Friday, December 16, 2016

We Value Life and Urge the Republic of Ireland to Preserve the 8th Amendment, by Rebecca Kiessling

I’m the President of Save The 1 - a global pro-life organization of over 450  who were conceived in rape (like me) and mothers who became pregnant by rape who are either raising their children, birthmothers, or post-abortive.  Additionally, we have hundreds who were told to abort due to a pre-natal diagnosis.  We value life and urge the Republic of Ireland to preserve the 8th Amendment. 

It is simply barbaric to punish an innocent child for someone else's crime. Punish rapists, not babies. I did not deserve the death penalty for the crime of my biological father. My own birthmother tried to kill me at 2 illegal abortions, and was pro-choice when we met 28 years ago, but today, we are thankful we were both protected from the horror of abortion, just as the women and children of Ireland are protected today.

Legalizing abortion for rape or other exceptions would send a message to our people group that our lives are worth less than anyone else’s.  Imagine having an exception in cases of Asian babies, Jewish babies, or left-handed babies.  The message sent is that these people are not worthy of living and did not deserve to be protected like everyone else.  There would be an international outcry if such discrimination were even proposed.  Yet, it is the same for us, and we feel the sting of such hatred against or apathy toward our lives.  The rape survivor mothers grieve how their children are systematically targeted and devalued, and they are not believed they were raped because they didn’t abort and because they actually love their children.

We appreciate concern for rape victims, but they are 4 times more likely to die within the next year after an abortion, as opposed to giving birth.  In Dr. David Reardon’s book, Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions and Children Resulting From Sexual Assault, he cites the research done on the subject.  After an abortion, rape victims have a higher murder rate, suicide, drug overdose, etc..  Rapists, child molesters and sex traffickers love abortion, which destroys the evidence and enables them to continue perpetrating.  Oftentimes, a girl’s own mother has been either trafficking her or leaving her unprotected.  It is always the baby who exposes the rape, who delivers her out of the abusive situation, protecting her and bringing her healing.  So if you care about rape victims, you must protect her from the rapist and from the abortion, and not the baby!

In regards to a diagnosis of “incompatible with life” – it is impossible to be such when you are still living.  Physicians who peddle abortion are truly the ones with fatal heart defects, often failing to treat the children of parents who refused to abort.  A eugenics mentality becomes pervasive when you allow abortion.

Ireland is a good nation because you’ve established a culture where people are loved and accepted.  Please do not introduce a culture of death and discrimination.  We urge you to preserve the 8th Amendment.

BIO:  Rebecca Kiessling is an international pro-life speaker, blogger and attorney.  She's also the Founder and President of Save The1, co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception, and co-founder of Embryo Defense.

mendment, without exception.
Monday, December 12, 2016

She Has No Part In Any of the Ugliness Surrounding Her Conception, by Aimee Kidd

March 3rd, 2016 is the day I learned that not only was I pregnant, but also that I had been raped and a baby had been conceived because of that rape.  After a month of being very ill and incredibly exhausted, I sought medical treatment, and that is when I was administered a pregnancy test and given these shocking results. 

Without a doubt, I knew I must have been raped on January 30th, because that’s when I had woke up the next morning knowing something wasn’t right.  I was naked from the waist down, had a terrible headache like never before, and my body was aching.  Nothing made sense.  I had no idea how I got home, undressed, or why on earth I felt the way I did.  I stayed in bed all day long. 

I did nothing “wrong”.  I went out with two girlfriends and came home to my own bed.  My last memory of the evening is not feeling well -- incredibly tired and dizzy.  I crawled in bed with my sleeping toddler and went to sleep. 

I didn’t dress provocatively.  I didn’t drink to excess.  I didn’t drink and drive.  I did nothing “wrong”.  However, a man saw an opportunity to put something in my drink and then proceeded to take something I was not willing to give -- my body.

I’m not sure if it would be worse to have a memory of the rape, or to live day after day, as I do, imagining what this man did to me while I laid like a dead person in my own bed, in my own home, with my sleeping toddler in my arms.  I haven’t decided if it is a blessing or a curse to not know what was done to me.  I am only left to imagine and assume what occurred that night, and everyday is like a nightmare because of that.

