Category Archives: Marriage

Chris is “bulking” up!

September 4th:  Week 24

I have fine hair all over my body that is there to protect my skin.  I will lose this before being born.  I’m a little thin at this point but am putting on more baby fat.  My eyes are formed, but my iris has no color.  I think I want brown eyes.  I weigh over a pound and am about a foot long.  If I was born today, I’d have a fighting chance to survive. (about 50%)

September 11:  Week 25

I’m really beginning to bulk up.  I gained 6 ounces this week!  I think most of it was muscle but also some bone mass and some organ development.  My taste buds allow me to distinguish between bitter, sweet and sour.  My lungs have developed so well, I’m now officially considered viable.  I could live outside my mom.  My parents have each contributed 15,000 genes that determined not only what I look like, but how I taste stuff, how athletic I will be, any allergies I might have and so much more.  Ain’t genes great!!  Especially if my dad is an athlete.  Tee-hee-hee.

September 18:  Week 26

Thousands and thousands of brain cells are growing in my head every day.  That’s very cool.  I’ll soon have billions of them.  I can make a fist and grasp things.  My spine is beginning to form to protect my spinal cord.  I’m covered by a white cheesy substance that protects my skin.  But, don’t worry, Mom, it comes off right after birth.  Mom can also tell when I have the hiccups.

September 25:  Week 27

My taste buds continue to form.  I can taste sweet things now.  My mom likes chocolate and so do I!  A bright light can be seen by me through my mommy’s tummy.  I have eyelashes and eyebrows, now.  My fingerprints are fully formed and they are growing.  I might need them clipped when I’m born.  Mom’s womb is about the size of a soccer ball.  Can I call her my “Soccer Mom?”

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Two Days (and a Night) at a Your Local Pregnancy Center

What follows is a rather typical experience in the life of a peer counselor, or patient care advocate, at a local pregnancy center.  Lovingly penned to share a particular encounter, it reflects the impact that your local center has in your own community…

 

You never know when someone will touch your heart and how God will guide your hand…

It was a regular Tuesday afternoon.  I had just come in for my four hours as a Patient Care Advocate, or PCA, at my local pregnancy center.  A young lady was waiting in the reception area.  I asked her if she had signed in and then told her someone would be with her in a moment. I privately did not think it would be me since I had just arrived and hadn’t gotten up to speed as of yet. But as God would have it, everyone else was busy  so I came out and introduced myself to Ashley (not her real name) and took her back to a counseling room.

During the initial paperwork I found out that Ashley was 19 years old and in a serious tw0-year relationship with the potential father of the baby.  He knew that she might be pregnant and was happy about it.  Ashley was a full-time college student and stated that she didn’t feel as if she had any major financial or emotional stresses except that her divorced parents might be disappointed and angry with her.  However, when asked about her  intentions should she be pregnant, she stated that either she would parent or have an abortion and that she was 50/50 about the decision at that time.

Adoption was definitively not an option. Ashley asked me if we performed abortions.  I told her that we neither performed or referred for abortion, but that I could give her abortion education. She said no.  The pregnancy test was positive and it was estimated that Ashley was seven weeks into her pregnancy.  She insisted that this could not be right, that she could not be that far along. The medical staff  offered her an ultrasound to help clarify the issue.  The medical director could not see her that day so we scheduled her for the next day at 1:30pm.  She left with the brochure “Before You Decide” and my assurances that we were there for her, whatever she decided.

I worried through the rest of the afternoon that Ashley would not come back the next day and that she might indeed schedule an abortion.  The nagging concern continued into the evening and I went to bed saying a prayer for Ashley and her baby before I fell asleep.  That night I had a very real dream of meeting Ashley the next day and of holding her hand and talking with her during the ultrasound. Ashley was smiling in the dream. I felt calm and comforted during the dream and awakened from it that way but with the clear command that I did indeed need to come in that day, even though it was not my regularly scheduled time.

I often have vivid dreams that are very real but never have I had such a clear feeling that I must do something specific upon awakening.  I admit that my own selfishness, and perhaps the Devil, kept me thinking throughout the morning that maybe I didn’t really need to go.  After all, I had lots to do and all of the counselors were wonderful and dedicated and maybe even Ashley would be better off talking with one of them. As the time neared for Ashley’s appointment, I even called the receptionist to see if she had shown up.

