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Thirty Things That Caught My Eye Today: Caring for Babies in a Hurricane & More (September 2, 2020)

1. Iran: Detainees flogged, sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown — new report

Victims include children as young as 10 and injured protesters and bystanders arrested from hospitals while seeking medical care for gunshot wounds, as well as human rights defenders including minority rights activists, journalists, and individuals who attended ceremonies to commemorate those killed during the protests. Hundreds have since been sentenced to prison terms and flogging and several to the death penalty following grossly unfair trials which were presided over by biased judges behind closed doors, frequently lasted less than an hour, and systematically relied on torture-tainted “confessions”.

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Amnesty International has recorded the names and details of more than 500 protesters and others, including journalists and human rights defenders, who have been subjected to unfair criminal proceedings in connection with the protests.

Prison terms meted out to those convicted have ranged from between one month and 10 years for vague or spurious national security charges such as “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”, “spreading propaganda against the system”, “disrupting public order” and “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

2. Olivia Enos & Chelsea Patterson Sobolik: China’s Horrifying War on Uighur Women

A Uighur woman reported that in 2018, she was offered “free” surgical sterilization and threatened with internment if she refused. According to her Uighur doctor, her fallopian tubes were cut in the resulting tubal-ligation procedure, making her sterilization irreversible — a common experience for Xinjiang’s minorities.

China’s goal, it seems, is to eradicate future generations of Uighurs by maliciously and ruthlessly controlling Uighur reproduction. 

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4. U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Geneva: U.S. Response to Allegations of State-Level Impingement of an Assumed Right to Abortion

As United Nations human rights mandate holders, you are undoubtedly aware that international human rights law does not recognize any “right to abortion.” The United States is disappointed by and categorically rejects this transparent attempt to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to assert the existence of such a right. This is a perversion of the human rights system and the founding principles of the United Nations.

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We are particularly disappointed that you have chosen to waste the limited time and resources of your mandates on such spurious allegations, rather than focusing your energies on areas where your attention is most appropriate and warranted. For instance, the Chinese Communist Party is currently directing the use of forced abortion, forced sterilization and forced birth control in Xinjiang. These are actual human rights abuses, implicating millions of women and girls and their health, on an industrial scale, targeting a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority. Yet the United Nations system — including the Secretary-General, the Human Rights Council, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights — has been notably quiet on this topic, even as they find ample opportunity to opine on matters of American domestic political concern.

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6. Wesley J. Smith: Turning the Suicidal Into Organ Farms

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8. Pope Francis calls for a day of fasting and prayer for Lebanon

“I encourage all Lebanese to continue hoping and finding the strength and energy that are necessary to restart,” Francis said in the courtyard of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, during his first public audience since the beginning of the pandemic in Italy.

“I ask politicians and religious leaders to commit with sincerity and transparency to the reconstruction work, setting aside partial interests and looking at the common good and future of the nation,” he added.

9. National Catholic Register: Will Planned Parenthood’s Millions Tip the 2020 Election?

At the outset of the 2020 election cycle, Planned Parenthood pledged to raise $45 million — more than triple what it raised in 2016 — and deploy its activists to push pro-abortion Democratic candidates it supports to victory. One of their early victories in the election was the primary defeat of longtime pro-life Democrat U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill.

“It’s a combination of the money, but they also have a lot of vocal supporters who are willing to shout outside people’s offices,” Kristen Day, president of Democrats for Life, told the Register. Day said Planned Parenthood’s political influence on the Democratic Party (and refusal to brook any dissent from their abortion orthodoxy) is so powerful, it has cost Democrats competitive races that pro-life Democrats could have won against Republicans.

“They put their issue before party,” Day said. “They’re a corporation the Democratic Party is beholden to. They say they don’t want to be beholden to corporate interests, yet they are: the abortion lobby.”

10. Catholic News Agency: Pro-life Democrat, ‘delisted’ by party, runs for TN House as independent

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12. Gale Brewer and Jeremy Kohumban: Especially after COVID, better foster care is imperative

The new changes, the result of the 2018 Family First Prevention Services Act, reduce the use of residential care and stipulate that when a child must be separated from his or her family, he or she be placed with well-supported foster or kin families rather than in a congregate setting. The federal government is putting significant funding behind this initiative.

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Too many teens still languish in foster care; a system that was supposed to be temporary becomes their entire childhood with far too many aging out at 21 into homelessness and despondency. We must prioritize giving each child a family.

13. Kentucky Child Welfare System “Pushed to the Brink”

Norma Hatfield is raising her two grandchildren in Hardin County. She’s also President of the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky. She said while stimulus checks and food pantries have provided some support, kinship families are being pushed to the brink.

