“When headlines say a hundred thousand people are killed, whether in battle, by earthquake, flood, or atom bomb, the human mind refuses to react to mathematics.” (Lewis Gannett, New York Herald Tribune, 1946)
Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s both Bill and Hillary Clinton were quoted as saying abortion “should be safe, legal and rare”. By the 2016 presidential elections, the word “rare” was dropped from the Democratic machine’s talking points. Abortion activists such as Lauren Rankin have been critical of Democrats using the word “rare” as she believes it stigmatizes abortion as a bad thing. From where the baby lies, Lauren, it ISa bad thing.
There have been over 60,000,000 abortions in the U.S. since Roe v Wade in 1973. If there were 60,000,000 red diamonds would it still be a rare stone?
The statistics of this “rare” procedure are available from a myriad of sources. Abortion by gender, abortion by state, abortion by facility, abortion by gestational period. But all that data does not give us what we need to humanize these 60,000,000 lives that were aborted from sea-to-shining-sea.
In the book, Fall and Rise The Story of 9/11, the author, Mitchell Zuckoff looks back on the tragedy of 9/11 through the eyes of family members and friends of the almost 3,000 people that were killed. We have intimate stories of what people did the weekend prior to the tragedy that would befall them, what people said on the phone to their loved ones as they waited for help that could not come, the brutal job of identifying even the smallest piece of a human life so a spouse, parent or child could have something to memorialize. The 3,000 became more than a number. We had faces, names and stories to associate with them, thereby personalizing a statistic.
We do not have even the slightest bit of information or a tiny bit of remains from these 60,000,000 sacrifices. The vacuum aspiration machine (or forceps and curette) quickly and efficiently does its job. The Biohazardous Waste Disposal truck handles the rest. And our newly crowned celebrity couple of Biden/Harris are not only fine with how that all works, but celebrate it as a right. No fuss, no muss, no human-interest stories. Nothing and no one to see here. Move along.
Whenever we have an opportunity to publicly voice our concerns for the abortion of all the generations of boys and girls past, present, and sadly, future, let us try to refer to their lives as we would our own family members. Examples: March for Our Unborn Children. Right to Her Life or Right to His Life. Their Lives Should Count. Stop Aborting Children. Unborn Boys and Girls. Choose Life for Me. Defend life for All Boys and Girls. Her Life matters. His life matters. Their lives matter.
No one wants to go through life being invisible so let us ensure these small but very valuable and most vulnerable sisters and brothers of ours are acknowledged as best we can. Let us start making it personal, because it is.
Black/Blue/All… Lives Matter. We have been following the discourse on this issue through the summer of 2020. My question is not about the adjective that precedes which lives matter. My question is: When does a life matter?
The United States Supreme Court in 1973 recognized a constitutional right to abortion, but held that states could prohibit abortion after fetal viability—the point at which a fetus can sustain life outside the womb—if their policies met certain requirements.
As science and technology have progressed and as pro-life advocates have worked to restrict abortion in a world where moral and ethical boundaries are vanishing, we acquired state-by-state rules determining when during the gestational period abortions can be performed. And many states legislators are in a constant battle to remove these restrictions, thereby making abortions more accessible during the length of a pregnancy.
And now with a November 2020 presidential election looming the Democratic candidate, Joseph Biden, Jr. has determined when a life matters – and a life in the womb didn’t make the cut.
“Biden will work to codify Roe v. Wade, and his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate Roe v. Wade.”(source: https://joebiden.com/womens-agenda/)
Codifying Roe v. Wade would take the question of safe* and legal abortion out of the Supreme Court’s hands by passing legislation in Congress that guarantees women in every state the right to unfettered access to abortion.
Unfettered access means abortion on demand – no restrictions.
Now that we have the terminology and definitions out of the way, let’s try to understand what “when does a life matter” means. There are voters that likely do not know what their particular state’s restrictions are on abortion – of if there are any. There are voters who may think that it’s not terrible to end a pregnancy in the 1st trimester (no one is really getting hurt) and they can’t “see” anything at this point. But there is a lot going on in those first, second and third trimesters**:
Fertilization happens when a sperm meets and penetrates an egg. It’s also called conception. At this moment, the genetic makeup is complete, including the sex of the baby. Within about three days after conception, the fertilized egg is dividing very fast into many cells.
