Smoky Mountains Sunrise
Showing posts with label Right to Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Right to Life. Show all posts

Friday, January 24, 2020

President Trump Speaks At March For Life Rally

President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the pro-life March For Life rally, the first U.S. president to do so in the event's 47-year history. Thank you and God bless you, President Trump!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Father Rutler: The President's Bold Defense of Life

Father George W. Rutler
At the start of October, life in Manhattan recovers from those late September weeks when the opening of the United Nations General Assembly ties up traffic, even blocking many streets, and takes over many hotels and clubs for expensive receptions—some of the costliest, it seems, being those of some of the poorest countries. With so many heads of state in town, battalions of Secret Service agents and bodyguards eye everyone with suspicion.
This year there was one bright spot, although largely ignored by much of the media. Representing the United States, our President gave what was perhaps the most forceful address that any of our Chief Executives have spoken there. Denouncing the United Nations’ scheme to promote abortion, first drafted in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the President said that “Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life.”
Such boldness must have shocked many diplomats present, like those in the 1942 film “I Married an Angel” who were aghast when Jeanette MacDonald, as a blessed angel, tells them the truth, upsetting their cocktail party. Our nation has never had an angel for president, and its Constitution in fact prevents that. But Abraham Lincoln invoked “the better angels of our nature” and confounded those who had dismissed him as an untutored vulgarian with ambiguous views on abolition. The first Christians in Jerusalem were suspicious of Paul’s conversion, and theologians like Tertullian and Justin, some years before Constantine, thought it impossible that any emperor would ever defend Christianity.
Ironically, there are highly placed prelates who have shied away from mentioning these matters in secular forums, hoping that subtlety might be more persuasive. Such naiveté, as in the instance of the Holy See’s diplomats cajoling Communist China by compromise, accomplishes little. In his United Nations speech, the President said: “The world fully expects that the Chinese government will honor its binding treaty, made with the British and registered with the United Nations, in which China commits to protect Hong Kong’s freedom, legal system, and democratic ways of life.” The Holy See has not commented on the popular demonstrations in Hong Kong, which may explain why the youths there struggling for freedom, and inspired by the heroic Cardinal Zen, are waving the Stars and Stripes and not the Vatican flag. 
“For he that shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation: the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26).

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Virginia Parish Severs Ties with Knights of Columbus over Plans to Honor Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Father Dan Beeman
Kudos to Father Dan Beeman, Pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk, Virginia, for his courageous and principled stand against a local Knights of Columbus Council that has obviously lost its way and purpose.

From Lifesite News
A Virginia Knights of Columbus council is pressing forward with plans to honor pro-abortion, pro-homosexual “marriage” Gov. Terry McAuliffe by having him as grand marshal of its St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In response, the parish priest has strongly reproached the council and cut ties.
Norfolk Knights of Columbus Council 3548, which has organized the Norfolk Saint Patrick’s Day Parade since 1967, had secured McAuliffe as grand marshal, apparently keeping the choice from the pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, where the council is based. When Father Dan Beeman took it up with the state council on the advice of his bishop, he was told by the state council that another grand marshal would be chosen, a decision that was reversed ten days later.
“Governor McAuliffe stands contrary to the Catholic Church in not one but many of the most essential teachings of the Church in the political arena,” the Norfolk pastor wrote in a March 5 letter to parishioners, distributed at Sunday Mass on March 8. “He himself promised to be a ‘brick wall’ against restrictions on abortion, has taken away commonsense protections for women in abortion facilities and lowered safety standards, and consistently takes money from pro-abortion lobbying groups.”
Read more. 

The full text of Father Beeman's letter

Update:   Since this post was published, we have been pleased to learn that the Virginia bishops' conference have fully backed Father Beeman in dissociating his parish with Knights of Columbus Council 3548.  In addition, the State K of C Council has responded to the controversy as follows:

Knights of Columbus respond to Norfolk controversy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Impressive March for Life Video: Why We are Winning and Abortion is Losing

A great video from Tradition, Family and Property that was filmed at the National March for Life just a few days ago.  The growing numbers of this very youthful movement make clear that the pro-life movement is winning and on the right side of history.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

40th Annual March for Life

An estimated 650,000 marchers at this annual event, and the American media chooses to ignore it. This is precisely why you don't want to rely on the mainstream media for news.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Pro-Choice" Americans at Record-Low 41%

Americans now tilt "pro-life" by nine-point margin, 50% to 41%

By Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ -- The 41% of Americans who now identify themselves as "pro-choice" is down from 47% last July and is one percentage point below the previous record low in Gallup trends, recorded in May 2009. Fifty percent now call themselves "pro-life," one point shy of the record high, also from May 2009.

