All articles from May 11, 2017


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Daniel and Amy McArthur
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Should Christian bakers be forced to make gay wedding cakes? UK Supreme Court will decide

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom will decide whether Christian employers have the religious freedom to be faithful to their beliefs in the workplace.

The nation's highest court will hear the case in October.

Homosexual activist Gareth Lee ordered a cake from a family-run Belfast bakery in May 2014, specifying that the cake read "Support Gay Marriage in 2014." A member of the group Queer Space, Lee wanted the cake featuring Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street to celebrate an "International Day Against Homophobia."

Lee submitted the order, but the management at Ashers Baking Company later contacted him to politely decline because of their sincerely-held Christian beliefs.  

"We felt that making this cake would make us responsible for its message," Ashers Baking Company general manager Daniel McArthur later explained. "We wouldn't decorate a cake with a pornographic picture, or with swear words. We wouldn't even decorate a cake with a spiteful message about gay people," he said, "because to do so would be to endorse and promote it."

With the help of the gay activist Equality Commission of Northern Ireland, Lee sued and won. District Judge Isobel Brownlie decreed that religious freedom does not take priority over anti-discrimination laws. She ordered the McArthurs to pay £500 ($650) in damages.

Ashers and McArthur appealed, arguing that they were not against Lee, but the cake’s message violated their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Ashers and McArthur lost their appeal. McArthur told the press after the appeal that he and his wife, Amy, were "extremely disappointed" with the appellate court’s ruling. "If ... a law means people can be punished for politely refusing to support other people's causes, then the law needs to be changed," he said.

"It's been a trying time, but we're thankful to God for His faithfulness," McArthur added.  "He is still on the Throne. He is the Ruler of Heaven and of Earth, and His is our God, and we worship and we honor Him."

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Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

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Canada’s capital flew a pro-life flag. Liberals are furious, even after the mayor took it down

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

OTTAWA, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The City of Ottawa has taken down a pro-life flag put up in honor of the National March for Life today.

After LifeSiteNews reported on this morning’s flag raising at city hall, abortion activists and city councillors lashed out at Mayor Jim Watson’s office.

The pro-life flag commemorated the 20th anniversary National March for Life, which drew thousands to the capital to demand legal protections for unborn life.

But Watson quickly backed down amid fierce social media backlash.

“I am pleased to report that the anti abortion flag has been taken down. I have asked staff for a complete review of the city's flag policy,” Watson tweeted Thursday afternoon.

“My personal opinion has always been that women have the right to choose,” he added.

Francis Barrett, who had worked with the City to have the flag flown, was writing a thank you note to Mayor Watson this afternoon when he learned it had been taken down. He called the decision "ridiculous." 

"I’m being treated like a nobody. I have my rights the same as the next person. We did everything legitimately, it was signed by the mayor," he told LifeSiteNews.

"This has got to stop. This is really discrimination. ... Could you imagine if they took the gay flag down? And they won’t let us fly that flag for one day, when they gave us permission?"

He said city officials so far have not returned his calls about the matter. "I think we should get an apology from the city."

This morning, seven city councillors issued a statement demanding its immediate removal.

In an open letter, they said they were “outraged that a flag representing a personal conviction to restrict a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion is flying on the grounds of City Hall for the first time in the City’s history.”

Abortion activists on Twitter and Facebook were livid at Watson.

“Probably an acceptable time to skip review of policy and just take that **** down,” a Twitter user shot at Watson.

“Good!!!! Because that is some bull****!! Who approved this?!?!????," fired another.

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada made a Facebook post with LifeSiteNews’s video coverage of this morning’s flag raising at Ottawa City Hall along with a message stating, “This is totally unacceptable. Could you please Tweet your disgust that the City would officially endorse an anti-human rights cause.”

The post concluded with the statement, “Trigger warning: link goes to anti-choice video describing flag approval.”

Pro-abortion Twitter users reacted in kind to condemn the flag.

One user said it was “disgusting” to fly the flag and that she was “disappointed you're supporting these people who spread lies and force their beliefs on teens.”

Another said she was “Feeling sick to my stomach that” had “raised a "pro-life" flag at City Hall,” then stating that “Pro life ≠ respect for life/”

“Take the damn flag down @JimWatsonOttawa #Ott,” a third tweet stated.

Planned Parenthood Ottawa tweeted a photo of the flag flying stating, “Anti-abortion protest flag really is flying in Ottawa. Why @mayorjimwatson?”

After the backlash first ensued, Watson had issued a statement saying, “I have asked the City's Clerk's Office for a completed review of the Proclamations and Flag raising policy.”

CBCNews reported on the pro-abortion backlash, including LifeSite’s video coverage of the flag raising. Local radio station CFRA-580 covered the controversy as well.

MP Peter Julian joined in criticizing the pro-life flag as well. He tweeted that it is “appalling that an anti-abortion flag is flying above #Ottawa City Hall. It MUST come down immediately #defendchoice #prochoice #canfem #NDP.”

The flag displaying the words, “National March for Life Ottawa” was raised over Ottawa City Hall around 5:45 a.m. this morning, and was supposed to stay up until sundown.

Watson had proclaimed the day as the “National March for Life Day in the Capital.”

In the decree he said that the National March for Life is an event where “thousands of people from across Canada and the United States…come to Parliament Hill” to “bring awareness for the need for life-affirming solutions.”

The City of Ottawa says that the varying flags that it raises over City Hall are meant to help foster community.

“Flag-raising ceremonies enhance public awareness of activities such as national days, multicultural events, and fundraising drives,” the City website states. “They encourage support from members of the public, and benefit and enrich the community.”

Contact:

Mayor Jim Watson
[email protected]
Twitter: @JimWatsonOttawa

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn voted for Diana Johnsons bill to decriminalise abortion.
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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Leak reveals Britain’s Labour Party aims to legalize abortion in Northern Ireland

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

May 11, 2017 (SPUC) -- A leaked copy of the Labour Party's general election manifesto reveals that the party plans to introduce abortion to Northern Ireland.

The document, which was leaked to several newspapers today and uploaded online, says "Labour will continue to ensure a woman's right to choose a safe, legal abortion - and we will legislate to extend that right to women in Northern Ireland."

Click here to find out how your MP voted on pro-life issues!

A devolved matter

The 1967 Abortion Act, which legislated for abortion in England, Wales and Scotland was never extended to Northern Ireland, and the matter is devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly in Stormont. The Labour Party has not clarified whether it would implement the change during a period of direct rule, or whether it would impose it on a sitting Northern Ireland Assembly. The inconclusive result of the Stormont elections makes a return to direct rule a possibility. 

Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland Development officer explains: "We have the legal and constitutional right to make our own laws on issues such as abortion, which is a matter for the devolved Assembly in Stormont."

