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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Intellectual Dishonesty ~ by Darlene Pawlik

The Editors at National Review, not their real names, have decided that the pro-life candidates for president should back off from a 100% pro-life, no exceptions stand on abortion.

I do wonder if we were talking about their demographic, if they would have the same opinion. For example, if there were open season on reporters and someone wanted to outlaw the brutal way they were killed, would they suggest exceptions?

Let’s just say that it would be legal to take reporters into an abortion center and cut their arms and legs off and crush their sculls. Let’s also imagine that this is government-funded activity. Perhaps, we could imagine that the main company doing these horrific murders was allowed to promote their activity in schools and public advertising.

Which reporters would they decide were inferior? Which ones are not worthy of protection from such a law? Perhaps, they would choose the writers of gossip pages. After all, they are gaining from the bad news about other people. Or maybe it would be the ones who report on the police logs. They are connected with criminal activity, right?

Of course, this is ludicrous. They wouldn’t be of lesser value because they had some connection to negative events. The reporters that report on crimes are not the perpetrators of those crimes.

So, neither is a child conceived by rape or incest in any way complicit with the crimes of his or her father. Yet, these reporters think that those children should not be protected from this brutal form of death.

There is an ignorant, confused compassion that happens in the minds of people who have not had the experience of becoming pregnant by rape. They impose their own beliefs on women to society’s detriment.

Contrary to popular opinion, women who conceive by rape don’t always want to kill their children. Many know that their son or daughter is not the perpetrator. They know the child is not an aggressor, but a second victim of the crime. They know that pregnancy is temporary, but abortion is forever.

It is intellectual dishonesty to decide some babies are worth protecting and others are not. I thank the few candidates that hold the logical conclusion that if only some are protected, than none are safe. This is what has lead to our current state of abortion on demand.

 To the Editors, I say, “You are practicing intellectual dishonesty.” That tiny percentage of abortions that take place because of rape you mentioned is partially because women who are pregnant by assault are 50% less likely to choose abortion than women in other crisis situations.

I strongly believe that it is because they have been violated and they have an intuitive sense that they would be further violated in their conscience, by violating the right to life of another.

Society tells them that killing their child will somehow remove the stigma of rape. This is asinine.

The Editors also mention that abortion is enshrined in the law. This is a travesty. Instead of promoting this unjust law, a few candidates are taking a stand against it. These Editors are on the wrong side. Reinforcing injustice will never make it right.

In a grievous act of judicial supremacy, five unelected men told the country that our country’s preborn children would not be protected in the same way as born children. Thus, a distinction of class was enacted across the nation.

We have seen unjust laws that singled out a class of people to be held in low regard. The Native American genocide and the horrible treatment of foreign slaves were unjust. They had difficulty speaking up for themselves because of a language barrier.

The preborn class of people cannot speak up for themselves. It is only a level of development that separates us. The circumstances of conception should have no bearing.

They need society to change the unjust law. They need us to stand up for them. 

Darlene Pawlik, VP of Savethe1 and Chair of NHRTL Educational Trust, was conceived by rape and now works every day to stand up and speak up for those who are not able to speak up for themselves. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Planned Parenthood Puts Prices on Preborn Babies, But What Is YOUR Worth? by Robyn McLean

There are many articles being written on the exposure of Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby parts (sometimes, a fully intact baby) through videos, so, rather than focusing on similar facts and proofs, I am going to share from my heart and dig into some tender areas.

One of the many issues that is weighing heavily on my spirit, is that there’s more scrutiny just because the baby parts are being sold.  It is a horrifying and truthful fact.
However, whether Planned Parenthood sells baby parts or not, the horrified response from a diverse audience proves abortion is wrong and dehumanizing.  Do we suddenly realize a human’s worth once a price has been put on them for someone else’s gain or profit?  Such a dreadful act should not be the motivator to defend someone’s life, much less an innocent baby’s life. 
What do we need to put value on someone’s life?  Is it status, background, prestige, ability, possession, demand, rarity, desirability, beauty, and many other “qualities” like these?  It shouldn’t be.  Though sometimes nice, such characteristics and assets are certainly nowhere near an appraisal on human value.  Culture has allowed the spread of human insignificance to permeate who we are, unless we somehow “prove our worth” by whatever will please those around us.  We have to fight that.  But, perhaps most of us cannot find much value within ourselves.  That too, weighs heavily on my heart.  This article is more than about the loss of innocent babies who were waiting to receive love and to give love. 
This article is about YOU.
What are you worth? 
Perhaps others have not said it.
You are priceless.  You are a precious gem of a person, whether you’ve been discovered or not.  It doesn’t matter.  YOU matter already.  It’s not something you need to earn.  It’s not something you need to perform or display a certain way in order to establish significance.  Other people do not base your worth. 
You are not replaceable, and you are not disposable.  Though humans in their erring ways have spurned you, you are not unwanted.  You may not believe in God, but you are valuable to Him, and He’ll embrace you in your messiest moments! 
So, just because people in society have failed you, as much as they have failed unborn babies, in establishing respect and value for your life, that doesn’t lessen you as a person.  No one else can appraise you, because you are PRICELESS!!!
-          Robyn McLean
BIO:  Robyn McLean is a national, inspirational & motivational speaker/writer on a wide spectrum and a Save The 1 pro-life speaker and blogger.  She brings a thought-provoking outlook through a variety of topics.  Her aim is to break down the walls that divide people, without compromising the values and beliefs in which she strongly stands by with conviction.  She is a wife and mother and resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  She enjoys playing the piano, singing, hiking, building websites, trying new food, and sharing coffee time with people.  Learn more about her at, and stay connected on Facebook:
Monday, August 24, 2015

