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On Tuesday, Lupe Valdez, former Dallas Sherriff, won the Primary Runoff race for Democratic gubernatorial candidate to run against Texas Governor Greg Abbott.  Since March, Valdez has been in a close race with Andrew White, whom she debated in Austin recently. The candidates debated several contentious issues, including elective abortion.  Anti-Life politicians of yesteryear held the banner of “safe, legal, and rare,” implying that abortion was an unfortunate “necessity” in certain difficult situations.  Now, the Democratic Party dogmatically believes that abortion is a “right” and social good.  Thus, as Valdez’s and White’s recent debate showed, Pro-Lifers are not welcome in the Democratic Party.  Texas Democrats who hold even personal Pro-Life beliefs will soon be extinct under the new abortion dogma, and politicians like Valdez will make certain they are.

White positioned himself as the moderate candidate the Texas Democratic Party needed to win over middle-of-the-road Republicans in order to secure victory in November against Governor Greg Abbott.  Throughout the campaign, White reiterated his personal opposition to abortion, stating that he and his wife “have made the decision that we respect Life.”  Additionally, while on the campaign trail White declared that we do not know when Life begins, and for this reason he and his wife “err on the side of caution.”  However, immediately following such statements, White always reasserted that despite his personal views on Life and abortion, he would not allow his personal views to influence his governing decisions.

The dichotomy between White’s personal and public positions on abortion proved one of the most contentious issues of the Democratic gubernatorial race this election cycle, a fact highlighted in the Austin debate.  When the issue of abortion rose during the debate, White reiterated his talking points, that while he is personally opposed to abortion, he supports elective abortion and would veto any Pro-Life legislation if elected.  Valdez pounced on White’s conflicted stance.  She stated that his position implies that the women who decide to have an abortion do not respect Life and that he owed an apology to such women.  White stood his ground, asserting that his personal opinions would not influence his trust in women making their own health care decisions.  Valdez, whom Planned Parenthood endorsed, told reporters after the debate that holding a Pro-Life position is welcome in the Democratic Party.  However, as she so aggressively demonstrated, that position is not above scrutiny, and that she would work proactively to protect access to elective abortion.

Some stars of the Democratic Party attempted the tight rope walk of White’s dichotomous abortion beliefs, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, who each touted personal Pro-Life convictions but an opposite policy perspective.  Although such high-profile Democratic figures occasionally indicate there is room in their party for Pro-Life views, the Democratic Party is increasingly becoming more radical on abortion.  Progressive Democrats ostracize anyone who hints at even the slightest diversion from the ideological aggressiveness of abortion on demand that has come to define the Democratic Party.  Valdez, who won while positioning herself as the liberal gubernatorial option, attacked White for showing even the slightest Pro-Life inclination.  Valdez is following the footsteps of the Texas “Abortion Queen” Wendy Davis, who originally garnered headlines for filibustering Pro-Life legislation, which included protecting pain capable preborn children from the injustice of gruesome abortions.

Because many progressive Democrats vilify any and all dissenters on elective abortion, Pro-Life Democrats are vulnerable to intra-party attacks.  Representative Ryan Guillen, one of the handful of Pro-Life Democrats left in the Texas Legislature, sustained a primary challenge in March.  Although Rep. Guillen will return to Austin next spring, he was almost ousted for his heterodox views.  His Pro-Life position was under attack in the Primary, and he’s become more of a minority in his own caucus.

Life is a top issue for Republican voters and has been a central plank in the Republican Party Platform since 1976.  Earlier this year, The New York Times published an article alerting the Democratic Party to the fact that the political polarization surrounding abortion is stifling their growth.  How many such warnings are necessary for the party to realize that their stubborn radicalization on the issue is harmful?  Currently, the Democratic Party will not even entertain softening their radical rhetoric on abortion.  Increasingly they will not even consider candidates who deviate in any way from this stance.  With such a radical commitment to the killing of the preborn, the Democratic Party will not win favor in Texas.  The supposed threat of an impending blue wave crashing over Texas remains unlikely.  Valdez won the gubernatorial primary on a radical abortion stance, but she will not win Texas.

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If you have ever attended a Republican Club meeting in North Texas, chances are you have met Eugene and Lillie.

Eugene and Lillie are political activists in every sense of the word.  In addition to their time volunteering with various conservative organizations, Eugene and Lillie may be found hosting candidates in their home, working at the polls on Election Day, or block walking to share the conservative truth with voters.

Eugene and Lillie value the conservative movement as a whole, but their passion for the Pro-Life cause is not easily matched.  While developing ways to disseminate truth concisely, Lillie and her husband focus their messaging to those who are uniformed on Pro-Life issues.

When discussing the sanctity of Life with Lille, she lovingly explains that her Christian beliefs teach her that Life begins at conception.  Although each of us has different styles when we are defending Life to those who may disagree, Eugene and Lillie have one piece of advice key for all: “develop a strong conviction about the issue and speak from your heart.”

Eugene and Lillie always speak from their hearts when they speak about the Pro-Life movement.  When Lillie was working as a Pro-Life counselor, a young couple arrived for an appointment.

“The young lady blurted, ‘I know what this place really is and you’re NOT going to change my mind!’  What I didn’t know at the time is that her boyfriend made the appointment for her and led her to believe that the appointment was for an abortion clinic.”

Through love, honesty, and truth, Lillie talked with the couple and eventually offered them an ultrasound, which was accepted.

“They both watched the grainy screen of the baby’s heart in disbelief.   She didn’t think it was possible that there would be a heartbeat after only a few weeks.  I watched her eyes change from dread to delight.  The couple left clinging to each other and returned about a year later holding their new son,” Lillie said.

Stories like this are uplifting.  Eugene and Lillie are also encouraged that the Pro-Life movement makes progress every day, specifically in the legislative and educational work of Texas Right to Life.  They do not see that progress ending anytime soon!

“I am excited when I see young people who aggressively support the cause as a result of their Christian convictions,” Lillie said.

Eugene and Lillie recognize that there is much work to be completed before our culture begins to value human Life fully.  Meanwhile, they do everything possible to defend their most vulnerable brothers and sisters.

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Working in the medical field and being Pro-Life often seem contradictory to the outside observer, which is why the existence of Physicians for Life at McGovern Medical School (UT Houston) is so important.  One of my favorite speakers our group hosted this year was a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Eugene Toy.  We asked Dr. Toy to speak to our group about his journey through his specialty and challenges he has faced.  Our group, consisting primarily of first and second year medical students, was incredibly receptive to Dr. Toy’s personal story.  Being Pro-Life in the OB/GYN specialty is very difficult both personally and professionally.  He encouraged us to become the best and brightest physicians possible so that we could be both leaders in our fields, and Pro-Life advocates from positions of authority.

One of my favorite aspects of being a Pro-Life leader has been learning about many facets of the Pro-Life movement.  Jenny Hamann, RN, a noteworthy speaker from our year, was a survivor of locked-in syndrome.  Persons suffering with locked-in syndrome have a conscious awareness of the world around them, but without any ability to move a muscle.  Those with locked-in syndrome are totally dependent on ventilators, feeding tubes, etc.  Following her recovery from locked-in syndrome, Jenny’s experience prompted her to return to school and become a nurse.  Our group received Jenny very well because her message was personal and applicable professionally.  Jenny spoke of a nurse, Nancy, who treated her with the upmost respect while she was in this supposed-vegetative state.  Nancy’s compassionate professionalism was a powerful reminder for future healthcare professionals to treat all patients with respect and dignity.

Bioethics lawyer Wesley J. Smith was my favorite speaker throughout the 2017-2018 school year.  Mr. Smith spoke on the ethics of physician-assisted suicide and distinguishing between allowing a patient to pass or hastening a patient’s death.  His ethical viewpoint, that will increasingly impact physicians in the United States, was a starting point for great discussion in our group.  Can physicians be required to assist patients in suicide?  In several countries, and even several states in America, the answer is yes.  The issue of physician-assisted suicide will likely come before the Supreme Court of the United States, and Mr. Smith’s talk was a great beginning for learning how to handle these situations.

