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Friday, July 21, 2006

Senate wades back into abortion debate

By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON - The Senate reopened the abortion debate Friday in advance of the midterm elections, this time over a bill that would make it a federal crime to take a teenager across state lines to end a pregnancy without a parent's knowledge.

Supporters of the bill say such incidents often occur when a girl, or the man involved, wants to evade homestate parental consent laws. Opponents say the bill would make criminals of well-meaning confidants, such as relatives and clergy members, who might help a pregnant teen whose parents are abusive.

Much of the discussion Friday concerned how to balance a parent's right to know with a woman's right to end a pregnancy as spelled out by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

"How would you feel as a parent in a situation like that?" asked the bill's Senate sponsor, John Ensign, R-Nev.

"Those who would object to it have a high burden to show what is unreasonable about the legislation," added Sen. Jeff Sessions (news, bio, voting record), R-Ala.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., who is managing opposition to the bill during floor debate, said, "Instead of doing something to improve the health of women and girls, the Republican leadership is spending precious time on a bill that protects incest predators, throws grandmothers in jail and violates our Constitution."

She said Democrats would try to amend the bill but predicted it would be approved considering the Republicans' 55-44-1 majority.

Polls suggest there is widespread public backing for the bill supporters' sentiments about a parent's right to know about a child's actions regarding abortion. In polls, almost three-quarters say they think a parent has the right to give consent before a child under 18 has an abortion.

Under the bill, anyone who helps a pregnant minor cross state lines to obtain an abortion without parental knowledge could be punished by unspecified fines and up to a year in prison.

The girl and her parents would not be vulnerable to criminal penalties. The measure contains an exception for those who help underage girls get such abortions to avoid life-threatening conditions.

Supporters contended the legislation is not really an abortion bill, but instead proposes new safeguards against exploitation of girls by the men who impregnate them and may put them in danger. They presented stories of girls transported over state lines who underwent botched abortions and later developed health problems.

Sessions said the legislation puts no new constraints on abortion.

But the bill's opponents say it amounts to a national parental consent law that would cut off an escape route for pregnant girls with abusive parents.

"It's very dangerous to young women," said Melody Drnach, vice president for grass roots activism for the National Organization for Women. "The most vulnerable young women it leaves out are those who are victims of incest and abuse within their own family and their own network of adults. And it is not going to help grandmothers and aunts and sisters who want to help out in a time of crisis."

Other opponents said the bill was just the latest in a line of socially conservative measures GOP leaders are bringing up for congressional votes in an effort to energize the Republican Party's most loyal base of voters.

The debate rhetoric closely tracked arguments over the right to abortion. Ensign and Sessions noted that a child needs parental permission to receive aspirin at school and to go on a field trip, but no parental consent is required for an abortion.

Democrats are expected to offer amendments to add exceptions for such confidants as grandparents and clergy. One proposed amendment would provide an exception for those who help girls get abortions in other states when their pregnancies result from rape or incest.

More than 30 states have parental involvement laws, but there is no federal policy requiring other states to honor them when girls cross jurisdictions secretly to obtain abortions.

The House passed a similar bill in April 2005.

The bills are S. 403 and H.R. 748.


In the first session of the current Congress, in April 2005, the House approved a similar bill, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, by a vote of 270-157.

For further information, see: http://www.nrlc.org/federal/CCPA/index.html



China Court Postpones Trial of Blind Activist Against Forced Abortions

by Steven Ertelt - LifeNews.com Editor - July 20, 2006

Linyi, China (LifeNews.com) -- A Chinese court on Thursday postponed the trial of a blind activist who, along with his family, has been subject to brutality and imprisonment for his international campaign against forced abortions.

Chen Guangcheng has been harassed by local Chinese officials in the eastern city of Linyi since he exposed a brutal family planning campaign.

The local court said prosecutors sought to postpone the case against Chen, his attorney Li Jingsong said. A new date for the trial has not been set.

The Associated Press spoke to a representative of Shandong's Yinan County Intermediate Court who wouldn't give his name but confirmed the trial had been delayed.

