Displaying items by tag: pregnancy help movement

From the Birmingham Jail... to the pregnancy help movement

by Jor-El Godsey and Jay Hobbs

In 1963, writing while in a Birmingham jail cell, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. penned a stirring response to local clergy leaders who had publicly criticized his part in non-violent protests against racial inequality.

King’s words spoke powerfully to the commonplace injustice of his day. But his prose echoes throughout the decades to underscore the pro-life argument today.

We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.

The greatest strength of our life-saving efforts today is to continue with “tireless efforts” and “persistent work” as we remain “co-workers with God” in the great work of championing the sanctity of life.

It’s almost as if Dr. King was speaking directly to the questions surrounding the pro-life movement as a whole, and even the pregnancy help movement in particular, as the letter progresses.

His audience was Southern clergy who, while sympathetic to desegregation to some degree, had not yet become emboldened to stand for the equality of their black brothers and sisters. It was not the infamous Ku Klux Klan or other rabidly racist groups who presented the greatest challenge, frustrations, or disappointments to Dr. King. Another group posed deeper issues:

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Far from a mere indictment or dismissal of the church, Dr. King wrote as a minister, who proudly proclaimed himself “the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers” who spoke to the church as a loving son or brother might lovingly—but earnestly—address his parents or siblings.

What an excellent example for those of us in the pro-life movement. We want to invite our churches into the good work of ministering to women and families who are vulnerable to abortion. We do best to address our pastors, priests, leaders, and clergy from a humble—“purified” in the words of Dr. King—position.

At the same time, we also do best to follow Dr. King’s example of relentless urgency:

By their effort and example [early Christians] brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are…

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Take some time this week and read through the Letter from the Birmingham Jail. You’ll be thankful you did.

Building on What We Have Done

Making Abortion Unwantable

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by John T. Bruchalski, MD, FACOG

OUR PURPOSE

How can OBGYNs and Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) collaborate to build a healthier community where abortions are unwanted? This is the purpose of this presentation. Seeing the benefits of what we have accomplished has been inspiring, but we can do more. Based on Tepeyac Family Center’s work of serving regional pregnancy centers in Northern Virginia for the past two decades, we have a few ideas on how to make abortion unwantable.

Individually, our purpose on Earth is to love God and love our neighbors with all of our heart, mind and soul. Faith and charity go hand in hand. As Tepeyac physicians, we see medicine as an act of mercy where we care for and have compassion for the sick and vulnerable, the “least of our brothers and sisters.” There is no better way to live this vocation as an OBGYN than by serving the local PRCs in our neighborhood, community, and beyond. 

Compassion means to suffer with, and we can suffer with our clients and patients and love enough by working together. Practicing merciful medicine removes the reasons for abortion and does so much more than save a baby. We are working toward Transforming Hearts Through Healthcare™ and mercy shows God’s grace.

Let us elucidate the problems that OBGYNs face today, so we can suggest some practical answers to make abortion unwantable.

OUR PROBLEMS

Everywhere we turn, the world seems to be in crisis. With massive changes to the United States (U.S.) healthcare system, physicians today are more cynical, pessimistic, fearful and tired than I have seen in three decades of practicing medicine. The present government solution to fix healthcare decreases reimbursements to doctors and increases paperwork and overhead costs with complex regulations.

Moreover, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has ignored the entire issue of malpractice resulting in increases in liability insurance costs. Under the rhetoric of “reproductive rights” and “women’s healthcare”, the current administration has enshrined abortion and contraception as mainstream medical practices despite the stigma, the paucity of providers, and split in public opinion.

Further, the ACA dismisses personal consciences and violates religious freedoms. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has assaulted conscience rights of future doctors and is demanding that their member doctors either refer or perform abortions. ACOG knows that most physicians refuse to perform the procedures because of its barbaric nature and the number of abortionists is dwindling.

Below are my observed problems that OBGYNs face in building relationships with crisis pregnancy centers and making abortion unwantable.

Problem #1: Lukewarmness

The first problem is lukewarmness. Lukewarm is a problem for physicians on both sides of the abortion issue. Sadly, I know this from first hand experience. I spent the first two years of my career as an abortion provider. Thankfully, my faith and prayer life led me to a place where I am no longer forced or required to violate my conscience. By faith and sacrifice, my wife and I founded Tepeyac Family Center in Northern Virginia in 1994, and its parent company Divine Mercy Care (DMC) in 2000.

