Monday, February 27, 2012

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Evidence shows notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller did iIlegal abortions for years

by Cheryl Sullenger Mon Feb 27 18:25 EST Comments (0)

 
George Tiller and Ann Kristin Neuhaus

Topeka, KS, Feburary 27, 2012 (OperationRescue.org) – An Initial Order released by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts on February 21, 2012, revoking the medical license of abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus includes evidence showing that late-term abortionist George Tiller was doing illegal late-term abortions for at least seven years.

“If the evidence presented in Neuhaus’ case had been presented during Tiller’s criminal trial, there is no doubt that he would have been convicted of illegal late-term abortions,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “This shows that Tiller was doing illegal abortions based on phony mental health excuses for at least seven years.”

The revocation order is expected to be finalized by the full Board in April and is the result of a complaint filed in 2006 by this author.

Neuhaus provided the second referral that Tiller needed in order to legally justify the expensive post-viability abortions that were his specialty — and his bread and butter. Each referral issued by Neuhaus was based on a mental health diagnosis that she claimed justified the late-term abortions. She certified that each woman met the narrow legal exception to the Kansas law banning post-viability abortions, which allowed such abortions to be done only if there was the risk that the woman would suffer a “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” if the pregnancy continued.

However, the records show that Neuhaus was incompetent. She failed to conduct proper mental health evaluations on eleven patients that she referred to Tiller for post-viability abortions. Her diagnoses were a sham.

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In fact, Administrative Judge Edward J. Gaschler indicated that there is no evidence that Neuhaus ever personally evaluated the women beyond having them answer yes or no questions that were plugged into a computer program called PsychManager Lite, which automatically generated a diagnosis. For Patient #8, there was no evidence that Neuhaus ever saw her at all. The only information about the individual circumstances of each woman in Neuhaus’ patient records came not from her own observations, but from intake forms generated by unlicensed workers at Tiller’s clinic.

“Based upon the evidence, the Licensee [Neuhaus] simply completed yes/no questions and answers and whatever diagnosis the computer gave, she assigned that diagnosis. This method of practicing medicine does not meet the applicable standard of care,” wrote Judge Gaschler.

He concluded, “The care and treatment of the 11 patients in question was seriously jeopardized by the Licensee’s care.”

Suspicious dates reveal illegal abortions

In addition, the dates on some of Neuhaus’ computer-generated reports were indicators that late-term abortions were being done illegally.

For example, Neuhaus’s reports for Patients #2, #6, #9, #10, and #11 were all generated and time-stamped after the dates that these women’s abortions already began. Tiller’s records showed that Patient #10 had her initial appointment on October 4, 2003, yet Neuhaus’ diagnosis report is dated November 13, 2003, nearly six weeks after the abortion would have taken place.

For one file, that of Patient #5, the computer diagnosis reports were generated on August 7, 2003, but that date was crossed out and changed on the forms to August 12 and 13, 2003. The date that Tiller’s office indicated that Neuhaus had an appointment with Patient #5 was August 12, 2003. No explanation for the discrepancies was ever given.

“It appears that diagnoses were being generated after the abortions had already begun, which would have constituted a violation of the law,” said Newman. “One was generated ahead of time before Neuhaus had any opportunity to interview the patient. This only confirms the long-held belief that Neuhaus was rubber-stamping late-term abortions for Tiller without any sound medical basis so he could collect on the huge fees he charged for such abortions, which ranged in price from $5,000 to in excess of $18,000 depending on the circumstances.”

No basis for mental health diagnoses

In all patients, Neuhaus failed to perform mental health evaluations, review the patient’s medical and social history, or make any kind of proper examination. She made no notations that indicated she ever spoke to the patients beyond the yes/no questions asked by her PsychManager Lite program, which was essentially meant to be a teaching tool for students of psychiatry. The program contained cautionary statements that the program should only be used in conjunction with proper mental health evaluations by skilled professionals. Facts in the Neuhaus case showed she was neither skilled nor did she conduct proper evaluations.

Discussion at Neuhaus’ disciplinary hearing showed that one problem with the computer-generated diagnoses was that some of the questions were compound, which gave no indication to the patient’s true condition or state of mind. An example of this was one question that asked if the patient had experienced any weight gain or loss. If the answer was “yes” there was no way to know if the weight was gained or lost. Weight gain is normal and healthy in pregnancy, yet the computer would count that as an indicator of possible mental health issues.

“These diagnoses amounted to quackery,” said Newman. “The computer program could make normal and healthy conditions of late-term pregnancy such as weight gain, trouble sleeping, and lack of interest in participating in aggressive sporting activities, appear to be symptoms of mental illness. This was all to give the appearance that the abortions were medically justified, when in fact they were not.”

When Neuhaus’ computer programs conflicted in their conclusions, or when her conclusions differed from that on Tiller’s intake forms, she never attempted to determine which conclusion was the correct one. She simply ignored them.

Alleged suicidal ideation ignored

Neuhaus’ computer reports indicated that some patients were suicidal, yet there was not one bit of information in the reports on which to base such a diagnosis. Neuhaus never referred these women for counseling of any kind. The only referral they received was for a late-term abortion.

“If the Licensee sincerely believed that the patients were seriously mentally ill, it would seem likely that a treating physician would recommend treatment for these rather serious mental illnesses. Yet, the Licensee ignored these alleged mental illnesses,” stated Judge Gaschler.

Patient #10: Unintended pregnancies cause mental health disease?

Patient #10 was an 18-year old woman who was approximately 25 weeks pregnant. According to Tiller’s records, Neuhaus’ appointment with her was October 4, 2003. However, the computerized forms that indicated her diagnosis of Acute Stress Disorder, Severe, was not generated until November 13, 2003, nearly six weeks after the abortion took place.

In order to qualify for that particular diagnosis, a patient must have “experienced witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to physical integrity.” Neuhaus recorded no such event that could have been the basis of the diagnosis for Patient #10.

Under questioning at Neuhaus’ disciplinary hearing, Neuhaus testified that the traumatic event in the patient’s life was the unintended pregnancy.

“This would lead to a conclusion that any unintended pregnancy causes the mental health condition of the pregnant woman to be Acute Distress Disorder,” wrote Judge Gaschler. “There is nothing in the patient file to support this. The Licensee did not document this in Patient #10’s file.”

Stipulation blocked this evidence in Tiller’s trial

On March 23, 2009, Neuhaus’ employer, George Tiller, faced opening arguments in his criminal trial on 19 counts of violating K.S.A 65-6703, a state law that at that time banned post-viability abortions unless the abortionist “has a documented referral from another physician not legally or financially affiliated with the physician performing or inducing the abortion and both physicians determine that: (1) The abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman; or (2) a continuation of the pregnancy will cause a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”

On March 12, 2009, just 11 days before the trial, Asst. Attorney General Barry Disney entered into a stipulation agreement with Tiller’s lawyers that prevented the evidence from reaching the jury that was later presented in Neuhaus’ disciplinary case.

