Friday, May 4, 2012

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Barcelona Catholic hospital officials offered me an abortion twice, says former patient

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Fri May 04 18:03 EST Comments (0)

BARCELONA, SPAIN, May 4, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - Although the Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona, Lluís Martínez Sistach, has long denied that abortions are taking place in the diocese’s Catholic hospitals, pro-life activists have never accepted his reassurances. Now, they have more reason than ever to doubt his word.

The Catholic news agency ACI Prensa is reporting that it interviewed a young woman, whose name has not been disclosed, who went recently to Barcelona’s Sant Pau hospital to receive a treatment involving an anti-inflammatory drug. Instead, she was repeatedly told that the medication was incompatible with a pregnancy and that she would have to have an abortion if she became pregnant.

After nursing staff made such statements to her twice, she says, she asked to consult a doctor. He told her that if she were to become pregnant, she would need an amniocentesis to check for birth defects, and then abort her child if the results were positive.

Asked if the Sant Pau hospital itself could do the abortion, the doctor reportedly replied “it would be necessary to look at it, but it could be here.”

The report appears to confirm what Barcelona priest and pro-life activist Fr. Custodio Ballester told LifeSiteNews.com in an exclusive interview last October: that a priest on the board of directors of the hospital, Fr. Josep Forcada, had confirmed to him that eugenic abortions had been done at the hospital for years, and the institution would continue to perform abortions in cases of “danger to the health of the mother.”

The “mother’s health” criterion is used worldwide to justify abortions for virtually any reason, including “psychological health” or the presence of fetal deformities.

LifeSiteNews has also reported that the hospital’s chief gynecologist functions as an “expert” on a website run by pharmaceutical company Janssen-Cilag for the purpose of convincing women to use the abortifiacient contraceptives it manufactures.

The abortions and distribution of abortion-inducing drugs at the Sant Pau Hospital and other Barcelona-area Catholic hospitals came to light in 2010, when the Spanish newspaper ABC reported (www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-hospitals-in-spain-accused-of-providing-abortions) that such abortions had been recorded in official documents published by the government of Catalonia. The abortions were confirmed, according to ABC, in interviews with hospital officials.

Although Barcelona’s Cardinal Archbishop Lluis Martinez Sistach initially stonewalled and then denied such reports, archdiocesan sources eventually stated that the Sant Pau hospital had been ordered not to perform abortions.

Pro-life activists, however, have not accepted the claim, and have continued their protests at the Sant Pau hospital on the 25th of each month.

The Catholic Church condemns abortion as murder, as well as “formal cooperation” in the killing of the unborn.

Contact information:

Archdiocese of Barcelona
Sergi Gordo Rodríguez (General Secretary and Chancellor)
Calle del Obispo 5
Barcelona, Spain 08002
Tel: (34) 93.270.10.10
Fax: (34)93.270.13.03

Click here for email.
(Enter name in the first field, email address in the second, subject in the third, and text in the fourth.  Click “Enviar” to send.)

Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
00193 Roma,
Piazza Pio XII, 10
Phone: 06.69.88.42.17
Fax: 06.69.88.53.03

William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy
phone: 011.3906.69.88.33.57
phone: 011.3906.69.88.34.13
Fax: 06.69.88.34.09
E-mail: cdf@cfaith.va
(FAX and email are most effective)

Tags: barcelona, cardinal lluís martínez sistach, sant pau hospital, spain

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Kansas passes robust conscience law; Ohio kills Personhood bill; Texas must fund Planned Parenthood

by Ben Johnson Fri May 04 17:30 EST Comments (0)

May 4, 2012, LifeSiteNews.com) –  The pro-life movement continues to move forward in state legislatures across the country – with occasional set-backs from its friends, as well as its enemies.

Kansas
Kansas is one step closer to affording its pro-life physicians and pharmacists greater conscience rights. On Wednesday, the state senate passed a robust pro-life bill, which includes the right for pharmacists to refuse to distribute abortifacient drugs, by a 23-16 vote. The measure would make it easier to sue abortionists for malpractice, as well. The Huffington Post noted, “A wrongful death suit could be filed in the event of a woman’s death.”

The 69-page bill also eliminates tax breaks for abortionists, forbids people from taking a tax deducation for having an abortion, and bans sex-selective abortions.

Click ‘like’ if you are PRO-LIFE!

Governor Sam Brownback is expected to sign the law. It will take effect on July 1. The state’s flurry of pro-life legislation has reduced the number of abortions performed in Kansas by one-third.

Ohio
Republican leaders in Ohio have shelved the Personhood bill. State Senate President Tom Niehaus said the bill may be unconstitutional. He accused the measure’s supporters of making “exaggerated and inflammatory statements” in their attempts to get their bill a hearing. “Their claim that we ‘lose more than a school bus full of children every day’ due to a lack of Senate action on the bill is simply false, and I will not continue to allow this organization to question the commitment of my colleagues to ending the scourge of abortion. Ohio Senate Republicans have done more in the past 16 months to advance the protection of unborn children than any previous General Assembly in state’s history,” Niehaus wrote.