Finally, I got in the car and drove to the center.  Everyone was happy but surprised to see me. I told them why I was there. They, too, were amazed at the dream.  I was thrilled when Ashley showed up.  I told her how happy I was that she was there and asked if I might accompany her during the ultrasound and she said yes. She seemed much happier that day.  Our wonderful medical director worked her magic and there was Ashley’s baby on the screen – so very tiny and yet so very alive with a strong beating heart. The medical director explained that Ashley was more like 6 weeks into her pregnancy and pointed out the yolk sac and the tiny baby and how the image on the ultrasound at this point in the pregnancy resembled a diamond ring with the sac being the band and the baby  the diamond on the band – what a beautiful analogy!

Ashley smiled and asked good questions throughout the procedure and looked happily at the photos that the medical director so wisely placed in a card with the caption “An Image of Life’ on it.  It was then that I noticed and commented on the beautiful engagement ring Ashley wore on her left ring finger.  Ashley and I went back to the counseling room and I asked her how she felt. She said she was still undecided but that she was looking forward to showing baby’s father the photos.  I commented that she now had a beautiful diamond ring on her finger and a beautiful living  ring inside her.  She smiled at the analogy and laughed and looked at the photos again. I asked her how she felt about the baby and she said she still was undecided as to what she was going to do.

Then, I told her that I had dreamed about her the night before. She laughed a little and said, “Now, you’re scaring me!” I told her how it was a happy and comforting dream and that she had truly touched my heart.  I was so very happy to be there with her, grateful that she had talked with me and allowed me to be with her during the ultrasound. Beyond that I didn’t know what to say – my intellect said “use your training and say more” but my heart said “just leave it at that, your being here is what was asked.”  When I hugged Ashley goodbye, I told her I loved her and that I hoped to hear from her.  And then I cried a little as I am now telling this story.     As of this writing I do not know what Ashley’s decision is but I thank the Lord who gave me the dream I had and the opportunity to fulfill it.  I pray that my dream for Ashley and her baby come true.

Let Georgia Right to Life help YOU get plugged in to local prolife activities through your local Georgia Right to Life Chapter.  YOU can make a difference!   Contact Suzanne Ward, Public Relations, at suzanneward@grtl.org.

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Time to Look in on Chris.

June 5: Week 11  The most critical part of Chris’ development is now complete.  Now Chris enters into a period of rapid growth.  Eyelids fuse closed and won’t reopen again until about 26 weeks.  Eye color is already determined and Chris can squint and swallow.  Chis is over an inch long and is moving quickly about the womb.  Mother’s waistline is starting to disappear.

June 12: Week 12  Chris is almost 2 inches long now.  Fingers and toes are separated.  Chris could easily stand on Dad’s little finger nail.  Chris’ feet are the size of the Precious Feet pins that have become the symbol of the pro-life movement.  Finger nails and hair are starting to grow.  The placenta is now proving nutrition from Mom.  Chris likes pizza!

June 19:Week13  Chris now sleeps, awakens, and exercises the muscles energetically (we could take some lessons from him.)  He turns his head, curls his toes, makes a fist, opens and closes his mouth while “breathing” the amniotic fluid to help develop his respiratory system.  Chris is very active.  However he is still a lightweight – weighing about one ounce – about as much as a letter.  If the doctor uses a Fetal Doppler, it won’t be the weather that is seen, but Chris’ heartbeat which sounds like galloping horses.

June 26: Week 14  Chris now has teeth buds for all 20 teeth.  Teething will come later.  He is almost 3 inches long and weighs in at one ounce.  Chris is still exercising and practicing his “breathing.” All Chris’ nourishment is now coming through the placenta.  Vocal cords begin to form and although they may not be ready for a rock band, Chris will use them immediately following birth for that first cry!  Now mom usually feels better and has more energy.  She’s spreading the Good News.

 

 

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The Lord, the Giver of Life

The Holy Spirit, “the Lord, the Giver of Life, ” cooperates with man and woman in creating a new human being.  At conception, when Chris is just one cell, his DNA is complete.  Everything physically about him is now determined:  the color of his hair, the color of his eyes, how tall he will be, whether or not he will have diabetes later in life, whether he will need to wear glasses, everything physical is determined by his DNA in the beginning.  He is a living, whole and distinct human being.  From the moment of his conception, he will now guide his own development through the various stages of life in the womb.

So it was with you.  So it is for every child in the womb.

