Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pro Life, NO exceptions by Rachel Mary Guy

I cannot remember a time when I did not know my story, but as I got older God started to really do something in my heart that compelled me into action.

Can you imagine finding out at a young age that three doctors wanted you dead? It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that anyone would have wanted me dead, but even harder for me because they were doctors! They were in a position of power to insist and pressure that my life be ended. My story taught me that doctors have great power not only for tremendous good but also for tremendous evil, and some doctors see only some lives as valuable and do not believe in fighting for all life.

At 14 years old, God impressed upon my heart to write to the six doctors involved in my journey. I wrote to three of the doctors thanking them for honoring my parents’ pleas to fight for my life. Out of a deep forgiveness and passion, I wrote the other three other doctors who told my parents to abort me. I told them I forgave them and about the gospel message and that this amazing Savior, Jesus, loves them passionately and longs for them to use their power for good and not for evil.

As I stared at the face of one of the doctors online who wanted me to be gone, I cried because he was lost and believed that the intentional killing of an unborn child could ever be a “solution” for parents of a sick child.

To this day it baffles me that we have come to a place in our society where people in positions of medical power would ever think that destroying lives would ever be a course of action for an innocent life whose only crime is location and health status.

At my mom’s 22-week ultrasound the tech saw something wrong, so she notified the doctor. The doctor came in, frantically telling my mom that she needed to have an abortion because I would die and my mom would die and that I must have some chromosomal abnormality not compatible with life as my mom was missing half of her amniotic fluid. My mom said that she would never abort, and that she loved me. My parents (this time with my dad) would come back at 24 weeks and the same scenario happened but this time all of the amniotic fluid was gone. This same doctor told them (yet again) that they needed to abort me because I had a chromosomal abnormality that was not compatible with life. When my parents refused this, they were sent to speak with yet another doctor in the practice. My parents told me that this doctor calmly (which made this conversation even more chillingly disturbing the casual way ending my life was insisted upon) told them that they must have an abortion because their child would have no “quality of life.” My mom said, “Our child will have quality of life because this baby will know the unconditional love of God.” The doctor went on to say, “Well, you will have many other children.” My mom said, “Even if we have 100 other children, we want this child. This child is valuable.” The conversation went on for about 20 minutes when my dad said, “We will not abort, so what will you do to help us?” The doctor said, “In all of my years of practice no one in your position has ever “not” aborted, so all I can say is to go home and wait for your baby to die and you will come back and deliver a stillborn child.” My parents went home heart-broken, not only that these doctors so devalued my life and had written me off, but with the thought that other parents are made to believe they must have an abortion. My parents were not giving up on fighting for my life but they did not know what that looked like.

When my parents called my grammy, she said these words that would change everything, “If there is a heartbeat then there is hope.” God used my grammy’s words to give them hope through Jesus. My dad talked to an ob/gyn at church who knew my situation. And she knew my mom’s primary ob/gyn and would call him. When she did, she could not even imagine the doctor’s sickening response. The doctor told her that the only test he would do for my parents was an autopsy. This doctor at the church then got us into the hands of two doctors at another hospital who said they would honor my parents’ wishes to fight for my life.

While my mom and I were in the care of these new doctors, they saw BOTH of us as their valuable patients. They put my mom on bed rest in the hospital and took me via C-section at the first day of my 26th week. The doctors said that they didn’t know if I would be born alive, and that it would be like getting a pit out of a peach due to lack of amniotic fluid and if I was born alive that I would be too sick to make any noise. The kind doctor that delivered me said I was born squawking. I was born at 26 weeks 1 lb. 2oz.

I was in the NICU 5 1/2 months and I thank God that my parents never backed down on fighting for me! They didn’t know if I would live, but they embraced each day and gave it all up to God!

God has used my story to open my eyes to the reality that we live in a world that devalues and dehumanizes some life and that even within the medical field, and even within the pro-life community, “some” life, like mine, is deemed an “exception.” My story has compelled me to be a voice not only in a world that strips people of their humanity, but also within the pro life community to share that babies with “fetal anomalies, chromosomal abnormalities, conceived in rape or incest, destroyed embryo children from IVF” are human beings authored by God with just as much intrinsic value as any other child. When we start classifying human beings into categories of who is valuable and who is not does that make us any different than those in our history who dehumanized different people groups?

