News & Commentary

Professor of Neurobiology: Human Life Begins at Conception, Fertilization

Professor of Neurobiology: Human Life Begins at Conception, Fertilization

Maureen Condic, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah. She has been a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, a distinguished group of physicians, scientists, and theologians from the international community whose mission it is to study questions and issues regarding the promotion and defense of human life from an interdisciplinary perspective, since 2014. Dr. Condic is one of our nearly 40 associate scholars. In this interview, she discusses the beginning of human life and the moral status of the human being.

What can science tell us about when human life begins?

Condic: The question of when life begins has been addressed for a very long time by philosophers and religious thinkers—often without the benefit of detailed information regarding what actually happens during prenatal life. Consequently, this question has also been answered in a wide variety of ways, leading many to believe that the question simply cannot be answered.

The advantage of a scientific approach to the question of when life begins is that the answer is not based on opinion or personal values, but rather on direct observation. And in the modern age, we have very detailed observations, confirming beyond any reasonable doubt, that the cell produced by sperm-egg fusion (the zygote) is a human organism; i.e. a human being. We know this because immediately upon the binding and fusion of the gametes (a rapid event taking less than a quarter second to complete), the newly formed zygote enters into a sequence of molecular events that determine and direct its subsequent maturation and growth. The fact that the zygote autonomously initiates the process of embryonic development distinguishes it from a mere human cell and clearly indicates that it is a full and complete, albeit immature, member of the human species.

What can reason tell us about the moral status of the unique human being who comes into being at conception?

Condic: Similar to the question of when life begins, the question of when human beings have moral status and a right to life has also been answered in many ways. The three most common approaches are to confer rights based on 1) some aspect of form and/or function (ability), 2) social convention (or fiat) and 3) status as a human being (or nature).

Most of us reject linking rights to abilities as repugnant. It defies our basic sense of justice to envision a world where the strong, the beautiful, and the intelligent have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, while the weak, the plain, and the slow are enslaved or killed. Similarly, most of us find repulsive the idea that a simple plurality of opinion can decide, as it did in Nazi Germany, who has rights and who does not.

The principles of liberty and justice form the basis of all civilized societies. The only way of viewing human rights that does not offend these principles is that rights are inalienable for all human beings; i.e. that we have rights only and always because we are humans. And this would apply equally to humans at all stages of maturity, including the zygote stage.

Why is it important that the right to life of the human being from conception until natural death can be established by scientific and philosophical, rather than revelation-based, arguments? Does this mean that religious arguments are somehow unimportant or should be excluded from the public square?

Condic: I don’t believe that the right to life of the human being can be established by a scientific argument. Science is simply a useful system for making accurate and neutral observations. As such, it does not speak to abstract principles like human rights.

In contrast, reason and logic are common to both philosophy and science. And the conclusion that all human beings have human rights is a logical, not a scientific conclusion. This does not mean that the truths revealed by religion have no place in formulating moral judgments. But I would argue that religious truths must be consistent with both reason and observation. For example, a religion that denies rights to people of a particular gender, race, or faith would have to reconcile this belief with scientific fact and place it within a logically consistent framework.

Why should the state not fund or promote embryonic stem cell research, and what alternative research should the state support?

Condic: As a matter of justice, no state should support, or indeed tolerate, research that involves the destruction of a living human being. While embryonic stem cells are scientifically interesting, research on stem cells derived from ethical sources (for example; animal’s stem cells, stem cells from mature tissues, and stem cells produced by cell reprogramming) are viable alternatives to human embryonic stem cell research.

Why are you pro-life? If you had 60 seconds to explain to someone why you have pursued the work that you have throughout your career, what do you tell them?

Condic: I have pursued scientific research because I am fascinated by how things work. And human development is an enormously complex, and therefore enormously engaging intellectual problem. It is also an astonishingly beautiful process; an elegant, intricate, and yet quite robust molecular dance. It seems to me that anyone who appreciates the beauty of human development and who has paused long enough to think through the logical implications, would inevitably have a profound respect and admiration for the beauty of human life.

