Wednesday, February 8, 2012

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So, you want to help end abortion, but don’t know how? Here’s how.

by Kelly Clinger Wed Feb 08 18:18 EST Comments (77)

 
Kelly Clinger

Editor’s note: This article is a follow-up to Kelly’s article relating her experience of recently returning to the abortion facility where she had her two babies aborted 12 years ago. Find out more about Kelly at KellyClinger.com

February 8, 2012 (KellyClinger.com) - First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to those of you who emailed me and messaged me to tell me about your pro-life ministry or about your church that has devoted itself to being a presence at the nearest abortion clinic. Many of you have been in the pro-life movement for 40 years, pray outside of clinics regularly, or run Crisis Pregnancy Center’s. I am so grateful for you!

Most of the messages I received were from many who felt convicted to do more but don’t know how or where. One man said, “You have our attention. Now tell us what we can do to help.” That’s what this article is for.

Sidewalk Counselor/Prayer Warrior

Abortion clinics need people outside of them every day. Many perform abortions on a daily basis (like the one in Orlando) and many offer discounts on Sundays! Can you believe that?

The first thing you should do is find out where the closest abortion clinic is. You can go to abortion.com, type in your city and state, and a list of all of the abortion providers around you will come up. The Internet will be one of your greatest tools. (I’m pretty sure the disciples would have used Google!)

Once you find the nearest clinic, you can begin by praying. Pray for the abortionists, the nurses and the clinic workers. Pray for the medical waste companies who make money picking up the bodies of dead babies. These people desperately need to see the light!

If you’re like me, the thought of being at one of those places makes you want to vomit. I completely understand how you feel. But at some point I had to ask myself, “If not me, who?”

There are many great sidewalk counselors and pro-life ministries who are wiling to train you. One of those is Pro-Life Action Ministries. Volunteers are trained, encouraged and scheduled to stand in front of abortion clinics for the purpose of talking to those seeking abortions and offering them the full array of alternatives and assistance so they choose life for their babies. They also hold regular prayer vigils throughout the year. You can also take a look at Pro-Life Action League or just do a search for pro-life ministries in your city.

Perhaps, you would rather go to an abortion clinic to pray and not say a word. That’s ok too! One of my favorite groups is Bound4Life. Maybe you’ve seen them with the red LIFE tape over their mouths? They are a grassroots prayer movement who believe their stand is not a protest but a prayer meeting. What is more powerful than prayer? You can visit their website and find the chapter closest to you.

Post-Abortion Help

Because I’m a spokesperson for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (and a post-abortive woman myself), I am always aware of the regret that women and men who have participated in abortions live with. The Silent No More website has a page where you can enter your zip code and it will give you all of the post-abortive counseling places near you. This is so helpful!

Here are links to some great places where post-abortive men and women can find healing:

Rachel’s Vineyard
Forgiven and Set Free
Surrendering the Secret
Healing Hearts (online)
Abort73

Also, we need men and women to register their regret on the Silent No More website. If we had millions of ‘disgruntled customers’ talk about what abortion has done to their lives, surely others would take notice. When we hold our “I Regret My Abortion” signs at the March for Life every year, the response is truly overwhelming. Many see our voices as the loudest.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers/Adoption Advocates

Pregnancy centers are a vital part of the pro-life community. The resources they provide make it possible for sidewalk counselors to have a place to take women who choose life. Many of them have sonogram machines, post-abortion counseling, baby supplies, parenting classes, etc.

There are pregnancy centers in almost every county in the United States. You can use websites like Option Line and Care Net which have search engines that allow you to find a center near you that offers free pregnancy tests and other confidential services.

There are many great adoption agencies in the United States. Parent Profiles is a very helpful website for a pregnant mom has chosen adoption for her baby. Bethany Christian Services and Christian Adoption Consultants are adoption agencies that I am familiar with. We are hoping that 2012 will be the year we finally adopt!

Lastly, I would urge you to go to your Pastor/Priest/Bishop and ask them to get your church involved. Many see abortion as a controversial or political subject, but I believe that it grieves the heart of God. If we are silent, we will be held accountable.

Imagine if every Christian would stand outside of an abortion clinic at least once a month. Imagine if just one out of every 100 post-abortive women would stand outside and tell the women going in of our regret. While I am just one rain drop by myself, imagine the vast ocean we would be together!

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Soft fascism and pro-life apathy result in dead humans

by Jonathon van Maren Wed Feb 08 17:30 EST Comments (17)

 
Jonathon Van Maren

February 8, 2012 (Unmaskingchoice.ca) Yesterday, two Canadian news stories were released that revealed the continuance of an alarming trend. The first detailed how my colleague Francisco Gomez was arrested by the Calgary Police after they decided that the abortion imagery he and his fellow pro-lifers were displaying was “too obscene.” This is regardless of the fact that abortion is the most common medical procedure in Canada and has been disingenuously labelled “therapeutic.”

The second story was of much the same nature: the University of Victoria Student Society (UVSS) once again decided to deny pro-lifers at their university any free speech rights for displaying the same images, even demanding that they apologize to those they had offended.

The Canadian media, to their credit, immediately recognized that unpopular views, especially those revolving around matters of public debate, should be protected and denounced the actions of the Calgary Police and the UVSS.

Just kidding.

I didn’t think that I possessed the capacity to get depressed by media and public reactions to censorship anymore, but yesterday changed things. Censorship has been disgustingly common against pro-lifers as of late, and has only increased recently: a motion was put forward to ban Carleton pro-lifers from their own campus; a pro-life activist called the police after being assaulted, and was rewarded with a fine for exercising his free speech rights; Simon Fraser University demanded that a pro-life display be shielded from the public so that people would not be “inadvertently” exposed to a point of view they did not like.

Yaaawn.

I fully realize that censorship is becoming so common, that it is considered almost monotonous by Canadians. Really? Those pesky pro-lifers with their graphic images and foolish point of view are being forced to go away again? Oh well. They had it coming. Please hand me my beer and the television remote, I think a really important sports game is on. If that goes badly, I may get so worked up I’ll loot a store.

Really? Can you really muster no outrage when fellow Canadians are told that their point of view is not worthy of public expression? You can listen apathetically when all sorts of insidious excuses are given for the censorship, in complete contravention of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? You honestly believe that your personal feelings on a matter are more important than the rights of someone else to express their view?

The worst part of the situation is that so many pro-lifers are terrified of public confrontation that they have begun to echo some of the same rhetoric: Perhaps we should use different tactics. Maybe we had it coming. If we just stopped getting people riled up, they would start liking us and abortion would end.

Nonsense. All of it. Why don’t we just get a list of pro-life tactics they approve of from the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada and work inside those parameters? Why don’t we just call a truce with those who advocate for the slaughtering of little children and make sure we get along? After all, our ideological differences can be overcome with a good fondue dinner and an enforced group hug. Oh, and don’t inadvertently look at the pile of pre-born corpses in the corner of their office on your way out. It’s a bit obscene.

