Hilary White

Marie Stopes opens illegal abortion facility in Belfast

Hilary White
Hilary White

BEFLAST, October 11, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life people in Northern Ireland and around the world were shocked today at the announcement that international abortion giant Marie Stopes will open an abortion facility in Belfast, despite abortion remaining a criminal act in the province. In a surprise move, Marie Stopes revealed that on October 18th their Belfast outlet will begin offering early-term “medical” or chemical abortions as well as other “family planning” services like contraceptives. Pro-life advocates have called the move illegal and said it is nothing more than a political dodge intended to circumvent and ultimately overturn the law through the courts.

Marie Stopes is claiming that it will be acting within the law, which allows abortion in cases where it is “necessary to preserve the life of the woman or there is a risk of real and serious adverse effect on her physical or mental health, which is either long term or permanent”. They said they will offer chemical abortions to women up to the ninth week of pregnancy, as well as abortifacient “emergency contraceptives”.

Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Edwin Poots said, “This condition applies no less strongly before nine weeks than longer into the pregnancy.”

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The situation is being described by other pro-life observers as “critical” since Northern Ireland, together with the Republic of Ireland in the south, is one of the few places left in the Western world to hold out against full legalisation of abortion. As such the island has long been a target of some of the heaviest pressure from international pro-abortion campaigners and lobbyists. Several recent attempts have failed in Northern Ireland to bring in legalisation through the “back door” of medical guidelines and regulations.

Bernadette Smyth, the head of the province’s leading pro-life group Precious Life, told LifeSiteNews.com on the telephone that Marie Stopes claim that abortion is legal in N. Ireland up to the ninth week is “nonsense”. She was clear on one point, the facility will be acting illegally: “It will be an illegal abortion clinic.”

“These people just came in and set up a clinic,” Smyth said. “They’ve been working on this plan for apparently two years.”

Precious Life is “seeking legal advice” and has contacted the police and the Department of Public Prosecutions. They will be presenting evidence that Marie Stopes knows they are acting outside the law. Smyth related that Precious Life has proof that one of Marie Stopes’ African officials admitted at a conference in London that they commit illegal abortions in African countries that outlaw the procedure.

Asked if she thought that the Belfast facility is a political ploy to do an end run around the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland, she agreed.

“That’s what we’re worried about,” Smyth said, “that if we take an injunction against them, we won’t have any further arguments against them because the police will protect them.”

Although the facility’s location has been kept a secret, Smyth revealed that today pro-life activists have learned where it is. Smyth said, however, that public protests are not planned for the moment and Precious Life and other groups are focusing their efforts on contacting legal and parliamentary authorities.

She said the situation is “very similar” to that of the work of abortion pioneer Dr. Henry Morgentaler who in the late 1970s and early 80s forced the issue into Canada by openly operating illegal abortion facilities in Toronto while the procedure was still outlawed. By arresting Morgentaler and pursuing the case, prosecutors eventually played into the abortion movement’s hands, bringing the case into the courts that finally overturned the law without a democratic mandate.

Smyth said that her group has found support from the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, who is arguing on behalf of the Department of Health that the purpose of the law in Northern Ireland law “is to protect unborn children” not to give abortionists excuses to introduce early-term chemical abortions.

She denied claims that Marie Stopes is acting on behalf of women who need abortion in extreme medical circumstances. “There is no way that an abortion in the first nine weeks of pregnancy can possibly address any of the long term medical concerns for the mother”.

Marie Stopes is arguing that offering early-term chemical abortions before nine weeks falls within the letter of the law in Northern Ireland. But Smyth said that medical experts have advised her group that the only life-threatening situation early in pregnancy that normally results in the un-intended death of the unborn child is an ectopic pregnancy. This medical situation, however, is not possible to “treat” using chemical abortion techniques, or even surgical abortion techniques. The only treatment that will save the life of the mother is the surgical removal of the fallopian tube, which is not an abortion, and cannot be conducted in an abortion facility.

Recently, a meeting of obstetricians and other medical experts issued a statement saying that there is no “medical necessity” for abortion, as its proponents often claim.

LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Jim Hughes, the head of Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition, who was involved in the battles in the 1980s with Henry Morgentaler. Hughes, who also serves as the vice president of the International Pro-life Committee, said that Marie Stopes is clearly using the Morgentaler technique in Belfast.

“Break the law in order to change it,” he said. For decades, abortion campaigners tried to break Canada’s laws, but it was not until Morgentaler simply defied it, and was arrested and taken through the court system, that they finally won, and Canada’s law was thrown out.

