Category Archives: Parenting

Our Tax Dollars at Work!

Time to read the newest version of the GRTL e-newsletter.

http://tinyurl.com/3pkblzs

 

 

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Encouraging news on the prolife front…

The New Pro-Life Surge
Political gains by U.S. conservatives unleash waves of
anti-abortion legislation.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | posted
6/10/2011 09:24AM

The summer before Katey Tryon’s senior year of high school, she
got pregnant. Recently split from her boyfriend, she was sad and vulnerable when
she hooked up with her older brother’s friend. They had sex once. Six weeks
later, she was tired and her period was late.

“It was terrifying,” Tryon said. “I’m from a small town in Oregon.
My parents are pillars in the community. I was born and raised here, fourth
generation. So my sin was very apparent.” Tryon’s parents, both believers,
rallied around her. Abortion was out of the question. Two days before high
school graduation, Tryon gave birth to a girl and gave her up for adoption.

Tryon enrolled in a Christian college in Portland, determined to
turn her life around, but still felt vulnerable. “I started dating a guy who
embraced me for what I had just gone through, who understood that I didn’t want
to have sex until I got married,” she said.

But they started sleeping together, and one night the condom
didn’t work. Over spring break, at an intercollegiate softball tournament, Tryon
found out she was pregnant again. Her daughter was nine months old. “My world
came crashing down tenfold from the first time,” she said.

Abortion was never a serious option, she said, although “trust me,
it went through my mind. I recognize why other women go there. You want to get
away from your situation. We want to cover up our mistakes and have them all go
away.”

Tryon found support at a local pregnancy center, which sparked in
her a fresh sense of purpose. She gave birth to a boy and gave him up for
adoption. She went back to college, double majoring in social work and
sociology. Eventually she became the development director at Lane Pregnancy
Support Center in Eugene, Oregon.

In April, Tryon testified before the Oregon State Legislature
about how a pregnancy center changed her life for the better. A Senate committee
was considering a bill to force pregnancy centers to publicly post on doors, in
waiting areas, and in brochures that they are not abortion providers. If centers
did not post these notices in five days, they could be fined up to $1,000, up to
$5,000 if not posted in two weeks.

This is one of many new legislative initiatives on abortion, but
the majority of them are working in the other direction.

Flood of LegislationThe Oregon bill is one of 576 measures related to abortion that
have been introduced so far in 2011 in 48 states, according to Elizabeth Nash,
public policy associate for the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute.

Like the Oregon bill, many of them will never pass committee. Yet
by early April, 142 abortion-related provisions had passed at least one chamber
of a state legislature, compared with 67 in 2009. More than half of the 142
bills (57 percent) introduced this year seek to restrict abortion access,
compared with 38 percent in 2010.

About 40 new anti-abortion laws were on the books by mid-April.
They include:

  • expanding the waiting period requirement in South Dakota from 24
    hours to 72 hours, and requiring women to visit a crisis pregnancy center in the
    interim.
  • requiring a physician who performs an abortion in South Dakota to
    provide counseling on all risk factors related to abortion.
  • allowing any hospital employee in Utah to refuse to “participate
    in any way” in an abortion.
  • making it a felony in Arizona to perform or provide money for
    abortions sought because of a baby’s race or sex.
  • prohibiting insurance plans that participate in the state
    insurance exchange from including abortion coverage in Virginia, Arizona, Idaho,
    Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
  • prohibiting the abortion of a fetus capable of feeling pain in
    Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, and Oklahoma. The organization National Right to Life
    has drafted a model bill for pro-life lawmakers to use.

Republican victories in the 2010 mid-term elections account for
much of the legislative surge. Republicans won control of the House of
Representatives and made gains in the Senate. But their success at the state
level was more significant. They took 29 governorships and 680 seats in state
legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

It’s the largest gain in modern history. The previous record was
held by Democrats in the post-Watergate 1974 election, in which they picked up
628 seats. Republicans now control the governor’s office and both legislative
chambers of 21 states, according to the National Conference of State
Legislatures.

