Global Message of Hope

SaveALifeNadia Gordynsky is the President of Save a Life International and her story is an interesting one.  Raised in the Ukraine and now living in the United States, she has made it her mission to create life centers throughout the Ukraine, Poland and now in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  These centers not only support women who choose life instead of abortion but also provide post-abortion healing through counseling.

In 1920 The Soviet Union became the first country to legalize abortion resulting in abortion being engrained in the Russian culture.  Nadia and her teams are working to change that conversation through the Save A Life International’s Learn to Earn programs, Young Mom Camps and home visits.

The Save A Life teams also reach out within local communities through schools, hospitals and the medical community to bring messages of hope and life to young women.

The center in Philadelphia, PA is the first in the U.S. and is directing assistance to the large Russian population within Northeast Philadelphia.

To learn more about the dedicated work this organization provides, visit the Save a Life website and Facebook page.  For those who live in the Philadelphia area, Nadia is a scheduled speaker –  as is Emily Welfield –  at the Northeast Philadelphia Stand Up for Life Rally on Sunday, January 26th, 2:30 PM at St. Katherine of Siena Church, 9700 Frankford Avenue.    Both women will inspire you with their personal stories of involvement in the pro-life movement.

Abortion is a worldwide sadness but it is encouraging to see how the message of support and hope is available to young mothers all around the world.  We just need to keep spreading this message and strong women such as Nadia and Emily are helping us to do just that!

Huh? Moments” from Elizabeth Warren

IMG_6036Scrolling through Facebook most days is a time drain but every now and then you happen upon a gem that makes you stop and say, “huh”?  I recently experienced a “huh? moment” seeing a Jimmy Fallon clip from earlier this month.  His guest was Elizabeth Warren so that in itself piqued my interest.  They were playing a game called Curveball whereby the guest is asked random questions in rapid succession.  Elizabeth Warren was spouting her candidacy dogma about cleaning up corruption, the environment and prescription drug pricing when she was hit with the Curveball question about Baby Yoda.  For those who need a primer on Baby Yoda, it is a character on the Mandalorian, the newest live action series on Disney+.   I have provided a link to her comments below.  Suffice it to say that she thinks babies are cute  — except the ones whose heartbeats she’s OK with stopping up to the ninth month of a pregnancy.

Before she reveals her answer to the Baby Yoda question though, note how she is concerned with mining and drilling on federal lands stating “We’ve got to protect our environment”.  If only she was as passionate about protecting a child’s life.

I just have to wonder if she ever actually hears herself and how the juxtaposition of her statements creates the image of a candidate who says she cares but actually doesn’t.  More “huh? moments” to come leading up to November 2020.

 

Here’s a link to the the video: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethWarren/videos/441535063179414/?v=441535063179414

 

Holding the media accountable

inkyLive Action News covered a story yesterday, concerning the media lying about the Pennsylvania Fetal Remains Act.  The Philadelphia Inquirer was mentioned specifically for its November 24th editorial entitled “Wombs over women”.  This particular piece of misinformation went on a tangent about House Bill 1890 shaming and intimidating women. When I first read the Inquirer’s editorial I knew I wanted to respond but put it aside for a week until I had an opportunity to really synthesize what they were saying and how I needed to reply (within their 150-word limit!).

I understand that people in general will not always agree with the premise that unborn children are just that – children.  And that the media may look through a distorted lens when communicating with their target audience but this particular article was a bold-faced lie.  What I cannot understand is how an op-ed could be written by the editorial staff without at least reading the bill.  It is as if they were playing whisper-down-the-lane and by the time the story reached Page C4 of that day’s issue it had turned into Armageddon for women.

Which brings me to my next point.  We all need to take the time to respond and interact with our local publications and point out their inaccuracies.  The Philadelphia Inquirer is a Pulitzer Prize winning organization.  They need to be held to a higher standard than just rumor mongering to grab headlines.  I urge everyone to contact them whenever they do not take the time to report accurately.  Journalism is important to society as is the discussion and learning from different viewpoints but the facts need to be clear before a valid discussion can move forward.  How many people read what they wrote and believe it to be true – that is what is frightening and what is holding us back from intelligently explaining the facts about abortion.  Below is my response to the Inquirer’s piece and here is how you can contact them whenever you know they have strayed from factual reporting:  inquirer.letters@inquirer.com

I have provided links throughout this story and the letter below so you learn for yourself how the bill reads, how the Inquirer reported on that bill and Live Action’s response to the Inquirer’s piece.  That is what reporting is – gathering the facts and disseminating them so that people can come to their own conclusions.  Not wildly taking hearsay, tying it to a popular novel and television series for dramatic effect and then forming an ill conceived conclusion which is then fed to the masses.

My response ( I have not yet been contacted by the Inquirer as to publication):

In the Inquirer’s November 24th editorial entitled Wombs Over Women, the factual basis for its comments are incorrect.  Pennsylvania HB 1890 (Providing for the Final Disposition of Fetal Remains) does not insert itself between a patient and her doctor and is not insensitive to a woman’s privacy.  It is not a requirement that a woman who has an abortion or miscarriage must follow. Republican State Rep. Frank Ryan who sponsored the bill specifically noted that it is voluntary The Bill is written so that it is an option that is available to parents before the child’s remains are removed from the premises and disposed of as medical waste.   The requirement is on the medical facility that if the remains of a child are left with them that the remains be buried or cremated instead of being disposed of as medical waste.  And a reminder that PA Democratic State Representative Wendy Ullman in discussing why this bill should not be passed casually referred to a miscarriage as “a mess on a napkin” and didn’t see the need for the respectful handling of fetal remains.   If you need to look for someone who is insensitive to a woman’s privacy, just look to her. 

40 Days for Life Making a Difference in Northeast Philadelphia

The 40 Days for Life Fall 2019 Campaign ended on November 3rd and each global site has its own story to tell.  Stories about babies saved, support provided, volunteers who came for the first time, life chains and rallies incorporated into the vigil schedules.  And at the Northeast Philadelphia site at the Planned Parenthood on Comly Road we are no different.

We heard reports of pro-life information shared with not only the women who came to PP but also  some of the men who had accompanied these women and were willing to accept our literature.   We had first-timers sign up to stand outside the abortion center and most importantly we had three saves — during the last week of the campaign!IMG_5723

Two of the saves were couples who had come to PP but ultimately turned back around and left.  The third save involved a woman who advised someone standing outside that she was in an abusive relationship and was being coerced to have an abortion.  After receiving information on a local shelter for abused women she realized there was help available and decided against the abortion.

These same types of stories can be multiplied over the entire globe as we all joined together to fight the abortion machine.  At times it is difficult to see beyond our own local abortion site or the logistics of scheduling hours, life chains or prayer rallies.  But this is bigger than that.  It is volunteers speaking all languages willing to stand outside an abortion center in any country and offering alternative help to those going in. So big a task and yet so simple – offering help to someone in need, no matter where it is needed. We will keep all those who turned around in our prayers that they do not second guess their initial instinct to leave but we also need to pray for those women who did not turn around and for those babies who suffered the consequences.

The Spring 2020 40 Days for Life campaign is scheduled for February 26 thru April 5!

Lord, take me where you want me to go….

I recently visited New York City over the weekend and was looking for a nearby Roman Catholic church to attend Sunday mass.  Using the handy masstimes.org website I found St. Francis of Assisi church on West 31st Street to be the closest to my hotel.

IMG_5872It is a beautiful church and the priest and cantor created an equally beautiful celebration of the mass.   As I was returning to my pew from receiving communion I noticed a memorial of some type in the side aisle.  I stopped to read the plaque which noted it was a single rose rising from three pieces of mangled steel from the World Trade Center and commemorates Friar Mychal Judge who was in residence at St. Francis of Assisi and Carol LaPlante, a secular Franciscan and parishioner, both of whom perished that fateful day.

As was widely publicized at the time, Father Judge served as the chaplain to the New York City Fire Department and was killed while performing his priestly duties at the scene of the attacks on 9/11.   His was the first recorded death of the World Trade Center tragedy. To further add to the historic significance of my visit to West 31st Street, when I left the church I noticed Ladder 24/Engine 1 firehouse directly across the street and in a small window was a glass memorial depicting firefighters removing Father Judge’s body from the World Trade Center rubble with the words of a prayer that he prayed every day:

Lord, take me where You want me to go;

Let me meet who You want me to meet;

Tell me what You want me to say;

And keep me out of Your way.