Disney stipulated that the medical necessity of the abortions was not in dispute because Neuhaus had given Tiller “documented referrals” after she determined that continuation of the pregnancy would cause “substantial and irreversible impairment” to the woman.

This effectively took Neuhaus’ incompetence and unsubstantiated, dubious diagnoses off the table, leaving only the matter of whether or not Neuhaus and Tiller enjoyed an improper financial or legal affiliation.

The jury never heard about the diagnoses made days or weeks after the abortions, or about the concerns that Neuhaus never reviewed patient histories or conducted proper mental health evaluations. They never knew about Patient #8, who was never seen by Neuhaus at all, yet was referred by her for an abortion without having made any recorded diagnosis. The term “PsychManager Lite” was never heard by the jury, nor the fact that the diagnoses used to justify otherwise illegal post-viability abortions were completely baseless and without proper documentation. They never heard Neuhaus’ outlandish theory that unintended pregnancies by default make women mentally ill.

In fact, Disney’s only witness for the prosecution was a very hostile and defiant Neuhaus who made sure everyone knew she resented being forced to testify against her friend Tiller.

It is no wonder that the jury found him “not guilty” in less than an hour. They were blocked from hearing the real evidence that crimes had been committed. Had the jury been allowed to hear the real facts in that case, which were heard by an Administrative Judge in the Neuhaus disciplinary hearings, there can be no doubt that guilty verdicts would have been reached, and history would have been altered.

“It is tragic to think that efforts to protect Tiller from legal accountability for his actions may have ultimately led to his demise,” said Newman.

Operation Rescue complaint placed Tiller’s license in jeopardy

Just moments after the jury read the “not guilty” verdicts in Tiller’s criminal trial, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts announced that an 11-count petition against Tiller had been filed by them and would proceed despite the criminal verdicts. That petition was based on the same complaint filed by Operation Rescue that led to Neuhaus’ recent disciplinary action.

“If the Board was willing to revoke Neuhaus’ medical license on counts nearly identical to Tiller’s charges, it would also have revoked Tiller’s license as well,” said Newman. “Tiller’s murder just two months after his trial tragically prevented him from being brought to proper justice. His killer was frustrated by the erroneous belief that the system was broken and could not work. In fact, the system was working, despite efforts to subvert it.”

LeRoy Carhart, an abortionist who worked for Tiller, publicly stated that Tiller had announced his retirement to his staff just two weeks before his death. It appeared that Tiller may have been planning to retire his license rather than submit to Board discipline.

Truth leads to victory

There can be no doubt now that the bogus mental health diagnoses that were used to justify late-term abortions on paper were without basis and were concocted by Neuhaus in order to help Tiller circumvent the law. The post-viability abortions that Neuhaus referred to Tiller were done illegally. It has finally been proven through peaceful, legal means.

“Thankfully, Neuhaus’ quackery has been exposed and she will never do another abortion. Her medical license is currently restricted and her revocation order will soon be finalized, bringing to close the final chapter in the Tiller abortion crime spree that spanned four decades and victimized thousands of viable babies whose mothers came to Wichita for late-term abortions from every state,” said Newman. “This is a victory for every pro-life supporter in the country.”

Tags: abortion, ann kristin neuhaus, george tiller, operation rescue

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Indiana senator refuses to honor Girl Scouts because of Planned Parenthood connection

by Christine Dhanagom Mon Feb 27 17:47 EST Comments (13)

 
Sen. Bob Morris

INDIANAPOLIS, February 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A conservative Indiana legislator who was vilified for refusing to honor the Girl Scouts of America has been vindicated by recent evidence of more ties between the scouting organization and Planned Parenthood, says Indiana Right to Life.

State Sen. Bob Morris circulated a letter to colleagues earlier this month explaining that he would not sign a resolution honoring the Girl Scout’s 100th anniversary because of “disturbing” information he had found about the organization’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Morris cited a Planned Parenthood brochure which was made available to participants at a United Nations panel hosted by the Girl Scouts, adding that the problem was widespread in the organization, since many troop leaders indoctrinated girls “according to the principles of Planned Parenthood.”

He also expressed concern that the organization was promoting the homosexual lifestyle, and noted that some Girl Scout troops had allowed “transgender” boys to join their ranks.

“As members of the Indiana House of Representatives, we must be wise before we use the credibility and respect of the ‘Peoples’ House’ to extend legitimacy to a radicalized organization,” he wrote, in the February 18th email.

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Morris became the target of ridicule after his email was leaked to the press. His fellow Republican, House Speaker Brian Bosma, told the AP that he had purchased 278 cases of Girl Scout cookies and was handing them out to fellow members in response to Morris’ comments.

Press reports trumpeted statements from both Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michigan denying that any relationship existed between the two organizations.

Morris later apologized for the tone of the letter which he said, was “emotional, reactionary, and inflammatory.” However, he defended his stance against the resolution, which he said was based not on local problems with Girl Scout troops in Indiana, but the organization’s national policies.

The Girl Scout’s connections to Planned Parenthood have been confirmed by Girl Scout CEO Kathy Cloninger, who stated in a 2004 interview on the NBC Today Show that the organization partners with Planned Parenthood in its sex education efforts, Morris said.

A subsequent survey conducted by STOPP International found that around 25% of councils who responded to the survey said they were partnering with Planned Parenthood in some way. Sixty-five out of the country’s 249 councils responded to the survey.

The Senator wrote: “To my knowledge, the Girl Scouts USA have not rescinded, corrected or denied that statement. If the Girl Scouts USA now denies the statement of its CEO, I challenge the organization to do so publicly so that individuals are not confused as to the organization’s ties to Planned Parenthood.”

However, Indiana Right to Life is arguing that the Morris’ concerns are relevant even on the local level, based on information uncovered on a government website which revealed that a “Family Life Education Program” used by the Girl Scouts in 12 counties had been created by a Planned Parenthood employee in Bloomington, Indiana.

The employee, Anne Reese, had been posthumously awarded Bloomington’s 2009 Lifetime Contribution Award. Her biography, which appeared on the city website, stated: “Anne’s career started with Planned Parenthood in Bloomington where she worked for many years as a health and sexuality educator, and helped initiate the Family Life Education program for Girl Scouts ages five to 18 throughout a twelve-county area.”

The pro-life organization re-ignited the controversy by drawing attention to the bio in a statement released last Thursday.

“We are deeply concerned by this new information,” said Mike Fichter, Indiana Right to Life president and chief executive officer. “The Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood have both dismissed Rep. Morris’ concerns as baseless, yet the Bloomington website could not be any clearer.”

Responding to Fichter’s statement, Planned Parenthood of Indiana CEO and President Betty Cockrum claimed, in comments to the Hoosier Times, that Reese’s involvement with the Girl Scouts was volunteer work she performed on her own time, “completely separate” from her employment at Planned Parenthood.

