All articles from May 13, 2019


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Dr. Leandro Rodriguez Lastra speaking outside the Argentine congress, October 2018. Portal Uno via YouTube.
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Argentine doctor on trial for refusing to commit abortion on viable baby

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

Analysis

May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Dr. Leandro Rodriguez Lastra, an OB-GYN who practices in the town of Cipolletti, Rio Negro province, Argentina, is currently being tried for “obstetrical violence” and breach of his duties as a public functionary for having refused to perform a legal abortion on a 19-year-old victim of rape in April 2017. Rodriguez was sued by the provincial Kirchnerist deputy Marta Milesi days after his refusal: she personally promoted the abortion law in the province.

Abortion is legal in Rio Negro — as well as in ten other Argentinian provinces — in so-called borderline cases, such as when a pregnancy is the result of rape, when the mother’s life is in danger, or when the mother is mentally handicapped and has been subject to sexual abuse.

Rodriguez has been head of the gynecology service of Pedro Moguillansky Hospital since 2016. All doctors but one are conscientious objectors, as are the vast majority of gynecologists in Rio Negro.

His trial is front-page news in Argentina. It follows two years of proceedings during which Rodriguez argued in vain that he did not perform the abortion for medical reasons and that it is not up to a judge to interfere with that. He has been clear about his pro-life stance and received support from pro-life groups all over the country.

The president of the tribunal, Julio Suelto, decided in October last year that the trial would go ahead, rejecting Rodriguez’s request that the affair be dismissed for technical reasons. Two public prosecutors said at the time that they considered the doctor guilty of violation of the provincial abortion law on the grounds that this law is binding for all public doctors in Rio Negro. This is a clear frontal attack on the right to conscientious objection.

According to AciPrensa, the doctor told a local media, LMNeuquén, that “this type of situation is attacking society as a whole, devaluing life and attacking us doctors as well.”

“The justice system that gave rise to this is allowing doctor’s (decisions) to be questioned, it calls into question our attitude and our ability to work and ensure safety,” he said. “I know I didn’t commit any crime,” the doctor added. “I would act the same again because no child’s death is going to weigh on my conscience,” he insisted.

As a member of the group “Save Both,” Rodriguez has the satisfaction of knowing that both the young woman who came to Pedro Moguillansky Hospital to get rid of her baby and the child himself are alive today: the baby was given up for adoption and is now a thriving two-year-old.

For the duration of the trial, which is expected to last three days from Monday, May 13 to Wednesday, May 15 in Cipolletti, pro-life groups, including CitizenGo, are demonstrating in front of the Rio Negro tribunal.

One of Rodriguez’s first complaints about the judiciary procedure is that the young woman in the case did not file a complaint against him. Marta Milesi, the paediatrician who gave her name to the local abortion law, is the only person who did, and she is being heard as a witness — “even though she wasn’t,” Rodriguez told Infobae. She is being heard in her capacity of “precursor of the law” he is accused of having violated: “The prosecutor considers it important that she explain what she wanted to achieve with that law,” he explained.

Rodriguez’s defense relies on the facts in the case.

As far as he knew, the young woman in the case had been brought by ambulance from General Fernandez Oro Hospital in the town of the same name, near Cipolleti, which did not have the complex equipment required to deal with her situation: she was in severe pain and said she had ingested an abortion drug, Misoprostol, which she said she had obtained from a pro-abortion NGO. Her referral, the doctor recalls, said the 19-year-old woman had an unwanted pregnancy: she had a fever and contractions and was carrying a live fetus with a positive heartbeat. She also brought an ultrasound giving evidence of an advanced pregnancy. She had no dilation or bleeding, the doctor stated.

Rodriguez also confirmed that the woman was 22 and a half weeks pregnant (this is beyond viability in places where appropriate care can be given), and her baby weighed over 500 grams.

He is now accused of having reversed the action of the abortion pills given to the victim by prescribing medication to stop her contractions, thereby putting a stop to a legal abortion that was underway. During the proceedings leading up to his trial, he repeatedly told the media that he had no way of knowing whether the patient was telling the truth or whether the NGO had actually given her Misoprostol or something else.

“I couldn’t take that seriously, I couldn't know what they’d really given her. As it was a clandestine group, I couldn’t check which drug had been ingested. The pregnancy was 22 and a half weeks along and the fetus weighed 500 grams. Abortifacient pills are used for much less advanced pregnancies; these present other complications,” he stressed.

His first reaction when the woman was brought in was to avoid a septic abortion “due to contamination with a bacterium similar to that produced by tetanus, which is common when procedures are performed in places that do not have proper asepsis. It’s a highly deadly syndrome.”

“Medical procedure involves assessing the whole context. Here I have a patient I don’t know everything about. They’re saying to me: how can you not know that Misoprostol causes fever? Of course I know that, but I couldn’t tell if that was really the cause. I had to evaluate it, ask for a blood culture, a urine culture, flow culture. I gave her antibiotics. There was a risk to the patient’s life,” he explained.

Rodriguez also explained to the press that “the procedures and deadlines established by the non-punishable abortion protocol were not even met.” “I don't doubt the woman's word about rape, but according to the WHO itself, from week 22 and above 500 grams of the fetus, it is no longer an abortion,” he added.

He gave a graphic description of an abortion procedure at that stage, by “dilation and curettage.” “First, the fetus must be killed, which is done by injecting saline water into the uterus. Then the dilation is provoked and with an instrument similar to a spoon, it is extracted … one works a little blindly. I’ve had to do it in cases of intrauterine death, and it’s horrible. In this case, the fetus was alive.”

Having taken the necessary steps to ensure the woman’s own safety, and taking into account the fact that an abortion in her circumstances could be life-threatening, Dr. Rodriguez had a meeting with his colleagues next day and, with the woman’s consent, decided with his team to set a date for a caesarian section as soon as the baby would have good chances of surviving, at seven and a half months.

This is what happened, and both lives were saved.

“I acted according to correct medical practices, and I didn’t violate any rules. What’s more, Law 4796 says the doctor has ten days to resolve these cases,” says Rodriguez.

During the first day of the trial at Cipolletto, a female doctor who saw the patient before she was transferred to Pedro Moguillansky Hospital, Ayelén Mirenski from Fernandez Oro Hospital, told the judge that together with her colleagues, she sent the girl to the feminist group “La Revuelta” and that she later heard that abortifacient pills had been given.

This illegal act has not prompted action against the said doctors. During the first hearing, they also admitted that they had made a mistake in not recording certain details in the patient’s clinical history. Answering questions from both sides, they also underscored her psychological fragility: “She was a girl with serious problems who had committed several acts of self-aggression.”

So wasn’t sending her to a feminist NGO a completely irresponsible act?

According to reports in the Argentinean press, the girl attempted suicide in October 2018. Pro-abortion sources say she was under stress because the legal proceedings against Dr. Rodriguez were taking so long. She was heard in a closed session by the tribunal this Monday to protect her identity, and according to journalists present, she appeared downcast and answered only in monosyllables. Would she have felt better if she had killed her own child, or would that have pushed her over the edge?

Dr. Leandro Rodriguez Lastro has received the support of national congressman David Schlereth, who brought him a letter from several pro-life legislators on the eve of the trial.

“This trial is absurd because it is acting in a case that does not even fit into what the protocol and provincial law say, because of the advanced stage of pregnancy. Above all,” said Schlereth in a telephone conversation with Infobae, “you cannot judge someone who in everything acted in accordance with the rules and protocols, in addition to his Hippocratic oath. It’s barbaric from every point of view: legal, medical, and political. We are also raising issues that were already raised during the debate on the legalization of abortion. For example, no one did anything to persecute the rapist, nor against the people who medicated her without having the power to do so. Instead, they’re showing great hostility against the doctor.”

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Fr. Larry Richards recording a video apology to Church Militant. Fr. Larry Richards via YouTube
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Fr. Larry Richards apologizes to Church Militant, admits ‘hypocrisy’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ERIE, Pennsylvania, May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A celebrity priest has apologized to the Catholic media company he has been accused of maligning.  

Father Larry Richards, 59, celebrated author of Be a Man and host of EWTN’s Open Line radio show, took to Twitter on Sunday to apologize to Church Militant.

“I want to make a long-overdue apology for something I said this past January at a conference I was speaking at in California,” he said in a video message.

Fr. Richards was referring to his homily at the 2019 Annual Legatus Summit at Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California. An organization of over 5,000 Catholic executives and their spouses, Legatus defines itself as “the world's premier membership organization for Catholic business leaders committed to learn, live, and spread the Catholic Faith.” The gathering at which Richards appeared took place between January 24 and 26.