Throughout every generation, a people group has been dehumanized and stripped of their personhood. Isn’t it about time that we learned from our horrific human history and see our humanity through God’s lens that ALL life is equally valuable and that we are all persons, healthy or sick, no matter how conceived, made in the image of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our mental state towards a person does not change their/our humanity. Society does NOT define our value. God does. If we could grasp that truth, no life would ever be marginalized, deemed disposable and dehumanized. We must must have laws in place that protect ALL life from fertilization to natural death because man in his humanity, as we have seen historically, wants to redefine what God has already defined. Our laws must protect ALL PERSONS and recognize the inherent dignity of all life.

All life is valuable! Society sees ability as what gives “value” yet they never recognize that ALL life is innately valuable because we are ALL created by God.

All glory to Him!
Monday, October 2, 2017

Irish Pro-Choice Advocates Try to Silence Victims of Rape by Sarah St. Onge


Irish Pro-Choice Advocates Try To Silence Rape Victims, by Sarah St. Onge




A fierce battle is being waged in Ireland over the “8th Amendment”. Unlike the US, and most of its European neighbors, Ireland formally recognizes the preborn child as a human being with his/her own inherent value and right to life.  The 8th amendment prohibits abortion from conception and through all 9 months of pregnancy, under any circumstances save when the life of the mother is threatened.



While we’re mourning the death of a dissolute human trafficker, and feigning outrage over the latest NFL decision, Ireland is deciding whether to continue protecting its most vulnerable citizens or join the  21st century abortion death-cult led by Planned Parenthood.



Irish pro-lifers (ie the majority of rational Irish citizens) have come out en force. They have spent months knocking on doors to inform the public about the issue. They’ve secured television and print ads, as well as held rallies. Their rallying cry- "Love them Both" is one of compassion and understanding.



However- they’ve been met with fierce opposition by radical pro-abortion groups who have decided to use the most aggressive of tactics to silence them.



“I knew this campaign was going to be divisive, that there would be nastiness and vitriol battered at prolifers. The level of abuse is truly off the scale though. Is this still Ireland?? Or have we woken up in another country? Frightening is an understatement, women who have been pregnant through rape or conceived through rape are reduced to standing on the street to deliver their stories? Is this some Soviet state where freedom of speech is punishable? Is this what freedom was fought and won for in Ireland?  Absolutely terrifying and sickening, and no date as yet set for an actual referendum, all of this from a minority of rabble rousers and anarchists allowed to screech and bully...we've been funding these miseries for much too long.”



This statement from an Irish pro-life activist, who wishes to remain anonymous, in response to the numerous threats and intimidations visited on American pro-life speakers Rebecca Kiessling and Jennifer Christie, both of Save the 1. The two traveled to Ireland this week as part of the “Unbroken- Life Beyond Rape” tour, arranged by Life Institute. They were scheduled to speak on the realities of pregnancy and abortion after a sexual assault in two separate venues.



Instead, pro-choice activists decided to silence these women, publicly bragging about removing posters, which were placed to advertise the event. In addition, they began a campaign of harassment- including sending death threats to individuals they identified through social media who were staff at the hotels where their speaking engagements were to be heard, causing both hotels and a third alternate, to rescind their contract with the Unbroken –Life Beyond Rape group.




Ms. Kiessling and Ms. Christie were instead forced to stand out in the street to deliver their message- a message which, unlike that of the Repeal Movement, was one of love, strength, unity and hope. Ms. Kiessling spoke boldly about her own situation as the child conceived in rape, stating the facts in passionate and practical detail:



Women are naturally inclined to love and protect their offspring. They must be conditioned by external forces to despise them.



The abortion lobby teaches women to view their children as invaders or aggressors, instead of victims of circumstance, especially in cases where a sexual assault has occurred.



Children conceived during an assault have the same inherent value as those who are conceived during a consensual act of passion. They are human beings.



Women who have been assaulted deserve better than an abortion. They need help to integrate their violation into their lives. We don’t need to become destroyers of life in order to regain power over our own lives.



Unfortunately the vitriol continued, with gruesome comments left on Save the 1’s Facebook page- there were threats of violence aimed at both women, and no attempts to excuse the threats and destruction of pro-life property. In fact, those responsible for doing so were proud of their actions. Their official responses delivered with flippancy. We’re not linking to their sites or pages. We won’t give them the satisfaction of sharing.



The truth is- the Repeal movement really doesn’t care about women. If they did, they wouldn’t send their men out to re-violate a rape survivor, by in essence telling her that her story doesn’t matter and her right to speak her truth is subordinate to others. They wouldn't tell a woman conceived in rape that her mere image offends them, if they cared about women.



