All articles from January 9, 2019

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Andrew Self on 'The Greatest Dancer'
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Young man with Down syndrome thrills studio audience on ‘The Greatest Dancer’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

BIRMINGHAM, England, January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A young man with Down syndrome won a standing ovation when he auditioned for a national dancing competition.

Andrew Self, 21, appeared in the first episode of the UK’s “The Greatest Dancer,” and brought both judges and audience to tears with his audition piece, a joyous celebration of Justin Timberlake’s 2016 hit song, “Can’t Stop The Feeling.”

Self’s mother accompanied him to the audition and in a pre-audition interview said that her son first showed an interested in dancing when he was 11.

“He really got into Strictly Come Dancing [a British talent show],” she explained. “It just made him so joyful, and that’s what started him on his love of dance.”

There is some loving joking between Self and his mother before the show, the dancer gleefully boasting, “It’s all about me now, Mum.”  

“Is it? It always is about you,” she counters.

When Self’s mum advises him what to do if he falls down, the young man mimics shock at the very idea.

“I’m a balanced boy,” he protests, “like Billy Elliot.”

Billy Elliot is the eponymous hero of a film about a boy from a mining community in northeast England who dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer. Although Billy Elliot had a hard time convincing his widowed father to let him dance, Andrew Self’s number one fan is clearly his mother.

“Andrew can hear a piece of music, and he can just translate it into movement,” she said. “It’s transformed his life.”

“Having Down syndrome, it doesn’t stop me from doing anything,” Self said in a pre-audition interview.

In this competition, the latest produced by Simon Cowell, dancers perform in a closed studio, watched by an audience via video. If 75 percent of the audience votes for the dancer, a mirrored wall opens to review the live audience and three judge “captains.”

Self’s delight when the mirrors open is palpable, as is the joy of his best friend Tom, who also has Down syndrome. Self’s audition won him a spot in the callback round.

Glee veteran Matthew Morrison, a judge captain, told the young dancer that he was inspirational.

“I just have to say that I think you’re going to inspire a lot of people with the performance that you just gave today,” he said.  

It may even save some lives. Around 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted in Great Britain and the United States, in part because of misunderstandings about the condition. In 2014, Oxford biologist and professional atheist Richard Dawkins told his followers that he thought giving birth to children with Down syndrome was “immoral.” However, according to the National Down Syndrome Society, most people with Down syndrome are healthy, and with help they are capable of “leading fulfilling and productive lives.”

A frequently cited survey states that 99 percent of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives.   

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Jesuit-run Georgetown U prohibits ‘microaggressions’ against homosexuals and transsexuals

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By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

January 9, 2019 ( – Jesuit-run Georgetown University has instituted a policy allowing people to make anonymous tips against anyone they regard as having said something insensitive to their minority status, an offense known as a “microaggression.”

The policy includes “microaggressions” against people based on their “sexual orientation” or “gender identity or expression,” making a possible target of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others who reject LGBT ideology.

The policy is being implemented by Georgetown’s medical school, whose “Office of Diversity and Inclusion” has posted a page entitled “What To Do About Microaggressions” on its website, and has initiated a propaganda campaign for the policy using posters placed on campus.

The definition of a “microaggression” given by Georgetown is so vague and general that it appears that virtually any behavior or even circumstances in the environment might be interpreted as constituting the offense.

A poster used by Georgetown in the campaign informs students that microaggressions are “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults,” adding that “They perpetuate bias throughout the community and occur everyday (sic).”

The site suggests a series of steps to deal with such offenses, including questioning people about the motives of their statements, telling others about the offending remarks, and requesting that “appropriate action be taken.”

Georgetown has further provided an online anonymous tip form that encourages people to report “any type of bias” and lists a number of types of microaggression that include “sexual/gender” but do not include offending people on the basis of their religion. “If you would like to anonymously report something that you feel is an issue in your learning environment, please submit your comment below. Concerns may include, but are not limited to, threatening behavior, intimidation, assault, harassment, or any type of bias (cultural/sexual/gender/race or other),” Georgetown states.

One example given by Georgetown of a “microaggression” is diagnosing a patient with HIV based at least in part on the fact that he is homosexual. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s own statistics indicate that more than 50 percent of people with AIDS are “men who have sex with men.”

The university also has instituted a campaign of placing posters on campus to educate the student body about “microaggressions in medicine,” to “educate our community on the what, how, why, and what to do about microaggressions.” The school says it wants to build “efficacy in faculty, staff, students and trainees who must respond in real time to microaggressors.”

Vague definition of ‘microaggresion’ facilitates ideological persecution

The vague notion of “microaggression” has become infamous in recent years for creating an environment of fear in which students are subject to arbitrary accusations simply for offending the sensitivities of another person. It also is used to silence those who refuse to accept LGBT ideology.

Commenting on the “microaggression” guidelines at UCLA, sociologist Frank Furedi argues that “anything that is said to someone from a different cultural group may constitute a microaggression,” and notes that even the phrase “politically correct” is now censored as a form of the offense.

