It's finally here! Unplanned will be in theaters this upcoming weekend. But you don't have to wait until then to see it! There will be two private viewings this week. Go to our EVENTS page for more information.
I also thought this would be a good time to revisit a book review Bernadette Smith wrote a couple of years ago.
And if you are interested in more information about the movie, just watch the trailer:
Hope to see you at the movies!
So there’s this part in Scripture where this woman is seduced by a serpent to take from the very tree God forbid her and her husband to eat from. This “serpent was more subtle [sic] than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made.” (Gen 3:1)
And he caught her all by herself.
He manipulated her into thinking God was holding back because He didn’t want her to be like Him. What she didn’t realize, or maybe she forgot, was that she was created in His image and likeness. She was created to be like Him.
But that’s not what the serpent meant. The serpent wanted her to think that she should be like God in that she could control herself and the world, just as God did. Where was her husband while this was taking place? We don’t know. Genesis never specifies, but it does say that she took that apple and gave it to her husband. And he ate it.
The first sin. This is the Original Sin that cast our first parents out of Paradise. They had it made. God provided everything for them. Their work was not in vain; they were in perfect harmony with God until this dreadful fall.
This verse this morning made me think of the debate on contraception. It was relentlessly pursued by Margaret Sanger, who wanted more than anything to make it legal for women to possess. She believed it would cure us of our oppression. In her day, she saw a lot of suffering. She saw many poor women who were so poor they could barely take care of themselves, much less the many children they had. She saw men as selfish lords, who didn’t seem to care that their wife was stuck at home all day, miserably taking care of their children. In her book, Woman and the New Race, Sanger claimed that women were begging her for birth control, that they couldn’t bear to have any more children and needed a way to avoid this in the future.
The first step is birth control. Through birth control she will attain to voluntary motherhood. Having attained this, the basic freedom of our sex, she will cease to enslave herself and the mass of humanity. Then, through the understanding of the intuitive forward urge within her, she will not stop at patching up the world; she will remake it. (loc 109)
Needless to say, she was eventually successful in her attempts to legalize birth control. In 1965, artificial means of avoiding pregnancy officially became a part of our culture. On the surface it seemed like a great victory for women. We now had a way to control our lives, to have a say, to be able to make some decisions regarding our state in life. Sanger believed children hindered a woman’s ability to participate in society in meaningful ways, so this was surely a victory for women in her mind.
But what happened when artificial birth control failed?
In 1973, a short eight years after legalized contraception, abortion became untouchable with Roe v Wade. Even Sanger had seemed to reject the horrors of abortion, claiming it was a terrible thing for a woman to have to face in her life, even calling it “violent” (loc 123) and “tribal; …common among the savages” (loc 141). She felt this stemmed from a feeling of having to decide to live in poverty, or to kill her own child. She fully believed contraception was the answer to the “horrors of abortion and infanticide.” (loc 229)
Reading these quotes, one would be led to think Sanger was opposed to such barbaric practices, but she then goes on to say that “the most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” (loc 514) She was against large families, as it was her opinion that the children were burdensome to the mother. She desperately wanted to help these mothers, to alleviate their suffering and give them freedom by helping them have more control over their fertility.
Isn’t that what we are still trying to do?
We live in a world that is constantly trying to free us from anything that would cause us to suffer. First it was contraception, now it is abortion that is touted as the answer to a woman’s prayer. It will free her from bondage to a child. She can live freely without worrying about what to do with the baby. Is this truly freeing for her? Or is this freeing for us as a society?
What is the reason women have abortions most of the time? The Guttmacher Institute says it is because women feel like they cannot handle another child; they have “financial, emotional and time concerns about their ability to care for their existing children.”
This implies perhaps they are afraid of being a burden on those around them. Women who are faced with an unwanted pregnancy know they will have to rely on others to raise the baby. They are ashamed of what has happened and how they got to where they are in the first place.
“Weren’t you careful?”
“Did he wear a condom?”
“Let’s try this contraception this time. Maybe this one will work for you.”
Or maybe, “You know your life is going to be hard. I can give you the information to our local Planned Parenthood and they can help you.”
Whose life is going to be hard? Her life will certainly be hard. But so will all those around her who love her. Her boyfriend’s/husband’s life will change. Her parents’ lives will change. Her friends’ lives will change. This baby will change the lives of every single person that mother is in contact with.
Why do those of us who are personally opposed to abortion continue to support this barbaric practice? Why would we oppose something that is so horrific, but think it’s OK for others?
I think we are afraid.
