Monday, February 20, 2012

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A scary and simple fact: Pro-aborts don’t like people

by Kristen Walker Hatten Mon Feb 20 18:53 EST Comments (54)

 
This picture's gonna make sense in a minute. Hang in there.
What'd I do?
No.

February 20, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - I listen to talk radio sometimes, mostly just while driving to and from work. (For you Occupiers out there, here is a link where you can learn more about this “work” thing. See in particular section 1.2, “Getting a Job.”)

For the past two days, a work assignment has required me to listen to talk radio all day long. I don’t really mind except that it gets me riled up.

Right now everybody’s talking about the HHS mandate requiring all employers — including Catholic hospitals and schools and other religious institutions and individuals – to provide insurance plans that include free contraception, sterilization, and abortion drugs for employees.

I already wrote about why this flies in the face of everything America is supposed to stand for — namely, liberty. (Occupiers, look that up too. It’s that thing that gets sacrificed when other people have to provide you with what you feel you deserve.)

Anyway, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh today, and he was talking about the HHS mandate. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically he boiled it down like this:

Barack Obama, his administration, proponents of this health care regulation, abortion advocates, feminazis (his word), and pretty much all people who lean to the Left in American politics are deeply convinced that contraception should be something everybody can get anytime.

All these people are so convinced of this, so vocal, so organized, with big fancy multi-million dollar organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, that the government feels confident to enact legislation that makes people provide abortion and contraception for others whether they want to or not.

What all this boils down to is a very simple thing: a significant number of people want to have sex without it resulting in babies. I’m not going to go into sexual morality right now. I’m gonna get bigger with this and maybe blow your mind a little.

It all boils down to babies.

Really think about it. I want you to consider it for a second. All these websites and rants and laws and organizations and talk shows and signs and court cases, every conflict that’s ever occurred over abortion or birth control, boils down to this:

It seems harmless, doesn’t it?

Why all the fuss about a baby?

I stopped listening to Rush at that point ’cause I had other things to do, but here’s what he didn’t get to: babies equal responsibility. These people don’t like responsibility because it requires them to sublimate their own desires for more video game time, an Escalade, venti half-caf caramel macchiatos, and/or looking cool in bars. The responsibility of a child makes them look and feel less awesome, independent, and progressive. It is not the gentle, part-time grad-school kind of responsibility, but the kind that requires selflessness and sacrifice, which is both scary and mean.

Here’s the other thing: babies also equal people, and those people don’t like people. Most of the same people who advocate for birth control also are totally convinced of the thoroughly disproven “population bomb” theory, that basically we’re gonna bazookadruple our population in like three months — any minute now — and India is gonna explode and every single person in Africa is gonna thirst to death and 4 billion Chinese people are gonna move completely into the United States starting in Kansas and working their way out in beautiful and orderly concentric circles of need and death because there’s not enough food and there’s too many people and aaaugugughghghghhhhhh overpopulationnnnn!!!

The problem is it’s not true. I’m too tired to hit you with all the scientific data. Just type “overpopulation myth” into the search box and lots of earnest bearded academics will tell you overpopulation why it’s super true and lots of exasperated-sounding scientists will tell you why it’s not true. You can read both sides and decide for yourself.

The point is that there is a really surprisingly huge faction of the Left in America who believe humans were created for earth and not the other way around. These are not crazy fringe-dwelling people who live in squats and eat only dumpster food, either. I’m talking people I’m related to who wear normal pants and eat with utensils. They will look me in the face and tell me we’re all gonna die very soon because of global warming, which has something to do with meat and cars, and that overpopulation will destroy us all any minute (“In fact, it’s already starting.”), and furthermore, “Humans are the worst thing that ever happened to the planet. We’re, like, a virus. Like in The Matrix, y’know? It’s like, the world would be better off without us.”

(Now that picture makes sense. Oooh, I’m good.)

He then sits and basks in the profound humility and existential cleverness of this idea, leaving me to wonder: why? Why earth without humans? Why a wish, however clever, that eradicates itself?

I think of the movie I Am Legend, in which Will Smith is the last human inhabitant of New York, and goes out to hunt deer in an awesome car amongst the wild and overgrown detritus of the city. I recall deer leaping over tangled grasses and stalled cars, darting between buildings and across broken bridges, and ask myself: Would anyone, even the so-called earth-firsters, go see that movie if there were zero humans instead of one? If it was just two hours of stupid deer leaping around in the aftermath?

But they haven’t thought that far ahead. The truth is, if mean space aliens did attack, the “humans are a virus” folks would not calmly hit their bongs and wait for the end. They would wee themselves and hide behind the people like me, who have all the guns.

Still, because they don’t think too deeply about things — if they did they’d be pro-life — abortion advocates and those who support free contraception on demand do not want more people around. That is the simple and scary fact.

They don’t loathe and fear the fetus because it isn’t a person. They loathe and fear it because it is a person. And they know it.

Have you heard of Pinterest? If you haven’t, don’t look it up. It will take you in. It’s an online pinboard where you can store photos (with embedded links) of stuff you like from all over the web in one handy spot. In theory, it is a convenient resource that allows one to keep track of recipes, fashions, and cool sites. In practice, it is a place where chicks who don’t even have boyfriends yet plan their weddings.

Pinterest has exploded recently, particularly among young women, and a HuffPo article analyzed its rapidly growing popularity. The headline: “The Secret To Pinterest’s Success: We’re Sick Of Each Other.

The gist of the piece is we are sick of hearing about people and we would rather think about (1) stuff, and (2) ourselves, and (3) how those two things might go together beautifully.

There is an upside that can be seen here, since Facebook is definitely more self-aggrandizing than Pinterest. But the point is, we are tired of hearing what other people are doing and we would rather look at different methods of putting on eyeliner.

I had all these things swirling around in my head. Seriously, you guys, it’s a mess in there. If you wonder where I go for days at a time, I am walking around with visions of leaping Manhattan deer and birth control compacts and eyeliner methods in my head. I wanted to write something about it but it was all a tangled mishmash.

So I sat down just now to write and — I swear this is true — I opened up a P.J. O’Rourke book for absolutely no reason, and literally opened up to a page that said this:

The real message of the conservative pro-life position is, as the prefix indicates, that we’re in favor of living. We consider people — with a few obvious exceptions — to be assets. Liberals consider people to be nuisances. People are always needing more government resources to feed, house, clothe them, pick up the trash after their rallies on the National Mall, and make sure their self-esteem is high enough to join community organizers lobbying for more government resources.

