The feast of The Holy Innocents, celebrated on December 28th, really pricks my heart. Therefore, I find it rather disappointing that it seems to pass by each year without much attention. Certainly the Church calendar is dotted with the memorials of so many great martyrs, but the Holy Innocents offer us a particular model for our current culture.
Imagine you are a scared teenager who has just discovered you are pregnant by a boyfriend who adamantly tells you he’s not interested in raising his child. Maybe you’re a single woman whose married boyfriend finally admits he has no intention of leaving his wife and helping raise his child. Perhaps, you are too poor to take care of the kids you already have and you feel overwhelmed by the thought of having another. Or you trusted your contraceptives to make your sex life sterile and now you’re shocked to find out they didn’t work.
Someone offers you a solution. Maybe it’s the parents who threatened to kick you out or the boyfriend who wants to keep his options open or perhaps the guy who raped you; someone advises you to have an abortion. You know, just some out-patient surgery to dilate your cervix and rip/vacuum out the “contents” or some magic pills to force your body to dispel the little body growing inside of you. It’s just that easy; a bit of cash, some anesthetic or pills and your problems will disappear (at least that’s what they tell you).
** all quotes attributed to the SC group and photos referenced appear in an interview posted on The Daily Dot (dated July 23, 2014)
“Hilarious” that’s the adjective used to describe the pro-aborts’ signs in front of a local abortion mill. A couple has made it their weekend chore to mock Christian pro-lifers and chronicle their efforts on a blog. Their dedication to confrontation merited them some viral exposure from a writer who found the couple’s signs (that state things like “I like turtles” and ‘Hail Santa”) to be side-achingly hysterical. The coverage inspired a fellow parishioner to post the article on facebook along with a call to offer a counter-balance to the situation.
This is the building.
This is the building we used to drive a half an hour to get to.
This is the building that we used to park our big, pro-life stickered van in front of.
This is the building that drew us down to our knees.
This is the building which beckoned us to pray.
This is the building where I encountered my first real taste of venomous words (shouted at my children and me).
This is the building that reduced me to tears.
This is the building where babies were slaughtered, ripped, suctioned and incinerated.
This is the building where women went in whole and came out broken.
This is the building that cried out to God.
God heard the cries.
This is the building now.
This is now the building that people will travel hours if not days to reach.
This is now the building where couples will proudly walk hand in hand through the front door.
This is now the building that will call people off of their knees.
This is now the building in which prayers will begin to be answered.
This is now the building in which words of encouragement are spoken.
This is now the building which will inspire tears of joy.
This is now the building in which the hope of babies will be restored.
This is now the building where women will go in broken and come out whole again.
This is now the building that glorifies the Lord.
Raleigh Women’s Health Organization
Formerly this building bore the duplicitous name of Raleigh Women’s Health Organization. It was an abortion facility.
Then it became a focal point for the 40 Days for Life campaign in Raleigh, NC. That is when my family and I first became aware of its existence. Participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign, my brood of then seven children, my husband and I stood more than a couple of hours before this edifice praying for the souls lost inside.
Anger Words and Angelic Pictures
A worker, angered by our silent praying one bright afternoon, stopped her car at the end of the driveway. She told me how stupid I was. My prayers, she advised, were useless.
I continued praying.
Another day, one of my little ones was full of questions which inspired me to paint him a visual picture.
“Consider the angels,” I said. “Think of them. They must be surrounding this place. The angels are here with us praying for an end to abortion and they’re escorting all those precious, unborn souls back to heaven with them and interceding for their hurt mamas.”
We continued praying.
In time, I heard that the clinic closed. After the death of its owner, there was no one willing to run the killing site.
That was then. This is now.
Time passed, as it always does and I’d filed those experiences away. Prayers had been answered.Though with so much more to be done to end the scourge of abortion, I continued to pray. But I’d largely forgotten that building.
Then, a friend emailed me this picture of the building as it stands today. It’s abortion services long gone, I couldn’t help but consider those angels again. I imagine they are still there, but now their mission has changed. Now they must be singing hymns of praise and thanksgiving, offering petitions for patients’ healing so that new souls can be planted.
You see, the address now houses Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center and its two extraordinary physicians, who are making it their life’s work to restore women’s reproductive health through tubal ligation reversal and corrective tubal surgery. Drs. Monteith and Berger claim that,
“Together they have performed more successful tubal ligation reversals and tubal surgeries for blocked tubes resulting in the birth of more babies than any other doctors in the world.”
We know Who triumphs in the end, but it is always a blessing to see the Hand of God so overtly at work.
They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. Psalm 20:8
Last year at this time, I made a vow. I vowed to never return to the DC March for Life. After a long, uncomfortable day in painfully cold weather that ended with crying and a harrowing drive, I’d reached the end of my rope.
