Tag Archives: abortion

2015 March for Life: Why I Hate Marching But I Must

March for Life Washington DC 2015

Thursday morning started out way too early. By the faint light of the moon, we rose at 4am and began the task of getting ten people woken up, bundled up, filled up and buckled up.

Spirits were high, though still a bit groggy, when our big van rounded the driveway in route for a long journey. After completing an internal inventory of gloves, lunches, coats and kids, I tuned in the radio.

Like a wild fire doused with buckets of water, my heart was temporarily depressed as the newscaster reported that the Unborn Pain Capable Act had just been shelved by the Republicans. An insult to the injury that marked this day, I considered the timing of that decision a direct hit meant to snuff out the hopes of so many faithful who, for the 42nd time, were planning to put boots on the ground in the capitol city.

The Tiny Person in My Lap

Just less than thirty minutes later, we dashed onto the buses that pointed north. Sometime after roll-call, a blessing and breakfast, the baby on my lap relented and let sleep carry him away.

Sitting there admiring that little person, remembering the prayers I’d prayed to get him and the trials I’d endured to keep him, my heart felt heavy as salty tears tried to form in the corners of my eyes.

At that same time, the bus captain pressed the play button on a pro-life video in which a cast of players detailed the horrible history and statistics of abortion. A worthwhile film and one I’d watched last year, my mind went into overdrive in an attempt to ignore the movie.

My avoidance wasn’t connected to boredom, but to a self-preserving strategy that meant to guard my already fractured heart.

Thoughts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus burned in me. My stomach hurt thinking about the wounds He bore for such an ungrateful humanity.

Unborn Pain Capable Act

That Unborn Pain Capable Act my representatives cast aside would have given legal protection to a child at 20 weeks gestation and beyond. Thinking of not so very long ago when the body on my lap was wriggling inside of it, anger stirred in me as I thought about how easily another mother could execute her child even up to his/her date of delivery.

At its inception, proponents of Roe vs. Wade focused their arguments on the false debate that abortion didn’t end a life; it simply ended a pregnancy (as though pregnancy, when unwanted, doesn’t actually involve a baby).

Now with the advent of ultrasound, that argument fails. Common sense should dictate that good medicine would focus on truth and well-being thus eradicating the tragedy of abortion; but instead, the blood thirty Planned Parenthood-minded puppeteers simply rewrote their talking points.

Today, a woman’s right to comfort and ease trumps a baby’s right to life (end of story).

Taking Evil to a Deeper Level

This shift in debate takes the evil of abortion to a deeper level. While once young and frightened mothers could mask their deed behind the shield of ignorance, today they see clearly that the appointment at the clinic is nothing less than a date with an executioner.

And who can sanitize the job of the abortionist who wholeheartedly forces not only the peanut-sized child from his mother’s womb, but today is free to kill her full-term child as well.

My husband asked me just last week how it is that I can still maintain a sense of shock and naivete whenever events like the Republicans’ refusal to stand by their public convictions occurs. I pointed out that hope causes me to invest in goodness, to believe that every sinner is only a step away from repentance.

Four hours later, the bus deposited our group in front of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for a diocesan Mass celebrated by our bishop.

basilica national shrine immaculate conception

Taking our pew, my eyes spied an image overhead of Christ pouring out His graces. With saints caught up beside Him, I remembered Who we are all called to serve at every moment (most especially in the most difficult ones). I drew strength from the picture, encouraged by the holy men, women and children who persevered throughout the ages.

My Marching Orders

Then as the responsorial psalm was sung, I couldn’t help but whisper a prayer of thanksgiving as God reminded me of my orders that day.  (Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17)

Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
praying basilica national shrine“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
May all who seek you
exult and be glad in you,
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, “The LORD be glorified.”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will

Gone to Do His Will

We were there for the Lord on Thursday, January 22nd, gone to do His will. Not matter if our representatives failed Him again, the opposition mocked us or our culture railed against His laws, we had to stay the course with ears open in obedience.

Later from our marching path, we caught sight of the dome of the US Capitol Building. Wrapped in scaffolding, I couldn’t help but find it a fitting visual for the day.

That majestic dome which invites the eyes upward has become weathered, cracked and eroded, like our government itself. Its beauty now shrouded under construction; it distracts the onlookers attention, keeping us earth-bound.

No matter what the appearance on the outside, the same structure exists inside, a structure erected under and to the Creator’s precepts.

42 Years

For 42 years, this pro-life march has been tread down the streets of our capitol and the halls of our legislatures.

