VOICES FOR LIFE PRAYER CAMPAIGN 2 – SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN

warrenWe 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)

 

 

 

 

Legacy of Life Virtual Tour

LegacyOptions. 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

Thursday, May 14th at 7PM

Zoom info provided upon registration

Register Here

(215-788-4051)

“Life is always worth living”

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.

margaret-mackie-52

Precious Moments of Life

BNA“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” the saying goes and many times this is true. But I must say during this time of a slower-paced life and staying indoors it has given me an opportunity to learn new things – even when I’m not looking for them. Today I visited the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website to get an update on Holy Week livestreaming events. While on the site I flittered from one link to another gathering tidbits of information that I never knew existed. And then I landed on a video clip that mentioned Lily’s Gift and another aspect of being involved in the pro-life culture was opened to me.

Lily’s Gift is a ministry of parents and medical professionals who work to support parents who have been given a poor prenatal diagnosis. The program is in collaboration with the Archdiocese’s Office of Persons with Disabilities, the Office of Life and Family and Catholic Social Services. It follows the support training of Be Not Afraid (BNA). BNA is a private non-profit organization which provides comprehensive case management to parents carrying to term, rather than terminating the pregnancy, following a poor prenatal diagnosis and follows the ethical teachings of the Catholic Church. The stories and examples of parents who have received a poor prenatal diagnosis are heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. We all know the excitement of learning of a new life and it’s difficult to imagine what it must be like the day you learn that your pregnancy will not be routine and your baby’s life could last just minutes after birth.  Below is an excerpt from a mother’s personal narrative about carrying an anencephalic child. Her story is even more touching because this happened to her with two pregnancies and her sister also experienced it with a son.

“There is no way to avoid the sad fact that she cannot live long after birth with this condition, but causing Charlotte to die earlier will not stop this happening. Causing her to die earlier will only take from us the beautiful experience of knowing and loving her.

The tragedy is not the fact that we know our baby will die. The tragedy is that our baby will die. It is not nice to know for months beforehand, but it gives us a chance to appreciate a life so brief, and not to miss a moment.

The value of Thomas Walter, Benedict and Charlotte cannot be measured by the length of their lives – we don’t apply this yardstick to adults, so why should we to babies? A baby is not a possession, an accessory to acquire. A baby is a gift, a new entity, a precious, individual soul loved by God. We are created for a purpose, there is a reason for our being here. Even if that reason is unclear to us most of the time, we are constantly affecting other people in our families, communities etc. Who knows what purpose can be fulfilled in 9 months and one day? I don’t know, but God does.”

There are many obstacles to overcome besides the emotional acceptance of what is to be. Organizations like Lily’s Gift offer support in the preparation of medical decision making and neonatal critical care. One couple offered advice in that they insisted that their child be treated as any other child after birth and they had a birth plan in place. The nurses and doctors were aware that they were not to treat this child with less dignity just because of the lethal diagnosis.

While it is so difficult to imagine these circumstances, it is comforting to know that there are organizations like this out there to offer support, answer questions and walk through this journey with these parents who are adamant about giving their child a right to life, whether it be just a few minutes, a few hours or a few years.

My idle time was well spent today. I was reminded that it is not just about parents who want to end a child’s life.  It is also about those parents who are willing to fight for those very few but oh so very, very precious moments of life.

 

 

Light Shining Out of Darkness

At the start of every 40 Days for Life campaign there is PPHope. Hope that this time, at any particular vigil site there will be a SAVE. A mom who changes her mind and decides to keep her baby. Last week at the Northeast Philadelphia vigil site just such a thing occurred – and through the efforts of a most unlikely advocate, the security guard at Planned Parenthood who was outside there by himself later in the day. He shared the following details.

A young woman, about 25 years old had gone into PP and at some point, came back out distraught. She seemed immature – a party type. She said she was confused about what to do. Her boyfriend wanted her to keep the baby but would leave the decision to her. Her dad wanted her to keep the child also but her mom thought abortion would be best. As the guard listened to her story, he advised her to talk to her boyfriend again, to discuss all what being a parent entailed. He told her she was basically old enough to give it mature thought and know what she wanted to do, not just react without thinking it through. She took his advice and went back to the car and discussed it with her boyfriend and together they decided they would keep the baby. She called her mom who responded that she wasn’t going to be the babysitter! (how many times have those words been said until the baby arrives).

And just like that, a baby was saved from abortion that day. I thanked him for sharing the story and told him he’s a good listener. He said his position outside the doors of the PP is similar to that of a bartender. People come in and out those doors and tell him all kinds of things. He still believes a woman should have a choice, but in this instance he thought the young woman involved was so confused she needed to think things through. So the security guard was the light shining out of the darkness.

In sharing this story he also mentioned that about six months ago another woman came to PP thinking the only way to end an abusive relationship was to have an abortion. He provided her with information about Laurel House which offers support for women who are victims of domestic violence. He later learned she decided to keep the baby.

God works in mysterious ways and a calming presence in the midst of chaos might be all these young women needed. Aren’t the words of the poem below so true….

