“I’m With Them”: the Female Paradox of Praying at Planned Parenthood

A guest post for the upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign.

It was the March for Life Weekend, 2012. I called my dad to hear a familiar voice and was talking with him about snow conditions on the ski trails back home as I rounded the corner from K Street to 16th and saw the scene outside Planned Parenthood. A mass of people stood outside the clinic, some of them in heavy winter coats, some of them in religious habits, and some of them wearing the brightly colored vests of a Planned Parenthood escort.

I felt a sudden lurch in the pit of my stomach as I realized what I was about to do. I was about to pluck my growing pro-life conviction out of abstract theory and plant it solidly in reality in front of the Washington D.C. Planned Parenthood. For the first time, I was about to pray in front of an abortion clinic.

I have not always been pro-life. In fact, I had been to Planned Parenthood many times before, though not to pray in front of it. The grace of God and the patience of some exceptional Catholics brought me back to full communion with the Catholic Church after almost 10 years away. What I felt as I walked up to the clinic that morning with this new conviction still fusing itself onto my heart was what I imagine the prodigal son must have felt as he drew near his home…before he realized his dad was happy to see him.

As I drew near the clinic, a young woman wearing a bright escort vest approached me.

She smiled at me. I smiled at her. With an outstretched hand and true empathy in her voice, she said, “I’m so sorry about these protestors, can I walk you inside?”

I stopped, looked her in the eye and said: “Thank you. But I’m with them.”

She looked bewildered as I fell in line among the ‘protestors’, fished a rosary from my pocket with a trembling hand, and
began to pray.here could have been many reasons for her confusion. But, I’ll venture a guess that the most glaring one was that she did not understand how a woman like me – young, seemingly normal and not dressed in a medieval religious habit – could possibly be pro-life, and actively so. I remembered having the same kind of confusion.

“I’m with them.”

A common refrain from pro-choice advocates against the pro-life movement is that those who are pro-life simply do not understand the earth-shattering reality of an unplanned pregnancy. In order to speak about abortion, one must have some experiential knowledge of the tragedy or at least the potential for the experience. Without this understanding you are automatically disqualified from the conversation.

With this line of reasoning, men who pray in front of these clinics are easy to dismiss. Their Y chromosome renders them incapable of understanding the hopelessness of an unplanned pregnancy. Therefore, their opinions on the subject do not matter and their presence outside the clinic is laughable at best and insulting at worst.

But women? Women should know better. Women are supposed to understand the truly complicated and heart wrenching sets of circumstances that would cause one of our sisters to darken an abortion clinic’s door.

A truly compassionate woman, says the pro-choice sympathizer, must see that abortion, while perhaps regrettable, is the only way to level a playing field that is rigged against women. At the very least, she certainly would never dream to tell another woman what to do with her body. How could any self-respecting woman, especially one of a specific age and demographic, be anything but pro-choice? How could any woman not understand?

I know now that these arguments are not only among the “greatest hits” talking points from pro-choice advocates; they are also lies, every one of them. And no lie can stand forever. The truth is that there are women out there who do understand the reality of an unplanned pregnancy,
and still pray for an end to abortion.

So, the confusion on the face of my volunteer friend on that January morning makes sense. My open opposition to her carefully crafted worldview exposed, if only for a moment, the tragic lie by which she lived. The same lie that I had by lived most of my life.

My presence in front of that clinic was a troubling paradox to her, and so is the presence of every young woman who bows her head to pray in front of these dark places.adies, I urge you to stand outside of these clinics and pray. The upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign is a perfect opportunity to do so. Your presence invites each woman – each mother – who walks into that clinic to reexamine her certainty that anyone in her position, anyone who truly understands her, would make the same choice that she is about to make.

Your prayers to end abortion, no matter where you are or when you pray, are crucial and no doubt will move mountains and save lives. But your presence will stir the hearts of the living.

It will not be easy, it will not be pleasant, but it will show the world and, more importantly, each of our sisters who walk in and out of those doors – and they are our sisters – that someone does understand. And with that understanding, we stand with Life.


Sara Suchy is a journalist/web-producer for HealthCentral and frequently writes for the Apostolate.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ashton.gaskill Ashton Kane Blaise Gaskill

    A beautiful post and a great read, but it would seem that some where along the line a few letters disappeared. The space and “T” to start a sentence with “There”, and the space and “L” starting a sentence with “Ladies” are both missing.

  • http://twitter.com/janthewordnerd Jan

    Women are not naive children. Stop treating them as such. And stop interfering in private medical decisions. Perhaps some day someone will return the favor and butt in to a really difficult life-or-death decision you have to make, such as whether to remove life support from a loved one in a persistent vegetative state. It’s tawdry, malicious and insidious. Just stop.

    • Michael

      Would you interfere if you saw your neighbor beating her toddler? Or would that be a private family matter? If witnessing over 50 million innocent, defenseless human beings get slaughtered over the past 40 years is not cause to “interfere,” I do not know what is.

    • ColdStanding

      You are right. Women are not naive children. Children are naive children, so start treating them as such. It isn’t about you, and that is what makes it so hard for you to understand. Someone did you the favor of giving you life. Do you not enjoy the exercise of said life? Perhaps you’ll encourage others to return the favor or do so yourself, if you haven’t already. We’ll continue to “butt in” while others continue to say “Oh, you poor dear! Don’t listen to those meanies. Come let me help you take care of (sic) your private business.”

      Note: a fetus is not a loved one in a persistent vegetative state.

      Abortion: It’s tawdry, malicious and insidious. It is just to stop it.

      • Sagrav

        Note: A fetus is not a loved one at all. It is not a person, it is a potential person. It continues to live at the whim of the woman it inhabits. No amount of passive or aggressive harassment will change this. No amount of mythology worship will change this either.

        • ColdStanding

          Note: In love I gave my body to my wife and she gave her’s to me, for love of God. We conceived in love, bore in love, hoped in love, loved what was hoped for, birthed in love, and to this day and forever love the fruit of our love. No whim darkens our door, for we labor with wrinkled brow, eye steady, heart ever ready.

          No, my yet not known friend, you err. It is not myth I worship, but love, for by love we are changed.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/PHT6DZ2XLK4MSJI4AX4DUR6TTU Eternity

          Sagrav, you presently have a very cold hearted soul, and uninitiated in the spiritual realm of your Creator. You live in a cloud of self-absorption, appointing your mind as the center of the universe, oblivious and unthankful for the gift of life. But there’s hope in God’s Mercy, and may you not allow it to pass by.
          “True, I was born guilty, a sinner in my mother’s womb from the MOMENT of CONCEPTION.” Psalm 51

          • Korou

            Women are not naive children. Children are naive children. Fetuses are not children.

