Brad Mattes, Executive Director, Life Issues Institute

What I saw at the Texas abortion battle: an epic battle between good and evil

Brad Mattes, Executive Director, Life Issues Institute
By Brad Mattes Executive Director Life Issues Institute

July 12, 2013 (LifeIssues) - I wish you could’ve been there. They say everything’s bigger in Texas and that’s certainly true of this legislative battle. Most of the week, I was in Austin, getting an up-close-and-personal view of an epic clash between good and evil. Pro-life Governor Rick Perry and a pro-life majority in the both the State House and Senate have been working on an amazing accomplishment—a major omnibus pro-life bill. You probably know the background, but for those who don’t, allow me to briefly summarize.

The Governor called a special session to deal with remaining issues after the regular bi-annual session. Abortion was on the agenda. Legislators combined four pro-life bills into one major piece of legislation. It prohibits abortion after five months, well after we know the unborn child feels pain. It requires abortion mills provide the same level of medical care as other outpatient surgical facilities, and abortionists must have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles. Finally, it requires chemical abortions (RU 486) be administered within approved FDA guidelines. It’s a very pro-child and pro-woman bill that makes babies and their mothers a little safer in Texas until we reach our ultimate goal of protecting all innocent human life from womb to tomb.

I took the TV crew to cover the debate for an episode of Facing Life Head-On, our weekly television program. When we arrived, an estimated crowd of 5,000 had gathered for a pro-life rally at the State Capitol. Dotted around the edges of the massive gathering were a few pro-abortion activists. You quickly knew who was who because of their clothes. Pro-lifers wore blue and the pro-aborts dressed in orange. Opponents of the bill were FAR outnumbered. The rally had a positive tone advocating for life and reaching out to those who disagree.

My goal was to interview people at the rally on both sides of the issue. The pro-lifers happily agreed, but the pro-abortion advocates all refused. They had obviously received their marching orders not to speak to the media. Period. This was undoubtedly the result of bad coverage resulting from their appalling behavior up to that point.

During the last special session when Senator Wendy Davis attempted her filibuster, and mob rule picked up where she failed—dooming the special session—it expired two minutes before the vote passing the bill was completed. As the process unfolded, each side was assigned a room in the capitol building. Opponents totally trashed theirs; requiring it to be completely refurbished with new carpet, paint, etc.

Fresh from their “victory” and feeling their oats, the radical activists continued to show their true colors this past week. While pro-lifers sang Amazing Grace in the Capitol rotunda, abortion activists chanted “Hail Satan!” and “Mary should have aborted Jesus!” As the outdoor pro-life rally wound down, attendees sang along to worship music emanating from large speakers. As they sang, the opposition chanted—and I hesitate to even allude to the content—“F*** the church!”

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Who were these political hooligans? Evidence shows they were members of MoveOn, Occupy and the Socialist Party among others. And they weren’t there out of a deeply-held conviction. It was a rented mob, bent on causing as much disruption, damage and offense as needed to get their point across. An ad was placed on Craigslist days before the second special session seeking people to show up and protest the bill. The ad offered up to $2,200 a month! Those who phoned the number provided were told they’d be working directly with Planned Parenthood, the group that gets over a half-billion of our federal tax dollars to push their deadly agenda. Many of those who showed up were grungy, smelly and repulsive. Several of their signs had worse content than that scrawled on a public bathroom wall.

First of all, Texans don’t take kindly to this sort of behavior. Second, the Governor and pro-life members of the Legislature were absolutely and unwaveringly determined not to let these thugs trash their cherished building and democracy. It was time for swift action.

I had the privilege of interviewing some of the brightest and best of those shepherding the pro-life bill through the Senate. Senator Donna Campbell loaned us her personal office for the day to conduct TV interviews. This emergency room physician has been a superb advocate for the legislation. I also spoke with Senators Larry Taylor, Bob Deuell (another physician) and the lone Democrat to support the bill during the first special session, Eddie Lucio.

They and their fellow warriors for life in both the Senate and House are resolute to do whatever is needed to see this major pro-life bill passed into law. The courage, eloquence and sacrifice I witnessed by them was heartening. Having grown up in Montana, I have a deep and abiding love of the West and have long admired Texans for their swagger, fierce independence and love of their state.

Now is the time for you to help them. Beginning today and throughout the weekend, the State Senate is expected to debate and vote on the omnibus bill. Considering all the spiritual warfare encircling the Capitol, we need to be in prayer for these men and women standing in the gap for Texas’ unborn babies and their mothers. Ask God to help them succeed and surround them with protection.

