Peter Baklinski

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Texan surgeon gives hope to sterilized men seeking wholeness

Peter Baklinski
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NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas, November 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dr. Mark Hickman would try to talk any man out of having a vasectomy any day.

He would begin by telling them all the horror stories that he has heard from the many men who have undergone the invasive procedure that unnaturally blocks tubes that are designed to carry sperm out of a man’s body.

Dr. Hickman would mention that many men become distraught after finding their sexual drive dwindle as a result of the procedure. He would highlight the men who say that their sense of wholeness and sense of well-being diminished soon after the procedure. And he would warn that many men relate symptoms of increased sensitivity and even chronic pain in their testicles after the procedure.

He would also speak about the married men who told him that eliminating the “risk” of impregnating their spouse through what they thought was consequence-free sex led them down the “slippery slope” to sexual relationships with other women.

If Dr. Hickman were speaking to a vasectomy seeker with a religious bent, he would state that “vasectomy circumvents God’s design for human sexuality and fertility”. He would mention the numerous men who related to him that immediately after their vasectomies, they left the doctor’s office and cried as they “knew in their hearts they had sinned.”

It is to be expected that men find themselves opening their hearts to Dr. Hickman with their stories of sorrow and woe. These men confide in him because of their hope that the good doctor will be the one to free them from anguish.

Dr. Hickman is a vasectomy reversal surgeon who has made it his life’s mission to restore infertile broken men to fertility and wholeness.

Dr. Hickman has become nationally and internationally recognized in helping men through vasectomy reversals. As a Catholic who reveres the teaching of Humanae Vitae, the landmark 1969 papal encyclical on sexuality that most famously reiterated the Church’s teaching against artificial contraception, Dr. Hickman has performed close to a thousand reversals in four years in his clinic in New Braunfels, Texas. Along with his clinical team, he performs six to eight procedures per week.

Statistics indicate that five to seven hundred thousand men undergo elective sterilization by vasectomy each year in the United States. But each year, about five percent of these men regret their decision and seek vasectomy reversal surgery.

In a field where physicians charge anywhere from nine to twenty-two thousand dollars for a reversal, Dr. Hickman strives to “bring affordable, superior care to those seeking an addition to their family”. For an all-inclusive fee of three thousand dollars, Dr. Hickman offers a “pain-free surgical procedure with a short recovery time and proven results”.

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Dr. Hickman explained to LifeSiteNews in a recent interview that while men have vasectomies for many reasons, there is always one underlining reason: they don’t want another child.

Some don’t want children for financial reasons, some because they are worried about how a pregnancy might negatively affect the health of their spouse, and some because they think they have reached the right family size.

No matter what the reason, Dr Hickman says, when a man takes the step of vasectomy, he is “basically putting himself ahead of God’s will by saying: ‘Well, I think I know a little more about what to do for my sexuality than God does.’”

Dr. Hickman called vasectomy a “disobedience to God’s plan” for men and women who were originally commanded by God when he created them to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).

“They want to be in control of their lives instead of putting the Lord in the rightful command position,” he said. “Hence the Catholic Church’s admonishment against it and her insistence that if one can afford it, they have it reversed.”

Dr. Hickman knows that married couples often have legitimate reasons to postpone having children, but he will tell them that getting a vasectomy is not the way to go. He recommends Natural Family Planning (NFP), a method that acknowledges God’s plan for fertility by respecting the bodies of both the man and the women. NFP, using no chemicals or artificial hormones, is based on self-observation and the use of the infertile periods.

“Natural Family Planning techniques approved by the Church allow for the responsible, meaningful and thoughtful expression of love within a marriage. Vasectomy, on the other hand, often times has more selfish motivations behind the decision to have it performed. It is an affront to God’s dominion over our lives,” he said.

Dr. Hickman pointed out that a moral regulation of fertility is not simply a Catholic issue. He related one story of an Orthodox Jew who came to his clinic for a reversal. A Rabbi had told the man that “being sterilized is being disobedient to God” and that even though the man already had four children, he could be “blessed more.”

The work of vasectomy reversal is not merely a business for the doctor; he views it as more of an “apostolate”. It is a “ministry for spreading God’s Word,” he says. He and his co-workers firmly believe in “God’s healing power” and do not shy away from sharing their convictions with their patients.

Before each reversal procedure, Dr. Hickman prays with the man lying on the operating table. The man’s wife is asked to be present during the procedure.

“Heavenly Father,” he prays, “we humbly come before you today to praise you and to pour out our thanksgiving. We are so grateful that you deal with us in your love and in your mercy. Today this man and this woman come before you to return fertility to your control.”

“I ask that you send your Holy Spirit upon this man to minimize his discomfort and to relieve his anxiety. Be with this woman as she ministers to her man. Be with my scrub-tech and myself as we operate. Guide our hands.”

“And Abba, Father, we are thanking you for the blessing that you are going to pour out on the obedience of this family. I ask that you give them the desire of their hearts. We love you Lord Jesus. Come quickly. In your mighty name I pray. Amen.”

