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May 20, 2019


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Vatican leaders outraged as anti-immigration politician commends Italy to Mary

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By Lisa Bourne

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic Italian politician with whom Pope Francis reportedly refuses to meet because of his immigration stance held and kissed a rosary during a political rally over the weekend and invoked the Blessed Mother, drawing criticism from some quarters and support from others.

Deputy premier and interior minister Matteo Salvini also commended his country, its citizens, and himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, something unheard of from a Catholic political leader.

During a Saturday political rally attended by tens of thousands in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, Salvini appealed to the six patron saints of Europe, The Tablet reports, Ss. Benedict of Norcia, Brigid of Sweden, Catherine of Siena, Cyril and Methodius, and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).

Salvini then kissed his rosary, looked up to statue of the Blessed Mother atop the 14th-century Milan Cathedral and said, “I entrust Italy, my life, and your lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who I’m sure will bring us to victory.”

Salvini, head of Italy’s Lega (League) Party, led the rally with 10 other populist European leaders ahead of this week’s European Parliament elections, in a growing resistance to centralized European Union (EU) control, and in particular, support for tightening immigration laws.

Salvini is a conservative Catholic politician known for prioritizing his country over the European Union, garnering himself the “nationalist” label by the media and the left.

Criticism of Salvini

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica and close confidant of Pope Francis, was among the Catholic figures disapproving of Salvini’s use of the rosary at the rally.

Spadaro issued several critical tweets, spreading the criticism on Facebook as well, saying Christians should be outraged.

Last year, Spadaro opposed a proposed Italian law mandating that crucifixes be placed in all public buildings, accusing Salvini’s League party on Twitter of seeking to use the crucifix as an action figure, which is “blasphemous.”

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin issued an apparent rebuke of Salvini as well on Sunday. 

“I believe partisan politics divides, but God belongs to everyone,” Parolin told reporters at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran. “Invoking God for oneself is always very dangerous.” 

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the European Bishops’ Conference, also denounced Salvini to Italian newspaper La Stampa, according to The Tablet, saying particular groups cannot appropriate Christian values and that “acceptance and integration are essential values of the Gospel” and have “no color.”  

Bishop Domenico Mogavero, of Mazara del Vallo, a port in western Sicily, head of the judicial affairs panel of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), said Salvini can no longer call himself a Christian, according to ANSA new service.

“We can no longer stay silent over the bragging of an ever more arrogant minister,” Mogavero said.

“We can no longer allow (people) to appropriate the sacred signs of our faith to peddle their inhuman, anti-historic views, diametrically opposed to the Gospel message,” he said. “Those who are with him cannot call themselves Christian because they have reneged on the commandment of love.”

Italian Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana termed Salvini’s kissing of the rosary and response to the pope an instance of “fetishist sovereignty.”

Enzo Bianchi, lay founder of the ecumenical Monastic Bose Community and an influential figure in the Italian Church, said he was “profoundly disturbed” by Salvini’s actions. 

“How is it possible that a politician today, at an electoral rally, can kiss the rosary, invoke the patron saints of Europe and entrust Italy to the immaculate heart of Mary for the victory of his party?” Bianchi tweeted. “Catholics, if you love Christianity, do not be silent. Protest!”

Cogent response

At the same time, Catholic Herald columnist and associate professor of theology for the Catholic University of America C.C. Pecknold offered reasoned analysis, pointing out among other things that Salvini echoes what Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah has said on immigration.

Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has affirmed a nation’s right to differentiate between refugees and economic migrants and acknowledged a globalist effort to de-Christianize the West via mass migration. He has also criticized the idea that social justice issues such as immigration displace or are on the par with the Church’s primary purpose to save souls.

Pecknold also noted that Salvini quoted Sarah in his speech, along with G.K. Chesterton, Pope Saint John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI.

“We need whole nations consecrated to Our Lady”

Conceding that Spadaro’s politics are different from Salvini’s, Pecknold said he was nonetheless baffled by Spadaro’s comment that rosaries in politics should anger Christians.

“The Church does not have political models to commend, or defend,” Pecknold wrote. “The Church teaches precepts which are elevating standards for any order. Salvini appears to be cognizant of these principles, and that should be praised by the Church, regardless of policy disagreements.”

“There is nothing wrong with rosaries in politics,” he said. “We need whole nations consecrated to Our Lady.”

While Salvini was one among 11 European leaders to appear at the rally Saturday, the Associated Press reports that most of the tens of thousands of supporters who filled the square outside Milan’s Duomo cathedral were there for the Italian interior minister, with League flags filling the square among a “smattering” of national flags from other countries.

Pecknold had also written that at the end of the campaign rally, when Salvini commended himself and his country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “[t]he Milan crowd cheered with Beatle-mania-like vigor.”

Salvini mentioned Pope Francis during the Milan rally Saturday, answering Francis’s comments to a group of journalists that same day at the Vatican not to forget that the Mediterranean had been turned into a cemetery due to migrant drownings. 

“To His Holiness, Pope Francis,” Salvini said, “I say that the policy of this government is eliminating the dead in the Mediterranean with pride and Christian charity.”

The crowd promptly booed at the rally when they heard the pope’s name, The Tablet report said.

Several Italian publications reported in recent months based on information from anonymous sources that Pope Francis refuses to meet with Salvini because of Salvini’s strong stance against illegal immigration — this while Francis has met on repeated occasions with supporters of abortion and other issues in conflict with Church teaching.

More recently, papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, a close aide to Francis, said as well that the Vatican would deny Salvini a papal blessing for the same reason, comparing Salvini to an abortion-provider and Venezuelan dictators in making the point.

Immigration policy is a prudential issue over which Catholics can disagree regarding specifics of its handling. Abortion, however, is a mortal sin and non-negotiable according to Church teaching.

Francis: Migrants’ rights should override national security concerns

Francis continually signals support for open immigration, condemning attempts to stem the tide of Muslim immigration into Europe, even at the cost of national security.

Since 2015, Europe has faced large-scale to crisis-level immigration, mostly from Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Many migrants risk and lose their lives while trying to move, and there is rampant disagreement over refugee status, national sovereignty and security concerns, and terrorism and crime, as well as the burden of funding social support for migrants and refugees.

complicit media establishment has continually downplayed any downside to open borders in most arenas throughout the crisis.

The pope has condemned walls related to national borders on more than one occasion — a veiled reference to U.S. president Donald Trump for Trump’s national security policies deferential to the U.S. Along this same ostensible vein, Francis even said in 2016 that “building walls” instead of “building bridges” “is not Christian.” Then he said again last month, “He who builds a wall ends up a prisoner of the wall he built.” 

A ‘duty within the limits of the possible’

Salvini said on Monday that he would like to meet the pope, and he cited the Catechism to say the possible limits of welcoming immigrants had been exceeded.

“I would like to be received by the pope, but I have never asked for it,” Salvini said. “He is one of the most stimulating and fascinating people — I could only learn from him.”

“If the occasion will arise, I will be more than willing to meet him,” Salvini added, according to ANSA. Salvini said welcoming migrants “is a ‘duty within the limits of the possible,’ according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church(, and) the possible has been surpassed.”

