Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Obama-appointed federal judge says Ohio must recognize out-of-state same-sex ‘marriages’

by Catherine Briggs Thu Apr 17 15:43 EST Comments (5)

 
Judge Timothy Black

CINCINNATI, OH, April 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Monday, an Obama-appointed federal judge ruled that Ohio authorities must recognize same-sex “marriages” contracted outside the state. Ohio currently bans such unions.

Judge Timothy Black additionally called the state’s marriage amendment, passed by a 62 percent majority in 2004, “unconstitutional” and “unenforceable.” However, Black’s decision would not overturn the state’s gay “marriage” ban.

Gay “marriage” supporters are hailing Black’s decision as a further step towards legalizing same-sex unions in Ohio. 

Civil rights lawyer Al Gerhardstein praised Black’s ruling.  Gerhardstein has filed three gay “marriage” lawsuits in Ohio since June.

"This is a great day for many Ohio families," Gerhardstein said. "Yesterday, they lived in a state that discriminated against them; today they live in a state that has declared them equal. Their marriages, the very foundations of their families, are recognized under the law. This ruling is a sweeping declaration in favor of same-sex marriage recognition." 

Though Black’s ruling would not legalize same-sex “marriage,” Gerhardstein hopes to file a lawsuit within the next two weeks seeking to do just that.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine plans to appeal the ruling because of the overwhelming public support for traditional marriage, demonstrated in the 2004 passage of the state’s gay “marriage” ban.

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"My job as attorney general is to defend statutes and defend Ohio's constitutional provisions," he said. "This was voted on by voters so my job is to do that."

In his ruling, however, Black cited the Supreme Court ruling West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette from 1943, which stated that “fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich supports DeWine’s appeal.  Kasich’s spokesman Rob Nichols said in a statement, "The governor believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, he supports Ohio's constitutional ban on same sex marriage, and we're glad the Attorney General is appealing the ruling."

Democrat Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley praised Black’s ruling.  "Life's too short and cruel to keep people from loving each other," he said.

The ruling comes as little surprise to the public, as Black has voiced his opinion in the past concerning how he would rule.  However, he has issued a temporary stay on the ruling in order to allow attorneys on both sides of the issue to organize legal briefs in preparation for the impending appeal.

According to same-sex “marriage” supporters, this delay in ruling provides uncertainty for many couples desiring to get married out of state.

"A lot of folks are watching this and saying, 'Am I going to get married this week? And if so, will that marriage be recognized next week?'” said Ian James, executive director of FreedomOhio, a group whose goal is to make same-sex “marriage” legal in Ohio.

Phil Buress, chairman of Citizens for Community Values Action, the group that put the 2004 marriage amendment on the ballot, said that Judge Black is abusing his judicial power by overriding the explicit opinion of the voters.

"It's another example of homosexual activists using sympathetic judges and the courts as a blunt instrument to force a redefinition of marriage and family on the people of Ohio," he said in a statement. "It seems clear that when advocates of 'marriage equality' cannot convince the people and win at the ballot box, they resort to the courts and judicial fiat."

Black is the latest of many federal judges to strike down state marriage laws.  Most recently, federal judges have struck down marriage amendments in Virginia, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan.  Each decision has been stayed pending appeals.

Currently, 17 states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex “marriage.”

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True marriage supporters ‘not welcome’ in New York: councilman

by Catherine Briggs Thu Apr 17 15:35 EST Comments (54)

 
Councilman Daniel Dromm

NEW YORK, April 17, 2014, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A New York City councilman has effectively told traditional marriage supporters they are “not welcome” in the Big Apple.

In response to Chick-fil-A’s proposed plans to expand their business and set up restaurants in several locations, including New York City, Councilman Daniel Dromm told the Huffington Post that the fast-food chain would not be welcome in the most populous city in the country.

“We don’t need bigots coming to New York City,” Dromm told HuffPost. “They are not welcome here unless they can embrace all of New York’s diverse community, including the LGBT community.”

Chick-fil-A made national headlines in 2012 when CEO Dan Cathy voiced his belief in traditional marriage.  His remarks sparked scathing reactions from pro-homosexual politicians and the homosexual lobby.

