does not require the parent's consent. Bush said the new law respects the sanctity of the family and protects life.

          Bush has said the law will reduce the number of abortions in the state and "involve parents in this major decision of their minor daughters." Of the 84,870 abortions reported in 1997 to the Texas Department of Health, about 5,500 were performed on minors. Bush had come under fire from some pro-life conservatives for not being strong enough on the pro-life issue as he begins his national campaign for president.

          While in Florida's state capitol of Tallahassee, George's brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Wednesday signed into a law authorizing the creation of a new "Choose Life" vanity license plate, upholding a campaign pledge to sign the bill.

          The new plate, which will be available later this year, will feature crayon-like drawings of a boy and a girl holding hands under the "Choose Life" slogan. The plate was approved after the group Choose Life, Inc. collected 10,000 signatures and $30,000 for the mandatory fee before the Legislature will consider it.

          Critics of the plate say "Choose Life" is a political message making it inappropriate for a license plate. The Choose Life plate was one of a half-dozen new specialty plates that won approval this year, bringing the total available in Florida to 51.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 10, 1999       volume 10, no. 112


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