Since learning I was pregnant, I have given testimony to six unknown police officers, and had to share my story with nurses, my doctor, my friends, my family, and even my precious innocent children.  The best I could muster up or offer as an explanation to my five other children ages 2 to 15 was that “Mommy is going to have a baby.  You will have a new sibling.  There was a bad man who put a baby in my belly, but we are going to love this baby.”

Next came the questions from my kids:  Who is the bad man?  Will he try to hurt you?  Will he hurt us?  Will he try to take our baby away?  Mommy, are you going to die because you’re not supposed to have anymore babies?  Did the bad man go to jail?  Why not?

I ask you -- what answers am I to give them? 

During my pregnancy, I’d been ill.  I spent hundreds on prescription meds to control my nausea and vomiting.  I vomited blood.  I missed days, weeks, and months of work because of being so severely ill.  I am the only one who works in my home as I am a single mother.  I fell behind on every single bill.  I had yard sales and sold things online in order to put gas in the car and food on the table. When I finally could compose myself and control my vomiting enough to return to work, I was able to catch up on my bills in September.

During my pregnancy, I was asked more than seven times if I wanted to give up my baby for adoption.  I have learned that the socially acceptable norm is for women who conceive children through rape to continue with a pregnancy and then proceed to place their child for adoption.  It is almost taboo for me to actually want to keep and parent a baby conceived through rape.  So, I’ve had to face scrutiny for that as well.  In cases such as mine, it is considered a tragedy, rather than an act of love or nobility that I choose to keep my baby. 

I had to try to laugh it off when someone asked me, “Don’t you know what causes that yet?” as they pointed to my pregnant belly.  I’ve had to feel ashamed and humiliated when I walked around pregnant as an unmarried woman.  I’ve had to endure the embarrassment of telling my story.  I’ve held tears and rage back when people ask about the dad. I cannot even imagine the embarrassment and pain my children have felt or will feel when asked where or who the baby’s dad is.  

I tried to prepare myself for my baby coming.  I had broken down and sobbed in the middle of stores when a little onesie that boasts “Daddy’s girl” or “Daddy’s lil princess” was displayed on a rack.  I’ve been overcome with disgust and anger and sadness, and in the middle of a store or not, my emotions got the better of me.

Nevertheless, I’ve rubbed my belly countless nights telling my baby how much I love her.  I’ve tried to tell her she is beautiful and innocent and is a precious blessing to me and her brothers and sisters.  I’ve imagined what words I could possibly ever find or use to explain to her how she came to be.  I’ve imagined what I may tell her one day when she asks where and who her daddy is.

Yes, I was pregnant by rape, and yes, I’m thankful for this baby!  My first reaction, however, was not that at all!  And you know what?  That’s OK!  No one thinks they’ll ever be raped, let alone conceive a child through it.  I sure as heck never did.

I was one of those people who would have said, in cases of rape, I could understand a rape victim wanting an abortion.  I never understood how hurtful that statement was until I became pregnant because of rape.  My rapist has enjoyed living a life filled with freedom.  He’s been able to work and pay his bills.  He’s been able to enjoy his family and his life comfortably.  So why would my baby not be entitled to enjoy the same luxuries, to enjoy life?

I didn’t want or need an abortion.  I wanted and needed real tangible help, and I thank God for my support system who has abundantly blessed me and my baby upon her birth.  I want and I need to see some form of justice. I don’t want child support from a rapist who belongs in jail, not free out on the streets and able to work.  I want and need to be protected from the rapist having parental rights.

Now, I’m doubtful that my rapist is going to want anything to do with my baby, and I thank GOD for that every day; however, in Wyoming, rapists have rights to babies who they conceive through rape.  So my worst nightmare is that one day he will want rights. 

Let me help you understand.  Every single day is an emotional rollercoaster. Dealing with a rape is a huge emotional trauma.  Dealing with a pregnancy because of a rape is even more difficult.  But, knowing your rapist is free and out abusing more women while law enforcement sits idly by is infuriating.

I’m proud of the fact that I’m sharing my story.  I’ll continue to share it again and again.  WHY?  Because, most women won’t.  I feel like God gave me this big mouth and outspoken attitude for a reason.  Maybe it is to be a voice for women who have gone through or will go through something similar. 

