Tuesday, March 6, 2012

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Pro-life postcard campaign shows Calgarians graphic reality of abortion

by Peter Baklinski Tue Mar 06 18:45 EST Comments (38)

 

CALGARY, Alberta, March 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Last Wednesday volunteers for a Calgary pro-life organization delivered 2500 postcards that contained graphic images of aborted babies. Their mission: to make it unthinkable for people to allow unborn babies to be killed.

“We are targeting people who are old enough to have abortions. And if they are old enough to have [one], than they are old enough to see [images of one],” said Stephanie Gray, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, the organization that is running the campaign.

The postcards bore messages such as “Warning: cigarettes hurt babies. Imagine what abortion does to them,” with an image of a woman smoking side-by-side with an image of a 9-week old aborted baby. Another had the message, “If we wouldn’t let our daughter do it to her doll, why let our daughter to it to her baby?” with a picture of a ripped-apart doll side-by-side with an 8-week old baby dismembered through abortion.

“If something is so horrifying that they can’t stand to look at it then perhaps we shouldn’t be tolerating it,” Grey said to LifeSiteNews.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Celia Posyniak, director of a Kensington abortion clinic, told CBC News that she and her staff felt that the postcards amounted to harassment. On one postcard were the words “Kensington abortion clinic intentionally kills pre-born children.”

“They’re making it sound like we’re committing some crime, we’re not,” said Posyniak.

“I mean abortion is obviously a legal procedure and it will stay that way. It’s a very important component of women’s reproductive health care,” she said, adding that “it’s important that women are able to access our clinic without harassment from these people and they are harassing us.”

While Gray knows that the images showing the violent reality of abortion are bound to shock people, she told LifeSiteNews that they are completely within their legal rights to show people that reality by means of their postcard campaign. “We work within he law. We don’t break laws, we work with the freedoms that we have,” she said.

The pro-life organization has designed 10 postcards. They initially printed 10,000 and plan to hand them out in the next two months, visiting every community in Calgary. They have plans to spread their pro-life postcard campaign to other pro-life groups in cities across the country.

“Just take a moment, look at the postcard and ask yourself, ‘am I more angry that this has come across my path or am I more angry that within the vicinity of where I live is a building where thousands of children are dismembered, decapitated, and disemboweled every year,’” said Grey.

Tags: abortion, alberta, stephanie gray

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The sad story of the Atlantic ACTIVE-8 campaign

by Ann Marie Tomlins Tue Mar 06 18:36 EST Comments (0)

MONTAGUE, Prince Edward Island (LifeSiteNews.com) - I’m not interested in commenting on the ACTIVE-8 campaign now that the results have been announced. I am, however, interested in sharing this little story for all who are interested in reading it. It is designed solely to help you to see things from the perspective of a pro-lifer who would like to believe that she lives in a democratic country.

There once was a contest for youth leadership. One of the persons up for the award was a pro-abortion activist. Naturally, when a pro-life citizen became aware of this, she passed information on to pro-life youths who could then vote and have their say in who wins the contest. An e-mail was sent from a pro-life lady to some pro-life youths. What a terrible crime this person was accused of committing. She was criticized and maligned by the media for doing such a shocking thing, trying to encourage pro-life youths to vote against a youth who vowed to promote the culture of death. “How shocking,” they said.

The story does not end there. The pro-life youths tried to vote, but, alas, their votes were not accepted unless they took the word “abortion” out of their pledges. But wait a minute, something is inconsistent here. The pro-abortion candidate was voting on a platform solely about abortion. Many of her pledges were in support of abortion and a high number of her pledges had the word “abortion” in them. Do you see the inconsistency now? Youths can vote for abortion but if they happen to be against abortion, they can’t vote. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something is very wrong here.

After the votes from the pro-life youths were discarded, the person they were voting for nevertheless remained in the lead after the votes were counted. What a dilemma for the organizers! What could the poor organizers do? Well, they delayed announcing the winner and in the end they called it a “close final tally”. The poor public was left in the dark, but those interested in the real story knew the truth. It wasn’t a tie at all, and it would not have been a “close final tally” if all votes had been counted.

Last week, Matthew Falman of Saskatchewan Youth LifeGroup voted for Brinston with the following pledge:

“I pledge to support my own brother and others with Down Syndrome. I pledge to spread awareness that all Down Syndrome children have the right to live out their beautiful lives. I pledge to end the statistic that 9 out of 10 Down Syndrome children are aborted because of the myth that their’s is a lesser quality of life!” Falman’s pledge was rejected, as were many others.