My Tepeyac colleagues and I have worked alongside and inside pregnancy resource centers as volunteer counselors, advisors, and board members. Despite many excuses, the primary, honest reason most doctors do not perform abortions is the brutality of the procedure. Over one million abortions are performed in the U.S. annually and most doctors are simply not that passionate about abortion to actually perform them. It is easier for doctors to refer abortions out to the local abortionist.

On the pro-life side, most doctors, even those identified in a Christian faith tradition, are really not that passionate about the dignity of human life to take on the added malpractice risk of seeing women with crisis pregnancies, or accept the financial burden of caring for people without insurance. Providing life-taking or life-affirming care is too much of a burden to physicians with so many other problems and responsibilities to deal with on a day to day basis.

Lukewarmness among doctors is a problem for both sides of the abortion issue.

Problem #2: Idolatry

The second problem is chasing idols. My profession has placed idols before the source of happiness and joy. Idols include making money and increasing prestige; believing abortion is an answer to social and medical problems yet being lukewarm in its practice; not searching for the root cause of unplanned pregnancies; accepting rampant promiscuity and the resultant diseases that follow; treating fertility as a disease and children as sexually transmitted infections; pitting mothers and fathers against their unborn children; and working with suffering without seeing the redemptive nature when suffering cannot be relieved.

As doctors who have taken a vow to “do no harm” and care for all who come before us, physicians have moved away from His light and became instruments of evil in the world, subject to the worst of tyrannies. As OBGYNs, we are being asked to hold back from God and to hesitate to answer His call. Because we are fearful of the cost, the pain, the unknown, we no longer trust the Divine Physician nor do we care or serve our neighbors in need. This is the malice found in our soul. 

We have become hollow, filled with emptiness and fear. Rather than turn to Christ, we grasp for more of the same: more abortion, more contraception, more sterilization and more secular, sexual education. When we attempt to follow ways other than willed by God, we find loneliness and sadness. We chase idols.

Physicians have stopped treating two patients; OBGYNs are being taught to treat a patient with a disease in her womb. No mercy and no care. Faith and love have gotten a divorce from each other and from ourselves, yet, we are called to care for women in crisis pregnancies and show her how to care for her unborn child. This is Tepeyac’s model of practicing excellent and merciful medicine. As a consequence of doctors being lukewarm and chasing idols, Heartbeat and your ministries heroically and sacrificially give of your time and expertise in meeting the needs of the woman with an unwanted pregnancy.

You are present at the time of crisis and need. But this is not enough. PRCs have to provide ultrasounds because doctors in your communities cannot meet this need.

The medical model of a pregnancy resource center was born out of necessity because we in the medical profession, for the most part, have turned our backs on caring for two patients by eliminating the humanity of the fetus and violating the dignity of the woman. Most doctors, even those of Christian faiths, only see the poor on sabbaticals and not during their daily work, when in truth, there are poor people living in our very own community that need our help. We allowed abortion to become a valid medical practice in the Affordable Care Act because we did not uniformly stand together voicing our outrage.

We abdicated the intellectual and scientific truth of when life begins.

With almost twenty years of experience, Divine Mercy Care (DMC) and Tepeyac Family Center offer a solution.

OUR SOLUTION

Abortion and healthcare are NOT political footballs at Divine Mercy Care and Tepeyac Family Center. DMC’s solution has seven practical principles resting on a solid three-pillar foundation of serving, inspiring and unifying when collaborating with PRCs. Nearly two decades of being on the front lines has taught Tepeyac doctors much about combating “lukewarmness” and “idols”.

#1. SEE PATIENTS

Tepeyac’s doctors have found a method through sacrifice, hard work and tithing for medical practices to see all patients; those insured and those not insured or under-insured by outreaching to all pregnancy resource centers in our region. Charity, not entitlement, is at the heart of serving our community. Every PRC is different, so we do not force anything on anyone. We offer our obstetrical expertise to care for the woman and the child in the hopes of helping her see the blessing of the child. We introduce her to resources intended to build a stable and strong family and/or support system. Our fiscal approach is called the MERCY Program where we financially cover medical services that the patient cannot afford. We want to be able to do more than save a baby; we introduce them to community services for a continuum of support; we work toward turning around a life and transforming hearts. 

