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Charla Ink Slingers Loss Respect Life

Old and Pregnant

old-and-pregnantI have known so many women who have experienced pregnancy loss and miscarriage. I never in a million years thought I would be one of them.  I had three children, three uneventful pregnancies, and I had reached the age of 44.  It was highly unlikely that I would get pregnant again.  I was past that time, despite still having regular cycles and no symptoms of menopause whatsoever.  Besides, we had gone nine years without getting pregnant.  We certainly had not been “trying,” but we always said we would accept whatever God gave us, so quite unlikely another child was in the cards for us.

I was at a conference out of town and was preoccupied and very busy with learning about the latest in Advanced Placement and just enjoying a little time to myself.  In the evenings, I finally got to spend some “in real life” time with my friends, Donna, Martina, Tina and others.

Any day now, I told myself. I sat by the hotel pool reading (quite a luxury for this wife and mom of three) semi-worrying that I would have to run to the ladies room at any moment.  But nothing;  I was asymptomatic– no cramps, no real moodiness, no adolescent break out. I told myself, not possible, any day now; I am just late, right? Though I was ordinarily like clockwork. I spent a final  evening with these wonderful ladies and almost asked for a ride to the drugstore to get a test, you know, “just in case”. Nah– not possible for this old lady; I’d wait until I got home to check for sure.  

However, something just kept nagging at me, so after walking to Mass that Sunday, the day I was headed home, I begrudgingly took a detour to the drugstore near my hotel.  I finished packing and took the test– just to make sure I had nothing to worry about.

Lo and behold! It was glaringly positive!

I was incredulous.  Not possible.  No way.  What??? Am I looking at this stick correctly???

I wish I could say I was elated.  I wish I could say this unexpected news overjoyed me.  I wish I could say this is what I wanted. Alas, I could say none of those things.

I can’t even describe what was going through my mind at that moment.  I am ashamed to say, I screamed at God, “What are You thinking!? How on earth is this a good idea?! Why are You doing this to me?!” I just can’t be pregnant!

All I could repeatedly tell myself is “I can’t do this!” “I can’t do this!”“I can’t do this!”“I can’t do this!”

I started doing the math in my head.  I would be almost sixty two when this baby graduates from high school.  I am just too old.

I told God to take this baby; I was not a good enough mom; I was too old and too tired for nursing, diapers, sleepless nights.  I was not to be trusted to give this baby the perfect, young, energetic mom he deserved. Oh why did I say this out loud for God to hear me?

“I can’t do this!” “I can’t do this!”“I can’t do this!”“I can’t do this!”

But I would have to do this.  I would have to trust God’s will, but I was not quite ready to do that.

After this melt down, I calmed down and got ready to leave. I went through all this by myself in a hotel room. No one to talk to, no one was around.

I got to the airport and called my mom. She is the only one I wanted to talk to at that moment.  I did not want to tell my husband on the phone, so I called my mom and told her.  I started to cry hysterically yet again, and my sweet mom says, “Why are you crying? This is wonderful. You’re having a baby!” To which I replied, “Mom, but I am SO OLD!” She kinda laughed and said “Oh yeah. That’s right. Well, that is okay.  It’ll be just fine! You should be happy.”  At that moment, I felt if I had been listening earlier, these were the exact same words that God was saying to me.  Thank you Lord for repeating Yourself loud and clear through my mother’s words.

I arrived back home and as my husband picked me up, I handed him the test stick. He reacted quite the way I did, but with less hysterics. He was worried about all the same things I was worried about. Talking to my mom gave me some clarity and I attempted to instill some of it into my dear husband. Eventually, that is what happened.

Everything fell in place and we started to make the beginning preparations: find a doctor, take the vitamins, pick out names… My husband and I actually agreed upon a boy’s and a girl’s name pretty quickly. My sons were elated, especially the younger, and my sister and her family were ecstatic. We chose to wait to tell the nine year old until things were further along, but sadly, it wouldn’t get much further along than a few more weeks.  

We were heading out to the lake cabin with the family one weekend when the end began. At about nine weeks, I woke up and started spotting. I tried to keep up hope, but I knew two things in my heart: one, that it was baby boy, and two, that he was gone.