“The November elections brought huge change in the state houses,”
said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life. “But we’ve been
tilling this ground for a while.”

The forward momentum began, Yoest said, when the Supreme Court
upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion in 2007.

‘My life and the life of my unborn baby were forever
changed the minute I called for help.’—Katey Tyron, a director at Lane Pregnancy
Support Center

“They chipped away at the absolute right to abortion,” Yoest said.
“The Supreme Court said that states do have the right to limit abortion. That
was a seismic shift.” Pro-life advocates began to see how far they could get
with restrictions, such as parental notification and informed consent laws, she
said.

The legislation has been snowballing since the Republican sweep:
“Just in the first three months of this year, we’ve provided testimony on 17
life-related legislative matters,” she said. In previous years, the average
number of testimonies provided was two or three for the entire year.

Public Opinion ChangesRestricting abortion through new state laws seems to be highly
effective in reducing abortion rates.

“We see that the number of abortions has gone down by 22 percent
between 1990 and 2005,” said Michael New, political science professor at the
University of Alabama. “An important reason is the restrictions that more and
more states are passing.”

New examined the effects of three laws on abortion rates. Opting
not to fund abortions through Medicaid was most significant, dropping state
abortion rates by about 9 percent, he said.

“That’s a strong consistent finding,” he said, pointing to a
Guttmacher report that 20 of 24 peer-reviewed studies found that public funding
restrictions reduced the number of abortions. The second is informed-consent
laws, which require abortion providers to inform a woman about the potential
risks to her health, fetal development, and available assistance before an
abortion is performed. Those laws were connected with in-state abortion
reductions of 5 to 7 percent, he said.

New also analyzed parental involvement laws, which require minors
to either tell or get permission from their parents before having an abortion.
While these laws don’t have a large impact on the overall abortion rate, they
correlate with a 15 percent decline in in-state abortions obtained by
minors.

Recent pro-life legislation is changing gears, pushing for laws
that give women the opportunity to view an ultrasound before an abortion or
banning abortion after the fetus can feel pain. Fetal-pain laws have been a big
goal of National Right to Life. Director of state legislation Mary Spaulding
Balch told Christianity Today, “The Pain-Capable
Unborn Child Protection Act very clearly talks about the humanity of the unborn
child.” So far, abortion supporters have not initiated court challenges to the
new fetal-pain laws.

The effect on the abortion rate from pain-related or ultrasound
laws may not be dramatic, New said. Requiring ultrasounds can be tricky because
abortion providers have to self-enforce, and relatively few abortions are
performed after the second trimester, when the fetus begins to feel pain, he
said.

But those laws are still important, New said. “You have to make
progress incrementally. We have made more progress than we think. We’ve
convinced a lot of people that abortion is wrong. Most doctors and hospitals
want nothing to do with it.”

Indeed, public opinion now lines up against abortion for the first
time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995. In 2010, 47 percent of
Americans called themselves pro-life, while 45 percent identified as
pro-choice.

The pro-life advantage held through three surveys, prompting
Gallup to label it a “real change in public opinion,” one that’s showing itself
at the polls.

Last year’s health care debate put abortion back on the national
stage, and President Obama had to issue an executive order strengthening the
limits on abortion to get the health care reform bill passed.

In addition, the House of Representatives passed a bill this
spring that would defund Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in
the country. The bill failed in the Senate, but the victory in the House was
historic, Yoest said.

‘We see that the number of abortions has gone down by 22
percent between 1990 and 2005. An important reason is the restrictions more and
more states are passing.’—Michael New, political science professor at the
University of Alabama

“I absolutely think this is a swelling tide, regardless of what
happens in this particular skirmish. There is very much a future in terms of
bringing more and more attention to the massive federal subsidy of the abortion
industry.”

CounteroffensiveAll this leaves the pro-choice movement “definitely defensive,”
said Nash of the Guttmacher Institute. “We need to make the case for why these
services are important.”

The public questioning of Planned Parenthood is “a major shift,”
said Melinda Delahoyde, president of Care Net, a network of more than 1,000
pregnancy centers.

