Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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Father of population control movement supports sex-selective abortion, mass sterilization

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Jun 28 16:44 EST Comments (7)

 
Author of "The Population Bomb," Paul Ehrlich.

June 27, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Even when confronted with the deaths of 160 million children in the womb simply because they were girls, the father of the modern population control movement doesn’t bat an eyelash.

The problem of sex-selective abortion has been receiving increased scrutiny in the media recently, following the release of Maria Hvistendahl’s book “Unnatural Selection,” which was reviewed last week in the Wall Street Journal.

In that book the author documents the devastation wrought by widespread female gendercide in countries that favor sons over daughters.  She also records a discussion about prenatal gendercide with Paul Ehrlich, the author of the 1977 book “The Population Bomb,” a seminal work in the modern population control movement.

In “The Population Bomb,” Ehrlich had mentioned sex selection as a potentially effective tool for reducing population, although effective prenatal gender determinators such as ultrasound had not yet been invented.

When recently confronted with his support for sex-selective abortion by Hvistendahl, Ehrlich reportedly expressed his continued support for the practice. Ehlich told Hvistendahl, “it would be a good idea to let people have their choice so that they could have fewer children and could have what they wanted.”

“You can be aborted as a conceptus, you can be killed at birth, or you can be sold into slavery and die in a slum someplace,” he said.

Hvistendahl writes that after she pointed out that the prenatal killing of girls has forced surviving women into even greater suffering, brought about by higher rates of kidnapping, sex trafficking and marriage brokering, Ehrlich agreed but dismissed the statistics as “the old unintended consequences problem.”

Ehrlich also defended the principle behind mass forced sterilization, a concept mentioned in a 1977 book he co-authored entitled “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,” but dismissed as impracticable.

While Ehrlich says critics have taken much of that book out of context, he told Hvistendahl that the idea of reversing fertility - that is, requiring potential parents to petition the government for permission to override the sterilant - would “solve a lot of the things that disturb people the most.” He also suggested that mass sterilization working in tandem with sex-selection technology would be particularly effective for population control interests.

Notably, the 1977 text was co-authored by the head of President Obama’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren, who has faced widespread criticism for the pro-population control content found in the text.

Tags: abortion, paul ehrlich, population control, sex-selection

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Expert panel discusses ‘infiltration of homosexuality in our schools’ at Toronto forum

by John-Henry Westen Tue Jun 28 16:20 EST Comments (8)

 

TORONTO, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A panel entitled ‘Propaganda 101: The infiltration of homosexuality in our schools’ was one of the highlights at the Toronto Pro-life Forum Saturday.  A sold-out crowd heard from a former gay activist, an experienced lawyer, and a teacher and parent with more than 30 years experience in education, and who argued that there is cause for a lawsuit by parents against the Ministry of Education for forcing the homosexual agenda into schools.

Over 200 participants gathered in downtown Toronto over the weekend at the Hotel Novotel, enjoying delicious food and fellowship at the first of what will become a yearly event put on by Campaign Life Coalition (CLC).  CLC National President Jim Hughes told LifeSiteNews he was very pleased with the outcome of the first Pro-Life Forum, and that he has received many positive compliments from attendees. Pro-life forums are also scheduled for October in Sudbury and Kingston Ontario.

“Across Ontario we have witnessed an unprecedented uprising by parents and religious communities against Dalton McGuinty’s EIE (equity and inclusive education) Strategy,” attendees at the event were told by the panelists on the ‘Propaganda 101’ panel.

“In Toronto, Catholic parents and electors have been flooding the TCDSB offices with concerns and jamming board meetings. In Cambridge, concerned Catholic parents have held a prayer vigil outside the chancery office to encourage the Bishops to scrap the EIE.  Protestant and Evangelical parents in Hamilton are also fighting the public secular school board’s EIE policy. In Ottawa, concerned Catholic parents have asked for the Bishops’ curriculum advisors to be fired and the EIE to be rejected. In North Bay, presentations have been made to the local Catholic School Board asking for amendments to its policy.”

Lou Iacobelli, a teacher for over 33 years and a parent, noted that the language used in the documents about the “equity” strategy is ambiguous and confusing and easily used by those with an agenda to distort Catholic teaching.  He urged parents to work with religious and political leaders and at the school board level to protect their children.  Parents are the primary educators of their children, he said.

Lawyer Geoff Cauchi presented evidence that the gay agenda was beginning to move into the school system even thirty years ago.  While working with a family action council at the time, he was astonished that even medically-based evidence on the harm of homosexual acts had to be excluded from the curriculum.

