John Jalsevac

Hundreds want to adopt baby with Down syndrome: Jezebel writer furious

John Jalsevac
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July 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - How frustrating: Yet another unwanted child will be given a loving family instead of being thrown into the the local abortion clinic's garbage bin! At least, that's the message of an article that appeared in the website Jezebel yesterday. 

Katie Baker wrote in the ultra-feminist publication in response to the story of how Virginia priest Fr. Thomas Vander Woude recently found out about a couple that intended to abort their child, who has Down syndrome, and offered to find them an adoptive family instead. The couple took him up on the offer, and the priest sent out an emergency appeal to his parish network.

The appeal rocketed around social media, and in response, hundreds of people contacted Fr. Vander Woude's parish in the space of several hours, offering to adopt the child. 

For most people the story was a rare bright spot in an otherwise depressing news cycle, a beautiful story of the willingness of people to make significant sacrifices on the spur of the moment to give an unwanted child a home. 

But not for Katie Baker. While admitting that "it's great so many families" were interested, Baker laments that the mother of the child "is still being coerced into carrying [her baby] to term."

Then she recycles the usual line about how pro-lifers only care about fetuses. "So many mistreated babies and kids with Downs live terrible lives," she writes. "Instead of throwing resources at a nonviable fetus, why can't the church help children with Down syndrome that are already alive? Because anti-abortion folks care more about fetuses with fairytale narratives than actual babies."

In the midst of her feminist lather, Baker appears to have overlooked several important facts: 

First, families who offered to adopt the child were signing up not to adopt a "fetus," but a born child that would require significant care for the rest of his or her life. In other words, they were signing up to spend decades of their lives caring for a person that even Baker would admit is very much "alive." So much for only caring about fetuses.

Second, her suggestion that the baby, who is reportedly only days away from 24 weeks gestation, is not "alive" is simply laughable. While we don't know the exact age of the baby, babies have born as early as 22 weeks gestation and survived, which undercuts even her slur that the baby is "nonviable."

Third, her lament that the mom was "coerced" is equally ridiculous. Fr. Vander Woude made them an offer. They accepted. I fail to see how that amounts to "coercion." If Baker spent half the energy chastizing dead-beat dads who send their girlfriends off to abortion clinics with a couple bills tucked in their pockets to pay the fee and a tacit understanding that if they don't "take care of the problem" there won't be any "home" to come home to, as she spends wringing her hands over the fact that pro-lifers actually are willing to adopt the babies they save, then maybe I'd be more willing to try to understand her point of view.

And fourth, there aren't all that many "living" children with Down syndrome to adopt in the first place, because 90+% of them are aborted thanks to a culture created by Baker and her kind that says that if a baby isn't perfect, just kill him or her and get a new one. 

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But where Baker and I can agree is that it would be a good thing for more people to adopt more babies, including those with Down syndrome. Interestingly, I strongly suspect that this amazing story will put the possibility of adoption on the radar screens of a lot more couples who may never otherwise have considered themselves candidates for adoption. Some nine hundred people reportedly inquired about the baby, offering to adopt a child they had only heard about minutes before. It's reasonable to expect that some of those will realize that if they could adopt a child in an emergency, they could also adopt one even without the emergency. Please God they will carry through on the inspiration.

In other words: this story was a win in every possible way. The baby gets a loving home; the parents don't have to make the terrible choice to end their child's life; adoption has been given wide publicity in the press; and hundreds of couples were given the opportunity to take a leap of faith and open their hearts on the spur of the moment. That Baker doesn't see how good this all was is quite simply a sad testament to the power of the pro-abortion ideology to blind a person to actual goodness.


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People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. Youtube screenshot

I helped so many women abort their babies. Now how do I live with that?

Abby Johnson Abby Johnson Follow Abby
By Abby Johnson
Abby Johnson business card Planned Parenthood

I have many memories of my time with Planned Parenthood. I spent eight years of my life there. Some memories are good, some are not. But they are contained in my mind. It’s easy to forget them. I have forgotten so much about my time there in just four and a half short years. 

I found my old business card the other day. That is a tangible memory for me. It made me think of the day that I heard I had been promoted to direct the clinic. I was so happy…hugging and jumping up and down with my supervisor. She was so proud of me.

