Student Lobby Day has become so popular that we plan to hold multiple days this school year. Teachers of biology, civics, history, home schoolers, scout leaders, etc may arrange days. We would suggest 15 - 30 students age middle school and up, although younger siblings might be able to join. We provide presentations by legislators, briefings on right to life legislation, lunch, and a private tour of the State House.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Adorable pictures have been pouring in. We know there are loads more darling babies out there. Please be sure to enter your baby by Thursday at midnight.
I want to remind you, also, that you may vote online or on Facebook from March 1 to March 6. Be sure you get people to vote for your favorite baby.
It is so easy to see the face of God in baby faces! Anne
Friday, February 22, 2013
Paul Swope worked at Mass Citizens for many years as Director of Development and Executive Director. This is the second in a series of his articles that are most interesting to anyone toiling in the right to life vineyard.
NB, Paul has been undergoing some pretty serious medical treatment. I'm sure he and Jenny and the family would appreciate your prayers for his full recovery.
American Thinker, February 22, 2013
A New Understanding of the Trauma of Abortion By Charles T. Kenny, Ph.D. and Paul Swope
The pro-life movement has long endeavored to understand the complex emotional struggle behind a woman's decision to continue or abort an unplanned pregnancy. To explore the dynamics of this dilemma and to aid pro-life groups in assisting women in crisis, the Vitae Foundation in Jefferson City, Missouri pioneered a series of landmark studies on women and abortion. Unlike previous research, these revolutionary studies focused neither on the moral reasoning of the pro-life movement, nor on attitudinal surveys that yield primarily statistical snapshots, but on independent psychological analysis of women's hidden, emotional response to pregnancy, abortion, and motherhood. The interviews followed Right Brain ResearchTM methodology: lengthy one-on-one interviews lasting 75 to 110 minutes, utilizing visualization, repetition, and relaxation techniques to access the emotional mind and uncover deeply seated emotional needs and barriers, often with very surprising results.
The first project, "Abortion As the Least of Three Evils -- Understanding the Psychological Dynamics of How Women Feel About Abortion," was published in summary form by First Things under the title "Abortion: A Failure to Communicate"(1998). The findings from a cross-section of women of child-bearing age, were groundbreaking, and became the most requested article since First Things was founded.
The second project, titled "How Women Make Decisions About Unwanted Pregnancies," is the subject of this article. It focused on women who had already been pregnant and it sought to uncover the dynamics behind the decision to keep, adopt, or abort a child. The findings provided deep insights into the stages that women who face a surprise pregnancy experience: suspicion, then fear, then denial, then panic. As one participant explained:
"Denial...I kept telling myself that maybe it's just pre-period soreness. I can't be pregnant. No way. It would ruin my life... I don't know what I'd do. It would end my career. I might end up homeless. I didn't trust my boyfriend... That's it... scared, worried and denying that it's possible."
Once the reality has set in, a woman faces the key question: to keep or to abort the child. The adoption question is essentially a subset of the decision to keep the child. Generally, she only confronts adoption as a possibility after deciding to give birth to the baby. From a counseling point of view then, it is counterproductive to force the adoption question in the beginning.
The study also enumerated a number of factors that lie behind the decision to keep or to abort, including an umbrella concept ("Psychological Kernel") with three main findings that ties all the research together:
Women carry an unwanted pregnancy to term when guilt wins out over shame, when they feel that the pregnancy will not end their own current and future selves, and that the unborn will be better off alive than dead.
Expanding on each of these three crucial insights is the subject of this article. First, however, it is important to note that none of these three findings have much to do with biology (Is it a baby?), or abstract moral reasoning (Is abortion right or wrong?). Instead, the insights revolve around how the woman feels about herself, and only secondarily about the baby, but only within the context of the woman's own immediate situation. Understanding this dynamic is essential to reaching these women.
The first finding of the Psychological Kernel is that a woman will choose to keep her child if feelings of guilt about the decision to abort are stronger than feelings of shame about public judgment resulting from continuing the unwanted pregnancy. Put another way, if a woman's sense of self-worth centers more on how she will view herself, as opposed to how she believes others will view her, then she is most likely to keep her child. Here is how one woman described it:
"If I had an abortion it would change me completely... I would have been very bitter and disappointed with myself. I try to be a good person. It is a human being. I could not live with the guilt."
This woman chose to keep her child.
