All articles from June 30, 2016


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Abortion activist awarded Order of Canada for contributions to ‘women’s health’

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By Pete Baklinski
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Dr. Dorothy Shaw

OTTAWA, June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- It’s been eight years since Canada’s "father of abortion” Henry Morgentaler received one of the country's highest civilian honours for his work in "health care options” for women. Now, one of his disciples who has dedicated her life to campaigning for mothers to be able to have their pre-born children “safely” and “legally” killed by abortion will be given the same award for her national and global contributions to “women’s health.” 

Dr. Dorothy Shaw of Vancouver, British Columbia, will be awarded the Order of Canada on Canada Day for her “contributions as a doctor and administrator who has helped advance women’s health care in Canada, and maternal and newborn health globally.”

Shaw is the former president of Planned Parenthood Vancouver and current Vice President of Medical Affairs at the BC Women’s Hospital where surgical abortions are performed through the center’s “CARE program” up to 23 weeks of pregnancy.  

Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews that after Morgentaler received the award, it is no surprise that one of his disciples would be awarded as well. 

“The Order of Canada lost its credibility and value when the late Henry Morgentaler was awarded for killing babies. He never treated a patient other than to kill a baby,” she said. 

As the president of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), a post she began in 2006, Shaw was a “key influence” — according to a Lancet article — in bringing abortion advocacy to the forefront of FIGO’s agenda. The position allowed her to influence the development of policies in numerous countries aimed at improving access to abortion and contraception. 

A year after Shaw took over the FIGO reins, the organization launched an initiative to “prevent unsafe abortion and its consequences” which included a working group that “promote[d] and advance[d] women's access to safe abortion and post abortion services” including providing contraception. 

For her abortion activism, the National Abortion Federation awarded Shaw in 2012 the Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award — its highest distinction — which honors recipients for their “significant, lifetime contributions in the field of abortion service delivery and/or policy.”

According to the pro-abortion British Columbia organization Options for Sexual health, Shaw was “instrumental in the development of many reproductive health policies and guidelines that are in use throughout Canada.”

“Dr. Shaw is recognized around the world for her dedication to reproductive rights and…is a warm, caring, generous physician and person and it is our good fortune that she is ‘one of ours,’" the pro-abortion organization wrote in 2012. 

In 2013 when commenting on the death of Morgentaler, Shaw praised him for being a “courageous man” and being “correct” in challenging restrictions to abortion access. Morgentaler was arrested in 1970 for breaking criminal law by performing illegal abortions. 

Wrote Shaw: “[A]bortion will remain a necessity for a variety of reasons. Dr. Henry Morgentaler fought all his life to protect the right to access safe abortion.”

Morgentaler's 2008 induction into the Order of Canada prompted as many as eight Canadians to return their medals in protest. 

Douglas lamented the fact that people who champion the death of the youngest members of the human family through abortion are awarded.

“How can we give honours to people who do dishonourable things?” she said. 

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Misty Snow is running for a U.S. Senate seat as a transgender Democrat after winning the nomination in Utah.
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Democrats nominate first transgender candidates for national office

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By Lisa Bourne

June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrats in Utah and Colorado nominated two transgender candidates this week, men depicting themselves as women, to represent their party in congressional races this fall.

Misty Snow received the nomination from the Democrats for one of Utah’s U.S. Senate seats on Tuesday, becoming the first transgender Senate candidate from a major party, the Miami Herald reports. Another Misty, Misty Plowright, won the Democratic primary for a House seat in Colorado.

Though Snow was the first to garner the Senate nomination while presenting himself as a woman, Plowright did not make transgender history with his House nomination because another candidate living openly as the opposite sex, Karen Kerin, won the Republican nomination for the House representing Vermont in 2000. Kerin, who passed away in 2014, lost that race overwhelmingly against then-Rep. Bernie Sanders, now a Vermont senator and Democrat presidential candidate.

Snow called his victory “a historic day for the LGBT community” in a statement, adding, “While I’m not running on the basis of being a trans woman, my experiences as a trans woman have given me the empathy to understand the struggles of groups that feel that the American Dream is out of reach. I’m running to give a voice to the voiceless.”

The 30-year-old grocery store cashier campaigned as a progressive, further to the left than primary opponent Jonathon Swinton, according to the Herald, and won by 19 points, despite Swinton receiving 55 percent of the delegate vote to Snow’s 45 percent at the Utah Democratic Convention in April.

Snow’s website claims conservatives have “been working to defund Planned Parenthood by using false evidence and highly edited videos to generate support for their cause,” and that “this is very troubling as Planned Parenthood provides many important health services to women, teens, and LGBT people.”

Plowright, 33, an Army veteran who has worked in the IT industry, got 13,000 votes in Colorado's 5th Congressional District primary while his opponent, Donald Martinez, won just over 9,600.

Plowright thanked voters in a statement, also telling them the next step in his campaign was marching in and having a booth at the Colorado Springs Pridefest.

According to Plowright’s website, “she has been has been in a committed, long-term relationship with her wife Lisa for nine years,” the two converting a domestic partnership into legal marriage in 2014 when the judiciary cleared the way for gay marriage in Colorado.

“They have both been in a loving, long-term, committed relationship with their mutual partner, Sebastian, for the last two years,” Plowright’s site states. “All three partners support each other emotionally, physically and financially.”

Both Democratic transgender candidates face challenging races in the fall against pro-life and pro-marriage Republican incumbents. 

Plowright goes up against Rep. Doug Lamborn in what Politico terms Colorado’s most conservative congressional district, and Snow will run against Sen. Mike Lee, who won his Senate seat in 2010 with more than 60 percent of the vote.

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Obama administration drops ban on transgender soldiers

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Obama administration has rescinded a longstanding military policy, allowing transgender soldiers to serve openly in the U.S. military.

"I'm announcing today that we're ending the ban on transgender Americans in the United States military,” said Obama's Defense Secretary Ash Carter in a press conference held at the Pentagon this afternoon, on the last day of LGBT Pride Month. “Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise be separated from the military just for being transgender.”

The notion of open transgender military service is “embedded” in our national creed, which is that “all Americans are free and equal.”

“If we in uniform are willing to die for that principle, then we in uniform must be willing to live by that principle?” he asked.

On a more practical level, Carter noted that the military will begin paying for gender reassignment surgery and hormonal transitions by October, a policy change that he felt righted a national injustice.

“Right now, most of our transgender service members must go outside the military medical system in order to obtain medical care that is judged by doctors to be medically necessary, and they have to pay for it out of their own pockets,” Carter said. “This is inconsistent with our promise to all our troops that we will take care of them and pay for necessary medical treatment.”

Taxpayers will absorb the price of sex change operations, which range from a low estimate of $7,000 to $24,000 to more than $50,000 each, not including additional hormonal therapy or surgical reconstruction. Some centers that specialize in gender reassignment charge more than $100,000 for a combined transition package.

The RAND Corporation estimated there are between 1,500 and 7,000 transgender soldiers in active duty, while the San Francisco-based Palm Center places the number at more than 15,000.

Carter quoted the RAND report that the overall cost will be “'an exceedingly small proportion' of the military's overall [medical] expenditure.”

Those who identify as transgender may begin enlisting next July. Secretary Carter affirmed that the U.S. government will pay for “medically necessary” gender reassignment surgery and hormonal treatments for new recruits, as well.