I thought about the day I moved everything into my new, big office. I put pro-choice stickers all over my file cabinet. I called my parents to share the news. They were, of course, proud of me, but hated my work. I can’t imagine how conflicted they were in their minds and hearts. Human resources sent me my new paperwork. There was my new title, my new and amazing salary. 

A few days later, my new business cards came. I remember putting them in my new business card holder on my desk. I filled up the business card holder that I kept in my purse. I had already become used to hearing myself say my new title.

I was proud of myself. I was proud of the hard work I had put in to earn that new title. I worked so many hours, sacrificed so much time from my family. But I knew it would be worth it. And now I had the job title to prove it.

I remember proudly passing out my new business cards to anyone that would take one. Being pro-choice was not just a movement to me; it was a lifestyle. I wholeheartedly embraced that lifestyle and loved being a part of it. 

These tangible reminders that I occasionally find are sometimes hard to work through. I remember receiving the records from my medication abortion. That tangible reminder of my past was difficult to manage. I look at my “Employee of the Year” award that I received from Planned Parenthood and think back to the night I received it. I ended up putting that old award on my desk as a reminder of where I came from and how much my life has changed. Seeing that plaque no longer brings back those tangible memories. 

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One of the reasons I was so taken aback when finding my old business card was not just because it was a reminder of how proud I had been to run an abortion clinic…something I find deplorable now. It was because of the things I took part in while I had that big title.

The memories of handing women small monetary checks in order to pay for their silence after we had left them with a serious infection after their abortion. The memories of watching women bleed out on our abortion table and being instructed not to call the ambulance because we didn’t want to let the pro-lifers know that we had a medical emergency. The memories I have of “joking” about the babies that died in our facility by abortion. The memories I have of training our abortion facility employees on the “normalcy” of abortion and how to convince women that abortion is the best choice for them.

Part of being a former abortion clinic worker is learning how to deal with your past sin. It may be the lady who came to your clinic for an abortion that you bump into at the store. It could be standing in front of your former abortion facility and remembering all of the damage your words and actions did to so many women. It could be finding that old business card that reminds you of the pride you felt when you became the director of an abortion facility. 

People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. 

One day I was watching the kid’s movie “Kung Fu Panda” with my daughter. In the film there is a wise, old tortoise named Oogway. He is talking to one of his students who is frustrated with his current situation. Oogway asks his student, “Do you know why today is called the present? Because it is a gift.”

That little line by an animated tortoise hit me like a ton of bricks. Today is a gift. There is absolutely nothing we can do with our past. And there is very little we can do to control our future. We live NOW. We serve NOW. We choose to move on from our past NOW. 

I don’t know what your past sins are. And I don’t know how frequently you are reminded of them. But as someone who has to face their past sins on pretty much a daily basis, I can tell you that you can be free from their burden. Being reminded of your past doesn’t mean that you have to live with constant grief. It simply means that you have been given the opportunity to transform your past into something positive…maybe you can help others make different choices than you did, maybe you can help others heal from the same struggles that you lived through. I don’t know what you are being called to do, but as the saying goes, “God can turn our mess into a message.” 

Carrying around past burdens doesn’t help us in any way. Know that you can be forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Use your life to help others. The present is indeed a gift.

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Because nothing says love quite like a whip and restraints, right? Shutterstock

To the Christians who think 50 Shades is all sorts of awesome: Please, stop and THINK

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

It’s pretty depressing when you realize that, in 2014, many people seem to think that destruction of human dignity is a small price to pay for an orgasm.

I suppose when I write a column about a book that just sold its 100 millionth copy I shouldn’t be surprised when I get a bit of a kickback. But I have to say—I wasn’t expecting hundreds of commenters, many saying they were Christian, to come out loudly defending the porn novel 50 Shades of Grey, often tastelessly interspersed with details from their own sex lives.

People squawked that we “shouldn’t judge” those who practice bondage, domination, sadism and masochism (BDSM), and informed me that “no one gets hurt” and that it “isn’t abuse” and said that it was “just fantasy” (as if we have a separate brain and body for fantasy).

