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April 30, 2012

Romney Joins Calls for U.S. to Protect Pro-Life Chinese Activist Who Exposed Forced Abortion

(CNSNews.com) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has called for the U.S. to protect Cheng Guangcheng and his family, putting further pressure on the Obama administration over the plight of the blind Chinese activist who exposed extensive forced abortion and sterilization linked to Beijing’s “one-child? policy. Under house arrest since his Sept. 2010 release following a four-year prison term, Chen escaped from his home in Shandong province a week ago and reportedly sought protection from U.S. diplomats in Beijing.

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April 30, 2012

Dartmouth: Dorm Assignments Will Not be ‘Limited by Traditional Gender Binary’

(CNSNews.com) - Dartmouth College is expanding its "gender neutral" housing program, opening up more rooms where "students of any gender can cohabitate," the school newspaper, The Dartmouth, reported last week. The Ivy League school's website says Dartmouth "seeks to provide a living environment welcoming to all gender identities; one not limited by the traditional gender binary."

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April 30, 2012

BBC Plans 2-Hour Live Broadcast From Abortion Clinic

Growing negative reaction to the BBC's plan to broadcast one of its Radio 5 Live shows from an abortion clinic is coming from pro-life groups in the United States as well as Europe. During the two-hour live show hosted by Victoria Derbyshire, women who have chosen to have an abortion and some clinic staff members will be interviewed, according to The Independent, a London-based paper.

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April 30, 2012

Evangelicals Condemn Burning of Qurans by Fla. Pastor Terry Jones

Evangelical leaders strongly condemned the burning of Qurans by Florida Pastor Terry Jones on Saturday in protest of Iran's continued imprisonment of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Jones burned copies of the Quran and an image depicting Muhammad on Saturday evening in front of his church Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., where about 20 people gathered to witness the event, OCALA.com reported. Gainesville police were stationed near the church and patrolled the area.

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April 30, 2012

Pastor, 20 Worshippers Killed in Nigeria Church Attacks

A pastor and at least 20 worshippers were killed when gunmen suspected to be Islamist militants opened fire in two separate incidents targeting worship services in northern Nigeria Sunday. In the first attack, gunmen in the northern city of Kano targeted an area in the Bayero University campus where churches hold Sunday services, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 22 others, The Associated Press reported, quoting an account by the Nigerian Red Cross.

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April 27, 2012

Interview With Director of ‘Jesus Was a Commie’ Film

"Communism" is an ugly word in the United States and has been closely associated if not altogether defined by fascist leaders like Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. But actor and filmmaker Matthew Modine says there is another leader who was a communist but isn't like the others: Jesus. "I think that you could define [Jesus] as a Utopian communist, where people would work together to solve our problems," Modine told The Christian Post on Wednesday.

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April 27, 2012

Maine Town Levies Parking-Lot Tax on Church

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Methodist church in Rockland, Me., saying the county assessor is unconstitutionally applying a state law regarding property taxes and charitable organizations. State law grants property tax exemptions to all charitable organizations. But Aldersgate United Methodist Church only received an exemption for its building — not its parking lot or the parsonage it rents to another pastor in town.

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April 27, 2012

Legal Group Says Abortion Clinic Owner Playing ‘Shell Game’ With Licensure Orders

The owner of a Birmingham abortion center found guilty of more than 76 pages’ worth of health code violations has been ordered to surrender the clinic license by May 18 — but according to a pro-life legal group, shady dealings are afoot. When the Alabama Department of Public Health revoked the license of New Woman All Women, officials left the door open for others to take over the business — so long as they have no ties New Woman All Women or its current owner, Diane Derzis.

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April 27, 2012

Abortion-Standards Bill Falters

A California Senate committee today stalled a bill that would allow nonphysicians to perform first-trimester suction abortions, shooting it down on a 4-4 vote. SB 1338, sponsored by Sen. Christine Kehoe of San Diego, sought to allow midwives, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to perform abortions without medical supervision. On Tuesday, the Senate Public Safety Committee approved the measure, but amended it so that only 41 nonphysicians taking part in an as-yet incomplete five-year pilot training program could perform them.

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April 26, 2012

Less Than 50% of U.S. Households Now Led by Married Couples, Says Census Bureau

(CNSNews.com) – For the first time ever, the percentage of married households fell below 50 percent, according to the Census Bureau, which released a brief Wednesday about families and households from the results of the 2010 Census. The percentage of married households fell to 48.4 in 2010, down from 55.2 percent in 1990 and 51.7 percent in 2000.