“So, declaring that ‘America is the land of opportunity’ could be construed as a microaggression because it implies that ‘race or gender does not play a role in life successes.’ There seems to be a veritable industry producing guidelines, running sensitivity seminars and creating microaggression-awareness websites. At the same time, the number and variety of words and expressions castigated as aggressive and threatening are constantly expanding. … By attempting to censor the phrase ‘politically correct,’ microaggression-watchers proved they were indeed in the business of policing language.”

The oppressive atmosphere created by the “microaggression” industry has even led to action by the Justice Department against the University of Michigan.

The department has intervened in a lawsuit against the university over its “bias” policies, filing a Statement of Interest in the case of Speech First, Inc., v. Schlissel in the Eastern District of Michigan, which accuses the University of Michigan of violating freedom of speech.

“The United States’ Statement of Interest argues that the University of Michigan’s Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which prohibits ‘harassment,’ ‘bullying,’ and ‘bias,’  is unconstitutional because it offers no clear, objective definitions of the violations,” the Justice Department said in a press release in June. “Instead, the Statement refers students to a wide array of ‘examples of various interpretations that exist for the terms,’ many of which depend on a listener’s subjective reaction to speech.”

The University of Michigan’s policy defines a “bias incident”  as “conduct that discriminates, stereotypes, excludes, harasses or harms anyone in our community based on their identity (such as race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion). Bias may stem from fear, misunderstanding, hatred or stereotypes. It may be intentional or unintentional.”

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The Life Institute
K.V. Turley

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New pro-life Irish political party already making waves

K.V. Turley

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A new Irish pro-life political party is already creating ripples among the Irish political class both north and south of the border. It is also asking questions about just how pro-life some of Ireland’s existing political parties really are.

Last year pro-life politician Peadar Toibin resigned from Sinn Fein over its pro-abortion stance. Thereafter, it was expected that he would retreat to the parliamentary back benches. Instead, he began setting up a new political party – one as pro-life as it will be Republican.

Starting a political party is one thing, but actually finding supporters is another matter. The Belfast Newsletter, however, is reporting that no fewer than seven local councillors in Northern Ireland are defecting to Toibin’s new party. This comes just as the campaign gets underway in Northern Ireland for the local government elections scheduled to take place in May 2019.

Toibin told the Newsletter: “We hope to be standing about 10-15 candidates in the [Northern Ireland] local government elections in May.” He hopes that at least seven elected councillors will choose to stand for his new party. From what he hinted, these candidates come from the two main nationalist parties: Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Sinn Fein.

Shortly after announcing the formation of his new political party, surprisingly, Toibin headed to Northern Ireland. While there, he addressed a public meeting of supporters in Maghera, Derry. Later this month and next, more meetings will take place in the North: Omagh (January 9), Newry (January 23), Belfast (January 28), and Armagh (February 4).

Although the party has no name yet, according to Toibin, since its membership opened last Saturday, the party has grown rapidly to 1,400 members. This was after 40 people attended the party’s first executive meeting on Saturday. At the meeting, the party’s constitution and structure were agreed upon. Toibin’s party will be of the Left with an emphasis on economic justice, but he has also made clear that its constitution will be “100 percent pro-life.”  

SDLP’s actions on abortion raise questions

The new pro-life party has attracted interest from some high-level former Sinn Fein members. Martin McGuinness’ brother, Declan McGuinness, has officially signed up and is said to be interested in standing for election. Ex-Sinn Fein councillors Francie and Ann Brolly, both of whom also left the party over its pro-abortion stance, are said to be considering putting themselves forward as candidates for the new party.

More interesting still is the news that SDLP politicians are now defecting to the new party. County Tyrone councillor Rosemarie Shields has confirmed she is leaving the SDLP for Toibin’s pro-life party. She told the Newsletter that there were others within the SDLP and from “another party” who are also considering leaving and joining Toibin.

Ms. Shields said she was attracted by the new party’s emphasis on economic justice when so many parties appear to have the same view on economic and social issues. She was equally impressed by Toibin’s “integrity” and “honesty,” something she contrasted with what is usually on display in modern Irish politics.

In addition, she made clear that the unabashed pro-life position of the new party was a significant factor in her decision to join it.

The reaction of the SDLP, her former party, is telling.

Rather than accepting that Ms. Shields made the decision from the highest of motives, the party seemed to suggest that her leaving was to do with the “selecting of candidates” for the forthcoming elections, implying she would not have been selected to stand anyway.

Furthermore, the party had this to say: “Councilor Shields’ lack of commitment to her role has been a matter of concern for some time now and that would obviously have been a factor in the party’s decision on whether to run her as a candidate again or not.”

In response, Ms. Shields pointed out that the SDLP has not yet selected any candidates for the local government election. She also told the Newsletter that she doesn’t accept the narrative now being cast by her former political party: “I was dedicated to my role as a public representative.”

The SDLP officially opposes the changing of abortion law in Northern Ireland. However, some of its recent actions have caused concern to pro-lifers within the party. In April 2017, three SDLP councillors in Belfast quit the party.

