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Embryonic stem cell research: Setting the record straight

With the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge going around, many people started talking about how they can’t support ALS because embryonic stem cell research kills babies. Other people said that it doesn’t matter because the embryos used for research coming from the IVF process have no hope of living anyway. And others? They said embryos are hardly people, so have at it.

There are all sorts of “facts” being thrown around, so let’s set the record straight with some scientific facts.

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Yeah, her again.

The obligatory “Amanda Marcotte’s lying about the ALS Challenge” post

Now we’ve done it. Pro-life critics of the ALS Association Ice Bucket Challenge, which tacitly supports embryonic stem-cell research, have drawn the ire of Amanda Marcotte. At Slate, the notorious anti-life zealot accuses pro-life leaders of “hijacking” the issue to “scare their followers off of joining in on the fun,” and prioritizing life “in the cellular form” over real people like “your beloved grandmother who is dying of ALS.” Continue reading

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Campaign asks Pope to declare Planned Parenthood an enemy of the Catholic church

Some Catholics are hoping that Planned Parenthood will join the infamous ranks of the historical enemies of the church, and the American Life League (ALL) has prepared a report asking Pope Francis to do just that. Entitled “Defend the Family,” ALL launched the campaign in advance of the Vatican’s October Synod on the Family.

The 7-point plan elaborates on the offenses of the abortion provider to the doctrine and foundation of the church itself. In a video, ALL introduces the report, saying:

“That Catholic Church has had many enemies over the centuries. Through persecutions, heresies, schisms and scandals, the powers of darkness have always found earthly allies willing to try to try to destroy Christ’s plan for the world…. Planned Parenthood is carrying on the work of killing and ruining souls. It’s very existence stands in direct opposition to Catholic teaching.”

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Linda and Timmy Bannon

Parents choose life for baby born without arms

Like many young couples, Richard and Linda Bannon wanted to have a family of their own. But Linda, the oldest of five children, was born with Holt-Oram syndrome. Holt-Oram syndrome is “characterized by skeletal abnormalities of the hands and arms (upper limbs) and heart problems.” For Linda, it meant that she was born without arms.

Holt-Oram syndrome can be passed down to a child, even if just one parent has it. Through ultrasound images, the Bannons learned that their son also had Holt-Oram syndrome. Little Timmy, too, would be born without arms.

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Mother who rejected abortion says “choosing life changed my world forever”

You could say D.C. McAllister had hit rock bottom when she found herself sitting in her car outside a Planned Parenthood in the heat. She had walked away from her life as a wife and mother to two children. A decision she calls selfish.

She began a new life with a new man, but it didn’t take long for her to realize how much she missed her children and that she wanted to give them the stable home that they deserved. But now she was pregnant, and a future with her husband and children just didn’t seem possible.

As she writes in her piece for Ricochet called Choosing Life, not only was she in a bad place with her husband because of her affair, but her church had shunned her for her actions. She writes:

When I saw them [church members], they turned the other way. They saw me as an untouchable, no longer a Christian, no longer a mother. Unforgiven. Cast out.

I deserved it. I believed that.

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ISIS genocide an assault on basic human rights

The world is watching in horror as men, women and children are being  massacred in a bloody genocide that is rapidly unfolding across the Middle East. Members of the Islamic State,  formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), are pillaging their way through countries, leaving behind a trail of bloodshed, tears and shattered lives.

The militant group’s tactful and brilliant rise to power is sweeping through the region, catching governments unprepared. In Syria, Islamic State jihadists violently murdered countless citizens and forced others to flee the onslaught of violence. Syrians, lacking food, water and shelter, are sleeping and begging in the streets of the cities they flee to.

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Abortionist not disturbed by seeing mutilated children “because I’m not deluded about what this whole process is”

A recent story at Esquire chronicled the abortion practice of Willie Parker, an abortionist who commutes from Chicago to Mississippi to commit abortions at the state’s last abortion mill. Mississippi is devoid of any abortionists of its own who are capable of obtaining hospital admitting privileges, a requirement now mandated by law in several states. Consequently, Parker — who boasts an unusually clean record for an abortionist, and was able to obtain privileges nearby — travels to the South to fill in.