For 42 years, unborn citizens have suffered the injustice of being discounted from the rally cry that ‘every life matters.’

For 42 years, the blind and deaf have stood in our governmental assembly whimpering a cowardly refrain and abandoning their convictions when the winds of self interest blow in their direction.

In juxtaposition, for 42 years, faithful men, women and children have come forth to speak with unrestrained lips, giving testimony with footsteps, to the glory of God and His creations, born and unborn.

Though we may tire of the task, feel un-welcomed, discouraged or overwhelmed we must and will continue to carry our signs, hold fast to our convictions and march forward until the day when every life matters according to the law and in every heart.

2015 DC March for Unborn

 

big pharma prescription

Knowledge Is Power: How Doctors and Big Pharma Profit From Ignorance

Cramming the pillow I’d brought from home a little more to my left, I attempted to placate the cramp that was forming in my back. After years of slumbering on a waterbed, this rock hard hospital bed felt like a torture rack. So, there I was, trying to create a bit of comfort while counting down the minutes until I could scoop up my newest bundle and check-out, when my midwife slid a chair beside me.

Having just given birth to my 4th child several hours prior, I figured she was stopping in to assess my rate of recovery. She made a bit of small talk. Then, she looked me straight in the eyes and asked what kind of birth control I wanted to take home so, “I wouldn’t have to do this again in nine months.”

Huh? was my first thought

medicalSure, I’d taken the pill for the first two years of marriage (and suffered the daily nausea and monthly weep-fest), but in the previous eight years (prior to the baby I’d literally just delivered) I had only practiced Fertility Awareness (and successfully so, I might add). Clearly, this fact was documented in my chart. And, seeing as she was one of my primary caregivers, it seemed unlikely she was clueless to my choice.

Mind you, she hadn’t saddled up to my bedside to chat about my thoughts/desires on family planning options (although as a Catholic there is only one ethical option for me). No, she was there to hawk a prescription. And she was using fear to get the job done.

The Tempter Comes to Call

Looking back now, it seems easy enough. I should have told her to go bugger off. But something was happening behind the scenes to which she was not privy. My marriage had been undergoing an intense trial. We were actually in counseling at the time, but I hadn’t shared that fact with my caregivers.

She was my temptress in the desert, come to offer me promises during my weakest hour, if only I’d bow down to her plans. There I lie, sore from having just pushed a 7 pound-something human out of my body, thoughts swirling with the knowledge of the current state of my marriage. And then, suddenly, illogically, I was terrified that, before there was time for mama-birth-amnesia to set-in, I’d be back in this very hospital, grunting and groaning baby #5 into the world.

Caving Into Pressure

childbirthPlanning to breastfeed, I suggested that the Lactation Amenorrhea Method (LAM) had certainly worked well for me in the past. LAM extended my postpartum infertility for more than 6 months each time. I also inquired how the drug she was pushing might affect my newborn.

No worries she told me, staying the course on her mission to get me contracepting. She’d write a low level prescription for a progestin-only pill.

I stammered and stuttered and ultimately caved under the pressure.

By the Grace of God Alone

Rolling my van up to the drug store drive-through a week later, everything inside of me was screaming NO. But, I stuffed those thoughts and handed the sheet of paper to the girl behind the counter.

During what seemed like an extra long wait time, I ran over the options in my head, again. Then in what I can only chalk up to the grace of God, the pharmacist returned to tell me that they were out of those pills. She returned the white sheet of paper and informed me I’d have to try back in a few days.

I never returned.

The Prize for Un-professionalism Goes to…

physicianComparatively speaking, I should count myself as lucky. A number of my Catholic girlfriends faced more egregious treatment during their postpartum visits. One friend’s doctor found it hard to take no for an answer. He tried 5 times in the course of one conversation to strong-arm persuade her to allow him to stick an IUD inside of her body.

But the prize for un-professionalism goes to the doctor who, upon being told no, threw the woman’s chart in her lap. He said, “I’ll see you back here in nine months” as he stormed out of the exam room.

I guess the free lunches and pharmaceutical kick backs must be pretty awesome for these obstetricians to want to dissuade a repeat customer in obstetrics?

Intentional Misinformation

“Knowledge is Power” was a theme song lyric in one of my favorite childhood programs. Indeed, knowledge is a powerful tool, and with it we can make right choices. Unfortunately, there’s not much education going on in the gynecologist’s office. And I’d even boldly assert that women are intentional misinformed; just as I was on the day my midwife undermined my beliefs and used fear-mongering to pass off a prescription.