Light Shining out of Darkness

By William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm. 

Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never-failing skill,

He treasures up his bright designs,

And works his sov’reign will. 

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head. 

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

But trust him for his grace;

Behind a frowning providence

He hides a smiling face. 

His purposes will ripen fast,

Unfolding ev’ry hour;

The bud may have a bitter taste,

But sweet will be the flower. 

Blind unbelief is sure to err,

And scan His work in vain;

God is his own interpreter,

And he will make it plain.

Elective procedures prohibited in PA??

stateimageIn 1971 Marvin Gaye released a song entitled “What’s Going On?” This could now be the anthem of the state of Pennsylvania. The mystery surrounds the official Waiver List of non-life-sustaining PA businesses that have been allowed to remain open during the Covid-19 crisis. The official list specifically designates Ambulatory Health Care facilities that can continue physical operation but that Elective procedures are PROHIBITED. So where do surgical abortion centers fall under the guidelines of this edict and why are they still open for business if elective procedures are prohibited? Or did they receive a waiver?

I can tell you from just a few short hours of trying to get answers to these questions that it’s a hot potato that is being passed around from state office to office. No game plan seems to have been put in place in the event these questions popped up. Or perhaps being coy is the game plan.

wolfI initially contacted my state representatives about the issue. I then placed a call into Governor Wolf’s office and landed at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). This is the branch that handles the “list” of what can be open or closed and is responsible for the business waiver process. The person who answered said my question would be better addressed by the Department of Health (DOH). I wasn’t so sure about that but proceeded accordingly. The contact at the Department of Health listened to my question and said something about medical offices can be open. I reiterated I was not calling about medical offices but abortion surgical centers that are performing elective surgeries. She put me on hold for a moment and transferred me back to the DCED. I then told whoever answered to please pass my concerns onto someone in Harrisburg. I followed up with an email to the Director and Deputy Director of Communications for the DCED looking for answers.

The bottom line is abortion advocate and former Planned Parenthood volunteer Tom Wolf is not releasing the Waiver list so we cannot confirm if all abortion centers are on it and if they are, what criteria were used for that decision. The Waiver Application asked for business contact information and the number of employees, followed by the following three questions:

How does it meet the life-sustaining definition? (justification)

Does the business have a plan to meet CDC recommended guidelines to maintain employee safety during the COVID-19 pandemic?

How many employees would be in the company’s office or a physical location in order to do the critical work? 

Ironically, the abortion industry in PA fought against any regulatory inspections for years until the Grand Jury thought otherwise after the Gosnell “House of Horrors” tragedy. And now we may be asking this same industry if it is following recommended guidelines to stop the spread of the Covid virus. I’m not sure the following guidelines are in the abortion industry’s DNA. There is also the question of needed medical supplies that may be housed in these open abortion centers and could be better used to relieve the stress on what we are told is an overloaded hospital system.

SpotlightPA is a non-partisan investigative journalism initiative that digs into questions within PA local government. They recently published an article about two companies that originally were granted waivers but then were rescinded once questions arose about these businesses’ connections to Democratic Governor Wolf and Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati. Self-interest knows no party lines. As of late this afternoon, SpotlightPA advises they have been in contact with state officials about releasing the list of which businesses have been granted or denied waivers. So far, the state has declined to release this information.

The recommendation provided by the local state rep and Harrisburg is that if you feel there is a violation of the Governor’s Life-Sustaining Business Orders, you can call your local non-emergency number (e.g. 311). However, if we do not know who received waivers it is difficult to determine who is non-compliant, so that is an ineffective course of action. For any readers of this blog who are not PA residents, you might be able to learn something from this exercise and how your home state defines if abortion facilities remain open or closed.

There are a lot of moving parts in a crisis and decisions need to be made quickly and the health of everyone who already has or will contract the virus is of primary importance. Transparency and consistency in the decision-making process is all we ask.

“Life is always worth living”

margaret-mackie-52Couldn’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.

jamiemorleyThere 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 best part.

 

Using this time with a pro-life purpose

Our lifestyle has changed dramatically in a very short time. But extra time at home now gives us an opportunity perhaps to bring more people into active participation in pro-life activities and to increase our own knowledge and support for this cause. Below are just a few ideas to use this time with purpose. While these suggestions specify organizations in the Philadelphia region, the sentiment is the same regardless of your locale.

  blogpic4   *Share the 40 Days for Life website with others who may now be home more than usual and schedule an hour of prayer and support outside your local abortion center (following whatever CDC recommendations are in place as to number of people and distancing).

       *Substitute what would have been your commute time with extra time to pray for an end to abortion or meditate on ways you can best use your talents to participate in this goal.

       *Search out local pro-life organizations and request to be added to their contact list so you can follow current news and participate in upcoming events. (example Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia).

