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Hotline Archive: Abortion Aftermath

A Lesson from the Catacombs

Posted by Eric Scheidler (August 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm)
Eric at the catacombs

Eric Scheidler visits the Catacombs of Callixtus, June 2014

If you ever visit the ancient Christian catacombs scattered about the outskirts of Rome, you’ll see countless small tombs dug into the walls, only a foot of two across. These are the burial places of infants, cast out of their pagan homes and left to die of starvation and exposure. Though abortion was practiced in the ancient world, this form of infanticide was a far more common way to get rid of an unwanted child.

Many of these rejected children were rescued by Christians, nursed back to health and given homes, in obedience to Christ’s command to serve the least of his brothers and sisters. But all too often, the only act of love the early Church could offer these children was to bury their little bodies and offer prayers of mourning for them.

Continuing the Work of the Early Church

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to visit the Catacombs of Callixtus while on a pilgrimage to Rome with my wife April. As we walked through the cool, musty corridors of the underground complex, I was struck by the thought that we Christians today are carrying on this work of mercy—rescuing the bodies of abandoned, unwanted children and giving them the only gift we can, the gift of a proper burial.

Again and again, pro-life activists have found the bodies of these children in trash dumpsters, or on the loading docks of medical waste facilities. And just like the early Church, they have spoken out against the injustice, solemnly buried the victims, and mourned over their bodies.

These burial places can be found throughout the United States. In all, there are some 43 gravesites of the aborted unborn, from the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, where four aborted children are buried to the grave of over 16,000 abortion victims at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Please Join the National Day of Remembrance

But however staggering the numbers of children buried at some of these sites may be, they represent only a tiny fraction of the more than 56 million babies killed since the U.S. Supreme Court stripped unborn children of legal protection.

That’s why it’s so important that we visit these gravesites. So very few abortion victims have been buried. Those who have been deserve the special attention of pro-life Christians.

And that’s what the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children is all about. Solemn memorial services will be held simultaneously on September 13 at the gravesites of aborted children, as well as at other makers set up in their memory across the country.

I invite you to check out the list of gravesites and memorial sites to see if there is a Day of Remembrance memorial service scheduled in your area. If not, you may wish to consider organizing one.

Blessed Are They Who Mourn

Early Christians were despised for trying to rescue abandoned infants, and burying those they couldn’t save— just as Christians today are despised for trying to save babies from abortion, and mocked for burying them.

So when we visit the gravesites of aborted children on September 13, we’re not only standing in solidarity with the victims of abortion. We’re standing in solidarity with the early Church, whose profound faith in the Gospel is shown so profoundly in those tiny tombs dug into the walls of the catacombs.

What will history record of our faith? That’s up to us.

It’s up to you. Plan to join the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children on September 13, and please help spread the word about this important day of prayer and mourning. You will be blessed.

Posted in Abortion, Abortion Aftermath, The Church | 0 Comments »

The Quiet Moment that Shocked an Abortion Worker into Leaving Planned Parenthood

Posted by Sam Scheidler (August 16, 2014 at 10:00 am)

It happens all too often that a person’s ideology and moral conscience are in deep conflict.

This is exemplified in the story of Catherine Adair, who was so entrenched in her “pro-choice” philosophy that she couldn’t see that the guilt and depression she so regularly experienced stemmed from an abortion in her youth.

Her way of dealing with this conflict was to throw herself into radical feminism at an early age—to so fully commit herself to the pro-abortion philosophy that there was simply no way she would have to face the real source or her problems.

The full realization of this commitment came when she joined Planned Parenthood as a counselor, ushering other women through the same process she had gone through years before. [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Abortion, Abortion Aftermath, Clinic Witness, General, Planned Parenthood, Videos | 0 Comments »

“Neither Do I Condemn You”: An Invitation to Post-Abortion Healing

Posted by John Jansen (April 7, 2014 at 10:36 am)

Jesus and the woman caught in adulteryIn the Catholic liturgical calendar, the Gospel for today is the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).

One thing I find amazing about this Gospel passage is that it almost didn’t make it into the Bible. In fact, before the canon of Scripture was finalized in the late 4th century, some copies of St. John’s Gospel didn’t include this story.

St. Augustine tells us (cf. De coniugiis adulterinis, 2, 6) that some early Christians were afraid of keeping this story in John’s Gospel since it showed Jesus as being so merciful that they thought it might lead people to think that the reality of sin wasn’t as serious as the Church made it out to be.

Apparently, the Holy Spirit wasn’t concerned about this, since He made sure the story was kept in there.

The story of the woman caught in adultery was the inspiration behind a post-abortion healing brochure [PDF] the Pro-Life Action League designed a few years ago. On the front is an image of Jesus and the woman, and the words “Neither do I condemn you.” On the back is information on where to find help dealing with post-abortion aftermath, and the message, “Please give this card to someone who needs it.” [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Abortion Aftermath, Clinic Witness | 0 Comments »

The Original “Replacement Child”

Posted by Jean Crocco (April 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm)

The loss of a child is a loss like no other. Whether the loss be due to abortion, miscarriage, illness, or accident, the feeling that someone is missing in our lives can be overwhelming.