For a woman who is more concerned about shame than guilt, she can focus on the ideas like "...sex before marriage is a sin, the baby is a terrible mistake, and people will judge me as a bad person. I fear being rejected by others. I will abort the baby so no one will know and I will not be rejected by others." After all, abortion at least keeps the pregnancy and its consequences private. In essence, to avoid public shame, a woman will risk the lifelong burden of private guilt. In many cases, deep-seated regret surfaced years later, causing anxiety and depression.
A second dynamic identified in the Kernel is that a woman chooses to keep the child when she feels that pregnancy will not destroy her current and future "self." Abortion is a fairly common choice today partly because many modern women have not incorporated the idea of motherhood into their self-image, their ideas and feelings about who they are. Pregnancy and motherhood completely shatter some women's idea of who they are and who they plan to be. In their minds, motherhood is equated with a kind of death.
This insight has far-reaching consequences for the pro-life movement. Whether right or wrong in the abstract, under the panic of this life-changing crisis, abortion can seem to align itself with the deep and universal instinct of self-preservation. When this instinct is pitted against a more distant and abstract consideration of the value of the nascent life, many women choose abortion. The pro-life tendency to focus exclusively on the child, rather than on the woman's own circumstances and emotional needs, only deepens the woman's sense of isolation and despair -- the very emotions that often lead her to choose abortion.
Conversely, a woman who chooses to keep her child might have a more developed maternal instinct. She might imagine and look forward to the idea of being a mother. To abort her child would be a kind of death, in this case the death of her "maternal self."
Obviously this dynamic plays out in how women view the unborn child. For those who are more centered on their individual future and how a child would destroy such plans, the unborn child tends to be dehumanized. As one participant stated:
"Abortion is done early. I don't see it as an entity. Once you have gone through pregnancy and delivery, you form an attachment. It would be difficult to give a baby up at that point. Not knowing where the baby is or who it is with. With abortion you know what happened. There are no questions."
This statement highlights a theme throughout the research. In crisis mode, many women seek a final and quick resolution, regardless of its moral content. Abortion offers closure. For these women, both motherhood and adoption are more complicated, longer lasting, and thus less attractive.
The third dimension of the Kernel uncovered is that a woman will choose life if she believes the unborn child is better off alive than dead. This may seem obvious, but the situation into which the child is to be born in a crisis pregnancy is far from ideal. In fact, other women argue that preserving the child's life is not virtuous. They do not necessarily equate abortion with selfishness or keeping the baby with altruism. They wonder, "Is it altruistic to bring a child into a world of poverty, violence, foster homes, and neglect? Is it really clear that preserving the embryo is an absolute moral imperative, when weighed against the lifelong suffering as a result of bringing an unwanted pregnancy to term?" Pro-lifers may disagree with this reasoning, but we dismiss it at our peril if our goal is to reach, understand and help women in crisis.
Some married women with children reported choosing abortion because they felt carrying to term would threaten either their marriage or the overall stability of the current family. One woman, who described herself as "pro-child," cited her own happy childhood as a basis for choosing abortion, as she believed every child deserved to be born into better circumstances than her immediate situation.
There are many layers underlying the decision to keep or abort a child. There are findings that apply to all women interviewed, but there is also a unique aspect of the crisis as each woman experiences it. What happens, for example, when a woman has a very high "shame" concern, but also a strong maternal instinct? What if a woman loves children but finds herself in a seemingly impossible material situation? The findings show that if these women override their own conscience and choose abortion, they are likely to face extreme emotional trauma and crippling guilt.
Many women report how urgently they need gentle, loving guidance when struggling with their decision. Many report that they would never have aborted if they had found such help. Most of the women did not have deep trust or confidence in their boyfriends or in the ability of their marriage and family situation to accommodate another child. Rather than relying on their parents, whom they felt were controlling rather than supporting, they longed for a female confidante who could have listened to them as they expressed their emotional turmoil and helped them explore their options.
The implications for pro-life counseling are clear. Pro-lifers may believe they have the high moral ground, but a woman in crisis will not turn to one if she perceives that person to be preachy, rigid, or manipulative. Even a woman with pro-life instincts may default to abortion if it appears to solve her fear of public shame, her loss of self, or even her concern for the child's future. This is a tragic miscalculation, but the pro-life community must help women realize what is happening to them on an emotional level within their own and psychological framework.
Decision-making at this stage hinges on emotional and circumstantial factors, rather than moral or intellectual ones. It suggests that counselors should focus on open-ended questions about the woman's family, her relatives and friends, her expectations, fears, and hopes. There is certainly a role for offering ultrasound imaging of the unborn child, as this helps the woman reconnect with her maternal self, but only if offered in a non-judgmental context.