“The talk I was giving was called ‘Be a saint,’ and I based that talk on Hebrews Chapter 12, verse 14, which says, ‘Strive for peace with all men and for that holiness without which you will not see the Lord,” Richards explained in his apology.

“And as I gave that talk, I talked about part of holiness is, we need to love one another. And then at the same time in the middle of that talk, I said something very unloving. I accused an organization, Church Militant, of threatening to kill me.”

In the lecture, Richards referred ironically to Church Militant as “a good Catholic organization.”

“A couple of months ago I said something about Church Militant, and they threatened to kill me,” he had alleged. 

“Literally,” the priest continued. “I got death threats from a good Catholic organization that wants me dead in God’s name.”

Almost five months later,  Richards wants to make it clear that he didn’t, and it doesn’t.

“Now I need to apologize for that because I was threatened, but it wasn’t by Church Militant,” he said.

“Let me be very clear. It wasn’t anyone on their staff, no one in their leadership, no one directly or indirectly involved with them. And I’m sorry I said that.”

Richards did not give any details about the person who allegedly threatened him.

The priest also apologized for remarks he made last year demonizing Church Militant and allowed that he had been a hypocrite.

“I also want to apologize because last October on my EWTN show Open Line, someone called and asked me about them, and I said, ‘They’re not of God. They’re of the devil,’” he confessed.

“I said we need to stop demonizing each other. Now I am very well aware of my own hypocrisy — that after I said we cannot demonize each other, then I demonized Church Militant,” he continued. “That’s not of God. I gotta stop that. I need to start living what I preach better, so I need your prayers.”

Richards stated that he wanted to be at peace with “all people, especially my brothers and sisters in the Church.”

Following revelations that Richards had accused the organization of threatening his life, Church Militant advised the priest that it would take legal action if he did not set the record straight. Then, after a homily in which Richards told his parishioners he was in trouble because he had supported Pope Francis against people who “went against the pope” and intimidated those who had written about him to their bishop, Church Militant prepared to sue. But thanks to the apology, the lawsuit will not go ahead.

Michael Voris, the CEO of Church Militant, told LifeSiteNews his organization was content with the apology.

“We’re happy he's done the right thing, and we're happy to put it all behind us,” he said via social media.

Christine Niles, a Church Militant journalist, wrote on Twitter today that “Church Militant accepts Fr. Richards’ apology.”

Richards has also been an outspoken opponent of LifeSiteNews. In April 2017, the men’s speaker condemned LifeSiteNews to a mission group in Ajax, Ontario. After LifeSiteNews’s co-founder Steve Jalsevac drove to Ajax to have a conversation with the priest, Richards threatened to hit him. Richards later boasted in a homily of the encounter. 

Jalsevac was recently contacted by a Catholic family Richards had maligned in another talk he gave in 2017.

Christine Niles suggested yesterday on Twitter that Richards should apologize to his other victims. Regarding the priest’s apology to Church Militant, Niles said, “It took humility to do that, and I respect that. I hope he will also apologize to Steve Jalsevac of@LSNCatholic and the large family he slammed in his 2017 talk, and any others he has defamed.”

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Bishop Celestino Aós denies Communion to kneeling woman, April 18, 2019. Iglesia de Santiago / Youtube screen grab
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Chilean bishop backtracks, gives communion to kneeling recipients after refusing to do so

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By Lisa Bourne

May 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- The Chilean bishop who denied Communion last month to Catholics kneeling to receive the Eucharist at a diocesan Mass has since distributed the sacrament to the faithful who were kneeling at a subsequent Mass.

The Archdiocese of Santiago de Chile posted two photos on its Facebook page of Bishop Celestino Aós distributing Communion to kneeling Catholics at a Divine Mercy Mass on April 28.

The text with the post says only that Aós is observing Divine Mercy at the parish. The translated version stated:

"Bishop Celestino Aos celebrates party of the #divinamisericordia in Parish Santa Faustina of hill."

Aós had refused to administer Communion to Catholics who were kneeling at an April 18 Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and the video created a backlash on social media.

Catholics may receive Holy Communion while kneeling and should never be denied on that basis, according to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments’ 2004 Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum.

The archdiocese did not respond to a LifeSiteNews request asking why the bishop denied Communion to Catholics who were kneeling at the Chrism Mass and the reason the archdiocese subsequently released the photos of him later distributing Communion to the Catholics who were kneeling at the Divine Mercy Mass.

The Vatican-sanctioned Missal for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay states plainly that both options are possible unless a bishops’ conference dictates differently, which the Chilean conference has not done.

The Chilean guidelines further dictate that faithful who do not kneel should make another sign of reverence before receiving Communion.

Aós is the temporary head of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile, beset by controversy related to the Church’s clergy sex abuse scandal.

Pope Francis named Aós, the ordinary of Copiapó, as apostolic administrator for Chile’s principle diocese in March after Chilean Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati resigned following accusations of abuse cover-up. Aós himself has faces criticism for mishandling complaints.

Aós’ denial of Communion to Catholics wasn’t the only controversy connected to the Santiago archdiocesan Chrism Mass.

Ezzati, who is under investigation by civil authorities for cover-up and also been named in a complaint for failure to report the rape of an adult male that allegedly occurred in the Santiago cathedral, took part in the entrance procession for the Mass, Crux reported.

Several priests walked out of the Chrism Mass. Crux identified at least two of the priests, including one who had sent video of Aós denying Communion to the kneeling Catholics.

Ezzati was one of several Chilean bishops being investigated for abuse or cover-up in Chile who appeared at Holy Week liturgies. 

Some of the accused bishops were discreet about their Holy Week appearances. At the same time, others were concelebrants to the apostolic administrators appointed to replace them.

Aos’ withholding Communion to the Catholics and allowing Ezzati to partake in the Chrism Mass, according to Crux, “enraged many in Chile.”

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Abortion survivor Melissa Ohden speaks at the 2019 U.K. March for Life. March for Life UK
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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Thousands of pro-lifers witness for the unborn in London at UK March for Life

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
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May 13, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — As many as 5000 pro-lifers braved the unpredictable weather on Saturday to march on Parliament for the 2019 March for Life UK.

"This Parliament Has Got It Wrong"

Obianuju Ekeocha of Culture of Life Africa, who kicked off the speeches at the end of the March, said that holding the event in Parliament Square was particularly powerful because "right here, at this Parliament, things have gone wrong in the past. The Parliament got it wrong more than 200 years ago when they decided that the black person should not be protected by law." Now as then, this Parliament has it wrong, she said, and like the abolitionists of slavery, we need to raise our voices. "Who is worthy of personhood?" she asked. "The babies in the womb are worthy of personhood! They deserve to be protected from womb to tomb."

"I Survived An Abortion"

The crowds of pro-lifers (and the much smaller band of pro-abortion activists who tried to drown her out) also heard the testimony of Melissa Ohden, who survived a saline abortion 41 years ago.

"In my work as the founder of The Abortion Survivors Network, I have had contact with 286  other abortion survivors, including five from the U.K., four of whom are still alive today," she said.

"Despite the miracle of my survival, the doctor's prognosis for my life was initially very poor. My adoptive parents were told that I would suffer from multiple disabilities throughout my life. However, here I am today, perfectly healthy. Whether I had lived with the expected disabilities or not, my life still deserved to be protected and respected, I still was worthy of the love that my family freely offered."

Perhaps the most moving testimony was from Carla and Danny, who recently changed their minds about having an abortion outside a Marie Stopes clinic in Birmingham. They thanked the 40 Days for Life volunteer whoM they credited with saving the life of their baby daughter, and promised to come back with her next year.

All Lives Are Irreplaceable

The theme of this year's March, which returned to London for the second year after moving from Birmingham, was "Irreplaceable". Co-director Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, said the theme was a reminder "that each human being from the moment of his or her conception is a unique individual that cannot be replaced by any other human being".

This theme was also highlighted at LifeFest, a morning of talks, workshops and exhibitions before the March. Keynote speakers included Melissa Ohden, and Jeff and Jennifer Christie, who told their powerful story of choosing life after Jennifer was brutally raped. Jennifer said that many people in her country, the US, support "exceptions" in abortion law for rape and incest. "That shouldn't be good enough for us, because lives like his matter. They all matter. Lives like his are just as irreplaceable as all the unborn."

Antonia Tully outlined SPUC's work in lobbying and campaigning, but told the people gathered in Emmanuel House  that "we will not change the law in Westminster until we change hearts and minds up and down the country." However, she said, "what we have that the other side don't, is people. Ordinary people up and down the country who are ready to stand up for life. People like you."

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

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Lloyd Marcus

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What is behind the LGBTQ agenda?

