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16-year-old: ‘I regret having sex, but I’ve never regretted keeping my baby’

Peter Baklinski
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OTTAWA, Ontario, July 20, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Defending a woman’s ‘right to choose’ often means defending abortion. Pro-choice advocates argue for the availability of that choice saying “you wouldn’t know how hard it is to deal with an unexpected pregnancy unless you’ve experienced it.”

But for Amber Kortekaas, pregnant at 16, nothing could be further from the truth. Amber recounted to LifeSiteNews what she called the “long chain of events” that resulted in her becoming pregnant at such a tender age.

It all began with the “caring, fun-loving boy” who took Amber out on dates, called her often on the phone, and made her “feel important.”

“I felt obligated to give him what he wanted,” she said. “Stupid, right?” 

Not too much later, while attending a six-week-long gliding camp for cadets in the summer of 2010, Amber began to wonder if she might be pregnant. But she blamed her body’s little abnormalities on the “stresses of being away from home.”

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“The food tasted bad because it was gross mess-food. Everything smelled bad because it was an old building,” she said. “I threw-up that one night because the food tasted bad and the room smelled terrible. I was always exhausted because they were waking us up at 5 a.m. and I was running all day.”

But Amber began to run out of excuses for the strange way her body was behaving. It was during the last week of camp that she “figured it all out.” Amber persevered through the rigorous training and received her pilot’s license, despite all the changes her young body was experiencing as a result of the pregnancy. But her elation at getting her wings was short lived, for now she faced the reality of having to return home and tell her parents what was really going on inside of her.

“The thought of telling my parents was terrifying. My mom, a very kind and religious woman, had no idea what I was doing behind her back.”

But Amber was spared the dreaded moment: She threw-up during her car ride home, and her mom “instantly” figured out why.

Instead of condemning her, Amber’s family “vowed to support” her. “I was very lucky in this way, for I know it would have all been harder if they hadn’t.”

But the relationship between Amber and her boyfriend began to deteriorate. The “caring, fun-loving boy” began to show his true colors. He became “controlling to say the least, to the point where it was abusive.” The boyfriend began to harass Amber with text messages. If she did not immediately respond to his messages, he would call her on the phone, demanding to know where she was and why she was not responding.

Amber discovered that her boyfriend had even lied to her about his past and that he had made up stories about himself to gain her sympathy.

“He at one point told me about his ex-girlfriend — who apparently cheated on him — who nearly drove him to almost kill himself when they broke up,” she said.

The quarrels between the disenchanted young couple would end in Amber’s boyfriend threatening her with his suicide if he could not get his way. They quarreled over what the baby’s last name would be, whether Amber should continue to work, where she would go to school. But most often, they quarreled over where Amber should live.

“He desperately wanted me to move out with him, but I always refused. The reasons why were numerous. One of the main reasons is that I knew that he would absolutely give me no support as I tried to finish high school.”

Amber finally began to see for herself how the young man she called her boyfriend and with whom she had created a new life was “abusing and manipulating” her.

“He lied constantly about everything. He would keep me up on the phone fighting all night. I see all of this now, but I have to admit it was hard for me to realize how suppressed and horrible I felt at the time,” she said. “I believed that he was my only friend. I didn’t want to believe that he was abusing and manipulating me, but eventually I couldn’t ignore it anymore.”

Amber continued to live with her parents, who supported her and became her lifeline. She returned to school in the fall, completing her entire semester and even managing to keep up her honor-roll grades.

“I didn’t have my friends at that time,” she recounted, “but I knew in the importance of my education.”

With the baby coming in March, Amber cut back on her studies during the spring semester, only taking one class online from her home.

On March 4th, 2011, Jonah Eden Kortekaas was born.

“I went for the natural birth, with no epidural and it didn’t take long before Jonah was in my arms,” she said. “I was elated, but exhausted and emotional.”

“He was perfect, although exhausting. But he was worth it all. He was real, living, breathing, and loving.”

