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Monday, May 31, 2021

No, Pennsylvania is not fining women for miscarriages.

Summary of Pennsylvania’s Final Disposition of Fetal Remains Act

Today's guest post is by Daniel Gump.

On January 11, 2021, Pennsylvania Representative Francis Ryan reintroduced the Final Disposition of Fetal Remains Act (House Bill No. 118) to The General Assembly of Pennsylvania.[1] He previously introduced it to the committee on health in September 2019.[2] This three-page legislation clarifies a few aspects on recording fetal demise and handling fetal remains after sixteen weeks[3] of gestation.

It addresses the duties of health care facilities in relation to proper disposition of fetal remains in that they must record the fetal death in accordance with the Vital Statistics Law of 1953[4] and arrange for the cremation (allowing for simultaneous) or burial under 28 Pa. Code, Ch. 1[5]. It also provides the option for a parent to select a different location for final disposition and become responsible for the costs of such selection. A violation of proper disposal and recording is subject to penalties under Article IX of the Vital Statistics Law of 1953.

Though that is all the legislation addresses, it hasn’t stopped the manufacturing of controversy. Democratic US Senate candidate Valerie Arkoosh claimed on her Twitter account that this legislation would fine women who miscarry and force them to fill out the state’s application for fetal death certificates.[6] 


These claims are false. There is no fine, and one would only need to submit the application if ordering copies of the certificate itself for personal records. Since Arkoosh is an obstetric anesthesiologist[7], it is difficult to believe this was an honest misunderstanding, rather than a purposeful fundraising ruse. A brief look at the quote tweets reveals many celebrities, politicians, and media personalities spreading the deception as confirmation of their biases, rather than bothering to verify the truth of it.

Though this legislation has been thrust into the abortion debate for having passing similarities to the fetal disposal sections of Indiana’s Public Laws 115-2015[8] (upheld in Box v. Planned Parenthood[9]), the Pennsylvania act never once mentions induced abortions. The purpose of this legislation is, rather, to help parents obtain the remains of their deceased unborn children — something that is often a struggle for grieving families, particularly for deaths before twenty weeks gestation. Absent clear laws on the procedures in many US states for parents to request the remains[10], hospital staff can be left confused on how to handle them and end up disposing those remains as medical waste[11] or keeping them in storage[12]. This results in further pain for the families, left with no tangible proof of the short existence of the lost child. Ratification of this legislation may provide the means to help loss parents at a time when it is needed the most.


References:
  1. The General Assembly of Pennsylvania, House Bill No. 118. (Pa., 2021) https://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2021&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=0118&pn=0086
  2. The General Assembly of Pennsylvania, House Bill No. 1890. (Pa., 2019) https://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2019&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=1890&pn=2623
  3. Public Laws of 1953, No. 66, “Vital Statistics Law of 1953,” §105(4) (Pa., 1953) https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b3830921?urlappend=%3Bseq=310
  4. Public Laws of 1953, No. 66. Id. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b3830921?urlappend=%3Bseq=308
  5. Pennsylvania Code, Title 28, Ch. 1 (Pa., 1959, 1979) https://www.pacodeandbulletin.gov/Display/pacode?file=/secure/pacode/data/028/chapter1/chap1toc.html&d=
  6. Arkoosh, Valerie. Twitter, @ValArkooshPA. May 25, 2021. https://twitter.com/valarkooshpa/status/1397267608236265473?s=21
  7. Lachman, Samantha. “Philadelphia Doctor Val Arkoosh Touts Obamacare in Campaign for House,” HuffPost.  Feb 24, 2014. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/valerie-arkoosh-congress-_n_4848731
  8. Public Laws 113-2015, Senate Bill 329 (Ind., 2015) http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/senate/329
  9. Kristina Box, et al. v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (587 US ___, 2019) https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-483_3d9g.pdf
  10. ”State Laws,” Heaven’s Gain Ministries. 2014? https://heavensgain.org/state-laws/
  11. Eisner, Robin. “Should Parents Bury Miscarriage Remains?,” ABC News.  January 6, 2006. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117867
  12. Wible, Pamela, MD. “What Happens to All the Miscarriages?,” KevinMD.com. August 6, 2013. https://www.kevinmd.com/blgo/2013/08/miscarriages.html

