Editors note:  This testimony is from Darlene Pawlik now a wife of 24 years and mother of five.  She’s also an author, a practicing nurse, the Chair of the Educational Trust for New Hampshire Right to Life, an Executive Board Member of Personhood Alliance, the Vice-President of Save The 1, and a pro-life speaker and blogger for Save The 1.

I was trapped in the sex trafficking industry from age 14-17. Trafficking in persons is not like any regulated industry.  It is unmitigated anarchy. There are no rules. I was conceived during a brutal rape and learned of it when I was very young. That knowledge and child sexual abuse by my own father and later by a maternal uncle had me feeling worth less than others and vulnerable. I was 12 when my mother got her second divorce. By thirteen, I’d been dabbling in drugs and alcohol, wandering the neighbourhood and hanging out with a bodybuilder in a black Cadillac. He was patient as he courted me and manipulated me into his bed.

I wasn’t held in sex trafficking with locks, bars or handcuffs, but by fear, threats and hopelessness. I had no hope in the authorities helping me. One apartment I stayed in was leased to the candidate for sheriff of that small city. Some of the buyers were businessmen, a city councilman, professionals, as well as derelicts who thrived on violence and pain. He sold me for the first time on my fourteenth birthday. I stood in three inches of slush, my sneakers full of icy water, shivering in front of a local drug store at the end of the street where we lived waiting for Ace to pick me up. The buyer was thrilled to know I was so young, awkward and afraid.

Ace sold me for sex hundreds of times. He then sold me to another man who sold me for sex too. It was a quagmire of abuses, gang rape, attempted suicide, sleeplessness, huddling in doorways and church steps, drugs, drinking, arrests and foster care, and running away again. At seventeen, I was sold to a man as a “house pet.” I thought I’d be safer — at least I would only have to serve him. He dressed me up and took me to nice dinners. I got a job. Finally, I felt kind of stable, kind of normal. He’d told me that if I got pregnant, I would have to have an abortion. It scared me, but I didn’t feel I had any choice. 

After four months, I did get pregnant. As he slammed his fist on the wooden arm of the couch, he shouted, “I want NO life!” It was terrifying — his voice shot right through me. The man was a small-time organized crime boss. He said that I would have an abortion or he’d kill me, and I knew this was true. One of his enforcers had been my trafficker and beaten and raped me numerous times. I made the appointment in his presence. That evening, I literally threw my hands in the air as I cried and prayed, “God, if you’re real, please help me!”

Somehow, I fell asleep and I had a dream of an abortion in living colour from the perspective of inside of the womb. I had no knowledge of abortion at the time, but I now know that it was accurate for the level of development in great detail. Those little hands and feet, that tiny face, the ribs and blood — it was horrifying! I had wanted to be a mom for as long as I could remember. When I awoke, I called everyone I could think of, going through old business cards people had once handed me. I reached a social worker who had tried to help me as a runaway. She found a maternity home that would take me. Some friends would take my things to storage.

But how would I get away? My captor insisted that we would go out to dinner after the abortion appointment. So, the day came. I left and made arrangements with the social worker, but I returned and got ready for dinner. I’d been so scared that I was crying and near hysterical all day. With my face swollen, eyes bloodshot, trembling and shallow breaths, I got into the car. I fidgeted — my breaths uneven. I stuttered, as I told him that I wanted to go live with a cousin who would give me a job. “Something happened to me on that table,” I said, “I don’t want to be here anymore.” 

I thought he would understand because he told me of other girls he’d forced to have abortions and they were let go. The whole evening, I couldn’t sit still because I was so afraid he’d find out. I went to the bathroom frequently and cried through the meal, pretending to be nauseous and in pain. On the way home, he said I could go, but if I came back to town, I would have to find him. I moved the next day. I promised God that I would bring my children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, if my baby was okay. She was, and I did. People who know me today, cannot fathom that I lived such a life. I explain to them saving my baby saved my life.