When I first discovered I was pregnant and the reality that I had been raped set in, I wanted to bury myself in a hole.  I wanted someone to knock me out, get this baby out of me, and wake me up like it was all a bad dream.  I never thought I’d have the courage to share my story.  In fact, when the words first came out of my mouth, I had a hard time believing it.  Surreal is an understatement.  Like I said, no one thinks this could ever happen to them.

I see this as an opportunity, though.  I’m raising daughters and sons.  I want my sons to know what happened to me is wrong!  It should never be tolerated.  I want my daughters to learn from this and be able to take any and all precautions to prevent it from happening to them, as well as to educate their girlfriends and practice a buddy system so neither them nor their friends will have to go through anything like this.

It is an opportunity to inspire other women who have faced similar horrific experiences to know, even though they may be scared or embarrassed, they aren’t in the wrong and it is okay to talk about it. 

It is an opportunity to shed light on our failing justice system and law enforcement.

It is an opportunity to show women that it is possible to survive a rape, even to become pregnant by rape, and still choose to carry your baby and love your baby.

So am I happy about the baby?  Am I excited?  Yes.  Am I angry? Am I disgusted? Yes.  Am I frustrated with what another baby is going to do to my life and finances? Yep. 

At first, I thought, I didn’t want anyone to know my child in my belly was conceived through rape.  I didn’t want her to feel any shame.  Now, I want everyone who will listen to know.  Now, I want her to know.  I want her to know she was a choice!  Really, it shouldn’t have been my choice to say that her life was worth less, because it wasn’t worth any less than mine.  I want her to know I loved her despite how angry I was that she was put inside of me without my knowledge or consent.  I want her to know that she has no part in any of the ugliness surrounding her conception and that she should never feel any shame.  I want her to grow up knowing and professing that a beautiful life is possible, even through horrible circumstances.

Maybe one day, when a woman who is raped and feels the same feelings I felt when she learns she is pregnant, she will look at my beautiful daughter and know that it is okay to somehow get through a difficult and traumatic pregnancy because she too will be rewarded with a beautiful human being. 

So there you have it.  I won’t be hushed.  I’m not going to stop trying to make people listen and understand.  I’ll continue to fight our failed justice system.  I’ll continue to be a voice for women.  I’ll continue to be a voice for unborn babies conceived through rape.  I’ll continue . . . .

BIO:  Aimee Kidd is a mother of 6, self-employed, in Casper, Wyoming, and is a pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  Read Aimee's follow-up blog where she shares how she came to realize life was the right choice:

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Just Because I Was Raped, I Should Not Be Able to End an Innocent Life, by Yazmin from Mexico

I want a world where violence does not exist! I want a world where respect exists, and equality and love! 
Hello, my name is Yazmin, I am Mexican, and I am a victim of child molestation who became pregnant by rape.  I would have loved to tell another story where there would be a world of harmony and where no one would know what violence is, but sadly, I will talk about my life -- a miserable life in the eyes of the world, but today a life of blessing in the eyes of God.

From an early age, I suffered physical, sexual, psychological and verbal abuse at the hands of my uncle and others who surrounded me.  I grew up with two small boys who belonged to my uncle because my aunt abandoned him, just as I was abandoned, and they were in his care and custody.

The sexual abuse began when I was very small.  I grew up amidst constant insults and physical harm which, each time, would sink me into a terrible depression with much sadness and loneliness.  I did not speak much, having been raised with only the company of the two small boys and I really did not interact with anyone else.  I did not have friends nor anyone with whom I could talk, so my two best friends became those two little ones.  Through them, I learned cope with the physical and internal pain.  

In order to not scare them or worry them, I would tell the boys that my body was so strong that the physical hits did not hurt and that they did not need to cry for me or be scared because I would protect them. The physical pain can be cured in a certain amount of time because the bruises and wounds disappear later, but the psychological wounds take more time.

I remember when they were sleeping, I would go out and cry my pain out -- which was a lot; I was mad at my uncle, at God, with my own self, with life, with people and with the authorities.  I thought -- the same as God, they had forgotten about me. “People are blind”, I thought, or “Am I invisible to others?”  I even named myself the “ghost girl."  I determined, “The day I have money, I will help all the children of the streets, (that is the name eventually called us), I will not allow them to get abused like me, I will give them a home, blanket, food, and above all, I will give them love!  Lots of love!”