Legal group fights policy forcing pro-life doctors to refer for abortion, euthanasia

TORONTO, February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Calgary conscience rights group has joined Ontario Christian doctors in fighting a requirement that they refer patients for euthanasia and abortion — and perform both procedures in emergencies.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) was granted intervenor status in a legal action launched by five Ontario Christian doctors, the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada (CMDS), and other doctors’ groups.

Their target is the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which controls the profession with the power to licence and de-licence doctors. In June, the Christian doctors will go to court in an attempt to have two new college policies ruled unconstitutional.

The first policy, according to CMDS executive director Larry Worthen, requires doctors whose consciences prevent them from performing a procedure to provide an “effective referral” to another doctor who will do it.

The second requires the same protections specifically with euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The College of Physicians and Surgeon’s policy becomes even more morally problematic in an emergency. If there is no other doctor available, the objecting doctor objection must do it anyway, even if it is an abortion.

“Our members can’t do an effective referral,” Worthen told LifeSiteNews. An “effective referral” is what a doctor provides when he believes a treatment is required but cannot do it himself. But Worthen’s members do not believe that assisted suicide, euthanasia or abortion are morally or medically justified.
As for doing these procedures in emergencies, “There is no definition of emergency,” Worthen pointed out.

The CMDS will focus on how the college’s requirements violate provisions in the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protecting freedom of conscience. However, The Justice Centre will take a different tack.

John Carpay, director of the JCCF, said his group will attack the college’s basic premise that Canadians have a right to a specific treatment.

“We make the point that there is therefore no Charter right to healthcare” in general, nor any specific treatment, “including MAID,” Carpay stated. 

“Further,” he added. “There is no right, Charter or otherwise, to demand that an individual doctor perform or provide an effective referral for a specific medical procedure or service that violates that doctor’s conscientious or religious beliefs.”

Other intervenors on the Christian doctors’ side include the Ontario Catholic Bishops Conference and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

Seven other provinces have adopted ethical guidelines for euthanasia and assisted suicide that respect doctors’ freedom of conscience. Worthen said this should carry weight in court because it will undermine the defence expected from the college. It will contend its policy was the only one available to it to protect patients wanting so-called “medical assistance in dying” or abortion.

FROM THE PASTOR

February 12, 2017 by Fr. George W. Rutler

Europe and its contiguous lands were in a chaotic condition in 1240: the Mongols were destroying Kiev, the Novgorod army virtually wiped out the Swedes along the Neva River, and the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, was pillaging the Papal States using Islamic Saracens as his mercenaries. Pope Gregory IX’s attempt to rally a Crusade against the invaders failed, and his good friend Saint Clare was virtually bedridden as the Saracens besieged her convent at San Damiano. Her beloved Francis of Assisi had died fourteen years before. In this emergency, she left her invalid couch, went to the window and exposed the Blessed Sacrament in a silver and ivory ciborium, and the alien troops fled.

In northern Mexico until just a few years ago, drug- and gang-related violence had made Ciudad Juarez one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Following the example of Saint Clare, missionaries turned to the Eucharistic Lord for help. A perpetual adoration chapel was opened in 2013 when the murder rate was forty people a day, with soldiers and policemen joining the gangs. Increasing numbers of devotees urged the soldiers to join them in Holy Hours. Few now dismiss as only coincidence the fact that within five years the annual murder rate dropped from 3,766 to 256.

That rate is far lower than many cities in the United States now. With dismaying insouciance,
statisticians in our nation over recent years have coldly taken for granted its moral decay. Besides graphic violence in the streets, there are over 500,000 abortions each year. In many places, births out of wedlock are the norm, teenage suicide has doubled in little more than a decade, 40% of all children live in broken homes, school diplomas and college degrees have generally become meaningless, marriage has been redefined into surreality, and freedom of religion has been intimidated by false readings of constitutional rights.

