Ben Johnson

‘Bowling for abortion’ raises $400,000

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, April 25, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – People seldom associate the bowling alley with the abortion alley, but an annual “bowling for abortion” event has raised more than $400,000 to fund abortions across the country.

The National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon describes itself as “a nationwide series of local events that allow community members (you!) to captain your own bowling team, participate in a kickass national event– and raise money to help women and girls pay for abortions they couldn’t otherwise afford.” In addition offering partial funding for abortions, the proceeds “buy bus or plane tickets, and even offer a place to stay for those who have to travel for an abortion.”

As of this writing, the group has raised more than $401,000.

A total of 32 bowl-a-thons, from Rhode Island to California, are scheduled in the last two weeks of April. Those in other locations can take part in a virutal bowl-a-thon on April 30.

On Sunday, there will also be one miniature golf-a-thon. Last year, the D.C. HOLE-a-thon raised $28,000 for abortions in the nation’s capital. This year, its goal is $40,000.

Participating bowling teams have names like Bowlin’ for ‘Bortions, Kiss Our Uter-Ass, Margaret Sanger’s Ball Bangers, THUNDERCUNTS, If Only Limbaugh’s Mom Used Birth Control, IUDivas, Tuff Titties, Vag of Courage,  Takin’ Our CUNTry Back, No Rosaries On MY Ovaries, Queer As In Fund Us, the Valiant Vulvas, the Charlottesville Harlots, and the Fierce Pussy Posse.

Some engage in transvestitism or mock priests and nuns with their costumes.

Some participants take their babies or young children along. Others joked, “abortion stops a beating heart.”

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According to its press kit the bowl-a-thons’ beneficiary, the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), is “an affiliation of more than 100 grassroots abortion Funds in 40 states in the United States, as well as Funds in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and online.”

Last year, NNAF distributed more than $2.9 million last year to pay for 21,000 women to have abortions. Its George Tiller Memorial Abortion Fund “provides funding to women seeking later abortion care.”

“Over the past two months, more than 75% of the calls we received were from women who were 16 weeks or further into their pregnancy,” the foundation states.

The fund concentrates its work on “women living in the South,” as well as “women in prison, immigrant women, very young women and girls, and women for whom English is a second language.”

The organization asks the government to restore Medicaid funding for abortion to all women “regardless of immigration status.” It calls on legislators to “require all institutions that receive public money, including religiously affiliated institutions, to provide a basic standard of care that includes full reproductive health services.” Its other demands include covering “abortion and contraception in all private insurance plans” and selling Plan B over-the-counter.

NNAF’s website shows women how to have their abortions funded by Medicaid in 15 states and laments “the devastating effects of the Hyde Amendment,” which prohibits federal funding.

Despite working to get poor women discounts from abortionists, it does not pay the full price of the procedure. Instead, NNAF encourages women to consider “lying to a friend or family member” to get money for an abortion. It asks young women to join “medical testing groups” and cultivate their “relationship” with their landlord. It also suggests they drop out of college.

The bowling fundraiser is but one of the organization’s revenue streams. NNAF is supported by well-heeled, tax-exempt foundations, including:

- The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, founded by the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard. Its Population and Reproductive Health program focuses on promoting “abortion funding for low-income women by repositioning abortion as a mainstream health and equity issue” and supports “comprehensive sexuality education for young people.”

- The Moriah Fund, which was established in 1985 by Robert and Clarence Efroymson. “Their philosophy of giving was rooted in fundamental Jewish values,” its website states. Its mission includes “promoting reproductive health and rights,” especially for women “marginalized by race, ethnicity, economic or immigration status or other social inequities.”

- The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation has funded ACORN, the Tides Foundation, the Tides Center, and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment.

- The Dickler Family Foundation, which dissolved in 2010, dispersed $8.9 million that year to pro-choice organizations such as the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the New York Women’s Foundation. It gave $1,000 to the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous to aid those who saved Jews from the Holocaust. 

- The Mary Wohlford Foundation was established by a nurse who “was particularly concerned about reproductive health and rights and responsible population growth.”

- The Herb Block Foundation, established by the liberal Washington Post editorial cartoonist who signed his works “Herblock.”

NNAF also receives funds from the Educational Foundation of America, the General Service Foundation, and “two anonymous funders.”

The $401,000 raised from the month-long “bowling for abortion” events outpaces pro-life groups, which usually set more modest goals. For instance Biking for Babies, which raises money for crisis pregnancy centers, has a goal of $40,000 this year.

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Lisa Bourne

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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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Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

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

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
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
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
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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