Former Lord Mayor Pat Convery and councillors Declan Boyle and Kate Mullan  were suspended by the SDLP in April 2017 after abstaining from a Belfast City Council vote condemning the “harassment of women by anti-abortion activists outside reproductive healthcare facilities.” The motion was proposed by the Green Party, which claimed women were forced to “run a gauntlet of intimidation and harassment.”

The SDLP leadership had instructed its Belfast councillors to support the Green Party motion. The three councillors told the Belfast Telegraph that they “totally opposed the harassment and intimidation of women” and had abstained from the vote “as the SDLP are a pro-life party.”

Four days after the vote, Councillors Convery, Boyle, and Mullan received a letter from SDLP chief whip Colin McGrath informing them of their suspension. It stated: “Your vote has brought considerable disrepute to the party in all forms of print, broadcast and social media and was contrary to party policy and to the direction sought and provided from the party on the day.”

At the time, Convery, a former SDLP vice-chairman who was first elected to Belfast City Council 16 years ago, told the Belfast Telegraph: “The party I joined was one of inclusiveness and I feel that no longer applies…The SDLP needs to go back to its roots of being a broad church where everyone is welcome.”

He went on to add that “moral issues should be matters of personal conscience and party policy should reflect that.”

Subsequently, the three councillors asked for a meeting with their party leader, Colum Eastwood. Their request was refused.

“We weren't given the chance to make our case at a meeting. We were sentenced in advance of that in a draconian approach,” Convery said.

A statement issued by the trio’s solicitor said, “The SDLP leadership showed no respect for three experienced and distinguished councillors and no appetite to resolve issues which clearly affected the party's pro-life stance.”

On May 19, 2018, the SDLP voted to reaffirm their pro-life policy. They also voted, however, to allow what was described as a conscience vote on the subject. Henceforth, the SDLP moved from a solidly pro-life party position to a view on abortion that is left to the consciences of individual members. As a consequence, it seems SDLP members today can vote and actively campaign for any policy they like relating to abortion.

Last year shortly after this vote on party policy, SDLP leader Eastwood backed the “yes” vote in the Republic’s abortion referendum supporting the scrapping of Ireland’s pro-life constitutional safeguard.

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Professor John Finnis
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Oxford students demand university fire famed philosophy prof for ‘homophobia’

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By Lisa Bourne

OXFORD, England, January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A leading Catholic moral theologian and natural law expert is facing a campaign from college students to oust him from a faculty position for his purported “extremely discriminatory views against groups of disadvantaged people” and for “being particularly homophobic and transphobic.”

A petition for John Finnis to be removed from his academic position at Oxford University cites his “discriminatory conduct.”

The petition lists “hateful statements” from Finnis regarding homosexuality made between 1992 and 2011, and also accuses him of racism and xenophobia.

Finnis, a renowned legal philosopher, jurist and scholar, is an emeritus professor of law and legal philosophy at the University of Oxford and Biolchini Family Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame.

He has mentored several Ph.D students, including Neil Gorsuch and Robert P. George.

The petition looking to expel him from Oxford also asks the university to clarify its policy on “discriminatory professors.”

It says Finnis teaching Oxford's compulsory main graduate law courses for its Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and Magister Juris (MJur) degrees is “unacceptable” because “It puts a hugely prejudiced man in a position of responsibility and authority.”

“It makes people who are affected by his discrimination question whether they should even attend these seminars,” the petition states. “University is a place to focus on education, not to be forced to campaign against or to be taught by professors who have promoted hatred towards students that they teach.”

Finnis has written critically of homosexual conduct, describing it at times as evil or destructive.

Petitioners also cite his writing in opposition to adoption by same-sex couples and in support of reparative therapy.

“John Finnis has built a career on demonization,” BCL student and petition co-author Alex Benn told The Oxford Student publication. “His so-called ‘arguments’ about disadvantaged people are hateful, not to mention widely discredited.”

“His position at Oxford ignores his decades-long promotion of discrimination and, in particular, his active role in worsening the lives of LGBTQ+ people,” added Benn.

A number of academics responded in support of Finnis on social media soon after news of the petition surfaced. “John Finnis of Oxford is one of the most famous Christian professors alive,” tweeted Israeli philosopher, Biblical scholar and conservative political theorist Yoram Hazony. “Now a move to ban him from teaching because he has opposed homosexual acts in philosophical essays.”

“The harassment of the incredible Professor Finnis at Oxford is yet another sign that faithful Catholic colleges are among the last bastions of truth and authentic freedom,” Cardinal Newman Society president and founder Patrick Reilly said. “Isn’t that how universities began?”   

“John Finnis hardly deserves to be run out of Oxford!” Reilly later tweeted. “But if he goes, I pray that he lands at a faithful Catholic college, one that embraces Bl. John Henry Newman's "Idea of a University" -- the "Oxford improvement" plan!”

Acton Institute research director Samuel Gregg said, “This is what we have come to: one of the giants of legal philosophy in our time, John Finnis (full disclosure, he supervised my doctorate), is being subject to ideological harassment for his REASON-BASED classic natural law views about sexual morality.

