“Unplanned” Movie Star Establishes Scholarships to Help Pregnant Women Keep Their Babies

“The Unplanned Movie Scholarship will be a lifeline to a young mom’s future as she makes the brave choice to embrace motherhood.”

LifeNews Note: Andrea Trudden writes for PregnancyHelpNews, where this originally appeared.

Inspired by her role as Abby Johnson in the movie Unplanned, Ashley Bratcher is partnering with Heartbeat International to offer moms facing unplanned pregnancies educational scholarships so they can continue pursuing their dreams while raising their children.

The Unplanned Movie Scholarship fund is now accepting donations at www.UnplannedMovieScholarship.com. 

“Women CAN pursue their careers, live out their dreams, and have richer, more fulfilling lives while balancing motherhood. Sometimes, it just takes a little help,” Bratcher said. “I wanted to be a part of empowering mothers to chase their dreams and to provide a means for those who chose life to continue their educations.”

The Unplanned Movie Scholarship will honor brave women who choose life when facing an unplanned pregnancy with a $5,000 annual scholarship to put toward their education. The application process for the Unplanned Movie Scholarships will open at a later date.

“Tucked into Unplanned is a vivid reminder that education can present an obstacle to accepting the new life within,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International. “The Unplanned Movie Scholarship will be a lifeline to a young mom’s future as she makes the brave choice to embrace motherhood.”

When asked about the partnership, Bratcher said, “Working with Heartbeat is an opportunity to direct women to the support that so many of them are seeking. Not only will the scholarship financially support the decision of mothers to continue their education, but it will also connect them to an organization that will support them throughout their pregnancy and beyond.”

Heartbeat International is the first and largest pro-life pregnancy help network in the world, with over 2,700 affiliated locations in more than 60 countries. Heartbeat’s mission is to Reach and Rescue as many lives as possible, around the world, through an effective network of life-affirming pregnancy help, to Renew communities for LIFE in order to achieve their vision of making abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations.

“Heartbeat International is an organization that represents the essence of all that I believe the pro-life movement should be. Women are supported, empowered, loved, and never judged,” Bratcher said.

How One of America’s Largest Black Denominations is Campaigning Against Abortion

Throughout history, Planned Parenthood has sought to fulfill Margaret Sanger’s legacy and aimed for our community.

Below is a Christian Post article authored by reporter, Samuel Smith. He reported on Family Life Campaign, a pioneering effort by a Pentecostal denomination to serve pregnant women in crisis. This underscored the need for all churches to become involved in similar efforts to help women, in crisis pregnancies, to choose life for their unborn babies.

Black churches across the nation are engaging in a campaign against abortion that involves not only political advocacy against groups like Planned Parenthood but also the provision of resources to vulnerable mothers who choose to give birth.

The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), a Pentecostal-Holiness denomination with over 6.5 million members across the globe, is stressing upon churches the need for them to serve as “landing pads” that assist women facing unwanted pregnancies and the need to engage the dark realities of abortion’s impact on the black community.

Through its Family Life Campaign launched in 2015, COGIC is partnering with Human Coalition, a nationwide network of pro-life crisis pregnancy clinics, to reach and serve African-American women who would have otherwise “walked in the doors of Planned Parenthood” or another abortion clinic.

The Family Life Campaign is believed to be the first sustained pro-life campaign launched by a major black denomination in the U.S. 

“Quite honestly, many denominations — white and predominantly black denominations — have not taken a stand and literally said, ‘This is what we stand for,’” Leslie Monet, the international director of COGIC’s Family Life Campaign, told The Christian Post.

“But we recognize that Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, was a deeply racist woman. She [advocated] for populations to be decreased because she thought that they were unfit. And that includes the African American community. Throughout history, Planned Parenthood has sought to fulfill Margaret Sanger’s legacy and aimed for our community. And that’s why it is important to the Church of God in Christ.”

The Family Life Campaign was launched by COGIC’s Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, who voiced concern about what’s happening to children today as data shows that black women disproportionately account for more than one-third of all abortions in the United States.

And in a place like New York City, abortions’ impact on the black community is so great that the number of black babies aborted in the city outnumbers the babies actually born.

