All articles from June 13, 2018


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Oregon pro-lifers fight to end taxpayer funding of abortion

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CORVALLIS, Oregon, June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- A pro-life group in Oregon is working to build support for a state constitutional amendment that would prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for most abortions.

Pro-life and pro-abortion groups agree that Oregon is one of the most abortion-friendly states in the nation. It has no pro-life laws on the books, is one of 17 states that allows Medicaid funds to be used directly for abortions, and it requires health insurance plans to cover virtually all abortions for any reason, without any copay, under a 2017 law.

“Pregnant women and their babies will be hurt the most by this legislation,” the Corvallis-based Oregon Life United (OLU) said last summer when the law was working its way through the legislature. “It’s long been known that Oregon is the only U.S. state without any laws to protect society’s most vulnerable members from abortion. Now our state’s ruling party has gone even further by codifying into law a mother’s ability to kill her own offspring, at taxpayer expense no less.”

The Corvallis-based Oregon Life United (OLU) hopes to change that. It is currently collecting signatures to place on the ballot a constitutional amendment that would prohibit public funds from financing or reimbursing any abortion, except in cases of physical threats to a mother’s life, ectopic pregnancies, or when expressly mandated by federal law.

Putting the question directly to Oregon voters would bypass both the pro-abortion legislature and an inevitable veto by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, an openly bisexual former abortion lobbyist.

“Instead, we as Oregonians have the unique option of what’s known as Direct Democracy. It’s when we the people propose and pass laws directly — without requiring the involvement of any legislator,” OLU explained. “And the governor will not be able to block or overturn our measure after it has been approved by voters.”

While federal funding of abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood has been estimated to indirectly cover almost 25 percent of all abortion costs, current federal law only allows direct funding of abortions for rape, incest, or physical medical emergencies.

Oregon’s permissive abortion regime has spent almost $24 million on 52,438 in the past 14 fiscal years, OLU says, citing a report from the state Division of Medical Assistance Programs.

The group hopes to collect at least 150,000 signatures by June 30 to get the initiative on the ballot in the November 2018 elections. It currently has 119,000 signatures, narrowly clearing the 117,578 officially needed to qualify, but is hard at work collecting as many additional signatures as possible to cover the percentage of signatures state officials throw out. OLU estimates that a buffer of 15 percent to 20 percent will protect against duplicate names, unregistered voters, and other disqualified signatures.

Oregon Right to Life has declined to donate to the effort, citing past failures and determining pro-life legislative candidates a higher priority. But several county-level Right to Life affiliates have signed on to the effort, which is showing greater strength than it has in years past.

OLU’s progress so far has outpaced its efforts to get similar language on the ballot in 2014 when it gathered 98,000 signatures and and in 2012 when it gathered 72,000 (legal challenges from pro-abortion groups prevented a 2016 effort). This year, the campaign has the support of more than 550 churches in the state, as well as endorsements from Archbishop Alexander Sample, Bishop Liam Cary, former pastor and pro-life author Randy Alcorn, and more.

Support for the cause “grows and grows each time we try it," Oregon Life United director Jeff Jimerson told Oregon Live.

“I think it has more support than you might expect in a state like Oregon,” he explained to Oregon Public Broadcasting. “There’s a lot of libertarians here, there’s a lot of people here who are sort of like, ‘Hands off, I don’t care what you do, just don’t make me pay for it.’”

On the campaign’s StopTheFunding.org website, Oregon Life United lists a number of ways Oregonians can help, including signing the petition, helping circulate petitions, donating to the effort, promoting it on social media, and praying for those working to end taxpayer abortion funding in the state.

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Ex-gays and ex-trans rally against California’s LGBT therapy ban

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SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In an amazing show of force, 30 former gay and transgendered people took to a podium outside the California statehouse to oppose a proposed law banning therapy and printed resources helping those who seek freedom from LGBTQ+ identities and lifestyles.  

Known as AB2943, the California Assembly Bill would essentially criminalize most if not all faith-based efforts to counsel members of the LGBTQ community.  

“California legislators have publicly claimed that change is impossible and those people simply don’t exist,” said a press release in advance of the event. “While the state celebrates those who embrace an LGBTQ+ identity, this bill will deny such choice and fluidity from anyone seeking to move in the opposite direction.”

At the rally, one former gay pointed out, “In ‘LGBTQ+’ the Q stands for ‘questioning,’” pointing out the hypocrisy of a law that allows all persons to question whether they might be gay but forbids gays to question their sexual orientation. “Let’s not talk out of both sides of our mouths here,” he added.  

“This legislation actually takes away rights from those who are questioning their sexuality,” said Ken Williams, co-founder of Equipped to Love. “We don’t want to see an America where the government is controlling how people identify sexually.”

"Women in California, not the government, should have complete authority over their sexuality and sexual expression,” said Elizabeth Woning, co-founder of Equipped to Love. “We all must be empowered to choose counseling and resources that align with our personal life goals.”

Pulse Nightclub survivors speak out

Luis Javier Cruz, one of the survivors of the Orlando, Florida, Pulse Nightclub massacre, noted the two-year anniversary of that tragic event where 49 were killed by a gunman.

Through that horrific experience, Cruz says he “found out that Jesus is the only man in my life who would die for me.”    

“The government should not dictate to us how we choose to live our lives,” continued Cruz. “If we can celebrate going in” the gay lifestyle, “we should be free to celebrate coming out of it.

“I was shot six times. I had a shattered femur. I was told I probably wouldn’t walk again, but now I am a walking miracle,” said another Pulse survivor, Angel Colon.   

“While recovering in the hospital I had time to reflect. I learned about forgiveness,” said Colon. Jesus touched his life. At that moment, Colon said, “Lord, ‘I choose you. You are the only man I want to be in love with. You are the only one I want to be in a relationship with.”    

“I want others to have the freedom to experience this,” continued Colon. “Vote ‘No’ for AB2943.”

“We’re not talking about taking choices off the table,” said one ex-lesbian, who is happily married to her husband and has two children. “We are talking about putting more choices on the table.” She added that if AB2943 had been around years ago, it would have pushed her back in the closet rather than letting her find the freedom she sought. “Let’s make freedom a choice for everyone.”

“If AB2943 were enacted as law when I was a young person,” said ex-gay Drew Berryessa, “I would not have found hope in my life.”  

“I take exception to the wording of this bill which calls the Gospel a fraud,” he said, explaining that the world once insisted that he identify as gay. “Yet I stand here today as a man married for 15 years, with three beautiful daughters.”   

“The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality: It’s holiness,” added Berryessa.

Twenty-year-old Jacob said no one ever suspected that he was same-sex attracted when he was growing up. He played football, wrestled, and threw the discus in high school. He lived as gay man for a while but then left about six months ago.  

Jacob brought down the house when he said he found out that “girls’ skin and hair is so soft. It’s like I’m going through puberty all over again.”

“This legislation would block young people from making a choice,” he added.  “Don’t pass the bill!”

Another man said it was a book that somebody gave him that saved his life. “That book would be illegal if AB2943 were to be passed,” said Andrew Franklin. “I learned how to have healthier relationships through this. Nobody forced me to change. I wanted to change.”  

Franklin said this to counteract the notion promoted by mainstream media that teens and adults are forced to change by what is popular labeled “conversion therapy.”

