Peter Baklinski

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Grandfather's 1982 pro-life poem saves great-grandchild from being aborted

Peter Baklinski
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RIVERSIDE, California, December 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Sarah Fisher, 25, could never understand why when she was a little girl, her mother would always become teary-eyed when she would wish for an older brother. Sarah was the oldest of five, but she remembers feeling “so deprived for not having an older brother.”

“I would tell my mom how much I wanted an older brother,” she told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview. “It was never an older sister, it was always an older brother. She would always tear-up every time I mentioned it.”

It wasn’t until Sarah was 18 and taking steps to attend college that she learned the cause of her mother’s tears.

Sarah learned that she did have an older sibling, but not in this world. He had been aborted while her mother was still in high school.

“I was shocked by her story, because I had been raised pro-life,” she said. “But at the same time, I saw how this explained many things that I had never been able to understand about my mother. It wasn’t until recently that I learned more specifics about the incident from my mother.”

The First Crisis-Pregnancy

In the early 1980’s Sarah’s mom, Susan, attended a private Catholic high school in southern California. Susan’s parents were devout Catholics and involved in pro-life activities. They became foster parents to multiple children, including a few children from overseas who had health problems.

Susan at 16 was “very beautiful and very outgoing,” Sarah said. Susan, the oldest of six children, began dating a football jock and soon became pregnant. The boyfriend pressured Susan into visiting a Planned Parenthood clinic to put an end to the pregnancy .

“He sent one of his friends with her (since he supposedly had something else to do) and my mom went, unwillingly, and got the abortion,” Sarah said.

Sarah learned how her mother had been “in a state of absolute shock and disarray” when she returned to school after the abortion and how the boyfriend “instantly broke up with her.”

Sarah heard how her mother was “so numb” from the abortion experience that she “simply didn’t care” about the breakup. She learned how her mother turned to “drugs, alcohol, and partying” as the pain of the abortion slowly began to sink in.

A Grief-Letter and a Poem

In her pain, Sarah’s mother wrote a letter to the boyfriend about her abortion, hoping to “make him feel the hurt and anguish that she was feeling.”

But the letter was intercepted by Susan’s brother and ended up in the hands of Susan’s father — Sarah’s grandfather.

“I can only imagine what he felt,” Sarah said. “There are rumors in our family of his reaction, rumors about an anger that almost drove him to violence against the boyfriend, and rumors about the hurt that he was feeling on behalf of his daughter.”

Sarah learned that instead of violence, her grandfather chose to write a poem for his hurting, 16-year-old post-abortive daughter.

In the poem, the grief-stricken father relays to his wounded daughter his “agony of watching her slide toward a one-way rut.” He lays the blame on himself for her misfortunes and admits his “share” of “guilt.”

Little did the father know that the last few lines of his poem would ultimately alter the destiny of his daughter, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. They read:

I read a poem a while ago about a test she failed.
Though eloquent it surely was, the logic somehow trailed.

As if life granted one big test — and then the Judgement made,
we’d never have a second chance, nor values we could trade.

Thank God it doesn’t work that way. Thank God there’s other chances —
to Accept Him as He said, The Vine, and take our place as Branches.

But if you only understood how much He loves you!
Why He hung on that cross!
How much He wants you back!
If you only understood how much He wants you back!
I’m sorry for hurting you so much.
I love you.

Putting Puzzle-pieces Together

It was not until last week that Sarah learned of the existence of this poem and the restoration it effected in her mother. She learned how the poem had changed her mother’s life, offering her a ray of hope, opening up to her a new horizon that transcended the bleakness of her shattered life.

“The poem is the very reason why my mother managed to heal and become so positive again,” she said.

Sarah learned how her mother came to “regret that abortion with everything in her,” and that she used that “awful experience to bring up pro-life children.”

“It was then that I understood why Mom had lectured me, as I was growing up, the pro-life way that she had,” she said. “I now knew why she had tried so hard to instill in us pro-life values.”

It was just last week that Sarah put the pieces of the puzzle of her own life together regarding a ‘choice’ that she was faced with five years ago.

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

The Second Crisis-Pregnancy

At 20, Sarah had finished college and had been accepted into university on a scholarship. She was also dating and being intimate with her boyfriend, Jared. Not long before heading off to university, Sarah discovered that she was pregnant.

“I was so scared at that time that if I had walked into a Planned Parenthood, I probably would have had an abortion,” she confessed.

But Sarah knew what abortion had done to her mother. She did not want to “go through that kind of pain.”

Because of her mother’s own crisis pregnancy and the horrible way it had ended, she felt a sense of urgency to tell her mother about her own crisis pregnancy.

