1. Planned Parenthood does NOT do mammograms. (omg!)
During the 2012 presidential election, the issue of Planned Parenthood offering mammograms came to a head, and Planned Parenthood turned out to be the lying team once again. Check out Live Action’s Mammosham project HERE. Live Action president Lila Rose summed it up well, saying:
Planned Parenthood is first and foremost an abortion business, but Planned Parenthood and its allies will say almost anything to try and cover up that fact and preserve its taxpayer funding. It’s not surprising that an organization found concealing statutory rape and helping child sex traffickers would misrepresent its own services so brazenly, playing on women’s fears in order to protect their tax dollars.
2. Planned Parenthood does abortions.
What? You say, Planned Parenthood does abortions?! Yes, friends, it’s true. This turns out to be a little-known fact among young people, which is ironic given that Planned Parenthood’s most highly-targeted demographic is the very group of people who don’t know about the abortion biz within Planned Parenthood. Although more than 50% of Planned Parenthood’s abortions are done on teenagers and college-aged women, Students for Life of America reports that at least 60% of college students do not know that Planned Parenthood commits abortions. Students for Life is working hard to change that fact with its Planned Parenthood Project on college campuses across the nation.
3. Planned Parenthood commits 392 abortions for every one adoption referral it makes.
So much for “pro-choice.” Wouldn’t that involve…well…offering choices? Choices are bad for business over at Planned Parenthood, which unlike abortion, doesn’t benefit financially from an adoption referral. And that might explain why the business is so slow to proffer the adoption option. We all know that where there is no blood money, there is usually no Planned Parenthood. Source: Planned Parenthood annual report.
4. Planned Parenthood receives over a million dollars of your money – every. Single. Day.
Did you know that one of the surest ways to close PP’s doors is to extirpate its tax funding? Planned Parenthood is so reliant on government revenue, in fact, that taking it away would cut Planned Parenthood income by almost half. According to STOPP:
Planned Parenthood’s 2010 annual report underscores its growing reliance on government funding. Elimination of that funding will result in the collapse of the abortion giant. Government funding for Planned Parenthood must be attacked on local, state, and federal levels.
5. Planned Parenthood still receives funding from the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
It’s no secret that Planned Parenthood likes to bully its way into coffers around the nation, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation was no exception. Buckling under the pressure, Komen reneged on its short-lived decision to bar Planned Parenthood from funding while the organization was under Congressional investigation.
To fully comprehend the scope of this lunacy (that is, of funding Planned Parenthood), consider these two facts: Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms, which help to reduce breast cancer by providing early detection of potential problems, and Planned Parenthood does commit abortions, which increase a woman’s susceptibility to the condition.
According to All Girls Allowed, China has recently allowed a book criticizing the One Child Policy to be published in mainland China. Formerly, the book could be printed only in Hong Kong.
Yi Fuxian is a doctor who is also an expert on the One Child Policy. His book, A Big Country in an Empty Nest, brings to light the consequences that are a result of China’s means of controlling population.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Yi Fuxian spoke of how he believed the One Child Policy was created on “unfounded or misleading” statistics:
[The Family Planning Commission] said in the early 1980s that China’s population would reach 4 billion by 2050 without population control. It has maintained that the national birth rate has been 1.8 children per family since the 1990s, while my own research backed by census data shows the birth rate declined from 1.5 children to only 1.2 children per family between 1995 and 2000 and has stayed at that level ever since, which is far below a sustainable level of 2.1 children per family. I also did not believe that the country was as deprived of resources as the commission had claimed to justify its drastic family-planning policy.
Fuxian, who now lives in the United States, has three children whom he knows he can rely on later in his life. Most people in China do not have that security, and according to Fuxian, they do not have the necessary savings account or other funds to support themselves when they are old.
Furthermore, it may be too late, says Fuxian, for the effects of the One Child Policy to be reversed and a sustainable population to be achieved:
Even if the family-planning policy were terminated today, it would be too late to solve our rapidly ageing population, the drastic shrinkage of the labour force and the gaping hole in social-security funds that the country has already begun struggling with.
When the 2010 census numbers were released, Fuxian’s predictions were closer to reality than those of the Family Planning Commission. In 2012, plans were started to allow his book to be published in the mainland, but those plans were finalized only this year.
While allowing this source of criticism may permit Chinese people to more freely read about problems associated with the One Child Policy, China is still faced with the problems of dealing with the effects of a policy that created gender imbalances due to the abortion of girls over boys, a birth rate that is below the sustainable level, and an aging population.
You don’t even know how to respond when you find that a human or
somebody else has kept the foot of your baby…
You don’t want to believe it, and I still don’t.
– Desiree Hawkins, mother who found out Gosnell kept her baby’s feet in a jar
In the newest installment of the ongoing film series 3801 Lancaster Ave., the public learns of a story that sounds more like a horror novel than real life: a young woman recently learned that her aborted child’s feet were kept in a jar in Kermit Gosnell’s facility after the abortion. The questions that this story raises are chilling: What possessed Gosnell to cut off a baby’s feet? What possible motive existed for storing those feet in a clear jar? Why was the sadism not caught sooner?
We may never know the answers to these questions, but the young mother, Desiree Hawkins, sheds a little light on the tragedy of walking into Gosnell’s abortion mill in 2009, when she was sixteen years old:
For whatever reason my vision was really blurred.
I just remember him picking up something and walking out of the room. To this day I don’t know if that’s what he picked up, my baby, or not…
The one picture of the specimens they show online, the very last one where part of the label is showing, that’s mine.
For my first story at Live Action News, I wanted to take on a task that’s very close to my heart: setting the record straight for woefully misguided media outlets who report on our work. And on the scale of fish to fry, today’s subject falls into the “we’re gonna need a bigger boat” category.
Enter The New York Times. In a story titled “Undercover Video Targets Abortion Doctor,” Erik Eckholm sets up a miasma of weird assumptions, bizarre word choice, and flat-out omissions that begs to be contested.
Let’s start with the omissions. In analyzing a video on late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart, we would expect the Times to provide the reader with…well, all the info (as we have). But when it comes to Carhart’s sphere of influence, Times readers get only half the story: yes, he operates in Nebraska, where we filmed him, and yes, he’s got a troubling 28-week-limit abortion facility in Germantown, Maryland, where his handiwork sent Jennifer Morbelli and her daughter Madison to the morgue.
But Carhart also operates Affiliated Women’s Services in Indianapolis, Indiana. Granted, this one goes up to only 9 weeks, so there’s considerably less “meat” marinating in “Crock-Pots” there. But the Times might have seen fit to report on Carhart’s entire grisly domain – and, for that matter, the fact that he’s hoping to install new Crock-Pots in southwest Iowa. (Iowans, how do you feel about the guy who calls your pre-born grandchildren “meat” throwing a grand opening party in your state?)
(And by the way, the Times goes pretty easy on Kermit Gosnell, Carhart’s brother in “instruments,” as well. Gosnell’s trial “include[s] evidence of unsterile tools and untrained workers,” the Times reports, “and charges that he killed babies born live by snipping their spines[.]” No mention of Gosnell having killed a woman [or two].)
So let’s talk about how the Times treats Carhart’s vile and callous comments: “But in a few spots, Dr. Carhart seems to be trying to find simple metaphors, and uses language that his critics called grossly inappropriate and revealing.” So as far as the Times is concerned, Carhart calling a pre-born human being, fully developed, at 26 weeks’ gestation – whom he has just killed with an intrauterine poison injection and left to sit in the mother’s womb for three days – “meat” in a “slow cooker” is just a metaphor that Carhart is trying to find.