#2. HELP WITH ULTRASOUNDS

We recognize the great work many PRCs do with their medical model of providing ultrasounds to women in crisis pregnancies. Further, Tepeyac provides immediate ultrasounds and doctor visits for PRC patients. We are applying to open Tepeyac School of Sonography (TSS) Certification Program. If approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia, State Council of Higher Education, TSS will offer a 13-week curriculum designed to train your ultrasound technicians and ready them for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography testing.

Medical care is more than a technical skill. Ultrasound technicians must meet the rigorous professional and safety standards while loving the patients, both mother and baby. This can be taught. Tepeyac shows students how to love and treat patients while fully complying with radiology standards. Additionally, Tepeyac’s standard of providing high quality ultrasound services in a supportive, life-affirming environment ensures that staff respond lovingly to patients who have an abnormal scan. 

#3. CARE FOR THE LEAST

Our Kristen Anderson Perinatal Hospice Program is Tepeyac’s medical, spiritual and community approach to a woman carrying a terminally sick child. The hospice approach maximizes the time a mother spends with her preborn child and enhances the love available for the family as a whole. 

#4. OFFER A MEDICAL DIRECTOR

By having a pro-life radiologist and OBGYNs at Tepeyac, we are able to electronically connect PRCs to a medical expert to read and interpret sonographic information. With the internet and open hearts, no distance is too far to provide excellent medicine and excellent resources.

#5. EDUCATING STUDENTS, RESIDENTS AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS

Leading by example, DMC, through Tepeyac, can help doctors in your area realize the critical importance of not simply sitting on boards, or counseling, but actually seeing the client in need as a patient and building relationships. To transform hearts and minds, we actively attract men and women who are pursuing healthcare degrees and help them understand the importance of working with PRCs once they enter private practice. This is not on top of what we do, this is what we do. Collaborating with PRCs is a way to give back to the community in your own neighborhood. 

#6. INVOLVED IN RAISING MONEY

This is not a “zero sum” game. We cannot continue to the “turf wars.” We serve a generous God. DMC can speak at annual banquets to help inspire those in the audience to give generously to this most urgent of causes. When donors and financially savvy people see the cooperative nature of PRC with a medical practice and other services, they are apt to give more generously knowing that they are not duplicating life-affirming services.

#7. BREAKING DOWN WALLS

It is clear the prolife community needs to be more unified. This is easier said than done. Thankfully, Tepeyac’s approach seems to bring together doctors, PRCs, emergency rooms, maternity homes, social services, specialists, and even churches of various faith traditions. There is a way to live by example the axiom that we can love enough together to make abortion unwantable, children welcomed and families stronger.

Faith and charity is the goal of living. We can overcome the “lukewarmness” and the “idols” by working more closely together. OBGYNs and PRCs need to collaborate. The great work that Heartbeat International and Tepeyac Family Center have accomplished can be improved on, building on what we have done and making abortion unwantable. The above steps are the practical ways this can happen.


Please contact us for a conversation that can lead to the continuing transformation of hearts for our patients, clients and ourselves.

John T. Bruchalski, MD, FACOG Founder, Tepeyac Family Center 
Chairman, Divine Mercy Care 
11096-A Lee Highway, Suite 101 
Fairfax, Virginia 22030 -5039 
703-934-5552 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Honoring Everyday Heroes

 

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Just like any other everyday hero, the quartet of life-savers honored as Servant Leaders at the 2013 Heartbeat International Annual Conference quietly go about their business with no expectation of being celebrated this side of heaven.

 

It came as no surprise, then, when the first winner—Becky Coggin Hyde—stood speechless, even flabbergasted, as Heartbeat President Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, PhD, announced the Arlington (TX) Pregnancy Centers director as the first of four recipients for Heartbeat’s most prestigious award.

Becky was joined by Beverly Kline, Ann Carruth, and Amy Jones, while Mary K. Tiller was tabbed as the inaugural “Heart of the Future Award” honoree for emerging leaders in the pregnancy help movement.

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Becky became Director of Arlington Pregnancy Centers in 1987, and has served in that capacity ever since. In her 26 years, Becky has expanded the center—now called Arlington/Mansfield Pregnancy Centers—to four locations, along with a resale store that funds much of the ministry.