“It felt like this sense of protection to tell my mother, ‘Hey, I’m pregnant.’ I somehow knew that by telling her, it would strengthen me to not make the mistake that she regretted so much,” she said. “But I remember the temptation to visit a nearby Planned Parenthood was so strong.”

In the end, Sarah told her mother the difficult news and found the support she needed. She was also glad to have the support of her boyfriend who was open to the new life they had created together.

They were at first going to give up their little one for adoption, but two weeks before the birth they decided to marry and raise the baby themselves.

Sarah completed her university degree in English and History with little Isaac (whose name means laughter) nestled into her lap during class. Sarah and Jared are now the proud parents of three beautiful children.

Sarah knows that Isaac would not be alive today if she had not been taught to respect life by her mother. She knows that if her mother had not been open about the crisis pregnancy and abortion she had experienced 30 years ago, then she would not have been able to be open about her own crisis pregnancy.

“I know that I wouldn’t be so gung-ho pro-life and that my own crisis pregnancy would not be alive and happy today if it hadn’t been for my mother’s witness and protection of me,” she said.

Sarah believes that her grandfather, who died when she was 11, had “something to do” with her choosing life during her crisis pregnancy. She now sees that his poem planted seeds of healing in her mother. These seeds produced in her mother the fruit of healing, self-forgiveness, compassion, and respect for life. She saw that this fruit was passed onto herself and her siblings who learned from their mother about the value of life and the pain caused by abortion.

It dawned on Sarah that her precious Isaac would not be with her today had it not been for the love and compassion shown to her mother by her grandfather through the love-poem that he wrote to her so long ago.

Sarah further believes, that her older sibling who was aborted — who was named Michael — also had “something to do” with her choosing life.

“I think it was my older brother’s spiritual hand on my shoulder that steered me away from the Planned Parenthood clinic that was around the corner from my university and towards the crisis pregnancy center that was a little further away,” she said.

Pay it forward: Healing for Post-Abortive Women

Sarah believes that her story, that weaves generations together, might help women facing a crisis pregnancy or who have already had an abortion. “Going through a crisis pregnancy myself, I understand how scared a woman becomes, how she can be talked into doing just about anything because her mind is paralyzed by fear.”

“Women who have walked the path of my mother need to know, like my Grandpa said in his poem, that ‘God just wants you back,’” she said. “They, more than anyone else, have the power to help other women facing a crisis pregnancy since they can relate to their fear and the pain.”

Sarah believes that her family’s story reveals that no matter what the details, everyone’s crisis pregnancy and abortion story can have a happy ending.

“To every family member who has a child missing in their family tree due to abortion, do not give up or lose hope. Love heals all,” she said knowingly. “So, celebrate that child and his/her short life and share your story to try and prevent other people in a crisis pregnancy from going through that anguish. You can use your loss to prevent other young losses.”

“Above all,” she says, “believe in second chances and the hope that comes with it.”

A father’s poem to his beloved post-abortive 16-year-old

June 03, 1982, 11 PM

Dear Susan,

The urge to tell my daughter what’s gnawing at my gut.
The agony of watching her slide toward a one-way rut;

There’s nothing quite so devastating to the father’s mind
As finding out he’s dropped-the-ball and now his girl’s entwined.

In mental anguish, doubt and fear
— And, worst of all, self hate —
And questioning there in the mirror
if by now it is too late.

And putting off decision, commitment to repair
the damage done by all involved, the guilt of which I share.

I read a poem a while ago about a test she failed.
Though eloquent it surely was the logic somehow trailed.

As if life granted one big test — and then the Judgement made,
we’d never have a second chance, nor values we could trade.

Thank God it doesn’t work that way. Thank God there’s other chances —
to Accept Him as He said, The Vine, and take our place as Branches.

Discouragement is Satan’s tool that prunes us from the Vine,
He’ll try to get us all messed up, our emotions he’ll entwine.

Then piling on the doubt and fear, he’ll say with exclamation:
Stay back! Go away! You’re just no good — for Reconciliation!

But if you only understood how much He loves you!
Why He hung on that cross!
How much He wants you back!
If you only understood how much He wants you back!
I’m sorry for hurting you so much.
I love you.

Dad



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Planned Parenthood closes Iowa abortion facility because of low business

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DUBUQUE, Iowa, May 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood closed an Iowa abortion facility on Friday, noting low business that left the facility unsustainable from a financial standpoint.

Although Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced in January that it planned to close the Dubuque, Iowa, office, pro-life sidewalk counselors were overjoyed on Friday to read the sign in the window that read: “Our office is closed, effective April 28, 2016.”

The office did not perform surgical abortions but did provide medication abortions to the community of about 58,000.

“Rejoice with us for the lives of unborn children saved!” Iowa Right to Life said in a statement after the closure.

As with numerous other closures, Planned Parenthood, which styles itself a provider of “care no matter what,” emphasized it was closing its doors to preserve its bottom line.

