Death request. The family of a Texas woman being kept alive to save her unborn baby will petition a Dallas court this afternoon to have her taken off life support. Marlise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when paramedics brought her to Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital in a coma. Her husband and parents say she did not want to be kept alive by machines. But allowing Munoz to die would kill her baby, something hospital officials say state law forbids. In court filings made public yesterday, the hospital acknowledged for the first time that Munoz is brain dead. That could mean a death sentence for the child—legal experts argue the law only allows doctors to continue caring for a pregnant woman if she’s not “technically” dead. The family claims the baby, now 22 weeks and 5 days old, has serious health problems, including deformed extremities, a possible heart problem, and hydrocephalus. But in his petition to the court, Erick Munoz never mentioned his unborn baby. The couple already have a 15-month-old son.
Conversation starter. The Republican National Committee passed a resolution this morning urging party members to speak up about abortion and denounce Democrats’ efforts to paint them as anti-woman. The resolution, drafted by Delaware National Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse, reads: “The Republican National Committee urges all Republican pro-life candidates, consultants, and other national Republican Political Action Committees to reject a strategy of silence on the abortion issue when candidates are attacked with ‘war on women’ rhetoric.” In an interview with CNN, Barrosse said not talking about abortion or the Democrats’ claims of an RNC “war on women” has not worked well for the party. “It’s a conversation the party has to have,” she said.
Deadbeat dad? A Kansas judge ruled Thursday that a man who provided sperm to a lesbian couple who wanted a baby must pay child support. William Marotta answered a Craigslist ad the women posted but he never intended to be involved in the child’s life. The girl is now 4 years old. The judge said that since Marotta and the women did not use a physician to facilitate the transaction, he was not entitled to protections usually provided to sperm donors under state law. Marotta plans to appeal the decision. In the meantime, the Kansas Department for Children and Families could start garnishing his wages. The case is a sad testimony to the fragility of “nontraditional” family arrangements. The lesbian couple split up after the baby was born, and the woman who did not actually bear the child is suing for parental rights.
Fraud allegations. A federal grand jury has indicted Dinesh D’Souza, conservative author and former president of The King’s College, on charges of making illegal contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign. The charges stem from allegations D’Souza used straw donors to funnel $20,000 to Wendy Long, the Republican who lost to Democratic Sen. Kristen Gillibrand of New York in 2012. Federal election law limits individual campaign contributions to $2,500 and forbids making contributions in the name of others or reimbursing another person’s contribution. D’Souza also is charged with making false statements about the contributions. His lawyer said D’Souza did not act with any “corrupt or criminal intent.”