PRO-LIFE: 2017 March for Life organizers announce ‘The Power of One’ as theme
Organizers of the March for Life, scheduled for January 27, announced that this year’s theme is “The Power of One” referencing the impact of a single vote. They added that they are “cautiously optimistic” about overturning the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision under a Donald Trump administration.
“We’re nonpartisan,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, adding, “We always advocate that people vote pro-life” without regard to party label. “Difficult as it is, we always try to have a Democratic speaker at the March for Life as well,” she said.
Referring to the president-elect’s volatility on social media, Tom McClusky, the march organization’s vice president of government affairs, remarked: “You always have to worry about the 3 a.m. tweet that’s going to knock your whole agenda off.”
This year’s theme is “The Power of One.” Mancini said it references both the impact of a single vote and a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote in “The Fellowship of the Ring”: “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
The annual march, which in some years has drawn as many as 100,000 participants, always including busloads of teens from Catholic schools from across the United States, is scheduled for January 27, one week after Trump’s inauguration and five days after the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion virtually on demand.
One of Trump’s initial tasks will be to nominate a new Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia, a strong pro-life jurist who died in February. That appointment alone is not expected to result in a repeal of legal abortion, but is expected to restore a 5-4 conservative majority on the court.
Mancini also expressed optimism for legislation called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has passed the House but remains stalled in the Senate.
It would block abortions after the fetus is at least 20 weeks old. “It is our hope that in this administration, late-term abortions will be outlawed,” Mancini said.
Initially, Mancini and McClusky said their expectation is that the Hyde Amendment, considered a temporary fix to block federal funds from paying for abortions, could be made permanent law.
That measure prohibits federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the woman’s life. Proposed by the late Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois and first enacted in 1976, it is an amendment on an appropriation bill Congress must pass each year.
It prevents taxpayer funding of abortions in various federal health programs run by the Department of Human Services, which oversees the National Institutes of Health, Medicaid and Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, among others.
Mancini said of Trump’s election, “I think in a way we’re recovering from the shock - in a good way. I think there’s such an unexpected sense of hope.”
She had been on the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court May 27 when the court issued its 5-3 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
The court struck down restrictions on Texas abortion clinics that required them to comply with standards of ambulatory surgical centers and required their doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.
“In a million years, I never thought things would turn the way they’ve turned,” she said.
As for the pre-march rally on the Washington Monument grounds, Mancini said they’ve invited a few individuals they expect to be working in the Trump White House to address the marchers, but have not received confirmations.
Speakers the organizers have confirmed include Karyme Lozano, a star of Mexican telenovelas; Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, and possibly a Hollywood performer, whom Mancini declined to name but described as “open to our issues.”
French government votes to ban pro-life websites
The socialist government of France passed a bill after one day's debate that criminalizes websites that might dissuade women from abortion.The “digital interference” bill is aimed at cracking down on French websites that would, in the words of the bill, "deliberately mislead, intimidate and/or exert psychological or moral pressure to discourage recourse to abortion."
Convicted website owners could face two years in prison and fines up to 30,000 euros ($31,799 USD).
The majority left voted in a block for the bill while the minority right formed a block against it.
Bruno Retailleau, who heads the Republicans party group in the Senate, told French radio Thursday that the bill "is totally against freedom of expression,” adding that it contradicts the 1975 law that legalized abortion and which called for women to be informed of alternatives.
Christian Democratic Party member Jean-Frederic Poisson also blasted the bill on Twitter for what he saw as the government's double standard in banning sites that propose “alternatives” to abortion but not “jihadist websites.”
France, where abortion is 100 percent state-funded during the first 12 weeks of gestation, has a long history of criminalizing activities aimed at convincing pregnant women to keep their preborn babies.
The crime of “obstructing” the functioning of an abortion clinic was first adopted by the Neiertz law in 1993. This was widened in 2001 to include exercising “moral and psychological pressures” on women that might convince them against abortion. Finally, in 2014 the government made it a crime to “obstruct access to information” on abortion while expanding the scope of the offense of “obstruct[ing] the voluntary termination of pregnancy.”