On Monday before an ANSA forum, Salvini questioned the idea that invoking the Blessed Mother is offensive.

“I hear I’m being called inhuman because I go around with a crucifix in my pocket,” he said. “May I ask for Mary’s help, or will someone be offended?”

Salvini admitted to being a sinner and said it does not stop him from keeping a rosary with him, Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s Qantara.de reports.

“I am the last among good Christians,” said Salvini, “but I am proud to always have a rosary in my pocket.”

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‘Unplanned’ film banned in Canada for its life-affirming content

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By Martin Barillas

OTTAWA, May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Distribution companies are effectively banning the film Unplanned from screening in Canadian cinemas, according to the producers of the pro-life biopic.

Speaking at an Ottawa news conference on May 8, producer Lisa Wheeler said, “We have been effectively blocked from distributing the film in Canada.”

Chuck Konzelman, the film’s writer, director, and producer, told LifeSiteNews via email that at least one of the two largest Canadian film distributors said “content” rather than a lack of consumer demand is the reason for banning the film.

According to Konzelman, Canadian law requires that films have distributors so that they can be shown theatrically. In addition, no rating from one of the provincial film boards can be granted, because the producers must list a distributor on the application forms to the film boards.

Based on the memoir of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood leader who eventually left the movement, Unplanned experienced success in the United States, taking in more than $18 million at the box office since its release in March, having been budgeted for $6 million.

Regarding the ban on the film, Johnson told a news conference earlier this month, “I would like to say I’m surprised, but I’m not.” Speaking on the day before Canada’s March for Life, Johnson told the media, “I have to wonder what they’re afraid of.”

Two of the largest distributors in Canada, Landmark and Cineplex, have no plans to show Unplanned. In an email response to LifeSiteNews, Konzelman confirmed that there are still no distributors for the film in Canada.

“In Canada, Cineplex basically has monopolistic power ... the National Post mentions them as controlling nearly 80 percent of all movie screens, and from our limited experience, they seem to have many of the most desirable locations, in and near the major metropolitan areas,” Konzelman wrote. “So rejection by Cineplex basically means we're not playing in Canada.”

Landmark did not respond to a request for comment.

Konzelman confirmed that Canada’s largest distributor, Mongrel Media, turned down the film because of its “content.” Writing that Mongrel’s response begs the question, “What's wrong with our content?” he confirmed that there is “nothing objectionable in the film; no foul language, no nudity, no sexuality, and the only violence is that which is necessarily connected with an abortion procedure.” He concluded that “it's the pro-life message itself which is objectionable” to the distributors.

Konzelman said Cineplex gave “unsatisfactory answers” when asked why it did not distribute Unplanned. He said it is highly unusual for a successful indie U.S. film to lack theatrical distribution in Canada. The movie should have started distribution in Canada in March and at the time of its premiere in the United States, Konzelman said. But Cineplex, as well as other distributors, and shareholders may suffer profit losses throughout the summer season and into Christmas as a result of the ban.

While Canada’s film distributors have made their point about the content of Unplanned, Konzelman said he is confident that Canadians will also have a chance to make their voices heard and take action.

Johnson called on Canadians to defend “fearlessly” the sanctity of human life. At Canada’s March for Life at Ottawa, she called Canadians “the most polite people in the world.”

Calling Canadians to action, Johnson said March 9, “You gotta stop being so dang polite. Life is on the line. Children are being killed, dismembered in their mothers’ wombs. There is nothing polite about abortion, and it is time for us to stop cowering to the liberal media, to your liberal parliament. Enough is enough.”

Johnson left her job as a manager at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in October 2009 after being told the number of abortions should be doubled. And in a scene depicted in the film, her watershed moment came when she witnessed the ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week preborn child. She now leads And Then There Were None, a nonprofit that helps abortion workers who leave the industry.

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Target stores donate $100K to LGBT nonprofit that promotes ‘inclusive’ K-12 schools

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By Martin Barillas

NEW YORK, May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Target department stores are not only offering clothing and accessories celebrating the gay lifestyle to adults and children, but the company has also pledged to donate to a nonprofit that trains students and teachers in LGBT politics and advocacy.  

On Target’s official website, it has several pages dedicated to merchandise that features the rainbow gay pride flag as well as messages intended to instill pride in the LGBT lifestyle. In addition, Target proclaims that it is donating $100,000 to GLSEN, an organization founded in 1990 that claims to be “the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.”’

According to GLSEN’s website, “Our mission is to create safe and affirming schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

The organization offers lesson plans for elementary school children on “gender-neutral” pronouns and terminology as part of the Common Core curriculum as well as introducing gender ideology to third-graders. GLSEN partners with the United Nations and like-minded groups in Canada, China, Ireland, Israel, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Coincidently, Target chief marketing officer Rick Gomez also serves on GLSEN's board of directors.

GLSEN provides training and resources to LGBTQ activists on school campuses while also advocating the homosexual cause in the political sphere. According to its website, “We accomplish our goals by working in hallways across the country — from Congress and the Department of Education to schools and district offices in your community — to improve school climate and champion LGBT issues in K-12 education”

Target offers children’s clothing, for example, that features the rainbow flag and promotes the LGBT cause. One shirt proclaims, "Love my dads," and another says, "Love my moms." Others shirts are emblazoned with the rainbow flag bearing the word “pride” superimposed.

For adults, there are the "Pride Adult Gender Inclusive Iridescent Five Panel Hat," "Pride Striped Bisexual Flag Bandana," "Pride Striped Transgender Flag Bandana," "Pride Adult Striped Gender Inclusive Jumpsuit," and a number of other accessories and articles of clothing.

Besides Target, major donors to GLSEN include Hollister, Walt Disney, JP Morgan Chase and Co., HBO, Delta Airlines, NBA, McDonald's, AT&T, Morgan Stanley, Gucci, Bloomberg, and Colgate-Palmolive. Through its board members, GLSEN also maintains a relationship with the largest teachers union in the United States, the National Education Association.

GLSEN was founded by Kevin Jennings, who led the organization for about 17 years. As GLSEN executive director, Jennings wrote the foreword to a book called “Queering Elementary Education.” The book included chapters titled “Locating a Place for Gay and Lesbian Themes in Elementary … ” and “‘It’s Okay to be Gay’: Interrupting Straight Thinking in the English Classroom.”

In Jennings’ book “Becoming Visible: A Reader in Gay and Lesbian History for High School Students,” he wrote, “Some historians trace the development of homophobia in the West from the time when Christianity was adopted by the Romans. … Whether homophobia began in the late Roman Empire because of the introduction of Christianity or became widespread in the late Middle Ages for political reasons, one thing remains clear: Biblical scriptures were used to justify persecution of those who loved members of their own sex.”

