Peter Baklinski

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B.C. MLA wants bigger abortion-clinic ‘bubble zones’ in wake of local 40 Days for Life campaign

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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VIEW ROYAL, British Columbia, October 23, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A local British Columbian pro-life group, turning up the pressure on Vancouver Island’s abortuary during the 40 Days for Life campaign, has caused a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) to campaign for a bigger “bubble zone” around provincial abortion clinics, from 50 to 60 metres.

Maurine Karagianis, NDP MLA for Esquimalt-Royal Roads, has accused the pro-lifers of “verbal assault” and “emotional assault” on women “seeking services” at the Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic, which is directed by abortionist Dr. Konia Trouton.

“(Clinic staff) are very concerned about the really aggressive nature of the protestors,” she told Victoria News, adding that the “clinic is asking for the bubble zone to be increased so that they can push some of those protestors further back.”

Steve Weatherbe, President of Choose Life Victoria, is calling Karagianis’s claims “just bogus”.

“It’s just Karagianis interpreting our presence as assaultive,” he told LifeSiteNews.com.

Karagianis, who was re-elected in May, is the opposition critic for Women’s Issues and Child Care.

Choose Life Victoria is on day 29 of 40 Days for Life, a campaign to end abortion through prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil at abortion clinics, and community outreach.

Weatherbe said his group is always careful about how it interacts with people.

“We’re very careful — in our signage and what we do when people engage us in conversation — to be very passive, generous, charitable, and mild.”

But Karagianis believes that she has a valid case for a larger bubble zone. According to Victoria News, West Shore RCMP allegedly received a call about a member of the pro-life group entering the abortion clinic on October 10.

Weatherbe confirmed that a new member of the pro-life group did enter the abortuary to ask questions about the kinds of services provided, but that the woman did not violate the bubble zone ordinance since it is not illegal for a woman to seek information about what services a business provides.

“There are certain things you can’t do inside the bubble zone, and one of them isn’t that you can’t go and ask questions of the staff,” he said.

West Shore RCMP told LifeSiteNews that it did not have a record of the incident, and even if it did, it would not allow for its release.

Weatherbe said that Karagianis’ is trying to silence opposition to abortion.

“Her intention — her side will say anything — is to get us out of there because they want to create a moral vacuum around the clinic. They want a place where nobody questions what’s going on,” he said.

“They want [the abortion clinic] to continue going on as it did for tens years before we came on the scene. They want it to continue on as a place where nobody even knows [the clinic] exists so that the people of View Royal can go on complacently passing by everyday a place that kills a thousand babies a year.”

B.C.’s “bubble zone” law was passed in 1995, seven years after the 1988 Morgentaler decision where the Supreme Court decriminalized abortion, stripping away the few remaining legal protections offered to unborn babies. The law forced pro-life demonstrators away from abortion clinics. Violators can be fined up to $5000 and six months in jail, with greater penalties for subsequent offences.

B.C.’s Appeal Court upheld the bubble-zone law in 2008, with Justice Catherine Ryan ruling at that time that the “object of the Act is to protect vulnerable women and those who provide for their care to have safe, unimpeded access to health care services.” A further appeal was dismissed in April.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority has written a letter supporting Karagianis’ efforts to have the bubble zone increased, according to Victoria News. But View Royal City Council, however, has come out in opposition to the MLA’s efforts, since it says it has not received complaints from the clinic or its patients.

“So while it’s an interesting suggestion from our MLA, I think we probably need to hear other input, other concerns, favour for this,” said Counselor John Rogers to Vancouver Times.

Weatherbe said he is pleased that City Council is not supporting Karagianis’ initiative, and that it appears to him that Council “realizes the importance of free speech, fairness, and due process in a pluralistic democracy.”

Weatherbe said that pro-abortion citizens who vulgarly oppose his group’s peaceful and legal pro-life efforts should be the ones receiving the attention for their indecent and offensive behavior.

Weatherbe has witnessed residents living near the abortion clinic hurling abusive language at pro-lifers peacefully and prayerfully witnessing to life.

He related how one woman opened an apartment door nearby and exposed herself nude to the group. Another time this same woman appeared wearing a noose around her neck calling out that the group’s activities would make her commit suicide.

Horse manure and food scraps have been dumped where the pro-lifers witness in an effort to compel them to leave the area. Obscene chalked messages aimed at the pro-lifers have been written in the same area.

Weatherbe is discussing with his group how to best proceed. The current bubble zone law already puts his group across the street from the abortion clinic. If the zone area is increased, the group will be forced to place itself much further down the street, out of view of the clinic.

“We’re against this of course because then we wouldn’t have any impact on people going into the clinic, we wouldn’t be able to give those women a chance to reflect upon and question their own actions before they go in and get this quickie [abortion] operation,” he said.

“The whole thing is about creating a morality free zone.”

Contact info:

Mayor Graham Hill
View Royal Town Hall
45 View Royal Avenue, Victoria BC V9B 1A6
Phone: (250) 479-6800
Email: [email protected]

Maurine Karagianis, Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA
A5-100 Aldersmith Place, Victoria, BC V9A 7M8
Phone: (250) 479 8326
Email: [email protected]

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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