Making History with Our Children

Revised for the Walk for Life.  Original posted 10/23/15.

IMG_20150131_100412394_HDRI went to the Planned Parenthood peaceful protest in August with my 14-year-old son.  I actually had other plans that day so almost didn’t go.  However, after praying about it, I knew that nothing I had going on was more important than standing up for those that cannot stand up for themselves.  I thought, when I look back on this day 20 years from now, will I remember that I went on a girls trip to Omaha early enough to get a swag bag at the bath bomb store? Probably not.

But I will remember the day that I made history with my son. I remember sharing a first-time experience with him–a peaceful protest.  We prayed the Rachel Rosary & I remember feeling anxiety because I thought he wouldn’t want to join in; but, I remember being overwhelmed with happiness & thankfulness to God when he not only stood by me; but, prayed with me.

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Guest Post: “My Medical Records at Planned Parenthood”

This week I wanted to post a piece from a dear friend and fellow pro-lifer, Justine Kyker.  She wrote this piece in 2011.  I have gotten to know Justine well as she has made it her life’s work to show others the truth of what abortion is through her prayers, testimony and through her faithful and peaceful presence at our local Planned Parenthood.  For me, this piece is a testimony of the lies and poor treatment women experience at the hand of abortionists (not to mention the bad business practices).  Abortion might be legal for now, but it is definitely not safe.  It wasn’t safe in 1988 and it isn’t safe now.  Women are still experiencing complications from legal abortions.

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I walked into the Des Moines, Iowa Planned Parenthood on September 1, 1988 and underwent an abortion. I never thought I may one day need my medical records from that place.  I wasn’t thinking of much other than hope that Planned Parenthood could get rid of my “problem pregnancy.”  I had gone all summer suspecting I was pregnant but quickly dismissed the possibility.  After all, I had just started birth control pills I had obtained from the Fort Dodge, Iowa Planned Parenthood in May of that year.
Ten years ago, I was able to obtain my records from Planned Parenthood in Fort Dodge, Iowa.  But when I called to get my records from the Des Moines Planned Parenthood where I had my abortion, there were no records of me ever being a client there.  I was transferred to the manager of  Planned Parenthood.  I asked him, “if I was a client in 1988, would I be in your computer system?  He said, “yes you should be in the computer.”  He then began reading the names of women who shared my maiden name.  He could have been reading the name of my sisters, cousins, etc exposing their privacy as a client at Planned Parenthood.  So much for the “right to privacy” that they so closely guard.
I always wondered if my abortion was botched somehow.  I never knew exactly how far along I was.  Based on the records I did obtain,  I would have been 15 to 16 weeks pregnant at the time of my abortion.  My plan was adoption, but a friend gave me the number to Planned Parenthood. I decided to call them for information on abortion.  The PP operator asked how far along I was and I said about 3 months. She said I needed to get in right away and told me to bring 200 dollars cash the next morning.  I returned my college textbooks to obtain the cash. I did not tell my family of my plans to go to Planned Parenthood the next day.  When I arrive at PP, I gave them my 200 dollars cash and sat in the waiting room what seemed like all day.  I went into a “counseling” room.  The woman at the desk said, “you seem sad.”  the reality hit home and I started to cry.  She then handed me a little white pill and said, “take this, it will make you feel better.”  I assume it was a tranquilizer by it’s affect on me.  The friend with me said I was snoring in the waiting room.  I don’t remember them calling my name or how I even got on the exam table.  I vaguely remember a male figure walking into the room.   There was a loud vacuum noise and I felt excruciating pain.  It felt like they were ripping my internal organs inside out.  I was screaming loudly and people came in from nowhere to get in my face and yell, “just take deep breaths.”  When it was over, everybody in the room, including the anonymous doctor fled without a word.  I was sitting in a pool of blood.
I never met the doctor who performed my abortion.  He never said a word to me & I never saw his face.  My plan was to move to California and place my baby for adoption.  Now there is a couple in California who never got to raise the baby I aborted, Rebecca.  She would have been 22 in February.  I have had several pregnancy complications since my abortion, including abruption of the placenta, an ectopic pregnancy, and premature labor.  I believe these complications stem directly from my abortion but I cannot prove it.
I have no records from the Des Moines Planned Parenthood.  Based on my conversation with the PP manager, the doctor who performed my abortion may have been Dr. Martin Haskell.  He is now a late term abortionist in Ohio.  He is one of the founders of the “partial birth abortion”  technique.  He developed the gruesome method because it was “safer” for women.  He would talk about “blindly going in”, basically chopping the baby to pieces in order to suction the baby out easier.  This method was more dangerous to women because as Dr. Haskell stated he “blindly went in” and often times a uterus would be punctured.  with partial birth abortion, the baby is partially delivered feet first, and then the Dr. jabs scissors at the base of the babies neck.  the contents of the baby’s brain are then sucked out to make a “safer” delivery for the woman.  I often wonder if the curette knife, dilating rods, or suction machine used in my abortion did damage that led to problems in my future pregnancy.  Apparently Planned Parenthood is so concerned about a woman’s “right to privacy”  that they want to keep a women’s medical records private even to herself.
Planned Parenthood of Fort Dodge Iowa did give me the records they had of me obtaining birth control pills from them in early May of 1988.  I had been abstinent for 10 months but had recently  started a new relationship.  I remember specifically asking Planned Parenthood for Ortho Novum 1/50.  I had been on Ortho Novum 1/50 in high school and it helped clear up my acne.  The Planned Parenthood employee insisted the 1/50 was too high of a dose and prescribed Ortho Novum 1/35.  I was pregnant by the end of May.  Surely Planned Parenthood knows that the lower estrogen dose means a higher rate in break-through ovulation.  Most young women have such busy schedules that they often miss a pill.  There is also a risk of ovulation and thus pregnancy if the pill is not taken at the same time every day.  Still to this day Planned Parenthood prescribes low dose birth control pills.  Planned Parenthood is more than willing to fix an unintended pregnancy with a “safe & gentle abortion.”
There was nothing safe or gentle about the abortion I had.  Unfortunately I may never know the extent of the damage I endured from the abortion at Planned Parenthood 23 years ago.  The statute of limitations has long expired for me to take legal action.  I could only hope that for men & women considering abortion that they will consider the risks.  Humans have a soul from conception and no matter what abortion method is used, there is always physical risk to women.
Read more of Justine’s blog posts here.

