This just in from LifeNews.com:
“Democrats in the House of Representatives prevented passage of a bill that would ban sex-selection abortions. The legislation needed a two-thirds vote and Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the legislation after President Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood came out in opposition.
With a 246-168 vote, the bill did not obtain the two-thirds majority necessary to pass. Republicans voted for the bill on a 226-7 margin while Democrats opposed banning sex-selection abortions on 161-20 vote margin.”
This just in from LifeNews.com:
It is seldom that I blog about the same thing two days in a row. However, this morning I was watching the 2nd video put out by Live Action showing a worker at Planned Parenthood, this time in New York, advise a woman on how to kill her unborn baby girl. One of the lines she used continued to jump out at me. The PP worker kept telling the Live Action reporter what steps she could take to determine “the sex of her pregnancy.”
Just let that line sink in for a minute. Okay, now let me take it apart for you. Only living things have a defined sex: male or female. For something to be boy or girl, it has to be alive, to possess humanity. What in the world is a “pregnancy” if not a baby? And, if it is just a shapeless blob of matter that is not a human being, how could it possibly be defined in terms of its sexuality? It makes no sense, but logic has never really played a role in the abortion debate, at last with those radically committed to the demise of the unborn.
On the one hand, groups like Planned Parenthood state that they are against targeting of baby girls for death. Supposedly, they abhor practices seen in China or India. However, the newly released videos clearly demonstrate that they will gladly counsel women how to go about finding out if they are having a girl and then assisting her with that child’s destruction. To them, nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is more important than completely unhindered access to abortion, no matter what the reason or the development of the child. I’m convinced that if the law allowed it, they would kill unborn children while they were coming down the birth canal during labor. And there are many who have shown that they would not stop there. (See my blog “Infanticide: The Next Stage in Determining ‘Quality of Life’” from Sept. 14, 2011)
I also read an opinion piece in Townhall.com by Maggie Gallagher, which inspired me with some new thoughts in this whole arena. She starts out by asking: “Is it OK to choose to destroy a healthy unborn child because you or your husband prefer a boy?” She continues: “When the immoral act of choosing to deprive a child of life because it’s the wrong sex is not illegal, it becomes normalized.”
Yes, it does; just like abortion on demand has become “normalized” around the world. Even though the number of individuals considering themselves pro-life continues to rise, there are far too many young women who come into our office at the AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling and assume that if their pregnancy is an inconvenience in the least that it is no big deal to just “get rid of it.” Even people of faith, who have proclaimed all their lives to be against it, will often not bat an eye at aborting when it involves them or their daughter. We’ve confused what is legal with what is right and become twisted in our thinking.
Ms. Gallagher goes on to quote a study in which South Asian immigrant women in the United States were interviewed as to sex selection abortions. Forty percent of them admitted they had aborted a child for being the wrong gender. Among Chinese and Indian immigrants, the percentages of boys over girls were as skewed as in their home countries, clearly demonstrating that their practices did not change when they moved here.
Not long ago I wrote about the “honor killings” in which fathers and other male relatives killed women in their family when they refused to agree to arranged marriages or “shamed” them with their behaviour. Just as we should not tolerate the continuation of this barbaric practice in this country, neither should we allow the horrible slaughter of baby girls! And, yet, unless Congress passes a ban today, we have nothing which outlaws such practice.
Ms. Gallagher asks what good laws banning sex selection abortions would be. She replies: “Will banning sex-selection abortions eliminate them? Probably not. But at least they will not be able to be pursued openly, as if it were a normal, decent thing to do. Gendercide will become an unmentionable act, and the law will affirm the equal dignity of both male and female in our society. It is a great advance.”
Indeed, it would be a “great advance.” Those in favor of abortion are fighting the legislation tooth and nail. Plus, it must be passed by two-thirds of the Congress, so please continue to pray.
I will add a note to this blog when I hear any news concerning the results of the Congressional vote. Such a law will only make a dent in the millions of abortions performed in this nation. However, for those particular little girls, it will make all the difference. I hope and pray that our elected officials will stand up in their defense!
Keeping it true! Barb
Live Action has caught Planned Parenthood in another one of their “sting” operations. This time it concerns advising women on how to go about aborting their baby if it turns out to be a girl. (You can see the video for yourself at www.protectourgirls.com.)
