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Freedom is not dictator friendly

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by Sarah Terzo | Washington, DC | | 12/18/14

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Author Magda Denes witnessed abortions for her book In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death Inside an Abortion Hospital:

“I am drawn to the unit, irresistible, by my reactions of disbelief, sorrow, horror, compassion, guilt. The place depresses me, yet I hang around after working hours. When I leave, I behave outside with the expansiveness of one who has just escaped a disaster. I have bad dreams. My sense of complicity in something nameless grows and festers. I consider giving up the research…

ultrasound4d5bI remove with one hand the lid of a bucket…I look inside the bucket in front of me. There is a small naked person there floating in a bloody liquid- plainly the tragic victim of a drowning accident.

But then perhaps this was no accident, because the body is purple with bruises and the face has the agonized tautness of one forced to die too soon.

Death overtakes me in a rush of madness…I have seen this before. The face of a Russian soldier, lying on a frozen snow covered hill, stiff with death and cold….A death factory is the same anywhere, and the agony of early death is the same anywhere. I take the lid off all the buckets. All of them. I reach up to the shelf above this bucket and graveyard tabletop and take down a pair of forceps….With the forceps I lift the fetuses, one by one.

I lift them by an arm or a leg…Finally, I lift a very large fetus…I look at the label.

Mother’s name: Catherine Atkins; Doctor’s name: Saul Marcus. Sex of item: Male. Time of Gestation: Twenty-four weeks. I remember Catherine. She is seventeen, a very pretty blond girl…This is Master Atkins- to be burned tomorrow- who died like a hero….Might he have been the only one to truly love her?”

Magda Denes In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death in an Abortion Hospital (New York: Basic Books Inc. 1976) 50, 58-61 Note: Sarah Terzo is a pro-life liberal who runs, a web site devoted to exposing the abortion industry. She is a member of the pro-life groups PLAGAL and Secular Pro-Life. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.






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by Sarah Torre | Washington, DC | | 12/18/14

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Yesterday, the Council of the District of Columbia passed a bill that could force employers in the nation’s capital Let Godto cover elective abortions in their health plans and require even pro-life organizations to hire individuals who oppose their views on abortion. The bill will now go to Mayor Vincent Gray for approval.

This latest attempt to violate the freedom of individuals in the District should spur Congress to better protect the conscience rights for all Americans.

The “Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act,” specifically prohibits employers from discriminating in “compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment” on the basis of an individual’s “reproductive health decision making” – including the “termination of a pregnancy.”

proabortion25In light of comments made by Council member David Grosso at a hearing on the bill earlier this year, the D.C. legislation could be interpreted to force even religious and pro-life employers to provide coverage of elective abortions.Partyof Deceit Spin and Lies

The threat against conscience rights is serious for many organizations in D.C. like Americans United for Life, March for Life, Family Research Council and the Archdiocese of Washington, among others. Organizations whose mission is to empower women facing unplanned pregnancies with physical and emotional support or who advocate for policies that affirm the dignity and value of both mother and child in law could be forced to provide health insurance for the life-ending procedure they oppose.

“This bill is an egregious attack on pro-life conscience,” said Alliance Defending Freedom’s Senior Counsel Casey Mattox, who wrote letters to the council on behalf of a number of pro-life groups in the District. “The government has no business forcing pro-life organizations to pay for elective abortions.”Welcome to the

The bill could also prohibit an organization from making employment decisions in accordance with their beliefs so as to maintain the integrity of their pro-life mission and advocacy.

“Under the proposed bill, a Catholic school could not fire a principal who had an elective abortion, announced this to staff and students, and stated she believed this decision was consistent with Church teaching,” writes Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, in a letter to the D.C. council. He explains:

“This is absurd….[N]ot only is there nothing invidious about religious organizations making employment decisions on the basis of employee behavior, but such decisions are protected by the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of association and freedom of religion.”

Even D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray urged the council to postpone voting on the bill a few weeks ago, noting a review of the legislation by the Office of Attorney General “deemed the legislation legally insufficient.” The Mayor’s letter continued:

“According to the OAG, the bill raises serious concerns under the Constitution and under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA). Religious organizations, religiously-affiliated organizations, religiously-driven for-profit entities, and political organizations may have strong First Amendment and RFRA grounds for challenging the law’s applicability to them.”AMEN

In addition to those concerns, the District could also be in hot water under federal conscience law. To the extent the D.C. bill would force employers to include coverage of elective abortion in their health plans, the District would be in violation of a federal policy known as the Weldon Amendment.

Since 2004, the Weldon Amendment has prohibited state and local governments receiving certain federal funds from discriminating against health care entities that decline to “provide, pay for, provide coverage of or refer for abortions.” That protection extends to health care plans. Enforcement of the conscience policy, however, is left to the discretion of officials in the Department of Health and Human Services, which has a less-than-illustrious track record of moving quickly on complaints.

