Kelsey Hazzard is the founder of Secular Pro-Life, a pro-life group for atheists, agnostics, and other “nones.” ” She was kind enough to let me interview her about the group and her pro-life activism.
Were you pro-life growing up? If not, what led you to adopting the pro-life position?
Abortion wasn’t something my family ever talked about, either for or against. I know some pro-life activists who’ve been out at abortion facility sidewalks since before they could crawl, but that’s not me. But my parents did equip me with good general values: sticking up for the little guy, that sort of thing. And those values led me quite naturally to become pro-life, once I was old enough to learn what abortion was.
PALS Programs provides a place for young adults with Down syndrome and their peers to have fun, grow as individuals, and build transformative friendships. Members do different projects, including the Congratulations Project, an initiative in which members of the PALS family write letters to new members of the Down syndrome community. These letters are designed to inspire, encourage, welcome, and congratulate new parents and siblings of a child with Down syndrome.
The campers of PALS are paired up with a counselor, who helps them during the whole camp and helps them write the letters to the parents.
This month, Ohio Right To Life launched a new pro-life ad campaign in Cleveland’s low-income, majority black neighborhoods.
“African Americans experience a shockingly disproportionate number of abortions,” said Katherine McCann, public relations manager at Ohio Right to Life, in a press release. “We constantly hear about the racial disparities in infant mortality, gun violence and voting. Our goals with this campaign are to spread awareness about the racial crisis of abortion, and most importantly, to save lives in Cleveland, Ohio’s abortion capital.”
A Planned Parenthood in Tempe, Arizona has been implicated in the crimes of an 18-year-old serial rapist.
The abortion giant allegedly failed to report one of the rapes Tyler Kost committed after his 15-year-old victim, whom he impregnated, came in for an abortion. When the young girl’s mother brought her to Planned Parenthood, she was told that it would be too much of a “hassle” to report the rape.
Instead, a counselor intentionally coded the sexual encounter as “consensual” to save herself the time and paperwork of reporting the young girl’s abuse.
Catherine Anthony Adair worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic that performed abortions. In an interview I did with her, she spoke about what she witnessed there.
Getting started at Planned Parenthood
I asked Adair how she felt about abortion before she took the job at Planned Parenthood, and what led her to enter the abortion industry. She said:
I really didn’t have any feelings on it [abortion], I was much more concerned about feminism and women’s rights, and I felt that abortion, as a politic issue, was part of the feminist framework of forwarding women’s rights. I didn’t have any understanding that abortion could/did have any negative implications for women, and I certainly didn’t consider the baby involved. Looking back, I can see that my own abortion I had several years before working at Planned Parenthood greatly affected my views on abortion. I had found it highly traumatizing, and my way of dealing with the emotional aftermath was to bury it and not deal with my emotions. Instead, I turned to radical feminism.
First, there were “free speech zones.” Now conservative speech on college campuses evidently requires a warning label. A pro-life group at Boise State University is suing the school for attempting to squelch their events last spring.
The group, Abolitionists4Life (A4L), says administrators corralled them into “free speech zones,” forbade them from passing out literature, and even required them to post warning signs for any students who might be “offended.”
It’s always been obvious that Planned Parenthood’s new and improved slogan, “Care. No matter what.” didn’t apply to all human beings. (Who could claim that sucking a baby’s spine from his body, ripping her limbs apart, stabbing poison into his heart, or ending her life in other violent ways is “caring”?)
But, it’s becoming ever more obvious that America’s abortion giant doesn’t care about helpless, vulnerable women either.
A Florida health center has allegedly refused an applicant employment based on her pro-life view and unwillingness to prescribe contraception that could cause the death of a human embryo. In a federal lawsuit filed by Alliance Defending Freedom, attorneys note that the human resources director of Tampa Family Health Centers questioned applicant Sara Hellwege about her involvement with the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a pro-life organization.
When Hellwege, who submitted an application for a nurse-midwife position, confirmed her membership with AAPLOG, the director notified her in an e-mail that she was rejected due to her involvement with the organization.
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday, in a narrow 5-4 decision, that closely held companies like Hobby Lobby cannot be forced by the Obama administration to pay for contraception and chemical abortions.
While this is no doubt a victory for craft chain Hobby Lobby, it has a much wider impact than just one business. The Thomas More Law Center has put out a press release announcing that, just one day after the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of their client, Eden Foods, also challenging the HHS mandate.
The abortion industry is home to a new epidemic: closure. Another clinic, this time in Asheville, NC, closed this weekend, local news reported. It was the only abortion facility in western North Carolina. The owner of the Femcare facility, Lorraine Cummings, is retiring, according to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood says it has the land and permits to open a new abortion facility in the city by December, and is planning to replace the closed facility with a Planned Parenthood. Currently, patients will have to drive to Charlotte if they want an abortion.
Asheville isn’t an anomaly, though. Just a few weeks ago, the only abortion clinic in Corpus Christi, TX became non-existent when the sole abortionist there, Eduardo Aquino, retired, as well.