[When Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord.  Be it done unto me according to your word,” Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  Lk. 1:38]

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Gendercide:What Happened to 100 Million Baby Girls?

This article was featured  in the March 4, 2010 print edition of The Economist. The UN also released a report last week confirming these numbers. What is interesting is that while this is a worldwide problem, this article clearly states that this problem of gender selection is happening in America as well. What are your thoughts: should someone be able to kill a child because it’s a girl and he or she wanted a boy?

Gendercide: The War on Baby Girls

Killed, aborted or neglected, at least 100m girls have disappeared—and the number is rising

Mar 4th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

IMAGINE you are one half of a young couple expecting your first child in a fast-growing, poor country. You are part of the new middle class; your income is rising; you want a small family. But traditional mores hold sway around you, most important in the preference for sons over daughters. Perhaps hard physical labour is still needed for the family to make its living. Perhaps only sons may inherit land. Perhaps a daughter is deemed to join another family on marriage and you want someone to care for you when you are old. Perhaps she needs a dowry.

Now imagine that you have had an ultrasound scan; it costs $12, but you can afford that. The scan says the unborn child is a girl. You yourself would prefer a boy; the rest of your family clamours for one. You would never dream of killing a baby daughter, as they do out in the villages. But an abortion seems different. What do you do?

For millions of couples, the answer is: abort the daughter, try for a son. In China and northern India more than 120 boys are being born for every 100 girls. Nature dictates that slightly more males are born than females to offset boys’ greater susceptibility to infant disease. But nothing on this scale.

For those who oppose abortion, this is mass murder. For those such as this newspaper, who think abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” (to use Bill Clinton’s phrase), a lot depends on the circumstances, but the cumulative consequence for societies of such individual actions is catastrophic.

China alone stands to have as many unmarried young men—“bare branches”, as they are known—as the entire population of young men in America. In any country rootless young males spell trouble; in Asian societies, where marriage and children are the recognised routes into society, single men are almost like outlaws. Crime rates, bride trafficking, sexual violence, even female suicide rates are all rising and will rise further as the lopsided generations reach their maturity (see article).

It is no exaggeration to call this gendercide. Women are missing in their millions—aborted, killed, neglected to death. In 1990 an Indian economist, Amartya Sen, put the number at 100m; the toll is higher now. The crumb of comfort is that countries can mitigate the hurt, and that one, South Korea, has shown the worst can be avoided. Others need to learn from it if they are to stop the carnage.

The dearth and death of little sisters

Most people know China and northern India have unnaturally large numbers of boys. But few appreciate how bad the problem is, or that it is rising. In China the imbalance between the sexes was 108 boys to 100 girls for the generation born in the late 1980s; for the generation of the early 2000s, it was 124 to 100. In some Chinese provinces the ratio is an unprecedented 130 to 100. The destruction is worst in China but has spread far beyond. Other East Asian countries, including Taiwan and Singapore, former communist states in the western Balkans and the Caucasus, and even sections of America’s population (Chinese- and Japanese-Americans, for example): all these have distorted sex ratios. Gendercide exists on almost every continent. It affects rich and poor; educated and illiterate; Hindu, Muslim, Confucian and Christian alike.

Wealth does not stop it. Taiwan and Singapore have open, rich economies. Within China and India the areas with the worst sex ratios are the richest, best-educated ones. And China’s one-child policy can only be part of the problem, given that so many other countries are affected.

In fact the destruction of baby girls is a product of three forces: the ancient preference for sons; a modern desire for smaller families; and ultrasound scanning and other technologies that identify the sex of a fetus. In societies where four or six children were common, a boy would almost certainly come along eventually; son preference did not need to exist at the expense of daughters. But now couples want two children—or, as in China, are allowed only one—they will sacrifice unborn daughters to their pursuit of a son. That is why sex ratios are most distorted in the modern, open parts of China and India. It is also why ratios are more skewed after the first child: parents may accept a daughter first time round but will do anything to ensure their next—and probably last—child is a boy. The boy-girl ratio is above 200 for a third child in some places.

How to stop half the sky crashing down

Baby girls are thus victims of a malign combination of ancient prejudice and modern preferences for small families. Only one country has managed to change this pattern. In the 1990s South Korea had a sex ratio almost as skewed as China’s. Now, it is heading towards normality. It has achieved this not deliberately, but because the culture changed. Female education, anti-discrimination suits and equal-rights rulings made son preference seem old-fashioned and unnecessary. The forces of modernity first exacerbated prejudice—then overwhelmed it.

