Hilary White

Pro-life group’s graphic display censored by foes, attacked by friends

Hilary White
Hilary White
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ROME, November 9, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The pioneering pro-life demonstration group Abort67 is making waves all over Britain with its photographic displays of aborted children, and they are being attacked by friend and foe alike for their troubles.

Fresh from their resounding court victories after being arrested last year for displaying the images in Brighton, Abort67 has moved on to a national platform with new groups forming around the country. Organisers have said that the publicity surrounding their case, including close coverage from the BBC and several national newspapers, was worth the trouble of the arrest and court case.

But not everyone in the pro-life community is pleased with the success of the graphic images strategy. After Abort67’s appearance at their campus, Bristol University Students for Life published an op-ed condemning and distancing themselves from the other group and the use of graphic images. The Students for Life mandate, they say, is the correct way to address the life issues, “from a secular and non-judgemental perspective”.

“Abort 67 and Bristol Students for Life both oppose abortion. That is where the similarities end,” the Bristol students’ group wrote.

“We shall be respectful, accepting and acting with the utmost tolerance towards both the society members, and members of the public regardless of background, opinion and creed”. The group says they have “unanimously rejected” the use of graphic images, saying they “do not feel it is appropriate or useful to cause great distress or alarm to others”.

Bristol Students for Life say they make the case with debate and argument and that they are willing to “engage with” opponents, so that “emotive and graphic pictures are not needed.” The group, however, condemned the arrest of Abort67 activists last year, saying they are “dismayed at the attitude of some British police officers” and that “protest cannot be a criminal offence in a liberal society”.

The Students for Life are thought to be reacting defensively to demonstrate their liberal credentials in the face of a counter-demonstration staged by the University’s students’ union (UBU). While Abort67 brought their graphic image display to campus the officially “pro-choice” UBU set up a banner in front of the graphic abortion display that read, “This union is pro choice”. University student’s unions around the Western world have a long track record of acting against campus pro-life groups and individuals who step out of line and make a strong case against abortion.

But Student’s for Life’s desire to distance themselves from such a high profile and highly successful activist group is not being well received by everyone associated with them. Rhoslyn Thomas, a former Bristol University student and organiser of Bristol Students for Life, told LifeSiteNews.com, “We were much more tolerant and sensible when I was there.” She was on the group’s organising committee for the academic year 2011-2012.

She responded to the accusations of her former classmates that the use of graphic images is counterproductive, saying that before Abort67 started using them, no one in Britain was giving abortion a second thought.

“If it upsets people then they are thinking about what abortion is, aren’t they? We’re upset by a lot of images, things that have happened in the past, like the Hiroshima bombing. Those are horrific pictures, but no one says we shouldn’t see them because it’s upsetting. But we know from that picture that it was wrong and how many people were hurt and killed by it.

“For some reason [the Bristol pro-life students] think people shouldn’t be forcefully reminded of abortion. But if you do nothing but talk about it, people might think it was just one issue among many. But when you see it, it’s much harder to say that it is just a ‘woman’s right to choose,’ because it’s such a horrible reality.”

She added a plea for civility and tolerance to her former classmates, saying that there needs to be a united front among the pro-life movement, or at least one of mutual respect. “Even if they disagree with Abort67, you can always find a way to disagree respectfully,” she said.

“Particularly other pro-life people whom you know have good intentions, and who have saved women from abortions. They’re not breaking the law, and they’re not hurting anyone, in fact they’re helping people.”

Pro-abortion groups have also reacted with outrage at the presence of Abort67 on Monday at historic King’s College, Cambridge. A group of students there brought home-made placards and stood in front of the Abort67 photos. Later King’s students brought out a flower pattern sheet to cover the photo display and disrupt conversations with passersby.

Similar actions were taken by pro-abortion counter-protesters at Abort67 demonstrations in Nottingham and Sussex.

The Huffington Post reported that students at Sussex University felt “distressed and intimidated” by the presence of the photo images and complained to each other on Twitter. The Student Rights group at Sussex said Abort67’s demonstration, held in late October, was “deeply concerning”.