To continue reading article click here

Ohio Defunds Planned Parenthood, Funnels $7.5M Over Two Years to Life-Affirming Pregnancy Centers

The Senate bill now needs to be reconciled with the House version and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.

The following article authored by Bridget Sielicki of Life Site News is an encouraging report for crisis pregnancy centers and bad news for Planned Parenthood in Ohio.

UPDATE, 8/7/19: The Charlotte Lozier Institute reports that Governor Mike DeWine signed a budget bill on July 18 funneling millions to pregnancy centers. The group writes:

As Planned Parenthood is being defunded of $1.5 million in annual state funds this year, pro-life pregnancy centers are being allocated $7.5 million in Ohio’s state budget. Taken together, these two changes represent a bold stride for protecting unborn lives and supporting women’s well-being at the state level….

Ohio pregnancy centers have been the recipients of $1 million in annual funding through the Parenting and Pregnancy Support Program in previous budgets. The recent appropriation of $7.5 million over two years represents a major increase and opens up considerable funding to the 200 pro-life pregnancy help centers across Ohio. The final two-year budget bill was signed by pro-life Governor Mike DeWine on July 18.

7/1/19: Legislators in Ohio have omitted funding for Planned Parenthood in the state’s annual budget and have pledged to substantially increase funding for crisis pregnancy centers. The Senate’s spending bill cuts $1.5 million in funding from Planned Parenthood and allocates $5 million for the state’s more than 200 pregnancy centers. This is five times the amount of funding that these pregnancy centers have received in the past.

The move comes after a federal appeals court upheld a 2016 Ohio law stripping funding from Planned Parenthood. That law was challenged, with a lower court initially ruling in Planned Parenthood’s favor. However, in March of this year, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower court’s ruling, upholding the state’s right to restrict funds to abortion providers.

“Governments generally may do what they wish with public funds, a principle that allows them to subsidize some organizations but not others and to condition receipt of public funds on compliance with certain obligations,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote concerning the ruling. “The Ohio law does not violate a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.”

READ: ‘Major blow to Planned Parenthood’: Appeals court lets Trump admin defund abortion providers

Senate President Larry Obhof spoke of the ruling to Tony Perkins on Washington Watch. He reiterated the state’s desire to funnel funds away from abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood while increasing the funds available to pro-life alternatives. “This is the first budget opportunity we’ve had since [the ruling] to invest additional funds into crisis pregnancy centers, and I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to do so far,” he said.

Click here to continue reading.

Texas Bishop Touts Denial of Communion to Pro-Abortion Politicians

The following article was posted on Breitbart and authored by Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.

ROME — The bishop of Tyler, Texas, has praised a brother bishop for refusing to give Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion legislation.

In a tweet Monday, Bishop Joseph Strickland came out in support of Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, WA, in reaction to an article chronicling Bishop Daly’s hardline stance against pro-abortion politicians.

The article was titled: “Catholic Bishop Will Deny Pro-Abortion Politicians Communion Until They Repent of ‘Evil.’”

“Thank you bishop Daly for standing strong,” Bishop Strickland wrote. “Our society needs to wake up to the reality that when unborn & completely innocent children are not safe from their own mothers, life has no value and the tragic violence we see is simply a consequence of our disregard for life.”

“Efforts to expand access to abortion, allowing murder of children up to the moment of birth is evil,” Daly is quoted as saying earlier this year. “Children are a gift from God, no matter the circumstances of their conception. They not only have a right to life, but we as a society have a moral obligation to protect them from harm.”

“Politicians who reside in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, and who obstinately persevere in their public support for abortion, should not receive Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church,” he wrote.

“The Church’s commitment to the life of every human person from conception until death is firm. God alone is the author of life and for the civil government to sanction the willful murder of children is unacceptable. For a Catholic political leader to do so is scandalous,” the bishop stated.

At last spring’s annual meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore, Bishop Strickland urged his brother bishops to be valiant in calling Catholic politicians to account.

“I would ask us all the question of how we can call our politicians that claim to be Catholic, that want to be part of the Catholic community, to faithful citizenship, because until we bring them into the truth and living it with all the challenges that we face, I think many of the faithful don’t really see a consistent message,” he said.

