Archive for the ‘Abortion Complications’ Category

Planned Parenthood gets failing grade in Missouri as new abortion law is passed

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Missouri has just passed a new abortion law that will, among other things, allow for surprise inspections of abortion businesses.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

During an inspection in May of a Planned Parenthood abortion business in St. Louis, inspectors from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services discovered that employees were violating health standards where hand-washing is concerned and were not reporting abortion complications – as mandated.

Also, the inspection found that the facility, which performs 270 abortions per month, failed to indicate in its bylaws who’s in charge if the administrator is not present. Staff was also seen improperly disinfecting bloody surfaces and apparently couldn’t figure out how to keep their oxygen tanks clean.

Some “lowlights” of the report:

“Based on nationally recognized standards, policy review, record review, observation, and interview, the facility failed to:

  • Ensure staff followed current acceptable standards of practice for hand hygiene;
  • Transport soiled instrument in a covered, leak-proof container labeled with a bio-hazard label to indicate potentially infectious objects;
  • Follow manufacturers’ recommendation for use of germicidal wipes; and
  • Ensure a sanitary environment was preserved by providing intact (free of holes) and easily cleanable surfaces (free of rust) that will not harbor bacteria and transmit infections.

Also, a check of the oxygen tanks in the procedure rooms found that they were “soiled and had adhesive residue with dirt stuck on the tanks.” Staff complained that wiping them down just didn’t get them clean.

Inspectors also watched as employees would work with patients with their gloves on, then work on medical records, rub their noses and look at their cell phones, and then fail to wash their hands after removing the gloves.

And since this is Planned Parenthood, where the arrogance is thick, medical director David Eisenberg asked if hand-washing after taking off gloves is a new procedure and wanted to know who came up with it! For future reference, he should know that the regulation comes from the federal Centers for Disease Control in a 2002 policy, “Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health Settings.”

In another show of arrogance, the facility failed to file post-abortion complication reports, as mandated by law. The reason? Administrators don’t really like that law.

From the report:

“The facility had become fully aware of the complication report requirement in the last few months, and had discussed the issue internally, but wanted a clearer definition of complication before they would comply.”

This is outrageous but it’s the kind of thing Planned Parenthood and other abortion profiteers get away with on a regular basis. Thanks to Operation Rescue and St. Louis pro-lifers, we know that at least 65 women have left that Planned Parenthood in ambulances since 2009. But how badly they were injured is not known, because Planned Parenthood considers itself above the law and doesn’t file reports.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and the Legislature deserve kudos for the law that was just enacted. Greitens called lawmakers back into a special session after their summer recess began because he wanted action on abortion.

While the media was reporting on how much the special session cost the state, pro-life politicians were working to ensure that women who make the tragic choice to end the lives of their children don’t end up buried along with them, like two Planned Parenthood patients have in recent years. Cree Erwin died in July 2016 after a botched abortion at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Michigan, while Tony Reaves died in July 2012 after a Planned Parenthood in Chicago injured her so badly that she bled to death.

The new law in Missouri – passed and signed as Planned Parenthood makes plans to open several new abortion businesses in the state – requires that abortionists themselves counsel women about risks 72 hours before an abortion is performed, allows for unannounced inspections of abortion businesses, and adds protection for whistleblowers who report shoddy or unsafe medical practices to health officials.

The law also requires that ambulances dispatched to abortion businesses must have lights and sirens on. Abortionists frequently request no lights or sirens in the hope that no one will notice that they have hurt another woman.

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Sad anniversary: Tonya Reaves died after Planned Parenthood abortion 5 years ago

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Today is the fifth anniversary of the tragic death of Tonya Reaves, a 24-year-old mom of a 1-year-old who went to a Planned Parenthood in Chicago for an abortion. Abortionist Mandy Gittler went into that poor woman’s womb three times that day, and finally sent her to the hospital, where an uncontrolled bleed was discovered. I wrote more about Tonya’s death, and the questions that still surround it, in the Daily Caller. Please have a look.

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Filthy Akron abortion business closes

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Our friends at Operation Rescue and Right to Life of Northeast Ohio are reporting that the Akron Women’s Medical Group has quietly closed its doors. Alleluia!

At AbortionDocs.org, Operation Rescue reports on the botched abortions and filthy conditions there. But the name rang a bell for me for another reason. In 2013, a young woman went for an abortion there after a doctor told her she needed to kill her baby to save her own life. Weeks after the abortion, she found she was still pregnant. She survived the pregnancy, delivered a healthy baby girl and served the abortion business with a lawsuit. I wrote about that here.

More than a year later, the mom, Ariel Knights, dropped the suit. National Right to Life News reports extensively on that here.

I thank God that the abortionist was so inept that the baby lived, and that finally, the assembly line of death has closed in Akron. When abortion businesses closed, lives are saved.