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan told the news service that the pro-life group had made a “giant leap” based on the fact that the names of two organizations “happen to fall in the same person’s biography.”

“Seldom do I speak this bluntly, but these people are zealots with too much free time on their hands and too little common sense in their heads,” he said.

But Fichter is standing by his statement, he told LifeSiteNews in an interview.

“We should be discussing the facts found on the city of Bloomington’s website, not engaging in ad hominem attacks against pro-lifers,” he said.

According to Planned Parenthood’s own admission, a sexuality educator from the organization was a key player in developing a curriculum for the Girl Scouts, said Fichter. “Whether that was in a volunteer or paid capacity is really not the point,” he added

He noted, however, that the way the information was phrased in the bio seemed to indicate a closer relationship between the Girl Scouts and the nation’s largest abortion provider than either organization was acknowledging.

“If that is not factual, and if that information is incorrect, the city of Bloomington needs to change the info it is providing on its own website instead of lashing out at us,” said Fichter.

 

Tags: abortion, girl scouts, indiana, planned parenthood

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Catholic hospitals in seven states conducted 20,073 sterilizations in three years: study

by Ben Johnson Mon Feb 27 17:42 EST Comments (17)

 

WACO, TEXAS, February 27, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A multi-year review of 176 Catholic hospitals in seven states found that 48 percent have performed direct female sterilizations. The author of the study, Sandra Hapenney, warns this could undermine Catholic health institutions’ ability to invoke conscience clause protections to opt out of performing sterilizations.

To earn a Ph.D. in Church-State Studies at Baylor University, Hapenney requested data from 1,734 hospitals in California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Washington. Of these, 176 were Catholic hospitals that offered obstetric services.

By tracking medical codes in hospital records, she discovered nearly half of these institutions had performed female sterilizations.

That amounted to 20,073 sterilizations.

The “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2009, states, “Direct sterilization of either men or women, whether permanent or temporary, is not permitted in a Catholic health care institution.” Only indirect sterilizations, which result in infertility while treating another medical condition, are permitted.

In 2008, Bishop Alvara Corrada, then in the diocese of Tyler, Texas, forced two Catholic hospitals to stop performing tubal ligations. Hapenney found his efforts successfully ended the practice at those institutions.

After making her full dissertation available online at her website, CatholicHospitals.org, Hapenney found herself on the receiving end of criticism from the Catholic Health Association (CHA).

Fred Caesar of the CHA wrote, “We put no credence in the study” and told reporters that other health specialists said the report contains unspecified “gross errors.” Carl Middleton, vice president of theology and ethics for Catholic Health Initiatives, added that bill coding was subject to human error, although he did not point to any specific error.

Dr. Hapenney told LifeSiteNews.com her critics had not pointed out a single error in her dissertation.

Her critics charged “that the study contained ‘gross errors’ – without finding them or stating what these gross errors might be,” she said.

“There is no real doubt about the validity of the type of data used in this study since it is provided by the hospitals to the State in compliance with regulatory laws and is regularly used by researchers,” she wrote in a press release countering the objections.

“I’m asking for a retraction,” she told LifeSiteNews.com

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When she first posted the data, Hapenney says she over-counted the number of sterilizations in Indiana by five. “I immediately rechecked my data and corrected it before publishing the dissertation,” she told LifeSiteNews. “I had Baylor recheck everything, [to] assure all the data was correct.” They found she had under-counted the number of sterilizations in California by 14.

Hapenney’s faculty adviser was Dr. Francis J. Beckwith. “She went through the data very carefully, discovering only one very minor mistake that was corrected before she submitted her final version to the graduate school dissertations holdings,” Dr. Beckwith said in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. 

Hepenney tracked the number of patient records that used the medical code V25.2, a code that always indicates a voluntary sterilization. If it were an indirect procedure allowed by Catholic theology, another code to indicate the emergency would have been used, she said.

“Some Catholic health insurance policies identify the V25.2 code as something they will not pay for,” he told LifeSiteNews.com. “Med-Cal of California also saw it as an elective surgery.”

“My whole goal was to try to get the truth out,” Dr. Hapenney said.

The fact that some Catholic hospitals perform voluntary sterilizations may threaten the ability of Catholic hospitals to refuse to do so if forced, Hapenney writes. Her dissertation notes, “such diversity may pose judicial and political problems for providing protection under the conscience clauses.”

The issue has roared to life since the Obama administration’s health care reform mandates that all health insurance plan cover sterilization.

CHA President Sr. Carol Keehan had advance knowledge of the administration’s “accommodation” and offered her organization’s early support.

“I’m hoping that the bishops will now know what’s going on and will be able to come up with better or more enforceable ERDs [Ethical and Religious Directives]” so they “can look at what’s actually going on in the hospital and hold them to higher standards.”

Presently, there is no mechanism to compel anyone who sees an ethical violation in a Catholic hospital to report it. “I’m hoping that by demonstrating the magnitude of the problem, [the bishops] can develop mechanisms which will help them oversee the issues better and act on them.”

Her good intentions have not spared her heated, if imprecise, scrutiny.

“I don’t understand the harsh criticism of Dr. Hapenney’s work, since you would think that Catholic health care professionals would welcome her research as an opportunity to remedy whatever problems they may have inadvertently missed over the years,” Dr. Beckwith told LifeSiteNews.com.

“Each of us, no matter where we find ourselves in the church’s ministries, should welcome correction with humility and grace. For without that mutual oversight, we lose touch with what it means to be one body, one spirit in Christ.”

Tags: carol keehan

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Pro-abort group blasts poll showing Canadians want abortion restrictions: pollster shoots back

by Peter Baklinski Mon Feb 27 17:33 EST Comments (17)

 
Joyce Arthur

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, February 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – When an Angus Reid poll last month showed that 51% of Canadians believe there should be laws dealing with the country’s unrestricted access to abortion, and 60% of Canadians believe Ottawa should enact a law outlining whether a woman can abort her child based solely on his or her gender, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) denounced the poll’s questions as misleading and biased, saying that they “rendered the answers invalid.”

Joyce Arthur, executive director of ARCC, accused Angus Reid on The Mark a week and a half ago of “promot[ing] anti-abortion politics while pretending to be neutral and unbiased.”

But Mario Canseco, vice president of Angus Reid Public Opinion, responded on the same day in the Vancouver Sun that it is “common for people who represent lobby groups and associations with a solitary goal to express doubts when they realize that, to their astonishment, not all Canadians agree with the point of view they have chosen to defend.”

“The reaction from people who disagree with the findings because they find themselves in the minority is usually the same,” said Canseco. “’Everybody I know agrees with my point of view,’ they say. ‘So the questions have to be biased.’”

Arthur took exception to the wording of two questions which she argued were misleading to the respondents. She accused the authors of the poll of creating a false dilemma where “someone is asked to choose between only two options when other options are available.” She argued that since Canada has “successfully and responsibly” managed abortion practice since 1988 by “policies, codes of ethics, clinical protocols, and the medical discretion of health-care professionals,” then “no special laws are needed for abortion.”

