Ruth Shaw

Reflections of a pregnant pro-lifer

Ruth Shaw
By Ruth Shaw
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April 19, 2012 (UnmaskingChoice.ca) - Today, my husband James and I had a life-changing experience. For the first time, we witnessed first-hand the visual presence of our precious baby (let’s call him or her “Juth”) in my womb.

As someone who has been actively involved in the pro-life movement for several years, the experience I had today has drastically altered my perception of pre-born children (including my own child), and of the power of visual technology when talking about pregnancy and abortion.

As James and I progressed through our forty minute ultrasound appointment, the technician proceeded to tell us which parts of Juth we were looking at- his or her face, hands, feet, fibulas, ankles, spine, on and on. Not only did she identify the body parts, but she measured the shape, and position of many of Juth’s body parts in order to ensure that all of them were developing ‘normally.’

Upon leaving the appointment, two things really struck me:

#1: Juth is a unique human being.

Beyond providing a healthy uterus and good nutrition, I have done nothing to facilitate his or her growth- this is not much different than providing a safe house and good food for your born children. How many times have I explained this concept while training pro-lifers and challenging abortion-minded folk? So many times!

I always knew that I was speaking the truth because it logically and scientifically made sense. But when you actually get to see these body parts developing inside of you, it makes the truth reality. In this sense, it became even more clear to me that I don’t own Juth, that Juth is not a part of me. Rather, he/she is a developing human being that has been entrusted to me. How is this any different than a parent raising a born child and ensuring that their child is safe and taken care of?

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Upon seeing the ultrasound pictures of Juth, a friend asked me if I felt more connected to the baby after seeing him or her. After thinking about it, I realized that my connection to Juth was now clarified- Juth and I are two distinct persons. Seeing my child and having his or her body parts described to me helped me realize that my role, starting in the womb and onwards, is one of support. From fertilization onwards until our baby is born, James and I are the people cultivating an environment for our child to be healthy in—we are providing an environment in which he/she can grow and develop mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. From the moment Juth was conceived, I had little control over how he/she grew and now moves… (this was made real to me when I begged Juth to kick so that James could feel it and nothing happened.)

So do I feel connected to Juth? Absolutely, yes. But ultimately, I have come to more fully realize our child’s internal potential for greatness that has already begun that I witnessed through seeing his/her self-sufficiency in my womb. This mentality is much more freeing than how I felt-before- which is that I was the author of all things related to Juth.

#2: The power of visuals

As many people know, the work that I do with the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform is often considered to be controversial because of our constant use of imagery, both of fetal development and abortion. We have often been accused of making women feel guilty about their abortions and have been encouraged to use slogans instead of pictures as though there is no greater merit to using the latter.

As someone who has been using CCBR’s methods for a few years, I first became convicted of their effectiveness while doing pro-life activism on campus. But, once again, the overall effectiveness of imagery was clarified for me when I saw photos of our baby up close.

I now more fully understand why ultrasound technicians are less likely to show abortion-minded women ultrasound imagery before their abortion. There is no way that a woman could in good conscience choose to kill her child after seeing his/her spine, legs, head, eyes, and mouth and after each body part is described to her in detail. There is no way she could justifiably continue to say that her child is just a blob, or a cancerous growth, or simply an extension of herself. Ultrasound imagery shatters the pro-choice perspective of pre-born children into a million pieces.

I have always known what babies in the womb look like and I am able to articulate parts of their in-utero development. But after seeing pictures close up of my own child and having his/her body parts described to me, I can say with full confidence that there are no words that could have fully done justice to what I saw. How do you describe to someone the delicacy of a pre-born child’s beautiful spine? Or the way in which he/she spins around during an ultrasound, or curls up in the corner? There are no accurate words, only pictures.

In the same way that I have more deeply come to know the intrinsic and indescribable beauty of pre-born children, I have also become more deeply horrified and disturbed by abortion, and abortion imagery. Fully understanding how beautiful pre-born children are must walk hand in hand with understanding how horrific abortion is. The reason I can appreciate the beauty of my child is because I accept and believe Juth to be a valuable human being, and it was amplified after seeing him or her. For this reason, I find abortion to be horrific. Because our culture does not affirm the humanity of pre-born children in the womb, it can justify abortion. How does one accurately describe the bloody, liquidation of a human child in the womb? There are no words, only pictures.

