Court may force disabled Catholic woman to abort her child
RENO, NV, November 1, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A disabled woman in Reno, Nevada, may soon be forced by court order to abort her child against her wishes, despite the objection of her parents. A hearing is being held Thursday in Nevada’s 2nd District Court to hear testimony from medical experts in the case.
LifeSiteNews spoke to the woman’s mother, Amy Bauer, and her attorney, Jason Guinasso, about the events that led to the pregnancy and court case.
Elizabeth Bauer, 32, was born in Costa Rica, but adopted with her five siblings and brought to the United States by Amy and William Bauer of Fernley when she was 12. Elizabeth – known to those who care for her as “Elisa” – is disabled as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Her birth mother drank while pregnant, leaving Elisa mentally impaired and prone to seizures. She is said to have an IQ of 42 and a mental age of six.
At age 18, still unable to care for herself, Elisa was entrusted by the court to her parents’ permanent guardianship. They have been responsible for her care ever since, first in their home, then at Chrysalis, a group home for disabled adults in Reno.
The exact circumstances under which Elisa became pregnant are unknown, but the young woman had a history of leaving Chrysalis to visit nearby truck stops and casinos, where she had sexual encounters with men. It is unclear whether these encounters were consensual, although Chrysalis staff suspect she had sex in exchange for money so that she could gamble. The nature of her mental impairment, however, suggests she is unable to legally consent to sex.
Concerned for their daughter, the Bauers worked with Chrysalis employees to try to stop her visits to the truck stops and casinos. They gave her a cell phone with a GPS tracking program, and tried to schedule more frequent home visits and other activities to keep her distracted. At the request of Chrysalis staff, the police opened a file and tried to follow her when she left the facility without a specific, safe destination in mind, concerned that she would forget to take her medication and suffer a life-threatening seizure. But the Bauers could not prevent her from leaving the group home without formally institutionalizing her – an option the family discussed and rejected because state law requires disabled adults to be cared for in the least restrictive environment that meets the needs of their disabilities.
Chrysalis employees notified Elizabeth’s family about her pregnancy as soon as they were aware of it. For the Catholic Bauer family, abortion was not an option, but they also knew Elizabeth would not be able to care for a baby herself. They reached out to their community and quickly lined up at least six families willing to adopt the infant, even if the child has special needs.
When they took Elizabeth to see her neurologist, Dr. William Torch, to find out how her anti-seizure medications might need to be adjusted to minimize harm to the baby, social services, and the court, got involved.
Concerned that she had been sexually abused, Dr. Torch called in Adult Protective Services to question the pregnant woman. Elizabeth’s story, Amy says, was inconsistent. At first Elizabeth said she had not been raped; then she told investigators “I said no, but he did it anyway.”
Soon after, the Bauers were summoned to court without explanation – and without a lawyer.
Amy Bauer says that she and her husband received notice on October 2 that they were to appear in court for an “informal status conference.” The couple assumed it had to do with their Annual Guardianship Report – a required yearly filing which William had prepared, but had not yet notarized or sent in. He sent it that day, and the Bauers appeared as requested on October 9.
That was when they realized the hearing was about much more than late paperwork.
Attorney Jason Guinasso says Judge Egan Walker confronted the Bauers about Elisa’s pregnancy. He asked what they planned to do about it, specifically whether they were considering abortion. When Amy and William told the judge that their Catholic faith prevented them procuring an abortion, Guinasso says the judge was dismissive.
“He said ‘I have inherent authority to [override their wishes] because the court appointed the guardians and they are agents of the court,’” Guinasso said. But Guinasso says that is a misreading of the law.
“There are no statutes that give this Court or Washoe County the authority to compel Elisa to have an abortion,” said Guinasso. “Such decisions are left to the sound discretion of the duly appointed guardians.”