Care Net’s pregnancy centers are among the targets of the
pro-choice counteroffensive. New York City’s new disclosure law is “the most
difficult thing we’re facing,” she said. The law, like the one Tryon testified
against in Oregon, requires all pregnancy centers to post in waiting rooms and
in all literature whether they offer or make referrals for abortions,
contraception, and prenatal care. The American Center for Law and Justice is
challenging the constitutionality of the law in federal court.

In January, a federal judge struck down a similar disclosure law
in Baltimore, calling it an unconstitutional violation of free speech and
“viewpoint-based discrimination.”

“It puts onerous regulations on pregnancy centers,” Delahoyde
said. “It opens centers up to costly lawsuits—a right to action by aggrieved
persons. There are very harsh restrictions put up all over against pregnancy
centers, and we know their goal is to shut us down.”

But most of the bills targeting pregnancy centers fail to pass.
Two bills in Virginia—one that proposed to limit the revenue pregnancy centers
receive from license plates, the other to require disclosure that abortions are
not offered at the centers—were withdrawn in March. A resolution praising the
work of pregnancy centers was passed instead. Another disclosure bill in
Washington made it out of committee but failed in the House of
Representatives.

When pro-choice groups can’t get bills passed at the state level,
they look for local municipalities where they can get propositions passed,
Delahoyde said.

Care Net prepares their centers for the legislation, she said. “We
send our public relations and legal people on the road. We provide a united
front at the state house, and that’s very effective.”

Alliance Defense Fund also provides legal help through hundreds of
attorneys connected to local pregnancy centers, she said.

“We train extensively,” Delahoyde said. “We are pressing forward.
Look, there are so many encouraging signs. The pro-choice brand is
eroding.”

Pendulum SwingsWhen Tryon gave birth to her second baby in December 1992, she was
part of a trend. U.S. teen pregnancy rates had swelled to their all-time
high—almost 12 percent of teenage girls—in 1990, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Abortion rates peaked at the same time, with 1.4 million abortions
performed in 1990, according to the CDC. Public support of abortion was also
high, with 56 percent of Americans labeling themselves pro-choice, according to
Gallup. Just 33 percent self-identified as pro-life.

Some 20 years after Tryon was a pregnant teenager, the pendulum is
swinging the other way. She is now an articulate leader at a pregnancy center,
wife of a worship pastor, and mother of three school-age children.

“As a teenager, finding myself in an unplanned pregnancy was scary
at best. Thankfully, I turned to a pregnancy resource center that provided not
only free and confidential services to me, but treated me in a fair and
professional manner, provided me life-giving options when I needed them most,
and eased my fears,” she testified before an Oregon Senate committee.

“My life and the life of my unborn baby were forever changed the
minute I called on them for help. After being educated about all of my options,
I chose an adoption plan that not only gave my baby a hope and a future, but it
also gave it to me.

“It is devastating to think that the vital services I received so
many years ago could be torn from those that so desperately need them today. I
urge you to vote ‘No’ on this bill.”

That bill in Oregon never came to a vote. But neither did another
bill calling for a ban on abortions after 19 weeks.

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra is a journalist based in the Chicago
area.

Copyright © 2011 Christianity Today. Click
for reprint information.

Related Elsewhere:Previous coverage related to abortion legislation and life
ethics
includes:

State Laws That Lower Abortions | Examining legal measures
enacted to lower abortion rates. (April 4, 2011)

Live Action, Planned Parenthood, and a Year of Change|
Surveying two months of dramatic news on the abortion front in the U.S.
(February 24, 2011)

Abortion Case: Womb vs. Egg | Ethical issues abound in case of
British Columbia couple who wanted surrogate mom to terminate pregnancy after
baby was found to have Down Syndrome. (October 15, 2010)

CT covers more political developments on the politics blog.

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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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Looking in on Chris: How is he doing?

May 8th:  Week 7  Chris’ brain waves can now be detected.  Wonder what Chris is dreaming?  Did you know that over the remaining months, Chris’ brain will develop over 100 billion neurons?  The brain begins to control movement of muscles and organs.  The nose is developing and the eyes darken as pigment is produced.  The mother has probably confirmed that she is pregnant.