The point is this story is that in an event that was to bring together “8 young Atlantic Canadians who are an inspiration for all of us who dream of a better world” the principles of fundamental justice were abused many times over throughout the campaign. First, there was the misuse of a personal e-mail — which was really nobody’s business except the person who sent it — to ridicule the pro-life motives of its author. Second, there was the criticism and malignant of the author in an attempt to cast the entire pro-life movement in a bad light. Third, pro-life Canadian youths were denied their fundamental right to vote and to express themselves as they so choose.

To me this is the real story and it is a sad story.

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

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Karen Santorum fights back against critics on deceased newborn, relationship with abortionist

by John Jalsevac Tue Mar 06 18:08 EST Comments (93)

 

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

March 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a candid interview with CBS, Karen Santorum, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, shot back at those who have criticized the way she and her husband mourned the loss of their child Gabriel, who died shortly after childbirth 16 years ago.

In a book, “Letters to Gabriel: The True Story of Gabriel Michael Santorum,” Karen had described how she and Rick brought home the body of Gabriel to let their other children see and hold him.

In remarks in January, Fox News’ Alan Colmes ripped Santorum for the episode, saying it showed “bad judgment” and was evidence of the “crazy” things he has “said and done.” Colmes accused Santorum of having “played” with his deceased son “for a couple hours so his other children would know that the child was real.”

Shortly after Colmes made his remarks, the presidential candidate appeared on Fox, choking back tears as he explained that bringing Gabriel home “was a tremendously healing experience for all of us,” and that their goal was to “recognize the dignity” of Gabriel’s life, and to “affirm the memory” of his life.

Now Mrs. Santorum, who is a nurse, has added her voice to her husband’s, strongly disputing Colmes’ account of what happened. “We brought Gabriel home from the hospital to have a funeral mass and to bury him,” she said. “And so, they twist it and they make it sound like it was some crazy thing. ... We brought him home from the hospital to introduce him to our kids and to place him. It was for the funeral mass and the burial.

“What is so sad to me is that no one can tell me how to grieve, and I’m not going to tell anyone else how to grieve. It’s not right. People have very intense personal experiences and grief is something that is so intensely painful and personal that we all have to grieve in our own way.”

When asked what she would like to say to those who criticized their method of grieving, Mrs. Santorum responded: “I pray that they will never lose a child and I pray that they will never know the depth of pain of losing a child.”

Mrs. Santorum also responded to reports that in her early twenties she moved in with a physician who was 40 years her senior, and who also performed abortions as part of his practice. Santorum’s relationship with the abortionist has been repeatedly cited in the mainstream press.

“I went through a phase, it was a phase, and made some stupid decisions,” she told CBS. “I did some stupid things. And I did go through a phase of life when I wasn’t living the way I should have been. And for anyone out there ... who’s in the same phase, there is healing, there is change.”

She also used the question to reaffirm her pro-life views.

“I just feel very strongly about faith and family, and I also feel very strongly about life - the life issue. And now that we have a special needs little girl, I feel especially stronger about the dignity and value of every person from the moment of conception until death,” she said.

Mrs. Santorum also criticized the media for trying to “corner” her husband on social issues, and to make it look like he “doesn’t know anything else.”

“You know, every aspect of this race, any issue out there, he’s brilliant,” she said.

 

Tags: abortion, karen santorum

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The most important pro-life event in Canada: Organizers gear up for March for Life 2012

by Thaddeus Baklinski Tue Mar 06 15:56 EST Comments (0)

 

OTTAWA, March 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The 2012 National March For Life is set to take place on Thursday, May 10 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. This year’s theme is “Abortion Hurts Everyone.”

Organizers are looking forward to breaking last year’s record attendance of 15,300 pro-life citizens from across Canada.

“We hope even more pro-life citizens, young and old, will come to demand legal protection for children who are still in the womb,” Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), the organizer of the event, states.

The main event is the actual march through the streets of Ottawa. The night before there will be a Candlelight Vigil, a spiritual and symbolic ceremony that will take place at the Human Rights monument, Elgin and Lisgar Streets, on May 9 at 9:00 pm.

This year CLC is providing an opportunity for those unable to attend the National March for Life to participate symbolically in the Candlelight Vigil.

“We are inviting you to send your pledge and encourage your family, friends, co-workers and faith community to join us in spirit. Candles will be placed at the Human Rights monument and will be lit on Wednesday, May 9th at dusk,” CLC explains. The Candlelight Vigil pledge form is on the 2012 March for Life promotional brochure available from CLC.

CLC has also this year produced an inspiring video with clips from the 2011 Ottawa March for Life that is ideal for presentations in classrooms and churches to fire up prospective participants.

The Rose Dinner and Youth Banquet follow the March at 6:00 pm on Thursday.
This year Stephen Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute, will be the Rose Dinner keynote speaker. Mr. Mosher is an expert on China’s forced abortion policy and in debunking the overpopulation myth.

