Archive for the ‘Pro-life’ Category

Children know right from wrong

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

twins-in-the-womb

 

It comes as no surprise that some pro-abortion feminists are finding they can’t quite bring themselves to tell their children about their own abortions. This story in Yahoo News is an important read and I hope you can all find the time to read it in its entirety. But some lines jumped out at me and I would like to talk about those.

The author, Raven Snook, is a writer who emcees burlesque shows, according to her website. The fact that she’s so edgy, so out there, makes it very telling that even she couldn’t answer her 9-year-old daughter when she asked if she had ever been pregnant before.

I’ve never been secretive about my abortion. My friends and family know and I’ve even performed a monologue about it onstage. I’m unabashedly pro-choice and I’ve talked with my child in an age-appropriate manner about sex, pregnancy, birth control, and the fact that women have the right to decide if and when they become mommies. Yet when it came to revealing my own abortion — a necessary conversation so that my daughter views it as a personal choice, not a political one — I panicked.

Could it be she was worried her daughter wouldn’t see the intentional killing of her older sibling as either a political choice or a personal one but would instead discern the truth? That this child, with the same 23 chromosomes and maybe the same eyes and smile, was killed simply because he or she was inconvenient?

Ms. Snook mentions that she threw herself into mothering her chosen child “with zeal.” Could it be that, having shown her daughter her super-mom side, she can’t find the words to explain how one of her children could be so different from the next. How on earth do you say, “I aborted  your sibling, but oh darling, I really wanted to have you!  That is a terrifying thing for a child to hear. What might happen, they wonder, if they fail to measure up to Mommy Dearest’s expectations? What happens if they become inconvenient?

The fact that Ms. Snook’s daughter asked the question in the first place is an indication she already had intuited that someone was missing from their family portrait. Sibling survivors often do. The Canadian psychiatrist and abortion trauma expert Dr. Philip Ney once told me a story about a woman who brought her daughter to him to get to the cause of her bed wetting. In a private conversation, the mother told Dr. Ney she had had two abortions before giving the right to life to this daughter. When the doctor asked the girl to draw a picture of her family, she drew a family with three children.

In April, our new Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion initiative at Silent No More will focus on sibling survivors like Ms. Snook’s daughter. In an interview that can be heard at www.abortionshockwaves.com Dr. Ney said considerable research has been done on sibling survivors of abortion.

“It’s quite clear that children are affected,” he said. “They have existential guilt that they shouldn’t be alive when their siblings were aborted. They feel guilty for existing. They don’t trust people. They have pseudo-secrets. They have a long list of difficult problems.” Dr. Ney also talks of how abortion can afflict families for generations: The grandmother has had an abortion, the mother has had an abortion, the daughter has or will have an abortion.

This phenomenon also impacts sibling survivors. “Abortion survivors don’t want to have children,” he said. If they don’t deal with their feelings, they can grow up into narcissistic adults, modeling the behavior that led their mother or father, or both, to see their older sibling as inconvenient and disposable.

In the Yahoo News story, Ms. Snook quotes another post-abortion pro-choice mother about her experience when she told her two kids, including a 10-year-old son, about their missing sibling.

After discussing sperm banks and pregnancy, the topic turned to abortion, specifically hers. “‘It’s one of the choices people can make if they get pregnant and can’t take care of the baby for whatever reason,’ I told them. I felt the whole temperature of the car change. Maybe I was projecting but I saw a look pass on his face that went ‘whoa.’ The statement made an impact. But being open about it, you normalize it.”

Her last statement, about normalizing the experience, is nothing but wishful thinking on her part. But the temperature of the car changing and the look on his face? Those were spot-on observations.

It is my hope that Ms. Snook will one day seek healing for her abortion just like many women do on a daily basis as they visit our website www.AbortionForgiveness.com where they can find an abortion recovery program in their area. Also, Dr. Ney has written about how to tell your child about your abortion and you can view his work at www.Messengers2.com. Remember, to a child, there is nothing normal about the murder of their brother or sister. Children know right from wrong.