I would contemplate many things:  But, someday will I accomplish this? I can’t even help my own self, let alone the other children!  God, did you abandon me completely? Where are You now?  Why do you permit all this pain and suffering?  I do not understand!  Life is ugly and I do not like it.  Who would want to live in a world like this?  You have abandoned me.  I am an unhappy and miserable girl.  I want to be happy and go to school and play, I behave and obey, God, I am not rude with anyone.  Please tell me what I have done wrong.  I ONLY WANT TO BE HAPPY!
People would only see me with pity, and the police and the authorities merely follow stupid
norms which do not work and do not defend. Justice comes late and after long processes, they comply halfway where they look for an easy solution which does not cause conflict and they did not worry about me at all.  I wanted a hug full of love that would make me feel special.

At the end of the questions without answers, reproaches and tears in some way relieved my pain.  I would achieve sleeping a little to gain some strength and work the next day, and serve my uncle.

I would sell candies in the streets with other children who would be around there.  That was my daily routine so I would not arrive home empty-handed, having some money to pay my cousins and my plate of food; the days and the hours were long for me.

Some days were harder than others since my uncle would come home drugged and under the influence of alcohol with women and men and they would wake me up to serve them --forcing me to have sex with them. They would pay my uncle so he would let them do what they wanted to me and he would gladly accept the deal, before telling me that I would have to obey and be calm if I did not want to have problems.  I chose to accept it and be still -- like a rag doll for their pleasures.  This was the easiest way, because if not, then the sudden blows would appear and I would end up in a sea of blood and pain.

One day after the constant abuses of my uncle and his friends, I got pregnant.  I had a human being who was growing inside of me each day.  I was really scared, honestly, and I did not know what to do with a baby or how to take care of one.  I was afraid I would not be able to protect a baby in a world where so much evil exists, so I thought of abortion.  I thought that I would not know how or could not give this baby the care which he or she would need and me being a "dumb and useless child," I would fail in the attempt.  I was only 14 years old at the time. 

Then I thought: “If God gave me life and permitted me to be born, who am I to take away an innocent life and snatch the right to life by deciding for this baby?” They were snatching my life away by submitting and forcing me to do things which I did not want to do and without a right to anything, and here I was thinking of doing the same with this baby!  IT IS NOT FAIR, I realized.  A life is growing within me with a purpose and a mission, and the same as me, this baby has a right to life.

I decided to continue with my pregnancy after finding a pro-life page.  I must say that super heroes exist without a cape and they are not how stories and television programs say they are. They do not receive recognition or come out in magazines awarding their courage and effort for helping, but they are like angels with a mission, who God entrusted.  With that purpose, they exist in this life. 

I had the fortune of finding super heroes in my journey, in those difficult moments of my life. They were determined to help me without asking me for anything in return.  Finally, my pleas were answered and God and this baby gave me the strength and the courage which I needed to move on!  They never left me alone.  There were three super heroes in my path who would communicate with me, figuring out ways on how to free me from the “bad man” since in the distance it was very complicated -- not so easy to help me.  

Even with all of these obstacles, they would dedicate themselves to help me and hear me with such calm and attention that no one had ever given me. They felt the pain I went through and would suffer with me.  For the first time ever, I learned to trust people and I discovered that not all people are bad.

I began for the first time in my life rebelling against my uncle and I would demand my rights and the rights for the two boys, as well as the rights of my baby, even though he was not born yet.  I knew I had to leave before the baby was born and I tried to escape to begin to live a life fully and happy, far from that environment which would do us so much harm.

My uncle was engaged in drugs -- he would sell them and consume them.  As a result, he knew many people and powerful contacts from all over, and somehow when I tried to runaway, they found me and the two boys.  When I finally believed my life would change and everything would be better, he came back and he found me -- the same as in a horror movie where an exit does not exist.  I knew that my hopes of moving on would end and all my dreams succumbed when he captured me.  I did not have an exit!  I also knew that it was not going to go really well, so the fear came back and did not let me go.

My uncle, along with his friends, drugged me and beat me.  When I woke up, I was in another home, alone with my cousins, tied up, without food or water.  It was a solitary place, cold and ugly, making me feel very scared.  I would scream, but no one would hear me, I could not even hear the noise of cars.  I did not know where I was and I was very frightened. 

