Peace in the womb

Carols outside abortion clinics.

It’s the result of creative thinking about how to be of help and service to people in need, women in abortion clinics.

Throughout December, Christmas carolers will gather outside abortion facilities across America, to draw attention to the unborn children at risk of abortion. The Pro-Life Action League’s nationwide caroling event, Peace in the Womb brings the Christmas message of peace and joy to the darkness of abortion clinics at over 80 locations in 30 states.

 

“It’s particularly sad to think of someone getting an abortion during the Christmas season, when we celebrate a new dawn of hope and joy coming into the world with the birth of a child,” explained Eric Scheidler, Executive Director of the Pro-Life Action League. “With our Christmas carols, we seek to remind those entering abortion facilities, and the entire community, that the Christmas message of salvation came through an unplanned pregnancy.”

 

The Pro-Life Action League calls for pro-life advocates to gather outside of abortion facilities across America throughout December to sing Christmas carols. Peace in the Womb caroling events take place nationwide, with multiple events and locations in some metro areas, including Chicago, Omaha and Philadelphia. December 2017 marks the fifteenth year that the Pro-Life Action League has coordinated caroling outside of abortion clinics.

 

Scheidler remarked, “The message of the Christmas angels is, Be not afraid. This is the same message our carolers are sharing with abortion-minded mothers. Whatever fear might be bringing them to the abortion clinic, we want to help, in any way that we can.” Scheidler noted that pro-life carolers throughout the country will be prepared to refer women to pregnancy assistance centers that offer a wide range of assistance to help women choose life for their babies.

I talked with Eric Scheidler on radio this week, and learned from him that many women have decided against abortion after hearing the pro-life carolers over the years. At least nine babies were saved from abortion during the 2016 nationwide caroling event alone. Women, girls, left the clinics after changing their minds. Some were smiling, one saying ‘We’re having a baby! We changed our minds!” The father thanked the carolers, saying, “Good job!”

Scheidler added

All they’d done was sing Christmas carols, and a life was saved.

‘What child is this?’ It’s a beautiful thing.

Violence at an abortion clinic

A shooter with a gun thrust Planned Parenthood into the spotlight.

Human lives are ended every day in abortion clinics. Millions of them every year. Whole populations of human beings have been deprived of life every year for decades because of abortion, various types of procedures that did some sort of violence to the most vulnerable young lives in the womb. Silently and out of sight. And over four decades of these daily ‘terminations’, made legal by judges and more acceptable by Planned Parenthood’s considerable PR and marketing resources, the pro-life movement has just as resolutely and steadfastly worked to make pregnancy under any circumstances more bearable by offering every assistance a frightened mother (every pregnant woman is already a mother) needs. And to show and tell the harm to women, men, families and society when the ultimate harm to innocent human life is done on purpose and under false pretenses.

Sometimes I see the recurrent sign on social media saying something like ‘Would abortion bother us more if they used guns?’ Of course that’s both uncomfortably challenging to a culture that doesn’t tolerate being uncomfortable with challenges, and ineffective, because the culture is so desensitized to what abortion is and does and means to, well, the culture.

But while the abortion industry has continued to enjoy its political backing, the pro-life movement has continued to grow, offering women a true choice, for their own thriving and the good of their children.

Then the undercover videos emerged, released over time by the Center for Medical Progress. Congress called for an investigation of Planned Parenthood and government (taxpayer) funding. Pro-life groups highlighted what the videos starkly showed, what goes on in the abortion industry out of sight or mind, not only ending small, vulnerable human lives but marketing their body parts. Planned Parenthood cried foul, claiming the videos misrepresented what they did, and they were being unfairly treated.

Then came last Friday’s shooting in Colorado, at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

While it was still an active shooting scene, with nothing known but the location, pro-life leaders were quick to denounce violence and call for respectful restraint. Bryan Kemper, Youth Director at Priest for Life, was quick to say this:

“Although we do not know the details behind the gun violence at Planned Parenthood in Colorado, it is important to say that we are against all violence against our fellow human persons. From the abortionist, the workers, the patients, the children scheduled to die or anyone at that Planned Parenthood, all of their lives are precious and worth saving. All of them are loved by God and deserve our prayers. I am sickened by the violence there today just as I am sickened by the violence there every day.”

