Author archives: Mary Szoch

FDA Acknowledges Prenatal Screening Risks, But Fails to Condemn Eugenic Abortion

by Mary Szoch

April 28, 2022

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a statement warning of the “risks associated with non-invasive prenatal screening tests.” The statement reads:

While genetic non-invasive prenatal screening tests are widely used today, these tests have not been reviewed by the FDA and may be making claims about their performance and use that are not based on sound science … Without proper understanding of how these tests should be used, people may make inappropriate health care decisions regarding their pregnancy. We strongly urge patients to discuss the benefits and risks of these tests with a genetic counselor or other health care provider prior to making decisions based on the results of these tests.

Of course, by “inappropriate health care decisions,” the FDA likely means the decision to kill an unborn child.

The statement continues:

Many laboratories offering these tests advertise their tests as “reliable” and “highly accurate,” offering “peace of mind” for patients. The FDA is concerned that these claims may not be supported with sound scientific evidence.

This simple acknowledgment that these tests are not approved by the FDA and their inaccuracy could be leading to abortions that otherwise would not take place comes as a welcome surprise—especially since this is the same agency that just months ago loosened health and safety protocols governing chemical abortion pills despite evidence that these pills are unsafe for pregnant mothers. Although it is riddled with euphemisms and disingenuous word choices, the FDA statement will likely decrease the number of abortions that occur in the United States. However, the FDA is far from adopting a philosophy of respect for life.

In its statement, the FDA also writes:

Conditions caused by a missing chromosome or an extra copy of a chromosome are more common and may be easier to detect, such as Down syndrome, which can cause physical and intellectual challenges. A missing or extra piece of a chromosome may result in rarer conditions, such as DiGeorge syndrome, which can cause heart defects, feeding difficulties, immune system problems and learning difficulties. … Pregnant people have ended pregnancies based on the results of genetic prenatal screening alone, without understanding the limitations of the screening tests and that the fetus may not have the genetic abnormality identified by the screening test.

The failure to acknowledge that only women can be pregnant is not the only problem with this statement. It implies that if the tests were correct—if the unborn child had the genetic abnormalities indicated by the tests—the decision to kill the unborn child would not be “inappropriate.” Although not explicitly stated, the subtext of this statement is that the FDA sees nothing wrong with eugenic abortions.

Sadly, other parts of the world have accepted eugenic abortions as well. For example, in multiple countries, nearly every unborn baby prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome is aborted, and in Western countries, around 95 percent of babies prenatally diagnosed with a severe form of spina bifida are aborted.

The FDA is correct; many—including the authors of the statement—do not understand “the limitations of the screening tests.” A screening test may be able to tell parents if their child is at greater risk of a genetic abnormality. Further testing may be able to state more conclusively if a child is at risk of having a genetic abnormality. But no test can measure the worth of a child. No test can predict the love, joy, and suffering a child will endure. No test can predict the impact a child will have on the world.

Although the pro-life community should be grateful for the lives that will be saved as a result of the FDA’s warning, the fight against eugenics must continue. As long as abortion is legal in the United States, people with disabilities will be targeted in the womb. Every life has equal dignity and worth. We must pray for the day when our laws reflect that fact by completely protecting life.

The Push to Normalize Infanticide

by Mary Szoch

April 27, 2022

A month has passed since the bodies of five fully developed babies were recovered from Cesare Santangelo’s abortion business, Washington Surgi-Clinic, and still, the D.C. medical examiner has not performed autopsies on them, despite the suspicious circumstances of their deaths.

All five babies appear to have been old enough to survive outside the womb, and it is widely speculated that Washington Surgi-Clinic might have broken the law in bringing about their deaths. Since there is no evidence to suggest they were aborted legally, multiple physicians have suggested that the babies’ deaths might have been caused by partial-birth abortion, infanticide, or a violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.  

Sadly, in Washington, D.C., abortion is legal through birth. However, partial-birth abortion (i.e., when an abortionist intentionally kills a child after the child has already partially emerged from the birth canal) is illegal per federal law. And D.C. has several city laws that could apply if any of the five babies were, in fact, born alive (such as prohibitions against murder, prohibitions against “cruelty to children,” and a newborn safe haven law).

D.C. officials’ decision not to investigate the deaths of these five babies is consistent with the lack of concern for—and even promotion of—infanticide around the country.

In recent months, there has been a disturbing increase in efforts to legalize infanticide. A bill being considered in California, AB 2223, would allow mothers to escape criminal charges if they killed their children within the “perinatal period.”  The radically pro-abortion World Health Organization’s definition of the perinatal period includes “until 7 completed days after birth.” Notably, similar legislation was introduced in Maryland this year and failed.   

The push to legalize infanticide should not come as a shock. After all, infanticide is not that far removed from abortion—and is literally inches removed from partial-birth abortion. Federal laws protect unborn children from partial-birth abortions. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whose stated mission is to “enhance the health and well-being of all Americans,” is led by former Attorney General of California Xavier Becerra, who has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that partial-birth abortion is illegal.

When asked by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), “Do you concede that partial birth abortion is illegal per the law?” Becerra responded, “Under the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade, women have reproductive rights that they are entitled to enforce and that they are entitled to have the government respect. I will do everything I can to make sure a woman’s rights and reproductive care are defended.”

Banks’ question was never about women’s rights; it was about whether an infant can be legally killed halfway through the birthing process.

Yet, the lack of respect for life isn’t just a California problem; it is mirrored by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who refuse to support legislation protecting infants who have completed the birthing process.

Currently, not a single House Democrat has signed on to a discharge petition in support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill that would require health care practitioners to provide the same medical care to infants born alive after a failed abortion that they would to any other infant born at the same gestational age. And so, as it stands, there is no federal requirement that medical assistance be administered to any baby born alive after an abortion attempt. Thankfully, some states (18) have their own laws requiring medical care to be given to abortion survivors; however, D.C. has no such law. This fact makes it even more necessary that the D.C. medical examiner perform an autopsy on the five babies found to determine if they suffered an illegal abortion or an act of infanticide.

The slow push to legalize and normalize infanticide is already underway. Unsurprisingly, those leading the charge are accusing pro-life activists (who are working to bring justice and save babies born alive) of “tampering with fetal remains” and “absurd and disingenuous” arguments.

America must turn back. There must be justice for the five babies whose remains were recovered from Cesare Santangelo’s abortion business, and the legislative efforts to legalize infanticide in California must be stopped.

If you are a California resident, click here to ask your state legislator to vote “NO” on AB 2223, a bill decriminalizing infanticide.

The Bodies of Five Babies Cry Out for Justice

by Mary Szoch , Joy Zavalick

April 7, 2022

Approximately four blocks west of the White House, in the midst of academic buildings and dormitories of The George Washington University, abortionist Cesare Santangelo operates his abortion business, known as Washington Surgi-Clinic. It was from here that the remains of five fully developed unborn babies were reportedly recovered. Even though their deaths are suspected to be the result of partial-birth abortions, infanticide, or a violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, the D.C. medical examiner has refused to do an autopsy.

In Washington, D.C., abortion is legal throughout the entirety of pregnancy. However, federal law prohibits abortionists from committing partial-birth abortions, and babies born alive are considered full persons under the law. Unfortunately, because congressional Democrats refuse to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, it is not currently required that babies born alive after an abortion attempt receive medical attention.

Legal late-term abortions are conducted through a multi-day process in which a baby is killed prior to delivery. Partial-birth abortions deviate from a typical late-term abortion by partially delivering a baby so that the abortionist can kill the child before full delivery. Because this method is illegal, many abortionists inject the child with a feticide (digoxin) to kill them while they are still in the womb.

The physicians who evaluated the remains of the five aborted babies recovered from Santangelo’s clinic have speculated that there may be evidence of the abortionist committing illegal partial-birth abortions or possibly even killing babies that were delivered alive.

The completely intact nature of some of the babies is suspicious because the cause of death cannot be determined. One of the children displayed head wounds consistent with those of a partial-birth abortion. One of the children was delivered in the amniotic sac, pointing to the possibility that he or she was born alive and then left to die.

An autopsy must be conducted on these babies to confirm whether illegal abortion activity occurred. But illegal or not, Santangelo’s actions are morally wrong.

The finding of the remains of these five unborn victims has flooded the news, but this is hardly the first time Cesare Santangelo has been under scrutiny.

A complaint was filed by a department head at George Washington University Hospital voicing concerns about several of Santangelo’s “bad outcomes related to abortion” in 2013. However, the review panel was reluctant to discipline Santangelo, pointing out “he’s the ‘go to’ for high-risk cases.”

In the “Additional Items Discussed,” the D.C. Department of Health Board of Medicine wrote that the panel made a few “recommendations” that Dr. Santangelo should consider adopting in his practice: “1. Consider conducting terminations with ultrasound guidance to reduce risk of uterine perforation; 2. Improve provider-referring hospital communication; and 3. Ensure that pre-consent and consent-to-surgery forms are uniform and do not have any differences, thereby preventing miscommunication.” The fact that these are merely recommendations shows the disregard the pro-abortion lobby has for both mothers and their babies and the influence it wields on government bodies.

A year prior, in 2012, Live Action conducted an undercover filming of Santangelo wherein he talked about allowing babies born alive to die without receiving medical attention.