So simple a prayer but so powerful.  While these words could apply to almost any interactions we have during the course of a day, I thought them most appropriate for those of us who either stand outside abortion centers offering hopeful alternatives to the women going inside or for those times when we are asked to support our pro-life views.  The last two lines especially sum up how I feel in these situations.  I want to say the right thing, the helpful thing and I do not want to create stumbling blocks to getting the pro-life message out.  As the vessel that God uses to proclaim His message of the sanctity of life, I find this prayer comforting. I need not avoid these situations in fear that I am not up to the task.   He will put me where I need to be.  He will ensure the message that leaves my lips is a thoughtful and considerate one.  He will not allow my thoughts, words or deeds to create more confusion or upheaval.

How blessed was I to have happened on this street and to have experienced the touching memorials that resulted from such a devastating national tragedy.  But then again all I need to do is recite the first line of this prayer to know that on that morning in that city the Lord took me where He wanted me to go.IMG_5865

 

Vandalism Results in Pro-Life Rally

A bucolic setting in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Scarecrows and cornfields.  Haystacks and mums. Autumnal trees dotting the highways and byways. And yet violence reared its ugly head here on the grounds of Lady of Guadalupe parish in Doylestown. Forty white crosses which memorialized those lives taken through abortion were defaced or broken on the church grounds on the evening of October 12th.   Local police are investigating the incident but in the meantime the parish and the surrounding pro-life community rallied together this past Saturday, October 19th, for a prayer vigil led by the pastor, Reverend Monsignor Joseph P. Gentili.

The prayer vigil not only provided an opportunity to publicly stand together to support our right to IMG_5767free speech on the abortion issue but also offered prayers for the person(s) who initiated this destruction.   Replacement crosses were provided by the Pro Life Union and the memorial display is now again intact on the parish grounds.  Additional details of this incident can be found at Patch.com

If the perpetrators thought this was going to stop the ardor of the pro-life community, they are sadly mistaken.  We too have a right to speak our minds on the sanctity of life – it is not a one sided argument although at times that is what it feels like.  So as long as parishes like Our Lady of Guadalupe are willing to publicly assert their support for a child’s right to life, we also will be there to be a voice for those who are voiceless.  We cannot bring back the children who have lost the battle of abortion but we can replace those crosses that stand in their memory as many times as need be.

Up and Down the Boulevard: Don’t Stop Believin’!

IMG_5720Twelve lanes of traffic – six northbound and six southbound – moving 90,000 vehicles per day between Northeast Philadelphia and surrounding Bucks County.  Roosevelt Boulevard is like Las Vegas, open and ready for business 24/7 with never any downtime.  And on a beautiful Sunday afternoon the pro-life message was proudly advertised to some of those 90,000 drivers making their way to shopping malls and soccer games, Eagles game day parties and Sunday dinners.

Each year in October a Life Chain is held on this busy highway to promote the value of a child’s life.  Supporters hold signs both on the sidewalk and on the median strip – signs that present a visual of a child at the one-month stage of development, or signs stating abortion is not health care or signs asking to pray to end abortion.  It’s interesting to try to discern the faces in the cars as speeding drivers see a barrage of pro-life placards coming upon them.  Some seem confused as if they didn’t realize abortion is even still an issue, others try to avoid eye contact and yet others nod almost imperceptibly.

The good news is that we witnessed a lot of thumbs up and smiles but as one of my fellow sign holders lamented, if all these people agree, why is abortion still here?  Why aren’t more people involved in the cause?

But standing publicly on a busy highway with this large of a captured audience may get some drivers (and let’s not forget the passengers) to consider the next step.  Perhaps last year they gave us an imperceptible nod, this year a thumbs up and next year they may be holding their own pro-life sign along the highway!

Life chains provide an intimate moment between you as a sign holder and a hurried driver stopped at a red light.  Sometimes a moment is all you need to bring the message home, one car at a time.