Lloyd Marcus
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May 13, 2019 (American Thinker) — Someone asked, "What is behind the LGBTQ agenda?" The goal of LGBTQ enforcers is to forcibly normalize their lifestyle in the minds of the 97% of the population that is not LGBTQ. This is why we are bombarded with the LGBTQ lifestyle inserted into everything. Why are major corporations making the promotion of LGBTQ, which are less than 3% of the population, their top priority?

A Disney theme park TV ad featured two homosexual couples with children without showing a single heterosexual couple. Why is Disney so intent on appeasing this minute 3%?

Converse launched a new line of shoes celebrating the LGBTQ lifestyle. The star of Converse's depraved marketing campaign is an 11-year-old drag queen. Converse says its campaign shows the power of expressing one's true self. That is a lie. Converse is encouraging children to live a lie, rather than embrace who they truly are. Converse is engaged in child abuse. Pure and simple. Lord help us.

Those in the LGBTQ lifestyle appear angry at and in rebellion against God — the God of Christianity. If you notice, everything LGBTQ enforcers advocate is in direct contradiction of God's original plan for family, marriage, sex, and Christian principles and values. It is not a coincidence that God's symbol of the rainbow has been hijacked to represent a behavior that God says is an abomination (Lev. 20:13).

LGBTQ enforcers demand that we affirm their lifestyle to soften their nagging guilt. This is why LGBTQ enforcers have infiltrated public education, beginning in preschool, to teach our kids that their lifestyle is normal and even superior to heterosexuality. 

My wife Mary said, "You know they will attack you for saying they feel guilty." The Bible says they feel guilty until God gives them over to a reprobate mind (Rom. 1:28).

We have LGBTQ family and friends whom we love. Since liberal activists on the Supreme Court, in essence, redefined marriage as the law of the land, our acceptance and tolerance are no longer good enough. With an iron fist, LGBTQ enforcers are using government to demand that we affirm their lifestyle against our conscience and religious beliefs. Clearly, those in the LGBTQ lifestyle feel guilty. Therefore, they must force us to say they are normal to make them feel better about themselves.

Countless studies confirm that the LGBTQ lifestyle is not normal, usually related to childhood trauma.

A homosexual friend said he loved his dad dearly. When he was a child, he awoke every morning at 3 A.M. to have breakfast with his dad before he went to work. One morning, his dad scolded him, telling him not to wake up. His dad simply did not want him tired for school. But to my friend, it was a profound rejection. My friend said that from that day forward, he never woke up at 3 A.M. again. I could hear the pain in my friend's voice. Over the years, I witnessed my friend suffering, always seeking love from unattainable men. I helped him recover from a suicide attempt over a man who rejected him.

One of my aunts had five sons by two fathers. Neither of the fathers participated in the boys' lives. They lived in the projects on government welfare. I did sleepovers at my cousins' home. Even though I was a little kid, I could feel that they envied me for having my dad living with us, my mom and four younger siblings. My cousins' home had a sadness, an air of hopelessness, poverty, and depression. I felt sorry for them.

Their mother was bitter and brutal. I saw her beat the two sons she disliked with pots, her fists, and even a baseball bat. She treated her youngest son horribly. He and I were around ten years old when I watched her repeatedly pound him with her fist. He was so used to being brutalized that he did not cry until well into his beating. He became homosexual and died young of AIDS.

Her eldest son was amazing, assuming the role of father to his brothers. He worked his way through college and became extremely successful. Embracing homosexuality, he died of AIDS around age 40.

I believe that growing up in that household contributed to my aunt's two sons' homosexuality.

Islam advocates executing homosexuals. So why have LGBTQ activists launched war on Christians rather that Muslims? LGBTQ enforcers target Christian businesses to force them to service same-sex ceremonies against their religious convictions. And yet, LGBTQ enforcers stay clear of Muslim bakeries, flower shops and wedding photographers. Logically, shouldn't LGBTQ enforcers be on the warpath against Muslim businesses rather than Christians?

God calls the homosexual lifestyle an abomination but does not advocate killing people who identify that way. God said with loving kindness have I drawn thee (Jer. 31:3). So why do LGBTQ enforcers despise Christians while expressing support for Muslims?

We are becoming increasingly pressured to stop speaking truth and forced to embrace evil, destructive lies. A woman told me her adult children are seriously questioning her sanity for supporting Trump and for not supporting Planned Parenthood, man-made climate change, and the LGBTQ agenda.

I stand strong that God is on our side and in control. The roots of evil are shallow. We stand on a rock-solid foundation of righteousness and truth. Our job is simply to continue spreading truth and fighting the good fight for what is right. Rest in and trust that all is well.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth: http://bit.ly/2kZqmUk
http://LloydMarcus.com

Published with permission from American Thinker.

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MPP Sam Oosterhoff at the 2019 March for Life Facebook
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‘We pledge to fight to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime’: Ontario’s youngest politician

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

TORONTO, Ontario, May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Three Ontario members of provincial parliament risked the wrath of the mainstream media by speaking at the Toronto March for Life.

Will Bouma, MPP for Brantford-Brant; Christina Mitas, MPP for Scarborough Centre; and Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West all appeared onstage outside Queen’s Park, the Ontario legislature, to speak to pro-life witnesses gathered for the May 9 Toronto March for Life. All are members of the ruling Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.

Oosterhoff was the highest profile of the pro-life politicians, having been, at 19, the youngest MPP ever elected in Ontario. Now 21, Oosterhoff gave a stirring speech in front of Queen’s Park, beginning with praise for those attending Toronto’s first March for Life and taking “a stand for the most vulnerable of Canadians.”

“This year marks a sad occasion,” Oosterhoff said. “For 50 years Canadian preborn children have been under attack. The human rights of the littlest citizens of our province and our country have been ignored and their lives taken without their choice.”

“And the consequences have been devastating,” the young MPP continued. “Look around these streets ... Over 4 million children are not on the streets of our cities. Millions of Canadians are not working. They’re not raising families. They’re not attending school or participating in communities. Millions of lives lost, and how many more are yet to die?”

“And this is why we march. We march to give a voice to the voiceless, to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”

Oosterhoff underscored the need to to help vulnerable abortion-minded women as well as the unborn.

“I’m pro-life because I believe in human rights,” he said. “You’re pro-life because you understand the need to protect the lives of those who are the youngest and most vulnerable in our country and in our province. But I urge you, don’t just be pro-life for the children. Be pro-life for the mothers.”

“Support those who are going through difficult situations,” he continued.  

“Help those who have an unplanned pregnancy. Offer a helping hand to a young mother who’s looking desperately for options when there only seems to be one. Be pro-life today and every day. Not just May 9, not just at the March for Life, but every day of the calendar, be for life.”

Oosterhoff then remarked on the youthful energy of the contemporary pro-life movement in Canada.

“I can see just looking at this crowd that the momentum is shifting,” he said.

“The pro-life movement is young. It is increasingly energetic, and it is becoming more and more diverse,” he continued.

“This is because for so many of us, especially young people, we are survivors. We have survived 50 years of abortion in Canada, and we pledge to fight to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime.”

After the spontaneous cheering of the crowd, Oosterhoff added:

“We pledge to open the eyes of the nation to see the lives of the preborn children as equally valuable. And for that, thank you for fighting. And never, ever, ever give up. Life is worth fighting for.”

Afterward, Oosterhoff was mobbed in the halls of Queen’s Park by mainstream journalists eager for a story to discredit the Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford. Oosterhoff did not back away from his strong pro-life stance.

“To quote Dr. Seuss, ‘a person’s a person, no matter how small,’” he said.

“I’ve always said I’m pro-life,” Oosterhoff reminded reporters.

“I’ll always speak for children who are too young to speak for themselves, who have no voice. I’ll always be a voice for the voiceless.”  

According to the Toronto Catholic Register, Bouma told the March for Life that “It’s OK to stand for life.”

“We are not anti-abortion; we are pro-life,” he stated.

Mitas, who was pregnant when she ran for office, revealed to the crowds that she had been encouraged to abort her baby as it would interfere with her political career. The little girl, now three months old, was also onstage, and Mitas said she could not imagine life without her.

“When over 100,000 babies are aborted every year, something’s gone terribly wrong,” she said of the national carnage.

Mitas also cited the murder of Arianna Goberdhan, who was nine months’ pregnant with unborn daughter Assara when they were both killed by Goberhan’s estranged husband, Nicholas Baig. Baig was charged with Arianna’s murder but not Assara’s death. The MPP encouraged the crowd to sign the federal petition to pursue (special) charges against people who murder pregnant women.

“There are a lot of (life) issues going on both federally and provincially,” she said. “I urge you to keep yourselves briefed on this and to stand up for these issues.”

After questioning by pro-abortion MPPs and the mainstream press, a spokesman for Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government stated that the abortion issue would not be reopened.

