Saturday, January 23, 2010

In the rain and shaking with tears

We are in the middle of a big storm in the Bay Area and this morning it was pouring rain. On my calendar I had the date for the West Coast Walk for Life for weeks now. I got up like normal, took a shower and prepared for the march. My husband looks at me and says, "hey how about a movie and lunch instead?" "What?!" "Irma is coming today so we might as well go out because looking at the rain I don't think we should be in San Francisco today."
I said emphatically, "Well I'm going!" He is protective of me since I'm pregnant and says, "Well, I'm coming with you then."

I really didn't care if it was hailing with 60 mph winds. Nothing was going to stop me from going to the one event where I would be surrounded by other people who feel the same way I do about abortion. I feel so isolated in the Bay Area where so many of my friends are either pro-choice or have this laissez-faire attitude toward abortion. The atmosphere is so repressive that I still haven't summoned the courage to "come out" about my views for fear of offending people that I know. I just kind of hint at my views with my friends and only a few know how I really feel about this issue.

I wasn't always pro-life. No, in fact, I was rabidly pro-choice! In college, I made up fliers for N.O.W. and delighted in the idea that RU-486 would silence the pro-life movement. I told myself that if I became pregnant I would have an abortion. My boyfriend and his parents would have wanted and even encouraged me to have one should a pregnancy occur. Yet, even as I agreed with him about what I would do if this happened, I still felt an uneasy feeling inside, one I couldn't articulate.

I think this is how many women feel about abortion. They want the freedom to rid themselves of the "problem" but inside, they know they will be killing something that is a part of themselves and also something that is independent and alive. I held my pro-abortion views for another decade and a half. Then, at 34, pregnant for the first time, I saw my son on an ultrasound at 13 weeks gestation. The ultrasound technician had caught him asleep, on his back. His chest was moving up and down, as if he were really breathing. I immediately recognized the curve of his neck and head; it was the same shape as my husband's. Then the ultrasound vibrations woke him up suddenly and he started doing these hilarious cartwheels. Wheee! Whee! Around and around and around! I was breathless with joy.

Then it hit me. This little person, only 13 weeks in my womb, was ALIVE. He was fully formed, his heart was beating, and he could feel. In fact, he seemed irritated by the ultrasound! I knew suddenly that all of these years I had been on the wrong side. I was overcome by regret. People kill babies even older than mine! Although I had never had an abortion, I had been very public about my support for abortion and possibly even encouraged my friends and family in that direction. My brother's girlfriend aborted her baby ten years ago and I remember saying, "well, she had to do it. It was the right choice." I asked God to forgive me that day for believing in abortion. The full extent of my sorrow wouldn't appear for another couple of weeks.

For a couple of weeks, I didn't think again about my change of heart. Somehow I came across the Silent Scream video on You Tube. I decided to watch the ultrasound abortion that is featured in this video. When the suction curette started toward the baby, you could see him cowering away from it, trying his hardest to get away. Then it started ripping the baby's limbs apart one by one until finally only his head was left attached to the mother's uterus. Words can't tell you how horrified and upset I was to witness this baby's torture and mutilation. I cried so hard and couldn't stop for a long time.

To think that 50 million babies have been tortured this way or been burned alive by injection! Some of those babies in the 3rd trimester too. It's just too much sometimes and I sometimes think that I can't bear the sorrow of it. The worse part is that so many reasonable and educated people, mothers even, still believe that this form of murder is acceptable because a woman has the right to CHOOSE. If they could only see this video perhaps they would stop being pro-choice and become more pro-child.

Now if it were truly the case that women were being fully informed of what happens in an abortion and if they had access to the stories of other women who had abortions and now regretted them, I really doubt so many would choose abortion. But women are not being told the truth. They are actively being misled. Planned Parenthood, the biggest abortion chain in America, does not give women the information they need to make a choice that is right for the baby and the mother. Instead, they actively promote abortion to make money.

If you doubt this, check out the first-hand accounts provided by Lila Rose, the director of Live Action.
This brave young woman went undercover and secretly taped Planned Parenthood workers deliberately misleading women so that they would choose abortions. In these videos, they tell her that "it's just a clump of cells", "women die giving birth to babies", and actively try to pit the mother against her baby.

When a woman is desperate for help and advice, with an unwanted pregnancy, and she hears this kind of misinformation is it any surprise that she chooses to murder her unborn child? So many women have regretted their abortions. The most moving story of all was the one told by Georgette Fourney, one of the founders of Silent No More, a coalition of women who have had abortions but are now pro-life. She was one of the last speakers at the West Coast Walk for Life. As she started to speak, the rain died down a little and her voice was clear and firm.

When she was 24, and the mother of six children, she split from her husband and became pregnant by another man. When she reconciled with her husband, she decided to abort her baby at 4 months. She was desperate for guidance but no one was there to help. Only a Planned Parenthood worker led her to the operating room where they injected her with saline. She had a change of heart as she felt her 4 month fetus, writhing and kicking in agony. Only later did she find out that the injection literally burned her baby alive. She rushed to the hospital to see if they could save her baby. They couldn't.

When she gave birth to her dead baby she held her in her arms and asked her for forgiveness. With the rain starting to pour down on us, my husband and I wept openly. I could see that men and women in the crowd were just as moved. Being six months pregnant, and feeling my child kick and move inside of me, I have gotten to know when she is hungry, listening, or sleeping. To think of my child kicking in agony and being burned all over her body is just so awful. To think that this has happened to millions of unborn children!

Georgette Fourney talks about the sense of betrayal she feels toward her surviving children. How could they reconcile the thought of this mother who hugs and kisses them, as the same woman who could do something so terrible to one of their siblings? A sibling that they will never have the opportunity to love and play with? Georgette is not alone. Take a look at the stories of other women who have had to live for years with the sorrow of murdering their own children. Click on the Testimonies link to find the stories:

When my babysitter Irma, became pregnant, she went to Planned Parenthood for her OB/GYN care. They asked her outright if she wanted to have an abortion. Of course, Irma says, "no!" but she is shocked that she is asked that question. She never hinted that her pregnancy was unwanted.

Why would they even ask her such a question? For one thing, Irma is a Latina woman. Walter B. Hoye II, founder and president of Issues4Life, estimates that 88% of all abortions are performed on black and Latina women. Maybe some of you might say, well, they get pregnant more often than white women, so of course, they would have more abortions. One in two of all pregnancies in black women end in abortion. Do one in two of all pregnancies in white women end in abortion? No. You can't explain these kinds of numbers in a simple way. Obviously there are societal forces at work here that are promoting this kind of "choice" for minority women. Many minority women receive their health care at Planned Parenthood because it is free. It is there, they are being told by the mainly white workers that abortion is a good choice for them and these poor women are swallowing these lies hook and sinker.

But the abortion industry isn't just fueled by population control zealots and racists. It's also fueled by money. One of the most visible converts to the pro-life cause is Abby Johnson. If anyone knows what Planned Parenthood is really up to, it is her. Abby Johnson was a lauded eight-year employee and former director of Planned Parenthood. She joined the pro-life cause only a year ago after watching a fetus fight for its life and then crumple during an ultrasound abortion. She began to question the motives of Planned Parenthood when her superiors began to push clinics to make more money, through promoting abortions, which can bring in $600-$800 a procedure. She is now a member of Coalition for Life and prays outside the same clinic where she was the director.

In 2007, Planned Parenthood received about $350 million dollars in taxpayer money. About 305,310 abortions are performed and only 4,912 referrals for adoption were made; only 5% of its services were to provide medical care for women while 95% of its resources go toward abortion. That's where the money is after all. The more abortions they perform, the more money they can bring into their organization.

The rain started pouring down harder as the last speaker, the very inspirational Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in San Diego, spoke. He was so dynamic and vibrant, a pro-life evangelical Christian. He had the crowd cheering, even as they were getting soaked in the pouring rain. We left the group then. I was too pregnant to walk the distance. I was just so happy to be among these people even for a little while. There were so many young people there! I think the tide is truly turning the other way. The younger generation of teens and twenty-somethings are not hiding their heads in the sand, like those in my generation and the Baby Boomers. They are growing up in the world of ultrasounds, You Tube, and are just not buying the tired feminist arguments of the earlier generation. It gives me hope that maybe things will change and the genocide will someday end.

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