Bill to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks Needed to Stop More Kermit Gosnells
by Steven Ertelt
June 11, 2013 | LifeNews.com
A U.S. House committee will vote tomorrow on a bill that would ban abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the editors at National Review released an editorial today about why the measure is so important.
They say the bill is necessary to stop future abortion practitioners like Kermit Gosnell, who kill babies in gruesome abortion procedures that are tantamount to infanticide.
Nebraska lawmakers approve sex trafficking bill on 47-0 vote
By Joe Duggan
June 5, 3013 | World-Herald bureau
LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers gave final approval to a bill Wednesday that would strengthen penalties on sex traffickers while directing child prostitutes into treatment.
Lawmakers voted 47-0 on the final morning of the session to send Legislative Bill 255 to Gov. Dave Heineman. The governor now has five days to decide whether to sign or veto the bill.
Sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Amanda McGill, the bill makes human trafficking of a minor a form of child abuse under the law. It also increases penalties against pimps and those who solicit underage prostitutes. (more…)
Adoptive Families Harassed by IRS While Planned Parenthood Unscathed
by Ryan Bomberger
5/24/13 | LifeNews.com
Scandal. It’s not just a sleazy TV show. It’s real life. And, lately, it’s spreading like wildfire.Every year my wife, Bethany, and I dread filing our taxes. We’re diligent and organized, but worry about missing some minute detail that would trigger the harrowing experience of an audit. I’ve been through one before because I own a small business. In the end, the IRS paid me thousands more in that year’s refund.
Middle class families have been hit hard with a crumbling economy, so getting any tax break we can relieves some of the fiscal pain, especially for adoptive families. The Adoption Tax Credit enables parents to recoup some of the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the adoption process. The $13,360 refundable tax credit for 2011 was a welcome offset. (Depending on the type of adoption, that refund would only be a fraction of the actual cost—a cost that is well worth it.) It was the most the federal government has offered since 2006, and only 2010 and 2011 were refundable. In all other years, including this most recent year, the Adoption Tax Credit was non-refundable. This means it will only offset any amount that you may owe in federal taxes, but adoptive families will not see any of that amount refunded in cash.
Speakers urge changes to stop human trafficking
By KEVIN ABOUREZK
April 22, 2013 | Lincoln Journal Star
Always, silence greeted Joy Citta as she called into the home to which she had been sent because someone had heard yelling inside.
Then one day, a man came to the door with blood on him. Because of changes in laws designed to stop domestic violence, the young Lincoln police officer finally had the excuse she needed to arrest the man.
Inside, she found a woman cowering beneath a kitchen table, her face broken in 11 places. Citta took the man to jail and got the woman help.
The 37-year veteran police captain shared the story Monday to illustrate how support systems for battered women have improved in Lincoln.
“Today we have advocates,” she said. “We have support systems. We have shelters. We have laws.”
The laws that now protect victims of domestic violence often don’t exist or aren’t enforced for victims of human trafficking, said speakers at the Nebraska Human Trafficking Summit at the Nebraska Union.
Nebraska University Students Against Modern-Day Slavery and The Bay, a nonprofit group that provides a safe haven for Lincoln youth, sponsored the summit aimed at raising awareness of human trafficking in Nebraska.
Kathryn Bolkovac, the subject of the film “The Whistleblower,” talked about her experience exposing human sex trafficking in Bosnia. A former Lincoln police investigator, Bolkovac joined the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Bosnia in 1999 as a human rights investigator for military contractor DynCorp.
In that role, she uncovered numerous cases of DynCorp employees and others who had used prostitutes from human sex trafficking operations. In 2001, she was demoted and then fired by DynCorp after she informed senior UN officials about her findings.
The movie was released in 2010; the autobiographical book by the same name was published a year later.
Woman escapes modern-day slavery in a home near the nation’s capital
By Petula Dvorak
April 15, 2013 | WashingtonPost
Esther is free now.
Free to go to church, have a picnic, drive a car, eat, sleep, shower, take out the trash, go outdoors and even free to get a haircut. These were all things she couldn’t do during that dark time when she was — essentially — a modern-day slave right here near the nation’s capital.
A few years ago, a kind lady at church suggested she make a run for it. “Run, run,”
h the nice, American neighborhood, when all are still asleep. And the kind lady from church picked her up at the rendezvous point.she told her. “Don’t shower, don’t change your clothes, don’t take anything.” Just run into the dark of early morning, throug
Esther will celebrate her emancipation day Tuesday. But to be honest, she celebrates it every day“Now, I have peace. Peace in my heart. It is happy. I am happy,” Esther told me, asking that I not reveal her full name or native country because she still fears her captors.
Esther is one of thousands of survivors of human trafficking in the United States.
The State Department estimates that more than 27 million people are trafficked around the world. And we look at the foreign cases in horror — boys beaten and burned while forced to work in factories in India, girls tattooed with bar codes and their debt while forced to work in brothels in Spain.
But in 2010, the State Department began detailing our own problem with modern-day slavery in its report. And the White House hosted its first-ever forum on combating human trafficking last week.
The numbers aren’t huge. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated the United States had 2,500 cases from 2008 to 2010. But a group in Washington — the Polaris Project — reported nearly 20,000 calls for help nationally in 2012.
Many are forced into sex work, young girls brought across the border with the promise of a better life. Or runaways who are coerced into believing that they’ve found a new home.
The rest are laborers, many of them domestic workers, like Esther.
When someone in her home town in Africa offered her a job in America six years ago, she was anxious for the opportunity.
“I have no one there. No family,” said Esther. She was 30 and still living with the family who adopted her after her parents died.
Her captors were friends of her adoptive family who said they would pay her $500 a month to be their housekeeper. The American family shook hands with the African one, and they bought her a plane ticket.
The day she arrived in Washington, her host family took away her visa and her passport.
“They said I don’t need them,” Esther told me. And they told her to cook dinner that night.
The next morning, they gave her the crying baby and told her to do all the laundry and clean the floors and to cook for all the families who kept coming over. “They had many parties, many people.”
She tied the screaming infant to her back, “like we do in Africa,” and got to work, with the bellowing husband always behind her, threatening to hit her. She wasn’t allowed to eat until the entire family had eaten.
“I got thin, so thin, like this,” she says, holding up her pinky finger.
At that point in her story, I had to ask Esther why she didn’t just leave or ask for help. (more…)
Hobby Lobby Granted Full Hearing on HHS Mandate
March 31, 2013 | Examiner
by Michael Fletcher
It was a Good Friday for craft retailer Hobby Lobby as the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced on Friday it would grant the retailer’s request for the entire court to hear its challenge on the Obamacare abortion mandate. While appeals are usually decided by a three-judge panel, a total of nine judges will hear the Hobby Lobby appeal.
The Hobby Lobby lawsuit is among a total of 52 current lawsuits challenging the Obamacare mandate. Along with others Hobby Lobby has challenged the Obamacare mandate that forces employees to provide for emergency contraception. Hobby Lobby founder David Green and his family believe that some types of emergency contraceptives, including the morning after pill are forms of abortion.
Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty told LifeNews: “We are grateful that the court granted Hobby Lobby’s petition. Full court review is reserved only for the most serious legal questions. This case asks whether the First Amendment protects everyone’s right to religious freedom, or whether it leaves out religious business owners like the Greens.”
A hearing date has not been set. Hobby Lobby has requested that the court accelerate the process because beginning in July failure to comply with the mandate could mean fines of up to $1.3 million per day.
The Becket Fund is leading the charge against the mandate. Along with Hobby Lobby, they represent: Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network and Ave Maria University.
Federal Judge Gives Michigan Company Temporary Relief From HHS Mandate
February 25, 2013 | CitizenLink
by Bethany Monk
A large nonprofit Christian organization in Mississippi filed a lawsuit on Friday against the Obama administration’s mandate requiring it to provide possible abortion-inducing drugs in its employee health plans.