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Vincent Lambert. Valeurs Actuelles via YouTube.
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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BREAKING: ‘Miracle’: New court decision orders hospital to halt starvation of Vincent Lambert

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

REIMS, France, May 20 (LifeSiteNews) -- Vincent Lambert has been saved once again thanks to the last, desperate attempt of his lawyers who assailed three courts this Monday after he was given sedatives and his feeding tube was pulled in order to lead to his death. It was the Paris court of appeal that accepted to examine the case on Monday at 5 p.m. in an emergency procedure and it decided that sedation should be stopped and food and hydration given to Vincent because of France’s obligation to respect the interim measures demanded by the UN Committee for the Rights of Disabled Persons.

 A “miracle!” Jérôme Triomphe, one of the lawyers of Viviane and Pierre Lambert and two siblings of Vincent, was overjoyed at the news. “It’s like in 2013,” he told LifeSite: during the first end-of-life process Vincent was submitted to, it was the same team of lawyers who obtained that the handicapped man should be nourished after 31 days without food and very little water.

The court decision will be presented to Reims hospital on Tuesday morning. The hospital has no other option than to obey.

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Angelicum official at Rome’s March for Life: ‘We can’t be weaklings; we must be strong’

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By Doug Mainwaring
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ROME, Italy, May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — “Now more than ever, it’s very important for us to stand up for human life,” declared Fr. Benedict Croell, director of development and mission advancement at the Dominican University of St. Thomas Aquinas — known as The Angelicum — as a group from the university marched for life in Rome on Saturday.

“We need to be strong as we can be because everything is changing,” he said. “There’s a reality to the scourge of abortion that people are waking up to.”

“We have students from Italy, from Malta, from Fiji, from New Zealand, from England, from Scotland, from the United States, from Ireland, and Ethiopia,” Fr. Croell told LifeSiteNews’ John-Henry Westen.   

The Angelicum was the only pontifical university participating in Rome’s March for Life. During the preceding week, the Dominican school hosted the Rome Life Forum, which brought pro-life leaders from around the world together.

“We’re the only pontifical university in Rome that has Eucharistic adoration,” noted Croell.

He said the group felt it was important to carry signs promoting Project Rachel as they marched through Rome because it’s such an important ministry for women and men who are suffering.   

Croell enthusiastically encouraged other Pontifical and Catholic universities to participate in the Rome March for Life in the future. “Every Pontifical University — every university in Italy — should be here.”  

“If we don’t do it, who will do it for us?” he asked.  

Fr. Croell noted that Cardinal Willem Eijk, the only cardinal other than Cardinal Raymond Burke to attend the March this year, is an Angelicum alumnus, and said more members of the hierarchy need to get involved.

While prelates say they stay away from the March for Life because they don’t want to get involved in politics, Fr. Croell said, “Leave politics out of it,” and come and pray the rosary.  

Fr. Croell said that as the Angelicum group marched through Rome, “We all just prayed the rosary together for an end to abortion and for women who suffer the effects of an abortion.”  

“For me, it has everything to do with for the gift of life,” he added. “We can’t be weaklings; we must be strong.”  

“We see what’s happening in the United States. Things are changing quickly. Right now, there’s a momentum more than ever,” Fr. Croell said, noting the recent passage of pro-life legislation in various states.  

“There are plenty of good people in Italy who are very pro-life. We just need to organize ourselves.”

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Ron Howard joins chorus of Hollywood leftists threatening to boycott Georgia over abortion ban

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By Calvin Freiburger

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Hollywood icon Ron Howard is the latest and potentially the biggest name lending his support to the entertainment forces condemning Georgia for enacting a ban on most abortions, and threatening to pull out of the state if it survives a legal challenge.

House Bill 481 forbids abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected except in cases of rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies deemed “medically futile.” If allowed to take effect, it will ban abortions in all other cases as early as six weeks into a pregnancy starting in January 2020. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law earlier this month, declaring Georgia a “state that values life” and “stand(s) up for those who are unable to speak for themselves."

The film industry generates considerable jobs and revenue for the Peach State, leading dozens of other celebrities to threaten to boycott the state in hopes of scaring Georgians into rejecting the law, then punishing them for enacting it. A handful of smaller studios have since announced they’re refusing to film in Georgia, and actress Alyssa Milano has called on women to take part in a “sex strike,” because “until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy.”

The Hollywood Reporter reported that Howard, who became a household name playing Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show then grew up to become one of Hollywood’s most prolific directors, has announced along with filmmaking partner Brian Grazer that they won’t yet withdraw their next project from the Peach State but are reserving the right to take future projects elsewhere depending on the law’s ultimate fate.

"After much thought and deliberation, we decided to continue with shooting Hillbilly Elegy in Georgia next month," Howard and Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment said in a statement. "We felt we could not abandon the hundreds of women, and men, whose means of support depend on this production – including those who directly contribute on the film, and the businesses in the community that sustain the production. We see Governor Kemp’s bill as a direct attack on women’s rights, and we will be making a donation to the ACLU to support their battle against this oppressive legislation. Should this law go into effect in January, we will boycott the state as a production center."

"If the 'heartbeat bill' makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights," actor and producer Jason Bateman also announced.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that other entertainers and studios are holding their fire for the moment. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which represents Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Netflix, has said only that it will “continue to monitor developments.” Comedian Tyler Perry, who has a 330-acre studio in Atlanta, has declined to comment because, according to a The Hollywood Reporter source, “he likes to stay way below the radar."

The Washington Post noted that the most recent fiscal year enjoyed $2.7 billion in direct spending on the filming of Hollywood blockbusters such as the Marvel Studios films and popular series such as The Walking Dead. Georgia is particularly lucrative to filmmakers thanks to substantial tax credits offered by the state.

Last week, conservative actor and Gosnell star Dean Cain criticized his peers’ posturing over the law, noting that several of the companies to announce boycotts never did any filming in Georgia anyway. “Hollywood pretending to be the bastion of moral superiority is an absolute joke,” Cain said, “because it is not by any stretch of the imagination.”

Dismissing Hollywood’s threats, Kemp has said he “can't govern because I'm worried about what someone in Hollywood thinks about me,” noting that Georgia has a strong business environment and “cannot change our values of who we are for money.” U.S. Sen. David Perdue, a Republican who represents Georgia, emphasized that despite Hollywood’s threats, the Peach State has once again been “rated for the sixth year in the row as the best state in the country in which to do business” by the trade publication Site Selection.

For Howard's part, his directing career has long been more at odds with conservative and Christian values than the popular image suggested by Andy Griffith days. In 2006, he helmed the film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, a thriller that purported to use a fictional story to disseminate false “historical facts” about Christ and the church. The novel falsely claimed that “all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate,” and Howard refused to put in the film version a disclaimer that the story’s version of history was largely fictitious.

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Google tightens advertising regs for pregnancy centers amid furor over abortion laws

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By Calvin Freiburger

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As pro-abortion unrest continues from the latest abortion bans enacted by Alabama and Georgia, Google is rolling out new, stricter rules for pro-life pregnancy centers advertising on its platforms.

Google will begin asking abortion-related businesses whether they actually offer abortions, which will result in ads for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) being labeled as “non-providers” in Google ads, The Drum reported. The changes will affect advertisers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland. If an advertiser refuses to apply for “certification,” its ads will be blocked from showing up in searches for abortion-related keywords.