In summary, it is not likely that the pro-life message will be persuasive to a woman who is focused on her perception of public shame, on her own career and future, and who either dehumanizes the unborn child, or justifies abortion as a way to avoid bringing a child into an unstable situation. It is also doubtful that pro-lifers need to spend their resources reaching out to women at the other extreme, for whom abortion is out of the question. The women who most need help and support are those who fall into the "conflicted middle," women for whom abortion is troubling but may appear to offer resolution. It is hoped that the insights uncovered in this research project can aid those who work to help such women, sparing those facing an unwanted pregnancy from making a decision that may haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
How the Left Dupes Conservative VotersBy J. R. Dunn, American thinker, 3/19/13
Too little serious conservative analysis of the 2012 presidential campaign has yet appeared. This is understandable. The results of the election were disheartening to the point of shock. The campaign defied all historical precedent, all commonsense interpretation. The Romney ticket should not have lost and did not deserve to lose. The Democrats, fielding the least worthy ticket in the past century -- and that's saying something -- did not deserve to win.
The reasons they did are myriad and complex. But before we get too far down the road, there is one lesson that has to be grasped: the left has our number. As far as electoral politics in the United States is concerned, the progressive political machine has figured out how to manipulate conservatives in order to get the political results that they desire. They have done this repeatedly, and with mounting success. They will continue to do so as long as they are allowed to get away with it.
The left is not manipulating conservatism as a whole, but they don't need conservatism as a whole. They need only a small percentage of conservative voters. In many cases a few percentage points are all that is required to swing a close election. By trial and error over the past decade, the American left has developed a method of obtaining control over those few percentage points in a limited but crucial number of contests.
This method is aimed at the most unworldly and least experienced members of the conservative coalition: religious believers, single-issue voters such as gun owners, and newly-recruited voters who became involved in the tea party movement over the past four years. The program operates counterintuitively, by manipulating the beliefs and convictions of the voters to misdirect or negate their political activities. Rather than persuade voters to act against their own interests or to vote against their convictions, the left, with the aid of the media, manipulates those very convictions -- public morality with religious voters, conservative ideology with traditionalists or tea party voters, and various stances on single issues, to persuade voters to waste their votes on obscure or bogus candidates, to throw support to hopeless or seriously flawed "pure" candidates, and in some cases not to vote at all.
This tactic surfaced in the 2000 election, almost by sheer accident. On November 2, WPXT reporter Erin Fehlbau seemingly stumbled over a story of national significance while covering an unrelated trial. According to a local cop, somebody had unearthed evidence that George W. Bush had been involved in a 1976 drunk-driving case.
"Somebody" turned out to be Tom Connolly, a Democratic political operative who had acted as a delegate to the national convention and had previously run for state governor. Connolly, lo and behold, was right around the corner, and was able to give Fehlbau the complete lowdown, including dates and docket number. Fehlbau happily ran off with her story, morally certain that she had been in no way manipulated -- a claim she makes to this day.
In truth, she had been manipulated as thoroughly and completely as the average Philip K. Dick character. At least two other reporters, Susan Kimball of the Portland NBC affiliate WCSH-TV and David Hench, police reporter for the Portland Press Herald, were tipped at the same time. Somebody really wanted the story to roll.
And roll it did. Fehlbau was featured on that evening's Nightline, and the story ran on front pages (remember those?) across the country the next day. The consensus was that Bush had lied (he'd done no such thing, he merely hadn't mentioned a piece of ancient history), that he probably still drank, and there might well be truth in rumors about hard drug use.
Connolly leapt into the picture, patting himself on the back for his heroism and cleverness, claiming to have changed history, and even providing a rationale -- according to him, the number of drunk drivers was already dangerously high without putting one in the White House. Unmentioned then or later was who else was involved. (Political insiders believe that it was Gore campaign panjandrum Chris LeHane, who was from Maine and had plenty of connections in the area, including Connolly himself.)
The story had a clear effect on the campaign. Bush, who had been steadily gaining momentum and led in several polls, began to stall out. The weekend left him little time to refute the story, and the election went down to the wire as a nail biter. The endgame was in fact historic: Bush eked out a bare victory by hanging onto Florida's electors with little over 500 votes. Aided by several bizarre rulings by the Florida Supreme Court, the Gore campaign did everything possible to overthrow the vote count. Five weeks passed before the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in to bring the circus to an end.
