Category Archives: Pro-Life
Heartbeat International is the first network of pro-life pregnancy help organizations founded in the U.S. (1971), and the largest network in the world. With 2,100 affiliated pregnancy help locations–including pregnancy help medical clinics (with ultrasound), resource centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies–Heartbeat serves on all six inhabited continents to provide alternatives to abortion. For more information, see www.HeartbeatInternational.org.
LANSDOWNE, Va., Aug. 30, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Care Net, a nonprofit ministry that supports one of the nation’s largest network of pregnancy centers, has launched Making Life Disciples, a curriculum that will equip churches to minister to women and men considering abortion.
This first-of-its-kind program is designed to give churches the training and support they need to serve those in the church and the broader community who are facing unplanned, unexpected, or unexpectedly complicated pregnancies. The program was crafted out of Care Net’s decades of experience supporting thousands of community-based pregnancy centers across North America. Making Life Disciples takes this knowledge and applies it to the unique needs of churches.
The program originated out of empirical and anecdotal evidence that churches are not proactively engaged in ministry around abortion, even though abortions are not uncommon in the church. National data, such as that produced by the Guttmacher Institute, suggests that 54% of women who have abortions identify themselves as Christians. Care Net’s own research, released in November of 2015, found that 4 in 10 women were regularly attending church at the time of their abortion. (full report available at www.care-net.org/making-life-disciples-resources)
Given the frequency of abortion in the church and the lack of specific ministries or programs in the church to address this crisis, Care Net created Making Life Disciples.
“At Care Net, we believe that ‘life decisions need life support,’ and the church is the instrument God ordained to provide life support to women, men, and families to empower them to choose life for their unborn children and abundant life for their families,” said Roland C. Warren, president and CEO of Care Net.
This is especially true in urban areas, where there are often high concentrations of abortions and abortion providers, but few pregnancy centers. Even though Care Net currently supports a network of over 1,100 affiliated pregnancy centers across North America, relatively few of these centers are in urban areas. However, there are 350,000 churches in the United States, including many in urban communities. Making Life Disciples will mobilize and equip these churches to become the only life-affirming entities in their communities addressing abortion.
Additionally, even in communities with pregnancy centers, Making Life Disciples will create a bridge between those centers – which are set up for short-term support – and local churches, which are designed to provide long-term discipleship.
Additionally, while pregnancy centers primarily reach women and men who are not regular church attenders, Making Life Disciples is designed to reach those inside the church who may be unable or unwilling to visit a local pregnancy center, but are still in need of help with their pregnancy decision. Through providing such help, the church can then act as a conduit to the local pregnancy centers, who can continue to provide unique services such as free ultrasounds.
Dr. Tony Evans, Senior Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX understands the unique role the church must play in ministering to abortion-minded women and men. “The pastor of a local church must somewhat view himself as a thermostat that sets the atmosphere and the temperature for how the church functions, particularly when it relates to people who are caught in circumstances such as unplanned pregnancies,” Evans said in a video produced for the curriculum.
Making Life Disciples is a comprehensive, six-part DVD curriculum, supplemented by printed leaders’ and participants’ guides. The sessions – such as “Pregnancy: Facing the Unknown,” “Connection, Communication, and Compassion,” and “Life-Affirming Alternatives” – are delivered by seasoned professionals of the family strengthening and pregnancy center movements, such as Roland C. Warren, Linda Cochrane, Cynthia Wenz, Ryan Bomberger, Jeanneanne Maxon, and Eric Scalise, Ph.D.
Regarding the plan for the program, Mary Chapman, Care Net’s Director of Church Outreach and Engagement, said, “Care Net will work through denominations, individual churches, ministry networks, and its network of pregnancy centers with the goal of equipping 1,000 churches with Making Life Disciples by 2020.”
“Because this is an issue of life, and God is the author of life, then we must be in life-related issues. For us it’s a priority and it should be a priority for any pastor concerned about comprehensive ministry,” said Dr. Evans in another curriculum video.
