Thursday, October 6, 2011

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LifeSite Newsbytes for Thursday, October 6, 2011

by John-Henry Westen Thu Oct 06 16:10 EST Comments (0)


Priests for Life Canada radio interview with Jim Hughes of Campaign Life Coalition. 

Baby delivered from woman murdered in church

‘Satanist’ television star shocks Poland’s conservatives

Austria: Catholics Denounce Dissenting “Priests’ Initiative”

Divorced Argentine woman wins embryo custody

Nitschke wins right to use euthanasia drug

US News roundup

Cuomo Administration has decided that it will not use Medicaid funds to pay for “sex reassignment” operations

Coed Dorm Rooms Start At Ohio University

Obama advocates big America in speech to gay activists

Gardasil controversy soars: Drug blasted as ‘money-making machine’ that’s useless in fighting cervical cancer

Lady Gaga questions Obama about ‘bullying’ at Obama fundraiser

Civil Rights Attorney’s File First Amendment Action Against the City of Austin for Violating the Civil Rights of Pregnancy Resource Centers

Lawsuit in NC seeks to undo abortion law requiring ultrasound

Alaska’s Parental Notification Lawsuit Heads to Trial

Guam Bill requires minors have parental consent for abortions

Illinois Catholic Conference Creates Marriage-Defense Department

Obama’s HHS Sets Its Sites On Franciscan University of Steubenville

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Ireland Justice Minister fails to defend nation’s pro-life laws at UN hearing

by LifeSiteNews staff Thu Oct 06 15:49 EST Comments (3)


UNITED NATIONS, October 6, 2011 ( - Leading Irish pro-life organizations have sharply criticized the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter following his appearance at a United Nations hearing in Geneva yesterday where Ireland’s abortion laws came under attack.

The three-hour hearing was part of Ireland’s Universal Periodic Review by the UN, a process which caused controversy during the year when it was used by abortion campaigners to push for the legalization of abortion in Ireland.

At the hearing, Minister Shatter reiterated the stance taken by the government in its National Report to the UN UPR Working Group, when he said that the European Court of Human Rights found that there was an absence of effective procedures to establish a right to termination in Ireland. He added that “Ireland is committed to ensuring that the judgment in this case is implemented expeditiously”.

The Minister was referring to the European Court’s ruling in the ABC case which found that abortion legislation was required in Ireland, and confused abortion with legitimate medical treatment required to protect mothers’ lives.

Ireland’s pro-life laws then came under attack as delegates from Britain, Denmark, Spain and other countries called for Ireland to legalize abortion - with Denmark calling for legislation to allow for abortion on demand.

In response, Minister Shatter claimed that the Irish Supreme Court had decided that it was lawful to terminate a pregnancy in Ireland when it is necessary to preserve the life of the mother, and that the government would address the issue and meet their obligations under the Convention on Human Rights.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the Minister’s first obligation was to the Irish people, whose right to decide on abortion and other important issues was enshrined in Article 6 of Ireland’s Constitution.

“Minister Shatter did not refer to the fact that the majority of Irish people oppose abortion, and that the people, rather than the European Court, decide Ireland’s pro-life laws,” she said. “And he failed to point out that Ireland’s leading medical experts had confirmed - before a parliamentary committee - that abortion was never medically necessary.”

“Neither did he acknowledge that the UPR public consultation process organized by the government - which was hailed as being transparent and inclusive of public opinion - showed that a huge majority of those who expressed an opinion, wanted to maintain a ban on abortion,” she continued.

“Instead the Minister chose to let Ireland’s pro-life laws come under attack and failed to represent the pro-life views of the majority of Irish people, who don’t want the UN interfering with our right to protect our mothers and babies ,” said Ms Uí Bhriain. “It was a craven performance, and failed the Irish people and vulnerable mothers and babies”. She added that the Life Institute would act immediately to inform the people as to how their views were being misrepresented.

Katie Robinson of Youth Defence said that it was deeply ironic that Minister Shatter began the hearing by saying that “the government remains steadfast in protecting the most vulnerable” and by acknowledging that in Ireland “children hadn’t been given the protection to which they were entitled”.

“Irish children are entitled first of all to the right to life, and it would seem from today’s performance that Minister Shatter is not committed to protecting that right nor to correctly representing the views of the Irish people,” she said.

The United Nations will issue a report summarizing the discussion and offering recommendations next Monday.

Tags: abortion, ireland, politics, united nations

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Steve Jobs remembered for his stance against porn on iPhone

by Christine Dhanagom Thu Oct 06 15:31 EST Comments (4)

Steve Jobs

CALIFORNIA, October 6, 2011 ( - As the world mourns the loss of a successful entrepreneur and technological visionary, pro-family advocates have two other, and seemingly contradictory, reasons to remember Apple CEO Steve Jobs: his uncompromising stance against pornography, and his company’s stance in favor of gay “marriage.”

Jobs has elicited praise and criticism from both ends of the ideological spectrum for his involvement in controversial social issues.

Supporters of traditional marriage were dismayed by his company’s public opposition to Proposition 8, an amendment to the California state constitution that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Apple famously donated $100,000 to the anti-Proposition 8 campaign.

Join a Facebook page to defend marriage here

The company has also repeatedly rejected the pro-life, pro-family Manhattan Declaration iPhone app, bowing to pressure from homosexual activists.

Those same activists, however, were in for a surprise if they thought Jobs would allow Apple products to be infiltrated with the worst that the homosexual sub-culture has to offer.

Last year, his company rejected “Gay New York: 101 Can’t-Miss Places,” an app created by freelance travel writer Anthony Grant.

Grant, who writes for Forbes and The New York Times, called the decision “homophobic and discriminatory to the point of hostile.”

Apples’ rejection of the app, which was based on its inclusion of graphic sexual pictures, is part of a principled stance against pornography, for which Jobs has become famous. The former CEO set himself apart from competitors by keeping his company’s products porn-free by rejecting any and all pornographic apps.

In an email exchange with a customer posted on last April, Jobs said that he believed he had a “moral responsibility” to reject pornographic content.

“Folks who want porn can buy [an] Android phone,” he wrote.

Jobs also defended his stance against writer Ryan Tate, who objected to an Apple commercial calling the iPad a “revolution.”