Karl Rove, whose somewhat mysterious reputation as electoral wizard did not easily survive the incident, states that the stratagem cost Bush 2% of the vote, losing him at least four states by 1% or less -- New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Oregon. The voters lost were mostly Fundamentalists or Evangelicals deeply disturbed to learn that Bush was a man who took a drink.
The episode left serious marks on the American body politic. It crippled the Bush administration at its very start, even as the Jihadis were preparing to strike. It provided a stab-in-the-back myth for the Democrats, which they used to rally their more loopy followers. It blessed Al Gore with a bogus halo of martyrdom, which he parlayed into vast wealth as a kind of revival-tent environmentalist and at last as a spokesman and partner with the Jihadi-supporting Al Jazeera network. None of those involved, from Connolly to LeHane, has ever expressed a word of regret. Why should they? They had a whole new tactic to exploit.
Corruption goes back a long way in American presidential politics, as the "Corrupt Bargain" and Watergate will attest. But the drunk-driving stratagem was something new -- never before had anyone nearly pocketed the White House by subverting a candidate's deepest and most serious supporters. This tactic had vast possibilities, possibilities that the Democrats have explored in many an election since.
In 2006, after two elections spent banging their heads against Bush's early popularity, the Democrats hit on the tactic of running Blue Dogs -- Democrats with a few surface conservative characteristics. One of the most important from an electoral standpoint was a good rating with the NRA, something possessed by a number of candidates, among them James Webb of Virginia. Although the NRA was questioned over this, it refused to modify its policy of endorsing highly-rated candidates and ended up doing exactly what the Democrats hoped: funneling voters toward an entire squadron of Trojan horse candidates. Numerous voters to whom gun rights were dominant voted according to their usual practice for candidates supported by the NRA, despite the fact that this new run of Blue Dogs opposed everything else they might believe. It was a case of missing the forest in favor of a single tree. While the candidate in question might well be a hunter or an avid gun collector, his election accomplished nothing beyond providing numbers and support for a party adamantly opposed to both the NRA and gun owners everywhere.
The tactic played out superbly (despite the presence of the GOP's resident Merlin Karl Rove working the opposite side), contributing strongly to that year's turnaround in Democratic fortunes. Many of the Blue Dogs won, including Webb -- granted that Republican George Allen gave him a welcome hand with the "Macaca" fiasco. (In short order, Webb wrecked his own political career, ironically enough by means of a confused scandal involving an illegal pistol, in the process humiliating not only himself, but also Congress and the NRA, an unusual triple-header.)
But the new Democratic tactics came onto their own in the wake of 2008 and the appearance of the tea parties as a political force. The tea parties in large part involved the influx of large numbers of Americans who, for a variety of reasons, had previously avoided or overlooked politics. With the election of Obama came the realization that this was no longer a viable option. What followed was a mass internal migration into active politics. The problem lay in the fact that many of these voters, though often of high intelligence and educational achievement, had no previous experience with politics. They had no idea of the amount of sleaze, corruption, and dishonesty that surrounded even the simplest political operation. This naiveté made them easy prey for any determined political operative. The fact that the Republican and conservative establishments chose to regard them as an annoyance rather than potential allies left them wide open to exploitation by the Democrats.
The 2010 Nevada senate race opened as a single combat between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle. But then a third-party candidate named Scott Ashjian appeared, representing the "Tea Party of Nevada." Ashjian gave no speeches, did no campaigning, and granted no interviews, simply ran ads underlining his tea party credentials, though no one in the movement had either heard of or would vouch for him. Ashjian, it turned out, was a lawyer with Democratic connections whose claim to fame was representing John Wayne Bobbit, the noted near-eunuch and porn star.
The Ashjian campaign provided just enough confusion and distraction to undermine GOP efforts. Reid, who needed all the help he could get, squeezed out a victory and returned to Washington to not lead the Senate, not offer budgets, and not get bills passed.
But it was 2012 when the technique reached its apotheosis with the campaign of Todd Akin. Claire McCaskill of Missouri was (and is) an incompetent senator of no discernable attainment, widely considered to be the most vulnerable incumbent in the country. Two personable and capable conservatives, Sarah Steelman and John Brunner, were vying for the opportunity to run against her.
