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Clinton Says Unborn Person Doesn’t Have Rights

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally, Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at the Apollo Theatre in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)On Sunday, Hillary Clinton told Chuck Todd of Meet the Press that no unborn child has constitutional rights. "The unborn person doesn't have constitutional rights," under our current laws, said Clinton. Oftentimes, those who align with the pro-choice movement will use terminology that suggests the unborn is not a person, but a "fetus." Clinton strayed from this tactic.

By humanizing the fetus, Clinton went on to add that "the woman's right to make decisions" is most important when it comes to abortion. "Now, that doesn't mean that we don't do everything we possibly can in the vast majority of instances to, you know, help a mother who is carrying a child and wants to make sure that child will be healthy, to have appropriate medical support." But in Clinton's framework, the subjectively determined health of the mother trumps the objective life of the child.

Diana Arellano of Planned Parenthood said Sunday that Mrs. Clinton's comments undermined the cause for abortion rights. She said via Twitter that Clinton's comment "further stigmatizes #abortion." Describing the fetus as a "person" or "child" has long been a poor word choice to the pro-choice movement, which argues the terms misleadingly imply a sense of humanity.

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De Niro Pulls Anti-Vaccine Movie from Festival

Robert De Niro attends 2015 National Board of Review Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 5, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)In the classic movie Goodfellas, Robert De Niro's character, Jimmy the Gent, brings in close an impressionable Henry Hill to teach him a thing or two. This wannabe mobster receives from Jimmy the Gent a valuable lesson: "You learned the two greatest thing in life: never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut." Today, some speculate that De Niro is taking his advice too far with his latest move at the Tribeca Film Festival.

On Saturday, De Niro announced he was pulling the movie Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe from the Tribeca Film Festival. After watching it with colleagues and experts, De Niro reversed his earlier decision to show the film, which accuses the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of covering up the link between vaccines and rising autism rates.  

"My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family," the statement said. "But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for."

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Millennials reject God but feel entitled to Heaven?

Man sitting on wharf and looking away (Credit: guillefaingold via fotolia)Americans are five times less likely to pray now as compared to the early 1980's, and twice as many said they do not believe in God. So concludes the research led by psychology professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. The biggest decline is among 18–29 year olds, the so-called millennials. The study reveals a sharp decline in religious affiliation and practice, but a startling uptick relative to belief in the afterlife.

Using the General Social Survey, Twenge and her team traced trends in religious participation and beliefs in a sample of over 50,000 American adults since 1972. By 2014, American adults were less likely to pray, believe in God, identify as religious, attend religious services, or believe the Bible was the word of God than they were in previous decades.

In 1984, fourteen percent of Americans believed the Bible "is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by men" rather than the word of God. By 2014, twenty-two percent of Americans believed this. Among millennials, twenty-nine percent believed this by 2014, nearly twice as many as in the late 1980s (fifteen percent).

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Finding purpose in pain

Police officer Gary Sommers hopes to help other police officers involved in Blue on Blue shootings, seen here in Middletown, Md. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)It's a pain that few can fully comprehend, but one that officer Gary Sommers re-lived on Sunday after news broke that off-duty officer Jacai Colson had been shot during a firefight near a police station. While the death of any officer is tragic, Colson's case was especially so. The off-duty cop, who was wearing street clothes at the time, was shot by another officer who mistook him as one of the attackers. So when Sommers received a call asking him to get in touch with the officer that had fired the fatal shot, he didn't hesitate.

You see, Sommers could understand the officer's pain better than most. Twenty-seven years ago, while part of a special operations team conducting drug raids, he shot and killed his best friend and fellow squad member, Mark Murphy, after the latter veered into his line of fire. In doing so, he became one of sixty-five officers to mistakenly kill a fellow cop between 1987 and 2014.

Whether it's crossfire, mistaken identities, or firearm mishaps, the accidental nature of the shooting is typically inconsequential to the officer who pulled the trigger. As police psychologist Michael Finegan describes, rather than what they knew at the time, these public defenders "judge their behavior on the knowledge they currently have . . . And when they do that, they experience profound remorse and blame themselves."

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The EMPWR coat: warming bodies and souls

In a Tuesday, March 3, 2015 photo, Veronika Scott of The Empowerment Plan Detroit, helps Todd Frank test wear one of her sleeping bag coats she designed, in Pontiac, Mich. Scott, a former design student is trying to help the homeless population in two distinct ways by employing and training homeless women to manufacture a garment that serves as both a coat and a sleeping bag. The coats then are distributed back to homeless people at no cost to them. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)It began as a school project from a professor at Detroit's College for Creative Studies: design something "to fill a need." The Empowerment Plan has since evolved into a successful non-profit organization that has made and distributed more than 15,000 free coats to homeless people around the country and the world. In the process, they employ many of those same people in order to help them get off the streets and into a more stable, life-giving situation. It's been featured on CNN, The New York Times, and the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit as a model of what can happen when you focus on the whole person rather than their momentary need.

Veronika Scott, the organization's founder and CEO, had no idea that her answer to that professor's challenge would change so many lives, including her own. The EMPWR coat was the product of simply taking the time to meet with and observe the plight of the homeless struggling daily to survive on the streets of Detroit. While there are several shelters around the increasingly impoverished city, many are still forced to live on the streets where "approximately 7% of homeless individuals die from hypothermia" each year. Scott's solution was to create a coat to be worn during the day that could double as a sleeping bag at night.

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