NewsMon Jan 23, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
More Details on Conservative Candidate’s Harassment of Pro-Life Family
By John-Henry Westen
SCARBOROUGH, ON, January 23, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Today LifeSiteNews.com spoke with anÂindependent eye-witness of the events that took place yesterday outside a Scarborough Catholic Church where Conservative candidate Vincent Veerasuntharam and his campaign workers physically threatened and harassed a family handing out a pro-life candidates evaluation sheet.
LifeSiteNews.com reported yesterday that the candidate took a swing at LifeSiteNews.com director Steve Jalsevac and laterÂcampaign workers attempted to steal from him the audio recording device with which Jalsevac was taping the threats. (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jan/06012301.html )
John Corcoran, a parishioner at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine where the incident occurred told LifeSiteNews.com that he witnessed harassment of the family and said that the family did not provoke the attack.Â“Nobody that were handing out brochures were harassing anybody, they were taking all of this harassment I thought very well, because they weren’t striking back in any way that I could see, they were just refusing to give up the brochures that these people were trying to take,” Corcoran said.
Corcoran said he witnessed Jalsevac’s 16-year-old son Joseph being harassed.Â“One chap was harassing a young lad there something fierce, he was trying to get the brochures from him, he was speaking quite loudly right into his face,” said Corcoran.Â
For his part, Joseph Jalsevac recounts that the large, over six foot Conservative candidate Veerasuntharam threatened him saying, “I’m F….n going to punch you in the face”, simply because Joseph refused to leave as orderedÂby the CPC candidate.ÂÂHe recalls also that as things began getting violent,Âhis sisters on the street began crying and screaming.
According to Corcoran, Joseph was later physically assaulted by one of Veerasuntharam’s co-workers.Â“When I looked upstairs after a few minutes, somebody pushed the young lad, and he had nearly fallen down the stairs, he had to grab the banister otherwise he would have fallen down the stairs,” he said.
LifeSiteNews.com has learned that this was not the first intimidating confrontation staged by Veerasuntharam’s campaign workers.Â
Wayne Copeland, a local pro-lifer who had paid for the CLC evaluations to be printed, received what he called a “very intimidating” visit by three “pretty big guys” who knocked on his door in the wee hours of the morning at 1:45am Sunday.Â The men presented Copeland with a letter from Veerasuntharam’s lawyer claiming that the evaluation sheet defamed Veerasuntharam and demanding an apology before 8am that morning. CopelandÂstated that there were also at least two more men with them in a car parked on his street.
Another set of pro-life volunteers, this time at St. Dunstan’s Church in the riding,Âreported that they also were very aggressively harassed by Vincent V and his supporters. Michael Schaub reports that at three of the masses the Conservative candidate and his helpers were constantly “intimidating and trying to physically obstruct” the pro-life volunteers. SchaubÂtold LifeSiteNews that a young women yelled at the pro-lifers calling them names such as “fascists” and pulled allÂthe flyers out of his hands. Photos were taken of the pro-life people andÂthey were yelled at by the candidate and threatened with legal action for misrepresenting Veerasuntharam.ÂSchaub says heÂobserved the candidate harassingÂand talking loudly to another pro-life volunteer who was theÂvice-president of the parish CWL. ÂShe wasÂfrom Sri Lanka and knew of Vincent from his days at St. Andrew’s school in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She told LifeSiteNews she rebuffed Vincent’s demandsÂat the ChurchÂto support him because they came from the same country since sheÂwas not happy with his previous responsesÂon theÂissues.
Beyond that, LifeSiteNews.com spoke with two pro-lifers who handed out the election sheet at the Saturday-night Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church. TheyÂwere also intimidated by Veerasuntharam and his campaign workers and wereÂvery concerned about going back the next day.
After hearing about the Saturday night incidents,ÂSteve Jalsevac decided he should bring his small LifeSiteNews recorder toÂtakeÂevidence in case anything occurred while he and his family was handing out theÂevaluationsÂsheet at the church. However, he related to this reporter he did not expect that things would get as violent as they did. In 25Âyears of doing this work, he said, he has never encountered such a situation at a church during an election.
Jalsevac relates that after Vincent and his first assistant were joined by at least four more also very large East Asian men,ÂwhoÂall confronted himÂat once, he felt that he wasÂfaced with a group ofÂenforcers or thugs and that he was right to have called 911 after Veerasuntheram had earlier physically threatened him. Unfortunately, he says, police did not come right away and only responded after a second call was made by a church employee after Steve and his son were attacked on the church steps.
Calls to Mr. Veerasuntharam’s office for comment were not returned.
LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) about the candidate’s accusations that they had misrepresented him, and that the evaluation sheet was grounds for legal action,
CLC President Jim Hughes contacted a litigation lawyer early Sunday morning who assured him there were no grounds for legal action from the one paragraph evaluation of theÂConservative candidate.
CLC workers told LifeSiteNew.com they had repeatedly contacted and spoken to staff at Veerasuntharam’s campaign office about the questionnaire questions without success. CLC was not able to obtain any other information on the candidate beyond a Scarborough Mirror article which noted Veerasuntharam’s responses at an all-candidates’ meeting.
The Mirror reported that the Conservative candidate attacked Tom Wappel stating, “I’m not a MP who is going to go around with his personal Catholic values hiding in Ottawa.” To a same-sex marriage issue question, Wappel responded he has long opposed the redefinition of marriage. The CPC candidate, however, was reported to take a non-position stating, “I will consult with you the constituents and I will do what you want.”
Vincent Veerasuntharam, a member of St. Bonaventure’s Catholic parish in Toronto, serves as a director with the Sri Lanka Business Council and is well known within the Toronto Tamil community. He has been President of Suvara Travels Canada Inc., Scarborough for the past 18 years.
See previous report on this incident
Conservative Candidate Physically Threatens, Harasses Family Handing Out Pro-Life Election Sheet at Church - Updated
‘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.