Ms. Kiessling and Ms. Christie did not travel to Ireland to bring an American viewpoint to the debate. They came to offer their testimony in the court of opinion- their personal and traumatic testimony- in hopes of letting Irish women who may have been through similar circumstances, that they aren’t alone. Their stories matter. One Irish woman wrote, after meeting them, “I felt that I belonged yesterday and was not ashamed to say I was raped and I could never talk to anyone about it in Ireland until yesterday. You helped me cry out openly...”



They also went to create a dialogue with those who may be on the fence, or even those who oppose them, in hopes of changing hearts and minds and bringing them to a place of love.



Unfortunately the Repeal movement has decided to offer them only threats of violence in response...... just like with the men who violated them, these women have been told to "keep quiet or else." Fortunately these women are much stronger than those who try to silence them will ever be. And for Ireland's children, women like them may make all the difference.





Sarah St. Onge is a wife, mother of 4, step-mother of 2, and pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  She's also the founder of limbbodywallcomplex.net, a pro-life, diagnosis specific website which supports parents who continue their pregnancy after receiving the same lethal diagnosis which took her daughter, Beatrix Elizabeth.  She blogs on grief, loss, and pro-life issues pertaining to continuing a pregnancy after a lethal anomaly has been diagnosed, at www.shebringsjoy.com.




Saturday, September 23, 2017

Double Jeopardy: Mom Conceived in Rape, Dad Conceived in Incest, by Van Atkins

Of course, our precious Savior always perfectly knows what went on, is going on, and will
go on in our lives. For us, the reasons why our life has unfolded the way it has only begin to come into focus when we can look back and see the footsteps of Our Lord as he walked with us at every moment. Recently, the 50th anniversary of the precious matrimonial sacrament of myself and my beloved Maureen was a huge such opportunity to reflect on my journey home so far. For me, I see more clearly every day how even the very moment of my conception was so unlikely it could only have been God’s mysterious will and divine providence.

You see, my father was the result of incest,and my mother was the result of rape. The fact that both occurred in the early part of the last century, when such things were “dealt with” via cover-up or keeping them secret -- instead of the now ubiquitous abortion solution -- was certainly a providential blessing in disguise. 

Through my now 7+ decades, every time I’ve marveled at the numerous blessings God has bestowed on me, in those same moments, I’ve also been acutely aware that almost all folks judge that in such situations of conception -- let alone in the double jeopardy I was in -- should be able to be murdered, in their mother’s womb, well before birth. Yet, praise the Lord, here I am. And here also are 4 children, 7 grandchildren; a sister; 7 nieces and nephews; and 6 grand nieces and nephews -- all of whom are certainly intensely pro-life and also making other real differences, for good, in the Body of Christ.

It arouses deep gratitude, in the depths of my soul, to realize that God loved me so much
and so hungered for my role in his salvation plan. But it’s also almost immeasurably humbling -- not infrequently accompanied by a palpable sense of “why me?” -- and difficult to accept that I was chosen to be born when so many other tens of millions were cast away as easily and dispassionately as the day’s trash. 

Yet, as I know without doubt that I exist per God’s will, I’ve come to a more full, and peace-filled, resolution of my internal guilt conflict. And such resolution has emboldened my willingness to clearly stand up and be counted everywhere -- workplace, neighborhood, friends, extended family, parish -- as 100% pro-life, with no exceptions. 

The “Save the 1” mentality took deep roots in my spiritual journey. There are folks alive today because we shared, with their confused and frightened parents, the beauty and sanctity of every conceived child.

It has never seemed to me even remotely understandable that those in authority can think they can play God with his precious children’s lives. The very thing they tout as a wonderful “good” for society seems so clearly to actually be a death rattle for society. And then there’s that almost universal tagline “except in the cases of incest and rape, or danger of the mother’s health” that’s endlessly and mindlessly used by those who purport to be pro-life, but are actually “let me chose which life is more important”. 

Every time I hear that phrase, I become almost physically ill: “What about me and how I came to be”?

But how did mom and dad deal with the circumstances of their births? Dad knew he was
born in a very rural home, located in a backwoods area called Gopher Valley. So, when he
needed a birth certificate to go with the Army to Panama in the late 1930's, he wasn’t
surprised that local record keepers didn’t have his . He was able to get some birth affidavits from the delivery doctor and relatives, and didn’t think any more about it. 

But then, later in his civilian life, he got a job in Morocco and the need for a U.S.passport-compliant birth certificate arose. Through that process, the old family rumors which he’d always discounted -- that some “farmer” had been involved in his birth -- began to seem at least possible. Dad still pretty much still was a man who lived in the present and looked forward. But doubts about his origin did make him more introspective and reflective. 

