by Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist
The recent news out of Maryland—and the Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women's Center—sends us a strong message: Pregnancy Help Organizations are becoming much more effective, and those who wish to protect abortion-on-demand at all costs are getting frantic.
LifeSite News covered the story. In short, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland worked with the Montgomery County Council to create a 2010 law forcing Centro Tepeyac to post signs declaring when medical personnel were not on site. The law of course, was designed to slow down; even stop, Centro Tepeyac from reaching out to women.
The good news? After four years of fighting, Centro Tepeyac won. Big.
At different stages, three judges struck down the law, with the final ruling coming from a Bill Clinton-appointed judge who fined Montgomery County $375,000 for violating the rights of Centro Tepeyac.
NARAL's president in Maryland didn't give up however, and private emails show both she and the president of the Montgomery County council attempting to collude on other ways to shut down Centro Tepeyac.
What does this tell us? The abortion lobby and its clinics are afraid. They are losing business while pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics are gaining ground. (Check out Peggy Hartshorn's argument to that effect here.)
In essence, just like Nehemiah built a wall of hope for the people of Israel in the Old Testament, we are building a pro-life Wall of Hope today, and just like Nehemiah, opposition is everywhere, trying every tactic imaginable.
Our modern day Wall of Hope is composed of thousands of pregnancy help organizations and ministries, places where moms, dads and children can come for safety, away from the deception of the abortion industry.
Tweet this: The Maryland case leaves no doubt – our Wall is rising.
Nehemiah faced incredible opposition, just as we do. Men like Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem were constant thorns of criticism, mocking, and scorn. They tried every avenue to shut down the work on a wall that would protect the Jewish people.
Nehemiah would have none of it. At one point Nehemiah was asked to come down off of the wall for a "meeting" with his enemies. Nehemiah knew the meeting was nothing but a plot to kill him, so he gave his detractors a terse response: "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?" (Neh 6:3)
We—all of us in the pregnancy help community—are involved in a great work. The detractors will continue with their lobbying, their public relations campaigns against us, and their collusion with politicians to enact laws to stop us.
But friends, we are building a Wall of Hope. We will not come down off of our wall until we are finished.
And if the news out of Maryland is any indication, we may be closer to completing our Wall of Hope than we can imagine.
Get Kirk's new book, The Wall at amazon.com today!
At a time when our social and political structure is aligned against the most innocent among us, The Wall brings tremendous hope and vision. Though we’ve experienced a generation of tragedy following the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, The Wall reminds us that it is often when hope seems lost that God orchestrates extraordinary victory through ordinary people. In addition, The Wall shows that surprisingly, today is the perfect time for creating a new culture of life in America. Get ready to be inspired; and be prepared to take your place building The Wall.
"This is one more evidence that pregnancy help organizations are winning the battle for life."
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Responding to a report from LifeSiteNews.com uncovering an ongoing plan between the Maryland chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the public officials in Montgomery County, Md., to impede or eliminate pregnancy help organizations, Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., pointed to the success of pregnancy centers in her companion article at LifeSiteNews.com.
Read LifeSiteNews.com Report Here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/exclusive-e-mails-reveal-maryland-officials-collaborating-with-naral-to-shu Read Peggy Hartshorn’s Response Here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/why-do-abortionists-go-to-such-lengths-to-eliminate-us-because-we-threaten
“Heartbeat International and our worldwide network of life-affirming organizations believe no mother should feel so alone, so vulnerable, or so coerced that she ends her child’s life through abortion,” Hartshorn, who has served as Heartbeat International’s President since 1993, wrote. “These vital organizations enable a mother to make a true choice through a variety of services, including ultrasound, options counseling, maternity housing, and the ability to make an adoption plan.”
“And this is why we pose such a threat to NARAL and company. It’s not just that we are their competition. It’s that we are winning.”
Hartshorn’s comments come in the wake of the publication of an email string dating back as far as 2009, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, which capture ongoing strategy between Maryland’s NARAL chapter president Jodi Finkelstein and current Montgomery County Council president George Leventhal.
