A New Day

Photo Credit: Emre Gancer/Unsplash.com

As our latest post-abortion Bible study concluded, I had the privilege of meeting all of the participants to hear how the eight week study had changed their lives.  There was a light and spark of life in each of their eyes.  One woman said she had hope for tomorrow and looked forward to engaging in life again.  We hear the same sentiments from women whose lives have been torn asunder from an abortion decision.

Women have fallen victim to the lies and deceptions of the abortion industry for decades.  They have been denied the help they so desperately need because those who support abortion want to keep their business going.

 

God’s love and grace is far greater than abortion.  There is nothing beyond Jesus’ healing power. There are millions of women who need to know that Jesus can to take their secret pain and make them whole.
I have witnessed the healing process with those who carry this pain, and I know that wholeness is something these women desperately desire. While many attempt to ignore the pain, suppressing it with all sorts of distractions and denials, the sad reality is this: the grief will surface at some point, in some fashion. I know women in their late 60s who are dealing with the pain from thirty years ago.
There are numerous psychological and medical terms describing a woman’s grief following an abortion. From Post Abortion Syndrome to PTSD, the fact is that an abortion is not just a medical procedure, as many would want us to believe. No, this choice affects a woman’s soul at the deepest levels.  A woman is designed to protect her womb and when violence has occurred against her child, it strikes her at the very core of her being. As a result, many women are left to deal with the resulting violation in silence. Some are silent out of shame and others from pressure by pro-choice groups who wants us to pretend there are no consequences to this perceived “right.”
Whatever reason for the silence, when the sin is suppressed it goes unhealed.  But wholeness is the beautiful gift offered to us by the God, who heals. Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted and heal our wounds. If we bring our pain, shame and brokenness to Jesus, He stands ready to mend wounds and look forward to a brand new day.

 

 

Psalm 147:3               “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Forgotten Heroes

This weekend we celebrate our fathers.  Many have been blessed to have loving, kind, caring fathers who provided for and watched over us.  Many more, however, were not so fortunate.  Fathers play such an important role in our lives.  Let’s not forget them.  If your father is still with you, be grateful; if not, remember him with honor.

There are other fathers, however, who never had a chance to play a role in the nurture and development of their child.  Perhaps they insisted on their wives or girlfriends to have an abortion, and later came to realize their mistake; some never knew until later their child had been aborted.  These men have suffered a loss every bit as much as a mother.

According to research by Bradley Mattes in “Men and Abortion: An Overview,” more than 30 million men are struggling to cope with the loss of their children through abortion.   Many participated in the decision to abort and assisted their partners in doing so.  Several even pressured their partners into having an abortion.  Sadly, some watched helplessly as their unborn child was aborted in spite of their please to give their baby life.  Still, some men were not told of their fatherhood until after the abortion.  These men need help coping … they need healing every bit as much as women.

If you, or someone you know, is having trouble coping with their intense emotions about a past abortion, rest assured there is help available.  Contact recovery@initiative180.org and we will help you find the help you need.

Will the Abortion Argument Ever Stop?

Excerpts from Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, June 8, 2017

 

Jim Denison shares great insight on this issue in his June 8, 2017 column.  Margaret Atwood, author, was recently quoted as saying “abortion legislation in Texas is a form of slavery.”  Her quote goes on to say, she is “waiting for a lawsuit that says if you force me to have children I cannot afford, you should pay for the process.” In her opinion, “It is really a form of slavery to force women to have children that they cannot afford and then to say that they have to raise them.”

Denison goes on to share how her statement is illogical. First, Atwood ignores adoption, an option that spares the life of the child with no financial burden to the mother. Second, she is apparently unaware of the financial resources available for impoverished families from public and private funds. Third, her argument would apply to children as well as to unborn babies.

If a mother becomes impoverished, is it slavery to prevent her from killing her child? If not, why is it slavery to prevent her from killing her unborn child? When her baby is born, it merely changes its location from inside her womb to outside her body, but our laws illogically grant protections to the latter that they deny the former.

Nothing can be said to change Margaret Atwood’s mind because in her view, an unborn child is not yet a person and thus deserves no protection from the government. This is how abortion advocates view the nearly sixty million lives ended by abortion since 1973. Many abortion advocates cite rape and incest as justification for their position.  The actual statistics are there have been 404,332 abortions in the US this year; only 3,922 were due to incest or rape.

