I Spoke to A Group of Teenagers About My Abortion. I Was Amazed by Their Response

April 26th, 2018

Silent No More
[Kathy Gonzales is a Regional Coordinator with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. Kathy recently had the opportunity to share with high school students about her abortion at age 20. I was curious how her message was received by the youth and Kathy agreed to share about her experience. – Kevin Burke]

Kathy: Valerie Jacobs from Rachel’s Vineyard Seattle asked me to talk to a religious education youth group…8th to 12th graders. I prayed about the event and asked for guidance. The Lord told me to revisit where I was as an 8th grader and share with the students the path that led me to my abortion at age twenty.

Reflecting back on that time, I wanted to share with the youth that in many cases the abortion doesn’t occur as an isolated event in someone’s life. My story reveals that the path to abortion at age 20 began years earlier.  One sin led to another sin. Others, a relative or friend for example, can play an important role in opening the door to darkness in our lives.

So, I shared with the teenagers about my childhood abuse, drugs, alcohol, premarital sex, involvement in the occult. I hope the talk opens up an opportunity for the teachers to revisit some of these issues that can open the door to sin and to life changing events like unplanned pregnancy and abortion.

Most, importantly, I shared how God revealed his great love and the healing I experience in Rachel’s Vineyard.

According to one of the parents I spoke with after my talk, he claimed it was the first night that they didn’t have to discipline the kids for being noisy and off track, or worse…lethargic and bored.

One girl came up afterwards and she hugged me for the longest time and kept thanking me for talking to them. I would say that of all the talks I have given this one struck me as the most meaningful, and I am thankful for the opportunity.

I concluded the evening by passing out fifty fetal models (at ten weeks gestation.)  The models I believe help bring what can be very abstract in the minds of many people, particularly teens, to something tangible and real. I encouraged the students to keep the model as a reminder to pray for babies in danger of abortion.

I am continually amazed at how God so loves me…loves all of us. I pray that others will consider inviting a regional representative of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign for the youth and young adults in their community.

[Speakers are available from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to share their abortion testimony at your high school, youth group or college. You can contact us at mail@silentnomore.com for more information.]

God Bless
Kathy Gonzales – RC Silent No More

The Judas Option: How Self-Sabotage After Abortion Nearly Took My Life

April 13th, 2018

Judas Option

By David

Self Sabotage…You probably don’t think of it as abuse.

But it can be the most pernicious form of abuse.

It’s abusive to yourself and to those who love you.

I know this subject well. For most of my adult life I did nearly everything I could to thwart my own happiness.  It came very close to taking my life.

Building the False Façade

I came from an emotionally abusive home where my job was to be the peace keeper. I was set up to fail in this impossible task in a dysfunctional and crazy home environment.  As I failed as a child and young adult to restore order out of this chaos, my parents, especially my mother, continuously reinforced a message within me – I wasn’t good enough.

I left home for college as a man with incredibly low self-esteem and not a lot of self-confidence. I managed to hide all of that under a façade that I presented to the world.

I was blessed with smarts, a good sense of humor, and not a bad looking guy.  So, I learned to act like a person who had those qualities – though deep down, I believed none of it.

My freshman year of college I began dating a beautiful lady named Karen. Karen was pre-med; she was smart, attractive and seemed to come from a good family.

In the last semester of her senior year, we got pregnant.

To have the baby would mean giving up medical school for her and force me to drop out of college. Planned Parenthood assured us that there was no baby yet, it was just a blob of cells. For only $300 they told me, our lives could go on as planned.

We stayed with my parents during this time and went to the Planned Parenthood center for the abortion. After the procedure she was still foggy from the anesthesia. Karen was crying and through her tears she said “They took my baby. I saw them take my baby.”

Our relationship began to decline from that day forward. Within a year we broke up.  I blamed myself for being such a loser that I couldn’t take care of her or my kid.  Not a day went by that I didn’t think about the abortion.

When good times would come in the back of my mind I would have the thought…“Yeah, times are good, but don’t forget you killed your kid.”  I would not allow myself to experience joy.  If that joy did break through my wall of self hatred – I did not to trust it and certainly did not to feel I deserved it.

Drifting…into Deeper Darkness

I worked at a radio station as a program director and DJ for a couple of years out of school, drifting from one meaningless encounter with women after another. Truthfully there wasn’t even that much sex involved.  I wouldn’t allow myself to get that close most of the time.

I truly felt that everyone was better than me and I was putting on a good act, but if the truth about the real me ever came out it would be devastating.   So I never talked to anyone about the abortion.

I met Joanne at the radio station. We began a sexual relationship and while we thought we were being careful after a few months she was pregnant.  At the time I was thinking, well this sucks, but at least I can do things the right way this time.  I told Joanne I would support her and the baby as best I could.

But that first abortion left me damaged and weakened as a man and a father.  When Joanne told me she was thinking about getting an abortion, I didn’t try to talk her out of it.  I didn’t fight for the life of our child and instead told her, “I will support you no matter what you decide.”

Her friend let me know that Joanne had the abortion. For a minute I felt relieved, but then I was overcome by guilt and shame.  Once again, I didn’t do my duty as a man.  I let my kid be killed.  A short time later, Joanne moved away without a word to me.  To this day I have no idea what happened to her.

Not long, I met Kathy.   I’ve never met anyone as honest and decent-hearted as she is.  I felt Kathy was out of my league.  I really felt that I in no way deserved her.

Even after we married, I lived in constant fear that she would find out who I really was.

Creating a False World

Here’s the thing about self-sabotage. It’s not something you consciously plan out.  I didn’t wake up in the morning thinking, “Here’s how I’m going to screw up my relationship, today.”

Rather it’s a slow progression of selfish acts that build upon each other, fed by the inner demons that reinforce the lie that you’re a worthless human being. My fear that Kathy would discover the real me led to me create a false world for us to live in.

I didn’t tell her that we had money problems because I didn’t want her do without – that would reinforce my sense of being a loser. So, I took out credit cards that she didn’t know about.  The net result was that I bankrupted us twice.

Through all of this, I thought about the abortion every day.

I only told Kathy about the abortion with Karen. I lied about of a lot of other things to keep up the false front.  But as Kathy uncovered the truth, it began a process of slowly, steadily, eroding her trust in me.

On top of that I had this weird, irrational anger that would come up.  I would be verbally abusive, passive aggressive, and well, to put it politely, a real jerk.  I would try to make her think that she was the one with the problem.

Fortunately amidst all this suffering Kathy had converted to Catholicism after 15 years of marriage. I was raised Catholic but had been away from the Church since college.  Her embracing Catholicism inspired me to return to the practice of my faith, and I came back in a big way.

I became active in my parish and served as a Eucharistic minister, lector, I helped teach RCIA, I was on the Respect Life Committee, and served on various parish councils. People were constantly telling me I should become a deacon.

While I appreciated the respect and regard people had for me, in my heart I knew it was a façade. If these people knew that I had two abortions in my past they would disown me for sure.

I was living a lie.

Marriage Tipping Point

All that pain from childhood and later the two abortions continued to hurt Kathy and attack our marriage. We finally hit a tipping point where Kathy told me I needed to get help, or she would have to leave.

I went to speak with a priest, Fr Peter. I told him what was going on, and he asked me if I had ever been involved with an abortion. I was shocked he knew to ask that.

I confessed to him my story and Fr Peter told me about Rachael’s Vineyard.  I was so tired of thinking about the abortion every day for the last couple of decades and I was ready to get help.

I expressed to Fr Peter that I was worried I would be the only man on the Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. He playfully punched me in the arm and said, “Well, if that’s the case, blessed are you among women.”   Kathy was kind enough to attend the weekend with me.

The retreat was overwhelmingly amazing. I named my kids Anthony and Claire.  I also became the godfather of the unborn child of a dear college friend whom I had driven to an abortion center when she became pregnant from a one-night-stand.

I’ll never forget Saturday evening of the retreat, standing around the bowl of lit candles floating in that holy water, each one representing our children lost to abortion. For just for a brief moment, I heard my children’s laughter.  I started to believe that they forgave me as much as Christ had.

The Judas Option 

I wish I could say that the story ends here, that we went on to live happily ever after.

The truth is, the retreats exposed the light of truth to the lie I had been living, but my old habits and beliefs were not miraculously cured.  I struggled to fully embrace the forgiveness of Christ and that of my children.

But I believe I drew upon the grace of that healing weekend during a coming time of dark and dangerous temptation.

Things got better for Kathy and me for a while, but gradually the inner demons began their endless reminder that “Okay, Christ forgave you, but that doesn’t change what a loser you are.”

The pattern of self-sabotage returned along with my abusive behavior.  It was too much, and Kathy I separated.

Three years ago I had a three-month assignment for my work in South Bend InKaren. It was Easter Weekend and I was alone.  No one in my family invited me to spend the holiday with them even though they knew Kathy and I were separated.

I went to the Easter Vigil Mass and wept for joy for those people coming into the faith.  But I also wept with despair at the reality that I was alone.  I had sabotaged my life so bad that no one wanted to be with me.

The darkness of that rejection and pain took hold of my heart and I set out on a path of anguish and temptation.

