Tag Archives: Parenting

Happy Birthday to Chris! December 25, 2011!

I have been born.  My mom and dad are ecstatic.

For those of you who have been following my development, thank you.  I hope that you have also used these last nine months to pray for all the pre-born children whose lives are in danger from abortion.

I am so glad that my mommy and daddy chose Life for me.  All babies deserve a birthday.

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Filed under abortion, anti-abortion, Family, fetal development, Parenting, personhood, prayer, Pregnancy, Sanctity of Life

My birthday is getting closer, mommy!

October 2: week 28

Whoa!  I’ve had trouble with my balance but it is getting better.  I’m going to be in my first Life Chain today.  The cars might not notice me but my mom will.  Not much room to wave in here, but my eyes are opening, so I guess I’ll just practice blinking at everyone.  I weigh about 2 pounds.  Mom’s talking about different names for me.  Hey, mom, how about Chris?

October 9:  week 29

I am about 14 inches tall now and growing really fast.  I try to stretch out and mom can feel me move about.  You could hear my heartbeat if you put your ear on my mommy’s tummy.  If I were born now, I’d have an 85% chance of survival because my lungs have been getting stronger.  Sometimes mom has a craving.  I really like the ice cream; pickles, not so much.

October 16: week 30

I have doubled in size over the last 4 weeks and it is really getting cramped in here.  I don’t have as much room to do my exercises.  My muscle tone is better, though, and my body is filling out with baby fat.  I have nice fine hair growing on my head.  I can recognize my mom’s voice.  I know that she is feeling a lot of aches and pains and discomfort, but she knows that she will be seeing me real soon.

October 23: week 31

I must be getting younger.  The wrinkles that I had everywhere are slowly disappearing.  I used to have a big head, but now that I’m gaining weight, my body is catching up.  I can move my eyes, but it is still pretty dark in here.  I can hear my mom.  I can’t wait to see her.

October 30: week 32

I weigh three pounds now and will gain about a half pound each week until birth.  It’s really cramped now, so I have assumed the “fetal” position.  I can see, but I don’t have 20/20 vision.  In fact, I won’t have 20/20 vision until I’m about 7 years old–hopefully.  Mom is pretty uncomfortable right now.  When she sleeps on her side, I really like snuggling into the mattress.

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You Are Invited!

Georgia Right to Life’s

2011 REACH Benefit

Thursday, October 27, 2011, 7-9 pm

(Doors open at 6:30 pm)

Cobb Galleria   2 Galleria Pkway SE   Atlanta, GA  30339

Keynote Speaker:  Jennifer Lahl, President

The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network

Tickets:  $50  Table of 10:  $500

Tickets/Information:  (770) 339-6880

Jennifer Lahl couples her 25 years as a pediatric critical care nurse and hospital administrator with a deep passion to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.  A courageous voice, Ms. Lahl has also produces a groundbreaking, award winning documentary on the solicitation of eggs from young women across America, Eggsploitation.  This is, she says, the fertility industry’s ‘dirty little secret’.  Just who is this egg donor?  Is she treated justly?  What are the short and long-term risks to her health?  The answers to these questions will disturb you…

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A Chance to Live

Day 0, conception Day 20, a heartbeat.  Day 43, electrical brainwaves sensed.  Week 9, baby has unique fingerprints.  Week 12, all body systems functioning.  These are some of the earliest signs of life for a human being, new life that begins the moment the first single cell is formed on day 0.  The Alan Guttmacher Institute states that 1 baby is aborted every 25 seconds.  By the time I finish this message, more than 16 of these new lives will have been eradicated.  The cruel reality of abortion today.  How can we let this go on?  Why are so many innocent lives so thoughtlessly discarded by the very people who caused their existence?

When I first heard of the concept of abortion, I was utterly flabbergasted.  What kind of woman would willingly give up the greatest privilege, the highest honour that only half of mankind has been blessed with – the honour of bringing life into the world?  What sort of man would turn down an offer to have tenderness, purity, and innocence born once again in this now troubled, taxing world?  And what possibility of a bright future would a society that supported this absurd decision expect to have, when the very building blocks that will one day produce great nations are being denied the right to see the light of day?  As I sat in my bedroom, pondering this tragedy that scars our daily lives, I found truly deplorable answers.

Whereas pregnancy was once exalted an a commendable contribution to society, it is regarded today as in the words of Armstrong Williams, a ‘burden on our individuality and lifestyle.’  Modern feminism has indeed devalued motherhood, as is made evident by the women who cry out for liberation from this slavery, from the swelling in their stomachs, that weighs them down like shackles.  And we, as a society, undeniably foster this notion, planting the bitter seeds in every mind that a woman with child is far less likely to succeed in the workplace, and in life.  Well, after spending seventeen years with the woman who brought me into this world and enriched my life with love and moral values, who single-handedly worked with determination to fulfill my every need and more, after so many fortifying and enlightening years with the woman I call ‘my ma’, I can confidently debunk this myth.  A mother can indeed be self-sufficient and successful in today’s world.

