Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Human Cloning Speaker

This is just to let everyone and anyone know that we will be hosting Dave Drury, an attorney and President of Missouri Lawyers for Life tomorrow, Nov. 7, at 12:00 pm in Room 309. He will be speaking about stem cell research and cloning and their relation to Missouri law. Free pizza will be provided. See you then!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Movie Trip

Please feel free to join LSPL in going to see the new movie, and Toronto Film Festival People's Choice Winner, BELLA this Saturday at 3:30!

The movie is playing at:
Wehrenberg Theatres Ronnie's 20 Cine South Lindbergh & Baptist Church RoadSaint Louis, MO 63126 Map

More info about the movie: https://webmail.law.wustl.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.bellathemovie.com

Please come out and join some fellow radical (law school-wise) thinkers and waste a couple of hours!

Family, friends, relations, acquaintances, kinfolk and weird uncles are all welcome as well!
See you then!

Friday, October 12, 2007

For Those Who Care...

I figured we should make our Constitution available for all to see, so here goes:


Purpose Statement

1. The purpose of Law Students Pro-Life is to bring together like-minded students in order to facilitate respectful discussion and debate of pro-life issues (especially in the context of the legal world), assist in disseminating information on pro-life issues, engage in service projects to improve and benefit the school and community, and provide a social outlet for students with similar views on pro-life issues.

Article I: Name

1. The name of the organization shall be Law Students Pro-Life at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

Article II: Membership

1. Membership in the organization is open to any and all students, faculty and staff; however, the voting membership of the organization shall be limited to recognized organization members in good standing who are current Washington University School of Law students.

2. A “recognized” member is one who registers with the organization.

3. “Good standing” shall be determined by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

Article III: Meetings

1. At least one meeting of the general body of all recognized and prospective members shall be held per semester, and in excess of one meeting, on an “as needed” basis, as determined by the Executive Board of the organization.

2. No meeting of the general body shall be held without at least three (3) days notice to the general body by e-mail.

3. Special meetings of only the Executive Board shall be held on an “as needed” basis, as determined by the Executive Board.

Article IV: Membership and Voting

1. The voting membership shall be comprised of all recognized members in good standing, one vote per member.

2. A majority of votes of said members present at a meeting and voting shall decide.

3. The presence of a majority of the voting membership present plus all Executive Board members shall constitute a quorum. A quorum is required only for amendments of this Constitution, and for certain Impeachment procedures per Article V, §6.

4. In the event of a tie in a vote of all recognized members in good standing, the vote of a majority of the Executive Board shall decide. In the event the Executive Board itself is divided equally on a vote, the President shall decide.

Article V: Executive Board

1. The administration of the affairs of Law Students Pro-Life shall be vested in the Trustees known as the Executive Board, who are also members of the organization.

2. The Board shall consist of: a President, three (3) Vice-Presidents in control of the Treasury, Publicity, and Events of the organization respectively.

3. Qualifications. Any recognized member in good standing is eligible to hold a position on the Executive Board.

4. Elections. Elections for Executive Board members shall be held at a general body meeting during the spring semester of the school year immediately preceding the school year in which the Executive Board will hold office.

5. Vacancies. A “vacancy” is found where no one will fill a given position on the Executive Board, or a current Board member is unable or unwilling to fulfill his or her duties. In such a situation, the Executive Board may or may not appoint a current member in good standing to fill the role vacated until the next Executive Board elections are held.

6. Impeachment of Board Members. Any Board member may be impeached by the coincidence of a unanimous vote of the remaining Board members, plus a two-thirds supermajority of all recognized members in good standing. In the event of the impeachment of a board member, said member shall be removed from office and the immediate election of a replacement officer shall commence.

Article VI: Duties of Board Members

1. President. The President shall: provide leadership to the group; serve a spokesperson and representative of the organization; generally promote the interests of the organization; and act as a liaison to the faculty advisor of the group; and handle other like duties.

2. Vice-President of the Treasury. The Vice-President of the Treasury shall: prepare and submit to the Executive Board for approval a budget proposal; submit an approved budget proposal to the Student Bar Association according to its deadlines and format; maintain the financial records of the organization and accept responsibility for the deposit and withdrawal of funds for organizational needs; report on the financial status of the organization at meetings as needed; and handle other like duties.

