I received a distressed and disturbing call last night from Heather Sells, outgoing CEO for our beloved Catherine Foundation. Heather informed me that for the second year in a row, the Charles County Charitable Trust denied their application for a nonprofit grant.
If you don't know, due to the needs of the nonprofit community in Charles County, government-funded grants have always been available to qualified (read: IRS registered 501(c)3 organizations) nonprofits. In 2016, the Charles County Charitable Trust was established to help determine who was deserving of these grant funds.
As an important piece of history, Catherine Foundation applied for and was denied a grant back in 2013, before the Trust was established. From the Trust's website, they exist "[through] a formal agreement with the Charles County government, [to] manage the Nonprofit Grant Awards Program with a strong commitment to fairness, balance, and transparency. We annually distribute grant funds to qualified nonprofits that provide important services to Charles County residents." (emphasis mine) So, this is now the third time that Catherine Foundation, a very well-established and non-controversial organization in our Charles County community, has been denied access to available funds to carry out parts of their mission.
One can imagine that a weak grant application could result in a denial letter, but Catherine Foundation employed a professional grant writer this year to request a sizeable $30,000 to help women access prenatal care within their center to ensure healthy pregnancies, help educate soon-to-be moms on how to take care of themselves and their babies (a completely necessary service in the modern era), and to help train their board-certified nurse. Susan Petroff, the Program Director for the Trust, informed Heather that the grant was denied because "Our board has a problem with using tax-payer money to fund pro-life services".
Here we have a HUGE problem, folks. #1 is that the Charitable Trust exists to help qualified non-profits who can demonstrate that they would have an impact on the quality of lives for underserved populations or residents at large like through the arts. They do not exist to determine if a nonprofit's mission is too political for their Board. #2 is that the grant application submitted by Catherine Foundation was not for specifically "pro-life services", it is clearly stated that their were requesting money to enhance their medical and educational services for an underserved population. You know the maternal mortality rate in Maryland is atrocious, right?. #3 Heather reports that the words "pro-life services" do not appear in their grant application and they do not appear on the Catherine Foundation website either.
Where did the program director get the idea that the Board has a problem with pro-life services? Was the grant application even viewed? According to the Trust's website, there is a strict adherence to a process, in which all applications are treated the same. Their worthiness for a grant, again according to their website, is based on the application. So, when were the words "pro-life" and the grant for healthy pregnancy care ever connected? And why would the board have a problem funding the services of a pro-life organization, when they granted Catholic Charities $50,000 for the Angel's Watch shelter, which sounds not only like a "pro-life service", but the Catholic Church is the largest pro-life organization in the world. This denial seems FAR more political than it should be for an organization that exists to support the non-profit sector. Catherine Foundation has been a vital nonprofit organization for 35 YEARS, serving nearly 1200 clients annually at zero cost to the very people seeking their help.
We are not taking this lying down, but the reality is that the Grant funds have been awarded and the Catherine Foundation won't get another chance until the Fiscal Year 2021 cycle. But you, like me, believe that the work of the Catherine Foundation is critical and needs to continue, with or without the County's grant. We need to raise that $30,000, and we need to do it STAT. I am calling on ALL of Pro-Life Maryland to step up to the plate. That's just $100 from 300 people and Catherine Foundation gets to continue their great work without so much as a hitch.
Will you join Charles County Right to Life in raising this $30,000 for healthy pregnancies and families in our community? Will you say YES to funding life-saving work and reject the establishment's political biases? If so, please go directly to the Catherine Foundation's donation page and generously give toward their mission as much as you can afford, but no donation is too little! We have 72 hours to meet this goal and we will be updating our social media regularly with progress. When you've made your donation, forward this message to as many friends as you can - even if they are out of state. We have to send a message to Charles County that our leaders may not like our work, but the people of our community do and that's all that matters.
Charles County Right to Life
My husband loves to plant a garden. Months ahead of time, he goes online and orders seeds. When they come in, the bag tells us which vegetable or fruit plant they have the potential to be. He orders squash, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, and even at times, some cantaloupe. How did the manufacturer know which plant those seed would grow into? Well that’s easy: They came from the fruit or vegetable itself.
If any of you have studied science in school, you will know that when you cut open fruits or vegetables, most of the time you will find seeds inside. Each of those seeds has the potential to grow into the type of plant it is already destined to be. All it needs is some special ingredients like soil with the right kind of minerals in it, water, and sunshine. This is basic science.
So how do we know a human is a human? We look at the seeds. To form a human being, a seed from a human female and a seed from a human male mix together and with the right ingredients, it begins to form into a human being. The same process takes place for reproduction of an elephant, a turkey, or a dog. Two seeds from the same species forms a being of the same species.
During the process, the fetus may not always look like a human being. In fact, most children will tell you it looks like an alien. But does a green bean plant always look like a full grown green bean plant? Does that mean it’s anything other than a green bean plant? No. The same logic applies to human beings.
When it comes to abortion, the ultimate question we have to ask ourselves is this:
Do we have the right to take the life of an innocent human being?