Well, three points here:
1. The comment sure is “revealing” – probably more revealing than Carhart (or the Times) would like. Meanwhile, Eric Ferrero, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of communications (How big is the communications hierarchy at Planned Parenthood, anyway?), offers a tepid finger-wag at Carhart’s “offensive and inappropriate comment.” Note well the singular – because by my count, there are at least half a dozen “offensive and inappropriate” comments in our Carhart release (and the transcript is full of them). So which one were you referring to, Mr. Ferrero – and more importantly, which ones weren’t you referring to?
2. Considering the “laying on of hands” photo of Carhart the Times elected to use, I’m surprised they used “metaphors” instead of “parables.”
3. Finally – and this is the editor in me talking – “It’s like putting meat in a Crock-Pot” is a simile, not a metaphor.
To bolster its parable…er, metaphor argument, the Times trots out University of California sociologist Tracy Weitz, who says, “Doctors struggle to find terminology to help a client understand what’s happening, and while it may seem wrong to us, it may be appropriate for that conversation[.]” That’s quite a lot of ambiguous language (in the editing profession, we call them “weasel words”) from Weitz. But there’s not much room for “may be” in this case. Are these particular remarks “appropriate,” or aren’t they?
Now, as I take a breath, I have to admit that as necessary (and fun) as it is to expose it, none of this substantial slipshod reporting even approaches the real problem. The real problem is right here:
The release, by the activist group Live Action, is part of a new effort by abortion foes to portray clinics that perform later abortions, in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, as being riddled with illegal or cruel practices. …
The new video captures the doctor, LeRoy H. Carhart, using some imprudent phrases while discussing the process of a late-term abortion with women posing as patients. At one point he describes a fetus that has died after an injection in the womb as softening like “meat in a Crock-Pot.” But the video provides no evidence of illegal action or subpar medical techniques.
…And that’s it. Nothing about our D.C. video, where abortionist Cesare Santangelo declares that he will not take any action to help an infant born after a failed abortion. Nothing about the Bronx worker who waves away the thought of a breathing, born-alive baby: “The solution will make it stop. That’s the whole purpose of the solution.” Nothing about abortionist Laura “we literally go in and grab and pull pieces out” Mercer’s acolyte stating flat-out that “[t]hey will not resuscitate.”
No, the gentle Times reader is led to believe that our investigation, with all its kooky allegations, can’t possibly have any merit, because look how by-the-book Carhart is!
See, here’s what the NYT desperately wants you not to think about: we’re living in a nation where a man can stick piercing instruments into a woman, snag her child, and rip his limbs off – and that’s legal. A man can shoot a long needle deep into a woman’s abdomen and stab poison into her baby’s heart (if he’s lucky – it’s more common for the needle to penetrate the head) – and that’s legal. That “pickaxe” and “drill bit” Carhart “tries to joke” about? Legal.
The fact that Carhart’s operation is legal is the problem.
“In the video, Dr. Carhart repeatedly emphasizes that he must abide by the law[.]” Yes, NYT, that’s the problem.
“But the video provides no evidence of illegal action or subpar medical techniques.” Yes, NYT, that’s the problem.
One of Live Action’s goals in releasing this stomach-turning video is, as Tracy Weitz might say, “to find terminology to help a client [i.e., a customer] understand what’s happening” to her when she goes in for that shot, for that three-day dead baby, for those pickaxes and drill bits. We want Nebraskans to know what their daughters and grandchildren are in for when Carhart shuttles them off to abortion-tourism paradise Maryland to endure a gruesome procedure that the Cornhusker State abhors by law.
Yes, we’ve unearthed straight-up horrifying testimony from abortion facilities where staff are willing to commit the basest illegal acts, up to and including infanticide, whether the Times wants to report that or not. But you know what else is straight-up horrifying? The fact that our nation sanctions by law Carhart’s tactics – and that the “Paper of Record” sees fit to suggest that those tactics are “par.”
** satire **
Dear Dr. Carhart,
I saw you on Live Action’s undercover video Inhuman, and I had to stop and write this.
Dr. Carhart, you are so brave.
You look women in the eye and tell them the truth: that by paying you to kill and dismember their fetuses in the third trimester of pregnancy, you are helping them avoid crippling – and all too common – ailments, such as postpartum depression and motherhood.
You bravely tell them the truth: that no one regrets her abortion. (Author’s note: maybe find a study or something that says this? Is there one? Check.)
You bravely tell them that their babies, after being injected in the heart with a lethal poison, will become soft in the womb like “meat in a Crock-Pot” so that they can be delivered. And if they aren’t delivered easily, you have a “toolkit” that will enable you to cut them to pieces so that they can be delivered without harming the mothers.
(And by the way, how ridiculous for them to call you “inhuman”! What’s more human, you or some Crock-Pot meat? Seriously!)
Because that’s what this is about. It’s about a woman having the choice – the right! – to avoid the slightest physical discomfort if at all possible, even if it means ripping the legs off her baby and crushing its skull.
Our feminist foremothers didn’t claw their way to equality so I could have my cervix bruised by an oversized chunk of my dead fetus. Thank goodness we have men like you, Dr. Carhart, to make sure that doesn’t happen.
If I were that baby, I would be totally willing to be meat in a slow cooker to make a better world for a young woman not ready for motherhood: a world where she can get a Bachelor’s degree much faster than she would if she had to take care of a kid; a world where she doesn’t have to worry about poopy diapers or stretch marks or sacrificing her own desires for another’s. Did you know that women who aren’t in sororities have a 40% higher risk of cancer? (Author’s note: find a study like this or similar!) And can you be in a sorority if you have a baby? Um, as if!
Where else are women going to get the kind of care you provide? There are only three other brave doctors in the United States who proudly and publicly state they perform third-trimester abortions. If only your kind weren’t so rare.
The media and the anti-choice bigots are telling the public that your patient Jennifer Morbelli died of complications from her abortion. While this may be technically true, is it helpful?
I mean, come on! The reality is, sometimes people are going to want abortions at 33 weeks’ gestation. If we make it illegal… (Author’s note: come back and work on this. What bad thing will happen if it’s illegal? More welfare recipients? Does that sound bad?)
My favorite part of the video, besides gazing into your kind and soulful eyes, is when you tell the pregnant woman that after the abortion, her life is going to be infused with meaning because of the child she “lost.” You basically tell her she will demand more of herself knowing she sacrificed a child to her new and improved, childless future.
I don’t know how many ways I can commend you for your bravery, but this takes the cake: to hear you unabashedly, proudly extolling the virtues of child sacrifice…I’m just speechless. We do not hear that enough these days, Dr. Carhart. Thank you.
You are an excellent example of what happens when we truly and literally “don’t judge.” I hear that all the time, don’t you? People are always reminding each other not to be “judgmental.” But how many of us really and truly practice it? You do, Dr. Carhart.
Because, you know, that’s totally what Jesus meant in that one part of the Bible when he told people not to judge or something. (Author’s note: look this up.) He meant exactly this: never tell someone that what she’s doing is wrong. Encourage people to do whatever they want, because there’s no such thing as evil. It’s all about how you look at it.
If more people understood that that’s totally what Jesus meant, the world would be a much better place. We would be free of overpopulation and pollution and global warming, and there would be no more endangered animals or oil spills or Republicans.
I seriously wouldn’t even worry about this Inhuman investigation thing. As of today, it’s not even mentioned on your Wikipedia page. Isn’t that like the tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it? I mean, if something isn’t on Wikipedia, did it even happen?
The work you do, Dr. Crock-Pot, I mean Carhart, will be remembered long after you are gone. Many years after you retire or go to prison, people will remember you as one of the few men who were willing to take money in exchange for ending the lives of babies well into the third trimester.
And that, Dr. Carhart, is exactly how it should be.
It is worth noting that the first two paragraphs of the piece credit Live Action as claiming that Carhart’s comments are “offensive,” “inhumane,” and cruel.” Perhaps this is in the spirit of attempting to appear unbiased?
An anti-abortion group released an undercover video on Wednesday showing what it says were offensive and inhumane remarks about abortions by one of the country’s most prominent abortion doctors.
The release, by the activist group Live Action, is part of a new effort by abortion foes to portray clinics that perform later abortions, in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, as being riddled with illegal or cruel practices.
The author of the piece, Erick Eckholm, can’t bring himself to objectively say that such comments are offensive, such as comparing an aborted fetus to “meat in a Crock-Pot.” Eckholm does say that Carhart’s statements are imprudent, but he ends the paragraph with a “but” to counteract that by reminding the reader that “the video provides no evidence of illegal action or subpar medical techniques.”
What Eckholm would consider “subpar medical techniques” may be disturbing to know. Kristi Burton Brown here at Live Action News provides a piece analyzing Carhart’s comments and points out his lies. Many would consider such troubling lies to fall in line with “subpar medical techniques.”
Eckholm doesn’t want his reader to discredit Carhart, though, based on “imprudent” comments he made. The next paragraph makes mention that:
… [o]ther medical experts as well as defenders of abortion rights said the comparison with Dr. Gosnell, who seemed to show blatant disregard for his patients and the law, was misleading and unfair.
Well, if a medical expert such as Tracy Weitz (mentioned farther down in the article), who is a medical sociologist at the University of California, San Francisco, says that “people should not be quick to pass judgment on a doctor based on a few phrases on a video,” then perhaps the jokes and comments that Carhart has made about aborted babies aren’t the worst thing in the world. As Weitz points out:
Doctors struggle to find terminology to help a client understand what’s happening, and while it may seem wrong to us, it may be appropriate for that conversation[.]
It is also possible that Eckholm is seeking to question or downplay the legitimacy of the aim of Live Action’s Inhuman project, which informs the public that Kermit Gosnell is not the only abortionist to operate a horrific late-term abortion business. Along with the comment that there are claims from “other medical experts as well as defenders of abortion rights” regarding such a comparison, a statement from Planned Parenthood is included:
“Comparing an offensive and inappropriate comment to Gosnell’s horrific crimes is politics at its worst,” said Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
And also note that even Planned Parenthood has called Carhart’s comment “offensive and inappropriate”! So it is worth again asking, why can’t Eckholm?
It is also worth considering the ways in which the article seeks to portray Carhart in a favorable light. To start with, the title, “Undercover Video Targets Abortion Doctor,” arguably makes Carhart the victim, as he is being “[t]arget[ed].” The picture is another obvious mention, as it shows Carhart from 2009 in a rather compassionate light, patting the head of a woman who is about to undergo a procedure. The piece also makes further excuses for Carhart and seeks to portray him as a serious abortion doctor with this paragraph (emphasis added):
But in a few spots, Dr. Carhart seems to be trying to find simple metaphors, and uses language that his critics called grossly inappropriate and revealing. When asked what tools he uses to extract a fetus, he first tries to joke, saying, “A pickax, a drill bit,” but then becomes serious and says, “No … there’s just instruments that have been developed.”
Notice again how the article makes it clear that the comments Carhart made are called “grossly inappropriate and revealing” by his critics. Basically, what we should take from this is that at least Carhart does become serious.
One of the last mentions of Carhart that Eckholm provides again portrays the abortionist in a favorable light, as a man who seems to take abortion very seriously:
Dr. Carhart at one point counsels a woman that “it’s your life that’s going to be affected by this pregnancy and be affected by the termination.”
“I mean, this baby is a part of you forever,” he says.
While The New York Times does not exactly come out and hail abortion in this piece, it completely rejects the opportunity to call out Carhart for the troubling abortionist he is, and instead seeks to make a case and provide excuses for this man despite all that he has done. In doing so, late-term abortion seems to get a free pass, when the real circumstances surrounding the industry are certainly more dire, and are being called out by its critics such as Live Action for good reason.
In Ohio, friends and family of three kidnapped women are rejoicing. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight are now reunited with the people who love them most. The young women had been held in captivity for a decade by Ariel Castro, a man who reportedly kept them in chains, raped them, and beat them in a dungeon-like area of his home. We learned on their day of freedom that in the midst of this tortured existence, there was also a light of hope. Amanda Berry gave birth during her imprisonment to a daughter, Jocelyn, whom she conceived as a result of rape. We have also learned that, despite everything, it was Amanda Berry who never lost hope that she, her fellow captives, and Jocelyn could be free and prosperous.
According to media reports, hopelessness took its toll on Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who had both “succumbed” to the “reality” of captivity even as all three were forced to have sex with their captor. These rapes resulted in at least six pregnancies. Michelle was the victim of forced abortion and lost five babies at the hands of Castro. Jocelyn is the only child who is known to have survived.
As a mother myself, I understand that our kids need us, but we also need them. They keep hope alive in us at all times, even when things may seem at their darkest. Perhaps it was Jocelyn who kept hope alive in her mother, and now Jocelyn is herself free thanks to the perseverance of her mother.
Jocelyn had been delivered in the most deplorable conditions one could imagine, with the assistance of Michelle Knight. Remarkably, Castro reportedly threatened to kill Michelle, the victim of five of Castro’s forced abortions, if Amanda’s baby did not survive.
When Berry went into labor, Ariel Castro, now charged with kidnapping and rape, grabbed captive Michelle Knight and told her to deliver the baby.
The baby was born into a plastic tub or pool to contain the afterbirth and amniotic fluid.
When the baby was born, it stopped breathing and everyone started screaming, the source said, citing the girl’s account. Castro allegedly said, “if that baby dies, I’m going to kill you.”
“What’s most incredible here is that this girl who knows nothing about childbirth was able to deliver a baby that is now a healthy 6-year-old,” the source said.
It is impossible, perhaps, to imagine more horrific circumstances for a woman than to be held captive and raped. There are two main components in healthy sexual intercourse: (1) the unity of the two people involved in the act, and (2) procreation. Sex is fulfilling to a woman when she is offering her body willingly as a gift. Life springing forth from the gift of yourself to your husband is the ultimate fulfillment in being a spouse and a mother. A rape situation, then, is arguably the height of horror for any woman. To rape a woman is to rob her of the precious gift of herself. When Ariel Castro kidnapped Amanda Berry, he robbed her of her freedom, but when he raped her, he robbed her of herself. Castro placed himself in the position of total control of everything that belonged to her alone.
This is the evil of rape. It is also the evil of abortion. As rape robs a woman of the precious gift of herself, abortion robs children of the precious gift of themselves. The ultimate violence is to rob someone of himself. Rape and abortion both do that. The good news is that even from such deplorable circumstances, as is so often the case with woman who carry babies conceived in rape to term, Amanda was able to see in Jocelyn the joy in life and the hope of tomorrow. Children will naturally be sources of joy and hope to their parents, provided that we have not given up on ourselves and on their potential to do that for us. Children in the womb are not “potential life.” They are truly living human persons. What is “potential” about them is joy and hope for us. Provided that we let them live, we will know joy and hope in them. If we do not let them live, that joy and hope will never be.
What are we to make of Castro’s alleged remark, then? “If that baby dies, I’m going to kill you,” he reportedly said. From a person so committed to the evil of bondage and rape, it is no wonder that we would hear about a threat of death. Why would he want this baby to live, especially considering that so many others did not survive his brutality? This is a matter for much debate, but there is no doubt today that Amanda Berry loves Jocelyn and desired the best for her. It is reported that Amanda even home-schooled Jocelyn without the knowledge or approval of Castro.