His name is Liam Phillip.

I cried and cried and cried. Not the hysterical cry from when I was overwhelmed with the pregnancy news, but a low constant sob that still hasn’t quite stopped. I cried for my beautiful boy, who I just knew would look like my oldest son, who I knew I would never meet, never hold, never nurse. I cried in regret for the words I spoke to myself and God, not trusting Him or myself.  I cried that my kids would never meet their brother.

Blood tests confirmed what I already knew and I saw each result, spaced days apart,dwindle down to nothing. I returned to work after summer break, keeping this pain at bay, until not just one, but two, coworkers announced their news: One was about to be a new mom, and she shared my due date; the other’s wife was due days before that. Her baby was born later, but his was born on my due date.

It has been six months since my baby should have been born, and many emotions are at play for me. I am still in mourning to be honest. I am mourning not only my baby boy, but I am mourning my fertility.  We do not dare “try again.”  I could not bear to try to replace him with another.  As this one wasn’t planned to begin with, I reacted horribly, and besides, what if I lost the next baby, and the next, and the next…? No, I can not go through that again. The doctor said it probably happened because these things just happen. There is nothing wrong with me medically, except that my eggs are pretty old.  Yes, there is something sad about probably not being able to bear anymore children. Every month is filled with dread, regret, yet relief.  This is one of those areas that I have to truly put my trust in God.

I am starting to talk about him little by little.  Many friends did not know I had a miscarriage, so they do not know quite what to say.  Here is what not to say to a 44 year old woman who has lost a baby: “It’s best anyway.  There was probably something wrong with it.” “You did not want to have a baby this late in life anyway!” “You are lucky to have kids already.” “You already have three perfect kids. Why tempt fate? It could have been abnormal.”  While all these things could be true, I am a mother through and through. No one can tell me I am better off without my baby.

Categories
Current Events Faith Formation Guest Posts Motherhood Vocations

Motherhood and 1000 Concerts | Tajci {TY-chi}

By Tajci Cameron

“1000 concerts is a big number in any artist’s life” states the press release about our milestone concert happening on October 26th in Cincinnati, OH.

As I prepare the music and the narratives for the performance and give promotional interviews, I think about one huge aspect of this accomplishment that easily gets overlooked:

Mothering through 1,000 concerts and 13 years on the road.

 partner Matthew Cameron joins for the curtain call. Photo by Danko Puttar 2013

partner Matthew Cameron joins for the curtain call. Photo by Danko Puttar 2013

My husband Matthew and I raised our three sons Dante (13), Evan (11) and Blais (8) while traveling around America, with music dedicated to inspire, engage and encourage people to believe.

Singing was the easy part. I was well trained, had great mentors/teachers and many years of experience, as I started performing at the age of four.

Motherhood on the other hand… “It’s the most amazing, but hardest jobs of all’, my own mother would say to me when I was growing up in the old country Croatia.

From the moment I knew I was going to have a baby, I attempted to prepare myself for motherhood, getting my hands on all available resources: reading, studying and researching. But with mothering, there aren’t any tech or dress rehearsals available. The moment it begins, you are in the spotlight.

When life is stable, home and finances secured (and your own mother is living within a walking distance), even then, it’s a role no one can truly prepare for. It’s a role that doesn’t even come with a script, and yet, it’s the role that’s very much responsible for the other characters (our kids).

Blais and Tajci
Blais and Tajci

But being a mother, on the road, pregnant, with nursing infants, toddlers, one, two, three at the time… is something I wasn’t even finding a lot of resources for. I tried reading about other ‘famous moms’ (who travelled with their children), but was reminded that, although I had the status of a superstar, I gave up all the luxuries and support systems that come with it.  I had never met another mother who had attempted the same thing, so the best advice I would get from other moms around the country was an honest and sympathetic: “I don’t know how you do it”.

I would respond: “I don’t. We do,” giving a full credit to my husband Matthew who has been the world’s ‘champion Dad’, has provided tremendous support and done everything in his power to create an environment in which I could both sing, and focus on my kids. If travelling and affecting people wasn’t his passion as well as mine, I would have had a long pause in my career and stayed home until the youngest kid was big enough to not need me constantly (college age?).