But this happened when South Korea was rich. If China or India—with incomes one-quarter and one-tenth Korea’s levels—wait until they are as wealthy, many generations will pass. To speed up change, they need to take actions that are in their own interests anyway. Most obviously China should scrap the one-child policy. The country’s leaders will resist this because they fear population growth; they also dismiss Western concerns about human rights. But the one-child limit is no longer needed to reduce fertility (if it ever was: other East Asian countries reduced the pressure on the population as much as China). And it massively distorts the country’s sex ratio, with devastating results. President Hu Jintao says that creating “a harmonious society” is his guiding principle; it cannot be achieved while a policy so profoundly perverts family life.

And all countries need to raise the value of girls. They should encourage female education; abolish laws and customs that prevent daughters inheriting property; make examples of hospitals and clinics with impossible sex ratios; get women engaged in public life—using everything from television newsreaders to women traffic police. Mao Zedong said “women hold up half the sky.” The world needs to do more to prevent a gendercide that will have the sky crashing down.

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LA Times Reports: Antiabortion activists see a racial conspiracy

Antiabortion activists see a racial conspiracy

According to a vocal group – and a set of stark new billboards in Atlanta – abortion providers target black women in order to reduce the black population.

By Robin Abcarian

March 2, 2010

It’s a campaign designed to shock: Dozens of newly installed billboards in Atlanta feature the cherubic face of a black baby and a stark claim: “Black children are an endangered species.”

A joint effort of Georgia Right to Life and the pro-adoption, pro-abstinence Radiance Foundation, the campaign ostensibly calls attention to the fact that black women have a disproportionately high number of abortions. But there is a deeper, more disturbing claim at work as well.

An increasingly vocal segment of the antiabortion community has embraced the idea that black women are targeted for abortion in an effort to keep the black population down.

The billboards direct people to a website called toomanyaborted.com, which claims that “Under the false liberty of ‘reproductive freedom’ we are killing our very future.”

Some black antiabortion activists call the phenomenon “womb lynching.” One prominent black cleric, the Rev. Clenard Childress Jr. of New Jersey, often says the most dangerous place for a black child is the womb.

No one disputes that black women have more abortions, proportionately, than women of other races. Nationally, African Americans make up about 13% of the population and have about 37% of all abortions, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But abortion rights advocates say that is because African American women have a disproportionate number of unplanned pregnancies, an enduring problem with complex socioeconomic roots, including inadequate insurance coverage.

“The notion that abortion providers are targeting certain groups of people is absurd,” said Vanessa Cullins, an African American physician who is vice president for medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It’s using race to undermine decisions that responsible black women are making about whether to terminate a pregnancy or not.”

Radiance Foundation founder Ryan Bomberger, a 38-year-old former ad man, came up with the idea for the billboards. Adopted as a baby, he said he was conceived when his white biological mother was raped by a black man.

“I am definitely not a white Southern bigot,” he said, alluding to an accusation hurled his way since the ads went up. “I am as black as President Obama.”

He has also been accused of shaming black women who seek abortions. Not so, Bomberger said: “It’s about exposing an industry that is stealing potential from our community.”

Many African American women who support abortion rights find that message patronizing and offensive.

“Ryan is a young advertising executive who has stepped into a food fight that he doesn’t quite understand,” said Loretta Ross, 56, national coordinator of SisterSong, an Atlanta-based coalition of 80 women’s groups that work on reproductive health issues for minorities.

“To be honest, black women aren’t fooled by zealots or the church or even the individual men in our lives,” Ross said. “We know that the bottom line is you don’t have much control over your life when you don’t control your body. Should a rapist have the right to choose the mother of his child? That’s what Ryan is saying.”

But many abortion foes focus on the sheer numbers involved.

Catherine Davis, minority outreach director for Georgia Right to Life, visits black college campuses, bringing the message that abortion is a destructive force for blacks. She often screens a movie called “Maafa 21,” made by Texas antiabortion group Life Dynamics, alleging that blacks have been targeted for abortions since the end of slavery by white elites fearful of uncontrolled population growth.

“Let me put it this way,” Davis said, “18,870,000 black babies have been aborted since Roe vs. Wade. If those babies hadn’t been aborted, we would be 59 million strong — over 19% of the population.”