“Witches for Planned Parenthood” (and Satanists), by Jesi Smith

August 23, 2015 

Don’t waste your time going on a witch hunt-- I found the witches and Satanists in front of Planned Parenthood in Ferndale, Michigan supporting the abortion mill this past Saturday with signs that read, “Witches for Planned Parenthood.”  My husband Brad and I were there speaking with our fellow ‘Save The 1’ speaker Travon P. Clifton ( at the nationwide protest against Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of human organs, when my nine year old asked me, “Mom, why are those men pouring milk on those ladies?”

The Satanic Temple of Detroit members were right in front of Planned Parenthood in support of abortion and performed a strange act that included two men dressed in black and wearing priest collars pouring milk all over and in the mouths of two women kneeling in front of them. One of the woman actually went down to her hands and knees as she choked on the milk and spat some of the milk back out of her mouth. In the appalling demonstration the women in their subservient positions on the sidewalk looked like they were being water-boarded with gallons of milk by the Satanic priests all in the name of women’s ‘rights’.  Watch video of the FOX 2 Detroit report  On the other side of the road that same morning, a mature black Ypsilanti pastor, Dr. Levon Yuille of Joshua’s Trail radio , joined hundreds protesting Planned Parenthood’s selling of the organs of the children they aborted to offer his support of life and prayed for women and their babies -- the perfect antithesis to the young white Satanic priests who shamefully had women kneeling in front of them in support of the literal death and dismemberment of children. The contrast of each movement was never more visually stark.

Satanic support of abortion has been popping up all over the country. In Missouri, Satanic worshipper “Mary Doe” is suing Governor Jay Nixon claiming the state law requiring a 72 hour waiting period before an abortion violates her religious beliefs. The Satanic Temple even raised money on GoFundMe to pay for the Missouri woman to travel to St. Louis for her child’s abortion. (See story at A particularly disturbing look into the Satanism’s intrinsic involvement in abortion has recently been reported through an interview with a former Satanist Zachary King. In King’s 26 years within the Satanic occult he was a part of 141 ritual abortions and described doing ritual satanic abortions at the abortion clinics and other locations. “In Satanism, killing something or the death of something is the most effective way of getting your spell accomplished. As far as trying to get Satan’s approval, to give you something that you want, killing something is the best way to go. Killing something is the ultimate offering to Satan, and if you can kill an unborn, that is his ultimate goal,” King explained as to why abortion is so important to Satanists.

Why should anyone be surprised that Satan worshippers walk lock step with the abortionist?  Rebellion against God is at the very heart of the most appalling Satanic ritual of all -- child sacrifice. What could be more rebellious against the Creator than to dismember, throw away, or sell off His best creations…our children? A merciless and Godless society is created when people sacrifice their own sons and daughters and practice divination, sorcery, and engage in witchcraft. That is why God calls on His people to “rescue those being led to death and hold back those staggering toward slaughter,” so that we would live in stark contrast to other brutal peoples who murder with sadistic rituals. Certainly, when our country systematically dismembers and either throws away like trash or sell organs from our children to the highest bidders, we blunt any edge that we have to condemn beheadings and brutality abroad.

My friend Travon had the same impression of protesting Planned Parenthood in Ferndale last Saturday, “bizarre”.  There we were taking our place so near to where innocent children were condemned to death, speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves, and watching witches and Satanists yelling only to find out later they were chanting, “Hail Satan”.  My husband Brad’s reaction was as undaunted as ever, after he saw the sign “Witches for Planned Parenthood” and the Satanists dousing women with milk he leaned over to me with a smirk and said, “My mom always said, ‘You are the company you keep.’”  

