American Pastors Network Urges Churches to Mark Sanctity of Human Life Sunday—a Time to Reflect on God’s Gifts and Need to Protect Them

In a parting shot to pro-life efforts around the nation, President Barack Obama issued a rule last month that bars states from denying federal funds to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Obama’s rule will take effect two days before President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated, reported the New York Times, and just a few days after churches nationwide observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on Jan. 15.

But late last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan vowed that Republican lawmakers “will move to strip all federal funding for Planned Parenthood as part of the process they are using early this year to dismantle Obamacare,” reported CNN.

Regardless of how the situation progresses, the American Pastors Network is urging pastors and churches to stand up for life—especially in January during Sanctity of Human Life Month.

“Although life is precious every day of the year,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is a time when pastors and churches can truly focus on protecting life in their communities. We can no longer ignore abortion in our churches. Many may be struggling with the scars of abortion in their own lives, and looking to the church for help, healing and restoration. Additionally, we must equip our people to stand up for the sanctity of life in their own communities, states and across the nation. Let’s work toward the goal that 2017 will be the year that Planned Parenthood is defunded for good, that a new Supreme Court justice who will stand for life will be appointed, and that the killing of innocent babies will no longer continue to be stain on the pages of our nation’s history.”

More than three decades ago, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring Jan. 22, 1984, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. The Sunday closest to this day is observed as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.

Jan. 22 marks the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, which legalized abortion in America. LifeNews.com estimates that nearly 59 million babies have been aborted since then.

The Second Mark of God’s Judgment on America

Immediately following the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed for God’s intervention in seven circumstances of future national need. In each case, he implored God for His commitment that if the people were to repent, God would hear from heaven and forgive their sin.

As Solomon continued his prayer (in II Chronicles 6:22-23), he asked God to intervene during judicial hearings to ensure that the guilty party was punished and that the innocent was rewarded. Solomon anticipated a time – due to national sin – that government would sanction injustice rather than justice. Just as Solomon anticipated this disregard for justice in a nation that turned its back on God, Isaiah also prophesied, “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street and equity or justice cannot enter.”(Isaiah 59:14).

In our nation, the subverting of truth and justice is becoming more prevalent. Our country was founded on the belief that the primary purpose of government (as stated in Romans 13) is to enact God’s justice by praising those who do right and punishing those who do evil. The failure to rule justly, and even worse to officially sanction what God calls evil, is defiance to Almighty God. Although, the subversion of justice is an indication of the withdrawal of God’s blessing, it is also one of God’s warning signs to call us back to Him before final judgment comes.

Truth has indeed fallen in the street and justice stands far off – when the killing of the unborn is declared a woman’s right, when God’s definition of marriage is ruled unconstitutional, when Christian businesses are penalized because they follow God’s law, when Christian organizations are labelled as ‘threats’ to our nation, and when, in general, the rule of law is rejected. Solomon knew the progression of a nation’s sin would produce a distortion of justice where good would be declared evil, and evil declared to be good. Have you considered that governmentally sanctioned injustice is a ‘warning sign’ of God’s judgment? The next 5 marks of national judgment are progressively more obvious. When will we open our eyes and ears to God’s shouts of warning to our nation?

This is the third in an eight part series, “Can We Know if God’s Judgment is on America? – The Background to Understanding God’s Promise in II Chronicles 7:14”.

Ireland Sees Largest-Ever Pro-Life Rally, 60,000 Protest Abortion

More than 60,000 pro-life people gathered for what sponsors are calling the largest-ever pro-life rally against abortion that Ireland has ever seen.

With a vote looming in the Irish Parliament to legalize abortions, pro-life advocates are pulling out all the stops to rally public opinion against the bill before a final vote is taken on Wednesday.

“Some 60,000 people marched from Parnell Sqaure to Dåil Eireann to send a strong message to Enda Kenny and the Irish Government that we the people do not want abortion and want our right to vote on this crucial issue,” the Pro Life Campaign said about the event.