“After assessing the shifting health care landscape, changing demographics, and the challenges of operating in areas with low patient volumes, we made the tough decision to close the Dubuque Health Center,” the group said in an announcement. “This change allows us to expand hours and see more patients in Cedar Rapids, where there is unmet demand due to lack of clinician hours.”
“While we regret making this change, we know it is a necessary step in order to continue our mission to provide, promote and protect reproductive and sexual health through health services, education and advocacy. Patients have been notified, and if they wish, they can receive a broader array of services at our health center in Cedar Rapids, where we have expanded hours to accommodate more patient,” Planned Parenthood said.

American Life League’s vice president, Jim Sedlak, remembers speaking to the county right to life group nine years ago.

“I told them at the time that they needed to protest outside Planned Parenthood at least once a week,” he said. “They told me they would do better than that. Over the last eight years, these dedicated pro-lifers were outside Planned Parenthood every hour it was open. And now...it’s closed for good.”

That aligns with advice that David Bereit, the founder of 40 Days for Life, once told young people who wanted to know how to end abortion.

Be loving and compassionate, he said.

Your peaceful, loving presence out there flies in the face of all the stereotypes they want to throw onto us,” he added. “When you show them love instead of condemnation, when you show them peace and joy instead of anger and judgment, that will begin to break down the walls.”

Iowa Right to Life credited just such tactics with closing an office in Red Oak that performed webcam abortions. “Planned Parenthood shut down in Red Oak in large part because of the constant, prayerful presence outside their clinic,” the group said.

Upon hearing of the latest abortion facility shuttering, the Dubuque County Right to Life said that Planned Parenthood isn't the only group that will move its base of operations. “We will probably put our efforts in Cedar Rapids and will continue to spread the pro-life message,” said Executive Director Marian Bourek.



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Ted Cruz confronted by mom who supports aborting disabled babies…just like hers

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MARION, Indiana, May 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Senator Ted Cruz was met on the campaign trail by a mother who strongly opposed a state pro-life law that would have protected children with birth conditions – like her own.

Andrea DeBruler, a 41-year-old nurse, confronted the presidential hopeful in the city of Marion as Cruz campaigned with Gov. Mike Pence.

DeBruler first asked Cruz, then Pence, about House Bill 1337, which bans abortions performed due to the child's race, sex, or disability, such as Down syndome.

DeBruler held up a picture of her daughter, Jania, who was born with cerebral palsy. “This was a choice,” she said.

She asked Sen. Cruz if he supported the bill, which made Indiana the second state in the nation to ban abortion for Down syndrome, after North Dakota.

“I'm not Governor Pence,” he replied. “But I'll tell you this: I believe in protecting human life.”

Pence, who endorsed Cruz in today's make-or-break Indiana primary, listened to her objections.

“I'm not here as a Republican, I'm not here as a Democrat. I'm here as a woman, a woman with choices, choices that you guys should not make,” DeBruler said.

After hearing that she felt many families lacked sufficient resources to care for children, especially in an area like Marion, Gov. Pence offered to connect her with social services.

“God bless her,” he said, looking at Jania's picture, “and God bless you.”

Though it may be unusual to encounter a woman arguing for the right to abort her own child, the governor handled it calmly. Pence had specifically reflected on “precious moments” he spent with “families of children with disabilities, especially those raising children with Down syndrome” when he signed the bill into law in March.

"We are truly thankful for the passage of this historic legislation by the Indiana House and applaud the new civil rights protections this bill creates for unborn children, as well as the new provisions this bill establishes for the humane final disposition of aborted babies," Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said at the time.

DeBruler told the UK media outlet The Independent that H.B. 1337 “means you can no longer have an abortion based on deformity. I’m against this law, because I think it should be a woman’s choice” to abort for any reason.

Congressional Democrats made similar statements during hearings last month for Rep. Trent Franks' federal Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), with Congressman John Conyers saying the bill is “patently unconstitutional,” because a woman has the right to abort a child before viability for any reason.

Both leading contenders for the Democratic nomination expressed their displeasure with the law, which protects unborn children from racial or sexual discrimination, as well as discrimination on the basis of an inborn trait like mental capacity.

When Gov. Pence signed the law, Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted:

Hillary Clinton later said, “I commend the women of this state, young and old, for standing up against this governor and this legislature.”

DeBruler told The Independent, despite her comment about not being a Democrat or a Republican, she is in fact a Democrat and will vote for Hillary Clinton in today's primary. 



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This year, as Notre Dame prepares to confer an honor on Vice President Joe Biden, the silence from the Catholic hierarchy is deafening. Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com
Phil Lawler

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The moral challenge to Cardinal Wuerl in pending Notre Dame outrage

Phil Lawler

Ask Notre Dame not to honor pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden. Sign the petition!

