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It is humbling to announce that following the untimely death this past May of Karen Malec, the 16-year president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, that I’ll be taking the helm to succeed my great mentor as president and CEO of the Coalition. Five years ago Karen spent a great deal of time educating me about the link between abortion and breast cancer, sharing with me all of the scientific papers, and informing me of the history of this issue and how it has all unfolded. She was utterly generous with her time and considerable knowledge, her talents, and her gracious good humor.

What Karen and the Coalition have done over the past 16 years has been truly remarkable. She built a website that is encyclopedic in nature, and was indefatigable in presenting the truth of peer reviewed paper after peer reviewed paper to any and all who would listen. Through it all she labored as a colon cancer survivor, only to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer last autumn. On 5 May of this year, God saw fit to bring this happy warrior home.

In discussions with the Board of Directors at the time of my election, I laid out a vision of where I think the work needs to go over the next ten years. At age 55, I am one of the youngest of the scientist/physician community who advance the understanding of this link between induced abortion and breast cancer. Do the math. Where will this community be in ten years? How easily this issue can fade away.

It is for that reason that the Coalition needs to build on the rock-solid foundations laid by Karen Malec, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, Dr. Joel Brind, Dr. Chris Kahlenborn, and others. While keeping the issue alive in the pro-life movement, we need to reach out to young medical professionals in training: pre-med students, medical students, nursing students, and pharmacy students. Schools simply ignore this issue, and swallow wholesale the sham conference at the National Cancer Institute in 2003 that denied the link, in spite of consistent evidence since 1957. Indeed, papers are coming in from all around the world substantiating this link.

So, some of our larger goals going forward are these:

Hold regular conferences to update our knowledge about the link between abortion and breast cancer, and to teach the history of the issue to young medical professionals who desire to practice good, moral, Hippocratic medicine. We’ll name this conference series after Karen.

Karen Malec

Karen Malec

More immediately, redesign the website to make it more intuitive and user-friendly, and with a format that works well on mobile devices. The website will archive all of the relevant scientific papers, as well as video of the Malec Conference Series. It will also archive a series of short educational videos that will be readily grasped by the layperson, as well as medical professional.

As the estrogen/progestin birth control pill causes breast cancer by similar mechanism as induced abortion, and inasmuch as the combined pill and estrogen replacement therapy are listed by the World Health Organization as Group 1 Carcinogens, this work will become more a part of the Coalition’s work. Karen began this a couple of years ago, and we’ll continue in this direction.

The development of educational videos and materials for the public and for medical professionals in training will also be pursued.

All of this is more than possible. It’s very easy to do. There are many groups already serving pro-life students in colleges, nursing and medical schools. The work of this coalition will not be to compete with these groups, but to serve them. But all of this is going to require a solid base of pro-life people to join the Coalition and its donors to raise awareness, reach out to people, and help to fund the mission.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’ll be publishing all sorts of educational posts and making the rounds on radio shows. The Coalition is not the only group doing this work, either. Drs. Joel Brind and Angela Lanfranchi run the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, and Dr. Chris Kahlenborn runs the Polycarp Research Institute. With Karen, they have been the leaders in the field for decades.

All during September I’ll be offering ideas/suggestions for how people can raise awareness of the contributions of the birth control pill and abortion to the ranks of women with breast cancer, and offering the papers that give the consistent data substantiating the link. I’ll also be suggesting how people can raise money during this month of awareness to help the Coalition, and our two cousin organizations mentioned above in helping women to prevent this dread disease.

The nation is focused on the horrors of abortion as never before. We need to shine the light of truth on the real war on women. Join us in September and October as the Coalition advances the great work begun by Karen, and takes it to the place she was headed with it all. And most of all, pray for those of us who labor in this difficult field of getting people past the lies and accepting of the truth of science.

Blessings.

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On the day that Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973, a companion case, Doe v. Bolton was handed down as well. The Doe case made abortion legal in all nine months of pregnancy. Like Norma McCorvey of the Roe case, Bolton’s name was used without her knowledge or consent. From Lifesite News:

Cano told the Catholic Register, “It’s a nightmare to be connected to a case that I never wanted to be connected to. Doe v. Bolton allows abortion up to the ninth month. This case takes children’s lives.”

“Back in 1970,” Cano begins, “I had a very complicated marriage and had two children in foster care. I was pregnant and wanted to get my babies back from foster care. I was poor, uneducated and ignorant. My life was very unstable. I was in a survival state. I went to Atlanta Legal Aid to get a divorce. Whoever was there to try to help me, I trusted. That’s how I became unknowingly involved with Doe v. Bolton. Never once did I know that we were going to kill babies.

“I can’t understand how a case like this could go to the Supreme Court without anyone knowing or speaking to me to find out if what the attorney was presenting to the court was true. I was so ignorant I didn’t know that there were two cases that legalized abortion.

“I ran away to Oklahoma to keep from having an abortion. They knew I was against abortion. Grady Memorial Hospital said I had gone before a panel of nine doctors and nurses to seek an abortion. I never sought an abortion. The hospital has no records because I never went to the hospital.

“It was only later that I learned that, through Margie Pitt Hames, I had sued Georgia Baptist Hospital to have an abortion.”

The Register asked how she discovered the truth and she replied, “In 1974, I went to Georgia Right to Life to try to find someone to help me. I told them that I was the woman who was involved in the abortion law, but didn’t know what it was about. They sent me to Fayetteville to seek help. On and off over the years, I would come forward, but when you don’t have money or people willing to help, a lot of people think you’re someone off the nut wagon.

“In the 1980s, I talked to an Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper reporter. She told me I had to prove who I was. I asked, “How do you do that?” She told me I had to go down to the court to verify that I was the person involved in the case. When I did that, they told me I had to go to the Federal Archives building. When I did that, they gave me this humongous book to look through. I didn’t understand half of it. I was out of my league. There was also a sealed envelope. I wanted to open it, but couldn’t. They told me that I would have to go to the court to have my records unsealed. Someone at the court showed me how to petition the court to unseal the records.

“A week later, Judge Owen Foster called me. He told me, “I don’t normally do this, but think you need a lawyer. We’re going to be hearing your case.” I found an attorney and went down to the court to unseal the records. Margie Pitt Hames didn’t want me to open the records. After unsealing the records I wrote to the Supreme Court. They said that the statute of limitations had passed.”