When asked, “Would you make sure that it doesn’t survive?” Santangelo responded, “We would not help it. We wouldn’t intubate. We wouldn’t do anything extra to help it survive. It would be a terminal person in a hospital…It’s like a do not resituate order…”

Except that it’s nothing like a “do not resuscitate order” or having a “terminal person in a hospital.” It is having the power to help a person live and callously tossing that person aside to die.   

There is more proof that Santangelo has no regard for human life. A medical malpractice/wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Santangelo by the family of a woman who received a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure at his business to remove her naturally-miscarried child.

Santangelo, who had no hospital admitting privileges at the time, failed to call an ambulance for 13 minutes after the woman’s oxygen levels fell, and she turned blue. Santangelo—who is accused of waiting too long to call for emergency help—never attempted appropriate resuscitation efforts. Once at the hospital, the woman was declared dead. An autopsy revealed that Santangelo botched the procedure, leaving her with a perforated or lacerated uterus and pieces of her preborn baby in her bloodstream and lungs.

Over the past week, Cesare Santangelo’s blatant disregard for life has been on display. Join us in demanding that autopsies and a full investigation be done into the deaths of the five infants whose bodies were recovered from Washington Surgi-Clinic. There must be justice for these precious babies.

Why Does the Far Left Want More Women to Have Abortions?

by Mary Szoch , Joy Zavalick

March 28, 2022

The Texas Heartbeat Act, in its mission to protect babies from abortion once their heartbeats are detectable, has faced legal challenges and resistance from the abortion industry—and come out victorious. Along with saving thousands of lives, Texas has also provided a notable case study as the nation awaits the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case with the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade. While pro-life advocates are ready to care for mothers and their babies in the event Roe is overturned, the far Left that used to call for abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare” is now busily working to ensure that more and more women undergo abortions.

The pro-“choice” façade of the past is finally slipping away as progressives become increasingly bold about their desire to increase the national abortion rate. Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), who has been outspoken about his goal to direct abortion tourism to his state, signed a new law to make abortion even cheaper for people on private insurance plans. Washington and Oregon also had dramatic reactions to Idaho’s Texas-style heartbeat protection, resisting the neighboring state’s move to protect the unborn.

A recent New York Times article sounded gleeful as it relied on shoddy evidence to report that Texas’ Heartbeat Act had not drastically lowered abortions in the state because women were still able to obtain chemical abortion pills or travel across state lines to undergo abortions. National Review’s Michael New refuted these suspiciously enthusiastic claims, explaining, “the reported out-of-state monthly increase of 1,250 abortions is only a fraction of the in-state decline of 3,200 abortions reported by the Texas State Health and Human Services Commission for September 2021.”

Agents on the far Left are determined to encourage women to undergo abortions, even if abortion is the logically less convenient and less safe option for them. Fund Texas Choice promotes abortion by “provid[ing] travel assistance to Texas residents whether your appointment is in Texas or if you have to travel out-of-state.” The group arranges and pays for hotel stays, bus tickets, flights, and gas for women undergoing abortions in cities where they are not residents—in other words, whatever it takes to make sure that women have abortions. Even private organizations such as Citigroup have also chosen to fund travel for their employees to encourage them to get abortions.

Why are progressives hellbent on pushing dangerous chemical abortions and spending thousands of dollars on travel over the simple solution of carrying a child to term and respecting his or her right to be born? Are they really so deluded as to believe that birth, which women are biologically designed to perform, is more traumatizing than invasive surgical procedures or dangerous chemical regimens? Are they simply mesmerized by the profit they stand to gain from vulnerable women when abortion is normalized? One thing is for certain, those who champion abortion have chosen to reject reality.

Whether they acknowledge it or not, Americans know that every pregnant woman carries a unique, unrepeatable human being within her. It is only when a woman is considering an abortion that anyone denies the humanity of the child. As a visibly pregnant woman walks down the sidewalk or through the grocery store, it is not uncommon for men and women to stop to congratulate her on her baby. In fact, perhaps the only way to be more popular than a pregnant woman carrying a baby in her womb is to be a new mom carrying a baby in her arms. Person after person stops to say hello to the baby, play peek-a-boo, or ask, “Can you give me a smile?”

Today, progressives are tripping over themselves to increase “access” to abortion, but they should recognize there is a better route. As the world awaits a decision in Dobbs, churches, communities, and legislators are working to support moms, dads, and children in need. Instead of doing everything possible to ensure that moms believe their easiest and only option is abortion, it is time for the pro-abortion lobby to accept the truth that daily life affirms: abortion ends the life of a beautiful baby. We invite anyone who is or has previously been part of the pro-abortion lobby to join us. There are countless ways to help moms, dads, and babies in need. Encouraging more abortions is not one of them.

