Pro-Life Page

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
By Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter
July 23, 2013|2:41 pm

A federal judge has granted a temporary injunction Monday blocking North Dakota's ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks of pregnancy. 

The law, combined with three other abortion measures passed earlier this year, would have given the state the strictest abortion laws in the country, had it gone into effect on August 1 as originally planned.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland granted the temporary injunction to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the only abortion clinic in the state, Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo.

The new law would require the state's only abortion clinic to perform ultrasounds on women seeking an abortion 24 hours before the scheduled procedure.

Hovland wrote in his opinion of the law that the six-week abortion ban is "clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law" based on the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.

"There is no question that [the North Dakota law] is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restraints on abortion," Hovland wrote in his ruling.

"[It] is clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law based on the United States Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade from 1973 […] and the progeny of cases that have followed," Hovland added.

Although the office of North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) declined to comment on Monday's ruling, Gov. Dalrymple previously has said that the purpose of the law was to test the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.

"Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade," Dalrymple said in a statement when he signed the bill into law in March.

Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Women's Clinic, told MSNBC in an interview that she was "pleased and relieved" of the temporary injunction granted to the abortion clinic, which would have had to stop performing 90 percent of its abortion procedures, had the law been put into effect on August 1.

"I don't think any of these laws have anything to do with women's health," Kromenaker told MSNBC on Monday.

"Six weeks is extremely early, before many women even know they're pregnant. By stopping this law, it will give women an opportunity to find out they're pregnant and think through their decision," Kromenaker added.

In addition to challenging the fetal heartbeat law, the suit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights also contests two other pro-life measures passed by North Dakota legislature earlier this year, the first barring abortions due to genetic defects, and the second barring abortions due to gender selection.

Nancy Northup, the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the Daily Kos that these measures "seek to interfere directly in personal, private medical decisions that the Constitution and more than 40 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent guarantee to women as a fundamental right."

So far, a dozen states have approved bans on abortions after 20 weeks in pregnancy. Arkansas also passed a law earlier this year giving it the second-strictest abortion laws, behind North Dakota, in banning most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy; this law, like North Dakota's, was temporarily blocked by a judge in May.

A series of pro-life legislation is currently being debated in several states; the most publicized being the recent debate in Texas regarding a bill which bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Although the bill was initially filibustered, Republican Gov. Rick Perry called a special session of the state legislature to have the bill reconsidered.

The bill passed, and Perry signed it into law last Thursday, saying it further cemented the pro-life culture in Texas.

"This is an important day for those who support life and for those who support the health of Texas women," Perry said in a statement. "In signing House Bill 2 today, we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built."


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – Georgetown University, a Jesuit-affiliated Catholic school, has capitulated to the Obama administration’s demand that it offer full coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs to its female students and faculty, without co-pay.

Catholic teaching forbids the use of such drugs and procedures, but a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) requires all employers offering health care coverage to include them at no extra charge. The controversial mandate has led to dozens of lawsuits by Catholic-owned schools and businesses against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), seeking to overturn the new rule. 

But Georgetown says it is satisfied with an “accommodation” offered by the Obama administration which requires the insurance companies of religious-affiliated employers who oppose contraception or abortion to provide the coverage for “free.”

Under the arrangement, Georgetown’s students and faculty will get the contraceptive coverage through their school-sponsored plans, but Georgetown won’t directly pay for it.  Additionally, the student health center will not offer sterilizing drugs or procedures, meaning those desiring them will have to go off campus to get them.  

“These regulations give us the opportunity to reconcile our religious identity and our commitment to providing access to affordable healthcare,” University President John J. DeGioia wrote in an email to staff and students last week.

However, the administration’s “accommodation” has been derided by numerous groups, including the country’s Catholic bishops, who have argued that it amounts to little more than an accounting gimmick. Critics have said while the coverage is being offered “for free” on paper, the insurance companies will simply pass the extra costs onto their customers in the form of higher premiums.

Georgetown junior Evelyn Flashner, who serves as the marketing chair for the campus Right to Life group, told the school newspaper that she thinks the university is making a mistake.

Flashner borrowed an analogy from Bishop William Lori to explain the problems with the Obama administration’s attempt at compromise, telling The Hoya, “There is a Jewish deli that doesn’t sell anything but kosher meat, but the government says, ‘You have to sell non-kosher meat.’  Everyone freaks out, but the government says, ‘Never mind, I take it back. Instead of having you sell kosher meat, we’re going to put a little kiosk in the middle of your store and sell non-kosher meat.’”

