Ben Johnson

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Gingrich, Romney spar over abortion records in leadup to South Carolina primary

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

GREER, SOUTH CAROLINA, January 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Abortion has become the key point of contention between Republican candidates as the presidential race turns from New Hampshire to heavily evangelical South Carolina.

Newt Gingrich has highlighted Romney’s abortion stances in an ad entitled “Changed.” The narrator asks:

What happened after Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney changed his position from pro- abortion to pro-life? He governed pro-abortion. Romney appointed a pro-abortion judge, expanded access to abortion pills, put Planned Parenthood on a state medical board but failed to put a pro-life group on the same board. And Romney signed government-mandated health care with taxpayer-funded abortion.

Gingrich introduced the abortion ad after a series of attacks on Romney’s history with Bain Capital failed to win him wider support.

Romney’s “Restore Our Future PAC” responded with a piece of direct mail in Florida, stating, “Newt Gingrich co-sponsored a bill with Nancy Pelosi to give $60 million annually to the UN Population Fund,” and that, as Speaker of the House, Gingrich “backed even more legislation that provided taxpayer-funded abortions.”

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“Obviously it’s important for me to remind people that I’m pro-life,” Romney told a crowd in Greer, South Carolina, where his history of shifting views on the issue continues to cost him support in the overwhelmingly pro-life state.

FactCheck.org has countered both campaigns by stating both men changed their views on the issue over the years, although the organization failed to specifically refute the factual claims about Romney’s history.

- FactCheck defended Romney from the charge that he allowed greater access to the abortion pill by noting he liberalized the distribution of “emergency contraception, or ‘the morning-after pill.’” However, Plan B can act as an abortifacient, preventing an already fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterus.

- The health care bill Romney signed resulted in subsidized abortions, allowing women to pay only $50 for the procedure. FactCheck notes the Massachusetts Supreme Court mandated the coverage decades earlier; however, Romney did nothing to oppose the provisions. Romney later called his plan, “the ultimate pro-life effort.”

- It affirms that Romney did not veto a provision in the health care bill appointing a member of Planned Parenthood to the MassHealth Payment Policy Advisory Board, but quotes Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCFL) President Anne Fox that: “It was not something that right to lifers were concerned about at the time. It was a minor thing.” Yet MCFL’s executive director, Marie Sturgis, said the failure to veto Planned Parenthood’s participation on the board “deeply disturbed” her. Ann Romney served as MCFL co-chairman, and Mitt donated $15,000 to the group in 2005.

- Criticisms of Romney’s pro-abortion judicial record was well-founded, the fact-checking organization agreed. Months after his pro-life conversion, Romney named Matthew J. Nestor, who described himself as a “pro-choice” Democrat, to a lifetime post on the Somerville District Court. Romney said he appointed Nestor because of his tough record on crime. 

FactCheck defended Gingrich from distortions of his record while noting his changing record on aspects of the abortion debate over his career.

It dispels the notion that Gingrich supported taxpayer-funding for China’s one-child policy. The bill in question, the “Global Warming Prevention Act of 1989,” never came before Congress for a vote. While the bill would have provided $60 million for the United Nations Population Fund, which has been found to be complicit in China’s one-child policy, it barred funds for “involuntary sterilization or abortion” and “the coercion of any person to accept family planning services.” President Reagan’s Mexico City Policy, which forbade taxpayer funding of foreign abortions, was also in effect at the time. President Clinton repealed the policy in 1993. However, there remained concerns about the fungibility of the funds to UNFPA. Gingrich’s website states, “Newt supported a very limited aspect of the 1989 bill that promoted hydrogen energy research.”

However, Newt did support taxpayer-funded abortion while he was Speaker of the House. In 1995, Gingrich publicly supported “funding in the case of rape or incest, or [to save the] life of the mother,” backed funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and later offered his endorsement to Republicans who supported partial-birth abortion. The Des Moines Register reported in November, “Gingrich has switched his position on federal funding. He now thinks the government should not ask taxpayers to pay for any abortions.”

Gingrich caused a stir in December, before the Iowa caucuses, when he said life begins at “implantation,” then backpedaled to say life begins at “conception.” 

Texas Governor Rick Perry has changed his views on allowing abortion in the case of rape or incest after meeting with Rebecca Kiessling, a pro-life activist who was conceived through rape.

