Beyond City Limits
Edited By Mike Clark-Madison, Fri., Oct. 11, 2002
The U.S. House recently passed legislation drafted by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops that allows hospitals and clinics to deny an abortion even if a woman's life is threatened, reports the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 4691) is unnecessary, says the coalition: Current laws "allow individuals to opt out of performing procedures that go against their religious or moral ideals." Meanwhile, on Sept. 27 the Bush administration "clarified" the Children's Health Insurance Program definition of "child" to include the period from conception to birth. This makes fetuses eligible for coverage even if the women carrying them are denied. Women's reproductive rights groups, including Planned Parenthood, have attacked this change, arguing that C.H.I.P. eligibility should be expanded, rather than just "clarified," to make pregnant women and their children eligible for coverage. -- L.A.
Outgoing House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Lewisville, denied accusations by the A.H. Belo Corp. -- owners of The Dallas Morning News, Denton Record-Chronicle, and WFAA-TV -- of waging a vendetta against the publisher. Armey had inserted a rider into a military spending bill that would require Belo to divest one of the three properties. (The measure was later removed.) Armey's spokesperson denied any ill motive, saying Armey "has had a long-standing concern about independence in the media." Both the Dallas and Denton papers ran articles before the March primary alleging ethical lapses by Armey's son Scott, the Denton Co. judge, who was defeated in his bid for his father's seat. -- M.C.M.
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