Ben Johnson

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Sen. Cruz: Democrats support ‘abortion no matter what the consequences, no matter what the context’

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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DALLAS, June 28, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Senator Ted Cruz had strong words for Democrats this morning, lambasting them for turning a blind eye to forced abortion and the crimes committed by late-term abortionists like Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpen, and favoring a policy of abortion "no matter what the consequences, no matter what the context."

The media and the Obama administration follow a “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy when it comes to late-term abortion atrocities, the senator told an enthusiastic crowd of pro-life activists at the National Right to Life Convention in his native Texas.

Referencing Gosnell, Cruz said, “I was proud to stand with Senator Mike Lee condemning those horrific crimes and calling for an investigation in the Senate for other late-term abortionists in this country committing similar atrocities.”

The senator also referenced late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen, whom former staff members have accused of twisting newborn babies' heads off, someone Cruz noted works “in Houston, my hometown.”

Senate Democrats cowered away from a motion to condemn Gosnell's atrocities, because it mentioned abortion. Instead, they sought a bland general condemnation of unsanitary conditions in any medical environment, such as denist offices.

“Apparently a physician having an unsanitary clinic that passes on disease in their mind is morally equivalent to” the actions of “Kermit Gosnell as he took the lives of living, breathing children outside their mother's womb,” he said. “What a sad statement of moral equivalence.”

The senator told the crowd that the right to life is the cornerstone of all governance, one that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are undermining through an extreme policy that places abortion-on-demand above all other goods – including religious freedom.

The first-term senator called on attendees to reflect on the Declaration of Independence just before the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.

“Without life, there is no liberty. Without life, there is no pursuit of happiness,” he said. “The ability to take life is the ultimate power, and the ultimate deprivation, of our God-given rights.”

Referring to the pro-life and Tea Party movements, he said, “I am inspired that we see Americans standing up – standing up for life, standing up for liberty...standing up for the Constitution.”

One of those first liberties enshrined in the First Amendment is the freedom of religion, something Cruz said the Obama administration undermined by “ordering those who disagree to disregard their rights of conscience, disregard their faith and provide abortifacients or contraceptives” to their employees.

“It wasn't long ago that the Democratic Party was proud to nominate the first two Catholic candidates for president,” he said. “What do you think an Al Smith or a John F. Kennedy would say to a president who says to the Catholic Church, 'Change your faith, or we will shut down your...hospitals'?”

The conservative favorite took advantage of the three-day-long national meeting, which is taking place in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, to burnish his own pro-life credentials.

Cruz contrasted the actions of a mob of angry protesters in Austin, and of legislator Wendy Davis, who waged a 13-hour filibuster against a pro-life bill, to his own filibuster with Rand Paul and Mike Lee against the use of drones.

“We were filibustering to protect the sanctity of life from arbitrary government destruction,” he said. “When Austin Democrats stood together in their filibuster, they were standing together to protect the ability to carry out late-term abortions, to protect the ability to take yet more lives. What a contrast.”

“If you listen to the media – well, that's your first mistake,” he joked. “But if you listen to the media, those rowdy protesters were adopting a popular view. Yet the simple reality is 62 percent of Texans oppose late-term abortions after 20 weeks. Over 80 percent of Americans oppose abortions in the third trimester. And one of the sad consequences of the Culture of Death we have seen is that the policies in this country are extreme.”

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Cruz, whom NRLC says has earned a 100 percent pro-life voting record in the Senate, also rapped Senate Democrats for refusing to condemn forced abortion in China.

“China has aborted some estimated 300 million children – 300 million, the population of the United States,” he said.

“Regardless of your views on the right to life,” he stated, “you should be united against the horrific evil that is the practice of forced abortions, that is the practice of the government saying to a mother, 'We will force you to abort your child.'”

Cruz lamented, “When that came to the floor of the senate, it was defeated, as the Democrats stood together embracing their policy of abortion no matter what the consequences, no matter what the context.”

Despite these positions, many Democrats tell their constituents they are moderates on the issue of life, Cruz said.

“As you know, Harry Reid does not like for Senators to vote,” he stated, “because he wants to prevent his Democrats from having to make uncomfortable votes.”

“Truth and light has a way of counteracting those representations back home,” he said.

In concluding his speech to the conference – built around the theme “Winning for Life in 2014” – Cruz saluted the work of crisis pregnancy centers and 40 Days for Life specifically, for “explaining the consequences, explaining it not in anger but in love.”

He said the task facing the pro-life movement is to win the national argument over abortion and instill a “culture of life” against the reigning “culture of death.”

“There's nothing we need to do more than persuade our fellow Americans that there is nothing more precious than an infant child, and that every infant child has a right to life, a right to breathe, to live, to work towards a better tomorrow,” Cruz said. “In Texas last year, 80,000 children were aborted. That will change only when we persuade our fellow Americans to embrace an historic culture of life.”

In an announcement released on the same day as his NRLC speech, Senator Cruz confirmed he will be speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., in October. 


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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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