“Becky’s leadership skills are excellent,” one of her co-workers said. “When the Lord lays something on her heart and there is unanimous agreement with the Board, she moves expediently. She waits on the Lord, and she doesn’t move until she is sure He is in the midst of whatever project presents itself.”

Another of the award winners laboring in Texas, Beverly Kline, founded Living Alternatives in 1982 and still serves as executive director for the ministry that has served women and families with everything from pregnancy tests and living accommodations to life-skills training and adoption services in its 31-year history.

Originally based in Beverly’s one-bedroom apartment in Tyler, Texas, Living Alternatives now includes a pregnancy resource center, a resale ministry for teen foster girls (“Keeps Boutique”), a maternity home, and an adoption agency.

The third Texan recognized as a Heartbeat Servant Leader at her home-state Conference was Dallas-based Council for Life Founder Emeritus Ann Carruth.

One of 11 original founders of what was then known as Pregnancy Resource Council in 2001, Ms. Carruth’s vision to support a local pregnancy center began with a single banquet called “Celebrities Celebrating Life,” and has since raised $3.3 million.

Council for Life, who has partnered financially with Heartbeat, began a national affiliate program in 2011, encouraging other major pro-life donors in U.S. cities to unite for the cause of Life.

Amy Jones currently serves as Director of Servants for Life, an international ministry based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, which offers mentoring, coaching, counseling, and training to ministry leaders and boards. She began her life in ministry as a high schooler serving with Youth for Christ, and spent 22 years leading Christian Life Home, a housing ministry for young, pregnant girls.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship and as a consultant with Heartbeat International.

The founder and executive director for Expectant Heart Pregnancy Resource Center in Longview, Texas, Mary K. Tiller was given the first Heart of the Future award for younger leaders stepping into key roles in local pregnancy help organizations across the globe.

Mary K., who holds a master’s degree in Human Services, Marriage and Family from Liberty University, founded Expectant Heart in 2011, and the center began serving clients in November of 2012.

“Mary K. represents what a next-generation leader should be,” Heartbeat Director of Ministry Services Betty McDowell, LAS, said. “We have witnessed firsthand that she is a servant leader and a learner, and because of that, it has been our delight to work with her.”

To view all Heartbeat Servant Leader award recipients, click here.

40 Years after Roe, God Reigns

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Forty years after a case originating in a Dallas courthouse was decided in the U.S. Supreme Court, Heartbeat International returned to the birthplace of Roe v. Wade April 2-5 with a simple message:

We serve the Giver of Life, and He Reigns.

Nothing, including political climates, cultural shifts, or even the unspeakable worldwide tragedy of abortion, can dethrone the God whose glory is set above the heavens.

This precious truth was woven throughout every aspect of the 2013 Annual Heartbeat International Conference, which included close to 1,000 friends of Heartbeat, including attendees, exhibitors, expert workshop presenters, inspiring keynote speakers, Heartbeat board members, and donors.

“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice…”

Fittingly, the centrality of prayer emerged as a major theme throughout the Conference, as 40 Days for Life National Director David Bereit helped set the tone for desperate dependence upon the living God as the keynote speaker during the Conference’s first evening session.

David was one of eight keynote speakers throughout the four-day event, which concluded with a closing banquet and address from Heartbeat International President Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, who is commemorating her 20th year of tireless service in that capacity, and her 40th year of active involvement in the pro-life movement.

Opportunities for prayer and worship were led in part by worship leader Greg Gober, while opportunities to participate in mass were led by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, who also keynoted at the Conference.

Conference participants were also given the opportunity to receive prayer during their time in Dallas, thanks to the generous involvement of Refuge House of Prayer and Breath of the Spirit, who volunteered their time to encourage and refresh those on the front-lines of the battle for Life.

“…let the many coastlands be glad!”

The glorious truth that God reigns carries along with it global implications, and this was also reflected at the Conference, where a total of 20 representatives from 11 non-U.S. countries gathered.

These friends served as a great reminder that God’s reign extends to all corners of the world—from the U.S. to Zambia, Australia to South Africa, Mexico to the Philippines, Costa Rica to Austria, Canada to Liberia, and from Germany to Ethiopia.

And these friends were just a sampling of the more than 300 Heartbeat affiliates outside of the United States in over 50 countries. Two of these friends, Pastors George and Sylvester from Liberia, shared an African proverb that became a theme unto itself for the Conference:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

We hope you join us at next year’s Annual Conference, March 24-27 in Charleston, South Carolina!

