Valeriote is third in from the right in this photo of Canadian politicians with the newly elevated Collins in Rome
GUELPH, Ontario, March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Guelph Member of Parliament with the Liberal Party is under fire in the federal “robo-calls” controversy after he admitted to placing automated calls attacking his Tory opponent without identifying that they came from his campaign.
Frank Valeriote, a self-professed Catholic who journeyed to the Vatican last month for Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins’ elevation to the College of Cardinals, used the call to attack Tory candidate Marty Burke’s “anti-choice” views.
The call, which featured a woman identifying herself as Lori or Laurie McDonald of Guelph, attacked Burke for his “extreme views” on the right to life of the unborn.
Burke believes “that under absolutely no circumstance should a women have the right to choose” to have an abortion,” the woman said. “Government should not be able to force their beliefs on to me.”
“The race in Guelph is very close. Vote strategically on Monday to protect our hard earned rights from the Conservatives and Marty’s extreme views,” she added.
Burke was endorsed by Campaign Life Coalition, the nation’s largest pro-life group, which had placed calls to its supporters in the riding urging them to get behind his campaign.
Valeriote apologized this week for omitting any mention that the call originated from his campaign, which is required by Elections Canada regulations.
But he did not respond to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews about how he justifies attacking the pro-life stand while professing to be a Catholic.
“This man claims to be Catholic and has his photo taken with the newly-installed Cardinal and yet is afraid to stand up on pro-life principles. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. He placed himself solidly in the pro-abortion camp,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition. “Why is he doing this? He wants the Catholic vote but he doesn’t want to respond as a Catholic.”
The Conservatives have accused the Liberals of breaking the law, but Valeriote says the incident was merely an oversight.
He and Liberal leader Bob Rae downplayed the campaign misstep, saying it is incomparable with the allegations being investigated by Elections Canada that robo-calls were used to send voters to the wrong polling stations.
A Valeriote staff member told the Globe and Mail that the call attacking Burke was funded to respond to “lies that were being spread about Frank’s position” on abortion.
Frank Valeriote, MP (Guelph)
40 Cork Street East
Guelph, ON N1H 2W8
Phone: (519) 837-8276
Fax: (519) 837-8443
House of Commons
713 Confederation Building
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Phone: (613) 996-4758
Fax: (613) 996-9922
March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Despite documents clearly showing that Pepsi has partnered with a research organization that uses cells derived from an aborted baby in flavor research, in a statement sent to LifeSiteNews this week, PepsiCo has denied the allegations.
As LifeSiteNews previously reported, the soft drink producer has been under fire from pro-life organizations for contracting with Senomyx, a company known to use cells originally derived from an aborted fetus in flavor research.
A PepsiCo shareholder also protested the contract in a shareholder resolution filed last year with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), asking that the company “adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements.”
Jeff Dahncke, senior director of communications at PepsiCo, told LifeSiteNews in a recent email that the company “does not conduct or fund research that utilizes any human tissue or cell lines derived from human embryos or fetuses.”
The company has reportedly sent similar emails to consumers who wrote in protest of Senomyx’s practices.
But Debi Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, an organization which has been at the forefront of promoting the pro-life boycott of Pepsi, says the denials simply don’t stand up in light of the clear facts.
According to Vinnedge, there is incontrovertible evidence that Senomyx’s work on behalf of Pepsi utilizes cell lines ultimately derived from an aborted baby, since that is the only kind of cell line the biotech company uses in its sweetener patents. Under a 2010 contract between the two companies, Senomyx is developing artificial high-potency sweeteners for PepsiCo.
“They have other cell lines they use in their patents that could be used, and we’ve encouraged Senomyx to do that, but they are not doing that,” she told LifeSiteNews.
According to Vinnedge, Pepsi’s misleading claim that its research does not use aborted baby tissue likely rests on the fact that the process by which Senomyx obtains the cell lines may be a few steps removed from the originally harvested cells. Cells obtained from human tissue are typically cultivated in a lab so that they grow and multiply, and are then sold to companies like Senomyx.
“They’re not taking it directly from the fetus, that’s how they get away with saying what they’re saying,” she explained, adding that “the cell line still contains the full DNA from that aborted baby, no different than if you were taking it directly from the fetus.”
Vinnedge also pointed out that the company’s response to the shareholder resolution belies its claim to consumers. If Senomyx were not using cells ultimately derived from an aborted fetus, she said, Pepsi would have issued a straight-forward denial of the claim in its response to the SEC.
Instead, the company sent a 36-page response asking the Commission to exclude the resolution because it “deals with matters related to the company’s ordinary business operations” and “probed too deeply into matters of a complex nature upon which shareholders cannot make an informed judgment.”
In light of this, Children of God for Life is standing by its boycott, Vinnedge said.
She noted that her organization agrees with the conclusions of a 2005 document on cooperation in moral evil issued by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, which says it is licit for parents to make use of vaccines that were originally derived from aborted babies. The document added that that there is “a grave responsibility” to make use of alternative vaccines, if available, and to “make a conscientious objection with regard to those which have moral problems.”
However, Vinnedge noted, the document was dealing with the issue only in reference to the use of aborted fetal cells in medicine. “Their response, I believe, would be a little different when you talk about soda or cosmetics,” she said. “It’s not like there’s a necessity to use them.”
