Ruth Shaw

Reflections of a pregnant pro-lifer

Ruth Shaw
By Ruth Shaw
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April 19, 2012 (UnmaskingChoice.ca) - Today, my husband James and I had a life-changing experience. For the first time, we witnessed first-hand the visual presence of our precious baby (let’s call him or her “Juth”) in my womb.

As someone who has been actively involved in the pro-life movement for several years, the experience I had today has drastically altered my perception of pre-born children (including my own child), and of the power of visual technology when talking about pregnancy and abortion.

As James and I progressed through our forty minute ultrasound appointment, the technician proceeded to tell us which parts of Juth we were looking at- his or her face, hands, feet, fibulas, ankles, spine, on and on. Not only did she identify the body parts, but she measured the shape, and position of many of Juth’s body parts in order to ensure that all of them were developing ‘normally.’

Upon leaving the appointment, two things really struck me:

#1: Juth is a unique human being.

Beyond providing a healthy uterus and good nutrition, I have done nothing to facilitate his or her growth- this is not much different than providing a safe house and good food for your born children. How many times have I explained this concept while training pro-lifers and challenging abortion-minded folk? So many times!

I always knew that I was speaking the truth because it logically and scientifically made sense. But when you actually get to see these body parts developing inside of you, it makes the truth reality. In this sense, it became even more clear to me that I don’t own Juth, that Juth is not a part of me. Rather, he/she is a developing human being that has been entrusted to me. How is this any different than a parent raising a born child and ensuring that their child is safe and taken care of?

Click ‘like’ if you want to END ABORTION!

Upon seeing the ultrasound pictures of Juth, a friend asked me if I felt more connected to the baby after seeing him or her. After thinking about it, I realized that my connection to Juth was now clarified- Juth and I are two distinct persons. Seeing my child and having his or her body parts described to me helped me realize that my role, starting in the womb and onwards, is one of support. From fertilization onwards until our baby is born, James and I are the people cultivating an environment for our child to be healthy in—we are providing an environment in which he/she can grow and develop mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. From the moment Juth was conceived, I had little control over how he/she grew and now moves… (this was made real to me when I begged Juth to kick so that James could feel it and nothing happened.)

So do I feel connected to Juth? Absolutely, yes. But ultimately, I have come to more fully realize our child’s internal potential for greatness that has already begun that I witnessed through seeing his/her self-sufficiency in my womb. This mentality is much more freeing than how I felt-before- which is that I was the author of all things related to Juth.

#2: The power of visuals

As many people know, the work that I do with the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform is often considered to be controversial because of our constant use of imagery, both of fetal development and abortion. We have often been accused of making women feel guilty about their abortions and have been encouraged to use slogans instead of pictures as though there is no greater merit to using the latter.

As someone who has been using CCBR’s methods for a few years, I first became convicted of their effectiveness while doing pro-life activism on campus. But, once again, the overall effectiveness of imagery was clarified for me when I saw photos of our baby up close.

I now more fully understand why ultrasound technicians are less likely to show abortion-minded women ultrasound imagery before their abortion. There is no way that a woman could in good conscience choose to kill her child after seeing his/her spine, legs, head, eyes, and mouth and after each body part is described to her in detail. There is no way she could justifiably continue to say that her child is just a blob, or a cancerous growth, or simply an extension of herself. Ultrasound imagery shatters the pro-choice perspective of pre-born children into a million pieces.

I have always known what babies in the womb look like and I am able to articulate parts of their in-utero development. But after seeing pictures close up of my own child and having his/her body parts described to me, I can say with full confidence that there are no words that could have fully done justice to what I saw. How do you describe to someone the delicacy of a pre-born child’s beautiful spine? Or the way in which he/she spins around during an ultrasound, or curls up in the corner? There are no accurate words, only pictures.

In the same way that I have more deeply come to know the intrinsic and indescribable beauty of pre-born children, I have also become more deeply horrified and disturbed by abortion, and abortion imagery. Fully understanding how beautiful pre-born children are must walk hand in hand with understanding how horrific abortion is. The reason I can appreciate the beauty of my child is because I accept and believe Juth to be a valuable human being, and it was amplified after seeing him or her. For this reason, I find abortion to be horrific. Because our culture does not affirm the humanity of pre-born children in the womb, it can justify abortion. How does one accurately describe the bloody, liquidation of a human child in the womb? There are no words, only pictures.

Have you ever seen a beautiful painting destroyed? Doesn’t it hurt to look at it, especially if you know it’s former beauty? That is what seeing ultrasound imagery is like next to abortion imagery. The latter hurts to look at because we are in awe of the former’s beauty and capabilities. We cannot convince our culture of the horrors of abortion if they do not see it and feel pain as a result. They feel pain because they know intrinsically that that humanity is beautiful (starting in the womb), and they can’t stand to see something destroy it.

By showing our culture the destruction of humanity in the womb while affirming the dignity and beauty of pre-born human beings, we clarify for them what it means to be valued, and discarded. We will continue to shatter their ideologies: We will EndtheKilling.

Reprinted with permission from UnmaskingChoice.ca

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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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