Wednesday, July 14, 2010

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Global Pro-Life Movement Must Adopt Comprehensive Cultural Approach: A Conversation with Professor J

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By Hilary White

GARDONE RIVIERA, Italy, July 14, 2010 ( – The global pro-life movement must take a holistic approach to the society it is attempting to change, or it risks failure by compartmentalizing the issues into discrete and isolated topics, a professor of history told (LSN) last weekend. For Catholics, he said, this means adopting the complete and comprehensive tradition of the Church, without editing for political reasons. (read the complete interview here)

Dr. John C. Rao, who holds a doctorate in history from Oxford University and is associate professor of history at St. John’s University in New York City, gave an extensive interview to LSN on Saturday, in which he spoke of the need for the pro-life movement to understand the wide cultural parameters of the war it is in.

He said that “without the larger context,” that is, without examining and addressing the whole of the anti-life, anti-tradition, anti-rational culture, the pro-life movement “might be able to win temporary victories,” but its opponents will simply turn to new venues and methods.

“What counts for our opponents is the spirit that motivates them, and not particular mechanisms that they utilise to impose the consequences of that spirit. If Roe v. Wade were overturned, the spirit that leads people to desire abortion will try to find another way of introducing it.”
Anti-life forces, he said, “would utilize whatever tool worked at any given moment.”

“So if it was [political and economic] centralization in one country, they would use centralization. If it was decentralization, they would be decentralization. If the courts are the tool for being able to promote their goals ... they would use the courts. But if the courts turned against them, they’ll emphasize the democratic spirit and argue that the courts are working against the popular will.” 

Unless this hostile force “which dominates the whole culture, is opposed, and ultimately defeated in every sphere, it’s going to rear its head.”
“I would certainly not oppose overturning Roe v. Wade,” he added, “But I think it’s important to know that that’s not the end of the game. The murderers would not think they had to give up the battle - they’d find another way to deal with it.”
Dr. Rao was speaking from an annual symposium held in the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy where each year speakers address the philosophical, economic, historical and cultural trends that have re-shaped the world since the end of the Christian European era.

The Roman Forum was founded in 1968 by the renowned Catholic thinker Professor Deitrich Von Hildebrand in the aftermath of the backlash in the Church against Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae. This encyclical letter defended the Christian view of the sanctity of life, conception and birth. This, Dr. Rao said, “was something so important that he felt that it needed a greater lay effort than existed at the time.”

In time, he said, “it became clear that in order to defend Humanae Vitae, and defend everything it stood for, there had to be a deeper defense of the entire tradition of the Church” - that is, not only the fullness of Catholic teaching on every aspect of human life, philosophy and doctrine, but also art, music and culture.

“Pope Benedict has made it clear that what has happened in the last 40 years has certainly not been helpful to the Church at all. As a consequence, what we’re doing is simply following along in the lines that he himself is emphasizing today.”

This holistic approach to tradition, he said, “is absolutely necessary in order to fight abortion, in order to fight contraception and everything else that was significant to us in the foundation of this organization.”

Conferences at the Roman Forum’s Italy symposium in Gardone Riviera cover a wide range of topics, but all centre on the consequences to life and family of the modern trends in these areas.

This year the Gardone symposium boasted representatives from eight countries, including England, Australia, Estonia, Poland, Austria, Italy and the U.S., most of whom are active in some way in pro-life activities in their home countries. The symposium’s chaplain for the last 18 years has been Monsignore Ignacio Barreiro, head of the Rome office of Human Life International. Bruno Quintavalle, a lawyer and founder of the UK political party Pro-Life Alliance, is another who attends every year.  
“Every year” said Dr. Rao, the symposium is “filled with people who always see how each of these ‘border issues’ are essential to what they’re doing. So when they leave, they have more ideas about how to continue their work.”

“Everything fits together. You start trying to deal with one issue and you end up finding that you have to bring all the others into the picture,” he said.

For the future, the Roman Forum is working on ways to bring in people who are honestly seeking answers but who are not necessarily Catholic or Christian or committed to the traditional worldview. This “New Beginnings” approach, he said, faces the fact that “more and more people, as the situation deteriorates in all regards ... are going to awaken to the fact that there is a big problem in the world.”

These, he said, are “not going to be necessarily part of different hostile groups that have existed historically, with whom we have an adversarial relationship. They’re going to be real seekers. And what we want to do is provide a forum, that we control, that we’re guiding, that is Catholic in character that might be able to give to such seekers some kind of welcome and guidance and friendship in a way that we can nevertheless direct to a real, clear, purposeful goal.
“We don’t want to end up being an ecumenical project that just simply asks people what they think and what they feel and the like. We have something to teach them, but we also want to do so recognizing that they’re honestly seeking answers.”

Read the full text of the interview here
To find out more about the Roman Forum:

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Documentary Revealing Truth about the Pill Now Available Online

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

July 14, 2010 ( - Filmmaker Trent Herbert has produced a well-researched documentary called “28 Days on the Pill” that exposes the abortifacient properties of the birth control pill.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Pill, the documentary is being made available online for the first time.

Featuring Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Christian author Randy Alcorn (“Heaven, Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?”) and Dr. Walt Larimore (formerly with Focus on the Family), the film makes the case that few people are aware that oral contraceptives can cause abortions.

According to the documentary, the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the Canadian Pharmacists Association's drug information resource, and the Physicians Desk Reference, the American Standard, mention the abortifacient qualities of the pill. But the majority of information given to oral contraceptive users fails to disclose it.

Dr. Mohler says that while he "cannot imagine any development in human history, after the Fall, that has had a greater impact on human beings than the pill," doctors shy away from telling their patients about the abortifacient aspects of the pill because “it could lead to awkward questions and lifestyle changes, and it could also put persons in the position of very deep moral reconsideration of what they've taken for granted since the early 1960s.”