George Orwell once wrote that “If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if the laws exist to protect them.”

Well, here we are. Soft fascism may go down better than a jackboot, and taste a bit like Kool-Aid, but it’s still deadly. And when mixed with what Martin Luther King Jr. referred to as the “tranquilizing drug of gradualism,” we’ve pretty much gone for a nap on the moral high ground and informed the opposition that we’re not really that interested in sacrifice and activism.

After all, American Idol will be on soon. I don’t want to miss that.

Reprinted with permission from Unmaskingchoice.ca

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Southern Baptist leader: If Obama mandate isn’t changed, Christians will go to jail

by Ben Johnson Wed Feb 08 17:23 EST Comments (612)

 
Dr. Richard Land

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, February 8, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of the most influential evangelical leaders in the United States says Christians should go to jail rather than comply with the Obama administration’s mandate to provide all contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs, in their health care plans.

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told LifeSiteNews.com “we will not comply” with the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ mandate requiring religious institutions to cover abortifacient products such as Plan B, Ella, and the IUD.

“We want the law changed, or else we’re going to write our letters from the Nashville jail, just like Dr. King wrote his from the Birmingham jail,” Dr. Land said.

Dr. Land wrote an op-ed on Tuesday with Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research at ERLC, calling his fellow Southern Baptists and evangelical Christians throughout America to oppose any infringement on the First Amendment.

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“The Obama administration has declared war on religion and freedom of conscience,” they wrote. “We consider this callous requirement by the Obama administration to be a clear violation of our nation’s commitment to liberty of conscience and a flagrant violation of our constitutional protection to freedom of religion.”

Dr. Land told LifeSiteNews he hopes Baptist ministers will “preach from the pulpit just how serious and dangerous this initiative by the Obama administration is,” and “encourage their parishioners to contact their congressmen and their senators and the president and let them know how deeply unhappy they are with this decision, and they want…legislation guaranteeing that it won’t happen again.”

“It is now in the providence of God,” Dr. Land said. “Our responsibility is to stand and say, ‘We will not comply with this. We want the law changed, or else we’re going to write our letters from the Nashville jail, just like Dr. King wrote his from the Birmingham jail.’ We will not comply.”

Dr. Land, who earned a Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford University, has been named by Time magazine as one of “The Twenty-five Most Influential Evangelicals in America.”

President Obama’s recess appointment of Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provided an insight to the president’s views, Dr. Land said. Feldblum has said whenever religious rights come into conflict with sexual rights, that sexual rights must prevail. “That’s exactly what’s happening in the Health and Human Services contraceptive and abortifacient directive,” he said. “They are saying that a woman’s right to have free contraceptive services and free abortifacients trumps the deeply held religious convictions of Catholics and Baptists and others. That’s a war on religion.”

Several of the Obama administration’s actions have convinced observers the president harbors an aversion to Christian values. “I do know hostility to religious conviction in the public square when I see it, and I see it in the Hosanna case,” in which the Obama administration attempted to narrowly define the ministerial exemption in hiring, Dr. Land told LifeSiteNews.com. He called the Obama administration “radically secularist” on his weekly radio program.

The op-ed he co-authored came exactly one week after Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said evangelical Christians may be required to face imprisonment over the issue. Dr. Mohler said in his daily podcast, “You at least have to admire the courage of the Roman Catholic bishops in saying they are willing to go to jail rather than to comply with this. How many evangelical presidents and pastors and leaders would be willing to do the same?” 

“We’re going to find out in coming months,” he warned.

He said despite media coverage portraying the new regulation as a Catholic issue, “evangelicals need to stand back and – in our own terms, on our own doctrine – understand that our religious liberty is being similarly subverted and attacked.”

Government encroachments on religion have long concerned Dr. Land. Last December, he joined 59 other non-Catholic religious leaders in signing a letter to Barack Obama stating, “religious organizations beyond the Catholic community have deep moral objections to a requirement that their health insurance plans must cover abortifacients.” 

Dr. Land and Duke noted in their op-ed that the government protects other Christians from violating their consciences by exempting pacifists from serving in the military, but “the administration is refusing to allow those who believe that abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being to follow faithfully the dictates of his or her conscience on a matter as grave as the death of an unborn child.” 

“A person who is not free to follow the dictates of his or her moral conscience is not free,” they wrote. “Our Baptist forebears died and went to prison to secure these freedoms.”

In the upcoming presidential election, Dr. Land hoped faithful voters would consider the importance of religious liberty. “This is a very serious and defining moment in American society,” he said.

The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, with more than16 million members and 45,000 churches in the United States.

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Tags: richard land, southern baptist

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Letter from a 12-week old unborn baby

by The Editors Wed Feb 08 17:22 EST Comments (53)

 

In late January, a friend and supporter of HLI America was asked by pro-life leaders in New York State to write a letter that would accompany a replica of a 10-12 week old baby in the womb. With the goal of encouraging state legislators to recognize the humanity of such tiny human beings, this replica and letter was to be sent to all the members of the New York State Assembly and Senate.

In New York, abortion of an unborn child after the 24th week of pregnancy is defined as homicide, but prior to that the killing of such a child is legal. This beautiful letter is another creative and truthful attempt to encourage our nation’s leaders to recognize that abortion is not a human right, but rather, ends an innocent human life.

That letter, written from the perspective of the 12-week old baby in the womb, is shared with you below:

Dear Member of the NY State Senate or Assembly:

I am not a blob of tissue to be disposed of. When I became a zygote at fertilization, I was already composed of 39,000 genes made up of 3.2 billion base pair sequences. Hard to believe, I know, but it’s scientifically true! These detailed directions for my development have been compared to the amount of information found in two hundred New York City phone books.

After this beginning, I worked actively to prevent any other sperm from fertilizing the same egg, and on my own impetus took a journey down the fallopian tube to implant upon my mother’s uterus.

At 5 weeks, my cerebral cortex was developing, and well before I reached 12 weeks my brain was functioning. I was already responding to stimuli.

So how can you allow me to be tortured? Shouldn’t you be working to protect me from suffering? Why allow me to be torn limb from limb?

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At 12 weeks, I am not merely a design for a house yet to be built, I am already “a tiny house that constructs itself larger and more complex through its active self-development towards maturity” (Patrick Lee). If I live and grow to maturity, this growth will not involve a change in my identity or substance, only the development of what’s already there.

I am not a “potential” child, but a real child. Take a good look at the image of me that you received. My mother cannot “choose” to have a child – she already has one! Her only “choice” is whether or not to let me live.

