By: Rick Hampson - USA TODAY
Kermit Gosnell, 72, of Philadelphia was charged with first-degree murder in the death of four newborns and third-degree murder in the 2009 death of a 41-year-old woman.
The conviction Monday of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell on first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges produced rare agreement by opposing sides in the national abortion debate: that the trial was more influential than the verdict, and that the defendant got the verdict he deserved.
But it's unclear whether abortion opponents can use the gruesome deeds of a single clinic operator to advance their agenda, much less end a decades-long political stalemate with abortion rights supporters.
Gosnell, accused of running a "house of horrors" abortion clinic where babies accidentally born alive had their spines severed, was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of three fetuses inadvertently born alive. He could face the death penalty. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 41-year-old patient who was given an overdose of Demerol.
Both supporters and opponents of abortion rights said the verdict was just.
"I'm pleased. I expected nothing less,'' said Anna Higgins of the Family Research Council, a pro-life group. Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that supports anti-abortion political candidates, called Gosnell "thoroughly bad'' and "ghoulish'' and likened him to a serial killer.
Abortion rights supporters also praised the verdict and condemned the defendant. Eric Ferrero, spokesman for Planned Parenthood, which provides reproduction-related health services that include abortions, called Gosnell a "butcher.''
"This was horrifying and he should be punished,'' Ferraro said. "This was not an abortion provider. This was someone preying on women.''
The two sides also agreed that whatever impact the Gosnell case has on the abortion debate, the trial itself was probably more important than the verdict.
"I'm not sure the verdict changes much about how the public views Gosnell, and what he means to the abortion issue,'' said Caitlin Borgmann, a City University of New York law school professor who writes a blog on reproductive rights.
Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, a federation of state and local organizations opposed to abortion, agreed: "It's more about people learning through the trial itself what was happening at that building.''
She was referring to 3801 Lancaster Ave. in west Philadelphia, which housed the clinic where Gosnell was accused of routinely doing illegal late-term abortions under squalid conditions, assisted by unlicensed, poorly trained assistants.
The trial produced vivid images of late-term fetuses, which the prosecution said were born alive and then killed after botched abortions, and disturbing testimony.
Abortion rights opponents said the trial showed abortion as it is — under-regulated and unsafe. Abortion rights advocates said it showed abortion as it was before it was legalized by the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, and as it will be again if women's access to legal, safe abortion is restricted.
The trial came as some groups are working at the state level to impose new restrictions on abortions and abortion providers; almost 700 were proposed in the first quarter of the year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.
Those for and against abortion rights agreed that the case had strengthened the political hand of the latter. But Ferrero of Planned Parenthood said most recent regulations in states such as North Dakota and Virginia are intended largely to drive abortion clinics out of business. The Gosnell case, he said, shows the real need is to enforce existing regulations.
Gosnell's clinic went for years without an inspection, and two state health officials were fired after law enforcers raided it three years ago and discovered what Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams called "a house of horrors.''
Some abortion critics said the Cosnell trial might change the public's long-standing support for basic abortion rights. "This reminds me of the civil rights cases in the '60s,'' said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, which litigates on behalf of those opposed to abortion. "When you saw what was happening, it completed your understanding.''
He said the Gosnell trial may be the biggest moment in the movement to end abortion since "Operation Rescue" demonstrations outside abortion clinics in the 1980s gained widespread attention.
During the trial, abortion foes had complained about what they said was insufficient coverage by established news organizations. Tobias, of the National Right to Life Committee, said that was beginning to change last month when the trial was overshadowed by several extraordinary news events, including the Boston Marathon bombing and the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion.
Still, she said, "it's added to the distaste in people's minds for abortion … for the idea that unborn babies are being killed.''
Lydia Saad follows public opinion on abortion for Gallup, whose most recent poll found opinion much where it's been for decades: 28% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all circumstances; 52% say legal in some circumstances; 18% say it should be illegal in all circumstances.