Christopher Simms, who suffered much abuse when he was young, once wanted to be a woman, and got involved with drugs and alcohol. Then he experienced healing through conversion to Christ. He explained that he used to have a deep desire to know men sexually and romantically, but no more.  

Speaking to the legislators in the building behind him, Simms pleaded, “Please don’t close the door on people like me who experience same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria because we were abused as children.”  

AB2943 declares the Gospel is a fraud

The proposed legislation, AB 2943, adds “(a)dvertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual” to the state’s list of illegal “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer.”

It essentially classifies such material and practices as “fraudulent.”  

One former gay said the proposed law proclaims “we are all frauds, that we don’t exist. But we are real.”  

“If God gives us the freedom to choose,” he asked, “How dare the California assembly dare to limit or deny our rights?”

“The gospel is not a fraud,” said Dean Broyals, president for of the National Center for Law & Policy at a press conference after the rally. “Yet this bill declares it is.”

“If we lose religious freedom in America,” he asked, “Where will we go?  Where will we flee?”

Msgr. Livio Melina
Msgr. Livio Melina speaks at the Rome Life Forum, May 18, 2018 Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews
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Contraception has caused damaging ‘mutation’ in our social relations: noted theologian

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Failure to heed Blessed Paul VI’s “prophetic” teaching against contraception in Humanae Vitae has caused a damaging “mutation” in social relations, a prominent theologian argued last week.

Speaking on Saturday, June 9, at a conference on Humanae vitae held in the northern Italian city of Brescia, Italian moral theologian Monsignor Livio Melina argued that Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical reaffirming the Church’s ban on contraception “does not concern only the private sphere of sexuality, but also the social and public dimension of life.” 

Melina reaffirmed the teaching contained in Humanae vitae, and explained that the encyclical essentially sets forth the conditions under which sexual intercourse between husband and wife can be considered a fitting expression of marital love.

He also argued that those in favor of contraception ultimately will have “no arguments to oppose homosexual relationships.”

Msgr. Melina is a tenured Professor of Moral Theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, where he served as a President from 2006 till 2016.

The conference, marking the 50th anniversary of Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, was themed ‘Humanae vitae: the truth that shines.’ Its keynote speaker was Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, Archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands, who recently made the news for his forceful response in defense of orthodoxy following the German bishops’ controversial intercommunion proposal.

In his talk, Msgr. Melina noted that for centuries the family has been under attack from radical secularists, including those in Rome, who fought in the 1960’s to reduce the population; and freemasons in France, who at the dawn of the sexual revolution sought to transform society by emancipating it from its “Judeo-Christian tradition” through a redefinition of the family. 

Today — with the widespread use of contraception — families, communities and entire societies are experiencing the devastating effects of these attacks. 

Love is not a relativistic reality, Melina argues. The love that flows from God is a gift for each of us, and it is shared according to our natural and supernatural vocation: to live the life of grace and make our way to heaven. Sexuality, then, is a gift for the individuals as well as the common good: and whoever misuses this gift introduces disorder into the world. Thus, homosexual “marriage” is at root contrary to a truly human ecology, which recognizes that the context of marriage is the male-female self-giving relationship always open to life and symbolizing Christ’s love for the Church.

Here below is a LifeSiteNews translation of Msgr. Livio Melina’s talk.

***

The meaning of Humanae vitae for social relations and the common good

by Livio Melina

The thesis that I would like to illustrate is the following: The encyclical of Blessed Paul VI does not concern only the private sphere of sexuality, but also the social and public dimension of life. It is a question of social morality and not only of individual ethics. 

Indeed, the context in which Humanae Vitae was published fifty years ago, on July 25th of that fateful 1968, was marked by an obsessive alarm over an uncontrolled growth of the world’s population, a true “demographic bomb” launched by Aurelio Peccei’s “Club of Rome.” From the outset, therefore, political concerns were at the heart of the debate. This is echoed throughout the encyclical, which nonetheless has the courage to go against the tide, and indeed prophetically to recall the serious consequences of the introduction of contraception into social custom: a general lowering of morality, an increase in marital infidelity, a loss of the respect due to women, and an exposure to the arbitrariness of public authority, to the detriment of the poorest peoples (HV, 17).

Paul VI was a prophet — unfortunately, an unheeded one. And today we can see that not only these but even more radical consequences have resulted: the introduction of contraception has caused a real genetic mutation in fundamental social relations, with grave threat to the common good. This is what I would like to talk about.

1. Sexuality in the logic of gift: the teaching of Humanae Vitae

Let us start with the doctrinal heart of the document found in n. 11: “Every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life,” by virtue of the “inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act” (HV 12). 

This is not a general affirmation of an ideal which should then be applied to concrete situations according to the discernment of each person’s conscience, as is often said today, with deliberate forgery of the letter and the spirit of the Magisterium. In reality, Montini’s encyclical formulates a concrete moral norm that is valid for any conjugal act: “Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.” (HV 14). And he specifies that contraception is an “intrinsically dishonest” act, which can never be justified either by the principle of the whole or by the principle of a lesser evil. In order to be a faithful interpreter of the objective moral order established by God, the conscience of the spouses cannot proceed arbitrarily and decide for itself what are the honest paths to follow (cf. HV 10).

The moral norm just mentioned is not a legalistic prescription of a despotic will, which just as it issued the norm could also change it. On the contrary, it is the expression of a truth about the good inscribed in human nature by creative Wisdom. There are, therefore, intelligible reasons for the moral norm. And it is precisely these anthropological, ethical and theological reasons that St John Paul II wanted to explore and to teach in his Catecheses on the “theology of the body.”

The body, as a witness of the Creator’s original love, is the place where relationships break the isolation of the individual to generate a person. In his encounter with the woman, the man discovers his own body’s spousal vocation to the gift of self. And it is only by respecting this logic of gift that the personal dignity of love is safeguarded in openness to a new life, who can thus be born not as a mere physiological effect but as a gift from a gift.

In summary, we could say that Humanae vitae formulates the conditions according to which a sexual act is an adequate expression of conjugal love. Only when it remains in itself open to the transmission of life is the sexual act between spouses an act of union between the two, in which the authentic gift of self is realized in the body. The link between the two meanings should not be located at the biological level, but rather at the intentional level: there can be an intentionally contraceptive act which, even if it is physiologically fruitful, contradicts the truth of self-giving (for example, an act in which artificial contraception fails); just as there can be an act that per se is open to life, even though it is physiologically sterile and known as such (as happens in the natural regulation of births).

An act rendered intentionally sterile denies at the same time the sincere openness to the gift of oneself and the full acceptance of the other: it is an act that turns in on itself. Although carried out with the consent and collaboration of one’s partner, the contraceptive act intentionally closed to procreation is an act aimed at the pursuit of individual pleasure, which does not differ from masturbation. For this reason, sexual difference does not play a qualifying role in such an act and it is therefore analogous to homosexual acts. The English philosopher G.E.M. Anscombe says that those in favor of contraception will have no arguments to oppose homosexual relationships. The Italian philosopher Augusto Del Noce went so far as to say that “today’s nihilism (which he calls gay nihilism) always intends love ‘homosexually’ even when upholding a man-woman relationship.” It has been rightly observed that the man-woman relationship was public from its origin with its openness to the generation of children, and that is why it is sanctioned by marriage, while the homosexual relationship is in se private and cannot be recognized as marriage.