“They connected my name to a case that I never knew about in the beginning, never participated in, never believed in. I carried a guilt for many, many years. I was just a pawn,” Cano told The Blaze.

Read the rest here.

Eternal Rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon her.
May she rest in Peace, Amen.

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Recently Richard Dawkins created a stir with some thoughtless tweets about aborting people with Down Syndrome, and Live Action has a column about the motives of some who abort their babies with Down Syndrome. With respect to author Sarah Terzo, it is an untempered treatment of deep complexities not at all explicated in the article, nor even hinted at. In the interest of truth and justice for many post-abortive mothers, here is a deeper exploration. It comes by way of my own experiences as the father of a special needs child.

When Regina became pregnant with Joseph (our first) it was pure magic. This child we feared might never be conceived after four years of prayers and disappointments, our first baby, was on the way. Early on we were offered the AFP, which tests for fetal anomalies and has many false-positive results.

We refused.

Why chance a positive result which would require amniocentesis to confirm, especially when amniocentesis kills one in every two hundred babies on which it is performed? There was no way that we would abort our baby, no matter what. “Besides,” I added to our bewildered Ob, “If God has X number of handicapped babies He needs to send into the world, we’ll take one. Children with needs require more love, not less.”

I never really thought He would take me up on that little bit of bravado.

It just didn’t make sense to have tests, to eat our hearts out if there were some potential anomaly that couldn’t be fixed. (Fetal surgery was just getting going at the time.)

Freeze frame. That’s an incredibly vulnerable time in every way for a woman. Physically she is immunocompromised, and increasingly uncomfortable toward the end. There’s the exhaustion of the first and third trimesters. There’s all sorts of concerns. At precisely the moment that a woman needs all the support she can get, when standing by her means everything for the father, for family and friends, she is hit with a devastating diagnosis.

Joseph was turning five when after years of misdiagnoses he was finally correctly diagnosed by some of the best minds in the field:

Autism, moderately profound.
ADHD
Mixed Expressive/Receptive Language Disorder (half of all tests he didn’t respond enough to establish a basal score)
Speech equivalent of 2.1 years
IQ tests: half very low average, half borderline.
Static Encephalopathy.
Cerebellar Defect.
Sensory Integration Disorder.

Shattering doesn’t begin to describe the pitch blackness I found myself in. It was a blackness so black that I couldn’t even see my wife’s pain and bewilderment. The upshot of it all was “What happens to Joseph when we’re gone?”

For the first time in my life I knew not only fear, but panic. So, I can relate to the parents who get the news when their baby is still in utero, when they are in a far more vulnerable state than we were. They also have an additional burden that I didn’t. I had Joseph for nearly five years. We had developed a relationship: I fed, bathed, changed, played with him. I dressed him, and took him everywhere I went. These parents know their child less concretely, more abstractly.

No one suggested that Regina and I kill our child. But it isn’t that way with poor prenatal diagnoses. I’ve met scores of women who were beset by the medical geneticists and their Ob’s to abort the baby. Far too many have recounted how they were burdened with blame:

“What do you mean you want to keep it? Why would you make your baby suffer that way?”

Lovely. Were that not bad enough, such news often comes when women have only one or two weeks left before they can no longer have an abortion (Statutory regulation).

Worse still are the fathers who pressure the mothers to abort, threatening financial, emotional and physical abandonment. “You’ll raise that freak on your own!” What a betrayal of trust and love, of all those little promises whispered when making love and begetting the baby.

More tragic still is the pressure from family and friends, and all too often, there stands the frightened, unsupported and completely besieged mother at precisely her most vulnerable moment.

So much for respecting women, for love and fidelity, for choice, for patient autonomy, for informed consent: Especially informed consent.

Parents are frequently not told of the surgeries, the therapies (medical, occupational, physical, speech, educational) that are available. They aren’t told of the Early Intervention program, of the advances made by those with Down Syndrome, of how many are now attending and graduating from college.

In other words, they are deprived of hope.

Comments made when they show up at an abortion center need to be evaluated in that light. In psychology the comments quoted by Terzo can be a good example of the defense mechanism called, “Reaction Formation,” which is the tendency to express the opposite of what one is feeling and threatened by, but cannot face.

So, how do we proceed?

Three years ago when I was National Director of Medical Students for Life, I approached some like-minded folks and with them brought to fruition a medical conference I had long envisioned as a means of enlightening the medical community. So, on January 21, 2012 at Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, DC, we held the first conference on Poor Prenatal Diagnoses and Therapeutic Interventions. It was live-cast and recorded and the entire conference can be viewed here. There will be more such conferences in the near future.

The purpose of the conference was to enlighten not only the medical community, but the rest of society; to give hope to those whose fear begets some of the ugly quotes in the Terzo article.

Regina and I were blessed with many beautiful and wonderful people who came into our lives and helped teach Joseph, most especially Mr. Robert Marinello who is one of the finest and most gifted speech therapists in the field. He got Joseph communicating in very short order, and gave me back my son. In the eleven years since we received the shattering diagnoses, Joseph has come into his own. He is poised to become an Eagle Scout in October at the age of fifteen, scored in the 98th percentile on his end of year testing this year, and is an accomplished athlete and dancer.

It took years, several years, to relax and trust that all would be well, to realize:

That God’s definition of well is not my own.

That God’s plans and dreams for Joseph are quite different from what I had envisioned when Regina gave birth.

That God was right beside me all of those sleepless nights I sat in the rocking chair beside Joseph’s bed, contemplating his future.

That God has an army of healers who do as a matter of routine what required the laying on of hands by Jesus two thousand years ago.

That God will use our fear and turn it into sacrificial love’s engine.

That God will then use special parents as the evangelists of this Gospel of Love.

In retrospect, what most made for the experience of being shattered was the fear of a loveless world and what it would do to our son. But God is faithful and He has shown us through our son an army of people who offer love, and hope, and opportunity.

Joseph is in good company among his peers with his particular style of learning and being in the world. The many therapists and professionals with whom he has worked have brought him and his peers not only into the realm of functionality, but of competitiveness with peers who are neurotypical. The same may be said of those with Down Syndrome.

News reports of parents seeking abortions for their special needs babies rightly anger and disgust us, but they don’t accurately portray all who receive these diagnoses. They also don’t delve into that pitch blackness in which I found myself, and in which these parents find themselves. The difference between us?

In my heart I knew that God would be faithful and what I was despairing of most of all was my own sense of smallness and inadequacy regarding the task before me. It was God’s fidelity as my father that empowered me.

I don’t judge these people quoted by Terzo. I agonize for them in their helplessness and hopelessness.

Take some time and watch the entire conference linked here. Then share this good news far and wide.

For many, all they need is the light of truth to begin to embrace their babies, to embrace their parenthood.

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How times have changed. Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby, once the champions of keeping abortions safe for women, now oppose legislative proposals such as the new law in Texas designed to accomplish those very noble-sounding sentiments used to justify legalized abortion. Specifically, they oppose the suggestion that abortionists need to be board certified Ob/Gyns in good standing and that they have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Worse still, they champion allowing nurses and physician assistants perform these inherently dangerous surgeries.

Lifesite News has an excellent article on this. From the article:

The American College of Surgeons released the “Statement on Patient Safety Principles for Office-based Surgery Utilizing Moderate Sedation/Analgesia, Deep Sedation/Analgesia, or General Anesthesia.” These are guidelines for all forms of outpatient surgery including eye surgery, plastic surgery, and, yes, “reproductive” surgery.

In 2003, an ACS/AMA (American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association) had a meeting which was chaired by LaMar S. McGinnis, Jr., MD, FACS, of the ACS and Clair Callan, MD, of the AMA. The participants unanimously came to the conclusion that:

“Physicians performing office-based surgery must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, a transfer agreement with another physician who has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, or maintain an emergency transfer agreement with a nearby hospital.”

The following groups all signed off on this regulation:

1. Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care
2. American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery,
3. American Academy of Dermatology,
4. American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery,
5. American Academy of Ophthalmology,
6. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons,
7. American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,
8. American Academy of Pediatrics,
9. American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities,
10. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,
11. American College of Surgeons,
12. American Medical Association,
13. American Osteopathic Association,
14. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery,
15. American Society for Reproductive Medicine,
16. American Society of Anesthesiologists,
17. American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery,
18. American Society of General Surgeons,
19. American Society of Plastic Surgeons,
20. American Urological Association,
21. Federation of State Medical Boards,
22. Indiana State Medical Society,
23. Institute for Medical Quality-California Medical Association,
24. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations,
25. Kansas Medical Society,
26. Massachusetts Medical Society,
27. Medical Association of the State of Alabama,
28. Medical Society of the State of New York,
29. Missouri State Medical Association,
30. National Committee for Quality Assurance,
31. Pennsylvania Medical Society, and
32. Society of Interventional Radiology.

In fact, there was not a single organization involved in the meeting that did not agree that board certification should be the standard for all outpatient surgery. It was unanimous.

Note that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists signed on to this, but will no doubt offer up an exception in the case of abortion. It’s always that way with abortion. The need for abortion and abortionists trumps the same set of humane standards practiced in every other branch of medicine. While there are an average of 1.2 million abortions annually in the US, all of which are elective surgeries, consider the following annaul numbers of US surgeries that are not elective, that are immediately life-saving:

Over 230,000 Coronary by-pass surgeries.
Average of 150,000 Breast Cancer Surgeries.
Over 100,000 colon and rectal cancer surgeries.

Just from that small sample, which does not include all other cancers, appendectomies, etc… do we see the surgeons militating for lower standards of care, less accountability, no admitting privileges? These are the truly essential, not optional, lifesaving surgeries.

And what of the cosmetic surgeons, whose procedures are elective? Do we see them militating for lower standards of accountability?

Why is it that the abortion lobby consistently militates for lower standards of care, of accountability? Could it be that a great many abortionists are failed physicians, common butchers?

Where is their care for women?

Where is their professional pride and self-respect?

Why not militate for the highest possible standard of care?

Wasn’t this supposed to be about taking abortions out of the hands of butchers and providing the highest standard of care for women?

Is there a reason why all abortionists should not only be PHYSICIANS (and not nurses and PA’s), but also trained OB’s who are board certified Ob/Gyns in GOOD STANDING?

When did it all change?

Would anyone from the other side care to engage in a dialogue by answering these questions?

Image via medicaldaily.com

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Having spent yesterday reading the secular news accounts of Pope Francis’ recent comments about abortion and homosexuality, and having also read reports from the uber-right, it is distressing to see that people either can’t read or can’t think. This Pope is being undermined left and right.

Literally.

For the rest of us, we can read the Holy Father’s interview here.

According to the illiterati, the Holy Father doesn’t think abortion and homosexuality are worthy of much time and attention, and besides, as he has already said, who is he to judge? For the left, this distortion serves the purpose of eliminating the only significant barrier to the homosexualist and abortion agendas: the Roman Catholic Church. For those to the right of Mussolini, it serves to discredit “the Jesuit”.

In context, here are the Pope’s remarks, begining with the interviewr’s question which frames the response:

I mention to Pope Francis that there are Christians who live in situations that are irregular for the church or in complex situations that represent open wounds. I mention the divorced and remarried, same-sex couples and other difficult situations. What kind of pastoral work can we do in these cases? What kinds of tools can we use?

“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.

“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

 “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

“I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastor’s proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”

Nothing in that quote contradicts the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s own document, Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, promulgated under Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

The Pope is also quite correct in saying that we must first address the wounds of people before hammering away at many of the moral issues, and here is where things get thorny.

Doctrinally, dogmatically, the Pope is on solid ground, a groundwork laid by the giants who came before him, from Pius XI to Benedict XVI. He does not need to reformulate what has been articulated so clearly and beautifully. Francis has been sent to show us how to minister to a broken humanity in a way that may well be alien to those whose only approach is moralizing. It begins with the language he employs regarding accompanying the sinner along the road of his life.

That means accepting the person where they are at and then walking the road with them. It means eating and drinking with those whose behaviors are profoundly disturbing to us. Working with street kids for seven years at Covenant House in the 1980’s was a formative experience for me, especially when so many had worked in prostitution. What moved the kids the most was the fact that we were the first people, for many of them, who were nonjudgmental and simply loved them where they were at.

I get where Francis is going with the Church. If John Paul II and Benedict charted the course, Francis is our guide.

Encyclicals are neat, crisp, and clean. Employing their contents with love and not bludgeoning people into submission with them will be the hallmark of this papacy. It is work fraught with the perils of which the Pope speaks when he talks of confessors being too lax or too rigid.

The same goes for the laity.

To those on the right who fear that the situational ethics that tore the Church apart Post-Vtican II has now made its way to the chair of Peter, they need to breathe deeply and accept authentic pastoral direction from the chief shepherd. After all, the Pope is right, we can’t only and always talk of homosexuality, abortion, and contraception. We must address the woundedness that gives rise to these ills.

We in the pro-life movement have prayed for a cure at the root of it all.

Will we now stop our ears and shout down the answer to those prayers?

Will we?

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In her hit piece against the Pro-Life Movement Ms. Elizabeth Jahr, a senior at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., pens a missive about the perceived colossal waste of money spent by pro-lifers in our annual March on Washington, D.C. Read her article here. My response to Ms. Jahr…

Dear Ms. Jahr,

First, allow me to congratulate you on having had an article accepted for publication in a major and widely respected outlet such as the Christian Science Monitor. Such publication is always an immense source of pride and validation when one is still a student, so heartfelt congratulations!

In your article you stake out some extremely caustic assertions regarding the wisdom and prudential judgement, efficacy and vision of the leadership and membership of the Pro-Life Movement. Inasmuch as you didn’t sugarcoat your critique of us, I will pay you the sincere compliment of addressing you less as a student, and more as a peer. It would do neither the pro-life cause, nor you any justice were I to approach your assertions with kid gloves. So here goes.

On the whole, as arguments go yours was rather hackneyed. It resembeled in tone and substance the assertions that all the money spent on the U.S. space programs could have been better spent on the poor. Of course, such arguments never take into consideration all of the many derivative benefits that satellite technology has brought to developing nations, but I digress.

Your claims that the money spent on travel to the Annual March on Washington could be better spent by serving the actual needs of women in crisis pregnancies is so far beyond the pale that you should blush for having said so. Certainly in your scholarly research for the article you looked at the 3,000+ pregnancy centers in this nation whose daily work includes getting housing, prenatal care, delivery services, food, clothing, diapers, supplies, employment, etc for women in crisis pregnancies.

In the ’80’s I worked for five years with homeless teen mothers at Covenant House in Times Square, NY doing just that. It was there that I met my friend, Chris Bell, who was so appalled that most girls in crisis pregnancies gave their babies up for adoption (for want of life skills training and the resources to keep their children) that he began Good Counsel Homes. At Good Counsel Homes, women may stay for the duration of their pregnancy, and for a year afterward. During that time they take daily life skills training in money management, nutrition, cooking, and every aspect of managing a home, as well as parenting classes and finishing a GED or Community College.

After their stay at Good Counsel, they enter into the Exodus program where their mentor visits their home twice monthly for two years to assure that their growth is secure. Chris runs five of close to five hundred such homes in the U.S. It costs some $600,000 annually per house. Were you aware of the scope of maternity homes and pregnancy centers? In your political science studies, had you been made aware of the efforts afoot in New York City to shut down the pregnancy centers here, and how their fate hangs in the balance in the Court of Appeals? It takes money to fight those battles.

It takes money to keep the maternity homes and pregnancy centers open. Millions and millions of dollars are needed.

The March each year continues to grow, and with that growth comes the great entusiasm, the great fervor that drives the raising of far more money than is spent on the March. Beyond that utilitarian analysis there is something more fundamental that you missed in your hit piece.

Published so close to the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington and “I have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, your article misses the fact that sometimes it just doesn’t matter the cost of calling attention to fundamental injustice and inhumanity. There have been some 57 million babies slaughtered in my lifetime in this country. You would have 600,000 marchers stay home? Really?

You also fail as a political scientist to acknowledge the amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars that already go to supporting women, children and families. Allow me, then, to link to some government data that dwarfs the few million pro-life dollars you place such a premium on.

The tens of millions of dollars donated to pro-life activities is given over and above the trillions of dollars spent annually by the government with the confiscatory taxes taken from pro-lifers and pro-aborts alike.

The first data table comes from the U.S. Department of Agricultire. Expenditures are in $Millions. So take the totals and multiply by $ 1,000,000. I’ll summarize Fiscal Year 2012 here.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program $78.445 Billion

National School Lunch Program $11.578 Billion

School Breakfast Program $3.277 Billion

Special Milk Program $12 Million

Child/Adult Care Food Program $2.855 Billion

Summer Food Service Program $398 Million

Child Nutrition State Administration $203 Million

WIC (Women Infants and Children Supplemental Food) $6.799 Billion

Commodity Supplemental Food $209 Million

Food Distribution on Indian Reservations $97 Million

TEFAP (Emergency Food Assistance) $444 Million

Grand Total: $104.3 BILLION

Then, according to USDA, we spent $78.445 Billion on Food Stamps in 2012.

If that seems like impressive numbers, your weak and anemic argument collapses under the weight of the following numbers whose source is linked here. Based on Fiscal Year 2012, the U.S. Government (not including state and local expenditures) is spending the following:

Welfare $405 Billion (Including $54 Billion for housing and $107 Billion for families and children).

Education $118 Billion

Healthcare $920 Billion

The pregnancy centers never, EVER, turn a woman away and use their funding to help plug women in crisis into these government sources of assistance. So your argument that somehow babies are not being saved for want of resources falls flat. In truth, Planned Parenthhod receives over a third of a billion dollars annually from the Federal Government to keep them afloat. Would that Planned Parenthood did the counseling with that money that pregnancy centers do daily.

No, Ms. Jahr. the issue is not whether we all need to stay home and shut up in January. The issue is not that women are being turned away at pregnancy centers for want of funding. The issue is that our marching has not yet effected the change in law that King’s marching accomplished. But then, it took hundreds of years to end slavery, and over 80 more to end segregation. At age 40, the pro-life movement is only in its adolescence.

The movement is much larger than you might know, very diverse, and quite sophisticated. All on just tens of millions of dollars annually. More marchers attract even more marchers and more money for these groups. I’d be happy to introduce you to several leaders at the national level if you’re truly interested in learning more.

There is no more consequential issue or movement in our time, and your article has placed you on the wrong side of history. We already spend more than enough in tax money to aid women in crisis. We need more centers to reach more women, and fewer abortion clinics to prey on them.

I’m looking forward to your critique of Planned Parenthood and how they spend a billion dollars annually with regard to women in crisis. With so much more money in play, your analysis and proposals should be rather lengthy.

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SO001396

When tsunamis make landfall they can be rebuffed by mighty cliffs of granite, or accommodated by soft sandy beaches which allow the mighty waves to strip them, leaving them disfigured and littered with the tsunami’s wasteful debris and shattered bodies when the floodwaters retreat back into the abyss from whence they came. So it seems that the Church in America, once a towering giant, has become increasingly accommodating to the Culture of Death as it washes over her with impunity.

The examples over the past year alone abound. Revelations in last week’s New York Times that the Archdiocese of New York has been paying for union employees’ contraception and abortion benefits, “under protest,” are just the latest in a string of surrenders.

In this latest disaster, the Archdiocese claims that there is a difference between fighting the HHS Mandate and the union contracts inherited when they got into the latest arrangement. Read the Archdiocese’s refutation here.

Indeed, there is a difference between an illegally imposed government mandate to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion, and willingly staying in the healthcare field where the powerful union drives such services being mandated in the insurance plans.

To what degree is the Archdiocese compelled in all of this? From their statement it is clear that they feel the greater need to remain in the healthcare field because there is a proportionally greater good to be done. The larger moral question is how much good done by the archdiocese washes the blood of a single aborted baby from the diocesen hands that paid for the abortion? How is this argument different from the woman who feels the pressure from family to abort? Or the woman who pervceives the great good that will not be accomplished in her life if the baby prevents her from getting a college education? Is the emotional plight of the abortion-minded woman under duress not more compelling? Yet she incurs automatic excommunication if she knows the penalty. What of those in diocesan offices who maintain the involvement with the unions and write the checks?

Undoubtedly great arguments can be made for all of the good that would not be done if we abandoned the field, but it’s still a proportionalist argument being deployed against moral absolutes. Unfortunately, our opponents have been handed a PR win on this one.

In other matters, the silence of the bishops in the run-up to the scheduled vote in February regarding admitting gay scouts in BSA was deafening. When BSA rescheduled the vote, we had a second chance to speak out against this disastrous move, but neither the bishops, nor the Catholic Commmittee on Scouting condemned it.

A year ago when New York State voted to adopt gay marriage Cardinal Dolan rued that he was caught flat-footed. What can be the excuse of the USCCB on the Boy Scouts? My observations on what is so wrong with that move here.

Through it all, we have witnessed Cardinal Dolan welcoming Vice President Biden to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, going out of his way to assure that he does not declare Governor Cuomo, who is seeking the liberalization of New York’s abortion laws, a Catholic in bad standing. Which means that he is regarded publicly as a Catholic in good standing; abortion and gay marriage notwithstanding.

Are we surrendering on all of these issues? We welcome the “Catholic” politicians with open arms who are at the same time accelerating the implementation of a diabolical agenda.

In this Year of Faith, as our churches continue to empty, an unsolicited thought for our leaders. If fundamental moral truths and goods are not worth fighting for, then don’t be surprised when many find that there isn’t much worth staying for.

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light-in-darkness[1]

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is on trial for his life in Philadelphia because of how he ran his medical clinic, the “Women’s Medical Society” at 3801 Lancaster. That impressive establishmentarian-sounding title belied a business which reflected the abortion philosophy lived to its fullest expression and logical conclusion. In the final analysis, the Gosnell case reveals much more than who Kermit Gosnell is. It has revealed to us who we have become as a nation.

The Grand Jury Report reads like a a horror novel. So callous and cruel is this page-turner that it simply beggars the imagination. In it, the report details how instruments were not sterilized, and were the cheapest disposable instruments reused from patient to patient. In the process, Dr. Gosnell spread disease like a fly. One can only imagine if HIV was spread in his “clinic”.

Women of color were more often than not attended to by Gosnell’s staff of medically untrained and unlicensed personnel, including a fifteen year-old girl who administered anaesthetics, while Dr. Gosnell saw to the white women in slightly less squalid rooms, because as he said, that’s the way the world is. A black man who graduated from Thomas Jefferson Medical College abandoned black women to untrained, unskilled laypeople.

Looking past all of that, the blood-stained blankets, floors, and treatment tables, the toilet bowls women delivered their babies into (A common delivery method at abortuaries elsewhere), there was so much more.

Gosnell was frequently absent as women were being given their abortion procedures, and hundreds of babies were born alive. Here Gosnell would insure that there was no ambulance to come and discover his macabre shop, and here is where his most heartless proclivities became standard operating procedure. He would cut into the backs of these babies’ necks, crush through their spinal columns with scissors, and then sever the cervical spinal cords, essentially producing an internal decapitation. It is not likely that death was instantaneous for all the babies whose brains remained perfused with oxygen until the cessation of heart and lung function.

In the research experiments on rat spinal cords and brains for my MS degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, we worked on rats, and I decapitated quite a few with a special guillotine. Once decapitated, the feet ran in place, the tail twitched violently, and one could see the animals’ eyes still blinking until unconsciousness overcame the animal. It was horrid work and helped motivate me to work with bacteria in my doctoral research. I cannot imagine the pain experienced by these babies undergoing internal decapitation.

Yet, even that begs a deeper analysis. Why are we so repelled by these severings of spinal cords, what Gosnell and his criminal employees glibly referred to as ‘snippings’, as though one were simply gliding through a lock of hair? Why can physicians suck out brains, dismember the babies alive in utero, but be charged with murder for the same barbarism once the baby simply changes location?

Why do we consider the baby a patient in its own right only if it is extruded alive from the birth canal?

Here is where we discover Gosnell the monster is really Gosnell the reflection of American Jurisprudence at its own sublime and depraved worst.

The answer to the questions is simple. We have decided that the same baby, simply by being attached to an umbilical cord is not his/her own person, but an extension of the mother’s body. By that logic, an astronaut doing a spacewalk and connected to the ship by an umbilicus should have no more moral worth than the spacecraft itself. Were a fellow crew member to shut off the air supply intentionally, would they be charged merely with vandalism?

