John Jalsevac

Pro-abort mom on IUD shocked to find out she’s 6-months pregnant: what happens next is amazing…

John Jalsevac

July 5, 2013 ( - The wildly feminist publication xoJane has published a remarkable story that, for all the pro-abortion views of its author, ultimately functions as an amazingly powerful argument in favor of the pro-life cause (though I'm sure the author would be appalled at the suggestion).

Caitlyn Beckner writes about how several months after her wedding she took a pregnancy test, fully expecting a negative result, since she was on the nearly (or so the manufacturer claims) “fail proof” method of birth control – the Mirena IUD. Instead, the test came back positive.

At this point, Beckner writes, she and her husband had myriad reasons for why it was the wrong time to have a baby: She had just started a new job, she and her husband only had one car and she rode her bike to work, there was the possibility of birth defects with a pregnancy while on the IUD, etc., etc. 

Accordingly, when Beckner went in to her ObGyn’s office for an ultrasound, she told the technician that she was considering terminating the pregnancy. The technician turned the screen away and began the ultrasound. 

“Then,” writes Beckner, “she chirped, ‘Well, you’re about 24 weeks along, dear, so it’s too late to terminate,’ as she swiveled the ultrasound screen toward me.” 

“I let out some sort of squawk. I saw a baby hand on the screen. I gasped that I felt dizzy,” she says. “Then I passed out on the fu--ing table.” 

But here’s the best part: When Beckner left the office she called her husband and told him (using some rather choice language) that they were having the baby. But when she got home, he met her there, “greeting me in our apartment complex with an ear-to-ear grin and tears of happiness streaming down his face.” 

That’s the first amazing thing. 

The second amazing thing is that despite the fact that Beckner had every intention of aborting her child, she confesses that she now loves her son so much “that sometimes I feel like my heart can’t hold it all in.”

Yes. Everything that she envisioned about an “independent life” with her husband has been turned upside down by the arrival of her son. And yet, she says:  “I love my life. I am happy. My son is an amazing little creature and I take great joy in watching him grow a little more and learn a little more every day.” 

Abortion activists oppose just about any restrictions at all on abortion, alleging that making abortion more difficult to obtain will lead to any variety of horrible consequences: Women will be killed in droves by brutal back-alley abortionists, or will be “forced” to give birth a baby they don’t want, won’t love, and that will ruin their marriages and their careers, etc. 

Pro-life activists point out in turn that statistics about back-alley abortions before abortion legalization were wildly inflated to the point of being made up out of the top of the heads of leaders in the abortion movement (as they have candidly admitted).  Instead, they say, the more likely result of restricting abortion is simply that more men and women will be spared the heartache and suffering that follows abortion, and will be given the chance to experience the joy of meeting and falling in love with their child.

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The fact is, legal abortion poisons the water from the get-go, silently spreading its nefarious influence through the whole experience of pregnancy and parenthood. From the first it conditions parents to view the unborn child as an antagonist, rather than a gift: as an inconvenience only to be welcomed when all the stars are properly aligned, when circumstances meet all of their subjective, and too-often arbitrary standards. It conditions them to respond to news of pregnancy not with hope, but with fear and with agonizing, impossible-to-answer questions about whether the “time is right" and what "choice" to make, despite the fact that the time for choosing has long since passed.

Legal abortion assumes the worst of people. It assumes that women are not strong enough to adapt to the unexpected. It assumes that men are not strong enough to support their partners. And it assumes that they believe murder is an acceptable means to escape from circumstances and their responsibilities. 

On the other hand, when the law restricts abortion and helps provide pregnant women with the support they need to have their babies, it is assuming the best of them. It is assuming that men and women have the strength to welcome and learn to love and provide for their child, even when everything is not exactly as they planned. 

Restricting abortion actually frees men and women from having to make a choice that no human being has the right to, or should ever have to make: the false "choice" of whether an innocent human being should be allowed to live or not, so that we may live as we like. Legal abortion enslaves us to our fears: our fears that we do not have enough love, that the time is not right, that we are not sufficiently "prepared" (whatever exactly that means)...all the uncertainties of the future. Restricting abortion, on the other hand, frees us to rise to a higher standard of love, to be challenged by our circumstances, and to meet them.

