For the past 10-plus years, Dr. George Delgado has served as the face of the Abortion Pill Reversal Network, which has helped over 450 mothers rescue their babies from an in-progress chemical abortion.
Starting Thursday afternoon, however, the network’s 24-7 helpline and provider group is changing hands to Heartbeat International, it was announced at the final day of Heartbeat International’s 2018 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
Over 450 mothers have successfully rescued their babies—including 100 who are currently still expecting—with the life-saving Abortion Pill Reversal treatment since 2007.
“Nothing is more of an alternative to abortion than Abortion Pill Reversal,” Heartbeat International president Jor-El Godsey said. “Abortion Pill Reversal is an absolute lifeline to the very woman who needs our help most. No woman should need to finish an abortion she regrets—especially when there may be time to save her child’s life.”
In 2007, Delgado and another physician, Dr. Matthew Harrison, both utilized an FDA-approved remedy for preventing miscarriages to help women stop a chemical abortion, commonly known as the abortion pill or RU-486.
Applied up to 72 hours after a woman takes mifepristone—designed to kill a baby ahead of the second, labor-inducing pill in a chemical abortion—Abortion Pill Reversal gives a woman one last chance to choose life in a procedure that now accounts for as many as 40 percent of abortions throughout the U.S.
Under Delgado’s leadership, the network has grown to over 400 medical practitioners, while over 3,000 women have contacted its round-the-clock helpline to speak with a licensed nurse about rescuing her child.
Until the transition Thursday, Delgado had overseen the network and call center, while heading up the research that has given rise to Abortion Pill Reversal as part of his San Diego-based family practice, Culture of Family Life Services.
Now, Delgado—who released a peer-reviewed study showing as much as a 68 percent success rate a week ago—will turn his attention to further researching the medical intervention.
Meanwhile, Heartbeat International is bringing aboard the network of medical providers—more than 50 of which are pregnancy centers—as well as the licensed nurse helpline staff who will answer calls initially fielded by Heartbeat International’s 24-7 helpline, Option Line.
Answering well over 1,000 calls, live chats, emails and text messages per day, Option Line (1-800-712-HELP, OptionLine.org) recently reached its three millionth contact since launching in 2012.
“Abortion Pill Reversal has the potential to reach many more women and save many more lives,” Delgado said. “Our goal has always been to grow Abortion Pill Reversal, and by the grace of God, we’ve found a partner in Heartbeat International. We know there are many more women who need this treatment when they change their minds, and we’re confident this transition will help more mothers find that help.”
Though over 450 mothers say they have stopped their own chemical abortion and rescued their babies through Abortion Pill Reversal—and despite a growing amount of scientific evidence and agreement from abortion advocates that it is a sound medical treatment—many abortion extremists oppose Abortion Pill Reversal on ideological grounds.
In a move that effectively robs a woman of the right to try and save her child, abortion advocates have tried unsuccessfully to seize bureaucratic levers to keep nurses from learning more about the life-saving treatment.
The constant opposition falls on deaf ears for mothers like Katrina, however. As she faced an unexpected pregnancy in her senior year of college, Katrina’s boyfriend repeatedly threatened to he would kill himself if she didn’t end their child’s life through abortion.
Reluctantly, Katrina allowed her boyfriend to drive her to an abortion business, where she took a mifepristone pill, designed to kill her baby. Miraculously, her family intervened and begged her to seek help at the pregnancy help medical clinic right next door to the abortion business.
Using Abortion Pill Reversal, Katrina was able to save her son Gabriel’s life. He turns a year old this May.
“Abortion Pill Reversal empowers a woman to choose life for herself and her baby,” Godsey said. “Every mother deserves the right to protect her own child, no matter what choices she’s made in the past. We are honored to take Abortion Pill Reversal into its next season of saving lives by putting choice back into a mother’s hands.”
About Heartbeat International
Heartbeat International is the first network of pro-life pregnancy help organizations founded in the U.S. (1971), and the largest network in the world. With 2,500 affiliated pregnancy help locations—including pregnancy help medical clinics (with ultrasound), resource centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies—Heartbeat serves on all six inhabited continents to provide alternatives to abortion.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Following on the heels of two undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in what appears to be the for-profit procurement and sale of body parts from aborted babies, The Center for Medical Progress released a new video Tuesday morning, “Human Capital – Episode 1: Planned Parenthood’s Black Market in Baby Parts.”
The latest video centers around the testimony of Holly O’Donnell, identified as an “Ex-Procurement Technician for StemExpress, LLC,” the Northern California-based company whose marketing material promised Planned Parenthood affiliates “Financially Profitable” benefits of selling body parts harvested from aborted babies.
“Every life deserves to be protected,” Heartbeat International president Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., who has led the network of nearly 2,000 pregnancy help locations worldwide since 1994, said. “Aren’t we worth more than the sum of our parts? The life of a mother and her child are worth far more than an abortion facility’s bottom line. Every life deserves to be protected”
While Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider with over 327,166 abortions reported in its 2012-13 annual report, has denied selling body parts for profit—which would be a violation of federal law—Tuesday’s video provides continued evidence that the body parts harvested from aborted babies are done so with a for-profit motive.
“We were asked to procure certain tissues, like brain, liver, thymus, pancreas, heart, lungs, and pretty much anything on the fetus,” O’Donnell says in the video. “It’s basically human trafficking of fetal tissues.”
The Center for Medical Progress released its first in a series of undercover videos Tuesday, July 14, which captured Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing the harvesting of fetal organs, telling what she believed to be potential buyers that her national team had, “been very good at getting heart, lung, liver,” noting that abortion providers could “crush” the baby in such a way as to preserve certain body parts for resale.
Last Tuesday, July 21, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Medical Council President, Dr. Mary Gatter, was shown in a similar video, negotiating price points for the resale of harvested baby body parts while referring to her colleagues’ ability to use “a less crunchy technique” to get more intact body parts.
“Women deserve better than abortion,” Hartshorn said. “That is why pregnancy help centers, medical clinics, maternity homes and non-profit adoption agencies offer a mother all the information she needs to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in an unexpected pregnancy.”
About Heartbeat InternationalHeartbeat International is the first network of pro-life pregnancy help organizations founded in the U.S. (1971), and now the largest and most expansive network in the world. With nearly 2,000 affiliated pregnancy help locations—including pregnancy help medical clinics (with ultrasound), resource centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies—Heartbeat serves on all six inhabited continents to provide alternatives to abortion.
“Women deserve better than abortion and the predators who profit from this deadly practice.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday | December 15, 2014 CONTACT: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications & Marketing (media@HeartbeatInternational.org)
COLUMBUS, OH – Responding to breaking news over the weekend of eight additional victims coming forward against the alleged Dr. Nareshkumar Gandalal “Naresh” Patel in Oklahoma City, Heartbeat International has released the following statements:
“Women deserve better than abortion and predators who profit from this deadly practice,” Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., said. “The shared story of these eight women points to the very reason Heartbeat International’s network of pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, and non-profit adoption exist, which is to provide a pregnant mother with all the information she needs to care for herself and her family during an unexpected pregnancy.
“Women deserve to know the whole truth. Abortion facilities—Mr. Patel’s is merely the example of the day—often leave out the truth, putting abortion profits above what’s really best for mothers and their babies.
“Our network of pregnancy help organizations offers free services because the life of a mother and her baby are worth more than an abortion facility’s bottom line,” Hartshorn said. "It is tragic, in the case of these eight women, that they were reached by a preditory practicioner in an hour of great vulnerability, rather than a life-affirming voice in a local pregnancy help organization."
Patel was arrested Tuesday, Dec. 9, on charges of “fraud for prescribing abortion-inducing drugs to patients who are not pregnant,” according to a press release issued by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. While further investigation is ongoing, Patel’s original charges could result in a three-year jail sentence and a maximum fine of $15,000, according to the press release.
By Dr. Donna Harrison, Director of Research and Public Policy of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Some researchers and others have claimed categorically that Plan B — a high dose of Levonorgestrel — has no effect on human embryos. Media outlets in recent days have echoed these claims. The research studies, however, don’t support that conclusion.
Numerous studies and reviews published over the last 20 years have shed light on the nine critical steps from fertilization to a successful pregnancy that proceeds to term:
Step 1: At the beginning of a woman’s cycle, a new batch of eggs starts to mature in a woman’s ovary.
Step 2: The woman’s brain (specifically, the pituitary gland) sends a signal to her ovaries to cause the eggs in the batch to grow, and one will mature more than the others.
