Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Who Funded the Study?

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

The six authors of a recently published research paper titled “Decision Rightness and Emotional Responses to Abortion in the United States: A Longitudinal Study” asserted that “the authors have declared that no competing interest exists.”

That is a blatant lie.

All six of them are on the faculty of or otherwise associated with the pro-abortion University of California San Francisco, its pro-abortion Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, and the organization ANSIRH – Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health. None of them has ever published a study that painted abortion in an unfavorable light. At least one of the authors has been a paid consultant to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The “Decision Rightness”study was funded by the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, which has also granted money to NARAL, the ACLU and seemingly every group they could find with the word “choice” in its name: Medical students, law student, physicians, nurses, etc.

Another grant was received by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which is dedicated to reducing population. From the foundation website: The Population and Reproductive Health program seeks to promote women’s reproductive health and rights and to stabilize population growth.

The third grant that funded “Decision Rightness” was from an anonymous donor, and after reading the study, I conjured an image of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards writing a personal check. But perhaps she’s being more careful with her $590,000 annual salary these days, now that Planned Parenthood’s baby-parts-for-sale scheme has been exposed.

But back to the study.

This latest exercise in proving that abortion is fabulous followed 667 women for three years after their abortions, checking in by phone twice every year, and sending them each a $50 gift card after each conversation. The conclusion: “Women experienced decreasing emotional intensity over time, and the overwhelming majority of women felt that termination was the right decision for them over three years. Emotional support may be beneficial for women having abortions who report intended pregnancies or difficulty deciding.”

What they’re saying, basically, is that if you’re fine with your abortion decision beforehand, you will be fine after. But at the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and at Rachel’s Vineyard, we beg to differ. Between the two ministries we have been in contact with, ministered to and marched beside more than 3,000 women who not only regret their abortions but do so publicly after going through post-abortion recovery programs.

Many of them speak of an initial feeling of relief that gives way over time – sometimes a decade or more – to much darker emotions and accompanying masking behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, eating disorders and other problems. Sometimes the child they aborted will be the only one they ever conceive.

Post-abortion healing programs like Rachel’s Vineyard and dozens of others would not exist if women were not experiencing emotional turmoil after abortion.

We don’t expect honesty from pro-abortion researchers, and we are not surprised when the pro-abortion mainstream media runs headlines like this one in Time magazine: Hardly Any Women Regret Having an Abortion, a New Study Finds.

But the danger in this skewed research and slanted reporting is that it gives abortion-vulnerable women, especially young women, another reason to make the wrong choice.

We don’t need a study to confirm what we see every day: Women do regret abortion.

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Who stood up for pregnant Chinese teacher? Not Planned Parenthood!

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

 

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Those who champion a woman’s “right to choose” should be up in arms about a school teacher in China who had been warned she would lose her job if she didn’t abort her child. Qin Yi is five months pregnant with her second child.

Surely the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which works closely with the Chinese Family Planning Association, would have tried to intervene in – or least comment on – this gross injustice. But there was no indication from the IPPF website that the life of Qin’s baby was even worth noting.

Perhaps the White House, where the resident-in-chief is a staunch supporter of “choice,” got his diplomats in China working to save this couple and their wanted child. But again, we can’t know if this family’s plight was even on President Obama’s radar. Even worse, the United States government might have abetted this macabre scenario.

Last year, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ)accused the Obama administration of breaking U.S. laws and aiding China’s forced abortion policies.

According to Smith, who cited the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, Obama has given $227 million to a United Nations agency that facilitates the one-child policy, and visas to Chinese officials with ties to brutal acts of forced abortions.

The U.S. prohibits federal funds from flowing to organizations involved in China’s forced abortion and sterilization policies, or allowing foreigners directly involved in its enforcement into the U.S. But Smith says only a handful of abusers have been denied visas.

The Associated Press reported this week that Qin was granted permission to have a child with her husband, Meng Shaoping, in her hometown, even though each of them has a daughter from their previous marriages. But she subsequently was ordered to have an abortion by the end of the month because the province where she is teaching has different rules.

