Hollywood, CA (LiveActionNews) — Jim Caviezel, famed for his role as Christ in The Passion of the Christ, and currently starring as the leading man in TV’s Person of Interest, is no stranger to being, well, different in Hollywood. From his publicly Catholic faith to his committed pro-life views, he stands in stark contrast to the typical movie star.
Caviezel’s personal life is even more remarkable than his incredible on-screen talent. Taking the road less traveled, Jim and his wife Kerri have adopted two children from China, both of whom had special needs.
Their first adopted child, Bo, came to the Caviezels after a traumatic first five years of life. The little boy had a brain tumor and had been abandoned before he was taken in by an orphanage and subsequently adopted by his loving parents. Bo is a remarkably boisterous child, and with the love he has received from Jim and Kerri, it is hard to believe that just a few short years ago he was struggling to survive in a hostile environment.
Also five years old at the time of her adoption, the Caviezels’ second child, Lynn, has a lot in common with her brother. She is also from China and suffered from a brain tumor. Although the Caviezels were originally offered a healthy infant, they knew that the young girl’s chances for finding a loving adoptive home were slimmer, and so they welcomed her into their family.
Caring for children with special medical needs is a challenge that many doctors recommend be avoided by opting for abortion. But the Caviezels stand as witnesses to the fact that beautiful families can be formed out of unexpected and imperfect circumstances, such as medical problems that require much love and care to overcome.
When asked how becoming a father had affected him, Caviezel told Catholic Digest, “Even though they’re adopted, it’s as strong as any instinct. That’s what blew me away. I always thought if I adopted that I wouldn’t have the same feeling [as I would] if they were genetically my own children. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
LifeNews Note: Lauren is a Legislative Associate for Texas Right to Life and a graduate of Ave Maria University. This post originally appeared at Live Action News and is reprinted with permission.
A U.S. senator confronted the acting director of the Internal Revenue Service today with charges that the agency targeted pro-life groups with discrimination.
As LifeNews reported, the Internal Revenue Service was also targeting a pro-life Iowa group that acts in part as a watchdog over the Planned Parenthood abortion business. It was refusing to grant nonprofit tax status to the Coalition for Life of Iowa unless it agreed to limit its “picketing” and “protesting” of Planned Parenthood.
In papers to the group, the IRS questioned the “educational” nature of the Coalition’s materials, prayer meetings, talks and other pro-life activities.
Today, Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican confronted outgoing IRS Acting Commission Steven Miller about the discrimination. From CNS News:
“This comes directly from Iowa, one of my constituents attempted to establish 501(c)(3) charity called Coalition for Life of Iowa. She told my staff that an IRS agent told her ‘Your application’s ready to go. However, it will not be approved until you send a letter signed by your entire board under penalty of perjury saying that you will not protest at Planned Parenthood,’” Grassley said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.
Grassley called it “outrageous” that the statement would even be “made by anybody in government that somehow you’ve got to compromise your First Amendment rights.”
In addition to the order that the group promise not to protest Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, Grassley’s constituent received a letter from the IRS with “several invasive questions, including the details of the group’s prayer meeting,” he said.
“Now stop to think about it – the government getting involved in somebody having a prayer meeting. It appears that the IRS essentially offered this group a quid pro quo – You can become a charity if you don’t protest in front of a Planned Parenthood, generally speaking so you don’t have to worry about 6103,” Grassley said.
Miller said he could not speak to the specific organization in question but apologized on behalf of the agency.
Today NARAL released a groundbreaking report on the activities of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.
According to the report, Susan B. Anthony List 1) raises money for pro-life candidates, 2) supports pro-life laws, 3) hires pro-life people, and 4) receives grants from conservative foundations. Last spring the group even went so far as to hire a lobbyist to lobby against Planned Parenthood funding. Shocking!
In all seriousness, Susan B. Anthony List should welcome this report.
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Founded in 1992, the group has done a fine job both raising the profile of pro-life women and assisting pro-life women who are running for elected office. Twenty years ago, there were almost no pro-life women serving in Congress. Now there are two female pro-life senators and over 15 pro-life female members of the House. This is in no small part to the efforts of Susan B. Anthony List, and the fact that the group is receiving scrutiny from its opponents is a nice testament to its effectiveness.
LifeNews.com Note: Dr. Michael New is a political science professor at the University of Michigan–Dearborn and holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is a fellow at Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.
This is exactly what I’ve been hoping would happen: pro-choice people that think about abortion in a new way because of the Gosnell case, but not stopping there, but then asking a key question: “Is there a morally relevant difference between what Gosnell did and other abortions that are less obviously barbaric?”
The entire Kermit Gosnell case changed me from staunchly pro-choice to pro-life. I am a single 30-year old male…not at all someone who stands to gain from a pro-life view. When I heard the details of this, my stomach turned. I tried to reason with myself as to why this affected me but “standard” abortions did not. Granted, this was beyond the pale, but the message remained clear: this man took human lives.
I don’t want to get downvoted for this change in mindset, but if it happens, it happens. I have to listen to my heart’s message in the matter and while I feel for the women who felt they had no other option, this was not it. I’m uncomfortable with how strongly I feel about the subject, but I can’t make it okay with myself. (emphasis added)
This is why I just published a discussion of how pro-lifers can have productive conversations about Gosnell. It’s all about starting with the common ground of Gosnell, and then leading the conversation purposefully to first trimester abortions. It’s more work, but the chance of changing the person’s mind about abortion altogether are much higher.
