It’s ok to be pro-life.

CalmYourselfHey guys, Lisa here. I want to let you in on a secret. 

Come closer.

Closer! I don’t bite.

Ok. Ready?

It’s ok to be pro-life.

Yeah, shock of the century but being pro-life isn’t controversial. Or at least, it shouldn’t be.

It’s something that just kind of hit me mentally recently. Even I have had moments where I have been hesitant or slow to mention what my views on abortion are when it comes up in conversation. If I want to get my groceries or pump my gas peacefully, sometimes I just thought it was easier to keep my mouth shut. But the fact is, it shouldn’t be some shocking thing we are afraid to say.

I have two points to make. First of all, we should not be ashamed of our belief that human beings deserve protection regardless of their size, level of development, or whether they are wanted or not. That should not be a thing that is looked down upon. But some people will do just that. They will make you feel small or silly for believing such a simple fact. We have numerous items of merchandise at rock for life that explains just how simple and logical it is to be pro-life. In case you aren’t familiar with it, here it is!

I am a human being.
I believe that other human beings,
no matter what age
deserve the right
to live, to love,
to be loved,
to be 
happy,
to be safe,
to experience every aspect of life,
both 
before & after birth.
I am pro-life.

This is a concept that should be accepted by all. Sadly, it isn’t. That is why Rock for Life exists. We educate. We explain. We make it ok to be pro-life.

The second point I wanted to make is that while there will always be pro-choice people, we are the pro-life generation! Our generation is more pro-life than generations before us that accepted abortion as a social norm. Our generation is tired of our brothers, sisters, best friends, and countless other would-be loved ones who are not here because “choice” came before love. We are tired and we are fighting back. So I wanted you guys to know it is ok to be pro-life. It’s ok to want hope for our generation instead of death. It’s ok to fight for hope too. Join us. Fight back.

Little More Rock and A Little Less Roll

Screenshot 2014-02-22 at 10.27.21 PM

A little more rock, a little less roll
A little more new, a little less old
A little bit of faith, a little bit a trust
A little bit of never giving up

Stereo Skyline – A Little More Us

Dear Pro-life Movement,
A little more love and a lot less hate.

On Monday March 10th I will personally celebrate my anniversary of becoming an abortion abolitionist.  It was in early March of 2013 that I met the Rock for Life crew at the Maryland March for Life.  (Which will be held Monday March 10th this year!  More details: http://www.marylandmarchforlife.org)  I didn’t realize it then, but a new chapter in my life was just beginning.

Like a teenarger just discovering indie rock, I immersed myself in the culture.  This time, instead of dying my hair red, attending shows, and dating band guys, I went to protests, started groups, and ran the Rock for Life booth wherever a venue would have me.   In my short time of activism, I’ve discovered that pro-lifers carry the burden of a pretty hefty stereotype.  We are perceived as hateful.

Allow me to walk you through a surprisingly eye-opening event I ran last summer:

Rock for Life partnered with Maryland Right to Life at a county fair to have a booth with pro-life educational materials and sell some shirts.  A large part of our display consisted of a simple MDRTL banner, neon “I ❤ Babies” tank tops, and a video clip of a 4D ultrasound for a baby at 20 weeks.  Every day that week the booth was manned by my team of passionate educated young women excitedly donning their neon tank tops.  To stay with the theme: we were ready to rock.

After the first day, it was clear what the rest of the week would have in store.  Our neighboring vendors were visibly unsettled that they were stationed next to the “controversial booth.”  I knew going in that each new face or family passing the booth had their own unique story concerning the issue of abortion.  Most people have already formed an opinion and were ready to either high five us or avoid eye contact.  One minute we received loving support and hugs from complete strangers thanking us for our brave efforts, and the next we were cursed out by an old man with a cane.  After complimenting a passerby on her Where the Wild Things Are tattoo, she shouted, “I hate you and everything you are about!”  One woman even yanked her little girl away from the booth and covered the girl’s eyes as they darted in the other direction.