Posted in abortion survivors, Feminists, Priests for Life, Pro-life, Silent No More Awareness | 2 Comments »
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25 years and counting …

Monday, January 19th, 2015
Here I am at the March for Life in 2005 with Father Frank Pavone and Alveda King.

Here I am at the March for Life in 2005 with Father Frank Pavone and Alveda King.

On a cold day in January 1990, long before the sun was up, I showed up at my parish church, St. Charles on Staten Island, to board a bus headed for Washington, D.C. Our group was led by our young associate pastor, Father Frank Pavone, whose passion for the unborn gave us the energy to make it through that long, grueling day.

When we arrived and saw tens of thousands of people on the National Mall, I was awe-struck. I had no idea so many people were involved in trying to bring an end to abortion. It was an eye-opening experience for me, and as I boarded the bus for home, I knew my life was never going to be the same. I have not missed the March for Life since then.

Four years later, Father Pavone had become national director of Priests for Life and I traveled with him and others as volunteers with the organization. It was the first time many of us met some of the nation’s most prominent pro-life leaders, and we had the sense that we were kids peeking in at the grownups. But that changed quickly.

At my first-ever March for Life Convention, where dozens of pro-life groups set up booths to help explain their work, I felt like I was in Disney World.  Until then it had been on the bus, do the march, get back on the bus. Now I was able to attend all the activities surrounding the March and take in all the great work people were doing on behalf of the unborn. I was humbled, and so grateful to be part of it all.

At that Convention, I was able to meet the great Nellie Grey, who started the March in 1974, one year after Roe v. Wade. I couldn’t believe I was in the same room with her and was feeling a bit star-struck, but when I heard her say she needed a priest to say the opening prayer at the Convention, my Brooklyn chutzpah took over. I told her I was with Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and he would be happy to do it. Minutes later, he did just that.

That year, 1994, was a year of contrasts for the March. Cardinal John J. O’Connor provided a rousing and passionate keynote address at the Convention, but it was Bill Clinton’s Washington, and I remember being watched over by police snipers stationed on the rooftops along Constitution Avenue.

At another March during the abortion-friendly Clinton years, NOW President Patricia Ireland showed up, coat hanger poster in hand, to push her anti-life agenda. Father Pavone was wearing a press pass given to him by the Catholic Press Association, and he was carrying a small tape recorder, so with his Roman collar, hidden behind layers of clothes, he approached Ms. Ireland and asked for an interview. As they were speaking, some pro-life leaders, including Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, were trying to drown out her words. I ran over to them to say the man with the tape recorder was on our side, was in fact a priest, and they quieted down. As expected, Ms. Ireland spouted the usual pro-abortion rhetoric about abortion being vital for women’s rights.

The weather plays a role in any March for Life, and in 1994, the weather was something to remember. Father Pavone and I arrived on the last flight in to Reagan National before snow and ice conditions grounded the rest of the flights. As we stepped out of a cab outside the guesthouse where we were to stay, I found myself sprawled on the ice. The taxi driver left the car to try to help me, and his cab slid down the hill and across the road on its own.

Almost every year has been brutally cold, including last year when the temperature was in the single digits when we woke up to snow-covered rooftops and learned that hundreds of buses had to cancel their trips. But one glorious year, it was so balmy that I remember taking my coat off and carrying it down Constitution Avenue.

The March for Life entered a deeper dimension for me in 2003, when we had the women of the brand-new Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which I co-founded, talk about their abortion regret in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building for the first time. Pro-lifers weren’t sure what to think when the first of 60 women started to speak. Some members of a youth group thought we were pro-abortion counter-protesters and started to yell at us. But Bryan Kemper, the founder of Stand True – and now our youth outreach director at Priests for Life – told the agitated youth that the women were on our side.

These testimonies have become an integral part of the March experience, and now many groups schedule their buses to leave later so people can hear the unvarnished truth about abortion from the only people truly qualified to speak – those who have been through it. People thank these courageous women and men for their witness.

One year, two marchers carried bunches of red roses, and gave one to every woman carrying an “I Regret My Abortion” sign. Another year, a woman who had not registered with the Campaign showed up in a wedding gown and asked to speak. We asked about the dress, and she said her abortion had wounded her profoundly, both physically and emotionally, and she never expected to marry. When she came back the next year after completing an abortion-recovery program, she was not in a wedding dress but she was sporting a diamond engagement ring. Giving her testimony with Silent No More had helped in her healing.