In order to understand what pro-lifers on college campuses are up against, I recommend reading this piece by Oxford student Dan Hitchens, “Pro-lifers: the student censor’s favourite target.”
Of course, Hitchens resides in the UK. But that’s even more reason for all of us to wake up and pay attention. As we know by now, illiberal ideas tend to take off in Europe before they’re adopted by U.S. “progressives.” And what happened to pro-lifers at Oxford is downright alarming.
“If you want some first-hand experience of the contemporary free-speech debate, I recommend joining a student pro-life society,” Hitchens writes. “Last month, Oxford Students for Life, of which I am president, discovered the following clause was being put forward at the Oxford University students’ union: ‘Never to [provide a] platform [to] any group or organisation which provides directional advice around abortion or explicitly stands against women’s right to choose.’”
“Three generations of Americans have witnessed decisions by the United States Supreme Court which explicitly degrade fellow human beings to something less in law than persons in the whole sense[,]” stated Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
Staver’s remarks were made in light of the recent filing of Liberty Counsel’s amicus brief on June 3, 2014 to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in response to a district court’s decision in Edwards v. Beck.
The Edwards case examined the Arkansas’ Human Heartbeat Protection Act. The Heatbeat Act was passed in 2013 by the Arkansas General Assembly requiring a physician to perform an ultrasound to detect the baby’s heartbeat, disclosure from the physician to the patient that the fetus has a heartbeat, and banning abortions performed at 12-weeks or more where a fetal heartbeat is detected (with few exceptions).
Monday will dawn with more hope for the unborn in Alabama, where the only abortion clinic in the northern region of the state will close its doors. Al.com reports that the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville plans to surrender its license June 30. Brian Hale, the state health department agency’s deputy general counsel said:
“State inspectors had determined the clinic, located on Madison Street near Huntsville Hospital, would need “moderate to significant alterations…. Voluntarily relinquishing the license is a way to avoid the adverse licensure action,”
On June 6th, the Live Action summer interns (Erin, Claire and myself) participated in what was our first distribution of The Advocate, or as I will call it, our Advocate adventure. It was a positive, invigorating and challenging experience! Not without its highs and lows, and anything but boring, it was definitely an adventure worth having—one which we will be having many times again.
First, we prepared for our venture by doing a few vital things: we familiarized ourselves with the magazine articles so that we could strike up lively conversations with passersby; we made sure we were amply hydrated and properly attired (It’s nearly summer, so we went casual.); we energized ourselves through prayer and kept each other encouraged; and we took numerous Advocates with us— passing them all out, by the way (and here’s how anyone else can too!).
In a May first article, Live Action’s Lauren Enriquez told the story of a 12-year-old incest victim who was scheduled for an abortion by Planned Parenthood. Enriquez describes how the victim’s abuser, her older brother, took her to Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test. According to the incest victim:
I heard a lot about “being responsible” and “taking control of my body…” My older brother maintained a strong silence throughout the entire time — no one asked him a single question.
The Planned Parenthood clinic even encouraged the young girl to go to the abortion appointment with her brother, the abuser, and suggested she didn’t have to tell her parents.
Once again abortion and domestic violence are intertwined as earlier this month an Ohio father pled guilty to beating his 17-year-old daughter for refusing to have an abortion.
The girl’s mother also participated in the attack, but the charges against her were dropped.
California Planned Parenthood affiliates launched an alert to members of the state legislature, urging lawmakers to kill all pro-life measures, including amendments that would ban sex-selective abortions. The memo, dated June 12, stated that the Golden State is a “pro-choice state,” and amendments to restrict abortion would greatly threaten abortion access.
In the memo, affiliates said restrictions like sex-selective abortion bans, required ultrasounds, or regulations on abortion providers and drugs, “do not improve women’s health,” but limit access to reproductive care. Additional restrictions on abortion are meant to block women seeking “safe, legal abortions,” the memo said.
“Are American girls somehow less valuable, or do they deserve less dignity, less worth?” Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) proffered this question to the California Assembly Health Committee on May 6, 2014 in response to the growing trend of sex-selective abortion taking place in the Golden State. Grove introduced Assembly Bill 2336, entitled the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which would “prohibit a person from intentionally performing or attempting to perform an abortion with knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion because of the gender of the unborn child.”
Florida governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law this morning which bans aborting pre-born children who have reached the age of viability outside the womb. Prior to this legislation, Florida enforced a 24-week cap on late-term abortions. The new legislation no longer pinpoints a precise week after which abortion is illegal, but rather leaves the decision up to the doctor based on his judgement of whether an individual pre-born child is viable.
Louisiana has joined the ranks of states taking proactive measures in favor of women’s health by requiring abortionists to obtain hospital admitting privileges before they can commit abortions in the state. Governor Bobby Jindal signed HB388 into law this afternoon to bring Louisiana into this fold.
As in many states, many of Louisiana’s abortionists work on a visitation basis and do not live in an acceptable radius to local hospitals to attain privileges. For this reason and a few others preventing the abortionists from obtaining admitting privileges, three of the state’s five abortion mills are likely to close.