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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Jackson Family's Prenatal Testing Story


The Jacksons always knew they wanted a large family from the beginning. Jennifer and her husband Richard have enjoyed the family lifestyle: bowling, movies, water fights, being outdoors together, and actively participating in their church.

In February 2016, the Jackson family found out they'd be adding another child to their home and everyone was ecstatic! Jennifer went in at ten weeks for Harmony testing, which is a genetic test that boasts ninety-nine percent accuracy in detecting Down syndrome at this gestation. The test is fairly simple, as it only requires a blood sample from the pregnant mother.

After patiently waiting for the 7-14 days to pass, the Jackson family received the news that their baby tested positive for Down syndrome. Jennifer’s specialist at the Shenandoah Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic in Winchester, Virginia, strongly and without hesitation suggested aborting the baby.

In many countries around the world this is common practice. In fact, Iceland takes pride in their statistics which show a nearly “eradicated” population of people diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Pro-life celebrity Patricia Heaton smartly retorted: "Iceland isn't actually eliminating Down Syndrome. They're just killing everybody that has it. Big difference."

According to CBS News, nearly one hundred percent of women in Iceland who received a positive screening for Down syndrome aborted the child. Approximately eighty to eighty-five percent of all pregnant women there choose to participate in the testing. Iceland has only one or two children born with Down syndrome annually, which is staggering when you compare to the United States births at approximately six thousand. Denmark is desiring to follow Iceland's example, hoping to be "Down Syndrome free by 2030."

Consider all of these facts as I take you back to the Jackson family. Jennifer and Richard chose not to follow their doctor's advice and continued with the pregnancy. They later had a beautiful baby girl who did not have Down syndrome at all. She was born completely healthy with no genetic issues as indicated in the initial testing at ten weeks. A test that claims ninety-nine percent accuracy, along with the push to remove Down syndrome from the population, could have taken baby Scarlett Jackson's life. Now imagine, how many of the children aborted in Iceland, or anywhere, were in fact killed over a false positive?

To be clear, abortion is also horrific when a Down syndrome test result is accurate. There are so many happy, healthy people in the world diagnosed with Down syndrome. They deserve the chance to live. Justifying the killing of millions of children to "cleanse" the world is a tragedy.

Scarlett Jacskon
How many of these tests were wrong as the Jackson family had experienced? How many providers take the time to help families truly understand how happily and healthily someone with this diagnosis can live?

I urge you to look at this beautiful little girl, Scarlett, born October 8, 2016. At thirty-nine weeks, she weighed six pounds and fourteen ounces. She has had no medical issues and is thriving beyond expectation at thirteen months old. If her mother followed the specialist's counsel; this perfect little girl would not be here today, bringing joy to all those she encounters.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A model pro-life response to violence


Earlier this month, pro-life activist Purity Thomas, who is fifteen years old, was punched in the face as she stood peacefully outside an abortion facility in Roanoke, VA. She was treated for a concussion. The pro-choice assailant has not yet been identified; however, employees of the facility have been ruled out.

Purity's courageous response is both inspirational and instructive. Here is a short list of everything she did right, in chronological order:

(1) She got it on video. The assailant began by screaming at Purity and her friends, and stealing one of their signs. At that point, one of her friends started recording, with the result that the physical attack was caught on video.

When an interaction with an abortion supporter becomes heated, pull out your phone. It's for your own safety; people tend to be better behaved when they know they're being recorded. And if the situation nevertheless escalates, at least you have evidence. (I know some pro-life activists who take this a step further and wear GoPro cameras during all outreach as a matter of routine, but that's impractical for many, especially in a sidewalk counseling setting.)

(2) She did not fight back. Purity did not make any attempt to defend herself against her attacker. Whether that's because she physically couldn't, or chose not to, or both, is unclear. Regardless, it was the right move for two reasons. First, self-defense probably would not have deterred the abortion supporter; Purity could have received another punch, or worse. And second, taking the punch is an act of solidarity with preborn children, who are physically defenseless.

(3) She stood firm. This is what Purity had to say:
“I think it encouraged me and spurred me to continue my pro-life work,” she told us after the attack. “I know that there’s always a possibility to save a baby’s life and the woman from the violence of abortion. That is more important than my own well-being.”
Purity, you are awesome. May pro-lifers everywhere follow your example.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Human Rights Day

On Sunday, December 10, the world marks Human Rights Day. We hope our readers will take this opportunity to reflect on the meaning of human rights, and we especially encourage our fellow pro-life activists to think about how they can apply these fundamental principles to their advocacy.