9 out of 10 children diagnosed with Down syndrome are killed before they are born.
PORTLAND, Oregon, March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An Oregon couple has won $3 million from a hospital because doctors there didn’t diagnose their daughter’s Down syndrome in the womb, making the couple miss their opportunity to have her killed by abortion.
Ariel and Deborah Levy argued that they would have ended the life of their daughter Kalanit in the womb if Legacy Health hospital in Portland had let them know of their daughter’s disability before birth, the Oregonian reported on Friday. Kalanit, now 4 years old, has two older brothers.
The Levys say that they love Kalanit, but the hospital should pay for her lifetime of medical care because the chorionic villus sampling came up negative for Down syndrome. Their attorneys argued that the test had accidentally taken a sample of the mother’s own placental tissue, which wouldn’t have shown the chromosomal condition.
The jury handed down the 12-0 decision after six hours of deliberation. Lawyers for Legacy Health said they would be “reviewing the record and considering available options” following the decision.
As many as nine out of 10 children with Down syndrome in America are believed to be aborted.
Melinda Delahoyde, president of the pregnancy resource center network Care Net and mother of a Down syndrome child, lamented the verdict.
“Despite the verdict of a jury, ‘wrongful birth’ remains a contradiction in terms. However challenging the circumstances, every birth is beautiful because every life is a miracle,” said Delahoyde in a release Wednesday.
“As the proud mother of a son who shares the diagnosis of the child who became the subject of this trial, I pray that these parents will come to know their daughter, not as a medical mistake but as the perfect addition to their family that she is.
“What is truly ‘wrongful’ is that nearly 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome are quietly aborted before they are born.”
In September, the Florida parents of a child born missing two arms and a leg were awarded $4.5 million for the child’s “wrongful birth.”
MELBOURNE, March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A peaceful protest has begun at the entrance to the car-park of the parliament where three years ago Australia’s most radical abortion laws were introduced.
On each of the 70 sitting days of Victoria’s parliament this year, pro-life protesters will display a green six-foot-high banner marked with one white cross for every baby aborted since the first of January, 2012.
The unmissable banner, which due to local council regulations must be carried by volunteers at all times, will stretch along the green hedge/fence at the back of parliament house beside the car-park entrance.
“The politicians are going to have to drive past this every time they come to work for all of this year,” said David Forster, the protest organiser. “They’re going to see that banner get longer and longer and longer. Every month when they come in, there will be another 2,000 white crosses added on to it.”
When the protest began on the 7th of February the banner spanned twenty metres, containing 2,000 white crosses and requiring five volunteers. On the last sitting day of parliament this year, it will contain 17,000 white crosses and need 35 volunteers to support it across more than 170 metres.
“When you see even the 2,000 [white crosses] that we’ve got now, even our own pro-life people say, ‘Oh, it couldn’t be that many!’” said David. “A figure is a figure, but when you see the number, you think, ‘Goodness gracious, that couldn’t be happening.’”
Bernie Finn MLC, a member of the upper house of Victorian parliament, said that there has been a noticeable reaction inside parliament house to the protest. “There’s been two reactions here basically,” he said. “One from the pro-aborts and one from the pro-lifers: The pro-aborts are trying desperately to ignore the protest, the pro-lifers are having their priorities pricked, and being reminded that they should be doing a lot more about this issue.”
The number of abortions carried out in Victoria each year remains unknown. The protesters’ figure of 17,000 is a conservative estimate based on public health insurance claims.
The 2008 Abortion Law Reform Act legalized abortion in Victoria up to birth. Doctors may perform abortions up to 24 weeks gestation without any limits. After 24 weeks, the medical practitioner must consult one other doctor.
Controversially, the act denies healthcare professionals the right to conscientious objection and aims to compel them to be involved in abortion. Doctors may be prosecuted if they refuse to refer for an abortion, and along with nurses, are compelled to assist in the case of an emergency.
More than 60 amendments - including providing counseling for women, banning partial-birth abortion, mandatory reporting of suspected child/teenage sexual abuse, notifying the parent of a minor seeking an abortion, and providing anesthetic to the unborn child - were all rejected at the time the law was enacted.
Maryse Usher has been participating in the protest. “Each white cross represents a murdered child,” she said. “Our parliament has been almost totally silent on abortion since the 2008 bill was passed, so this protest is going to make politicians very uncomfortable, and it’s going to show them that this terrible slaughter that is going on in our society has not gone away.”
Victorian parliamentary records show that since the laws were passed, a statement, motion, or petition about abortion has been brought forward only twice in the lower house, and eight times in the upper house. Six of the latter were raised by Bernie Finn as well as Peter Kavanagh, who is now retired. Bruce Atkinson presented a small petition to the Legislative Council in 2009 and Jan Kronberg made a statement on the one-year anniversary of the legislation in 2009.
In 2010, when Peter Kavanagh called for an inquiry to investigate the deaths of 52 babies who suffered post-natal deaths after being born alive following failed abortions, the motion was defeated 27-9.
Bernie Finn said the protest is a reminder that everybody should be doing more to repeal the abortion act: “There’s been considerably more talk around parliament house about the 2008 laws since the protest started. When we look at all those white crosses, we are reminded that we should be doing more – and not just politicians, but the public too. We should all be doing more to repeal these laws.”
OTTAWA, March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Conservative MP Steve Woodworth’s historic motion (M-312) to debate the personhood of unborn Canadians in Parliament has tentatively been set for April 26.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews on Wednesday, Woodworth said the recent paper calling for “after-birth abortion,” otherwise known as infanticide, which said pro-abortion arguments should be extended to allow for the killing of newborn babies, highlights the need to reconsider the humanity of the unborn in Canadian law.
The MP’s office told LifeSiteNews that one hour of debate has been scheduled on April 26, after the motion was declared votable last week, to discuss the formation of a special committee to consider the medical evidence relating to the humanity of the unborn. Another hour will follow in the late spring or early fall.
Scheduling of private member’s motions is determined by the clerk’s office and may sometimes give way to other business, so the date may change, explained Woodworth’s office.
The MP is calling for a re-examination of section 223 of the Criminal Code, which states that a child only becomes a “human being” once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb.
“I’ve pointed out that Canada’s definition of human being was formulated more than 400 years ago and says that a child is not a human being in Canada until the moment of complete birth,” Woodworth stated in a press release in January.
“Those are the plain words of Section 223, and no one is allowed fundamental human rights if they are not a human being. I’ve concluded that 21st Century modern medical science informs us that children are certainly human beings before the moment of complete birth. If that isn’t true, prove it.”
“If there’s justification for a law which defines anyone as less than a human when that person is clearly a human being, let Canadians hear it,” he said. “If there’s a principled reason why Parliament has no duty to update this 400 year old law which has such important consequences, let’s hear it.”
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Mr. Woodworth said his motion goes beyond the abortion debate, saying the evidence and principles that inform a Canadian law determining who is a human being, and who is not, have wider implications. “This initiative won’t end the abortion debate,” Mr. Woodworth said, “but may make evident that a law which denies that someone is a human being, without any relevant or scientific evidence, is not a just law.”
Mr. Woodworth made reference to a recent article titled, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” that was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, where two ethicists argue that even a new-born child may be denied the moral status of actual personhood and killed by “after-birth abortion” if the child might have been killed by abortion before she was born.
“We claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk,” the ethicists stated.
Mr. Woodworth said the possibility of denying human status to a child even after birth made it imperative that parliament look at the 400 year old definition of human being found in Section 223.
The full text of Mr. Woodworth’s motion ((M-312) is available here.
Mr. Woodworth has also initiated a petition calling upon Parliament to confirm that every human being is recognized by Canadian law as human by amending Section 223 of our Criminal Code in such a way as to reflect twenty-first century medical evidence. The petition can be downloaded here along with other resources to help raise awareness in your community.
March 14, 2012 (RenewAmerica.com) - This past week a jury awarded nearly $3 million to a couple whose daughter was born with Down syndrome even though a prenatal test found she didn’t have the chromosomal abnormality.
The jury voted 12-0, and they took less than six hours before reaching a verdict in the case. According to the article, the money will cover the estimated extra lifetime costs of caring for a child with Down syndrome. The couple sued, claiming the mother would have “aborted her pregnancy had she known her daughter had the chromosomal abnormality.” The case was one of a handful of so-called “wrongful birth” suits estimated to be filed each year in the United States.
This represents a very slippery slope for all of us.
As a former police officer it is clear that this beautiful child was viewed as a punishment to her family and society from the time of conception. Basically the child was found “guilty” of having postnatal Down syndrome and the punishment was $3 million. Had the child been found “prenatally guilty” of having Down syndrome the punishment would have been termination. According to several studies, 89%+ of expectant mothers who learned their children would have Down syndrome chose to terminate the pregnancies, and this punitive ruling will only serve to increase that statistic as medical professionals fear the ramifications of “wrongful birth” lawsuits.
As the father of a beautiful 8-year-old daughter Chloe who has Down syndrome I found this incident very disturbing.
Chloe has already saved lives by showing couples the true beauty and perfection of children like her. She attends 3rd grade at her neighborhood school with typical peers and reads at a 3rd grade level — better than many “typical” adults I know. Chloe plays baseball, has met many VIPs, is on a book, is treasured by her family, community and school, and she has brought more light into this world in 8 years than most people do in a lifetime.
Chloe loves her brother deeply and he adores her — their relationship truly is one of the most incredible and heavenly things I have observed on this earth. The parents who received the $3 million settlement have other children, and I wonder what they will tell them when they are older and realize that their sister would have been eliminated prenatally and was not seen as a priceless gift when she arrived in this world.
We hear a lot in the news about deficits across the globe, and many feel we are heading off the side of a cliff when it comes to national and worldwide debt. I would argue that the real deficit facing humanity is the silent destruction of our most precious, irreplaceable resource — human life.
If we do not stop the slaughter of our most vulnerable citizens there will be no amount of money or gold that can make up the debt incurred. We are all one accident or illness away from becoming disabled, and if we don’t wake up very soon we will all be targeted one day for termination when we no longer have the prenatal/postnatal qualities of distorted perfection mandated by a culture of death.
LUBBOCK, Texas, March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Tony Thornton, the CEO and President of the Planned Parenthood Association of Lubbock, was arrested at a baseball field on Monday afternoon for indecent exposure after he allegedly exposed his genitals to a 43-year-old male, according to local ABC station KCBD 11.