Outrageous interference

In a press release, he said: "The decision by the Labour Party to include in its election manifesto a commitment to impose the Abortion Act on Northern Ireland demonstrates a shocking level of utter contempt for the people of the Province and the devolved institutions established by the Good Friday Agreement. We are outraged but so should every single person in Northern Ireland by this highhanded interference."

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

He went on to say: "In February 2016 members of the Assembly voted to maintain Northern Ireland's current protection for children before birth. All the parties at Westminster should respect that decision. If the Labour Party were to carry out its threat to override the democratic settlement in the Province in order to push its own extremist and unpopular abortion agenda, it would severely damage the credibility of the political process and make the existence of the Assembly meaningless."

In January 2017 a leading economist estimated at least 100,000 people - men, women and children - are alive today in Northern Ireland who would not have been alive if the Province had the same rate of abortions as Scotland has had since the late 1960s. 

Campaign with SPUC this General Election

Reprinted with permission from Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

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Dave Andrusko

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Mom can’t bear to abort conjoined twins: baby girls born, then successfully separated

Dave Andrusko

May 11, 2017 (NationalRighttoLifeNews) -- Considering the conjoined twins were born in China, notorious for a viciously coercive population control program, which includes forced abortion and involuntary sterilization, their survival and subsequent successful separation is a multiple miracle.

Reporting for the Daily Mail, Tracy You tells us that the mother, identified only by the surname of Liu, learned her babies were joined at the liver when she was about five months pregnant.

You gently puts the situation this way: Liu said “she and her husband decided to keep the twins and did not agree to an induced labour, reported Huanqiu.com, a part of People’s Daily.” Inducing labor that early would mean the girls would die at birth.

“Doctors from the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai received Ms Liu when she was 22 weeks pregnant,” You reported. Ms. Liu had left her hometown in nearby Jiangsu Province to go to Children’s Hospital because in the past two years, doctors had successfully separated two sets of conjoined twins. One set was joined at the hip, the other by the stomach.

Doctors examined Ms. Liu and decided to “help the woman give birth and to carry out the separation after the twins were born… A team was formed to monitor the growth of the twins around the clock.”

Born February 9 when Ms. Liu was 35 weeks pregnant, the babies weighed a combined 10.3 pounds. But in such cases surgeons will not operate until each baby weighs at least 11 pounds. When the girls reached that juncture, a two-hour operation took place the morning of May 8.

According to reporter You, hemorrhaging and/or dysfunctional livers are the primary immediate dangers. Surgeons were aided by 3-D imaging technology and were able to “cut the abnormal blood vessel which connected the two babies by the liver.”

As of yesterday’s Daily Mail report, the twins were doing fine.

Reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News.

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Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

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UN council attacks Poland for its strong pro-life record

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A United Nations organization assailed Poland this week for its pro-life laws.

Several western nations told the mostly Roman Catholic and predominantly pro-life country to give women the right to safe and legal abortions, according to news coverage of the meeting.

Poland’s representatives also heard criticism from numerous western countries about new laws thought to be limiting independence of the judiciary and public media, as well as a reported increasingly xenophobic atmosphere leading to crimes against foreigners.

The debate took place Tuesday in Geneva during a session of the Human Rights Council.

The Council is an intergovernmental body within the UN composed of 47 member nation states elected by the UN General Assembly to be responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The Council periodically reviews all UN members.

The session was the first review of Poland in five years, and also the first since the 2015 election of the country’s conservative Law and Justice party, which is facing accusations of violating the rule of law from the European Union (EU).

Sheila Leonard, the U.S. representative at the session, said her country remains “deeply concerned about judicial independence.”

“We are also concerned about the continued discrimination and incidents targeting minorities in Poland,” Leonard said,” including homophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic speech and acts.”

Turkey’s delegate voiced concern about an anti-Muslim attitude in Poland, and the Russian delegate condemned a recent wave of vandalism on memorials for a Soviet soldier who died in World War II.

Polish officials defended their record and said the changes the Law and Justice party initiated were in accord with European norms.

Polish representative Renata Szczech, an undersecretary of state with Poland’s Foreign Ministry, reported how her government has decreased childhood poverty levels markedly through new cash bonuses for families.

Several delegates acknowledged the drop in childhood poverty and pushed for Warsaw to demonstrate improvement in the other areas.

Abortion is illegal in Poland with the exceptions of rape and incest, risk to the mother’s life, or when the unborn child is irreparably ill. It had previously been legal for decades when the country was under Communist rule.

More recent attempts to ban abortion entirely have fallen short. Feminists took to the streets throughout the country last fall to protest the proposed ban.

In 2015, a document produced by UN Committee on the Rights of the Child called on Poland to give children wider access to abortions, fight against “gender stereotypes,” and amend its penal code to allow for prosecution of “hate speech and other hate crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia and homophobia.”

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Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Abortion was legalized in Canada 48 years ago. Today, thousands marched for life

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
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Conservative leadership candidate and MP Brad Trost speaks at the 2017 March for Life rally. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Conservative leadership candidate and former MP Pierre Lemieux speaks at the 2017 March for Life rally. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen served as an MC at the 2017 March for Life rally. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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OTTAWA, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- For twenty years pro-life Canadians have marched upon the nation’s capital city, demanding legal protection for pre-born children targeted by abortion. Today, thousands joined the annual National March for Life on Parliament Hill, letting the Prime Minister, MPs, and senators know that Canadians have not forgotten, and will never forget, the child in the womb.

“Human beings have human rights,” Conservative Alberta MP Arnold Viersen told the crowd. “Human rights begin when the human being begins. Science tells us when the human being begins: human beings begin at conception. Therefore we must defend the human rights of all human beings.”

The Justin Trudeau Liberal government says “this issue is settled and that we should go away,” Conservative Manitoba MP Ted Falk pointed out.

“Well, Mr. Prime Minister, look out of your window, look down here. We will not go away. We will fight back against the attempts to silence us, we will keep this conversation alive, we will show that all life is inherently valuable … from conception until natural death, and we will do so in an honest and compassionate way.”

The theme for today’s March for Life is “Life, We stand on guard for Thee.”

The theme comes from the last lines of the country’s national anthem and is fitting, given the country’s celebration of its 150th anniversary of Confederation.

For pro-life Canadians, standing on guard for life in the current political situation is no easy task.

The country’s Catholic Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has made abortion a defining issue for his leadership, expanding the deadly service both at home and abroad.

Earlier this year, Prince Edward Island joined the rest of the provinces in providing abortions after not offering them for 35 years. And Trudeau had no small part in the matter.

During his 2015 federal election campaign, Trudeau made it clear that should he win the election he would pressure the province to begin offering abortion services. He personally lent his political clout to help reelect PEI’s pro-abortion Liberal leader Wade MacLauchlan in 2015, whom he said would “make sure” that abortion came to the island.