But then appeared Todd Akin, an engineer with a spotty and unimpressive political record. No sooner had Akin announced than a parade of TV ads appeared accusing him of being the "most conservative candidate", far more so than his rivals. The odd thing was that these were paid for by the Democratic Party. Opposing parties do not usually run ads involving one another's primaries. Yet the Democrats spent something on the order of $1.5 to $2 million on a series of don't-throw-me-in-that-briar-patch ads transparently designed to call attention to Akin.
They worked. Missouri's Republican voters turned out to vote for Akin with the alacrity of Pavlov's dogs sensing a treat. While it was more than apparent what had transpired, there was little to be done on the national level but shrug and hope for the best.
Until, that is, Akin began a series of obtuse blurts the most well-known of which was his 12th-century treatise on female biology. Like a heat-seeking warhead, Akin had aimed himself at the most sensitive bloc of independent voters, extremely skittish and suspicious of the GOP, blowing apart any chance of holding onto it.
National media moved in like hyenas. GOP candidates across the country condemned Akin (as if they had any choice) while the GOP vowed to deprive him of funding. Requests from around the compass were made for Akin to step down.
It is here that case pressed by Akin supporters (and they do exist, even today) falls apart. Any candidate of principle, on learning that he was the handpicked favorite of the opposition, would think twice, would reconsider his options, would at least condemn the attempt to utilize him against his own party. Akin did none of those things. He simply trundled on blank-eyed, like a cyborg sent back by Skywatch to destroy the GOP.
The NRC relented and granted Akin funding. Several of the more thoughtful and discerning GOP politicians, among them Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, came out in his support. It all availed nothing. Akin went down to inevitable defeat and the worst senator in the country returned to Washington for another term.
The Akin candidacy had effects far beyond Missouri. Democrats used it in attempts to tar other Republicans, including vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan. It played directly into the favorite media stereotype of conservatives as medieval halfwits. It nullified GOP efforts to woo undecided female voters.
But more than that, it served as proof of concept, demonstrating that it was possible to make an entire state's roster of conservative voters behave as if they'd been Tasered. This is a remarkable achievement, whatever you may think of Akin or his Democratic manipulators, one that points toward even more extravagant possibilities in the future.
(Akin himself has not completely dropped out of sight. AT received an email from him several weeks ago speculating on the upcoming and inevitable Rapture. Which begs the question as to why he was running for the Senate in first place. Speaking for myself, about the last place I'd want to be caught on Judgment Day, apart from a whorehouse or an adult bookstore, would be the U.S. Congress.)
As for the presidential election, damping the Romney vote would have been child's play for a political organization capable of pulling off the Akin maneuver. Was such an attempt made? It's doubtful that the Dems let the opportunity simply pass. If we consider that the biggest factor in Romney's defeat was the large but unknowable number of diehards who refused to vote for the RINO (some estimates put the number being as high as 2 to 3 million), some light begins to dawn. There were throughout 2012 no end of comment threads, tweets, and Facebook postings urging exactly such action, by people operating anonymously who vanished as soon as the election was over. It's more than likely many of these were on somebody's payroll. Their effect is impossible to gauge, but that they did damp the Romney vote to some extent is just as difficult to deny. Such efforts will become more common, heated, and open in upcoming elections.
Efforts to manipulate the 2014 election are already apparent. Recently, the Democrats launched an attempt to manipulate the Kentucky senatorial elections by forming an alliance with local tea parties. The president of the Louisville Tea Party, Sarah Durand, was approached by Democratic operatives promising a seven-figure investment in the overthrow of Mitch McConnell, the GOP bête noire of many of the woollier tea party factions. The Democratic organizations included MoveOn and Progress Kentucky along with the party SuperPAC.
In truth, the Kentucky effort appears to be aimed at Rand Paul, the state's junior senator and one of the big tea party success stories. Paul struck up an unexpected friendship with McConnell (which in itself tends to undercut the case against the minority leader). McConnell's experience and skill coupled with Paul's brashness and enthusiastic following represents a nightmare for Democratic planners. It should be expected that they'd go to extreme lengths to break any such team up. Do Durand and the other state tea party leaders grasp this? (Sen. Paul himself has doubts that the Kentucky tea parties will become involved in any such effort.)