Mothering on the road was unusual, adventurous, rich with magical moments, and at times, very hard.  It shaped my spiritual journey and influenced my concerts and music in many ways. I didn’t just sing my songs, I prayed them – most often praying for my children and whatever we were going through.

I took these thirteen years as an opportunity to let my children teach me, and help me to get closer to God.  I wasn’t focused on building my career but on surrendering and learning to say “Let it Be“.  As I look at my body of work and those 1,000 concerts, all I can claim is a journey of love and faith, at times victorious, at times broken, but always completely honest.

Because of the fact that we were doing everything ourselves (from booking the concerts to making promotional materials, producing the music, providing sound and light equipment, driving, setting up, tearing down and doing all the administrative, back-line work) I was fulfilling many more roles than that of a performer and a mother. Too many to list here… (even on LinkedIn they make me look way too A.D.D.).

IMG_0012So, there were things that I simply didn’t do – like taking my kids to soccer practices, decorating my house, or gardening – I attempted them, but mostly I gave them up to leave room for things that I didn’t want to sacrifice: like home-made meals we ate together (during the months we were home) and family movie nights.

There were years when I was stretched so thin, I actually broke down, almost lost my marriage (thanks to Retrouvaille, I didn’t) and, yes, I almost lost my mind.

But even during those years, I never lost the sense of gratitude for being a mother and having these amazing lives entrusted to my care. I wish I took more pictures. And I wish that I had a little elf who would organize those pictures into albums, store the digital files in ways that actually makes sense, and make prints regularly.  And there are thousands of images that tell thousands of happy moments scattered across the Great Plains, on either side of the Rocky Mountains, from Sea to shining Sea.

Our oldest son Dante took his first steps in someone’s lovely home in Dallas, TX; Evan took his in the RV on some California highway traveling northbound; and Blais took his first steps on the thousands of years old cobblestone street in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

They built snowmen in a different part of this enormous country every winter; hid in the tall grass in front of a sod house somewhere in the middle of North Dakota; grew to like New York bagels as much as LA’s ‘mango on the stick’, Chicago’s hot dogs, and Kentucky BBQ ribs. Maybe I wasn’t taking my kids to the soccer practices, but they got to see America through their own eyes.

The hard parts were finding Urgent Care offices open in the middle of the night; beginning a long ride with a baby who was running a fever; cancelling the only one out of 1,000 concerts because our baby Blais was in the hospital with blood in his stool – which then turned to be intolerance to the lactose in my breast milk (after which I traveled around the country, performing five nights in a row, with two days off, for weeks at the time, on a strict non-dairy diet – and I mean, no-whey-in-bread strict – which pretty much cancels all fast food travel road that sometimes kept us ‘alive’ during the long night rides).

The harder parts were snow and rain storms we drove through, with me clutching my babies close to me, praying as hard as I could, that God and His angels would keep us safe.

Even harder was watching them cry for me, with their little hands stretched out toward me, as I had to begin a concert, be completely and utterly present – because in my concerts, there was no hiding. There was me and my music. Honest and completely surrendered.

Copy_of_1_000_times_Tajci_her_family_and_her_audience_sang_I_do_believe_._Photo_by_Danko_Puttar_2013Many nights, I would nurse the babies till the moment I would have to walk up to the stage – and somewhere in the middle, my husband, who would have just introduced me, would walk the other way so I could pass him the baby (he would have just enough time to clear the church door before the baby would realize he was not attached to me any more and start wailing…)

Every once in awhile, I’d let them stay under my keyboard during the concert. I couldn’t bear the thought of them crying somewhere in the basement of the church with Matthew.

From the moment they could crawl on their own and hold a microphone in their hands, they began to sing with me the closing song: “I do believe”.

Tajci&Dante_with_FansWe did homework on the road, on dining room tables in our hosts’ houses and in parish offices, packing and unpacking the school supplies a million times (there aren’t any ‘organizational’ tips in parenting magazines for ‘road-schooling’). After years of adjusting our tours so the kids could be in school Monday through Thursday and only miss one day of school per week (and an amazingly flexible Catholic School and teachers), we decided to homeschool them. The drives had become too long and we finally tired ourselves out.