“In Question 1, Angus Reid sets up this false choice between ‘a law or no law’ for abortion in general, even though both options are poor choices and framing them this way represents misinformed anti-choice propaganda,” she said.

Arthur critiqued answer 1b as “misleading” since she said that it is “simply not true” that Canadian women currently have the unrestricted right to have an abortion at any time up to the moment of birth. That answer, in response to the question of whether there should be laws on abortion, had said, “There should be no laws on this matter – a woman should have the unrestricted right to have an abortion at any time up to the moment of birth.”

“Almost all abortions occur before the end of the second trimester (24 weeks), and none at “the moment of birth,” she said.

Canseco rebutted Arthur’s arguments, saying that “the burden of a legislative issue [should not be placed] solely in the hands of medical professionals” who are not the competent authority to deal with “question[s] related to policy.”

Canseco further lambasted Arthur for taking to task the wording of the answer when ARCC’s own website defends what the organization calls a “constitutionally-based right to unrestricted, fully-funded abortion, without legal or other barriers or discrimination due to gender, class, ethnicity, race, age, location/region (or area of residence), or any other characteristic, including reasons for choosing an abortion.”

“This is not something we wrote—it is the second affirmation in the ‘Our Vision’ section of the ARCC website,” said Canseco. “Ms. Arthur now writes that this ‘unrestricted right’ does not exist, yet it certainly does in her own organization’s documentation.”

Canseco pointed out the absurdity of Arthur’s show of support for Canadian doctors who, as she had said, “adhere to medical policies and protocols that effectively restrict abortions after 20 weeks (except in critical cases)” while at the same time heading an organization that champions the “right to unrestricted… abortion.”

“It is remarkably easy for activists to render a survey as invalid when the findings show that the public disagrees with their desired outcome,” said Canseco, pointing out that “Canadians have consistently told us that they are not satisfied with the fact that there are no laws on abortion in this country.”

“We are used to this reaction. It is part of the job of figuring out what people think. Still, the only ‘false dilemma’ here occurs when Ms. Arthur, having failed to acknowledge that Canadians disagree with her point of view, endeavours to steer the conversation into the credibility of a polling company.”

Tags: abortion, canada, joyce arthur

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Confessions of a pro-life atheist – what gives me the passion to actively oppose abortion

by Bryan Kemper Mon Feb 27 16:34 EST Comments (67)

 
Patrick Ptomey

Feburary 27, 2012 (BryanKemper.com) - I recently ask my friend Patrick, a pro-life activist who is also an atheist to write a commentary about why he is pro-life. I think sometimes Christians might not understand that many non-religious people hold the pro-life position and hold it passionately. I thought this would be a great way for people who hold these views as part of their faith to understand why someone without a faith would hold the same views.

I have included a link to Patrick’s blog and I expect everyone who decides to comment or talk to him to do so with the upmost love and respect. The courage it takes for Patrick to be an active pro-lifer is way more than most Christians can understand.

Here is what Patrick wrote:

ORIGINS OF CONSENSUS

It can be said without argument that all who are against abortion have at least one thing in common. Be that as it may, the process in which we come to that conclusion is oftentimes a result of many different factors, thus our beliefs, while similar in principle, can be quite different in theory.

Dozens of people have asked me why I am pro-life.

In the past it didn’t seem like such a hard question to answer. After all, if I have the ability to form a belief then surely my answer to such a question should come without forethought. However, I have never been asked by a pro-life Christian to clarify my position as a pro-life Atheist. Admittedly, the question has become a bit more difficult to answer because of the unnecessary adaptation. It was my presumption that this was not a confusing concept, but once I began to compile my thoughts I soon realized where confusion could emerge. The purpose of this article is to clear up some of the misconceptions about pro-life non-believers by providing a general comparison between Theism and Atheism in relation to the abortion issue and contributing a personal account of my own journey to the pro-life movement. An argument from morality has been purposely omitted.

To state the obvious, the only difference between my label as a pro-life Atheist and your label as a pro-life Christian is our outlook on the existence of a deity. Similarly, the difference between a pro-life Jew and a pro-life Muslim is once again rooted in religious differences. That being said, we can easily deduct that an anti-abortion position is not dependent upon adhering to a specific religion; thankfully. For example, one can be religious without ever taking a position on the abortion issue. Likewise, one can be pro-life without being religious. Because the two labels are independent from one another, it is not hard to imagine the diversity of personal convictions within the pro-life community. This may become a confusing concept to those who base their pro-life position on the belief that they could not differentiate between right and wrong without guidance from their respective deity. This is where I believe some confusion and hesitation may occur.

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The Christian religion, for the most part, has adopted a position on the abortion issue. Churches which have chosen to take a position on the issue have subsequently suggested that its followers do the same. To the contrary, Atheism asserts one thing and one thing only. That assertion makes no mention to the the issue of abortion or any other social issue for that matter and therefore does not require that Atheists accept any more or any less. An Atheist’s position on any other topic is simply a personal opinion.

Personally, my pro-life beliefs belong to the discoveries in science. While I am sympathetic to women’s rights and would even consider myself a Feminist, as would any man who believes in gender equality, the right to life outweighs our personal discomforts. I will hesitantly concede that had I been born 10 years earlier I most likely would have considered myself pro-choice based upon the absence of scientific evidence within the pro-life movement at the time. More so, if science had proven that life began at birth I would have had no foundation for an anti-abortion belief. Thankfully for the pro-life movement, science has reemphasized the movement’s argument that abortion takes the life of an unborn child. Today, the movement has realized that science is much more likely to reach an audience which is increasingly looking for demonstrable evidence from which to base their position on social issues; not just the church’s suggestion.

It’s worth mentioning that the internet also had a substantial effect by allowing me to better research fetal development and share information and ideas with others.W hen I began exploring the issue as a seventeen year old back in 2006, the internet allowed me to see the larger picture, unlike the tri-fold pamphlet provided by my Catholic church. The pamphlet provided me with no context or arguments from the opposition. Heck, I didn’t even know there was an opposition.

I am not sure why the issue ever captured my attention, but it evolved beyond into a passion. After a couple years of researching the issue I decided that I would adopt an anti-abortion position based on the scientifically accepted conclusion that conception was the formation of a unique and living member of the human species. This was done absent of religious arguments and by 2008 I was beginning to question a different position – Theism. That year I wrote a pro-life blog which turned out to become the catalyst for my pro-life activism. The MySpace blog [insert joke here] titled The American Holocaust, was my first attempt at arguing against abortion from a secular perspective. The amateurishly written blog received hundreds of comments and at times was the third most active blog on MySpace. At that moment I was convinced that the incorporation of religion was unnecessary to make a point against abortion and instead allowed readers to view the issue as a scientific and moral obligation rather than just a Catholic issue. The internet had allowed me to understand the various ways the issue affected people, something I would have never understood within the walls of the Catholic church.

I am currently concluding the final chapters of God is Not Great by the late Atheist, Christopher Hitchens; a post-abortive father himself. Hitchens, a hero to many non-believers, also noticed the reality of the unborn human life. I would imagine it took a great deal of courage to advocate the value of the unborn human despite the overwhelming number of supporters whom he knew would quickly voice their disapproval. For unfortunate yet obvious reasons, theists were just as reluctant to commend him. Undoubtedly, Hitchens has taught many non-believers and believers to rethink their position on the issue for purely scientific reasons. Like myself and the thousands of other pro-life secularists, Hitchens recognized that science had demonstrably proven that life does exist before viability and therefore deserved proper acknowledgement from the pro-choice side.

“As a materialist, I think it has been demonstrated that an embryo is a separate body and entity, and not merely (as some really did used to argue) a growth on or in the female body.  There used to be feminists who would say that it was more like an appendix or even-this was seriously maintained-a tumor. That nonsense seems to have stopped.  Of the considerations that have stopped it, one is the fascinating and moving view provided by the sonogram, and another is the survival of ‘premature’ babies of feather-like weight, who have achieved ‘viability’ outside the womb. … The words ‘unborn child,’ even when used in a politicized manner, describe a material reality.”

-Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great (pp. 220-21)

It seems to me that the confusion many people have when I tell them I am a pro-life Atheist happens to originate from their perception that Atheism and pro-life activism are incompatible. This is a half-century old product of religion’s disproportionate obsession with the issue and the subsequent and illogical ‘We want to be everything you’re not!’ attitude of Atheists. The middle ground, a pro-life Atheist (or a pro-choice theist), doesn’t seem to suit either side. I think it is fair to call us the step-child of the pro-life movement. Arguing against abortion goes beyond the policies or teachings of any religious text. It is not an issue restricted only to the religious but rather an issue concerning human rights and therefore defies the labels of religion, political affiliation, race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. If we can agree that abortion wrongfully takes the life of a living human being, then all other labels which define our individuality should be irrelevant to the issue at hand.

- A pro-life[r] Atheist
  Patrick Ptomey

Click here for Patrick’s blog.

Reprinted with permission from BryanKemper.com

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Pope rejects ‘arrogant’ IVF: Marital love the only ‘worthy’ way to conceive

by John-Henry Westen Mon Feb 27 16:09 EST Comments (63)

 

VATICAN CITY, February 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In meeting with officials and participants of the Pontifical Academy for Life general assembly Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI stressed that the only acceptable way of conceiving a child is through sexual intercourse between a husband and wife.

“Indeed, the union of a man and a woman, in that community of love and life which is marriage, represents the only worthy ‘place’ for a new human being to be called into existence,” he said.

He added that temptations leading scientists to offer unacceptable infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization include “easy money or, even worse, the arrogance of replacing the Creator.”  He noted that such pride endangers humanity itself.

The pope told the 200 scientists and members of the Pontifical Academy for Life in attendance that the field of human procreation seems to be dominated “by scientism and the logic of profit,” which often “restrict many other areas of research.”

Benedict XVI also spoke with compassion in addressing married couples unable to conceive children. “The Church is attentive to the suffering of infertile couples”, he said, “and her concern for them is what leads her to encourage medical research.”

“Science, nonetheless, is not always capable of responding to the needs of many couples, and so I would like to remind those who are experiencing infertility that their matrimonial vocation is not thereby frustrated. By virtue of their baptismal and matrimonial vocation, spouses are always called to collaborate with God in the creation of a new humanity. The vocation to love, in fact, is a vocation of self-giving and this is something which no bodily condition can impede. Therefore, when science cannot provide an answer, the light-giving response comes from Christ.”

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

See the complete text of he Pope’s talk here.

(with files from Vatican Information Service)

Tags: abortion, benedict xvi, ivf, marriage

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Stop Catholic schools from distributing ‘homophobic’ literature: leader of UK’s largest union

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Mon Feb 27 15:44 EST Comments (20)

 

LONDON, February 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The government is allowing “homophobia” to be promoted in religious schools, in the form of a booklet distributed to students at some Catholic schools in Lancashire, says the UK’s largest trades union. In a letter to Education Secretary Michael Gove in December, Brendan Barber, head of the powerful Trades Union Congress, (TUC), wrote, “Schools now have a legal duty to challenge all forms of prejudice. Such literature undermines this completely.”

At issue is the booklet titled, “Pure Manhood: How to become the man God wants you to be,” by American chastity speaker Jason Evert. It says that “homosexual attractions” may “stem from an unhealthy relationship” with a man’s father, “an inability to relate to other guys, or even sexual abuse.”

Reiterating the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the booklet went on to say, “The homosexual act is disordered, much like contraceptive sex between heterosexuals. Both acts are directed against God’s natural purpose for sex – babies and bonding.”

Barber has demanded that Gove enforce the Equality Act 2010, which prohibits “discrimination” against people based on their “sexual orientation.”

Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.

Minister Gove responded to the accusation, saying that the provisions of the notorious “Sexual Orientation Regulations” of the Equality Act 2007 do not apply to the curriculum taught in “faith schools.” Gove said the provisions “do not extend to the content of the curriculum. Any materials used in sex and relationship education lessons, therefore, will not be subject to the discrimination provisions of the act.”

“If a school conveyed its beliefs in a way that involved haranguing, harassing or berating a gay or lesbian pupil or group of pupils then this would be unacceptable in any circumstances and is likely to constitute unlawful discrimination.”

The response infuriated TUC which said it showed “lack of concern.” Barber said, “Having written to the education secretary to express our worry about the distribution of homophobic literature in faith schools, his lack of concern is very alarming.”

A spokesman from the Department of Education was quoted by the Guardian newspaper saying, “Any school engaging in the promotion of homophobic material would be acting unlawfully.”

Since its passage, the Equality Act, with its Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs), has had heavy repercussions on the ability of Christians to live according to the tenets of their beliefs in Britain. In countless cases, homosexualist activists have used the SORs to launch suits and complaints against Christians in a wide range of occupations and there are fears that the letter from TUC is a form of warning to Britain’s Christian schools.

A London parish priest and professor of theology, Fr. Timothy Finigan spoke with LifeSiteNews.com. He said that the SORs have created an atmosphere of anxiety in Catholic schools.

“The SORs have changed things in that everyone is now treading on eggshells,” Fr. Finigan said.

School officials and teachers are living in fear that “they might be accused of homophobia if they give voice to Christian teaching concerning the homosexual condition or homosexual acts.”

And the situation has not improved with the change of government. “It is not only a New Labour pet subject: there are plenty of Conservatives who have jumped on the bandwagon, including David Cameron who has now publicly committed his party to legalising gay marriage.”

Fr. Finigan said that Catholics have largely been undermined by their own bishops, leaving the hard work of defending Christianity in the public sphere to the Evangelical Protestants who have taken up the challenge.