Friday, May 28, 2021

Secular Pro-Life Demands No Taxpayer Subsidies for Abortion in Federal Budget

With the Biden administration expected to release its proposed federal budget any day, Secular Pro-Life is proud to join a coalition of over 60 anti-abortion organizations demanding that Congress preserve bipartisan, common-sense, life-saving provisions that have been in place for decades. Chief among these is the Hyde Amendment, which limits taxpayer funding of abortion through the Medicaid program and has saved the lives of nearly two and a half million low-income American children. In recent years, pro-abortion radicals have targeted the Hyde Amendment for destruction. Biden voted for the Hyde Amendment as a Senator but cowardly flip-flopped on the presidential campaign trail.

The coalition, led by the Susan B. Anthony List, released an open letter to Congressional leaders which begins:

In anticipation of the President’s FY22 budget, we write to you to urge you to retain the longstanding pro-life appropriations amendments including the Hyde Amendment in this year’s appropriations. While House Appropriations Chairwoman DeLauro has pledged to eliminate these vital, status quo protections, they are critical longstanding policies that respect the dignity of the unborn and conscience of taxpayers.

In 1976, just three years after Roe v. Wade, the Hyde Amendment was first added to appropriations to prohibit federal funds from paying for elective abortions. This was in response to the government’s funding of hundreds of thousands of abortions each year since Roe. The Supreme Court upheld the Hyde Amendment, ruling that the legality of abortion did not obligate the funding of abortion. To date, the Hyde Amendment has saved over 2.4 million lives.

You can read the full text of the letter here, press release here, and coverage by Politico here. This is going to be a knock-down, drag-out fight. Stay tuned for information about protests and action items. We have not ruled anything out. 

Finally, if you will indulge us in a bit of bragging: not long ago, the primary pro-life talking point on the Hyde Amendment was taxpayer conscience. Reliable data on the number of lives saved didn't even exist, let alone take center stage. That started to change with Secular Pro-Life's #HelloHyde campaign in September 2016, which celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the Hyde Amendment. Since most major pro-life organizations were rather preoccupied with electoral politics in the fall of 2016, we took the opportunity to craft new messaging, emphasizing those most impacted by the Hyde Amendment: the Americans who owe their very lives to it. With a huge assist from Dr. Michael New at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, who crunched the numbers for us, we changed the conversation. 

For a member of Congress, this is not merely about whether voters will be annoyed by the misallocation of their tax dollars. It's much more personal now. A vote against the Hyde Amendment is a statement that some of their constituents would be better off dead. People saved by the Hyde Amendment are our relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and friends. They are worth all of our efforts. We will not back down!

[Photo credit: Louis Velazquez on Unsplash]

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Tomorrow: Free Virtual Panel on Contraceptive Access

Tune in tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. Eastern to hear Secular Pro-Life co-leader Terrisa Bukovinac (pictured) speak about preventing abortions through contraception. 

The panel discussion, hosted by R Street Institute, is entitled "Birth Control Bedfellows: A Discussion with Unsung Heroes for Better Contraceptive Access." R Street describes the discussion topic as follows:

When you think of birth control access, expansion and reform, who do you think of? Chances are, not many Republicans, pro-life groups, or limited government advocates come to mind. However, advocates for better birth control access span a broader ideological range than you might think, and for interesting reasons. Join the R Street Institute for a discussion with some of the unsung heroes championing improved access to birth control.

Bukovinac will be joined by Arkansas State Representative Aaron Pilkington and Independent Women's Forum Director of Policy Hadley Heath Manning. R Street Insitute Resident Fellow Courtney Joslin will moderate. 