U.S. Adults' Position on Abortion

Gallup began asking Americans to define themselves as pro-choice or pro-life on abortion in 1995, and since then, identification with the labels has shifted from a wide lead for the pro-choice position in the mid-1990s, to a generally narrower lead for "pro-choice" -- from 1998 through 2008 -- to a close division between the two positions since 2009. However, in the last period, Gallup has found the pro-life position significantly ahead on two occasions, once in May 2009 and again today. It remains to be seen whether the pro-life spike found this month proves temporary, as it did in 2009, or is sustained for some period.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lord Nicholas Windsor: 'If We Can Abolish Slavery, We Can End Abortion'

But we must be creative in responding to the reality of unwanted pregnancy

From the Catholic Herald (UK)
By Lord Nicholas Windsor

Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor with their eldest son, Albert
I sometimes envy the Americans. They see their efforts to protect unborn children as being of a piece with their country’s other great struggles for justice, both against the practice of slavery and in the civil rights movement a generation ago. And today a united society fights together on this front. From this they get a strong sense of continuity, that their cause is part of their pursuit of the full spectrum of civil and political rights, of which the effort to defend the child before birth has become the keystone.

We in Britain don’t perhaps feel so conscious of our living links to struggles akin to this one. We need to look back to Wilberforce and his ilk for inspiration, and quite sensibly too, when his generation was perhaps the last to have fought to accord the most basic right to the fellow humans in their midst, the right to life and not mere chattel status. If we are still a nation with a proud recent record of defending democracy and helping the underdog, it’s all the more a shame that we cannot stand as tall as we might because of the moral handicap of our failure to care for the unborn.

Today’s Britain, then, faces a double challenge: to make the case that the unborn deserve the same fundamental rights as those who’ve been born, and another, perhaps less spoken about: to prepare and lay the ground for a post-abortion culture. It will be a great wrench for a culture such as ours to re-orient itself so as to recognise again, as it once did, the inviolability of unborn human life, with all that flows from that recognition. To help this transformation to take place, we’d need to be very realistic about the scale of the changes asked of the whole of society, but in particular of women: asking, first of all, for nothing less than that a pregnancy, once begun, be allowed to reach its term. That is a shocking thing to consider, so familiar have we all become with the status quo.

All being medically well, then, the normal expectation would once again have to be that a conception would lead to a birth. But what would our society look like once the legal option to end a pregnancy, whether undesired or too hard to bear, had been taken away? Much thought will have to be given to this, or the default position of the defenders of the current law will be to shout that we propose nothing more a return to the 1950s.

Were our “offer” to be made to look anything like that, then our goal would recede indefinitely. One of the main stumbling blocks for many people in fully acknowledging the humanity of the unborn might just be an anxiety about what might happen to the culture if they did so. Wouldn’t the change inevitably be retrograde? Our task is surely to say that it needn’t be so. Genuinely attractive scenarios have to be put forward that don’t have the look and feel of 50 years ago.

President Obama has called for a new Manhattan Project to find alternatives to fossil fuels. I think something analogous is required in our case if we want to wean ourselves off abortion. To go on saying that this is the best we can do for women in need is a truly defeatist position. A real collaborative effort is needed to search for new solutions to help those with unwanted pregnancies. That could allow society one day to put behind it the sad choice it made to condone the ending of a pregnancy that was found too burdensome.

We can do better. Yes we can. Human beings are above all creative. It cannot be beyond us to find ways to meet the needs of the half of society which does the job of bringing children into the world, while at the same acting responsibly towards the unborn.