Step 3: The pituitary sends a big signal — a surge of luteinizing hormones, called the “LH surge” — to tell the ovary to get ready to release that one matured egg. That surge allows the egg to be released within the next 24 hours. The LH surge also causes the place where the egg was released from, the corpus luteum, to produce another hormone, progesterone, which later enables the embryo to survive.
Step 4: The woman’s ovary releases an egg, which must be fertilized within 24 hours or else is incapable of fertilization.
Step 5: An embryo is formed at fertilization (sperm penetrates egg).
Step 6: The embryo travels to the endometrial cavity.
Step 7: The embryo implants in the lining of the uterus (implantation).
Step 8: Biochemical “crosstalk” between the embryo and the mother establishes a nutrient supply to the embryo. This crosstalk requires progesterone before, during, and after implantation.
Step 9: The mother misses her period and gets a positive urine pregnancy test.
Currently the term “contraceptive” is used loosely to describe drugs or devices that interfere with one or more of the steps from 1 through 8. Interfering with pregnancy after step nine is termed an “abortion.”
Since human life begins at fertilization, however, the ethical controversy is not about the words “contraceptive” or “abortifacient” but rather about whether drugs and devices can interfere with steps 6 through 8: That is, can they end a human life that has already begun?
How Plan B works depends on what step a woman is at in her cycle. If she takes Plan B when she is at step 1, nothing happens.
If she takes Plan B at step 2, her brain will not produce enough of an LH surge for her to release an egg. Many studies show that if LNG (Plan B) is taken four to two days before a woman is due to release an egg, then Plan B can delay ovulation for several days or prevent ovulation altogether (see here, here, and here). If this were the only way in which Plan B worked, there would be no ethical concern about embryos: With no egg released, there would be no embryo formed.
If she takes Plan B at any one of the steps from 4 through 9, then there is good evidence that the high dose of LNG in Plan B EC is not effective in preventing pregnancy (see here). There is also evidence that taking this high dose after ovulation (actually after the LH surge that occurs the day before egg release) neither prevents implantation nor disrupts an embryo that already implanted (see here). That raises a concern about effectiveness, but not about ethics.
But what happens if a woman takes Plan B when she is at step 3?
This is the heart of the problem. If LNG is given one to two days before the egg is due to be released, then egg release is not reliably prevented (see here, here, and here). In fact, in several studies of women who received LNG as an emergency contraceptive during the time immediately before ovulation, ovulations were documented but no pregnancies occurred (see here and here).
One study reports that “when [a high dose of LNG] was given in the fertile window, breakthrough ovulations occurred 62 out of 87 times (71%)” (see here.)
That means that 71 percent of the time when women took LNG shortly before their egg release was due to happen, the women released eggs. This led the authors to conclude: “FR (follicular rupture or ovulation) occurred in some two-thirds of women taking [a high dose of LNG] preovulatory; this suggests that other mechanism than suppression of ovulation prevents pregnancy in these women.”
The authors recognized, that is, that an egg was released but no pregnancy occurred.
What happened? Several important studies help answer this question. When ovulation does occur after LNG has been given, most of those ovulations show luteal-phase defect (see here, here, here, here, here, and here).
That’s the term for when the ovary does not produce enough progesterone to allow the embryo to survive. If the LH surge is blunted — that’s an interference at step 3, above – then the ovary will release the egg, which can be fertilized but not produce enough progesterone for steps 6, 7, and 8. So, the embryo formed would not survive long enough to produce a positive pregnancy test. And interference with the LH surge is precisely how Plan B works.
So, in summary:
If Plan B is taken five to two days before egg release is due to happen, the interference with the LH signal prevents a woman from releasing an egg, no fertilization happens, and no embryo is formed.
Current studies do not demonstrate a harmful effect on the embryo if Plan B is taken after egg release.
Many authors focus on these two facts to make the sweeping claim that Plan B has no effect on a human embryo. What they are forgetting is Plan B’s effect at step 3, the two-day window in which embryos can form but positive pregnancy tests don’t occur. That’s the window during which the studies mentioned above suggest that Plan B has a likely embryocidal effect in stopping pregnancy.