May 3, 2016 (CatholicCulture) -- In 2009, when the University of Notre Dame invited President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address, dozens of American bishops lodged loud public protests. Yet this year, as Notre Dame prepares to confer an even greater honor on Vice President Joe Biden (together with former House Speaker John Boehner), the silence from the hierarchy is deafening.

Back in 2009, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston said that Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama was “very disappointing,”, while then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan termed it a “big mistake.” The late Bishop John D’Arcy, then leader of the Indiana diocese in which the university is located, spoke of “the terrible breach which has taken place between Notre Dame and the Church.” For the first time in his 25 years of service to the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, Bishop D’Arcy declined to attend the Notre Dame commencement exercises; instead he addressed a protest rally organized by pro-life students, faculty, alumni, and staff.

These prelates and others explained their dismay by referring to the statement “Catholics in Political Life,” released in 2004 by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. In that document, the bishops reflected on the need to maintain a consistent public witness in defense of human life, and therefore to distance themselves from public officials who support legal abortion. The statement set forth a clear policy that Catholic institutions should not give public honors to “pro-choice” politicians:

The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

By giving President Obama an honorary degree and offering him an opportunity to speak at graduation, Notre Dame clearly violated that policy. University officials could offer only garbled partial defenses, claiming that they were honoring Obama not because he supports unrestricted abortion, but because he is President of the United States.

This year the university cannot offer even that lame defense of the decision to award the Laetare Medal to Vice President Biden. Unlike Obama, Biden is a Catholic, and by granting him this award the university is explicitly saying that the Vice President has “illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.” In other words, Notre Dame is honoring Vice President Biden as a Catholic political leader despite his unwavering support for abortion and same-sex marriage.

Give credit to Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the current leader of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, for raising a lonely voice of protest. “I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any ‘pro-choice’ public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service,” Bishop Rhoades said. But if any other bishops have joined him in that rebuke to Notre Dame, I must have missed their public announcements.

Some observers, of liberal political sympathies, have argued that it is wrong to honor John Boehner, too, because the former Speaker disagreed with the US bishops’ stand on immigration. This is a tired old argument, conflating disagreement with the bishops on a prudential political decision with defiance of Church teaching on a fundamental moral principle. But it is noteworthy that Notre Dame officials saw fit to make a joint award, no doubt in a cynical effort to dodge political criticism by choosing one honoree from each side of the political spectrum.

“We live in a toxic political environment where poisonous invective and partisan gamesmanship pass for political leadership,” said Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, in announcing the Laetare Award recipients. (Notice the pre-emptive suggestion that those who criticize the school’s choices may be engaged in “poisonous invective.”) He went on to make a tortured argument that although Notre Dame is honoring two politicians, it is not honoring them for what they have done in their political careers:

In recognizing both men, Notre Dame is not endorsing the policy positions of either, but celebrating two lives dedicated to keeping our democratic institutions working for the common good through dialogue focused on the issues and responsible compromise.

By now we all know the familiar dodges. The politician claims to oppose abortion personally, but to feel a delicate reticence about imposing his views on others. He says that we must be willing to compromise (even on life-and-death decisions). He insists that he is not “pro-abortion” but “pro-choice.”

That last bubble of rhetoric was unceremoniously burst by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, when he celebrated Mass at Georgetown after Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richard had delivered a lecture there. “The word ‘choice’ is a smokescreen,” he said, “behind which those killing unborn children take refuge. Every chance you get, blow that smoke away!”

Now Cardinal Wuerl himself has a chance to “blow that smoke away.” As things stand, he is scheduled to celebrate Mass at the Notre Dame commencement, and to receive an honorary degree. He could pull out; he could absent himself from the ceremonies, to ensure that he does not become part of an event that pays homage to a “pro-choice” Catholic politician.

And there is a precedent. Back in 2009, the Harvard legal scholar (and former US ambassador to the Holy See) Mary Ann Glendon was chosen to receive the Laetare Award. But when she learned that President Obama would be speaking, she announced her decision to decline the award. Clearly annoyed that her presence might be used to quiet the critics of the honor for Obama, Ambassador Glendon wrote that she did not want to be used as a counterweight, nor did she see the Notre Dame commencement as an appropriate venue for a genteel debate about legal abortion:

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Could Cardinal Wuerl do this year what Ambassador Glendon did in 2009? Even at this late date, his withdrawal would send a powerful message of support for the right to life: an unmistakable rebuke to politicians who hide behind the smokescreen that the cardinal himself identified. To be sure, if he did withdraw, the cardinal would be caught in an avalanche of public criticism; he would suffer for his public witness. But there is a reason why cardinals wear red.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. Reprinted with permission from Catholic Culture.



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