In the last 12 months, Trudeau has forced Canadian taxpayers into increased funding for abortions in developing countries.

Last May he reversed a policy from the previous Conservative government that forbade foreign aid money from being used to fund abortions overseas. Two months ago he pledged $650 million to help developing countries “address gaps in sexual and reproductive health” and help women gain “legal control over their bodies and reproductive health.”

Trudeau’s pro-abortion activism has mobilized pro-lifers across the country to rally behind candidates in the upcoming Conservative leadership election who have promised to defend life.

Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), the political arm of the country’s pro-life movement, has endorsed two of the thirteen candidates for their pro-life convictions and track record. CLC is asking its grassroots supporters who have memberships in the Conservative Party to mark down their votes for former MP Pierre Lemieux and current Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost.

Jim Hughes, CLC president, told LifeSiteNews in a recent interview that pro-life Canadians are “tremendously fortunate” to have pro-life candidates in the leadership race.

He noted that of the three major parties in the country, the Conservative Party remains the only one that still allows pro-life candidates to run and permits free votes on matters of conscience.

Both Lemieux and Trost addressed pro-lifers at the March for Life today, encouraging them in their fight on behalf of the pre-born.

“I am pro-life, I am social conservative, I am pro-freedom of speech, and I am Canadian, and these are Canadian values,” Lemieux told the  crowd. “And you and I who share these values with millions of Canadians across our country, we have a rightful place in our Canadian society and we have a rightful place in the Conservative Party of Canada.”

He urged pro-lifers to join the Conservative Party. “In this race you need to be politically engaged in order to stand for life in all of its aspects.”

MP Trost told the marchers that Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, in which he speaks of faith, hope, and love applies to the marchers.

“We come here because we have faith that we can change, that Canada will return to its roots,” Trost said. “We’re here because we hope, because we want to give hope to those who are suffering, because we want to give the hope of life.”

“And finally, we are here for the greatest of these three things, for love, because we love those who cannot speak for themselves,” he concluded. “So remember that, the reason you are here to celebrate life is faith, hope, love, the greatest of these is love. Thank you and God bless.”

The March for Life commemorates May 14, 1969, what pro-lifers call Canada’s “day of infamy,” when Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Liberal government passed the Omnibus Bill that legalized abortion.

The bill was struck down by the Supreme Court in its 1988 Morgentaler decision, and Canada has been without a law on abortion since then. All this has resulted in the deaths of about 100,000 babies annually by abortion, or what works out to about 3.5 million since 1969.

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Protesters speak with the media outside parliament. Giovanni Portelli
Andrew Smith, Australian correspondent

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VICTORY: Another pro-abortion measure defeated in Australia

Andrew Smith, Australian correspondent

SYDNEY, Australia, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — New South Wales became the second state in Australia to defeat moves to decriminalize abortion thanks to a spectacular setback in parliament today of a bill that was roundly condemned as deeply flawed on many levels.

The Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016 was defeated 25 to 14 in a conscience vote to cries of “shame” from disappointed pro-abortion activists in the public gallery.

The bill was similar to the Pyne bills in Queensland in that it would totally remove abortion from the criminal code and also establish zones around abortion clinics whereby protesters would be prohibited from gathering. It had been in parliament for almost two years.

During debate, the first speaker, Hon. Trevor Khan, referenced and endorsed the concerns of the Queensland parliamentary committee that considered the Pyne bills. He noted from their report: “The committee considers that constructive law reform should start with thorough policy development. Legislation ... should be the means to implement coherent policy rather than partially developed proposals. … The committee does not consider the introduction of a bill to be an appropriate catalyst for policy development and consultation which should appropriately be done before the introduction of a bill.”

Khan also questioned whether the bill was necessary or appropriate and stated that he had not heard any evidence that abortions were “performed in a dangerous or unsafe manner” or that women seeking abortions were being denied them. He disregarded claims that women in regional areas were suffering from a lack of access to abortions (which would allegedly be solved by decriminalization) because they also have difficulty accessing any other medical service and therefore abortion legality was not the issue.

He chided the author of the bill, Greens MP the Hon. Dr. Mehreen Faruqi, calling for “a discussion based upon an accurate understanding of history, the law and present day practices, not on myths and anecdotes.”

Sensing the magnitude of the blown opportunity, fellow pro-abortion MPs who wanted the bill to pass offered the most scathing responses.

The Hon. Walt Secord, Shadow Minister for Health, said, “My support is not due to the efforts, but despite the efforts of Dr. Mehreen Faruqi in bringing forward this legislation. I have to say I am profoundly disappointed by Dr. Mehreen Faruqi's approach. Because of her approach, this important bill, and the whole area of abortion law reform, is likely to fail.”  

He further criticized her bill as flawed and introducing unintended consequences, claiming she had “been insensitive and irresponsible in bringing forward this partially developed bill.” He said her handling of the matter had “the sophistication of a student candidate fighting for a position on a university student representative council.”

Secord blamed the “almost careless and reckless” handling for the lack of legal framework within the bill for legally approved abortions which then resulted in opponents of the bill being able to mount very successful counterarguments.  

He surmised that “Dr. Faruqi's bill is (all) about politics and her position within The Greens.” Secord reiterated his previous statements about Faruqi's actions to the Sydney Morning Herald and complained that “she has articulated her view only within the echo chamber of her own constituency.”

The Hon. Ernest Wong also cited concerns with how the bill was introduced and the approach to debate, supporting earlier remarks about a lack of consultation. “It is no way to build the case for change in an area of law that attracts diverse, contrary and deeply held views” he said.

The Hon. John Graham was slightly more charitable in stating that the bill “will represent a start to the debate because a reassertion by this House that abortion is a crime will come as a surprise to many citizens of New South Wales.”  

As the final speaker before a division was called to vote, Faruqi claimed that the bill was not hers or a Greens bill but was “on behalf of the women of New South Wales, medical practitioners, lawyers and, most importantly, the community that overwhelmingly supports the decriminalization of abortion and the enactment of safe access zones outside clinics.”

Faruqi attacked claims that the bill allowed abortions up to the day of birth as being unfounded and a myth “peddled by the anti-choice lobby.” She stated that suggesting a woman would do this is “offensive and has no grounding in reality” and there is no evidence that this happens or that a doctor would do that.

She declared that her abortion decriminalization bill was not radical and attacked her fellow MPs who are pro-abortion but refused to vote for it. “They cannot claim to be pro-choice and then vote against a bill that is all about choice,” she said as she complained about them wanting to have it both ways.

Faruqi finished with the protest chant, “Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate,” and commended her bill to the house as they moved on to the formal vote.