Are men, though, a sticking point in all this? For sure, this whole discussion must be approached with humility. A man can never, for one thing, wholly understand what a physical sacrifice it is in so many ways for a woman to persevere with a pregnancy, and to play her unique part in the early years of her child’s life. Especially given that the modern lifestyles have greatly reduced the support, especially from family members, available to her in this vital period. But, if men can’t pretend to know the price women pay to be mothers, they can still endeavour to be aware of it, to genuinely support them in choosing it, share what burdens they can, and perhaps above all to thank them for it. We will make no headway in this debate otherwise. We cannot, either, allow ourselves to be tempted into a style that fails to be moderate and judicious. Moreover, we should reject the alternatives that come close to denigration of those who disagree with us, especially those who’ve known pregnancy themselves, and whose motivations we cannot fully know and therefore cannot condemn.

If such a project could be undertaken that would thoroughly explore the look and feel of a post-abortion world and then make proposals as to how we might adapt to it, what preliminary suggestions might one make? Firstly, perhaps that if it shied away from radical and untried proposals, blended however they may be with traditional ones, newly presented, then it won’t capture the imaginations of its intended audience. It would have to do so, also, because the goal is so well worth our trouble: a win-win situation in which we shed our collective dependency on this cruelly self-harming act, and above all come again to see our children as safe and welcome visitors in their mother’s body, and in the human community. Better still, we begin to repay the vast debt that is owed to women since the law first offered them the falsest choice of all.

Lord Nicholas Windsor is chairman of the Rome-based Dignitatis Humanae Institute.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The World Doesn't Have a Right to Abortion

The womb ought be the safest place for a baby to be and should be protected by law, writes Nicholas Windsor. 

A 3D ultrasound showing a baby inside the womb Photo: Getty
From The Telegraph
By Nicholas Windsor

If I were to imagine the voice of a rather sensible relative, or just a concerned bystander, addressing me on the subject of abortion, the words I hear them using go something like the following: "Why on earth get yourself mixed up in/wade into a matter like this?" (Aside) "And isn't it rather distasteful?"

Well, I don't think my well-meaning voice has it far wrong. I can't be altogether wise to join this debate (on the side I've chosen, anyhow) and, no, it's never going to be the stuff of polite conversation. But just why is it that this question generates so much heat in politics, in the media and around the dinner table? Not just, I think, because it belongs somehow to the category of "bedroom and bathroom" subjects that nice people don't broach too freely. Much more than that, it seems to be a highly reactionary position, one that, probably without a precedent, would seek to take back a "right", specifically a woman's right, that was conferred by Parliament in 1967 in the Abortion Act. What could be more illiberal in our culture than that? No wonder there is fury and resistance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

180 Movie on Abortion Goes Viral, 500K Views in One Week

By Steven Ertelt
The new pro-life movie 180 has become an overnight sensation as nearly half a million people have watched the 33-minute pro-life documentary in just one week since director and producer Ray Comfort released it to the public.

The film is changing public opinion on abortion 180 degrees in a matter of minutes as it shows Comfort asking pro-abortion students questions that change their views quickly. Titled to reflect the complete turnaround in the mindsets of all to whom the question is posed, the award-winning film shows eight “pro-choice” people, mostly college students, changing their stance to pro-life just moments after the question is asked in its entirety. It was Comfort’s hope that the documentary would go viral and it appears to have done so.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Still Waiting for Moral Leadership in Britain

Queen’s cousin speaks to LifeSiteNews

By Hilary White

Lord Nicholas Windsor, the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Kent and first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II, told earlier this month that patience is required from those waiting for true moral and spiritual leadership to turn the anti-human, anti-life tide in Britain.

Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor with one of their two sons.
Lord Windsor sat down with LSN at the annual plenary meeting of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life on February 25th. He spoke at length of his conversion to Catholicism, through the influence of the late Pope John Paul II, and his dedication to the pro-life philosophy.

The hope of turning society away from the post-Christian amorality, he said, lies with the post-Baby Boom generation: “Our generation is the one after [the one] which made these, I think, calamitous decisions. To some extent, our generation looks upon all that with horror.”

He said that “undoubtedly” true leaders will emerge from the generation disillusioned with the social revolution. “There are inspiring people,” he added, but “perhaps not on the national stage … One has to be patient.”