“Students have a right to express pro-life views, but the detrimental impact that Abort67’s intrusive demonstrations have on students wellbeing, as well as on campus cohesion, should mean that they have no place on our campuses.”

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For Hillary Clinton, abortion access trumps religious liberty

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- For Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, apparently abortion trumps religious liberty.

It may have gotten bipartisan support in the House of Representatives last night, but a spokesperson for the Democratic Party's leading presidential candidate says a resolution protecting religious liberty in the District of Columbia "overrule[s] the democratic process" and hurts women.

The vote, which saw three Democrats join the GOP majority and 13 Republicans stand with Democrats, was meant to protect pro-life and religious organizations in the District from the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA).

RHNDA was signed by the mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser, in January, and makes it illegal for any employer, including religious and pro-life organizations, to use a person's belief or actions about abortion in employment considerations. It also requires employers to provide abortion coverage.

The resolution now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to fail due to the Senate being on recess. Under existing federal law, the measure has 30 legislative days to be disapproved by Congress and President Obama. If this does not happen, it becomes law.

The 30-day window ends on Saturday. President Obama promised a veto of the resolution on Thursday, even though RHNDA was opposed by former District mayor Vincent Gray. According to Gray, while he "applaud[s] the goals of this legislation," the former mayor believes RHNDA could violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal treatment under the law.

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The statement by the Clinton campaign left no doubt that she stood with Obama and a majority of Democratic legislators. Spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri told CNN, "Hillary Clinton has fought for women and families and their right to access the full range of reproductive health care without interference from politicians or employers."

"Hillary will fight to make it easier, not more difficult, for women and families to get ahead and ensure that women are not discriminated against for personal medical decisions."

The remarks come a week after Clinton took criticism for saying that "religious beliefs" critical of "reproductive rights" must "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,” she told the Women in the World Summit on April 23.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper," said Clinton in her speech. "Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will."

“Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed,” said the candidate.

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Social conservatives may be funding the destruction of marriage: corporate watchdog

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By Dustin Siggins

May 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- With over $55 million in annual revenue, the Human Rights Campaign may be America's most powerful LGBT activist group. And according to a conservative corporate watchdog, that's in part because social conservatives are funding it.

"Conservatives would be surprised to know that many of the dollars they spend every day are helping fund an agenda that seeks to destroy traditional marriage and undermine religious freedoms," said 2nd Vote National Outreach Director Robert Kuykendall. "Even when they purchase a beverage from a company like Coca-cola or Starbucks, their dollar is going to support HRC's liberal agenda to redefine marriage."

Less than 18 months old, 2nd Vote has graded hundreds of corporations on six issues -- corporate welfare, the environment, education, support for the Second Amendment, abortion, and as of two weeks ago, same-sex "marriage." Using their "scoring" system, 2nd Vote ranks corporations on their direct or indirect involvement with these hot-button public policy and cultural issues.

And according to them, some of America's favorite corporations are making the radical HRC agenda possible.

"HRC is the largest LGBT lobbying organization in the United States with reported revenues of over $55 million," Kuykendall told LifeSiteNews. "The redefinition of marriage and the undermining of religious freedom are major components of HRC’s policy agenda. To fund their policy goals, HRC has enlisted the help of many major corporations that we do business with every day to help fund. Over a third of the contributions received by HRC are listed as 'Corporate/Foundation Grants.'" 

Why should conservatives care about corporate donors to HRC? Kuykendall says the organization is both politically influential and publicly deceptive. "Last election cycle, HRC spent around a million dollars on electioneering activities and in support of liberal candidates willing to push their legislative agenda. HRC is responsible for spreading much of the misinformation regarding [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] laws and has also mischaracterized the protections provided by these laws."

"HRC organized a massive grassroots campaign in support of the legal battle to overturn state laws protecting marriage and influence the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges," said Kuykendall.

Marriage isn't the only issue on which conservatives may be at odds with HRC's corporate backers. "2nd Vote’s research into other issues such as life, the environment, and the 2nd Amendment shows that many of the companies supporting HRC have taken liberal stands on other issues as well,” he said. “For example, Apple, Citigroup, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola are Platinum Partners, the highest level of HRC’s National Corporate Partners, that have also funded the liberal Center for American Progress [CAP]."