Yes, there are some parents who will squander this opportunity. They will choose not to love, even in the face of innocence. But I think that experience shows that they will be a minority, that the heart that is not softened by the face of a newborn child is in the minority. And meanwhile, the vast majority of men and women will be spared the heartache that comes of having chosen death for another human being out of vain fear, or because society told them it was the "reasonable" thing to do. And they will be given the same opportunity that, thanks to abortion laws that prevented her from killing her child, Caitlyn Beckner was given: the opportunity to embrace her child, and to fall in love, to be stretched outside the too-comfortable box of her own plans and careful calculations, and to find the unexpected happiness that came from this experience.

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The prime inequality in its goodness confronts us at every moment of our lives. God is God: He made us, we did not make ourselves.

‘Equality’: the most potent of the infernal lies

Anthony Esolen Anthony Esolen Follow Anthony
By Anthony Esolen

I've been writing here about how to build up in young people a vital and dynamic Christian imagination. But since Christ, the consummation of all that is human, reveals man to himself, to have a Christian imagination is to have a fully human imagination. It is to see the truth about man, both in his fallen state and in his God-ordained orientation towards heaven.

It follows then that we must reject, categorically, all lies about man. And the governance of the world about us is a most efficient machine for the production and proliferation of lies. We cannot preach truth in the language of lies, no more than the martyrs of old could find a “Christian” way to offer incense to the emperor. Jesus bore with the weakness of man. But he did not ever compromise with a lie. He did not cut a bargain with Satan.

If we are to speak to our children in the language of truth, we have to be, as Jesus says, as wise as serpents. That is, we have to identify the lies, and we have to be courageous in revealing them for what they are.

Yet the devil comes to us in the guise of an angel of light. Few people at any one time are so far gone down into the spirals of evil that they embrace what is hideous for its own sake. So we must ask: in a world organized or disorganized by the lie, what are the slogans that everyone has come to accept without thinking about them? They are the most likely carriers of the lie. And if we ignore them, our children may well be inspired by Milton or Shakespeare, so long as they are reading them, but will revert to the slogan as soon as they close the books. 

Perhaps the most potent of the lies is “equality.”

Envy insists upon equality. Love admires excellence, and is grateful for it in others. So it is, as the acute philosopher Plinio Correia says, that we begin by speaking of equality and end in the hatred of God.

The Christian imagination recognizes more than equality: it recognizes and honors excellence, wherever it may be found. This is true both in the Church's history and in the arts she has inspired. The saints are our aristocrats, and the knights who lead us to battle. Joan of Arc, the peasant girl, shines with a crown of glory, she who gave her life to restore a rightful crown to the timid French dauphin. John Vianney searches our hearts with the wisdom of holy simplicity, and before his steady gaze the theologians and philosophers stammer and fall silent. The noble-born Thomas Aquinas becomes a mendicant friar, and in the humility of his ceaseless submission to and search for what is true, he becomes the patron of Catholic scholars and a prince of clarity.

All men are equal in their having been made by God for bliss. They have an equal right to what is good and true and beautiful. Each of them, made in the image of God, is a more glorious creature than all the rest of the physical universe. For any one of them, as for a universe, the Son of God came down to shed His blood. 

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The terrible irony is that the Liars of Equality deny what I have just said, or, if they still call themselves Christian, they confound these truths with falsehoods. For human beings are manifestly not equal in intelligence, skill, perseverance, virtue, health, beauty, wisdom, and the accidental blessings and trials of life. These inequalities are also to be cherished and honored. They too have been willed by God.     

Even if Adam and Eve had not fallen, the human world would have been abundantly blessed with inequalities, with the wise and the simple, the skilled hand and the blunt, the soul in which the love of God burns with a steady glow, and the soul so inflamed with that love that it seems to consume all the world about it. “Various voices make the sweeter song,” says Dante.

The inequalities are more than differences. They imply order and hierarchy. It is no shame to serve. Man is made to serve. The only shame is to serve an unworthy master.

God has made us to thrive by and within structures of order; that is one of the lessons of Saint Paul's teaching, that we are incorporated as members of the Body of Christ. A body is not an amalgam of atoms. It is not a collective of self-willed individuals. It possesses order and hierarchy. The hand is a hand, not a foot or a head, but it is for the foot and the head, as the food and the head are for it. Each member is most itself when it most subserves the health of the body; and the body is healthy when, so to speak, each member is so honored that the body seems to live as much for each as for all together. 