"For many evangelical Christians, birth control has been an issue of concern only for Catholics ... that is all changing," Dr. Mohler observes.

A media release on the documentary says, "Whether Christian or not, women across the board do not have a real understanding of how the pill actually works."

"Does it only prevent ovulation? What do the inserts and pharmaceutical guides really say? How is it that women consume something when they know very little about how it actually works? Do women and men really care?"

The producers believe women should be given the opportunity to make an informed choice.

"No matter what one's conclusions are, we believe everyone has a right to full information and informed consent. Whether on the left or the right, we should all agree, informed consent in the medical community is paramount."

Visit the “28 Days on the Pill” Website here.

View the full documentary "28 Days on the Pill" now by clicking here.

See previous LSN coverage:

New Evangelical Documentary Exposes Abortifacient Qualities of the Birth Control Pill, Promotes NFP

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Prominent Priest: People Should Pray for Christopher Hitchens

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

July 14, 2010 ( - Fr. Robert Barron, founder of, says that news of the well-known atheist Christopher Hitchens’ esophageal cancer should bring more people to pray for him - and that, despite Hitchens’ well-known hatred for Catholicism, the "vast, vast majority" of Catholics who have reported on his disease in the media have urged people to pray for him.

Christopher Hitchens is commonly seen as one of the four chief spokesmen for the so-called "new atheism."  His 2007 book "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" contends that organized religion is "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children."

More recently, Christopher Hitchens and atheist Richard Dawkins have said that the pope ought to be arrested when he visits England next September.  He has dubbed himself more of an “anti-theist” than an atheist, who not only thinks that all religion is false but also that all religion is harmful.

"I think it’s fair to say that Hitchens is playing today the role that another brilliant Englishman, Bertrand Russell, played nearly a century ago, namely that of religion’s public enemy No. 1," writes Fr. Barron.

Fr. Barron points out, however, that two of Hitchens’ favorite literary figures are Bob Dylan and Evelyn Waugh, both of whose works "are inescapably religious."

"In fact, I would argue that it is impossible to understand and appreciate their work apart from the deeply Biblical sensibility that they share," he writes.  This brought him to wonder whether, "despite his brassy atheism, Mr. Hitchens didn’t have a good deal of sensitivity to things religious."

This leads Fr. Barron to speculate on the reasons why God would allow Hitchens to have esophageal cancer. Hitchens broke off the tour promoting new book "Hitch-22" in order to receive treatment for it.

Esophageal cancer is often fatal, because it frequently remains undiagnosed until the disease has spread.

"Might it be an occasion for the famous atheist to reconsider his position?" asked Fr. Barron. "Perhaps."

"But what struck me with particular power as I surveyed the Catholic media was that the vast, vast majority of Catholics reported Hitchens’ disease and then, with transparent sincerity, urged people to pray for him."

Christians are required to have such charity towards their enemies, wrote Fr. Barron.

"Hitchens seeks by means of specious argument, insinuation, and sometimes plain smear-tactics to undermine religion," said Fr. Barron. "He ought to be opposed, vigorously, with counter-argument and clarification of fact. But all the while, he ought to be respected."

The Catholic apologist and writer G.K. Chesterton, Fr. Barron continued, would debate the agnostic George Bernard Shaw through all England, but would afterwards drink and laugh with him.  "That's a model of how a Christian treats his intellectual opponents."

"So read Christopher Hitchens; disagree with him and get angry with him; defend the faith against his attacks. And pray for him."

Fr. Robert Barron's entire column may be read here.

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For Bill Gates Even Improving World Health is about Population Control

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By John-Henry Westen and Patrick B. Craine

NEW YORK, July 14, 2010 ( – A relatively little-known video made last year provides a fascinating look at billionaire Bill Gates and his philanthropic endeavors. In an interview with Chris Anderson of the show TED, the Microsoft mogul is asked whether by aiding the world’s sick he is not in fact “adding enormously to the problem of overpopulation in the world.”

Gates is enlivened by the question, and responds: “Okay, this is a very important question to get right because it was absolutely key for me,” he says. “When our foundation first started up, it was focused on reproductive health. That was the main thing we did because I thought population growth in poor countries is the biggest problem they face."

“You've got to help mothers who want to limit family size, have the tools and education to do that. That's the only thing that really counts.”

What got Gates into funding general health, and not only reproductive health, was the finding that, as he puts it: “the key thing you can do to reduce population growth is actually improve health.”

Gates admits that it seems counterintuitive, but explains that parents in impoverished nations are having many children in order to “have two kids survive to adulthood to take care of them.”

Gates noted that the highest population growth is concentrated in countries with the “worst health conditions.”  He explains: “the more disease burden there is, the more kids they have to have to have that high probability. So there's a perfect correlation, that as you improve health, within a half generation, the population growth rate goes down.”

Contrary to Gates’ fears about overpopulation, however, demographers are in fact increasingly concerned about a worldwide depopulation as the world (and especially the West) experiences the effects of plummeting birthrates following the advent of the contraceptive mentality handed down from the sexual revolution.

In fact, in February, University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan decried the promotion of abortion as “women’s health” in the Third World, telling Canada’s National Post that it “seems to be based on the now discredited theory that poverty in the Third World is based on overpopulation.”

“I don’t think any serious scholar believes that anymore,” he added.

While many population control advocates say cutting the Third World population would solve the hunger epidemic, the Popular Research Institute, which specializes in population issues, has noted that world food experts, such as the World Food Program, say there’s no shortage of food, but a problem of distribution. PRI emphasizes that the real problems leading to hunger are poverty, war, natural disasters, environmental exploitation, and poor agricultural infrastructure.