Esquire calls Parker’s practice a “ministry,” playing off of the abortionist’s professed Christianity. The author chose to conclude the piece with a chilling look into the heart of Parker’s so-called ministry, following him through the process of examining fetal remains immediately after each abortion.

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The NYT officially thinks Texas’ abortion safety law is “quackery”

In a piece entitled “Quackery and Abortion Rights,” the New York Times explained its opinion that Texas’ new abortion safety law is deceptive and poorly supported by facts. The piece, credited to “The Editorial Board” (which is made up of eighteen members), takes issue with components of HB2, Texas’ most expansive pro-life law, a paradigm to other states which are gleaning unique legislation from it en masse.

Currently at issue in Texas courts is the ambulatory surgical center (ASC) requirement of HB2. Unsurprisingly, this provision hurts the business of abortion mills who chose to construct their facilities in a sub-par manner. Also unsurprising is the fact that the latest legal attack on HB2 against the state (aka Whole Women’s Health v. Lakey) comes from an abortion business that has been financially crippled by the provision.

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Pregnant couples who plan to abort Down syndrome babies defend their choice

By now, most pro-lifers have heard the cruel and elitist comments made by Richard Dawkins about aborting Down syndrome babies. Dawkins claims that the “ethical” choice is to abort all babies with Down syndrome, even though these children often lead happy lives and enrich their families and society.

An NBC article by Kimbery Hayes Taylor describes the results of 3 studies conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital. In the first study, out of 2,044 parents or guardians surveyed, 79% reported their outlook on life was “more positive” because of their child with Down syndrome.

A second study found that among siblings of children with Down syndrome, 97% expressed feelings of pride for their brother or sister and 88% were convinced that they were better people because of their sibling. This study polled siblings over the age of 12.

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In Ferguson, Michelle Goldberg finally finds an “abortifacient” pro-choicers can oppose

Pro-aborts are officially running out of things to attack pro-lifers over. In a convoluted attempt to give the situation in Ferguson, Missouri an abortion angle, The Nation’s Michelle Goldberg identifies an issue that purportedly shows we’re not “actually concerned about the well-being of the unborn”: the fact that we’re not protesting tear gas.

Yes, really:  Continue reading

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BREAKING: California to force Catholic universities to buy elective abortion insurance

In a disturbing reminder of the threat of religious liberty in the nation, the state of California today reversed a decision which had allowed two Jesuit  Catholic universities to exclude paying for elective abortion coverage in their health insurance place. Instead, California decided the rights of those “needing” an abortion supersede those of religious conviction.

Both Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University had elected to offer insurance plans that were consistent with their pro-life values and did not pay for abortion coverage, citing their religious convictions. Today the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) reversed its decision and said that “abortion is a basic health care service” and even Catholic institutions must provide it because “the exclusions violate a 1975 state law that requires group health plans to cover all basic services – defined, by the law, as those that are ‘medically necessary.'”

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Couple adopts teen who could have aged out of the foster system without a family

Foster families play an integral role in the lives of children and teens who have no solid family structure to call their own. Foster children often deal with struggles and trials related to their past family life and the circumstances of being placed with foster families. They are forced to quickly adapt to new families in succession, as most foster families only keep foster children for a finite amount of time.

Sometimes, teens will age out of the foster system and into adulthood without any family to call their own. When Meredith, a teenager in foster care, finds herself receiving an adoptive family after a painful journey through the foster system, her relief and happiness are almost palpable. Meredith’s foster parents told her that they had called a meeting with her to affirm her and give her encouragement. She did not expect what was going to happen next.

Read more about efforts to help foster teens find forever families here.

Covering Human Rights, Abortion, & the Right to Life