Siobhan O’Kane

Rosemary Connell: a life lived for others

Siobhan O’Kane
By Siobhan O'Kane

June 19, 2012 ( - I met Rosemary Connell on April 3, 2008. I will never forget that day because she changed my life in one afternoon, much like she has changed and saved the lives of numerous people. I was fifteen then, and did not know that I was being introduced to a woman who would become one of my greatest and most trusted friends.

Rosemary has been involved in the pro-life movement from the beginning of abortion’s rampant assault on children in the early 1970’s. She took her own children in strollers to the annual March for Life. She was involved in Operation Rescue when the outcry against abortion was enough to compel people to block the abortuary’s doors.

Her official record shows three arrests and a served sentence of five months in a woman’s prison in Ontario. Her crime? Disturbing a society from a lethal slumber that, through its complacency, permitted the deaths of millions of children.

The part of the record that cannot be seen on paper are the number of children who are alive today because she is there to save them when the rest of society abandons them. It shows four biological children, four adopted children, foster children, and numerous pregnant women with no home or family who were taken in by her. It shows countless hours of caring for children with disabilities, offering their parents respite, with a love that a mother has for her own children.

How can one person sacrifice so much? Four years after meeting her I am still asking myself that same question. I cannot even remember all the stories. She gives anyone who asks for help all the money in her wallet, a room in her home, or the food in her fridge. She goes out of her way to help others.

Her efforts in the pro-life movement have been inexhaustible for decades. In 1997 Rosemary decided that people needed to see what abortion really looks like in order to grasp the horror of what was happening. It was then that she adopted a strategy that would take Ontario, and later Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, by storm. It started with a dozen people and a dozen images. Today it is one of the largest volunteer based pro-life organizations in Canada with over 250 regular street activists. Rosemary not only founded the organization, but was the first person in Canada to take the abortion images to the streets in the form of large signs.


When I met Rosemary in 2008, she had already been leading Show the Truth for eleven years, organizing and participating in over a thousand demonstrations exposing abortion in all its horror to hundreds of thousands of people. The fruits of her efforts may not all be seen, but there are some hopeful stories that confirm the effectiveness of Rosemary’s method. Show the Truth went to southern Ontario a few years ago, and met a woman who had encountered the graphic signs on her way to her abortion appointment 11 years before. She shared that she had decided to keep her little boy, who was 11 years old by that time. This is just one of countless stories of minds changed and lives saved- all because of one woman’s resilience and conviction that the truth must be shown for the killing to end. Now, Show the Truth has exposed abortion to Canadians over 2000 times since its inception.

Through all her battles against abortion, Rosemary has maintained a simple, compassionate, and admirable personal life. She is a role model to everyone who knows her. For me she is a mentor, a friend, a constant ear, and a voice of reason and moral guidance.

Early in our friendship Rosemary’s husband explained a philosophy that the two had decided to live by throughout their marriage: Money they earn does not belong to them, rather, they are stewards over the money. I experienced her generosity the winter she insisted upon buying me top of the line boots and shoes, replacing the running shoes that I had been wearing. She refuses to let anyone do without when she has the means to make the situation better. I believed each story her friends and husband told about her sacrifices and generosity, and I personally experienced it many times.

One morning Rosemary informed me that I had an hour to study for my written drivers test, which would allow me to cover more ground during activism. Since it was an opportunity to expand my pro-life efforts, I agreed, frantically studied and finally passed after writing the test a fifth time. Rosemary patiently waited with a smile, paying for each new test, telling me I could not leave without my learner’s permit. She called it an investment, one she willingly and gladly made. Nothing is too big or too small for Rosemary to help with.

As her long-time friend and fellow activist Ann Marie Tomlins said, “I often think the reason Rosemary is able to accomplish so much is because she really knows how to love unconditionally. And she really loves all the unborn children and their mothers and that love is strong enough to overcome obstacles”. This is very apparent to me each time I recall the story of how Rosemary had opened her home to a young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy. She lived in the Connell home—which was already busy and full with Rosemary’s children—for a few months during her pregnancy, and several months following the birth of her daughter. Now, over twenty years and two children later, this woman is still in close contact with Rosemary and her husband who both continue to offer support and love.