Given that the Toronto public school board has said it will pursue “anti-homophobia” education in the schools and will not permit parents to withdraw their children from such instruction, Cauchi said that there are grounds for a lawsuit by parents against the school board.  “There is a cause of action right now,” he said, “since they intend to discriminate against Christian parents.”

Panelists were asked to respond to the charge that Christians who oppose promotion of homosexuality in schools are ‘homophobic’ and that their opposition to ‘equity and inclusivity’ programs is based on ‘hatred’ of those with same-sex attraction. Panelist Alan Yoshioka responded that the charge was very familiar to him: as a former gay activist, he said, “I’ve used it many times myself.”  Yoshioka pointed out, however, that while he is now happily married to a woman, he does retain a degree of same-sex attraction and that he can attest to not having animosity towards himself.

At a Friday night dinner launching the forum, guests were delighted to hear from new Canadian media personality Brian Lilley of the Sun TV network. Other speakers included famed pro-life prisoner of conscience Linda Gibbons, CLC youth leader Alissa Golob, former Liberal MP Tom Wappell, 40-days-for-life coordinator Nicole Campbell and more.

Tags: equity, homosexuality, ontario

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Hillary Clinton: U.S. State Dept. ‘instrumental’ in securing Lady Gaga Gay Pride gig

by John Jalsevac Tue Jun 28 16:03 EST Comments (9)

 
Lady Gaga performs in Rome for the 2011 Europride.

June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The U.S. Department was “instrumental” in getting controversial pop star Lady Gaga to perform at the 2011 Europride gay pride event in Rome, boasted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week.

Speaking at an event celebrating LGBT Pride Month at the State Department, Clinton said of the U.S. embassy in Rome: “Two weeks ago they played an instrumental role in bringing Lady Gaga to Italy for a Euro Pride concert.

“Now as many of you know Lady Gaga is Italian American and a strong supporter of LGBT rights,” continued Clinton. “And the organizers of the Euro Pride event desperately wanted her to perform and a letter to her from Ambassador Thorne was instrumental in sealing the deal.”

Lady Gaga, who calls herself bisexual, is best known for her outlandish costumes, raunchy performances and music videos, gay advocacy, and explicit anti-Christianity.

Earlier this year she riled Christians and captured headlines with her song “Judas,” in which she portrays herself as a Mary Magdalene figure who falls in love with and has sex with Judas.

On June 11, Lady Gaga performed at the Circus Maximus in Rome, in conjunction with a gay pride parade.

This isn’t the first time that U.S. Democrats have reached out to the pop star. In September of last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent a Twitter message to Lady Gaga a few days before the U.S. Senate voted to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

“@ladygaga, there is a vote on #DADT next week. Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so,” Tweeted Reid.

The announcement of the State Department’s involvement in securing Lady Gaga’s performance in Rome earned ridicule from former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton.

Speaking on The Steve Malzberg show on the WOR Radio Network, Bolton said the Gaga affair revealed how “irrelevant” Clinton’s office has become.

“This has nothing to do with your view on gay marriage or anything on that broad issue,” he said. “The fact that you never see the Secretary of State at the center of deliberations on national security issues, she’s kind of like an afterthought at the White House ... It’s probably the explanation why not having much else to do she turns to this. The Secretary is nearly irrelevant on the key issues that face us on national security.”

Tags: gay pride, hillary clinton, homosexuality, lady gaga

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San Diego diocese reverses parish decision, offers Catholic funeral to gay lounge owner

by Rebecca Millette Tue Jun 28 16:00 EST Comments (16)

 

SAN DIEGO, California, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A San Diego Catholic church that recently cancelled the funeral Mass for the owner of a gay lounge has since had their decision overruled by the diocese.

The funeral Mass for John SanFilippo was scheduled at Our Lady of the Rosary Church this Thursday.  After learning that the deceased had been in a homosexual relationship for many years, the parish priests reportedly informed the family on Sunday that the funeral could not take place.

Our Lady of the Rosary parish told LifeSiteNews.com that they are refusing comment at this time and directed all inquiries to the diocese.

A similar situation occurred in 2005 when a Catholic funeral was requested for an openly homosexual businessman. Bishop Robert Brom of the Diocese of San Diego said the funeral could not take place in a Catholic church of the diocese.  Bishop Brom reportedly apologized to the man’s family afterwards.

LifeSiteNews.com contacted the diocese for further comment. 