The Youth Banquet is a fun-filled event featuring world-renowned youth speakers, entertainment, games, prizes and much more, and is a perfect opportunity for young people to be encouraged to continue to fight for life.

The huge Pro-life Youth Conference takes place on Friday May 11th.

Students and young adults are encouraged to register and attend this full day pro-life youth conference to learn more about various pro-life issues and ways they can become more active in their hometowns in order to continue to spread the pro-life message.

The Knights of Columbus are again this year sponsoring buses to take pro-lifers to Ottawa for the National March for Life.

The Ontario Knights of Columbus passed a resolution in 2009 throwing their full support behind the March, and pledging to subsidize local and high school bus trips throughout the province.

“We must spill over into the streets of Ottawa with not 8,000 but 80,000,” the K of C resolution stated.

LifeSiteNews spoke with Grand Knight Ken Grubb of the Walkerton, Ontario, Knights of Columbus who said councils in his area will be sponsoring buses in Walkerton, Hanover, Kenilworth/Mount Forest, and Cargill/Chepstow to take pro-lifers to the March. Mr. Grubb remarked that a special bus for youth of the areas is also being considered.

Contact your local K of C council to find out if busses are sponsored in your area.

Last year the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, proclaimed that the day of the National March for Life be honored as “Respect for Life Day” in the city. “The rights of the people of Canada including the unborn, the elderly and those with handicaps are gradually being eroded,” the proclamation signed by Watson read.

LifeSiteNews contacted the mayor’s office to find out if he would again declare “Respect for Life Day” in Ottawa for this year’s National March for Life, but did not receive a reply by press time. (Contact info for Mayor Jim Watson is available here.)

To order copies of the 2012 National March for Life promotional brochure to use as a handout in your school, church or prayer group, and which contains the Candlelight Vigil pledge form, contact Campaign Life Coalition Ottawa at 613-729-0379, or by email at wandaclcottawa@bellnet.ca

Tickets for the Rose Dinner and the Youth Banquet/Dinner on May 10, and the Youth Conference, May 11, may be obtained by contacting your local Campaign Life Coalition office or by calling 800-730-5358 or 613-729-0379.

Tickets for the dinners and conference sell out quickly so organizers suggest ordering soon.

For more information visit the National March for Life website.

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Something deadly this way comes: the insatiable appetite of the Culture of Death

by Albert Mohler Tue Mar 06 15:10 EST Comments (9)

 
Albert Mohler

March 6, 2012 (AlbertMohler.com) - The debate over abortion comes down to one essential issue — the moral status of the unborn child. Those making the case for the legalization of abortion argue that the developing fetus lacks a moral status that would trump a woman’s desire to abort the child. Those arguing against abortion do so by making the opposite claim; that the unborn child, precisely because it is a developing human being, possesses a moral status by the very fact of its human existence that would clearly trump any rationale offered for its willful destruction.

This central issue is often obscured in both public argument and private conversations about abortion, but it remains the essential question. We have laws against homicide, and if the unborn child is recognized legally and morally as a human being, abortion would be rightly seen as murder.

In the main, abortion rights advocates have drawn the moral line at the moment of birth. That is why, even with our contemporary knowledge of the developing fetus, abortion rights activists have persistently argued in favor of abortions right up to the moment of birth. Anyone doubting this claim needs only to consider the unified opposition of leading abortion rights advocates to restrictions on late-term abortions.

From the beginning of the controversy over abortion, this supposedly bright line of the moment of birth has been unstable. Abortion rights activists have even opposed efforts to restrict the gruesome reality known as partial-birth abortions. The moment of birth has never been the bright line of safety that the defenders of abortion have claimed.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Now, an even more chilling development comes in the form of an article just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Professors Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, now argue for the morality and legalization of “after-birth abortion.”

These authors do not hide their agenda. They are calling for the legal killing of newborn children.

The argument put forth in their article bears a haunting resemblance to the proposal advocated by Dr. Peter Singer of Princeton University, who has argued that the killing of a newborn baby, known as infanticide, should be allowable up to the point that the child develops some ability to communicate and to anticipate the future.

Giubilini and Minerva now argue that newborn human infants lack the ability to anticipate the future, and thus that after-birth abortions should be permitted.

The authors explain that they prefer the term “after-birth abortion” to “infanticide” because their term makes clear the fact that the argument comes down to the fact that the birth of the child is not morally significant.

They propose two justifying arguments:

First: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus, that is, neither can be considered a ‘person’ in a morally relevant sense.”

Second: “It is not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to be a person in the morally relevant sense.”

Thus: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack the properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

Those assertions are as chilling as anything yet to appear in the academic literature of medical ethics. This is a straightforward argument for the permissibility of murdering newborn human infants. The authors make their argument with the full intention of seeing this transformed into public policy. Further, they go on to demonstrate the undiluted evil of their proposal by refusing even to set an upper limit on the permissible age of a child to be killed by “after-birth abortion.”