Despite the onslaught of pro-homosexuality antagonism, the fast-food chain received an even larger outpouring of support after the incident, including a nation-wide “Chick-fil-A Day,” during which the restaurant made record-breaking sales

Cathy has recently said he wishes to expand the company and consequently not be so vocal about his personal opinions.

This pledge of silence, however, does not placate Councilman Dromm’s desire to keep traditional marriage supporters out of New York City. 

“We don’t need bigoted people even keeping their opinions to themselves,” Dromm said. “They need to wake up and see reality.”

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, has called Dromm’s remarks “outrageous” and “intolerant.”

“What Dromm has effectively said here is that anyone who believes in marriage as the union of a man and a woman is unwelcome in New York City," Brown stated.  “Christians and others are now, it seems, going to be considered guilty of 'thought-crimes' and threatened with all manner of reprisals simply for holding their beliefs." 

Brown issued an appeal to marriage supporters to take action by voicing their resentment and offense at Dromm’s statement. 

“An individual's own privately-held beliefs,” said Brown, “if they conflict with Mr. Drumm's radical new orthodoxy, even if those beliefs are never publicly expressed, make that person guilty of a ‘thought-crime’ and label him or her a ‘bigot’ that doesn't belong in the Big Apple!”

Brown cited the recent media kerfuffle concerning former Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich’s past monetary support of Proposition 8 in California as another example of the readiness of pro-homosexual lobbies and politicians to jump down the throat and smother all supporters of traditional marriage.  

“[Dromm’s] remarks,” Brown stated, “coming amidst a climate of such unseemly attacks on pro-marriage people as we saw with the Mozilla controversy last week, simply reinforce a growing manifestation of hostility and intimidation in the public square toward folks with traditional values.”

While the media was all-too-ready to make Eich’s “controversial” stance known across the world, they have been silent about Dromm’s incendiary remarks.  Brown said that Dromm’s remarks “should have stirred public outcry and a flurry of media attention: but instead we hear deafening silence from the media, which is tantamount to a tacit approval.”

Brown is calling on the New York City Council to condemn Dromm’s remarks and issue a formal apology for them.

"Mr. Dromm has alienated and insulted millions of New Yorkers and made them feel like they don't belong in their own home city. The Council should correct this and extend an apology immediately and undo the hurt and wrong that's been done."

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Illinois rejects ban on reparative therapy for minors with same-sex attraction

by Kirsten Andersen Thu Apr 17 15:27 EST Comments (11)

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL, April 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Illinois House voted last week to reject a bill that would have banned reparative therapy for minors with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA).  It is the fifth state to vote down a ban on the practice in recent months, following high profile debates over the issue in California and New Jersey, which both instated bans last year.

Christopher Doyle, an ex-gay activist and president of Voice of the Voiceless, said following the vote that he thought the decision was a win for free speech and individual medical rights.

“It’s clear that even the most progressive states do not want to pass laws that take away the rights of individuals when the foundation of such legislation is based on lies and misinformation,” Doyle said. “There is not one research study published in the scientific peer-reviewed literature that has studied the outcomes of minors undergoing SOCE [Sexual Orientation Change Effort] therapy – any attempt to ban clients from receiving help for unwanted SSA is pure political propaganda from gay activists.”

Homosexual activists maintain that reparative therapy is damaging to children who, they argue, are born with same-sex attraction and cannot be ‘cured’ of it.

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The failed ban in Illinois was proposed by Kelly Cassidy, an openly lesbian legislator who argued that reparative therapy is “horribly and humiliatingly” abusive.

During last year’s battle over the New Jersey ban, a transgender activist testified she was sent to a “conversion therapy torture camp” that used electroshock therapy to punish her until she turned straight. However, a later investigation found that her story was not only untrue, but stolen from a 1997 movie by drag queen RuPaul.

Despite the objections of homosexual activists, a growing number of ex-gays say the therapy can be successful, and that it helped them to work through their confusion about their sexuality and go on to lead normal heterosexual lives.  Some of them spoke to Illinois politicians in the weeks leading up to the vote, an action Doyle credits with the failure of the ban.

“Legislatures around the country are now waking up to the reality that ex-gays are a fact and gay activists’ stories of ‘therapy torture’ are fiction,” said Doyle. “We applaud the many lawmakers in Illinois who met with ex-gays, heard their stories of change, and refused to listen to the lies of anti-ex-gay activists like Wayne Besen, who is now headquartered in Chicago and failed miserably in his own liberal-dominated state to get this legislation passed. It goes to show that truth really does win out – when ex-gays speak up, politicians listen.”