Brad Smith and his wife Jesi are Save The 1 pro-life speakers @ from Rochester Hills, Michigan. Learn more about Brad and Jesi at
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Democrats For Life of America Makes No Exceptions Because It Is Never Not A Child, by Lois Kerschen

A reporter once asked me if Democrats for Life of America opposed abortion but allowed for the "usual exceptions" of rape, incest, and life of the mother.  When I told him “no exceptions,” he asked why.   I replied, “Because it is never not a child.”

Never, ever, does the subject to be aborted turn into something other than a human child.   People act as if incest and rape somehow turn the “product of conception” into a less-than-human creature, and one which can be disposed of without the pangs of remorse felt when a “properly-conceived” child is aborted.

I have always wondered if people who support exceptions truly understand what abortion does. Have they really thought it through?  I was delighted the other day to read that Senator Rubio said, “If you support a rape or incest exception, it’s pretty obvious you don't really think of abortion as murder.”  (Yes, I just quoted someone from the other side, but I believe we all need to be pro-life before party.) 

Apparently, the exceptions people are so shallow that they don’t think past “I was told it is a bad thing,” “My church/party/friends oppose it, so I go along.”  They are much like the abortion supporters who don’t ever consider the child or the person who is just looking for an excuse to find a way out of a difficult situation.  Often, the "hard case" suddenly turns into an inconvenient pregnancy: “Normally, I’m against abortion, but in this case . . . .”)  These rape exception people need to be asked why they oppose abortion in the first place.  Some may understand that it is murder, but amazingly they think that the exceptions are justifiable murder because surely carrying a child conceived in rape or incest is worse than abortion!

Worse for whom?  I always counter: “Did you ask the child if s/he thinks death is preferable?  Do you think the child will bear the mark of Cain, and throughout the child’s life, everyone will know? Do you seriously think that the child will live a life of shame?  

I once knew a guy who was in seminary and who was re-evaluating his position on abortion.  A few years before, he had taken a friend to get an abortion, thinking that he was helping her.  He had come to question that action though.  Of course, he brought up the exceptions — surely that was kinder to both mother and child.  I asked him to look around the restaurant and tell me who was conceived in a loving, committed relationship, who was conceived on a night in which the parents had too much to drink, and who was conceived by any situation he could discern, including rape and incest.  Was there something about the ears which told him the story?

When I had said, “Look around the room,” my friend had obediently started to look at other people. He quickly looked down with chagrin, though, as he realized my point. There will be no obvious stigma.  No one need ever know, not even the child, so what difference does it make?  Most of these children do eventually learn about their origin from the mother or the adoptive parents, but with love and support, they can deal with the knowledge, just as Rebecca Kiessling and many others have.  Tragedy occurs at some point in virtually every life, but we don’t kill everyone who is traumatized just to spare them the pain!  We cope with the difficulties of life, and we admire those who overcome tragedy.

Of course, the only concern of the pro-abortion crowd is the woman.  Surely we can’t ask her to carry "the child of her rapist," whether a stranger or a relative.  The people reading this probably know the rebuttals to that argument:  doing something positive, not violent; not punishing the child for the crime of the father; and so forth.  It is not my intent here to rehash what is so eloquently said by Rebecca and other Save The 1 writers.

Nor will I go into the discussion of cases that threaten the mother’s life for the same reason.  It upsets me greatly, though, that these extremely rare cases that are irrelevant to the general discussion about abortion are used as a scare tactic by the abortion lobby.  Medical providers have handled these cases quite well throughout history by treating both patients and with the ethical application of the triage priority to save the survivable.  There was no automatic assumption that the mother’s life supersedes the child’s.  On the contrary, if the outcome was not clear, most mothers chose their child’s life over their own.  However, that was before the abortion mentality pervaded our culture.  Now we find that a woman who would jump in front of a car to save her child would also have killed that same child through abortion if the pregnancy had threatened her life. The abortion mentality is inconsistent and illogical at every turn.

Abortion supporters say the child is the property of the mother and the father is not to be considered.  Nonetheless, when rape/incest is involved, it is as if the child were the product of the father only, had no relationship genetically or any other way to the mother, and should therefore be disposed of like an invasive tumor.  Isn’t that the same as the old “bad seed” argument that was used before modern science taught us about reproduction and DNA?  Not that I’m expecting logic or educated biology from abortion advocates, but it gives me whiplash to hear these inconsistencies.

At a pro-life caucus at the Texas Democratic state convention last year, a woman in the audience told us that she had had an abortion in college. Years later, she conceived a child in rape, but she refused to have an abortion because her first experience had been so horrible she did not want to go through that again.  What does that tell you?  The abortion advocates say that having the child of the rapist is too difficult emotionally, but this woman is telling you from experience that abortion is the worse experience.  So even though it meant being an older mother, she raised the child and was proud to tell us that the girl is now in college and both of them are doing well.