Recent political shifts in our nation offer a faint glimmer of genuine promise for a change in all this, as more people realize that in the past they had placed their confidence in gossamer hopes and tinsel messiahs. But the ballot box is no substitute for the Tabernacle. A well-known Pentecostal preacher surprisingly admitted that most miracles happen in the Catholic Church because “Catholic people revere the Eucharist.” If more Catholics themselves understood that, there would be more miracles. Now, miracles do not contradict nature: they are God’s will at work at high speed. Christ promised to be with us “until the end of the world.” Eucharistic adoration is simply the recognition of his presence. Saint Clare prayed, “My Lord, if it is your wish, protect this city which is sustained by your love.” The Lord answered, “It will have to undergo trials, but it will be defended by my protection.”

Eucharistic Adoration—Our hope for a Culture of Life in America

Resolve Dropping Fertility in US: Have More Babies!

http://www.pattimaguirearmstrong.com/2016/08/have-more-babies.html

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God told us: “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. ” Genesis 1:28.  The latest birth rate numbers show we aren’t listening.

Instead, the U.S. fertility rate fell to the lowest point since the 1909 record keeping began, according to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In the first three months of 2016, for every 1,000 women, there are now only 59.6 births. During the Baby Boom in 1957, the fertility rate was 122.9 births per 1,000 women.

The future goes to those willing to populate it.   Countries below replacement of 2.1 child per woman, are dying.  We’ve joined that crowd since 2007, although perhaps “crowd” is a poor word choice.  Right now, the rate in the U.S. is sitting at 1.87, as compared to Germany’s 1.38.

It’s noteworthy that there are sharp differences between religions.  According Pew Research Center, the average Mormon family has 3.4 babies while Jews, Catholics, and most Protestantism denominations have fertility rates ranging from 2 to 2.5.  Atheists average 1.6 kids, and agnostics, only 1.3.

Live Catholic!

As a Catholic, the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church has all the truth. But relativism has gummed up the works.  So has contraception.  If my husband and I had not gotten on board with all the teachings of the Church, our family would be minus one reversal and less 4 biological kids. (We had 8, adopted 2 more.)

Although the Church accepts working with a woman’s natural fertility to limit children, it can be abused if used with a contraceptive mentality.  The default marriage setting is to be open to the gift of life unless there are serious reasons dictating the contrary.

Early in his pontificate, Pope Francis encouraged married couples to be fruitful in our vocation of marriage. He said, “Fidelity, perseverance and fruitfulness are the three characteristics of God’s love for his Church and should be the same three pillars of a Christian marriage.”

The Pope scolded couples that intentionally choose worldly comforts over children as a lack of fruitfulness and something, “Jesus does not like.”

Bad Reasons Not to Have More Children

I know the excuses.  But they are bad excuses. Mostly.  Some couples have valid reasons for not being open to life, so my list only applies to the people to whom it applies. Check with God to find out if you are on his list to receive more precious bundles with eternal souls.

* Hooked on contraception. Read On Human Life: Humanae Vitae. It explains why Catholic teaching against contraception is in our best interest.

*  I don’t want another baby. Be open to what God wants.  How many times have you been pleasantly surprised in life?

*  The world is a bad place to bring children into.  It’s just temporary. Heaven is our final destination

*  I gave away the maternity clothes. There are equally generous women out there.

*  I’m not ready. Then don’t have sex.

*  I’m too old. Menopause is the fertility finish line.

*  I’m not patient enough. Practice makes perfect and prayer helps.

*  Money. Mother Teresa used to say:  “God has all the money in the world.” Read this story about a one-income family of 15, (until age 40, the father never made more than $50,000) debt free, their house is paid off and all their kids go to college—some have masters and one is working on a doctorate.  And don’t put an earthly price tag an eternally priceless gift.

*  Our house is too small. Get bunk beds. Re-evaluate your need for space.

*  Overpopulation. It’s a major myth. Educate yourself.  Here’s an hour-long video and good 10-minute explanation that there is no overpopulation problem.

*  I don’t like babies.  God does. Find out why you don’t like what God likes. That’s a disturbing state of mind.

*  When is it going to be my time?   No one begrudges you time and space for yourself, but practice moderation.

