Ben Johnson

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Pro-lifers set back in Senate, too

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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WASHINGTON, D.C., November 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – As if narrowly losing the White House were not devastating enough, Republicans took a drubbing in Senate races nationwide, significantly setting back the pro-life movement from Maine to California.

In a race watched by pro-family groups everywhere, Missouri’s Todd Akin lost to incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill by16 percentage points. After Akin said “legitimate rape” rarely ends in pregnancy, Republican Party leaders pulled his funding, as did Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS super PAC. Akin defied party leaders and stayed in the race, briefly returning to frontrunner status. In the end, the vulnerable and unpopular Democrat won, and six percent of voters chose a third party candidate.

Indiana’s Richard Mourdock also came up short in his race against Joe Donnelly.  Donnelly, who campaigned as a pro-life Democrat, voted for President Obama’s health care bill, costing him the support of most pro-life groups. However, Mourdock’s misstatements on abortion and rape cost him the race by 5.5 percent – less than the number of votes earned by Libertarian Party candidate Andrew Horning. The Washington Post presciently called Horning the “Hoosier Ralph Nader.”

Obama’s strong turnout had coattails that pulled close races in three swing states into the Democratic column.

Virginia’s Senate race, which pitted former governors Tim Kaine and George Allen against one another, concluded with Kaine eking out a close victory. Democrats for Life of American endorsed Kaine, who campaigned as an unabashedly “pro-choice” candidate, until Kelsey Hazzard of Secular Pro-Life publicly questioned the move on her blog. 

Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin defeated former governor Tommy Thompson, and in Ohio, incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown defeated young veteran John Mandel.

The Democrats picked up one seat, as Elizabeth Warren turned Republican Senator Scott Brown out of Ted Kennedy’s former seat.

In New Mexico, strongly pro-abortion Martin Heinrich defeated the moderate Republican, Heather Wilson. Wilson voted to continue federal funding for Planned Parenthood and stem cell research, and voted twice to promote the use of RU-486 en route to earning a meager 42 percent voting record with the National Right to Life Committee. 


Maine voters elected former Governor Angus King, an independent, as a Senator. King is expected to caucus with Democrats.

The results were disappointing for a party that once entertained notions of regaining the Senate majority.

Despite the setbacks, pro-lifers had significant victories.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

Nebraska’s Deb Fischer, the Tea Party favorite who upset Attorney General Jon Bruning in the Republican primary, beat Bob Kerrey. Kerry served one term as governor and two terms as U.S. Senator before running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992.

Jeff Flake, who has a 100 percent voting record with the National Right to Life Committee, won an open seat in Arizona. 

Ted Cruz cruised to victory in Texas.

Roger Wicker of Mississippi retained his seat, as did Utah’s Orrin Hatch and Wyoming’s John Barrasso.

Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives. In the wee hours of the night media outlets said Michele Bachmann, who briefly led the Republican presidential race, held her hotly contested seat in Minnesota.


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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Once-conjoined twins in danger of abortion are now co-valedictorians with big dreams

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins
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Just over 18 years ago, Emily and Caitlin Copeland left their mother's womb, conjoined. Now, the girls are set to leave their hometown of Houston, Texas to different universities after graduating from high school as co-valedictorians. This will be only the second time in their lives that they will be apart from one another. 

Just days after Emily and Caitlin turned 18, their mother, Crystal Copeland spoke with LifeSiteNews about how the dark time of finding out the girls were conjoined, and considering the possibility of aborting them, turned into a blessing and the knowledge that she and her family “wouldn't change a thing."

Receiving the diagnosis

Crystal and John Copeland, highschool sweethearts who "met in home room" and got married right out of college, were a typical young couple. Then she got pregnant, and the diagnosis of conjoined twins came. To the couple, it seemed to be the end of the world.

"Neither my husband nor myself were raised in a church," Copeland told LifeSiteNews. "At the time that my husband and I found out that we were pregnant, we were not part of a church, we did not study the Bible. We both believed in God, but didn't really understand what we were believing."

"So we got the diagnosis, and it was an extremely dark time. I had always prayed, all my life, and I prayed heavily that weekend, when we were waiting to find out what the surgeons thought when they looked at the ultrasound video."

Despite knowing the right decision was made almost two decades ago, Crystal says she only came to terms with the fact that she even considered abortion this year. 

The waiting wasn't easy, as doctors examined the results of the ultrasound. "We did have friends and family who felt that we should abort the pregnancy. Not having faith front and center in my life at that time, I worried all the time -- I don't know what I would have done if they had come back and told us they did share a heart, that they would not have been able to survive, I agonize over that. I don't know what I would have done."

According to Copeland, the girls were 17 weeks past gestation, and "they were kicking, they were moving, I could feel them, they were very real to me. We already had names picked out. It was very traumatic."