Li, a member of a legal team of a dozen attorneys trying to help Chen, told AP that he visited the activist on Wednesday at a detention center where local officials are holding him.

"He seemed to be in pretty good shape physically and mentally," Li said.

The trial comes after Chen exposed a family planning campaign that involved officials forcing as many as 10,000 women to submit to abortions or sterilizations. Chen brought international attention to the travesty with interviews in the Washington Post and Time magazine.

Anyone who attempted to flee the brutality was apprehended, beaten, and held hostage in city prisons until their relatives came forward and paid large fines for their release.

As a result of his actions, Chen was beaten and jailed, his family forced under house arrest, and attorneys and supporters who have been helping him have been assaulted.

Attorneys say the Chinese government is turning a blind eye because it often allows local governments great leeway in putting down political unrest. They also say leading Chinese officials have been lied to about Chen's situation.

"They're afraid of information getting out," Li, who has received deaths threats, said of Linyi officials. "They don't want the leadership in Beijing to know the truth about what's happening there."

Linyi officials have persuaded some top Chinese leaders that Chen's efforts are supported by overseas groups and they successfully lobbied the Foreign Ministry and the powerful Propaganda Department to ban any discussion of Chen's case in the state media or on the Internet.

Li has only been allowed to meet with Chen once and was prohibited from discussing the case with him.

Chen and his wife and 70 year-old mother were under house arrest beginning in September last year. The officials cut his telephone lines and used specialized equipment to prevent him from using his cell phone.

After the house arrest ended, Chen, and others who were helping him file a class action lawsuit against Linyi officials, protested his treatment. Linyi police arrested him and indicted him under the faked charges.

He has been detained at an undisclosed location ever since and Linyi police have placed Chen's mother, wife and child under house arrest.

"There isn't much hope," said Chen's wife, Yuan Weijing, told the Washington Post via telephone from their home recently.


"Everything that has happened runs counter to Hu Jintao's talk of democracy and governing by law. We live in a nation without law, a nation without morality," she explained.

Top U.S. officials have pressed the Chinese government to release Chen, but national officials have not intervened. Linyi officials, in late May, prevented two senior U.S. diplomats from trying to visit Yuan.

ACTION: Contact China's embassy in the United States and encourage officials there to help Chen Guangcheng. You can find contact information at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/sgxx/dfzygy/t44338.htm

Related stories:
Family of China Activist Against Force Abortions Abducted, Lawyers Meet Chen - http://www.LifeNews.com/nat2396.html
Printed from: http://www.lifenews.com/nat2437.html

Copyright © 2003-2004 LifeNews.com. All rights reserved. For free daily/weekly pro-life news, email us at news@LifeNews.com.


Also, check out:


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1186887,00.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/26/AR2005082601756.html

http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:yuE8lEyFwRQJ:hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/18/china13766.htm+Chen+Guangcheng&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6


Blind rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who was detained in Beijing on Sept 6, 2005.
Photo: Gongmin Weiquan Wang.
www.gmwq.org

HONG KONG— September 8, 2005 :Chinese rights activist Chen Guangcheng has described being grabbed and forced into the back of a vehicle by unidentified men, taken to a hotel, and threatened with spying charges because he revealed abuses of rural women in the name of family planning policy.

Chen, who is blind, described being detained in Beijing by officials from his home city of Linyi, in the eastern province of Shandong, after fleeing to the capital to escape surveillance and threats at his home.

“They dragged me into the car, and my legs were hurt in quite a few places. Some of them pulled my hair and banged my head onto the wheel and hit my face and head. My nose still has two places which are hurt,” Chen, 34, told RFA’s Mandarin service.

“Then I was trying to shout, but one of them squeezed my neck with his arm, stopping me from shouting out,” he told RFA reporter Ding Xiao. “At that moment, I didn’t even dare to swallow. About twice I passed out.”


Requests for doctor denied


Chen said his requests for medical attention were refused, and he was taken to a hotel and visited the next morning by the head of the Linyi public security bureau and the city’s deputy mayor.

