Religion Today Daily Headlines - April 29, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines - April 29, 2013

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Obama: 'Planned Parenthood is Not Going Anywhere'
  • 68 Percent of Voters Still Unaware of Gosnell Murder Story
  • Gosnell Trial: Pro-Life Leaders Plan Courthouse Prayer Vigil During Closing Arguments
  • Burma: Christian Converts Lose Jobs and Homes


Obama: 'Planned Parenthood is Not Going Anywhere'

President Barack Obama praised the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for saving lives and helping women and families in a 12-minute speech on Friday -- enough time for 7.6 abortions to take place at Planned Parenthood clinics, based on the abortion data in their latest annual report, reports. In his speech, the president referenced two women that he said faced health problems with fertility and caner, and claimed they had found help at Planned Parenthood. "So every day in every state and at every center Planned Parenthood operates, there are stories like those," Obama said. "Lives you saved, women you've empowered, families that you have strengthened. That's why no matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, there's one thing the past few years have shown. It's that Planned Parenthood isn't going anywhere. It's not going anywhere today, it's not going anywhere tomorrow. As long as we've got got a fight to make, make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care and as long we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health care I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you fighting every step of the way. Thank you, Planned Parenthood, and God bless you." Obama is the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood.

68 Percent of Voters Still Unaware of Gosnell Murder Story

The news media are often criticized for spending too much time covering sensational crime stories, but not so in the Philadelphia murder trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is accused of killing babies born alive in his abortion clinic. According to a new Fox News national poll, only about a third of voters say they are familiar with the Gosnell story (11 percent say "very" and 21 percent "somewhat" familiar). Most voters -- 68 percent -- are unfamiliar with it. But why has the Gosnell case received relatively little attention from the national press? According to the poll, 41 percent of voters think the lack of coverage is because of a pro-abortion-rights bias in the news media. Another 26 percent say the lack of coverage is because it is a local crime story, while 17 percent blame it on the gruesomeness of the story's details. Pro-life respondents (42 percent) are twice as likely as pro-choice respondents (22 percent) to be familiar with the case; likewise, nearly twice as many Republicans (43 percent) as Democrats (22 percent) say they know about it. Last Thursday, 72 members of Congress signed three separate letters to network news executives expressing their displeasure with the lack of news coverage and demanding the networks report on the story. Court resumes Monday with closing arguments.

Gosnell Trial: Pro-Life Leaders Plan Courthouse Prayer Vigil During Closing Arguments

A group of national pro-life leaders plan to hold a prayer vigil outside the Philadelphia courthouse where abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell is being tried for murder as closing arguments in the case begin Monday, the Christian Post reports. "We will be gathering in prayer and public witness to ask God that these violent and barbaric acts of violence against women and children would be brought to justice," said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. "We will also be praying that we would live in a nation where human rights and equality would be guaranteed and embraced by all and we would never have to witness atrocities like this again." Gosnell, a late-term abortion provider, is charged with killing babies born alive in his clinic, reportedly targeting poor women who could not afford better health care. Though the accounts of what went on in his facility have been gruesomely graphic and have been made public since the court hearing began, it is only recently that major news outlets began their coverage of the case. Pro-life leaders argue that aborting and killing babies in the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy are not unique to Gosnell's clinic. "Sadly, the tragedy and horror surrounding the actions of Kermit Gosnell show that government officials and the pro-choice movement are more interested in protecting abortion rights than they are protecting the rights and health of women and their children," Mahoney said.

Burma: Christian Converts Lose Jobs and Homes

Persecution is increasing in Burma for Buddhists who convert to Christianity, Voice of the Martyrs reports. As people turn to Jesus Christ, they have difficulty keeping jobs and are often driven from their hopes, according to a VOM worker. Two families currently working with VOM's Burma fish farm project lost their jobs and homes after coming to faith in Christ last July. One family is living in a hut used for secret worship services, while the other is living in a hut where fish feed is stored. Amid the increasing pressure, the fish farm just completed its second harvest cycle. Despite setbacks from flooding and government opposition, it still generated income, which will be invested in church planting as well as re-invested to make the farm more productive.

Publication date: April 29, 2013