Peter Baklinski

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16-year-old: ‘I regret having sex, but I’ve never regretted keeping my baby’

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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OTTAWA, Ontario, July 20, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Defending a woman’s ‘right to choose’ often means defending abortion. Pro-choice advocates argue for the availability of that choice saying “you wouldn’t know how hard it is to deal with an unexpected pregnancy unless you’ve experienced it.”

But for Amber Kortekaas, pregnant at 16, nothing could be further from the truth. Amber recounted to LifeSiteNews what she called the “long chain of events” that resulted in her becoming pregnant at such a tender age.

It all began with the “caring, fun-loving boy” who took Amber out on dates, called her often on the phone, and made her “feel important.”

“I felt obligated to give him what he wanted,” she said. “Stupid, right?” 

Not too much later, while attending a six-week-long gliding camp for cadets in the summer of 2010, Amber began to wonder if she might be pregnant. But she blamed her body’s little abnormalities on the “stresses of being away from home.”

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“The food tasted bad because it was gross mess-food. Everything smelled bad because it was an old building,” she said. “I threw-up that one night because the food tasted bad and the room smelled terrible. I was always exhausted because they were waking us up at 5 a.m. and I was running all day.”

But Amber began to run out of excuses for the strange way her body was behaving. It was during the last week of camp that she “figured it all out.” Amber persevered through the rigorous training and received her pilot’s license, despite all the changes her young body was experiencing as a result of the pregnancy. But her elation at getting her wings was short lived, for now she faced the reality of having to return home and tell her parents what was really going on inside of her.

“The thought of telling my parents was terrifying. My mom, a very kind and religious woman, had no idea what I was doing behind her back.”

But Amber was spared the dreaded moment: She threw-up during her car ride home, and her mom “instantly” figured out why.

Instead of condemning her, Amber’s family “vowed to support” her. “I was very lucky in this way, for I know it would have all been harder if they hadn’t.”

But the relationship between Amber and her boyfriend began to deteriorate. The “caring, fun-loving boy” began to show his true colors. He became “controlling to say the least, to the point where it was abusive.” The boyfriend began to harass Amber with text messages. If she did not immediately respond to his messages, he would call her on the phone, demanding to know where she was and why she was not responding.

Amber discovered that her boyfriend had even lied to her about his past and that he had made up stories about himself to gain her sympathy.

“He at one point told me about his ex-girlfriend — who apparently cheated on him — who nearly drove him to almost kill himself when they broke up,” she said.

The quarrels between the disenchanted young couple would end in Amber’s boyfriend threatening her with his suicide if he could not get his way. They quarreled over what the baby’s last name would be, whether Amber should continue to work, where she would go to school. But most often, they quarreled over where Amber should live.

“He desperately wanted me to move out with him, but I always refused. The reasons why were numerous. One of the main reasons is that I knew that he would absolutely give me no support as I tried to finish high school.”

Amber finally began to see for herself how the young man she called her boyfriend and with whom she had created a new life was “abusing and manipulating” her.

“He lied constantly about everything. He would keep me up on the phone fighting all night. I see all of this now, but I have to admit it was hard for me to realize how suppressed and horrible I felt at the time,” she said. “I believed that he was my only friend. I didn’t want to believe that he was abusing and manipulating me, but eventually I couldn’t ignore it anymore.”

Amber continued to live with her parents, who supported her and became her lifeline. She returned to school in the fall, completing her entire semester and even managing to keep up her honor-roll grades.

“I didn’t have my friends at that time,” she recounted, “but I knew in the importance of my education.”

With the baby coming in March, Amber cut back on her studies during the spring semester, only taking one class online from her home.

On March 4th, 2011, Jonah Eden Kortekaas was born.

“I went for the natural birth, with no epidural and it didn’t take long before Jonah was in my arms,” she said. “I was elated, but exhausted and emotional.”

“He was perfect, although exhausting. But he was worth it all. He was real, living, breathing, and loving.”

The boyfriend continued to harass Amber and even managed to convince the nurses to let him stay in the hospital with her after the birth of Jonah.

“This turned out to me nothing short of a disaster,” she said. “It went further and further downhill until the last morning I was there.”

On that morning, Amber was scheduled to see a social worker as part of the hospital’s policy for new mothers under the age of 20. The boyfriend, however, was not invited to the meeting.

“When I returned from the meeting, my mom was in the nursery with Jonah and my boyfriend was in Emergency. He had had a ‘panic attack’ on the floor and was taken out.”

A nurse who had witnessed the incident pulled Amber aside saying: “You are doing so well and trying so hard. You can do better than him. Whatever happens, do not leave your baby alone with that boy.”

This was all that Amber needed to hear. She now knew what she had to do.

“There it was, the last devastating blow in our relationship,” she said. “I broke up with him the next day.”

Amber fought for and won custody over her baby, with her ex-boyfriend being granted only supervised access.

With the boyfriend out of the way, Amber recalls that her life “really started getting better.” She began making new friends. She began to understand the purpose of boundaries, which she says helped her in building better relationships with people.

“I began feeling good about myself,” she said.

The young mom says that all her struggles have been worthwhile for the sake of her son.

“The thought that I could have so easily destroyed something so wonderful, still scares me to this day.”

“Yes, I am left out of many things, but I don’t feel as if it is the end of the world. I have a son who loves me, and I love him more than anything. I have fun, and am still enjoying life.”

Amber says that while she “regrets having sex”, she “never regrets” her decision to keep her baby. She likes to compare her “young and naive” sexual activity resulting in pregnancy to drinking and then causing a car accident.

“To me, the choice is when one decides to drive after drinking. One is responsible for whatever happens after that choice to drive. Likewise, the choice is when one decides to have sex. One is responsible for whatever happens after that choice.”

Amber saw the entire matter as very simple: Her choice, she says, was when she was with her boyfriend. Once she conceived, there was no longer any ‘choice’, but simply ‘responsibility’.

Amber pointed out that while the last two years of her life have been hard, nevertheless, through the challenges she has “become a better person”.

“I feel proud that I was able to take responsibility for my actions, face the consequences and make the best of them.”

“I love my baby. I regret having sex, but I have never regretted keeping my baby. Life doesn’t end when there is an unexpected pregnancy, it begins.”

Editor’s Note: Amber graduated from high school with the help of her Mom who looked after Jonah in the mornings while she attended class. Amber participated in online classes in the evenings while Jonah slept. The young mom looks forward to beginning post-secondary education at the University of Ottawa this September. “I am taking the next step,” she said.


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LifeSiteNews staff

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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

Tony Gosgnach
By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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