Have you ever seen a beautiful painting destroyed? Doesn’t it hurt to look at it, especially if you know it’s former beauty? That is what seeing ultrasound imagery is like next to abortion imagery. The latter hurts to look at because we are in awe of the former’s beauty and capabilities. We cannot convince our culture of the horrors of abortion if they do not see it and feel pain as a result. They feel pain because they know intrinsically that that humanity is beautiful (starting in the womb), and they can’t stand to see something destroy it.

By showing our culture the destruction of humanity in the womb while affirming the dignity and beauty of pre-born human beings, we clarify for them what it means to be valued, and discarded. We will continue to shatter their ideologies: We will EndtheKilling.

Reprinted with permission from UnmaskingChoice.ca

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A protester rallies against Hobby Lobby, protesting against the Supreme Court decision Dan Holm/Shutterstock
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

DNC chairwoman exhorts constituents to boycott local Hobby Lobby store

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision was nearly two months ago, but the issue as hot as ever, as was demonstrated yesterday when Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz, D-FL, urged constituents to boycott a Hobby Lobby store in her district.

In a press conference one lot away from the Hobby Lobby location in Davie, which opened in April, Wasserman-Schultz said that she wanted "people to know that this Hobby Lobby is here and they should vote with their purses and their pocketbooks, and women should not shop here."

"If you didn’t know this Hobby Lobby was here before, know it now and don’t shop here. They don’t deserve women’s business because they are the ones that all across the country have made it harder for women to get access to birth control,” she said.

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Wasserman-Schultz said that Hobby Lobby's corporate ownership "doesn’t support its employees" and "wants to be able to get in the personal business of their employees and make health care decisions and replace their own values, replace their employees’ health care decisions, with their values…."

She also criticized the Supreme Court's late June decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, which had sued the federal government over the Obama administration's HHS Mandate.

The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, say it violates their conscience to pay for coverage for the four abortifacients and potential abortifacients that the mandate required them to cover.

"The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case was not only disappointing, it was dangerous," said the Democrat. "No boss should have the right to dictate and employee’s health decisions because [they] don’t belong in the bedrooms, doctor’s offices or pharmacies of their employees.

"A woman and her doctor know what’s best for their body. Not an insurance company. Not a politician. And certainly not a manager at a Hobby Lobby."

The Supreme Court's decision allowed closely held corporations to not fund coverage of contraception or abortion drugs and devices.

Wasserman-Schultz's office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Through a spokesperson, the Green family declined to comment about the Congresswoman's statements. 

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Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

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America is rejecting abortion because pro-lifers are having more children: study

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson

According to a new Northwestern University study, American attitudes about abortion are trending more conservatively than other contentious social issues, a phenomenon the authors credit to the simple fact that pro-lifers have more kids.

“We find evidence that the abortion attitudes have lagged behind a liberalizing trend of other correlated attitudes,” the authors wrote. Using GSS data collected between 1977 and 2010, “We test[ed] the hypothesis that the comparatively high fertility of pro-life individuals has led to a more pro-life population.”

The authors wrote: “Support for abortion rights has turned flat after a period of increase following Roe v. Wade, and in recent years there are even indications of a reversal toward more restrictive attitudes. This U-turn is evinced particularly among younger cohorts, and is happening despite liberalizing trends in several ostensibly related issue domains.”

The authors speculated that the reason for the increase in pro-life attitudes among young people is that their parents had more children than their pro-abortion counterparts. When they examined the data, they found that pro-life individuals had, on average, 27 percent more children than those who considered themselves “pro-choice.”

Not only that, but pro-life parents appear to be much more likely to pass their views on to their children. The researchers found that the younger generation’s pro-life shift was too strong to be blamed solely on differences in fertility – meaning children of pro-abortion parents are rejecting their parents’ views.

“[E]ither pro-life beliefs are always more faithfully transmitted than pro-choice ones; or, there has been a cultural shift towards more pro-life beliefs that is being reflected in the parent-child correlations,” the authors wrote.

The study concluded that if it wasn’t for the higher fertility rate among pro-life people, the nation as a whole would favor abortion by about five percentage points more than it does currently – and researchers predict the pro-life trend will continue.

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“Taken together, these findings suggest that fertility has had at least some part in leading the population in a more pro-life direction over time,” the authors wrote. “Further investigation into this pattern indicates that not only are abortion attitudes associated with fertility, but in proportional terms—which is what matters for cultural change—the gap is widening.”

“Fertility has declined for both pro-choice and pro-life groups over the past 30 years, but fertility has declined far less markedly for pro-life individuals,” they added. “Whereas pro-[life] individuals born before 1940 were only having about 1.2 children per one child born to a pro-choice parent, this ratio has grown to over 1.5 for those born in the mid to late 1970s. This pattern suggests that future cohorts may place an even stronger demographic drag on the liberalization of abortion attitudes.”