Despite the litany of concerns over the content of the bill and the handling of the process, it was still supported by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, Family Planning NSW, Marie Stopes, New South Wales Teachers Federation, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, the National Tertiary Education Union; Family Planning NSW, and the White Ribbon anti-domestic violence campaign.

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Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

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City agrees to light up bridge for March for Life, then says abortion is too ‘polarizing’

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

EDMONTON, Alberta, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The City of Edmonton backtracked and abruptly cancelled plans to light up its High Level Bridge for Alberta's provincial March for Life this week, because the pro-life request does not meet its guidelines for events with a positive community impact.

The abortion issue is “really polarizing,” a city representative said, making the pro-life request to light the bridge something the city would not support.

“We cancelled it at the last minute because the request itself did not reflect the voice of the community as per our guidelines,” said Nicole Poirier, the city’s director of civic events and festivals. “It’s normally (lit up for) events that are major events and cultural celebrations, or support for local festivals and events that positively impact the local community spirit.”

The mix-up was due to an employee oversight, according to Toronto Metro News. The news outlet's headline said, "Edmonton almost accidentally lit" the bridge for an "anti-abortion group."

The city had tweeted Sunday afternoon and linked to the Love Life Ribbons Foundation website:

Information on the group's website and in the tweet stated:

“The Love Life Ribbons Foundation provides prayers cards and blue (boys), pink (girls), and white (purity) ribbons for public and private pro-life events at churches, schools, rallies, marches, and conferences.”

The City of Edmonton was promptly assailed on Twitter, with one user stating, “Why do you hate people with uteruses?”

Others called the plan to light the bridge for the pro-life group offensive, alarming, inappropriate and “extremely disappointing.”

The city reversed course in under four hours and apologized on Twitter:

Since then, the city has announced the bridge would lit up orange for an Edmonton Oilers win, teal for World Ovarian Cancer Day, and sage green for local seniors’ group event.

The High Bridge spans the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton. It was originally opened in 1913, designed to accommodate rail, streetcar, automobile and pedestrian traffic. The bridge has undergone updates through the years. LED lights were added in 2014 to light the bridge in numerous colors in conjunction with local events.

Applications to light the bridge are reviewed by the city and approved if they meet its criteria, according to Poirier. If the proposal appears to be something that might be polarizing, a committee will review it.  

However, in this instance, “the person reviewing the applications wasn’t fully aware" the request came from an “anti-abortion” organization, she said. Thus, the application did not get flagged for review before approval.

Poirier said the city would normally not light the bridge for an “anti-abortion” group or a pro-choice group, the Metro report said.

“Those are really polarizing issues in a community and that’s not normally something therefore that we would support,” said Poirer.

March for Life Vice President Jerry Pasternak said the group is “disappointed” in the city’s cancellation of the bridge lighting for the March for Life, in its 10th year this year.

“As far as we’re concerned, (the city) gave into radical demands,” he said.

Alberta Pro-Choice Coalition spokesperson Kathy Dawson said her group is happy that the city “acted so quickly to protect the rights of women, trans men and nonbinary people.”

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Activists with the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform run a pro-life campaign with abortion-victim imagery. Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

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Liberals cut funding for summer pro-life jobs; students turn to crowdfunding

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

OTTAWA, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has make good its vow to cut federal summer job grants to pro-life groups in a move instigated by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

That has left some pro-life groups in a pinch, with the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform turning to Crowdsourcing to make up a $150,000 shortfall.

The CCBR hired 30 student interns this summer to spread the pro-life message to four million Canadians, and so far a Crowdsource appeal has brought in $15,935.

The Abortion Rights Coalition gunned for the CCBR particularly in its lobby to strip pro-life groups of federal funding.

The ARCC’s  April 10 press release detailing the funding for pro-life groups called CCBR an “extremist political organization,” alleged it caused traffic accidents with its highway banners depicting victims of abortion, and labelled its Genocide Awareness Project “anti-Semitic” for comparing abortion to the Holocaust.

The pro-abortion group’s campaign got traction when iPolitics ran a story singling out rookie Liberal MP Iqra Khalid for approving $56,000 in job grants last year for CCBR.

In reaction, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu made it clear no Liberal MP would do that again.

“Any funding provided to an organization that works to limit women’s reproductive rights last summer was an oversight,” Hadju spokesman Matt Pascuzzo told iPolitics.

“That’s why this year we fixed the issue and no such organizations will receive funding from any constituencies represented by Liberal MPs.”

Pascuzzo reiterated this in an email to the Catholic Register, writing: “We have been unequivocal in our support for a woman’s fundamental right to choose.”

Since then, Alliance for Life Ontario and LifeSiteNews also received notification they have been denied summer job funding.

Pascuzzo suggested that the Liberals would try to change the way the summer jobs program is administered so that no MPs could approve grants for pro-life organizations next year.

Under current rules, non-profit groups, small businesses, and public sector employers can apply for funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program to create jobs for students from 15 to 30 years of age. It’s up to individual MPs to assess and approve funding applications from groups in their ridings.

Alberta Conservative MP Arnold Viersen told the Catholic Register that the Liberal move “is completely disrespectful of the individual Members of Parliament and their privileges.”

Carol Crosson, a Calgary-based constitutional lawyer who represents CCBR, is “in communication with a number of groups who have been refused” and that the “CCBR is also looking into what sorts of legal options they have.”

“The big concern is that members of the Liberal Party openly communicated that they would be refusing summer student job funding on the basis of the opinions and beliefs of organizations being pro-life,” Crosson told LifeSiteNews. “They clearly identified the nature of their refusal.”

The CCBR echoes this on its Crowdsourcing page: “Trudeau's Liberal Government has inserted an ideological purity test into a taxpayer-funded program and politicized a program simply intended to get students a paying summer job.”

And the Catholic Register, official newspaper for the archdiocese of Toronto, lambasted the Liberals in a May 11 editorial.

The Trudeau Liberals are “laying the foundation” to turn the $220 million federal summer job program into “little more than a partisan slush fund to be shared among government supporters,” it noted.

“There is no legitimate reason to bully or muzzle pro-life groups or to punish students who wish to work for them.”

Trudeau “has often suggested unrestricted abortion is a woman’s Constitutional right. Besides being blatantly false — the Supreme Court actually said the government has a right to restrict abortion — polls show most Canadians want limits on abortion.”

And while the prime minister prides himself on being a feminist, he is “blocking summer jobs that often go to young women. What about their rights?”

Moreover, “if a government can blacklist pro-life lobby groups from taxpayer-funded programs, what’s stopping it from targeting others with similar sympathies?” noted the editorial.

“Summer Jobs Canada is funded by taxpayer money, not a private political party account.”

