Ben Johnson

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Vatican to the UN: all parents have the right to homeschool

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

TURTLE BAY, NEW YORK, May 1, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a significant victory for parental rights worldwide, a Vatican representative said all parents have the right to homeschool their children. 

“The State should respect the choices that parents make for their children and avoid attempts at ideological indoctrination,” the permanent observer mission of the Holy See to the United Nations wrote in a statement released last Tuesday. 

Parents “have the right and duty to choose schools inclusive of homeschooling, and they must possess the freedom to do so, which in turn, must be respected and facilitated by the State.”

“That’s huge,” said Jeremiah Lorrig, director of media relations at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), told LifeSiteNews.com. “Having the support of the Vatican ambassador would invaluable to the homeschool movement.”

A growing number of parents opt to educate their children at home because of the poor quality of schools available, or because schools increasingly promote values that conflict with traditional Christian morality.

Last July, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring California public schools to teach “the role and contributions of” homosexuals in American history.
 
“The purpose of this program is very obvious and that is to promote social acceptance of homosexuality, transsexuality to all children, and at the same time to silence those who have religious or moral beliefs against such lifestyles,” Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, told LifeSiteNews.com.

The problem did not begin with any one bill, he said. “California school districts already were implementing pro-homosexual orientation programs, also cross-dresser/transvestite sensitivity programs, before S.B. 48 was even drafted as legislation, much less become law,” Dacus said. For example, Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland implemented a “gender identity” curriculum. “These programs were already being implemented from high school all the way down to kindergarten or preschoolers,” he said.

“This kind of material only makes it more confusing and more to make decisions as well as solidifying a sexual orientation different than what is mentally and physically healthy for a child,” Dacus told LifeSiteNews.

In many nations, parents are denied the basic right to choose their children’s education. Last October, a committee of the Brailian Congress decreed that homeschooling “disrespects the Constitution, the Penal Code, the National Education Guidelines and Basic Law and the Child and Adolescent Statute.” The state of homeschooling in Germany is so bad a family fled to Iran for the right to homeschool their children.

“Raising awareness is key,” Lorrig told LifeSiteNews. “In a lot of these countries that have very restrictive laws against homeschooling, people are losing their children.”

The problem exists in the United States, as well, he said. Pacific Justice Institute and HSLDA defended California homeschoolers from a California Supreme Court ruling that sought to restrict their rights.

Lorrig told LifeSiteNews the greatest problem is uncertainty. “You never know where the brushfires are going to break out,” he said. For instance, HSLDA had to battle a Mississippi judge, who tried to impose greater restrictions on homeschooling parents. “There’s never homeschool problems in Mississippi,” Lorrig said.

HSLDA won those cases. “But it’s a constant tug-of-war between homeschool liberty and the desire to control parents,” Lorrig said.

The support of the Vatican will make a welcome change to HSLDA’s international outreach. “We actually find ourselves battling the UN, especially with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” said Lorrig.

Ratifying the treaty, he warned, could erode parental rights over education and many other aspects of their minors’ lives. “Constitutionally speaking, it would completely change the structure of family policy in the United States, undermine sovereignty, and put that authority in the hands of remote, self-described experts,” Lorrig said.

HSLDA facilitates or advises legal work on behalf of homeschoolers in about 25 nations around the world.

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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

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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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