Ryan T. Anderson, Heritage Foundation senior fellow and Public Discourse founder, said:

Catholic University of America professor of theological, social and political thought Chad Pecknold said:

The university issued a statement in support of inclusivity and academic freedom, ostensibly standing by Finnis.

A representative for the university said: “Oxford University and the Faculty of Law promote an inclusive culture which respects the rights and dignity of all staff and students. We are clear we do not tolerate any form of harassment of individuals on any grounds, including sexual orientation. Equally, the university’s harassment policy also protects academic freedom of speech and is clear that vigorous academic debate does not amount to harassment when conducted respectfully and without violating the dignity of others. All of the university’s teaching activity, including that in the faculty of law, is conducted according to these principles.”

Finnis said the petition misrepresents his views, and he disputes its accuracy.  

“The petition travesties my position, and my testimony in American constitutional litigation,” he told The Oxford Student. “Anyone who consults the law faculty website and follows the links in the petition can see the petition’s many errors.”

“I stand by all these writings,” continued Finnis. “There is not a ‘phobic’ sentence in them. The 1994 essay promotes a classical and strictly philosophical moral critique of all non-marital sex acts and has been re-published many times, most recently by Oxford University Press in the third volume of my Collected Essays.”

Finnis is a former member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who from 1986 to 1991 was a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s International Theological Commission.

In 2016, Finnis, who converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism in 1962, co-authored a letter to Pope Francis along with the late Germain Grisez, professor of Christian ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland, asking the pope to renounce eight errant positions that "find support in statements by or omissions" in Amoris Laetitia and "are or include errors against the Catholic faith."

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Pro-life activists attend the 2015 annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. American Life League

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Full list of events surrounding the 2019 March for Life

Tell the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Sign the petition here.

Editor’s note: Please be aware that some of these events require registration in advance. Some of these events will be live-streamed by their sponsors. If you know of an event that should be added to this list, please email [email protected].

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Subverted: How the Sexual Revolution Hijacked the Women’s Movement
Panel with Lila Rose, Dr. Helen Alvare, and former Cosmopolitan writer Sue Ellen Browder
The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Lecture by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life: “2019: Achieving Pro-Life Legislative Victories in a Divided Congress” 
McGivney Auditorium, McGivney Hall, The Catholic University of America 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Planned Parenthood Protest with Fr. Frank Pavone and pro-life leaders
1225 4th St. NE, Washington, DC 20002

8:00 a.m.
Evangelicals for Life Conference
McLean Bible Church, Tysons Corner Campus
8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182

8:00 a.m.
Anglicans for Life Conference
6565 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church, VA 22042

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
March for Life Conference
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
March for Life Expo
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Law of Life Summit
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (doors open at 1:30 p.m.)
March for Life Youth Rally
Grand Ballroom
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

2:00 p.m. - 2:55 p.m.
Screening of “Fatal Flaws” film
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

5:30 p.m.
National Prayer Vigil for Life (Mass followed by all-night prayer, ending with 7:30 a.m. Mass on Friday)
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20017

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
On Personhood: A Conversation with Sarah C. Williams
Interview and Book Signing
Sarah C. Williams, Author: Perfectly Human – Nine Months with Cerian
In conversation with Maria McFadden-Maffucci, Editor, The Human Life Review
University Club DC
1135 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

6:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Catholic Underground Maryland with the CFRs and Cimorelli
Mother Seton Parish
19951 Father Hurley Boulevard
Germantown, MD 20874

6:00 p.m.
Traditional Latin Mass/Tridentine Mass  
Society of St. Pius X
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
Meeting Room 12/13/14

6:30 p.m.
Young Adult Night of Prayer (including meditation from Sisters of Life)
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
3304 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Grand Ballroom, Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Life is Very Good Evening of Prayer
EagleBank Arena at George Mason University
4500 Patriot Cir
Fairfax, VA 22030

8:00 p.m.
Screening of “Fatal Flaws” film
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

Friday, January 18, 2019

6:15 a.m. (doors close at 7:15 a.m.)
Archdiocese of Washington’s Youth Rally and Mass for Life
Capital One Arena
601 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004

7:30 a.m.
Traditional Latin Mass
Benedictine Monks of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Renaissance Hotel Grand Ballroom North
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

7:30 a.m.
Working Professionals Morning Mass for Life
St. Mary Mother of God
727 5th St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

7:30 a.m.
Closing Mass of National Prayer Vigil for Life
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20017

7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (doors open at 7:00 a.m.)
National Memorial for the Preborn and Their Mothers and Fathers with Fr. Frank Pavone and Fr. Mitch Pacwa
Mass at 7:30 a.m. Interdenominational service begins at 8:30 a.m. 
DAR Constitution Hall
1776 D St NW
Washington, DC 20006

8:00 a.m.
Coffee with Quitters (meet former abortion workers who have left the industry)
Renaissance Hotel Lobby
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
March for Life Expo
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

8:30 a.m.
ProLifeCon Digital Action Summit
Family Research Council and online
801 G St NW
Washington, DC 20001

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.)
Life is Very Good Morning Rally and Mass (with Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge)
EagleBank Arena at George Mason University
4500 Patriot Cir
Fairfax, VA 22030

10:00 a.m.
Mass with Bishop Glen Provost for the Lake Charles March for Life Pilgrims in Washington
Our Lady of Victory Church
4835 MacArthur Blvd. NW
Washington, DC

10:00 a.m.
Inaugural Ordinariate Mass for Life
St. Luke’s Ordinariate Parish at Immaculate Conception Church
1317 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001


10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Ben Shapiro Live Podcast

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Musical opening with Sidewalk Prophets

12:00 p.m. Rally Program

1:00 p.m. March up Constitution Avenue to Supreme Court and Capitol Building

The March for Life Rally will take place at noon at 12th St. on the National Mall, in between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive. Following the Rally, the March will begin on Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets at approximately 1:00 pm.