More information and supporting resources are available at makinglifedisciples.org and the program can be purchased at store.care-net.org/for-churches.
Founded in 1975, Care Net supports one of the largest networks of pregnancy centers in North America and runs the nation’s only real-time call center providing pregnancy decision coaching. Acknowledging that every human life begins at conception and is worthy of protection, Care Net offers compassion, hope, and help to anyone considering abortion by presenting them with realistic alternatives and Christ-centered support through its life-affirming network of pregnancy centers, organizations, and individuals. Learn more at www.care-net.org.
WASHINGTON (NRB) – National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is deeply disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday not to grant a hearing to Stormans v. Wiesman, a case challenging pharmacy rules tailored by the state of Washington to discriminate against those with religious objections to abortion. NRB agrees with dissenting Justice Samuel Alito that “this case is an ominous sign.”
“This week the same five Supreme Court justices who yesterday rejected Texas’ common-sense health and safety regulations on abortion providers and one year ago used legal gymnastics to impose a radical understanding of marriage on the nation again show they are willing to bend or ignore the U.S. Constitution to appease liberal elites,” stated Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB. “In this case, these justices seem not to think worthy of a hearing a well-grounded case based on the Bill of Rights’ guarantee of the freedom to believe and live in accordance with deeply held religious beliefs. Justice Alito is right — the apparent takeaway here is that ‘those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern.’”
In this case, Ralph’s Thriftway, a family-owned business, sought relief from a Washington state regulation that outlawed conscience-motivated referrals from one pharmacy to another for the dispensation of an abortifacient known as the “Morning After Pill.” This rule, strong-armed into effect in 2007 by then-Governor Christine Gregoire (D) with the help of Planned Parenthood, was also opposed by the American Pharmacists Association among other pharmacy groups. Notably, the state allows referrals for numerous other business and convenience reasons.
The pharmacists were victorious in the U.S. District Court on grounds that the rule violated the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment. However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision in favor of the state.
Among notable quotes from Justice Alito’s dissent, in which he was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas:
“There are strong reasons to doubt whether the regulations were adopted for—or that they actually serve—any legitimate purpose. And there is much evidence that the impetus for the adoption of the regulations was hostility to pharmacists whose religious beliefs regarding abortion and contraception are out of step with prevailing opinion in the State.”
“The dilemma this creates for the Stormans family and others like them is plain: Violate your sincerely held religious beliefs or get out of the pharmacy business.”
“The bottom line is clear: Washington would rather have no pharmacy than one that doesn’t toe the line on abortifacient emergency contraceptives. Particularly given the State’s stipulation that ‘facilitated referrals do not pose a threat to timely access’ to such drugs, … it is hard not to view its actions as exhibiting hostility toward religious objections.”
Notably, attorneys for NRB member Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) were lead counsel for the pharmacists in this case.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at http://www.nrb.org.
About the NRB Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. The next Convention, Proclaim 17, will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla., February 27-March 2, 2017. For more information, go to http://www.nrbconvention.org.
CMA Doctors Lament Supreme Court Decision Upending Women’s Health Protections in Abortion Clinics as Ensuring ‘Back-alley Abortions’
WASHINGTON, June 27, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — The 17,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org) today lamented the Supreme Court’s 5-3 decision to overturn a lower court ruling that upheld a Texas law protecting the health of women in abortion clinics.
CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens declared in a statement, “Given the shocking revelations of abysmal health and safety deficiencies in abortion clinics around the country, the Court’s disallowance of health and safety requirements just protects what amount to back-alley abortions.
“Texas had the courage to require medically appropriate measures to protect women in abortion clinics, where state investigations had uncovered gross negligence and health hazards. The Supreme Court today upended those reasonable, medically necessary safety and health protections in favor of abortion ideology.
