All articles from April 15, 2015


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Abortion lobby opposes feticide law, excuses throwing a living baby into a dumpster

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By Dustin Siggins

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – She took illegal drugs to kill her child – but the baby was born alive, so she dumped the tiny body in a dumpster. Now radical abortion supporters are saying a woman in Indiana should not be charged with feticide.

In the days since Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for neglecting and killing her child, abortion supporters around America have defended Patel's actions. They claim Patel, an Indian-American, should not have been found guilty.

In July 2013, Purvi Patel went to a hospital because she was bleeding profusely. Court documents show that Patel originally denied being pregnant, then, forced to admit she had been pregnant, claimed she was only a couple of months into the pregnancy and had miscarried. However, doctors eventually concluded that she had been 28 weeks into her pregnancy.

Police found her baby's body left outside a restaurant. A further examination of the body determined the child may have taken a breath before dying. Patel was subsequently charged with neglect of the child.

Last September, Patel was also charged with feticide because she took two abortion-inducing drugs, which she ordered from Hong Kong. One of the drugs failed to work, causing the problems that led to the child's birth and Patel's hospital visit.

"Purvi Patel could be just the beginning" says the headline of Emily Bazelon's piece on the New York Times Magazine's website. According to Bazelon, "Patel's case stands out, for the draconian length of the sentence she received, and for the disturbing image of a baby left in a dumpster."

Like more than 16,500 people who have signed a White House petition asking President Obama to pardon Patel -- which he cannot do, since Patel was convicted under a state law -- Bazelon argues that the prosecution used inappropriate evidence to convict Patel.

"Her trial included such unscientific 'evidence' as a lung-float test and her affect while hospitalized, as well as a focus on her ambivalence toward her pregnancy and her alleged purchase of medication to end her pregnancy, even though a blood test showed an absence of such medication," reads the petition.

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The pathologist for the prosecution, Joseph Prahlow, did tell Bazelon that "the lung float test, in and of itself, is unreliable.” However, he also said that the test may “provide corroborating evidence, in light of additional findings.”

That evidence includes, according to Bazelon, "the weight of the lungs and the other organs, the inflation of the lungs and the air sacs, the presence of blood in the lung vessels and the 'relative maturity' of the lungs."

"Put these findings together, along with a lack of blood in the baby’s body, and 'I can’t come up with any other explanation other than that this baby was born alive,'" Bazelon quotes Prahlow.

The prosecution used texts from Patel to prove she took abortion medication. One text from early July 2013 reads that "these pills taste like #$&%. If these pills don't work...I'm gonna be mad."

This evidence hasn't stopped other abortion supporters from claiming Indiana's feticide law goes too far. Feticide laws typically give exemptions to abortion doctors – but since Patel had her abortion later in the pregnancy than what is allowed by Indiana law, and the baby took a breath, she was charged with feticide.

Indiana's fetal homicide law "specifies that a person who knowingly or intentionally terminates a human pregnancy with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus commits feticide." As is the case in other states that have fetal homicide laws, "the law does not apply to an abortion."

In Indiana, abortions are legal until the 28th week, which is where prosecutors argued Patel was in her pregnancy. Indiana's abortion laws indicate that a legal abortion must be conducted by a medical professional.

Radical abortion supporters at Buzzfeed, The Guardian, and elsewhere are claiming that Patel's conviction and sentence point to how feticide laws allegedly harm women – by threatening to convict women who have miscarriages. However, court documents show Patel not only took medication to end her child's life, but subsequently lied to medical personnel when she visited a hospital for care the same evening that she killed her child.

Patel's sentencing came as Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-FL, has been under fire for opposing any pro-life law. Large majorities of Americans support some restrictions on abortion, and more than two-thirds oppose all late-term abortions.

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The birth control pill shrinks women’s brains and increases risk of Crohn’s disease: New studies

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By Lisa Bourne

LOS ANGELES, April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Women who use the birth control pill may be shrinking their brains and increasing their chances of developing Crohn's disease, two new studies have found.

Neuroscientists from the University of California, Los Angeles found that the two main regions of the brain controlling emotion and decision-making are thinner in women who take the pill.

A study published April 2 in the journal Human Brain Mapping reports that the pill’s chemicals block the body’s natural hormones, altering the brain’s structure and function.

The study concluded that oral contraceptive use “was associated with significantly lower cortical thickness measurements in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex.”

The orbitofrontal cortex controls decision-making and the posterior cigulate manages emotions. And among the women studied, both of these two areas were smaller than average in those taking the pill.

The UCLA scientists – who studied 90 women, 44 who were on the pill and 46 who were not – found that the pill can shrink parts of the brain but stated their data pointed to no conclusive results about the effects of chemical contraceptives on female behavior.

The researchers also did not determine whether this brain shrinkage is permanent, and indicated more research is needed.

“Future studies can investigate the time course of these effects. It is currently not known whether these effects appear immediately after initiating OC use, or gradually accumulate and increase over time,” they said. “Further, it is not known how long these effects persist after OC discontinuation.”

Another report released in March says the pill triples the chance of developing the incurable digestive condition known as Crohn’s disease.

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Harvard gastroenterologist Doctor Hamed Khalili conducted a study of 230,000 American women who had used the pill for at least five years, finding that the synthetic hormones contained in the contraceptives can weaken the digestive system, creating ideal conditions for Crohn’s development.

The study also concluded that the abortifacient “morning after” pill, which carries a higher dose of synthetic hormones, can also increase the likelihood of developing Crohn’s.

British researchers also found a link between chemical contraceptives and Crohn’s in 2009.

Khalili said it was not likely the pill alone would cause Crohn’s, and that genetics also came into play. But he told The Telegraph that he expects women genetically predisposed to Crohn’s to be warned soon to avoid the pill.

A doctor in the UK was already doing so.

“If you have a family history of Crohn’s I would advise against starting on the pill,” said Doctor Simon Anderson, a consultant gastroenterologist at London Bridge hospital.

Hormonal contraceptives, especially the birth control pill, have a well-documented history of physically harming the women who take them.

In 2005 a division of the World Health Organization declared chemical contraceptives to be a Group 1 Carcinogen, the highest classification of carcinogenicity, used only when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.

The birth control pill has been linked to social ills and many medical problems, such as breast cancer, hair loss, increased risk of glaucoma and blood clots, hardening of the arteries and cervical cancer.

A 2014 study found the pill negatively affected women’s attraction to men, and a 2011 study linked the pill to reduction in women’s memory.

A specific type of hormone pill meant to treat acne and excessive hair growth in women which has often been used off-label as a contraceptive, was implicated in the deaths of 27 women in the Netherlands in 2013.

Researchers at the University of Missouri at Columbia found in 2005 that boys exposed to certain synthetic hormones in the pill had a greater risk of prostate cancer and other urinary tract problems later in life.