Marcella Wagner w/ baby Logan
By: Libby Copeland - Glamour
On a Thursday morning in early 2012, nursing student Marcella Wagner, who was 32 years old and seven and a half months pregnant, was driving to class not far from her home in Redding, California. A car swerved in front of her Honda, clipping her front wheel. Marcella's car flipped twice and landed upright on the side of the highway. Barely able to process what had just happened, her first thought was how convenient it was that the car had landed upright - she could simply step out of it and walk away. Then she tried to, and nothing happened.
She sat, paralyzed, watching blood drip from her scalp onto her pregnant belly, and she realized she could no longer feel her baby. She began to pray.
Witnesses pulled over to help. Someone called 911. The roof of the car had caved in on Marcella, and a man with medical training reached in and adjusted her neck so she could breathe. A nurse nudged her pregnant belly and said she felt her baby push back. Marcella, still able to talk, began to rattle off phone numbers. Her husband, Dave Campbell, didn't answer right away; neither did her mom. Finally, a caller reached her sister-in-law. Emergency personnel arrived and shot down Interstate 5. Dave got a call from a family member while in line at the bank and raced to the accident scene. Stuck in traffic on the highway, he watched a rescue helicopter buzz across the sky and feared that his wife was inside.
At the hospital, Dave and the rest of the family waited as doctors performed an emergency C-section. A seven-hour operation after that stabilized Marcella's spine but couldn't repair the damage. She awoke later that day quadriplegic, unable to feel anything below the middle of her chest. But her tiny baby, Logan, had survived the accident without a scratch. Marcella remembers looking into his eyes during those first hazy days and feeling overwhelming joy, then loss. Her son was alive and healthy, but she couldn't hold him.
"You think if you're alive, they can fix it."
At 7:30 that Thursday morning, Marcella stopped at Starbucks, got on the highway, and set the cruise control at the speed limit. "I thought, 'Today's going to be a good day,'" she said. Then without signaling, a car swerved into her lane, and Marcella remembers the impact. The other driver didn't stop and has never been found.
At the hospital, a neurosurgeon showed Dave an MRI of Marcella's severed spinal cord. "He put his hand on my shoulders and said, 'I'm sorry,'" recalls Dave, who tried to process what this meant for Marcella, Logan, and their life together. Marcella doesn't remember exactly when she found out the news, because of the painkillers she was taking at the time. But even through the fog, she remembers being in the ICU and hearing a doctor in the hallway tell a nurse about her condition, and starting to cry.
She'd heard total transection, explains Dave. "She's a nursing student. She knew what that meant" - her spinal cord was beyond repair. Still, Marcella was slow to accept her prognosis. "At first you hope. I still hope, but at the beginning you think it's temporary - that as long as you're in the hospital and you're still alive, they can fix it."
Logan, meanwhile, was in neonatal intensive care. Born six weeks early and weighing less than four pounds, he initially needed a feeding tube. But after just two weeks, he was released from the hospital, perfectly healthy. Within a couple more weeks, Marcella was transferred to a rehabilitation center in San Jose that specialized in spinal cord injuries. Dave slept on a foldout chair in her room. His mother, who'd flown in from Minnesota, stayed with Marcella's mom in a hospital apartment nearby to take care of Logan. As the swelling in Marcella's spinal cord went down, she began to breathe on her own and regain some function in her arms. After three months she was released. Then she began the process of trying to adjust to life with a vastly changed body.
"I feel like I'm not the best mother for him."
Marcella now goes to rehab three to four times a week. Marcella is lucky, in a way. Her spinal cord was severed along her lower neck. One or two inches higher, says Marcella's doctor, Andrew Solkovits, D.O., and "she would have lost the ability to breathe," and probably wouldn't have survived.