Planned Parenthood themselves gave us all a head’s up a couple of months ago that this may be coming down. They issued a statement that “suspicious activity” had been going on at several of their centers nation-wide. Women had been coming in and asking about sex selection abortions, to the degree that PP suspected something fishy was going on.
I wondered at the time why they would be concerned if they had not done something to be concerned about. I figured that something must have gone on which Planned Parenthood was worried would be taken the wrong way. And, indeed it did.
In the video I watched this morning, the counselor at PP was more than happy to advise a woman who clearly stated, more than once, that she wanted to abort her baby only if it was a girl, how to go about doing it. She advised the expectant mother that it would be best for her to keep her intentions a secret from her doctor or the people doing her ultrasound. Then, if she found out it was a girl, she could return to Planned Parenthood for an abortion: no problem whatsoever! The PP worker even explained how to cheat Medicaid into paying for everything.
Here in the United States we tend to think of sex selection abortions as something that only takes place in China or India. And, indeed, those are the predominant places for such things, to the degree that they have a severe shortage of women. (Which, by the way, is leading to another crime against women: sex trafficking. They are stealing women from other countries to replace their own.)
A few years ago a study was done which showed that the rate of sex selection abortions in the United States is on the rise. This is especially true of individuals who come to this country from nations which traditionally prefer sons (which includes many countries in Asia.) Our country remains one of the only nations in the world which has not specifically outlawed sex-selection abortions. However, hopefully, that is about to change.
Congress is scheduled to vote tomorrow, May 30, on a bill called the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA). It was approved by the House Judiciary Committee back in February. The author of the bill, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) says of the bill: “…this is the civil rights battle that will define our generation. At the very least, we should be able to agree that allowing the lives of unborn children to be torn from them simply because they happen to be the ‘wrong color’ or the ‘wrong sex’ is not who we are as Americans.”
Of course, since abortion is often legal past the point of finding out the sex of the child (usually by 20 weeks,) individuals could have these abortions without publicizing the reason why. However, that does not mean we shouldn’t pass a law against it. Often later term abortions cannot be done without a compelling reason. And, in more and more states, they cannot be done after 20 weeks, since that is the point where the medical community has shown that pain can be felt in the womb. Hopefully, a combination of all of the above will shut these heinous procedures down.
I have written several times in this blog about the extremely disturbing nature of late-term abortions. I am against abortion at any stage, but these are particularly odious. And, of course, this would be the stage at which sex-selection abortions would take place.
If you need any convincing on this matter, let me quote for you the testimony of Dr. Anthony Levatino, which he gave before Congress concerning limiting abortions in Washington, D.C. to 20 weeks gestation. He performed hundreds of abortions before becoming sickened by them, coming to the realization that he was killing human beings. Dr. Levatino stated: (please be warned, this is very graphic)
“The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free-floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face may come out and stare back at you. Congratulations! You have just successfully performed a second-trimester Suction D&E abortion. If you refuse to believe that this procedure inflicts severe pain on that unborn child, please think again.”
How can we justify such brutality and still call ourselves a civilized society? To me it is the height of hypocrisy for supposedly “pro-women” feminist groups to fight against sex selection abortions, especially since they primarily target girls. Obviously, that does not matter to them. No rights, not even the right for baby girls to live, out-trump the right to abortion for them. It is the holy grail.
Please pray that the PRENDA bill will pass. For some reason, it requires a two-thirds majority. However, with Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng, having been splashed all over the news, and the new video being released by Live Action, perhaps more votes will come its way. In addition, recent polls show that 86% of all Americans desire such a law. In an election year, that has to count for something.
Pro-abortion groups have been vocal in stating that it is this type of bill that will begin to chip away at abortion rights. May that be so! Abortion is increasingly losing favor with the American public. Let’s hope that our elected representatives will soon follow suit!
Keeping it true! Barb
In 1970, a group of women gathered in Vancouver, Canada, in an attempt to accomplish two goals: repeal Canada’s abortion laws and obtain free abortions on demand. In order to gain the attention of the Canadian people, they rode all the way across the vast nation, speaking out about “abortion rights” and carrying out vivid and bloody demonstrations to show that illegal abortions were dangerous.