Rather than focusing on the Resurrection and the forgiveness of Peter’s denial in the Easter story, I became preoccupied with the experience of Judas Iscariot. Judas had sold his soul for some silver.  Not all that different than me selling my unborn kids out, selling my marriage out…all for my own agenda.

And what was his solution? Yes, Judas killed himself.

Finally, an answer I thought. What do I possibly have to live for?  I’m alone with no prospects of a better life in sight.  I have a job.  So, what?  In betraying Kathy, my kids, myself, I ultimately betrayed Christ.  Yes, the ultimate act of self-sabotage must be the answer.

I deserved the same fate as Judas.

I didn’t sleep much that night. I just kept thinking about Judas.  Christ had forgiven him, but that wasn’t enough.  That’s exactly where I was.

The next day I walked along the Riverwalk of the St. Joseph River that runs through South Bend.  I crossed onto a bridge that spanned the river and stopped in the middle.

I looked down into the fast-moving current.  I knew the water was very cold and deep.  I figured I would probably succumb to hypothermia within five minutes.  I imagined what drowning would feel like. The suffering wouldn’t last too long.  I just had to work up the courage to take the leap.

Suddenly, in the distance, I heard the church bells of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church where I had attended Mass the night before. I could see the parking lot about a quarter mile away from the bridge.  I watched families all dressed for Easter filing out of the church.

And then the thought hit me.

Is this how I want Kathy to remember me? Is this really the way I want to meet my kids?   Could I really kill myself in a river named after St. Joseph?

I stepped away from the edge of the bridge and quickly walked off it. I found a park bench and wept.

Soon after, I went back to St. Joseph’s church and confessed to a priest, Fr Kevin, about my experience. Fr Kevin helped me more than the countless therapists I had seen over the years.  He helped me see that the negative self-talk I engaged in need not have such power over me or define who I was.

This wise priest awakened me to the reality that the negative thoughts were like a flock of birds flying overhead.  I had no power to stop the birds from flying over, but I did have a choice of whether I allowed them to land on me.

My future meetings with Father Kevin all included the sacrament of confession. While it was Father Kevin talking to me, Christ was the true counselor in the sacrament of reconciliation.

Once a week, I would go to confession and sit down with Our Lord.  His grace led me to realize that I may have negative thoughts, but I always have the power to not engage them.  With God’s grace, I simply choose not to engage them.  The more I don’t engage the less power they have over my life.

The Lord Heard My Cry for Mercy

A little over a year ago, Kathy and I reconciled. The two years we were apart we both used to get the help we needed.  We had kept in touch during this time and managed to stay friends.

I know the love we had for each other never went away, but we could not stay together while I was continuously sabotaging myself and our marriage.  I’m happy to say our marriage is better than it has ever been.

The inner struggle? Yeah, it’s still there, and maybe always will be, but I have those negative messages under the power of Christ and his love so they have no power over me any longer.

In closing I share two songs; one a contemporary tune by Julia Brenna that has been a source of inspiration and comfort to me.

The other is a much older song from the grateful heart of Israel’s King David. This David also suffered through his own journey into the darkness of sin and death.  David’s sins, to his horror and anguish, brought great pain upon his family and nation.

Yet King David learned from this tragedy to trust in the Lord’s saving power, and experienced in time, restoration and salvation, reflected in this beautiful psalm:

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.  Because he turned his ear to me,  I will call on him as long as I live.

 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me;     I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me. (Psalm 116: 1-6)

To Learn More about the impact of abortion on Men:

Tears of the Fisherman: Recovery for Men Wounded by Abortion by Kevin Burke, LSW

Register Your Abortion Regret with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.  You can sign up to receive a newsletter every month highlighting opportunities to be Silent No More along with news about the Campaign.

The Men and Abortion Network    Our Mission:  To promote emotional healing for men who have lost a child to abortion, and to create awareness among the counseling community, the pro-life movement and society as a whole regarding the impact of abortion on millions of these hurting fathers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Help to Men Hurting After Abortion

April 6th, 2018

MAN

[Bradley Mattes is a founding member of the Men and Abortion Network.  As Bradley shares in this important article, even if only a small percentage of men are impacted, there are millions of fathers who are experiencing psychological and spiritual distress after abortion and in need of help. 

Bradley introduces an ongoing service of the Men and Abortion Network – one that we hope to expand – a nationwide network of trained peer counselors and pastors who can mentor hurting fathers through the grieving process. – Kevin Burke]

 

Getting Help to Men

By Bradley Mattes

Over the last decade-and-a-half, considerable advances have been made in generating awareness within the pro-life movement that men who have lost a child to abortion can, and do, suffer from emotional fallout.

The question people often ask is, “How many men are affected by abortion?”

The most comprehensive analysis of abortion’s effect on men is presented in a book entitled Men and Abortion: Lessons, Losses and Love by Arthur B. Shostak, Gary McLouth and Lynn Seng. Based upon information extrapolated from their data, approximately eight percent[1] of fathers who’ve lost a child to abortion suffer psychologically.

To date there have been 60 million abortions which has generated nearly five million “walking-wounded” fathers who struggle day-to-day with abortion’s lingering impact.

This is a conservative number due to many more men who are affected to lesser degrees. Abortion’s resultant carnage on men is unfathomable. For example, no research been done to confirm our suspicions that a vast number of men in America’s prison system may have a history of abortion which contributed to their incarceration.

The good news is that we have a grassroots, nationwide network of trained peer counselors and pastors who can mentor hurting fathers through the grieving process. The most effective way to do this is with a biblically-based program. However, we are ready, willing and able to assist men with no religious affiliation.

Additional good news is that several programs have been developed and are being used to transform grieving men into new creations through the blood of Christ.

These encouraging developments, however, present a challenge of how to match hurting fathers with the help they so desperately need. That too has made promising gains but remains a work in progress.

The Men and Abortion Network (MAN) is a small ad hoc group of men and women who individually or as an organization have experience on a national or international level of promoting healing and creating awareness regarding the issue of men who have experienced abortion loss.

Further, MAN has developed a website exclusively for men who have adverse symptoms resulting from abortion loss. The site primarily serves two purposes.

First, it provides a nationwide referral network for a man who is struggling after abortion. With no cost to him, he can request a trained mentor near his location. Credentialed counselors are also available.

If a man seeks anonymity, we can still assist him. All that is required is a city, state, zip code and email address. Additional information is helpful to provide the best support available, but it is not required. His privacy is paramount. If possible, we try to match him with a mentor from his same religious background.

Second, the men and abortion website provides a wealth of resources to assist fathers:

– New articles by MAN members are posted every month. A variety of Bible studies are available to walk with men through the grieving and healing process.

– Books, authored by experts in the field, give additional, in-depth information.

– Website visitors can also find brochures that summarize why men are affected, identify possible symptoms and share ways in which these symptoms can be treated.

– In addition, half-hour video and audio programming are available.

Research on men who have experienced abortion loss is limited, however, helpful data is posted on the website.

Is God Calling you to Serve as a Mentor to Men Hurting after Abortion?

Now our most pressing need is to expand the network of trained mentors and reach out to fathers who may be suffering.

The need is great, so if you or someone you know may be well-suited to assist this crucial work, please contact us here at the Men and Abortion Network if you feel God’s urging. We can provide the assistance and resources you need to be tools of the Holy Spirit.

It is an amazing thing to see the Holy Spirit at work through us as we witness the transformation of these dads. When you help a father, you impact an entire family.

[1] C.T. Coyle, Ph.D., Men and Abortion, A Path to Healing, 1999, p. 27.

Bradley Mattes is president of Life Issues Institute, the pro-life grassroots partner of the Susan B. Anthony List Education Fund. He is a founding member of MAN and has done considerable anecdotal research on the effects of abortion on men. His writings on this topic have been printed in US and international publications. He has a master’s degree in Biblical Studies and Biblical Counseling from Master’s International University of Divinity and has written undergraduate and post-graduate courses on men and abortion. He serves as a peer counselor to men who’ve lost a child to abortion.

 

 

A Grandmother and Her Parish Priest Bring Healing to a Family Wounded by Abortion

March 27th, 2018

Priest Eucharist

By Leann Domico-Vasquez

I learned that my Daughter Lisa, age 19,  scheduled an abortion and was at a nearby hospital.

I contacted our parish priest Fr. Dominick and explained the situation.  He  immediately rushed to the hospital to try and persuade Lisa to change her mind.

Fr. Dominick encouraged Lisa telling her that she would be a wonderful mother.   He shared with her what a beautiful gift this child would be to the family.

Lisa walked away from the priest in tears.  She went into the procedure room to allow the doctors and nurses to assist in the destruction of her unborn baby.

I cannot explain the level of grief and anger that flooded my heart and soul…my grandchild was dead.

I was filled with rage at the hospital and all involved with the procedure. But I was especially so deeply hurt and angry at my daughter.

Reaching Out from the Pain

Shortly after the abortion I went to talk to Fr. Dominick. He suggested I consider a Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreat to help me find a deeper healing of my loss as a grandparent.

Rachel’s Vineyard was a powerful experience of healing for me and really went to the heart of my post abortion trauma and grief.  The weekend helped me to find peace and closure.