The bill’s strongest state supporter, Faith2Action based in North Royalton, rejects the allegations. Its president, Janet Porter, responded, “Using a very conservative estimate, based on the annual number of Ohio abortions, the Heartbeat Bill would, indeed, save 26,000 babies each year—more than 70 each day—which is more than can fit into any school bus.”

“While it is true that the Senate has passed several regulatory bills, every Senator who ran on a pro-life platform promised to vote to end abortions, not merely regulate them,” she added.

Right to Life founder Dr. Jack Wilke has publicly supported the Personhood bill.

Texas
The state of Texas’ on-again/off-again funding of Planned Parenthood is on again, at least for now. On Friday, a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state must continue payments to the nation’s largest abortion provider until its case is settled. That overturns a decision made Tuesday by one of its own members, Judge Jerry Smith, that Texas could withhold taxpayer dollars during the trial. Judge Smith’s ruling, in turn, overturned a ruling from U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel forcing Texas to fund Planned Parenthood through its Women’s Health Program during litigation. 

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

Iowa

Senate Democrats are trying to restore state funding for Planned Parenthood and taxpayer-funded abortion in Iowa. The House passed a bill reducing revenues for Planned Parenthood and limiting Medicaid coverage of abortions to cases when the mother’s life is at risk. Currently, the state also pays for the procedure if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. Senate Democrats want to restore that money. 

 

 

Tags: iowa, kansas, ohio, texas

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Canadian March for Life launches updated t-shirts: ‘I vote pro-life’

by Thaddeus Baklinski Fri May 04 16:04 EST Comments (6)

 

OTTAWA, May 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - With the National March for Life in Ottawa less than a week away, the youth arm of Campaign Life Coalition, CLC Youth, is again offering their popular pro-life t-shirts, but with a new twist this year.

The front of the shirt typically states “I am/I love pro-life.” But this year, in order to give politicians a message that youth will no longer abide lukewarm or hostile sentiments towards life issues from their parliamentarians, “I vote pro-life” has been added to the other messages.

“This year we wanted to include the ‘I vote’ part because this is an important element of being pro-life,” Alissa Golob, coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition’s youth division, told LifeSiteNews. “CLC Youth really wanted to convey this message to young people who are just beginning to be able to take advantage of their civic duty.”

“CLC Youth thought of the design because we wanted to make statement shirts that people could wear to demonstrate their pro-life views,” Alissa explained, but added that, with the subject of abortion having been brought up in the House of Commons through MP Stephen Woodworth’s historic motion, the time is right to let youth express a political statement as well as show they are pro-life. Woodworth’s motion calls for Parliament to establish a special committee to consider when human life begins.

“At a time when the abortion debate is being brought up in the House of Commons, CLC Youth wanted to convey the message to all parliamentarians that there are tens of thousands of people who will stand up and only vote for pro-life politicians,” Alissa said.

The t-shirts are $20 each and will be sold on Parliament Hill before the March, and at the youth conference/youth banquet to be held at the Hampton Inn: but organizers urge participants to get them early as they sell out very quickly.

“The t-shirts sold out in a matter of hours last year, and I expect even greater success this year,” Alissa said.

The 2012 National March For Life will take place on Thursday, May 10 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. This year’s theme is “Abortion Hurts Everyone.”

For more information visit the National March for Life website.

Tags: abortion, march for life

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Dreams live on: A couple’s dreams for adoption carry on after husband’s death

by Christina Martin Fri May 04 15:19 EST Comments (11)

 

May 4, 2012 (LiveActionNews.com) - Renee Loux is a dreamer. Since the age of 7, Renee has had a desire in her heart to care for orphans. She shared those desires with her husband, Derek Loux. Derek was a gifted musician whose passion for adoption began as a young boy. Together, the Louxs set out to make their dreams come true.

Renee’s parents brought her to the Marshall Islands when she was nine months old. A daughter of missionaries, she spent the first ten years of her life stationed there. In that environment, her young heart became burdened for children. Years later, while teaching in the U.S., she revisited the Marshall Islands for a short mission trip that changed her life forever. During the trip she met Derek for the first time. He fell head-over-heels for Renee and asked her to marry him after only 8 days together. In 1992 the couple wed, and their adventure began.

Renee gave birth to her first child two years later. Josiah was a beautiful boy born with a severe case of spina bifida. Renee and Derek had two and a half years with him before he passed away. Enduring the pain together, they found strength and comfort in God’s love. In 1997 they had a girl named Sophia, and three years later another daughter named Michaela.

For most Americans, two children make for the average size of a family. Yet the Louxs never wanted to be average. They longed to obey the biblical command found in the book of James (chapter 1, verse 27): “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Seeking to live out that verse, they adopted twin girls Teyolla and Keyolla from the Marshall Islands in 2002. Less than a year later they took in Telma, another girl from the Islands. Born with severe scoliosis, Telma was abandoned by her father and neglected by her mother. She ended up alone, fighting to survive on the streets. Renee promised to get her the help she needed. She kept that promise by welcoming Telma into the family.

In December of 2008, Derek and Renee traveled to the Ukraine to adopt three boys with special needs: Sasha, an energetic child with spina bifida, and Ethan and Silas, who both suffered from Down syndrome. The journey had its difficulties. Derek’s journal entry displays his precious humanity: “I was thinking, this is exhausting, expensive, uncomfortable and it doesn’t feel very rewarding right now.” What am I doing in some little Soviet car in the dark, in the middle of rural Ukraine in frozen December, as the driver dodges cats and potholes?

In that moment, Derek heard God speaking to his heart: “Derek, do you know how far I travelled to get you and bring you back? I had to be separated from my Son, in order to get you, just like you are separated from your children in order to get these boys. Do you know how expensive it was for Me to purchase you? It cost me everything. Do you know how broken, sick, damaged, twisted, dirty, smelly, and hopeless you were? And at the end of it all, you had nothing to give me or add to me. I did it for you. I emptied myself and became nothing so that you could have it all. This is redemption.

That experience marked his heart with a powerful revelation that adoption is a form of redemption. Derek believed that God was removing a selfish human love and replacing it with an “agape” love that cares for others even when love isn’t reciprocated. The Louxs wanted to make sacrifices for love. They successfully brought home the boys, who were sick and worn down from their stay in the orphanage. In a short time and with much medical care and attention, they were noticeably healthier and happy. The story of their adoption was later told in a beautiful children’s book called Redemption. In addition to their boys, the Rouxs continued on by adding two more girls, Leeann and Sana from the Marshall Islands.

Derek once said, “I wanted something to live and die for, to breathe and bleed for. I’m not interested in trying to figure out ways to make my life safe and preserve my comfort. That’s one of the reasons why we adopt in a radical way. On purpose, I set myself up to where I’ve got so much pressure I gotta run after Jesus…”

In the midst of their journey Derek, at 37, lost his life in a tragic car accident, just days before Christmas 2009. He was traveling back from a conference focused on rescuing girls from sex slavery. His death was a great loss to both those who knew him personally and those who connected with him through his beloved music and teachings. He left behind his beautiful wife and ten children. The family bravely forged ahead through deep pain and sorrow.

After Derek’s death, Renee courageously continued to bring home children. Though some would think it crazy to do so after such a loss, Renee knew that she was being led to continue adopting. She welcomed Judah, the family’s first boy from the Marshall Islands. She also began caring for Joanna, a girl from the Islands who is completely blind and non-verbal. Though Joanna came into their family as a 13-year-old, she had the body size of a 5-year-old. Renee received no financial aid for Joanna’s medical and dental needs, instead depending on the generosity of donors to cover the expenses. Joanna is continuing to grow and respond in new ways. She loves to joyfully sing her own little songs, and she is a delight to her family.

Derek’s and Renee’s life together has inspired many people to adopt and care for children. Renee is the founder of the Orphan Justice Center, an organization whose mission is to help rescue, adopt, and restore orphans across the globe. They do a number of things, from bringing resources to pre-adoptive, adoptive, and foster care families to working with children in their community who are recently adopted or are in foster care. Renee travels and shares hopeful truths about adoption. She is a strong voice for justice as well as a loving mother. She recently had the great pleasure of seeing her oldest adopted twins girls marry a set of twin boys. It was a proud moment for her, though she earnestly wished Derek could have been there to share it.

Though it’s difficult raising her children without a father, Renee carries on with grace and strength. As she remarked in her family’s blog, “I will never understand this side of heaven, why Derek had to die, but, I know my God is sovereign and I can trust him. Even without an answer to the ‘why’, I can see the fruit of his beautiful life. I see it in the eyes of our amazing children. I hear it in the voices of those who share with me how their own lives were impacted by Derek’s passion and vision for loving, caring for, and restoring orphans. I see it as I remember what was once just a dream in our hearts, taking root and becoming reality as we rescued 10 children, teaching them along with our biological children, to be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ Jesus, which would help restore them all.”

This life will end for all of us. The dreams that we fight for now can impact generations to come. A life devoted to caring for weak, vulnerable, and voiceless children is a life well spent. May we all learn from Derek’s and Renee’s example and open our hearts to the children of the world.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.com

Tags: adoption

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Young woman who helped Chen Guangcheng escape released

by Kathleen Gilbert Fri May 04 15:03 EST Comments (2)

 
He Peirong

Click “like” to join a Facebook page in support of Chen!

BEIJING, May 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - After being seized by police within hours after Chen Guangcheng’s daring escape into the U.S. Embassy late last month, He Peirong, the young woman who spearheaded his bid for freedom, has been released from detention by Chinese officials.

Peirong, known by many Chinese “netizens” as Pearl, was interviewed by the BBC following her detention, which took place after several high-profile international advocates consistently urged that she, as well as Chen, be treated humanely by the Chinese government. In recent days crowds of Chen demonstrators have been pictured holding up photographs of Peirong alongside that of the blind activist.

Peirong become known worldwide as the rescuer of blind activist Chen Guangcheng, having driven the car that brought him from Dongshigu village to Beijing.

In a Friday interview, Peirong said she had been kidnapped by Chinese authorities and held in a hotel for a week; while she was watched constantly, she also says she was treated humanely. Peirong said she was pressured to give information, but refused.

The high-profile push by human rights activists in her favor may have been a saving grace for Peirong, who has suffered beatings and imprisonment by Communist officials for previous dissident activity.

“I was very concerned [about my safety], but once the thing went public, I was no longer worried,” said He. 

“I am relieved and delighted that Pearl has been released – the day after the Congressional hearing at which her case was so strongly raised,” Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, said in a press release Friday.

“Some say that quiet, back door diplomacy is the way to deal with the detention of Chinese human rights defenders.  But human rights activists have found that high profile, public pressure is far more effective.”

Peirong compared Chen’s escape to the film The Shawshank Redemption, in which protagonist Andy Dufresne makes a dramatic escape from a high-security prison.

“Some birds cannot be caged,” she said.

Tags: chen guangcheng, china, he peirong, one-child policy

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Chen may be allowed to fly to America: U.S. officials

by Kathleen Gilbert Fri May 04 12:55 EST Comments (17)

 
Chen Guangcheng

Update: 05/04/12 at 3:46 pm

Click “like” to join a Facebook page in support of Chen!

BEIJING, May 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A deal may soon be brokered to allow Chen Guangcheng and his family to leave China to take up a fellowship at an America university, according to U.S. State Department officials.

The agreement was disclosed Friday morning, after the fellowship was offered and Beijing said they would accept Chen’s application to study at a university abroad.

Chen’s wife, who reports having been tied to a chair, beaten, and threatened with death by Chinese officials following her husband’s escape, and Chen’s children would also be allowed to leave the Communist country with him.

Beijing had previously indicated that the blind human rights activist would be free to attend a university and act as a free citizen, but those affirmations seemed less than firm: officials were meanwhile keeping Chen under police lockdown at a local hospital, at one point disallowing visits from U.S. officials.

Human rights advocates and U.S. politicians, including U.S. congressmen and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, had been placing increasing pressure on the Obama administration to ensure Chen’s safety after the whistleblower left the embassy where he had taken refuge after 19 months of brutal, extra-judicial house imprisonment at the hands of the Chinese government.

Chen has said that he was influenced to leave the U.S. embassy by news, conveyed at China’s request by an American official, that if he did not leave his wife would be sent back to their village where Chinese officials had already overrun their home, and where she would likely suffer severe maltreatment.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that embassy staff met Friday morning with Chen, who expressed his wish to flee to America “so he could pursue his studies,” and also affirmed that China, which she called a “great nation,” had expressed opennness to letting Chen study abroad.

“This is not just about well-known activists. It’s about the human rights and aspirations of more than a billion people here in China and billions more about the world, and the future of this great nation and all nations,” said Clinton.

Yet signs that the Chinese government is angered by the turnout have also emerged: Beijing Daily, a top government-controlled newspaper, called Chen “a tool and a pawn for American politicians to blacken China.”

Click “like” to join a Facebook page in support of Chen!

Tags: chen guangcheng, china watch

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Ontario gay ‘rights’ bill heads to committee after 66-33 vote

by Patrick B. Craine Fri May 04 11:37 EST Comments (16)

 
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty

TORONTO, ONTARIO, May 4, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – After Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government moved to fast track its controversial homosexual “rights” bill this week, it easily passed a vote at second reading Thursday. It now heads to committee.

The “anti-bullying” bill, known as Bill 13 or the Accepting Schools Act, would force high schools to allow homosexual clubs and seeks to institute tougher penalties for “bullies,” including expulsion.

Legislators passed the measure by a vote of 66-33 on Thursday morning along party lines, with members of the Liberal and New Democratic parties supporting it and the Progressive Conservatives opposing it.

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

As a result of a deal between the Liberals and the Tories, both Bill 13 and Bill 14, the Tories’ anti-bully legislation, will now go to the Standing Committee on Social Policy to be combined.

Lisa MacLeod, the Tories’ education critic, says her party opposed the bill because they believe their version is better. The party has been filibustering the bill in protest over the government’s failure to investigate the scandal over Ornge, the province’s beleaguered air ambulance service.