Lord Windsor was received into the Catholic Church ten years ago and became the first ever member of the current English Royal Family to be married at the Vatican and the first since 1554 to be married according to the rites of the Catholic Church. His son Albert was the first member of the Royal Family to be baptized a Catholic since 1688. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pro-Life Flash Mob in Chicago Surprises "Walk for Choice"

"Walk for Choice" protests took place on February 26 in several U.S. cities to protest H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and cosponsored by 209 more House lawmakers.

As a response to the "Walk for Choice," anonymous teens and young adults organized a "Pro-Life Flash Mob" over the span of a few days. The goal of the event was not to counter-protest, but to give a positive message of joy and life to Chicago.

The youth assembled inconspicuously around the plaza before the rally hiding their giant yellow balloons in black trash bags. When the "Walk for Choice" had assembled, the youth prompted by music coming from a backpack sound system then proceeded to unveil the helium balloons imprinted with the word "LIFE."

This raw videos shows the "Pro-Life Flash Mob" taking the "pro-choicers" by surprise with Life, Spirit, and Truth!

The first scene shows the unsuspecting participants of the "Walk for Choice." The "Shire" theme song is coming from the Pro-Life flash mob, just before they unveiled their hundreds of yellow balloons imprinted with "LIFE".

Taking a playful jab at the color theme of the "Walk for Choice," the Pro-Life flash mob asks in their sign: "ORANGE YOU GLAD TO SEE US???"

Which side has more joy?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hospital Witholds Food, Water from Christian Pastor

Order requires seriously injured patient to ask for drink to live

It's been more than a week since pastor Joshua Kulendran Mayandy has been given food or water at a Brampton, Canada, hospital where he is being treated for a brain impairment following a heart attack.

The medical facility's officials are following a determination that he will get his next sustenance only when he can ask the doctor for it.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Friday, June 18, 2010

Biden Promises Kenya 'Money to Flow' if Pro-Abort Constitution Passes

Joe Biden's career was summed up best by Hadley Arkes in a column titled "The Rise of an Empty Man."

Do you remember his indignation in
this interview when it was suggested during the campaign that an Obama administration might advance socialism?

He has always reminded us of Richard Rich, who betrayed Saint Thomas More and sold his soul to become Attorney General for Wales. To paraphrase More, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world, but for the Vice Presidency?

Now the leftists that once decried American "imperialism" are attempting to impose the "culture of death" on African nations, and in the political whore that is Joe Biden, they have the perfect messenger.

From LifeSiteNews
By Kathleen Gilbert

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden travelled to Kenya to personally urge the country to pass a new constitution that would legalize abortion - and to assure Kenyans that such a change would "allow money to flow" from foreign aid treasuries.

At the same time, a federal probe is ongoing to determine whether the Obama administration is violating federal law by using taxpayer money to lobby for a constitution that is deeply controversial in Kenya in large part because of its abortion provisions.

"We are hopeful, Barack Obama is hopeful, I am hopeful that you will carry out these reforms to allow money to flow," Biden told a crowd of Kenyans, among whom President Obama is extremely popular and touted as a native son of their country.

A clause in the proposed constitution has received heavy criticism from religious leaders in Kenya for allowing abortion when a mother's "health" is endangered - a term that, as abortion advocates admitted at the Women Deliver conference in Washington, D.C. last week, "can be broadly interpreted when need be."

Asked about the abortion issue, Biden told Rev. Timothy Njoya not to “confuse that with the position of the US President, US Vice President and US Government," according to Kenya's Daily Nation.

Yet some are not so sure that such a line can be drawn: last month, three U.S. congressmen with legal oversight jurisdiction over federal international funds launched a probe into whether the Obama administration is violating federal law by promoting the controversial constitution.

“The Obama Administration’s advocacy in support of Kenya’s proposed constitution may constitute a serious violation of the Siljander Amendment and, as such, may be subject to civil and criminal penalties under the Antideficiency Act," wrote Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in a May 6 letter to Inspectors General of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Siljander Amendment of the State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, reads: “None of the funds made available under this Act may be used to lobby for or against abortion."

The lawmakers pointed out that the abortion issue is prominent in the public debate over the proposed document, and that the chairman of Kenya’s Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review identified abortion as "one of the four most contentious issues in the proposed constitution.”