Bingo!

Is it as simple as that? Maybe it is. Maybe abortion advocates see every accidental pregnancy as a welfare check or an unfulfilled woman who has to has to take precious time out from her freelance graphic design career to rinse out baby food jars. Whereas you and I see a baby as a beautiful joyous gift of possibility and hope and love and adorable magicness that one day grows into a man or woman who maybe invents a cure that works in 30 seconds for those sores you get on your tongue that make you feel like the world is ending.

The simple and scary fact: all those people who have turned free or cheap abortion and contraception on demand into a right and a sacrament? They don’t like people.

Reprinted with permission from the LiveAction blog

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2,500 religious leaders, every U.S. bishop oppose Obama mandate

by Kathleen Gilbert Mon Feb 20 18:24 EST Comments (20)

 
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council

NASHVILLE, Tennessee, February 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Family Research Council has released a letter signed by over 2,500 pastors and evangelical leaders protesting the Obama administration’s birth control insurance mandate. They join every Catholic bishop that heads a diocese in the United States in opposition to the mandate.

“This is not a Catholic issue,” Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins said in unveiling the letter at a press conference today. “We will not tolerate any denomination having their religious freedom infringed upon by the government.”

Perkins was accompanied Bishop Harry Jackson, Dr. Richard Land, Pastor Gary Simons, and Star Parker.

In the letter released by the FRC, the leaders cited the words of Thomas Jefferson in the 1779 Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, a forerunner to the First Amendment, which states: “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical.”

“The vast majority of religious organizations will be required to choose either to violate their consciences or drop their health coverage for employees,” stated the leaders, noting that the mandate is “all the more egregious” for including drugs known to cause abortions such as the “week-after pill” Ella.

“No church should be forced to concede their faith to kneel at the altar of government. And until the administration rights this wrong, we unite with our allies in diverse faith traditions in demanding what George Washington called ‘the invaluable rights of free citizens,’” said Perkins.

The signatories also pointed out that the administration received over 200,000 messages against the mandate during the comments period. The mandate has nonetheless remained in substantially the same form as when it was first proposed last summer.

To view the letter, click here.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

In addition to the letter’s signatories, every Catholic bishop heading a U.S. diocese, as well as the 65 canonical bishops of the Orthodox Church, has issued a statement condemning the rule. Even the Sisters for Life, a religious order dedicated to fostering respect for life, have said that they too would be forced to pay for abortifacient drugs under the rule and have expressed their opposition.

“It took just three weeks, but every single Catholic Bishop in America has officially condemned the President’s mandate,” said Perkins. “Even though the media has mostly buried this fact, one hundred percent of them oppose the rule that orders faith-based groups to pay for drugs that destroy pregnancies or prevent them. It’s a formidable group, and today, they do not stand alone.

“Every pocket of religious America is linking arms at the front lines of this war on religious freedom.”

American citizens also appear to have turned against the mandate: In a CNN poll last week, American adults said they opposed the rule 50-44 percent.

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Supreme Court says Quebec ethics course is ‘neutral’ on religion, but Vatican disagrees

by Patrick B. Craine Mon Feb 20 18:01 EST Comments (12)

 
Cardinal Marc Ouellet has said the ERC course amounts to “the dictatorship of relativism applied beginning in elementary school."

QUEBEC CITY, February 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Can a course in religion ever be neutral? In other words, can a secular school teach children about varying religions and moral choices on an equal footing without promoting relativism and instilling in a child indifference to his own faith?

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected a Quebec family’s request to exempt their child from the province’s controversial program in ethics and religious culture by arguing that the program remains “neutral” with respect to the various religions it teaches about, and so it would not appear to impede the parent’s effort to form their children in their Catholic faith.

But the highest-ranking leaders of the family’s own faith have strongly disagreed.

In the Friday decision, Justice Marie Deschamps wrote that “exposing children to a comprehensive presentation of various religions without forcing the children to join them does not constitute an indoctrination of students that would infringe the freedom of religion of [the parents].”

“State neutrality is assured when the state neither favours nor hinders any particular religious belief, that is, when it shows respect for all postures towards religion, including that of having no religious beliefs whatsoever,” she wrote.

However, in a May 2009 letter, entered into evidence at the family’s trial in the same year, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education wrote that this type of “neutral” presentation of differing religions is relativistic in and of itself and so undermines a parent’s effort to pass along the faith.

“If religious education is limited to a presentation of the different religions, in a comparative and ‘neutral’ way, it creates confusion or generates religious relativism or indifferentism,” wrote the Congregation in the letter, which focused specifically on government efforts to implement courses in “religious ethics and culture.”

“The right of parents are violated, if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs,” they wrote.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, then-Archbishop of Quebec and current prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, applied this assessment specifically to the Quebec program, describing it as “the dictatorship of relativism applied beginning in elementary school.”

One poem that was read during an elementary ERC class refers to the children having a “choice of religion.” “There’s God who is Hashem who to some is Allah, / Kamisama who’s the Great Spirit and who is Jahova,” it reads. “We pray or we bow or we meditate / In a mosque, church or synagogue / Then we go to heaven or we reincarnate / Any place we can commune with God.”

Denis Watters, the man who oversaw the ERC program for the Ministry of Education, has himself stated, “This is not a neutral program, and I will say it loud and clear: this is not a neutral program.”

Despite the views of the Vatican and Cardinal Ouellet, the trial judge, Quebec Superior Court Justice Jean-Guy Dubois, based his original ruling largely on the testimony of a priest-theologian from Laval University, Fr. Gilles Routhier, who emphasized the Catholic Church’s respect for people of other faiths.

The judge also gave significant weight to a statement from the Quebec Bishops’ Assembly that exemptions for the course would not be warranted “a priori,” that is without actual evidence of harm.

“The court does not see how a Catholic child who attends the ERC course could be violated in his conscience and his religion. Even the leaders of the Catholic Church admit the validity of an objective presentation of other religions,” Justice Dubois wrote.

But according to Cardinal Ouellet, the program “subjects religions to the control and the interests of the State and puts an end to religious freedoms in school which were acquired many generations ago.”