Click this link to download the audio, or click the video below to watch our episode about Gosnell. We discuss how pro-lifers SHOULD talk about Gosnell, how pro-lifers should NOT talk about Gosnell, (but often do,) and briefly respond to the claim that it’s pro-lifers fault that women went to Gosnell’s clinic in the first place.
LifeNews.com Note: Josh Brahm is the educational director for Right to Life of Central California and the host of Life Report, also a LifeNews pro-life video feature. Find more episodes of Life Report at ProLifePodcast.net.
The congressman who is behind a new bill that would ban abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy says Congress should enact the ban to protect babies from excruciating pain they feel during abortions.
Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona also says his ban would have stopped the horrors at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic.
Franks will hold a press conference on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act tomorrow. The press conference will be in advance of a hearing to be held this Thursday by Franks, who chairs the Judiciary Committee’s Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee.
“The case of Kermit Gosnell shocked the sensibilities of millions of Americans,” he said. “However, the crushing fact is that abortions on babies just like the ones killed by Kermit Gosnell have been happening hundreds of times per day, every single day, for the past 40 years.”
“Indeed, let us not forget that, had Kermit Gosnell dismembered these babies before they had traveled down the birth canal only moments earlier, he would have, in many places nationwide, been performing an entirely legal procedure,” Franks told LifeNews in an email.
He added, “If America truly understands that horrifying reality, hearts and laws will change. Knowingly subjecting our innocent unborn children to dismemberment in the womb, particularly when they have developed to the point that they can feel excruciating pain every terrible moment leading up to their undeserved deaths, belies everything America was called to be. This is not who we are.”
The bill has the strong support of pro-life groups like the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List. Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President for Government Affairs for the SBA List, talked more about why her groups supports the 20-week abortion ban.
“Tomorrow, Rep. Franks and other Members of Congress are holding a press conference on the Hill that I am attending announcing legislation that would ban abortions nationwide at the 20-week mark,” she said, adding that this is “truly a historic moment for the pro-life movement.”
Musgrave says Democrats are eager to push back against tying the bill to Gosnell’s late-term abortions.
She noted: “In fact, an anonymous House Democratic leadership aide told the Hill publication Roll Call today: “ …using [Gosnell] as some sort of vehicle to change what is the law of the land is going to be greeted with fierce opposition.’”
In a nationwide poll of 1,003 registered voters in March, The Polling Company found that 64% would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks — when an unborn baby can feel pain — unless the life of the mother was in danger. Only 30% opposed such legislation.
During the 2011-12 Congress, Mr. Franks’ bill garnered 222 co-sponsors in the 435-member House, and received the support of a majority of House members on July 31, 2012 (roll call no. 539).
In a new video released by commentator William Saletan at Slate magazine, the author critiques videos released by the activist group Live Action regarding clinics that perform late-term abortions.
In those videos, Live Action shows interactions between women whose pregnancies are in the range of 23 completed weeks of gestation. Saletan critiques the editing of the video to omit points he argues show the clinics in a more favorable light, then states, “Here’s the big thing… even if you didn’t administer an injection, that kills the fetus inside the womb, which nearly all of these clinics do, the mere expulsion of the fetus, even at 21, 22, or 23, weeks is, itself, fatal. That fetus is not prepared to survive the womb.”
What do established sources say about the survival rates of babies born at various stages of gestation? These rates are a product of many factors, including the child’s weight, whether the mother took drugs to aid lung development with foreknowledge of an extremely premature birth, the proximity of the prematurely delivered baby to a neonatal intensive care unit and the technical skill of its treatment team.
The Lozier Institute will publish more on this subject in the future but here is one source, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development on the outcomes with babies born in the 22-25 week range in terms of gestation (note that these rates acknowledge that a range of disability occurs in babies born at these ages and that the disabilities decline in both incidence and severity as the gestational age at delivery increases).
Outcomes Only for Mechanically Ventilated Infants in the Sample
(In Completed Weeks)
Outcomes at 18 to 22 Months Corrected Age**
Death/Moderate to Severe Neuro-
**For mechanically ventilated infants, determination of Death/Profound Neurodevelopmental Impairment and Death/Moderate to Severe Neurodevelopmental Impairment based on 3,421 infants whose outcomes were known at 18 to 22 months corrected age; determination of Death based on a denominator of all 3,702 cohort infants.
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Fetal development information compiled by the Mayo Clinic acknowledges that, at 23 weeks’ gestation, “With intensive medical care, some babies born this week might be able to survive.” Thus, even with the application of mechanical ventilation in an effort to save the live of the extremely premature baby, 79 percent of those born at 22 weeks will die before discharge from the Neonatal ICU. But for the extremely premature baby at 23 weeks the corresponding number is 63% and at 24 weeks it is 41%. Specialists in the treatment of premature and extremely small neonates cite the thumbnail that over the past 40 years the survivability for these children has improved by approximately one week each decade. It is not a fixed number.
Saletan is correct that roughly 1 percent of U.S. abortions are done at these late stages of pregnancy, but the state of U.S. abortion reporting and the likelihood that these late-term abortions are not fully reported must be factored into the assessment. Even at 1% there would be some 12,000 infants a year in the United States born near, at or after a stage of significant survivability.
Finally, if Saletan were correct that babies in this gestational range cannot and do not survive, there would be no justification for subjecting the woman to the injection of digoxin or another lethal medicine in the first place. Induction of labor would certainly accomplish the objective of fetal demise. It is to assure that outcome, or spare the mother the sight and/or sound of her child struggling for life and breath, that prompts the administration of a lethal injection through her abdominal wall.