Our group saw substantial growth this year, which was incredibly encouraging!  About 20-30 students attended each session, close to double last year’s attendance.  As a group, we volunteered at The Source for Women, a full medical pregnancy resource center in Houston.  Hopefully, this will be a recurring opportunity.  We also networked with future colleagues from UTMB Galveston during the Texas Right to Life Celebration of Life Gala and during our volunteer opportunities at The Source for Women.

I owe a big thank you to Texas Right to Life.  Without Texas Right to Life, our Physicians for Life group would be non-existent and future Pro-Life doctors at McGovern Medical School would have nowhere to turn.  As a result of Texas Right to Life’s personal support (through Education Director Veronica Arnold Smither), we are creating a small, yet growing, group of Pro-Life physicians who are passionate about protecting ALL patients’ rights, from the unborn to the elderly to the disabled.

Katherine Bastie
UT Houston McGovern Medical School, Class of 2020

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After victories in March in the Republican Primary Election, Texas conservatives gained extra ground in the May 22 Runoff.  In the 2018 election cycle to date, Pro-Life conservatives have gained at least five seats in the Texas House of Representatives and won primary races for U.S. Congress seats.  Principled conservatives endorsed by Texas Right to Life PAC also advanced in races for several key judicial positions, both local and statewide.

Additionally, we successfully defended all the members of the Texas House Freedom Caucus, some of whom were targeted by the establishment.  Membership in the Freedom Caucus of the Texas House is likely to expand due to recent victories, such as Mayes Middleton and Lisa Luby Ryan.  In the May 22 Runoff election, Texas Right to Life PAC-endorsed Deanna Maria Metzger advanced to the November election.  Without losing any seats, Texas conservatives successfully won several seats formerly held by Establishment cronies.

In the Texas Senate, proven conservative Senator Bob Hall (R- Edgewood) won re-election against a former House member with a mixed record on Life issues.

In races for the judiciary, Texas Right to Life PAC-endorsed candidates Kimberly Fitzpatrick, Mike Toth, and Tricia Krenek achieved wins in this year’s Runoff.

In the races for United States Congress, Ron Wright in District 6 and Chip Roy in District 21 advanced to the November election in which both are expected to win.

The steady gains of Pro-Life, taxpayer champions across the state show that Texans want conservative elected officials accountable to their constituents.  Texas Right to Life looks forward to the November election and the 2019 Legislative Session to continue advancing the Pro-Life movement in our state.

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Christi Livingston has made her message clear without using words.  Last month, the Burleson, Texas, woman who has Cerebral Palsy, completed the walkathon fundraiser for Next Step Women’s Center for the sixteenth year in a row.  Such dedication would be impressive for anyone, but Livingston relies on a wheelchair for mobility.  Next Step Women’s Center described Livingston’s accomplishment in a press release:

Livingston, who has Cerebral Palsy, participated in her 16th walkathon benefiting Next Step Women’s Center in Burleson on April 21, pushing herself backwards, inch-by-inch, in her manual wheelchair for the entirety of the two-mile course.  While this would be a remarkable feat on any day, there’s one thing that makes this year even more remarkable: She did it in the rain.

Next Step Women’s Center is a pregnancy resource center that provides free medical and educational resources related to pregnancy and sexual health.  Formerly known as Burleson Pregnancy Aid Center, the organization has been part of the North Texas community since 1986.  The center offers pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, prenatal and parenting classes, referrals for adoption services, spiritual resources, perinatal hospice services, and more, all free of charge.

Over the course of her 16 walkathons, Livingston has raised an impressive $50,941 to support the work of the pregnancy resource center.  The funds Livingston has raised over the years support the ongoing work of the Burleson center.  Additionally, the funds from the walkathon support a new satellite clinic in Fort Worth that is better equipped to serve Spanish-speaking clients.  Next Step Women’s Center Development and Marketing Director Susan Cloud told Texas Right to Life in an interview, “We had 2,340 client visits in 2017 alone, with hundreds of pregnancy tests and sonograms.”