While the abortion rate among black women is higher than average, so is the birth rate. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2006 the black birth rate was 16.5 per 1,000 women of childbearing age compared with 14.2 per 1,000 for all women.

Most black women who have abortions are already mothers or plan to have children later, Cullins said.

The statistics are not persuasive for Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King Jr.

“I know for sure that the black community is being targeted by abortionists for the purpose of ethnic cleansing,” said King, a Georgia Right to Life board member who had two abortions before a religious conversion in 1983. “How can the dream survive if we are willing to sacrifice the futures of our children?”

In a scenario popularized by abortion foes, the culprit is Planned Parenthood, whose clinics are often located in poor communities where the need for subsidized healthcare is greatest.

The roots of the antipathy toward Planned Parenthood come not just from its role as the nation’s largest provider of abortions and other reproductive healthcare, but from questionable social policies embraced by its founder, Margaret Sanger, the mother of the American birth control movement.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Sanger was an advocate of eugenics, a movement that posited the human species could be improved with selective breeding and the forced sterilization of the poor and “feeble-minded.” That often was believed to include blacks.

She was not alone, however. In 1927 the Supreme Court upheld forced sterilization. “Three generations of imbeciles are enough,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously wrote about the case’s plaintiff, a young white woman who was later found to be of normal intelligence.

Abortion foes use Sanger’s own words (often out of context, say abortion rights supporters) to prove that Sanger founded an organization rooted in racism.

“It’s a very complicated picture,” said Ross of SisterSong. “There was a eugenics movement, and it did target black people. But when Margaret Sanger first started, it was black women who came to her” for help.

Black leaders of the day — including W.E.B. Du Bois and Adam Clayton Powell — supported Sanger. “All these people wanted her to put clinics in African American communities because we then, as now, see fertility control as part of the racial uplift strategy,” Ross said.

Historian Ellen Chesler, a Planned Parenthood board member and Sanger biographer, said that Sanger’s eugenics views were applicable to sterilization, not abortion, which she generally opposed.

In 1920, Sanger wrote, “While there are cases where even the law recognizes an abortion is justifiable if recommended by a physician, I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization.”

“To say she is racist is counterfactual, it’s inventing history,” said Chesler, a professor at Hunter College.

Also, Chesler noted, eugenics is still with us: “Its most enduring legacy is IQ testing,” she said. “Every woman who has amniocentesis is a eugenicist.”

In Atlanta, the billboards are to remain up through March. “We are really drawing people into the history of abortion and the birth control movement,” Bomberger said. “My hope is that people begin to wake up.”

robin.abcarian@ latimes.com

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

To view the original posting of the article visit, http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-na-billboards2-2010mar02,0,6863036.story

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A Statewide Day of Prayer and Fasting in Georgia

During crucial events in our nation’s history, the American people, as a nation, often turned to God for direction, guidance and Divine intervention.During a time of devastating drought, the pilgrims sought God’s intervention to bring rain and a bountiful harvest, which He did.

Upon hearing the news of the battles of Lexington and Concord, the First Continental Congress sought God’s Divine Providence as they prepared for war against a far superior military power, Great Britain.

During the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin reminded the delegates that without God’s assistance in building this nation, they would be no more successful than the builders of the tower of Babel. Franklin then encouraged them to join together in prayer and ask for God’s Divine intervention on their proceedings.

On June 6, 1944, as our soldiers, sailors and airmen landed on the beaches of Normandyto liberate the people of France from Nazi oppression, President Roosevelt asked the people of America to join together to pray for God to lead our men, “straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith,” as they“struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.”

Today, there is still a “suffering humanity,” seeking the most basic right given by God to every man, the right to live. In Georgia, approximately 33,000 children, every year, are denied their right to life through the practice of human abortion.

As many throughout our history have turned to God for His Divine assistance, pro-life members of the General Assembly are calling upon the Christian community across the State of Georgia to join together in a statewide day of fasting and prayer, for the liberty of
human beings not yet born.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2010, we will join with citizens across the state to ask for God’s Divine intervention in our efforts to pass the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act, this year, which will begin to bring an end to selective abortion in our beloved state.

Please join Representative Barry Loudermilk, the Georgia Legislature, and Georgia Right to Life on February 24, 2010 for a day to ask for God’s divine intervention in Georgia.

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