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Bishop Joseph Coffey (right) presides at the graveside service of Philomena Grace, Oct. 17, 2020, Towson, Maryland.Lawrence Grayson

TOWSON, Maryland, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A U.S. Catholic bishop along with several priests held a funeral service in Maryland for a baby who was left in a restaurant's toilet after a botched abortion.

The baby, named Philomena Grace by a pro-life woman who secured the baby’s body from the state of Maryland’s Anatomy Board, had developed to a viable age within her mother’s womb when the mother decided in November 2019 that she did not want the child. The mother, according to a report by a detective who was assigned to the case, visited a Washington, D.C. abortionist who began the process of a 3-day medical abortion. Officials surmise that the woman was sent home and went into labor before the abortion could be completed, delivering the already dead baby, according to an autopsy, in a restaurant’s lavatory in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Bishop Joseph Coffey, Fr. Edward Meeks, and Fr. William Kuchinsky concelebrated a funeral Mass for Philomena at Christ the King Catholic Church in Towson on October 17. Over 100 people attended. The baby was laid to rest with the dignity she deserves as a child of God.

The child’s brief life was tragic. On November 27, 2019, a restaurant employee entered the ladies' room for a scheduled cleaning and discovered a baby in the toilet. The police were called and the body taken to the state office of the chief medical examiner, where it was determined that the female baby was 25 weeks’ gestation. Marjorie (Missy) Smith, founder of the pro-life organization WAKEUP, learned of the sordid event and, knowing that the body would be disposed of, requested and was given permission to claim the child for burial.

Smith, having a strong devotion to St. Philomena, named the baby Philomena Grace. She, along with Jack Ames, director of Defend Life, became the spiritual godparents of the infant. They arranged for the care of the body during the several months of pandemic lockdown, the funeral and burial of the child.

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PETITION UPDATE (9/26/2020):

With President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we are closer than we have been in decades to seeing Roe vs. Wade overturned.

We now encourage the Senate to confirm Barrett as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Judge Barrett has a fantastic track recond on sanctity of life issues, has seven children, and is a devout believer. She is the perfect remedy for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's radical pro-abortionism.

Please READ the full story here: 'BREAKING: Trump nominates Catholic mom of 7 Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court'

And then, please SIGN this petition telling the High Court that it's now time to end the activist Roe vs. Wade judgment. Thank you!

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PETITION UPDATE (6/29/2020):

In a decision which has imperiled more abortion-minded women, sentenced more preborn to death, and upset pro-lifers across the nation,the United States Supreme Court decided 5-4 to strike down a Louisiana law requiring basic medical precautions in the event of abortion complications, with Chief Justice John Roberts reversing his own past decision to uphold a similar Texas law.

Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, which held that the Louisiana law was unconstitutional for the simple fact that it was “almost word-for-word identical” to the Texas one the court already struck down in 2016.

In his concurring opinion, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged that he had “joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided. The question today however is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case.”

We call on the Supreme Court to stop supporting the culture of death and overturn Roe vs Wade, now.

PETITION UPDATE (1/20/2020):

Hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C., this coming Friday, January 24th, for the March for Life. They will be praying for an end to Roe vs Wade, as the Supreme Court will hear a crucial, abortion-related case later this year in March. United our voices can change the course of history. Sign this petition TODAY! (LEARN MORE BELOW)

PETITION UPDATE (1/3/2020):

In advance of the Supreme Court's hearing arguments in an important abortion case later this year in March, 207 U.S. Senators and Representatives have signed amicus briefs supporting a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital nearby an abortion center.

Some of these supporting briefs also suggest that now is the time to reconsider Roe vs Wade as sound law.

Please SIGN this petition, calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Roe vs Wade.

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More than 60 million Americans have been slaughtered in their mother's wombs as a result of Roe v. Wade. This activist, unconstitutional ruling in 1973 has left countless women emotionally and psychologically scarred. 

It was believed by many that Roe would be overturned in 1992 with Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Despite having eight Republican-appointed judges at the time, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold it. 

Since then, major gains have been made in the fight for life, and many lives have been saved. 

However, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, leaving millions of defenseless pre-born children vulnerable to murder.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of aborted babies are African American, despite black women only making up six percent of the U.S. population. 19% of aborted babies are Hispanic.

We thus again call on the court to do everything they can to end Roe vs Wade.

Now is the time for pro-lifers to join together and ensure that all of God's children have a right to life.

Roe v. Wade must come to an end!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/supreme-court-strikes-down-louisiana-abortion-regulations

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/over-200-congressmen-as-us-supreme-court-to-reconsider-roe-v-wade

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/congress-members-file-competing-legal-briefs-in-key-scotus-abortion-case

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The child’s name was well chosen. Virtually nothing is known about baby Philomena’s parents, their situation, or even if she had siblings. Little is known about St. Philomena. There is no written historical record of her, and what is believed is due to a visionary in 1833.

In his homily, Bishop Coffey, auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, spoke about the significance of the child’s name, Philomena Grace. The saint, whom the Church has designated the patron of babies and infants, is thought to be the daughter of a Christian Greek prince. When she was 13, in 304, Philomena accompanied her parents to the court of Emperor Diocletian who, captured by her beauty, desired her for his wife. She refused based on a vow of perpetual virginity she earlier had made to Our Lord.  The enraged emperor had her tortured and finally beheaded. Philomena was buried and forgotten for 1,500 years until her remains were discovered in a catacomb in 1802. Miracles soon occurred when relics of her remains were distributed, leading to her canonization.

In addressing her second name, the bishop said, “Grace is the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. Grace is the favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to His call to become children of God, adopted sons, partakers of the Divine Nature in eternal life.”

The bishop also used the occasion to speak of the broader issue of life facing the nation: “We are trying to change a very unjust law that allows this to happen legally. Roe v. Wade must, and we hope and pray for those aborted babies, that it will be overturned and hopefully soon.”

He urged people to have hope, in spite of the small numbers of individuals who sometimes pray near abortion facilities. A reason that people pray there, he said, is that “when these babies die that day, they are not dying alone. We are there.” He continued, “We don’t know the circumstances of Philomena Grace’s birth mom … but we know that Philomena Grace was wanted by God.”

“We recommit ourselves to never grow weary. Like St. Paul, fight the good fight, run the race to the end. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone of us, but we have today, and today, thank God, we have the life, thank God, the gift of baby Philomena Grace.”

After the Mass, the child was carried to a Garden of Innocents adjacent to the church, where Fr. Meeks and the bishop conducted a graveside service.

Nov. 2, 2020 update: This report now gives a more accurate description of the abortion procedure the mother was likely undergoing. 

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