The Congregation for Catholic Education asserts that respect for religious freedom in a “pluralistic society” demands that education in religion “be in accordance with parents’ convictions.”

Loyola High School, a Montreal-area private school for boys in the Jesuit tradition, met with fierce opposition from the government when it tried to teach the ERC course within the context of the Catholic faith, which they hoped would allow them to teach about other faiths while affirming their belief in the truth of their own faith.

In June 2010, the Quebec Superior Court sided with Loyola, describing the government’s actions as “totalitarian.” The government has appealed that decision to the Quebec Court of Appeal, which will hear arguments on May 7th.

The ERC program was mandated at the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year for all students including homeschoolers, and spans from grade one to the end of high school.  Claiming to take a “neutral” stance, the curriculum covers a spectrum of world religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and aboriginal spirituality, as well as pseudo-religions such as atheism.

Tags: ethics and religious culture, marc ouellet, quebec

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Canadian Government tables bill to close divorce loophole in same-sex ‘marriages’ of foreigners

by Thaddeus Baklinski Mon Feb 20 17:46 EST Comments (3)

 
Rob Nicholson

OTTAWA, February 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Canadian federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson tabled legislation on February 17 to amend the Civil Marriage Act in order to allow foreign homosexual couples who parachute into Canada to take advantage of our same-sex “marriage” law to just as easily drop in for a divorce.

Currently the law holds that foreign homosexuals who have been married in Canada since 2004, when same-sex “marriage” was effectively legalized, are only considered wed under Canadian law if same-sex “marriage” is also recognized in their home country or state. The Canadian Divorce Act also states that couples who come to Canada to marry must live in the country for at least one year before they can obtain a divorce.

Bill C-32 proposes an amendment to the Civil Marriage Act that would consider the “marriages” of foreign same-sex couples who travel to Canada for the ceremony to be considered valid in Canada, “even if one or both of the non-residents do not, at the time of the marriage, have the capacity to enter into it under the law of their respective state of domicile.”

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

The amendment also proposes to establish “a new divorce process that allows a Canadian court to grant a divorce to non-resident spouses who reside in a state where a divorce cannot be granted to them because that state does not recognize the validity of their marriage.”

“Recently, it came to light that there was an anomaly in our civil-marriage laws,” Justice Minister Nicholson told the media after introducing the legislation. “We are fixing the anomaly in the law.”

The “anomaly” came to light in January at a court hearing into a divorce application by a lesbian couple, one from Florida and the other from the UK, who were “married” in Toronto in 2005, but never lived in Canada.

Federal Department of Justice lawyer Sean Gaudet told the court that same-sex foreign couples that came to Canada to “marry” because their home countries do not recognize homosexual “marriage” are not in fact legally “married,” and that the Divorce Act stipulation of 12 month’s residency in Canada in order to file for divorce applied.

“In this case, neither party had the legal capacity to marry a person of the same sex under the laws of their respective domiciles – Florida and the United Kingdom,” Mr. Gaudet stated. “As a result, their marriage is not legally valid under Canadian law.”

Gaudet’s statement provoked outrage from homosexualists and opposition parties, who accused the Conservative government of Stephen Harper of a hidden agenda to “take away same-sex rights by stealth” and said that Canada’s same-sex “marriage” laws will be made an international laughingstock.

However, the Harper government moved swiftly to soothe gay “marriage” advocates and accommodate foreign homosexual couples, with Bill C-32 as the result.

The full text of Bill C-32, short titled, “Civil Marriage of Non-residents Act” is available here.

Contact Information to express your concern:

Canadian Federal Department of Justice
contact through website here

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900
E-mail: pm@pm.gc.ca
Website: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/contact.asp

Tags: marriage, stephen harper

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HHS mandate means ‘ongoing, comprehensive government surveillance’: two new colleges sue

by Ben Johnson Mon Feb 20 17:11 EST Comments (2)

 
“The Obama administration has purposely transformed a non-existent problem – access to contraception – into a constitutional crisis,” said Mike Johnson, dean of Louisiana College’s Pressler School of Law.

ALEXANDRIA, LOUISIANA, February 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The impending requirement that religious institutions provide abortifacient drugs not only violates their consciences, but favors some religions over others and would require “ongoing, comprehensive government surveillance” of private institutions’ religious beliefs, a new lawsuit filed against the Obama administration states.

Two more Christian colleges stand poised to introduce litigation against the mandate being implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the health care reform law.

Louisiana College, which is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, describes itself as “a private Baptist co-educational college of liberal arts” with a “dedication to academic excellence to the glory of God.” Its doctrinal statement declares everyone associated with the college “should contend for the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.”

“They’re really concerned about the requirement that they would cover drugs that are abortifacients. That violates their sincerely held belief to protect life at all stages, even at the embryonic stage,” Kevin Theriot, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, told LifeSiteNews.com.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

The college’s legal complaint is a scalding indictment of the requirement that it provide services that deeply offend the its moral and ethical sensibilities.

“The Mandate coerces LC to change or violate its religious beliefs,” it states. The defendants – which include HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and their respective departments – “promulgated both the Mandate and the religious exemption in order to suppress the religious exercise of LC and others,” the suit states.

The college’s lawyers say the college will face substantial financial penalties if it does not provide services its leadership considers sinful, because it does not fit the administration’s narrow definition of a “religious institution.” They insist the president’s “accommodation” offers them no remedy, because it is “entirely fictitious. It does not exist in the rule or guidance President Obama enacted on February 10, and it need never be formally proposed or adopted.”

Instead, they contend the bill requires the government to ”analyze the content of LC’s religious belief requiring ongoing, comprehensive government surveillance that impermissibly entangles Defendants with religion.”

And it “distinguishes among religions and denominations, favoring some over others” – namely favoring those faiths or sects that do not object to abortion.

“The Obama administration has purposely transformed a non-existent problem – access to contraception – into a constitutional crisis,” said Mike Johnson, dean of Louisiana College’s Pressler School of Law, who is acting as co-counsel on this case. “This mandate offers no choice; Americans either comply and abandon their convictions or resist and be punished.”

The lawsuit says the law violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the First and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution.

“There’s absolutely no reason for them to include these religious organizations in the way that they have,” Theriot told LifeSiteNews.