Official guidelines require that a service member has been “stable” in his or her gender identity for at least 18 months before transition will be covered.

Employers paying for their employees' gender transition “is becoming normalized,” Carter said, noting that the number of Fortune 500 companies that cover such services soared from zero in 2002 to one-third today.

The new policy would be implemented over one year. However, military leaders have just 90 days to create the new policies for existing service members and a detailed plan for their implementation.

The short time line has drawn significant, often necessarily anonymous, pushback from within the ranks of the enlisted. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller both contrasted the hasty implementation of this policy with the end of the ban on open homosexual soldiers, which lasted years.

Today's announcement is the culmination of a process that began just last July, when Secretary Carter tasked a working group to “start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness.”

It drew immediate backlash from some veterans who are now free to openly criticize the president.

"This has everything to do with President Obama's social agenda for the military, but it has nothing to do with enhancing military readiness. No new science has led to the Pentagon's transgender study—only the politics of the Obama administration and the transgender movement," said Lt. Gen. (ret.) Jerry Boykin, who is now executive vice president of the Family Research Center. “Defense Secretary Carter has failed to explain how this new policy makes our military more capable of winning wars.”

Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the administration has dodged his questions about the impact on military readiness, and additional costs, for more than a year.

Today's policy announcements mark the third transformation of the military for social purposes during Barack Obama's two terms as president.

Obama presided over the abolition of the Clinton-era “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy barring homosexuals from open service in the armed forces. Carter today said the education programs designed to normalize homosexuality in the ranks of enlisted men could be a model for the new transgender policy. The materials, presented to soldiers in Afghanistan in 2011, said, There is nothing wrong with 'hanging around' a gay bar” and that a soldier who sees two men kissing “should react as if he were seeing a man and woman,” according to a description from the Associated Press.

“We do have some experience in this kind of thing,” Carter said during today's press conference.

President Obama also opened all combat forces to women last December. Earlier this month, the Senate voted to draft women into active duty military service.

“Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission,” Carter said. “We have to have access to 100 percent of America’s population.”

But FRC President Tony Perkins said this had nothing to do with military readiness.

"This is yet another example of President Obama using America's military to fight culture wars instead of to fight real wars against the enemies of our nation,” he said. 

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David Konderla, the new Catholic bishop in Tulsa, Okla., meets schoolchildren after he was named to succeed retiring Bishop Edward Slattery.
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New Tulsa bishop is strong advocate for Catholic teaching on life, morals

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By Lisa Bourne

TULSA, Oklahoma, June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Tulsa diocese’s new bishop comes in with a history of active support for Catholic moral principles.

Bishop David Konderla was ordained Wednesday afternoon at the University of Tulsa’s Reynolds Center, after a Tuesday evening service at Holy Family Cathedral.

The Bryan, Texas, native and second of 12 children has worked for 19 years in post-abortion ministry and also for years with Courage, the Catholic Church’s apostolate ministering to people with same-sex attraction.

“It is a dangerous idea that a woman has the right to take the life of her unborn child,” Bishop Konderla told the Tulsa World, discussing threats from which he looked to protect his flock.

Identifying another danger, he called pornography “a disease in our culture that our young people are constantly battling against.”

And recognizing the attack on marriage in society today, the newly appointed bishop stated, “Marriage is under assault by a gender ideology that wants to say we can make marriage what we want, as if we invented marriage. But this is simply not true.”

Bishop Konderla attributed these problems to the rising secularism within the culture, which he also called “a refusal to recognize that people have the right to live according to the dictates of their conscience, even in the public square.”

An avid outdoorsman, Bishop Konderla, 56, drives a pickup truck, rides mountain bikes and performs carpentry, crafting his own crosier, a shepherd’s staff used by a bishop, from wood.

Ordained in 1995, Bishop Konderla spent 15 years of his priesthood in campus ministry in Texas and four years as vocations director for the Austin diocese. He said he loves young people and attributes his lengthy experience in youth ministry as the reason Pope Francis named him a bishop.

Bishop Konderla succeeds Bishop Edward Slattery, the longest-serving bishop in the Tulsa diocese, who was appointed in 1994 and reached retirement age in August 2015. Bishop Slattery pulled the diocese out of a partnership with a local social justice group after learning it had sponsored the city’s Gay Pride parade.

Bishop Konderla was ordained by Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley, with co-consecrators Bishop Slattery and Austin Bishop Joe Vasquez, and also new Papal Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre.

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Young people who watch sexually explicit media more likely to have sex: New study

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By Ben Johnson

HOLLYWOOD, June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A new study confirms that adolescents and young adults who watch more sexualized media content are more likely to have sex.

The study of 14- to 21-year-old people also found that virtually none of those who abstain from such media engage in sexual activity in real life.

The Growing up with Media survey found that 47 percent of young people say they are exposed to a heavy amount of sexual content in one or more media format, depicting people having sex, fondling, or kissing passionately.

“Among youth who stated that most or all of the media they consume contain sexual content, 60 percent of them reported sexual activity,” wrote Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph. D.

Conversely, teens “whose media consumption had almost no or no sexual content at all, only two percent had ever had sex,” researchers found.

She was careful to note that the study, conducted by the Center for Innovative Public Health Research, found a correlation but not necessarily a causation.

“While it’s not clear from this study if we are seeing these trends because youth who have more sex are more likely to seek out sexual material or if it is because sexualized media is causing youth to become more sexually active, there definitely appears to be a relation between the two,” she wrote.

The study becomes the latest to link sexually explicit media intake with acting out sexually. A 2004 study published in Pediatrics found that viewing sexualized images on TV made teens more likely to have sex. A 2009 study conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital concluded that young children (aged 6 to 8) who saw sexual media were more likely to have sex as teenagers.

“Adolescents are not immune to the negative effects of pornified media,” Lisa Thompson, vice president and director of education and outreach at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, told LifeSiteNews. “The Growing Up with Media study contributes to a growing body of research which demonstrates the link between the consumption of sexually laden media and actual sexual activity among young people. The strength of the association has caused some scholars to argue that media has 'become the leading sex educator in America today.'”

Although the media dispute the notion that TV affects behavior, Thompson said the studies show a compelling correlation.

“In fact, research now confirms that 'mass media almost certainly exert a causal influence on United States’ youth sexual behavior,'” Thompson told LifeSiteNews.

The harm becomes clearer when discussing pornography. Studies have found that porn viewers are more likely to commit rape or threaten partners in order to obtain sex, and that teens who watch porn were more likely to "coerce" their girlfriends into anal sex.

“This shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with the old adage, 'Monkey see, monkey do,'” Thompson told LifeSiteNews.

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Belgian court rules against Catholic nursing home for objecting to euthanasia

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By Jeanne Smits

ANALYSIS

June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic nursing home in Diest, Belgium, was condemned by a civil court in Louvain on Wednesday for having refused to allow an inmate to be euthanized on its premises in 2011.

Huize Sint-Augustinus was ordered to pay damages of 6 euros (about $6.65 U.S.) to the elderly woman’s family for forcing them to organize her death at her own home after the nursing home’s directors denied access to her doctor, who had come to give her a lethal shot.

While the amount of compensation for “moral damages” is minuscule, the ruling is seen as a landmark decision in Belgium insofar as it is a warning for any institution that does not accept the application of the euthanasia law and that it clearly rejects conscientious objection rights for collective institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, and homes for the elderly.