To express your concern, contact:

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
K1A 0A6
email: [email protected]
Telephone: 613-996-4792

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
K1A 0A6
email: [email protected]
Telephone: 613-995-0253

MPs addresses are available here.

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Trudeau demands end to funding pro-life summer internships

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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton
LifeSiteNews.com

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Minnesota governor vetoes pro-life bills, forcing state to continue paying for abortions

LifeSiteNews.com

ST. PAUL, Minnesota, May 11, 2017 (MCCL)  — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed mainstream pro-life measures on Wednesday that would affirm licensing and funding standards approved by the Minnesota Legislature.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization, objected to the governor’s actions.

“Once again, Gov. Dayton has bowed to a handful of abortion industry elites rather than thoughtfully considering the content of pro-life bills,” said MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau. “By the stroke of his pen, the governor has demonstrated profound disrespect for women and taxpayers — nearly all Minnesotans, in fact.”

Both stand-alone bills were passed in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives with bipartisan support, despite the governor’s threats to veto them. He rejected similar legislation passed in 2011 and 2012.

H.F. 809, authored by Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, and Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, would prohibit state funds from being used for abortion. The legislation would conform Minnesota’s policy on taxpayer-funded abortion with that of the federal government by reinstating a 1978 state ban on the practice of providing free abortions to women on the state’s Medicaid program, Medical Assistance (MA).

Due to the Minnesota Supreme Court’s 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision, taxpayers now fund 43 percent of all abortions at a cost of more than $1 million per year. From the time of the court decision until the end of 2015, taxpayers were forced to pay in excess of $23 million for more than 77,000 abortions.

“Under H.F. 809, Minnesota citizens would no longer be forced to continue to fund an act which they do not support and which does not further the public good,” Rau said.

A 2015 poll found 68 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 69 percent of women and 71 percent of millennials.

H.F. 812, authored by Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, and Sen. Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, would require facilities that perform 10 or more abortions per month to be licensed by the state commissioner of health. The bill also authorizes the commissioner to perform inspections of abortion facilities.

The bill was amended to require abortion facilities to follow their own industry standards and to ensure facilities abide by those standards to be eligible for state licensure.

“Gov. Dayton has dismissed the abortion industry’s own safety requirements, shielding the state’s abortion facilities from any oversight whatsoever,” Rau added. “He is willing to risk women’s health and safety in order to protect the abortion industry.”

MCCL is Minnesota's oldest and largest pro-life organization with more than 70,000 member families and 200 chapters across the state. For more information about MCCL, visit www.mccl.org.

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Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
LifeSiteNews staff

News,

Watch Canada’s March for Life LIVE right here

LifeSiteNews staff

EWTN is offering live coverage of Canada's National March for Life on Parliament Hill starting at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. You can watch it right here on their livestream.

The March for Life rally starts around 12:30 pm, and the March itself happens around 1:30pm.

LifeSiteNews has reporters on the ground in Ottawa covering the March. Find a full list of our coverage here.

 

Note: If you have trouble loading the video here, you can also access it on EWTN's site here.

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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

News

Texas House votes: adoption agencies won’t be forced to give kids to gay couples

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

AUSTIN, Texas, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A bill to allow Christian agencies to opt out of facilitating adoptions for unmarried couples or for homosexuals was approved in the Texas House on Wednesday.

The Freedom to Serve Children Act (HB 3859), which passed overwhelmingly by a 93-49 margin, would allow private adoption organizations to reject applicants on religious grounds.  

The bill would apply to both private adoption agencies and those receiving financial assistance from the state to place foster children in homes. About a third of the state’s adoption agencies are religiously affiliated.

Rep. James Frank, R-Wichita Falls, who authored the bill, says protection from lawsuits is needed for religious adoption agencies that are private but receive state assistance. He said that in light of Texas’ “broken” foster care system, giving legal protection to religious agencies means thousands more children will be placed in homes.

Catholic Charities have discontinued adoptions in California, District of Columbia, Illinois and Massachusetts because new LGBTQ laws would force them to violate their beliefs.

The bill also allows religious exemption from anti-Christian activities or indoctrination. “A child welfare services provider may not be required to provide any service that conflicts with the provider's sincerely held religious beliefs,” the bill states.

The homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) complained that the legislation could "lead to concrete harm to children in care" by allowing foster teens who experience unwanted same-sex attractions to receive reparative therapy.

Failed amendments proposed by Democrats would have required agencies to report why they have denied prospective parents and to have the bill apply only to private agencies. However, if an agency does opt out of facilitating a placement with a prospective parent, the bill requires them to refer the hopeful parent or parents to another agency in the area.

Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Virginia have passed similar laws.  

The bill now goes to the Senate for further debate.

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Pro-life flag (middle) over Ottawa's City Hall. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

News,

Canada has the most pro-abortion laws in the world. But its capital city just raised a pro-life flag

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
Image
About 30 people gathered to raise the pro-life flag over Ottawa's City Hall. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews

Update: Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has ordered the pro-life flag taken down after pro-abortion backlash. Read the story here.

OTTAWA, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- For the first time in Canada’s history, the nation’s capital this morning raised a pro-life flag over its City Hall. The day marks the 20th anniversary of the National March for Life where tens of thousands of pro-lifers rally at the country’s Parliament to demand legal protection for pre-born children targeted for abortion.

The grayish flag has the words in white and red: “National March for Life Ottawa.”

About thirty pro-lifers attended the event, which took place around 5:45, just after sunrise. The flag will fly until sundown.

The City’s Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed the day as the “National March for Life Day in the Capital.”

In a proclamation, which was read by Paul Lauzon, the Mayor stated that the National March for Life is an event where “thousands of people from across Canada and the United States…come to Parliament Hill” to “bring awareness for the need for life-affirming solutions.”

Ottawa resident Francis Barrett is the 89-year-old father and grandfather, a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer, who worked with city officials to fly the flag.

Barrett told LifeSiteNews he is “so proud” of the mayor and the city staff for working with pro-lifers to raise the flag.

“My idea was that everybody else can put a flag up, so why can’t we?” he said. “And they agreed with us.”

But the flag raising event almost didn’t happen. At the last minute, city officials told Barrett that the newly designed pro-life flag he wanted flown did not match with the Mayor’s proclamation about the “National March for Life Day.” There were no words on the flag indicating what the day was supposed to be about, he was told.  

Barrett said he quickly contacted Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), the political arm of the pro-life movement, to see if it had any pro-life flags with the appropriate words. And they did have a flag from years ago. The flag made it from Toronto to Ottawa just in time to be flown this morning.

The City of Ottawa says that the various flags that it raises over City Hall are meant to help build community.

“Flag-raising ceremonies enhance public awareness of activities such as national days, multicultural events, and fundraising drives,” the City states on its website. “They encourage support from members of the public, and benefit and enrich the community.”