"We were looking for any lifeline, anything that we could latch on to for hope. And when the surgeons came back and said, 'we've reviewed the ultrasound, we think they're only sharing a liver, and we think they have good possibilities for separation,' we grabbed onto that.

We talked about it, and we decided that if there was a chance that at least one of them could survive, and have a normal life, then we would continue the pregnancy."

Copeland says that the couple was "given the option" for abortion, "because [doctors] did not know if the girls were going to share a heart, which is a fatal complication, that kind of thing."

Strength in adversity

Crystal says that choosing life for her babies, and raising Emily and Caitlin in difficult circumstances helped her and her husband realize inner strength. "I have a terrible fear of blood,” she explained, giving one example. “I've been known to almost pass out getting a paper cut, it's that bad. But the girls obviously had a lot of surgeries and they had to have a lot of central lines run, directly into an artery on their chest." And while she would have preferred to leave the area while nurses handled these responsibilities, the medical professionals told her that children get agitated when their mothers are not around.

"They were little tiny babies," Crystal said. "So I sat in on more of those than I can even remember. And they were horrible, but I did it because my kids needed me to be there and do it."

Crystal says she got so good at home health care - her daughters had larges holes on their abdomens from the separation surgery - that a home health nurse said she would "hire me in a minute."

"I did all kinds of horrible stuff, and I got through it," said Crystal. But she added that she could only do it for her kids. "You rise to the occasion when you have to, then it's gone."

Raising Emily and Caitlin also helped the Copeland's marriage, she said. "It really made us stronger. I know a lot of marriages that are tested can't handle the pressure. It really brought us a lot closer together, and really solidified our marriage in a good way."

Healing and hope

However, some of the wounds from that period have healed more recently. Despite knowing the right decision was made almost two decades ago, Crystal says she only came to terms with the fact that she considered abortion this year. "I've thought about it over the years, and wondered if I had not gotten that lifeline, what would we have done?"

"A few months ago, I found out about a family in Houston who had a similar diagnosis -- they were carrying conjoined twins connected in the same way that Emily and Caitlin were, and they decided to end the pregnancy. When I got that news -- I don't even know these people, I don't know their names, I don't know anything about them other than that fact that they were in my shoes, basically --- I was so upset, I cried the whole way home."

"I was upset all day," Crystal explained. "I could not process that they had chosen to end their pregnancy. I think, really, that was God's way of letting me know how I would have reacted if we had gotten that news. I was so horrified that they had ended their pregnancy -- I think that was God's way of telling me 'let this go.'"

With her daughters heading to different universities -- Emily to Houston to be a wedding planner, and Caitlin to Concordia University in Austin to be a Lutheran schoolteacher -- Crystal says she is "looking at some wide-open time come August." With both girls in band, as well as cheerleading (Emily) and softball (Crystal), Crystal says that her "appointment book was full."

"I'm going to have to start volunteering at church a lot more," she says. "I told my husband he's going to have to get a lot more interested in my hobbies, and he just looked at me like I was nuts."

As her girls head off for their second lifetime separation, Crystal says that she is "so proud of them. They are the most competitive, driven girls -- all on their own, in their heads. They accomplished everything they wanted to in high school, and they have no regrets."

Having been in the same classes in small schools their whole lives, Crystal's girls are "very worried about going to separate schools."

"This is going to be really hard on them." However, modern technology -- iPads and Facetime -- will allow Crystal's once-conjoined daughters to continue to be together, even as life takes them in separate directions. 


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In our day, pornography is the #1 most powerful tool the Devil is using to separate men and women from God.
Donny Pauling Donny Pauling Follow Donny

When I was a pornographer, was I the enemy?

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By Donny Pauling

How do we fight porn? I believe the first step is to understand who our true enemy is. When speaking to Christian teenagers, I find the best way to help them see the truth behind porn is to share an example to which they can relate.  Here’s one I use:

Young ladies, suppose you start dating and fall in love with a boy. You care so very much about, and would do anything for him.  But suppose another girl hates you, and in order to hurt you, she decides she’ll seduce your boyfriend.  Her plan is not only to tear him away from you, but also to rip his heart to shreds.  She doesn’t care about him, but is only using him to get to you.  As time passes, you notice he’s really falling for her deceptions.  Everyone else can clearly see what’s going on, but he rejects all warnings, is drawn away by her, and she ultimately does indeed break his heart, and yours as well.  

Pornography is one way God’s enemy does the same thing. It seduces us away from the Father who deeply loves us, and then tears us down to nothing. 

