Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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Pro-abort activist: ‘You don’t have to argue that abortion stops a beating heart. It does.’

by Lucy LeFever Tue Jan 10 18:02 EST Comments (12)

 
Lucy Lefever

January 10, 2011 (LiveAction.org) - Would you be surprised if I told you this quote came from a pro-abortion advocate?  Well, it did.  Here is the quote in its context from Salon’s recent interview with Choices Women’s Medical Center President Merle Hoffman:

“Interestingly, although the standard pro-choice line is essentially to let the woman define the embryo or fetus for herself, Hoffman has a more controversial stance: ‘In the beginning they were calling it a baby. We were saying it was only blood and tissue. Let’s agree this is a life form, a potential life; you’re terminating it. You don’t have to argue that abortion stops a beating heart. It does.’ She adds, ‘I can’t say it’s just like an appendectomy. It isn’t. It’s a very powerful and loaded decision.’

But it’s a decision that she believes is irrevocably the woman’s, which in turn informs the rabid opposition to it: ‘The act of abortion positions women at their most powerful, and that’s why it is so strongly opposed by so many in society,’ she writes in ‘Intimate Wars.’”

As the Salon article acknowledges, this is not the standard pro-choice stance.  Often the abortion debate boils down to a disagreement on the humanity of the unborn child.  But here Hoffman agrees with the typical pro-life view that abortion is not like other medical procedures, as it takes a life and stops a beating heart.

I am pro-life because of the humanity of the unborn child. Hoffman is pro-choice despite the humanity of the unborn child.  Though more medically honest, this stance on abortion is far more frightening than the average pro-choice stance.

Admitting that abortion ends the life of a human being and still advocating for it sets a very dangerous precedent for our society.  Who are we to determine whose heart is allowed to beat and whose is not?  Every major social injustice, be it genocide, slavery, or oppression, starts with this terrible assumption, this belief that some humans are less deserving of fundamental rights than others.  Even if abortion “positions women at their most powerful,” taking innocent human life is a power that none of us should have or desire.

Though she initially acknowledged abortion for what it is, Hoffman followed her honesty about abortion in the interview with euphemistic language about abortion.  Below are two of the descriptions that she used:

“‘You know how many women have had abortions?’ Hoffman says. ‘Abortion is as American as apple pie. I think it’s one in three.’”

So because abortion is common, it’s American?  Abortion is popular in nations across the globe, so clearly popularity alone does not determine what is an American trait.  Actually, when one looks to the common definitions of American, one sees abortion goes against everything that is truly American.

American ideals include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, whereas abortion takes away life, thus, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  American’s pledge to a nation with “liberty and justice for all,” while abortion denies liberty and justice for some.  America is constantly defined by freedom, but abortion takes away all freedom from a very tiny American — an American who will never vote, never watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, and never taste apple pie.

“With my choice I was fighting for the right of all women to define abortion as an act of love: love for the family one already has, and just as important, love for oneself. I was fighting to reclaim abortion as a mother’s act.”

An act of love?

Hoffman clarifies that she is speaking about love for oneself and other family members, while love for the aborted child is completely overlooked.  She already conceded that abortion stops a beating heart — which definitely is not loving the child.  Love is sacrificial.  Love puts the needs of others first, rather than focusing on personal convenience.  Calling abortion “love” is the literal enactment of loving someone (oneself) to death.

But let’s look at the two kinds of love that were addressed: love for one’s born family and love for oneself.

For oneself, Hoffman ignores the large number of women who feel pain and regret following an abortion.  Whether their symptoms are nightmares, depression, or just the feeling of someone missing from their life, none of these common symptoms are evidence that abortion was an act of love toward the women who aborted.

As for love toward one’s born family, abortion still is not the answer.  Let’s put this into perspective: If a parent killed one of their born children so they could better take care of another, would the living child consider that an act of love?  It is not loving to end the life of one’s brother, sister, son or daughter — born or unborn.

Abortion stops a beating heart.  Once that is admitted, it is neither an “American” action, a “loving” action, or an action that should be permitted in our society.

Reprinted with permission from LiveAction.org

Tags: abortion

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Record number of babies saved from abortion in Boston in 2011

by Peter Baklinski Tue Jan 10 17:38 EST Comments (5)

 

BOSTON, Massachusetts, January 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Boston pro-lifers are celebrating a new record set last year for the number of babies spared from death at area abortion clinics.

The total number of babies saved from an untimely death by Saturday, December 31st, 2011 was 116, after Boston sidewalk councilors confirmed on that day that a young woman chose life for her baby, despite her mother’s wishes to the contrary. The number of babies saved in 2010 was 74. The old record was from 2009, with 99 babies saved.

Operation Rescue Boston collects their statistics from three of Boston’s abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood in Brighton, Women’s Health in Brookline, and a private clinic in Haverhill.

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Bill Cotter, head of Operation Rescue Boston has a strict criteria for what counts as a baby saved. Women must actually visit the abortion clinic and upon walking out, verbally express to a sidewalk councilor that they have decided not to go through with the procedure.

The pro-life group attributes their success to the implementation of a new strategy in which a pro-life group called Defenders of Women display glossy signs warning about the dangers of abortion and hand out attractive pro-life pamphlets in area schools, carnivals, colleges, and even on the streets.

The Boston pro-life group says that the pamphlets are making it easier for them to make a connection with women who access the clinics.

See YouTube Video of pro-life group Defenders of Women in action.

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Battle of the anti-Romneys: Paul pulls ahead in New Hampshire, Gingrich, Santorum in South Carolina

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Jan 10 17:15 EST Comments (3)

 
Ron Paul makes a point during a debate, while fellow candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum look on.

CONCORD, New Hampshire, January 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a primary season now infamous for its volatility, conservative contenders jostling for the title of the anti-Romney candidate are at least making one thing clear: it ain’t over til it’s over.

Conservative America’s bid to challenge the famously moderate Mitt Romney appeared as uncertain as ever this week: Santorum, who captured national interest in the wake of a Gingrich poll plunge, is already facing a challenge by Jon Huntsman, another pro-life Republican and the last candidate to see his own surge.

Last, that is, except for Ron Paul, the only anti-Romney contender who seems to break the fad-candidate pattern: fighting heavy antagonism from mainstream Republicans, the government minimalist has been keeping up a slow-and-steady rise, with the last Suffolk poll placing him in a solid second (20%) behind Mitt Romney (33%) in the Granite State. The same poll put Santorum – fresh off his near-victory in Iowa - ten points behind Paul, and three behind Huntsman, who benefitted from the Boston Globe’s endorsement and a superPAC ad buy totaling $1.25 million, according to the Huffington Post.

Very early New Hampshire Republican Primary results reported by the Associated Press Tuesday afternoon show Romney at 36.8%, Paul at 26.3%, and Huntsman at 21.1%. As in an earlier Iowa poll, Paul leads Romney in the early returns of Drudge Report’s poll.

As Santorum rides a media wave after his virtual tie with Romney in Iowa, the senator’s strong support of family values continues to bring conservative issues to the top of the news cycle. In particular, Santorum has caught flak for October comments pinpointing birth control as a primary of today’s sexual immorality, and for defending marriage.

“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is, I think, the dangers of contraception in this country,” he told an interviewer. “Many of the Christian faith have said, ‘Well, that’s okay. Contraception is okay.’ It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” A Salon article blasted Santorum for the remarks, warning that the candidate is “coming for your contraception.”

Meanwhile, despite finishing below Santorum in Iowa, the Ron Paul team is already speaking of the race as a showdown between Paul and Romney.

Paul, a personhood supporter and strict constitutionalist, targeted Santorum, Gingrich, and Huntsman on Tuesday for failing to distinguish themselves from Romney as big-spending conservatives and for what he deemed a cheap shot from all three against the Massachusetts governor over a quote taken out of context.

“Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, and Newt Gingrich are once again proving why they are unfit to be President and why this has become a two man national race between Mitt Romney, the candidate of the status quo, and Ron Paul, the candidate of real change,” said National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton in a statement Tuesday.

The two-man race claim has some grounding: after a months-long struggle with low media coverage, the Congressman from Texas found himself mobbed by reporters in New Hampshire, even forcing him to cancel a key campaign stop at a restaurant thanks to an unmanageable media swarm. Politico reports that Paul is gearing up to capitalize on his strength as the man with the most dedicated base, and is prepping to extend his campaign well past the early state primaries and into the national convention.

Paul has also used his platform to bring latent conservative issues to the fore, such as parents’ rights to educate children. “It’s not the government’s job to educate you, it’s your parents’ job,” Paul told a questioner who asked about his plan abolish the Department of Education on Sunday.

In the short term, the contours of the race promise to stay bumpy: a Public Policy Poll for the next-up South Carolina primary shows Mitt Romney leading at 27%, Newt Gingrich at 23%, and Rick Santorum at 18%. Ron Paul drew only 8%, and Huntsman, for all his effort in New Hampshire, trails political comedian and South Carolina native Stephen Colbert, 5% to 4%.

Huntsman also joins several candidates struggling to secure a presence in upcoming primary states: only Romney and Paul have collected enough signatures to appear on the Virginia ballot, and Huntsman failed to qualify in Illinois and Arizona as well.

Although Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli reversed his initial interest in reviewing the ballot qualifications, Santorum, Perry, and Gingrich have filed a lawsuit against the requirements. A U.S. District Court judge has barred distribution of the ballots, and indicated that he agrees the requirements may be unconstitutional, a decision Cuccinelli is fighting.

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Tags: election 2012, newt gingrich, rick santorum, ron paul

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Catholic school principal fired for promoting 40 Days for Life fights back with statement

by Patrick B. Craine Tue Jan 10 16:11 EST Comments (28)

 

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, January 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In his first public statement since controversy broke last year, the Winnipeg Catholic school principal who was fired in November after promoting the 40 Days for Life campaign argues that he was used as a “scapegoat” by Church and school leaders to escape negative media attention.

David Hood, the former principal at Christ the King elementary school, was dismissed following the publication of an Oct. 12th Winnipeg Free Press article alleging that he was planning to offer academic credit to grade 7 and 8 students who attended the 40 Days prayer vigil.

The article, which got immediate national attention and was the newspaper’s “most commented on” piece for 2011, sparked calls for the school to lose its 50 percent funding from the government for “political activism.”

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In his first public comment since that initial interview with the Free Press, Hood accuses the news publication of grossly misrepresenting and twisting his remarks, and ultimately blames the paper for his dismissal.

An ardent pro-lifer and father of seven children, Hood laments that the “most vulnerable in our society” ended up getting caught in the middle of the dispute.  “[These are] the souls whom I was trying to protect in the first place,” he writes, “our future students and citizens who are still in the womb.  This is the real travesty.”

Hood explains that the Winnipeg Free Press got on the story when some parents complained after he had encouraged families to join the 40 Days for Life vigil in the school’s newsletter.

While, according to Hood, he had emphasized that joining 40 Days for Life would be voluntary, and had stressed to the Free Press reporter that he was new in the job and was merely considering allowing the 40 Days to count for community service hours and would have to pass it by other school staff, the Winnipeg Free Press nevertheless ran with the headline “Anti-abortion vigil earns credit.”

“In the article, the opening sentence stated that children of the school who walk in the daily vigil would receive community service credit.  Let me be clear, I did not state - and have never stated any such thing,” Hood writes.  “Under my watch, no credit was ever given.  You know this – why continue to propagate lies?”

“The fallout from these allegations has not only cost me my job of many dedicated years in Catholic education, but has caused undue hardship to my wife and family of seven children,” he adds.

After the Oct. 12th article, the school and the Archdiocese of St. Boniface immediately distanced themselves from Hood’s comments.  He was put on leave the next day and then reinstated temporarily on Oct. 25th.

“I feel I was used as a scapegoat by those in power - who became uncomfortable with the situation and the media attention it garnered,” Hood wrote in his statement.

The archdiocese’s Director of Education Robert Praznik insisted that the Catholic schools would not give community service credit for a “political activity.”  Praznik told LifeSiteNews after the controversy broke that the archdiocese’s schools would not get involved with the 40 Days for Life because of its ties to Campaign Life Coalition, a national pro-life group that works to secure full legal protection for the unborn.

Archbishop Albert LeGatt himself has participated in the city’s 40 Days vigil, which takes place outside Women’s Hospital, and even was the speaker at the midpoint rally in fall 2010.

“The ‘40 Days for Life Vigil’ is a peaceful and prayerful activity underscoring a major church teaching: ‘the sanctity of life from conception to natural death’,” writes Hood.  “While abortion may be a controversial issue in the public sphere, it is considered ‘a grave offence’ in the eyes of the Church. (Catechism of the Catholic Church Article 2270-2275)”

“We should not be apologizing for our Catholic beliefs. … Nor should one be chastised for promoting these beliefs to students within the Catholic system,” Hood insists.  “Those within the Catholic community, who question the Sanctity of Life and its profession to the masses, should seriously question their Catholicity.”

Hood concludes: “It should be understood that I am not bitter, nor do I hold any grudges or resentment.  I do however, feel the public - and those directly involved - deserve to hear the truth.”

Read David Hood’s complete statement here.

See Winnipeg Free Press article covering David Hood’s current statement.

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Ontario Catholics launch prayer campaign to protect school kids from homosexual agenda

by Peter Baklinski Tue Jan 10 15:49 EST Comments (13)

CAMBRIDGE, Ontario, January 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A group of Catholic parents concerned about Dalton McGuinty’s Equity and Inclusivity Education policy (EIE) met last Saturday to set a course of action to protect their children from what they consider to be the threat of the homosexual agenda in schools.

“I have found out that many ordinary Catholics want to do something. So starting tomorrow we are all going to pray,” said Kim Galvao of Concerned Parent of Ontario, who was present at the meeting.

In a straight-talking op-ed that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on Wednesday, Tory MPP Randy Hillier lambasted Mcguinty’s attempt to implement his strategy through the passage of his Accepting Schools Act, a bill that Hillier called “wanting”, “utopian and foolhardy”, and “reach[ing] the zenith of downright stupidity.”

Mcguinty’s Bill 13 mandates creating what he calls “gay-straight alliance” school clubs in which members are identified as being “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, two-spirited, intersexed, queer and questioning.”

“Rather than minimizing differences,” said Hillier, the clubs help “segregate and highlight the differences between people. The last thing a vulnerable child needs is more differentiation from others in the schoolyard. The result will be nothing less than painting a bull’s eye or target on their backs,” he concluded.

Other critics have said that Mcguinty’s EIE strategy, which targets both Catholic and public schools, uses the classroom as a vehicle to indoctrinate students into accepting the homosexual lifestyle.

“This represents an unconstitutional abuse of power, using state-sponsored propaganda to subvert parents’ rights over the moral education of their own kids,” said a spokesperson from the The Parental Rights in Education Defense Fund, an organization that financially assists parents who decide to take the fight for their children’s morality against Canada’s educational system in the courts.

“We have to fight for our children’s innocence. Once it is gone there is no way to get it back,” said Galvao in an e-mail to LifeSiteNews.

The Catholic parents say that they have decided to turn to God to beg protection for their children who attend Ontario schools. Last Sunday they kicked off the “Save the Children Rosary Campaign.” They plan to meet every Saturday, 7:00 PM at the Marian Residence in Cambridge, Ontario to beg for divine assistance in an area where they say politicians have failed them.

The parents are asking others to join them in their prayer. They are asking parents who cannot attend the event to “please pray at home with your family or in your church quietly.”

Galvao would like to see the prayer campaign spread across the country.

“We can no longer pretend that the issue does not exist. This agenda is in the air we breath. The gay agenda attacks the family. We have to be strong and brave,” she said.

Address to attend the Save the Children Rosary Campaign
640 Hill view Cambridge, ON
Every Saturday at 7:00 pm

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Priests for Life promoting four-pronged attack on abortion industry in 2012

by The Editors Tue Jan 10 14:44 EST Comments (2)

 
Fr. Frank Pavone

AMARILLO, Texas, Jan. 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, revealed plans this week to target the abortion industry in 2012 that he says he is confident will close many abortion facilities and place many abortionists in jail.

“The approach,” Fr. Pavone explained, “is simple: a) uncover the ways abortionists break the law and get them punished for it; b) reveal the nature of the abortion procedure itself; c) show the harm abortion does to the very people the abortion industry claims to serve, and d) pray more intensely than ever for abortion to end.”

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“Building on the work done by many other groups with whom we collaborate, we will begin this month to accelerate the investigation of abortion clinics, which break laws left and right. We will bring special attention to the ten abortionists in Texas who have to answer to the Texas Medical Board for numerous violations, and will see to it that they are held accountable,” Fr. Pavone explained.

“As I have said since I began my work with Priests for Life in 1993, our job is to exploit the weaknesses of the abortion industry, which is collapsing under its own weight. The evil it does cannot withstand the light of human conscience.”

Pavone said that in the coming weeks, Priests for Life will provide information to Churches across America, to pro-life groups, media outlets, and to the general public regarding the details of this four-pronged strategy.

Tags: abortion, frank pavone, priests for life

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Judge allows Planned Parenthood facility to open in Detroit suburb

by Ben Johnson Tue Jan 10 14:19 EST Comments (3)

 
Judge James Alexander listens to arguments in the case over the Planned Parenthood facility.

AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN, January 10, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – This morning, a Michigan judge ruled that Planned Parenthood may open a new facility in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills, because its business qualifies as an “office.”

Oakland County Circuit Judge James Alexander ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan, which has been locked in a property dispute with a neighboring hotel for more than a year.

Comfort Inn Suites, which owns an adjacent property, entered into a restrictive covenant to limit the property’s use to a “restaurant, retail or office.”

Planned Parenthood claimed its business fit that definition. However, the other side argued in court, “The zoning code of Auburn Hills itself distinguishes between ‘medical office’ and ‘office’ by its own terms and, thereby, directly supports defendant’s position.”

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This morning, Judge Alexander agreed with Planned Parenthood. “In this case, plaintiff has the legal right to use the property as a medical office,” he ruled.

“We are filled with great sorrow and disappointment today,” Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, said in a statement. “Judge Alexander’s ruling will lead to the killing of innocent human life when Planned Parenthood opens the doors of this clinic. We worked hard to stop the spread of abortion’s injustice and hoped to spare Auburn Hills this place of death, lies, and sorrow. We are sorry that the hotels in the direct vicinity of the Planned Parenthood building may have to share their business environment with the sordid practice of abortion.”

“I thought that the hotel owners had a good argument,” Rebecca Kiessling, http://rebeccakiessling.com a pro-life lawyer who was conceived in rape, told LifeSiteNews.com. “The whole point of deed restrictions is to protect adjacent property owners. I’m sure they thought they were protected when…they first purchased their own property over a decade ago. I hope they prevail on appeal.”


In late November 2010 Planned Parenthood purchased the 17,050 sq. ft. facility, located at 1625 N. Opdyke Road in Auburn Hills.

The owner of the Comfort Inn Suites, Shri Sai-Krishna Group, LLC, instantly objected, and the property became the site of protests featuring hundreds of people, organized by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, the Pro-Life Action League, Central Oakland Right to Life, and others.

“We don’t know if we are even going to perform abortions there,” claimed Lori Lamerand, CEO of Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan in December 2010. The abortion provider countersued the hotel owner, Shri Sai-Krishna Group, LLC, in May.

Lamerand insists they still have not determined whether they will perform abortions at the new clinic. After the ruling she told a local newspaper, “We’re full speed ahead to try and make sure that Oakland County residents get the health care they need.”

Family advocates in the area are concerned about the change this facility will bring to their community. Kiessling said, “My family law practice was two doors down from where this abortion clinic is set to open, so I know the people of this community. It’s…a primarily Hispanic/African-American community. There are two junior colleges and one university within a mile or two from this location.”

“I hope the good people of my community will offer more support to Crossroads Pregnancy Center of Auburn Hills so that they can open a satellite location or move their location across the street from Planned Parenthood,” she said.

Pro-life forces vow they will not back down. “I know that the Comfort Inn hotel will appeal this case,” said Miller. “And we remain undaunted. We will continue to fight the opening of this death center—and be a voice for those innocent unborn who cannot speak for themselves.”

Last month, the state of Michigan canceled a $200,000 grant to build the facility.

 

Contact Information:
Judge Richard Alexander
Courtroom 1B
1200 N. Telegraph Rd., Pontiac, MI

Tags: abortion, auburn hills, michigan, planned parenthood

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Victory: Texas sonogram bill ruled constitutional

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Jan 10 13:28 EST Comments (4)

 

AUSTIN, Texas, January 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A federal appeals court has ruled that Texas may enforce a pro-life law passed last year requiring abortion-bound mothers be told of their baby’s stage of development and offered the option of hearing his or her heartbeat.

A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a temporary injunction against the law and advised U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks to reverse his ruling against the law from last August.

The court also flatly contradicted opponents’ claims that the law, which requires doctors to disclose details of the baby’s limb and organ development, was an assault on abortionists’ constitutional rights as a form of forced-speech.

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“The required disclosures of a sonogram, the fetal heartbeat, and their medical descriptions are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information,” wrote Chief Judge Edith H. Jones in her opinion. The court pointed to Supreme Court precedent supporting informed-consent statutes against the same argument.

After opponents argued that the information was medically superfluous, Jones countered that, given that abortion is not used strictly as a medical procedure but as an exercise in self-determination, informed consent is essential. “The point of informed consent laws is to allow the patient to evaluate her condition and render her best decision under difficult circumstances,” she wrote. “Denying her up-to-date medical information is more of an abuse to her ability to decide than providing the information.”

The law, passed in the 2011 Legislative Session and deemed a legislative “emergency” by pro-life Texas Gov. Rick Perry, was hit with a lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which procured the injunction before it was due to go into effect last September.

Under the law abortionists will have to offer women the option of hearing the heartbeat of their unborn child and seeing the child’s image in a sonogram, a procedure normally performed before abortions but normally out of sight of the mother. The mother may decline; however, the abortionist must describe her unborn child at that stage in his development, and describe what organs and limbs are formed as well. Exceptions are made when the unborn child was conceived in rape or incest, or suffers from a severe disability.

Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America hailed the ruling as “a paramount victory for women and the pro-life movement.”

“The Fifth Circuit has recognized that women deserve to be told the truth about abortion procedures. I am excited to see how this impacts the rate of abortion in Texas and the many lives that will be saved,” said Hawkins in a statement Tuesday.

 

Tags: abortion, texas, ultrasound

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Finding life after abortion, part I: the descent into hell

by Peter Baklinski Tue Jan 10 12:46 EST Comments (16)

 
Ma'May Faucher

Note: This is Part I of a two part series.

ORANGE, California, January 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The 28 year-old woman did not feel loved in her on-again off-again relationship with her boyfriend. In fact, he was becoming downright abusive. During an off-period, the young woman fled into the arms of another man, seeking solace and acceptance. She soon learned that she was carrying his child.

It was the year 2000. Ma’May Faucher from southern California was just making ends meet. She had been raised with Christian values, but, as she told LifeSiteNews in a recent interview, had rejected her upbringing, feeling that it made her too “closed-minded and judgemental.”

Partying, experimenting with drugs, and making herself sexually available was how she had decided to make herself happy. Ma’May was living life in the fast lane. She had convinced herself to enjoy every moment of it. Becoming pregnant brought her life to a screeching stop.

She now felt like her world was crumbling apart. She knew she didn’t love the father of her child, and didn’t think it was possible to raise a child with him. She was now beginning to think that she could barely take care of herself. “How in the world am I going to take care of another person?” she remembers thinking.

The pregnant woman did not know where to turn for help. The father of the baby had already told Ma’May that it was ‘her life’ and that she could do what was best for her. She made a phone call to the only resource she knew, Planned Parenthood.

The receptionist was empathetic, telling Ma’May that an abortion was the only answer to her problems. It would free her from responsibilities and allow her to pursue the career she really wanted, she was told. Ma’May began to think that perhaps the receptionist was right: how could she possibly bring another person into the world?

The baby’s father agreed to pay for the abortion.

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The night before the procedure Ma’May remembers feeling “overwhelmed with sorrow and deeply depressed.” She spent the night curled up in a ball crying inconsolably. She says she felt “alone and scared” and was “angry” that she had to make such a difficult decision. She didn’t understand why she was so upset. If the procedure really was her choice and the best option, why did she feel so terrible?

There were protesters outside the abortion clinic that morning. Ma’May remembers seeing baby dolls in their hands. She turned down their brochures and did her best to avoid their pleading gaze. She recalls that she was thankful at the time that they didn’t have any abortion pictures or posters.

The clinic lobby was packed with people, no one smiling. A nurse performed an ultrasound, telling Ma’May that she was 8 weeks pregnant. The technician asked her if she wanted to view the monitor, but told her that there was really nothing to see but a blob of tissue. “After I heard those words I felt so relieved,” she said. “Great, it’s just a ‘blob of tissue’. It will be just like picking a scab. No big deal,” she thought, trying to reassure herself.

Ma’May awoke from the procedure, feeling numbed in body and soul. She felt like the inside of her heart had been carved hollow. “I felt like something was wrong and I wanted to bury it,” Ma’May says she thought at that time.

The abortion, instead of helping her to recover her sense of freedom and ambition made her feel “worthless and unlovable, like a piece of useless garbage.” She says that she despised the man who had put her in that position.

“I fell deeper into self-medicating and abusing drugs. I was trying to kill the pain, the void, the reality of what I had done,” Ma’May recounts. She surrounded herself with people who supported her decision. But this only advanced her more swiftly down a destructive path. She hated herself and thought that no one could love her after what she had done. Bouts of depression left her feeling empty and suicidal.

“I got to the point in my addiction that I longed for death,” she said.

Even five years after the abortion Ma’May would wake up some mornings begging God to make it her last day on earth. She was now in a drug-plagued relationship with another man. They lost everything to feed their addiction. “We did not have a place to live and our families did not trust us,” she said.

Ma’May’s companion suggested that they seek refuge with his parents. Both parents were God-fearing Christians. She remembers well the day they knocked on the door seeking a place in which to continue their lifestyle. But something happened to them for which she will be forever grateful.

The father of the young man refused to let them cross his threshold.

The young man’s mother approached her son sorrowfully. “Son, can you imagine how this makes me feel knowing that your father will not let you come into our house?” she cried softly to him. Something suddenly stirred in Ma’May as she beheld the scene unfold between the mother and her estranged son.

A childhood religion lesson flitted through her mind about how Mary, the mother of Jesus, prayed for all God’s children to enter into the house of the Father. She had learned how sad Mary becomes when God’s children do not follow His plan for their lives. Her religion lesson was being acted out right before her eyes.

For a moment, she caught a glimpse of how far she had traveled from ‘home’. She suddenly realized how sorrowful her earthly mother must be on account of her choices.

Instead of giving the young broken man and woman a roof over their heads, the concerned father and mother offered to send them to a restoration and rehabilitation program that was based on Gospel principles. Ma’May remembers her heart leaping at their offer. “I knew it was my only chance. I was so sick of being sick and tired,” she said. She had come to a point where she knew beyond a doubt that her life choices had only worked against her. “What could it hurt to try it God’s way,” she reasoned.

Read Part II of this series here.

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Abortionist will be extradited to Maryland to face murder charges

by Operation Rescue staff Tue Jan 10 12:19 EST Comments (1)

 
Abortionist Steven Brigham

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, January 10, 2011 (OperationRescue.org) – Abortionist Nicola Irene Riley made a brief appearance in court yesterday morning in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she waived an extradition hearing, clearing the way for her to be transported to Maryland to face murder charges.

Riley was indicted last month by a Maryland grand jury on one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder for her participation in an illegal bi-state late-term abortion scheme with the notorious New Jersey abortionist Steven Chase Brigham. She continues to be held without bail.

Brigham was charged and has already been arraigned on five counts each of first and second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. He was released on January 6, from the Cecil County Detention Facility after posting a $500,000 bail with a combination of personal assets and the use of a bail bondsman.

Riley and Brigham were caught when Riley perforated the uterus and bowel of a late-term abortion patient at a secret late-term abortion mill in Elkton, Maryland. Their suspicious behavior at the hospital emergency room, where they had transported the bleeding patient in a rental car, raised red flags with ER workers who reported them to the police. Their clinic was later raided by police, who discovered the bodies of 35 aborted babies in a freezer. The babies were as old as 36 weeks gestation, according to documents seized during the raid.

In September, 2010, Operation Rescue filed a complaint with the State Attorney in Elkton, Maryland, asking for criminal charges against Brigham, and launched grassroots efforts to bring him to justice.

Further investigations by Operation Rescue uncovered that Riley had lied about a previous criminal conviction and prison sentence in order to gain licensure in three states. She is currently banned from doing abortions in any state.

Riley is expected to be transported to Maryland within the next few days where she will be arraigned.

Read detailed background on Riley and Brigham’s murder case

Tags: abortion, nicola riley, operation rescue, steven brigham

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New 911 tape reveals botched abortion at Virginia Planned Parenthood

by Operation Rescue staff Tue Jan 10 12:05 EST Comments (4)

 

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia, January 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A life-threatening abortion injury at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has come to light two months after it occurred thanks to pro-life activists who worked to document the incident.

Operation Rescue has published a recording of the 911 call placed by an obviously shaken non-medical Planned Parenthood employee on October 14, 2011. The recording was obtained by pro-life activist Louantha Kerr through an open records request.

The 911 recording was heavily redacted by Virginia Beach city officials. Nevertheless, it shows a medical emergency involving heavy bleeding on a 28-year old abortion patient that could not be controlled by two Planned Parenthood physicians.

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Photographs taken by Kerr at the time of the incident depict an ambulance at the scene and a row of Planned Parenthood workers trying to block pro-lifers from documenting the event. At least one Planned Parenthood worker blocked cameras with an umbrella. A sign hanging above the door of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic read, “Planning for Parenthood is Sacred Work.”

“Instead of ‘planning for parenthood’, that abortion clinic is more likely planning to profit from dead babies and broken women who have to live for the rest of their lives with the fact that they killed their own babies,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger.

“With 96 per cent of all pregnant women entering Planned Parenthood being sold abortions, it’s not hard to see how abortion is a cash cow for them. Based on years of experience investigating abortion clinics, we have found it is standard practice for them to place profit above the health and safety of women.”

The clinic involved in the botched abortion injury has recently applied to the state to upgrade to outpatient hospital status and add two operating rooms, apparently to avoid running afoul of Virginia’s new clinic regulations that went into effect on January 1, 2012. Abortion clinics have until March 30, 2012, to apply for a new facility license and undergo inspections.

“We call on Virginia regulators to deny Planned Parenthood’s request to expand their business,” said Sullenger. “If the abortions they are doing now are not safe, they certainly should not be allowed to inflict their dangerous abortion practices on even more women. There should be a thorough investigation of the October abortion injury and strong consideration should be given to shutting down this clinic altogether.”

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Romney, Santorum say Roe should be overturned

by Dave Andrusko Tue Jan 10 10:45 EST Comments (7)

 
Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney at a debate in Iowa

January 10, 2012 (NationalRighttoLife) - In the first of two debates, separated by only ten hours, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum agreed that Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion on demand, should be overturned.

Saturday night’s New Hampshire Republican primary debate was supported by ABC News, Yahoo, and WMUR-TV. The moderators were ABC’s George Stephanopoulous and ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Sunday’s Debate was moderated by “Meet the Press” host, David Gregory.

Queried by Stephanopoulous, Romney said, “In my view, Roe v. Wade was improperly decided.” Romney then voiced his support for judicial restraint. “And in my view, if we had justices like [John] Roberts, [Samuel] Alito, [Clarence]Thomas, and [Antonin] Scalia, and more justices like that, they might well decide to return this issue to states as opposed to saying it’s in the federal Constitution.”

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After Stephanopoulous combined several issues into one confused question, Romney formulated the query so as to be able to respond directly: “Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade? Yes, I do.”

Santorum, too, said, “I am for overturning Roe versus Wade.” Referring to Roe and a prior decision which found a right to privacy in the Constitution Santorum said, “They created through a penumbra of rights a new right to privacy that was not in the Constitution.”

He added, “I do not believe that we have a right in this country, in the Constitution, to take a human life. I don’t think that’s — I don’t think our founders envisioned that. I don’t think the writing of the Constitution anywhere enables that.”

Reprinted with permission from NationalRighttoLifeNews.org.

Tags: election 2012, mitt romney, rick santorum

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NewsBytes - Islamic persecution of Christians

by Steve Jalsevac Tue Jan 10 09:51 EST Comments (0)

* Disclaimer: The linked items below or the websites at which they are located do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.com. They are presented only for your information.

Compiled by Steve Jalsevac

Imprisoned in Iran: an inspiring story - CBN.com
Dan Baumann spent years ministering in Muslim countries. On a two week trip to Iran he was detained at the border.  Dan shares his story.

Pakistan: ‘Jesus Christ’ among words banned in text messages - Catholic culture

Another Christian Martyred in Pakistan - National Review

Punjab, Catholic activist murdered by Muslim Mafia by Jibran Khan
Akram Masih, married and father of four children, was killed last night by an armed commando close to Muslim landowners. For years the man was the target of threats, for his strenuous battle to defend the rights of minorities. Local Priest: Muslims landowners “steal” Christian property with the support of authorities.

Radical Muslim Cleric: Christmas the Pathway to Hell - Townhall
A Muslim lawyer has launched an extraordinary rant against Christmas, branding the celebration ‘evil’.

Islamic scholar: “Saying Merry Christmas is worse then fornication or killing someone

Christians in imminent danger across the world are refused refugee status while Muslim refugee immigration goes unimpeded - Jihadwatch

Iraq: Attacks and threats continue against Christians, world looks the other way - Jihadwatch

Police Detain, Beat Converts from Islam in India - Compass Direct

Hindu And Muslim Extremists ‘Infiltrating’ Christian Groups In India - persecution.org

Nigerian Attacks Deplored as ‘Un-Islamic,’ But Polls Show Millions of Muslims Do Not Reject Suicide Bombings - CNS News

Nigerians Fear More Attacks After Muslim Terrorists Kill 35 Catholics at Christmas Mass - CNS News

Christians Given 3 Days to Leave North Nigeria or Face Death - Christian Post
The militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, has issued a chilling warning to all Christians in northern Nigeria, giving them three days to leave or face further extensive attacks.

Muslim woman settles federal lawsuit against Catholic diocese for having to take a lunch break during Ramadan - Jihadwatch

Egypt Muslim group orders Christian TV station off air - Times Live

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Birth control becomes a major issue at GOP debate

by Ben Johnson Tue Jan 10 09:07 EST Comments (2)

 

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE January 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – George Stephanopoulos, the moderator of Saturday evening’s Republican presidential debate in Manchester, introduced a new issue into this year’s ever-changing presidential race: banning contraception.

Stephanopoulos began a contentious exchange with Mitt Romney by asking, “Do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception, or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?”

The former Massachusetts governor replied that since no state is considering such a ban, the question was “an unusual topic” and “kind of a silly thing” to ask. After saying he “would totally and completely oppose any effort to ban contraception,” he stated the Supreme Court had wrongly promulgated its “right to privacy” doctrine, and he supported the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Stephanopoulos was openly booed when he introduced a follow-up by saying, “You’ve given two answers to the question.” He later asked if the Constitution should be amended to ban birth control. “No, states don’t want to ban contraception, so why would we try to put it in the Constitution?” Romney retorted.

“Contraception? It’s working just fine,” Romney said. “Just leave it alone.”

Three of his Republican rivals weighed in on the issue. Ron Paul, whom Romney invoked as an expert on the Constitution, said the Fourth Amendment guarantees a right to privacy, and the Interstate Commerce Clause protected the sale of contraception.

Santorum said two Supreme Court cases had “created, through a penumbra of rights, a new ‘right to privacy’ that was not in the Constitution.”

“I have seven kids,” Jon Huntsman joked, after saying he supported civil unions for same-sex couples. “Glad we’re off the contraception discussion.”

The topic was raised in part by Santorum’s surge, after narrowly losing the Iowa caucuses last week. In October, he told a blogger he would use the bully pulpit to talk about “the dangers of contraception” and “the whole sexual libertine idea.” The two items represented, in his opinion, “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

He later said that, under the Tenth Amendment, states had the theoretical right to pass a law banning contraception.

Last Friday, he told ABC News’ Jake Tapper, “States have the right to pass even dumb laws,” including “a law against buying shoestrings.”

He added while he opposes funding Planned Parenthood, he does not favor outlawing contraceptives that prevent fertilization. “The idea I’m coming after your birth control is absurd,” he said. “I don’t think the government should be involved in that.”

However, many in the pro-life movement draw a clear connection between the two issues. “First let’s be clear: nobody is actually proposing that contraceptives be banned,” said Eric Scheidler, 45, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League.  “But,” he told LifeSiteNews.com, “the close connection between contraception and abortion that Rick Santorum points to is one that we need to face squarely. In fact, an honest assessment of how contraception has impacted our society is long overdue.”

The 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut struck down a Connecticut statute banning the sale of birth control, after a Planned Parenthood activist opened a clinic in the state. Justice William O. Douglas ruled that, while the Constitution does not specifically contain a right to privacy, “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.” 

In a scathing dissent, Justice Potter Stewart wrote that the Griswold case caused legal discourse to “descend to the level of a play on words.” Although he called the law “uncommonly silly,” he concluded, “With all deference, I can find no such general right of privacy in the Bill of Rights, in any other part of the Constitution, or in any case ever before decided by this Court.”

The case was raised to new importance eight years later, when Roe v. Wade cited Griswold’s new-found right to privacy as “broad enough to encompass” abortion.

Critics accuse Santorum of being obsessed with the issue of the unborn. The Sunlight Foundation critiqued “the degree to which Santorum favored topics such as abortion, fetuses and wombs when he was serving in Congress’ upper chamber.”

Media observers blasted Stephanopoulos, a former communications director in the Clinton administration, for asking biased and irrelevant questions. Committee For Justice executive director and constitutional lawyer Curt Levey said in a statement, “Knowing that Romney and most Americans would not support a government ban on contraceptives, Stephanopoulos’s apparent goal was to trip up Romney, who believes that Roe v. Wade — in which the Supreme Court relied on a supposed constitutional right to privacy — was wrongly decided.”

Others squirmed at frank talk of sexual issues in a partisan forum. Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post referred to the exchange as “the seven most awkward minutes of our collective lives.”

While some accuse Santorum and other Republican candidates of imposing their morality on the electorate, Newt Gingrich drew attention to the lack of media coverage against “anti-Christian bigotry.”

Gingrich, a recent convert to Roman Catholicism, objected, “You don’t hear the opposite question asked. Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples – which is exactly what the state has done? ... Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration in key delivery of services because of the bias and bigotry of the administration? The bigotry question goes both ways, and there’s a lot more anti-Christian bigotry than there is concern on the other side, and none of it gets covered by the news media.”

Deal Hudson of the Catholic Advocate said Santorum’s success proves “the political viability of a Catholic candidate who does not compromise on social issues and offers real world solutions to the challenges of the budget, the economy, and foreign policy.”

New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary takes place on Tuesday. Some villages begin voting at midnight.

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After months of wrangling, U of New Brunswick gives club status to pro-lifers

by Patrick B. Craine Tue Jan 10 08:51 EST Comments (2)

 
UNB Students for Life members after they were granted club status

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick, January 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The pro-life club at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton was granted club status and funding by their student union Sunday after months of wrangling.

When UNB Students for Life applied for status in October, the Student Union criticized the group’s “controversial” nature, and suggested it would be “single issue” and spread “misinformation.”  In November the union delayed their decision on the basis that they needed more information, and then, after the group complied, denied them status in December.

“We’re excited to finally get the group off the ground, having passed this first hurdle,” said Shane Westin, the club’s vice-president.  “It’s unfortunate that our club status was delayed so long, but now that we have it we can move forward and start planning events.”

Rebecca Richmond, executive director of the National Campus Life Network, told LifeSiteNews the vote was decidedly in the club’s favour, and the reasons for the reversal are unclear.

“The previous application had been rejected due to a supposed ‘lack of information’,” she said.  “The club had re-submitted their application and responded to questions posed, providing, for example, the names and websites of the local resources and organizations they had planned on referring students to.”

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Richmond joined club president Amanda Magee and other club members at Sunday’s meeting, where Magee delivered a presentation.

Magee had said previously that part of their frustration over the denial of their status resulted from a lack of communication on the part of the Student Union.  She and her group had to rely on the student’s newspaper and the minutes of the Student Union’s meetings to piece together where their group stood.

“All we want is the same rights as other clubs so we can do these things on campus,” she said. 

Westin said after the meeting Magee requested a letter of apology over the miscommunication.  “A Council member agreed to send that signed apology letter to her soon, which was, in a way, an acceptance of responsibility,” he said.

“We’re pleased that the Student Union finally granted the club the rights they were due and we look forward to working with UNB Students for Life as they plan and host events this winter,” said Richmond.

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Record number of pro-life laws passed by states in 2011

by Michael New Mon Jan 09 19:10 EST Comments (1)

 

January 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Last week, the Washington Post’s Wonkblog posted a story by Sarah Kliff about the success that pro-lifers enjoyed enacting incremental state-level laws this past year. The Guttmacher Institute reports that 83 pro-life laws were passed in 2011, more than double the previous record of 34, enacted in 2005, and more than triple the 23 enacted in 2010.

Kliff attributes this increase in pro-life laws to the political gains that Republicans made during the 2010 election. While there is certainly some truth to this, there are a number of long term trends that escape Kliff’s attention. First, since the mid-1990s, the Republican party has become a more uniformly pro-life party, so when Republicans possess unified control of government, they face fewer internal obstacles to the passage of pro-life laws.

lso, many recent Republican political victories have occurred in Southern and Midwestern states where Democrats have historically controlled the state legislatures, and newly elected Republican majorities have succeeded in passing pro-life laws in a number of these states, including Alabama and Michigan.

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There were also a number of circumstantial factors that led to the passage of more pro-life laws last year. Eight states responded to the threat posed by Obamacare by banning abortion coverage in new insurance exchanges. Technological developments prompted five states to ban the use of telemedicine for the provision of abortion medication. There was also the Live Action Films video series, coupled with fiscal shortfalls, which resulted in nine states cutting funding to Planned Parenthood.

Kliff, like many commentators, takes considerable pains to portray the Roe v. Wade decision as moderate and reasonable, stating that it “gave states a fair amount of leeway in shaping access.” In reality, Roe took abortion policy away from the states and prevented states from providing legal protection to the unborn.

However, subsequent Supreme Court decisions — most notably the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision — have given state-level pro-life laws greater constitutional protection. There is a good chance that future Supreme Court decisions will continue this trend, so the state-level gains that pro-lifers enjoyed in 2011 bode well for the future of the movement.

Michael J. New is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan–Dearborn, a fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, and an adjunct scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute in Washington, D.C. This article originally appeared at National Review, and is reprinted here with permission.

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Nancy Pelosi’s conscience problem

by Kathleen Gilbert Mon Jan 09 19:00 EST Comments (2)

 

WASHINGTON, (LifeSiteNews.com) – When it comes to a reputation for ethical statesmanship, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set her own bar remarkably high.

As she prepared to take leadership in the House of Representatives in 2006, Nancy Pelosi said. “The Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open, and most ethical congress in history.” The Democrats kept up that theme in their “New Direction Congress,” with Pelosi In 2008 announcing a new Office of Congressional Ethics to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

The former Speaker has also frequently touted her personal uprightness as a “devout Catholic,” although this has famously not stopped her from advocating for abortion.

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Yet the Congresswoman may have a harder time holding that line following a revelation that she failed to disclose a lucrative relationship behind her endorsement of the now-ambassador to Hungary.

When Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis was considered for the ambassadorship in November 2009 Senate hearings, she was vocally promoted by Ms. Pelosi, alongside California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, a fellow member of the Greek Orthodox Church and a recipient of Tsakopoulos’ campaign donations.

At the time, Pelosi did not disclose her family’s lucrative investment relationship with the Tsakopoulos family that later was found to have spanned more than 20 years.

According to the Washington Times, Ms. Pelosi and her husband netted between $1 million and $24 million dollars in an investment partnership the former Speaker of the House partially disclosed for the first time last year.

Pelosi revealed that her husband had entered into a partnership with the ambassador’s father, Angelo Tsakopoulos, 12 years ago, investing between $1-5 million in a real estate project known as Russell Ranch, and would only confirm its worth was within the range of $5-20 million. The Times calls Tsakopoulos one of the largest land developers in Northern California.

It was far from the duo’s first partnership. In addition, records show:

- Mr. Pelosi’s real estate partnership investments with Mr. Tsakopoulos have netted him between $1.4 million and $9 million since 1991, according to Mrs. Pelosi’s personal financial disclosure statements. Mrs. Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis has been president of her father’s real estate business since 1993.

- According to the Speaker’s House financial disclosure statements, Mr. Pelosi made two investments with the Tsakopoulos family in 1991 totaling between $500,000 and $1 million, another in 1995 between $250,001 and $500,000, and a fourth in 1997 between $1 million and $5 million. The investments netted the Pelosis at least several hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Speaker’s disclosures.

- In 2009, Mr. Pelosi bought the football team now known as the Sacramento Mountain Lions. Angelo Tsakopoulos was a minority investor in the team. 

Meanwhile, Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis has established herself as a prominent source of pro-abortion and Democrat donations, including funds given to EMILY’s List, a group dedicated to electing pro-abortion women to political offices. Pelosi herself received $24,000 from Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis.

Mr. Pelosi has maintained that everything is on the level. “There is no story here. My business dealings have nothing to do with my wife’s political career,” he told the Times.

Although ambassadorships often result from a shady mix of personal and financial ties to any given administration, watchdog groups said that Pelosi’s lack of disclosure before the Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis hearings were at least less than honest.

“This is exactly what it looks like: Pelosi filing false financial disclosure reports to hide her family’s financial ties to a wealthy real estate developer,” said Ken Boehm, Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a D.C.-based watchdog group. “The fact that Pelosi then did favors for her family’s wealthy cronies just confirms the corrupt nature of the relationship.” 

Public Citizen, a group founded by Ralph Nader, also found the silence questionable. “It would have been better if there was a conflict of interest to clear the air,” said PC legislative representative Craig Holman.

The Times’ Chuck Neubauer concluded, “While ambassadorships often are part of a ‘spoils system’ that rewards big donors and the politically well-connected, the Pelosis’ relationship with Mr. Tsakopoulos goes well beyond the business-as-usual label.”

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