The state’s penal code describes indecent exposure as exposing one’s genitals with the intent to arouse the sexual desire of another.
Thornton was transported to the Lubbock County Detention Center, where he posted a $750 bond and was released late the following morning.
Reporters with KCBD went to Thornton’s home Tuesday evening, but he didn’t answer the door. A representative of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America told the news station they would work to issue a statement on Thornton’s arrest, but hadn’t followed up by the time the report was published.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Argentina’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a mother has the legal right to abort her baby if it was conceived through rape.
“In these cases, doctors will no longer need a court approval. They will just need a statement from the victim or her lawyer testifying that she became pregnant as a result of being raped,” the court ruled unanimously, backing a decision by the Superior Court in the province of Chubut.
Prior to this, abortion was illegal in the largely Catholic country unless the mother was judged to be mentally ill or if the mother’s life was at risk.
Yesterday’s ruling interpreted an ambiguous section of the country’s penal code (Section 2, Article 86) where it states that abortion is not a punishable act “if the pregnancy stems from a rape or an attack on the modesty of a woman of feeble mind.” The judges have interpreted this passage to now mean that a woman does not have to be of feeble mind to seek an abortion after she has been raped.
The judges have reportedly said that their ruling had nothing to do with the current push from pro-abortion activists to legalize abortion in Argentina, but that it was simply a clarification of existing laws. A ruling from the country’s Supreme Court cannot be appealed.
Supreme Court president Ricardo Lorenzetti went as far as saying that the ruling “would not open the way” towards legalizing abortion on demand.
Monsignor Jose Maria Arancedo, head of Argentina’s bishops conference, told CNN that the lives of the innocent lost out in the ruling.
“Abortion is the suppression of an innocent life, and there does not exist any motive or reason that justifies the elimination of an innocent life, not even the unfortunate case of a rape,” he said.
Roberto Castaneda, a member of an Argentina pro-life group, told CNN that the ruling does not change the fact that rape victims have other options besides abortion.
“A woman who has difficulties must have assistance. Legal, medical, psychological assistance. We have to promote the adoption system. There are thousands of couples in Argentine without children and who can’t have children. It is a much more humane situation than killing,” he said.
OTTAWA, Ontario, March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Canadian women’s organization which speaks on behalf of women who support traditional family values has come under heavy attack by homosexual activist groups for being invited by the government as a partner organization to nominate worthy candidates to be awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal. The award commemorates the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.
To celebrate the anniversary, the Governor General of Canada will be awarding medals to 60,000 deserving Canadians for their significant contributions and achievements. REAL Women of Canada has been asked to recommend 33 deserving people for medals in the “social and volunteer” category.
When homosexual activist groups were not asked to participate in the process of nominating recipients of the medals, they used the occasion to attack REAL women and to push their agenda.
Steve Collins from Metro Ottawa called the Woman’s group “kooky” for what he said was their “rail against abortion, gay marriage and the other perceived threats to the Canadian family.”
“I usually find them a reliable source of a chuckle or an eye-roll,” he wrote.
Matt Salton, programming director of Reelout, a gay film festival in Kingston, started an online petition to have the Woman’s group struck off the government list as a partner organization for medal selection.
“The bile that they spew on their website is so offensive, it’s not a matter of opinion. It’s just as far as I’m concerned hate, and they should have no part in (the Jubilee medals) whatsoever,” he said.
Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada, a pro-homosexual group known for making vitriolic attacks on Christian values, told the gay news service Xtra that the government should have selected other women’s groups who are “very progressive, aren’t homophobic and transphobic, and deserve to be at the table.”
Casey Oraa, vice-chair of Queer Ontario criticized REAL Woman for “such narrow definitions of who Canadians are and what women should do”.
Gwen Landolt, vice president of REAL Women Canada, told LifeSiteNews that she believes that the homosexual activist groups “just want to suppress the opinions and voice of anyone in Canada on any subject if that person does not support them and their own agenda.”
“In other words, the only people who are allowed to speak publicly in their view are those who support their agenda. And that’s highly intolerant. We are in a democracy last I knew and everybody should have a voice, but they are just incredibly intolerant of anybody who doesn’t support their agenda.”
On their website, REAL Women of Canada state their support for permanent marriage based on traditional values, which they say is “possible, desirable and urgently needed in Canada today.” They also state their belief that the family is society’s most important unit and that every family member, born or unborn, is of equal value. And finally, they state their conviction that laws should continue to protect traditional marriage and families. REAL is an acronym for Realistic, Equal, and Active for Life.
“The homosexual community just gets incensed if anybody who doesn’t support their agenda is given some recognition or some role to play in society,” said Landolt. “They just want to suppress the views of others who don’t support them.”
Landolt believes that it was reasonable for the government to ask them to help select worthy medal recipients.
“We have a broad number of issues we deal with. We have chapters in every province and in a lot of the major cities in Canada and we are in contact with people on a number of issues. A lot of our members are from small towns in Canada and I think it’s just reasonable that the government would want us as a source for selecting people who often do something that is very beneficial to their community but who never get recognized.”