2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Silent No More Awareness Testimonies
U.S. Supreme Court
1 First St NE
Washington, DC 20543

4:00 p.m.
6th Annual Nellie Gray Mass (Solemn Traditional Latin Mass/Tridentine Mass)
St. Mary Mother of God
727 5th St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

4:00 p.m. - 7:00 pm.
March for Life Expo
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

6:00 p.m.
March for Life Rose Dinner (sold out)
Grand Ballroom
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

Saturday, January 19, 2019

9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (registration opens at 8:00 a.m.)
Students for Life of America East Coast Conference
First Baptist Church of Glenarden
600 Watkins Park Dr
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

9:30 a.m.
Latinos por La Vida Conference (this event is in Spanish)
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church
3305 Glen Carlyn Rd
Falls Church, VA 22041

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Dominic Hilton Dominic Hilton / Instagram
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Promiscuous ‘gay’ man becomes attracted only to women after living celibate one year

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By Doug Mainwaring

UNITED KINGDOM, January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A 27-year-old man who had identified as ‘gay’ since age 14 has realized he is not a homosexual after choosing to remain celibate for a year. 

Dominic Hilton, after performing homosexual acts with up to 150 men and engaging in 4 longer-term relationships with other males during his young life and working as a ‘male escort,’ clearly surprised himself with the discovery that he isn’t ‘gay’ after all.

“If you’d have asked me in the past if a person can change their sexuality, I’d have said no – but I’m living proof that you can,” Hilton told The Mirror.  “Sex is always something I enjoyed, but this past year, that sexual attraction to men has just gone.”

“It was a gradual thing – not like someone flicked a switch and I was straight – but now I am actively seeking a girl to settle down with,” said Hilton.  

Following the break up with his ‘boyfriend’ on Christmas Day, 2017, the 27-year-old from Bournemouth, England resolved that in the new year he would abstain from sexual activity and dating.  

“I started reading up on celibacy and saw people talk about how it had helped their self-esteem, lessened their anxieties, given them more energy and generally taught them more about who they were,” said Hilton, according to a Daily Mail report. 

By choosing to be celibate for a period of time, Hilton had only hoped to feel a little better about himself, and gain a sense of control over his life.

“At that point, I was still feeling down about my break up, so I just wanted to do something to make me happy. I never imagined celibacy would change my life as much as it has.”

Over the course of 2018, Hilton noticed he was becoming increasingly attracted to women, and soon came to the conclusion that he was no longer attracted to men.  He reached a major turning point while on vacation last fall.

“My male friend and I were on holiday in Alicante, Spain in October, and where I'd usually be chatting about guys we could see, and if I thought they were attractive, I just couldn't join in,” Hilton told The Mirror.  

“Then my friend turned to me and said, ‘You really are straight, aren't you?’”

“I'd been wondering if perhaps I was bisexual, and attracted to both men and women, but now, I just don't find men attractive anymore,” said Hilton.  

“I have no intention of sleeping with a man again,” he added.

“Telling everyone I was straight was like coming out all over again,” said Hilton, who notes that even the way he dresses and his mannerisms have completely changed. 

“Before, I was quite camp, whereas I’m not now. Growing up, I loved dressing in makeup like Boy George, but these days, I’m always in tracksuits.”

“I would recommend celibacy to anyone feeling a little lost in life,” offered Hilton, “you may be surprised at what you learn.”

But, it seems that Hilton has traded one problematic life for another. The young man said he is now looking for an “open-minded girl I can lose my virginity to."

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Woman sues doctor, pharmacy for accidentally prescribing abortion pill that killed baby

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By Calvin Freiburger

ATASCADERO, California, January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A California woman is taking her doctor and pharmacy to court for allegedly writing and filling an accidental prescription for the abortion pill, which she unwittingly took without knowing it would kill her preborn baby.

According to a lawsuit filed Monday in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, Lorena Anderson went to see Dr. Maria Rasul at Bishop’s Peak Women’s Health on March 20, 2018, to confirm she was pregnant. Rasul then allegedly “carelessly and negligently” ordered a prescription for misoprostol – one half of a chemical abortion – without informing her of its “nature and effects.”

The suit says Rasul realized her mistake and contacted the pharmacy to cancel the prescription, but did not contact Anderson to warn her not to take the prescription if she picked it up – which she did the same day at Rite Aid Pharmacy’s Atascadero location. Rite Aid staff “carelessly and negligently” filled it anyway, according to the suit, and subsequently failed to inquire whether Anderson was pregnant or explain what it would do.