Size has nothing to do with human rights. The sun may be vast in size, but it can’t think or love. It is only matter. It will never be part of an American family and community, nor will it ever serve my country. It will never ponder the mystery of life and the beauty of the night-skies, nor will it ever be able to conceive of the universe or meditate on Scripture.

Small as I am at 12 weeks, I can say that I am more precious than that huge and majestic sun, because I am made in the image of God, the One who created the sun, the night skies and the universe. All those things will pass away, but I am made for eternity.

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South African bishops grieve 1 million ‘lost children’ after 15 years of legalized abortion

by Peter Baklinski Wed Feb 08 17:14 EST Comments (1)

 
Archbishop Buti Tlhagale

JOHANNESBURG, Republic of South Africa, February 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Fifteen years have come and gone since abortion was rammed through in South African in the name of ‘reproductive rights.’ Catholic bishops in the region have expressed regret at the loss of an estimated one million children who were stripped of “the most fundamental of rights, the right to life.”

“We remember those one million babies,” said Archbishop Buti Tlhagale on behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference that convened at the end of January. The Conference is comprised of Catholic Bishops from Botswana, South Africa, and Swaziland.

In November of 1996, South Africa enacted the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act that allowed “every woman the right to choose whether to have an early, safe and legal termination of pregnancy according to her individual beliefs.”

The South African government at this time interpreted their constitution to “protect the right of persons to make decisions concerning reproduction and to security in and control over their bodies.”

The government stated in the Act that it was their “belief” that the “termination of pregnancy is not a form of contraception or population control.”

Archbishop Buti Tlhagale stated what he called the “clear and unambiguous” position of the Catholic Church on abortion.

“Each unborn child is created by God, ‘knit together in (its) mother’s womb’ (Ps 139.13). That unborn child is a human being with a human life that must be protected. He or she has a right to life, a right that must be respected by the mother and protected by the state.”

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The archbishop pointed out that those aborted 15 years ago would now be in high school and bringing “joy to their families and planning their own futures.” He mentioned that those who were killed 10 years ago would now be “playing on the streets of our towns and villages in the evenings and singing and praying with us in our churches on Sunday.”

“We regret that those children of God were denied the right to be born into God’s world and to enrich it with their own unique gifts and talents. We will never fully realize what we have missed because the law says ‘abortion is fine’.”

The archbishop called faithful Catholics to love and support any woman who finds herself in a crisis pregnancy situation.

“She needs our love, our support, our understanding and sometimes our forgiveness,” he said.

“We in the Church are committed to helping unmarried pregnant girls and couples tempted to take the abortion route in whatever way we can. We will never condemn, just as Jesus refused to condemn (Jn 8.11).”

In a gesture of compassion, the archbishop also reached out to post-abortive mothers with an offer of hope and healing.

“She needs help and healing. We invite her to come and speak to one of our priests or counselors so that we can be part of reconciling her to God and bringing about healing.”

Tags: abortion, south africa

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Catholic college prez on birth control mandate: Obama can’t make me break my oath

by Kathleen Gilbert Wed Feb 08 16:55 EST Comments (9)

 

MERRIMACK, New Hampshire, February 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - One president of a conservative Catholic college in New Hampshire has told Washington representatives that the birth control mandate would force him to break his oath of obedience to the Catholic Church - something he will never do.

William Fahey, Ph.D., President of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, released an open letter to three Congressmen expressing his consternation regarding the Obama administration’s impending order forcing Catholic schools, hospitals, and charities to pay for sterilization and abortifacient birth control drugs such as Ella. The mandate’s religious employer exemption extends almost exclusively to houses of worship, an exemption that is vastly narrower than any other found in federal law.

“Like you, I took an oath upon assuming my office as President of Thomas More College,” wrote Fahey to Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, and Congressman Frank Guinta. “Each year, I renew this oath with the entire College faculty (who voluntarily make a similar profession). At the heart of our oath are the words: ‘With Christian obedience I shall follow what the Bishops, as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith, declare, or what they, as those who govern the Church, establish.’

“The health care mandate calls me to renounce an oath that I have taken publicly and solemnly before God.  I cannot do this.”

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The scholar noted that the attempt to portray uninhibited access to birth control as a civil rights issue, something the ACLU has done, is “farcical.” The White House has also said it believes women “deserve” to have their birth control paid for regardless of “where they work.”

“It is farcical to ... suggest that it is tantamount to racial discrimination for a religious community or private association to not include full and free coverage for birth control, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs amongst its medical benefits,” Fahey wrote.  “No public case was ever made; no public consensus called for this mandate.  Its introduction clearly creates an undue burden without any sign of compelling interest.”

“I will stand by my oath and with my bishops,” Fahey concluded. ”I hope that in so doing I will not be forced to stand against my own country.”

Meanwhile, two more conservative Catholic colleges, Christendom College in Virginia and Ave Maria University in Florida have also expressed their opposition to the mandate. Christendom president Timothy O’Donnell said Wednesday that even nonbelievers could recognize the administration’s “ugly assault on religious freedom” for what it really was.

“The American people need to be united against this attack on the very principles on which our great nation was founded,” said O’Donnell. “Our founding fathers came to America for this right to religious freedom. Their children should not be denied it.”

Ave Maria president Jim Towey simply said the school would not comply. “Ave Maria University rejects this religious intolerance and will not bow down before government regulations that are manifestly unjust,” said Towey in a video message Monday.

 


Dr. Fahey’s full letter is below:


Dear Senators Ayotte and Shaheen, and Congressman Guinta,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts to raise my grave concern over the recent decisions made by the Obama Administration regarding mandated health care requirements.

The actions manifest in the Health and Human Service’s Interim Final Rules on Preventative Services (File Code CMS-9992-IFC2) and the January 20 statement by Secretary Sebelius are an insult to and direct attack against long-standing practices of the Roman Catholic Church in the manner in which it has governed its own affairs and been a good steward to a significant body of social services in our country.

These decisions constitute an offensive mandate which erodes public trust that the government will observe the required restraint needed to allow citizens to exercise constitutional liberties.  It calls into question the administration’s willingness or ability to work within the western tradition of constitutional and natural law principles.

This mandate is equally a direct violation of the conscience of any practicing Roman Catholic.  To condition the availability of medical benefits upon a community’s willingness to violate a cardinal teaching of its faith effectively prevents the full practice of its religion and thus—again—violates the free exercise of a constitutional liberty.

This mandate presumes competence and authority on the government’s part in the construction and administration of health care plans for employees of independent businesses.  The law chiefly targets one group within the United States: Roman Catholics.  This intention is evident in the subsequent meetings that the President and members of his administration have undertaken with Archbishop Timothy Dolan and other Catholic leaders, as well as through the White House’s attempt to close all discussion on the mandate and compel observance of it.

