Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I'm One of Three and I Disagree! by Angela Grogg

Today I stumbled upon an article from The River Front Times discussing the barriers that the State of Missouri has for women seeking abortions. As a Missourian and a post-abortive woman, I take great exception with this glossed-over attempt to paint abortion as nothing more than an afterthought. Alison Dreith suggests that a woman who seeks an abortion does not need time to reflect or think, they "just need it.” 

I fought for the 72-hour waiting period and even went to the State Capital to speak about my own abortion experience. I find it insulting that she can so casually dismiss the loss that I and millions of women experienced because of abortion. Yes, there is shame, there is loss, and there is a lifetime of emotional pain involved with abortion. It's not isolated -- it is widespread and the norm. This is the ugly little secret that the pro-abortion supporters don't want to talk about.  

Missouri is not restricting women from having abortions. The 72-hour waiting period is designed to provide the woman time to reflect and ensure she is making a truly informed decision. It is there so she does not feel pressured and offers her time to seek other alternatives if she so chooses. The thing that Ms. Dreith is missing is, once that decision is made, there is no going back. There is no returning to the clinic and having the baby magically placed back in our wombs. This is a decision that deserves, at the very least, 72-hours. 

Let's be real here. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, we are talking about a life. No matter which side of this issue you are on, we can all agree that a life is being taken. Why does the 72-hour wait scare the pro-aborts so badly? Is it that they care more for the woman? No. Sadly, they know if they let those women go, then there's a chance they won't come back, and they will lose that money. It is about the money.

I received my abortion at Hope Clinic in Granite City, Illinois. My experience at that clinic was vastly different from the experience described by Ms. Dreith.  At first, they appeared very caring and genuinely concerned for me, but when I entered the abortion room, things changed. As I laid there and cried uncontrollably, the nurse kept telling me to "shut up" and the doctor repeatedly told her to get me under control. I can still remember the bruises on my shoulders from being held down. I was screaming that I wanted my baby and that I did not want to go through with the abortion. I had changed my mind, but it did not matter -- they were going to do it anyway. 

I also remember every girl in the recovery room. There were no casual conversations or discussions, no smiles, no laughter. No plans were being made for BBQ's later in the day or week. A heavy cloud of death permeated the room and the painful reality of our "choice" was slowly and permanently closing in on us. That is my memory of The Hope Clinic. 

I was unable to walk out of the clinic.  My father carried me in his arms. The pro-life sidewalk counselors weren't screaming and they weren't "shaming” me. They were praying for my soul and the soul of my child.  And as I was entering the clinic, they understood the weight of my decision and what I was about to face.  Don't get me wrong -- the clinic did offer counseling; however, it was at an additional cost.

I now work within the pro-life world and I am very confused by Ms. Dreith’s vague comments concerning the “lies" that crisis pregnancy centers tell women. What are the lies? Why didn’t she name them? I can tell you first-hand that there are no lies being told. Crisis pregnancy centers are very careful to tell the truth. They tell these young girls and women that it is going to be challenging and at times hard. The difference, though, is an abortion clinic affirms these women's fears that they can't do it, that there is no hope, and that abortion is the only answer. They do everything they can to affirm to them that they will not make it unless they have the abortion.  

Crisis pregnancy centers walk with these women. They don't leave them or abandon them when the baby is born. They are there as long as the woman needs support, providing a hand up. Crisis pregnancy centers fight for women, we give them the tools they need to make it in life and to give their babies life! 

I went through a post-abortion recovery program totally free at a crisis pregnancy center. At no point in time did anyone ever try to shame me or condemn me for my "choice." The love and compassion I received and thousands of women every year receive did not come from Planned Parenthood -- it came from a pregnancy care center.

I respectfully ask every woman in the great State of Missouri who is facing an unplanned pregnancy to please go to the nearest pregnancy resource center and talk to the volunteers before ever entering a Planned Parenthood. The services are free; from pregnancy tests to STI testing, from post-abortive counseling to helping her choose an alternative to abortion. They are literally waiting to serve these women with love, understanding, compassion, and HOPE! I promise you that if you walk into one of these centers, you will leave with hope!