But she has had to adapt to a new life. Once an avid hiker - she and Dave spent their 2010 honeymoon backpacking in Yosemite - she can't feel her feet or legs or move her fingers and has such limited strength in her arms that she can't diaper her son or hold a fork. She has no bladder or bowel control, so she must be catheterized every five hours, even at night. A rotating team of family caregivers - her mother, two sisters, and a sister-in-law - tend to her body around the clock. "I used to be a very capable person," she says. "I was the one taking care of everyone else, and it kills me to have to ask for help."
"She was so looking forward to being a mother," Dave says. "A lot of that got stolen from her." Marcella may never rock Logan in her arms. When she strokes his cheek, what she feels at most is a burning sensation - a condition called neuropathic pain - that never really goes away. "I can't really feel him," she says.
Sometimes Marcella worries what she'll tell Logan about the day he was born. "I want to say it in a way that doesn't reflect the pain of that day for me," she says. She feels guilty that she tends to remember February 9 as the day she was paralyzed instead of his birthday. And she wonders what her son will think of having a mother in a wheelchair. "I feel like" - she pauses - "I'm not the best mother for him." Tears spring from her eyes. When she talks about the family and friends who've helped her, Marcella calls herself blessed. "I'm stronger than I ever imagined, but a lot of that comes from Logan and Dave. I would do anything for them," she says. "When I have those bad moments, I think of them and muster strength from that."
"I just want to give back somehow."
Dave and Marcella don't know what their future holds. Her dreams of becoming a nurse are gone, as are their hopes of pushing out of the lower middle class. Dave's company is small and doesn't offer health care, so they are on California's version of Medicaid. They aren't able to save for retirement or start a college fund for Logan, and they often struggle to pay for groceries.
Here's what Marcella does know: She'd like to work someday, though she has no idea what she'll be able to do. "I just want to give back somehow. I feel like so many people have been there for me, and been so loving and kind, that I want to play that role in someone else's life," she says.
She knows too that she'll probably never walk again. Still, she and Dave like to dream about what could be. One day they hope to rig up a motorized chair so that Marcella can go hiking with him. "Just because my legs won't cooperate doesn't mean we have to stop," she says. Marcella calls Dave her "rock" for helping her imagine a life of freedom and movement. "My husband is clear he married me for better or for worse, and he's glad I'm still here."
"It is what it is," Dave says resolutely. "We will have a wonderful, happy, and long life together." Logan is a toddler now. He has his first teeth and is learning to walk. He hangs on his mother's wheelchair, stares in fascination at its motor, and plays with her feet. And Marcella is approaching something like acceptance. "I read a quote: 'You have to let go of what was to fully grasp what can be,'" she says. "You have to focus not on what you lost, but on what you have."
This article was originally published in Glamour's May 2013 edition, and author Libby Copeland is a former reporter for The Washington Post
Photo: Tom Fox, AP
By: Anneke E. Green - USA TODAYIn a life-loving society, momentary circumstances should never determine abortion
Tuesday marked 40 years since the Supreme Court established a legal right to abortion in Roe v. Wade
. The March for Life and other groups gather Friday for their annual journey on foot from downtown Washington, D.C., to the Supreme Court. Media coverage of the event promises to be as thin as in past years. The message is not popular: America has failed to support its women and children. A national abdication of social responsibility continues.
Thanks to Roe
, unplanned pregnancy is enshrined in our culture as a woman's problem. Celebrating "a woman's right to choose" is a convenient way to get out of confronting complicated issues that can lead a woman to think abortion is the only option. Many women choose to end pregnancies they would otherwise want because of short-term circumstances, such as little money, the need to finish school, lack of partner support, no access to child care or already limited resources for existing children.
That's insulting. It forces women to make life-long decisions based on the situation of the moment. It's the equivalent of patting a woman on the head and helping her get out of her little predicament by making it go away. It's certainly an easier choice for an uncommitted partner to pay $300-$1,000 for an abortion now rather than pay his share of the $234,900
that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates it costs to raise a child to age 18.