He was non-Catholic. But thereafter, he took real interest in Catholic perspectives (beware getting between him and watching his favorite program, Bishop Sheen!) and got to the point where he could argue Catholic dogma -- including about life issues -- better than most baptized Catholics. And, sure enough, on his deathbed, he requested baptism, and was received into the Catholic Church where he felt he’d found his real Father. 

After he passed, DNA testing done by me, in connection with my genealogy hobby, proved the rumors -- and the farmer turned out to be his maternal great uncle, in whose home he’d been born.

Mom’s revelation about her birth was more of an immediate surprise. The Morocco move
meant she also needed a passport. That caused her mother to tell her, for the first time, that
she was not her parents' natural child. Indeed, she’d never been formally adopted. 

Her parents had recently lost a child and were visiting North Dakota. They heard of a baby girl who’d been abandoned at the local Catholic hospital. A local farmer had brought his pregnant 13 year old daughter, who’d been raped by a malcontent hired hand, to that hospital to ask the good nuns for help, as no facilities existed anywhere in the county to handle such events. 

The nuns took her in and a very premature -- a nearly certain death sentence in those days -- little girl was born soon thereafter. Since the child was dying, the nuns baptized her Catholic. (To this day she’s still the only Catholic ever in her birth mother’s bloodline.)  But she miraculously survived (God’s plan at work again!) and ultimately mom’s parents agreed to take the child with them as they returned to Oregon. 

After mom learned about her birth circumstances, she tried hard to locate her birth mother.
She was enormously grateful, and in awe, that such a young child should so bravely give birth to her. Especially as the world, in mom’s later years, began to see such bravery as utter foolishness, and such babies as out and out “tragedies”. 

Mom began to more concretely recognize and accept God’s plan in her life. To bring her to life -- and such a long-lived and loving one (she lived to age 96) -- just had to be part of specific plan God had for her. When mom died, she’d come through 3 marriages, 2 divorces, and much physical pain, to die in full concert with the Church, receiving all the anointing sacraments, and revered as a long-time pillar of her parish. 

Even mom’s 13 year old birth mother’s life was distinctly affected by being raped yet choosing to still have her child at such a young age. The physical event rendered her unable to have other child and ”Aunt _____” became the favorite mentor and counselor of everyone in her sibling’s extended family. When that bloodline family learned their beloved aunt’s child had been found, there was an incredible outpouring of joy and love from them.  

And, . . . hard to believe, but there’s still another remarkable aspect to our family story:
My wife Maureen’s own mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but refused treatment so she could choose birth Maureen -- at the expense of her own life. The knowledge of her mother’s ultimate sacrifice has hovered over Maureen’s entire life and strengthened her Catholic faith throughout. It’s been integral to her on-going spiritual awareness and growth, and has played the major role in her always being the leader in faith in our family.

As I humbly look back on the life God has thus far gifted me, I daily thank him that he so lovingly allowed the role my family has played in his plan.  It breaks my heart when those who wantonly disregard life's sanctity start their delusional, self-congratulatory mantras about how it's not life; or "my body" -- which is really "my avoidance of the consequences of my actions."  Evil!  God's plan to populate his kingdom with precious souls he brings forth out of his perfect love has NO exceptions.  When our selfishness and lack of trust causes us to take a tiny life that is God's, it is a far greater travesty than the terrible loss of that life.  It is a complete denial of God's love and of that child's absolutely necessary role in God's plan for the happiness of us ALL.


I started my genealogy hobby and created our family tree so that my immediate family and extended family -- and all those who come after us -- would always know and be able to reflect upon the heroics of so many of our ancestors, but most especially of mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, and great- grandma. These dear souls believed all life was precious and worthy, no matter how it came to be or what it cost, and so willingly sacrificed that we might enjoy God's gift of life.  I ask that they never be forgotten because, without their selfless love, we would not be here, and I genuinely believe that the world would be a lesser place.  Our lives will be so much more God's if we can also have, as they did, at least one great and defining moment of unselfishness.  Thanks to them all!!!

My Bio: Van is a husband of 50 years to his beloved Maureen, father of 4 and the
grandfather of 7. He and Maureen presently serve as their parish’s RCIA Coordinators.
Additionally, they own a thriving health coaching outreach that specializes in all areas of
permanent better health change -- weight, nutrition, supplementation, diet, home safety and
detoxification, stress, exercise, and sleep.