A while later, my uncle came telling me that I was ungrateful and that if I thought that I was going to report him or do something against him, I was really wrong.  He said that I was a crazy prostitute and that everything I received was because I deserved it.  He warned me that I would not leave that place -- that I would not ever leave him, and that if I wanted to see the two boys, then I had to obey him, sleep with more men, and meet his manly needs. He said that I was born for this and nothing more.

My cousins would go to the street, but my uncle would take them and watch them now. They were threatened and told that if they spoke with anyone, they would not see me ever again and that he would kill me because of them. Therefore, the children only dedicated themselves to selling and doing whatever he would tell them to do, fearing what he could do to me.  

My uncle punished me for trying to escape -- his beatings stronger every time.  All of his rage was taken out on me like I was a boxing bag.  He would say that my aunt left him and that no one would ever leave him again -- not even my cousins.

He would beat me, rape me, and spit on me.  I could not take it any longer.  I was very hungry and thirsty.  My whole body hurt.  My hands, feet, thighs, everything completely! Once more, I was alone and disappointed, and I felt I had failed my baby.  I would ask my baby forgiveness, rubbing my womb and telling him that everything would be good, asking that he would forgive me.

One day, my uncle became very drugged and drunk that upon seeing me, he started beating me.  Immediately he began to hit and kick my womb.  This was the most pain I could ever feel -- it was inexplicable.  I could not move, I started to bleed and I knew that something was not right.  He left, startled as he saw the amount of blood and my physical state.  I could not get up and I could not even cry.  Inside me, in my mind, I would tell my baby to forgive me.  I would ask my baby to please not leave me and that he should be strong, that I needed him.  I could only ask God not to take him away from me and to allow him to live, but I lost my baby!

My uncle did not take long to come back with a friend of his who was a doctor.  He helped me a little.  I could only hear what they would talk about as if I heard them in a dream.  I thought that I would die in that moment and I asked for that.  I asked God to take me in that moment because I could not take anymore.  I heard how they planned to get rid of me as if I was an abandoned dog.  I could hear them say that if I was left in the house, then someday someone had to find me, and that they could not take me to a hospital because it would be worse for him.

They got me in the car and left me in a cold and isolated place, waiting for the worst.  I already felt prepared to leave this world.  I did not wish anything more than that.  I yearned it with all my soul, but God’s plans were different.  His plans are distinct from ours.  That night, the hand of God took care of me.  I cannot find another word to describe it.  It was like a miracle!

I do not remember how, or what time, or who, but someone found me and helped me.  The only thing I remember is waking up in a hospital, with medicine being administered.  One of my super heroes was there with me.  I did not know how she found out or how she came to me.  She was taking care of me, she hugged me with love and told me that everything would be alright.  I could not even talk.  I felt sadness, pain, isolation, and at the same time joy.  Well, I felt a little relieved that she was there with me, but I also felt sad and empty -- it was an ocean of feelings which I could not explain.

My super hero was connected by phone with a pro-life woman in Guadalajara and three more who were aware of me, who had me included in prayer chains, talking to me and making me feel their love in between the distance -- angels taking care of me, keeping a close eye on my physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.  They did not know me, but were worried about me without receiving anything in return.  I was really blessed!
A report against him was filed and as expected, the night that he killed my baby, he fled with the two boys, just like I thought he would.  Finally, they found him and arrested him, but sadly, they released him.  I suppose he moved his influences and somehow, he got away with it and was free.  I never understood this and why the authorities did not defend me and did not leave him in jail where he needed to be so he would not continue to cause more harm.

Later on, I found out that he died in an automobile accident where he was found very drunk and drugged -- just the way he was accustomed.  I understood that God’s justice is different than man’s justice and that sometimes we do our own justice, by acting wrong.  All bad in some sort returns.

If the authorities would have cared for me since I was small, I wouldn’t have suffered all of this for so long, and I would not have lost my baby. 

But thanks to my super heroes, finally I was free!  There was no one to abuse me or hit me. Somehow, justice had been done and the bad man in the story of my life was gone, once and for all, and would not torment me anymore.

Physically, I began to recover, I began to regain strength, and the only thing left were scars. But even then, I felt pain -- not physical, but emotional.  All of it was a nightmare that would not let me sleep at night.  I would feel guilty for not keeping my promise of taking care of my baby.  I could not forgive myself.

