06 Feb

Supreme Court Strikes Down Gavin Newsom’s Lockdown Ban on Indoor Church Services

via LifeNews.com February 6, 2021 at 09:54AM

Late last night the Supreme Court issued an injunction stopping California’s ban on indoor worship in churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship, that it claimed were dangerous because of the coronavirus.

The Court ruled in two cases, South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom and Harvest Rock Church v. Newsom. Both churches sued California Governor Gavin Newsom, challenging the state’s total ban on indoor worship services—the most extreme in the nation—which targeted churches for closure while allowing non-essential retail stores such as Macy’s to open to hundreds of customers, as well as hair salons, nail salons, and Hollywood soundstages.

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court enjoined California from enforcing the total ban on worship in the “Blueprint’s” Tier 1 pending disposition of the case at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. A majority held that instead of the total ban, California may impose a 25 percent building capacity limit in Tier 1.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that “federal courts owe significant deference to politically accountable officials” when it comes to public health restrictions, but he said deference “has its limits.”

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Roberts wrote that California’s determination “that the maximum number of adherents who can safely worship in the most cavernous cathedral is zero—appears to reflect not expertise or discretion, but instead insufficient appreciation or consideration of the interests at stake.”

He went on to state that the Constitution “entrusts the protection of the people’s rights to the Judiciary—not despite judges being shielded by life tenure, … but because they are. Deference, though broad, has its limits.”

The Justices wrote several opinions in addition to the Court’s order. Justice Gorsuch, joined by Justices Thomas and Alito, pointing out that California was the only state in the country with a complete ban on indoor worship. Justice Gorsuch also stated that “California no longer asks its movie studios, malls, and manicurists to wait.”

“As this crisis enters its second year—and hovers over a second Lent, a second Passover, and a second Ramadan—it is too late for the State to defend extreme measures with claims of temporary exigency, if it ever could,” Gorsuch wrote.

The court left the ban on singing and chanting in place but Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Alito would have overturned that ban as well. While the Court wrote several times that the churches may present additional evidence of the discriminatory treatment on the singing and chanting ban, Justice Gorsuch noted that California exempts music and TV production for the entertainment industry where singing is permitted. He noted that California’s scheme is confusing, and that on this record, he would hold that against the state and enjoin the ban on singing and chanting in places of worship.

“Drafting narrowly tailored regulations can be difficult. But if Hollywood may host a studio audience or film a singing competition while not a single soul may enter California’s churches, synagogues, and mosques, something has gone seriously awry,” Gorsuch continued.

Justice Gorsuch, joined by Thomas and Alito, wrote: “Today’s order should have been needless; the lower courts in these cases should have followed the extensive guidance this Court already gave.”

Previously, some states imposed numerical caps on indoor worship, regardless of the size of the house of worship, while allowing businesses to open to a percentage of their capacity. On the night before Thanksgiving 2020, the Supreme Court struck down New York Governor Cuomo’s 10- and 25-person caps on religious worship. The Supreme Court’s decision today found California’s policies in violation of precedent set in Agudath Israel and its companion case, Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Finally, Governor Gavin Newsom’s total ban on worship has come to an end. A pandemic is no excuse for violating the Constitution. Until today, California imposed the most severe restrictions on places of worship. Not anymore. We will continue to press this case until religious freedom is totally restored.”

“California had no right to declare itself a religion-free zone,” said Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. “When every other state in the country has figured out a way to both allow worship and protect the public health, maybe you are doing it wrong. We are glad this extreme violation of our first freedom has finally come to an end.”

“When it comes to First Amendment rights, courts should not rubber-stamp public health restrictions,” added Rassbach. “That is especially so as we near the one-year anniversary of the lockdown orders. Instead, courts should carefully balance the right to worship and public health.”

06 Feb

46 Senators Introduce New Bill to Stop Infanticide, Protect Babies Who Survive Abortions

via LifeNews.com January 29, 2021 at 06:35PM

In the wake of growing reports proving that babies do survive abortions, a group of U.S. Senators re-introduced legislation Thursday to protect babies who survive abortions from infanticide.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, and 45 other senators, would require health care workers to provide the same degree of care to a baby who survives an abortion that would be given to any other baby born at the same gestational age. It also requires that the baby immediately be transported to a hospital.

“This bill is really simple: it makes sure newborn babies who survive attempted abortions get the same care any other baby would,” Sasse said. “A decent society can’t turn its back on these babies because compassion, truth, and love still matter.”

Sasse has been trying to get the bill passed since 2015, but Democrat leaders repeatedly have blocked its passage.

“A week ago, President Biden stood on the Capitol steps and said ‘with unity we can do great things. Important things. We can right wrongs.’ Well, here’s a chance to do just that,” he challenged Democrats.

