Kristi Burton Brown

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

Kristi Burton Brown
By Kristi Burton Brown

April 22, 2013 ( - 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

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Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

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

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
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 /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
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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