“Revolutions are about freedom,” Tate wrote.

Jobs responded that Apple products offer users “freedom from porn,” and told Tate that he “might care more about porn” when he had children.

The entrepreneur, who was adopted, leaves behind four of his own children. He was a devoted father, by the account of family and friends.

“While Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal and CNET continue to drone on about the impact of the Steve Jobs era, I won’t be pondering the MacBook Air I write on or the iPhone I talk on. I will think of the day I saw him at his son’s high school graduation,” wrote Lisen Stromberg, Jobs’ neighbor, in an article that appeared in the Palo Alto Patch.

“There Steve stood, tears streaming down his cheeks, his smile wide and proud, as his son received his diploma and walked on into his own bright future leaving behind a good man and a good father who can be sure of the rightness of this, perhaps his most important legacy of all,” Stromberg continued.

Jobs is also being remembered for his presence at another graduation at Stanford University in 2005, where he delivered a moving reflection on the reality of death during his commencement speech.

Recounting his experience with being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004, Jobs commented: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

Tags: pornography, steve jobs

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School trustee balks as gay anti-bullying material exposes children to gay porn videos

by Peter Baklinski Thu Oct 06 15:00 EST Comments (17)


VANCOUVER, British Columbia, October 6, 2011 ( – Videos showing naked men graphically sodomizing one another - included as “resource material” in an “anti-bullying” initiative for Vancouver’s schools - are “really inappropriate,” says a trustee.

Trustee Ken Denike’s criticism of the Out in Schools program (OIS) comes after parents complained that Burnaby schools were duped into supporting it as an “anti-bullying” initiative when in fact the program is nothing other than a “scam” by “sex activists” to “sexualize students” and “lure” them into “homosexualist culture.”

“I thought it was really inappropriate, especially for a 13-year-old,” Denike told QMI Agency, referring to material from the Health Initiative for Men (HIM) website that was listed as a “youth resource” in the Out In Schools booklet.

“This is material that’s on Xtube, which is really adult material.”

Find the graphic sexual material at the Health Initiative for Men’s website here. (Warning: Viewer discretion strongly advised.)

Messages appear in the resource such as “If you f*** without a condom go get tested.”

Trustee Denike says he would like to see more accountability regarding online resources for students.  “What we want is for teachers to go through the same procedures they normally do when they are pursuing a book, that they be very vigilant about the material and check out the website,” he said.

Kari Simpson, president of Culture Guard, a grass roots organization that promotes citizen activism, told LifeSiteNews that trustee Denike knows only a “small fragment” of the “real scandal” behind the Out In Schools program.  “I believe they are now starting to get the full picture!”

“The Health Initiative for Men [website promoted by the OIS program] is basically a homosexist dating organization that engages in the making of hard core gay porn to send messages about gay sex health issues,” she explained.

Simpson believes that this kind of “resource” where naked men graphically sodomize one another indicates what is at the heart of the program and that parents should be “shocked” and “righteously angry” when they find out what their children have been subjected to.

“Out In Schools should be out of schools,” said Simpson.

Visit Culture Guard to view a detailed exposé of the Out In Schools program.

Visit Parents’ Voice to view their uncovering of the homosexual agenda for BC schools.

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Ottawa Catholic school board enters partnership with group with history of abortion support

by Thaddeus Baklinski Thu Oct 06 14:48 EST Comments (1)

Craig Kielburger with Free the Children's Spencer West at the 2011 White Knight gala in support of Egale.
Marc Kielburger

OTTAWA, October 6, 2011 ( - The Ottawa Catholic District School Board has entered a formal partnership with Craig Kielburger’s Free the Children despite LifeSiteNews’ revelation in July that the aid group has supported abortion, homosexual activism, and Planned Parenthood.

Board chairperson Gordon Butler told LifeSiteNews Thursday that they were aware of LifeSiteNews’ reports, but said they were “also aware of the report in the Catholic Register where Free the Children responds to the allegations made on your website.”

“The Board has also had direct contact with Free the Children to confirm their position,” he added.

LifeSiteNews contacted the board after learning the partnership was proposed at their September 27th meeting.

During the 2010 controversy over the federal government’s G8 maternal health initiative, Free the Children produced two fact sheets taking a direct stand in favor of abortion as part of efforts to promote “family planning” in the Third World.  (Find the documents here and here.)

In response to LifeSiteNews’ reports, Toronto’s Catholic Register interviewed Free the Children co-founder Marc Kielburger, who insisted the organization “does not promote abortion, nor has it ever,” and accused LifeSiteNews of creating an “inaccurate perception” of their work.

Kielburger explained that the two fact sheets were written by an intern in 2010 and posted to their site without being reviewed by the group’s leadership.  He said the links to the documents were removed three days later, but left on the site unintentionally.  They were later removed after LifeSiteNews made inquiries.

The Catholic Register article failed to address numerous other pieces of clear evidence pointing to Free the Children’s violations of Catholic moral teaching, however.

For example, in their column for the Toronto Star in May 2011 the Kielburger brothers had openly voiced their support for the “reproductive rights” agenda of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which is the world’s largest abortion provider.  The brothers’ byline for that column identifies them as representatives of Free the Children.

The federal government’s defunding of IPPF represented “a paternalistic refusal to offer women in Africa the same rights offered to women in Canada,” they wrote.

LifeSiteNews also reported that the organization was using their health clinics throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America to promote “family planning”; that their board chair Michelle Douglas was a leading homosexual activist; and that Craig Kielburger had very publicly attended a fundraiser – sponsored by Free the Children – for the homosexual lobby group Egale in June 2011.

Additionally, the group’s massive We Day youth conferences, run in major cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, have featured talks or appearances by pro-abortion politicians such as former Vice President Al Gore, former Prime Ministers Paul Martin and John Turner, Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau, and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

In an April 2011 newsletter Free the Children reiterated a claim from one of their now-pulled fact sheets that “unsafe abortion” is a leading cause of maternal mortality in the Third World.  “80 percent of maternal deaths are caused by unsafe abortions, infections, severe bleeding and hypertensive disorders,” it reads.