“Part of the mandate it to include counseling including these abortifacients, and that’s forced speech which violates the school’s free speech rights,” Theriot said.

Compelled speech has been cited in cases that struck down statutes in New York City and Baltimore that sought to compel crisis pregnancy centers to post signs outside their facilities, telling women they do not provide abortions.

Samuel B. Casey of the Law of Life Project explained to LifeSiteNews.com in that context that the First Amendment means the government cannot “make a private citizen speak the government’s message.”

“It doesn’t matter what the message is,” he said. “What matters is that it’s the government’s message.” 

“They have multiple constitutional protections,” Theriot said about his client, “and we’re very confident that the court will recognize that, and will say that the Obama administration’s attempt to trample on religious freedom in this instance is not justified.”

Tomorrow, the Baptist institution will be followed into court by Geneva College, an institution of higher learning in the Reformed tradition, based in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

“At Geneva College, we only have one Lord, and he does not live in Washington, D.C.,” said college president Ken Smith. He called the mandate to purchase abortion-inducing drugs “abhorrent and unacceptable.”

The Alliance Defense Fund is handling both cases.

ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor said, “People of faith shouldn’t be punished by the state for following that faith in making decisions for themselves or their organizations. Every American should know that a government with the power to do this to anyone can do this, and worse, to everyone.”

Louisiana and Geneva join at least two other faith-based universities in challenging the mandate.

Colorado Christian University has filed suit against the mandate, as has Belmont Abbey College, which is affiliated with a Benedictine monastery in North Carolina.

The Obama administration asked a federal court to delay ruling on Belmont’s lawsuit, stating the final rule has not yet been offered and may differ from current proposals.

The attorneys general of 12 states are prepared to file a lawsuit in a matter of weeks against the rule.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has already filed an amicus brief with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing three institutions in the legal battle over the HHS mandate.

Priests for Life, and the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) have also filed suit against the mandate, saying the accommodation is insufficient and remains a burdensome and unnecessary violation of their First Amendment freedom of religion.

Tags: geneva college, louisiana college, southern baptist

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‘Somewhere there is a lady in her 30s who is alive because I became pro-life’

by Peter Baklinski Mon Feb 20 16:53 EST Comments (38)

 
“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” a youth pastor told Kristin when she found out that she was pregnant.

WAUPUN, Wisconsin, February 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – It wasn’t until the day that Kristin Port (name changed), 22, witnessed her boyfriend get plastered drunk that she realized her feelings for him had changed. As their relationship crumbled before her eyes, Kristin wished that she had not allowed the young man to use her as he pleased as she naively offered him sex in exchange for love.

It was the fall of 1979. Kristin’s boyfriend had just departed, but she could not get away from the increasing feelings of nausea in her stomach. After a free pregnancy test at a public clinic the young woman was told that she had a certain number of days to decide if she wanted to have an abortion.

Raised with Christian values, Kristin saw abortion as a way to cover up her secret: that she had given herself away sexually outside of marriage. She viewed the changes happening within her body as a mistake that needed to be dealt with.

Kristin decided to share her secret with someone she trusted, a youth pastor. He told her something that forever changed her life and the life of her baby.

“Abortion is not an option,” he said. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” The kind pastor suggested that adoption would be a more loving option.

“His words reminded me that this was a baby we were talking about,” Kristin told LifeSiteNews in an interview.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

The young mother wrestled with her choices. She did not think that she had the heart to give her baby up for adoption. But she had come to realize that the alternative would even be worse.

A pro-life organization put Kristin in contact with a family in California who opened their home to her. She was given maternity clothes.

At that point Kristin struggled with the choice of whether to raise the baby herself, or give him or her up for adoption. No matter what her choice would be, Kristin consoled herself by knowing that at least she was giving her baby life.

Toward the end of her pregnancy Kristin knew that she wanted her baby to have both a father and a mother. She did not feel that she could handle the trials and tribulations of being a single parent.

“It was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to make,” she said.

On June 18, 1980, Kristin brought a beautiful baby girl into the world.

“Oh, how I loved her,” Kristin remembers.

Within days, Kristin signed the papers that released her tiny daughter into the arms of a Christian mother and father who she believed loved her daughter as much as she did.

Kristin, now 54, says she is forever thankful that she brought her daughter to term, choosing life over abortion.

“So somewhere in California there is a young lady in her 30’s, who is alive today, because I became pro-life.”

“And wherever you are Sweetheart, I still love you! ….. from a loving Mom.”

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New Jersey Gov. Christie vetoes gay ‘marriage’ bill, emphasizes civil union benefits

by Kathleen Gilbert Mon Feb 20 16:23 EST Comments (13)

 
Gov. Chris Christie

TRENTON, New Jersey, February 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed a gay “marriage” bill hours after it passed the legislature on Friday, saying that the issue should be offered to voters in a referendum to decide.

“I am adhering to what I’ve said since this bill was first introduced – an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide,” Christie said in his statement accompanying the veto.

The Senate had passed a measure redefining marriage on Monday 24-16, before the Assembly voted 42-33 on Thursday.

Christie emphasized that he has been “just as adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples – as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits.” Therefore, he said, the “conditional veto” would include the creation of an “Ombudsman for Civil Unions” to increase awareness of and compliance with the civil union law.

Garden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein said prior to the veto that, because of his personal relationship with Christie, he knew that the governor doesn’t have “an anti-gay bone in his body,” but that the impending veto was nonetheless “a brutally anti-gay act” that his group would immediately work to override.

Brian McGovern of the conservative Save Jersey blog wrote that an override would be unlikely “any time soon” given the current vote count. But gay lobbyists have ample time to pressure lawmakers to change their vote before time expires, since the legislative session will not end until January 2014.

Gregory Quinlan, director of government affairs for New Jersey Family First, thanked the governor for keeping his promise to veto the new marriage definition.

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

Christie, long an advocate of government benefits and protections for homosexual couples, made headlines last month for selecting the state’s first openly homosexual Supreme Court judge, Bruce A. Harris. Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage raised concern over the appointment, pointing to a letter authored by Harris in 2009 supporting same-sex “marriage.”

Christie reportedly told media that Harris, a Republican mayor, had promised to recuse himself in the event of a marriage battle reaching the court.

Last week Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington signed a measure making that state the sixth to recognize gay “marriage,” plus the District of Columbia.

Tags: chris christie, gay marriage, new jersey

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April 28th: An event you don’t want to miss

by Steve Jalsevac Mon Feb 20 16:17 EST Comments (1)

 

LifeSiteNews.com has reached an impressive milestone: 15 years serving the pro-life and pro-family cause!

To celebrate, we are hosting a Gala celebration on April 28th at the Washington Dulles Hilton Hotel outside of Washington D.C. in Herndon, VA. 

Our idea for the evening is simple: to celebrate life and family! In keeping with our mission to serve the Culture of Life, we want to create an evening where our supporters can come to meet the leaders of the pro-life and pro-family movement, collaborate with one another on new initiatives in the movement, network with one another to maximize our use of shared and potential resources - and ultimately to kindle the fire within the Culture of LIfe movement.

This is at the heart of what we have done each day for the past 15 years at LifeSiteNews: providing knowledge and resources in the battle for life and family. And to celebrate the great victories of the past 15 years we want to provide an incredible evening for all those whom we serve - particularly YOU, our supporters. 

We realize that many will be unable to attend the event due to its geographical location, date, or financial reasons to name a few.  But we still want you to be a part of the festivities because we would have nothing to celebrate were it not for you.  Please check out our “Virtual” ticket options for how you can still be a part of the celebration.

Please visit the impressive LSN Gala website(see screen shot below) to see all of the exciting details we have planned for the evening.  It is shaping up to be a spectacular evening in celebration of life and family and it is our sincere hope that many of you can be a part of the event! 

For further information or inquiries you may contact our Director of Development/Marketing, Jon Fidero (click here)

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Canadian suicide prevention bill passes by overwhelming majority

by Peter Baklinski Mon Feb 20 15:34 EST Comments (0)

 
Harold Albrecht

OTTAWA, Ontario, February 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A bill that calls for the Government of Canada to establish a federal framework for suicide prevention passed in the House of Commons last week by a vote of 285 to three.

Bill C-300, brought forward by Harold Albrecht (MP) Kitchener-Conestoga as a private member’s bill, is now at its second reading.

The bill, tabled last September, would require the federal government to recognize suicide as a public health issue, provide guidelines to improve public awareness of suicide, disseminate information about suicide and suicide prevention, make available to the public statistics about suicide and related risk factors, define best practices for the prevention of suicide, promote the use of evidence-based practices for the prevention of suicide, and report back to Parliament at defined intervals regarding its progress.

According to Statistics Canada, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country, with approximately 3,600 Canadians committing suicide every year. According to the Canadian Psychiatric Association, suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadians aged 15 to 24.

“We need to do more to protect the sacred gift of human life, and I believe that all human life is sacred,” Albrecht told the House of Commons just before the vote.

“I will stand for the protection and preservation of the dignity of all human life well after others may have decided that a specific life is no longer worth the extra effort, the extra care, or the extra protection in late senior years.”

Alex Schadenberg, directory of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition applauded Albrecht’s efforts to “create greater awareness of the need for the Canada’s federal government to take a larger role in the prevention of suicide”.

Social science researcher Jack Hicks told CBC News that the bill is a step in the right direction for the country since Canada is one of the only developed countries without a national suicide prevention strategy in place.

“My hope is that everything this bill mentions will be done as quickly as possible, as effectively as possible, and Canada goes into catch-up mode,” he said.

Your Life Counts founder Rory Butler called the bill’s passage a “victory” for the people and organizations over the years who have “worked tirelessly across Canada towards establishing a national framework for suicide prevention.”

“Let us not forget the immense human cost and suffering that continues each and every second as families devasted (sic) by their loss of a loved one seek to find hope and meaning for their future. May they find hope and know that they are not alone and that this victory is also theirs – as hollow as the victory may seem for them, let this new and exciting step forward be a good thing that has come out of the pain and the suffering.”

The bill’s passage comes at the same time as a British Columbia judge weighs the merits of the Carter case in which Gloria Taylor, a 63-year-old woman who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, is seeking to have Canada’s laws against assisted suicide overturned.

Michele Boulva, director of Catholic Organization for Life and Family, told The BC Catholic that she hopes “all Canadians will realize the contradiction there would be in eventually legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia while at the same time trying to prevent suicide through a bill like this.”

Bill C-300 will now move to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health for further debate. It is expected to return to parliament for its final reading sometime later this year.

Tags: alex schadenberg, assisted suicide, euthanasia prevention coalition, suicide

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No charges against Sebelius admin in destruction of Planned Parenthood documents

by Cheryl Sullenger Mon Feb 20 13:59 EST Comments (9)

 
Former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Former Attorney General Steve Six, who has been accused of destroying key evidence in the Planned Parenthood case.

Topeka, KS (OperationRescue.org) – Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor issued a statement Friday saying that there would be no criminal charges filed against Sebelius-era appointees in the destruction of critical evidence in a massive criminal case against Planned Parenthood. This statement raised eyebrows and even more questions about the dubious handling of the Planned Parenthood criminal case under the administration of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who now serves as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Taylor indicated that documents shredded under the watch of former Attorney General and Sebelius appointee Steve Six in April, 2009, did not pertain to Planned Parenthood, but were records related to the prosecution of Wichita abortionist George Tiller.

Curiously, no mention was made of what happened to the Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) forms that were the basis of 49 felony charges filed against Planned Parenthood that were dismissed on November 9, 2012, even though that question was supposed to be the object of the investigation. Those forms are now missing.

Johnson County District Attorney Begs to Differ

Taylor’s statement completely contradicts statements made by Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe in court on November 9, 2012.

“I disagree with some of his factual assertions,” Howe told the Associated Press. “To me, it doesn’t change anything.”

At the November hearing, Howe explained to Judge Stephen Tatum that his investigation determined that former Attorney General Steve Six had destroyed the copies of TOP forms obtained through subpoena under former Attorney General Phill Kline. The destruction took place after former District Attorney Phill Kline had filed the charges in 2007 and while elements of the case were under appeal. Howe indicated that the destruction of the evidence by Six’s office “may have violated their own retention policy.”

On Howe’s word that the crucial evidence was destroyed, Judge Tatum dismissed the 49 criminal charges, including 28 felony counts related to document forgery. Howe continues to prosecute Planned Parenthood on the remaining 58 misdemeanor charges related to illegal late-term abortions.

