Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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Baltimore archbishop praises home schooling families

by Thaddeus Baklinski Wed Sep 14 16:46 EST Comments (2)

 

BALTIMORE, September 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - At a Mass celebrated for home schooling families held in the Lady Chapel inside the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, praised families who choose to homeschool their children.

“I’ve seen this over and over again across the country. It’s in home schooling that you have every opportunity to share the values that really matter: respect for one another, respect for the church and the sacraments and the ability to sacrifice for others and to see how best we can serve,” he said, according to a report in the diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Review.

Since arriving to serve as archbishop of Baltimore in October 2007, Archbishop O’Brien has ordained seven new priests for the Archdiocese and over 120 men have entered the program for priestly formation.

He told the homeschooling families gathered: “There’s no greater feeder for the vocations than the home-schoolers.”

The archbishop stressed the role of parents in teaching the faith to their children, whether they are home schooled or attending parochial school. He added that homeschoolers are a reminder to Catholic parents of children in Catholic and other schools, that “theirs is the principle obligation for forming the consciences of their youngsters in Gospel values.”

“In a time when our government schools are forming, are dictating, the direction of moral values in many cases, home schooling reminds our public educators in the secular field that the final responsibility belongs to parents,” he added.

At the conclusion of Mass the archbishop reiterated his support for home schooling, and noted that while he understood the difficulties parents face in deciding to teach their children at home, he urged them to persevere, saying home school families have become “exceedingly important to the church.”

Archbishop O’Brien has celebrated Mass for home school families many times during his four-year tenure, telling home school families he believes his support is very important.

“Home-school educators are very persevering in their admirable efforts to educate their children at home,” Archbishop O’Brien told the Catholic Review.

“Sometimes it can be a lonely endeavor and getting together like this with one another, with the encouragement of their archbishop, is a very important contribution to their perseverance.”

Tags: baltimore, edwin o'brien, home schooling

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‘Fatherhood begins in the womb’: new pro-life ad campaign launched

by Kathleen Gilbert Wed Sep 14 16:35 EST Comments (3)

 

September 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The creators of several pro-life billboard campaigns exposing the racist roots of abortion in America have launched a new salvo with a campaign celebrating the fact that fatherhood begins before the child is born.

“Fatherhood Begins in the Womb,” is a new billboard/website campaign that focuses on “the most missing component of the national abortion debate: fathers!”

A collaborative effort between the Issues4Life Foundation and The Radiance Foundation, the campaign is aimed at exposing the “culture of abandonment that abortion has created” by revealing the statistics of fatherlessness, single-parent poverty, and the deterioration of two-parent married households.

“When a man has sex with a woman he is consenting to being a father,” said black pastor Walter Hoye, President of the Issues4Life Foundation, in a press release Wednesday. “We want to emphasize the biblical requirement and vital need for men to be involved as providers and protectors when life happens.”

In the mid 60s, report the groups, 25 percent of black children were born to single mothers. Today, 72.3 percent are born into unmarried households.

“Men have been empowered by Roe v. Wade to have sex and run,” said Ryan Bomberger, Chief Creative Officer of The Radiance Foundation and creator of the TooManyAborted.com campaigns. “They’ve been forced out of their crucial role by perpetual welfare and today’s brand of liberal feminism.”

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Are you a theocrat? Secular scare tactics

by Chuck Colson Wed Sep 14 15:41 EST Comments (5)

 
Chuck Colson

September 14, 2011 (Breakpoint.org) - I want you to guess which prominent American public figure said the following: “I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’” He added that what makes a law “just” is that it “squares with the moral law or the law of God,” conversely “unjust” laws are those that are “out of harmony with the moral law.”

Well, we just unveiled a statue of him on the National Mall.

Yes, Martin Luther King penned those famous words in his 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Those words and the convictions that prompted them changed America. But today, they would cause the great civil rights leader to be labeled a “theocrat.”

“Theocrat,” and related words like “Dominionist” and “Christianist,” are the latest in a series of epithets directed at Christians who insist that their faith is not merely a private matter. Suggesting Christians want to impose biblical law on civil society is an attempt to make a comparison between us and people like the Mullahs in Iran and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Case in point: a recent column in the Washington Post by Dana Milbank that called governor Perry of Texas a “theocrat.” Given that Perry has been elected governor of the second-largest state twice, that’s an extraordinary claim that ought to require extraordinary proof.

Milbank provides no such proof. Instead, he points to Perry’s belief that “the truth of Christ’s death, resurrection, and power over sin is absolute ...”

Now, if you’re thinking, “I believe the same thing, does that make me a ‘theocrat?’” well, that’s exactly the point: by Milbank’s uninformed reasoning every orthodox Christian is a “theocrat.”

Milbank fumes that “Perry has no use for those who ‘want to recognize Jesus as a good teacher, but nothing more.’ Of those non-Christians, Perry asks, ‘why call him good if he has lied about his claims of deity and misled two millennia of followers?’”

I take it Milbank didn’t realize that Perry was using Oxford Professor C. S. Lewis’s classic argument for the divinity of Christ. If Jesus was not who He said He was, Lewis wrote, he was either “a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg”—or a liar.

That’s called theology, not theocracy.

Now, there are such things as Christian theocrats, usually called “theonomists,” but they’re a tiny fringe. The people being labeled “theocrats” and “Dominionists” by the press today don’t want the United States governed by a Christian equivalent of sharia law. Like, Dr. King, they simply believe that their religious positions and moral convictions don’t disqualify them from the public square.

The irony is that if this standard had been applied in the past, much of what is worth celebrating in our history would never have happened. Many of the great social reforms such abolitionism grew out of specifically Christian convictions like those of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, Perry’s own tradition.

Then, as now, there were those who decried what they deemed the “imposition” of religious views in public life. If they had prevailed, America would be a far less just, decent, and civilized place.

It would be an America where the newest statue on the National Mall would be given the same demolition treatment that the Taliban gave the giant statutes of the Buddha in Afghanistan.

I guess it’s the Taliban and the secular elite who are alike in one way; that is, they believe some ideas are too dangerous to express in public.

Reprinted with permission from Breakpoint.org

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McGuinty Liberals won’t back down from imposing gay agenda in classrooms: lesbian minister

by Patrick B. Craine Wed Sep 14 15:01 EST Comments (53)

 
Kathleen Wynne

TORONTO, Ontario, September 14, 2011 LifeSiteNews.com - Ontario’s Liberal government will not back down from imposing its homosexualist equity and inclusive education (EIE) strategy on Ontario’s schools, insists Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne, who oversaw the controversial policy’s development.

In an interview with Xtra last Wednesday, Wynne said the education system is the “single most important” means of tackling “homophobia” among today’s youth.

The EIE strategy, which Wynne launched in her previous role as Minister of Education, urged school boards to participate in the Gay Pride parades, use texts by homosexual authors, and introduce gay-straight alliance clubs.

Since its introduction, public school boards such as Toronto and Hamilton have moved to integrate their “sexual diversity” instruction throughout the curriculum while at the same time forbidding parents from removing their children from the classroom during controversial discussions.  McGuinty’s government has failed to enforce a clear Ministry policy allowing exemptions from material deemed offensive by parents.

The government has also forcefully imposed its equity policy on Catholic schools.  In July, McGuinty said implementing homosexual clubs is “not a matter of choice,” while the Ministry of Education has insisted such clubs cannot help students “reform their sexuality.”

While the Catholic schools have complied by moving to introduce “anti-bullying” clubs focused on sexual orientation, Wynne told Xtra she was “very disappointed” by the refusal of Catholic school boards’ to allow gay-straight alliances.  She said, however, that she expects the boards “will all come around.”

“It’s not going away. The expectation is that they will have an equity and inclusive education policy and will allow students to form these groups to have these discussions in every school board in the province,” she said.

Wynne said it is “non-sense” for the Catholic schools to implement clubs that avoid using the term ‘gay’.

“I think that masks a whole issue over, whether certain educators are comfortable with having students express themselves and explore these issues, and where their parents are,” she explained.  “And I understand that. I understand that there’s fear. I understand homophobia, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important that students can explore these issues.”

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McGuinty Liberals consider expanding taxpayer funding for IVF

by Patrick B. Craine Wed Sep 14 11:54 EST Comments (3)

 

TORONTO, Ontario, September 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As Ontario’s debt load continues to grow unabated, the Minister of Health in Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government says they are still considering funding the controversial in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure with taxpayer dollars through the provincial health plan.

“We are not closing the door to it. … We’re taking some important steps,” Deb Matthews told QMI Agency Tuesday.

In August 2009, a government-appointed panel led by Gov. General David Johnston, then-president of the University of Waterloo, called on the province to begin funding up to three rounds of in vitro fertilization for women up to 42 years old, estimated at $10,000 per cycle.  Currently, Ontario only covers IVF for women with both fallopian tubes either blocked or missing.

The panel also called on the government to fund the freezing of embryos, and said assisted reproductive technologies should be open to all, including single men through “gestational carriers.”

“The panel did a wonderful job and they concluded it would be a fiscally responsible thing to do,” Matthews told QMI Agency.  “We just simply don’t have the information to verify that.”

She said they are monitoring the situation in Quebec, where IVF began receiving funding about a year ago.

While the scheme would seem to impose an immense strain on the health system, Johnston’s panel argued that it would be cheaper in the long run because couples would implant fewer embryos at a time, and so it would decrease the number of multiple births and the corresponding expensive complications.

Yet the panel dismissed the great health risks associated with the IVF procedure.  Babies born from IVF have a much higher chance of birth defects, including heart valve defects, cleft lip and palate, and digestive system abnormalities.  The British government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority warned in 2009 that IVF babies have a 30% higher risk of genetic abnormality.  According to a 2010 French study - the largest yet on the subject - assisted reproductive technologies double the baby’s risk of deformity.

The process of IVF has been heavily criticized by pro-life advocates in large part because in each round, while numerous children are conceived to improve the chances of implantation, those remaining are simply “discarded” or frozen.

Critics of assisted reproduction maintain that children are meant to be conceived through the mutual love of husband and wife in the conjugal act, saying that it violates the child’s dignity for him or her to be conceived in a laboratory.

Further, they warn that it reduces newly-formed human life to the status of a commodity.  Interestingly, the panel’s report criticized the federal Assisted Human Reproduction Act because it restricts the commercialization of human sperm, eggs, and embryos.

At the same time, the Ontario government pays the full cost for many thousands of Ontario women to abort their unwanted babies each year. Consequently, the number of babies available for adoption is very low and it is very difficult for childless Ontario couples to find a child to adopt.

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Increase third world ‘family planning’ to deal with overpopulation: Head of UN women’s agency

by Thaddeus Baklinski Wed Sep 14 10:50 EST Comments (6)

 
Michelle Bachelet, the Under-Secretary for UN Women.

WASHINGTON, DC, September 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The head of UN Women, the recently created “gender equality and empowerment of women” branch of the UN, has called for a huge escalation of “family planning” in third world countries to deal with overpopulation.

At a recent population conference, entitled “7 Billion: Conversations that Matter,” hosted by the Aspen Institute on September 7, Michelle Bachelet, Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women said, “When we are 9, 10 billion people, what are we going to do? Go to Mars? Go to the moon? We are really going to have huge problems. Family planning is a huge issue.”

UN population experts have forecast that the world’s population will reach 7 billion on October 21 this year and will eventually reach 10 billion.

In a press release, UNFPA’s Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin stated, “a world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity. Globally, people are living longer, healthier lives and choosing to have smaller families.”

However, demographic experts have criticized the probabilistic model that UN statisticians used to make these new predictions as “severely flawed.”

Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D., pointed out in a recent C-Fam report, “The UN has reversed a decade of speculation about a demographic winter in the West, and now says that every country will achieve replacement fertility by 2100 resulting in a global population of 10 billion. The problem is there is no basis for their turnabout.”

“UN agencies are hailing new numbers as evidence of overpopulation in the developing world and vindication of decades of anti-natal policies in the West, but the scientific basis of the latest UN forecasts is slim,” Yoshihara remarked.

In the UNFPA press release Osotimehin went on to say, “the population projections underscore the urgent need to provide safe and effective family planning to the 215 million women who lack it. Small variations in fertility — when multiplied across countries and over time — make a world of difference.”

Bachelet echoed Osotimehin’s remarks, saying, “Family planning is essential for many of the problems. Look at maternal mortality. Every day, 1,000 women die due to pregnancy and complications during birth. That’s unacceptable. We are in the 21st Century. We know exactly what we have to do.”

However, one of the unforeseen consequences of promoting “family planning” as a means of combating overpopulation has been a growing gender imbalance in counties such as India and China, where sex-selective abortion is rampant. This issue, relevant to a woman’s agency since it is largely female babies who are the victims of sex-selective abortion, has received increased scrutiny in recent months after the publication of a book, “Unnatural Selection,” authored by Mara Hvistendahl, an abortion supporter.

According to one report, however, the issue of gender imbalance was glossed over at the Aspen conference.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former president of Latvia and a member of Aspen’s Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, reportedly told conference attendees she believed those issues would eventually “even” out, according to a Global Post report.

“Countries are now finding themselves in a bind,” Vike-Freiberga said. “Several generations of young men are in need of partners. In some villages, it is getting pretty dramatic, five boys to one girl. Life itself will teach them a painful lesson.”

Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute (PRI) observed that UN-style family planning always implies abortion as well as contraception.

“What PRI’s research has shown is that when population control ideas begin to drive policy, the results are always the same: human rights abuses, broken families, and bloodshed. China’s one-child policy, in which the UNFPA is an active partner, is the best example of where the UNFPA’s population obsession leads,” Mosher commented in a press release.

“While the UNFPA claims that hundreds of millions of women in the developing world are demanding contraceptives, our research around the globe has shown that this is simply not true,” said Mosher. “What they are actually crying out for is better primary health care for themselves and their families. We should stop funding population control programs and instead turn our attention to real problems like malaria, typhus, and HIV/AIDS.”

“People are our greatest resource. Everyone, rich or poor, is a unique creation with something priceless to offer to the rest of us,” Mosher stated.

Tags: abortion, contraception, overpopulation, population control

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Obama admin skirts New Hampshire’s elected officials, awards $1 million to Planned Parenthood

by Kathleen Gilbert Wed Sep 14 10:19 EST Comments (5)

 

CONCORD, New Hampshire, September 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it is bypassing state authorities in New Hampshire to restore Planned Parenthood’s funding directly.

Earlier this summer the state’s Executive Council voted to redirect Planned Parenthood’s $1.8 million share of Medicaid funding to clinics that do not perform abortions. Immediately after, however, the Obama administration threatened to deprive all of New Hampshire’s Medicaid facilities of federal funding unless the Executive Council reversed its decision.

Kansas and Indiana have received similar threats this year.

Now the Obama administration says it has bypassed the Executive Council and awarded a $1 million contract to Planned Parenthood in the state.

Planned Parenthood said Tuesday that the Obama administration’s decision recognizes that it is “an essential and established part of the health care infrastructure in New Hampshire, serving almost 16,000 women, men and teens through health centers in Claremont, Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and West Lebanon.”

New Hampshire Councilor David Wheeler, one of the members of the Executive Council who voted against the Planned Parenthood contact, slammed the move, saying it highlights the “arrogance” of the Obama administration.

“Even though the state of New Hampshire turned down Planned Parenthood as a contractor, the Obama administration says you’re going to take it anyway, whether you like it or not,” Wheeler said.

U.S Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., concurred, saying, “New Hampshire’s Executive Council has spoken on this matter, and the (Obama) administration should respect the state’s right to make this decision.”

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony list also condemned the administration’s move in strong terms.

“President Obama has proven time and again that he will do whatever it takes to ensure that Planned Parenthood continues to receive taxpayer subsidies, even if that means going around a state’s elected representatives,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Obama is the most pro-abortion President in our country’s history and his allegiance to Planned Parenthood is unwavering.”

Last month, federal judges in Kansas and North Carolina forced authorities to continue funding Planned Parenthood with taxpayer monies.

A federal judge in June also forced Indiana to resume its Planned Parenthood funding after she deemed the Obama administration’s threat to cut all Medicaid funding over the change too dangerous for Indiana citizens.

Tags: abortion, new hampshire, obama, planned parenthood

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Mexican Supreme Court poised to overturn state pro-life amendments on ‘human rights’ grounds

 

MEXICO CITY, September 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Mexican Supreme Court appears to be on the verge of overturning two state constitutional amendments that protect the right to life from the moment of conception, according to national media sources.

The judge assigned to write the outline of a verdict on the cases has reportedly written that “one cannot give preeminence to any right—not even the right to life—over other constitutional rights.”

Basing his reasoning on international law and Mexico’s recent reform enshrining “human rights” at the constitutional level, Fernando Franco González reportedly claims that while “the protection of life in general is a valid constitutional end,” it is “invalid to treat the unborn as a juridical person.”

González argues that the Mexican Constitution as well as international institutions do not regard the unborn child as an “individual” and that therefore state constitutions cannot confer “rights on a group of ‘subjects’ that aren’t recognized by the Supreme Norm.”

He also claims that the amendments “degrade” women “to a determined role and imposes upon them a disproportionate burden,” which is “incompatible not only with the dignity of women (especially those who don’t want to procreate), but also with their individual rights and fundamental liberties, concretely their reproductive liberty, protected in the constitution and in treaties.”

The proposed verdicts would apply to the pro-life constitutions of the states of San Luis Potosí and Baja California. 

San Luís Potosí‘s pro-life amendment, passed in 2009 in response to the legalization of abortion on demand in Mexico City, protects the unborn from the moment of conception, but makes exceptions in cases of rape, accidental miscarriage, or danger to the life of the mother.

The proposed verdict, which is not in its final form, must be ratified by eight of the court’s eleven justices to take effect.

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Adoption referrals at Planned Parenthood plummet as abortions rise

by Christine Dhanagom Wed Sep 14 09:38 EST Comments (2)

 

NEW YORK, September 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A “fact sheet” released this month by Planned Parenthood reveals that the organization has dramatically decreased its adoption referral rate, while its abortion rate has steadily increased.

The national abortion giant revealed that it had performed 332,278 abortions in 2009 and referred for 977 adoptions, for a ratio of one adoption referral to every 340 abortions. 

These figures represent a 59% decrease in adoption referrals and a 2% increase in abortions since 2008, when the numbers came in at 2,405 adoptions and 324,008 abortions. 

As an organization long at the center of public debate, Planned Parenthood has attempted in the past to draw attention towards its less controversial services, such as adoption referrals. 

The organization’s annual report in 2007 touted its increase in adoption referrals over the previous year as evidence of its commitment to providing women with “unbiased information.” 

“Planned Parenthood health centers also provide women facing unintended pregnancies with unbiased information about their options – parenting, adoption, and abortion,” read that year’s report. “Planned Parenthood health centers work closely with social service and adoption agencies in their communities to ensure the best possibly referrals for women who choose to continue their pregnancies.”

“In 2007, the number of adoption referrals at Planned Parenthood health centers increased by more than 100 percent. The number of abortions provided rose by a little more than five percent,” the report continued.

The total number of adoption referrals in 2007 came in at 4,912, compared to 305,310 abortions, for a ratio of 1 adoption for every 62 abortions. 

The 2006 rate was 1 adoption for every 120 abortions. The 2005 rate, released in the 2006 report after pro-life organizations criticized its absence from Planned Parenthood’s 2005 report, was 1 adoption for every 110 abortions.

2007, however, was the last year that the nation’s largest abortion provider drew attention to its adoption referral rate. 

When adoption referrals decreased by over 50% in 2008, Planned Parenthood removed the statistic from its report, burying it instead at the bottom of a “fact sheet” released three months earlier. 

It remains to be seen whether the continued decline of adoption referrals reflected in this month’s “fact sheet” will be included in the 2009 annual report, which has not yet been released.

Tags: adoption, planned parenthood

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Abortion protesters picket middle school of clinic owner’s daughter

by Kathleen Gilbert Wed Sep 14 09:36 EST Comments (14)

 

ROCKVILLE, Maryland, September 13, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a controversial move, Maryland pro-life activists infuriated by the local late-term abortion business of Leroy Carhart protested at the middle school of the daughter of the part owner of the facility, Todd Stave.

A small group of pro-lifers stood outside Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville on Thursday, holding a banner that showed the name of Stave, his photo, his phone number, and the words “Please STOP the Child Killing.”

Dr. LeRoy Carhart, one of only a handful of abortionists in America who perform late-term abortions, moved into Germantown Reproductive Health Services in December to dodge a Nebraska law banning abortion after 20 weeks based on the unborn child’s pain. Pro-life activists have repeatedly demonstrated since Carhart’s acceptance in Maryland, where investigators found that the abortionist omitted decades of late-term abortion work on his medical license application.

Defend Life Director Jack Ames said that his group organized the protest at the school because it was a “very good public venue.” The part owner of Germantown Reproductive Health Services, Ames said, should not be allowed to “hide under this cloak of anonymity.”

There were also two protesters holding banner-sized photos of aborted fetuses at both sides of the entrance to the school driveway on Scott Drive on August 29, the first day of school. 

Clinic owner Todd Stave, whose daughter is a sixth-grader at the Rockville school, said he saw the five protesters when he went to the school during Back-to-School Night. There, the school principal made an announcement, telling parents the protests had nothing to do with the school. 

The abortion clinic owner called the protest “horribly outrageous.”

“It is way crossing the line. I very much respect the right of the protesters to do so in front of the clinic, or the steps of Capitol Hill, or the courthouse,” Stave said. “But in front of a middle school is really not an appropriate place to do anything except protest for better teacher wages or the school budget.”

Maryland Coalition for Life also has launched a campaign focusing on the part owner and rented out office space directly across the parking lot from Carhart’s new Germantown abortion clinic, offering resources for women in crisis pregnancies or in need of post-abortion healing.

The coalition’s executive director, Michael Martelli, has said that the organization did not support the protest targeting the school.

Like slain Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller, Carhart is known for performing the gruesome procedure in even the latest stages of pregnancy.

During a 1997 US District Court hearing, Carhart testified that he would sometimes dismember advanced-stage unborn babies while the babies were still alive, and described in detail the process of grasping a baby’s limb and twisting it off. “I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see the fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound,” he answered, when asked about the moment of death.

Tags: defend life, leroy carhart, maryland

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