Susan VanSyckle

I wish like HELL I didn’t have the right to choose that day

Susan VanSyckle
By Susan VanSyckle
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November 9, 2012 (Bound4Life.com) - Kathy and I go way back.  In fact, she was my best friend in elementary school.  We had no idea while singing karaoke and staying up late at slumber parties the pain we would go through as adults.  But we also had no idea how God would use our brokenness for His glory.  I’ve been amazed at Kathy’s heart for Jesus, passion for her family, and vigor for empowering other women.

Recently, she sent me this message.  As I sat weeping at my computer over her pain and loss, her sweet baby, and the goodness of a savior who will make all things new, I knew it needed to be shared.  And Kathy, in her immense courage, is allowing me to share her story publicly for the first time in her own words…

I feel God pulling at my heart stings to tell the truth about abortion.  I want to reach those who feel they have no other choice than their “right to choose.”

You are one of a few people that I have shared this story with.  God is calling me to share it with more but I am nervous and scared.  The truth is I have been carrying around a deep dark secret. Carrying it on my back, and dealing with it all alone because of what the consequences are if people were to hear the truth.  The truth is I no longer care what others think. The truth is I know there are others out there like me, suffering alone when they don’t have to.  The truth is…God is calling me to speak out.

The truth is when I was 19 years old I got pregnant. Upon telling my parents; they decided that I would get married. We began to plan a very quick wedding. The boy I was dating at the time turned out to be abusive. He was from an abusive home and had his father had brutally beaten his first wife in front of her two sons. The first time this boy threw me to the ground while I was pregnant I knew there was NO WAY I was going to allow this cycle to repeat. I broke off the engagement and began looking into adoption. I was only 19 and I knew I wasn’t ready to be a mom. When I told him I wanted to make an adoption plan, that I knew that was the best choice for us and the baby, he became very angry. Threatening, yelling, and screaming, he told me no one would EVER take the mother of his child or his child away from him. He wouldn’t allow it – that we WOULD be together. I became scared. Fear set in like I can’t even begin to explain. I realized that I could be a victim of abuse or I could save myself and my unborn child and choose to make this all disappear. I told him I had a miscarriage (which is what I told everyone else too).

Walking into Planned Parenthood the smell of depression and hopelessness lay thick in the room. Yes, I could actually smell it.  None of the women looked thankful that they had the “choice” to be there.  They all looked empty.  Broken.  I felt it too. I had always said I would NEVER have an abortion.  I was wrong. In my mind I believed it was the only “choice” I had at the time to protect myself and my unborn child from a life of fear and abuse.  My name was called and I headed in the back. I was scared and alone.

I hear people talking about the right to “choose.”  I wish like HELL I didn’t have the right to choose that day. I wish there had been counseling. I wish there had been adoption agencies out there trying to reach the youth. I wish THOSE things were easy access; NOT Planned Parenthood.  I wish more than anything, ANYTHING, I could have taken away MY right to choose and allow my baby to have their right to choose life.  I wish there was support out there for girls like me.  And maybe there was…but Planned Parenthood was easy to find.  Abortion is easy. Walk in, walk out.  Done.  Pregnant.  Not Pregnant.  Simple.  Except…it’s NOT that simple. They forget to tell you about the rest of the story.

The truth is they don’t tell you about the memory you live with for the rest of your life.  For awhile I was able to forget.  I had to suppress the memory in order to survive MY right to live. But slowly the memory began to resurface.  Back to the room…back to the smells…back to the empty eyes of broken women.  Back to the face of the man that literally sucked life out of my body.

Abortion is not about choice. It’s about selfishness.  It’s about desperation.  And I can say that because I have had one.  I have walked a mile in those shoes…and it’s a mile that never ends.

Recently a friend asked me if I had ever named my baby.  Immediately I thought, “No, because that would make it real!”  Then the “fetus” would become human.  Become a baby.  But I knew in that moment I needed to acknowledge that my baby is real.  I needed to mourn the loss of my child.  I realized how deep the pain still ran from my right to “choose.”  I began to pray that God would give me a name.  A few weeks ago while driving in the car I heard God speak to me: “Her name is Joy.”  Tears streamed down my face.  It was a girl!  I had had a daughter.

Before that precious moment in the car, I randomly heard an audible whisper of mom. I will wake up in the middle of the night to mom and there is no one in the room.  Washing my face I hear mom and look up…no one there.  It has happened a number of times where I hear mom and there is no one around.  Shortly after hearing “Her name is Joy,” I was washing my face in the bathroom and I heard the whisper again; mom.  Then it hit me: it’s her!  It’s Joy. This incredible RUSH came over me and I knew in that moment she was telling me It’s okay.  I forgive you. I am here with Jesus waiting for you. I love you.  And it’s okay.  Since that realization I haven’t heard the voice again.  But God has placed on my heart to share this story because I know I am not alone.  I KNOW I am not the only woman sitting at Church or in Bible Study carrying this same burden.  It’s the ONE thing that Christians don’t talk about other than to point a finger at someone and telling them its murder.  I am not sure what God’s plan is for me with sharing this story. But I know that SOMEONE needs to hear it.  So I am sharing it.

If you have gone through the agony of abortion, you are not alone. And it’s OKAY to talk about it. We can’t heal unless we help each other carry our burdens. I have finally carried that baggage to the foot of the cross and left it there.  I have been forgiven.  Not only has God forgiven me but he has blessed me far beyond measure with four more beautiful children.  And he’s placed it in my heart to help fight for moms and babies.  For anyone out there that has suffered in silence, that has carried this burden on their back ashamed of the choice they made, please know you are NOT alone.

 

This is why I’m so passionate about adoption. For me, it’s not just about the babies. It’s so much about the birth mamas (and fathers as well), who need to be loved on and cared for and know that they have a hope and a future as well as their babies. THIS is what real adoption ministry is all about.

The truth is if you are pro-LIFE you are also pro-CHILD and pro-WOMAN.

I love you Kathy.  You are one of my mama heroes.  And I can’t wait for you to introduce me to Joy when we get to God’s kingdom and he makes all things new. 

UPDATE:  Since this blog was posted several days ago, Kathy and I have been inundated with stories from other women also healing from the hurt of past abortions.  In response, Kathy has created a website, Joy Has Wings, a place for post abortive women to find support and healing.  There you can find more resources for post abortive women and men and their families.

For more post abortive resources, check out:
Ramah International
Silent No More Awareness Campaign
Her Choice to Heal
Kelly Clinger’s Blog

Reprinted with permission from Bound4Life.com

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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