Development at 4 Weeks
At this point the baby is developing the structures that will eventually form his face and neck. The heart and blood vessels continue to develop. And the lungs, stomach, and liver start to develop
Development at 8 Weeks
The baby is now a little over half an inch in size. Eyelids and ears are forming, and you can see the tip of the nose. The arms and legs are well formed. The fingers and toes grow longer and more distinct.
Development at 12 Weeks
The baby measures about 2 inches and starts to make its own movements. Your doctor may hear the baby’s heartbeat with special instruments. The sex organs of the baby should start to become clear.
Development at 16 Weeks
The baby now measures about 4.3 to 4.6 inches and weighs about 3.5 ounces. The baby’s eyes can blink and the heart and blood vessels are fully formed. The baby’s fingers and toes have fingerprints.
Development at 20 Weeks
The baby weighs about 10 ounces and is a little more than 6 inches long. The baby can suck a thumb, yawn, stretch, and make faces. Soon — if you haven’t already — you’ll feel your baby move, which is called “quickening.”
An ultrasound will show the baby’s heartbeat and movement of its body, arms, and leg. You can usually find out whether it’s a boy or a girl at 20 weeks.
Development at 24 Weeks
The baby weighs about 1.4 pounds now and responds to sounds by moving or increasing his pulse. You may notice jerking motions if he hiccups. With the inner ear fully developed, the baby may be able to sense being upside down in the womb.
Development at 28 Weeks
The baby weighs about 2 pounds, 6 ounces, and changes position often at this point in pregnancy. If you had to deliver prematurely now, there is a good chance the baby would survive.
Development at 32 Weeks
The baby weighs almost 4 pounds and is moving around often. The baby’s skin has fewer wrinkles as a layer of fat starts to form under the skin. Between now and delivery, your baby will gain up to half his birth weight.
Development at 36 Weeks
On average, a baby at this stage is about 18.5 inches and weighs close to 6 pounds. The brain has been developing rapidly. Lungs are nearly fully developed.
A mother’s due date marks the end of her 40th week. The delivery date is calculated using the first day of her last period. Based on this, pregnancy can last between 38 and 42 weeks with a full-term delivery happening around 40 weeks.
In my home state of Pennsylvania, abortions can be done up to 24 weeks. Thus, the when a life does not matter, meaning that a child can be aborted legally even though she has her own DNA, her own heartbeat and her own fingerprints which distinguish her from any other human being, including her mother.
So, when do most Americans start to feel squeamish about abortion or do they at all? Is snuffing out a fingerprint acceptable, but maybe not a heartbeat? Does a nose formation leave them lukewarm but a blinking eye is another story? And when does “on demand” take some intestinal fortitude to agree with? If a premature baby can be cared for and expected to survive at 28 weeks, does our nation really feel collectively that it is none of our business if the same child can be aborted should the law be codified and restrictions removed. Is silence – or voting in favor of it – approval?
These babies with moving eyes and lips, beating hearts and individual DNA structure are vulnerable in that they are relying on parents, doctors, nurses and the rest of us to advocate for their right to their own life. A life they were intended to live. A life other children get to live. A life each of us had the opportunity to live once free of the umbilical cord. They can’t yet speak, they can’t yet hold a sign, they don’t have a symbolic flag to wave, they can’t yet march in a protest. When does their life matter? Sadder yet, When doesn’t their life matter?
*an abortion is never safe – at least one life is guaranteed to be ended and the other may be physically and/or emotionally wounded.
“People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.” This line is part of a dramatic speech given by James Earl Jones character, Terence Mann, in the iconic baseball movie, “Field of Dreams.”
We staged our own version of “Field of Dreams” at August’s First Friday Life Chain outside of Planned Parenthood on Louis Drive in Warminster. On a drizzling Friday morning in the midst of both a pandemic and summer vacation time, over 60 men, women and children lined both sides of the street (within CDC guidelines) in the name of compassion and prayer for the mothers and their unborn children entering the hallways of Planned Parenthood.