See the video interview with Gates here.

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Argentineans Take to the Streets While Senate Debates Gay ‘Marriage’ and Adoption

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

BUENOS AIRES, July 14, 2010 ( - Tens of thousands of Argentineans took to the streets in protest yesterday as the nation's Senate entered into its final debate over a bill to create homosexual "marriage." The bill was passed in May by the Chamber of Deputies, the nation's lower legislative house.

Prior to taking a vote on the same-sex “marriage” bill, the Senate will vote on a bill to reject the Chamber of Deputies bill, a proposal that, at last count, was supported by a majority of senators. But if it fails, the bill creating homosexual "marriage" will be voted on. The vote, to be taken after the final debates today, is expected to be narrow. A third proposal has also been offered, in favor of civil unions, as a compromise measure.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators came to the Plaza of the Two Congresses yesterday to protest in favor of true marriage, rallied by the Department of Laity of the Argentinean Episcopal Conference, which is an organ of the Catholic bishops of the country. They were joined by the Christian Alliance of Evangelical Churches, and the Evangelical Pentecostal Confraternity Federation. 

Demonstrators carried signs reading "We children have a right to a mother and father."  Estimates of the total number of demonstrators ranged between 50,000 and 250,000.  A smaller number of counter-protesters were also present.

A recent nationwide poll indicates that a strong plurality of the nation's citizens are opposed to gay "marriage" (46%), while only 40% support it.  A large group, 14%, has no opinion.

If the proposal for homosexual "marriage" passes, it is believed that gay adoption will also automatically become legal, an issue that is also of great concern to Latin Americans, who tend to be pro-family and protective of children.

Although President Kristina Fernandez de Kirchner has opposed pro-abortion initiatives, she has rejected the pro-family position in this case, taking a strong stand in favor of equalizing gay sex partners with married couples, like has her cabinet and her husband, who preceded her in office.  However, a significant minority in her bloc is opposed to the idea.

Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Argentinean University Urges Government not to Legalize Gay 'Marriage'

Homosexual "Marriage" Bill Advances in Argentina

Argentine Bishop States Gays Can Overcome Same-Sex Attraction, Leads Pro-Family March

Argentinean Evangelicals Protest Against Homosexual 'Marriage'

Adopted Children Reject Gay Adoption as "Marriage" Legislation Advances in Argentina

Battle of the Judges Continues in Argentina over Gay 'Marriage'

First "Gay Marriage" Registered in Argentina

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N. Ireland Withdraws Controversial Abortion Guidelines

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Patrick B. Craine

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, July 14, 2010 ( – Northern Ireland’s Department of Health has withdrawn controversial abortion guidelines, which have been criticized by pro-life groups as an attempt to bring in abortion through the back door, after having reissued them in violation of a court order.

The Department of Health made the announcement in a letter to Jim Wells, the chairman of the Northern Ireland Assembly's health committee. It also announced that it will be launching a public consultation on the guidelines.

Both of the country’s largest pro-life groups, Precious Life and the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) welcomed the news.  Both groups took a leading role in opposing the guidelines.
Northern Ireland law only allows abortion in cases where it would preserve the life of the mother. The guidelines purported to give a practical interpretation of the law without effecting any change in the law; but pro-life groups argued that the guidelines actually distort the law, and could open the door to abortion for disabled babies, among other things, as well as force hospitals to provide abortions.

The guidelines were rejected by the Belfast High Court in November on the basis that they violated Northern Ireland’s abortion law.  At the time, the department had sought to convince the judge to allow the guidelines if they withdrew two sections on counselling and conscientious objection, but he refused their request. The department, however, ignored the ruling and released an identical document in February, minus the two sections.

“Sheer persistence, public activity and prayer have now forced the department to back down,” said Bernadette Smyth, founder of Precious Life, in a release by Irish pro-life group Youth Defence. “We’ll be keeping a sharp eye on what happens now since they have shown that vigilance is necessary to protect mothers and unborn babies. We’ll also be making sure that pro-life voices are heard in the public consultations.”

SPUC, which has steadfastly opposed the guidelines in the courts, was preparing to present a full legal challenge yet again prior to their withdrawal. Belfast’s High Court had granted them leave to challenge the document, and they were set to appear in court in September.

Liam Gibson of SPUC North Ireland said they are “very pleased” with this “sensible” move from the department.  "Until now, the health department has acted in a high-handed and belligerent manner regarding the guidance,” he said.  “The department appeared determined to pursue its own agenda, rather than apply the law.”

He criticized the document for omitting the “central” issues of the rights of medical workers and the information that is given to women.  “We believe that any guidance which says nothing about these issues is fundamentally flawed, and should never have been published,” he said.  “The department finally seems to have accepted that.”

“We will be working closely with pro-life members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and its health committee,” he added, “to ensure that the department's consultation does not result in the rights of women, unborn children or the medical profession being undermined.”

See related coverage:

'Stealth' Abortion Guidelines for N. Ireland to see Full Legal Challenge

U.K. Reissuing of Pro-Abortion Guidelines against Court Order “Baffling and Bizarre”: SPUC
U.K. “Deceitful” for Re-Issuing Court-Rejected Abortion Guidelines for N. Ireland

Pro-Life Victory as Northern Ireland Abortion Guidelines Rejected by High Court

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Civil Partnership Passes Irish Senate: Will Create “Social Chaos” Says Catholic Union Chair

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Hilary White

DUBLIN, July 14, 2010 ( – The Civil Partnership Bill, which was passed by the Irish Upper House yesterday, will create ripples of change throughout Irish society and end in “social chaos,” a UK barrister warned last week.