Human rights are for all human beings equally. But not all human beings have an equal need for human rights protections. Human rights documents are designed to shield the weak from the strong, and the unwanted minority from the dominant majority. The implications for abortion are obvious (unless, of course, your identity and/or income depends on not seeing them).

"Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law."
-Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 6

"Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life."
-American Convention on Human Rights, Article 4.1

"...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."
-United States Constitution, 14th Amendment

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person."
-Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3

"The child ... shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection
shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and post-natal care."
-Declaration of the Rights of the Child, Principle 4

"Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life."
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 6.1

Human rights for ALL human beings

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Alabama special election shows need for pro-life Democrats


In case you've been living under a rock, there's a special election coming up in Alabama to name a new senator. The slot was previously held by Jeff Sessions, who stepped down to become Attorney General. Republican candidate Roy Moore was the obvious favorite in the state so red it's crimson (oh hey, congrats on making the playoffs, Bama)—until multiple women came forward to accuse Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teens and he was a young adult.

The evidence against Moore is compelling, but due to the amount of time that has passed, there will be no definitive ruling from a court of law. Besides, even if it were to go to court, there certainly wouldn't be a ruling before the December 12 election.

Moore is still favored to win, but it's no longer so obvious. Democratic candidate Doug Jones has a real chance. The main thing holding Jones back?

You know it. He's a no-abortion-limits Democrat, running for a position that has a significant vote on judicial appointments and federal abortion policy. Moore, in contrast, has a long record of opposing abortion. Pro-life voters in Alabama must weigh which is more damaging to the lives of preborn children: an alleged sexual predator, the very type that we call out Planned Parenthood for concealing, who votes our way but damages our credibility in much the way Trump has; or a Senator with zero regard for children in the womb, but who has no skeletons in his closet. As far as we know. Yet. (Future readers: at this time, it seems every week brings fresh allegations against another dozen or so powerful white men. If Jones turns out to be one of them, have a sad laugh at my expense.)

And now, an open letter to the Democratic Party.

WHAT THE HELL, YOU GUYS. You couldn't run a pro-life candidate in Alabama? In Alabama?! If Doug Jones were pro-life, or even if he committed to abstain from life-related votes, you'd have this election in the bag. Instead, you're so deep in Big Abortion's pocket than you couldn't manage to run a moderate candidate in a state so pro-life, its abortion rate is 43% below the national average. You morons are probably developing an anti-gambling candidate for Nevada. Get a hold of yourselves.

Sincerely,
Voters Everywhere

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Seeking partners for an upcoming project


Have you experienced a coerced abortion or threat of coerced abortion? Have you survived sex trafficking? Or do you work for an organization that combats domestic violence and sexual abuse?

Do you want to tell your story? If so, we want to amplify your voice.

The abortion lobby is pursuing a course of action that could be devastating for mothers in abusive relationships and victims of sex trafficking. To effectively fight back, we need to bring your stories front and center. It will not be easy, but we will be with you every step of the way. (I'm sorry to be so vague; we need to keep the details under wraps for the time being.)

If you are interested in learning more, please email us at info@secularprolife.org. We will not publish your story unless and until we have specific permission from you.

If this doesn't apply to you, you can help by sharing this post on social media. The more partners we have in this project, the more effective it will be!

Monday, December 4, 2017

The dying gasps of an industry


Suppose that you were the CEO of a business in crisis. Industry-wide, sales are down a shocking 21 percent. What would you do?

You might start by trying to improve your company's public image. If that fails, you might go negative, increasing your customer base by scaring them away from alternatives to your product. And if you're truly desperate, you might seek a government subsidy.

The Centers for Disease Control recently released its 2014 abortion statistics. The number of abortions in the United States fell to a new record low—from the previous record low set in 2013. In the ten-year period from 2005 to 2014, abortions plummeted 21 percent. And while the CDC's consistently delayed reporting is obviously an issue, all signs point to the abortion industry being in even more dire straits today than it was in 2014.