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Catholic Relief Services pro-abortion grantee wins UN Population Fund Award

by Kirsten Andersen Thu Apr 17 14:51 EST Comments (14)

 

Update: After publication, Catholic Relief Services replied to LifeSiteNews' request for comment on Jhpiego's award. Their statement is available here.

BALTIMORE, MD, April 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pro-abortion grantee of Catholic Relief Services has been announced as the winner of the 2014 United Nations Population Award.  The award is given to organizations that demonstrate outstanding effectiveness in population control efforts, including contraception, sterilization and abortion.

The grantee, Jhpiego, is a non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. According to CRS’ 990s for 2012, the U.S. bishops’ organization gave Jhpiego a grant of $282,356 that year for “health.” As part of their work, the group has spearheaded national campaigns in the developing world to promote the abortifacient morning-after pill.

According to a press release from the group, "The award was given to Jhpiego for its four decades of work in creating access to innovative, high-quality family planning and reproductive health services throughout the developing world."

“Today is a proud moment in Jhpiego's history,“ said CEO Leslie Mancuso. "It is the culmination of 40 years of work on behalf of women and their families and secures Jhpiego's legacy as a world leader in family planning and reproductive health.”

The release says Jhpiego “was founded in 1973 in Baltimore to share reproductive health breakthroughs, such as laparoscopy and modern contraceptives, with physicians, nurses, midwives and health administrators in the developing world.” 

Jhpiego trains medical professionals in poor countries to promote long-term contraceptives and sterilization on men and women, making promotion of “family planning” an integral part of every doctor’s visit.  Even routine children’s vaccinations are seen as a chance to promote population control measures, with doctors and nurses being trained to interrogate parents about their plans for long-term contraception at each and every visit.

In a profile on Jhpiego’s work in Malawi, the group indicates that it planned and implemented a national program to promote the abortifacient "emergency contraception" in the country between 1999 and 2007.

The organization’s training materials for Kenyan health workers state: “Miss no opportunity!  At every immunization visit, ASK about family planning intentions.”  The authors lamented Kenyan men’s resistance to voluntary sterilization, saying, “There is a 6 month waiting list for vasectomy in England.  Why isn’t this method in as much demand in Kenya?”  The training includes role play on how to overcome objections to contraception, even objections based in religious or ethical beliefs.

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“Mr. Otieno is your neighbor and has 5 children,” the training manual reads.  “His wife is pregnant and is due in a couple of months.  The couple dose [sic] not believe in family planning and so do not use contraception. … Role play how would you counsel this couple and convince them to use FP [family planning].”

Catholic Relief Services has often been criticized for their partnerships with groups that violate Church teaching on grave spiritual matters, but the organization says on its website that it is willing to overlook the sinful actions of certain grant recipients in order to fund the good work that they do. For example, grants given to the pro-abortion group CARE International were earmarked for agriculture, emergencies and general welfare, and were not supposed to be used for family planning.

A report released by American Life League in September 2013 revealed that 86 percent of CRS’ grants to domestic groups in 2012 went to groups that promote contraceptives, in addition to, in some cases, other evils such as abortion, the abortifacient “morning-after pill,” and homosexuality.

In 2013, the Catholic aid organization gave a $2.7 million grant to Population Services International, which markets a “Safe Abort Kit” in developing countries.

LifeSiteNews reached out to CRS officials by phone and e-mail to ask what the nearly $300,000 in funding they provided to Jhpiego in 2012 was intended for, and whether the group’s receipt of the UNFPA award would affect their relationship in the future.  However, CRS did not respond to our requests for comment by press time.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will give Jhpiego the award at a ceremony on June 12.

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Conservative pro-life MP Vellacott supports NDP palliative care motion

by Thaddeus Baklinski Thu Apr 17 14:03 EST Comments (1)

 
Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott

OTTAWA, April 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Support for a motion tabled by an NDP Member of Parliament calling on the federal government to establish a pan-Canadian palliative and end-of-life care policy is growing after its first hour of debate earlier this month, with veteran pro-life MP Maurice Vellacott throwing his full support behind the initiative.