On Wednesday, angered over the Tories’ actions, Liberal House Leader John Milloy invoked a time allocation order to push the bill into committee after only 40 minutes debate from each party.

As a result, the bill could face a final vote by the end of May. The Liberals hope to have it place in time for the new school year in September.

The bill has sparked a huge backlash by parents and religious leaders over concerns that it threatens parental rights and religious freedom, with thousands turning up for protests in recent months.

It was announced in the fall after the high profile suicide of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, an Ottawa native who self-identified as homosexual.

Toronto Sun columnist Christina Blizzard wrote in December that Bill 13 “sounds more like a political statement about gay rights than a piece of legislation.” For instance, she quoted the bill’s intention to make “schools and communities more equitable and inclusive for all people, including LGBTTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, intersexed, and questioning) people.”

Contact Information:

Premier Dalton McGuinty
dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
416-325-1941

Contact info for individual Members of Provincial Parliament.

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Hearing today over TV sports anchor who was fired after backing true marriage

by Thaddeus Baklinski Fri May 04 10:51 EST Comments (8)

 
Former Rogers Sportsnet anchor Damian Goddard

TORONTO, May 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The mediation hearing of former TV sports anchor Damian Goddard, who was fired by Rogers Sportsnet last May after tweeting his support for true marriage, and who subsequently launched a human rights complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, is taking place today at the CHRC office in Toronto.

“I just got off the phone with my lawyer. We’ll meet at his offices in downtown Toronto, and then make our way down the road to sit at a table across from the very people who fired me almost a year ago. I feel good. I feel very good,” Mr. Goddard posted on Facebook in anticipation of the meeting.

“Almost a year has passed since I was terminated after tweeting in defence of traditional and TRUE marriage,” Goddard remarked. “The Canadian Human Rights Commission will attempt to mediate a settlement between myself and Rogers Communications Inc. It looks and feels every bit like a David vs. Goliath scenario. If mediation isn’t achieved, then my case will go to a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. If that fails, it will go to a Public Hearing.”

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

The former host of Connected had tweeted his support of Burlington hockey agent Todd Reynolds, who created a stir when he criticized New York Rangers hockey star Sean Avery for shooting a TV ad backing gay “marriage.”

“I completely and wholeheartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage,” Goddard tweeted on May 10, 2011. He also voiced support for U.S. Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar, who resigned as chef de mission for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team after homosexual activists created a controversy over his support for true marriage.

Sportsnet immediately distanced themselves from Goddard’s comments on their own Twitter account, and then announced that Goddard had been fired without specifying the reasons.

“Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization,” said Sportsnet spokesman Dave Rashford in a statement issued right after Goddard was sacked.

“While Rogers has argued that I was not the right fit for the organization, the truth of the matter is that just a week before my dismissal I was given a ringing endorsement for the job I had done up to that point,” Goddard told LifeSiteNews last June.

“My message to the millions of Canadians participating in social media is that ‘this can happen to you’,” Goddard said in an official statement following his dismissal.  “I was terminated 24 hours after expressing a widely-held opinion from my personal Twitter account - an opinion consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. And an opinion that is supposed to be protected by Canada’s constitution.”

Goddard launched the human rights complaint against Rogers in June 2011, contending that the case affects all Canadians with deeply-held religious views.

“We are in very curious times, friends,” Mr. Goddard observed to his supporters on Facebook. “Strange days, indeed.”

“In the US, the HHS mandate is a hot-button topic. In Ontario, Bill 13 detractors continue to make their voice heard. I have my own little battle. Mere optics on these issues dictate that the Catholic Church is in the cross-hairs. Lord, give me strength… give us all strength in our continuing battle for Truth,” Mr. Goddard concluded.

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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Australian father of 7 sent to jail for pro-life activism

by Jason Rushton, Australia correspondent Fri May 04 10:49 EST Comments (20)

 

LifeSiteNews filmed this special interview with Graham Preston just before his arrest on Wednesday which was also recorded. Jason Rushton follows with a report on developments following the arrest.

SYDNEY, Australia. May 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Graham Preston, the 56-year-old Australian man who LifeSiteNews.com earlier this week reported would spend eight months in jail for his pro-life activism, was moved yesterday from the Brisbane Police Watch House to the Brisbane Correctional Centre.

His wife Liz, who spoke to him on the telephone Thursday afternoon Australian time, said Graham is in good spirits. He spent his first night at the watch-house in the same cell as a prominent public-servant from Vanuatu who was impressed by Graham’s courage. She said the police who took him from his home on Wednesday morning were very polite.

His family will be able to visit once a week until his release in December. He can make 10-minute phone calls at any time, although he must queue up to be able to use the phone.

Earlier this week ninemsn incorrectly reported that this is the first time Graham has served time in jail for a conviction.

This is the second time Graham has served time in jail for a conviction. On four other occasions he has spent up to eleven weeks in jail on remand after refusing to agree to bail conditions - meaning that this will be Mr. Preston’s sixth term in jail.

The practice manager at one of the abortion clinics where Graham has protested - Vicky Brumley from the Greenslopes Day Surgery - said to ninemsn: “He stands there and intimidates girls and women as they try to walk in. He shows them photos of full-term babies, which is not what we do.”

In fact, Graham has only ever shown pictures of ten-to-twelve-week-old in-utero babies. Greenslopes Day Surgery aborts babies up to 16-weeks.

Fellow protestor Anne Rampa, who was arrested for trespass outside the Greenslopes clinic after a non-violent sit-in with Graham last February, said Graham is not intimidating at all. She said he never stood over anybody, (he was always sitting on the ground), never raised his voice, and always had his hands full with pictures and pro-life messages.

“The public are told what to think about us doing something like this… People are told ‘Oh, women are traumatised, you are traumatising them even more.’ But if they go into that clinic, what happens to them is - you can’t believe it because it seems so incredible… That is deeply traumatic… We want to help them to never have to look at that, to never have to live with that burden for the rest of their lives.”

Dawn Wallace, the manager of the East Coast Women’s Centre told the Sunshine Coast Daily that eight months was a “long sentence”, but that she hoped it would serve as warning to protesters.

“I wish these people would mind their own bloody business. I’m hoping now he has been given eight months jail it will say to other people this behaviour is not good enough.”

Graham’s wife Liz said that one thing people could do to help Graham is to read some of the articles on his website.

Tags: abortion, australia, graham preston

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Pro-abortion and pro-homosexual youth lobby at UN sent home empty-handed

by Patrick B. Craine Fri May 04 09:08 EST Comments (3)

 
The United Nations headquarters in New York.

NEW YORK, May 4, 2012 (C-FAM.org) - Youth activists arrived at the UN in droves last week in an attempt to hijack the 45th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) by promoting homosexual rights and abortion. However, countries rejected their demands and produced a fairly balanced outcome document that focuses on more pressing youth concerns like education, employment, health and development.

Sponsored by organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Youth Coalition, and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), youth activists flooded the conference floor and were strategically placed on country delegations with the hope of shifting the conference’s focus to sexual and reproductive health of youth and adolescents.

Throughout the week, they lobbied country delegates to place controversial language in the outcome document that would undermine the right and responsibility of parents in the sexual education of their children and include sexual and reproductive health “rights” as well as comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).

Though comprehensive sexual education was eventually included in the document, countries refused to mention it without reference to “the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents” to provide “appropriate direction and guidance on sexual and reproductive matters.”  Similarly, any reference to sexual and reproductive rights in the document was explicitly understood by countries not to include abortion as a method of family planning.

Even more disappointing for radical activist groups was the exclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity language used by the homosexual lobby to promote homosexual rights at the UN. The Arab group and a majority of the African countries along with the help of the Holy See, the Russian Federation, and Pakistan threw out the only reference to sexual orientation in the final draft of the document on the last day of the conference.

While the exclusion of “sexual orientation” appears to be a victory, the UN dialect is so misleading that the single mention that does exist in the document of the right to “decide freely and responsibly on matters related to…sexuality” greatly worried delegations like Uganda, who believed it was an attempt by countries supportive of homosexual rights to sneak in new language.

In addition, even though the conference theme was “Adolescents and Youth,” countries could not agree upon the definition of either term. Initially, they were defined as falling within the ages of 10 and 24 but given that the document mentions sexual and reproductive rights, countries were unwilling to afford these rights to 10 year olds and the definition proved too controversial to include.

Despite the hard fought battle of many delegations to move beyond reproductive rights and, instead, secure strong references to education, employment and the Millennium Development Goals in the document, the serious misgivings among countries related to the reproductive rights and sexuality of youth made it nearly impossible to reach consensus. As a result the chairman of the Population Commission took it upon himself to put together the final outcome document, or chairman’s text, which even he admitted, “was not completely satisfactory to all.”

Reprinted with permission from C-FAM.org.

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42 and pregnant: how a sonogram image changed an older mother’s decision to abort

by Christine Dhanagom Fri May 04 08:53 EST Comments (27)

 

May 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a profound testimony to the power of ultrasound images, a parenting.com contributor tells the story of how she came to terms with an unexpected first pregnancy at the age of 42, after wrestling with the temptation to have an abortion.

The writer, who identifies herself as “Nancy,” has two daughters that she and her husband adopted from China after years of unsuccessful fertility treatments had left them still childless in their late thirties. “Neither of us felt strongly about seeing our genes played out in a child,” she wrote, adding that she had “never been a baby person…Somehow adoption just suited us, and I’ve always been proud of our mixed-race family.”

When she found herself expecting a few years after adopting their second child, Nancy was unable to share the instinctive joy of her gynecologist, who exclaimed that her pregnancy was a miracle and proposed champagne. At the time, she says, she felt unequipped to care for a third child, one who would be her first newborn, since both girls had been older babies at the time of the adoption.

“Our 2-year-old, Bea, still wakes up several times a night,” she writes. “Whenever I drag myself out of bed to comfort her, I can’t help but think how much harder a newborn would be. How will this aging body care for a baby?”

Her husband, John, shared her inner turmoil over the pregnancy. Both of them felt that their family was complete and that a biological child would now seem “an intrusion, a strange add-on” to their multicultural family.

Despite her conviction that abortion felt like “the right thing to do,” she says she noticed “hesitation” and “strain” in the faces of her post-abortive friends when she reached out for support.

Ultimately, though, it was the “termination consultation” at the abortion clinic that was the turning point for her.

“Two minutes into the conversation, I know I don’t have the heart to go through with an abortion,” Nancy writes. “Maybe I never did. I look at the sonogram screen and am shocked to see the baby has arms and a head. Four weeks ago, in my doctor’s office, it looked like a grain of rice. I walk out into the sunshine and realize I’m having another child.”

Two weeks later, she says, she was packing up old clothes to give away to charity, when her daughter Roma protested that they needed to save some of the items for the baby. They had not yet told the little girl about the pregnancy.

“Everything is going to be okay. More than okay,” she concludes. “Blessed? I think so.”

While similar stories are repeated thousands of times a year in Crisis Pregnancy Centers across the country, not all women are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to view an ultrasound once they have entered the doors of an abortion clinic. At least 24 states have some form of legislation regulating the use of ultrasounds during abortion procedures, but requirements vary widely.

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A recently enacted Virginia law requires abortion-minded women to undergo an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to an abortion, and be given the opportunity to view the ultrasound image. In Arkansas, however, physicians are only required to inform a woman of her right to view the ultrasound image if they are planning to use the technology while performing the abortion.

Opponents of such legislation argue that women who have come to an abortion clinic have already made up their minds and do not need further information.

However, according to Americans United for Life (AUL), a pro-life organization that has been at the forefront of supporting ultrasound legislation, Nancy’s account is one of many compelling anecdotes that reveals the powerful impact ultrasounds can have on a woman’s decision, even when administered at an abortion clinic.

“Mothers know the power of an ultrasound,” AUL spokesperson Kristi Hamrick told LifeSiteNews.com. “Women, when they see their unborn child, can feel a great love for them and connection with them, and that does influence their decision making.”

She added that the organization supports ultrasound legislation not just because it changes women’s minds about abortion but because it protects women’s health by diagnosing potentially serious medical conditions, such as ectopic pregnancies.

Tags: culture of life, sonogram, ultrasound

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Famed photographer Michael Clancy, the earliest human encounter, and the cover-up

by Patrick B. Craine Fri May 04 06:23 EST Comments (80)

 

“I didn’t really want kids,” says Michael Clancy. A terrible, abusive childhood left him with no desire to have children of his own. And when it came to the subject of aborting children in the womb, he sat on the sidelines, believing that it was a woman’s issue. “I thought that as a man, it wasn’t my fight!” he said. That was until he witnessed the extraordinary event that happened 12 years ago: the event that changed his life forever.

Last week, Clancy was the keynote speaker at the Knights of Columbus Michigan Council and Michigan Right to Life’s 34th Respect Life Dinner in Livonia, Michigan. He shared his amazing story and the controversy surrounding him since the day he found himself in just the right place at precisely the right time to take extraordinary photos – photos that the Tennessee native declares are the earliest recorded human interactions. The images are so powerful that a battle has raged for over 12 years about their validity. Clancy travels the world to tell the truth about what happened and why we should believe him.

Michael Clancy is the photojournalist who was hired by USA Today to record the fetal surgery of 21-week-old Samuel Armas. According to Clancy, during the surgery to correct for spina bifida, he saw that the mother’s uterus began to shake from within, and as he watched, the tiny fist “came through the opening with a fury” to reveal the whole arm. The doctor lifted the tiny hand, and Samuel then “reacted by squeezing the doctor’s gloved finger.” As if to test for strength, the doctor, Joseph P. Bruner, shook the fist, but “Samuel held firm,” according to Clancy.

The veteran photojournalist was able to take several pictures in progression at 1/60 of a second. Not even sure if the pictures were in focus, Clancy submitted the roll of unprocessed film to USA Today per their policy to avoid manipulation.

But immediately after the surgery, Clancy was shocked when the doctor asserted to others that the event was staged and that he had purposely pulled the baby’s hand out of the womb to provide a photo op. “Untrue!” says Clancy as he suddenly found himself in the center of a very difficult situation.

“I knew this was important! You can look back and see the earliest human interaction! This was history…I knew as a journalist that history is important whether we like it or not!”