Barrett called it a “big, big deal” for the pro-life movement in Canada to have a pro-life flag flown in such a prominent location.

He said that when good men and women do nothing, “evil will triumph.”

“So I say, pro-lifers, stand up, be counted, don’t be ashamed. You have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews that he hopes the event "marks the beginning of an annual tradition that will grow in cities across the nation."

“We thank the Mayor and Councillors of Ottawa for respecting free speech, and allowing the pro-life flag to fly over City Hall. May it continue next year and every year after," he said.

"The sanctity of life is flying high today," he added.

Fonseca said that Barrett's initiative reminded him of what Saint Mother Teresa once told CLC President Jim Hughes years ago at a prior March For Life in the nation's capital.

"She said that the 'beautiful thing about the pro-life movement is that it’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things for God,'” he said. 

The March for Life commemorates May 14, 1969, what pro-lifers call Canada’s “day of infamy,” when Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Liberal government passed the Omnibus Bill that legalized abortion.

The bill has resulted in the deaths of about 100,000 babies annually by abortion, or what works out to about 3.5 million since 1969.

The theme for today’s March for Life is “Life, We stand on guard for Thee.”

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Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, head of the Pontifical Council responsible for the interpretation canon law
Phil Lawler

Opinion,

Is the Vatican’s top canonical official undermining canon law?

Phil Lawler

May 11, 2017 (CatholicCulture) -- My favorite canon lawyer, Ed Peters, has some “Questions in the wake of Cdl. Coccopalmerio’s comments on Anglican orders.” I recommend his analysis highly, for anyone who wants an expert perspective; I happily defer to Peters on the legal issues. Let me add a few comments, however, on the pastoral implications of the cardinal’s statements.

In case you missed it, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio—who must be taken seriously, since he heads the Pontifical Council responsible for the interpretation canon law— made headlines by saying that we should not assume that the ordination of an Anglican priest is invalid. This appears to be a clear contradiction of the pronouncement by Pope Leo XIII that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void.” Cardinal Coccopalmerio remarked that the Catholic Church has held a “very rigid understanding of validity and invalidity.”

According the London Tablet, which broke this story, Cardinal Coccopalmerio suggested that it’s possible to say: “this is valid in a certain context, and that is valid in another context.” Peters repeatedly, and charitably, observed that the cardinal might have been misquoted—a point that should be kept in mind. But if the Tablet story represents his views accurately, Peters adds, this “is huge.”

In the Tablet account, Cardinal Coccopalmerio comes very close to saying that the validity of an ordination depends on the attitudes and/or merits of the individual. (“This is about the life of a person and what he has given…”) That attitude, however understandable, is contrary to the very purpose of law. The law is the same for every man: regardless of his status, regardless of his virtue. You either are, or are not, an ordained priest. Your attitudes, your behavior, your feelings—and how other people feel about you—do not determine the question. Canon law does.

Although Peters does not explicitly say why it is “huge” [his emphasis] that Cardinal Coccopalmerio places so much emphasis on the “context” of the Anglican ordination, I think it is because the Vatican’s top canonical official seems to be slipping into an increasingly common error: confusing the purpose of making the law, or preaching the law, with the pastoral application of the law. The results of this error reach far beyond the question of Anglican orders.

Every intelligent Christian knows that the morality of a given action is affected by the circumstances. There is an enormous difference between the act of a starving man who steals a crust of bread and that of a hoodlum who steals a car for a joyride. Any good confessor recognizes that difference. But the men who write laws—even canon laws—are not acting as confessors. They must fashion legislation that applies to everyone. The law is a teacher; it sets norms of behavior. Might there be exceptions to those norms? Of course! But if you begin with the exceptions—if you cannot state the law clearly without mentioning the exceptions—the law loses its force.

A good priest, when he preaches against a particular serious sin, leaves his congregation with no doubt that the action is gravely wrong. When a parishioner confesses that same sin, the same good priest might recognize that, in this individual case, the penitent bears little guilt for his act. But even if the sinner’s guilt is clear, and the matter is grave, the good confessor is quick to offer absolution, reminding the penitent that God’s abundant mercy can expunge all sins.

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But imagine the confusion that would arise if the same priest, in his homily, had said that the same gravely sinful action could be excused in some circumstances. (And isn’t this the message that many pastors have drawn from Amoris Laetitia?) As a confessor, a priest might tell a repentant sinner: “You were wrong to rob the bank, and you must make restitution, but God forgives you.” But he should not, as a preacher, tell his congregation: “God will forgive you if you rob a bank.” That is a very different, and potentially deadly, message.

Or look at the question for a slightly different perspective. We are all tempted toward sins, and those temptations very often lead us to think that the moral law does not apply to our particular cases. The Tempter tells us: “This is an exception; the rule doesn’t apply to you here.” Then, if we do fall into sin, the Tempter changes his message radically, trying to convince us that we should not confess, because God can never forgive us for what we have done. The good priest counters temptation on both scores: as a preacher, by upholding the standards of moral law; as a confessor, by dispensing God’s mercy.

But when the preacher feels compelled to downplay the importance of law, isn’t he making the Tempter’s task easier? And when the president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts suggests that the answer to an important canonical question depends entirely on the context, he too downplays the importance of the objective law. That indeed in huge.

Reprinted with permission from Catholic Culture.

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Shutterstock.com
Bradley Mattes

Opinion

Pro-lifers are winning the fight against abortion. Here’s why.

Bradley Mattes
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Nancyjo Mann still sports colorful hair

May 11, 2017 (LifeIssues) -- This month marks my 42nd year of pro-life activism. I’d like to tell you it began when I was a year old, but that would be lying. I was in high school and did a persuasive speech on abortion.

Yesterday morning I received a Facebook message from a dear friend from the past, who in the early ’80s was known to most every pro-life advocate in the nation.

She asked a question that is on the minds of many pro-life Americans today.

She hit the pro-life scene with hair dyed in vibrant colors, was a member of a rock band and wore feathers in her hair. She was clearly not the typical grassroots pro-lifer.

Nancyjo Mann was the first woman to widely go public about her late-term abortion, sharing her remorse and horrific experience. The abortionist not only killed her baby, but butchered her body so badly she was never able to get pregnant again. Further, his ineptness created lifelong physical and emotional complications she deals with to this day.

Upon his first introduction to this colorful young woman, my former colleague, Dr. Jack Willke, saw the tremendous value Nancyjo and others like her would bring to the movement. Her flamboyant exterior actually enhanced her dramatic and moving message.

Through Facebook, Nancyjo asked my candid opinion regarding the effectiveness of the modern-day pro-life movement. She was concerned that we haven’t progressed. We still face many of the same issues we did back during her peak of involvement. Churches are still reluctant to take a stand on the most compelling civil rights issue of our day, not to mention the profound spiritual implications of ministering to women and men in crisis and those struggling as Nancyjo did after the abortion.

