Saturday, January 21, 2012

President of Aloha Life Advocates adopted baby to stop an abortion

By Pat Gee
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Joaquin "Kin" Borja, newly elected president of Aloha Life Advocates, has personal reasons for his convictions.

Borja said 39 years ago his sister, who had already had eight children, was contemplating an abortion. When Borja learned of her decision, he asked to adopt the baby. He and his sister were living on Guam, a year before the historic Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, based on a woman's privacy rights.

Aloha Life Advocates is holding its 39th March for Life Hawaii rally on the anniversary of the law's passage at the state Capitol tomorrow from 1 to 4 p.m. This year's theme is "Aloha: Joyfully Sharing Life."

Borja said he was one of 24 siblings from a poor family from the Northern Mariana Islands. Though some of them were stillborn or did not survive childhood, 14 are thriving today. Borja credited the devotion of his Catholic parents, even though it was a struggle to feed and provide for their children.

Borja said God's hand was in the adoption of his eldest daughter. "Something drove me there. I mean, why go to my sister's house that night? I could have gone three weeks later, and it would've been too late. Honestly, I believe it was divine intervention." (Borja speeded up his marriage to wife Alicia, and the couple adopted the baby six months later; they also have two biological daughters.)

His daughter once asked him, "If I were disabled, would you still have taken me? I said: In a heartbeat. There are alternatives to abortion."

Though still affiliated with the National Right to Life Committee, his organization recently changed its name to Aloha Life Advocates since it better depicts its mission, which is to protect life "from conception to natural end," he said. "We are the voice of the people who cannot speak for themselves — the unborn, the disabled, the elderly, the poor. People who can't stand up for themselves," Borja said.

In addition to advocating against abortion, the group is informing lawmakers and citizens about the drawbacks of euthanasia, he said. The organization needs to remain vigilant against proposals for legislation to allow physician-assisted suicides in recent years, and is prepared to testify, he said.

"We need to be on the forefront to keep the elected officials accountable for their actions and to educate our citizens about the negative consequences of killing of innocent lives," he said.

"We don't beat people over the head, but try to educate them and pray to God they get the message," added Borja, a deacon with the Catholic Diocese of Hono­lulu who serves at St. Elizabeth Church. "We don't go out to generate hate or violence. We do not approve of the bombing of abortion clinics. If you believe in life, why would you take a life?"

Another change Aloha Life is undergoing is appealing to young people to pick up the cause's banner, he said. Last year's rally, which drew about 1,000 people, reflected its change of focus, as will tomorrow's event. A keiki poster contest involving students at all schools, games and activities, hula, live music and educational displays will culminate in a peaceful walk around the Capitol. The organization is trying to get more young people involved because "my generation of aging baby boomers is dying off, and there's no one to replace them," he said.

With social mores changing, and especially with traditional marriage, "we're re-emphasizing what marriage and family are all about," Borja added.

The rally will be peaceful, and people of all faiths are welcome, said Borja.

Colette Machado, chairwoman of the Board of Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, will deliver a welcoming message of aloha, he said.

Access article at Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Editor's note: Colette Machado has chosen to participate in March For Life Hawaii as a private citizen and not in an official capacity on behalf of any organization or group. Also, if you appreciate this article from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, please let them know by contacting the editor at letters@staradvertiser.com

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hawaii House Judiciary Committee schedules hearing on emergency contraception bill

What happened to "get your laws off my body" and "get the government out of my doctor's office"? Advocates of governmental intrusion into healthcare have re-introduced a bill from the last session that would force healthcare providers to offer rape victims emergency contraception as standard procedure--at the taxpayer's expense.

The measure, HB 127, HD 1 (HCSR 209), requires hospitals and providers to provide survivors of sexual assault with "medically and factually accurate and unbiased information regarding emergency contraception, as well as access to emergency contraception." This requirement is being marketed under the guise of "compassionate care." 

Victims of rape and intimate partner violence deserve compassionate care, however, emergency contraception drugs could actually harm the very women they are intended to help by causing nausea, vomiting, headaches, breast tenderness, dizziness, fluid retention, abdominal pain and irregular bleeding. Depending on when it is taken, emergency contraception can also result in early abortion. The bill does not specifically require that patients be informed of these risks to obtain informed consent. We believe that women deserve better.

We are concerned that among other problems with the bill, the language, which is very broad, could include be interpreted to include pregnancy resource centers. Under the paragraph "Compassionate Care", it looks like the definition of "hospital" has been expanded to include anyone who helps women who may have had a "sexual encounter." The bill defines "sexual assault" as someone who alleges sexual penetration.

Another problem with this bill is that it fails to provide a healthcare right of conscience exception for hospitals or individuals who object to offering emergency contraception for medical, ethical, moral, or religious reasons. Passage of this bill would almost certainly pose a problem to re-opening the two Catholic-owned (now bankrupt) hospitals, Hawaii Medical Centers East and West (see related article).

If this bill is passed, it will trample the conscience rights of individual healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. It will also give the imprimatur of governmental authority to those who do not consider EC to be an abortafacient to recommend it to patients, rather that simply offering it as one of multiple options.  (We've heard from several women who were told they "had" to take EC by nurses or others in the emergency room, with no effort to explain the pros and cons in a rational way.)

Those who refuse face penalties by state government and could risk discipline from their own employers and would be subject to fines of $1,000 for each separate instance. This sets a dangerous precedent by allowing the government to mandate what healthcare providers must do, violating individuals' constitutional rights and in effect practicing medicine (see related video). Without a “right of conscience” exception HB 127 is a clear violation of several federal laws including the 2005 Weldon Amendment and  42 USC § 238n which reads:
The Federal Government, and any State or local government that receives Federal financial assistance, may not subject any health care entity to discrimination on the basis that— (1) the entity refuses to undergo training in the performance of induced abortions, to require or provide such training, to perform such abortions, or to provide referrals for such training or such abortions
Violation of these laws may place tens of millions of dollars of federal health funding at risk—exacerbating Hawaii’s budget problems. Moreover, patients will ultimately suffer as healthcare providers set aside their own best judgment and follow governmental requirements or leave the practice of medicine rather than violate their own consciences.

