Lutheran Pastor Challenges Silence on Abortion
Dr. Laurence L. White spoke to the Lutherans for Life Convention last
November in stirring words on the convention theme, Time to Speak. Dr. White
challenged the gathering in a powerful and prophetic keynote address.
Dr. White, Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas,
reflected on the laws of 1935 Nazi Germany that designated an entire category of
people as non-human, unworthy of protection. The Nazis had a new "god"- race,
to which were made human sacrifices. At the time, the Lutherans in Germany were
divided into three camps. 1. German Christians (nationalists); 2. Confessing
Church (the majority of whose members did not want to speak out because the
issues were "too controversial"); 3. "Three Monkey" church - "see no evil, hear
no evil, speak no evil."
According to Dr. White, a deaconess bitterly asked him about the reluctance
of the Church to speak out: "Why does the church do nothing? Why does the church
remain silent?" To this the church seemed to ask Cain's question, "Am I my
brother's keeper?" Dr. White said the "Three Monkey" approach does not work.
"Evil not opposed doesn't go away. It festers." He also said that the answer to
Cain's question is "Yes."
He went on to say that today there is a new version of the Old Testament
pagan god Molech called "reproductive freedom." However, when it comes to
abortion there can be "No more compromise. No more delay. The killing must
stop!" said Dr. White. In the United States alone there are 3,250 abortions
every day, one every 30 seconds.
Dr. White, in calling the Church to be faithful to God's Word, said it should
be clearly understood that on the issue of abortion there is "only one Christian
position. Only one human position" and reiterated that, "the killing must stop!
... The time for silence is over."
As God's People, We Have Something to Say About the
Issues of Life
Dr. James Lamb, LFL Executive Director
(In a Sunday morning Bible study and a sermon during the LFL Convention,
Dr. Lamb addressed the convention theme of Time to Speak.)
It is time to speak because we, as God's people, have something to say
... about the issues of life and death facing our country. It is time to speak
because we have something to say to those who are facing difficult situations --
the pregnant teen, individuals dealing with chronic diseases, and those with
terminal illness. It is time to speak because we have a message about our God
who is extremely loving enough and caring enough and powerful enough to help us
in any and every situation we may find ourselves in. It is time to speak because
we have a message of life and people do not need to turn to death as the
solution to their problems.
KATIE, A BLESSING FROM GOD
By Elisabeth Slotkin
(From United Methodist newsletter, Lifewatch)
In October of last year, my husband and I were confronted with one of
those "tragic conflicts of life with life that," The United Methodist Church's
Book of Discipline states, "may justify abortion." An ultrasound revealed that
something was seriously wrong with our four-month-old fetus.
Aware that we were only weeks away from the deadline for legal abortion in
our state, our doctor strongly urged us to consider an amniocentesis. From what
he saw on the ultrasound screen, he suspected our child had a chromosomal
disease called Trisomy 13, which, he told us, "is incompatible with life."
Amniocentesis, the doctor explained, would let us know for certain whether our
child had a chromosomal abnormality. He added that it also carried certain risks
for the fetus, including miscarriage. I told the doctor I believed abortion was
wrong. "Why," I asked him, "should we risk killing our child merely to satisfy
Our doctor looked me straight in the eye. "You are going to get big," he
said, "and people you don't even know will come up to you in the grocery store.
They will be excited for you and ask when your baby is due. All the while, you
will know the hard truth that your baby is not going to live." He added
compassionately, "You may not be able to handle that."
My husband, Steve, and I were shaken. I felt numb. The previous ultrasounds
and prenatal visits had indicated that all was well. We had joyfully begun
preparing the nursery. Nonetheless, I felt the peace of the Lord, and my resolve
was steady. "I can handle it," I told him.
When my father and a longtime friend heard that all was not well, they tried
to persuade me to consider abortion. "You don't know what you're facing," they
said. "What if the baby lives a full lifespan and needs total care? What kind of
life will you have?" My father argued, "If the baby is going to die anyway, why
not terminate now? The longer you carry the child, the harder it will be for
Before we ever tried to get pregnant, Steve and I had discussed abortion. He
thought abortion was sometimes acceptable, but he was willing to go along with
my conviction, with the moral truth, that abortion is wrong. Now that the
problems we faced were no longer hypothetical, however, I raised the issue
again. I asked him what he wanted to do.