Lisa knew of my Rachel’s Vineyard experience.  Lisa would react with cynicism and mock my “abortion friends” that I stayed in touch with after the retreat.   I knew she was hurting and in need of healing.

A Miracle Unfolds

Six months after the abortion, my son asked Lisa to be the Godmother of his baby boy. This event triggered a release of her pent up post abortion grief and pain and Lisa suffered a nervous breakdown requiring hospitalization.  Lisa recovered from the breakdown, but remained deeply wounded.

Two years after the abortion she met a man with an abortion in his history.  He encouraged her to consider the Rachel’s Vineyard weekend. When Lisa told me she was considering making a retreat, I was overjoyed.

She expressed some reservations… “Did they already know her story? Would I be able to name my child?” I let her know that on my retreat I told my story…not hers.

I assured her that the name I gave my grandchild was a temporary one and that she as the child’s mother would rightly provide the name God would put on her heart.

I was blessed to be able to attend the memorial service on Sunday of the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat with Lisa when retreat participants honor the child with a special ceremony and Mass and entrust the children to the Lord.

When I opened the memorial service program I looked over the list of names of the babies being entrusted.

I knew right away the name Lisa had given my grandchild…Dominick Leonard.

Lisa named the baby after our parish priest, Fr. Dominick.

[You Can Read Leann’s full story here]

 

The Traumatic and Mysterious Abortion of Aerosmith Lead Singer Steven Tyler and Julia Holcomb

March 21st, 2018

Julia Holcomb

By Kevin Burke, LSW

In 2011 I shared the story of the traumatic abortion of Steven Tyler, lead singer of the rock group Aerosmith.

Here’s that article:

“Jesus What Have I Done”

I did not realize that my article would be read by Julia Holcomb, the mother of Tyler’s aborted child.

Julia contacted me to assist her in sharing a more accurate and detailed account of her relationship with Steven Tyler and their abortion experience.

This is harrowing account of the mysterious events leading up to the late term procedure.  It is ultimately a story of the triumph of faith in Christ over the forces of evil and death.

Here’s Julia’s story:

The Light of the World

Hip Hop Star Nicki Manaj – Abortion and the Sexploitation of Women

February 22nd, 2018

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is one of the world’s top selling female rap and hip hop artists.

Minaj shared in a past issue of Rolling Stone Magazine that she had an abortion as a teenager:

Minaj’s first love was an older guy from Queens she dated while attending the prestigious Manhattan performing-arts high school LaGuardia when she discovered she was pregnant.

“It was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through.”

Minaj says the decision to have an abortion has “haunted me all my life…”

While the decision continues to haunt her, Minaj points to the circumstances of the pregnancy, and feeling ill prepared to parent a child:

It’d be contradictory if I said I wasn’t pro-choice. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have anything to offer a child.”

Hip Hop Superstar: “In Charge of her Own Objectification”

Many years later we read in a 2015 profile in the NY Times that Minaj has developed into a formidable female artist with her music featuring provocative sexual imagery and lyrics:

“In another era, Minaj’s sexuality, expressed semi-parodically — pretending she’s a Barbie doll; glorifying women dressed as prostitutes and set in red-light-district windows — might have given feminists pause.

But in the 2010s, we have entered a different world in pop culture, one in which sexual repression is perceived as burdensome and perhaps even an inability to holistically integrate the body and self.

The author goes on to state that because Minaj is in control of her image, and is an astute businesswoman, her artistic expression does not promote the sexploitation of women:

… Minaj is in charge of her own objectification (describing her vagina with more words than I thought existed, and then amplifying its power by rhyming those words), as well as her own monetization (overt product placement in videos is a hallmark) has led most feminist voices to applaud her.

We know that the music and entertainment industry has their own agenda in advancing the pornification of all media, especially the music videos that are so influential with youth.

But there is another way to understand how this may fit into the experience of a woman who admits publicly that her abortion as a teenager continues to haunt her.

Family Background

Minaj was born Onika Maraj in Trinidad in 1982:

“She moved to the United States several years later (her parents spent two years in the States before she arrived, trying to get settled). Minaj has long emphasized her difficult upbringing — speaking openly about crack cocaine use in her home, in Jamaica, Queens, as well as domestic abuse and an episode when she says her father tried to burn down her house…When I asked if her father abused her, she said: ‘‘No. He was just abusive.’’ (NY Times – The Passion of Nicki Minaj)

With this history in mind, consider her abortion decision.

Minaj’s first love was with an older man from Queens. Perhaps this man for a time offered the love and affection that may have been missing in the relationship with her father. She loved this older man and they were sexually intimate. She shared her body, heart, and soul with him.

How did the father of their child respond to the pregnancy? Minaj does not tell us. We know that a father’s response to the pregnancy is often critical to the unborn child’s survival.