I understand that bringing up a child is no easy task, not for married couples, and certainly not for single mothers – which I might add, has become a popular trend of modern civilization, arising from our casual ‘modern’ attitudes to sex and the quick, guaranteed, publically accepted Plan B-  ABORTION.  My mom tackled the same challenges that so many lone mums face.  She did not have a trust fund to fall back on;  she did not have a partner to cut her some slack when shee was exhausted or ill….Yet not once did she wish to be free of me to be able to go back and undo my birth which would have spared her the toil, “THE IRKSOME RESPONSIBILITY”.  For her, I was the purpose, the motivation, the reward.  And I stand here today, proud and in awe of her for the individual that she has raised, and grateful that she believed that I was worth the sacrifice.  Because of her I believe that giving every child his/her right to LIFE is worth the sacrifice and it is definitely NOT ours to decide whether to extinguish or exterminate this right.

Unfortunately, deciding whether to carry the child to term is often further complicated, as 2008 statistics show.  Out of the 98% of abortions conducted in this country due to ‘personal choice’, 32% were done because the mother was too young or unprepared for the responsibility, and 30% due to the economic reasons.  Can you envision the countless lives, the valuable futures that would have been saved, had these women considered adoption?  I truly cannot imagine having to leave my baby in the hands of a stranger, however, entrusting him to a family than can care and provide for him as I cannot is a sacrifice that a mother’s selfless love makes possible.  But the rest of us should be ashamed for turning a blind eye on the 40 trillion dollars spent annually on abortion, ashamed of even being the self-righteous parent or ‘friend’ who pressured a woman into extinguishing that flame of life within her, ashamed of trivialising the nature of sex to begin with.  Wouldn’t you agree that it is our duty as human beings to instead, face the consequences and support those struggling parents, or at least take in these poor children if we are in a better position to do so, than to callously discard them, as mere products of carelessness?

Ultimately, it comes down to you and the value you place on life.  I stand before you to remind you of the incredible power you yield in determining the future of our world – it is up to you.  Is it even possible to forget, laws and politics, egos and ambition, the dreamy TV romances we seek in our own lives….Well, I am asking you, whatever your race or religion may be, to forget the rest of the world, just for a moment and strip it down to just you and the unborn child.  Could you really exploit such innocence, such helplessness and feel no piercing of your heart?  Could you end a life that might not have been created in the most desirable circumstances, but nevertheless is an extension of your own life – could you really do this and bear to look at yourself in the mirror?

We touch other people’s lives simply by existing – J. K. Rowling.  Let us make a conscious decision today to be life-giving and just in our daily existences, essentially, to be HUMANE, and let us honour every new life with the opportunity to do the same.

Amanda Figeredo
Dunwoody, GA

First Place Winner – 2011 Georgia Right to Life Oratory Contest
2011 National Right to Life Finalist

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What’s Chris doing this month?

July 3rd – Week 15

Chris’ taste buds are working!  Chris drinks more amniotic fluid and it tastes sweet.  Chris’ pain sensory system is developing, but who would want to hurt Chris?  Chris may be small, but he is growing fast.  Mother enjoys the fireworks and celebrates the birth of our nation, but Chris doesn’t hear anything yet.

July 10th – Week 16

“Soon I will be able to grasp with my hands.  What will I grasp?  My other hand.  Did you know that I have my own unique fingerprints, now?  My fingernails and toenails are growing.  I also have an adult’s taste buds.  My eyebrows and hair on my head are sprouting.  But it will probably change color and texture after birth.  I’m kicking, twisting, and flailing really hard.  But, mom can’t feel me moving, yet.”

July 17th – Week 17

“I’m getting a little baby fat under my skin.  My heart is pumping as much as 6 gallons a day at a rate about double my mom’s.  I can swim and kick and do somersaults!  I’m the same size as my placenta now.  I’m not a lightweight anymore – I weigh almost six ounces and I am about three inches long.  I will keep growing until I’m 23 years old.  I wonder how big I’m going to be?”

Mom might be able to hear tiny thumps of Chris’ heartbeat with an external monitor now.

July 24th – Week 18

“When I am sleeping, I have REM which means I am dreaming, but I can’t remember my dreams.  My vocal cords have formed but I don’t make a sound–must be because there is no air in here.  Isn’t it amazing that I’m able to breathe ‘underwater,’ inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid?  I’m working on developing great lungs.”

Mother may begin to feel Chris flutter in her lower abdomen.

July 31st – Week 19

Chris can hear his mother’s heartbeat and some other funny noises that she makes.  He is beginning to know her voice.  His umbilical cord is an engineering marvel.  It transports 300 quarts of fluid per day and completes a round trip of fluids every 30 seconds.

“Wow.  I really like sucking my thumb!  I wonder if mom is starting to ‘show’ me now.”

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Filed under abortion, adoption, anti-abortion, eugenics, Family, fetal development, Georgia Right to Life, Parenting, personhood, Pregnancy, Sanctity of Life

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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Filed under abortion, anti-abortion, conservative, Family, fetal development, healthcare, Parenting, personhood, Pregnancy, pro-choice, Sanctity of Life, sex, sex selection

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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