Let’s do a little fact checking.

Fact Check

The Pill

The Pill utilizes synthetic estrogen/progestins to trick the pituitary gland into producing less Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Lutenizing Hormone. The trick attempts to suppress ovulation. However, studies show there is a 2-8% chance of breakthrough ovulation in any given cycle while on the Pill.

So, the Pill has two other built-in functions. The back-up measures cause a thickening of the cervical mucus (to slow sperm motility) and a depletion of glycogen in the endometrium or lining of the uterus. This last mode of operation is abortifacient because it prevents a fertilized egg implanting, thus forcing an early abortion.

The Mini-pill

The mini-pill, or progestin-only pill, relies predominantly on the the abortifacient mechanism. It creates an inhospitable environment for implantation, should a new life have been formed after a breakthrough ovulation.

Sadly, I didn’t know this fact at the time my midwife handed me a prescription for the mini-pill. And it wasn’t advertised to me. Additionally, the package inserts for the Pill offer a laundry list of possible side effects- from weight gain and decreased libido, to blood clots and heart disease.

Intrauterine Device aka IUD

The IUD, that my friend’s doc was so eager to implant in her just-vacated-uterus, has a high rate of effectiveness. It’s great, so long as you don’t mind the possibility of headaches, acne, breast tenderness, irregular bleeding, mood changes, weight gain, ovarian cysts, cramping, pelvic infection, inflammation of the endometrium, perforation of the uterus, endometrial or cervical cancer and high blood pressure. Oh, and, as long as you don’t mind that it is an abortifacient device.

A popular form of birth control in the 70’s, Dalcon Shield was forced to remove its IUD from the market and declare bankruptcy, after paying out millions in malpractice suits. You might assume the new Paraguard and Mirena IUDS are an improvement. But, lawsuits filed against Bayer, Mirena’s maker, tell a different story. Well, it’s really the same old story of harm done to women.

Lactation Amenorrhea Method LAM

That LAM plan, that I mentioned to my midwife, has no negative side effects on the body. And it is completely free. My midwife snubbed her nose at my suggestion, but over the course of my mothering years LAM, along with the Symptom-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning, has proven successful, again and again. In fact, with my last three children I enjoyed a delay in my fertility (meaning no periods) for 12 to 14 months, beyond childbirth!

First Do No Harm

I suppose to be fair, I have to admit that I am not a reader of hearts. I do not know for certain the motives of these physicians. However, if their pledge is to first do no harm, then their actions don’t support that position.

In each of the anecdotes I relayed (and I have LOTS more), my friends and I had not been contracepting before our pregnancies. We were not seeking birth control. We all expressed a hesitancy toward, if not an out-right refusal of, the unsolicited prescriptions.

Birth control carries mild-to-serious risks. A woman who opts-in, requires annual, if not biannual, visits to her doctor. If her side effects are depression, infection, cysts, etc. then she’ll need more trips to the doc. Clearly, birth control is a profitable product for both birth control manufacturers and prescribing physicians.

What’s a Woman To Do?

So what’s a woman to do? Well, like I said, knowledge is power. An informed woman has the power to make better choices.

There are safe, effective means of postponing pregnancy. They require education, and little more. In fact, poor women in India, trained by sisters in Mother Teresa’s religious order, enjoy a 99.4% effectiveness rate in practicing a method of Natural Family Planning (NFP), according the World Health Organization.

That should make you wonder why the Gates Foundation and our government are so persistent in their desire to export birth control drugs/devices to poor nations. Why not empower the poor with education?

Good News Lies Ahead

In parts 1 and 2 of this post series, I discussed the necessity for women to reclaim their wholeness and recognize their inherent feminine genius. I covered the intricate and readable dance of the female fertility cycle, and now we see how mis-education leaves women vulnerable, to a healthcare system which too often places financial gain above all else. But good news lies ahead. Once we unmask deceptions, review the science and evaluate the options, women are free to make wise decisions that respect their whole selves: body, mind and spirit.

Next time, let’s consider: (1) Reclaiming Womanhood: Why It’s Time to Rethink Your Birth Control Plan; (2) Demystified: How the Female Fertility Cycle Works; (3) The Nitty Gritty of Birth Control and the Abortion Back-up Plan; (4) Big Pharma and Your Doc: Your Ignorance Pays the Bills; (5) Pulling Back the Veil and Exposing Your Genuine Fears; (6) Now That You Know, What’s Next

tubal reversal

This Is The Building That Cried Out To God

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.

tubal reversalTime 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