In the Democratic party, the argument is on a different plane of “exception.”  There we have to ask the membership, considering your tradition of supporting the human dignity and civil rights of every person, if you pride yourself on advocating for the underprivileged, the oppressed, and the voiceless, then why do you make an exception for pre-born children?

Bio:  A co-founder and former president of Democrats for Life of America, Lois Kerschen now serves as the State Chapter Coordinator for DFLA as well as state chapter leader for Texas. A former educator, today she devotes most of her time to writing and volunteering for DFLA, and she would like to share the adventurous saga of a pro-life Democrat through speaking engagements.  She's writing as a guest blogger for Save The 1.
Friday, August 14, 2015

Sen. Rubio -- No, Every Pro-Life Group Does Not Support Rape Exception Legislation by Rebecca Kiessling

Many pro-life activists have been writing and conversing this past week about Senator Marco Rubio's recent defense of his no exceptions position, while he justifies his sponsorship of rape-exception legislation.  As someone conceived in rape and nearly aborted, I'm grateful for his verbal defense of every life, no matter how conceived, but I'm also deeply troubled by some of his comments which must be addressed.
On August 6th during the Republican debate, Fox’s Megyn Kelly challenged Marco Rubio:  “Senator Rubio, you favor rape and incest exception.  Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York just said yesterday those exceptions are ‘preposterous.’  He said they discriminate against an entire class of human beings. If you believe that life begins at conception, as you say you do, how do you justify ending a life because it begins violently through no fault of the baby?” 
First of all, Cardinal Dolan first made these comments during his interview of me on the Catholic Channel on January 21, 2015, as we were discussing the congressional “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” with its rape exception.  He wasn’t just saying that the exceptions are preposterous, but that it's preposterous for Catholic pro-life leaders to use Evangelium Vitae 73 (the section regarding legislation intended to reduce abortions) to justify supporting such rape exception legislation.  Cardinal Dolan completely agreed with me that there’s no way that EV 73 means that a politician or pro-life group can support such legislation which discriminates against an entire class of persons.
Sen. Marco Rubio’s reply to Megyn Kelly during the debate was, “I’m not sure that’s a correct assessment of my record.”  He went on to say “I believe every single human being is entitled to the protection of our laws,” yet he co-sponsored the 2013 Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act with a rape exception in his bill, SB 1670, which suggests that either children like me who were conceived in rape are not pain capable like everyone else, or it’s just that we can go ahead and suffer for all they care because somehow we aren't actually "entitled to the protection of our laws," as he had indicated.  What does "entitled" mean to him?  Is it just a suggestion?  Another possibility is that it’s more important to protect mediocre politicians than innocent children.  As I’ve written before, this was a “message bill” since Obama would veto it, so what message were Sen. Rubio and others sending about children conceived in rape?
On Friday morning, August 7th, just after the Republican debate, Chris Cuomo had Sen. Rubio on CNN, and asked him about his co-sponsorship of the rape exception bill.  Sen. Rubio explained:  “Everybody supported that bill.  Every single pro-life Senator, every single pro-life group including the Catholic pro-life groups supported the bill you are talking about.” 
I understand that Sen. Rubio may have that impression, but every pro-life group did NOT support the bill!  And he failed to mention that two pro-life Congressman from Georgia, Paul Broun and Bob Woodall, voted against the bill because of the rape exceptions, and because they had signed an affidavit with Georgia Right to Life vowing not to compromise on this issue.  As a consequence, National Right to Life Conference gave them a zero rating, while inexplicably rewarding Eric Cantor – the congressman who introduced the last-minute rape exception – with a 100% approval rating!  Lifesitenews exposed this scandal, which included the content of a threatening letter from NRLC which had been sent to every Congressman warning that they must approve the newly-added rape exception or suffer their wrath.  So this is why Sen. Rubio subsequently sponsored the rape exception legislation in the Senate.