“They are obviously doing an end run around the democratic rights of the people of Northern Ireland. I’m appalled to hear it,” Hughes said. He added that if it succeeds in Northern Ireland, it will show a way forward for activists in other countries. Ireland, he said, is a “key situation” for the pro-life movement around the world.

But Hughes said that he does not anticipate the ploy will succeed as it did in Canada. “I’m most encouraged by the actions of the people of Northern Ireland to keep abortion out,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Multiple polls have shown that the public in the province has no interest in bringing in the full provisions of the UK’s Abortion Act 1967. Demand for travel to the UK for abortion has fallen 36 per cent in the last 15 years in both the Republic and in Northern Ireland.

Hughes said, “I fully expect that the politicians would have the courage to ensure the law is enforced.”

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John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

BREAKING: Planned Parenthood shooting suspect surrenders, is in custody: police

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By John Jalsevac

Nov. 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Five hours after a single male shooter reportedly opened fire at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, chatter on police radio is indicating that the suspect has now been "detained."

"We have our suspect and he says he is alone," said police on the police radio channel. 

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers also confirmed via Twitter shortly after 7:00 pm EST that the suspect was in custody.

The news comes almost exactly an hour after the start of a 6:00 pm. press conference in which Lt. Catherine Buckley had confirmed that a single shooter was still at large, and had exchanged gunfire with police moments before.

According to Lt. Buckley, four, and possibly five police officers have been shot since the first 911 call was received at 11:38 am local time today. An unknown number of civilians have also been shot.

Although initial reports had suggested that the shooting began outside the Planned Parenthood, possibly outside a nearby bank, Lt. Buckley said that in fact the incident began at the Planned Parenthood itself.

She said that the suspect had also brought unknown "items" with him to the Planned Parenthood. 

Pro-life groups have started responding to the news, urging caution in jumping to conclusions about the motivations of the shooter, while also condemning the use of violence in promoting the pro-life cause. 

"Information is very sketchy about the currently active shooting situation in Colorado Springs," said Pavone. "The Planned Parenthood was the address given in the initial call to the police, but we still do not know what connection, if any, the shooting has to do with Planned Parenthood or abortion.

"As leaders in the pro-life movement, we call for calm and pray for a peaceful resolution of this situation."

Troy Newman of Operation Rescue and Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, also issued statements.

"Operation Rescue unequivocally deplores and denounces all violence at abortion clinics and has a long history of working through peaceful channels to advocate on behalf of women and their babies," said Newman. "We express deep concern for everyone involved and are praying for the safety of those at the Planned Parenthood office and for law enforcement personnel. We pray this tragic situation can be quickly resolved without further injury to anyone."

"Although we don't know the reasons for the shooting near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today, the pro-life movement is praying for the safety of all involved and as a movement we have always unequivocally condemned all forms of violence at abortion clinics. We must continually as a nation stand against violence on all levels," said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, based in Washington, D.C.


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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Rubio says SCOTUS didn’t ‘settle’ marriage issue: ‘God’s rules always win’

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Surging GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, says that "God's law" trumps the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision imposing same-sex “marriage” nationwide.

The senator also told Christian Broadcast Network's David Brody that the Supreme Court's redefinition of marriage is not "settled," but instead "current law."

“No law is settled,” said Rubio. “Roe v. Wade is current law, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to aspire to fix it, because we think it’s wrong.”

“If you live in a society where the government creates an avenue and a way for you to peacefully change the law, then you’re called to participate in that process to try to change it,” he explained, and "the proper place for that to be defined is at the state level, where marriage has always been regulated — not by the Supreme Court and not by the federal government.”

However, when laws conflict with religious beliefs, "God's rules always win," said Rubio.

“In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin — violate God’s law and sin — if we’re ordered to stop preaching the Gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that,” Rubio expounded. “We cannot abide by that because government is compelling us to sin.”

“I continue to believe that marriage law should be between one man and one woman," said the senator, who earlier in the fall was backed by billionaire GOP donor and same-sex "marriage" supporter Paul Singer.

Singer, who also backs looser immigration laws and a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, has long pushed for the GOP to change its position on marriage in part due to the sexual orientation of his son.

Despite Singer's support, Rubio's marriage stance has largely been consistent. He told Brody earlier in the year that "there isn't such a right" to same-sex "marriage."

"You have to have a ridiculous reading of the U.S. Constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex."

Rubio also said religious liberty should be defended against LGBT activists he says "want to stigmatize, they want to ostracize anyone who disagrees with them as haters."