These days the kids are doing great – excelling in school, they all play instruments well and they are tremendously well-adjusted kids. They still come up at the end of each concert. Our voices are much stronger as we sing in three part harmonies in the song that still brings the audiences to their feet: “I believe, I believe, I do believe.”

But, it’s time for a change. 1,000 (almost all of them free) concerts and long touring seasons are behind us.  As I begin to travel more by myself to perform, I face a challenge that makes all those ‘hard’ baby and toddler years seem as comforting as a “Berenstein Bears” story.  A challenge that comes with even bigger lump in my throat and heaviness in my chest as I get on that flight and text my husband: “Taking off. Kiss my boys. I love you.”

Motherhood – truly, the most beautiful and the hardest jobs of all.

Listen to Tajci’s “Songs for Moms” Playlist here or on: ReverbNation

::Tajci Cameron is a singer/ songwriter and inspirational performing artist. She currently lives in Cincinnati, OH with her husband Matthew and their three sons Dante, Evan and Blais. More about Tajci at Tajci.net and iDoBelieve.com::

Link to “Let It Be – Mary’s Story”: iTunes

Categories
Abortion Faith Formation Fatherhood Guest Posts Motherhood Respect Life Testimonials Vocations

Ordinary Family, Extraordinary Circumstances

We are just an ordinary family.  A dad, a mom, some kids, and the token yellow lab.  We live in a normal house and do normal things.

And yet, in June 2011, the most abnormal thing happened to us that changed our lives forever.

I found out I was pregnant again by the end of January 2011.  Of course I was a nervous wreck until we reached that 12 week mark, because of my miscarriage that previous Fall, but luckily my OB was very supportive and even gave me an ultrasound at 13 weeks so I could see that everything was perfect.  From that point on, we were flying high with the excitement of a new baby and were looking forward to our 20 week scan.  No matter how many times we’d been through it, those ultrasounds were so incredible each and every time.  Little did I know,this 20 week scan would be different than any other I’d had.

When we arrived the morning of the ultrasound, we were very excited.  We had chosen to keep the sex of the baby a surprise again, and were looking forward to seeing all his/her perfect parts and the profile of our newest baby.  The scan went great, but at the end the Tech told us “I’m going to have to send you to a Specialist because the baby has some fluid in the brain and you will need to be monitored. Your baby hassevere Fetal Hydrocephalus.

Enter: Knife in heart.  What? What did this mean?

This news would send us on a whirlwind of emotions, research, and a journey into the unknown.  So much unknown, that we decided to go ahead and find out the sex of the baby… it was another girl. We chose to name her Meagan Theresa.

After having a few days to digest the diagnosis and do hours of research on our own, we had adjusted…well, as much as you can adjustWealways felt open to whatever child was sent into our life, so we just had to pick up our pieces, and keep going.  The diagnosis had a name – but we soon realized the prognosis was completely up in the air.  We had found several helpful websites, and through those, found other Hydrocephalus parents’ blogs.. who then invited us into a private Hydocephalus message board online.

We gained a wealth of information and knowledge. We found out that her brain was being squished by the fluid against the back of her skull… that there was nothing we could do for her while in utero … that she would need brain surgery after birth to insert a shunt (“fake” drain) into the area her body had failed to form correctly.. that she would need this device for life… and that there is NO guarantee or predictor as to how our daughter would be when she was older. Some kids have multiple surgeries because of the failure rate of the shunts… some get lucky and have one.  Some kids are slow to ‘catch up’ but then are ‘normal’ by age 4 as long as the shunt keeps functioning… some kids have severe special needs…from eating, to gross motor skills, to mental issues.

There was literally no way to tell what we would be dealing with until we actually lived through it.

We had to see a Perinatologist due to our daughter’s condition.. One of the first things we were asked upon our first ultrasound with their office was… “And would you like to continue this pregnancy?” It really shocked me.. I was 21 weeks pregnant – were they serious?  And yet, we were asked again by the doctor, “I just have to ask this to do my job…but are you thinking of terminating the pregnancy?