Chemical contraceptives finding their way into water systems have adversely affected wildlife as well, mutating the gender of some species of fish and nearly causing extinction of others. 

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Judge upholds New Jersey’s ban on reparative therapy

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By Lisa Bourne

PHILADELPHIA, PA, April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a legal challenge to New Jersey’s controversial ban on reparative therapy.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled April 13 that U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson was correct in rejecting a couple’s claim the law violates their constitutional rights, because it prohibits them from pursuing treatment for their teenage son.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, signed the state’s controversial law banning parents from seeking therapy to help their children fight unwanted same-sex attraction in August 2013, making New Jersey the second U.S. state to legislatively thwart parental rights and the work of therapy professionals in addressing unwelcome same-sex attraction.

California passed its ban in 2012, and Washington, D.C., followed suit in December 2014.

Other states have tried to pass bans on the treatments, which are known as reparative or conversion therapy, and failed. At the same time, the Obama administration has endorsed a a 50-state series of bans.

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“I’ve always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual,” Christie, a Catholic, said when he signed the New Jersey ban. “My religion says [homosexuality is] a sin. But for me, I don’t” agree that it is.

Opponents of the New Jersey law said it was a violation of parents’ civil rights not only because of the therapy ban itself, but also because under the law parents who either take their children to unlicensed New Jersey counselors or a licensed out of state counselor to seek help for unwanted same-sex attraction risk being reported to the authorities for “endangering the welfare of a child,” and losing their children to the state.

This was not the first legal challenge to the ban.

Two New Jersey therapists, along with the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and the American Association of Christian Counselors, sued in 2013 to block enforcement of the contentious law, arguing it violates therapists’ freedom of speech.

Wolfson dismissed that case as well, in November 2013.

This latest suit contended the therapy ban violates the claimants’ freedom of speech and religion, and their 14th Amendment right to equal protection.

The federal court referenced the earlier Wolfson ruling against the two therapists, under the supposition that reparative therapy was injurious, saying in its decision the state has an “‘unquestionably substantial’ interest in protecting citizens from harmful professional practices, and that this interest is even stronger where the citizens protected are minors.”

In her earlier ruling upholding the ban, Wolfson had cited court rulings holding that states are entitled to regulate medical or mental health treatments parents choose for their children in her earlier decision, asserting that the reparative therapy ban aligns with upholding parental rights.

“Surely, the fundamental rights of parents do not include the right to choose a specific medical or mental health treatment that the state has reasonably deemed harmful or ineffective,” wrote Wolfson at the time. “To find otherwise would create unimaginable and unintentional consequences.”

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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he is bringing H.R. 36 -- which bans most abortions after 20 weeks' gestation -- to the House floor. McCarthy's office / Flickr
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House GOP promises to reintroduce 20-week abortion ban – but will it be too watered down?

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- H.R. 36, the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," is headed back to the House floor. But changes made since January may make the bill unsupportable for some pro-life advocates.

According to National Journal and The Bellingham Herald, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Monday that he is bringing H.R. 36 -- which bans most abortions after 20 weeks' gestation -- to the House floor. He did not give a timeline.

Both the Herald and National Journal say Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-NC, is backing a draft she was shown earlier this month. Ellmers has come under fire from pro-life leaders since January when she pulled her support for the 20-week ban days ahead of the planned vote, despite voting for the bill in 2013.

The congresswoman said that a requirement for women who have been raped to file a report with police was too narrow. According to Ellmers, in the new draft alleged rape victims will now have to report the rape to the doctor performing the late-term abortion.

"The demand that it be reported to law enforcement was completely unrealistic and only further victimized the victims of rape, and I think that's something that we have to be very conscientious about," Ellmers told National Journal.

However, the pro-life group SaveThe1, whose members consist of people who survived rape or whose conception came as a result of rape, have said allowing a rape exception at all devalues the lives of children conceived in rape. Additionally, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network supports rape victims reporting their abuse to police.

Ellmers also told National Journal that H.R. 36's incest exception has been expanded from only allowing minors to have abortions. Now, says Ellmers, any woman can get an abortion if she is pregnant as a result of incest.

Pro-life leader and 20-week ban sponsor Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, declined to stand behind Ellmers' statements about what the new bill contains, however. “We continue to search for language that will unify the pro-life base," said Franks in a statement. "However it is completely premature to say what that final language will be. With that said, the draft being discussed now differs in substantive ways from" what Ellmers described.

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Ellmers comments on the bill have been confusing. Though she had publicly opposed the bill in January, the day before the scheduled vote on January 21, she said she would vote for the bill.

The version Ellmers supported on January 21 is the same one she voted for in 2013 -- and the one she pulled support from just days earlier. By that time, however, House leadership had pulled the 20-week ban from the House floor because of the actions of several Republicans, including Ellmers.

Press staffers for Ellmers and Franks did not return LifeSiteNews' requests for comment on changes to H.R. 36. Ellmers' office did not respond to a query about her January 21 support, or whether she regretted verbally attacking pro-life critics.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, whose committee passed the 20-week ban in its original form, told LifeSiteNews that he "will continue to support all efforts to move pro-life legislation.” A spokesperson for the committee told LifeSiteNews that Goodlatte could not comment on a timeline for the bills to arrive on the House floor.

A spokesperson for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, who controls the floor schedule for the House, did not return a request for comment.

A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, told LifeSiteNews that "while discussions continue, there is not currently an agreement." The spokesperson, Michael Steel, also said that the speaker "has never weighed in specifically on [the rape] provision, to my knowledge."

Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, who last month was arrested while protesting the delay in passage of H.R. 36, told LifeSiteNews that "Ellmers is endorsing a loophole big enough for a Mack truck." She and eleven pro-life organizations are planning another protest outside Boehner’s office on May 7.

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Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals holds up the new sex-ed curriculum documents during her February 23 press conference at Queen's Park. Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
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Ontario education minister: New sex-ed curriculum teaches 6-year-olds about sexual abuse (video)

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By Pete Baklinski

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TORONTO, April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Ontario children in grade one need to learn about male and female genitals so they can be taught about “inappropriate touching,” Liberal Education Minister Liz Sandals revealed at a pro-LGBTQ educators conference last week.

“We need students to understand the importance of things like healthy respectful relationships, having the confidence to say ‘No.’ I’ve done a lot of trying to sort out with people that when we say consent, that we’re really explaining that consent has a very explicit meaning, and everything else means ‘No,’ because it’s somehow gotten warped into: ‘They’re teaching everybody to say ‘Yes’ to everything.’ “No, we’re giving people the right to say ‘No,’ starting in grade one when we teach them about their body parts and inappropriate touching. You have the right to say ‘No,’” she told about 160 educators from across Ontario who attended the Friday conference at Toronto’s City Hall. The event was attended by LifeSiteNews.

Gwen Landolt of REAL Women of Canada reacted to Sandals’ comments by saying it is “deeply offensive to parents” that their children will be taught details about sexual abuse.