LifeSite News reported Thursday that the couple will now be allowed to have their baby. Thank God! But the circumstances that led to this near-tragedy have not changed.

In late 2013, China eased up on its one-child only policy that, in 34 years not only eliminated siblings in the world’s most populous country but also left the region’s boy-to-girl ratio so lopsided that many Chinese men will never be able to marry. According to a recent report, China was home to 33 million more men than women in 2014.

When the policy change was announced in Beijing, IPPF gushed that it was “an important step towards realising reproductive health and rights for all its citizens” – although not for the hundreds of millions of citizens who had already been deprived of their right to life.

As both Congressman Smith and Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, have pointed out, the easing of the one-child restriction in some areas of China does not mean forced abortion has been relegated to the past.

“The core of the problem is not whether the government is allowing one child or two children,” Ms. Littlejohn told World Net Daily in February. “The government is still telling how many children people can have and is enforcing that limit with coerced abortions. And it’s not clear to me that there are fewer abortions. Women and babies still are dying.”

Women and babies are still dying in China while the United States looks the other way. But I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised: Women and babies are still dying right here at home.

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Nicki Minaj’s Teenage Abortion and Her Sexually Charged Music Videos: What’s the Connection?

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Nicki Minaj 2 Nicki Minaj shares in Rolling Stone Magazine that she had an abortion as a teenager:

Minaj’s first love was an older guy from Queens she dated while attending the prestigious Manhattan performing-arts high school LaGuardia. When she discovered she was pregnant, “I thought I was going to die,” she admits. “I was a teenager. It was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through.” She ended up having an abortion, a decision she says has “haunted me all my life,”…

Minaj goes on to justify her decision:

It’d be contradictory if I said I wasn’t pro-choice. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have anything to offer a child.”

Rolling Stone and Plannned Parenthood would like you to conclude… “good for you Nicki…that was brave and honest…and you still defended a woman’s right to choose!”

But there is so much more going on here.

Why the public confession? Why the need to share this secret? Why a step back away from her usual highly sexually charged lyrics and videos to share this intimate pain with the public?

Her music videos, such as  Anaconda in addition to being morally offensive actually offer some important clues. Sometimes grief and pain from abortion can be buried beneath some highly charged sexual acting out. What’s the connection?

Keep in mind that symptoms can at times call attention to the wound or illness offering clues to help diagnose the condition. Consider the abortion decision of Nicki Manaj. Her first love was with an older man from Queens. Perhaps this man for a time offered the love and affection that may have been missing in her relationship with her father. She loved this older man and they were sexually intimate. She shared her body and soul with him. How did he respond to the pregnancy? She does not tell us. But we know from experience that a father’s response is often critical in whether the baby survives.

Is it any surprise then that her videos often prominently display her body in a highly sexualized context? This can be understood as vehicle for Minaj to call attention to the fact that her wound occurred in the turbulent waters of sexual intimacy. When she was pregnant, her body was naturally gearing up to nurture and protect her unborn child. It was surely a shock to her body and reproductive system when the abortion doctor forced open her cervix and expelled her unborn child. Her breasts never completed their development to fulfill their task of offering sustenance and life to her unborn child after birth.

We know that the music and entertainment industry has their own agenda in advancing the pornification of all media, especially music videos that are so influential with youth.  But we fail to recognize how in the aftermath of abortion the Shockwaves from that event can contribute to the exploitation of women and their participation in actions that degrade and exploit them.

The repressed grief, anger and pain from the abortion,  love and sexual intimacy that ends in death and the rejection of her pregnancy and child…all serve to feed her pornographic videos.  They find expression in exploitive projections of her body that our culture and Minaj would like you to think are acts of female empowerment:

“With a video like ‘Anaconda,’ I’m a grown-ass f*#!*! woman!” she says. “I stand for girls wanting to be sexy and dance, but also having a strong sense of themselves. If you got a big ol’ butt? Shake it! Who cares?

What initially draws your attention in this photograph?

Nicki Minaj 1

Look at the sadness on her face in the Rolling Stone cover. Manaj said she had an abortion because she had nothing to offer a child.  But note in the photo above that she provocatively displays her ample breasts (something you will find in many of her images.) The same breasts that never had an opportunity to nurture her unborn child…the child that continues to haunt her.