This puts a new perspective on Karl Rove's recent announcement concerning his "Conservative Victory Project" to vet and support winning GOP congressional candidates. There is in fact an argument for close examination of potential candidates to avoid another Akin -- that is, a candidate selected and supported by liberal Democrats for the sole purpose of undercutting the GOP. But that's not how Rove chose to put it. With his customary combination of perspicacity and class, he instead portrayed himself as the last man on the establishment ramparts, defending traditional blue-blazer Republicanism from the unwashed hordes in their NASCAR ballcaps. With his rhetoric, his posturing, and his choice of a media platform (that conservative stalwart the New York Times), Rove could not have done more to provoke the Republican rank and file. A political technician of good will would have reached out to the tea parties, called a conference, gone over the problem, and presented alternative solutions acceptable to all sides of the conservative coalition. Rove did none of those things in favor of something on the order of a nuclear first strike carried out with the help of left-wing media allies. Unfortunately for him, most of his missiles seem to have exploded in their silos.
Which leaves the problem itself unaddressed. We can only hope that Rove's actions have not rendered the topic radioactive. Some form of organizational and institutional countermeasures must be put in place. We cannot depend on people with otherwise busy lives and full days to attain a lifetime worth of political sophistication in the period of a few years. Those who do dedicate their lives to practical politics must act as watchmen. They must be doubly careful in choosing and promoting candidates. They must be honest and honorable. They must look past the single issues. They must keep an eye open for torpedoes launched only to destroy the conservative cause.
The left has been conning us. But as the old saying goes, you can't con an honest man. If we live up to our best selves, as conservatives and Americans, we can beat this tactic.
Now you may submit pictures for the Walk Baby Contest online as well as through the mail. The Contest is appearing in a new form. You and everyone you know will be able to vote online for your favorite picture!
Babies entered in the contest will be identified online by first name only. Parents may contact their families and friends through telephone, email, Twitter, or Facebook and encourage them to check out our Facebook page and vote!
To be eligible for the contest, babies must be between 6 and 24 months of age. Photos are non-returnable, become the property of MCFL, and submission gives MCFL permission to use the photo in this contest. Photos will be posted in an MCFL Photo Gallery on Facebook, and voting will be based on number of "Likes" each photo receives. Please check out and "Like" our Facebook page by clicking firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts Citizens for Life
529 Main Street, 1M9 Charlestown, MA 02129
With the children home this week, it is a good time to pick the best picture and submit it. We have the most darling pro-life children! Anne
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Mass. Citizens is non-sectarian but I think pro-lifers of any faith or no faith share a deep respect for Pope Benedict. His clear teachings have been such a help to us, his humility and kind approach have been such an inspiration for us.
I think you might enjoy this quote I had saved from a talk Benedict gave last week. Blessings, Anne
"Dear brothers and sisters, to live by faith is to recognize the greatness of God and accept our smallness, our condition as creatures, letting the Lord fill us with his love. Evil, with its load of pain and suffering, is a mystery that is illuminated by the light of faith, which gives us the certainty of being able to be freed from it, the certainty that it is good to be human."
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Jill Stanek reports on her blog the full story of Leroy Carharts' two most recent victims. This one really takes your breath away - not just Carhart but all the choices made that led up to this awful tragedy. Thanks to Jill! Anne
I did not report on the death last week of a patient of late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart because I did not have corroboration.
I now do.
Carhart's alleged victims were 29-year-old Jennifer McKenna Morbelli, pictured right, and her 33-week-old preborn daughter, Madison Leigh. Read their obituary here.
My sincere sympathies go to Jennifer and Madison's family, who is certainly suffering unimaginable grief.
I have confirmed the identities of the victims through two sources. After a name ID was received from an impeccable informant, sidewalk counselors at the abortion clinic positively identified Jennifer's obituary photo. Jennifer's obituary also states she "passed away suddenly."
Following is the information and timeline pieced together through those and other sources. Operation Rescue's Cheryl Sullenger is to be commended for her work exposing this terrible tragedy.
Jennifer was married and a kindergarten teacher at Church Street Elementary School in White Plains, New York. Jennifer was carrying a wanted baby. At present her registry is still online. Very sad to view.
Approximately two weeks ago Jennifer learned her daughter suffered from fetal anomalies.
Jennifer, her husband, her parents, and her sister traveled to Carhart's late-term Germantown Reproductive Health Services abortion clinic in Germantown, Maryland.
They began the abortion process on Sunday, February 3, in the afternoon, according to sidewalk counselors who maintain a constant presence at the clinic when it is open. They noted Jennifer appeared "very" late-term.
According to those counselors, Sunday is when Carhart kills late-term babies by lethal injection into the heart through the mothers' abdominal wall.
