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Why I am pro-life

Adult hands holding the foot of a baby (Credit: Pawel Loj via Flickr) Recently, I was browsing the forums on a website that belongs to an indie band I like. In one of the forum discussions, a fan suggested that this Texas band – which has several female members – should move to a state that supports women's rights. This comment quickly inspired a debate about abortion. When I expressed my pro-life views in the debate, I was accused of imposing my "religious beliefs" on women. Even though I never mentioned religion, the other debaters assumed that since I was pro-life I must also be religious.

Though I am a Christian, my pro-life stance is not based on a "the-Bible-tells-me-so" attitude. You don't have to be religious to be pro-life. In fact, I'm convinced it's the only rational position for someone who believes in science and human rights.

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Pope Francis won't 'judge' gay priests

Pope Francis talks with journalists as he flies back to Rome following his visit to Brazil July 29, 2013 (Credit: Reuters/Luca Zennaro) Pope Francis has generated global headlines during his week in Brazil for the World Youth Day.  He visited slums, met with prisoners and drug addicts, and addressed presidents, cardinals and the country's elite.  His week ended with a Mass celebrated with three million pilgrims.  "Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent," he told the crowds.

On his flight back to Rome, he made headlines for a different reason.  A reporter asked him about a Vatican monsignor named Battista Ricca, who allegedly engaged in gay sexual relationships years ago.  When he became pope, Francis promoted Msgr. Ricca as interim overseer of the Vatican's bank.  The pope said he ordered a preliminary investigation of the monsignor after rumors began regarding the cleric's purported sex life.  The inquiry "found nothing," he said.

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After pro-life victories, what's next?

Refuse to Choose: Women deserve better than abortion billboard (Credit: Feminists for life via Facebook) To say that one is pro-life or pro-choice comes with a lot of baggage. It is a polarizing issue. Both sides are known to picket, yell and argue. It's not pretty. Recently, at the Texas Capital building in Austin, someone caught footage of a pro-life group singing "Amazing Grace," with pro-choice activists around them shouting "Hail Satan!" to antagonize them. But the other side of the coin is that some extremist pro-lifers have bombed abortion clinics killing and injuring people.

Pro-choice advocates have characterized abortion as a women's rights issue, and to oppose the right to abortion is seen by them as trying to control and suppress women. I've just read a very interesting book by Brian Fisher called "Abortion: The ultimate exploitation of women." Fisher points out that early feminists decried abortion. Mary Wollstonecraft, an 18th century feminist who wrote "A Vindication of the Rights of Women" condemned actions that would either destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast it off when born." Famous early 20th century feminist Susan B. Anthony described abortion as "infanticide" and "foeticide" and Elizabeth Cady Stanton said "when you consider that women have been treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."

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Why Wendy Davis' abortion rights filibuster matters

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, reacts after she was called for a third and final violation in rules to end her filibuster attempt to kill an abortion bill, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, in Austin, Texas (Credit: AP/Eric Gay)The noise in the Texas Senate chamber this past Tuesday night was near deafening.  But with the United States Supreme Court headlines this week, the anticipation and ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Prop 8 has drowned the noise from the historic event in Texas.

Senate Bill 5, hashtagged as #SB5, had Austin and the social media world buzzing.  If passed, this bill would have effectively shut down eighty percent of the abortion clinics in Texas.  Democrat Wendy Davis held an eleven-hour filibuster in an effort to delay voting on the bill until the special thirty-day Senate session, called by Governor Rick Perry, ended at midnight.  She came prepared for the long speech wearing pink tennis shoes.

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Why are homosexuals twice as likely to be irreligious?

A gay pride flag flies outside of the Cathedral of Saint Paul during vigils help by Catholics for Marriage Equality, Lent 2012 (Credit: Catholics for Marriage Equality)A new Pew Research study has surveyed the religious beliefs and commitments of those who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgendered (LGBT).  Here's what they discovered: 48 percent say they have no religious affiliation, compared with 20 percent of the general public.  Among LGBT adults ages 18-29, 60 percent are unaffiliated, compared with 31 percent of the general population.

Only 13 percent of LGBT adults attend worship services regularly, compared with 37 percent of the general public.  Twenty percent of LGBT adults say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 59 percent of the general population.  There are no significant differences between gays, lesbians, or bisexuals on this issue.  Nor are there differences between whites and ethnic minorities or between college graduates and those without a college degree.

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