Last week’s video prompted the U.S. Congress to open investigations into Planned Parenthood, which is the country’s largest provider of abortions. In addition, Texas republican governor Greg Abbott and Missouri’s democrat attorney general Chris Koster both announced that their respective states will also investigate Planned Parenthood’s practices within their states. Planned Parenthood seems to chalk up the videos to a smear campaign, maintaining that the original video is misleading. Yesterday, the organization sent a letter to Congress saying that subsequent videos would be similarly misleading. Discuss
Late-term abortions are now illegal in Wisconsin. State governor Scott Walker signed a bill yesterday that bans all non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks, the stage when some experts say fetuses begin to feel pain. Rape and incest are exceptions to the new law. This legislation makes performing a late-term abortion a felony, carrying a punishment of up to three and a half years in prison and up to $10,000, reports Politico. Still allowable after 20 weeks are emergency abortions in situations where the mother may die or incur severe injuries. Wisconsin lawmakers approved this action earlier this month. Discuss
Some 600,000 soccer fans will descend on Rio De Janeiro when the World Cup kicks off on June 12, and while the world prepares for its biggest sporting event, Brazil's churches are doubling efforts to the fight the darker side of the World Cup. Rio De Janeiro has a tragic reputation as being a haven for sex trafficking, and local churches are launching campaigns to raise awareness about the horrors of child sex abuse. UNICEF estimates that nearly 250,000 children are sexually abused in Brazil every year, with major sporting events fueling those numbers. Research from Childhood Brazil says reported sex crimes against children increased by a staggering 66 percent in South Africa's 2010 World Cup. As Ronald Neptune, national coordinator of Bola na Rede, which provides tourists with information to combat child sex abuse, told Religion News Service,
Over the last three years, we’ve been preparing churches in the 12 cities, encouraging them to mobilize their congregations so they actively do something in the days leading up to and during the World Cup ...As Christians, we can’t just clap our hands and praise the Lord, we have to work to make a difference to the lives of the young people at risk,” he said. “We can be the eyes and ears on the streets and the motivating force that gets people out leafleting and speaking to tourists about how they can be vigilant to help protect our children.
This week, area churches plan on gathering for prayer and mobilizing to pass out information to tourists on how to protect children ... Discuss
The pro-life movement is getting more racially diverse, more secular and more educated. According to new research from the Public Religion Research Institute, anti-abortion advocates from the ages of 18-29 look significantly different from their senior counterparts. For their research, the institute compared several demographic factors from the Millennial group with pro-lifers over the age of 65. Read More
As New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium prepares to host the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, officials in the state are ramping up their efforts to fight sex trafficking. U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey is the co-chairman of the House anti-human trafficking caucus. He told the AP, "New Jersey has a huge trafficking problem. One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks." The state has set up new training programs for law enforcement officers, hospitality industry workers and transportation employees, teaching them the signs of what to look for to identify women and even children who may be the victims of sex trafficking.
The state’s Attorney General, John J. Hoffman, said, "We've enlisted basically every service provider that people coming to the Super Bowl are going to run into. There are a lot of eyes that are going to be on their activities and going to be on spotting potential victims of this crime." Officials say that because New York is such a large city and the stadium is in close proximity to a complex highway system, sex trafficking victims are at greater risk. Even the NFL is getting involved. The league held a special meeting recently to have members of its security team receive training from law enforcement officers who specialize in human trafficking and child prostitution ... Discuss