For a few days, Steve weighed the pros and cons of abortion. Then one day, as
he was driving home from work, he heard a radio spot for the Make-A-Wish
Foundation, which grants the wishes of children who have life-threatening
illnesses. Steve thought to himself, "If my baby had one wish, what would it
be?" Instantly, he knew the answer: it would be to live.
From then on, abortion was out of the question for both of us. At some point
I decided to research Trisomy 13 on the Internet. The pictures I saw broke my
heart. The afflicted babies were severely misshapen, sometimes having only one
eye, no nose or a nose on top of the head, malformed genitalia, extra fingers
and toes. That night I told Steve what might await us.
To be honest, I felt shame. "Maybe you should not come into the birthing
room," I suggested...."No," he said. "I don't care what our baby looks like. I
am going to be there with you, and I am going to love him or her no matter
.....Towards the end of the pregnancy, the doctors convinced us that the risk
of miscarriage was negligible, and an amniocentesis would help them know whether
or not to attempt immediate, surgical procedures. Since this was for a valid
medical reason, not just to satisfy our curiosity, we agreed. The amnio results
arrived about two weeks later... and, sadly, we learned that the initial
diagnosis had been correct: our baby girl had Trisomy 13 and was beyond the help
of modern science.
In the early morning of March 4th, my water broke. I woke Steve and told him
it was time for us to go to the hospital. Before we left, we got down on our
knees and prayed. I thanked God for the privilege of carrying our baby. We asked
for a miracle; we asked for God's comfort and peace; we asked for His will to be
done. On the way to the hospital, we sang songs to our little Katie. We had been
told she might be stillborn, so we imagined ourselves dancing with her in afield
When Katie was born, she was blue and still. Steve was praying that I would
just get to hold her for a few minutes before she died. The doctor carried her
to the warming table, and she started to breathe. Finally, they brought her to
me. She seemed perfect, and she had a head full of dark hair. My heart skipped a
beat. Had God healed her? I looked down at her hand and started to count her
fingers. "Don't count," my husband said. Attached to Katie's pinky was a tiny
extra finger, a telltale sign of Trisomy 13.
When Katie showed signs of hunger, I put her to my breast but could not get
her to suckle. The nurses tried to help, but they finally told us we might have
to choose between an IV, a feeding tube, or letting her starve to death.
Reluctant to cause our daughter any discomfort, we were not sure what we should
do. Finally, one of the staff suggested we try a bottle. To our delight, Katie
began to suck at the plastic nipple. We were overjoyed to see her alive and
Since the first indication of Trisomy 13 in October, we had stopped working
on the nursery and avoided baby stores, for the doctor had told us she would
probably live no more than a few hours. So it was with great pleasure that Steve
walked into WalMart the next morning and bought four shopping carts full of baby
accessories. He brought the new car seat into the hospital, and we did what we
had never expected to do: we loaded up our things and we took our daughter home.
We were able to hold, love, and kiss our daughter for two wonderful months.
Steve took a leave of absence from work so that he could spend every possible
moment with her. We explained to friends that Katie was a "special needs" child.
"She needs extra kisses," we said; and we gave her all the kisses we could.
Our precious daughter is gone now, and we miss her terribly. Katie was a gift
from God, and she changed our lives forever. We have wonderful memories and
hundreds of pictures, and someday we hope to see her again in heaven. Those who
urged us to consider abortion did not realize what a huge blessing God had in
store for us. They do not understand that God does not make mistakes.
After 30 Years of Abortion ...Are Women Better Off?
By Kristen Panico
Director of Education, National Organization of Episcopalians for Life
When I recently attended a pro-life conference, I was already aware of all of
the post-abortion statistics, but I didn't really believe them. Then I met the
women whose faces made the numbers real. I saw the heartbreak of infertility.
Hearing from women who had "chosen" abortion brought me to tears.
Most people are aware that once abortion was legalized, it was termed
safe. But after thirty years of abortion, we are now seeing the serious
health consequences of abortion. The truth about the effects of abortion on
women's health needs to be available to women, so they can make an informed
choice. Parents in particular should know the health implications of
abortion. An abortion often seems like the only solution to their daughter's
unplanned pregnancy. In reality abortion can have a devastating impact on her
emotional and physical health, fertility and future pregnancies.
Unfortunately abortionists and the medical community have downplayed the
health risks of abortion. Endangering the physical and emotional health of
millions of women, many we know and love.
So as you read each bullet point below, try to make the data real. Think
of the children who will lose their mother to cancer because of a choice she
made while she was young. Think of the father who grieves for his miscarried
child. Consider the women suffering from a legal, safe, "choice."