Said Flashner, “The university is violating its own principles as a Catholic institution on this issue … Georgetown is diverging from the opinion of the Catholic Church.  The new accommodation does not solve all the problems, and according to the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops], it doesn’t present a feasible version of religious liberty.”

In an email to LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Newman Society spokesman Adam Wilson also criticized the university’s choice to accept the Obama administration’s accomodation.  Wilson quoted Catholic author G.K. Chesterton, who wrote, “A dead thing goes with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” 

 “There's a strong correlation between the state of a university's Catholic identity and its ability and willingness to defend its religious freedom,” said Wilson. “At Georgetown, Catholic identity has eroded over the last few decades.  But many faithful Catholic universities, like those in our Newman Guide, are courageously fighting for religious freedom with lawsuits and public opposition to the HHS mandate.”


Friday, July 19, 2013

By Jonathan Stempel

Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:20pm EDT

(Reuters) - A federal judge has temporarily exempted Hobby Lobby Stores Inc from a requirement in the 2010 healthcare law that it offer workers insurance coverage for birth control, which the retailer said violated its religious beliefs.

The preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton in Oklahoma City, where Hobby Lobby is based, covers the arts and crafts chain and its affiliated Mardel Christian bookstore chain.

He put the case on hold until October 1, giving the federal government time to decide whether to appeal.

"There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that no individual or corporation has their legs cut out from under them while these difficult issues are resolved," Heaton said at a hearing, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit law firm representing Hobby Lobby.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman had no immediate comment. The government has said contraception coverage is needed to promote public health and gender equality.

The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, said that providing coverage to workers for the morning-after pill and similar contraceptives violated its Christian beliefs.

It also said it could have under Obamacare faced $1.3 million in daily fines by not providing such coverage. Hobby Lobby has 556 stores in 45 U.S. states.

On June 27, a federal appeals court in Denver let Hobby Lobby challenge the mandate on religious grounds, and said there was a good chance the company would prevail.

It said Hobby Lobby had "drawn a line at providing coverage for drugs or devices they consider to induce abortions, and it is not for us to question whether the line is reasonable."

The Becket Fund said there are 63 lawsuits challenging the mandate. It called Heaton's decision a victory for "the religious liberty of all for-profit businesses."

The case is Hobby Lobby Stores Inc et al v. Sebelius et al, U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma, No. 12-01000.

(Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Andrew Hay)

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Today Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law a pro-life bill which will very likely be upheld by the Supreme Court. The law disallows most abortions after 20 weeks, the point by which an unborn child can fully feel physical pain and therefore would actually experience the agony of dying during the abortion procedure. 

It also requires the doctor performing the abortion to be credentialed to admit patients at a local hospital, so if anything goes wrong during the abortion the doctor can personally get the mother immediate medical attention.

“This is an important day for those who support life and for those who support the health of Texas women,” said Perry. “In signing [this bill], we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built.”

Pro-life advocates praised Perry and the Texas legislature. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said, “We applaud the brave state leaders—including Gov. Perry—who refuse to back down from defending human dignity, even in the face of pressure and harassment.” He was referring to the nationwide efforts of abortion supporters who portrayed this law as a “war on women” by requiring a woman who wants an abortion to make that decision before she’s five months along in her pregnancy.

This law—or one of the other 20-week abortion laws that have recently been enacted and are being challenged in court—is very likely to be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. In one of its most infamous decisions, the Supreme Court declared a right to abortion in its 1973 case Roe v. Wade, even though nothing related to abortion is mentioned in the Constitution.

Abortion had always been an issue that state legislators decided at the local level in accordance with the voter’s wishes, which is the constitutional norm in our democratic republic. Roe instead made this an issue to be decided by unelected judges.

In 1992, the Court revisited abortion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. By a 5-4 vote, the Court declined to overrule Roe, but held that although it is a right, abortion is not a fundamental right such as free speech, religious liberty, or the right to own a gun, and therefore opened the door for heavy regulations and restrictions on abortion.

