Religion Today Daily Headlines - March 21, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines - March 21, 2013

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

In today's edition:

  • Pastor Saeed, Family Allowed Visit as World Pressure Mounts
  • China: 336 Million Abortions in Barely Four Decades
  • Assistant Admits to Killing 10 Babies With Scissors During Trial for 'House of Horrors' Abortionist
  • White House on Clinton's Same-Sex Marriage Support: 'It's a Good Thing'


Pastor Saeed, Family Allowed Visit as World Pressure Mounts

After a public hearing and a petition with more than half a million names, pressure is mounting on Iran to release an American pastor sentenced to eight years in one of the country's most notorious prisons, CBN News reports. According to the American Center for Law and Justice, Pastor Saeed Abedini met with his family in Iran for an extended two-hour visitation Monday. The visit was allowed in commemoration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. After the visitation, more information about Abedini's medical condition has come to light. The ACLJ -- which represents Abedini, his wife and their two children -- says he has been examined for internal bleeding and will be taken to a hospital to receive medical care. "With his medical condition worsening each day, such medical attention is needed immediately," the ACLJ said. 

China: 336 Million Abortions in Barely Four Decades

China has aborted 336 million unborn children, many of them forcibly, during slightly more than four decades, the government has announced. The staggering number of abortions should prompt mourning for the victims, but it should not be shocking, said pro-life observers of China's policy, because the Communist government has enforced a coercive "one-child" policy for more than 30 years. On March 14, the Chinese Health Ministry reported the following statistics for its family planning practices since 1971, according to the Financial Times: 336 million abortions performed, 196 sterilizations conducted and 403 million intrauterine devices inserted. China, the world's most populous country, first instituted limits on population growth in 1971 and established its "one-child" population control program in 1979. The policy has resulted not only in many reports of authorities carrying out forced abortions and sterilizations, but also in accounts of infanticide. The 336 million abortions surpass the current U.S. population of about 315 million, and also dwarfs the number of abortions -- 55 million -- reported in the U.S. during the last 40 years.

Assistant Admits to Killing 10 Babies With Scissors During Trial for 'House of Horrors' Abortionist

As the trial for notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell proceeded this week, one of Gosnell's employees testified that she had personally been involved in the murders of 10 newborn babies, the Christian News Network reports. Adrienne Moton told the court the babies who were born alive had their spines "snipped" with scissors. "I learned it from Dr. Gosnell," she said when asked by prosecutors where she came up with the idea. "I never asked why. ... I could remember a good 10 times that I did it." Moton has been incarcerated since 2011, and has pled guilty to third-degree murder, along with other charges, for her participation in Gosnell's late-term abortion operation. She is the first of at least two employees who are set to testify against the abortionist in the trial. Gosnell, 72, faces seven counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of babies who were born alive but had their spinal cords "snipped"; he also faces one count of third-degree murder for the death of an abortion client who was administered a lethal amount of medication, in addition to approximately 20 other charges. Gosnell was taken into custody in 2011 following an investigation into his practice, called the Women's Medical Society. Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams, who initially leveled the charges against Gosnell, described the clinic as a "House of Horrors." In addition to several babies found with their spinal cords severed, investigators "found jar after jar after jar of fetal remains and specifically severed feet in jars" and "medical waste bags just strewn everywhere," according to Williams. Gosnell, if convicted, could face the death penalty for his crimes.

White House on Clinton's Same-Sex Marriage Support: 'It's a Good Thing'

The White House has responded to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent support for same-sex marriage, calling it "a good thing," the Christian Post reports. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that although he has not heard an official statement from President Barack Obama regarding Clinton's recent announcement, he can say that the president supports Clinton's decision. "The president believes that any time a public official of stature steps forward to embrace a commitment that he shares to equality for LGBT Americans, he thinks it's a good thing," Carney said. "I know that's what he feels in general when major figures in our society make their views known. It's testimony to how far this country and how quickly this country has traveled."

Publication date: March 21, 2013