And every pro-life Catholic group did not support the tainted legislation.  Priests for Life has been using EV 73 to justify supporting rape exception legislation, but American Life League properly opposed the discriminating bill.
I’ve met Sen. Rubio, and I know he doesn’t like the exceptions, but he’s willing to compromise, basically saying, “everybody’s doing it.”  However, everyone is not willing to sacrifice the lives of the rape-conceived – Broun and Woodall didn’t, but they were penalized by the pro-life power brokers in D.C., and that’s who Sen. Rubio and others improperly perceive as representative of the pro-life movement at large.  Even if it were true that all pro-life leaders support rape exceptions in the law, it doesn't change the fact that throwing the rape-conceived child under the bus is modern-day child sacrifice, and we shouldn't have to be the scapegoats for the pro-life movement.
In the Cuomo interview, Sen. Rubio explained that the bill “reduces abortions” – the point discussed between me and Cardinal Dolan, but the problem is that it also discriminates.  While Sen. Rubio defended his actions by saying “I never advocated for that (for exceptions),” his name was on the bill as a sponsor and therefore, Chris Cuomo was correct when he pointed out that “it creates an inconsistency.” 
Sen. Rubio went on to say, “You will not find a single pro-life group that refused to support that bill because it had an exception in it.”  Again, this is simply not true.  The organization I founded, Save The 1, opposed the legislation, as did Georgia Right to Life, Alaska Right to Life, Pro-Life Wisconsin, New Hampshire Right to Life, Cleveland Right to Life, NE Ohio Right to Life, American Life League, Abby Johnson, and many others.  There is a schism within the pro-life movement in the United States over the exceptions  (but not in the rest of the world) and sadly, the majority voice in the U.S. has been that of compromise.  However, there is a solid contingency of pro-life leaders and organizations who actively oppose compromising on exceptions, and they have a far more successful legislative track record than any of the compromise organizations who can't seem to get anything substantive done in D.C. because they keep propping up mediocre rape-exception politicians, giving the grass-roots voters the false impression that the Congressmen and Senators are actually 100% pro-life.
Chris Cuomo went on to tell Sen. Rubio that it is “backward looking” not to have a “carve out” for a rape and incest exception.  It’s interesting he used the term “carve out” because that’s precisely what abortionists do to the child in the womb.  Rubio responded by saying, “fortunately, those instances are extremely rare.”  I cringed when I heard him say that because the rape exception got added into the Pain Capable bill in 2013 because of that very phrase -- "extremely rare!"  After  two Democrats proposed a rape exception, the House bill's sponsor, Congressman Trent Franks, testified before the House Committee hearing that pregnancy by rape was “extremely rare.”  That was on a Wednesday.  By Friday, it was national news, with liberal media calling him “another Akin” for saying pregnancy by rape was rare.  The very next day, there was talk of a rape exception being added, and on Monday morning, Eric Cantor introduced the rape exception to get away from the "extremely rare" media scandal.  The compromise groups spontaneously jumped on board, including a concerted Twitter campaign to push it through.  NRLC sent out it's email warning to any potential objectors Monday evening, and it was passed by the House Tuesday afternoon – lightning speed.  The was all because Franks said pregnancy by rape was rare. 
We have a five state study now showing that this is not at all effective in swaying public opinion and has been proven to be quite damaging.  No politician should ever utter the words that pregnancy by rape is rare.  It doesn't matter if we are 1% or 20%.  We would never allow discrimination against Asians or Muslims just because they're only 1% of the population.  However, diminishing has been the strategy of pro-life compromise groups for decades, because it makes it easier for them to achieve what they want, regardless of exceptions.
 In the CNN interview, four times Sen. Rubio said either “I believe” or “it is my personal belief” . . . .  This is another phrase I highly recommend avoiding because many pro-choice people say the same thing.  He did a good job explaining his beliefs that “all life is worthy of protection irrespective of how that life was created” and “that you do not correct one tragedy with a second tragedy."  According to the research on messaging, the most effective defense would be to invoke the story of a woman conceived in rape or who became pregnant by rape, and then to appeal to American's sense of justice -- that it is wrong to punish an innocent person for someone else's crime.
Both Cuomo and Rubio repeatedly utilized the term “it” when discussing the pre-born child.  As I always instruct when coaching candidates on messaging, it’s far better to use terms of gender which serve to humanize the child more.  These children all have a gender – they are not an “it,” but “he” or “she,” and ascertainably so within IVF clinics, right from creation.
Cuomo said, “It has a DNA map.  So does a plant.  The question is when does it become a human being?”  Rubio was right in responding that science proves that human life begins at conception.  It’s basic Embryology 101.  In fact, IVF clinics depend upon this scientific fact because if they aren’t transferring a living human being into a woman’s uterus, then they aren’t going to make any money by doing IVF, and they’re going to be in a lot of trouble!  They need to be sure every embryo transferred is living and is human -- that's not faith, but science.
Two days after the CNN interview, on August 9th, Sen. Rubio was asked similar questions by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:  “Will you support legislation that has exceptions?” Sen. Rubio replied, “I have.  I’ll support any legislation that reduces the number of abortions, and there are those that have that exception.”  However, I highly doubt that Sen. Rubio would co-sponsor or in any way support legislation with an exception which said, “except in case of Catholic babies,” or “except in cases of bi-racial rape,” even if it would reduce the number of abortions.  Rubio would see how obvious the discrimination is, and there's no way he'd support it -- even if it would reduce the number of abortions.  But he, along with so many others, have become used to the child conceived in rape being a bargaining chip for pro-life legislators and for the pro-life movement. Those of us who fit into those exceptions resent being treated as "the whipping boy" -- being punished not only for the sins of the rapist, but also for the sins of politicians.  The 14th Amendment demands equal protection and the discrimination must end.   Punish rapists, not babies, and protect babies, not politicians.