This is black and white. There cannot be any exceptions. It’s a human or it isn’t. Human beings either have a right to life or not, no matter their size, level of development, brain function, location, skin color, race, or religion.
This morning I listened to Trent Horn's discussion with a pro-choice college student on his podcast. It was a pleasure to hear how two people on opposing sides could have a rational discussion on such a hot-button issue, such as abortion. I encourage you to listen to it.
While I was listening to this on this Holy Thursday, the day we remember Jesus washing His Apostles' feet, this Scripture verse came to mind:
So when He had washed their feet and put His garments back on and reclined at table again, He said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master', and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.
"...as I have done for you, you should also do." Jesus commanded His Apostles to do as He did. Washing feet back in those days was not a job a king would do, so I'm sure it surprised His followers He was doing this. In fact, Peter didn't even want Him to do it at first. Feet are dirty and they aren't one of those body parts we like to flaunt. Typically we want to hide our feet.
So how does this relate to abortion?
An unplanned pregnancy is not something a woman is going to go around telling everyone about. They are going to want to hide it. Shame and fear are the biggest reason a woman would do this. In the podcast episode, the young woman explains that she received hundreds of messages from women thanking her for standing up for legal abortion in her tweet because if they were faced with an unwanted pregnancy, they would want to either hurt themselves or commit suicide. If this is true, then we have a problem.
Why would a woman resort to such a thing?
Maybe it's because we aren't washing each other's feet.
One of our members of Charles County Right to Life, Jennifer Crispell, included the following in her reflection on a day spent at the College of Southern Maryland campus where she was able to hear and speak to college students.
How we care for the hurting directly effects the willingness some are to consider abortion. Sure, you and I think…bad conditions are no reason to not be given the right to live! I certainly agree! But there is a lesson in this – what are we doing for those who are hurting?
We can’t all take in foster children…but more of us can. We can’t all adopt…but more of us can. We can’t all work or volunteer at a pregnancy center…but more of us can. Part of James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress….” Apparently, hesitant pro-choicers are watching too.
When I heard Unplanned was coming out, I thought, “Cool, another Christian movie.” No exclamation points. I thought it was going to be like every other Christian film. It wasn’t.
I went to the theater last night with my daughter and a couple of friends to watch it. I read Abby’s book and thought it would be neat to see it. I heard the creators of this project did a great job staying close to her story. They did.
I heard that people were bringing tissues in case they cried because abortion is sad and horrific and barbaric. I didn’t feel the need to bring any because I thought I had seen it all, heard it all, and experienced it all. I hadn’t.
This movie moved me in ways I can’t even express. To say the creators of this film did a great job is a complete and utter understatement. I know abortion is wrong. And I know it is evil. The way they wove Abby’s story together with the stories of others is, well, I just don’t have the words.
After viewing this movie, I am more convinced of the need for prayer warriors to be at every Planned Parenthood and abortion facility across our country. The women entering those facilities need us. They need us to be there for them. They need us to witness to their value and dignity as a human person who needs help.
I know we can’t save them all. But the ones we can save are all worth it. Even if it is just one.
I hope you will spend the time to see this film. If you have been on the pro-life side since you can remember, if you have been pro-life since Christ came into your heart, or if you are pro-choice and wondering what all the fuss is about, you should see this movie.
Abortion advocates want to hide the truth of abortion from us. They have been very successful in doing just that. They tell us it is none of our business, that it’s a private matter between a woman and her doctor.
What are they so afraid of?
Why don’t they want us to know what abortion really is?
Why don’t they want us to talk to these women who are entering these clinics?
What are they trying to hide?
What they are hiding is horrific. It’s messy. It’s bloody. It’s death.
The women who enter these facilities are not being taken care of. They are just another number, another statistic. And so are their babies who are discarded as waste.
This is not a gray matter. This is black and white, America. You either believe that babies are being unjustly murdered or you don’t. There can never be any justification for murder. Ever.
I hope and I pray that whoever is reading this will go see the movie if they haven’t already.
I hope and I pray that whoever is reading this who has already seen the movie, will engage in the fight.
I hope and I pray that whoever is reading this, who goes to the movie and is pro-choice, that this movie changes your heart.
Dear Friend of Life,
Well, the shock has worn off, the vote tallies are official, and it's time to say a few words.
After their 4th attempt to introduce doctor-prescribed suicide in the state of Maryland, Compassion and Choices was rebuked today by the Senate which killed the bill on a second reading - an almost unprecedented action. For those who don't understand how we got here, this is a brief history of the bill in 2019.
The bill is dead - for now. It will be back next year and we will be ready. I truly hope you all know how crucial the team effort was on defeating this dangerous legislation. There is no one person who can claim victory - even one Senator voting the other way would have legalized physician assisted-suicide in some form. But we were united, we were unrelenting, and we stood up to be counted. Please, while claiming this victory and celebrating this huge win, recognize that in Maryland we can be heard. Pro-life legislation hasn't been passed since 1993. I think 2020 is the year we mark an end to unabashed and barely restricted abortion in this state and tell our legislators we stand for LIFE and we want our laws to reflect that.
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.
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