 

 

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Jane Fonda: Abortion apologist and abortion survivor

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

I’m just catching up to the news that Jane Fonda and her brother, Peter Fonda, are abortion survivors. Their mother, who was sexually abused by a piano tuner as a child and physically abused by her two husbands, George Brokaw and Henry Fonda, had nine abortions before Jane was born and finally took her own life.

In one of her books and at an event last month, Ms. Fonda said that when she learned of the sexual abuse that began when her mother was just a child, she was able to forgive her for the suicide that left her without a mother at the age of 12.

Ms. Fonda is less forthcoming on what she thinks about the nine abortions, except to say they played a role in Francis Fonda’s ultimate act of desperation.
Perhaps her near-silence on her mother’s abortions can be explained by Jane Fonda’s vocal support of abortion over the last several decades. If she’s advocating free and open access to the very thing that contributed to her mother’s suicide, that’s a clear indication she’s in denial.

Pro-aborts love to say there is no link from abortion to suicide, and though they raked researcher Priscilla Coleman over the coals when she uncovered a substantial link, the fact cannot be hidden forever.

In a 2010 study, researchers from the National Center for Biotechnology Information – which works hand in hand with the National Institutes of Health – found that abortion was associated with an increased likelihood of several mental disorders, including anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal ideation and attempted suicide.

But beyond the abortion-suicide link, Francis Fonda’s multiple abortions very likely fueled the problems Jane Fonda experienced and has often discussed: Low self-esteem, poor body image, eating disorders and other problems.

Dr. Philip Ney, a Canadian psychiatrist who is an expert on survivor syndrome following abortion, has written that surviving children – including those who know only intuitively that they have lost siblings to abortion –can develop a “wanted” mentality that makes them see themselves as objects and not people. They become possessions, and as such are expected to meet the expectations of those around them. These children are trying to be the perfect child in order to prove their worth to their parents.

Jane’s pro-abortion activism also might be a direct result of her mother’s nine abortions and subsequent suicide. Abortion researchers have long proposed that the high rate of repeat abortions is a result of post-traumatic re-enactment, an unconscious coping mechanism that prompts people to repeat an experience, even if it was terrible, as a way of justifying it, or normalizing it.

Maybe one way Jane tried to make sense of her mother’s tortured past was to try to normalize it by advocating abortion as a good thing, as a right to which every woman is entitled.

Jane Fonda’s recent musings, including a blog she maintains on her website, indicate that as she ages, she is growing more introspective. She has apologized for her controversial meeting with North Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnam War and even advocates for abstinence in her book “Being a Teen.” Perhaps we can look forward to a day when she will change her pro-abortion views and honestly discuss what it felt like to learn that she was not one of two children, but one of 11.

When she’s ready to take that step, I hope she will seek healing and finally find the peace that has eluded her.

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Ellen Burstyn: I don’t recommend abortion to anybody

Friday, October 24th, 2014
Actress Ellen Burstyn still regrets the abortion she had in 1950.

Actress Ellen Burstyn still regrets the abortion she had in 1950.

The actress Ellen Burstyn has had more than her share of hard times. She had a mother who didn’t love her. She was already divorced twice when her third husband became an abusive stalker. But asked during a 2007 interview with a Toronto radio station what the low point of her life was, this is what she said, according to a Lifesite News transcription:

After a pause during which the interviewer prompted her about single motherhood, struggles with her son and more, Burstyn said, “You know, I guess, I hate to talk about this on the air, but having an abortion.”

Burstyn continued, “You know that was really an extremely painful experience.”

“Did you feel you didn’t have a choice?” asked the interviewer. “At the time I was just young and dumb, I didn’t really want to have a baby then,” she replied.

“It was the wrong thing to do and I really didn’t understand that till later,” said the actress.

“That was very very painful, that was probably the worst.”

Ms. Burstyn, now 81, is talking about abortion again. In an interview on WNYC’s “Death, Sex, Money” podcast series, Ms. Burstyn and host Anna Sale had the following exchange:

Sale: Speaking of a young woman with wanderlust, in the early months of leaving home, you discovered you were pregnant. It was 1950.
Burstyn: “That was before I left home. I was still in Detroit. When I left home, I was 18. I think that was just before then. Yeah at that time, there were no legal abortions. And you could only get an illegal abortion. And that’s not a pretty sight. There’s nothing but shame connected to that. And although I don’t recommend abortion to anybody, I don’t think it’s a good thing to do, at the same time if women are pregnant and don’t want to have a baby, under any circumstances to take care of a baby, they will get an abortion one way or another. And if it’s illegal, they will get an illegal abortion. As I did. And it’s a scarring experience …
Sale: Did you go alone?
Burstyn: … I had no one. I had no one to go with me. That’s not a good way to go. It’s not a good experience. It’s harmful. And I would always, if I had the opportunity, counsel somebody — a girl –to not have an abortion. To have the child and give it up for adoption. But, it has to be legal.”
Sale: Is that because of what you personally experienced, having gotten an abortion, that you advise against it?
Burstyn: Yes. Yeah, I think it’s a very traumatic experience, not necessarily at the time, but later. It doesn’t go away
.