This latest battle in Texas clearly demonstrates that those advocating abortion and other social evils are becoming more aggressive and violent. God willing, we expect the Senate to succeed, and when that happens, the opposition will likely unleash their rage on pro-life legislators and advocates, as well as the many deputies assigned to keep the peace. Please join me in prayer that life will prevail over death and that the heroes of the Lone Star State will be protected. God bless them.

Reprinted with permission from the Life Issues Institute

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BREAKING: Planned Parenthood shooting suspect surrenders, is in custody: police

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By John Jalsevac

Nov. 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Five hours after a single male shooter reportedly opened fire at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, chatter on police radio is indicating that the suspect has now been "detained."

"We have our suspect and he says he is alone," said police on the police radio channel. 

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers also confirmed via Twitter shortly after 7:00 pm EST that the suspect was in custody.

The news comes almost exactly an hour after the start of a 6:00 pm. press conference in which Lt. Catherine Buckley had confirmed that a single shooter was still at large, and had exchanged gunfire with police moments before.

According to Lt. Buckley, four, and possibly five police officers have been shot since the first 911 call was received at 11:38 am local time today. An unknown number of civilians have also been shot.

Although initial reports had suggested that the shooting began outside the Planned Parenthood, possibly outside a nearby bank, Lt. Buckley said that in fact the incident began at the Planned Parenthood itself.

She said that the suspect had also brought unknown "items" with him to the Planned Parenthood. 

Pro-life groups have started responding to the news, urging caution in jumping to conclusions about the motivations of the shooter, while also condemning the use of violence in promoting the pro-life cause. 

"Information is very sketchy about the currently active shooting situation in Colorado Springs," said Pavone. "The Planned Parenthood was the address given in the initial call to the police, but we still do not know what connection, if any, the shooting has to do with Planned Parenthood or abortion.

"As leaders in the pro-life movement, we call for calm and pray for a peaceful resolution of this situation."

Troy Newman of Operation Rescue and Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, also issued statements.

"Operation Rescue unequivocally deplores and denounces all violence at abortion clinics and has a long history of working through peaceful channels to advocate on behalf of women and their babies," said Newman. "We express deep concern for everyone involved and are praying for the safety of those at the Planned Parenthood office and for law enforcement personnel. We pray this tragic situation can be quickly resolved without further injury to anyone."

"Although we don't know the reasons for the shooting near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today, the pro-life movement is praying for the safety of all involved and as a movement we have always unequivocally condemned all forms of violence at abortion clinics. We must continually as a nation stand against violence on all levels," said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, based in Washington, D.C.


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Rubio says SCOTUS didn’t ‘settle’ marriage issue: ‘God’s rules always win’

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Surging GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, says that "God's law" trumps the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision imposing same-sex “marriage” nationwide.

The senator also told Christian Broadcast Network's David Brody that the Supreme Court's redefinition of marriage is not "settled," but instead "current law."

“No law is settled,” said Rubio. “Roe v. Wade is current law, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to aspire to fix it, because we think it’s wrong.”

“If you live in a society where the government creates an avenue and a way for you to peacefully change the law, then you’re called to participate in that process to try to change it,” he explained, and "the proper place for that to be defined is at the state level, where marriage has always been regulated — not by the Supreme Court and not by the federal government.”

However, when laws conflict with religious beliefs, "God's rules always win," said Rubio.

“In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin — violate God’s law and sin — if we’re ordered to stop preaching the Gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that,” Rubio expounded. “We cannot abide by that because government is compelling us to sin.”

“I continue to believe that marriage law should be between one man and one woman," said the senator, who earlier in the fall was backed by billionaire GOP donor and same-sex "marriage" supporter Paul Singer.

Singer, who also backs looser immigration laws and a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, has long pushed for the GOP to change its position on marriage in part due to the sexual orientation of his son.

Despite Singer's support, Rubio's marriage stance has largely been consistent. He told Brody earlier in the year that "there isn't such a right" to same-sex "marriage."

"You have to have a ridiculous reading of the U.S. Constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex."

Rubio also said religious liberty should be defended against LGBT activists he says "want to stigmatize, they want to ostracize anyone who disagrees with them as haters."

"I believe, as do a significant percentage of Americans, that the institution of marriage, an institution that existed before government, that existed before laws, that institution should remain in our laws recognized as the union of one man and one woman," he said.