Amanda Berry has heroically expressed a mother’s desire for life, education, and freedom for Jocelyn, despite the loathsome circumstances of her conception – rape. In the beautiful things that Amanda shared with Jocelyn while living tortured in a dungeon, there was much for both of them to rejoice in. No doubt, there will be much more for them to rejoice in tomorrow and in the days and years to come. This is our hope for them, and certainly, we should all find joy in Amanda Berry’s example, which reflects the light of hope for all – not just for a few in a dungeon.
Download Full Interview (MP3) | 00:28:00
This is a clip from an episode of Life Report called “Local Experts Clarify Domestic and International Adoption.” In this episode I interviewed Stephanie Grant, Executive Director of Infant of Prague Adoption Services, and Laurel Boylan, Founder of God’s Waiting Children.
In this clip I asked Stephanie to clarify what the terms “open adoption” and “closed adoption” mean and to explain common misconceptions about both.
Click the embedded video and it will start at the right place in the interview. This particular topic ends at 10:13.
If you don’t want to watch the 4-minute video, you can read the full transcript below.
Josh Brahm: Let’s talk about that before we even get into the international adoption process. We hear these terms, open and closed adoption — I’m not sure most people know what that actually means. You’ve said something very quickly about something. I want to send to spend some more time talking about that. Help our audience understand open and closed adoption, what people mean by that, and why there’s so much diversity between those two fields.
Stephanie Grant: Sure. Closed means confidential. In the past, adoptions were all closed. In fact, we’ve been around since 1953 so we practiced confidential, closed adoptions in the past. Back in the day when birth moms were sent away to a maternity home and they never met the adoptive family and they had a child and the child was whisked away possibly and adoptive families really didn’t receive a lot of information about the birth family back then, either. So our practices change tremendously and really, we’ve seen much more positive some information, even if it’s limited information, how that plays out for all parties involved. It’s so much better. It’s so much healthier for adoptees to grow up and know their story and have access to where they came from in this. It’s part of who they are there and [their] identity.
And for adoptive parents to have that information and you think about how important it is to have medical information when you take your child to the doctor, and just how it plays out along the child’s life span and in that family system. We’ve gotten feedback over the years from our adoptive families how much they just love the fact that they have access to the birth parents.
So “open” meaning that there is communication, and every relationship looks different, but then also with openness and with how that relates to the birth parent is our birth parents are in the driver’s seat, right from the beginning. When they come to us in crisis with an unexpected pregnancy they choose whether they want to make up a plan of parenting or they want to make a plan of adoption. If they choose adoption, they are in the driver’s seat as far as what type of family that they’re looking for to raise their child, and they look through the albums and choose that family. And they’re in the driver’s seat, too, as far as we have some birth moms that want to meet the family and others that don’t. Sometimes they come to us and their pregnancy is confidential from their own family system.
Josh Brahm: So what are the some of the misconceptions about open adoption? I think there are a lot of people that are really concerned about what that might look like, so just illuminate that area for us.
Stephanie Grant: Absolutely. Well, I know one of the common misconceptions is co-parenting. They think open adoption means that you have the adoptive family and the birth family both parenting, and that really isn’t true. Our birth moms that make a plan of adoption, they’re choosing the family, they’re choosing adoption because they’re not ready to parent, for whatever reason, and they are choosing the adoptive mom and dad to become the parents.
The other thing I think people get from watching [movies is] the stalking birth mom that’s going to stalk the adoptive family or change [their] mind six months later. With agency adoption there’s actually only a 48-hour window that a birth parent has to change her mind, but also I would say with the comprehensive counseling that we provide birth moms we are not even going to go down that road unless we’re pretty certain that she wants to make a plan of adoption.
Life Report trains pro-life people to communicate their views more effectively. Through roundtable discussions and interviews with the top experts on the subject, Life Report provides real-world answers to the toughest questions regarding abortion in the 21st century. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
Special thanks to Benjamin Baxter for the transcription.
Huffington Post blogger Janis Powers doesn’t like the terms “pro-life” or “pro-choice.” She feels they stack the deck too firmly in pro-lifers’ favor, the former “cast[ing] any dissenters in the shadow of death,” the latter a vague “passive approach to conflict resolution,” “refusing to decry any belief as wrong.” Personally, I thought refusing to decry any belief as wrong was pretty much the only way to sanitize killing your own son or daughter, but Powers has decided that “[i]t’s time to aggressively deconstruct the Pro-Life messaging and let the true meanings of the words speak for themselves”:
Life is “the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.
This definition makes patently clear that there is no “life” at fertilization. When a sperm and an ovum join, they set off a complex series of chemical reactions. Simply, the fertilized cell starts to divide, a process called mitosis. As this process repeats itself, the fertilized egg becomes a cluster of cells, which then magically and beautifully becomes a human embryo.
All it makes patently clear is that nobody at HuffPo reviews this stuff before publishing it. Powers gives a definition, declares that the resulting zygote doesn’t match it…and then immediately describes the zygote in a way that fits perfectly with the definition of life she just cited. That cell division she mentioned is the beginning of growth, and nothing new is added to fundamentally change its composition, meaning its changes originate internally. It’s an organism, it’s not dead, and it’s not inorganic. You don’t have to take my word for it, either – just consult with the abundant scientific authorities who attest to it, most non-partisan and several pro-abortion. Once upon a time, Alan Guttmacher himself admitted it: “This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t part of the common knowledge.”
By the way, Powers’s chosen authority on what words mean also defines “human being” simply as “any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens,” and/or “a person, especially as distinguished by other animals or as representing the human species,” which seemingly means that the personhood debate is settled in our favor. Thanks, Janis!
Some may confuse the replicating cells as a “life” form. And cleverly, the Pro-Life taxonomy has decided to include this phase of cellular modification under its safety umbrella by claiming that “life begins at conception.” This slogan is problematic because the divine protection it seeks to assign is applied with varying vigor, based on the location of the zygote.
Uh, no, that’s the opposite of our point. We’re the ones arguing that location doesn’t make one any more or any less human.
In other words, fertilized eggs inside a woman’s body are treated differently that those created in a petri dish. If life begins at conception, the where’s the uproar over the dispensation of scientifically fertilized eggs?
Even more disconcerting is that typical in vitro fertilization necessitates the insertion of numerous fertilized eggs into a woman’s womb. The expectation is that several of the eggs will die, with the hopes that at least one will survive.
Biologically speaking, by the time a woman gets around to learning that she’s pregnant and to arranging for an abortion if she desires/is able to have one, the zygote has developed into… something. Thanks to amazing technological advances, we are able to detect humanoid features in the earliest stages of embryonic development. The Pro-Life movement, a philosophy of faith-based beliefs, ironically relies heavily on this technology to justify its cause. We’ve all heard the slogan, “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart.” Reading it on a bumper sticker fails to communicate that when a heartbeat is first detected, the size of the embryo is comparable to a lentil.
It’s amusing how an insidious sentence fabricating some “irony” in pro-lifers relying on technology to support allegedly “faith-based beliefs” rests in the middle of one of the least self-aware paragraphs I’ve ever read. Aside from the moral irrelevance of the embryo’s size, Powers has inadvertently admitted that her own parsing of the zygote stage’s details is all but irrelevant to the abortion debate, since the baby is well past that stage by the time one’s pregnancy is discovered. As the Association of Pro-Life Physicians explains:
At the average time when a woman is aware that she is pregnant (the fifth to sixth week after conception), the preborn human being living inside her is metabolizing nutrition, excreting waste, moving, sucking his or her thumb, growing, and doing many other things that non-living things just do not do. As early as 21 days after conception, the baby’s heart has begun to beat his or her own unique blood-type, often different than the mother’s. (Moore & Persaud, The Developing Human, p.310; Nilsson & Hamberger, A Child is Born, p.86; Rugh & Shettles, From Conception to Birth, p.217.) At 40 days after conception, brain waves can be read on an EEG, or an electroencephalogram. (Dr. H. Hamlin, Life or Death by EEG, JAMA, Oct.12, 1964, p.113.)
Next, Powers moves to values, and in leaving scientific jargon behind, she drops the only thing giving her convoluted analysis the veneer of substance:
Some people call that life.
Some people don’t.
Some people call it life, and still want an abortion.
Whether a first semester embryo is a person worth protecting is a matter of opinion. And we cannot continue to enact restrictive anti-abortion laws based on opinions.
No, it’s a matter of reason, science, and first principles, and the opinion aspect is no greater or smaller than the degree to which all political questions come down to opinion. That’s why our system decides things by voting: to decide between differing opinions. If a majority of people are persuaded that life at fertilization is more reasonable and that protecting all life is more just, why can’t we enact laws based on it?
In a society of religious freedom and tolerance, the only faith that is constitutionally binding is our faith in each other. And I have faith in women.
Okay, now you’re just making stuff up. “Faith in each other” is a Disney platitude, not a governing philosophy. Not only is there nothing in American law making it “constitutionally binding” (seriously?), but America was founded on almost the exact opposite idea: human nature being what it is, nobody can be trusted to lord it over the rights of another.
Consider that in the majority of divorce cases, primary custody of the children goes to the mother. We as a society believe that the mother is the person best positioned to make choices for her children.
Perhaps, but the really wrong choices, like neglecting or abusing her kids, are still illegal.
Some believe that a zygote’s or an embryo’s rights are more important than those of the woman who must carry it. If that is the case, then why is it legal for pregnant women to smoke? We have clinical data that proves that smoking is detrimental for a developing fetus, yet we still allow it. We allow pregnant women to drink alcohol and to eat poorly.
First, I’m not sure how current law on smoking while pregnant is a morally authoritative example, considering that the position she’s trying to refute is that current law is wrong when it comes to abortion. Second, there are countervailing examples behind the door Powers just opened. The Center for Disease Control’s page on the subject speaks of the pre-born baby as a patient and potential victim, with his or her well-being on the same level as Mom’s. Further, Richard Poupard explains [PDF]:
Isotretinoin (Accutane) is a drug that is used to treat acne but that causes severe fetal injury and birth defects. The FDA restrictions for isotretinoin are so tight that before the medication can be dispensed, a woman of childbearing age must pledge to use two forms of contraception if she is sexually active. Prior to filling the prescription, she also must verify the types of contraception she is on via the Internet or telephone and take two pregnancy tests (one administered by her doctor and one by a certified laboratory), both with negative results. She must use the most accurate tests available (never home pregnancy tests) to confirm that she is not pregnant. We accept these as reasonable restrictions on a woman’s right to bodily autonomy in order to optimize the safety of her child.
Powers concludes by proposing a replacement for “pro-choice”: “call me Pro-Faith.” Which may be more apt than she realizes – her column embodies everything wrong with stereotypical faith: deciding significant moral questions on feelings rather than reason, a tenuous grasp on science, and twisting and skipping fact and logic in whatever way is necessary to arrive at a pre-selected dogma.
This year, the 43rd annual National Right to Life Convention will be held in Dallas, TX. The 2013 National Right to Life Convention boasts a long list of well-known speakers and offers the opportunity to meet and mingle with pro-life advocates from across the country. This annual gathering is the hallmark of pro-life gatherings, incorporating education and pro-life fellowship. The full schedule of talks and events is sure to reinvigorate attendees and return pro-life advocates to their respective states with a renewed passion for and knowledge of the life movement.
A full list of speakers can be found here. They include:
- O. Carter Snead, W.P. and H.B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame
- Wesley J. Smith, award-winning author and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism
- Chet McDoniel, an inspiring Life advocate who was born without arms or legs and works to spread the message that all life is dignified and worthy of defense
- David Barton, Founder and President of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes
- Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers
- Ryan Bomberger, Founder of the Radiance Foundation
- Eilzabeth Graham, Director of Texas Right to Life
The Convention will take place in Dallas from Thursday, June 27 to Saturday, June 29. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency DFW at DFW Airport. Information about accommodations at the Hyatt Regency can be found at the convention website. The convention is appropriate for the entire family. Childcare is available, and there is a special Teens for Life Convention that will take place simultaneously. Click here to register for the 43rd annual National Right to Life Convention.
On June 12 of 1984, a thirteen-year-old girl went to West Park Hospital in Philadelphia seeking an abortion. She told the abortionist, Dr. Joseph Melnick, that she was about four months along (1).
It is unknown what steps, if any, Melnick took to verify the age of the baby, but the pregnancy turned out to be much more advanced. During the abortion, a three-pound, nine-ounce baby girl was born alive. The doctor ordered that no action be taken to help the infant. He immediately filled out a death certificate and waited for the child to die. A nurse defied the doctor and attempted to save the baby. She tore up the death certificate Dr. Melnick had written, and, when the child stopped breathing, she began administering CPR (2). Her lone efforts were not enough to save the little girl. The child lived for an hour and a half. She was not transferred to the ICU or given the care that a wanted newborn would have received. Only the anonymous nurse, who went unnamed in newspaper reports about the incident, tried to help her.
According to the autopsy, the child had a healthy head of hair and skin consistent with “a neonate” (newborn). The autopsy also determined that she was eight months old. Melnick was reported making the following understatement when he found out the autopsy results: “After the fact, it occurred to me that I had miscalculated [the baby’s age].”
Melnick was arrested and charged with homicide, involuntary manslaughter, infanticide, and two violations of the state’s Abortion Control Act, which forbade abortions after six months. Melnick argued that the baby had been stillborn, but a number of nurses testified that they had seen the baby gasping and moving (3).
Under questioning, Melnick broke down and admitted that the baby had indeed been breathing when it was born.
The defense attorney argued that a guilty conviction would have a “chilling effect” on abortion providers and claimed that the prosecution was motivated by opposition to abortion.
Judge Lynne Abraham may have agreed. She found Melnick guilty of only one charge, infanticide, for which the evidence was overwhelming. She gave him no fine or jail time – only probation and community service. In explaining why she did not fine Melnick, she said: “I know the resources of Dr. [Joseph Melnick] have been strained. Quite candidly, it’s not my intention to impoverish anyone by imposing fines.”
Incidentally, Melnick’s defense attorney was good friends with the judge who gave him such a light sentence. Defense lawyer Richard A. Sprague called himself a “friend and mentor” of judge Lynne Abraham. At the time of Melnick’s trial, they had been friends for years (4).
1. “Doctor Gets 3 Years’ Probation for Infanticide” New York Times, Late Edition 20 Dec 1989: A.24.
2. Linda Loyd “Doctor sentenced in abortion death” Houston Chronicle 20 Dec 1989: 11
3. National Report San Francisco Chronicle 20 Dec 1989
4. Daughen, Joseph R Iverson lawyer Sprague and Philadelphia district attorney on familiar ground Knight Ridder Tribune News Service [Washington] 25 July 2002: 1.
Leslie Bond. “Melnick Convicted Of Infanticide in Death of Live-Born Aborted Baby.” National Right to Life News, June 22, 1989, pages 1 and 11;
Debra Braun. “Murder Charge Dropped Against Abortionist.” National Right to Life News, March 14, 1985, pages 1 and 8.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “reticent” as inclined to be silent or uncommunicative in speech. It is this silence among Christian pro-lifers, often prompted by apathy, lack of knowledge, or fear of “rocking the boat,” that John Ensor addresses in his newly revised book, Answering the Call (Hendrickson Publishers). The book’s target audience is specifically Christians – who happen to make up the majority of the pro-life movement. In Answering the Call, John Ensor helps the Christian reader to understand why the pro-life movement is a decidedly Christian calling, and how failing to answer the call to stand up for the most innocent among us is a failure in Christian charity and an example of misguided Christian values.
No Christian is exempt from pro-life activism, Ensor believes, because abortion is the preeminent evil of modern times, and Christians are obligated to counteract evil with good. In the hierarchy of causes, he explains, abortion takes the first tier – before homelessness, hunger, and all other forms of violence – because abortion is a direct insult against a loving God who staunchly conveys through Scripture that it is the innocent who most deserve protection from violent acts like abortion. It is only in assigning abortion the priority it deserves as the most threatening evil of our time that all other efforts to address poverty, violence, disease, and the like will find their proper places in the life of Christian ministry.
Ensor calls on the Christian community to take a stand for life through prayer and through action. Although the book is very small, it is packed with anecdotes, history lessons, and plenty of Scripture passages to convey the Christian calling of the pro-life movement. The book is a great tool for kick-starting pro-life activism in a Christian who has not been exposed to it, or rekindling the pro-life fire in someone who has become reticent.
Recently, Americans have been barraged with the grisly images from the trial of late-term abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. There’s been talk of morning-after pills for 15-year-old girls, Obama bestowing blessings on Planned Parenthood, and the defense of leaving born-alive babies to die without medical care. Then, out of nowhere, kidnap victim Amanda Berry emerged, exhibiting the unconditional love of a mother toward a small child who, pro-choicers would argue, based on who sired her, deserved to die.
Amanda Berry is one of three women; the others are Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. All of them were offered rides and then held captive in Cleveland, Ohio by Ariel Castro, an ex-bus driver with a history of domestic abuse.
At 17 years of age, Berry called her sister to let her know she was getting a ride home from her job at Burger King – and then was not seen again for a decade. Together with Gina and Michelle, Amanda was held captive inside a house of terror where she and they were bound with chains and ropes, confined to the basement and other closet-sized rooms, beaten, starved, and repeatedly raped.
If ever there was a woman with a reason to want to dispose of a child in order to rid herself of the living reminder of her abuser, Amanda is that woman. Instead, six years ago, on Christmas Day, inside the squalid home at 2207 Seymour Avenue, Amanda Berry delivered her daughter in an inflatable child-size swimming pool set up inside the house.
Although rape-related abortions made up only 2% of the total number of pregnancy terminations performed in 2011, women who kill children conceived from rape likely do so to flush any trace of their attacker from their bodies. Killing a child conceived as a result of rape is the ultimate act of hostility by a woman toward the person who forcibly impregnated her. Hopeless and helpless against an aggressor, innocent unborn babies are sacrificed by mothers who violently attempt to gain back the control that was lost when they were violated.
Amanda Berry has proven that such thinking is terribly misguided, because from the looks of things, the child who just happened to be the offspring of Berry’s assailant may very well have given Amanda the will to find a way to break free.
For six years after Jocelyn was born, Amanda did not give up looking for a way to escape. A neighbor’s sister said that years back she saw a “woman and baby standing in a window after hearing pounding. The window was partially covered with a plank.” The police were called as they had been before, but again, nothing happened. Why law enforcement didn’t investigate further is unclear, but what is clear is that the woman crying for help in the boarded-up window was Amanda, and the baby she cradled in her arms was her daughter Jocelyn.
When Amanda saw an opportunity to escape, she took it. She broke through a door, but she didn’t bolt from the house alone; she took her child with her. Hours later, her grandmother Fern Gentry asked her granddaughter, “Is the little girl your baby?” Without mentioning rape or Castro, Berry simply replied, “Yeah, she’s my daughter. She was born on Christmas.”
Based on the picture of Amanda, her sister Beth Serrano, and Berry’s daughter Jocelyn taken in a hospital room after their escape, the hostility one would expect to see on the part of a woman toward a child whose father repeatedly raped her for 10 years was absent. Instead, it was clear from the photograph that Amanda Berry cherishes Jocelyn and that the little girl grasping Amanda’s hand loves and trusts her mother.
Judging from the look on Ms. Berry’s face, it was also clear that despite all the abuse and hardship she suffered, she and Jocelyn are survivors. Mother and daughter clearly gained strength from each other and triumphed together over the nightmare of being trapped for years in a hellhole.
Yet ever since the three women escaped, the media’s emphasis has been mainly on the sensational aspect of the kidnapping, cruelty, and bondage. But, like a flower blooming in the desert, out of all the perversion and sadism, the story worth telling is one of the enduring love of a mother for her child. Why? Because rather than do what women who abort children resulting from rape do, which is to reject, revile, and abandon, Amanda Berry chose instead to protect, love, and defend.
Thus, Amanda Berry has emerged from the ordeal a heroine for rescuing her two friends and for enduring a decade of rape, terror, and torture at the hands of a sadistic fiend. But more than that, Berry’s fearlessness is rooted in being a woman strong and wise enough to treasure her baby girl regardless of how she was conceived.
So just as Kermit Gosnell’s barbarism showed the evilness of destroying life, the love of Ms. Berry for her daughter showed the beauty of protecting life. And so, for singlehandedly hamstringing the flawed argument that a child whose life results from rape automatically deserves a death sentence, this Mother’s Day should be officially declared Amanda Berry Day.
Today, Fox News revealed that Michelle Knight – one of the three women kidnapped, raped, and abused by Ariel Castro – became pregnant five times during her eleven years locked in Castro’s house. Each time, Castro “starved her and punched her in the stomach until she miscarried.” Such actions are nothing other than forced abortions.
While Castro has already been charged with kidnapping and rape, the prosecutor has declared that he plans to seek additional charges as this new information has come out:
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said Thursday that based on the facts of the case, his office intends to seek charges not only for the sexual assaults endured by the victims, but also ‘each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies.’
(A) ‘Unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy’ means causing the death of an unborn member of the species homo sapiens, who is or was carried in the womb of another, as a result of injuries inflicted during the period that begins with fertilization and that continues unless and until live birth occurs.
(B) ‘Another’s unborn’ or ‘such other person’s unborn’ means a member of the species homo sapiens, who is or was carried in the womb of another, during a period that begins with fertilization and that continues unless and until live birth occurs.
Ohio law also allows the death penalty to be sought for aggravated murder, including in cases of fetal homicide. This means that, if Castro is indeed charged with five counts of aggravated murder, he could face the death penalty for any or all of them. Fox News reports that McGinty is considering pursuing the death penalty.
If Castro is charged with aggravated murder, his trial may serve to highlight a host of issues for the nation – among them, the fact that every life at every stage is infinitely precious and ought to be protected under the law.
Castro’s actions against Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus are beyond unthinkable. And his actions against Michelle Knight’s five unborn children are equally unthinkable and deserve just and legal punishment.
Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania abortionist, ran a public house of horrors in which he slaughtered children – sometimes against their mothers’ wishes. And evidence is now demonstrating that Ariel Castro ran a private house of horrors in which he also slaughtered innocent children, against their mother’s wishes. As a nation, we must call for an end to the slaughter, wherever it occurs.
On May 1, pro-life advocates gathered outside the abortion center of Cesare Santangelo in Washington, D.C. for the “Stop the Killing” rally. Dr. Santangelo was recently recorded on tape saying he would let a baby born alive after a failed abortion die instead of receiving proper medical care.
Rally speakers included Live Action President Lila Rose, Jill Stanek, Kristan Hawkins, Marjorie Dannenfelser, and Charmaine Yoest. You can watch a highlight video from the event below:
Kermit Gosnell, who is currently on trial awaiting a verdict on over one hundred abortion-related criminal charges, was responsible not the deaths not only of thousands of pre-born children, but also of at least two mothers.
Semika Shaw was killed by Kermit Gosnell in the year 2000 – ten years before he was shut down. Despite complaints from her family after Semika’s death at the hands of the abortionist, Gosnell continued to operate, enshrined by the silence and blind eyes he received from medical and governmental authorities alike.
Semika Shaw was only twenty-two years old when she died. She was the mother of three children, one of whom was inside her at five months’ gestation just hours before Semika joined him or her in eternity, both having been killed by Gosnell in a botched abortion. Semika officially died of a perforated uterus and septicemia.
The ongoing documentary series, 3801 Lancaster, interviewed Semika’s cousin, Representative Margo Davidson. She is the only member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to have had a personal tragedy in her family directly caused by Kermit Gosnell.
In the interview, Davidson recalls the devastation forced on her family because of Gosnell, and how she had to interrupt officiating Semika’s funeral (Rep. Davidson is also a minister) to peel Semika’s young cousins – in disbelief that Semika was not coming back – away from the casket. Watch the full interview below.
You can watch more from the 3801 Lancaster Film Project here.
We are men of action; lies do not become us. -William Goldman
And yet, this quote must apply only to men who act with courage and compassion – men who can be proud of the actions they take. Men whose actions protect the innocent, uphold the weak, and defend the helpless. Apparently, men whose actions add up to calculated, callous murder believe that lies do become them.
In an effort to convince the woman that carrying her baby to term was far more dangerous than having a late-term abortion, Carhart blatantly lied about how many women die during pregnancy every year:
Dr. Carhart: I mean the United States, in the last several years, it averages between 15 and 18 women die out of every 1,000 from being pregnant.
Carhart went on to tell the woman that these falsified numbers were equivalent to 16% of women dying from pregnancy. (In reality, 16 women out of every 1,000 is equal to 1.6%, still a hugely untrue statistic.)
Any sensible adult in the United States could easily consider how many pregnant women he or she has encountered and how many of them have died. It’s clear – just from common sense and basic observations – that Carhart’s pulling out of thin air these numbers. But just how wrong is he?
In the summer of 2012, the Huffington Post released an infographic, based on numbers from the Center for Disease Control, picturing the maternal death rate in the U.S.
The 2010 death rate? Twelve point seven women per 100,000. Even the 2006 number, which was slightly higher, was 13.3 women per 100,000 live births. The 2010 number equals a 0.0127% death rate.
The World Health Organization’s numbers from 2008 were higher than U.S. reported numbers, as the WHO put the U.S. maternal mortality rate at 24 per 100,000 live births – still nowhere near Carhart’s 15-18 per 1,000. (Incidentally, the WHO defines maternal mortality rates to include deaths from abortion.) In fact, Carhart’s self-made numbers, if true, would put the U.S. below Afghanistan – the worst-ranked country in the world in 2008 – for maternal mortality.
Carhart’s not even close. This isn’t a matter of fudging the facts or misrepresenting fluid statistics. This is a plain, out-and-out, blatant – and monstrous – lie. And these are the kind of lies that abortionists tell women to scare them into thinking that childbirth is so, so super-scary and dangerous while they claim that abortion is so, so super-safe and uncomplicated.
Add all this to the distorted speech Carhart gave the investigator when she questioned whether Carhart would be certain to get all the pieces of the baby – specifically her baby’s hand – out of her during the abortion. Carhart attempted to assure her that he would remove all the pieces, and then said:
But there are risks, you know, with abortion, and they are the exact same risks that there are with being pregnant and delivering, I mean, people die from being pregnant, people die from anesthesia being pregnant, uh people die from having abortions, but it’s a lot more rare than with delivery.
Okay, excuse me just one minute. Once again, Carhart’s telling a monstrous lie. There are quite a few risks that are very specific to abortion that a woman who is pregnant and delivering her child will not encounter. Perhaps chief among these risks is exactly what the woman is asking – body parts of torn apart babies being left inside.
When was the last time you heard about a baby being delivered naturally in pieces? “Oh yes, your beautiful daughter is here! Well, most of her, that is. Let us go inside and be sure to pull out her hand that she left behind.” Last time I checked, babies aren’t born in pieces. That’s a result of abortion; it’s a risk peculiar to abortion. And if Carhart were an honest man, he would not claim that abortion has the “exact same risks” as “being pregnant and delivering.”
I admit, though, it is a bit much to ask an admitted killer to be honest about his business…
The facts are still being sorted out in the case of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, the three women who escaped from their kidnappers in Cleveland this week, with the help of natural-born comedian and neighbor Charles Ramsey, who came to Amanda’s rescue clutching a Big Mac.
According to Ramsey, after he and another neighbor kicked in the bottom of the front door, Amanda came through the hole holding a little girl. Ramsey described her as being about nine or ten, but she was actually six, and Amanda’s daughter. Her name is Jocelyn, and she was born on Christmas Day. In Ramsey’s account, Amanda described the girl as “his daughter,” referring to her kidnapper, Ariel Castro.
From the little we now know, it appears that the three women were kept as sex slaves for the three brothers, Ariel, Pedro, and Onil Castro. According to USA Today:
Police Chief Michael McGrath said Wednesday that the three young women, during their ordeal, had been “bound and there were chains and ropes in the hall.”
With three women being raped repeatedly for a decade, there were bound to be pregnancies.
The Castro brothers allegedly forced all three women to have sex, resulting in up to five pregnancies, according to a report by Cleveland’s WKYC-TV. The station, quoting unnamed law enforcement sources, reported that the Castros also beat the women while they were pregnant, with several fetuses not surviving. Police did not publicly confirm the report.
In addition, Khalid Samad, a former assistant safety director for the city, said law enforcement officials told him that the women were beaten while pregnant, with several miscarrying, and that a dungeon of sorts with chains was in the home.
If true, this is perhaps the most unfortunate and repulsive aspect of the kidnapping of these women: not only were they abducted, restrained, and raped repeatedly for ten years, but they were beaten until they lost their children.
Abortion is a handy method for covering up the results of sexual assault and incest. Its legality has no doubt saved many a perpetrator from discovery over the years. The fetus, after all, is evidence, and her destruction vital to keeping a rapist free from punishment, or free to rape again.
In the case of Amanda, Gina, and Michelle, the Castro brothers had to resort to other methods, since taking them out of the home to a clinic was out of the question. So they allegedly beat them until they miscarried the babies. It’s not a surgical abortion, but it’s also not a natural miscarriage. These were induced abortions in their most primitive form.
Fortunately, none of the women died from this treatment, and Amanda and Jocelyn survived pregnancy and birth, ostensibly without medical care.
We know very little about this case yet, and certainly many new facts will be revealed. But I am wondering about this girl, Jocelyn, allegedly conceived in rape, born of a captive mother, and rescued by that mother. In the photo of Amanda and her sister in the hospital, one of Amanda’s arms is around her sister, the other around Jocelyn, who lies in a hospital bed, smiling. She is a lovely child. She looks content. She looks like she knows she is safe.
Did Amanda’s love for Jocelyn keep her motivated to survive and escape? Did Jocelyn’s rapist father come to love her? Or did he abuse her, too?
To me, Jocelyn is the most intriguing aspect of this case. She brings up questions that haven’t yet been answered, and hopefully will be soon. But whatever we discover, two things are clear:
- Amanda loves her daughter. She could have left her behind. Instead, she came out of her captor’s home holding Jocelyn, and on the 911 call can be heard comforting her. “Sweetheart, it’s okay,” you can hear her say to the crying girl.