2. Sexuality, relationships and the common good

At the dawn of the sexual revolution in the West, the grand master of French Freemasonry, Pierre Simon, published a disturbing book in which he set forth a global project to transform French society, which was to be emancipated from its Judeo-Christian tradition through a redefinition of family and its constitutive relationships. Medicine was indicated as the instrument that would allow this surgical operation on the social body to occur, first through contraception and then through abortion and euthanasia. How does this transformation take place?

Sexuality has to do with the relationships that determine the identity of the subject and his social position: relationships of origin and those that point to our future: our being sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. The separation of procreation from sexuality necessarily implies a radical transformation of these relationships. The child who is wanted and procreated outside of sexuality is reduced to a “product” of a technically controlled and evaluated project. Sexuality that is closed to reproduction no longer opens up to the other and loses its social meaning: it is “privatized,” because it is deprived of the generative breath that inherently permeates it.

The social dimension present in a man-woman couple consists in procreation. Insofar as it is ordered to procreation, sex, in the order of nature, is the only activity performed in the body that connects us also with the common good of society. And it is an activity accomplished outwardly by the body which, through personal communion and procreative cooperation, makes us more like God; it makes us a reflection of the Trinity. Privatization restricts sexual experience to an individualistic sphere, and impoverishes it on the level of semantics and relationships. Closed to generation, sexual activity is also futureless and restricted to the moment. The emphasis on performance has led to an agony in eros. A serious reflection on the statistics of the “Italian case” shows that the so-called “sexual revolution” has led, contrary to popular belief, to a drastic reduction in sexual relations: “free” sex has become even more banal and unsatisfying.

The introduction of technology that separates sexuality and procreation distorts sexual relations and ultimately leads to a perversion in the relationship between the generations. Gratitude and the gift which is recognized, accepted and communicated, disappear from the sexual experience, and are replaced by the search for self-sufficient eroticism and anxiety over performance. Fathers and mothers no longer live for their children; rather, they want their children only and only when they fit into a project that satisfies them. The natural order is reversed: children are called to live for their parents.

The demographic desert that we have been facing for decades is only the consequence of a loss of the generative and generous logic of giving, of a privatization of sexuality that is excluded from the common good of society, of a perversion of the relationship between the generations. 

Contraception corrodes the common good of society because it introduces an “un-political” (S. Fontana), indeed and perhaps even more apt, an “anti-political” factor into social relations: the principle of the individualism of individual beings close to one other and at the same time subjected to a despotic power that dominates them. 

Privatized to the extreme, sexuality is also paradoxically put under the domain of public control, and handed over to an invasion of public, political and legal power. The purely contractual logic of post-modern democracy invades private life and transforms intimacy such that, in virtue of a utopian absolute autonomy of the individual, it formulates models of “pure relations” that are unhinged from any reference to nature and tradition. As Stefano Fontana rightly states, a sexual relationship is neither private nor public: it is personal and communal. Only if it is set forth, not in terms of contraception but of spousal union open to life, can it be freed from the grip of privatization and public control.

3. Symbol and transcendence

And thus do we reach an even deeper manipulation: the elimination of the symbolic dimension and of transcendence from the sexual relationship. Paul VI evoked the presence of God the Creator in Humanae vitae, as the guarantor of the unity between the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act. If God has nothing to do with it, procreation becomes a simple reproduction of a specimen of the species. If God has nothing to do with it, sexual union loses its symbolic meaning of covenant and becomes a diabolical place of confusion and exploitation. Separated from any reference to God, the body becomes a simple manipulable object to be disposed of as one wishes. When reference to divine Providence disappears from the horizon of existence, life becomes a calculation of advantages and disadvantages, a utilitarian planning that closes itself off in fear to surprises which the future holds — a future which we claim to govern, but which ultimately we do not decide.

“This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church” (Eph 5:32). The mystery of sexuality experienced in marriage is a great light for the life of the world. The elimination of the dimension of “mystery” from sexuality has accompanied the sexual revolution and its alleged emancipation from its inception. The Marquis De Sade, in his attempt at compulsory re-education in a purely hedonistic practice of sex, obsessively repeats the formula: “It is nothing more than” — a formula that is both reductive and violent, that wants to censor the indispensable question of meaning.

In one of his last brilliant addresses, on the occasion of his Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia, on December 21, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI sounded a cry of alarm on the theme of the family, which precisely since contraception was introduced, has been radically questioned in its natural shape, as a relationship founded on marriage as a stable bond between a man and a woman, ordered to the procreation and education of children. He reiterated that it is not only a particular social form that is at stake here, but man himself in his fundamental dignity: in fact, if this bond is rejected, “the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child – essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.” 

An authentic human ecology, as Pope Francis has also mentioned in Laudato si’ (No. 155), should deal not only with the pollution of the natural environment but also with that of the human environment, with social relations, which enable man to be himself, by finding his identity and breathing in deeply the truth of love.

I can therefore conclude by saying that Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae, precisely because it protects the truth regarding married love from a logic of domination of the body and the pollution of a hedonistic and individualistic mentality, is also an essential contribution to the common good of human society.

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California school investigates teacher for showing videos detailing abortion

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SACRAMENTO, California, June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- A middle school science teacher is under fire for allegedly showing her students pro-life videos explaining what really happens during abortion.

The Sacramento City Unified School District will not identify the teacher, but parents told the Sacramento Bee that Jenny Thomas of Sutter Middle School played videos from the pro-life group Live Action during a sex education class.

The videos, from the group’s Abortion Procedures series, feature former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino describing a number of abortion techniques in blunt detail. They use prenatal images, footage of abortion tools, and animated diagrams of abortions. The imagery and descriptions are disturbing, but medically accurate, and do not include actual photographs of aborted babies.

Levatino also expressly identifies preborn babies as living human beings, lists the medical risks to mothers associated with abortion, and concludes by discussing how he came to realize abortion was wrong and committed to ending it.

The presentation reportedly also featured a pro-life music video called “Can I Live?” by artist Nick Cannon.

The presentation was "completely inappropriate for the classroom" and did not "meet the district's approved family life and sexuality curriculum,” district spokesman Alex Barrios said. He added that the district would investigate “how this happened” and treat it with the “seriousness it demands.”

The district does not have a specific policy for discussing abortion in the classroom, but a general policy that “students should have opportunities to discuss controversial issues which have political, social or economic significance and which the students are mature enough to investigate and address.”

It calls on teachers to exercise “caution and discretion” when assessing whether students are old enough for particular content, and to ensure controversies are “impartially presented.”

Some parents, speaking to the Bee on condition of anonymity, said the videos were “disturbing and inappropriate” for seventh graders. However, they also said they considered Thomas to be a good teacher, and that she has already apologized for the incident.

“These videos were designed to be teacher aids and are medically accurate, created in consultation with a group of doctors and experts, and have been viewed online nearly 100 million times,” Live Action founder and president Lila Rose responded in a statement to LifeSiteNews. “The abortion procedure series are medical animations, not graphic footage, and accurately depict the most prevalent abortion procedures in a format suitable for teens."

Rose further noted a double-standard in that the school’s home state, California, allows those same teenage girls to obtain abortions without their parents’ knowledge, let alone consent.

“Tens of thousands of teen girls have abortions every year in America, and they deserve the information about fetal development, what happens during an abortion procedure, and its risks,” she explained. “How can students understand the biological, moral,  and ethical aspects of abortion without knowing what the abortion procedure entails for both the developing child and mother?”