LifeNews Note: Charles Donovan is the head of the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Christian crafts store Hobby Lobby will battle the Obama administration in court Thursday over whether or not the HHS Department can force it to comply with the mandate that compels it to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty will represent Hobby Lobby Stores before the an en banc hearing of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 23
“The full court will consider whether to halt enforcement of the HHS mandate, which forces Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned-and-operated business, to provide and pay for emergency contraceptives, such as the “morning-after pill” and “week-after pill”, in violation of the religious beliefs of its owners, the Green family,” the pro-life legal firm said. “The court announced on March 29, 2013 that Hobby Lobby’s appeal will be before the entire court rather than the usual three-judge panel.”
In December, a two-judge panel of the 10th Circuit denied Hobby Lobby’s request to temporarily stop enforcement of the abortion pill mandate. Now, nine 10th Circuit judges will hear Hobby Lobby’s case. Arguments are expected to take place this Spring.
The mandate would force the Christian-owned-and-operated company to provide the “morning-after pill” and “week-after pill” in its health insurance plan, or face crippling fines up to $1.3 million per day.
“The Green family is disappointed with this ruling,” said Duncan. “They simply asked for a temporary halt to the mandate while their appeal goes forward, and now they must seek relief from the United States Supreme Court. The Greens will continue to make their case on appeal that this unconstitutional mandate infringes their right to earn a living while remaining true to their faith.”
Previously, the 10th Circuit judges denied the motion calling the religious burden to the Green family “indirect and attenuated.”
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma and U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton issued a ruling rejecting Hobby Lobby’s request to block the mandate. Judge Heaton said that the company doesn’t qualify for an exemption because it is not a church or religious group.
“Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion,” the ruling said.
Heaton wrote that “the court is not unsympathetic” to the company’s desire to not pay for abortion-causing drugs but he said the Obamacare law “results in concerns and issues not previously confronted by companies or their owners.”
The appeals brief reads in part: “[I]n less than six weeks, [the Green family] must either violate their faith by covering abortion-causing drugs, or be exposed to severe penalties—including fines of up to $1.3 million per day, annual penalties of about $26 million and exposure to private suits.”
“The district court accepted that the Green family engages in a religious exercise by refusing to cover abortion-causing drugs in their self-funded health plan. There was thus no question that the Green family engages in ‘religious exercise,’” it adds. “[T]he Supreme Court has long rejected any distinction between “direct” and “indirect” burdens in evaluating whether regulations infringe religious exercise.”
Duncan said the judge’s decision did not question that the Green family has sincere religious beliefs forbidding them from providing abortion-causing drugs. The court ruled, however, that those beliefs were only “indirectly” burdened by the mandate’s requirement that [Hobby Lobby] provide free coverage for specific, abortion-inducing drugs in [the company’s] self-funded insurance plan.
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The Beckett Fund says there are 52 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, which is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”). The pro-life legal group, along with Hobby Lobby represents: Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network and Ave Maria University.
The mandate has engendered strong opposition from pro-life groups and Catholic and evangelical Christian companies that do not want to be compelled to pay for drugs for employees that may cause abortions.
The most recent polling data from December 2012 shows Americans support a religious exemption to the mandate.
After a federal judge upheld an Arizona law that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most liberal appeals courts in the nation has struck is down.
In July 2012, a federal judge in Arizona issued a ruling upholding that state’s new law that goes into effect on Thursday and bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The ACLU sued to stop the law after legislators passed the bill to ban abortions after that period of time except in very rare cases of medical emergency. The bill also requires abortion facilities to allow women to have an ultrasound of their unborn baby at least 24 hours prior to having the abortion. In many cases women change their minds about a planned abortion after seeing the images of their developing child.
Now, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law violates U.S. Supreme Court rulings on abortion, including Roe v. Wade. The ruling does not affect similar laws passed in other states except the law in Idaho, which is also covered under the jurisdiction of the appeals court.
Ruling Link: Isaacson v. Horne, No. 12-16670 (9th Circuit)
From the decision: “The panel reversed the district court’s order denying declaratory and injunctive relief to plaintiffs and held that the Constitution does not permit the Arizona legislature to prohibit abortion beginning at twenty weeks gestation, before the fetus is viable.”
It added: “The panel held that under controlling Supreme Court precedent, Arizona may not deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at any point prior to viability. The panel held that Arizona House Bill 2036, enacted in April 2012, effects such a deprivation by prohibiting abortion from twenty weeks gestational age through fetal viability. The panel held that the twenty-week law is therefore unconstitutional under an unbroken stream of Supreme Court authority, beginning with Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and ending with Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007).”
Pro-abortion groups cheered the ruling against the bill stopping late-term abortions.
“Today’s decision is a huge victory in the fight to protect women’s fundamental reproductive rights, and it should send a clear message to anti-choice politicians that their attempts to deprive pregnant women of critical health care are clearly unconstitutional and will not hold up in court,” said Sally Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Cathi Herrod, president of Center for Arizona Policy told LifeNews she is not surprised.
“This ruling is not surprising nor am I discouraged at the prospects of this important law ultimately being upheld,” she said. “The Ninth Circuit Court is historically one of the most overturned appellate courts in the nation. Based on the facts of this case, I am confident that this Court will be overturned once again.”
“The Court put a pro-abortion ideology before the health and safety of women and preborn children. The Court held to the vague standard that abortions can only be limited based on whether the child is viable, even though they confessed viability is not a “fixed” point,” said Herrod. “Ultimately, as we’ve anticipated from the beginning, this case should be decided by the United States Supreme Court. Sadly, until that time, women and preborn children will suffer the consequences of this disappointing decision.”