Anderson took the pill on March 20 and suffered a miscarriage, she says. Her suit, which names Rasul, Bishop’s Peak, Rite Aid, and Bishop’s Peak parent Dignity Health, is seeking damages for “fright, horror, anger, disappointment, emotional distress, mental suffering,” and “physical injury.”

“As a direct and proximate result” of the defendants’ actions, the suit continues, Anderson “was compelled to and did fall and sustain serious injuries,” including “shock and injury to her nervous system” that has incurred ongoing medical expenses and loss of earnings, and may result in “some permanent disability.”

“She was very excited to learn she was pregnant, and she was looking forward to being a mother,” Anderson’s attorney, Garrett May, told the San Luis Obispo Tribune. The first hearing in the case is slated for May 13; Anderson’s legal team is seeking a jury trial. Dignity Health has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

For chemical abortions, abortionists give women mifepristone, or RU-486, in an office and then have them take misoprostol at home. Pro-lifers have long argued that even when “properly” taken, abortion pills are not only lethal to children but more dangerous to women than advertised.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists 2,207 adverse health events in women who used mifepristone between 2000 and 2011, including 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 339 hemorrhages requiring transfusion, and 256 infections.

Mifepristone can be reversed by the practice of abortion pill reversal, if extra progesterone (the natural hormone mifepristone functions by blocking) is taken quickly enough. Its pioneers credit it with saving more than 400 babies since 2007, yet “pro-choice” advocates fiercely oppose promoting the option.

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Dennis Prager YouTube
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PragerU files second lawsuit against Google for restricting conservative YouTube videos

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By Calvin Freiburger

SANTA CLARA, California, January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An educational project run by conservative commentator Dennis Prager returned to court this week to once again challenge the Google-owned YouTube for improperly blocking younger viewers’ access to its videos.

Prager University (PragerU) consists of weekly five-minute videos in which a variety of thinkers and policy experts explain a wide range of subjects, from politics to religion to philosophy and personal improvement. Among PragerU’s offerings have been a moral case against abortion and an exposé of Planned Parenthood.

In October 2017, Prager filed a federal lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company for placing more than 50 of PragerU’s videos in “restricted mode,” meaning they were inaccessible from accounts that employed parental controls to shield children from violent, sexual, or otherwise-inappropriate content. His suit argued that the videos contained no inappropriate content of any kind, and were being restricted in violation of YouTube’s Terms of Use.

Since LifeSiteNews’ original report on the case, PragerU now lists more than 80 videos as restricted, or more than a 10th of its library. “Many families enable restricted mode in order to keep inappropriate and objectionable adult and sexual content away from their children,” the nonprofit says, “not to prevent them from watching animated, age-appropriate, educational videos.”

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected the suit in March, and PragerU appealed to the Ninth Circuit. Now, the Daily Caller reports that the nonprofit filed another suit Tuesday, this time in state court.

PragerU argues that YouTube is violating the California Constitution’s guarantee of free speech, violating state laws against religious discrimination and political bias, against “unlawful, misleading, and unfair businesses practices,” and committing breach of contract.

“We’re very optimistic we will win our federal suit based upon our case’s First Amendment merits. But there is reason to believe certain claims are even stronger in California,” PragerU CEO Marissa Streit said, according to Fox News. “Specifically claims relating to YouTube’s breach of contract and consumer fraud. They claim to be a public forum for free expression, but they behave instead as a publisher with editorial controls. You cannot have it both ways.”

“The state law claims were dismissed without prejudice. In other words, the court made very clear that the state law claims were dismissed out of deference to state law courts, that the state courts should decide issues of their own law – not the federal court,” lead PragerU attorney Peter Obstler explained. “Today we’ve come full circle by filing a state law action, as the judge requested we do, in a state court to litigate those issues there. So we’re now going to have a two-track litigation.”

YouTube released its own statement claiming that “giving viewers the choice to opt in to a more restricted experience is not censorship,” and that "PragerU’s videos weren’t excluded from Restricted Mode because of politics or ideology.” It did not offer an alternative explanation for their exclusion, however.

This isn’t Prager University’s only brush with online censorship.

On August 17, Prager announced that none of the group’s last nine posts were reaching any of PragerU’s three million Facebook followers, and that at least two videos were deleted entirely for supposedly containing “hate speech.” Facebook apologized and restored them several hours later, claiming they were the victim of an unspecified “mistake” – a response that an increasing number of prominent center-right figures and groups have heard from both Facebook and YouTube since 2016.

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Leana Wen, Planned Parenthood Federation of America's president for eight months.
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Planned Parenthood CEO Leana Wen declares abortion is her org’s ‘core mission’

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By Calvin Freiburger

January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood’s new president took to Twitter on Tuesday to rebuff impressions that she’s less committed to abortion-on-demand than her predecessor, but in the process undermined one of the abortion giant’s most common talking points.

