Argentina house votes to legalise abortion

Originally published in Life Site News

Lawmakers in one chamber of Argentina’s legislature voted on Thursday to legalise abortion.

By a vote of 129 to 123, the chamber of deputies, the lower chamber of the country’s Congress, approved a bill to legalise abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy, as well as late-term abortions in cases of fetal deformity or to protect mothers’ “psychological” health. The result brings the country one step closer to erasing its constitutional protection for preborn babies except in cases of rape or threats to a mother’s life.

The vote was so close that a majority was prepared to reject it as late as three hours before it happened, until La Pampa province lawmaker Sergio Ziliotto announced a last-minute change of heart for himself and two colleagues.

Today’s vote sends the measure to the Argentinian Senate, where it is expected to fail, according to The Economist.

Argentinian President Mauricio Macri claims to be pro-life, but has said he will not veto the bill if it reaches his desk, in deference to the will of the legislature.

The vote follows a contentious public debate both domestically and worldwide, with more than 3 million Argentinians marching to protest repeal and international “human rights” watchdogs shaming Argentina for protecting the rights of preborn humans. Polls have shown the public narrowly divided on the question in the run-up to the vote.

The legislature heard emotional testimony on both sides of the debate, including a man who could have been aborted and a woman who had a secret abortion in a doctor’s apartment kitchen in the 1990s.

“All my life I knew I was adopted: My last name is ‘Walter’ — German — and you’ll notice I’m not that German,” 43-year-old engineer Javier Walter testified, the Washington Times reports. “[My grandmother] told me, ‘I have to ask you for forgiveness … because I wanted for you not to be born.’ And the first thing I did [was] to hug her.”

Actress and singer Muriel Santa Ana, meanwhile, claimed the real choice was not whether abortions will happen, but between “secret abortion or legal abortion.”

Pro-abortion activists claim Argentina’s abortion laws fail to prevent half a million abortions a year, many of which lead to fatal complications and other life-altering harm to women. Therefore, they argue, banning abortion does nothing but make abortions happening anyway more dangerous.

Americans United for Life addressed these arguments in a 2012 report on the state of abortion in Latin America. Citing statistics from Argentina’s National Ministry of Health, it found that illegal abortions represent a small percentage of maternal deaths, 74 out of 306 in 2007.

Further, the report quoted the World Health Organization as acknowledging that “hospital structure” was the “most important variable” to determining maternal deaths. “The availability of essential obstetric care, active emergencies and experts” must be addressed to save women’s lives, AUL concluded, rather than legalising abortion.

Regardless of whether the bill itself ultimately prevails, the vote serves as a marker of a shifting culture, with pro-abortion activists certain it’s just a matter of time before Argentina legalises abortion. If so, it would follow Ireland as another predominantly Catholic nation abandoning the faith’s traditional protection of human life.

Poll shows pro-life shift in US, raises hope abortion will end through love

Originally published in CBN News

A recent Gallup poll shows most Americans are not in favor of abortion on demand. According to the survey, however, while “most do not favor an outright ban” on abortion, they do “want limits” on the practice.

The nationwide study, based on the results from more than 1,000 respondents throughout all 50 states, concludes that there is some movement on the pro-life front.

It seems to show that 53% of those surveyed believe abortion should only be allowed under certain circumstances.

Catherine Glenn Foster, who serves as the president and CEO of Americans United for Life, is encouraged by the numbers.

“The latest Gallup numbers on abortion are very encouraging for the pro-life community,” Foster told CBN News.

They show that the percentage of Americans who self-identify as “pro-life” has skyrocketed by 15% since the mid-1990s and now totals 48%. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who self-identify as “pro-choice” has plummeted by 8 percent to 48%, says Foster.

Another question asked in the probe is whether abortion is morally wrong.

The study shows that “by a slim five-percentage-point margin, 48-43%, Americans believe abortion is wrong from a moral perspective.”

Abby Johnson, president of And Then There Were None and author of Unplanned, is encouraged by the new findings.

“Abortion already has a stigma attached to it, as it should, because it ends at least one life and harms many others,” she told CBN News. “The majority of Americans recognise this, which is encouraging. If the culture continues to move in this direction, in the direction of realizing the destruction abortion causes, we will make abortion unthinkable.”

Johnson thinks she has the remedy for ending abortion in this country: “Loving those who work in the abortion industry and helping them to get out of it,” she said.

