Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

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Major children’s charity criticized for pushing population control agenda

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
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LONDON, June 28, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A major international aid charity’s claim that more contraception and “family planning” is the solution to maternal deaths in the developing world is “false, illogical and unfounded,” the UK’s leading pro-life group has said.

Save the Children (SCF) has issued a report claiming, “Pregnancy is the biggest killer of teenage girls worldwide.”

“Every year one million teenage girls die or suffer serious injury, infection or disease due to pregnancy or childbirth,” the report said, and went on to recommend fulfilling the “unmet need for family planning” as the solution to maternal morbidity.

The report cited statistics that “girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy than women in their 20s. Babies born to younger mums are also at far greater risk and around one million babies born to adolescent girls die every year - babies are 60% more likely to die if their mother is under 18.”

But Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, responded to the claims, saying that they are “simply not backed by the studies [SCF] references in its report.”

“It is misleading to say that pregnancy or childbirth are in general causes of death. Haemorrhage, sepsis and infection may cause death. In most cases, death and serious injury can be averted by good maternity care, such as trained birth attendants, blood transfusion [and] antibiotics,” Tully said. 

The same applies to child mortality, he observed. “Babies in the developing world die because of lack of good maternity and newborn care. This will continue whether young women use contraception or not.”

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With this report, SCF appears to be positioning itself as a player in the population control lobby, saying they are “urging world leaders to increase the global availability of contraceptives” and to ensure that “women are empowered to decide when to have children through education and the law.”

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC’s communications manager, said that the “unmet need for family planning,” which for leftist organization typically includes artificial contraceptives, as well as abortion and sterilizations, is a myth invented by the international abortion/contraception lobby. Groups like the UNFPA, International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the World Health Organisation regularly use the concept to push national governments to comply with birth control programs.

The assumption, he said, is that every woman who is not trying to get pregnant but is not using contraception automatically has an “unmet need” for it. The reality, he said, is that rich and powerful ideologues are pushing “a decadent Western ideology of sexual liberation onto poor, vulnerable, culturally conservative societies.”

“Yet even the Save the Children report has a whole chapter entitled ‘Stimulating demand for family planning’. That’s not to deny that there are some cultural practices which should be addressed, such as coercion of teenage girls. But contraception doesn’t address that problem – it may even help to hide the evidence of abuse, help to enable it to continue.”

The report relies heavily upon claims by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Population Reference Bureau, the Guttmacher Institute – an offshoot of Planned Parenthood – and the Population Council, as well as officials in the relevant sections of WHO, UNICEF and DFID. These groups, Ozimic says, are effectively one: the international abortion-contraception lobby.

While the report names Somalia as an example of a country in which high fertility and population growth are linked to high child mortality, SPUC points out that Somalia is one of the “failed states,” in a constant state of violent crisis, without a central government or infrastructure, let alone a healthcare system. Similar deficiencies exist in governance and healthcare provision in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

“Save the Children should not be exploiting the negative cultural practices which have been linked to those cultures (e.g. coercion of teenage girls) to promote population control,” Ozimic said.

In related news, another major player in the international abortion/population control lobby, Marie Stopes International, has praised the British minister for foreign aid for his comments boosting contraception in poor countries.

The UK government is currently working with another of the leading population control lobbyists, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a Family Planning Summit to be held in London early next month. In preparation for this, the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, presented Parliament with the Global Impact Report prepared by Marie Stopes “that clearly demonstrates the benefits of contraception” in the developing world.

“Access to contraception,” the Marie Stopes report claims, is 20 per ent in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mitchell said, “This important report, which comes just two weeks before The London Summit on Family Planning, is a valuable piece of research that clearly demonstrates the benefits of contraception and why we are working to provide access to family planning for an additional 120 million of the world’s poorest women who want it.”

Marie Stopes enjoys massive government contracts to provide abortion and contraceptives in countries with high rates of birth as well as high maternal mortality and morbidity.

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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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