Reflections on Donald Trump

There is much a buzz about Donald Trump lately, especially revolving remarks he’s made about our southern neighbors.  I’ve thought about and discussed this for weeks.  I don’t like what he said.  If you’ve read my blog posts you know that I have a heart for immigrants and people suffering in other countries.  I could write about how some of his statements are hurtful and wrong but there’s no shortage of articles and memes and tweets and posts on that topic.  What my mind has really been going to is how Donald Trump’s statements can help us on our journey to holiness.

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Our Homeless Problem

Before you read this post I’d like you to do something if you can. Watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THxtcWNw3QA It’s 1 minute and 23 seconds.  It’s called Cardboard Stories.  Focus on the words on the signs the people are holding up.  OK, do that and then come back!

I hope you loved the video as much as I did.  It has been a disheartening week as twice I have heard people speak horribly about homeless persons.  Some people seem to be disgusted that they were burdened with the sight of a homeless person out in society during the day.  That kind of thing can really ruin a nice breakfast or shopping spree, you know. Also, some people like to poke fun at some of the things homeless people do, lumping them all together in one group as if they all commit the same acts.

I’ve worked with several homeless people throughout the years and my family and I have volunteered to serve them at the Mission.  Let me tell you, they are some of the most grateful and kind people that I have ever met and they did not seek out their circumstances.

I know that we all make judgments in about .5 seconds upon seeing people (it’s a hard habit to break) but, at least for me, and I’m hoping for you too, mentally stepping into their shoes will help you understand and love them.  Maybe you have no prejudice against homeless persons.  I still feel that by doing this, the next time you hear someone talking negatively about them, you can help them change their minds.

You see, they are not so different than me or you.

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Guest Post: “Fearful? Surrender Your Will”

This week, I want to introduce you to a blog that has quickly become one of my favorites. Leila Miller is a wife and mother of eight children who has a penchant for writing and a passion for teaching the Catholic Faith in simple ways. This summa cum laude Boston College graduate enjoys debating secularists, and in her spare time she fancies herself a bit of a matchmaker!

Her affinity for engaging her secular readers with compassion, love and truth is certainly one of the highlights of her blog, which she aptly calls Little Catholic Bubble. I was immediately drawn to this blog for the simplicity and the clarity with which Leila writes. The following post appeared recently on her blog, and I hope you find it as spiritually enriching as I did!

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This post is going to be pretty stream-of-consciousness, because it’s the stuff that has been, well, streaming through my consciousness for many months now. So hard to put it down in words when so many spiritual lessons are pouring down. It’s all so amazing and I want to talk to everyone about it all the time, but that is simply not possible. I do think it’s easier to talk to people about it one-on-one, rather than write about it. But I will try to write something coherent.

First: If you are full of fear, cede control. Actually, even if you are not full of fear, cede control! Give it up. You are not in control. The only thing you can control is your will. That is all. Nothing else. Nothing else. You certainly cannot control other people, you cannot control circumstances, you cannot end suffering, sickness, disaster, and death. The illusion of control is a detriment to your spiritual life, to your interior peace, and to your relationship with God. Continue reading

My Voiceless Children

Upon reading the title of this blog I bet you’re thinking I’m talking about the unborn. While that certainly makes sense, I am actually referring to my two sons. My eldest son is a teenager so we have of course had “the talk” with him. I am honest with him. I don’t want him to be naive like I was. My upbringing was not 100% Catholic and I didn’t come back to the Church until my late 20’s. At that time, I kind of knew what Catholics supported and what they did not but I didn’t know why. Because of my past lack of knowledge and my own mistakes in trying to explain my beliefs, I want my sons to know why we believe what we do and why I expect him to behave the way I do. So, when the calendar of health class speakers got sent home from school one day and I saw that Planned Parenthood was on the list, speaking about birth control, I could have let him go. I believe wholeheartedly that if you are going to speak out in support or against something, you should educate yourself not only on your beliefs but on the beliefs of those who do support your views.

Despite that, he did not attend.

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An Artist for Life: REGRET – Portraits of Post-Abortive Women

10487442_728964483856701_4686709872568778073_n(1)A New York artist has been getting attention in the pro-life community as of late.  G.M. Spear has been a professional artist since 2008, creating an array of artwork which includes paintings, sculptures and photography as can be seen on her website.  What has caught the eye of the pro-life community though, is her recent project:  REGRET -Portraits of Post Abortive Women.

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