“While perhaps the content was unsettling for some middle school students, it would be naïve to think abortion does not affect these same students,” Live Action writer Anna Reynolds added, noting that Planned Parenthood recently targeted “sex is hot” Facebook ads to teenagers. “Unplanned pregnancy affects young teens, and they deserve the information necessary to know what abortion is and what it does before they make a choice.”

“I can't even imagine them showing kids this age something like that," parent April Larios complained to Fox 40. “As an adult, it's even hard to watch videos like that or to even discuss anything like that.” Largely ignored in the media uproar, however, is the inconsistency of being repulsed by abortion descriptions while continuing to support abortion’s legality.  

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Pentagon brass influenced by Trump admin refuse to honor LGBT ‘pride month’

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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – For the first time since former President Barack Obama repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy during the early years of his presidency, Pentagon officials have chosen not to honor LGBT ‘Pride Month’ with a formal acknowledgment.   

In years past, the Department of Defense distributed a memo marking LGBT Pride Month at the beginning of each June.  The Washington Post notes that the annual memo had “put LGBT Pride Month on par with other special observances and heritage months.”  

The absence of such a memo, while not an official renunciation of the LGBT celebration, lessens its stature.  

LGBT Pentagon employees were free to hold an event earlier this week, though no high-ranking officials participated.  

Some service members and Defense Department civilian employees who are troubled by President Trump’s attempt to ban transgenders from military service reportedly perceive this as a bad omen. 

Last summer, President Trump tweeted, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military.”

The President added, “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

At the time, a group of retired military top brass offered wholehearted support to the President’s guidance, calling it “courageous.”

A July 27, 2017 letter defending the transgender ban — signed by three lieutenant generals, seven major generals, three brigadier generals, an admiral, a vice admiral and a Marine Corps veteran (all retired) — states, “There may be an enormous amount of vitriol directed at you for making this policy correction, but please know that overturning this policy may have done more in the long term to save the culture and war-fighting capacity of the U.S. military than perhaps any other military policy you will adopt as president.”

The President’s orders were met with stiff opposition within and outside the government bureaucracy. Individuals and groups quickly filed lawsuits in federal courts aiming to overturn Trump’s suspension of Obama-era guidelines welcoming transgenders into the military. In each case, judges have ruled against the administration’s effort to temporarily keep gender-confused individuals from the ranks of the military.

The Trump White House has drawn criticism in recent weeks for failing to salute the rainbow flag as former President Obama did.  

Unlike Obama’s Cabinet Secretaries who eagerly participated in Pride observances each June, none of the Trump Administration’s Cabinet Secretaries have chosen to join in LGBT-celebrating festivities in the agencies they lead.

While on the campaign trail, candidate Trump presented a friendly attitude toward the LGBT ‘community,’ saying he would do everything he could “to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of the hateful, foreign ideology, believe me.”

After 500 days in office, his words and intent have become clearer.  President Trump fights for the rights that all human beings share in common, while declining to promote the agenda items of LGBT activists and their progressive allies.

During the first year of his Administration, President Trump overturned an Obama-era order that required businesses doing contract work for the government to prove they were complying with federal rules regarding hiring, firing, and promotions of LGBT employees.

The President also revoked other Obama-era guidelines outlining how schools must accommodate transgender students. The guidelines, which had been issued by the Department of Education in conjunction with the Department of Justice, dealt with preferred pronoun usage and access to preferred restrooms and locker rooms for transgender students.

The Trump administration has sought to overturn a policy change by the Obama administration that allowed transgender individuals to serve openly in the military.

More recently, the Trump Administration’s Education Department told a news agency that it will no longer investigate or take action on complaints filed by transgender students who say they are being discriminated against by being told to use bathrooms corresponding to their biological gender. 

Perhaps most tellingly, the Administration has also raised the ire of LGBT activists by its consistent nomination and placement of federal court judges they deem hostile to their agenda.

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New study warns: Hormonal birth control increases risk of suicide

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By Calvin Freiburger

June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- A new paper just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) warns that hormonal birth control is one of several prescription drugs that can increase a patient’s depression, potentially to the point of suicide.

The paper, published Monday, comes as the recent suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have sparked renewed public discussion of the causes and prevention of suicidal tendencies.

The researchers, led by University of Illinois-Chicago pharmacy professor Dima Qato, examined more than 200 prescription drugs that list an increased risk of depression among the side effects -- such as hormonal birth control, blood pressure and heart medications, and painkillers -- on a pool of 26,000 adults in the United States from 2005 to 2014.

They found that 6.9 percent of people who take at least one of the drugs in question suffer from depression, and that the amount jumps to 15.3 percent for those on three or more, as opposed to a 4.7 percent depression rate for people who don’t take any depression-associated drugs.

“In this cross-sectional U.S. population-based survey study conducted between 2005 and 2014, the estimated overall prevalence of U.S. adults using medications with depression as a potential adverse effect was 37.2 percent,” the study’s summary page says.

The findings are particularly alarming because many of the drugs don’t come with warning labels, and are meant for conditions users wouldn’t naturally associate with their emotional or mental state.  

“Many may be surprised to learn that their medications, despite having nothing to do with mood or anxiety or any other condition normally associated with depression, can increase their risk of experiencing depressive symptoms, and may lead to a depression diagnosis,” Qato warned, according to Quartz.

Quartz’s Olivia Goldhill noted that the same researchers are also responsible for a 2016 paper linking hormonal birth to a 70 percent higher risk of depression. Other studies have found similar results throughout the years, while both research and personal testimony has also linked oral contraceptives to increased risk of blood clots, hair loss, Crohn’s disease, brain shrinkage, breast cancer, hardening of the arteries, glaucoma, and cervical cancer.

Despite the evidence, left-wing politicians and activists promote contraception as an unqualified good and core prerequisite to women’s health. The federal government under former President Barack Obama attempted to force most employers, including religious organizations, to subsidize birth control for their employees until President Donald Trump moved to rescind the mandate in October.

Planned Parenthood, the United States’ largest abortion performer, has identified “access” to birth control -- a euphemism for forcing either taxpayers or employers to pay for it -- among its state-level legislative priorities.

The latest JAMA study admitting birth control’s dark side is somewhat surprising in light of the left-wing politicization of the American Medical Association in recent years, such as endorsing human cloning and declaring that “health” concerns required redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, as well as some affiliates abandoning their opposition to assisted suicide.

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Leading U.S. Catholic commentator: It’s ‘legitimate’ to voice concerns over Pope Francis

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

NEW YORK CITY, June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A New York Times columnist and one of America’s leading Catholic commentators said that it is “legitimate” for Catholics to vocally raise concerns over Pope Francis’ teaching.

"Pope Francis is the most important teacher of the Catholic faith, and when that public teaching is seen as causing confusion, or even perceived as conflicting with his predecessors, it is legitimate for Catholics to make their voices heard," said Ross Douthat in an interview with Inside the Vatican. 

Douthat, author of To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism, expressed some concerns about the Francis’ pontificate to interviewer William Doino, Jr. Doino is described in a foreword to the interview as “one of Francis’ most consistent defenders.”

The New York Times columnist told Doino that Pope Francis has “pragmatically” backed an evangelization that has made a “truce with the sexual revolution.”