Meanwhile, not a single commenter addressed one of the main arguments I laid out—that with boys watching violent porn and girls being socialized to accept violence and torture inside of a sexual relationship, we have created a toxic situation in which people very much are being hurt.

In response to the defenders of this trash, let me make just a few points.

  1. Not all consent is equal.

People keep trumpeting this stupid idea that just because someone consents to something or allows something to happen, it isn’t abusive.

But if someone consents to being beaten up, punched, slapped, whipped, called disgusting and degrading names, and have other things done to them that I will choose not to describe here, does that make it any less abusive? It makes it legal (perhaps, but it certainly doesn’t make it any less disgusting or violent.

Would you want your daughter to be in a relationship with Christian Grey? Would you want your son to turn into Christian Grey? If the answer is yes to either of those, someone should call social services.

Anyone who works with victims of domestic and sexual assault will tell you that just because someone permits something to happen or doesn’t extricate themselves from a situation doesn’t mean it isn’t, in fact, abuse. Only when it comes to sex are people starting to make this argument, so that they can cling to their fetishes and justify their turn-ons. Those women who defend the book because they think it spiced up their sex life are being incredibly selfish and negligent, refusing to think about how this book could affect other women in different situations, as well as young and impressionable girls.

In the words of renowned porn researcher and sociologist Dr. Gail Dines:

In his book on batterers, Lundy Bancroft provides a list of potentially dangerous signs to watch out for from boyfriends. Needless to say, Christian [Grey of 50 Shades of Grey] is the poster boy of the list, not only with his jealous, controlling, stalking, sexually sadistic behavior, but his hypersensitivity to what he perceives as any slight against him, his whirlwind romancing of a younger, less powerful woman, and his Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings. Any one of these is potentially dangerous, but a man who exhibits them all is lethal.

The most likely real-world ending of Fifty Shades of Grey is fifty shades of black and blue. The awful truth in the real world is that women who partner with a Christian Grey often end up hightailing it to a battered women's shelter with traumatized kids in tow. The less fortunate end up in graveyards.

  1. 50 Shades of Grey normalizes intimate partner violence…

…and sickeningly, even portrays it as romantic and erotic. Amy Bonomi, Lauren Altenburger, and Nicole Walton published an article on the impact of 50 Shades last year in the Journal of Women’s Health. Their conclusions are intuitive and horrifying:

While intimate partner violence (IPV) affects 25% of women and impairs health, current societal conditions—including the normalization of abuse in popular culture such as novels, film, and music—create the context to support such violence.

Emotional abuse is present in nearly every interaction, including: stalking (Christian deliberately follows Anastasia and appears in unusual places, uses a phone and computer to track Anastasia’s whereabouts, and delivers expensive gifts); intimidation (Christian uses intimidating verbal and nonverbal behaviors, such as routinely commanding Anastasia to eat and threatening to punish her); and isolation (Christian limits Anastasia’s social contact). Sexual violence is pervasive—including using alcohol to compromise Anastasia’s consent, as well as intimidation (Christian initiates sexual encounters when genuinely angry, dismisses Anastasia’s requests for boundaries, and threatens her). Anastasia experiences reactions typical of abused women, including: constant perceived threat (“my stomach churns from his threats”); altered identity (describes herself as a “pale, haunted ghost”); and stressful managing (engages in behaviors to “keep the peace,” such as withholding information about her social whereabouts to avoid Christian’s anger). Anastasia becomes disempowered and entrapped in the relationship as her behaviors become mechanized in response to Christian’s abuse.

Our analysis identified patterns in Fifty Shades that reflect pervasive intimate partner violence—one of the biggest problems of our time. Further, our analysis adds to a growing body of literature noting dangerous violence standards being perpetuated in popular culture.

  1. Really? Sadism?

I notice that commenters rarely break down what the acronym “BDSM” actually stands for: bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism. If they did, they could no longer make the repulsive claim that “love” or “intimacy” have anything to do with it.

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The definition of sadism is “enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain, especially sexual enjoyment from hurting or punishing someone…a sexual perversion in which gratification is obtained by the infliction of physical or mental pain on others.”