Bishop Strickland later explained his position to the National Catholic Register, underscoring the importance of non-negotiable life issues.

“What I really tried to say as I intervened and talked about the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death — those are the grave issues, as far as I’m concerned. That’s what we need to focus on,” he said.

To view Breitbart article click here

Pro-Life Groups Renew Push for ‘Born Alive’ Bill

If a newborn is intentionally killed, the abortion doctor would face fines or up to five years behind bars.

The following report regarding the ‘Born Alive’ Bill was authored by Rachel del Guidice. She is a congressional reporter for The Daily Signal.

Beginning Monday, pro-life activists are renewing efforts to convince members of Congress, home for the August recess, to support a vote on legislation that would protect babies who survive abortions.

In the House, Democrats in the majority have blocked Republicans 80 times from setting up a vote on the “born alive” bill that would protect babies who survive abortion procedures.

Most Americans, however, support a requirement that medical personnel not leave a newborn to die after a failed abortion attempt, Marilyn Musgrave, a Republican who represented Colorado’s 4th Congressional District in the House from 2003 to 2009, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. 

“We’ve done polling on it showing 77% of voters support legislation like [Rep. Ann] Wagner introduced,” Musgrave, now vice president of government affairs for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said in the interview Friday. 

The House’s Democrat majority has “ignored several issues that really matter to the American people,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal.

“One particularly egregious issue they’ve neglected is protecting the lives of babies who survive abortions, a mandate that is not currently illegal in every state,” McCarthy said, adding:

“After refusing 80 times to bring this necessary, commonsense legislation to the floor for a vote, this majority has revealed to the country that it doesn’t believe all living babies deserve proper medical treatment. That is infanticide. My Republican colleagues and I wholeheartedly disagree, and we will continue to fight for and defend life.”  

The Susan B. Anthony List announced Monday the start of a digital ad campaign targeting nine House Democrats: Cindy Axne of Iowa, Collin Allred of Texas, Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, Lizzie Fletcher of Texas, Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Lucy McBath of Georgia, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, and Haley Stevens of Michigan.

Monday marks six months since introduction in the House of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

Click here to continue reading

Texas Town Declares Itself a “Sanctuary for Unborn Children,” Bans Abortion Clinics

Every mother who cares about her child will support this kind of legislation

Below is an article published by Life News. The report is authored by Mary Margaret Olohan. She reports on a sanctuary city for unborn babies.

The city of Waskom, Texas, declared itself a sanctuary city for the unborn in June, prompting pro-choice groups to post billboards advocating abortion access in the town.

The Waskom city council passed an ordinance in an effort to ban abortions June 12. Abortions are not currently permitted in the state after 20 weeks, but supporters of the pro-life movement fear stricter abortion laws right across the border in Louisiana will cause more women to come to Texas for the procedure, according to The Washington Post.

Right to Life East Texas, based out of Longview, aided the council in its decision.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a heartbeat bill banning abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected in May, prompting Right to Life East Texas director Mark Lee Dickson to take action, he told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Dickson described the council meeting June 12 when the ordinance was passed. “Not one person was in opposition to the ordinance,” he said.

A variety of publications, including HuffPost, USA Today, and WaPo, note the council that declared Waskom a sanctuary city was composed of all males. Dickson said this was true, but added that the majority of those present in the room were women.

“There are tons of women who support what happened in Waskom,” Dickson told the DCNF.

“The reality is, this ordinance is saying that mothers don’t have the right to end the life of their child,” he added. “That’s common-sense legislation. Every mother who cares about her child will support this kind of legislation. It’s only those who don’t see a child as a human being or who see a child as less than human that will take an issue.”

Abortion activists responded to the move by teaming up with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and the Austin-based Lilith Fund to post billboards in Waskom that read, “Abortion is freedom,” according to WaPo.

“This is an area where even those who are Democrats would cringe at such a statement,” Dickson said. “Abortion is freedom? A lot of people would scratch their heads and say, ‘What is wrong with them?’ Even those who are pro-choice would take issue with that.”