These “medical ethicists” argue that a traditional abortion is a preferred option, but then state:

“Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons. However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social, or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.”

Nothing could possibly justify the killing of a child, but these professors are so bold as to argue that even “economical, social, or psychological circumstances” would be sufficient justification.

This article in the Journal of Medical Ethics is a clear signal of just how much ground has been lost to the Culture of Death. A culture that grows accustomed to death in the womb will soon contemplate killing in the nursery. The very fact that this article was published in a peer-reviewed academic journal is an indication of the peril we face.

For years now, pro-life activists have been lectured that “slippery slope” arguments are false. This article makes clear the fact that our warnings have not been based in a slippery slope argument, but in the very reality of abortion. Abortion implies infanticide. If the unborn child lacks sufficient moral status by the fact that it is unborn, then the baby in the nursery, it is now argued, has also not yet developed human personhood.

The publication of this article signals the fact that a medical debate on this question has been ongoing. The only sane response to this argument is the affirmation of the objective moral status of the human being at every point of development, from fertilization until natural death. Anything less than the affirmation of full humanity puts every single human being at risk of being designated as not “a person in the morally relevant sense.”

Something very deadly this way comes. This argument will not remain limited to the pages of an academic journal. The murderous appetite of the Culture of Death will never be satisfied.

Reprinted with permission from AlbertMohler.com

Tags: abortion, infanticide

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Prosecutors seek 309 years in prison for Spain’s ‘abortion mogul’ Carlos Morin

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Tue Mar 06 14:42 EST Comments (7)

 
Carlos Morin being arrested

March 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Spanish prosecutors are seeking 309 years in prison for Spain’s infamous “abortion mogul” Carlos Morin, for over one hundred crimes related to illegal abortions, according to reports in the Spanish media.

Morin was arrested and accused of numerous crimes in 2007, after journalists and pro-life groups revealed that late-term abortions were being performed in his clinics with fabricated proofs for risks to the “psychological health” of patients. The bodies of the aborted babies were being ground up in industrial strength food processors and flushed into the sewer system.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Morin served two months in jail after which he was released pending the outcome of his trial. Pro-lifers were outraged in 2009 when the Barcelona Medical College (COMB) restored him to good standing in the organization after having suspended him for lack of dues. However, the terms of Morin’s release prevented him from practicing abortions again.

According to Spain’s Thomas More Center for Juridical Studies, Morín currently stands accused of 115 charges of illegal abortions, a number that is “substantially reduced” from its original, due to changes to the country’s abortion law in 2010, permitting abortion-on-demand during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Morin’s trial, which he will share with 11 other defendants, is scheduled to begin on September 14 and will last two-and-a-half months. It has been in preparation for six years. More than 115 witnesses will be called to testify.  The Thomas More Center believes that through its proceedings “Spanish society will discover, once and for all, the sordid reality of abortion, the death of thousands of innocent children every year, the violence carried out against defenseless women, and the illegal use of medical science not to cure, but to kill.”

Morin is called Spain’s “abortion mogul” because he owns several chains of abortion facilities and is one of the largest abortion providers in Europe.  His abortion empire’s lax standards for killing unborn children made Morin’s facilities popular with foreigners seeking to escape their own country’s laws. If he is convicted, it will be the second time during his career as an abortionist: he first served time for abortion-related crimes in 1989.

During an investigative report by Danish reporters in 2006, Morin was told that “some of the abortions that you do here are of fetuses that could survive outside of the womb.”

“I’m not a philosopher, I’m not here to wonder if a baby would breathe or not,” Morin answered, and added “take your morality and keep it. You can have your morality, and I can have mine. I don’t have anything to do with your morality.”

Tags: abortion, carlos morin, spain

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The deceitful and shameful misrepresentation of Obama’s HHS mandate

by Chuck Colson Tue Mar 06 13:48 EST Comments (6)

 
Chuck Colson

March 6, 2012 (Breakpoint.org) - Last Thursday, the Senate rejected by a 51-48 vote a bill that would have permitted religious employers to refuse to cover medical services that violated their moral and religious convictions.  Have they even read the Bill of Rights?

Now strange things happen when issues are politicized, I know that. That’s not shocking. What is shocking — and downright shameful — is the deceitful way supporters of the Administration’s mandate have framed the issue.

They say this is all about protecting women’s access to contraception. This is, folks, the biggest red herring I’ve seen in politics. It’s garbage, and they know it. Shame on them. Nobody is saying they shouldn’t have access to contraceptives. Any woman can go to virtually any drug store and purchase them. Even drugs that induce abortion. As I told you last week, these things are even available in vending machines now!