Charlie Angus, NDP MP for Timmins-James Bay, introduced a Private Members Motion (M-456) to establish a national palliative care strategy on October 31, 2013 in response to recommendations from the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care for a national policy on improving palliative care, suicide prevention strategies and protecting people from elder abuse.

The motion, which was seconded by Vellacott, had its first hour of debate in the House April 1, where Angus said, "I am hoping to get the full support of the members of Parliament. I am certainly counting on the members who did the extraordinary work on the palliative care committee. I think this is something on which we can all agree. I would ask my colleagues to work with us to support this motion and then begin to push for its full implementation."

In response to the points raised in the Motion 456 debate, Mr. Vellacott said, “Support for human dignity and quality of life, with investments in pain management and other palliative tools, is where the Canadian conversation should go,” according to the National Post.

“We don’t want to go down the dangerous and failed route of assisted suicide and euthanasia tried by other countries,” Vellacott added.

Angus has also expressed concern about the two private member’s bills introduced by Conservative MP Stephen Fletcher seeking to reopen the debate on assisted suicide and euthanasia.

According to the Catholic Register, Angus told Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops president Archbishop Paul-André Durocher that the conversation about palliative care as a common sense solution to concerns about end-of-life care could be “derailed” by a renewed debate on assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Discussing assisted suicide without having a national system of quality palliative care in place would be “pre-emptive,” Angus said, explaining that when people do not have access to quality palliative care, they are “not in a fair position to even discuss the issue of assisted suicide."

"Every one dies. Every family has to deal with the loss of a loved one and these traumatic moments are made more difficult and more expensive when there is no access to quality palliative care. Palliative care is about patient and family centered physical, psychological, and spiritual care. With an aging population it is crucial that the federal government provide leadership in palliative care and end-of-life services," wrote Angus in a letter to the Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care Association, which fully supports Motion 456.

Mr. Angus said that the success of establishing a pan-Canadian palliative care strategy will come down to the willingness of individual MPs to stand up for the issue.

“I don't want to be crass about it, but the success of a national palliative care initiative in Parliament will be a numbers game. Will enough individual Liberal and Conservatives stand up and support the motion? This is an important opportunity for the public to engage with their MPs and tell them they want them to put the national vision of palliative care ahead of political concerns," said Angus.

He added that he is confident that the palliative motion can succeed because the motion will be subject to a free vote.

"In 2011, 30 Conservative MPs signed on to a report calling for a national palliative care strategy. If 25 of them show up to vote in the House the motion will succeed." He noted that, so far, he has received assurances that 5 Conservative MPs are on board.

"I will continue to speak with Conservative and Liberal MPs on the importance of Parliament speaking up on palliative care. I think what will be even more important is for citizens across the country to speak with their local MPs to ensure they do the right thing," Angus said.

The vote on Motion 456 is expected May 14.

Contact info and evaluations for all MPs are available on the Campaign Life Coalition website here.

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Health Canada decision on RU-486 stalled until 2015: report

by Peter Baklinski Thu Apr 17 13:43 EST Comments (3)

 
Health Minister Rona Ambrose

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Health Canada’s decision whether to forbid or allow RU-486, described by abortion advocates as the “gold standard” of abortion pills, may not happen until 2015, a Canadian news agency is reporting.

Ipolitics.ca reported Wednesday that according to its sources, which were unnamed, RU-486 (mifepristone) is still going through Health Canada’s formal review process, but a decision is not expected until next year.

Health Canada told LifeSiteNews by email in March that if the drug receives a negative decision, Health Canada will not “publically [sic] disclose when or why the decision is issued.”

RU-486 has been touted by its advocates as a “safe” way for a woman to destroy a new human life inside her womb. But practically every country that has approved the method has had women die from complications of the chemical cocktail.

Last week, doctors in a Turin hospital could do nothing to save a woman who went into cardiac arrest after being administered the second part of the two-drug RU-486 combination that would expel the baby from her womb. The woman complained of not being able to breathe properly moments before her heart stopped beating.

“Everything was regulated,” doctors told the press. RU-486 has been available in Italy since 2009 and can only be administered by a doctor.

In the United Stated alone, 14 women have died after taking RU-486, reported the Food and Drug Administration in 2011.

An Australian woman died in 2010 from a severe bacterial infection in her bloodstream a few days after having an RU-486 abortion at a Marie Stopes clinic.