In a life-loving society, circumstances should never be the determining factor in a woman's decision to abort. We need a better answer to the question of how to fit unplanned -- but not necessarily unwanted -- pregnancies into women's present realities and future goals. "The health care of the future will deal with the well-being of the whole woman and the potential of the whole girl, including her relationships with family, church and community," Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of Susan B. Anthony List, told me. "We've found that pro-life pregnancy centers raise substantially more private funding than Planned Parenthood clinics. Pregnancy resource centers are entering their heyday."
Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice organizations must shift focus from raising money on the fear of threats to Roe
to offering support for women's continuing challenges. Some of the justice issues that abortion was supposed to address have only grown worse since the 1973 decision. The number of single mothers below the poverty line has increased dramatically and is the group with the highest poverty rate in the country. According to the Census Bureau, 31.6% of female-headed households were poor in 2010
. This is double the 15.8% headed by men who are poor and more than five times higher than the married-couple households at 6.2%.
In 1971, lawyer Sarah Weddington
who represented "Jane Roe", described to the Supreme Court the troubles pregnant women encountered, including being forced to quit jobs, drop out of school, being denied access to financial support or refused post-pregnancy employment. While it is now illegal for employers to discriminate based on pregnancy or parenthood, we have far to go to being a society that nurtures women and children. Employers should explore offering extended maternity and paternity leave benefits as a competitive means to attract and retain employees. Religious communities should offer child care options to congregants in support of family life. The government should consider offering the child tax credit to expectant mothers. We should double down on programs promoting and supporting healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood.
The appalling implications of the loss of more than 50 million unborn lives in the United States since 1973 require action. As a nation, we must offer real opportunities to women to stop needless destruction of life and our own future along with it.Anneke E. Green is a senior director at the White House Writers Group. She served in the Administration for Children and Families under President George W. Bush
By: Kristin DeSutter
While cooking dinner and jamming out to my T Swift Pandora station after work last night, these lyrics (ones I hadn't ever heard before) started playing, lyrics so pretty that I almost entirely forgot about my bubbling pasta and just... listened. Almost every Taylor Swift song revolves around dating relationships, but this song focuses on a completely different (and completely awesome) relationship - one with little baby girls - and although it may not be explicitly pro-life, she recognizes the sweet innocence of early life so beautifully that it's close enough for me!
Another reason I am so drawn to this song is because sometimes I feel a number of Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade girls are pressured to think and act and dress years older than they actually are. This is a trend I've noticed not only from reality shows such as Toddlers & Tiaras, but also at times when I assisted little miss pageant contestants as a former county queen. So it's pretty cool that Taylor Swift realizes how essential it is for girls to take their time in growing up, time to be crazy and carefree.
And yet, I also love Swift's song because it reminds us that part of "never growing up" is not just for kids, but adults as well. To have their same sweet, innocent, and faithful spirit. To love as if we've never been scarred or hurt. Most of all, this message is often reflected in one of the Catholic Church's most prominent Bible verses - Matthew 18:3 - "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."
In case you missed the vice presidential debate last evening, watch Paul Ryan explain how he and presidential candidate Mitt Romney plan to stand on abortion issues if elected to the White House this upcoming November.
“I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, of how to make sure that people have a chance in life,” Ryan said. “Now, you want to ask basically why I’m pro-life? It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science.”
Paul Ryan, Republican VP candidate
By: John Whitesides - The Chicago Tribune
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan launched a broad assault on President Barack Obama in a speech to social conservatives on Friday, accusing him of pandering to extremists on abortion and emboldening U.S. enemies in the Middle East.
The Wisconsin congressman told the Values Voters Summit, an annual gathering of religious and conservative activists, that Obama had led a "reckless expansion of federal power" and waged economic class warfare. Declaring himself "a values voter, too," Ryan mocked Democrats for their convention fight over the mention of God in the platform and questioned claims by Obama that "we're all in this together."
"How hollow it sounds coming from a politician who has never once lifted a hand to defend the most helpless and innocent of all human beings, the child waiting to be born," Ryan said.