“Diocesan Authorities have concluded that the funeral scheduled at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish may take place,” Rodrigo Valdivia, chancellor for the diocese, told LSN.

He added that the priest at Our Lady of the Rosary who responded to the funeral request was a visiting priest substituting during the pastor’s vacation.  “This visiting priest is not familiar with local practice,” said Valdivia.

The director of the cemetery is in contact with the SanFilippo family to make funeral arrangements and the funeral will take place as scheduled on Thursday, according to Valdivia.

The Church’s code of Canon law states on the matter that “unless they gave some signs of repentance before death”, those “manifest sinners” who if granted church funerals would cause public scandal, “must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals.”

Contact information:

Archdiocese of San Diego:
http://www.diocese-sdiego.org/cdsdcontact.aspx

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Radical gay-sensitivity training at USDA may become government-wide program

by Christine Dhanagom Tue Jun 28 15:35 EST Comments (6)

 

WASHINGTON, DC, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - If homosexual activists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have their way, a radical “gay sensitivity” training program developed by the department could soon be coming to every federal agency, the Washington Times reported Sunday.

According to an internal newsletter published for employees, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the agency that oversees federal employment issues, has met with officials at USDA responsible for developing the program.

The newsletter, which calls the program “groundbreaking,” reports that the goal of collaboration with OPM is to spread USDA’s “LGBT Special Emphasis Program”  across the federal government.

“Talking about LGBT issues is not always easy because people have different perceptions and feelings based on their respective experiences or beliefs,” says the newsletter article. “However, it is imperative that we have these critical conversations about LGBT issues because LGBT inclusion is now part of official USDA policy.”

According to the Times report, the USDA program includes a briefing for employees developed by Senior Training Coordinator Bill Scaggs which is titled “Including Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Diversity.”

The briefing refers to the belief that marriage should be restricted to a union between a man and a woman as “heterosexism,” and compares the belief to racism.

The briefing also claims that attempts to change a homosexual inclination “usually doesn’t work and may even be harmful. Can produce feelings of depression, hopelessness, shame and anxiety. Some people become suicidal.”

Scagg’s presentation also addresses the issue of gender identity, stating: “Individuals are conscious of [sexual identity] between the ages of 18 months and 3 years. Most people develop a gender identity that matches their biological sex. For some, gender identity is different from biological sex (transsexuals).”

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, told the Times that USDA’s program will have “disturbing implications” for national defense if spread throughout the government.

“This would drive out thousands of experienced troops, starting with chaplains and people of faith who do not support LGBT ideology and activism,” she said.

Veronica Villalobos, OPM’s director of diversity and inclusion, told The Times that USDA’s program “has not gone government wide.”

“OPM strongly encourages all agencies to conduct diversity and inclusion training,” she said. “USDA is one of the many agencies we are currently working closely with.”

Tags: marriage, sexual orientation

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Kansas Planned Parenthood sues to keep tax funding

by John Jalsevac Tue Jun 28 15:34 EST Comments (1)

 

Topeka, KS, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has filed suit against the state of Kansas to restore $330,000 in funding that has been re-allocated to prioritize non-abortion providing health care centers.

The new law, signed by Gov. Sam Brownback in May, puts organizations that supply abortions at the bottom of the list of recipients of tax funds.

While Planned Parenthood claims that the funding goes to their Wichita and Hays clinics, which do not do abortions, these clinics are also known to be abortion referral clinics, or “feeder clinics,” that draw in potential abortion customers, then schedule them for abortions at Planned Parenthood’s Overland Park abortion mill.

“To say that the feeder clinics don’t have anything to do with abortions is an outrageous misrepresentation of the truth,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The Wichita and Hays clinics actually solicit abortion business for their Overland Park counterpart and serve as partners in the abortion business. Blocking funding to them is consistent with the federal law against spending tax money for abortions.”

Currently there is question as to whether Planned Parenthood will be able to continue doing abortions legally after July 1 in the first place. Spokespersons for Planned Parenthood told reporters that the abortion clinic passed a recent inspection under another new Kansas law that mandates minimum health and safety standards for abortion clinics.

However, this afternoon the Kansas Department of Health and Environment released a statement that appears to contradict Planned Parenthood’s assertions. “KDHE continues to review applications, and no applicant inspected thus far by KDHE has passed the inspection,” said the statement.