“I believe we will see the number of Americans who see abortion as morally wrong and choose to not support it go up,” she told CBN News.

The same study found also found that polygamy and married people having affairs was morally wrong, too.

Some 78% said they found “polygamy, when a married person has more than one spouse at the same time,” to be wrong while a whopping 88% felt that married people having extramarital affairs was wrong.

One out of four of those surveyed also found that suicide was morally wrong.

Overall, pro-life advocates are excited about the survey.

Foster added, “This shows us that the more Americans learn about abortion and get to the facts of the issue rather than the often-overwrought and polemic political rhetoric that surrounds it, the more life-affirming their positions become. And that is news we can all celebrate!”

As for abortion, Johnson is hopeful the country’s loss of some 60 million pre-born babies will be a wake-up call for America.

Johnson, who worked in the abortion industry for eight years and who witnessed a baby in the womb fighting for its life, thinks “abortion will end in this nation and it will end through love.”

On her website, she adds, “The most important thing to know is that I believe in forgiveness, mercy, and redemption. No one is beyond the amazing power of Christ and His love.”

Cheers, prayers for Israel as 2-million take part in March for Jesus in Brazil

Israel’s counsul Dori Goren, center, joined Evangelical Christians, who waved Israeli flags and prayed for the Jewish state during the March for Jesus on May 31 in Sao Paulo. (PHOTO: Courtesy/Israel’s consulate in Sao Paulo)

About two million Christians took to the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, last Thursday, for the annual March for Jesus.

The crowd cheered for Israel, waved Israeli flags and prayed for the Jewish state and for the first time in nearly 20 years, Jewish officials were invited to attend the event, including Israel’s consul Dori Goren and the president of the local B’nai B’rith branch, Zeila Sliozbergas.


‘Kingdom of God will be on display at Africa March For Jesus on June 16’

“Attending the march is our way to express our gratitude for the evangelical people and the Brazilian people,” said Goren, addressing the gathering from the stage. “The people of Israel bless Brazil and the evangelical people of Brazil.”

The consul received applause for saying that he expected to see the Brazilian embassy transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem soon. He recalled the role of Brazilian diplomat Osvaldo Aranha, who presided over the United Nations vote in 1947 in favor of the resolution that partitioned the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab.

“There is a very important alliance between Brazilian Christians and the State of Israel,” Gorel told the Gospel Prime news website. “It was a blessing to be able to see the affection of Brazilians for their country and that it was a great celebration of friendship between the two peoples.”

Pilgrims from Argentina, Mexico, the United States and some African countries joined the event, a 4km parade surrounded by sound trucks playing gospel music.

Global evangelist Andrew Palau, son of Luis Palau, was the featured speaker. Focusing his message on John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” – Palau ended his message with a clear call to faith and repentance. The sea of hands that raised in affirmation to his call was evidence of the impact of the Word. He went on to imploring those who had publicly confessed Jesus Christ to dig into Scripture, get their roots deep into a local church, and pursue God daily. The local participating churches will work over the next several weeks to connect with and disciple those who made decisions.

Established in 1993, Sao Paulo’s March for Jesus is among the biggest religious events in Brazil, the country with the world’s largest Catholic population and second-largest Christian population after the United States.

Sao Paulo is home to half of Brazil’s 120 000-strong Jewish community.

Prayer and gospel team carries giant cross through Chicago

Pastor Phil Nelson, right, with his daughter Hannah, and the other two members of the team, Steve and Trish Whitaker.

Originally published in Baptist Press

The idea came to Phil Nelson after preaching through the book of Jonah. If the prophet’s preaching judgment on Nineveh made the whole city repent and turn to God, he wondered what would happen if someone preached not just judgment, but hope.

Nelson and a small team from his church in southern Illinois, Lakeland Baptist in Carbondale, ventured to Chicago — more than 482 km to the north — for a two-week prayer walk through the city.

Carrying a 3-metre-tall, 36 kg wooden cross, Nelson, his daughter Hannah and Steve and Trish Whitaker walked through some of Chicago’s toughest neighbourhoods in May, stopping to pray with people and share the gospel.

“There is something about carrying a cross through the streets of a city that just causes people to stop and think about Christ,” Nelson said.