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said this:

“We strongly condemn the violence carried out at Planned Parenthood. Our condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to the victims and their families.

“Violence is never justified. The actions of the shooter are in complete contradiction to the aims of the pro-life movement. Public policy debates regarding abortion – including defunding abortion businesses and protecting women and children from late term abortion – can and should continue to be discussed calmly, with conviction and civility.

It was a pro-life police officer who raced to the scene to save lives.

Garrett Swasey, 44, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs police officer who was shot and killed while responding to a shooting at a Planned Parenthood office, was described by his fellow church members and friends as a courageous man and loving father…

Dannenfelser added

“Officer Garrett Swasey embodies the spirit of the pro-life movement in this tragedy. He may not have agreed with Planned Parenthood, but Officer Swasey charged headfirst into danger to protect lives inside their clinic.  He believed, as we do, that all lives are equally valuable and worthy of protection.”

Then Planned Parenthood quickly reacted by blaming the pro-life movement for ‘domestic terrorism‘. And Christians.

To which blogger Matt Barber responded:

The fact is that the pro-life movement is an overwhelmingly peaceful movement, despite our profound and deep objection to abortion on demand and despite the deplorable practices of Planned Parenthood. As blogger Matt Walsh noted, “Interesting fact: Planned Parenthood kills 100 times more people in a day than alleged ‘anti abortion extremists’ have killed in 40 years.”

As for those “anti-abortion extremists,” their actions have been condemned by all major pro-life groups as well as by all major Christian leaders involved in the pro-life movement, since, by murdering another human being, they violate the very spirit of being “pro-life.”…

That’s why it was no surprise to learn that the alleged shooter in last week’s tragic attack was completely unknown to the pro-life movement…

In fact, who was that shooter?

…the picture emerging of the man who allegedly opened fire at a Planned Parenthood facility Friday is one of a deeply disturbed recluse who, though opposed to abortion, had little interest in and no known history of active involvement in the abortion debate, with a long spate of run-ins with the law and a pattern of bizarre behavior that left some of those who encountered him fearful for their safety, and many convinced that he wasn’t in his right mind…

“You know how whenever someone goes crazy, the neighbors say he was so quiet and normal. That wasn’t the case here. He was weird. Everyone kept an eye on him.”

“He was really tightly wound,” said another resident. “You could see that from the stress on his face, from the way he acted.”

Still another went even further, telling the Post, “He was just always saying, ‘I know the U.S. is trying to kill everybody’ and do this and do that. He [said he] was an undercover [agent]. Just craziness. Just pure, right-out craziness all the time.

However, take note of this part of that story:

One anonymous source, reportedly with the police, told the Washington Post that in a confusing rant following his arrest Dear did make mention of “baby body parts,” suggesting some connection with the recent series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted babies.

However, the source added that this was but one topic among many mentioned by Dear in a speech that left investigators unclear as to his specific motivation.

Planned Parenthood has issued a statement saying that based upon eyewitnesses they believe Dear “was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion.”

So, attributing this to an “anonymous source” is questionable enough. But how did a clearly out of touch recluse who “spent some of his time living in a cabin in the woods in North Carolina, without running water or electricity” even hear anything about Planned Parenthood videos, or “baby body parts”?

Time will tell.

But meanwhile, the effort to defund Planned Parenthood continues, and to shift federal funds to community health centers that provide life-saving health care for women, men and children.

Gosnell convicted, Castro charged: murder of babies

Mother’s Day just passed with fair weather and loving celebrations in much of the country. But it was surrounded by a perfect storm.

I was already saying that about the five week trial of notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell and the grisly details of his ‘house of horrors’ revealed in the grand jury report, along with the Live Action undercover videos of other abortion clinics doing late-term abortions, together with the president’s untimely and ill-advised address embracing Planned Parenthood and pledging his fidelity to the abortion giant.