If Nicki Manaj had resisted the temptation to abort, she would have learned that she had much to offer her baby…a beautiful body, heart and soul would have loved and embraced the child. As most mothers say years later after resisting the pressure to abort… “I can’t imagine life without her/him.” If she had given the child life, while she would have surely faced challenges…she would never have regretted the decision to have the baby.

Because Nicki Manaj suffered a traumatic loss she naturally at times will use her artistic gifts to express her pain and call attention to this loss. If she attended an abortion recovery program, she would in time come to understand the connection between her hyper-sexualized videos and rap with that abortion wound. She would understand that her recent public sharing about her abortion was a cry for help. Manaj would discover that with God’s mercy, her abortion need no longer haunt her, because she will develop a spiritual relationship with her child as part of the healing journey. The grief and reconciliation of this loss can open the door for ongoing healing and conversion in her life.

Her creative gifts would no longer be a vehicle to exploit her sexuality and degrade her beauty as a woman.

Let’s not forget the father of this child. He no doubt will see the Rolling Stone interview leading him to reflect on this event from his past. Men also suffer and act out their pain in destructive ways after abortion. Let’s pray that he and Nicki both find reconciliation and healing in the New Year.

by Janet Morana and Kevin Burke, LSW

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NBC News Reports on False Prenatal Tests and Abortion: The Bigger Picture of the Widespread Damage to Families

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Serpent Temptation Eve

By Janet Morana, Kevin Burke, LSW

Now the snake was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden? …God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil… So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.(Genesis:3, 1-6)

NBC News reports something pro life advocates have known for many years: “Prenatal Tests Have High Failure Rate, Triggering Abortions.”  The non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPTs) that have been on the market since 2011 advertise 99 percent accuracy, but the Boston Globe reports that of those results that show a genetic abnormality in the child, 50 percent are wrong and the child is completely healthy:

…these NIPTs are not perfect, according to Dr. Brian Skotko, a geneticist and co-director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston…In medicine we have no one number that reports accuracy…The 99 percent women are hearing refers to the sensitivity of the test…A test could be 99 percent sensitive and still have a 40 percent positive predictive value.”

Like in the story of the Garden of Eden and the Serpent, the increase in often unreliable pre-natal screening opens the door to two diabolic outcomes:

-                  Many healthy unborn children are being aborted.

-                  What happens to couples who experience the anxiety and trauma of pre natal screening and abort their unborn children…regardless of whether they have a disability or are perfectly healthy?   What impact does this experience have on them personally, in their marriage relationship and bonding with any future children?

Complicated Grief

[The following is an excerpt from the book Sharing the Heart of Christ.]

Every year in the United States, approximately 133,000 pregnant mothers will undergo routine pre-natal tests and receive what is called “poor pre-natal diagnosis,” or PPD.  This means that their infant is afflicted with a chromosomal abnormality or a serious defect in a vital organ.  The most difficult and complicated grief that we witness on Rachel’s Vineyard Weekends for healing after abortion, involve couples that aborted a child because testing revealed a genetic disablity.

With the increase in genetic testing and fertility treatments more couples are facing these difficult decisions.   Parents are often pressured by doctors, therapists, friends and family to “terminate” the pregnancy.  They are given the grim prospect of a child born prematurely who will die shortly after birth or suffer severe deformities and a brief life filled with suffering and pain.  Couples are vulnerable when confronted with many levels of anxiety, uncertainty and fear that are natural when trying to process such an event.

Sadly, health care professionals, friends and family often feed their worst fears.  Often with the best of intentions, they fail to offer life affirming alternatives that respect the dignity of unborn life, and in the long run are in the best interest of the mother and father, and especially their relationship.  Most couples only receive non-directive counseling, which means they are told only the various challenges and likely prognosis of the condition without offering other life-affirming resources.  This can be overwhelming and lead the parents in the aftershock of this news to see abortion as the best solution.

