PARIS, France, February 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The French National Assembly has adopted legislation to make what it calls “spreading misleading information” about abortion punishable with up to a two-year prison sentence and a fine.
The law specifically targets “electronic” and “online” means of spreading information with the intention of dissuading women from ending their pregnancy, but its wording is not restrictive. By and large, any person or group aiming to call public attention to the dangers and risks of abortion will be potentially at risk of prosecution.
Thursday’s vote was the final stage of a lawmaking process that saw various versions of the text come alternately before the Assembly and the Senate. The upper house repeatedly tried to impose less severe wording without trying to scrap the law entirely. In the absence of an agreement between the two governing bodies, the National Assembly has the last word and so it achieved its aim of virtually outlawing pro-life speech.
The law was adopted by a show of hands – an indication that few lawmakers were present in the Chamber – during which all left-wing representatives present as well as a majority of the centrists voted for the measure. It is the latest in a series of pro-abortion laws that have made “voluntary interruption of pregnancy,” as the French euphemism goes, a purely elective and 100 percent publicly-funded “fundamental right” since socialist François Hollande came into power five years ago.
The criminalization of negative information on abortion is the result of a process that began when members of Hollande’s socialist government realized that Google searches were linking women to pro-life groups. These sites explain the risks and realities of the procedure and where to find assistance to help women keep their baby.
The Ministry of Health responded by putting up a government information site on abortion that is limited to providing details about access to the procedure. It also characterizes as “misconceptions’ the allegations that abortion can have negative side effects and cause health problems or psychological consequences. Included is a page on “misinformation about voluntary interruption of pregnancy” that claims there are pro-life sites masquerading as information sites. Women are urged to link to Planned Parenthood or sites that list abortion center addresses. There is no information on help and public subsidies for expectant mothers.
This initiative did not suffice to gag the pro-life sites the government wanted to relegate to insignificance. So it came up with a new law. It in effect expands an existing ban on “moral and psychological pressure searching to hinder abortion that was adopted in 2001 in order to stop peaceful pro-life activists from speaking to women planning an abortion or organizing demonstrations near abortion centers in clinics and public hospitals.”
The law was rarely used, but Dr. Xavier Dor, a well-known elderly and almost blind pro-lifer, was fined heavily for having given knitted baby boots to a woman he spoke to in the public stairway of the building where Planned Parenthood has its Paris offices.
The new law imposed the same punishment – a maximum of two years imprisonment and a $30,000 fine – on any manner of “spreading or transmitting allegations or indications liable to intentionally mislead, with the purpose of deterring (from abortion), on the characteristics or medical consequences of a voluntary interruption of abortion.”
The Republican (center right) party said the law was a deliberate infringement of freedom of expression and voted against. They also intend to submit the text to the Constitutional Council in the hope of having it declared contrary to the French Constitution.
But while the party was in power, it made no move to abrogate the existing law that already bans “moral and psychological pressure” aiming to dissuade a woman from having an abortion. This has become a pattern in France over the last 40 years since abortion was made legal. All aggravating texts, once voted into law by the left, have never been disputed by the right when it came back into power.
Marisol Touraine, the minister of health, said the law exclusively targets websites that do not present themselves as being pro-life while aiming to deter women from having abortions. Laurence Rossignol, minister for women’s rights, said opponents to abortion would still be free to voice their opinion “under the condition they openly state who they are, what they do and what they want.”
However, the wording of the law does not match this restriction. As it stands, it can be used to prosecute those with any “information” that presents abortion in an unfavorable light and pushes women not to choose abortion. The law does not define who has authority to judge whether information is officially “misleading.” That will be up to judges in principle and specifically to health and government officials.
If government information on abortion is anything to go by, misinformation is likely to run rampant. It calls surgical abortion an “aspiration of the egg” and asserts that “abortion is not the removing of a life,” as Rossignol said in the National Assembly.
Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Fondation Lejeune, commented: “That which dissuades from abortion is not false information, but correct information.”
During the parliamentary debate, Rossignol went on record as saying: “Freedom of expression does not signify a right to lying.” That is why pro-lifers in France are slamming a law that attempts to prevent expression of an inconvenient truth.
President Donald Trump today signed an executive order to defund International Planned Parenthood.
Most pro-life Americans are anxiously awaiting Congress to pass a bill to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. While that defunding legislation concerns the domestic-based Planned Parenthood abortion corporation, President Trump has the ability to put in place an executive order that would revoke funding for its International affiliate.