Supposedly, this first Abortion Caravan was the turning point in legalizing abortion in Canada. They proclaimed that they were taking something that was a “shameful silence” and bringing it to the “national consciousness.” They dumped black coffins filled with coat hangers (since coat hangers were supposedly used to bring on self-abortions) and chained themselves to the House of Commons. Abortion was legalized in Canada 18 years later in 1988.
On May 29, 2012, a group of Canadian young people, calling themselves the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, will be setting out in The New Abortion Caravan. Their director, a young woman named Stephanie Gray explained that the group’s tour has great historical significance in Canada: “We have taken the sacred cow of Canada’s abortion rights movement and are using it to advance the cause for pre-born children.”
Just as it took the pro-abortion movement eighteen years after the first caravan to make abortion legal in Canada, the goal of the 2nd caravan is to stop Canadian abortions in the next eighteen years. Gray states: “Last year, we announced our new EndtheKilling plan to eradicate abortion from our country in our lifetime. We have given ourselves an 18-year deadline to achieve justice for the pre-born. Our journey will begin with how the opposition began: With a caravan. They did bloody, graphic dramatizations of illegal abortions. We will demonstrate with graphic, bloody images showing the reality of all abortions.”
As they travel through each community, the group intends to show explicit pictures of aborted babies. Huge posters will be plastered on their bus. They will also send out large postcards with the same pictures to homes and put up posters and billboards. Members of the group will attempt to set up public debates and radio interviews. They are determined to shake up public thinking.
Defending the graphic images, the group states: “Injustice that is invisible inevitably becomes tolerable, but injustice that is visible inevitably becomes intolerable.” They want Canadians to clearly see “what is being chosen” in an abortion.
I have very mixed feelings about showing these types of images. On the one hand, dead and mutilated babies are the reality of abortion. It is a horrible and painful way for anyone to die, much less innocent, defenseless children. Sometimes it is these types of images that bring the reality of horrible events to light. Who would have believed the holocaust really happened if we hadn’t seen the ghastly images of starving victims and the piles of dead bodies?
On the other hand, I wonder if this type of shock value is the most effective method in the end? Personally, I think far more people have been won over to the pro-life side by seeing the humanity of unborn children on an ultrasound screen than by viewing the victims of abortion. Sadly, I think there is something in us as sinful human beings that shuts down when we see things that revolt us. Instead of getting angry at the death of children, we strike back at those who have the audacity to expose us to such horrible images. We get outraged at our discomfort rather than the evilness of the act itself.
Personally, I am glad that I have seen pictures of aborted babies. I needed to see the full depth of the depravity in order to strengthen my convictions. We never hid them from our children either, even though they were quite young at the time. However, we were prepared beforehand to help explain the images they were seeing. I can understand why people would not want their children to be exposed to the harsh reality by randomly seeing a passing truck or a postcard in the mail.
There is a part of me that thinks this type of shock treatment may be necessary. The world needs an awakening to the evils of abortion. Then, on the other hand, I read this morning about a new Gallup poll which showed that the number of Americans who consider themselves pro-abortion is at an all-time low of 41%. This is down from 56% in 1996. One explanation given for the drop is that the debate on partial birth abortion began in the mid-90′s, pointing out the barbarity of later term abortions. It was also around that same time that ultrasounds became common for expecting parents, exposing people to the realities of life in the womb.
Will this new Abortion Caravan turn the tide in Canada? I certainly hope that this group of sincere and dedicated young people can make a real difference. I will be surprised if they don’t face swift opposition and court challenges which bring up obscenity charges because of the images portrayed. I also hope that their reaction is one of love towards those who speak with them. Sadly, I’ve known pro-lifers who have digressed to reacting with a spirit of defiance and hatred, which never helps any cause and goes against how Christ would ask us to respond.
In conclusion, I am not going to say how they should act. All of us must follow the leading of the Spirit in this battle. The war for unborn lives must be fought on many fronts, but never with the weapons of this world. This is a spiritual battle and the true enemy does not have flesh and blood. It will be won through presentation of truth and much prayer. Perhaps it will even be won with pictures of aborted babies. Only time will tell.
Keeping it true! Barb
Hallelujah! I have been anxiously waiting for the world to wake up to the fact that embryonic stem cells were NEVER going to cure anything. It was so frustrating to watch the political games continue to protect an industry which was seeking to profit from the death of unborn children, while, at the same time, dangling false hope in front of those suffering with disabilities. Without the millions that our government was pouring into it, the false industry would have died long ago.
It is now dying, but it is still being propped up by federal resources. The Obama administration continues to fund some individuals involved in private research with embryonic cells, even though it has never successfully treated one person! In turn, adult stem cell research has been used to treat thousands of people with a whole host of medical conditions, with more occurring everyday.
The embryonic industry certainly sold Michael J. Fox a bill of goods. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, has been one of the leading campaigners for embryonic stem cell research. He truly believed it held the answer to treating his condition and many others. However, in a recent interview with Diane Sawyer at ABC, he admitted that there had been “some issues with stem cells” and that other “avenues of research” are showing more promise. He isn’t ready to shut the door on it altogether (unfortunately!) but admits that a cure is “more than likely to come from another area.”
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has come to an even more definitive conclusion, stating that embryonic research shows “no promise” when it comes to finding a cure for breast cancer. A direct quote from their website reads: “Embryonic stem cells are currently considered to have the most potential use in the regeneration of diseased or injured tissues (a faulty but politically correct statement.) Whether embryonic stem cells will have a role or will be of value in the fight against breast cancer has not clearly been determined. To this point, embryonic stem cell research has not shown promise for application in breast cancer.”
The political battle to continue to prop up and fund embryonic research has been revolting to watch! Since 2001, it has been touted as a “miracle cure!” However, eleven years later, it has not been used to treat one thing! In fact, the leading corporation of the research, Geron Corp., closed down their operations last November, in spite of an assurance of more government aid.
Sadly, for those suffering from seemingly hopeless medical conditions, adult stem cell research has been drastically underfunded in this country. It has been scientists in other nations that have made the major breakthroughs with this amazing technology. It was Japanese researchers who discovered a way to revert human tissue into cells which can be cloned and multiplied like embryonic cells, but without the danger of rejection since they can be taken from the patient being treated. These hold the promise of revolutionizing the science of healing. (For more details on this see my blog from July 11, 2011 entitled “Regenerating Our Own Bodies- The Wonders of Adult Stem Cell Research“)
For over a decade, the supporters of embryonic research, mostly those on the left politically, have ridiculed those who objected to using fetal tissue for experimentation by stating that we were being “anti-scientific.” However, one can argue that it has been their blind insistence on fighting for this misuse of life that has set back the healing of disease by years! We can only guess how many will suffer and die because of their pig-headed defense of all things that support abortion!
And even yet, in spite of all the evidence, the Obama administration continues to fight for tax dollars to support embryonic research. I guess facts don’t matter. However, we must keep in mind that these are the same people who insist on Texas giving tax money to Planned Parenthood, even at the risk of poor women receiving no treatment at all. As the Bible says, there is no one so blind as those who refuse to see.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, this battle is personal to me. My mother suffers from Parkinson’s. I don’t want her years to be cut short by this disease. It angers me every time I see her hands trembling and know that a cure could be found if only our taxes would be given to adult stem cell research. In my studies, I have seen the amazing progress which has been found with Parkinson’s and so many other areas, mostly with privately funded research. Tragically, our elected officials are holding it all back!
Please join me in praying the eyes of the world will be opened to seeing the truth about embryonic research. Continue to pray as well for a change in November. If those in Washington refuse to see the truth, then we need to boot them out and put those who will see the truth in their place!
Keeping it true! Barb
In the midst of all the mess about the federal government forcing religious institutions to provide free contraceptives, there was a ray of light out of Kansas. Yesterday, May 16, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a new law which affirmed the conscience rights of pharmacists who object to selling drugs which cause abortions.
Called the “Health Care Rights of Conscience Act,” it bars anyone from being forced to sell a drug which knowingly causes the death of unborn children. The author of the bill, Kansas state representative Lance Kinser, said he was aiming the bill at RU-486. However, it can also be applied to drugs such as the morning after pill, which can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterine wall.
Such laws already exist in Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Dakota. In Illinois, a group of pharmacists fought back against a state law which would force them to sell abortion drugs. They won their case in the lower court, and it is now before an intermediate appellate court facing an appeal from the state. I would imagine an upper court’s ruling would have a great impact on whether state laws protecting conscience would be allowed to stand or not.