This event is free and open to the public. Register here for the Zoom link.


Monday, May 24, 2021

Pro-Life Flag Project Launches Today!

Secular Pro-Life is excited to announce our partnership with Pro-Life Flag Project, a pro-life initiative to create the official flag of the pro-life movement. The project involves a public design contest to generate flag designs, followed by a movement-wide vote on finalists from the contest. They want to see YOUR designs and hear YOUR voice in this process.

With the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing to hear Mississippi's ban on abortion after 15 weeks, the abortion lobby is terrified that Roe might finally be overturned or limited. The conflict is entering a new phase, and the Pro-Life Flag Project could not have come at a better time. What symbol will future generations of schoolchildren see in their history books, when they learn about the victory of the pro-life cause? Possibly, a symbol of your creation! Submit a design between now and June 18.

The Pro-Life Flag Project has wisely excluded religious symbols from consideration, stating "we want the design to be inclusive of the entire pro-life movement, representing people of all religious backgrounds who oppose abortion." Check out the full guidelines here

Not artistic? Not to worry; you can get involved later in the process by voting for your favorite flag!

Friday, May 14, 2021

We Asked, You Answered: Experiences with Sex Education

A female condom and a male condom on colorful background

Secular Pro-Life recently shared a task from our new program How to be Pro-Life: "Make sure you have sufficient sexual education." SPL strongly supports comprehensive sex education, including accurate information about methods to avoid conception, as an important tool to prevent unplanned pregnancies and abortions. 

We asked our social media followers: "If you have or intend to have kids, what kind of sex ed would you want them to have? What age, what info?" Here a few of our favorite responses (with minor edits for clarity and length):

Lydia R.: Considering a lot of people got pregnant in my high school because they thought pulling out is birth control, I'd say education is an integral part of preventing abortion.

Kaya M.: I started having "talks" with my kids when the oldest was 4. They know about periods, and know about needing a male and female to make a baby, they know the baby usually comes out of your bottom (we've watched uncensored vaginal and c section human and animal births); I've also shown them pictures/videos of conception and of fetal development. The only things we haven't covered yet are sexual intercourse, birth control, STDs, etc. But that will come in time when they're older. For us, "the talk" is actually a series of talks that unfold as they get older, with more info added every time we talk.

Crystal K.: I grew up with livestock, and I honestly don't recall a time when I didn't have up-close-and-personal sex education just outside my door every day. Sex was such a natural and relevant topic that it never occurred to me feel squeamish about it, and my parents were always open and up-front. I grew up looking forward to intimacy with zero fear of becoming pregnant at the wrong time, getting an STD, etc. because my home education was so comprehensive.

Renee F.: Start early and use the correct terms. Take the mystery out of it when they are young and they won't be curious about it anymore. We need better sex ed in schools, too.

R. S.: I want them to know the true failure rates of different methods of contraception, and I want them to know how all work and are applied. I also want them to understand the emotional costs of their choices. Of course, these are lessons I will be passing along to my boys anyway. Involved parents trump others educating their kids any day.

Kate D.: Everyone could and should know the basics of natural family planning (symptothermal or Creighton). It's your own body, own your data!

Laura P.: The younger you start having age-appropriate conversations about sex, intimacy, and relationships, the better. Sex talk shouldn't be some weird abstract conversation, it should be a part of day-to-day conversation as it comes up naturally. Letting kids know that discussing sex, reproduction, etc. is a normal and healthy part of life is as valuable as the conversations themselves. 

Violet L.: I think it's important. I never got any [sex education] in school or at home... well the tiniest bit in one talk at school when I was maybe 17, but I didn't want to hear about it so I didn't pay attention to it. I have no interest in sex being ace, but I would think my parents would've thought at some point they should probably give me some kind of education.

Jason B.: I started sex education when my son was 9 or 10 years old. Just the basics at first and built up from there over time. I never withhold any truth and facts from him.