In one study, 80% of parents who received ‘non directive’ counseling chose to abort while 80% of parents who were provided with the option of perinatal palliative care chose to carry their child to term. [1] (Autumn 2008 Issue of Perspectives, the newsletter of the DeVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research.)

Tragically, more than 90 percent of these pregnancies end in abortion.  When abortion is the preferred course of “treatment” not only is the baby’s life ended, but the lives of these parents are changed forever.  Like our first parents in the Garden of Eden, assuming this power over life and death has far reaching consequences beyond the decision to abort.   The fallout from this loss places a tremendous strain on a couple as they struggle to come to terms with the shock and pain of their experience.

Research confirms that women suffer years after the procedure:

Women 2-7 years after were expected to show a significantly lower degree of traumatic experience and grief than women 14 days after termination…Contrary to hypothesis, however, the results showed no significant inter-group differences. [2](More information and research on post abortion trauma for couples who abort due to fetal disability.)

Complicated Grief

These parents suffer from a particularly complex form of grief and guilt years after the experience.  They hunger desperately for healing and peace, but struggle to come to terms with their responsibility in the death of their child and the need for repentance, reconciliation and healing.  They feel strongly that their situation is “different” from others who abort.

Couples cling desperately to the idea that they did what was best for their child, saving them from a life, however brief, of suffering and pain.  In other scenarios they must choose among healthier embryos or multiple fetuses so that the healthiest survive.  Given the medical advice and pressure from a spouse or others, they feel they did not have a real choice.  As with any abortion decision where this is any ambivalence or pressure, they are at high risk for symptoms of post abortion trauma such as anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance etc.

The husband may see the abortion as protecting his wife from the pain of giving birth to a child who would have died, or would die shortly after birth or would have been born with a physical and mental handicap that sadly is seen as a burden to his wife and family.  In their efforts to establish control and take action, men are tempted to see abortion as the best solution.

After the abortion there can be considerable anger at God, whom couples often blame for putting them in this situation.   One couple expresses this struggle:

If we were given a normal child, we would not be suffering like this.  We are different from others who have aborted because we wanted this child.  God put us in this impossible situation, forcing us to make these painful decisions.  We are left without our child, and with powerful feelings of confusion, resentment anger and grief. 

Without a healing process for this complicated grief, this pain will surely impact marital intimacy, communication and trust and the relationship of parents with their living children.

Empty Arms and Wounded Hearts

It is only when these mothers and fathers come to a clearer and honest understanding of their abortion loss that they can begin to repent, grieve and heal.  An important part of this process is facing their role in that decision to abort, and the understandable fear and weakness that tempted them to embrace this solution.  When the rationalization and seemingly wise counsel of doctors and others fades away after the abortion, a mother and father are faced with empty arms and a wounded heart.  They must face the painful realization that this decision also aborted their opportunity to hold this child and offer that child love and affection for however long the baby lived.  In the case of Down’s Syndrome and other conditions, they were given a child with special challenges to love and care for, and in their rejection of that child, something in them has also died both individually and as a couple.

The healing process can never be forced.  We must be patient, especially in the early stages of healing as the wound is very raw. There can initially be great defensiveness.  It’s important to acknowledge their pain and loss, the confusing nature of the decisions and challenges that their fertility treatment/testing and medical care presented to them.  However, at some point in the process, when they are ready and with God’s grace and much prayer, they must face the truth that their abortion decision led them to make a choice that violated their parental hearts, created to love any children they conceived regardless of the challenges.  They will need to face that the abortion was a crisis of faith, one that we all face in different times in our life where we fail to trust God, and we make decisions that violate His will for us.  We must always speak to them in love, as fellow sinners who have aborted God’s will in our lives.

Lord, Please Help Me Not to Be So Perfect

Susan attended a Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreat after aborting a child diagnosed with a condition that would lead to her daughter’s death shortly after birth.   She expressed a desire to leave the retreat Saturday morning.  Susan shared:

I don’t fit in with these other women and men who freely chose abortion for “selfish” reasons.  I had no choice.  The choice I made was in the best interests of my child.

One of the priests serving on our retreat team spoke with her after breakfast on Saturday encouraging her to stay though the afternoon and then if she still felt the same way, she could leave.  Because of her trust in this priest, and the help of the Holy Spirit she decided to stay.