Pro-life legislation is certainly one cause of the drop in abortions. But even in states that are hostile to life, babies were better off in 2014 than they were in 2005. Other contributing factors include improved contraceptive methods; a spike in sexual abstinence among young adults; pro-life educational efforts, which have a greater reach than ever thanks to social media; and the continued work of pregnancy resource centers, many of which have harnessed innovative marketing tools to reach mothers in crisis.

So what's an abortion vendor to do?

Try to improve your company's public image: Last year, Planned Parenthood blew $4 million on an effort to "refresh our brand."

Go negative on your competition: The abortion lobby has dramatically increased its attacks on pregnancy resource centers, but has little to show for it. A recent attempt to smear pregnancy centers with fake online reviews fell flat, and the reviews were taken down for violating Google and Yelp terms of service. Laws forcing pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion have run into First Amendment obstacles.

Seek a government subsidy: Naturally, Planned Parenthood is working overtime to preserve its existing $500 million annual taxpayer subsidy. But Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups are also out to destroy the Hyde Amendment, which is a restriction on federal funding of abortion through the Medicaid program. The Hyde Amendment has prevented over two million abortions since it was first enacted in 1976; if you were born through the Medicaid program during that time frame, there's a 1 in 9 chance the Hyde Amendment saved your life. Eliminating the Hyde Amendment would create a massive subsidy for the abortion industry, and could even reverse the downward trend in abortion numbers.

The days of "safe, legal, and rare" are long gone. As I wrote a few years ago:
There is a kernel of fundamental tension between the movement for "choice" and the movement for "access." They can coexist while there are a million abortions a year. But in the long run, in order to have access, a critical mass of women have to make the "right" choice.
"Choice" has fallen by the wayside. The abortion lobby's current priorities—rebranding, attacking on pregnancy resource centers, and pushing for subsidies—points to one goal: increasing the number of preborn babies who die by abortion.

I realize there are still moderate pro-choicers out there. If that's you, I have a message: Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and all the other "pro-choice" organizations stopped representing you a long time ago. The abortion industry is dying, and as it struggles to stay afloat, it has quickly shed any pretense of charity. It is acting like the profit-driven business it has always been. If you find this appalling, please consider joining our efforts to help women and children. Even if you aren't 100% on board with the anti-abortion stance, look into what your local pro-life charities are doing. You'll find many opportunities to advance true choice.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Newly launched project advances health for mothers and babies of color

"What would it look like opening a birthing center in the hood?" That question sent Cessilye Smith of Dallas, Texas on a journey.

Cessilye is a pro-life feminist, racial justice educator, and doula—on top of just being an all-around rad woman. (Disclosure: she's also a friend of mine, obviously.) She is incredibly knowledgeable about the past and present of racism, the devastation abortion has inflicted on the black community, and low-income mothers' needs. I cannot think of a better person to open a birthing center in the hood.

I am so excited to share that Cessilye has teamed up with fellow Texas activist Bethany Stricker to launch Abide Women's Health Services!

If you were at the Life/Peace/Justice conference in October, you may have heard Cessilye speak about the crisis facing black mothers and babies. On nearly every maternal, fetal, and infant health measure, people of color fare orders of magnitude worse than the general population. And Abide plans to open its first location in a segregated, under-served neighborhood of south Dallas where the statistics are staggering: it has the highest rates of teen pregnancy, maternal mortality, infant mortality, and small-for-gestational-age births in the county.

Abide aims to break down the barriers keeping low-income mothers and babies from quality prenatal and birthing care. Not only that, Abide will help like-minded aspiring midwives, doulas, and other birth workers overcome obstacles to training and certification.

In their own words:
Abide Women's Health Services is dedicated to improving outcomes in maternal and child health by providing education and care that is easily accessible, culturally competent, and woman-centered within our diverse and under-served communities. This includes comprehensive prenatal, labor, delivery, and postpartum care, as well as women’s health services. Understanding that poor outcomes are related to quality health care worker shortages, Abide prioritizes offering excellent, relevant accessible training for aspiring doulas, birth assistants, midwives, and childbirth educators.
This project has so much life-saving potential, and Abide is counting on the pro-life community's support. Monetary donations are always welcome, but for this phase, Abide especially needs in-kind contributions: web design services, logo design services, volunteer consultants, and help creating educational materials. If any of that sounds like your wheelhouse, please email cessilye7@gmail.com.