The test for abortion cases is whether the law imposes an “undue burden” on a woman seeking abortion before the child could live outside the womb (which has been at 24 weeks in recent years, but with advances in medicine that line continues to move sooner in the pregnancy). After that point—called “viability”—Casey allows abortion to be completely banned so long as the pregnancy does not endanger the life or health of the mother.

Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy were the key votes in Casey. Of the two, O’Connor was pro-abortion and Kennedy leans against abortion. With the solidly-conservative Samuel Alito taking O’Connor’s seat in 2006, the new reality is that any abortion restriction that is good enough for Kennedy should survive a court challenge.

This Texas law (or one of its counterparts in Wisconsin or another state) will show whether this theory is correct. If you carefully study Kennedy’s jurisprudence—not only regarding abortion but many other issues as well—it seems Kennedy does not like the idea of completely shutting the door on federal courts saying women can abort their pregnancies—but wants to leave the door cracked open, not wide open.

If that is true, this law and many other restrictions should be upheld. One of these laws should be before the Supreme Court in the next 18 months, with a decision by summer 2015.

Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is senior fellow for religious liberty at the Family Research Council and on faculty at Liberty University School of Law.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

by William Saunders and Mailee Smith | Washington, DC | | 7/17/13 4:08 PM

So much for Free Speech. The City Council of Baltimore is currently entangled in litigation as it attempts to defend an ordinance forcing Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) to speak in favor of abortion.

Such ordinances represent an agenda by the abortion industry to compel its “competition” in the pro-life community to advertise an abortion message. Smearing PRCs with false claims about the nature and accuracy of the information available at these centers, the abortion industry is pushing for the passage of these ordinances across the nation, requiring signs and pro-abortion speech inside the walls of PRCs.

Clearly, the abortion industry feels threatened by the success of PRCs. After all, every time an abortion-minded woman changes her mind and carries her child to term, the abortion industry loses money and loses the hearts of minds of more Americans.

Let’s consider some numbers to put this in perspective. In 2004, Focus on the Family (Focus) initiated a program to help convert PRCs into medical clinics that offer ultrasound – a window into the womb. Focus estimates that at least 133,000 babies have been saved since that time. Planned Parenthood estimates that an abortion costs between $300 and $950 in the first trimester. Assuming Focus’ estimate is correct and assuming even the lowest cost, Focus’ success represents a loss of almost 40 million dollars for the abortion industry.

And for an industry more concerned with profit than with women’s health, this number is a threat—hence the effort to thwart the good works of PRCs through draconian regulation.

Of course, the Baltimore ordinance is a clear infringement on the constitutionally-guaranteed free speech rights of PRCs and on their mission. A local Maryland PRC, the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, filed suit, and a federal district court struck down the ordinance as unconstitutional. The City of Baltimore appealed, and a Fourth Circuit panel initially affirmed the lower court’s decision. However, the City asked for the entire Fourth Circuit to reconsider the appeal—resulting in the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision to reverse the lower court based on a perceivedprocedural flaw in the court below.

The Fourth Circuit did not rule on the merits—so the lower court could still determine that the ordinance unconstitutionally interferes with the First Amendment rights of PRCs—but it did instruct the lower federal court to allow the City to scrutinize PRCs through depositions and other legal “discovery” (investigation processes) to get a better idea of whether the PRCs are entitled to heightened First Amendment protection.

This investigation, however, will only reveal that PRCs provide professional and compassionate care to their clients—both women and men who seek information about sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abortion, and parenting.

National PRC umbrella organizations like Care Net, Heartbeat International, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and others require compliance with comprehensive standards of care. In order for local PRCs to affiliate with these organizations, PRCs must abide by stringent guidelines in order to maintain affiliation. For example, PRCs must abide by a detailed ethical code of practice, entitled the “Commitment of Care and Competence,” which includes the following:

  • Clients are treated with kindness, compassion, and in a caring manner.
  • Clients always receive honest and open answers.
  • Client information is held in strict and absolute confidence.
  • Clients receive accurate information about pregnancy, fetal development, lifestyle issues, and related concerns.
  • All advertising and communication are truthful and honest and accurately describe the services offered.
  • A safe environment is provided through screening all volunteers and staff who interact with clients.
  • Medical services are provided in accordance with all applicable laws, and in accordance with pertinent medical standards, under the supervision and direction of a licensed physician.

The national organizations also provide hundreds of detailed forms for affiliates’ daily interactions with clients, staff, and volunteers, including the following: client appointment forms (reminding volunteers to explain that the first appointment lasts approximately 45 minutes); client “request for services” forms (alerting clients to the services provided, that volunteers provide peer counseling but not professional counseling, and that the PRC does not perform nor refer for abortion); client intake sheets (asking clients whether they may be contacted by the PRC); and client comment surveys.

But despite—or because of—the high ethical standards of PRCs, these centers have come under attack from pro-abortion forces.

These attacks will ultimately fail, and women will continue to benefit from the compassion and sound advice provided by PRCs. Forcing people to say something doesn’t make it true.

AUL has filed an amicus brief twice in the Greater Baltimore case on behalf of Care Net, Heartbeat International, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and local PRCs.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cortney O'Brien | Jul 15, 2013

NOVA Women’s Healthcare of Fairfax County was one of the largest and most frequented abortion clinics in the state of Virginia. It performed more abortions than any other provider in the Old Dominion in the last few years, including 3,066 in 2012 alone. But, thanks to new abortion regulations in the state and a denied permit, it has seen its last patient.

It’s speculated that new Virginia regulations which require clinics to meet new hospital-grade standards had forced NOVA to find a new location. The clinic never got the chance though, for the city denied its permit for being one parking space short of city laws and therefore forced the business to close its doors.

NOVA is one of many clinics affected by new abortion regulations sweeping across the country. In Texas, the state legislature successfully passed HB2, which bans abortion after 20 weeks and requires an abortionist to have admitting privileges to a surgical center within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. Thirty-seven of the state’s 42 clinics fail to meet these standards and are therefore likely to be shuttered.

With NOVA’s closing, it is one of 30 to close so far this year, already doubling that of last year’s. Since 1991, the number has dropped from 2,176 to 625. As for crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which serve pregnant women and infants and do not provide abortions – their numbers are staying strong. There are 2,200 CPCs spreading a pro-life message across the country.

While it’s hard for many to stomach the number of abortions performed since Roe v. Wade, the statistical comparisons between abortion clinics and CPCs are figures worth celebrating.


Friday, July 12, 2013


AUSTIN, TX, July 11, 2013 (Operation Rescue) - Sweeping new abortion legislation, which could close over 35 abortion clinics and protect babies after 20 weeks' gestation, was approved in a final vote in the Texas House yesterday and is now set for a showdown in the Senate on Friday.

After yesterday’s vote, mayhem broke out amongst pro-abortion protesters, forcing troopers to remove them from the gallery. Five of the boisterous protestors were arrested and held in custody for five hours but were not charged.

In a Facebook posting yesterday, the Texas Alliance for Life confirmed with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst that the Senate would take up the abortion measure on Friday, July 12. The group has asked that pro-life supporters wear blue and arrive early to pack the gallery for the Senate debate and vote.

The bill, known as HB 2, would ban abortions after 20 weeks, tighten regulations on the dispensing of abortion-inducing drugs, require that abortion clinics meet ambulatory surgical center standards, and mandate that abortionists maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of their clinics.

The legislation was brought in a second special session in response to revelations of illegal late-term abortions resulting in babies being born alive then intentionally murdered during the Kermit Gosnell trial in Philadelphia and allegations made by three former Houston abortion clinic workers that similar horrors occur in Texas by abortionist Douglas Karpen.

The Senate debate is being closely watched after a vote there during a previous special session was thwarted by a filibuster by pro-abortion Sen. Wendy Davis, followed by chaos created by an angry mob of abortion supporters who essentially rioted in the gallery.

“This legislation is so important that Gov. Rick Perry called a second special session to make sure that the women and babies of Texas are protected from Gosnell-like conditions and practices,” said Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy advisor for Operation Rescue, who was present in the Capitol in Austin earlier this week. “Closing dangerous abortion clinics that cannot or will not comply with basic safety standards only makes sense. It is shocking that some are working so hard to put convenience and profit above the lives and health of women and babies that can feel pain."

"This bill will save untold lives and spare women from being subjected to substandard conditions and barbaric practices,” she said.

Operation Rescue also uncovered widespread abortion abuses at Texas clinic during an undercover investigation in 2011, which led to fines and discipline. Operation Rescue exposed Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen and worked with four of his former employees who blew the whistle on his Gosnell-like late-term abortion practices and released photographic evidence that illegal late-term babies were being killed by having their heads twisted from their bodies.