Republican rivals Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman are also touting their consistently pro-life records ahead of the election.

The South Carolina primary will be held January 21, ten days before the Florida primary.

 

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Gina Raimondo, Democrat candidate for governor of Rhode Island http://www.ginaraimondo.com/
Lisa Bourne

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Catholic school removes alumna’s photo after she endorses abortion in bid for governor

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

A Rhode Island Catholic school has removed the photo of an alumna from its halls after she endorsed abortion in her campaign for governor.

LaSalle Academy of Providence took alumna Gina Raimondo’s photo down from the school’s Wall of Notables last week after she publicly stated she does not support the Church’s teaching on life and would work to support abortion.

"You know the Catholic Church has a clear position, and I have a clear position,” the state general treasurer said, according to ABC. “And I am clearly pro–choice and as I've said, I as Governor, support the decision in Roe v. Wade."

Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin responded the same day in statement on his Facebook page.

“It is always disappointing when a Catholic candidate for political office abandons the teaching of the Church on the dignity of human life for the sake of self-serving political gain,” he said. Such actions demonstrate an inexcusable lack of moral courage.”

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“Pope Francis has explained how evil abortion really is, that every aborted child bears the face of Jesus Christ,” he continued. “Similarly, I wish to remind Catholics of the Diocese of Providence, in the clearest terms possible: Abortion is a sin, and those who provide it, promote it and support it will be held accountable by Almighty God for the unjust death of unborn children.”

Raimondo, valedictorian of the 1989 class at LaSalle Academy, made her comments at Planned Parenthood’s Rhode Island PAC’s endorsement of her candidacy September 25. She said as well that she is “more pro-choice” than Republican candidate Allan Fung, and that she opposes the Hobby Lobby ruling in support of religious freedom for employers.

According to the Providence Journal, she also said she would oppose efforts to incorporate an option in the Rhode Island health insurance exchange that would exclude abortion or contraception. Raimondo also pledged to seek repeal of a 1997 Rhode Island law banning partial-birth abortion.

Drew Lagace, La Salle’s communications spokesman, told the Providence Journal the school took the photo down and didn’t want to elaborate. But he told the local NBC affiliate, “Her statements were very bold against the Church and the teachings of the Church.”

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Last Call! Can you donate $5?

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By Steve Jalsevac

This is it!

Today is the LAST DAY of our Fall Campaign. But with only hours left to go, we still need to raise just over $40,000 to reach our goal of $150,000

Will you help us now in this 11th hour to reach our goal? 

Please keep in mind that this is just the bare minimum that we need to raise just to keep our news service going until our next campaign! 

We need everyone who has not yet made a donation to do so right now!

The last few days of our quarterly campaigns are always the most stressful times of the year. The stakes are so high, because LifeSite’s existence depends upon the success of these campaigns. <

It is also stressful because we know that we have a responsibility to reach even MORE people with the truth about life and the family, and that we need to be doing even MORE reporting on critical life and family issues.

And yet, at the same time, I am filled with peace, knowing that this work is not our own work, but God’s, and that as long as we strive to do His will, He will always provide us with everything we need!

And I also know that I can always count on our readers to come through for us, no matter how worrisome things might look.

You always have!

And in return, I pledge to you LifeSite’s 100% commitment to doing everything in our power to spread the truth and to promote a Culture of Life, no matter how heavily the odds are stacked against us!

I know we can reach our goal today. 

Of the tens of thousands that will visit our site in the next few hours, I know there are at least 1,000 readers who could chip in just $40 to bring us to our goal. I know there are just 200 people out there who could give a $200 donation and help bring us to the finish line. Or, 500 people who could donate $75. 

It wouldn’t take much if everyone pitched in a little! Whatever you can give, whether its just $5, or $5,000 - every donation counts towards our goal.

It’s all in your hands now, and we thank you for helping us continue our mission!

We will leave the thermometer up on our site for a few more days as we collect mail-in donations. Don’t forget you can also make a donation by phone. Our staff would love to thank you personally for your support. 

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A man carries a sign during Long Beach's Gay Pride parade in 2012 of Newsweek's cover declaring Obama "the first gay president." Juan Camilo Bernal / Shutterstock.com
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Obama admin files first-ever lawsuits against employers who fired transgender workers

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By Ben Johnson

The Obama administration 's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed two lawsuits against employers who fired transgender employees, claiming that the businesses violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act's prohibition of discrimination against women. Last Thursday's lawsuits are the first ever filed by EEOC over what they deem transgender employment bias.

