Thousands demand abortion defunding in mini rallies at MPPs offices across Ontario
ONTARIO, October 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This past Saturday morning, thousands of pro-life Ontarians held simultaneous rallies at 44 constituency offices of MPPs across the province, demanding that their legislators defund abortions from Ontario’s Health Insurance Plan and that tax dollars be used for legitimate health care issues, not for killing babies.
Alissa Golob, Youth Coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition and organizer of the Defund Abortion campaign, said that though organizers had hoped for a rally at each of the 107 electoral districts in the province, the simultaneous turnout of from 25 to over 100 pro-lifers at 44 constituency offices, for a total of nearly 3000 pro-life demonstrators, made for an “unprecedented event” in Ontario.
“On October 13, taxpayers sent a message to their elected representatives that they do not want to be forced to pay for someone else’s elective abortion,” said Alissa. “Abortions are not medically necessary and our tax dollars should not subsidize life-style choices while genuine areas of health care such as doctor and nurse shortages, elder care, and treatment for autistic children, is neglected.”
“I am very excited about this initiative considering the great success of the Defund Abortion Mini Rallies that took place across the province on Saturday,” Alissa told LifeSiteNews. “Obviously this legislation is something Ontarians want and are ready to fight for publicly.”
Organizers noted that because MPP offices are normally located in high traffic areas, the protestors, their signs, and their message were seen by the broader community and reported on by local media.
Approximately 50 pro-lifers rallied outside PC Leader Tim Hudak’s constituency office in Beamsville, according to local media.
“We are here because we want the government to defund abortions, but also to make people aware that abortions are taking lives,” Beamsville resident Brenda Riesebosch told West Niagara News. “Abortion is killing and the fact that the government pays for it is very wrong.”
“Between $30 million and $50 million every year, just in Ontario, of our health care dollars is spent to kill unborn babies. Vulnerable, tiny, helpless babies in the womb are killed,” said rally participant Nancy Winslow. “Abortion is supposed to be about allowing people to have a choice, and I choose not to pay for abortions with my tax dollars. A lot of other people feel this way too.”
Campaign Life Coalition’s Johanne Brownrigg said that about 75 people gathered at Premier Dalton McGuinty’s riding office in Ottawa on Saturday.
“Let’s be clear about this elective procedure,” she told the pro-lifers. “It is disingenuous to claim that abortion is necessary for a woman’s health. It is illogical to have a health care system that is cash-starved and yet continues to allocate scarce dollars towards the killing of children.”
According to the Windsor Star about two dozen pro-lifers gathered at the Windsor constituency office of Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.
Organizer of the rally Mike Cowan said, “I don’t think a lot of people in Ontario understand that abortion is being paid for 100 per cent by the Ontario taxpayer,” adding, “We are all pro-life here and would like to see abortion stopped, but what really hurts me even more is that I’m paying for it out of my taxes.”
The Defund Abortion mini-rally in Chatham was organized by 16-year-old William Bain, who said his age didn’t deter him from answering the call to defend life.
“I might just be a teenager, but this is something I can do,” Bain told the Chatham Daily News.
Alissa Golob said the rallies were an effective way of sending a powerful message that defunding abortion is not just an issue at Queens Park, but something that MPPS constituents are demanding.
“These rallies exemplified that our elected officials can no longer hide their heads in the sand when it comes to abortion,” she said. “We will continue to bring this issue forward, both at the local level, and provincial level, until we’re no longer forced to comply with the tyranny of forced, tax-payer funded abortions.”
The mini-rallies are a lead-up to the huge Defund Abortion Rally to be held at Ontario’s legislature on Oct. 30th, which Campaign Life Coalition Youth organizers expect will be attended by thousands of pro-lifers from across Ontario.
“These mini-rallies brought a new excitement and invigoration to the movement,” Alissa said to LifeSiteNews.
“This is something Ontarians can fight for in their own backyard. I encourage anyone who has not yet participated in this campaign, to join us at Queen’s Park on Tuesday, October 30th from 12-2pm for our large Defund Abortion Rally. It’s important our numbers surpass last year’s to properly exemplify the popularity and momentum of this campaign,” she concluded.
In preparation for the 2nd annual Defund Abortion Rally to be held at Queen’s Park, Campaign Life Coalition Youth has launched a Defund Abortion petition campaign demanding that the Legislative Assembly of Ontario “cease providing taxpayers’ dollars for the performance of abortions by passing legislation to remove abortion as a service covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.” The signed petitions will be presented to Ontario’s Members of Provincial Parliament.
Petitions are available for download here. Signed petitions should be returned to Campaign Life Coalition Youth, Attention: Alissa Golob. (Address: 104 Bond St, Suite 300, Toronto, ON, M5B 1X9)
Campaign Life Coalition Youth’s Defund Abortion Facebook page has posts and scores of pictures from the mini-rallies held across the province on October 13th.