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"Bank of America, Google, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, PepsiCo, and Morgan Stanley are also HRC Corporate Partners that have funded CAP. Furthermore, all of these companies signed the amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn state marriage laws."

In Indiana, the state's religious liberty law was modified because of corporate pressure led by Tim Cook, Apple's gay CEO. Kuykendall says conservatives should not give up, though he acknowledges that "for too long, conservatives have let liberals and groups like HRC bully companies into not just going along with their agenda, but actively funding and promoting it."

"However, conservatives have also proven their ability to mobilize and use their dollars in support of traditional values as we’ve seen through the fundraising campaigns for the pizza parlor and wedding cake makers who have been attacked by liberals for their beliefs. Conservatives need to turn the tables on the left, and groups like HRC, and motivate companies to stop funding the liberal agenda through the power of their shopping habits."

Only nine companies have ranks of "five" or "four" on 2nd Vote's ranking system, indicating a pro-marriage perspective. They are outnumbered more than 10 to 1 by organizations that support redefining marriage.

Concerned citizens can download the app on 2nd Vote's website. The full list of corporation scores can be found here.

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Fr. Mark Hodges

First graders exposed to book about transgender boy—without parental notification

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

KITTERY POINT, ME, May 1, 2015, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Parents at one Maine school are upset that children as young as six were exposed to a book promoting transgender issues, in the name of "acceptance."

Parents were not only not consulted, they were never even notified of their children's exposure to transgenderism.

Horace Mitchell Primary School read the book I Am Jazz to first-grade students. The book is about a boy who identifies as a girl from the age of two, "with a boy's body and a girl's brain." He eventually finds a doctor who tells his parents, "Jazz is transgender."

Parents began to inquire about what was being taught at Horace Mitchell Primary after children came home with questions about their own sex and wondering if they, too, might be transgender.

One mother, upset that teachers would broach the subject of transgenderism with her little boy, said the primary school ignored her complaint. "I feel like my thoughts, feelings and beliefs were completely ignored...My right as a parent to allow or not allow this discussion with my child was taken from me," she told Hannity.com.

"When I spoke with the principal he was very cold about it," the mother continued. "It's amazing how thoughtless the school has been with this whole thing."

Only after Sean Hannity made national inquiries did Horace Mitchell Primary School suggest that teachers should have told parents ahead of time.

Allyn Hutton, the superintendent of the local district, said she supported reading the book but admitted that parents should have been given advance warning about the subject matter. "We have a practice of – if a topic is considered sensitive – parents should be informed. In this situation, that didn't happen," she said. "We understand that toleration is tolerating people of all opinions."

Horace Mitchell Primary School sent an e-mail, after the fact, to concerned parents, including a link to a blog post of the school's guidance counselor, explaining their motivation was "cultivating respect."

"Some may think primary school students are too young to worry about addressing issues surrounding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students. Not so, experts say,” the school's guidance counselor wrote. “It’s never too early to begin teaching children about respecting differences."

Homosexual activists say they support the teaching of transgenderism to first-graders, with or without parental notification. "The staff of Mitchell School is...shedding a light on [LGBTQ] issues,” said a column in Gay Star News.

The LGBT puublication goes even further, advocating homosexual propaganda be commonplace in elementary schools across the country. "LGBTQ issues should never be classified as a 'sensitive subject,' [because] there is nothing sensitive about the way we are born. Blonde hair, brown hair, gay, straight or somewhere in-between."

Brian Camenker of MassResistance commented on the infiltration of homosexual propaganda in children's schools. "We deal with parents and teachers a lot, and the idea that teachers would do this is unconscionable. It's like the people that promote this stuff are evil. It's demonic. You can't imagine adults that would do this to other people's children, and do it with such anger, and such vitrol.”

Camenker emphasized that this is “not an isolated incident with just one, rogue teacher. This happens because the whole administrative hierarchy buys into it.”

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“The new generation of educators is very, very frightening,” he said.

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