“It’s intruding onto a child’s innocence,” she told LifeSiteNews. “These children are six years old. Do they need to be exposed to the details of what sexual abuse is? Parents should be outraged at this.”

Landolt and other critics have warned that the Wynne government’s sex-ed program, slated for launch in September, will teach kids too much at too young an age, and that filling children’s minds with explicit sexual details corrupts their natural innocence, giving them adult realities for which they lack the maturity and wisdom to bear.

Some are concerned the explicit information grooms children for sexual encounters with adults, especially since the curriculum’s overseer Ben Levin has now been convicted of child-related sexual charges.

The conference, titled Implementing the Accepting Schools Act, was hosted by the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD), a pro-homosexual activist organization formerly known as Jer’s Vision. Its purpose was to provide educators from both public and Catholic boards with hands-on solutions for the full implementation of Bill 13 in the classroom. Bill 13, called by critics the homosexual bill of rights, passed in June 2012, giving students the right to form pro-gay clubs in their school, including Catholic ones, using the name Gay-Straight Alliance.

Homosexual activists have admitted that promoting the “safe schools” strategy beginning in the early 1990s was key to gaining widespread public sympathy for their movement’s goal of obtaining acceptance of homosexual relationships and practices.

Tens of thousands of parents have joined together, many of them from a diversity of ethnic and religious backgrounds including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, and secular, to voice their concerns over the curriculum. They accuse the Liberal government of refusing to consult with them and for taking over their role as parents. They are demanding that the curriculum be stopped. 

Despite massive opposition from these parents and the dozens of groups representing them, Sandals assured the educators that the curriculum will happen since it has been part of the overall plan to make schools ‘safe and accepting’ places for students identifying as LGBTQ.

“So, when I say, ‘It will happen,’ you understand why I am so stubborn. It will happen. I have been working on this for a very long time,” she told the conference.

Sandals said she was “absolutely delighted” to speak at a conference of educators eager to make sure their schools were Bill-13 compliant. She praised the CCGSD for being an organization that “we all respect and want to work with.”

“You’ve really done super work on addressing bullying, discrimination, harassment, and certainly including homophobia, transphobia, bi-phobia, and racism through your programs [for schools],” she said.

“Our government shares this commitment because we know that a safe and accepting school environment is essential for student achievement and wellbeing.”

The CCGSD’s work includes running a field trip for high school students in 2011 that culminated in a drag show. The organization partners with pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood and pro-prostitution groups such as Maggie’s Sex Work. The organization orchestrates the ‘Day of Pink’ in schools across Canada and says its goal is to eliminate what it calls oppression against people who identify as LGBTQ.

Sandals said that Bill 13 has already made a difference in schools across the province. 

“What we see happening in schools now is a gradual change in the culture that values diversity and asserts safe and accepting schools as the standard for every student in every community.”

Sandals told conference attendees that there was still a “huge amount of work to do” in schools for students identifying as LGBTQ and that she was “thrilled that you’re all here today to talk about how to do that work.”

“We believe that the updated health and phys-ed curriculum will go a long way to supporting the success, safety, and wellbeing of every student and every child in Ontario. But, we wouldn’t be here if our work was all finished. So, thank you so much for being here today and for helping us implement further our safe and accepting schools vision,” she concluded.

Find a full listing of LifeSiteNews' coverage of the Ontario government's explicit sex-ed program here.

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Canada’s Supreme Court orders Quebec city to stop praying at council meetings

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

OTTAWA, April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Canada’s Constitution may recognize the “supremacy of God,” but town councils cannot, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

In a unanimous decision, the high court said municipal councilors are no longer allowed to begin meetings with prayer.

The ruling is the final result of a complaint against the mayor of Saguenay, Quebec, by Alain Simoneau and the Mouvement laëque québécois (Quebec Secular Movement), which objected to prayer at the beginning of council meetings and to two religious objects – a statue and a crucifix – being displayed in the council chambers.

In addition to ordering Mayor Jean Tremblay and Saguenay councilors to stop praying at council meetings, the court said they must pay Simoneau $15,000 in compensatory damages, $15,000 in punitive damages, and additional indemnity and costs of $3,500.

Dr. Christian Elia, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL), which acted as an intervener in the case, said the Supreme Court decision was extremely disappointing because by demonstrating a preference for "non-religious belief – disbelief," the court is doing nothing to ensure state neutrality.

"In a sense, by prohibiting respectful, non-proselytizing, non-coercive prayer, the court is showing a clear preference to non-religious believers over religious believers, and gives an untenable status to secularism and atheism, which are themselves beliefs. So there is no balance and no reconciliation among various beliefs in this ruling but shows a preference for one belief – secularism – over all other beliefs," Elia told LifeSiteNews.

"This is not an example of a true, authentic and robust pluralism," Elia stressed. "In true pluralism, religious believers and non-believers can share the public square, but this decision means the public square can no longer be shared."

The case was originally taken to the Quebec Human Rights Commission, which in 2008 ordered the Saguenay council to cease praying before meetings. Mayor Jean Tremblay ignored the order, saying the Commission's decision was non-binding, and countered that the Commission's ruling was discriminatory against people who want to pray.

The complainants then took the case to the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, which ruled in 2011 that prayer infringes on people’s freedom of conscience, noting that “since there were still vestiges of Catholicism in the prayer and religious symbols, the city was favoring one religion over others.”

The municipality was ordered to pay $30,000 to the plaintiff.

“I must be the first and only mayor in the world’s history to be punished for a 20-second prayer. I just don’t get it,” the staunchly Catholic mayor said in an interview at the time.

Mayor Tremblay, however, successfully appealed the Tribunal's ruling.

In 2013 the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the ruling by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, and stated that reciting a prayer, and the presence of religious symbols in city hall, does not violate governmental religious neutrality.

In that decision, written by Justice Guy Gagnon, the appeal court said neutrality does not require “that society be cleansed of all denominational reality, including that which falls within its cultural history.”

The judge said the Christian symbols in Saguenay had been present in city hall for decades, but for a large part of Quebecers these symbols have lost their religious significance and are seen as merely historical artifacts.

Noting that Quebec is awash in Christian symbolism – including the religious reference in the French version of Canada’s national anthem, the white cross on Quebec’s flag, and the cross atop Mount Royal – Justice Gagnon wrote that nothing suggests that these symbols indicate the city of Saguenay is “under the yoke of the Catholic religion.”

“Examples of Christian symbolism abound without any evidence that they compromise the government’s neutrality,” the judge stated.

Alain Simoneau and the Mouvement laëque québécois then appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case in January 2014.

Mayor Tremblay told media following the announcement of the Supreme Court decision today that he would issue a statement at a news conference to be held at Saguenay City Hall on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

The full text of the Supreme Court ruling is available here.