The host then asks if the abortion played a role in her inability to get pregnant later, and Ms. Burstyn replies: “The illegal abortion just botched me up so I could never get pregnant again.”

It’s disappointing, of course, that Ms. Burstyn still thinks abortion should be legal, but her logic is flawed.

Making abortion legal did not make it safe. Women still die. Women are still injured. Women still lose their fertility. We have to stop pretending that making abortion legal made it safe and sanitary. That is just not the case.

As I wrote about in my book, Recall Abortion, a pregnancy termination is like no other medical procedure. There is no pre-admission testing, no meeting beforehand with the doctor, no follow-up care.

On the day of an abortion procedure, women arrive at free-standing abortion clinics – many of them uninspected and completely unregulated – pay their cash (usually) up front, and see the “doctor” for the first time when they are already on the exam table.

My book and the Silent No More website are full of stories of women who received sub-standard care at abortion clinics. Tamah Warren of Tennessee recalls how, when the pain of the procedure (being performed without anesthesia) became too great, one of the women attending the doctor gave her a washcloth to bite down on. Can you imagine that happening at any other medical facility?

Kim in Mississippi remembers changing her mind and telling the doctor she wanted to get off the table. “After that, I was forcefully held down by two people and given another sedative.”

Can you imagine the lawsuit if this happened in a dentist’s office, or at any legitimate medical facility?
Don’t tell me that making abortion illegal will bring back the back-alley abortionists. The abortion industry never left the back alley, they just took their shingles off the back door and put it on the front door.

Ms. Burstyn says abortion has to remain legal because women are always going to have abortions, no matter the risk. I argue in my book that abortion has to be taken off the market because it is a failed product that harms women and kills their children. Which approach makes more sense to you: Keeping a dangerous procedure legal, or looking for life-saving options?

We don’t know how many women died from illegal abortion before Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton because the people who were fighting for legalization lied. We don’t know how many women have died from legal abortion since 1973 because reliable statistics are impossible to find. The deck is stacked against life.

But we do know that times have changed. Even though abortion in 1950 was no less wrong than it is today, we have to acknowledge that is it NOT 1950 anymore. An unplanned pregnancy is not the catastrophe it was in the past. Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, for all her pro-abortion filibustering, was a single teenage mother. Cathy Lanier had a baby at 14 and now she’s the chief of police of Washington, D.C.

There are three times as many pregnancy resource centers as there are abortion clinics, and growing numbers of maternity homes, so there are real options for women now. Choices that no one has to die for.

And then there is the loving choice of adoption, which is so often dismissed. After discussing her abortion and how it robbed her of her fertility, Ms. Burstyn talks about the son she adopted.

“I do have the feeling my son is my son, period… When you mother a child, that relationship is formed.”

We need to stop accepting the premise that finding adoptive parents for a child is somehow worse than abortion. That’s a ludicrous argument. Hundreds of thousands of couples undertake unhealthy, immoral and frankly, strange, procedures to become parents while more than a million babies a year are literally thrown away in this country alone. One woman’s unplanned pregnancy can be another woman’s treasured child and that is the truth.

Even though I disagree with Ms. Burstyn about keeping abortion legal, I’m glad she was honest about her own experience. As long as we are, for better or worse, a celebrity-obsessed culture, let’s make sure to tune in when someone in the spotlight has the courage to tell the truth about abortion. And pay attention, again, to what Ms. Burstyn said about abortion with the clarity of hindsight:

“I think it’s a very traumatic experience, not necessarily at the time, but later. It doesn’t go away.”

If you agree with me that it’s time to recall abortion, please go to RecallAbortion.com and sign the petition.

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Selling abortion door-to-door

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
Planned Parenthood thinks it has come up with a great fund-raising scheme: Have women go door-to-door to talk about their great abortion experiences. But women from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign tell a different story -- the true story -- about abortion.

Planned Parenthood thinks it has come up with a great fund-raising scheme: Have women go door-to-door to talk about their great abortion experiences. But women from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign tell a different story — the true story — about abortion.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as the saying goes, maybe the women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign should be pleased by Planned Parenthood’s new fund-raising campaign.

A story on the Bloomberg news site explains how the tactics developed in the fight for recognition of gay marriage in California are being employed to change people’s minds about abortion. Young women are being sent out to knock on doors and tell people that they have had an abortion. By seeing the person behind the statistic, the thinking goes, California pro-lifers will give up their antiquated views and jump on the Planned Parenthood bandwagon, checkbooks at the ready.