Under the proposed law, as in the UK, registered civil partnerships are effectively equivalent to marriage. Separations must be litigated in divorce courts, and the partners are treated as married by banks, government departments and officials and by the tax and benefits systems.

Jamie Bogle, a barrister of the Middle Temple in London and chairman of the Catholic Union of Great Britain, told (LSN) in an interview last week that the passage of the bill would have wide-ranging deleterious effects on Irish society, as similar legislation has in England, Wales and Scotland.

As a principle, he said, once laws begin to equate the “fruitless” (that is childless) relationships of homosexuals with natural marriage, “You are deriving the law from a fundamentally false premise ... which denies that there is any natural complementarity between the sexes.”

The logic of civil partnership laws, he said, is a recipe for “moral anarchy and chaos.”

“Once you have created a law that considers marriage as merely a partnership for community living and recreational sex, why not have polygamy? Why not marry a dog for that matter? Whatever turns you on, go for it.”

Although the Irish bill does not include a provision allowing homosexual partners to adopt each other’s children, homosexualist activists have set their sights on adoption as the next goal.

In the UK, although the provision is not present in the civil partnership legislation, homosexuals have for many years had the legal ability to adopt children. Bogle warned against the Irish adopting such a law, saying that these measures are nothing more than a gigantic social experiment carried out at the expense of children.

The issue of children’s needs and rights, Bogle said, “simply isn’t addressed” in such legislation.

“They just assume there is no harm to the child in an unorthodox relationship, outside a normal marriage with a parent of each sex. But that is an assumption too far. Where is the research? Where is the evidence, the track record for showing that there’s no harm to children from being raised in these situations?

“The answer is there is none. So effectively, this is an experimentation with the nation’s children.”

Bogle said the debate ignores the central question. “Even if you think marriage is nothing more than a temporary cohabiting relationship for recreational sex, you’ve still got to ask yourself who is going to raise the next generation of children.”

The state, he said, has an interest in ensuring children are protected. “Should the state just say, we don’t care how children are brought up?”

The lack of legal curiosity about the effects of homosexual adoption on children, he said, is surprising given the current climate in Ireland of policing against child abuse.

“You would have thought that one of the first questions they would have asked is what are the effects of these relationships going to be on the children who are brought up in them. They simply don’t ask the question.”

These omissions, Bogle continued, “do tend to show that the primary consideration of those who are campaigning for a change in the law, including the government itself, is not so much the rights of children so much as the rights of people who wish to enter into these relationships.”

Some members of the Irish House of Commons (Dail) and Senate (Seanad) have also expressed concerns about the bill’s provisions allowing criminal charges to be laid against any civil marriage registrar who refuses to carry out a ceremony for homosexuals. It proposes a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a €2000 (US $2500) fine. During debates on the bill, senators and MPs called for freedom for conscientious objectors.

Senator Jim Walsh said that the lack of a conscience clause will move the country “to a totalitarian society which certainly many of us, particularly liberals, would argue against if it were impinging upon their beliefs.” Senator John Paul Phelan, from the opposition party Fine Gael, said, “Criminalizing registrars for non-performance of their function is not a correct step in any legislation.”

After the Seanad debate was cut short after only two days using a special type of motion not used in decades, Senator Ronan Mullen, who led the opposition to the bill, said, “It seems that vital legislation affecting family life and conscientious objection in Irish law is to be accorded less priority than the need of politicians to get out of Leinster House by 6 o’clock on a Thursday evening.

“The Government was happy to have a cozy debate in the Dail when there was no substantial opposition and no amendments. But they ran away from thorough scrutiny by the Seanad of the various unjust proposals contained within the Civil Partnership Bill.”

Read related LSN coverage:

Bill Forcing Compliance with Gay Ceremonies Passes Irish Lower House

Irish Politicians to Catholic Church: You Have No Business in Public Debate

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Spanish Archbishop Urges Defiance of New Abortion Law: ‘This Law is no Law’

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

BURGOS, Spain, July 14, 2010 ( - The Archbishop of Burgos, Francisco Gil Hellín, has issued a call to Spanish Catholics to resist the country's new abortion law, which he says is no law at all.

In a statement published on the bishops' Catholic Information Service, Gil Hellín laments the recent promulgation of the law, an "evil law which is directly opposed to right reason and the most elemental justice. Such is the law that establishes that the Spanish have the right to kill the unborn, as long as they do it before 14 weeks."

"Let us diagnose it with total clarity: this law is no law, although it is presented as such by some political and legislative bodies. And it isn't because no one has the right to eliminate an innocent. For that reason, it doesn't obligate. Even more, it demands a head-on opposition without reservation. Right reason cannot admit as a right the killing of an innocent person."

The new abortion law, which is being contested before Spain's Constitutional Tribunal, abolishes penalties for all abortions during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.  It also allows minors to obtain abortions without parental permission, although they must first inform their parents of their intention to do so. 

The archbishop rejects arguments that claim the law is somehow valid because it was passed by the legislature and approved according to the required legal processes.

"It is a fallacy to affirm that this law has been approved by the majority of the Parliament and that this represents the majority of the citizens, or to say that if the Constitutional Tribunal decrees its conformity [with the Constitution] it would be disobedience to oppose it, and would deserve a punishment. The fallacy consists in attributing to politicians, judges, or citizens a right that they don't have, and no one has the right to legislate that an innocent can be killed."
"What society would continue if it declared that is the right of citizens to kill innocent persons by majority [vote]? In the best scenario it would be converted into a tyranny, against which upright persons would have to react, according to this advice by Gandhi: 'As soon as one understands that obeying unjust laws is contrary to his dignity as a man, no tyranny can dominate him.'"