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Premier Kathleen Wynne walks toward a crowd of 250 citizens protesting her explicit sex-ed program in Mississauga on March 26, 2015. Lou Iacobelli
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Premier Wynne accuses parents against explicit sex-ed of being lackeys for federal Tories

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By Steve Weatherbe

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TORONTO, April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com)  -- Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, clearly still chagrined at the hostility she encountered at a monster Mississauga rally against her vaunted sex education scheme several weeks ago, has blamed the ongoing protests by parents on the federal Conservatives, saying they stem from “despicable” political motives that “we need to call them out on.”

But one of the chief organizers behind the grassroots opposition to Wynne’s cherished sex-ed curriculum is “calling out” Wynne herself, charging the Liberal leader with bullying—the very sort of thing the sex-ed plan is supposed to end—in schools, at least, but not, apparently, in premiers.

Wynne made the comments to the Toronto Star, which carried some of them on a short video on its website. According to the Star, Wynne believes “that such protests may be politically motivated — orchestrated by federal Conservative activists profiting from parents’ fears in order to boost their own partisan ambitions in a ‘despicable’ way.”

What’s more, Wynne thinks it will get worse as the federal election nears, with Conservative efforts focussing on a few crucial ridings. “I think it will be a ground campaign, and I think it will be an attempt to paint all Liberals [federal and provincial] with somehow . . . this very negative patina, and I just think it’s despicable,” she told the Star. “We need to call them out on it.”

But none of that is true at all, says Maggie Amin, a school teacher who has helped organize the growing opposition to the Liberal government’s sex ed plan, which would normalize marginal sexual proclivities in the minds of primary school pupils.

“Parents are used to being labelled by their own premier,” Amin told LifeSiteNews. “Although labelling is part of bullying - so she teaches us. We used to be ‘parents of faith,’ then we became ‘homophobes’ and now we are Conservatives!”

Amin noted that labeling and bullying are proscribed by Wynne’s sex education curriculum when they are targeted at groups the premier seeks to protect, but not when she is labeling parents.

“This has nothing to do with the Conservative Party,” said Amin. But “let me say, that from now on it will be a political issue. … Now, thousands of parents who were never politically involved are registering as voters to ensure that Liberals who announced that curriculum, and who are forcing it upon our children, will no longer be in power. They are chanting, ‘No more Liberals in my life.’”

Amin thinks blaming the Conservatives for the opposition is just silly. “Behind the rallies are parents from all walks of life; coming together, to oppose this curriculum which has rocked their world. They have signed petitions, sent letters to politicians, talked to school boards - and all met by a deaf ear.”

Not entirely deaf: The Star’s clip of the interview shows the premier promising loud and clear that “if at the end of the day, if you look at all that [in the curriculum] and you talk to the school, you can withdraw your children.”

Wynne and her education minister Liz Sandals have made this vow before, only to turn a blind eye as it was undermined by school districts that have just as adamantly insisted that parents could not opt their children out.

Teresa Pierre, the head of Parents As First Educators, affirmed Amin’s comments after returning home from the April 14 rally at Queen’s Park. “A quick scan of the crowd at today’s rally is enough to show how absurd this theory is. Many who attended were traditionally Liberal voters from the 905 belt of ridings at the edge of the Greater Toronto Area, such as Sikhs and Muslims. And not a federal Conservative in sight.”

Find a full listing of LifeSiteNews' coverage of the Ontario government's explicit sex-ed program here.

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‘Lifeless’ patient rushed to hospital after botched abortion in California

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By Cheryl Sullenger
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BAKERSFIELD, CA, April 15, 2015 (OperationRescue.org) – For the third time in just two months, abortionist Karen Mann has sent a patient to the hospital to receive emergency care. Witnesses to the April 14, 2015, incident told Operation Rescue that this time the woman appeared “lifeless.”

“Her arms were just hanging lifeless off the sides of the gurney,” reported Terri Palmquist of Life Savers Ministries. Palmquist is a long-time sidewalk counselor outside FPA Women’s Health, formerly known as Family Planning Associates, in Bakersfield, California. “She was at least unconscious.”

Palmquist explained that nearly every clinic worker emerged from the abortion facility with sheets that were deployed in an effort to block pro-life activists from photographing the incident. However, Palmquist’s husband, Tim, got a very good view of the obviously unconscious woman.

The woman was rushed by ambulance running lights and sirens to Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield. Her condition today is unknown.

Mann has worked at FPA Women’s Health in Bakersfield for only about three months but has so far sent three women to the emergency room for care she was incapable of providing.

Other incidents took place on March 31 and February 3, when a woman suspected of having suffered a heart attack during an abortion procedure was rushed away by ambulance. Overall, this is the eighth documented medical emergency at this facility since 2012.

Tim Palmquist of Life Savers Ministries told Operation Rescue that people who have been inside the abortion facility have complained about conditions inside. One man, who recently escorted a woman for an abortion complained to Palmquist that the clinic was “very dirty inside, specifically mentioning q-tips on the floor and that they obviously hadn’t even vacuumed.”

Mann has a history of providing substandard patient care. She was sued in 2011 for a gruesomely botched circumcision that left a child permanently disfigured and has required several surgeries. The suit alleges that Mann “was negligent and her conduct fell below the care and skill required of medical doctors and medical practitioners.”

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“It is our opinion that Mann poses an immediate danger to the public and has created a safety crisis in Bakersfield. Today, we are asking the California Medical Board for an emergency suspension of her medical license in order to protect the public while a full investigation into her abortion practices and conditions is done,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “We will continue to investigate this on our end due to serious concerns that the patient may not have survived.”

Reprinted with permission from Operation Rescue. 

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Gay agenda front and center as Hillary Clinton announces presidential campaign

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By Kirsten Anderson

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Hillary Clinton has released a video announcing her candidacy for U.S. president in which she compares her personal political ambition to big events in the lives of everyday Americans.  The video, called “Getting Started,” shows people getting ready to take on new challenges, from new spring gardens to new business opportunities to new parenthood.  

Most of the scenarios featured are fairly universal – a mom moving house in search of a better school district for her child, a couple expecting their first baby, a woman getting ready to retire, a child preparing for his role in the school play.  But one common “life event” celebrated in the two-minute ad – marriage – seems calculated to appeal directly to a narrow but powerful constituency, the homosexual lobby, as the only engaged couple featured is a pair of gay men. 

“I’m getting married this summer to someone I really care about,” says a man’s voice, as two men walk down a street together hand-in-hand.  Later in the ad, another homosexual couple turns up – this time, two women who are seen nuzzling each other’s faces and kissing on a sofa.

The ad’s emphasis on gay relationships was so strong that it prompted news broadcasters in Russia to mark its content with an 18+ “mature” rating to comply with laws forbidding pro-homosexual propaganda for younger audiences.