The British government announced in January 2004 that two women had died from RU-486 abortions, describing their deaths as “suspected fatal reactions associated with the use of RU-486.”

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16-year-old Rebecca Tell Berg of Sweden was found dead in her boyfriend’s shower in 2003 after complications arose during her RU-486 abortion. The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare in Gothenburg ruled that the woman “bled to death” as a “direct consequence” of her RU-486 abortion.

Canadian trials of the drug were halted in 2001 after a woman died from septic shock caused by her RU-486 abortion. The drug was effectively banned for use in Canada at that time.

Canada’s pro-life movement is urging Health Canada to reject the RU-486 application after abortion advocates revealed in November that an unidentified pharmaceutical company had submitted an application for the drug in 2012.

“Canada has very wisely kept this drug out of our country based on the evidence of severe side-effects and complications which include severe cramping, nausea, vomiting, heavy bleeding, heart attacks (particularly in women over thirty five and smokers),” said Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, in a press release at that time.

But abortion advocates were thrown into a tizzy when Health Canada’s Deputy Minister George Da Pont went on to deny the existence of such an application. Health Canada later issued an apology for the misinformation.

A number of doctors have condemned RU-486 after finding out about the drug’s application, calling it a “grievous misuse of medical science.”

“This is death we are talking about, not just of the unborn babies but sometimes of the mothers themselves,” stated Canadian Physicians for Life.

Campaign Life Coalition has launched a petition urging Health Minister Rona Ambrose to “definitively reject” RU-486. The petition has been signed by nearly 3,000 people.

On May 8, tens of thousands are expected to gather in Ottawa for the National March for Life to demand protection for unborn children. “RU-486 or RU-4LIFE?” will be the theme of the day.

Sign petition against RU-486 here. Find out more about May 8 March for Life here.

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Troubled Maryland abortionist receives 3-month suspension for operating unlicensed facility

by Cheryl Sullenger Thu Apr 17 12:56 EST Comments (0)

 

FORESTVILLE, MD, April 17, 2014 (OperationRescue.org) – Maryland abortionist Harold O. Alexander has once again had his medical license suspended for three months, according to a consent order issued by the Maryland Board of Physicians (MDBP) on April 16, 2014. The suspension is Alexander’s second in two years and is related to his operation of an illegal unlicensed abortion facility. He will also have to serve three years of probation.

The Board found Alexander guilty of “unprofessional conduct” and violating a previous consent order. The first year of his probation, Alexander is barred from the solo practice of medicine and must only work under the supervision of a Board-approved physician, who must file monthly reports on Alexander’s medical practices with a disciplinary panel of the MDBP.

“The fact that Alexander will be back in business in three months is ludicrous. This man has proved again and again that he is not fit to practice medicine and has no regard for the laws and regulations that govern the practice of medicine in Maryland, much less the safety of his patients,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Operation Rescue has complained about Alexander’s shoddy abortion practices several times and was the first to make the formal accusation that he was conducting an illicit abortion business in an unlicensed facility.

2011 Late-term abortion scheme

In 2011, Operation Rescue discovered that Alexander was involved in a shady late-term abortion scheme with disgraced Florida abortionist James Scott Pendergraft, IV. Alexander’s Integrated Ob/Gyn abortion clinic in Forestville, Maryland, acted as a secret late-term abortion location for patients of Pendergraft’s seeking extreme late-term abortions that are illegal elsewhere. Even though Pendergraft never held a license to practice in Maryland, he offered to inject the lethal drug digoxin into the preborn babies’ hearts for a hefty fee that was to be wired directly into Pendergraft’s Florida bank account.

Operation Rescue filed a complaint against Alexander for his part in Pendergraft’s dangerous bi-state abortion racket. When the MDBP subpoenaed medical records related to his business with Pendergraft, Alexander reported that he had shredded the records.

2012 Suspension

On August 22, 2012, the MDBP found that Alexander had committed unprofessional conduct when he shredded the medical records engaged in a host of abuses including sexual boundary violations, multiple botched abortions, shoddy or non-existent record keeping, and the illegal prescribing of large amounts of Viagra and other drugs to himself and non-patients.

That 2012 order placed Alexander on a three-month suspension and two years of probation.

In fact, Alexander was on probation when the MDBP confirmed through their own investigation that Alexander was operating an abortion clinic without a license to do so.