The pair discussed the County’s ongoing strategy to compel government speech from Heartbeat International affiliate Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center. Montgomery County first passed a city ordinance Feb. 2, 2010 requiring, “limited service pregnancy resource centers” – any facility that does not perform abortions – to post a sign in English and Spanish in its waiting room saying that “the Center does not have a licensed medical professional on staff” and that “the Montgomery County Health Officer encourages women who are or may be pregnant to consult with a licensed health care provider.”
A lawsuit brought by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Centro Tepeyac resulted in three separate court victories, which finally resulted in the County dropping its unconstitutional ordinance and paying Centro Tepeyac $375,000 in legal fees.
“Pregnancy help organizations like Centro Tepeyac exist so that every mother can feel loved and supported during her pregnancy,” Hartshorn said. “The only opponents to this mission are those who, like NARAL, stand to gain financially and ideologically by the intentional killing of a child within the womb.”
Tweet This: Pregnancy help organizations exist so that every mother can feel loved and supported during pregnancy.
13-year-old saved from abortion to meet with law-makers at Babies Go to Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A little child shall lead them. This well-loved statement will get plenty of airtime this Christmas season, but the phrase may end up becoming the theme of Heartbeat International's Babies Go to Congress® when the most powerful prolife effort on Capitol Hill takes place January 22-23, 2015.
An entourage of five former pregnancy help center clients and their children, rescued from the threat of abortion, will be highlighted by 12-year-old Christiana Pablo from Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Center in Bowie, Md., who is already blossoming into an outgoing champion for the life-affirming support offered by the more than 2,400 pregnancy help organizations rescuing 3,000 babies each week in the United States alone.
Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, Christiana's mother, Victoria Chan-Pablo—only 15-years-old at the time—found the support she needed to welcome Christiana into the world at Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Center. Her eldest daughter has been joyfully repaying that debt, sparking fundraising and community-building efforts for the center, which has served over 24,500 women and families since opening its doors in 1982.
"I say that Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Center saved my daughter's life because they opened up our eyes and gave us the knowledge, the strength and the encouragement to help us carry out our decision in keeping our baby," Victoria said.
Christiana and Victoria will have a chance to tell their story to their elected congressional representatives, along with centers from Ohio (Pregnancy Decision Health Centers), North Carolina (LifeLine Pregnancy Help Center), Indiana (Matrix Pregnancy Resource Center), and Arizona (Living Hope Women's Center). It is the first time in the history of the program that North Carolina will be represented.
Since beginning the program in 2009, a total of 109 women and children representing over 50 centers have visited 222 congressional offices from 23 different states.
"It's difficult to imagine a more empowering experience for a woman than Babies Go to Congress," Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., President of Heartbeat International, said. "This is an event that drives to the very heart of what life-affirming work is all about: every mother feeling loved and supported, both during her pregnancy and into parenthood."
By Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist
We all know Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. And yes, how can we forget Cyber Monday, when all of the online retailers rally for our attention?
The newest of them all is Giving Tuesday (represented online as #GivingTuesday), begun in 2012 and now catching on across America and in many nations around the world.
Launched by groups from Google to the United Nations, #GivingTuesday is a day to remember charitable giving—and we don’t need to miss out. Here are several ideas to place your ministry at the forefront:
Make sure your online site is ready
Update your giving site to remind readers of #GivingTuesday. The actual date is December 2; this should be prominent as this day approaches.
Set a Goal
If your center has not emphasized #Giving Tuesday in its first two years, a modest goal would be sufficient. In the goal, show exactly where funds would be directed and connect the goal to client outcomes. This is not the time to ask for a computer or materials: “On Giving Tuesday, help us raise $2500. Every dollar given online on Giving Tuesday goes directly toward our Operation Ultrasound Initiative, paying for 25 ultrasounds that will bond women and men with their children, saving lives and changing the lives of moms and dads.”
Remind, remind, remind
In the weeks leading up to #GivingTuesday, remind your constituency through E-Blasts, Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Make sure it is announced wherever you can.