“When we decide to go out and become public about our faith, not in an abrasive way, but when we decide to make Jesus known and make Him famous, God sends people in our direction,” the pastor said.

No city too difficult for God
The team wore T-shirts with the words “Hope for the city” on the front and a paraphrase of Deuteronomy 2:36 on the back: No city too difficult for God.

As they walked, people saw the cross and came over to talk about it. People called out to them from car windows, Nelson said. A Chicago Tribune reporter came out to interview the team. They prayed at every public school, hospital, church and police station they passed. Some local Christians and pastors joined them as they walked a total of 120 km and saw six professions of faith.

The team stayed overnight in 10 different host churches. At the end of each day, the walkers went back to their host church for the evening and led a prayer meeting simulcast on Facebook, with up to 500 people joining them nightly online, Nelson said.

Rick Dorsey, pastor of Beacon Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago Heights, helped facilitate the walk in Chicago, enlisting host churches and posting updates on the Facebook page of the Chicago Metro Baptist Association.

Dorsey’s wife Cheryl, a prayer coordinator for the Chicago association, shared an encounter from day one of the walk:

“The very first interaction of the day came from a young woman who was surely sent by the Holy Spirit, because she said, ‘I saw your T-Shirts and the cross, and I came over because my life is messed up, I’m troubled and confused, I want my life to change and be better, and I just need someone to pray for me,'” Dorsey wrote.

“We spoke with Cynthia for several minutes, tried to encourage her through her disappointments, shared with her the hope of the gospel, and we did pray for her. She said that she wanted to know Christ in her heart, and she said yes to the Lord, and gave her heart to Christ quite sincerely.”

Prayerwalk team member Hannah Nelson, right, prays for a woman in Chicago alongside Marcello, a local youth pastor who joined the team for the day as they carried the cross through the city’s south side.

Prayer should be connected to evangelism
The prayer walk reflected an important truth, said Phil Miglioratti, prayer ministries consultant for the Illinois Baptist State Association: Prayer should be connected to evangelism.

“Talking to God about people should always lead us to talking to those people about God,” Miglioratti said. “[Nelson’s] mission, coming from southern Illinois to Chicago, was tremendously encouraging to the hard-working pastors and church leaders here in Chicagoland.”

For their journey’s second week, the team moved to the city’s north side, carrying the cross through several communities before traveling back to Carbondale.

As they met people along the way, Nelson said the response to their effort was similar, whether or not the person was a believer in Christ: “This is exactly what the city needs.”

“Whether they’re a believer or an atheist, they’re all in agreement that Chicago needs prayer,” Nelson said.

The pastor said he plans to continue leading Lakeland Baptist’s prayer walks and enlist local believers in other cities in the years ahead, beginning with Springfield, Illinois, then St Louis; Louisville, Kentucky; and Memphis, Tennessee.

US Supreme Court rules Christian baker can refuse to make gay wedding cakes

Baker Jack Phillips speaks with the media following oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., December 5, 2017.

Originally published in The Christian Post

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favour of Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips on Monday in overwhelming fashion, saying that the state government’s hostility towards his refusal to make a same-sex wedding cake violated the US Constitution.

In a 7-2 vote, the nation’s highest court ruled that the state of Colorado violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment when it penalized Phillips and his Masterpiece Cake shop in Lakewood for violating a state discrimination law by refusing to bake a custom cake to celebrate the wedding of Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig.

“The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression,” a summary of court’s majority opinion states.

“While it is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.”

The court reasoned that Phillips use of his artistic abilities to make a wedding cake carries a “significant First Amendment speech component and implicates his deep and sincere religious beliefs.”

“His dilemma was understandable in 2012, which was before Colorado recognized the validity of gay marriages performed in the State and before this Court issued United States v. Windsor,” the ruling explained. “Given the State’s position at the time, there is some force to Phillips’ argument that he was not unreasonable in deeming his decision lawful.”

The court points out that Colorado law at the time gave the storekeepers “some latitude to decline to create specific messages they considered offensive.”

“Indeed, while the instant enforcement proceedings were pending, the State Civil Rights Division concluded in at least three cases that a baker acted lawfully in declining to create cakes with decorations that demeaned gay persons or gay marriages,” the court stated. “Phillips too was entitled to a neutral and respectful consideration of his claims in all the circumstances of the case.”