In addition to these medical services, Next Step Women’s Center has an extensive educational program.  Cloud described the parenting classes to Texas Right to Life saying, “We truly do believe that equipping parents to care for their babies helps prevent future abortions, because if they have a positive parenting experience, they are certainly less likely to abort in the future.”  She added, “We are also involved in several local school districts, providing sexual risk avoidance education, and our ‘steps to sexual health’ course, which is usually done in a one-on-one setting with a client advocate, helps those who have endured sexual trauma find hope and healing.”

Livingston’s commitment to the Pro-Life organization is also deeply personal.  She told Next Step Women’s Center last month, “This is my 16th year to be involved in the walk for life, because I feel very strongly that every unborn child has the right to life, even if they are going to be born with a disability.”

Through her example, Livingston has offered a message of courage and hope for people facing a disability or prenatal diagnosis.  For the first seven years of participating in the walkathon, Livingston completed the course in her electric wheelchair.  When her electric wheelchair broke in 2009, she might have ended her participation; concerned friends told her she was not strong enough to complete the two-mile course on her own.  Undeterred, Livingston trained diligently with her assistant, Diana Smith, and achieved the strength necessary to complete the entire course in her manual wheelchair.  Every year since then she has completed the course in her manual wheelchair, pushing herself inch-by-inch for the entire two miles.

Livingston’s dedication inspires the staff and volunteers of Next Step Women’s Center to achieve greater success.  Cloud said, “Christi sets the fundraising bar pretty high, and it certainly encourages us to set high goals for ourselves, as well.”  Livingston also reminds the community of the human lives they are trying to save.  Next Step Women’s Center Executive Director Jane Burton captured the community’s feelings on Livingston’s accomplishment.  She said, “I am in awe with Christi’s tenacity year after year.  She is a remarkable woman who is willing to show how valuable Life is -no matter the disability.”

This year, Livingston raised $7,000 for the walkathon by handing out cards explaining her mission.  Cloud explained, “Christi passes out her fundraising cards to everyone she meets, so it has surely helped spread the word about Next Step.”  Still, many people in the community are not yet aware of Next Step Women’s Center and the services they offer.   Cloud explained, “This is why we wanted to spread the word about Christi — because in addition to shining a light on her incredible accomplishments, we know that more people will ultimately learn about Next Step, as well.”

To learn more about Next Step Women’s Center, visit the organization’s website.

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On Friday, the Trump administration proposed new rules to the federal family planning program, known as Title X, which would prohibit abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood from receiving taxpayer dollars.  Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses currently receiving Title X funding could continue receiving that money only if they separate their abortion businesses from the family planning services they offer.  Planned Parenthood stands to lose about $60 million in Title X funding, and in the past, the organization has refused to stop promoting and committing abortions for any reason.

The proposed regulations also include increased safeguards for victims of sexual assault by requiring clinics receiving Title X funds to document compliance with state laws for reporting instances of potential abuse.  Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry have a dismal record of ignoring signs of abuse and returning victims to their abusers.

President Trump’s Pro-Life initiative, the “Protect Life Rule,” would not cut funds from the family planning program but would redirect those funds to qualified health centers that do not commit abortions.

The Trump administration’s announcement comes weeks after 153 members of Congress wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting changes to the regulations governing the Title X program.  In a joint letter, the members of Congress wrote, “The separation between abortion and family planning has further been weakened by permitting Title X clinics to be ‘co-located’ within the same facility as an entity that provides abortions.”  They elaborate, “Co-located centers may be vulnerable to misuse of funds in support of abortion activities and send a message that abortion is considered a method of family planning in federally funded family planning programs.”

The Trump administration’s proposed “Protect Life Rule” reinstates regulations enacted for the Title X program under Pro-Life President Ronald Raegan.  Abortion activists are quick to suggest that the Trump administration’s rules will be overturned in court, but Raegan’s 1988 regulations were upheld in the Supreme Court case Rust v. Sullivan in 1991.  Forty-one senators emphasized this point in a letter to Secretary Azar, and urged the administration to implement similar standards.