Justice under construction

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by Jay Hobbs, Communications Assistant

On a brisk January afternoon, I found myself positioned between two citadels of American government.

On my right sat the Capitol Building, where I’d spent the morning with Heartbeat International’s Babies Go to Congress®. On my left stood the U.S. Supreme Court Building, where the 40th Annual March for Life would conclude the following day.

As I turned my gaze to the Supreme Court building, I expected to behold its looming columns and take in its hopeful, enduring motto, “Equal Justice Under Law.”

But what I saw surprised me. The majestic façade was covered with scaffolding and a transparent construction curtain. As I learned, the great marble-work of the building’s façade had been crumbling for some time, and renovation was now underway.

What a striking parable of justice, deteriorating. Yet, at the same time, what a striking parable of hope that justice can be—and one day will be—restored.

We live in a world that is plagued with the consequences of a decision made in that very building 40 years ago. When those inside this shrine to American justice decided, 7-2, to legalize abortion on-demand, justice crumbled.

Such a miscarriage of justice under the auspices of “Equal Justice Under Law” must never be forgotten. That’s why Heartbeat launched RememberingRoe.com, which serves as an online memorial to those 55 million unborn Americans who will never see the light of day because of Roe v. Wade.

A few hours before my stroll to the Supreme Court steps, I had the pleasure of watching Matennah—one of three moms who made up the Babies Go to Congress envoy—tell seven of her congressmen the story of how her beautiful twin daughters had been rescued by a Heartbeat-affiliated pregnancy help center.

Twenty-four hours later, the 40th annual March for Life brought 500,000 peaceful protesters to these stately steps. Heartbeat International was there, represented by a group of generous supporters and the sampling of moms, like Matennah, and their babies who have been saved from the violence of abortion.

Following the March, Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., President of Heartbeat International, keynoted the annual Rose Dinner, highlighting the good work pregnancy help organizations to do for women and families. Peggy was followed by New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, chair of the Pro-Life Caucus, who delivered a ringing endorsement of Heartbeat and our life-saving mission.

No doubt, justice has drastically crumbled. But just like the façade of the Supreme Court building, it can be restored.

A role to play

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by Jay Hobbs, Communications Assistant

I was reading through Proverbs when news of the Penn State child abuse scandal broke in late 2011. As the horrific story dominated every inch of the public square, one saying from the wise man stood out most clearly to me:

Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? (Proverbs 24:11-12)

I was so sickened by what I was seeing and hearing about everything, from the grisly details of the events that had occurred—and were even witnessed—to the shameful cover-ups collaborated by football coaches, school administrators, and even sworn officers of the law.

Having worked in collegiate athletics for nearly 10 years, these acts of negligence hit me with a specific force, but no harder than they hit me as a father. I felt anger, disgust, nausea, and helplessness.

But what good would come if all I did was feel these things, and then let them fade away so that I could go on with the rest of my life? Did the sting of this outrage belong in the rear-view mirror?

While my 1-year-old daughter napped one Saturday afternoon, I began to pray that somehow, some way, God would lead me to a calling and vocation where I could play a role in the rescue of those being taken away to death. I prayed, and less than a year later, God—the true and final Rescuer—brought me an opportunity to do just that, with an organization I’d never heard of, called Heartbeat International.

Today, I am so blessed to be playing a role in the effort to hold back “those stumbling to the slaughter.” Most of you who are reading this are in the trenches right now, fighting this battle one life at a time. Some of you have been in this trench longer than I’ve been on this earth.

What an honor it has been to join with you in the battle to hold each life precious.

Together, we hope and pray and labor for the day when abortion is not only unwanted, but unthinkable in our nation, our legal system, and our culture. At the same time, we also realize that abortion may not be going away this side of heaven. In one form or another, the strong will always victimize the weak, right up until the Day when the Judge of the whole earth makes all things right.

Until that Day dawns, our orders are clear: We are to rescue those who are being taken away to death. One child at a time. One woman at a time. One family at a time. 

It’s not up to you and me to finally solve these evils. It’s up to each of us to be faithful to do our part, in hope—hope that one Day, we will see these evils ended before our very eyes. Until that Day comes, we’re free to focus on the task at hand without driving ourselves to despair or exhaustion.