That two-day window is a problem for people who care about the youngest human life. And it’s why the many confident assertions in the media that Plan B acts only to prevent conception, and never to kill embryos, are misguided.
— Donna Harrison is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and is the executive director and director of research and public policy for the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
© 2014 by National Review, Inc. Reprinted by permission.
A message from Michaelene Fredenburg
As a Heartbeat affiliate, you regularly see clients’ pain from past abortions. You offer support or refer women to a healing group, but so many things -- including shame and fear -- may prevent them from attending.
I can certainly relate.
At 18 I had an abortion. I believed it would erase my pregnancy and allow me to move on with my life. Instead, I experienced regret and sadness. I was confused by these emotions. At first I tried to ignore them, but the emotions only grew stronger and more intrusive. I thought about talking to someone, but the desire to reach out was checked by my fear of how people might react.
What if they denied my feelings? What if they condemned me? What if they treated me differently afterward?
I seriously wondered if anyone could understand what I was going through. I also wondered if other women were experiencing similar, troubling emotions after their abortions. Or was I the only one?
Even after learning of an after-abortion healing group and realizing I wasn’t alone, I still resisted reaching out for help. My secret would be revealed if I attended a program affiliated with my church. I also wasn’t sure I wanted to heal -- suffering and punishment seemed like more appropriate consequences.
As my unresolved emotions gradually developed into unhealthy behaviors, my desperation to find help finally overcame my fear. When I shared my pain with a friend, her compassion gave me courage to reach out to the after-abortion healing program. Finally, I could grieve the loss of my child and find restoration. I was fortunate to have a friend help guide me out of my years of silent suffering.
However, many women aren’t as fortunate. As a result, after-abortion services are woefully underutilized. Although many pregnancy center clients have experienced a past abortion, only a tiny percentage of them will take advantage of the excellent resources offered through the center or by an affiliated organization.
Sue Smith, executive director of Cornerstone Women’s Resource Centers in New Jersey, related how difficult it is for clients to attend the center’s after-abortion healing group: “We lose women if they sign up for the group. It is too difficult to send them to ‘strangers’ to talk about their abortions, especially when they are already bonding with their client advocates. I began to realize that it would be best to equip each client advocate to begin the healing journey with her client.”
Sue’s search for an appropriate resource led her to the book Changed: Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved one’s Abortion Experience. “Changed is an important piece in the healing journey…it’s an excellent first step for someone who hasn’t talked about it yet. This gives the girl a starting point, and the client can stay with her client advocate.” By working through Changed one-on-one, more women will receive assistance, and it will be easier for client advocates to help those women who’d benefit from additional support to transition into an after-abortion support group or attend a healing retreat.
Lise Klassen, founding director of North Peace Pregnancy Care Centre in Canada, found Changed to be a “great start to begin your healing process. I really like how there is a combination of stories (communicates that you are not alone) and a section to write in the book as you heal (tasks of grieving).” Lise offers the book as a take-home resource. However, the client also has the option of talking through the book with center volunteers.
Lise also likes that the book is written for a wider audience -- men, women, and family members, as well as for those with or without a faith background. “The book is beautiful. I like how it is spaced out so people can read a little at a time. I hope many people will get the book.” Sue shares Lise’s enthusiasm, “We believe in it so much that three churches have purchased a total of 65 books—one church kept 20 for themselves, and the rest we are using. Each client advocate will be able to have her own copy as she works with her clients.”
I am delighted that Changed and the companion interactive website, AbortionChangesYou.com, are effectively being used as tools in after-abortion healing programs. While they in no way replace the resources and programs that are currently available, they do offer a unique place to begin the healing process for women who would otherwise continue to suffer in silence.
To commemorate Heartbeat International’s 40 years of dedicated service to women and families, we would like to offer all Heartbeat affiliates a 50% discount ($12.50 per book) from now until May 30th on the book Changed. To take advantage of this special discount, enter code Heartbeat2011 upon checkout at www.ChangedBook.com.
I invite you to browse through Changed and to visit AbortionChangesYou.com. And if your center isn’t already listed on our online directory, please submit your contact information at Find Help Resources Sign Up.
I am very honored and excited to be working with Heartbeat International at this year’s 40th Anniversary Conference. I hope you will attend the workshop entitled “Reaching the Unreachable” so we can discuss how to reach hurting men and women through Abortion Changes You® take-home and in-center resources.