Planned Parenthood affiliates are unlikely to separate the legitimate health services they offer from their abortion enterprise because abortion is a significant part of their business.  Each year Planned Parenthood kills more than 320,000 preborn babies in abortions.  Legislation barring abortion businesses from receiving tax dollars show that Planned Parenthood is more committed to abortion than to women’s healthcare.  That is why Texas Right to Life fought for a budget-wide rider to stop tax dollars from going to the abortion industry in Texas.  Planned Parenthood and the like cannot be trusted with fungible tax dollars.

Shortly after taking office last year, President Trump halted funding to Planned Parenthood’s international arm.  Last year, the Trump administration also overturned a rule from the Obama era that blocked states from excluding Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving Title X funding.  The new rules for the Title X program at the federal level will ensure that abortion organizations do not receive taxpayer dollars for family planning services in any state.

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Texas Right to Life will host a week-long training program for college students who are returning Fellows in the Dr. Joseph Graham Fellowship for College Pro-Life Leaders.  Recipients of the prestigious Pro-Life Fellowship are required to devote 50 hours per semester to Pro-Life activities on campus.  Many Fellows are leaders in the Pro-Life clubs at their respective schools, and Fellows who attend a college or university without a Pro-Life club assist in forming one.

The annual summer training for returning Fellows, which runs this year from May 20-26, includes expert speakers on a range of Pro-Life issues including Pro-Life apologetics, assisted suicide, the history of abortion law in Texas, and the political strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade.  The training will also include opportunities to develop leadership skills.  The Fellows will plan their calendars for the fall semester and strategize how to expand the Culture of Life on their campuses.

Past and current Fellows have demonstrated their commitment to the principles of the Dr. Joseph Graham Fellowship through activism and volunteerism.  Earlier this year, 19 Fellows attended the 45th Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., in addition to local advocacy and political involvement.  Several college groups led by Dr. Joseph Graham Fellows have established or expanded scholarship programs for pregnant and parenting students in recent years.  Other Pro-Life outreach includes volunteering with local pregnancy resource centers and tabling to discuss Pro-Life issues with their peers.

In addition to the second-year returning Fellows attending a training, Texas Right to Life announced that 26 new students at colleges and universities in every corner of Texas will join the Fellowship for the 2018-2019 school year.  Among this new class of Fellows, two new schools will be added to the program. This brings the total of universities in the Fellowship program to 30.

The Fellowship was renamed to honor the late founder and president of Texas Right to Life, Dr. Joseph Graham, who passed away in 2014.  Dr. Graham was an educator who committed his life to the defense of innocent human Life, and the scholarship program is a fitting homage to his legacy.  The tremendous success of the Fellowship has served as a model for college student programs in other states.

The training for returning Fellows this year will take place in Houston, Texas.  Local Pro-Life advocates who would like to attend specific talks that are part of this year’s training are welcome to contact StudentCentral@TexasRightToLife.com for more information.

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Texas Right to Life is proud of the 12 Dr. Joseph Graham Fellows graduating in the next few weeks.  Each of them has given countless hours to on-campus Pro-Life groups and will be sorely missed.  Please join us in praying for these students and their future endeavors.

 Alyssa White is graduating from the University of St. Thomas with a degree         in psychology.  During her term as president in 2015-2016, she led Celts for Life in     planning a fundraising gala, took a group of 40 students to the March for Life in DC, and   more.

Amy Federer is graduating from the University of Dallas with a bachelor’s in business with a minor in ethics.  Amy served as president of Crusaders for Life during her senior year and helped to bring in several new speakers for the club, such as Pro-Life Whip of the Texas House of Representatives, Rep. Matt Rinaldi.  During the summer of 2017, Amy also worked as a Development intern in Texas Right to Life’s Houston headquarters.

 

 Anna Spallino is graduating from Baylor University with her degree in   communication sciences and disorders.  Anna has led the Bears for Life group as   president for multiple years, planned Pregnant on Campus initiatives, and facilitated 40   Days for Life efforts. 

 

Anthony Doak is graduating from Texas A&M University with a civil engineering degree.  He has filled multiple roles within the officer team of Pro-Life Aggies, most recently as the public relations officer.  Anthony helped plan the annual 5K for hundreds of people, which funds the Pregnant and Parenting Student Scholarship.