“We hear over and over the abortion mantra, ‘safe, legal and rare.’ But with over a million abortions a year and courts preventing even modest health and safety regulations, abortion is only legal-not at all safe or rare.”
An amicus brief filed in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt for CMA by Alliance Defending Freedom highlighted the state’s interest in protecting women’s health by passing reasonable protections that rationally relate to health risks: “Texas’ law appropriately expresses Texas’s constitutional interest in safeguarding women’s health and maintaining medical standards. The Ambulatory surgical center requirements rationally relate to Texas’s legitimate interest in upholding consistent standards for outpatient abortion providers. The admitting privileges requirement rationally relates to Texas’s legitimate interest in regulating outpatient abortion.”
CMA Executive Vice President Dr. Gene Rudd, an obstetrician-gynecologist, added, “Surgical and drug-induced abortion carry significant risks to the mother that require timely care and continuity of care. The way to ensure adequate care when abortion complications occur is to require that the physician who performed the procedure that resulted in the complication be able to assure rapid treatment of the patient. That needs to be done in a medical facility properly equipped to care for these types of surgical emergencies.”
As CMA’s brief noted, “That is exactly why ambulatory surgical facilities require admitting privileges for physicians performing surgery comparable to elective abortion, and exactly why Texas needs this law to ensure the health and safety of women undergoing both medical and surgical abortion.”
Committee Chairman Marsha Blackburn notified HHS officials that it had obtained evidence that for over a five-year period, two Planned Parenthood organizations and a third abortion facility violated HIPAA privacy laws by allowing employees of the organ procurement company StemExpress to access private patient records that clearly identified women by name and birth date.
The abortion businesses at issue are all located in California. They include:
- Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, based in San Jose.
- Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, based in Concord.
- Family Planning Specialists Medical Group, based in Oakland.
Concerns were also expressed that coercion may have been involved in obtaining consents from vulnerable pregnant women for the donation of their aborted babies’ remains. Each StemExpress procurement technician received a bonus for every organ or other body part obtained. In addition, technicians were instructed to inform women that the remains would be used to cure various diseases, (for which, in some cases, researchers are not actually using fetal remains), as a means of persuading women to consent.
The second letter focused on evidence that StemExpress violated regulations by “fraudulently using invalid consent forms, and misleading customers to believe it had valid Institutional Review Board (‘IRB’) approval.”
“The so-called IRB used by StemExpress appeared to be phony as a three-dollar bill,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, who served as a founding board member for the Center for Medical Progress. “This gave Planned Parenthood and StemExpress’ body parts business an illusion of legitimacy that it did not possess.”
The Select Panel is asking the HHS to conduct additional investigation into these offenses and take “all appropriate actions” if it agrees violations occurred.
Nearly 80 pages of documentation accompanied the letters to support the Select Panel’s conclusions that Planned Parenthood and StemExpress broke the law.
“The Select Panel has provided irrefutable evidence that Planned Parenthood violated the privacy of patients and that StemExpress fraudulently portrayed its organ procurement as legitimate,” said Newman. “The Panel’s investigation confirms what the Center for Medical Progress videos showed; that this was nothing but a scheme to exploit women and their babies for financial gain,” said Newman.
Read Blackburn’s Letters:
HOUSTON, April 14, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Today, Texas attorneys for undercover journalist David Daleiden filed a “motion to quash,” that is, to dismiss the pair of indictments that Houston county prosecutors secured last January from a Harris County, Texas, grand jury, charging Daleiden with crimes – both a felony and a misdemeanor – for his actions he took in Texas in connection with the Planned Parenthood baby parts trafficking exposé. Thomas More Society president and chief counsel, Tom Brejcha, together with special counsel Peter Breen, have also appeared in Daleiden’s criminal case in Houston, and will be joining Texas counsel in defense of Daleiden’s due process rights in the Harris County, Texas, 338th District Criminal Court.
These criminal charges against Daleiden in Houston dominated national headlines last January because the grand jury that returned the indictments against Daleiden and his associate, Sandra Merritt, had been convened at the urging of Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to investigate potential criminal wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, and not the pro-life investigators. But the grand jurors “jumped the track.” Rather than indict America’s largest abortion provider for illegal acts (e.g., selling aborted baby parts for profit and altering abortion methods to yield more profitable “specimens” for tissue procurement firms, etc.) that most observers deemed “gruesome and barbaric,” the grand jury cast a blind eye at Planned Parenthood, reportedly “clearing” it of wrongdoing, while instead leveling criminal charges against Daleiden and Merritt.
The grand jury that was convened in September 2015 for the specific purpose of hearing the evidence against the abortion provider had taken no action by December, when its term lapsed. It was “held over” to conduct further proceedings into 2016, but without any specific guidance or directions.
On January 14, 2016, Daleiden had testified before this “held over” grand jury, with the presumption that they were, as directed, investigating and targeting Planned Parenthood. Eleven days later, following his testimony, the District Attorney’s office announced the return of the indictments against Daleiden via press release, and made these charges immediately available on the internet for public consumption.
According to the motion to quash, which was filed in Harris County criminal court this morning, this holdover transaction, compounded other irregularities relating to acquisition of evidence and improper disclosure of secret grand jury matters. These issues have compromised Daleiden’s legal rights and the motion calls for suppression of the grand jury’s charges.
“The irregularities in the case were manifold,” said Peter Breen. “The abuses occurring during and after the grand jury’s proceedings were in gross violation of Mr. Daleiden’s right to due process under the Texas Constitution as well as his statutory rights,” Breen explained. Breen added that in addition to the grand jury taking actions for which they did not have proper authority, prosecutors violated the law by systematically leaking information to unauthorized persons.
About the Thomas More Society
The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Headquartered in Chicago, the Thomas More Society fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.
Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction to Prevent the Release of Additional Planned Parenthood Videos
FRONT ROYAL, Va., Feb. 5, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Douglas R. Scott, Jr., president of the Planned Parenthood watchdog organization Life Decisions International, releases the following statement:
Business tycoon, television personality and presidential candidate Donald Trump has been courting pro-life voters and his positions on key issues have apparently “evolved” over the past months. But anyone who thinks Mr. Trump is one of us and is passionate about our cause is flatly mistaken. As a pro-lifer, he is currently a “house built upon sand.” He will likely cave as soon as the pro-abortion machine begins to put on the pressure.
Is claiming a radical conversion on abortion the only standard to which we hold candidates? Planned Parenthood and its legions would never support a candidate who went from strongly pro-life to pro-abortion. They would applaud the change of heart but demand to see concrete action over a long period of time to prove sincerity. But pro-life Americans seem willing to jump on the bandwagon of a “television star,” putting aside all critical thinking about what is truly important and wise.
I want to suggest, in the most respectful but urgent terms, that people who care about the right to life and back Mr. Trump for president are either woefully ignorant of the facts or very, very easy to please. And if there is anything we should not be it is ignorant and easy to please.
Pro-life voters need to start holding candidates to a higher standard. Even if we take Mr. Trump’s conversion at face value, we are talking about a man who has no political record. Moreover, it is not just important that the candidate be pro-life; it comes down to a question of just how important our issues rank with the candidate. Just how strong is the stated conviction? We have no reason to believe the right to life is a critically important issue to Mr. Trump. All we have is his word. But with the other candidates, we have a clear record of exactly what the issue means to them.
I have seen many news reports during which Mr. Trump is asked if he is pro-life. He routinely responds by saying, “As you know, I am pro-life.” The statement is never challenged, which gives Trump instant, albeit undeserved, credibility. Actually, Mr. Trump, no one knew you were pro-life. In fact, there is considerable evidence to the contrary. And when the words do not match the evidence, it is time for great caution.