Ukrainian Athletes Are Teaching the World a Lesson in Valor

by Mary Szoch

March 9, 2022

As Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin continues to wage war on Ukraine in the weeks immediately following the Olympics, sports stories continue to make international headlines. Ahead of and during the Beijing Winter Olympics, the terrible conditions for Olympic athletes dominated the news, while the Uyghur genocide was a second tier news story.  But now, it is the defense of Ukraine’s freedom that has placed athletics and athletes in the spotlight.

Last week, World Taekwondo pulled all future events from Russia. It also stripped Vladimir Putin of his honorary black belt in recognition that he is, as Ukrainian President Zelensky put it, behaving “like a beast.” Putin’s status as honorary president of the International Judo Federation (IJF) and the European Judo Union has been revoked, and he is no longer the recipient of the International Swimming Federation (FINA)’s highest honor.

In stunning displays of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, the National Hockey League announced they would suspend business partnerships with Russia; the Union Cycliste Internationale has banned Russian and Belarusian teams from competing; the World Curling Federation has removed the 2022 European Curling Championships from Russia; FIFA has suspended Russia from the World Cup; and multiple Russian athletes have voiced their support for Ukraine at great risk to themselves. Even the International Olympic Committee, which did not pull the 2022 Olympics out of China despite the ongoing genocide in that country, issued a recommendation that international sports federations not invite or allow Russian or Belarusian athletes to participate in international competitions.

But the most inspiring stories of all have been the Ukrainian athletes who have joined the fight for their homeland. The Ukrainian men’s fencing team withdrew from a World Cup event in Egypt, where they were set to face Russia. Wearing their national colors, the team announced, “Today, Ukrainian fencing team refused to fence team event against Russian Federation. This is our protest against the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Thank you for all international fencers for supporting Ukrainians in the world. Russia, stop war in Ukraine.” Instead of fencing, the team planned to return home and defend their country.

Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky was vacationing with his wife and three children in Dubai when he heard the news of Russia’s invasion. He, too, decided to return home and defend his country. “I was born here, my grandparents are buried here, and I would like to have a history to tell to my kids,” he said. “Nobody here wants Russia to free them, they have freedom and democracy … and Russia wants to bring despair and poverty.” His three children, all under seven, believe he is at a tennis tournament.

Ukrainian soccer coach Yuriy Vernydub left at the height of his career to fight for his country. “My son called me at 4:30 am and he told me the Russians attacked us. I knew then that I would return to Ukraine to fight,” he said. “Football is my life. I hope this war won’t last for long. We will win, and I will go back to my beloved work.”

The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, and his brother, Wladimir, are former boxing champions who are ready to fend off Russian attacks. Waldimir commented, “I am Ukrainian, and I am a fighter…our strongest force is the will and desire to live in a free country.”

And the Klitschko brothers aren’t the only prizefighters bearing different arms. Champion boxers Vasily Lomachenko and Oleksander Usyki have returned to defend their homeland as well. When asked about his decision to fight, Ukrainian heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyki said, “My soul belongs to the Lord and my body and my honor belong to my country, to my family. So there is no fear, absolutely no fear. There’s just bafflement—how could this be in the 21st century?”

Across the country, Ukrainians—including three athletes, Vitalii Sapylo, Dmytro Martynenko, and Yevhen Malyshev—are willingly laying down their lives for their country to remain independent. These men and women are heroes—dying so that others may live free. 

One of the reasons sports are good is because they have the ability to teach life lessons. They teach men and women to work hard, be the best they can be, work as a team, be mentally tough and courageous, and die to self for a greater good.

As Ukraine continues to struggle to maintain its independence, Ukrainian athletes are proving they have learned much more from sports than how to win gold medals. It is time for the rest of the world to learn a few lessons from Ukrainians.

Join Mississippi in Supporting Women With Unplanned Pregnancies

by Mary Szoch , Savannah Anne Carman

February 21, 2022

As America awaits the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—the case considering whether Mississippi’s law protecting the lives of unborn babies at 15-weeks is constitutional—pro-lifers in Mississippi aren’t just twiddling their thumbs. Led by Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, these pro-life, pro-woman advocates hosted a virtual baby shower to benefit the over 30 pregnancy resource centers in the state. As Attorney General Fitch said, “There are women facing great challenges when they learn that they are pregnant…The pro-life movement has always been about supporting these women. We want these women to know that they do not have to face this on their own.”

One of the best ways to support women facing unplanned pregnancies is to support the work of pregnancy resource centers. We invite you to join Attorney General Fitch in showering pregnancy resource centers all over the country with prayer, love, and material items.

What is a pregnancy resource center?