Michaelene Fredenburg is the creator of the Abortion Changes You® Outreach and author of Changed: Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved One’s Abortion Experience.
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On November 7th, the Washington Post published an opinion by Dr. Brenda Major titled “The Big Lie about Abortion and Mental Health.”
I would like to offer another perspective on dishonesty permeating the scientific study and dissemination of information pertaining to abortion and mental health.
Dr. Major is absolutely correct; an informed choice regarding abortion must be based on accurate information.
For abortion providers to offer an unbiased and valid synopsis of the scientific literature on increased risks of abortion, the information must include depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as suicide ideation and behaviors.
Over 30 studies have been published in just the last 5 years and they add to a body of literature comprised of hundreds of studies published in major medicine and psychology journals throughout the world.
The list is provided below and the conscientious reader is encouraged to check the studies out. No lies … just scientifically derived information that individual academics, several major professional organizations, and abortion providers have done their best to hide and distort in recent years.
Like Brenda Major, I too am a tenured, full professor at a well-respected U.S. University and I, too, have published peer-reviewed scientific articles in reputable journals. In fact, my publication record far exceeds that of Dr. Major on the topic of abortion and mental health. I am not alone in my opinion, which has been voiced by prominent researchers in Great Britain, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, the U.S., and elsewhere.
As a group of researchers, who in 2008 had published nearly 50 peer-reviewed articles indicating abortion is associated with negative psychological outcomes, 6 colleagues and I sent a petition letter to the American Psychological Association (APA) criticizing their methods and conclusions as described in their Task Force Report on Abortion and Mental Health.
The opinion piece by Brenda Major following on the heels of the highly biased APA report is just the latest effort to divert attention from a tidal wave of sound published data on the emotional consequences of abortion. The evidence is accumulating despite socio-political agendas to keep the truth from the academic journals and ultimately from women to insure that the big business of abortion continues unimpeded.
The literature now echoes the voices of millions of women for whom abortion was not a liberating, health promoting choice. A conservative estimate from the best available data is 20 to 30 percent of women who undergo an abortion will experience serious and/or prolonged negative consequences.
Any interpretation of the available research that does not acknowledge the strong evidence now available in the professional literature represents a conscious choice to ignore basic principles of scientific integrity.
The human fallout to such a choice by the APA and like-minded colleagues is misinformed professionals, millions of women struggling in isolation to make sense of a past abortion, thousands who will seek an abortion today without the benefit of known risks, and millions who will make this often life altering decision tomorrow without the basic right of informed consent, which is routinely extended for all other elective surgeries in the U.S.
In publishing Major’s opinion without soliciting other voices on the topic, the Washington Post has perpetuated a serious injustice.
• Bradshaw, Z., & Slade, P. (2005). The relationship between induced abortion, attitudes toward sexuality, and sexual problems. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 20, 390-406.• Brockington, I.F. (2005). Post-abortion psychosis, Archives of Women’s Mental Health 8: 53–54.• Broen, A. N., Moum, T., Bodtker, A. S., & Ekeberg, O. (2006). Predictors of anxiety and depression following pregnancy termination: A longitudinal five-year follow-up study. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 85: 317-23.• Broen, A. N., Moum, T., Bodtker, A. S., & Ekeberg, O. (2005). Reasons for induced abortion and their relation to women’s emotional distress: A prospective, two-year follow-up study. General Hospital Psychiatry 27: 36-43.• Broen, A. N., Moum, T., Bodtker, A. S., & Ekeberg, O. (2005). The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, five-year follow-up study. BMC Medicine 3(18).• Coleman, P. K. (2005). Induced Abortion and increased risk of substance use: A review of the evidence. Current Women’s Health Reviews 1, 21-34.• Coleman, P. K. (2006). Resolution of unwanted pregnancy during adolescence through abortion versus childbirth: Individual and family predictors and psychological consequences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35, 903-911.