A major breakthrough occurred for Susan following the Living Scripture Exercise of the Woman Healed of a Hemorrhage offered on Saturday afternoon.  In this exercise, the participants have an opportunity to touch a cloth representing the cloak of Christ.   Susan approached the cloak that flowed from the base of a monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament, and prayed, “Lord, please help me not to be so perfect, to want everything in my life to be perfect, even my child.”  She broke down in tears and continued on the weekend receiving an incredible amount of healing and peace.

At the memorial service Susan read a letter to her child apologizing for not having the courage to go through with the child’s birth and imminent death:

Our Dearest Marie,

How are you, sweetie?  How are you doing in Heaven?  Mommy and daddy really miss you.  Your brother, Vincent, asks about you all the time….Your sister, Veronica, would have loved to have a little sister like you because you and she would have been best friends…You are our little angel, our most beautiful child.

But we are both so sorry that we denied you that chance to be with our family.  You would have loved to be with us, to hear our voices, to have us touch you, hold you, and kiss you.  Even though it may only have been a short time:  months, days, or maybe just hours, deep Down I know that it would have been worth it.  We would have learned so much from you:  how to love, how to serve, how to be humble, and how to trust in our God completely! 

Dearest Marie…  Your daddy and I both need your prayers.  I know that you are in good hands, as Jesus has shown me that Mother Mary is taking care of you.  We will not worry about you, but you are forever in our hearts.  We love you so much, with all our hearts and all our souls.  We promise that we will pray to you always, tell you about all that is going on in our family.   We thank God that He has blessed us with you, that He has given us a chance to come to this retreat so that both your daddy and I would feel closer to you.  We look forward to the day that we will meet in Heaven, in the eternal home of God our Father, where we can finally hold you close and give you hugs and kisses.

Thank you for forgiving us.  You are forever our child and we are so blessed to be your parents.

Love always,

Mommy and daddy

It may take longer to make this transition but in Rachel’s Vineyard, individuals will experience some release of their pain and anguish.  They may still struggle to fully embrace repentance and healing.   The couple may remain attached to the idea that “we did what was in the best interests of our child” and may still wrestle with feelings of anger and resentment.  Offer ongoing support if appropriate and share any after care services that might assist them.  Offer prayers and encouragement and share with them that the grace of their healing experience has planted seeds that in time will bear a greater fruit.

For those offering the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats, it is important when couples register for the weekend sharing this type of loss, that you go over the entire weekend, making them fully aware of the process.  With that understanding, we can entrust them to the God of mercy and pray for the Holy Spirit to open their hearts to his forgiveness and healing, according to His perfect will and time.

Perinatal Hospice

Those ministering to engaged or married couples are in an excellent position to offer alternatives to abortion when a couple receives the painful news there is a problem with their pregnancy.  The type of counseling couples receive is critical to the decision to abort or give birth to a disabled child.

Fortunately there is a growing movement to provide Perinatal Hospice that supports couples who journey through the difficult birth, death and funeral of their child.  [Be sure to visit Perinatal Hospice and the excellent FAQ section of their website.] With encouragement and education they help provide the vital healing experience of embracing their child with love for as long as the baby lives. Though deeply painful, it gives parents and families the opportunity to celebrate the child’s life and to grieve this loss in a healthy way.   The couple and their family experience the natural process of grief.  With the support team of doctors, nurses, chaplains and social workers they can find healing and meaning in their suffering and loss.  Abortion robs parents of this opportunity.  While we can struggle to understand the meaning of suffering and death, especially of an infant, God’s grace and blessing abounds when life is embraced, loved and released with dignity, instead of abortion.

For those with a Downs syndrome diagnosis we must provide opportunities for parents to learn of the blessings as well as the real challenges that these children will present, to counter the negative picture presented by proponents of abortion.  It may be beneficial to have some contacts of parents who have a Downs Syndrome child who would be willing to speak to those faced with a Down Syndrome diagnosis.  Once parents get over the initial shock and fear of the unknown, their lives are filled with peace and as one mother told us, “I live with pure joy every day.  I’m learning about unconditional love from my son.”