The day before, BuzzFeed had published an interview with Leana Wen, a former Baltimore Health Commissioner and George Washington University physician, about her use of her medical background to rebrand the abortion giant as more of a healthcare provider than a political lightning rod.

The interview carried the headline, “Planned Parenthood’s New President Wants To Focus On Nonabortion Health Care,” to which Wen objected the next day for “completely misconstru[ing] my vision for Planned Parenthood.”

“Our core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care,c Wen declared, prompting scores of pro-lifers to take notice.

For years, Planned Parenthood and its defenders have claimed that “abortion services” comprise just three percent of its medical services. The percentage is derived from counting as separate services that are normally grouped together, such as giving the same woman contraceptives, a pregnancy test, and an abortion, without regard for the varying costs or complexity of particular services.

Abortions make up over 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy-related services. 

In 2013, Rachael Larimore of the left-wing Slate admitted that such methodology makes the figure the “most meaningless abortion statistic ever,” writing that the organization “gets at least a third of its clinic income—and more than 10 percent of all its revenue, government funding included—from its abortion procedures.”

Further undermining the abortion giant’s healthcare claims is the fact that Planned Parenthood’s annual abortions rose almost 11 percent from fiscal years 2006 to 2016, while during that same period breast cancer screenings declined 62 percent, pap tests declined 72 percent, and prenatal care declined 30 percent.

Wen’s tweet received a decidedly negative response on social media:

This isn’t the first time the new Planned Parenthood chief, whose selection to replace Cecile Richards was announced last September, accidentally undermined pro-abortion talking points. Last fall, video surfaced of Wen testifying before the 2016 Democratic National Convention, during which she accidentally referred to the preborn as “unborn children” in a discussion of the Zika virus.

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Pro-life actor to create world’s tallest Jesus statue

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By Martin Barillas
Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro with Christ Redeemer and Corcovado Mountain.
Christ the King monument, Swiebodzin, Poland.

MEXICO CITY, January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life actor Eduardo Verastegui of "Bella" (2006) fame plans to build the tallest statue of Jesus in the world. The 252 feet (77 meters) “Christ of Peace” statue to be erected in Mexico would dwarf Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue (125 feet – 38 meters), and Poland's Christ the King statue, which holds the current world record (172 feet – 52.5 meters).

The designer of the statue, Mexican architect Fernando Romero, will represent Jesus Christ embracing his people. Some speculate that the statue could well become one of the wonders of the modern world.

Promoters say that the statue of Christ of Peace would represent “a message of faith, love, hope, and peace.”

In addition to the soaring statue, the architect and developers plan to turn the area into a bustling hot spot for pilgrims and tourists that would hold 10,000 people, along with a church, handicrafts market, restaurant, conference center, hotel, amphitheater, pilgrims lodging, cable car stations, and parking. Romero’s firm designed the airport at Mexico City. 

The statue will be erected in Tamaulipas, one of the most dangerous states in Mexico, which has been riven in recent years by violent confrontations between security forces and drug dealers. The pro-life and Catholic actor is a native of the border state. 

Verastegui plans to present his project to Pope Francis. While no details about the funding or projected costs of the project have been released, Church officials said that ground will be broken early this year. 

Verastegui, 44, made a name for himself as a “heartthrob” model, singer, and actor in Mexico in the 1990s, where he starred as a romantic lead in several soap operas, and later immigrated to the United States to pursue a singing and acting career there. In 2002, the unmarried actor took a vow of chastity and has become an outspoken pro-life advocate. He founded Metanoia Films and has made several movies with Catholic themes, one of which earned a prize at the Toronto Film Festival. In 2006, he told LifeSiteNews that he had been living a “very impure life” and, despite his wealth and acclaim, was unhappy. Having been persuaded by a priest that monastic life was not for him, Verastegui was led to work within Hollywood on Christian themes.

He was mentioned in 2017 as a possible presidential contender in Mexico, despite his lack of political experience. Verastegui has been active in public affairs, however, having led a national act of “Redress, Reparation, and Consecration” for Mexico’s national sins, including abortion, in 2017. This featured a mass celebrated by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez.

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Dutch Christian leaders receive death threats after signing Biblical sexual ethics statement

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By Jonathon Van Maren

January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A media firestorm has erupted in the Netherlands over the weekend after it was revealed that hundreds of Dutch Christian leaders had signed a statement reaffirming their belief in monogamous marriage between a man and a woman as well as biblical sexual ethics. Known as the Nashville Statement, the document had already garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures in the United States. Since the statement’s release, Dutch signatories have been harassed by both the media and individuals, and have even received death threats. 

In August of 2017, Christian leaders in the United States released the Nashville Statement, a declaration reaffirming traditional Christian sexual ethics and their commitment to the 2,000-year-old belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. Over 22,000 leaders signed the declaration, and the Nashville Statement ended up being a line drawn in the sand for many liberal churches wavering between cultural currents and biblical doctrine. In a time of much confusion on issues of sexuality, the Nashville Statement brought clarity to the debate—and certainly clarified the positions of both those who decided to sign it and those who declined.