“I think it was just reasonable for them to approach us and put us on the list as one of their partners because they want to recognize people who are often unheralded by the mainstream media.”
Diane Watts of Real Women told Metro Ottawa that she and her organization are making a firm democratic stand against the homosexual verbal onslaught.
“I know people are objecting to our being chosen, and our position is that we’re Canadian citizens and we have a right to express our pro-family views and we’re honoured to be chosen by the Governor General,” she said.
March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Why is the Canadian Left so unfailingly consistent in labeling any moral or social issue with which it does not concur, or does not wish to discuss, as “a can of worms”?
Why are issues of equal controversy and capable of achieving similar degrees of contention – but ones with which the Left agrees – judged worthy of debate, and indeed pressed upon the national agenda and deemed imperative for the democratic life of our nation?
It is a rhetorical question for sure, and anyone knowing the morally supine ways of social liberals can easily provide an answer. Perhaps the better question is why this feeble dichotomy and unabashed hypocrisy is allowed to persist by the national media and even by our political leaders – who apparently cannot see the absurdity of the argument or are afraid to question the political hegemony of social liberalism in Canada.
For example, every time a pro-life issue is raised in this country, it is invariably characterized by pro-abortion forces with the above description or dismissed by the far worse analysis that such debates have already been “settled” in Canada. “Settled” in the way, one supposes, that elections were conceivably “settled” for a thousand years in Hitler’s Germany. Both contentions are equally mendacious and equally abhorrent to democratic life.
Yet when the issue of same-sex marriage is raised in the U.K. by a Conservative prime minister, David Cameron, just as it was raised in Canada, we are told that this volatile, divisive and explosive item is crucial to the life of the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy.
Considering that same-sex marriage will only affect a fraction of a sexual minority that has been fallaciously reported to be 10 per cent of the population (it is more like 2 per cent), it is strange indeed for a Conservative government to want to – shall we say it? – open this can of worms. Given the economic crisis that Europe is facing and the particular questions that Britain must address about itself vis-à-vis its relationship with the European Union, why this urgent requirement to wade into the morass of sexual politics, why the masochistic desire to alienate the churches, why this perverse tendency to alienate ethnic minority groups – such as Muslims – for whom same-sex marriage is anathema?
When Canada decided to proceed down the road of same-sex marriage, there was little or no political gain for doing so. The question divided the caucus of the then-governing Liberal Party. It did nothing for the prime minister of the day, Paul Martin, who lost his minority government in the House of Commons. It would always be a mystery to many why Martin, a man belonging to a generation for whom homosexual marriage was hardly a burning social concern, would become the poster PM for the issue and will probably be best remembered in history for his work on this file.
Yet Martin insisted upon opening this proverbial can of worms and would hear nothing about focusing on issues of more pertinence and relevance to a greater number of Canadians. Just as surely, he would also have told you that any public debate on abortion would be so fractious for the country that he could not even consider it. Not that can of worms please.
So we have another Commonwealth prime minister insisting upon redefining marriage for the sake of a very vocal minority. He is already facing the same well-reasoned debate and the same visceral objections as the issue aroused in Canada. Moreover, the Daily Telegraph is reporting this week that a whopping 78 per cent of Britons don’t think the issue should be a government priority.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron is not too unlike our own prime minister, Stephen Harper. Harper may have kept his promise to revisit the same-sex marriage issue when his Conservatives took power in 2006, but it was a meeting of short duration and tepid enthusiasm. You might say he took the can down from the shelf but did not take the lid off. Since then, Harper has shown equal hesitation to discussing the plight of the unborn, saying that he has “no plans to reopen the abortion debate” and effectively arguing that divisive questions like this have no place in Canada’s public forum.
Ultimately, whether an issue is controversial or calming, divisive or unifying, politically advantageous or suicidal, it deserves consideration and fair debate. Unfortunately, social liberals have hijacked that debate in Canada, vetting the questions and choosing the answers.
We are forced not only to view but also to eat their can of worms.
David Krayden is the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, an independent, not-for-profit institution dedicated to the advancement of freedom and prosperity through the development and promotion of good public policy.
March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As the UK Government moves in the direction of legalizing same-sex “marriage,” Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has launched a lobbying campaign in support of the move that includes re-naming one of their ice cream flavors.
British Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone announced last September that the government was committed to legalizing same sex “marriage” by 2015, and would launch a consultation regarding the issue this spring.
In anticipation of the consultation, which will begin later this month, Ben & Jerry’s announced yesterday that the flavor “Oh! My! Apple Pie!” will be called “Apple-y Ever After” in England. Its re-designed tub features a wedding cake decorated with rainbow stripes and topped with two groom figures.
“Since our humble beginning 34 years ago, Ben & Jerry’s has been an advocate for equal rights,” said a statement on the company’s website about the change. “We were one of the first companies in the US back in 1993 that widened our health & employment benefits umbrella to recognize unmarried domestic partners regardless of their sexual orientation.”
The flavor change is only one part of an-all out campaign in support of re-defining marriage in England. The company is urging customers to contact their local member of Parliament, and has even posted contact information and a form letter on their website.
The suggested letter to members of Parliament urges the government to provide “equal access to marriage,” and calls the up-coming consultation an opportunity to bring British law “up to date with the society which we live in.”