This initial appointment really stung.  The words of the doctor and genetic counselors hung over me like a black cloud. Why would they ask this of parents ONE day into a devastating diagnosis…and how exactly is asking “just doing his job?

Isn’t the Specialist’s job to treat my baby in the womb… not offer to abort her like she’s worth nothing?

Isn’t she his patient?

I’ve always been a pro-life woman.  But now it was personal…and it really got me thinking about the issue.  I couldn’t believe I had been asked to terminate my pregnancy at all…let alone at 21 weeks. And that’s not even the worst. I was asked again at 23 weeks, 25 weeks, and 28 weeks pregnant.  Abortion takes women in my situation, a distressing, devastating diagnosis of a child, and preys upon the woman’s emotions before there is any time for logical and rational digestion of that issue.  Too many lives are lost to abortion due to these ways that the industry ‘attacks’ women.  The apathy surrounding the abortion issue doesn’t help either.  When people say “I would never have an abortion, but it’s not my choice to make for others,” it disregards any human responsibility we have for compassion towards others and valuing our fellow human citizens.

As we continued our journey, I read more and more stories of mothers contemplating termination for a Hydrocephalus diagnosis.  Without trying to sound insensitive, I didn’t understand this logic.  For us, our options to “deal” with a pregnancy (good or bad) ended when we became pregnant. I’m not disregarding the fact that a diagnosis such as our daughter’s was tough… it still is.  It is devastating, sad, and uncertain.  It can (and frankly, should) make us, as her parents, upset, worried and even angry at the world. However, how.. HOWdoes this translate into thinking it is then ok to end her life? What if my oldest daughter, born perfectly normal and healthy, was in a biking accident at 8 years old and had severe brain damage? Would we end her life because it would be “better for her?” How is this any different than Meagan, who happens to have a condition from birth? The answer is, there is no difference.

This is why I hate the term that was thrown around so casually to us … “Termination for Medical Reasons.” That isn’t mercy – it is a nice way of saying “I chose to kill my child  because I did not want to deal with the hardships she may bring to MY life.”

I know it sounds blunt, but, it is the TRUTH.

Why are we teaching our children of this and the next generation to give up on difficult situations?

Or that life with hardship means that life is not worth experiencing?

What kinds of lessons do we give our children and grandchildren?

How will they handle life, then, when it DOES get hard?

How can we expect good children…when from the beginning we tell a mother it is ok to kill her child?

Who are we to decide what quality is when it comes to life?

The job of being a mother, I have learned, is not to make it as easy on us as possible.  It is not to alieviate our child’s suffering by ever crossing those deep moral boundaries of taking an innocent life.  It is simply to LOVE the childPeriod. End of story.  Anything else that comes along with it is just part of being human.  It is part of our humanity to have human suffering. As mothers, this is difficult to see when it is our own children – but – we must understand that it is not ours to take into our own hands.  That is why we must try our hardest to accept what we have been given, and help our children in whatever hand they have been dealt, because, ultimately, we are trying to get our children to heaven.  We cannot accomplish this by hiding behind the “termination for medical reasons” excuse.

WE do not decide if and when our children enter heaven.  We need to accept them, hold them in our arms, and walk the path withthem no matter how hard. This is how we are truly fulfilling motherhood – as Mary did on Jesus’ path of suffering. This is how we truly help our children to reach heaven and live God’s intended promise for their life.

I believe I was chosen for a reason to have a child who will need me so much.  God knows that women like me, who go through such devastation of a bad diagnosis/prognosis, are stronger than the “what ifs” and the negatives.  He has looked upon us and said “YES! You are strong and loving. You can do this, so I will give you this special child.” I think about this everyday and thank God that Meagan was given to us…because with another family, she may not have even made it to her birthday. They may have chosen to “terminate for medical reasons.”  She is here now – with her ups and downs, and worries and scares. And she is not even 3 weeks old. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is a woman who was contemplating aborting her Hydrocephalus baby who came across my blog and then decided to keep her baby girl. Meagan is already changing and saving lives…and she doesn’t even know it yet.  We cannot continue to let doctors scare women out of being what they already are with that child in their womb: a mother.

