Dustin Siggins

Cosmo magazine accuses pro-life sidewalk counselors of attacking women

Dustin Siggins
Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the Supreme Court considers a Massachusetts law that enacted a 35-foot barrier around abortion clinics, mainstream media sources are describing alleged incidents that depict pro-life sidewalk counselors in emotionally negative lights. 

Last week, Cosmopolitan published an article entitled “6 Women on Their Terrifying, Infuriating Encounters With Abortion Clinic Protesters.” The article, which largely consisted of personal stories, opened by asking, “What is it actually like to encounter these protesters outside a clinic?”

None of the six women are either pro-life or have a positive perspective on sidewalk counseling. There is also no substantiation of their stories in pictures, other witnesses, or photographic evidence. 

One woman, who says she was on the Depo-Provera shot when she got pregnant seven years ago, claims several men were the only people in front of the clinic. Allegedly, these men threw doll parts at her and her escort – her aunt – as they walked into the clinic. 

Brittany, now 28, says that the protestors “convinced me I was making the right decision. ... We’d all just been through the most heinous experience, but there was a feeling of quiet satisfaction among this group of women amidst the horror. I thought, 'If I can make it through that, I can make it through the rest of this day.'”

Ronak, now 30, says she had an abortion at the age of 19. Her testimony opens by blaming the PTSD diagnosis she was given one year after the abortion on her experience going through protestors outside the clinic she entered. 

Heather, who had an abortion two years ago at the age of 22, says she went to the clinic alone. Heather, who “just wanted to take a pill and have the whole thing be over as quickly as possible,” says “the guy that got me pregnant said he would be supportive of any choice I made and then never spoke another word to me after I told him I was going to have an abortion.” She criticized the use of graphic images of dead babies held by those outside the clinic. 

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In addition to the piece by Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post ran an article citing a clinic escort at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. "We are reproductive freedom fighters, and will will not allow them to harass our patients, we will not allow them to intimidate our staff and our doctors, and they're going to stay out of our driveway and stay out of our walkway,” said the escort. While most pro-life activists are white, according to the escort, the majority of patients are black, and she has heard “some of the most disgusting, degrading and racist comments to them about killing the dream, killing the next Barack Obama, the next Martin Luther King.” 

According to Brett Manero, who has led and co-led seven 40 Days for Life campaigns in Washington, D.C., the stories shared by Huffington Post and Cosmopolitan do not accurately represent who sidewalk counselors are. “Sidewalk counselors are there purely out of love,” Manero told LifeSiteNews. “We are there not only for the babies, but just as importantly, for the mothers and the fathers. We are there simply to show love and to offer better and safer options to abortion.”

Both articles fail to share important facts with readers. Regarding Depo-Provera, WebMD.com says the shot has a 99 percent pregnancy prevention rate. It also has many side effects, from headaches to loss of bone mineral density and depression. While “most of the side effects are not common,” some women “may experience irregular bleeding or spotting,” and “after a year of use, about 50% of women will stop getting their periods. Their periods usually return when they discontinue the shots.”

Increased risk of osteoporosis is also a side effect, though it “is more likely for those who have been taking it for longer than two years, particularly when other risk factors for osteoporosis exist, such as family history and chronic alcohol and/or tobacco use.”

The Huffington Post article did not provide context to why sidewalk counselors are so concerned with abortions among black women. According to a Guttmacher Institute fact-sheet published this month, black American women have 30 percent of abortions, while black Americans make up a mere 13.1 percent of the U.S. population. This is compared to 36 percent of abortions being done by white women, while Census data shows 63 percent of the nation is white.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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