          • Anon

            Fetuses are human beings.

            If you dont care about human beings, why should I care about persons?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PHT6DZ2XLK4MSJI4AX4DUR6TTU Eternity

            Korou and Sagrav, I can’t help but notice that those who have determined in their minds and hearts, and according to their personal opinions, that human beings are not human beings UNTIL SOME ARBITRARILY ASSIGNED POINT BETWEEN CONCEPTION AND BIRTH, rarely give any evidence to substantiate such an outlook on the matter of abortion, the murder of a brother or sister in it’s mother’s womb.

            Therefore, I present some BASIC Spiritual and medical information regarding the BEGINNING OF LIFE from God Himself, and Geneticists (scientists) and would appreciate if you could provide some information to back up your claims of when life begins. After all, it’s a matter of LIFE and DEATH, spiritually and physically speaking. “Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”


            Perhaps the most often quoted portion of Scripture on this subject is Psalm 139:13–16.

            “For You formed my inward parts:
            You covered me in my mother’s womb.

            And that my soul knows very well.
            My frame was not hidden from You,
            When I was made in secret,
            And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
            Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.”

            Here we read about God knowing the Psalmist while he was “yet unformed,” while he was being “made in secret,” in a place invisible to human eyes. The uses of the personal pronouns in these verses indicate that there was, indeed, a person present before birth.

            Jeremiah 1:4
            “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
            “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”

            Here God tells Jeremiah that he was set apart before he was born.
            This would indicate that there was personhood present before Jeremiah’s birth. The verse even indicates that God considered Jeremiah a person and that he was known before he was formed.

            God therefore both knew us before CONCEPTION, and called us forth into existence at CONCEPTION:

            “True, I was born guilty, a sinner in my mother’s womb from the MOMENT of CONCEPTION.” Psalm 51 – God

            No ARBITRARINESS WITH GOD. There is nothing in Scripture that even remotely suggests that the unborn child is anything less than a human person from the moment of conception.

            The above Scriptures reveal that there is personhood before birth. The personal nature of the references in the Bible shows how God views the unborn child. Another text frequently used to prove the humanness of the fetus is found in the first chapter of Luke:

            “Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:39-44).

            Consider the following statements from prominent embryology textbooks

            The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology: “[The Zygote] results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “The zygote is genetically unique because half of its chromosomes come from the mother and half from the father. The zygote contains a new combination of chromosomes that is different from that in the cells of either of the parents.” (p. 33)
            Keith L. Moore, Ph.D. & T.V.N. Persaud, Md., The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed. (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), 2-18.

            Human Embryology & Teratology: “Although human life is a continuous process, Fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed… Fertilization is the procession of events that begins when a spermatozoon makes contact with a secondary oocyte or its investments… The zygote … is a unicellular embryo.
            Ronan R. O’Rahilly and Fabiola Muller, Human Embryology & Teratology

            Additional embryology sources:

            Patten’s Foundations of Embryology: “Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote). … The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”
            Bruce M. Carlson, Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, 6th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996), 3.

            Human Embryology: “It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatazoan and the resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that…marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.”
            Bradley M. Patten, Human Embryology, 3rd ed.

            Medical Embryology: “The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
            Jan Langman, Medical Embryology

            The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary: “Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus.”
            Ida G. Dox, et al, The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary 146.

            Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant: “Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite, a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.”
            E.L. Potter, M.D., and J.M. Craig, M.D, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant

            Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia: “Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism…. At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun…. The term embryo covers the several stages of early development from conception to the ninth or tenth week of life.”
            Douglas Considine, ed., Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia, 5th ed.

            Biology of Gestation (a medical textbook): Dr. Louis Fridhandler refers to fertilization as “that wondrous moment that marks the beginning of life for a new individual.”
            Louis Fridhandler, “Gametogenesis to Implantation,” Biology of Gestation, Vol. 1 ed.

            The testimony of geneticists and biologists is equally clear. Consider the following testimonies from geneticists and biologists before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the question of when life begins:

            Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth of Harvard University Medical School said, “It is incorrect to say that the biological data cannot be decisive…. It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception, when the egg and sperm join to form the zygote, and that this developing human always is a member of our species in all stages of its life.”

            Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman of the Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic, added: “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

            Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris, testified: “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion … it is plain experimental evidence.” He added, “Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”

            Dr. McCarthy de Mere, medical doctor and law professor at the University of Tennessee testified: “The exact moment of the beginning of personhood and of the human body is at the moment of conception.”

            Dr. Alfred Bongiovanni, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, concluded, “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception…. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life…. I am no more prepared to say that these early stages represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty … is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.”

            Dr. Landrum Shettles noted, “Conception confers life and makes that life one of a kind.”

            Dr. Watson A. Bowes of the University of Colorado Medical School: “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter-the beginning is conception. This straightforward biological fact should not be distorted to serve sociological, political, or economic goals.”

            The conclusion of the Senate subcommittee was that “Geneticists, physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being-a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”

        • Vaptorious

          @Sagrav:disqus To test your theory:

          Next time you pass a young, expectant mother walking down the street with her husband—imagine what would happen if you ran up to her and kicked her in the belly.

          I’m sure you’d find out *real* quick whether her husband shares your view that his child, growing in his wife’s womb, is “not a loved one.”

          I would characterize your view as “moronic,” except that I think it’s much more likely a reflection of a defect in your character, than a defect in your abilities of intellectual discernment.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      “Women are not naive children. Stop treating them as such.”

      I will when they stop acting as such.

      “And stop interfering in private medical decisions. ”

      A grand example of a woman acting like a naive child.

      • EpicusMontaigne

        Theodore, I appreciate your anger, but there are more productive ways to win souls.

        Susan B. Anthony said that a woman who got an abortion was guilty of a terrible crime, but thrice guilty is the man who drove her to it. Men can be worse than women when it comes to causing abortions. This is about saving babies, not denigrating people who make mistakes, however terrible.

    • Hielo

      Abortion hurts women. Rates of depression, suicide, breast cancer, infertility, and a host of other ailments skyrocket in post-abortive women. Also, on a societal level, abortion allows lecherous men to sexually prey on women, absolved of all consequences of their actions. Pro-lifers who pray outside abortion clinics are trying to stand between women and the hideous mistake that is abortion. The question of the personhood of the child/fetus aside, abortion hurts women.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.dupea Rick V Dupea

    Should have let her escort you in, sine she offered, then prayed from the inside! “I saw all those people praying against you. I wanted to pray for you.” Then pray for the love and mercy of God to fill and overwhelm them. Might as well take the opportunities God brings. Besides, it might have touched their hearts. God is good, and surprising. :-)

  • Salmantica

    Harassing for Jesus. Beautiful.

    Would like to see some numbers on how many abortions you people actually prevent with all the passive aggression. Not that it really matters, right? It’s not about preventing abortions anyway.

    • David Thane

      i know of several people off the top of my head that i personally know were swayed in this way. their kids are beautiful and still alive.
      but even if through all this we only saved the life of one child it would be worth it.
      when it comes to life math is not a factor. though there really arelarge numbers involved, it would have been worth it for one kid.

      • Salmantica

        Translation: I don’t care if my passive aggression against women doesn’t prevent abortions.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          What would prevent abortions is ending the liars from having a say.

          • Salmantica

            Sorry Ted. The days of stake burning are over.

          • Barbara C.

            Yeah, pro-lifers are passive aggressive. That’s why we have boycotts and buy-cotts and marches and sit-ins outside of abortion clinics. It seemed to work for Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

          • Vaptorious

            Are they? What about the days of Satanic sacrifice of innocent children? Are they still over?

            Satan—the dirty little secret that nobody seems to mention in this debate about abortion (or about politics). If you think of Satan as an imaginary “boogeyman,” you ought to acquaint yourself with a little more reality, and take note of the people who don’t.

            There are vast networks of known Satanists operating throughout the world—among the elites, especially—and they have quite the fondness for innocent blood. You think all the children that go missing each year are snatched by down-on-their-luck gals who can’t conceive and desperately want to raise a child? Guess again. Spend an hour or so researching “The Finders,” and then see how cavalierly you’re willing to declare that “the days of stake burning are over.”

            I’m sure that people who kidnap and traffic in children for use in ritual Satanism are too tasteful to dabble in aborted fetuses though, right?

          • Hielo

            Vaptorious, I thank you for your good intentions, but you’ve just made all of us look like religious fanatics.

          • Vaptorious

            …in what way? How is recognizing the reality that there is a wide network of practicing Satanists a reflection on anyone but those people? A demure posture when it comes to such despicable evil is wholly inappropriate—and, in fact, contributes to evil through mild tolerance of it.

            No example illustrates this more clearly than the current state of the Catholic Church—which exponentially exacerbated its troubles (to the detriment of many people, I might add) by playing coy with evil in its midst. They should have dealt with the problem instead of letting it fester, expand, strengthen, and continue to sow corruption within the church. Now look what they have on their hands: a church—weaker in many ways than at any point in the modern age—which still is not free of the problem.

            For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the pope(s) haven’t spoken out more vociferously about the “smoke of satan” entering into the church (i.e., about the corrupt leaders within its own ranks). Would a public brawl of this nature be difficult—and could it do damage to the Church—of course. But staying silent about it has every bit as much of a chance of damaging the image of the church—as the Vatican has found out, is currently finding out, and will continue to find out (I’m afraid) as events unfold in the days ahead.

            Whatever the case may be, I’m far more concerned about truth than about how anyone “looks.

          • Fides_et_Ratio

            puerile straw man.

        • David Thane

          dont try to twist words. i said A) i personally know people that this worked for, B) when it comes to saving lives one life is worth everything that they do, and C) it really does save the lives a many many babies.

          • David Thane

            and also, passive agression is not what they do. they pray in front of abortion mills and witness to the options pregnant mothers have. why kill your child? adoption is a viable option. there are crisis pregnancy centers (where people that stand outside abortion mills usually volenteer at or can point women to) where housing or food and monetary support is given to mothers who need it. this is not stuff that makes us “feel better”, this is stuff that is used to save lives. as an EMT, i dont work on an ambulance to make myself feel better, i do so to save lives. if in the entire shift, only one person actually needed us to save their life, the day was not a waste. had we not been there someone would be dead. math is not something that factors there.
            dont be a troll with your “passive agressive” statements and get off the internet and do something with your life. im sure baiting blog readers is really worth it.

          • Salmantica

            I wonder what would happen if medicine had your standard. We’ll just prescribe these capsules and if only 1 out of 1000 infections are cured, it will have been worth it!

          • David Thane

            well, that sounds just spiffy.

            the reason we have standards with car manufacturing and sports etc is because we can. we dont NEED to try things that have a low probability of working b/c we have things that work.

            with medicine it is the same up to a point, we have all these tried and true methods that save people’s lives reliably. until you get to the fringes of medicine, then they really do try things that probably wont work.

            EX: my sister’s best friend had brain cancer, inoperable. the doctors try all sorts of treatments to save her, ones that were proven to work, and those that rarely work.

            another example: my friend was in a car accident. brain was swelling like a balloon. not much the surgeons can do, but they did try to save him anyway. they supposed to say “well, this procedure works maybe 1 out of 100 times, so lets just let him die.” no, you do your best, and hope it works.

            its the same in the prolife movement. we try to save lives, through ways that work dependably, and through ways that work less often, but because someones life is on the line we do it anyway.

          • James

            Guest, do you think before you write these kinds of things? David has made some valid points (and his analogies make me think “yeah that makes sense”) but you seem to thrive on making snide remarks and attacking the Catholic Church (and back them up using bogus analogies) Just hope this helps you see how strong your arguments really are, which isn’t very strong. Sorry.

          • SamHamilton

            He sounds like he’s here just to make trouble. Better to ignore him.

        • TheEpic95

          In my experiance, pro lifers outide clinics arent *typically* agressive in any way, not even passively agressive.(an amazing thing to witness, since the people i knew among them are incredibly agressive personality wise, myself included. The calm is downright miraculous) The ones who ARE agressive are the people throwing soda and paint on the people praying. Some advice for protesters/prayerwarriors: wear ponchos even when its sunny.

        • Vaptorious

          Your “translation” sounds more like your “projection” than a distillation of David’s post—a post in which he relayed knowing several examples of lives which were saved by this type of prayerful action. Let’s clarify something:

          • When a Christian says that it’s worth it “even if it only saves the life of one child”—you ridicule him. What about…
          • When Joe Biden says that it’s worth it (to disarm law-abiding citizens), “even if it only saves the life of one child”—do you ridicule that too?

          Forgive me for being presumptive—but somehow, I doubt it.

          And yet, in that instance, “saving one life” would likely involve the loss of many more in exchange (by disabling people’s ability to protect themselves). Praying, on the other hand, helps many people tremendously. Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that prayer is futile—so what? It hurts nobody, and helps many people. In this case, it is an entirely selfless act—a deep meditation of desire for love, mercy and positivity in someone else’s life.