Against the best interests of the health and safety of Arizona’s women, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit to block the law from going into effect on August 2 as planned.
Judge James Teilborg’s ruling acknowledged prior Supreme Court rulings saying states may not prohibit abortions before viability. But he said the law “does not impose a substantial obstacle to previability abortions.” He said state’s have a legitimate reason to protect unborn children during that time.
“There is no question that the government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman,” he wrote, quoting from the Supreme Court case that upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortions.
He also rejected pro-abortion arguments that the law prevents women from having abortions if the baby suffers from very severe abnormalities incompatible with life, saying evidence submitting court “stops short of claiming that there are any conditions that could only by diagnosed after 20 weeks that could not have been found before that time.”
“The court finds that it would be extremely rare to find a condition that could be diagnosed after 20 weeks that could not have been diagnosed earlier,” he wrote.
The judge also did not go along with pro-abortion arguments that a diagnosis of fetal abnormalities will not occur until after 20 weeks and, even if a mother is prevented from having an abortion in such a case, he said “such a situation cannot be the basis of the court’s decision in a facial challenge to the statute.”
One purpose of the bill was to prevent abortions when unborn children feel pain and the judge was sympathetic to the legislature’s intent, saying lawmakers cited “substantial and well-documented evidence that an unborn child has the capacity to feel pain during an abortion by at least 20 weeks gestational age.”
The Center for Arizona Policy helped draft HB 2036, known as the Mother’s Health and Safety Act, and testified in support of the bill and complained when the ACLU sued.
“Once again, we see supposed ‘pro-woman’ organizations fight to protect abortion-on-demand despite the serious risks abortion presents to new moms,” said Cathi Herrod, President of Center for Arizona Policy. “The medical evidence presented during committee hearings make it clear that abortions after 20 weeks present a much greater risk to the life of the women. There is also substantial medical evidence that preborn children can feel pain at this age.”
“Center for Arizona Policy is committed to seeing this law take effect. Americans support common sense standards that protect women from the dangerous practices of the abortion industry,” Herrod said.
This bill, called “The Mother’s Health and Safety Act”:
- Prohibits abortion after 20 weeks because of the safety risks to the mother and the pain endured by the preborn child
- Ensures women have an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to an abortion
- Establishes an informed consent website which details the facts about fetal development, risks of abortion, and services available.
- Requires doctors performing surgical abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the abortion facility.
Arizona Right to Life was also supportive of the legislation.
Is a Chicago-based physician breaking Kansas law by setting up shop to do late-term abortions? That’s the question officials with the Pro-Life Action League want answered.
Eric Scheidler, the director of the pro-life group, is leading a protest tomorrow at the medical clinic of a Chicago-area doctor who he says plans to head to Kansas to continue the late-term abortions that were once done by George Tiller in the largest city in Kansas.
“There’s only one abortion clinic in the state of Kansas, and Oak Park family doctor Cheryl Chastine owns it,” Scheidler says. “The clinic, South Wind Women’s Center, recently opened in the same office in Wichita where notorious abortionist George Tiller operated. Like the recently convicted Kermit Gosnell, Tiller performed late term abortions on babies that were unquestionably old enough to survive outside the womb.”
According to Scheidler, Kansas law requires that medical facilities be owned by a licensed doctor.
“When they couldn’t find a physician in the entire state of Kansas willing to take on ownership of South Wind, investors and abortion advocates seeking to re-open Tiller’s Wichita location tapped Oak Park’s Cheryl Chastine to put her name on the business and perform abortions there,” he explained. “Chastine agreed, and has signed herself onto the deadly legacy of Gosnell and Tiller.”
To expose her plans, the Pro-Life Action League is setting up a prayer and protest event that Scheidler says will “highlight the scandal of Oak Park family practice doctor Cheryl Chastine owning and performing abortions at South Wind Women’s Center (aka Wichita Medical Center), which has opened in Wichita, Kansas at the site of George Tiller’s notorious late-term abortion facility.”
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“Chastain’s Oak Park patients deserve to know that she is heavily involved in abortion, as the owner of South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita—which cannot operate under Kansas state law without a doctor listed as official owner,” he said.
Scheidler says the 11:30 a.m. protest hopes to convince Chastain to pull out of South Wind, forcing the abortion center to close.
Douglas Karpen, who operates two abortion clinics in the Houston area and is under fire for twisting off the necks of babies with his bare hands, has a long and sordid past.
The abortion practitioner is considered to be the next Kermit Gosnell because he kills babies who are born alive in a gruesome abortion-infanticide process. But Karpen faced a plethora of complaints from former staff — complaints that the Texas state health board did little about, in much the same way the Pennsylvania state government did little about Kermit Gosnell before he was finally exposed.
In May 2012, a then-unnamed whistleblower came forward to allege that the Texas-based abortion practitioner may be breaking the new ultrasound law that allows women a chance to see images of their unborn child before considering an abortion. The whistleblower made allegations that Karpen, who operates two abortion clinics in the Houston area, was violating the new state law requiring abortion practitioners to conduct ultrasounds on women 24 hours prior to an abortion.
“We are asking the Texas Medical Board to get involved and enforce the law,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, at that time. “Karpen is an unsafe abortionist who has endangered women for years. But now he has crossed the line by refusing to comply with this new law. It is time to bring him to justice by revoking his license.”
The informant, whose identity was being kept confidential by Operation Rescue out of fear of retribution, also alleges that Karpen is guilty of a myriad of other violations ranging from sexual harassment to not washing or changing gloves to prevent contamination between abortion patients.