The new rules were in the works before Alabama and Georgia passed bans on most abortions, and their announcement appears to have been motivated in part by The Guardian’s reporting on Google awarding $150,000 in free advertising to the California-based Obria Group, which openly bills itself as a pro-life alternative to Planned Parenthood (but has been criticized for allegedly agreeing to offer contraception in exchange for federal grants).

“Google should in no way be subsidizing any misinformation campaigns, especially campaigns designed to deceive women about their own reproductive care options,” Democrat Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Suzanne Bonamici complained in a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. “Your continued support of Obria Group’s intentional misinformation campaigns denies women access to truthful information about their medical choices.”

“The Google ad grants program is open to qualified nonprofits regardless of their position on abortion and we give grants to nearly 50,000 organizations globally that represent a wide spectrum of views and causes,” the company has said about the matter. “All grant recipients have to abide by our ad policies, which prohibit misrepresentation in ads. If we find ads that violate our policies, we remove them.”

Pro-abortion activists have long accused CPCs of trying to trick women into clicking on their ads by presenting themselves as abortion providers. When NARAL originated this charge in 2014, an investigation by Jill Stanek determined that the juxtaposition of pregnancy center ads with “abortion clinic” searches was a result of Google AdWords’ real-time bidding algorithms, not conscious decisions by CPCs.

Google’s apparent acquiescence to pro-abortion anger at CPC ads is the latest example of the internet giant’s left-wing politics.

A recent Northwestern University study found that the world’s leading search engine tilts its news results heavily in favor of left-wing sources. In April, documents revealed that Google manually manipulates search results, and even maintains a blacklist of conservative sites, including The American Spectator and Conservative Tribune. Numerous other leaked private conversations and documents appear to show the staff’s dominant ideology is dramatically out of step with the country at large, and that Google is willing to enforce those ideologies through its ostensibly neutral services and platforms.

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‘Juno’ writer laments how life-affirming film inspired support for strong pro-life laws

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By Calvin Freiburger

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As pro-abortion figures continue to lament the enactment of new pro-life laws in Alabama and Georgia, another Hollywood voice is lamenting her own role in having promoted the value of choosing life.

Last week, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law which criminalizes abortion for any reason other than physical medical dangers to a mother. The week before, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law that bans most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected (around 6-8 weeks).

The laws, which are intended as vehicles to provoke a legal challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, have been met with intense opposition from Democrat politicians, pro-abortion activists, and left-wing media figures. Some of the most heated opposition has come from Hollywood, with many stars and several production companies vowing to cease filming in Georgia in protest.

Last week, screenwriter Diablo Cody appeared on a Crooked Media podcast to discuss the new pro-life laws, and what role her 2007 film Juno, about a teenager who briefly considers abortion but ultimately chooses to let her child be born and adopted, may have played in making the culture more receptive to such laws.

Calling herself "as pro-choice as a person can possibly be,” Cody said she didn’t consider the potential political implications when writing the film, and that it was “horrifying” when she got a letter from her Catholic high school “thanking me for writing a pro-life movie." She recalled thinking in response to the letter, “I f***ing hate all of you.'”

"I don’t even know if I would have written a movie like ‘Juno’ if I had known that the world was going to spiral into this hellish alternate reality that we now seem to be stuck in," Cody said. She added that with hindsight, she wouldn’t have made Juno a pro-abortion film, but “probably would have just told a different story in general."

In Focus on the Family’s Plugged In review, Lindy Keffer writes that while the main character’s decision was life-affirming, the rest of the film’s muddled moral signals ultimately made it seem “mildly—almost accidentally—pro-life and pro-adoption, rather than decisively so.”

This isn’t the first time the people who made Juno have disavowed the film’s pro-life themes. In 2017, director Jason Reitman held a live reading of the film’s script, attended by stars Ellen Page and Jennifer Garner, as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. “If there was any confusion about whether Juno was pro-choice or pro-life, this should settle that,” Reitman declared. “Juno had a choice, and that was the most important part.”

The Daily Wire’s Paul Bois notes that since Juno, Diablo Cody has never been able to match its success, with her every subsequent movie being a “critical and financial dud.”

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Vincent Lambert. Valeurs Actuelles via YouTube.
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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As last hour approaches, Cardinal Burke urges France not to euthanize Vincent Lambert

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday morning, May 20, Cardinal Raymond Burke gave LifeSite the following interview regarding the situation of Vincent Lambert, whose feeding tube was to be pulled that day. Meanwhile, we have learned that the feeding tube was pulled without Vincent’s family being told.

LifeSite: Your Eminence, you have certainly heard about the case of Vincent Lambert in France, a tetraplegic, brain-damaged man of 42 who is under grave threat of dying in the coming days, unless if last-minute judiciary recourse stops the process, because sanitary and administrative authorities have decided to stop hydrating and feeding him because he has been deemed to be in a so-called “vegetative state” and “would not have wanted to live like this.” This case touches on serious issues regarding the respect due to innocent human life. What is your, or more precisely, what is the Church’s view of this situation?

H.E. Cardinal Raymond Burke: I am deeply concerned about the situation of Vincent Lambert, lest he be put to death by omission of nutrition and hydration as tragically happened in the case of Terri Schindler Schiavo in the United States of America on March 31, 2005, and to Eluana Englaro in Italy on February 9, 2009. I am deeply concerned for Vincent Lambert and for the many other victims of euthanasia, for it is clear that, if the withholding of nutrition and hydration is justified in the case of Vincent Lambert, no one who finds himself or herself in a gravely weakened condition will enjoy the fundamental respect for his or her life.

Withdrawing nutrition and hydration, whether it is provided by natural or artificial means, is euthanasia by omission, that is, according to the definition of euthanasia provided by Pope Saint John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae (25 March 1995): “an action or omission which of itself and by intention causes death, with the purpose of eliminating all suffering” (no. 65). Pope Saint John Paul II, in the same Encyclical Letter, made it clear that the teaching on euthanasia “is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God” (no. 65).

The first precept of the natural law is the protection and promotion of all human life, especially of human life which is heavily burdened by special needs or grave illness or advanced years.

LifeSite: In the Vincent Lambert case, the French authorities are arguing that his lack self-conscience and of conscience of the world around him – which is in fact disputed, as he reacts to his mother in particular – indicate that he is in a “vegetative state” that he would not have wanted to find himself in. Are these circumstances – vegetative state and the person’s own desire – ever a justification for administering food and water?

Cardinal Burke. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in response to two questions regarding the administration of food and water to a person in what is called “a vegetative state” (1 August 2007), gave an authoritative interpretation of the natural law in such cases: “A patient in a ‘permanent vegetative state’ is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means.” As the response observes: “In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented.” The only exception is the case in which the body can no longer assimilate water or food.

Pope Saint John Paul II illustrated the teaching on the moral duty to provide “normal care due to the sick in such cases,” which includes nutrition and hydration, in his address to Catholic physicians regarding the care of those who are said to be in “a vegetative state” (20 March 2004). He declared: “I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even  when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering… The evaluation of probabilities, founded on waning hopes for recovery when the vegetative state is prolonged beyond a year, cannot ethically justify the cessation or interruption of minimal care for the patient, including nutrition and hydration” (no. 4).

LifeSite: Do you think it is correct to apply the words “vegetative state” to a human being?

Cardinal Burke: The term, “a vegetative state,” must be used with great care, for it can lead to viewing the one suffering the condition as less than human. As Pope Saint John Paul observed in his just-mentioned address: “Faced with patients in similar clinical conditions, there are some who cast doubt on the persistence of the ‘human quality’ itself, almost as if the adjective "vegetative" (whose use is now solidly established), which symbolically describes a clinical state, could or should be instead applied to the sick as such, actually demeaning their value and personal dignity. In this sense, it must be noted that this term, even when confined to the clinical context, is certainly not the most felicitous when applied to human beings. In opposition to such trends of thought, I feel the duty to reaffirm strongly that the intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being do not change, no matter what the concrete circumstances of his or her life. A man, even if seriously ill or disabled in the exercise of his highest functions, is and always will be a man, and he will never become a ‘vegetable’ or an ‘animal’.” (no. 3) In his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, he, likewise, recalled a fundamental moral principle: “Besides, the moral principle is well known, according to which even the simple doubt of being in the presence of a living person already imposes the obligation of full respect and of abstaining from any act that aims at anticipating the person’s death” (no. 95).

LifeSite: As Catholics, do we have a particular role in this situation in which many positive laws are going against the natural law that requires respect for innocent human life?

Cardinal Burke: Given the seriousness of the situation, particularly for Vincent Lambert and, in general, for all persons in a similar condition, persons of good will and Catholics, in particular, have the obligation to demand that the state and health-care facilities respect the inviolable dignity of innocent human life, especially the life of our brothers and sisters with heavy burdens of special needs, grave illness or advanced years, who have the first title to the care of the state and the care of their neighbor. In the case of Vincent Lambert, our duty to uphold the natural law means insisting that he be provided the normal care for a person in his condition.

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Vincent Lambert. Valeurs Actuelles via YouTube.
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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France begins starvation of Vincent Lambert as 11th-hour appeals to save him fail

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Vincent Lambert, France’s Terri Schiavo, was placed in an “end-of-life” process early on Monday morning, May 20, in defiance of the repeated request of the U.N.’s Committee for the Rights of Disabled Persons (CRPD), and of natural law that prohibits the deliberate killing of a human being. His hydration and feeding tube was pulled, and he was given deep sedation that is legally required to be maintained until death.

Vincent Lambert is expected to die — primarily of thirst — within a few days.

The procedure was initiated by Dr Vincent Sanchez of the University Hospital of Reims, contrary to his commitment, without warning his family. Vincent’s mother, Viviane, was not even given the chance to say goodbye to her son, for whose life she has been fighting since the first unsuccessful attempt to make him die by starvation in April 2013.

She saw Vincent for the last time on Sunday evening, following a public demonstration in front of the Reims hospital asking Dr Sanchez to stay execution and to respect the CRPD.

An emotional video of that last encounter was broadcast on the internet: it shows Vincent crying while his mother tells him how little hope was left.

All last-minute attempts to save Vincent failed, including a public letter from Viviane Lambert to President Emmanuel Macron and a massive phoning campaign to the Elysée, the présidential palace.

On May 18, Bishop Pierre d’Ornellas and other bishops and religious specialists of ethical issues published a mixed statement regretting that Vincent Lambert should be deprived of water and food but at the same time suggesting that the doctors who wanted to apply the procedure should “explain” their position better.

They wrote: “From an ethical point of view, it would be good if the conscience of citizens were not disturbed either by the unexplained decision suggesting that Mr. Vincent Lambert was led to his death, or by the failure to respect the word given by the State in signing the International Convention.”

On this Monday morning, Jean Paillot and Jérôme Triomphe filed two criminal complaints for “non-assistance to a person in danger,” asking substantial damages from Dr Sanchez and the hospital director.

But even if this should lead to a reversal of the process, a big question remains: what sort of sedation was given to Vincent, and can its effects be reversed?

The John Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family is holding its second public event in Rome on the theme of “Brain Death.” All the participants prayed for Vincent Lambert and his family.

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Vincent Lambert
Calvin Freiburger

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BREAKING: Macron counting phone calls to save Vincent Lambert as starvation begins

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As French doctors have begun withholding life support from the man dubbed France’s Terri Schiavo, a phone line has been established at the residence of the French president to count calls urging that Vincent Lambert’s life be saved.

LifeSiteNews has learned that Élysée Palace, the residence of French President Emmanuel Macron, is tallying calls at +33142928100 from people who oppose the starvation of the minimally conscious, tetraplegic 42-year-old man, whose parents have been fighting to save his life in the years following his 2008 motorcycle accident.

Callers can simply say: "Je téléphone pour sauver la vie de Vincent Lambert."

LifeSiteNews has found that it takes approximately five minutes of music for calls to be connected (presumably due to the number of calls being made), but a receptionist does take them and promise they will be counted.

The news comes as physicians at Sebastopol Hospital in Reims, France announced Monday they are withdrawing his nutrition and hydration tubes, the BBC reports. The decision comes after the French Conseil d’Etat (Council of State) ruled Tuesday that Lambert must be deprived of food and fluids and placed under deep sedation until he dies.

Jean Paillot, an attorney for his parents, called the decision “shameful” while his wife favors removing the life support.

Video filmed by Lambert’s mother Viviane “shows Vincent turning his head and eyes several times towards his mother, and vocalizing in muffled tones for about a minute,” the parents’ lead counselor Jérôme Triomphe told LifeSiteNews last month. “Now they’re telling us that Vincent is a vegetable connected to machines...that is absolutely false.”

Earlier this month, the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) called on the French government not to act on the decision to end Lambert’s life, but the French health ministry responded that it is not beholden to the committee’s judgment.

"Mr President, Vincent Lambert will die without hydration in the week of 20 May if you do nothing and you are the last and only one able to intervene," the parents implored Macron this weekend in an open letter this weekend. So the presidential phone line may be their last hope, and with the starvation process having begun, time is running out.

Concerned readers can call +33142928100 and request that the French government reverse the decision to allow Vincent Lambert to be starved to death. Please stay on the line despite hearing music for the first several minutes; calls are ultimately going through.

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David Daleiden outside Superior Court in San Francisco, California, Feb. 11 2019 Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews staff

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California Supreme Court sides with Planned Parenthood in baby body parts case

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The California Supreme Court has denied David Daleiden's petition to halt criminal prosecution against him. Daleiden is the undercover journalist whose videos allegedly reveal the involvement of abortion industry workers in illegal baby body parts trafficking. The Petition for Review, filed April 25, 2019, asked the state's high court to overrule the Superior Court of San Francisco County's order permitting the unconstitutional intervention of special interest groups in the criminal prosecution.