 

The Night Before

At 9PM on Friday evening I was attending a beautifulIMG_5712 pro-life candlelight vigil ceremony at the Planned Parenthood on Comly Road in Northeast Philadelphia.  At this same time on Friday evening, each woman scheduled for a Saturday morning abortion was preparing for her crucial moment of decision to take the life of her child – either voluntarily or involuntarily.  The abortionist, Charles Benjamin, would be following whatever his Friday evening routine is before showing up twelve hours later to erase the life of one baby after the other – all in the name of healthcare.

Twelve short hours.

On Friday evening these children were secure in their mothers’ wombs not knowing what violence was imminent.  The sadness is overwhelming.  There was so much love and prayer outside this building on Friday night and yet by Saturday morning the walls inside would be cold and unfeeling as Planned Parenthood staff processed one woman after the other and handed her over to the abortionist and the tools of his trade.

How many of these women will seek physical and emotional support after their abortion — or were even told help is available?  How many parents of these young women have no idea how close they came to being loving grandparents? How many of these women will again experience a “night before”?  And at what point will Charles Benjamin decide enough is enough? IMG_5723

Benjamin admitted during the 2013 Kermit Gosnell trial that he, Benjamin, had done 40,000 abortions in his career.  Apparently enough will never be enough for Benjamin.  He and his medical partner, Bruce Berger recently closed their private abortion practice.  Does this mean he is stepping back or just re-doubling his efforts at Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics in the area?

There will continue to be many more “nights before” when a child is safe in the womb….until the next morning when the unthinkable happens as long as Benjamin, Berger and their abortionist peers make their services available….in the name of healthcare….healthcare that cares so little for the child in the womb.

 

Philadelphia Abortion Practice Closed

I recently was alerted to an article on PAFamily.org that announced the Berger and Benjamin LLP abortion practice closed voluntarily effective June 2019.  No reason was provided. You can read the entire article below.

IMG_5705 (2) The Philadelphia based practice was cited in May 2017 by the PA Department of Health for inadequate spore testing on the autoclave sterilizer and unsecured storage of Lidocaine HCL 1%.   However, since that time no other non-compliance reports were issued by the Department of Health.

Dr. Charles Benjamin is also the abortionist at the Planned Parenthood at Comly Road in Northeast Philadelphia and was the abortionist at the Cherry Hill, New Jersey Women’s Center as noted in the story below referencing a 2000 lawsuit which was settled out of court.   When accessing the Berger and Benjamin website, it now automatically re-directs readers to The Women’s Centers – not Planned Parenthood – for abortion information.

Sadly, on the Berger and Benjamin site the following words still can be read:

“Confidential and Comfortable Pregnancy Termination Services in a Private Physician Setting”

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Philadelphia abortionist responsible for 40,000 abortions closes clinic

During the trial of Kermit Gosnell, only one time during the entire horrific trial did the jury audibly gasp. That was when Dr. Charles Benjamin testified in a matter-of-fact way that he had performed over 40,000 abortions in his over 30 year career.

His private practice, Berger and Benjamin, LLP, has been performing abortions since 1978. However, after an inspection by the Pennsylvania Department of Health on June 24, 2019, the facility “voluntarily ceased services and relinquished their registration certificate.” Their website now states, “The office of Doctors Berger and Benjamin has closed.”

With this closing, nine abortion clinics in Pennsylvania have closed since 2012.

Why Mandating Inspections Matters

State inspections were only mandated into law by the passage of new abortion clinic regulations in 2011, a major initiative by Pennsylvania Family Institute after the horrors of Kermit Gosnell’s clinic were revealed. After nearly a year’s battle in the legislature,, the common-sense regulations finally passed into law, classifying abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical centers (treating any place that performs abortions like any other surgical facility).

Five abortion clinics closed as a direct result of this new legislation when it went into effect in 2012. Another clinic in Harrisburg, Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center, was forced to shut down in 2017 after failing numerous health inspections.

Planned Parenthood connection

Benjamin has previously stated that he performs abortions at the Einstein Medical Center and for Planned Parenthood at their Comly Road facility in Philadelphia.