As time passed, I understood that I did everything in my reach, and that I could not protect my baby if I was not protected either.  It was not my fault -- I was only a victim along with my cousins and my baby. I was a victim of my uncle, and of the authorities.  I did not provoke it, as he had convinced me.  It was time to end the pain which was not allowing me move on.  I had the power in my hands to continue being a victim, or to get back up like a lion and pull out the claws to continue with my life and fulfill my dreams.

No one was going to forbid it, there was no one to detain me and that is how it was.  It was not easy, but it was also not impossible. The pain was inevitable, but the suffering was optional.

I decided to open my wings and begin to fly!  I decided to leave the pain to the side, along with my past and begin to live.  Forgiveness is the key to being happy -- not for them, but for myself!  The feeling of rage and remorse provokes an emotional cancer which does not let us advance, and I did not want any more of that.

The pro-life super heroes are angels who God sends in a human form to give us hope, joy, peace, and love -- the love of God reflected in their lives.  God talked to me through them. Now it was only up to me to move on.  I was not an invisible girl anymore.  It was a miracle of life -- like a butterfly which opens its wings and decides to fly!  This is the right of all the children and women who are sexual abuse victims.

My question is:  Why do they want to cut our wings?  By approving abortion laws -- in cases of rape, you send us a wrong and contradictory message about life.  Your way of “protecting” does not work!  It is selfish to end a life to save another.  You cannot kill another to live “good” because you are not even living.  They say that all of us are free, and you do not give us that freedom!  It is contradictory, and I cannot end a life to be free -- not even to feel better.

The pain will not disappear from my life.  Contrary to that, you are teaching me to kill and to feel alone and finished.  Just because I was a raped woman, I should not be able to end an innocent life to be alright.

No one assures that the procedure will come out fine.  Is it not two people who die in an abortion?  The baby dies physically and the mother dies of sadness internally.  You will only say that you were thinking that it was best for me, but you would be wrong.

Do not cut our wings!  Help us fly!  Do not cut the wings of the innocent beings.  No one knows if one of the many aborted babies came with the mission to create a cure for cancer and we took the hope of life away.  Let’s stop taking a role which does not correspond to us by taking someone else’s life.  Let’s respect!  We are not God, and He is the only one who should decide life and death.

Let’s be more humane towards others' pain.  We should listen with our hearts and our reason.  Those men who steal our lives and our hopes need to be arrested.  We need the authorities to be our societal conscience.

Your abortion agenda is killing us -- it cuts our hope and continues our pain!  Like my story, there are many other young girls and women who are rape victims who need to be heard -- all with different stories, but with the same feeling of pain and the impotence of needing to be protected and truly heard.

My life story is still being written -- thanks to my favorite super hero who asked me to write my story.  I am and will be forever grateful to her!  My name is Yazmin, one more victim of sexual abuse and I am pro-life!

BIO: Yazmin, from Mexico, is a pro-life blogger for Salvar El 1 and for Save The 1.

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Pro-Life Neonatologist's Advice to Parents Facing the NICU, by Dr. Robin Pierucci, M.D.

I am a mom and pro-life neonatologist -- a doctor who takes care of premature and critically ill babies in the NICU -- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  This specialty is not something I had ever heard of as a child, nor was I aware that being “pro-life” or specifically anti-abortion was even reasonable.  I grew up in an incredibly loving but very “pro-choice” Jewish household.  Plus, I am a product of American secular medical training, with a Masters degree in medical ethics. 

Nevertheless, truly demonstrating God’s immense sense of humor is my reality: a convert to Catholicism, I am a doctor whose entire career revolves around caring for infants who are actually legal to kill.  Ditto for those with a prenatal diagnosis of “lethal anomaly” or “abnormality not compatible with life”.   
While I don’t always do my job perfectly, as a physician I have sworn “to do no harm” to any human being.  So my goal every day is to medically, ethically, and humanely tend to every single person for whom I have the privilege to provide.  And because every baby I have ever seen arrives in the unit with worried adults (often but not always the parents), it is not possible to care for the new arrival without also caring for the parents.