No social injustice was evident before the mandate.  It is farcical to attempt portraying birth control as a civil rights issue or suggest that it is tantamount to racial discrimination for a religious community or private association to not include full and free coverage for birth control, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs amongst its medical benefits.  No public case was ever made; no public consensus called for this mandate.  Its introduction clearly creates an undue burden without any sign of compelling interest.

This mandate casts human life and pregnancy in the same category as diseases to be prevented, and it reduces the beauty and goodness of human sexuality to an individual, utilitarian, and dangerous act.  If birth-control, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs are to be considered curative—as the administration desires—one must ask what is it that they “cure” or “prevent”?  Human life itself is now placed into a category of social burden, which the government now claims the competence and authority to control and define.  Such an action undermines the very purpose of the Department of Health and Human Services.  Whose health and which human is protected by this mandate?  Human life itself, by being put under the same category as heart disease, cancer, or syphilis, becomes a threat to health.  By promoting this mandate, the Department plays a treacherous game with language and the very meaning of health.  It debases the meaning of words and cripples our ability to pursue the common good with prudence and rationality.

As Thomas More College’s representatives in Washington, DC, you are in a position to do great good and prevent great harm.  I hope that you will see that the mandate attempts to force self-identified and faithfully Catholic organizations to compromise central tenets of their belief or drop health care coverage for their employees.  Furthermore, I hope that you will see that the mandate undermines the Constitution, compromises the integrity of the government, and abuses the foundational principle that free associations form an essential part of the social fabric of the United States.

Like you, I took an oath upon assuming my office as President of Thomas More College.  Each year, I renew this oath with the entire College faculty (who voluntarily make a similar profession).  At the heart of our oath are the words:

With Christian obedience I shall follow what the Bishops, as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith, declare, or what they, as those who govern the Church, establish.

The health care mandate calls me to renounce an oath that I have taken publicly and solemnly before God.  I cannot do this.  The enforcement of the health care mandate may place other Catholic College and University presidents who have voluntarily taken this oath in grave peril—torn between civil disobedience toward their own government or disloyalty to their Catholic Faith.  Is such a dilemma now to become the norm for men and women of conscience and religious faith within the United States of America?

On behalf of my College, I would urge you to take all legitimate steps to work towards the withdrawal of this mandate from law, as well as the creation of laws with regard to this issue that clearly secure the constitutional liberties and principles of justice which sustain our country.

Rev. Peter Libasci, the Bishop of Manchester, has stated clearly in a letter dated January 26th of this year that “we cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law.”  His letter has been widely circulated, as have the letters of over three quarters of the Catholic Bishops of the United States.  They speak with one voice on this matter.  I will stand by my oath and with my bishops.  I hope that in so doing I will not be forced to stand against my own country.

Respectfully,

William Edmund Fahey, Ph.D.

President

Tags: birth control mandate, christendom college, timothy o'donnell, william fahey

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Simply abandon the ‘norm against killing’ to solve organ transplant problem: leading US bioethicists

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Wed Feb 08 14:48 EST Comments (3)

 
Clemens von Galen

February 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The conundrum faced by the organ transplant industry, that the removal of vital organs kills the “donor,” can be “easily obviated by abandoning the norm against killing,” two leading U.S. bioethicists have said. In an article titled, “What Makes Killing Wrong?” appearing in last month’s Journal of Medical Ethics, the authors have moved the argument forward by admitting that the practice of vital organ donation ignores “traditional” medical ethics.

“Traditional medical ethics embraces the norm that doctors … must not kill their patients. This norm is often seen as absolute and universal. In contrast, we have argued that killing by itself is not morally wrong, although it is still morally wrong to cause total disability.”

Traditional ethicists have responded, warning that this stream of thought, now common in the medical community, will ultimately undermine the right of anyone to life or the protection of law, and will annihilate public trust in the medical profession.

“If this dreadful doctrine is permitted and practised it is impossible to conjure up the degradation to which it will lead,” said Anthony Ozimic, communications manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). A physician “has but to certify his patients as unproductive and he receives the command to kill.”

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong a Duke University bioethicist and Franklin G. Miller, an ethicist with the National Institutes of Health, the federal health authority in the US, admitted that patients who are routinely declared dead for purposes of organ “harvesting” are in fact alive and that removing their organs kills them.

Pro-life objectors to the practice of “non-heart beating organ donation” have long argued that it is tantamount to murdering helpless patients, reducing human persons to mere organ farms. The article proposes, however, that this is simply not a problem. Killing a patient who has lost all functional “abilities” and autonomy, “cannot disrespect her autonomy, because she has no autonomy left. It also cannot be unfair to kill her if it does her no harm.”

“Killing by itself is not morally wrong,” the authors said, “although it is still morally wrong to cause total disability.” The problem with killing is “not that the act causes loss of life or consciousness but rather that the act causes loss of all remaining abilities.”

Ozimic called the paper “obnoxious” and warned that its authors have “forgotten the lessons of the 20th century,” referring to the utilitarianism-based eugenics programmes of the pre-war Nazi government.

Ozimic quoted the famous 1941 sermon of Clemens von Galen, Cardinal Archbishop of – known as the “Lion of Munster” for his opposition to the Nazi euthanasia programme: “Once admit the right to kill unproductive persons…  then none of us can be sure of his life.”

Ozimic said that if it is allowed to continue the concept will spell the end of our current understanding of medicine as doing good for human persons.

“We shall be at the mercy of any committee that can put a man on the list of unproductives. There will be no police protection, no court to avenge the murder and inflict punishment upon the murderer. Who can have confidence in any doctor?”

But the article’s authors admit that the situation is already grave from the point of view of traditional medical ethics. The so-called “dead donor rule,” they say, is already “routinely violated” in transplant practice anyway.

In order to be consistent with “traditional medical ethics” the practice of organ transplants, already a multi-billion dollar international medical industry, would have to be stopped immediately. But stopping organ transplants on the mere grounds that it kills people, they said, would be “extremely harmful and unreasonable from an ethical point of view.”

Ozimic critiqued the paper, saying, “According to some doctor, or because of the decision of some committee, they have no longer a right to live because they are ‘unproductive citizens’.

“The opinion is that since they can no longer make money, they are obsolete machines, comparable with some old cow that can no longer give milk or some horse that has gone lame. What is the lot of unproductive machines and cattle? They are destroyed.” But men and women, Ozimic said, are neither machines nor cattle who can be discarded when they no longer serve someone else’s needs. 

“Here we are dealing with human beings, with our neighbours, brothers and sisters, the poor and invalids . . . unproductive - perhaps! But have they, therefore, lost the right to live? Have you or I the right to exist only because we are ‘productive’?”

