Tuesday, February 7, 2012

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Shock: Pro-life activist arrested by Calgary police for showing graphic abortion signs

by Patrick B. Craine Tue Feb 07 18:06 EST Comments (53)

 

CALGARY, Alberta, February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pro-life activist was arrested in Calgary on Saturday after a police officer objected to his signs, which featured images of aborted babies.

Francisco Gomez, a staff member with the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, was leading the group’s regular “Choice” Chain at a busy Calgary intersection when the officer approached and asked them to take the signs down because they were “distracting” and yielding complaints.

“You guys being here protesting abortion is not the problem. It’s the signs that are the problem. So we need the signs down,” the officer says in a video.

When Gomez refused, the officer placed him under arrest, confiscated the signs, and held him in the back of a police car.

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Before the officer arrested him, he alleged that the graphic signs violated Criminal Code provisions against obscene material. Shortly after the arrest, however, Gomez was released with a ticket for “stunting.”

Gomez told LifeSiteNews that the signs have yet to be returned. “It was clearly content-based discrimination,” he said, noting that the officer confiscated posters with ultrasound images of children in the womb as well as those with abortion images.

“That just goes to say he didn’t want us there, period,” said Gomez.

Stephanie Gray, CCBR’s executive director, told LifeSiteNews they are “appalled” at the police’s behavior, “especially because the people the police should be arresting are the people killing children.”

“It is baffling that not only are they not intervening to save the lives of children who are being killed by abortion, but they’re actually intervening to stop those who are essentially doing the police’s job for them, which is to save the lives of children who are in a vulnerable state,” she said.

Gray said that though they are always peaceful, and alert the Calgary Police before every demonstration, they have had numerous problems with officers.

A few months ago, when one of their activists was assaulted, the group called the police.  But when the officer arrived, he wrote them tickets over the signs rather than tracking down the assailant. Those tickets were eventually thrown out.

“All of this requires us getting a lawyer, pleading not guilty, fighting these if it goes all the way. Kind of, we’re at the point where enough is enough,” she explained.

Gray said they have hired a lawyer and are exploring their options. “We’re hoping that this kind of public release of the injustice will put public pressure on the police to change their act,” she said.

Calgary Police Service spokesman Michael Nunn told LifeSiteNews that they are still looking into the matter. “Until we have had time to review the full circumstances, we are not in a position to comment further,” he said.


Contact Information:

Calgary Police Service
cps@calgarypolice.ca

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi
themayor@calgary.ca
Use electronic contact form here.

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Obama officials send mixed messages on reconsidering birth control mandate

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Feb 07 17:57 EST Comments (3)

 
White House adviser David Axelrod

NEW YORK, February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Even as other Obama officials defended the birth control mandate’s narrow religious exemption against a rash of criticism, one top White House advisor has feinted towards a possible revisiting of the issue by the administration.

“I think we need to lower our voices and get together,” said Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday.

“We certainly don’t want to abridge anyone’s religious freedoms, so we’re going to look for a way to move forward that both provides women with the preventative care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions,” he said, adding that the administration aims to resolve the issue in “an appropriate way.”

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who last week had similarly claimed officials “will continue to work with religious groups” to address concerns, on Monday nonetheless took a strong stance defending the mandate. “These services are important,” said Carney. “American women deserve to have access to that kind of insurance coverage regardless of where they work.”

Nearly every Catholic bishop in the United States and even liberal Catholic commentators expressed disapproval and bewilderment after Obama officials announced last month that the mandate, which would require religious schools, hospitals, and charities to cover even abortifacient birth control free of copay, would go into effect next year.

Two days ago, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius wrote an article titled “Our Rule Respects Religion” in USA Today defending the exemption of religious houses of worship as already in practice in such states as California, Oregon, and New York.

“This is not an easy issue. But by carving out an exemption for religious organizations based on policies already in place, we are working to strike the right balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing women’s access to critical preventive health services,” she wrote.

USA Today issued its own editorial disagreeing with Sebelius, saying that in terms of the boundaries of religious affairs, “the Obama administration didn’t just cross that line. It galloped over it.” “The administration tried to strike a balance and simply failed,” wrote the editors.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League said Sebelius’ facile treatment of the conflict was “an insult.”

“Secretary Sebelius knows very well that Catholic agencies have a long and distinguished record of hiring and serving non-Catholics,” said Donohue in a statement Monday, “so to say that they can only qualify for an exemption by turning away those who are not Catholic from Catholic schools, hospitals, hospices, orphanages, shelters for battered women, and the like, is a plea for discrimination and an insult to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.”

Donohue also said that Sebelius was “wrong to say that the administration’s rule is identical to that of states like California.” “As Carol Hogan of the California Catholic Conference said last week, her state’s rule is not identical,” he said. “Moreover, in states like Wisconsin, which are weighing various options on extending exemptions to religious entities, they are in a holding pattern until it is clear how Obamacare flushes out nationally.”

Tags: abortion, birth control mandate, david axelrod, obama

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Pro-life Komen VP who quit blasts Planned Parenthood’s ‘vicious attacks and coercion’

by Ben Johnson Tue Feb 07 17:33 EST Comments (63)

 
Karen Handel

ATLANTA, GA, February 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a week of bruising rhetoric and intense pressure from Planned Parenthood, Karen Handel resigned from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation this morning.

Pro-abortion organizations pressured the private charity to fire Handel as vice president for public policy and publicly said she instigated the decision to defund the abortion provider.

This afternoon, she broke her silence.

Speaking to Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly, Handel said the Komen foundation was subjected to an unprecedented attack by the nation’s leading provider of abortion. “What was unleashed over this past week was a vicious attack against a great organization and…individual attacks against [Komen founder] Nancy Brinker, an individual whom I admire greatly – and I would think all of us should be saddened that an outside org should put this kind of pressure on another organization.”

“The last time I checked, private non-profit organizations have a right and a responsibility to be able to set the highest standards and criteria on their own without interference, let alone the level of vicious attacks and coercion that has occurred by Planned Parenthood. It’s simply outrageous,” she said.

The intimidation campaign led Handel to resign from the foundation and decline a severance package. “I was too much of a focal point,” she said. “I really felt I had a responsibility to just step aside so they could refocus on their mission.”

Handel ran for governor of Georgia in 2010 on a pro-life platform and publicly described herself as a Christian. Pro-abortion forces highlighted her candidacy, claiming Komen was bowing to political pressure – an allegation Handel strongly rejected. “Absolutely not,” she said. “For Komen, for myself the mission was always foremost on our mind.”

“The only group here that has made this issue political has been Planned Parenthood,” she said.

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Some are finding discrepancies between her interview and statements made last week by Nancy Brinker.

“I clearly acknowledge that I was involved in the process, but to say I had the sole authority is simply absurd,” Handel told Fox News.

But Laura Bassett of The Huffington Post wrote, “Handel’s statement directly contradicts what Komen executives have been telling the public since the decision was announced last week.”

Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker had told MSNBC’s Andrea Mtichell on Thursday that “Karen did not have anything to do with this decision.”

““This was decided at the board level and also by our mission.”

In her resignation letter Handel wrote “the decision to update our granting model was made before I joined Komen.” She told Megyn Kelly she “was asked to look at options” to distance Komen from an organization that was mired in controversy “long before my time” and had since come under Congressional investigation.

Clarifying the explanations Komen gave last week, Handel said the investigation was not the only reason Komen had reduced its grants to the abortion provider. “I think the Congressional investigation, along with the various state investigations, were a factor in the decision,” she said. “But make no mistake about it, it was a bigger picture than that. There was the granting criteria, as well as the controversies that were surrounding Planned Parenthood.”

Despite her resignation, Handel had only positive words for the Komen foundation, its mission, and its personnel. She repeatedly declined to provide internal details about how the Planned Parenthood decision had been made, saying she hopes her decision to step down will aid the foundation’s efforts to combat breast cancer.

“I wanted to do the right thing on my own terms, and that’s what I tried to do.”

Tags: karen handel, komen, komen for the cure

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Round-up: aftershocks of the Komen shakedown

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Feb 07 17:24 EST Comments (2)

 

- Komen VP for public policy Karen Handel has resigned following the Planned Parenthood dust-up thanks to her having gone on the record as against the abortion organization while a political candidate.

- Twitter and Facebook emerged as the main tools used by Planned Parenthod and allies to drive their talking points to the top of the social media heap, facilitating the extreme pressure placed on Komen in a short time frame. Jill Stanek has a detailed breakdown of Planned Parenthood’s social media blitz.

- On the other hand, the debacle gave air time to the link between abortion and breast cancer, which presidential candidate Rick Santorum pointed out on FOX News on Sunday. (Hormonal birth control pills have also been categorized as a Group 1 “definite” carcinogen by the World Health Organization, alongside asbestos and plutonium, for its increased breast cancer risk.)

- New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on Saturday criticized the universal media finger-wagging against Komen last week as due to its “impenetrable blinders” in favor of abortion.

“‘That ubiquitous pink ribbon ... is sporting a black eye today,’ Claire Shipman announced on ABC News Thursday, while Diane Sawyer nodded along. On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell dressed down the Komen foundation’s founder, Nancy Brinker: ‘I have to tell you,’ Mitchell said, ‘this is shocking to a lot of your longtime supporters. ... How could this have taken place?’ In story after story, journalists explicitly passed judgment on Komen for creating a controversy where none need ever have existed.

- A Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Profs. Robert George of Princeton and Carter Snead of the University of Notre Dame outlines PP’s history of bullying, recently enhanced thanks to its strong ties to the Obama administration. “While Planned Parenthood’s target in the Komen case was new, its tactics are not. ... Breast-cancer victims are only the latest hostages taken by Planned Parenthood. Unless the organization is finally held to account, they will surely not be the last.”

- Cathy Ruse at the Washington Times rehashes the shady ties between Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts in light of the Komen drama: “The best evidence that the Girl Scouts have not actually severed ties with Planned Parenthood is that Planned Parenthood has not tried to destroy them.”

- Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America discloses her personal disgust, as someone familiar with breast cancer, at Planned Parenthood’s territorial treatment of Komen as a fig leaf over their abortion business.

“The Komen name, with all of its pretty pink products and good deeds of actually helping women through providing millions of dollars for research and support, was a stamp of approval on Planned Parenthood. Without them, the abortion giant is an unsavory, immoral and possibly criminal organization.”

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Tags: abortion, komen for the cure, planned parenthood

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154 bipartisan Congressmen demand Obama admin reverse birth control mandate

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Feb 07 17:10 EST Comments (1)

 
The congressmen were let by Rep. Steve Scalise

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A large group of U.S. Congressmen has sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blasting the administration’s “unprecedented overreach” against the religious freedom of countless Christian schools, hospitals, and charities by forcing them to pay for all contraception, including abortifacients, and sterilizations.

Led by Congressman Steve Scalise, 154 U.S. Congressmen and Senators on Monday voiced their “strong opposition” to the birth control mandate that has sparked an unprecedented wave of outrage among Catholic and Christian communities nationwide.

The group notes in their letter that federal health officials received “over 200,000 comments on the rule” objecting to the exceedingly narrow religious exemption that effectively extends only to houses of worship. Religious critics of the mandate have noted that the narrowness of its religious exemption is unprecedented in federal law.

While ostensibly only pertaining to birth control, they noted, the order amounts to an abortion mandate, as it extends to drugs that can induce abortion such as Plan B and Ella, a sister drug to RU-486.

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“This radical mandate by the Obama Administration is an attack on the religious freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the Bill of Rights,” said Rep. Scalise in a press release Monday.  “This is an offensive example of Obamacare’s violation of the conscience rights of American employers just so this Administration can force their radical agenda on hard working taxpayers.”

Scalise is also a cosponsor of H.R. 1179, a bill by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) to reverse the contraceptive mandate. 

The White House last week dismissed concern over the birth control mandate, which has been criticized by all but eight Catholic bishops heading dioceses in the U.S.

Obama press secretary Jay Carney said he “[didn’t] believe there are any constitutional rights issues” with the mandate, and said the exemption did not signal a change in the administration’s policy on conscience protections

 

Tags: birth control mandate, contraception, obama, obamacare

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Memo to Obama: you’ve got a problem.

by Thomas Peters Tue Feb 07 16:16 EST Comments (3)

 

Feburary 7, 2012 (CatholicVote.org) - It’s been amazing to watch White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dutifully take the podium day after day and deny that Obama has created a problem for himself by forcing Catholic individuals and institutions to subsidize abortifacient drugs, sterilizations and contraception.

Let me break it down for the President:

When over 90% of Catholic bishops have condemned your decision and promised not to obey it — you’ve got a problem.

When it’s not just Catholic faith leaders who have condemned your decision and promised not to obey it — you’ve got a problem.

When “CHURCH VOWS WAR ON OBAMA” is the top headline on Drudge — you’ve got a problem:

When about every news outlet (with the exception of some left-wing and mainstream cable news outlets) are saying the same thing as Drudge — you’ve got a problem.

When your top liberal Catholic apologist, Doug Kmiec, withdraws his support of you — you’ve got a problem.

When, for that matter, practically every notable Catholic who has ever supported you withdraws their support of you — you’ve got a problem.

When your talking points are being picked apart as fast as you can re-issue them — you’ve got a problem.

When barely anyone even bothers with responding to your talking points — you’ve got a problem.

When the Catholic nun who helped you pass Obamacare tells you this needs to be fixed — you’ve got a problem.

When 154 members of the U.S. House of Representatives send a letter to your administration warning it to reverse course — you’ve got a problem.

When you’ve got U.S. Senators practically tripping over themselves to have the first bill up for a vote to reverse your decision — you’ve got a problem.

And when Vice President Joe Biden realizes there’s nothing he can say to excuse this decision — then, Mr. President, you’ve really got a problem.

…. or, you know, maybe you’re right. Maybe there’s no problem here.

So how about we just wait until November and see what happens then?

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Reprinted with permission from CatholicVote.org

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Court rules California amendment defending marriage is ‘unconstitutional’

by Ben Johnson Tue Feb 07 15:24 EST Comments (8)

 
The ninth circuit court of appeals

SAN FRANCISO, CA, February 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – This morning, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled by a 2-1 vote that a California constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is unconstitutional.

In an 89-page ruling that cited William Shakespeare and Marilyn Monroe, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

In 2008, California voters approved the state constitutional amendment defending marriage by a margin of 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent. U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who is in a long-term homosexual relationship, ruled in August 2010 that the measure “both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation.”

The Ninth Circuit court panel upheld Walker, ruling that since same-sex couples once had the right to call their unions “marriage” in that state reversing it constituted unconstitutional discrimination. Same-sex marriage was briefly legalized in the state after the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of it in March 2008. “Had Marilyn Monroe’s film been called How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire, it would not have conveyed the same meaning as did her famous movie, even though the underlying drama for same-sex couples is no different,” Reinhardt wrote.

“For now, it suffices to conclude that the people of California may not, consistent with the federal Constitution, add to their state constitution a provision that has no more practical effect than to strip gays and lesbians of their right to use the official designation that the state and society give to committed relationships.”

He added that Judge Walker did not have to disclose his own same-sex relationship.

Judge N.R. Smith, who was appointed by George W. Bush, cast the lone dissent.

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Pro-family organizations were outraged, but not surprised, by the Ninth Circuit panel’s decision.

“This ruling substitutes judicial tyranny for the will of the people, who in the majority of states have amended their constitutions, as California did, to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com.

Brian Raum, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, said he was “not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage – tried in San Francisco – turned out this way.”

Traditional marriage advocates believe the lower courts overreached badly. “Never before has a federal appeals court—or any federal court for that matter—found a right to gay marriage under the U.S. Constitution,” said constitutional scholar John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage.

Litigants have the right to appeal to the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or directly to the Supreme Court. Several activists have said they plan to bypass the Ninth Circuit, which is known for its left-leaning decisions.

Judge Reinhardt, who was appointed to the court by former president Jimmy Carter, “is one of the most overturned judges in the most overturned court in the U.S.” said William B. May, president of Catholics for the Common Good. “To reach his judgment about the voters and his decision to strike down Prop. 8, he created a new definition of marriage as merely the public recognition of a committed relationship for the benefit of adults. However, the voters of California know that marriage is much more than that. It is the reality that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union…It is a reality that can only be recognized by law and never changed.”   

The Supreme Court would not likely hear the case before spring 2013, unless it chose to expedite the case.

Observers say any decision to overturn the California amendment would provoke a national backlash. Voters in 31 states have chosen to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“Twenty-nine, a majority of American states, have actually inserted such a definition into the text of their state constitutions,” Perkins wrote. “We remain confident that in the end, the Supreme Court will reject the absurd argument that the authors of our Constitution created or even implied a ‘right’ to homosexual ‘marriage,’ and will instead uphold the right of the people to govern themselves.”

Tags: california, marriage, marriage amendment

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Planned Parenthood facility in Iowa set to close

by Thaddeus Baklinski Tue Feb 07 15:03 EST Comments (5)

 
Sue Thayer addresses Iowa Right to Life

STORM LAKE, Iowa, February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Planned Parenthood facility in Storm Lake, which provided “Telemed” abortions in the small farming community, will be closing its doors on March 1st, according to Sue Thayer, one-time manager of the office but now a staunch pro-lifer who led the 40 Days for Life vigil at her former workplace this past fall.

Sue became aware of the closure from a report by the Storm Lake Times and immediately informed Shawn Carney, Campaign Director of 40 Days for Life.

“Wow!” Sue said in her e-mail to Carney. “Of course the clinic is closing! God hears our prayers and He answers! No more telemed abortions on Erie Street! Yay God!!”

“Let’s all take some time to thank God for His unending love and faithfulness,” Sue said. “40 Days For Life was a blessing to each and every person who prayed. Now the Lord has answered with a resounding YES to our petition to end abortion in Storm Lake.”

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Sue Thayer had managed the Planned Parenthood office in Storm Lake for 17 years. According to Sean Carney’s account, “She used to think that Planned Parenthood provided valuable services for women and that the organization truly wanted to prevent abortions (the Storm Lake location did not previously do abortions).”

“That all changed when Planned Parenthood mandated telemed abortions for her facility,” says Carney.

In a telemed abortion an abortionist at a remote location presses a button which opens a drawer that contains drugs for a medical abortion. The doctor never examines the abortion client, leading some to condemn telemed abortions as dangerous and reckless.

Sue expressed her concern — and the abortion chain promptly fired her.

She described her experience with Planned Parenthood during a 40 Days for Life webcast last November.

She recounted how she landed a job at the clinic in 1991 as a Family Planning Assistant. At that time the clinic offered only family planning services and did not perform abortions. Within a month of starting work, a managerial position opened up, giving her the opportunity to advance in her career.

Sue remembered being “stunned” by the entire telemed procedure when it was introduced at her clinic in 2008, and the financial reason given to her by those at head office attempting to justify it. She heard that telemed abortions have “very little overhead” when compared to a surgical abortions, which require specialized equipment, staff, and a physician.

After expressing her concern to her superiors in December 2008, she was told that her manager’s position had been “terminated” since the organization was “downsizing.”

When Sue discovered Planned Parenthood advertising her position a few weeks later, the real reason she had been fired dawned on her - she had been terminated for challenging Planned Parenthood’s “dirty little secret” of abortion for profit.

Shawn Carney of 40 Days for Life related that after a time of healing, prayer and discernment, Sue signed up to lead the 40 Days for Life campaign outside her former workplace this past fall.

Sue has since then joined her voice to numerous other former Planned Parenthood employees who have offered to testify in a Congressional investigation of the abortion giant.

Carney expressed his delight at the news of the Storm Lake office closure.

“This is the 21st abortion center where a 40 Days for Life vigil has been conducted that will be closing its doors forever,” Carney said.

Carney also pointed out that, “In just three weeks, the next 40 Days for Life campaign begins.

“Watch for the list of communities that will be taking part … and maybe — through your prayers and participation — YOUR community will be the next one praising God for the closure of the local abortion center. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this next campaign!”

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University of Victoria student society censors pro-life club again

by Peter Baklinski Tue Feb 07 14:04 EST Comments (5)

 

VICTORIA, British Columbia, February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The University of Victoria Student’s Society (UVSS) yesterday evening passed two motions that effectively censor the activities of Youth Protecting Youth (YPY), the campus’ official pro-life club.

“This is a disappointing development,” said Cameron Côté, YPY Vice-President.

The UVic Student’s Society charged the pro-life club with violating the UVSS Harassment Policy after they received complaints last November regarding the content of YPY’s “Choice” Chain demonstration.

UVSS defines harassment as “the abusive, unfair, or demeaning treatment of a person or group of persons that has the effect or purpose of unreasonably creating a hostile, intimidating, threatening, or humiliating environment.”

“Choice” Chain, a demonstration developed by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), consists of people holding large signs in public places that testify to the injustice of abortion by means of graphic depictions of first-trimester abortions.

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“People may have felt offended by the images,” said Côté, “but that in no way constitutes harassment.”

Côté believes that freedom of speech ceases to exist once people equate “hurt feelings” with “harassment”.

“While we recognize that some people do not like our message, that doesn’t mean we should be censored,” he said.

The second motion passed against YPY was in response to posters the group had displayed on campus in October that compared the treatment of Canada’s pre-born, who are currently deemed non-persons, with the similar treatment of other minority groups in the past, including African Americans, Natives, Women, and Jews.

UVSS has stripped the pro-life club of their right to book public space on campus for their events and has also forbidden the club to hold “Choice” Chain demonstrations or events similar to it. They have also banned the club from displaying posters until a new policy is crafted that governs the content of posters.

UVSS’ board of directors lastly ordered the pro-life club to apologize to those who were offended by their posters.

“I thought the UVSS had moved past this type of discrimination and censorship since the settlement of YPY’s lawsuit in July 2010,” said Anastasia Pearse, former YPY president who now works as the Western Campus Coordinator for National Campus Life Network.

“Censorship of the abortion debate at a university is shameful and unacceptable,” she said.

Côté said the pro-life club will not tolerate this kind of ideological discrimination.

“We must all demand that our society be free of discrimination and censorship of minority or unpopular viewpoints. […] The legal killing of so many innocent human beings is a disturbing topic, but it is far too serious to suppress or ignore,” he said.


Contacts for University of Victoria Student’s Society:

Tara Paterson, Board of Directors, Chairperson
Phone: (250) 721-8370
E-mail: uvsschr@uvic.ca

Jaraad Marani, Board of Directors, Director of External Relations
Phone: (250) 721-8366
E-mail: uvssextn@uvic.ca

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Winning the abortion argument without losing your mind

by Kristen Walker Hatten Tue Feb 07 13:45 EST Comments (11)

 

February 7, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - Readers, I am on a mini-vacation. I have driven up to my dad and stepmother’s place in Oklahoma for the weekend. The area is semi-rural, and as one who works every day in the heart of Dallas, I can certainly use semi-rural every once in a while.

Tomorrow we will go shoot guns in a pasture, because — you might not know this if you’re not from the South — it is really fun. Nothing relieves stress like turning money into noise.

After that, everyone will watch the Super Bowl, and I will probably walk around the pasture while horses and dogs follow me hoping for food or attention. (I dislike most sporting events that don’t involve bullets.) I will look around at pasture and fields, get my shoes really muddy, avoid the mean donkey, and pointedly not think about abortion.

It’s necessary for me to decompress, because lately I have gotten a little frustrated and overwhelmed. I fully intended to keep this to myself, but as I drove up here this morning, I realized this could be an instructive moment. I realized I could share my troubles with all of you, and maybe we could all learn something.

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I write for a pretty large audience about what is arguably the most controversial subject ever. Ever. What this means is I basically reside in an opinion pressure cooker. The better I do my job, the higher the pressure gets. When I touch a nerve, it means I’m making people think, and challenging their beliefs and prejudices, and that’s what I’m supposed to do.

I have a love-hate relationship with controversy. First of all, I think it’s a bad idea to write anything just to get a rise out of people, just as I think it’s a bad idea to avoid the truth just to keep from getting a rise out of people. Controversy should be incidental, a side effect of honesty.

Controversy and contention can be a very good thing. When people are talking and the argument is a valid one, it can only help the pro-life cause. I know the truth is on our side, and the more people hear it, the more minds we will change, and the more lives will be saved.

So on the one hand, I love a good ideological uproar. On the other, it can start to wear on you after a while. It affects everyone differently, and everyone reacts differently. Some people are admitted marshmallows and avoid the fight when they can. Some get in the scuffle, but get their feelings hurt.

I tend to enjoy the row in general. I don’t like arguing, but I like winning. In other words: I don’t enjoy the process, but I enjoy the outcome. See, when it comes to abortion, I know I’m right, and I enjoy being right. Who doesn’t?

My problem is not so much hurt feelings or anger as it is frustration when I don’t have the time or energy to defend the cause and my own integrity from all attacks. I wish I could hire someone to perform menial tasks for me so I would have time to respond to every argument. I have created a form letter which I send in response to hate mail, so that saves me some time.

But there just aren’t enough hours in the day to take on every comer, and I have to be okay with that. That’s what I’ve been thinking about as I attempt to have a relatively Internet-free weekend in which I don’t argue about abortion at all.

So what’s the point of sharing all this with you? Because if you’re doing your job as a defender of the unborn and an active proponent of human rights from the moment of conception, you are going to have to argue a lot, and it’s not always going to be fun.

So here’s the big secret, the enlightened, wise advice you’ve been waiting for. Ready? Here goes:

Do it anyway.

There is no secret. There is no way to stop it from angering you, hurting you, or stressing you out. Unless you’re a Buddhist monk who knows how to detach from all things and align your ch’i with your third eye or whatever — give me a break here, I’m a Texan — you’re going to have a mental and emotional reaction to the dumb comments, the well-said but poorly reasoned comments, and the emails calling you the c-word.

When there’s a lot of other stuff going on in your life, it’s going to be harder. Arguing about abortion is not so tough when it’s all you have to do, but when you also have a full-time job, rent, a truck payment, a family, and so on, you can start to feel a little overwhelmed.

Don’t back down. It makes the enemy happy when you back down. Take care of your responsibilities, but make defending life a priority. Take a couple days off to de-stress — I suggest road trips, target shooting, and dogs, but your preferences may vary — and then come back with all the fire you can muster.

We are in the middle of a battle, and I mean that quite literally. It is not a battle of brawn and bullets, but one of ideas, opinions, science, and law. It is one we can only hope future generations will think back on and thank us for winning. I picture a day when we can look around us and know that no one is missing, that everyone who lives gets to be born.

We are gathering momentum. Thanks in large part to Live Action, Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider, is on the defensive. More and more young people, growing up in a high-tech time of 4-D ultrasounds and realizing they are survivors of Roe, consider themselves pro-life.

Abortion advocates are fighting tooth and nail for an ideology that is doomed. As we educate more and more people of the simple scientific fact that human life begins at conception, and the sound ethical principle that human rights begin when human life begins, the tide of public opinion is destined to turn in our favor. The abortion industry is backed up against a wall, and they know it. One day, we will look back on these days and recognize the death throes of legal abortion in America.

You might feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, or even depressed at times as you struggle to change minds that, for many different reasons, don’t want to be changed. Do what you need to do — pray, scream, play touch football, watch “Friends” reruns, whatever — but don’t over-indulge in these negative emotions. We do not have the luxury of wallowing in self-pity. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, there are quite literally lives to be saved. So wrap it up and get back to work.

Keep fighting. We are winning. Don’t back down.

Reprinted with permission from LiveAction’s blog.

Tags: abortion, planned parenthood

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20 years after Ireland’s X case, pro-aborts target ‘jewel in the crown’ of the pro-life movement

by Niamh Ui Bhriain Tue Feb 07 13:27 EST Comments (39)

 
Niamh Ui Bhriain

February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - It was a Planned Parenthood lawyer, Julie Kay, who described Ireland as “the jewel in the crown” of the pro-life movement. Little wonder then, that the international abortion industry, understanding the global significance of Ireland’s ban on abortion, are pouring their vast resources into plans to see abortion legalised here.

For the Irish affiliates to Planned Parenthood, 2012 also has a special significance. This year is the twentieth anniversary of the “X” case, sometimes called Ireland’s Roe v. Wade, where a rape victim’s case was used to challenge Ireland’s pro-life laws.

Exploiting rape victims was a tried and tested formula, and it had brought about legalised abortion in a great many jurisdictions. For Ireland’s abortion campaigners, and their international allies, the case was not about protecting rape victims, but about a desire to have Catholic Ireland as just another notch on their belt.

Twenty years ago it seemed that they had succeeded. The Irish Supreme Court turned the intention of the pro-life amendment which had been inserted into Ireland’s constitution on its head. Its ruling in “X” could have legalised abortion on demand, since the grounds the Court accepted as a test - the threat of suicide - are so subjective as to be wide open to abuse.

Now, or so the abortion industry thought, all they needed was for the government to legislate. The then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) certainly told the Dáíl (Parliament) that legislation could be forthcoming. But, despite the near-apoplectic hysteria of the media, and the savaging of Ireland’s pro-life laws by powerful international organisations, the momentum for that legislation stalled.

It stalled because it was made evident to the government - and to every successive government since - that legalising abortion was opposed by the majority of the people. Ignoring the people, then, would have serious political consequences, and nothing matters more to politicians than keeping their seats. The pro-life movement got organised, Youth Defence brought it new energy and a new focus, there were enormous pro-life marches rejecting the X case ruling, and the majority of people rallied in favour of protecting unborn children.

Keeping the public informed, aware and engaged has been the major focus of pro-life activities in Ireland. Focusing on the humanity of the child, the reality of abortion and the enormous damage caused by abortion to women, has meant that for most Irish people, legalised abortion is just a step too far.

Pro-abortion campaigners have also been badly exposed at times - even if the parochial Irish media do their utmost to cover up such revelations. Five years after “X” came the “C” case, where a young girl had been brutally raped and then taken into care to protect her from the man who had assaulted her. The Health Board insisted that C had threatened suicide if she was denied an abortion, and, cheered on by campaigners purporting to be acting for the rape victim, brought the girl to Britain where her unborn child was killed. But three years ago the rape victim spoke out, revealing that she had never threatened suicide, and that she had not even been told that her baby was to be aborted. It was a shocking and heartbreaking testimony which should have led to an inquiry, but since it didn’t suit the abortion agenda it was largely ignored. 

However, the pro-life amendment was left badly damaged by the Supreme Court ruling in X, and threats to Ireland’s pro-life laws have intensified enormously in the past few years in particular. The abortion network has realised it will not get public support for abortion-on-demand and is now focusing on cracking open the door so that the floodgates can follow.

Planned Parenthood has brought a raft of cases against Ireland to the European and the EU courts; we’ve had international bodies like Human Rights Watch attack our pro-life stance; recently the UN was used to demand that Ireland legalises abortion; and US billionaire, Chuck Feeney, sponsored a major push for abortion in 2011. We can see a concerted campaign which hopes to culminate in foisting abortion on Ireland in the year of the twentieth anniversary of the X case.

They will concentrate on insisting that abortion is a “life-saving” medical treatment, despite all the evidence to the contrary. In fact, the United Nations has now repeatedly shown that Ireland, without recourse to abortion, is the safest place in the world for a mother to have a baby. But the truth doesn’t matter much to abortion campaigners, who hope to drown out the facts by dint of sheer volume and noisy scaremongering. 

This week the Irish media are full of angry articles from these leading pro-aborts, bewailing the lack of political action and demanding legalised abortion. The government has set up an “expert group” to look at the issue, but that is already under criticism because several of those appointed have been previously involved in abortion advocacy or in a push for embryo research. In fact, a lawyer who worked on the X case has been included on the panel, hardly an indicator of independence. 

2012 will be a battle for hearts and minds, and to protect mothers and babies from legalised exploitation and destruction. For twenty years Ireland denied Abortion Inc. the legal authority to open abortion clinics in this country. It is my fervent hope that we will do so for as long as it takes until abortion ends.

Niamh Ui Bhriain is the head of Ireland’s Life Institute, the country’s leading research and lobby organization focused on life and family issues.

Tags: abortion, ireland, planned parenthood, x case

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Scotland’s opposition parties back same-sex ‘marriage’

by Thaddeus Baklinski Tue Feb 07 13:02 EST Comments (8)

SCOTLAND, February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Scotland’s four opposition parties are facing strong criticism after each of their leaders endorsed an “Equal Marriage Pledge” promulgated by homosexualist advocacy group Equality Network calling for a redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

The ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), which concluded a 14-week consultation on the issue in December, have so far refused to sign the pledge.

But Labour Party’s Johann Lamont, Conservative’s Ruth Davidson, Liberal Democrat’s Willie Rennie, and Green’s Patrick Harvie said last week that they would “campaign to beat the ban on same sex marriage,” as they jointly signed the pledge.

At the signing event, which included cutting an “equal marriage” wedding cake, Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson said, “I support the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign. … The Scottish Government will bring forward legislation on gay marriage in this parliament and I want to ensure we have a workable way of advancing this issue for the people of Scotland,” according to PinkNews.

Tim Hopkins, director of the Equality Network told PinkNews that he hoped the endorsement by the country’s opposition leaders would result in Scotland legalizing same-sex “marriage” by the end of next year.

“We are delighted that leading politicians from across the political spectrum have united for equal marriage,” said an Equality Network spokesperson.

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The Scottish government concluded its 14-week public consultation on whether to introduce homosexual “marriage” into the country’s laws on December 9, 2011, and is now in the process of analyzing the massive amount of responses, about 50,000 submissions.

A spokeswoman for the government said “it would be inappropriate for a government minister to sign any pledge on this matter while the analysis of the consultation is ongoing,” according to the Christian Institute.

The issue of legalizing same-sex “marriage” has reportedly caused a rift in the ruling Scottish National Party, which holds a 10 seat majority in the Scottish Parliament. The BBC reported that a motion tabled by SNP member John Mason seeking to include conscience and religious exemption from participating in same-sex “marriage” within any proposed legislation caused an uproar, with fellow parliamentarians saying Mason’s motion encouraged discrimination against homosexuals.

Andrea Minichiello Williams of Christian Concern, an organization that promotes religious freedom in the UK, said that the proposed changes to the law would have “huge” implications for freedom of belief.

“Individuals and churches are likely to be sued under equality legislation if they do not wish to participate, regardless of any conscience safeguards, which have never worked in the past,” she told Christian Today.

“Many Christians have already lost their jobs because of the promotion of homosexual rights,” Williams said.

The Scottish Government’s proposal to redefine marriage has been condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the country’s Muslim community.

In December, Reverend James Gracie of the Free Church of Scotland caused a stir among homosexualists when he compared homosexuality to paedophilia and polygamy on a BBC Radio Scotland talk show. “If the homosexuals, and these people, want to be treated equally, then what about paedophiles? What about polygamy?” Rev Gracie is reported to have said.

A newly launched organization called Scotland for Marriage, which promotes the definition of true marriage as between a man and a woman, and has the backing of both religious and non-religious groups, warns that Rev Gracie’s statement should be heeded by pointing out the situation in Canada.

“If marriage is redefined for same-sex marriage, it could be redefined for polygamy next,” the group advises on its website. “Canada introduced same-sex marriage and then that was used in a court case to argue that polygamy should be made legal. Once you start unpicking the definition of marriage, it can unravel further.”

Scotland for Marriage is calling for a referendum on the issue, and has initiated a petition in favour of retaining the current legal definition marriage.

“This issue should be decided by the people, not by politicians,” the group says. “If there is to be a change it should be subject to a referendum. The Scottish Government did not invent marriage, and it does not have the moral authority to redefine it. At the very least, on an issue of this importance, MSPs should be guided by their constituents more on this issue than would normally be the case.”

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Catholics should donate elsewhere until Komen clarifies: Toledo Bishop

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Tue Feb 07 12:13 EST Comments (2)

 
Bishop Leonard Blair

ROME, February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an interview this week with Vatican Radio, the Catholic bishop of Toledo, Ohio, said that until the Susan G. Komen Foundation had clarified its position with regards to funding Planned Parenthood, Catholics should consider donating instead to local Catholic charities. Komen’s apparent decision on Friday to reverse their initial decision to discontinue funding the abortion giant “came as a great disappointment,” Bishop Leonard Blair said.

“We were very happy recently with the welcome news that Komen for the Cure was disassociating itself from Planned Parenthood, it would no longer provide funds to them; only to find out within a few days afterward that they had reversed that decision.” Bishop Blair said that the events of last week demonstrate that Komen was clearly making “an attempt to separate themselves from Planned Parenthood.”

Bishop Leonard Blair is in Rome on his traditional “ad limina” visit, meeting with Vatican officials and Pope Benedict. He spoke to Vatican Radio after last week’s uproar over Komen’s initial announcement. Following the media frenzy, a confusing follow-up statement from Komen in which they appeared to leave the door open to future funding of Planned Parenthood left pro-life people in a quandary.

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Bishop Blair said that the bishops’ concerns about Komen started years ago when local Catholics alerted them that Komen was funding the world’s largest abortionist organization, and because of Komen’s possible support of embryonic stem cell research. After studying the question, the Ohio bishops decided to stop funding of Komen by Catholic institutions such as parishes and schools. Although the bishops did not at the time prohibit Catholics from donating to Komen, Blair said they had “misgivings” about the issue.

“Obviously we all want to support research to find a cure for breast cancer. That is the goal… But not with these entanglements with Planned Parenthood and the possibility of embryonic stem cell research.”

While the status of Komen funding for Planned Parenthood remains unclear, it was also made public last week that Komen has a new policy not to fund embryonic stem cell research.

Bishop Blair admitted that with the Catholic Church heavily involved with healthcare, it can be difficult to navigate around such moral problems. “We’re living in a world today in the United States and elsewhere where it is difficult sometimes to make the proper distinctions.”

“Many times, many worthy goals and pursuits have entanglements with things from the moral point of view, from our Catholic faith, that we cannot support.” He called the Ohio bishops’ decision not to make institutional gifts to Komen one of “prudential judgment” that some other U.S. bishops had not chosen to follow.

“It is a matter of prudence” to decide how to respond to such situations. “But we’re always trying to be vigilant about these things.”

Tags: abortion, komen for the cure, leonard blair, planned parenthood

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Pro-life exec. resigns from Komen Foundation over Planned Parenthood controversy

by Ben Johnson Tue Feb 07 12:12 EST Comments (4)

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Karen Handel, the vice president for public policy at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, has resigned following the controversy surrounding that charity’s decision to restrict funding to Planned Parenthood.

Numerous media outlets had suspected the decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood originated with Handel, who describes herself as a “pro-life Christian.”

In her letter of resignation, Handel wrote, “I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it.” Although she acknowledges her “role in the matter” and says she continues to believe the decision “was the best one,” she said “the decision to update our granting model was made before I joined Komen.”

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“Komen’s decision to change its granting strategy and exit the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood and its grants was fully vetted by every appropriate level within the organization,” she said. The November board meeting that unanimously adopted the new policy featured a full briefing on its effect, “including the need to protect our mission by ensuring we were not distracted or negatively affected by any other organization’s real or perceived challenges. No objections were made to moving forward.”

Handel insisted, “Neither the decision nor the changes themselves were based on anyone’s political beliefs or ideology. Rather, both were based on Komen’s mission and how to better serve women.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, told LifeSiteNews.com that Handel had taken a toll from all “Planned Parenthood has done to pulverize anyone that would deign to distance themselves from [an organization under] investigation.”

“I think it’s a pretty human reaction that one would have to the sort of abuse that Planned Parenthood has heaped upon Susan Komen,” she said.

Steven Aden, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, said he would “echo that, and I will say that what Planned Parenthood did to that venerable and honorable institution is nothing short of a mafia-style shakedown.”

In her letter, Handel “respectfully” declined a severance package offered by Nancy Brinker, the founder and CEO of Komen for the Cure. Jill Stanek writes that accepting the package “might have required her to keep silent.”

Handel scheduled a press conference in Atlanta for this afternoon.

Brinker accepted Handel’s resignation, stating, “We have made mistakes in how we have handled recent decisions and take full accountability for what has resulted.” 

Several feminist and liberal organizations had called for Handel’s resignation.

You can contact the Susan G. Komen Foundation here.

Tags: karen handel, komen for the cure

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1 minute 19 second must-see pro-life video

by John Jalsevac Tue Feb 07 11:54 EST Comments (4)

 

Friends of LifeSiteNews,

We urge you to take 1 minute (1 minute, 19 seconds to be exact) to watch the powerful video above, and then to share it with your friends and family!

In order to make our April 28, first ever Gala in Washington, D.C. - celebrating our 15th Anniversary - a success, we are asking all our supporters to spread the word!

We hope you will be inspired to come celebrate with us this April.  Click on the Gala registration link below the video for all the details including a list of the many VIP pro-life and pro-family leaders who will be in attendance.

We are humbled and grateful for all that has been achieved during the past 15 years.

Jon Fidero
Director of Development
LifeSiteNews.com


To register for the first ever LifeSiteNews.com gala, or to find out more, go to www.lsngala.com.

Very limited seating. Register Today!

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Super Bowl halftime show ‘slap in face to families’ says Parents Television Council

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Tue Feb 07 11:38 EST Comments (37)

 
Madonna performs during halftime at Sunday's Super Bowl

February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Parents Television Council (PTC) is protesting Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show, which featured Madonna Louise Ciccone and an accompanying group of singers and dancers whose performance included sexual innuendo, cursing, and at least one obscene gesture.

At one point in the performance Hip-Hop singer “M.I.A.” thrust her middle finger at the camera, while she apparently chanted, “I don’t give a sh-t”. 

“Last week the NFL formally told the PTC – and the American public – that the Super Bowl halftime show would be ‘appropriate,’” said PTC president Tim Winter in a press communique. “Most families would agree that the middle finger aimed directly at them is not appropriate, especially during the most-watched television event of the year.”

The vulgarity during the halftime show should not have been unexpected by the National Football League, said Winters, given that “they chose a lineup full of performers who have based their careers on shock, profanity and titillation.”

“Instead of preventing indecent material, they enabled it. M.I.A. used a middle finger shamelessly to bring controversial attention to herself, while effectively telling an audience filled with children, ‘F– you.’”

Winters dismissed the apology issued by broadcaster NBC, which called it an “inappropriate gesture that aired during halftime” and claimed “it was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late.”

“The mechanism NBC had in place to catch this type of material completely failed, and the network cannot say it was caught off guard,” said Winters. “It has been eight years since the Janet Jackson striptease, and both NBC and the NFL knew full well what might happen,” he added, referring to Jackson’s famous “wardrobe malfunction” in which she bared one of her breasts to the viewing audience.

“A simple apology rings hollow after yet another slap in the face to families, especially when NBC has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that it should be allowed to air all manner of indecent material at any time of day, even when children are watching,” said Winters.

Complaints can be officially filed with the Federal Communications Commission through the PTC’s website here.

Tags: madonna, super bowl

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How I became pro-choice, before I became pro-life

by Kristen Walker Hatten Tue Feb 07 10:21 EST Comments (20)

 

February 7, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - It is my third week on the job. I am 24 years old. I think this place is pretty cool because it’s in downtown Dallas and they don’t care that I have my nose pierced. The offices are upstairs in a historic building with hardwood floors. I have my own giant office and a huge, ornate antique desk.

My boss is in her early 30s and just finished grad school at Columbia. She is the rich daughter of the rich owner of the business. I get the feeling she hired me because she thinks I am young and rad and she herself wishes to remain young and rad.

She asks me to go with her to run an important weekly errand. I feel important. I feel that her car is important. It is a BMW. It is very clean inside, with no sign of her two-year-old daughter but a sippy cup in the console. The upholstery is spotless. It smells like achievement.

She is talking to me about working with the mentally ill while earning a psychology degree. She uses the phrase “mentally ill” a lot. She tells me about a woman who stabbed her infant son with a fork, a prostitute who bit another prostitute’s finger off, and a janitor who was hiding body parts in a fridge. They were all “mentally ill.” She feels sorry for them and says that people don’t get it.

“People don’t get it,” she says.

She tells me that most homeless people are mentally ill, most murderers are mentally ill, most perpetrators of domestic violence are mentally ill, and most drug abusers are mentally ill and trying to self-medicate.

I sit there and nod as she drives through downtown, watching the homeless people walk by, the multifarious crackheads who harass me for change every day as I journey from the bus stop to my office and back again. Mentally ill, I think.

She is explaining to me how people don’t understand that prison isn’t the answer, being “tough on crime” isn’t the answer. She tells me we need more social programs, more treatment for these people, more public understanding of mental illness, better shelters, more rehab programs and halfway houses.

“People don’t get it,” she says.

She takes a left at an intersection. “I’m gonna go a back way,” she says. “I always do this.”

A few minutes later she slows the car dramatically and pushes the button that lowers her window. She sticks her arm out. I duck my head and look out. Across the street from us is a squat, tan brick building. In front of it on the sidewalk are about five people. A few of them are holding signs. One of the signs has a close-up of a smiling infant. There are two middle-aged women with scarves on their bowed heads praying a rosary.

That’s when I realize where we are. I guess I knew there were abortion clinics. I just never thought about it. And I suppose I knew people sometimes protested. But again, I had never thought about it.

My boss’s hand is stuck out the window of her BMW. She crawls past the clinic with her middle finger up. No one notices her so she comes almost to a stop. The person behind her honks his horn. The protesters look in our direction. They see her middle finger. They seem neither shocked nor offended. They just look at us. My boss grins at them and then at me with a gleam in her eye.

She yells, “Go home!” at the same moment the person behind us honks again. Her voice is drowned out. She is a little embarrassed and steps on the gas too hard and fast. The BMW lurches forward and she clears her throat and rolls up the window.

It’s only years later that I see the desperate awkward grasping pettiness of her actions. At that moment, though, I am enthralled. This woman is standing up for the oppressed. She is a crusader for human rights against the barbarians who would throw the mentally ill in jail for murder when it isn’t their fault. She stands up to the intolerant zealots who harrass women and assail them with judgmental nonsense when they seek to exercise their right to choose what to do with their own bodies.

I have never given abortion much thought until this day. It will be years before I have even the faintest idea of what it really is, what it does, or what it means.

In the coming years, I will only think about abortion when someone questions whether or not it should be legal. Then I will loudly and angrily argue for abortion “rights.” About three years later, I will have a conversation in which I finally, for the first time ever, learn some facts about abortion, and I will leave that conversation pro-life, and remain so.

Driving past the abortion clinic, watching my boss flip the bird to a group of praying strangers, I only have the foggiest notion of what “pro-choice” means. Like “mentally ill,” it has an ephemeral quality to it, a sense of non-meaning, as though it’s not so much a phrase as a magic blanket that can stretch to cover anything we wish. But I like the sound of it. It sounds inclusive, warm, reasonable.

Pro-choice.

I think the words in my head and decide I like them. I like the club I belong to now. I will worry about the details later. Or maybe I won’t.

Sitting there in my boss’s Bimmer, I feel a sense of pride and belonging. I am a smart, liberated, enlightened young woman. I am a feminist and a believer in human rights. I am one of the sane ones, the caring ones, the indispensable right-thinking ones.

I am pro-choice.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Reprinted with permission from Live Action’s blog.

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New Planned Parenthood TV ad thanks Obama for the contraception mandate

by Ben Johnson Tue Feb 07 08:43 EST Comments (12)

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – While concerned citizens protest that the Obama administration’s birth control mandate infringes on the First Amendment, Planned Parenthood is thanking Obama for his decision to force religious institutions to cover contraception, including abortifacient drugs like ella, in their health care plans by August 2013.

The nation’s leading provider of abortion has produced a new TV ad, entitled “Basic Health Care,” stating, “President Obama and Secretary Sebelius stood strong to make sure all women, no matter where they work, will have access to birth control without a co-pay, saving them hundreds of dollars.”

The advertisement asks viewers, “Thank President Obama Secretary Sebelius. Tell them to keep protecting the birth control women count on.”

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The ad will air in eight markets: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Toledo, Ohio; West Palm Beach, Florida; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Reno, Nevada; Charlottesville, Virginia; Lansing, Michigan; and Madison, Wisconsin. All are located in swing states pivotal to the 2012 presidential election.

Pro-life leaders are outraged by the commercial and the mandate it celebrates. “Even most Catholic and other religious colleges are not exempt from the mandate,” Patrick Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society wrote in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com.

“This is a windfall for Planned Parenthood and its deadly agenda,” he wrote.

So far at least 165 Catholic bishops have spoken out in opposition to the mandate, and have rallied the faithful to opposition through statements and letters read from the pulpit at Sunday Mass. Numerous leaders of other faiths have also spoken out, including 65 Orthodox bishops, and leaders in the Evangelical and Jewish communities.

Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP) calculated that Planned Parenthood made a $64 million annual profit from contraceptive sales before the mandate.

But Karen Malec, the president of the Coalition on Abortion-Breast Cancer, said the real cost of widespread birth control use is far higher.

“The birth control pill, containing estrogen and progestin, is on the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer website…listed among group one carcinogens,” Malec told LifeSiteNews.com. “That is the highest level for a cancer-causing agent that can be assigned to a particular drug.”

The advertisement states that the birth control pill prevents ovarian cancer “and the pain and infertility of endometriosis.” But Malec said while the birth control pill reduces the chances of contracting those two kinds of cancer, it increases the odds of developing three separate strains of cancer.

“Essentially, they are taking a carcinogen to prevent cancer,” she said.

The National Cancer Institute at the National Institute of Health reports on its website, “The risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers is reduced with the use of OCs [oral contraceptives], while the risk of breast and cervical cancers is increased.” It adds, “the risk was highest for women who used OCs within 5 years prior to diagnosis, particularly” among women aged 20-34.

“There are more than twice as many American women that die of the cancers that the pill causes than the cancers it prevents,” Malec told LifeSiteNews.

Reilly noted that the use of oral contraceptives is tied to other harmful activities. “I don’t think it’s coincidence that Secretary Sebelius, when she first announced the HHS mandate last year, said it was urgent that college students have access to free contraception,” he wrote to LifeSiteNews. “No-cost contraception leads to premarital sex and more, not fewer, abortions.”

A 2010 study conducted in Spain found that from 1997-2007 women’s use of contraception increased nearly 30 percent, while their abortion rate more than doubled over the same period.

Tags: cancer, obamacare, planned parenthood

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65 Orthodox Church bishops call on Obama to ‘rescind’ the ‘unjust’ contraception mandate

by Ben Johnson Tue Feb 07 08:29 EST Comments (7)

 
The Episcopal conference

NEW YORK, NY, February 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The 65 canonical bishops of the Orthodox Church have asked President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to repeal the mandate that religious institutions provide birth control, sterilization, and Plan B abortion drugs in their health care coverage.

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America – which represents 12 Orthodox jurisdictions and three million Orthodox Christians in the United States –  issued a press release last Thursday calling the HHS ruling a violation of religious conscience.

“The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion,” the statement says. “This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for ‘contraceptive services’ including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions.”

“Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care. We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.”

The bishops urged the faithful to take action. The statement calls upon “all the Orthodox Christian faithful to contact their elected representatives today to voice their concern in the face of this threat to the sanctity of the Church’s conscience.”

Influential leaders in the Orthodox Church expressed their appreciation that the bishops had spoken out. “The statement issued by the Orthodox bishops reflects a welcome voice in the public square that has too often been silent due to our unhappy divisions as American Orthodox Christians,” said Fr. Chad Hatfield, the president of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York, in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com.

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble, an Orthodox priest and writer in Massachusetts agreed, “I don’t think we should shy about controversial topics.” Fr. Preble wrote an article in The Huffington Post asking the hierarchy of his church to publicly address the subject. “This seemed to be more of a national issue that the bishops as a whole had to say something about, and they weren’t, and I was afraid we were losing ground,” he told LifeSiteNews.com. “The Roman Catholic bishops were carrying the majority water on this issue and taking the brunt of the heat, and I just thought we had to do something.”

After reading the statement, Fr. Preble said, “I’m very pleased with the fact that [the bishops] did speak out, and I hope that this is the start of other statements that they will make about other issues, as well.”

The nation’s Orthodox Christians join a growing number of non-Catholics who had officially opposed the contraception mandate, which religious institutions will be required to observe by next August. Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on his daily podcast last Tuesday that any law requiring people of faith to violate their conscience “is not only a Catholic issue…our religious liberty is being similarly subverted and attacked.”

Late last year 60 religious leaders, mostly Protestants as well as two Orthodox Jewish spokesmen, signed a letter to President Obama, stating, “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.”

The Orthodox Church is the second largest church in the world. The North American bishops posted their press release last Thursday, the date Orthodox Christians celebrate the presentation of the Christ Child in the Temple.

Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America was traveling and was not immediately available for comment.

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The statement reads in full:

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, which is comprised of the 65 canonical Orthodox bishops in the United States, Canada and Mexico, join their voices with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and all those who adamantly protest the recent decision by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and call upon all the Orthodox Christian faithful to contact their elected representatives today to voice their concern in the face of this threat to the sanctity of the Church’s conscience.

In this ruling by HHS, religious hospitals, educational institutions, and other organizations will be required to pay for the full cost of contraceptives (including some abortion-inducing drugs) and sterilizations for their employees, regardless of the religious convictions of the employers.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for “contraceptive services” including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions. Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care.  We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.


Contact Information:
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America

Tags: obamacare, orthodox church

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News Commentary

by Steve Jalsevac Mon Feb 06 21:54 EST Comments (0)

The last week or so has been an exceptional time in the news and for us at LifeSiteNews.

I sadly had to say goodbye to my 87-year old father, John Jalsevac Sr., last Tuesday as he lost a long battle against Parkinson’s Disease that evening. And editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen flew to Kerala, India Saturday to be with his mother who suddenly became gravely ill. He will be there for two weeks.

In the news, the Planned Parenthood thuggery against Komen for the Cure for daring to stop funding it has been an ongoing, huge story. PP is lashing out against the growing momentum to expose the beast for what it really is.

President Obama is mocking Christianity more than ever.

Doug Kmiec’s withdrawal of support from President Obama is a long overdue and significant development. Like Komen, we can imagine the consequences he will encounter for stepping out of line with the anti-life mafia.

Matthew Hoffman’s excellent report with many new revelations about the Lisa Miller story is a heart-rending must read LifeSiteNews story.

Steve Jalsevac
LifeSiteNews.com

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Who will protect Ontario’s school children?

by Lou Iacobelli Mon Feb 06 19:47 EST Comments (5)

 
Lou Iacobelli during June 2011 presentation to the TDCSB on the gov't equity policy implementation

TORONTO, Ontario, February 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The provincial government in Ontario has now for years been pushing school boards to accept a radical social/sexual indoctrination agenda. In 2010, the McGuinty Liberals had to withdraw the Health and Physical Education curriculum because it contained explicit sexual material that many believed to be inappropriate for young children. Parents were outraged that their government would try to teach children what Christians see as immoral content with little or no consultation.

In 2011, schools began implementing the “Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy”, and presently the proposed Bill 13, if passed, will see the legal protection of dozens of socially constructed sexual “orientations”. There is a campaign by provincial governments in Canada to normalize the LGTB, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life-style, and in a number of provinces to establish gay/straight alliances in schools. In Ontario, this is now clear because McGuinty has rejected the Catholic document called “Respecting Difference” on how to deal with the issue of bullying in schools. It was released this past week by the Catholic trustees and backed by the Ontario Bishops.

In all these adult efforts pushing for political correctness, who is speaking for the children? Who will protect Ontario’s students from this psychological and moral abuse?

School boards and teachers’ unions have not been there to defend students. In fact, to help schools normalize and promote the LGTB life-style, boards are using resource Internet guides written by activist groups like Egale for grades 7-12 called MyGSA . According to Egale, the website is for youth and educators across this country for “safer and inclusive education”. The Toronto District Board of Education website currently links and endorses this site.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the public teachers’ union, has already developed a number of guides that are friendly and promote the LGTB agenda. One is called, Creating Spaces: Embedding Equity in Education, and another is titled, Shout Out: Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Heterosexism.


Parents can no longer trust governments, school boards and teachers’ unions

Why are our governments using tax payer money and partnering with Egale to offer training workshops on “LGBT”? This sexual indoctrination in our schools and our society is the result of policies deceptively called, “Inclusive and Equitable” education.

Of course it helps, at least in Ontario, to silence and buy the co-operation of many voters with the Liberals’ decision to fund All-Day Kindergarten. This unnecessary extra schooling is pedagogically unsound. The added year will also cost Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars; nevertheless, this is of little importance to politicians interested in getting votes and appeasing consciences.

The Liberals didn’t consult with Ontario parents and citizens if they wanted the LGBT curriculum. We think we know why: the majority of parents and students don’t consider the LGBT agenda a priority or something they would endorse. The LGBT is completely politically driven and socially manufactured. As a result, the ruling government can toss aside even the mere appearance of passing “Equity” policies and laws democratically. Why do you think they had the effrontery never to mention the LGBT issue during the election if they believe it’s so important?

Why concern yourself with a consultation process when you can simply get bureaucrats to approve the deception of “Equity” education. The government merely instructed the ministers of education, got the school boards and trustees on side with more programs and money. Then they launched a political campaign about the need to end bullying in schools and to do that, among other things, it mandated and encouraged schools to implement the doublespeak of the “Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy”.

The last step was to collaborate with gay activists to provide the schools with the resources to accomplish the task. If you listen to the LGBT rhetoric, it seems that governments have now decided that one of the most important issues facing Ontario and the nation is the protection and support of students with a dozen different sexual orientations. But please read on, regrettably there’s more.

Egale’s MyGSA website goes further and lists for visitors, these could be young students, homosexual organizations like Outrage!, Stonewall, PFLAG, and pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. The website’s recommended resources includes a book for teens called Coming Out: A Handbook for Men that includes sex advice involving grotesque sexual acts not worth mentioning here. To suggest that this material is a good resource for students is psychologically and morally abusive.

People in authority are taking advantage of their positions and tempting students to sin by exploring immoral behaviour. Parental warning: your children can be visiting websites like MyGSA fully endorsed by some teachers, your local school board, teachers’ unions and our provincial government.


Who will protect the children?

Given all this evidence, it’s only natural that parents be suspicious of governments and their political educational agenda. Politicians may be working to please people’s sexual orientations and get re-elected, but who is there to protect the children and their souls? Isn’t it part of a government’s responsibility to keep children from harm? And to be building the common good? Don’t students have the right to their moral and sexual innocence?

The government, the schools boards and teacher unions that ought to be defending students instead are introducing programs that are abusive to their moral and sexual wellbeing.

In addition,there is a total disregard of Christian values that are based on natural law. The push to normalize the LGTB sexual agenda has no natural, moral or legal basis. The acceptance of the LGTB lifestyle has been masked as “human rights” and turned into a topic of taboo because anyone who dares to disagree is quickly attacked as being “homophobic” or bigoted. But shouldn’t a truly “Equity and Inclusive” policy make plenty of room for those who don’t accept it?

In the end, the only true hope is for parents to protect their children’s morality and true sexuality; they must act quickly before the province and school boards turns the children against their parents on these issues. Our government is now bullying Christians: it’s high time for parents to reclaim their rights and to push back. If parents don’t defend their children from this Orwellian nightmare, who will?

This article is a slightly condensed version of an article posted on the Lou Iacobelli blog Every Day for Life Canada.

Lou Iacobelli and his wife are retired former teachers with a combined total of 64 years of teaching experience with the Toronto District Catholic School Board. Lou is a member of the board of directors and spokesperson for The Parental Rights in Education Defense Fund (PREDF)

Tags: education, gay, homosexuality, parental rights

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Rick Santorum raises abortion-breast cancer link

by Ben Johnson Mon Feb 06 19:13 EST Comments (10)

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life leaders say on Sunday, Rick Santorum may have become the first major presidential candidate in history to address the link between abortion and breast cancer.

Asked whether he believed the Susan G. Komen Foundation should fund Planned Parenthood, Santorum replied, “I don’t believe that breast cancer research is advanced by funding an organization where you’ve seen ties to cancer and abortion. So, I don’t think it’s a particularly healthy way of contributing money to further cause of breast cancer.”

He added that, since the grants were administered by a non-profit philanthropy, it was “for a private organization like Susan G. Komen to make that decision.” Twenty-two U.S. senators wrote a letter asking the foundation to change its policy, and U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier raised the organization’s tax-exempt status on the House floor following its decision to restrict funding to Planned Parenthood.

The former Pennsylvania senator, who narrowly won the Iowa caucuses, made his remarks on Fox News Sunday.

Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion-Breast Cancer, said she and other observers believe that is a first. “We’re thankful that he has mentioned the abortion-breast cancer link, because for a number of women in this country, it may be the first time they’ve heard it,” Malec told LifeSiteNews.com.

Doctors, she said, recognize that the loss or delay of a full-term pregnancy increases the likelihood that women will develop breast cancer. 

“52 out of 68 [epidemiological] studies now show” an independent link between abortion and breast cancer, as well, she added.

During pregnancy, the number of cancer-accessible lobules multiply as the breasts expand, she explained. “The risk increases every week up to 32 weeks of gestation, then there’s a dramatic drop in her breast-cancer risk.”

“Doctors already agree…the best way to prevent breast cancer is having an early, first full-term pregnancy,” combined with breast feeding, she said. 

Dr. Joel Brind, professor of endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York and a director at the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, estimated last year that abortion had led to 300,000 deaths from breast cancer since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision – not counting deaths from abortions that delayed first full term pregnancies. 

Breast cancer rates have increased 40 percent since 1973, according to Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a clinical assistant professor of surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. 

Post-abortive women were shown to have tripled their chances of developing breast cancer in Sri Lanka.

U.S. National Cancer Institute researcher Dr. Louise Brinton, who once denied any link between abortion and breast cancer, changed her mind in 2010. 

Pro-life activists hope this will convince the Komen foundation to stop funding the abortion provider. “Although we share the same goals as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, they have been working against their mission,” Malec told LifeSiteNews. “Planned Parenthood is causing more breast cancer in this country.”

Tags: cancer, komen, rick santorum

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Obama’s top Catholic supporter now ‘without a candidate’ after contraception mandate

by Patrick B. Craine Mon Feb 06 19:12 EST Comments (51)

 
Doug Kmiec

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - President Barack Obama’s most prominent Catholic supporter is backing away from the radically pro-abortion leader over his administration’s decision to force religious institutions to cover contraception, including abortifacients, and sterilizations.

Doug Kmiec, Obama’s former Ambassador to Malta, revealed this week that he is now “without a candidate” for the 2012 election because of the contraception mandate.

“Until I have an opportunity to speak with the president, I am for now (unhappily) without a candidate,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Hill.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

The news bolsters pundits’ predictions that the contraception mandate could threaten Obama’s fortunes for the 2012 election among the key Catholic swing vote. So far at least 165 U.S. bishops, representing over 90% of American dioceses, have slammed the decision in letters to the faithful, according to CatholicVote.org’s Thomas Peters.

Kmiec, a Republican and former dean at Catholic University of America’s law school, shocked pro-lifers when he endorsed Obama in 2008 and went on tour promoting him as the “pro-life” candidate.

In a Feb. 2nd letter, a copy of which he sent to Catholic Online’s Deacon Keith Fournier, Kmiec told President Obama, “In deciding against a reasonable accommodation of Catholic concerns in the implementation of the health care program, you lost sight of your own beliefs.”

“Why put the cold calculus of politics above faith and freedom?” he wrote. “Please respond, for friendship will not permit me to disregard duty to faith and country.  The Barack Obama I knew would never have asked me to make that choice.”

Kmiec said that because of the president’s disregard for freedom of conscience and religion, his words regarding the importance of faith at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 2nd “touched neither soul nor heart in the room.”

“This matter goes to the heart of who we are as a people.  The polite, but tepid applause this morning was a sign of concern that you have lost your way on this most essential topic,” he said. “You have already lost the votes of many individuals who stood as people of independent mind against those who sought to defeat your efforts to promote the common good.”

“Where is the common good, Sir, in not making room for the great Catholic traditions of education, health care, and meeting the needs of the least among us?” he added.

Tags: abortion, obama

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