Steve Jalsevac

We must embrace conflict

Steve Jalsevac
Steve Jalsevac

My dear friends,

Only five more days until Christmas, the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. And yet, we should not forget that circumstances around His birth and during His life and at the end of His earthy life were anything but peaceful. There are lessons in this related to LifeSiteNews and its mission.

Christ lived and taught and was Love, but that love and teaching were never politically correct. They often involved the saying of hard truths that many did not want to hear.

Christ’s birth was the ultimate sign of God’s love for the human race. And yet He was hated and there were those who wanted to kill Him, even as an infant and later as He healed thousands of diseases and even raised some from the dead. In the end, He was cruelly murdered.

One of the lessons of His life was that true love does not avoid conflict, and true love is often obliged to say things that are not welcomed or that disturb people, although the intent is never to disturb or to hurt. True love involves sticking one’s neck out where others refuse to do so for fear of personal discomfort, loss of worldly respect, or other less-than-admirable reasons.

At the recent International Pro-Life Conference in Ottawa, which was co-sponsored by LifeSiteNews, 14-year-old Lia Mills gave a message well beyond her young years related to all of this. Many of us were astonished how, at such a very young age, she has come to understand what even most adults do not about the battle for life and family.

Lia described the anger she faced after her pro-life speech went viral on YouTube, noting that she even received death threats. But while we’re tempted to avoid conflict, she said, “the truth is that as pro-life people … we cannot avoid conflict, but [we must] embrace it in the right way. … My family and I have learned to embrace conflict.”

What amazing wisdom from such a young girl! Christ embraced conflict, as did all the prophets and saints and most great leaders from the past. When one is acting against great evils, as LifeSiteNews is, attacks or conflict are an inevitable companion. And yet, we are obliged to persevere. And we do.

We have learned to accept that, when our news reports are effective against evils, the conflict that results, and is not sought, is often an affirmation that we are, as an air force military priest chaplain advised, “over the target.”

Austin Ruse, the president of C-FAM, wrote last week, “Where would we all be without LifeSiteNews.com? They cover the life and family issues like a glove. They are often first to report and when needed they cause a lot of trouble in all the right places. I read LifeSiteNews. I salute LifeSiteNews.com”

We “cause a lot of trouble” or “embrace conflict,” not because we like or seek conflict, but simply because we report truth. LifeSiteNews could play it safe and avoid controversy, but then we would have to deny the TRUTH. The birth of Christ reminds us that we cannot do that, no matter how much others protest, or how heavy is the cross that results.

That birth also reminds us that, no matter how charitable and objectively we state certain truths, there will always be those who will rage against that truth, as they did against Christ, the saints and many other great religious or secular leaders.

At this point, we have achieved half of our fundraising goal for the 2010 Christmas Campaign. At $75,000, we are more than grateful for the generosity that’s been demonstrated by our supporters.

But we still need your help in receiving the last half of our necessary $150,000 goal with only 11 days remaining.
(Click here to donate)

It’s not easy working for LifeSiteNews. We’re often accused of insensitivities and atrocities, not only by gay rights activists, but also by the pro-abortion movement, proponents of stem cell research and euthanasia, anti-family organizations, and yes, even some liberal Church leaders.

It can be pretty daunting to see our critics point fingers at us and label us bigots, extremists, and other names I’d dare not share.

Yet, why would we endure such abuse if it were not for love?

Here at LifeSiteNews, we anticipate these struggles. Although we expect our critics to challenge us at every corner, we must shoulder the burden of this work in order to educate and activate society to bring out cultural change.

We are willing to endure hardships for the purpose of defending life family, truth, and love.

The world needs LifeSiteNews. All across the globe, people such as yourselves are struggling as they face the culture of death on a daily basis:

  • Our friends in Ireland are concerned about the European Court claiming the nation’s pro-life laws violate the “right to privacy.”

  • The U.N. Secretary-General demanded greater respect for homosexual and transgender rights, attempting to mainstream the gay agenda while sacrificing freedom of religion.