As the major media emerge from their blackout on this case, and the nation tunes in, we find ourselves at an interesting juncture. We are united in horror at the depravity and inhumanity of it all. It is a case that makes us consider the biological reality of the child whose murder would not have been murder if only proper protocol had been followed, and therein lies the madness.

Murder is not murder if proper protocol is followed.

We cannot long survive as a civilization of rational human beings with that sort of mentality. American exceptionalism has been consumed by radicalized autonomy, and in the process biomedical ethics, politics, and common decency have been savaged.

What is sickest about the Gosnell case is that Dr. Gosnell is really us. The only real distinction is that he stepped outside of the boundaries we established for our American psychosis. Abortion can only be permissible if we assuage ourselves with certain boundaries of propriety for the mass murder of our citizens. There is no greater pariah in the asylum than the one who upsets the rhythms of the asylum.

The filthy conditions in that clinic would have been a twenty-four hour news story, as would have been the severed feet in jars. It was the decapitations of babies who could be seen and heard that merited him six of the seven counts of murder. Again, it comes down to a matter of protocol. The baby only becomes a patient when it is extruded from the birth canal, which is a radical departure from the traditional two-patient model of obstretric medicine.

To look into the face of Kermit Gosnell is to look in the American mirror, a rare glimpse of clarity as the fog temporarily lifts from the mirror. With more than fifty-five million babies aborted in forty years, it is time to use the Gosnell trial as an opportunity for some national soul-searching. But will we, or have those parameters for the national psychosis become too fixed and immovable? Will we offer up Gosnell as a sacrificial offering, a way to assure ourselves of the validity and functionality of the boundaries of psychosis that were breached?

One wonders.

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stone-steps_w725_h544

“No exceptions. No compromise.”

That is the goal of every true pro-life citizen when it comes to abortion legislation. Rape, incest, and the life/health of the mother have been wedge issues that have been used to establish the principle for acceptable/legal abortion that have led to the more liberalized laws accounting for 55+ Million abortions over the past 40 years.

While “No exceptions. No compromise,” are the goal, the question arises as to an appropriate response to legislative proposals that have the standard exceptions language written into them. Can Christians in general, and Catholics in particular support legislation that seeks to limit the extent of this grave moral evil, without abolishing it altogether? Can it ever be acceptable to use the same language of rape, incest, and life of the mother to severely and immediately restrict abortion, just as they were once used to establish abortion?

To hear some in the pro-life movement, the answer is an emphatic, “NO!”

The powerful witness by many who were conceived in rape is a vital ministry and has won many hearts and minds by giving a face, identity, and human story to those who are singled out for destruction because of the circumstances surrounding their conception. But some use an emotional arm-twisting tactic, wherein they say that support of exceptions clauses means that the supporter would have had them aborted.

It’s flawed logic, and counter-productive. It’s meant to shut down opposition, but in reality it frequently shuts down productive and vital dialogue.

Nobody would support the rape that led to the activists’ conceptions, but that doesn’t mean that such a moral position means we are implicitly wishing they had never been conceived. In the same way, if it can be shown that it is morally acceptable to embrace pragmatic, incremental legislation as the best available means of limiting abortion en route to abolishing it altogether, it does NOT suggest an implicit endorsement of the abortions allowed in the exceptions clauses.

Here is where Pope John Paul II added much-needed clarity in his 1995 Encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.:

A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on. Such cases are not infrequent. It is a fact that while in some parts of the world there continue to be campaigns to introduce laws favouring abortion, often supported by powerful international organizations, in other nations-particularly those which have already experienced the bitter fruits of such permissive legislation-there are growing signs of a rethinking in this matter. In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.

{Emphasis added, G.N.}

Thus, in the ordinary teaching of the Catholic Church, it is permissible to limit the grave evil of abortion if incremental legislation is the only currently available option.

For those who say, “It’s not up to me to say who lives and who dies,” my own opinion is that the polar opposite is true. What we must first realize is that the current liberal application of abortion is the default condition.

What we are offered, frequently, is a compromise law that would restrict, but not eliminate abortion. In other words, we are being offered the lives of the babies not conceived through rape and incest (which are the vast majority of abortions). For many who can’t see this reality, they turn down the opportunity to save tens of millions until the day comes when they can save the remaining thousands. In the interim, the millions who could have been saved perish with the thousands who could not.

This because some pro-lifers wanted an all-or-none reality. Such an approach would be intolerable in a police hostage negotiator, but in certain pro-life quarters it is the epitome of virtue.

Pope John Paul II helped us see that the moral Magisterium of the Catholic Church sees it differently.

We abhor EVERY abortion, but are loathe to ignore the lives being offered to us through less than perfect legislation. Along with the missed opportunity to save millions, there is another missed opportunity.

A derivative benefit of incremental legislation is the conditioning, or forming, of the public conscience about the sanctity of pre-born human life. Outlawing the majority of abortions becomes a societal statement that elevates the public conscience. It is precisely through that elevated conscience that society will come to an appreciation for the humanity of those conceived in rape or incest.

If, unlike Superman who is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, we cannot achieve our aim in a single stroke, it remains for us to take the stairs.

Thank you, Pope John Paul II, for your enduring witness to the moral Magisterium of the Church.

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weepingangel2

Within hours of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School pro-lifers began assigning causal rootedness in the culture of abortion. I’ve heard several people, some of whom are pro-lifers, object to making a connection. So the question needs to be addressed. Given the highly charged political and moral dimensions of the abortion debate, those most directly involved would not be entirely wrong to suspect some of hijacking their traumatic loss and the monstrousness of the experience. “Emotional Vampires,” was the label given by one critic. Harsh words for sure, but accurate?

Analysis of a tragedy on such a scale requires a great deal of information about what shaped the mind of the murderer. Only then can one assign causality along a continuum from most proximal to most distal. In this case that may take several months, as the media cannot be trusted to report factually or accurately, as evidenced by their having gotten wrong everything but the number of victims.

Given what little we do know, there is no indication that Lanza had anything to do with the abortion industry, ever had anything to do with a girl having an abortion, or having had a sibling aborted. That relegates abortion to the distal end of causality.