Surely, these are few and far between in Belgium, where the average “Catholic” hospital will in general accept euthanasia to be performed within its walls.

The civil court of Louvain clearly states that “the nursing home did not have the right to refuse euthanasia on the grounds of conscientious objection,” thus restrictively interpreting the law that proclaims that right for individual doctors, but does not make clear whether institutions may benefit from it or not.

This is the first time in Belgium that a judicial court has weighed in on such a case, and its stance was made in general terms.

The decision did go into the details on the case, however. The three-judge court, which was established to judge the affair, found that the way in which the Huize Sint-Augustinus rejected the euthanasia procedure was unacceptable.

Mariette Buntjens, 74, was a terminal metastatic lung cancer patient whose suffering became increasingly difficult to bear. Her euthanasia request was made six months before her ultimate demise, involving the completion of official documents and a series of consultations with a doctor not affiliated with the nursing home who was to perform the act.

According to Buntjens’ three children, everything appeared to be going smoothly until a few days before the scheduled date when the directors of the Sint-Augustinus home informed the patient and her family that the doctor would not be given access.

In its ruling, the court questioned the objections raised by the nursing home through an email sent to the doctor who was to perform the euthanasia, as well as to the consulting doctor who had vetted the request. “The directors asserted that the legal conditions for euthanasia had not been met, but in their text no mention was made of the precise conditions that were not fulfilled,” wrote the judges, adding that the family had the request and further documentation relative to the euthanasia in perfect order.

The judges awarded 3.000 euros in damages to Buntjens on the grounds of the increased suffering she experienced, to be shared among her three children, as well as 1.000 euro for each. The Belgian media expect the Grey nuns of Sint-Annendael, who run the nursing home and who faced the charges brought by Buntjens’ children, to appeal the decision.

But a precedent has been created. Under Belgian law, euthanasia remains a crime and only escapes punishment – theoretically at least – when stringent conditions are met and two doctors agree that they have been met while follow-up controls are made by a special commission that vets each act’s legality. This is certainly bad enough, but under the letter of the law, euthanasia is not a patient right. The Louvain ruling is acting as if it were.

Other questions arise. Former senator Patrik Vankrunkelsven believes “this judgment puts an end to 10 years of judicial uncertainty.” He is a general practitioner and the consulting doctor in the Buntjens affair – for his own brother, Stefan Vankrunkelsven, who was to carry out the euthanasia in the Sint-Augustinus nursing home and who did so in her own house. “I am very moved by the judgment,” Patrik Vankrunkelsven commented on Wednesday afternoon. “The resistance deployed by the institution was not right. We now have proof that they cooked up a story. My brother could perfectly well have performed euthanasia in the nursing home.”

He called the ruling “an important precedent: This is the first time in our country that a judge states that an institution cannot refuse euthanasia,” ending the “uncertainty” that had led parliamentarians to put questions to the government on the issue for several years now.

Was the Buntjens’ affair used to political advantage by the euthanasia lobby? There does appear to be a measure of activism in play.

According to Sylvie Tack, legal counsel for the Buntjens family, the ruling is important because it indicates that a nursing home cannot come between a patient and his or her doctor.

Wim Distelmans, chairman of the federal euthanasia committee who has been involved in a number of “borderline” euthanasia cases, was delighted. He underscored that the ruling sees nursing homes as an “extension” of the patient’s own home. This is obviously detrimental to the religious and freedom of conscience rights of institutions, including denominational institutions.

According to Distelmans, doctors tell him the refusal of euthanasia requests is “frequent” on the part of hospitals and nursing homes, a majority of which are run by Catholic congregations in Flanders. “To turn the tide, this court ruling is very important,” he said, which suggests the Buntjens affair was indeed a test case.

Archbishop Jozef De Kesel, recently named the head of the diocese of Mechelen-Brussels, said in December a few days before the affair received media attention that Catholic institutions have a right to refuse abortion and euthanasia, provoking public outrage at the Church’s “meddling” with secular affairs.

These remarks were surprising to many, as large numbers of Catholic health facilities openly and freely provide euthanasia in the diocese of which he is the pastor. The archbishop did not go so far as to say they are morally obliged to refuse euthanasia, limiting himself to pleading for freedom of conscience.

But you can’t fight the deliberate killing of human beings with relativism.

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Newfoundland sets up bubble zone eliminating free speech outside province’s lone abortion facility

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By Steve Weatherbe

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador, June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-lifers in the capital of Canada’s easternmost province have bargained down the terms of bubble zone injunction from 100 meters to 40 meters on either side of the Athena abortion center.

As part of the deal, the center dropped its lawsuit for unspecified damages resulting from the presence of pro-lifers with signs bearing such messages as “Love them both” above an image of a mother with her baby, “Abortion stops a beating heart” over a picture of a sleeping baby, and “Me. Still Me” below pictures of an unborn baby and a newborn.

The pro-life sign bearers have been present for 25 years outside this facility and its predecessor, but it recently moved to a new street with narrower sidewalks, which the operators claimed made the pro-life presence more intimidating.

As a result, said Colette Fleming, one of three people named in the injunction, the pro-life contingent responded to the increased complaints and began filming themselves, following the advice of police. “They told us to get it to protect ourselves, so that when people in the clinic call the police to complain about us, we will be able to prove them false. But we are not taking pictures of anyone going into the clinic. We are taking pictures of ourselves.”

Nonetheless, the center’s operators claimed the filming made their customers fearful.

In fact, that was the only evidence they gave to news media to support allegations of harassment and intimidation. Athena owner Rolanda Ryan said “the protesters are in front of the St. John's clinic at least two days a week, sometimes taking photographs of people going in and out.” The picture taking, she said, “is a huge, huge concern for us. … My patients are scared. ... There are people who are really concerned for their own safety.”

But Fleming noted that only recently have police been called, and they never have charged anyone or warned the pro-lifers on the scene. “We don’t stop anyone; we don’t speak to anyone unless they approach us. We just have our beautiful signs.”

However, Bob Simmonds, the lawyer representing the pro-lifers, told the CBC that his clients agreed not to fight the injunction if the “bubble zone” around the clinic was reduced from 100 meters to 40 meters, in order to avoid a lengthy court battle and the cross examination of the clinic’s upset clientele.

A source close to the pro-life side told LifeSiteNews that the optics of cross-examining women clients about how subjectively upset they were was not good. And “we wanted to be compassionate.” The abortion facility’s Dr. Mari-Lynne Sinnott told the CBC, “We're quite happy that from this day forward our patients are protected ... and our staff and our colleagues and ourselves will feel safe going to work every day and being able to do the work we do.”

British Columbia is the only province in Canada with legislated buffer zones automatically placed 10 meters from the property line around all abortion doctors’ offices. The provincial cabinet can place 50-meter zones around actual abortion centers and has done so in Vancouver. Ontario and Quebec courts have granted injunctions placing buffer zones around specific clinics.

Mary Ellen Douglas of Campaign Life Coalition in Toronto told LifeSiteNews, “The other side won’t be happy until we are completely silenced. They cannot stand the fact that we still breathe and still condemn what they are doing as despicable.”

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Ontario gov’t tells court: No opt-outs for LGBT lessons, it’s embedded in all subjects and grades

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By Lianne Laurence

June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — If anyone doubts that Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government will overrule parental rights in favour of its inclusivity agenda on behalf of LGBTTIQ — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirited, intersex, queer and questioning — students and parents, the evidence — literally — points clearly and abundantly to the fact that it will, and is.