Meanwhile, back home in the U.S., Family Research Council President Tony Perkins slammed Ms. Clinton for “elevating the homosexual agenda above other key American priorities,” in the video, which, he noted, neglected to mention issues like the faltering economy and Islamic terrorism in favor of gay “marriage.”

Perkins also pointed out what he saw as a possible Freudian slip on Clinton’s new campaign website, which initially launched with the words, “[Hillary has] fought children and families all her career.”  Perkins acknowledged the statement was likely a typo, but said it was accurate nonetheless.

“For once … Hillary Clinton may be telling the truth — and on her campaign website, no less!” Perkins wrote in his Patriot Post newsletter.  “Over her long career as a senator and America’s top diplomat, Hillary Clinton has been a global advocate for abortion-on-demand and the complete demolition of the natural family, making her anything but an ally of children or the family.”

Meanwhile, American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios took to the airwaves to complain about the ad’s conspicuous lack of traditional two-parent families.

Amongst the calculated diversity of the ad – which features two apparently single mothers, two gay couples, a few childless or retired heterosexual couples, a few racially diverse singles, an African-American couple expecting a baby, and a pair of brothers – Rios said one demographic was notably absent: “the Anglo-American husband-and-wife with family in church.  We don’t see that,” Rios said.

Rios was not the only commentator to notice the exclusionary nature of the ad’s diversity. CNN anchor Carol Costello devoted an entire segment to the question of why Clinton’s ad focused on single mothers, gay men and minorities to the virtual exclusion of white nuclear families and straight men.   “Who is Clinton’s audience?” Costello asked, bringing in commentators S.E. Cupp and Donna Brazile to debate the topic.

Cupp, a Republican strategist, said Clinton risks “overselling” to feminists, gays, and other identity voters at the cost of alienating straight males and conservative women.  She compared the announcement’s niche-based approach to Democrat Mark Udall’s failed 2014 campaign for U.S. Senate from Colorado, in which he so aggressively courted feminist, pro-abortion voters that he earned the nickname “Mark Uterus” from the national media.

But Brazile, a longtime adviser to both Clinton and her husband, Bill, said the ad’s focus on gays and feminists was likely calculated to appeal to Millennial Democrats, who overwhelmingly backed the more liberal Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries.  Brazile said Clinton may be banking on younger Millennials – those who were too young to vote for her last time around – to be just as, if not more liberal than their elder counterparts were eight years ago. And in a race where her advanced age is already a contentious issue, it’s possible she feels the need to establish her progressive street cred with brand new Democratic voters who were barely out of diapers when she and her husband departed the White House.  Given the mainstream media’s current obsession with all things homosexual, Clinton may have deduced that the easiest way to pass the progressive litmus test is to wave the rainbow flag.

Clinton first announced her support for legalized same-sex “marriage” in a 2013 video for the “Human Rights Campaign” homosexual activist group.  In that video, she called the rapid cultural shift toward acceptance of homosexual behavior “breathtaking and inspiring,” but said “the journey is far from over.”

Clinton has also signaled her commitment to gay issues by selecting Robby Mook, an openly homosexual man, as campaign manager for her 2016 run – a first for a major presidential campaign.  Mook, 35, is perhaps best known for running longtime Democratic fundraiser and Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe’s lavishly-funded 2013 campaign for Virginia governor, in which he slammed McAuliffe’s opponent, Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, as a misogynist and bigot for his pro-life Christian worldview and opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

So far, the approach seems to be working, at least on self-styled “progressives.”  Bryan Buttler, a gay commentator for Philadelphia Magazine, praised Clinton for making homosexual relationships so prominent in her first presidential campaign ad.

“This may very well be the first time that a major Presidential candidate featured gay couples in a positive way via campaign materials,” Buttler wrote.  “No doubt, Clinton has been an ally for the LGBT community in the past, but her kick-off video clearly shows that she is unabashedly a full-on supporter.”

The two gay men featured in the ad, Jared Milrad and Nathan Johnson, told the Washington Blade they did not know they were being taped for a campaign announcement, but were thrilled nonetheless.

“When we were first contacted, they basically told us a little bit about what they would be doing and said they were interviewing people going through big changes in life and also said that it was something affiliated with Hillary, but didn’t exactly say what it would be,” Johnson told the Blade.

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“We were really excited to see that our interview was featured in the campaign announcement,” Milrad said. “It was particularly moving to see Secretary Clinton feature a gay couple engaged to be legally married, the first of any major presidential candidate. To us, this decision demonstrates Secretary Clinton’s commitment to LGBT equality and the type of inclusive leader she would be as president.”

Upon the video’s release, Milrad and Johnson immediately took to Twitter to invite Clinton to attend their planned “wedding” ceremony in Chicago this July.  Both men said they plan to donate to Clinton’s campaign and possibly volunteer for her on the road.

But while homosexual activists and their allies celebrate Clinton’s self-proclaimed support, pro-family leaders are warning would-be Republican opponents not to overestimate the influence of the loud but statistically insignificant number of voters who are truly motivated by the gay agenda.

“[Clinton is] a lock for the 2.3% of the American people who are gay or bisexual. Meanwhile … the other 97.7% of the electorate isn't,” wrote Bryan Fischer, head of the American Family Association, in a column on Tuesday.

“The point here quite simply is that GOP candidates must realize that there is no possible way for them to out-pander a hardcore liberal like Hillary on homosexuality.  She will be able to trump them every time. So there's no point in even trying,” Fischer wrote. “She will always be able to make one more promise than you will, simply because there is no logical place for her to stop.  She will always be able to go further than a Republican in promoting sexually abnormal behavior because in a liberal's world there are virtually no recognizable restraints on human sexual behavior. A conservative can never say that or believe that without forfeiting any and all rights to call himself a conservative.”

“So Republicans, you might as well come out of the gate advocating fearlessly for natural marriage,” wrote Fischer. “You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

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Malta’s gay-activist priest ‘blesses’ rings for same-sex ceremony, gets a pass from archbishop

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By Hilary White

VALLETTA, Malta, April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Following a public scandal in Malta in which a priest “blessed” the rings of two homosexual men who were undertaking a civil unions ceremony, the newly appointed leader of the Maltese Catholic Church has encouraged the priest to continue his “pastoral outreach” to active homosexuals.

Far from a reprimand, Dominican priest Mark Montebello was told by Archbishop Charles Scicluna to continue his “outreach” to active homosexuals. The Malta Independent reported that Archbishop Scicluna had called an “urgent” meeting with the priest and there was expectation that he would be ordered to clarify the ring blessing.

Archbishop Scicluna, however, has not stepped up to defend Catholic teaching, but in comments on the national broadcaster RTK, said only that the ritual of the blessing of rings in engagement and wedding ceremonies were reserved for couples formed by a man and a woman. He added that he had encouraged Fr. Montebello to continue his “pastoral” work with homosexuals and that the priest had agreed to “respect the church practices and discipline.”