     *Check out the Sidewalk Servant training videos on the Pro-Life Union’s website to learn more about following best practices standing vigil outside an abortion center.Unplanned

     *Watch “Unplanned” or lend your copy to someone who hasn’t seen it. It is also available to rent/buy from your cable provider (e.g. Comcast On Demand)

     *Contact local/state/federal representatives – either to thank those who support a pro-life agenda or to question those that do not

       *Contact women’s pregnancy centers about volunteer opportunities – they may be limiting the number of volunteers onsite at this time but you can be ready for when things return to normal. Also ask them what supplies they are in need of and perhaps schedule an online order to ship directly to them. (Examples: A Baby’s Breath, Legacy of Life).

     *If shopping online thru Amazon, you can link to various charities through their Amazon smile program – I know Generation Life is one of them as my purchases are linked to this organization. AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. See if you can link any pro-life charities to your AmazonSmile account. You can also set up automatic donations to pro-life charities you wish to support routinely. Most have details on their websites.

Some of us may be doing all these things. Some of us may be doing a few and meant to check into the others and just never had the time. Personally, I want to check into possible volunteer opportunities at A Baby’s Breath – I kept meaning to but it never happened. Now, it will.

And one more thing we need to do — keep the patients who have contracted the virus in our prayers that they may recover.

Tell Their Story

Memorial-Crosses-2I am an avid newspaper reader. I read the Philadelphia Inquirer back to front and everything in between – including the death notices and obituaries. People lead interesting and inspiring lives, some in the spotlight, others under the radar screen.

Back in November 2019 Branko Lustig passed away.   The obituary title noted he was a producer and also a survivor. What he survived was Auschwitz. In recounting one of his memories from his time there he said he had witnessed seven prisoners hanged together in public execution and remembered all seven of them saying as one: “Remember how we died. Tell the story about us”.   Mr. Lustig did just that. He survived the prison camp and years later was one of the producers of the Academy Award winning movie Schindler’s List.

I do not think it is necessarily appropriate to compare one tragedy with another – they are each unique in their sadness and devastation. However, I would say that that particular quote could apply to those children who lost their life to abortion. We are all working to ensure that their story is remembered.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, February 2020 – another obituary. A gentleman who was an English professor at a local college. One of the quotes attributed to him was “I wanted to give a real shape to my life, to commit myself to a profession that would quicken the best part of me in useful work.” I was struck by the sentiment as well as the beautifully distinctive wording. Does each of us know how to quicken our best part when it comes to working against abortion? We all have some God-given talents that are stronger than others. Sometimes it takes us half a lifetime to figure out where our true talent lies. Let us use those “best part of me” skills in our battle to speak for the unborn.

We can learn so much from reading how other people lived their lives. Will others read our obituaries and be inspired by our words and actions during our lifetime? Perhaps we can start our inspirational story today by contacting the local 40 Days for Life campaign to schedule one hour of public witness outside an abortion center, or train to be a sidewalk counselor,  or promote funding for pregnancy centers, or contact our local government officials about voting for life not against it.

Remember how they died and tell their story – the best way each of us can.

Why Join 40 Days for Life?

The Spring 2020 40 Days for Life vigil will be kicking off in less than a month – even though we know it certainly won’t feel like Spring for those us manning vigil hours outside abortion centers here in my home blogpic3state of Pennsylvania. There are people who sign up for every vigil and for their participation we are most grateful. But for someone new to the pro-life movement, for someone who recently has learned about 40 Days – perhaps through the movie Unplanned – what are some of the reasons to join us in this campaign?

Well for those of you in PA, and in particular in the Philadelphia area here is a number of reasons: 30,364. There were 30,364 babies whose cause of death was abortion in Pennsylvania in 2018. And over 40 percent of these babies were killed in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburban counties. So, there are 30,364 reasons right there. You are not only praying for the end of abortion outside these centers but also proclaiming publicly to those who work in the abortion industry as well as to all who are driving by that life is valuable, even though our federal and state laws mirror a different message.

If one of these little angels were to appear before us, in our midst at a rally or march, I am sure her first words to us would not be “how does a bill become a law?” or “what is the Supreme Court?”. No, she would not be looking for a civics lesson to justify her death. I guarantee her first words would be “what happened to me?” and “couldn’t any of you stop it?”

The 40 Days for Life campaign is an opportunity for us to try to stop “it” – ABORTION! Just one hour is all that coordinators all over the world are asking for during a 40-day time span. Readers of this blog all have their own personal stories to tell of their involvement over the years to put an end to abortion. Participation in 40 Days is an opportunity to either begin your story or add to your story.  Please take some time to visit the 40 Days for Life website to learn about not only your local vigils but vigils all over the world. There will be Saves outside of abortion centers this Spring because of the presence of witnesses like you, and we may not ever know for sure which lives we have affected. But if you are not there, it is a lost opportunity to change someone’s mind. Don’t let this Spring be 40 days of lost opportunities.

SE PA 40 Days for Life:

https://www.40daysforlife.com/chester-county

https://www.40daysforlife.com/norristown

https://www.40daysforlife.com/northeast-philadelphia

https://www.40daysforlife.com/philadelphia

https://www.40daysforlife.com/philadelphia-appletree

https://www.40daysforlife.com/warminster