Be Open
Sadly, 40 percent of women actually want more children than they have.  I say, have those desired babies.   Since love begets love, your family’s heart can grow bigger and you might end up wanting even more.

Babies are precious, their souls are eternal, and they make you a better, holier person.  Could you be closing yourself off to such a gift from God?

Posted by Patti Maguire Armstrong

Watch a 20-week baby in utero with new groundbreaking technology

London, England, Feb 8, 2017 / 04:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- When the fetal ultrasound gained popularity in the 1970s, it was hailed as a “window to the womb.” But now, new technology could offer a much more in-depth view of babies before birth.

Courtesy of a new multimillion dollar project based out of London, some parents are able to see clear scans of every movement and organ of their babies in the womb starting as early as 20 weeks, using advanced MRI technology.

“There is nothing quite as emotional as seeing your unborn child moving inside you, and these MRI scans are taking images to the next level,” stated Cathy Ranson, the editor of ChannelMum.com, a website that is distributing videos of the MRI scans.

“They are truly breathtaking,” Ranson continued.

Traditionally, ultrasounds are used during pregnancy to check in on growing babies in the womb using high frequency sound waves. Although useful, ultrasounds usually produce limited visual scopes of the womb and can vary in quality depending on various factors, such as age, weight, and position.

However, a curious team of medics pushed the limits of the ultrasound to find out if there was a better way to get in-utero scans.

Top minds from Kings College London, St. Thomas’ Hospital, Imperial College London, University of Firenze, the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Philips Health were given £10 million from the Wellcome Trust and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to see if they could advance antenatal scans.

This team of medics composed a new series of algorithms and magnetic fields to go beyond the limits of the ultrasound. This new technology is allowing clear pictures of the entire womb, making details like a 20-week heart valve crystal clear.

A video, produced by the iFIND project, shows just how detailed the scans are: the baby is stretching, turning, and even playing with the umbilical cord. They also recorded the reverberations of the baby’s movements, which could be seen rippling through the mother’s belly.

In addition to creating the optimal scan, the MRI technology also has a mechanism that auto corrects any small movements to produce an overall smooth image.

Dr. David Lloyd, a Clinical Research Fellow at King’s College London, said the new MRI scans “can see the structures inside the body, regardless of whether there’s bone, muscle or fat in the way.”

“It is also one of the few imaging techniques that is safe to use in pregnancy,” Dr. Lloyd continued.

This new technology is more than just a great picture for excited parents to see. The MRI scans could also reveal complications or growth deficiencies earlier in the pregnancy, which could allow for advanced treatment even before the baby is born.

The MRI scans have already kicked up some debate, especially in the UK where abortion is legal up to 24 weeks. These new scans, showing how babies actively move around at 20 weeks, is making the current abortion limit even more questionable.

Moving forward, the iFIND project wants the MRI scans to become available for all pregnant women around the world.

The Most Important Chart (Phenomenon) in all of the Social Sciences

http://patfagan.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-most-important-chart-phenomenon-in.html

By now, regular readers of Faith and Family Findings are familiar with the data on family structure and its impact on everything important to a functioning society.  On every outcome measured, for adults and children, those in an intact family do best on all the positive outcomes we desire for ourselves and our children (education, income, savings, health, longevity, happiness, sexual enjoyment, intergenerational support) and have the least incidence of all the negatives we hope never afflict our children (crime, addictions, abuse both physical and sexual, poverty, illiteracy, exclusion, ill health, unhappiness, mental illness, lack of sexual fulfillment).

Thus family structure is exceedingly important to society and a return to intact marriage is a sine qua non for a nation or for families set on rebuilding themselves.

Given that, consider the implications of the following chart on the intactness of marriage at the end of the first five years of marriage:

What this chart shows is the probability of intactness of family after the first five years of marriage– given the number of sexual partners of the spouses have had in their lifetime. Using rounded numbers:  95% of those who are monogamous, that is only one sexual partner in their life time —i.e. only their spouse–95% are still in an intact marriage after the first five years. But for the woman (national average) who has had one extra sexual partner other than her husband (almost always prior to marriage) the percent drops to 62% and with two extra partners it drops almost to 50%.  Thereafter it plateaus.  For men it takes five sexual partners to reach the same level of breakup.