Peter Breen, Vice President and Senior Counsel at the Thomas More Society, is part of Daleiden's defense team, which includes former Los Angeles District Attorneys Steve Cooley and Brent Ferreira. Breen responded to the denial:

This decision to deny David Daleiden's Petition for Review means that Xavier Becerra , as Planned Parenthood's prosecutor-in-chief, will be able to continue his unconstitutional harassment of David, bringing charges against him that don't pass the "red face test."

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is spearheading the prosecution of Daleiden, levying 15 criminal felony counts for non-consensual eavesdropping and conspiracy against him as a result of the abortion industry video exposés. Becerra is the successor to current Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris, who began the political prosecution and, like Harris, has been closely allied with, and supported by, Planned Parenthood.

The Petition pointed out that the prosecutors are biased and that the trial judge's orders permitting Planned Parenthood's lawyers to intervene in a criminal prosecution and permitting Daleiden's accusers to testify anonymously and sealing the evidence after the hearing all deny Daleiden his rights under the Constitution to an unbiased prosecution and a fair and public trial. Because the California Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal, the preliminary hearing, which the Supreme Court suspended in April, will be put back on the criminal court felony calendar, and the Thomas More Society will have the opportunity to cross-examine the abortion providers under oath as it puts the State to its burden of proving that it had probable cause to file the politically motivated felony charges in the first place.

The not-for-profit Thomas More Society has been defending Daleiden across the country as Planned Parenthood Federation of America, together with multiple affiliates, and the National Abortion Federation have brought civil lawsuits against him. Abortion-friendly officials have pressed criminal charges against Daleiden, most notably, with this case in San Francisco and a previous one in Houston, Texas, where the Thomas More Society succeeded in have all charges against Daleiden dismissed.

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Linda Harvey

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10 amendments to keep the pro-LGBT ‘Equality Act’ from persecuting Christians

Linda Harvey
By Linda Harvey

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Well, they did it. Nancy Pelosi’s rogue lawmakers passed the anti-Christian, anti-health, anti-morality, anti-child “Equality Act” (H.R. 5). And so now it heads to the Senate.

Where timid, compromised Republicans wait to offer amendments they can hide behind. We can hope Mitch McConnell never brings this bill to the floor.

But watchfulness is needed. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) is chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Keep an eye on Rob Portman (Ohio); Mitt Romney (Utah); Richard Burr (N.C.); Susan Collins (Maine); possibly Martha McSally (Ariz.); and of course, Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). There’s more than enough to worry about.

And Trump has stated he has reservations but has not committed to a veto.

But hold on. Maybe there are amendments that would make H.R. 5 (and its Senate version, S. 788) acceptable. Here’s a possible list:

1. Let’s see an amendment that upholds religious liberty: “Nothing in this act will infringe upon the First Amendment religious freedom rights of any citizen, nor bar RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) as a defense for a cause of action.”

The Human Rights Campaign along with Joe Biden calls religious objections “a license to discriminate.” But let’s not worry about them as we remove a bit of  totalitarianism from S. 788.

Let’s continue, because much, much more is needed.

2. In the spirit of truth over mythology, let’s amend the bill’s definitions with a crucial clarification: “Nothing in this bill is to imply that ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer’ (‘LGBTQ’) behaviors are immutable like race. Fourteenth Amendment defenses are therefore inapplicable. Nor are those who identify as ex-homosexuals or ex-transgenders to be subject to unconstitutional First Amendment or civil rights’ violations.”

But wait! There’s more.

3. Another amendment should remove all barriers to counseling choice. Period. The act at present would accelerate bans on talk therapy (pejoratively labeled “conversion therapy”) for all teens and even adults. The act labels such help “discrimination.”

Because no one ever chooses this counseling willingly, right? No teen in the history of the world has ever logically observed that human bodies don’t fit “LGBT” or “Q” behaviors and then sought freedom from disordered desires. If a teen undergoes counseling to overcome homosexual attractions or gender confusion, it’s always under heavy pressure by redneck, right-wing, Bible-thumping parents, right?

Incorrect. Without such therapy, one writer says he would have killed himself as a teen.

But we are not done.

4. “It shall not be considered an act of ‘discrimination’ under this Act to reveal in a classroom or for other educational purposes, the high risks and medical consequences of ‘LGBTQ’ behaviors. This may include citing HIV/AIDS surveillance data on ‘males who have sex with males’ or the high correlation found in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (CDC) in 9th to 12th graders who identify as ‘gay, lesbian or bisexual’ with early sexual activity, substance abuse and other behavioral risk factors; or by noting the potential health hazards of opposite-sex hormones on adolescent growth and development; or the overall negative outcomes of a ‘transgender’ identity, including the higher prevalence of suicide ideation.”

Let’s continue that line of thought:

5. Concerning parental rights, one amendment should allow parents to remove their children from any school discussion of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” And if lesson plans feature condoms; chemical castration; oral and anal sex; and all the deviant elements the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) insists belong in an “inclusive” sex ed curriculum, parents and also school boards have the right to bring these lessons to a halt without being labeled as bigots and haters, being trashed in the local media, having their phone numbers given out so they and their children get threatening phone calls, or having their employers contacted so they get fired.

Speaking of endangering other people, there’s another action needed:

6. The Equality Act could definitely use an amendment that removes the entire “transgender” (“T”)  sub-group of the “LGBTQ” coalition. Isn’t it kind of an albatross? The whole “non-discrimination” measure would be sleeker and speedier minus disputes about bathrooms, female sports, women’s shelters, and the obvious dangers to women (and sanity) that some progressives suddenly don’t see.

And as the gender rebellion lobby screams from coast to coast, let’s deal with the assault on biology and the unborn.

7. Clarification: “Nothing in this bill is to be construed as overturning federal restrictions on abortion funding, or altering current definitions of ‘sex’ in federal law. This definition shall continue to rely on biological sex as determined at birth.”

And:

8. “An employee shall not be found to have committed employment discrimination as a result any of the following: social media postings outside  work time, profession of evangelical Christian faith, unwillingness to verbally affirm ‘LGBTQ’ behaviors or same-sex unions, starting an employee group for Christians or conservatives, professing support for a known conservative political figure, or for refusing to be a vendor for a same-sex ceremony or other homosexuality-affirming event.”

We cannot forget to add this one:

9. “‘Public accommodations’ in this bill are not to include church facilities, church property, religious organizations, synagogues, or any church camp or faith-based wedding venue. Public accommodations are not to include schools, youth-related organizations, camps, or any locale where children or teens gather, because of the documented adverse effects and destabilizing influence of homosexuality and gender confusion on youth.”

Last but not least:

10. “Nothing in this act shall prevent a health care professional from refusing to provide puberty-blocking medications to nine-year-olds, or from refusing to prescribe testosterone to teen girls or estrogen to teen boys, or from declining participation in surgery to amputate the healthy breasts of 13-year-old girls, or the penises of 16- year-old boys. Health care conscience freedom is not to be infringed by the inequalities embedded in the ‘Equality Act.’”

Okay, I might be dreaming — but then, I dream of an America where homosexuals and gender anarchists are not in charge.