Caroline Simons, Legal Consultant to the Pro Life Campaign who also spoke at the Rally, said ‘The event today again demonstrates the strength of opposition to this flawed legislation. It is time for the Government to step back and consider what other issue has tens of thousands of people repeatedly willing to come out on the streets to express their views. The people of Ireland don’t want to see abortion in our hospitals, they want women and their unborn children to enjoy the full protection of our laws. It’s time for the Government to scrap this unjust Bill’

“Let those Senators and TDs use the power granted to them under article 27 of our constitution to let the people speak on this bill,” Declan Ganley told the crowd to sustained applause. “Let us vote. Let us pass judgement on Enda Kenny’s abortion bill in a referendum. He says his book is the constitution. Well use it, Taoiseach. He says he trusts the people. Well prove it, Taoiseach. He says this is a matter of grave concern to the public. Well ask them, Taoiseach. ”

Life Institute released a statement in response to the massive rally and the public opposition to the abortion bill:

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute added that: “If you refuse, Taoiseach, to let the people vote, then the people will be heard. 100,000 people have already signed the pro-life pledge, 100,000 will seek to build a new political alternative, 100,000 will remember Taoiseach, that if you ram through this law, you are the abortion Taoiseach and Fine Gael is the abortion party, and they will seek an alternative which protects both mother and baby. ”

Fine Gael, she said, had now awoken a sleeping giant, that would work night and day to build an alternative to political parties who broke their promises and betrayed their principles.

Dr Eoghan de Faoite of Youth Defence said the Rally Committee was “absolutely delighted with the huge turnout” and that “there was a huge momentum building to let the people vote on the Bill using Article 27 of the Constitution.”

“This initiative came from within Fine Gael itself and is also being promoted by the former Labour TD Colm Keaveney, so it’s clear that the desire to let the people vote has support across the parties,” he said. “What is Enda Kenny afraid of? ”

The Rally also heard from Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life who said that the measure would impact on the whole island of Ireland and was out of step with the majority of people in the north of Ireland. “The All Party Pro-Life Group from Stormont is represented here today, since this is a matter for All-Ireland, as we stand together against abortion,” she said.

Tracy Harkin told the Rally that “almost 7 years ago my husband Tom and I were told our baby girl Kathleen Rose was diagnosed with a condition called trisomy 13, a condition sometimes described as being ‘incompatible with life’.”

“Well, Kathleen Rose is with us here today. She is not incompatible with life: she is the love of our lives,” she said to rapturous applause.

Bands, face-painting, family fun and music gave a carnival-like atmosphere to the Rally but the speeches at Leinster House focused on the consequences for Fine Gael if the Bill is made law without consulting the people.

Close to 100,000 pledges have been signed by voters saying they will never vote for Fine Gael again because of the legislation. Niamh Ui Bhriain said that the time was “ripe for a new political alternative which would not betray serious electoral promises on matters of life and death”.

Before the Rally for Life on Saturday, Archbishops Diarmuid and Eamon Martin celebrated Mass in St. Savior’s Church, Dominick St at 12.30pm. The Rally leaves Parnell Square for Leinster House at 2pm.

Study: Facial Expressions of Unborn Babies in the Womb Show They Feel Pain

A newly-published research study shows unborn children are capable of feeling pain in the womb, as evidenced by the grimaces they show in their facial expressions.

The study will soon be published in the academic journal PLOS ONE.

Researchers from Durham and Lancaster Universities in England say unborn babies learn to show pain in their facial expressions as part of the process of fetal development. They took 15 scans of healthy unborn children and found that, when responding to painful stimuli, the babies were capable of one-dimensional expressions of pain in their faces at 24 weeks — such as moving their lips in a negative fashion.

At the 36th week of pregnancy, the researchers found unborn children can perform complex multi-dimensional facial expressions similar to what children make after birth.

Lead researcher Dr Nadja Reissland, of Durham University’s Department of Psychology told Sky News, “It is vital for infants to be able to show pain as soon as they are born so that they can communicate any distress or pain they might feel to their carers.”

“Our results show that healthy foetuses ‘learn’ to combine the necessary facial movements before they are born,” he said. “This suggests that we can determine the normal development of facial movements and potentially identify abnormal development too. This could then provide a further medical indication of the health of the unborn baby.”