The invitation continues to spread within the area’s pro-life community to attend this monthly life chain and the people did not disappoint.
Pat Stanton, our longtime leader and LIFE supporter was there as usual and advised that there were 10 women inside PP awaiting surgical abortions or abortifacient drugs and urged more prayers in the hopes of saving valuable and vulnerable lives from losing the right to their own life through abortion and perhaps saving their moms from a lifetime of thinking what could have been. He mentioned that earlier in the week there was a confirmed baby saved from abortion at PP.
If you have never attended a pro-life event but are feeling a nudge about getting involved, please join us every first Friday of the month outside of the Planned Parenthood facility on Louis Drive from 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM. You will meet some of the most dedicated people in this ministry who are willing to offer assistance to any moms seeking it and you also will learn about upcoming pro-life events. ALL ARE WELCOME!
Let us continue on this monthly journey to fill Louis Drive. As we have seen this past Friday, people will come…they will most definitely come!
Friday’s rain showers could not dampen the support for the special pro-life Sidewalk Day in front of the Planned Parenthood in Warminster. Tucker Brown, a St. Charles seminarian, coordinated a Students for Life of America (SFLA) prayerful assembly in the hopes of showing support for the pro-life message, not only for the mothers entering into the abortion center, but also for anyone driving by. We saw more than a few thumbs up from drivers!
The agenda included private prayer, live Christian music and presentations offered by Tucker Brown, Father Paschal Onunwa of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and Patrick Stanton.
Though this was termed as a Students for Life day at PP, there were toddlers, seniors and everyone in between professing their support for LIFE!.
Thank you to all the speakers, musicians, all those who attended and in particular Tucker for coordinating this event. Seeing a younger group of people willing to lead such events is so encouraging!
Reminder: The monthly Bucks County Life Chain for August is scheduled for Friday, August 7th, 9:30 am – 10:30 am at the Planned Parenthood, 610 Louis Drive, Warminster, PA. All are welcome in peaceful, prayerful support of life for the unborn.
With the pandemic news roiling through our heads, social unrest in our local communities and political encampments bracing for the November elections I felt like I was losing my focus as to why I became involved in the pro-life mission. Suddenly, I was receiving emails and posts from unknown senders telling me what to think, how to vote, wear a mask/don’t wear a mask, sign an online petition for this or that, attend a march, subscribe to an email chain, send money to an organization, follow an “influencer”, etc. It was difficult to determine exactly which individuals and organizations were valid and where was the value in all this frenzied activity. Why wasn’t I doing more to save innocent lives and who were all these groups with their agendas and suggestions?
This splintering off into various tangents might work for some to keep them active and engaged but it wasn’t working for me. And that is when I decided to go back to what I was doing before. Before Covid, before masks, before protests, before politics, before Twitter – educate myself as how I can best support the pro-life mission.
I’m the kind of newspaper reader who rips out pages and has a pile of things I want to delve into further. And back in May I read a superb storyin the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer about a retirement-age couple who adopted a special needs child. I saved it and put it on my night table – partly as inspiration of the goodness of mankind and partly because the adoption aspect agreed with my pro-life compass. In the course of the article a reference was made to the Philadelphia-based Adoption Center. I was curious about this organization and their involvement with special needs adoptions. Onto the internet I went and saw pictures of several children awaiting adoption and read the Center’s mission statement. While on the site there was a reference to a Parenting Special Needs magazine and I reviewed a few issues. From one Inquirer article, I took about two hours of my day to learn more about what I, as a pro-life supporter, offer as an alternative to abortion – Adoption.
Through quiet focus and education, I now know about a few more resources if the question ever comes up about quality of life issues as a reason to abort. I am by no means an authority but I learned there are people voluntarily willing to take on this herculean task of providing for a child with special needs. I’ve learned there are adoption agencies that work in this particular environment and I’ve read about some of the proud moments parents have celebrated with their special needs children. I consider this enlightenment another aspect of being a pro-life supporter.
