The 8th annual Prolife Conference, a Spanish program by the Archdiocese of New York’s Office of Family Life/Respect Life, was held on Oct. 9 at John F. Kennedy H.S. in Somers, N.Y.
“The world needs mercy and we have to respect all forms of life. We need to fight for our children. The battle continues.” Those were some of the words of Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR, in his opening talks at the VIII Pro-Life Congress held on October 8th at Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx and on the 9th at Kennedy Catholic High School, Somers. Continue reading
A people of hope, says guest blogger Sean Miller, must respond to the suffering of others with compassion and solidarity — and reject the solutions of abortion and euthanasia.
Life Is Good
In 1989, brothers Bert and John Jacobs began selling designer T-shirts out of an old van in the streets of Boston.
At first, they were not very successful. Then, one day they put a smiling stick figure on a shirt with the phrase “Life Is Good.” Bingo! They sold 48 shirts in under an hour. That was only the beginning of their adventures that made their company an international success.
One day, my co-worker Jack – a good-natured guy with a sunny disposition — came into my classroom wearing a “Life Is Good” T-shirt. We started to joke around about the message on the shirt. But I noticed that whenever he wore it, it seemed to give rise to good feelings in us, and those around us. I think it subliminally made us aware of how much we had to be thankful for. Yes, it reminded us, life is very good! Continue reading
From Jeanne Monahan, President of the March for Life:
I am very excited to announce the theme of the upcoming March for Life: Every Life is a Gift! In 2015, with this emphasis, we hope to shed light on the sad fact that a disproportionately large number of pre-born babies given a “poor prenatal diagnosis” are targeted for abortion.
March for Life Assistant Director Bethany Goodman wrote a terrific op-ed on the topic published in Breitbart News today. In it she discussed the full and happy lives that many people who have Down Syndrome experience!!
99 percent of individuals with Down Syndrome said they were happy with their lives and 97 percent liked who they are. Furthermore, the study showed that 99 percent of parents of a child with Trisomy 21 love their child; 97 percent of these parents were proud of their child; and 79 percent of such parents felt that their outlook on life was more positive because of their child with Down Syndrome. In terms of siblings’ feelings about Down Syndrome, 94 percent of older siblings expressed feelings of pride towards their siblings with Down Syndrome; 88 expressed feelings that they were better people because of their siblings with Trisomy 21.
A number of studies have shown that preborn babies with disabilities are aborted at rates from 60 percent to as high as 90 percent. At the March for Life, we believe that every life is a gift and we look forward to focusing more on this vital topic! Please stay tuned in the coming months as we continue to delve into this critical issue and seek solutions!
The date of the March for Life is Thursday, January 22.
Here’s the second part of guest blogger Sean Miller’s posting on sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics. Sean, an experienced counselor, explains how an offer to help is often perceived as harassment.
Sidewalk Counseling: Harassing or Helping?
The atmosphere in front of an abortion mill can be surreal. Not surprising considering what is going on within its walls.
So for a sidewalk counselor to be able to function and not dissolve into a pool of tears, you have to put up a protective wall within. Remember, this is a spiritual battleground, and there is no time to be absorbed in “how I feel.” These are the front lines!
The matter at hand demands two necessary ingredients: prayer and counseling. They are interdependent. All must be done in a spirit of deep humility, silence, and compassion, with the understanding that we are present for these troubled couples so that we can help them in their time of great need.
Unfortunately, they do not always perceive us as helpers. Continue reading
Today, by a vote of 56-43, the U.S. Senate did not take up a bill (S.2578, the so-called “Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act’) that would have overriden all federal laws protecting the rights of conscience and freedom of religion regarding health coverage mandates.
If such a bill passes into law, it would, in effect, repeal the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and overturn last month’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Obamacare mandate that required religious, family-owned corporations such as Hobby Lobby to include contraceptive/abortifacient coverage in employee health insurance.
The two senators from New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of this bill and even co-sponsored it.
WASHINGTON – Four months before the mid-term congressional election, Senate Democrats are pushing into the national spotlight “the most radical pro-abortion bill ever considered by Congress,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations.
Tobias was one of two non-congressional witnesses who testified against the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act” (S. 1696), at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this morning.
“This bill is really about just one thing: it seeks to strip away from elected lawmakers the ability to provide even the most minimal protections for unborn children, at any stage of their pre-natal development,” Tobias told the committee. “Calling the bill the ‘Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act’ would be more in line with truth-in-advertising standards.” Continue reading
In the “Hobby Lobby” case, the Supreme Court today struck down the Obamacare requirement that religious owners of family-owned corporations must include no-cost contraceptive/abortifacient coverage in employee health insurance.
From The Washington Post (July 8)
A Good Day for Hobby Lobby, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and Mr. Muhammed Too
From The Becket Fund, counsel for Hobby Lobby
Supreme Court Victory for Hobby Lobby and Religious Freedom
From The Hill, Helen Alvare
After Hobby Lobby, What’s Next? (the question of the Little Sisters of the Poor and nonprofit ministries)
From National Right to Life Committee
Analysis and implications of the Hobby Lobby decision. Religious employers are hardly out of the woods yet.
Mark Rienzi, professor of constitutional law at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and lead counsel for the sidewalk counselor who brought the suit stated: “Americans have the freedom to talk to whomever they please on public sidewalks. That includes peaceful pro-lifers like Eleanor McCullen, who just wants to offer information and help to women who would like it. The Supreme Court has affirmed a critical freedom that has been an essential part of American life since the nation’s founding.” Read more here.
THE GOOD NEWS
Today, the House of Representatives passed a bill that will strip federal funding from any health plan created by Obamacare that covers abortion on demand. It’s called the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7).The vote was 227 to 188.
Unfortunately, Rockland’s representative Nita Lowey voted against this bill.
Now the bill goes to the Senate, President Obama has said he will veto it if it passes there.
For more information about this bill, click here.
THE BAD NEWS
Monday, the New York State Assembly passed the Women’s Equality Act, which makes abortion available for essentially any reason at any time.
Although the bill also contain provisions that are generally acceptable to most New Yorkers — like equal pay for women and ending sexual harassment, for example — here’s why it’s dangerous:
- It expands abortion through all nine months of pregnancy
- It allows non-doctors to perform abortions
- It has no conscience protection for medical professionals who are opposed to taking a human life.
You may remember the battle over this bill last spring, where it failed to pass by one vote. We must stop this bill in the Senate, and we need everyone to help! Please watch this website to learn what you can do. For more information, click here.
Unfortunately, again, all the legislators in Rockland County voted for this bill: Ellen Jaffe (representing Orangetown and parts of Ramapo), Ken Zebrowski (representing Haverstraw and Clarkstown), and James Skoufis (representing Stony Point). In the picture below, he’s the first one on the left. This is a rally of the Family Planning Advocates of New York in support of the bill. He even wore a pink tie for the occasion.