Friday, January 19, 2018

Trump is the ‘most pro-life president in American history,’ Pence says

January 19, 2018 by  
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WASHINGTON — Vice President Pence greeted anti-abortion activists Thursday night on the eve of the March for Life, saying President Trump has “made a difference for life” in his first year in office. 

On Friday, Trump will become the first president to directly address the 45-year-old anti-abortion protest march. Previous presidents — including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush — have done so with a phone call or recorded message. Trump will do it in the White House Rose Garden.

It’s part of an effort by the Trump administration to show off its anti-abortion credentials as the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade approaches next week.

Trump’s own history on the issue is complicated. In 1999, he called himself “very pro-choice.” Declaring his his anti-abortion credentials in his presidential campaign, he bucked the movement’s orthodoxy by saying women who obtain abortions should be punished.

But on Thursday, Pence called Trump “the most pro-life president in American history.”

He boasted of a litany of anti-abortion measures by the Trump administration over its first year: Banning federal funds for global health groups that promote abortion under the “Mexico City policy,” defunding the United Nations Population Fund, and overturning an Obama administration rule that required states to provide funding for Planned Parenthood.

“You made that happen. Your efforts over the years, over the decades, standing tirelessly for the sanctity of life, has brought this day about, this year about,” he said.

Also Thursday, the Trump administration announced that it would support the rights of health care workers who object to abortion, birth control or sex-change operations based on their religious convictions.

More: New federal office to protect consciences, religious objections of health care professionals

Pence predicted that Republican majorities in Congress and Trump in the White House would lead to a watershed moment in the coming years.

“I truly believe, with all of my heart, this is the pro-life generation in America,” Pence said. “And I truly believe, in this generation, we will restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law once again.”

More: Gay Olympian Adam Rippon blasts selection of Mike Pence to lead U.S. delegation

 

Before execution, ‘Tourniquet Killer’ says "I made my peace"

January 19, 2018 by  
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There was relief tonight outside of Texas death row.

In the case of Houston’s “Tourniquet Killer,” there was justice- decades in the making.

Anthony Allen Shores became the nation’s first prisoner executed in 2018, known for his signature murder technique.

Shore received lethal injection for the 1992 strangling of a 21-year-old woman whose body was dumped in the drive-thru of a Houston Dairy Queen. Maria del Carmen Estrada was one of four females Shore confessed to killing.

He was sentenced to die for the murders of three girls and a young woman – all raped and tortured in the 80′s and 90′s in the Heights area.

Shore’s victims include:

  • 14-year-old Laurie Lee Tremblay
  • 21-year-old Maria Del Carmen Estrada
  • 9-year-old Diana Rebollar
  • 16-year-old Dana Sanchez

“Remember these faces,” City of Houston victim’s rights advocate Andy Kahan said. “This is who today is about. Anthony Allen Shores’ reign of terror is officially over.”

Shore admitted to the rape, torture and murders of all his victims.

WATCH: Who was the ‘Tourniquet Killer’?

In the moments before the execution, he spoke briefly to some of his victim’s family members in attendance.

“He sounded apologetic,” said AP reporter and eyewitness Mike Graczyk. “His voice cracked several times. His chin and lips were quivering as he was speaking.”

In his final statement, Shore said:

“I like to take a moment to say I’m sorry. No amount of words could ever undo what I’ve done. To the family of my victims, I wish I could undo the past. It is what it is. God bless all of you. I will die with a clear conscious. I made my peace. There is no others. I will like to wish a happy birthday to Barbara Carrol. Today is her birthday. I would like to specifically thank those that have helped me, you know who you are. God bless everybody, until we meet again. I’m ready, warden.”

Graczyk described Shore’s reaction as the lethal injection was administered.

“He said you could feel it, it was hot, it was burning,” Graczyk said. “He goes, ‘Ohhh, ooooh wee,’ is how he put it.”

Thirteen minutes later, Shore was declared dead. His death, by all accounts, peaceful compared to that of his victims.”

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