The boyfriend continued to harass Amber and even managed to convince the nurses to let him stay in the hospital with her after the birth of Jonah.

“This turned out to me nothing short of a disaster,” she said. “It went further and further downhill until the last morning I was there.”

On that morning, Amber was scheduled to see a social worker as part of the hospital’s policy for new mothers under the age of 20. The boyfriend, however, was not invited to the meeting.

“When I returned from the meeting, my mom was in the nursery with Jonah and my boyfriend was in Emergency. He had had a ‘panic attack’ on the floor and was taken out.”

A nurse who had witnessed the incident pulled Amber aside saying: “You are doing so well and trying so hard. You can do better than him. Whatever happens, do not leave your baby alone with that boy.”

This was all that Amber needed to hear. She now knew what she had to do.

“There it was, the last devastating blow in our relationship,” she said. “I broke up with him the next day.”

Amber fought for and won custody over her baby, with her ex-boyfriend being granted only supervised access.

With the boyfriend out of the way, Amber recalls that her life “really started getting better.” She began making new friends. She began to understand the purpose of boundaries, which she says helped her in building better relationships with people.

“I began feeling good about myself,” she said.

The young mom says that all her struggles have been worthwhile for the sake of her son.

“The thought that I could have so easily destroyed something so wonderful, still scares me to this day.”

“Yes, I am left out of many things, but I don’t feel as if it is the end of the world. I have a son who loves me, and I love him more than anything. I have fun, and am still enjoying life.”

Amber says that while she “regrets having sex”, she “never regrets” her decision to keep her baby. She likes to compare her “young and naive” sexual activity resulting in pregnancy to drinking and then causing a car accident.

“To me, the choice is when one decides to drive after drinking. One is responsible for whatever happens after that choice to drive. Likewise, the choice is when one decides to have sex. One is responsible for whatever happens after that choice.”

Amber saw the entire matter as very simple: Her choice, she says, was when she was with her boyfriend. Once she conceived, there was no longer any ‘choice’, but simply ‘responsibility’.

Amber pointed out that while the last two years of her life have been hard, nevertheless, through the challenges she has “become a better person”.

“I feel proud that I was able to take responsibility for my actions, face the consequences and make the best of them.”

“I love my baby. I regret having sex, but I have never regretted keeping my baby. Life doesn’t end when there is an unexpected pregnancy, it begins.”

Editor’s Note: Amber graduated from high school with the help of her Mom who looked after Jonah in the mornings while she attended class. Amber participated in online classes in the evenings while Jonah slept. The young mom looks forward to beginning post-secondary education at the University of Ottawa this September. “I am taking the next step,” she said.



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Prof. Robert Spaemann, a close friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, says Amoris Laetitia directly contradicts St. John Paul II’s teaching.
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Pope’s exhortation is a ‘breach’ with Catholic Tradition: leading German philosopher

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A prominent Catholic philosopher and close friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said Thursday that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia is a “breach” with Catholic tradition and directly contradicts the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II in his exhortation Familiaris Consortio.

"If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order."

Professor Robert Spaemann told the Catholic News Agency’s German branch that changing the Church’s sacramental practice would be “a breach with its essential anthropological and theological teaching on human marriage and sexuality.”

“It is clear to every thinking person who knows the texts that are important in this context that [with Amoris Laetitia] there is a breach” with the Church’s Tradition, Spaemann said.

The professor’s remarks were translated by Dr. Maike Hickson in an article at OnePeterFive.

In Familiaris Consortio, Pope St. John Paul II upheld the Church’s longstanding approach to the question of admitting to the Sacraments remarried divorcees, by writing:

…the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia seemingly contradicts the above passage by asserting that in certain cases, integrating back into the Church the divorced and remarried and others in “irregular” situations “can include the help of the sacraments.”  The footnote then mentions both Confession and the Eucharist.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan criticized Amoris Laetitia for its lack of clarity on the subject.  “Analyzing some of the affirmations of AL with an honest understanding, as they are in their own context, one finds that there is a difficulty in interpreting them according to the traditional doctrine of the Church,” wrote Schneider.