I think is us that don’t want the undue burden of walking with the person who is suffering. It is us who don’t want to help the mother take care of her baby. It is us who don’t want to watch our loved one suffer.
We are afraid our lives will change.
The serpent is still hard at work. He still wants us to think we can be like God and alleviate suffering and pain and have control over our lives. It’s a lie. It’s a big, fat lie, America. Stop plucking the apple from the tree and giving into temptation. Pick up your cross and follow Jesus.
Will you choose to help your loved one by walking with them during their trials, as Jesus does for us? Will you be His hands and feet? He is asking each of us as Christians to take up our crosses and to follow Him.
Even Jesus accepted help carrying His cross. Simon of Cyrene stepped in to help Him when no one else would. Jesus was still being scourged by the people. They were yelling at Him and throwing things at Him. The soldiers were still hitting him relentlessly. I’m sure Simon was scared to step in, as he could just have easily taken on the same beating as Jesus. But he did it anyway.
Women who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy need to be reminded that they are created in the image and likeness of God. They need to know they are worth walking with. They need to know their baby they are carrying has the same value they do – as we all do.
Don’t leave the women in your lives by themselves to carry their crosses alone and be tempted to pluck the apple from the tree.
We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Be a Simon of Cyrene.
Be a Christian.
~ Karen Cross
Secretary, Charles County Right to Life
What happened to her at the hands of an abortionist
On the day of the 2019 March for Life, Melissa Ohden told worshippers at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC, how she was nearly killed in her mother’s womb at eight months gestation.
In August 1977, an abortionist injected her mother’s uterus with saline solution. Melissa explained what normally happens is that the baby marinates in this toxic solution for 48 hours (for Melissa, it was five days). Its skin is burned, becomes bright red and peels off its body. The baby’s lungs are incinerated and the heart eventually stops.
Abortionists have abandoned this procedure; not as a humane or moral decision, but because some babies, as in Melissa’s case, live through it. But there are many methods to the abortionists’ madness. Without anesthesia, babies are dismembered, suctioned out of their mother’s wombs or die by having scissors jammed into their skulls. A baby’s anguish can be seen on screen, but its screams cannot be heard.
Melissa weighed close to 3 pounds. Her weak cries and gasps for breath compelled a compassionate nurse to whisk her to neonatal intensive care where she was treated. When she was two months old, loving adoptive parents took her home.
Eventually, Melissa learned about the circumstances surrounding her birth and how her maternal grandmother had coerced her mother into aborting her. Melissa is now a wife, mother and pro-life advocate who founded the Abortion Survivors Network. Her story is chronicled in her book, You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir.
Melissa and all pro-lifers will fight against the slaughter of innocents until these sinful acts against God and nature end. We know with every fiber of our being that abortion is an evil scourge that demeans, denigrates and debases us as a people and a nation. Eventually, we will triumph. We are praying to God, the Blessed Mother and all the angels and saints.
President Trump also sides with the unborn. He promised to veto any bill that “weakens the protection of human life.” He said, “I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence: the right to life.”
Senator Steve Daines (R., Mont.), who formed the first ever U.S. Senate Pro-Life Caucus said at the 2019 March for Life, “The science is clear. Life begins at conception…every life must be valued, and every life must be protected.”
The keynote speaker at the March, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro said, “We stand between America and the darkness. And we will march until that darkness is banished forever and all of our children can stand together in the sunlight.”
On December 14, 2012 a mass shooter named Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut, leaving 20 children dead. Flash forward to January 23, 2019. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act. RHA allows abortion up to the very day of birth and does not require a medical doctor to commit this act. If
an abortion is “unsuccessful,” practitioners are allowed to let the child die on the table. If a pregnant woman is murdered, the law considers it a single act of homicide.
This New York abortion legislation not only passed, but was celebrated with a needle-like pink spire at (ironically) the Freedom Tower in New York. But not everyone was cheering.
Many throughout the nation reacted with the same shock, horror, revulsion and immense sadness as we did when those innocent children were fatally shot at their school in Connecticut. This was the appropriate response on learning that New York made it easier for children in the womb to be tortured to death and cast aside like trash or have their remains sold to the highest bidder.
Radical leftists are quick to insist that firearms are the cause of innocent lives being taken. But isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? What is the excuse for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York legislature for their part in the torture and mass murders of, not 20, but millions of the most innocent, defenseless and vulnerable among us, our unborn children?