Source: Right to Life

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Pope Francis has marked the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians by calling the massacre by Ottoman Turks “the first genocide of the 20th century” and urging the international community to recognise it as such.  Turkey immediately responded by recalling its ambassador and accusing Francis of spreading hatred and “unfounded claims”. Francis issued the pronouncement during a mass in St Peter’s Basilica commemorating the centenary. It was attended by Armenian church leaders and President Serge Sarkisian, who praised the Pope for calling a spade a spade and “delivering a powerful message to the inter­national community”.

“The words of the leader of a church with one billion followers cannot but have a strong impact,” Mr Sarkisian said. Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I. Turkey, however, denies a genocide took place. It has insisted that the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest. Francis defended his words by saying it was his duty to honour the memory of the innocent men, women and children who were “senselessly” murdered. “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it,” he said.

He said similar massacres were under way today against Christians because of their faith, who were “publicly and ruthlessly put to death, decapitated, burned alive, or forced to leave their homeland”, a reference to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Francis called on the world, heads of state and international organisations to recognise the truth of what transpired to prevent such “horrors” from being repeated, and to oppose all such crimes “without ceding to ambiguity or compromise”. Turkey has fiercely lobbied to prevent countries from officially recognising the Armenian massacre as genocide and reacted strongly to Francis’s declaration.

“The Pope’s statement, which is far from historic truth, is unacceptable,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted. “Religious leaders should not make unfounded claims or stir hatred.” The Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican’s envoy in Ankara, and then announced it was recalling its own ambassador to the Vatican for consultations. The ministry said the Turkish people would not recognise the Pope’s statement, “which is controversial in every aspect, which is based on prejudice, which distorts history and reduces the pains suffered in Anatolia under the conditions of the First World War to members of just one religion”.

It accused Francis of deviating from his message of peace and reconciliation during his November visit to Turkey. Francis’s willingness to rile Ankara with his words showed once again that he has few qualms about taking diplomatic risks for issues close to his heart. And the massacre of Armenians is indeed close to the Vatican’s heart given that Armenia is held up as the first Christian nation, dating from 301. That said, Francis is not the first pope to call the massacre a genocide. Saint John Paul II wrote in a 2001 joint declaration with the Armenian church leader, Karekin II, that the deaths were considered “the first genocide of the 20th century”.

Source: Religition News Service

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Nearly 50 unregulated schools set up by extremists are being investigated for being anti-British, it has been claimed. Education authorities are looking into allegations that these schools impart teachings that go against British values. Many of these schools were set up by a teacher embroiled in the Trojan Horse scandal that saw radical Muslims infiltrating school governing bodies in Birmingham, it was alleged. Based around the UK – including Luton, Birmingham, and London, these schools manage to escape prying eyes by operating outside the traditional education system, it was claimed.

Many of the students have been pulled out of the mainstream education system, which is overseen by the schools’ watchdog, Ofsted, and the Department for Education (DfE), and are being home schooled without proper regulation or oversight. Children of Somali, Bengali and Pakistani origins are thought to be at risk of being radicalised in their own homes, it was reported. It is a criminal offence to run unregulated schools, which must be registered with the DfE. However, local authorities are responsible to make sure home schooling in their area is providing suitable education for youngsters.

Set up as private tutorial centres, unregulated schools find it easier to remain under the radar by teaching only a limited amount of hours per week. It was reported the DfE has launched a number of investigations into the rising number of unregulated schools as some expressed concerns they are too easy to set up and are not being monitored properly to ensure they teach British values. One of the schools at the centre of the controversy is Siddeeq Academy in Tower Hamlets, which closed down earlier this year following revelations it was being run by a convicted Islamist extremist by the name of Mizanur Rahman.

Mr Rahman allegedly claimed Taliban gunmen who murdered more than 130 students at a school in Pakistan were “unfairly demonised”. An unnamed Whitehall official said unregulated schools are led by people who are against “democracy, equality, and tolerance”. “If you are a Salafi Muslim or an Islamist that means you don’t believe in British values because they go against your ideologies and set of beliefs. The problem is anyone can set up one of these schools and there are no regulations for it and they can then go on to brainwash children,” the source was reported as saying. The DfE refused to comment on the allegations.