One Takeaway . . .
#GivingTuesday does not replace your Year End Appeal. There is room for both in your development plan.
Click here for more of this month's Advancement TLC.
We all know we should be voting, but is it really that important? After all, we’re not even picking the president this year.
The United States has a surprisingly low turnout of voters, hovering between 55 and 60 percent in any given election. Why can’t we find it in ourselves to get out there and vote our values? Could it be that we believe one or more of these myths?
There’s a lot of hype for presidential elections, but for some reason, midterm elections don’t seem to matter as much. Nothing could be further from the truth. As powerful as the Presidential office is, he can—ideally—do almost nothing without the support of the Senate and the House. (We saw a government shut down just last year due to House and Senate disagreements on the federal budget.) Do you know who is running for the Senate or House positions open in your state and district? What about the Gubernatorial or Mayoral races? These matter!
With all 435 voting seats in the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 Senate seats up for a vote, no one can deny the importance of this year’s races. In addition, 36 of the 50 states are electing governors, and many U.S. cities are electing mayors. Do you know who’s running in your district? These are the people who make the decisions that keep our local, state, and national governments running. We need to make sure they are the people who are going to truly care for the people—both in the womb and out of the womb.
We’ve heard this one before. Every vote matters. Every single vote matters. Every life changes the world in an unrepeatable and irreplaceable way. And so does every vote. If we stay home on Election Day, our prolife candidates will have to stay home too! What we do and don’t do makes a difference, so let’s make it a positive one.
Untrue! While certain regulations may apply to what your pregnancy help organization can do, you are well within your rights as an individual citizen to encourage those within your sphere of influence to head to the polls. There is everything to gain, and nothing to lose when we encourage our staff, volunteers, partner churches and community supporters to vote their values.
Don’t believe these myths this season—vote your values instead. Generations yet to be born are counting on us!
by Jennifer Minor, Editor/Writer
by Ellen Foell, Legal Counsel
Throughout the month of May, states and local jurisdictions will be holding elections at a polling booth near you.
Some of those elections will be primary elections, which, of course, narrow the field of candidates before an election for office. Primary elections are those in which political parties nominate candidates for an upcoming general election or by-election. Ohio, Georgia, Nebraska, and West Virginia are all holding primaries this May.
General elections, elections in which final results will send winners directly to elective office, are being held in—among other states—Montana, New York, Texas, and Virginia. Additionally, many states and local jurisdictions are having ballot issues, such as levies, school issues, tax issues, as well as issues as significant as marriage amendments. It goes without saying that all citizens, including those who work for nonprofits, even issues-oriented nonprofits, have the right to and should vote.
History is replete with instances of the importance of one vote. And though Snopes.com tells me most of the commonly cited instances are urban legends, there is one example, which many of us lived through, that is no myth.
In 2000, the difference in the total vote in the state of Florida in the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore was less than one-half of one percent. A recount and ensuing controversy ended in Mr. Bush receiving Florida’s electoral votes, and he won the election by one electoral vote.
With the ballot booth coming to a public gathering place near you, here’s a quick list of why your pro-life vote is important:
1. Every vote charts a courseVoting is our chance to have a say in setting the direction of our city, country and culture.
2. Every vote expresses a convictionVoting is our chance to make our choice about the future of our government—or express our opinion about the present one.
3. Every vote countsJust ask our 43rd President—or his former opponent.
4. Because vote exercises equalityEach and every vote is worth just as much as anyone else’s, regardless of wealth, gender, color, ethnicity or religion.
5. Because the clock may be tickingIf we don’t exercise this blood-earned right to vote, we may eventually lose it. This may seem alarmist, but not when our nation’s two and a half centuries of existence within the larger scope of world history is considered.
In addition to these considerations, each election season tends to raise questions in the collective and individual minds of nonprofit leaders and organizations. Is it legal to put up a sign on nonprofit property for or against particular legislation? Is it advisable for our executive director to run for city council? Can we publish or distribute a voter’s guide?