          You object to this? You take offense to this? This is the worldview which you proudly express in public? How odd. I don’t believe in Allah, but I don’t seek out Muslims and deride them for their prayers. Why do you seek out Christians for this purpose?

    • B. E.

      Is the word “witness” in your dictionary? I’m sorry that you don’t believe in the power of prayer, but preventing the murder of thousands of innocent children does not appear to be a political priority in our country so we have to do what we can to defend the most helpless people on this earth. Please enlighten us about your grand plan and accomplishments preventing abortions that does not involve “harassing for Jesus.” I would like to see some numbers, though.

      Does all this snarky passive aggression get people to agree with you, or does it matter? Is it more about being an anonymous jackal on the internet?

      • Salmantica

        Oh, there is a whole field dedicated to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It’s called planned parenthood. I think you have one organization over there in America that does that sort of thing.

        • Liam Wells

          Planned Parenthood? As in Planned Parenthood, who make money out of abortions and related “services”? On account of this alone, I somehow doubt they care about reducing unwanted pregnancies, considering that abortion is the only reason they can make any money.

          And that isn’t going into the litany of sexual abuse and scandal that PP covers up for their almighty abortion dollar.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10235831 Kristin Stark Curtis

            Whoa, you really need to check your facts. Planned Parenthood doesn’t make the bulk of its profits off of abortion. They actually make the most profit from routine pap smears and breast cancer screenings.

            “And that isn’t going into the litany of sexual abuse and scandal that PP covers up for their almighty abortion dollar.”

            Huh. I’ve never heard about this sexual abuse, but I can recall a very prominent scandal involving the catholic church.

          • Liam Wells

            Pap smears and breast cancer screenings? Didn’t Obama say that?

            We tried to believe him, honest! http://liveaction.org/blog/planned-parenthood-ceos-false-mammogram-claim/

            And the sexual abuse is not committed by PP. Rather, those who commit such abuse go to PP to “get rid of the evidence”. It’s illegal and wrong – https://www.liveaction.org/traffick/

            And what has the Catholic Church’s sins got to do with this? Yes, we’ve done wrong, but others are doing wrong too. Surely the abuse is evil, regardless of who commits it.

            Or would you make an exception for PP?

        • B.E.

          “Preventing” unwanted pregnancies by abortafacient drugs and actual termination? Time to pull that dictionary out again.

          • Pattrsn

            I think Salmantica is referring to actual birth control ie the pill. Or perhaps you’ve swallowed the lie that birth control pills are abortaficients. Funny how the Catholic Church is likely responsible for more abortions than the Catholic Church.

          • Hielo

            First of all, many birth control pills /are/ abortifacients. Check your science. Second of all, Planned Parenthood is the single largest purveyor and promoter of abortion in the US, whereas the Church is its single largest opponent. Check your facts and support your arguments.

        • Fides_et_Ratio

          Compare the number of DSTs and abortions in 1950 to 2010.
          Contraception causes more abortions.
          Also look at New York. The contraception capital of the world, and where 40% of pregnancies end in abortion.

    • Tom

      Kneeling and witnessing peacefully outside abortion mills and praying in a low voice or silently constitutes harassment? How is this?

      Also, have some more out-of-context Bible verses: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205:%2014-16&version=NASB

    • nitnot

      If it saves even one life ….

    • http://www.facebook.com/lisaannhomic Lisa Ann Homic

      I can’t believe you turned this whole blog story around. This was written by a woman who was perceived to be pro-choice because of her age and that really threw the escort for a loop to find out she was pro-life. Nothing in here is about harassment. Praying in front of a clinic is legal and heart changing. It is the goal to save the mother from regret (in the present life and the afterlife) and bring a life into the world without out harm.

    • Fides_et_Ratio

      Simply it calling it “aggression” does not make it so.

  • Tony

    As a practising Catholic and naturally against abortion, I think praying infront of a clinic is being a nuisance. No different to jehovah doorknockers. Definitely should be prayed for, but it can be done at home in groups and would achieve an equal affect. Protesting law changes in Washington is a different story… but in this case I don’t agree. Christianity never spread via harrassment.

    • poundcakery

      I’ve read many testimonies though of women who have changed their minds because they’ve talked to peaceful, prayerful people standing outside the clinic. and i’ve read testimonies of women who wish there had been protestors outside their clinic, so that they would have had an excuse to change their mind.

      pro-life protestors should NEVER harass women. yelling, condemnations.. uh-uh thats wrong. but i believe prayerful presence outside a clinic is appropriate, and occasionally life-saving.

      • czechchef

        Not everyone who stands outside praying is doing just that– Texas Right to Life trains sidewalk counselors to talk to women considering having an abortion, and we give “coupons” to a pregnancy resource center across the street (admission has no cost; the coupon just has directions). Standing outside praying also makes people realize that they have human hearts willing to help them in their time of confusion, hurting, and need.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=598152232 Maria Cameron

      I agree that harassment should not occur, but we have to stand in front of the abortion mills. We need to be there to pray and show the women that there is another choice and then we need to be there to love them and weep with them when they come out.

  • Claude

    Quite a strawwoman you’ve knocked down there to trumpet your insight that:

    The truth is that there are women out there who do understand the reality of an unplanned pregnancy, and still pray for an end to abortion.


  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.grimm.14 Paul Grimm

    Using contraception is like looking at God our creator and saying you made us too much like yourself, and we don’t want to be like you right now, so we fixed that mistake you made in our creation as co-creators

    • http://www.facebook.com/lisaannhomic Lisa Ann Homic

      that’s great, i need to use this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10235831 Kristin Stark Curtis

      I feel nothing but pity for people like you. You probably think that Adam and Eve actually populated the entire earth, don’t you?

      • Ben Carpenter

        “You probably think that Adam and Eve actually populated the entire earth, don’t you?” That’s not pity you’re feeling. It’s condescension.

    • Will

      It’s shocking to me that people still think this way, even today. You realize that almost no one, Catholics included, believes what you do, right? It’s just a tool…it’s no different than headache medicine and cell phones.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ronlklingler Ronald Lee Klingler

        I would encourage you to read material on contraception, these are philosophical debates which are difficult to be had in a blog comment section.

      • Eugene

        There are actually quite a few Catholics (far more than ‘almost no one’) who would strongly disagree with you on this, Will.

      • Fides_et_Ratio

        The act of contraceptive sex is bad. It is an act.

  • faithandfamilyfirst

    Looking at the comments, we have a ways to go. But we also have the Truth, and the Truth will, eventually and ultimately, prevail. That may be what scares the trolls.