To thank the MPPs for their brave pro-life stance, please contact:

Will Bouma, MPP
[email protected]

Christina Mitas, MPP
[email protected]

Sam Oosterhoff, MPP
[email protected]

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Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in Hsinchu, Taiwan
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Hundreds celebrate Taiwan’s first annual March for Life

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

HSINCHU, Taiwan, May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The island nation of Taiwan has witnessed its first March for Life.

The country’s inaugural March for Life took place on Saturday, May 11, the feast of Our Lady of China, in the Catholic diocese of Hsinchu. Receiving the blessing of Bishop John Baptist Lee, the ordinary of the diocese, the event was organized by Hsinchu’s St. Gianna Molla Pro-Life Center. More than 500 people took part, some coming from other areas of the island as well as Hong Kong and Japan.

According to Fr. Thomas Onoda, the festivities began at 3 p.m. when the marchers gathered at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

“His Excellency Bishop John Baptist Lee … was the celebrant of the Mass for Life, together with Bishop Emeritus James Liu and another 10 priests,” he told LifeSiteNews by email.  

“After the Mass and an episcopal blessing for all mothers, Taiwan's historic first March for Life started.”

The March, which included 10 principal groups of participants, walked to the parish of the Holy Trinity. Bishop Lee walked with the fifth group, which was led by Fr.  Pablo Trollano, IVE, pastor of Christ the King Church. Fr. Onoda reported that some marchers prayed the rosary together and others exhorted passersby to “Protect life.” After an hour, the procession returned to Immaculate Heart, where its pastor, Fr. Chang Wen-fu, celebrated Benediction.

The St. Gianna Molla Pro-Life Center was founded in 2008 with the “enthusiastic support” of Hsinchu’s bishop. The Center has published a bilingual English-Chinese “Pro-Life Handbook” that it will distribute to all the Catholic dioceses of Taiwan. It has also published informational pamphlets on chastity and post-abortion syndrome.

The Center plans to make Taiwan’s March for Life an annual event.

“The center will continue to organize the March for Life, for the Family, on the Saturday before the second Sunday of May, Feast of Our Lady of China, asking the Mother of all Chinese to protect her children,” Onoda wrote.  

According to Onoda, the western sexual revolution has made inroads into his island nation.

“Since 2004, Taiwan officially introduced a curriculum teaching gender (theory) and sexual diversity in schools,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“This education allowed Taiwan to hold a large LGBT parade with thousands of participants. However, in November last year, more than six million people voted against the LGBTI-inclusive Gender Equity Education Act. Marriage will stay between a 'man and a woman' in the Civil Code of Taiwan.”

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Nabisco shockingly uses a drag queen to promote Chips Ahoy! cookies

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By Doug Mainwaring

May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — For Mother’s Day, snack manufacturing giant Nabisco chose a drag queen to promote its popular Chips Ahoy! cookies via social media.

In the 46-second Twitter commercial, Jose Cancel, who goes by the drag name Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, tells viewers to buy Chips Ahoy! cookies to celebrate Mother’s Day not just with your “real mama” but also with “your drag mama,” because “it’s their day today” too.  

Cancel has previously been a contestant on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

Nabisco’s troubling decision to enter the world of liberal social justice concerns as a means to increase cookie sales contrasts with their competitor, Keebler, whose cute little elves continue to promote their chocolate chip cookies to children.  

“Yall know what we’re celebrating today?  Mother’s Day,” begins Cancel, with packages of Chips Ahoy! arrayed around him. “And what’s a sweet gesture for you to do to your mama?  — Your real mama, your drag mama, whichever mama, somebody, whoever take care of you, whoever you feel or consider your mama—it’s their day today.”

“Get those cookies,” Cancel continues to ramble. “It’s Mother’s Day. It’s time to celebrate. Love. All that. Cookies. Get ‘em, and if you don’t, how you gonna celebrate Mother’s Day?”  

‘It’s the new chocolates,” declares Cancel, ending with a cat-like, “Neeow. ”  

The backlash has been swift.  Nearly 8,000 mostly negative comments have been posted to the Chips Ahoy! Tweet so far.  

“I’d like to see the marketing whiz who thought this idea would yield more cookie profits. The only thing Chips Ahoy has succeeded at is confusing the bejeezus out of everyone,” wrote Steven Crowder of “Louder with Crowder” fame.  

“This is yet another prime example of lefties making everything about themselves,” continued Crowder.  

Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft tweeted, “Chips Ahoy Goes Full SJW - Promotes ‘Drag Moms’ in Bizarre Mother’s Day Advertisement.”

“Chips Ahoy hates normal, decent, moral people and their way of life,” said OnePeterFive’s Steve Skojec in a tweet. “If you still buy their crappy cookies, I suggest that you stop, and let them know.”

“Cookie company Chips Ahoy tries to be woke by advertising their products with a ‘drag mom’ on Mother’s Day,” observed John the Patriot. “Instead, they lose consumers who are demanding boycotts.”  

“Get ‘woke’ go broke,” said Donny the Christian book salesman. “Word of advice, don’t hire a 20 something SJW to run any marketing/social media. Just sayin.”

LifeSiteNews reached out repeatedly to Mondelez International, the American multinational corporation that owns Nabisco, for comment but received no response.  

LifeSite wanted to find out:

  1. Why did Nabisco choose use a drag queen to promote cookies sold primarily for consumption by children?

  2. Did Nabisco anticipate the backlash it is receiving? If so, did it decide the many customers who are troubled by the drag queen commercial are expendable?  

  3. Does Nabisco regret using a drag queen to promote Chips Ahoy! cookies?

  4. Does Nabisco see itself primarily as a manufacturer and purveyor of delicious cookies? … Or is its primary mission to promote novel modes of human existence to children?

In addition to Chips Ahoy!, Nabisco also produces Oreos, Fig Newtons, Honey Maid graham crackers and Teddy Grahams, Ritz Crackers, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Nutter Butter and a host of other cookie, cracker, and snack products.

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Twitter locks gender expert’s account for calling transsexualism a mental disorder

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By Calvin Freiburger

May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Ray Blanchard may be a prominent, recognized authority on sexuality and mental illness, but that didn’t stop Twitter from labeling his expert opinion “hateful” over the weekend.

Blanchard is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, a researcher specializing in paraphilias, gender identity disorders, and sexual orientation, and was a member of the team that wrote the the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

On Saturday, Blanchard posted a Twitter thread laying out his views on gender confusion, the first of which read, “Transsexualism and milder forms of gender dysphoria are types of mental disorder.” He endorsed so-called sex change surgery for “carefully screened, adult patients, whose gender dysphoria has proven resistant to other forms of treatment” but opposed it for anyone younger than 21 who has not “lived for at least two years in the desired gender role.”

“The sex of a postoperative transsexual should be analogous to a legal fiction,” Blanchard also argued. “This legal fiction would apply to some things (e.g., sex designation on a driver’s license) but not to others (entering a sports competition as one’s adopted sex).”

Biological sex is rooted in an individual’s chromosomes and reflected by hundreds of genetic characteristics. Studies indicate that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence and that even full sex “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide.

The next day, The Economist’s Helen Joyce shared a screenshot of a message Blanchard received from Twitter, notifying him that his account had been “locked for violating the Twitter Rules” against “hateful conduct.”

“You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of … gender [or] gender identity,” the message read, accompanying Blanchard’s clinical opinion that forms of gender dysphoria constitute mental disorder.

New York Magazine’s Jesse Singal (who is pro-trans but insufficiently so for transgender activists) expressed alarm at the decision’s potential ramifications for open discussion of controversial issues in science and medicine:

Following an uproar against the decision, Twitter reversed the decision and apologized, as confirmed by Blanchard himself:

Blanchard is the latest in a long line of individuals and groups to find themselves restricted by the social media giant on false or vague grounds. Twitter has taken action against the Radiance Foundation, LifeSiteNews, Live Action, the Unplanned movie, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, conservative pundit Jesse Kelly, Peter LaBarbera, various Republican leaders and lawmakers, and more.

Twitter generally attempts to downplay such incidents as isolated errors in its content moderation system, but company insiders have admitted to intentionally targeting conservative accounts and topics. In recent months, Twitter went so far as to stake out an ideological position on transgenderism by defining “misgendering” and “deadnaming” gender-confused individuals as potentially warranting suspension.

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San Jacinto County GOP chair Dwayne Wright, Facebook
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Texas town illuminates crosses in defiance of secular demands to remove them from courthouse

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By Calvin Freiburger

COLDSPRING, Texas, May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Officials in the small east Texas town of Coldspring are showing their support for crosses at the local courthouses by illuminating them at night, flaunting demands by a Wisconsin-based pressure group’s demands to tear them down.