“We can’t be more thankful to the pro-choice groups for everything they are doing – getting them to spend money on billboards, that’s great, that’s that much less money they are spending on the killing of innocent children,” Dickson added.

The Washington Post interviewed residents in the city and found the “majority of local residents” and said they “supported the ordinance and resent more liberal parts of the state plastering their views on billboards in a largely conservative community.”

“I think they did it to take a dig at Waskom,” said local garage owner Jayna Lay, according to WaPo. “They send the wrong message in my opinion. ‘Abortion is freedom,’ that’s a messed up phrase. That’s pretty much saying, ‘Kill your children and you’re free.’ That’s crazy to me.”

The city’s mayor, however, said while he didn’t like the message, organizations have the right to post them.

“I want to make clear that we passed that ordinance to keep abortion clinics out of Waskom,” Waskom Mayor Jesse Moore told WaPo. “I don’t like what they [the billboards] say, but they have got that right.”

Delma Catalina Limones, communications manager for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, told WaPo that NARAL put up the signs before communicating with anyone in Waskom, and that people called in thanking the organization for it after.

“We refuse to be intimidated, and we will continue to work to expand and protect abortion access in Texas,” Limones said.

Life News report continues here

Single Mom Who Rejected Abortion of Twins Graduates With Two Degrees

Below is a story of a young woman in a crisis pregnancy and her decision to choose life for her twin babies. It tells of her determination to care for her infant daughters as she struggled to finish her education. Micaiah Bilger of Life News authored the report on Montoya Major’s journey.

Montoya Major’s perseverance is an inspiration to mothers everywhere. The 23-year-old single mom became pregnant not long after she started graduate school, according to the Today Show. Though her situation was extremely difficult – she was far away from family and studying for two different degrees, she chose life. Montoya Major’s perseverance is an inspiration to mothers everywhere.

Later this month, her hard work and perseverance will come to fruition when she graduates from Nova Southeastern University – with her two young daughters by her side, the report states.

Major said she moved from Alabama to Florida several years ago to attend graduate school. Five months into school, she discovered that she was pregnant.

“My initial thought, when I found out I was pregnant, was, ‘What am I going to do with a child?’” she told the news outlet. “I was living in Florida, away from all my family and friends. Having kids was never a thought of mine. I wanted to pursue my degree and establish a career. I knew that now, my entire thought process would have to be re-evaluated, and I needed to figure out what to do next.”

Her shock increased when she found out that she was carrying twins.

“I cried like there was no tomorrow. I didn’t know what I was going to do with one baby, and now two!” she remembered.

She did not mention if she considered an abortion, but Major soon embraced the challenge of becoming a single parent. She said she immediately began making plans for her daughters’ arrival.

But things became even more difficult when the university encouraged her to quit school.

Click here to coninuting reading Life News.

Biking for Babies Spurs Young Athletes to Support Crisis Pregnancy Centers

“At Biking for Babies, we envision a society that embraces the immeasurable worth of every human life from conception to natural death.” Nikki Biese. Exec. Director

The Life Site article below, written by Lisa Bourne, is an inspiring story of young adults involved in raising money for crisis pregnancy centers. They unselfishly give of their time to become ‘missionaries’ on a seven-month period of preparation both physically and spiritually.

A 10-year-old grassroots pro-life outreach that has young adults biking cross-country has given more than half a million dollars to support pregnancy resource centers and continues to grow.

Biking for Babies recently completed its 2019 ride, during which more than 30 college students and young adults cycled a combined 2,500 miles over four routes across the U.S. for the babies, women, and families served by pregnancy resource centers. 

“At Biking for Babies, we envision a society that embraces the immeasurable worth of every human life from conception to natural death,” said Executive Director Nikki Biese. “In order to obtain that vision, Biking for Babies is mobilizing a generation that will change the course of the pro-life movement and is going to change the world.”

Over the 10 years of its existence, Biking for Babies has raised over $550,000 for pregnancy resource centers, Biese told LifeSiteNews.

Riders, or missionaries, apply months in advance. Upon acceptance, they embark on a seven-month period of formation that is both physical and spiritual and centers on the national ride in July.

