LifeSiteNews staff

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School Board lawyer bullies faithful Catholic trustees on equity policy stance

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

TORONTO, May 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - About 150 Catholic parents and ratepayers opposed to the draft Equity & Inclusion (EIE) policy of the Toronto Catholic School Board, packed the boardroom where trustees were set to vote on the controversial policy last night.  Several parents and trustees expressed outrage upon witnessing the vote being “sabotaged” by a board staff lawyer at the urging of administration.

Prior to the meeting, parents delivered a petition signed by 2,418 Toronto Catholic stakeholders. Petition signers demanded that trustees vote against the draft EIE policy, or amend it with explicit language to protect against a gay agenda that could undermine Catholic doctrine on sexual morality.

At the beginning of the meeting, seven delegations of parents and Catholic stakeholders persuasively laid out the reasons why the draft policy would invite dissenters to undermine Catholic doctrine on homosexuality, due to the vague wording of the policy document.

Following the presentations by parents, Trustee Angela Kennedy read out an amendment to protect Catholic moral teaching and to explicitly affirm that the Catholic Board’s denominational rights “take precedence over human rights protections”. 

Director, Anne Perron, then invited board staff lawyer, Eric Roher, to address trustees. Roher claimed “groups” could sue the trustees and that Dalton McGuinty’s government could punish them collectively if the amendments were added.

“The other issue that you should consider is potential legal liability to the extent that groups could take action against the board saying that we are exposing, or are refusing to ensure that our children and students are treated in an equitable and inclusive manner”, said Roher.

Parents were stunned by the intimidation tactics of the lawyer. Trustee John Del Grande echoed the insult felt by parents when he shot back: “The scare tactics, I don’t think are appropriate”.

Trustee Maria Rizzo also rebuked the legal threats from Roher despite her support of the controversial draft policy. “I don’t agree with Mr. Roher, I do believe that it’s within our right to make any amendments and vote on those amendments, especially as it refers to policy,” she said.

The majority of trustees expressed they did not wish to vote on the amendments for fear of liability.

Trustee Kennedy, expressed her frustration with the attempt to remove the discussion from the public eye. “There seems to be a lack of transparency,” she said. “I don’t agree with the fact that we were asked to put our amendments in a non-public meeting. We’re a public board. This is a democracy. We’re representing the people. We’ve got to tell everybody including our trustee colleagues, including our staff and our lawyers, exactly what we want to be considering here. …  But to do things undercover, on the telephone, in a non-public meeting, I think is wrong…”

The Chair, Ann Andrachuk, cut Kennedy off, and argued sharply that nothing was being done “under cover” and claimed that making decisions about the amendments outside the board meeting was entirely appropriate.

A spirited rebuttal from Trustee Kennedy caused the parent audience to erupt with applause: “I think that this is the proper way to do it,… it’s the proper place, right here, to put forward our amendments. I don’t agree with deferral. I don’t agree with passing the policy [or] with deferring our amendments”

In spite of the efforts of Trustees Del Grand and Kennedy, the Board passed the un-amended draft policy 7 to 4.  Trustees Patrizia Bottoni and Frank D’Amico also voted no.  Absent from the vote was Trustee Barb Poplawsi who voted in favour of Del Grande’s amendments at a prior board meeting. Trustee Enverga seemed supportive of the pro-Catholic amendments, but also voted to defer consideration of the amendments until comment can be given by the Director’s legal counsel.

A motion was passed to bring the amendments back again for a separate vote on June 16, after legal counsel review.

One parent who asked that his name not be published, told LifeSiteNews that after watching the intimidation tactics of Eric Roher, he does not trust the advice that will be given to trustees by internal legal counsel. “It looked to me that this guy was determined to push the government agenda, regardless of what rights trustees possess”.

One of the speakers at the beginning of the meeting was former homosexual activist Alan Yoshioka. He is the spokesman for Reclaim the Rainbow - Toronto, a policy group of Toronto Catholics who have experience of same-sex attraction, either in themselves or among their loved ones, and who are loyal to the Catholic Magisterium.

“We are disappointed that the board saw fit to pass a policy that leaves room for interpretations that would undermine schools’ capacity to present, and indeed to embody, the fullness of the Church’s teaching,” said Yoshioka. “Even so, we hope that next month the board will use its authority to pass amendments that would limit opportunities for the community’s abhorrence of bullying to be exploited by parties who, for whatever reason, would deprive students of the life-giving teaching of the Church on chastity and the nature of human sexuality.”

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Hillary Clinton: ‘I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood’

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven days after calling videos of Planned Parenthood officials harvesting fetal parts "disturbing," leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is throwing her support behind the embattled abortion giant.

In an ad released on Monday, just hours before the U.S. Senate failed to defund Planned Parenthood, Clinton called such legislative efforts "a full-on assault on women's health."

She also described Planned Parenthood as "the nation's leader in providing reproductive health care."

“Unfortunately, these attacks aren’t new," Clinton said. "They’re more of the same. We have seen them in Wisconsin, where Governor Walker defunded Planned Parenthood and left women across the state stranded with nowhere else to turn. We have seen them in Florida, where Jeb Bush funneled millions of dollars into abstinence-only programs while gutting funds for crucial family planning programs. And we have seen them in Texas, where Governor [Rick] Perry drastically cut funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings."