The archbishop's strong statements were made only days before the Constitutional Tribunal is to decide if the law will be suspended while it is under review.

A previous ruling of the Tribunal in the 1980s decreed that the right to life of the unborn child is paramount except in certain cases, including danger to health, rape, or fetal deformity.

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Pro-Life Leader: Quebec’s Free IVF Plan Turns Children into Property

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Patrick B. Craine

QUEBEC, July 14, 2010 ( – Quebec’s Liberal government has announced a sweeping plan to publicly fund all in-vitro fertilization procedures in the province as of August 5th, offering up to three rounds per couple.

But the plan has been denounced by a Quebec pro-life leader who emphasizes that IVF kills unborn babies, and that the government is effectively making children out to be their parent’s “property.”

The initiative, announced Tuesday by Health Minister Yves Bolduc, makes Quebec the first jurisdiction in North America to publicly fund the procedure.  "It's good news for Quebec. We are the first, which means we are the best on this kind of program," he said, according to CTV.

“It’s good for Quebec because it will increase the birth rate,” he said.  “It’s good for health-care services because it will lower neonatal costs. And it’s good for parents.”

Bolduc says the plan will cost the province $25 million in the first year, and $63 million by 2013-2014; but critics warn that it could reach as high as $200 million per year.

Critics are also warning about the possibility that the plan will bring ‘procreation tourism’ to the province. Gaetan Barrette, head of the provincial federation of medical specialists, told the Toronto Star that the program will only require a health insurance card, which can be obtained after living in the province for three months.

The initiative goes further than a similar plan set to be instituted by Manitoba in October.  That province will give a tax credit for up to 40% of the costs for IVF and other procedures, up to $8,000 per year.

Georges Buscemi, president of Campagne Quebec-Vie, the province’s branch of Campaign Life Coalition, criticized the plan for further inculcating the notion that there is a “right” to have a child.  “By forcing all taxpayers to pay for fertility treatments, we are creating this de facto right to have a child,” he said, “and thus reinforcing the idea that a child is some-thing that can be given from one person to another - a piece of property.”

He explained that IVF is “actually an abortive process that kills human beings.”  In order to find a viable embryo, the doctors must “create” many embryos, he said, the “excess” of which are eliminated or frozen.

During IVF the baby “results not from the total self-giving of two loving spouses but from a laboratory intervention in a clinical setting,” he added.  “IVF reinforces the mentality that the child is your property, and that it is there to fulfill your needs."

“A child isn't just property, to be manufactured by the government at taxpayers' expense and handed over to whomever feels they want a child,” he said.  “A child isn't there to fulfill your needs, you should be there for it.”

Buscemi praised Bolduc’s desire to improve the province’s birth rate, but insisted that the end “doesn’t justify the means.”  “I think that he's politically and philosophically unable to deal with the real reasons Quebec has a low birthrate: the breakup of the family, rampant nihilism, hedonism and egoism, lack of hope, lack of religion, lack of a moral compass,” he said.

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U.S. Appeals Court Rules FCC Ban on “Fleeting” Obscenity “Chills” Free Speech

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Peter J. Smith

NEW YORK, July 14, 2010 ( - A U.S. Appeals Court has reversed a policy by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that held broadcasters liable for failing to bleep out "fleeting expletives," saying the ban was  "unconstitutionally vague" and creates a "chilling effect" on free speech.

A three judge panel for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in favor of broadcasters against the FCC, which had instated the policy in 2006 as part of a crackdown on obscenity on the airwaves. The policy was in part motivated by singer Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, as well as the trend of other performers to shout obscene expletives at live awards shows during prime time television.

"We now hold that the FCC's policy violates the First Amendment because it is unconstitutionally vague, creating a chilling effect that goes far beyond the fleeting expletives at issue here," the court said in its ruling.

It continued, "By prohibiting all 'patently offensive' references to sex, sexual organs, and excretion without giving adequate guidance as to what 'patently offensive' means, the FCC effectively chills speech, because broadcasters have no way of knowing what the FCC will find offensive. To place any discussion of these vast topics at the broadcaster's peril has the effect of promoting wide self-censorship of valuable material which should be completely protected under the First Amendment."

The court also noted that in 2006 Congress increased the maximum fine for obscene speech not edited out on the airwaves from $32,500 to $325,000 - "meaning that the fine for a single expletive uttered during a broadcast could easily run into the tens of millions of dollars."

Patrick A. Trueman, former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in Washington, D.C., criticized the decision, saying the appeals court's ruling "seems foolish on its face."

"How is the American public to understand that federal judges don't know that use of the "F-word" is indecent during prime-time television?" added Trueman, who represented the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family in filing a "friend of the court" brief in this case; Fox Television Stations v. Federal Communications Commission. 

"Rock singer Bono has no more right to shout, "f***ing brilliant" in the homes of unsuspecting American families than we would have in his," Trueman said. Bono made the comments at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards, which were aired live.  Trueman said Bono made himself "an uninvited guest of those families that believed honorees … would respect the norms of civilized discourse on broadcast television."

He warned that if the US Supreme Court upheld the ruling, "Broadcasters will have a green light to pump indecent language and perhaps much more into the homes of families at will."

Concerned Women for America's (CWA) CEO, Penny Nance said it was not surprising that broadcasters filed the case in New York, "because they knew this was a liberal court unlikely to uphold the decency standards."

 "This ruling undermines decency standards which have been around for decades and allows broadcasters to barrage our families in their homes with programming that is profane at whatever time, regardless if there are children in the broadcast audience," Nance said.

