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Florida bans post-viability abortion, Jindal signs pro-life bills, NH backs pro-life candidate, more

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's abortion expansion bill remains mired in legislative inaction, pro-life laws have advanced in Florida and Louisiana, requiring doctors to protect babies who could survive outside the womb, obtain admitting privileges, and prevent human traffickers from forcing their victims into coerced abortions.

Florida

Florida abortionists will not be able to abort babies who could survive if they were delivered, under a bill that Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed into law on Friday. The state currently bans abortions after 24 weeks. H.B. 1047 would require a doctor to determine if a baby were able to live outside the womb before performing an abortion. After July 1, such abortions will only be allowed to prevent the mother's death or her severe physical disability. The measure was one of nearly 100 bills that landed on Gov. Scott's desk.

Louisiana

Gov. Bobby Jindal yesterday signed two bills into law designed to protect women and minors from shoddy practices and advice offered by abortion providers. On Thursday, he signed the “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act” (H.B. 388), which requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles and mandates that abortion offices meet the same health and safety standards as other surgical centers. The bill, similar to one passed in neighboring Texas, could close three of the state's five abortion facilities. “Women who resort to the traumatic experience of abortion are entitled to have these procedures performed in a safe environment,” said Rep. Katrina Jackson, an African-American Democrat from Monroe. The new law states that abortionists who perform surgical or medication/chemical abortion (RU-486) must comply with all licensing standards, as well.

Gov. Jindal also signed H.B. 305, barring any person or organization that performs abortions from presenting sex education in public or charter schools. State senators passed the motion on May 27 by a 31-5 vote. Live Action released an expose this week showing a Planned Parenthood employee suggesting an undercover reporter posing as a 15-year-old girl view online pornography, purchase sex toys online, and “work up to” allowing her boyfriend to hit her during intercourse.

On Monday he signed four bills designed to fight human trafficking and curtail their traffickers' ability to force their victims to abort. Abortionists will now have to present women who enter their facilities with information about forced abortions and post the number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Penalties for hiring prostitutes are also greatly increased. Soliciting a minor for sexual activity could result in a sentence of 15 to 50 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. "We're not here to just discourage it, to contain it, to reduce its frequency," Jindal told The Advertiser of Lafayette. "We're here to make sure we rid it from our state as a first step, rid it from our country, rid it from our world." Christine Caine of the A21 Campaign to prevent trafficking called the legislative package “a prototype” that other states could follow to fight traffickers' war on women.

New Hampshire

Pro-life conservative voters in New Hampshire are beginning to coalesce around former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith. Karen Testerman dropped out of the U.S. Senate race on Friday and endorsed Smith, saying she would no longer split the pro-life vote. "We can win this if we unite together behind Bob Smith,” Testerman said. Smith, who is seeking to regain the seat he held for two terms, is 100 percent pro-life and opposes redefining marriage. He will have his work cut out as he seeks to defeat former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, a Massachusetts transplant who favors abortion-on-demand, and Jim Rubens, a Brooklyn native who describes himself as pro-choice. "There's a breeze blowing out of Virginia," Smith said, referring to David Brat's surprise defeat of Eric Cantor this week. "The breeze is blowing and it's coming here. It's coming to New Hampshire."

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Michigan

Michigan abortionists may have to allow an expected mother to hear her baby's heartbeat, if Michigan passes one bill introduced in the state House. Right to Life of Michigan has supported that measure. Rep. Thomas Hooker, a Republican from Byron Center, also introduced bills barring abortion if a heartbeat could be detected. Hooker told Michigan Public Radio, “I think the discussion needs to begin to happen on the fact that this is an actual baby with a heartbeat, and we need to recognize that.” The state pro-life group opposes that legislation on the grounds that it would be invalidated under the Supreme Court's acceptance of Roe v. Wade.

Arkansas

The state government must pay $65,580 in court fees to the ACLU of Arkansas after the state lost its case defending a 12-week abortion ban. The judge, U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright, is the same magistrate who dismissed Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton. The president settled the lawsuit as Jones appealed the case to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tennessee

The people and the legislators of Tennessee should not be able to regulate abortion-on-demand, according to the state Democratic Party. The Democratic Party of Tennessee has hired a full-time staff member to campaign against Amendment One, which would allow legislators to restrict abortion. The state Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the legislature may not regulate abortion-on-demand, which it termed a human right. If passed, Amendment One would amend the state constitution to read: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.” It is supported by the state Republican leadership, and Michelle Duggar has actively campaigned for it. But Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Roy Herron told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the bill "would let Tea Party Republicans compel Tennessee women to bear rapists' children and even deny couples the right to save the desperately ill wife's life."

Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker, who is widely named as a dark horse presidential candidate in 2016, pointedly refused to give his own position on whether marriage is the union of one man and one woman in a recent interview, saying his position “doesn't matter.” The state is currently appealing a ruling striking down its marriage protection law issued by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, who was appointed to the bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. “Voters don’t talk to me about that,” Scott told The Chippewa Herald. But Julaine Appling, who leads Wisconsin Family Action, said, “Elected officials who are running for office this year in Wisconsin” are “concerned about their base. Well, their base says abandoning the party’s long-held position on marriage is not smart.”

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Christian clerk fights on as Sixth Circuit orders her to issue gay ‘marriage’ licenses

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

ROWAN COUNTY, KY, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A federal appeals court has ordered Christian clerk Kim Davis to provide same-sex “marriage” licenses, but she’s refusing to give in.

Davis, a Democrat, says that her Christian beliefs will not allow her to issue licenses for same-sex “marriages.” Despite pressure from Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear, a lawsuit from the ACLU, and two federal court rulings, Davis has refused to issue any licenses while the matter is still working its way through the courts.

However, the Sixth District Court of Appeals said Davis must issue the licenses.

While critics say Davis must follow the law as a public employee, she says the First Amendment protects her decision even as a government worker. In addition to being sued by the ACLU, she has pro-actively taken her case to court.

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Beshear told all government employees that "you can continue to have your own personal beliefs, but, you’re also taking an oath to fulfill the duties prescribed by law, and if you are at that point to where your personal convictions tell you that you simply cannot fulfill your duties that you were elected to do, then obviously an honorable course to take is to resign and let someone else step in who feels that they can fulfill those duties.”

The initial court decision against Davis was stayed 10 days ago. Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, whose organization represents Davis, told CNN that they might appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and are hoping the high court would issue a stay of the Sixth Circuit ruling in the interim.

A poll of Kentucky voters that was released last month found that 50 percent of the state backs natural marriage, while only 37 percent supported its redefinition. 

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Christians at Duke U refuse to read lesbian porn novel assignment

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By Steve Weatherbe

DURHAM, NC, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Christian freshmen at Duke University are refusing to read an assigned graphic novel depicting masturbation and homosexual intercourse. The university says the assignment was optional and won’t discipline the holdouts.

Brian Grasso emerged as the spokesperson for the dissenters after he posted his decision on the Class of 2019’s closed Facebook page. Opponents have done their best to mock and deride the holdouts as ignoramuses who don’t belong at Duke, but Grasso has addressed all their jibes, first to Duke’s student paper and then in an op-ed in the Washington Post, intelligently and engagingly.

The book at issue is Fun Home, a fictional depiction by lesbian artist Alison Bechdel of growing up with a homosexual, suicidal dad and discovering sex with other girls. “After researching the book’s content and reading a portion of it, I chose to opt out of the assignment,” Grasso told Post readers, explaining he was not opposed to learning about homosexuality any more than he would be with the ideas of “Freud, Marx or Darwin,” though he might find them immoral too.

“But in the Bible,” he went on, “Jesus forbids his followers from exposing themselves to anything pornographic. ‘But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,’ he says in Matthew 5:28-29. ‘If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away.’” He then cited St. Paul to support his argument.

Grasso knew Christians would be in the minority at Duke, he admitted, but what surprised him was that Duke would blithely assign something so obviously offensive to this minority. “Duke did not seem to have people like me in mind. It was like Duke didn’t know we existed, which surprises me.”

But Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization devoted to promoting American Catholic orthodoxy at Catholic universities, isn’t surprised. “American society has been moving away from Christian values or even neutrality, especially at secular institutions but even at Catholic and other Christian schools,” Reilly told LifeSiteNews. He urged Catholic and other Christian parents and high school students to choose their universities carefully.

Other freshmen have supported Grasso: Bianca d’Souza said the novel’s ideas were important but the salacious content unnecessary and offensive. Jeffrey Wubbenhorst wrote, “”The nature of ‘Fun Home’ means that the content that I might have consented to read in print now violates my conscience due to its pornographic content.”

But others from the class of 2019 responded, “Reading the book will allow you to open your mind to a new perspective and to examine a way of life and thinking with which you are unfamiliar.”

In the same vein students wrote the Duke student newspaper Chronicle, mocking the dissenters with references to a Dr. Seuss children’s book. “Mermaid Warrior,” for example, wrote, “I’m sure there are people who think Cat in the Hat sends bad messages. That’s a big problem I have with complaints like these, ‘I shouldn’t be expected to read stuff I disagree with!’ It’s like, guess what, there’s no way to find something that everyone will agree with.”

But Grasso makes clear his issue isn’t with disagreeable ideas at all. “I think there is an important distinction between images and written words. If the book explored the same themes without sexual images or erotic language, I would have read it. But viewing pictures of sexual acts, regardless of the genders of the people involved, conflict with the inherent sacredness of sex. My beliefs extend to pop culture and even Renaissance art depicting sex.”

