Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

No case where abortion was ‘necessary to save mom’: Eminent Irish oncologist

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

DUBLIN, February 22, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An eminent Irish oncologist, professor and politician wrote today on his Twitter account that he has never encountered a situation in which abortion was needed to save a mother’s life.

Dr. John Crown, who has lectured in 40 countries and is the author of 150 research papers told Twitter followers that he had during his medical career faced some “hard decisions re: chemotherapy in pregnancy.”

However, he said, “I don’t think I ever had a case where abortion was necessary to save mom.”

The comments come at a crucial moment in Ireland as abortion advocates have launched a media campaign pressing for full legalization of abortion. Attempting to use the existing law and legal precedents to expand abortion, they claim that women are not being allowed “life-saving medical treatment” because of the abortion ban.

Those defending the law have countered that no woman in Ireland has ever been refused medical treatment that would have the unintended effect of killing her child but that would save her life. These cases are rare, and are largely confined to ectopic pregnancy and pregnant cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy.

Abortion, pro-life advocates have said, can never be regarded as medical treatment for the mother since its only purpose is the killing of an innocent human being.

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Youth Defence and the Life Institute welcomed the comment, saying that Dr. Crown had simply bolstered other medical opinion that abortion can never be called a “life-saving treatment.”

The comments may prove especially weighty since by his own admission Crown is not pro-life, and therefore has no ideological axe to grind. “For me it’s all about functioning nervous system,” he said, and strongly criticized the pro-life position on the personhood of the human embryo, writing that the “idea that 16 cells has same rights as [a] baby [is] equaled only in absurdity by idea that [a] fully formed foetus with [an] intact nervous system has none.”

In an opinion piece published in The Independent, Dr. Crown said that “extremists” on both side of the issue should be confronted: “pro-abortion extremists who would deny the rights and humanity of what is clearly a small unborn child,” and those who advocate “the position that a fertilised egg, or an early embryo ... is as full a human being as is a new-born babe,” which he labelled a “theological” opinion.

Without playing his hand on exactly what his position is on abortion, Crown argued that “it is time for the medical profession to risk unpopularity from right and left, and to give society the best advice that we can on the issue of when an embryo becomes a person.”

Dr. Crown served as assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University until 1993, then took up the post of consultant at two Dublin hospitals, St. Vincent’s and St. Luke’s. He holds professorships in cancer research from Dublin City University and University College Dublin and was recently elected to the Irish Upper House, the Seanad Éireann or Senate.

Niamh Ui Bhriain, head of the Life Institute, wrote earlier this month that the abortion movement’s claim about “life-saving medical treatment” is a ruse to force the country to legalize abortion on demand. Youth Defence and other pro-life organizations in the country have denounced this campaign as an example of deliberate pro-abortion disinformation. 

Rebecca Roughneen of Youth Defence told LifeSiteNews.com that Dr. Crown’s statement was an important intervention “since it confirms what senior medical experts have always said: that abortion is never medically necessary.”

Abortion campaigners, she said, are brazenly engaging in “dishonest scaremongering” with the present media blitz.

“They’re repeating the same lie over and over again in an attempt to make the public believe that abortion is needed to save mothers’ lives. The fact is, as Dr Crown has just pointed out, that all the medical evidence says that’s not true.”

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute also welcomed Dr. Crown’s statement which she said exposed the lie at the heart of the pro-abortion argument. “His statement is important at this time in particular since we’re seeing a really strident and well-funded push to see abortion legalised here on the grounds of preserving life.”

Recently a study was published by the World Health Organization, The UN Population Fund, UNICEF and the World Bank, a group of decidedly pro-abortion organizations, that showed Ireland, with its pro-life protections intact, enjoys one of the world’s lowest rates of maternal mortality in the world. 2008 statistics showed a rate of 3 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births and 3.81 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. This places Ireland 202 out of 222 countries.

Ui Bhriain said that Ireland’s experience had shown that doctors did not need abortion to preserve women’s lives. “We’ve had a ban on abortion for almost 30 years and, in that time, not one woman has died because she couldn’t get an abortion in Ireland. The experts have spoken on this issue, and the most senior obstetricians and gynecologists in the country have publicly stated that abortion doesn’t cure any condition or preserve lives,” she said.

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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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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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