Throughout 2018, a translation of the Nashville Statement was circulated amongst ministers and theologians in the Netherlands, and eventually, over 250 Dutch pastors and church workers from Reformed denominations and various other Christian churches and organizations decided to sign it. Several current and emeritus (retired) pastors of the now largely-liberal Protestant Church of the Netherlands also signed it. In response, some congregations hoisted the rainbow flag and the clerk of this church’s general synod called the Statement “one-sided, closed, and irresponsible.” The primary purpose of the Dutch version of the Nashville Statement, however, was to provide clarity on current issues, as well as guidelines for truth and love within the Christian church.

Some did not perceive it that way. On Dec. 28, 2018, two theologians of the Theological University Apeldoorn posted an op-ed in the Reformed Daily newspaper outlining why they wouldn't sign it prior to the document’s release, articulating their belief that the statement failed to display the necessary pastoral tone (especially for those struggling with their sexuality) and that it would cause division in an already divided church. As a result of the article in the Reformed Daily, there was pressure to release the statement along with the names of those who had signed it earlier than intended. The mainstream media picked up on the story and it promptly exploded, especially when it was revealed that the names of both the leader of the Reformed political party the SGP (and member of parliament) Kees van der Staaij as well as SGP senator Diederik van Dijk were among the signatories.

Dutch LGBT activists immediately went on the attack, condemning the statement as “hate.” The Public Prosecution Service is now looking into whether the statement breaks Dutch law, and pro-LGBT opera singer Francis van Broekhuizen has filed a police complaint against Kees van der Staaij, stating that the Nashville Statement is actually a “call [for] discriminating against [LGBT] people.” There have also been police reports of incitement to hatred made against van der Staaij, who noted initially that he was surprised to see his name on the document, as he had not been aware that it was going to be released. That being said, van der Staaij noted that the Statement did reflect his values, and he highlighted the postscript added by Dutch leaders, which reads as follows:

With the Dutch version of the Nashville declaration we want to confess what God's Word affirms and deny what goes against God's Word. At the same time we feel compelled to add a post-script, focused in on the pastoral, practical side. 

Especially in light of the principles of this position statement, we confess guilt. As Christians in the Netherlands we have not always clearly and publicly spoken, especially not with one voice, and we are co-responsible for the confusion in our society. We also have not decorated our principles with the example of our lives. Christian marriages often have not showcased the image of how Christ treats His bride. Church leaders have sometimes sadly been co-responsible for covering up of (sexual) abuse. Position statements have not seldom resulted in abuse of power towards those who know of same-sex orientation. The pastoral care for members in our congregations in deep need has far too often been far too little. 

This gives us, all the more, a greater responsibility for pastoral support and care. We need the mouth of a prophet, but also the heart of a shepherd. Those who recognize themselves in the description of same-sex attraction or struggle with their gender, may know that they certainly have a place in the Christian congregation. Nobody, after all, can pretend to have anything good of himself, but all must live by grace. Every heart by nature has a sinful orientation and every human knows sinful desires, which also manifest themselves in sexual ways. Fighting against sin therefore always means self-denial. This is a gift of God's grace and is only possible through Christ and by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ has not come for the righteous but to call sinners to repentance and to save them.

This defines the Christian life. In this it is experienced that our identity is not in our sexuality, but in our relationship to Christ. This is in the knowledge that here on earth the greatest joy is found in a life according to God's Word and in communion with Him, but also that this will only be in-part. The full victory over our sinful old nature is laid away for, when all true believers will eternally be with Christ. Then they are with body and soul fully devoted to Him and He will be all in all. 

While the Netherlands is known as the birthplace of religious tolerance, it appears that this tolerance is not part of the new secular regime. “I’ve heard from young people today who say, ‘It seems as though you are allowed to do and think whatever you want in the Netherlands,” Kees van der Staaij told one TV interviewer, “except when you still confess traditional Christian values—then the world’s too small.’ Are you still allowed to be a Christian in this country, in the traditional, Christian way?”

It is strange to see that the post-Christian Netherlands has moved so far from its roots that it is considered both a revelation and a media scoop that Christian churches and Christian institutions hold to Christian values—and even stranger that the resulting outrage indicates that many Dutch politicians and activists are either discovering this for the first time or have decided to use this as an opportunity to bash those who disagree with them on sexuality. They have also revealed a disturbing refusal or inability to understand the arguments being presented, insisting that disagreement with certain behaviors constitutes hatred of certain people.

It appears that the Dutch media, as well as many politicians, LGBT activists, and even Christians, disregard entirely the idea that the Christian leaders they disagree with so strongly might actually believe in Christian doctrines: the existence of Heaven and Hell, as well as sin and salvation. If these leaders truly believe in these things, would it not, in fact, be hateful for them to simply tell those they believe to be living in sin that everything is fine? Christian leaders today have everything to gain by simply floating along with the cultural currents and avoiding controversy and backlash—but they believe that by doing that, they would be stating that the souls of men and women with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria are not worth fighting for, and are not worth facing cultural persecution for.

With the Nashville Statement and the postscript admitting their own past guilt, they have decided to declare their love for those with these struggles instead. 

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