Steve Jalsevac

Why we’re such beggars

Steve Jalsevac
Steve Jalsevac
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Our development manager, Jon Fidero, has come to appreciate the great challenge of convincing more people to donate to LifeSiteNews. There are reasons for this and it’s definitely not because we aren’t doing a very good job.

Let me explain.

I recently had a conversation with a prominent U.S. pro-life leader who greatly admires our work and depends on it for his own work. He said, “you know, I have to tell you there are times when I find it hard to read LifeSiteNews.”

We get that a lot.

This leader and many thousands of regular readers understand the implications of what we report, and it is painful to be constantly confronted with the ‘heavy’ news that must be dealt with. Nevertheless, this friend knows LifeSiteNews must continue to do what it does – for everyone’s benefit. (Click here to further our mission)

Many of us in the pro-life movement began by being concerned primarily about abortion.

However, after involving ourselves on the international scene, we encountered astonishing new information about what we were up against.  See our very popular document The Inherent Racism of Population Control and our NSSM section.

We learned that the abortion issue was only one of a large number of connected issues being manipulated by powerful forces in an international de-population push that is at the heart of the assault on our entire Judeo/Christian civilization.

For example, the Philippines has been a major target of these forces for decades and now they finally have been overcome with the passage of the RH bill this week. Ireland is also on the verge of being forced into the Culture of Death with legalized abortion.

At LifeSiteNews, we recognized that many pro-life, pro-family activists had little knowledge of the immensity of what they were fighting. We knew we had to try to convince the pro-lifers, through first-class news reporting, that they had to also become aware and concerned about homosexuality, pornography, sex-ed programs, legalization of prostitution, de-population programs and even environmental extremism and more.

Many leaders constantly thank us for helping them to understand all the connections.

We also realized that most pro-life organizations have for years experienced a devastating lack of support, and even direct undermining of their efforts, from church leaders – who are crucially needed allies in this war.

We had a serious obligation to report on that issue as well, we realized, or the cause of life and family would continue to be lost.

If we just stuck to reporting on abortion and what is normally considered to be “pro-life” there is no doubt, given the faithful and talented writers I’m privileged to work with, LifeSiteNews would have been far easier to grow.  Raising money, having prestige and on-going access to leaders in the Church, politics and high society could have been realized.

But our consciences would not allow us to take that relatively safe or institutionally acceptable road.

Consequently, there has been a price to pay.

We lose a lot of subscribers, on-line readers and donations because of our extensive reporting on the homosexual issue. The threats this issue poses to a culture of life are still very poorly understood.

We have also endured loss of popularity and donations over our extensive coverage of pornography and other ‘ick-factor’ issues.

Our reporting on the very damaging moral dissent, even among those within leadership in Christian denominations, and shockingly weak church leadership response to the moral issues of the day, has also exacted a heavy price.

But these are key issues in the culture war.

Very few are willing to take on these issues because they know the inevitable flack, loss of status, and support they will incur for doing so. We do not report to criticize and our aim is to fight scandal, not to cause it.

When private means to end scandalous situations are unsuccessful, shining public light on the matter has shown itself to be effective time and time again.  As we have learned so painfully from the Church sexual abuse scandals, the far greater scandal is that so many situations are kept hidden and unresolved.

We report to bring about resolution and correction of these ills, and through our more positive stories to present examples of heroism, right leadership, and necessary action.

Donating to LifeSiteNews does not earn a plaque on a building or a hospital device or a photo-op that some would want to show around. It is something that some donors would be reluctant to boast about to their friends, the media, or in their organization or company newsletters. Many donors prefer to avoid association with controversy and “divisive” issues.

And yet, there are few heroes throughout Christian history who were not controversial.  Jesus Christ and his closest followers spoke things so controversial that He and many of them were killed for their words. Christ warned that His teachings, His truths, would cause serious division.

Were Christ and his saints all fools? Should they have done things differently to avoid any personal offence so more would have supported them?

As a result, we find ourselves in a position of needing to pay for a $170,000 defense bill – and that is only what it has cost us to this point for our defense—against a self-described ‘pro-choice’, gay friendly Catholic priest who wants to punish LifeSiteNews for reporting his many public actions to a wider, international audience.

We get threats of lawsuits from others for the same reason.

In addition, we endure severe defamation by certain groups and individuals, sometimes even those in prominent positions in politics and religion. Unfortunately, many believe such unjust disparagement without bothering to talk to us for our side of the story.  This has damaged our reputation and cost us in other ways, just how much I don’t think we will ever really know.

These assaults from every side cost and cost us. But they do not deter us.

We have no choice. We have to do what we are clearly called to do.

We know that someone must do it, and for whatever reason, we have been called to this task - regardless of the consequences.

So, because of all this and much more, we have to beg more than some and must run these quarterly campaigns to cover the many costs associated with our mission.

At the moment, we absolutely need to raise a minimum of an additional $85,000 towards our Christmas campaign goal. (This does not include the additional $95,000 - which we don’t have - in still outstanding bills owed for our current legal defense costs).

If you have not yet done so, please contribute whatever you can and perhaps mention our needs to others who are pro-life and pro-family who may wish to help. (Click Here to Support our Campaign)

We have so many readers that it would not take much from a relatively small percentage of them to cover all of our current costs and much more.

Thank you for your support,

Steve Jalsevac
Managing Director
LifeSiteNews.com

P.S. – Only 11 days remain in our Christmas campaign.

  Your donation today, large or small, will help us reach our goal.  (Click Here to Support our Campaign)

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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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