Ben Johnson

,

GOP leadership adds rape, incest exceptions to 20-week abortion ban; House votes tomorrow

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
Image
Image

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has required a late-term abortion ban include a rape and incest exception following remarks by its chief sponsor last week that the media have misrepresented as dismissing the impact of rape.

In a bipartisan accommodation that bowed to media pressure, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia added the exceptions to Trent Franks' “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797) on Friday during a discussion with Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

The Republican statutory change also requires that the rape or incest of a minor be reported to appropriate authorities, something the Democratic amendment did not require.

Eric Ferrero, vice president for communication for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, lashed out at the requirement, saying it “is designed to shame and judge victims of violent crimes, requiring a woman to prove that she has reported her rape to police before she can access an abortion.”

Planned Parenthood has been accused of repeatedly failing to report incidents of statutory rape. Last week, an employee of Planned Parenthood of Albuquerque told someone claiming to be a 14-year-old pregnant by her 21-year-old boyfriend that abortion employees “probably won’t” have to report the 21-year-old rapist to law enforcement.

When the bill comes to the floor for a vote tomorrow, it will be managed, not by Franks, but by another dedicated pro-life Congressman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN.

The leadership-decreed change follows an ongoing media frenzy over comments made by the bill's author, Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ.

During discussions about his bill to ban late-term abortions on Wednesday, Franks explained that his bill did not require a rape exception, telling New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler, “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

He quickly clarified, explaining, “The incidences where pregnancy results from rape that results in abortion at the six month or after are very rare.” His bill does not affect early abortions.

Data from the Guttmacher Institute, which was long officially tied to Planned Parenthood, verifies his comments, reporting that less than 1.5 percent of all abortions are due to rape and incest combined. The number of abortions after six months due to rape would be even considerably less, if not non-existent.

Ironically, as Republican House leaders backed down, liberal columnists David Weigel and Jonathan Chait defended Franks, saying the media and the Left had deliberately twisted his comments. Weigel noted, Not every comment about rape and abortion is a 'Todd Akin' comment.

If the bill is passed, abortionists who perform late-term abortions may face a fine or up to five years in prison.

The bill would institute a ban on all abortions conducted after 20 weeks following fertilization, or 22-weeks as measured by the LMP scale.

The provision would affect the 300 abortion providers who will perform abortions after 20 weeks and around 140 willing to perform abortions at 24 weeks or later, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

The full House is scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday.

A poll conducted by The Polling Company found that the American people support the bill's criteria by 34 percentage points. When asked, 64 percent of Americans said they would support a bill protecting babies who can feel pain from being aborted, while only 30 percent opposed it.

“The American people, whether they consider themselves pro-life or pro-choice, understand that performing elective abortions on pain-capable children has no place in civilized society,” said David O’Steen, Ph.D., the executive director of National Right to Life.

National Right to Life is urging the bill's passage. However, some other pro-life voices, while acknowledging the bill is a step forward, have said they believe it leaves too many unborn children at risk.

The House Judiciary Committee passed Franks' “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797), by a vote of 20-12 last Wednesday, after it passed its subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on a party line vote, 6-4 the week before.

Nine states have passed a “fetal pain” ban at 20 weeks: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. A court recently enjoined Arizona's 20-week ban.

Truth. Delivered daily.

Get FREE pro-life, pro-family news delivered straight to your inbox. 

Select Your Edition:


Advertisement
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

Click "like" to support Catholics Restoring the Culture!

“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

Share this article

Advertisement
Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
Image

What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

,

New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook