Kirsten Andersen

More pro-life laws passed in last two years than in the previous decade, pro-abortion study finds

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 3, 2014 ( – According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion think tank with connections to Planned Parenthood, 2013 was a banner year for pro-life legislation, capping a three-year trend that saw more laws passed limiting abortion than in the previous 10 years combined.

According to the group's year-end report, 205 new abortion restrictions became law in the last three years, 70 in 2013 alone, making last year second only to 2011 as the most pro-life year across the state legislatures since Roe v. Wade.

In the decade 2001-2010, only 189 similar restrictions were enacted.

“This legislative onslaught has dramatically changed the landscape for women needing abortion,” the report’s authors stated. “The overwhelming preponderance of legislation concerning abortion was aimed at restricting access to the procedure.”

The report went on to attack four types of pro-life laws that the authors said “dominated the legislative scene during 2013: abortion bans, restrictions on abortion providers, limitations on the provision of medication abortion, and restrictions on coverage of abortion in private health plans.”

In particular, the group objected to two early abortion bans passed by Arkansas and North Dakota, states that they accused of “overtly flouting the standard established by Roe v. Wade.” In Arkansas, the state legislature overrode the governor’s veto to enact a ban on all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. In North Dakota, a “fetal heartbeat” law banned all abortion after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected, something Guttmacher’s researchers admitted “generally occurs at about six weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period.” Both laws are currently being challenged in court.

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Additionally, the group lamented the introduction of 11 separate pain-capable unborn child protection bills, three of which passed during 2013 (in Arkansas, North Dakota and Texas). Nine states now have such laws, which ban abortions after 20 weeks based on mounting scientific evidence that babies at that stage of development have nervous systems developed enough to recognize and feel pain – an assertion the report’s authors dismissed as a “spurious belief.”

Guttmacher’s researchers also complained about increasingly tough safety regulations around the country aimed at holding abortion facilities to the same standards as other outpatient surgical facilities. The report’s authors call the improved safety standards “TRAP laws” (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers), and say the new regulations are “onerous and irrelevant” and “designed to discourage medical professionals from providing abortion and make it impossible for clinics to remain open.”

A total of eight states tightened restrictions on abortion centers last year, many in the wake of a string of shocking court cases, clinic closures, and undercover videos showing the lax or nonexistent safety standards that appear to be the rule at such facilities – including West Philadelphia’s “House of Horrors,” where abortionist Kermit Gosnell both killed and maimed patients, as well as murdering babies born alive after botched procedures, a crime for which he is now serving three consecutive lifetime sentences.

Another target of Guttmacher’s ire was a trend toward limiting or banning so-called “telemed” abortions, in which abortionists prescribe dangerous abortion drugs by video conference or phone, without a physical exam and with no in-person follow-up.

“Despite the fact that telemedicine is rapidly gaining acceptance as a way to expand access to [abortion],” the group’s authors wrote, “over the course of the year, seven states (Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas) enacted laws effectively banning the use of telemedicine for medication abortion. In addition, the Iowa Board of Medicine adopted regulations prohibiting the use of telemedicine for medication abortion.”

The group also blasted states for moving to require abortionists to follow FDA guidelines when prescribing abortion-inducing drugs, which limit the prescription of abortifacients to the first 49 days of pregnancy and require a physical examination by a doctor. The reporters called the FDA protocol “outdated” and complained that it was inconvenient for abortion-minded women, both reducing the window of time for them to obtain chemical abortions as well as forcing them to make “an extra trip to the clinic” to ensure their safety.

Other pro-life laws objected to by Guttmacher’s researchers included bans on insurance coverage and public funding for abortion, parental consent laws, waiting periods, ultrasound, and counseling requirements, and even a conscience clause passed in North Carolina allowing health care facilities and medical professionals to refuse to participate in abortions. The group even complained about laws aimed at stopping sex-selection abortions, calling such laws a “problem-and-solution mismatch.”

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Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

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By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

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By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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