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Planned Parenthood closes Iowa abortion facility because of low business
DUBUQUE, Iowa, May 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood closed an Iowa abortion facility on Friday, noting low business that left the facility unsustainable from a financial standpoint.
Although Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced in January that it planned to close the Dubuque, Iowa, office, pro-life sidewalk counselors were overjoyed on Friday to read the sign in the window that read: “Our office is closed, effective April 28, 2016.”
The office did not perform surgical abortions but did provide medication abortions to the community of about 58,000.
“Rejoice with us for the lives of unborn children saved!” Iowa Right to Life said in a statement after the closure.
As with numerous other closures, Planned Parenthood, which styles itself a provider of “care no matter what,” emphasized it was closing its doors to preserve its bottom line.
“After assessing the shifting health care landscape, changing demographics, and the challenges of operating in areas with low patient volumes, we made the tough decision to close the Dubuque Health Center,” the group said in an announcement. “This change allows us to expand hours and see more patients in Cedar Rapids, where there is unmet demand due to lack of clinician hours.”
“While we regret making this change, we know it is a necessary step in order to continue our mission to provide, promote and protect reproductive and sexual health through health services, education and advocacy. Patients have been notified, and if they wish, they can receive a broader array of services at our health center in Cedar Rapids, where we have expanded hours to accommodate more patient,” Planned Parenthood said.
American Life League’s vice president, Jim Sedlak, remembers speaking to the county right to life group nine years ago.
“I told them at the time that they needed to protest outside Planned Parenthood at least once a week,” he said. “They told me they would do better than that. Over the last eight years, these dedicated pro-lifers were outside Planned Parenthood every hour it was open. And now...it’s closed for good.”
That aligns with advice that David Bereit, the founder of 40 Days for Life, once told young people who wanted to know how to end abortion.
Be loving and compassionate, he said.
“Your peaceful, loving presence out there flies in the face of all the stereotypes they want to throw onto us,” he added. “When you show them love instead of condemnation, when you show them peace and joy instead of anger and judgment, that will begin to break down the walls.”
Iowa Right to Life credited just such tactics with closing an office in Red Oak that performed webcam abortions. “Planned Parenthood shut down in Red Oak in large part because of the constant, prayerful presence outside their clinic,” the group said.
Upon hearing of the latest abortion facility shuttering, the Dubuque County Right to Life said that Planned Parenthood isn't the only group that will move its base of operations. “We will probably put our efforts in Cedar Rapids and will continue to spread the pro-life message,” said Executive Director Marian Bourek.
Ted Cruz confronted by mom who supports aborting disabled babies…just like hers
MARION, Indiana, May 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Senator Ted Cruz was met on the campaign trail by a mother who strongly opposed a state pro-life law that would have protected children with birth conditions – like her own.
Andrea DeBruler, a 41-year-old nurse, confronted the presidential hopeful in the city of Marion as Cruz campaigned with Gov. Mike Pence.
DeBruler first asked Cruz, then Pence, about House Bill 1337, which bans abortions performed due to the child's race, sex, or disability, such as Down syndome.
DeBruler held up a picture of her daughter, Jania, who was born with cerebral palsy. “This was a choice,” she said.
She asked Sen. Cruz if he supported the bill, which made Indiana the second state in the nation to ban abortion for Down syndrome, after North Dakota.
“I'm not Governor Pence,” he replied. “But I'll tell you this: I believe in protecting human life.”
Pence, who endorsed Cruz in today's make-or-break Indiana primary, listened to her objections.
“I'm not here as a Republican, I'm not here as a Democrat. I'm here as a woman, a woman with choices, choices that you guys should not make,” DeBruler said.
After hearing that she felt many families lacked sufficient resources to care for children, especially in an area like Marion, Gov. Pence offered to connect her with social services.
“God bless her,” he said, looking at Jania's picture, “and God bless you.”
Though it may be unusual to encounter a woman arguing for the right to abort her own child, the governor handled it calmly. Pence had specifically reflected on “precious moments” he spent with “families of children with disabilities, especially those raising children with Down syndrome” when he signed the bill into law in March.
"We are truly thankful for the passage of this historic legislation by the Indiana House and applaud the new civil rights protections this bill creates for unborn children, as well as the new provisions this bill establishes for the humane final disposition of aborted babies," Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said at the time.
DeBruler told the UK media outlet The Independent that H.B. 1337 “means you can no longer have an abortion based on deformity. I’m against this law, because I think it should be a woman’s choice” to abort for any reason.
Congressional Democrats made similar statements during hearings last month for Rep. Trent Franks' federal Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), with Congressman John Conyers saying the bill is “patently unconstitutional,” because a woman has the right to abort a child before viability for any reason.
Both leading contenders for the Democratic nomination expressed their displeasure with the law, which protects unborn children from racial or sexual discrimination, as well as discrimination on the basis of an inborn trait like mental capacity.
When Gov. Pence signed the law, Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted:
The decision to have an abortion is for a woman to make, not the Governor of Indiana. https://t.co/1VOroXS2br— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 24, 2016
Hillary Clinton later said, “I commend the women of this state, young and old, for standing up against this governor and this legislature.”