In a statement FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, "We're reviewing the court's decision in light of our commitment to protect children, empower parents, and uphold the 1st Amendment."

FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps, a Democrat, told the L.A. Times the ruling was "an anti-family decision."

He said, "I hope that this decision is appealed - and ultimately reversed."

Read the decision

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U.S. State Department Funds Groups Lobbying “Yes” Vote on Pro-Abortion Kenya Constitution

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2010 ( – New evidence belies claims that the U.S. government is maintaining strict neutrality on Kenya’s proposed pro-abortion constitution, and indicates instead that the government is waging a proxy campaign in Kenya to get voters to approve the document.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has been vigorously denying complicity in getting out the “yes” vote, going as far as accusing its critics of “lying” and making “categorically false” claims. However, several U.S. Congressmen have uncovered information definitively revealing that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are actively campaigning for a “yes” vote with the full knowledge and consent of the Obama Administration.

“By funding NGOs charged with obtaining ‘yes’ votes, the Administration has crossed the line,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. “Directly supporting efforts to register ‘yes’ voters and ‘get out the yes vote’ means the U.S. government is running a political campaign in Kenya.”

A chart from the Office of the Inspector General of USAID obtained by Smith and his colleagues Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), reveals the U.S. government has funding agreements with various NGOs pledging to use the funds to marshal Kenyans from all walks of life behind the proposed constitution.

Two organizations, the Provincial Commissioner North Eastern Province and the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance, are receiving together over $150,000 to “contribute to an ‘overrepresentation’ of the YES voters”– quoted from the USAID summary agreement.

Securing the cooperation of the Kenya elite is also a high priority. The Provincial Peace Forum secured over $190,000 in grants for two of its provinces for the specific purpose of swaying the elites and getting them “to use their influence to ensure people register and vote YES at the referendum.” 

An additional five other NGOs also agreed to register 20,000 voters each – 100,000 voters total –“for a YES vote at the next referendum.”

The referendum is scheduled for August 4.

Kenya’s Christian churches have banded together to fight the proposed constitution on pro-life grounds, as well as over concerns that the proposed Islamic courts included in the document would impact religious freedom in Kenya.

While the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) provoked a furor in Kenya when it announced in May that it would provide tens of thousands of U.S. dollars to fund the “no” campaign led by Kenya’s coalition of Christian churches, the amount U.S. Christian groups have provided is chump change when compared to the funds the U.S. has dumped into Kenya’s “yes” campaign.
Government funding of the campaign for Kenya’s constitution is problematic, since the Siljander Amendment prohibits the federal government from using foreign aid funds “to lobby for or against abortion.” Article 26 of the proposed constitution would permit abortion if the “health of the mother is in danger,”“or if permitted by any other written law.”

Congressman Smith has said that, as of May, as much as $10 million in federal funds may have been spent in support of the new constitution.

Smith said the Obama Administration should immediately withdraw the U.S. taxpayer dollars that are being used “to buy votes and influence the outcome on the referendum.”

“The draft constitution, with its controversial provisions expanding access to abortion, is a matter for the Kenyan people to consider and decide,” he said.

The information from USAID’s Inspector General likely only scratches the surface. A spokesman for Rep. Smith told that the investigation is ongoing and more information will be made available as they receive it from responsible federal agencies.

The following information about groups that are being funded by the U.S. State Department was included on the chart provided by the IG’s office:

- Provincial Peace Forum, Eastern Providence. $97,633.33 to “gain buy-in for the new proposed constitution by educating the professional elites in Isiolo South Constituency about its benefits and getting their commitment to use their influence to ensure people register and vote YES at the referendum.” 

- Central Organization of Trade Unions, Kenya (COTU). $91,106.66 to “marshal a coalition of pro-Constitution individuals, institutions, and organizations to drum up political support for the Proposed Constitution by organizing a public rally at the historic Kamukunji Grounds, Nairobi.”

- Provincial Commissioner North Eastern Province. $99,220 for “one of a series of activities that aim to contribute to an ‘overrepresentation’ of the YES voters at the next referendum. Specifically, OTI will provide support to the office of the Provincial Commissioner (PC) in the form of transportation and fuel.”

- Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance (KMYA). $56,953.33 for “one of a series of activities that aim to contribute to an ‘overrepresentation’ of the YES voters at the next referendum. Specifically, OTI will provide support to Kenya Muslims Youth Alliance (KMYA) in the form of transportation and communications.”

- Provincial Peace Forum, Rift Valley Province. $94,193.33 to “build on previous activities in the North Rift as an entry point for a YES campaign on the constitution. Specifically, this activity will serve to gain buy-in for the new proposed constitution by getting the professional elites’ commitment.”

- Inter community Peace Choir Organization. $38,600 for “one of a series of activities aimed at facilitating registration of approximately 20,000 in cosmopolitan areas occupied by IDPs for a YES vote at the next referendum.”

- North Rift Theatre Ambassadors. $37,773.33 for “one of a series of activities aimed at facilitating registration of approximately 20,000 in cosmopolitan areas of Uasin Gishu, namely Turbo, Maili Maili Nne-Chepkanaga, and Huruma divisions for a YES vote at the next referendum.”

- Amani Peoples Theatre. $41,400 for “one of a series of activities aimed at facilitating registration of approximately 20,000 in Kachiliba and Psigor Constituencies-North Pokot for a YES vote at the next referendum.”

- Christian Community Services. $37,466.67 for “one of a series of activities aimed at facilitating registration of approximately 20,000 in the three Constituencies of Turkana South, Central, and North for a YES vote at the next referendum.”

- Pokot Outreach Ministries.  $38,133.34 for “one of a series of activities aimed at facilitating registration of approximately 20,000 additional voters in the entire Constituency of Kapenguria for a YES vote at the next referendum.”