These, and similar questions, lurk in the frontal cortex of those who care about the issues, are constantly told to be wary of trespassing in forbidden waters, and yet feel a compulsion not only to vote, but to encourage others to vote.
While the answers are not always clear, Heartbeat International has already answered some of these questions.
Check out the following links for more information:
I just returned from two weeks in Ethiopia, one of my many trips to that ancient, fascinating country. My time was spent working in the maternity home my husband and I founded five years ago.
The Ethiopian culture is made up of over 80 different ethnic groups and languages. It is diverse both in geography and culture. But there is a common thread ... it is the belief that abortion is wrong. In fact, in nearly all of these groups, abortion is anathema. There is an instinctive understanding that when a woman’s body swells with pregnancy, she has a life inside of her that is not to be cut short. They know this without the visual impact of ultrasound clearly showing a baby sucking his/her thumb, yawning, playing with his/her umbilical cord or sleeping. In their culture, they believe that abortion is a shameful thing.
The current pro-abortion leadership in America gives lip service to multiculturalism. Yet they are forcing abortion on this culture. In partnership with the U.N. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, they are using money, dangling at the end of a stick like a carrot, to “buy” the Ethiopian government’s acquiescence.
In October, the Third Global International Council on Family Planning was held in Addis Ababa. Bill and Melinda Gates are two of the underwriters of this event. Their goal is to make abortion available to every woman in Ethiopia. They want clinics across the landscape, in every city and town. They cannot get enough doctors to perform abortions so they plan to train nurses and midwives.
This is appalling. Nurses there are not like their American counterparts in schooling and ability. Midwives are even less qualified. Already many of the clinics are primitive. I can’t imagine the carnage on the women, much less the unborn babies, when this goes into effect. But to abortion peddlers, the women are simply collateral damage in their war on the unborn.
Dr. Seyoum and his wife, both Ethiopians, speak all over Africa. He quit his practice and together they have dedicated their lives and resources to educating people on the humanity of the unborn and the reality of abortion, hoping to stop this evil. We sat in on one of his speeches. Part of his PowerPoint presentation was photos of aborted babies and baby parts from dumpsters and waste buckets from American abortion clinics. I have seen these pictures many times here in the states, but they always shake me. That day in Ethiopia, I saw them through Ethiopian eyes. The horror, the recoil and then the tears. There is something horrific about tearing a baby limb from limb and wrenching it out of the mother’s womb. Or partially delivering a third trimester baby, who with one push could be born and live, and killing it in the most unspeakable way. Isn’t it ironic? America is forcing the most barbaric practice on Africa and Africans are recoiling in the face of it!
Millions are being poured into this bloody business. Imagine if that money was used instead to help better mothers’ lives in Third World countries. Train them. Educate them. Help them set up small businesses. It would revolutionize this continent! These women don’t want to kill their babies. They don’t want to go against their culture and their conscience. They don’t even want a handout. They want a hand up.
Obianuju Edeocha, an African woman, penned this statement in response to the ICFP Conference: “We are thirsty and they give us condoms! We are hungry and they offer us contraceptive pills! We are sick and they offer us the most modern techniques of abortion! We are naked and they lead us into the arms of sexual hedonism! We are imprisoned by poverty and they offer us sexual liberation! Silent tears roll down for Africa in a modern world that can neither see our pain nor hear our cry for help. We mourn deeply for the destructive seeds of sexual revolution which were sown last week in Addis Ababa.”
How tragic that America, once the exporter of progress and hope to Third World countries, is now the exporter of death.
Dinah Monahan is the founder and former executive director of Living Hope Women’s Centers in the White Mountains and a national pro-life speaker and author. She is currently involved in Living Hope Maternity Home in Adama, Ethiopia, in Africa, which she and her husband founded.
Originally published January 31, 2014 in the White Mountain Independent. Reprinted with permission.