A woman of small stature, her willpower is immovable. These stories were shared by her family and friends throughout the years, proving just how humble she truly is. I am honored to live and work alongside someone who never backs down from the force of opposition, or succumbs to the fear that might prevent the rest of us from matching her pace. As her husband once told me, “Rosemary has been running uphill since we met and I’m still chasing her. She never slows down”. I know that in years to come, when abortion is a part of history, generations will look back at the lives of those who fought and won, and be inspired by Rosemary.

Reprinted with permission from

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John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

BREAKING: Planned Parenthood shooting suspect surrenders, is in custody: police

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By John Jalsevac

Nov. 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Five hours after a single male shooter reportedly opened fire at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, chatter on police radio is indicating that the suspect has now been "detained."

"We have our suspect and he says he is alone," said police on the police radio channel. 

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers also confirmed via Twitter shortly after 7:00 pm EST that the suspect was in custody.

The news comes almost exactly an hour after the start of a 6:00 pm. press conference in which Lt. Catherine Buckley had confirmed that a single shooter was still at large, and had exchanged gunfire with police moments before.

According to Lt. Buckley, four, and possibly five police officers have been shot since the first 911 call was received at 11:38 am local time today. An unknown number of civilians have also been shot.

Although initial reports had suggested that the shooting began outside the Planned Parenthood, possibly outside a nearby bank, Lt. Buckley said that in fact the incident began at the Planned Parenthood itself.

She said that the suspect had also brought unknown "items" with him to the Planned Parenthood. 

Pro-life groups have started responding to the news, urging caution in jumping to conclusions about the motivations of the shooter, while also condemning the use of violence in promoting the pro-life cause. 

"Information is very sketchy about the currently active shooting situation in Colorado Springs," said Pavone. "The Planned Parenthood was the address given in the initial call to the police, but we still do not know what connection, if any, the shooting has to do with Planned Parenthood or abortion.

"As leaders in the pro-life movement, we call for calm and pray for a peaceful resolution of this situation."

Troy Newman of Operation Rescue and Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, also issued statements.

"Operation Rescue unequivocally deplores and denounces all violence at abortion clinics and has a long history of working through peaceful channels to advocate on behalf of women and their babies," said Newman. "We express deep concern for everyone involved and are praying for the safety of those at the Planned Parenthood office and for law enforcement personnel. We pray this tragic situation can be quickly resolved without further injury to anyone."

"Although we don't know the reasons for the shooting near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today, the pro-life movement is praying for the safety of all involved and as a movement we have always unequivocally condemned all forms of violence at abortion clinics. We must continually as a nation stand against violence on all levels," said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, based in Washington, D.C.


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Rubio says SCOTUS didn’t ‘settle’ marriage issue: ‘God’s rules always win’

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Surging GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, says that "God's law" trumps the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision imposing same-sex “marriage” nationwide.

The senator also told Christian Broadcast Network's David Brody that the Supreme Court's redefinition of marriage is not "settled," but instead "current law."

“No law is settled,” said Rubio. “Roe v. Wade is current law, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to aspire to fix it, because we think it’s wrong.”

“If you live in a society where the government creates an avenue and a way for you to peacefully change the law, then you’re called to participate in that process to try to change it,” he explained, and "the proper place for that to be defined is at the state level, where marriage has always been regulated — not by the Supreme Court and not by the federal government.”

However, when laws conflict with religious beliefs, "God's rules always win," said Rubio.

“In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin — violate God’s law and sin — if we’re ordered to stop preaching the Gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that,” Rubio expounded. “We cannot abide by that because government is compelling us to sin.”

“I continue to believe that marriage law should be between one man and one woman," said the senator, who earlier in the fall was backed by billionaire GOP donor and same-sex "marriage" supporter Paul Singer.

Singer, who also backs looser immigration laws and a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, has long pushed for the GOP to change its position on marriage in part due to the sexual orientation of his son.

Despite Singer's support, Rubio's marriage stance has largely been consistent. He told Brody earlier in the year that "there isn't such a right" to same-sex "marriage."

"You have to have a ridiculous reading of the U.S. Constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex."

Rubio also said religious liberty should be defended against LGBT activists he says "want to stigmatize, they want to ostracize anyone who disagrees with them as haters."

"I believe, as do a significant percentage of Americans, that the institution of marriage, an institution that existed before government, that existed before laws, that institution should remain in our laws recognized as the union of one man and one woman," he said.

Rubio also hired social conservative leader Eric Teetsel as his director of faith outreach this month.