    • Korou

      “So, the confusion on the face of my volunteer friend on that January morning makes sense. My open opposition to her carefully crafted worldview exposed, if only for a moment, the tragic lie by which she lived. The same lie that I had by lived most of my life.”
      Tragic lie? All tht happened was she saw a woman standing there peacefully and, because she was used to protestors being noisy and aggressive, assumed that you weren’t one of them. So what?
      Oh, and by the way – good for her and the noble work she is doing. It’s a thankless task that she deserves appreciation for.

  • Catholic Alcoholic

    bravo! it takes courage to be a young pro-life woman. way to go. i think i might try to do this this year too! reading this makes me actually proud to be a woman like you! what these abortion promoters fail to realize is how much pain they’ve caused women over the last 30 years by convincing them that having abortions will help them have better lives. now we have millions of women suffering the emotional consequences of this bad advice and expert propaganda. Yay you for praying in front of PP and yay you for your patience with the haters.

  • nanomanoman

    It’s funny – as an outsider (a non-American and non-Catholic) I would have thought the young women in coloured vests outside the clinic were the brave ones – aren’t they kind of targets for shooters, who are not uncommon in the US?

    I don’t have a problem with a peaceful protest I suppose, but painting yourself as a kind of hero seems a bit narcissistic? You’re not likely to be gunned down by a PP Liberal, are you? Who is putting their life on the line here?

    As a European, and someone who is exploring the Catholic faith, I frequently come across discussions like this, maybe because so many sources on the web are from the US – where abortion is not just another medical procedure (as in most of Europe) but an “issue”, along with gay marriage, contraception, etc etc. Sometimes it can seem that to be Catholic is to be in the “anti” Party, and I was shocked to hear one otherwise “hip” Catholic podcast which stated baldly that Catholics should vote Republican because they were more anti-abortion and (a form of) socialised health care. Really? I wondered which party Jesus would be more likely to vote for.

    It’s not helped in the UK where basically Anglicans who are too uptight to tolerate women bishops are flocking to the Catholic faith – it makes it seem such a warm, welcoming faith.

    It’s embarrassing because, despite this, I am attracted to Catholicism because I increasingly believe it is the most authentic expression of Christianity – it’s theology makes sense to me (the individual’s relationship to god, the need for good deeds as well as faith, confession, for example) and my own experience working with a Catholic charity to help the poor. I’ve no problem with proscriptions against abortion, etc (although the recent case of a lady who died in Ireland when doctors refused her an abortion because “this is a Catholic country” is an example of how things can go too far) but that’s not why I’m interested in “signing up” – and nor would the likes of Chesterton, Greene and Waugh, I suspect.

    This kind of “fetishisation” of fundamentally marginal issues at the cost of the heart and soul of the “original” Christianity seems more like a reflection of an American Puritancal streak than Catholicism per se – more Salem than Saint Peters.

    As that great philosopher Stephen Patrick Morrissey remarked: “America is not the world” and Americans might pause to consider how their own culture is perhaps confusing their Catholisism.

    • Claude

      Very well said!

      My impression of many of the bloggers and commentators in the Catholic blogosphere is that they are poor ambassadors for the Church. I’m lapsed and agnostic, so it doesn’t matter to me personally, but I often wonder why anyone exploring the Catholic faith, as you say you are, would be drawn to a bunch of self-styled Inquisitors obsessed with the culture wars and laboring under a patently absurd persecution complex. It all has little to do with finding ways of understanding and getting closer to Jesus, it seems to me.

      There is much that is beautiful and inspiring about the Catholic tradition, and I hope you find access to the best of the Church. Godspeed!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PHT6DZ2XLK4MSJI4AX4DUR6TTU Eternity

      Painting and misrepresenting Jesus Christ as just this nice Son of God who came to proclaim to the world that Love without Obedience is sufficient to be saved means that you have a great deal of reading and reflecting to do. Please take the time to read THE WHOLE GOSPEL MESSAGE, such as passages like:

      “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:
      depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

      “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt.
      Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?”

      “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people
      honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they
      worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’


      “If you love Me, you will keep my words.”

      “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.”

      “Thou shall not kill.” Abortion is MURDER as can be seen below:

      “True, I was born guilty, a sinner in my mother’s womb from the MOMENT of CONCEPTION.” Psalm 51.

      “For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.”

      “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and
      men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

      “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

      • Claude

        “Eternity”: a case in point.

        By the way, you must be using the Anti-Abortion translation of the Bible, because my RSV, approved by the RCC, translates Psalm 51 as follows:

        Behold, I was brought forth in
        and in sin did my mother conceive me.

      • nanomanoman

        Well yes, one can mine many a religious book to prove one’s point and the priests on the podcast I mentioned reacted much the same – “oh these dumb asses think that Jesus is just about being NICE, doh” – but there’s no getting away from his key messages encapsulated in the Lords Prayer or Sermon on the Mount, etc.

        Have you considered that some people spend too much time studying the Bible? One reason Jesus continues to be revolutionary is because his message bypassed the “pharisees”, who prized themselves on their studies, and spoke directly to the people, and that’s always going to be a threat, belittled in one way or another.

        And what could his teaching be boiled down to in one word? “Compassion.” Where’s the compassion in priests who seek to block plans to help literally millions of poor Americans get access to better healthcare? Sure, some people may be able to recite great passages of the Bible but are they any more Christian than a dumb ass congregation that embodies that one crucial word?

        In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The entire Law of the Gospel is contained in the new commandment of Jesus, to love one another as he has loved us.”

        I’m not arguing against opposing abortion, incidentally, just the obsession and grandstanding that one comes across, and the consequent lack of compassion.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/PHT6DZ2XLK4MSJI4AX4DUR6TTU Eternity

          You sure have a fine and opinionated way of justifying the watering down of Holy Scirpture. You speak much of love, but seem to reject or forget about one of the most important aspects of love as I mentioned above, and also contained in 1 Cor 13.

          “Love rejoices in the truth.”
          “If you love ME, you will keep MY WORDS.
          The Bible is FULL of behavior we must seek to imitate, but which is impossible when one is more concerned with offending another. It was in fact the OFFENSE PEOPLE TOOK toward Christ that resulted in his Crucifixion.
          No humility there.

          Christ did not come to save us because we are “nice” people who were spared the Great Fall of Humanity (wretchedness) but rather to save us from sin and the eternal death of our souls which are steeped in sin and disobedience.