Customers who visit the site are also encouraged to “marry” someone of the same sex through a new Facebook App which the company has launched in partnership with the gay rights group Stonewall.
The app is featured prominently on the Ben & Jerry UK Facebook page, and participants are promised “a chance of scooping a tub of your favourite flavour.”
While the campaign might mark the company’s most aggressive effort to re-define marriage, it’s not the first time that the notoriously left-wing ice cream giant has re-named one of its flavors in support of the gay agenda. Its “Chubby Hubby” flavor temporarily became “Hubby Hubby” in Vermont to celebrate the state’s legalization of gay “marriage” in 2009.
Ben & Jerry Ice Cream is also on the Life Decision International boycott list for its support of Planned Parenthood.
TORONTO, Ontario, March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - This March, two Ontario university clubs are hosting abortion debates on campus, but pro-abortion advocates have been unwilling to debate. Despite contacting over 120 professors, feminist organizations, and abortion advocacy groups, Guelph Life Choice and McMaster Lifeline have been unable to find anyone to debate.
Pro-life students from McMaster and Guelph are now issuing a public challenge to “pro-choice” proponents (specifically professors, doctors, clinic workers, and advocates from pro-choice organizations), inviting them to defend their position on abortion and join in an open and respectful debate.
“There’s been great student interest in having this debate,” states Hanna Barlow, President of the University of Guelph Life Choice. “But everyone we’ve contacted to represent the pro-choice side has either rejected the invitation or simply ignored it. It’s very disappointing.”
With the debate scheduled for the end of the month, Guelph Life Choice contacted the Student Help and Advocacy Centre (SHAC) from the student union for help finding a “pro-choice” advocate. They declined, stating, “We do not believe that the sexual and reproductive rights of women is [sic] something that should be debated because we see ‘pro-choice’ as the only option. For us, reproductive rights are non-debatable.” (See full email text.)
“Unwillingness to debate is something we’ve seen before on other campuses,” states Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director for the National Campus Life Network, a national pro-life student organization. “Despite accusations from pro-choicers that we’re closed minded and backwards, they are the ones who keep rejecting our offers to engage in dialogue.”
“Anyone who holds a belief on an issue must have evidence to back up their belief,” states Julia Bolzon, President of McMaster Lifeline. “If pro-choicers are confident in their position, then they should be willing to defend it in a debate. We hope pro-choicers will rise to the challenge.”
I have failed, intentionally and knowingly, in the first duty of a parent: protecting the lives of two of my children.
March 14, 2012 (AmericanThinker.com) - My soul carries a new scar. The pain is fresh and keen, and I know that while time might see the pain fade, I will never fully recover from what I’ve seen, and done. For I have failed, intentionally and knowingly, in the first duty of a parent: protecting the lives of two of my children.
My wife and I wanted children; alas, we needed IVF treatment to realize this dream. Several cycles and multiple embryo implantations later, we welcomed our blessing from G-d, who is the light of our lives.
Recently, we tried for another.
“It never rains, but it pours,” said the fertility doctor—of the three embryos that were implanted, all three took. We were faced with the news of triplets. I was shocked, knowing the burden that would entail, but since G-d gave us three, I was prepared to do whatever I needed to do to help, manage, and provide.
My wife? Something snapped. She insisted that we do a “selective reduction” from three to one, or else she would have a full abortion. She was adamant. She would not carry three. She would not carry two.
I was presented with a Coventry-esque decision: save one, or save none. I chose the former, though I tried on several occasions to convince her to at least keep twins. I failed.
We were told, point-blank, by the doctor who would do the procedure that they would inject potassium chloride into the placenta to stop the hearts. We were told, point-blank, that it was painless. Even then, I knew I was being lied to, but given the choice presented, I agreed anyway. My mantra became “Save one, or save none.”
Before the procedure, my wife’s eyes teared up; she asked the doctor over and over if they would feel pain, and was assured they would not. I asked again if my wife was sure about this because once done, it could not be undone. She said she was sure, but her tears and her looking away from the screen, deliberately, and her wanting me to not look either, told me the truth: she knew as well that this was wrong. I wanted to insist that she look, but I think that her mind—already fractured by the news of triplets—would have snapped permanently had she seen the images onscreen. And to save the one, and for the sake of the one we already had, I needed my wife sane.
My wife didn’t look, but I had to. I had to know what would happen to my children. I had to know how they would die.
Each retreated, pushing away, as the needle entered the amniotic sac. They did not inject into the placenta, but directly into each child’s torso. Each one crumpled as the needle pierced the body. I saw the heart stop in the first, and mine almost did, too. The other’s heart fought, but ten minutes later they looked again, and it too had ceased.
The doctors had the gall to call the potassium chloride, the chemical that stopped children’s hearts, “medicine.” I wanted to ask what they were trying cure—life? But bitter words would not undo what had happened. I swallowed anything I might have said.
I know they felt pain. I know they felt panic. And I know this was murder. I take cold comfort in knowing that as far as we can tell, the survivor is still fine, and in knowing that this decision did not come from me; I would have taken the chance on triplets, even with all the work and effort it would have required. I pray that this one child will come to term, will be born into this world alive and healthy, and I know he or she will have all our love.