The complaint was asking for a full investigation into Karpen’s questionable abortion practices at Aaron Women’s Clinic and the Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center, also known as the Aaron Women’s Surgical Center.
The Operation Rescue complaint at that time further alleged that Karpen is engaged in fraudulent billing practices, not having surgical equipment properly sterilized, falsifying ultrasound results, doing abortions as late as 28 weeks (Texas law permits only to 24 weeks), lack of adequate nursing staff, concealing logs from inspectors to prevent deficiency citations. Karpen was also alleged to be hiring nurses through a temp agency to work only on days when inspections are scheduled and mistreating inappropriately touching attractive women while they are under sedation.
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“Karpen has a long and disreputable history as an abortionist, including two patient deaths and numerous abortion-related injuries,” Newman said. “In 1989, a pro-life activist photographed the remains of a baby aborted at one of Karpen’s clinics at 28 weeks gestation. Images of that baby, now known as “Baby David” are in use today by pro-life activists to expose the horrific brutality of abortion.”
As LifeNews reported recently, Operation Rescue, in its expose’ of Karpen, notes that the Texas medical board never held him accountable for these violations. A February 2013 letter dismissed the entire case and claimed “there is no evidence of inappropriate behavior, therefore no further action will be taken.”
Persecution of violators of China’s one-child policy continues. Two human rights groups are reporting on a recent incident where family planning officials almost beat to death a farmer whose crime was having three children.
The human rights group ChinaAid has details:
A farmer in Jiangsu province was set upon on Wednesday by more than 20 family planning officials who beat him to near death because he and his wife have three children, violating China’s strict one-child policy.
Zhang Futao, of Group Five, Nangou Village, in the town of Beigou, in Xinyi city, is now hospitalized in critical condition and fighting for his life after suffering severe head injuries from the beating by the family planning officials who burst into his home at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday (May 15). They then kidnapped Zhang to Tashan Brigade and made his family pay a ransom.
The family immediately took him to the emergency room of the Linyi city People’s Hospital, where he was found to have a fractured skull and a brain hemorrhage. He had lost 100 milliliters (100 cc) of blood and might have died in an hour if his family had not brought him to the hospital.
Zhang is the family’s sole breadwinner. He and his wife have three children, two girls aged 12 and four years old, and a boy of six. His mother died 11 years ago, and his father is in poor health, is deaf and is hunchbacked. The cost for the surgery Zhang needs is estimated at between 10,000 RMB (US$1,630) and 20,000 RMB (US$3260). The family is appealing for help from society. Police have already started an investigation.
ChinaAid is shocked that more violent crimes in the name of family planning are coming to light this year and calls on the church and Christians to express their concern and to pray, as well as to help these victims in concrete ways so as to shine a light of love in the face of the darkness of society and the Chinese government.
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Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers adds:
Zhang Futao has suffered severe head injuries and is in critical condition from the beating, which occurred on Wednesday, May 15. According to the family, he has a fractured skull and a brain hemorrhage. His three children are ages 12, 6 and 4.
We condemn this egregious, state-sponsored violence against an innocent citizen, whose only ‘crime’ is having more than one child. Why was this man suddenly attacked, four years after the birth of his third child? We demand that the family planning attackers be brought to justice, that Mr. Zhang’s full medical expenses be covered, and that his family be compensated.
This attack also serves as a reminder that men as well as women suffer as a result of violence in the name of population control. On March 21, 2011, Family Planning Officials stabbed a young man to death while he was trying to protect his father from a beating. The Officials had entered the home to seize the man’s sister for a forced sterilization. The spirit of the Red Guard lives on in China’s population control machine. Family Planning Officials are above the law and function as domestic terrorists.
Gallup released the results of its annual poll on whether Americans do or don’t find a couple dozen practices morally acceptable. As has frequently been the case, Americans do not find abortion to be morally okay.
The new poll finds a plurality of Americans, 49-42 percent, find abortion to be morally unacceptable. A 49-45 percentage point plurality also found assisted suicide morally unacceptable and an 83-13 percent majority find cloning human beings to be morally bad as well.
The only pro-life issue on which Americans say is morally okay is “medical research using cells from human embryos.” There, a 60-32 percentage point majority find embryonic stem cell research to be alright. Those numbers likely would have changed has Gallup informed respondents that the human embryos — unique human beings — are killed to obtain the cells for research.
Below are the images from Gallup showing the morally acceptable and then the morally unacceptable responses for pro-life issues compared with others on which Gallup polled.
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Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 2-7, finds 58 percent of Americans want either all or almost all abortions illegal — with 20% saying it should be illegal in all circumstances and 38% favoring it in only in a few circumstances.
Just 39 percent of Americans support all or most abortions remaining legal, with only 26% of Americans favoring legalized abortion under any circumstances (the position of Planned Parenthood and President Barack Obama) and 13% favoring legality under most circumstances.
The poll also showed varying groups of Americans also strongly oppose abortions and want it illegal in all or most circumstances. Some 59 percent of men and 57 percent of women want all or most abortions illegal as do 57 percent of young Americans under the age of 34. Republicans want all or most abortions illegal on a 78-21 percentage point margin while 59 percent of independents and even 43 percent of Democrats oppose all or most abortions.
Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) —The more abortion debates center around babies developed enough to think and feel and resemble adorable newborns, the more pro-lifers gain a nigh-insurmountable advantage. The savvier pro-aborts clumsily try to change the subject or qualify that of course they’d only allow abortions for extreme medical circumstances late in pregnancy (which isn’t true, but that’s another article), and the few honest enough to admit they just don’t care rightly come across as monsters.