When pro-abortion former President Barack Obama took office, Obama overturned a policy that prevented funding of groups that promote or perform abortions overseas. The Mexico City Policy covered over $400 million in federal funds, part of which flowed to the abortion businesses International Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International for their foreign efforts.
As LifeNews.com reported, the pro-life policy had been in place during the entirety of the Bush administration and Obama rescinded it on his first week in office. Named for a 1984 population conference where President Reagan initially announced it, the Mexico City Policy made it so family planning funds could only go to groups that would agree to not do abortions or lobby foreign nations to overturn their pro-life laws.
Today, Trump restored the Mexico City Policy by executive order.
The Executive Memorandum to reinstate the Mexico City Policy stops taxpayer funding of groups that perform and promote abortions overseas but does not stop non-abortion international assistance. The order ensures U.S. foreign aid will continue to go to health care and humanitarian relief in the millions of dollars. It just will not subsidize abortion overseas.
Leading pro-life groups were quick to praise Trump.
“President Trump is continuing Ronald Reagan’s legacy by taking immediate action on day one to stop the promotion of abortion through our tax dollars overseas.” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in an email to LifeNews.com. “President Trump’s immediate action to promote respect for all human life, including vulnerable unborn children abroad, as well as conscience rights, sends a strong signal about his Administration’s pro-life priorities.”
Reacting to the decision in a poll conducted by the Gallup organization, 58 percent of Americans opposed Obama’s pro-abortion decision while just 35 percent support it and 7 percent have no opinion.
Breaking down the new poll further, Gallup asked respondents to state their opinion on seven major actions President Obama has taken since becoming president. Overturning the Mexico City Policy engendered more opposition than any of the other actions and it had the lowest level of support.
The pro-abortion move also evoked the least support from Democrats and the most opposition from Republicans and independents.
While 59 percent of Democrats supported the move, it came in last among the seven total issues on which Gallup surveyed.
Only 8 percent of Republicans backed overturning the limits as did just 33 percent of the independent voters surveyed — with opposition higher about this action than any other Obama has taken a president.
The results of the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews with 1,027 adults across the country and were conducted January 30-February 1.
At the time, Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, condemned the decision.
He told LifeNews.com how the executive order will hurt non-abortion groups that provide medical care and services to women and families in foreign nations.
“One effect of Obama’s order will be to divert many millions of dollars away from groups that do not promote abortion, and into the hands of those organizations that are the most aggressive in promoting abortion in developing countries,” he said.
“Obama’s order will predictably result in a redirection of funds to groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which are ideologically committed to the doctrine that abortion on demand must be universally available as a birth control method,” Johnson said.
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As LifeNews reported Monday, a Texas grand jury has ignored the videos exposing a Houston-based Planned Parenthood abortion clinic caught selling aborted baby body partsand has instead indicted the man behind producing the expose’ videos.
The Texas grand jury indicted David Daleiden and another pro-life activist, Sandra Merritt, behind the videos. Instead of prosecuting Planned Parenthood for selling aborted baby parts, Daleiden was indicted for buying them.
Daleiden and Merritt were charged with one felony related to tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to buying human tissue. The felony charge was in reference to the use of a fake ID. If convicted, Daleiden faces 20 years in prison while Planned Parenthood officials face no legal consequences for their actions.
At the same time, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson (pictured) announced that Harris County’s investigation into the criminal conduct at Houston’s Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has ended. Anderson said that the case is closed and that she has no further recourse.
The announcement of the closure of the Planned Parenthood investigation and indictment of Daldiden is very concerning for pro-life advocates — in part because a Planned Parenthood board member works as a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office.
The pro-life group Operation Rescue informed LifeNews.com that a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s office serves on the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood.
Lauren Reeder is a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s criminal family law division. She apparently notified District Attorney Devon Anderson of her role with Planned Parenthood last week. Reeder is listed as a non-compensated “Director” on the 990 Tax Form for 2014 filed by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.
Anderson told the Houston Chronicle that Reeder “will not be involved in any manner in this investigation. If at any time in the future, reliable and credible information is brought to my attention that would question our ability to continue to perform a fair, thorough and independent investigation of this matter due to her board membership, I will revisit the issue of seeking the appointment of an independent prosecutor and act accordingly.”
Before yesterday’s announcement of the indictment, Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who also serves on the Board of the Center for Medical Progress, which released videotaped evidence against Planned Parenthood, told LifeNews.com a special prosecutor is needed because of the clear conflict of interest at the D.A.’s office.
“Today, we renew our call to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and District Attorney Devon Anderson to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate Planned Parenthood,” Newman told LifeNews. “There are too many questions about the independence of the Harris County District Attorney’s office with a Planned Parenthood board member on hand and given the failure of a previous grand jury under Anderson to indict a Houston abortion provider despite ample photographic evidence and eye-witness testimony of late-term babies being born alive and intentionally killed. The public needs to be assured that an impartial investigation will be conducted on the facts and not on a personal political agenda.”
Today, Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Vice President of Operation Rescue is incensed that Daleiden was charged and that the grand jury’s work was politically motivated. Here is her statement to LifeNews:
We were disappointed, to say the least, by the news that a grand jury chose to indict the investigative journalists who were trying to expose and report crimes in Houston, Texas. This has the effect of chilling the First Amendment freedom of the press and could scare crime witnesses away from coming forward for fear that they might suffer similar retaliatory prosecution.
Because of the secrecy surrounding the grand jury process, it is susceptible to manipulation by a prosecutor with a personal or political agenda. In Kansas, abortion-related grand juries were so influenced by unscrupulous prosecutors who sought to cover up abortion crimes that the State Legislature is now attempting to change the laws to make the process more transparent and accountable to the people.
In Daleiden’s case, once the facts are allowed to come out, which Planned Parenthood and the NAF have worked night and day to conceal or misrepresent, we have every confidence that Daleiden and Merritt will be completely exonerated. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood remains under investigation by other state agencies in Texas, which we believe will reach different conclusions than that of the Anderson-influenced grand jury in Houston.
Meanwhile, a top pro-life attorney finds the conflict of interest very concerning.
“What happened in Texas is very troubling,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, which is involved in defending human life. “By giving Planned Parenthood a pass and indicting two pro-life journalists who merely revealed this horrific practice through their undercover work, the action of this local grand jury raises serious questions about the appropriate use of our legal system.”
Sekulow added: “When you consider the fact that one of the prosecutors in the Harris County district attorney’s office is deeply involved with Planned Parenthood – serving as a board member for the local Planned Parenthood affiliate in Texas where the undercover investigation took place – along with the fact that she has served as an active fundraiser for Planned Parenthood for years – you have to ask the question – was this probe tainted? Was there a conflict of interest that produced a biased result?”
Other investigations into Planned Parenthood’s actions are still underway and officials in Texas say the grand jury action will have no bearing on their probe as it continues to move forward.
“The fact remains that the videos exposed the horrific nature of abortion and the shameful disregard for human life of the abortion industry,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Updated at 7:54 p.m. EST to include a statement from the Center for Medical Progress.
HOUSTON, January 25, 2016 LifeSiteNews – The lead investigator behind the undercover Planned Parenthood videos faces up to 20 years in prison after a Houston grand jury decided on Monday not to charge Planned Parenthood with any wrongdoing – and instead indicted him for offering to purchase human organs from the abortion provider.
Center for Medical Progress lead investigator David Daleiden faces a second-degree felony charge of “tampering with a governmental record,” and a misdemeanor charge for violating the state’s “prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs.”
That is, jurors in the state of Texas are accusing David Daleiden of trying to illegally traffic in aborted babies’ body parts.
The jurors pressed the same charges against Sandra Merritt, who claimed to be “Susan Tennenbaum,” the CEO of BioMax, on its incorporation papers.
Texas state law only allows someone to be charged with such a serious felony “if the actor’s intent in committing the offense was to defraud or harm another.”
That felony charge alone carries a punishment of not less than two, and not more than 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Ironically, the investigation began after Daleiden and Merritt posed as business associates eager to pay Planned Parenthood to furnish human body parts that its fictitious company would use in scientific experiments – something they hoped would expose the abortion industry’s criminal wrongdoing.
URGENT: Sign the petition to the Harris County Grand Jury urging them to drop the charges against David Daleiden and his associates. Click here.
Their cameras caught the director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, seemingly admitting to multiple felonies and ethics violations, including making a profit from human organ trafficking and altering the abortion process unnecessarily in order to get “the best specimens.”
“If we alter our process, and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers,” she said in the fifth CMP video, which also featured the dissection of a 20-week-old aborted baby inside its Houston abortion facility. “We bake that into our contract, and our protocol, that…we deviate from our standard [of care] in order to do that.”
Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick demanded officials launch an investigation into the “appalling” footage last July.
Governor Greg Abbott moved to expel the abortion provider from the state Medicaid system last October. Officials from the Office of Inspector General raided multiple Planned Parenthood offices statewide, as well.
Instead, jurors turned their guns on Daleiden.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, who was appointed to her position in 2013 by Governor Rick Perry after her husband’s death, said she supported the grand jury’s decision.
“We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast,” Anderson said in a medial statement. “As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us. All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury.”
“I respect their decision on this difficult case,” Anderson said.
Planned Parenthood officials in the Lone Star State said the Houston grand jury had vindicated them. “The people behind this fraud lied and broke the law in order to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood to advance their extreme anti-abortion political agenda,” said Melaney Linton, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. “As the dust settles and the truth comes out, it’s become totally clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the criminals behind this fraud, and we’re glad they are being held accountable.”
Notwithstanding the Harris County indictment, the state investigation into Planned Parenthood will continue, officials say.
“The Health and Human Service Commission’s Inspector General and the Attorney General’s office have an ongoing investigation into Planned Parenthood’s actions,” said Gov. Abbott in a press release Monday. “Nothing about today’s announcement in Harris County impacts the state’s ongoing investigation.”
“The state of Texas will continue to protect life, and I will continue to support legislation prohibiting the sale or transfer of fetal tissue,” he vowed.
CMP defended itself from the allegations Monday evening. “We respect the processes of the Harris County District Attorney, and note that buying fetal tissue requires a seller, as well,” the group said. “Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see.”
Pro-life advocates said the decision to indict someone for the very practice he exposed turned reality on its head. Sean Davis, the co-founder of The Federalist website, tweeted:
His reference is to Kafka’s work The Trial, a legal dystopian story in which the accused is assumed to be guilty from the outset.
URGENT: Sign the petition to the Harris County Grand Jury urging them to drop the charges against David Daleiden and his associates. Click here.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson
Phone: (713) 274-5800
The true story is spreading far and wide: following a years-long effort by a unique pro-life coalition, an abortion center in Selma, Alabama which had been operating illegally has finally closed its doors. This city of historic significance in the national civil rights struggle has now taken a stand against the injustice of abortion.
Yet the full story isn’t only about cooperation and effective advocacy among local pro-life advocates, with an assist from national groups. As one deeply involved for over a decade in Alabama’s movement to protect innocent lives, I saw how prayer played a role in these events as never before.
On May 21, 2015, I received a call from Catherine Davis of The Selma Project, asking that Bound4LIFE Birmingham take part in a historical march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. All eyes have been on this small Alabama town because of the Oscar-winning film Selma, marking one of America’s greatest civil rights battles which took place in this city.
But this march would be different. Catherine Davis was calling for intercessors, unnamed and without fame, who would fast and pray for the mission of uprooting an illegal abortion business being run by Samuel Lett — a back-alley abortionist using The Central Alabama Women’s Clinic as his office.
Father Terry Gensemer of CEC for Life had uncovered this horrific reality two years before; he joined efforts with Davis and other pro-life leaders to end this injustice in our state.
Davis made it clear that The Selma Project was a pro-life coalition rooted in intercession for the ending of abortion — believers praying from a posture of repentance. When we spoke over the phone, continually that one word was on our lips: repentance. We understood our gathering would be centered on God’s intercessors owning the sin of our nation and state, chiefly the corruption of abortion.
We would gather, acknowledging before our Lord that we repent for the darkness of abortion and the way it has corrupted our culture — and ended the lives of our children. We need Jesus to step into our mess and heal our land. In that posture of humility, the greatest shakings can come.
On Juneteenth, a significant date to African-Americans across our nation as the day that slavery ended, intercessors would gather to pray and the next day to march. The Selma Project would expose this illegal abortion center as we came before the courts of Heaven, having faith for healing in this historic city.
Catherine Davis understands the implications of abortion in the black community, making our march on Juneteenth a prophetic sign to the rest of the nation: injustice against these innocent unborn lives must end and will end.
When we arrived Friday evening, June 19, we entered a church filled with pro-life intercessors whom I’ve grown very close to. Some drove from Atlanta, some flew in from Dallas, others from Washington, DC and beyond. It was the sweetest reunion with some of the greatest life intercessors on this side of Heaven. I knew in that moment that I was witnessing history, the kind of history written in the eternal book.
We squeezed into a small sanctuary and lost no time in praying and crying out for Jesus to hear us in our trouble, in our darkness, in our sin. Prayer was intertwined with seasoned leaders speaking including Alveda King (niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.), Father Terry Gensemer, William Ford, Dehavilland Ford, Charmaine Yoest and Star Parker.
Pro-life intercessors prayed on the microphone, interceding as the packed church agreed fervently for Jesus’ life to break open injustice in Selma. The groundwork was being laid that night. We were preparing the steps for the march the next morning.
