Susan Michelle Tyrrell

Abortion fund brags about covering rape, funding abortions for minors

Susan Michelle Tyrrell
By Susan Michelle Tyrrell
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January 3, 2011 (Bound4Life.com) - When is covering up incest and rape acceptable? If you’re the DC Abortion Fund (DCAF), the answer seems to be when someone needs money for an abortion and you can cover it up with a legal technicality. The tax-exempt DCAF is one of a network of organizations whose purpose is to help women pay for abortions. Its most recent annual report is laden with disturbing information, including about its funding abortions for children under 18, working with late term abortionist Leroy Carhart, and providing abortions at over 24 weeks, as well as helping a victim, raped by her father, secretly abort without any reporting of the crime of rape or domestic violence.

The recent Penn State scandal was marked with cover up and collusion like this. When football coach and hero Joe Paterno was accused of covering up sex crimes, the nation was outraged. Though his acts were considered “legal” at the end of the day, they certainly were not considered ethical. That’s why it’s abhorrent to see a report only weeks later from the DCAF boldly bragging about how it “helped” 19-year old Camille, 18 weeks pregnant, abort. DCAF pushes every line of the law and medical ethics with its actions. Legal doesn’t equal ethical, and it certainly doesn’t equal justice for this poor rape victim.

Here’s part of the story from DCAF:

Camille was a 19-year-old teenager who had graduated from high school the year before and was living at home with her father. She called the DCAF helpline, whispering her message into the phone. She had been raped a few months ago and had not wanted to tell anyone about it, but realized she was pregnant and decided to have an abortion. The man who assaulted her was her dad…. Camille was scared of what would happen if she reported her dad to the police, but without a police report, she couldn’t use her Virginia Medicaid to cover her procedure. On top of that, she was 18 weeks pregnant by that point, meaning she would have to go out of state since most clinics in Virginia only provide first-trimester abortion care.

Sadly, in the state of Virginia, there are no mandatory reporting laws for rape, even incestuous rape, when the victim is over 18. However, can anyone who knows about sex abuse believe that the day Camille turned 18, Daddy decided to rape her — and only once? That a place that exists to help fund abortions would help pay for one is not shocking, but that they would use a year end report to brag about how they helped cover a father who raped his daughter is shameful. In a sense, this protects the assailant, allowing a rapist, arguably of the worst kind, a father who rapes his daughter, go free. Should a year or two in age permit incest and domestic violence to be legal? Certainly there are flaws in the law here, but the fact that a place purporting to help women and care about them would use the law to its advantage and then publicly brag about it is a sick instance of values.

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The DCAF is not alone in its work. It’s part of the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) a registered non-profit agency that receives tax-exempt benefits for its work in areas such as covering up rape on technicalities, providing late-term abortions, and helping underage children get abortions. In 2010, its most recently available IRS 990 tax form declares it to be a “charitable and scientific educational” organization, which is part of its basis for receiving its tax-exempt status. Its income is reported as $827,802.

The DCAF not only helps hide parents who rape their children, but it helps fund those expensive later-term abortions, and brags about that as well, working in conjunction with people like late-term abortion doctor Leroy Carhart, known for being willing to abort babies who could survive outside the womb. DCAF reports:

n Maryland, with Dr. LeRoy Carhart providing advanced abortion care, our fund has taken on even more responsibility to help women in dire circumstances be seen by a provider.”

Actually, if you want to see them and live out of state, they’d prefer you coming for a later-term abortion:

Women coming to the DC region from outside of the above areas will also be eligible for funding; – 9+ weeks into the pregnancy with priority given to women in the second trimester.

In its annual report for last year, DCAF says it subsidized 127 first trimester abortions, 388 second trimester abortions, and 48 abortions at the age of 24 Weeks plus.

What’s notable about Carhart’s involvement is that he opened his practice in Maryland in Dec. of 2010, and the DCAF fiscal year for which this report is applicable ended on June 30;  this is the first recent year in which DCAF is reporting 24 week and later abortion funding — and 48 babies 24 weeks or older were aborted because of the help of this tax-exempt organization.

Rounding out the list is DCAF’s report that “of the 515 patients, 10.5% were under 18 years of age.” Minors are being given money for abortion, as well. We certainly cannot presume that there was more sexual abuse or statutory rape simply from these unrelated reports, nor can we assume there wasn’t parental consent, but it does call into question their practices and at least poses questions about their criteria for funding the abortions of minors.

