Kristi Burton Brown

Planned Parenthood, NARAL: Gosnell proves we need fewer restrictions on abortion clinics

Kristi Burton Brown
By Kristi Burton Brown
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April 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - It’s unsurprising that, to preserve their public image, both Planned Parenthood and NARAL claim to “condemn” what Kermit Gosnell did as “reprehensible.” Two things are less surprising.

One: that both organizations have failed to describe exactly what part of what Gosnell did falls under their condemnation. After all, Delaware Planned Parenthood has been found with similar filthy and unsafe conditions. Planned Parenthood’s abortionists regularly behead babies inside the womb at the same age of many of the babies Gosnell beheaded outside the womb. Would Planned Parenthood or NARAL care to explain the difference? I doubt it, because there isn’t much of one.

The second less surprising thing is that Cecile Richards and Ilyse Hogue (presidents of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, respectively) are using Gosnell’s horrific actions to – get this – condemn the regulation of abortion clinics. Come again? One would think that, if you yourself run upstanding, clean, healthy clinics, you would have no objection to regular inspections by the state or requirements that allow emergency personnel easier access to your procedure rooms. What exactly do Richards’s and Hogue’s objections tell us about the state of their own organizations and clinics?

The Huffington Post shared comments from Hogue:

Instead of encouraging more restrictions on reproductive rights, Hogue said, the Gosnell trial should serve as a warning about the consequences of denying women access to safe and affordable abortion care.

‘This is exactly what happens when you place undue restrictions and you try to shame women to keep them from exercising their constitutional right to safe and legal abortions,’ Hogue told The Huffington Post in an interview. ‘You make them victims to people like Gosnell, because in their desperation they’ll turn anywhere. You want to drive people like Gosnell out of business? Then you actually support medical facilities and the right of women to safe and legal abortion.’

Okay, wait. It’s not as if Pennsylvania is a state that highly restricts abortions – especially not before the Gosnell story came out. Women in Pennsylvania were not denied “access to safe and affordable abortion care.” (Though I can easily imagine that Hogue may be saying, in part, that abortions should not be banned after 23 weeks, even though babies can rather easily survive on their own after that point.) After all, if women can’t kill a baby who could easily live and breathe on his own (with help from the NICU), women are restricted! Their rights are being denied!

I fail to see any explanation of how Pennsylvania’s laws led women to Gosnell instead of to Planned Parenthood. Both were operated in Pennsylvania, and both were subject to the identical restrictions. It’s not as if women knew that Gosnell would commit horrors and flocked to him instead.

When Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman asked Cecile Richards a very pointed question, Richards went off into no-man’s land about how Planned Parenthood is “open to anyone to come and visit and see exactly what we do.”

AMY GOODMAN: … The report singling out Pennsylvania’s health and medical regulators for ignoring complaints against the clinic dating back to 1993. Can you talk about your response to this?

CECILE RICHARDS: Look, it’s a horrific story, Amy. And I think that what is—in some ways, to me, it really underscores the danger of what’s happening in Congress, which is, what we’re seeing is this attempt to move a legal medical procedure that many women need—abortion—and putting it in the back alley again and putting it—putting folks like Planned Parenthood, who are responsible medical providers—we have the highest-quality staff. We have medical doctors from the most prestigious medical schools. Our doors are open to anyone to come and visit and see exactly what we do. It’s so important that we have providers who will provide women with excellent care who need it. And I think the case in Pennsylvania is just a case in point. My fear is that if the House of Representatives is successful and they put Planned Parenthood completely out of business, which is their goal, we are going to see more stories like this, because we are going to see women who will be desperate to terminate a pregnancy, and they will go anywhere to do it.

Let’s think about this for a minute. If I went into a Planned Parenthood and asked to see “exactly what they do” – namely, an abortion procedure – do you really think they’d let me? Do you really think they’d let me freely walk around their clinics and inspect their refrigerators, freezers, plumbing pipes, trash cans, basements, and storage rooms? I doubt it. Would they really, truly want the public to know how many of their clinics are as filthy and unsafe as Planned Parenthood of Delaware?

Another NARAL rant goes off about how, since poor women can’t use federal Medicaid funds in Pennsylvania for abortions (note no mention of state funds here), and since they have to “scrape together hundreds or thousands of dollars to pay for an abortion,” they simply had to go to Gosnell. Whaaaat? Since when have Planned Parenthood clinics decided they were too good to accept scraped together cash? Or is this another admission of how Planned Parenthood and NARAL view the cash of poor women?

Here’s one of the many major problems with Hogue’s and Richards’s unrelated spin: if you don’t insist on regular inspections, clinics are “essentially in charge of inspecting themselves.” Horrific things happen when laws are passed but fail to be enforced. (And what better way to enforce a law than to inspect and see if regulations are actually being followed? I mean, it’s common sense, really.)

Planned Parenthood doesn’t get a free pass just because they claim to have the “highest-quality staff” from “the most prestigious medical schools.” If Planned Parenthood and NARAL really supported women; if they really wanted women to be safe and in a sanitary place, they would stop objecting to state inspections of abortion clinics. In fact, they would be the ones demanding these inspections, if they really wanted to prove how different they are.

The problem is, they’re not different at all. They’ve just been a little better about not getting caught…

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org.

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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
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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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