Thaddeus Baklinski

Pro-life union members counter-protest pro-abort Canadian Auto Workers rally

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski
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WINDSOR, Ontario, June 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A pro-abortion rally organized by members of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 444 as part of a protest against the “New Abortion Caravan” didn’t go as smoothly as planned, after a crowd of pro-life union members showed up at the event in a counter protest.

CAW rally organizers said the pro-abortion demonstration was also staged to protest Conservative MP Steve Woodworth’s motion in the House of Commons calling for Parliament to establish a special committee to consider when human life begins.

The pro-abortion rally took place Monday evening in front of the Windsor Regional Hospital. The Windsor Star reported that about 100 pro-abortion union members were faced across the street with about half that number of pro-life union members, who not only stood to defend the lives of the unborn, but to protest their union’s decision to wade into the abortion debate.

CAW national president Ken Lewenza recently wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in which he stated the union is pro-abortion.

“We are involved in the political, economic and social fabric of this country,” Lewenza wrote, according to the CBC. “We have an absolute responsibility to speak up on social issues. We’re stepping up to the plate on issues that affect Canadians.”

Fran LaSorda, second vice-president of Local 444 and one of the organizers of the Windsor pro-abortion demonstration, told the Windsor Star the rally was a show of solidarity with other CAW demonstrators in London, Ontario, where the New Abortion Caravan was due on June 25.

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Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform executive director Stephanie Gray said that she “found it shocking that the largest private worker’s union in the country is using its union dues to advocate for abortion. Participation in this union is mandatory, and yet people like CAW president Ken Lewenza are using the union dues of pro-life auto workers to advocate for Canada’s status quo as the only Western democracy to have no abortion restrictions.”

“What does abortion have to do with workplace issues for autoworkers?” she asked.  “It is unfortunate that Ken Lewenza has no respect for his employees’ freedom of conscience.”

Colleen Ferrato, who was on the pro-life side of the street at the CAW’s pro-abortion rally, agrees with Stephanie Gray.

“We have a huge membership. And because we have such a big membership and our ideas are so vast and broad, they [the CAW] certainly shouldn’t be involved in this arena at all,” Ferrato told a CBC reporter. “They need to keep their nose out of it because their membership does not feel this way. We’re outraged and disgusted that our voice is not being heard.”

Mike Nantais, a member of CAW Local 444, seconded Ferrato’s statement, saying he was infuriated when he heard about the CAW pro-abortion rally.

“I think the union should not be speaking for those types of views. They think they’re thinking socially, but I think that to speak for union members in general is a big mistake and I think it’s a cause of division,” said Nantais.

Pro-life Conservative MP Jeff Watson (Essex) said he has received numerous complaints about the CAW’s actions from constituents.

“The common thread [of the complaints] is that the union should be more focused on issues like job security for its members than to be involved in public issues or social issues,” said Watson. “Workers just want to focus on their job and I think they want the union to do the same.”

Watson supported Stephen Woodworth’s call for a debate on the personhood of the unborn child in Parliament when, in January, he told LifeSiteNews that though he does not have a “definitive position” on when human rights ought to apply to children in the womb, he hopes for a debate involving testimony from bioethicists, scientists, and human rights professionals around that question.

“Human rights may have a specific legal connotation,” he said. “I’m not a rights specialist. What I’m firm about is that personhood exists from the time of conception forward. That’s my philosophical belief on that.”

“I think we’re mature enough as a society, I think we need to be mature enough as a Parliament, to deal with these questions head on,” Watson stated.

The CAW also has a history of promoting homosexuality with their memberships’ compulsory union dues.

In 2002 the CAW threatened to drag a Catholic school board through the Human Rights Commission over its decision to forbid a male student from bring his homosexual boyfriend to a school prom.

In 2008 the CAW gave $25,000 to PFLAG Canada (formerly the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to help finance the homosexual lobby group’s efforts in Canada’s schools to promote homosexuality. PFLAG said the money would go in part to fund “school anti-homophobia initiatives.”


Contact information:

Conservative MP Jeff Watson
Constituency Office
186 Talbot Street South
Essex, Ontario N8M 1B6
Phone: 519-776-4700
Fax: 519-776-1383
Email: [email protected]
Web Site: www.jeffwatsonmp.ca/


Canadian Auto Workers Local 444 (Windsor)
Dino Chiodo, President
1855 Turner Rd
Windsor, ON N8W 3K2
Phone: 519-258-6400, (ext. 444)
Email: [email protected]

Canadian Auto Workers
Ken Lewenza, President
205 Placer Court,
Toronto, Ontario M2H 3H9
Phone: 416.497.4110 (ext 6555)
Tollfree: 1.800.268.5763 (ext 6555)
Email: [email protected]

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

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