“The main purpose was to threaten me. He said, ‘You have revealed news information to foreign media and have been suspected of violating Article 111 of Chinese criminal law: illegally providing intelligence to foreign countries, for which the maximum sentence is life in prison. The minimum you can get is 5-10 years.’”
Officials then called in his family to persuade him to give up his activism.

“But then—I don’t know why—at a little after 6 o’clock in the evening, [they] abruptly let me go,” Chen told RFA.

The deputy mayor said the reason for Chen’s abduction was to protect him from “being used by the foreign media.”

“They don’t care about what the truth is. They just won’t allow any reporting. I think this is an issue of freedom of speech,” Chen said.

Family planning abuses

But if what you say is true, no matter where you say it, it’s still the truth.”
Chen was becoming widely known for exposing violence against women by Linyi municipal authorities in pursuit of family planning targets under China’s one-child policy, with his work against forced abortions and sterilizations featured in the Washington Post last month.

His writings, which blew the whistle of the use of forced abortions and other abuses in Linyi city and his home county of Yinan, were widely distributed on the Internet and read by many in China.

Chen was detained in Beijing Sept. 7. His lawyer Teng Biao called the police to report his disappearance, and was told that the “kidnappers” were police officers from Linyi city. “They didn’t show any identification, and they didn’t enter into any legal process,” Teng said.

A Chinese grass-roots advocacy group, the Chinese Rights Defenders (CRD), said his detention was illegal.

Calls for an investigation

“The CRD condemns Shandong public security’s actions in violating the relevant articles in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, and Chinese criminal law, which pledge to protect Chinese citizens’ basic human rights,” the group said in a statement carried on its Web site.

“CRD demands the immediate release of Mr. Chen Guangcheng and requests an investigation by the Ministry of Public Security, seeking accountability for the unlawful kidnapping and mistreatment of Mr. Chen,” said the group.

Chen’s lawyer Teng Biao called the Beijing police after Chen was seized. He told RFA’s Cantonese service: “They didn’t produce any identification, nor did they enter into any legal process.”

Teng said the Linyi municipal authorities sent people after Chen once they realized he had slipped through a security cordon outside his house and arrived in Beijing.
Chen’s wife, Yuan Weijing, said the Linyi municipal government had lured Chen out of his hiding place by persuading her father he could help the situation.

“They are now near our family home watching us,” Yuan told RFA’s Cantonese service Wednesday. “There are police vehicles and seven or eight officers. There are also officials from our local county government. They are there round the clock, and they change shifts every six hours.”

An official who answered the telephone at the Yinan county public security bureau near Chen’s home said he didn’t know anything about the situation.

Original reporting in Cantonese by Lillian Cheung and in Mandarin by Ding Xiao. RFA Cantonese service director: Shiny Li. RFA Mandarin service director: Jennifer Chou. Translated and written for the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie and edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:Wrj1jeBWDQkJ:www.rfa.org

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Prayer Request:

Francine Lee is back from a short-term missions
trip to Columbia (see Blog of July 3, 2006. PTL!

She requests prayer for her mom, Betty Schaeffer,
age 79, who will have cataract surgery.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pregnancy Centers: Pro-Abortion Report Biased on How They Help Women by Steven Ertelt

LifeNews.com Editor July 18, 2006

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A leading national network of pregnancy centers says a new report authored by a pro-abortion congressman is misleading and doesn't present a full view of what the centers to do help women in a variety of pregnancy situations.

The organization says the report is the latest attack on pregnancy centers by those who don't want women to know of abortion's risks and dangers.

Yesterday, pro-abortion Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, authored the report for the committee Democrats and claims "federally funded pregnancy resource centers often mislead pregnant teens about the medical risks of abortion."

Waxman's report says pregnancy centers wrongly tell pregnant women that abortion can increase the risk of contracting breast cancer, can lead to mental or psychological distress, and can cause future fertility issues.

Kristin Hansen, vice president of communications for Care Net, which provides assistance to more than 975 pregnancy centers nationwide, called Waxman’s report “an attempt to whitewash the risk of abortion on women’s health."