And if anyone doubts that teachers in the public school system are encouraged to bring up references to LGBTTIQ issues in any and all subjects at their discretion, because equity and inclusivity is embedded in the curriculum, again, the evidence is in.

That evidence is found in the opposition factums in the Steve Tourloukis case, heard June 23 by Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Reid, and in which the Wynne Liberal government intervened on behalf of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, as did the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.

“Requests to exempt students from the very portions of the curriculum that promote diversity, inclusivity and acceptance cannot be granted without the risk of appearing to endorse the non-acceptance of students of other races, sexual orientations, family backgrounds, gender expression and gender identities,” states the Attorney General of Ontario’s factum. (Download the full factum here.)

“Children who are themselves LGBT, who had LGBT parents, family or friends, or who had experienced homophobic or transphobic bullying based on being perceived as LGBT, could feel less valued and accepted if the Applicant’s children left the room every time people like them or their family or friends were discussed,” stated the document, submitted by lawyers Josh Hunter and Emily Bala.

The government lawyers argued that, given “the Legislature’s pressing and substantial objective of ensuring that public schools are accepting, inclusive, and diverse,” it follows that “permitting the Applicant’s children to leave the classrooms whenever planned lessons communicate acceptance of different family backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities or gender expression would undermine that Legislative purpose.”

HWDSB lawyer Mark Zega argued much the same.

“How could the Board provide an accommodation that would forbid a teacher from stating that there is nothing wrong with same-sex marriage and allowing a child to leave class every time such a topic arises, when the Board is required to discourage homophobia in schools?”

This, he stated, “would amount to an implicit condemnation of person who have suffered prejudice and stereotyping, and who have been singled out on the basis of their sexuality.”

The Tourloukis case: asking for advance notice

Tourloukis, as readers may know, is the Hamilton dentist and father of two who asked his public school to give him advance notice when teachers would be presenting on a number of sensitive subjects, so he could decide if his children could opt out, if they risked being exposed to “false teaching” according to their Greek Orthodox faith.

These topics included, among others, “discussions or portrayals of sexual conduct that he determines to be unnatural/unhealthy (anal sex, oral sex, sadism, masochism, fetishes, bondage, etc.),” and “discussions or portrayals of homosexual/bisexual conduct and relationships and/or transgenderism as natural, healthy.”

When Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board refused his request, Tourloukis launched a legal action in 2012, asking for court declarations that he has final say over what his kids are taught in school, and that the school board’s refusal to give him advance notice violates his Charter rights.

The board told Tourloukis he was free to remove his children from public school, and enrol them in Catholic or private school or homeschool them.

Since his initial request six years ago, when his daughter was in JK and his son in Grade 2, Tourloukis has repeatedly insisted he does not object to his children learning the facts.

What he wants is “advance notice if the teacher is going to be presenting their subjective opinion as fact. It’s the value judgements,” he said, according to the HWDSB factum. “I think that presenting a value judgment as a fact is intellectually dishonest.”

Stating that two people of the same sex are legally “married” is “completely different than saying there is nothing morally wrong with two people of the same sex being married,” Tourloukis says. “The issue is always the presentation of value judgements as facts to my children…”

Embedded in the curriculum

But according to opponents’ evidence, discussions of same-sex “marriage,” or indeed, anything related to LGBTTIQ issues or lifestyles could arise in any subject, at the teacher’s discretion.

Indeed, Tourloukis was informed “that all educational materials could potentially conflict with his stated objective, as equity and inclusivity principles are integrated and embedded within Ontario public education and within the Board,” noted the board’s factum (emphasis added).

The Ontario government argued the same.

If the Tourloukis children were permitted to opt out at their father’s request, they could end up “missing a substantial portion of the school year given the breadth of the Applicant’s religious objections, including in particular the fact that principles of equity and inclusive education are embedded throughout the curriculum the Board is mandated to teach to all its students” (emphasis added).

That LGBTTIQ issues could be raised in any subject is clear from the 2014 update of the Equity and Inclusive Strategy (EIE), first introduced in 2009 under then education minister Kathleen Wynne, herself a lesbian “married” to another woman.

The EIE Strategy aims to help school boards move “beyond tolerance and celebration to inclusivity and respect,” stated the Attorney General’s factum.

The updated guidelines “note that the principles of equity and inclusivity need to be reflected throughout the curriculum and learning materials so that students can ‘see themselves reflected in the curriculum’.” One example is “using texts written by gay/lesbian authors.”

Another example, stated the factum, is “the 2015 Health and Physical Education curriculum” itself, which “states that learning activities and materials must reflect the diversity of society, so that all students can see themselves reflected in the curriculum.”

The Liberals’ great deception

When then-Premier Dalton McGuinty was preparing to implement the EIE Strategy, he promised parents they would be able to withdraw their children from any class they found objectionable for religious reasons.

Indeed, his education minister Kathleen Wynne stated in an April 17, 2008 letter: “Should the component of any course conflict with a religious belief of the parent (of minor-age children)… the right to withdraw from that component of the course shall be granted, on the written request of the parent.”

But the Liberals were soon backpedalling on that promise.

In September 2012, Education Minister Laurel Broten told LifeSiteNews that because “inclusive and equitable” education was embedded across the curriculum, withdrawals were restricted to high school health and physical education.

“Inclusive and equitable education,” as well as topics such as financial literacy and environmental stewardship,“are integrated and embedded across all curricula so that learning may be built and reinforced in a variety of age and grade appropriate contexts,” she said then.

“That means that it’s not just on one day that students are learning about how to be more environmental conscious or how to be more accepting and inclusive.”

Significance of the Tourloukis case

According to Jack Fonseca, project manager with Campaign Life Coalition, which is part of a parental rights’ coalition protesting the Liberals’ sex education curriculum, “We can’t overstate the importance of this lawsuit for the defense of parental rights.”

“If the judge rules in favour of the school board/Wynne government, moms and dads across Ontario will lose their fundamental right to guide the moral education of their own children,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“Let’s be clear,” Fonseca stated. “The agenda of the Liberal government and of the liberal educational establishment that it funds, is the farthest thing from neutral.”

The Wynne Liberals, he observed, “view parents as the problem – an obstacle to the ideological colonization they desire. Their agenda is to ‘liberate’ children from what they believe to be the sexually ‘repressive’ moral and religious beliefs of their parents.  In other words, this is state propaganda. It is indoctrination.”

Moreover, the Liberals have “spent, by my calculations, at least half a million dollars of taxpayer money to pay for six lawyers to fight this dad in court. All the legal fees paid by the HWDSB, the ETFO and the Liberal government came from public tax dollars.’

Added Fonseca: “I can think of few more disgusting ways to abuse taxpayers than by using their own money to pay an army of lawyers to fight them in court.”

Albertos Polizogopoulos, lawyer for Tourloukis, argued June 23 that other Ontario boards, and other schools within the HWDSB, had honoured numerous requests’ similar to his client’s, that the HWDSB refusal to do so violates its own policies to provide advance notice if a parent asked, that the board’s own equity consultant advised the school to honour Tourloukis’ request, and that Bill 13, on which his opponents based several of their arguments, came in force after his client’s 2010 requests.

Justice Robert Reid reserved his judgment.