When I first saw this phenomenon in the 1995 data (the above is 2006-2010 data) my immediate reaction was “Those Mediterranean cultures that had chaperoning during courtship knew something about human nature, family life and intergenerational stability.” They ensured Mediterranean family was on the three-love diet.

Chastity and monogamy are foundational to the intact married family, and thus to the prosperity and success of a nation.  Hence my conclusion that this chart is the most important chart in all of the social sciences.

A culture of monogamy is critical to a thriving nation or a thriving culture.

A culture of chastity is foundational to a culture of monogamy.

Thus the cultivation of chastity is central to a robust nation and a robust culture.  Chastity is an old term but now out of favor even among Christians, given the impact of political correctness i.e. cultural Marxism. However it is the accurate label for the virtue or strength behind the data.

For the impact of monogamy at a more causative level check out the work of JD Teachman on Google Scholar  or his CV and you will be able to thread the impact of monogamy in an admirable corpus of cumulative scholarship that is one of the great contributions to research on the family.

Though the above chart is purely correlational – it is demographically descriptive of America, of what is happening between our couples who get married.  One chart cannot prove chastity is causative (go to Teachman and others to tease that out) but it sure indicates where causal strength (or weakness) can be found.

Astonishing Things Freud, Teddy Roosevelt, Gandhi and T.S. Eliot Said About Contraception

195. Astonishing Things Freud, Teddy Roosevelt, Gandhi and T.S. Eliot Said About Contraception

It was contraception that caused me to leave the Church as a teenager and it was contraception that brought me back into the Church in my 20s. I shared some of that story in my last blog. Here I want to share how discovering the predictions of some very prominent thinkers of the early 20th century helped open my eyes to what’s at stake.

I remember how surprised I was to learn that, until 1930, all Christian denominations were unanimous in their firm opposition to any attempt to sterilize sexual intercourse. That year, when the Anglican Church opened the door to contraception at its Lambeth Conference, it was the first Christian body to break with the continuous teaching of the early Church, the spiritual masters throughout the ages, and all the Reformers from Luther to Calvin and beyond. By the time the Pill debuted in the early 1960s, the historical Christian teaching, once universally held, had come to be seen by most of the modern world as archaic and absurd.

Only a few decades earlier, when Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger first started her global campaigns for contraception, there was no shortage of predictions that embracing contraception would lead to the societal chaos in which we’re now immersed. You might be just as surprised as I was to read what the following prominent thinkers of the early 20th century had to say about contraception and what they predicted would happen if we embraced it.

Sigmund Freud, for example, while he was clearly no friend of religion, understood that the “abandonment of the reproductive function is the common feature of all perversions. We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse,” he said, “if it has given up the aim of reproduction and pursues the attainment of pleasure as an aim independent of it” (Introductory Lectures in Psychoanalysis, W. W. Norton and Company, 1966, p. 392).

Theodore Roosevelt condemned contraception as a serious threat against the welfare of the nation, describing it as “the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement.”  The “men and women guilty thereof,” he believed, exhibited a “dreadful” lack of character (State Papers as Governor and President, in Works XVII).

Mahatma Gandhi insisted that “there can be no two opinions about the necessity of birth-control. But the only [appropriate] method … is self-control,” which he described as “an infallibly sovereign remedy doing good to those who practice it.” On the other hand, “to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts” with contraception is a remedy that “will prove to be worse than the disease.” Why? Because contraceptive methods are “like putting a premium on vice,” he said. “They make men and women reckless … Nature is relentless and will have full revenge for any such violation of her laws,” he predicted. “Moral results can only be produced by moral restraints.” Hence, if contraceptive methods “become the order of the day, nothing but moral degradation can be the result … As it is, man has sufficiently degraded woman for his lust, and [contraception], no matter how well meaning the advocates may be, will still further degrade her” (India of My Dreams, Mahatma Gandhi, Rajpal & Sons, edition: 2009, pp. 219-220).