Abortionists do not use high-powered weapons to kill. These modern-day Dr. Mengeles wear lab coats and use sharp objects, toxic potions, heart-stopping drugs and other hideous and gruesome items and methods to ensure children die.
The abortion industry proves every day that mass murder is in the minds of the killers, not the inanimate objects they employ to commit their evil deeds. The commonality among mass murderers – not only murderers like Adam Lanza, but also Gov. Cuomo, Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortionists - - is that their minds have been overtaken by demonic forces.
The most effective method to dispel the dark principalities that have invaded the minds of the radical leftists in our nation is to speak the truth, fight for what is right, and engage in constant prayer and worship.
I have been pro-life for over ten years now. I grew up in a house that didn’t talk about stuff like that. I would venture to guess that many of you reading this could say the same thing. Maybe it was because my parents didn’t have an opinion. Maybe it was because they had one, but didn’t want to impose it on us kids. Or maybe they just didn’t want to talk about it. Either way, the truth was not a part of my life for a long time.
The election of 2008 woke me up. That, coupled with a very dear friend praying for me and my conversion, brought me to awareness of the barbaric nature of abortion. Barack Obama was elected that year, one of the most pro-choice presidents our country has ever seen. I have gone from on fire with my guns blazing to sitting at home praying that abortion would just stop. And yes, I have even done nothing. I have often lost hope. I have fought an apathetic attitude on and off throughout my ten years as an advocate for the unborn. Two days ago, my fire came back. This morning, my heart entered in the fight.
I logged on to Facebook a couple days ago to find that New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed a death sentence for any child in the womb whose mother may be undergoing any physical or mental illness that would impair her ability to carry the baby to term, or if the baby has been diagnosed with a fatal illness. At first I was angry. Then I was frustrated. This morning? I was sad.
So today I’m not angry. I’m not frustrated. I’m just sad. We haven’t listened. We haven’t paid attention to the warning signs. We have buried our heads in the sand and haven’t faced the reality of what abortion is.
Maybe New York will wake us all up. Maybe God has allowed this to be in our face to show us what happens when we don’t pay attention. Maybe we will finally start to listen.
In the Gospel reading this morning, Jesus seeks out four apostles: Peter, Andrew, James, and John. They are busy about their business, fishing for a living. Jesus calls them and says, "Come ye after Me, and I will make you to be fishers of men." ~Matthew 4:19
Our 3rd Annual Pro-Life Symposium is tomorrow. We will have Steve Wagner from Justice for All to speak to us about how to speak to others about the issue of abortion and how to be more convincing in a respectful way without compromising on the importance of the right to life from conception to natural death. This is important work. He is literally able to save lives with the gifts God has given Him. He was called and he answered with a yes. Local exhibitors and pro-life champions, who will sit on our panel discussion, have also answered the call and will be there.
If you are receiving and reading this email right now, consider this your calling. I am personally asking each and every one of you right now to follow us, to follow Jesus in the important, hard, frustrating work to change our culture of death into a culture of LIFE.
What are your gifts God may be calling you to share in the pro-life movement? Do you have work experience, a talent, or a passion God gave you that He can use to save lives? Is there something you are doing tomorrow that is more important than following Jesus and His call to you to help save unborn children from the slaughter of abortion?
Maryland is on the verge of making sure that abortion is accessible to all of her residents forever by putting it into our state constitution. We must act now. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines any longer. This is our Roe v. Wade moment. Don't let it pass you by.
Come see what Jesus has in store for you. Accept the grace He is offering you at this very moment to say yes and to join us at St. Joseph Catholic Church tomorrow for our third annual pro-life symposium. It is completely free. Lunch and breakfast included. Childcare provided. Teens WELCOME as we have a representative from Students for Life who will be attending and is ready to join hands with them in this fight.
You can register here. https://www.somdpro-life.com/3rd-annual-symposium
And please, spread the word. Invite others to follow Jesus and be fishers of men.
Secretary, Charles County Right to Life
Holy Family Respect Life Committee Member
Election day is tomorrow! If you have not been able to make a decision on certain candidates, we are updating and merging all of the results of our two rounds of surveys (primary election and general election), since some candidates from the primary may not have realized we were asking them to complete the survey a second time. Please note in the first table that "Antonio Campbell" in the table is "Tony Campbell" running for MD State Senate.
Our questions, mirroring those asked by Maryland Right to Life, are here (click each photo to read the questions in their entirety):
Still need more information?
