A planned abortion debate at Oxford University organized by a pro-life group was shut down this week following intimidation by members of the Student Union's Women's Campaign group. A barrister has accused the college of caving into "criminal intimidation" and not respecting free speech rights.
"We only expected to have the same rights of expression as any other Oxford student society, and we're disappointed that scare tactics proved successful," the Oxford Students for Life group said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Our society exists to defend the rights of the most vulnerable, including the unborn, elderly, and disabled. We think it is essential that Oxford University allows an open debate on these issues. We're confident that most Oxford students would prefer free speech to censorship, and we look forward to continuing this hugely important conversation." more >>
"I had an abortion. I was not in a libertine college-girl phase, although frankly it's none of your business. I was already a mother of two, which puts me in the majority of American women who have abortions. Six out of 10 are mothers, which makes sense, because a mother could not fool herself into believing that having another baby was no big deal."
So opens a recent post by journalist Hanna Rosin on Slate.com's infamous XX Blog. This opening salvo, meant to shock us even though she goes on to tell us we shouldn't be shocked at all, is the introduction to her review of a book entitled Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. The author, Katha Pollitt, is apparently disgusted by the way the nefarious pro-life movement has successfully perpetuated the stigmatization of abortion. Her book encourages women to claim with pride the sacred right that's theirs and theirs alone: the right to kill their unborn child for any reason they deem suitable. Her book, according to Rosin (full disclosure, I have not read this book and so my response is based solely on Ms. Rosin's summary of Pollitt's main points) not only defends abortion as a woman's right, but venerates it as a social and moral good.
And Rosin apparently agrees with her. It's ridiculous, she tells us, that in 2014 anyone is still shocked by the fact of abortion. "[A]ny woman who's reading this piece and has had an abortion," she writes, "or any man who has supported one, should go in the comments section and [say so], until there are so many accounts that the statement loses its shock value. . . . We shouldn't need a book explaining why abortion rights are important. We should be over that by now." Get that, America? Moral outrage over abortion is like, sooooo forty years ago. Lots and lots of women have abortions. And these women don't think there's anything wrong with it, so it must be okay. more >>
Euthanasia does not reflect dignity but is, in fact, a sin against God and creation and a "false sense of compassion," Pope Francis said Saturday, denouncing the right-to-die movement. The pontiff also rejected abortion, in vitro fertilization and embryonic stem cell research.
"We're are living in a time of experimentation with life. But a bad experiment… (we're) playing with life," he said, addressing about 4,000 doctors from the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors in the Vatican, according to Catholic News Agency.
"Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator," the pope said, adding that the assisted suicide movement can be attributed to a "throw-away culture" that sees the sick and elderly as a burden on society. more >>
WASHINGTON — The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is under increasing attack since the U.S. Supreme Court'sHobby Lobby decision that granted "closely-held" businesses an exemption from the birth control mandate, religious freedom lawyers claimed at the Federalist Society's annual National Lawyers Convention.
In response to the Hobby Lobby case and possible religious exemption cases citing it, there may come a "softening" of the decision by judges over the coming years, explained members of a panel event on Thursday on the topic of religious liberty.
Kim Colby, senior counsel at the Christian Legal Society, said to those gathered that since the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., efforts to undermine religious exemptions have increased. more >>
Based on the talk after Election Day, it could be easy to think we might as well forget about pro-life campaigns. Two out of three pro-life ballot initiatives failed on Tuesday. The campaigners – in Colorado specifically – are often criticized for coming at it again and again.
So why do it? Why should pro-lifers continue to put measures on state ballots? Why should they continue to push legislation in their state and federal legislatures?
What's the point? more >>
A group of students at the University of California Santa Barbara have filed a complaint seeking damages against the academic institute and a professor who destroyed a pro-life display.
Represented by the Napa-based Life Legal Defense Foundation, the students' complaint was filed Thursday at the Santa Barbara County Superior Court. Those named in the complaint include Mireille Miller-Young, the professor who defaced the pro-life display, and the regents of UCSB.
In March, a group of prolife students had a display on the UCSB campus' free speech zone that included a sign and pamphlets they were passing out. Miller-Young stole and destroyed the sign; then she physically attacked one of the activist's, a teenage girl named Catherine Short. more >>