When God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply, He wasn’t referring to growing strawberries or doing Algebra. One of the first gifts He gave to humanity is our sexuality.  Followed by the need to eat and breathe, there exists within most of us no greater drive than our sex drive. Sex is meant to be a beautiful bonding experience between two people within the context God intended. But His enemy has twisted, distorted and perverted this gift and now uses it to destroy us and separate us from Him.  In our day, pornography is the most powerful tool used to accomplish that end.  Far too many of us buy into this deception and allow it to separate us from the One who so dearly wants to have a relationship with us. 

Last week I shared with you the story of Mindy, and how I destroyed her life by making her a porn star. The majority of feedback I received was positive, but there was also a significant amount of negative as well.

Trying to fight porn by going after pornographers is like trying to treat one symptom of a disease rather than finding its cure.  Pornography has a cause, rooted in the condition of our own hearts. 

Some felt that I haven't accepted personal responsibility or don't feel guilt and shame for the things I’ve done as a former porn producer. Be assured, I definitely do.  It’s been almost eight years since I left that lifestyle. Since then, I’ve actively attempted to seek out all who I involved in my productions so that I can personally apologize to them. So far I’ve been able to do so to over 300 of the more than 500 actresses I recruited.  I’ve also spoken in front of more than 6 million people, publicly apologizing for the things I did and sharing a side of pornography that many never previously considered. 

This should be obvious, but I don’t have to publicly share Mindy’s story, coming clean about what I did to her.  I share her story, and that of others who are willing to have their story shared (many are not), because I firmly believe it’s what God wants me to do.  God can take any situation and use it for good.  If people are moved to see pornography in a different light, and are motivated to stay away from it, a little bit of beauty has emerged from the ashes of destruction.   

And yet, for all the harm that I did working in porn, are pornographers truly our enemy in this fight?  Of course not.  Do you know what pornographers look like?  They look like someone’s son or daughter.  When I was shooting porn, I did crazy things like taking my son fishing, flew with him to see his grandma, took him on tours of the USS Pampanito or the SS Jeremiah O’Brien in San Francisco, took him to museums or the Exploratorium, or to play at a park or eat pizza. 

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My point is this: our enemy in the fight against porn is not the pornographers who produce it, or the people who participate in creating it. As St. Paul states in his letter to the Ephesians, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, powers, forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of evil in the spiritual realm.  Trying to fight porn by going after pornographers is like trying to treat one symptom of a disease rather than finding its cure.  Pornography has a cause, rooted in the condition of our own hearts.  To fight it, we must start with ourselves, being willing to face the part we play. We must let our hearts be changed. 

That is the reason I share stories like Mindy’s story:  I want the reader to begin understanding the human dignity of all who are involved in pornography.  That doesn’t only include the actors and actresses, but also the producers, website owners, and all involved.  Like me, those living in the gutters of porn need someone to be Jesus in skin, willing to do whatever it takes to love them out of it, as XXXChurch did with me.  God forbid, if your son or daughter were to end up being a porn producer and doing the things I’ve shared with you, wouldn’t you want someone to come along and try to love your child out of that gutter?

We must fight for those who are not willing to fight for themselves.  Not only does that apply to the people who are appearing as the “talent” in pornographic productions, but also to those involved in creating and distributing it.  I have very little confidence in approaches that use hate-filled language, or in picketers who scream at those in the business.  I don’t think any of us respond very well to people who scream into our faces, expecting us to change.  Hearts are never changed by hatred, but only by love.  True love is patient, and will wait however long it takes.  In my case, it took XXXChurch four years to break down the hatred that motivated me to keep doing what I did.  And until my heart was changed, I was not ready to truly see what I was doing to others.

And while I do believe there is a place for the enforcement of laws, I don’t think law is what we should lead with, either.  In scripture we find the story of a woman who had been tried and convicted of adultery.  At the time, the punishment for such a crime was to be stoned to death.  Those who brought her to Jesus wanted Him to command that her sentence be carried out.  Instead, Jesus challenged her accusers by saying that the person who is without sin could cast the first stone.  He then started drawing in the dirt as the accusers all had to put down their stones to leave, realizing that none of them were sinless.  Jesus then asked the woman where her condemners had gone, told her that He didn’t condemn her either, and only then – after changing her heart with His love and compassion – did he challenge her to go her way and sin no more.  Her change of heart was required before she was ready to accept the law.

The first step and biggest step in the fight against pornography is to change our own hearts.  We must ask God to allow us to see all involved through His eyes, be they actors, actresses, producers, distributors or consumers.  Scripture tells us that He is not willing that any should perish, but all be brought to repentance, turning away from those things which separate us from Him.  His solution to the problem of sin was to send the very embodiment of love in the person of Jesus.  And if we strive to be like Christ, love is what we’ll lead with as well.