The DCAF is a tax-exempt corporation that openly tells its supporter how it helped cover up an incestuous, domestic violence relationship, with no comments about following up with the girl involved or how they helped her beyond that. Then they openly report that 10.5% of people for whom they pay for abortions are under the age of 18.

There’s no doubt that most who come to a place like this are probably desperate and scared, but is the answer to toss money at them, take the baby (sometimes viable) from their womb and send them on their way? Giving someone a phone number of a crisis clinic isn’t help. And giving cash for abortions to women with bigger crises than an undesired child may be the real damage done to women, because when someone like Camille goes home, what’s to stop her dad from raping her again? This baby is gone, but the real problem isn’t.

While DCAF and its parent network NNAF may operate on legal technicalities, it would behoove us to look at this organization closely and ask tough questions, especially related to underage abortion funding and incest. These are areas in which the victims need people watching out for the “helpers.”

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Cardinal Dolan: Debate on denying Communion to pro-abortion pols ‘in the past’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

As America heads into its 2014 midterm elections, a leading U.S. prelate says the nation’s bishops believe debate over whether to deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians is “in the past.”

The Church’s Code of Canon Law states in Canon 915 that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Leading Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict XVI himself, have said this canon ought to be applied in the case of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. However, prelates in the West have widely ignored it, and some have openly disagreed.

John Allen, Jr. of the new website Crux, launched as a Catholic initiative under the auspices of the Boston Globe, asked New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan about the issue earlier this month.

“In a way, I like to think it’s an issue that served us well in forcing us to do a serious examination of conscience about how we can best teach our people about their political responsibilities,” the cardinal responded, “but by now that inflammatory issue is in the past.”

“I don’t hear too many bishops saying it’s something that we need to debate nationally, or that we have to decide collegially,” he continued. “I think most bishops have said, ‘We trust individual bishops in individual cases.’ Most don’t think it’s something for which we have to go to the mat.”

Cardinal Dolan expressed personal disinterest in upholding Canon 915 publicly in 2010 when he told an Albany TV station he was not in favor of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians. He said at the time that he preferred “to follow the lead of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who said it was better to try to persuade them than to impose sanctions.”

However, in 2004 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI the following year, wrote the U.S. Bishops a letter stating that a Catholic politician who would vote for "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion. 

Cardinal Ratzinger sent the document to the U.S. Bishops in 2004 to help inform their debate on the issue. However, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, then-chair of the USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, who received the letter, withheld the full text from the bishops, and used it instead to suggest ambiguity on the issue from the Vatican.

A couple of weeks after Cardinal McCarrick’s June 2004 address to the USCCB, the letter from Cardinal Ratzinger was leaked to well-known Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, who published the full document. Cardinal Ratzinger’s office later confirmed the leaked document as authentic.

Since the debate in 2004, numerous U.S. prelates have openly opposed denying Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

In 2008, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley suggested the Church had yet to formally pronounce on the issue, and that until it does, “I don’t think we’re going to be denying Communion to the people.”

In 2009, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. in 2009 said that upholding of Canon 915 would turn the Eucharist into a political “weapon,” refusing to employ the law in the case of abortion supporter Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, said in a 2009 newspaper interview that pro-abortion politicians should be granted communion because Jesus Christ gave Holy Communion to Judas Iscariot.

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However, one of the Church’s leading proponents of the practice, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, insists that denying Communion is not a punishment.

“The Church’s discipline from the time of Saint Paul has admonished those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion,” he said at LifeSiteNews’ first annual Rome Life Forum in Vatican City in early May. "The discipline is not a punishment but the recognition of the objective condition of the soul of the person involved in such sin."  

Only days earlier, Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, told LifeSiteNews that he has no patience for politicians who say that they are “personally” opposed to abortion, but are unwilling to “impose” their views on others.

On the question of Communion, he said, “Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?”

Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala, told LifeSiteNews around the same time that ministers of Holy Communion are “bound not to” give the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion.

Pro-life organizations across the world have said they share the pastoral concern for pro-abortion politicians. Fifty-two pro-life leaders from 16 nations at the recent Rome Life Forum called on the bishops of the Catholic Church to honor Canon 915 and withhold Communion from pro-abortion politicians as an act of love and mercy.

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‘His bones are basically like paper’: Parents refuse to abort baby with rare condition

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By Kirsten Anderson

At just 11 weeks old, little Layton Diven is not like other babies. Every time his parents pick him up or cuddle him, there is a chance they will break his bones. In fact, Layton has already suffered more than 20 fractures in his short life – beginning at the moment of his birth.

