Bill Simon Possibly Tied to Anti Abortion Extremists
Despite assurances that he will continue to protect a woman’s right to choose if elected governor of California, Republican candidate Bill Simon has been a longtime supporter and adviser to a New Jersey-based organization with close ties to anti-abortion extremists, the San-Jose Mercury News reported Sunday. Good Counsel, which runs five homes for unwed mothers in New York state, is run by Christopher Bell and Joan Andrews Bell – who has been arrested several times over the years for her part in anti-abortion protests. In 1999, Andrews-Bell told the Toronto Sun that killing abortion doctors might be defensible.
James Kopp, who is now facing charges for the murder of Dr. Bernand Slepian who performed abortions at a private clinic, worked at Good Counsel as a handyman. Andrews-Bell and Kopp have known each other since 1988; the two were arrested together in Burlington, Vt. in 1990 during protests at clinics. In addition, Rev. Benedict Groeschel, who is a founding member of Good Counsel’s board with Simon, also established the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, whose members have held prayer vigils at abortion blockades for more than 10 years.
In the late 1980s, Simon helped found Good Counsel and, until last month, served as head of the group’s advisory committee. Since resigning from his formal position on the Good Counsel board in 1991 and moving to Los Angeles, Simon has focused his charitable work on groups such as Covenant House and Catholic Charities. However, the Simon family has continued to support Good Counsel financially with more than $200,000 in contributions to the group from 1997 to 1999 – half of those donations came in the four months after Kopp was named to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. This year, Good Counsel received $50,000 from the William E. Simon Foundation, Bell told the Mercury-News.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .