Friday, February 10, 2012

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New Planned Parenthood CEO claims work is ‘sacred’

by Sarah Crawford Fri Feb 10 18:43 EST Comments (22)

 
Melaney Linton says her work is "sacred"

A Planned Parenthood affiliate’s newest president and CEO said in an official statement that she regards her work for the biggest abortion business in America to be a holy profession.

Melaney Linton, who will now oversee Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, is determined to further the Life-ending work of Planned Parenthood:

“I am honored and humbled to be entrusted with such a sacred duty…I pledge to do everything in my power to fight back against the ideological attacks on Planned Parenthood and women, so that no teen will ever say she didn’t know how she got pregnant, no one will ever be denied basic reproductive health care, and no woman will ever be forced to bear children she cannot adequately support.”

Starting March 1st, Linton will manage 13 abortion and abortion-referring centers in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, as well as the largest abortion mill in America, located in Houston, Texas.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast alone performed over 12,000 abortions in 2010 and banked over $17 million – 49 percent of which came from taxpayer dollars.  Linton will succeed Peter Durkin, who earned over $200,000 in 2010 by performing this “sacred duty.”

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Linton is mistaken when she calls her work “sacred.”  There is nothing holy about extinguishing the lives of millions of unborn children as a way to line the company pocketbook.  The new CEO vows to fight back against life-affirming measures that have limited the abortion provider, because they cut into the proceeds Planned Parenthood receives from every abortion committed.

Planned Parenthood, with their money-hungry abortion agenda, has lured women and young girls into their clinics with the promise of putting them first, but Planned Parenthood’s financial standing is all that matters to the abortion giant.  The abortion business refuses to acknowledge the physical, mental, and emotional damage abortion causes, thus, abandoning women because they are no longer seen as a profit.

The Planned Parenthood abortion business is a multi-million dollar company which preys on women to drive up their bottom line.  This government-sanctioned killing of children must be brought to an end.  As members of the pro-life community, we are dedicated to ending the horror Linton and Planned Parenthood so fiercely defend.  As long as Planned Parenthood remains devoted to ending innocent human life and committing these unjust moral atrocities, we are dedicated to severing the revenue stream that is responsible for the death of innocent unborn children.

This article first appeared at Texas Right to Life’s blog and is reprinted here with their generous permission.

 

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‘Birth control pills don’t fall out of the sky like manna’: economic experts blast revised mandate

by Ben Johnson Fri Feb 10 17:48 EST Comments (30)

 
Economist Sheldon Richman

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Regardless of whether President Obama’s new health care “accommodation” satisfies the First Amendment’s freedom of religion, experts tell LifeSiteNews.com it defies the basic laws of economics. One warns that insurance companies may charge religious institutions higher fees to compensate for the law’s new stipulations.

Barack Obama announced two new principles as part of his revised policy on whether religious groups other than churches must provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. “Religious organizations will not be required to subsidize the cost of contraception,” he said, and “insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge.”

Several economic experts responded to the ‘accommodation’ by telling LifeSiteNews the same thing: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Sheldon Richman, editor of the Foundation for Economic Education‘s journal The Freeman, told LifeSiteNews.com that when he heard President Obama say neither employers nor employees will not pay for the drugs, “I wanted to scream at the TV, ‘Then who will?’ Somebody’s got to pay for it. Birth control pills don’t fall out of the sky like manna.”

“He insults our intelligence by not even addressing the point,” Richman said.

He said insurance companies are “not simply going to absorb the cost.”

Dr. Samuel Gregg, research director at the Acton Institute, wrote in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com, “Someone has to pay. And it would be entirely reasonable – and very probable – for the insurance companies to simply charge religious institutions extra for their overall insurance policies in order to cover their not-so-free costs.”

Richman said if Obama chooses not to levy an additional cost on religious institutions, health insurance companies “will increase everybody else’s premium, so the cost will be shifted from the Catholic institution to everyone else who has to buy health insurance.”

Others agreed.

“Ultimately, given the socialization of a large part of the health insurance costs nationally, it will be taxpayers paying for it,” Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, told LifeSiteNews.com. “For those who do not qualify for the [government insurance] subsidy, they will absolutely be paying higher insurance premiums – not just because of this mandate but because of all the mandated coverages that are already in the law.”

The accommodation will not be implemented until after the presidential election.

Asked about whether the “free” care would increase consumer costs, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Fox News this afternoon, “What we now have is oversight from the Department of Health and Human Services looking at insurance rates…so we’ll be watching this carefully.”

If HHS is attempting to hold down costs, “we’ll get the same results we get from any price controls,” Richman said. “There will be fewer insurers,” which “puts upward pressure on premiums, if you have fewer providers in the market but demand is the same.”

“The laws of economics are like the law of gravity. They may take a little longer for the consequences to set in, but they do set in,” Richman told LifeSiteNews. “If we pretend they’re not there, then we’re going to see scarcities and other problems.”

In a blog post earlier in the day, Richman blogged that insurance is supposed to share the burdens of unforeseen calamities. Birth control, which is “a volitional act,” does not qualify. The mandate simply feeds the perception that if the government does not provide a good or service, access is being denied.

Barack Obama, who expressed his support for a single-payer health care plan before being elected president, could use rising premiums as leverage to nudge the nation’s health care industry toward a government-run system. “They come out the winner no matter what,” Richman said.

Many critics have noted, since money is fungible, religious organizations will still be compelled to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs through another mechanism.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “this new proposal still requires religious entities that are not exempt as a church to subsidize and pay insurance companies so they can give free birth control to their employees. However, it won’t be free, because the insurance companies will increase the premium and administrative costs to the employer.”

Dr. Gregg told LifeSiteNews.com, “No amount of rationalization (of which we will surely hear plenty in forthcoming days from the usual suspects) can disguise the fact that indirect payment for these services would fall into the areas of either what the Church calls formal cooperation in evil or direct material cooperation in evil.”

“It’s apparent from the details of the administration’s HHS compromise that they understand neither the economics of healthcare nor the import of Catholic moral teaching on these subjects.”

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Tags: economics, kathleen sebelius, sheldon richman

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Southern Baptist leader: Obama gave Christians ‘the dismissive back’ of his hand

by Ben Johnson Fri Feb 10 17:43 EST Comments (24)

 
Dr. Richard Land

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Evangelical and pro-family leaders have denounced the Obama administration’s new “accommodation” on the HHS mandate forcing religious institutions to provide birth control and abortifacients as an accounting gimmick that still compels people of faith to violate their deeply held principles or face legal penalty.

“Mr. President, mere accounting tricks will not suffice,” Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission wrote in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. “You have given your fellow citizens’ cry of conscience the dismissive back of your hand by offering them not a solution.”

He called the new policy, which would not force parachurch groups to provide such pharmaceuticals “directly,” as “a distinction without a difference.”

“The president’s failure to grasp the seriousness of this issue reveals a dangerous presidential blind spot concerning First Amendment constitutional religious free exercise guarantees,” he wrote. “It also highlights the wisdom of our forefathers who bequeathed to us a legislative system that is supposed to pass laws with the consent of the governed through their elected representatives, rather than being governed by executive branch imperial edicts passed down from on high.”

The Southern Baptist Convention uses a self-funded insurance plan, GuideStone, to cover 200,000 pastors, missionaries, and other church employees. Under this “accommodation,” GuideStone may have to provide abortifacient drugs, in violation of the church’s doctrine.

GuideStone’s President O.S. Hawkins called today’s statement “an insulting affront illustrating a basic lack of understanding that this issue will not be solved by sleight of hand word games.” The policy “threatens the very coverage of those dedicated persons who serve our churches and affiliated organizations. GuideStone will never depart from the core convictions it has held dear for decades regarding the sanctity of life.”

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Dr. Land, who previously stated Southern Baptists would go to jail rather than comply with the mandate, spoke for many Christian leaders.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrote in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com that the new rule “only creates some paperwork gimmicks that don’t change the fact that religious employers who object to coverage of these services will now have to drop health insurance altogether to maintain their conscience and face severe penalties for doing so. ”

Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told LifeSiteNews.com, “Laundering a Catholic or Christian organization’s money through the insurance company to pay for abortifacients does not suddenly correct the moral sin inflicted by Obama.” He added the administration “has pressed its radical pro-abortion agenda on the American people and around the world.”

Others saw the rule as an attempt to buy time until after the 2012 presidential election. Noting that no concrete regulation had yet been drafted, Luke Goodrich of The Becket Fund told CNN this afternoon, “The president is saying, ‘Trust me.’”

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops and leaders of the pro-life movement remain concerned about the possibility of back-door funding for abortion or contraception that violates their religious dogma.

Tags: mat staver, richard land, tony perkins

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UK roundup: Britain provides contraceptives to 9-year-olds; Anglicans oppose assisted suicide

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Fri Feb 10 17:23 EST Comments (2)

British health authorities defend hormone contraceptives for nine year-old girls

The British health authorities are defending a programme that allows 13 year-old girls to be given hormonal contraceptive implants in school without their parents’ knowledge or consent. The day after these headlines appeared, it was declared that government statistics showed a sixfold increase in girls under 15 getting implants over the last five years. National Health Service numbers showed that last year alone, 7,400 British girls between 13 and 15 were given implants or hormonal injections. In some schools, hormonal contraceptives have been given to girls as young as nine. 

The government defended the programme, which dates to 2009, claiming that it has had the desired effect of reducing teenage pregnancies by 22 per cent. Under the rules of “confidentiality,” school staff are actually forbidden to tell parents their children are undergoing these medical interventions, even after the fact. British newspapers report that it is “not known” how many schools are offering the contraceptive programme.

The government defended the programme, saying it had produced the desired effect in reducing teenage pregnancies by 22 per cent. Only “properly trained personnel” took the girls’ medical histories and approved the procedures, they assured the public. 

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Racist threats emailed to Anglican Archbishop over “gay marriage” opposition

The Anglican archbishop of York has received an undisclosed number of racially abusive emails in response to his opposition to Prime Minister Cameron’s “gay marriage” plans. The contents of the messages were not disclosed, but a statement from Dr. John Sentamu’s office said they had been forwarded to police for investigation of possible hate crimes. 

Late last month Sentamu said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that marriage by definition can only ever be between one man and one woman and that the state does not have the competence to re-define it. The second most senior leader of the Church of England, originally from Uganda, accused Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron of acting like a “dictator” in attempting to impose gay “marriage” on the still majority Christian country.

Sentamu was a lawyer who clashed with bloody dictator Idi Amin and fled his home country to Britain in 1974. He was jailed for 90 days by the regime and in his own words was beaten and “kicked around like a football” while imprisoned. He was ordained to the Anglican priesthood in 1979 and was appointed Archbishop of York in 2005, making him the highest-ranking black clergyman in the Church of England.

In his interview, Sentamu said that marriage is “set in tradition and history and you can’t just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are.

“We’ve seen dictators do it in different contexts and I don’t want to redefine very clear social structures that have been in existence for a long time and then overnight the state believes it could go in a particular way.

“It’s almost like somebody telling you that the Church, whose job is to worship God [will be] an arm of the Armed Forces. They must take arms and fight. You’re completely changing tradition.”

Sentamu has supported the Church of England’s position in favour of homosexual civil partnerships and the policy of allowing homosexual clergy to live together on the condition that they promise to remain celibate.

This week, a statement from his office said, “A large quantity of correspondence was received in response to the archbishop’s interview with the Daily Telegraph, which touched on a wide range of issues.

“Amongst many positive emails that he has received, there have been a small number of abusive and threatening emails of a racist nature which North Yorkshire Police are investigating as hate crimes.”


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Archbishop of Canterbury, General Synod, oppose loosening assisted suicide law

Dr. Rowan Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, has warned of social “disaster” if assisted suicide is legalised and promoted in the same way as abortion.

Addressing the Church of England’s General Synod, Dr. Williams noted that the strongest opposition to legalising assisted suicide comes not from religious people but from physicians who would be left morally and legally vulnerable. He urged legislators to consider the position of physicians opposed to the practice as well as the protection of vulnerable patients.

Changes to the law, he said, are “changes in the default position that our society adopts.”

“The default position on abortion has shifted quite clearly over the past 40 years, and to see the default position shifting on the sanctity of life would be a disaster.”

“We are committed, as Christians, to the belief that every life in every imaginable situation is infinitely precious in the sight of God.  To say that there are certain conditions in which life is legally declared to be not worth living is a major shift in the moral and spiritual atmosphere in which we live,” Williams continued.

Williams said he hopes that the churches will actively resist changes to the existing law. “But to change the law on this subject is, I believe, to change something vital in our sense of the value of life itself.”

The Synod opened the debate in response to a report by euthanasia and assisted suicide promoter, Lord Charles Falconer to the House of Lords recommending changing the law. Currently it remains a crime in Britain to assist a suicide, with a possible penalty of up to 14 years in prison. The public prosecutor’s office, however, has already changed the rules to allow people to assist suicides of loved ones without penalty.

While Falconer himself has admitted the insufficiency of legal “safeguards” surrounding the practice in places where assisted suicide and euthanasia have been legalised, he has led a group of legislators pressing for legalisation. The Synod was debating the motion, “That this Synod express its concern that the Independent Commission on Assisted Dying is insufficiently independent to be able to develop proposals which will properly protect the interests of vulnerable and disabled people.”

The Synod passed the motion, affirming “the intrinsic value of every human life” and supporting the current law on assisted suicide “as a means of contributing to a just and compassionate society in which vulnerable people are protected.”

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National Right to Life: Obama mandate ‘scam’ paves way for national abortion mandate

by Kathleen Gilbert Fri Feb 10 16:26 EST Comments (14)

WASHINGTON, February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - President Obama’s defense of his deceptive rephrasing of the birth control mandate on Friday - suggesting that insurers can provide the drugs for free because fewer children means less overall health costs - lays the groundwork for a future abortion mandate, the National Right to Life Committee has warned.

In order to assuage outrage from Catholic groups, President Obama on Friday afternoon essentially claimed that religious employers wouldn’t really pay for the birth control their employees receive in health care plans because insurers would chalk up the drugs as balancing out the potential costs of bearing a child.

“President Obama today promulgated a scam that, if he is re-elected, will allow him to mandate that every health plan in America cover abortion on demand,” said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. 

“The same twisted logic will be applied:  By ordering health plans to cover elective abortion, health plans would save the much higher costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and care for the baby - and under the Obama scam, if a procedure saves money, then that means that you’re not really paying for it when the government mandates it.”

The supposed “revision” of the birth control mandate drew strong praise from abortion and family planning groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Johnson said the same “doublespeak” could be used to say that Medicaid, prior to the Hyde amendment blocking abortion funding, was not really “funding abortion” because “after all, every abortion that the government paid for also saved the government money.” The same reasoning could even be applied to physician-assisted suicide in states where it has been legalized, he said, since “each suicide would result in a net savings to the plan” and thus “it is really free and nobody really pays for it.”

The NRLC also pointed out that the Institutes of Medicine “panel of experts” Obama cited as recommending universal birth control coverage was loaded with progressive ideologues.

Johnson, who was heavily involved in the abortion debate surrounding the federal health care bill, emphasized that contrary to some reports, the bill certainly allows an abortion mandate.

He explained: “The law prevents the Secretary of Health and Human Services from including abortion in a list of federally mandated ‘essential health benefits.’  But the birth control mandate is based on an entirely different provision of the law, which allows the Secretary to mandate that all health plans cover any service that the Secretary places on a list of ‘preventive’ services.  There is nothing in the law to prevent the Secretary from placing abortion, assisted suicide, or any other additional services on the preventive services list.”

Tags: abortion, birth control mandate, douglas johnson, nrlc

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‘Hold bishops accountable for mishandling sex abuse,’ says Vatican’s top prosecutor

by Patrick B. Craine Fri Feb 10 15:59 EST Comments (1)

 
Msgr. Charles Scicluna

ROME, Italy, February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Catholic bishops must be held accountable for their mishandling of sex abuse cases, the Vatican’s top prosecutor urged this week.

Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said it is “unacceptable” for bishops to ignore existing policies for disciplining priests and insisted that canon law provisions allowing for penalties against bishops who are guilty of “negligence and malice” ought to be applied more rigorously.

“We need to be vigilant in choosing candidates for the important role of bishop, and we also need to use the tools that canonical law and tradition give us for the accountability of bishops,” he told reporters at a four-day symposium sponsored by the Vatican on the handling of sex abuse cases, according to John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.

Msgr. Scicluna criticized the “deadly culture of silence” and “deliberate denial of known facts” and said, for example, that the Irish Catholic Church “has paid a very high price for the mistakes of some of its shepherds.”

He pointed out that penalties for “clergy” under canon law can be equally applied to bishops, even though that fact is often “ignored.”

“It’s not a question of changing laws, but of applying what we have,” he said.

The prelate acknowledged that it falls to the Pope to discipline bishops, but suggested the pope’s representatives in the various countries (known as apostolic nuncios) should send him the evidence he needs to act.

“The nuncio to a country represents the concerns of the Holy Father to that local church, but he also has the duty to listen to the people in order to convey the concerns of the local church to the Holy Father,” he said.

Faithful Catholics have long complained that efforts to combat the sex abuse scandal have been impeded by bishops’ unwillingness to have themselves be held accountable.

In 2002, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska stood as the only American prelate to denounce the U.S. Bishops’ Dallas Charter because the only group of Church employees for whom it did not establish standards of behavior was the bishops themselves.

Philip Lawler, the editor of Catholic World News and an expert on the sex abuse crisis, told LifeSiteNews that Msgr. Scicluna has been “consistently aggressive” in his attack against sexual abuse during his tenure at the Vatican, but “he has steadily gained backing for that approach, particularly since the election of Benedict XVI.”

“It’s instructive to notice the evolution in Vatican policy,” said Lawler. “When the scandal erupted in the US, only one bishop resigned because of his complicity in covering up abuse. When it hit Ireland, several bishops resigned. Clearly the Vatican was more aware of the damage that had been done by the bishops who failed to discipline the offenders.”

Lawler said Msgr. Scicluna’s comments highlight the fact that bishops have always had the authority they needed to handle abusive priests under canon law. “The problem was not a failure of canon law, but a failure to invoke canon law,” he said.

“The misconduct of some priests has been appalling. But equally appalling - and even more damaging to the faith in the long run - has been the willingness of bishops to mislead the faithful, traduce the innocent, and protect the guilty,” said Lawler.

Tags: benedict xvi, sex abuse

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Bishops ‘concerned’ over reworded mandate; other Catholic leaders slam as ‘insult to injury’

by Kathleen Gilbert Fri Feb 10 15:47 EST Comments (38)

 
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan

WASHINGTON, February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Responses from Catholic leaders ranged from concerned to outraged following the Obama administration’s latest rewording of the birth control mandate in an effort to stem criticism over its impact on religious freedom.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops president Timothy Dolan gave a cautious response in a statement Friday, saying that the conference “sees initial opportunities” in preserving religious freedom after the announcement, but “continues to express concerns.”

“Today’s decision to revise how individuals obtain services that are morally objectionable to religious entities and people of faith is a first step in the right direction,” said Dolan, who added that the bishops “hope to work with the Administration” towards a solution.

Although the president claimed that religious employers “will not have to pay for” contraception, the new phrasing still leaves essentially the same mandate intact: instead of directly paying for contraception, religious employers will simply be forced to foot the premium bill for employees receiving free contraception through their insurance.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League was more direct in his criticism, saying the rewording of the mandate merely “adds insult to injury.”

“If the insurance plan of a Catholic institution must cover services it deems immoral, then such a healthcare plan is offensive, plain and simple,” said Donohue in a statement Friday. “When it comes to the First Amendment, there is no such thing as a half loaf.”

The Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic higher education watchdog group, notes that Obama’s announcement means Catholic colleges and universities “will still be compelled under the force of law to pay for [birth control] coverage for their students and employees if they offer a health plan,” something they called “unacceptable and unconscionable.”

Thomas Peters, a prominent Catholic blogger with CatholicVote.org and the American Papist blog, said the rule also fails to protect the rights of faith-based insurance companies.

“The administration clearly wants to ‘balance’ this issue - by removing any semblance of balance whatsoever,” he told LifeSiteNews.com.

Meanwhile, the family planning lobby celebrated the announcement as proof of President Obama’s commitment to universal coverage for birth control.

“The Obama administration’s policy will make sure women of all faiths who work at religiously affiliated hospitals, universities, and service organizations will get contraceptive coverage,” wrote NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan in an email to supporters.

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LifeSiteNews tops Drudge Again!

by Steve Jalsevac Fri Feb 10 14:48 EST Comments (5)

 

For the second day in a row, we were the top link on the Drudge Report – this time regarding the story about pro-life leaders’ reactions to Obama’s abortifacient birth control mandate “concessions.” 

Folks, pro-life and pro-family leaders are literally changing the national discourse regarding the Obama mandate.

Do not be surprised to see many more of our stories picked up by the mainstream.

They just cannot ignore us any longer.

As a result of our reporting, hundreds of thousands of people will get a chance to read Congressman Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) and other pro-life leaders’ reaction to this morning’s news regarding the mandate. 

“The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction,” said Smith.

Updating our servers and equipment to better serve you and the nation with life and family news is our highest priority right now.

But we couldn’t have got where we are without you, and we can’t continue winning this battle without your continued support! 

If you would like to join in strengthening the LifeSiteNews impact, click here to make a donation and help LifeSiteNews keep the voice of the Culture of Life in the national spotlight!

We’re doing it! It is time to end the choke-hold Planned Parenthood and other anti-life organizations have on the life and family debate in this country!

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U.S. bishops ‘express concerns’ about Obama mandate ‘accommodation’

by John Jalsevac Fri Feb 10 14:26 EST Comments (8)

February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The following statement was just released in response to the Obama adminstration’s announcement this morning that it is putting in place an “accommodation” to take into account religious liberty on their birth control mandate:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sees initial opportunities in preserving the principle of religious freedom after President Obama’s announcement today. But the Conference continues to express concerns. “While there may be an openness to respond to some of our concerns, we reserve judgment on the details until we have them,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

‘The past three weeks have witnessed a remarkable unity of Americans from all religions or none at all worried about the erosion of religious freedom and governmental intrusion into issues of faith and morals,” he said.

‘Today’s decision to revise how individuals obtain services that are morally objectionable to religious entities and people of faith is a first step in the right direction,” Cardinal-designate Dolan said. “We hope to work with the Administration to guarantee that Americans’ consciences and our religious freedom are not harmed by these regulations.”

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Tags: birth control mandate, timothy dolan

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Pro-life groups: Forcing in vitro on Costa Rica could result in a ‘right’ to abortion

by Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent Fri Feb 10 14:01 EST Comments (1)

February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A group of over 70 civil organizations in ten different countries have signed a protest against an attempt by the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to impose in vitro fertilization on Costa Rica.

The pro-life organizations warn that if the Commission is successful, the ruling may be used in the future to establish abortion in general as a “right” in Latin American countries.

The Commission, which exists to monitor the American Convention on Human Rights, claims that denying in vitro fertilization to couples is a “violation of the right to a private and family life, the right to found a family, and the right to equality and non-discrimination, consecrated in the American Convention on Human Rights.”

The Commission has filed a suit against Costa Rica with the Interamerican Court of Human Rights, which exists to enforce the American Convention on Human Rights, also known as the Pact of San Jose. The Pact is binding on most countries in Latin America, including Costa Rica.

Latin American pro-life organizations, however, note that neither the Pact of San Jose nor any other human rights convention makes any mention of in vitro fertilization, a process that results in the killing of numerous embryos that are never implanted in their mother’s womb.

A declaration by the pro-life groups, entitled “A ‘perfect storm’ against the right to life of the conceived in Latin America” denounces the “abortionist” attempt to create a right to the deadly procedure of in vitro fertilization.

“Under normal circumstances, this suit would not succeed,” the signatories state in Spanish. “Simply because there is no sentence nor human rights treaty that recognizes assisted reproduction as a human right. It isn’t even mentioned in the American Convention on Human Rights, better known as the Pact of San Jose.  That is to say, the Interamerican Court of Human Rights doesn’t have the competence, it is not its role under the law to demand that any government legalize these practices.”

The signatories write that the members of the Commission and the Court have an “ideological option to interpret human rights according to gender ideology and so-called ‘sexual and reproductive rights’” and note that the Commission was “advised by the ‘Center for Reproductive Rights,’ a New York organization with a global presence, dedicated to converting abortion into a human right.”

“With this case, the Commission has generated an opportunity for the Court to establish a binding juridical precedent (legally obligatory), for all Latin American countries that form part of the American Convention of Human Rights, regarding the beginning of life and the extent of its legal protection,” they state.

The signatories call upon the government of Costa Rica to act in the defense of its own laws, accusing officials of capitulating to the Commission and of blocking attempts by pro-lifers to combat the suit.

The government has already tried once to legalize in vitro fertilization, following previous complaints by the Commission. However, in June of last year the national legislature voted down such a measure, prompting the Commission to proceed with its suit in the Court.

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Canada’s pro-life movement unites behind motion on humanity of unborn

by Patrick B. Craine Fri Feb 10 13:42 EST Comments (4)

 
Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth

OTTAWA, Ontario, February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life organizations across Canada are urging support for a historic motion tabled in Parliament Monday seeking to launch an inquiry into the humanity of the unborn.

The motion, by Tory MP Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre), seeks to establish a special committee to consider when human life begins. Woodworth is calling for a re-examination of section 223 of the Criminal Code, which states that a child only becomes a “human being” once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb.

Jakki Jeffs, executive director of Alliance for Life Ontario, said she and her organization “applaud” Woodworth for “raising the appalling plight of children before birth and the lack of recognition let alone protection of their lives by our Canadian Criminal Code.”

“We feel that it is long overdue given the fact that the government was asked to look into such matters years ago,” said Natalie Hudson Sonnen, executive director of the national educational group LifeCanada.

“It is an international embarrassment that we are in this current situation,” she continued. “Most countries in the world have revisited the issue, but Canada remains mired in a political correctness that forbids us to discuss such issues.”

Abortion was decriminalized in Canada in 1969 with the passage of Pierre Trudeau’s Omnibus crime bill, which allowed a committee of doctors to approve the deadly procedure. The Supreme Court of Canada struck down that law in 1988, calling on Parliament to enact a new one.

But numerous attempts by pro-life MPs have been rebuffed. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose Conservative government took power in 2006 and currently holds a majority, has insisted he will “not permit anyone” to open the debate on abortion in Parliament.

Woodworth’s motion proposes to set up a committee to look at the medical evidence relating to the humanity of the unborn. It will need majority support from the House of Commons, and Woodworth expects an hour of debate in March and another hour in June.

Campaign Life Coalition has backed the motion and is urging its supporters to contact MPs and tell them to support the effort. “Campaign Life Coalition encourages the initiative of any MP who presents pro-life legislation,” said Jim Hughes, CLC’s president.

“It is about time women and men who disagree with the radical feminist agenda stand up and speak up about the need to respect the dignity of every human being at every stage of his or her existence. Our MPs need to hear from us,” said Michèle Boulva, director of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, which was co-founded by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus.

(Get contact info for MPs here.)

Jane Richard, president of Kitchener Waterloo Right to Life, based in Woodworth’s area, said they have “great hope and determination” to support the motion.

“We are under no illusion that there will be an immediate law to make abortion illegal, in particular the first trimester, however this motion sets a precedent for getting to the fundamental principle of whether or not an preborn child is a person that has implications for the protection of life beyond the womb,” she said.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has opposed the motion, reiterating the Harper government’s stance against re-opening the abortion debate. Both the Opposition New Democrats and the Liberals have slammed it as an affront to “reproductive freedom.”

The reaction from the political class was no surprise, says Boulva. “Canadian society has accepted abortion as a so-called ‘right’,” she said. “We’ve been hiding our heads in the sand for decades, tragically choosing to ignore scientific facts regarding the beginning of human life.”

She said political leaders are even rejecting the simple request to examine the scientific evidence “because they are afraid of the backlash they might suffer from radical groups.”

Some pro-life groups have expressed concerns over Woodworth’s statements that he believes the unborn become human at some point before “complete birth,” suggesting a possible gestational approach. However these groups have also expressed confidence that, if conducted properly, the committee’s only possible conclusion will be that humanity begins at conception.

“Scientific evidence is clear that life begins at conception,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, CLC’s national organizer. “We trust Parliament will recognize and protect all human life from conception to natural death.”

Boulva noted that this was the clear opinion of Dr. Jérôme Lejeune, regarded as the father of modern genetics.

“From the moment of fertilization, that is from the earliest moment of biologic existence, the developing human being is alive, and entirely distinct from the mother who provides nourishment and protection,” he said. “From fertilization to old age, it is the same living human being who grows, develops, matures and eventually dies.  This particular human being, with his or her characteristics, is unique and therefore irreplaceable.”

Jeffs also expressed concern that the motion focuses specifically on “medical” evidence given that the Canadian Medical Association approves abortions up until 20 weeks.

“The medical profession has become a major threat to life and health,” she said. “The science of embryology has confirmed when an individual human life begins and we remain hopeful if Mr Woodworth’s motion passes that experts from all relevant disciplines will have the opportunity to present their evidence.”

To send a letter of support to Stephen Woodworth:

Stephen Woodworth
Room 334, Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Telephone: 613-995-8913
Fax: 613-996-7329
Email: woodworth.s@parl.gc.ca

Other contact information:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
pm@pm.gc.ca

Get contact info for all MPs here.

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Bill Donohue: Obama’s mandate about abortion, not birth control

by Patrick B. Craine Fri Feb 10 11:53 EST Comments (5)

 
Bill Donohue, Catholic League President

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Fiery Catholic commentator Bill Donohue says the media has deliberately downplayed the significance of Obama’s HHS mandate by framing it as an issue of birth control instead of abortion.

On January 20th, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that under Obamacare they will require religious institutions to cover sterilizations and FDA-approved contraceptives in employees’ health plans. But that includes abortion-inducing drugs such as Ella, which is a sister drug of RU-486. (Update: This morning the Obama administration announced that it will no longer require religious organizations to pay for the drugs, but will instead force the organization’s health insurance company to pay for them - an “accommodation” that is being universally panned by pro-life leaders.)

“The media are framing the issue in terms of the least offensive issue,” Donohue, who serves as president of the Catholic League, said Thursday.

“When pollsters ask about the Obama healthcare plan, framing the issue as one about birth control, it is not going to set off the alarms: mention abortion and everything changes,” he added.

Donohue explained that a Lexis-Nexis search turned up 345 stories for the keywords “Catholic,” “Obama,” and “birth control,” but only 62 when he added “morning-after pill,” 31 when he added “abortifacients,” and 20 when he added “abortion-inducing drugs.”

“Why does the Obama plan include abortion-inducing drugs? Because that’s where he wants to go—he would like nothing better than to force all religious institutions to provide abortion coverage—and this is his way of prying the door open,” Donohue said.

“This issue is, first and foremost, about the First Amendment right to religious liberty. Secondly, it is about abortion,” he continued. “The lust for abortion that this administration has is unparalleled, and its unrelenting drive to shove its radical secular agenda down the throats of the faithful is equally unprecedented.”

The Jan. 20th announcement prompted universal backlash from America’s Catholic bishops with letters in over 170 dioceses, many of which were read to the faithful at Mass.

But Evangelical, Orthodox, and other religious leaders have rallied alongside the Catholics with some of them pledging to go to jail rather than obey the mandate.

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Catholic and pro-life leaders slam White House ‘compromise’ on birth control mandate

by Kathleen Gilbert Fri Feb 10 11:32 EST Comments (851)

 

WASHINGTON, February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The White House announced today that, instead of forcing religious employers to pay for birth control, it will force insurance companies to offer the drugs free of charge to all women, no matter where they work.

The plan, put forward as a concession to freedom of religion, was immediately denounced by Catholic Rep. Chris Smith as fundamentally the exact same mandate.

“The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else,” said Smith. “It remains a serious violation of religious freedom. Only the most naive or gullible would accept this as a change in policy.”

“The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction,” Smith continued. “It states, for example, that religious employers ‘will not’ have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their ‘insurance companies’ will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer.”

In a statement released today, the White House said, “Under the new policy announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works.”

“If a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide contraception coverage but her insurance company will be required to offer contraceptive care free of charge.”

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

The birth control rule announced last summer was intended to force virtually all employers to cover sterilizations and contraception, including abortifacient drugs such as ella, a sister drug to RU-486. The religious employer exemption essentially applied only to houses of worship, creating an uproar in the Catholic and Christian community as hospitals, schools, and charities would have been forced to pay for the drugs. The furor only grew stronger when the administration announced last month that the concerned religious organizations would be given an extra year to comply.

President Obama reiterated the statement in a press conference this afternoon, saying that “the insurance company, not the hospital, not the charity, will be required to reach out” to women employed by such institutions to offer birth control “without copays, without hassles.”

Before it was released, the new rule was expected to be similar to coverage laws in Hawaii that allow employers with religious objections not to directly pay for contraception, but instead to direct employees on how to conveniently access all such drugs and procedures, an option one Catholic spokesman already said would be materially inadequate.

“It would be no improvement to say: ‘Sure, you don’t have to include the coverage, you just have to send all your lay employees and women religious to the local Planned Parenthood clinic,’” Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in an email to the Weekly Standard.

The reworded mandate offered even less of a concession to religious freedom than the Hawaii rules, as it still leaves religious employers footing the premium bill for employees receiving free contraception through their insurance.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League said the new phraseology merely “adds insult to injury.”

“If the insurance plan of a Catholic institution must cover services it deems immoral, then such a healthcare plan is offensive, plain and simple,” said Donohue in a statement Friday. “When it comes to the First Amendment, there is no such thing as a half loaf.”

Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League also told LifeSiteNews.com that the new rule amounted to a “shell game.” “At the end of the day, religious employers are still required to provide insurance plans that offer free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients in violation of their moral tenets,” he said.

The country’s Catholic bishops have not yet responded to the White House’s statement. However, both Planned Parenthood and the Catholic Health Association (CHA) have expressed satisfaction with the new plan.

“The framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed,” said Sr. Carol Keehan of CHA. Keehan and her organization are perhaps best known for flouting the position of the Catholic bishops during the fight over Obama’s health care reform, throwing their weight behind the bill despite the opposition of the U.S. bishops over concerns the bill would increase abortion funding. Keehan was personally singled out by former USCCB President Cardinal Francis George for condemnation for her role in helping pass the health reform law.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards issued a statement, saying: “In the face of a misleading and outrageous assault on women’s health, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work.

“We believe the compliance mechanism does not compromise a woman.s ability to access these critical birth control benefits. However we will be vigilant in holding the administration and the institutions accountable for a rigorous, fair and consistent implementation of the policy, which does not compromise the essential principles of access to care.”

The pro-abortion news source, RH Reality Check, lauded the news, noting that the rule is convenient because women would not have to purchase a separate rider for the contraception coverage.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

 

Tags: birth control mandate, catholic health association, obama, planned parenthood

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Another Catholic college vows it will ‘not violate conscience’ on Obama mandate

by Peter Baklinski Fri Feb 10 10:58 EST Comments (2)

 
Thomas Aquinas College President Michael McLean

SANTA PAULA, California, February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a strongly-worded letter addressed to California’s two U.S. senators, Thomas Aquinas College President Michael McLean expressed “strong disapproval” over Obama’s mandate that would require the school’s employee health plan to include coverage for sterilization, abortifacients, and contraception.

“Voluntary sterilization, abortion, and artificial contraception are all directly contrary to Catholic teaching and cannot, in any way, be supported by individual Catholics or Catholic institutions desiring to live in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church,” McLean stated in the letter.

Thomas Aquinas College, located in southern California, is a prominent Catholic liberal arts college leading a revival in education by means of the Great Books.

McLean lambasted the federal government’s plan that would effectively force “individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience.”

McLean pointed out that the Americans hold dear the “long tradition of honoring freedom of conscience for its citizens.”

“We at Thomas Aquinas College hope, therefore, that you will join with us and with all who believe in the Constitution and religious liberty to oppose this mandate. I urge you to expend every effort to have it withdrawn,” he concluded.

A copy of the letter was also sent to President Barack Obama and to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Tags: birth control mandate, contraception, thomas aquinas college

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Down syndrome association: Spain’s eugenic abortion law violates human rights of disabled

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Fri Feb 10 10:43 EST Comments (4)

 

February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Spanish Down syndrome association “Down Spain” (Down España) is petitioning the government to eliminate provisions in the current abortion law allowing children to be killed in the womb up til birth because of “serious abnormalities in the fetus.” Currently Spain’s abortion law allows women to abort their unborn babies up until 14 weeks on demand, but provides the sweeping exception for babies who suffer from an “extremely grave and incurable illness.”

Noting that Spain is a party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which it ratified in 2008, Down Spain holds that “the current legislation does not award the same value to the life of a disabled person as one who is not disabled,” which violates the terms of the Convention.

The Convention states in Article 10 that “every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.”

It also promises “freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (Article 15) “the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable health standard without discrimination” (Article 25) and “freedom from exploitation, violence, and abuse” (Article 16) for disabled people.

“Any legislation that permits eugenic abortion - which is practiced to avoid the birth of a disabled boy or girl - is discriminatory because it treats the life of a person with a disability as less valuable than that of another person who is not disabled,” writes Down Spain, noting the right to life of the disabled protected in Article 10 of the Convention.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Down Spain “considers it inadmissible that the law makes possible an interruption of pregnancy carried out because of the fact that the fetus has a disability” and observes that the United Nations’ own Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has recommended to Spain that it remove the provision on eugenic abortions from its law.

An estimated 95% of babies whose Down syndrome is detected in the womb are aborted in Spain according to a 2008 study, prompting the director of Spain’s Foundation Life to state that children with Down are “in danger of extinction” in Spain.

Tags: abortion, down syndrome, eugenics, spain

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Former lingerie model abandons Victoria Secret career, vows to honor husband and God

by Christine Dhanagom Fri Feb 10 10:08 EST Comments (19)

 
Kylie Bisutti

February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Kylie Bisutti beat 10,000 contenders to become a Victoria Secret model, but now she’s walking away from her dream job, vowing to reserve her body for her husband.

Bisutti credited her Christian faith with helping her to come to her decision in an interview this week on Good Morning America.

“Growing in my relationship with the Lord, and my faith, I’m a strong believing Christian, I just became so convicted about wanting to honor my husband with my body and wanting to be a role model for other women out there who look up to me,” she said.

The California native was newly married to her husband, Mike, when she entered a Victoria Secret model search in 2009, determined to win.

“I want this, and I’ll do what it takes to get it,” she had vowed. But after two years working for the notorious lingerie company, a comment from her eight-year-old cousin sparked a dramatic turn-around.

“I was doing my make-up in the mirror one day, and she was watching me,” Bisutti recalled. “She just looked at me and she was like, ‘I think I want to stop eating so I can look like you. And it just broke my heart, because she looks up to me.”

Now, Bisutti is using the unexpected flood of media attention to encourage young women to reject some of the false messages that she fears she was sending in her previous line of work. Beauty is “a heart issue,” rather than an “outer issue,” she says.

“I didn’t really want to be that kind of role model for younger girls because I had a lot of younger Christian girls that were looking up to me and then thinking that it was okay for them to walk around and show their bodies in lingerie to guys,” she told FOX411.

Fellow Christian model Shannon Stewart praised Bisutti’s decision in a blog post yesterday.

“She is one rare girl,” Stewart wrote. “In a society where sex sells, and is just plain everywhere, you can still find those that are a diamond in the rough, and that are not willing to succumb to the pressures of ‘Hollywood.’”

Bisutti is now hoping to pursue a lingerie-free modeling career similar to Stewart’s, and she says she’s thankful for her husband’s support in bringing her to this point.

“He was so supportive of me, and I am so thankful that he let me grow and let me come to this decision on my own,” she told Good Morning America, adding that he’s “very thankful” about her decision.

Tags: kylie bisutti, victoria's secret

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Calgary Police apologize to pro-life activist arrested for showing abortion images

by Patrick B. Craine Fri Feb 10 08:01 EST Comments (11)

 

CALGARY, Alberta, February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a Calgary policeman arrested a pro-life activist Saturday over his use of graphic abortion signs, the police service has issued an apology, returned his signs, and pledged to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Michael Nunn, spokesman for the Calgary Police Service, told LifeSiteNews that the service “fully recognizes the fundamental freedoms of thought, belief, opinion, expression and of peaceful assembly” outlined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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 said.

When Gomez refused, the officer placed him under arrest, confiscated the signs, and held him in the back of a police car. Shortly thereafter, Gomez was released with a ticket for “stunting,” but the officer kept the signs.

In a statement provided to LifeSiteNews, and readers who lodged complaints, Nunn said that the charges have now been retracted.

“We work closely with this group and appreciate the positive relationship we have. We hope that continues in the future,” he said. “While we have made attempts to inform all members of the Service in relation to this group, it appears that his message was not received by all and we will be working to ensure that a similar incident does not occur.”

The Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform made the incident public in a Youtube video Feb. 6th in an effort to raise awareness of the police service’s actions after several previous run-ins.

Stephanie Gray, the organization’s executive director, told LifeSiteNews that they met with police Thursday morning after they wrote a formal letter of complaint, and are “optimistic” going forward.

“I was impressed by their humility and graciousness in apologizing for all that happened,” she said. “They clearly acknowledged that Francisco’s arrest, detention in a squad car, and ticket for stunting, along with the police officer’s seizing of our signs, was wrong.  They said all that should never have happened.”

“I am hopeful we will not only see an improvement in police behaviour in Calgary, but hope this serves as a teaching opportunity to law enforcement personnel across the country about Canadians’ free expression rights,” she added.


Contact Information:

Calgary Police Service
cps@calgarypolice.ca

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

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ALERT: LifeSite Crashes!

by Steve Jalsevac Thu Feb 09 20:32 EST Comments (2)

 
LifeSiteNews crashes after topping the Drudge Report

Do you see that headline?  “Church Leader: Jail Over ObamaCare.”  That’s a link to a story at LifeSiteNews.com. We topped the Drudge Report! Woohoo!

Unfortunately, our current servers weren’t up to the tidal wave of traffic from the giant conservative news nexus, and our site has been crawling!

A Twitter follower immediately tweeted:

@LifeSite made it on Drudge and was just mentioned on Rush [Limbaugh] for the second day in a row! Website on overload lol! #prolife

We should have seen it coming.

Our traffic levels have been skyrocketing the past few months as more and more people realize how biased the mainstream media is and just how vital our accurate and professional information on life and family is to changing minds and hearts in our culture.

In fact, our traffic has more than DOUBLED so far this year over the same period last year.  It was only last September that we upgraded our servers - and already the huge increase in traffic is shutting them down!

With your help, the voice of LifeSitenews has become one that cannot be ignored.  We have become a major force to be reckoned with in the mainstream culture - but we need your help in making the next important step.

You see, media sources like Drudge won’t be able to link to our reports if we don’t upgrade our servers with the capability to handle HUGE amounts of traffic.

This is a serious hurdle to keeping up with demand and getting the truth out to as many people as possible!

But you can help us solve this problem.

Today.

Let me break this down for you.  We see over 600,000 people on our website each month loading close to 2,000,000 pages. Of those over half-million unique viewers, only a fraction of 1% financially support us.

In a fury of web activity, and with only 10,000 pledges, Planned Parenthood was able to raise $3 million in response to Komen’s recent announcement to alter their giving priorities away from the abortion juggernaut. 

Let’s send a message to the mainstream media that Planned Parenthood isn’t the only group that can create web fury!

Maybe we can’t raise $3 million, but what about $300,000?

With that we could not only upgrade our servers, but hire more reporters, equipment and support staff needed to reach millions more people.

We are calling on ALL of our supporters to make an emergency donation. (Click Here to Donate)


We need everyone’s help.  It is time to end the choke-hold Planned Parenthood and other anti-life organizations have on the life and family debate in this country!

With an alternative voice like LifeSiteNews standing up for life and reaching millions more people, Planned Parenthood will no longer be able to bully groups like Komen into bowing to their anti-life demands.

Will you help us send a message today?

For the Culture of Life,

Steve Jalsevac
Managing Director
LifeSiteNews.com

P.S. Even a gift of $10 or $20 would go a long way if ALL of our readers and supporters contributed.  Make a donation today and spread the word - It is time to give the Culture of Life a voice!

U.S. and International Donors
(Click Here to Donate Online)

Call our office at (888) 678-6008 Ext. 923 between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.

To donate by mail, print out and fill in one of our Adobe Acrobat PDF format mail-in forms (Click here). Then mail it with your check, money order, or credit card information to the address below. Please note that you can set up an automatic recurring donation using your bank account or credit card by indicating your intention to do so on the check or mail-in form.

LifeSiteNews.com, Inc.
4 Family Life Lane
Front Royal, VA 22630
USA

Canadian donors
(Click Here to Donate Online).

Call our office at (888) 678-6008 Ext. 923between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.

To donate by mail, print out and fill in one of our Adobe Acrobat PDF format mail-in forms (Click here). Then mail it with your check, money order, or credit card information to the address below. Please note that you can set up an automatic recurring donation using your bank account or credit card by indicating your intention to do so on the check or mail-in form.

LifeSiteNews.com
104 Bond St.
Toronto, ON
M5B 1X9

*If the donation is towards a certain promotion or campaign, (i.e. Fall Campaign 2011) please indicate this on the mail-in form and check.

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ALERT: Drudge Crashes LifeSite!

by Steve Jalsevac Thu Feb 09 20:31 EST Comments (5)

 

Do you see that headline?  “Church Leader: Jail Over ObamaCare.”  That’s a link to a story at LifeSiteNews.com. We topped the Drudge Report! Woohoo!

Unfortunately, our current servers weren’t up to the tidal wave of traffic from the giant conservative news nexus, and our site was crawling for a number of hours after the link was posted!

A Twitter follower immediately tweeted:

@LifeSite made it on Drudge and was just mentioned on Rush [Limbaugh] for the second day in a row! Website on overload lol! #prolife

We should have seen it coming.

Our traffic levels have been skyrocketing the past few months as more and more people realize how biased the mainstream media is and just how vital our accurate and professional information on life and family is to changing minds and hearts in our culture.

In fact, our traffic has more than DOUBLED so far this year over the same period last year.  It was only last September that we upgraded our servers - and already the huge increase in traffic is shutting them down!

With your help, the voice of LifeSitenews has become one that cannot be ignored.  We have become a major force to be reckoned with in the mainstream culture - but we need your help in making the next important step.

You see, media sources like Drudge won’t be able to link to our reports if we don’t upgrade our servers with the capability to handle HUGE amounts of traffic.

This is a serious hurdle to keeping up with demand and getting the truth out to as many people as possible!

But you can help us solve this problem.

Today.

Let me break this down for you.  We see over 600,000 people on our website each month loading close to 2,000,000 pages. Of those over half-million unique viewers, only a fraction of 1% financially support us.

In a fury of web activity, and with only 10,000 pledges, Planned Parenthood was able to raise $3 million in response to Komen’s recent announcement to alter their giving priorities away from the abortion juggernaut. 

Let’s send a message to the mainstream media that Planned Parenthood isn’t the only group that can create web fury!

Maybe we can’t raise $3 million, but what about $300,000?

With that we could not only upgrade our servers, but hire more reporters, equipment and support staff needed to reach millions more people.

We are calling on ALL of our supporters to make an emergency donation. (Click Here to Donate)


We need everyone’s help.  It is time to end the choke-hold Planned Parenthood and other anti-life organizations have on the life and family debate in this country!

With an alternative voice like LifeSiteNews standing up for life and reaching millions more people, Planned Parenthood will no longer be able to bully groups like Komen into bowing to their anti-life demands.

Will you help us send a message today?

For the Culture of Life,

Steve Jalsevac
Managing Director
LifeSiteNews.com

P.S. Even a gift of $10 or $20 would go a long way if ALL of our readers and supporters contributed.  Make a donation today and spread the word - It is time to give the Culture of Life a voice!

U.S. and International Donors
(Click Here to Donate Online)

Call our office at (888) 678-6008 Ext. 923 between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.

To donate by mail, print out and fill in one of our Adobe Acrobat PDF format mail-in forms (Click here). Then mail it with your check, money order, or credit card information to the address below. Please note that you can set up an automatic recurring donation using your bank account or credit card by indicating your intention to do so on the check or mail-in form.

LifeSiteNews.com, Inc.
4 Family Life Lane
Front Royal, VA 22630
USA

Canadian donors
(Click Here to Donate Online).

Call our office at (888) 678-6008 Ext. 923between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.

To donate by mail, print out and fill in one of our Adobe Acrobat PDF format mail-in forms (Click here). Then mail it with your check, money order, or credit card information to the address below. Please note that you can set up an automatic recurring donation using your bank account or credit card by indicating your intention to do so on the check or mail-in form.

LifeSiteNews.com
104 Bond St.
Toronto, ON
M5B 1X9

*If the donation is towards a certain promotion or campaign, (i.e. Fall Campaign 2011) please indicate this on the mail-in form and check.

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What a day. We need your help with story comments

by Steve Jalsevac Thu Feb 09 19:58 EST Comments (4)

The significant reference to LSN stories from Rush Limbaugh yesterday and today, and then the banner size top Drudge link to a story by LSN’s Ben Johnson at around noon temporarily sunk our website, as you may know.

These developments tested LSN resources beyond the limit, but intense emergency efforts by our tech team managed to get the website running again, although still very slow, within 1 1/2 hours. Things got back to normal by around 4 p.m. Much was learned and now we know additional resources are definitely needed to handle our rapidly growing traffic. It was stressful today for sure, but also most enjoyable.

Commentaries, especially on the big story today, have been skyrocketing on LifeSiteNews. However, we need your help with this development.

The purpose of our comments section under each story is to allow readers to present USEFUL new information or commentary that adds to or complements the stories - period. We reserve the right to edit or delete all comments that do not fulfill that clear purpose. Also, we give priority to comments from pro-life, pro-family readers, while also permitting some comments from those who do not hold such views and already have their views overwhelmingly represented in the most other media.

However, we are also often not able to properly monitor comments because of the volume. Please help us by flagging any comments that violate normal rules of civility, which just spout propaganda, are not relevant to the story under which they are posted, or which are clearly inappropriate (that should NOT include comments that you simply disagree with). Click on the flag icon that appears when you mouse over the time posted area below the comment and that will alert us to it.

Steve Jalsevac

Today’s blog post:

Dancing with the swine: The HHS mandate and Obama’s real agenda - Dr. Gerard M. Nadal
The real bloodbath that is Obamacare: Aggressive eugenics feeding the population control agenda.

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Pro-family think tank blasts McGuinty’s pro-homosexual ‘Equity’ plan

by Patrick B. Craine Thu Feb 09 19:45 EST Comments (6)

OTTAWA, Ontario, February 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pro-family think tank is raising alarm bells in a new report about Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s controversial equity and inclusive education (EIE) strategy, saying that it weakens both freedom and equality.

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada warns in a report that the EIE strategy and McGuinty’s new anti-bullying bill promote intolerance by creating a hierarchy of victims, and risk promoting activism through the classroom.

Noting the government’s EIE documents call for students to move “beyond tolerance to acceptance and respect,” author Peter Jon Mitchell writes, “If tolerance is the respectful interaction of diverse viewpoints, then moving beyond it to acceptance will constrict both freedom and equality in Ontario schools.”

“Diversity will only flourish in Ontario schools when students are encouraged to respectfully interact with different thoughts and opinions,” he writes.

The EIE strategy, launched in 2009, requires school boards across the province to adopt equity policies that recognize special rights for homosexuals. It sparked a strong backlash from moral conservatives and led to the government’s decision to force schools, Catholic and public, to allow gay-straight alliance clubs.

For his part, Mitchell expresses concern that the Ministry of Education is using the classroom to promote “social reform” rather than to impart knowledge and skills. He warns that the EIE strategy “provides greater latitude for activist educators and special interest groups.”

The strategy encourages schools to build partnerships with community groups, he notes, which he says is beneficial in itself but has often proven “problematic” in practice.

He points out, for example, that the Ministry of Education caused controversy in 2007 when they partnered with the Tides Canada Foundation to show Al Gore’s The Inconvenient Truth in classrooms across the province.

Many parents and educators have also been concerned that McGuinty’s government has partnered with homosexual activist groups to promote the EIE strategy in the school boards.

A key problem with such partnerships, Mitchell says, is that they grant the groups “unquestioned legitimacy” in the eyes of students.

“Parents should be asking what role activism plays in education and whose views are represented in the classroom,” Mitchell writes. “Special interest and community groups have a role in school, but students should not be coerced to participate in activism or activities that compromise their own beliefs and positions.”

According to Mitchell, McGuinty’s anti-bullying bill is problematic because it would codify a simplistic definition of bullying based on stereotypes.

“The definition assumes bullying is unilateral and from a stereotypical position of privilege directed to a minority or position of real or perceived limitation,” he writes. “This isn’t always the case as there are also low status bullies who are simultaneously victims of bullying themselves. The proposed government definition does not recognize this bullying dynamic.”

He notes also that in the bill the government “seized the opportunity to strong-arm Catholic boards by specifically mandating gay/straight alliance clubs in all schools where students request them.”

Find the Institute of Marriage and Family’s full report here.

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French president says ‘no’ to homosexual ‘marriage’ and adoption, euthanasia

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Thu Feb 09 19:33 EST Comments (16)

 
French President Nicholas Sarkozy

February 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been under pressure from socialist opponents to weaken his stance on human life and family issues, says he is not budging.

In a recent interview with the conservative magazine Le Figaro, Sarkozy reaffirmed his conservative stances on a variety of social and economic issues.

In contrast to his principal opponent in the upcoming presidential elections, socialist François Hollande, Sarkozy told Le Figaro that he is “not favorable” to homosexual “marriage,” because it “opens the door to adoption.”

“In troubled times, when our society needs to keep its bearings, I don’t think that it is necessary to blur the image of this essential social institution that is marriage,” said Sarkozy.

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Although Sarkozy said that he supports strengthening certain legal rights for homosexuals, including inheritance rights, he opposes the creation of “civil unions” because the would “tend to harm the institution of marriage.”

“I know that there exists, in fact, particular situations with men and with women who assume their parental roles perfectly.  But they do not lead me to think that it is necessary to inscribe in law a new definition of family,” he said.

The president also reaffirmed his opposition to the legalization of euthanasia.

“Legalized euthanasia could lead us to dangerous excesses and would be against our concept of the dignity of the human person,” he said.

Sarkozy’s pro-life and pro-family positions have been affirmed in recent months by the French Parliament and the nation’s highest court, the Constitutional Council, in votes that have rejected the legalization of euthanasia and homosexual “marriage”.

Tags: marriage, nicolas sarkozy

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Lutherans join chorus of voices slamming HHS contraceptive mandate

by Christine Dhanagom Thu Feb 09 19:02 EST Comments (5)

 
Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison

KIRKWOOD, Missouri, February 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The President of the Missouri Lutheran Synod added his voice to the growing chorus of religious leaders from across denominational lines who are objecting to the HHS mandate requiring employers to cover sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plans.

“The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod objects to the use of drugs and procedures that are used to take the lives of unborn children, who are persons in the sight of God from the time of conception,” wrote Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, in a statement issued February 3rd. 

“Increasingly we are suffering overzealous intrusions into what is the realm of traditional and biblical Christian conscience. We believe this is a violation of our First Amendment rights,” he continued.

The statement echoes the sentiments of Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who recently objected to the media’s characterization of the controversy as “only a Catholic issue,” and urged Evangelicals to “understand that our religious liberty is being similarly subverted and attacked.”

According to Harrison, the Missouri Synod’s own healthcare policy, which provides coverage to nearly 48,000 people, would be exempt from the mandate since it had been tailored to obtain “grandfather” status.

Under the health care reform law, existing policies can be “grandfathered” if they meet certain criteria. Grandfathered plans are exempt from many of the changes in the legislation, including the requirement to provide the “minimum essential coverage” which includes the HHS mandate. However, changes made to the policy could cause it to lose grandfathered status.

According to Patrick Reilly, President of the Cardinal Newman Society, which is working against the mandate on behalf of the many Catholic colleges and universities who would be affected by it, many religious organizations are pursuing grandfathered status as a way of delaying the need to comply with the mandate.

However, Reilly added, if the mandate stands, most of those organizations would lose their exempt status within a year or two, since insurance companies routinely make changes to health care policies in areas such as rates and privacy provisions.

“The minute anything like that changes, a grandfathered plan is no longer considered to be grandfathered under the federal law,” he said.

According to Jim Sanft, President of Concordia Plan Services, the Missouri Synod’s church’s benefit partner, the Synod operates its own health plan, and therefore has control over any changes that are made to it.

However, Sanft added, the Synod is still concerned that it may ultimately lose its grandfathered status if it is forced to make changes to the plan in order to remain competitive in a changing insurance market.

In the meantime, says Reverend Harrison, the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran church has pledged its support for those religious organizations that do not have grandfathered plans and that do not qualify for the legislation’s narrowly tailored religious exemption.

“We will stand, to the best of our ability, with all religious and other concerned citizens against this erosion of our civil liberty,” he wrote.

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Tags: birth control mandate

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