The problem is more than you and I could ever handle, and yet, it has already been handled—fully and finally by the death and resurrection of Jesus. We enter into that promise by faith, but it's that same faith that also thrusts us into the vineyard to labor for that which our faithful Savior values.

Take heart. God, the one who “keeps watch over your soul” sees the good work you’re doing. And, he will repay you according to it.

Are we winning?

Jor-El Godsey, Vice President

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It is really hard to find anything “winning” about the fact that, in a given year, at least a million-plus American babies are losing their lives because of abortion.

When you take into account all those who have been wounded by this “choice”, it becomes even harder to find something positive—let alone to allow ourselves to think we’re winning.

But, before we throw our hands up and walk away, let’s consider two things that can give us at least a hint that, yes, we are winning.

First, the nearly 1,400 Heartbeat affiliates worldwide directly serve 1,000,000 moms, dads and babies every year. That’s direct service, not estimated impact. Think about it: If the pregnancy help community threw in the towel, countless additional lives would be added to the toll of dead and wounded on account of abortion.

Second, and more importantly, such discussions draw us to envision a time when no abortions are happening. We long for that day. We pray for that eventuality to come about. We hope to see the realization of that dream.

Many pro-lifers give their time and attention to achieve that BIG victory over abortion, by utilizing the political and legislative resources available to us. This is a necessary and worthy goal. But, until that happens, we can—and must—win ONE victory.  

That ONE victory involves the mom and baby we will see today, in our centers, in our maternity homes. That’s what we do: We win one victory, one heart, one life at a time.

So take heart. We win every day we step into someone’s life and prevent the tragedy, the loss, and the violence of abortion they are otherwise headed for.

Victories for Pregnancy Help Movement and First Amendment

(5/10/2012)

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Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit was the first circuit court to rule on government mandates requiring pregnancy centers to post disclaimers and disclosures, declaring that such mandates violate freedom of speech, a constitutional right.

“The Fourth Circuit Court’s decision is a victory for Centro Tepeyac and other Heartbeat International affiliated pregnancy help centers that are rescuing children who were once at risk of abortion by providing practical help and emotional support to mothers who often have been abandoned and abused,” said Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D. “This decision upholding our freedom of speech affirms the life-saving work of pregnancy centers and the importance of providing alternatives to abortion.”

The first case ruled upon by the court was Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County; Montgomery County Council, et al, No. 11-1314 (4th Cir. 6/27/2012) in which the county passed a resolution requiring limited service pregnancy centers to display a sign bearing two statements: “The Center does not have a licensed medical professional on staff. Montgomery County Health Officer encourages women who are or may be pregnant to consult with a licensed health care provider.”

The second case, Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns et al v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, et al, No. 11-1111 (4th Cir. 6/27/2012) originated from Baltimore, which involved a city ordinance mandating pregnancy help organizations to post signage in two languages that “the center does not perform or refer for abortions or birth control services.”

The Fourth Circuit Court slapped down both government mandates as violations of free speech, applying strict scrutiny to its analysis of both laws.

The Court applied the same reasoning to both laws:

  1. that the pregnancy centers are not engaged in commercial speech;
  2. that the Court was obligated to apply strict scrutiny in its review of such ordinances and resolutions;
  3. the government did not demonstrate a compelling interest necessitating the laws; and
  4. that both laws violated First Amendment.

These rulings signal a strong victory for pregnancy help organizations, not only in Maryland, but across the country, as challenges are raised to similar attempts in other jurisdictions.

 

RememberingRoe.com calls pro-life movement to reflect, repent, restore

By Virginia Cline

rr-web-adI remember my father’s tears on January 22, 1973. It was the first time I had ever seen him cry.

I was 11 years old when I found him crumpled up on the stairs, shuddering, with his folded hands pressed to his face as he sobbed. I will never forget how he was curled up in the fetal position as he wept. It took him no less than 10 minutes to choke out the fact that seven men on the U.S. Supreme Court had decided it should be legal for a mother to abort her baby.

On that particularly bleak Monday afternoon, he cried for the millions of babies he knew would die at the hand of Roe v. Wade.

How could we fail to acknowledge the more than 54 million children aborted in the United States alone since the insidious Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973—the most tragic and unforgettable date in U.S. history?