Such claims are frequently used by the UN and Western agencies to justify the promotion of so-called “safe” abortion.  But statistics from Third World countries show that those with the highest abortion rates also have the highest maternal mortality rates, whereas those where abortion is illegal have amongst the lowest maternal mortality rates. (See LSN reports here and here.) Pro-life advocates say the real solution to maternal mortality in Third World countries is to provide better maternal care before, during, and after pregnancy, rather than abortion.

The partnership with the school board will see the board give Free the Children a “formal endorsement,” and will give the aid group access to promote their initiatives at the schools.

Free the Children’s proposal to the board includes a quote from Marc Kielburger identifying he and Craig as “proud members of the Catholic faith.”  He also touts the fact that they were both raised in the Catholic schools and that Free the Children was founded in a Catholic school.

Contact Information:

Gordon Butler
Chairman, Ottawa Catholic School Board of Trustees
Phone: 613-828-3573
Fax: 613-828-4472

Julian Hanlon
Director of Education and Secretary Treasurer, Ottawa Catholic School Board
Phone: 613-224-4455 ext 2272
Fax: 613-228-4158

Thomas D’Amico
Superintendent of Student Success Department (Learning Technologies)
Phone: 613-224-4455 ext 2303
Fax: 613-224-0793
Email: Thomas.D’

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast
1247 Kilborn Place
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K9
Phone: 613-738-5025
Fax: 613-738-0130

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Sarah Palin not running for President

by John Jalsevac Thu Oct 06 14:10 EST Comments (1)


October 6, 2011 ( – Putting an end to months of speculation, Sarah Palin announced yesterday evening that she will not be throwing in her hat for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

“After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States,” Palin said in a statement.

Palin expressed her belief that at this time she can be more effective in her efforts “to help elect other true public servants to office - from the nation’s governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency.”

Palin’s decision not to enter the race means that the current Republican field is pretty much settled. Her announcement follows on the heels of the announcement by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, around whom much speculation had swirled, that he also will not be running for president.

Join a Facebook page to end abortion here

Palin’s complete statement:

October 5, 2011
Wasilla, Alaska

After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.

My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office - from the nation’s governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency. We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the “fundamental transformation” of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.

From the bottom of my heart I thank those who have supported me and defended my record throughout the years, and encouraged me to run for President. Know that by working together we can bring this country back - and as I’ve always said, one doesn’t need a title to help do it.

I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables. We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.

Those will be our priorities so Americans can be confident that a smaller, smarter government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people can better serve this most exceptional nation.

In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House.

Thank you again for all your support. Let’s unite to restore this country!

God bless America.

- Sarah Palin

Tags: election 2012, sarah palin

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Former abortion worker: when my childhood enemy came in for an abortion

by Jewels Green Thu Oct 06 14:08 EST Comments (4)

Jewels Green

Note: Jewels Green is a former abortion clinic worker who also had an abortion herself. She recently spoke out about her experiences as an abortion clinic worker for the first time. You can read that article here.

October 6, 2011 ( - I was bullied mercilessly as a child. I was poor, smart, and ugly. Not exactly the trifecta for female popularity in 1970s suburbia. The worst always happened at the bus stop and on the bus to and from elementary school. I was teased and kicked and hit and spat at for what I wore (mostly hand-me-downs from my aunt, 12 years my senior), for my short and flimsy “boy hair”, and because I was a “brain.” I even vividly remember purposely getting a question or two wrong on a quiz in fourth grade just so I didn’t have to pay for being “The 100% Girl” on the playground at recess.

The one time—the one time!—I had the courage to try to fight back, I took a lousy swing at a girl a few years older than me and my finger hooked into her necklace and it broke. It was picture day and her mother had lent her that necklace to wear for her school photos. Silent tears filled with regret and impotent rage streamed down my face as her mother held the broken necklace up to my nose in front of the She-Bully and my mother in my living room after school. Even writing about it now fills me with shame, anger, sorrow, and dread.

Fast forward 15 years and I am a counselor in an abortion clinic in the town where I grew up. As hard as it was to see friends and acquaintances walk through that door, it was even harder to see enemies. But there she was. She made eye contact with me without flinching at the front desk, and I requested she be assigned to a different counselor.

Even then my heart ached for her in her situation, seeing no way out but to abort her child, but I confess to my smugness that I was there to witness her in a moment of pure vulnerability. I spoke with the clinic director about my feelings about her and our shared history, and she suggested two possible paths: one was to ignore her and her counselor would remind her that we valued patient confidentiality and that I would respect her privacy; or I could approach her and explain the same thing to her myself. I chose the former.

Join a Facebook page to end abortion here

I kept tabs on her throughout the morning: a pregnant mother coming to the clinic for a first-trimester abortion generally spent 4-5 hours there for pre-abortion urine tests, blood work, counseling, vital signs, ultrasound, and of course the abortion itself and recovery time afterwards, but there was also a lot of waiting. On any given “procedure day” the clinic I worked at would do 20 – 30 abortions—sometimes more. The compassionate part of me still wanted to ensure that she received quality care on her visit to the abortion clinic, but I still could not bring myself to talk to her.

Then she asked for me when she woke up in the recovery room.

She saw me and reached out her arms to me, grasped my hands and wept. Then I started crying, too. She did not say a word and neither did I. I do not flatter myself by thinking she wept with regret for what she did to me. I think she cried to see a familiar face to latch onto after the horror of her abortion. I think she cried because the only person to comfort her was someone she loathed as a child herself. I think she cried—I think we both cried—because her baby was dead. And there was no going back in time to change that. No going back in time to change anything. But I did forgive her. For everything.

Reprinted with permission from


Tags: abortion

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Most popular contraceptive in southern and eastern Africa may double HIV infection risk

by Jeremy Kryn Thu Oct 06 13:41 EST Comments (0)


LONDON, October 6, 2011 ( – According to an alarming new study, the most popular contraceptive for women in eastern and southern Africa may double the risk that women who are using it will become infected with H.I.V..

Researchers at the University of Washington published their findings October 4 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases about the contraceptive hormone shot, which is given every three months.

The researchers also found that when used by H.I.V.-positive women, the contraceptive may make it twice as likely that men who the woman has relations with will become infected than if the women had used no contraception.