The connection, therefore, has to do with the coarsening of the culture, of which abortion is just one of many factors. When we discuss the Culture of Death, we discuss all of those factors which lower regard for the value, the dignity of the individual human life:

Abortion
Contraception
In Vitro Fertilization
Cloning
Embryo-Destructive Research
Physician-Assisted Suicide
Ever-Broadening Criteria for Brain Death
Capital Punishment
Domestic Violence
Rape
Incest
Workplace Injustice
Discrimination
Murder/Killing as Entertainment in Movies and Video Games

And that’s the short list. One could itemize hundreds of social justice issues that contribute to the coarsening of sensibilities regarding the worth of a single human life. That said, there can be no doubt that a nation having killed 56 million babies in the womb, regarding it with a blithe, business-as-usual attitude has diminished the worth of the individual.

Those are 56 million choices. It is the choice of the mother, enshrined in law, that determines the humanity of the child of the womb. If the mother decides otherwise then murder isn’t murder, because it’s her choice. No sane or rational argument can ever make that acceptable, and the insane and unthinkable is now a part of the fabric of American life.

In other words, we have, “Defined deviancy down,” as the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan put it.

In other words, we have a new norm for human worth. It isn’t intrinsic, but contingent.

Contingent on the belief and will of the mother.

Contingent on the belief and will of the state.

Contingent on the belief and will of the employer.

Contingent on the belief and will of the lab researcher.

Contingent on the need for spare body parts.

The error of contingency of human worth is a mistake that we just can’t seem to escape. In slavery, segregation, eugenic sterilization, ethnic internment camps, and abortion, all have been supported by majority opinions by the U.S. Supreme Court. In every case the culture of the day was coarsened by the injustice, which left its muddy footprints all over the American landscape.

All of that said, there is a time and a place for everything. We’ll have plenty of time to debate it all after the funerals. For now, we need to wait on law enforcement to give us the most proximal causes for this tragedy. That may take quite some time. Most importantly, we need to lift up this community in prayer and give them the physical and virtual space to grieve.

Join the Coming Home family here tonight for Day 4 of our Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes for Healing.

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On the eve of the Fortnight for Freedom, there are those within the Catholic Church who are denying that the two-week observance has anything to do with the Church’s teaching on contraception and everything to do with upholding the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religious expression. That’s a false dichotomy and misattribution of the causal nature of our current dilemma.

It’s akin to those who say the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery, that it was all about states’ rights; which of course begs the question: The right to do what?

There is no doubt that the states who seceded feared the loss of self-government to the Federal Government, but the loss of liberty was rooted in the issue of slavery which was woven into the very social and economic fabric of the South. In the case of slavery (which took on a more prominent role for Northerners as the struggle wore on) it was an example of the Federal Government getting it right. The unalienable (That is, God-given) right to liberty had been denied to African-Americans for far too long. Federal troops were sent to both preserve the Union and end slavery for good.

In the current struggle, the Federal Government has sought to attack the Catholic Church over an issue that is central to her identity and mission, the teaching that all human life is made in the image and likeness of God from the moment of fertilization and is to be respected as such until natural death. Our loss of freedom is centered on the mandate by the Federal Government that we pay not only for birth control pills, some of which are known abortifacients, but that we pay for sterilizations and known abortifacient morning-after pills such as RU-486 and Ella.

Further, the Government is dictating what institutions constitute “religious” institutions and which do not. The only “religious” institutions that qualify for an exemption by the Obama criteria would be those who violate equal opportunity law by hiring most of their employees who are members of that church, and whose services go mainly to members of that same church.

Otherwise, Catholic hospitals, schools, and social service agencies are required to pay for contraceptives, abortifacients and abortions, and sterilizations. If the bishops do so, they shred Humanae Vitae and every decent moral precept undergirding Catholic Anthropology. If they voluntarily close down these institutions, they cooperate with evil by giving our enemies precisely the evisceration of our Church that they seek.

Perhaps jails overflowing with civilly disobedient Catholic bishops, clergy, religious, and laity will be the sole salvation of religious liberty in America. We’ll see soon enough how this situation breaks. The Supreme Court ruling on the HHS mandate is due out any day, and then there are the November elections.

That’s plenty of reason to pray during this fortnight.

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Hot on the heels of our medical conference last Saturday, Therapeutic Advances in Poor Prenatal Diagnoses, comes this letter from Archbishop Chaput to the people of his archdiocese. Opposition to this new eugenics is swelling all over the nation. Here is a bishop who makes me proud of my Church.

Earlier this week local media covered the story of Amelia Rivera, a young girl with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome reportedly denied a kidney transplant by a local hospital. Amelia’s syndrome results in serious developmental delays, and according to her parents, the hospital declined a transplant due to her diminished mental ability and shortened lifespan.

It’s unwise to assume that news media get all the details of a story like this right, or that the motives of an entire hospital’s leadership and staff are as unfeeling as an individual doctor might seem. Nonetheless, a couple of things are worth noting. First, Amelia’s parents are persons who love their daughter zealously for who she is, and who know the beauty and dignity of her life despite her disability. Second, the habit of treating genetically disabled children as somehow less worthy of life is growing across the country.

A number of my friends have children with disabilities. Their problems range from cerebral palsy to Turner’s syndrome to Trisomy 18, which is extremely serious. Prenatal testing can now detect a high percentage of pregnancies with a risk of genetic problems.

The tests often aren’t conclusive. But they’re pretty good. And the results of those tests are brutally practical. Studies show that more than 80 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome, for example, now get terminated in the womb. They’re killed because of a flaw in one of their chromosomes – a flaw that’s neither fatal nor contagious, but merely undesirable.

The older a woman gets, the higher her risk of bearing a child with special needs. And so, in medical offices around the country, pregnant women now hear from doctors or genetic counselors that their baby has “an increased likelihood” of a genetic flaw based on one or more prenatal tests. Some doctors deliver this information with sensitivity and great support for the woman. But, as my friends know from experience, too many others seem more concerned about avoiding lawsuits, or managing costs, or even, in a few ugly cases, cleaning up the gene pool.

In practice, medical professionals can now steer an expectant mother toward abortion simply by hinting at a list of the child’s possible defects. And the most debased thing about that kind of pressure is that doctors know better than anyone else how vulnerable a woman can be in hearing potentially tragic news about her unborn baby.