Our whole situation with Meagan made me think of one of my favorite quotes, from one of my favorite people: Mother Teresa. I think she sums up best the attitude we should all strive for, especially in such times of despair:

“Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted…”

 

**You can follow Molly’s online journal of Meagan’s story at Priceless Little Pearl**

 

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Ink Slingers Lent Liturgical Year Martina Saints

Suffering, Lent, and St. Joseph

Today’s post is a brief* overview of my life the past two weeks.

As if being six months pregnant, homeschooling, and headlong into various projects at my parish {oh, and the small task of running Catholic Sistas} wasn’t enough, we {possibly foolishly} decided to start looking for a new home. Totally unprompted by our own doing…some friends found an AWESOME house directly across the street from the church. We had admittedly looked through the neighborhood unsuccessfully in the past, but this time we saw a home two houses down from our friends. We looked it up, liked what we saw but couldn’t reach a realtor, listing or otherwise who could show the home to us.

It wasn’t advertised, but it was under contract. Bummer. But maybe not. Friends living that close to us would know too much about our daily lives…and vice versa. ::I say this lovingly because I’m sure it would actually turn out ok::

As it turned out, this did not deter us in our search. After giving it some thought, I recalled that my oldest’s fourth grade teacher had retired from teaching to pursue real estate six years ago. We contacted her and told her of our plans to look at a few homes, see what the reality was for the possible sale of our home and consider our options. Were it not for her enthusiasm, we would have no doubt become very discouraged early on. Her energy and her continual push for us to pursue what we really wanted – living near our parish – kept us focused.

So did St. Joseph. His novena started around the time that we seriously considered both selling our home as well as buying another.

And so the dominoes started to fall. My sleepy pregnancy phase changed overnight…full throttle nesting coupled with I-don’t-have-a-nursery-to-decorate syndrome led to my endless quest to tackle our 2800+ square foot home.

The sheer insanity and horror of it all drove me to determined tears. I decided to not look at the big picture, which is scarily the opposite of how I normally operate, and opted instead to focus on one room, one box at a time.

We prayed fervently to St. Joseph to help guide us and to humble our hearts and accept God’s will for us over our own {obviously selfish, give-us-that-house} desires. Each day, St. Joe {as we affectionally started to call him – our buddy, our pal} would answer whatever petitions we had in various ways.

My husband’s schedule at work exploded. It was a positive problem to have, but it left me with a houseful of kiddos, packing and cleaning and bribing and admittedly allowing them to watch too much t.v. under the guise of “it’s Spring Break!” for many long hours each day. We were also stuck at home due to our painter and various folks who needed to come through our home. It made for a long nine days of cattle prodding the kidlets from one room to the next while the work got done around the home. Once my husband got home, he took off his sales hat and put on his home prep hat, moving and hauling boxes to the garage and generally clearing my path for the next day.

The excitement has grown, and the challenges and sufferings have been great, but through it all, I tried to keep in mind all those who suffer more greatly than we were…and do. Packing a home while pregnant has not been easy, but God has sent us many signs that this is the direction for our family. Two weeks ago, selling our home wasn’t a blip on the radar. Tomorrow our home will be listed and, with the help of both St. Joseph and God as well as St. Patrick who also helped us on his feast day {aren’t saints cool like that??}, we have been able to hire a painter turned handyman, who took care of everything from painting nearly the entire home, including kitchen cabinets!, to laying tile, hanging light fixtures, replacing a door jamb, paint the exterior of our home, numerous repairs and generally allowing me to add to his “to-do” list at my whim. The kids loved Anibal and were sad to see him leave. His business name, In God We Trust, solidified that he was exactly who was supposed to help us. And he did.

So…I ask you on this the 23rd of March to keep our family in prayer. For the continual guidance from God and that we humbly {or at least try!} submit to His will.

And I want to give a special thank you to all my wonderful contributors who have helped keep this bad boy afloat while I drowned in boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap and a straight jacket…erm…I mean, my absence online to crack the whip on posts.

xoxo

*brief must mean longwinded post after a long day of working on the house. 😉

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Abortion BirgitJ Ink Slingers Respect Life

Seriously, what do you mean by ‘Choice’?