Since the upcoming presidential inauguration is planned for Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, the 40th annual March for Life was moved to Friday, Jan. 25, leaving the anniversary itself without acknowledgement. Heartbeat International and at least 10 other partnering pro-life organizations—including March for Life—did not want the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade to pass by without a national day of prayer and fasting, so RememberingRoe.com was launched.

RememberingRoe.com promotes a day of remembrance and hosts a variety of interactive tools and includes an opportunity to sign up for a national hour of prayer via webcast, led by the National Pro-life Religious Council on Jan. 22, 2013, beginning at 3 p.m. EST.  

The site is also the vehicle for a national campaign that seeks to send 1.2 million red pro-life postcards to the president in honor of the 1.2 million victims of abortion in the U.S. each year. For a small donation, visitors can sign up for a red card—personalized with their name—to be delivered to the White House on Jan. 22, 2013, sending the leader of the free world a positive message about the sanctity of every human life from those he represents.

Forty years of destroying life in the womb is the battle that defines our society. The false “choice” of aborting a child has endangered our very civilization by attacking the dignity of human life and by denigrating motherhood. The escalating evil of abortion calls for a supernatural response, and so we challenge every pro-life individual to kneel together as one nation under God, and call upon Him as we remember, reflect, repent and plead for restoration on the anniversary of this disastrous turning point.

Prayer is the strongest weapon against the evil that is abortion. Our hope is that members of the pro-life movement call upon God—the Giver of Life—in prayer and fasting together as we fight for the sanctity of life in America. As the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaches, visitors are encouraged to post prayers on RememberingRoe.com, leading to greater unity among members of the pro-life community.

There’s also a place at the site to share your story of how you first heard about Roe v. Wade. Some of us are old enough to remember exactly where we were when we learned about the now-infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision.  Those born after Roe—rightly called “abortion survivors”—are also invited to share reflections on when and how they learned that the Supreme Court had declared it a “right” for every woman to choose to abort her baby.

My pro-life passion was ignited Jan. 22, 1973, after witnessing my father’s heartbreak and hearing his cries: “I could have done more. I should have done more to stop abortion.” 

Imagine if our stories listed online at RememberingRoe.com inspired Christians everywhere to do more to help each mother reject the “choice” to abort her child!

The goal of RememberingRoe.com—and the goal of Heartbeat International—is to make abortion unwanted now and unthinkable for future generations. The Holy Spirit has the power to kindle the fire of compassionate love within us, so that the pro-life movement can renew the face of the earth for LIFE. Let us unite so that we may never forget.

Life Links

Your source for pregnancy help ministry resources 

For a listing of Pregnancy Help Centers, see the Worldwide Directory--an online directory of life affirming service providers around the world.

Abortion Abortion Recovery Abstinence
Adoption Books Fundraising and Marketing
Hotlines Incentives Programs Insurance
Marriage Men's Ministry Mobile Units
PRC Affiliation Groups Pregnancy Center Software Pregnancy Test
Prenatal Development Pro-Life Groups Pro-Life Resources
Pro-Life Speakers Research Resale Shops
STD/STI Information Teen Resources Ultrasounds
Website Design    

Abortion

Abortion Facts
Abortion Pill Reversal

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Abortion Recovery

Abortion Changes You
The Alliance for Post-Abortion Research and Training
International Helpline for Abortion Recovery
Deeper Still 
The Elliot Institute 
H3Helpline
Hope For The Heart Abortion Recovery
Life Perspectives
Lumina
National Memorial for the Unborn
Operation Outcry
Project Rachel Ministry
Rachel's Vineyard
Ramah International
Restoring the Heart Ministries
SaveOne 
Silent No More Awareness Campaign
Support After Abortion
Surrendering the Secret

Abstinence

Abstinence Educators' Network
National Abstinence Clearinghouse
Pure Freedom
Purity Works 
Relationships Under Construction
Silver Ring Thing 

Adoption

A Lifetime Adoption
BraveLove
Choosing Hope Adoption
Hope For Families
Lifeline Children's Services
Love Basket Domestic and International Adoption Ministry

Books and Movies

The Jesus Film Project

Fundraising/Marketing

Banquet Success
Better by Design, Inc.
Cause Based Commerce, Inc.
Choose Life License Plates
Choose Life Marketing
Cornerstone Payment Systems
iRapture
Life Advancement Group
Liliana Grace Media & Marketing
KarlaSutter.com
Keener Marketing 
Life Support, Inc.
Plans for You, Inc.
Stewardship Technology
Secret Key Publishing - (407) 671-4208 
Pregnancy Help Institute - Development Track

Hotlines

Option Line - 24/7 National Pregnancy Center Hotline
National Abortion Recovery Hotline - Concepts of Truth, Inc.
National Safe Haven Alliance

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Incentive Program

Earn While You Learn
Just One Mom to Another - Pregnancy Help Center

Insurance

for Insurance FAQs, click here.