Of course, all of this could be an effort in futility if ObamaCare is not stopped. The Supreme Court’s decision is due out in June. The more reading I do on the appalling law which our government passed to take over our healthcare, the more terrified I become if it is allowed to stand. Hand in hand with it in audacity and evil is the birth control mandate which was spawned by the power that ObamaCare has unleashed upon us!
I read a piece this morning by United States Senator Jim DeMint. It was published in the Washington Examiner on Feb. 22, 2012. Called ObamaCare Versus Individual Freedom, it is a brilliant expose of all that is wrong with the healthcare plan. No, that would be putting it too mildly: he defines the bill as a stripping away of our constitutional freedoms, religious or not.
He states: “Ultimately, the character and ideology of the president, and the particular constitutional provisions being trampled by this one mandate are incidental, compared to the manifest threat to freedom intrinsic to ObamaCare itself. The problem is not how the federal government is abusing its new power in this instance, but that the government- indeed, a single person- suddenly wields this power at all.”
He goes on to warn even those who are in favor of forcing people to pay for abortions or birth control: “If a pro-choice liberal president can force insurance companies to cover the morning after pill, could a pro-life president force them not to? Could an anti-smoking president deny coverage for lung disease? Could a president who embraced new age, alternative medicine restrict coverage for traditional medical treatments?”
He continues, “the danger is not that they would, but, under ObamaCare, that they could. That ObamaCare turns the temporary executive of one branch of a limited government into an emperor with absolute power over one-sixth of our economy, and the most intimate of personal life decisions.” Those who are fighting so hard for this are being very short-sighted. A president with this much power is exactly what our Founding Fathers were trying to protect us against. Why? They knew first-hand that men with too much power turn into tyrants!
What is to stop a government that forces states to give money to their pet organization, Planned Parenthood, from nit-picking each and every decision made for the expenditure of state funds? If this first audacious step is allowed, what value will any laws passed on the state level have? The answer is: none.
If the Supreme Court allows ObamaCare to stand, then all state laws protecting unborn life are in jeopardy. Laws protecting the conscience of pharmacists or healthcare workers, like the one just signed in Kansas, will not stand for long. As Senator DeMint points out: “There will be no rest-ever- from these battles so long as ObamaCare remains on the books. Regardless of their outcomes, these battles by definition cannot be won.”
It is written into the healthcare law that future decisions about how the particulars of the law will be implemented will no longer be in the hands of our elected representatives, but, rather, will be decided by panels and committees designated by the president and his team. It was from them that the mandate came down that religious institutions must provide insurance coverage with free contraception for their students and employees. It was also their decision to charge everyone on certain insurance plans a one dollar surcharge for abortion. So it begins, and so it will continue: our religious and personal beliefs be damned!
However, as the senator points out, if the administration changes, the shoe could suddenly be on the other foot. It could be a Republican pro-lifer whose committees decide to ban coverage for birth control and abortion. He states: “…if you don’t want the government to coerce your health care choices, you should take great pains not to let the government coerce anyone else’s.” At the root, the law is evil because it places too much power in the hands of one branch of the government.
Please continue to pray that the Supreme Court will strike down the Healthcare Bill. I am becoming more convinced all the time that our very liberty is at stake! I fear it will not stop Obama from acting like he an overbearing tyrant, but it may at least slow him down until we can replace him.
Keeping it true! Barb
I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of the term “women’s health” being applied solely to things like birth control and abortion. I find it demeaning to be considered nothing more than just a living, breathing reproductive system. This is especially true because mine doesn’t work anymore. Does that mean I don’t have anything that qualifies as “health“?
I thought the whole point of the “women’s liberation movement” was to help the world to see women as more than just those who reproduced. And yet, today when you pick up a newspaper or watch television, if “women’s health” is mentioned, it has basically been boiled down to one thing: the prevention of pregnancy.
Have you seen that cartoon slide show put out by the Obama administration called “The Life of Julia”? At one stage in this fictional woman’s life, she is beginning her career. The propaganda piece points out that “Thanks to Obamacare, (Julia’s) health insurance is required to cover birth control and preventative care, letting Julia focus on her work rather than worry about her health.” Wow, I didn’t know that preventing pregnancy would set us free from concerns of things like cancer or heart disease. Or, in my case, rheumatoid arthritis.