I look forward to the March every year because it is tangible proof that this counter-cultural civil rights movement in which I am privileged to play a role continues to grow. But every year, I hope and pray it’s the last time I have to make the trek to the nation’s capital in protest of the worst U.S. Supreme Court decision in my lifetime. Abortion will end when God says it’s time, and until then, it is my job to show up and bear witness to the truth: Abortion kills an unborn child, damages mothers and sends shockwaves of misery throughout our society.

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Killing them softly

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave quite a speech the other night. Speaking at the anniversary fund-raiser for the International Women’s Health Coalition, she lamented that Roe v. Wade was too much too soon. Americans needed a more incremental approach to child-killing to be convinced that it is a constitutional right, vital to women’s health, and, lately, even sacred.

“You give it to them softly,” Ginsburg said. “And you build them up to what you want.”

This quote comes from a piece Jill Filipovic wrote for Cosmopolitan Magazine. It’s very interesting reading. Here’s another quote within Ms. Filipovic’s story.

“The decision in Roe, too, ‘was as much about a doctor’s right to practice medicine’ as it was about a woman’s right to abortion, she pointed out. ‘The image was the doctor giving advice to the little woman, not the woman standing alone.’ ”

Pro-abortion physicians – like the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who later became a pro-life Catholic convert — were critical to the success of Roe v. Wade, a fact that was forgotten after all the bra-burning feminism that followed. Some of these doctors were sincerely troubled by having treated women who had been butchered in illegal abortions.

But let’s think about that image Justice Ginsburg mentioned, of “the doctor giving advice to the little woman.” Does that sound like the abortion industry to you?

Here’s how a woman from Ohio named Phyllis described her abortion on the Silent No More Awareness Campaign website, and in my book, Recall Abortion.

“I never saw the abortion doctor until just before the procedure. I was reluctant to let him go in with the instruments. He said, jokingly, ‘just spread your legs like a cheerleader.’ I did not laugh.”

And Kim, from Mississippi:

“After taking a sedative and being strapped to the exam table, I said, ‘I can’t do this. Let me up.’ After that I was forcefully held down by two people and given another sedative… I put my legs together and heard the doctor tell his assistant to do something about that. They held my legs apart and I begged and called for my boyfriend.”

Abortionists are not kindly country doctors. Many of them are substance abusers. They tend to lose their licenses on a regular basis, continuing to kill children and harm women anyway. Sometimes they’re not even doctors and in some places, like in California, they don’t even have to be doctors.

Abortion is not health care because pregnancy is not a disease. Abortion is an unnatural, violent and traumatic experience that wounds women physically and emotionally. It turns women into the architects of their own children’s deaths.

In Recall Abortion, I quote women who have been so badly hurt in abortions that they never were able to have children. Women whose real doctors later found parts of their babies left behind in the womb. And I speak to mothers whose daughters died having “safe and legal” abortions. I hope you read it, and share their stories.

This is what Roe v. Wade, and its silent partner, “Doe v. Bolton,” brought to us in 1973. An agenda-driven ruling masquerading as health care, spawning a cash-fueled industry so vile and unregulated that Americans would be shocked if they knew. One of the reasons they don’t know is that the media, for the most part, will not tell them.

I’m not sure that giving it to us softly, as Justice Ginsburg envisioned, would have made any difference. Murder is murder. There is nothing soft about killing babies.

I challenge Justice Ginsburg to read Recall Abortion and to go to Silent No More to read the stories of the women whose health has been damaged permanently by abortion. I would love to send her a copy, and to hear what she has to say

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Pro-life movement must ensure that all “Houses of Horror” are exposed, closed

Monday, April 29th, 2013
Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic.

Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic.

The sordid tale coming to a conclusion inside the Philadelphia courtroom where abortionist Kermit Gosnell is on trial for murdering six people is as strange as the stories being written about the case.