Last week, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an organization dedicated to challenging benign religious imagery on public property at every level of government, sent a letter to Judge Fritz Faulkner claiming to represent a resident “concerned” about four white crosses adorning the San Jacinto County courthouse, Click2Houston (C2H) reported.

“These crosses unabashedly create the perception of government endorsement of Christianity,” the letter claimed, “making non-Christian and nonbelieving residents of Coldspring political outsiders.” It also argued that it constitutes “a blatant violation of the Establishment clause” of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Numerous residents dismissed FFRF’s claims in comments to C2H. “You have the right to honor the cross and you have the right to not honor the cross,” Robin Blevins said. “That cross isn’t hurting anybody. It’s to benefit those who believe.” Rhonda Martin predicted the complaint would not “go over very well here. It’s a Christian community.”

On Wednesday, the County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to keep the crosses after a three-hour public comment period attended by more than 600 people in the town of a population below 900. In addition, the town has started to illuminate the crosses, Breitbart reported.

“The purpose behind the Establishment Clause was not to create ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ (As the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals once noted, ‘this extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome.’),” the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) notes. “The very same Congress (specifically, the First Congress) that approved the language of the Establishment Clause also provided for the appointment of chaplains in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

“In fact, on the very same day that it approved the Establishment Clause, the First Congress also passed the Northwest Ordinance,” the ACLJ continues, “providing for a territorial government for lands northwest of the Ohio River, which declared: ‘Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.’”

“It is extremely disappointing that the County has decided to continue violating the constitutional rights of its citizens,” FFRF attorney Chris Line lamented, Fox News reported. “FFRF will be following up with our local complainant and evaluating our next steps.”

Whatever form those next steps take, Coldspring will have formidable legal muscle on its side.

“We want to make it clear that your county may display historical religious symbols, like crosses, without violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” Texas First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer wrote in a letter to Coldspring’s leaders. “You should know that you can reject FFRF’s demand to impose its anti-religion bias against San Jacinto County (...) on occasion FFRF will file a lawsuit to try to force government to purge all acknowledgment of religion. If that occurs, we look forward to supporting your lawful decision to retain the crosses.”

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Vincent Lambert
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Hospital director moves to kill disabled Vincent Lambert, France’s Terri Schiavo

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — There has been yet another thunderclap in the Vincent Lambert case. On Friday, his mother, Viviane, who has been fighting for his life for six years now, received a short letter from Dr. Vincent Sanchez of the University Hospital of Reims in the north of France telling her he intends to start an end-of-life protocol during the week beginning on May 20. France is deliberately ignoring an order from the U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to suspend the execution of France’s Terri Schiavo. Sanchez apparently has the full support of the French government and administration. Health minister Agnès Buzyn said shortly after the interim measures were announced by the CRPD that France did not consider itself bound by the U.N. agency’s decision because Lambert is not “handicapped,” according to her, but in a “vegetative state.”

Sanchez and the public health administration intend to execute the recent order of the highest administrative court, the Council of State, ordering Lambert’s feeding tube to be pulled, together with deep sedation until death.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which in 2015 judged against those members of Lambert’s family who do not want him to be slowly killed, refused on April 20 to examine the case again despite the efforts of lawyers Jérôme Triomphe and Jean Paillot to underscore new legal elements justifying a human rights complaint.

The CRPD was seized as an act of last resort.

Since Sanchez decided to ignore its decision, the hospital in Reims, where Vincent Lambert is kept under lock and key in the palliative care section where he has been for over six years, is under public force protection, with signs saying the highest level of anti-terrorist measures, “Vigipirate,” are in force. “Reinforced security, terrorist attack risk,” reads one sign.

The Lamberts’ legal counsel team has announced that it will take judiciary steps to prevent Sanchez from executing his plan.

Gregor Puppinck, director of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), a sister organization of the American Center for Law and Justice, has accompanied many pro-life proceedings through international human rights courts. He was kind enough to give LifeSite his opinion on France’s move to disregard a formal decision by the CRPD, calling it a “political” decision that will most likely lead to France’s condemnation by the U.N. committee. His full interview is below.

Some LifeSite readers have questioned the Lamberts’ move to appeal to a U.N. body, rightly underscoring that the United Nations has a long record of promoting and imposing the culture of death on nations who still resist legalizing abortion, “LGBT rights,” de facto population control, and so on.

But when it comes to saving a man’s life, you use the possibilities that exist. When there are judges or bodies capable of preventing an outright murder, they can be called upon to do so; this is not morally wrong. When a social system is bad but imposes itself, when it is in control, what else can be done than to use it as much as possible for the good?

Take Vladimir Boukovski, a Russian dissident confronted with Soviet power that embodied “intrinsically perverse communism”: with his dissident friends, he used all the powers of existing law and regulations before the courts in order to obtain scraps of freedom, using the powers that be’s own system against itself, as it were. Who would hold that against him?


Full interview with Gregor Puppinck

LifeSite: Gregor Puppinck, you are very familiar with the workings of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and UN Committees. What is your reaction to the French decision to ignore the CRPD's request concerning Vincent Lambert's case?

Gregor Puppinck: I am staggered. The government is manifestly violating its international commitments with the sole aim of making a disabled person die more quickly. Its goal is symbolic and political: Vincent Lambert is the symbol of the social conflict that is going on in France about the end of life and more specifically, euthanasia. Vincent Lambert's death has become a political necessity for euthanasia advocates and they are ready to violate their own international commitments to achieve this. I think the government is afraid of the decision of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; it does not trust its own position and therefore prefers to stop the procedure from the outset rather than follow it and honor its own commitments.

It is important to stress one thing: in addition to the factual aspects – Vincent Lambert is not in a vegetative state, at least not all the time – there is an important aspect regarding international law: to date, many questions pending in the case have not been judged in international law. They have not been judged by the European Court of Human Rights, which has refused to rule on a number of major human rights violations issues, and they have now been referred to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which specializes and is competent in the defense of the rights of persons with disabilities. Today, many violations remain to be judged, including Vincent Lambert’s lack of care and the refusal to let him be transferred to a specialized unit for brain-damaged patients.

It should also be noted that there is a significant difference between the Strasbourg and Geneva bodies on the issue of hydration and nutrition. The European Court of Human Rights has refused to take a position on the question of whether food and hydration are “care” that can be stopped. It merely invoked the absence of a consensus between European States in order to avoid judging the issue, and to allow France a margin of appreciation. The European Court simply said: there is no agreement in Europe, so we say nothing.

On the other hand, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in its article 25, states very precisely that food and hydration cannot be taken away from a patient because of his or her disability. That is the central question. I think we must insist on this article 25 because it responds very clearly to Vincent Lambert’s situation.

LifeSite: But the Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn, said that the French government recognizes that this is true for the disabled, but that Vincent Lambert, who is brain-damaged and in a vegetative state, is not a disabled person. What do you think of that?

Gregor Puppinck: The answer is obvious. First of all, Vincent Lambert is well and truly handicapped. He is not ill, nor is he at the end of his life. He is simply handicapped: he does not receive any special treatment, he is just fed and hydrated. Vincent Lambert perfectly fits the definition of disability as given by the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It mentions, in particular, cerebral handicaps, which can of course be due to an accident, as is the case for Vincent Lambert.

Secondly, it should be noted that requests addressed to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are first screened by the secretariat. The secretariat immediately eliminates all requests that are clearly not in its scope – and there are many of them. The fact that the secretariat has registered the request proves that it falls within the scope of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and therefore on this point what Mrs Buzyn is saying is a very weak, worthless argument, already contradicted by the facts.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not at any time in its communication suggest that the Committee would not be competent to judge the Lambert case in relation to his disability. If Vincent Lambert were not disabled, the committee would not be competent. That cannot possibly be disputed.

LifeSite: The problem, however, is that if France proceeds as it intends, and as Dr. Vincent Sanchez has announced, Vincent Lambert will indeed be killed by slow euthanasia. What would be the CRPD’s means of coercion to prevent this action, and what could its subsequent actions be if this action were to occur?

Gregor Puppinck: The CRPD will certainly be informed of the government's decision, if this has not already been done. What can it do? In the immediate future, it can respond more firmly to the French government to remind it of its obligation to respect its international commitments.  Together with the committee, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights may intervene, since the Committee is part of the High Commission for its secretariat. So for now, there a strong reminder from the Committee could be forthcoming. Later, diplomatic pressure may be exerted.

However, it is true that we have the impression that the French government has adopted a radical attitude, being determined to violate international law, so I do not know what the weight of international pressure may be in the face of this shameful determination of the government.

In any event, the French Government’s refusal, if maintained, to apply the interim measures will lead to France’s conviction on this ground. This is a certainty since there have been precedents in other cases, notably on the part of the Human Rights Committee, which is a UN twin committee to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, operating exactly according on the same principle and slightly superior to it in terms of hierarchy of legal norms.