Sarah I.: Sex ed needs to start at home when your child starts asking questions. There should be no shame and there needs to be a sense of openness conveyed to the child so they will come to parents with questions or problems.

Sarah F.: My kids are pretty young and can't keep secrets or follow directions very well, so at this point we're sticking to keeping private parts private and respecting other people's bodies. Once they are old enough to understand more, they will be taught that sex is how babies are made, and you don't have sex with anyone you wouldn't be willing to raise a baby with (and vice versa). Also, having recreational sex with people outside of marriage is a great way to catch and spread certain diseases. And definitely the facts of prenatal development. That contraceptives don't work 100% of the time and that abortion kills a person. That parenting, while rewarding, is a major responsibility.

Alex B.: My children already know the names of their parts and have a basic idea of how they work. As they get closer to puberty we will tell them more. Once they may consider having sex we will make sure they have access to all the contraception they need. Hopefully the male pill will be available for my son!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

As pro-choice activists pivot to a more pro-abortion view, will average Americans go along?

Actress Martha Plimpton models her "Abortion" dress

It seems pro-choice activists are divided into two camps:
  1. Abortion is unfortunate but necessary. It should be safe, legal, and rare.
  2. Abortion is liberating and praiseworthy. It should be available on demand, without apology.
For this post, I'm referring to group 1 as "pro-choice" and group 2 as "pro-abortion." (Note that plenty of people in group 2 also refer to themselves as pro-abortion.)

The pro-abortion group gets exasperated when pro-choicers talk about abortion as if it were in any way problematic. Pro-abortion people dislike the phrase "safe, legal, and rare" because "rare" implies abortion is undesirable in some way. In her article "Dear Politicians, put 'Safe, Legal, and Rare' in the Dustbin," Renee Bracey Sherman argues:
Demanding abortion be "rare" is stigmatizing at its core; it posits that having an abortion is a bad decision and one that a pregnant person shouldn't have to make, and if they do, it must be in the direst of circumstances. This messaging tells those of us who've had abortions that we did something wrong to need an abortion, and we shouldn't do it again. It unfairly stigmatizes people who will have more than one abortion, which is nearly half of abortion patients.

On the blog for the National Women's Law Center, Yumhee Park claims:

The media often paints abortion as a divisive political issue, but here's the truth: abortion actually is an act of love, an act of compassion, an act of healing, and an act of selflessness. 

It makes sense that these authors omit any acknowledgement of the humans killed in abortion. If embryos and fetuses are amoral clumps of cells, they have no interests and no place in ethical discussions, just as we wouldn't consider the perspective of tumors when we discuss cancer treatment. Given the premise, I get the logic. I just wonder how many people really believe the premise.

In any case, for pro-abortion people it isn't enough that elective abortion stay legal. It should also be, at minimum, stigma-free, but preferably honored and celebrated (and paid for by the government). These aren't new demands, but they do seem to be made with increasing vigor and volume. 

I'm curious to see how this shift plays out. If the anti-abortion view is that abortion is immoral and should be illegal throughout pregnancy, and the pro-abortion view is that abortion is morally good and should be legal throughout pregnancy, most Americans agree with neither. Polls find that, when it comes to timing, Americans are generally accepting of first trimester abortions and not of later ones, and when it comes to reasoning, people are much more likely to support abortions due to medical problems than for any reason. And these results include significant numbers of women, Democrats, and (to a lesser extent) even people who refer to themselves as "pro-choice."

From time to time I still see pro-choicers insist "no one is pro-abortion," but the claim seems to be less popular than it used to be. As the abortion rights side pivots from "safe, legal, and rare" to "on demand without apology," what effect will this shift have on average Americans? Maybe they'll see this mentality as a reductive extremism they can't abide and feel pushed more toward the pro-life side. That's my hope. But it's possible they'll be radicalized by a new "pro-abortion" normal. That's my fear.