While the statement did not name specific facilities that had failed the inspections, the Planned Parenthood clinic was inspected last week.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood’s Overland Park clinic will be in court on July 15 for motions in the massive 107 count criminal case against the abortion giant. The case has dragged on since 2007 and was blocked by the previous administration, which sought to protect Planned Parenthood from prosecution. The case is now moving forward.

“Just the fact that Planned Parenthood faces so many criminal charges is enough reason to stop propping them up with our tax-dollars,” said Newman. “It’s like giving tax-money to prop up Al Capone.”

Tags: abortion, kansas, planned parenthood, sam brownback

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A soldier speaks: why repealing ‘Don’t Ask’ is wrong - Intro

by Paul Hair Tue Jun 28 15:27 EST Comments (3)

 
Paul Hair

Paul Hair serves in the U.S. Army Reserve as a non-commissioned officer. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and wrote or contributed to approximately 50 reports and assessments while in Iraq on an eight-month deployment during 2009-2010. He has worked as a civilian in both the government and private sectors.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - I wrote a letter in late May 2011 to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) requesting that Congress reconsider repealing what is popularly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). DADT is a misnomer. And so I shall refer to the repeal as the repealing of morality from the Armed Forces.

The Washington Times learned of my letter and reported on it in the June 8 edition of its “Inside the Ring” section (“Army dissent” paragraph).

I know for certain that leaders across the Armed Forces read what The Washington Times published, and so I am going to explain why I am questioning the pending repeal of morality. As always, my views are my own and I in no way represent the Army Reserve or any other part of the U.S. government.

Read the complete article here

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California bishops urge opposition to pro-gay textbook law

by Christine Dhanagom Tue Jun 28 14:02 EST Comments (4)

 

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The California Catholic Conference has issued an action alert encouraging California Catholics to contact their Assembly Members in opposition to a proposed state law regulating text book content.

SB 48, The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act, was introduced by openly homosexual state Senator Mark Leno and passed by the Senate in April.

It was passed by the Assembly Education Committee in a party line vote and now awaits a floor vote in the Assembly. Democrats currently maintain a strong majority in the lower house of the California legislature, holding 52 of 80 seats.  If the bill is passed by the Assembly, it will go to the desk of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown for signature.

A similar bill was vetoed in 2006 by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

If passed, the bill would require a politically correct overhaul of social science curriculum in California schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. It mandates proportional representation of the historical contributions of minorities, the disabled and homosexuals and prohibits any material that reflects negatively on a person because of race, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

“Professional educators and historians, working with teachers, parents and school boards, should design social studies curriculums,” said the California Catholic Conference’s action alert. “Politicians, subject to the winds of political correctness, should not because they often respond with more alacrity to the interest groups than to their constituents whose children attend California’s schools.”

The bishop’s statement also quoted the editors of the Los Angeles Times, who expressed concern that the bill would turn history instruction into the propagation of “fables.”

Pro-family organizations, along with some lawmakers, have also expressed concern over the way in which the revised curriculum would draw attention to the issue of sexual orientation for even the youngest of students.

During a Senate hearing, Republican Senator Robert Huff called the bill a “paradigm shift” which would have the effect of “actively promoting a lifestyle,” reports the International Press Association.

Pro-family activist James Lambert says he believes that the bill will be used as a tool by homosexual lobbyists to overturn Proposition 8, the California Constitutional Amendment that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

“For them, they’re reversing this and they want the public to promote their agenda, and I don’t think that’s the job and the function of the public schools,” he told OneNewsNow. “The public schools are there to teach kids the basic rudiments of education—math, English, history, language ... philosophy—but not to give political discourses. They’re out of touch.”

Tags: california, catholic, sexual orientation

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How to create a baby boom in Russia

by Steven Mosher Tue Jun 28 13:44 EST Comments (8)

 

Author’s note: I write from Moscow, where I am participating in a Demographic Summit with other World Congress of Families leaders and Russian officials. Abortion is rampant here, having first been legalized and encouraged by the Communists in 1920. Even today, the average Russian woman has seven (7!) abortions over her lifetime. Now we have an historic opportunity to help reduce, perhaps even outlaw, abortion throughout Russia. There is a bill in the Russian Duma that would place severe restrictions on abortion, saving the lives of an estimated 4 million babies a year. Here is what I am telling the Russian people and their leaders.

June 28, 2011 (Pop.org) - Some say the battle to save the Russian people is being lost: that the population is destined to age and shrink dramatically over the next few decades. Some even predict that, like ancient Greece, Russia will extinguish herself completely over the succeeding centuries. I strongly disagree. The government has already taken measures that appear to be slowing down the rate of decline. The Duma is at present considering additional steps to raise the birth rate. What Russia needs, of course, is not an incremental increase in the number of births. What is called for is a Russian baby boom.

It is true that the demographic situation is dire. The Russians have been filling more coffins than cradles for some years now. The disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 triggered a sharp drop in Russian births, which have stayed low in the years following because of the sudden loss of a social system that formerly provided employment and housing for nearly every Russian, combined with the ongoing economic malaise and a general lack of confidence in the future. By 2000 Russian birthrates had plummeted to historic lows, substantially lower than those achieved in the midst of the upheavals of World War I and the Russian Revolution, and equaled only by the worst year of World War II when German armies overran the western third of the country. This, combined with increased mortality, meant that Russia’s population was decreasing by nearly a million people each year.

By 2003 the birthrate had been so low for so long that Russia’s leaders were publicly voicing concern. Then-President Vladimir Putin warned the Russian parliament that the lack of babies was “a serious crisis threatening Russia’s survival.” Three years later, Putin put in place a one-time payment of $9,000 upon the birth of a second child, along with additional cash and child-care subsidies for subsequent children. The birthrate has been climbing since then, while the mortality rate has been gradually falling.

But the crisis continues. There are still more deaths than births in Russia. Moreover, the increase in births appears to be leveling off, while recent mortality gains have diminished as well. The number of women entering their prime reproductive years is shrinking, and will bottom out around 2020. If the experience of other countries is any guide, a baby bonus has a greater impact on the timing of childbearing than on the total fertility rate. In other words, couples are motivated by the baby bonus to have their children earlier than they had planned (lest the policy change and they lose their bonus), but their desired family size does not increase by a significant amount.

According to the U.N. Population Division, Russia’s population is slated to decrease from 142 million in 2010 to 136 million in 2030. This is the UNDP’s medium variant projection, which unrealistically assumes that most Russian couples will start having two children again. The low variant projection, historically the most accurate, has the population falling to 129 million by 2030. The U.S. Census Bureau is even more pessimistic, predicting that Russian numbers will sag to 124 million over that same time frame. It is hard to see how a country can lose 10 percent of its population over the next two decades and build a modern economy at the same time. Yet the converse is also true: Until the Great Russian Depression ends the birthrate is likely to say low. The largest country in the world seems locked into a fatal spiral: a dance of death between demography and depression.

It may be possible, by paying benefits to pregnant women, and by making abortion marginally harder to get, to further close the gap between births and deaths. The state should stop paying for late-term abortions. Doctors should be protected by a conscience clause. But what Russia needs to develop its economy is a baby boom. And what this will require is bold measures that will fundamentally change the way that the state protects life, educates the young, and interacts with the family.

Reprinted with permission from the Population Research Institute.

Tags: abortion, demographic crisis, russia

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Protesters demand end to abortions at Catholic-linked Barcelona hospital

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Tue Jun 28 13:37 EST Comments (1)

 

BARCELONA, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Protesters gathered outside of the Santa Creu and Sant Pau Hospital on Saturday to protest the institution’s practice of killing the unborn, as well as its ongoing relationship with the Catholic Archdiocese of Barcelona.

Led by Fr. Custodio Ballester and other Catholic priests of the diocese, protesters under the banner of Catalonia Yes to Life (Cataluña Vida Sí) marched with the slogan “No to abortion…and especially not in a hospital linked to the Church.” The march began at the Sant Pau hospital and ended at the Holy Family Basilica. During the march protesters prayed the rosary and finished with the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) prayer.

Fr. Custodio Ballester denounced the failure to act by the authorities of the Archdiocese of Barcelona, who have been informed repeatedly of the fact that abortions are being performed at the hospital, despite the fact that archdiocesan representatives sit on the board of directors.

Ballester has written directly to Barcelona’s Cardinal Archbishop Lluís Martínez Sistach to ask him to address the situation but says he has received no response.  Vatican officials have expressed concern about the relationship with the hospital and say they have contacted local authorities to ask them to address the problem. However, the archdiocese has stonewalled the complaints for months.

Although unnamed archdiocesan officials recently told the Spanish newspaper ABC that orders have been given to stop the abortions at the facility, pro-lifers protesting the situation are skeptical.  No official statement on the matter has yet been given by the archdiocese or the hospital.