“Because abortion has become so grossly politicized, it is easy for proponents like Rep. Waxman to cite one or two studies on the risks of abortion and call it a day," Hansen explained. "But women's physical and emotional health hang in the balance.

They deserve a comprehensive look at the studies, not election year soundbites."

Hansen said Waxman's report and support for it from abortion advocacy groups has more to do with the financial loss abortion centers are experiencing because so many women are seeking tangible pregnancy help from centers like hers.

“What's clear in these attacks is that the multi-million dollar abortion industry is growing increasingly frustrated with the success of pregnancy centers, which, unlike abortion providers, offer a wide range of free services to men and women facing unplanned pregnancy and sexual health-related concerns," Hansen said.

Peggy Hartshorn, the president of Heartbeat International, another nation group that supports pregnancy centers, says Waxman needs to look into problems at abortion centers like Planned Parenthood, which are also federally funded.

“Mr. Waxman seems more intent to waste taxpayer's money to support his friends, the abortion lobby, by hindering and smearing the good work of life-affirming, faith-based pregnancy centers," she explained.

Using pregnant 17 year-olds posing as pregnancy center clients, the report claims twenty of the 23 pregnancy centers that receive federal funds "mislead" the teenagers.

On the issue of abortion's link to breast cancer, the pro-abortion Waxman report says eight centers told women that the breast cancer risk is increased.
Yet, that's what most research studies on the topic show.

A 1996 report published by the British Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health looked at 23 previous studies and found abortion increases the breast cancer risk by 30 percent.

Biochemist Joel Brind of the Baruch College of the City University of New York says abortion exposes women to high levels of estrogen and affects the breast in a negative way, allowing a greater chance of contracting breast cancer.

Waxman's report also alleges that pregnancy centers are giving women "and misleading information about the effect of abortion on future fertility." Saying that seven pregnancy centers told the teenagers this information, Waxman claims abortions "do not pose an increased risk of infertility."

But research shows that abortion can lead to infertility by increasing the risk of miscarriages.

A 1986 report in the medical journal Epidemiology reveals women with a history of abortion have a greater risk of fetal loss than women who had no previous abortions. Women with two prior pregnancies carried to term and no abortions had the lowest risk, while women with two prior abortions had the highest risk.

Meanwhile, a 1991 British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology article revealed that women with a history of abortion had a 1.5-1.7 times higher risk of ectopic pregnancy than women who had previously carried a pregnancy to term.

The Waxman report also said "pregnancy centers provided false and misleading information about the mental health effects of abortion." It said thirteen centers told the teenage callers that mental health effects from abortion are commonplace.

"Research shows that significant psychological stress after an abortion is no more common than after birth," Waxman suggested.

Yet, recent research from Norway and New Zealand has reported an association between abortion and subsequent mental health problems.

The New Zealand study, published by the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found that mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts, were more likely to occur among women who had an abortion than women who had never been pregnant or pregnant women who did not have an abortion

The Norwegian study, published online by the journal BMC Medicine, compared the experiences of women who had miscarriages with those who had abortions. After 5 years, women who had abortions were more likely to suffer anxiety and intrusive thoughts of the event than women who miscarried.

The Waxman report is an effort to promote Congressional legislation that would limit the free speech rights of pregnancy centers.

Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, the bill directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create a rule prohibiting pregnancy centers from trying to deceive women into thinking they perform abortions.

Maloney did not provide any examples of crisis pregnancy centers falsely advertising abortions when she filed her bill and three groups that represent thousands of pregnancy centers across the country called it an "old recycled" attempt to attack pregnancy centers.

Related web sites:
Care Net - http://www.care-net.org
Heartbeat International - http://www.optionline.org
Printed from: http://www.lifenews.com/nat2429.html
Copyright © 2003-2004 LifeNews.com. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Helen Sobchak!



Helen Sobchak is 88 years young (today)-- Tuesday, July 18th.

She has been a faithful volunteer at Gateway for many years. She volunteers elsewhere, is active in her church and reflects God's love to all.