But that emotional scar will ache my whole life. I see my child’s smile every night and anticipate a new one in some months…but I think of the two smiles I will never see. Every day, returning from work, I hear “Hi Daddy!” and know there are two voices and two giggles that I will never hear. I play with and cuddle my child, looking forward to the same with the second…but I know there are two sets of hands that will never touch mine, two sets of toes that will never be counted, two hugs that will forever be absent from my arms.
I pray to G-d every day to take those two innocents to Him, to welcome them, and I ask them every day for forgiveness. As I will every day for the rest of my life. I don’t know what accommodation my wife will make mentally and spiritually. That is her business, and a burden her conscience must bear.
But let nobody fool you. It is not painless for the child, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar. Abortion is not an excision of a featureless bunch of cells; it is infanticide. We have revived the practice of child sacrifice to the new deities of casual sex and convenience. We rationalize the reality of murder by altering our perspective of the nascent life through euphemisms like “fetus” or descriptions of “a clump of cells”...just like the Nazis convinced themselves that the people screaming as they were shot or gassed were “Untermenchen,” subhuman, and therefore guiltlessly exterminated.
This is how every perpetrator of genocide has always rationalized his or her actions. By doing likewise, we condemn our own souls
I wept in joy, a few years ago, when I saw my first child’s heartbeat on the screen. And I weep in agony now at the memory of two of my children’s heartbeats being stilled. “Save one, or save none” has been eclipsed by “Out, out, damned spot!” as I wonder how I can redeem myself.
If, by baring this scar for others to see, I can prevent an abortion, perhaps that will help to balance the scales for when I face G-d’s justice and I finally meet those two children—who I hope will forgive me for my failure.
The author’s name has been withheld by request. The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reprinted with permission of the author from AmericanThinker.
March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A committee of jurists created by the Brazilian Senate has proposed a new national criminal code that would eliminate criminal penalties for abortion during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy if a psychologist certifies that the woman “does not have the psychological ability to bear the pregnancy.”
The legislation would also decriminalize the killing of unborn children suffering from deformities, and in cases of involuntary artificial insemination. It reduces criminal penalties for infanticide and for abortions in general, and lowers the age of sexual consent from 14 to 12.
If the bill is approved by the socialist-dominated National Congress, it will reduce criminal penalties for post-birth infanticide from 2 to 6 years to 1 to 4, and for penalized abortions from 1 to 3 years to 6 months to 2 years.
Brazilian law currently suspends penalties for abortion only in cases of rape, or danger to the life of the mother. The people of Brazil are among the most pro-life in the world, with around 70% rejecting its depenalization in recent polls, and about 80% rejecting the elimination of abortion as a crime.
Deputy Marco Feliciano, a pastor and member of the National Congress’ powerful Evangelical Caucus, immediately expressed his rejection of the proposal.
Feliciano tweeted that “we will struggle, we will obstruct, we will protest, and we will do what is necessary and possible” to prevent the bill’s passage.
“They use the flag of the rights of women to legitimize abortion. What about the right of the unborn child, who can’t defend himself? How is he at fault?” Feliciano was also quoted as saying.
“We are faced with a culture that seeks to legalize abortion at any cost,” said Doris Hipolito of the National Association of Women for Life.
“It’s easy to find (medical) professionals who recommend abortion using any justification,” said Hipolito, adding that “psychological evaluations are even more subjective.”
“We attend tens of pregnant women in vulnerable situations. I speak from experience: abortion never solves the problem; it only makes the drama even worse. I have seen young people who, upon receiving the necessary help, reconstruct their lives when they become mothers.”
Updatedat 17:37 on March 14 to add statement from Richard Viguerie.
LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA, March 14, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – With momentum from two hotly contested victories last night, Rick Santorum can credibly make the case the Republican primary is a two-man race. But his chief rival for conservative voters, Newt Gingrich, has not only denied he is leaving the race, but has proposed a tacit agreement for the two to work together to deny Mitt Romney the nomination.
In a dramatic turnaround, Rick Santorum won both the Alabama and Mississippi primaries on Tuesday. Newt Gingrich placed a close second in both states. However, although Santorum won the popular votes in these two states, Romney still came out ahead in terms of delegates won, winning both the Hawaiian and American Samoa caucuses, racking up 42 delegates to Santorum’s 38, according to the Associated Press.
Just two days before the election, polls showed Romney defeating Santorum by as much as 12 points in Mississippi.
As of this writing, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Santorum is in first in Mississippi with 33 percent of the vote to Gingrich’s 31 percent. Romney places third with 30 percent. Santorum also won Alabama, garnering 35 percent of the vote. Gingrich and Romney both earned 29 percent, although Gingrich led Romney by a few hundred votes.
“We did it again,” Santorum began his victory speech in Lafayette, Louisiana – another key Southern state, which holds its primary on March 24. “I don’t think there was a single poll that had me anywhere close to winning Mississippi. Not one.”
Exit polls showed Santorum won both the female and the Catholic vote in Mississippi. The 56 percent of Alabama Republicans who were most concerned about the economy split evenly among the three frontrunners in both states. Mitt Romney had won these demographics in most of the contests to date.
Drawing a contrast with Romney, who has presented himself as the inevitable nominee, Santorum said, “Everybody’s talking about all the [delegate] math, and that his race is inevitable. Well, for someone who thinks this race is inevitable, he’s spent a whole lot of money in this race against me for being inevitable.”