If it's too neuralgic to speak about the goodness of inequalities among persons, we should begin by affirming inequality and hierarchy within the person. Our opponents are consistent in this regard: their insistence upon a radical social equality is matched by a radical leveling of the faculties of man. Reason is dethroned, and her rightful servant, the calculative faculty, is set up in her place, as if the only truth we can discover is what can be measured or reduced to mathematics. Love of beauty is displaced, and her rightful servants, the pragmatic skills, are set up in her place, as if the only things worth making are those that serve utilitarian ends. The virtues are dethroned, so that the vices can run free. In the end, unreason and a positive desire for ugliness come to rule the day.

What would we think of someone blessed with strong passions, who does not order them but lets them go wild, so that in the end he is a raddled old man dabbling in porn to keep himself awake in the afternoon? Or someone blessed with a thirst for righteousness, who does not order that thirst according to what is good and true, but instead begins to thirst for ambition instead, so that his path to a “rightful” place of honor is littered with the wreckage caused by his injustice? What should we think of the plain and ordinary man, who in a sane age would work hard at an ordinary job, be the head of a good family, and pass on to his children and grandchildren the wisdom of his church and his culture's traditions, sunk instead into the vulgar and the trivial?

We see in such cases that there should be order among the faculties; they are not equal; and people who observe the order in their souls are not the mere equals of people who do not. Why should this trouble us? Isn't the superiority of someone else a gift to the rest of us? What envy is it, what hatred of the excellent, that would cause me to desire that everyone else be only as wise, as virtuous, and as holy as I am? 

After all, the prime inequality in its goodness confronts us at every moment of our lives. God is God: He made us, we did not make ourselves. Envy insists upon equality. Love admires excellence, and is grateful for it in others. So it is, as the acute philosopher Plinio Correia says, that we begin by speaking of equality and end in the hatred of God. The cure can only begin by exposing and rejecting the lie.

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We don’t kill problems anymore. We kill people, and pretend that it is the same thing.

First we killed our unborn children. Now we’re killing our own parents.

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

In a culture that elevates transient pleasure as a “value,” while reducing “value” itself to a subjective and utilitarian status, I suppose it should not be surprising that the worth of human beings is now constantly in question.

We once lived in a culture that drafted laws to protect “dependents”: the very young, the very old, and the disabled. This was done in recognition of the fact that a human being’s increased vulnerability correspondingly heightens our moral responsibility to that human being.

Now, however, the exit strategists of the Sexual Revolution are burning the candle at both ends - abortion for children in the womb, euthanasia and “assisted suicide” for the old. Both children and elderly parents, you see, can be costly and time-consuming.

We don’t kill problems anymore. We kill people, and pretend that it is the same thing.

I noted some time ago that the concept of “dying with dignity” is rapidly becoming “killing with impunity,” as our culture finds all sorts of excuses to assist “inconvenient” people in leaving Planet Earth.

There is a similarity to abortion, here, too—our technologically advanced culture is no longer looking for compassionate and ethical solutions to the complex, tragic, and often heartbreaking circumstances. Instead, we offer the solution that Darkness always has: Death. Disability, dependence, difficult life circumstances: a suction aspirator, a lethal injection, a bloody set of forceps. And the “problem,” as it were, is solved.

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We don’t kill problems anymore. We kill people, and pretend that it is the same thing.

There is something chilling about the intimacy of these killings. As Gregg Cunningham noted, “Ours is the first generation that, having demanded the right to kill its children through elective abortion, is now demanding the right to kill its parents through doctor-assisted suicide.” The closest of human relationships are rupturing under the sheer weight of the selfishness and narcissism of the Me Generation.

The great poet Dylan Thomas is famous for urging his dying father to fight on, to keep breathing, to live longer:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Such sentiment is not present among the advocates of euthanasia. In fact, the tagline “dying with dignity” is starting to very much sound like, “Now don’t make a fuss, off with you now.” Consider this story in The Daily Mail from a few days ago:

An elderly husband and wife have announced their plans to die in the world's first 'couple' euthanasia - despite neither of them being terminally ill.

Instead the pair fear loneliness if the other one dies first from natural causes.

Identified only by their first names, Francis, 89, and Anne, 86, they have the support of their three adult children who say they would be unable to care for either parent if they became widowed.

The children have even gone so far as to find a practitioner willing to carry out the double killings on the grounds that the couple's mental anguish constituted the unbearable suffering needed to legally justify euthanasia.