Shocking as it may sound to the layman’s ears, however, the article’s position is not unusual in the bioethics community. The notion that the value of human life is founded upon the individual’s abilities has become run-of-the-mill in universities and, more crucially, in hospital ethics committees. It was popularised by Peter Singer, the professor of ethics at Princeton University, who infamously proposed that parents have the power to convey personhood upon their newborn children and should be allowed to kill them at will.

The fixation on autonomy, one of the three “principles” that utilitarian secular bioethics regards as the ultimate indicators of human value, has driven much of the international pressure for legalised euthanasia. Around the world, secular bioethicists supported the killing of Terri Schindler Schiavo on the grounds that her “autonomy” was permanently impaired.

Experts have noted that this form of bioethics, as distinct from classical, Hippocratic medical ethics, has since the 1970s become the leading stream of thought in most medical organisations in developed countries. The movement has succeeded in legalising euthanasia in the Netherlands and Belgium and assisted suicide in three US states.

In addition to outright euthanasia and legalised assisted suicide, other means of killing patients are sneaking in under the legal radar in response to the demands of autonomy-obsessed Bioethics. “Terminal sedation” and death by dehydration or withdrawal of life-saving drugs and treatments have become common causes of death among elderly and disabled patients in the UK, Canada and across Europe.

Tags: euthanasia, organ donation

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Euthanasia In Europe: from horror to hope

by Carlos Beltramo Wed Feb 08 13:51 EST Comments (1)

February 8, 2012 (Pop.org)- The problems of euthanasia and end-of-life issues are extremely complicated ones, and trying to solve these problems through legislation is often difficult. While the intentional killing of an innocent human being is always morally wrong, one cannot deny that there are real-world cases where the line blurs between what is permitted and what is not.

That being said, there are certain things that should always be prohibited. Murder is always wrong — euthanasia is clearly murder. And nations that accept euthanasia (like Holland or Belgium) quickly land on the slippery slope toward a more generalized disrespect for life.

For instance, in the Netherlands (where euthanasia has been legal since 2002) it is now legal to kill babies and children with certain neurological disorders, like spina bifida. When I attended the Pontifical Council for Life in 2008, I met Dr. T.H.R. de Jong, who spoke at length about the Netherlands and the inhumanity he found there. He talked about how easily he could demonstrate that the diseases that these children were being murdered for were not terminal.

Many children with spina bifida, de Jong contended, are able to lead productive and comfortable lives. According to him: “There is no reason whatsoever for active life-termination of these newborns.” Dr. de Jong was intensely frustrated by the fact that, in his own country, no one was even remotely interested in listening to him on these matters.

But now he has a new hope. Last January, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) approved a Resolution against euthanasia. According to the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ): “this is the first time in recent decades that euthanasia has been so clearly rejected by a European political institution.”

According to European Dignity Watch, “… this is a third major victory for life and dignity of the weakest, after the 2010 resolution that strengthened freedom of conscience for doctors and medical staff and after the European Court of Human Rights asserted last year that there is no right to euthanasia or assisted suicide under the European Convention.”

The Resolution defines the principles that should govern the practice of “living wills” or “advance directives” in Europe. It also emphasizes obligation that physicians have to take into account the desire of the patient when life-saving procedures are being decided. The directives may apply, for example, when there is doubt about whether to resuscitate a patient or to continue to use extraordinary means to maintain his or her life, according to the news agency Zenit.

To prevent abuses, the Resolution employs extremely clear and precise language: “Euthanasia, in the sense of the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit, must always be prohibited.” (n. 5)

This is very good news.

Additionally the Resolution strongly defines the exact life principles that the legislators need to take into account when discussing “living wills.” First off, they are to only be drawn up for adults (thus prohibiting the Dutch practices of creating them for children) and secondly, “… prior instructions contained in advance directives and/or living wills which are against the law, or good practice, […] should not be applied”.

And lastly, in the words of pro-life Italian legislator Luca Volanté: “Surrogate decisions that rely on general value judgements present in society should not be admissible and, in case of doubt, the decision must always be pro-life and the prolongation of life.”

But the road has just begun.

This Resolution is not binding. Pro-life leaders across Europe now need to pressure their respective governments to actually make legislative change. But now they have a new powerful weapon for do that.

But the moral victory is there, to be sure. In the words of Grégor Puppinck, Director of ECJL: “This resolution is a clear indication that the growing majority of Europeans are opposed to euthanasia. The many abuses occurring in the countries allowing euthanasia are alarming and constitute violations of true human rights. It is convincing that euthanasia must always be prohibited. The small number of European States allowing euthanasia shall review their legislation according to the principles set forth by the PACE.”

Carlos Beltramo is the Population Research Institute’s European Correspondent. This article first appeared at pop.org and is reprinted with permission.

Tags: euthanasia

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Deny Communion to Pelosi urge canon lawyer, popular priest-blogger

by Patrick B. Craine Wed Feb 08 13:49 EST Comments (44)

 
Nancy Pelosi
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After pro-abortion House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defied America’s bishops last week by proclaiming she would stand with her “fellow Catholics” in support of President Obama’s contraception mandate, one of the web’s most prominent priest-bloggers has issued an impassioned plea for her bishops to deny her Holy Communion in accord with canon law.

“For the good of souls, Nancy Pelosi must be denied Holy Communion and the Catholic people should be informed that she is being denied Holy Communion,” wrote Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (aka Fr. Z) on his blog Tuesday.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf is calling on Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco and Cardinal Donald Wuerl to invoke canon 915, which states that those who have been “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

Niederauer has said in the past that he was considering denying Pelosi Communion, but Wuerl has said such an act would turn the Eucharist into a “weapon.”

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The priest got support Tuesday from leading canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters, who holds the Edmund Cardinal Szoka Chair at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and serves as a consultant to the Vatican’s highest court.

On his In the Light of the Law blog, Dr. Peters writes that Pelosi is perhaps the best case for applying canon 915 in the United States.

“If her prolonged public conduct does not qualify as obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin, then, in all sincerity, I must admit to not knowing what would constitute obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin,” he writes.

Last Wednesday, a CNSnews.com reporter asked Pelosi if she would stand with her fellow Catholics in resisting the contraception mandate, which would force Catholic institutions to offer coverage of contraception to employees.

In reply, Pelosi, a self-professed devout Catholic, said, “First of all, I am going to stick with my fellow Catholics in supporting the Administration on this. I think it was a very courageous decision that they made, and I support it.”

Catholics have been calling for Pelosi’s bishops to invoke canon 915 for many years, but her remarks last week were particularly poignant as at least 169 Catholic bishops across the country, representing over 90% of the country’s dioceses, have blasted the mandate, in many cases ensuring that letters were read to the faithful during Sunday Mass calling the mandate unconstitutional and unjust.

“Nancy Pelosi considers it consistent with what Catholics do to take a stand against the bishops in favor of a policy that would force Catholic institutions to violate the teachings of her Church,” wrote Fr. Zuhlsdorf, noting that she is one of the most visible public figures in America.