So, that was Day One.  I knew the only aspect of this week-long event in my control was how our team could respond and present ourselves to the public.  So our mission was clear: be the most pleasant and loving group in that exhibit hall.  Each day when other vendors sat in the back of their booth, we stood ready to greet everyone at the aisle.  We brought the other vendors coffee and doughnuts and sparked conversation whenever possible.  We welcomed the public to “come learn about human development” or “see how they could make a difference in a young woman’s life.”  When asked, “So what is this all about?” we would respond, “We are educating young people and empowering women with the knowledge and truth about what happens in their bodies when they become pregnant.  We also connect with the local crisis pregnancy center to help support women and their children.”

Looking back on the event, I believe the woman who shielded her daughter’s eyes from the TV screen at our booth assumed the 4D ultrasound clip was a graphic image of abortion.  Why would she assume that?  Well, because that’s the image we’re most known for presenting.  Why did the old man shake a cane in my face and tell me to “mind my own damn business”?  Well, he probably needed a nap, but mostly it’s because he’s from a generation who remembers violent protesters and clinic bombings.

I may get a lot of grief for this, but some stereotypes exist for a reason.  I’ll make fun of myself to illustrate: Italian people are obsessed with food.  Totally accurate description of my Italian family.  When I visit my grandmother, the order of welcoming phrases are, “How have you been?” and then, “Are you hungry?”  Even if it’s 2am, there is freshly baked bread and half a leftover ham waiting in the fridge.  Pro-lifers are stereotypically pegged as a hateful, judgemental, and hurtful group of humans – and there’s a reason.

We can’t go back and change how the pro-life movement has presented itself in the past.  We can’t stop every extremist from being hurtful in the future.  What we can control is ourselves, and thankfully, love is quite contagious.  Certainly my team didn’t take the county fair by storm and convert every pro-abort to be pro-life, but I know we made a huge impact.  Our mission wasn’t only to show the opposition our credible scientific research or moral theology.  Our mission was also to show that pro-lifers care about women and children.  Vendors surrounding our booth (many who were admittedly “pro-choice” in varying cases) were drawn over to us, listened to our message of love and education, and signed the MDRTL petition for banning abortions after 20 weeks (when the baby feels pain).

If you’re a pro-lifer, take some time today to reflect on the way you’ve used words or presented yourself to your pro-abort friends and the public.  If you support abortion, let the record show that your opposition, the pro-life community, desperately loves and cares for all humans, born and pre-born, mothers and children – some of us may just not have shown it very well.

Claims that I’ve made in this post open a myriad of other doors for questions and topics which I am excited to address in a future post.  For now, my two-year-old is not napping, so I must stop here.

❤ Michele

Pro-Life Apologetics Rundown: Rape

Being pro-life is awesome isn’t it? We are the side with hope, we love babies, love their mothers and love life! But just loving life isn’t going to help us explain why abortion is unjust. True, it should be common sense that babies deserve a right to live and women deserve better than abortion. Sadly though, our culture has become bogged down by bad reasoning to make their “choices” seem rational and compassionate.

I hope to help explain why there is NO excuse that makes abortion seem ok or acceptable. I will do this by providing you guys with a shortened version of how to defend common pro-choice arguments/questions about abortion.

I figured I would start with the most common objection pro-lifers hear.

Sure. Abortion is bad but what about rape? You wouldn’t force a woman to carry a child that was forced on her, would you?

Don’t panic.

Rape is a very emotionally charged subject and therefore it is often brought up as an issue when you say you are pro-life. Rape is a horrific attack on a woman and before I tell you all the talking points, I want you to keep this in mind: be gentle. You don’t know who you may be talking to! They could have been raped or known a loved one who has been raped. Regardless, make sure to use kindness as you speak and be sensitive to this person.