 

 

 Frances Hodapp is graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in   nursing.  As the meetings coordinator, Frances was responsible for bringing Pro-Life   speakers to campus.  She educated Pro-Life Aggies by bringing Rep. Matt Rinaldi, Dr. John   Tyler, New Wave Feminists, post abortive speakers, and more!

Fritzina Morrison is graduating from Texas State University with a bachelor’s of science in biochemistry, Magna Cum Laude.  She served as president of Bobcats for Life in the 2015-2016 school year.  Since then, Fritzina has served the club as the vice president, and has coordinated most of the club’s tabling outreach efforts on campus.  Following graduation, Fritzina will take time off to prepare and study for the MCAT and to consider whether her future lies in medicine or dentistry.

 

 Isabel Sutter is graduating from the University of St. Thomas with an English degree, and then preparing for grad school.  Isabel has been instrumental in helping the group raise funds for their mission, as well as planning their gala, and running   educational tabling efforts.

 

Joseph Aglialoro is graduating from the University of Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in business.  He has served diligently on the Crusaders for Life officer team for three years and aided the club in expanding Pro-Life outreach to a nearby community college, both to reach more people with the Pro-Life message and also to assist the club members in Pro-Life dialogue training.  Joseph is in the job application process. 

 

 

 Kimberly Sanford is graduating from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in early childhood education.  Kim instituted the annual Dr. Joseph Graham Lecture at UST, beginning in 2017, with former abortionist turned Pro-Life OB/GYN Dr. Anthony Levatino. 

 

Megan Martinez is graduating from Texas State University with a degree in public relations.  She has served the school’s Pro-Life club, Bobcats for Life, in numerous capacities, including as president for the past two years.  Megan was diligent about dispelling Pro-Life stereotypes and brought in speakers from various backgrounds to display that protecting Life is a mission for everyone.

 Ryan Buckingham is graduating from the University of Texas – Arlington with a degree in mechanical engineering.  He served as the president of Pro-Life Mavericks   for  two years and implemented an ultimate Frisbee tournament to benefit the club’s Pregnant and Parenting Student Scholarship.  Following graduation, Ryan will teach algebra at an elementary school in Honduras before returning to Texas in the fall to find a job in the aerospace industry.

Teresa Roach is graduating from the University of Dallas with a bachelor’s in elementary education.  She served as the president of Crusaders for Life during the 2016-2017 school year and has continued to serve as an officer in the club this year.  Prior to her graduation, Teresa has been instrumental in strengthening and restructuring the club’s constitution to help the club run even more effectively.  Teresa has accepted a first grade teaching position at Founders Classical Academy in Flower Mound.

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As a person of faith living in South Texas, one cannot help but cross paths with James and Jan K.  Although their faith always informed their Pro-Life convictions, something happened a decade ago that solidified their Pro-Life beliefs in a way few other life experiences can.  Their story of God moving so miraculously in their lives mirrors miracles riddled through scripture.

Take a few minutes to read through their interview.  Become inspired to be a louder and more courageous voice for Life.

Why are you Pro-Life?

We have always been Pro-Life.  The creator of the universe, God, asks us to choose Life over death in Deuteronomy 30:19.

Can you describe John’s accident?

 On a Sunday afternoon in 2008, our son John, at age 33, was riding a motorcycle without a helmet and was hit by a woman who never saw him.  The impact knocked him 150 feet into the air and he landed on the other side of the highway.  He broke his pelvis in three places and he was bleeding out of both of his ears.  The ambulance drivers said that my son arriving at the hospital alive would be a miracle.  He did.  The hospital that treated my son had a level three trauma unit.  Doctors immediately induced a coma.

What was his recovery process like for each of you?

John’s recovery has been one miracle after another.  He has had 14 surgeries.  He was given a less than 1% chance to survive.  He did not walk, talk, or eat for 344 days.

One doctor even went so far as to say that John would be a ‘vegetable’ for his entire life if he lived. How did God heal John?