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Some abortionists in the United States will perform late-term abortions up until, and even past 32 weeks gestation. Shutterstock
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This is precisely how a late abortion is performed: now, tell me about the ‘right to choose’

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By Abby Johnson
D&E late-term abortion

I realize this will not a pleasant thing to read, but I feel it is necessary if we are to fight this battle with facts. I find that most people on both sides of this debate don’t actually know how abortion procedures are performed. Showing someone a picture is one thing, but actually describing, in detail, what takes place to the woman and her baby during these hours seems to really have an impact on even those who claim to support abortion.  

Since the ban on Partial-Birth Abortion, abortionists have come up with a different method...believe it or not, a more dangerous method. There are currently fewer than 10 physicians in the country that will perform a late abortion procedure.  Out of that small handful, most stop performing abortions at 32 weeks. There is one, Dr. Warren Hern in Boulder, Colorado, who performs them all the way up until birth.  

The following description is of an abortion generally performed after 19 weeks gestation. I have worked first-hand with several of these late abortion providers and know many women who have undergone this procedure. 

The woman is usually given sedation so that she is unconscious during the actual abortion. The nurses and technicians will physically push on her belly to help the physician pull the pieces of the baby out.

Let me start by saying that this is not an open door to condemn these women who have chosen a late abortion. We need to pray for them to find true healing so that they can move past the regret that they feel after making this decision. It should also not be an opportunity to condemn the physicians who perform this procedure or the other abortion clinic workers who may participate. Just as I have personally experienced, all people are capable of conversion. We need to pray for their conversion and pray that they will reach out to pro-lifers who will help them make that transition. For more information about how you can reach out to abortion workers, please visit our website at www.abortionworker.com.  They will not reach out to us for help if we stand in judgment of them.   

When a woman comes in for a late abortion, her cervix is dilated through the administration of one of two medications called Misoprostol (Cytotec) and Pitocin and/or Laminaria/Lamicel insertion. Laminaria are made of sterilized seaweed and look like tiny tampons. Lamicel are similar, but made of a synthetic material. The Misoprotol is taken orally prior to surgery and may take several hours to work. Misoprostol is a medication administered to relax the cervical muscle so that the surgeon can dilate it easily. Pitocin is also used sometimes to help with this process and is administered through an I.V.

If Laminaria or Lamicel is necessary to complete dilation, they must be inserted into the patient’s cervix by the physician prior to the abortion procedure. The Laminaria/Lamicel act like sponges by absorbing the moisture in the patient’s vagina and expanding to open the cervix.

Laminaria/Lamicel and Misoprostol will be administered on day one. Also, on day one, the physician will also administer a medication called Digoxin. This medication will be injected into the amniotic fluid. The fetus will then drink in the Digoxin and will overdose in the womb. It can take up to 48 hours for death to occur. During this time, the mother may feel her child struggling as he dies in her womb.

When the woman leaves the abortion facility on day one, she is sent home with a “delivery kit” just in case she goes into labor at the hotel. It includes towels, scissors to cut the umbilical cord and a biohazard waste bag that she could put her baby and placenta in. It doesn’t happen very often, but there is always a chance that she could deliver the baby early. In this case, she is instructed not to go to the emergency room. She is told to call the abortion clinic’s on call nurse who will come to the hotel and assist her during the delivery. 

On day two or three (depending on how quickly the baby dies), the physician will perform the surgical abortion after dilation of the cervix is complete — this may take several hours or overnight. The doctor will remove the Laminaria (if applicable), insert a speculum into the vagina, and remove the unborn child using vacuum aspiration (suction), forceps and curettes.

The woman is usually given sedation so that she is unconscious during the actual abortion. The nurses and technicians will physically push on her belly to help the physician pull the pieces of the baby out. The surgical procedure takes approximately 10 – 25 minutes. After surgery, the mother is taken into the recovery room, where nurses will monitor her for approximately 45 minutes. She is sent home with several medications; anti-nausea meds, narcotics for pain relief, at least two different antibiotics, a medication that will contract the uterus to stop bleeding, and anything else the physician deems necessary. 

The woman is not required to follow up with the physician. She is asked to follow up with a different physician in her area. If she has complications, the abortion facility will in almost all cases refer her to the emergency room.  

According to the Guttmacher Institute, approximately 13,000 babies die this torturous death. Most abortion supporters will argue that these babies have terminal illnesses anyway, so this is a better option. But growing numbers of former abortion clinic workers are coming forward and stating that the majority of these babies aborted were perfectly healthy with no illnesses. I personally have medical records from several women who now regret their decision to have a late abortion. The “medical” reason stated for their abortions was the same…“patient is not prepared for a child.” Last I checked, being unprepared for the birth of a child is not a medical condition. This is unfortunately what happens when bills are passed that include a “health of the mother exception.” The “health” of the mother is entirely subjective and can be determined by the abortion staff. 

All abortion is heinous. As hard as it is to listen to these details, we as pro-lifers know that all babies have equal humanity, no matter their age. We must fight to save them all. 

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