Abortion and Sexploitation

Many of her videos often display Nicki’s body in a highly sexualized context.

This can be understood as a vehicle for Minaj to call attention to the fact that the abortion decision was a physical and emotional rejection of her motherhood.

Minaj was surprised and anxious when she learned of the pregnancy.  At the same time her body was naturally gearing up to nurture and protect her unborn child. It was a shock to her body and reproductive system, as well as her heart and soul, when the abortion doctor forced open her cervix and expelled her unborn child.

Her explicit lyrics (“describing her vagina with more words than I thought existed…”) can be understood as calling attention to the experience of early sexual intimacy followed by pregnancy and the physical and emotional experience of the abortion procedure.

Many of the photographs and video of Minaj celebrate her voluptuous, full-figured female beauty. They also call attention to her capacity as a woman to share and nurture the gift of human life.

Amidst the sexually charged content, the pain from her abortion loss has found expression in her music. There is grief and loss for a child that Nicki never held in her arms, and nurtured at her breasts.

In 2014 at age 32, Minaj addressed the loss of a child and her concern for her younger brother Caiah. Caiah was age 16 at the time – the same age her child would be if not aborted.

From the track “All Things Go” from her album “The Pinkprint”:

“My child with Aaron, would’ve been 16 any minute / So in some ways I feel like Caiah is the both of them / It’s like he’s Cai’s little angel looking over him.”

Freedom…or Bondage?

Jesus said “the truth will set you free.”

Conversely, the lie will keep you in bondage.

Nicki Minaj says of her provocative and graphic music video “Anaconda” that is saturated with sexually charged content and images.

“With a video like ‘Anaconda,’ I’m a grown-ass f*#!*! woman!” she says. “I stand for girls wanting to be sexy and dance, but also having a strong sense of themselves. If you got a big ol’ butt? Shake it! Who cares?

This is the false emancipation of the sexual revolution and legalized abortion. A freedom that celebrates the sexploitation and desecration of women, their bodies – and the bodies of their unborn children – as female empowerment.

There is another way.

There is reconciliation, peace and healing for any woman or man who has suffered the loss of a child from abortion.

Kevin Burke, LSW, Co-Founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries, and Janet Morana, Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign

 

 

Are African-American Children Safe in New York City?

February 14th, 2018

SONY DSC

Kevin Burke, LSW

When a natural disaster or act of terrorism strikes in one of our cities, government leaders are expected to mobilize quickly to protect citizens and get help to those wounded and suffering.

Media outlets cover the tragedy closely to communicate the experience of citizens and first responders on the ground and to hold government officials accountable in the crisis.

Religious leaders assemble the people for prayer for the dead and wounded and strength to persevere with the challenges that lie ahead.

There is such a disaster unfolding in one our largest cities.

Tragically, it is largely hidden from public view.

The African-American community of New York City is under assault

Each year in New York City, 6 out of every 10 African-American children die in the womb from abortion.

These unborn boys and girls never see the light of day; never have the chance to play with their friends, and experience the joys and challenges of growing up in the great city of New York.

How does New York Mayor Bill de Blasio respond to these shocking numbers?

According to the mayor, we don’t need to protect African-American children in the womb.

Instead, New York needs to expand access to abortion and establish “protective zones” around abortion businesses.

Who does the mayor see as the real threat to the citizens of New York? Pregnancy Resource Centers.

Pregnancy Resource Centers offer community-based care where women can find a non-violent alternative to abortion. A place where they can find the financial, social and spiritual support to give life to their unborn children.

The Numbers Tell a Different Story

Mayor de Blasio and his friends at Planned Parenthood tell New Yorkers they need to spend more of the cities resources to expand access to abortion and shut down alternatives to abortion in poor communities.

The day after Thanksgiving (2017), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its most recent Abortion Surveillance Report:

  •  One of every three babies is aborted in New York City.
  •  The abortion rate for African-Americans increased from 35.6 percent in 2013 to 36 percent in 2014.

Something is rotten in the Big Apple.

 

Wisdom from a Pioneer in Abortion Recovery for Men

February 13th, 2018

Warren Williams

  Since 1978 Warren Williams has been a student of fatherhood loss and the effects of abortion on men and society.  Warren is the author of a number of great resources for men wounded by abortion listed here with his full bio.

Warren had an article posted recently in the Men and Abortion Network. In this short but powerful piece Warren lays out some fundamental issues men deal with in the decision-making process with their partners to have an abortion, and in the aftermath.

His words are clear and direct, something men respect and hunger for. At the same time it is also a compelling declaration of the mercy and saving power of God.

Here is a brief excerpt with a link to the full article.

About six months ago three men and I began the journey through a Bible study I wrote featuring the Beatitudes, titled “Missing Arrows.” The purpose–to find fatherhood restoration for the children they had lost through abortion…

Read the full article here.

 

Why is the 2018 Gerber Baby Causing Some Parents Great Anguish and Grief?

February 9th, 2018

Gerber Baby 2018

If you checked out your social media feeds the last few days, you have no doubt come across the smiling face of Lucas Warren, the new 2018 Gerber Baby.

Lucas is the first child with Down syndrome to receive this honor.

For many parents this award sent a welcome and life-affirming message.

… “As a mama currently carrying a cutie with an extra chromosome this made my day!!! Thank you Gerber!! ”

Another mom shares:

“In a puddle of tears over here…my mama heart is so so thankful…when Bodie was born I believed a lie, that others would not value him as much as I do.  But, today is a new day. It is such a beautiful, good day,” (Washington Post)

Giving this award to a child with Down syndrome certainly sends a message of acceptance and love to families with a disabled child.

Yet the award also reminds of us of a shocking paradox.

With routine prenatal testing in the United States and other western nations, the majority of children with a pre natal Down syndrome diagnosis never see the light of day:

“According to the latest statistics, 67-90% of preborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted in the United States…”

Many parents will see in that cute little 2018 Gerber Baby a painful connection to the memories and feelings associated with a past abortion of a child with Down syndrome.

These couples face great pressure and anxiety at the time of the diagnosis.  Parents are usually persuaded that termination of the pregnancy is the more compassionate course of action.

A study in 2016 confirmed the pressure couples face to abort their child with Down syndrome – even for those that decide to continue with the pregnancy:

After refusing the initial suggestion of abortion, 65% of women were offered abortion again during the pregnancy…

  They continued to be offered abortions right up to 36 weeks, with 50% of them being offered abortion later than 20 weeks.

– 62% described the language of their medical team as being negative; clearly indicating that Down syndrome was a bad outcome…Only 4% described the language of their medical team as positive.

What is the experience of a parent who decides abortion is the best solution to a poor prenatal diagnosis?

Chloe’s Story

Chloe Ashton tells the story of the pregnancy of her son Tommy diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Chloe was initially open to parenting her son, but wanted feedback from family and friends. Sadly their words did not encourage and affirm her capacity to offer love and care to a child with a disability:

“I spoke to my closest friends and family, looking for advice, and was taken aback by the overwhelming opinion that terminating the pregnancy should be my only consideration if our baby had Down syndrome.”

Shaken by the chorus of support for termination, she scheduled the amnio test to confirm the suspected diagnosis:

The amnio itself was a heart-wrenching experience; there was my baby on a screen as if he was right in front of me — and as the needle entered my amniotic sac, he reached out and grabbed it, and they had to wait to withdraw it as he had a firm hold of it in his little hand.

The testing confirmed her son had had Down syndrome and she made the decision with her partner to have the abortion.

Chloe shares that her young daughter was already attached to her little brother:

“[My young daughter] had become extremely attached to her little brother — who she’d named Tommy — kissing my belly daily. She was so excited to have a sibling on the way…I sobbed and told her that we had found out that Tommy was sick…and we weren’t sure if he would still be in my tummy when she got back.

As her face registered what I was saying, she got up and ran to her room, returning with a stuffed animal that she placed on my stomach, and she continued to run back and forth, piling my tummy with animals.”

The Emotional Aftermath

How did the procedure impact Chloe?

“I wish they had better prepared me for the emotional aftermath. My relationship ended within six months….

It was months before I stopped feeling the phantom kicks.

A couple of months later, I passed an acquaintance on the street. She was pushing a baby carriage, and as I peered in, I immediately noticed the signs of Down syndrome. She told me, “She has Down syndrome, but she’s a wonderful baby”…

Chloe may have considered a different course of action if she was affirmed and supported by her partner, family and friends in parenting a child with Down syndrome.

A number of people played a part in this child’s death. Some of them will be intimately impacted by this loss, such as Chloe’s daughter who mourned her lost sibling.

This dispels the myth that abortion is a private and personal decision between a woman and her health care provider.

As Chloe’s story reveals, abortion is more accurately a life changing event – a series of unfolding Shockwaves and after-shocks that continue to impact individuals, couples, families and friends years after the procedure.

A Path to Recovery and Peace

Chloe shares at the close of her story a common symptom for those that participate in the death of their unborn children – a struggle to forgive one self.

“As I sit here today, almost three years later, I pray for those who may be going through this, and I try to forgive myself.

 I’m not sure if I ever will.”  (Read Chloe’s full story here.)

The struggle with guilt and self forgiveness is common after abortion.