Helen exemplifies a faithful worker and especially one who is not restricted by a number (in this case, the number 88). She fully intends to serve Him until He calls her home.
Abortion Risks -the truth!

A 1996 report published by the British Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health looked at 23 previous studies and found abortion increases the breast cancer risk by 30 percent.

Biochemist Joel Brind of the Baruch College of the City University of New York says abortion exposes women to high levels of estrogen and affects the breast in a negative way, allowing a greater chance of contracting breast cancer.


Recent newstory:


LifeNews.com Steven Ertelt - Editor
July 17, 2006


Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Abortion advocates in Congress are continuing their campaign against pregnancy centers that provide women with tangible pregnancy help and abortion alternatives. Democrats on the House Committee on Government Reform released a report Monday claiming pregnancy centers getting federal funds are misleading women about abortion.
Pro-abortion Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, authored the report for the committee Democrats and claims "federally funded pregnancy resource centers often mislead pregnant teens about the medical risks of abortion."

Waxman's report says pregnancy centers wrongly tell pregnant women that abortion can increase the risk of contracting breast cancer, can lead to mental or psychological distress, and can cause future fertility issues.

Using pregnant 17 year-olds posing as pregnancy center clients, the report claims twenty of the 23 pregnancy centers that receive federal funds "mislead" the teenagers.

On the issue of abortion's link to breast cancer, the pro-abortion Waxman report says eight centers told women that the breast cancer risk is increased.

Yet, that's what most research studies on the topic show.

A 1996 report published by the British Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health looked at 23 previous studies and found abortion increases the breast cancer risk by 30 percent.

Biochemist Joel Brind of the Baruch College of the City University of New York says abortion exposes women to high levels of estrogen and affects the breast in a negative way, allowing a greater chance of contracting breast cancer.

Waxman's report also alleges that pregnancy centers are giving women "and misleading information about the effect of abortion on future fertility." Saying that seven pregnancy centers told the teenagers this information, Waxman claims abortions "do not pose an increased risk of infertility."

But research shows that abortion can lead to infertility by increasing the risk of miscarriages.

A 1986 report in the medical journal Epidemiology reveals women with a history of abortion have a greater risk of fetal loss than women who had no previous abortions. Women with two prior pregnancies carried to term and no abortions had the lowest risk, while women with two prior abortions had the highest risk.

Meanwhile, a 1991 British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology article revealed that women with a history of abortion had a 1.5-1.7 times higher risk of ectopic pregnancy than women who had previously carried a pregnancy to term.

The Waxman report also said "pregnancy centers provided false and misleading information about the mental health effects of abortion." It said thirteen centers told the teenage callers that mental health effects from abortion are commonplace.

"Research shows that significant psychological stress after an abortion is no more common than after birth," Waxman suggested.

Yet, recent research from Norway and New Zealand has reported an association between abortion and subsequent mental health problems.

The New Zealand study, published by the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found that mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts, were more likely to occur among women who had an abortion than women who had never been pregnant or pregnant women who did not have an abortion

The Norwegian study, published online by the journal BMC Medicine, compared the experiences of women who had miscarriages with those who had abortions. After 5 years, women who had abortions were more likely to suffer anxiety and intrusive thoughts of the event than women who miscarried.

The Waxman report is an effort to promote Congressional legislation that would limit the free speech rights of pregnancy centers.

Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, the bill directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create a rule prohibiting pregnancy centers from trying to deceive women into thinking they perform abortions.

Maloney did not provide any examples of crisis pregnancy centers falsely advertising abortions when she filed her bill and three groups that represent thousands of pregnancy centers across the country called it an "old recycled" attempt to attack pregnancy centers.

"This is nothing more than a routine attack on pregnancy centers by organizations seeking to limit their competition," Care Net president Kurt Entsminger said in a statement provided to LifeNews.com.

See the original report @: http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1080

Tuesday, July 4, 2006








Please pray for Francine Lee, a volunteer at Gateway who is going on a short-term missions trip to Columbia from July 6th through July 17th. Pray that the Word of God might go forward and lives be changed.