• Coleman, P. K. (2009). The Psychological Pain of Perinatal Loss and Subsequent Parenting Risks: Could Induced Abortion be more Problematic than Other Forms of Loss? Current Women’s Health Reviews, 5, 88-99.• Coleman, P. K., Coyle, C. T., & Rue, V.M. (2010). Late-Term Elective Abortion and Susceptibility to Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, Journal of Pregnancy, vol. 2010, Article ID 130519.• Coleman, P. K., Coyle, C.T., Shuping, M., & Rue, V. (2009), Induced Abortion and Anxiety, Mood, and Substance Abuse Disorders: Isolating the Effects of Abortion in the National Comorbidity Survey. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 43, 770– 776.• Coleman, P. K., Maxey, C. D., Rue, V. M., & Coyle, C. T. (2005). Associations between voluntary and involuntary forms of perinatal loss and child maltreatment among low-income mothers. Acta Paediatrica, 94(10), 1476-1483.• Coleman, P. K., & Maxey, D. C., Spence, M. Nixon, C. (2009). The choice to abort among mothers living under ecologically deprived conditions: Predictors and consequences. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 7, 405-422.• Coleman, P. K., Reardon, D. C., & Cougle, J. R. (2005). Substance use among pregnant women in the context of previous reproductive loss and desire for current pregnancy. British Journal of Health Psychology, 10 (2), 255-268.• Coleman, P. K., Reardon, D. C., Strahan, T., & Cougle, J. R. (2005). The psychology of abortion: A review and suggestions for future research. Psychology and Health, 20, 237-271.• Coleman, P.K., Rue, V.M. & Coyle, C.T. (2009). Induced abortion and intimate relationship quality in the Chicago Health and Social Life Survey. Public Health, 123, 331-338.DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2009.01.005.• Coleman, P.K., Rue, V.M., Coyle, C.T. & Maxey, C.D. (2007). Induced abortion and child-directed aggression among mothers of maltreated children. Internet Journal of Pediatrics and Neonatology, 6 (2), ISSN: 1528-8374.• Coleman, P. K., Rue, V., & Spence, M. (2007). Intrapersonal processes and post-abortion relationship difficulties: A review and consolidation of relevant literature. Internet Journal of Mental Health, 4 (2).• Coleman, P.K., Rue, V.M., Spence, M. & Coyle, C.T. (2008). Abortion and the sexual lives of men and women: Is casual sexual behavior more appealing and more common after abortion? International Journal of Health and Clinical Psychology, 8 (1), 77-91.• Cougle, J. R., Reardon, D. C., & Coleman, P. K. (2005). Generalized anxiety following unintended pregnancies resolved through childbirth and abortion: A cohort study of the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 19, 137-142.• Coyle, C.T., Coleman, P.K. & Rue, V.M. (2010). Inadequate preabortion counseling and decision conflict as predictors of subsequent relationship difficulties and psychological stress in men and women. Traumatology, 16 (1), 16-30. DOI:10.1177/1534765609347550.• Dingle, K., et al. (2008). Pregnancy loss and psychiatric disorders in young women: An Australian birth cohort study. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 193, 455-460.• Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Boden, J.M. (2009). Reactions to abortion and subsequent mental health. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 195, 420-426.• Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Ridder, E. M. (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 16-24.• Gissler, M., et al. (2005). Injury deaths, suicides and homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000. European Journal of Public Health, 15, 459-463.• Hemmerling, F., Siedentoff, F., & Kentenich, H. (2005). Emotional impact and acceptability of medical abortion with mifepristone: A German experience. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 26, 23-31.• Mota, N.P. et al (2010). Associations between abortion, mental disorders, and suicidal behaviors in a nationally representative sample. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 55(4), 239-246.• Pedersen, W. (2008). Abortion and depression: A population-based longitudinal study of young women. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 36, No. 4, 424-428.• Pedersen, W. (2007). Childbirth, abortion and subsequent substance use in young women: a population-based longitudinal study. Addiction, 102 (12), 1971-78.• Reardon, D. C., & Coleman, P. K. (2006). Relative treatment for sleep disorders following abortion and child delivery: A prospective record-based study. Sleep, 29 (1), 105-106.• Rees, D. I. & Sabia, J. J. (2007). The Relationship between Abortion and Depression: New Evidence from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Medical Science Monitor. 13(10): 430-436.• Suliman et al. (2007) Comparison of pain, cortisol levels, and psychological distress in women undergoing surgical termination of pregnancy under local anaesthesia versus intravenous sedation. BMC Psychiatry, 7 (24), p.1-9.
