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Gingrich, Romney spar over abortion records in leadup to South Carolina primary

Ben Johnson

GREER, SOUTH CAROLINA, January 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Abortion has become the key point of contention between Republican candidates as the presidential race turns from New Hampshire to heavily evangelical South Carolina.

Newt Gingrich has highlighted Romney’s abortion stances in an ad entitled “Changed.” The narrator asks:

What happened after Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney changed his position from pro- abortion to pro-life? He governed pro-abortion. Romney appointed a pro-abortion judge, expanded access to abortion pills, put Planned Parenthood on a state medical board but failed to put a pro-life group on the same board. And Romney signed government-mandated health care with taxpayer-funded abortion.

Gingrich introduced the abortion ad after a series of attacks on Romney’s history with Bain Capital failed to win him wider support.

Romney’s “Restore Our Future PAC” responded with a piece of direct mail in Florida, stating, “Newt Gingrich co-sponsored a bill with Nancy Pelosi to give $60 million annually to the UN Population Fund,” and that, as Speaker of the House, Gingrich “backed even more legislation that provided taxpayer-funded abortions.”

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“Obviously it’s important for me to remind people that I’m pro-life,” Romney told a crowd in Greer, South Carolina, where his history of shifting views on the issue continues to cost him support in the overwhelmingly pro-life state.

FactCheck.org has countered both campaigns by stating both men changed their views on the issue over the years, although the organization failed to specifically refute the factual claims about Romney’s history.

- FactCheck defended Romney from the charge that he allowed greater access to the abortion pill by noting he liberalized the distribution of “emergency contraception, or ‘the morning-after pill.’” However, Plan B can act as an abortifacient, preventing an already fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterus.

- The health care bill Romney signed resulted in subsidized abortions, allowing women to pay only $50 for the procedure. FactCheck notes the Massachusetts Supreme Court mandated the coverage decades earlier; however, Romney did nothing to oppose the provisions. Romney later called his plan, “the ultimate pro-life effort.”

- It affirms that Romney did not veto a provision in the health care bill appointing a member of Planned Parenthood to the MassHealth Payment Policy Advisory Board, but quotes Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCFL) President Anne Fox that: “It was not something that right to lifers were concerned about at the time. It was a minor thing.” Yet MCFL’s executive director, Marie Sturgis, said the failure to veto Planned Parenthood’s participation on the board “deeply disturbed” her. Ann Romney served as MCFL co-chairman, and Mitt donated $15,000 to the group in 2005.

- Criticisms of Romney’s pro-abortion judicial record was well-founded, the fact-checking organization agreed. Months after his pro-life conversion, Romney named Matthew J. Nestor, who described himself as a “pro-choice” Democrat, to a lifetime post on the Somerville District Court. Romney said he appointed Nestor because of his tough record on crime. 

FactCheck defended Gingrich from distortions of his record while noting his changing record on aspects of the abortion debate over his career.

It dispels the notion that Gingrich supported taxpayer-funding for China’s one-child policy. The bill in question, the “Global Warming Prevention Act of 1989,” never came before Congress for a vote. While the bill would have provided $60 million for the United Nations Population Fund, which has been found to be complicit in China’s one-child policy, it barred funds for “involuntary sterilization or abortion” and “the coercion of any person to accept family planning services.” President Reagan’s Mexico City Policy, which forbade taxpayer funding of foreign abortions, was also in effect at the time. President Clinton repealed the policy in 1993. However, there remained concerns about the fungibility of the funds to UNFPA. Gingrich’s website states, “Newt supported a very limited aspect of the 1989 bill that promoted hydrogen energy research.”

However, Newt did support taxpayer-funded abortion while he was Speaker of the House. In 1995, Gingrich publicly supported “funding in the case of rape or incest, or [to save the] life of the mother,” backed funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and later offered his endorsement to Republicans who supported partial-birth abortion. The Des Moines Register reported in November, “Gingrich has switched his position on federal funding. He now thinks the government should not ask taxpayers to pay for any abortions.”

Gingrich caused a stir in December, before the Iowa caucuses, when he said life begins at “implantation,” then backpedaled to say life begins at “conception.” 

Texas Governor Rick Perry has changed his views on allowing abortion in the case of rape or incest after meeting with Rebecca Kiessling, a pro-life activist who was conceived through rape.

Republican rivals Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman are also touting their consistently pro-life records ahead of the election.

The South Carolina primary will be held January 21, ten days before the Florida primary.

 



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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

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. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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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.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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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.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

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.



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