- Jocelyn, a child conceived in rape, has a chance at a good life now. She is a perfect illustration of the point the pro-life movement continually makes about so-called “unwanted” children and those born into “impossible” circumstances: nothing is impossible.
I have high hopes for Jocelyn, and for Charles Ramsey. When most of us think “hero,” we think of a soldier or a firefighter, yet not only did this regular Joe go to the aid of a stranger, he also eschewed the idea of a reward. “I tell you what you do, give it to them,” he said of the victims in an interview with CNN. “Where are them girls living? Right next door to this paycheck. So yes, take that reward and give it to — that little girl came out the house and she was crying.” He couldn’t sleep, he said, knowing he’d been living right next door to the victims for a year and hadn’t helped.
Charles Ramsey proves the same thing as Jocelyn: the victim can be rescued, the poverty can be beaten, the abuse can be overcome. Circumstances do not dictate what kind of life a person will lead. A black dish-washer from Cleveland with a Big Mac in one hand can be a hero, and a child born of rape can be anything she wants to be.
As long as there is life, there is hope.
Ireland’s notorious “C Case” abortion patient speaks out: “It has been harder to deal with than the rape”
Ireland, one of the few countries that has consistently defended women and children by saying no to legalized abortion, has seen the issue hotly debated over the years. Most recently, Ireland has been battling misleading legislation that falsely claims it will protect life during pregnancy, when in fact it would be a direct attack on pre-born life and open the floodgates to a reinterpretation of the Irish constitution on abortion.
Like Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, who was used without scruple by lawyers in the 1970s as a puppet in the game to get abortion on demand legalized in the United States, “Miss C,” who underwent a forced abortion at the behest of her nation, was used and discarded by the legal system in Ireland to further a disturbing political abortion agenda that had nothing to do with her, or her well-being. The irony is that her well-being was erroneously touted as the reason for what was really a forced abortion. Like many women who experience abortion after rape, Miss C attests in the Independent that the abortion caused more problems and heartache in her life than the brutal rape she suffered:
[F]or me, [the abortion] has been harder to deal with than the rape.
It only really hits you after you have children. You never forget your missing baby. It plays on your mind every day. Any woman who has an abortion and then goes on to become a mother will know all about it afterwards.
I didn’t want to become a mother at 13, but I realise now that baby didn’t deserve to die. I would have loved to give her up for adoption to somebody who really wanted kids and couldn’t have them. She’d be a teenager today and maybe we could be friends, even if she didn’t call me mammy.
Here’s a recap. In the early 1990s, a young teenage girl (“Miss X”) became pregnant and allegedly insisted that unless she could travel to England for an abortion, she would take her own life. Irish courts put a nine-month stay on the girl, which prevented her from leaving the country for an abortion, so Miss X’s child was born in Ireland. The decision to hold her in Ireland was appealed, however, and the courts determined that in cases where suicide was threatened by the pregnant woman, an exception could be made and an abortion could be obtained in England. Fast-forward five years to Miss C’s rape. She was a 13-year-old Traveler and the eldest daughter in a large family. She was mostly uneducated and spent the majority of her time helping to care for her family. She was abducted and brutally raped by a man for whom she babysat when he was supposed to be driving her home one night after babysitting.
Irish officials became informed of the rape, and they took Miss C away from her family, placing her in foster care with another family of Travelers. After exhibiting some severe pregnancy symptoms, she underwent a pregnancy test, and the results were positive. In the interview quoted above, Miss C recalls that at the time, she did not even know what pregnancy meant, or how it had happened to her. She says that if she had been asked what her choice was, she would have placed her child with an adoptive family. Regardless of her well-being or wishes, however, she was ushered to England by Irish authorities who explained very little of what was going on, and it was not until after she was forced to undergo an abortion that Miss C was told that her baby was dead.
Miss C is open about the fact that she was the victim of rape, but today she is more vocal about the life-altering, devastating effects that being forced to abort her own child had on her life long-term. You an read more about her story here, and get an idea of the history of Irish abortion laws here.
In 2002, the kidnapping of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart captured the nation’s attention. Rescued nine months later, Smart had been held prisoner and raped by Brian David Mitchell, who is currently serving a richly-deserved life sentence. Today, Smart is a 25-year-old author, advocate for child-protection laws, and missing persons commentator for ABC News.
Last Wednesday, Smart spoke at a Johns Hopkins University forum on human trafficking. She discussed her mindset while in captivity, the following excerpt of which has been picked up by numerous liberal commentators:
I remember in school one time, I had a teacher who was talking about, well, about abstinence, and she said, “imagine that you’re a stick of gum, and when you engage in sex, that’s like getting chewed, and if you do that lots of times, you’re gonna become an old piece of gum! And who’s going to want you after that?” Well, that’s terrible, but nobody should ever say that, but for me, I felt, oh my gosh, I’m that chewed-up piece of gum! Nobody re-chews a piece of gum. You throw it away. And that’s how easy it is to feel you no longer have worth, you no longer have value. Why would it even be worth screaming out, why would it even make a difference if you are rescued, your life still has no value.
Slate, the Huffington Post, Gawker, ThinkProgress, and MSNBC all have pieces up with headlines depicting Smart as saying abstinence education itself made her feel worthless and demoralized her away from trying to escape earlier. Liberals have a long, ghoulish record of hijacking victims to shame their enemies and emotionally blackmail people into adopting their policies, and this case is especially egregious because the victim in question said no such thing.
Certainly, Smart says the remarks of one particular teacher, whose “who’s going to want you?” dismissal to teenage girls seems lacking in Christian compassion, played a role. But while I do not presume to know her views on the general subject, Smart’s speech does not blame abstinence education itself, or the general principle of abstinence.
A bit earlier, she mentions being “raised in a very religious household, one which taught that sex was something special that only happened between a husband and a wife who loved each other,” which she was “determined to follow.” And near the beginning of her speech, she makes clear that, also while in captivity, she realized that her parents’ strong belief in abstinence wouldn’t make them value her any less:
I remember on that first day of being kidnapped and raped, I remember thinking of my parents, and after realizing that they would still love me, that just because I’d been chained, just because I’d been kidnapped, just because all these things had happened to me, that wouldn’t change their love.
Why would they? Generally, Christians are far more understanding toward those who fall for sexual temptation than we’re given credit for, but here we needn’t even go that far. Being raped is not giving in to temptation. It’s not consensual sex. It’s not promiscuity. It’s not you making light of the sacred or wasting God’s gifts. Rape is a foul, violent crime for which the victim bears no fault, and the only “Christians” who think otherwise either reside in some isolated fringe of no practical significance or exist within liberals’ slanderous imaginations.
It’s true that rape can lead to all sorts of doubts about one’s sexuality and self-worth, and it’s not implausible that those effects could be heightened for people with a religious attachment to their virginity. But it’s preposterous to suggest that valuing your virginity and wanting to save yourself for one special person are therefore intrinsically destructive beliefs, and it’s a stretch to suggest that the phenomenon is unique among conservatively religious victims – feelings of guilt and lost self-esteem are commonly reported reactions, and are routinely cited as part of what makes rape such a horrible thing to do to anyone, not just one particular subset.
Think of it this way: as disappointed as religious parents would be to learn their teenager has been sexually active, they’d be far more troubled to learn he or she had killed someone or stolen something. Does that mean they would look down on their child for shooting an attacker in self-defense, or stealing bread and water to save a starving person? No. The prospect is absurd for the same reason expecting them to think any less of a raped daughter would be absurd: having principles doesn’t mean we’re idiots who can’t understand the concept of facts and circumstances.
Well-intentioned and well-adjusted people do not stoop this low to demonize people and ideas they disagree with. Would it be too much to ask any of the abstinence critics in our audience what the real motive is?