[Related post - How #ShoutYourAbortion Changed My Mind]

Monday, May 10, 2021

How Baby Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Survived Planned Parenthood

At a recent Congressional hearing on the Black maternal health crisis, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) stated that her mother obtained prenatal care from Planned Parenthood and called herself a "Planned Parenthood baby." AOC was quoted as saying: "If we want to talk about Planned Parenthood let's talk about how many lives Planned Parenthood has saved. And how many babies have been born because of the prenatal care provided by Planned Parenthood."

Those remarks were roundly mocked in pro-life and conservative spaces. Fox News' coverage of AOC's comments noted, correctly, that Planned Parenthood's most recent annual report shows 354,871 abortions versus only 8,626 prenatal services — a tragic ratio of 41 to 1. 

So what's going on here? Did an unborn AOC narrowly survive 41-to-1 odds at Planned Parenthood, only to perversely grow up to be an abortion advocate?

Planned Parenthood's ratio of abortions to prenatal care has changed over time, and so has the way Planned Parenthood measures prenatal care. Representative Ocasio-Cortez lived in the womb in 1989. That year, according to Planned Parenthood's annual report, AOC's mother was one of only 3,400 women to obtain prenatal care from Planned Parenthood, versus 111,000 women who obtained abortions. The ratio of babies killed to babies receiving prenatal care was 32 to 1.

In AOC's youth, Planned Parenthood reported the number of patients to whom it provided prenatal care. That practice continued through 2008, when Planned Parenthood performed abortions on 342,008 pregnant mothers and gave prenatal care to 9,433, a ratio of 36 to 1. But the following year, Planned Parenthood started reporting the number of prenatal services provided, allowing the same mother to be counted more than once if she had multiple prenatal appointments. This caused an illusory high point in 2009, when Planned Parenthood committed 331,796 abortions and provided 40,489 prenatal care services — a ratio of 8 to 1. 

And yet despite the rosier prenatal care metric, Planned Parenthood went from 8:1 in 2009 to 41:1 today! (Imagine how much worse today's ratio would look if the 1989 metric of number of women served had been maintained!) Why the jump? The best available explanation is a major policy shift in 2010. Planned Parenthood operates on a franchise model. In 2010, Planned Parenthood's national office required all of its regional affiliates to offer abortions or lose the right to the Planned Parenthood name. Prenatal care was not similarly mandated. So much for "choice."

To be clear, I am not arguing that Planned Parenthood was a virtuous organization once upon a time, or that its good at any point outweighed its bad. Planned Parenthood was founded by a eugenicist for racist purposes. It has covered up statutory rape. It has participated in gruesome organ-harvesting schemes. It has a long history of discrimination against its own employees. And it has killed millions of unborn babies since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973.

My argument is much narrower: women who went to Planned Parenthood in decades past may have encountered an organization that did not have as strong an "abortion-first" orientation as it does today. Many of these women are no longer of reproductive age and have not set foot in a Planned Parenthood in years; they have no reason to know that Planned Parenthood now kills 41 babies for every one prenatal service. Outdated memories may guide their policy positions and votes. And in some cases, evidently, they have passed their gauzy misconceptions of Planned Parenthood along to their children. We have our educational work cut out for us.  

None of this excuses Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's false claim that Planned Parenthood saves lives. She is an elected official with staffers employed to conduct research for her; she should know better. And whether the odds were 41 to 1 or 36 to 1 or 8 to 1, AOC is lucky to have left Planned Parenthood alive. It's a shame she doesn't want her youngest constituents to get the same chance.

[Photo credit: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Facebook page. Special thanks to Jim Sedlak for his archival research assistance.]