It came down to Clancy’s word against the doctor, who, suggests Clancy, needed to protect his reputation from the evidence that Samuel had come out from under the anesthesia too early – an occurrence, Clancy says, that “happens[,] and we all know it. It [anesthesia] was experimental for mother and baby at the time.”

It would be reasonable to think that the man who snapped such an amazing photo would receive a Pulitzer Prize. But the controversy served to end Clancy’s journalistic reputation and the twelve-year career he loved.

Ever since, he has been speaking to people about the event and the historic and political impact on the journalistic community at the time.

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The photograph, meanwhile, has made a significant and untold impression on the whole world, and the dramatic moment has been recreated on major television shows: “Scrubs,” “House,” and “The Good Wife.”

You know, you want a ticker tape parade, you want a Pulitzer Prize but I have learned that sometimes it’s the journey…sometimes it’s the one heart a day that we need to win this battle.

When asked what caused him to change from being uninvolved in the pro-life movement to becoming someone who fights for the unborn, Clancy says, “I didn’t want to be in this position. It’s tough to be in the middle of this. It was Samuel who did it… I have a lot of questions – did he feel the cold air or see light? In my opinion, he came out of the anesthesia and he did feel pain for whatever duration that was… [I wonder,] what motor senses did that baby use for his fist to come flying up?” But what did Dr. Bruner and medical science learn that day? Says Clancy, “Not to let a photographer in [to the operating room]!”

What Clancy saw in that operating room was all the proof he needed to change his life. “Samuel proved to us that the child is a reactive human being – it’s as simple as that and it is important to fight for!”

“I want to prove that this picture is real because it is history. Someday, it is going to happen again, and people will look back and say that I was telling the truth the whole time!”

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org.

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Romney: Ignoring Chinese dissident’s plight is ‘a day of shame for the Obama administration’

by Ben Johnson Fri May 04 05:35 EST Comments (5)

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 4, 2012, LifeSiteNews.com) – As the world watches the unfolding saga of Chinese human rights advocate Chen Guangchen’s daring escape and murky return to Chinese rule, a host of government officials – from U.S. Congressmen to Mitt Romney – have implored the Obama administration to safeguard Chen and his family.

Chen said State Department officials pressured him to leave the embassy and enter a Chinese hospital to have his broken foot treated. Officials admitted they conveyed a message to Chen that Chinese officials had tied his wife to a chair and threatened to beat her to death. Unless he returned, they threatened, his family would be returned to the site of ongoing abuse in Shandong province.

At an event in Virginia on Thursday, where he was endorsed by former rival Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney said “our administration, wittingly or unwittingly, communicated to Chen an implicit threat, to his family, and also probably sped up…his decision to leave the embassy.”

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The executive director of Human Rights Watch analyzed that the “U.S. says it didn’t convey threats to harm Chen’s family but did say they’d be returned to site of abuse. Same thing.”

A Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, led by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), called the administration’s behavior “shameful.”

Romney said the State Department wanted Chen’s story out of the way, “because they wanted to move on to a series of discussions that [Treasury Secretary Timothy] Geithner and our secretary of State are planning on having with China.”

“It’s also apparent, according to these reports if they’re accurate, that our embassy failed to put in place the kind of verifiable measures that would assure the safety of Mr. Chen and his family,” he said, a claim echoed by Chen himself.

“If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration. We are a place of freedom, here and around the world, and we should stand up and defend freedom wherever it is under attack.”

Chen told CNN on Thursday U.S. officials were not taking his calls, nor had they accompanied him from the embassy to the hospital, as they promised. “The embassy kept lobbying me to leave and promised to have people stay with me in the hospital,” he said. “As soon as I checked into the hospital room, I noticed they were all gone.”

Officials countered by releasing a photo that purports to show the dissident “joyfully” leaving that sanctuary. U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke insisted, “We have been so supportive of him and his family for years. That’s why we took such extraordinary – almost ‘Mission Impossible’ – steps to bring him into the embassy, at great risk to our own personnel.”

Now in a Chinese hospital, Chen says, “I left the U.S. Embassy on my own free will.” Chen told The Washington Post, “I wasn’t tricked into leaving,”  a claim that runs counter to many of his public statements just one day earlier. “If I didn’t want to leave, I could have stayed, and no one would have forced me to leave.”

He has said the Chinese have prevented U.S. personnel from visiting during his stay.  The Miami Herald reported the entrance to Chen’s room at Chaoyang Hospital is guarded by “at least 10 plainclothes security guards.”

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An unnamed U.S. official told the media, “we do not yet have a full view of what he wants to do at this stage.” The State Department would support him in any of his decisions, the official stated.

Chen said on Thursday just because he left the U.S. Embassy “doesn’t mean I won’t come back. As a free person, I believe I am endowed with the right to leave China when I want to and come back anytime I want.”

An aide to Mitt Romney said the State Department “must redouble efforts to protect him.”

Tags: chen guangcheng, china, gary locke, mitt romney

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