The employment regulatory agency's Indianapolis office sued R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, located in the Detroit area, for firing “Amiee” Stephens, a funeral director who was born male and wished to perform funeral duties in female attire.

The EEOC's Miami office sued Lakeland Eye Clinic in Lakeland, Florida, for firing Michael Branson in June 2011. Branson's lawyer, Jillian Weiss, states his co-workers “snickered, rolled their eyes, and withdrew from social interactions with” Branson after he showed up at work a few months into the job in drag demanding to be called “Brandi.”

Obama officials say that firing transgender workers violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because the employers allegedly fired transgender “women” who “did not conform to the employer's gender-based expectations, preferences, or stereotypes.”

However, that pivotal civil rights law does not mention transgender people nor homosexuals and recognizes neither as a protected minority group that is accorded special rights.

Nonetheless, the Obama administration contends that transgender males are actually women, so any employer who “discriminates” against them is guilty of discrimination on the basis of sex.

The EEOC wrote in its August 20 decision in Complainant v. Jeh Johnson that “While Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination does not explicitly include sexual orientation as a basis, Title VII prohibits sex discrimination, including sex- stereotyping discrimination and gender discrimination. The term ‘gender’ encompasses not only a person’s biological sex, but also the cultural and social aspects associated with masculinity and femininity.”

In other words, males who believe they are females really are females, and they are experiencing discrimination because they do not look like “other” women.

“Moreover, we have held that sex discrimination claims may intersect with claims of sexual orientation discrimination,” the EEOC continued.

EEOC General Counsel David Lopez told BuzzFeed that the Obama administration wants “to ensure employers aren’t considering irrelevant factors, like gender-based stereotypes or gender identity, in making employment decisions.” But business owners say the image projected by outside sales representatives, front office personnel, and other employees has a real impact on the customer's comfort and likelihood to do business with a company.

Mario Diaz, legal counsel of Concerned Women for America, told LifeSiteNews that the lawsuits are the latest push by the Obama administration to further the radical homosexual and transgender political agenda without persuading the American people first.

“The mainstreaming of transgenderism is a debate that is just beginning in our culture,” Diaz told LifeSiteNews. “The American people should debate the complex issues involved, and the legislatures should act based on the conclusions we reach as a society.”

“For the Obama administration to act unilaterally, once again, to force its conclusion about sexuality and morality on the nation is beyond reprehensible,” he said.

“Nevertheless, we can’t say we are surprised. This is why President Obama appointed celebrated homosexual activist Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission back in 2010, when we sounded the alarm about the implications of such an appointment.”

Homosexual activists were thrilled. Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the homosexual lobbying group Human Rights Campaign, called the lawsuits an “historic and a giant step” that “deserves immense praise.”

The new prosecutions are an attempt to implement a December 2012 Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) drawn up by Obama administration officials making "coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII's sex discrimination provisions, as they may apply" as “a top Commission enforcement priority.”

And the Obama administration promises this is only the beginning. Robert E. Weisberg, regional lawyer for the EEOC's Miami district office, told Florida's Lakeland Ledger, "I sincerely hope that it serves as a teaching moment for the employer community on how the EEOC views the law and their intention to enforce the law — and for victims who might not have realized they have this type of relief available, to (encourage them to) come forward.”

He added that the “educational byproduct of a case like this can extend far beyond the parties in the lawsuit, which would be the real hope."

President Obama has worked like no other president to promote the redefinition of gender norms, from a biological reality to a malleable social construct.

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In late April, his administration stated that Title IX funding, intended to assist women pursue higher education, applies to transgender males, through the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development demanded that any renter who accepts Section 8 or HUD financing must rent their accommodations to homosexuals and transgender people.

In 2010, Obama named “Amanda” Simpson the Senior Technical Advisor to the Commerce Department, thought to be the first transgender presidential appointment.

Long before seeking the presidency, Barack Obama talked about aggressive federal action to promote social engineering in a 2001 interview on public radio. When conservative media outlets said this meant candidate Obama would use executive powers to promote his agenda in lieu of Congressional support, mainstream reporters such as the Associated Press and The Washington Post dismissed their claims.

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