May 15th:  Week 8  Chris begins to move.  Chris’ arms are bending and flexing like a child taking a Karate class.  Fingers are developing and will soon become Chris’ first toy.  Chis started swimming and can do a mean backstroke.  Chris is also doing back flips–getting ready for the 2018 Olympics.  The mother may have to buy some Clearasil.

May 22nd: Week 9  Chris is a little under an inch long.  Chris’ name changes from embryo to fetus, which is Latin for “young one.”  Everything is now present that would be found in a fully developed adult.  If Chris would have kept growing all 9 months as fast as this second month, Chris would have been born as big as two overfed elephants.  Whew!  Thankfully, development slows down.

May 29th:  Week 10  Chris’ fingerprints are already evident.  The fingers can curve around an object placed in the palm.  Chris is having a wonderful time wriggling, shifting, dancing and playing with the toys in the womb–other fingers, toes, nose, ears — such fun!  If only we had a window to the womb.  The mother is coping with many changes–nurturing a baby is hard.

“You know me through and through, from having watched my bones take shape when I was being formed in secret. . .”  Ps 139:15

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Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood: Best Friends Forever or Coincidental Business Associates?

by Hannah Carter, Director of Education

Like many families, my grandmother and great-grandmother both had breast cancer. The issue of wanting to fight what harms your family or friends is noble. So when I tell people that I do not support Susan G. Komen an organization that exists to “fight breast cancer”, I normally get the look of one: why would you abandon your family or two: oh there goes one of those extremist.

However, my reasons are not that extreme, but rather principled. I’m sure many of you reading this article have also been confronted with the issue of if I ‘m pro-life then how can I support an organization that supports the nation’s leading abortion provider. Hopefully, the following principles can shed some light on how to respond sympathetically, yet firm with why you cannot wear pink, or join the race, or all the various ways that Susan G. Komen is supported.

Principle # 1 Don’t give to organizations that promote the shedding of innocent blood.

If this were a list of commandments, we could start with Thou Shall Not Kill. However, Proverbs 6:17 states that one of the seven things God hates are hands that shed innocent blood.

Unfortunately, Susan G. Komen has given over $3 million dollars between 2003 and 2008 to Planned Parenthood which is the nation’s leading abortion provider. While Susan G. Komen makes claims that these grants go for breast exams, once the funds go to Planned Parenthood they are fungible. For example, you can throw two twenty dollar bills into a purse one from a friend and one from your own account, but when you go to pay the light bill you use both.

The same is true with Planned Parenthood’s money it receives from Komen. Whenever someone applies for a grant they can say that while this $5,000 is going to breast cancer research, 20 percent of that money is going to pay for administrative costs like keeping the lights on and paying rent. So in essence, the money that people are raising to fight breast cancer is also going to keep the lights on at Planned Parenthood.

According to the 2008 Annual Report from Planned Parenthood, breast cancer services decreased by 4% and abortion procedures increased by 6%.

In 2008, Susan G. Komen gave $731,000 to Planned Parenthood.

Principle # 2 Know and Recognize the Risk Factors for the Disease You are Trying to Prevent.

There are certain risks that can increase an individual’s chance of getting breast cancer. While Susan G. Komen says that they believe in knowing your risk factors, they have repeatedly denied the link between breast cancer and one of the greatest avoidable risk factors, abortion.

According to Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, “29 out of 38 worldwide epidemiological studies show an increased risk of breast cancer of approximately 30% among women who have had an abortion.”

When a woman has an abortion she interrupts the natural process of estrogen production and breast development. When a woman first becomes pregnant her body produces a Type 1 carcinogen, cancer causing agent, estrogen in order to nourish and provide for the baby. If the mother has her child, her body stops producing as much estrogen and her breasts mature. However, if that process is interrupted, the estrogen production continues and her breasts stay in an immature state, making them more susceptible to breast cancer.

