Christine Dhanagom

First episodes of post-abortion reality TV show now available online

Christine Dhanagom
Christine Dhanagom

February 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - It’s a scene that has played out in many post-abortive healing retreats and support groups. Clutching the pillow on her lap as if for protection, tears rolling down her face, Courtney Reames recounts the heart-rending story of an abortion she had when she was seventeen.

But there is a difference in this case: there are TV cameras in the room, and they are rolling, recording every word and tear of Courtney’s intimate testimony for a new reality program about post-abortion healing, called “Surrender the Secret.”

Courtney tells the other women that she had wanted desperately to keep her baby, but her parents pressured her into an abortion, telling her that they would kick her out of the house if she gave birth to her child. Her mom took her to an ultrasound appointment where she was told that there was something wrong with the baby and she wouldn’t be able to carry him to term anyway. She was doing the right thing by aborting him, they said.

They gave her an injection to induce a fetal heart attack. She felt the baby kick and thrash inside  her, fighting vainly for his life, and then she labored for hours before giving birth to a dead baby. When he finally came out, she felt him touching her leg but refused to look at him. He was twelve weeks gestation, she was told.

Courtney saw her son’s pathology report for the first time a few years ago when she had to request a copy of her medical records. He was seventeen weeks, and in perfect health.

The four other post-abortive women in the room squeeze her hand and cry with her.

There are many post-abortive women who have offered powerful, public testimony about their experience before huge crowds and television cameras, but these five women are doing something new. They have agreed to have their journey of post-abortive healing filmed as part of “Surrender the Secret,” which is being produced by Knock TV, a Christian television network.

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The first of the show’s ten episodes premiered on KnockTV.com on January 22nd, the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Episodes two through four are also now available, and the remaining six will be released online every Tuesday until March 26th.

“One of the purposes of this show was to give post-abortive women a voice in the media that they have not had yet,” says the show’s producer, Cecil Stokes.

These women are not just witnessing to other women the kind of healing that can take place, they are inviting women to seek healing alongside them.

And with only four of the ten episodes released so far, their courage is already bearing fruit in the lives of many post-abortive men and women. The first episode is approaching 5,000 views and the second 2,000, reports Knock TV President Geoff Rogers.

“We’ve gotten email from both men and women who are still struggling with their previous decisions to abort their children, and they are offering strong affirmation that the show gives hope,” says Rogers. “Many are asking how to get into a class for healing themselves, and others to engage to help lead a study in their local area.”

Hotline numbers for both post-abortive healing and crisis pregnancy assistance are advertised during the show, but women are also encouraged to consider undertaking the same Bible study as the women in the show.

The show takes its name from the Bible study developed by Patricia Layton, founder of the Life Impact Network. Layton’s organization maintains a listing of trained “Surrendering the Secret” leaders who conduct Bible studies across the country for post-abortive women.

Stokes, however, is quick to point out that the show is not aimed solely at those who are post-abortive. If four out of ten women in this country have had an abortion, that means that almost everyone has a personal connection to someone who has had an abortion, he says. Watching the show could be a great way to learn more about how to reach out to these women.

“I’ve been surprised at the women in my life who have revealed to me their stories,” he says.

Stokes is also the producer of the pro-life film October Baby which follows the drama of a young girl who finds out she is the survivor of a botched abortion. The release of both “October Baby” and “Surrender the Secret” have been the impetus for women in his life to confide in him about a past abortion.

One of the participants in “Surrender the Secret,” Christian actress Vanessa Ore, was recruited by Stokes when she shared the story of her past abortion with him after watching “October Baby.”

The release of “Surrender the Secret” prompted Stokes’ long time walking buddy to confide that she was post-abortive, the producer related.

“The way that God works is that we learn something and then He puts it to use shortly thereafter,” he says.

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Lisa Bourne

Parents say they’re now calling four-year-old son a girl

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

OAKLAND, CA, July 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- An Oakland, California, couple is giving their four-year old son the green light to identify as a girl.

Jack Carter Christian, the son of Mary Carter and James Christian, will now be known as “Jackie” and be allowed to dress and act as a little girl.

The family acknowledged they were already letting the boy wear his older sister’s dresses on a regular basis and also that he liked to wear pink boots. James Christian said he thought for a long time that it was a phase his son would get over.

Carter detailed in an NPR interview the conversation with her son that led to the decision to allow him to live as a girl.

“Jackie just looked really, really sad; sadder than a 3-and-a-half-year-old should look,” Carter said. “This weight that looked like it weighed more than she did, something she had to say and I didn’t know what that was.”

“So I asked. I said, ‘Jackie, are you sad that you’re not going to school today?’ And Jackie was really quiet and put her head down and said ‘No, I’m sad because I’m a boy.’”

Carter continued speaking about the details of the day she encouraged her son to act upon the emotion he’d expressed.

 “You’re really not happy being a boy?” Carter queried her son.

“I thought a little bit longer and I said, ‘Well, are you happy being you?’” said Carter. “And that made Jackie smile. And I felt like for that moment that was all that really mattered. That was ‘The Day. ”

It was then that Carter proceeded to a Walgreen’s drug store and purchase elastic hair bands picked out by her son to pull his hair into little ponytails, something that offered apparent satisfaction for mother and son.

“There she was, in these cast-off Little Mermaid pajamas and five pony tails that are sticking out of her head kind, of like twigs, and this smile on her face and I’ve never seen such a happy child,” Carter stated. “To go from maybe an hour before this, this child who looks so sad, to that- pure joy, just pure joy, right there.”