Babies do survive abortions, though no one is sure exactly how many. Most states do not keep track of the number of babies who survive abortions, but a few do.

Between 2016 and 2018, three states reported 40 babies were born alive after abortions. According to the state health data, 11 babies were born alive in Minnesota, 10 in Arizona and 19 in Florida. Texas reported six babies were born alive in botched abortions in 2019. In Michigan, state health reports from 2008 through 2013 indicate that 11 babies were born alive during abortions.

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Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, praised lawmakers for their continued efforts to protect these babies from infanticide.

“There is no such thing as a ‘post-birth abortion.’ This bill isn’t about interfering with a so-called right to abortion. It is about stopping infanticide,” Tobias said. “Appallingly, pro-abortion extremists in the House and Senate are willing to let die babies who are born alive following an abortion.”

She said the legislation is needed because current federal law does not sufficiently protect a baby born following an abortion.

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, the House Whip, and Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Missouri, also introduced an identical bill in the U.S. House this week.

“The Born-Alive Abortions Survivors Protection Act is reasonable legislation that would protect a baby born alive following an abortion,” Tobias said. “We thank Senator Sasse, Whip Scalise, and Representative Wagner for reintroducing this critical life-saving legislation.”

Co-sponsors of the legislation in the U.S. Senate include Sens. Barrasso (R-WY), Blackburn (R-TN), Blunt (R-MO), Boozman (R-AR), Braun (R-IN), Burr (R-NC), Cassidy (R-LA), Cornyn (R-TX), Cotton (R-AR), Cramer (R-ND), Crapo (R-ID), Cruz (R-TX), Daines (R-MT), Ernst (R-IA), Fischer (R-NE), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hagerty (R-TN), Hawley (R-MO), Hoeven (R-ND), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Inhofe (R-OK), Johnson (R-WI), Kennedy (R-LA), Lankford (R-OK), Lee (R-UT), Lummis (R-WY), Marshall (R-KS), McConnell (R-KY), Moran (R-KS), Paul (R-KY), Portman (R-OH), Risch (R-ID), Rounds (R-SD), Romney (R-UT), Rubio (R-FL), Scott (R-FL), Scott (R-SC), Shelby (R-AL), Sullivan (R-AK), Thune (R-SD), Tillis (R-NC), Toomey (R-PA), Wicker (R-MS) and Young (R-IN).

Reports from other countries prove that babies survive abortions, too, and legal protections for them are needed. In Canada, the Canadian Institute of Health Information recorded 766 late-term, live-birth abortions over a five-year period in 2018. And in Australia, the country’s health minister admitted that 27 babies survived abortions in the state of Western Australia between 1999 and 2016. A report out of Ireland in the fall also suggests babies are surviving abortions and being left to die there.

National polling shows Americans — including people who are “pro-choice” on abortion — oppose abortions up to birth and infanticide.

06 Feb

Tim Tebow Urges Christians to Stand Against Abortion: “We’re Called to be Pro-Life”

via LifeNews.com January 29, 2021 at 05:43PM

Former NFL star Tim Tebow encouraged Christians to stand strong for life Friday during the virtual March for Life, noting that sports trophies and achievements are temporary but the fight to protect the voiceless is “worthy.”

“You know, I’ve given so much of my life for sports … but that’s for trophies that rust …” Tebow said, according to Townhall columnist Katie Yoder. “But you see, being passionate about Jesus … and passionate about those that have been thrown away and neglected and forgotten? That is worthy.”

He told pro-lifers not to lose hope or give up the fight but to continue advocating for life at all stages, born and unborn.

“You see, when you’re pro-life, I believe that we’re called to be pro-life in every area – for the unborn, for the hurting, for the orphan, for the thrown-away, for the special needs, for the trafficked, for all of humanity,” he said.

A Heisman Trophy winner, football analyst and advocate for people with special needs, Tebow has his own pro-life story. He told the March for Life viewers that his mother chose life for him in difficult circumstances while his family served as missionaries in the Philippines.

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“The pregnancy was not easy,” Tebow said. “In fact, they didn’t even believe that she was pregnant at first. They actually thought it was a tumor.”

When doctors realized she was pregnant, they urged her to have an abortion, he said.

“But she decided that she was going to trust God, even when the doctor said it could, and might, cost her her life,” Tebow continued.

Miraculously, Tebow and his mother both survived. He said the doctors were astonished and told his mother, “I don’t know how he had the nourishment in the food to be able to survive.”

He encouraged pro-lifers to always be pro-life “all the time, everywhere, no matter what.”

The national March for Life was Friday. Organizers canceled the in-person event earlier this month due to concerns about the coronavirus and political unrest in the capital. In its place, the March for Life held a virtual rally to mark 48 years of legalized abortion and to call for restored protections for babies in the womb.