This is especially true with later term procedures when parents initially receive the news of their pregnancy with great joy.  Mothers and fathers begin the physical and emotional process of bonding with their unborn child that they can clearly see on the ultrasound screen and mothers can feel kicking in their wombs.

There are many other ways that this grief, guilt and pain can be expressed after the abortion procedure:

Conflict and dysfunction in intimate relationships; drug and alcohol abuse to numb and escape the pain; nightmares; traumatic triggers to the procedure and lost child (e.g., Chloe sharing “It was months before I stopped feeling the phantom kicks.)

But all symptoms after abortion can be understood as a type of memorial to the unborn child – a dysfunctional and painful connection to a parent’s rejected and broken baby.

There is another way.

An abortion recovery program provides a healing process and support from others who understand your loss.  They can help you find the emotional and spiritual peace you hunger for.

Parents like Chloe, wounded by abortion, can discover in that recovery process that not all is lost. They can embrace the gift of God’s mercy and forgiveness as they reconnect in love with their child, who is alive in the Lord.

 [For those facing a poor prenatal diagnosis, there is support and resources to make a life-affirming decision about your disabled child in the womb.]   

 

 

 

Tennis Pro Jimmy Connors – The Outsider in His Own Abortion Story

February 7th, 2018

Jimmy Connors Chris Evert

Jimmy Connors is one of the greatest tennis professionals in the history of the sport. During the 1970’s he set records for his host of titles and championships.

With the release of Tennis pro Jimmy Connors autobiography The Outsider” in 2014 we learn of an unplanned pregnancy and abortion with women’s tennis champion Chris Evert when they were young sweethearts engaged to be married.

Connors shares about the pregnancy and their decision to go through with an abortion:

“An issue had arisen as a result of youthful passion, and a decision had to be made as a couple,” he writes in The Outsider.  “Chrissie called to say she was coming out to LA to take care of the ‘issue’. I was perfectly happy to let nature take its course and accept responsibility for what was to come.”

The next exchange between the couple likely sealed the fate of their unborn child:

“Chrissie, however, had already made up her mind that the timing was bad and too much was riding on her future,” he writes. “She asked me to handle the details.”

He told Evert:

“Well, thanks for letting me know. Since I don’t have any say in the matter, I guess I am just here to help.”

And so it was.  The Outsider “handled the details” and arranged for the abortion of his unborn child.

When Evert approached Connors with her mind seemingly made up, he made a serious and deadly mistake many fathers make during this challenging and emotional time for a young couple – he failed to fight for the life of his child.

This sent a clear signal to the mother who may have heard in his response:

 “I am open to you having the baby, but I’m not going to fight too hard to protect the child and I may or may not be around to help…so if you’re minds made up anyway, I’ll respect whatever you decide.” 

There is no guarantee that Evert would have changed her mind if Connors was more determined to fight for the child’s life.  But it was the best hope their baby had for survival.

Once the father communicates ambivalence and does not strongly express the natural desire to protect his offspring, the mother may understandably fear making the sacrifices of single parenting unsure if the father will continue to love and support them both.

Women also understandably fear the resentment and anger a man may express later when facing the responsibilities and stress of an unplanned child.

“It was a horrible feeling, but I knew it was over,” Connors writes. “Getting married wasn’t going to be good for either of us.”

Rather than the joy of youthful love and passion and anticipation of married life together, the couple now shared a dark secret…a participation in the death of their unborn son or daughter.

Both tennis pros went on to stellar careers.  On the surface it may appear that they “made the right decision.”  But like many couples after abortion, the fruit of this tragic choice is evident as their lives unfold.

Connors, now 64, struggled with a gambling addiction and the infidelities that “came close to ruining his marriage” to former Playboy model Patti McGuire.

Men, who later regret, reconcile and heal of a previous abortion decision report that along with addictions and infidelity, anger was a way they repressed and expressed their painful emotions such as guilt and complicated grief around that abortion event and their role in the child’s death.

Connors on and off-court anger issues and fireworks are likely part of his personality and competitive spirit. But they also may have helped him express some of the shame, guilt and grief about the loss of his son or daughter to abortion.

Evert experienced a common post abortion symptom for some women and men – instability in intimate relationships. Chrissie, now 58 has been married three times. All three marriages ended in divorce.

Abortion is a life changing event that strikes at the deepest part of the human person.   The abortion account of Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert reflects, on a much grander stage, what has been the experience of millions of young couples.

They valiantly press on with their lives, perhaps like Connors and Evert achieving great success as they struggle to bury that abortion event deep in their past.

But the symptoms in their lives after abortion call them to reconcile and heal of this loss, buried deep in their hearts and souls.