What’s left in H.R. 5/S. 788? It’s been pretty well stripped bare. That’s perfectly okay with me and millions of other Americans.

Linda Harvey is president of Mission America.

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Ryan Bomberger. Radiance Foundation
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Conceived in rape, I am the 1 percent used to justify 100 percent of abortions

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By Ryan Bomberger

May 20, 2019 (Radiance Foundation) — Iowa. Kentucky. Mississippi. Ohio. Georgia. Alabama. What do these states have in common? Courage and compassion. They've passed Heartbeat bills (Missouri and Louisiana are on their way), banning the brutal act of abortion once a heartbeat can be detected in unborn children. 

I love how mainstream media is trying to spin this as a male versus female political fight (well, at least they're admitting that there are only two genders). They ignore all the prolife women in this fight — the ones who run the majority of prolife organizations and the ones fighting in state and federal legislatures who reject the violence of abortion. 

All across the Twittersphere, pro-abortion activists are tweeting in ALL CAPS: NO UTERUS, NO SAY!!! Funny. Didn't seven white men in black robes deliver the violence of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in the first place? Guess that's an acceptable form of "patriarchy."

CBS News laments: "Alabama just criminalized abortions — and every single yes vote cast by a white man." Gasp! Didn't know it was a crime to be a white male politician.

Didn't all white men (91% of Republican white men and a smaller 60% of Democrat white men) make women's right to vote, the 19th Amendment, a reality?

USA Today asks: "25 Men voted to ban abortion in Alabama. Do they reflect the rest of America?". It starts off with more alarmist language: "25 white male Republicans in Alabama voted to ban abortion at every stage of pregnancy." There those Radical Republicans go again, believing we're all created equal. 

Didn't all white male Republicans vote to abolish the injustice of slavery?

And then there's the horrific tragedy of rape, which the Left is relentlessly exploiting. Never mind they ignore it when Planned Parenthood fails to report the rape of underage victims. Those rape situations don't bother them. No. Only when they realize how potent it is to use the 1% to justify 100% of abortions. 

I am that 1 percent

My biological mother was raped, yet she rejected the violence of abortion. I was adopted and loved instead. I'm not the "residue of the rapist", as Senator Vivian Davis Figures described those like me who were conceived in rape. I couldn't control the circumstances of my conception. Could you, Senator? 

My birthmom needed an active Healer in her life, not an activist huckster.

As an adoptee who grew up wanted and loved in a multiracial family of fifteen and as a happily married adoptive father with four children, I'm here to say there's another side of this painful issue. There are others like me who were conceived in the violence of rape, like my friend Rebecca Kiessling, an attorney and passionate defender of life. There's the former Miss Pennsylvania, Valerie GattoTrayvon CliftonMonica KelseyJim SablePam Stenzel, and many more whose stories offer a different perspective than mainstream media's myopic pro-abortion view. There are women who became mothers from rape who courageously chose life, like Jennifer ChristieLiz Carl, and Rebekah Berg

I mean, who really are the extremists here? Those who think that every human being has the right to life? Or people who celebrate the needless slaughter of one million innocent humans each year in America? People who boast about having their abortions like Gloria Steinem sporting an "I had an abortion" shirt? People like fake feminist Jill Filipovic who suggest severing part of a man's penis every time he impregnates someone? People like Cecile Richards who compare protesting abortion to protesting a colonoscopy, because an unborn child is not at all different from feces?

When it comes to rape and abortion, how do you heal violence with more violence? 

Let's be real here. Even if Alabama's Human Life Protection Act had a rape and incest exception, the confused Handmaid's Tale cosplayers would still be out in full force. Fake feminists need to exploit tragedy to promote their false equality. And they never seem to find space in their screeds to talk about punishing the actual criminal — the rapist.

Remember when the bipartisan Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act was signed by President George W. Bush? Every abortion group, including the NAACP, descended upon DC in 2004 in a massive protest, called the "March for Women's Lives." How dare you prevent a child from being partially birthed in order to have her tiny skull crushed and body parts severed to remove that separate human being from her mother's body?!

Dr. Leana Wen, the historically-challenged President of Planned Parenthood, declared on Twitter: "I can't believe I have to say this — but there is no such thing as infanticide in medical care. There is no such thing as abortion up until birth." Clearly she didn't get the memo about the Planned Parenthood-led "March for Women's Lives" demonstration 15 years ago when pro-abortion activists went all apoplectic after mostly Republicans and some Democrats voted to stop the brutal practice of partial birth infanticide. 

According to the New York Times, Ron Fitzsimmons, the executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitted that the barbaric intact dilation and evacuation procedure (aka "partial birth abortion") was "common."

And then there was Virginia Governor Ralph Northam calmly explaining how infanticide is practiced. Let's not forget Gosnell, who happened to be committing infanticide for years in Philly — delivering babies alive and then snipping their spinal cords to kill them. He was finally convicted of murder and jailed.

New York's recently passed Reproductive Health Act reiterated that abortion up until birth, for any "health" reason (physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age as declared in Doe versus Bolton), is legal as long as the abortionist vouches for it. How convenient. 

Vermont just passed H57 which eliminates all abortion restrictions, allowing abortion up until birth. The legislation also decriminalizes self-induced (aka "back alley") abortions. 

Fake feminism is the extremism. It sees compassion in an act of violence. It sees strength when someone succumbs to despair. It sees (selfish) autonomy where God designed selfless dependency. 

I am the one percent that is always demonized and exploited. But I'm part of a far larger collective of courageous and compassionate advocates for Life who believe in the radical notion that we all have equal and irrevocable worth regardless of how our lives began.

Published with permission from the Radiance Foundation.

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Phil Lawler

Opinion, ,

Is a pope spreading confusion just as bad as a pope committing heresy?

Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

May 20, 2019 (CatholicCulture.org) — John Rist, perhaps the most distinguished scholar among those who signed the open letter charging Pope Francis with heresy, has explained his action in an interview with the National Catholic Register. I would strongly urge all concerned Catholics to read the entire interview. Rist is an extremely intelligent man, and makes a strong case in defense of the open letter, while at the same time recognizing its limitations.

Although I remain convinced that the open letter is asking the wrong question, I am entirely in sympathy with Rist's ideas as he explains them to the Register. And I dare say that, based on the same interview, he seems to be in sympathy with the argument I put forward more than a year ago in Lost Shepherd: that Pope Francis has produced immense confusion among the Catholic faithful, which can only be corrected by clear and forthright teaching from stalwart bishops.

As I argued when the open letter first appeared, I think that the authors of the open letter made a tactical mistake, because the charge of heresy is very difficult to prove, whereas the charge that the Pope has caused confusion is — if I may use a popular expression — a slam-dunk.

"But," you might say, "confusion isn't as bad as heresy!" Are you sure of that? We look to Rome for clarity: for reliable guidance on questions of faith and morals. If we have no sure frame of reference — no "true magnetic north" — then we are exposed to all sorts of heresies, large and small. When a theologian teaches heresy, he may mislead those who hear or read his views. But when the Roman Pontiff foments confusion, he allows for the possibility that all Catholics may be misled.

