John Jalsevac

Pro-life leaders mourn passing of pro-life great Dr. Bernard Nathanson

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
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February 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life leaders across the United States and internationally today mourned the loss of one of the greatest pro-life activists of the 20th century - former abortionist and NARAL-cofounder Dr. Bernard Nathanson.

Nathanson, who was personally responsible for tens of thousands of abortions, famously converted to the pro-life cause in the 1970s after he saw an unborn baby on ultrasound recoil from a vacuum abortion device before being sucked from its mother’s womb. The ultrasound footage was later turned into the famous and extremely influential pro-life video “The Silent Scream.”

Jim Hughes, the President of Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition and a vice-president with International Right to Life, said: “I’ve known Bernie Nathanson for 30 years. He was a true inspiration for all.”

“He’ll be greatly missed. His story is an unbelievable story,” said Hughes, who recalled one time when Nathanson debated Canada’s “father of abortion,” abortionist Henry Morgentaler. “It was rather comical,” said Hughes “When Morgentaler put forward his ideas and his defense for the practice of abortion, and Nathanson laughed and said, ‘I invented all those phrases! I invented those statistics.’ It was quite the experience.”

“May the Good Lord accept his soul and say to him: ‘Welcome good and faithful servant.’”

“Today our movement mourns the passing of one of its greatest voices for life,” said Live Action President Lila Rose. “Dr. Nathanson is a testament to God’s grace; that any heart can be transformed into a beacon of love and truth.”

“In his memory, and as the battle in Congress rages these next two weeks, let us work tirelessly to aid Dr. Nathanson’s brave efforts in exposing evil and protecting the innocent. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” she said.

Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life echoed Rose’s comments: “Today the pro-life movement mourns the death of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a true pro-life hero.

“I’m saddened by that fact that this generation of pro-life activists will never get to meet Dr. Nathanson,” she said, “but inspired to know that because of his work this generation has been filled with the truth and will help end abortion in America.”

Judie Brown, the head of the American Life League, said in a statement provided to LifeSiteNews.com: “I think thousands of pro-life people around the world will sorely miss this great man, his honesty, his tenacity and his unwavering commitment to truth.

“I remember his famous visit to the Reagan White House with us in 1982, and the fascination the president had with Dr. Nathanson. Their friendship grew and when the Silent Scream was ready to be debuted, President Reagan asked Dr. Nathanson for a preview showing. After that, the rest is history.”

Brown added: “On a personal note, during one luncheon I attended with him to discuss pro-life matters, I recall him taking his credit card out to pay the bill, and sharing with me a most amazing fact. During one of his talks he had encountered a group of nuns in the audience, and after his talk one of them walked up to him, handed him a small crucifix, and said ‘Dr. Nathanson, we are praying for you. You are a great man and you should be a Catholic.’ He smiled when he told me this story, and as we all know he later became a Catholic.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said today that the life of Dr. Bernard Nathanson is one of the most remarkable stories of God’s mercy and power.

“My own life has intersected with his since the mid-80’s, and our last time together was just last week,” Fr. Pavone explained. “Years ago, Dr. Nathanson said, ‘I uncaged the abortion monster in the United States,’ and then he told us priests that he and his former colleagues ‘would never have gotten away with what we did if you had been united, purposeful and strong.’ That assertion is at the core of our ministry at Priests for Life.”

Fr. Pavone continued, “I will never forget the workshop at which I introduced him at the 1994 Human life International Conference in Irvine, CA. He was supposed to talk about chemical abortion, but at the last minute decided instead to speak of his spiritual journey. At the end of the talk, he said that he was standing on the brink of conversion to the Catholic Church. The room exploded. People were leaping into the air. He said that he hoped God could forgive him, and I said, ‘Dr. Nathanson, He already has.’ And I reminded him of that exchange just last week.”

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) issued a statement saying that it joins in with all its state affiliates in mourning Nathanson, “whose impact reverberates to this day.” As a fellow New Yorker, Jeanne Head, NRLC Vice President for International Affairs and United Nations Representative, knew Dr. Nathanson first as a foe and then as a friend. “Dr. Nathanson was probably one of the individuals most responsible for Roe v. Wade and, once he realized his error, he dedicated the rest of his life to reversing it,” Head said.

Head added, “It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of his book,  “The Silent Scream,” and his later video, “Eclipse of Reason” in driving home the sheer horror and brutality of abortion.”

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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