Education is not just what we learn at school. It is not just memorization. It is fulfilling our curiosity. It is following up one question with another. It is taking a time-out from doing and instead learning. It is using the often maligned yet powerful internet for good versus contention. And this kind of education will only help me as I engage in the various facets of the pro-life message.
The moral of this story is to follow my instinct as to how I can best support the message of LIFE given what I know about myself. And while it is important to be open to new experiences and communications – and I am grateful for all that I have learned along the way – juggling too many “Action Required” to-do lists from unknown parties may not be the most effective way for me to do what I can to support this message.
Note: Our mission is to offer our prayers and talents to ensure that our children’s lives are respected and valued and that no harm comes to them. In that vein, I’d like to ask each of you reading this blog to keep in your prayers two children (ages 5 and 10) who yesterday in my local area witnessed in their home the shooting death of their mother and grandmother at the hands of their father. It’s heartbreaking to have children, both in and out of the womb, be subjected to such violence. Violence in the womb begets violence in society. Please keep them and those who will now care for them in your prayers. Thank you.
Legacy of Life is an organization based in the Philadelphia area and its mission is to invest in educating, inspiring and supporting women in unplanned pregnancies to find the strength to choose life. You are invited to join a Virtual Episode with the Legacy of Life Foundation called Seeing is Believing: The Ultrasound. This episode will highlight the ultrasound appointment with women in crisis. You will learn about the role the ultrasound plays in transforming a woman’s heart from abortion-minded to saying YES to life after a woman meets her baby for the first time on an ultrasound. You’ll hear from our ultrasound technician telling the stories of hope and miracles. We will interview the Knights of Columbus about their role in making ultrasound possible at our centers and finish up with Q&A for all at the end.
Once you have registered, keep an eye out for the Zoom webinar link in your email June 18, Thursday afternoon! If you have never used Zoom before, you may want to download the app before joining the webinar.
We are in our 5th week of our 6-week prayer campaign for elected officials who support ending newly created life through abortion on demand. Please join us as we pray for our candidate this week Democratic Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims. Though he is not a marquee national name, in a way he represents all small town, city and state government representatives who have an opportunity to keep progressing through the political ranks – and at each step gathering more power. If we could change their disdain for our pre-born children early on, we might not have to fight the pro-life battle at every political front later on.
Brian Sims became newsworthy in the Philadelphia area for videotaping himself while he verbally chastised a peaceful witness outside a Planned Parenthood in downtown Philadelphia. In another incident he continued this irrational and aggressive behavior while a woman with three girls were praying outside the same abortion center, offering a bounty to anyone who could identify them.
He states he will continue to protect women’s rights and is committed to being a better advocate and ally for women’s rights.
Sims needs our prayers not only for his lack of recognition for our preborn children but also for the rage that he is unable to control. We ask the Lord to bring a sense of peace to this man so that he can hear His message, and so that he can engage in valuable dialogue with those who hold a different point of view from his – that children have a right to live their lives.
Give up your anger, abandon your wrath;
Do not be provoked; it brings only harm.
Those who do evil will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord will possess the land.
We are in our 2nd week of our 6-week prayer campaign for elected officials who support ending newly created life through abortion on demand. Please join us as we pray for our candidate this week, Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Elizabeth Warren is a Democratic senator from the state of Massachusetts, re-elected to her second term in November 2018. She is married with two children and three grandchildren. Senator Warren’s pro-abortion stance is very clear in a statement she made during one of the Democratic debates in November 2019, prior to her dropping out of the Democratic primary race in March 2020:
“”Look, I believe that abortion rights are human rights. I believe that they are also economic rights. And protecting the right of a woman to be able to make decisions about her own body is fundamentally what we do and what we stand for as a Democratic Party.”