Thursday, July 11, 2013

3:45 PM, JUL 11, 2013 • BY JOHN MCCORMACK


Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards held a small rally outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday joined by Minnesota senator Al Franken, Connecticut congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, and a crowd of 200 Planned Parenthood activists. Richards warned that new state and federal bills--including measures establishing late-term abortion limits--pose threats to women's rights.

The new legislation is being debated and voted on in the wake of the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murder in May for snipping the necks of babies after they were born. Following the rally, THE WEEKLY STANDARD asked Richards to explain the difference between the Gosnell killings and late-term abortions. 

"I mean he was a criminal. And he's now going to jail," Richards replied. "It is very rare for a woman to need to terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks. And quite often it's stories like ones we heard today where" the fetus is diagnosed with a dire medical condition.

But asked about late-term abortion when there isn't a medical problem (Texas's proposed abortion limit has exceptions for the physical health of the mother and severe "fetal abnormalities"), Richards refused to answer. Nor did she reply when asked if she supports any legal limits on abortion.

Here's the transcript of the exchange: 

THE WEEKLY STANDARD: [Supporters of late-term abortion bans] say there's not much of a difference between what Kermit Gosnell did outside the womb to a baby at 23 weeks and a legal late-term abortion [performed] at 23 weeks on that same baby. What is the difference between those two?

CECILE RICHARDS: I mean he was a criminal. And he's now going to jail. As I think you heard Senator Franken say and many women who have written about their own personal stories, it is very rare for a woman to need to terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks. And quite often it's stories like one we heard today where there is the decision of the doctor that this is the best way, the best for a woman. And the problem is when you have politicians begin to play doctor and make decisions about women's medical care. They aren't in that woman's situation. 

TWS: But there has been research out of, I think, University of California-San Francisco about non-medical late-term abortions. These things do happen, even if they're a small number. I'm talking about that specific area. I mean if there were broader exceptions, would you--

AIDE TO CECILE RICHARDS: I know you're in a rush, so I can follow up to get you some more information.

TWS: Are there any legal limits you do support on abortion, Ms. Richards? 

Though there was plenty of time for Richards to answer the questions as she walked toward a U.S. Senate office building, she remained silent after her aide tried to cut off questioning.

The president of Planned Parenthood isn't the only prominent pro-choice advocate unable to explain why it should be legal to abort a healthy baby 23 weeks into pregnancy but illegal to kill that same baby after birth. In June, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was unable to answer the question when asked multiple times. "As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this," she said.

In the wake of the Gosnell trial, writers from across the political spectrum have argued that there isn't a significant difference between late-term abortion and the Gosnell murders. "The real reason [Pelosi] avoided the question is because there is no good answer," wrote Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker

"[T]here's almost no difference between killing a baby accidentally born alive in a late-term abortion, as Gosnell stands accused of, and killing the same baby in the womb, as more skilled doctors can do," according to Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson.  

"What we need to learn from the Gosnell case is that late-term abortion is infanticide," wrote Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers. "Legal infanticide."

Nearly two months since the conviction of Gosnell, the most prominent pro-choice advocates remain unable to explain the difference between infanticide and late-term abortion.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

When the Rev. Thomas Vander Woude learned about a young couple planning to abort their unborn baby that had been diagnosed with Down syndrome, the priest reached out and offered a deal: Deliver the child and he would help find an appropriate adoptive family.


But he had to act fast.


The woman, who has not been identified for her privacy and her protection, was just shy of six months pregnant and lives in a state that prohibits abortions past 24 weeks — which meant he had a short time to find a family willing to make a lifelong commitment.


So Father Vander Woude, the lead pastor at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville, Va., approached a volunteer who helped manage the church’s social media pages, and she posted an urgent plea on Facebook early Monday morning.


“There is a couple in another state who have contacted an adoption agency looking for a family to adopt their Down Syndrome unborn baby. If a couple has not been found by today they plan to abort the baby. If you are interested in adopting this baby please contact Fr. VW IMMEDIATELY,” the post read. “We are asking all to pray for this baby and the wisdom that this couple realize the importance of human life and do not abort this beautiful gift from God.”

The post asked people to call the church’s office after 9:30 a.m. Monday or to email Father Vander Woude.

