Tag Archives: pro-life

Baby Update – 22 Weeks

baby boyI haven’t been able to write much lately but I wanted to post a brief update since I know many of you have prayed for us as we waited for a baby and I am so thankful for all your continued prayers as we await our miracle baby’s arrival!

I am just about 22 weeks along.  Our mid-pregnancy ultrasound went great and was amazing to see!  My ultrasound was just shy of 19 weeks into my pregnancy and I stared at the screen in awe as the ultrasound technician pointed out the baby’s features.  I saw little baby moving around and even yawning!  They were able to look at the brain, inside the heart, see all the internal organs, and see each little bone in baby’s spine.  It was truly incredible.  It made me sad to realize that even with some of the pro-life “successes” that limit abortions after 20 weeks, my little one was there moving around and everything and could still be seen as some to be “not a life.”

My husband and I decided we wanted to learn if we were having a boy or girl and now we know we are having a baby boy!  (There was no mistaking the ultrasound!  It’s amazing how far technology has come!)  I know everyone is different and some like the surprise of waiting until the baby is born.  For me personally, there has been something special about knowing that it is a little boy.  We already decided on a name and being able to call my baby by name and talk to him using his name is so special!  It reminds me of the verse “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5).  I may not have known my baby before he was even formed in my womb in the same way our Father knows us.  But I certainly knew him in my heart.  I knew he was missing from our lives before I know he would even exist.  And now that I know baby is a boy and know his name, I feel like I know him even more!

Aside from finding out we are having a boy, the doctor said everything looked great and the ultrasound was as perfect as they come.  The technician printed out several ultrasound images for us.  I keep them in my nightstand so that every morning when I reach in to get my glasses for the day, I see little baby.  I feel so blessed and still can hardly believe it sometimes! The doctor also let me record our baby’s heartbeat.  I have it on my phone and play it for myself sometimes just to remind myself this isn’t all a dream!

I have been feeling little baby boy moving more and more over the past few weeks.  The movements are a little too light for my husband to feel yet but his kicks are getting stronger by the day so I know he will be able to feel his son moving around very soon!

I want to thank you all again for your prayers.  I know this was not a typical post for me but I know the power of prayer and am so thankful for all of yours and wanted you to know that everything is going smoothly and just how awesome our God is.

God Bless!

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Why Planned Parenthood is NOT for Women’s Health

As a twenty-something American women who is highly in favor of the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the biggest opposition I hear is that by taking funds from Planned Parenthood, we are hindering women’s rights and limiting the healthcare options that women have available to them. Many people say that, if not for Planned Parenthood, they would have nowhere else to go for basic reproductive healthcare. The simple fact is that this is not true.

Since the Affordable Care Act has been signed into place, it is required by law for all Americans to have health insurance. Furthermore, all health insurance providers are required to provide basic reproductive services (including a yearly exam, mammogram, and pap smear) free of charge. These services are offered at any OBGYN office.

What about people who do not have insurance? Funnily enough, the same people who use this argument are traditionally staunch advocates of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which fines those who do not have healthcare. So to these people I ask, where do you truly stand? Is insurance required at the risk of paying a penalty? If so, then why the need for Planned Parenthood? And if the Affordable Care Act does not supply insurance as it should, leaving women without healthcare options, then how can you fail to see the glaring lack of practical application of the ACA?

Setting that aside, there are numerous organizations which provide healthcare to those who do not have insurance. In August of 2015, the Charlotte Lozier Institute produced a map listing over 13,000 non-abortive healthcare facilities in the United Stated compared to only 665 Planned Parenthood locations.  Clearly, there are many alternatives to seeking true healthcare without the need for Planned Parenthood.

So what does Planned Parenthood offer that cannot be obtained elsewhere? Not anything to help advance women’s healthcare, I can tell you that. Planned Parenthood provides contraception. And Planned Parenthood provides abortions. Oh and about those contraceptives? Let’s go back to that lovely Affordable Care Act once more. The ACA requires contraception to be provided free of charge. So why exactly is Planned Parenthood necessary? What is it that women are getting at Planned Parenthood that they cannot get elsewhere, aside from abortion?

Why should our federal tax money be supporting this organization which places such a strong emphasis on contraception and abortion when the actual healthcare needs of women can be met in so many other locations? If we’re going to spend the money on healthcare, why not put it towards facilities that do not offer abortions? Why not use it to help provide better healthcare to our veterans? Or to children battling cancer? There are so many better uses for this money.