“The Bishops have said that the Church is opposed to gay marriage, while recognising the reality of civil partnerships. Many Catholics consider that this sends out a mixed message,” he said.

Since the SORs came into effect in April 2007, there has been a steady stream of clashes between homosexualist activists and Christians in the courts. Falling afoul have been teachers, civil servants, nurses, psychological counselors and therapists, bed and breakfast owners and even property managers, who have all had their livelihoods threatened after speaking out against homosexuality or refusing to cooperate with the homosexualist movement’s agenda.

Immediately after the SORs came into effect, all of Britain’s Catholic adoption agencies in England and Wales were forced to either close or sever their ties with the Catholic Church over the requirement that they consider homosexual partners for adoption. Christian foster parents have been struck off for refusing to teach their charges that homosexuality is normal and acceptable. In 2009, Schools minister Vernon Coaker said that as of September 2010 all schools will be legally required to report all “hate incidents” no matter how small, and keep records on offending children.

In nearly every case, these clashes have resulted in court rulings against the Christian parties, and religious leaders and some politicians are starting to worry out loud about the future of the country’s ancient civil liberties. While the Catholic bishops have for the most part remained silent, Evangelical legal activists have warned that Christianity is being consciously shoved out of the public sphere by anti-religious zealots.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, head of the Christian Legal Centre, said, “Secularism, according to this scheme, is not neutral. It punishes dissenters.” Equalities laws, she said, promised a utopia of peaceful coexistence, but the reality is “in fact leads to the beginning of tyranny.”

TUC, the largest umbrella organisation of trades unions in Britain, has adopted promotion of both the abortion and homosexualist movements as part of its formal mandate. In 2008, TUC demanded that the government sack Joel Edwards, the director of the Evangelical Alliance, from the Equality and Human Rights Commission because he had defended the rights of Christians who disagreed with the homosexualist political agenda.

The same year, TUC declared that abortion is a “fundamental right” and demanded that the Labour government totally de-restrict abortion. The group wanted the government to remove the requirement for two doctors to sign permissions, to oppose any mandatory “cooling off” wait period for abortion and to force the 1967 Abortion Act to be adopted in Northern Ireland.

 

Tags: homosexuality, uk

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‘Choosing Joy’: Baby Abby was only given a ‘slim chance’ of survival, but abortion wasn’t an option

by Peter Baklinski Mon Feb 27 14:51 EST Comments (26)

 
Matt and Julie Leach with their son Caleb and daughter Abby.

BALTIMORE, Maryland, February 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Julie Leach could not shake off that uneasy feeling. She and her husband Matt had witnessed the number of pictures the sonographer had taken of their 20-week-old baby. Now Julie felt that something must surely be wrong. Matt tried to reassure his wife that the baby was probably in a weird position and that it had been difficult for the doctor to get the right picture.

But Julie’s intuition was right.

A call from the doctor’s office the next day revealed that the baby’s jaw was measuring too small. A level two sonogram confirmed that the baby had micrognathia, a condition where the jaw is not in proportion to the rest of the head and causes the infant to have problems with breathing and eating.

After the sonogram, the doctor mentioned the option of abortion, but Matt and Julie made it clear that this was not an option for them or their baby.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

Matt and Julie remember receiving the baby’s diagnosis as a “tough piece of information” but they were convicted that no human life is in vain and that they would love their baby for the “beautiful and amazing spirit” that they were certain she would possess. The parents were delighted to discover that they were having a girl.

“Naturally, this is not what we would want for our daughter. Who would? However, we know that there is a wonderful plan already set for her life and it’s our job to support her and help her to fulfill that plan.”

They named their unborn daughter Abby, which means “God is joy.”

At 29-weeks Julie began experiencing preterm labor. Because little Abby could not swallow, excess amniotic fluid had accumulated in Julie’s amniotic sac and triggered labor. Julie was ordered to a specialist hospital, two hours away from her husband and young son Caleb, where she was confined to bed rest and closely monitored for the next five weeks. During this time, Julie had two amnioreductions where doctors syphoned liters of amniotic fluid to keep her body from going into labor.

The day for labor finally arrived. Julie had made it to 34 weeks. Doctors from the NICU told Julie to wait to push until everything was set up to help Abby once she had made her grand entrance. A doctor broke Julie’s waters just after midnight, giving her permission to push.

After three more pushes, the little girl was born. Matt remembers that Abby shot out so quickly, what he jokingly calls “rocket launcher style,” that the doctor barely managed to catch her.

Abby Elizabeth Joy was born October 22, 2010. She weighed 4 lbs, and was 17 inches long. “I must say, delivering a 4 lb. baby is much easier than a full-term baby! I felt pretty darn good,” remembers Julie.

Julie says it was surreal to see her little Abby for the first time in the NICU, mixed up in a tangle of wires and tubes. “The foot wrapped in gauze is the same foot that kicked me and stepped on my bladder. The tiny hands curled up next to her mouth were in the same position they were during so many of the sonograms. The hair that we saw floating in the amniotic fluid, the same hair that was admired by so many sonographers, is every bit as long and full as everyone said.”

Later that morning, doctors told Matt and Julie that their daughter had Cerebrocostomandibular Syndrome, a rare syndrome that affects the brain, ribs, and jaw. Julie remembers that it looked as if someone had “taken a hammer” to her daughters ribs.

The doctors gave Abby a very “slim chance” of leaving the NICU alive. “They gave us lots of statistics that showed us the odds were stacked against her. They pointed out every little physical imperfection on her body, from her ears, to the bridge of her nose, to her fingers. They told us that she would never sit up, much less walk.”

The parents were asked what should be done if Abby went into cardiac arrest.

“I tearfully answered that we wanted them to do whatever they could,” said Julie.

The doctor’s response of “Oh… really?” deeply saddened the parents.

“The doctor who was supposed to be fighting for her life obviously felt that her life had little value. We were told that if she survived, she would be little more than a vegetable. While this is certainly not news that parents want to hear, we knew that God had a plan for her life and that we would love her just the way she was.”

Abby spent the first five days of her life struggling to breathe until she had an emergency tracheostomy after a failed intubation. Matt and Julie constantly prayed over their little daughter and sang to her over and over again Chris Tomlin’s song “Our God.”

Matt and Julie felt that the words of the song spoke directly to their situation.

“Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.”

Weeks went by and Abby’s breathing continued to improve. Finally, after three months, Abby was allowed to go home.

“It was one of the happiest days of our lives and a huge answer to prayer,” said Julie.

“Since we’ve been home, we have learned a ton about the ‘joys’ of home nursing, medical red tape, federal healthcare, and anatomy. We’ve had our share of unplanned hospital stays and even one helicopter ride where we very nearly lost our girl.”

The parents credit their daughter’s outcome to the power of God. Not only has Abby’s crooked and hunched spine completely straightened out, but her ribs have begun calcifying. The gaps close to her sternum have inexplicably closed up. Specialists have told the parents that she will not need to have any rib surgeries to close the remaining gaps.