It is a “mistaken belief that there can be some sort of pastoral, pragmatic truce with the sexual revolution in the West that enables the Church to evangelize anew,” Douthat said. 

“I don’t think Francis has a comprehensive liberal theological vision, but pragmatically, he often aligns himself with those ‘progressives’ who do. And that’s a real risk, for liberal Catholicism’s proposed truce can’t be reached without emptying out things that are distinctively and essentially Catholic, which the Church has admirably preserved for centuries,” he added. 

Douthat said such a truce is strategically unwise, “for it simply doesn’t gain the ground that liberal Catholics imagine.” Instead, the truce ends up becoming “a tacit surrender” to the culture. In this way, the Church becomes an enabler, and a “meek and ineffective chaplaincy” to those who no longer know God, he added. 

Doino spoke to Douthat about the Pope’s controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia, stating in his report: “Douthat believes that Amoris Laetitia, Francis’ much-discussed Apostolic Exhortation, which seeks to strengthen the family and minister to those living in “irregular” relationships, has — for all its noble intentions — weakened the Church’s teachings on marriage and the family, and encouraged illicit reception of the Holy Eucharist (especially for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics living in a second, adulterous relationship) — creating deep divisions in the Church, which might ultimately lead to schism.”

“One of Douthat’s concerns is that Francis’ teachings are in serious tension- if not outright contradiction — with those of his predecessors, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI,” the reporter stated.

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Majority of Irish GPs have conscientious objection to abortion: new poll

Pro-Life Campaign
By Pro-Life Campaign

June 13, 2018 (Pro-Life Campaign) – The Pro Life Campaign has described as "very revealing and significant" the results of a post-referendum survey published on GPBuddy.ie which shows that a majority of GPs in Ireland have a conscientious objection to providing abortion and do not intend to provide medical abortion services in their practice.

The survey also found that over 75% of responding GPs (936 GPs took part in the survey) do not think abortion up to 12 weeks should be GP-led.  68% said they would not 'opt in' to such a service. 

Commenting on the results, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson Dr Ruth Cullen said:

"Listening to Minister Simon Harris you'd get the impression that GPs are fully on board with the Government's abortion plans but nothing could be further from the truth. Forcing GPs to participate in abortions that have nothing to do with healthcare is an extreme and unjust attack on freedom of conscience and should be resisted at all costs. It is unconscionable for Minister Harris and the Government to compel doctors who don't wish to dispense abortion pills to refer women to colleagues who will carry out the procedure.

"What's the ethical difference in handing the pills to the woman yourself and ensuring she gets access to them from another doctor that you referred her to? The result for the unborn baby is the same – his or her life is ended. It's clear the Government haven't thought this one through. They spent so much time packaging their abortion proposals as 'healthcare' that they've no response to doctors who take issue with their proposals other than to coerce these same doctors into facilitating abortion.

"We are witnessing something truly appalling at present – a government that seems prepared to trample on freedom of conscience in order to keep the pretence going that their abortion proposals are somehow medically indicated and based. It is very reassuring though to see the numbers of GPs who are voicing their opposition on GPBuddy.ie to what the Government are doing at present."

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Canadian judge rules child born to polyamorous trio has three parents

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By Lianne Laurence

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland, June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Newfoundland judge has declared a polyamorous trio of one woman and two men all legal parents of the child the woman gave birth to last year. The decision appears to be the first of its kind in Canada. 

In ruling on the case of Re CC, Justice Robert Fowler of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Family Division observed the child was born in 2017 as the result of a polyamorous relationship between two men and one woman he described as “stable and ongoing” since June 2015.

“None of the partners in this relationship is married and, while the identity of the mother is clear, the biological father of the child is unknown,” wrote Fowler. The judge did not seem aware of the existence of paternity tests. 

The three adults went to court after the Newfoundland Ministry of Service refused to list them all as parents because the province’s Vital Statistics Act allows for the names of only two parents on a child’s birth certificate.

Fowler ruled having three parents was in the child’s best interests.

“To deny this child the dual paternal parentage would not be in his best interests. It must be remembered that this is about the best interests of the child and not the best interest of the parents,” he wrote.

The child “has been born into what is believed to be a stable and loving family relationship which, although outside the traditional family model, provides a safe and nurturing environment,” Fowler opined. 

“I can find nothing to disparage that relationship from the best interests of the child’s point of view.” 

REAL Women vice president Gwen Landolt blasted the ruling as  “truly shocking.”

She warned the decision legitimizes polyamorous relationships and paves the way for legislation to accommodate the parental recognition demands of polyamorous groupings.

Fowler’s ruling is “not based on common sense, or understanding of human nature, or of what’s necessary for a child,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Fowler characterized the trio as having “a loving stable family relationship, then he notes it’s only been around since June 2015,” Landolt said. “To call this a stable relationship after three years is politically correct nonsense.” 

The judge also described the three-way relationship as providing “a safe and nurturing environment,” Landolt said. 

“Obviously he knows nothing of human beings when he says that. It’s obviously, clearly not in the best interests of the child.” 

Canada’s Criminal Code does not prohibit polyamorous relationships, wrote Toronto lawyer Laurie H. Pawlitza in the Financial Post. But, does ban bigamy and polygamy, which involve marriage contracts between multiple partners.

“Polyamorous relationships are varied, and may involve a cohabiting group of three or more consenting, informed adults,” she writes.

In his ruling, Fowler cited the 2007 Ontario Court of Appeal AA vs BB decision, in which the court recognized both members of a lesbian couple and a biological father as parents of a five-year-old boy.

REAL Women intervened in that case, and warned at the time the ruling was a dangerous precedent, Landolt told LifeSiteNews.

Fowler also noted his province’s legislation had not foreseen the legal issues arising from polyamorous relationships. 

“There is little doubt that the legislation in this Province has not addressed the circumstance of a polyamorous family relationship as is before this Court, and that what is contemplated by the Children’s Law Act is that there be one male and one female person acting in the role of parents to a child,” he observed.

In the Act, there is no reference “which would lead one to believe that the legislation in this province considered a polyamorous relationship where more that one man is seeking to be recognized in law as the father (parent) of the child born of that relationship,” Fowler writes.

Landolt says now that Fowler’s ruling has “legitimized” polyamorous relationships by casting them as “stable and loving,” that will change.

She predicts legislation to regulate the parental tangles of polyamorous entanglements will soon follow.

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Cardinal Burke speaking at the Rome Life Forum in Rome, May 2018. don Elvir Tabaković / Propstei_Paring
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Cardinal Burke: Irish Catholics ‘did not receive support from Rome’ in abortion battle

Dorothy Cummings McLean and Natalia Dueholm
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

WARSAW, June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Ireland’s recent caving into the globalist agenda of abortion and same-sex “marriage” is partly due to silence coming from Rome, American Cardinal Raymond Burke said in an interview last week with Polish weekly “Sieci” magazine. 

“In Ireland, during the campaign before the referendum on protection of the life of the unborn, just like before the previous referendum on so-called same-sex ‘marriage,’ people fighting in these battles did not receive support from Rome,” said the cardinal, “and [its own] bishops themselves defended moral principles too weakly.”

READ: Pro-life leader explains how Catholic bishops destroyed the Irish conscience

Burke called what happened in Ireland evidence of an “alarming” situation in the Church. One problem, he said, is that leaders within the Catholic Church herself are casting doubt upon Church teachings.  