"Giving up any further pretense of moderation on this issue, and in complete disregard of millions of pro-life Democrats, President Obama has chosen to pander to the most extreme elements of his party," he said.
He also attacked the requirements under Obama's federal healthcare overhaul that Catholic-affiliated institutions, including hospitals, provide employees with health coverage for contraceptives.
"Never mind your own conscience, they were basically told, from now on you're going to do things the government's way," Ryan said, repeating Republican calls for a repeal of the healthcare law.
Abortion and other social issues largely have taken a backseat so far in a White House campaign focused on the economy but Ryan's speech was an appeal to the Republican's conservative base.
With so few undecided voters left in the race, both parties are trying to fire up their base to turn out to vote on Election Day on November 6.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a former head of a private equity firm, has made the struggling economic recovery the centerpiece of his campaign.
Ryan was chosen as Romney's No. 2 in part because of his appeal to conservatives, who have been slow to warm to Romney but favor Ryan for a budget plan that severely slashes government spending and would overhaul Medicare, the retirement plan for seniors.
At his Values Voters appearance, Ryan did not focus on the details of his budget but ridiculed Obama's claims that his economic approach was fairer than that of Republicans."Here we are, after four years of economic stewardship under these self-proclaimed advocates of the poor, and what do they have to show for it? More people in poverty, and less upward mobility wherever you look," Ryan said.
"After four years of dividing people up with the bogus rhetoric of class warfare, just about every segment of society is worse off."
Ryan also expanded on Romney's recent attacks on Obama's leadership in the Middle East, saying equivocation and mixed signals from the administration had made the region's extremists even bolder.
"Amid all these threats and dangers, what we do not see is steady, consistent American leadership," Ryan said, calling Obama's policy toward Israel "indifference bordering on contempt."
Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said Ryan's speech amounted to "a series of over-the-top, dishonest attacks against the president that once again reminded voters that he's just not ready for prime time."
But many of those in the audience, who cheered Ryan and shouted down protesters who interrupted his speech twice, said they were more enthusiastic about the election with the addition of Ryan to the ticket.
"People were a little worried about Romney because we were uncertain of where he stands," said Jason Handcock, director of Crossroads Pro-Life, an anti-abortion rights group. "But I really like the Romney-Ryan ticket. Paul Ryan is a good conservative."
Ryan defended Romney against charges that he is stiff and aloof, but acknowledged that he and others had told him to talk more about himself.
"Mitt Romney is the type we've all run into in our own communities, the man who's there right away when there's need, but never first in line when praise and credit are being handed out," Ryan said. "He's a modest man with a charitable heart, a doer and a promise-keeper."
(Editing by Alistair Bell and Christopher Wilson)
By: Kristin DeSutter
Living less than 10 minutes away from two! of the largest shopping malls in St. Louis, being able to drive down the street to get last-minute (proven rather essential :-) baking ingredients, and living close to several friends who also graduated from the University of Illinois are some of the best parts of living in a big city.
But one of the few things I don’t like about living in a big city is the prevalence of Planned Parenthood ads. On Interstate billboards. In St. Louis tourism magazines. On local country and hop radio stations. With attending March for Life in Washington D.C. for three years, I should have anticipated this. But coming from a small town of 700, I didn’t see it coming.
Although the Planned Parenthood ads don’t outwardly promote abortion, there is no denying that the organization still aborts 220,000 babies in America each year (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-planned-parenthood-actually-does/2011/04/06/AFhBPa2C_blog.html
). So whenever I see or hear one of their advertisements, I feel awful for all the unborn children, as well as for the moms and dads who don’t ever get to experience the rewarding joy of giving birth to, playing with, and helping their son or daughter grow from a tiny baby into a young adult. Therefore, I wanted to honor the gift of life – not just at birth, but at the moment of conception – by sharing one of the most powerful, crazy yet amazing, witnesses I have ever heard.
