OpinionTue May 22, 2012 - 11:37 am EST
David is advancing: young pro-lifers on the march in Europe
May 22, 2012 (HLIWorldWatch.org) - Anyone who has ever participated in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., has marvelled not only at the always-surprisingly massive and joyful crowds, but also at the abundance of pro-life resources available: books, pamphlets, buttons, stickers, CDs, DVDs, and so on. And in light of the comparably modest amount of pro-life material available in German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy), one may even be a little envious of the influential presence of the American pro-life movement in the worldwide battle to defend life, especially their youth activism.
We should of course keep in mind that in many, if not most, cases, the tragedy of abortion is being exported by the United States to the rest of the world. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the healing of the deep wounds that four decades of abortion have inflicted on the lives of countless post-abortive women and men should begin in America. It can no longer be denied that abortion is deadly, both for the child and for the mother, and it will take a concerted effort to end this holocaust.
In German-speaking countries, many people, especially young people, are finally beginning to realize the truth about abortion; a development which is the result of the tireless efforts of pro-life individuals and groups who have remained committed to raising awareness about its devastating consequences (despite constant ridicule by the media and the never-ending nature of the task at hand). Slowly, an appreciation for the beauty and dignity of every life is spreading, and the issue of abortion and the healing of its wounds is gaining more traction in the public conversation.
So what’s next? Without a doubt, the challenge of raising awareness remains at the forefront of pro-life activities. Our American counterparts have been exemplary in this respect, as well as in showing that the pro-life cause is very much a cause of the young generation. Contrary to the media’s portrayal of the pro-life movement as a collection of backwards extremists, the images from the U.S. March for Life and its European equivalents have put a new, young face on the cause for life.
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This year in Brussels, young pro-life leaders organized thousands for the March for Life in the EU capital. During pro-life demonstrations in Slovakia, around 500 young people marched for the first time in Bratislava, and in the city of Kosice more than 1,500 people participated in the march. Young people filled the streets for the March for Life in Prague. And Romania had its biggest March for Life ever with 20 cities participating. Being pro-life is not simply a vestige of a generation gone by but rather the passion of today’s generation and, by any indication, of tomorrow’s generation, too.
Recently in Rome, Italy, as many as 15,000 people of different ages and regions came to this year’s March for Life to express their solidarity with the unborn, many of them young pro-life advocates. It was a complete success, as organizers were expecting 5,000 people at most to attend.
Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, the director of the Rome office of Human Life International (HLI), who helped to organize the march, told LifeSiteNews that the march was a “demonstration of a new commitment to defend life” in Italy, particularly among the young
American Cardinal Raymond Burke also participated in Italy’s March for Life, telling the Catholic News Agency that it brought back memories for him of “so many marches” in America.
“[The marches] serve a very important function,” he said, “first to give a witness in our whole country to the inviolable dignity of human life but second, to awake consciences to what is happening.”
“I can only imagine that it will grow and increase every year and that it will be an important part in Italy, as it is in America, for the restoration of the respect for the dignity of human life,” he said.
So we have every reason to be optimistic in Europe that young pro-life leaders will finally turn the tide. Endurance, tenacity, knowledge and courage are vital to our success, and so is faithfulness. Our young pro-life leaders in Europe have all these qualities and more. The abortion lobby may be a Goliath, but young David is here, and David is advancing.
Joannes Bucher is the regional coordinator for Europe at Human Life International (HLI). This article reprinted with permission from HLIWorldWatch.org
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.