My husband thoughtfully pointed out January is part of our slow season, and our family budget couldn’t easily meet the extra expense to transport our crew of ten to and fro. Oh well, I thought, there’s my out. Just as I’d started to get comfortable with that obstacle, my children, one by one, began emptying out their piggy banks. From our 17 year old to our 5 year old, they tallied up their savings and informed me they had their portions covered.
Then, as if on cue, while I was randomly trolling online tonight my Facebook feed had this advice to offer from my spiritual father:
If God wills to prolong our trials, do not let us lament or try to find out the reason. . .We have to see God through the fire of thorns, and to do this we must go barefoot and renounce our own will and affection and accept the will of God wholeheartedly. St. Padre Pio
My son, Nikolai R.F.X.Brelinsky, and some of his fellow high school friends created this video. Spread out throughout the states and abroad, they each filmed their part individually and then worked it into one message. This wasn’t an assignment; it was just a calling they felt compelled to answer. They want to make their voices heard and encourage you to follow their examples because YOUR VOICE MATTERS.
“Combination oral contraceptives act by suppression of gonadotropins. Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus, which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus, and changes in the edometrium, which reduce the likelihood of implantation” (implantation of a child who has already been conceived). From the Physician’s Desk Reference product info for Ortho-Cept
“In summary, according to multiple references throughout the Physician’s Desk Reference, which articulate the research findings of all the birth control pill manufacturers, there are not one but three mechanisms of birth control pills: 1)inhibiting ovulation, 2)thickening cervical mucus, and 3) thinning and shriveling the lining of the uterus to the point that it is unable or less able to facilitate the implantation of the newly-fertilized egg. The first two mechanisms are contraceptive. The third is abortive.”
When a woman taking the Pill discovers she is pregnant it means that all three mechanisms failed. The third mechanisms sometimes fails as backup, just as the first two mechanisms sometimes fail; however, each and every time the third mechanism succeeds it has caused an abortion.
The prescription drug RU-486 has the primary function of causing an abortion.
The mini-pill (progestin-only or progestogen-only) is abortifacient.
The primary mechanism through which the mini-pill prevents conception is not known, but progestogen-only contraceptives are known to alter the cervical mucus, exert a progestational effect on the endometrium, interfering with implantation, and in some patients, suppress ovulation. According to the FDA
Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs), which were once pulled from the market due to numerous damage suffered by their users, are abortifacient. They have two functions 1) thicken cervical mucus to inhibit sperm migration 2) cause inflammation of the uterine lining to inhibit implantation of the newly conceived child.How statistically significant is the abortifacient mechanism of hormonal birth control?
Although the combined Pill probably suppresses ovulation in 95% of cycles, abortions can occur among the other 5% (noting that the mini-pill or single hormone pill is less effective at suppressing). A “breakthrough ovulation” rate of 4.7% was reported in 1984, so applying that rate to the 13.8 million American women on the Pill in the early 90’s would yield 648,000 ovulations per cycle (not every ovulation results in pregnancy). Assuming 25% of those breakthrough ovulations result in pregnancy would mean that of those 648,000 ovulations, 162,150 new human lives could be conceived each cycle. That’s 1,945,800 lives each year that would then be denied implantation in the womb and thus be aborted. More than the number killed by surgical abortions.
What are couples, who have discerned a serious reason to postpone a pregnancy to do? They are free to practice Natural Family Planning, methods of fertility awareness that are up to 99% effective, morally acceptable and abortion-free.
http://www.babycenter.com/0_intrauterine-device-iud_3564.bc. (Accessed April 12, 2013)
Arriving to wait
At the same time, we were fumbling around from machine to machine, there were several transit employees standing together chatting. Perhaps, they simply didn’t notice our family of nine with a double stroller in the lead because no one of them acknowledged our struggle. Once we did garner their attention, the response we received was less than warm and personal. The tickets it seemed required us to stand about for another ten minutes before we could commence our journey. We were like race horses confined by the stall gate waiting to charge forth, but instead God placed us in the moment that tested our patience. Are we too far north for some southern hospitality, I thought?
Mindful of fellow passengers, who might not be accustomed to the commotion and noise that erupts from our children every other minute, we did our best to keep their endless stream of energy and conversation contained to a reasonably tolerable level. All the while I was on guard and watching.
Understandably, we should exercise some cautious and privacy, but written in our very hearts is the desire for communion. This all seemed so unnatural.
Our young children had never seen those images beforehand and so they had questions. The tone changed to solemn as we explained that the small limbs belonged to babies who’d been aborted. I know that many would chide me for exposing my children to what they deem “violent” images, but that is how evil continues to exist. When we turn our heads away, we are too easily convinced to accept a lie. We, in that crowd, had a shared purpose which was to walk in the place of those innocent babies and cry out on their behalf. Ironically, the children looked intently at those pictures trying, no doubt, to make sense of it all. It seemed to them, obvious, that those were babies, individual persons worthy of living. Fair to say I believe, those who claim abortion is a simple “choice” are the ones who refuse to look at the reality and consequence of that “choice.”
Flowing Blessings Everywhere
Mulling It All Over