3. Vice-President of Publicity. The Vice-President of Publicity shall: co-ordinate and execute various means of promoting specific activities of the organization as well as the organization in general; handle emailing announcements to members and the student body at-large when necessary; maintain and update the website of the organization as needed; and handle other like duties.

4. Vice-President of Events. The Vice-President of Events shall: organize member only extracurricular events; organize extracurricular events open to the entire student body; organize and facilitate community service projects; assist in set-up and organization of meetings; and handle other like duties.

Written and respectfully submitted by the 2007-2008 Executive Board:

Steven Wichmer, President;
Hilary Reid, Vice-President of the Treasury;
Alana Hake, Vice-President of Publicity;
Michele Marxkors, Vice-President of Events.

Approved on September 17, 2007

The International Warm Fuzzies

From LifeSiteNews.com:

UNICEF Participates in Conference With 35 Sessions Promoting Abortion

Three daily opening plenaries each feature leading international abortion advocates
By Samantha Singson NEW YORK, October 12, 2007 (C-FAM.org)

A two-and-a-half day UN-sponsored conference scheduled for next week is billed as addressing maternal and child health but focuses primarily on promoting abortion. The conference schedule shows that out of 98 sessions some 35 of them focus on abortion while only two address newborn health. Entitled “Women Deliver”, the conference will take place in London October 18-20.

Co-chaired by the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Asha-Rose Migiro, the conference is scheduled to have in attendance the executive directors of UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) deputy executive director as well as leading abortion providers such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Marie Stopes, Ipas and abortion advocates from across the globe.

Even though a 2004 UNFPA report states that the best way to reduce maternal mortality is through the presence of skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetrics, both of these issues are only minimally addressed at the upcoming conference. Caesarian births, peri- and post-natal care, stillbirths and its related complications are similarly downplayed and obstetric fistula, a health problem that prompted a splashy UNFPA awareness campaign, is addressed just twice.

Child mortality is comparatively absent from the program. There are no sessions that address primary child health issues such as vaccine availability, clean water and safe sanitation, availability of basic nutritional supplementation such as prenatal vitamins and children’s vitamins, or the training of village health workers in spotting protein calorie malnutrition and provision of foodstuffs to combat protein calorie malnutrition.

According to the schedule, each of the three daily opening plenary sessions highlights reproductive rights with leading abortion advocates.

Family Care International’s Fred Sai, chief architect of the “Safe Motherhood” movement which tried to link abortion rights to maternal mortality, is scheduled for the first day. The second day’s plenary session features Frances Kissling, former president of "Catholics" for a Free Choice, and Gill Greer, director-general of the IPPF. On the final day of the conference, the plenary session is entirely devoted to top abortion providers, Ipas and Marie Stopes International, who will be seeking to bolster publicity and support for their own abortion rights conference taking place in London on the heels of the Women Deliver conference.

A representative of a pro-life NGO told the Friday Fax, "If UNICEF and the other organizers cared more about maternal and child health they would focus on the top killers of women and children. It is clear to us that this conference is more about promoting abortion than it is about dealing with the issues that most women face every day."

UNICEF and UNFPA officials still publicly maintain that their agencies do not take positions on abortion.

Monday, October 1, 2007

First Meeting!

Just a note to all the Wash U law students out there: we will be having our first general body meeting of the semester on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 12:00pm in Room 306. Some sort of food and drink will provided - preliminary reports suggest Papa John's, but this is subject to revision, so stay tuned. All Wash U law students are welcome to come and learn about our goals and plans for the fall semester.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dog Bites Man

A law imposing restrictions on abortion clinics struck down? You don't say:

KC judge bars new Mo. abortion rules
By Jo Mannies

A district judge in Kansas City has issued a preliminary injunction that bars Missouri health officials from imposing new restrictions on abortion clinics. The order, issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith, had been sought by a Bridgeton physician, Dr. Allen Palmer, and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, in a suit contesting the state's new requirements that all clinics that perform five or more abortions a month be registered as "ambulatory surgery facilities."