A spokesman for the archdiocese of Malta issued a statement saying that the meeting between the priest and the archbishop was “cordial” and the archbishop “encouraged Fr. Mark to continue his outreach to gay people, and asked that he continue to follow Church practice and discipline in his ministry, especially in the celebration of sacred rites and Church rituals.”

Fr. Mark Montebello is an old hand with using the media and has made his fame as an activist publicly opposing Catholic teaching on moral issues. The Malta Independent noted that the priest’s action “goes against the guidelines” of the Church “and could be interpreted as being yet another incident in which Fr. Montebello openly causes embarrassment to the Church.”

The Independent quotes Montebello from an interview in 2005 when he said, “There needs to be a change of vision” in the Church regarding sexual issues. “The arguments against gays were used against women in the past.”

“I would bless them. Of course I can’t celebrate a gay marriage as that is against Church rules, but I would give them a blessing,” the priest said.

Activists have taken up Fr. Montebello’s “cause” on social media. A Facebook group promoting the normalization of homosexuality, Support Gay Love Malta, posted photos of Pope Francis in “support of Fr. Mark Montebello for Blessing a Gay Engagement,” with the caption that quoted the pope’s now-infamous off-the-cuff remark, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has a good will, who am I to judge him?”

Maltese political and social institutions are changing with lightning speed to become more in line with the EU’s aggressively secularist trends from having, only a short time ago since the start of the Christian era, been strongly identified with the Catholic Church. Privately, some in Malta’s small but burgeoning pro-life and pro-family movement have laid the blame squarely on the Church leadership in the last four decades for failing to unequivocally defend Catholic teaching. 

Indeed, in a country that is 95-98 percent Catholic on paper, regular Mass attendance is steadily falling and the younger generations are moving away even faster. A survey taken in 2005 found only 51 percent of those in the main island of Malta attended weekly, and 72.7 percent in the smaller island of Gozo and 52.6 percent for Malta and Gozo together. This contrasts with a 1982 church attendance census that showed weekly Mass attendance in both islands combined was 75.1 percent. The same surveys show that attendance is even lower for younger age groups.

Fr. Mark Montebello is a case in point: he’s a well known Maltese left-leaning activist priest who said in an interview in 2012, that he feels himself justified in being at doctrinal odds with the Church on sexual issues. 

“We have different ecclesiologies – we understand the Church differently,” he said.

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“The authorities in Malta project a monolithic Church – there is one way of being Catholic; anything else is heresy or apostasy. I say that this is not true; for example, the recent manifesto of [Malta’s Green Party] Alternattiva Demokratika, called for those who co-habit to be given certain rights. The Church said this should not be. As if this is the only opinion of the Church!”

“Abroad the Church has certain pastoral attitudes to people who live like this. In Malta the monolithic Church is somewhat intolerant. Another example would be the Church’s attitude towards homosexuals. It is not a question of doctrine but of politics. It is not a question of doctrine.”

Montebello, who was criticized by the Church leadership for his book on “Maltese philosophy,” said with its “monolithic” attitude, the Church is “making itself irrelevant,” because of its “monolithic structure and understanding of itself it actually decides to exile itself.”

“The Church still projects herself as the conscience of the people, which is absurd. Society has changed but the Church has failed to adapt. I think the Church in Malta still has not come to terms with the Vatican Council. Its mentality is still Tridentine, after the Council of Trent model.”

In a lengthy reflection on his blog, Fr. Montebello wrote on Easter Sunday: “[In the] minds of many of us [we] have this idea that the truth can be one and only one. Everything that does not agree with [it] is wrong.”

This idea comes from “Catholic training” that is “often presented as dogmatic, monolithic and exclusive.” The result is the idea that “the truth is one and that there can be no other…” and that “everything that does not agree with is necessarily wrong.” 

“But this is only a false idea. Because the absolute truth exists nowhere. There [are] interpretations. There are views. There [are] impressions. There are points of view. There perspectives.” The idea that truth is immutable, he added, leads to “intransigence” and “intolerance.”

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Pope Francis blasts ‘gender theory’ again: rejecting sexual difference is ‘a step backwards’

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By Hilary White

ROME, April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In his catechesis today, Pope Francis strongly refuted the foundational tenets of “gender theory” that forms the basis of radical feminism as well as the homosexualist political movement. The differences between men and women are not a matter of “subordination” as feminist and gender theory would have it, but of “communion and generation,” he said in his weekly General Audience at the Vatican. 

The pope wondered aloud “if so-called gender theory is not an expression of frustration and resignation, that aims to cancel out sexual difference as it is no longer able to face it. Yes, we run the risk of taking a step backwards. Indeed, the removal of difference is the problem, not the solution.”

He asked whether the current global crisis of faith, of belief in God and Christian teaching, “that is so harmful to us,” and that builds “incredulity and cynicism,” could be “connected to the crisis in the alliance between man and woman.”

Pope Francis called for a “rediscovery” of the “alliance between man and woman.

“The earth is filled with harmony and trust when the alliance between man and woman is lived well.” He encouraged intellectuals “not to ignore this scheme” in their efforts to build a just society.”

In his ongoing catechesis on the family, Francis said that within the context of their differences, men and women are equally made “in the image of God.” The idea that men and women are naturally opposed, or the development of this idea by gender ideologues that human beings can be opposed to their own sex, is a manifestation of a larger problem, the pope said.

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The foundation of Catholic teaching on sexuality is the concept of the natural “complementarity between man and woman.”

“Not only man as such, not only woman as such, but rather man and woman, as a couple, are the image of God. The difference between them is not a question of contrast or subordination, but instead of communion and generation, always in the image and semblance of God.”

“Men and women must instead speak more, listen more, know each other better, value each other more,” the pope said, treating each other “with respect and cooperating in friendship.” And it is on this mutually enriching equitable interaction between men and women that families are founded within “a lifelong matrimonial and family union.”

Pope Francis has repeatedly warned against the threat of the gender ideology that has taken hold in much of the institutional life of the western world in the last decades. He is starting to come under criticism from feminists for his repeated reiterations of traditional Christian concepts on marriage, femininity, and maternity.

In 2013, speaking to the Women’s Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity the pope warned against the growth of ideologies that “destroy woman and her vocation.”

These, he said, promote “a type of emancipation which, in order to occupy spaces taken away from the masculine, abandons the feminine with the precious traits that characterize it.”

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As world media accuse Pope Francis of 'homophobia,' huge holes are emerging in their narrative about Laurent Stefanini's nomination.
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France’s proposed Vatican envoy is a devout Catholic and may not even be ‘gay’: so who’s creating this flap, and why?

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

PARIS, April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- World media are falling over each other accusing Pope Francis and the Catholic Church of “discrimination” for having – apparently – rejected France’s proposed new ambassador to the Holy See, Laurent Stefanini, who has been widely portrayed as a self-proclaimed homosexual.