Unlicensed abortion facility

Last June, Operation Rescue urged the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality to close Alexander’s Integrated OB/GYN abortion clinic in Forestville after publishing an exposé documenting the fact that Alexander was conducting an illegal surgical abortion operation out of an unlicensed abortion facility in violation of Maryland regulations.

Four months later, on October 21, 2013, the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) conducted an inspection of Alexander’s abortion facility and discovered that in fact Alexander had failed to obtain either an abortion facility license or hospital privileges as required by law, according to the newly-released MDBP documents.

That inspection also found additional disturbing admissions and violations.

150 illegal abortions

While being interviewed under oath by the OHCQ, Alexander admitted that he had performed approximately 150 abortions at his unlicensed Forestville abortion clinic between June and October, 2013.

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Those abortions were done illegally and under dangerous conditions that risked the lives of his patients.

Alexander admitted and his employees confirmed that he had no registered nurse on staff as required by law.

Unqualified workers sedate patients

Alexander employed only two workers, neither of which were licensed or qualified to perform medical duties. Nevertheless, Alexander instructed one of them to administer sedation to patients even though they were unqualified to do so. One of his employees, who was only hired in June and had no formal medical training whatsoever, became his surgical assistant. His only other employee, who was hired as a receptionist, also assisted in patient care – if you can call it that.

In the ten abortion records reviewed by inspectors, they found that patients’ vital signs were taken once prior to surgical abortions and were never taken after the abortion. Women were left unattended and unmonitored during recovery with the exception of a pulse-oximetry meter attached to the patients’ fingers for the first 15 minutes after surgery.

Patient B’s dangerously outdated saline abortion

One of the records indicated that a woman referred to as “Patient B” underwent an outdated “saline with cytotec instillation for a mid-term abortion” and suffered “curettage following an explosive, unattended delivery.”

Saline abortions fell out of favor years ago due to high risks of complication and death for the mothers and was first replaced by the now-banned Partial Birth abortion method. Today, most late-second and third trimester abortions are done using the Induction abortion method perfected by George Tiller.

Cytotec was developed as drug to treat ulcers, but is frequently used by abortionists because it induces uterine contractions. The drug’s manufacturer has issued warnings not to use Cytotec during abortions because it causes unpredictable and sometimes violent contractions, which could have accounted for Patient B’s “explosive” delivery of her dead child, alone and unattended.

No medical records

In addition to Patient B’s horrific experience, inspectors found that Alexander continued to keep inadequate medical records, a substandard practice that contributed to his 2012 license suspension. In fact, when the inspectors requested to review medical records for two abortion patients seen by Alexander the previous week, he could not remember their names and could provide no medical records whatsoever for the two women.

Violations found by the OHCQ were so egregious that it lodged a complaint against Alexander with the MDBP.

Cease and Desist

On October 25, 2013, the MDBP issued a Cease and Desist Order against Alexander, barring him from doing surgical abortions or administering certain drugs, including sedation.

However, on December 19, 2013, the Board modified its cease and desist order and allowed Alexander to resume providing surgical abortions as long as he did them only at licensed facilities and prescribed drugs in a manner consistent with DEA regulations.

“The Board’s decision to allow Alexander to resume surgical abortions in light of the fact that he routinely employed practices that showed a complete disregard for the lives and safety of his patients was more than curious. It was appalling,” said Newman. “It was hard to believe that the Board would willingly place the lives of women in this quack’s incompetent hands. Yet, we knew he faced an upcoming disciplinary hearing and fully expected his medical license to be revoked.”

Civil judgement

Also contributing to the hope that Alexander would soon be barred from the practice of medicine was a million-dollar civil judgment levied against him in 2013, which was reduced by a judge in March to the still-significant amount of $650,000. A jury found that Alexander was negligent in the case of Shannon Hall, a 21-year old college student who went to Alexander in 2008 for an abortion of what she was told was a 10-12 week pregnancy.

Instead, Alexander failed to diagnose the fact that Hall suffered from a molar pregnancy that later invaded her lungs and turned cancerous, requiring extensive treatment. As the result of Alexander’s negligence, Shannon Hall will never have children and will suffer health effects for the rest of her life.

Negotiated agreement

However, yesterday, the MDBP released Alexander’s new suspension order that noted Alexander’s discipline was agreed upon after the Board conducted negotiations with him, which will allow him to be back inside an abortion clinic in three short months.

“While we are grateful that disciplinary action was taken, we are disappointed and upset that the discipline is woefully inadequate and only ensures that women will continue to be subjected to Alexander’s shoddy and dangerous abortion practices,” said Newman. “We have to wonder what it takes to get this incompetent man’s license revoked after all the harm he has caused.”

Pro-abortion political agenda?

Newman wonders if a pro-abortion political agenda might be at work within the liberal state government. Could the fact that the number of abortionists and abortion facilities continues to decline has somehow contributed to the MDBP’s willingness to put a substandard abortion provider with a documented history of shoddy practices and disdain for the law back on the street?

Newman continued, “It is as if making sure that he is out there doing abortions is more important than the safety of women to these people. Aborting babies appears to trump women’s lives, and that is a betrayal of the trust the people place in medical boards who have a duty to protect the public and leave political ideology out of it.”

Operation Rescue vows to continue monitoring Alexander for future abuses.

“I have a feeling that the Maryland Board of Physicians hasn’t heard the last of us or of Alexander,” said Newman. “It’s just too bad that more women will have to suffer before the Board finally does the right thing and completely bans him from the practice of medicine.”

Reprinted with permission from OperationRescue.org.

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This is not equality

by Wendy Wright Thu Apr 17 11:34 EST Comments (7)

 

April 17, 2014 (Turtle Bay and Beyond) - In Nigeria, gunmen kidnapped more than 100 schoolgirls and torched the surrounding town on Tuesday. A day before, a deadly blast killed 71 people. A day later, 18 people were killed in another attack.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department is laser-focused on . . . promoting homosexuality.

In 2011, former Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Obama directed all federal agencies working abroad to protect and promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.

To give an example how this shakes out, within hours of an arrest – and release the same day – in Uganda of an employee of a US-funded clinic for alleged “unethical research” and “recruiting homosexuals,” the State Department released a statement. This “heightens our concern” for the safety of LGBT individuals.

And the U.S. suspended operations of the entire health clinic.

Patients and health providers were not at risk by it being open. Instead, shutting down the clinic endangered patients.

This message sounds like, “Nice clinic. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”

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Going by the Obama administration’s own statements and actions, LGBT rights is more than a priority. As delegates at the UN tell us, it is an obsession.

Girls who will be used as sex slaves for terrorists do not rank as high. Neither do Christians and other innocents slaughtered by the thousands in Syria and Nigeria.

None else get the full attention of every U.S. agency working abroad.

Endangering other people — literally holding their health and lives hostage — is wrong-headed. But thousands of innocent people who are being tortured, jailed, attacked for their religious beliefs deserve some attention and action.

This is not equality.

Reprinted with permission from Turtle Bay and Beyond

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Maundy Thursday and the marriage battle

by John Stonestreet Thu Apr 17 11:21 EST Comments (2)

 

April 17, 2014 (BreakPoint) - Last year at the March for Marriage on the National Mall, my friend Eric Teetsel, executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, opened his speech with the facetious question, “Is anyone else out there on the wrong side of history?”

That is, after all, what many proponents of one-man, one-woman marriage keep hearing. To oppose gay marriage is to be relegated to history’s ideological dustbin along with those who resisted civil rights for African-Americans or the vote for women. Of course, as we’ve seen in the forced resignation of Mozilla’s CEO, opposing gay marriage can make your career history as well.

Even more disheartening are the Christian voices joining in on the chorus. World Vision’s announcement on hiring same-sex married employees shook the evangelical world before the organization recanted. Mega-church Vineyard pastor Ken Wilson made a splash when he endorsed same-sex marriage. And many of us have seen more and more surprising endorsements on Facebook and other social media outlets from friends who have, shall we say, “evolved” on the issue.

Among the most common reasons offered by these Christians for endorsing same-sex marriage—or at least not resisting it—is that it’s too contentious and so unwelcoming. Taking a stand for marriage, they say, gets in the way of the grace of the Gospel. It excludes people from the church. We have to reach out, and strong opinions about sexuality and marriage are only distractions, we hear.

I think today of all the days in Holy Week is the time to confront this repeated refrain. Why? Because the Thursday before Easter is known as Maundy Thursday, the day set aside on the Church calendar to remember the Last Supper.