A few things about that:

This idea is being credited to political strategist David Fleischer, who saw results when he had gay canvassers talk to voters about gay marriage following the Prop 8 vote. But the idea of speaking personally about abortions is not new, and is not his. The Silent No More Awareness Campaign was founded in 2002 to do just that, and thousands of women have held signs at public events and outside abortion clinics and inside churches since then. They tell their unique stories, many of which are included in my book, “Recall Abortion,” but the similarities shouldn’t be missed. Abortion is unlike any other encounter with a medical professional. It is cold and impersonal and brutal. It hurts, and the emotional pain lasts long after the physical agony has subsided. It is a choice they will regret forever.

According to the brain trust behind this door-to-door idea, pro-aborts are too impatient to wait for
“generational evolution” to make abortion widely accepted. But anyone with eyes can see that today’s youth is evolving towards life. The March for Life in Washington every January, attended by hundreds of thousands of people, is overwhelmingly dominated by those 21 and under. Youth realize they were the lucky ones; one-third of their generation has been lost to abortion. They have grown up with the internet and ultrasound and selfies. They see a baby in the womb, not the “products of conception.” They know, instinctively and organically, that killing an unborn child is wrong.

Pro-choice people have always stuck to the story that they are not pro-abortion, but that is changing. Many are coming out and saying things like, so what if a child is killed in abortion, and abortion is always good, or even a blessing. An abortion worker got her 15 minutes of fame by filming her abortion and declaring it “cool.” A young woman tried to crowd-fund her procedure, claiming she couldn’t pay for the procedure herself because it would cut into her cigarette money.

Does Planned Parenthood really think people are going to change their minds on abortion just because young women are willing to knock on their doors and talk about how inconvenient their unborn child was for their plans? Are they imagining there is no one left in California who considers personal responsibility an admirable character trait?

Planned Parenthood gets taxpayer funding to the tune of $1.5 million a day – A DAY! – and has most of Hollywood’s deep pockets already playing their tune. Is it really necessary to endanger women by sending them out to strangers’ homes?

It seems that Planned Parenthood cares more about money than it does about women’s health and safety. But we knew that already.

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Is It Possible to Have No Side-Effects or Regret After Abortion?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

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By Janet Morana
and Kevin Burke, LSW

During a recent radio interview on the subject of post abortion trauma a listener asked if it was possible to have an abortion and not experience any negative side-effects or regrets about the decision. Julia Fawkes Stuart conveniently penned a piece that can help us address this important question.

Stuart, while being a great admirer of Sen. Wendy Davis of Texas, has a bone to pick with Davis’ public admission of a previous abortion due to fetal disability:

Wendy Davis’ pregnancy termination stories fall solidly on the side of the “good” abortion: she wanted a baby, she was excited for a baby, and then … medical disaster struck. Completely outside her control and maternal desires, Davis’ pregnancies were compromised, and she was the smart, responsible woman who made the hard, painful choice as much for her fetus (more!) as for herself.

Stuart contends that such abortion stories serve to highlight the acceptable hard cases…and stigmatize the majority of abortions that women have simply because they do not want the baby:

Most women end a pregnancy not because it is medically necessary or because their fetus is unwell — that’s only about seven percent of terminations, according to Guttmacher [PDF] — and not because they’ve been raped or are victims of incest (that’s only about one percent of abortions) — but because they don’t want to have a baby.

Julia goes on to makes some public confessions of her own about two past abortions:

…I’ve had two abortions. Unlike Wendy Davis, mine had nothing to do with medical necessity, nor were they harrowing decisions. I just don’t want kids. Not when I had those abortions, and not now. Not ever.

Stuart has no regret for her abortion decisions:

They were not difficult decisions. I’m not ashamed about them and I suffer no guilt or second thoughts… one of the few decisions I’ve made in my life that I was 100 percent certain about…

Let’s return to the question posed at the beginning of this post. Can a woman or man have an abortion and emerge free of regret, or emotional and physical complications?

Julia Stuart would seem to support the conclusion that yes, this is possible. But let’s take a closer look.

Maternal Contraception

To be fair, without a more extensive and objective review of Stuarts life, we must speculate here based on previous post-abortion themes. But Stuart offers a clue on why abortion has been experienced thus far as such a positive and freeing decision for her:

I just don’t want kids. Not when I had those abortions, and not now. Not ever.
Why no kids? What led her to proclaim this with such force and finality…not ever! It’s as if Stuart has placed a 100% emotional contraceptive barrier between her life and her motherhood.

The Body Don’t Lie

Is this rooted in some negative childhood/family experience? Did that initial abortion further entrench the negative emotions and life experiences already present that led her to fear and reject her motherhood? Perhaps it is based on some perverted environmentalism that requires protecting the planet by ending the life of children in your womb.

