OpinionMon Jul 25, 2011 - 12:53 pm EST
Abby Johnson: Yes, I oppose ALL abortions! But being pro-life doesn’t stop there
July 21, 2011 (AbbyJohnson.org) - I get asked this question a lot. Am I really pro-life? Am I against abortion in all circumstances? Yes. Do I believe there are any exceptions for abortion? No. Do you want to make abortion illegal? Yes. But for me, it doesn’t stop there. Being “pro-life” means standing up for all life, valuing all life.
I am not one for labels, but in this case, I think they are important. I am pro-life. I believe in the protection of all life. I am against abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty. I am pro-quality of life. I believe all children deserve quality health care. I don’t believe in reducing assistance benefits for those who are disabled or who have special needs. I am not simply anti-abortion. I abhor clinic violence. I have a genuine urgency to see every clinic worker and abortionist turn away from abortion. I do not believe harassment, violence, threats, or anything of the sort is the way we are to behave in this movement. Abortion is bad because is a terrible act of violence. Violence begets violence. If we simply turn to violence, we are no better than the abortionists themselves.
I am not just pro-birth. I believe in supporting a woman during and after pregnancy. It’s not just about “saving” the baby. It is about empowering the mother as well. I am not against abortion because it takes an innocent life, I am against abortion because it takes a life. Innocence has nothing to do with it. Their lives are not more valuable because they are innocent. They will not always be innocent…but their lives will still hold the same value. I think people use this whole “innocent” argument so they can justify the death penalty. But, I always say, if you have to justify something, it is probably wrong. When the death penalty is imposed, innocent people die. That has happened over and over again. Why? Because people are flawed. Only God should give and take life. That is the exact argument we give when we discuss abortion. I could go on and on about the death penalty, but that isn’t the point of this post. Maybe I will do that another time.
I recently talked to a woman who runs a group that assists women after they have their baby. Being pro-life is not just about assisting a woman during her pregnancy, it is helping her after the baby is born, too. If we are only interested in her giving birth to her child, then we need to simply consider ourselves pro-birth. If we are truly pro-life, then the woman’s needs continue far after her child is born.
Many pregnancy centers will assist the new mother will material support and even classes, but many times that is not enough. We need these moms to be self-sufficient, off government programs, skilled for jobs, educated, and able to stand on their own…and support a child. This is exactly what I discussed with the lovely women who run Teen Mother Choices International. We talked about the necessity of self-sufficiency for these moms. Almost all of their new moms rely on some sort of government assistance when they enter the program. This can be such a dangerous cycle. I honestly never had a really clear way to describe my feelings about governmental help until I talked about it with these women. It’s not about the money for me or taxes. I want people to get the help they need, no matter the monetary cost for me. But I knew there was something else that bothered me…I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Scripture says the church is to care for the widows and orphans. Society has redefined the word “widow” to mean a woman whose husband has died. But the actual definition is a woman without a husband. There are many widows in our country, and the church is instructed to care for them. Many of these widows have children. These government programs have simply allowed the Church to ignore their duties and responsibilities. We have allowed the government to take care of these women (and do a poor job of it) instead of following our command to care for them. Now looked what has happened. We have cycles of poverty…women and children living in dangerous neighborhoods because they rely on this minimal standard of living…families who are uninsured…children who don’t have enough to eat. And, why? Because we haven’t done our jobs.
TMCI is changing that, and it is so beautiful to see. They are setting up support communities inside churches to help young mothers stop this cycle. The success is phenomenal. They have had hundreds of girls go through their program. They get them job training, take care of their medical needs by people in the church, help with childcare, help with education…and they do it with no government assistance. In fact, almost all of the young women who go through their program come out with stable jobs, education and training they need, parenting skills, money in savings accounts, medical care, and a church community they are a part of and thriving in…all without the use of government assistance. This is a model we should all be using and duplicating. I am so impressed by the work they are doing. I encourage you to look at their website. If you are a pregnancy center, they can come and help you. You can use their program. They will come in to your center and help you make this happen. It will totally change your center…and you clients. Please go to their website and check them out, www.teenmotherchoices.org.
The pro-life movement needs to be about collaboration; working together, finding out who does what best. We can’t all be the best at everything. TMCI is the very best at helping these young women get on their feet after they become mothers. We don’t want these young women to end up pregnant again within the next year after having a baby. The sad thing is that the statistics are not in their favor, unless they get the skills, support and training that they need. Let’s help them.
Are we pro-life, anti-abortion, pro-birth…I hope you are pro-life. I hope your concern for this movement doesn’t stop once the child is born. Let’s make a difference for the future and help break this cycle. Go check out TMCI and find out how you can get involved. Honestly, I am not a person who is easily impressed, but these women with TMCI have completely blown me away with their method. And the results speak for themselves. Maybe you can bring TMCI to your community…to your pregnancy center…to your church. You won’t be disappointed.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.