(The Telegraph) — Babies born within marriage could become a minority in England and Wales within five years as younger couples turn their back on matrimony, new figures suggest.
According to the Office for National statistics just over half — 52.5 per cent — of women who gave birth in England and Wales last year were married.
That compares to 57.8 per cent a decade earlier and more than 61 per cent at the beginning of the new century.
Although the decline appears to have stalled in the last two years, if it continues at the average rate seen over the last decade, only a minority of babies would be born in wedlock by 2020.
A special message from the publisher…
COLUMBIA, Mo. — The state of Missouri is down to one remaining abortion facility after a local hospital cancelled the admitting privileges of an abortionist at the Columbia location.
Planned Parenthood of Columbia ceased providing medical abortions on Monday as the University of Missouri Health Care has decided to discontinue the privileges, which effective Dec. 1, means that abortionist Colleen McNicholas cannot legally provide abortifacients at the location.
The hospital voted in September to no longer offer the “refer and follow” privileges, which allowed Planned Parenthood to obtain permission from the state health department to offer medical abortions. Without the privileges, the Columbia location loses any authority to offer abortifacients to mothers.
Planned Parenthood supporters are now planning to hold a rally and march next Monday in an effort to pressure interim Chancellor Hank Foley into postponing or changing his mind about rescinding the hospital privileges. A postponement would allow Planned Parenthood additional time to find another hospital to grant privileges or to find another abortionist who currently has the admitting privileges.
But some pro-lifers welcomed the news as they released balloons outside of the location on Monday, one for each baby who died after the health department granted Planned Parenthood’s abortion license this past summer.
“We give all the honor and glory and victory to God,” Kathy Forck of 40 Days for Life told reporters. “This is God’s victory.”
As previously reported, not many years after the birth of America, a number of lawmakers, lawyers and doctors adamantly stood against abortion as an immoral evil.
“We blush, while we record the fact that in this country, in our cities and towns, in this city, where literature, science, morality and Christianity are supposed to have so much influence; where all the domestic and social virtues are reported as being in full and delightful exercise; even here, individuals, male and female, exist, who are continually imbruing their hands and consciences in the blood of unborn infants,” said Dr. Hugh Lennox Hodge, a Philadelphia obstetrician and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, in 1854.
It is recorded that Illinois was the first state to completely outlaw abortion as laws were passed in 1827. By the 1900′s, however, due to the influence of a ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, nearly every state in the nation prohibited abortion for any reason, with the exception of Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina.
A special message from the publisher…
MADISON, Wisc. — A federal appeals court has struck down a Wisconsin law requiring abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, with a judge nominated to the bench by then-President Ronald Reagan writing the opinion on behalf of the majority.
As previously reported, Gov. Scott Walker approved Senate Bill 206 (SB206) in July 2013, which called for increased health standards at abortion facilities, including the admitting privileges requirement. The measure was stated to protect women in the event of injury during the abortion procedure.
Pro-life advocates praised the legislation, but Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) immediately filed a lawsuit against the state, asserting that the regulation will cause at least Affiliated Medical Services to close its doors since local hospitals have been unwilling to grant its abortionist, Dennis Christensen, admitting privileges.
In March, U.S. District Judge William Conley, appointed to the bench by Barack Obama, sided with the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, declaring that that a woman’s desire to obtain an abortion “is substantially outweighed by the burden this requirement will have on women’s health outcomes due to restricted access to abortions in Wisconsin.”
Conley’s opinion was appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the decision 2-1 on Tuesday. Judge Richard Posner, who was nominated to the bench by then-President Ronald Reagan, wrote for the majority.
“What makes no sense is to abridge the constitutional right to abortion on the basis of spurious contentions regarding women’s health — and the abridgment challenged in this case would actually endanger women’s health,” he wrote.
Posner said that laws like Wisconsin’s regulation serve as an indirect effort make abortions more difficult to obtain.
“They may do this in the name of protecting the health of women who have abortions, yet as in this case the specific measures they support may do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion,” he opined.
He was joined by Obama appointee David Hamilton in his decision.
Judge David Manion, appointed by Ronald Reagan, was the lone dissenter.
“The solution to the plaintiffs’ problems is that they find more qualified doctors, not that the state relax — or that we strike down as unconstitutional — precautions taken by the state to protect the health and safety of pregnant women who have chosen to end their pregnancies,” he wrote.
But the case may not be over as the U.S. Supreme Court agreed earlier this month to hear a case out of Texas surrounding whether the state may require abortionists to obtain admitting privileges and operate with the same standards as surgical facilities.
“The advancement of the abortion industry’s bottom line shouldn’t take precedence over women’s health, and we look forward to demonstrating the validity of these important health and safety requirements in court,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement.
Some believe that the abortion industry should be outlawed altogether instead of being regulated.
A special message from the publisher…
GRANDVILLE, Mich. — Kent Dobson, who took over the leadership role at Mars Hill in 2012 after controversial author and speaker Rob Bell left the congregation he founded, has now also decided to step down, stating that “being a pastor is not who I am.”
“My place here has not felt right, like I was wearing someone else’s suit that didn’t quite fit and I tried to get it tailored and maybe I had shoulder pads from the 90’s or something. I don’t know,” he told the congregation on Sunday. “It just felt like it didn’t quite fit me so well.”
Dobson said that he feels restless and uncomfortable around “too much God talk.”
“I’ve felt restless, but I’ve always felt restless and a bit homeless when it comes to church and when it comes to God talk,” he explained. “When I hear too much God talk, I start to feel like (shudders) [it’s] too much religion. I don’t know; it gives me a restless feeling. A lot of times I feel like an outsider at my own party.”
“I have always been and I’m still drawn to the very edges of religion and faith and God,” Dobson continued. “I’ve said a few times that I don’t even know if we know what we mean by God anymore. That’s the edges of faith. That’s the thing that pulls me. I’m not really drawn to the center. I’m not drawn to the orthodox or the mainstream or the status quo.”
Dobson, the son of Ed Dobson, who formerly pastored Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, said that while Mars Hill is not “in alignment with [his] own passions,” he is not leaving the congregation because he doesn’t think it isn’t “progressive enough” on the issue of homosexuality. Dobson’s brother Daniel identifies as homosexual.
“It is true that my views are progressive, … but I’ve never felt that Mars Hill needed to think like me,” he stated. “I never felt like Mars Hill, like other kinds of churches, that I needed to come down the mountain like Moses and draw a line in the sand and say everybody’s gotta be like me or they can hit the road. … I am open and affirming but I always have been.”
Dobson said that he is not sure what is next, but that he will be transitioning out over the next few months.
“Mars Hill is going to have to find some new teaching voices. It’s just time,” he stated. “I feel called to a greater mystery that I do not know, that I do not understand.”
Rob Bell, who founded Mars Hill in 1999, left the congregation in 2011 shortly after releasing his book “Love Wins,” which was criticized by many for its teachings that claimed the majority of Christian doctrine on Hell is “misguided and toxic.” However, he asserted that his departure had nothing to do with controversy over the book.
Dobson is formerly a teacher at NorthPointe Christian School, and has appeared on broadcasts for the History Channel and Discovery Channel. His 30-minute announcement to Mars Hill may be viewed here.