Now, when I am faced with this, I usually start out with common ground with the person. Rape IS horrible. Rape IS the violation of a woman. And women who have been raped deserve the best medical care and counseling that is available. And yes, carrying a child who is a result of rape won’t be a happy experience for the mother.

BUT. This child who resulted from this violent crime has done nothing to deserve the death penalty. Heck, we don’t even punish rapists with the death penalty! This innocent, fully human precious child is innocent. Are we allowed to kill people who remind us of a traumatic event? I would hope not.

My second point is that abortion is additional trauma for an already traumatized woman. This woman has already been violated. Abortion is not going to change that. Instead, it will further traumatize her. I will let you in on a secret: Abortion is not a natural procedure. It’s not a heart transplant, its not the removal of a kidney. It’s an incredibly invasive procedure that is aimed to harm, not heal. There are plenty of studies on post-abortive women who say that their abortion did not make things better, it was another violation of their body. Abortion makes rape worse. It doesn’t make it go away.

So that is a quick run-down of some counterpoints to the rape exception argument. We could go into further detail but I think that is a good start for you to talk to your friends, family and classmates about being totally pro-life no exceptions. We are the side who cares about women and their children. That is why we should not permit women in tragic situations to suffer another tragedy. Check out our website and please email us! We would love to hear your questions and pro-life stories.

MYTH: Contraception Prevents Unintended Pregnancy

Many opponents of contraception point out the grave immorality inherent in its use: rejection of natural functions of one’s body, treating children as aggressors, refusal of God’s gifts etc. However, one thing that we must also continue to remind our culture of is the simple fact that contraception does NOT prevent unintended pregnancy.

Now, before you get all, “whaaaaaat?” on me, I’ll build a little more suspense by telling you a brief story that has recently come out in the news.

“It’s Not My Fault”

A woman in Kansas City is suing a manufacturer of contraceptives because they were mispackaged and she believes that it was this faulty packaging that led her to get pregnant. In light of her pregnancy she said,

“I was devastated. I questioned myself. After [12] years [of using these contraceptives] how could this happen? Then I received a letter in the mail [which cited the mispackaging]. Of course I was angry. There was nothing I did that was a mistake.”

I’m sorry to say that she did make a mistake, two in fact. I’ll take each of these one at a time.

#1: Believing that contraception will prevent unintended pregnancy.

First of all, and to finally relieve you of your bated breath and palpitating suspense from my first remarks and the title of this article: contraception doesn’t prevent unintended pregnancy, it simply changes the odds. The proof of this comes first of all from statistics touted by the Guttmacher Institute, a rabidly pro-contraceptive research organization with ties to Planned Parenthood that, if anything,  has a bias to show an increased effectiveness of contraceptives. According to the Guttmacher Institute: “48% of women with unintended pregnancies and 54% of women seeking abortions were using contraception in the month they became pregnant.”

Not only does this show that contraception clearly doesn’t “prevent” unintended pregnancies, but a study published in the January 2011 issue of the journal Contraception showed that  a 63% increase in the use of contraceptives was accompanied by a 108% increase in the rate of elective abortions. Since, thankfully, not every mother who has an unintended pregnancy aborts her child; the rate of unintended pregnancies in this study is probably even much higher.

To drive this point home even further, I’ll share a brief anecdote about a former colleague of my mother. This woman worked with Mom for years, during which she had 5 children. Every single one of these children was conceived during the use of a form of contraception ranging from pills to IUD to implants to shots. The last child was actually conceived after this woman’s husband was surgically sterilized…or so he thought.  While, despite these “failed” contraceptives and sterilizations, she had the presence of mind to not abort her children when she was faced with unintended pregnancies, she still seemed persist in her delusion that contraceptive drugs, devices and surgeries would prevent them.

#2: Doing the thing that makes babies when she didn’t want a baby.

When I hear of people being surprised that they have conceived a child after having sex I can’t help but to think of the guy standing in his doctors’ office:

Guy: “Doc, it hurts when I do this?”