… The couple's daughter has remarked that her parents are talking about their deaths as eagerly as if they were planning a holiday.

John Paul [their son] said the double euthanasia of his parents was the 'best solution'.

'If one of them should die, who would remain would be so sad and totally dependent on us,' he said. 'It would be impossible for us to come here every day, take care of our father or our mother.'

I wonder why no one considers the fact that the reason some elderly parents may experience “mental anguish” is that they have come to the sickening realization that their grown children would rather find an executioner to dispatch them than take on the responsibility of caring for their parents. Imagine the thoughts of a mother realizing that the child she fed and rocked to sleep, played with and sang to, would rather have her killed than care for her: that their relationship really does have a price.

This is why some scenes in the HBO euthanasia documentary How To Die In Oregon are so chilling. In one scene, an elderly father explains to the interviewer why he has procured death drugs that he plans to take in case of severe health problems. “I don’t want to be a burden,” he explains while his adult daughter nods approvingly, “It’s the decent thing to do. For once in my life I’ll do something decent.”

No argument from the daughter.

If we decide in North America to embrace euthanasia and “assisted suicide,” we will not be able to unring this bell. Just as with abortion and other manifestations of the Culture of Death, the Sexual Revolutionaries work hard to use heart-rending and emotional outlier examples to drive us to, once again, legislate from the exception.

But for once, we have to start asking ourselves if we really want to further enable our medical community to kill rather than heal. We have to ask ourselves if the easy option of dispatching “burdensome” people will not impact our incentive to advance in palliative care. And we have to stop simply asking how someone in severe pain might respond to such a legal “service,” and start asking how greedy children watching “their” inheritance going towards taking proper care of their parents.

And to the pro-life movement, those fighting to hold back the forces of the Culture of Death—the words of Dylan Thomas have a message for us, too.

Do not go gentle into that good night…
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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Unfortunately, I meet so many young men and women who have rarely ever heard the word “modesty” and have never understood they are a great mystery and the need to protect that mystery.

A modest proposal

Melanie Pritchard Melanie Pritchard Follow Melanie
By Melanie Pritchard

“Brady, Meghan is sick; we should pray and ask Jesus to go be with her. Will you lead the prayer?”

This is the simple question I asked my then three-year-old son one morning while we were sitting at breakfast. He took a breath, contemplated for a moment (he was in deep thought apparently coming up with a plan for how Jesus would literally “go be with” Meghan).  He folded his hands and said, “Jesus, get off the cross…(pause)….get modest…(pause)…and go be with Meghan.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at his innocence and call one of my mom friends. I told her the story and said, “What kid says this?” She laughed and replied, “Well, the kid of a mom who speaks about modesty!”

This was a proud moment in my life knowing that what I am trying to instill in my son was working!  

Brady knows that Jesus isn’t modest on the cross, so Jesus would need to put some clothes on before He left the house. At the time, I couldn’t really explain to Brady the circumstances of his wise observation of Jesus not wearing very many clothes. Now that he is six, I have been able to share that Jesus isn’t wearing clothes, not because he chose to be immodest, but it was done to Jesus in order to humiliate Him and to strip Him of his dignity.

Interesting how this was such a punishment in Jesus’ time, but in this day and age, people do it to themselves—not realizing how it compromises their own dignity and their own mystery.

Modesty means to refuse to unveil the mystery of who you are. Unfortunately, I meet so many young men and women who have rarely ever heard the word “modesty” and have never understood they are a great mystery and the need to protect that mystery.

I always want my son and daughter to look at others and themselves in the most authentic way - as bodies with a mind, a heart, and a soul. I am realizing as a mother just how hard that is, even at their young ages. 

Since I started speaking to teenagers on moral issues 20 years ago, I have heard so many stories of pain over being used, abused, and bullied. I have heard so many stories from distraught and broken teenagers who chose to have sex before marriage and those who became addicted to pornography. Many of the girls I have spoken with have shared how they used their bodies by dressing scandalously to get a guy to like them. They were so desperate for love, they settled for use, pretending it was love.

I firmly believe that modesty protects. It protects the one who dresses in a way that discourages another from viewing them as an object for self-gratification. And it protects those who see a person dressed modestly against impure thoughts and the desire to lust. Modesty builds strength by protecting a person’s chastity and helping one to speak a language with their own body and clothing.