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Ableism of Abortion

Two men smiling; the man on the right has facial features consistent with Down Syndrome

Merriam-Webster defines ableism as "discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities." It's a term that gets thrown around as our society becomes increasingly aware of the ways that disabled people have historically been discriminated against. This includes everything from a lack of accessibility for those in wheelchairs to excluding those who look or act differently. I'm glad to see a growing awareness of the harms of ableism and the celebration of all people, regardless of their abilities. However, this understanding has unfortunately not been applied to babies with disabilities. Many people continue to view abortions based on prenatal screening tests as completely moral. How is this not also ableism?

Abortions of babies with Down Syndrome, according to prenatal tests, is on the rise in America along with other locations. The most extreme example is found in Iceland, where people with Down Syndrome are all but disappearing due to the practice of aborting babies with Down Syndrome. According to this 2017 CBS article, close to 100% of women who "who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy." This overemphasis on the health of children and choosing whether or not to keep a child has long been a concern, both inside and outside of pro-life circles. If parents are permitted to abort their less-than-"perfect" children, what does that say about the ableism prevalent in our society despite our efforts to remove it? If we are to truly make an equitable world that is inclusive of those with differing abilities, it must start with banning the abortion of babies due to their medical conditions. 

Down Syndrome is only one example, of course; however, it is one of the most powerful. It is not life-threatening and there are a multitude of examples of men and women with Down Syndrome living healthy, fulfilling lives. Just this past year, Ellie Goldstein, a model with Down Syndrome, was featured on Vogue’s Italia website. However, a person should not have to prove their worth to society in order to earn the right to life. One does not have to be a "contributing member of society" in order to be alive. There are many ways to live a fulfilling life and impact others and they do not all involve the same thing. You would think that the current emphasis on stamping out ableism would put to rest some of these fallacies, but it has yet to do so definitively. Our society emphasizes accepting people for who they are but apparently only once they are considered worthy of being born. 

However, there is hope on the horizon. A law has been upheld in Ohio prohibiting abortions based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis. Arizona recently followed suit with a law banning abortions based on a genetic abnormality, including Down Syndrome. However, legislation alone will not fix the problem. We need a culture shift. The current wave of accommodations and acknowledgement of the struggles of those with disabilities must extend to those in the womb to protect the most important right: life. 

[Today's guest article is by Laura Wallace. Learn more about becoming a guest author here. Photo credit: Nathan Anderson on Unsplash.]

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Reflections on National Foster Care Awareness Month

Silhouette of adult and child playing at a beach

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. Although foster care is not an abortion alternative (for reasons discussed at length here), the pro-life and foster care communities significantly overlap, united by a common concern for vulnerable children. People who grow up in foster care have been especially vocal about the harms of pro-choice rhetoric suggesting they should have been aborted. Foster children deserve caregivers who will affirm their humanity and dignity.

In January — coincidentally, right around the time of the canceled March for Life — I became a licensed foster parent and welcomed a teenager into my home. The friends I have cultivated over my dozen years of pro-life advocacy (give or take) have been tremendously supportive, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Without oversharing any personal details about my foster daughter, I'd like to offer some general thoughts and encouragement for pro-life readers who may be thinking about becoming a foster parent.

The licensing process

The process of becoming a foster parent varies by jurisdiction. In my case, I contacted the agency in September and obtained my license four months later. The process included two home inspections, various safety purchases to come into compliance (e.g. a refrigerator thermometer, fire extinguishers, and cabinet locks), a background check and fingerprinting, and weekly Zoom classes and homework assignments to become educated about childhood trauma.

The training involved many difficult, heartbreaking topics. To get a flavor, I highly recommend the Removed series of short films, available on YouTube (part 1, part 2, part 3).

I am single and I work full time. I do not have medical training. My home has stairs and cannot accommodate a wheelchair user. All of these things have been taken into account. My license is only for children between the ages of 6 and 17 who do not have serious medical needs. My agency is careful to match children with suitable homes, and I was always encouraged to speak up about what I could and could not offer. 

Expect the unexpected

If you are devoted to a strict routine and react poorly to deviations, foster parenting probably is not for you. My foster daughter was originally placed in my home "just for the weekend," but when Monday rolled around, she wanted to stay with me and the only other option was a group home. A consensus quickly emerged that my home was indeed in her best interest. 

Here are just a few of the issues we encountered: not having her medications; not having her glasses; a week-long administrative delay getting her enrolled in school; her prescriptions being sent to a pharmacy that didn't take her insurance; delays in setting up her therapy appointments; and, not two weeks into the placement, an urgent care visit because she took a bad step and injured her foot. (Don't worry, she's fine. Toenails grow back.)

These situations were all quite stressful, but I am gradually learning, as she'd say, to "take a chill pill." It's all worth it to give her a safe environment that meets her needs.

A team effort

If you're thinking "I could never handle all that," remember that you won't be going it alone. The adage that it takes a village to raise a child is especially true for foster parenting. I have support from many quarters, including my family, friends, neighbors, Secular Pro-Life co-leaders, a therapist, a doctor, case managers, school staff, and licensing supervisors. I'm especially fortunate to have a good relationship with my foster daughter's mother, who is working to regain custody.

This is not a solo endeavor. Coming up for air every now and then is crucial. Don't be afraid to ask for help!

"You don't have to be perfect, to be a perfect parent."

Remember these public service announcements? I've been thinking about them a lot lately. I am far from perfect. Sometimes I say the wrong thing. I often fall behind on chores and errands. I take misbehavior too personally. I waste time comparing myself to imaginary, impossible standards. 

But every Friday at 8:00 p.m., my foster daughter and I celebrate another week together — and that's enough. Getting to know her and care for her has been a privilege. Whatever happens, we will always have a bond.

There is a tremendous need for loving foster homes. The opioid addiction epidemic has shattered countless families and overwhelmed child welfare programs. If any part of you is drawn to the idea of becoming a foster parent, you owe it to both the children and yourself to contact a local agency and learn more. You don't know what you're missing!

[Photo credit: Lauren Lulu Taylor on Unsplash]

Monday, May 3, 2021

April Recap

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April Recap

Projects
This month we launched HowToBeProLife.com, a website Monica created to encourage people against abortion to get involved. There are ideas for introverts, busy people, broke people, and even pro-choicers who want to decrease abortion. We launched the website with enough suggestions to feature one idea per week for a year, but we plan to expand the list substantially over time. Follow the project on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and share your ideas with us about how people can do pro-life work.

On April 24, both Kelsey and Terrisa presented at the 2021 Consistent Life Virtual Conference, where they spoke about being bold and sharing personal, relatable stories in our pro-life messaging.

And on April  9 & 10 we participated in the Save Hyde National Day of Action (created by Democrats for Life). Terrisa spoke at the National Press Club to condemn the Democratic Party's plans to introduce the first budget in 40 years that would include taxpayer funding for abortion. The next day Terrisa protested in Washington DC, and on the opposite coast Monica (and her daughters) protested in Sacramento.


Twitter
We gained 351 new followers, bringing us to 13,521 total. We sent 241 tweets, which were viewed 647,000 times, including this tweet, viewed over 30,000 times, in which we tried to explain (again) the distinction between being "life" and being living human organisms.

See our collection of biology books here.

Facebook
We are at 35,196 followers on Facebook. Our content was viewed 319,377 times, including 19,101 views of  this post (one of Monica's "red pen" meme corrections):

See more corrected memes here.

Blogger
Our three most-read blog posts for April, in increasing order: Like what we do and have something to contribute? Consider writing a guest post. Guest posts help us cover a more diverse range of perspectives, topics, and experiences. If you have an idea for a piece you'd like to submit, please email us at info@secularprolife.org.

Thank you to our supporters
Thank you to those of you who donate to help support our work. SPL is run by dedicated volunteers, and we would not be able to devote the time and energy without the help of donors like you.

If you like our work, please consider donating: 


Paypal
If you don't use Paypal, you can also go to our Facebook page and click the blue "Donate" button under our cover photo on the right.