A pregnancy resource center (PRC) is an organization that offers material, emotional, and often spiritual support to women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy, seeking support for infants or toddlers, looking for guidance before a potential abortion, or searching for healing afterward. In 2019, PRCs nationwide served almost two million people and provided nearly $270 million in services. Each PRC is unique, but they are alike in their mission of supporting women and men throughout pregnancy and after the birth of the child. They provide material support, including clothing, diapers, wipes, and formula; education about pregnancy, parenting, and life skills; and medical services like pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and STD testing. Many PRCs also offer housing for mothers and their children; spiritual support; assistance for abuse and human trafficking victims; and guidance applying for Medicaid, SNAPS, and WIC. Pregnancy resource centers offer loving care for mothers and fathers in need.

Where can I find one?

To find a pregnancy resource center, visit Pregnancy Decision Line at pregnancydecisionline.org or call 866-798-9541. Pregnancy Decision Line provides confidential, free support to anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy. You can also visit Option Line at optionline.org or call or text 800-712-4357. In addition to offering emergency hotline support and information about pregnancy and abortion recovery, Option Line connects you with a PRC near you for local support.

How can I support PRCs?

PRCs depend on the consistency and faithfulness of prayer, volunteers, financial donations, and material donations (clothes, diapers, wipes, formula, etc.). You and your community might consider committing to one or more of these needs. Call your local PRC and ask about their immediate needs. Whether it is organizing diapers, praying for women, teaching an online parenting class, or making a monthly donation, PRCs and the mothers they serve are grateful for support. Single parents and couples need supportive communities, especially when facing an unexpected pregnancy.

How can my church get involved?

PRCs are always grateful for the assistance of churches. Connect with your local PRC to find their specific needs, and post about volunteer opportunities in the church’s bulletin. Schedule group service days at the PRC for the youth and adults. This is an excellent opportunity to open young people’s eyes to the needs right in their neighborhood. Dedicate a month for collecting diapers, wipes, formula, and other materials. Ask your local PRC what materials they are most in need of to get started. And, of course, pray. As a congregation, pray not only for an end to abortion but also for mothers and fathers in need and those who help them.

Savannah Anne Carman is an intern with the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.

A Welcome Defeat of Assisted Suicide in Virginia

by Mary Szoch

February 4, 2022

Yesterday, the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee considered legislation legalizing assisted suicide, SB 688. Thankfully, with a vote of 7-7-1, this legislation failed. Modeled after similar bills across the country, SB 688 would have allowed a patient with a six-month terminal diagnosis to request and ingest medication for the explicit purpose of ending their own life.

Oregon was the first state to legalize assisted suicide in 1997. Since that time, nine other states and the District of Columba have also legalized it. Although proponents of assisted suicide argue it “empowers” everyone to dictate their end of life, this misguided desire for complete control has the unintended consequence of creating a culture in which certain lives are deemed unworthy of living.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, which has compiled over 20 years of data on assisted suicide, excruciating pain is not the reason most people choose assisted suicide. The top five reasons for choosing assisted suicide are the inability to engage in activities that make life enjoyable; the loss of autonomy; the loss of dignity; the feeling of being a burden on family, friends, or caregivers; and loss of control of bodily functions. These struggles are incredibly challenging, but they by no means devalue a person’s life. People facing struggles such as these need true compassion based in the willingness to share their suffering.

People with disabilities are some of assisted suicide’s strongest opponents. They recognize that every person has dignity and that many of the reasons deemed valid for ending a life are challenges people with disabilities overcome every day. Certainly, not everyone who lives with a disability has a terminal illness, but at some point, everyone who has a terminal illness will experience some form of disability. People aren’t choosing to end their lives because of their terminal illness but because of the disabilities caused by their terminal illness. Legalizing assisted suicide sends the message that a life with disabilities is not a life worth living.

In a profit-driven health care system, the odds are already stacked against people with disabilities. So states need to pass legislation protecting people with disabilities from discrimination—not legislation that allows insurance companies to choose to cover the cheapest option, lethal drugs, instead of actual care.

People with disabilities are not the only ones negatively impacted by this discriminatory practice. All people—especially minorities—who have disparate access to health care feel its effects. As Anita Cameron, minority outreach director for Not Dead Yet, said, “As long as racial disparities and disability discrimination exist in health care, assisted suicide cannot be the answer.” Sadly, in both Oregon and California, patients who would not have been terminal had they received medical care have been refused treatment and instead offered assisted suicide drugs.

Moreover, the option of assisted suicide prevents people with terminal illnesses from getting the mental health support they desperately need. Medical literature suggests that 25 to 77 percent of patients with terminal illnesses suffer from major depression. Yet, since its legalization in 1998, only four percent of patients who died through assisted suicide were referred for psychiatric evaluation. Tragically, instead of receiving the help they need, patients are offered the option to kill themselves. The assisted suicide legislation does not require family notification or the presence of a witness at the time of death. And so, those struggling with the desire to end their lives by taking the lethal drugs may simply suffer in silence until their death, with heartbroken loved ones left wondering if they could have done more.