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180 Congressmen Urge No Abortion on Military Bases

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By James Tillman

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2010 ( - Republican Congressman Todd Akin and Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor have sent a letter signed by 180 members of Congress to House and Senate leadership urging them to eliminate language from the FY2011 Defense Authorization bill that would permit abortions on military bases.

“DoD medical facilities should remain focused on providing the best possible care for our military service members and their families, not providing abortion on demand,” said Akin and Taylor.

The Blagojevich-appointed Democratic Senator Roland Burris offered an amendment to the FY2011 National Defense Authorization Act on May 27 that would permit abortions in domestic and overseas military facilities. It passed the Senate Armed Service Committee by a vote of 15-12.

The amendment would strike Section 1093(b) of Title 10 of the U.S. Code, which states that no facility of the department of defense may be used for an abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and risk to the life of the mother. The law has been in place since 1996.

Akin said that “at a time when we are engaged in two wars, it is unfortunate that Senator Burris has decided to insert this contentious issue into the DOD Authorization.”

Akin has said that such a bill would demand that all taxpayers be co-conspirators in killing children through abortion.

Rep. Gene Taylor pointed out that in the past "military medical personnel firmly rejected previous efforts to turn our nation’s military medical facilities into abortion clinics.”

President Clinton signed a memorandum permitting abortions at military facilities in 1993.

Even before the current ban on abortion in military facilities was passed in response to the Clinton memorandum, military physicians commonly refused to perform or assist in elective abortions.

This led the administration to seek civilians who would do what military doctors would not.  "If the Burris Amendment were enacted," the letter warns, "not only would taxpayer funded facilities be used to support abortion on demand, but resources could also be used to search for, hire, and transport new personnel simply so that abortions could be performed."

More importantly, the letter states that "military treatment centers - which are dedicated to healing and caring for life - should not facilitate the taking of the most innocent human life: a child in the womb."

A similar amendment was offered in the house in 2006, where it failed by a vote of 191-237.  This amendment offered abortion only on overseas bases; the Burris Amendment is more expansive in allowing abortion on both domestic and overseas military bases.

The Defense Authorization bill passed by the House does not contain the language of the Burris Amendment. Senator Chris Smith has said that he does not expect the House to accept the bill if it returns from the Senate with the Burris Amendment.

“We will stand very firm,” Smith has said. “I believe there will be an overwhelming vote in the House to keep our military hospitals as nurturing centers, not abortion mills.”

A repeal of the military's ban on openly homosexual service members has also been attached to the FY2011 defense bill.

See related stories on

Rep. Smith Vows to Oppose Military Abortions in Defense Bill

U.S. Senate Committee Oks Amendment Ditching Military Abortion Ban 

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Kagan Sought to Twist another Medical Statement on Partial-Birth Abortion: AUL

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2010 ( - In addition to altering testimony on partial-birth abortion by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, documents suggest U.S. Supreme Court candidate Elena Kagan acted similarly with a policy statement by the American Medical Association, Americans United for Life (AUL) has reported. reported June 30 that memos from Kagan's service in the Clinton administration reveal that she authored language that twisted ACOG's original statement, which declared that the group "could identify no circumstances under which this procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.”

Kagan later added a sentence to the ACOG testimony stating that partial-birth abortion "may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” Last month in Senate Judiciary Committee hearings Kagan admitted her role in adding that language.

In a separate memo, Kagan had admitted that the ACOG's original wording “would be a disaster" for the administration's fight against the ban. AUL notes that Kagan, writing to Bruce Reed, Clinton's Chief Domestic Policy Advisor, later said that the statement "turned out a ton better than expected." Kagan also told Clinton in a 1997 memo that the ACOG statement was the "most reliable opinion" - one that became key testimony in delaying the partial-birth abortion ban for over a decade.

AUL revealed that Kagan also became involved when the American Medical Association issued a policy that stated there were no identified situations in which partial-birth abortion was the only appropriate method of abortion. Kagan indicated in a June 1, 1997 White House email, that she had just come from a meeting which focused "in particular" on "whether the AMA policy can be reversed at its convention on June 23."

"We agreed to do a bit of thinking about whether we (in truth HHS) could contribute to that effort," Kagan concluded.

AUL is urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate discrepancies between Kagan's testimony before Congress and written documents pertaining to her "undue influence" on medical organizations while a Clinton advisor.

"[Kagan] was such a devoted pro-abortion advocate that she was willing to deceive the American public and the federal courts about the medical science related to the procedure. She was willing to bend scientific fact to fit her pro-abortion ideology," said Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life.

"The pieces that make up Kagan's abortion record reveal a staunchly pro-abortion ideologue who has devoted her life to serving pro-abortion political candidates, judges, and office-holders," said Yoest.

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Bishops Blast Court Decision against DOMA

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2010 ( - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has slammed Massachusetts Judge Joseph Tauro's decision that a section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.

In one of his two July 8 rulings, Justice Tauro said that because "irrational prejudice plainly never constitutes a legitimate government interest," section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional. 

“To claim that defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is somehow irrational, prejudiced, or even bigoted, is a great disservice not only to truth but to the good of our nation,” responded Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage.

"Marriage exists prior to the state and is not open to redefinition by the state. The role of the state, instead, is to respect and reinforce marriage."

Section 3 of DOMA states that the term "marriage," as used in any act of Congress or any ruling or regulation of the federal government, will mean only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.

Judge Tauro found this to violate the equal protection principles of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, and found it to violate the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Kurtz said that marriage is a "unique, irreplaceable institution" upon which "the very fabric of our society depends."