“But just imagine a grandmother or a grandfather, who was struggling before this, filing bankruptcy, selling their homes, their cars, everything they have, so that they can keep these kids out of foster care. And then you add COVID-9 on top,” Hatfield said.

She added many caregivers are at risk for serious COVID-19 illness and reported being nervous about sending their kids to school.Shannon Moody, senior policy and advocacy director at Kentucky Youth Advocates, said young people who are engaged in the child welfare system are experiencing frustration, isolation, and anxiety about what comes next.

14. The Washington Post: ‘Protect our babies:’ Hospital cares for babies in hurricane

Both Alford and Bossano repeatedly praised the nursing staff for their work in caring for the babies that in some cases were born weighing only a pound or two. Some of the nursing staff lost their houses in the storm, and they were worried about their own families, but they put those concerns aside to care for their tiny patients.

“Really the nurses and the respiratory therapists are the heroes here,” Bosanno said. “They showed that very clearly the way they performed.”

15. The Washington Post: Our baby died after I carried him for 23 weeks. A simple test could have saved his life.

As tragically as we lost him, we were surprised to learn that a simple ultrasound or check of the cervix a few weeks earlier could have made all the difference. IC affects about 1 in 100 pregnancies, according to the Cleveland Clinic. IC can lead to both pregnancy loss as well as severe prematurity, leading to excruciatingly long and risky NICU stays. IC typically happens between weeks 16 and 20 of pregnancy, a time when many, if not most, women do not receive any ultrasounds or internal checks of the cervix.

16.  Crux: Ecuador’s bishops speak out against attempt to liberalize abortion laws

According to the new code, if a woman presents herself to a medical center at any point after beginning an attempt to terminate her pregnancy, doctors are required to finish the procedure. The bishops argue this provision violates the right of conscience objection for medical personnel by forcing them to intervene in an ongoing abortion.

The bishops – and several local pro-life groups – went on to argue that the article on “obstetric emergency” also forces doctors to cover up abortion, since health care workers no longer have to report it, even though it is illegal in Ecuador. In addition, if a pregnancy is the result of rape, the doctor can perform an abortion at the woman’s request.

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18. Melinda Henneberger: KC answers racist attacks on biracial family in Northland

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19. America Magazine: Chadwick Boseman: Man of faith in real life, ‘Black Panther’ on screen

From the impression he left on a pastor of his youth to his own words at the 2018 commencement of Howard University, his alma mater, Boseman demonstrated a Christian life that included service, overcoming stereotypes and a desire to depict strong characters.

“After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him,” said “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler in a statement.

“Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art.”

20. Ashley McGuire: Tightening Up Parental Controls in a Pandemic World

Even the strictest parents hoping to delay the introduction of a personal device may find their elementary-aged child learning on a Chromebook or other personal device from the school. If parents thought restricting maturity ratings on Netflix or the like was frustrating, they now have to reckon with the entire world wide web dropped in the laps of their children. Even a recent column in The Wall Street Journal acknowledged that the best efforts of big tech corporations, like Google, to protect children learning virtually fall short and are often a frustrating headache for less-than-tech savvy parents. “I’m no tech-challenged schmo,” writes technology writer Wilson Rothman. “But staying ahead of your sneaky kids—by activating Google’s free screen-time controls and content filters—takes a bit of work.” It also stops working when the user turns 13, which is right when they are prime targets for online porn and sex-trafficking websites.

21. Francis X. Maier: White Dwarf

C.S. Lewis once wrote that while Heaven is “an acquired taste,” a taste acquired over time through a certain course of life, it was nonetheless made for men and women.  Hell was never intended for the human soul.  And what enters Hell is no longer fully human.  It’s a cinder of human remains burned out by rage, frustration, loneliness and devouring self-love; just as a white dwarf star is no longer the fullness of a star, but its collapsed, self-consuming shell – the shriveled memory of a star, but with a crushing mass and a ferocious gravity that allow nothing to escape its appetite but the faintest light.

22. Fewer American High Schoolers Having Sex Than Ever Before

Not only are high schoolers having less sex; they are having it, on average, later and later. That’s reflected in grade-level data, which show the largest declines in ever having had sexual intercourse among ninth graders, down a full 20 percentage points since 1991. Twelfth graders, by contrast, have only fallen by 10 percentage points—a disparity that suggests that some rising high schoolers “catch up” to their ’90s peers later on.

23. A Tale of 2 Archbishops: Capuchins O’Malley and Chaput Mark Golden Jubilees

Much of the recent history of the Catholic Church in the United States can be told in the lives of two men ordained on the same day 50 years ago, Aug. 29, 1970.

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