The legalization of assisted suicide attempts to normalize and affirm the suicide of patients with terminal illnesses; however, it has the unintended consequence of normalizing and affirming suicide itself. For those suffering from suicide ideation, this has tragic consequences. The Centers for Disease Control reported a 49 percent increase in the suicide rate in Oregon from 1999-2010, as opposed to a 28 percent increase nationally.

The assisted suicide legislation proposed in Virginia disregards the value of human life and opens the door for exploitation and coercion. Pray that assisted suicide legislation would fail and for a renewed respect for the dignity of the human person—not only in Virginia but in all 50 states.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

D.C. Sirens Remind Us That Every Abortion Has at Least Two Victims

by Mary Szoch , Joy Zavalick

January 28, 2022

On January 27, sirens on 4th Street Northeast in Washington, D.C., announced an ambulance’s arrival at the Carol Whitehill Moses Center, the city’s Planned Parenthood. According to witnesses, a woman who appeared to be in pain was escorted out of the abortion facility and into the ambulance as a second emergency vehicle arrived as backup.

The Carol Whitehill Moses Center’s website states that they offer chemical abortions, as well as surgical abortions “up to 19 weeks and 6 days after the start of your last menstrual period.” One pro-life witness to the scene explained that Thursdays are the days when women further along in their pregnancies—between 12 and 20 weeks—are scheduled for abortions. At abortion businesses, the arrival of an ambulance is tragically more common than the industry would have women believe.

Planned Parenthood is not the only abortion facility in the D.C. area carrying out abortions after the first trimester. In fact, D.C. and Maryland offer no protections for the unborn, with both jurisdictions allowing children in the womb to be killed throughout the entirety of pregnancy. Anyone who cares about women should be troubled by the fact that several of the people carrying out abortions in the D.C. metro area have had malpractice lawsuits brought against them.

LeRoy Carhart, an abortionist who is infamous for carrying out extremely dangerous late-term abortions, has sent more than 10 women to the hospital over the course of his career, including one teenage girl and two women who ultimately died. Carhart has been sued by multiple women asserting that his abortion procedures caused them serious injury and left them permanently sterile.

Despite the numerous charges against Carhart, the supposed advocate for women has happily continued carrying out his signature late-term abortions. In a 2019 BBC Panorama documentary with Hilary Andersson, when he was asked, “And you don’t have a problem with killing a baby?” Carhart responded, “Absolutely not. I have no problem if it’s in the mother’s uterus.”

Currently, Carhart is facing two malpractice lawsuits. The first is from a woman who suffered a perforated uterus and torn-open bowel as the result of a late-term abortion carried out by abortionist Elizabeth Swallow at Carhart’s business. The second is from a woman who suffered a perforated uterus, massive hemorrhaging, trauma to her appendix, and an incomplete abortion that left most of her partially-beheaded baby inside.  

Another D.C. late-term abortionist, Caesar Santangelo, operates his business just blocks from the White House. In 2018, a medical malpractice/wrongful death lawsuit was filed against him by the family of a woman who received a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure at his business to remove her naturally-miscarried child. Santangelo, who had no hospital admitting privileges at the time, failed to call an ambulance for 13 minutes after the woman’s oxygen levels fell, and she turned blue. Sadly, once at the hospital, the woman was declared dead. An autopsy revealed that Santangelo botched the procedure, leaving her with a perforated or lacerated uterus and pieces of her preborn baby in her bloodstream and lungs. 

Abortion advocates often claim that more women will die by dangerous “coat hanger” procedures if Roe v. Wade is overturned. However, women must be reminded that even legal abortions are not safe procedures—they carry great risks and are often carried out by con artists who prove daily that they can get away with murder. One D.C. witness to yesterday’s tragedy observed that, fortunately, two women who were entering Planned Parenthood left the facility after seeing the ambulances.

It is important to note that abortions are not only dangerous when they impact the women who misguidedly choose them; every “successful” abortion ends in the death of a precious child. Every human life possesses inherent dignity and worth—whether it is a baby girl who was just conceived or a woman sitting in the waiting room of an abortion facility. Abortion is undeniably evil even when mothers emerge physically unscathed.

Incidents like the emergency at D.C.’s Planned Parenthood are not new phenomena. Abortionists are aware of the danger that they pose to women, and many shamelessly continue to practice even after maiming mothers. If women will not reject abortion to protect their babies, then they should at least consider the danger that they themselves face before placing their own lives in the hands of killers.