Resources:

Here’s a Great article on a life affirming story of a mother with a disabled unborn child that chose life.

Prenatal Partners for Life  If you have come to this site because you or someone you know has received an adverse or negative prenatal diagnosis, you have come to the right place. We are parents who have gone through similar circumstances and we want to offer support. We are here to help you. You are not alone!

www.perinatalhospice.org

National Association for Down Syndrome

National Down Syndrome Congress

The DeVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research

 

 

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

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

wachapreague-island-first-abandoned-house[1]

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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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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Study from Finland links IUD to breast cancer

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

IUD[1]As the outrage continues over the Supreme Court’s decision to put Americans’ religious liberty ahead of their right to free contraception, a new study from Finland shows that a type of IUD has been linked to an increase incidence of breast cancer.

CNN is reporting that, according to a study published in the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) or progesterone-releasing IUD, may be associated with a higher than expected incidence of breast cancer.

What caught my eye, though, is that levonorgestrel, a hormone that regulates ovulation, is also the used in the Plan B contraceptive, better known as the morning after pill. Millions of American women are now going to receive the IUD and Plan B free, thanks to Obamacare, and most of them will have no idea they could be increasing their risk of breast cancer.

CNN doesn’t delve into that possibility, but here’s what the Polycarp Institute, a Catholic research think tank, has to say about Plan B and breast cancer:
Does Plan B cause breast cancer?
Ironically, this question has never been asked. Theoretically, this is certainly possible especially in women who use Plan B often as a method of “birth control.” How could this be? Plan B is composed of the hormone named levonorgestrel, which is a potent progestin which is also found in some of today’s birth control pills. Birth control pills have been declared a Class 1 carcinogen (ie, the most dangerous type) by the World Health Association in June, 2005. In addition, the most recent meta-analysis published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (October, 2006) noted that taking the birth control pill before pregnancy results in a 44% increased risk of developing breast cancer prior to age 50. Finally, levonorgestrel’s progestin “cousin” (ie, Depo Provera) has been noted to increase breast cancer by 190% in women who take 12 shots prior to age 25 (JAMA, 1995: 799-804). These data theoretically implicate Plan B if taken often enough. In addition, when a woman takes Plan B she ingests 1.5 mg of levonorgestrel within a twelve hour period of time which is nearly equivalent to the amount of progestin contained in an entire month’s worth of some of today’s low dose birth control pills (ie, 1.925 mg).

Not to get off topic, but it’s also worth mentioning that while the mainstream media is dutifully regurgitating the “fact” that Plan B is not abortifacient, the scientists at Polycarp feel differently:

Is Plan B a contraceptive or an abortifacient?
The truth is, no one knows for sure but it probably does work by causing early abortion at least part of the time. The 2010 Physician’s Desk Reference notes that Plan B “may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium.” In addition, Croxatto et al noted that Plan B only fully stops ovulation 12% of the time when given within two days of ovulation (Contraception, 2004: 442-450). This would point to an abortifacient method of action since ovulation and consequent fertilization would likely be occurring much of the time, yet visible pregnancy is usually absent. Finally, Mikolajczyk and Stanford showed via a sophisticated mathematical model, that if Plan B really were to be 75% effective, it likely would be working as an abortifacient at least some of the time (Fertility and Sterility, 2007: 565-570). In the future, researchers might be able to “prove” if and how often Plan B is an abortifacient by employing the use of a very early pregnancy tests which turn positive within the first 7 days of pregnancy (eg, EPF: Early Pregnancy Factor).

As CNN notes, most women use the progesterone-releasing IUD to treat heavy periods. That’s also the reason millions of women start taking birth control pills as teenagers. Dr. Anne Nolte, a pro-life, pro-woman obstetrician and gynecologist, points out that this is bad medicine. Instead of trying to get to the source of the problem and fix it, hormonal contraceptives like the Pill and some IUDs just shut down the system and restart it artificially. This gives doctors an easy way out and sometimes, it gives women breast cancer.