Jennifer and her family returned on Monday, presumably to begin the labor induction process by insertion of laminaria or prostaglandins to dilate the cervix, and again on Tuesday.
They likely spent each night at a nearby hotel, as is the usual process for a multi-day, late-term abortion at Carhart's Germantown clinic.
The family returned again on Wednesday, presumably for the delivery of Jennifer's dead baby Madison, staying nine hours, an extraordinary length of time. They left at 4:35 p.m.
Each day sidewalk counselors noted in real-time annotations that Jennifer appeared more and more pale.
Carhart and his wife Mary Lou left soon afterward. The two typically fly out on Wednesday afternoons to either Indianapolis, Indiana, or Bellevue, Nebraska, to commit abortions on Thursdays. Carhart is what's known as a "circuit rider" abortionist.
Family members told hospital personnel they had tried to reach Carhart several times, but he did not return their calls.
At approximately 9:00 a.m. Jennifer coded. She coded a total of six times before she was pronounced dead at about 10:00 a.m.
It was during this time Carhart called the hospital. He never showed up.
A medical examiner was called due to the unusual circumstance of an otherwise healthy 29-year-old suddenly dying. The examiner spend 4-1/2 hours with the patient's chart. The Washington Post reported yesterday that both the medical examiner and Montgomery County Police Department are conducting an investigation.
Carhart's clinic licensed the day before Morbelli died
It is not known whether the State of Maryland will close down Carhart's mill, pending investigations. Ironically, the state enacted abortion clinic regulations that went into effect in November 2012. On the day before Morbelli died, the state licensed 17 abortion clinics, including Carhart's, but without ever inspecting them.
LeRoy Carhart is likely the most prominent abortionist in America.
Carhart was the plaintiff in two U.S. Supreme Court cases, Stenberg v. Carhart in 2000, which he won and which forced the State of Nebraska to overturn its ban against partial birth abortions; and Gonzales v. Carhart in 2007, which he lost and allowed the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban to stand.
Jennifer and her family came to Carhart for help, albeit misguided, and he irrevocably destroyed them.
Friday, February 8, 2013
Please read below that the Vermont Doctor Prescribed Suicide bill, which the Senate Judiciary Committee opposes is being rushed to a vote next week. We are not constituents or donors to those legislators, but we can pray.
If it passes in Vermont, it will be the first legislature (after 120 defeats) to vote to help people to kill themselves and our victory on Question 2 here in MA will have much less impact helping others around the country. Snow and prayers - great combo. Thanks, Anne------
- VTDigger - http://vtdigger.org -
Senate Judiciary sends death with dignity to Senate floor without its blessing
Posted By Nat Rudarakanchana On February 8, 2013 @ 2:57 pm In Recent | No Comments
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-1 on Friday to send the controversial "death with dignity" bill to the Senate floor early next week, despite the panel's disapproval of the legislation.
It's an unusual move, but Senate President John Campbell, D-Quechee, has said in recent weeks that whatever the Judiciary Committee decides, the bill will be debated on the floor, thanks to pressure from his Democratic caucus.
As expected, the Judiciary Committee voted against the bill. Committee Chairman Dick Sears, a Bennington Democrat, is firmly opposed to the bill, as he has been for years.
Although Sears has a whole raft of problems with the bill, which he called "poorly drafted" and full of items which are "just plain wrong," his biggest objection stems from the "absolute rejection of this by the [Vermont] Medical Society and most of the doctors that I represent in Bennington County."
"What I've heard loud and clear is: 'Don't put me in this position" from my docs [doctors]," said Sears after the vote. He added that objections from the disability community also worry him.
Sears called Campbell's decision to force a full debate unusual but fair.
"My preference would be to follow the committee process; if the bill doesn't have the votes, it doesn't get out. But on this particular issue, enough people felt that it deserved the vote of the Senate," said Sears.
According to Senate Secretary John Bloomer, the last time a similar exception happened was in 2010, on a bill related to Vermont Yankee, coming out of the Senate Finance Committee.
Sen. Joe Benning, a Republican from Lyndonville and the party's minority leader in the Senate, voted against the bill in committee, but said that Senate Republicans do not have a unified position on the bill, which opponent brand as "physician assisted suicide." He said they will vote according to their consciences, without party pressure to vote for or against.
Sen. Tim Ashe, a Burlington Democrat, was the lone voice for the legislation in the Judiciary Committee. But Ashe also wants to amend the bill, to make it clear that whoever signs the patient's death certificate must list the cause of death as a terminal illness or natural causes, rather than the lethal medication allowed to patients if the bill passes.
