Peter Baklinski

She chose her broadcasting career over baby’s life, now runs radio show for post-abortive women

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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PEACHTREE CITY, Georgia, May 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Thirty-five years ago, in 1978, everything seemed to be going Kim’s way.

The 23-year-old, blond-haired beauty had recently put herself through broadcasting school. Now she was being offered the job of her dreams, which would lead to her having her own program in a big city. She also had a man by her side with whom she planned to enjoy all the good things that life offered. 

But just three months into her new career, Kim found out that she was pregnant. Her partner wanted nothing to do with a baby, telling her that he was not ready to become a father. Kim’s close friends told her that since he would not support her, she would just have to “take care” of herself – i.e. get an abortion.

Kim Ketola told LifeSiteNews.com in a recent interview that she viewed the pregnancy as a threat to her future. 

“I did not in any way see how I could [have the baby and] withstand the shame of being a single mother and being someone who had been in love with a man who would treat me that way,” she said.

Kim didn’t agonize over the moral questions raised by abortion. She simply assumed that abortion must be moral since it was legal. 

Abortion Aftermath

Kim remembers that while the abortion procedure was not traumatic or painful physically, it was “very traumatic spiritually.” After the procedure, she realized on some deep level that she was guilty of having “taken a life.” 

“I believed I was going to hell. I believed that God hated me,” she said.

Grief and sorrow became Kim’s constant, but unacknowledged companions. She tried to bury her spiritually devastating abortion experience in her demanding career. The betrayal she felt from the man who had promised to be there for her in times of need destroyed the young couple’s once flourishing relationship. 

A marriage five years after the abortion lasted less than a decade before ending in divorce. Kim remarried. Her second husband was interested in God and together they began attending a scripture-based pro-life denomination. 

“As I would hear the sermons, it was just shattering because what my heart had known and sensed to be true … I was now hearing confirmed in scripture,” she said.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5), she heard on one occasion. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb,” (Psalm 139:13) she heard at another time.

But while the words of scripture beckoned her to begin a healing journey, Kim still had a long road ahead.

“There was no ‘child’ until that point. It was just too terrible to think about a baby or to try to picture a little one,” she said.

After being with the denomination for eleven years, Kim attended a discipleship retreat where a woman openly shared her abortion experience. At that moment, Kim knew that the time had come for her to acknowledge what she had denied and kept buried for so long. 

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“Someone confessed an abortion and that made it safe for me to share my secret,” she remembers.

Kim learned at that retreat that Jesus had died for her and all her mistakes, including her abortion. She learned that nothing she had done was so terrible that God wasn’t big enough, merciful enough, and loving enough to forgive.

“God released me. As that shame receded, something really beautiful happened: Christ affirmed for me that my child is safe with him in Heaven.”

She name her child Emmanuel, meaning “God is with us”.

For the first time, Kim was able to publicly grieve over her child lost through abortion. And then, from her new vantage point, she took a hard look at her broadcasting career, pursued at the expense of her God-given child, and saw it as so much sawdust. 

Help over the radio waves

Kim went on to work with Ruth Graham, who ran post-abortion healing workshops, in 2007. She wrote a book about her journey titled Cradle My Heart: Finding God’s Love after Abortion, published last year by Kregel, which tells her story and those of 10 other women. 

Then, last year, when Kim moved to Georgia, some friends encouraged her to use her three decades of broadcasting experience to reach out over the airwaves to women hurting from abortion. With no budget and no backers Kim approached a radio station manager to ask for an hour a week. She was surprised when the station manager responded “Yes.” 

Cradle My Heart Radio with Kim Ketola was first broadcast last September. In the past eight months, Kim has featured first-person stories of healing after abortion with expert commentary from leading Christian voices, including Cecil Stokes, producer of pro-life film October Baby, Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation, pro-life nurse and blogger Jill Stanek, Pat Layton, founder of Life Impact Network, Reggie Littlejohn, founder of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, abortion worker turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson, and Rachel’s Vineyard founder Dr. Theresa Burke. 

Cradle My Heart Radio is live on 11 stations and streamed over the Internet on Sunday evenings at 9 ET. Kim’s begins every program with the tag line: “A safe place to connect with others. Finding God's Love After Abortion. This is Cradle My Heart Radio.”

On the show, Kim encourages listeners to call in and share their abortion related stories, ask questions, and make comments. “We are live and interactive so people will know that there is a safe place to go and to call,” she said. 

Kim sees the radio show as a “beautiful ministry” to women hurt by abortion who just might hear the words they need to see the dawning of a new hope in their lives shattered by abortion. With about an estimated one-third of American women having an abortion during their reproductive lifetime, Kim knows that her program is not falling on deaf ears.

“What I know is that there are a lot of people who have stories to tell and some of them are very different from my story,” she said. 

Kim does not see her program as a one-woman show. She relies on the pro-life movement to be there for the hurt and broken women who call in. She tells callers thinking about abortion that local pregnancy help centers offer the best information. She has a list of locations and numbers at hand. “The pregnancy help movement are the hands and feet of the pro-life movement,” she said.

Listeners tuning in on Sunday evenings will hear Kim say that abortion never solves problems, it just creates bigger ones. Kim said that if she knew a young woman had tuned in who was in the same situation she faced 35 years ago — on the threshold of a big career, in an uncommitted relationship, and pregnant — she would know exactly what kind of advice to give this woman. 

“Pregnancy is nine months of your life,” she would say. “Once you are pregnant, there is nothing that can turn back the hands of time: You are a parent. Your only choice at that point is whether you’re going to make a loving decision for the good of your child or whether you’re going to act selfishly, out of fear and self-protection.” 

“If you make a loving decision on behalf of your child, it may involve releasing that child for adoption, which is a difficult and painful choice. Or it may involve getting married when you weren’t planning to. Or it may involve single motherhood.” 

“While all of these options have their own difficulty, none of them involve taking the life of another human being. You will never have to live with the guilt and the grief of having taken what belongs to God into your own hands and having to live with that for the rest of your life.” 

“Yes, I understand the fear in your heart. But perfect love drives out fear. If you love this child, you can do the loving thing and have a decision that you can live with for the rest of your life." 
 

Tune in to Cradle My Heart Radio with Kim Ketola
Every Sunday evening at 8 CT/9 ET
Live Line: 1-800-811-3003
Radio stations carrying program here.
Listen Live here.

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your support. 

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