Such status would require the clinics and Palmer's office to meet a lot of new standards, from parking lot size to equipment and personnel. Planned Parenthood has contended the new restrictions would force it to close clinics in Columbia, Mo., and Kansas City.

Palmer has contended the new law would put his practice in jeopardy by requiring more than $1 million in changes to his medical offices at Women's Care Gynecology Inc. in Bridgeton. His lawyers also have noted that private physicians' offices are excluded from the state law's definition of ambulatory surgical centers.

Smith order came two weeks after he conducted a hearing on the case. His order remains in effect until the lawsuit is resolved.

A spokesman for the Missouri attorney general's office, which was helping to defend the new law, said officials were studying the order to decide what action to take. The state can appeal the judge's ruling.

The case has been closely watched by abortion activists on both sides. Lawyers with national anti-abortion and abortion-rights groups are involved in the case.

Inmate Abortions

Currently pending before the 8th Circuit is this case about whether the state should have to transport inmates to get abortions: http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/6F2FD73E0CA1EF55862573600063ADD7?OpenDocument

Mo. ban on inmate abortions is argued
By Cheryl Wittenauer

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Security concerns and the state's limited resources outweigh female offenders' right to abortion, the state argued today in defense of a policy against transporting such women to an abortion clinic outside of prison.Missouri's two-year-old policy, since declared unconstitutional by a federal district judge in Kansas City, is reasonable and constitutional, Assistant Attorney General Michael Pritchett told a federal appeals court panel here.

Incarceration by definition means inmates are denied certain freedoms, including "the right to procreate, vote, and travel," he said.The American Civil Liberties Union disagreed, arguing that the state has exaggerated its security concerns and in fact, has shown it can transport offenders without incident to an abortion clinic in St. Louis despite the presence of protesters.

ACLU attorney Diana Kasdan said the state devotes more resources and security measures to accommodate the far larger number of female offenders who carry their pregnancies full term.Women, no matter what, have a constitutional right to abortion, she said, noting that a handful of courts considering the question have ruled in favor of incarcerated women seeking abortion.

Pritchett argued that an accomplice could take advantage of frequent protests at the St. Louis abortion clinic to free an offender seeking an abortion. But Kasdan said the protesters are relatively few and aren't allowed onto the clinic's parking lot. The clinic provides a separate entrance and waiting room for offenders, and a correctional officer is permitted in the procedure room, she said.

Judge William Riley asked who pays for the care of female offenders who carry their pregnancies to term. "Does that make a difference?" he asked.Pritchett said the state pays a flat contractual rate to a private vendor to provide health care to inmates, including obstetrics care.

The state used to pay to transport an inmate for an abortion, though not the procedure itself, but the policy was reversed in July 2005.The state Department of Corrections cited costs, security concerns and a 1986 state law prohibiting the use of public funds, facilities and employees to assist an abortion when it's not necessary to save the life of the woman.

Under the revised policy, the department would only transport an inmate for an abortion if her life or health were endangered.

U.S. District Court Judge Dean Whipple ordered the state to transport a pregnant inmate -- referred to in court as Jane Roe -- to receive an abortion in October 2005, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene.

The case was certified as a class action, leading to Whipple's ruling last year ordering Missouri to take pregnant inmates to abortion clinics when they request the procedure.A three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case Monday on appeal from Attorney General Jay Nixon.

Since September 2006, the state has transported three offenders to obtain an abortion. The state has transported a total of seven to abortion clinics since June 2005, the Department of Corrections said.

By contrast, from July 2006 to this past July, 52 female offenders -- all at the women's prison in Vandalia -- delivered babies at area hospitals.

Most children born to offenders end up living with other family members, Corrections spokesman Brian Hauswirth said. Missouri has no program to accommodate offenders and their children in prison, even for overnight visits, he said.

As you may have learned in your legal writing class, the part of a story that perhaps best sticks in the reader's head is the very beginning and the very end. Here, the last line the reader takes away is that, since the babies can't immediately be with their mothers after birth, it would obviously be better for them not to be born. Great message, eh?

Friday, September 21, 2007

This is Not a Clone of the Last Post...