Some see life through the prism of opinion, elevating the “mother’s right to choose” above the unborn child’s right to live. Others see life through the prism of Scripture, viewing life as sacred from conception to natural death. According to Scripture, God formed us in the womb (Isaiah 44:24Psalm 139:13Jeremiah 1:5) so that we are all the work of his hand (Isaiah 64:8). He planned our lives before we were born (Galatians 1:15) and views each of us as worth the death of his Son (Romans 5:8).

Our view of the sanctity of life determines our treatment of those who possess it.  According to the Department of Justice, people with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of violent crimes as people without disabilities. This is partly because disabled persons are less able to defend themselves. But it is also because so many people see them as less worthy of respect. By contrast, the Bible teaches that God made every person, regardless of their physical challenges (Exodus 4:11).

Jesus said (John 8:32), “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”   Will you share the truth about life to protect the innocent among us?

It’s All About Personhood

Excerpts from LifeNews.com dated June 2, 2017

 

The Fourteenth Amendment was adopted in 1868 and it declares that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  The debate that has been battled for decades is whether the “life” part includes unborn persons.  Now Harvard Law student Joshua Craddock did some constitutional soul searching to answer that question in a new report for the Harvard Law Journal, concluding that unborn babies do fall under the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections.

 

If you were to look to dictionaries of legal and common usage, the context of the English common law tradition, and cases that attempted to construe the meaning of the text in a manner consistent with original meaning, it would be reasonable to construe the Fourteenth Amendment to include prenatal life. The structure of the argument is simple: The Fourteenth Amendment’s use of the word “person” guarantees due process and equal protection to all members of the human species. The preborn are members of the human species from the moment of fertilization. Therefore, the Fourteenth Amendment protects the preborn. If one concedes the minor premise (that preborn humans are members of the human species), all that must be demonstrated is that the term “person,” in its original public meaning at the time of the Fourteenth Amendment’s adoption, applied to all members of the human species.

 

Additionally, Harvard law student Craddock puts his conclusions in context, noting that at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was written, several states called the unborn person a “child” in their anti-abortion laws. Moreover, The Stream notes, in 1859, the American Medical Association mandated that the government must protect the “independent and actual existence of the child before birth.”

 

Using this logic, Craddock notes, the Supreme Court justices were flawed in their 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which granted the right to abortion. When he wrote the majority opinion, Justice Harry Blackmun failed to properly assess the word “person” as it was applied in 1868, Craddock argues.

The critical question is when will (or if) the Supreme Court consider the Fourteenth Amendment in future cases dealing with abortion.  There’s millions of preborn persons’ lives at stake.

When the Church Goes the Other Way

Excerpts from LifeNews.com (May 25, 2017)

 

littlefeetMost faith leaders in Judaeo-Christian faiths believe scripture teaches that all human lives are valuable and deserving of protection.  But, sadly, some have strayed from the teaching and promote abortion.

A group of New York state clergy members recently advocated for abortion at the state capital.  Abortion activists who identify as Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, Baptist, Unitarian and Jewish urged New York state lawmakers to support abortion and Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in the United States.

“As pastors, we believe in New Yorkers’ ability to get the health care that is supported by their religious teachings and personal beliefs,” director Dennis Ross, a Reformed Jewish rabbi, told the Legislative Gazette. “People of all faiths believe in safe and legal abortion, access to contraception and sex education, and we know Planned Parenthood is an essential healthcare provider.”

It’s disturbing, to say the least, to see any members of the clergy putting their time and effort into supporting the multi-million dollar abortion industry and the destruction of unborn babies’ lives when they could be helping women and babies who so desperately need their support.

Judaeo-Christian faiths teach their followers to protect and defend the most vulnerable people, even when it is not easy. In a year when human rights is debated around the world, babies in the womb are some of the most discriminated against and violated human beings in our culture today. Every year in the United States, nearly 1 million unborn babies are aborted, and their mothers and fathers often are left wounded and grieving.

Clergy should be championing the rights of unborn babies and urging their congregants to do the same. Many already are. Religious organizations and houses of worship often support pregnant and parenting families by providing material and emotional support. Some run maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers, others help struggling families with housing expenses, food and medical bills. And many offer friendship and hope to pregnant women who feel overwhelmed and afraid.

For those who are grieving an aborted child, more houses of worship are offering post-abortion counseling and healing retreats. They assure those involved in abortions that they can forgive themselves and heal from the pain.

Any pro-abortion ministers are not helping women or their families by pushing abortion. They are only helping the abortion industry.