Groups like Susan G. Komen acknowledge that the level of exposure to estrogen throughout a woman’s lifetime is one of the greatest predictors for breast cancer. Sadly, they do not acknowledge that the increased exposure to estrogen after an abortion could increase risks of breast cancer as well. For an organization whose primary goal is “to have a world without breast cancer”, you would think they would try to let women know of all the risk factors for breast cancer, especially those that are preventable like abortion.

Recently, in an article by Jill Stanek, pro-life author and blogger, asked a very thought-provoking question, “Is it really “morally permissible” to cause breast cancer in one room if screening for it in the next?”

Stanek also noted in her article that recently that the ties between Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen are running deeper and deeper. See an excerpt below from Stanek’s article:

Three days ago a diligent pro-lifer in Washington state discovered on Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest’s IRS 990 forms that it has held a 12.5 percent share in Metro Centre, a mall in Peoria, Ill., since 2006. PPGNW is Washington’s largest abortion provider. (It is also currently under investigation for Medicaid fraud.) Metro Centre is owned by Eric Brinker. Eric Brinker is the son of Nancy Goodman Brinker, the founder of SGK. Eric also sits on SGK’s board. Eric was a stand-up guy and responded to most of my initial questions. He explained in an e-mail, “This share represents a minority, non-operating interest in the business which they inherited from one of the original shareholders, a resident of Peoria. I, Eric Brinker, have controlling interest in Metro Centre.” But when I pursued follow-up questions, Eric wrote he was no longer available. So there is much still unanswered. Why didn’t PPGNW cash in its inheritance? Why didn’t Eric buy? If the share was willed, it was worth something. The real-estate market was thriving in 2006. It appears both partners are OK with this now four-year-old business partnership.

In essence, Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen’s nephew own a mall together.

The bottom line is that Susan G. Komen is not accomplishing its mission every time it gives to Planned Parenthood.

Every time a woman has an abortion and part of the money to fund that center staying open came from Komen, they are putting women at a greater risk for breast cancer.

Every organization no matter how noble the cause they claim to represent seems to be needs to be held accountable.

The question is will you?

 

To continue your search for the ties between Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood, please visit:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Awards 72 Grants to Planned Parenthood

http://www.bdfund.org/breastcancer.asp

Komen Giving to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Down as Donations Drop

http://lifenews.com/nat6297.html

Planned Parenthood Deepens Link to Breast Cancer Group

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=134729

Susan G. Komen’s List of Grants to Planned Parenthood

http://ww5.komen.org/ResearchGrants/CommunitybasedGrants.html

Studies about the Link between Abortion and Breast Cancer

http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/index/

Report: Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood: A Visible Link http://www.lifeissues.org/AbortionBreastcancer/komen/fact_sheet.pdf

If you would like to give to organizations that are pro-life and do breast cancer research go to:

http://www.polycarp.org

http://www.bcpinstitute.org

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Chris Has a Beating Heart–Week 5

Chris’ heart is now pumping blood.  All four chambers are working.  The umbilical cord forms as a lifeline for the baby in the “space” of the womb.  The lungs start to appear along with the brain.  Arm and leg buds start to appear, too.  Soon Chris will be doing somersaults and back flips in the spacious world of the womb.

Mom is also undergoing some major changes.  She is probably tired and may experience morning sickness as her body adjusts to a baby.

“It was you who created my inmost self, and put me together in my mother’s womb, for all these mysteries I thank you.”  Psalm 139:13

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For Nothing is Impossible with God

Your Own Hands shaped me; modeled me. Job 10:8

Chris has implanted in the wall of his mother’s uterus, which usually takes place 10-14 days after conception.  Immediately, physical changes start taking place in his mother.  The placenta starts to form.  The placenta protects the child and provides nutrients to the new baby.  The mother’s uterus will increase its capacity by 1000 times during the pregnancy!

Luke’s gospel says that Mary went “in haste” to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was six months pregnant with John the Baptist.  Jesus, an embryo, was greeted by a fetus (John) who leaped for joy at the presence of his Savior.

“for nothing is impossible with God.”  Luke 1:37

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