DeBruler told The Independent, despite her comment about not being a Democrat or a Republican, she is in fact a Democrat and will vote for Hillary Clinton in today's primary.
The moral challenge to Cardinal Wuerl in pending Notre Dame outrage
May 3, 2016 (CatholicCulture) -- In 2009, when the University of Notre Dame invited President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address, dozens of American bishops lodged loud public protests. Yet this year, as Notre Dame prepares to confer an even greater honor on Vice President Joe Biden (together with former House Speaker John Boehner), the silence from the hierarchy is deafening.
Back in 2009, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston said that Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama was “very disappointing,”, while then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan termed it a “big mistake.” The late Bishop John D’Arcy, then leader of the Indiana diocese in which the university is located, spoke of “the terrible breach which has taken place between Notre Dame and the Church.” For the first time in his 25 years of service to the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, Bishop D’Arcy declined to attend the Notre Dame commencement exercises; instead he addressed a protest rally organized by pro-life students, faculty, alumni, and staff.
These prelates and others explained their dismay by referring to the statement “Catholics in Political Life,” released in 2004 by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. In that document, the bishops reflected on the need to maintain a consistent public witness in defense of human life, and therefore to distance themselves from public officials who support legal abortion. The statement set forth a clear policy that Catholic institutions should not give public honors to “pro-choice” politicians:
The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.
By giving President Obama an honorary degree and offering him an opportunity to speak at graduation, Notre Dame clearly violated that policy. University officials could offer only garbled partial defenses, claiming that they were honoring Obama not because he supports unrestricted abortion, but because he is President of the United States.
This year the university cannot offer even that lame defense of the decision to award the Laetare Medal to Vice President Biden. Unlike Obama, Biden is a Catholic, and by granting him this award the university is explicitly saying that the Vice President has “illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.” In other words, Notre Dame is honoring Vice President Biden as a Catholic political leader despite his unwavering support for abortion and same-sex marriage.
Give credit to Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the current leader of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, for raising a lonely voice of protest. “I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any ‘pro-choice’ public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service,” Bishop Rhoades said. But if any other bishops have joined him in that rebuke to Notre Dame, I must have missed their public announcements.
Some observers, of liberal political sympathies, have argued that it is wrong to honor John Boehner, too, because the former Speaker disagreed with the US bishops’ stand on immigration. This is a tired old argument, conflating disagreement with the bishops on a prudential political decision with defiance of Church teaching on a fundamental moral principle. But it is noteworthy that Notre Dame officials saw fit to make a joint award, no doubt in a cynical effort to dodge political criticism by choosing one honoree from each side of the political spectrum.
“We live in a toxic political environment where poisonous invective and partisan gamesmanship pass for political leadership,” said Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, in announcing the Laetare Award recipients. (Notice the pre-emptive suggestion that those who criticize the school’s choices may be engaged in “poisonous invective.”) He went on to make a tortured argument that although Notre Dame is honoring two politicians, it is not honoring them for what they have done in their political careers:
In recognizing both men, Notre Dame is not endorsing the policy positions of either, but celebrating two lives dedicated to keeping our democratic institutions working for the common good through dialogue focused on the issues and responsible compromise.
By now we all know the familiar dodges. The politician claims to oppose abortion personally, but to feel a delicate reticence about imposing his views on others. He says that we must be willing to compromise (even on life-and-death decisions). He insists that he is not “pro-abortion” but “pro-choice.”
That last bubble of rhetoric was unceremoniously burst by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, when he celebrated Mass at Georgetown after Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richard had delivered a lecture there. “The word ‘choice’ is a smokescreen,” he said, “behind which those killing unborn children take refuge. Every chance you get, blow that smoke away!”
Now Cardinal Wuerl himself has a chance to “blow that smoke away.” As things stand, he is scheduled to celebrate Mass at the Notre Dame commencement, and to receive an honorary degree. He could pull out; he could absent himself from the ceremonies, to ensure that he does not become part of an event that pays homage to a “pro-choice” Catholic politician.
And there is a precedent. Back in 2009, the Harvard legal scholar (and former US ambassador to the Holy See) Mary Ann Glendon was chosen to receive the Laetare Award. But when she learned that President Obama would be speaking, she announced her decision to decline the award. Clearly annoyed that her presence might be used to quiet the critics of the honor for Obama, Ambassador Glendon wrote that she did not want to be used as a counterweight, nor did she see the Notre Dame commencement as an appropriate venue for a genteel debate about legal abortion:
A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
Could Cardinal Wuerl do this year what Ambassador Glendon did in 2009? Even at this late date, his withdrawal would send a powerful message of support for the right to life: an unmistakable rebuke to politicians who hide behind the smokescreen that the cardinal himself identified. To be sure, if he did withdraw, the cardinal would be caught in an avalanche of public criticism; he would suffer for his public witness. But there is a reason why cardinals wear red.
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