Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Choosing Joy

In my pro-life journey, there has been a series of markers.   I went from pro-"choice" (euphemism) to believing in protecting the unborn baby.  Then I went from believing that there were exceptions (i.e. rape and incest) in protecting that unborn baby to a belief that all unborn life needs protection.  Then there's the subject of "health" (abortionist's language and loophole) and the life of the mother when it comes to health issues in the pregnancy (and/or  mom/baby).  Then, I went from not having any sympathy for the woman who had an abortion to an overwhelming desire for seeing them obtain healing and forgiveness from God.  Soon, I went from the ignorance of the men involved in abortion to recognizing that they too, need healing and forgiveness.

The journey has gone onward.  It has involved praying for abortionists and their workers to leave the business.  It has been learning about the existence of price lists for babies' organs and unregulated abortion mills with their unlicensed or untrained staff.  It has been about researching the difference between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells.   The more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know and there is so much out there to know. 

Some of it is so shocking---we know there is evil and we know the depths of depravity a person will plunge but when we face it, it still knocks the wind out of us.  Sometimes it's just so heart-wrenching we just think it can't get any sadder than that situation.  There is so much hard-heartedness and ignorance and selfishness.  We see it all the time but it's always in our minds not to get desensitized or not to get jaded when we face the horrific accounts. 

It's not that anything is new of late.  Sometimes subjects get a new focus.  Maybe there's a detailed amount of information shared that wasn't on the radar or available before.  Sometimes it's just a series of stories that just flood forth.  Over the last few months,  there have been many accounts of problem pregnancies.  So far, NONE of the stories I have read have shown the medical community in a caring and informative light.  If it weren't for a few doctors and nurses I know who are unabashedly pro-life, I would have very little trust in most medical staff based on these reports.

Below is a story (one of hundreds), that shares how parents received news of possible trouble for the baby.  If you don't have time to go to the link, the synopsis is (as you can surmise from context), the baby was given virtually little chance in living past the birth.  The doctors suggested abortion.  The parents refused.  This seems to be the formula for most stories.  The only difference is the parents' reaction.   Some parents DO take the doctors' suggestion of abortion.    


I love the part of the story where the parents share how the Chris Tomlin song "Our God" pertains to their  situation.

Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.”

The stories I have read fortunately have the common thread in those stories where they choose to ignore the advice to abort....they have a dependence on God and a recognition that He knows what is best.  The parents ultimately recognize that no matter how everything will turn out, God is not going to leave them nor forsake them.  They recognize that this baby is a blessing!  Others "see" this baby with human eyes and they see this baby is "imperfect"  What is perfection in the human race?  We are all sinners at conception so there we are all imperfect and deserving of death. 

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I can see how most parents would be scared.  They are given no hope.  The truth is coldly or brutally told much of the time.  They see the person in a white coat with a stethoscope and there still seems to be that Dr. Marcus Welby "aura",  thinking that not only do they know everything about medicine but strangely they also think that this man can predict every detail of what will happen to this child's life if allowed to be born. 

Case in point, Dr. Gerard Nadal spoke at a Family Research Council conference called "Medical Advances in Prenatal Diagnoses".  He told of a first-year medical student who shared that of a discussion that took place in his class.  A student asked, "What would do you do if the amnio came up positive for  Trisomy 21-Down Syndrome?"  The professor answered, "You would counsel the mother to get an abortion! Why wouldn't you?"   The med student asked then, "What if the mother doesn't want  to have an abortion?"   The professor told the student, "Well, you tell that mother that the day that kid is born, her life is over!" 

The medical students are not being taught surgical interventions, no medical therapeutics, different therapies (physical, occupational, speech), special education to offer any hope to the parents.  As Dr. Nadal went on to point out, the baby is a patient too.  Death is not a treatment option for a sick baby!  He suggests the parents should challenge the doctor’s assertion of “Why would you make your baby suffer?” with “What are YOU going to do to alleviate the  suffering in my baby?  How are you going to do to restore function to my child?”   He says that if all that is offered the pregnant woman is abortion, than that is not choice.  That is aggressive eugenics.    http://www.frc.org/eventregistration/first-annual-conference-on-medical-advances-in-prenatal-diagnoses

I will make sure this link to the conference is available in the blog entry.  I encourage you to tune in to as much as you can.   I think it’s time we educate ourselves and others on this subject.  To me, it seems that there are a bunch of doctors who need to go back to school and also to receive a lesson of William Wilberforce’s The Reformation of Manners (but that’s not just doctors…that’s just about everybody these days). 

