OpinionMon Jun 3, 2013 - 10:22 am EST
‘I still grieve’: former abortion workers find healing at retreat with Abby Johnson, Fr. Pavone
June 3, 2013 (ATTWN) - Last weekend, several former abortion clinic workers from all different states joined together for a healing retreat through And Then There Were None (ATTWN). Father Frank Pavone and Father Terry Gensemer led the retreat and helped the former clinic workers open up. As the workers shared their stories with each other, they realized how much they had in common with one another.
Bitter divorce, broken families, drug and alcohol abuse, and abortions in their own pasts were all major factors in these women's decisions to initially begin working in the abortion industry. "I'm angry at my ex husband... the abuse," said 'Amy,' who was employed by Planned Parenthood for many years. "I felt worthless and thought 'what difference does it make where I work?'"
Also common among former clinic workers is how secretive they were (and still are) about working in the abortion industry-it's something they'd rather keep from their friends and family. "I hate to admit that I ever worked at a place like Planned Parenthood," said 'Jamie,' who had tears in her eyes.
"I still grieve the person that people think I am," said 'Molly.' Even though she left the abortion industry many years ago, she still struggled with telling her adult children about it. "How can I tell them I was capable of that [working in a clinic]?"
Going into the abortion industry, it is not unusual for a person to be told "Don't worry, you won't actually have to participate in the abortions." This happened with most of the women who attended the retreat. Although they may have been initially be uncomfortable with the idea of working in an abortion clinic, this justification helped push that discomfort aside. "It wasn't long before they were in the procedure rooms, directly assisting in the abortion process." 'Mary' described the introductory process to helping in abortions as she recalled: "First, you'd just sit in a chair by the door when they happened. Then, they would have you stand by the door. Eventually you'd come closer, and then suddenly you're at the edge of the bed actually helping with the procedure. They did it that way because most people don't make it through the first one."
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A lot of horrific memories surfaced during the retreat - memories of babies being born alive and having to piece babies back together after procedures were particularly painful for the women to describe. "When you take that jar and dump it [after an abortion], and you see those arms and legs, there's no denying it's a baby," said Mary. 'Christine' recalled a time that a baby was born alive into the toilet. "This baby was moving... I'm like, oh God, what do I do?" she said. "We were supposed to give CPR but never did... once that fetus dropped in the toilet, I knew I was done... I am guilty for not saving the child who drowned in the toilet. When I left, I didn't look back."
Truly, Christ's presence was a palpable during the retreat as tears were shed and admittance of guilt and sorrow poured out. All of the women opened up about their pasts like they never had before, and made promises among themselves to set new goals for their lives. Many made a goal of gathering the courage to pray outside of abortion clinics, including the ones where they formerly worked. Molly made a goal of talking to her family and children about her past. Some made the goal of starting up and working for pregnancy resource centers to help pregnant women choose life. Christine is currently writing a book about her experiences, and wants to expose the doctor for whom she worked. Jamie has set a goal of finding a medical job where she can use her skills without having to compromise her beliefs.
Here are a few more quotes from the former clinic workers who attended the ATTWN retreat.
"Gosnell's going to prison for life, but I'm just as guilty... but the 24 week abortions I helped in, that was legal. There is no statute of limitations on murder, but I'm not in jail... If you can believe it's an unfeeling non-person, it's so much easier to dehumanize them. You can't hear the baby cry." - Molly
"After you work at Planned Parenthood, you're set apart. It's a stigma. As a single parent it's lonely... people look at you differently. The medical community does too. Planned Parenthood makes you feel like you're stuck there because you've been involved with abortion... When I left Planned Parenthood, I never wanted to think about it again. It worked for a few years, but eventually I went out to pray during 40 Days for Life. I figured after that I'd be done, but God has more in store for me." - Mary
"Dr. _X_ was good at the digoxin, but Dr. _Y_ wasn't. Dr. _Y _ would mess up and babies would be born alive... Moms are damaged mentally. You will never, ever, ever, ever forget it. [Abortion] hurts a whole community. It hurts a family." - Christine
"The hardest question you get asked is 'does the baby feel pain?' We had to lie to them or say we don't know." - Amy
All of you, with your financial contributions, your support and your prayers helped to make this weekend happen. On behalf of all the women that attended the retreat, I want to say THANK YOU. Lives are being changed because of you.
We anticipate holding another healing retreat in August. If you know someone who has worked for the abortion industry in the past (or currently), please let them know there is help. We would love for them to join us on our next retreat.
‘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.