Dr. Priscilla Coleman is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University.
by Susan Dammann RN LAS, Medical Specialist
Did you know most abortions are unwanted, including as much as 64 percent of U.S. abortions involving coercion? Abortion-related coercion can lead to violence, including even homicide—the leading cause of death among pregnant women.
Do you know teens are especially at risk for unwanted, coerced and forced abortions, as well as the many forms coercion can take?
Escalating pressure to abort can come from employers, husbands, parents, doctors, partners, profit-driven abortion businesses, landlords, friends and family or even trusted financial, personal, academic or religious guides, gatekeepers or authorities.
These subjects and many more are included in the peer-reviewed Special Report from the Elliot Institute, Forced Abortion in America.
This valuable resource is free to download, and is an excellent tool for educating yourself and your staff about what society commonly calls a woman’s choice, but in reality is often the un-choice. The report contains the following information:
Why abortion is the Unsafe Choice:
• Nearly 80% of abortions take place in non-hospital facilities, ill-equipped for emergency care.• 31% had health complications afterwards.• 65% suffer multiple symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.• 65% higher risk of clinical depression. • 10% have immediate complications, some are life-threatening.• 3.5x higher risk of death from all causes. • Suicide rates are 6 times higher if women abort vs. giving birth.
• Nearly 80% of abortions take place in non-hospital facilities, ill-equipped for emergency care.• 31% had health complications afterwards.• 65% suffer multiple symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.• 65% higher risk of clinical depression. • 10% have immediate complications, some are life-threatening.• 3.5x higher risk of death from all causes. • Suicide rates are 6 times higher if women abort vs. giving birth.
This is just a sampling of the information contained in this report, complete with many documented case reports. As clients come into our centers looking for our help, it is critically important to educate our staff about what is happening to so many women who find themselves in an unexpected pregnancy.
Equipped with this information, your staff can be vigilant to listen for and explore any indications the client may give, suggesting she may be in a situation involving potential or real violence and coercion.
A woman dealing with both an unexpected pregnancy and coercion-related issues may be frightened to verbalize the threats she is experiencing so we must pray for God’s discernment as we meet with our clients, while developing screening skills to identify potential abuse victims, as well as policies and procedures for intervention when a case of abuse is identified.
by Mary Peterson, Housing Consultant
I recently had the opportunity to share dinner with Michaelene Fredenburg, creator of AbortionChangesYou.com. While our conversation covered a wide range of topics, it was filled with insights about grief, loss, and the healing journey.
Here's a few that have implications for maternity homes:
In Michealene's experience, she has found the term reproductive loss and grief to find more resonance with a widespread audience than would other terms we commonly use with clients. By using reproductive loss and grief to describe the suffering of abortion, people intuitively understand that the loss resembles the pain associated with miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility.
"When I am talking to therapists and other health professionals from a variety of backgrounds and belief systems,” Michaelene said. “I have seen the light blub go off as they make the connection between the grief of miscarriage—which is commonly acknowledged—and the loss of abortion."
Changed: Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved One’s Abortion Experience
By conveying the real experiences of real people, Changed teaches providers to sensitively and compassionately communicate with others about abortion as well as offering interactive suggestions for those affected by abortion to begin the healing process.
Grief & Abortion: Creating a Safe Place to Heal
Grief & Abortion introduces abortion in the context of human grief and loss. It is a guide for counselors and leaders who walk with clients on their healing journey and is a natural companion to Changed.
The experience of a woman who is grieving in the days following an abortion varies significantly from the grief of an abortion carried in secret for 15 years. The models of healing programs vary accordingly, often having been developed to address the needs that were becoming evident.
Because of the pro-life movement’s awareness of this dynamic over the years, those affected by abortion can choose between a variety of wonderful programs with different formats, models of healing and philosophical foundations.
Our role in the maternity home setting is to help a woman find the most meaningful program or method in her particular stage of grief.
Representing a time of safety and community, the context of the maternity home may be an ideal environment for entering into deep healing work. But, a woman must have the freedom to face her grief according to her own timeline.
To prevent adding additional trauma, our role should always be information and invitation.
Resources such as AbortionChangesYou.com use a self-directed approach with online tools and a moderated sharing format to give women from various backgrounds an opportunity to begin exploring their grief.
Resources like these can often bridge the gap between unacknowledged grief and the road to healing, which, we know, often takes place within the setting of a maternity home.