"I believe, as do a significant percentage of Americans, that the institution of marriage, an institution that existed before government, that existed before laws, that institution should remain in our laws recognized as the union of one man and one woman," he said.

Rubio also hired social conservative leader Eric Teetsel as his director of faith outreach this month.

However, things have not been entirely smooth for Rubio on marriage. Social conservatives were concerned when the executive director of the LGBT-focused Log Cabin Republicans told Reuters in the spring that the Catholic senator is "not as adamantly opposed to all things LGBT as some of his statements suggest."

The LGBT activist group had meetings with Rubio's office "going back some time," though the senator himself never attended those meetings. Rubio has publicly said that he would attend the homosexual "wedding" of a gay loved one, and also that he believed "that sexual preference is something that people are born with," as opposed to being a choice.

Additionally, days after the Supreme Court redefined marriage, Rubio said that he disagreed with the decision but that "we live in a republic and must abide by the law."

"I believe that marriage, as the key to strong family life, is the most important institution in our society and should be between one man and one woman," he said. "People who disagree with the traditional definition of marriage have the right to change their state laws. That is the right of our people, not the right of the unelected judges or justices of the Supreme Court. This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years.

Rubio also said at the time that "it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood…"

“I firmly believe the question of same sex marriage is a question of the definition of an institution, not the dignity of a human being. Every American has the right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Not every American has to agree on every issue, but all of us do have to share our country. A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court’s decision today. In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other.”

The Florida senator said in July that he opposed a constitutional marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution to leave marriage up to the states because that would involve the federal government in state marriage policies.

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Former The View star Sherri Shepherd and then-husband Lamar Sally in 2010 s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Steve Weatherbe

Court orders Sherri Shepherd to pay child support for surrogate son she abandoned

Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

November 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Sherri Shepherd, a Hollywood celebrity who co-hosted the popular talk show The View for seven years, has lost a maternity suit launched by her ex-husband Lamar Sally, forcing her to pay him alimony and child support for their one-year surrogate son LJ. The decision follows an unseemly fight which pro-life blogger Cassy Fiano says has exposed how surrogacy results in “commodifying” the unborn.

Shepherd, a co-host of the View from 2007 to 2014, met Sally, a screenwriter, in 2010 and they married a year later. Because her eggs were not viable, they arranged a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania to bear them a baby conceived in vitro using Sally’s sperm and a donated egg.

But the marriage soured in mid-term about the time Shepherd lost her job with The View. According to one tabloid explanation, she was worried he would contribute little to parenting responsibilities.  Sally filed for separation in 2014, Shepherd filed for divorce a few days, then Sally sued for sole custody, then alimony and child support.

Earlier this year she told PEOPLE she had gone along with the surrogacy to prevent the breakup of the marriage and had not really wanted the child.

Shepherd, an avowed Christian who once denied evolution on The View and a successful comic actor on Broadway, TV, and in film since the mid-90s, didn’t want anything to do with LJ, as Lamar named the boy, who after all carried none of her genes. She refused to be at bedside for the birth, and refused to let her name be put on the birth certificate and to shoulder any responsibility for LJ’s support.

But in April the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, and now the state’s Superior Court, ruled that Shepherd’s name must go on the birth certificate and she must pay Sally alimony and child support.

“The ultimate outcome is that this baby has two parents and the parents are Lamar Sally and Sherri Shepherd,” Shepherd’s lawyer Tiffany Palmer said.

As for the father, Sally told PEOPLE, “I'm glad it's finally over. I'm glad the judges saw through all the lies that she put out there, and the negative media attention. If she won't be there for L.J. emotionally, I'll be parent enough for the both of us.”

But Shepherd said, “I am appealing the ruling that happened,” though in the meantime, Sally will “get his settlement every month. There’s nothing I can do.”

Commented Fiano in Live Action News, “What’s so sickening about this case is that this little boy, whose life was created in a test tube, was treated as nothing more than a commodity…Saying that you don’t want a baby but will engineer one to get something you want is horrific.” As for trying to get out from child support payments now that the marriage had failed, that was “despicable.”

Fiano went on to characterize the Shepherd-Sally affair as a “notable example” of commodification of children, and “by no means an anomaly.” She cited a British report than over the past five years 123 babies conceived in vitro were callously aborted when they turned out to have Down Syndrome.

“When we’re not ready for babies, we have an abortion,” she added. “But then when we decide we are ready we manufacture them in a laboratory and destroy any extras. Children exist when we want them to exist, to fill the holes in us that we want them to fill, instead of being independent lives with their own inherent value and dignity.”

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