To convince society that all women will have sex promiscuously and need the contraceptives and STD testing Planned Parenthood provides is insulting to women. We are more than mindless sex machines who cannot stop ourselves from giving into bodily pleasures. And our young women need to be taught that they are worth so much more than a one night stand. Instead of throwing our hands up and saying, “It is what it is. They’re going to have sex. Let’s make sure they do so safely”, why not fight back? Sexual promiscuity does not have to be the norm.  And America’s young women deserve to know that.

Life is to be protected at ALL stages.  To spread the lie that a child within the womb is not a baby is truly evil. To tell women that it is just a blob of tissue that can be easily disposed of and then turn around to “harvest” what, in truth, is very valuable tissue, the tissue of a living baby…well this is a bold faced lie that the devil himself couldn’t be more pleased with.

I don’t care if it makes me “old-fashioned”. I don’t care if you think I need to “get with the times.” Truth does not change with time. And the truth is that life, ALL life, is created by God. It is not ours to dispose of as we so choose.

As the United States election creeps closer and closer, please pray for God’s guidance in electing our next President. Please pray for those who fight for life.  Please pray for those who feel they have no other choice than abortion.  Pray for those in the abortion industry and those who support Planned Parenthood, that their eyes and hearts may be opened.  Pray for America.  Pray for life.

Created in God’s Image

in His imageThere is so much attention placed on our bodies.  Countless articles, books, and videos are dedicated to helping people have the “perfect” body.  The media tells us what makeup to wear so your eyes will pop, what hairstyle best compliments your face shape, what type of jean is most flattering, what exercises will make you look red-carpet-ready in the shortest time and with the least effort put forth.

We are so much more than our bodies. So much more than our outward appearance!  Our bodies, in all shapes and sizes, are created in God’s own image!

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  Genesis 1:27

How beautiful is that?  God created all things.  Trees that reach up to the heavens, birds that sing so sweetly, fish that glide through the waters.  Our loving Creator took what was nothing but a “formless void” (Gn. 1:2) and out of nothing, created such astounding beauty!  And yet, while the beauty of nature and animals is certainly awesome, God made human beings something more.  We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14)  Not just another part of creation, humans were created separately, in the very image of God Himself!

As such, we are called to treat our own bodies with dignity and respect.  In fact, our bodies are not just empty shells but are the temple of the Holy Spirit!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Created in God’s own image with our bodies as a temple for the Holy Spirit dwelling among us.  How amazing!  If we were only to remember these facts how different would we live our lives?

If we looked upon every human life as created in God’s image, how could we turn a blind eye to abortion, to refugees struggling for a better life, to those who are starving, homeless, or sick?

If we saw ourselves as the temple to the Holy Spirit within us, how could we possibly abuse and degrade our bodies?

What if, instead of focusing on the latest fad diet, we put that time and energy into glorifying God in our bodies?

We need to see God in ourselves and in those around us that we may be more mindful of our actions and words.  More respectful of all life.  More the person God created each of us to be.  More like Christ. For we are created in the very image of God.

“Let us be very sincere in our dealings with each other, and have the courage to accept each other as we are. Do not be surprised or become preoccupied at each other’s failures – rather, see and find in each other the good, for each one of us is created in the image of God.” Blessed Mother Teresa

To Be a Superhero

superhero-296963__180My neighborhood holds trick-or treat on a weekend afternoon and so we had children coming around this past weekend dressed as all sorts of characters in search of free candy.  There were a few truly unique costumes, a few of the teenager-in-a-hoody-and-mask variety, and several little princesses.  But the majority of the costumes were superheroes.  Girls and boys alike showed up as Captain America, Superman, Spiderman, Batman, and Ironman.  It’s not surprising given our culture’s fascination with superheroes.  Superheros dominate the movie box offices, they fill the toy shelves in stores, they are on T-shirts, backpacks, lunchboxes, socks, shoes, pencils, notebooks…you name it.

My husband is a big fan of the superhero movie genre.  In all honesty I had hardly a clue about any of them until I met him.  Now I see just about every superhero movie that comes out.  At first it was just to be polite and accompany my husband.  But now I truly enjoy many of them.  Some are a bit too dark for my taste, but the overall idea of these movies appeals to me more and more.