When a committee of the Federal Council of Churches in America issued a report suggesting it follow the Anglican acceptance of contraception, The Washington Post published a stinging editorial with the following prophetic statement: “Carried to its logical conclusions, the committee’s report if carried into effect would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be ‘careful and restrained’ is preposterous” (“Forgetting Religion,” The Washington Post, March 22, 1931).

Also in response to the Anglican break with Christian moral teaching, T.S. Eliot insisted that the church “is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized, but non-Christian, mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in waiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization and save the world from suicide” (T. S. Eliot, Thoughts After Lambeth, Faber and Faber, 1931).

Perversity? National death? Moral degradation? The death of marriage as a holy institution? World suicide? Isn’t that a bit much to pin on contraception? It would certainly seem so, if it weren’t for the fact that so much of what these forecasters predicted has, indeed, come to pass. What did they understand that we have forgotten?

Meet 12 beautiful babies saved from abortion in 2016

Feb. 7, 2017 (LiveActionNews) — 2016 was a year filled with shocking news, too many deaths, and plenty of surprises. However, we can’t let the year go without also stopping to celebrate the lives that were saved and the people who were loved this year. There’s more than we may ever know, but let’s meet 12 beautiful babies who were saved from abortion in 2016:

1. Esther’s baby
Esther came to the United States from Nigeria and soon discovered she was pregnant. She had already gone through two abortions back in her home country and thought she would make the same choice again. However, Esther found Her Choice Birmingham Women’s Center, and they gave her love, support, and the truth. At the center, Esther watched the Abortion Procedure videos made by Live Action (including the one below), where former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino describes what actually happens in various types of abortion. Esther was shocked and saddened, and after seeing an ultrasound of her own baby at the center, she chose life.

2. This baby whose abortion was canceled
Late in 2015, mother Ester Garcia shared amazing photos of her daughter, Hope, who was miscarried at 16 weeks, with Live Action News. The article continued to be read all throughout the year, and during the summer, one commenter wrote that she canceled her abortion after seeing Baby Hope.

It is very likely that this baby would have suffered through a D&E abortion if her mother had not changed her mind, as that is one of the most common abortion procedures in the U.S. at 16 weeks.

3. Over 100 babies saved through abortion pill reversal
In May 2016, Dr. Matthew Harrison of Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) revealed that 100 babies were due to be born this year after their mothers successfully chose to reverse their abortions. As APR’s doctors work all throughout the year, this number has now grown well past 100 for 2016. Here is Dr. Harrison with one of the babies who was born after a reversal:

For anyone seeking information on abortion reversal for medication abortion or abortions involving laminaria insertion, including pregnant mothers, doctors or pregnancy centers who want to help, or other pro-life volunteers who are willing to man the phone line:
There are over 300 doctors across the country who are ready and able to help women stop an abortion. There are also doctors trained in 14 other countries. Women looking for help to reverse their abortion can call the 24 hour hotline (1-877-558-0333) to talk with a nurse, or visit the website (abortionpillreversal.com).

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4 and 5. These two babies saved when sidewalk counselors offered help in abusive situations (Click on “See More” in the Facebook post to read the whole stories.)

If you are a woman experiencing pressure to choose abortion, please see this guide for help. Here is another beautiful baby recently saved by Sidewalk Advocates for Life’s work:

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6 and 7. These Christmas twins
Live Action writer and pregnancy center staffer, Christina Martin, was able to meet a beautiful set of twins she helped save from abortion in 2016. Their photo was spread all over social media, and thousands were able to rejoice that a new little brother and sister pair were here to celebrate Christmas.