A small group of pro-life leaders also marched to the U.S. Supreme Court building on Friday to mourn for the 62 million unborn babies who have been killed as a result of its infamous ruling Roe v. Wade.

04 Feb

Abortion is never the solution to complications during pregnancy. Here’s why.

via Live Action News January 29, 2021 at 02:56PM

In 2019, Facebook slapped Live Action with a “false news” label when founder Lila Rose stated in a video that abortion is never medically necessary. Using two abortionists, Facebook published a fact-check claiming abortion can be necessary if a woman has serious complications or health risks. Yet while it is true that things can go wrong during pregnancy, an abortion — which deliberately targets a child for death — is never needed.

‘A skilled physician can save both lives’

In the biased “fact check,” abortionists Daniel Grossman and Robyn Schickler gave examples of complications which they claimed would necessitate an abortion, such as placenta previa, ruptured membranes, pre-eclampsia, and even hyperemesis gravidarum. Yet thousands of doctors disagreed, including Dr. Ingrid Skop, an American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) Fellow, and an active member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). Skop has delivered over 5,000 babies, and serves on the boards of Healthy Futures of Texas and Any Woman Can. In a statement to Live Action News in 2019, Skop pointed out that the issues the two abortionists cited are often treatable, are not immediately life-threatening for the mother, and do not require an abortion.

“Abortion for hyperemesis is a travesty,” Dr. Skop said. “With modern medicine, no woman should ever die from that problem. I still can’t understand why they are willing to recommend abortion for placenta previa. Intentionally placing a surgical instrument through a placenta gives me chills!… [A] skilled physician can save both lives with standard obstetric techniques.”

READ: Former abortionist: Abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of the mother

She added, “While we do see early severe preeclampsia/HELLP on occasion, I have never seen it at such an early gestational age that the fetus does not at least have a chance at survival,” adding that the abortionists had “intentionally misrepresented the age of viability — they called it 24 weeks, but neonatologists call it 22 weeks.”

The only scenario, she said, in which the baby might die “is the previable premature rupture of membranes resulting in sepsis… The uterus does need to be evacuated, and we do this by inducing labor, not by D&E.” (emphasis added) She added, “Additionally, because these women are sick, they need IV antibiotics and to be cared for in a hospital, where ICU and other interventions for sepsis are immediately available. Referring them to an abortion clinic, where most D&Es are performed, would subject them to a lower standard of care, and unnecessarily threaten the woman’s health.”

 

Abortion would be ‘irresponsible’ and ‘much riskier’

Dr. Christina Francis, AAPLOG’s Chairman of the Board, has likewise explained before that proscribing abortion for some of these complications, like placenta previa, could actually threaten the mother’s life (emphasis added):

Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta covers the cervix, making a vaginal delivery impossible due to the possibility of life-threatening hemorrhage if labor occurs. These are frequently diagnosed in pregnancy on ultrasound around 20 weeks, however approximately 90% of these will resolve on their own before delivery. If significant hemorrhage occurs due to a placenta previa (which again is so rare prior to viability that no incidence is even reported), the patient should be taken for an emergency C-section which is the most expedient way to get her bleeding under control.

It would be medically dangerous and irresponsible to try to do an abortion since any instrumentation through the cervix would pierce the placenta and cause immediate massive bleeding. An abortion would take significantly longer in this case and be much riskier for the mother.

Yet abortionists, abortion advocates, and pro-abortion physicians continue to claim that abortion must be available for pregnancy complications.

One of the most famous examples they turn to is that of Savita Halappanavar. According to the pro-abortion lobby, Halappanavar repeatedly requested an abortion while in process of miscarrying, but before her preborn baby had died. Abortion was still illegal in Ireland at the time, so her request was denied, and Halappanavar died. Abortion activists have continuously exploited her death, arguing that if she had undergone an abortion, she would have survived. But the reality is that Halappanavar died because her care was grossly mismanaged. Abortion would not only have not saved her life; some medical experts believe it would even have caused her to die more quickly.

Abortion to save a mother’s life ‘sounds noble… but it’s a real stretch’

Some abortionists, like Don Sloan, have even admitted that the idea of abortion to save a woman’s life is not an honest medical claim (emphasis added):

If a woman with a serious illness – heart disease, say, or diabetes – gets pregnant, the abortion procedure may be as dangerous for her as going through pregnancy… with diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, even breast cancer, the chance that pregnancy will make the disease worse is no greater that the chance that the disease will either stay the same or improve. And medical technology has advanced to a point where even women with diabetes and kidney disease can be seen through a pregnancy safely by a doctor who knows what he’s doing. We’ve come a long way since my mother’s time…

The idea of abortion to save the mothers’ life is something that people cling to because it sounds noble and pure – but medically speaking, it probably doesn’t exist. It’s a real stretch of our thinking.

