* American pro-lifers are carefully watching the progress of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act which was supported by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution by a vote of 5-2. The Family Research Council, which is strongly backing the bill, says the fact that 25 states have already introduced fetal homicide measures indicates strong public backing for such a measure. “Pro-abortion forces are trying to pick a fight over this bill where there is none,” said FRC chief spokesman Janet Parshall yesterday. “This bill cannot be used to attack mothers and their doctors or to criminalize any legal procedures.”

* Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput is trying to draw the attention of Americans to the attack on health and drug insurers from abortifacient advocates. “A year ago, Congress forced all insurance plans participating in the federal employee’s health-care program and covering prescription drugs to include coverage for contraceptive and abortifacient drugs. The only exception was for specifically religious plans,” reported Zenit news, which was covering a piece written by the Archbishop and published in the Denver Catholic Register on July 28. But the exception for religious plans has been attacked recently by the likes of Planned Parenthood’s Gloria Feldt, he noted.

* The New Jersey Supreme Court stunned observers this week by deciding that homosexuals could not be prevented from becoming Boy Scout leaders. Specifically, it ruled that the Boy Scouts’  decision to expel homosexual Boy Scout leader, James Dale, is illegal under the state’s anti-  discrimination law. Family Research Council’s Janet Parshall condemned the decision, noting that now “there is nothing that prohibits … a member of the North American Man-Boy Love Association from participating in this group.” She congratulated the group for deciding to appeal the decision. (World Net Daily)

* Exodus International, a ministry for former homosexuals, held its largest ever conference in Wheaton, Ill., outside Chicago, on Monday. EI has been around since 1976. “While gay activists picketed outside an auditorium, 1,200 Christians who claim to have once been homosexuals convened on Monday,” reported Conservative News Service (in a reprint of a Maranatha Christian Journal article) earlier this week. Cynthia Marquardt, a member of a homosexualist “church”, said sexual conversion is impossible and that Exodus’ message contributes to violence against gays and lesbians, reported CNS.