“At Abortion Changes You, we understand ourselves as a gateway, or a starting place," Michaelene said.
Since the process of healing from reproductive loss and grief is at the same time essential and unique for each woman, here are some helpful tips to use in your maternity home ministry, starting today.
For more information about Abortion Changes You, visit www.AbortionChangesYou.com or www.CreatingASafeplace.com.
Thirteen years ago, a woman came into the office seeking abortion. She was in deep pain. Hurt and at the crossroads. Her husband had abandoned her for another woman, leaving her with a pregnancy and four other children to take care of.
Now, with a fifth child in the womb, she saw only reasons to terminate her pregnancy. Besides that, she had no funds for rent or to send her kids to school. She was afraid to go through all these issues alone, without a husband. There seemed no way for her to survive, especially with one more mouth to feed.
Her mind was just abortion.
The woman was counseled, but still she left being abortion minded.
September 21, 2012, the woman called my number and asked if Silent Voices still existed. I told her we are still there and our offices are now at 33 Nsombo Street. She then said, “I would like to come to the office, and I am coming with my 12-year-old daughter who was saved in that same Center.”
She also said, “For many years, I have been talking to my daughter about that place, and I promised her that one day I would take her to meet her spiritual mom.”
Seven days later, the woman came in with a special gift—her daughter that was saved 13 years ago. Her daughter is named “Precious.” We all broke into tears of joy, danced and sang songs of joy.
Precious is in seventh grade now and she is about to write her seventh-grade exams. She is very good at speaking English and she is a leader at the church youth group. She told us she likes reading and going to church.
Precious’ mother is still single and very much committed to taking care of her children. Thank you so much, faithful friends and partners, for standing with us in many ways. Because of you, today we are able to witness God's faithfulness through the LIFE He brought to the Center today.
Your prayers and support are highly valued, be blessed always and rejoice with us always.
Continue to pray for both Precious and her mother as they work hard to pull through in life. Precious has five years to go before she finishes 12th grade and goes into college. Kindly pray with her.
This letter was originally sent to friends and donors by Barbara Mwanza, Executive Director of Silent Voices Zambia, one of over 300 non-U.S. Heartbeat International affiliates. It has been adapted for use at HeartbeatServices.org.
Book by Janet MoranaReview by Jay Hobbs, Communications Assistant
From forward—written by the brilliant Fr. Frank Pavone—to conclusion, Janet Morana’s Recall Abortion makes a compelling case that now is the time to take the “failed product” of abortion off the proverbial shelves of American life.
Janet, who serves as Executive Director of Priests for Life and is the Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, leads off chapter two with an especially gripping statement:
Abortion is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated against women, and those who profit from abortion are the snake oil salesman of our time. This statement may strike some as sensationalism, but I assure you it is not. The evidence in this book will show that it is no exaggeration. (pg. 15)
Indeed, the evidence Recall Abortion presents supports Janet’s claim, and then some. After summarizing several cases of women who have endured (in some cases permanent and chronic) physical complications stemming from abortion, Janet wraps up chapter two with a compelling comparison of recalled American products, ranging from 1978 Ford Pintos to 2000 Firestone tires.
What is expertly implied throughout is made explicit to end this foundational chapter:
Think back to the heartbreaking stories of the women who have testified on Silent No More. Think back to the testimonies of former abortion doctors. Abortion kills babies. And it harms women, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Isn’t it time to rethink our abortion policy? Isn’t it time to recall abortion?
Another excellent feature of this book—which makes it a good “loaner” or gift to your friends, family, and church leadership—is its weaving in and out of the firsthand accounts of women (and men!) who have been deeply damaged by past abortion.
If one and four women will submit to an abortion by age 45, as Planned Parenthood research arm Guttmacher Institute estimates, then those on the fringes of the prolife movement—your pastor, minister, priest, or friendly theology student—somehow need to be brought into contact with these real women and men. Recall Abortion l is a great place for these friends to start.
Recall Abortion does an excellent job of replacing numbers with faces, pie charts with stories. But its reach doesn’t end there. It also tackles the so-called “hard cases,” including abortion in the cases of rape and incest, fetal deformalities, and the life of a mother.
Pick up a copy or five—or 10—and spread the word that now is the time to recall abortion.
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