LOS ANGELES, Feb 6 (LSN) - Last week the California State Assembly approved legislation which forces all employee insurance plans to cover contraceptives and abortifacient pills and devices such as the I.U.D. The bill (AB 160), sponsored by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC), was put forward by Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg. Providentially, proceedings have been interrupted, as California Governor Pete Wilson has demanded an amendment to give employers the ability to opt out if they object to covering contraceptives and abortifacients on religious or moral grounds. Hertzberg has refused consent to the amendment, arguing that “It would have cut the heart out of the bill.” Kathy Kneer, chief executive officer of PPAC, said “Allowing employers to superimpose their religious beliefs on employees’ health benefit packages . . . is very troubling and would set a dangerous precedent.” Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, which represents 1,160 churches and 707 schools throughout California, said, “This (legislation) is in the interest of people who believe strongly in reproductive rights (who want) to force everyone to comply with their particular philosophy.” In an apparently successful lobbying effort last month, Dolejsi wrote a letter to Wilson suggesting a “conscience clause” for the legislation. Wilson has until Feb. 11 to act on the bill.
PONTIAC, Mich., Feb 6, (LSN) - Assisted suicide proponent Jack Kevorkian and his partner in crime, Georges Reding, delivered the body of their latest victim, Jeremy Allen, of Cambridge, Mass., to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital on Wednesday. Kevorkian's new attorney, Michael Schwartz, said that the 52-year-old victim suffered from cancer.
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb 6 (LSN) - Governor George Voinovich has signed two bills restricting abortion in Ohio. One measure halts the use of state funds, directly or indirectly, to provide healthcare insurance benefits for “non-therapeutic” abortions for state employees. The other bill requires a physician to meet with a pregnant woman at least 24 hours before an abortion in order to answer questions and provide medical information, thus encouraging the mother at least to stop and think before choosing to end the life her preborn child. The latter bill also requires abortionists to secure informed consent from one parent, guardian, or custodian of a minor who is pregnant. The bills will become law in 90 days.
NASSAU, Bahamas, Feb 6 (LSN) A Norwegian cruise liner, the Leeward, chartered by some 900 homosexual passengers, was prevented from landing in the Bahamas by high winds and waves. Christian leaders, who demonstrated Tuesday to protest the proposed landing of the ship, rejoiced at the turn of events, and called it an answer to their prayers. Baptist Bishop Harcourt Pinder, president of the Bahamas Christian Council, noted that the Bahamas government had invited the cruise ship to dock on its shores after the homosexual “love boat” was denied permission to dock in the Cayman Islands. “But I still feel that prayer is the weapon we should use to fight a lot of the ills about us,” Rev. Pinder said. “Prayer fails not and history has proven that.” The Leeward left Miami Jan. 30 and is scheduled to visit the Mexican ports of Cancun and Cozumel before returning.