No one expected the response they received.


“When we got in and opened up around 9:30, it was nearly nonstop. All day long, we were receiving phone calls from people who wanted to adopt the baby,” church staff member Martha Drennan said. “Father Vander Woude has gotten over 900 emails in regard to the baby.”


The offers were narrowed to three families, which the unborn child’s parents are reviewing with the help of an adoption agency.


Ms. Drennan said the church received phone calls from all over the United States and around the world, including from England, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands.


“I think it is a wonderful use of social media, that word can so quickly get all over the country and even to foreign countries and that the people who see the value of life are stepping up and saying, ‘I will take that baby and raise that baby as mine,’” Ms. Drennan said. “It was a beautiful witness all day long that so many people wanted this child and believed in the dignity of that child — Down syndrome or not.”


The president and founder of the International Down Syndrome Coalition, Diane Grover, stressed the importance of informing couples who are considering abortion for babies with Down syndrome that adoption is a viable option, pointing to the fast and overwhelming response her organization received about this one unborn child as an amazing example.


“When [couples are] in that position, a lot of people wonder if their child [with Down syndrome] would actually get adopted,” Ms. Grover said. “There’s a lot of people waiting, and we are happy to always help.”

David Dufresne, a seminary student who plans to become a priest next year, volunteered to help the overwhelmed church staff take calls.


“I was taking calls for about three hours straight, just talking to people who are willing to adopt this little baby they never knew about until that morning,” Mr. Dufresne said. “I mean, all day long, just receiving phone calls from people who were so generous and within a couple minutes made a life-changing decision. I was really inspired by the goodness of people and what they would do to save a life.”

Read more: 
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Austin, TX, July 9, 2013 ( — Thousands of pro-life supporters jammed together in front of the Texas Capitol Building on yesterday's hot, muggy evening to hear notable speakers such as Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Attorney General Mike Abbott, and Fox News personality former Gov. Mick Huckabee speak in support of a Texas abortion law that was thwarted by an angry pro-abortion mob two weeks ago.

The rally had a street-fair quality, with a sea of blue-shirted pro-lifers cheering and chanting, ”Pass the bill,” while abortion supporters sporting orange clothing occasionally recited mantras such as, “Separate Church and State.” The pro-abortion chants were generally ignored and drowned out by the enthusiastic throng, which took every opportunity to punctuate the speakers’ messages with hoots and cheers.

There was a palpable sense of history in the making.

As the pro-life rally progressed, abortion supporters congregated on the street in front of the Capitol, chanting and cheering at honking cars as they whizzed by, all under the watchful eyes of at least 15 motorcycle officers who lined a section of the street nearby.

Security was high and there were no noticeable incidents, at least as far as this writer could see.

It is sometimes difficult to measure a crowd of that size, but estimates were between 3,000 to 5,000 pro-life supporters rallied outside the Capitol, with hundreds more inside wandering the halls of the Capitol. Others jammed into several over-flow rooms to watch closed-circuit broadcasts of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee as they patiently endured a marathon of speakers who had signed up to speak both for and against SB1, the Senate companion bill to the House version known as HB2.

These bills would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation and provide additional regulations, such as the requirement that abortionists must have local hospital privileges. If successful, it would close all but 5 out of 42 abortion clinics in Texas.

The Senate hearing was expected to last all night.

“We’ll stay here the rest of the week, if necessary, to hear witnesses,” said Republican Sen. Jane Nelson.

The testimony will continue round the clock until the last witness is heard. Literally thousands more registered their support or opposition to the bill by submitting a form in person outside the hearing room.

Sen. Nelson indicated that there would be no vote immediately following the hearing, signaling that the Senate may be content to move forward at a slower pace than the House, which heard eight hours of testimony last week and has scheduled a vote in the full House on Tuesday.

This is the second special legislative session called by Gov. Rick Perry to ensure passage of the pro-life law. Texas has a part -time legislature that meets only once every two years. Adding to the urgency of passing the abortion restrictions this year were recent allegations of three former abortion clinic employees that Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen routinely kills late-term babies born alive during abortions using practices similar to those of convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell. Operation Rescue released photographic evidence depicting two late-term babies that seems to support the women’s claims.

Operation Rescue will be Tweeting live from the Capitol Tuesday.