What is it that draws the masses to see these movies?  What is it about these stories, these characters, that crosses the lines of race, religion, politics, and economics to appeal to virtually everyone?

When it comes down to it, we all need a hero.  The world is full of chaos, uncertainty, fear.  We love to see the nerdy boy from high school discover his superpowers and embark on a journey to save the world.  We love to see the most dire of situations be instantly turned around by the rag-tag group of misfits who have come together to use their powers for the greater good. They come together to fight injustice and to fight for  freedom.  They fight to protect the most innocent and vulnerable.  They fight for life.

While these superheroes are amazing to watch in the movies, at some point we have to come back down to reality. The movie is finished and real life beckons.  Of course, there are heroes in real life too.

Firefighters who rescue people from burning buildings are heroes.  Soldiers who risk their lives to protect nations and freedom are heroes.  Doctors and nurses who travel to Africa to care for those suffering from Ebola are heroes.

But now, despite our fascination with the life-saving superheroes, it seems a hero here in the real world is defined as something all together different.  Now it seems the title “hero” is bestowed not upon those who vow to protect and preserve life, but rather the opposite.

In June of 2013 Wendy Davis performed a filibuster for 11 hours to prevent a vote on a measure that would halt abortions after 20 weeks, require abortion clinics to meet the same surgical standards as hospitals, and require doctors performing abortions to have admitting rights at a hospital.  She was hailed as a champion for women’s rights.  A “hero”.

In May of this year, 25 year old Emily Letts decided to have an abortion and  to film it.  She wanted to show that it’s not scary, that there should be no guilt, that it’s ok to have an abortion.  She was called a “hero”.

Now Brittany Maynard, a 29 year old battling terminal brain cancer has chosen to end her own life this weekend. This beautiful woman has decided that to spare both herself and her family from the inevitable suffering that would ultimately lead to death anyway, she is going to die on her own terms.  She has made popular in the media the so called right to die with dignity.  And for her decision, she has been called a “hero.”

Every time I read one of these stories, my heart aches.  Aches for those who fight for abortion in the name of women’s health and protecting our rights.  Aches for those who truly believe that there is nothing wrong with an abortion.  Aches for those who, when faced with immeasurable sufferings, feel the only option is to die.

My heart aches for what we have reduced life to.  Something that we have control over.  Or at least we think we do.  We have reduced life to something we can create in test tubes, monitor for signs of “imperfection” and dispose of when we find things that are too tough to deal with.  To something that comes secondary to our own desires and goals.  We have reduced life to something that, when it gets too tough to bear, can be stopped.

Life is more than that.  There is beauty in life, even in the darkest of moments. Beauty because each life is precious and created by our loving Father. To look for the beauty, to find it even when others cannot see it, that is what makes a hero.  To look past the pain and suffering and see a glimmer of joy.  I believe that there are heroes all around us.  Heroes who battle cancer to the very end. Who suffer, yes, but who also find the beauty within the pain.  Heroes who, scared and unprepared though they may be, decide to give birth to a beautiful little baby.  To give them life.  Heroes who, like the superheroes we so admire, fight for life.

Life is hard.  It is messy, it is pain-filled, it is confusing.  But it is also beautiful.  There are times we do not know what is going to happen next.  There are times when we do and we dread what the future has to hold.  In the midst of life’s trials, whatever they may be, I think we all have the chance to be a hero.  Maybe even a superhero.  baby-203048_640

 

For Life

Today I came across a story about a 25 year old abortion counselor who filmed her own abortion procedure in order to show others that apparently, this is a good thing.  In the article she talks about how great she feels about the decision.  She likens it to giving birth and said she feels no remorse, no guilt at all.  She had gotten pregnant accidentally and decided she wasn’t ready to have children yet.  I read this story and wanted to just cry.

My heart aches for this woman and my prayers go out to her and the numerous women like her who have been deceived into believing the lie that is abortion.  The millions of people who have bought the devil’s tales of how killing babies is a good thing.

Just last week there was a news story about a pit-bull that mauled a young boy.  Animal rights activists rallied to the dog’s defense saying that it was the owner’s fault, not the dog.  They won and the dog was “sentenced” to life in prison rather than being put down.  What does it say about our society that we will rally and fight to protect the life of a dog who mauled a little boy because it was not his fault, and at the same time will kill millions of unborn precious babies, despite the fact that they haven’t done a single thing wrong?

