Kristi Burton Brown

Fatherhood: the other casualty in the abortion war

Kristi Burton Brown
By Kristi Burton Brown
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April 3, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - In the national struggle over abortion rights, fatherhood has become an additional casualty. On the one hand, women cry for men to be fathers, to pay child support, to marry them, to share equally in the raising of children. But on the other hand, women call for the right to make their own decisions, to have the “freedom of choice,” to have an abortion with no roadblocks.

As a woman, I do not understand how we can demand that men be fathers and yet prevent them from being exactly what we ask. Of course, if a child is born, her father should share in the raising of that child. I completely agree with this. A father who is not married to his child’s mother should either spend equal time caring for the child or pay child support. Of course.

Equally, though, if a father is willing to pay for his child to be born, if he is willing to take the child and care for her, if he is willing to raise his child, he should be allowed to. After all, the child is his child, too. The child is not the mother’s body.

Women need to take responsibility. We cannot speak out of both sides of our mouths. We cannot demand that men be fathers only when we want them to, and then kick them to the curb when we want to abort their children. This is so unfair that “unfair” is not an adequate word to describe it. There are no words to describe the plight of a man who is forced to sit down and shut up while his child is murdered.

Since I’m a woman, why don’t you take the word of men? Plenty of fathers have spoken out about their struggle to save their children or their utter helplessness to do anything about the situation.

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I’ve already shared the story of the father I worked with who lost his baby to his wife’s “choice.” Shawn Carney of 40 Days for Life shares the story of “Bill,” whose wife made her own decision to kill their child, despite what Bill said. A 40 Days for Life coordinator spoke of Bill:

I can only imagine that path that Bill will travel now; asking for an answer to “Why did she do it?” when there is no answer. How does he deal with his wife’s actions, coupled with her regret, while processing his own grief and loss?

How does he deal with the fact that his wife’s family was counseling her to get the abortion against her husband’s wishes? How does he someday tell his beautiful daughter that she was going to have a little brother or sister, but her mommy decided to get an abortion and by law, he couldn’t stop her?

This father was forced by his wife to choose between saving one of their unborn triplets or saving none:

My wife?  Something snapped.  She insisted that we do a “selective reduction” from three to one, or else she would have a full abortion.  She was adamant.  She would not carry three.  She would not carry two.

I was presented with a Coventry-esque decision: save one, or save none.  I chose the former, though I tried on several occasions to convince her to at least keep twins.  I failed.

We were told, point-blank, by the doctor who would do the procedure that they would inject potassium chloride into the placenta to stop the hearts.  We were told, point-blank, that it was painless.  Even then, I knew I was being lied to, but given the choice presented, I agreed anyway.  My mantra became “Save one, or save none.”

He goes on to describe his deep-seated feelings of pain concerning the abortion. Forced to be silent to save one of his children, he wonders what he could have done differently and hopes for forgiveness:

My wife didn’t look, but I had to.  I had to know what would happen to my children.  I had to know how they would die.

Each retreated, pushing away, as the needle entered the amniotic sac.  They did not inject into the placenta, but directly into each child’s torso.  Each one crumpled as the needle pierced the body.  I saw the heart stop in the first, and mine almost did, too.  The other’s heart fought, but ten minutes later they looked again, and it too had ceased….

I know they felt pain.  I know they felt panic.  And I know this was murder.  I take cold comfort in knowing that as far as we can tell, the survivor is still fine, and in knowing that this decision did not come from me; I would have taken the chance on triplets, even with all the work and effort it would have required….

Every day, returning from work, I hear “Hi Daddy!” and know there are two voices and two giggles that I will never hear.  I play with and cuddle my child, looking forward to the same with the second…but I know there are two sets of hands that will never touch mine, two sets of toes that will never be counted, two hugs that will forever be absent from my arms.

On USlegal.com, you will find a heartbreaking question from a father: “How can I stop my girlfriend from having an abortion if I am willing to take care of the child?”

The reply?  The cold, hard facts:

Legally, your consent isn’t required.  Perhaps you can persuade her by having an attorney draw up papers agreeing that you will have all financial and other responsibility.

Actually, for fathers, that’s a very good idea. In this messed up system, I still believe that a father should try everything within his power to save his child and convince the mother not to have an abortion. I discussed this more in my earlier article.

However, sometimes the things my fellow women do make me ashamed and incredibly sad. How dare we demand that men be fathers when we strip fatherhood from them at our will? Women, this must end. Our children need fathers. And men who want to love and care for their children should be allowed to do so.

Kristi Burton Brown is a pro-life activist in her home state of Colorado, a pro-bono attorney for Life Legal Defense Fund, and a stay-at-home mom. She is married to the amazing David Brown, and together, they have the cutest baby girl in the world! Kristi loves her Savior, Jesus Christ, speaking out for the truth, reading historical fiction, scrapbooking, politics, and cooking. She also has her own blog at: www.thelostgenerations.wordpress.com. This article reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org.


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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

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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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