“This is a good study, and I think it does add some important evidence,” said Dr. Morrison, senior director of clinical sciences at FHI 360, who wrote a commentary accompanying the Lancet article, according to the New York Times. He said that although the new research has limitations, including its use of data not originally intended to determine the link between contraceptive use and H.I.V., it has strengths over previous work because researchers tracked transmission of H.I.V. to both men and women by following couples.

The study, which involved 3,800 couples in Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, followed most couples for two years and detailed their contraception method. In each couple, either the man or the woman was already infected with H.I.V., and the study noted whether the uninfected partner contracted H.I.V. from the infected partner.

The research, which was presented at an international AIDS conference this summer, found that women using the hormone shot, probably a generic version, became infected at a rate of 6.61 per 100 person-years, compared with 3.78 for those not using that method. When used by H.I.V.-positive women, transmission of H.I.V. to men occurred at a rate of 2.61 per 100 person-years compared with 1.51 when the women had used no contraception.

According to the Times, about 12 million women between the ages of 15 and 49 in sub-Saharan Africa, roughly 6% of all women in that age group, use the hormone shots.

The study determined that increased infection did not occur because couples using the hormone shot were less likely to use condoms.

Pfizer, the manufacturer of the branded version of the hormone shot, Depo-Provera, declined to comment to the Times on the study.

As a result of the study, the World Health Organization in January will meet to consider advising women that a hormone shot may increase their risk of getting or transmitting H.I.V.

“We want to make sure that we warn when there is a real need to warn, but at the same time we don’t want to come up with a hasty judgment that would have far-reaching severe consequences for the sexual and reproductive health of women,” said Mary Lyn Gaffield, an epidemiologist in the World Health Organization’s department of reproductive health and research, according to the Times. “This is a very difficult dilemma.”

The idea that contraceptives may significantly increase HIV infection rates is not new. Culture of Life Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Kimball and Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher in August warned that while population control programs have promoted steroid-based contraceptive drugs to tens of millions of Third World Women, women who take drug-based hormonal and steroidal contraceptives are at an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Dr. Edward C. Green, president of the New Paradigm Fund, former director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard School of Health, and a major critic of the AIDS-prevention establishment’s promotion of condoms, in the past has told LifeSiteNews that “fidelity (sometimes called partner reduction) and to a lesser extent, by abstinence (or late sexual debut) is what works best in AIDS prevention, especially in Africa.”

Green made headlines in 2009 when he backed an argument by Pope Benedict XVI that condoms actually increase the problem of H.I.V. and AIDS.

Tags: aids, condoms, contraception

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Archbishop urges Alaska Catholics to support 40 Days for Life prayer vigils

by Joel Davidson Thu Oct 06 12:49 EST Comments (0)

Anchorage bishop Roger Schweitz

October 6, 2011 ( - In a letter to pastors and parish leaders across the Anchorage Archdiocese, Archbishop Roger Schwietz has encouraged Catholics to support an ecumenical 40-day prayer vigil in downtown Anchorage that seeks an end to abortion.

In a letter dated Sept. 16, Archbishop Schwietz said he met with local organizers of 40 Days for Life and is asking “our Catholic Community to participate in the project of prayer.”

The vigil is the largest international prayer and fasting campaign to end abortion with nearly 300 locations in five countries. The effort began on Sept. 28 and will continue through Nov. 6.

In Alaska, the vigil is taking place in Anchorage for the fourth straight year, where participants are peacefully praying and holding signs in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on Lake Otis Parkway.

In past years, roughly 200 Alaskans have participated, including a strong showing of Catholics.

Join a Facebook page to end abortion here

In his letter, Archbishop Schwietz assured parish leaders that the 40 Days for Life group “respects the law and cooperates with the authorities” as they “bear witness to their Christian faith through prayer.” He added that each participant in the vigil is required to sign a statement of peace.

“By our participation we call the public’s attention to the evil of abortion through prayer and Christian witness,” Archbishop Schwietz concluded. “This we can support and I encourage our people to take part as members of the baptized community.”

Over the last four years, 40 Days for Life campaigns have mobilized 400,000 people in peaceful fasting and prayer, including 13,000 church congregations.

The group’s Web site notes that a total of 4,313 lives have been reported as spared from abortion due to the prayers and presence of pro-lifers in the campaign.

To learn more about the ongoing effort in Anchorage or to sign up for a one-hour time slot, visit or contact coordinator Haylee Shields at 907-982-9895 or

This article reprinted with permission from the Catholic Anchor

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‘Like pigs in the slaughterhouse’: The day Chinese officials brutally murdered my unborn child

by Wujian Thu Oct 06 12:28 EST Comments (20)


Note: This testimony is excerpted from a statement by a Chinese woman, Wujian (an alias), before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 10, 2009. This excerpt originally appeared on the Minnessota Concerned Citizens for Life blog.

October 6, 2011 ( - My name is Wujian. I was born in a small village in northern China. …

It was the spring of 2004 when I found out that I was pregnant. It was beautiful to sense this life growing inside of me: what a miracle! Meanwhile, I was also very fearful since I did not have the permit for pregnancy or the birth permit, which means, according to Chinese law, this baby was not allowed to be born into this world. During that time in my hometown, this was the law decided by the Chinese family planning policy …

Pretty soon, my lower stomach began to bulge. In order to protect my baby, I had to hide myself in a very old, shabby house in a remote area. There was no electricity at all in the room … Fear and loneliness filled me every day, but as long as I could have my baby, I could stand anything. …

Eventually, the family planning government officials found out about my pregnancy. So they searched all over trying to arrest me, and while they could not find me, then they caught my father instead. They put my father into the detention center and beat him every day. On the fourth day after they caught my father, one neighbor came and told me that my father was dying: they would continue beating my father — even to death — until I went to the local hospital to get abortion. …

Very soon after this, the worst thing happened: when several family planning government officials broke into the house where I was hiding, and without any words, they drug me into their van.

As soon as I got into the van, I found that another mom was already inside the van. She told me she was carrying her first baby, and that she was 28 years old. She did not have the permit of pregnancy or the birth permit, and she was 7 months pregnant. She was so eager to keep this baby that she was fighting with the government officers in the van. Suddenly, one government official in his 20′s slapped her on the face and immediately her mouth began to bleed. Being thus insulted, she screamed like a lion and fought with the family planning government officials.