“There is no doubt about that,” the cardinal said. “The situation in the Church is alarming. This is above all because fundamental truths of faith are being undermined and questioned.”

“Moral teaching tells us that certain behaviors are evil, always and everywhere, and that they cannot be called good under any circumstance,” Burke continued. “This applies to sexual activity with a person of the same sex, and also to extramarital sexual relations. Now consent to this kind of practice is appearing also in the Church.” 

“I repeat: it is very alarming. Currently there is also an absence of a strong leadership  from Rome, which could make these matters clear and remove uncertainty.”

Cardinal Burke warned against allowing one’s Catholic faith to be removed from the public sphere, kept privately in homes and in church buildings.

“...People should understand that their life in Christ also means that they act in Christ also in the public sphere, and thus in politics, in education, in health care, and in business,” he said.  “When our religiosity is only private, when it is connected only to what we do at home and in the church, it has no future. Such religiosity will not survive in the modern world.”

The cardinal pointed to Ireland as an example of what can happen to a Catholic country if faith is banished from public life. 

“As far as I know, your government [in Poland] has a clever approach to tradition and faith, but the general direction of civilization is very dangerous,” he told the interviewer. “States are entering more and more into further  aspects of life, into different areas of reality. They interfere with human life and they secularize it. And it ends with what happened in Ireland…”

This secularization leads to an abandonment of moral foundations that are not just Catholic but also, more fundamentally, natural law.  

The spiritual state of Western Europe, the cardinal said, is in a parlous condition. 

“The situation of Western Europe is hard, very serious,” he said. “It suffices to look at what is currently happening in the Church in Germany.”

There he finds the most serious cause for alarm because in Germany the Church itself, Burke asserted, has stopped defending the truths about marriage and Holy Communion.

“The Church herself is beginning to secularize,” he mourned. “The Church is entering into the outside world, to culture, without bringing a strong Christian message with her.” 

He observed that although Poland still has a strong Catholic Christian culture, Poles need to protect it or else their nation will go the way of Ireland.

“Ireland was one of the most Catholic countries in the world,” he said, “and today it is one of the most secularized.” 

Editor’s note: The Cardinal’s quotes were translated from Polish by LifeSiteNews’ Dorothy Cummings McLean

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Majority of Americans want abortion ‘more restricted,’ Gallup finds

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By Calvin Freiburger

June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A majority of U.S. citizens continue to favor banning most abortions, according to new polling data from Gallup.

On Monday, Gallup released a new report on its annual survey of American abortion attitudes. While respondents’ self-labeling remains evenly divided, with 48% each identifying as “pro-life” and “pro-choice,” more specific questions reveal that a clear majority wants to ban most abortions.

A combined 53% of Americans favor legal abortion in “few” or “no” circumstances, while just 43% think abortion should be legal in “all” or “most” circumstances.

Further probing of American attitudes found the public "favoring more restrictive rather than less restrictive laws."

These findings have been remarkably durable for more than two decades, as 54% or more have given Gallup the same answer every year from 1995 through 2017.

Other surveys, including CNN/ORC International polls from 2006 to 2016 and Marist Institute polls commissioned every year by the Knights of Columbus, also consistently find majority support for generally prohibiting abortion. Many pro-lifers oppose granting exceptions such as rape and incest, arguing that they abandon and dehumanize babies conceived in difficult circumstances, but many pro-life groups generally accept candidates and policies containing them on strategic grounds.

The 2018 findings for self-identification (48% identify as pro-choice, 48% as pro-life) also represent positive movement for pro-lifers, albeit more narrowly.

“Although there has been some variation in past years, Americans have typically been closely split on whether they consider themselves pro-choice or pro-life, particularly since 2000, when the averages have been 47% pro-choice and 46% pro-life,” the report explains. “During the 1990s -- when Gallup first asked the question -- more Americans personally identified as pro-choice than as pro-life by 51% to 40%, on average.”

Gallup also finds that 48% of Americans consider abortion immoral and just 43% consider it moral. A majority has never declared abortion moral since Gallup began asking the question in 2001. Notably, Marist’s January 2018 survey found a much higher majority, 56%, willing to say abortion is morally wrong.

The numbers serve as a dramatic rebuke to Planned Parenthood executive vice president Dawn Laguens, who claimed last week in a Medium op-ed that the Trump administration’s pro-life agenda appeals only to a “tiny sliver of voters.”

Additionally, polling data confirms Americans consistently side with pro-lifers on the peripheral questions of the abortion debate.

At its 2016 national convention, the Democratic Party adopted a platform opposing all restrictions on abortion and calling for it to be taxpayer funded. But according to Marist, both positions are at least as extreme as pro-life stances routinely labeled extreme in the media.

The number of Americans who believe abortion should be available past the first trimester is 20%, the exact same amount that would limit abortion to saving a mother’s life. Only 12% Americans favor allowing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and only 36% of Americans support taxpayer funding of abortion.

Majorities also say abortion “does more harm than good” to a woman’s life in the long run, and that people should not be forced to provide or insure abortions against their will.

The only major question on which the abortion lobby holds a significant polling advantage is Roe v. Wade, which enjoys support ranging from the mid-fifties to high sixties. However, many pro-lifers have noted that many polls falsely suggest Roe only legalized first-trimester abortions, and theorize its support would erode if the public knew how the Supreme Court avoided the question of when life begins, or that many pro-abortion legal experts admit that Roe is constitutionally baseless.

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Gay Irish Prime Minister: Catholic hospitals ‘will be required’ to abort babies

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

DUBLIN, June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) - Ireland’s homosexual pro-abortion Prime Minister has announced that Catholic hospitals in the country will be obliged to perform abortions. 

Leo Varadkar said that when the new laws liberalizing abortion come into effect, even Catholic institutions will have to offer the procedure. 

Individual doctors, nurses or midwives will be allowed to refrain from committing abortions on conscience grounds, but whole institutions will not have this option.  

According to the BBC, Varadkar’s government is currently writing a law that would allow abortion on demand up to 12 weeks on healthy babies and “in extreme cases” up to 24 weeks. 

The Irish taoiseach (“chief”)  said that the new law would follow the model of the “Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013” which provided for abortion in certain circumstances and allowed medical personnel to opt out. 

“It will not, however, be possible for publicly-funded hospitals, no matter who their patron or owner is, to opt out of providing these necessary services which will be legal in this state once this legislation is passed by the Dáil (government) and Seanad (senate),” he warned.

Varadkar underscored that individuals would be allowed to “opt out based on their consciences or their religious convictions” but that institutions would not be allowed to do so.  

"So, just as is the case now in the legislation for the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, hospitals like for example Holles Street, which is a Catholic voluntary ethos hospital, the Mater, St Vincent's and others will be required, and will be expected to, carry out any procedure that is legal in this state and that is the model we will follow."

This follows a post-referendum survey showing that a majority of family doctors in Ireland will conscientiously object to committing abortion and do not intend to provide the so-called service. Of 936 general practitioners (GPS), 68% would not “opt in” to become abortionists.   

In response to the results of this survey, Dr. Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign suggested that the Health Minister’s assumption that Irish doctors will just go along with the governments pro-abortion agenda is divorced from reality.

“Listening to Minister Simon Harris you’d get the impression that GPs are fully on board with the Government’s abortion plans but nothing could be further from the truth,” she said. 