Attorney General Seeks Investigation

After Howe’s November revelation of evidence destruction under the Sebelius Administration, current Attorney General Derek Schmidt asked the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department for an “independent” investigation since the shredding allegedly took place under Schmidt’s predecessor.

“This investigation was supposed to answer questions about the document destruction and help everyone get to the truth. Instead the investigation has created more confusion, more questions, and more suspicions of corruption,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation.

“The independence of this investigation has to be called into question. Chad Taylor is a Democrat and friend of Sebelius. Given the long history of political interference by Sebelius’ Democratic cronies in Kansas abortion investigations and prosecutions, Taylor should have removed himself from the equation to avoid any appearances of impropriety.”

Date Investigated, Not the Act

Taylor’s investigation centered on the April, 2009, document destruction under Six. If indeed that incident only involved Tiller records, the question of what happened to the Planned Parenthood records remains unanswered.

“Taylor’s investigation was supposed to determine what happened to the Planned Parenthood records. Apparently he did not do his duty in this matter because we still don’t know what happened. What is the purpose in releasing confusing statements like Taylor did if not to further cloud the issue and prevent the public from learning the truth?” asked Newman. “A Federal Investigation is in order, but with Sebelius now serving on Obama’s Cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Services, it is questionable if the Justice Department will give corruption under her former Kansas administration a serious look.”

Planned Parenthood Attorney’s Shocking Admission

However, one person claims to have seen the records as late as last fall. Planned Parenthood attorney Pedro Irigonegaray told the Associated Press that “the documents that Howe said were destroyed still exist and were held by the attorney general’s office as of last fall, when he was allowed to examine and take inventory of boxes of abortion-related documents with members of Howe’s and Schmidt’s staffs there.”

In spite of this apparent knowledge, Irigonegaray stood in court at that November hearing and agreed with Howe that the documents had been destroyed, prompting Judge Tatum to dismiss the most serious charges against his client, which were based on that evidence.

Questions Left Unanswered

Serious questions remain:

- Why did Chad Taylor’s Sheriffs not investigate the Planned Parenthood record destruction itself, and not just the date the records were alleged to have been destroyed?
- If the TOP forms were known to be in the Attorney General’s possession as of last fall, on what basis did Howe determine they had been destroyed by Steve Six, who left office in January 2010?
- Why would Schmidt ask for an “independent” investigation into the destruction of evidence if the files were in his possession? (This one makes no sense.)
- Were the 49 felony counts against Planned Parenthood dropped under false pretenses?
- If the files still exist, where are they now?
- If the files ever surface, can the charges be reinstated?

Planned Parenthood’s attorney Pedro Irigonegaray said he inventoried the boxes containing the missing documents last fall. Perhaps Irigonegaray should be required to produce his inventory for inspection. At this point, given his willingness to hide the truth in open court, the veracity of any of Irigonegaray’s statements must be questioned.

Questions of Political Corruption Must Be Answered

“Those outside Kansas may not fully appreciate the complex history and political entanglements of this case, but for those of us who have been following it since the abortion investigations first began in 2003, we can attest to the fact that the abortion investigations, the attempted prosecutions, and the revelations of political corruption that have obstructed the entire process have severely impacted this state and now the nation,” said Newman.

“Certainly the powers that be do not want HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius further sullied, and it appears that her cronies here in Kansas continue to cover up for obstruction of justice under her administration.”

Meanwhile a hearing has been scheduled in the Planned Parenthood criminal case for March 29, 2012, but court records show there may be a continuance.

“There is now doubt that all eyes are on Planned Parenthood’s prosecution,” said Newman. “It is important for this case to move forward and for the truth about the missing records to be told so that people do not lose faith in the justice system.”

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Top UK gay lobby presents legislation to abolish ‘husband’ ‘wife’; coalition launched to oppose

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Mon Feb 20 13:07 EST Comments (14)

 
A conservative coalition to stop the legalization of gay "marriage" was launched this morning.

Co-authored with John Jalsevac

LONDON, February 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Last week, the UK’s most powerful homosexualist lobby group, Stonewall, presented legislation to Parliament that proposes five steps to resolve the legal complexities involved in introducing same-sex “marriage”

Among the suggested legal changes, Stonewall’s draft bill would amend the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to remove the terms “husband” and “wife” and replace with “parties to a marriage.”

Although Stonewall did not hold a formal position on same-sex “marriage” until recently, it is clear that the group was simply waiting for a more opportune political moment, when same-sex “marriage” legislation would have cross-party support, and a chance of passing the Hose of Lords. That moment appears to be now.

The presentation of Stonewall’s legislation comes weeks before David Cameron’s coalition government is set to commence a public consultation on how to go about legalizing same-sex “marriage.”

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

Dr. Peter Saunders, the CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF), says that the imposition of “gay marriage” is a “legal can of worms” that will take years to sort out.

While the coalition government seems determined to legalize the novel institution, it is not known exactly by what legal method they intend to proceed. Dr. Saunders writes that there are several possibilities: to upgrade all civil partnerships to marriages, to open both marriage and civil partnerships to both gay and straight couples and to rename civil partnerships as same sex “marriages.”

All of these present different legal problems and it is to find ways to resolve these that David Cameron announced his consultation. What the consultation will not explore is whether Brits need or desire the redefinition of marriage.

Even before the last election that created the current government, the Conservative Party under David Cameron’s leadership made it clear that the homosexualist political ambitions were going to be a high priority. In only one month last year, October, the Home Office announced that passports will now have the option of naming same-sex couples as the holder’s parents. Then on October 10th the office of international development said the government will cut overseas aid in countries that did not “respect gay rights.” And on October 27th the secretary general of the Commonwealth endorsed the homosexual agenda, saying, “Discrimination and criminalisation on grounds of sexual orientation is at odds with our values”. 

A month after the government announced that same-sex “marriage” legislation would be passed by 2015, the Prime Minister told party members at a meeting in early October, “We’re consulting on legalising gay marriage. And to anyone who has reservations, I say this: Yes, it’s about equality, but it’s also about something else: commitment.”

In response to the legalization effort, a campaign to stop the redefinition of marriage was launched today by Christian leaders, led by George Lord Carey, the former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury who is known for his social conservative views. Carey said that the effort redefine marriage “constitutes one of the greatest political power grabs in history.”