About one hour later, the van stopped in the hospital. As soon as I was drug out of the van, I saw hundreds of pregnant moms there — all of them just like pigs in the slaughterhouse. Immediately I was drug into a special room, and without any preliminary medical examination, one nurse did an oxytocin injection intravenously. Then I was put into a room with several other moms.

The room was full of moms who had just gone through a forced abortion. Some moms were crying, some moms were mourning, some moms were screaming, and one mom was rolling on the floor with unbearable pain. …

I was pulled into another small room. One nurse pulled out one big, 8-inch long needle for the intramuscular injection. …

At that moment, I was the only mom in the room. I began begging the nurse while I cried, “I have already had the oxytocin injection, please let me go; I will go as far away as possible and I will not tell anyone else what you had done for me and I will be grateful for you for the rest of me life.” The nurse did not respond to my begging — she looked like wood.

Then I kept saying to her, “You are an angel, as a nurse or a doctor who is helping people and saving people’s life; how could you become a killer by killing people every day?” … Soon she became very angry at what I said, and told me that I talked too much. She also told me that there was nothing serious about this whole thing for her. She did these all year. She also told me that there were over 10,000 forced abortions in our county [county, not country] just for that year, and I was having just one of them. I was astonished by her words and I realized that my baby and I were just like a lamb on the cutting board. Finally, she put the big, long needle into the head of my baby in the womb. At the moment, it was the end of the world for me and I felt even time had stopped. …

After the injection, my baby became very quiet for a whole day. I was so naive that I thought I could leave the hospital because I had finished the forced injection. I wondered if perhaps my baby was lucky enough that she could survive.

To my great surprise, the next evening I was drug into a surgical room. … While I was lying down on the surgical table I found that there was bloody fingerprints on the wall, left by other moms during their surgery of a forced abortion.

One doctor told me that I brought too much trouble to them already because my baby was supposed to flow out by itself after the injection. Since it did not come out as expected, they decided to cut my baby into pieces in my womb with scissors, and then suck it out with a special machine.

What had I done in my life that made me deserve this kind of punishment? What evil thing was this all about? Even a wild animal like a tiger will give her life to save her own baby tiger. As a mom and a human being, could I not even protect the life of my baby? …

I could hear the sound of the scissors cutting the body of my baby in my womb. … I preferred to die together with my baby at that moment. …

Eventually the journey in hell, the surgery was finished, and one nurse showed me part of a bloody foot with tweezers. Through my tears, the picture of the bloody foot was engraved into my eyes and into my heart, and so clearly I could see the five small bloody toes. Immediately the baby was thrown into a trash can. …

Finally, I was allowed to go home from the hospital. I did not eat anything, or even drink any water, for several days. I barely talked with anyone. From time to time at home, I could hear the mourning of my father. He was released after I was caught, but he had been beaten terribly; it took him over a month to recover physically. Looking at my father, thinking of my dead baby, I cried day and night, and frequently the picture of the little bloody foot came up in my mind. Physically I recovered after about one month, but psychologically and spiritually — never! …

I know that there are millions of Chinese sisters who are suffering and will suffer the same thing that I suffered. Who can help them? Who can save them? The one-child policy and forced abortion policy have killed millions of innocent lives in China. How can this inhumane crime be stopped? When can this inhumane crime be stopped?

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Campaign Life urges 66,000 member families in Ontario to vote Tory if no pro-life candidate

by Patrick B. Craine Thu Oct 06 12:21 EST Comments (6)

Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty (L) and PC leader Tim Hudak (R)

TORONTO, Ontario, October 6th, 2011 ( – Campaign Life Coalition has urged its 66,000 supporter families to vote for the pro-life candidate in their riding, but in a change of tack, they say that if there is no pro-life candidate, supporters should vote for Tim Hudak’s Tories.

“Vote against the pro-abortion Liberals and NDP. Try voting first for a known pro-life candidate. If none exists, we urge you to vote for the Progressive Conservative candidate,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, CLC’s Ontario president, in a communication earlier this week to the 66,000 families on CLC’s Ontario supporter list.

Though Hudak has signaled that he would not change Ontario’s abortion status quo—government-funded abortion-on-demand—both Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty and NDP leader Andrea Horwath “publicly and proudly” support abortion access, says CLC.

This week, the leaders of Ontario’s abortion movement called on Ontarians to vote for anybody but Hudak’s Tories, claiming a victory for his party “would put abortion rights in danger for women in Ontario.”

While Hudak has done nothing related to life and family since taking office in 1995, and insists he will adopt Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s stance of not re-opening the abortion debate, he told CLC in a 1995 questionnaire that he believed the government should promote the choice of life. 

In his 2009 campaign to lead the Tory party, his team identified him as pro-life, indicating that he had signed petitions calling for the defunding of abortion and conscience rights.

CLC, the political arm of Canada’s pro-life movement, is non-partisan and urges supporters to vote for the best pro-life candidate irrespective of party affiliation.

But in this campaign, they are urging supporters to back the Tories where no pro-life candidate exists because, they say, there is a special need right now to oust the reigning Liberal party.

They are highlighting the Liberals’ promotion of a homosexualist “equity” agenda and an explicit sex-ed program, which Liberal cabinet ministers have pledged to bring back after it was shelved in response to parental backlash in 2010.

“If McGuinty’s sex education agenda advances, it will predictably result in a greater number of abortions because it will have the effect of increasing sexual promiscuity amongst youth,” CLC explains.

Despite McGuinty’s open promotion of abortion access, CLC has identified three pro-life Liberal candidates: Joe Dickson (Ajax-Pickering); Lou Rinaldi (Northumberland-Quinte West); and Mario Sergio (York West).  In Dickson’s case, he is facing off against pro-life Tory Todd McCarthy.

The NDP is officially pro-abortion and no pro-life candidates have been identified.

For ratings of Ontario candidates based on pro-life and pro-family issues, visit Campaign Life Coalition’s website here.

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Abby Johnson: Two years ago today I quit Planned Parenthood!

by Abby Johnson Thu Oct 06 11:30 EST Comments (1)

Abby Johnson

October 6, 2011 ( - Today is year two.  The second year since I walked away from Planned Parenthood.  The anniversary of my new life.  I am a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, and a new creation in Christ.  These two years have been the best of my life.  It hasn’t been without some heartache, but it has all been worth it.