Now at 16 months, young Abby still makes use of a ventilator to help her breathe at night. Not only is she crawling, but she has learned how to walk with the aid of a push-walker.

“This has been quite a journey,” the parents say, “but we are so thankful to God for giving Abby a fighting spirit. That spunkiness has helped her to make it this far and has been such an encouragement to us.”

“We have been amazed again and again by God’s grace and faithfulness to us. He has provided in ways we never could have imagined, and we know that He has chosen us to be Abby’s parents. It is not our job to question why He gave her this condition. No, our job is to love Abby and raise her to love God.”

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

 

Tags: abortion

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California govt. mailing condoms to teenagers at home in unmarked envelopes

by Thaddeus Baklinski Mon Feb 27 13:21 EST Comments (28)

 

CALIFORNIA, February 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The California Department of Public Health has begun a program of providing free condoms by mail to children as young as twelve.

The Condom Access Project (CAP) was rolled out the week of February 14th in Alameda, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Kern and parts of San Francisco counties under the direction of the California Family Health Council. These areas were chosen, according to the STD Control Branch of the Department of Public Health, because of the high rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and infections among teens in these counties.

Teenagers are directed to a website, TeenSource.org, where, after filling out the request form, they can have a free package of ten condoms along with lubricant and sex-ed literature mailed to their home addresses in a plain yellow envelope.

Supporters of the program admit that while abstinence is the only sure way of preventing teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, they believe that providing more free condoms will help to decrease California’s staggering teen pregnancy and STD rates.

“Usually when we see high numbers, there’s a lack of access to comprehensive sex education and reproductive services,” Amy Moy, vice president of public affairs for the Family Health Council, told the Bakersfield Californian. “There may also be a culture in the community where things like comprehensive sex education and related issues aren’t discussed and resources aren’t available.”

“We can’t keep our heads in the sand and pretend there isn’t a problem. We know teens are engaging and we want to make sure they’re as safe as possible,” Moy added.

However, a spokeswoman for the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center, a group that promotes abstinence, said that parents will object to the scheme and teens will get the message that the state is encouraging them to engage in sex.

“I would think the overwhelming majority of parents in Kern County wouldn’t think this is a good idea,” Linda Davis told the Bakersfield Californian. “And I don’t think their kids would have the nerve to request them.”

Across the West attempts at reducing STDs and unintended pregnancies by making condoms and other contraceptives easily available to children and teens, has not resulted in the anticipated reduction in teen pregnancy, abortion and disease.

In one case, a report on a massive sex-ed and contraceptive program carried out in Scotland and aimed at children aged ten to 18 said the initiative failed and that teen pregnancies and rates of sexually transmitted diseases continue to climb. Another study in Spain found that as contraceptive use increased, the rate of unintended pregnancy and abortion rate climbed right alongside.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )


Contact Info:

California Family Health Council
Amy Moy, Vice President of Public Affairs
Phone: 415.518.4465
Email: moya@cfhc.org

Tags: abortion, california, condoms

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Cardinal George: All Catholic hospitals will close in two years under HHS mandate

by Ben Johnson Mon Feb 27 11:45 EST Comments (95)

 

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, February 27, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George is warning the HHS contraception/abortifacient mandate will close Catholic hospitals and universities or force them to secularize, a process he calls “a form of theft.”

If the regulation is not rescinded, the Catholic Church will be “despoiled of her institutions,” he said in a column printed on CatholicNewWorld, likening the proposed policies to the restrictive “freedom of worship” allowed in the Soviet Union.

“What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded?” he asked. A faithful ministry must choose between selling itself to a non-Catholic group, paying “exorbitant annual fines” until going bankrupt, breaking its ties to the Church’s “moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop,” or closing down.

He urged people to purchase a copy of the Archdiocesan directory “as a souvenir,” pointing to the page containing a list of Catholic hospitals and health care institutions.

“Two Lents from now, unless something changes, that page will be blank.”

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

The Obama administration’s rhetorical shift from supporting “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship” paralleled an earlier shift in Russia, he said.

“Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union,” Cardinal George said. “You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship—no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long Cold War to defeat that vision of society.”

“The State is making itself into a church,” he stated.

Earlier this month, he wrote in a brief online reflection, “The laws that used to protect us are now being used to weaken and destroy us, and this quite deliberately.”

He sounded a similar alarm about the mandate, condemned by every Catholic bishop, saying its “long-term effect is that the Catholic Church will be stripped of the institutions that are her instruments for public service.”

“That’s not the country I was born in,” he said.   

The administration’s development and promulgation of numerous policies opposed by the Catholic Church and other faithful Christians also appeared to the cardinal to be unprecedented. In an apparent reference to the Obama administration’s appeals to liberal nominal Catholics and administration officials like Joe Biden and Kathleen Sebelius, he wrote,  “This is the first time in the history of the United States that a presidential administration has purposely tried to interfere in the internal working of the Catholic Church, playing one group off against another for political gain.”

The church leader, who presides over the archdiocese where the president lives, has led the pro-life opposition to health care coverage for abortion.

Because of increasing state intrusion into Christian affairs, he forecast in 2010, “I expect to die in bed. My successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”

Tags: francis george, hhs, obama

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‘She left with tears of joy, rather than sorrow’: 65 babies saved during 40 Days campaign

 
Shawn Carney

February 27, 2012 (40DaysforLife.com) - Mondays are the best days during the 40 Days for Life campaigns, because that’s the day we share stories about mothers who’ve changed their minds on the sidewalks outside the abortion centers.

In just these first few days, there have already been … 65 babies saved — that we know of. Praise God!

Here are the stories of three of those babies.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

One of the prayer volunteers noticed a man she recognized … sitting in a car in the Planned Parenthood parking lot. With him was his 18-month-old child. Naturally, the volunteer went over to talk.

It seems the man’s wife was inside — setting up an appointment for an abortion. She just didn’t want another baby.

“When he said he didn’t want the abortion,” said Libby in Memphis, “we said he needed to protect his baby right now. He called his wife, and few minutes later she came out and told us she was not going to seek an abortion.”

The volunteers hugged her, and gave her a list of Memphis-area pregnancy resources.

One of these prayer volunteers in Memphis was taking part in 40 Days for Life for the first time ever.

“She just felt so strongly that she needed to participate,” Libby said. And what a wonderful thing she saw on that first day!

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND

A young woman arrived at Planned Parenthood … and it was obvious her pregnancy was well advanced. She was frightened and didn’t know what else to do.

The director of a pro-life pregnancy center was able to speak to her and learn more about her situation, though there was a bit of a language barrier. It seems the woman is from Central America, and the baby’s father abandoned her when he found out she was pregnant.

“She was very happy after the director counseled her and explained that she would have support and better choices,” said Molly in Silver Spring.

“Planned Parenthood would have referred her to a late-term abortionist in the area,” she said. “In Maryland, abortions can happen throughout the entire pregnancy. We need to keep her in our prayers.”