What the presentation fails to point out is that pregnancy can actually prevent women from getting breast cancer (the earlier the pregnancy the better!) And, all those birth control pills, not to mention abortion, increase the risk. At the AAA Center for Pregnancy Center, we have seen women with systems that are really messed up as a result of all the chemicals they have dumped into their bodies to prevent having a baby. And, yet, this is the new definition of health.
The state of Arizona recently passed the Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act. This bill focuses upon comprehensive health care for women and does not force taxpayers to pay for abortion. Instead of funding Planned Parenthood, the state will provide taxpayer dollars to centers which provide care for all aspects of their health. One example of this type of center is the 140 federally qualified health care centers (FQHCs) which are located around the state.
These centers provide everything PP does (except abortion.) However, they provide many things that PP does not, including: mammograms, prenatal care, treatment of medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and arthritis, depression, etc. In others words, they provide true healthcare for all women. The Arizona plan makes so much sense!
Sadly, it is inevitable that Arizona will go the way of Texas. Since they are defunding Planned Parenthood, it is only a matter of time before the abortion provider will file suit. That is, if Obama doesn’t do it first, threatening to cut off all federal funds. Hopefully, Arizona will stand as strong as Texas on their principles. However, unless the federal courts rule that Texas can stop funding PP, they are going to cut off women’s healthcare altogether.
This is just one more reason, on a very long list, why things need to drastically change in November. The federal government needs to be prevented from bullying the states into funding their “pet project”: Planned Parenthood. There are so many PP employees on staff in Washington, or called in to serve on panels, that it is hard to tell which is which anymore. Cross either one and they strike back like a serpent! It is time for this to stop.
Speaking of November, if you are in Nebraska did you vote today? If not, you need to do so before the day is done. This is a crucial primary and you need to vote your convictions. Our right to vote is an incredible privilege, one which we should not hold lightly.
I would not be over-reacting to say that unborn lives hang in the balance today and in November. If Obamacare goes forward, and Planned Parenthood gets a tighter grip on our nation, not only will the abortion numbers greatly escalate, but you will be paying for them! (Or, like me, you might be in jail for refusing to pay.) This is a serious matter upon which the future of our nation hangs. Please pray and then vote! It is your duty as well as your right.
Keeping it true! Barb
As I was growing up, I heard bits and pieces about my grandmother’s story. Of course, I knew there wasn’t a grandfather on the scene. I’d also picked up on the fact that he had been married other times. However, she never said a word and I didn’t ask. She was my grandmother and I loved her, and, frankly, I can’t remember ever feeling any lack without a grandfather in my life.
I know without a doubt that I am the woman I am today largely because of the deep faith she not only believed, but lived out so well. I know that her prayers opened my eyes to the truth. So, in that regard alone I owe her a huge debt.
However, when I finally got to read the journal notes she gave to my aunt when she was sick and dying, remembrances of the days she struggled to understand why the man she loved so much could never stay faithful, I finally understood exactly how much she had given to our entire family. Her choice to never be bitter or angry changed who we were. It set us free to pursue more important things, like happiness.
That is why I wrote her story. Soft Like Steel is a tribute to her courageous journey and final determination to forget the past and strive toward happier days ahead. It tells how faith can triumph over bitterness. My rich heritage is a gift I now pass on to the world.
One reason I began my website at www.softlikesteel.com was to tell her story and to, of course, make the book readily available. However, I also had another purpose. I wanted to give others an opportunity to share their stories as well.
What is the history that shaped your life? Good or bad, those who came before us impacted our destinies. Yes, in the end, we make our own choices. However, our families play a huge role in who we are.
There is a link on the front page of my website which will take you to a place where you can share your story. Perhaps you had grandparents, like mine, that lived through the Dust Bowl. Or who struggled in other ways through the Great Depression.
How did your family make the journey to America? Unless your are Native American, that story is somewhere in your history. Maybe you endured great pain to get where you are. Or, perhaps your story is filled with faithful and good people who handed that lineage down through the generations.