“Forcing GPs to participate in abortions that have nothing to do with healthcare is an extreme and unjust attack on freedom of conscience and should be resisted at all costs,” she continued. “It is unconscionable for Minister Harris and the Government to compel doctors who don’t wish to dispense abortion pills to refer women to colleagues who will carry out the procedure.”  

“We are witnessing something truly appalling at present – a government that seems prepared to trample on freedom of conscience in order to keep the pretence going that their abortion proposals are somehow medically indicated and based. It is very reassuring though to see the numbers of GPs who are voicing their opposition….”​

Developing….

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Katie Yoder

Opinion,

TV producers: If your show doesn’t feature abortion, you’re trying to ‘control women’

Katie Yoder
By Katie Yoder

June 13, 2018 (NewsBusters) – Producers want to put more abortion scenes in TV shows. They're right. They should. They should show Americans abortion for exactly what it is: the tearing up and sucking out of an unborn baby. After all, they're not afraid to show other gruesome, bloody scenes. But, of course, they won't. Because that's not what abortion is to them.

TV producers Rina Mimoun (Everwood) and Mauricio Mota (East Los High) campaigned for prioritizing abortion on TV at the ATX Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times on Sunday. During their panel, they called for diversity in abortion and blamed the lack of TV abortion on "controlling women."

Their comments came during a "Her Body, Her Choice" panel that was presented by USC's Hollywood, Health & Society organization.

Both Mimoun and Mota's shows have incorporated abortion plotlines in the past. Referencing his show's portrayal of abortion, Mota insisted, "It's very important to talk about abortion, but it's important to talk about the systemic things related to abortion."

At the same time, Mimoun urged, "It would be nice if it was just part of the conversation and didn't have to be so special and so earnest and so important." Except for that important is exactly what she wanted it to be.

The two applauded Crazy Ex-GirlfriendScandal, and Friday Night Lights for including abortion. But they weren't so happy about another show: NBC's This Is Us. According to Mimoun, when characters Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) think they're expecting in Season One, they should have considered abortion. She called it a "bizarrely missed opportunity."

"Those two people in reality absolutely would've talked about it," she just knew somehow. And even though the show has female writers, she "wonder[ed] if that was a woman's show, would that scene on the floor of the hotel room have been different? Maybe."

Mota concurred.

"That character, he's an overthinker," he said of Randall. "They would discuss all the options."

According to him, the absence of TV abortion plotlines is "about controlling women" and "Abortion is just one of the facets of society's search to control women."

That it is – but probably not in the way Mota meant. It certainly controls the livelihood of women in the womb.

Looking to the future, Mimoun advised writers to educate audiences about abortion, especially younger viewers.

"Everyone is so afraid to be earnest or afraid to be like preachy or teach-y. There are so many things and they'd rather be salacious," she warned. "They're trying to shock you into watching their shows and there aren't as many people that are [embracing] the challenge of educating. It's an opportunity that we have."

"It's an amazing chance and every time you waste it or you blow it or you go in the other direction and message them terribly for no reason except that you want the ratings," she added, "shame on you is what I say."

They also called for more female writers.

"A lot of times, it doesn't affect men in their minds in the same way so it's either fear-based, it's a little bit of apathy, it's that, 'It's not my problem,'" Mimoun said of abortion. She also called for "as much diversity in every possible way onscreen" to "reflect the world that we live in."

Reflect the world we live in, minus the pro-life movement, she seemed to imply.

Shows and networks, Mona added, would benefit from more diversity.

"If you make shows that represent society more, people will watch more and they will buy the ... action figure," he said.

An abortion action figure? No, thanks.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.

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Doug Ford TVO / screen-grab
Josie Luetke

Opinion,

3 things Doug Ford’s win will hopefully mean for Ontario

Josie Luetke
By Josie Luetke

June 13, 2018 (Campaign Life Coalition) – Flare, self-described as "Canada's Fashion Magazine," recently put out an article titled, "3 Things Doug Ford's Win May Mean for Millennial Women." They should really just stick to fashion.

Writer Laura Hensley asserted that Ford "does not value women's rights – and women, rightfully, don't trust him." Her evidence? A CBC pre-election poll relying on a non-random sample. Because we all know that CBC is an unbiased news source that attracts a similarly unbiased following.

Hensley lists three reasons millennials should be concerned about the Doug Ford government: the possible limiting of abortion access, the impending cutting of "inclusive and comprehensive" sex-ed, and the projected continuation of "sexism and crude behaviour." Her article is rife with fear-mongering, exaggerations, and misrepresentation.

So, in response to her article, I, incidentally a millennial woman, composed my own (remarkably similar) blog post, detailing what I hope Doug Ford's win will mean for millennials and the rest of Ontario.

1. Abortion access could be limited.

Hensley includes this possibility on her list as if it's a bad thing. If we do (finally) get a law on the books restricting abortion, that'll actually just bring Ontario in line with most of the rest of the world in not treating abortion like a free-for-all. Even pro-choicers should be able to get behind common-sense measures like parental notification or consent laws surrounding abortion. In fact, a 2008 poll conducted by Leger Marketing and Environics revealed that 65% of Canadians would support a law that requires minors to receive their parents' consent prior to getting an abortion, because they get that parents shouldn't be left out of the loop when it comes to such a serious decision.

Hensley, instead of specifically explaining her problems with a parental consent law or trying to tackle the question of the moral permissibility of abortion, just incites alarm by claiming that "reducing access to safe, legal abortions has historically put women in dangerous situations," as if any sort of restriction whatsoever will have women flocking to the back alleys… Regardless, an important point Hensley misses is that abortion is never safe for the unborn child, as the purpose of abortion is to kill that child, and for that reason, we should be trying to limit access.

2. The radical and age-inappropriate sex-ed curriculum will be repealed.

Again, this is something to be celebrated, not something to be concerned about. Contrary to Hensley's claims, it is the current sex-ed curriculum that is harmful to children. Repealing it would alleviate some of the suffering (though, sadly, not all). No child should be told to question their gender, be encouraged to masturbate, or be introduced to concepts like anal or oral sex.    

Furthermore, Hensley's statement, "While Ford has a lot to say when it comes to young women accessing abortion, he doesn't want sex-ed taught in the classroom," is incorrect. Ford doesn't want this sex-ed curriculum taught in the classroom, but he intends to replace it with a new sex-ed curriculum, this time developed in proper consultation with parents.

3. A sense of moral decency will return to Queen's Park.   

Hensley forecasts that "sexism and crude behaviour will continue." Speaking of, let's take a moment to remember real culprits like PC leader Patrick Brown or convicted child pornographer and former Liberal Deputy Education Minister Benjamin Levin (who had a hand in the sex-ed curriculum by the way).

Compared to them, Ford is a breath of fresh air. I mean, he's certainly not perfect, and I won't be an apologist for all of his past behaviour, but the more recent grievances Hensley lists, like Ford's complimenting of Wynne's smile, or his ducking of questions from a hostile media, are hardly transgressions in my book.

Hensley's comparison of Ford to Donald Trump also falls flat. When it comes to dismissing one's adversaries through guilt by suggested association, instead of substantive arguments, it seems that Trump is the new Hitler these days.

