Thursday, February 2, 2012

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My Trisomy 18 son is not alive because of a miracle. He is alive because we chose life for him.

by Alex Hauber Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (15)

 
The author with his son Lane, who has Trisomy 18.

February 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - I am the proud father of a three year old son named Lane who was born with full Trisomy 18. Many within the medical community would say that boys with this condition - the same genetic condition that Rick Santorum’s daughter Bella has - never survive. Many would say that Lane’s life is a ‘miracle.’

The fact that Lane is alive is not a miracle. Lane is alive because my wife and I chose life for him. We made the decision to provide the same medical treatment for Lane as would be provided to another child without a discriminatory genetic label. Karen and Rick Santorum made the same decision for Bella.

From the time that the genetic conditions Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18 were first identified in the 1960’s, it seems the children who receive these diagnoses have been abandoned by the medical system, likely due to the certainty that survivors had severe disability. A publication in the Lancet in 1992 stated, “A newborn infant with trisomy 18 should be considered as a patient with a hopeless outlook who ought not to be subjected to invasive procedures.(i)” Along the way, someone coined the phrase “incompatible with life” in reference to both Trisomy 13 and 18 and that seems to have stuck.

In 2003, the truth began to emerge. In a paper titled, “Lethal Language, Lethal Decisions(ii)” physicians who are leaders in pediatric ethics noted that medicine had evolved since the 1960’s and that treatment now existed for some of the conditions which many children with Trisomy 13 and 18 died from. They suggested that calling these conditions “lethal anomalies” is “not only inaccurate, it is also dangerous; by portraying a medical condition what is in fact a judgement about the child’s quality of life, it wrests from the parents a decision that only parents can make.”

There is a wide spectrum in the manifestation of Trisomy 13 and 18. Sadly, many children born with these conditions are severely afflicted and live a short, but very valued life. Yet many children are left to die - not because they can’t be helped - but because the doctors withhold treatment on account of the genetic label. Parents are told that nothing can be done, though this is often not true.

It was a great surprise to everyone when a national review of pediatric cardiac surgeries in 2004(iii) revealed that 35 children with Trisomy 13 and 18 had obtained cardiac surgery and survived - at a rate of 91%! So much for universally “lethal” and “incompatible with life”!

The internet has allowed parents of these relatively rare conditions to network like never before. Blogs, websites and social networking sites like Facebook devoted to Trisomy 13 and 18 have grown exponentially in the past decade. Parents who receive a diagnosis of these conditions are sometimes told “there are no survivors” or “children who survive live a life of unremitting suffering.” Many parents who receive such a diagnosis will search online for more information. It won’t take long before they discover that there are many happy living children who have families who love to care for them.

Last year, Dr. Lawrence Fenton, a retired neonatologist, took the time to attend the annual conference for trisomy families. He was so surprised and delighted to meet the children living so well with trisomy 13 and 18 and their siblings and parents that he published a commentary(iv) about his experience. With respect to assessment of quality of life, he wrote, “Smiles and laughter need no score pad.” He added, “They [the trisomy parents] deserve our respect our affirmation, our support and part of our humanity as we true to do our part to make their lives and the lives of their children as good as can be.”

The most important truth about children like Bella and others with trisomy 13 and 18 is the beauty of their lives. Research done on over 300 parents of children in our community(v) revealed that most of us were told by medical providers that our child was incompatible with life, would live a life of suffering, or would be a vegetable. Yet parents responded overwhelmingly that our children are happy, enrich our families, improve our marriages and have a positive effect on their siblings.

My son, Lane, was diagnosed with Full Trisomy 18 at three days old. Prior to getting the results of the FISH test, the hospital told me that Lane’s heart condition could be repaired. However, after the results came back, the hospital then informed me that there wasn’t anything more the hospital could do for my son. So I took Lane home at nine days old on hospice, but Lane had another plan. He continued to get stronger every day, and so as his strength and fight improved…so did my fight to do anything I could to give my son the best quality of life.

My journey with Lane has given me a new perspective on what the pursuit of happiness really means…take each day as it comes, enjoy the little things, live…love…laugh to the fullest. He has taught my family how to work as a team, to treat all life with respect, patience, and to truly love unconditionally! As hard as this journey with Lane can get at times, I’ve been blessed to realize the strength that I possess as a human being and as a father to the most beautiful spirit I have ever encountered. This journey has been so worth the hardships because my son has taught me to be a better man and father. In honor of my son, I have dedicated my life to spreading awareness of Trisomy, and so Trisomy Advocacy Group was born.

In John 9, Jesus tells his disciples that a man is blind not because his parents sinned but “so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” It is these works of God that are the true miracle of the lives of Lane and Bella.

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Footnotes

(i) Bos AP, Broers CJ et al, Avoidance of emergency surgery in newborn infants with trisomy 18, Lancet 1992 Apr 11;339(8798):913-5
(ii) Koogler TK, Wilfond BS, Ross LF. Lethal language, lethal decisions. Hastings Cent Rep. 2003 Mar-Apr;33(2):37-41.
(iii) Graham EM, Bradley SM, Shirali GS, Hills CB, Atz AM; Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium. Effectiveness of cardiac surgery in trisomies 13 and 18 (from the Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium). Am J Cardiol. 2004 Mar 15;93(6):801-3.
(iv) Fenton LJ. Trisomy 13 and 18 and quality of life: treading “softly”. Am J Med Genet A. 2011 Jul;155A(7):1527-8.
(v) Our Children Are Not a Diagnosis”: Parents Judging Life with Trisomy 13 and 18. Annie Janvier, Barbara Farlow, Benjamin Wilfond. Presented at 2011 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, Denver CO


Alex Hauber is the president and founder of the Trisomy Advocacy Group whose mission is to advocate for the Trisomy community by empowering families and the medical community to make informed decisions regarding the care of Trisomy children. Please go here.

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The inside story on Komen’s split from Planned Parenthood

by Jill Stanek Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (56)

 

February 2, 2012 (JillStanek.com) - I was on the road this week when the news broke that Susan G. Komen for the Cure was defunding Planned Parenthood.

Since then abortion proponents and news organizations have worked themselves into a frenzy speculating why it happened and who is to blame – from George W. Bush, to new SGK VP of public policy Karen Handel.

This is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write what I know.

I have a source who reaches into the SGK board of directors. My source told me in December this split was in the works but that SGK did not want to make a big splash about it. Their plan was to disentangle from Planned Parenthood quietly and move on.

It was Planned Parenthood, not SGK, that tipped off the Associated Press with the news of the break, just as it was Planned Parenthood that tipped off the AP about Live Action’s sex trafficking sting, and Planned Parenthood that tipped off Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff about Congressman Cliff Stearns’ investigation.

Planned Parenthood’s modus operandi is to try to destroy its enemy first. Planned Parenthood does this to try to manage the messaging and ameliorate the damage. Note from the AP article:

Komen, while not publicly announcing its decision to halt the grants, has conveyed the news to its 100-plus U.S. affiliates. Richards said she was informed via a phone call from Komen’s president, Elizabeth Thompson, in December.

My source said Planned Parenthood broke the story for an additional reason: to frighten other corporations from trying to do what SGK did. See what will happen to you if you dare, is Planned Parenthood’s underlying warning. My source said this will not work. Other organizations are anticipated to follow SGK’s lead.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

People are speculating whether SGK will begin funding PP again if the Stearns’ investigation goes nowhere. The answer is no. Two reasons, according to my source.

First, PP burned a bridge by breaking the story. Second, note SGK’s new criteria that stipulates it will give no grant money to “organizations that are under local, state or federal investigations.” Aside from the federal investigation, Planned Parenthood is currently being investigated in several states. Those will never end. There will always be another. SGK does not plan to fund PP ever again.

SGK’s back-up plan is to initiate another new policy that will only allow grants to go to organizations that focus on breast health.

The biggest reason SGK stopped funding Planned Parenthood? “Nancy Brinker said she was spending nearly half her time dealing with the Planned Parenthood issue,” said my source. “She decided she just couldn’t do it any longer.”

Quite simply, Planned Parenthood is poison.

According to my source, there are still five SGK affiliates that have contractual agreements with Planned Parenthood thru 2012, made before the new policy was enacted. The Denver SGK affiliate says its agreement with PP runs through March 2013.

Nevertheless, I think pro-lifers should start donating to SGK now to show our appreciation.  And we should also thank SGK for doing the right thing. Donate here. At present pro-aborts are pummeling SGK. As we all know, they excel at bullying.

Reprinted with permission from JillStanek.com

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Komen donations soar after cutting ties with Planned Parenthood

by Ben Johnson Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (26)

 
Bryan Kemper

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 2, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation is reporting a massive uptick in fundraising ever since the women’s health organization announced it is cutting ties with Planned Parenthood.

In a conference call on Thursday its founder, Nancy Brinker, told reporters donations to the Komen foundation have increased 100 percent over the last two days.

Brinker said the organization would cease most of its funding for the abortion provider, because “wherever possible we want to grant to the provider who is actually providing the life-saving mammogram.”

“Planned Parenthood does not do breast cancer treatment and does not do mammograms, contrary to what some news outlets, including Fox News, are reporting,” Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, told LifeSiteNews.com. “They just do the manual exam that women can do at home, and then they charge women for it.” 

Because of new grant criteria – and an ongoing congressional investigation – the Komen foundation announced earlier this week that it will no longer fund Planned Parenthood in most cases. In November, Komen also adopted a new policy opposing embryonic stem cell research that results in “destroying a human embryo.”

Brian Kemper, president of Stand True and the director of youth outreach for Priests for Life, told LifeSiteNews.com the decision is “going to open the door to a lot more support for them, especially from the pro-life community, who also believe in the cause of trying to bring an end to breast cancer.”

“I see this as a great victory,” he said. “It’s one more step in bringing this giant down.”

Malec agreed she was “very pleased” with a decision that “takes a great deal of political courage.”

However, Komen is not alone in raising new money from the estrangement. Planned Parenthood turned the Komen announcement into a fundraising opportunity and claims to have raised $650,000 in 24 hours. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced this afternoon that he will personally donate $250,000 to the abortion organization. 

Kemper dismissed the estimated windfall – and the idea that it should discourage pro-life activists. “It’s just rhetoric from Planned Parenthood,” he said. “Yes, they’re going to fundraise off of this but that doesn’t stop us from what we’re doing – getting corporations and organizations not to fund them anymore.” He added that Planned Parenthood’s purchase of a new $35 million headquarters in New York City proves “they don’t need the money.”

Kemper hoped advocates for the unborn would express their thanks for the revised grant policy by signing an online petition. “I encourage everybody to go to IStandWithKomen.com,” he said. “It’s important that we get as many people as possible to let the Susan G. Komen Foundation know they did a great thing.” Thousands had signed within the petition’s first few hours of existence.

“We certainly want supporters to contact Komen and to express their strong appreciation for this move,” Malec told LifeSiteNews. “We also encourage Komen to take it another step forward and fully recognize the abortion-breast cancer link, for which we have 55 years of overwhelming evidence – biological, epidemiological, and animal research – and also stop downplaying the link between the [birth control] pill and breast cancer.”

Some in the pro-life movement have been more reticent in throwing their weight behind the breast cancer organization.

Life Decisions International, which adds corporate funders of Planned Parenthood to The Boycott List, has announced that Komen will remain in its “Dishonorable Mention” section until it issues its final outstanding grant to Planned Parenthood affiliates. There are currently five grants yet to be fully paid to local clinics, and three will be extended through at least 2013.

You can contact the Komen foundation here.

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Komen Foundation to continue funding some Planned Parenthood affiliates - for now

by Ben Johnson Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (6)

 
Austin Ruse

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 2, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Although the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has decided to immediately end most of its funding for Planned Parenthood around the nation, three clinics will see their grants renewed for at least another year.

Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Susan Koman’s sister and the group’s founder, confirmed Thursday afternoon that the foundation will extend grants provided to three of the 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates currently receiving funding into the 2012-2013 year. This is in addition to five grants which have already been approved but not yet dispersed.

The Komen foundation’s Denver affiliate stated on its website that it the national organization granted a waiver to continue funding Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, which operates facilities in Greeley, Aurora, and Fort Collins, because most of its clients are poor and uninsured.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Komen announced it would no longer fund the nation’s leading abortion provider earlier this week, based upon new guidelines not to fund organizations that are under investigation, as well as more rigorous standards to ensure grant effectiveness.

Brinker told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Thursday afternoon these grants may be extended in the coming years. “We have three grants that will go on this year, and they will probably be eligible for the next grant cycle,” Brinker said. “We have not said that we won’t accept grants that meet our criteria.”

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), told LifeSiteNews.com these three grants were made “on a hardship basis until they can be replaced. At this time next year, it will all be over.”

Ruse said it was unlikely the philanthropic foundation would renew its ties to the nation’s leading provider of abortions. While the current congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood temporarily limits funds, Ruse noted that Komen has also adopted new criteria focusing on organizations that “provide primary care of women or research.” Planned Parenthood is disqualified from funding under this new policy, since it does not directly provide such services but acts as a “pass-through” organization, referring women to other providers for mammograms.

However, Ruse added, there is another reason Komen may reassess its relationship with its former beneficiary. “Planned Parenthood’s vicious attacks against Susan G. Komen for the Cure has engendered a great deal of hurt and anger inside the organization,” he said. “Planned Parenthood is utilizing a scorched earth policy against Komen and burning all their bridges.”

“Nancy Brinker may be trying to make conciliatory gestures to her former friends, but she is discovering what we have known all along, that Planned Parenthood are dishonest thugs,” Ruse said.

Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, told LifeSiteNews.com, “There’s a possibility that they may return to funding Planned Parenthood. I think that people really need to let Komen know where they stand on this, and that they support Komen’s decision to cut off all funding of Planned Parenthood, because there may be some testing of the waters going on right now.”

 

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Komen head: Planned Parenthood lost funding because they don’t do cancer screenings

by Kathleen Gilbert Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (1)

 
Nancy Brinker

February 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a tense exchange with MNSBC’s Andrea Mitchell Thursday, the founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure explained that her group stopped funding Planned Parenthood because the abortion organization doesn’t actually provide cancer screenings, but simply refers patients to other clinics.

While extreme vitriol has been aimed at the breast cancer foundation following the news of their decision this week, Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker says the decision was simply the result of putting “metrics, outcomes, and measures” to their grants for better use of funds. Mitchell objected, questioning Komen’s possible political motivations, pointing out that Komen’s grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening “have nothing to do with any contraceptive or abortion counseling.”

“That’s not the issue, because that’s not our issue,” Brinker replied. “Our issue is grant excellence. [Planned Parenthood clinics] do pass-through grants with their screening grants: they send people to other facilities. We want to do more direct service grants.”

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Komen indicated this week that Planned Parenthood has also lost funding because it is under federal investigation.  But the CEO also said that the group is, in point of fact, “not defunding Planned Parenthood” completely, at least not yet. “We have three grants that will go on this year, and they will probably be eligible for the next grant cycle,” she said.

When questioned whether the blowback from Planned Parenthood supporters was worth it, Brinker said that the real impact on the foundation has been just the opposite.

“The responses we’re getting are very, very favorable,” she said. “People who have bothered to read the material, who have bothered to understand the issues - again, we work for mission every day of our lives.” The Daily Caller reported Thursday that Komen for the Cure’s donations have doubled in the past two days.

Although Planned Parenthood often used its role in cancer prevention to argue against the rash of state funding cuts last year, undercover investigations found the claim that it is heavily involved in cancer screening practically baseless.

After Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards in March cited “mammograms” as one of the group’s services, a Live Action investigation found that none of the 27 Planned Parenthood clinics they contacted in 30 states provided the breast cancer screening.

When Planned Parenthood funding was targeted in Indiana, a similar investigation debunked its claims as a major Medicaid provider to low-income Indiana residents.

 

Tags: abortion, komen for the cure, live action, planned parenthood

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‘Abortion will end in America’ Eduardo Verastegui tells pro-lifers

by Peter Baklinski Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (4)

 
Eduardo Verastegui

DENVER, Colorado, February 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The star of the film ‘Bella’ encouraged benefactors at a fundraiser for a soon-to-be opened pregnancy center with his conviction that abortion in America will come to an end. 

“I think we will see regeneration — I’m very optimistic— and we will see the end of abortion in this country,” said Eduardo Verastegui to more than 500 people at a sold-out January 26th fundraiser for the Lighthouse Pregnancy Center in Denver, CO.

During his testimony, Verastegui who is Latino, described his frustration a few years ago after encountering 10 abortion clinics within a one mile radius right in the heart of Los Angeles’ Latino population.

The movie star was inspired to open a pro-life medical centre, what he called an “oasis of life” in a “desert of death.” Many people pointed out to him all the difficulties, especially raising the necessary funds, but Verastegui was not deterred. The culture of death is “not afraid to do big things, why are we afraid to do big things?” he asked.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

With the help of the local pro-life community, Guadalupe Medical Center in Los Angeles opened August 15th, 2010. For Verastegui, the most “amazing part” was knowing that when women in a difficult situation enter the centre they “don’t feel alone anymore” because there are “so many volunteers, so many people just hugging them [and saying] ‘we’re your friend and family.’”

Verastegui expressed support for the Lighthouse Pregnancy Center’s goal to become an oasis of life right next to the second largest Planned Parenthood center in the country. “I am just so excited to hear that you are doing the same thing here,” he said, adding that it is “really the best way to really win this culture of death and turn this culture into a culture of life.”

Rosalinda Lozano, executive director of Lighthouse Pregnancy Center told LifeSiteNews that she shares Verastegui’s optimism that a culture of life will bring abortion to an end in America.

“I believe that instead of talking about our so-called rights, we need to start talking about the truth and educating women on their own strengths that have been taken away from them in the past.”

Lozano said that pregnancy centers like Lighthouse exist not to take away women’s rights, but to educate women to recognize the “strength, courage, and intelligence” they possess and to help them recognize that the baby they carry within them is their very own child.

“They have the strength and the intelligence to make the right decision, and that is to give life to their child,” she said.

Lozano believes that she will live to see the day when abortion will be a choice that women will not make because they will be educated in the truth.

Verastegui indicated that he would like to come back to Denver for the grand opening of Lighthouse Pregnancy Center in May on Mother’s Day weekend.

To open their doors by May 13th, Lighthouse Pregnancy Center is still in need of local volunteers and financial support. “We are still in the renovation process,” said Lozano. “Any donations would be most appreciated.” 


Contact information:

Lighthouse Pregnancy Center (http://www.lighthousedenver.org/)
5994 S Holly Street #148
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Ph: (720) 320-2449

Online contact form (http://www.lighthousedenver.org/3/contactus.htm)

Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lighthouse-Pregnancy-Center/200172346690475)

See clip from Eduardo Verastegui’s testimony (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMM5isa1jz0&feature=player_embedded) on YouTube:

Tags: abortion, bella, eduardo verastegui

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Merck-funded scientist pushes HPV vaccine for boys despite absence of proof of efficacy

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (2)

January 31, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A researcher who has been a consultant for the manufacturers of the controversial Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine has conducted a study using money from the one of the companies that purports to show that boys are more likely to contract oral HPV than girls.

Dr. Maura L. Gillison, a professor at Ohio State University who has worked as a consultant for Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, was the “principal researcher” for the study, which was itself funded partly by Merck.  She is not being coy about the conclusions she wants the public to draw from the results.

“The new data should give parents more to think about as they consider whether to vaccinate their children—especially their sons,” says Gilson, in the words of the LA Times. The paper goes on to quote her verbatim as saying, “Some parents may have felt that the risk of HPV infection wasn’t relevant to them. But this study shows 1 in 10 boys has an infection that can lead to a cancer.”

Gillison’s words to the press are very different from those contained in the study itself, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): “Vaccine efficacy against oral HPV infection is unknown, and therefore vaccination cannot currently be recommended for the primary prevention of oropharyngeal cancer.”

The LA Times, Time Magazine, and other mainstream media outlets are reporting the results without mentioning the source of the study’s funding, nor the intimate relationship of the researcher with Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.

However, the study clearly states her relationship in its “Conflict of Interest Disclosures” which notes that “All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Dr Gillison is the principal investigator of the unrestricted grant from Merck in support of this study and has been a consultant to Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. No other disclosures were reported.”

Time Magazine even provided a link with their coverage promoting the use of Merck’s Gardasil HPV vaccine, stating “Gardasil Protects Boys and Men From HPV Too” despite the fact, admitted by Time itself in the link, that the Centers for Disease Control does not purport to know the efficacy of the drug for men and boys and does not recommend it for “routine vaccination.”

Gillison had not responded to an interview request by the time of publication of this article.

The study concludes that 6.9% of Americans have an oral form of a cancer-causing strain of HPV, and that the rate is substantially higher for males (10.1%) than for females (3.6%). The rate of infection, however, is far lower for oral HPV than the overall rate in women, which ranges from about 22% to 42%, depending on the age group.

The study also found that the rate of oral HPV infection for carcinogenic HPV strains was much higher among sexually active people than those who had never had sexual intercourse (7.5%  vs 0.9%) and increased with the number of sexual partners. It was also higher for smokers than nonsmokers.

The high rates of oral HPV infection in the general population are believed to be caused by the large number of Americans engaging in oral sex. HPV strains transmitted by such behavior have caused oral cancers to skyrocket by 225% from 1974 to 2007.

High rates of cervical and other forms of cancer caused by genital HPV transmission have led to the creation of HPV vaccines, which have been criticized for the large number of adverse and even deadly reactions associated with them.

The US Centers for Disease Control states that “as of September 15, 2011, there have been a total 71 VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) reports of death among those who have received Gardasil®. There were 57 reports among females, 3 were among males, and 11 were reports of unknown gender. Thirty four of the total death reports have been confirmed and 37 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report.”

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Miss Delaware: ‘Life is beautiful, and life begins at conception’

by Jessica Ferraro Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (14)

 
Maria Cahill with a young fan.

February 2, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - Maria Cahill is not your typical Miss Delaware. Underneath the glittery dresses, and dazzling smile is a girl who is down-to- earth, motivated, and courageous.

She is determined to redefine the “pageant girl image” by proving that your favorite meal can be a Big Mac from McDonald’s (don’t forget the large fry!), and you don’t have to think twice before playing video games with your brothers.

She couldn’t care less if she broke a nail; but most importantly she couldn’t care less about what people think of the principles she lives by and the causes she is adamant about. Where is the golden rule that if you are a beautiful and confident young woman in the spotlight you must either conceal your conservative values or pump your fist high for “women’s rights”? Well, it’s her body, her choice, and she has chosen to stand for life.

Maria is the second oldest of seven children, and has always been passionate about the pro-life movement:

“It came from growing up in a household where the value of life was respected no matter what the case. I became even more involved when I met women that were contemplating abortion. Seeing the pain in their eyes and hearing them talk about the fact that they believed that there was no other way out was heart wrenching; and honestly made me want to make a difference”.

Standing firm amidst today’s opposition is not an easy task, though. Shocking right? No, but one would hope that in a society that promotes the “liberation of women”, a young woman would be free to speak her mind on one of the biggest controversies that has enveloped her generation. “Thinking of the lives that will be lost, and how these children have not had the opportunity to make a name for themselves”, only compels her even more to be their voice. She continues to spread her message regardless of the harsh criticism she sometimes receives along the way. “One of my mottos is, “it is better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you are not”.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Four days after returning home from the Miss America competition, Maria was back on the road again; only, this time to a less flashy destination. The 2012 March for Life in Washington, D.C. couldn’t have been a more perfect opportunity for Miss Delaware to be a public witness for this powerful movement.

In an interview with EWTN’s Teresa Tomeo during the march, Maria stated “it doesn’t matter whether I’m a Miss Delaware or just Maria Cahill walking the streets. My message is still the same, and that is that life is beautiful and life begins at conception”.

Maria is proud to be a voice for a movement that she has stood for all her life, and honored that the Miss Delaware organization would give her the opportunity to publicly share her beliefs. She says:

“I have heard that because I am in the public eye, I have no right to speak about the pro-life movement. I feel the total opposite. There is a crown on my head for a reason. I am trying to save innocent lives and if it takes a crown for people to maybe consider this issue a little further, then my mission has been accomplished.”

With crown and sash in hand, Maria Cahill not only continues to defy the status quo, but is becoming a source of encouragement for those new to the pro-life movement and those who have fought in it tirelessly for years. Perhaps it stirs an excitement in each one of us to rediscover the talents we possess that can be instrumental in swinging this culture of darkness to the light. Maria’s crown is her means to inspire… what is ours?

Reprinted with permission from the LiveAction.org blog

 

Tags: abortion, march for life, maria cahill

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Pro-aborts hack Komen website over cutting Planned Parenthood

by Kathleen Gilbert Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (38)

 

February 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Internet hackers eager to take revenge against Susan G. Komen for the Cure for cutting its financial ties with Planned Parenthood have hacked the breast cancer foundation’s web address to ridicule the group.

Even as Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker told MSNBC Thursday the overall response to the groups’ decision this week was “favorable,” the opposing party made their ire known: Komen’s Internet visitors Wednesday night began noticing elements on the site mocking the group.

The graphic on the Komen page, which Mediaite reports is actually a fake site to which hackers re-directed visitors the Komen.org URL, had replaced its original text with “Help us run over poor women on our way to the bank.”

As of Thursday morning, the Komen website appears still to be forwarding to the address identified as fake, ww5.komen.org instead of www.komen.org, although the graphic appears to have returned to normal.

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Washington state Senate passes gay ‘marriage’ bill

by Kathleen Gilbert Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (26)

OLYMPIA, Washington, February 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A bill to legalize same-sex “marriage” has passed the Washington state Senate, paving the way for passage in the House of Representatives as early as next week.

SB 6239 passed the upper chamber 28-21 on Wednesday night, days after gaining the approval of a Senate committee on a party-line vote. In the full vote, four Republicans crossed party lines to support the bill, while three Democrats voted against.

The measure is expected to pass the House, and has already won the support of Democrat governor Christine Gregoire, making it likely that Washington will soon become the sixth state to recognize the new definition of marriage.

Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.

Earlier last month, Gregoire, now in her final year in office after choosing not to run for a third term, announced that she would introduce the bill after several years of opposing the marriage redefinition.

“I’m sorry that it took me as long as it did. But it’s genuine. It’s not about politics. It’s very heartfelt. It’s about my [Catholic] faith and I have struggled with it,” she said.

In 2009, Washington state passed an “everything but marriage” domestic partner bill that granted homosexual relationships seeking partnership status with marriage benefits.

 

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Parents sue after Quebec teen dies following Gardasil vaccination

by Thaddeus Baklinski Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (15)

MONTREAL, February 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The parents of a 14-year-old girl who died following Gardasil vaccinations provided by the Quebec government are suing the manufacture of the HPV vaccine, pharmaceutical giant Merck Frosst, as well as three doctors and a clinic, for $197,000.

Annabelle Morin died on December 9, 2008 after having received two doses of Gardasil under a program introduced by Quebec in September 2008.

Annabelle’s mother Linda said her daughter received the first shot at a clinic in October 2008, and that the teenager vomited, became confused and incoherent and was unable to speak or walk, according to a QMI Agency report.

Annabelle was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with a migraine and sent home.

The lawsuit alleges that Annabelle received a second dose of Gardasil at her school on Nov. 24, 2008 and again became ill.

Two weeks later her parents found her dead in the bathtub.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do,” Linda Morin told QMI Agency.

“This image will stay in my head for the rest of my life. It’s a nightmare. We often say that time heals things (but) time hasn’t healed anything yet.”

Named in the lawsuit are Merck Frosst Pharmaceutical, the clinic where Annabelle received the first dose of Gardasil, and pediatrician Guylaine Larose, neurologist Amelie Nadeau and Annabelle’s family doctor, Lynne Nadeau.

Linda Morin claims she was not informed by Merck Frosst or the clinic of the side-effects and adverse events linked to Gardasil, and that the doctors were negligent in their treatment of her daughter.

Health Canada approved Gardasil on July 18, 2006. Since then, all provinces and territories in Canada have implemented publicly funded HPV vaccination programs, giving the dangerous drug to girls as young as 9.

As of September 30, 2009, the Public Health Agency of Canada had received a total of 603 reports of adverse events following vaccination with Gardasil, which included twenty-two hospitalizations and one death, according to the PHAC’s website.

In the US, which also approved Gardasil in 2006, records from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) document 28 deaths in 2008, the same year that Annabelle died, that showed an association with Gardasil.

Overall, the FDA documented 6,723 “adverse events” related to Gardasil in 2008, of which 1,061 were considered “serious,” and 142 considered “life threatening.”

Last November a well-known doctor who has repeatedly warned about the dangers of vaccines and who is particularly concerned about the Gardasil vaccine, released two video testimonies by young women who were severely harmed after having been injected with Gardasil.

Dr. Joseph Mercola said that the U.S. government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database indicates that Gardasil has been linked to 49 sudden deaths, 213 permanent disabilities, 137 reports of cervical dysplasia, 41 reports of cervical cancer, and thousands of adverse events reports, ranging from headaches and nausea, to outbreaks of genital warts, anaphylactic shock, grand mal convulsion, foaming at the mouth, coma and paralysis.

“Deadly blood clots, acute respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and ‘sudden death due to unknown causes’ have all occurred in girls shortly after they’ve received the Gardasil vaccine,” Dr. Mercola explained. “These are atrocious risks to potentially prevent cervical cancer one day down the road. Because let’s not forget that the HPV vaccine has not yet been proven to actually prevent any kind of cancer.”

Dr. Mercola noted that parents must be made aware that HPV vaccines protect against only two of the more common strains of HPV associated with cancer, HPV-16 and HPV-18, even though there are more than 100 different types of HPV, at least 15 of which cause cancer.

“The bottom line is that Gardasil is largely ineffective, potentially very dangerous, and a major waste of money,” Dr. Mercola stated.

The videos posted by Dr. Mercola, and further information, are available here.

Tags: gardasil, hpv

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Southern Baptist leader: Obama Contraception mandate ‘is not only a Catholic issue’

by Ben Johnson Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (60)

 
Dr. Albert Mohler

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, February 2, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Obama administration’s mandate that religious institutions cover all birth control, including abortifacient drugs like Plan B and Ella, and sterilization in their health insurance plans has people of faith banding together across traditional doctrinal divisions. Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said any government law requiring people of faith to violate their conscience “is not only a Catholic issue, even though the mainstream media wants to make this a Catholic issue.”

Dr. Mohler, an influential leader in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination and the wider evangelical movement, sounded off during his daily podcast on Tuesday. “[E]vangelicals need to stand back and – in our own terms, on our own doctrine – understand that our religious liberty is being similarly subverted and attacked.”

Although many evangelicals and Protestants do not share the Roman Catholic belief that all forms of artificial contraception are immoral, all Christian churches have traditionally taught abortion is wrong, he said.

The health care reform carves out a narrow exemption for the mandate for churches and institutions that serve only members of their own faith. All others must fund contraception, including abortifacient methods such as Ella and Plan B.

“And this coverage that is now required of us and all religious employers other than local churches does mean that our institutions, our seminaries, our colleges and others that might serve anyone outside the faith will also be covered by this mandate and thus forced to violate our own consciences,” he said.

Mohler said he admired “the courage of the Roman Catholic bishops in saying they are willing to go to jail rather than to comply” and wondered how many evangelical leaders will be willing to do the same.

“We’re going to find out in the coming months,” he warned. “In the meantime, everyone who stands both for the sanctity of human life and for the mandate of religious liberty must express outrage in whatever form is available to us to the president of the United States.”

He went on to hope “remedial legislation” and “court action” would “restore religious liberty to Christian institutions to operate in a Christian manner on the basis of Christian conviction in supposedly free America.”

Mohler may have had in mind the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 introduced earlier this week by Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL. Rubio describes the proposal as “a commonsense bill that simply says the government can’t force religious organizations to abandon the fundamental tenets of their faith because the government says so.”

Under current regulations, religious institutions have an extra year to comply with the mandate.

“This (the one-year delay) does nothing to expand conscience protections it merely punts compliance for most religious employers with conscience objections until after the election,” Tom McClusky of Family Research Council’s activist arm, FRC Action said in a statement. “Despite the fact that certain drugs and devices approved by the FDA can work after conception to destroy a newly developed baby, the Obama administration mandate still forces all insurance plans to carry these drugs and devices even if employers are morally opposed.” McClusky said he hopes “all voters who respect life take note of the Obama Administration’s ardent policies against life and religious liberty and vote accordingly in November.”

The new regulations have the Catholic Church finding support across the religious spectrum.

Galen Carey, Vice President for Government Relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, said, “The HHS rules trample on our most cherished freedoms and set a dangerous precedent.” Carey, who met with President Obama last July to promote continued funding of welfare programs, said, “Freedom of conscience is a sacred gift from God, not a grant from the state.”

The outpouring of support has crossed confessional, and sometimes religious, boundaries.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has filed two lawsuits against HHS challenging the contraception mandate on behalf of both Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic liberal arts college founded by Benedictine monks, and Colorado Christian University, an evangelical school. 

A coalition of more than 60 religious leaders, including two Orthodox Jewish leaders, signed a letter to President Barack Obama, stating that “religious organizations beyond the Catholic community have deep moral objections.”

The letter, written last December 21, said, “Most press reports on the controversy concerning the contraceptives mandate portray the opposition as coming only from the Catholic Church and Catholic organizations. But this is wrong. It is emphatically not only Catholics who deeply object to the requirement that health plans they purchase must provide coverage of contraceptives that include some that are abortifacients.”

It noted the same coalition sent a previous letter to Joshua DuBois, who heads up Obama’s outreach to faith communities, asking for him to remedy these concerns, without success.

Among those who signed it were Dr. Richard Land, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the leaders of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, the Assemblies of God, and the Wesleyan church.

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Pelosi: Girl Scouts ties with Planned Parenthood, other organizations, ‘very valuable’

by Kathleen Gilbert Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (27)

 
Nancy Pelosi

WASHINGTON, February 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - When asked about Girl Scouts of America’s (GSUSA) connections to Planned Parenthood, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the relationship between the two groups is “very valuable.”

CNSNews.com asked the former House Speaker following a Girl Scouts-sponsored event, “The Girl Scouts has had some ties to Planned Parenthood, do you think that’s a valuable relationship to have working together?”

“The Girl Scouts have relationships with many organizations, and, yes, I think they are all very valuable,” Pelosi replied.

Pelosi had been featured at the reception to promote “To Get Her There,” a new initiative by GSUSA to promote women’s leadership.

While the national branch of Girl Scouts has recently been denying the organization’s relationship with Planned Parenthood, on March 5, 2004 Girl Scouts CEO Kathy Cloninger admitted on NBC’s The Today Show: “We partner with many organizations. We have relationships with…Planned Parenthood organizations across the country.”

In national survey in 2004, sixteen Girl Scout councils admitted to partnering with Planned Parenthood, around 25% of the councils who responded to the survey. Most did not respond, however.

The Girl Scouts/Planned Parenthood controversy erupted anew in 2010 after it was revealed that the scouting group distributed a graphic sex education pamphlet by Planned Parenthood entitled “Happy, Healthy, and Hot” during an event at the United Nations headquarters. Last month, a Catholic parish in Virginia banned the Girl Scouts from meeting on church grounds over the Planned Parenthood connection.

In January a teenage Girl Scout employee who wore a “Pray to End Abortion” t-shirt to work during off-duty hours was ordered to turn the t-shirt inside out or leave.

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Tags: abortion, girl scouts, nancy pelosi, planned parenthood

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State drops request to force mentally ill Catholic woman to have an abortion

by Ben Johnson Thu Feb 02 09:30 EST Comments (6)

 
Judge Christina Harms

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, February 2, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A petition that could have forced a 32-year-old mentally ill woman to abort her child against her religious objections has been withdrawn.

Norfolk Probate and Family Court Judge Gregory V. Roach authorized the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) to announce the petition was withdrawn on January 23. 

Former Norfolk Probate Judge Christina Harms had ruled on January 6 that the woman, who is described only by the pseudonym “Mary Moe, could be “coaxed, bribed, or even enticed…by ruse” until she was sedated for an abortion, which Moe’s parents sought against her will. Harms also ordered Moe sterilized.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

“Mary Moe” suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. According to court documents, Moe had a psychotic breakdown after a previous abortion and “believed people were staring at her and stating that she killed her baby.” In court, she described herself as “very Catholic,” and told the court she “wouldn’t do that (abortion)” again; a court-appointed expert said she would not choose another abortion if she were competent to make the decision. 

Massachusetts Appeals Court Associate Justice Andrew Grainger threw out the sterilization, saying Judge Harms had pulled that requirement out of “thin air.”

However, the DMH and the woman’s parents still asked the state to overrule their daughter’s expressed wishes on the abortion. Judge Grainger remanded the abortion question to a lower court for an evidentiary inquiry.

Harms, who was appointed by former Governor Michael Dukakis in 1989, retired last month.

“The Department conveyed the request of health-care providers and the parents’ wishes in order to ensure the safety of a patient with severe mental illness,” said DMH Commissioner Barbara Leadholm in defending their seeking of the forced abortion.

Judge Roach closed the evidentiary hearing to the public and sealed the case file.

Tags: abortion, forced abortion, mary moe

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Interview: Mom says no to Plan B after her disabled daughter is raped

by Patrick B. Craine Wed Feb 01 19:20 EST Comments (8)

 
Elise Hilton

Editor’s note: Find Elise Hilton’s own account of the story here.

February 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Rape is one of the worst things a parent could ever imagine happening to their child. Though rare, the pain is often compounded when the brutal act results in pregnancy. So, according to conventional wisdom, doctors generally intervene to prevent the conception of a child.

But what if their method of doing so risks killing the child rather than just preventing pregnancy?

Last week, Elise Hilton’s disabled daughter was kidnapped and brutally raped, repeatedly. But when the nurse handed her Plan B, Hilton said no. (Click here for an analysis of Plan B’s abortifacient properties.)

In a blog post republished by LifeSiteNews Thursday, Hilton explains that while she was sorely tempted to give her daughter the drug, she knew God was calling her to put her pro-life convictions into action.

“If the being that had done this to my daughter had been in front of me at that moment, I likely would have killed the bastard,” she writes. “But Plan B is a whole other thing, isn’t it?  It’s about taking the life of an innocent child.”

“What child deserves to die due to a parent’s sins and brutality?” she asks.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Hilton said that her daughter, who functions at about the level of an eight to ten year old due to a cognitive disability, is “pretty traumatized” but doing “about as well as can be expected.” Police have yet to find the perpetrator, but the investigation is ongoing.

The girl went missing Jan. 23rd, and was only found 48 hours later.  She was taken to a local woman’s shelter, where she was examined by a nurse. The nurse advised Hilton to take her daughter to the emergency room for medical treatment, and then handed her a box of Plan B.

The drug, also known as the morning-after pill, is used nearly universally in North America for rape victims, even in Christian hospitals. The aim is to prevent a pregnancy by blocking the rapist’s sperm from reaching the victim’s ovum. But numerous studies have found that the drug also acts as an abortifacient – it can kill the newly conceived zygote by preventing him or her from implanting in the mother’s womb.

Hilton was not prepared to take that risk.

“I can’t imagine how taking the life of an innocent child could be healing in any way. That doesn’t make any sense to me,” she said.

Hilton says her daughter understands what happened and is glad she did not take the pill. “I said, ‘That kind of medication makes you have an abortion if you’re pregnant.’ And she said, ‘Oh, it would kill the baby. Oh, then I’m glad you didn’t give it to me.’”

“It’s just the foundation of our life that we promote and protect life at every stage,” said Hilton, who has five children with her husband, all adopted.

“One of the biggest truths of our life is that there’s no situation that’s so evil or so grave that God’s grace can’t redeem it,” she continued. “I don’t know how it’s going to be redeemed yet, but we do believe that it will be.”

“Some good has to come out of it, and whether it’s one person reading the story and saying ‘Okay, I get it now’ or one person who reads the story and says ‘I see how she could have made that decision, I need to rethink this’.”

“It takes it out of the intellectual realm. It’s no longer an intellectual discussion in the classroom or a debate between a theologian and a humanist,” she said. “It’s what am I going to do? How am I going to put my beliefs and my faith into action right now under the very worst of circumstances? Do I really believe what I say I believe?”

Elise Hilton blogs at KissingtheLeper.com.

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Why I rejected Plan B after my disabled daughter was raped

by Elise Hilton Wed Feb 01 19:20 EST Comments (134)

Editor’s note: This is Elise Hilton’s own account. Read an exclusive LifeSiteNews interview with more specifics here.

A lot of blog posts are about cultural or news events.  A great many are about family life, education, and home improvement or craft projects.  Some are about saving money.  Many are about abstract theological points, or one’s understanding of Scripture.

This one is not about any of these.  This is about the intensely personal moment that being pro-life, and making an honest-to-God pro-life decision, reached and out grabbed me by the heart and clutched hard.

My Dark-Haired Daughter, who suffers from bipolar disorder and limited cognitive abilities, went missing last Monday.  For more than 48 hours, we had no idea where she was.  Without all the gruesome details, after she was found, it came to light that she’d been brutally and repeatedly sexually assaulted.  She’d been taken to the local women’s shelter, where (at least in our area) they do the exams in such cases.

After the police called me to tell me she’d been found, the officer asked me to meet him at the clinic and be reunited with my daughter. When I arrived, I was led to the Gloria Steinem Conference Room.  I’m not kidding;  that alone almost made me pass out.

In this softly lit room, with plush furniture and antique reproduction prints of ladies in hoop skirts on the wall, the counselor and the police detective filled me in on what had occurred with my daughter.  I wasn’t allowed to see her yet;  the nurse was still completing the exam.

I sat and waited with the officer, in this softly lit room, with old magazine and the smell of flop sweat, hoop-skirted ladies looking on.

Finally, the nurse came out.  She briefly and clinically told me of the injuries my daughter had, what the nurse had done to collect evidence, and that my daughter was so severely injured, the nurse thought the best course of action was to go to the emergency room so my daughter - my lovely, incredible, sweet, mentally ill daughter - could get further medical attention.

The nurse told me the antibiotics she’d administered, that we’d need to wait some time for HIV testing, and then handed me a box - Plan B, and told me we had 24 hours to use it.

So there it was.  The whole moral conundrum of abortion in a little green box in my hand.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

I am wholly sure I am capable of murder.  I know it to the very core of my being.  If the being that had done this to my daughter had been in front of me at that moment, I likely would have killed the bastard.

But Plan B is a whole other thing, isn’t it?  It’s about taking the life of an innocent child. (Click here for an analysis of Plan B’s abortifacient properties.)

Don’t think I didn’t think about it.  Don’t think that I didn’t want to grab a cup of cool water, hold it to my precious daughter’s lips and say, “Here; take this.”  Don’t think I didn’t want to never even think of the possibility that pregnancy would result (and still may).  Don’t think I didn’t want to spare my daughter the burdens of dealing with a pregnancy from these circumstances.

But I shoved that green box in my bag.  It’s still there…unopened.

I know many, many people - some who call me friend - will think this is a monstrous decision.  I should have just had her swallow the pill and never looked back. There - done.  One less thing to worry about.

My daughter, though, you see, is adopted.  For all I know, she herself is the product of rape.  Her birth mom was known to prostitute herself, and for women in that life, rape is common.

And even if this wasn’t the case, what child deserves to die due to a parent’s sins and brutality?  Taking an innocent life is wrong - I know it, and every genuinely honest person on the face of the earth knows it.

But I thought about it.  God help me, I thought about it.

Despite my desire to murder, despite my desire to never think about the possibility of pregnancy, despite the burden of this whole experience:  I am pro-life.

Gloria Steinem and her softly-lit room be damned.

Read a LifeSiteNews interview with Elise here.

Elise Hilton is a writer, mother of five and wife, currently employed at a think tank.  She has been married for 24 years, and holds an MA in world religions.  She blogs at “Kissing the Leper”.

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