John Rist understands that the open letter has weaknesses. He knows that lay people cannot bring a Pope to trial. He recognizes that many people will see the letter as extreme, or impertinent, or divisive. But he felt compelled to do something, because the stakes are high, the situation is grave.

Ultimately, Rist says — again echoing my argument in Lost Shepherd — the confusion caused by Pope Francis cannot be resolved by a plea from the laity. If the problem is confusion, the answer is clarity — clarity in teaching, which can come only from the hierarchy. But maybe, just maybe, an impassioned plea will stir up action among the bishops. "The letter," he says, "is primarily and immediately a challenge to the bishops to act rather than ignore or wring hands only."

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.

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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon

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How can you tell it’s a pro-abortion protest? Nudity and middle fingers

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By Jonathon Van Maren

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The coffee meet-and-greet on Saturday, May 18 was supposed to be low-key. MPP Sam Oosterhoff was scheduled to show up at the Grimsby branch of the Canadian legion at 9 A.M., where constituents could show up with questions or concerns or just to say hello. A group of abortion activists, however, had other plans, none of which involved actually asking questions or expressing concerns in polite or civilized manner. Enraged by Oosterhoff’s recent speech at the Toronto March for Life, they decided to show their displeasure.

A few dozen men and women descended on the legion hall, chanting and shouting. Several of them sported the white bonnets and long red dresses of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which delusional abortion activists lacking in both literacy and observation skills have decided is a pro-life parable. They ended up being the best-dressed ones there — one woman went entirely topless, presumably to protest objectification.

When Oosterhoff eventually attempted to leave in a pickup truck, the rabble decided to take action. As the Toronto Star put it:

The crowd didn’t let him go quietly, quickly surrounding the truck and refusing to budge. Protestors shouted at the two inside the truck, while a topless protester demonstrated outside the passenger window.

After about twenty minutes, with much shouting and at least one male protester prominently displaying the middle finger, the police finally arrived to clear a path for the vehicle. This display of crudeness, nudity, obscenity, and lawbreaking, of course, was considered a raging success by the feticide enthusiasts, who took to Twitter to celebrate.

They were congratulated by the federal NDP’s Charlie Angus, the longtime member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay. Angus, who as recently as January mourned the “growing deterioration of civil discourse,” chortled that the “Minister for Incel got panicked” when the abortion activists showed up. This is the second time Angus, who has a strange obsession with Oosterhoff, has called the young politician an “incel,” the first being just after the MPP’s speech at the Toronto March for Life.

“Incel” is shorthand for “involuntary celibate,” referring to a male who cannot find a sexual partner. It isn’t clear what Angus is trying to get at here: is he mocking Oosterhoff’s Christian beliefs about sexuality? Is he insinuating that he thinks Oosterhoff is undesirable, an extremely weird thing for a politician pushing 60 to say about a much younger man? Or is he claiming that young men who do struggle to find a partner are somehow pathetic and worthy of ridicule? At any rate, Oosterhoff’s upcoming marriage is well known, so it appears that the only safe conclusion here is that Angus has fallen directly onto his face.

Consider, for a moment, how the media would be reacting if the tables were turned. If it were pro-life activists blockading the vehicle of a pro-choice politician, progressive politicians would be calling for a bubble zone around every abortion-supporting politician in the country. Pro-life activists would be accused of “threatening” and intimidation.” If it were a pro-life politician referring to a pro-abortion politician as an “incel,” the editorial pages would be throbbing with the indignation of progressive columnists, and politicians would be issuing condemnations and calling for apologies.

But thousands upon thousands of pro-life men, women, and children rallied across the country this past month from Victoria to Ottawa, and nobody took his clothes off. Nobody swore at the abortion activists who showed up to protest, and nobody blockaded anybody’s vehicle. That’s not simply because pro-lifers are aware that the media and the politicians will lie about them if given the chance. It is also because the difference between a movement built on love and compassion and a movement dedicated to selfishness and abortion is obvious simply by contrasting their public protests.

In this episode of The Van Maren Show, Jonathon van Maren and Lord Conrad Black have a conversation specifically about Donald Trump, starting with the most obvious question: “What made you write a biography about President Donald J. Trump?” Lord Black is best known for being the former publisher of The London Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, The Chicago Sun-Times, and The Jerusalem Post and the founder of Canada’s National Post. A commentator on both TV and radio, he has been one of the primary defenders of President Trump.

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Trump disappoints with vague non-response to Alabama abortion law

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By Calvin Freiburger

May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As conservative infighting erupted over Alabama’s new abortion ban and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy publicly bad-mouthing the law because it lacks rape or incest exceptions, many eyes turned to the uncharacteristically-silent President of the United States to give their side of the dispute an edge. Over the weekend, Donald Trump finally broke his silence with a statement that vaguely distanced himself from the law while changing the subject to generic rhetoric about the next election.

Trump posted the statement to Facebook and Twitter on Saturday evening:

As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother - the same position taken by Ronald Reagan. We have come very far in the last two years with 105 wonderful new Federal Judges (many more to come), two great new Supreme Court Justices, the Mexico City Policy, and a whole new & positive attitude about the Right to Life. The Radical Left, with late term abortion (and worse), is imploding on this issue. We must stick together and Win for Life in 2020. If we are foolish and do not stay UNITED as one, all of our hard fought gains for Life can, and will, rapidly disappear!

For the record, Trump is misstating Reagan’s position. It’s true that the Gipper once favored a rape exception, explaining in a 1975 radio address that “just as [a woman] has the right defend herself against rape, she should not be made to bear a child resulting from that violation of her person.”

But as president, Reagan had seen the light. In a 1984 debate, Reagan’s Vice President, George H.W. Bush, clarified that his running mate was more conservative than he on this point: “The president and I do favor a human rights amendment. I favor one that would have an exception for incest and rape, and he doesn’t.” In his 1988 State of the Union Address, Reagan called for a Human Life Amendment that makes only “one exception” when a pregnancy “threatens the life of the mother.”

As for the substance, Trump doesn’t explicitly come out against the Alabama law...but what’s the point of choosing now to reiterate one’s support for exceptions, if not to distance oneself from it? The goal of uniting all pro-lifers to focus on the abortion lobby’s latest extremism is fine, but signaling allegiance to the naysayers doesn’t accomplish that; it just needlessly antagonizes some of your most ardent allies.

If the president wanted to effectively call on pro-lifers to rally around what unites us, he should have stressed to those squeamish about the “hard cases” that the Alabama law’s ultimate purpose is not to take effect immediately, but to challenge the Supreme Court’s disenfranchisement of the American people on abortion. If successful, Trump could have pointed out, the result won’t be the final establishment of anyone’s ideal abortion ban, but freeing each state to pass whatever pro-life laws it’s ready for.

We’ll have accomplished one major goal we all claim to want, while the debate would continue over rape and incest abortions. That would be a message every pro-lifer could rally behind, whereas letting some within our ranks echo pro-aborts about the law’s “extremism” only undermines the cause of life.

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