Rep. Smith said that as much as $10 million in taxpayer funds may have been spent in support of the pro-abortion constitution as of May.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

South Carolina Legislature Acts to Protect Women from the Harms of Abortion

From Americans United for Life
By Mailee Smith

Women in South Carolina will soon be better protected from the harms of abortion. Early this morning, the legislature passed a bill that will increase the state’s reflection period from one hour to twenty-four hours.

Previously, abortionists were permitted to perform abortions on women just one hour after giving them information outlining the risks of abortion, the gestational age of the child, and other important information that women need before making their abortion decisions. Now, however, abortionists will not be permitted to perform abortions until the women have had at least 24 hours to reflect upon the information. In addition, the information must now be available on a state-sponsored website.

This is a critical step in protecting the women of South Carolina and ensuring that their “choice” is fully informed. There can be no true “consent” to abortion unless women are provided all of the information they need to make a well-informed “choice.” Importantly, when women have all the information they need to make a “choice” and time to reflect upon that information, women are less likely to choose abortion.

AUL actively advised and supported South Carolina’s Palmetto Family Council on the passage of this bill. Not surprisingly, the bill was opposed by abortion proponents who do not want women to make truly informed “choices.”

The governor is expected to sign the bill next week. South Carolina will then join 24 other states with one-day reflection periods before abortion.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Winning Speech: "Let America's Prenatal Children Live"

The following is the winning speech in a pro-life speech contest for college students cosponsored by Flint, Michigan Area Right to Life and Black Americans for Life.

It was delivered by Harrison Glenn, 19, a Delta College freshman. He is the son of Gary and Annette Glenn. Harrison's father, Gary, is President of the American Family Association of Michigan and a Sunlit Uplands correspondent.

By Harrison Glenn

've met some amazing women in my life. My mother was the first, with special other ones thereafter. But no matter how amazing, none of them have had two heads or four eyes.

But abortion activists like attorney Lori Andrews would have you think otherwise. When talking about pregnant women and their prenatal children, Lori Andrews said “people's body parts are their personal property."

In other words, she said, a pregnant woman does have two sets of body parts -- hers and her “fetus’s."

Does it matter if she’s right? Of course it does, especially to the baby.

Here’s just one way it matters: pain.

When we see someone else get hurt, it doesn't cause us pain, and likewise, during an abortion, a woman may not feel physical pain when her “second set” of body parts are ripped from her, but someone does. The baby does.

Abraham Lincoln once said: "As I would not be a slave, I would not be a master; for I would not choose for others, what I would not choose for myself."

Lincoln also said: “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him.”

And so it is with abortion. How many women who have had abortions would choose for themselves the “choice” they chose for their baby?

How many would choose themselves to be ripped apart, limb from limb, while their heart is still beating, aware of and feeling all that is occurring?

How many would choose to die an agonizing death in a vat of acid, which is what a saline abortion feels like to a prenatal child, or have their consciousness, their very minds sucked from their skulls, aware of and feeling it all til the last moment, as in a partial birth abortion?

My name is Harrison Glenn, and I am a survivor of the "pro-choice" era, one of the greatest tragedies on American soil. I am a survivor because my Mom and my Dad did not buy into the lie, because my Mom and Dad believed I had a God-given right to life.

Unlike 40 million of my generation’s never-born brothers and sisters, I have been given the chance to live life to the fullest, to see the sun set, to learn, grow, and fall in love.

And still, despite irrefutable scientific proof, abortion activists either argue illogically and unscientifically that life does not begin at conception…

…or argue immorally, as John Kerry did, that life does begin but it doesn’t matter if our laws allow that life to be snuffed out.

Such people, empowered by our courts, have denied more than forty million prenatal children the chance to live.

It is an irrefutable scientific, medical, biological, moral, and spiritual fact that human life begins at conception.

Still, many argue irrationally that an embryonic prenatal child, especially in its earliest stages of life, is not human. But let us think about this rationally and logically.

What kind of life is the embryonic prenatal child? Is it rabbit life? Vegetable life? Maybe bird life? No, the last time I checked I don’t have feathers.

It is a human life.

Others claim abortion is good to ensure that no child grows up in an abusive home. "Every child a wanted child," they say.