I would like to mention a case against Belarus in 2013. Belarus had sentenced a man to death. The Human Rights Committee requested interim measures to prevent this man from being executed. Belarus did it anyway. Well, the Human Rights Committee sentenced Belarus to damages, and stated very clearly as a general principle that it was “drawing the State parties’ attention to the fact that non-respect of interim measures constitutes a violation by State parties of their obligations to cooperate in good faith under the optional protocol to the Covenant.”

This is a clear violation of international law, and it will be condemned, but the risk is that it will be condemned too late, and at a time when Mrs. Buzyn will no longer be in office anyway. This is a political case.

LifeSite: Would a favorable decision by the CRPD, whether through a condemnation of France or through sufficient pressure to prevent the implementation of the Sanchez plan, call into question the French Leonetti-Claeys law on the end of life?

Gregor Puppinck: Yes. When United Nations committees, like the European Court of Human Rights, find a decision violates a Convention, they ask – this is only asking, but in international law the State must take this into account – for compensation for the particular damage suffered by the victim, but they also ask the government to take general measures to prevent such damage from happening again. Among these general measures, the committee may strongly urge the government to amend its legislation.

As you know, this was the case against Ireland on abortion, as part of the general measures.

Such a request will be then be followed by the Committee, which can exert further pressure. This certainly belongs to the committee’s possible responsibilities.

To a certain extent, it can be said that the committee’s final decision is not directly binding – not as a court decision in domestic law would be. On the other hand, in my view, interim measures are directly binding because they are procedural in nature. And the French government has undertaken to participate in the procedure.

To say, as the government does, that the committee's decisions are not strictly binding, and that therefore, all the more, interim measures are not binding either, is wrong. Interim measures are a procedural matter.

For instance, France must respect the deadlines, particularly when asked to reply within six months. The same applies to interim measures. France has made a very clear commitment by ratifying the Convention: interim measures are part of it.

In a wider sense, this case concerns the application of several rules of international law: in particular two articles of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. One of its articles states that treaties must be applied in good faith, which is essential. A second asserts that a State cannot invoke its domestic law as a justification for a breach of an international legal rule.

However, this is precisely what the French government is doing, since it has invoked its Leonetti law, saying that it is so good that the interim measures will not be applied. These are clear violations of international law, there is no doubt about that.

• Dr Vincent Sanchez, head of the palliative care unit at the Reims University Hospital, can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected]

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Federal judge strikes down Kentucky ban on gruesome dismemberment abortion procedures

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By Calvin Freiburger

May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Kentucky cannot ban the second-trimester abortion procedure infamous for dismembering babies in the womb, U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley declared Friday in a ruling state leaders plan to appeal.

Last year, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed HB 454 into law, which bans the dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedure. D&Es are more commonly known as “dismemberment abortions” because they function by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb. The left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) quickly sued, and on Friday McKinley sided with them, the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

McKinley, a Bill Clinton appointee, based his ruling on the fact that the ban limits abortion options starting at around 14 weeks, which is well before the U.S. Supreme Court’s “viability” threshold, despite the fact that it still allows second-trimester abortions via other methods.

Pro-abortion activists have objected to the “dismemberment” label as inflammatory and misleading, but the abortion industry itself has effectively admitted its accuracy. The National Abortion Federation’s own instructional materials describe “grasping a fetal part,” then “withdraw[ing] the forceps while gently rotating it” to achieve “separation,” and notorious late-term abortionist Warren Hern has written, “there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator [of D&E procedures]. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”

Defenders also claim dismemberment abortions are the safest second-trimester procedure available (for the mother), but pro-lifers suspect abortionists actually prefer D&E abortions because they can fit more into their schedule, and therefore make more money. “Dismemberment abortion facilitates fetal harvesting,” Kansans for Life executive director Kay Culp told LifeSiteNews last year. “Clinicians experimenting on aborted baby parts don’t want their research tainted by drugs, and, they want fresh organs – packed for shipping within minutes of death.”

"Laws like this are part of an orchestrated national strategy by anti-abortion politicians to push abortion out of reach entirely,” declared Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, an attorney with the ACLU’s so-called Reproductive Freedom Project. “Today’s decision holds — in no uncertain terms — that Kentuckians and the care they need come first."

"We profoundly disagree with the court’s decision and will take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, to protect unborn children from being dismembered limb by limb while still alive," said Bevin spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn, confirming the governor’s commitment to appealing the ruling.

The issue may already be working its way to the nation’s highest court; in February, a coalition of 21 states asked the Supreme Court to review and uphold Alabama’s dismemberment ban.

Ban supporters note that in 2000’s Stenberg v. Carhart, the pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens admitted that partial-birth abortion and dismemberment abortion were “equally gruesome,” and that it was “simply irrational” to conclude that one was “more akin to infanticide than the other.” Stenberg struck down the federal partial-birth abortion ban, but Gonzales v. Carhart ultimately upheld it in 2007.

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Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Religious care home refuses euthanasia in Belgium, causing popular uproar

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

Analysis

May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A care home run by the Catholic religious congregation of the Sisters of the Childhood of Jesus (Zusters Kindsheid Jesu) is currently under the spotlights of the Belgian press for having refused the euthanasia of an elderly inhabitant to take place on Wednesday, May 8. The woman’s son took his story to the press, complaining that he had had to “lobby” for his mother's death.

Ultimately, Liliane Vangenechten, 69, was moved to another hospital, where she was to receive a lethal injection on the planned date.

The case has given rise to fierce criticism of faith-based institutions where euthanasia is, if not impossible, at least difficult to obtain. Wim Distelmans, a cancer and palliative care specialist who has himself performed many a “borderline” euthanasia, and who is at present co-president of the Belgian Federal Euthanasia Commission, weighed in, saying no care home or hospital should be allowed to fall back on internal procedures in order to refuse euthanasia that meets all the legal requirements.

This is a new attack against the right to conscientious objection for Christian institutions that, as such, do not want to take part in the deliberate killing of their patients. But as matters stand, it can be expected that there will be no strong resistance on the part of the chain of twelve care homes for the elderly and demented run by the Sisters of the Childhood of Jesus.

The case started with a euthanasia request on the part of Liliane Vangenechten, who had borne “hellish pain” for the last four years, when cerebral ischemia left her paralyzed on the left part of her body and prone to uncontrollable attacks of nerve pain throughout her body — “as if she were continuously receiving electric shocks,” nieuwsblad.be described.

In November of last year, Liliane decided she could bear it no longer and submitted a request for euthanasia. “ Her quality of life was lower than zero. She has had enough,” her son, Mike Portaels, told the Belgian daily.

They worked through all the legal requirements — consultations, paperwork, etc. — and the date was fixed for Wednesday, May 8. Less than six days before that fateful moment, on Friday, May 3, Sint-Elisabeth, the Catholic care home where she had been taken care of for four years in Eeklo, Flanders, said the euthanasia would not go ahead. The care home’s management gave little explanation.

“Right at the moment when we thought everything was in order and we were already saying our final goodbyes, they told us coldly that the euthanasia would not take place. I cannot escape the impression that religious motives were at play. They told us flatly that the umbrella organization, Zorg-Saam Zusters Kindsheid Jesu, does not agree with the law,” Portaels told nieuwsblad.be.

Now, this would have been very much to that congregation’s credit, even though the method does seem surprising: why was Vangenechten able to plan her own euthanasia, presumably with the full knowledge of the carers at Sint-Elisabeth, if euthanasia was definitely not an option? And why did the refusal pop up suddenly, only days before the planned killing of their patient?

As it was, the woman's family and her personal doctor rushed to find an alternative solution. “An emotional roller coaster,” Mike Portaels called the situation. “It was harrowing and degrading,” he said. On Monday, May 6, the management of Sint-Elisabeth told him and his family they were prepared to have an emergency meeting, but without giving a possible date for the euthanasia. The AZ Alma regional hospital of Eeklo agreed to take up Mrs. Vangenechten; she was scheduled to be killed there on May 8, according to Nieuwsblad.be.

In the meantime, the “Zorg-Saam” umbrella organization of the Sisters of the Child Jesus published a statement about the case.

Following a euthanasia request from a resident of the WZC Sint-Elisabeth, a press report has been published alleging that we were refusing and preventing its execution within the walls of the facility.

In our capacity of managers and leaders of the non-profit organization Zorg-Saam Sisters of the Childhood of Jesus, we want strongly to refute this and place it in the right context. We choose to give care to our residents in which our ongoing presence, respect, reliability, sense of purpose and involvement are central during the entire stay. That is why a euthanasia request will always be carefully listened to in all our institutions.