The word “maundy” comes from the Latin word for “mandate,” or “command.” At this first celebration of communion, Jesus gave His disciples what He called “a new command” to love and serve one another. And He demonstrated what He meant by washing their very dirty feet.

Now to fully appreciate this command, we have to remember that at this supper Jesus and the disciples were obeying God’s command to remember the Passover. The Passover meal celebrated God rescuing His people from Egypt, as described in Exodus. For Jesus to have the audacity to offer a “new” command when the old one was such an important part of Israel’s history, is astounding enough. But Jesus went even further. Rather than remembering the redemption of their forefathers from Egyptian tyranny and the way the angel of death “passed over” the homes with lamb’s blood on their doorposts, they were now to remember His broken body and His shed blood.  In Christ’s death, death itself is not just avoided; it is defeated.

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Since the mid-twentieth century, the American Church has been divided over whether it should be primarily about proclaiming truth or about serving others. But the Lord’s Supper reminds us that this is a false dichotomy. These two things can never be separated. On the same night that Jesus commanded us to remember His broken body and shed blood that rescues us from sin (that’s the truth), He commanded us to demonstrate our new life by loving and serving others (that’s the grace). We don’t have to choose between speaking truth and showing grace. They always, always go together.

Thus, we can—and we must—offer both the truth about marriage and the grace of God to all of our neighbors, including those with same-sex attraction.

Let me encourage all of us to meditate, as individuals and as families, on the Last Supper and all the other events of Holy Week: the Triumphal Entry, which we remembered last Sunday, the Crucifixion which we’ll remember tomorrow, the Resurrection on Sunday, and the Ascension forty days later which culminated Christ’s earthly ministry.

Reprinted with permission from BreakPoint

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Pro-abortion leaders join pro-lifers in calling for transparency on Obamacare’s abortion coverage

by Dustin Siggins Thu Apr 17 10:49 EST Comments (1)

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Throughout 2013, pro-life Republicans pushed for more transparency on abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, they are being joined by the Guttmacher Institute and Think Progress in the push for clarity on insurance plans that cover abortion.

In multiple congressional hearings, House Republicans pressed former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on what ACA plans would cover abortion. Sebelius promised to provide the information, but never did, leading Live Action Communications Director Drew Belsky to compare Sebelius to "a boyfriend who's cheating on you." 

Republicans were concerned that pro-life Americans would be unable to know if a plan they paid for would cover abortions.

Now the pro-abortion research organization Guttmacher Institute is saying the administration has been unable to provide transparency for those who want abortion coverage. NPR reports part of the problem is that insurance companies are following a "template" for coverage, not examining each plan in a robust fashion.

Guttmacher's report went further however. NPR says that Guttmacher noted that in 12 states that were examined, only four made obvious coverage for abortion services. Six offered at least one plan that did not cover abortion.

The report led one of its authors to say this was insufficient, and that "abortion should be considered basic health care, and consumers should know whether it's covered or not."

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Chuck Donovan, president of the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, was also quoted by NPR as saying his organization is "hearing complaints about" the coverage's lack of transparency. The Lozier Institute is part of the pro-life SBA List.

According to Illinois Republican Rep. John Shimkus, who has been a regular critic of Sebelius and the lack of abortion transparency in the ACA, "the administration remains unwilling to make that information easily accessible to the American people."

"Since October 2013 I’ve repeatedly and publically asked Secretary Sebelius to provide a list of Obamacare plans that cover abortions,” Shinkus told LifeSiteNews. No matter whether you’re pro-life or pro-abortion, this is basic information that everyone deserves to have while shopping for plans on the exchange.” 

A blog post published by Think Progress, which is part of the pro-abortion Center for American Progress, blamed transparency problems on "the lack of national standards." The post also criticized 34 states for "[imposing] some kind of limits on which insurance plans are allowed to cover abortion care," and claims that some of the difficulties of ACA coverage for abortions is due to state flexibility on abortion policy within the ACA.

Longtime pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, told LifeSiteNews that "we need transparency immediately.”

“Many Americans object to the destruction of human life and would be appalled to know they are purchasing a plan that includes such a brutal procedure, and that an abortion surcharge will be embedded in the premium they pay each month." The Congressman said legislation he has introduced, known as the "Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act," or H.R. 3279, "would remedy this appalling lack of transparency."

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