At times is seems that only a cattle prod would provide adequate motivation for Congress to liberate America’s preborn children. Judges continue to usurp the right to life of nearly 60-million children and ignore the desperate need for legislative safeguards that protect the physical and emotional needs of women who have abortions.

Nancyjo, I understand your concern, but have an altogether different viewpoint of the movement. I’m more optimistic than I’ve ever been, and the late, great Dr. and Mrs. Willke shared my enthusiasm before their deaths.

In addition to the imagery of abortion’s victims, long-used by pro-lifers, ultrasound and vivid pictures of prenatal life have flung open the window to the womb for all to peer in. This undeniable evidence has turned many hearts and minds away from so-called choice to support LIFE.

The pro-life movement has become very media-savvy. We’re more sophisticated than the days of the Willke slide set, brochures and Handbook on Abortion.  Social media is fertile ground for creative pro-life videos and still visuals. Over the last few decades, pro-life websites have sprung up like dandelions in spring, offering educational information, motivation and direction to equip others to be ambassadors for the babies. Life Issues Institute’s website has over 5,000 pages of pro-life educational information from cloning to euthanasia.

Our half-hour weekly TV program, Facing Life Head-On ran for eight seasons and was the recipient of three Regional Emmy© Awards – the first time pro-life programming has been recognized on such a prestigious level. Nancyjo Mann was a guest in one episode. Our daily radio commentary, Life Issues, is heard on close to 1,200 outlets with a weekly listening audience of over four-million — actual listeners, not potential audience.

The viral videos revealing the sale of aborted baby body parts and other undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood have been instrumental in eroding their brand. A few short years ago the idea of taking away their tax funding was a pipe dream, but now it’s a realistic possibility.

Womens resource clinics and centers offer state-of-the-art medical services and information that empower women to say yes to life, even under the most difficult circumstances.

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Never before have individual states elected more pro-life candidates and passed more life-saving legislation, which has left the other side reeling in disarray.

And then there’s America’s pro-life youth…

The contribution of talent and enthusiasm of our nation’s young people cannot be overstated. They have brought with them a boldness and professionalism that has been welcomed with open arms.

At 18, I was thankful for the Willke materials, but would have given my right arm for the technical resources and camaraderie enjoyed by today’s young pro-lifers. And they’re putting it to good use.

All of this and more causes me to truly believe that abortion is living on borrowed time, and instinctively, pro-abortion activists realize the same. But we won’t cross the finish line unless we work together, arm-in-arm to protect the most defenseless and vulnerable among us. And right now we’re experiencing the most promising time that I’ve seen in decades.

What are you doing today to help protect life? Your choices are almost endless.

Here is the episode of Facing Life Head On that featured Nancyjo’s story.

Reprinted with permission from Life Issues Institute.

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Pro-Life protest in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Provida Honduras
Jonathan Abbamonte

Opinion

Honduras resists UN pressure to legalize abortion

Jonathan Abbamonte
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“Let’s save the family” – Pro-Lifers in Tegucigalpa, Honduras protest a proposal in the National Congress to legalize abortion. Provida Honduras

May 11, 2017 (POP) -- Last week, Honduran lawmakers resisted significant pressure from the United Nations, the European Union, and pro-abortion nongovernmental organizations to legalize abortion.

A proposal seeking to legalize abortion in cases of rape, fetal disability, and risks to life of the mother was initiated by foreign independent advisors from Spain contracted by the Honduran government to help lawmakers revise the nation’s Penal Code. The proposal came as the Honduran National Congress undertakes the first major comprehensive revision of the Penal Code since 1983.

In response, thousands of pro-life Hondurans took to the streets of Tegucigalpa, the nation’s capital, to protest the proposed change to the country’s abortion law.

“Honduras faced brutal pressure from the international community to depenalize abortion,” says Martha Lorena Alvarado of Provida Honduras.

“Pro-lifers, the young people, religious people both Catholic and Evangelical responded immediately, the outpouring of support was tremendous,” Alvarado says, “we reacted as a pro-life country and as a result our nation’s laws continue to defend the life of the unborn child from the moment of conception.”

Honduras is an overwhelmingly pro-life country. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, 71% of Hondurans believe that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. Currently, Honduran law protects all unborn life at any moment during pregnancy without exceptions.

Lawmakers in the National Congress decisively rejected the abortion proposal. In the legislative assembly, 77 lawmakers voted in favor of article 169 of the new Penal Code which retains the nation’s abortion law without loosening any of the restrictions currently in place. Five lawmakers voted against the measure while eight members abstained. Lawmakers further rebuffed efforts to legalize the morning-after pill.

“It was a complete defeat for them,” according to Alvarado.

Pro-abortion activists, however, had perceived the occasion as an opportunity to push for the legalization of abortion. In an attempt to win over public opinion, pro-abortion allies rushed to finance numerous television and radio advertisements that aired across the country in the days leading up to last week’s vote.

Pro-abortion NGOs including U.K.-based Amnesty International, and the U.S.-based Center for Reproductive Rights also weighed in in the hopes of swaying lawmakers.

“By criminalizing abortion, the Honduran Penal Code is incompatible with human rights standards and must be modified without delay,” Erika Guevara-Rosas, the Americas Director for Amnesty International said on the organization’s website.

A number of parliamentarians from Spain, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, and Belgium in the EU’s European Parliament also sent a letter to leaders in the Honduran National Congress last week, strongly urging lawmakers to legalize abortion to accord with purported international human rights standards.

A group of United Nations human rights experts also condemned Honduras for its laws in defense of life, threatening the Central American nation with failing to heed recent recommendations handed down by UN treaty bodies:

We sincerely hope that the Honduran Congress will seize this key opportunity to comply with its obligations to eliminating discrimination against women in its legislation…we regret that the criminalisation of abortion is maintained in the bill as a serious offence despite recommendations from the UN’s Universal Periodic Review and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women as well as the Committee against Torture.

Honduras, as state party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and its optional protocol, is bound by the provisions of these UN treaties. However, neither of these treaties mention abortion, let alone any purported human right standard to legalize abortion.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee against Torture (CAT) are charged with monitoring the implementation of these treaties respectively.

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CEDAW concluding observations from periodic review last fall had condemned Honduras for its pro-life laws, urging Honduras to come into compliance with “circumstances under which abortion must be decriminalized, namely, at least in cases of rape or incest, threats to the life and/or health of the woman, and severe foetal impairment.” CEDAW based its recommendation on a statement on reproductive health at the committee’s 57th Session. Recommendations issued by treaty bodies, like CEDAW, however, are non-binding on state parties.

