Thaddeus Baklinski

CTV sting operation tries to catch crisis pregnancy centre giving misinformation

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski
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VANCOUVER, January 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On December 15th, 2011, CTV News in British Columbia launched a sting operation against the South Fraser Pregnancy Options Centre in Surrey, BC, with the what Executive Director Laura Lansink said was “the hope that our peer-counselor would give false or biased information.”

The Pregnancy Options centres are associated with the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS), a national, non-political, registered Christian charity, committed to equipping pregnancy support services.

CTV sent a woman, named only as “Sheila,” to the Surrey Options centre posing as a legitimate client in distress because of an unplanned pregnancy and asking for help.

Ms Lansink said in a press release that a volunteer peer-counselor was able to see “Sheila” immediately and spent close to an hour talking through the woman’s concerns as well helping her to understand her choices.

“What this peer-counselor didn’t know, however, was that the woman had actually been sent by CTV News and that the woman was secretly recording the entire session,” Ms Lansink said, pointing out that “Sheila” had agreed to, and signed, an agreement of services which says in part: “please turn off all devices with recording capabilities prior to the session. POC Staff and Volunteers do NOT consent to any recorded conversations.”

CTV reports that the volunteer peer-counselor “asked ‘Sheila’ about her background, the circumstances of the pregnancy, and if she had been abused. They offered referrals to hospitals for any sexually transmitted diseases and said that she was not alone struggling with a tough decision.”

The volunteer peer-counselor also referred “Sheila” to a brochure produced by the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services that discusses fetal development, adoption and the risks associated with abortion.

Ms Lansink stated that the CAPSS brochure is an up to date and accurate compilation of medical research that was reviewed and proofread by 25 professional counselors, physicians, and medical researchers across Canada before going to print.

Ms Lansink revealed that on January 5, Mr. Jon Woodward of CTV News called the Centre, saying that he had received a ‘complaint’ from a client who believed the Centre had given her false medical information regarding the risks of abortion.

“In a subsequent phone call he however admitted that it was not a client with a complaint. Instead this person had been sent from CTV News to the Centre with a hidden camera with the intent of exposing our organization for providing supposedly false information,” Ms Lansink said.

Ms Lansink noted that Woodward was given a copy of the CAPSS brochure, “yet he has let us know that he ‘disbelieves’ the studies, research, and information that the brochure cites.”

The CTV report on the sting was aired January 17, reporting that “staff welcomed Sheila and seemed genuinely concerned about her well-being.” However, the report went on to focus on the allegation that crisis pregnancy centres give misinformation.

For example, despite the Options Centre’s clear statement that they are not a medical facility and do not perform or refer for abortions, CTV reported that “Sheila” “pressed (the volunteer peer-counselor) on where an abortion would be available,” then quoted Greg Smith, director of a “sexual health” and abortion referral centre, saying “patients have come to him complaining that rather than being given objective advice, they were steered away from abortion.”

“We hear from time to time that people who have gone to those centres come out enraged,” CTV News reported Smith as saying. “They feel they were given a bait and switch.”

CTV News cited Dr. Wendy Norman of B.C. Women’s Hospital saying that infection after abortion “was uncommon in North American hospitals – about one in every 200 cases,” that uterine perforations ranged “between three in 1,000 to one in 10,000 cases,” and that infertility from abortion “is a mark of an illegal abortion.”

“Abortions performed by physicians and accredited health professionals have been shown indisputably to not have these long term effects,” Norman is quoted to have said.

However, studies carried out in the U.S. and Canada contradict Dr. Norman’s assertions that infection after abortion are about one-half of one percent, and can in fact range up to 17 percent. An American study of the psychological responses of women after abortion also discovered that seventeen per cent of the participants reported physical complications such as bleeding or pelvic infection after their first-trimester abortion. (Major B, et al. Psychological responses of women after first-trimester abortion. Archives of General Psychiatry 2000 August 57(8):777-84, p. 780.)

Information available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 386 deaths from legal abortion in the U.S. between 1973 and 2004. In 2006, the most recent year for which data were available, six women were reported to have died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortions. No reported deaths were associated with known illegal induced abortions. Physical complications mentioned in the CDC report include cervical lacerations and injury, uterine perforations, bleeding, hemorrhage, serious infection, pain, and incomplete abortion in which the fetal remains are left inside the woman’s body.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan issued revised guidelines in 2011 that outline the numerous risks of abortion and the duty of the counseling physician or abortionist to inform any woman contemplating abortion of these risks.