Carter and Christian are one of a number of couples turning up in media stories saying that their young children will no longer live life as their biological gender. The confusion they describe is a disorder classified by the American Psychological Association as gender dysphoria.

San Diego parents Jeff and Hillary Whittington appeared in late May with their six-year old daughter Ryland, who is identifying as a boy, at the 6th annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. Milk, the first openly homosexual candidate elected to office in San Francisco as City Commissioner, was also notorious for preying sexually upon underage, drug-addicted, runaway boys, and was murdered by a political rival in 1978.

Massachusetts couple Mimi and Joe Lemay have also decided to allow their five-year-old daughter Mia, now going by Jacob, to live as a transgender child, turning to NBC News with the specifics.

They said an April DailyMail.com report that it was “his” choice to become transgender, and also that they shared their story hoping to prove there is no such thing as “being too young” to identify as transgender.

“I realized he had never really been Mia,” Mimi Whittington said. “That had been a figment of my imagination.”

Author and public speaker Walt Heyer, who underwent sex reassignment surgery to become a woman and then later returned to living as a man, told the Daily Caller children cannot be born as one gender and identify as another by accident. He now performs outreach to those experiencing gender confusion.

“There’s a lot of questions here. Kids are not born transgender,” Heyer said. “Childhood developmental disorder that comes out of some event or series of events or abuse or neglect or trauma or overbearing mother or father or someone or a lot of times its sexual abuse.”

Heyer said the experience of having parents or caretakers entertain the idea of gender confusion is at issue and this is what happened to him.

“My grandmother kept cross-dressing me and loving on me as a girl and not as the boy God made,” he said.

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Lisa Bourne

Utah man faked anti-gay ‘hate crimes’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A Utah man who faked a series of anti-gay “hate crimes” may face charges after his actions were debunked by rural authorities.

Rick Jones said someone beat him, leaving facial and head bruising, and carved a homosexual slur in his arm, part of a series of staged attacks that spanned from April to June.

Jones, 21, told a local TV news station in June he believed he was being targeted because he was homosexual.

Jones is also implicated in spray-painting a slur on his family’s home, throwing a rock and a Molotov cocktail through his home’s window, spray-painting the family pizza business, and also breaking in and stealing $1,000 from the business.

The Millard County Sheriff’s office found discrepancies with evidence in the case and Jones ultimately admitted to perpetrating the harassment himself.

Jones could face charges of filing a false report and reckless burning.

His lawyer said the incidents were a cry for help geared toward the people close to Jones, and that Jones didn’t realize how much attention they would get.

Attorney Brett Tolman said that Jones has since begun treatment for mental health.

Tolman said his client did not have any criminal intent and praised the community’s response to the fake accusations, saying that the outpouring of support after the hate crime claims became public still was a good message.

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox was one who had publicly declared his support after the false accusations surfaced. Cox said Tuesday he’s relieved the allegations weren’t true, and expressed concern for Jones and his family.

Tolman also used the faked crimes as evidence that gays face discrimination.

“I think it’s such good evidence of the difficulties members of the gay community deal with,” said Tolman, “and some make better choices than others.”

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U.S. senator: Individuals don’t have religious freedom, just churches

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment applies only to churches, not to individuals, a U.S. senator said on national television recently.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI – the nation's first openly lesbian elected to the U.S. Senate – addressed the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision on June 27 on MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki.

"Should the bakery have to bake the cake for the gay couple getting married?” the host asked. “Where do you come down on that?"

Baldwin responded that the First Amendment gave Americans no right to exercise religion outside the sanctuary of their church, synagogue, or mosque.

“Certainly the First Amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that,” she said.

Sen. Baldwin then likened the issue to the Obama administration's contentious HHS mandate, requiring employers to furnish contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs to female employees with no co-pay.

“We’ve certainly seen the set of arguments play out in issues such as access to contraception,” Baldwin said. “Should it be the individual pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled, or in this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country.”

“I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts, and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.”

That view contrasts with a broad and deep body of law saying that individuals have the right to exercise their religion freely under the First Amendment, not merely to hold or teach their beliefs.

“At the Founding, as today, 'exercise' connoted action, not just internal belief,” wrote Thomas C. Berg, the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

That body of cases shows the First Amendment is an individual, not merely a corporate, right.

Further, the extent – and the constitutionality – of the HHS mandate is far from settled.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has won 28 injunctions against the ObamaCare regulation and lost six.

The most significant statement to date has been the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision last June, when the justices ruled 5-4 that closely held corporations do, indeed, exercise conscience protections under the terms of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"We reject HHS's arguments that the owners of the companies forfeited all RFRA protection when they decided to organize their businesses as corporations rather than sole proprietorships or general partnerships," they added. "The plain terms of RFRA make it perfectly clear that Congress did not discriminate in this way against men and women who wish to run their business as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs."

However, the justices did not invoke the First Amendment's guarantee to freedom of religion – the “first freedom” that many say has been increasingly constricted under the Obama administration. The president rhetorically has spoken only of the “freedom of worship,” while conservatives say the “free exercise” clause grants Americans the right to practice their religion inside or outside church, in any relevant aspect of their lives, subject only to the most extreme provisions.

The RFRA holds that the government may not substantially burden any religious belief without having a compelling governmental interest.

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