The court criticised the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s clear bias against Phillips’ Christian beliefs, which first ruled that Phillips violated that state discrimination law after the couple filed a complaint. The opinion states that the commission showed a “clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection.”

“At several points during its meeting, commissioners endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, implying that religious beliefs and persons are less than fully welcome in Colorado’s business community,” the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy states. “One commissioner suggested that Phillips can believe ‘what he wants to believe,’ but cannot act on his religious beliefs ‘if he decides to do business in the state.'”

The opinion even stated that the “commissioner even went so far as to compare Phillips’ invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust.”

“This sentiment is inappropriate for a Commission charged with the solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s antidiscrimination law — a law that protects discrimination on the basis of religion as well as sexual orientation,” the opinion states.

The court also stated that more evidence of “hostility” towards Phillips was shown by the fact that he received “different treatment” than that of the bakers with objections to making cakes that were deemed to have “anti-gay” messages.

The two justices who dissented were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner, who defended Phillips in the case, said in a statement that “government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society.”

“The court was right to condemn that,” she said. “Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a society like ours. This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage.”

Following the court’s ruling, many Christian leaders took to social media to voice their support of the decision.

“We thank God for answered prayer!” Franklin Graham wrote on Twitter. “Today the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony. This is a huge win for religious freedom!”

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, also said that the ruling is a “win.”

“What we don’t need are governments forcing people to use their gifts to say things that go against their deepest-held convictions,” Moore said in a video statement. “So this ruling is a win not only for those of us who are Christians who hold to a pro-marriage, pro-family viewpoint but also for all Americans for freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.”

Despite the outcome, the American Civil Liberties Union, the law firm representing the couple, argued that the court’s ruling was “based on concerns specific to the case.”

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips on Monday in overwhelming fashion, saying that the state government’s hostility towards his refusal to make a same-sex wedding cake violated the U.S. Constitution.

In a 7-2 vote, the nation’s high court ruled that the state of Colorado violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment when it penalized Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood for violating a state discrimination law by refusing to bake a custom cake to celebrate the wedding of Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig.

“The Court did NOT rule that the Constitution gives a right to discriminate,” the law group wrote on Twitter.

“As a nation, we’ve already rejected the idea that businesses open to the public have a license to discriminate against people because of who they are,” another ACLU tweet reads.

Conservative blogger Matt Walsh made a similar argument.

“Do not call this ‘a huge win for religious liberty.’ It simply isn’t,” he wrote in a tweet. “That is an inaccurate and misleading statement. This is a huge win for Jack Phillips, specifically, but it does precisely nothing to help the general cause of religious liberty.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom will hold a press call Monday afternoon to answer questions about the ruling.

‘Greenville Awakening’ in 7th week, going strong

A tent which has been erected to host the services which are outgrowing the church in Greenville, Tennessee.

Originally published in CBN News

The flames of revival are swirling in Northeastern Tennessee these days as a revival in Greeneville scheduled for one week is now in its seventh with no signs of stopping.

“There’s no end to it; when God says it’s done; it’ll be done,” evangelist DR Harrison told CBN News. “We may be here six months; we may be here six years.”

Harrison said he was scheduled to preach a one-week revival beginning April 15 at the Greystone Freewill Baptist Church, but God had different plans.

“We came in that first week, and God met with us in a mighty way,” he shared. “I believe there was 22 people saved the first week, and the pastor asked me about praying about staying over and starting up week number two, and so I did.”

“It just began building from there,” Harrison continued. “The crowds began to build, and as we went through week two, there was quite a bit more saved.”

“And then God just kept leading us to go to week three,” he explained. “And the crowds kept building to standing room only – couldn’t even get ’em in the building.”

Harrison told CBN News that so far around 125 people have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior at the #GreenevilleAwakening.

“We’re seeing sinners get born into the family of God,” he said.

He explained it’s not a Baptist revival, but people from several denominations are attending.

“There has been Methodists, Presbyterians, Nazarenes, Church of God, Baptists. It’s just been a community-wide revival,” he said. “The hunger that people have had for this has been outstanding. It’s just been unbelievable.”

The evangelist said because they were running out of room at the church, he and the pastor began to pray, and God opened a door through a North Carolina man.

“God gave me an 80 by 140 vinyl tent, Gospel tent,” Harrison said. “It seats around 1,500 people. God gave that to us two weeks ago, and it’s just been amazing to see what God has done!”

The #GreenvilleAwakening moves to the tent, which is located in nearby Chuckey, Tennessee, on June 11. Harrison shared that people from around seven or eight different states plan to attend the revival once it’s held in the tent.

“The excitement is just building,” he said. “It almost has a feel of what Burlington (North Carolina) had where I got saved at. And it’s just God in these last days is pouring out His Spirit, and what God is doing in this town is nothing but supernatural.”

Harrison accepted Christ at a revival in Burlington, North Carolina, in 2016. He said the Lord set him free of alcoholism and pornography addiction and also called him to go into full-time ministry.

“It’s humbling to know that God would even use me,” he shared. “God just took an old drunk – that’s all I was – just a drunk preacher’s kid – and He saved me in a supernatural revival such as Burlington was, calling me to preach.”

“And He did all that because He had big plans for my life,” Harrison continued. “And I’m just humbled to be a part of it.”

The evangelist said he and his team are preparing for overflow crowds. Revival services are held Monday through Friday, starting at 7 pm.

“We’ve committed and this town has committed to staying under that tent until God’s finished,” he said. “And we’re just praying that God will save a mighty harvest of souls.”

“Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people in this town are lost, and I believe God has ordained ‘for such a time as this’ to reach this town and not just this town but this state and possibly this nation out of this revival,” Harrison shared.

Irish pro-lifers vow to fight on after poll supports repeal of abortion ban

Irish pro-life campaigners campaigning for the protection of the eighth amendment. (PHOTO: LoveBoth Project Facebook page)

Originally published in Life Site

Pro-life groups in Ireland say they’ll regroup and keep fighting to defend unborn children as the battle shifts to rearguard action after Friday’s majority vote for legal abortion.

Nearly 66% of a 64% turnout of Irish citizens voted to repeal the country’s Eighth Amendment, which recognises the unborn child’s right to life, in a result pro-life leaders described as tragic and heartbreaking.

Health Minister Simon Harris said after Saturday’s vote count he would ask for cabinet approval as early as Tuesday to turn the government’s draft law into a proposed legislative text, the Guardian reported.

Harris said he’s hoping to bring in legislation on abortion in “early autumn” and Irish Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said the law will change within six months to allow abortion.

Holding the Prime Minister to his promise
“We will hold the Taoiseach to his promise that repeal would only lead to abortion in very restrictive circumstances,” countered Dr Ruth Cullen, spokesperson of the LoveBoth campaign, on Saturday.

“He gave his word on this, now he must deliver on it. No doubt many people voted for repeal based on the Taoiseach’s promises in this regard,” said Cullen, as quoted in the Irish Catholic.

Pro-life activist Cora Sherlock, deputy chair of the Pro-life Campaign, reiterated in a tweet the day before the referendum that the government was proposing unrestricted abortion.

“Tomorrow’s vote is about abortion on demand. It’s not restrictive, it’s not limited. A vote for repeal would introduce abortion laws more extreme than the law in Britain where 1 in 5 babies are lost to abortion,” she noted.

She tweeted Saturday the fight wasn’t over.

“We now have to hold the government to what they have said, that they want to see a situation where abortion will be rare,” Sherlock told Reuters.

She told the Irish Independent that she was “very, very upset” by the vote.

“I will accept the will of the Irish people, at the same time I will make it very clear what I feel of the campaign that has taken place,” she said. “We will now regroup and find out what our next move is.”

What the draft law allows
The government’s draft law will allow abortion on demand in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, after a three-day waiting period, according to the Guardian.

The proposed law permits abortion after the 12th week on the grounds of alleged risk to the mother’s life or “serious risk” to her health, or for alleged fatal foetal abnormality, and with approval by two doctors.

It will restrict abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy but allow it at any stage for alleged fatal foetal abnormality.

“We will oppose that legislation,” John McGuirk of Save the 8th campaign noted in a statement Saturday. “If and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland, because of the inability of the government to keep their promise about a GP-led service, we will oppose that as well.”

Irish-American founder Chris Slattery of the New York-based Expectant Mothers Care, urged pro-life advocates in Ireland to launch “alternative to abortion” centres aimed at those with unplanned pregnancies, reported the Irish Times.