I am filled with emotions today.  I am happy because I never thought my life would turn out so beautiful.  It is wonderful to follow God’s plan.  I am blessed in a way that I don’t deserve.  I have amazing friends…friends that I didn’t have just two years ago…friends that will be with me the rest of my life.  My marriage is better than it has ever been.

I never realized how the evil of my job had crept into my life at home.  Now we are free of that.  I value my daughter more than I ever have.  I never really saw motherhood as a gift; now I am able to see that it is the greatest gift we are given as women.

I also look back on the day I resigned and feel emotional.  I couldn’t have had better allies in my corner…the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life. My world was falling apart and they were strong, prayerful, centered.  They were there to guide me when I didn’t know where to step…especially Shawn Carney.  I wouldn’t be here…healthy, grounded, stable…without him.  When I showed up at his office, he started to protect me.  I couldn’t seem to see what was in the future for me, but he could.  He was prepared.

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I will never forget the day, two years ago today, when I told him that I had to resign right then.  I said I couldn’t wait.  I had planned on waiting, but I just knew I couldn’t wait any longer.  I was going to go back there, pack up my stuff and leave.  Shawn had been in “go mode” since minute one and I don’t think he had really gotten a chance to enjoy what was happening.  I mean, I was the director of the clinic his group was trying to shut down.  This was a victory.  But he hadn’t taken the time to celebrate.  But there, in that parking lot, just me and Shawn…that was his moment.  I will never forget his face…the smile, the joy in his eyes.  We both couldn’t stop smiling and laughing.  It was pure peace…pure joy.  I don’t think I had ever felt that before.

I am also burdened today.  So many of my friends are still there, in those clinics.  People that won’t communicate with me anymore.  Good people who are misdirected.  I am now the enemy.  I feel broken for all of those that are still caught in the justification of the abortion industry.

I desperately want them to feel the freedom that I do.  I want to share this happiness with them.  If they could just experience it for one day, they would never go back.  If they could just free themselves from the lie, the truth would heal their brokenness.  I fear for their hearts…I am scared they will become hardened.  I fear for their eternal souls.  I pray for all clinic workers every day.  I hope you will also consider making this a priority for you.

I have to thank everyone who has been on this journey with me.  All of you have been my inspiration. You keep me going every day.  The stories you share with me touch my heart.  I am just one person in this mighty pro-life army.  All of you keep me strong.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  And especially to Elizabeth McClung.  You were once my sidewalk counselor…now you are my best friend.  God had something very special in store for us.  You bring me sunshine every day.

Abortion has been my life for 10 years now.  I have destroyed many lives.  I will live every day righting that wrong.  St. Joan of Arc said, “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” I am not afraid to stand up against anyone and give a voice to the children that have been lost.  I believe I was born to do this…I believe you were, too.  We were born to stand up for these children in the womb.  We are soldiers…warriors in this battle for life.  We are willing to stand up to evil and say NO.  No weapon formed against us will prosper.  We are with God.  We are His.  He can change any heart.  He can open any mind.  He is God.  He is BIG.  He is in the business of miracles.  I am proof.

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Bishop says he will meet with Fr. Pavone October 13, requests prayers

by John-Henry Westen Thu Oct 06 09:22 EST Comments (9)


October 6, 2011 ( - Amarillo Bishop Patrick Zurek has released another public statement concerning Priests for Life President Fr. Frank Pavone.  In it, the bishop notes that he will have a private meeting with Fr. Pavone on October 13, 2011, and invites all concerned to join him in prayer for both Fr. Pavone, the bishop himself and for “a fruitful and productive dialogue.”

“In the end,” says the letter, “it is my desire to see [Priests for Life] and all pro-life ministries flourish.”

(Read the complete letter here.)

Bishop Zurek explained his reasons for recalling Fr. Pavone to the diocese saying:

As a diocesan bishop, I am obligated to show concern for the well being and ministry of all our priests. I support with no exception the various ministries that the priests of our Diocese carry out for the Common Good of the Church.  Thus, I am seeking clarifications and answers to concerns about the administration of the PFL organization and other related entities of which Fr. Pavone has a leadership role.

Principally, I called Fr. Pavone home to his Diocese of Amarillo because of my concern for him as one of my priests.  The relationship of a bishop to a priest is one of a father to a son and a brother to a brother. I have asked him to pray and reflect on the sacramental ministerial priesthood that he and I share in Christ Jesus.  It has been my desire to have a direct and clear dialogue with all our priests.


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Tags: frank pavone

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Flashback: Steve Jobs is a genius alright, but even geniuses need to be born

by Carolyn Moynihan Thu Oct 06 09:06 EST Comments (5)

Steve Jobs

Note: originally ran this article on September 14. In light of the news of Steve Jobs’ death yesterday, October 5, the topic deserves renewed attention, and we are re-running the article.

September 14, 2011 ( - Encomiums in honour of Steve Jobs have been flowing freely the past week following his resignation as CEO of Apple, the company which he co-founded in the 1970s and which has showered magical devices upon an enchanted world. He has been acclaimed as “the Thomas Edison of this century”, “the da Vinci of our time” and, less grandly, “a latter-day Marshall McLuhan”. Jobs himself has implied comparisons with figures as diverse as Gandhi and Bob Dylan. Perhaps the writer who cuts him down to size as “the IT world’s only rock star” has a point, but the majority opinion seems to be that the man is a genius.

What the media has left out, on the whole, is where all this genius came from. There have been stories mentioning his family background but these have been mere sideshows to the retrospectives on Jobs’ extraordinary career. None of that drama might have happened, however, if a young, unwed graduate student back in 1955 had not offered her unplanned baby for adoption.

If her father had not objected to her Syrian boyfriend, Joanne Simpson might have married Abdulfattah John Jandali then and there (instead of later, after her dad died) and Steve Jobs’ story might have been completely different. He could still have been a genius, but he might never have met Steve Wozniak, sat in on calligraphy classes or founded Apple. He might have been a brilliant lawyer or politician—or a mediocre one. We don’t know.

What we do know is that millions of people around the world have fallen in love with Apple’s creations: the Macintosh (it was the first computer I ever used and its mouse and icons seemed ever so cute), the iMac, the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone and the iPad. That Apple under his leadership went from two guys in a garage to a $2 billion dollar Silicon Valley company in 10 years. That it currently employs 50,000 people. That in the last 14 years, since Jobs returned to the company, his sense of what makes technology desirable has led from one triumph to another, until early this month Apple briefly overtook Exxon Mobil to become the world’s most valuable company.

And don’t forget Pixar, Jobs’ Hollywood project that put smiles on the faces of countless millions with computer-animated movie hits such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo.

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Not everyone is in love with Steve Jobs, of course. From the colleagues who engineered his departure from Apple in 1986 to iPad users who can’t use Adobe Flash Player on their favourite gadget, he has upset many people over the years. He has been called smug, wilful, bad-tempered, a micro-manager, someone who takes credit for other people’s inventions, who drives around without licence plates and parks his Mercedes in handicapped peoples spaces. Both the music and publishing industries only reluctantly accepted his monopolistic terms for giving access to their products through Apple devices. His backdating of stock options has caused scandal—as also has his apparent absence from the philanthropy scene (an exception being a $100,000 donation to the pro-same-sex marriage, anti-Prop 8 campaign in California in 2008).

Even his critics, however, acknowledge his shrewdness, his uncanny sense of where technology can move next, and when it should. As Fortune magazine said three years ago, Jobs was not only regarded as the most successful CEO around, he had “even become a global cultural guru, shaping what entertainment we watch, how we listen to music, and what sort of objects we use to work and play. He has changed the game for entire industries.”

How different the world would look without Steve Jobs. Yet, if he had been conceived just 20 years later, in the wake of Roe v Wade and with another iconic American enterprise—Planned Parenthood—doing a brisk trade in abortions, it might well have missed out on him. In the 1950s, however, abortion was illegal and probably Joanne Simpson never gave it a thought. When things got complicated at home she quietly went off to San Francisco to have the baby and give him up for adoption.

Here is the story as Steve Jobs told it in a commencement address at Stanford University in June 2005. His birth mother, he said,

felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

Despite his dominance in the Apple empire, Jobs has always depended on the genius and commitment of other people as well as his own. In his birth mother we meet the most important of these people—a woman who not only respected her child’s life but wanted to give him the best chance in life that she could think of in her circumstances. She thought it out, laid down her conditions, and took responsibility for what she had begun.

Fast forward to today’s college campus, awash with contraceptives and safe-sex propaganda, where a girl who gets pregnant will find a ready offer of an abortion and is likely to take it up without much consideration of what her options really are.

How many people of genius have never seen the light of day because it is now taken for granted that an unintended pregnancy is necessarily an unwanted child?

Fifty-six years ago, it’s true, the baby who became known as Steve Jobs was rejected at the last minute by the lawyer couple who had signed up to adopt Ms Simpson’s child. But there was a working-class couple, Clara and Paul Jobs, who just wanted a baby. Period. They were good people who, when the moment came, were prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to send him to college. There are still a lot of people like that around, only they don’t get the chance to adopt because most of the inconvenient babies are destroyed. Infertile couples have to go offshore to find a child, sometimes by very dubious processes. What a difference a few decades can make; what a sad difference.

In his address to the Stanford students Steve Jobs told three stories: the first was about the serendipity that “connected the dots” between his dropping out of college and designing the first Mac. The second was about “love and loss”—mainly about the love for his work that has inspired and energised his professional life. Crucially, it was also what made him able to start again after being “fired” from his own company in 1986 and becoming “a very public failure”.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

This included his marriage to Laurene Powell, with whom he has three children.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.

Jobs’ third story was a bit like the second. It was also about loss: about getting cancer, confronting his own mortality and deciding what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Since then, with a reprieve from his illness, he has led Apple to new heights of innovation and market eminence, making the company the flagship of a flagging economy.

Is it fanciful to think that the example set by his biological mother helped him not only to begin again after that early episode of public failure, but also to confront the possibility of an early death with realism and even optimism? Probably. And yet, there is a similar spirit evident in the way mother and son handled their respective crises. Focus on life and get on with it, is what they seem to tell us.

Think different, the Apple campaign of the late 1990s urged. If there is one issue on which today’s civil and political leaders need to think differently it is the value of a human being. The urge to prevent births which has been upon them for the past 60 years has delivered a sickly economy and a notable lack of truly visionary leaders. They should think carefully about the Steve Jobs phenomenon and learn.

Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet. This article originally appeared on MercatorNet and is reprinted here with permission

Tags: abortion, adoption, apple, steve jobs

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Abortion survivor: we need to change the way we speak about pregnancy and adoption

by Melissa Ohden Thu Oct 06 08:54 EST Comments (7)

Abortion survivor Melissa Ohden with her husband and daughter.

Note: Melissa Ohden, a pro-life activist and speaker, is the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion in 1977. You can find out more about here story at her website here.

October 6, 2011 ( - “Oh, that second one changes EVERYTHING!” Funny how, in the blink of an eye, everything changes.  Your family of three is suddenly a family of four, awaiting the move of child #2 from the womb to the outside world.  Your external focus on the goings-on of the world are now turned more internally towards your developing child and your changing, albeit happily, family.  And suddenly, those same folks who were wondering out loud for the last 3 ½ years since your first child was born about when you were going to give her a sibling, are the same folks who are suddenly lamenting to you about the difficulties they believe you will experience by having a second child. 

As a pro-life speaker and advocate, as an abortion survivor, I live my work every day.  I will never wake up one morning and suddenly forget about the fact that my life was supposed to end all in the name of someone else’s choice.  I will never be able to hold my children and not consider that they would never have existed if my biological mother’s abortion had succeeded in ending my life.  I will never not feel the calling to save and transform lives.  I will never underestimate the power of words, of the language that we use when we talk about children, about pregnancy and adoption, and how impactful those words really are.