The excerpt comes from Heaven is for Real
, a #1 New York Times
bestseller that has sold 2 million+ copies in print. This true story is about a 4-year-old boy who almost died from an appendix attack… momentarily. Although Colton only spent several minutes in heaven, he was later able to authentically describe what his family – his mom, dad, and sister – were doing in completely different parts of the hospital at the time of his near-death experience. And that was when Colton discovered he didn’t have just one older sister, but two…
Excerpt from Heaven is for Real, pages 94 – 96
“Mommy, I have two sisters,” Colton said.
Sonja looked up from her paperwork and shook her head slightly. “No, you have your sister, Cassie, and… do you mean your cousin, Traci?”
“No.” Colton clipped off the word adamantly. “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?”
At that moment, time stopped in our household, and Sonja’s eyes grew wide. “Who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?” Sonja said, her tone serious.
“She did, Mommy. She said she died in your tummy.
Sonja slide off the couch and knelt in front of Colton so she could look him in the eyes. “Don’t you mean Jesus adopted her?” she asked.
“No, Mommy. His dad did!”
Sonja turned and looked at me. In that moment, she later told me, she was trying to stay calm, but she was overwhelmed. Our baby… was – is! – a girl, she thought.
Sonja focused on Colton, and I could hear the effort it took to steady her voice. “So did she look like Cassie?" Sonja asked.
“She is just a little bit smaller, and she has dark hair.”
Sonja’s dark hair.
As I watched, a blend of pain and joy played across my wife’s face. Cassie and Colton have my blond hair. She had even jokingly complained to me before, “I carry these kids around for nine months, and they both come out looking like you!” Now there was a child who looked like her. A daughter.
Now Colton went on without prompting. “In heaven, this little girl ran up to me, and she wouldn’t stop hugging me,” he said in a tone that clearly indicated he didn’t enjoy all this hugging from a girl.
“Maybe she was just happy that someone from her family was there,” Sonja offered. “Girls hug. When we’re happy, we hug.”
Colton didn’t seem convinced.
Sonja’s eyes lit up and she asked,“What was her name? What was the little girl’s name?
“She doesn’t have a name,” Colton said. “You guys didn’t name her.”
How did he know that?
“You’re right, Colton,” Sonja said. “We didn’t even know she was a she.”
Then Colton said something that still rings in my ears.
“Yeah, she said she just can’t wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven.”
I promise Heaven is for Real
is one of the most spiritually inspirational books I have ever read, so if you want to find out more, visit: http://heavenisforreal.net/
Written by Kelsey Gillespy.
Posted to Young Catholic Women by Brooke Heischmidt.
Back in the days when everything was left to Beaver, a note from the teacher
meant only one thing: disaster. Kids knew the real danger was waiting at home
with a thick belt or lashing tongue. But what happened when Beaver grew old
enough to father his own children? Well, whatever the case, he must have grown
to like pants with an elastic waist. Nowadays, spanking a child is frowned upon
or even reported as abuse, and those vicious tongues of mommy and daddy have become the child’s best defense attorneys. So, instead of learning to accept the consequences of their actions and be accountable for their wrongdoing, the culprits get out of trouble without a scratch. Quickly, Generation X and Y learned how to get off the hook and easily evade the finger of blame. And, as a member of Gen X, I admit the first thought in the face of trouble is, “How can I get myself out of this?” More often than not, we can do anything we want and find a successful way to take the hook from our mouths with little or no repercussions.
Like snatching lives under the guise of women’s rights.
Politically, pro-choicers argue that babies aren’t actually alive until they take their first breath. Whether they truly believe this, I am not entirely convinced: I cannot help but wonder how a pro-choice woman would feel if she
experienced a miscarriage. After all, I’ve never heard one person–regardless of political affiliation–tell a woman who had a miscarriage, “Good thing your baby wasn’t alive yet!” No, they mourn with the mother and consider the situation a catastrophic death of a beloved child. The first question in “women’s rights”, then, is whether the mother feels blessed or burdened by the life growing inside her. If the woman feels blessed, the baby is a living being, anticipated with joy and celebration. If, under the same exact circumstances, the mother feels
burdened by this responsibility, she is offered a way out. Thus, the question is not what moment a being begins to live–that man-made timeline is merely a tool we use to justify our action to abort. The real question that fuels abortion is, “How can I get myself out of this?”