Election day is approaching, this coming Tuesday, November 6. Perhaps the most heated and intense mid-term elections in modern history (or ever?) and the stakes for Maryland have never been higher. We surveyed our local and state-level candidates again, as we did for the primary election, and have compiled their results here on our blog and social media accounts. Check our Facebook page often this weekend for relevant voter education.
Our second round of surveys yielded few results. The two Libertarian candidates for Senate and Congress let us know how they feel about protecting the unborn and the elderly, infirm, and disabled. A newcomer to the County Commissioner Race let his opinion on the Right to Life be known, and a MD State Senate and MD State Delegate candidate each weighed in on their intent for pro-life laws. See our table below:
For a copy of the questions asked of the candidates, mirroring those drafted by Maryland Right to Life, you may click here:
Sometimes we don't know who we are reaching
We collect email addresses everywhere we go. Programs, emails forwarded to us, and most years from the Charles County Fair. This past October 13, we gathered to pray at the Planned Parenthood in Waldorf as we always do. A woman decided to join us who has been on our email list for 3 years but has never even opened one sent to her! However, because of a recent personal tragedy, she decided that she would like to be more active in standing for her beliefs. God was surely bringing light to a dark situation. Her prayers for the unborn and the closure of that facility will be powerful.
Additionally, we had a pastor and his wife join us for the first time. After being moved by Abby Johnson's speech at the Catherine Foundation Gala and speaking to another CCRTLer at the gala, he decided to check us out! Never stop sharing opportunities, because this fight is not just for the unborn, elderly, and infirm, it's for the betterment of our own souls as well.
Join us next month, November 10 at the Waldorf Planned Parenthood for more prayers and peaceful protest.
by Bernadette Smith
October 17, 2018
Abby Johnson, the guest speaker at The Catherine Foundation’s 35th Anniversary Gala on Oct. 6 at the Waldorf Jaycees, gave a heartfelt talk about an issue that she knows from both sides — abortion. Johnson interspersed her talk with self-deprecating humor and had attendees both crying and laughing. Johnson is a riveting speaker, and she knows from whence she speaks.
Johnson relates her experiences with the abortion industry in her best-selling memoir “Unplanned” and its follow up, “The Walls are Talking.” Johnson was in her junior year at Texas A&M, when a persuasive Planned Parenthood representative at a career fair appealed to Johnson’s desire to combine her leadership skills with her compassion.
Johnson signed on and rose to a Planned Parenthood clinic director. At a lavish banquet in 2009, Planned Parenthood honored Johnson with Employee of the Year Award. Johnson was proud to sit next to Hillary Clinton who received the Margaret Sanger Award.
Sanger was a eugenics founder and devotee who sought the “ … extermination of the Negro Race.” She pushed birth control, as reported in LifeNews “ … as the best way to get minorities and the handicapped, whom she detested, to voluntarily stop breeding.” Besides Clinton, another admirer of Sanger was Adolf Hitler who put into practice Sanger’s ideas of ridding the world of those deemed undesirable.
The longer Johnson worked for Planned Parenthood, the more she harbored doubts about the organization. Then one day, she participated in an ultrasound guided abortion. Johnson said that as the probe drew near the baby, he backed away and flailed his tiny arms and legs. He twisted and turned, “but there was nowhere for him to go.” The abortionist then said, “Beam me up, Scottie,” and the baby was sucked out of his mother’s womb piece by piece.
Johnson could no longer deny that abortion is the murder of innocents. She came to terms with the fact that Planned Parenthood’s messaging is based on lies.
One of the biggest falsehoods is that Planned Parenthood exists to help women. In truth, Planned Parenthood’s overarching goal is to make money. The more babies they murder, the more money is added to their coffers. Planned Parenthood encourages abortions and gives rewards for meeting quotas. Another lie is that legal abortions are safe. Aside from the moral depravity of killing a baby, the procedure is risky and dangerous to the mother no matter where it’s done or by whom. While abortion advocates tout the private relationship between a woman and her doctor, Johnson said there is no interaction between a woman and an abortionist. The lack of conversation is deliberate, because if women were informed, they would change their minds about aborting their children.
Johnson broke ranks with Planned Parenthood and joined her former opponents, the pro-life believers who warmly welcomed her. Thinking about how she had led women to discard their unborn babies “like trash,” Johnson said, “I fell to my knees and wept.”
Trent Horn was our very first speaker to join us at our Annual Pro-Life Symposium here in Southern Maryland. He is a Catholic apologist that frequently makes the case for the unborn and helps us to do the same.
LIVE SPEECH AUDIO:
2017 2nd Annual
Southern Maryland Pro-Life Symposium