Inevitably, Duke itself weighed in. The book was selected for summer reading by the freshman class, explained Duke’s vice president or public affairs, Michael Schoenfeld, “because it is a unique and moving book that transcends genres and explores issues that students are likely to confront.”

After touting its artistic value and noting that a Broadway adaptation won the Best Musical award for 2015, he noted that the book was not a requirement and there would be no examination or grading. He expressed the hope that Duke’s 1,750 freshmen would arrive with open minds willing to “explore new ideas.”

But for all that, Schoenfeld did not explore the issues raised by Grasso: morality, pornography and the sexualization of relations.

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John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

Aborted babies’ hands too disturbing? Solution: chop them off before shipping the bodies

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By John Jalsevac
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August 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - As if we needed more evidence that many of those in the abortion industry know perfectly well what they are doing, along comes the latest undercover video from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

The video includes disturbing undercover footage of a conversation with Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress, a biomedical firm that acquires the bodies of aborted babies from Planned Parenthood clinics.

During that conversation Dyer infamously jokes with an undercover investigator about the need to warn lab techs ahead of time when a fully “intact” aborted baby's cadaver is being shipped to them.

But there it is: that hand, in all of its beauty, and its horror. Beautiful, as every hand is beautiful. Horrific, in that it is attached to a dismembered arm, yanked out of its socket, and swimming in a pool of the baby’s intestines and other body parts, to be bartered over and sold. 

“If you have intact cases, which we’ve done a lot, we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety,” she says. "Tell the lab it's coming, so they don't open the box and" scream. "Their lab techs freak out and have meltdowns."

"Academic labs cannot fly like that, they are just not capable," Dyer adds condescendingly. "It's almost like they don't want to know where it comes from. I can see that."

But don’t worry, Dyer makes it clear she knows exactly where fetal tissue comes from, and isn't bothered in the least.  However, she agrees with a joke made by the undercover investigator, that if you’re going to be shipping the intact body of an aborted baby, it would be best to always make sure that the “eyes are closed.”

But surely the saddest part of the conversation comes when Dyer reveals how some of those squeamish lab techs manage to get around their natural repugnance at receiving little, perfectly-formed babies’ bodies in the mail, which they will then slice and dice – all in the name of “medical progress,” of course.

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She says that she often receives instructions from scientists who experiment on aborted babies that, "We need limbs, but no hands and feet need to be attached."

A curious request, no? But then again, there is something especially pesky about those tiny hands and feet, isn’t there?

Human hands are, after all, a true marvel of nature – so far surpassing in dexterity the appendages of any other mammal, the unparalleled tools that have enabled human beings to build empires, create art of breathtaking beauty, and to express themselves in myriad different ways. So marvelous, in fact, that Isaac Newton is reported to have said, “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”

Not only are hands and feet useful, but they knit human beings together in intimacy: lovers will hold or squeeze their beloved's hands, and friends will soothe their friends in time of sorrow by taking their hands. And then there is the case of new parents, who will go into raptures over the hands and feet of their newborn babies, and speak, using the foolish language of love, of wanting to “eat” them. Mothers will shower their newborn babies’ feet with kisses, and tickle them, and will study and fall in love with every dimple, every crease.

Perhaps that is why so many people found the fifth (or was it the sixth? I’m losing track of the horrors) video so disturbing: that footage inside the lab, when the man behind the camera uses his tweezers to delicately lift up a dismembered arm, with the hand still attached.

That arm, it is true, would not have been half so disturbing, were it not for the hand. But there it is: that hand, in all of its beauty, and its horror. Beautiful, as every hand is beautiful. Horrific, in that it is attached to a dismembered arm, yanked out of its socket, and swimming in a pool of the baby’s intestines and other body parts, to be bartered over and sold. 

Before this, we have heard the lab techs on camera identifying the baby as a twin, at about 20-weeks gestation. In other words, a baby on the very verge of viability.

But no mother will gaze in raptures at those hands and those feet. Instead, Planned Parenthood will discuss how much they can “get” for each "specimen." And perhaps Cate Dyer will instruct her staff to cut off the hands or the feet before shipping the limbs to those too-tender-hearted lab techs who might “freak out” and “have a meltdown” at being forced to see too much of the truth.

But what does it say about us, and our politicians, that the videos with those pesky hands and feet are out there circulating, watched by millions, and yet we are not “freaking out” or having any meltdowns?

Instead, our politicians are dismissing the video as being "highly edited," as if David Daleiden of CMP is a CGI wizard who can conjure up dismembered limbs at will, and even though even Planned Parenthood has never denied the existence of those dismembered arms and legs, but has only implausibly denied that they are illegally "profiting" from the sale of the appendages - as if illegally profiting from the sale is somehow worse than the fact that they have dismembered the babies in the first place. 

If the dismembered hands and feet aren't enough to awaken our consciences, and to force our politicians to stop the massacre, what will be? I fear the answer to that question. 

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