Christina shared the story (in full here):
Sara told me that she had an ultrasound at her doctor’s office which revealed she was pregnant with twins. She had children at home and she felt she couldn’t have another baby, let alone twins. Her boyfriend had recently broken up with her and she was lacking significant family support.
Unbeknownst to me, she scheduled an abortion appointment on the weekend before she was scheduled to come to our pregnancy center. She had planned to go through with the abortion and we would have likely never seen her after that.
The morning of her appointment at the clinic, Sara felt an emotional weight upon her shoulders. She felt sick on the inside as she thought about her abortion. The intense feelings were a sign to her that she couldn’t abort her twins. In the quiet of her home, she made a decision to cancel her scheduled abortion. Sara told me as soon as she decided to cancel her abortion, a sense of relief washed over her. In an instant, all of the emotional weight was lifted off of her and she felt free.
The staff and volunteers at the ABC Women’s Center walked with Sara through her pregnancy. …

8. Michelle’s baby
In December, Live Action shared this story with some of its supporters in an email:
Your gift helps us save lives: Michelle is a young mother who almost aborted her child this year but chose life instead after learning the truth about abortion online. She wouldn’t have made that decision if it weren’t for Live Action’s Abortion Procedures videos showing the development of her preborn child and what abortion actually would do to kill that child.
Michelle just celebrated her son’s first Christmas all because YOU made those videos possible.

9. Baby Axton

Axton’s mom, Acacia, was planning on abortion when she walked into a pregnancy help medical clinic in Casper, Wyoming. Pregnancy Help News reports:
During the conversation, Acacia heard a life-changing statement.
“The advocate explained to me how God has a purpose for everybody, and a huge purpose of mine was to be alive if I was supposed to be dead a month before that [due to a terrible car wreck],” she said.
After learning her earlier positive pregnancy test was accurate, Acacia was given an ultrasound. She was too early to verify a viable pregnancy, so the clinic’s nurse scheduled her for a return appointment two weeks later.
That provided Acacia time to consider all her options, and to hear a message of life-changing hope.
“I sat there and listened and talked to her,” Acacia said. “She helped me realize that whatever I did choose would affect me the rest of my life, and that the obstacles I was facing at that time were temporary. She made me look at things from another point of view. I realized I did have a purpose, and even though I felt alone, I knew there would be other people there for me fully.”
Today, Acacia is living out that purpose. She decided to carry to term and parent, signing up for True Care’s long-term parenting program called Baby & Me. She met regularly with an advocate who helped guide her through parenting classes and has become a strong support throughout the first stages of Acacia’s motherhood.
In January 2017, Acacia brought Axton — who she says “saved my life” — to Washington, D.C., to participate in Babies Go to Congress.

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10. Baby Jude
Baby Jude is not born yet, but his parents have already rejected abortion, despite doctors’ counsel to terminate their son’s life. Jude has a condition that impairs his kidneys and threatens his life, but instead of aborting him, his parents, Josh and Kelli, have connected with doctors who are willing to treat their son in utero. Through amnioinfusion, Baby Jude is being given a chance at life and also may pave the wave for other children like him to be saved in the future.

https://www.facebook.com/kerryshook/videos/1464089220276870/

11 and 12. These twins whose mother walked out of an abortion facility
On her way to the abortion facility, this mom promised God that she would not have her scheduled abortion if she was pregnant with twins. To her surprise, the ultrasound showed two beating hearts and two little babies. She informed the staff that she changed her mind, but they reportedly locked her inside the facility for awhile and refused to refund all her money. You can read the rest of her harrowing account here, and if you or anyone you know is being pressured to go through with an abortion, see this guide here.

So, in 2017, how are you going to step out and save a life? How are you going to spread information, stories, and videos that will influence others to choose life and know there are support, love, and real facts available? Let’s do this together, and make 2017 the best year for LIFE yet!

Reprinted with permission from Live Action News

DR. MILDRED JEFFERSON

Happy Black History Month!

In 1951, Dr. Mildred Jefferson was the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School with 28 honorary degrees. She dedicated her life to caring for the sick and exposing the evil of Eugenics. She co-founded the National Right to Life and is credited to bringing Ronald Reagan into the Pro-Life Movement.

Thank you, Dr. Mildred Jefferson!
Your work has paved the way for the Pro-Life movement.

Abortion, Gay Marriage, and Porn

Bishop Barron (Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of LA) joins Dave Rubin to discuss religion and his views on abortion, gay marriage, porn, and more.