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April 26, 2012

Bill authorizes prosecution for death of an embryo

NASHVILLE — The Senate approved and sent to Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday legislation that allows criminal prosecution for causing the death of "a human embryo or fetus at any stage of gestation in utero." The bill (HB3517) marks the second change in two years to a law that since 1989 had it a crime to cause the death of a "viable fetus." That was changed last year to eliminate the word "viable."

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April 26, 2012

Atheist Group Wants Memorial Cross Removed From RI Fire Station

An atheist organization is demanding that a Rhode Island city move a memorial cross from public property, deeming it a violation of the Establishment Clause. Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter to the leaders of the City of Woonsocket saying that they are threatening a suit on behalf of some concerned residents.

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April 26, 2012

Arizona Lawmakers Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood

The Arizona Senate voted 18-8 Tuesday to pass a bill prioritizing state funding for women’s health centers that don’t provide abortions. HB 2800 was passed by the state House of Representatives on a 41-17-2 vote in early March, and will soon head to Gov. Jan Brewer, who is expected to sign it.

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April 26, 2012

Court: Mojave Cross Can Stay

Religious freedom advocates won a momentous victory this week, when a federal judge signed a settlement allowing a contested cross to stand on a one-acre spit of land in the middle of the Mojave Desert. The court battle over the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, first erected in the 1930s, has been going on for 11 years. Atheists, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, complained in 2001 that the “religious symbol? stood on government property maintained by the National Park Service. They said that violates the separation of church and state.

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April 25, 2012

U.N. Chief Calls for Universal Access to Abortion and Contraception for Teen Girls

(CNSNews.com) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that millions of girls -- teenagers and younger -- need access to abortion and contraceptives in order to “avoid unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted infections.? “Sixteen million adolescent girls become mothers every year, and every day, more than 2,000 young people contract HIV,? Ban said. “We have a collective responsibility to drive these numbers down.?

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April 25, 2012

Doubting Darwin

The sky is falling! Many interest groups and journalists raced to tell that to the public when a modest but important bill became law in Tennessee early in April. The law instructs teachers and administrators to "create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."

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April 25, 2012

Vanderbilt University’s Religious Groups Lose Recognition

In the ongoing debate over religious freedom at Vanderbilt University, the school has ended its registration period, acknowledging 400 student organizations, out of 469 submissions, as university-affiliated. Twenty-six of those organizations accepted are faith-based, while more than a dozen religious organizations have lost their membership due to their refusal to accept the administrators' all-comers policy. The religious groups accepted as university student organizations include: Presbyterian Student Fellowship; Vanderbilt Baptist Campus Ministries; Vanderbilt Hillel; Wesley/Canterbury Fellowship, a United Methodist and Episcopal student ministry; Commodores for Christ, a Church of Christ-affiliated organization; and Society of Saints Cosmas and Damian, the Catholic medical school organization, according the university's official news page.

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April 25, 2012

California Bill Restricts Counseling for Orientation Change

The California Senate is scheduled to begin reviewing a bill soon that bans mental health professionals from treating minors who want to change their sexual orientation. SB 1172, introduced by Sen. Ted Lieu in February, begins with a lengthy preamble denouncing therapy to change sexual orientation as causing “serious and lasting harms? to those who go through it. The legislation also requires adults seeking the therapy to sign consent forms acknowledging they are aware of the risks, while allowing family members and others to sue anyone offering the therapy after the fact.

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April 25, 2012

Kansas Cities Consider Expanding Nondiscrimination Ordinances

Four Kansas towns are considering passing “nondiscrimination? ordinances that allow people to use public showers, restrooms and dressing rooms set aside for the opposite sex. Hutchinson, Pittsburg, Salina and Wichita were asked by gay activists to add “sexual orientation? and “gender identity? to a list of groups protected by civil rights laws. Salina will vote on the proposal on May 14, and Hutchinson on May 15. “Gender identity? refers to people’s belief that they belong to the opposite sex, are a blend of the two or neither.

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April 24, 2012

Planned Parenthood Worried It’s The Target Of New Undercover Sting

A string of suspicious incidents at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country has given the organization reason to believe that anti-abortion activists are targeting it in a new organized sting operation. According to Planned Parenthood spokesperson Chloe Cooney, clinics in at least 11 states have reported two dozen or more "hoax visits" over the past several weeks, in which a woman walks into a clinic, claims to be pregnant and asks a particular pattern of provocative questions about sex-selective abortions, such as how soon she can find out the gender of the fetus, by what means and whether she can schedule an abortion if she's having a girl.

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