“Pro-life outreach” to expectant mothers is needed in Ireland given the “now, inevitable, upcoming launch of abortion facilities, sooner or later,” said Slattery, who travelled to Dublin to campaign to save the amendment.

People celebrate Ireland repealing abortion restrictions. (PHOTO: Reuters)

International response to the repeal
“They’re calling it a landslide — I call it a national tragedy,” Franklin Graham posted to Facebook.

Charisma News reports Graham as going on to say:

“So now, what they have decided is that the stronger have the right to take the life of the weaker. At least 33% of the country got it right. Just because the majority who voted say that murdering the unborn should be legal, doesn’t mean that it’s right. Just because the Hutus in Rwanda had a majority and wanted to kill all the Tutsis, that doesn’t make it right. For many years in the United States, the majority thought slavery was okay and should be legal, but that doesn’t make it right. No matter what country you live in, everyone needs to remember that you will stand before God one day and give an account for your actions — and it may be sooner than later.”

Human Life International Ireland described the referendum as “a day when we, as a nation, have rejected God by rejecting the unborn children He will gift us with — little ones, made in His image and likeness,” in a Saturday statement from executive director Patrick McCrystal.

The Knock-based affiliate of American Human Life International is going to “tackle the roots of the crisis” by educating people on the “eternal, unchanging and liberating truths of the Catholic faith,” beginning with a conference on Humanae Vitae in Dublin this summer.

“There has been an unprecedented amount of prayer and fasting in the build-up to this moment from the remnant of the faithful in this country, and around the world. We have repented. We have wept for the sins of our people, and we are convinced that the Lord has heard our prayers,” McCrystal wrote.

“We must endure this pain as a purification for our collective sins and then we must step forward in total faith that the Lord will rescue His beloved people. Following the crucifixion is the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” he added.

“With God’s help, as a nation, we will rise again.”

Trump funding ban forces international abortion giants to cut African operations

A baby with mother in Uganda (PHOTO: Human Life International via Lifesite News).

Two of the world’s most prolific abortion performers have been forced to partially shut down their operations in Africa, thanks to one of Donald Trump’s earliest actions as president.

The UK-based Marie Stopes International (MSI) has closed 22 of its 62 Madagascar-based outreach teams, 17 of its 35 in Uganda, and 600 of its 1 200 in Zimbabwe, Church Militant reported. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has closed 22 programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Both groups will also be canceling programs in Togo, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso.

“Commitments have been made, but the money has not been forthcoming,” IPPF’s Kwamboka team complained. “This reliance on aid from other countries (…) cannot go on.”

The abortion giants’ financial woes stem from Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy last year, which bars the United States’ $8.8-billion (R110-billion) in foreign aid from being distributed to entities that perform abortions. Since Ronald Reagan conceived the policy, each president routinely reverses his opposing-party predecessor’s decision on it upon taking office, although Trump took the additional step of expanding it to groups that promote or discuss it.

The policy requires foreign aid recipients to certify that they will not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in foreign countries or provide financial support to any other foreign (NGO) that conducts such activities.”

The left-wing organisation calling itself Human Rights Watch claims the Mexico City Policy has a “devastating impact” because it also deprives countries of the nutrition, vaccination, child care, and other disease treatment services provided by the organizations that refuse to comply.

However, MSI and IPPF are two of only four non-government organizations (NGO) that have rejected the funds, and the aid money continues to be distributed to 733 other NGOs. Further, it is MSI and IPPF who ultimately chose to forgo the money in exchange for continuing abortions.

Mark Green, administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has testified before Congress that while it is impossible to financially meet all of the world’s needs, “(e)verything we are trying to do is to work with country partners on their journey to self-reliance – these countries one day should lead their own development.”

In addition, a 2010 report found that in Ethiopia, for instance, the Mexico City Policy has had a positive impact on the population’s understanding of abortion by leading to people to ask, “If abortion is a positive development for Ethiopian women’s health, then why does the U.S. government not support it?”

Restoring the Mexico City Policy was the first of numerous pro-life actions the Trump administration has taken, including pro-life judicial and administrative appointees, rolling back the Obamacare abortifacient coverage mandate, opening a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood, supporting abstinence education and religious liberty protections, advocating a ban on late-term abortions, and most recently cutting abortion facilities off from more than $50-million (R632.3-million) per year in family planning funds.