“Given the monumental importance of this case,” Fonseca noted, “and the very real possibility that the ruling will be appealed by one side or the other, we encourage concerned citizens to donate to Tourloukis’ legal defense fund so that he can keep fighting all the way to the Supreme Court.”

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Homosexuals face greater health risks than heterosexuals: study

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By Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) has found that gays, lesbians and bisexuals have significantly greater health problems than heterosexuals.

The NHIS has been analyzing Americans' health since 1957, and in 2013 began including sexual orientation. A study of its data, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), revealed that of 69,000 adult participants, homosexuals "were more likely to report impaired physical and mental health, heavy alcohol consumption, and heavy cigarette use."

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's Dr. Gilbert Gonzales led the study, which found lesbians were 91 percent more likely to have "poor" or "fair" health and 51 percent more likely to have multiple chronic conditions compared to heterosexual women.

Lesbians also were significantly more likely to experience psychological distress than female heterosexuals (28 percent vs. 22 percent).

Homosexual men reported psychological distress in much greater numbers than heterosexual men, with 26 percent of gays suffering the malady as compared to 17 percent of heterosexual men.

Bisexuals reported even worse health, with bisexual women having more than double the percentage of multiple chronic conditions and more than twice the percentage of psychological distress as female heterosexuals (22 percent vs. 46 percent). 

Bisexual men also suffer more than twice as much from psychological distress than heterosexual men (17 percent vs. 40 percent).

JAMA editor Dr. Mitchell H. Katz summarized in an added note. "Sexual orientation has an influential effect on several aspects of health. Psychological distress was more common among gay men, bisexual men, and bisexual women than heterosexuals. There was more cigarette smoking and greater alcohol use among lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals than heterosexuals."

The JAMA study's authors blame "discrimination" for the poorer health of homosexuals.

Gonzales et al. concluded that the "impaired physical and mental health" was "potentially due to the stressors that LGB people experience as a result of interpersonal and structural discrimination."

The authors offered no other explanation for the poor health, psychological distress, heavy drinking, and smoking among homosexuals. Their recommendation was that "clinicians should be sensitive to the needs of sexual minority patients."

Katz echoed the JAMA authors' talking point — that "the higher psychological stress and use of unhealthy substances likely reflect the experience of being in a stigmatized minority population." 

Katz advised that doctors should proactively create "environments that are inclusive and supportive of sexual minority patients."

"This 'pathway' of explanation is a very common one, and to be sure it does indeed matter," Dr. Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told LifeSiteNews. "The odds that ‘stigma’ explains all of the variance in troubled outcomes, however, are low."

Regnerus explained that scientifically, a different study of the data would have to be set up in order to determine whether external discrimination or the homosexual lifestyle itself is what causes the striking health problems in gays. "It's difficult to know unless they had and employed a measure of social stigma or lack of support in their study."

A recent study found that it's not just homosexual adults who suffer. 

The journal Depression Research and Treatment (DRT) analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health that showed the percentage of adult children of same-sex partners reporting ongoing depression was nearly triple that of adult children of heterosexual parents (51 percent vs. 22 percent).

The study, titled "Invisible Victims: Delayed Onset Depression among Adults with Same-Sex Parents" and led by Professor Paul Sullins, also found obesity more than twice as prevalent in adult children of same-sex partners (72 percent vs. 31 percent). More children of same-sex partners reported physical and/or emotional and/or sexual violence against them in greater numbers than children of heterosexual parents.

Regnerus concluded that gay activists "cannot sustain the 'No Differences' thesis (that children of same-sex partners experience no greater ill effects growing up than children of heterosexual parents) except by torturing (the data).  That is, by hiding the basic story behind sets of control variables, or worse, concealing it within privately held data that no one else can scrutinize."

In Sullins’ conclusion to the study of children of same-sex partners, he took on his gay critics. "The emergence of higher depression risk in early adulthood, coupled with a more frequent history of abuse victimization, parental distance, and obesity, suggests that the inattention of research and policy to the problems of children with same-sex parents is unwarranted," he wrote.

“Well-intentioned concern for revealing negative information about a stigmatized minority does not justify leaving children without support in an environment that may be problematic or dangerous for their dignity and security.”

"Children deserve a mother and a father whose love for them — and for each other — is the source of their life and socialization," Dr. Regnerus said.

The NHIS survey had 1,664 gay, lesbian, and/or bisexual participants. 

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Gay Youtube star claims he suffered violent hate crime: police say he injured himself

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By Claire Chretien

June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A high-profile gay Youtube personality who claims he suffered a violent “hate crime” actually hurt himself while in jail for vandalism, Los Angeles police are saying. And now they have charged him with filing a false police report over the alleged incident.

According to the LAPD, they responded to YouTuber Calum McSwiggan’s report of being assaulted after leaving a West Hollywood nightclub early Monday and “were unable to substantiate the assault.”

The police subsequently arrested McSwiggan after he allegedly vandalized a car.

The police maintain that he had no visible injuries at the time of his arrest; his booking photo shows no visible injuries, either. After his arrest, he was held alone in a cell. According to the LAPD, McSwiggan was hospitalized after they discovered him using a payphone in the cell to harm himself.

In a June 27 post on Facebook and Instagram accompanied by a photo of him in the hospital with a bandage on his head, McSwiggan wrote:

 

Last night was the worst night of my life and I'm really struggling to find the words to talk about it. After one of the most wonderful weekends at VidCon we went out to a gay club to celebrate, and towards the end of the evening I was separated from my friends and beaten up by three guys. The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen. With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I've never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye. All I can do is thank my wonderful friends @riyadhk, @melaniiemurphy and @douga_ for being with me the whole way. I'd be lost without them. Right now I don't feel that I'm in the right place to talk about this but I will be addressing this fully in the future.

A photo posted by LGBT+ Lifestyle YouTuber ✖️ (@calummcswiggan) on

 

Then, on June 29, McSwiggan wrote a longer account of the incident on his Facebook page. He admitted to harming himself in the police holding cell, but maintained that the majority of his injuries came from an attack before he was arrested.

In a moment of desperation to get out of the cell, I took the pay phone off the wall and hit myself once across the forehead with it as hard as I could,” McSwiggan explained. “I knew I had to injure myself to get out of the cell and into a hospital, and it was the only solution I could find to get myself out of there. This is incredibly out of character for me and is testament to how upset I was in that moment. I do not regret doing this as I could still be in the jail cell if I didn't.”

McSwiggan wrote that the only injury he sustained in the holding cell was a wound to his forehead which required six stitches. His wrote that his three broken teeth and the cuts, scrapes, and bruises on his body were all from the attack.

“Many people are trying to discredit my story but this is the full and entire truth,” McSwiggan wrote. “Just because there were no visible marks on my face does not mean I was not attacked. Being accused of being a liar and being called a disgrace to the LGBT+ community, a community I've dedicated my life to, is more painful than any hate crime could ever be.”

If the LAPD’s assertions are true, this would not be the first hate crime an LGBT activist has faked. 

In May, a progressive pastor who sued Whole Foods Market for allegedly serving him a “homophobic” cake with a gay slur written on it admitted that his claims were completely false. He apologized to the company and dropped his lawsuit. According to Whole Foods Market, the baker who had been accused of the fake hate crime is actually “part of the LGBTQ community.”

In 2013, a lesbian carved a cross into her own chest in order to fake an anti-gay hate crime. Police say she invented the story in order to garner support for the LGBT political agenda. 