Spaemann also condemned the exhortation’s seeming embrace of “situation ethics” as opposed to universal norms and its call to not judge people’s actions that directly contradict the Church’s sexual ethics.

“When it comes to sexual relations which are in objective contradiction to the Christian order of life, I would like to know from the pope after which time period and under which conditions such an objectively sinful behavior becomes a conduct which is pleasing to God,” said Spaemann. 

By turning “chaos into principle” with “one stroke of a pen,” Pope Francis is leading the Church “into the direction of schism,” Spaemann said—and he warned that such a schism would not be “at the periphery, but in the middle of the Church.” 

Spaemann also warned that Amoris Laetitia may be used to bully faithful priests. He wrote:

Each individual cardinal, as well as each bishop and each priest is now called to preserve in his field of authority the Catholic Sacramental Order and to confess it publicly. If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order.

RELATED

Famed German Catholic philosopher makes waves for criticizing Pope Francis’ ‘autocratic’ style



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The Institute for Family Health, a federally qualified health center, has been running an abortion facility in apparent violation of federal law.
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Federally funded community health center may have illegally performed abortions: Report

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A federally qualified health center (FQHC) apparently performed abortions, although nearly all federal funds are forbidden from being used for that purpose, sources tell LifeSiteNews. Now, pro-life congressmen are demanding further investigations into the use of U.S. taxpayer funds to promote abortion-on-demand.

The issue came to light when a federal inspector general's report found that six Americorps volunteers had been acting as "abortion doulas," giving emotional support to women who chose to have abortions.

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) allowed the volunteers – who received tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars – to support abortions that took place inside a New York abortion facility run by the Institute for Family Health (IFH).

Americorps “volunteers” illegally supporting abortion at taxpayer expense is an ongoing problem. But there's more to the story.

The IFH proudly advertises itself as a federally qualified health center (FQHC). Federal dollars are restricted from underwriting most abortion at FQHCs, in line with the Hyde Amendment. This does not hold true for the Affordable Care Act, conventionally known as ObamaCare.

To ease qualms raised by pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak and others, on March 24, 2010, Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13535. It states that “the Hyde [Amendment] language shall apply to the authorization and appropriations of funds for Community Health Centers...I hereby direct the Secretary of HHS to ensure that program administrators and recipients of federal funds are aware of and comply with the limitations on abortion services imposed on CHCs by existing law.”

Pro-life groups warned at the time that an executive order was insufficient to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion, and the law itself had to be amended – or defeated.

Stupak, who voted for ObamaCare before retiring from Congress, later said he was “perplexed and disappointed” by President Obama's “double cross” during the law's implementation.

Pro-life experts today say Congress must investigate whether the law is being violated and, if so, if the offense is isolated to IFH.

"For years the Obama administration has claimed that the Affordable Care Act and federally-funded health centers do not subsidize abortion, and the president finally signed additional provisions, passed last year by Congress, to ensure that community health centers do not use federal funds to support abortion,” said Arina Grossu, the director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council. “Now we learn that CNCS is violating the law by helping women obtain abortions.”

“This blatant violation of federal law by CNCS and AmeriCorps demands that Congress investigate government-funded community health centers,” Grossu said. “It's time for this administration to stop foisting its radical abortion agenda on the American people and using their tax dollars to do so.” 

Pro-life advocates have long said that there is no need to fund Planned Parenthood, because federal women's health dollars could be reappropriated to FQHCs, which do not perform abortion.

There are 9,170 federally qualified health centers compared to about 700 Planned Parenthood facilities, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute. FQHCs see 21.1 million patients a year, while Planned Parenthood saw 2.8 million people, the institute reported.

The latest example of federal dollars being channeled to support abortion, the law notwithstanding, has undermined some confidence in the FQHCs.

Rep. Diane Black, a pro-life Republican from Tennessee, said, “NACHC didn’t just break the rules; they broke trust with the American people. My constituents expect that federal funding given to our community health centers will be used to protect and enhance people’s lives, not to be a willing partner in their destruction.”