“If abortions are not being done in the Sant Creu and Sant Pau Hospital, and if the abortion pill is not being dispensed, the government of Catalonia should deny it immediately and strongly,” said the Cross of Saint Andrew Association, one of the sponsors of the protests, in a press release following the demonstration.

The protest was also attended by Monserrat Sanmartí of the I Want to Live Association (Quiero Vivir), who presented the newly established Project Rachel, a program for post-abortion healing. Tania Fernández, president of Barcelona Right to Life, and a representative of Catlalonia Yes to Life, gave testimonies and discussed strategies for winning the struggle for the right to life.

Tags: abortion, barcelona, catholic

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Federal judge: life begins at conception

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Jun 28 13:04 EST Comments (6)

 

INDIANAPOLIS, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Planned Parenthood’s request to block a provision of an Indiana law that requires doctors to tell women who are seeking abortions that “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm,” was denied by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt last week.

“Plaintiffs contend that in the context of abortion, the meaning of these words, both individually and in combination, represent a plethora of opinions and beliefs about life and its inception. The Court respectfully disagrees,” wrote Pratt.

“When read together, the language crafted by the legislature in this provision supports a finding that the mandated statement refers exclusively to a growing organism that is a member of the Homo sapiens species.”

The judge disagreed with Planned Parenthood’s suggestion that the phrasing was “misleading.”

“Here, the mandated statement states only a biological fact relating to the development of the living organism; therefore, it may be reasonably read to provide accurate, non-misleading information to the patient,” the court wrote. “Under Indiana law, a physician must disclose the facts and risks of a treatment which a reasonably prudent physician would be expected to disclose under like circumstances, and which a reasonable person would want to know.”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) had also sought an injunction against another part of the same law, House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1210, which barred federal Medicaid funds from going to the abortion provider. Pratt granted that request, noting that the Obama administration had threatened to gut the state’s entire Medicaid allotment to save PPIN’s portion.

Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, praised the judge for upholding scientific fact, but said that they would continue to ensure that the measure defunding Planned Parenthood goes into effect.

“While this is a significant partial victory for Life, we will press on to ensure that the full law will go into effect to defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana,” Brejcha said. “We stand ready to defend Life in other states as they plan to defund Planned Parenthood and require doctors to tell women that life begins at conception.”

Tags: abortion, indiana, obama, planned parenthood

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EXCLUSIVE: Poland to vote on historic bill banning all abortions after massive grassroots campaign

by Patrick B. Craine Tue Jun 28 11:56 EST Comments (27)

 
Legislators in Poland's parliament will vote this week on a bill to ban all abortions in the country.

WARSAW, Poland, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) -  After months of shielding the initiative from English media, organizers of a massive pro-life grassroots campaign in Poland have now told LifeSiteNews.com that Parliamentarians in the country are preparing to vote this week on an historic bill that would enshrine total protection for children in the womb from the moment of conception.

The organizers told LSN that they were worried that if the news broke in the English-speaking world, pro-abortion foreign powers would have poured money into the country to oppose their popular efforts.

To bring the abortion ban before Parliament under Poland’s political system, the sponsors needed to collect 100,000 signatures within three months.  They got 600,000 in two weeks.

The bill, which comes up for first reading in the ‘Sejm’ (lower house) on Thursday, is the result of a huge nation-wide grassroots initiative launched by Warsaw’s PRO Foundation and supported by the country’s bishops and a newly-formed pro-life parliamentary committee.

Abortion was first foisted on the deeply Catholic people of Poland after Hitler’s tanks stormed the country 70 years ago; but the demise of the Nazis was followed by decades of state-promoted abortion-on-demand under their Soviet successors.

“This project is a chance to finally reject the heritage of Nazism and Communism which brought ‘legal abortion’ to Poland in the first place,” Jacek Sapa of the PRO Foundation told LifeSiteNews.  “It was Hitler and Stalin who imposed it on Poles and it’s high time we clearly disassociate ourselves from those deadly ideologies.”

“The Church clearly teaches that it is the obligation of Catholics not to protect the current ‘compromise’ but to aim at complete protection of life,” said Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, former personal assistant to Blessed John Paul II, in an interview for Gosc Niedzielny, Poland’s largest opinion weekly.  “This is a solution, which the Church calls for. I support all efforts aiming at improving the protection of human life.”

The status quo on abortion: Illegal, but “not punishable” if…

Ever since the Communists were overthrown in 1989, Poland has labored to restore its cultural and religious heritage. As part of that project, in 1993 the country passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the West.  Since then, abortions have fallen dramatically, with Ministry of Health data showing a drop from 82,000 abortions in 1989 to about 500 in 2008.

Under the current law, abortions can only be obtained where the child is diagnosed with a serious defect or disease, where the mother is diagnosed with a health problem, or where the pregnancy resulted from “illegal activity.”

However, the law and its exceptions are often abused by pro-abortion doctors.  ‘Defect’ can be deemed to include something as minimal as cleft palate, and though abortions are only supposed to take place up to the point of viability, or about 24 weeks, in practice doctors can fudge the dates.  Further, though pregnancies resulting from “illegal activity” would seem to refer to pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest, it can also be applied to teen pregnancies on the basis that the law forbids sex with a person under 15 years of age.

Although abortions under the exceptions occur without penalty, a point often missed is that even under the current law, abortion is always “illegal” in Poland.  The law merely states that under the exceptions abortions are “not punishable.”

Striking down the exceptions

The PRO Foundation’s citizens’ bill is the first attempt to institute a total ban on abortion since the current law passed in 1993.  The bill would strike down all three exceptions in the abortion law, applying the current penalties in all cases.

Under the law, doctors caught performing illegal abortions face up to 3 years imprisonment, or up to 8 years where the child was viable.  The same penalties are applied to anyone who pressures a woman into abortion, or helps her obtain one.  The mother faces no penalties.

The bill will be debated in the ‘Sejm’ at first reading on Thursday, with a vote to decide its fate on Thursday or Friday.  If it gets 50% plus one vote, then it will move to committee for consideration, and then back to the ‘Sejm’ for a second and then third vote.  It would then go to the Senate for a vote, and, if passed, the country’s president must decide whether to sign it into law.  If he does not, then the Parliament would need to give it two-thirds support in order to overturn his veto.

Sapa said the bill has a “realistic” chance of passing, noting that 90% of parliamentarians are Catholics who have an interest in appearing on side with the Church.  “Politicians opposing this pro-life law risk openly defying the Church and this simply does not pay,” he explained.  “Poles are still a Catholic nation, and politicians often seek to present themselves as faithful Catholics during electoral campaigns to gain popularity.

“A vote for abortion would belie their ‘Catholic’ public image,” he added.

In 2007, an effort to enshrine the “right to life from conception to natural death” in the Polish constitution won support from 60% of parliamentarians, but failed because it needed two-thirds.  That amendment, however, would not have had the immediate effect of removing the exceptions for abortion.

Supported by the bishops

The Polish Bishops’ Conference has campaigned for the bill’s passage through letters to politicians, public statements, and efforts to mobilize the faithful into prayer and lobbying.

In a letter signed by Bishop Kazimierz Gorny, head of the bishops’ Council for the Family, they told politicians that “the fate of this Nation is in your hands.”  “[Act] so that every conceived child - whether healthy or unwell - has the right to life, without exception, and would not be threatened by the law allowing for their killing,” they wrote.

“We must stop the wave of killing in Polish hospitals. We must formulate the law in such a way, that it will obviously imply the right to life for every child, including sick children,” said Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, archbishop metropolitan of Poznan, last week.

Mobilizing the pro-life politicians

Bogumil Lozinski of Gosc Niedzielny, the nation’s largest Catholic weekly, said that the grassroots effort has mobilized not only the populace, but pro-life politicians as well.  “One of the greatest effects of the whole debate is that a group for the protection of life has been formed within the parliament,” he wrote.  “The parliamentarians who formed it say openly that their main goal is to pass this bill and encourage their colleagues to vote for it.”

This pro-life parliamentary committee boasts members from nearly all the political parties, except for the pro-abortion and communist Democratic Left Alliance.  One of the founding members is Jacek Zalek from the ruling Civic Platform party.

“The defense of life and dignity of people is an obligation of every society and it is not a question of religion,” Zalek wrote in the major daily paper Rzeczpospolita.  “You don’t have to be a believer to be able to tell good from evil. Affirmation of the value of life results from natural law and goes beyond political competition between parties.”

Creating the conditions for success

Mariusz Dzierżawski of the PRO Foundation told LifeSiteNews that the campaign has been bolstered by a major cultural shift towards life in recent years, with Poles now strongly in favor of full protections for the unborn.  The shift, he says, is thanks to the “unrelenting efforts” of pro-lifers who have organized exhibitions, rallies, and other campaigns to educate the public.

A June 3rd survey showed 65% of Poles agreeing that the law “should unconditionally protect the life of all children since conception.”  Only 23% supported abortions in cases where unborn children of 24 weeks or less were diagnosed with a “serious disease.”