The Massachusetts governor’s supporters spent more than both his rivals combined. The Super PAC supporting Romney’s candidacy, Restore Our Future PAC spent roughly $2.3 million in the two states. Santorum’s Red, White, and Blue Fund and Gingrich’s Winning Our Future PAC each invested a little more than half-a-million dollars.
“The notion that Mitt Romney is inevitable just collapsed,” Newt Gingrich told supporters in Birmingham. “The fact is in both states, the conservative candidates just got 70 percent of the vote. If you’re the frontrunner and you keep coming in third, you’re not much of a frontrunner.”
Santorum won despite spending the least of the three major candidates. “This is a grassroots campaign for president,” Santorum said. “In spite of all the odds,” with “all the Establishment being on the other side of this race, you stood with a guy who is the grandson of a coal miner who comes from a steel town in western Pennsylvania.”
In a nod to voters whose top priority is the economy, Santorum focused his speech on “free people, free markets.”
The results seemed to buoy Gingrich’s optimism. Although he had said he needed to win the primaries, last night he said he was satisfied that his campaign had injected ideas into the race. His proposal for $2.50-a-gallon gasoline, which the president’s press secretary recently criticized, had been “changing the national dialogue all week,” he said.
The former House Speaker promised to fight on, because, “I believe we need a visionary leader who is prepared to talk about a dramatically better America, with dramatically more jobs, dramatically more energy, and a safer and stronger America.”
Neither Mitt Romney nor Ron Paul scheduled a media event last night. However, Romney did receive good news last night, winning caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa.
Congressman Paul finished in single digits, placing him a distant fourth.
The results bolster Santorum’s contention that he is the conservative challenger most likely to topple Romney.
Though he did not call on Gingrich to leave the race, he said the “time is now for conservatives to pull together. The time is now to make sure, to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election, and the best chance to win this election is to nominate a conservative to go up against Barack Obama, who can take him on on every issue.”
The candidate told Fox News that conservatives “have pretty much made a decision” on a candidate. “It’s very, very clear that outside of Speaker Gingrich’s backyard, if you will, we’re the candidate who’s taking it to Mitt Romney,” he said.
“Having run myself, I know how difficult it can be when you are in the arena and asked to step aside,” Bauer said last week. “But the overwhelming sentiment was that [Gingrich] could most help the conservative cause by standing with Santorum, so that voters have a clear choice in the remaining primaries.”
“One of three people in my opinion is going to be the next president of the United States: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Rick Santorum,” Richard Viguerie told LifeSiteNews.com.
Yet Gingrich remained defiant, vowing to take his message “all the way to Tampa,” the site of this year’s Republican National Convention.
As an alternate strategy, Gingrich has proposed he and Santorum continue to amass enough delegates to deny Romney the nomination, then allow party stalwarts to have a “60-day discussion” on who should be the nominee before the convention.
Veteran political activist Richard Viguerie of ConservativeHQ.com told LifeSiteNews.com last month a brokered convention may not nominate Romney, even if he has the most delegates.
“The candidate with the most delegates is not the one who wins,” Viguerie said. “The one who is the nominee is the one with the most votes in Tampa, Florida, next August – and there’s a big difference between those two.”
Earlier this week, Santorum told reporters he was confident he would win the GOP nomination if no one attained the 1,144 delegates necessary to secure the top slot outright.
Update: Richard Viguerie sent this announcement this afternoon about Gingrich’s candidacy:
“I’m not asking my old friend Newt Gingrich to quit the fight to elect a conservative President. I’m asking Newt and his supporters and campaign team to join Rick Santorum’s campaign for President to ensure that we win that fight.
“Over the long span of his career, no one—save Ronald Reagan—did more while in public office to advance the conservative cause than did Newt Gingrich.
“Far from asking Newt to withdraw from the fight to nominate a movement conservative for President, I am asking that he take a leading role—perhaps the pivotal role—in that battle, by throwing the weight of his formidable intellect and political skills behind Rick Santorum.
“As the results in primary after primary have shown, the united conservative vote far exceeds that of the establishment’s favored candidate, Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney.
“If Romney is the nominee, most conservatives believe he will do little more than slow our race toward fiscal and social bankruptcy.
“Yet, as long as conservatives are divided, there is a very real possibility that a moderate like Governor Romney, or someone else hand selected by party bosses at a deadlocked convention, may become the Republican nominee.
“Speaker Gingrich can change the calculus of the campaign and the direction of this country by joining Rick Santorum to build a conservative governing majority.
“If there is a conservative such as Rick Santorum in the White House, it would create a host of new possibilities for Speaker Gingrich to advance the conservative policies he has advocated so capably these many years of his public service. A Romney White House, on the other hand, would be indifferent, if not overtly hostile, to Newt Gingrich and his vision of conservative government.
“I well remember the evenings in the 1970s and 1980s when I used to strategize with Newt Gingrich how to elect a conservative Congress. Over our long friendship, whenever we were facing an uphill political battle, we remained confident in victory because we knew we had the power of conservative ideas on our side. Today, I urge my old friend Newt to unify the conservative movement, not by quitting the fight, but by joining Rick Santorum to win it.”