Let us pray that this woman has a change of heart from her fierce determination to sacrifice children’s lives under her misconception that abortion is healthcare. Let us pray that her talents as a leader can be put to a higher calling. And let us pray that she, at some point in her life, will ask forgiveness for her advocacy of the termination of our most vulnerable children through abortion.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts;
Let him turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways
And my thoughts above your thoughts.” (Isaiah, 55, 6-9)
Options. We all like them. Whether it be cereal, cars, houses, ice cream or whatever our hearts desire, the more options the better. Sherwin Williams offers over 1,500 colors of paint. If we make a mistake, we just try another option. But imagine not having any options – or worse yet, not realizing there are other options out there in a critical situation. Imagine thinking you would not get pregnant; you had not planned on creating a new life but now you realize what was not planned has become a reality. You are being pressured by family and friends about how you will handle the situation and not seeing any options that provide a sustainable solution you go for the only thing you know will solve the immediate circumstance – ending this new life that has been created, knowing full well it is an irreversible decision and something you will carry with you forever.
Now imagine instead that someone listened to your concerns and offered you care, compassion and support. You learn that there are other options. Options that allow you to not only nurture your child but nurture yourself as well. This is what Legacy of Life offers – options!
Legacy of Life’s mission is to empower change by investing in educating, inspiring and supporting women in unplanned pregnancies to find the strength to choose life. Support and advocacy are there not only during the pregnancy but after the baby’s birth.
And now there is an opportunity to join Legacy of Life on a virtual tour on Thursday, May 14th at 7PM. I had done a physical tour of one of their pregnancy centers a few years ago and it was an amazing experience. The love and care for the women and their children envelopes each and every room. Details on the virtual tour are below.
Options. We all want them but sometimes we need them and Legacy of Life joyfully and lovingly fills that need.
Legacy of Life Virtual Tour
You are invited to a virtual tour to see what the Legacy of Life Foundation and the Women’s Centers are up to during the Coronavirus! First you’ll hear from our Executive Director, Marie Joseph, and she will tell you how the ministry began. Then you will hear the stories of hope from our counselors, advocates, and ultrasound techs who are working to help women in crisis see the light of the truth and save their babies from the pains of abortion right now in the middle of this pandemic
Couldn’t we all use a heartwarming story about now? Here’s one that looks at pro-life from the other end of the age spectrum. In February The Philadelphia Inquirer shared a story about a dementia patient Margaret Mackie in Edinburgh, Scotland who teamed up with her caregiver Jamie Lee Morley to record “My Way” which was then posted on the internet. The recording was No. 6 on Amazon’s download charts and had reached No. 27 on iTunes top 40 in the U.K. Proceeds are benefiting the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia U.K.
Jamie knew from his daily interaction with Margaret that she liked to sing and dance even though she could not remember things from one day to the next. They performed together at the nursing home Christmas show and then things took off. Margaret’s daughter, Mairi Hunter, is very enthusiastic about the reaction and is glad that the story is highlighting the fact that a dementia diagnosis does not have to mean the end to a life.
There are so many lessons for all of us in this story but probably the one most relevant to the readers of this website is a comment made by Jamie that “People think once you get dementia your life’s over. Margaret proves that life is always worth living”. That’s a comment that needs to be reinforced. Many pro-choice advocates mention poverty or other social concerns to advocate to end a baby’s life. We cannot look at someone – either a baby or a senior citizen or someone with disabilities – and make the decision for them that they would be better off not here. Here is a woman that through God’s mercy was given a guiding hand by her caregiver and is finding pleasure through singing. I would bet she never thought in a million years she would be in a recording studio nor assisting in donations to those charities.
Jamie took the time to notice Margaret’s love of music and fostered it. We need to do the same – not just for others but with regard to ourselves. We all have talents that get hidden in the day-to-day. Now that the world has slowed down for a bit, we can take the time to examine how best our talents can be used to help someone else or just to spark our own energy.
And finally, how powerful is the internet! I know there is a lot of nonsense swirling around out there but isn’t it nice that a story like this can be shared, that Margaret’s singing can be played, that we can be heartened that people like Jamie take an interest in other human beings. Just click here to see the video or you can do a search under Margaret’s name to get more info on the story.
I’d like to think that in my later senior years that I will be like Margaret. I know realistically things are not always that simple and I am sure there was a lot of worry and strife over Margaret’s initial diagnosis and the decision to move her to the facility. But somewhere on the edges of her life a positive was achieved. The recognition that life is precious in any form and sometimes we just need a little help digging through to find the good part.