Doc: “Then don’t do that!”

This may come as a shock to anyone that hasn’t taken a science class which covers basic mammalian sexual reproduction but it wasn’t faulty packaging on this woman’s contraceptives that caused her to become pregnant, it was the fact that she had sex.

Glibness aside, an analysis of a decline in non-marital pregnancies among teens found that, “the reduction in numbers of 15-19 year olds having intercourse accounts for 67% of the decline in pregnancy rate.” Plus the Centers for Disease Control found that from 1991 to 2001 “53% of the decline in pregnancy rates can be attributed to decreased sexual experience.”

If you don’t want to be the person that says, “Doc, I get pregnant when I have sex” then… “Don’t do that”

Suffice it to say, if people want to actually prevent unintended pregnancies instead of simply changing the odds, then they need to rely on the only effective means: abstinence before marriage and fidelity to your spouse afterward.

Planned Parenthood’s Coercive Big Business Lobby

On Tuesday, the Colorado House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to House Bill 13-2081, a bill that is meant to expand “sex ed” throughout Colorado’s public schools. This approval followed a “Reproductive Freedom Lobby Day”, NARAL and Planned Parenthood’s euphemism for “big business interest groups manipulating legislation.”

The “sex ed” bill purports to demand that, “…schools need to promote healthy relationships through age-appropriate, culturally sensitive, and comprehensive, evidence-based human sexuality education.” So what is so bad about that? And what does this have to do with marketing Planned Parenthood’s products and services?

Nothing sums it up better than what Alan Guttmacher, a previous president of Planned Parenthood once said, “the answer for winning the battle for elective abortion once and for all, is through sex education.”

As the bill itself states, “the information, education and skills that Colorado youth receive during their formative years provide the foundation for responsible decision-making about personal behaviors and important life decisions throughout the rest of their lives.”

It is no secret to Planned Parenthood that if you can get kids hooked on sexual deviancy and promiscuity at a young age then they will continue to buy contraception and abortions for years to come.

In Fiscal Year 2011/2012 Planned Parenthood reported an income of nearly $1.2 billion, with a profit of $87 million. Over $300,000 came from the sale of surgical and medical abortions and contraceptive drugs and devices.

However, the majority of PP’s income is not actually from its customers, but rather from tax payers. In fact, in FY 2011/2012 tax payers funded Planned Parenthood’s business operations with over half a billion dollars of grants and contracts. Colorado’s newly proposed HB13-2081 seeks to increase this amount by setting up a special cash fund in excess of $2.4 million that will be eligible only, “for the provision of comprehensive human sexuality education programs that comply with the provisions of or exceed the guidelines.”

Let’s take a look at those guidelines:

HB 13-2081: “Age-Appropriate” means topics, messages and teaching methods suitable to a particular age or age group, based on developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capacity typical for the age or age group.”

Planned Parenthood: ““Elementary school children should have a basic awareness of gender roles and sexual identity, and they should be comfortable with their own sexual thoughts and fantasies. Children age 9-13 should be aware that sex is a natural, pleasurable part of life. They should be familiar with birth control methods and sexually transmitted infections, older teens should have a broader understanding of human sexuality and the potentially harmful consequences of sexual relationships.”

Basically PP is saying kids should be comfortable thinking about sexual fantasies starting when they are 7, believe birth control will keep them safe when they fornicate but not learn about the potentially harmful consequences of these actions until their late teens.

HB 13-2081: “Culturally-Sensitive” includes resources, references and information that are meaningful to the experiences and needs of communities of color, immigrant communities, lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender communities…and others whose experiences have traditionally been left out of sexual health education.”

And yet later on the bill states that,” the oversight entity shall assess opportunities for available federal and state moneys to fund the program, except that the oversight entity shall not recommend applying for any federal or state moneys that promote abstinence as the sole behavior method”

So I guess that the bill says you should be “culturally sensitive” to everyone except for people who disagree with deviant sex ed programs?