I would love to hear YOUR story. If you give permission, I will pass it on to others through this blog. I truly believe that the past teaches us our most important lessons. And, it is fascinating stuff. Don’t you agree?
I have come to the conclusion that I have led a very sheltered life. My mother stayed at home with us while my father worked in a business that he owned. He raised it up from nothing and he worked very hard to make a success of himself. He only had an 8th grade education, but had been born with an innate business savvy. We went to church every week and were surrounded by a very loving extended family.
My husband came from a similar background as myself. His parents were married for forty years before his father died. Mine will celebrate their 59th anniversary this summer. We were endowed with a great work ethic, which seems to have passed along to our children. I take little credit for any of it: I had a rich heritage to draw from in making my choices.
My maternal grandmother found herself a single mother, raising eight children on her own, through circumstances which were beyond her control. When her husband abandoned her, she took in other people’s ironing and opened a daycare. To my knowledge, she never went on government assistance. Her children all turned out as amazing adults, minimally impacted by the betrayal of their father. (If you would like to know more about her story, it is the focus of my new book, Soft Like Steel. Find out more at my website, www.softlikesteel.com. )
I know there are some that argue that the idyllic stereotype of the American family, with a mother and father and happy children, never really existed; that if you peel back the cheerful facade a dysfunctional scenario will emerge. I fully realize that every family has their issues, but statistics still bear out that the situation in which children thrive the most is in a family where both parents are married and play an active role in their upbringing. It is difficult to argue with the overwhelming truth of this statement, to the degree that I think most people have acknowledged it, however begrudgingly.
And yet, even in the face of these statistics, we are in the midst of a continual battle to save the family. Why is that? Why do we seem so determined to self destruct? On one hand, the answer is very difficult, and, yet, on the other, it is amazingly, but disturbingly, simple.
Before I get into the reasons, let’s take a closer look at the situation it exists today. First, motherhood looks totally different from the way it did when I was born in the 1950′s. In fact, we can make it even later than that: it doesn’t even much resemble what it looked like when I became a mother in 1979. More mothers were working outside of the home in 1979 than in the 50′s, but the great majority of them were still married before giving birth. Today, an average of 41% of all ages are not married before having children, with the number climbing to over 50% for women under the age of 30!
This is in spite of the overwhelming proof that exists about the dangers of being born into a single parent household is for children. Studies have shown that up to half of all children born into single parent families live in poverty, compared to 5.8% of those where the parents are married. There is not other single factor which is a larger determiner of child poverty.
In addition, children from single parent households make up: 80% of prison inmates, 72% of juvenile murderers, 60% of rapists, and 70% of teenage births, dropouts, suicides and runaways. The statistics paint a bleak picture. In spite of this, the assaults on traditional marriage continue!
As much as I am concerned about children living without the love and care of both parents, I abhor even stronger the fact that the only real solution we seem to have come up to this dilemma is for women to have their “unwanted” unborn children destroyed. If there is anything which represents the antithesis of what a mother is, this is it! Abortion is the horrible destroyer of much more than unborn children. Its deadly tentacles reach down deep and impact everyone involved: mother, father, grandparents, siblings, and even generations yet unborn. It is a poison which has gone deep into the soil of our culture, rotting it away from the inside.
The latest statistics show that up to 40% of all women in this country have aborted a child. That means that 40% of all families are struggling with the impact of the death of one of their own. The thought of this staggers me! It should frighten us all.
So, how about the reasons? I know from working at the AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling that there are many. However, at the root is the fact that abortion is made to seem like an easy solution to clear up the bad choices people have made for themselves, when, in all actuality, the mess will remain long after the baby is gone (compounded by the guilt that an innocent life was destroyed.) It is wrong to dangle this “carrot” in front of vulnerable women. Death of a child never solves anything, but is touted as a miracle cure. As a result, as a nation we are digging our own grave.
I read a story today about a girl named Anya. She was born to a 15-year-old mother who was hooked on drugs. She almost aborted but, instead, gave birth a beautiful baby girl. Anya wrote about the difficulties she had experienced in life (her mother died of an overdose nine years later) but also of the overwhelming joy of being allowed to live. She concludes: “being a child of a poor family and of an addict did not define me, not did it make my life any less valuable than anyone who may be reading this story.”