He was named on January 5 but the Holy See has yet to accept him. Usually, when acceptance of a new ambassador is not forthcoming within a few months, the Vatican’s silence is interpreted as a rebuttal. What with the Pope being labeled “homophobic” and reports and counter-reports coming in, the affair is turning into a diplomatic crisis – to the advantage of the LGBT lobby, which is accusing the Church of being “bigoted” and prepared to refuse a fully competent professional on the grounds of his “sexual orientation” even though he is in no way a gay activist.

At the same time, the choice of Laurent Stefanini to represent socialist France at the Holy See, even in the context of the upcoming Paris summit on climate change – Stefanini was France’s special ambassador to international institutions on the subject for several years – has been presented by some in France as a “provocation.” Those “some” are said to include Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who has a personal axe to grind against the Manif pour Tous after having been criticized and ridiculed for his over-violent stance against its peaceful demonstrations in 2013, when he was still in his former post of minister for the interior.

The result of the media hype has been to provoke angry comments on the part of many conservative sources and pro-family websites demanding why France was choosing a “gay” man for the Villa Bonaparte, the residence of the French ambassador to the Holy See.

So far, so good. However, the situation turns out to be even more complex than it would appear. And the upshot of it all is already clear: destabilization of the pope, of the Church, and of the defenders of traditional marriage.

This is how things went. On March 13, the conservative weekly Valeurs actuelles published a short news item announcing that the Vatican had rejected the proposed new French ambassador on account of his homosexuality. It was the satirical magazine Le Canard enchaîné, which often obtains its unofficial inside information from official sources, that released Stefanini’s name a few weeks later, at the end of March, and from there on the item was published on several internet sources: official media, LGBT sites, and pro-family sites.

Last week the Journal du dimanche’s website announced that the pope himself was blocking the acceptance of Laurent Stefanini and that a personal intervention on the part of Ludovine de La Rochère, president of the “Manif pour Tous” that put hundreds of thousands in the streets of France to protest against same-sex “marriage,” had obtained this move. It was said that she had personally called the papal nuncio in France, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, in order to blackball the French diplomat. The JDD added that Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, and Cardinal Tauran in Rome also intervened, but in support of the proposed ambassador.

The first interesting point is that Stefanini, before the press took hold of this affair, was not publicly known as a homosexual: reliable sources say he never touched the subject. He is 54, unmarried, without children; he also has no known companion. He is not known ever to have lobbied for gay rights or same-sex “marriage.” And he has continued not to express himself on the subject.

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On the other hand he is known to be a practicing and even devout Catholic, having converted when in his thirties: he was confirmed by Cardinal André Vingt-Trois in 1998. Stefanini is one of the few remaining French people who still go to Mass every Sunday – 5 percent of the population – and has a profound interest for all things Catholic. He is also the official representative of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Order of Malta.

So many questions remain unanswered – and should probably have stayed that way: is Stefanini really “gay”? Is he a practicing homosexual? Those questions regard his private life and he has not taken the initiative of making the answers public. He was in any case 1st counselor of the French Embassy to the Holy See from 2001 to 2005, a post in which he earned the appreciation of the Curia, and occupied the post of special counselor for religious affairs at the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs on his return.

The second interesting point is that Ludovine de La Rochère flatly denies ever having intervened in order to obtain Stefanini’s refusal for the post of ambassador to the Holy See. She told LifeSiteNews she “fell off her chair” when reading about the allegations concerning her supposed call to the papal nuncio, having neither a reason nor any kind of authority to try to block his acceptance.

Reliable sources indicate that Stefanini’s nomination was considered for several months before his official presentation to the Holy See at the beginning of January and that both the Vatican and the French government were favorable.

This leaves us with a conundrum. A self-affirmed practicing Catholic, apparently supported by the Church’s hierarchy, is probably losing any chance of becoming French ambassador to the Holy See over media rumors concerning his real or supposed homosexuality. A mixture of true and false information has been spread whose consequences are embarrassing for all concerned, but which at the end of the day appear to be especially detrimental to the Church and to the French pro-traditional marriage movement. No one can say for certain whether he has been rejected by the Holy See or not, and if so, by whom – the Pope? – nor for what reason, if any. Apparently, a change of personnel at the Secretariat of State of the Holy See could explain the delay for Stefanini’s acceptance but that, again, is a conjecture.

Also: who had an interest in creating this public “scandal”? Is it a case of personal jealousy or resentment, or a move to put the Holy See in an uncomfortable position?

Several French media outlets are now suggesting that the French president, François Hollande, is refusing to back from his decision; and that Stefanini himself will not take the initiative of backing down. He has not made any public commentary on this point, however.

But someone, somewhere, must be enjoying the show.

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MSNBC’s Harris-Perry: Abortion is a ‘basic core skill’ for med students

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By Katie Yoder

April 15, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Hippocratic Oath be damned. Abortion schooling is a must for physicians, according to one MSNBC host. 

During her MSNBC’s Lean Forward on April 11, host Melissa Harris-Perry questioned Physicians for Reproductive Health’s Dr. Anne Davis on a North Carolina bill that would prohibit the “basic core skill” of abortion at state medical schools. The two described abortion education as a “core part” or a “core skill” five times during the five-minute seventeen-second interview. 

To begin her rant, Harris-Perry whined about pro-life advances this year.

“We're not even one-third of the way through 2015,” she said, “and already more than 330 provisions to restrict access to reproductive services have been proposed.” 

As an example, she pointed to North Carolina’s House Bill 465 that would prevent state medical schools from “perform[ing] or supervis[ing] the performance of” abortions. 

“If that bill is enacted, the implication for our medical system could be unprecedented,” she warned. 

Harris-Perry then turned to Physicians for Reproductive Health consulting medical director Dr. Anne Davis. Davis also serves as a Columbia University Medical Center associate professor and a contributor at the fanatically pro-abortion site RH Reality Check.

“Anne, so now you just can't learn the medical stuff at the medical school,” Harris-Perry lamented.

Davis said of the “unfortunate turn of events” that “Abortion is a core fundamental skill that we teach our residents,” Davis said. “My professors taught me, I teach my residents, it's really a core part of the curriculum. So to say that we can't teach core skills to residents and students is really disturbing.” 

Harris-Perry caught on to Davis’ “core” language and prodded, “Help people understand why it's a core skill, why it's important for physicians to know it.” 

Davis reasoned that abortion “is very, very common.” In other words, if women want it, doctors should know it. 

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Referring to a new Arizona law and the RU-486 reversal procedure, Harris-Perry incorporated the “core” lingo again. 

“[T]he idea of not getting to even learn these basic core skills,” she said, “and then add that one to the telling things that are untrue to your patients as a matter of law in terms of saying you can reverse these medicalized abortions.” 

Harris-Perry’s comments contribute to her other “imaginings” – from wishing Beyoncé’s VMAs “feminist” sign read “abortion” to proclaiming that today’s Selma March is for “reproductive rights.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters.