Layton has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a rare disease that makes his bones brittle and prone to breakage. There are several types of OI, and Layton’s type, OI Type III, is the most severe type found among infants. Most babies born with the disease, like Layton, are born with multiple fractures, especially along the rib cage. Many struggle to breathe or swallow. The incurable disease is progressive, so it will get worse as he gets older.

Layton was diagnosed with OI in the womb, but abortion wasn’t an option for his parents, Chad and Angela Diven, who considered their baby a gift from God, no matter his condition.

“We weren't going to have an abortion, so he was born with the disease,” Angela Diven told KSLA. “God chose me for him, to be his mom, so I have to take that huge responsibility and do what's best for him.”

That responsibility comes with a heavy price. Layton requires 24-hour care, but both Angela and Chad have full-time jobs. He can’t go to regular daycare, because it’s not safe for him.

“You can't just pick him up like a normal baby,” Diven said. “You can't dress him like a normal child; his bones are basically like paper. He can't go to daycare because of his condition. He's medically fragile, and a daycare can't handle him."

Childcare costs are just the beginning, though – the treatments Layton will need throughout his life are expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

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Layton is currently receiving pamidronate IV therapy, which will help to strengthen his bones. But in order to be able to stand or walk, he will need metal rods implanted in his legs – an operation that will cost the Divens $80,000. The OI specialist coordinating Layton’s care is in Omaha, Nebraska, while the Divens live in Louisiana. As he grows, Layton will also require special equipment, such as a wheelchair, along with extensive physical therapy.

Despite the hardships they knew would come, the Divens stepped out in faith to bring Layton into the world. Now, they are reaching out to the internet for help to shoulder the financial burdens that came with their baby blessing. The family has set up both a GoFundMe and a Facebook page called “Lifting Up Layton Diven,” where people can receive updates on Layton’s condition and contribute to the cost of his care.

To donate to baby Layton’s medical trust fund, click here.

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Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
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Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

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By John-Henry Westen

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial assignment as patron of the Order of Malta.

The timing of the move is key since Cardinal Burke is currently on the list to attend October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family. He is attending in his capacity as head of one of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, so if he is removed prior to the Synod it could mean he would not be able to attend.

Burke has been one of the key defenders in the lead-up to the Synod of the Church's traditional practice of withholding Communion from Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried.

Most of the Catholic world first learned of the shocking development through Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, whose post ‘Exile to Malta for Cardinal Burke’ went out late last night.

If Burke’s removal from the Signatura is confirmed, said Magister, the cardinal “would not be promoted - as some are fantasizing in the blogosphere - to the difficult but prestigious see of Chicago, but rather demoted to the pompous - but ecclesiastically very modest - title of ‘cardinal patron’ of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing the current head, Paolo Sardi, who recently turned 80.”

At 66, Cardinal Burke is still in his Episcopal prime.

The prominent traditional Catholic blog Rorate Caeli goes as far as to say, “It would be the greatest humiliation of a Curial Cardinal in living memory, truly unprecedented in modern times: considering the reasonably young age of the Cardinal, such a move would be, in terms of the modern Church, nothing short than a complete degradation and a clear punishment.”

On Tuesday, American traditionalist priest-blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf also hinted he had heard the move was underway. “I’ve been biting the inside of my mouth for a while now,” he wrote. “The optimist in me was saying that the official announcement would not be made until after the Synod of Bishops, or at least the beginning of the Synod. Or at all.”

“It’s not good news,” he added.

Both Magister and Zuhlsdorf predicted that the controversial move would unleash a wave of simultaneous jubilation from dissident Catholics and criticism from faithful Catholics. The decision to remove Cardinal Burke from his position on the Congregation for Bishops last December caused a public outpouring of concern and dismay from Catholic and pro-life leaders across the globe.

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Both men speculated on the reasons for the ouster. 

Magister pointed out that Burke is the latest in a line of ‘Ratzingerian’ prelates to undergo the axe.

“In his first months as bishop of Rome, pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities among the most ‘Ratzingerian’ of the Roman curia,” said Magister.

He added: “Another whose fate appears to be sealed is the Spanish archbishop of Opus Dei Celso Morga Iruzubieta.”

Fr. Zuhlsdorf observed that Pope Francis may also be shrinking the Curial offices and thus reducing the number of Cardinals needed to fill those posts. He adds however, “It would be naïve in the extreme to think that there are lacking near Francis’s elbows those who have been sharpening their knives for Card. Burke and for anyone else associated closely with Pope Benedict.” 

“This is millennial, clerical blood sport.”

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