Often, however, intuition works against us when the discussion focuses on the earliest moments of pregnancy, in which the new human’s brain has yet to form and images of zygotes appear indistinguishable from any number of human cells that possess no moral worth independent of the person they comprise. Science tells us the life of an individual human being begins with fertilization, Scripture tells us human life is innately priceless, and ethics tell us it is unjust to deprive anyone of their future, but for many, putting an apparent microscopic blob on the same level as themselves or their children is just too far an abstraction to wrap their heads around.
It doesn’t help that liberal culture’s relativistic tendencies are fundamentally at odds with rational thinking. The left emphasizes emotionalism and appeals to people’s egos by telling them their feelings are authoritative guides to major moral and political questions. If it seems right to you, that’s all that matters.
This, obviously, is a terrible way to make decisions. That different people’s senses lead them to incompatible and contradictory conclusions is enough to prove its inadequacy to all but the most fanatical relativist, but still it persists, because it makes intellectually lazy people feel better about themselves and is a convenient rationalization to dismiss violence done to the unborn.
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To help understand how the zygote’s appearance and development level don’t negate its biological humanity, let’s consider another scientific question, on the opposite end of the size scale, in which there’s a significant disconnect between scientific truth and the impression our unassisted senses leave us with. Take a look outside:
Nobody (well, almost nobody) disputes that our planet is round anymore, because the true scientific fact of the matter is widely known. We answered the question through scientific analysis, not by glancing out our window and calling it a day. But if astronomy was governed by the same evidentiary standards that liberals use to conclude zygotes aren’t live human beings, we’d all be flat-earthers. So remind me again: why do these people still claim a monopoly on the pro-science label?
LifeNews.com Note: Calvin Freiburger is a Live Action contributing writer. This column appeared at Live Action News and is reprinted with permission.
The reaction from conservatives and pro-life advocates to the Oklahoma tornadoes has been moving to see — with pro-life advocates on Twitter pushing for donations to a variety of groups providing aid to the victims.
However, Glen Beck, the pro-life former Fox News television show host and current radio show host deserves significant praise for organizing a Convoy of Hope. He quickly assembled two semi-trucks full of food, diapers and other supplies for the tornado victims.
Below are some tweets from his timeline about the convey his group Mercury One charity quickly organized for those in the Moore, Oklahoma area.
Are there two tractor trailer trucks and drivers in the forth worth area that I’d I could load them with food tonight they could drive 2 OK?
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 20, 2013
At loading dock. Winds blowing hard. 30 minutes and on the road w/food, diapers, water, fuel & comfort.Trying to prepare for what lies ahead — Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 21, 2013
Reading scriptures trying to find what He wants us to do.” 3:18 let us not love in word Nor in tongue; but in deed and truth.” — Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 21, 2013
At our first truck stop.I don’t know how truckers do it.I may never get the smell of what I think were hotdogs out of my nose.mark ate1 — Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 21, 2013
The food/water we deliver is from thousands of Americans. Who know much is required. I fear what we will see in a few hours. pray 4 Hope.
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 21, 2013
Just arrived in Moore about 30 minutes ago.Trucks being off loaded by volunteers at 1st baptist church.They look so tired. No running water,
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 21, 2013
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This is the kind of heroism and selflessness pro-life advocates like Beck are known for.
What do Democrats in Congress do in response to the conviction of late-term abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell? They apparently think the best response is to attack pregnancy centers that provide women with abortion alternatives.
According to a new report in The Hill, Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced legislation attacking pregnancy centers because think they telling women about alternatives and informing them of the medical and mental health problems women face following abortions is somehow deceptive.
As the report indicates:
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the House sponsor of the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act (H.R. 2030), said CPCs should not be allowed to deceive women who are seeking information about their pregnancy.
Her bill would give the Federal Trade Commission the ability to investigate reports of misleading claims from CPCs, just as it can investigate other consumer products and services.
The bill is supported by the National Abortion Federation, whose president, Vicki Saporta, said that CPCs “have a long history of intentionally misleading women to prevent them from accessing abortion case.”
Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, added that she is “thrilled that Rep. Maloney is acting to hold these fake ‘clinics’ accountable.”
Maloney’s bill has 12 House co-sponsors, all Democrats, and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
Never mind that Saporta’s group, NAF failed to report the horrors of Gosnell’s abortion clinic even though it knew of what was happening there. Instead, it wants to crack down on pro-life pregnancy centers providing actual help to women instead of killing their babies in gruesome abortions and infanticides.
Dave Andrusko of National Right to Life also noted this hypocrisy by Democrats.
“Let’s see. Kermit Gosnell has just been sentenced on three counts of first degree murder in the deaths of three unborn babies aborted alive and involuntary manslaughter of a woman who died of a drug overdose during her abortion. Another abortionist in Texas is reportedly under investigation for Gosnell-like behavior,” he says. “So what is the pro-abortion congressional response to this litany of horror stories. Well, according to The Hill Newspaper, “Dems look to crack down on anti-abortion ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’” Yes, that is their response, which is applauded by the likes of (surprise, surprise) NARAL Pro-Choice America and the National Abortion Federation (NAF).”
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“This, by the way, the same NARAL that managed to pretend to condemn Gosnell’s “atrocities” but never once mention the thousands of babies who were aborted over the course of 31 years and the untold number of whom were late abortions,” Andrusko added. ”
And the same NAF which said not word one to authorities after turning down Gosnell’s request to become a member? Why? Because his Women’s Medical Society was “beyond redemption.” Talk about misplaced priorities.”