He continued: "The state has a duty to employ the civil law to reinforce – and, indeed, to privilege uniquely – this vital institution of civil society. The reasons to support marriage by law are countless, not least to protect the unique place of husbands and wives, the indispensable role of fathers and mothers, and the rights of children, who are often the most vulnerable among us."

"Thursday’s decision, by contrast, uses the power of the state to attack the perennial definition of marriage, reducing it merely to the union of any two consenting adults. But only a man and a woman are capable of entering into the unique, life-giving bond of marriage, with all of its specific responsibilities.”

The USCCB Office of the General Counsel also said that the two court rulings are mistaken on constitutional grounds.

Kurtz concluded: "Protecting marriage as only the union of one man and one woman is not merely a legitimate, but a vital government interest."

The complete USCCB document may be found here. 

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Federal Judge Rules Fed Gay 'Marriage' Ban Unconstitutional

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Christian Missionaries Arrested at Michigan Arab Festival

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

DEARBORN, Michigan, July 14, 2010 ( - Four Christian missionaries were arraigned in the 19th District Court in Dearborn on July 12 and charged with disorderly conduct. Police had arrested them at Dearborn's Arab International Festival on June 18 for handing out Christian literature.

Police also seized the group's video equipment.

Nabeel Qureshi of Virginia, Negeen Mayel of California, and Paul Rezkalla and David Wood of New York, all members of a Christian group called Acts 17 Apologetics, said they only spoke to people who approached them and videotaped the encounters to protect themselves. They added that the charges are a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech.

“We made sure that the only people we talked to were people who first approached us. And this was to limit accusations of instigation and disruption,” Qureshi told reporters after the incident. “We knew people have a tendency to accuse us of being disruptive, of inciting, and instigating. So we wanted to make sure we did absolutely nothing of the sort.”

Lawyers from the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing the four street preachers, entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the Christians, three of whom are converts from Islam.

“It’s evident that the Dearborn Police department was more interested in placating Muslims than obeying our Constitution,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, in a press release. “These Christians were exercising their Constitutional rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, but apparently in a city where the Muslim population seems to dominate the political apparatus, sharia law trumps our Constitution.”

“It’s apparent that these arrests were a retaliatory action over the embarrassing video of the strong arm tactics used last year by Festival Security Guards,” Thompson added. “This time, the first thing police officers did before making the arrests was to confiscate the video cameras in order to prevent a recording of what was actually happening.”

The Christian preachers had had a similar run-in with the police at least year’s festival.

According to U.S. Census Bureau information, nearly one third of Dearborn's 98,000 inhabitants are Arab Americans.

Dearborn Mayor John O'Reilly Jr. defended the actions of the police and has issued a statement on the city's Web site stating that he thinks the group's intent was to disrupt the Arab festival.

"The real violation of First Amendment rights occurs with Acts 17 Apologetics trying to imply they were the victim when the real violation is their attack on the city of Dearborn for having tolerance for all religions, including believers in the Koran," O'Reilly's statement said.

"Our job is to provide public safety to all who choose to rally or demonstrate in the city of Dearborn and we will provide the same professional service regardless of the cause or views of the parties involved," Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said in the statement on the city's web site.

A press release from the Thomas More Law Center today says that the mayor's statement is "an unprecedented and astonishing development."

"The City of Dearborn, through its mayor and its official website, personally attacked the four Christian missionaries arrested at the annual Arab International Festival on June 18, 2010. The Mayor’s intrusion into the case destroyed whatever semblance remained of an unbiased and professional law enforcement action following the illegal seizure of video cameras to prevent recording of the events surrounding the arrests."

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan will represent the Christian  missionaries at their trial, which is scheduled for September 20, 2010.

Video footage of Acts 17 Apologetics' response to Mayor O'Reilly's statement is available here.

Contact info for Dearborn Mayor John O'Reilly
Dearborn City Hall
13615 Michigan Avenue
Dearborn, Michigan, 48126
Phone: 313. 943.2300
Email: via website

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CDC Finds Most Teens are Virgins, Contrary to Planned Parenthood: ALL

by Wed Jul 14 11:15 EST Comments (0)

Washington, D.C., July 14, 2010 ( – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a new study last month showing that most teens are virgins – which American Life League (ALL) has said contradicts propaganda disseminated by sex-education giant Planned Parenthood.

"This study has huge significance for our nation's public and even private schools - many of whom have been regurgitating Planned Parenthood's dangerously inaccurate sex-education curriculum," said Judie Brown, president of ALL.

In the 2006-2008 period, 58% of never-married teen girls and 57% of never-married teen boys between the ages of 15 and 19 reported that they had never had sexual intercourse.

The numbers did not substantially change since a similar report was released in 2002. The reason most often cited for abstaining was that pre-marital sex is "against religion or morals."

ALL says that the CDC report, entitled “Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Child Bearing, National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG),” debunks Planned Parenthood's constant mantra that most teens will not abstain. In particular the pro-life organization points to the words of Planned Parenthood Federation of America vice president of medical affairs, Vanessa Cullins, from a YouTube video directed toward teens: "Admit that you are a sexually active individual like most of us, and that you are going to have sex and that you need to take precautions in order to stay healthy."

ALL says that the report builds a solid case against Planned Parenthood's promotion of sex education devoid of morality or religious influence – except for the “secular humanism” espoused by Planned Parenthood.

The report also revealed that "the vast majority of never married teenagers had not had intercourse in the month before the survey (76% of females and 79% of males, unchanged from 2002.)"

The number of "sexually experienced" teens peaked in 1988 at 51%.  The steady decline in sexually active teens coincides with the popularity and availability of abstinence education in the 1990s and into the 2000s.

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