How dare Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington say that this is about “curtailing rights to access that women already have”! That’s a bold-faced misrepresentation of what’s going on here, and she and her colleagues know it.

The media is no better. The New York Times opined that the measure would have “crippled the expansion of preventive health care in America.”  What hogwash!  And the Times is even furthering the lie that pregnancy is akin to tuberculosis: a disease that needs to be prevented. Then the Times went on to accuse the Republicans of a relentless effort to “deny women access to essential health services.”

Give me a break!

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Even worse, this intentional and vicious misinformation campaign is working. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that 63% of Americans support requiring insurers to cover contraception, while 33% oppose.

How sad is it the American public is so easily duped.

Folks, women’s access to contraception is not the issue here. They have it. In spades. What’s really going on is that the Obama Administration wants women to have access to FREE contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. It’s an ideological imperative for them. And such niceties as the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom just don’t matter in comparison.

Where does this end? I’m an 80-year-old man who has to take aspirin for his heart. Should the government pay for the aspirin I need? If they don’t pay for it, would they be denying my access to aspirin?  Come on.

If the Obama Administration has the votes to mandate free contraception, well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. But the Administration and its allies do not have the right to violate the First Amendment — to force religious organizations to pay for procedures or drugs that violate the tenets of their faith.

That’s why we have the Bill of Rights: to protect our fundamental freedoms. As Senator Orrin Hatch said, “When we start going down this road, beware. . . That’s when tyranny really begins. Those of you who vote against this amendment are playing with fire.”

He’s right.

Folks, tell your friends, your neighbors, and your legislators that women already have complete access to contraception — and to say otherwise nothing is a deliberate misrepresentation of what’s going on.

Make no mistake: What we are witnessing is indeed the leading edge of tyranny.

Reprinted with permission from Breakpoint.org

Tags: birth control mandate, obama

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After-Birth abortion: A Modest Proposal?

by Denise J. Hunnell, MD Tue Mar 06 13:09 EST Comments (8)

 

March 6, 2012 (HLIAmerica.org) - Let us consider two excerpts, and see if we can determine which comes from the realm of fiction, and which comes from the field of modern ethics. The first:

That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.

And the second:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

I suppose the jargon in the latter gives it away as an academic journal abstract – in this case, taken from the article “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?” published last week in the Journal of Medical Ethics. When I first read it, I was hoping it would be the prelude of an updated version of Jonathan Swift’s eighteenth century work A Modest Proposal, from which the first excerpt is drawn. In Swift’s eerily prescient satire, the protagonist argues that the solution to poverty is to eat the children of the poor.

Alarmingly, unlike Swift’s work, the abstract is not from a work of satire. It is ostensibly a serious presentation by ethicists Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, who argue that parents should be allowed to kill newborn infants for any reason that is currently used to justify abortion. In fact, they do not constrain their proposal to a specific time period after birth, but claim that a child has no right to life until she adequately demonstrates the very nebulous and subjective characteristic of “self-awareness.”

Giubilini and Minerva are not, at least not in this article, arguing that the killed children should also be eaten. Even so, the expressions of outrage over this piece have been harsh and swift. Indeed, the editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics felt compelled to release a statement defending the publication of this provocative article, although the defense was weak at best.

That an argument for killing newborns would be made should not be surprising. Similar reasoning was put forth by Michael Tooley in 1972 and by Peter Singer in 1993. Giubilini and Minerva simply extend these arguments to include killing perfectly healthy newborns that merely pose a burden or inconvenience to their mothers or to society as a whole. In addition, they argue that logic demands the option to kill disabled infants, especially those with genetic diseases like Down syndrome, when the diagnosis is not made until after birth. Why, they ask, should a woman have every option including abortion before birth, and no options after birth?

As reprehensible as their conclusions are, Giubilini and Minerva agree with pro-lifers on two key points. First, they fully accept that the unborn and the newborn are both living human beings, accepting without argument the scientific reality that a biological human being begins at conception. Thus, they forthrightly acknowledge that both abortion and infanticide involve the taking of human life.

Second, Giubilini and Minerva agree that the event of birth is irrelevant to the moral status of both the unborn child and the newborn. In order to make their proposal more palatable, they eschew the term “infanticide” to emphasize that the lives of the newborn and the fetus carry the same moral weight. In this, they find agreement with the Catholic Church and all who recognize the full humanity of the unborn child. There is absolutely no difference in the moral standing of a child in the womb and a newborn in her mother’s arms.

If they have such essential points right, how do they end up so wrong? Their errors begin when they assign the arbitrary status of “potential person” to both the unborn and the newborn. With absolutely no justification other than their own opinion for such an assertion, they echo Peter Singer in declaring that while the unborn and newborn are living human beings, they lack the self-awareness to qualify as “actual persons.” In fact, also following Singer, the authors go so far as to claim that personhood is a characteristic that can be assigned to non-human animals that demonstrate a sense of self:

Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her. This means that many non- human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.

