Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

UK pro-aborts enlist U.S. group to promote abortion training for physicians

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
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LONDON, April 30, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After months of complaining that the British pro-life movement is importing U.S.-based advisors, abortion industry leaders, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has recruited the assistance of an American organization, Medical Students for Choice (MSFC), to promote abortion training for future doctors.

The group’s slogan is “Creating tomorrow’s abortion providers and pro-choice physicians.” Their website says the organisation, which claims 10,000 medical students in “North America and abroad” as members, “stands up in the face of violent opposition, working to destigmatize abortion provision among medical students and residents, and to persuade medical schools and residency programs to include abortion as a part of the reproductive health services curriculum.”

They sent a letter to medical students in Britain, saying, “The choice to say yes or no is one we make on a daily basis and yet for a woman with an unplanned pregnancy it is a choice in jeopardy … the discourse is shifting and your help is needed.”

The Guardian newspaper, a leading voice of the British abortion lobby, reported that MSFC will be providing grants for up to 15 British and Irish medical students to train as abortionists in two-week long placements with BPAS.

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During the recently-concluded 40 Days for Life campaign, which culminated in a large demonstration outside one of their London abortion facilities, BPAS, with the help of the Guardian, repeatedly blasted the pro-life movement for bringing in advisors and support from the U.S. Several times, BPAS officials were quoted insinuating that pro-life activists were violent, calling the campaign an “attack” on abortion-minded women, and complaining that the activists were attempting to influence the decisions of such women. 

Neil Addison, a barrister and expert in religious discrimination law, commented to LifeSiteNews.com, “The message was clear that American pro-lifers were a bunch of obsessive nutters, but obviously different rules apply in the Guardian when the Americans are pro-abortion.”

Anthony Ozimic, the communications manager for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC,) told the Guardian that the plan “reflects the desperation of the abortion industry to recruit enough interest among medical students.”

“It’s been the case for many years that there have been fewer and fewer students and doctors willing to be involved. That’s partly due to an increased awareness of the unethical nature of abortion.”

Recent studies have alarmed abortionists at the growing number of doctors and medical students who refuse to have anything to do with abortion. A report published last year in the Journal of Medical Ethics, showed that an overwhelming majority of medical students support the rights of conscientious objection of medical practitioners who object to abortion on moral or religious grounds.

Paul Smeaton, a young pro-life activist based in London who attended the 40 Days demonstration, pointed out that the complaints of American involvement in the British pro-life movement are surprising coming from BPAS, who regularly bring in American assistance.

Smeaton wrote, “The bastions and luminaries of the abortion lobby in the UK never tire of warning us about the dangers of ‘American tactics,’ ‘American money,’ ‘the Americanisation of the abortion debate in the UK,’ and ‘links to American anti-choice groups’.” The difficulty BPAS and the Guardian have with imported pro-lifers, Smeaton writes, is only that they are the wrong kind of Americans.

He points out that BPAS’s own medical director, Dr. Patricia Lohr is an American, recruited by CEO Ann Furedi in 2007, who said at the time that the organisation needed someone “who would bring a fresh, new approach” to the organization’s “clinical processes.”

In 2009, Lohr conducted a survey about disposal of aborted “fetal tissue” that was funded by the Society for Family Planning, an American organization. According to the BPAS website, the Society for Family Planning gave Lohr $12,896 US for the survey

In February this year, BPAS brought in American professor Carol Sanger to give a lecture titled “Abortion in the US: popularity, Politics, and Practice.” In the next year, BPAS plans two more lecturers with guests from the US, Beverley Winikoff and James Trussell.

Smeaton commented, “Was there an uproar? Did any abortion activists hold a protest? No, because it’s the right sort of American saying the right sort of thing, so it’s smiles all ‘round.”

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Lisa Bourne

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

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By Lisa Bourne

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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By Ben Johnson

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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By Ben Johnson

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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