OpinionWed Nov 27, 2013 - 10:24 am EST
School ties to Planned Parenthood help explain dismissal of courageous pro-life teacher
November 27, 2013 (ALL) - On November 14, Portland Public Schools joined with Planned Parenthood in an attempt to end the teaching career of Bill Diss, a highly qualified and dedicated teacher who blocked the access of Planned Parenthood employees to his class. Now, research by the watchdog group STOPP.org finds that some of those responsible for determining the fate of Diss have direct ties to pro-abortion politics.
In an e-mail to Common Sense, Rita Diller, national director for STOPP.org, says she uncovered multiple links between Portland school officials and pro-abortion politicians, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood.
Diller wrote in her Wednesday STOPP Report, “We found multiple connections that go a long way in explaining why the nation’s largest abortion chain wields so much power in Portland schools that it could actually precipitate the dismissal and a ‘perp walk’ by a teacher who exercised his First Amendment rights in speaking out about Planned Parenthood.”
There is no history of Diss being disruptive or confrontational to school administration, and no reason has ever been given why Portland schools chose to have him escorted off the premises by police last March. One possibility is that Principal Carol Campbell and Diss were at loggerheads for years over Diss’ anti-Planned Parenthood stance and that this was her chance to humiliate him.
Campbell was on a first name basis with the Planned Parenthood employees that she authorized to take control of Diss’ class, knowing full well his religious objections to the abortion group. She chose not to advise Diss in advance that Planned Parenthood would make a presentation to his math class and refused to excuse Diss on religious freedom grounds when he discovered the real identities for himself.
Prior to 2007, when Diss began fighting Planned Parenthood, his teacher appraisals were exemplary, yet he was placed on administrative leave from Portland Public Schools in March when the school claimed “unprofessional, intimidating and/or harassing behavior.”
Curiously, the school echoes language from the complaint from Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, the same group that Diss asked to leave his class: “Carol . . . Diss was overheard ‘telling students in the hallway that PPCW was going to talk to them about abortion and students were intimidated to the point that none of them signed up for the class.’”
No evidence has been made public that any students complained.
School administration links do not stop with Campbell. These are just two of the other relationships from Diller’s e-mail, and in the group’s Wednesday STOPP Report from November 20: “[Portland school] board member Pam Knowles is an attorney in the firm that sued the American Coalition of Life Activists, Dr. Monica Miller, and others—challenging the defendants’ First Amendment rights—on behalf of Planned Parenthood and Oregon abortionists. Knowles was the mentor of the lead lawyer for Planned Parenthood in the case.”
Board director Bobbie Regan sits on the advisory board of the pro-euthanasia organization Compassion & Choices of Oregon, along with former Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette CEO David Greenberg.
Compassion’s website says, “We complement the implementation of The Oregon Death with Dignity Act by ensuring qualified Oregonians with safe and responsible access to use the Act.” Notice the bizarre logic, similar to that used by pro-abortion activists: “safe and responsible access” to suicide?
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Regan, along with two former board members, Martin Gonzalez and Trudy Sargent, were listed among supporters by “Mary Nolan for City Council.” Nolan cofounded Oregon NARAL. Regan joined PP Action Fund in endorsing Suzanne Bonamici for Congress. Bonamici is a supporter of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon. Regan also served as legislative assistant to U.S. Representative Ed Markey, who was endorsed by Planned Parenthood PAC with a 100% favorable record.
Regan has been just as involved and at a higher level in pro-abortion politics as Diss has been in opposition. People are free to choose their politics, but Diller’s research raises questions about the mindset of school administration.
Rights advocates like Alveda King (a niece of Martin Luther King), Judie Brown of American Life League (STOPP is an ALL project), and Life Legal Defense Fund have rallied to Diss’ defense, along with an attorney from the Portland Teacher Association.
Brendan O’Morchoe, national director of field operations for Students for Life of America, described the scene at the November 14 pre-termination hearing: “Last night, pro-life advocates showed up en masse at a pre-termination hearing. . . . They filled the room and assembled by the dozens outside to pray and witness with signs reading ‘Civil Rights for Bill Diss.’ The hearing—which was supposed to be public at Bill Diss’ request—was held in the smallest room possible, which had a posted capacity of 92 but only 50 people were allowed inside at one time.”
Where these days is Carol Campbell, the principal who orchestrated the confrontation pitting Portland schools against teachers’ First Amendment rights? She has been promoted to principal at Portland’s Grant High School.
A final decision has yet to be announced on Diss’ termination, and it remains to be seen just how badly the cards may be stacked against him.
Reprinted with permission from ALL
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.