Rubio also hired social conservative leader Eric Teetsel as his director of faith outreach this month.

However, things have not been entirely smooth for Rubio on marriage. Social conservatives were concerned when the executive director of the LGBT-focused Log Cabin Republicans told Reuters in the spring that the Catholic senator is "not as adamantly opposed to all things LGBT as some of his statements suggest."

The LGBT activist group had meetings with Rubio's office "going back some time," though the senator himself never attended those meetings. Rubio has publicly said that he would attend the homosexual "wedding" of a gay loved one, and also that he believed "that sexual preference is something that people are born with," as opposed to being a choice.

Additionally, days after the Supreme Court redefined marriage, Rubio said that he disagreed with the decision but that "we live in a republic and must abide by the law."

"I believe that marriage, as the key to strong family life, is the most important institution in our society and should be between one man and one woman," he said. "People who disagree with the traditional definition of marriage have the right to change their state laws. That is the right of our people, not the right of the unelected judges or justices of the Supreme Court. This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years.

Rubio also said at the time that "it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood…"

“I firmly believe the question of same sex marriage is a question of the definition of an institution, not the dignity of a human being. Every American has the right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Not every American has to agree on every issue, but all of us do have to share our country. A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court’s decision today. In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other.”

The Florida senator said in July that he opposed a constitutional marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution to leave marriage up to the states because that would involve the federal government in state marriage policies.

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Former The View star Sherri Shepherd and then-husband Lamar Sally in 2010 s_bukley /
Steve Weatherbe

Court orders Sherri Shepherd to pay child support for surrogate son she abandoned

Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

November 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Sherri Shepherd, a Hollywood celebrity who co-hosted the popular talk show The View for seven years, has lost a maternity suit launched by her ex-husband Lamar Sally, forcing her to pay him alimony and child support for their one-year surrogate son LJ. The decision follows an unseemly fight which pro-life blogger Cassy Fiano says has exposed how surrogacy results in “commodifying” the unborn.

Shepherd, a co-host of the View from 2007 to 2014, met Sally, a screenwriter, in 2010 and they married a year later. Because her eggs were not viable, they arranged a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania to bear them a baby conceived in vitro using Sally’s sperm and a donated egg.

But the marriage soured in mid-term about the time Shepherd lost her job with The View. According to one tabloid explanation, she was worried he would contribute little to parenting responsibilities.  Sally filed for separation in 2014, Shepherd filed for divorce a few days, then Sally sued for sole custody, then alimony and child support.

Earlier this year she told PEOPLE she had gone along with the surrogacy to prevent the breakup of the marriage and had not really wanted the child.

Shepherd, an avowed Christian who once denied evolution on The View and a successful comic actor on Broadway, TV, and in film since the mid-90s, didn’t want anything to do with LJ, as Lamar named the boy, who after all carried none of her genes. She refused to be at bedside for the birth, and refused to let her name be put on the birth certificate and to shoulder any responsibility for LJ’s support.

But in April the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, and now the state’s Superior Court, ruled that Shepherd’s name must go on the birth certificate and she must pay Sally alimony and child support.

“The ultimate outcome is that this baby has two parents and the parents are Lamar Sally and Sherri Shepherd,” Shepherd’s lawyer Tiffany Palmer said.

As for the father, Sally told PEOPLE, “I'm glad it's finally over. I'm glad the judges saw through all the lies that she put out there, and the negative media attention. If she won't be there for L.J. emotionally, I'll be parent enough for the both of us.”

But Shepherd said, “I am appealing the ruling that happened,” though in the meantime, Sally will “get his settlement every month. There’s nothing I can do.”

Commented Fiano in Live Action News, “What’s so sickening about this case is that this little boy, whose life was created in a test tube, was treated as nothing more than a commodity…Saying that you don’t want a baby but will engineer one to get something you want is horrific.” As for trying to get out from child support payments now that the marriage had failed, that was “despicable.”

Fiano went on to characterize the Shepherd-Sally affair as a “notable example” of commodification of children, and “by no means an anomaly.” She cited a British report than over the past five years 123 babies conceived in vitro were callously aborted when they turned out to have Down Syndrome.

“When we’re not ready for babies, we have an abortion,” she added. “But then when we decide we are ready we manufacture them in a laboratory and destroy any extras. Children exist when we want them to exist, to fill the holes in us that we want them to fill, instead of being independent lives with their own inherent value and dignity.”

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