“Because Defendants have failed to demonstrate an actual problem in need of solving, it is unnecessary to reach the narrow tailoring prong of the strict scrutiny test.”1
Those are the words footnoted on the last page of last Friday’s opinion by Judge Deborah Chasanow in the case Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County, et al., Case 8:10-cv-01259 (D. Maryland 3/7/2014).
Imagine that… Montgomery County was unable to demonstrate to the Court that pregnancy help centers pose a problem in need of solving. What’s just as telling is what the Court also stated in the body of the opinion:
Quite simply, the County has put no evidence into the record to demonstrate that [limited service pregnancy resource centers’] failure clearly to state that no doctors are on premises has led to any negative health outcomes. Id., at 52.
The County, in the words of the pregnancy help centers, was searching for a problem to fit their Resolution (Id., at 42). The problem with the County’s problem, however, is that in the end, Montgomery County’s pregnancy centers don’t actually pose a problem to the County’s residents.
The case before the Court was a Resolution attempting to force Montgomery County’s pregnancy help centers, including Heartbeat affiliate Centro Tepeyac, to make specific disclosures stating what services they did—and did not offer.
The Resolution, Number 16-1252, originally passed Feb. 2, 2010, and required Montgomery County pregnancy help centers to post notices in specific languages and in specific locations on-site. The notices were to state that licensed medical professionals were not on the premises and that the County recommended pregnant women see a physician for a medical diagnosis of pregnancy.
Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, Centro Tepeyac challenged the Resolution on the grounds that it violated the freedoms guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Now several years into the process, Judge Chasanow, a District of Maryland justice, clearly and cogently determined that the Resolution imposed an unconstitutional burden on the rights guaranteed to centers.
The opinion, issued Friday, March 7, 2014, was actually the District Court’s revisit to the Resolution, which was most recently reviewed July 2013 in a decision by the 4th Circuit.
Throughout its long and convoluted procedural journey, the Resolution has been analyzed and reanalyzed. The flow of the County’s argument was as follows:
In Friday’s ruling, Judge Chasanow found that the County did indeed demonstrate a compelling interest in protecting the health of women (point 1 above). The Court also assumed, for the sake of argument, that the pregnancy help centers did not make any of the statements required to be made (points 2).
However, the flaw in the County’s argument, the Court reasoned, was between points 2 and 3, where the County failed to demonstrate the connection between the pregnancy help centers’ actions (or assumed inactions) and any evidence-based harm to pregnant women.
Commenting on the County’s evidence, the Court stated:
The County attempts to elide this distinction by providing no evidence for the effect, only the alleged cause. The Waxman and NARAL reports focus on the misinformation problem. So too do all of the comments made to the County Council in support of the Resolution. These commenters – who were universally volunteers from a pro-choice organization sent to investigate LSPRCs’ practices – discussed the alleged misinformation they were provided and that that the LSPRCs were not forthcoming with the fact that they are not a medical center and that they do not provide referrals for abortions. But even assuming all that is true - that LSPRC are presenting themselves as medical providers and thus pregnant women are accepting their misinformation as sound medical advice, the County must still demonstrate the next supposition on the logical chain: that these practices are having the effect of harming the health of pregnant women. The County has failed this task.
With the County’s failure to connect the link at the earlier points, the Court never had to consider the analysis of whether the County’s Resolution passed the strict scrutiny least restrictive means test typically employed by the United States Supreme Court in such cases.
This case is a clear victory for pregnancy help centers, not only in Maryland, but across the nation.
The Court attacks the very heart of the evidence, its legitimacy and its sources. Further, the Court logically and reasonably requires the County to demonstrate in court what it should have considered at the legislative level: Does the (mis)information justify the legislation?
Though the case is likely to be appealed by the County, the strength and logic of the decision should serve as a guide for other judges considering such legislation.
Stay tuned, but in the meantime, congratulations to the Montgomery County pregnancy help centers, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the other attorneys representing and standing for life.
1. Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County, et al.Case 8:10-cv-01259 (D. Maryland 3/7/2014)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (9/19/08) – The President’s Volunteer Service Award was conferred on 32 Heartbeat International affiliated pregnancy resource centers and 55 volunteers who serve Heartbeat affiliated centers on September 19, 2008. Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Joxel Garcia, M.D., M.B.A., bestowed the honors on Heartbeat’s affiliates and volunteers for the significant contributions they have made to their communities.
“Heartbeat International is an effective network of more than 1,000 faith-based community organizations aided by more than 25,000 volunteers. We are thrilled to see our volunteers honored by the Administration,” said Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D. “We are very proud to carry on the American tradition of volunteerism and community service especially in a way that helps women and strengthens families.”
In concert with the White House USA Freedom Corps, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Public Health and Science honored 150 “exemplary volunteers” who serve pregnancy centers around the country along with 56 pregnancy resource centers at a White House ceremony on September 19, 2008. Pregnancy center representatives and volunteers participated in the White House awards ceremony from 10 am-noon in the Indian Treaty room of the Old Executive Office Building connected to the White House.
“Uplifting the lives of women and families around the world is Heartbeat’s mission. We are compassionate people and passionate for life. If you feel called to give back to your community and want to volunteer you can visit http://www.pregnancycenters.org/" data-mce-href="http://heartbeatinternational.org/eNewsletter/2008/enews_Annual_Review-4-08-full.htm">PregnancyCenters.org and use the center locator system to find your local pregnancy center,” said Hartshorn. “Pregnancy center volunteers include doctors, lawyers, nurses, concerned parents, social workers, educators, and many others. They provide healthy alternatives to abortion for girls and women faced with an untimely pregnancy. Many of our volunteers have had personal experience with an unplanned pregnancy, adoption, and abortion.”
“These volunteers have spent countless hours serving the most vulnerable among us. Their efforts deserve recognition and our deepest appreciation,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Joxel Garcia, M.D., M.P.H.. “Their services provide these women and their babies the opportunity for a healthier beginning.”
“Today, we recognize the service of these volunteers who are lifting lives and impacting their communities and our country for good,” said Alison Young, acting director of USA Freedom Corps, an initiative to help Americans connect with volunteer opportunities at home and abroad. “As they serve women in need, they spread the very best of the compassionate volunteer spirit that keeps America strong.”
For more information about the President’s Service Award, visit http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/" data-mce-href="http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/">PresidentialServiceAwards.gov.
Click here for interview with Dr. Ann Moell, Medical Director of Elizabeth’s New Life Center, Heartbeat affiliate in Dayton, Ohio. Ann was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International Vice President
Yes, you read that right. The President signed his very first pro-life law just last month. The administration actually said that the law is aimed at “protecting the health of the woman” from dangers associated with abortion. The President went so far as to make it illegal to promote abortion as a safe procedure.
And more than that, the New York Times reported the President’s wife taking an even bolder stand in this brand new pro-life effort. She’s gone so far as to launch a nationwide campaign called “Give Me Life!” as a “week against abortion.” How amazing that the First Couple has taken such unprecedented steps for the cause of life!
Now if only other leaders of nations besides Russia would gain the realization that they are allowing their future to be aborted. But for now, we take heart that Scripture tells us, “The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1, NIV).
Peggy Hartshorn, president of Heartbeat International, was a keynote speaker at the recent Moscow Demographic Summit, hosted by World Congress of Families. Political and spiritual leaders alike aligned their interests to address the devastation that abortion has wrought on the future generations of Russians and thus Russia itself.
What were once statistical predictions of demographic trends have become a bleak, stark reality for countries such as Russia, Japan, and nearly all of Western Europe. We salute Mr. Dmitri A. Medvedev, President of Russia, and his wife, Svetlana, for this valiant redirection of law, public influence, and resources in the former Communist nation. Their actions and those of other leaders like them reveal a broader movement of the Holy Spirit in changing the hearts of leaders and laymen alike to renew a culture of life. We truly take heart in the Giver of Life and the Gift of Life.
You can read more about Peggy’s visit to Russia in the coming issue of Pulse. Watch for Pulse in your inbox later this month.
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