“Your Excellency?  Your Eminence?  How much longer does this have to go on?  What else does she have to do?” he asked.

To concerns that such a strong action would launch a media firestorm, Fr. Zuhlsdorf replied, “Damn straight! Let there be national repercussions and a media firestorm.”

“Nancy Pelosi has publicly chosen sides against the Catholic Church’s teachings and against the bishops,” he said. “Let her choice be publicly confirmed by those same bishops.”

According to Dr. Peters, Pelosi’s comments suggest that her views “like Pharaoh’s heart, have only hardened with time.”

“Canon 915 … is not about impositions on individual conscience, it’s about public consequences for public behavior,” he said. “It’s about taking people at their word and acknowledging the character of their actions. It’s about not pretending that people don’t really mean what they repeatedly say and what they repeatedly do.”

“My view is that Nancy Pelosi deserves to be deprived of holy Communion to bring home to her and to the wider faith community the gravity of her conduct and the need to avoid such conduct altogether or, that failing, at least to repent of it. Quickly,” he said.

“Nancy Pelosi obviously means exactly what she says, and she regularly backs up her words with deeds. She deserves to be taken seriously. Very seriously,” he added.

LifeSiteNews.com did not hear back from the Archdioceses of San Francisco or Washington by press time.

To contact Archbishop Niederauer:
info@sfarchdiocese.org

To contact Cardinal Wuerl:
chancery@adw.org

Tags: abortion, birth control mandate, nancy pelos, obama

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Strengthen family to avert social collapse: new report

by Peter Baklinski Wed Feb 08 13:37 EST Comments (1)

 
Andrea Mrozek

OTTAWA, Ontario, February 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Data released this week from the 2011 Canadian census shows an encouraging “small increase” in the country’s overall fertility rate - a rate that has seen an upward trend since 2003, rising from 1.53 to the current rate of about 1.7. The replacement level birth rate is 2.1 children per woman.

As demographers celebrate the small uptick in the fertility rate, a Canadian marriage and family think tank is raising awareness that a sustainable birth rate and a flourishing economy goes hand-in-hand with stable marriage.

“Anyway you slice it, a healthy society that has enough people to support its elders needs to have the replacement rate of 2.1,” said Andrea Mrozek to LifeSiteNews. Mrozek is the manager of research and communications at the Institute for Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC).

Despite the uptick in the country’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR), Mrozek called Canadian demographics “troubling,” pointing out that it remains at a level that is “not sustainable.”

“We don’t have people to support our parents and grandparents,” she said.

Mrozek pointed to research co-sponsored by the IMFC where an a panel of experts in economics, demographics, and social structures found that “the long-term fortunes of the modern economy rise and fall with the family.”

The report, titled “The sustainable demographic dividend: What do marriage and fertility have to do with the economy?” highlighted the foreboding problem faced by western societies including Canada of an increasing elderly population as the productive working-age population stagnates or shrinks.

Data from Statistics Canada has indicated that within a decade there will be more Canadians over the age of 65 than under the age of 15.

“The lesson here is that nations wishing to enjoy robust economic growth and viable welfare states over the long-term must maintain fertility rates high enough to avoid shrinking workforces and rapidly aging populations,” the authors of the report related.

One aspect of the problem the authors make clear is that it is not simply the quantity of the up-and-coming generation that is essential to economic growth, but also the quality of that generation.

The authors found that children reared outside of an intact family are “significantly less likely to acquire the human and social capital they need to become well-adjusted, productive workers.”

The authors found that “divorce, non-marital childbearing, and delayed or foregone marriage” allows for a large numbers of children and adults to “spend a major portion of their lives outside of an intact, married family.” The authors highlighted recent statistics that show that more than one in three children in western countries are born outside of a stable marriage.

“Our research suggests that large sectors of the modern economy are more likely to flourish when men and women marry and have children,” they said.

To avert a future social collapse the authors are calling on businesses, government, civil society, and ordinary citizens to “strengthen the family.” They have proposed a number of suggestions and family policies that they say are “appropriate” measures to inject new life into an aging society.

One measure calls for the government to “honour work-family ideals of all women” by recognizing “diversity among women” and focusing not only on the needs of working mothers but on needs of home-centered mothers.

Another measure calls for the government to “support marriage and responsible parenthood”.

“There are limits to what any government can or should do to promote marriage as an institution. Nonetheless, public policy should stop penalizing marriage and should also support initiatives to educate the public about the benefits of marriage and the hazards of single parenthood. This is no different in kind from government efforts to educate the public about the benefits of properly installed car seats for children or the hazards of smoking.”

A further measure calls for a “clean up” of the culture.

“Television and other global media, as we’ve already seen, appear to have played a big role in driving birth and marriage rates down. From pop stars’ efforts to push the sexual envelope, to Hollywood films, violent video games, and ubiquitous Internet pornography, the global media sends a strong message to young people around the world that a family-centered way of life is passé.”

As a final measure, the authors call for political authorities to “respect the role of religion as a prenatal force.”

“Childlessness and small families are increasingly common among secularists. Meanwhile, in Europe and the Americas, as well as in Israel, the rest of the Middle East, and beyond, there is a strong correlation between adherence to orthodox Christian, Islamic, or Judaic religious values and larger, stable families.”

“In recognition of the contribution that religion makes to family life and fertility, governments should not persecute people of faith for holding or expressing views that are informed by religious tradition, including ones that buck progressive or nationalist sensibilities.”

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Tags: canada, marriage

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I’m still here: Santorum snatches all three Tuesday state contests

by Kathleen Gilbert Wed Feb 08 13:03 EST Comments (9)

 
Rick Santorum

February 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Former Senator Rick Santorum has proved that anyone thinking the GOP primary had come down to a two-man race between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich underestimated him.

In a surprising sweep, Santorum took the most votes in the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses, as well as the Missouri primary, where he beat his rivals by an easy 30-point margin. His finish with a 5-point lead in Colorado was perhaps the most surprising, as the state was widely expected to fall to Mitt Romney.

The sudden comeback after seeming to peak at a razor-thin victory in the Iowa caucuses marked another shift in a GOP primary race whose four remaining contenders continue striving to prove their longevity.

“I don’t stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama,” Santorum, seen by many as the top pro-life candidate, told a crowd in Missouri Tuesday night.

Ron Paul, who also has a share of pro-life conservative loyalties, placed second with 27 percent in Minnesota, pushing Romney to third at 17 percent despite the latter’s endorsement from Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Santorum led the state at 45 percent.

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich, who has won only one out of the first five state contests, didn’t break third place in any of Tuesday’s contests. None of the candidates campaigned strongly in any of the states, some of which were less than serious: the real Missouri caucus is slated for next month.