But that was before the three young women held captive for a decade were discovered and rescued, and the horrific details of their captivity became known. So while the Gosnell jury was in the second week of deliberation over such inhumane treatment of women and their babies, the facts about Cleveland abductor/captor Ariel Castro and his own house of horrors started coming out and we learned about his inhumane treatment of young women and the babies they conceived by him, and it was all more than any civilized person could get their mind around.

Which pushed the idea of brutality against innocent human life to the front of our minds and the front page of the news. It’s about time. And especially timely in the week leading up to the celebration of Motherhood.

The CNN report that Ariel Castro repeatedly punched one of his pregnant victims in the stomach to force the miscarriage of an ‘aborted fetus’, and that this happened over several different pregnancies, was breathtakingly shocking. That it would lead to murder charges was jaw-dropping. Such a charge meant the declaration, much less recognition, that  ‘terminating a fetus’ is murder. Even though it hinged on the will of the mother, or maybe especially so. Because it focused the attention on what it means to end a human life, and it was a watershed moment.

As we awaited the jury’s verdict in the Gosnell trial, the newly incarcerated Castro faced aggravated murder charges for terminating pregnancies.

Based on the facts of the case, authorities said they intend to seek charges not only for the sexual assaults endured by the victims, but also “each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies.”

That alone is a startling statement. Think about what “each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies” means.

We were already thinking about the idea of murdering babies in the Gosnell trial before this news broke. Monday, the Gosnell trial jury returned their verdict.  Guilty, of murdering babies.

A 72-year-old doctor whose abortion clinic was described by prosecutors as a “house of horrors” was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies born alive.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell was acquitted of killing a fourth baby during a late-term abortion in a dirty clinic that served mostly low-income women and teens, and went years without a state inspection.

There’s a saga contained within those two sentences. The horribly filthy clinic required that the grand jury visiting it prior to the trial wear Hazmat suits. How was it not shut down by authorities a long time ago? Because a long time ago state authorities stopped inspecting it, a nationwide problem with abortion clinics. And note that this ‘house of horrors’ served mostly low-income women, minorities and minors. It was far worse than despicable.

Prosecutors said Gosnell delivered the babies alive and killed them by cutting their spines with scissors.

He was also convicted of manslaughter for the death of one of the women who suffered terribly at the hands of this abortionist.

The verdict does not satisfy all critics. Some time before the decision was announced, Pastor Luke Robinson, who was keynote speaker at the 2012 March for Life, told The Washington Times, “The whole health department of Pennsylvania should be on trial for allowing these atrocities.”

Law enforcement officials raided Gosnell’s abortion business in 2010, believing he merely ran a “pill mill,” dispensing prescriptions for narcotics to make a quick buck. What they found shocked and nauseated them.

Inside his “house or horrors,”…they found unsanitized equipment that transmitted STDs between patients, urine- and blood-soaked recliners for post-abortion “recovery,” and dismembered fetal body parts…

The violations filled a 250-page Grand Jury Report.

During his closing argument, Cameron dramatically asked Gosnell, “Are you human?”

The atrocities unfolded with the tacit permission of numerous levels of authority in the government, as well as within the health care and abortion industries.

It has caused some prominent or high-profile ‘pro-choice’ advocates to reconsider their beliefs, starting from their very premise, and the idea of what abortion is.

And then there are entrenched abortion defenders, as this CNN piece reveals. They admit the Gosnell case is terrible…

But that doesn’t mean it sets a precedent, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said.

“The testimony in this case was so graphic and so horrific. It was described literally as a house of horrors taking place in this Philadelphia clinic,” Callan said. “So I think that most objective observers will say that ultimately this will be an isolated case, hopefully, and that it’s simply a case where prosecutors had to act. It had nothing to do with being pro- or anti-abortion.”

Yes, it did. And no, it wasn’t an isolated case. The two are related, as the recent Live Action undercover videos from several abortion clinics reveal. Gosnell was no aberration.

We have arrived at a point where we’re not only reconsidering the reality and terminology of abortion, but the realities of human life itself. And the importance of maternity to a woman’s identity.

Some mothers have become used to apologizing for “just” being stay-at-home moms. At social gatherings, a woman can be introduced as a mother only to receive the stunningly obtuse follow-up question, “Do you work?”