• 43% of American women will have at least one abortion by age 45. We all
have friends, coworkers, and neighbors who have had an abortion. Abortion is
creating a women's health crisis.
• In the US, over 140,000 women a year have immediate medical complications
from abortion- problems such as: infection, uterine perforation, hemorrhaging,
• Abortion increases a woman's risk of breast cancer by 30%. A careful study
of international literature shows a woman's risk for developing breast cancer
has increased dramatically since 1960. According to the National Alliance of
Breast Cancer Organizations, back in 1960, 1 in 14 women would develop breast
cancer in her lifetime, currently 1 in 9 women have the chance of developing
• After an abortion there is a higher risk of developing cervical as well as
ovarian cancer. Childbirth actually protects against cancer of the reproductive
system. The conclusion seems to be that if we can avoid abortion, some types of
cancer may be preventable.
• Abortion can lead to infertility, a long-term complication that often goes
undetected for many years. Abortion can lead to infections (such as pelvic
inflammatory disease), as well as uterine scarring. Of particular note to
parents: "Single young women who have never carried a baby to term risk
experiencing greater difficulty [than any other group] in conceiving and
carrying future pregnancies to term."
• Abortion can lead to complications in future pregnancies including:
miscarriage, premature birth, placenta previa, and ectopic pregnancy. How does
this happen? During an abortion the cervix is artificially dilated, this can
weaken the muscle and cause permanent damage leading to miscarriages and
premature birth. The uterus may be perforated and sometimes it is scraped out
with a knife, both leading to scarring. When a woman gets pregnant the newly
fertilized human embryo may have difficulty implanting in the womb because it
cannot attach itself to scar tissue. This can lead to placenta previa (when the
embryo attaches itself to the lower part of the uterus near or over the cervix),
and possible future ectopic pregnancy (when the embryo attaches itself to the
fallopian tube) potentially fatal if not caught early. According to the Centers
for Disease Control: "From 1970 through 1989 more than one million ectopic
pregnancies were estimated to have occurred among women in the United States.
The rate increased almost fourfold from 4.5 to 16.0 ectopic pregnancies per 1000
• In the twelve months following an abortion women have a death rate 4 times
greater than women who continued with their pregnancies. This is a clear sign
that women may be dying from abortion-related causes. It also suggests that
there is a higher suicide rate for abortion than pregnancy. "Although
infrequently, women do die as a result of abortion, yet abortion-related
maternal mortality is generally under-reported. One reason for this is that
codes in hospitals report only the presenting cause of death, not the underlying
reason which, for example, in the case of abortion-related death, might be
hemorrhage, infection, embolism, or ectopic pregnancy." Often staff may
deliberately avoid citing a death as caused by abortion in order to protect the
privacy of the woman. There are other causes of death as well: "Approximately
14% of all deaths from legal abortion in the United States are due to general
• It is minorities who suffer the greatest number of serious complications
and deaths after abortion. "Death from legal abortion is more common among
minority women than white women, women over the age of 35 and those who undergo
the procedure during the second trimester."
• In a recent survey, post-abortive women who were seeking counseling
reported: an increased use of drugs and/or alcohol to deaden their pain,
reoccurring insomnia and nightmares, eating disorders that began after the
abortion, suicidal feelings, and many even attempted suicide. Sadly, many in the
psychiatric community deny any serious emotional trauma after an abortion. This
does not mean that it does not exist. It took years for the medical community to
recognize Post Traumatic Stress in Vietnam Veterans. Ironically women who have
undergone abortion often fit the psychiatric profile for diagnosing someone
suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This article outlines the physical and emotional consequences of abortion.
But we must remember the real women who suffer in silence every time we see a
statistic. Since abortion was legalized the number of reproductive health
problems is increasing. This information is crucial because the right to choose
is meaningless without the right to know.
When we look at the evidence, it is clear that although early activists
promoted abortion as a solution to many problems, the data reveals new ones, and
the old issues haven't gone away. In light of the 30th anniversary of Roe v.
Wade (January 22, 2003) we must ask: "After thirty years of legal abortion, are
women really better off?" Maybe you could ponder this question with your family
For further information contact NOEL at 1-800-707-6635. (NOEL was renamed
Anglicans for Life in March 2007,
A Matter of the Heart
Fr. Frank Pavone, Founding Director of Priests for Life
Priests for Life thanks the United States bishops for their statement "A
Matter of the Heart," issued in observance of the upcoming thirtieth anniversary
of Roe vs. Wade (see