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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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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