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I meet tons of young people and married couples who feel duped because they were never told about the importance of who they are. They say that they would have understood their value and the beauty of their mystery, they would not have made some of the troubling choices they did.

Before marriage, I decided that when I had children, I was going to teach them about important words and concepts from the beginning, hoping that one day when challenges arose like a desire to dress skimpy or use their body to attract someone, that they would know their worth.

I still want my son, who may not struggle with modesty as much as my daughter (being a girl in the USA), to know the beauty of modesty. I hope when he one day encounters overly-sized Victoria Secret models on billboards while walking through a mall, or when a girl he likes dresses too sexy, that he will know that there is something wrong. As he grows, I will teach him why modesty is important and why desiring others to dress modestly is important to his own virtue and theirs as well.

If my son or daughter is tempted or pressured to view pornography, I will share with them what I heard Saint John Paul II say once. He said, “Pornography is not wrong because it shows too much, it’s wrong because it shows too little. It shows a body without a soul and that is counterfeit.”

I always want my son and daughter to look at others and themselves in the most authentic way - as bodies with a mind, a heart, and a soul. I am realizing as a mother just how hard that is, even at their young ages. All I can do is keep trying to help them form their consciences to know why certain things are wrong - wrong because they attack the dignity of souls. It is incredibly difficult to shield my children’s eyes from immodesty when we are surrounded by it, from magazines in the grocery stores, girls at the local coffee shop, and even kids’ books.

One day when Brady was younger, he opened a book a friend sent us from Australia as a gift. It was about a girl whose family kept giving her all these clothes, so by the end of the book, she had layers of clothes on. On the last page she is in a tank top and underwear, all the clothes are on the floor, and she says, “Can I just get a pair of jeans.”  I was shocked to find the girl in the children’s book was so revealing.

Brady noticed it too and spoke up about it, saying, “Momma, she is not modest.” I said, “Well Brady, maybe she doesn’t know about her mystery; what do you say we draw some clothes on her and help her to be modest?” His eyes lit up, he ran and got me a black marker because he wanted her new outfit to be all black. We decided what kind of outfit we would draw on her, and so I drew right there on the book! I loved the teamwork Brady and I had in doing this project. I also like that he saw that there isn’t anything we shouldn’t do to help others protect their dignity—even if it means drawing on a book. For weeks, when people came over, he would show them our great artwork and how we made “Jesse” (the main character) modest.

About a year later, a friend gave Ella a few Barbie dolls for her 3rd birthday; I cringed a little. I didn’t want a bunch of naked Barbies lying around the house to tempt my son’s curiosity. Since I had already been speaking about modesty and using markers to draw clothes on characters in a children’s book, it only seemed fitting I draw modest bathing suits on the Barbies or any small doll that showed up at our house without proper attire. This time I used colored nail polish. Problem solved! And, in doing it, it provided a great teaching moment as I explained that I was covering up the Barbie to protect her virtue.

Now, some of you may be thinking that I’m crazy talking about a doll’s virtue; it’s not that I believe she has virtue…that is reserved for real humans. But when my children play with dolls, they play with them as if they are real people as most children do. I want their playtime to reflect the morals and values we are trying to instill at home.

Modesty is a virtue. Some virtues can be given by God (i.e. faith, hope, and charity (love)), others must be cultivated, mature, and allowed to flourish in order to attain and maintain. Modesty falls into the second category and therefore requires much work, sacrifice, and perseverance in order to overcome the constant temptation to swim with the current cultural tide instead of against it.

We are trying to help our children to keep their eyes on the prize. The prize is fulfilling and loving relationships with others, which are never self-centered, objectifying, or based on their usefulness. This is the ideal, and I know that sadly it is more the exception than the rule today, but without seeking the ideal, we lose hope.

My children will have far more temptation and pressure to abandon this quest for virtue than either me or my husband had, which requires us to be constant examples, models, and mentors for them. We must continue to encourage them in their trials, support them in their defense of virtue, and give them all the tools necessary to help cultivate the great virtue of modesty for them and for everyone they encounter.

My prayer and hope is that this simple teaching will expand the minds and hearts of my children to be an automatic thought as they grow older. I pray they will never view another human being - another human soul! - as an object or thing to use. I pray they will always protect their modesty in order to protect their dignity and that they will do the same for others! And finally, I pray they will never judge those who are immodest, but seek to teach them about their beautiful and special mystery.

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