At least two Congressional leaders – the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the chair of the House Health Subcommittee – have promised they will take action immediately.

“Federal law demands that taxpayer dollars are never to be spent on abortion activities. Not one penny. Period. But a disturbing report from an independent watchdog reveals that was not the case with brazen pursuits by the National Association of Community Health Centers,” said Congressmen Fred Upton and Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania, both Republicans. “The law was violated and this shameful failure of trust will not be tolerated.”



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Abortion lobbyists demand Ted Cruz renounce pro-life leader Troy Newman

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WICHITA, Kansas, April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The nation's largest abortion providers, an abortion lobbying group, and an ultra-liberal political organization are demanding that Senator Ted Cruz cut ties with Operation Rescue President Troy Newman – something that only proves how effective he has been, Newman's organization says.

Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and People for the American Way are asking Cruz to fire Newman as national co-chair of the “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, claiming that Newman supports violence.

“Troy Newman’s history of violent rhetoric and harassment toward women’s health providers is truly beyond the pale,” the three say in a letter to Sen. Cruz, linking to quotations from his 2000 book, Their Blood Cries Out.

“What Planned Parenthood and their cohorts call 'violent rhetoric' is really a discussion of Old Testament Bible verses taken out of context,” said Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue and co-author of the book Their Blood Cries Out. The work establishes the sinful guilt of abortion before highlighting the mercy available in the New Testament for those who accept Jesus Christ, Sullenger said.

The letter also cites a report from the National Abortion Federation stating that abortionists have experienced an increase in “hate speech and internet harassment” since the release of CMP's undercover videos of Planned Parenthood, “which Newman was a driving force behind.”

“What they call 'harassment' is peaceful activism that is completely protected by the First Amendment,” Sullenger responded.

Newman has consistently denounced criminal action and violence of any kind during his decades in the pro-life movement, Operation Rescue said of the allegations – many of which were circulated to prevent Newman from entering Australia last year.

“Newman’s position on abortion-related violence is clear. He denounces violence against abortion providers as well as the violence perpetrated by the abortion cartel against innocent babies in the womb and their mothers,” Sullenger said.

“Attacking the messenger is the only way they have to try to discredit the hefty volume of evidence against them. This most recent attack is all about manipulating the public’s perception against those who exposed Planned Parenthood in order to deflect attention from their own crimes.”

But the three groups poured vitriolic scorn on Newman. Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, called Newman's role “completely unacceptable...No politician should be allowed to pander to violent anti-choice extremists without being called out.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said, "Troy Newman is an anti-choice extremist and misogynist ideologue.”

A Planned Parenthood executive said the choice proved Sen. Cruz and his vice presidential choice, Carly Fiorina, are unfit for office.

“It is not surprising to see Ted Cruz embrace this type of violent extremism -- after all this is the same man who has told malicious lies about Planned Parenthood, would criminalize abortion, and tried to shut down the government” to defund Planned Parenthood, said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “This is what the Cruz-Fiorina ticket stands for."

Sullenger dismissed their rhetoric as “a feeble attempt to hurt the presidential candidacy of Sen. Ted Cruz, who they know will seek to enforce the laws against them.”

Cruz has repeatedly stated that, if he is elected president, he will defund Planned Parenthood – before prosecuting them.

Their letter has led to a number of articles in the mainstream media, including Politico, the Huffington Post, and Glamour. The last publication, a feminist magazine aimed at young women, slammed Ted Cruz's choice of Carly Fiorina for vice president, telling its readers to “hold on to your uterus.”

“Not one of these publications bothered to reach out to Newman or Operation Rescue’s staff for their response,” Sullenger said.

This morning and afternoon, both sides of the abortion debate have used the Twitter hashtag #FireTroy to get their message across.

Sen. Cruz has not responded to the call, but the letter implies that purging Newman from the campaign would not satisfy the pro-abortion coalition. “There are a number of coalition members whose records raise serious concerns,” they say.



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