Both Gingrich and Paul expressed optimism that victory would be secured with enough delegates to vote for them at the Republican national convention. Santorum gathered at least 28 delegates Tuesday night, bringing his total to 45; Romney currently leads with 107, Gingrich has 32, and Paul nine.

Mitt Romney congratulated Santorum for his “good night” on Tuesday. The former Massachusetts governor in recent days combated the rising threat from Santorum by attacking his stance in favor of congressional earmarks, and hinted in the hours before the caucuses that his own campaign didn’t expect to win every battle.

“I want to congratulate Sen. Santorum, but I expect to become the nominee with your help,” Romney told a crowd of supporters in Denver. A public memo from Romney’s political director noted that 2008 GOP nominee John McCain “lost 19 states in 2008, and we expect our opponents will notch a few wins, too.”

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Tags: abortion, election 2012, rick santorum

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First private, door-to-door euthanasia service opens in Netherlands

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Wed Feb 08 11:35 EST Comments (9)

 

February 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Netherlands Right-to-Die Association (NVVE) has announced that it will soon fulfill a promise made last year to open a private euthanasia “clinic” that offers door-to-door service, for people who can’t convince their regular doctor to kill them.

According to reports in the Spanish and Portuguese-language press, the clinic will serve clients who wish to end their lives, but have been refused help from doctors for “ethical” reasons. A report by Radio Netherlands says that the organization has mentioned patients who are “in the early stages of dementia and those suffering from chronic psychiatric problems.”

The NVVE intends to maintain six mobile teams consisting of one doctor and one nurse; the service will start March 1 in the Hague.  The organization estimates that it will receive one thousand euthanasia requests annually.

Euthanasia has been practiced with impunity in the Netherlands for decades, and the law has permitted the practice explicitly since 2002, when a measure was passed allowing doctors to kill patients who experience “lasting and unbearable” suffering, and who freely request it.

Under the Groningen Protocol, the Netherlands also permits the euthanasia of disabled newborn babies.

As LifeSiteNews has reported previously, euthanasia advocates have since pushed for broader euthanasia rights, for those who are without the use of their faculties, and even healthy patients who wish to die.

Although the Dutch medical profession has shown itself to be broadly accepting of euthanasia, the announcement by the NVVE provoked a worried response from the Federation of Dutch Physicians.”

“In the worst of cases, people could die who perhaps could have received some other type of help,” the Federation said.

The NVVE insists that its mobile euthanasia teams will work with family doctors “if possible,” in the words of Radio Netherlands, and says that it “will conform to the Euthanasia Law” of 2002.  However, such assurances are unlikely to appease critics, due to conflicting interpretations of the law offered by the medical profession and the courts.

“The mobile euthanasia teams are a direct effort to eliminate the lives of people with disabilities,” Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition told LifeSiteNews. “This is also a specific form of elder abuse because frail, elderly people who are unable to request euthanasia will be dying by euthanasia through these mobile teams.”

Tags: euthanasia, netherlands

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‘The single biggest mistake of my entire life’: a letter from a post-abortive woman

by Arland Nichols Wed Feb 08 10:56 EST Comments (34)

 

The following unsigned letter was received by a priest friend of mine following a pro-life homily. Her message is a powerful one that deserves to be heard by and shared with all young women and parents in a similar situation. I am happy to share her witness with you:

Do you ever hear a homily or Bible verse and feel as if God is directly speaking to you?

This weekend I wasn’t sure if I would go to church or skip it for the week. I was tired, I had a long week and frankly, I didn’t want to be out in public dealing with arguing and talkative children who have to go potty just to get out of their seats.

In spite of my brain saying to skip Sunday Mass, my heart forced the keys into the ignition and I found my way to church.

As I sat in the pew with my little family, I listened intently as the uncomfortable topic of abortion came up. At that very moment, I knew God was talking to me. Sharing His forgiveness and unconditional love and also sending a message by tugging on my heart that I need to share my story.

I am one of you. I am Catholic, a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter and a friend. I am a sinner, and by the Grace of God, I am forgiven. I could be sitting next to you at this very moment and you don’t even know it. I am one of those people you would never guess had a dark story behind me. While I don’t feel compelled to disclose my identity, I do feel the story behind the person is important and should be shared.

Abortion is one of those subjects that make people squirm in their seats and rightfully so. It is an act that destroys virtually everything we’re taught to respect in the Bible. Our bodies, love between all parties (including the baby), the sexual act itself and especially the fact that once conception has occurred, there is a human being where there once was none.

So many people try to convince mothers facing an unintended pregnancy that the “product of conception” (aka: the baby) is simply “tissue”. Pro-choice individuals attempt to dilute the fact that once the sperm fertilizes the egg, there is now a living human being; a very tiny person who already has a purpose and dignity given by God.

When I was 15, I found myself going out with a boy who I came to truly believe was the love of my life. We knew more than our parents and defied every attempt to keep us apart. Sneaking out nightly to meet somewhere between his house and mine was more common than not and very soon thereafter, I found myself giving him the most sacred gift God had given me.

I absolutely had the mindset that “it won’t happen to me.” I knew how pregnancy happened and I knew we weren’t using any contraception, but I still was in denial that I might find myself pregnant.

I will never forget the feeling that went through my body as I sat in the bathroom of the grocery store after taking that pregnancy test and seeing two very bright lines come up in the little square. My legs went weak. I felt like I was going to faint. I was shaking uncontrollably. I was crying.

I called out for my boyfriend who was waiting outside the door and he came inside. It was the middle of the night and nobody was even around to notice a guy walking into the women’s bathroom to hold onto a young girl now facing a very adult situation.

We left the grocery store and headed to his sister’s house. Once we got there, we called my parents. They did not realize that I was even gone until the phone rang. They thought all along that I was in my bed sleeping. Through my hysteria, they guessed that I was pregnant after a few questions. This is where the situation could have gone one of two ways, and unfortunately, it went downhill and very fast.

It was made clear that I was a shame to the family. It was continuously reiterated that if I chose to continue with the pregnancy, I would not be allowed outside of the house for nine months. I had brought such disgrace to our family and I now wore the Scarlet Letter.

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Feeling as if I had already done such an injustice to the family name, I felt pressured to “get rid of the pregnancy” to save face and spare the family any more humiliation than I already caused. In spite of my parents telling me they would not force me to make a decision either way, I felt as if I had no choice if they were going to ever love me again.

It wasn’t the baby that I didn’t want. I simply didn’t want for my parents to hate me anymore.

The first appointment I made was to hear a doctor tell me I was not far along enough to “achieve the goal” of termination due to a tilted uterus. He sent me home and told me to return in four weeks.

As time went on, I endured daily comments about how disappointed my family was that I had chosen to gallivant around and get myself pregnant. I had horrible morning sickness and was so thin that I was already starting to show. My parents now forbade my boyfriend to have any contact with me whatsoever and my friends wanted nothing to do with me. I sat in my room and cried every hour that I was awake.