Regardless, when she was pregnant for the 5 and six week periods prior to her abortions…Julia Fawkes Stuart was in fact a mother…and remains the mother of two children. Stuart’s ideology and strongly held pro choice values deny this reality.

Stuart writes that any restriction on abortion “is ultimately about undermining her autonomy over her body.” We can play games with language to rationalize reality. But the  female body is not bound by personal pro-abortion ideology and during her pregnancies Stuart underwent complex changes to protect and nurture the growing son or daughter in her womb. [Abruptly ending this process is an unnatural and traumatic shock to a woman’s body with potentially negative impact on her future health and well-being.]

A House Built Upon a Foundation of Sand

It is quite possible, based again on extensive experience from the hundreds of testimonies of those that have experienced abortion loss, that the symptoms of complicated grief from her abortions may be hidden deeply behind a tendency toward drug or alcohol abuse, depression/anxiety or other symptoms such as relational instability and dysfunction.

Women and men have shared in their testimonies that long periods of their lives were (seemingly) symptom free with no conscious awareness of any negative after-effects from their abortion procedures…in fact they felt only relief. Some would have identified as “pro-choice” on the abortion question. At some point an event in their life, a loss of a loved one, a medical crisis, or some other moment of spiritual clarity and grace shook them to the core. They found that beneath the detached self assurance…was a gaping wound from their participation in the death of their child/children. This pain led them to reach out for reconciliation and healing.

Getting to the Soul of the Matter

Let’s assume that that Stuart has no conscious awareness of any regret and no apparent post-abortion symptoms…and continues to feel relief that she is not shackled to two teenagers.

There is another aspect to the human person that has been neglected thus far in our discussion…the spiritual perspective. Here we do not need to speculate, and can speak with great clarity. Stuart is not only cut off from her mother’s heart and the natural love for the child that lived briefly in her womb, she is also suffering a potentially fatal disconnect from her soul.

God, as all the great religious traditions acknowledge, is Eternal Spirit and the source of all life. The Christian faith above all religions manifests the great dignity of the human person that lies in God sharing His Eternal nature in the incarnation of Christ in the blessed womb of his mother Mary and in the soul of every human person.

This is a great mystery.  Yet those who have attended abortion healing programs like Rachel’s Vineyard can attest to the overwhelming experience of clarity when participants encounter in a very personal way the consoling truth that the child they lost to abortion…is not lost, but living in the Lord. God shares his eternal nature even with the smallest of human beings in the womb. This is a source of great hope and consolation for it offers the opportunity for a spiritual relationship with their unborn child and when their lives end the hope of embracing their beloved child in eternity.

Abortion is An Unnatural Event – Consequences are Natural

Let’s conclude by addressing once again the question… is it possible to experience an abortion and have no symptoms, no negative side-effects, and no regrets?

The answer: For a human person with a heart and soul…participating in the death of one’s unborn child, at any stage of development from conception to natural death attacks the natural, emotional and spiritual foundation of our identity as women/men, parents and co creators with the Eternal God. To remain seemingly symptom/regret free after abortion necessitates an internal division in the emotions, body/mind and spirit. Such a division over time requires a great repression of the very natural feelings of grief and loss and conflicted emotions that follow the procedure (regardless of one’s position on abortion.) This internal disconnection normally leads to symptoms such as drug/alcohol abuse, depression/anxiety, relationship and sexual dysfunction/instability etc.

Without reconciliation and recovery from this loss, as with Julia Fawkes Stuart it can also lead to a self-chosen sterilization of not only one’s motherhood/fatherhood, but of the soul itself.

Stuart closes her article with a Pro Abortion Declaration of Independence from those that would challenge a women’s right to abortion:

Needing a reason why a woman had an abortion is ultimately about undermining her autonomy, and taking their power away. And I won’t be a part of that. I’m not ashamed of my abortions or the reasons I had them.

Stuart may remain hunkered down in her pro choice bunker. But maybe…maybe this was the first step in her reaching out and telling her story. Perhaps she will read this blog, and at first respond with either mocking dismissal or perhaps great anger. But in time it may plant the seeds in her that will take fruit at a time in the future, when she is stripped of her self-assured declarations of personal autonomy and ideology.  We can hope and pray that she might one day turn to her Creator and humbly admit that she violated something fundamental to her humanity and womanhood – that she is deeply wounded – and the blessed awareness that she is need of reconciliation and healing.

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Sen. Wendy Davis: Is Complicated Grief after Abortion Driving her Pro Choice Activism?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

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By Janet Morana
and Kevin Burke, LSW

For more than 11 hours in June 2013 Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) laced up her infamous pink sneakers and stood on the Senate floor, without food or bathroom breaks, to filibuster an abortion bill that has shut down more than a dozen abortion centers so far in the state of Texas.