I’m not suggesting that doctors should hold back vital knowledge from parents. Nor should they paint an implausibly upbeat picture of life with a child who has a disability. Facts and resources are crucial in helping adult persons prepare themselves for difficult challenges. But doctors, genetic counselors and medical school professors should have on staff – or at least on speed dial – experts of a different sort.

Parents of children with special needs, special education teachers and therapists, and pediatricians who have treated children with disabilities often have a hugely life-affirming perspective.

Unlike prenatal caregivers, these professionals have direct knowledge of persons with special needs. They know their potential. They’ve seen their accomplishments. They can testify to the benefits – often miraculous – of parental love and faith.

Expectant parents deserve to know that a child with special needs can love, laugh, learn, work, feel hope and excitement, make friends and create joy for others. These things are beautiful precisely because they transcend what we expect. They witness to the truth that every child with special needs has a value that matters eternally.

Raising a child with special needs can be demanding. It always involves some degree of suffering. Parents grow up very fast. None of my friends who has a daughter or son with a serious disability is melodramatic, or self-conscious, or even especially pious about it. They speak about their special child with an unsentimental realism.

It’s a realism flowing out of love – real love, the kind that forces its way through fear and suffering to a decision, finally, to surround the child with their heart and trust in the goodness of God. And that decision to trust, of course, demands not just real love, but also real courage.

The real choice in accepting or rejecting a child with special needs is never between some imaginary perfection or imperfection. None of us is perfect. No child is perfect. The real choice in accepting or rejecting a child with special needs is between love and unlove; between courage and cowardice; between trust and fear.

That’s the choice we face when it happens in our personal experience. And that’s the choice we face as a society in deciding which human lives we will treat as valuable, and which we will not.

This Sunday, January 22, marks the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legitimized permissive abortion around the country. More than 45 million abortions later, the damage of that decision continues to grow — undermining our reverence for the life not just of unborn children but of the mentally and physically disabled as well.

We need to understand that if some lives are regarded as unworthy, respect for all life is at risk. We should pray that Amelia Rivera gets the help she needs, and that God surrounds her parents with the support they need.

And especially this week, more than ever, we should recommit ourselves to defending the dignity of all human life, no matter how “flawed” it may seem in the eyes of the world.

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When Regina was pregnant with our three children, people would ask if it was a boy or a girl. When I responded with, “We don’t know,” I was met with the ubiquitous, iniquitous, mindless, and moronic refrain:

“As long as it’s healthy.”

I would challenge this well-intentioned, ill-thought well-wish with:

“If it isn’t, we’ll love the child all the same, and even more.”

That shook people out of their torpor and made them realize exactly what they were saying. It usually left most pretty angry with me.

“Can’t you just accept a good wish and leave it at that?” was the reply of one associate.

It’s a valid point, but one that fails to own up to what was being said. “As long as it’s healthy,” is a world apart from, “I wish your child health and happiness.” Even in the absence of health, one can have happiness, fulfillment and contentment. In an age of increasing reliance on pre-natal technology to murder the pre-born for the crimes of being female, male, having cleft palate, clubbed foot, spina bifida, Down syndrome, trisomy 18, etc…, “As long as it’s healthy,” rings deadly ominous. It needs to be confronted.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the antidote to our eugenic mentality in a letter to his daughter, Patsy. It stands for all time as the most eloquent reproach to the intolerance of imperfection:

Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for; for none of us, no, not one, is perfect; and were we to love none who had imperfections, this world would be a desert for our love.

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This is an interesting story, one showing the value of our priests, and the need for prayer in this spiritual war. It makes me wonder what would happen if the bishop tasked these priests with a full-time assignment at the mill. The following is from Catholic Online:

NASHVILLE,TN (Catholic Online) –“And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written,‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!’”(Rom 10:15).

According to tradition,typical demonic responses during exorcism include foul language,references to sexual perversion,deceit,and profuse blasphemy. Similarly,prayers for exorcism outside the Northern Illinois Women’s Center abortuary in Rockford have provoked just such a reaction from pro-abortion workers and activists within.

“Not Against Flesh and Blood,But the Rulers of Darkness”

Their revulsion for anything as holy as a Catholic priest is evident in their bizarre window displays,a few of which reportedly include a nun in a coffin,a rubber chicken hanging from a noose,and a picture of Jesus flipping the bird that says,“Even Jesus Hates You.”

The beautiful thing about this ongoing battle is that the number of abortions has reportedly been cut by half at this abortuary since the spiritual power of the Jesus was first unleashed through the prayers of the priests who have prayed outside since September of 2008. At least,the abortuary seems to blame them and the special prayers of the Church.

Just this past Friday someone inside the building displayed a sign in reaction to a priest and seminarian praying outside that said “F…. Your Perverted Priests.”They have endured personal insults and vandalism of their vehicles. One priest’s car was egged,another discovered a hand-written sign that read “I Rape Children”taped to his car.

Another hand-written sign displayed prominently outside the main entrance to the clinic read “Stop the Perverted Catholic Priests from Raping Young Boys.”In convoluted pro-abortion logic,it seems that somehow child abuse is bad,but abortion is good.

The priests in Rockford quietly stand vigil in every type of inclement weather with open coats,so that the women seeking an abortion are aware that a priest is present in his flowing,seemingly flaming cassock.

Invoking the matchless power of Jesus Christ through the Church,they make sweeping Signs of the Cross and pray that the abortion mill and the whole earth will be cleansed from the evil that surrounds and drives abortion.

Beautiful Victories

The Rockford mill hates and attacks the priests outside so viciously because they,and priests and pro-life workers like them all over the country,have saved countless lives and souls.

When they first began their vigils,it was reported that the pro-life sidewalk counselors in Rockford noticed an immediate,dramatic decline in the numbers of mothers who go there for abortions,a distinct rise in the numbers of mothers who choose life outside the mill,and the correlation of these changes with the beginning of the displays of blasphemy from inside.

The response at this abortuary has been particularly virulent,but priests are praying outside them all over the country through Priests for Life,in which priests and parishes are paired with specific abortuaries.

Read the rest here.

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Part of my mission with this blog is to introduce and promote people who are doing great work that many might not have heard of. Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is just such a person. She has a powerful new video with numbers and a story that simply beggar the imagination. As I get to know Reggie better and better, I’m more and more amazed with what this one woman is doing. Please share this post with everyone you know, these two videos tell the story.

God Bless You, Reggie.

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