As one of my colleagues noted, we used to send sadists to a therapist or to prison, not to the bedroom. And 100 million copies of this porn novel have been unleashed on our society informing people that getting off on hurting someone is romantic and erotic. It is a brutal irony that people who scream about water-boarding terrorists are watching and experimenting with sexual practices far more brutal. As one porn researcher noted, some online BDSM porn promotes practices and behaviors that would be considered unlawful under the Geneva Convention if they were taking place in a wartime context.

It seems the Sexual Revolutionaries have gone from promoting “safe sex” to “safe words”—just in case the pain gets too rough. And none of them seem to be volunteering information on just how a woman is supposed to employ a safe word with a gag or bondage headgear on.

But who cares, right? Just one more casualty on our culture’s new Sexual Frontier.

  1. “It’s just fiction and fantasy and has no effect on the real world!”

That’s total garbage and they know it. I’ve met multiple girls who were abused like this inside of relationships. Hotels are offering “50 Shades of Grey” packages replete with the helicopter and private suites for the proceedings. According to the New York Post, sales of rope exploded tenfold after the release of the book. Babeland reported that visits to the bondage section of their website spiked 81%, with an almost 30% increase in the sale of things like riding crops and handcuffs.

I could go on, but I won’t. As Babeland co-founder Claire Cavanah noted, “It’s like a juggernaut. You’d be surprised to see how very ordinary these people are who are coming in. The book is just an explosion of permission for them to try something new in the bedroom.”

  1. What does this book and the BDSM movement say about the value of women and girls?

I’d like the defenders of this book to try stop thinking with their nether-regions for just a moment and ask themselves a few simple questions: What does sadism and sexual torture (consensual or not) say to our culture about the value of girls? What does it say to boys about how they should treat girls? The youth of today are inundated with porn and sexually violent material—is nobody—nobody—at all worried about the impact this has on them? On the girls who are being abused by boys who think this is normal behavior—and think it is normal themselves?

Dr. Gail Dines relates that when speaking to groups of women who loved the book, they all grow deathly silent when she asks them two simple questions: Would you want your daughter to be in a relationship with Christian Grey? Would you want your son to turn into Christian Grey?

If the answer is yes to either of those, someone should call social services.

__

This book and the sadism it promotes are an assault on human dignity, and most of all an assault on the worth and value of girls and women. Please consider the impact you will have on your daughters and the vulnerable and confused people around you when you read and promote this book. Anastasia Steele is, thankfully, a fictional character. But real girls are facing these expectations and demands from a culture that elevates a sexual sadist to the level of a romantic hero. Ask yourselves if you want their “love” and “intimacy” to include sadism and domination, or real respect.

Because you can’t have both.

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Softcore porn is harmless, right? Tell that to the girl who wrote me this e-mail, who I once recruited to 'just' shoot softcore porn. (Photo: model) shutterstock

I recruited her to shoot porn. Then her fiancé found the photos online.

Donny Pauling Donny Pauling Follow Donny
By Donny Pauling

Our society seems to think pornography is harmless. Surprisingly enough, I've heard numerous Christians say the same thing.  But having produced porn for nine years and having recruited more than 500 people into the business, and having watched what it did in the lives of so many, I can tell you otherwise.  

Pornography ruins lives, period. It doesn't even need to be hardcore in nature.  Softcore porn is just as destructive.

When I talk about "softcore" porn, I simply mean porn in which the model is posing alone.  She isn’t touching anyone else.  For those who think porn doesn’t hurt anyone, it couldn’t get less harmful than softcore porn, right?

In September of 2007, just a year after I left the adult entertainment business, I received the following letter from one of the girls I recruited, who had only done softcore photos for websites. What follows is word-for-word what she sent, including capitalizations and/or lack thereof:

Hey Donny,

I have a HUGE problem. I’m getting married in a month, and my fiancé FOUND MY PICTURES on the internet. He is beside himself. He is hurt and shocked and being that we are supposed to tie the knot in less than a month, I’m freakin suicidal!!! Freakin sick over this….throwing up, cannot sleep at all…I never thought in a million years that would ever happen. How long do those pictures circulate?? I am seriously pissed.