Fact Check: 5 False Claims Corrected in the Dobbs Oral Arguments

by Mary Szoch

December 14, 2021

On December 1, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that poses the best chance in over a generation to overturn Roe v. Wade. Julie Rickelman, senior director of U.S. litigation for the Center for Reproductive Rights, argued that the Court should strike down Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act—the bipartisan legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks that was at issue in the case.

Although Rickelman’s arguments occasionally aligned with the truth, the majority of what she said does not pass a fact check. Let’s examine several of those claims.

Claim #1: Justice Roberts questioned whether a 15-week ban on abortion, as opposed to a ban at the point of viability (generally set at 22-24 weeks gestation), would have a severely negative impact on women in their place in society. Rickelman responded by stating, “People who need abortion after 15 weeks are most often in the most challenging circumstances… In fact, the data has been very clear over the last 50 years that abortion has been critical to women’s equal participation in society.”

  • The Truth: In Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, a publication of the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, the authors acknowledge that women seeking late-term abortions do so for the same reasons women receive earlier abortions—“stressful circumstances of unprepared pregnancy, single-motherhood, financial pressure, and relationship discord.” Killing a child is not the solution to challenging circumstances.

Claim #2: Justice Roberts mentioned that the list of countries that do not ban abortion prior to viability includes North Korea and China. Rickelman responded, “First that’s not correct about international law. In fact, the majority of countries that permit legal access to abortion allow access right up until viability… So, for example, Canada, Great Britain and most of Europe allows access to abortion right up until viability…”

  • The Truth: Across the globe, only six countries allow abortion throughout the entirety of pregnancy—North Korea, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Canada, and the United States. While Rickelman was correct that Canada and the United Kingdom offer abortion up until viability, she was wrong in characterizing that as typical for Europe. In fact, only two countries in Europe (the United Kingdom and Finland) allow abortion for “broad social reasons” or “socioeconomic reasons.” Around the world, 100 countries completely outlaw abortion or only allow abortion to protect the life of the mother or in cases of rape, incest, or fetal abnormality.

Claim #3: Justice Gorsuch asked Rickelman whether the “undue burden” standard is unworkable. Rickelman replied, “The only thing that’s at issue in this case is the viability line, and the viability line has been enduringly workable. The lower federal courts have applied it consistently and uniformly for 50 years. And the Fifth Circuit here below had no difficulty striking down this law unanimously, 3-0. So it’s been an exceedingly workable standard.”

  • The Truth: The viability line has shifted from 28 weeks when Roe was decided in 1973 to 22-24 weeks today. Multiple babies have even survived at 21 weeks. Viability is not a standard that can be uniformly applied because it varies from person to person. Characterizing viability as an “exceedingly workable standard” is either wishful thinking or willful ignorance.

Claim #4: Justice Alito questioned Rickelman about her defense of the viability line. He asked, “The fetus has an interest in having a life, and that doesn’t change, does it, from the point before viability to the point after viability?” Rickelman ultimately responded, “It [the viability standard] is principled because, in ordering the interests at stake, the Court had to set a line between conception and birth, and it logically looked at the fetus’ ability to survive separately as a legal line because it’s objectively verifiable and doesn’t require the Court to resolve the philosophical issues at stake.”

  • The Truth: The matter of an unborn child being a human being is not a “philosophical issue”; it is a scientific fact. Furthermore, at no point in time do babies—born or unborn (or countless fully grown adults)—have the ability to “survive separately,” so if Rickelman actually believes that the Court’s line where a person has the ability to “survive separately” is the logical point before which a person can be killed—she is endorsing abortion, infanticide, and the right to kill anyone who cannot survive on their own.

Claim #5: In an exchange with Justice Alito, Rickelman claimed that access to abortion is part of the American tradition. She said, “At the founding, women were able to end their pregnancy under the common law. And, in fact, this Court… specifically called out and relied on Roe’s conclusion that at the time of the founding and well into the 1800s, women had the ability to end a pregnancy.”

  • The Truth: Multiple amicus briefs were filed proving the opposite. The Thomas More Society noted that English common law originally followed in the American colonies considered abortion after “quickening” as a serious crime, and early state laws made abortion throughout pregnancy criminal. As Josh Craddock pointed out in his seminal piece, “Protecting Prenatal Persons: Does the Fourteenth Amendment Prohibit Abortion?” published in Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, “quickening” was used to protect prenatal life as soon as it could be discerned—not to exclude life prior to that moment. In other words, at the time of the American founding, once there was evidence of life in the womb, it was protected. Professors Mary Ann Glendon and O. Carter Snead echoed this argument.

