<\body> Stories in America: Female Soldier Dies in Iraq, FL Race Focuses on Abortion Ban

Friday, March 24, 2006

Female Soldier Dies in Iraq, FL Race Focuses on Abortion Ban

"If we had a bill like South Dakota's and it came through the Legislature, I would sign it. No clarification needed."
-Florida's Chief Financial Officer and candidate for Attorney General Tom Gallagher


Female Soldier From Md. Dies In Iraq - AP
The Department of Defense says a 19-year-old female soldier from Maryland has died in Iraq. Private first class Amy Duerksen of Aberdeen Proving Ground died in Baghdad on March eleventh from a non-combat-related injury. Duerksen was assigned to the Fourth Combat Support Battalion, First Brigade, Fourth Infantry Division -- based at Fort Hood, Texas. Last year, 23-year-old Specialist Toccara Green became Maryland's first woman soldier to be killed in combat in Iraq.


Va. diocese allows female altar servers - UPI
Female altar servers are now allowed in Arlington, Va., leaving Lincoln, Neb., as the only U.S. Roman Catholic archdiocese to still ban them, a report said. Under Tuesday's decision by Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde, girls and women in the diocese's 21 counties may assist at mass as soon as Sunday, which individual priests may institute after consulting with parish leadership and informing the bishop.

Reproductive Rights

Miss. Lawmakers Face Deadline for Abortion Bill - AP
Mississippi lawmakers have until Monday to reach an agreement, if any, on an abortion bill. A House-passed proposal would ban all abortions in Mississippi, except when a woman's life is at risk or she was the victim of rape or incest. The Senate wants to insert language in the bill, backed by Pro-Life Mississippi, that would require doctors to perform an ultrasound and fetal heart monitor before each procedure. Mississippi has one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation.

South Dakota abortion ban an issue in Florida governor's race - The Gainesville Sun
South Dakota's abortion ban is causing a stir in the Florida governor's race. A day after Attorney General Charlie Crist said he would sign a bill similar to the one South Dakota passed to ban abortions except when the mother's life is in danger, the three other major candidates in the race voiced their views. Crist's Republican primary opponent, state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, said he would sign the same bill South Dakota passed while the Democrats, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis and state Rod Smith, said that the right to legal abortions should be protected.

Bill seeks rare exceptions to 24-hour abortion waiting period - AP
Three years after lawmakers approved a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, a Republican senator who voted for the law is pushing to lift its requirements for women whose fetuses have rare fatal conditions. Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, said he's trying to walk a careful line on a politically volatile issue. The waiting period became law in 2003 after years of controversy. It requires doctors to discuss risks and other information with women at least 24 hours before an abortion. But after hearing from obstetricians on both sides of the abortion divide, Michel says some of the provisions - such as giving women information about adoption and showing them images of healthy fetuses - are hurtful to families who have been told their fetus is dead or won't live.

Romney opts against proclamation honoring 1972 birth control case - Boston Globe
Gov. Mitt Romney is declining to issue a proclamation recognizing a landmark 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing birth control for unmarried people -- the first time in 10 years a Massachusetts governor has taken a pass on the proclamation. The decision is irking family planning and abortion rights activists. The case, Eisenstadt vs. Baird, is seen a precursor to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. Last year Romney signed the proclamation, but deleted a reference to Roe v. Wade. "It's a shame that Gov. Mitt Romney has missed this opportunity to show his support for increased access to birth control," said Melissa Kogut, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.


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