He questioned what would happen if the tables were turned and the parents wanted the abortion. “If Mr. and Mrs. Bauer were abortion minded,” he said, “and decided Elisa should have an abortion, or they had decided to allow Elisa to use contraception and Washoe County Social Services had moral and ethical concerns about contraception or the efficacy of an abortion, neither Washoe County nor this Court would have authority to prohibit the guardians from allowing Elisa from using contraception or undergoing an abortion.”
At the hearing, the court appointed a guardian ad litem to advocate for Elizabeth. Said Amy, “I asked [the judge] what that was, and he said, ‘Oh, that has nothing to do with your guardianship rights. It’s just so that while the court is in session, he can talk to Elizabeth about what her wishes [regarding the pregnancy] are, and do research.’” The judge also appointed an attorney for Elizabeth.
Since then, there have been four more hearings. Amy says Elizabeth’s doctors are pushing for an abortion.
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Amy was horrified. “I tried to switch doctors, but the judge said, ‘No, you can’t do that right now,’” she says. “I never picked these doctors. I thought I had to use these doctors because she was on Medicaid, but apparently not. You can pick any doctor on Medicaid.” Still, says Amy, the judge told her that before she can find new doctors for her daughter, “You have to wait until this is over.”
Elisa’s pregnancy is high risk because infants born to mothers on anti-seizure medication have a higher rate of birth defects than the general population. But the vast majority of epileptic women have healthy babies, says Dr. Michel Czerkes, an OB/GYN at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine. “Monitoring and screening in pregnancy is the recommended course of treatment in pregnancy for a baby who has been exposed to an anti-epileptic medication,” he says, “not abortion.”
At first, Amy says, Elisa was adamant that she did not want an abortion. “I explained to her what an abortion was, and she didn’t say anything. I said, ‘What do you want?’ and she said, ‘I want to have the baby and take care of it.’” When Amy explained that Elisa could not care for a child, Elisa agreed that it would be better if a mother and father took the baby in, as long as she got to see the child sometimes. “I wonder if it’s a boy or a girl,” Amy recounts, her voice breaking.
Amy and William tried to bring Elisa home to keep closer watch over her care during her pregnancy. Again, the judge said no. “They’re trying to limit our contact with her,” Amy tells LifeSiteNews.
She says Elisa is confused since the court process began, and that Chrysalis staff told her that the more the social workers and doctors talk to Elisa, the more upset she becomes.
“Until they started talking to her,” Amy says, “she was very clear that she wanted to have the baby and come home.” Since the court case started, however, “she’s upset and crying…she doesn’t want to go to court. She doesn’t want to talk to anybody anymore.” Amy says she feels as if social services is pushing a pro-abortion view on Elisa, and it’s confusing her daughter.
“I don’t know what they’re telling her,” Amy said, “but I know the result.”
LifeSiteNews.com contacted Deputy District Attorney Dania Reid, who represents the Washoe County Public Guardian, the department responsible for investigating Elisa’s case. Reid denied that the investigation and court hearings are designed to force Elisa to abort her baby. Reading from the court order, she maintained that her clients are investigating Elisa’s “medical and psychiatric, psychological condition, care, maintenance, and placement.”
When questioned about purpose of the investigation, the attorney was silent for 24 seconds.
She then said, “The purpose is to file a report with the court detailing the findings and conclusions regarding the current personal condition of Miss Bauer.”
Asked if the court is seeking to revoke her parents’ guardianship, Reid replied, “That is not what this order says.” As to whether it’s possible that Elisa will be forced to have an abortion against the wishes of her parents, Reid said the court “will be the ultimate arbiter” in deciding the fate of Elisa and her baby.
A court hearing is scheduled for at 2:30 PM PDT on Thursday, during which Judge Walker will begin hearing testimony from medical experts. A second hearing is scheduled for November 6.
Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.
I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:
Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.
Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.
After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.
The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.
So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.
When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.
Target boycott climbs to over 1 million
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.
The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”
Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.”
The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says.
The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children.
“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked.
There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins
CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.
Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.
At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.
“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.
“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”
“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”
Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.
But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.
The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.
Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.
“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”
Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:
The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.