 ***We urge you to contact the Hawaii House Judiciary Committee members and submit testimony by Monday, January 23 to voice your opposition to the bill. Those also able to attend the hearing and verbally testify are encouraged to do so.***


Persons wishing to offer comments should submit testimony at least 24 hours prior to the hearing with a transmittal cover indicating:

· Testifier's name with position/title and organization;
· The Committee the comments are directed to;
· The date and time of the hearing;
· Measure number; and
· The number of copies the Committee is requesting.


While every effort will be made to copy, organize, and collate all testimony received, materials received on the day of the hearing or improperly identified or directed to the incorrect office, may be distributed to the Committee after the hearing.


Submit testimony in ONE of the following ways:


PAPER:  3 copies (including an original) to Room 302 in the State Capitol;
FAX:       For comments less than 5 pages in length, transmit to 586-6211(for Oahu) or 1-800-535-3859 (for Neighbor Islanders without a computer to submit testimony through e-mail or the Web);
EMAIL:  For comments less than 5 pages in length, transmit to JUDtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov; or
WEB:      For comments less than 4MB in size, transmit from the Web page at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx.


Testimony submitted will be placed on the Legislative Web site after the hearing adjourns. This public posting of testimony on the Web site should be considered when including personal information in your testimony.


If you require special assistance or auxiliary aids and/or services to participate in the House public hearing process (i.e., sign or foreign language interpreter or wheelchair accessibility), please contact the Committee Clerk at 586-6210 or email your request for an interpreter to HouseInterpreter@Capitol.hawaii.gov at least 24 hours prior to the hearing for arrangements.  Prompt requests submitted help to ensure the availability of qualified individuals and appropriate accommodations.


Selected meetings are broadcast live. Check the current legislative broadcast schedule on the "Capitol TV" Web site at www.capitoltv.org OR call 536-2100.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Be Part of EWTN's March for Life Coverage


EWTN is adding something new and exciting to its 2012 March for Life coverage: social media! We will be reading comments from our Facebook and Twitter sites on the air. I wanted to reach out especially to those bloggers who regularly put up with my emails and post info about our programs. This is a chance for me to thank you for your coverage by mentioning you on the air.
Please began your post (at www.facebook.com/ewtnonline) or tweet (at www.twitter.com/ewtn, hashtag #ewtn) with the letters MFL. Most people will assume that means March for Life (which it does), but I’ll also know, quickly, that you’re one of our valued bloggers and will give your post priority for on-air reading! Literally millions of people watch the March for Life; it’s one of our highest rated shows all year. You can also send pictures to marchforlife@ewtn.com and put the letters MFL in the subject line for priority viewing. We’re especially interested in photos of any pro-life banners you plan to carry or are carrying during the March.
Thank you for all you do for us!
Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson
Director of Communications
EWTN Global Catholic Network
5817 Old Leeds Road
Irondale, AL 35210

Monday, January 16, 2012

March For Life Hawaii 2012 - January 22


Date: January 22
Time: 1:00-4:00pm
Place: Hawaii State Capitol

You and your family are invited to attend the 39th annual March For Life Hawaii rally at the State Capitol on Sunday, January 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. March For Life Hawaii is a family friendly event that attracts hundreds of supporters each year to cherish and celebrate life for all people – from conception to natural end. This year’s theme is Aloha: Joyfully Sharing Life. 

The event will have live music from Tyler Nakamura, Nä Hoku Hanohano award winners, Barrett and Tara Awai and will be hosted by local entertainer Tony Solis. The activities will also include sign waving, a keiki poster contesthula, educational displays, games and other fun activities and will culminate with a peaceful march around the State Capitol neighborhood. It’s all FREE and will be a fun day for the whole family!

Information about Capitol parking may be found here here and here. For our friends on the neighbor islands or who cannot attend in person, this event will be broadcast live online courtesy of Hawaii Catholic Television (HiCTV) below.



















In advance of the event, we are offering white cotton bandanas with the March For Life Hawaii logo for just $5! Wearing a bandana to the March will be a fun display of unity behind the cause, and purchases will benefit local pro-life charities. To order yours, complete the MFLH bandana order form and send it to us right away–bandanas will not be sold the day of the event. Send your order form to office[at]alohalifeadvocates[dot]org or Aloha Life Advocates, 7192 Kalaniana'ole Hwy, Ste E217, Honolulu, HI 96825. For all the details, visit the Facebook page for March For Life Hawaii or call Aloha Life Advocates at 92-ALOHA, that’s 922-5642. Be sure to download a copy of the March For Life Hawaii flyer to spread the word, and click here to listen to the MFLH radio ad. See you there!




Life Luncheon Series

Date: January 17 
Time: 11:30am-1:00pm 
Place: Dave and Buster's1030 Auahi St., Honolulu


Join our “Life Luncheon Series” as we educate and activate concerned kama'aina on local pro-life laws and trends.

Featured speakers this month are David Chang, Hawaii Republican Party Chairman and Andrew Walden, Hawaii Free Press Editor.

Pre-pay $25 on line by 1/16/11 or pay $30 at the door.

Join us on Facebook! “Hawaii Republicans for Life” and “Aloha Life Advocates” (formerly Hawaii Right to Life)


Please note that Aloha Life Advocates is a non-partisan, non-sectarian organization available to offer life issues education to any community group upon request.