Our vision is that any such question should be the subject of a consultation process in which compliance with the legal conditions and due care take precedence. We have a procedure for that. It is rooted in the legal framework, from which we do not want to deviate under any circumstances. This procedure is intended to protect the resident, family, employees, physician and organization alike. It goes without saying that only thorough consultation between all the parties concerned can lead to a high-quality, well-considered decision-making process. In our opinion, this trajectory has not been given sufficient opportunity to proceed. We regret that we have had to say goodbye in this way to our resident whom we have surrounded with care for 4 years.

Not a word is said in this statement about respect for human life and fundamental opposition to euthanasia.

So where were the Sisters of the Childhood of Jesus? The religious identity of their chain of care homes is noticeably discreet on Zorg-Saam’s website, while the congregation itself has no visible presence on the internet.

The website’s page on “Palliative sedation and euthanasia” does reject euthanasia in principle, but there is no clear systematic refusal of so-called mercy killing.

In a brochure in which Zorg-Saam’s end-of-life policy is set out, in which inhabitants are encouraged to leave end-of-life guidelines, they go a step farther. Speaking of euthanasia, the brochure states: “Although this form of ending of life is not our choice, we take all your questions regarding this very seriously. However, because of our Christian vision of life, we choose not to respond to a request for euthanasia. After all, we believe more in the benefits of loving and expert care, in closeness and involvement during your final phase of life. Implementing euthanasia will only be able to be considered by us when palliative care can no longer offer quality of life and when all palliative care options have been exhausted.”

In short: no, but there can be exceptions.

That is certainly the reason why the Sint-Elisabeth management was prepared to go into lower depths regarding Vangenechten’s euthanasia request.

It has not managed to escape media backlash — as it was apparently hoping to — since euthanasia-promoter Wim Distelmans stepped in.

He stated: “When all legal requirements have been met and there is an agreement between patient and doctor, they have no right to refuse euthanasia.” Distelmans quoted a care home in Diest — also in the Flemish part of Belgium — that was found guilty in 2016 of having refused euthanasia, calling it a precedent that must be taken into account.

Mike Portaels has already made known that he is planning to sue the Sint-Elisabeth care home for what happened to his mother.

In Belgium, protecting life, however half-heartedly, is now a risky business. Deliberate killing of the weak, on the other hand, is protected by law.

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Joe Bissonnette

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One possible reason why aging Hollywood actors strongly support abortion

Joe Bissonnette
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May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — What do Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming all have in common? They all have introduced bills, have bills pending, have passed laws, or in some cases have had laws vetoed or temporarily blocked that would protect unborn babies from abortion once a heartbeat can be detected. These laws are saving thousands of babies from being killed by abortion. But not everyone is happy about that.

Friday night, Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano (46) called on women to join her in a sex strike to protest laws that protect unborn babies from abortion once a heartbeat can be detected. Milano has been joined by better known and even older actors Alec Baldwin (61) and Bette Midler (73) in what can only be viewed as a desperate attempt by the elderly to appear young and edgy.

The weaponization of sex is not a new theme in life or in art. In his play Lysistrata, in 411 B.C., the ancient Greek poet Aristophanes has the women of Athens withhold sexual privileges from their husbands to pressure them into ending the Peloponnesian War. But his play Ecclesiazusae, 391 B.C., may have deeper relevance to the chaste posturing and the impure implications of Milano, Baldwin, Midler, and company. In this play, Praxagora leads the Athenian women to take control of the government and impose sexual equality for the old and unattractive. She wears her husband’s clothes and a false beard and stops shaving her armpits. This has unintended consequences, as her husband Blepyrus emerges from their house wearing her clothes.

Pro-abortion militancy among the elderly is a dark but fascinating study. No longer rooted in the hot-blooded desire to emancipate sex from babies and responsibility, it points to a range of murkier psychological crises. Milano is old enough to be a grandmother and Midler old enough to be a great-grandmother, yet they make cringe-worthy vows and protestations about their sexual activity. Perhaps it’s a conscious or subconscious variation of the Peter Pan Syndrome, a refusal to grow up and take adult responsibility, resulting in a rejection of what sociologists refer to as the grandmother hypothesis. Basically, humans are one of the few species that have menopause, and sociologists think it is to facilitate grandmothers in assisting their adult children in raising their grandchildren. 

Most people happily accept the arc of life and the transformation from infantile selfishness to parental other-directedness, but not all. Some make a vice appear as a virtue, proposing the superiority of caring for animals rather than children. Milano has said: “Every time I decide I want a child, I get another pet. I have 3 dogs, 13 birds and 3 horses, what does that tell you?” Others, like Bette Midler, advocate the meaningless plasticity of human sexuality by championing the transgressive. According to Wikipedia, Bette Midler “…built up her career singing in the Continental Baths, a local gay bathhouse where she managed to build up a core following.”

My dad once observed a curious notation above one of the Stations of the Cross in a church in Quebec. It read: “For the surprising sins of the aged.” While support for abortion among the young is often rooted in a desire for unfettered promiscuity, support for abortion among the elderly is darker and more sinister. In our culture of constant technological progress, newer is necessarily better. We internalize this principle and apply it to ourselves. Our children become our existential enemies. They are next year’s model that would supplant us. The only way for the elderly to remain young is by killing their own children.

Fortunately, Alyssa Milano, Alec Baldwin, and Bette Midler do not represent most Americans. As Calvin Freiburger wrote in LifeSiteNews on April 12, the “majority of U.S. registered voters support heartbeat abortion bans.”

And this hopeful trend is even more prominent among the young. The young are more pro-life than the aged.

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Lindsay Kornick

Opinion, ,

NBC’s ‘Law & Order’ reimagines Covington kids with fresh media bias

Lindsay Kornick
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May 13, 2019 (NewsBusters) — NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is really stretching that "ripped from the headlines" mindset with its latest episode. Not only does SVU maintain the media lie about the Covington Catholic kids (this time with Jewish students), the show also manages to play defense for Rep. Ilhan Omar (with a Muslim councilwoman standing in for "Native American elder" Nathan Phillips). Who knew you could fit so much intersectional dishonesty into one hour?

The May 9 episode "Assumptions" opens with two Jewish teenage boys running from a vandalized synagogue where we find Muslim Councilwoman Nahla Nasar (Nazneen Contractor) has been raped. Since one of the teens, named Ari (Ted Sutherland), wore a red cap, a narrative quickly forms, especially when Nasar points him out in a lineup. "This boy grabbed my hijab and spat in my face," she says. "These people are Islamophobes. It's in their blood. One of these boys must have raped me."

To add more fuel to the fire, a new video surfaces online of the teens with Nasar. The teens accused of vandalizing the synagogue were actually members of a Jewish group protesting the councilwoman. During their wait to leave, the video depicts the Jewish boys seemingly getting in Nasar's face in a way that's oddly reminiscent of the Covington Catholic kids' story — or rather, the story the media wanted us to believe.

Ari: You're an anti-Semite!

Nasar: Stop spitting in my face like some kind of animal.

Ari: Hey, don't you dare call me an animal!

Nasar: Are you trying to rip off my hijab?

Ari: What?

Nasar: You all saw! An act of aggression no different than Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people!

Ari: You're a liar! She's a liar!

Dodds: That was posted an hour ago, along with a report that SVU arrested two Jewish teenagers for the assault on Nahla Nasar.

Olivia: We've made no arrests.

Dodds: Well, someone leaked that you did. Jewish students planning a trip to Israel. Things would have been a lot easier if it was some alt-right thugs.

An investigation eventually reveals that Nasar had provoked the incident by approaching the group directly. Much like with the Covington Catholic kids, the situation was a hoax, but in the show the full video doesn't exculpate Ari's aggressive and hostile interaction. Does Law & Order: SVU know that Nick Sandmann, whom Ari is clearly based on, didn't do anything but stand quietly in place? Does Law & Order: SVU also know that his family is suing NBC for $275 million because they lied just like this? The network ought to watch what it puts out nowadays.

What's worse is the Ilhan Omar–like depiction of Nasar. Like Omar, Nasar is described as anti-Semitic and even uses the same "it's all about the Benjamins" smear Omar had tweeted just a few months ago. Unlike Omar, however, Nasar reveals herself to be a lesbian, being targeted by her ex-husband for something that is abhorrent to Sharia law. As the case continues, we learn that it was, in fact, her ex-husband who attacked and raped her.

By the end of the episode, Nasar manages to have her rapist convicted, her parents' acceptance of her alternative lifestyle, and her job intact. And no, the fact that she lied about the boys raping her, made anti-Semitic remarks, and provoked a racial confrontation doesn't seem to affect any of this. All that mattered was that the public remembered that she was a victim.

In one hour, Law & Order: SVU reminded us exactly what's wrong with mainstream media. All that matters to them is propping up whichever side is highest in the intersectional hierarchy at the expense of the truth, no matter how many lives are ruined.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.