BEAUMONT, TEXAS

A young woman who arrived for an appointment in Beaumont admitted to the people praying outside the abortion facility that she had tossed and turned all night over what she was about to do.

One of the volunteers was quick to hand her information from a pro-life pregnancy care center. About this time, the young woman’s friend, who had come to the appointment with her, spoke up. The friend said she’d had an abortion herself — and “didn’t feel it was a good idea.”

At that, the woman who had planned to abort her child broke down in tears.

After a lengthy discussion with the counselors on the sidewalk, the two young women were smiling — and heading towards the pro-life resource center.

“We have her phone number and will be in touch,” said Eileen in Beaumont. “She left with tears of joy, rather than sorrow. Your prayers and sacrifices are definitely at work!”

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

Through your prayers and faithfulness during the rest of this 40 Days for Life campaign, I can’t wait to learn how many more lives God will spare!

Tags: 40 days for life, abortion, shawn carney

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Hi, my name is Kristen, and I’m abstinent

by Kristen Walker Hatten Mon Feb 27 08:57 EST Comments (116)

 

February 27, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - In case you hadn’t noticed, this is going to be an intensely personal blog post.

I’ll just kick it off with the juicy stuff so you don’t have to wait around: I haven’t had sexual intercourse in almost four years. Now, this is not to say I haven’t done anything I wouldn’t do if Jesus were in the room. I am not perfect. But for the past three and a half years, in the ball park of my love life, there have been no home runs.

I admit I am not a virgin. I am also not sexually repressed. I am not, like the virgin adult character on “Glee,” a frigid obsessive-compulsive with serious psychological problems. I am also not, as far as I know, completely repulsive, although if there’s one thing I’ve learned from observing the world around me, it’s that if you are female, it doesn’t matter what you look like; somebody thinks you are juuuust fine, and that somebody probably has an ad on Craigslist right now.

I simply made a choice, for ethical, moral, and religious reasons, not to engage in baby-making activities, and I have stuck to that decision for well over three years.

You are probably asking yourself, “Self, why on earth is she telling me this?”

Good question. I have thought about writing this post for a couple years. I always held back. It is an intensely personal subject, obviously, and a natural squeamishness about sharing something so intimate with the world at large is part of the reason why it took me so long to publish this.

Then there is the fact that I am in a relationship with someone, and revealing this tidbit about me incidentally reveals things about him. Fortunately, I have learned he “couldn’t care less.” (His words.)

Finally, I decided to go for it. You see, the more I think and write and learn about abortion, the more convinced I am that the key to curtailing it is to make people understand that it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. As long as people are having sex despite the fact that they have no interest in or desire for procreation, there are going to be abortions. And yes, this takes into account contraception. There is no fool-proof method of birth control besides abstinence.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

I personally believe that the best way for a child to come into the world is being born to two people who are married — that is, committed to one another in the eyes of God and man. Therefore, I decided, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, that I was going to be the change I wished to see in the world. I was going to put my money where my mouth was and stop engaging in baby-making activities until I was in the situation I felt was best for baby-having activities.

“It’s religion!” some of you are screaming at your monitors, flecks of spittle flying. “It’s an arbitrary misogynistic rule of your stupid backwards dumb antiquated oppressive patriarchal religion!”

First of all: calm down. Second: kind of. I mean, it’s both. Moral law is based on natural law. The reason God gave us all these pesky rules is because they’re good for us. When people follow the basic tenets of Judeo-Christian sexual morality, they lead better lives. They lead lives of loving responsibility in which they react to positive pregnancy tests with tears of joy, hugs, and excited phone calls, as opposed to panic-barfing and fear-sweat.

I know this because I’ve lived the other life. I was never what you’d call promiscuous, but nor was I what you’d call sexually moral. Because of my willingness to give of myself completely to men who weren’t willing to give me the same, I lived a life of heartbreak and confusion. Finally, about four years ago, I noticed that every time I gave my heart away, I wasn’t getting it all back. Every go-round, there seemed to be less and less of my heart to give. I was becoming less open, more guarded, even bitter. I could feel a wall growing around my heart, and it was thick and it was high.

I knew that one day, God willing, I was going to have a husband. Did I want him to end up with the leftovers, the dregs? Did I want him to have to mount a high wall to get to my heart?

Meanwhile, I was quite simply losing my self-respect.

I decided then that I was done with that life. But the personal, emotional factors were only part of my decision.

I am not the world’s most responsible person. Ask the people to whom I owe medical bills. (And while you’re at it, tell them the check’s in the mail.) I forget to floss. I am 300 miles overdue for an oil change. I don’t know my exact bank balance right now. You get the idea.

But even I, the girl who once went a whole year without washing her car, can decide to live in the way I encourage others to live. It’s only fair. I rant at you people day in and day out about how irresponsible it is to engage in non-procreative sex. What kind of a hypocrite would I be if I did it myself?

So, even though my crisis pregnancy days are long behind me, I practice what I preach. I’m 32, I’m in a loving relationship with a stable, responsible man in his 40s, and if I were to get pregnant we would be excited and happy. But! We personally believe having babies should be the exclusive privilege of married people, so we make sure we do not even inadvertently make a baby.

I want you, whoever you are, to see and to know that it is possible to make a moral decision, even in these times. Everything you see and look at and read and hear is going to tell you that it is abnormal and/or impossible for a healthy, red-blooded man or woman to abstain from having sexual intercourse. They are wrong. I am healthy, and last time I checked my blood was red.

Don’t submit to what Chesterton called “the degrading slavery of being a child of [one’s] age.” Make your own decisions. Don’t buy the giant lie that if you stop having sex your unmentionables are going to shrivel and drop off from disuse. And don’t believe them when they tell you you’re weird, frigid, sick, or backwards. Even as they accuse you of leading a deprived live, they are a prisoner to their impulses, inviting in unplanned pregnancy, STDs, abortion, heartbreak, loss of self-respect, and more.

I walked away from all that, and I couldn’t be happier because of it. I have felt my heart heal, and I know that the next time I give myself to someone, it will be on my wedding night, to someone I trust, who has given himself to me in turn.

Furthermore, I know that when I do have a baby, it will be in the best possible circumstances, so that I can give that child the best possible life. I owe that to myself and my family.

What I want you to take away from this is not “Oooh, look how awesome Kristen is.” Quite the opposite. I am an ordinary woman with ordinary feelings. What you should take away from this is something like, “Even Kristen can do it. So… I guess so can I.”

Of course the hard part of being abstinent is it means whoever you’re with has to be abstinent, too. But the hard part becomes the easy part with a simple realization. You see, at some point, if you’re lucky, you realize: If the person I am with says he is in love with me, but won’t wait for me, that person is lying. Plain and simple.

I had to ask myself: Do I want to be with someone who will only be with me if I sleep with him? Is that love?

For me, the answer was no. And no.

So what’s your answer?

Reprinted with permission from the LiveAction blog.

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