Now we learn in her recently published book that she experienced a traumatic abortion loss in 1997. The media will spin this story in predictable directions. They will present Sen. Davis as one who personally understands the difficult health care decisions women face and as future Democratic governor she will be a courageous advocate for the women of Texas.

But there is a deeper and more complex story behind the headlines. The filibuster of Sen. David and the public confession about her own abortion are less about political activism, abortion rights and opportunism. They reveal much more about the complicated grief that follows an abortion procedure…and how that repressed emotional and spiritual pain may be driving her pro-abortion activities.

From the New York Times:
[Davis]…learned in the fall of 1996 that she was pregnant for a fourth time. In her second trimester, she and her husband at the time, Jeff Davis, learned that their unborn daughter whom they named Tate had a rare brain abnormality. Doctors told the couple that if the baby survived delivery, “she would probably be deaf, blind and in a permanent vegetative state.” In the spring of 1997, Ms. Davis terminated the pregnancy, describing it as “the most humane and compassionate thing we could do to spare Tate” any pain and suffering.

We can imagine the fear, anxiety and grief that followed the diagnosis. Many good people, in the darkness and confusion of such times, will be tempted to see abortion as both a sensible and compassionate decision. The medical community aggressively counsels that abortion is the only medical solution for such a diagnosis. (It should be noted that physicians often present the worst case scenario and fear of lawsuits can be deadly for the unborn.)

Legalized abortion has tempted medical professionals to assume a God-like authority over matters of life and death for their unborn patients. This places anxiety-filled, grieving parents facing a challenging pre-natal diagnosis in the impossible position of having to participate in the death of their own child:

Sen. Davis shares:
In our doctor’s office, with tears flowing down both our faces, Jeff and I looked at our baby daughter’s beating heart on the sonogram screen for the last time,” Ms. Davis wrote. “And we watched as our doctor quieted it. It was over. She was gone. Our much-loved baby was gone.”

Predictably, depression followed the abortion.
From Lifenews:
Davis writes quote, “an indescribable blackness followed. It was a deep, dark despair and grief. A heavy wave that crushed me. It made me wonder if I would ever surface…and when I finally did come through it, I emerged a different person. Changed. Forever changed.”

The Truth Will Set You Free

Sen. Davis and her husband, with the counsel of medical professions, felt that ending the life of their unborn daughter was, as she stated, the most humane and compassionate thing we could do to spare Tate any pain and suffering.

Surely the suffering of their daughter was part of the motivation of these parents to abort…any parent can sympathize with their dilemma. But is it possible that if they were to be totally honest, they were also fighting with their own fears? Were they struggling to accept and embrace the challenges and pain of giving birth to a child with disabilities?

Wendy Davis and her husband very likely have not attended an abortion healing program. If they did, they would have to face the reality that while the medical dilemma put them under serious pressure to see abortion as the only option…they participated in the death of their unborn child. It is impossible to witness the direct and deliberate ending of a child’s life and not experience emotional and relational consequences.

Abortion is an unnatural and traumatic shock to the body, heart and soul of a pregnant woman. Medical professionals and counselors should have used that time to prepare the couple for the child’s birth, what to expect, and how to love and care for their precious child for however long the baby lives. Here is a good resource for such life-affirming choices.

The Filibuster of 2013: A Labor of Complicated Grief?

Wendy Davis was denied the opportunity to go through the natural birthing process with her daughter. The Davis’ were not able to hold and love their daughter for however long she lived and learn to see the great benefits that this challenging but also blessed time could have been for their family. Failure to acknowledge falling to this temptation to assume God’s providence over life and death will make it difficult for this couple to fully grieve and heal this loss. Guilt, pain, anger will remain…often hidden deep beneath the rationalizations that this was the right and compassionate choice.

Some of the founding members of pro-abortion feminism movement were women with traumatic abortion in their history. Like Davis, without a deeper emotional and spiritual healing of this loss, they need to continually justify their choice by becoming active in pro-abortion politics, advocacy and even volunteering at abortion centers. The Texas bill that presented reasonable restrictions on abortion, and those who fight to end abortion, present a direct psychological threat to the defenses Davis has established deep in her psyche against her abortion trauma.

The pro-abortion activity and public confession of her abortion also serve as a powerful outlet for the complicated grief, guilt and anger that needs to be continually repressed…but struggles to find expression. Anti-abortion activists and public political activity that highlights our nation’s contentious struggle with this issue, become a convenient target for anger and rage at one’s spouse, self, God and other involved in the abortion decision.