They suggest that if a family can have the "correct" amount of children at the "proper" times, then these family problems will be eliminated. No more child abuse, no more children that are not "wanted" will be born.

"Eliminating" the lives of prenatal children does not lessen child abuse. Brutally and painfully ending their lives is the ultimate child abuse.

In fact, according to doctors, 90 percent of all abused children are those that were wanted at birth. Abortion does not save children from growing up in abusive homes, it “saves” them from growing up at all! This is a “good” thing, they argue.

But Abraham Lincoln answers once again, regarding another great moral and social issue over which our great, great, great grandparents fought and even died, over another “good” in which some people thought they could exercise “choice” over the lives of other human beings:

“As a good thing, slavery is strikingly peculiar in this, that it is the only good thing which no man ever seeks the good of, for himself!”

So it is with abortion.

Still, I do believe in a woman's right to choose -- a right to choose whether to remain celibate.

Nearly every woman who ever had an abortion first made a choice to engage in behavior that might result in the creation of a prenatal child. A woman does not spontaneously generate a child. Some thought was involved in the process, and certainly some action.

For that less than one percent of all abortions in which the woman's choice was violently and criminally violated, the solution to that first wrong is not a second and even greater wrong -- to kill the innocent prenatal child because of the sins of its father.

The solution is to do all we can to prevent it from ever happening again, through harsher penalties for rape, or other methods.

As I said, a woman does not have two hearts, four eyes, two noses, four ears.

A baby is not just a part of a woman, nor a parasite, any more than any human being is a parasite on others just because we depend on each other.

Every human being is dependent in some way on others. You require the farmer's milk and food, the miner's steel, the autoworker’s car. You needed your mother as a prenatal child and beyond to survive, but did that dependence and your location make you somehow less human? No.

Finally, let's choose to be honest about what these procedures really are -- a partial birth, but total death, experience. And such a heinous procedure -- this partial birth, total death, abortion -- is not partially wrong. It is totally wrong.

We cannot stand by. The time to reclaim the birthright of all Americans, including America’s prenatal children, is now.

You see, life is not just a beautiful choice. In the eyes and laws of God, it is, and some day again under the laws of man, should be, the only choice.

I urge you to position yourself and take a stand against abortion.

Listen to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right? There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right."
I agree.

Now is the time, and conscience tells us it is right -- right to let America’s prenatal children live.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pro-Life Leaders Favor Hayworth Over McCain

Pro-life leaders with ties to Arizona have endorsed former Congressman J.D. Hayworth in the race for the U.S. Senate--a seat currently held by John S. McCain III, who is seeking a fifth term. Douglas R. Scott, Jr., president of Life Decisions International, was the first executive director for Arizona Right to Life (ARL). Jay A. Nenninger has served as president and executive director of Arizona Right to Life.

"I have had the great pleasure of working with J.D. Hayworth for more than a decade," said Scott. "No one in public office has been a more enthusiastic supporter and true believer when it comes to our efforts to protect preborn children." But Scott did not use such glowing words when speaking about McCain. "Convincing John McCain to support our initiatives has always been a major chore. He views the Pro-Life Movement as an unpleasant but unavoidable pain in the neck. McCain defends preborn human beings to the minimum degree necessary to keep from losing the votes of pro-life men and women." Scott said that, unlike McCain, the Pro-Life Movement has "been able to count on J.D. Hayworth every time."

"It is wonderful that J.D. Hayworth is running for the Senate," said Nenninger. "Mr. McCain has supported pro-life legislation only after being dragged kicking and screaming. J.D. Hayworth, on the other hand, has been with us without fail and without wanting to consider the 'political fallout' before committing." Nenninger noted McCain's support of embryonic stem cell experimentation, saying it is "anything but pro-life."

Oddly, the ARL Political Action Committee (PAC) has endorsed McCain. The decision has resulted in intense criticism and even some resignations. "I have served on the board of AZ Right to Life for over four years, and its associated PAC for almost that long. No longer," wrote Rachel Alexander upon her resignation from the PAC. It should be noted, however, that Hayworth has been endorsed by six former ARL officials, including executive directors, presidents and even PAC directors.