“For thousands of years, the union of one man and one woman has been the bedrock of societies across cultures all around the world,” he said at this morning’s launch of the Coalition for Marriage.

“Marriage is a cornerstone of our society. Because of this, I believe the general public will oppose the present attempt to fundamentally alter – and undermine – the institution.”

Part of the Coalition for Marriage effort is a petition, which nearly 8,000 people have already signed.

Tags: gay marriage, uk

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Blind Chinese forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng seriously ill: report

by Ben Johnson Mon Feb 20 12:49 EST Comments (5)

 

Updated at 6:26 p.m. EST to include statements from Bob Fu and Reggie Littlejohn, as well as add the video.

LINYI, CHINA, February 20, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The blind human rights activist who exposed China’s brutal one-child policy is facing a “very, very life-and-death situation,” Xiqiu “Bob” Fu of the human rights group ChinaAid told LifeSiteNews.com. Both Chen and his wife have grown seriously ill under intense government persecution, Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers told LifeSiteNews.

“The family situation is very worrisome,” Fu said, “and we are very outraged by the worsening treatment by the Chinese government. We demand an immediate explanation and the release of this family from the illegal detention.”

According to Littlejohn, eyewitnesses who saw Chen Guangcheng last month say, “He looked pale and moved unsteadily. Only a few steps out of the door he fainted and fell to the ground.” Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) also received “credible reports” that his wife, Yuan Weijing, appeared “skinny,” was “leaning against an interior wall,” and it seemed “it was difficult for her to move her waist.”

The regime has banned all contact between Chen’s mother, who is in her eighties and suffering from severe bronchitis, with family outside the compound. She had supplied the couple’s food.

The elderly mother was last seen “walking on a crutch. She has not left the home” since her other son’s death, Reggie Littlejohn told LifeSiteNews.com. “She used to go get the food,” Littlejohn added.

“It is hard to imagine how the family is surviving,” an eyewitness told CHRD.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Chen was imprisoned for more than four years for revealing the Chinese government performed 130,000 forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations in his county alone in 2005 while carrying out its oppressive population control policies. In 2010, authorities converted an entire village in Shandong Province into a heavily monitored prison camp, where Chen has remained under house arrest since leaving prison.

Government surveillance and harassment have intensified since January 23, Chinese New Year, when Chen’s older brother died of stomach cancer, according to WRWF. Seven surveillance cameras watch the house at all times; 20 guards surround the home; and more than 200 additional personnel were dispatched to prevent the family from visiting his grave.

Littlejohn told LifeSiteNews that the Chinese government set up vans that his neighbors have to pass through, “like passing through security to get to their own homes.”

Guards have more completely isolated the couple’s six-year-old daughter, Chen Kesi, from society, as well, CHRD has discovered. She is escorted to school each day by four or five guards, who stand sentry at the schoolhouse door. Additional guards are stationed at stores along her route to keep villagers from communicating with her. 

“She was supposed to be at school but was not seen the first day of school,” Fu told LifeSiteNews.com. Littlejohn said the girl has since returned to school under heavy guard.

The government also barred the couple’s 11-year-old son, Chen Kerui – who is staying with his maternal grandparents – from visiting to celebrate Chinese New Year. The boy had previously cut himself in hopes his parents could visit him in the hospital. 

“The Chinese Communist Party’s continuing brutality towards a poor, blind, sick and innocent man is cowardly and depraved,” said Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. “Chen Guangcheng is a hero, for China and for the world – a man of towering courage and valiant endurance. Women’s Rights Without Frontiers demands his unconditional release and immediate medical treatment.”

To date, all efforts to assist the couple have been suppressed by Beijing, despite an international backlash involving everyone from the U.S. State Department and Amnesty International to Batman star Christian Bale.

The State Department urged China to release Chen in 2006.

CHRD reported last February that Chen and his wife were “beaten senseless” and denied medical treatment after a disgruntled government worker smuggled out a videotape in which Chen described the elaborate surveillance he must now endure. Guards repeated the treatment last July, after a storm briefly allowed Chen to make phone calls without government surveillance. That beating lasted four hours.

Guangcheng’s case has the strong support of Congressman Christopher Smith, R-NJ, who attempted to meet the dissident late last year. Smith also passed an amendment last July supporting the lawyer and activist. 

Batman star Christian Bale drew international attention to the case when he was videotaped being roughed up as he attempted to visit Guangcheng last year.

Last week, CHRD reported that the Chinese government shut down a microblog supporting Guangcheng for the 40th time.

Since Guangcheng’s persecution has worsened, American leaders have stepped up their efforts to secure his release.

Five Republican Congressmen—Christopher Smith of New Jersey, Frank Wolf of Virginia, Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, John Carter of Texas, and Robert Aderholt of Alaska—wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to press for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Chen and five other prisoners of conscience: Gao Zhisheng, dissident Liu Xianbin, Guo Quan, Alimujiang Yimiti, and Yang Rongli.

The letter, dated February 10, says, “For years the international community has been promised that with China’s ascension to the World Trade Organization or with Beijing’s hosting of the Olympics, we would see tangible reforms and a growing space for dissent as is befitting a nation of growing prominence on the world stage. These promises have been empty, and now these words ring hollow.”

“Arguably, it has only emboldened the oppressors,” they wrote.

The president received another letter the following Monday asking for the release of the same six leaders. It was signed by religious leaders Dr. Richard Land, president of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals; and Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

Last Friday, Pastor Eddie Romero of Los Angeles was arrested for staging a one-man protest outside a hotel where Chinese vice president Xi Jinping was staying. Hudson Institute senior fellow Michael Horowitz held a similar vigil before the White House.

“This is I think the greatness of the American people and the American heart and spirit,” Bob Fu told LifeSiteNews.com, praising “the bold and respectful actions from Mr. Horowitz and Pastor Romero, who submitted themselves to arrest in order to break the silence and raise awareness for those prisoners of conscience, including Mr. Chen Guancheng and his family.”

Littlejohn said thousands more Americans have signed a petition she drew up to free Chen Guangcheng. It currently has “more than 8,000 signatures, but we’d like to have 80,000 signatures,” she told LifeSiteNews. She plans to present the petition to the Chinese embassy and to send a copy to the president of China.