HB 13-2081: “Evidence-based Program” means a program that…research has shown to be effective in changing…the following behaviors…increasing the use of condoms and other contraceptives.”

Planned Parenthood, via Alan Guttmacher again, says that the perfect sex ed program would be one by which, “children would accept contraception as naturally as breathing.”

Could this be a coincidence that a bill whose language happens to fall directly in line with the business model of the billion dollar big business known as Planned Parenthood is given preliminary approval the same day PP commands its followers to lobby Colorado’s representatives? Something makes me think not.

We’ll Miss you Pappa B

To say that I was surprised this morning to find out that the Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation would be an understatement.  Without being too cliché, I really feel like it was just yesterday that I was eating eggs benedict at my friend’s house to celebrate the election of our new Pope.

This is surprising not only because Pappa B has only been in office just under 8 years, but because the last time a pope resigned was over 600 years ago.

Pope Benedict XVI stated that he was stepping down because waning strengths due to advanced age and that as of February 28th at 8:00pm the See of St. Peter will be vacant. Not only Catholics, but pro-lifers the world around are saddened to hear this news.

Throughout his papacy Pope Benedict XVI has been known for his strong pastoral teachings regarding the defense and celebration of every human being. At a meeting with the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2011 he said very simply that abortion, “does not solve anything” but rather only produces further hardships on mothers and families. Instead of resorting to, “killing the child, destroying the mother, blinding the conscience of the father and devastating family life,” the Pope encouraged the Christian Church to work toward providing the resources necessary for mothers and fathers to make good and holy decisions for themselves and their families.

This message of stalwart rejection of evil coupled with a profound duty of love and compassion has been a hallmark of Pope Benedict XVI. In his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est or God Is Love, the Pope speaks at length about the beauty of properly ordered human sexuality and calls attention to the profound expression of love manifest in charitable works.

While Pappa B agreed that working to achieve social justice is indeed a responsibility of the faithful, the role of the Church is primarily and necessarily directed toward charity. In Deus Caritas Est the Pope reminds us that, “Practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ.”

As we struggle to seek justice for the innocent lives being attacked through abortion and the families being assailed by contraception, let us remember that no changes in law nor amount of protest will free us from the evils perpetrated against human life and human sexuality if we do not share our love and therefore the Love of Christ with the world.

If we truly wish to abolish abortion, then we must not simply rebuke sinners, but rather also provide compassionate care for families. Let us not be deceived into thinking that those in need, “do not need charity but justice” as some social reformers would like us to believe, but rather understand that charity is indeed the source of justice.

In thanksgiving for the loving guidance God has blessed his people with through Pope Benedict XVI let us enter into a renewed passion for service in the pro-life movement so that God will achieve justice through the charity which burns in our hearts.

My 10th March

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The March for Life! The time when, contrary to the news coverage, there are hundreds of thousands of people who travel from all over to celebrate the growing pro-life movement as well as grieve together for the millions and millions of babies lost since Roe V Wade.  This year marked 40 years of Roe V. Wade.  Forty years of abortion equals 55 million babies…gone. It’s a difficult thing to stomach but being around so many fellow pro-lifers helps keep me from getting discouraged. It shows me that we are the pro-life generation and the abortion industry should be shaking in its boots.

This year was a special one for me.  It marks my 10th march in a row.  I’ve marched for 10 years in the cold D.C. streets with my fellow pro-lifers. It’s a milestone, in one way I wish I didn’t have to celebrate.  I wish abortion had ended by now.  But this milestone represents something else to me as well. It means I am a pro-life “lifer.”  I am committed to this cause.  It’s not just because I march because that would be silly.  No, it’s because every time I go back to DC and meet with my fellow activist-friends from all over the country (and the globe) we can share all the pro-life work we have done to dignify mothers and their babies that previous year.

And I wouldn’t be where I am without Rock for Life.

Rock for Life was the reason I was woken up to the horror of abortion.  Sure, I knew it was wrong.  But I hadn’t really thought about DOING anything.  Then this guy named Erik (El Director!) announced to my church that his organization would be hosting their Annual Training and Activism weekend.  We would be protesting and marching to bring awareness to the millions of babies who had been lost to abortion.  So I went and I will never be the same.  My eyes were opened to the horror of abortion and the hope that the pro-life movement could offer to women in crisis situations.  Women just like my birth mother.  It clicked with me.  I survived Roe V. Wade and therefore I could not think of any other place for me then to speak for the silenced unborn children.  It’s been 10 years since then and while I am grieved we lose 4,000 children everyday to abortion, I know I am making a difference.  Not just by marching but by being a pro-life ACT-ivist.  Rock for Life continues to give me an opportunity to speak out about human injustice and it gives me a link to others, my friends, my fellow activist, who want to make abortion unthinkable.

I will leave you with a question poised by Sophie Scholl, a young girl about my age who did what she could to speak out against the injustice of the Nazis who had taken over Germany, her country, “Are there still people today who never weary of directing all their thinking and all their energy, single-heartedly, to one cause?”

Sophie’s question applies to where we are today.  Many will say we are foolish for being so “pro-life.” Just remember that we must always be focused on this cause.  Join us.

No Joy On Father’s Day: Abortion Hurts Young Men

When talking about post-abortion experiences, one hears a lot about women hurting from abortion. At pro-life events, women usually make up the majority of those holding “I Regret My Abortion” signs. Occasionally, a middle-aged man testifies as to how abortion affected him and holds an “I Regret Lost Fatherhood” sign.

Rarely, however, do you hear from young men about how abortion has affected them. Statistically, 56 percent of women having abortions are in their twenties and 17 percent are teenagers, so it follows that roughly the same percentage (73 percent) of men involved in abortion are under 30 years old. Why don’t we hear their stories?

This year, at Ichthus Festival, (a huge Christian music event held June 10-13 in Wilmar, Kentucky), when two young men told me their stories, I got a very close look at this mostly unrecognized pain.

The first young man told me that his now-ex-girlfriend informed him that she was pregnant and getting an abortion. He pleaded with her to not kill their child. He told her he would take care of the child. He called lawyers, judges, politicians—anyone who would listen and might be able to help. All of them told him the same thing: You are a man and thus have no say in this matter. She went through with the abortion, and he was devastated! He told me, through tears, that he still has nightmares about his child being aborted.

The next day, another young man told me a similar story. His girlfriend had already made up her mind to abort when she first told him she was pregnant. He, too, had no say. He also cried as he told me about his nightmares and the year of depression, alcohol and drug abuse he endured after the abortion. I was given the opportunity to record this young man’s testimony in audio form, which we featured in a recent Rock for Life Netcast. Young men are generally less prone to showing their emotions, especially to a complete stranger. Nonetheless, these two couldn’t hold back their sorrow over their lost fatherhood. I was able to listen to both men and pray for their continued recovery.

The trauma both young men have experienced has fired them up about joining the pro-life movement. One of them asked about starting a Rock for Life chapter in his community. The other told me that as a college freshman, he started a campus pro-life club and would now like to associate it with Rock for Life. You can see God working in their lives as they work through their abortion experience and give of themselves at the same time.

Keeping in mind that we recently celebrated Father’s Day, if you wonder why so many men seem disinterested in caring for their children … consider this: Maybe it’s because they have absolutely no voice in a life-or-death decision when those same kids are in the womb.

Don’t let the abortion advocates fool you! Abortion is not just “a women’s issue.” Abortion deeply wounds men too—young and old. For more information on post-abortion healing for men, check out American Life League’s Celebrate Life article “Men and abortion: Reclaiming lost fatherhood” (January–February 2009).

This article was originally published on the American Life League website.

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