Perhaps we can revisit the abortion filibuster of June 2013 and see in this very public action on behalf of abortion rights as being closely connected to her incomplete abortion healing. At great personal sacrifice she labors for hours on end, without food and water…to fight what she sees as draconian abortion restrictions. I would suggest that what was driving this display may be closely related to the abortion disrupting her body’s ability to go through the natural labor process…which she displaces onto a dramatic, lengthy and painful filibuster process.

An important part of any abortion recovery program, is telling your abortion story.

Sen. Davis now has offered a public confession in her book about her traumatic abortion loss. Here too we see an attempt by Davis to continue to process her loss and find understanding and support. This is common among those who suffer abortion loss and helps end the secrecy and isolation that normally follows the procedure. Davis in her political role receives the affirmation and support of other women, pro- abortion activists and media, and when confronted with opposition, may see herself as a courageous heroine for other women’s rights, willing to stand tall and take the heat.

The Challenging but Rewarding Journey to Heal, and the Deadly Cost of Denial

But the human heart and soul defy our desperate rationalizations. They seek a healthy and honest grieving of this loss. They call us to accept that in fear, anxiety and a failure to trust in God’s providence, we can take actions that are reserved for the Creator of life. This requires the deepest humility and much grace. We can all abort God’s will in our lives at times of fear and darkness.

The journey of healing is not one of judgment and condemnation. It is more the blessed gift of being able to confess our weakness confronted with an overwhelming moral and medical dilemma. But it is only with the gift of honesty and humility that healthy grieving and deeper healing are possible. This can take time as these wounds are very sensitive, especially immediately after the loss.

The failure of Sen. Davis and her husband to fully reconcile and grieve this loss has led her to become a very public proponent of abortion. Sadly, the unresolved complicated grief, guilt and pain of her own abortion experience has not only taken her disabled daughter’s life in the womb, but could lead to the death of many more unborn children if her political power increases and she gains access to higher office.

Let’s pray she will read this article and find in it a compassionate and loving invitation to a deeper healing of her abortion loss in an abortion recovery program.

To read about couples who received poor pre-natal diagnoses and chose life for their babies, read “Recall Abortion.”

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Left behind

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Broken_Handcuffs[1]

The testimony of a faith-filled, passionate pro-life teenager who learned her mother was post-abortive was published yesterday on the web site of Stand True, which is Priests for Life’s youth outreach. The whole piece is worthy of a read, but there’s one part I want to delve into a bit deeper.

The girl was almost 13, the oldest of her siblings, when her mother told her that, years earlier and in a previous relationship, she had aborted her first child, a son.

“Big brother,” Zoe wrote. “For years I had been saying, ‘I wish I had an older brother or sister!’ Now I knew that I had one.”

The truth is that Zoe probably always knew – perhaps buried deeply in her subconscious — that she was not her mother’s first child.

Dr Philip Ney, a Canadian psychiatrist, discovered in the late 1970s that siblings of aborted children often have this awareness and, as consequence, suffer from Post Abortion Survivor Syndrome (PASS). In a 2011 opinion piece published by LifeNews, Dr. Ney wrote:

“The most prominent symptom of PASS is existential guilt, ‘I feel I don’t deserve to be alive.’
“Other symptoms include pervasive anxiety, fear of the future, sense of impending doom, self injury, obsessive thinking, poor self identity, low self esteem, self destructive behavior, fear of becoming psychotic and dissociation.
“PASS helps explain low rates of child bearing and raising. PASS people are afraid of having children. PASS helps explain economic recession. PASS people are pessimistic about the future. PASS helps explain the younger generation’s fascination with the occult. It helps us understand mad bombers who are extremely angry at adults and politicians who have allowed the massive slaughter of their siblings. It helps explain suicide bombers who have no joy in living but want a ‘noble’ meaning to their death. It helps explain the large number of depressed people who have unresolved grief of an aborted sibling. It may help explain the growing interest in euthanasia. PASS people are poorly bonded to their parents.”

None of this is true about Zoe, and I’ll discuss why a bit later. But first I’d like to repeat a story Dr. Ney told me, and that I recounted in my book, “Recall Abortion.”

A woman came to Dr. Ney for counseling because her 6-year-old daughter was having nightmares, wetting the bed and suffering from separation anxiety. In his interview with the mother, Dr. Ney asked her about pregnancy losses, and she confided – out of earshot of her child – that she had undergone two abortions prior to giving birth to this child.

Then, working alone with the child, Dr. Ney asked her to draw a picture of her family. Although she was an only child, her family portrait consisted of her mother, her father, herself and two siblings – a brother and a sister.

Dr. Ney said that for children like this little girl, growing up in a home where she felt there should have been other children created a whole range of deep internal conflicts that likely were the root of her problems.

This is clearly not Zoe’s experience. After learning of her mother’s abortion, she wrote: “I will never forget that experience, but I am kind of glad it happened. I have taken the pro-life movement even more seriously than before. I want to be able to say I avenged my big brother David by abolishing abortion, and I am confident that I am part of the generation that will do that.”