As a man of faith, Dr. Hickman said that he and his staff are “proud of that witness, we’re not ashamed of it, we want to promulgate it and put it on display.”

Maurice Prater, director of the Missionaries of the Holy Family where Hickman serves as a member of the Apostolate Board, called Hickman’s work a “unique ministry”.

“He is performing very affordable vasectomy reversals so husbands can become fathers, either again or for the very first time,” he said to LifeSiteNews.

Prater called Hickman an example of a “faithful Catholic doctor in the midst of Obamacare’s promotion of an insidious Culture of Death.”

Hickman and his team have been performing successful reversals for long enough to receive notifications of pregnancies and births on a regular basis.

“Each time I hear of such blessings it reminds me of how, in our small way, our team is lashing back against the current culture of death that trivializes the sanctity of human life,” he said. 

Visit Dr. Hickman’s website for further information about the vasectomy reversal process.



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Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

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Texas AG to Target: Show me how you’ll protect women and kids from criminals

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

AUSTIN, Texas, May 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The latest backlash Target received as a result of its transgender bathroom policy was a letter from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asking the company to provide its safety policies to protect women and children from “those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes.” 

“Target, of course, is free to choose such a policy for its Texas stores,” Paxton wrote in a letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell. He noted the possibility of the Texas Legislature addressing the issue in the future, but said, “regardless of whether Texas legislates on this topic, it is possible that allowing men in women’s restrooms could lead to criminal and otherwise unwanted activity.”

“As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes,” Paxton continued.

More than 1.1 million people have pledged to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.  Opponents of the policy worry that it puts women and children at risk by emboldening predators, who may now freely enter women’s restrooms. 

Target’s new policy is “inclusive,” the company claims, and they say “everyone…deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally.” 

“Texans statewide can no longer be silent on the issue of protecting the safety of women and children,” Texas Values President and Attorney Jonathan Saenz said in a statement Wednesday urging Texans to boycott Target.  This is the first time in its history the pro-family group has called for a boycott. 

“We need all Texans to understand that Target is using this radical change in their store policy to try convince people that our laws should be changed in this dangerous direction as well,” said Saena.  “Our goal with this boycott is for Target to change its dangerous new policy, to raise awareness of the real threats to safety that these policies bring and to help businesses and lawmakers understand the significant opposition to such measures that is growing daily… Texans all across our state must join this Boycott Target effort before someone gets hurt.”

On Tuesday a male allegedly filmed an underage girl at a Frisco, Texas, Target fitting room.  Police are searching for the man. 

There have been numerous incidents of male predators across North America accessing women’s facilities and citing transgender policies as allowing them to do so.  



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Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, represents virtually everything the Republican Party has typically defined itself over against a katz / Shutterstock.com
Albert Mohler

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Christians, America has reached a crisis point. Are you ready to take up this challenge?

Albert Mohler

May 5, 2016 (Albert Mohler) -- For nearly two and a half centuries, Americans have enjoyed the enormous privilege and responsibility of forming our own government—a privilege rarely experienced throughout most of human history. For most of history, humanity has struggled with the question of how to respond to a government that was essentially forced upon them. But Americans have often struggled with a very different reality; how do we rightly respond to the government that we choose? 

To put all of this in historical perspective, the Framers of the American experiment understood that a representative democracy built on the principle of limited government would require certain virtues of its citizens. These would include a restraint of passions and an upholding of traditional moral virtues, without which democracy would not be possible. As the idea of limited government implies, the citizenry would be required to carry out the social responsibilities of the community without the intrusion of government and, thus, citizens would be expected to have the moral integrity necessary for such an arrangement. The Framers of the American Republic also agreed that it would be impossible to have a representative democracy and a limited government if the people did not elect leaders who embodied the virtues of the citizenry while also respecting and protecting society’s pre-political institutions: marriage and family, the church, and the local community.

Thus, the idea of a limited government requires that society uphold and pursue the health of its most basic institutions. When a civil society is weak, government becomes strong. When the family breaks down, government grows stronger. When the essential institutions of society are no longer respected, government demands that respect for itself. That is a recipe for tyranny.

Much of this was essentially affirmed until the early decades of the 20th century when progressivists began promoting an agenda that fundamentally redefined the role of the federal government in public life. By the middle of the 20th century, the Democratic Party had essentially embraced this progressivist agenda, becoming committed to an increasingly powerful government—a government whose powers exceeded those enumerated in the Constitution. At the same time, the Democratic Party also began advocating for a basic redefinition of the morality that shaped the common culture. By and large, however, the Republican Party continued to maintain a commitment to the vision of America’s founders, advocating for a traditional understanding of morality while also upholding the principle of limited government.

By the 1980s, the two parties represented two very different worldviews and two very different visions of American government. For decades, each party has acted rather predictably and in ways that accord with their fundamental principles. All of that, however, has now changed.