Some have suggested that a $5,000 donation to the group by McCain may have influenced the decision. (McCain is praised for the donation at least twice on the ARL website.) KGOV's Bob Enyart refers to himself as "a fan" of ARL and he hopes the group "gets its act together," but he wrote that the endorsement "is a black mark on the 30 plus year legacy of pro-life leadership. The pro-life citizens of Arizona might just be better served by a new organization, unadulterated by political ties and financial donations from the people it may endorse." A commentary in Lighthouse blog, which covers Arizona politics, suggested that ARL's problem is that it "continues to have less than adequate leadership at the top."

"It would be impossible for any person with an intact conscience to turn a blind eye to Mr. McCain's voting record and lukewarm support when deciding whom they should support," Scott said. "One may offer up any excuse or justification he or she desires, but there is no way that anyone who truly cares about human life, born and preborn, could support the reelection of McCain when a candidate with a significantly more pro-life voting record is in the race." Scott said members of the ARL PAC who did what he called "clearly the wrong thing" should "be ashamed."

Scott urged pro-life voters to ask themselves a question. "If Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi had to choose between McCain and J.D. Hayworth, which candidate would they prefer?" Nenninger agreed with Scott's assessment. "Sending J.D. Hayworth to the Senate would be a great way to show Obama, Reid and Pelosi that Arizona backs true conservatives who value life."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Knights of Columbus Refuse to Allow Suspension of Members Who Promote Abortion, Gay Marriage

The leadership of the Knights of Columbus (K of C) has forbidden local councils to take any action against members of the Catholic fraternal organization who support legalized abortion or same-sex marriage.

A Massachusetts K of C member had proposed a resolution, to be taken up by the group's state convention, calling for the suspension of membership of any politician who gave public support to abortion and same-sex marriage. That resolution was declared inappropriate by the Supreme Advocate of the K of C, John Marrella.

In a letter to the Massachusetts K of C leadership, Marrella declared that "a subordinate council may not impose fraternal discipline with respect to a public figure's official actions on matters pertaining to faith and morals. Rather, any such discipline must be made by or at the direction of the Supreme Board of Directors."

"We recognize that some of our members who are public figures may use their public position to advocate or support policy positions that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals," Marrella conceded in his letter. He went on to admit that such public advocacy "contradicts the Catholic identity and mission of the Order."

Nevertheless, the top legal official of the K of C said that any action taken against K of C members who are public figures would "necessarily affect the entire Order." For that reason, he said, any disciplinary action should be taken by the group's top leadership.

Marrella went on to say that the K of C would not go further than the American bishops in taking public action against members whose public stands conflict with Church moral teachings. "If the public figure's bishop has not excommunicated him for his public positions on issues relating to matters of faith and morals, it would be highly inappropriate for the Knights of Columbus to do so," he wrote.

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, which had supported the proposed resolution at the state convention, decried the intervention by the top K of C office as an "abdication of responsibility." C.J. Doyle, the executive director of the Catholic Action League, said: "This letter effectively kills any grassroots initiative within the Knights to address the scandal of pro-abortion pols in the Order."

The Catholic Action League charged that the K of C's refusal to take action against pro-abortion members would allow the continuation of a public scandal. "In the 37 years since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Board of Directors has never, to public knowledge, removed a single pro-abortion political figure from the Knights of Columbus," Doyle noted. "In Massachusetts, a majority of Knights serving in the Legislature voted in 2007 against a constitutional amendment restoring traditional marriage, and voted in 2005 for a law which compels Catholic hospitals to distribute the so-called morning-after pill to rape victims."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gallup: Pro-Life the "New Normal" on Abortion in U.S.

From LifeSiteNews
By Kathleen Gilbert

One year after a Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans identified as pro-life for the first time in the history of the question being asked by the pollster, the pro-life majority has survived, leading the pollster to declare the pro-life position the "new normal" on the question of abortion.

In the latest survey, 47 percent of Americans identified as pro-life, while 45 percent said they were pro-choice. Last May, the divide was 51 percent to 42 percent in favor of pro-life.

"While the two-percentage-point gap in current abortion views is not significant, it represents the third consecutive time Gallup has found more Americans taking the pro-life than pro-choice position on this measure since May 2009, suggesting a real change in public opinion," noted Gallup's Lydia Saad on Friday. "By contrast, in nearly all readings on this question since 1995, and each survey from 2003 to 2008, more Americans called themselves pro-choice than pro-life."