 In the Meet The Press interview, Sen. Rubio went on to say that with the “morning after pill” being available over the counter (like that’s a good thing?), “we can bring that number down to zero.”  Does he not realize that most rape victims never go to the police or to the hospital, but would prefer to deny the rape ever occurred?  And does he not realize that Plan B can potentially create a hostile environment so if a child has been conceived, that child has no opportunity to implant in the uterine wall, thus killing that innocent human being?

Lastly, Sen. Rubio once again repeats a falsehood:  “I recognize that in order to have consensus on laws that limit the number of abortions, a lot of people want to see those exceptions, and that’s why I’ve supported those laws in the past – as has every pro-life group in America.”  This is a scathing statement against the pro-life movement.  The truth is that the most effective pro-life groups in the United States unequivocally oppose rape exception legislation.  Right to Life of Michigan has always opposed such legislation, which is why my home state has some of the best pro-life laws passed, yet has never had a rape exception in any law!  However, I understand that Sen. Rubio made such a statement because he's trapped in the D.C. bubble, with apparently no knowledge of the tremendous success of Right to Life of Michigan and Georgia Right to Life, and this is the impression he has been given by being on Capitol Hill and working with compromise organizations.  How could he know any differently?  So let's all work to help educate our pro-life leaders, legislators and candidates so the ghastly practice of sacrificing the child conceived in rape can put be to an end.
BIO:  Rebecca Kiessling is an international pro-life speaker, writer, and attorney, as well as wife and mother of 5.  She's the President and founder of Save The 1, co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception, co-founder of Embryo Defense, and Board Member of Personhood Alliance.  She appears in numerous documentaries, including The Gift of Life with Governor Mike Huckabee and The 40 film.  Rebecca changed the hearts of Gov. Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich during the last presidential campaign, sharing her personal story of having been conceived in rape.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Time Magazine Got It Wrong By Sarah St. Onge

Last week, Time magazine featured a commentary by Katie Lyon, a mother who terminated her pregnancy due to a poor pregnancy diagnosis. She chose to terminate her pregnancy in the second trimester due to her unborn daughter's diagnosis of Spina bifida and other issues which she does not expand upon. The goal of Ms. Lyon's commentary was to explain how fetal tissue donation works as a way of showing her support for Planned Parenthood. However, her characterization is a grossly inappropriate defense of Planned Parenthood's tissue procurement and "donation" process.

I am going to begin this by stating clearly -- this is a response to Ms. Lyon's support of fetal tissue donation through Planned Parenthood, not her decision to terminate her pregnancy. I am personally and politically 100% pro-life with no exceptions, and I do not support fetal tissue donation at any gestation. I do understand what it is like to be given a poor pregnancy diagnosis for your unborn child, and I myself am regrettably post-abortive. This confluence of life experience makes my writing this extremely touchy. My empathy towards a grieving mother is too great to create a dynamic where her decision is something to cheaply debate about on social media. My own culpability in ending the life of my unborn child leaves me very little latitude to pass personal judgment against the mother. However, in the interest of being true to my own ethical and moral beliefs I need to clarify that no matter what the gestation, I believe donating "fetal tissue" is terribly wrong.

As the mother of a child who was diagnosed in the womb with a lethal birth defect and who runs a website for families whose children are diagnosed with my daughter's disorder, I do have a unique insight into the donation of fetal tissue for research purpose. I myself have created agreements with researchers to accept donations from our babies, and many of our families have chosen to make both tissue and whole body donations for science.

The first item I would like to address is the most obvious:  it is not necessary to end the life of your child in order to donate tissue for medical research-- and if you continue your pregnancy, in some cases, your baby may be able to donate tissue to other babies who are on recipient waiting lists. Heart valves, corneas and cartilage can all be used to enhance or save the life of a baby waiting for transplant. There are even organizations which help families investigate the complexities of neonatal tissue donation. Purposeful Gift is one of the most prominent organizations helping parents navigate this territory.

