God’s amazing grace: Former Planned Parenthood manager celebrates 1 year as pro-life activist
August 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As Ramona Trevino celebrates the first anniversary of leaving her position as manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion referral facility in Sherman, Texas, she says she attributes the change in her life to one thing - the grace of God. “No one can come to this change of heart on their own,” she states. “We are all being guided whether we know it or not. The question is, will we listen?”
Like many individuals working for Planned Parenthood, Ramona felt trapped in a job that pricked her conscience but paid the bills. At first, she justified her work since her office was just a referral facility and not an actual abortion facility. However, she found herself compromising her Christian faith and values in ways she had not anticipated.
Day after day, Ramona gave out birth control to girls as young as twelve. These same girls were treated for sexually transmitted diseases already ravaging their young bodies. When girls came in seeking abortions, Ramona and her co-workers were not trained to help them consider adoption, and were given strict orders not to deal with the local crisis pregnancy center. Abortion was presented as the only viable option, and referrals to clinics were routine.
Ramona assumed at first that Planned Parenthood was an organization with the noble motive of helping poor women. Once she was involved with them, it became increasingly clear that their basic priority was financial gain. That bottom line was what really mattered. To illustrate this fact, Ramona recounts a time when Planned Parenthood held a competition to see who could sell the most Emergency Contraception pills at their location.
She says, “They sell themselves as being champions for women but most people that came in couldn’t afford the services. It was several hundred dollars for a general check up. Meanwhile, nearby, there were two other places in town with more affordable prices available.”
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God used two pivotal means in Ramona’s life to help her hear His voice and steer her back towards Him. One day while driving in her car, she was listening to a Christian radio station. Every listener was reminded that God will be coming back one day and, said the broadcaster, “what will we tell God we did to help stop abortion?” It was as if the broadcaster was speaking straight to Ramona’s heart. In that moment, God cornered her. There was nothing else to do but acknowledge she was justifying an existence in which she was directly linking herself to abortion. “The word ‘direct,” she says, “was key to me changing. If I had only seen a partial link, that would not have been enough.”
Coinciding with this incident in the car were the prayers of many who would gather faithfully outside the referral facility. God gave Ramona the desire and determination to get to know those praying and found a kind, loving group of people who she could tell cared deeply about her. Amongst those praying were individuals from 40 Days for Life, an internationally recognized pro-life campaign that has helped her heal and get on her feet.
It was through this introduction to 40 Days for Life that Ramona met Campaign Strategist Lauren Muzyka, who is now one of her closest friends and godmother to her fourth child, five month old Philip. Lauren Says, “Planned Parenthood divides the soul from the body.” She has seen how hurt and wounded the women are who have been affected by Planned Parenthood - not only the women who seek abortions, but also the workers who become involved in a lifestyle of death and destruction.
It was the loving family at 40 Days for Life who first encouraged Ramona to begin telling her story and use her experiences to shed light into what Planned Parenthood really is. Lauren compares Ramona’s story to that of former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson’s. “What is unique about Ramona’s story is she was doing referrals, not actual abortions. By working in gray areas, it was easy to justify what she was doing but then the scales fell from her eyes.”
Thanks to a bill signed into law by Texas Governor Rick Perry that left Planned Parenthood facilities without funding, the Sherman location and six others have since been shut down. Ramona has seized opportunities this year to share her story at pro-life rallies and other events. Recently, she was even signed with the Ambassadors Speakers Bureau. She has found a broad audience and one of the most rewarding results of her message is when she sees people gaining a new perspective on Planned Parenthood.
She looks at her life now and feels the hope that comes from obeying God’s voice and being surrounded by individuals committed to being His ambassadors on this earth, no matter the sacrifice. Says Ramona, “to see people truly living for God has changed my whole perspective on life.”
‘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.