Who Funded the Study?

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!

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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The debate on anesthesia for babies before late-term abortion

April 21st, 2015

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The Los Angeles Times yesterday reported on the “junk science” – as described by abortion advocates — behind new abortion restrictions enacted or under consideration in a number of states, including a bill in Montana that calls for babies beyond 20 weeks to be anesthetized prior to an abortion. Last month, the Washington Post wrote a story focusing specifically on the Montana bill, which has now been passed by the state legislature and is heading to the pro-choice governor for action.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, sent out a statement  urging Gov. Steve Bullock to sign this humane bill and make it law. Until abortion is unthinkable and illegal, I hope every state passes a fetal anesthesia bill.

What would be the reason NOT to?

Science has pro-lifers convinced beyond a doubt that children in the womb do feel pain at 20 weeks. Pro-aborts and the media that marches in lockstep with them say the science is “disputed” and there’s always a mention of a 2005 study reported in JAMA that found “evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester.” Please note the wording. Limited evidence “indicates” that pain is “unlikely.”

In other words, they’re not sure. Also worth mentioning, two of the five researchers didn’t bother to tell the journal’s editors that they were personally involved in abortions and abortion advocacy.

Those who have no passionate views on abortion could reasonably come to the conclusion that babies in the womb halfway through pregnancy MIGHT feel pain.  Shouldn’t we then err on the side of caution and provide an in utero injection of painkiller to minimize the brutality of death by late-term abortion?

The reason pro-aborts oppose fetal anesthesia prior to abortion is because any measure that gets people thinking about the humanity of the child in the womb is bad for the bottom line for abortion profiteers.

Let’s take a look at what abortionists and former abortionists have said about late-term abortion.

In the medical textbook “Abortion Practice,” abortionist Warren Hern wrote:

The procedure changes significantly at 21 weeks because the fetal tissues become much more cohesive and difficult to dismember. This problem is accentuated by the fact that the fetal pelvis may be as much as 5 cm in width. The calvaria [head] is no longer the principal problem; it can be collapsed. Other structures, such as the pelvis, present more difficulty….A long curved Mayo scissors may be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus…”

This next description is from Priests for Life medical advisor Dr. Anthony Levatino, taken from his testimony before Congress in 2013.

“Look for your Sopher clamp. This instrument is about thirteen inches long and made of stainless steel. At the end are located jaws about 2 ½ inches long and about ¾ of an inch wide with rows of sharp ridges or teeth. This instrument is for grasping and crushing tissue. When it gets hold of something, it does not let go. A second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. The baby can be in any orientation or position inside the uterus. Picture yourself reaching in with the Sopher clamp and grasping anything you can.

“At twenty-four weeks gestation, the uterus is thin and soft so be careful not to perforate or puncture the walls. Once you have grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard–really hard. You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard once again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.

The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush d own on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you.”

For my book “Recall Abortion,” I interviewed Dr. John Bruchalski, who performed abortions in his medical residency but never again. One thing he told me about late-term abortion I will never forget.

“When you kill another human life up close and personal, it’s viciously brutal,” he said. “The baby fights back a little bit. When they get real big, they don’t want to be killed.”

After more than 20 years in the pro-life movement, I know there are pro-abortion people who could read Dr. Bruchalski’s words and not even flinch. But just imagine the reaction we might get if we talked about preborn puppies being torn limb from limb, watching their paws and snouts and tails being yanked out by the vicious-looking Sopher clamp. The outrage would be palpable.

But because we are talking about abortion, there is actually a debate. Shame on us.

(To read more on why we should take the practice of abortion off the medical shelves in America please read “Recall Abortion.”)

 

 

 

 

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Contraception kills

March 13th, 2015

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Christianity Today surprised me, and many of its readers, I would guess, with an opinion piece carried below the ironic headline, “Contraception Saves Lives.”  Even more surprising, author Rachel Marie Stone lauds Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, making excuses for her eugenic beliefs and saying Planned Parenthood did not provide abortion in Sanger’s lifetime.  My colleague Bryan Kemper wrote about the Sanger apologetics in his blog, so I will concentrate on the dubious claim that contraception saves lives.