However, things have not been entirely smooth for Rubio on marriage. Social conservatives were concerned when the executive director of the LGBT-focused Log Cabin Republicans told Reuters in the spring that the Catholic senator is "not as adamantly opposed to all things LGBT as some of his statements suggest."

The LGBT activist group had meetings with Rubio's office "going back some time," though the senator himself never attended those meetings. Rubio has publicly said that he would attend the homosexual "wedding" of a gay loved one, and also that he believed "that sexual preference is something that people are born with," as opposed to being a choice.

Additionally, days after the Supreme Court redefined marriage, Rubio said that he disagreed with the decision but that "we live in a republic and must abide by the law."

"I believe that marriage, as the key to strong family life, is the most important institution in our society and should be between one man and one woman," he said. "People who disagree with the traditional definition of marriage have the right to change their state laws. That is the right of our people, not the right of the unelected judges or justices of the Supreme Court. This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years.

Rubio also said at the time that "it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood…"

“I firmly believe the question of same sex marriage is a question of the definition of an institution, not the dignity of a human being. Every American has the right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Not every American has to agree on every issue, but all of us do have to share our country. A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court’s decision today. In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other.”

The Florida senator said in July that he opposed a constitutional marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution to leave marriage up to the states because that would involve the federal government in state marriage policies.

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Former The View star Sherri Shepherd and then-husband Lamar Sally in 2010 s_bukley /
Steve Weatherbe

Court orders Sherri Shepherd to pay child support for surrogate son she abandoned

Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

November 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Sherri Shepherd, a Hollywood celebrity who co-hosted the popular talk show The View for seven years, has lost a maternity suit launched by her ex-husband Lamar Sally, forcing her to pay him alimony and child support for their one-year surrogate son LJ. The decision follows an unseemly fight which pro-life blogger Cassy Fiano says has exposed how surrogacy results in “commodifying” the unborn.

Shepherd, a co-host of the View from 2007 to 2014, met Sally, a screenwriter, in 2010 and they married a year later. Because her eggs were not viable, they arranged a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania to bear them a baby conceived in vitro using Sally’s sperm and a donated egg.

But the marriage soured in mid-term about the time Shepherd lost her job with The View. According to one tabloid explanation, she was worried he would contribute little to parenting responsibilities.  Sally filed for separation in 2014, Shepherd filed for divorce a few days, then Sally sued for sole custody, then alimony and child support.

Earlier this year she told PEOPLE she had gone along with the surrogacy to prevent the breakup of the marriage and had not really wanted the child.

Shepherd, an avowed Christian who once denied evolution on The View and a successful comic actor on Broadway, TV, and in film since the mid-90s, didn’t want anything to do with LJ, as Lamar named the boy, who after all carried none of her genes. She refused to be at bedside for the birth, and refused to let her name be put on the birth certificate and to shoulder any responsibility for LJ’s support.

But in April the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, and now the state’s Superior Court, ruled that Shepherd’s name must go on the birth certificate and she must pay Sally alimony and child support.

“The ultimate outcome is that this baby has two parents and the parents are Lamar Sally and Sherri Shepherd,” Shepherd’s lawyer Tiffany Palmer said.

As for the father, Sally told PEOPLE, “I'm glad it's finally over. I'm glad the judges saw through all the lies that she put out there, and the negative media attention. If she won't be there for L.J. emotionally, I'll be parent enough for the both of us.”

But Shepherd said, “I am appealing the ruling that happened,” though in the meantime, Sally will “get his settlement every month. There’s nothing I can do.”

Commented Fiano in Live Action News, “What’s so sickening about this case is that this little boy, whose life was created in a test tube, was treated as nothing more than a commodity…Saying that you don’t want a baby but will engineer one to get something you want is horrific.” As for trying to get out from child support payments now that the marriage had failed, that was “despicable.”

Fiano went on to characterize the Shepherd-Sally affair as a “notable example” of commodification of children, and “by no means an anomaly.” She cited a British report than over the past five years 123 babies conceived in vitro were callously aborted when they turned out to have Down Syndrome.

“When we’re not ready for babies, we have an abortion,” she added. “But then when we decide we are ready we manufacture them in a laboratory and destroy any extras. Children exist when we want them to exist, to fill the holes in us that we want them to fill, instead of being independent lives with their own inherent value and dignity.”

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