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Libraries fight parents over gay penguin children’s book

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By Katie Yoder

April 15, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Not comfortable with your first grader learning about familial structures from gay flightless aquatic birds? Maybe it’s time to check-out of the library. 

On April 12, the American Library Association’s 2015 State of America’s Libraries Report listed the “Top Ten Most Challenged Books in 2014.” A gay penguin children’s book entitled And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell made third place on the list. While the ALA argues for “diverse” content, parents questioned the “homosexual agenda” in it and critics called out the ALA’s credibility. 

Recommended for children ages 4—8, the book tells the “heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family” at Central Park Zoo. Although Roy and Silo were “different,” the description reads, “their desire for a family was the same.” 

After the two try to hatch a stone, the zookeeper presents them a penguin couple’s second egg. The two males then “get the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.” The book, published in 2005, earned an ALA Notable Children’s Book Nomination. 

In its report, the ALA cited the reasons for backlash from parents and educators. 

“Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group,” the report read. “Additional reasons: ‘promotes the homosexual agenda.’” 

In all, the ALA received 311 challenges, or formal complaints, in 2014, according to the ALA’s “Office for Intellectual Freedom” (OIF). (How’s that for Orwellian?) 

“The OIF has been tracking an increasing number of challenges to diverse titles,” the ALA announced. (“Diverse content” for the ALA included “LGBT main and/or secondary characters” and “LGBT issues.”) 

For its defense, the OIF argued the Association “joins the profession in promoting diverse viewpoints in library collections, to defend the First Amendment rights of their readers, and to protect these titles from censors.” 

Safe Libraries’ Dan Kleinman criticized the ALA's credibility and lists. 

“Setting aside that no book has been banned in the USA since 1963, ALA falsifies its annual top ten banned books list,” he told MRC Culture. 

Kleinman, a library watchdog, pointed to a recording he made of an author listed in 2011. 

“She said ALA admitted to her that other books were challenged more than hers, but since hers dealt with homosexuality and was actually removed from one school, ALA simply put it on the list,” he said.

After that, Kleinman called the ALA to discover that the number one book was “supposedly banned dozens of times,” while And Tango Makes Three, was “only challenged four times all year across the entire USA.” 

“That’s as non-newsworthy as it gets,” he said. “And it implied homophobia was the reason, rather than its own fakery.” 

As Kleinman revealed, the children’s penguin book has made past lists. 

“After five years at or near the top of the list, the book disappeared for years after I exposed the hoax, until now,” he said. “Why would ALA do this?” he asked. “I can only speculate it is to use the homosexual community so its active and vocal proponents will help spread the ALA’s anything-goes message.” 

The real issue, Kleinman said, isn’t “why ALA supports books others oppose,” but “why does ALA intentionally mislead parents about the contents of books?” He points to “smoking gun evidence it uses censorship AND blacklisting” to prevent parents from using Common Sense Media’s media rating for sexual content.

Common Sense Media, a non-profit recognized by media outlets including TIME and The New York Times, educates families on media use.

Kleinman’s evidence came in a report, where a Young Adult Library Services Association representative to ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, Michael Giller, warned about librarians using Common Sense Media –which “help[s] censor materials in certain locations” – as a “selection tool.” 

The ALA, the self-described “most influential library association in the world,” boasts 56,000 members including librarians, trustees and publishers. The ALA exists to “promote the highest-quality library and information services and public access to information.” 

Nothing in its description hinted at an ALA “Not-So-Hidden Gay Agenda.” 

The ALA did not respond for comment by the time of publication.

Reprinted with permission from NewsBusters.

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Dem. chairwomen asked if she supports aborting 7-pound babies: her response is chilling

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – It was a rare spectacle: A reporter spent several minutes on national television grilling a politician over abortion restrictions – and the politician was a Democrat. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, got more than she bargained for when she went on The Kelly File last night.

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly maintained a conciliatory tone throughout, but the questions became more difficult when she referred to the ongoing “spat” Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, has with Kentucky senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul.

The dust-up began last week when a reporter asked Paul – who has backed pro-life bills with and without exceptions for rape and incest – whether he supports abortion following rape. Paul took the opportunity to lash out at the media bias:

Why don't we ask the DNC: Is it OK to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus? You go back and go ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she's OK with killing a 7-pound baby that's just not born yet. Ask her when life begins, and ask Debbie when she's willing to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me.

Schultz volunteered: “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story. Now your turn, Sen. Paul."

Later that day, Sen. Paul told Wolf Blitzer, “It sounds like her answer is yes, that she's OK with killing a 7-pound baby." He added, “Debbie's position, which I guess is the Democrat Party position, that an abortion all the way up until the day of birth would be fine.”

That pretty well sums up the DNC's official policy. The 2012 Democratic Platform proclaims that all American women – and probably illegal immigrants and undocumented workers – have the inalienable right to “a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.” The DNC believes American taxpayers should fund abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

However, Kelly pointed out on her program that 80 percent of the American people are opposed to abortion in the third trimester, and 65 percent oppose second-trimester abortions.

So, the party of abortion extremism has to find a way to address the issue without explicitly stating it is far outside the American mainstream (and is continually slipping farther away) without angering the abortion lobbyists that fund, campaign for, and increasingly yield the formal mechanisms of power within the Democratic Party.

Debbie tried to duck the question altogether. When Kelly asked when “life begins,” Schultz responded – truthfully – that “the question that [Rand Paul] was asked, and that he’s trying to deflect by pushing it out on me, is: does he support exceptions?”

Kelly conceded, “He hasn’t been explicit on it. But I’m wondering about you, because I have you tonight.”

For once, Kelly noted that the question of “exceptions” goes both ways. Does the Democratic Party accept any exception to taxpayer-funded abortion, at any time, for any reason?

“At what point is it appropriate to say it’s no longer between a woman and her doctor?” Kelly asked. “You would admit that you can't have women aborting third trimester babies just on a whim, right?”

Debbie Wasserman Schultz responded, “Certainly not on a whim.” But she couldn't name a single stage of development, biological milestone, parental motivation, or extenuating circumstance that would make disposing of a human life require more thought than deciding to dye one's hair.

What if the child has brown eyes? What if it's a girl, and mama wanted a boy? What if she's aborting a child four hours before she was due to induce labor?

“I can't tell you a specific date and time past which we, in all cases, are certain that that choice shouldn't be made,” Debbie declaimed, “because that decision is very unique and individual to the woman, and should be in consultation with her conscience, and her God, and her doctor."

“That is a decision left to her,” she said. One might add, left to her whim.

The Democratic Party chair closed the segment by chiding Rand Paul to “stop deflecting and answer the darn question.”

Debbie and her ideological compatriots have already answered the question. We should be most careful not to miss their terrifying answer. 

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