          And the Lord’s prayer you mentioned: “Thy will be done.” Our short life on earth is NOT about us and our feelings, our lives are rather about God and obedience. Thus another serious error people make is suggesting that we spend too much time learing the Faith:

          “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
          And the beatitudes you mentioned speak of REMORSE OF SINS, and being prepared to give our lives by speaking the truth to people who do not want to hear the necessity of Repentance and the Gospel Message in it’s entirity. By all means, re-read the Beatitudes if you like, you will discover the truth.

          Compassion IS speaking boldly about the reasons Jesus came into the world, such that we as Chritians will not be afraid to “admonish sinners, correct your brothers and sisters, inform the ignorant” as the Son of the Living God commanded us to do.

          However, false compassion usually means focusing on “feelings” and remaining silent on the important issues of salvation rather than absolute and Divinely Revealed Truth for many today.
          “For the time will come when men will no longer listen to SOUND DOCTRINE. They will stop listening to the Truth and surround themselves with those who tickle their ears and wonder off to fables and falsehoods.”
          Lastly, since you quoted the CCC, are you aware of the 111 pages of SINS we commit against God contained in the CCC that can keep a soul out of heaven forever. Only if you or anyone else actally reads them, will you be able to exercise “Compassion” regarding the Gosel “Golden Rule” by admonishing sinners and correcting one’s brothers and sisters who may be walking in great spiritual darkness, and who may depend on your bold proclamation of the Gospel Message, just like the apostles and martyrs who preceeded us in death.
          “Fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom” and that’s not worldly wisdom and “false” compassion, because Christ himself spoke of the very real possibility of the loss of our souls not 8 times, not 18 times, but 28 times in the NT.
          Sin destroys,
          Repentance saves, as contained in John 20…
          But how will a person know the Will of God and the sins we commit if we choose to ignore Scripture and the CCC?
          “In the fullness of time, God chose to reveal His Plan and Will for the salvation of mankind in Christ Jesus, and His Church.”
          St. Paul.

          • nanomanoman

            Well, as far as compassion is concerned I prefer to go with “the prayer our saviour taught us” than the small print. God will of course be our judge, which is why we are cautioned to – “judge not, lest we be judged” and certainly “condemn not, lest we be condemned”. Presumably having read the small print you will be confident you have ticked all the boxes, although perhaps you may have missed the one on “pride”.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/PHT6DZ2XLK4MSJI4AX4DUR6TTU Eternity

          I just posted a lengthy response to you about “false” compassion vs “Real” compassion in that everyone may come to “The Knowledge of Truth” and be saved from sin and the death of our souls Christ spoke of not 8 times, not 18 times, but 28 times in Scripture. I also spoke about the Beatitudes and how they also require us to reflect on our sins and the loss of “Original Holiness” as well as the necessity to be willing to speak the truth about the Full Gospel Message even if such witness should cost us our lives. I spoke as well of the 111 pages of enumerated SINS contained in the CCC you quoted to demonstrate that WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF OUR SINS, it is not only NOT possible to save our own souls, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to “Admonish sinners and correct our brothers and sisters” as Christ requires of us, and which shows forth “True” compassion.

          It was all lost for some reason after I posted it, but may the following suffice for now as regards some spiritual food for thought:

          “Stop for a moment and reflect on yourselves and on the transience of this your earthly life. What do you want? Which way do you want to set out on?”

          Sister Faustina’s Vision of Hell

          “I, Sister Faustina Kowalska, by the order of God, have visited the Abysses of Hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence…the devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God, What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: That most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell.” (Diary 741)

          “Today, I was led by an angel to the Chasms of Hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures I saw:

          The First Torture that constitutes hell is:
          The loss of God.

          The Second is:
          Perpetual remorse of conscience.

          The Third is
          That one’s condition will never change.

          The Fourth is:
          The fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it. A terrible suffering since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God’s anger.

          The Fifth Torture is:
          Continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own.

          The Sixth Torture is:
          The constant company of Satan.
          The Seventh Torture is: Horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the Tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings.

          Indescribable Sufferings

          There are special Tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings related to the manner in which it has sinned (unrepentant abortions, homosexuality, fornication, etc.).

          There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me.

          No One Can Say There is No Hell

          Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like…how terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God’s mercy upon them. O My Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest sufferings, than offend you by the least sin.” (Diary 741)

          • Claude

            How cheering. Sister Faustina–isn’t she the one responsible for commissioning that kitsch painting of Divine Mercy? Only $550 at EWTN!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PHT6DZ2XLK4MSJI4AX4DUR6TTU Eternity

            As for St. Faustina and her Church approved writings Claude, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.” For a self-acclaimed fallen away Catholic I do realize you would not have much wisdom concerning such providential assistance for humble souls.

          • Claude

            I read your posts again and must say, I hope this Stalinist version of Christianity is not your script for the New Evangelization because it’s just not going to work. Cardinal Dolan said faith should be a source of joy.

            Honestly I’m worried about you. It’s morbid to obsess about sin and eternity in Hell and whatnot. Faith should be driven by love, not fear. Jesus said so. Paul said so. Ease your mind and rejoice a little.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PHT6DZ2XLK4MSJI4AX4DUR6TTU Eternity

            I read your post Claude and hope one day you will make the effort to learn about “interior joy” as it will demonstrate that you have discovered one more aspect of the Faith: “Eternal rest is incompatible with the shame of having failed to duly labor for it’s attainment.”
            And thank you for reading my post.

    • ForsythiaTheMariner

      But to be Catholic, one has to always be opposed to abortion. It’s as much a part of the Catholic Faith and the rich history and tradition its immersed in as anything else, really. That doesn’t mean all Catholics have to pray weekly in front of abortion clinics, or always talk about abortion, but it does mean that no Catholic can ever see abortion as being morally acceptable in some circumstances.

      Concerning the PP workers who are supposedly risking their lives to protect women from dangerous pro-lifers, that’s most absurd. As a movement, the pro-life (or anti-abortion, however you please to call it) movement is incredibly peaceful. Yes, a few insane or evil or unstable people claiming to be part of it have shot, killed or maimed some abortion providers. And incidents such as this, although always unacceptable, are so rare and are in no way indicative of the message of the movement

      • nanomanoman

        That’s quite reasonable and I agree it is a matter for personal conscience. However, just to be pedantic I disagree with your dismissal of the risks PP workers are taking. A quick look at the stats shows that there have been 8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 41 bombings, 91 attempted bombings and 173 acts of arson, plus many, many, many threats. If we set aside 9/11 this level of violence and intimidation dwarfs Islamist terror in the US.