The Comly Road Planned Parenthood location performs the most late-term abortions for Planned Parenthood than any other Pennsylvania location. In 2017, reports show they performed 260 abortions at 15 weeks or later into pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in Pennsylvania, performing half of all abortions in the state. In total, their Comly Road location performs the third highest number of abortions for Planned Parenthood in the state, accounting for over 2,000 abortions every year at this one location.

Planned Parenthood has made Dr. Benjamin a millionaire. Since 2008, Planned Parenthood has compensated him as an abortionist for over $3 million.

How many abortions did Benjamin’s clinic perform?

Reports filed with the PA Department of Health are perplexing. Each facility that receives any type of state funding must file a quarterly report with the state on the number of abortions performed. Since 2013, Berger and Benjamin filed two quarterly reports – one in 2013 stating 269 abortions performed in the 1st quarter. Then in 2016, a report filed for the 3rd quarter shows 154 abortions performed. No other data was provided for any other quarter.

The website for Berger and Benjamin states they performed surgical abortions between 4 and 20.5 weeks and the abortion pill/RU486 up to 9 weeks. They also advertised how they had no protesters because they were in a private office in a medical office building.

Benjamin’s Influence

Not only has Dr. Benjamin carried out over 40,000 abortions, but his clinic has had an influence on pro-abortion politics. His clinic was one of ten Pennsylvania abortion clinics that joined an amicus brief filed by the Women’s Law Project against a Texas law that would have put the same health and safety standards on abortion clinics in Texas that Pennsylvania did in 2011. They claimed Pennsylvania’s law was “disastrous” and that it had “potential of grievous harm to women.” Of note, one of the then abortion clinics on their brief was Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center, a facility forced to shut down after numerous failed inspections that included not having a registered OB/GYN or nurse to help patients, not giving background checks to staff and using unsterilized and expired medications. The inspections were only mandated by law thanks to the new abortion clinic regulations. One Google review of Hillcrest stated that she wouldn’t let her cat go there for any services, much less herself.

In 2000, Benjamin was sued by a Pennsylvania teen for violating Pennsylvania laws after he performed an abortion on the then-16 year old in New Jersey but she then suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result. The case was settled out of court three years later.

40,000 abortions. And what’s chilling is Charles Benjamin is certainly not the only Philadelphia abortionist who can say that. Another one: Kermit Gosnell, on record performing 40,136 abortions from 1988 – 2009.

(PAFamily.org)

Abortion: Making it unthinkable

I currently am reading Fall and Rise, the Story of 9/11 by Mitchell Zuckoff.  Within the first few pages I came upon these words  “ Yet with time, the unthinkable often becomes acceptable.”  Mr. Zuckoff’s point in relation to the 9/11 attacks, was that immediately after the disaster New Yorkers could not conceive of any type of public celebratory event.   But when the New York Giants won the Superbowl in 2008 – seven years later – a ticker-tape parade took place, thereby signaling that things were getting back to “normal”.   The horrendous events of that day now were becoming history.

As soon as I read those words, abortion came to mind.  Abortion was unthinkable and the word itself was not even spoken aloud generations ago.  However as time marched on, the word abortion entered our daily lexicon and ultimately became celebrated as a reproductive right.  Taking a child’s life is now acceptable or normal – at least to much of mainstream society.  Roe v Wade is read about in history books – all cleaned up as a legal argument without a mention of the millions of heartbeats that have been stopped decade after decade in the name of personal choice and rights.

40daysphoto

But perhaps during this Fall 2019 40 Days for Life campaign, we can turn the phrase around to envision that for which we strive.   Perhaps with continued prayer over time the right to an abortion will become unthinkable.  Perhaps a universal light bulb will go off with the realization that abortion is child abuse in its most gruesome form.  Perhaps those who continue their misguided fight for abortion rights will realize how morally bankrupt a society is that allows and celebrates any type of harm to innocent children. The struggle against abortion can seem endless at times but we need to remember that the unthinkable – a world without abortion – can become acceptable with our participation, prayer and God’s help.

To get involved in making a world without abortion acceptable, visit the 40 Days for Life website and sign up for a local vigil campaign near you.