This Mother’s Day, we have a lot to reflect upon. I will call my mother and thank her again for the many sacrifices that she made for me. I will talk to my children and be grateful for the rich family heritage I was able to pass along to them. And, I will pray that the Lord will allow me to reach out with His love to those who were not born with my advantages and have never had a good family life modeled for them. It is only through Jesus and His life-transforming grace that anything will change!
Keeping it true! Barb
Another sickening report came out of China yesterday. The UK Daily Mail reported that “thousands of pills filled with powdered baby flesh” had been discovered by South Korean officials. There were about 17,000 of these capsules, to be exact. They were being promoted as “stamina enhancers” and touted to be able to cure certain diseases.
The Daily Mail stated the following about the shipment: “The grim trade is being run from China where corrupt medical staff are said to be tipping off medical companies when babies are aborted or delivered still-born. The tiny corpses are then bought, stored in household refrigerators in homes of those involved in the trade before they are removed and taken to clinics where they are placed in medical drying microwaves. Once the skin is tinder dry, it is pummelled into powder and then processed into capsules along with herbs to disguise the true ingredients from health investigators and customs officials.“
A Korean team ran DNA tests on the capsules and discovered that they were “99.7 percent human.” They also discovered hair and nail remnants and could even identify the gender of the child. However, in addition to being cannibalistic, they were also discovered to be full of “super-bacteria” and full of potential for disease. (Personally, I think anyone who knowingly takes a capsule made out of dead babies deserves to get sick!)
It is easy for us in the United States to look down our noses at the Chinese and think that this type of barbarity could never happen here. However, considering the fact that, until recently, Pepsi was using a company for taste testing which utilized the cells from an aborted baby, I find it hard to be too smug. And, what really is the difference between this and using the cells of dead children for fetal stem cell research?
Not too long ago, a woman responded to a blog I wrote some time ago concerning stem cell research and asked me why I thought it was wrong to at least put aborted babies to some good use. She asked, “Must these children die for no reason?” When reading about the Chinese capsules, perhaps the same argument could be made: if these babies are going to die, why not put their death to some beneficial (and highly profitable) use?
This type of thinking is both dangerous and horribly twisted! I think it is obvious to almost everyone why the Chinese capsules are abhorrent. Strangely, it doesn’t seem to be as obvious with fetal stem cell research (or even, for some, the situation with Pepsi, including our government.) It is wrong to ever profit, or even to benefit, from the death of the innocent. We would find it abhorrent to take organs from death row inmates after execution (which I’ve heard they also do in China!) so why would we find using the cells of aborted babies to treat disease any less so?
During World War II, the Nazi’s did all types of barbaric and cruel testing on inmates in concentration camps. Ironically, they actually discovered some scientific results which may have actually been helpful. However, because of how those results were obtained, the data was destroyed. Mankind reasoned that they could not benefit from the cruel suffering of others. Again, I ask: what is the difference?
The more we continue to devalue unborn human life, the closer we grow towards justifying all types of barbarity. Last month, Dr. Phil featured a mother on his show who had two severely handicapped children who were now adults. As the result of a genetic disorder, they are wheel-chair bound and have to be fed via feeding tube. Her children are unable to communicate for themselves, but she has decided that if they could they would request to be put to death. Therefore, she was requesting it for them.
My heart goes out to this woman. I cannot imagine the heartbreak of seeing one’s children digress to such a state. However, her request for their death is abhorrent to me! Once we open the door on allowing ourselves to “get rid” of those whose lives we consider meaningless and calling it “mercy,” we will find ourselves in a holocaust of unimaginable proportions! The scary thing was that 90% of Dr. Phil’s audience agreed that the mother should be able to “put her children out of their misery.”
I find it encouraging that most support groups for those with disabilities are strongly opposed to euthanasia. They are also against abortion when children are diagnosed with different conditions in the womb. Such “seek and destroy” policies rob the disabled of their value and dignity. Just because someone is “less than perfect” does not mean their life does not have great meaning.
I heard a discussion of this very topic yesterday on the radio. One of the commentators said that this type of devaluing of life comes when we forget that our rights and value come from God and not the state. That is absolutely right! A godless nation like China has been committing barbarities for generations. Sadly, unless things change in the next few months, we will not be far behind!
Keeping it true! Barb