Also in 2013, a lesbian waitress claimed that an “anti-gay” family wrote on their receipt, “I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.” After the story went viral, the family produced their copy of the receipt and their credit card bill, which showed they paid a 20 percent tip.

In 2012, a man named Joseph Baken claimed to be the victim of an anti-gay hate crime and later pleaded guilty to filing a false police report. He had claimed that three men attacked him for his homosexuality; video then emerged of Baken injuring himself doing a backflip and injuring his face on pavement.

McSwiggan’s YouTube videos cover a variety of raunchy topics related to same-sex relationships, such as genital size, “painless anal sex,” “Gay Sex Confessions,” and “Gay Sex 101: Losing Your Gay Virginity.” 

In another video, McSwiggan explained the pain that participating in gay porn caused him.

“Looking back now, I realize there was absolutely nothing glamorous about it,” he said. “I think the porn industry often preys on the young and naïve. It all seems so thrilling and exciting, and it makes you forget what you’re doing. It tricks you into doing something that you’re gonna later regret.”

He continued, “Knowing that somebody would rather watch you take your clothes off and look at your body than listen to what you have to say, listen to you speak about something that you’re passionate about—that is not an easy pill to swallow.”

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Hollywood star Patricia Heaton blasts Supreme Court’s abortion ruling

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By Claire Chretien

June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life actress and Hollywood celebrity Patricia Heaton blasted the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Texas abortion facility health and safety law with a quote from Thomas Jefferson on the proper role of government.

The Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle actress received a slew of praise from her Twitter followers, who thanked her for her pro-life stance.

Heaton is a rarity in Hollywood.  She is outspokenly pro-life and has voiced her support for the Little Sisters of the Poor and pregnancy centers.  

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New pro-life, pro-family college launches scholarships for the fall

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By Claire Chretien

June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A new college that is unapologetically pro-life and pro-family is offering 50 students full and partial scholarships for the academic year starting in fall 2016.

The Virtues Campus gathers 15-25 students at a local church three times a week for two years to study under the guidance of a pastor while taking online classes through an accredited university. The program launched last year and is “a new approach to higher education” that reunites local churches and the university and allows students to avoid excessive debt, The Virtues Campus President David Glesne told LifeSiteNews.

Glesne told LifeSiteNews that The Virtues Campus emphasizes in its courses human dignity and the sanctity of marriage, which come from “the creation of human beings made in the image of God” and God’s creation of humans as male and female with “the command to ‘be fruitful and multiply.’”

“We give students the knowledge to articulate the Biblical worldview in the midst of competing worldviews today,” Glesne wrote in an email. “Equipped and trained in this Judeo-Christian worldview, students are given the tools to advocate for life and marriage in our contemporary world. Human life itself and natural marriage are under severe attack today and this biblical foundation and view of life give our students a firm foundation and motivation to be advocates in the public arena for God’s Truth and His will and desire for human beings.”

“In our worldview courses, the Christian faith is brought to bear on the great social issues of the day: marriage, human sexuality, homosexuality, abortion, [and] euthanasia,” Glesne continued. “We believe the Scriptures speak to these great moral issues and our students are taught to think Christianly about them.”

The Virtues Campus is offering 50 scholarships for the two campuses scheduled to be in operation this fall thanks to a generous Christian businessman, Glesne said.

“We’re bringing education back under the umbrella of the local church,” Glesne said. “In early America, for example, all the great universities … born out of the Church in America … In the 20th century, secularism has swept across the universities and now young people in America are being educated in a different worldview. We think it’s time again to bring education in America under the umbrella of the church by bringing those two back together again. And this is our attempt to disciple the next generation in God’s truth.”

Students in The Virtues Campus program study modules on career readiness, the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and biblical worldview. They are encouraged to work part time in order to avoid debt, Glesne said, and all of the students currently enrolled are on track to graduate debt-free. 

The Virtues Campus is non-denominational and uses materials from Summit Ministries to equip students to engage the culture. Its affordability and the pastoral mentoring it provides students make the program distinct, Glesne said.

“There are four courses that are part of [the biblical worldview] module” and The Virtues Campus’ vision is “responding to the call of Christ to disciple the nations,” Glesne told LifeSiteNews.

“High school graduates declare a lack of purpose and sense of drift, the accumulation of college debt delays their choice of when to marry or purchase a home, and repeated studies show many are walking away from their Christian faith,” according to the Virtues Campus website. “The Virtues Campus is here to engage with this generation and reverse these trends.”

“Students are taught that the central calling of the Christ-follower is to live a servant life following the example of Jesus Christ,” Glesne said. “Loving God and then loving one’s neighbor means teaching and living God’s truth with regard to life and marriage. Love for neighbor means speaking the truth in love about the sanctity of life and God’s intention for marriage and working in society for civil laws that are just and righteous. These truths are to be lived out and advocated for in the public arena.”

The Virtues Campus will be operating in two locations in the fall: Lutheran Church of the Master in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and Redeemer Lutheran Church in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The latter campus opened in 2015.

In fall 2017, Zion Lutheran Church in Clear Lake, Iowa, will open a campus. 

Prospective students can apply for admission and scholarships here.

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Criminal charges against Michigan’s trunk abortionist get his former boss in trouble

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By Cheryl Sullenger

June 29, 2016 (Operation Rescue) -- Eastpoint, Michigan – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has criminally charged abortionist Michael Arthur Roth, 74, in two counties with possession of stolen drugs. The charges stem from the discovery of drugs — along with the remains of aborted babies — in the trunk of Roth’s vehicle during an investigation into his involvement in a traffic accident last October that critically injured a special-needs child.

Roth has been booked on charges in two counties, both of which released him on $10,000 personal recognizance bonds.

Schuette’s June 23, 2016, press release details the charges:

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today charged West Bloomfield doctor Michael Arthur Roth, 74, with possession with intent to deliver schedule 2 narcotic Fentanyl, and 6 counts of identity theft in the 48th District Court. In the 38th District Court in Eastpointe, Roth also faces 3 counts of Larceny in a Building. The charges follow a September 2015 car accident where the drugs, as well as post-conception material, were discovered in Roth’s vehicle.

Roth has also formally been charged with violating the Michigan public health code for illegally transporting the aborted baby remains.

The Michigan Board of Medicine filed an administrative complaint against Roth last November seeking the revocation of his medical license for the same offenses. He faces possible revocation of his medical license if convicted of the criminal charges.

Roth is accused of stealing the drugs from his former employer, Angel A. Ojeda, MD, who operates Eastland Women’s Clinic, a Detroit-area abortion facility. A medication aide employed at the facility admitted to helping Roth steal abortion instruments and drugs.

But what was Roth doing with abortion drugs, instruments, and aborted baby remains in his trunk?

It appears that Roth was doing home abortions and being paid in stacks of cash that were found tagged with the names of female patients during a search of his home. However, while Schuette’s press release inferred that this is exactly what Roth was doing, it is unknown why no criminal charges were filed against him for unlawful abortions.

Roth had been caught before doing dangerous home abortions. As a result, in 2004, he was disciplined and fined $15,000 then ordered not to perform abortions outside “an approved clinic/hospital/office setting.” (Details here.)

“I can hardly imagine the horror of someone’s loved one being subjected to a home surgical abortion by this quack,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “It just sends shivers up the spine and makes me wonder why Roth still has a medical license.”