Thousands of UK children referred to transsexual clinic

Girls hugely outnumber boys in the gender clinic statistics

Originally published in The Christian Institute

Over two thousand children were referred to the NHS’ gender identity clinic in the United Kingdom in the past year, prompting fresh concerns that more and more young people are being pushed into transsexualism.

New statistics from the Tavistock and Portman trust showed children as young as four continue to be referred to its Gender Identity Development Service – as well as nearly 600 16-year-olds.

The figures are a 25% increase from the previous year, with girls outnumbering boys by more than two to one.

Stephanie Davies-Arai, of parents’ group Transgender Trend, issued a warning over the new figures.

“Teenagers are being influenced by an online culture which celebrates medical transition as cool.

“Girls especially are being encouraged to identify as boys if they don’t fit a stereotype. All debate is shut down as transphobic.”

In total 2 356 under 18-year olds were referred to the service. The largest age group consisted of teenagers between 14 and 17, although 157 children under ten were also encouraged to go.

Dr Polly Carmichael, Gender Identity Development Service Director, said there was “no single explanation” for the rise.

However, she acknowledged the increase in public discussion about transsexualism.

Currently in order to be legally recognised as the opposite sex, individuals must live as that sex for two years and be medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

But the Government is currently considering changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which could include ‘self-declaration’.

Earlier this month transsexual people spoke out against the idea, saying that allowing people to change sex with an “over-the-counter style self-declaration” blurs the distinction between those who have had surgery, and those who have no intention of doing so.

They said it was problematic when male-bodied people “demand the rights afforded to women as a protected sex, including access to their private spaces”.

Millions march for life in Argentina as abortion vote looms in national

Argentina March For Life.

Originally published in Life Site News

An estimated 3.6 million Argentinians came together in over 200 different cities in a national “March for Life” to manifest their support for the right to life on Sunday.

The massive show of support for life comes as Argentinian legislators prepare to vote on a bill that would legalize the killing of unborn children under almost any circumstances during the first 14 months of pregnancy.

Demonstrators chanted slogans like “I vote for life,” and carried signs saying, “I want to be born. I am eight weeks old. My life is in your hands,” according to the Argentinian newspaper La Nación. One protester told the newspaper, “We want to demonstrate to the deputies (of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower legislative house) that the people doesn’t want abortion to be permitted. It brings two lives to an end: the child’s and the woman’s.”

The precise estimate of 3.6 million demonstrators was provided by the organizers of the march and conveyed by the major media, which for its own part merely recognized that “thousands” had participated.

The estimated number dwarfs the figure of 350 000 demonstrators in a recent “Women’s Day” march in March of this year which supported the abortion legalization bill.

The event is the second mass demonstration against the legalization of abortion in Argentina in recent months. A previous demonstration on March 25 reportedly brought hundreds of thousands of Argentinians to the streets in over 200 cities nationwide.

The bill would allow anyone to claim they were raped, without having to offer proof, or to show that their “physical, psychological, or social health” was threatened by their pregnancy, and thereby to obtain an abortion without any legal penalty. It also permits abortions carried out to kill unborn children who suffer “grave fetal malformations.”

Under current law in Argentina, abortion is classified as “non-punishable” by the law in only two circumstances: pregnancy in cases of rape, and pregnancies in which the health or life of the mother is gravely threatened.

In practice, abortion is seldom approved under these standards in comparison to more liberal regimes. For example, the city of Rosario, which has a population of about 1.3 million inhabitants, had 450 non-punishable abortions in 2016, and the city of Buenos Aires, with a population of almost 2.9 million, allowed 563 non-punishable abortions. Those numbers would be likely to skyrocket if abortion were legalized under the more liberal regime proposed by pro-abortion legislators.

Legislators in the national congress are scheduled to vote on the bill on June 13. A majority in the Chamber of Deputies seems to oppose it, while the Senate reportedly has a solid pro-life majority.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation has reportedly spent more than five million dollars in the last decade funding the organizations that are now pushing for the approval of the abortion legalization bill in Argentina, a fact that has been decried by pro-life groups in the country. However, the IPPF’s expenditures seem not to be paying off.

Although a spate of early polls indicated that a majority of Argentinians were in favor of legalizing abortion, a recent poll commissioned by the government indicates that the number of those who support the pro-life side is now virtually equal to the number who approach the pro-abortion side: 46% to 45%.