Archive for December, 2009

Top Ten Good News Stories of 2009

Decemer 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The following are the top ten good news stories of 2009, ranked according to popularity.

1) 12-Year-Old Stuns Pro-Choice Teacher and School with Pro-Life Presentation

12-year-old “Lia” of Toronto become a star at her school and on Youtube with her five-minute pro-life speech, crafted for a school competition. A video of her speech has been watched over 800,000 times on Youtube.

2) List of Bishops Opposing the Notre Dame Invitation and Award to President Obama

83 U.S. bishops spoke out against Notre Dame’s decision to honour the “most pro-abortion president in history.” The widespread and public outrage from the country’s bishops was considered by many to be an encouraging sign about the current direction of the U.S. Catholic Church on the life and family issues.

3) Florida Quarterback Tebow Leaves Reporters Speechless: “Yes I am” Saving Myself for Marriage

Tim Tebow, the young football superstar, literally left reporters speechless when he answered a question during a press conference about whether or not he is “saving himself” for marriage.

4) Star Trek Actor Who Paid for Three Abortions Now Condemns Woman’s “Right to Choose…to Kill Her Baby”

A dramatic turn-around for the actor best known for his roles as Ambassador Soval in the TV series “Star Trek: Enterprise” and Capt. Ingles on “J.A.G.”, who admitted that during his drug-fuelled youth he personally paid for three abortions for women he had impregnated. “Abortion is murder,” Graham now says, after acknowledging that he will be “hated” for saying so.

5) Pro-Life Convictions Worth Risking Career For: “The Passion” Actor Jim Caviezel

Jim Caviezel, the heart-throb actor who took the film world by surprise with his moving depiction of Christ in 2004, said that abortion has nothing to do with helping women and that he is willing to risk his career to say so.

6) 400 Students Defy ACLU and Stand to Recite Lord’s Prayer at Graduation

A dramatic protest against an attempt by the ACLU to silence prayer in Florida schools. Many of the students also painted crosses on their graduation caps to make a statement of faith.

7) ‘In the Womb’ is Now on the Net: Amazing 4-D Footage of Growing Baby

Few tools have been more effective for the pro-life cause than ultrasound. However, recent advances in ultrasound technology have made the humanity of the unborn child even more impossible to deny. This 2-hour Discovery Channel documentary presents a remarkable visual apologetic for the pro-life message that human life begins with fertilization.  Showing the continuous development of the unborn child from conception to birth, it shatters all attempts to pinpoint any other time as the beginning of life.

8) Director of Planned Parenthood at 40 Days for Life Birthplace Resigns after Watching Abortion Ultrasound

The turning point for Abby Johnson in her journey to the pro-life position was reportedly when she witnessed an actual ultrasound image of an abortion being performed on an unborn child. Since converting to the pro-life position, she has said: “I feel so pure in heart. I don’t have this guilt, I don’t have this burden on me anymore.”

9) Bishop Hermann of St. Louis – Strongest Ever Pro-Life Column

Bishop Hermann wrote: “I may courageously say that I am willing to die to end abortion, but am I equally willing to say that I am ready to let my ego get ruffled daily for the same cause? Yet … that is where I need to arrive if I am to be a credible witness.”

10) Controversial U.K. Mayor Cuts Gay Pride Funding, Pledges End to Political Correctness in Government

A rare breath of fresh air in the world of politics. “I’m not a homophobe,” said Peter Davies, “but I don’t see why council taxpayers should pay to celebrate anyone’s sexuality.” In his first week in office, Davies also cut his own salary from £73,000 to £30,000; reduced the number of councillors from 63 to 21, saving the town £800,000 a year. He also immediately announced plans to reduce council tax by 3 per cent and got rid of the mayoral limousine.

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Is That Your Final Answer?

We are all familiar with the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” A series of questions, growing in difficulty and value, are posed to a random (and hopefully knowledgeable) contestant. The closer he comes to the million dollar question, the more ominous the background music seems to sound, the hotter the lights seem to grow…and the closer the audience watches his face. Watching to see what he will do, with thousands or hundreds or even a million dollars at stake, when the emcee looks him hard in the eye and says, “Is that your final answer?”

I would love to sit in the place of that emcee some time and ask that mighty question. Only instead of a random contestant, I’d choose philosophers of history, rulers of antiquity, politicians and media pundits–the people whose thoughts and voices constantly shape the way we think. And my question wouldn’t be something like, “In what battle did the Duke of Wellington end Napoleon’s rule?” The category is “Life,” and the question in need of a final answer is, “When does it begin?”