They are asked to develop and articulate their pro-life testimony based upon three things: what they are doing, why they are doing it, and for whom they will do it. Missionaries have the goal of deepening their personal relationship with Christ and experiencing ongoing spiritual growth.

They partner with life-affirming pregnancy centers to learn about the front line of the pro-life movement and prepare themselves to share the centers’ missions, needs, and client stories to invite financial support for the pro-life movement. 

Click here to continue reading Life Site story on Biking for Babies.

House Democrats Block Vote on Anti-Infanticide Bill for 75th Time

Below is a Life Site news article authored by Calvin Freiburger. He reported on the most recent vote by the US House of Representatives concerning a bill for an abortionist to save the life of babies who survive abortion.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives voted yet again Tuesday evening to block a vote on legislation to require medical care for babies who survive abortions, marking the 75th time they’ve done so in the current session.

Originally introduced in 2015 and proposed this year in response to controversial comments about infanticide by Virginia’s Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require abortionists to provide medical care for such babies. Under existing law, the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, babies who survive abortions are recognized as human beings with human rights, but how specifically to handle them isn’t defined.

Late in February, the U.S. Senate voted 53-44 in favor of the bill. Despite clearing a simple majority, the vote fell short of the 60 votes necessary for the bill to overcome the current filibuster rules and pass. All but three Senate Democrats opposed the bill, including every senator currently seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

House Democrats have repeatedly blocked efforts to bring the bill up for a vote. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) made the 75th such effort on Tuesday, only to be blocked yet again by Democrats, Faithwire reports.

“The refusal by House Democrats to allow a vote on common sense legislation that protects the life of innocent babies and their mothers is abhorrent,” Cheney declared in the aftermath.

In response to Democrat obstruction, House Republicans devised a plan they hope will eventually force a vote on the measure, by collecting 218 signatures (a simple majority) for a discharge petition. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) introduced the discharge petition in April.

They currently have 201 signatures, according to Heritage Action, including three from Democrats – Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Ben McAdams of Utah, and Collin Peterson of Minnesota. It needs seventeen more signatures to force a vote, however, all of which would have to come from Democrats.

To continue reading Life Site article click here.

Study: Roe v. Wade Reversal Would Pose Challenges and Opportunities for Pro-Lifers

The New York Times recently published results of a study on the effects on abortion of overturning Roe v Wade. Below are excerpts from an article by Michael New. His comments to this study and the challenges to pro-lifers on the reversal of Roe v Wade were posted on Townhall’s opinion section.

Last week, The New York Times covered a recent abortion study by Caitlin Myers of Middlebury College and two reproductive health researchers. This study analyzes how a future reversal of Roe v. Wade would impact abortion rates in various parts of the country.  The study looked at how recent abortion facility closures in Texas affected abortion rates in different regions of the state. They use this data to predict abortion rates in different parts of the country if Roe is overturned and conservative states outlawed abortion. Overall, the researchers predict that a reversal of Roe v. Wade would prevent over 100,000 abortions annually. 

There are two very important lessons for pro-lifers here. First, this study adds to a body of research which shows that the incidence of abortion is sensitive to its legal status.  As such, the reversal of Roe v. Wade would likely save thousands of unborn children every year.  Second, the overall U.S. abortion rate might only drop moderately in the short term since many blue states with high abortion rates would likely fail to enact laws to protect the preborn. As such, while reversing Roe is clearly a worthy goal, pro-lifers will still have plenty of work to do building a culture of life in politically liberal states.

Overall, pro-lifers have made some impressive progress building a culture of life.  The U.S. abortion rate has fallen by 50 percent since 1980 and is now lower than what it was when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.  A large factor in this decline is the fact that a higher percentage of unintended pregnancies are being carried to term.  I cite this statistic often because it nicely shows that pro-life educational, legislative, and service efforts have all been effective. A reversal of Roe would be a tremendous judicial victory as it would extend legal protection to literally thousands of innocent unborn children.  However, it is important for pro-lifers to understand that this is only a starting point. If Roe v. Wade is overturned pro-lifers will have no shortage of work to do building a culture of life in many parts of country.

To read full article, click here.