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9/1/2006 - September 2006 Newsletter

SOUTHEAST LAW INSTITUTE™ 1200 Corporate Drive, Suite 107 Highway 280 - Meadow Brook Corporate Park Birmingham, Alabama 35242 Telephone: (205) 408-8893 E-mail: AEJ@SoutheastlawInstitute.org Facsimile: (205) 408-8894 www.southeastlawinstitute.org September 2006 Dear Friends and Supporters, We recently had an encouraging meeting with representatives of the Alabama Department of Public Health (“ADPH”). This meeting followed recent revelations concerning the improper abortions at the Summit Medical Center in Birmingham. The purpose of the meeting was to encourage the ADPH to do further inspections and, perhaps, strengthen existing regulations. The ADPH was very receptive to our requests and explained it already had underway measures that would result in better enforcement of existing laws and regulations. In fact, soon after the meeting, another report was released that the ADPH had suspended the license of a Montgomery abortion clinic, Reproductive Health Services, for not having a physician with admitting privileges to a local hospital. An existing regulation requires at least a backup physician to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, since so many of the abortion physicians are from out of state and only come in periodically to do the abortions. Often, complications result from the abortion surgical procedure which cannot be handled in the otherwise rudimentary facility of the clinic. When the doctor performing the abortion is not even in town and certainly cannot call a local hospital for assistance, this gravely jeopardizes the healthcare of the patient. SLI has drafted a legislative bill to provide a criminal penalty for this, but the Legislature has not seen fit to pass it. For the time being, we must rely on the ADPH. With the start of school, we have already encountered some credit transfer problems. You will recall our many years of efforts to protect the rights of parents and school children who first choose nonpublic education and then wish to transfer back into a public system. Dr. Joe Morton, Superintendent of the State Department of Education, has worked closely with us in recent years to adopt policies that facilitate the movement of students between school systems. Even with all of that, we have encountered at least four school systems which automatically require students to take all of the past year’s semester exams, totally ignoring their existing transcripts from the nonpublic school attended the year before. We will keep you informed. You might have seen a full page ad in The Birmingham News, and perhaps other newspapers, placed by an entity called Alabama Legislative Democratic Leadership Council. The ad touts the Alabama legislative democratic leadership. Included among their claimed positions is pro-life, pro-religious and pro-traditional marriage. Presumably, this has something to do with the general elections in November, but hopefully it has more to do with what legislation the Alabama Legislature may legitimately consider and pass in the 2007 Regular Session. SLI will monitor this situation and make timely comments. We are always hopeful that genuine concern will overcome political correctness and allow good laws to be passed in Alabama. Now that everyone is getting back into the fall routine, please remember us in your tax deductible giving. We appreciate recent contributions, but the difficulties in maintaining resources to do our work continue. Please be as generous as you possibly can. We give thanks for you daily. Yours very truly, A. Eric Johnston AEJ/pmm

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