Secondly, the type of tissue donation of which she is speaking is nothing like what we have seen from the Planned Parenthood videos. As she herself clearly states, she donated to a specific organization specializing in Spina bifida research. The donation was handled by a genetic counselor in her physician’s office. Chances are (and I could be wrong about this because I'm not certain how she specifically handled her "termination,") she had her procedure in an outpatient setting, most likely in a hospital or surgical center -- not an abortion clinic. I also highly doubt Ms. Lyon's physician haggled with the researchers over storage and transport costs, and most likely did not "part out" her unborn baby. Ms. Lyon's donation was similar to the type of {whole body} donation to science which many people choose during their end-of-life planning. Ms. Lyon's contribution was no doubt appreciated by those who received her daughter's remains. I imagine they were treated with dignity and respect, and even reverence, recognized for what they were -- the remains of a human being with a serious congenital birth defect; though the whole body donation of a precious baby carried to term and delivered to {a short} life would be most appreciated, both by scientist researching specific disorders, and families whose children are waiting for life altering and life saving transplants.

This is very different than the "tissue donation" for stem cell research we see in the Planned Parenthood videos. The callousness with which the workers treat the remains of beings even they identify as humans is appalling. There is no appreciation, no understanding, and definitely no reverence. These babies are parted out for indifferent researchers. There is no correlation between the two circumstances.

Third, and finally -- in the past few weeks many still images have come out along with the Planned Parenthood videos. Two of them which have made their way into my timeline are these: {1} and {2} . Note that they are marked very clearly with the notation "no abnormalities". I do acknowledge these to be older examples of procurement requests, however, it would still be accurate to claim that due to the nature of research done with stem cells, unless someone is actually studying a congenital anomaly they aren't going to accept tissue donations from babies like Ms. Lyon's. Tissue with abnormalities simply isn't usable for general research or curative medicinal purposes.

I end this repeating my statement above -- at this time, I am not intending to open a debate on whether Ms. Lyon's choice to terminate her pregnancy was the correct one or not. This is not because I have no opinion on terminations done for medical reasons -- I have quite strong opinions on this subject. It's because it would cheapen the life of her precious baby to turn her into nothing more than an internet debate.  My own commentary was only necessary because her justification of Planned Parenthood's practices was inappropriate, and could be used to further an agenda which purports to be compassionate, but is instead avaricious.

Two additional notes:

{For clarification purposes -- when most people think "stem cells" they are thinking of pluripotent embryonic stem cells, which come from discarded IVF blastocysts, and are not the same as the fetal stem cells which are being harvested by Planned Parenthood. Fetal stem cells are used in a similar fashion to adult stem cells, and the utilization of them is both unnecessary and -- some believe -- scientifically inappropriate.}

{All terms used to identify developmental stages of an unborn child's life in the womb are the common scientific terms, and in no way used to imply that an unborn child is anything less than human at any stage of gestation.}

BIO:  Sarah Grandfield-Connors is a wife, mother of 4, step-mother of 2, and pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  She's also the founder of, a pro-life, diagnosis specific website which supports parents who continue their pregnancy after receiving the same lethal diagnosis which took her daughter, Beatrix Elizabeth.  She blogs on grief, loss, and pro-life issues pertaining to continuing a pregnancy after a lethal anomaly has been diagnosed, at

My Daughter Was Born at 25 Weeks -- How Can Abortion Be Legal? by Teresa Rachels

The morning of June 26, 1994, I woke up not feeling quite right. I was 25 weeks pregnant with the third of our four daughters. It wasn't until later that evening when I started feeling the contractions that my husband, Forrest, took me to the hospital.