Our best friend Chuck Pierce called me and said that he had a vision from God while preaching at his church, Glory of Zion.  God spoke and said “I am going to show you what I can do”.  Then he saw the hand of God reach inside John’s head and touch the places that needed to be healed.  That was on January 20,2009.  James got a call from Jan, who was in Houston with John.  When James answered, he said “Hey sweetheart, how are you?”  And the voice on the other end said, “Hey Dad, how are you?”  The feeling was awesome!  Our son was talking.  Nine days later, John walked out of The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR).

God answered our prayers.  Psalms 118:17 reminded us that John would live and not die and we declared the goodness of the Lord.  2 Kings 4:26 gave us comfort that all is well.  We had 180,000 people praying for our son John.  When he woke up he said “I had no idea that many people even knew me.”  John thought he had been out for 2 weeks; he learned later he had been incapacitated for almost a year.

Why is John’s story a Pro-Life story?

We kept moving forward with John.  We knew we had to.  Letting go after the first and second brain surgeries would have been easier, but God showed us in Genesis 22:6 how Abraham offered up Issac.  John’s brain would not stop bleeding and his intra cranial pressure reached 72.  So we laid John on the altar in the hospital chapel and told the Lord that we would love Him no matter what the outcome was.  The Lord spoke to James, saying “I didn’t take Issac and I am not going to take John.”  Then the surgeons called us in to report that the brain bleed had stopped.

We are forever grateful for prayer warriors who believed and stood with us regardless of the outcome.  We couldn’t go by what we saw we had to go by what we knew.  We knew that the Lord loves to do the impossible

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Abortionist Robert Rho recently pled guilty to causing the death of 30-year-old Jaime Lee Morales in a botched late-term abortion.  Morales died following two procedures at a Flushing, New York, abortion facility in July 2016.  During the elective second trimester abortion, Rho committed two procedures that resulted in fatal hemorrhaging that took Morales’s life.

According to Operation Rescue, which closely followed the case, the autopsy revealed that “Rho had lacerated her [Morales’s] cervix, punctured her uterus and sliced her uterine artery.  Any one of those injuries would cause heavy bleeding, but together, they proved catastrophic.”  The Pro-Life organization speculates that Rho finally admitted guilt for Morales’s death under oath only because the jury was clearly poised to convict him of Second Degree Manslaughter, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.  In the plea bargain he accepted earlier this month, Rho admitted guilt for the lesser charge of Felony Negligent Homicide. He will serve 16 months to four years in prison.

The trial demonstrated several significant similarities between Rho and notorious late-term abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell.  Gosnell also killed a woman in a botched second trimester abortion and was convicted of negligent homicide.  Although the men and their crimes were in many ways quite different—most notably Gosnell was also convicted of the murders of several children born alive in botched abortions—there are underlying similarities that are instructive.

As Cheryl Sullenger outlines, both Gosnell and Rho demonstrated erratic behavior, committed abortions past the legal limit in their respective states, and employed unqualified staff, among other similarities.  The mainstream media almost completely ignored both cases and the many tragic victims.  The abortion industry has maintained the story that Gosnell and Rho are outliers who do not reflect the industry as a whole.  To accept this lie is to ignore the gruesome reality of abortion.  The abortion industry profits when preborn babies’ lives are violently ended.  Gosnell and Rho went outside the lines of certain laws, but every abortionist takes human lives.

Stating that abortionists end human lives is not an ad hominem attack but a recognition of fact.  Abortionists themselves have proudly said as much.  Given the violent and barbaric nature of abortion, we should not be surprised that many abortionists demonstrate similar emotional instability, hostility, negligence, and unlawful behavior.  In fact, the abortion industry as a whole has demonstrated these same behaviors by refusing to respect commonsense legislation that protects women and preborn Life.  Abortionists Rho and Gosnell are particularly egregious examples of the violence that abortion entails, but they are not a departure from the mainstream abortion industry.

We must push back against the narrative that the abortion industry is a victim.  The few times that news of atrocities committed by the likes of Rho and Gosnell make their way into mainstream outlets, the abortion lobby will insist that they are being misrepresented and maligned.  In doing so, the abortion lobby victimizes for a second time the women and children who have lost their lives to abortion.  Make no mistake about who the victims are.

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