To learn more about post-abortion ministries and the healing offered through God’s word, contact Initiative 180 at turnaround@initiative180.org

 

 

Nothing Has Ever Hurt Me This Bad

Excerpts from The Pulse, May 3, 2017

 

postabortion6We hear in the media that women almost never regret their abortions. Abortion is portrayed as a source of social good: women who aren’t ready for motherhood can get rid of an inconvenient problem, and they’ll be happy — or at least confident — about their decision for the rest of their lives. Recently, abortion advocates eagerly touted a debunked study that claimed 95% of women don’t regret their abortions.

But what you hear isn’t reality.  In fact, the reality is much messier. Women often do regret their abortions, and many question whether ending a new human being’s life was really their only option.

15 women shared their true stories of abortion regret with the mom website BabyGaga, demonstrating that pain, struggle, depression, and even suicidal ideation after abortion is real. The pain is palpable (the full accounts are here).

  • I knew deep down I wanted to keep it, but I convinced myself it would be impossible. My sister had had an abortion too and told me not to tell our mom, because she would just give me crap about being irresponsible and stress me out even more.
  • I can’t even live with myself. My soul wants to leave my physical body and go be with my angel baby. The emotions are intense and the situation is scary. I was horrified. … [O]nline blogs, not even this one, can truly express in words the pain you feel the second you walk out those doors. I walked in there with one soul, and left with none. I have never been the same since that day.
  • I lie awake every night wondering if my baby would’ve changed me, if I hadn’t been so selfish. This decision has left me mentally scarred and very emotional. I never thought I’d be so disgusted with myself.
  • I can’t stop crying. I hate myself. I have a stuffed animal I keep dressing up in the onesie I was given at a Women’s Care Center when I got my pregnancy test. They were so kind there. I don’t want anyone else to ever have to feel this way. I wish I had at least postponed the appointment a few weeks, so I would have been able to have more time. Now it’s too late, and there’s nothing I can do to ever get my baby back. I’m never going to hold him, hug him, kiss him, care for him, feed him, take him to his first day of school, take him to college, watch him grow up, read him stories, or play with him. And those are only a few things I’m never going to get to do because of abortion.
  • Having the abortion was easy. The mental issues that come with it are difficult. I know I’m only ever going to get over this when I have my own baby in my arms. Abortion didn’t make me ‘unpregnant.’ It made me the mother of a dead baby.
  • I don’t think any woman in this world is as disgusting and vile as I am because you see I didn’t have one abortion, I had THREE! … I was the scum of the earth—the most vile and disgusting human being, so unworthy of anything good.

It’s heartbreaking to read these women’s stories. So many of them felt they had no other choice in the moment, were pressured into it by their partners or their family members, or suffered through abusive relationships, and they’re now living in regret and pain — regret and pain that the abortion industry claims does not exist.

The truth is, these women aren’t alone.  There’s hundreds of thousands of accounts just like theirs.  The bulk of medical literature has found that women suffer negative psychological consequences after abortion. Post-abortive women are at a higher risk for mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior, and drug and alcohol abuse.

That’s why post-abortion recovery is so vital. Women and men struggling with abortion regret need compassion, a community that will be there for them. And it’s despicable that the abortion industry refuses to acknowledge the pain that these women are experiencing. It’s simply wrong to pretend that abortion almost never brings regret or emotional trauma. It clearly does — and these women deserve to have their voices heard, both for their own healing and also for any woman who might listen and avoid her own painful abortion. Women should not be silenced just because what they have to say is inconvenient to the abortion industry’s bottom line.

If you regret a past abortion decision, don’t wait, seek help in a confidential setting.  For more information:  turnaround@initiative.org

 

A Mother’s Love

joiceThe following is excerpted from Mom Who Sacrificed Her Life for Her Baby and Refused Abortion Speaks to Her Daughter From the Grave, May 12, 2015, LifeNews

The joint ministries of Initiative 180 and its program of abortion recovery, Peace After the Storm,  deals with a lot of crises – crisis during pregnancy, crisis after abortion, crisis from holding onto secrets.  Today I want to devote a story about mothers and their inherent nature to love.

Liz Joice was a woman facing a crisis.  She was told she was pregnant and instantly filled with joy because doctors had told her she would never have children.  But her joy lasted but a fleeting moment when the doctors told her that she would be forced to make the decision to take the life of her unborn baby to begin cancer treatment or put her own life in danger by forgoing it.  Liz was immediately placed in a crisis.