  • The ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project is targeting Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, who threatened to renounce a Catholic hospital for performing an abortion.

  • Pro-Life Action League President Joe Scheidler’s house was vandalized by an embittered pro-abortion activist.

  • A Quebec high school distributed graphic pamphlets instructing youth on how to perform “safe” oral sex.

The stories we report can sometimes seem discouraging, but our job is not merely to bring you such updates on the trials and tribulations that we and our friends and allies face. Our job is to report these stories so they may, in turn, encourage our readers and arm them with good information to challenge the anti-life and anti-family agenda.

We provide you, our readers, with the tools necessary to battle the anti-life and anti-family movement.

Now we humbly ask you to give us the tools needed to continue reaching the world with this crucial service.
(Click here to donate)

Our friends and allies strongly affirm their praises of LifeSiteNews:

  • “No one is more on target, no one is more open with the facts than LifeSiteNews.  I’m humbled by the coverage I’ve received from them and I urge all people of good will, pro-life and pro-family, to continue and double and redouble their financial support of this institution so that we should be able to get out the message and fight the moral fight for the glory of God.” Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada

  • “Over the years American Life League has become so dependent on LifeSiteNews.com that we cannot imagine doing our educational work without them. We need them; the babies need them; the world needs them … their brand of no nonsense, unabashedly principled reporting is an asset beyond measure.” Judie Brown, President of American Life League

  • “A lot of us wouldn’t be able to work so effectively if not for the extraordinarily good work of LifeSiteNews, which is the most widely read pro-life news service in the world.” John Smeaton, Director of Britain’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

  • “LifeSiteNews has been extremely valuable to us in our efforts to protect life and family in Latin America. LifeSite’s interest in reporting on key happenings throughout Latin America has been crucial in creating awareness, and very importantly, causing others to act!” Julia Regina Sol de Cardenal, President of Si a la Vida, El Salvador

The battle that lies before us will be long and arduous. That we can guarantee. With you as our allies, we can approach the frontlines with greater hope and fortitude.

Please help LifeSiteNews celebrate life and truth this Christmas through a gift of $5, $50, $100, $1,000, $5,000, or even more.
(Click here to donate)

Thank you for your support of LifeSiteNews.

For Life and Family,

Steve Jalsevac
Managing Director and Co-founder
LifeSiteNews

PS: U.S. donors can donate to LifeSiteNews to reduce taxable income for 2010 when you itemize your tax deductions. So don’t forget to donate before the year’s end!

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A Planned Parenthood facility in Denver, Colorado
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Colorado judge tosses suit alleging Planned Parenthood used state funds to pay for abortions

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

Alliance Defending Freedom "will likely appeal" a Monday court decision dismissing their suit alleging Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains illegally used state funds to pay for abortions, an ADF lawyer told LifeSiteNews.

The ADF lawsuit claims that $1.4 million went from state government agencies to a Planned Parenthood abortion affiliate through Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

Denver County District Court Judge Andrew McCallin dismissed the case on the basis that ADF could not prove the funds paid for abortions. But ADF maintains that funding an abortion facility is indirectly paying for abortions, which violates state law.

ADF senior counsel Michael Norton -- whose wife, former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, filed the lawsuit – told LifeSiteNews that "no one is above the law, including Colorado politicians who are violating our state’s constitution by continuing to fund Planned Parenthood’s abortion business with state taxpayer dollars."

"The State of Colorado even acknowledges that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate. The Denver court seems to have agreed with that fact and yet granted motions to dismiss based on a technicality," said Norton.

According to Colorado law, "no public funds shall be used by the State of Colorado, its agencies or political subdivisions to pay or otherwise reimburse, either directly or indirectly, any person, agency or facility for the performance of any induced abortion." There is a stipulation that allows for "the General Assembly, by specific bill, [to] authorize and appropriate funds to be used for those medical services necessary to prevent the death of either a pregnant woman or her unborn child under circumstances where every reasonable effort is made to preserve the life of each."

According to court documents, the Colorado law was affirmed by state voters in 1984, with an appeal attempt rejected two years later. In 2001, an outside legal firm hired by Jane Norton -- who was lieutenant governor at the time -- found that Planned Parenthood was "subsidizing rent" and otherwise providing financial assistance to Planned Parenthood Services Corporation, an abortion affiliate. After the report came out, and Planned Parenthood refused to disassociate itself from the abortion affiliate, the state government stopped funding Planned Parenthood.

Since 2009, however, that has changed, which is why the lawsuit is filed against Planned Parenthood, and multiple government officials, including Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

According to ADF legal counsel Natalie Decker, the fact that Planned Parenthood sent funds to the abortion affiliate should have convinced McCallin of the merits of the case. "The State of Colorado and the Denver court acknowledged that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars, in addition to millions of 'federal' tax dollars, flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate," said Decker.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

"Without even having the facts of the case developed, the Denver court seems to have granted motions to dismiss filed by the State of Colorado and Planned Parenthood on grounds the term 'indirectly' could not mean what Ms. Norton and Governor Owens said it meant in 2002 when they defunded Planned Parenthood."

"That, of course, is the plain meaning of Colo. Const., Art. V, § 50 which was implemented by the citizens of Colorado, and the reason for Ms. Norton’s lawsuit."

Decker told LifeSiteNews that "Colorado law is very clear," and that the state law "prohibits Colorado tax dollars from being used to directly or indirectly pay for induced abortions."

She says her client "has been denied the opportunity to fully develop the facts of the case and demonstrate exactly what the Colorado tax dollars have been used for." Similarly, says Decker, it is not known "exactly what those funds were used for. At this time, there is simply no way to conclude that tax dollars have not been used to directly pay for abortions or abortion inducing drugs and devices."

"What we do know is that millions of Colorado tax dollars have flowed through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate, which leads to the inescapable conclusion that those tax dollars are being used to indirectly pay for abortions."

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains did not return multiple requests for comment about the lawsuit.

The dismissal comes as Planned Parenthood fights an investigation by the state's Republican attorney general over a video by Live Action, as well as a lawsuit by a mother whose 13-year old daughter had an abortion in 2012 that she alleges was covered up by Planned Parenthood. The girl, who was being abused by her stepfather, was abused for months after the abortion.

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Courtesy of Online for Life
Steve Weatherbe

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Fledgling high-tech pro-life group marks 2,000 babies saved: 2-3 saved per day

Steve Weatherbe
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Online for Life, the Dallas-based pro-life marketing agency, saved its two-thousandth unborn baby earlier this year and is well on its way to saving its three thousandth by 2015.

“We are getting better all the time at what we do,” says founder Brian Fisher. “It used to be one baby saved every four to six weeks and now its two or three a day.”

But the most significant save? “It was the very first one,” he says, recalling the phone call from a crisis centre a month after OFL’s 2012 startup.  “And for me personally it was just a massive turning point … because [of] all the work and the money and testing and the volunteers and everything that led up to that moment. All the frustration of that was washed away in an instant because a child had been rescued that was about to be killed.”

Though increasing market savvy has led Online for Life to expand offline, the core of the non-profit, donor-financed operation remains SEO -- search engine optimization -- targeting young women who have just discovered they are pregnant and gone onto the Web to find the nearest abortion clinic.

Instead, they find the nearest crisis pregnancy center at the top of their results page. Since OFL went online it has linked with a network of 41 such centers, including two of its own it started this year, in a positive feedback loop that reinforces effective messaging first at the level of the Web, then at the first telephone call between the clinic and the pregnant woman, and finally at the first face-to-face meeting.

“Testing is crucial,” says Fisher. “We test everything we do.” Early on, Online for Life insisted the clinics it served have an ultrasound machine, because the prevailing wisdom in the prolife movement was that “once they saw their baby on ultrasound, they would drop the idea of having an abortion.” While the organization still insists on the ultrasound, its own testing and feedback from the CPCs indicates that three quarters of the women they see already have children. “They’ve already seen their own children on ultrasound and are still planning to abort.” So ultrasound images have lost their punch.