        • ForsythiaTheMariner

          Could you tell me where you’re getting these statistics? Because the only statistics I could find that match the exact numbers you gave are from the National Abortion Federation. I think it’s safe to say that this is clearly not a subjective observant body, but a party with a very, very obvious vested interest. Especially when such bodies have a history of fabricating “facts” (polls, statistics, etc) to meet their agenda. You can Google Bernard Nathanson, the co-founder of NARAL who went on to become vehemently opposed to abortion after performing more than 75,000 of them himself, who said that NARAL routinely fabricated polls and statistics.

          My advice is just to be very wary of any statistics fed by the Mainstream Media and especially, even more so, of anything given by an abortion group with a clearly vested interest. I’m a journalist, and I’d also just add to be wary, or at least do your own research, of most issues talked about in the mainstream media, including that of the supposed threat of Islamist terrorists. But that’s another story.

          • nanomanoman


            The article seems pretty straightforward and is not “disputed” as they can sometimes be. I note most sources seem reasonably credible and that while for example they use NAF re arson, they also support this with “The New York Times
            also cites over one hundred clinic bombings and incidents of arson,
            over three hundred invasions, and over four hundred incidents of
            vandalism between 1978 and 1993.”

            Funnily enough, I’ve a fair amount of experience in the press myself and would suggest one can over-egg this “mainstream media” business – it’s a symptom of a culture that is increasingly out-of-trust with itself and in the US seems, as an outsider, to be particularly paranoid.

            The “mainstream media” usually doesn’t have the time or interest to purposefully distort the news – its neither worth the time, reputational risk or money. In the run-up to 2012 there were plenty of kooks on the internet predicting the end of the world, but this was being “covered up by the mainstream media”. Not that I’m saying you’re a kook! But no, if you want to distortion and inaccuracy and manipulation, go to the blogs where they do it for the love, not money.

          • ForsythiaTheMariner

            I think the NYT is probably one of the most biased newspapers out there, so to me the fact that they city over a hundred clinic bombings etc doesn’t carry that much weight to me. I’m not saying that such incidents didn’t occur. I’m just saying that I take everything in there with a grain of salt (a lot of salt, at that). Why did the NYT (and much other MSM) report huge story on the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland (a story still under investigation) and is silent on the recent death of Jennifer Morbelli due to an abortion at 33 weeks? Their own public editor, Arthur Brisbane, came out and said as much, that the NYT treats what it reports more like “causes than news subjects.”

            I haven’t lived in the US for many years now, and don’t go back very often, but even in Asia where I work I’ve heard a number journalists (who have far different views and beliefs than I do) express their distrust of the MSM. Not only is it biased–either liberal (NYT, CNN) or neo-con (FOX news)–it’s pretty mind numbing. I think anyone, whatever your perspective, can see that most of the media is biased one way or another, and these days people really need to do their own research to find the truth of the story.

          • nanomanoman

            Hm. Well, as a journalist you will know there is a difference between fact and opinion. You are quite right to say the media is selective – the Washington Times has a different editorial policy to the Washington Post – but are you disputing the facts? As a journalist you will appreciate that regardless of how opinionated your colleagues may be, they tend to be quite careful about those, and this is what is under discussion.

            As a journalist you will probably also appreciate that news is driven by novelty – sadly many thousands of people die every year due to inept medical procedures, whereas deaths due to the refusal of an abortion on medical grounds are thankfully much rarer, hence they are more likely to make the news. That’s how journalism works.

            Of course it is true to say that the media rarely conveys the whole truth, otherwise we would all read the Weekly World News and believe Elvis was living on Mars, however I think we should be wary of assuming correlation = causation and therefore “nothing is true” except what we deign to believe in – a very modern and dangerous tendency, and not very “Catholic” if I may say so … ;-)

          • ForsythiaTheMariner

            That doesn’t really address what I wrote. My question isn’t, why was Savita’s story covered. It should have been, without question, although all the facts are nowhere near clear this point and I think the coverage was misleading, perhaps intentionally, based on the original admissions of the Irish journalist wrote later followed up her first report. My question is, why *wasn’t* Jennifer Moretti’s story covered in the NYT? Is this not “newsworthy” that a woman died at a late-term abortion clinic, and that this is the second death by this doctor and his procedure? I don’t get how that could not be covered, other than it’s an intentional failure to report something.

          • nanomanoman

            On the contrary, you initially sought to throw doubt on the facts provided by the NYT.

            It is perfectly reasonable to believe Jennifer’s story was worthy of coverage (as I am sure there are many newsworthy stories that do not receive coverage) but the NYT is a business, not a public-funded body, and is entitled to select those stories it believes will appeal to its readership or for whatever other reason it chooses.

            Now, if the facts it presents within the stories it selects are at fault, then that is one thing (and the thing we are discussing) while what stories it chooses to cover is another.

          • ForsythiaTheMariner

            Yes, that was my mistake for getting sidetracked. The main point I had with the statistics you provided from Wikipedia is that they were all from the NAF.

          • nanomanoman

            Except of course, they were not – the sources are quite clear. To be honest I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being opposed to abortion and accepting the facts (denying them simply discredits your argument).

            Indeed, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being opposed to abortion and accepting those young women outside the PP centre are courageous. That does not mean you have to agree with them. Whoops, there goes my “false compassion” again!

          • ForsythiaTheMariner

            The first statistics you provided (eight murders) from Wikipedia comes from a NARAL 2006 report. The 17 attempted murders you cited comes from “statistics gathered by the National Abortion Federation: The 41 bombings, 91 attempted bombings, and 172 arsons you cited are “according to the NAF”

          • nanomanoman

            I’m not sure why you are bothering. You know as well as I do that I qualified this by also citing the NYT. I don’t see how the source of easy to prove facts like murders matters to be honest – it won’t bring the grieving families loved ones back. I think that any reasonable person following this discussion can judge the merits of my argument for themselves and yours too. I referred to ‘false compassion’ with respect to another discussion in which I was accused of caring about the wrong things. I’m only interested in clarity to be honest.

          • ForsythiaTheMariner

            Really? I can’t really believe that someone with experience in the press would say that the source doesn’t matter. In the violence going on in Israel/Palestine, both the IDF and Hamas come up with different counts of casualties, that’s why there are more objective bodies sent in to get another count. I think we can leave it there, as we’re not even discussing anything Catholic or the nature of this post anymore.

          • nanomanoman

            I will add that it’s ironic you charge NAF as being partial when you use tactics of obfuscation to further your own cause, purposefully seeking to ignore, discredit, misread, undermine or steer away from facts you find inconvenient. It’s transparent, and really doesn’t help your cause.

    • Alone

      I just wanted to comment to say that as a pro-life woman, I have had threats made against my life and my body. More than one man has threatened to forcibly impregnate me so that I can see what it’s like to be in that situation. Pro-life activists have been shot at before (at least one has been killed), and I recall one case where a man tried to ram his car into a group of protesters. There have been several incidents of pro-life protesters being physically attacked by extremists.