Now, pro-life activist Lynn Mills, who has long monitored Roth’s misdeeds, has obtained documents that show the state’s Board of Pharmacy filed an administrative complaint against Ojeda on April 25, 2016, for not reporting the theft of the drugs – including 82 vials of the controlled substance Fentanyl, some of which was found in Roth’s trunk. Ojeda also faces a host of other charges, including failure to secure drugs in a locked cabinet, keeping outdated drugs, and failure to maintain drug records.

Other shoddy practices exist at Ojeda’s abortion facility, according to the complaint. It notes that an investigator witnessed a registered nurse, who was employed by Ojeda, obtaining the abortion-inducing drug Misoprostol out of an unlocked cabinet and dispensing it to a patient without Ojeda’s authorization.

“This whole sordid affair has exposed the dishonesty and corruption that characterize Roth and Ojeda’s abortion practices,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Roth certainly cannot be trusted to obey the law. He has been disciplined many times, and traditional discipline has not worked. Meanwhile Ojeda is engaged in Gosnell-like abortion practices with complete disregard for accepted medical standards or patient safety.”

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The administrative cases against Roth and Ojeda also reveal systemic problems with the disciplinary process, which is slow to act and designed to be as lenient as possible on offenders, no matter who is hurt it seems.

“Abortionists like Roth are trained by the slow and lax disciplinary process to be re-offenders. They soon come to realize that they will never suffer serious consequences for their actions. The fact that Roth’s medical license is not currently under suspension is evidence that serious reforms are needed in the disciplinary process in order to protect the public,” said Newman.

Newman recommends that both abortionists never be allowed to practice again, and notes that both deserve long stints in a state prison.

“The Medical Board and other authorities cannot take their eyes off Roth or Ojeda for one minute. People like them are proficient at modifying their behavior as long as they think someone is watching. As soon as they think the authorities have turned their heads, they will be back up to no good,” said Newman. “The only real way to protect the public from their dangerous and illegal conduct is to lock them up and throw away the key.”

Roth is set to appear in criminal court on July 1 and 7 for pre-trial hearings. Administrative cases for both Roth and Ojeda remain pending.

Additional information can be found in documents maintained AbortionDocs.org.

View Roth’s profile on AbortionDocs.org.
View Ojeda’s profile on AbortionDocs.org.
View Eastland Women’s Clinic’s profile on AbortionDocs.org.

Reprinted with permission from Operation Rescue.

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US national parks go trans: men now ‘welcome’ to use women’s restrooms

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By Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The U.S. Department of the Interior has opened the restroom doors at America's national parks to allow men and boys who consider themselves transgender to use women's community bathrooms and women and girls to do likewise with the public men's room.

“Visitors to public lands and water sites are welcome to use restrooms that best align with their gender identity,” an Interior Department spokesperson told The Daily Signal.

Pro-family reaction was swift.

"This move by President Obama's interior department shows the deep and abiding commitment progressives have to their radical transformation of American society," Abraham Hamilton, a public policy analyst for the American Family Association, told LifeSiteNews. "They are willing to sacrifice women and children on the altar of ... political correctness."

"This dangerous and misguided move will now invite predators to Yellowstone and beyond," Hamilton predicted.  "The danger customers risk by visiting Target stores now threatens American citizens at our national parks."

Family Research Council Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg told the Daily Signal that this latest Obama Administration policy is "troubling."

"National parks have traditionally been family-friendly destinations,” he said.  “Now women and girls will have to worry about sharing a restroom with biological males."

“This is another illustration of how extreme the Obama administration is in pushing this radical agenda in the last few months in office. It would be tragic if we have a sexual assault in a national park public restroom before the administration takes this seriously.”

"Progressives are now insisting that each person’s feelings about ‘gender identity’ is more important in law than the anatomical sex of Americans’ bodies," Walter Todd Hudson assessed at Breibart.com.  "The rule matches Obama’s decree in May, which declares that all of the nation’s public schools must implement transgender-friendly policies ... taking sexual privacy from almost 55 million American school kids in some 100,000 K-12 public schools."

The Obama Administration policy affects all 58 of the country's national parks, which the Interior Department maintains, including Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Death Valley, Everglades, Mammoth Cave, Virgin Islands, Glacier Bay, Yosemite, Hawaii Volcanoes, and Redwood National Parks. More than 300 million people visited America's national parks in 2015.

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The unspoken tragedy of the Orlando massacre

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June 22, 2016 (CrisisMagazine) -- In responding to the Orlando massacre at a same-sex nightclub, Bishop Robert Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg found religion, including Catholicism, responsible for the slaughter. He wrote, “sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people.” And he is right that we were wrong; but he is right for the wrong reason. Our contempt was not in words spoken but in those left unsaid.

To hold someone in contempt is to look down on him or her as somehow less worthy. It is to judge some as unable to meet basic human standards of behavior, or to doubt that others might be capable of genuine sacrificial love. Many Catholics are guilty of this contempt. This contempt, however, is not rooted in the magisterial teaching of the Church but in the Catholicism practiced and preached by most Catholics, lay and clerical, in the modern Western world. It is the contempt of low expectations, a contempt whose current casualty is true sexuality.

The patrons of the Orlando nightclub dedicated to same-sex relationships were not responsible for the demise of sexuality. They, themselves, were victims of its demise long before the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12. They were the victims of each one of us who bought into the lies of the misnamed Sexual Revolution. The Sexual Revolution was not about the transformation of sex but the rejection of what is truly sexual. It cast itself in the aura of light and love, but it was really about death and darkness from its very beginning. Broken families, same-sex “marriage,” and gender confusion are the natural end of a sexuality already rejected. They are not its cause.

Sexuality is about the creation of life. Its very root is the biological marriage of sperm and egg. This simple union creates life in the image of God and from this union we are defined as male and female. In accepting the significance of two complementary cells that create fully human life, a man and woman rise to the fullness of love, gifting themselves for a good greater than themselves. In our sexuality, in cherishing ourselves, and each other, as potential mothers and fathers, we all participate in God’s creation.

The Sexual Revolution rejected the creation of life as merely incidental to shared pleasures. In rejecting life, it chose death. Real babies died real deaths at clinics designed for death. Real men died real deaths from the ravages of AIDS. In a society where cigarette companies were depicted as moral monsters, the inherently deadly practice of sodomy was normalized. Beyond physical death was moral death. The Sexual Revolution brought the death of innocence, the death of marriages, and the death of families. In rejecting sexuality, the Sexual Revolution was really about the death of love itself, the death of the gift of oneself freely given. No longer did we ask, “What can I give?” Rather, “What’s in it for me?” called forth from every variation of erotic desire. There is no path to love that begins with a question centered on self. The patrons of Orlando’s tragic nightclub were victims of a revolution that held man himself in contempt as one incapable of true love. They did not create the lies, they were victims of the lies already lived by those whose sexual attractions were considered normal.

The parable of the talents makes clear that more is expected from he who is given more. It is Catholics who always had more. It is Catholics who held the light and love needed to answer the death and darkness of the Sexual Revolution. While many were blinded by the golden calf of false love, it is Catholics who were in the unique position to see the way toward the beauty and love of sexuality truly lived. While many had no teaching to guide them, the Church gave Catholics the light of Humane Vitae, a light shunned as Catholics, en masse, turned toward darkness. Bishops, priests, and lay people rejected as too difficult the call of our sexuality to gift ourselves completely to another. In relegating Humanae Vitae to a doctrine untaught, Catholics accepted the doctrine of the Sexual Revolution that men and women were not capable of the call to love that God placed in their very biology. Rather than invest our talent so it could grow in value, we became the servant who buried his.