Maybe that doesn’t seem like a hard question–definitely not a long question–but it must be an important question, because its footprints can be tracked through the thoughts and writings of societies in almost any given era. From the Spartans and Plato, to the Catholic Church, to the Soviet Union and present day America–everyone has an opinion about when life begins, and from those opinions spring laws, beliefs, and controversies. But those are all just by-products. I want the answer to the equation, and there have been quite a few submitted.

Plato, for example, along with many others of his day, believed that a soul was bestowed upon the body at birth. On the other hand, Plato’s contemporary, Hippocrates, was convinced that a soul came into being at the moment of conception.1 That is why the Hippocratic Oath, still taken by doctors today, actually says, “…I will not give a woman a [tool] to cause an abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.” Now Hippocrates may have been the minority at the time, he may even have lacked the scientific data we have today, but he felt absolutely certain that conception started something completely new and irreversible in the human realm, and that act required protection, especially when practicing medicine.

Six hundred years later, an early Christian apologist named Tertullian would reach the same conclusion: “Prevention of birth is a premature murder, and it makes no difference whether it is a life already born that one snatches away or a life that is coming to birth…the future of man is a man already: the whole fruit is present in the seed.”2 And just as the agents of medicine continue to take Hippocrates’ Oath, for two thousand years the Church has held close to Tertullian’s words, believing creation to begin in the mind of God and human life at conception.

As a Christian (and avid thinker) I suspect this to be our answer, measurable within the truth of God and compatible with the world of science and medicine. At the moment of conception something entirely new enters the world, a DNA code that we have never witnessed attached to cells that can’t become anything other than a human. And though that human is incredibly small, though she may be weak, unintelligent, and less than mobile, she is also unstoppable. Because, as long as she is given an environment, nurturing, and time, that child will undoubtedly grow stronger, more intelligent, and more mobile. It’s the same with a six-year-old, a twenty-year-old, even a man at the age of fifty. While we live, we grow, and that growth begins at conception. And because we do not have the ability to give it, we are not deemed the right to take it, only the responsibility to protect the life of a child. That’s our final answer.

1. Scott F. Gilbert, “When Does Human Life Begin?,” A Companion to Developmental Biology, <http://8e.devbio.com/article.php?ch=2&id=7> (21 Oct 2009).

2. Bonner, G. 1985. Abortion and Early Christian Thought. In: Channer, J.H. (ed.) Abortion and the Sanctity of Human Life. The Paternoster Press, Exeter, pp 93-122.

Terry Gensemer and Sarah Howell

Stupak Knocks Senate Abortion Health Care Compromise, Would Defeat It in House by Steven Ertelt LifeNews.com Editor December 19, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Rep. Bart Stupak, the pro-life Michigan congressman who led the fight against the abortion funding in the House, says he doesn’t approve of the new abortion funding compromise in the Senate. The Democrat made it clear he would work to defeat the proposal if it makes it to the House.

Stupak, in an interview with Politico, called the deal Harry Reid and Ben Nelson struck on abortion funding “unacceptable.”

He joined pro-life groups in saying the compromise marked “a dramatic shift in federal policy,” by undermining the Hyde amendment that has prohibited taxpayer funding of abortions since the 1970s.

Stupak also talked with Politico about a dustup that occurred Saturday morning, whereby one of his staffers sent out an email to pr-life Senate Republicans and pro-life organizations urging opposition to the Nelson amendment.

Somehow, Political got ahold of the email and a response and used them to write an article on how Stupak was reportedly working behind the scenes with Senate Republican Leader and pro-life Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell to scuttle the pro-abortion health care bill in the Senate.

“I never talked to McConnell about the health care bill,” said Stupak.

However, Stupak will likely talk with his pro-life colleagues in the House about the Reid-Nelson language. He has repeatedly promised that if his authentic amendment to ban abortion funding is removed from the bill, he will oppose the health care bill.

His promise is important as the Senate moves forward to what are expected to be final votes on the filibuster and the government-run health care bill itself.

If the Senate approves the bill with the compromise intact, it will have approved different language than the House-backed bill and a conference committee will have to work out a final version.

If the conference committee removes the Stupak amendment and leaves the Reid-Nelson language in place, then pro-life Democrats in the House will likely vote against the conference committee bill and it could be defeated.

If the committee keeps the Stupak amendment in place,then pro-abortion House members have said they will vote to defeat the bill and their Senate colleagues may join them.

Either way, the battle over abortion and health care is far from over and pro-life advocates have several ways in which they can still defeat the pro-abortion, pro-rationing, pro-assisted suicide health care bill.

Come to the March for Life 2010