The mainstream media ignored the trial until called out by a handful of journalists and hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter. Now even the most pro-abortion members of the media finally are paying attention to the Gosnell atrocities, but are laying the blame for his horrific alleged crimes at the feet of the pro-life movement. According to one over-reaching report, Rick Santorum is personally at fault for not knowing what went on inside the Women’s Medical Society. That claim is ridiculous. Since when does a U.S. senator at any given moment know the goings on of each any every business in his or her state? How much does N.Y Sen. Schumer know about A1 Medicine in Queens, where Alexandra Nunez died in 2010? How much does N.J. Sen. Frank Lautenberg know about Metropolitan Medical Associates in Englewood, where investigators found a rusty crochet hook and a quarter-inch of dirt on the floor in 2007?

Pro-lifers, the new narrative goes, should have known what Gosnell was up to because they have had a steady presence outside what the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office has described as a “house of horrors.” They should have gotten the inside scoop from the women coming out of the clinic. They should have reported what they knew.

Anyone who has spent time doing sidewalk counseling outside a clinic knows that a woman who has just had an abortion is not going to stop to talk. Once she walks out those doors, she’s already headed into an ironclad denial that can last for years, decades even. Those lucky enough to walk out of Gosnell’s clinic likely were in shock as well.

Also, as the Grand Jury report makes absolutely clear, Gosnell’s patients, former employees and many others did try to report what they saw and heard, but Pennsylvania wasn’t listening. According to the Grand Jury report, “We think the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion.”

Pro-aborts also are claiming that pro-lifers’ insistence on clinic regulations and oversight is forcing facilities out of business and leaving women with fewer – and poorer — choices. The truth is that no Pennsylvania clinics closed after new regulations went into effect last summer as a result of the Gosnell mess, but most of them did have to spend money on renovations and new equipment purchases to bring them up to par with other ambulatory surgical facilities. The fact that clinics were unlicensed, uninspected and staffed with untrained people until 2012 is the fault of pro-abortion ideologues, as the Grand Jury report makes absolutely clear.

“..  the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor [Bob] Casey to Governor [Tom] Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”

Clinic regulations are opposed by NARAL, Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups wherever and whenever they are proposed because they know that many facilities would not be able to pass inspection. Think about that for a minute; they put women’s lives at risk in sub-par facilities for the sake of keeping abortion widely accessible. The laws in most states protect animals in veterinary clinics while women are left to abortion clinics with little or no regulations.

In addition, even when there are some regulations the problem is that federal, state and local governments fail to enforce the regulations until you have a “House of Horrors” finally uncovered!

Make no mistake, there are other abortionists working in conditions that are just as appalling, and babies born alive being murdered like those whose “fetal demise” Gosnell is accused of ensuring, despite clinic regulations and laws like the federal Infants Born Alive Act, which spells out in no uncertain terms that a “fetus” who survives an abortion is an American citizen with the same rights, and expectation of live-saving care, as you and I.

What’s missing across the board, from clinic oversight to infants born alive to hazardous waste disposal, is enforcement. Gosnell could not have gotten away with what he is alleged to have done for so long if even the lackluster laws on the books were enforced. Think about it for a minute, speed limit signs would be meaningless if it weren’t for the threat of the highway patrol giving out tickets.  Laws are only as good as the government willing to enforce them.

Pro-aborts, who can’t bear to have an unkind word uttered about abortion, have an obvious reason not to insist on enforcement.  But from this moment on, we pro-lifers have to be vigilant, proactive and insistent to ensure that no one ever again suffers the fate of Karnamaya Mongar and the seven unnamed babies Gosnell is charged with killing. Never again.

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Arkansas abortion ban is good policy, but it could be better

Friday, March 8th, 2013

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The Arkansas Legislature took a ground-breaking step this week when it enacted a ban on abortions beyond 12 weeks, the point at which a heartbeat is detectable. Legislators had to override the veto of Gov. Mike Beebe to get the law on the books. Pro-abort groups have vowed to challenge the constitutionality of the new law in court, so second and third-trimester babies are not safe yet in Arkansas.

But even if this law survives all challenges, it leaves some later-term babies at risk: Those who were conceived in rape, those whose mothers’ lives could be imperiled through carrying to term, and those with serious fetal anomalies.