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A declaration that PP is an 'enemy of the Church' would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication. American Life League
Lisa Bourne

New campaign asks Pope Francis to declare Planned Parenthood an ‘enemy of the Church’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

The Catholic pro-life organization American Life League (ALL) is launching a campaign calling for the Catholic Church to declare Planned Parenthood an “enemy of the Church.”

Using prayer and education, ALL’s Defend the Family campaign seeks to expose the nation’s largest abortion provider for contribution to the destruction of human lives, as well as the family. 

The campaign, said Jim Sedlack, vice-president of ALL, is quite simply “a way of calling attention to the fact that this is a very bad organization.”

“Planned Parenthood is attacking the family, either by killing preborn children or by robbing the souls of the older children,” he said. 

A declaration that PP is an “enemy of the Church” would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication.

Such a declaration would not be unprecedented. Popes in the past have identified and condemned organizations that posed a grave threat to the Church, most recently Pope Pius XII in 1949 with Communism and Pope Clement XII in 1738 with Freemasonry.

While specifics would depend on the wording of the Papal pronouncement, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews if the Holy Father makes the declaration there would be no mistaking its intent.

“When the pope makes the declaration it becomes crystal clear,” Sedlak said. “There’ll be no shades of gray, it’ll be black and white, it’ll be clear to the world.”

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'Now is the time'

There are still people who are not fully aware of the extent of the societal damage inflicted by Planned Parenthood, said Sedlak, including members of the Church hierarchy. He said it’s important to emphasize the truth of what the abortion giant does.

“That’s why we’re focusing on the enemy,” said Sedlak. “When people really stop and focus on Planned Parenthood, they realize it’s the enemy.”

ALL cites Planned Parenthood’s targeting of children to sexualize them as a major cause of the destruction of the family and a fundamental reason for the Defend the Family campaign.

“They really push for getting young people into lives of sexual sin,” Sedlak said. “Young people who aren’t pulled into sexual activity do not provide a cent of income to Planned Parenthood, but young people who are pulled in provide millions of dollars to the Planned Parenthood empire.”

ALL compiled a comprehensive report on Planned Parenthood titled, “The Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood,” as part of the Defend the Family campaign.

“The document builds the case,” said Sedlak. “Why Planned Parenthood, why now is the time.”

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that for its part Planned Parenthood has always recognized that its greatest enemy is the Catholic Church, even working to have the Church lose its status at the UN.

“They fight anybody who wants to take sex away from the kids in any way possible,” Sedlak said. “That’s one reason why Planned Parenthood is the sex mafia.”

And when Sedlak uses the term “mafia,” he means it literally, pointing out that the Holy Father condemned the mafia in his June 21, 2014, homily in Calabria, Italy, denouncing its, “Adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.”

“Planned Parenthood kills far more people than the mafia,” Sedlak said.

Also underscoring the need for the Vatican to act on declaring Planned Parenthood an enemy of the Church, is the convening of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family this October in Rome, which will lead into the general synod in 2015.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that these, along with the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, are events that ALL will rally around to raise awareness of the Defend the Family campaign.

Preliminary response to the campaign has been very positive, he said.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that the “Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood” report was so well received upon initial presentation to Vatican officials, that ALL was asked to translate it into three more languages.

“The support we’ve gotten from talking to bishops has been overwhelming,” Sedlak said.

Prayer is priority #1

The Defend the Family campaign consists first and foremost of prayer, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews.

“Our approach is that we need prayer support,” he said. “The only way that we’re going to succeed is through prayer to the Blessed Mother; the only way it will succeed is if God wants it to succeed.”

Participants are asked to say regular prayers after Mass, to offer prayers for the pope and to initiate communication with local bishops about the dangers that Planned Parenthood poses to the faithful.

Sedlak also added that The Defend the Family campaign is for everyone, not just Catholics.

He said pro-life supporters of all faith traditions are invited to contact ALL for assistance in encouraging their religious denomination or church leader to declare Planned Parenthood an enemy.

In addition to prayers for the campaign, ALL is asking people to sign and submit ALL’s Declaration of Encouragement to the Holy Father, enroll in the Spiritual Bouquet for the Holy Father and to share ALL resources on Planned Parenthood.

Information, links and resources are available on the campaign website, defendthefamily.org.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that ALL is giving the success of the Defend the Family campaign up to God.

“This is all happening in God’s time, and so far he’s been blessing us mightily,” Sedlak said. “And we’re going to go wherever God takes us.”

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