Humanae Vitae was neither radical nor revolutionary but, instead, an affirmation and clarification of existing Church doctrine. The Church always considered marriage and the marital act sacred. Until 1930, Catholic and protestant were united in this belief. At the 1930 Lambeth Conference the Anglican Church approved sexual contraception in limited circumstances. Pope Pius XI responded with the encyclical Casti Connubii, which affirmed the marital act as sacred and artificial birth control as a violation of its sanctity. In 1968, in response to the advent of the birth control pill, Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae again asserted the inviolability of the marital act and the iniquity of artificial birth control. The Church understood what we chose not to understand, that contraception was the rejection of our sexuality. Contraception does not enhance the marital union. Rather, it allows us to step outside of our marriages, to take breaks from the challenges of loving each other as sexual people. Contraception literally takes the life out of sex. The sexual act purposely sterilized is no longer really sex at all.

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Contraception is the line crossed from sexuality to non-sexuality. It is the line crossed from meaning to meaninglessness. A marital act contracepted is a marriage contracepted, one with no meaning beyond its participants. It is an open invitation to others to redefine sex and marriage according to the desire of the day. When sexuality means nothing, all “sexualities” stand equal. All are equally meaningless. Instead of seeing and sharing the beauty of a true sexuality, we have largely remained silent.

Our silence we portrayed as virtue, but it was false virtue. Under the guise of not being judgmental we have judged men unworthy of truth and meaning. Under the guise of mercy, a mercy meant to reflect well on ourselves, we have not restored meaning to lives without meaning. Instead of shining a guiding light, we have left the “forgiven” to wander lost in the desert. This is contempt for the man God created and contempt for our very selves.

Our contempt for those who died in Orlando was not in words spoken but in the rejection of words we knew, words we chose not to speak with our voices or in our lives. We Catholics are responsible for the recent tragedy, more so than many others. In hiding our light under a bushel we have been complicit in the destruction of human relationships. In not living our sexuality truly we have participated in the destruction of the unity that comes from a sexuality fully lived. The damage goes beyond human relations to the Church itself. Our contempt was not only for ourselves but for a Church whose wisdom we rejected. In rejecting Humanae Vitae Catholics have placed their Church on indefensible ground. The proponents of the Sexual Revolution will assert the high ground of love while attacking the Church as a perpetrator of hate. What its members have already rejected, the Catholic Church will find difficult to defend either in the public square or in the inevitable court challenge it will meet. In our silence we have chosen a side, and it is the wrong side.

Reprinted with permission from Crisis Magazine.

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Lack of access to the Truth: pro-abortion SCOTUS majority protects Gosnells around the country

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By Ryan Bomberger

June 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- Maybe it’s the robes that give five people the misimpression that they’re magicians. Who needs the Constitution when a handful of supremely powerful justices can magically create their own laws, conjuring up legislation in the guise of a judgment. In Whole Woman’s Health versus Hellerstedt, Justice Breyer invokes the word “Constitution” 103 times in the majority opinion yet ignores the founding document in this ruling that protects Gosnells around the country.

Legalized abortion started as a lie in Bryan/College Station in Texas. In order to challenge the state’s law protecting unborn human life, Norma McCorvey (Roe in Roe v. Wade) lied about being gang-raped. (She actually ended up making a loving plan of adoption for her daughter.) Lies shape legislation. And our liberal Supreme Court has no problem contributing its own falsehoods in defending a right that exists nowhere in the Law of the Land. I would love to know where, exactly, the words allowing someone to kill another innocent human being reside in the Constitution.

They don’t. So supremely arrogant justices make it up with phrases like “right to privacy” and “reliance” (as in women rely on abortion to be equal) and now, “undue burden” that replace the Constitution with judicial (im)moral relativism. Facts and human lives be damned. Texas’ HB2 law was passed in direct response to the arrest and conviction of murderer/abortionist Kermit Gosnell. His squalid “House of Horrors” was the result of unenforcement of existing laws and non-existence of regulations requiring abortion mills to operate with the standards of real medical facilities. Texas moved to protect women. The Supreme court moved to protect the predators.

HB2’s requirement of hospital admitting privileges and ambulatory building standards was in line with the Gosnell Grand Jury report’s recommendation which stated: “If oversight agencies expect to prevent future Dr. Gosnells, they must find the fortitude to enact and enforce the necessary regulations. Rules must be more than words on paper. We recommend that the Pennsylvania Department of Health plug the hole it has created for abortion clinics. They should be explicitly regulated as ambulatory surgical facilities, so that they are inspected annually and held to the same standards as all other outpatient procedure centers.”

HB2 was in line with the exact wording of the unconstitutional Roe decision which stated, unambiguously: “…a State may regulate the abortion procedure to the extent that the regulation reasonably relates to the preservation and protection of maternal health. Examples of permissible state regulation in this area are requirements as to the qualifications of the person who is to perform the abortion; as to the licensure of that person; as to the facility in which the procedure is to be performed, that is, whether it must be a hospital or may be a clinic or some other place of less-than-hospital status; as to the licensing of the facility; and the like.”

So, what was pro-abortion Justice Breyer’s response? “Both the admitting-privileges and the surgical-centerrequirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution.”

Not content with ignoring common sense, the left side of the Court explained why laws were not necessary: “Gosnell’s behavior was terribly wrong. But there is no reason to believe that an extra layer of regulation would have affected that behavior. Determined wrongdoers, already ignoring existing statutes and safety measures, are unlikely to be convinced to adopt safe practices by a new overlay of regulations.”

Well, there you have it. Minority women in Texas, the Supreme Court doesn’t care about the quality of your healthcare (not that abortion is even healthcare), just that abortionists can operate without any barriers. In Texas, the abortion rate is nearly 3 times higher among black women (22.7 per 1,000 women ages 15-44) than white women (8.1) and more than twice as high as Hispanics (10.1). There’s no lack of access to abortion in the Lone Star State. There are 34 Planned Parenthood abortion/abortion referral centers (in addition to other abortion mills) providing an extremely limited scope of “reproductive healthcare”. Their primary function is to generate revenue through abortion. That’s their money-maker, and they’ll spend millions of our tax dollars to defend it. But there are over 3,000 state-funded comprehensive real medical providers made possible through theTexas Women’s Health Program. This initiative delivers the full spectrum of reproductive medical care to even more low-income women now that the state has defunded billion-dollar Planned Parenthood. (Although, I’m no fan of hormonal birth control that has been shown to result in increased risk of triple-negative breast cancer among other physiological consequences.)

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Of the 61,912 abortions in Texas, 38.9% are among Hispanics, 27.4% among whites and 25.3% among blacks. The black community is the only demographic where its percentage of abortions exceeds its proportion of the population (11.5%).

Abortion, nationwide, is the leading killer of black lives (contrary to the factless assertions of the #BlackLivesMatter movement). Abortion snuffs out 317,547 unarmed black lives in the womb annually. This is more than all other causes of death, combined (286,797 according to the CDC).

Minority communities (or any community for that matter) don’t need more deaths. They need life-affirming resources that value every human being—not wealthy abortion hucksters given license, by supremely wrong justices, to operate their own “House of Horrors”.

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