For a longer look at the Pill and its symbiotic relationship with abortion, please read my book, “Recall Abortion.”

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Pro-abort logic: Save babies by killing babies

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

abortion-is-not-health-care1[1]

To suggest that abortion is the cure for infant mortality is so bizarre that I had to read NOW President Terry O’Neill’s piece in the Huffington Post twice to make sure that’s what she actually wrote.

Here’s just a nugget of the nonsense:

We have a premature birth crisis in this country that can be directly linked to our failure to provide adequate contraception and abortion care.

Speaking like the most determined of population controllers, Ms. O’Neill posits that preventing contraception, and murdering in the womb those children who managed to get conceived anyway, is the best cure for premature birth.

I don’t know about you, but I grow weary of the discussion about “adequate contraception.” Even before Obamacare, were there places in America that were somehow bereft of over-the-counter and prescription contraceptives? Maybe in Alaska at its most remote but I’m not even sure about that. Let’s just assume that, for better or worse, everyone has access to contraception.

Ms. O’Neill then touches on the high teenage birth rates in rural America, and definitely this is a problem. But easy access to contraception is as much a contributing factor as is teenage boredom. Somewhere between the sexual revolution and now, we threw up our collective hands and said there’s no sense trying to teach teens abstinence. Instead, we taught them about birth control and everything from television and movies to Planned Parenthood’s Exclaim Campaign convinced teens that having sex was healthy and fun and the best way to make it through those awkward high school years.

But let’s move on to “abortion care,” which Ms. O’Neill says is vital in solving the infant mortality crisis. I suppose she’s thinking that if we kill babies in the womb, we don’t have to technically label them infants. If we call them fetuses, or use the term most popular in abortion clinics, the “products of conception,” we can cook the books on infant mortality.

Or, we could address the infant mortality crisis by taking a look, as the U.S. Congress did recently, at how we can improve a child’s first 1,000 days of life – from conception to the second birthday. As my colleague Marie Smith posted on her website for the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (part of Gospel of Life ministries), a hearing in March before the House Global Health Subcommittee brought together experts on malnutrition who testified that providing adequate nutrition for a child’s first 1,000 days affects virtually every day that follows, and it looms large where both infant and maternal mortality are concerned.

In his opening statement, N.J. Rep. Chris Smith (full disclosure: he is Marie Smith’s husband) explained the critical need to focus on nutrition during this time period: “Children who do not receive adequate nutrition in utero are more likely to experience lifelong cognitive and physical deficiencies, such as stunting. UNICEF estimates that one in four children worldwide is stunted due to lack of adequate nutrition. Children who are chronically undernourished within the first two years of their lives also often have impaired immune systems that are incapable of protecting them against life-threatening ailments, such as pneumonia and malaria.

“Adults who were stunted as children face increased risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Mothers who were malnourished as girls are 40 percent are more likely to die during childbirth, experience debilitating complications like obstetric fistula, and deliver children who perish before reaching age five.”

Wouldn’t it be a kinder, more humane, more woman-friendly solution to try to improve infant mortality through better nutrition rather than more abortion?

Ms. O’Neill also points out the increase in maternal mortality in the U.S. and, again, wags that finger of blame in the direction of the pro-life movement. While it’s true that more women are dying in childbirth now than 20 years ago, the causes are varied and do not include lack of access to abortion.

According to Reuters: “World Health Organization (WHO) experts said the increase in the U.S. mortality rate may be a statistical blip. Or it might be due to increased risks from obesity, diabetes and older women giving birth.
Marleen Temmerman, the director of reproductive health and research at WHO, said more analysis was needed.
“It’s difficult to say how many deaths are really related to increasing age, but what we know is older age in pregnant women is contributing more to the risk for diabetes and more hypertension related problems,” she told a news conference.
WHO death-rates expert Colin Mathers said improved data collection could also affect the figures.”

The United States should certainly be doing better than it is in terms of infant and maternal mortality. But to suggest that abortion will improve either of these statistics is delusional. Abortion doesn’t solve problems. It creates them.

For an in-depth look at the way abortion exploits and harms women, read my book, Recall Abortion

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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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