The 2016 presidential campaign has developed in an entirely unpredictable manner and, in many respects, represents a crisis in American democracy. This crisis is not limited to either party. Bernie Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont, has won several stunning victories in the primary season over presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. While it is still extremely likely that Clinton will become the Democratic nominee, Sanders support among voters represents a populist flirtation with Democratic Socialism. This pattern is something few Democrats could have imagined just one year ago. What this foray into Democratic Socialism represents, then, is a radical adjustment of the Democratic Party’s basic economic principles. Thus, even if Hillary Clinton becomes the nominee, the process will likely drag her even further to the left, eventually redefining the Democratic Party before our very eyes.

But if it is remarkable to see what is happening in the Democratic Party, it is absolutely shocking to see what is happening among Republicans. Traditionally, the Republican Party has established its reputation by standing for the principles advocated by the American Founders—limited government upheld by the health of society’s primary institutions such as marriage, family, and community. Yet Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, represents virtually everything the Republican Party has typically defined itself over against. Clearly, both political parties are now redefining themselves. What is not clear is where each party will ultimately end up. What is also not clear is whether the American experiment can survive such radical political change.

As already noted, the American experiment in limited government requires that the citizenry and those who hold public office honor certain moral virtues and respect the institutions that are crucial for a society to rightly function. Yet, we now find ourselves in a situation where the three leading candidates for president show little to no respect for such institutions in their articulations of public policy.

This fundamental redefinition of the American political landscape requires Christians to think carefully about their political responsibility. Make no mistake; we cannot avoid that responsibility. Even refusing to vote is itself a vote because it privileges those who do vote and increases the value of each ballot. In truth, we bear a political responsibility that cannot be dismissed or delegated to others. Every Christian must be ready to responsibly steward his or her vote at the polls.

To put the matter bluntly, we are now confronted with the reality that, in November, Hillary Clinton will likely be the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump the Republican nominee. This poses a significant problem for many Christians who believe they cannot, in good conscience, vote for either candidate. As a result, Christians are going to need a lot of careful political reflection in order to steward their vote and their political responsibility in this election cycle.

Headlines from around the world tell us that other representative democracies are at a similar moment of redefinition. Political turmoil now marks the United Kingdom and also nations like France and other key American allies. Perhaps democracy itself is now facing a crucial hour of decision and a crucial season of testing. It is no exaggeration to say that democracy is being tested around the world; it is certainly being tested here at home. Yet if this is a moment of testing for democracy, it is also a crucial moment for Christian witness. This election cycle is going to be a particular test for American Christians—and we are about to find out if Christians are up to this challenge.

Reprinted with permission from Albert Mohler.



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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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‘Sick and twisted’: Scientists keep embryos alive outside womb up to 13 days for experimentation

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

May 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two teams of scientists have announced that they have been able to keep human embryos alive outside the womb for 13 days for the purpose of conducting scientific experiments. Some call the announcement the onset of a “Brave New World,” while others are petitioning lawmakers to lift sanctions that would keep scientists from experimenting on newly conceived babies even longer.

Researchers from Cambridge University, King's College, and Rockefeller University said in two separate reports that they stopped at 13 days only to avoid violating an internationally accepted law. At least 12 nations restrict the amount of time a newly conceived child may be kept alive in a laboratory to 14 days, the point at which scientists believe “individuality” begins.

The newest development allows scientists to observe newly conceived human beings after the point at which implantation in the womb would have occurred.

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, one of the studies' lead researchers, said her team's breakthrough could advance embryonic stem cell research and “can improve IVF success.”

Some scientists have called on the international community to extend the amount of time such experimentation can take place.

“If restrictions such as the 14-day rule are viewed as moral truths, such cynicism would be warranted,” three experts – Insoo Hyun, Amy Wilkerson, and Josephine Johnston – wrote in a commentary published yesterday in Nature magazine. “But when they are understood to be tools designed to strike a balance between enabling research and maintaining public trust, it becomes clear that, as circumstances and attitudes evolve, limits can be legitimately recalibrated.”

Pro-life experts said the experimentation destroys human life and could lead to grave ethical dilemmas by extending the research.

“No human being should be used for lethal experimentation, no matter their age or stage of development,” said Dr. David Prentice, a professor of molecular genetics and an Advisory Board Member for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. “The 14-day rule is itself arbitrary, and does not assuage those who believe life begins at the moment of sperm-egg fusion. Moreover, allowing experiments on human embryos beyond 14 days post-fertilization risks the lives of untold more human beings, because it further encourages creation and destruction for research purposes.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, called the experimentation “sick and twisted.”

“Science has undeniably proven that a new human life, with unrepeatable DNA, begins at conception,” she said. “There is no reason for experimentation on that human life and science itself should not be heralding thae fact that a tiny human being can survive now for two weeks outside of the womb, all for the sole purpose of experimentation.”

Dr. Prentice noted that embryonic stem cell research “has yielded no benefit thus far,” leading even its most vocal advocates, such as Michael J. Fox, to admit it has not lived up to its promise.

“If this research does not stop at 14 days, where does it stop?” asked Prentice. “This is a risky step which could encourage further eugenic attitudes and actions.”

Dr. Prentice encouraged Congress “to have a full and open debate on the issue of human embryo research before the research community moves further without oversight.”



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