    Craddock also noted that by the time of ratification of the 14th Amendment, which is used to justify the “right to privacy” under which abortion is legalized, not only did common-law and state practice protect the unborn, but dictionaries used “person” and “human being” interchangeably, and the authors of the 14th Amendment expected it to especially protect the weak and marginalized. Esteemed legal scholars John Finnis and Robert George, as well as Lee Strang, submitted amicus briefs arguing along the same line of thought.

As we pray for the outcome in Dobbs, let us also pray for Julie Rickelman—that this brilliant woman will seek the truth and one day use her God-given gifts to defend life.

10 Things You Can Do to Defend the Unborn Ahead of Dobbs

by Mary Szoch

November 22, 2021

On December 1, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. This case concerns the constitutionality of Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which prohibits elective abortion after 15 weeks—nine weeks before the 24-week “point of viability” (i.e., the gestational age when a baby is generally considered capable of surviving outside the mother’s womb). Because Mississippi’s law directly challenges the abortion jurisprudence of Roe v. Wade, the Dobbs case presents the greatest opportunity to overturn Roe since the decision was first handed down in 1973.

Although it will be Scott Stewart, the solicitor general of Mississippi, who will be presenting the arguments in defense of the unborn before the Supreme Court, everyone has a part to play in this upcoming case.

Here is a list of 10 things that you can do to build a culture of life as we await the oral arguments and eventual ruling in Dobbs:

1. Pray.

The most important thing you can do leading up to the Dobbs case is to pray. To help you get started, Family Research Council has compiled a helpful prayer guide, available here. Consider praying with a friend outside an abortion facility and joining FRC for our upcoming prayer event (details below).

On Sunday, November 28, FRC will be hosting Pray Together for Life, a national prayer gathering at New Horizon Church in Jackson, Miss. The purpose of this non-partisan event will be a unified prayer meeting of the body of Christ with the sole focus on praying for the restoration of the sanctity of life in America, beginning with the unborn. We hope you will join us, either in person or online, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. You can register here.

For additional prayer resources, visit: PrayForDobbs.com  

2. Discern whether your family is being called to adopt.

If Roe is overturned, there will likely be more babies in need of parents. As members of the pro-life community, we should all discern whether God is calling us to radically love others by opening our home to a child in need. Focus on the Family provides a number of helpful resources on this topic.

3. Support a Pregnancy Resource Center.

In 2019, Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) nationwide served almost two million people and provided nearly $270 million in services at virtually no charge. PRCs operate largely through the generosity of volunteers and donors. Their work truly makes a difference in the lives of millions, and if Dobbs overturns Roe, there will be much more work for PRCs to do. You can locate the PRCs near you here.

4. Support single moms.

Even though being a mom is incredibly rewarding, it is also incredibly challenging. Lost fatherhood brings additional hurdles for raising a child, which is why community support for single mothers is all the more important. Support single moms you know in practical ways like making a meal for the family or offering to babysit. Being pro-life means working to create a culture of life!

5. Befriend a person with disabilities.

Invite someone in your community with disabilities to get coffee or play a sport. Babies prenatally diagnosed with genetic abnormalities are aborted at alarming rates. Combat this by creating a culture where everyone is welcome.

6. Share information about the dangers of chemical abortion and about the option of abortion pill reversal.

With known complications including severe bleeding, infection, retained fetal parts, and even death, chemical abortion (more commonly known as “the abortion pill”) is nearly four times more dangerous than already dangerous surgical abortion procedures. In some cases, if only the first of the two pills in the abortion pill regimen has been taken, this type of abortion can be reversed. For more information, visit: AbortionPillReversal.com. Sharing this message could save a life.

7. Talk to a friend about her abortion views.

Most of us have a friend who does not share our views on the dignity of the unborn child. It can be challenging to have conversations surrounding abortion but making this effort can create a ripple effect that stretches far beyond your own influence. This FRC resource provides talking points and stories to help you get the conversation flowing.

8. Share information about Project Rachel.

For many women, the pain and guilt after an abortion are incredibly difficult to bear. Project Rachel is a nationwide ministry providing women with the assurance that there can be forgiveness, hope, and healing after abortion. It is open to all women, including women of no faith. Project Rachel’s website is HopeAfterAbortion.org or EsperanzaPosAborto.org.

9. Let your friends know you are a safe person to talk to.

Post a message on social media letting your friends know that if they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant, you’re a safe, supportive, and loving person to talk to. This might be all the encouragement someone needs to choose life.

10. Support pro-life state legislators and legislation.

Electing pro-life state legislators is critical to ending the scourge of abortion in America. If the Dobbs case overturns Roe, the question of abortion legality would most likely return to where it was before Roe—the individual states. It is essential that the states are equipped with pro-life legislators to pass pro-life laws. When legislators introduce pro-life legislation, pro-lifers must be supportive of the effort by calling and e-mailing their elected officials.

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