So with this eclectic background, I offer myself to further serve these infants and their parents with a bit of guidance, hoping I might be able to supply you with the right questions to be asking the physicians with whom you are dealing.

To start, a good physician should be able to tell you about each medical intervention with some essential facts as you ask these questions:

1.   Why is this intervention being proposed?
2.   What is the expected response (what will your baby, or the monitors, or the lab tests look like if responding, and how long will a response take?)
3.   What does it look like if the baby is not responding (baby, monitors, lab tests, etc), and over what period of time?
4.   The decision tree: if this happens, what occurs happens next? This is a reasonable question if there is either a good or bad response.  It is also ok for the doctor(s) to not know a complete answer to this question because there may be way too many variables to account for.  However: a. he/she needs to admit what they don’t know and b. it is a reasonable plan to have the same conversation again after you see how the first intervention(s) went.  Be aware, that there will often need to be multiple simultaneous interventions, which makes the answers all the more complicated.  But if you have this basic framework in mind, it should be easier to get a sense of what parameters people are looking at to know if the medicine/surgery or whatever is being done is actually useful.

But what if they say, “there’s nothing to be done” or even “you need to stop medical treatment”?  As someone who believes in the sanctity and preciousness of every single human life and is simultaneously a critical care physician, there are some reasonable questions to ask here (which in itself is an insane statement when confronted with such a crisis!):

1.   In an ideal world, do your homework first.  Find a doctor who is pro-life or at least  knows you and understands how you make ethical decisions surrounding issues of life.
2.   Reality: doctors (just like all of us) are a product of this culture, which means they will need to be educated on your intact value system.  Some will be able to be educated, others — well, not so much, or at least not as quickly as you would like.  Don’t despair (which isn’t equivalent to avoiding livid anger, gut-wrenching fright, or head-spinning frustration).  Breath.  Breath again and inform all involved of some facts:
a.   Your little one’s first and primary diagnosis is “it’s a girl!" Or "it’s a boy!"  This little boy or girl seems to have some additional diagnoses.
b.   These other diagnoses might potentially result in this infant’s life-span being shorter than we would be prefer.  But in the meantime, we are going to do everything we can to maximize what is possible for this little one.
c.   We want to work with you to avoid prolonging suffering.  However, having a “disability” or other “limitations” does not define suffering!  We intend to love this child.  Doctor, we are hoping you will either help us negotiate the challenges ahead or get us to another physician who will be more interested in doing so.

This adventure known as life isn’t easy.  But around every corner are the unexpected joys, unlooked for celebrations, and unsung moments of penetrating peace which are our gift from choosing to live (with the aid of His Grace) nurturing and loving everyone in our lives — especially the most vulnerable.

BIO:  Dr. Robin Pierucci, M.D. is a wife, mother and neonatologist, and now a blogger for Save The 1She received her medical degree from Rush Medical College, and completed both her residency in pediatrics and fellowship in neonatology at Children’s Hospital of WI, Milwaukee.  During the neonatal fellowship, she also completed a Masters in medical ethics at the Medical College of WI.  Since that time she has worked as a neonatologist in Kalamazoo, MI.  Robin has also completed the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) certificate program in medical ethics and participates on the ethics committee for the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD).
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I, Like Any Other Person, Have the Same Rights in This Life! by Bethania Herrera, Ecuador

Hi everyone, my name is Bethany, from Ecuador, and I'm 19 years old.
When I was about 8-10 years old I learned that I was conceived in rape. At that tender age, I did not understand what that meant, but as I grew up, my mother told me more about her experience.
At age 23, she worked in my biological father's company. One day, my biological father drugged her and raped her. Months later, she realized she was pregnant. She felt dirty and fell into depression to the extent that she wanted to commit suicide.
My mother told me she never thought about abortion because she knew that the rape and her depression were not my fault.
To make matters worse for her, when my grandmother found out she was pregnant, she didn't even let my mother explain what had happened to her, and my grandmother kicked her pregnant daughter out of the house.
Months later, my mother came back to her home and they decided to take her in again. As you can see, she had very sad and difficult times; however, my mother never gave up.
I was born and made her life happier. She says that I was, from that moment on, her strength -- her reason for living. My mother fought to raise me alone, despite the criticism and pain. She was a warrior!
Ten years after my birth, she realized that hating her aggressor only damaged her heart and decided to forgive my biological father. I know my father and sometimes I talk to him. Because of my mother, I hold no grudge against him, and to this day, neither does my mother.
Being conceived in rape, I have not felt less of a person. Like any other person, I have the same rights in this life! I thank my mother for giving me the opportunity to live. Thanks Mom for the decision to have me! I am here, enjoying life, experiencing new things, achieving goals and becoming a professional.
It can be hard to be the victim of rape, but always keep in mind that abortion will never solve the rape. On the contrary, it will worsen your emotional state. Think of that little innocent being who is not only genetically part of the rapist, but part of you too. By killing that little one, you kill generations to come. . . .
We all have the same right: The right to life!
BIO: Bethania Herrera, conceived in rape, is from Ecuador and is a pro-life blogger for Save The 1,and our Spanish division Salvar El 1. This was translated from Spanish and originally posted to our Spanish blog:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Gender Equality Abortions? ~by Darlene Pawlik