Significantly, 76% of those aged 15 to 24-years-old wanted total protection for the unborn – the most of any age group.  The lowest level of support came from the oldest age bracket, 55 to 70 years old, but still with 57% supporting total protection.

Jaroslaw Kniolek of the PRO Foundation noted that this older generation grew up under the Communists, when abortion was widespread and forced on the culture.  “Young people, on the other hand, not only have the knowledge of the facts of abortion, they also have wonderful role models, especially young Catholics of the ‘JP2 generation’,” he said.

Only six years ago, in 2005, the CBOS polling firm found that 57% of Poles would allow for early abortions, while only 36% were against it.  By 2009, they found that only 31% allowed for the abortions, while 64% were against it.  Then, earlier this year, their poll showed that 85% of Polish citizens identified themselves as pro-life, while only 9% supported access to abortion.

“We now have a great social basis for a change in the law, and we will change the law to make it pro-life,” Dzierżawski said.  “Even if it shouldn’t happen this year, it will in the coming years.”

Tags: abortion, catholic, poland

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6 Percent

by Steve Jalsevac Tue Jun 28 06:43 EST Comments (0)

 
Steve Jalsevac

It is almost a week into our three-week summer campaign, and donations received have totaled only $7,200 or almost 6% of our necessary $150,000 goal. That is a concerning, unusually slow start.

We strongly suspect this is just an end-of-school-year, beginning-of-holidays and other “lazy days of summer” syndrome, and most have not yet made their intended donation.

So, to those who are able, we really do need your help! (Click here to donate)

These campaigns are crucial to LifeSiteNews. Since we offer this unique news service at no charge, we rely almost exclusively on the generosity of those readers who are able to donate.

We need your support in order to keep informing the world on the most crucial life and family-related developments.

Our news stories are needed now more than ever:

  • The United Nations is seeking to force countries to lift bans on abortion and increase access to it while also pushing the gay rights agenda;
  • Schools are distributing explicit sex education materials to children as young as 5 years-old;
  • Pro-life ads and public announcements are being censored or rejected for the sake of “political correctness;”
  • The homosexualist agenda is massively infiltrating our children’s education in developed nations;
  • The natural family of mother, father and, children is under sustained assault by those with radical de-population and social engineering agendas;
  • Pro-life, pro-family people need the encouragement of our inspiring Culture of Life stories and reports of leaders and other taking courageous stands for the truth
  • .

We need your help to get the word out!

Please help LifeSiteNews reach its goal of $150,000 by July 13.

The annual expenses to run LifeSiteNews total nearly $600,000. That’s what it takes to produce our many investigative reports, first-hand reporting of special events such as the U.S. and Canadian and other Marches for Life, conferences such as the recent Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C. and much, much more.

Each quarter we try to raise the portion of our annual expenses required for the upcoming quarter. Hence, the current $150,000 goal.

So, please, if at all possible, financially support this effort that is meant to be a very special service for you and the wider pro-life, pro-family community around the world.

Donate today! (Click here to donate to our Summer Campaign)

Thank you for your support.

For the Culture of Life,

Steve Jalsevac
Managing Director
LifeSiteNews.com

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Commentary on June 27 news

by Steve Jalsevac Mon Jun 27 20:09 EST Comments (0)

 

Today’s story of Stefan and Tyler Delp is wonderful and astonishing. It quashes the “quality of life” propaganda spread by those who have no comprehension of the depth of the human spirit and the value of every human life.

The Canadian bishops conference has come out with a surprisingly frank document asserting Catholic teaching on the issue of homosexuality. This is good timing considering that the annual “Gay Pride” debauches, parades and all that are about to begin and the giant Toronto Catholic School Board is still resisting demands to strengthen the Catholicity of its Equity program.

Also on the homosexual issue, the international hunt-down of Lisa Miller and daughter Isabella by US and other police services is a sick abuse of law enforcement powers and the legal system. Everything here is upside down and inside out. There is a crying need for influential persons to speak out and act NOW on behalf of this beleaguered mother and her young daughter.

Sweden has gone socially mad. But really, should we be surprised? One thing logically leads to another as many have warned for years.

Speaking of one thing logically leading to another, Holland is proving the same thing. Once you allow the genie of euthanasia out, there is no controlling it. Once we say killing for some reasons is ok, the overriding principle has been undermined and there is no stopping the slide into more and more reasons for killing.

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