Induced deliveries and C-sections are NOT abortions

Another common tactic by abortionists is to claim procedures like induced deliveries or c-section are abortions — even though they clearly are not the same thing. In cases such as severe pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, or placenta accreta, for example, it may be necessary to induce labor early or perform a hysterectomy to save the mother’s life. If the baby is severely premature, then it is a tragic reality that the baby might not survive. But the difference is that the doctors are not directly attacking the preborn child. The intent is not to kill either patient, and for an OB/GYN, both mother and baby are the patients.

Abortion after cancer diagnosis?

Some women are told they need abortion after a cancer diagnosis. Ellie Whittaker was told she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 16 weeks pregnant. “The doctor advised I have an abortion because cancer treatment could cause problems for the baby,” Whittaker said, according to the Daily Mail. “There was no way I was going to give her up so I chose to delay it.” Another mom, Stacey Johnson, was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant. She was told to have an abortion as well. Both women refused, though, and for good reason — multiple studies have confirmed that women can safely undergo chemotherapy during pregnancy.

Abortion activists continue to claim that abortion is necessary for women facing pregnancy complications. Yet women truly do not have to choose between their own health and killing their preborn child.

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The post Abortion is never the solution to complications during pregnancy. Here’s why. appeared first on Live Action News.

04 Feb

Pro-Life Senators Introduce Bills to Defund Planned Parenthood Abortion Business

via LifeNews.com January 29, 2021 at 12:34PM

Two new bills before the U.S. Senate would stop taxpayer dollars from funding the billion-dollar abortion industry.

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act to prohibit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from giving Title X grants to groups like Planned Parenthood that promote and/or provide abortions, Fox 17 WZTV reports.

“We must close loopholes that allow for abortion giants like Planned Parenthood to receive federal funding,” Blackburn said. “This legislation will help end taxpayer-funded support for the abortion industry and protect the unborn.”

She said the money would be better spent on comprehensive healthcare rather than groups that make money killing unborn babies in abortions.

Planned Parenthood receives more than half a billion taxpayer dollars annually, largely through Medicaid reimbursements and Title X grants. President Donald Trump issued an executive order that defunded Planned Parenthood from Title X, but President Joe Biden took action Thursday to reverse it.

Planned Parenthood does about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S., or about 345,000 a year, according to its annual reports.

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U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, said defunding the largest abortion group in America should not be controversial.

On Friday, he introduced a similar bill, the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act, to give states the power to exclude abortion groups like Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds.

“Abortion is not health care,” Lankford said. “It should not be controversial to say that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortion, and it shouldn’t be controversial for states to have the right to decide that Medicaid funds will not support an abortion provider’s bottom line.”

Currently, federal law requires states to allow any qualified provider to participate in the Medicaid system. A number of states have tried to defund Planned Parenthood without success because of this law.

Texas was successful but only after a lengthy court battle. The state said Planned Parenthood no longer qualifies as a provider after undercover video showed its employees “admitting to morally bankrupt and unlawful conduct, including violations of federal law by manipulating the timing and methods of abortions to obtain fetal tissue for their own research.”

U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, introduced a House version of the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act on Jan. 5.

“For too long, abortion providers have operated on the taxpayer’s dime, while performing elective abortions in the name of ‘healthcare,’” Cloud said. “That’s why the first bill I introduced in the 117th Congress is this bill advocating for the preborn and their pregnant mothers in need. Sen. Lankford and I are seeking to empower states to end federal subsidies for abortion providers and to ensure quality healthcare is made available to women.”

A recent nonpartisan Government Accountability Office report found that Planned Parenthood received nearly $1.3 billion in Medicaid reimbursements over a three-year period.

Republicans in Congress have been trying to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups for years. In 2017, when they had a majority in both chambers and President Donald Trump in the White House, legislation to defund the abortion chain nearly passed. The U.S. House passed the legislation; however, it died in the U.S. Senate when several Republican senators joined Democrats in opposing it.

Polls consistently show that most Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions, and the millions of tax dollars that go to Planned Parenthood every year subsidize its abortion business.

A new poll from Marist this week found that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose Democrat leaders’ plans to force taxpayers to fund abortions. According to the poll, 77 percent oppose using tax dollars to support abortion in other countries. Significantly, this includes a majority of Democrats (55 percent) and pro-choice Americans (64 percent).

Most Americans (58 percent) also oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in the U.S., according to the Marist poll. Similarly, a Politico/Harvard University poll found that just 36 percent of likely voters supported taxpayer funding for abortions, while 58 percent opposed it.

Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report, which is publicly available online, lists 345,672 abortions, an increase of nearly 4 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, many of Planned Parenthood’s actual health services continue to decline. It provided less contraception, sterilizations, cancer screenings, adoption referrals and other women’s health services than the previous year, mirroring a continued downward trend. Its patient numbers also have been dropping steadily over the past decade.