Thaddeus Baklinski

CTV sting operation tries to catch crisis pregnancy centre giving misinformation

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski
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VANCOUVER, January 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On December 15th, 2011, CTV News in British Columbia launched a sting operation against the South Fraser Pregnancy Options Centre in Surrey, BC, with the what Executive Director Laura Lansink said was “the hope that our peer-counselor would give false or biased information.”

The Pregnancy Options centres are associated with the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS), a national, non-political, registered Christian charity, committed to equipping pregnancy support services.

CTV sent a woman, named only as “Sheila,” to the Surrey Options centre posing as a legitimate client in distress because of an unplanned pregnancy and asking for help.

Ms Lansink said in a press release that a volunteer peer-counselor was able to see “Sheila” immediately and spent close to an hour talking through the woman’s concerns as well helping her to understand her choices.

“What this peer-counselor didn’t know, however, was that the woman had actually been sent by CTV News and that the woman was secretly recording the entire session,” Ms Lansink said, pointing out that “Sheila” had agreed to, and signed, an agreement of services which says in part: “please turn off all devices with recording capabilities prior to the session. POC Staff and Volunteers do NOT consent to any recorded conversations.”

CTV reports that the volunteer peer-counselor “asked ‘Sheila’ about her background, the circumstances of the pregnancy, and if she had been abused. They offered referrals to hospitals for any sexually transmitted diseases and said that she was not alone struggling with a tough decision.”

The volunteer peer-counselor also referred “Sheila” to a brochure produced by the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services that discusses fetal development, adoption and the risks associated with abortion.

Ms Lansink stated that the CAPSS brochure is an up to date and accurate compilation of medical research that was reviewed and proofread by 25 professional counselors, physicians, and medical researchers across Canada before going to print.

Ms Lansink revealed that on January 5, Mr. Jon Woodward of CTV News called the Centre, saying that he had received a ‘complaint’ from a client who believed the Centre had given her false medical information regarding the risks of abortion.

“In a subsequent phone call he however admitted that it was not a client with a complaint. Instead this person had been sent from CTV News to the Centre with a hidden camera with the intent of exposing our organization for providing supposedly false information,” Ms Lansink said.

Ms Lansink noted that Woodward was given a copy of the CAPSS brochure, “yet he has let us know that he ‘disbelieves’ the studies, research, and information that the brochure cites.”

The CTV report on the sting was aired January 17, reporting that “staff welcomed Sheila and seemed genuinely concerned about her well-being.” However, the report went on to focus on the allegation that crisis pregnancy centres give misinformation.

For example, despite the Options Centre’s clear statement that they are not a medical facility and do not perform or refer for abortions, CTV reported that “Sheila” “pressed (the volunteer peer-counselor) on where an abortion would be available,” then quoted Greg Smith, director of a “sexual health” and abortion referral centre, saying “patients have come to him complaining that rather than being given objective advice, they were steered away from abortion.”

“We hear from time to time that people who have gone to those centres come out enraged,” CTV News reported Smith as saying. “They feel they were given a bait and switch.”

CTV News cited Dr. Wendy Norman of B.C. Women’s Hospital saying that infection after abortion “was uncommon in North American hospitals – about one in every 200 cases,” that uterine perforations ranged “between three in 1,000 to one in 10,000 cases,” and that infertility from abortion “is a mark of an illegal abortion.”

“Abortions performed by physicians and accredited health professionals have been shown indisputably to not have these long term effects,” Norman is quoted to have said.

However, studies carried out in the U.S. and Canada contradict Dr. Norman’s assertions that infection after abortion are about one-half of one percent, and can in fact range up to 17 percent. An American study of the psychological responses of women after abortion also discovered that seventeen per cent of the participants reported physical complications such as bleeding or pelvic infection after their first-trimester abortion. (Major B, et al. Psychological responses of women after first-trimester abortion. Archives of General Psychiatry 2000 August 57(8):777-84, p. 780.)

Information available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 386 deaths from legal abortion in the U.S. between 1973 and 2004. In 2006, the most recent year for which data were available, six women were reported to have died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortions. No reported deaths were associated with known illegal induced abortions. Physical complications mentioned in the CDC report include cervical lacerations and injury, uterine perforations, bleeding, hemorrhage, serious infection, pain, and incomplete abortion in which the fetal remains are left inside the woman’s body.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan issued revised guidelines in 2011 that outline the numerous risks of abortion and the duty of the counseling physician or abortionist to inform any woman contemplating abortion of these risks.

The guidelines state that information provided to women should include not only the “precise nature” of the abortion procedure, but also “the known immediate risks.” The document gives as examples of the immediate risks “uterine perforation, infection, hemorrhage.”

Physicians should also inform women of the “known long-term risks,” including “impact on future fertility, incidence of future spontaneous abortions, ectopic pregnancy and premature birth” as well as “the known psychological risks.”

A 2009 study by Jessica Dolle et al. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center revealed that U.S. National Cancer Institute researcher Dr. Louise Brinton, well known for claiming that it was “well established” that “abortion is not associated with increased breast cancer risk,” had reversed her position and now admits that abortion and oral contraceptives raise breast cancer risks. The study found an admission from Dr. Brinton and her colleagues that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40%.

In an update received by LifeSiteNews, Laura Lansink said that while many supporters of the South Fraser Pregnancy Options Centre had suggested she file a formal complaint regarding the tactics used by CTV News, she indicated that this was not a course the crisis pregnancy centre intends to follow.

“At this point we won’t be taking any further action as we want to keep our focus and our energies on what we do best…  each day helping the woman that comes to us for help when she has nowhere else to turn,” Ms Lansink said.

For more information visit the South Fraser Pregnancy Options Centre website here.

To contact CTV News British Columbia:
Jon Woodward, ctvbc.ca
Suite 300, 750 Burrard St.
Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1X5
Phone: 604 609-6333
Email: [email protected]

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Lisa Bourne

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

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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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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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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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