Barnard Donegan Insurance and Pope Insurance
Care Providers

Insurance One Agency, LC
Johnson-Witkemper
Patriot Insurance
Letter Regarding Arch Insurance

Marriage

Retrouvaille
Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Men's Ministry

Dadhood
National Fatherhood Initiative

Mobile Units

ICU Mobile
Save the Storks

Pregnancy Center Affiliation Groups - U.S.

Heartbeat International
National Maternity Housing Coalition
Care Net 
National Institute of Family & Life Adovcates (NIFLA)

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Pregnancy Center Affiliation Groups - International

Africa Cares for Life
Centro de Ayuda para la Mujer (CAM)
CAPSS
Heartbeat International
Pregnancy Help Australia
Pregnancy Support Services of Asia (PSSA)

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Pregnancy Centers Software

Next Level CMS
Ministry Sync
WayCool Software

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Pregnancy Test

SMC Direct 
BTNX Inc (Canada) 
Heritage House
MediTests.com
Quick Medical
NPR Biomedical
PFLI

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Prenatal Development

The Endowment for Human Development
Little One Pregnancy Calendar

Pro-Life Groups

40 Days for Life
American Family Association
California Nurses for Ethical Standards (CNES)
Feminists for Life
Focus on the Family
Healing the Culture
Institute for American Values
Life International 
Life Matters Worldwide
Mission: PreBorn
National Right to Life Committee
New Beginings Home
North American Mission Board (NAMB)
The Obria Group, Inc.
Priests for Life
Pro Life Action League
Prolove Ministries
Revive Our Hearts
Sidewalk Advocates for Life
Students for Life
Trotter House
United for Life Foundation

Pro-Life Resources

Abuse Recovery Ministry Services
Alliance Defending Freedom
And Then There Were None
Butterfield Foundation
Christian Counseling & Training Center
 
Dollar Days International, Inc.
Embrace Grace
Envoy Financial
Five Stones Mentoring
Focus on the Family
Frontlines Publishing
Hertage Community Services 
Heritage House '76
Hope for the Heart
International Bible Society 
Life Call
Life Cycle Books
Little One Publishing 
Loving & Caring
Lutherans for Life
Medical Institute for Sexual Health
Operation Outcry, a ministry of The Justice Foundation
Pharmacists for Life
Priests for Life 
Prolove Ministries
Respect Life
SperaVita Institute
Steno Institute
Students for Life 
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) 
VirTru Training
Vision Video
WiLD Leaders

Pro-Life Speakers

Ambassador Speakers Bureau 
Human Life International
Kirk Walden
The Pro-Life Speakers Bureau
The Love Chromosome - Derrick and Julie Tennant
You Don't Need Arms, LLC - Chet McDoniel

Research

Charlotte Lozier Institute
Family Research Council

Human Development Research Council 
The Justice Foundation: Operation Outcry 
Life Issues Institute 
The Medical Institute

Resale Shops

Metroplex Women's Clinic
Twice as Nice Resale

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STD Information

Medical Institute for Sexual Health

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Teens

Ascend
The Center for Relationship Education
Jeffrey Dean Company

Stand-Up Girl
Silver Ring THING

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Ultrasound Equipment

Diagnostic Health Group, Inc.
Esaote USA
GE Healthcare
KPI Medical
MedCorp
Preferred Medical Systems
Probo Medical
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
Shimadzu Ultrasound (non-U.S. only)
United Medical Instruments

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Ultrasound Resources

4US
Option Ultrasounds
Project Ultrasound 
Knights of Columbus

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Ultrasound Training

Pregnancy Help Institute - Ultrasound Track
Forget Me Not Ultrasound
Hope Imaging
In His Image Ultrasound
Innovative Imaging Technology
NIFLA
Sound View Imaging
Sound Wave Images, Inc.

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Website Design

Extend Web Services
iRapture.com

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