Source: The Telegraph

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Islamic State (IS) violence grows more despicable by the day. It began with crucifixions and beheadings. Now, they’re turning churches in Mosul into torture chambers and selling ancient Christian artefacts on the black market. Jay Sekulow of the American Centre for Law and Justice said “ISIS has a stated goal to wipe out Christianity. This is why they are crucifying Christians–including children, destroying churches, and selling artefacts. This group will stop at nothing to raise funds for its terrorist mission.” According to CNN, IS violence has hit a new low. A pamphlet distributed throughout Mosul is justifying the enslavement of “nonbelieving” women and girls.

In light of disturbing developments like these, will this rising darkness result in a global caliphate? “They decide to be the most outrageous, in-your-face terrorist group of all time, and they’ve accomplished that,” admits E3 Partners Middle East expert Tom Doyle. “But I think, in many ways, this has back-fired on them. “ISIS violence in a sense, is just sending shock waves through Islam, as people are really rethinking their whole theology.” From the beginning, Islamic State has vowed to establish a caliphate. This implies radical Islamic dominance–not just in Iraq and Syria, but the entire world.

Over the past few months, media headlines have regularly drawn attention to terror groups and individuals pledging their perpetual allegiance to the Islamic State. But Doyle says there’s one story going untold. “Crucifixions, beheadings at the hands of IS are turning people away.” According to E3, more Muslims have become followers of Jesus in the last decade than in the past 14 centuries of Islam. Ministry partners in Syria tell Doyle IS violence is causing many Muslims to re-think their faith. “Recently, they’ve had gatherings that total over 1,000 people that are fed up with Islam and are searching for something different,” Doyle shares. 

Source: Mission Network News

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Teen use of alcohol and cigarettes fell to their lowest levels in decades, while use of several drugs, including marijuana, is down or stable, according to a new national survey. But amid the good news in the 2014 Monitoring the Future study was the troubling finding that more teens are using e-cigarettes than using tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes have become the nicotine-delivery device “of choice” for middle and high school students, Richard Miech, senior investigator of the 40-year-old study said. Among 8th-graders, 9%  said they used a smokeless, tobaccoless “vaping” product in the past month, compared with 4% who said they smoked cigarettes.

About 16 percent of 10th graders said they had used e-cigs, compared with 7 percent who smoked cigarettes, and among high school seniors, 17 percent said they used e-cigarettes compared with 14 percent who smoked cigarettes. Because e-cigarettes could serve as an entry point into the use of highly addictive nicotine, this first-time finding about the prevalence of the use of these devices is the “fly in the ointment” in the survey’s many positive findings, said Lloyd Johnston, principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future survey, which interviewed more than 41,000 students in 377 schools this year.

Source: Washington Times

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“Outlaw abortion and abortion won’t stop. Women will just do it illegally and women will die!” Or so the argument goes… But facts are pesky things, and they show that the opposite is true in Chile. According to new research from the MELISA Institute, since Chile’s ban on abortion, not only has maternal health improved but the number of women seeking illegal abortion has plummeted! Since Chile banned abortion in 1989, the number of maternal deaths decreased from 41.3 to 12.7 per 100,000 women (69.2% reduction). That puts Chile in second place for the lowest maternal mortality rate in the Americas (even better than the United States). 

Prof. Elard Koch, a molecular epidemiologist and lead author of the study, says educating women enhanced their ability to access existing health care resources, and since those resources included skilled attendants for childbirth, that directly led to a reduction of maternal deaths during pregnancy and childbirth. As Dr. Koch explains, “it is a unique natural experiment conducted in a developing country.” During the fifty-year period under study, the overall maternal mortality rate dramatically declined by 93.8%, from 270.7 to 18.2 deaths per 100,000 live births, making Chile a leader in maternal healthcare outcomes in the Americas.

Source: LifeSiteNews

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Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights claims that IS militants recently executed at least 150 women in the Western province of Al-Anbar. According to a statement released by the ministry, the militants had attacked women before burying them in mass graves in Fallujah. “At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah after refusing to accept jihad marriage,” the statement said. It continued, “Many families were forced to migrate from the province’s northern town of Al-Wafa after hundreds of residents received death threats.” IS has overrun a large part of the Anbar province in its push to expand its territory across Iraq and Syria.

Source: The Independent

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