A group of seniors in Portland are committed to creating social, economic and educational opportunities for their young neighbors and friends.
Senior Advocates for Generational Equity (SAGE), the brainchild of Portland attorney Ward Greene, boasts nearly 200 members, and encourages participants to adopt a specific cause, such as access to school supplies for disadvantaged youth, or mentoring relationships with students.
For Greene, SAGE provides the opportunity to fulfill deferred hopes of world-changing action. “When we were young we wanted to make the world a better place, but we’ve consumed too much and frankly we’ve had too short a view,” he told KATU news.
Retired Portland teacher John Daggett expressed similar views. “This is a very important organization to catalyze the dreams and wishes of older adults for the next generations,” he stated.
SAGE regularly hosts guest speakers who emphasize the value of connections between youth and seniors. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff attracted a crowd of 700 people to SAGE’s venue. On September 12th, the group will host TV personality Van Jones at Portland State University’s Viking Pavilion.
In SAGE, Greene has found a new life purpose. “I sometimes say we’re trying to give forward and . . . it’s given my life a whole new meaning,” he explained. “The future needs all the advocates it can get.”
In a major victory for the pro-life movement in Argentina, Pope Francis’ home country has refused to legalize elective abortion, reports CNN. The Argentine Senate voted down a bill which would have enabled women to abort their babies in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The measure failed by a seven-vote margin, 38 to 31.
The public announcement of the vote sparked celebrations by pro-life demonstrators, who launched fireworks outside of Argentina’s National Congress building in Buenos Aires. Crowds of people donned blue, a color which symbolizes Argentina’s “save both lives” movement, and cheered when they heard the Senate’s official verdict.
In the aftermath of the announcement, some pro-abortion protesters clashed with police, who detained at least eight people. Demonstrators lobbed rocks and bottles at security forces, who attempted to quell the unrest with tear gas and water cannons.
The abortion bill had narrowly passed through Argentina’s lower house in June, and lawmakers expected the measure to face even greater opposition in the more conservative Senate. The weekend before the vote, a senator from Argentina’s opposition party withdrew her endorsement of the bill.
During the Senate debate, the Catholic Church conducted a “Mass for Life” in Buenos Aires, while pro-abortion demonstrators rallied in front of the Congress building.
Conservative lawmaker Marta Varela highlighted Argentina’s robust pro-life movement while addressing her colleagues in the Senate. “Today I feel like never before that I’m part of a wide sector of our people who defend life in general, from the moment of conception and until death,” she stated.
In March, as proceedings on the abortion bill began, Pope Francis had urged his homeland to “make a contribution in defense of life and justice.” Thanks to the integrity of Argentina’s pro-life senators, the country has done just that.
As Argentina’s Senate prepares to debate a bill on expanding abortion access, hundreds of physicians have demonstrated against infanticide, reports the Voice of America. Doctors carried signs stating, “I’m a doctor, not a murderer,” and laid white medical coats in front of the presidential palace.
Doctors for Life, which boasts 1,000 members, has helped organize the pro-life demonstrations. Other organizations which oppose the abortion measure include Argentina’s Academy of Medicine, which issued a statement affirming the personhood of unborn children: “to destroy a human embryo means impeding the birth of a human being,” the statement reads. “Nothing good can come when society chooses death as a solution.”
Officials from nearly 300 medical centers and private hospitals have also decried the proposed legislation, which would legalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, and prohibit medical institutions from refusing to perform abortion procedures.
“The defense of life is at the very foundation of our institution,” explained Ernesto Beruti, an obstetrician at Austral University Hospital. “We see ever more doctors joining [the protests].”
Should Argentina’s proposed measure become law, pro-life doctors would have to register as conscientious objectors with government authorities. As a result, some physicians fear professional discrimination and ostracism from colleagues who favor abortion.
Even pro-abortion doctors could face legal consequences under the statute, if they fail to meet the measure’s five-day deadline for responding to an abortion request. “Doctors can’t work under the threat of prison time,” stated Maria de los Angeles Carmona, head of gynecology at Eva Peron Hospital, a government-run institution.
Despite the threat posed by Argentina’s abortion bill, pro-life physicians in the country remain committed to their values. “How far are we willing to go to? Jail,” Ernesto Beruti stated. “Even if the law is passed, I’m not going to eliminate the life of a human being. The most important right is the right to live.”
Washington resident Akhil Jhaveri knew he didn’t have much longer to live. But the father of three daughters had one last wish before he passed away: he wanted to see his children get married.
However, when doctors told Jhaveri’s family he had only days left on earth, none of the daughters’ weddings were imminent. That’s when a family friend proposed an idea: Jhaveri’s children could simulate a marriage ceremony, allowing their father to walk them down the aisle.
So, with help from friends and neighbors, the Jhaveri family planned the event. Community donors provided flowers, music, wedding gowns, and access to Vintage Gardens, a wedding venue in Ridgefield, Washington.
On wedding day, as evening approached, all three Jhaveri daughters donned white dresses and veils, and walked down the aisle with their father. “The event felt like a wedding,” noted KATU news reporter Lashay Wesley.
Family and friends who witnessed the event struggled to contain their emotions. “We’ve had a lot of time to process the fact that he is going to pass away, and that it’s going to be hard,” said Jordan Jhaveri. “It’s been difficult to see my dad, who I remember as this vibrant, hilarious human, sleeping as we go down the aisle together,” added Ashley Jhaveri.
Nevertheless, all three daughters felt grateful for the chance to grant their father’s final wish. The celebration highlighted both the Jhaveri’s love for one another, and the generosity of their community.
A proposal to ban state-funded abortions via a state constitutional amendment will appear on Oregon’s ballot this fall, reports The Oregonian. According to state election workers, supporters of the proposal submitted 117,799 valid signatures. Initiatives which involve a constitutional amendment require at least 117,578 signatures to appear on the ballot.
Marylin Shannon, a chief petitioner for the taxpayer-funded abortion ban, clarified the proposal’s impact on abortion providers in Oregon. “We’re hoping we’ll win on the issue,” Shannon stated. “What we really want people to know is that this measure will not outlaw abortion in Oregon. It only stops the public funding of it.”
Nevertheless, pro-abortion groups have described the measure in sweeping terms. “The right to health care is the foundation of freedom and opportunity for women and their families,” said Grayson Dempsey, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, an abortion rights group.
The state-funded abortion ban will likely appear on Oregon’s ballot as Measure 106. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon has joined NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon in an effort to rally public employee unions against Measure 106. Public employee union workers receive health insurance plans which use tax dollars to cover abortions.
However, pro-abortion big money groups may struggle to defeat Measure 106, which enjoys considerable grassroots support, according to Jeff Jimmerson, the initiative’s chief sponsor. “It’s been a truly monumental effort, lasting six-plus years [and] thousands of volunteers,” Jimmerson stated.
The dedication of activists like Jimmerson brings Oregon’s pro-life community one step closer to implementing constitutional protections for unborn children in the state.