Every life is precious.  From the moment of conception to natural death.  The devil may try to make us feel silly for believing this.  He might work to make us feel like we are old-fashioned or behind the times.  But we cannot believe his lies.  Together we must take a stand for life.  I pray for all the women who are facing this decision, that their hearts be open to life!  I pray for the women who have had an abortion, that they find healing and forgiveness.  I pray for those in power in our society, that they might take a stand for life.  And I pray for all the precious little babies who never had a chance to live here on earth, that surrounded by God’s glory in Heaven, they are filled with a love and joy beyond our comprehension.

ROAR

A few weeks ago Katy Perry announced a contest with Good Morning America asking schools across the county to submit their own versions of a music video to her new song “Roar” showing off their school spirit.  Hundreds of submissions poured in and she chose the winning school where she would perform a private concert.  A school that I used to work for submitted a video and so I watched a few of them online.  They were inspiring and fun to watch!

Then this morning I saw a different video online that blew them all away.  The Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock filmed their own video.  Not because of a contest.  Simply because they knew that these children know more than anyone what it means to be a survivor.  What it really means to stand up, to fight, to roar. 

As I watched their video tears came to my eyes.  These kids go through so much and are so strong!  I just had to share this video today and ask that as you watch you say a prayer for each child in this video.  For the doctors, nurses and staff who take the time to make these kids smile.  For the parents and families who are right by their little one’s side through it all.  And not just for the ones in this video, but for the thousands of hospitals and children all over the world who fight to survive daily.  As Catholics we talk about being pro-life.  Pro-life is more than being anti-abortion.  It is about encouraging life in all stages for all people.  These kids, despite the difficulties they face, are living.  God bless all the little ones who truly show us what it means to survive, to laugh, to never give up, to “roar”.

Pray for Life!

Today the House is voting on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” (Read about it here http://news.yahoo.com/house-takes-far-reaching-anti-150711972.html This would ban all abortions after 20 weeks. It is not a full reversal of Roe v. Wade but it would be such a big step in the right direction. Of course many democrats have already vowed to vote it down but if nothing else at least the issue is being brought to light again, and this time using scientific evidence to prove that these babies can feel pain at 20 weeks. Knowing that…how could anyone consider going through with an abortion? My heart breaks thinking of all these women who feel they have no other option or who don’t even consider the wonderful things this unborn child could accomplish in our world.

 With the advancement of genetic technology and knowledge, many people are against this bill because they claim you may not know about certain “defects” until after 20 weeks and that breaks my heart! This past weekend I was attending a party for a child I am working with through Make A Wish. This precious child was not supposed to live past one day. And although this little one has many struggles and the parents have had many obstacles, the joy brought to the whole family by this child is amazing. The party was a combination of a Bon Voyage party as the family prepared for their dream vacation, courtesy of Make A Wish, and the child’s 6th birthday party. Six years for a child expected to live less than a day is truly a miracle. Those who feel that a child would be better off not knowing the pain or suffering of a particular disability or health struggle will never be able to know the immense joy, love, and happiness that can come from any circumstance. This little one is truly an angel among us. And the truth is, no matter what the doctors say will become of a baby, they cannot see the future. Miracles do happen! How tragic to take the life of a precious, innocent child because of the word of a doctor who is only human, rather than leaving it in the hands of our loving Savior who has the power to do the most wondrous things with the least expected among us.

 The article I linked for this story calls it “far-reaching.” I know that is the case as so called “women’s rights” advocates will insist that it is better for a woman to abuse her own body and take the life of another simply to avoid dealing with a pregnancy.  The media like to sway the public into believing that all women feel this way. That this is modern society, this is who women are, and this will not change. Well, as a 25 year old proud Catholic American woman, I can say that they are wrong. There are women out there who feel as I do. And men too! Let’s not forget that these babies have fathers too! I hope and pray with all my heart that something will change in our country to promote a culture of life! I pray that this bill might pass, or at the very least bring the issue once again into the spotlight. I pray that these women who are faced with this choice realize what a gift the life they have inside them is and how many women, myself included, are praying and hoping for the very life they are choosing to kill! Please pass the word about this bill to friends and family so that we may all pray for its success in taking steps towards life.