Congress should provide victims of conscience rights violations the ability to defend their rights in court, not leave them to wait on bureaucrats in the Obama administration. The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act would do just that by modifying the Weldon amendment to provide a private right of action for individuals and institutions who are discriminated against because they decline to participate in or pay for coverage of abortion.Freedom is not dictator friendly

The D.C. bill is the second time this year a government has forced employers to cover elective abortions in their health plans. In August, California mandated that almost every health plan in the state include coverage of elective abortions, including those offered by religious organizations, religious schools – even churches. Requests to HHS officials to review the state’s mandate have so far gone unanswered by the Obama administration.

Policymakers shouldn’t wait for more assaults on conscience to better protect the freedom of every American – from California to D.C. and everywhere in between.

LifeNews Note: Sarah Torre is a Policy Analyst in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.Reprinted with permission from Daily Signal.

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Federalized Police and a Police Czar?

 “We need federal intervention without delay,” declared the “Reverend” Al Sharpton, in his December 8 column for the online Huffington Post. Capitalizing on the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and other black men to centralize police powers, Sharpton announced that his National Action Network had organized a series of demonstrations, to culminate in a national march on the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, December 13.

“Congress must immediately start hearings to deal with laws that will change the jurisdiction threshold for federal cases and policing,” Sharpton insists. “The executive branch has addressed this most pressing issue, and now it’s time the legislative branch do the same.”com01

“When local prosecutors fail to conduct a fair grand-jury investigation at the state level, as happened in Ferguson and Staten Island recently,” says Sharpton “the threshold is so high for the federal government to be able to take over the case. That must change…. And in order for federal authorities to step in, we must reform current laws.”Liberalism a mental disorder

What about the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, which restricts federal involvement in criminal and policing matters to a very narrow area of jurisdiction? Rev. Al cannot be troubled with such trivialities. “The state has already proven that it cannot do the job,” he insists.Liberalism a mental disorder

On December 13, thousands of protesters joined Sharpton’s March on Washington, and tens of thousands more engaged in similar protests in New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and dozens of other cities.

This past August the Congressional Black Caucus wrote a letter to President Obama insisting, “The administration must quickly establish a national commission to review existing police policies and practices.” Even more ominously, the radical Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) demanded the appointment of a national police “Czar.” The CBC letter, which was signed by dozens of celebrities, activists, and academics, demanded:

The Administration must appoint a federal Czar, housed in the U.S. Department of Justice, who is specifically tasked with promoting the professionalization of local law enforcement, monitoring egregious law enforcement activities, and adjudicating suspicious actions of local law enforcement agencies that receive federal funding.Liberalism a mental disorder

In an ironic twist, the CBC letter validly notes that “the militarization of police departments across the country is creating conditions that will further erode the trust that should exist between residents and the police who serve them. The proliferation of machine guns, silencers, armored vehicles and aircraft, and camouflage in local law enforcement units does not bode well for police-community relations, the future of our cities, or our country.” This has been the cry, as well, of many other liberal-left activists decrying the alleged “systemic racism” in American society, and especially in our local police departments.Police State 02

But, as Thomas R. Eddlem pointed out in an online article for The New American in August, “The source of this militarization is not endemic racism, however; it has been federal intervention and aid through the Department of Defense’s Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) under the auspices of fighting the ‘drug war’ and ‘terrorism.’” LESO notes on its website, “Since its inception [in 1991], the 1033 program has transferred more than $5.1 billion worth of property.” According to LESO, more than 8,000 police agencies are currently availing themselves of military equipment from the Department of Defense 1033 program.

The federal goodies handed out under this program are transforming local police and sheriff’s departments into minions of a nationalized, federalized, centralized, militarized police force, something that has always been anathema to Americans who treasure freedom. There are, of course, many other federal programs under the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security that are also aiding this federalization process, from the FBI’s SWAT schools to various DOJ “consent decrees” and mandates.

Incredibly, though, the “progressives” who are railing the loudest against federal programs that are militarizing our police are also the same voices that are most loudly calling for further federalization of our police to cure the alleged problem of “systemic racism.”Liberalism a mental disorder

The problem of police abuse will not be solved by nationalizing police authority under a federal “czar,” or by concentrating local law-enforcement agencies under a DOJ-approved Gestapo. Those are prescriptions for even more horrific police abuse. Our Founding Fathers had it right in determining that the most effective means of protecting the individual from oppression by government is to disperse the police power among multiple local agencies, while encouraging an armed citizenry that would serve as the ultimate check on abusive power.cropped-george-washington-regarding-2nd-amandment.jpg

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