Another appointment was made for me and I went to the same doctor who had told me to return in four weeks. He tried to perform the abortion that day in the office, but due to my uterus being too far tilted still, he was unable to succeed. It was painful and terrifying. He referred me to an “abortion specialist” and I left his office, for the second time, still pregnant.

The night before my appointment with the specialist, I vividly remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom crying until I had no tears to cry. I knew what I was about to do was wrong. My heart hurt so badly. I wanted to have the strength to say I would not have the abortion but I was desperate for my parents love and approval again. As I sat there curled up in a ball crying, I physically and very clearly heard a strong yet soft man’s voice in the darkness of my bedroom.

The only words spoken were, “Don’t do it.”

The day of my abortion, both of my parents took me. I was led to a very cold room and given an IV to put me to sleep. I don’t remember anything of the actual abortion itself.

When I woke up, I was told it was over and was given Oreo cookies and orange juice. Immediately I regretted what I had just done. I had 13 long weeks to make this decision and it was suddenly crystal clear that I made the wrong choice but I could no longer go back and undo it. To this day, the abortion is the single biggest mistake of my entire life. My dad carried me out of the building and the details afterwards are very foggy.

Seventeen years later, there has not been a single day go by that I haven’t wondered about the baby whose life was cut short because of a choice. I look at my children now with the knowledge of having robbed them the chance to have an older sibling that they have never even heard about. Knowing I took the only opportunity for the father of the baby to have a child of his own. Living with such mental and emotional distress that not only I, but my husband now has to deal with, and finally, wondering each day if I am truly forgiven and if I will be allowed into heaven after I die.

I can say with 100% conviction that absolutely nothing positive came from my abortion.

Looking back now that I am an adult, I find myself asking what my parents could have done differently once I was in the situation that may have led me to keep the baby or put him or her up for adoption by choosing life. I’ve played over a hundred times in my head what I will say to any of my children if they come to me pregnant or having gotten someone pregnant.

If you are the parent to a pre-teen or teenager, please rehearse what you would do if your child finds themselves facing an unintended pregnancy, and talk with your spouse about it. So many parents say “not me, not my child,” but I am living proof of being a teenager who would go to any length to do what I wanted to do. My parents did not realize I wasn’t even a virgin until the night I called to tell them I was pregnant. Sure they asked me, but I lied and they believed me. They had no idea I had been sneaking around seeing my boyfriend at night.

If your child comes to you and tells you that she is pregnant, or that he got someone pregnant, please reach out and hug your child. Hug her with depth, sincerity and love. Hold her and let her cry. Cry with her and let her know everything will be okay and that you will stick by her and make the right choices with her. Most importantly, remind her that she is loved by you and God, No Matter What.

At this point, what’s done is done and your child is already scared. She has already judged herself and feels horrible for letting you down. She needs your support and she needs you, in your maturity, to think clearly for her and to do everything in your power to not allow her to have an abortion. She will regret it and if you allow it, someday, you will wish you had your grandchild to celebrate with. Some regrets are so painful they cut deeper than a knife and leave scars that never heal.

If you are a teenager listening to my story, please realize that someone has been in your shoes before. I’ve been “in love” with a boy who cared more about physical desires than my true well being.

If a boy or girl truly loves you, he or she will support and encourage you in putting God first and staying out of situations where you may find yourself feeling very alone and scared with another life on the line.

If you are currently facing an unintended pregnancy, know that God chooses to make every single baby inside each pregnant womb and He makes no mistakes. All conceived children have meaning and purpose, regardless if the timing is right for you or not.

To this day, 17 years later, I know in my heart, the voice I heard the night before my abortion was the voice of God. I will never get over knowing that I heard, out loud, the voice of God who told me not to do something and I chose to do it anyway.

I don’t know how many of you will remember my story, but if I can positively impact the life of only one person, then it was not written in vain.

Remember that it is never too late to start over. It is never too late to turn around and decide to make the right choices going forward. It is never too late to come to God and decide to walk the right path, even if the one you’ve been on isn’t the best.

The message to take away from my story is that abortion is wrong. You know it, I know it. I knew it and did it anyway. Seventeen years later, I am still suffering the consequences of it.

No matter what, know in your heart of hearts that it is not, hasn’t ever been, and will never be “just tissue.” From the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg, there is a human being with purpose, with meaning, created by God. Please do not deny God’s gifts and please learn from my horrible mistake. You will be glad you did. I promise. Some things cannot be undone. Ever.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Arland K. Nichols is the National Director of HLI America. He writes for the Truth and Charity Forum, where this letter first appeared. It is reprinted with permission.

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Military silences Catholic archbishop’s opposition to birth control mandate

by Kathleen Gilbert Wed Feb 08 10:40 EST Comments (6)

 
Archbishop Timothy Broglio in Iraq.

Updated: Feb. 8 at 2:42 pm.

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A letter from the military archbishop saying that Catholics “must not” obey the impending birth control mandate from the Obama administration was barred from being read from pulpits by Catholic priests and edited by military officials that saw the criticism as an incitement to disobey the Commander in Chief.

Like nearly all other Catholic bishops in the U.S., Archbishop Timothy Broglio had written a letter to be read at all Sunday masses for U.S. military personnel denouncing the new rule that will force Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to provide sterilizations and abortifacient drugs.

“Unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to choose between violating our consciences or dropping health coverage for our employees (and suffering the penalties for doing so),” wrote Broglio. “We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens.” The prelate called for prayer and fasting “that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored.”

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However, the Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains sent its own communiqué forbidding Catholic chaplains from reading the letter based on what he saw as a call to civil disobedience and thus a challenge to the authority of President Obama as head of the armed forces.

Although one source reports that many priests read the letter anyway, Broglio has acknowledged that another version of the letter will be sent out that removes the “unjust law” sentence at the behest of military officials. Nonetheless, the prelate condemned the move blocking the original letter as a serious violation of Constitutional rights.

“Archbishop Broglio and the Archdiocese stand firm in the belief, based on legal precedent, that such a directive from the Army constituted a violation of his Constitutionally-protected right of free speech and the free exercise of religion, as well as those same rights of all military chaplains and their congregants,” said the archbishop’s office in a statement.

The office further noted “Following a discussion between Archbishop Broglio and the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable John McHugh, it was agreed that it was a mistake to stop the reading of the Archbishop’s letter.” The original wording of the archbishop’s letter remains available on the archdiocese’s website.

The archdiocese reportedly took further steps to ensure the integrity of its free speech rights, in the form of a letter to Catholic priests encouraging them to contact the Military Archdiocesan lawyer in case of further repercussions from the military.

Tags: birth control mandate, obama, timothy broglio

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