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Week Ending August 25, 2006 - From Washington, DC
August 25, 2006 7:18PM EST





What are you doing Mr. President? In a press conference on Monday President George W. Bush told reporters that he favored the distribution of the "emergency contraceptive" as a non prescription drug known as the "morning after pill" and that he backed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach. Under the FDA plan, the drug may be sold over the counter (OTC) to women over 18 and made available by prescription to teen girls. The FDA announced Thursday that they have approved the drug for OTC distribution. The drug contains a higher dosage of ingredients than are used in prescribed birth control pills. It is odd that the lower dosage birth control pills require a prescription but the higher dosage "morning after" pill does not. Even standard dosage birth control pills are known to cause blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and other health risks. The reality is that anyone over 18 -even a man - can purchase the "morning after" pills and give the drug to underage girls without the knowledge or consent of parents or of her physician. This poses great health risks. Despite these considerable risks, this potent drug has not shown very reliable in preventing unwanted pregnancies but well may have increased the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STD's). For example, in the United Kingdom the STD rates have increased since the "morning after" pills have been made available, and in Scotland where the drug has been available for 15 years, abortion rates have not decreased.


News flash: "Conservative groups attend briefings at the White House." This is supposed to be news? Suddenly our office has received calls from numerous news outlets trying to figure out the "flurry" of activity at the White House involving conservative groups. The media is speculating that this flurry of events is looking toward the November elections and is meant to save the votes of the conservative movement's members for Republicans. Religious Freedom Coalition's Executive Director Peggy Birchfield stated in The Church Report, "Unfortunately, the media cycles in and out what they want the public to know on certain issues and the others fall by the way side; these issues are ones that have been in the forefront for a while." Here is the reality: The RFC's staff have been to the White House many, many times over the past six months for briefings, press conferences and formal bill signings. Our staff has met with White House Administration on many issues including an "off the record" security briefing involving issues of religious freedom in repressive nations around the world. The war on terror in the news each day has put the White House involvement in the other conservative agenda items out of the spotlight. Then suddenly the media somehow managed to notice us coming and going from the White House .... this is news?


The outcome of the November elections could set the congressional agenda for at least the next two years. Tax cuts, family issues, and the pro-life agenda will likely vanish from committee rooms and floor votes if the Democrats take control of the Congress after the November elections. Today (Friday) RFC Executive Director Peggy Birchfield participates in a forum led by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and scheduled to be broadcast on C-span entitled, "What's at Stake in the 2006 Elections?" Four prominent journalists including Bob Novak will examine the policy implications of the November elections. Peggy and others will have the opportunity to question the experts on potential election outcome scenarios.



Last week we mentioned receiving a letter from Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) stating he supports the "One nation under God" resolutions, although he has not made a commitment to co-sponsor the Pledge Protection Act, S.1046 . Other Senate offices are beginning to respond to us and to their constituents as a result of the petition deliveries. There are currently 17 co-sponsors to the Senate version of the Pledge Protection Act.. We encourage you to call your Senators while they are at home in your state and ask them to become co-sponsors to this important legislation. The Religious Freedom Coalition continues to drop off petitions from constituents to those Senators who have not co-sponsored the Pledge Protection Act S-1046 sponsored by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ). Have you signed a petition to your Senator asking him to support the Pledge Protection Act? Click here to sign a petition today. RFC is delivering the petitions continuously during August to let your Senators know that this issue is important and that we want to see it put on the Senate agenda in September. Show your support by signing a petition for your Senators.


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This publication is a service of the Religious Freedom Coalition (RFC). Links to political and other sites are for informational purposes and do not constitute endorsement. No statement is intended to assist or defeat any candidate running for public office.

Religious Freedom Coalition * Copyright - 2006

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