Anyway, I'd like to instead suggest that with so many pro-life and pro-family MPPs heading to Queen's Park this fall  (many of whom are actually millennials), and with Ford at the helm (instead of Wynne or Brown), the chances that Ontario's moral decay will end are fairly good. When the importance of conscience and sexual morality (as opposed to unrestrained sexual freedom) get talked about, and a sense of accountability restored, expect to see a decrease in the very behaviour Hensley deplores.

In conclusion, I agree with Hensley when she says, "There's only one solution to Ford's win, and that is to fight." We must fight to hold Ford accountable to his promises. We must fight back against a media (Flareincluded) which will try to shame the PCs for any of their efforts to restore free speech, conscience rights, parental rights, etc. Yes, our political adversaries were defeated in the election, but our work is only just beginning.

Published with permission from the Campaign Life Coalition.

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Homosexual activists march in Washington, DC's Pride parade on June 12, 2016. Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
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Opinion,

Even some gays are getting sick of pride parades

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By Jonathon van Maren

June 13, 2018 (The Bridgehead) – A few years back, my friend JJ McCullough published a rather unpopular column, noting that although Pride parades have become a litmus test for one's level of tolerance these days, there are plenty of people – himself included – who simply find them distasteful displays of indecency. The media and progressive politicians like to gang up on conservative politicians and demand that they show up and frolic with the crowds or be damned as unforgivable bigots, despite the fact that these events now regularly expose children to male adult nudity and simulated sex acts, something that progressives seem to collectively ignore.

Just in time for Pride Month, Josh deHaas has published a column in the National Post titled "I'm gay, and I wouldn't blame Doug Ford for avoiding Toronto's Pride Parade," essentially concurring with McCullough's thesis:

One of the first decisions premier-designate Doug Ford will need to make is whether to march in Toronto's gay Pride parade later this month. If he doesn't submit to strolling down Yonge Street while getting soaked by leather-clad men armed with water guns, his critics will claim it's proof he hates gays.

But there are some perfectly legitimate reasons to skip the annual bash. I'm gay, and I boycotted the parade last year. So did a lot of other people, apparently: Pride's beverage sales declined from $348,917 in 2016 to $197,336 in 2017…

DeHaas then points out that Pride events have become heavily politicized, with the police being told to stay away due to pressure from groups like Black Lives Matter, as well as association with other left-wing fringe groups. And then he makes several points that are sure to incur the wrath of the LGBT crowd – if a politician were to make them, they would find themselves pilloried overnight:

And that's not the only reason a centrist or right-leaning politician might want to skip.

Some on the left have claimed Ford's description of Pride as an event where "middle-aged men with pot bellies" run down the street "buck naked" was evidence of homophobia. I'd say that was just an accurate description of what goes on. Disturbingly, more and more parents are bringing young children to watch the parade, exposing them to provocative displays of sexuality that no child should witness. If a politician believes in family values, why would he or she want to be associated with such debauchery?

In fact, the main focus of Canada's gay lobby recent years has been demanding that taxpayers fund PrEP, an expensive HIV medication that gay men can take to reduce their risk of catching the virus during condomless sex. Experts are now, unsurprisingly, linking PrEP to a rise in drug-resistant gonorrhea. For many gay men, PrEP is nothing more than an aid to promiscuity, yet left-wing governments in Ontario, B.C. and Quebec have all started using precious health-care dollars to hand it out for free.

While conservative politicians face constant pressure to show up at Pride events, none of them dare to respond to those accusing them of various phobias with a few simple questions: Do you think public nudity is appropriate? Is it "homophobic" to think that sex acts, simulated or otherwise, should remain indoors? Should children be exposed to male adult nudity? Should politicians condemn the presence of children at events where adult nudity is common and expected?

I, for one, would be very interested to hear how these questions would be answered.

Published with permission from The Bridgehead.

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Blogs,

Sadly, some LGBT activists dismiss mothers as unnecessary

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By Jonathon van Maren

June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – It may rank as one of the most unintentionally sad headlines I’ve ever read, and it showed up in The Telegraph last week: “Baby born to transgender man could become the first person without a legal mother.” A transgender man — a biological woman — is in court insisting that to refer to a legal man as a “mother” is a violation of human rights, and that since society has “evolved,” the birth certificate should instead refer to the person who gave birth to the child as a “father.” After all, in today’s society, “It is an accepted fact that a female who transitions to male may in law maintain the ability to conceive and give birth to a child,” according to the barrister in charge of the legal team.

But it is not the utter moral confusion of this whole mess that I find depressing, or even the ridiculousness of this next skirmish in the war on reality. It is the fact that this story is another indication that our culture is rejecting the idea that having a mother is essential to a child’s well-being, and denying that mothers have a unique role to play in their children’s lives. It would have been unthinkable, a very short time ago, to state that children do not need a mother. But that is exactly what LGBT activists are explicitly claiming — and they are taking that assertion to court.

Many people do not realize that when LGBT activists like Dan Savage claim — as he does — that a child is just as well served being raised by two men than by a mother and a father, that a fundamental part of this claim is that mothers do not bring anything unique to the family arrangement, and that a man can fulfill their role just as well. Savage, in responding with visible anger to a commentator on a panel who asserted that women are often better at nurturing children several years back, dismissed the idea that a person’s “genital sets” had anything to do with their ability to raise a child — as if differing genitalia were the only difference between men and women. 

Savage and his fellow LGBT activists are saying, essentially, that there are no real differences between men and women. One of the reasons Dr. Jordan Peterson has attracted so much hatred is because he consistently and scientifically rebuts this assertion, which is fundamental to much of the progressive worldview. But does anyone really believe this? Does anyone actually think that two people of the same sex can complement each other in parenthood the way a man and a woman can? Do they honestly believe that mothers are basically fathers, but just without male genitals? Sure, a few people like Dan Savage have to believe this, to justify their own selfishness. But does anyone else?

I confess here that I grew up with an extraordinary privilege: A happily married mother and father. I’ve long believed that this is the real “privilege” in our society, one that has nothing to do with race or what-have-you: Growing up in a stable home with loving parents. My mother, of course, is the parent I have the very earliest memories of, and I remember thinking once, as she played Frank Mills’ The Happy Song for us kids on a warm summer evening when I was very small, that nobody was more perfect and beautiful than she was. The idea that anybody would (or could) want to do without something so wonderful as a mother is something that still boggles my mind.

I understand that there are some people who did not receive the same privilege that I did — people who lost their mothers, or those who grew up in broken or blended families with all of the accompanying complications. But that is not what this issue is all about. This is about our society making a deliberate decision to enshrine into law the idea that motherhood is unnecessary, and to dispense with the idea that every child should, ideally, have a mother and a father. Our culture has changed, yes. But to state, through our legislative bodies and our courts, that mothers or fathers are unnecessary and that men and women are interchangeable — this is nothing short of robbing generations to come of something that we all know, deep down, children have an inherent right to. 

I do believe that if people really stop to think about this assertion — this idea that mothers are unnecessary — that they will agree with me that it is ridiculous. Most people have never really stopped to consider the fact that this is the underlying claim of activists like Dan Savage when they claim that two men can do just as good of a job. But we all know, instinctively if not intellectually, that mothers are essential, and that they always have been. This fact is stamped into our minds, onto our history, and prevalent in many of our great stories. It is mothers, after all, that men cry out for when they are dying on the battlefield. It is mothers who sustain their children with their bodies, bring them into this world, and give them life. And that is why many men have, throughout history, echoed the words of the great Abraham Lincoln: “All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

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