A new Washington Post poll finds Americans believe the targeting of pro-life groups and conservatives by the International Revenue service was a deliberate act.
“As you may know it’s been disclosed that the IRS singled out some conservative political groups for extra questions about their tax status. Do you think it was appropriate or inappropriate for the IRS to do this?” the poll asked. Some 74 percent of respondents say it was inappropriate compared to just 20 percent who say it was appropriate.
Another 51 percent said they thought the IRS actions were illegal while 44 percent said they were inappropriate but not illegal.
The Post asked, “Do you think this extra focus on conservative political groups by the IRS was (a deliberate effort to harass these groups) or (an administrative mistake that was not intended to treat these groups unfairly)?” Some 56 percent of Americans think the targeting was deliberate while 31 percent disagree.
“In dealing with this situation with the IRS, do you think the Obama administration (is honestly disclosing what it knows about what occurred) or (is trying to cover up the facts)?” the poll asked and a plurality (45-42 percent) say the Obama administration is trying to cover up the IRS abuse.
With the scandal concerning the IRS and its targeting of pro-life and conservative groups growing, national conservative activists are planning nationwide rallies today at IRS offices across the country.
New reports indicate President Barack Obama’s top attorney knew in April that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting pro-life and conservative groups. The reports show Obama’s top lawyer was notified in April that the Treasury Department’s inspector general had finished an audit of the IRS over the allegations.
The news comes as a report shows James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate, disclosed that he was a victim of IRS discrimination because he spoke out against pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
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Last week, President Barack Obama addressed the massive IRS scandal and promised it would never happen again.
“I’ll do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again,” he promised.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced he will hold a hearing on the IRS scandal this week. The federal agency has targeted pro-life groups as well as conservative and religious organizations.
In one case LifeNews has profiled, a pro-life group was told it had to promote abortion. A top pro-life legal group also informed LifeNews that cases it handled support mounting accusations that demonstrate the agency’s abuse of pro-life organizations.
Two leading pro-life groups are urging pro-life advocates to contact members of Congress to support a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy nationwide because unborn children can feel pain.
The National Right to Life Committee says the bill has its “strong backing.”
“Pro-life members of Congress, led by Congressman Trent Franks (R-Az.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), with strong backing from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), have proposed legislation to protect unborn children capable of feeling pain — defined in the legislation as those who have reached 20 weeks fetal age — from abortion,” the group said in a legislative alert to its members.
“The legislation is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797, S. 886). The bill would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks fetal age, unless the mother’s life is endangered — based on compelling scientific evidence that by 20 weeks (if not earlier), the unborn child is capable of experiencing excruciating pain while being aborted,” NRLC said.
The group notes how, during a 2012 hearing on this legislation, Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist, explained to a House panel exactly how second-trimester dismemberment (“D&E”) abortions are performed.
NRLC warns that abortion advocates are already getting their allies to call and email Congress.
“Pro-abortion groups and their allies in Congress have made it clear that they intend to try to delay, obstruct, and defeat this bill,” it said and it urged pro-life people to “send messages to your representative in the U.S. House and to your two U.S. senators, urging them to cosponsor H.R. 1797 or S. 886, if they have not already done so, and to urge its speedy passage.”
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, is also urging support for the bill.
“This week, Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) will hold a press conference on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, announcing that its provisions, to protect children in the womb from 20 weeks of development forward, will apply nationwide. Moreover, a hearing regarding the bill will be held on Thursday,” he said.
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“Priests for Life believes this is the most significant legislative effort to date in bringing protection to unborn children. We have therefore already alerted every parish in America to inform and mobilize its congregation in support of this bill. We are also calling upon pro-life organizations large and small to give it their full support,” he added.
Pavone concluded: “The team of Priests for Life has been instrumental in bringing attention to the case of Kermit Gosnell and in exposing other abortionists like him, and has been developing educational strategies related to late term abortion, such as our StopDandE.com campaign. We will redouble these efforts as a way of supporting passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”
It wasn’t enough that liberal comedian Lizz Winstead decided the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornadoes was a good time to blame conservatives for the death and destruction it caused. Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse blamed Republicans as well.
While Americans were glued to their television sets to see pictures of the horrendous tornadoes and hear about children in storm shelters at their schools, Whitehouse was on the Senate floor attacking Republicans for denying so-called global warming.
“So, you may have a question for me,” Whitehouse said. “Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together.”
He added: “When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together.”
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According to the Daily Caller, Whitehouse went on to attack conservatives.
“You drag America with you to your fate,” he continued. “So, I want this future: I want a Republican Party that has returned to its senses and is strong and a worthy adversary in a strong America that has done right by its people and the world. That’s what I want. I don’t want this future. I don’t want a Republican Party disgraced, that let its extremists run off the cliff, and an America suffering from grave economic and environmental and diplomatic damage because we failed, because we didn’t wake up and do our duty to our people, and because we didn’t lead the world. I do not want that future. But that’s where we’re headed. So I will keep reaching out and calling out, ever hopeful that you will wake up before it is too late.”
Among the dozens of stalwart pro-lifers sacrificing time from their weekends to fight abortion was a large group of teens from Christian Liberty Academy, whose youthful zeal for the cause of life has become a regular feature of these monthly protests.
Several months ago, a Planned Parenthood client aggressively swerved his car at one of the CLA students and is now facing aggravated assault charges, as reported in today’s Chicago Sun-Times. The unfortunate incident did nothing to diminish the determination and activism of these dedicated pro-life students.