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Stephen P. White

Opinion, ,

After disappointing November meeting, US bishops to revisit sex abuse in June

Stephen P. White
By Stephen White

May 13, 2019 (The Catholic Thing) — Next month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will meet in general assembly in Baltimore. The bishops left their November meeting without any decisive action towards ensuring accountability for bishops. Since then, the American bishops have gone on retreat together — at Pope Francis' request — and the leaders of national episcopal conferences have met in Rome for a summit on the problem of clerical abuse of minors. The global Church is catching up to the American Church in handling the abuse crisis. As odd as it may sound, that's a good thing.

But here in the States, there is still a palpable sense of frustration and urgency. The bishops will have unfinished business to attend to in Baltimore.

Just after Easter, a delegation from the USCCB went to Rome to discuss the reform proposals that will be on the Baltimore docket. Cardinal DiNardo was not with the delegation because of ill health. The bishops don't want a repeat of last November's fiasco when votes on proposed reforms were canceled at the eleventh hour at Rome's insistence.

One bishop told me that, while he expects the proposed reforms for bishops' accountability to pass in June, if the conference can't agree on a way forward, many bishops are already inclined to follow the lead of the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Boston in putting in place their own third-party reporting systems and accountability mechanisms. In other words, many bishops are done waiting for Rome and the conference.

The June meeting in Baltimore will also come almost exactly one year after news broke that Theodore McCarrick's sexual misbehavior had resulted in settlements in two dioceses, and that charges of abusing a minor had come to light. It's worth recalling that, if his misdeeds had "merely" included preying on seminarians and priests, he would almost certainly remain a Cardinal today.

McCarrick was laicized earlier this year, but many of the questions about his long career and rise to prominence remain unanswered. Last October, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had ordered a "thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively."

Whether the results of that study will ever be made public — and, if so, when — remains unclear. Last November, the U.S. bishops overwhelmingly voted against a resolution to ask the Holy Father to make the conclusions of the McCarrick study public. It was a low point of the November meeting.

For better or worse, any disclosure of the facts of McCarrick's rise is now inextricably linked to — and complicated by — the interventions of Archbishop Viganò. The author's champions and opponents alike have picked over the Viganò testimony in excruciating detail. The Vatican — though not the Holy Father — has offered partial responses and rebuttals of particular points.

But for all the controversy and division it has caused, and whatever else you may think about the testimony or the author's motives, there is one basic fact that even the staunchest critics of Viganò will concede: his testimony remains the only public attempt, from someone in the know, to provide a comprehensive answer to the question everyone has been asking since last summer: Who knew what about McCarrick and when?

If Viganò's is the only full (or purportedly full) account out there, Pope Francis's silence has all but ensured that it will remain so. If the Holy Father isn't going to say what he knows, why would anyone else stick his neck out?

The Holy Father's silence leaves the American episcopate, in particular, in a rather awkward spot. If a bishop asks too many questions about the career of Theodore McCarrick, he risks being labeled a "Viganista" who is showing his disloyalty to the Holy Father. If a bishop keeps quiet, his flock begins to wonder why he's so uninterested in getting to the bottom of who-knew-what-and-when. People may even begin to ask what he has to hide.

Meanwhile, millions of American Catholics are wondering why, a year after the McCarrick scandal broke and seventeen years after the Dallas Charter, transparency and the pastoral needs of the Church are still taking a back seat to ecclesiastical politics and the unwritten rules of episcopal deference.

The American bishops could go a long way toward making up for the disappointment of last November by emphasizing to the Holy Father — respectfully, publicly, and as a body — the pastoral imperative for Rome to be as transparent as possible with the results of its study of the career of Theodore McCarrick.

Of course, establishing uniform accountability measures for bishops and getting to the bottom of the McCarrick mess are far from sufficient for resolving the current mess. Neither is going to fully restore the credibility of the bishops or heal the wounds in the Church. But that doesn't mean these actions are not urgent — and necessary. Together they would make a sort of down payment on restoring the trust of the faithful that has been so badly eroded over the last year.

For our ecclesiastical leaders to begin to regain the confidence of their flocks, they're going to have to find ways to overcome the distrust of one another. That may sound impossibly naïve, but what good is an episcopate that's afraid to ask Rome for what its people need? And how does Rome giving the silent treatment to shepherds it doesn't trust help a flock that's desperate for the truth?

As I said, there's unfinished business in Baltimore.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.

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Alyssa Milano pregnant in 2011. Shutterstock.com
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Surprise: Pro-lifers OK with Alyssa Milano’s sex strike for women who don’t want kids

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By Jonathon Van Maren

May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a tweet sent out on the afternoon of May 11, abortion activist and erstwhile actress Alyssa Milano sent the entire pro-life movement into side-splitting gales of laughter with her new strategy for battling the conveyor belt of anti-abortion legislation that has been passing across the United States this year: a “sex strike” calling for women to cease having sex “until we get bodily autonomy back.”

To summarize: In order to punish the pro-life movement for their recent legislative successes, Milano is suggesting that pro-abortion women stop having sex because sex makes babies, and if you can’t get abortions, you can’t abort those babies, so it is better not to have sex in the first place. And that’s not just my hot take, either — that’s what Milano said: “Our reproductive rights are being erased. Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy.”

I’m not the first columnist to point out that this is sort of what pro-lifers have been saying all along: sex makes babies. If you engage in the act of reproduction, you should know that there is a chance that you will get pregnant. Once that child exists, she has a right to life, and you do not have the right to kill her simply because you didn’t realize that just because you call it “recreational sex,” that doesn’t mean you aren’t using your “reproductive organs.” In other words, Milano’s sex strike might just be a solution we can all get on board with.

Milano probably did not expect the wave of enthusiastic support from pro-lifers, who would be thrilled if people who are not ready to have babies would stop engaging in baby-making activities, thereby drastically reducing the number of babies being aborted. She presumably did not predict the rather angry reaction from a diverse crowd of abortion-supporters, either, who were understandably chuffed that one of their own was suggesting they take responsibility for their actions and scale back the very activities they are happy to kill for.

The dual reactions to Milano’s proposal — good-humored support from the pro-lifers, angry rejection from most of the abortion-supporters — sums up the chasm between the two Americas. On one side are people who believe that pre-born children are valuable and worth both defending and sacrificing for. On the other are those who believe that the immense bloody heaps of shattered sons and daughters we have cruelly crushed since 1973 are a price worth paying for sexual liberation. Milano’s modest proposal, however unintentionally, exposed that rather starkly.

It is true that many abortion-supporters do not see it that way. The mainstream media have been running a frenzied damage control campaign against the proliferation of pro-life laws, attempting to create absurd and hideous hypothetical scenarios in order to recast the defenders of feticide as the paragons of compassion while smearing those seeking to protect the little ones as patriarchal persecutors of women. They have been claiming, for example, that Georgia’s new heartbeat bill could jail women or provoke law enforcement to investigate miscarriages. In reality, OCGA 16-5-80 actually prohibits prosecuting any woman whose child dies while in utero.

But the media and the abortion activists genuinely do not care about the facts. Truth is always the first casualty in the war against innocent children, and we should not expect people who coldly greet the news that some children are born alive during botched abortion attempts and weakly scream and fight for life by claiming that it doesn’t happen that often and perhaps not precisely how the president describes it to have qualms when it comes to twisting the truth. They are, after all, perfectly willing to defend the practice of twisting the heads off living babies.

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews John Barros, a dedicated defender of the unborn who has prayed outside an abortion facility through the last nine years, in spite of suffering from cancer and a recent stroke, and helped saved thousands of lives. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 

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Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

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Microsoft prepares to make your writing ‘gender-inclusive’ with new software

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By Doug Mainwaring

May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Microsoft has revealed that next fall, the updated version of its popular Word Online software — which countless millions use daily for business and home word processing — will contain a feature that automatically seeks to change writers’ word selections to be gender-inclusive.

The change will come about by employing a more sophisticated application of artificial intelligence (A.I.).

“AI can — and already is — helping us do things like make sure we spell words correctly and use correct grammar,” explained Microsoft on its blog.

Now it seems Microsoft wants to use A.I. for social engineering, nudging its “non-woke” customers to alter their word choices.

Futurism.com put it bluntly in a headline: “Microsoft Word’s new ‘AI editor’ scolds you for gendered language.”

Details are scarce. So far, the only mention of the planned “improvement” has come in the form of a pithy mention an Microsoft’s own blog.

It’s only about a dozen words at the end of a 1,200-word posting: “Other intelligent suggestions include … inclusive language such as ‘police officer’ instead of ‘policeman[.]’” The magnitude and intent of the innovation is clear.

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