The American Family Association (AFA) in Tupelo says the mandate violates its religious freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and federal law. AFA faces mounting fines if it chooses not to comply.
“As a religious ministry, AFA strongly believes in the right to life and that the killing of unborn children violates the 6th Commandment,” Jeff Mateer, general counsel for the Liberty Institute, told CitizenLink. “They’ve been quite outspoken on life issues. Now they’re being told by the federal government they need to include coverage for possible abortion-inducing drugs that violate their religious beliefs.”
The government gave most businesses until Aug. 1, 2012, to comply with the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. Some faith-based organizations, including Catholic hospitals and universities, were granted a “safe harbor” until August 2013. Only churches and their auxiliaries are exempt.
Forty-eight lawsuits are in play. Courts, so far, have granted 11 injunctions halting the mandate for for-profit businesses. Three requests were denied.
College Settles in Free Speech Suit
An Ohio community college settled its case this week after several months of facing a federal lawsuit for allegedly violating students’ free speech rights.
A group of students who attended a rally at Sinclair Community College (SCC), in Dayton, filed a lawsuit against the school in late June of 2012. The suit alleges that the campus police prohibited student-generated signs at the early June rally and at other student-led rallies.
“We are pleased that Sinclair Community College decided to join its students to promote free speech instead of silencing or trying to control the content of their speech,” said Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society (TMS), representing the students. “At its core, the university campus provides a place for students to debate and grapple with ideas, including ideas that may not be popular in certain quarters. Freedom of expression is an absolutely fundamental value in a democratic, self-governing society and indispensable to the educational process.”
TMS and a group of Ohio attorneys filed the lawsuit on behalf of the students after the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally opposing the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. Members of the school’s student body organized and sponsored the rally.
A provision of Obamacare, the mandate requires most employers to offer potential abortion-inducing drugs in their employee health plans.
The lawsuit also alleged that police said they banned people from showing signs and handing out informational brochures in efforts to comply with a campus policy prohibiting “disruptive behavior.”
The cited policy, however, does not address the censorship of signs or brochures.
Porn turned thousands of British children into sex offenders, report says
March 4, 2013 | LifeSiteNews
by Ben Johnson
LONDON– Pornography and depictions of sexuality have turned more than 4,500 British children – some of them as young as five – into sexual offenders, according to a UK-based child welfare charity.
A Freedom of Information Act request showed that 4,562 minors – 98 percent of them boys – committed 5,028 sexual offenses over a three year period, from 2009-2012.
Three separate police forces reported five-year-olds committing sexual offenses.
However, the London Telegraph reports, “the true figure” of total offenders “could be even higher as nine forces, including the three largest – the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester Police and West Midlands Police – could not provide the relevant figures.”
Twenty percent of cases reported involved a family member. In another third, a family friend was victimized.
“We know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people’s views of what is ‘normal’ or acceptable behavior,” said Claire Lilley, policy adviser at The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
The report’s content, though specific to Great Britain, contains universal truths.
“Child-on-child sex abuse and rape is a growing problem in every culture where pornography flourishes,” Patrick Trueman, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan administration and president of Morality In Media, told LifeSiteNews.com.
“Children act out what they see. If they see acts of love and charity, they will mimic those,” Trueman said. “But when they see sexual violence, domination, rape, and other similar acts so commonly depicted in modern-day pornography, as today’s children do, they will act out those, as well.”
FBI: Sex trafficking cases increase; One victim says she was forced to have sex with men in Council Bluffs hotel
February 27th, 2013 | KETV Omaha
By Ryan Luby
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa —Forget the movies. Federal and local investigators said human sex trafficking in the Omaha metro is real. And they are prosecuting more cases than ever before.
Investigators said they are now treating the women prostitutes they find not as criminals, but as victims who get dragged into a lifestyle that almost is impossible to escape.
A woman, who KETV NewsWatch 7’s I-Team will identify as Monica to conceal her identity, said she is one of those women who got trapped with a group of people who thought of her as a commodity, not a person.
“They taught me how to, you know, be a prostitute pretty much,” she said.