      I live in an area that is mostly pro-choice. I have been in a car with a friend where we were heckled and followed for a few miles by guys who were twice our size yelling at us about getting back to the kitchen and popping out babies for them like good little Catholics, because she had a couple of Catholic, pro-life bumper stickers. We were 19 and it was terrifying. Everyone is a target, because all people have the potential for violence and abortion is an emotional issue; it is literally babies being killed vs. women being enslaved at the extreme ends of things, and an unstable person who believes babies are being killed or women are being enslaved is likely to act out against this overwhelming evil that is killing babies or enslaving women.

      I know that’s just a small part of your post, but violence against pro-lifers is something that is as real a threat as violence against pro-choicers. On top of that, if I had to sum up in one word what it is like to be a pro-life woman, the word is “heavy.” If I say I’m pro-life, people assume I am stupid. If I’m not stupid, I’m brain-washed. It must be religion. It must be an abusive husband (almost launched myself at the guy who made that accusation). How can I be a woman and pro-life unless I am stupid, heartless, or brainwashed? Even my president implies that there is something wrong with me for not being pro-choice, because I’m a woman.

      And you know what? I am too scared to go out and protest. I’m not scared that I’m going to be shot (it’s actually not as common as you seem to think). I just can’t face it. I’m weak. I’m tired. I can’t deal with a professor seeing me and being prejudiced against me. I can’t deal with my coworkers seeing me and edging away from me. I can’t take strangers offering to save me. Every time I steel myself up and think “Today is the day, today I will do it,” every comment comes back to me. People on feminist message boards saying I deserve to be raped and die in childbirth. Those jerks who were following us in the car that day. The disappointment from my family members, the man who screamed at me that he would kill me to keep me from “hurting women with lies.” Even stupid things, like the mantra “War on Women.” The author of this piece is right. It isn’t easy. It isn’t pleasant. And I feel so alone. You don’t have to tell me how weak I am. I know I am. But it is heavy. This is an issue, because people are dying, as I see it, and I’m doing nothing to stop it because I’m weak and scared. As far as I’m concerned, the author of this piece is a hero if she inspires just one person to brave all of that pressure and publicly stand up against this injustice.

      • Steph

        I just wanted to say I’ll pray for you. I feel the same way as you – tired, and I have not had any of the horrible experiences you’ve had.

  • Rose62856

    Don’t you feel your time would be better spent , helping the children that are already here? In particular the poor children who have been raped by priests. I work with children everyday. Some of these children are UN wanted. It does not mean I don’t give 100 percent of my love and time to them. Prayers are great! Actions are the result of prayers. Be active for God…help children with your spare time, you won’t regret it.

    • John (not McCain)

      If these people gave a damn about raped children they wouldn’t be catholics.

      • Tom

        Oh you…

    • Tom

      We ALSO do these things.

    • Emily

      Newsflash: The children in their mothers wombs ARE already there! :) They deserve as much love and protection as the children outside of the womb. To care for one is not to neglect to care for the other. We CAN and DO care for both!

      Let’s also care for, and pray for, the children who have been raped by teachers, by fathers, by step-fathers, by trusted family friends, and all those who have suffered abuse. The scandal is not limited to the catholic church, and is in fact much wider outside of it, which is horrific. Our shame and condemnation should NOT stop at the Catholic Church. Pedophilia is not a Catholic problem, it is a human problem. So let’s work on that.

    • SamHamilton

      We’re capable of doing multiple things to help all children.

    • Hielo

      Better spent? No. Just as well spent? Yes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10235831 Kristin Stark Curtis

    The defining difference between pro-lifers and pro-choicers is not that pro-choicers are “living a lie” and pro-lifers are “enlightened”. The difference is that pro-choicers see the value in minding their own business and not butting their noses into things that do not affect them. If you think abortion is wrong, that’s fine. Don’t have one. If you think contraceptive is immoral, that’s fine. Don’t use it. You absolutely do NOT have the right to dictate others’ views on these matters, though. Correct me if I’m wrong (which I know I’m not, because I endured 12 years of catholic schooling), but aren’t there many more important aspects to christianity? For instance, if pro-lifers spent half the time they spend meddling into others’ affairs and instead provide food to the impoverished, they would actually be doing god’s work. When pro-lifers stand outside of abortion clinics and try to impose their views on women who enter, they are NOT being servants to god. They are a bunch of annoying control freaks who cannot live and let live. If you truly want to be like christ, go do something that actually matters, something that makes a difference. Feed a starving child. Teach an impoverished woman to read. What you do currently is absolutely pointless, and that is why the vast majority of people with any measure of cognitive fortitude have no respect for you.

  • Vaptorious

    Great post—and lots of great discussion below. I want to add a simple thought, which is this:

    As I see it, abortion is so antithetical to the most fundamental human instincts that I am more than willing to remove “religion”—and even God—from the discussion when engaging others in this debate. Those factors are of great importance to me—but they’re also used by abortion advocates as a straw-man in order to justify their position that it’s morally acceptable to murder innocent children.

    If someone loathes religion, or doesn’t believe in God—fine. I’m more than willing to keep the discussion focused on the appropriateness of murdering babies.

    I’m pretty sure that murdering babies is wrong in the same way that I’m pretty sure that murdering any innocent person for the sake of convenience is wrong. Am I missing something? I don’t think so—other than the contorted logic of rationalization required for a person to convince herself that the child inside her—her child—is equivalent to an ear of corn, and disposable. Do the people who think we evolved from apes ever consider that apes don’t murder their young (and, in fact, mourn for those that die)—or that almost every animal on the planet is fiercely protective of its offspring?

    Nobody had to teach me that I must believe this because Catholics believe it. I believe it because to deny it is to detach myself from the moral compass with which I was born—and to deny my own humanity.

    Is an unwanted pregnancy incredibly difficult? Of course. So are lots of things. The solution to a difficult problem isn’t murder—it’s love. Love is the essential measure of success in this thing we call life. There is no person who can deny the value or pleasure of love. Real love—the kind that makes all the pain and difficulty of life evaporate—is selfless. When you begin to understand that, you begin to realize that suffering for the well-being of another person can be a fulfilling privilege. In my view, that “completes the circuit” required to add positive energy to the world.

    Attachment to the “self” is so prevalent these days—and so destructive to our lives—both individually and collectively. Every person should learn to experience the joy of serving something other than himself—and what better way than to shepherd an innocent child into the world—a child who cannot live without your love…

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    Thank you for being pro-life!