Women representing different strands of feminist thought, including those who distance themselves from any type of feminism, struggle with this tension. I had a unique experience of this several years ago, attending a conference on maternal feminism at Barnard College in New York. Participants were challenged to see if they could agree that, for many women, maternity is a defining part of their identity.

We are at a defining moment. The civil rights movement has extended into today’s pro-life movement and it just gained more ground by fate or providence than it could have by addresses and marches and witnesses, as much as they have continued to advance the cause of human life and dignity. That it happened by horrible high profile crimes against humanity was astonishing and unforeseen. But not unimaginable after forty years of experiencing the logic of abortion carried out, and what it really was all along.

Choice to leave the abortion business

Abby Johnson’s story spread rapidly back when she went from being a leader in Planned Parenthood and one of their clinic directors, to a committed pro-life advocate, in short order. After witnessing the horrifying sight of one abortion on an ultrasound screen. Now, she tells her compelling and dramatic story in unPlanned, a new book about to be released. Great title, heart-stopping drama. It should certainly be a debate changer.

Monday evening, Johnson is participating in a webcast originally reserved for 3,000 total participants and has now grown to over 14,000. The webcast provider is maxing out its server to provide a bandwith capable of carrying this load. Promotions promise the crowd who signs on that they’ll hear Johnson talk about the following:

• What initially attracted Abby to volunteer and then work for Planned Parenthood — America’s largest abortion chain — even after being raised in a faithful Christian home
• The hidden personal secret that Abby had kept buried for years
• The shocking discovery that suddenly caused Abby to question everything Planned Parenthood had told her over eight years
• Planned Parenthood’s confidential plans to expand its biggest money-maker – abortion – all across America
• The abortion industry’s furious reaction when Abby decided to quit her job and join local and national pro-life efforts
• What Abby’s court battle brought to light about Planned Parenthood’s REAL agenda
• The single most effective way to reduce Planned Parenthood’s abortion business and change the hearts and minds of clinic workers

I had an advance copy of unPlanned, and interviewed Abby Johnson last week. We never got past chapter one, “The Ultrasound.” When I read it the evening before the interview, I was thunderstruck. After the final sentence of that chapter, I perceptibly exhaled. And realized I had been holding my breath. It was captivating.

Without giving anything away here, I just want to point out her preface, ‘A Note from Abby Johnson’, brief as it is. She says:

…I’ve spent years on the front lines of the face-off between pro-choice and pro-life advocates. Which side? Both sides…

I reveal my story not because I am proud of it. I am not. But my thinking and choices are not unlike those of so many people I have encountered. And until we each set aside our own preferences for how we wish others would think and behave, or how we assume others think and behave, we won’t be able to understand those with whom we differ in order to engage in real dialogue and discover truth.

People have asked her things like how she could have been so naive, or gullible, or inconsistent in holding Christian values but not acting on them, etc…  She understands the difficulty in understanding this whole business, on both sides.

To this day I have friends on both sides of this polarizing debate. We all long for a story that shows that “our” side is right and good, and “their” side is wrong and bad, don’t we? But…we have far more in common with the “other” side than we might imagine.

She’s singing my song. For years and years, I’ve tried to generate a conversation between those who disagree on the big life issues, with the presumption of goodwill that probably, people on both sides are acting on what they believe to be what’s best for women and/or children and/or other groups of human beings in the life debate (the impaired or dying, if the debate is euthanasia, for instance…). But after years of this, I’ve found precious few advocates of the most permissable abortion laws willing to talk to anyone who doesn’t share their views. It’s one thing to have friends on both sides, and I agree with Abby that I do as well. It’s another to generate that conversation, both talking and listening, engaging reason and charity toward the person and the argument.

So I asked her if she’s been able to do that with some of her former colleagues in the abortion business. She paused, and slowly said ‘No, I’m sorry to say that hasn’t been possible…’

The promotion from Ignatius Press says

Planned Parenthood took Johnson to court in an attempt to keep a lid on her story. Johnson won. unPlanned is the result.

The book is going to make a lot of people squirm. “If so,” she says, “welcome to my journey.”