During my pregnancy with Olivia, I was just so thrilled to be pregnant that I didn’t think much about the words that I used to describe her arrival into this world.  “We’re expecting! We’re having a baby!” Ryan and I would gush to anyone who would listen.  Now that we are pregnant with our second child, these words just don’t sit well with me when I talk about our family.  Maybe they do with some people, and I’m okay with that.  I’m not passing judgment, but simply making an observation about our family and the language of the culture that we live in today that fails, by and large, to acknowledge that life begins and deserves to be protected from the moment of conception.  Language is powerful and even insidious.  We aren’t “expecting.”  We aren’t having.  We have.  We are.  We are the parents of a child who just happens to be growing in my womb right now in preparation for entering the bigger world in May of 2012. 

When Ryan and I decided to get a t-shirt for Olivia that she could wear to proudly announce to our family and friends that she’s a big sister, I poured and poured over the shirts available.  “I’m going to be a big sister!” most of the shirts exclaimed.  I disappointedly looked at them.  Olivia’s not going to be a big sister, she is a big sister, I lamented.  There wasn’t going to be some magical time during my pregnancy or at the time of birth that suddenly her brother or sister was going to become her sibling—they already are siblings.  The fact that one of my children is growing inside of me right now while the other comes sneaking into our bed every night for a snuggle doesn’t change the fact of the matter.  Ryan and I are the parents of two children.  Olivia is a big sister.  Our second child exists, and we are anxiously awaiting seeing him or her face to face for the first time.  We were lucky to find just the right shirt for us that reflects our sentiments, as you will see in Olivia’s picture above.  (The radiant smile and twirling baton are just our daughter’s extra panache). 

How many times throughout any given day, though, do we use words like “expecting” and “going to be a big sister” to describe our life circumstances?  Certainly, I understand for the sake of brevity that these words are used (trust me, I’ve spent more time during this pregnancy explaining why we use the words that we do to unsuspecting individuals), but for someone like me, who as an aborted child whom miraculously lived, these words are a slippery slope in a culture of death.  It is no wonder to me that we are still fighting the description of children like me as a ‘blob of tissue,’ ‘clump of cells,’ or ‘product of conception,’ when, even as pro-lifers, the words that we use, the descriptions that we make about children are borderline questionable in terms of their respect for human life.

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The first time that I excitedly told a fellow pro-life colleague that I was pregnant with our second child, instead of embracing me in a warm hug like I’d expected, they instead slapped me on the back and laughed heartily.  “Oh, that second one changes EVERYTHING! I’ll be praying for your patience and energy!”  Now, it’s hard to put to paper what the tone of that individual’s words were like, but I can tell you that the tone was ominous and the laugh was far too loud and long for my liking.  Maybe if they would have tempered their comments with “but really, we’re so happy for your family,” I would feel differently about the situation.  And maybe if I wouldn’t have kept receiving comments like that from friends and colleagues that I love and respect, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it.  But those same individuals who have been anxiously waiting for us to have another child are the same individuals who described a second child in such a matter.  Yes, I was disappointed by this behavior, but even more so, it left me thinking:  If people spoke to me, knowing my experiences and profession, in such a manner, how did they talk to others? And even more so, even though I had a wealth of knowledge and experience when it came to pregnancy, children, adoption and abortion, most people don’t have that kind of base to draw from.  How do the words that we use affect them? Do the words we use, however innocently, add to the culture of death and disrespect of human life from the moment of conception?

When I presented at the Real Choices Australia conference in Sydney, Australia, last May, I had prepared an in-depth Powerpoint marked by statistics and experiences of the adoption triad when it came to adoption.  I was prepared to lead a discussion about why so many young women tell me that they would much rather end the life of their children by abortion instead of making an adoption plan for them because of their perception that they couldn’t “give up” their child.  But as the knowledgable, professional pro-lifers from the diverse areas of pregnancy centers, right to life organizations, foster care and adoption agencies, and the field of education engaged in conversation with me and one another throughout the days of the conference, I knew there was something much more important that I needed to do.  I needed to focus their attention on the words that they were using to discuss the adoption process, adoptees, and birthparents.  “They gave them up.  They were given up,” were the predominant themes, as they are in so many places, even in our own organizations, even in our own houses, today.  This very week alone, at a Pregnancy Center banquet in Nebraska and an educational lecture at Ohio University, I have heard the words “given up” more times than I could count, even after I brought up the issue.

Although, as an adoptee, I can understand the feeling that one was “given up,” and I can only assume how painful it must be to make an adoption plan for your child and let them go from your arms, from your care, in the grand scheme of things, as adoptees, we were given life, and as birthparents, they gave us life.  That is a beautiful gift!  And as a speaker and advocate who travels and speaks to people around the world on a frequent basis, I can tell you that our words are so incredibly powerful when it comes to speaking about adoption.  No one wants to be perceived as a bad mother or a bad father, someone who “gave up” their child.  Sadly, so many women share with me that they aborted their child to avoid the judgment and condemnation of those around them.  Although each woman ultimately has a choice, I believe we have a responsibility to use language that strengthens and supports people, that highlights the love and selflessness that comes with adoption.

Like so many, I read with great sadness, about the passing of Steve Jobs today, the Founder and Ex-CEO of Apple.  And like many, I didn’t know before reading the article that Steve was an adoptee.  Here’s a short quote from the ABC website regarding his life and his passing: “But that personal life - he was given up at birth for adoption, had an illegitimate child …” What interesting language that was used to describe his adoption, and his fathering of a child out of wedlock! Are those words that are lifting up an amazing man whose gifts to our world are legendary?  Are those words lifting up the woman who gave life to an extraordinarily brilliant man and made an adoption plan for him? Are those words lifting up his child who is now mourning the loss of their father?

Language is powerful indeed.  One word can communicate so much.  One’s tone can reflect a negative or a positive connotation that is deftly picked up by the ears of those that are in crisis or in need.  Every child is a blessing.  Adoption is a gift to everyone in the adoption triad.  How very different those phrases sound, then ‘Oh, that second child!” and “given up.”  Yes, it often takes some time to retrain the way we speak to reflect our true thoughts and values, but I believe it’s worth it.  In just two short months, my 2nd child has given me the ability to not just think, but talk about their important life and role in our family in a manner that better reflects my belief about the importance of every human life from the moment of conception. 

Just one simple word you speak today could make the difference in building someone up or tearing someone down.  Just one simple word you speak today could make the difference in the life or death of a child.  I pray that your words breathe life into all of those you come into contact with.

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