Despite claims that failing to legalize abortion is contrary to international human rights standards, no UN treaty compels any country to legalize abortion. On the contrary, the Program of Action of the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, a landmark non-binding international agreement on population and development assistance, asserts that the decision of whether or not to legalize abortion should lie solely in the legislative processes in sovereign states.

Furthermore, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights expresses the international consensus that all people have the right to life, liberty, and security of person.

“It is reprehensible that UN human rights experts have turned human rights on its head, using the stature of their office to attack, rather than to defend, the universal right to life for the most defenseless among us,” says Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher, “we need to continue to work to cut public funding from all entities, groups and individuals who engage in this kind of cultural imperialism.”

Reprinted with permission from Population Research Institute.

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Peter LaBarbera Peter LaBarbera Follow Peter

Blogs

Fox News host celebrates his gay lifestyle, slams conservative Christians

Peter LaBarbera Peter LaBarbera Follow Peter

May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Fox News’ Shepard Smith may have entered a new phase in his life in which he is open about his homosexuality, but longtime viewers of the daytime anchor are familiar with a “Shep” who reveals his pro-homosexual bias through snarky, on-air putdowns of social conservatives.

Smith went public in October about his long-suspected homosexuality, in an interview with Huffington Post. But he was long suspected of being homosexual, and even was listed prominently year after year in the LGBT magazine OUT as one of its “Top 50” most powerful homosexuals.

On April 21, in a speech at his alma mater, the University of Mississippi, Smith said his homosexuality “is both important and a non-issue,” the Jackson, Mississippi, Clarion-Ledger reported.

“I don’t think about it,” Smith said. “It’s not a thing. I go to work. I manage a lot of people. I cover the news. I deal with holy hell around me. I go home to the man I’m in love with.”

The Clarion-Ledger reports that Smith described his homosexuality as “my truth,” and said he began living it eight or nine years ago.

Smith described Fox News as “the craziest conservative network on Earth,” WND reported. Though more conservative than most media, Fox News has nevertheless funded the advocacy-oriented National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association with grants year after year.

Speaking against the Confederate flag, Smith told students at Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism, “You can’t be much of an activist when your job is to report the news … but you can remind people what happened under that flag.”

On-air jabs target socialcons

However, critics point out that Smith has indeed spoken blatantly like an activist, rather than a newsman, occasionally during his long tenure at Fox News. The following are some examples of liberal activist jabs and cheap shots that Smith has made on air while covering cultural events, ostensibly as a reporter:

  • In 2015, Smith went out of his way – on air – to show his contempt for people like Christian Kim Davis, when he quipped about the Christian Kentucky clerk who famously refused to sign a marriage certificate for two homosexual men: “Haters are gonna hate.” Oddly, in his talk to the college journalism students, Smith spoke against “stereotypes.”
  • Accuracy in Media reported: “In other controversial comments about a pro-Davis rally being broadcast during his show, Smith ripped conservative Christians for “a religious play again,” saying, “This is the same crowd that says, ‘We don’t want Sharia law, don’t let them tell us what to do, keep their religion out of our lives and out of our government.’ Well, here we go again.” Wrote AIM’s Cliff Kincaid: “Smith seems not to understand the difference between Christianity, a foundation of the American system that protects religious rights and liberty, and Islam, an authoritarian religion which wants to impose its values on others.”
  • In 2012, Smith took a cheap shot at the hundreds of thousands of Americans taking part in Mike Huckabee’s 2012 “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” to show support for the fast-food restaurant’s Dan Cathy, who enthusiastically defended natural marriage. Smith derided it as the “National Day of Intolerance,” a deep insult to Fox’s conservative audience base, and especially galling because many conservatives (and some liberals) regarded the pro-LGBT Left’s hostility toward Cathy over merely publicly defending traditional marriage as the epitome of “intolerance.”
  • When President Obama flip-flopped (for the second time in his political career) in 2012 by embracing homosexuality-based “marriage,” Smith said the “president of the United States [was] now in the 21st Century.” The liberal Huffington Post applauded Smith’s pro-homosexual remark, but Rush Limbaugh took him to task for his comment implying that socially conservative marriage defenders hold antiquated and extreme beliefs.

An in-depth 2013 report on Fox News’ and the larger media’s ongoing pro-homosexual and pro-transgender bias for the conservative group America’s Survival is available here.

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Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

The Pulse

Adopted man thanks his mother for not aborting him: new emotional video

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

May 11, 2017 (SPUC) -- A video that an Australian DJ made for Mother's Day thanking the birth mother he has never met has gone viral.

At the time of writing, the video Ryan Jon posted on his Facebook page has been viewed over 4.2 million times. 

He posted the clip with the caption: "I’ve never met my biological mum and every year mother's day gets me thinking. My birth mum sacrificed so much for me and I'd love her to know just how thankful I am and I hope I'm doing her proud."

Ryan was born in 1987, and was adopted when he was just six weeks old. His parents, Mandy and Rod, had been unable to conceive, and he explained that one day they simply got a phone call that said: "There's a baby here, come and pick him up tomorrow". Ryan doesn’t know much about his birth mother, Julie, except what she explained in a letter she left with him. She was living in a share house and when she fell pregnant unexpectedly she simply felt she didn’t have the maturity to be a great mum.

Thankful to be alive

Although Ryan says he doesn't want to get into the abortion debate, he talks about how thankful he is to be alive. "I don't really know what it was like in 1987, but now if someone gets pregnant and doesn't want to have a baby, they just don't have a baby. The odds of me being born and having great parents was pretty slim, so I'm just lucky I guess."

In time for Mother’s Day weekend (don't worry, Australia has theirs in May, not March like the UK!), the Hit 104.7 fm radio presenter posted a whole series of videos in which he shares his adoption story, including an interview with his adoptive mother, Mandy.

Adoption "the gift of life"

He emphasises what a positive choice adoption is. "I've heard a lot of stories where women who have given up kids for adoption feel really guilty and sometimes it seems like a cowardly thing...but as someone who was adopted, from my point of view it's the total opposite. You've given someone the gift of life, you've sacrificed your body for someone who in 12 months you won't even know. I'd love to be able to look my birth mother in they eye and just say how thankful I am."

However, confounding the narrative of adoption often seen in the media, he says he doesn't see his story as one of dramatic abandonment. He wrote in Kidspot: "People I speak to are often surprised that I don't harbour any ill feelings or have any burning questions that I need answered...I don't see this as a story of abandonment - for me it's far less dramatic than movies might imply with disgruntled teens yelling, 'You're not my real mum don't tell me what to do'."

Ryan also says that he doesn't necessarily need to meet his birth mother, acknowledging that she has probably moved on and had a family. "It's totally fine with me if I never meet her, even if I never know she gets the message. I'd love for her to know how thankful I am."

Reprinted with permission from Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

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