She pondered whether she should join a club of other courageous women who decided to protect their unborn babies and choose life.  Her choice was easy, “having a kid was one of the most important things in the world to her,” her husband later told the press. “She said, ‘If we terminate the pregnancy and it turns out I can’t have a baby [later], I’ll be devastated. She knew this might be her only chance.”  In the end, Liz was only able to spend seven weeks with her daughter before she passed away.  Liz’s love for her daughter won out.

Through the miracles of technology, Liz’s baby, Lily, is getting to hear her mother’s voice from the grave in a documentary created entitled ’40 Weeks.’  While compiling the stories, Liz and her husband spoke of their feelings, aspirations, advice, and what to expect as their daughter would grow.  Lily is now 16 months old, and Liz Joice, though deceased, finds her spirit now living in Lily who hears her mother’s voice from the grave.

To all mothers and prospective mothers, the ministry of Initiative 180 and Peace After the Storm commend and pray for you.  We are here to help you in the decisions surrounding life, both during pregnancy and after abortion.  Please contact us if we can help:  turnaround@initiative180.org

 

How YOU Can Help Your Community Become Pro-Life

worthfightingfor

 

Excerpts from “How Women Can Abortion-Proof Their Communities,” The Federalist, February 13, 2017

 

I’ve said before and keep repeating, abortion is a divisive issue that instantly creates emotion and tension for everyone.  The discord has grown more contentious between politicians, media, and advocacy groups.  You may be asking yourself, “what can I do to help?”

Cheering from the sidelines doesn’t do much for women and children directly impacted by abortion laws.  When millions march in DC, these displays mean little unless backed up by local action.

From coast to coast, abortion-minded organizers are planning for “huddles” in communities where 10-15 women meet to promote abortion as a good, healthy, a and safe solution to unwanted pregnancy.  These small groups can effect great change.  Likewise, pro-life women must also be brave enough to move beyond family and social circles to areas where we wield influence as a neighbor and a citizen: local newspapers, local lobbying, local schools. It can feel awkward and uncertain to speak out about deeply personal topics. But when people feel empowered by one another with support and knowledge, it is much easier to take concrete, positive steps to reach people who aren’t on the same page.

Life wins when we fight abortion at the grassroots level.  As Vice President Pence said at March for Life: “Life is winning through the quiet counsels between mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, between friends across kitchen tables, and over coffee at college campuses. The truth is being told. Compassion is overcoming convenience.”

Though gains are being made in pro-life legislation, pro-life women need to keep mobilizing right where they live.  I can’t think of anything more important to protect innocent unborn lives than gathering with a group of your friends to find ways to empower mothers and fathers and make our communities worthy of them.  What do you think?

 

It Makes No Sense At All

Excerpts from “America’s Science-Denying Antiquated Abortion Law” dated January 19, 2017

 

lifedependedThe American government has worked pretty well for the last two hundred and forty years. We fought World War II in Europe and Asia—and won. We put a man on the moon. We saw a peaceful end to the Cold War. We invented the Internet, Social Media, Amazon, etc., etc.

But despite tremendous advancements in science/technology and medicine, we woefully lag behind the rest of the developed world in one very important area: our abortion laws. The abortion laws in the United States are so outdated that only five other nations ON EARTH agree with our position (and one of those nations happens to be North Korea).

When polled, CNN reports 56% of Americans think abortion should be illegal in most or all circumstances, and 7 in 10 Americans think abortion should be illegal in at least some circumstances. Yet, every attempt to change this policy has failed.

The law/policy referenced is America’s allowing elective abortions twenty-weeks post-fertilization. Science has demonstrated that children can feel the pain of being aborted at that age and, due to the wonderful advancements of neo-natal medicine, a child can survive outside the womb as young as twenty weeks post-fertilization.

Yet our government fails to take action.  Why? Special interests groups like NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the Guttmacher Institute have hijacked the conversation. These organizations have referred to attempts to change this policy as “dangerous,” a threat to the “health and wellbeing”of women, and part of a dangerous “anti-choice” political fringe.

The liberal developed nations of Denmark, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France recognize that a twenty-week-old baby is just that –a baby –not a random assortment of cells.

Laws dealing with medicine and life issues should reflect the latest medical knowledge, not forty-year old talking points disseminated by special interest groups labeling themselves as “experts.”

This makes no sense at all, other than the excuse that life issues are used for political expediency.  The next time someone on TV says that protecting the rights of women requires agreeing with the laws of North Korea, we need to remember the facts over politics.