I know I did those pics and yes it was my fault, I want to get them OFF the internet. Is there any way possible to do that ASAP? I will pay you the money back, whatever it takes. This will and is ruining my life. I am fearful that his friends will see and torture him about it, or the people I work with in the military. (they are all men) I am absolutely SICK over this. I can’t eat or sleep and I honestly don’t know what to do. I swear to you, I never thought this would happen. I mean, there are a million girls on the freakin internet….why me?! and because you are supposed to be a changed man? into God and everything? please…I need to know that you understand my situation, and find it in your heart to help me. This is destroying me. I know I am 100% responsible for taking the pictures, it’s my fault. But it was a long time ago, and I was single and I needed the money. But isn’t there anything you can do to please help me now??? This was like 2 or 3 years ago? Why are my pics still on the damned internet???

My military career and soon to be marriage (if he still will) is riding on this. Don’t my pictures expire after a certain time? and you just put new ones up? or sell new ones to companies to flush out old girls? I think you can read the desperation in this email.

I am completely desperate (again) at this point Donny and need your help. Can you help me? Please. I need EVERYTHING removed. What can we do? I’ll pay you money, anything. PLEASE say you can help me. PLEASE.

Does this young lady's email give you the impression that porn is harmless?  I’ve received many emails and phone calls from models over the years, asking that their content be removed from the Internet.  The problem is that porn companies will not remove it.  If they removed the content of every model who regretted her decision, very little would be left to sell.

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The young lady who sent this email modeled for me for a very short time in 2005.  But because of the release she signed, and the photographer’s agreements I signed when I was doing business with the companies who purchased her content, I can’t do anything to get her photos off the Internet.  They will be online, or on other people’s computers, somewhere, until long after her grandchildren have grandchildren.

The personal costs were very large in numerous ways, one of which is the fact that her fiancé decided not to marry her.  The realization that his buddies, neighbors and any random person could find his wife showing so much of herself online was more than he was willing to bear.

From those of us who consume it to those of us who have worked in the business, we all play a part in the supply and demand circle that drives pornography.   I'm often asked how to fight pornography.  My advice is to start with these three words:

Just. 

Stop. 

Looking.

Any attempt to fight pornography by going after those who produce it are hypocritical while the person “fighting” porn remains a consumer of pornography.  Both consumer and producer need each other.  When we try to clean someone else's house before we've cleaned our own, we’re essentially saying that their sin is greater than our own. 

Let me share an example that illustrates why this type of thinking is flawed:

Imagine that you have three daughters and all three of them are married. 

Let's say your first daughter's husband cheated on her by taking one of his former flames out to dinner and a movie, and ended up making out with her.  The husband of your second daughter cheated on her as well, going a little bit further: he performed an act with another woman that was sexual in nature, but didn't "go all the way."  And your third daughter's husband... well, he "went all the way" with someone else.

Are you going to be happy with any one of these men?  Let me know if you'd be willing to overlook the transgressions of any of them if they came to you and said something like, "Well, I sinned against your daughter but I definitely didn't do so to the extent that your other son-in-law did, so surely I'm in a better moral position, and you should judge the other two guys more harshly than me."

Such an attitude wouldn't fly very well, would it?  Because what they actually did matters less than the fact that they broke the vows they made to your daughter.  It's a heart condition, isn't it?  None of the three men in my example are truly giving their full heart.

When we sin, we are literally cheating on God by choosing to follow the temptations set before us by His greatest enemy rather than being faithful to Him.  He can't look upon sin at all because it's not a matter of WHAT we've done, but where our heart happens to be.

This is also why God can have a relationship with repentant murderers (He called King David a "man after His own heart" and used Paul to change the world) just as easily as He can have a relationship with a repentant liar (and we have ALL lied):  the cheating heart has been changed, and it's the condition of that heart that matters to him.

No "recovering sinner" has a moral high ground on any other recovering sinner.  We're all in the same boat, in need of a savior to rescue us from the mess we've made of our lives.  And while I get the need to rid the world of the scourge of pornography, I'd like to propose that we start by eliminating its use within the church.  Let's clean our own house before we try to clean that of our neighbors. Anything else is simply hypocritical.

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