When we arrived, the nurse tried to comfort us by explaining that it was probably just a false alarm. However, as soon as she examined me she turned white as a sheet and rushed out of the room. I could hear her at the nurses' station talking to the doctor on the phone. She was saying that she could feel the babies head in the birth canal. Delivery was imminent.  I was so scared knowing that my daughter's chances of surviving were slim. There were also a lot of what if's -- what if I'd gone in first thing in the morning when I woke up not feeling right?
Within an hour, I was surrounded by two doctors and several nurses. The need to push was overwhelming, while knowing that every push brought my baby that much closer to an almost certain death because she was only 25 weeks. But Erin Brooks Rachels was born alive weighing in at 1 lb 15 oz.  Both doctors and all of the nurses left the delivery room in tears.  I wanted so much to hold my baby, but she had to be taken away immediately to receive treatment in that small regional hospital.
The nearest neonatal unit was in Memphis, Tennessee -- three hours away. They would be sending a bus that had been converted to a neonatal unit on wheels, but it was already in route to pick up another preemie who had been born elsewhere in West Tennessee, and it would be several hours before the bus arrived for Erin.
In the meantime, pediatrician Dr. Susan Brewer remained at Erin's side manually pumping a respiration bag and trying to stabilize her vital signs. As soon as I was able, I went to the nursery where Dr. Brewer and Forrest were working with Erin. Her heart rate was running low, but as soon as I spoke, it spiked. The doctor said, "she recognizes your voice. She needs her mommy."  I stood there in amazement!  Even though Erin was so small, she knew her Mommy's voice, which showed the power of God to me, that He creates these little ones and there is a natural, automatic bond there.
The bus finally arrived and transported Erin to Memphis.  Upon arriving at the neonatal unit at The Med, Erin was placed on very intensive treatment. We were told that the treatment was so intensive that the average adult would die from the treatment itself. Her condition was so critical that for her to live one more minute was like one more hour for an adult in critical condition; one more hour was like one more day for an adult. To say that time moved in slow motion for us is an understatement.
My husband's brother and sister-in-law lived in Memphis, so we were able to stay with them.  We spent every day in the NICU with Erin while our two other daughters were back home staying with grandparents.  We were part of a small church congregation, but we regularly received messages from them, as well as many other church congregations -- even people we didn't even know -- who were regularly praying for us, for our daughter Erin. It was an incredible encouragement knowing that others were lifting us up before God and we definitely felt His presence.  For us, it was the only way to get through.  I was praying more intensely than I ever had before.  My prayer was that Erin would not only be able to live, but that she'd be able to have a normal, happy life.
On July 5, 1994, Erin passed away.  She lived two weeks, but that time was so intense that it seemed like months.  In fact, about a week after Erin died, I had to write a check at Walmart. I dated the check for November.  I knew that couldn't be right because it was 90 degrees outside, so I had to ask the cashier what month it was.  That's how significantly my own natural time clock was affected.
Some may say God didn't answer our prayers, but He faithfully carried us through this most difficult time, and I just don't know how people get through without Him.  If the promise of Heaven in the presence of God wasn't enough, I have the hope of being reunited with my daughter Erin for all eternity to motivate me to maintain by Christian walk.
During her short life, Erin was covered with wires and tubes. One of the most difficult things for me
to deal with is the fact that I never got to hear her cry, because babies can't cry with tubes down their throat. She had IV ports from her feet to the top of her head and everywhere in between. Every time a vein would blow, they would have to move the port.  She eventually ran out of veins and her lungs just couldn't take the pressure of the respirator any more.  She lived outside of the womb for two weeks and two days, with us spending every moment we could there at her bedside, often waking up in the middle of the night to return to the hospital to be with Erin.  We truly cherished every moment!
At 25 weeks gestation, Erin looked like and was a perfectly formed baby. She physically had every part, every organ, that she was ever going to have. She knew my voice and would turn her head to me when I spoke. She had our family resemblance. In fact, she looked very much like her older sister, Sylvia. She even had the same mannerism of tucking her hand under her chin while asleep as Sylvia and I do to this day. Yet, with all of the evidence of life and humanity, she was still legally abortable.
After having watched my daughter endure so much and fight so hard to live, and after praying so hard that she might live only to have to let her go, it sickens me to know that there are women who literally throw their own children in the garbage and doctors who accommodate and even exploit these scared women.
I have to guard myself against bitterness and hatred toward those who promote abortion. It would be so easy to lose myself in those emotions.  Abortion for any reason is a selfish act. I know I would have given up my own life to save Erin's!
There is no excuse for abortion, no matter how difficult the circumstances.  I have never endured the pain and suffering of rape.  I have been molested and stalked and I do understand the fear and humiliation that goes with that. It does not matter how a woman, regardless of her age, comes to be with child. It does not change the fact that he or she is a human child with the same potential as any other child, and regardless who the father is, that baby is still her child.
Just last week, I read in horror about the 14 year old pregnant rape victim from India who had been granted by the India High Court the legal right to abort her 25 week old baby -- the same age as Erin!  I do not blame her personally. I blame the adults in her life, whether they be friend, family, or legal authority that have counseled, encouraged, and made it legally possible for her to go through with taking the life of her unborn child. She is but a child herself and cannot even begin to understand the ramifications of this decision and how it will affect the rest of her life. She has been through much trauma because of the rape and aborting this child will only add to that trauma.  She will never know the love and healing that the child could give her. 
Erin was born at 25 weeks in 1994.  If she were born today at that stage, the medical progress is so much greater that she would have had a significantly higher opportunity to survive.  With a planned delivery at a hospital with an NICU, the 14 year old from India could have delivered her 25 week old unborn baby and that baby really could have survived.  Having seen my own child at 25 weeks gestation, I relate this India baby to Erin, and when they target this innocent child, they devalue my daughter as well. 
Take it from a mother who lost her child at 25 weeks -- when I had no control over the situation -- every life is precious and should be protected!
BIO:  Teresa Rachels is a mother of four daughters, wife to Forrest -- celebrating 26 years of marriage, grandmother of two, and pro-life blogger for Save The 1