When broken down by political affiliation, Republican and Republican-leaning Americans have seen a steady increase in the percentage identifying as pro-life, while there was less movement among Democrats and Democrat-leaning Americans. Independents saw a jump in pro-life interest between 2003 and 2008, but have since declined slightly.

The pollster also reports that all age groups have become more attached to the pro-life identity, particularly young adults and Americans aged 50-64.

However, the percentage of Americans viewing abortion as morally wrong has not seen a corresponding rise, having fallen from 56 percent in 2009 to 50 percent in 2010. Only 38% call abortion "morally acceptable."

Saad suggested that the numbers reflect the polarizing effect that the deeply pro-abortion presidency of President Obama has had on the contentious issue.

"Barring evidence that Americans are growing more wary about the morality of abortion per se, the trends by party identification suggest that increased political polarization may be a factor in Republicans' preference for the 'pro-life' label, particularly since Barack Obama took office," wrote Saad.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Elephant in the Room: Two Years Worth Every Tear

The columnist's daughter has lived despite every dire prediction.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer
By Rick Santorum

"Incompatible with life." The doctor's words kept echoing in my head as I held my sobbing wife, Karen, just four days after the birth of our eighth child, Isabella Maria. 

Bella was born with three No. 18 chromosomes, rather than the normal two. The statistics were heartbreaking: About 90 percent of children with the disorder, known as trisomy 18, die before or during birth, and 90 percent of those who survive die within the first year.
Bella was baptized that day, and then we spent every waking hour at her bedside, giving her a lifetime's worth of love and care. However, not only did she not die; she came home in just 10 days.

She was sent home on hospice care, strange as that sounded for a newborn. The hospice doctor visited us the next day and described in graphic detail how Bella would die. In sum, she could die at any time without warning, and the best we could hope for was that she would die of the common cold.

Karen and I discontinued hospice so that we and our amazing doctors, James Baugh and Sunil Kapoor, could get to work focusing on Bella's health, not her death.

Like so many moms of special kids, Karen is a warrior, caring for Bella night and day and, at times, fighting with health-care providers and our insurance company to get our daughter the care she needs.

Being the parent of a special child gives one exceptional insight into the negative perception of the disabled among many medical professionals, particularly when they see your child as having an intellectual disability. Sadly, we discovered that not only did we have to search for doctors who had experience with trisomy 18. We also had to search for those who saw Bella not as a fatal diagnosis, but as a wanted and loved daughter and sister, as well as a beautiful gift from God.

We knew from experience that Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was such a place. Fourteen years ago, we had another baby who was diagnosed as having no hope, but CHOP's Dr. Scott Adzick gave him a shot at life. In the end, we lost our son Gabriel, but we will always be grateful to Dr. Adzick for affirming the value of his life.

When Bella was 3 months old, she needed some minor but vital surgery. Some doctors told us that a child like Bella wouldn't survive surgery or, even worse, that surgery was "not recommended" because of her genetic condition -- in other words, that her life wasn't worth saving. So we again turned to the Children's Hospital and found compassion, concern, and hope in Dr. Thane Blinman. He told us he had several trisomy 18 patients who did well -- and so did Bella.

Next week, we will mark Bella's second birthday. Over these two years, we have endured two close brushes with death, lots of sleepless nights, more than a month in CHOP's intensive care unit, and the constant anxiety that the next day could be our little girl's last.

And yet we have also been inspired -- by her fighting spirit, and by the miracle of seeing our little flower blossom into a loving, joyful child who is at the center of our family life.

Most children with trisomy 18 diagnosed in the womb are aborted. Most who survive birth are given hospice care until they die. In these cases, doctors advise parents that these disabled children will die young or be a burden to them and society. But couldn't the same be said of many healthy children?

All children are a gift that comes with no guarantees. While Bella's life may not be long, and though she requires our constant care, she is worth every tear.

Living with Bella has been a course in character and virtue. She makes us better. And it's not just our family; she enriches every life she touches. In the end, isn't that what every parent hopes for his or her child?

Happy birthday, Isabella!

Rick Santorum is a senior fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center and former U.S. Senator (R-PA).