Welcome to Sanger’s Choice Cafe, my name is Margaret and I will be serving you today. You will be having water, spinach and liver. And don’t forget to pay up front. Have a nice day!’

If this was the way you were treated when you went into a restaurant expecting to enjoy a meal of your choice, I’ll bet you wouldn’t go back there again! Well, that’s exactly what happens when you go to a Planned Parenthood clinic. The word ‘choice’ has been bandied about for many years now – or should I say, it has been  ‘hijacked’? On this, the 39th anniversary of the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision, I would like to ask any and all ‘pro-choice’ folks out there to answer one simple question…

‘Seriously, what do you mean by ‘Choice’?’

choice  (chois) n.

1. The act of choosing; selection.

2. The power, right, or liberty to choose; option.

3. One that is chosen.

4. A number or variety from which to choose: a wide choice of styles and colors.

5. The best or most preferable part.

6. Care in choosing.

7. An alternative.

As the definition of the word indicates, when one speaks of choice, it should be a given that there is a range of options on the table. Think of it as looking at a menu. Do I want the Fettuccine Alfredo or the Rib-eye steak? Cheesecake, ice cream or pie? If you were to go into the restaurant in the example above and they made your ‘choice’ for you, wouldn’t you be just a wee bit peeved?

Now picture this scenario:

‘Welcome to PP, my name is Margaret and we will be testing you for pregnancy today. If you are pregnant we will not help you unless you sign a statement of intent for your abortion. Oh, by the way, pre-payment is required. Thank you and have a nice day!’

 Now how is that a choice? According to Planned Parenthood’s own published report, the statistics speak for themselves. Out of every 100 pregnant women who walk into a PP clinic, 91 will walk out as mothers of dead babies.  In 2010 their abortion vs. adoption ratio was 329,445 abortions to 841 adoption referrals.  There was a recently reported case of a young pregnant woman who went to PP for assistance. When she decided not to abort her child she was shown the door.  Although uninsured, she was not provided with the prenatal care she sought. Wait a minute! Don’t they proclaim to help the poor? There are other cases of women, who change their minds about continuing down the killing path, who are left to deliver their baby in a filthy bathroom and then their child is left to die as she screams for help.

Where is the choice in that?

All this and yet 46% of the income that Planned Parenthood generates comes from the government. They are also forcing you and me to be complicit in their dirty deeds! So even the citizens of these United States are not being given a ‘choice’!

Whenever you have a discussion with a pro-choice pro-abortion person, do you ever hear them mention helping a woman in a difficult pregnancy? Do they mention alternatives such as crisis pregnancy centers or adoption? Not in my experience! What they generally do is deflect by some obscure statement about pro-life people wanting to force women to be ‘breeders’…how we don’t care about the women or their babies – only about getting that kid born. Then they accuse us of simply dropping the ball.

Well let me ask you pro-choice pro-abortion people something, ‘what exactly are the choices that you present?’ When you tell your friends or afrightened pregnant woman/girl that they have a ‘choice’, what are those choices? I can tell you what the choices presented by the pro-life crowd are: assistance before, during and after delivery; choices of how to care for yourself and your child should you choose to keep her; and adoption – the option of giving your baby a chance at a life with someone who desperately wants her. This is an accurate example of ‘choice’ in action!

So stop the rhetoric; stop repeating the Planned Parenthood talking points. There are lives at stake and, yes, there should be choices – choices about how to love both the mother and her baby, before AND after birth. That’s how to be pro-woman! That’s how to truly offer something useful to someone who is seeking your help! That’s what we pro-lifers do!

*As part of our blogging schedule, we have agreed, as a group, that we will not be doing individual blog posts on Sundays. Usually, in an effort to keep the discussion going,  we post about Mass and our obligations on Sundays. We set up an auto-post so we can enjoy family time, too.  Given that today is the 39th anniversary of the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision, which resulted in legalizing the killing of babies in the womb, we have made an exception. We are participating in Jill Stanek’s ‘Ask them what they mean by ‘choice’ blog day. This post was, however, also written prior to Sunday and auto–posted. 

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