OFL has had to move offline to reach a significant minority who have neither computers, tablets, or cell phones.  Traditional electronic media spots as well as bus ads and billboards carry the message to them.

As well, says Fisher, “unwanted pregnancy used to be a high-school age problem; now that’s gone down in numbers and the average age of women seeking abortion has gone up to 24.” By that age, he says, they are “thoroughly conditioned by the abortion culture. Even before they got pregnant, they have already decided they would have an abortion if they did get pregnant.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

What they need—and fast, in the first two minutes of the first phone call—is sympathy, support, and a complete absence of judgement. Online for Life is always gathering information from its network on what responses are most effective—and this can vary city to city. The organization offers training to clinic volunteers and staff that stresses a thorough knowledge of the services on tap. “Any major city has all sorts of services—housing, education, health—available,” says Fisher.

The problem that OFL was designed to address was the crisis pregnancy centers’ market penetration. Three percent of women with unwanted pregnancies were reaching out to the CPCs, and seven per cent of those who did reach out were having their babies. “So about 2.1 children were being saved for every 1,000 unwanted pregnancies,” says Fisher. “That’s not nearly enough.”

So Fisher and two fellow volunteers dreamed of applying online marketing techniques to the problem in 2009. Three years later Fisher was ready to leave his executive position at an online marketing agency to go full-time with the life-saving agency. Now they have 63 employees, most of them devoted to optimizing the penetration in each of the markets served by their participating crisis centers.

The results speak for themselves. Where OFL has applied its techniques, especially with its own clinics, as many as 15-18 percent of the targeted population of women seeking abortions get directed to nearby crisis pregnancy centers. “It depends on the centres’ budgets and on how many volunteers they have to be on the phones through the day and night,” he says. “But we are going to push it higher. We hope to save our 2,500th child by the end of the year.”

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

Shock: UK mom abandons disabled daughter, keeps healthy son after twin surrogacy

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

A UK woman who is the biological mother of twins born from a surrogate mom, has allegedly abandoned one of the children because she was born with a severe muscular condition, while taking the girl's healthy sibling home with her.

The surrogate mother, also from the UK — referred to as "Jenny" to protect her identity — revealed to The Sun the phone conversation that took place between herself and the biological mother over the fate of the disabled girl.

“I remember her saying to me, “She’d be a f****** dribbling cabbage! Who would want to adopt her? No one would want to adopt a disabled child,’” she said.

Jenny, who has children of her own, said she decided to become a surrogate to “help a mother who couldn’t have children.” She agreed to have two embryos implanted in her womb and to give birth for £12,000 ($20,000 USD).

With just six weeks to the due date, doctors told Jenny she needed an emergency caesarean to save the babies. It was not until a few weeks after the premature births that the twin girl was diagnosed with congenital myotonic dystrophy.

When Jenny phoned the biological mother to tell her of the girl’s condition, the mother rejected the girl.

Jenny has decided along with her partner to raise the girl. They have called her Amy.

“I was stunned when I heard her reject Amy,” Jenny said. “She had basically told me that she didn’t want a disabled child.”

Jenny said she felt “very angry” towards the girl’s biological parents. "I hate them for what they did.”

The twins are now legally separated. A Children and Family Court has awarded the healthy boy to the biological mother and the disabled girl to her surrogate.

The story comes about two weeks after an Australian couple allegedly abandoned their surrogate son in Thailand after he was born with Down syndrome, while taking the healthy twin girl back with them to Australia.

Rickard Newman, director of Family Life, Pro-Life & Child and Youth Protection in the Diocese of Lake Charles, called the Australian story a “tragedy” that “results from a marketplace that buys and sells children.”

“Third-party reproduction is a prism for violations against humanity. IVF and the sperm trade launched a wicked industry that now includes abortion, eugenics, human trafficking, and deliberate family fragmentation,” he said. 

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