Response from passersby seemed more pronounced than usual, especially from those showing their support, possibly because of the prominence of abortion in the news during the Kermit Gosnell trial and subsequent guilty verdict.
At the conclusion of the protest, I offered prayers of thanksgiving to God for giving each of us the grace not only to recognize the evil of abortion for what it is, but to come out on the street and actively do something about it—as we’ve been doing for more than five years in Aurora.
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LifeNews.com Note: Eric Scheidler is the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League and the son of the famous pro-life activist Joe Scheidler. He has led efforts against Planned Parenthood’s new abortion business in Aurora, Illinois.
An abortion protester stands outside the Red River Women’s Clinic in downtown Fargo, N.D., the state’s sole abortion provider. State attorneys general in North Dakota, Arkansas and Kansas are preparing to defend new abortion and gun laws, recently passed by their state legislatures. (AP)
By Maggie Clark, Staff Writer
PEW Charitable Trust
New gun and abortion laws that sailed through Republican-controlled state legislatures this year are about to face scrutiny in a less hospitable arena: the courtroom.
In Arkansas, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights have sued to halt a new state ban on abortions after 12 weeks (except in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the mother’s life). The Center for Reproductive Rights is also fighting a North Dakota law that requires all abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. And in Kansas, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has vowed to defend a state law nullifying federal gun and ammunition restrictions, which U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder described as unconstitutional. (see chart)
Challenging Washington isn’t cheap, and in North Dakota and Kansas the state attorneys general have asked for more money to mount a credible defense of the new laws.
“I think it’s very difficult for voters to understand the ramifications of what we pass because they’re not here,” said Kansas Sen. Laura Kelly, a Democrat who voted for the new gun law. “But when they do catch on, a lot of them are rightfully outraged that we would set them up for these payments.”
Sherriene Jones-Sontag, a spokeswoman for Brownback, said the legal challenge to that state’s law hasn’t dampened support for it. She said Brownback has received about 500 emails and calls in the last two weeks, and less than 6 percent of them have been critical of his pledge to defend the law in court.The Cost of Controversy Challenges in the States Arkansas
Act 301: Prohibits abortion of a viable fetus after 12 weeks unless the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or threatens the life of the mother.
Challenge: A suit to block the law from taking effect was filed on behalf of two Arkansas abortion providers by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
SB 102: criminalizes the enforcement of federal gun laws with respect to any firearms or ammunition made and transferred within the state of Kansas, essentially nullifying federal laws within Kansas borders and criminalizing federal officers for performing law enforcement duties.
Challenge: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder wrote to Gov. Sam Brownback to tell him the new law was unconstitutional and that “the United States will take all appropriate action, including litigation if necessary, to prevent the State of Kansas from interfering with the activities of federal officials enforcing federal law.” Brownback wrote back that Kansas will not back down.
SB 2305: Requires all abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic.
Challenge: A suit to block the law was filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the state’s only abortion clinic, the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo. The Center plans to file lawsuits to block the three other anti-abortion laws passed this year, including the nation’s strictest abortion ban, which prohibits abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.
Nevertheless, controversial state legislation can end up costing states a lot of money. Arizona’s strict immigration law, which was partially overturned at the U.S. Supreme Court last year, cost the state about $3.2 million in legal fees, according to the Arizona Republic.
North Dakota lawmakers recently gave Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem a $400,000 war chest to defend the state’s four new abortion laws. So far, only the law regarding hospital admitting privileges is the subject of a lawsuit, but supporters expect the others to be challenged, too. North Dakota has already spent $23,000 defending an abortion law passed in 2011. The judge in that case recently disclosed to attorneys that he plans to rule that it is unconstitutional.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked lawmakers in that state for an extra $1.2 million to defend a total of four new laws on guns and abortion that are likely to attract legal challenges. Schmidt’s request is tied up in the negotiations on the Kansas budget, which will likely wrap up next week.To Defend or Not to Defend?
In the vast majority of day-to-day cases facing states, attorneys general will defend a new law or agency action without question, said James Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School. But for the small group of controversial cases, “there’s a higher rule, especially on a moral issue that the attorney general may have campaigned on,” Tierney said.
For example, California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris declined to defend the citizen initiative Proposition 8, which effectively banned same-sex marriage in California. Harris decided not to defend the law because “it violates the Constitution…the time has come for this right (to marry) to be afforded to every citizen,” Harris said in a statement after the Supreme Court arguments in March.
Similarly, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller declined last year to continue to defend the state’s restrictive immigration law after the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona’s immigration law, which was very similar.
“I rest easily knowing I made the right decision, to defend the parts that are defensible, to not defend the part that is clearly unconstitutional, to uphold the Constitution and to speak truthfully to the people of Indiana whom I serve.” Zoeller wrote in an op-ed explaining his reasoning.
But declining to defend a law is the most extreme position an attorney general can take. More often, a state’s top lawyer will make the best legal argument possible, even when it isn’t likely to be successful.
“We’ve defended cases where we know we’ll lose,” said Mary Williams, Oregon’s deputy attorney general. “But we feel like we have a duty to defend…and do what we can to make the best arguments.”
Despite the controversy and the cost, the attorneys general in Arkansas, North Dakota and Kansas appear determined to defend their states’ laws in court. But because that may not always be true, Arkansas Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican, has proposed an additional new law that would give state legislators standing so that they could defend a new state law in court. The same bill was proposed this year in Montana.
“We want to be prepared if there are times that a state attorney general may make comments during campaigns or during term of office on issues that end up in legislation,” said Rapert, “and we don’t want to wonder about whether there would be a proper defense made for that statute.”