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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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
The Editors

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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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