The guidelines state that information provided to women should include not only the “precise nature” of the abortion procedure, but also “the known immediate risks.” The document gives as examples of the immediate risks “uterine perforation, infection, hemorrhage.”

Physicians should also inform women of the “known long-term risks,” including “impact on future fertility, incidence of future spontaneous abortions, ectopic pregnancy and premature birth” as well as “the known psychological risks.”

A 2009 study by Jessica Dolle et al. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center revealed that U.S. National Cancer Institute researcher Dr. Louise Brinton, well known for claiming that it was “well established” that “abortion is not associated with increased breast cancer risk,” had reversed her position and now admits that abortion and oral contraceptives raise breast cancer risks. The study found an admission from Dr. Brinton and her colleagues that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40%.

In an update received by LifeSiteNews, Laura Lansink said that while many supporters of the South Fraser Pregnancy Options Centre had suggested she file a formal complaint regarding the tactics used by CTV News, she indicated that this was not a course the crisis pregnancy centre intends to follow.

“At this point we won’t be taking any further action as we want to keep our focus and our energies on what we do best…  each day helping the woman that comes to us for help when she has nowhere else to turn,” Ms Lansink said.

For more information visit the South Fraser Pregnancy Options Centre website here.

To contact CTV News British Columbia:
Jon Woodward, ctvbc.ca
Suite 300, 750 Burrard St.
Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1X5
Phone: 604 609-6333
Email: investigate@ctv.ca


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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

“It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities,” Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. “Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

“While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born,” she said. “Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection.”

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, “People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.”

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the “difficult and confusing time” when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience “negative attitudes.”

“What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information,” the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the hurch they attend in New Jersey, “because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 


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Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that 'it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.' Shutterstock
Steve Weatherbe

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Pope Francis: steps must be taken to halt ‘unjust aggressor’ in Iraq

Steve Weatherbe
By

Pope Francis and his emissary to Iraq’s persecuted non-Muslim minorities, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, have both called on the United Nations to act in concert to protect Iraqis Christian and Yazidi minorities from the radical Islamic forces of ISIS.

Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that “it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.”

He added, however, that “halt” does not mean to “bomb” and lamented “how many times with the excuse of halting the unjust aggressor…have powerful nations taken possession of peoples and waged a war of conquest!”

He also cautioned that no single nation could determine the right measures. Any intervention must be multilateral and preferably by the United Nations, he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Foloni, who is visiting Iraq on behalf of Pope Francis, issued a joint statement this week with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and the Iraqi bishops that urged the international community to “liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result.”

The statement also urged efforts to “assure that there is international protection for these villages and so to encourage these families to go back to their homes and to continue to live a normal life in security and peace.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, was also asked by Vatican Radio earlier this month about the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

“This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,” the archbishop said. 

Although Pope Francis’ own remarks about an intervention in the war-torn country were carefully guarded, Catholic commentator Robert Spencer, author of such bestselling exposes of Islam as “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion,” told LifeSiteNews he believes the pope was clearly calling for an “armed intervention, though a very limited one.”  

“Only a fool would think there is another way to stop an ‘unjust aggressor,’” he said.

Spencer expressed concerns that both Francis and Pope John Paul II before him have both referred to Islam a “religion of peace,” which Spencer says is “completely false.” However, he suggested that Francis’ remarks calling for action in Iraq are a sign of a more realistic attitude towards Islam.   

On this, Spencer would likely have the support of Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, who issued a letter last week warning the West in stark terms about the encroaching threat of Islam.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer,” Nona warned. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.

“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles,” he said

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”


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'Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,' said Dawkins. 'They are aborted.' Shutterstock
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Richard Dawkins: it’s ‘immoral’ NOT to abort babies with Down syndrome

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By Dustin Siggins

In a bizarre rant on Twitter earlier today, atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that choosing not to abort a child with Down Syndrome would be "immoral."

The conversation started when Dawkins tweeted that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area." The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases.

A Twitter user then asked Dawkins if "994 human beings with Down's Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012" was "civilised."

Dawkins replied "yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings."

Later, Dawkins said that "the question is not ‘is it 'human'?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’"

In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that he or she "honestly [doesn't] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma."

Dawkins advised the writer to "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."

Later, however, he said that people on the autism spectrum "have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."

When Dawkins received some blowback from Twitter followers, he replied: "Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses. They are aborted."

It is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child. 

A number of Dawkins' statements in the Twitter thread about fetal development are at odds with scientific realities. For example, it is well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli -- such as a mother's stress levels -- months before being born. 

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