There may be one Planned Parenthood which does abortions in our state but there are over 70 pregnancy resource centers which will give a woman all the love and support she needs during an unexpected pregnancy. Here is a link to all these abortion alternative centers in Missouri:

BIO:  Angela Grogg is a founding member of Hope after Rape Conception and a pro-life speaker and blogger for Save The 1.  Her 14 yr old daughter conceived a son through rape.  Finding out early on that Missouri had no laws to protect rape victims and their children, she tirelessly lobbied to change that and on 8/28/12, SB 638 became law, protecting victims and their children from being victimized further by the rapist. Angela is also post-abortive. 
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

If You Talk To Me About Exceptions I Will Show You My Life, by Feleica Langdon

When I was born I had a rough start.  I was having seizures, fluid on the brain and my lungs
almost collapsed.  I spent several weeks in the hospital in St. Johns, New Foundland, Canada.   Eventually, the doctor’s ascertained that I have Turner Syndrome. Only 2% of girls with my condition survive to birth. 76% of those like me who are diagnosed prenatally are aborted – never even given the chance to survive. Not only did I survive natural death and escape abortion, I was born on my due date. You see, I was a fighter even in the womb.

My parents didn't know I had any heath issues until my birth, but when I got older I began to understand the gravity of my diagnosis and the numbers of children who are aborted, So when I was in high school, I asked my mom the tough question: "If you had known I had Turner Syndrome, would you have aborted me?"  Her response was, "More than likely – yes." Although that hurt me deeply -- and it still does -- I had learned to put that aside and focus my energy on making the most of my life, despite the painful reality. A nurse once encouraged me, "You are not Turner's with a little bit of Feleica, you are Feleica who just so happens to have Turner's, so do not let your diagnosis define you." There were profound words for me which I took to heart.

I have a sister who is four years older than me, and she was born healthy. We were both raised very well, and I never felt like I was treated differently because of my diagnosis. Because of the pain of hearing my mother say she would likely have aborted me, I never brought this up to my dad because I knew I couldn't handle hearing him say it too.

I am now 29 years old, happy, healthy and thriving. I get to experience the love of my God and my spouse; I get to get kisses good morning and kisses good night; I get to go to work and provide for my family; I get to make my nephew laugh; I get to lay down and watch the stars; I get to sing in the shower and laugh with love ones so hard my stomach hurts; and, I get to give back to the world what life gave to me

As far as my diagnosis, my fertility is what's affected me today. I am unable to have biological children, but I have a husband who loves me despite this.  We met seven years ago via a dating website.  He's also from New Foundland.  I had immediately let him know my diagnosis and that I'm unable to bear children, because I knew that it was important for me to find someone who would love anyway.  My husband said, "The grounds for me loving you is not dependent upon whether or not you are able to have children."  He says, "I love you for you." His whole family has been great and treated me me wonderfully. Today we enjoy life with our dogs and we enjoy being an aunt and an uncle to our nephew.

My husband and I are very active in the pro-life movement, especially advocating for those who don't get as much support by those who claim to be pro-life -- the “exceptions.”  It was very important to me that my husband was pro-life when we met.  I got involved in activism about four years ago, then my husband began getting involved as well.  Doing pro-life volunteer work together has drawn us closer because we're doing something that means so much personally to both of us.  My mom is pro-choice to this day and is not at all happy that I'm involved in pro-life activism, but I am compelled to advocate for the lives of the vulnerable, as well as for families who are faced with a difficult pre-natal diagnosis.  Families need resources and encouragement, NOT a “way out.”

I want to use the health I've been given to advocate for those who don't have a voice and for the pregnant women who need someone to reach out to them.  I am fueled even more because there are advocates who support exceptions.  No exceptions should be allowed!  Without us advocating on behalf of those who are devalued and dehumanized as the exceptions, more women and families would feel their only option is to abort. We are here to listen, comfort and connect them to life-affirming resources. That's why it's so important for me and for others to speak out.

As a case in point, I recently posted a meme I created with me image, and these words:  "No matter my diagnosis, I still matter."  A woman who was told that her child had Turner's Syndrome and was encouraged to abort commented under my meme, "I wish I had seen this when I was pregnant."  She had not aborted her child, but was under pressure from her family to abort, and she felt this was something positive she could have shared with all of them to open their eyes.

For parents dealing with a challenging prenatal diagnosis, please hang in there. I can't tell you what the future will look like, but I can tell you the doctors were wrong about mine.  For parents raising a child with anomalies, focus on helping them to discover the gifts they have to give to this world instead of their limitations.  Avail yourselves of the resources and support which are at your disposal. Join our Save The 1 Carry to Birth group on Facebook for more support.

If you talk to me about exceptions, I will show you my life.  But it’s not just about me.  It's about all those who are being targeted because they cannot speak for themselves.  We deserve a chance!

BIO:  Feleica Langdon is a wife and Home Support Worker, residing in Gander, New Foundland and Labrador, Canada.  She’s also a pro-life blogger and Facebook Page Editor for Save The 1 and started a support network on Facebook called Support For Pro Life Advocates Worldwide.