“We still want to point out that President Obama so far has not spoken out publicly,” Bob Fu told LifeSiteNews.com, “and we sincerely urge him to break the silence and speak up for those persecuted for their faith and their courageous human rights defending actions.”

“We should urge President Obama to speak up publicly for Mr. Chen and his wife’s worsening situation,” Fu said. 

Contact information:
Chinese Embassy in the USA
3505 International Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2266  
Fax: (202) 495-2138
Email: chinaembpress_us@mfa.gov.cn

White House Switchboard
202-456-1414
or e-mail at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments


Chinese Embassy in Canada
515 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Ont. K1N 5H3
Tel: 613-7893434
Fax: 613-7891911
E-mail: chinaemb_ca@mfa.gov.cn

Chinese Embassy in Ireland
40 AILESBURY ROAD, DUBLIN 4, IRELAND
Tel: 00353-1-2691707
FAX:00353-1-2839938
E-mail: chinaemb_ie@mfa.gov.cn

Chinese Embassy in the UK
49 Portland Place , London W1B 1JL
Tel:020-72994074
Fax:020-76362981
Email: political@chinese-embassy.org.uk

 

Tags: chen guangcheng, china

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The Church should ‘stay out of the bedroom,’ but pick up the tab for what happens there?

by Denise J. Hunnell, MD Mon Feb 20 12:04 EST Comments (22)

 
Denise Hunnell

February 20, 2012 (HLIAmerica.org) - It is time to do some fact checking about President Obama’s “compromise” on attacking religious liberty.

First of all, telling Catholics to just close their eyes and keep paying their insurance premiums that will ultimately cover morally objectionable services is not addressing respect for conscience and religious liberty. No matter how you spin it, Catholic institutions will be paying for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. The end result is no different than the original Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, since insurance companies are not going to just throw these services in for free.

President Obama also erroneously claims that access to these services is in the interest of women’s health, although none of these services are necessary to prevent or cure a disease or pathological medical condition. Instead, they take a perfectly healthy reproductive system and render it dysfunctional and sterile. Hormonal contraceptives are also associated with increased blood pressure, blood clots and an increased risk for breast cancer. In addition, hormonal contraceptives have been shown to double the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. No medical association recommends the use of hormonal contraceptives as routine preventive care for healthy women. They are only used for the disruption of normal fertility.

In light of these facts, it becomes difficult to argue that the use of contraception, sterilization and abortion inducing drugs are required preventive medicine. These are purely elective treatments that prevent the natural and healthy consequences of a certain lifestyle choice. Pro-choice advocates demand that the Catholic Church “stay out of the bedroom,” then they demand that the Church pick up the tab for what happens in the bedroom.

How did we get here?

How did these supposedly “necessary” services get included as part of the mandated “preventive care” called for under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare?

The HHS commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to draw up a list of preventive services that should be covered. There is strong evidence that the committee charged with this was ideologically biased with direct ties to the abortion industry. As HLI America National Director Arland Nichols reveals in his exposition of bias within the IOM, several committee members had strong ties to Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. In fact, eleven of the fifteen IOM committee members who supported the measure collectively contributed $116,500 to pro-choice organizations and political candidates, and there is no evidence that any of them had ever contributed to a pro-life candidate or organization.

Dr. Anthony Lo Sasso was the only member of the IOM committee to dissent from the recommendation, and he has strongly criticized the IOM’s methodology in coming up with the controversial recommendations.

“The committee process for evaluation of the evidence lacked transparency and was largely subject to the preferences of the committee’s composition,” wrote Dr. Lo Sasso.

Troublingly, the process tended to result in a mix of objective and subjective determinations filtered through a lens of advocacy. An abiding principle in the evaluation of the evidence and the recommendations put forth as a consequence should be transparency and strict objectivity, but the committee failed to demonstrate these principles in the report.

The IOM proceedings were more akin to a kangaroo court with a predetermined outcome; the outcome in this case being the mandated inclusion of contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients in all insurance policies. While their recommendations were presented with the supposed authority of “science,” the actual science employed in the report is threadbare. As Nichols put it in his devastating article, instead of an objective scientific evaluation to seek the best preventive health care options for all Americans, we received “Planned Parenthood ideology.”

The 99 Percent?

Finally, it is important to address the misleading statistics that President Obama and his administration are touting to support the HHS mandate. Over and over the Obama administration declares that 99% of all American women have used contraception at some point in their lives. This comes from a 2010 CDC report, Use of Contraception in the United States: 1982-2008. Ironically, this 99% figure includes the women who use simple periodic abstinence as well as more sophisticated Natural Family Planning methods. It also reflects the use of contraception at any point during the reproductive years and not the percentage of women currently using contraception. This statistic is meant to paint contraceptive use as universal and therefore essential. Though it is impossible to know exact numbers, the percentage of women desiring chemical or surgical contraception and abortion services at any given time is certainly far less than 99%.

President Obama is not really interested in supporting those who seek to faithfully live their moral and religious principles. Instead, President Obama is merely interested in receiving cover from his Catholic political allies and protecting his liberal base in this election year. As the New York Times reports, he sought the counsel of Sr. Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association as well as the approval of Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, in looking for the so-called “compromise.” Sr. Keehan was criticized by Cardinal George, then president of the USCCB, for her failure to adequately consider Catholic teaching on life issues in her support for Obamacare. President Obama did not consult with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at all when devising this revised HHS mandate.

Fortunately, the USCCB and other conscientious objectors have not been fooled by this charade of accommodation. The USCCB issued a statement rejecting this version of the mandate as “completely unacceptable” and called all Catholics to vigorously support legislative action to rescind this mandate and to provide unequivocal protection of religious liberty. Likewise, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Catholic Medical Association, and dozens of scholars and prominent legal experts have voiced their opposition to this continued assault on religious liberty.

This revised mandate is an empty gesture which represents no substantial progress towards protecting the rights of religious institutions or individuals to freely practice their faith. As so many religious leaders have stated, Americans cannot and should not comply with this unjust mandate, and we must stand firm in our commitment to moral principles, and to the defense of religious liberty.

This article first appeared on CNSNews.com. Denise Hunnell, MD, is a Fellow of HLI America, an educational initiative of Human Life International. She writes for HLI America’s Truth and Charity Forum.

Tags: abortion, birth control mandate, contraception, obama

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