Dr. Joseph Meaney, director of international coordination for Human Life International, has warned that the bill would cause a “pro-death storm” to sweep across France.
“It is aimed at banning pro-life websites and is really plunging towards ‘thought crimes.’ Even liberal bishops are speaking out against the penal sanctions for free speech,” he told LifeSiteNews for an earlier report.
Meaney called the proposed law pro-abortion "propaganda" that will not stand up under legal scrutiny.
"We are in the realm of unrestricted pro-abortion propaganda and the most stringent censorship of free speech if it contradicts the view that abortion is a wonderful solution to crisis pregnancies," he said.
"Fortunately, although the Socialist government may be able to pass this extreme law, it will be challenged in the courts and will probably be reversed by judicial redress," he added.
With the election coming in just a few months, pundits speculate that the Socialist government is using the radical bill to stir up their base in the face of the rightwing Republicans party candidate Francois Fillon — who says he is Catholic and is "personally" opposed to abortion — tipped to win.
The bill is scheduled to go to the Senate December 7 for a second reading. While the French Senate cannot block laws, it can delay them until amended. It is expected that the final reading of the bill will come at the end of February, just before the end of the current legislature.
Study Confirms at Least 35 Million Girls in China Were Victims of Sex-Selection Abortion, InfanticideA new study suggests that the estimated number of girls missing in China due to sex-selection abortions or infanticide, while still high, is lower than previously estimated.
CNN reports more about the study:
A controversial one-child policy that resulted in as many as 60 million “missing girls” in China, the most populous country on Earth.Kennedy linked the one-child policy to the problem, but he also argued that a number of girls are hidden, rather than missing because of it. To support the theory, he and researcher Shi Yaojiang, an economics professor at Shaanxi Normal University, conducted interviews with rural villagers in China and then analyzed population data, according to the report.
But in a new study, researchers suggest that around 25 million of these girls aren’t actually missing, but went unreported at birth — only appearing on government censuses at a later stage in their lives.
“Most people are using a demographic explanation to say that abortion or infanticide are the reasons (these girls) don’t show up in the census and that they don’t exist,” said John Kennedy, study co-author and political science professor at Kansas University.
“But we find there is a political explanation.”
Kennedy said they found that rural family planning officials sometimes were hesitant to enforce the one child policy in their own communities, and let baby girls slip by unreported.
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Later, the report continued:
They discovered that though families didn’t register girls immediately after birth or in the months following, they tended to get reported between the ages of 10 to 20.The researchers expressed hope that China’s gendercide problem, particularly the lack of marriageable young women, may not be as bad as originally thought.
When the researchers compared the number of children born in 1990 with the number of Chinese men and women in 2010, they discovered four million more people. Of those, there were roughly one million more women than men.
“Between 1990 to 2000, we observed a much later registration for girls. This is as girls might tend to be registered before marriage whereas young boys will get registration earlier for education,” said Kennedy.
Reggie Littlejohn, president and founder of Women’s Rights without Frontiers, which works to protect the rights of women and girls in China, is not so sure.
Littlejohn said the researchers are right that there are hidden girls, but there also are many girls who continue to be abandoned or aborted in communist China.
“We know that true gendercide exists in China,” she told LifeNews. “Women are pressured to abort or abandon their babies just because they are girls — rather than simply hiding them.”
Littlejohn said their Save a Girl campaign, which works on the ground in rural China, has saved hundreds of baby girls who otherwise may have been aborted or abandoned simply because they are girls. In rural China, second daughters especially are vulnerable, she said.
She questioned the researchers’ methods for determining the lower estimate.
“Taking one year in which more women were found than men and extrapolating that by 25 years without any further investigation or analysis does not constitute a serious demographic ‘study,’ but rather a ‘theory,’” Littlejohn said.
According to the 2010 Chinese census, the ratio of males to females in China is 118 to 100. The U.S. Department of State and others also have linked the gender imbalance to other abuses, including sex slavery and trafficking in China.