Here's an article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the proposed cloning ban(http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/columnists.nsf/colleencarrollcampbell/story/B4453E3751668163862573460082BDE1?OpenDocument):

The word game is up; time for a true cloning ban


Given their victories in recent years, Missouri's biotech barons should have spent 2007 celebrating. Repeated efforts by state lawmakers to enact a cloning ban had succumbed to defeat, thanks largely to biotech-friendly Gov. Matt Blunt. And last fall, biotech leaders had pre-empted those legislative threats by mounting a successful campaign to carve special protection for research cloning into the state constitution.

Their victory with Amendment Two did not come easily. The argument that has persuaded many voters to overcome ethical qualms about embryonic stem cell research — that embryos used in such research already exist and may be discarded anyway — does not apply to embryos created through cloning. Voters tend to bristle at the prospect of manufacturing embryonic human clones for the express purpose of dismembering and destroying them.

But the cloning of embryos appeals to researchers who no longer want to be limited to extracting stem cells from adult or umbilical cord tissue or from embryos created through in-vitro fertilization. Cloning promises a virtually unlimited supply of human embryos to be stripmined for their stem cells, as long as enough women can be induced to donate their eggs.

To protect research cloning without arousing voter ire, Amendment Two's authors bucked the scientific establishment's commonly accepted definition of human cloning as the creation of a cloned human embryo through Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer — the process used to create Dolly the Sheep. Instead, they defined cloning as the implantation of that cloned embryo into a uterus. So the amendment banned reproductive cloning while making the cloning and destruction of human embryos for research a constitutional right.

Despite a campaign budget of nearly $30 million and a 96-word ballot summary that made no mention of the controversial cloning definition buried in its nearly 2,000 words of fine print, Amendment Two barely squeaked to passage. When it did, backers hailed its 51 percent victory margin as evidence that Missouri's cloning wars were over.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Brave New World: The 49 percent of voters who opposed Amendment Two did not disperse as ordered. Awakened to the dangerous mix of money, media spin and scientific illiteracy that had allowed Big Biotech to sell its phony cloning ban, they began clamoring for the real thing.

Grassroots groups that had opposed Amendment Two continued meeting. Physicians and feminists who had warned that the exorbitant number of eggs needed for cloning could lead to women's exploitation continued speaking out. Bioethicists reminded the public that destroying a cloned embryo rather than allowing it to be born does not erase the ethical consequences of human cloning.

Last week, an umbrella group called Cures without Cloning launched a bid to close the cloning loophole created by Amendment Two. Its initiative, aimed at the November 2008 ballot, would not repeal Amendment Two or outlaw all embryonic stem cell research. It simply would allow Missouri to join other states that have banned human cloning by defining it the way most medical and scientific journals and popular publications do: as the creation of a cloned human embryo.

Amendment Two's champions now are in the awkward position of arguing against a cloning ban that does what their amendment only purported to do. Caught in a Catch-22 of their own making, they have resorted to grousing about their opponents' disingenuousness — a comical charge, given their own track record.

Maybe another multimillion-dollar ad blitz will allow Big Biotech and its civic boosters to squelch this latest grassroots uprising. But another could soon take its place, fueled by still more Missourians who believe our constitution is no place to play word games.

Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, television host and St. Louis-based fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Her website is http://www.colleen-campbell.com/

Catching up...on Cloning

Since this blog is getting started a bit late, we have some catching up to do. For those who don't know, last fall Amendment 2 was passed in Missouri - an amendment which purported to ban human cloning. However, because of its misleading definition of what constituted "cloning," it actually enshrined in the Missouri Constitution the ability to clone embryos so long as they were not then placed in a women's womb. Thus, creating cloned embryos and destroying them is perfectly legal. In response to this, there is currently a coalition going to ban the cloning of embryos in Missouri. For more information visit:



Well, well, well - welcome to the blog! This blog is maintained by Law Students Pro-Life at Washington University. We simply want to keep you abreast not only of our activities at Wash U, but of activities and news related to pro-life issues in the city of St. Louis and nationwide. That being said, not everything posted on this site is necessarily endorsed by all members of our organization, and may not be of interest to anyone in our organization. Our goal is simply to collect as much pro-life related material that MAY be relevent to you, the reader. And now, on to the blog.