Truth be told, the power of the weekend came in those late hours of intercession. The march was only the final clack of the gavel. The march was the public declaration of God’s intercessors taking hold as conquerors, trusting in the power of the One who responds to our weak cries.
Catherine Davis had given Bound4LIFE Birmingham the honor of passing out Life Tape to all who gathered to march and pray with us that next morning across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. We arrived early, greeting the people who came and giving them Life Tape that they would wear across their mouths as they prayed silently.
Along with the Life Tape were large posters proclaiming #BlackWomenMatter, expressing the great value of Selma’s women and their babies. Their lives are worthy of protection, honor and justice. It was a beautiful scene of people of all ages, backgrounds and racial differences uniting for pro-life prayer.
In an important moment before we marched behind Alveda King, Charmaine Yoest and Catherine Davis, we knelt in solemnness facing the city of Selma. It was a heavy moment, knowing we ached for every intercession we made the night before; we needed the Holy Spirit to make intercessions for us now as we proceeded with desperation and weeping.
As we began marching, I grasped hands with one of my best friends and a fellow abolitionist — Christina Marie Bennett — and we wept. My husband Matthew also took the hand of our foster child, who with his other little hand reached out to our friend Corry Robinson, a pro-life worship leader and minister based in Orlando.
It was a beautiful picture of the church, holding together and pressing forward in prayer for justice and life. As we came to the end of the bridge, we gathered for a press conference — asking for state authorities to take action and prevent Samuel Lett from continuing his illegal and horrific business.
When our time ended, we lingered. We sat together, talking and praying some more. It was bittersweet to leave one another; we felt a desire to wait together in the next hours to see what Heaven would do now.
We would not need to wait further than the end of the year to get a glimpse of the victory. Father Terry Gensemer announced on December 30 that the abortion center was shut down, and the historic city of Selma could be considered abortion-free.
The Selma Project and all the intercessions made in that historic weekend would have an incredible and immeasurable outcome. Father God won the battle for His children when He heard our prayers; now we continue on to see life spring forth and injustice fall in our land.
As we enter into a new year, with new statistics and political considerations foremost in our hearts and minds, intercessors hope. We bask in the joy of this newfound victory that came quickly this year in our dear city of Selma, Alabama. We dream of telling our grandchildren about how Jesus moved, and we were there to see it.
We don’t bask too long, but to praise God for His mercy and His hand on our land. We move forward to pray deeper, to march further for freedom, for the future generations of our nation and all nations.
The word of God speaks directly to what our nation faces today. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we see what God spoke millennia ago to a national leader: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
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Parents who were told by doctors to end life support for their premature daughter because of the cost, have now celebrated her third birthday.
Faith Snell was born at 25 weeks in December 2012, weighing just 1lb 2oz.
She spent the first six weeks of her life in intensive care after suffering a brain haemorrhage during an emergency caesarean section.
Quality of life
Faith lost 60 per cent of the function in the left side of her brain, and doctors told parents Leanne and Anthony that she would not be able to walk, talk or have any quality of life.
Leanne and Anthony had already lost a child, Zander, who was stillborn at 22 weeks in 2010.
The couple were twice recommended to turn off their daughter Faith’s life support machine.
Leanne said that on the second occasion, doctors said “Are you sure? It’s going to cost us a lot of money”.
She told the doctors, “my daughter’s life is a lot more important than money”.
Leanne and Anthony took Faith home in April 2013 expecting her to be on oxygen for four years – yet a week later she was breathing on her own.
She now suffers from hemiplegia, which means she will never have much movement in the right-hand side of her body.
With the help of physiotherapy, Faith learned to crawl at 18 months and took her first steps aided by leg splints after she had turned two.
Leanne said: “She can talk more than they thought she would be able to. She can play, she can draw and she’s really good at counting.”
“Her consultant thinks that she will just live a normal life and go to a normal school”.
“She is a bit clumsy and she gets frustrated with things like eating because she can’t use her right hand so she can’t feed herself.
“But I just want people to know that it is not all bad”, she added.
Referring to the hospital’s advice to turn off Faith’s life support, Leanne said: “Seeing how well she has done now I feel angry and sad that they even gave us the option”.
“If we did we wouldn’t know what we do now. Every time Faith does something new I think ‘If I’d turned the machines off I never would have seen this’.”
The Christian Institute’s ‘Choose Life’ series highlighted stories of parents who chose not to abort.
Writer and broadcaster Hilary McDowell was given a life expectancy of three weeks when she was born.
Doctors said she would never walk and possibly never speak but today her success in many fields means she travels the globe for writing and speaking engagements.
She said: “Every child deserves life”.
By: John Stonestreet