First, let’s refute her assertion, now so familiar, that hormonal contraceptives are not abortifacients. That’s nonsense. One of the ways the birth control pill works is by preventing implantation of the embryo in the uterus. That’s abortion to those of us who know that life begins at conception, which, by the way, is a scientific fact.

Now let’s take a look at some the other ways that contraception ends lives.

Ms. Stone’s article mentions the long-acting contraception called Depo-Provera, which is a-once-every-three-months injection. But here are some of the things she didn’t say about Depo-Provera.

In addition to a long list of nasty side effects – blood clots, breast cancer, ectopic pregnancy, depression, excessive weight gain, facial paralysis, hirsutism, cervical cancer, nipple bleeding, and a lack of return to fertility – Depo-Provera increases a woman’s risk of contracting HIV by 40 percent. This is particularly troubling for women in sub-Saharan Africa, where  25,000 million people – 70 percent of the world total – are living with HIV/AIDS.

The Pill is not much better for women, as I outlined in a chapter of my book, “Recall Abortion.” The Pill  poses numerous health risks, including blood clots, increased risks of cardiovas­cular disease,cervical and liver cancer,elevated blood pressure,decreased desire, sexual dysfunction and stroke.

Some Pills are worse than others. In 2006, Bayer Pharmaceuticals burst onto the market with Yaz and Yasmin, drugs that were touted as reliable birth control and miraculous cures for acne and pre-menstrual syndrome.

But Yas and Yasmin are not miracle drugs. As of 2014, Bayer had paid out $1.7 billion – BILLION – to settle 8,250 cases brought against it and there are still thousands of cases pending. Women are suffering from gall bladder disease, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and other diseases. In Canada, the deaths of 23 women have been linked to Yaz and Yasmin.

How many deaths does it take before we stop calling a drug safe? I think one death is too many, and here’s why.

After I finished giving a talk in Naples, Florida, a woman approached me to tell me a story about her friend’s daughter, who was prescribed Yaz for a serious acne condition by the campus physician. After taking Yaz for just three months, the girl collapsed one day in her dorm and was rushed to the hospital. She fell into a coma that lasted five years and ended with her death.

So please, Christianity Today, don’t tell me contraception saves lives. That is simply not true.

(For more in-depth information about the perils of the Pill, please go to www.recallabortion.com and order a copy of my book.)

 

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Children know right from wrong

March 5th, 2015

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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.

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America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion

February 18th, 2015

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Last week, a reporter from the Daily Signal asked me to comment on a story she was writing about the use of graphic abortion images, and if they help or hurt the pro-life cause.

You can read the story here.

Some critics of the use of these images say we are traumatizing women who have had abortions, that these images act as triggers that make them relive the abortion and the powerful negative emotions that followed. If that’s true, wouldn’t seeing babies in strollers or walking down a supermarket aisle stocked with baby products also be triggers? There is no practical way for a woman who has had an abortion to stay away from all the many things that will remind her of that irrevocable decision. That is one of the ways abortion harms women.

I agree that it’s unsettling to see pictures of tiny arms and legs floating in a sea of blood. But that’s the point; we should be unsettled. This is what happens in an abortion, and abortion happens thousands of times a day in this country. Every single day.

Pro-aborts don’t want anyone to see what abortion really is, which is one of the reasons they react so strongly to graphic images. But another reason is that they know, like we do, that graphic images change minds and save lives. I know this first-hand.

I have been outside abortion clinics with people holding these signs showing the victims of abortion and I have experienced the power these images have in saving lives. One time, while holding one of the signs outside a clinic in Charlotte, N.C., I was able to stop a couple headed inside to end the life of their unborn child. It was the picture of the aborted baby that got them to stop and talk to me. I was then able to bring them to a pro-life doctor in that town and he was able to help them make a life-saving choice.

Graphic images tell the truth. Though the images we are seeing almost daily of the atrocities committed by ISIS are brutal, they help us understand what this group is and the lengths they will go to achieve their goals. They underscore the need to take action to stop this slaughter. Likewise, though the images of aborted babies are disturbing and hard to look at, they help people understand what the “right to choose” really means and how important it is to stop it.

The baby I mentioned is just one of countless children who have been saved because of the use of the pictures of aborted babies.

Remember, America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion.

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25 years and counting …

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

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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Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion

December 30th, 2014

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The year 2014 saw the first “abortion rom-com” in theaters, heard the head of Planned Parenthood express the goal of making pro-life political candidates “unacceptable,” and endured a relentless assault by an anti-life movement that seeks to recast abortion as a social good.

 

Abortion is not a social good, and in 2015, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will demonstrate that through a new project called Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion. The aim of Shockwaves is to reach out to those impacted by the loss of a child through abortion: Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, abortion clinic workers and even the abortionists themselves.

 

The project will be announced at a press conference Thursday, Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. in the Murrow Room at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW. The official launch for Shockwaves will be at the annual Silent No More gathering in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building during the March for Life on Jan. 22.

 

The Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion was like a series of powerful nuclear devices detonated in January 1973 in Washington, D.C. The damage done by an explosion is not only in the initial impact, but in the invisible shockwaves that ripple out from the epicenter. We often fail to see the radioactive fallout from 55 million abortions but the new initiative aims to make Americans aware of the powerful and destructive shockwaves that have wounded our nation in ways that we are only beginning to fully understand. 

 

 

“Each individual abortion procedure is an explosive event in the lives of the mother and father and those closely connected to that decision,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and Pastoral Director for Silent No More. “The shockwaves not only deeply touch the mother and father but all those who are part of abortion decisions and procedures.  They extend out into the lives that they will touch as their unresolved  grief and loss impact their future relationships, their marriage and family lives. This can and does reach deeply into our society — our schools, our health care and legal systems, our economy and our communities.”

 

Every month throughout 2015, Shockwaves will reach out to a group that has been directly impacted by abortion loss, with helpful information, resources, and referrals to abortion-recovery programs.

 

January will focus on “Healing through the Church.”  February will recognize Black History Month to offer “Healing the Black Family.” March will put the focus on grandparents, while April will take a look at how the shockwaves have impacted the siblings. Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June provide opportunities to focus on those at the epicenter, the parents who lose children to abortion.

 

“The new aim of the pro-choice movement is to convince women and men that abortion is the very best thing they can do for themselves and their future,” said Georgette Forney, President of Anglicans for Life and co-founder of Silent No More. “But I can tell you from experience that the abortion I had as a teenager was not the best thing I could have done for myself. It was the worst, and it impacted my parents, my future husband and our daughter.”

Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life and co-founder of Silent No More, was unaware for years that she had lost a grandchild to abortion.

 

“When I look at my two precious grandchildren now, I often think of their cousin who’s missing,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking to think of what my family lost, and what my daughter went through. The shockwaves of that abortion have reverberated throughout my family, and there are families like mine all over our wounded nation.”

 

The theme for July will be “Healing the Survivors and Friends,” followed by “Healing the Abortion Providers” in August. Family will be the theme for September, with a focus on Hispanic families in October.

 

“Healing Pro-Lifers” will be the theme for November.

 

“Those who stand outside abortion clinics, on the front lines of this battle, also need healing,” said Kevin Burke, LSW, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard and head of Silent No More’s Fatherhood Forever initiative. “So do those who work in pregnancy resource centers, and others who counsel abortion-vulnerable women. Every woman who chooses abortion represents a deep and personal loss to these people who are so committed to life. They feel the shockwaves most acutely.”

 

December will be devoted to seeking healing through Jesus Christ.

 

“When a spiritual and emotional healing program safely opens the abortion wound to the light of Christ, there are miraculous encounters with the Lord,” said Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and a spokeswoman for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. “We hope that by the end of the Shockwaves year, we have made a start in healing the heart of our nation.”

 

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is clearly on the radar of the pro- abortion movement.  Since 2002, Silent No More has been equipping men and women across our nation to share the truth of the devastation abortion unleashed in their lives. The pro-aborts are pushing back with campaigns to “affirm” abortion and “normalize” this procedure as a safe and benign rite of passage in many women’s lives. Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion will counter these efforts with the truth.

 

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

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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