Karen Dudek

Piercing the darkness on the Piers Morgan Show

Karen Dudek
By Karen Dudek

August 28, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - Maybe it is only a pinhole, but new light is being shed on the subject of the “rape exception” thanks to the Akin debacle. On the Piers Morgan show Tuesday night, the issues were compounded and cloudy, but a sliver of brightness, more of moonlight than of day, shone through. And the light that was being reflected was coming off of Rebecca Kiessling.

It was an epic battle, Kiessling said, of two female attorneys with similar stories but opposite views: Gloria Allred and Kiessling discussing the “rape exception” on abortion. Both women had survived back-alley abortions. Allred was raped and survived an abortion. Kiessling, whose mother was violently raped, leading to her conception, survived two abortion attempts. She credits the law of Michigan at the time for protecting her life, and her mother is glad for that law today, too.

If you settled in to watch the debate hoping to be updated on the issues, you would have had to listen super fast. The hyperactivity of the show worked against any real hope of persuasion or education. Allred began with her opinion, and the flow of information came only when Kiessling began to talk…and then she was shamelessly interrupted.

With too much content and too little time, the stressful clock-ticking atmosphere and slow audio feed gave a natural advantage to Allred, who was in the studio and ready with her quick and hard-hitting sound bites: “Akin is a disgrace – back-alley abortions – mandatory motherhood – compulsory pregnancy.”

The frenetic-paced show contradicted the seriousness and dignity of a sensitive subject that requires some thought and time to absorb the words being used. What says false compassion better than rushed expressions of empathy, cramming too many “emotional” subjects into too few minutes, and interrupting people when they are about to make a point? The hectic atmosphere had the compassion of a boxing match, the grace of a wedding ceremony on fast-forward. Why can’t we slow down a second?

It is hard to get people to take a moment and look at the tiny person in the womb when surrounded by talk of rapists and abortion butchers. But that is not what it is like when a woman discovers that she is pregnant, even through rape. Having an abortion is violent. It provides no healing and no protection, and it does not change the fact that she has been raped.

Kiessling had facts: you may be surprised to know that “rape victims choose abortion at half the rate of your average unplanned pregnancy (50% in the U.S.). With rape victims, it’s only 15 -25% who abort”.

But just as we moved from opinion to focus on facts, both Morgan and Allred interrupted, saying the stats are mind-numbing, and while Morgan still insists that he has respect for Kiessling, we don’t get back to Kiessling’s train of thought. Allred heaps on fear, desperation, back-alley butchers, emotion, and the injustice of women being forced to raise children. Finally, they have a question for Kiessling: shouldn’t America stand for the basic right (to have an abortion) if one is desperate not to have a baby?

Kiessling responded immediately: “Modern America doesn’t allow us to kill a rapist or even a child molester. The Supreme Court has said that they did not deserve the death penalty. And I don’t believe that I or any other child similarly situated deserve the death penalty for the crimes of our fathers.”

Allred then flipped to a diversionary tactic, saying that an embryo should not have the same rights as a full-grown woman. But we are moving fast here. For a second, that made sense, didn’t it? There is a logic failure, though. What same rights are we talking about? The right to abortion, or the right to life? The woman already has the right to life. The baby is not asking to take the woman’s life. A mother can give her child up to a new home. But most of the women don’t. Another stat Kiessling tried to fire off but was stopped…over 50% of rape victims raise their own children.

“You talk about how much you care about women. Well, what good is my right to anything as a woman if I don’t have my right to life?” asked Kiessling. Finally, there was a moment of dead quiet.

After the awkward silence, for those who need a constant level of noise, or the moment of calm for others who are not afraid of the eye of the storm, there was, after a flurry (if brashness can be said to flurry) of aggressive abortion-minded assertions, no answer to her question: “What good is my life?”

“There was nothing they could say to that,” Kiessling told me later, happy to have had that moment. “I pierced the darkness! Everything else is worthless without my right to life.”

It is tragically ironic. Kiessling reports, “Rape victims are four times more likely to die within the next year after (they have had an) abortion, from suicide, murder, drug overdose, etc.” Kiessling wants rape victims to know she cares about them. “I want to protect them from the rapist,” she says, “and from the abortion, not the baby. A baby is not the worst thing that could ever happen to a rape victim — an abortion is. We need to educate the American public on the truth in this matter and not make public policy based on myth and misinformation.”

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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