Ashe, who's drafted several substantive amendments, wants his detailed changes to be considered, and fears that the bill might run afoul of a tight schedule, given the insistence with which senators are requesting a floor vote soon.
"I just hope that we, next week, don't become a slave to a schedule, in a manner that is inconsistent with taking up the issues," said Ashe in committee.
"I think we all agree that when we're talking about life and death, the details matter, and the concept isn't the only part of the equation," he said earlier in the meeting.
Sears dismissed the thought that the bill is now being rushed through the legislative process, but added: "We'll see if it's going to get rushed through next week. If we don't have time to make amendments and properly consider those amendments, then I'd say it was being rushed."
The bill will be heard on the Senate floor on Tuesday morning, a date specially picked to ensure that all senators can attend and vote. The first order of the day will be to approve or reject the Judiciary's Committee rejection of the bill, which would be the first formal indicator of the overall Senate's sentiment on the bill.
"I think it's a very close vote," added Sears after the meeting. "I don't think there's any question about that. I think both sides have probably 12 or 13 solid votes, either yes or no. I think there's four or five senators who are really undecided."
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
"Did you fail to rescue those who were being dragged off to death, those tottering, those near death, because you said, "We didn't know about it?" Surely, the Searcher of hearts knows and will repay all according to their deeds." (Proverbs 24:11-12)
40 Days for Life is a national, ecumenical prolife effort that consists of 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion and peaceful vigil outside abortion facilities. The campaign is run twice a year -- once during Lent, and once in the fall -- in hundreds of cities across the country.
The upcoming Lenten campaign will run from February 13 – March 24, 2013 in hundreds of cities including six Massachusetts locations – Attleboro, Boston, Haverhill, Lynn, Springfield, and Worcester -- and you are invited to join in this spiritual work of mercy.
Incredibly, we are in the 40th year of abortion on demand in our country, fueled by a culture that has lost track of God's plan for sexuality. This evil in our midst demands faith in action, and as Christians, our action has to be both peaceful and prayerful. By participating in 40 Days for Life, praying outside an abortion facility, we stand in the gap, shoulder to shoulder, in public defense of the Culture of Life. As the Body of Christ, we cannot afford to be on the sidelines in this spiritual battle, especially right before a critical election.
When we pray in front of an abortion facility, we demonstrate clearly that we do not accept the deadly "solution" offered to women who find themselves pregnant in a difficult situation. Our presence reminds passersby what is going on inside the building they drive by every day. Our presence gives teens and young women who don't really want to have an abortion the encouragement to explore other options and make the choice for life. Season after season we see that, when caring people are praying on the sidewalks, a number of young mothers walk away from their abortion appointment and accept the help they need to give their baby life.
Given how entrenched abortion has become in our society, we can at times fall prey to the temptation to think that this evil will always be with us. If we do so, we deny God's promise to us: "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land"(2 Chr 7:14). During the upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign, we will bring to God in prayer the tremendous evil of abortion in our community and ask Him to change hearts and minds and lead all people to the saving power of Christ. We will pray for those who work in the abortion industry as well as for the many women and men who've been hurt by abortion.
We hope you will consider being a part of 40 Days for Life this Lent. Participation in the campaign can take many forms: praying at one of the public vigils, remembering the campaign in your daily prayers, fasting in support of the campaign, etc. But of course the most visible is the public vigil. We need people who are willing to take a public stand. If you would be interested in covering a block of time at the vigil, you can pick the day and time that work best for you.
Join us, and take a stand for life.
40 Days for Life locations in Massachusetts for the Spring 2013 campaign:
40 DAYS FOR LIFE – ATTLEBORO, MA
Four Women, Inc.
150 Emory St.
40 DAYS FOR LIFE – BOSTON, MA – **new campaign!!**
1055 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
40 DAYS FOR LIFE – HAVERHILL, MA
Merrimack Valley Women's Health Services
288 Groveland Street
Haverhill, MA 01830
40 DAYS FOR LIFE – LYNN, MA
Rev. Paul McManus
North Shore Women's Center
40 DAYS FOR LIFE – SPRINGFIELD
Planned Parenthood of League of Massachusetts
40 DAYS FOR LIFE – WORCESTER
Sandra Kucharski, Communications Coordinator, email@example.com
or Lee Crowley, Church Coordinator, 508-887-1064