Scott said the most egregious example is Trump’s association with the Better World Society – an elitist group founded by media mogul R. E. “Ted” Turner. The Society’s first project was the production of the population control propaganda film Increase and Multiply. The Society credited several groups for assisting in making the film, including Planned Parenthood of America (PPFA), International Planned Parenthood Federation, Zero Population Growth, and Center for Population Options. Its board of directors included Zhou Boping of the China Family Planning Association. The Society strongly advocated increased taxpayer spending on population control worldwide. The Better World Society gave awards to several prominent people for their work on the “population problem,” including former PPFA chief Faye Wattleton.
Turner spoke at the Society’s introductory ceremony where he declared the Ten Commandments are dead, outdated and not relevant to today’s global problems, such as overpopulation. “I bet no one here even pays much attention to ’em because they are too old,” he said. As a contemporary replacement, Turner proposed ten initiatives. The first specifically mentioned was, “I promise to have no more than two children or no more than my nation [national government] suggests.” Donald Trump was among the top donors to the Better World Society. Scripture says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” How much money has he donated to pregnancy help centers since the conversion started? I am looking for a hint of evidence to back the rhetoric, but there is none.
I don’t claim to have the gift of prophesy, but I can say with great certainty and confidence that every pro-life American who backs Mr. Trump will eventually come to regret it. He is a “rookie pro-lifer” at best. Trump should be red-shirted and benched until we all know he is fully ready to play and we can back him with great confidence. In the meantime, we will look to those men and women who have long and strong records of working to advance our agenda. There are good candidates to consider, including Carly Fiorina, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, as well as several others. It is not the time to say, “Thanks for all you have done on behalf of preborn children for so many years, but I’m going to go with this unknown.”
What we do now will greatly impact what we can accomplish in the future. Let’s take a second look and think this through.
Douglas R. Scott, Jr., is president of Life Decisions International (LDI). He has worked in the Pro-Life Movement since 1980. LDI’s Corporate Funding Project has led more than 330 corporations to stop funding Planned Parenthood, which has cost the abortion-committing group some $45 million.
Survey shows majority of “pro-choice” supporters now favor a number of abortion restrictions
WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Nearly 6 in 10 Americans (57 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. Even a quarter of those who identify as “pro-choice” agree. The data was included in the results of a survey by The Marist Poll released this week in Washington.
The survey also found that majorities of pro-choice Americans support substantial restrictions on abortion. Americans as a whole – and pro-life Americans –support restrictions at even higher rates.
Two-thirds of pro-choice Americans would support limiting abortion to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. The view is shared by 8 in 10 Americans overall (81 percent). More than 6 in 10 pro-choice Americans (62 percent) and a similar number of Americans overall (61 percent) would ban abortion after 20 weeks, except to save the life of the mother. And more than half of those who identify as pro-choice would ban taxpayer funding of abortion, a view shared by 68 percent of Americans overall.
“The idea that those who say they are pro-choice believe abortion should not be substantially restricted simply doesn’t match reality. The data clearly show that there is a consensus in this country in favor of significant abortion restrictions, and that this consensus includes a majority of those who say they are pro-choice,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. “We need a conversation that reflects the reality of this unity instead of the fiction that the label means something it does not.”
Additionally, 77 percent of Americans, including 71 percent of those who are pro-choice, say that laws can protect both a mother and her unborn child.
By a 25-point margin, Americans (55 to 30 percent) say abortion ultimately does a woman more harm than good. Even about 1 in 4 who identify as pro-choice (27 percent) also share this view.
Six in 10 Americans (60 percent), say abortion is “morally wrong.” One-third of pro-choice Americans agree (33 percent).
There was almost no difference in the responses between women and men.
The survey of 1,686 adults was conducted Nov. 15-22, 2015, by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the continental United States were interviewed in English and Spanish by telephone using live interviewers. Results for adults are statistically significant within ±2.4 percentage points. The error margin increases for cross-tabulations.
For more details about the survey results and methodology, visit kofc.org/polls.