I haven’t had a chance to confer with Dr. Ney about this, but it seems to me that the difference between Zoe and the 6-year-old, and how each of them copes with the internal awareness of someone missing, is the way abortion was treated in their respective homes.

Although Zoe’s mom kept the truth about her own abortion from her children until she thought they were mature enough to handle it, abortion, and efforts to end it, are front and center in their lives.

And even above that pro-life commitment, and as strong, or stronger, than their familial bond, is Zoe’s family’s faith. Her mother suggested she speak to a priest after learning of the abortion, and he suggested visiting Jesus in the Tabernacle. Zoe prayed for understanding, as her mother before her had prayed for forgiveness. Both were freely given by a God who loves us no matter what we do. He always knows we can do better and if we’re listening, he tells us how. Zoe’s mother became a member of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and she speaks publicly of her abortion regret. Her testimony is valuable to the pro-life movement, but its price is above rubies for her daughters.

In his 2011 piece, Dr. Ney wrote that one of the most important factors in determining whether or not a woman will have an abortion is whether her mother had one. The forgiveness that Zoe’s mother asked for and received, and the way she has raised her children since, has broken the chain for her family.

Let’s pray that all families wounded by abortion will find a way to break that chain.

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“Life is Always a Good”

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Jen and Kevin Sheridan with their son, Owen, and daughter, Aubrey.

Jen and Kevin Sheridan with their son, Owen, and daughter, Aubrey.

There are few happy endings when doctors pronounce a child in the womb to be “incompatible with life.” But miracles – and good medicine – do happen.

In the Huffington Post, Nicole Stewart wrote of her abortion at 22 weeks after a doctor made that pronouncement. Her post doesn’t detail the problems the doctor diagnosed, but a story from the Dallas News in January gives a few more clues. The baby boy’s brain was “abnormal.” Fluid was building up in his brain and lungs. He would lose the ability to swallow.

Ms. Stewart and her husband made the decision to take the life of their wanted and loved child, and they feel it was the right decision. She speaks publicly about it, and receives kudos for being one of the few women brave enough to talk out loud about her abortion. Of course, the women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign have been doing that since 2003, but that’s another subject.

But a few weeks before the Dallas News was congratulating Ms. Stewart for her courage in talking about her abortion, a couple in Johnstown, Pa., was reaping the rewards of their courage – and their faith. Jen and Kevin Sheridan, a devout Catholic couple who already were the parents of a baby girl, learned that something was seriously wrong with the baby boy in Mrs. Sheridan’s womb. She was about 14 weeks pregnant when doctors told the couple that a neural tube defect called an encephalocele was causing a portion of the baby’s brain to grow outside of his skull. Abortion was never an option for the Sheridans.

By the time baby Owen was born at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Dec. 6, 2013, the growth was nearly seven pounds, and almost as long as his body. The couple knew that Owen might die shortly after his birth, but that boy had other plans. A team of specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital was able to remove the encephalocele and close his skull. Today Owen is four months old and a treasured member of his family. Exactly what his future will hold is unknown, but that is true for every living creature on God’s Earth.

It is not up to us to decide who is compatible or incompatible with life. It is not our right, in any circumstance, to take a life.

It takes courage and faith to travel the road the Sheridans did. And it takes a doctor willing to accompany a couple whose baby’s survival is in jeopardy. As I wrote in my book, “Recall Abortion,” those doctors can be found. Dr. Byron Calhoun is one. He is a pioneer of the perinatal hospice movement. Parents who know their children might not live long after birth are prepared for that eventuality. They have family with them for the birth, and often a clergy member, and a photographer. They have a chance to hold their child, to surround him with love, to let him die with dignity. Contrast that with a shot of digoxin to the heart and a brutal dismemberment. That’s what a late-term abortion is, and we can’t pretend that choosing that kind of death for a child in the womb could ever be a loving choice.

Ms. Stewart’s experience also reminds me of a situation I encountered almost 30 years ago. A woman who had given birth to twins on Staten Island asked for help from the Mothers of Twins Club, of which I was a member. One of this woman’s twin daughters was born healthy but the other had severe complications. She needed a breathing machine and a feeding tube to live, but the family’s insurance company wanted to drop them from the policy, citing the futility of continued care for this sickly newborn.

I alerted the media, rallied the troops, and joined this girl’s parents in the fight for her life. As it turns out, this is another happy ending for a child whose life was considered not worth saving. She is in her late 20s now. She had a rough start, with lots of medical intervention, but she survived and is now a young woman, a college graduate with a bright future.

Nicole Stewart and her husband made the choice they thought was right. But they were wrong. As Blessed St. John Paul II, who will be canonized this month, often said, “Life is always a good.”

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