And, because of the decisions our society has made as a whole, women are not only encouraged to take this way out, they are commended for doing so. But what’s more important: banding together to provide women an escape from their past and their future experiences or giving voice to the voiceless inside their bellies?source: http://vicarousthinking.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/abhortion/?blogsub=confirming#blog_subscription-2
By: Gabby Seufferheld
Like any self-proclaimed “girly-girl,” I love keeping up on the latest trends, from what colors are hot this season (I hear orange and yellow are going to be big this summer), to hair and make-up ideas by reading magazines. Granted, I take these suggestions with a grain of salt, given my desire to strive for holiness and stay true to my identity as a young Catholic woman—modest is hottest!
While flipping through the latest issue (June 2012) of Glamour
magazine in search of images for my next collage, I was drawn to the attention-grabbing title of an article by Roxanne Patel Shepelavy called “How Far Would You Go to Save a Baby?” What enticed me to read this article were not only the pictures of adorable babies surrounding the text, but more importantly, the shocking realization that the words “save” and “baby” are in the same sentence in a world-renowned magazine like Glamour
. Having come across countless articles in current magazines openly preaching “The Secret to Great Sex” and the wonders of birth control, I assumed that an article suggesting that children are a precious gift would never have been published here. Lucky for the pro-life community, I was proven wrong.
“How Far Would You Go to Save a Baby?” tells the story of four remarkable women in Memphis, Tennessee who are reducing the infant-mortality rate, one child at a time by actively fighting for the lives of those who cannot defend themselves—infants. Hey pro-lifers, sound familiar? By using their various experiences and talents, these women are working to save the lives of at-risk infants and so far, are happy to report that about 32 babies have been saved per year since 2006.
It brings me such joy to read that despite our inability to see eye-to-eye on most issues, Glamour
seems to share my sentient that if even one life has been saved, their work has been worthwhile. Shepelavy’s underlying point parallels with the mission of the pro-life movement: the death of a child is a tragic loss, and there is something deeply and inherently wrong in doing nothing to prevent it; to be indifferent in the face of death is a tragedy for humanity. As Blessed Pope John Paul II once said, "a nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope". I am thankful for this article, because although “How Far Would You Go to Save a Baby?” does not mention abortion, it sparks deeply intellectual questions about human rights, specifically a child’s God-given right the life vs. a mother’s socially constructed right to choice.
Once society recognizes that the pre-born child is as fully human as a child outside of the womb, then people will be as appalled and saddened by abortion as I am. In response to the question prompted by the title, I’d go as far as the womb to save a baby. To me this means providing all the physical, emotional, and spiritual empowerment and support that a woman needs in order to say “yes” to life for her baby. Also, rather than telling a woman that she is simply carrying "a mass of cells", it is critical to provide strictly factual, unbiased education to young women in order to make them fully aware of the reality that abortion stops a beating heart. Proponents of abortion disagree with the statement that abortion hurts women, however, it is time that society recognize the seldom-spoken of, but very real and painful emotional consequences of abortion.
Overall, Shepelavy’s article embodies hope for change. It is a small beam of light shining in our pitch-black society. But let’s not be discouraged, for John 1:5 reminds us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” It gives me hope to find an article such as Shepelavy’s in an influential magazine like Glamour
– a magazine with a global circulation of 6.8 million (Progressive Media International) because it marks a step in the right direction, a step toward finally ending the culture of death.Sources:
“Magazine circulation figures.” Progressive Media International, 2012. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/section.asp?navcode=157
Visited May 14, 2012.
Shepelavy, Roxanne. “How far would you go to save a baby?” Glamour, 2012. http://www.glamour.com/inspired/2012/05/how-far-would-you-go-to-save-a-baby-glamour-2012
Visited May 14, 2012.Image
By: Chuck Raasch - USA TODAY
New restrictions on abortion are sweeping through legislatures from Virginia to Arizona, and voters in some states could see proposed constitutional amendments on November ballots that would define life as beginning at conception.
The 2012 anti-abortion push is not as heavy as last year, when legislators in 24 states, many elected in the 2010 Republican tide, passed a record 92 laws restricting abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a group that conducts sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education.
The abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America is tracking 235 bills in legislatures that it says would restrict abortion. The group says a dozen have passed so far this year.
Some proposals would put new restrictions on when women can have abortions. Some would prevent insurance coverage of abortions. Some are aimed at funding or activities of the reproductive health organization Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions as one of a broad array of women's health services.
"We are still feeling the ramifications of the 2010 election and what happened in 2011," says Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for Guttmacher.
Ten major court challenges in seven states are underway against some of the new laws, and they may take four or five years to resolve, Nash says. A Texas law requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound was upheld in a court challenge.
Abortion opponents say they feel emboldened.
"Ohioans are fed up with regulating abortion. They want to end it," says Patrick Johnston, a family physician from Zanesville who is leading a petition drive to get a "personhood" amendment on November's state ballot.
Abortion opponents have tried to stay on the offensive since Mississippi voters in November rejected a constitutional amendment declaring that life begins at conception. Dubbed "personhood," the amendment would have virtually guaranteed a legal challenge to the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
Abortion rights advocates saw the results from one of the nation's most socially conservative states as vivid evidence of a backlash.
"What happened in Mississippi is a clear sign when voters see how extreme these measures are and see the effect on women they have, they overwhelmingly object to them," says Ted Miller, director of communications for NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Abortion opponents are divided on strategy. Some, including Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, want to focus on legislative and court fights and to coalesce around Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Others, including Johnston, have refused to endorse Romney, citing his past support for abortion rights, and say the ballot is a prime battleground to end abortion.
Nowhere is this division more evident than in Ohio, where Ohio Right to Life is pressing legislators to eliminate Planned Parenthood funding and outlaw abortions of fetuses that have detectable heartbeats. Johnston has criticized the latter idea as not going far enough.
"We have seen more anti-abortion legislation in this General Assembly than any time that I can remember," said Sandy Theis, spokeswoman for Healthy Families Ohio, a coalition that opposes the proposed "personhood" amendment.
Getting the required 385,000 signatures by a July 4 deadline will be a challenge. And Ohio Right to Life is not helping. Mike Gonidakis, the group's president, says he fears abortion opponents would get "outspent by Hollywood" and abortion rights advocates in high-profile ballot fights, so he is concentrating on legislative fights and electing more anti-abortion legislators.
Colorado-based Personhood USA is helping local efforts to gather signatures to put constitutional amendments on ballots in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Ohio and Oklahoma, says Keith Mason, the organization's president.
He says he's not deterred by last fall's 16-percentage-point rejection in Mississippi or by two previous lopsided losses in Colorado in 2008 and 2010. Mason says that 40,000 people signed up online to support his group's efforts the day after the Mississippi vote.
Among abortion restrictions passed this year:
• Arizona will prohibit abortion after 20 weeks, following similar legislation passed last year in Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma.
• Virginia will require women seeking an abortion to have an abdominal ultrasound.
• Wisconsin requires doctors intending to prescribe a drug that medically induces abortion to examine the woman in person and be in the room when the drug is administered. It was aimed at what Tobias calls "webcam abortions."
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin President Teri Huyck calls the law vague and "an unneeded and unprecedented burden on Wisconsin physicians and women." Six states passed similar legislation last year.
To find out more, visit: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-04-25/states-anti-abortion-legislation/54538866/1