The authors go on to declare that when “aborting” a “potential person,” no life is really lost. A true person never existed. Therefore, one cannot destroy what never was.

What Giubilini and Minerva cannot justify is their authority to declare some human beings as “potential persons.” If they can dismiss the life and dignity of a newborn child based on the lack of an arbitrary concept of self-awareness, what is to stop others from declaring that true personhood requires a specific level of intelligence or gender or race or creed?

What the authors effectively do is subjugate the life and dignity of the vulnerable to the whims of the powerful, who are allowed to determine who is and who is not a person. This is the fatal flaw of attributing human dignity based on some external evaluation. Either one accepts that every human being is worthy of life and dignity, or you are forced to adopt capricious and subjective metrics as the basis of one’s claim to rights and dignity. It takes great arrogance to presume both the wisdom to judge which human lives are worth living as well as the prescience to know whose life will be too burdensome.

The fundamental error of Giubilini and Minerva is that they fail to recognize that every human being is of inestimable worth. The dignity of every human life is an intrinsic characteristic — it cannot be granted or denied according to some arbitrary algorithm. Further, the term “potential person” has no basis in science, although this error is not unique to Giubilini and Minerva: It is common to all those who advocate for abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research or any other actions that relegate human lives to a disposable status.

Perhaps now those who have thus far seen room for a “compromise” in the areas of abortion and other beginning-of-life issues might recognize the urgency of reaffirming the dignity and value of every human being without exception. No one who allows that some human beings are more valuable than others can honestly be shocked and outraged by Giubilini and Minerva’s argument. These ethicists merely carry this sadly common premise to its logical conclusion, and offer a very “Modest Proposal.”

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.

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HHS mandate could close 13 percent of the nation’s hospitals

by Ben Johnson Tue Mar 06 10:38 EST Comments (15)

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com)—The nation’s Catholic bishops have vowed to close their religious institutions rather than comply with the HHS mandate that they provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. In a column printed on CatholicNewWorld, Francis Cardinal George urged people to purchase a copy of the Archdiocesan directory “as a souvenir,” because in two years the page containing a list of Catholic hospitals and health care institutions “will be blank.”  

Ed Morrissey of the Hot Air blog calculated what it would mean if the Catholic bishops shut down all religious institutions that are ineligible for the conscience clause under the health care reform law.

“The Catholic Church…operates 12.6 percent of hospitals in the U.S., according to the Catholic Health Association of the U.S., accounting for 15.6 percent of all admissions and 14.5 percent of all hospital expenses, a total for Catholic hospitals in 2010 of $98.6 billion,” he wrote. “Almost a third (32 percent) of these hospitals are located in rural areas, where patients usually have few other options for care.” All in all, “more than one in six seniors and disabled patients get attention from these hospitals.”

As a result,120,000 beds would disappear from the U.S. health care system.

“I think the contingency is remote that all the Catholic hospitals will close,” Richard Ralston, the executive director of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine, told LifeSiteNews.com. “If they’re put in an intolerable moral position, they would have the right to do that.”

The closure of Catholic, Southern Baptist, and other religious institutions is but one element among many that critics say would reduce the supply of physicians and medical institutions once the president’s health care reform is implemented – reducing supply while tens of millions of newly insured Americans swell demand.

Ralston told LifeSiteNews, “The only way they say we’re going to reduce spending is we’re going to cut [government] reimbursement to providers and force more providers to provide services at below their cost. You don’t need to have a Nobel Prize in economics to know the long-term impact of that is to drive providers out of medicine.”

“Why go through 10 years of medical training to have Kathleen Sebelius tell you what you can collect from your medical patients?” he asked.

Medicines, too, may not be prescribed even after the Federal Drug Administration finds them safe. Ralston pointed to the comparative effectiveness regulation, warning it will result in the FDA “outlawing medications that work and are safe” because “they are expensive and don’t help enough people.”

The result of all of these policies will be more government spending and a larger government role in health care, critics warn.

South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy said at a House Oversight Hearing on February 16 that closing religious hospitals and schools “means government is gonna get bigger, because they’re going to have to fill the void…and maybe that’s what they wanted all along.”

Schools, philanthropies, and orphanages affiliated with a religious denomination would also close down.

Ralston said the First Amendment is not the only part of the Constitution being violated under the new arrangement. “No one should be forced to have recourse to freedom of religion as the basis for resisting this level of micromanagement and intrusion into health care,” he told LifeSiteNews. “It’s ludicrous to say that the rights of Americans to make their own decisions on their medical cares or physicians to use their own best judgment on medical care can be freely trampled unless they make an appeal that it violates their religious beliefs…It violating core values of all Americans.”

Ralston predicted that churches’ leading role in fighting back against an intrusive government mandate will lead to “vicious attacks on the religious for political reasons.”

“Freedom of religion (or freedom of anything) enrages the collectivist, intellectual, political, and journalist elites if it stands in the way of their control over every detail of our daily lives,” he wrote in a new column to be published shortly by the Orange County Register. “That makes religion itself the target of this rage.”

Tags: ed morrissey, hhs mandate, hot air, richard ralston

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ObamaCare fines religious institutions $100 a day per employee for failing to provide contraception

by Ben Johnson Tue Mar 06 09:00 EST Comments (32)

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com)—The price of following your conscience is high – especially if you resist the mandate to furnish your employees with reproductive products and services that violate your religious beliefs.

According to a report released by the Congressional Research Service,  religious institutions that fail to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees could be fined $100 a day for each of its employees.

According to the memo, “The Secretary [of HHS] may impose a civil monetary penalty on insurance insurers that fail to comply with the [health care reform law’s] requirements,” such as failing to provide contraception, sterilization, or abortion-inducing drugs. “The maximum penalty imposed by the PHSA is $100 per day for each individual with respect to which such a failure occurs.”

Such steep fees could bankrupt religious institutions that do not qualify for an exemption. The Catholic hospitals associated with the Catholic Health Association alone account for 530,673 full-time and 235,221 part-time employees. Collectively, those hospitals could face millions of dollars in fees each day. 

The problem, however, is far from unique to the Roman Catholic Church.

Dr. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), testified before Congress earlier this month that, according to his preliminary research, his denomination could face “tens of millions of dollars” in fines if it loses its grandfathered status.

At the same hearing before the House Oversight Committee, the president of Belmont Abbey College, Dr. William K. Thierfelder, calculated it would cost his school $300,000 a year if it refused to comply.

The government need not initiate a lawsuit; a disgruntled employee may trigger this financial punishment. A “beneficiary” can “bring an action against the plan to recover benefits,” the report states,

“If a group health plan or health insurance issuer failed to provide contraceptive services pursuant to guidelines authorized by ACA, it seems possible, for example, that a plan participant could be able to bring a claim for that benefit.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee made the report public last Tuesday.

Tags: matthew harrison

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Three big stories

by Steve Jalsevac Mon Mar 05 22:11 EST Comments (0)

John-Henry Westen’s report today on the Obama admin’s ruling in favor of Pepsi’s use of cells from aborted children has gotten huge readership since its publication Monday morning.

The February 23 LifeSiteNews report on the proposed changes to Alberta’s Education Act caused a firestorm of public response to the Alberta government. It was so intense that Patrick Craine, writer of the story, soon received a detailed letter from the Education Minister. That initial, non-credible, deny everything response was later followed by more productive discussions with the minister’s communications director. There has now been welcome back pedaling from the previous positions of the Education Minister’s assistant director of communications.

Patrick had done his homework well and his recorded interviews and pointed questions seem to have saved the day (for now) for homeschoolers, private schools and all parents in the province who believe parents are still the primary educators of their children - not the state.

The Canadian bishops’ Development and Peace scandals saga unbelievably still continues as Patrick Craine reveals in his detailed report.

Steve Jalsevac
LifeSiteNews

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The Power of the New Media

by Steve Jalsevac Mon Mar 05 19:00 EST Comments (57)

 

In one of his last interviews before his death last week, New Media (Internet) guru Andrew Breitbart forcefully confirmed that LifeSiteNews and others have taken the most effective route to bypass the oppressive information control of the liberal mainstream media. (Watch the video interview here)

With the exponential growth of information on the internet and use of social media in the past decade, the chokehold mainstream media has over the culture narrative in the United States, Canada, and internationally is rapidly being loosened.

“People can become the media themselves,” said Breitbart.

In many ways, you our readers have become just that for the Culture of Life movement. 

As we begin today our first of four necessary quarterly fundraising campaigns for 2012, I have to emphasize that your support has allowed LifeSiteNews to break many hugely important stories to more people than ever before.

And many of those stories would likely never have been read by as many (if any) people, had we not latched on to this incredible New Media opportunity. We are going straight to the public with the TRUTH.

Help us continue to be a strong source of the most important, truthful news on life and family issues.  Donate today!
(Click Here to Donate)

Compared to this same time frame last year, the number of unique visitors we see on our website has tripled!  And we surpassed 2,400,000 pages viewed in February alone. Wow!  Even we are taken aback by this growth.

And the best news of all – there is no sign of our momentum slowing down!

Breitbart said something else in the same interview that was very much related to our work:

“The culture is where the…mind is won or lost.”

Sadly, most young people encounter manipulation, lies and exploitation from the culture. They are used and abused by the information controllers who do not care about them.

But you and we do care for them– very much!

Many have not even been exposed to any other way of thinking than what the mainstream media spoon feeds them by saturating and controlling the content of movies, newspapers, magazines, television, and education to name a few.

But there are signs of hope.

To give you one example, we have been flooded with Culture of Life stories that reveal a side to our culture the mainstream media has been trying to hide. 

We are certain that the recent tremendous growth of LifeSiteNews.com readership is a sign that the veil has been lifted, revealing the lies and deception of the mainstream media.

Now, millions of people are turning to us as their alternative source for authentic culture news.

I regret to also report, however, that our revenue has NOT yet remotely grown in proportion to the recent amazing growth in readership. That is, we urgently need substantial additional funding to cover the many costs associated with running this expanding truth-in-news service.

LifeSiteNews funding overwhelming comes from the generosity of individual donors who read our stories. They keep LifeSiteNews going.

Please join this battle.  $50, $500, or $5,000 - whatever you can give, together with many others - will go a long way in helping us reach our goal of $100,000 by March 27th. (Click Here to Donate)

Thank you for helping to build a culture of life,

Steve Jalsevac
Managing Director
LifeSiteNews.com

P.S. Just to remind you again, last month there were two top links to LifeSiteNews on the Drudge Report and our stories were mentioned on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. With your financial support, the mainstream media will not be able to ignore us much longer, and LifeSiteNews reports will have an even stronger impact on cultural developments around the world!

U.S. and International Donors
Click here to donate online.

Call our office at (888) 678-6008 x. 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 x. 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
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.

Print Article  |  Email Friend  |  Back to Top | View Story on LifeSiteNews.com

The Power of the New Media

by Steve Jalsevac Mon Mar 05 19:00 EST Comments (1)

 

In one of his last interviews before his death last week, New Media (Internet) guru Andrew Breitbart forcefully confirmed that LifeSiteNews and others have taken the most effective route to bypass the oppressive information control of the liberal mainstream media. (Watch the video interview here)

With the exponential growth of information on the internet and use of social media in the past decade, the chokehold mainstream media has over the culture narrative in the United States, Canada, and internationally is rapidly being loosened.

“People can become the media themselves,” said Breitbart.

In many ways, you our readers have become just that for the Culture of Life movement. 

As we begin today our first of four necessary quarterly fundraising campaigns for 2012, I have to emphasize that your support has allowed LifeSiteNews to break many hugely important stories to more people than ever before.

And many of those stories would likely never have been read by as many (if any) people, had we not latched on to this incredible New Media opportunity. We are going straight to the public with the TRUTH.

Help us continue to be a strong source of the most important, truthful news on life and family issues.  Donate today!
(Click Here to Donate)

Compared to this same time frame last year, the number of unique visitors we see on our website has tripled!  And we surpassed 2,400,000 pages viewed in February alone. Wow!  Even we are taken aback by this growth.

And the best news of all – there is no sign of our momentum slowing down!

Breitbart said something else in the same interview that was very much related to our work:

“The culture is where the…mind is won or lost.”

Sadly, most young people encounter manipulation, lies and exploitation from the culture. They are used and abused by the information controllers who do not care about them.

But you and we do care for them– very much!

Many have not even been exposed to any other way of thinking than what the mainstream media spoon feeds them by saturating and controlling the content of movies, newspapers, magazines, television, and education to name a few.

But there are signs of hope.

To give you one example, we have been flooded with Culture of Life stories that reveal a side to our culture the mainstream media has been trying to hide. 

We are certain that the recent tremendous growth of LifeSiteNews.com readership is a sign that the veil has been lifted, revealing the lies and deception of the mainstream media.

Now, millions of people are turning to us as their alternative source for authentic culture news.

I regret to also report, however, that our revenue has NOT yet remotely grown in proportion to the recent amazing growth in readership. That is, we urgently need substantial additional funding to cover the many costs associated with running this expanding truth-in-news service.

LifeSiteNews funding overwhelming comes from the generosity of individual donors who read our stories. They keep LifeSiteNews going.

Please join this battle.  $50, $500, or $5,000 - whatever you can give, together with many others - will go a long way in helping us reach our goal of $100,000 by March 27th. (Click Here to Donate)

Thank you for helping to build a culture of life,

Steve Jalsevac
Managing Director
LifeSiteNews.com

P.S. Just to remind you again, last month there were two top links to LifeSiteNews on the Drudge Report and our stories were mentioned on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. With your financial support, the mainstream media will not be able to ignore us much longer, and LifeSiteNews reports will have an even stronger impact on cultural developments around the world!

U.S. and International Donors
Click here to donate online.

Call our office at (888) 678-6008 x. 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 x. 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
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.

Print Article  |  Email Friend  |  Back to Top | View Story on LifeSiteNews.com

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