These exceptions are tacked onto just about every piece of abortion legislation because even some pro-lifers believe abortion in these circumstances is unavoidable. I’m here to tell you that is not the case.

Let’s take a look at rape. The numbers of rape-related pregnancies in the United States are hard to pin down, but the best estimate is that between 25,000 and 30,000 women become pregnant through rape every year (that number likely will fall, as women treated in hospitals after rape are often given morning  after contraception – but that’s a subject for another time). About half of the women who become pregnant through rape give birth to their children and the other half abort. Many of those who choose abortion later come to regret it.  Irene van der Wende, a regional coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in the Netherlands, was conceived when her mother was raped and then became pregnant through rape herself. She aborted her child, and immediately knew she had made a mistake.

“I could have grown to love my child just as my mother loved me,” she said. “Life is not about how we were conceived.”

Women who choose life for their babies are never sorry they did.

Here’s something else to consider about rape and parenting. When a woman chooses to have her baby, the rapist can claim parental rights. Even more outrageous: Many states have streamlined the process for terminating a rapist’s parental rights when the mother makes an adoption plan, but women who keep their babies find very little similar protection in the law. Also, federal funds – which cannot be used to pay for abortion – can be used to abort a child conceived in rape. These children begin their lives in the womb with fewer rights than anyone else!

Let’s look at fetal anomalies. In our culture that stresses convenience for all, we have convinced ourselves that babies with serious defects or life-limiting illnesses should not be allowed the dignity of a birth and a life, no matter how short or compromised or inconvenient. We have come to look at abortion in these cases as the humane choice. But the loving choice would be for parents facing these kinds of desperately sad situations to seek out a pro-life doctor and a perinatal hospice program, like those pioneered by Dr. Bryon Calhoun. If these babies could choose, do you think they would select a brutal death by forceps or a brief life surrounded by family and love and warmth? Abortion is never the loving choice.

Abortion to save a mother’s life is never necessary. Women do face life-endangering situations during pregnancy, but doctors who are committed to treating two patients do everything they can to save them both, with great success. Dr. Calhoun offers sage advice to other physicians: “Just be a doctor and treat two patients, the mother and her unborn child.”

When I started writing my book, “Recall Abortion,” I expected to have a struggle in trying to defend the lives of babies conceived in rape, those facing serious health challenges, and those whose very lives in utero are threatening their mothers. I knew that abortion is never the right choice, but I worried that the arguments of those who advocate for abortion in these instances would be hard to refute. But my research and my interviews with those on the front lines showed me that the argument for life is an easy one to make, without exception.

If you would like to read my book, now available in print and electronic editions, please go to RecallAbortion.com. While you’re there, please sign the petition and help get this terrible product called abortion off the market.

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Why It Matters That Your Doctors Are Pro-Life

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Attorney Linsey Sowinski of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was 32 years old and a newlywed when she and her husband, Scott, found out Linsey had B-cell lymphoma. She wanted to live, and she wanted her baby to live as well. Her doctors waited until after her first trimester to begin chemo, conscious of the fact that the baby was receiving the powerful drugs as well. When she was 37 weeks pregnant, doctors induced labor and Lena was born. Right after the birth, Linsey began radiation. Lena was hospitalized at one month old with an infection likely caused by an immune system weakened by chemo drugs. But today she is a healthy five-month-old, right where she’s supposed to be developmentally. Linsey is on the road to remission.

Linsey’s story, which was featured on the Today Show this morning, highlights the importance of finding doctors who don’t immediately leap to the abortion conclusion when presented with any kind of obstacle during a pregnancy. A pro-abort doctor might well have scared Linsey with a terrible prognosis of her own chances, and reassured her that she could “try again” once she was well. But she wouldn’t have had Lena, and she would have carried the burden of knowing her survival came at the cost of her daughter’s life.

A common argument as to why we need to have legal abortion in this country is to protect the lives of mothers at risk. But that argument grows weaker every day, when courageous couples like Linsey and her husband Scott, and doctors who can see beyond their own malpractice risk, show us there is another way.

Choosing life is always the right choice, even when it’s hard, even when it’s scary, even when the outcome is unclear.

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