My first response to the news that a judge in Brazil cited gender equality as a reason for decriminalizing abortion in that country is "Gender equality?!? A woman alone can make the decision... How is that equal? What about the fathers? She cannot get pregnant without him. The baby is his too! What about the gender equality for the baby?”

 “Women bear alone the burden of pregnancy. Therefore, there will only exist gender equality if women have the right to decide whether to continue a pregnancy or not,” said Judge Luis Roberto Barroso.  His premise is that the current Criminal Code that outlaws abortion disrespects women’s basic rights.

What about the father’s rights? What about the baby's rights? The decision to kill a child isn’t a right, in the first place. In no other circumstance do we allow the brutal murder of a human being based on the gender of the person deciding to hire a killer.

Would this judge contend that it is her right to kill a toddler? After all, it is her toddler, right? What if she alone is responsible for an adult, an elderly parent or disabled sibling, should she have the right to kill another because she is a woman who alone bears the burden of care?

Of course, that is ludicrous.

There is no such thing as gender equality when it comes to pregnancy. Women carry babies, men do not. It may seem unfair, especially in a case of rape, but her wholly unique ability to carry the child and protect the second victim of rape is temporary. Pregnancy is always temporary. Abortion is forever.

In Brazil, abortion has been a crime. Both women and those who commit abortions faced jail time. The exception for legal abortions; if a Brazilian woman had been the victim of rape. This defies logic. There is either a baby worth protecting or there isn’t.

It has been criminal to kill preborn babies unless the father is a criminal? So, if she delivers her baby, then decided that she didn’t want the burden, would that also be acceptable, because the baby’s father is a rapist?

Abortion after rape has significant consequences for women. She has been through the trauma of rape. Abortion, the intentional killing of her baby, is an additional trauma imposed on her in a state of dramatic turmoil. She needs support and therapy to heal after rape, and more so to help her get through the pregnancy. 

Abortion proponents use confused compassion to push abortion on an unsuspecting public. By placing the woman’s trauma over the child’s right to life, they perpetuate this proverbial camel’s nose in the tent.

They introduce an exception to the law against abortion, for rape, convincing the public that it is the compassionate thing to do for women who have been victims. The important facts that the child is developmentally no different than one conceived in a loving relationship and that the child is a second innocent victim of the crime are overlooked by most because most of us don’t think it through and we believe that the people writing the laws have our best interest in mind. That is simply not always the case.

Lobbyists for the abortion industry are often very well paid. Abortion is a huge money-maker. A real doctor will see a client throughout her pregnancy, deliver babies at all hours, and make a reasonable amount of money. An abortionist works regular business hours only and makes more money in a few minutes time with a similarly pregnant woman, again and again.

Might doesn't make right. Brazil has been receiving a lot of push-back from feminist organizations that want to open the floodgates of legalized abortion. They believe that the sheer number of people who want abortion on demand for any reason should prevail.  Exceptions for rape open the door for the blood to flow.

The bottom line here is that abortion kills a baby. It should be illegal to kill a baby. People who push for abortion will use any excuse to kill a baby. It’s not about compassion for rape victims. It’s not about gender equality. It’s not about women’s rights.

Darlene Pawlik is VP of Savethe1. She was conceived by rape, sexually abused as a child, sold into juvenile sex trafficking and got pregnant as a result. She is a speaker and blogger for and