There ARE good doctors out there, I am aware.  There was a good discussion on Jill Stanek's blog recently asking the question, "Is your OB-GYN pro-life and does it matter?"   In reading many of the replies, it restored some hope that there were doctors who were pro-life and it offered links on how to find a pro-life doctor in your area.  What we really need now though is a groundswell of pro-life patients teaching their doctors what it means to depend on God instead of an amniocentesis.  I am happy to hear that many parents refuse the amnio and tell the medical world, "Why?  It won't mean anything if we find out anything wrong".   I guess litigation is one area of concern for doctors.  Obstetrics has always been a high-risk specialty with high malpractice insurance but my main suspicion is that we have a generation bathed in secular humanist schools starting from preschool through medical residency.

There’s a website called Be Not Afraid http://www.benotafraid.net/ .  It is a huge blessing which  should be shared with everyone….parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, medical professionals, adoption agencies, therapy groups, crisis pregnancy centers, even stores and departments that sell baby items.  It has so many helpful resources to get practical information.  The best part are the stories shared by parents.  I tried to describe an overview of this but it’s best you go and see for yourself!  Go read the stories of inspiration (okay…well maybe later?  I don’t want to distract).

And I also came across another website about Perinatal Hospice. http://www.perinatalhospice.org/
Several articles grabbed me http://www.cmaj.ca/content/183/5/E267.full   and http://www.juns.nursing.arizona.edu/articles/Fall%202006/horning.htm

You can get a pretty good picture of how care for a baby and his parents should go after you view this video.   This is Christ-like treatment of everyone involved. 

These links just aren’t for people who face a problem in the pregnancy situation.  These resources are vital for families, friends and caregivers.  It may be helpful to gain more understanding in order to minister to those in situations such as these.  I am sure some readers here may have experienced a hurtful remark in this kind of situation.  Or may have been experienced a time of difficulty in thinking of the right thing to say to someone going through a miscarriage or a death of a baby/child.  It’s hard even for anyone whose lost a loved one, but so many new parents hear “well, you could always have another child” which isn’t what you hear with the death of someone older.  Also we have a some generations who have been indoctrinated to dehumanize with language such as "clump of cells" , "Blob of tissue",  and one I detest in particular,  "vegetative" .  A human is NOT a vegetable.

I love the story of how Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen decided they needed to find a doctor who would help their child LIVE and not be focused on preparing for her death.  Their daughter, Bella, who was born with Trisomy 18, wasn't expected to live very long.  She kept surprising everyone and she is going to be 4 years old in May.

I think now is a good time too, to bring up those groups that truly help in researching these kinds of syndromes.  I’ll pose the question which may seem rather obvious at first:   
You have two groups of charities that claim to help children in physical and mental challenges.   The first group says they are all for eradicating disabilities and defective genes.  They pour donations into scientific labs and events that appear to help children.   They accept donations from walks, banquets and little jars by the cash register to fight these syndromes.   However, Group 1 has ties to the abortion industry.  They have the ideology of stamping out defects because they do so at the embryonic level—destruction of human life nonetheless..   They have ties to Planned Parenthood and provide grants to scientists who have performed grisly experiments involving aborted babies. Donations  to Group 1 goes to both “saving” and killing children in the name of helping children.

Group 2 goes into research of helping disabilities but no money goes to abortion nor to any embryonic destruction.  Group 2 has an ideology of life and the dignity of those who face physical and mental challenges.  There is no involvement with Planned Parenthood, grisly experiments with aborted babies nor any industry that endorses destruction or diminishment of life. 

Here’s the question…..which would you support?   Hmmmmmm!  The title of this blog is “I am Pro-Life….Now What? (oh yeah, with the subtitle “On an agenda for life”).  
Here’s the “now what”: 

The  link for Group 2  is called The Michael Fund.    http://www.michaelfund.org/   I love their four-fold mission.  HUAH!!!!  J 

I will add another blog soon about this subject as there is one story that must be shared and lack of time and space forbids me to include it now.  In the meantime, this Scripture came to mind.....Mary's obedience and trust in the Lord. She faced the unknown, uncharted territory, and a future that would bring scrutiny from a critical public who would not understand the situation.  The thing to remember here is the Great Physician attended at the birth (no midwife available)  !! :) 

Luke 1
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

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