"And then [Perry] signed legislation that forced health centers across the state to close their doors in an attempt to wipe out access to safe and legal abortion all together,” Clinton said.

Walker boasted of defunding Planned Parenthood at a Republican presidential candidate in New Hampshire last night.

As governor of Florida, Bush put millions of dollars towards pro-life pregnancy care clinics, which are pro-life alternatives to abortion clinics.

The measures Perry signed in 2013 banned most abortions after 20 weeks' gestation, forced abortion centers to upgrade to the same level as ambulatory surgical centers, and required abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

However, according to Clinton, defunding America's largest abortion company is "cutting people off from the health care provider they know and trust."

“When they attack women’s health, they attack America’s health," Clinton said. "And it’s wrong. And we are not going to let them get away with it."

"We are not going back. We are going to fight back," she vowed.

She concluded, "I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood."

Her video came between the releases of undercover video footage revealing Planned Parenthood's work in harvesting the organs of aborted babies and turning them over to research firms for a fee.

Clinton has long supported abortion-on-demand, saying earlier this year that religious beliefs opposed to abortion "must be changed."

Last year, she said it was "a bedrock truth" that "you cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights."

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Bobby Jindal cancels Planned Parenthood funding in wake of body parts scandal

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By Dustin Siggins

BATON ROUGE, LA, August 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The state of Louisiana has canceled its contract with the state's two Planned Parenthood centers.

Louisiana governor and 2016 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal said that the decision came because of new videos showing illegal activity by top Planned Parenthood officials.

“In recent weeks, it has been shocking to see reports of the alleged activities taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life,” he said. “It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”

Jindal, who had ordered the state to investigate Planned Parenthood for potential felony violations following the release of the first video, canceled the contract because of its "at will" provision. That means that "either party can choose to cancel the contract at will after providing written notice,” according to a press release from the governor's office. “Governor Jindal and DHH decided to give the required 30-day notice to terminate the Planned Parenthood Medicaid provider contract because Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the State of Louisiana in regards to respecting human life."

"Pending the ongoing investigation, DHH [the Dept. of Health and Hospitals] reserves the right to amend the cancellation notice and terminate the provider agreement immediately should cause be determined," it states.

This action is just the latest by the pro-life governor, who last year signed a law requiring all abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Louisiana has been named the number one pro-life state by Americans United for Life for six years in a row.

A Planned Parenthood official told the left-wing blog Talking Points Memo that no Planned Parenthood facilities provide abortions, although the abortion provider hopes to build a facility to do so.

Gov. Jindal also halted the building that 8,000-square foot abortion megaplex, scheduled to be built in New Orleans, following the release of the first video.

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John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

This one shot from the latest PP sting video might be the most disturbing thing you see all year

John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John
By John Jalsevac
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I’m about to show you something that, if you're alive and have a heartbeat, will deeply disturb you, and then make you hopping mad.

I warn you, it’s graphic. But everybody needs to see this. Because this is the truth. And even if the truth is difficult, and gruesome, and challenging, it must be known.

This morning the Center for Medical Progress released the latest in their series of undercover sting videos exposing the fact that Planned Parenthood is harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted babies.

The first part is plenty disturbing, as director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, discusses how she “diversifies” Planned Parenthood's “revenue stream” by selling aborted baby parts, and how their abortionists can modify the abortion procedure (Note: totally illegal) to obtain “intact” fetuses.

But then the camera moves into the lab, where workers are actually involved in dissecting and dismembering aborted babies to get the useful body parts.

Describing their “last case” of the day, one of the workers tells an actor posing as someone interested in purchasing fetal body parts, that “it was a twin” at about 20 weeks gestation.

The camera then pans over to a dish, filled with what Planned Parenthood describes as “tissue.” One of the workers uses tweezers to pick up the intestines, and boasts about how sometimes “the organs come out really, really well.”

And that’s when I saw it. A little, beautiful, perfectly formed hand, gently clenched in a fist – a hand attached to an arm that had been torn from its owner's body, and thrown in a dish swimming with body parts.

...And then I saw the foot. And the other foot.

I wish I could say I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. But I could, because I know what Planned Parenthood does. But there’s a difference between believing, and seeing.

And that’s why these photos must be shared as far and wide as possible.

After that, it gets even worse, as the man behind the camera uses his tweezers to pick up and inspect an arm and hand...and then the leg...and then another leg.

Yes, it is horrifying that Planned Parenthood is apparently lying about the fact that it makes a tidy profit off trafficking in the body parts of aborted babies.

But the worst thing of all is that Planned Parenthood has body parts to sell in the first place. That Planned Parenthood is daily, constantly, aborting babies that have hands, and feet, and hearts, and lungs.

The worst part is that every time Planned Parenthood sells a body part, it is because they have killed a baby, a human being like you and me – a human being that had the right to live, and love, and be, a baby whose life was summarily snuffed out, and turned into a “revenue stream.”

The worst part is that year after year, decade after decade, we let Planned Parenthood get away with the canard that they are only aborting "blobs of tissue," or "products of pregnancy" - as if we don't all know perfectly well what the product of a pregnancy is: a baby. 

I say, enough is enough. Shut Planned Parenthood down, now!

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