The desire to replace that child can also be strong. There is a place that is empty. Perhaps it’s the crib. Or at the table. Or in our arms. Or in our wombs. That emptiness needs filling, and so many times we try to replace the lost child with another.

When my cousin died from an accident I watched my aunt and uncle struggle mightily. They were well beyond the age to be able to replace him. I was talking with my aunt about how it was going a year later and she said that unexpected things would throw her off. Moving the couch and finding one of his toys. Setting the table and realizing she had set a place for him. At that point she would just sit down and cry because that place at the table would be forever empty.

My first grandchild was not conceived at an opportune time, but was very much wanted.  When a miscarriage occurred my son was inconsolable. He thought about the loss every day. The pain was fresh every day. Almost a year after the due date of that lost child their firstborn arrived. That began the healing.

Of course, we are aware that a new child is not the same as the former one who was lost. We are not stupid. We know that each child is unique and unrepeatable. Yet, the ache for that child continues. We want to fill the place in our lives that calls out for filling. [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Abortion Aftermath | 0 Comments »

“Neither Do I Condemn You”: An Invitation to Post-Abortion Healing

Posted by John Jansen (March 19, 2013 at 8:05 am)

rachelAt Mass this past Sunday, Catholics heard the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).

One thing I find amazing about this Gospel passage is that it almost didn’t make it into the Bible. In fact, before the canon of Scripture was finalized in the late 4th century, some copies of St. John’s Gospel didn’t include this story.

St. Augustine tells us (cf. De coniugiis adulterinis, 2, 6) that many early Christians were afraid of keeping this story in John’s Gospel since it showed Jesus as being so merciful that they thought it might lead people to think that the reality of sin wasn’t as serious as the Church made it out to be.

Apparently, the Holy Spirit wasn’t concerned about this, since He made sure the story was kept in there.

The story of the woman caught in adultery was the inspiration behind a post-abortion healing brochure [PDF] the Pro-Life Action League designed a few years ago. On the front is an image of Jesus and the woman, and the words “Neither do I condemn you.” On the back is information on where to find help dealing with post-abortion aftermath, and the message, “Please give this card to someone who needs it.” [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , , , , , , . Posted in Abortion Aftermath, Clinic Witness | 1 Comment »

New Illinois Administrative Complaint Demands Investigation and Discipline Against Planned Parenthood Physicians for Botched Abortion and Death of Patient, Tonya Reaves

Posted by League Staff (February 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm)

Tonya ReavesChicago—Yesterday, the Pro-Life Action League (“the League”), acting through its legal counsel, the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, filed a formal administrative complaint with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (“IDPR”), urging in the public interest that the IDPR undertake an immediate investigation as to whether substandard medical care led to the death last summer of Tonya Reaves, shortly after she had a late term abortion at a Planned Parenthood facility in Chicago.

In five single-spaced pages with ten attached exhibits (Exhs. A-J), the complaint raises a series of questions—arising from news reports, Web postings, 911 records, the autopsy report of the Cook County Coroner, and other sources—as to whether Ms. Reaves, a 24-year-old single mother, who died on July 20, 2012, after she underwent a surgical abortion at Planned Parenthood’s “Loop Health Center” facility at 18 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603, received unprofessional care from Illinois licensed physicians. [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Abortion Aftermath, Press Releases | 0 Comments »

Monica Miller: Why Graphic Images Need to Be Displayed

Posted by Monica Migliorino Miller, PhD (February 1, 2013 at 11:30 am)

The following is a guest blog post by Monica Migliorino Miller Ph.D., director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and author of Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars (St. Benedict Press, 2012).

Face the Truth tourOn the 40th anniversary of Roe. v. Wade, Simcha Fisher posted an article at National Catholic Register online entitled “Eight Reasons Not to Use Graphic Images at the March for Life.” Simcha’s negative view of graphic images is part of a larger debate within the pro-life movement on the use of abortion victim photos, and I now offer this rebuttal.

Simcha prefaces her eight reasons by stating: “A public place is not the place to use these images — ever.” Simcha makes it clear that she does not oppose the use of graphic images in certain contexts, but she attempts to argue that they should never be used in a public forum.

Simcha contradicts her own position when she states that seeing the photos caused her to “be shaken out of a vague, fuzzy support for the pro-life cause into the realization that this is a life and death struggle — real life and real death.” If so, then why oppose the public display of the tragedy of abortion when others, too, may be shaken into the same realization? Here are Simcha’s reasons and my response to them. [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , , , , , . Posted in Abortion, Abortion Aftermath, Clinic Witness, Face the Truth, Our Opposition, Pro-Life Activism, Sidewalk Counseling, The Culture War, The Unborn Child | 3 Comments »

Top Ten Accomplishments of the Pro-Life Movement, 1973-2013

Posted by Eric Scheidler (January 22, 2013 at 11:48 am)

NOTE: This article is one of a series on the “top ten” accomplishments of the pro-life movement over the past 40 years since unborn children were stripped of their legal right to life by the 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court rulings.

Pro-Life crowd at the March for LifeIn a series of articles these past ten days, I’ve been discussing the concrete accomplishments of the pro-life movement since the U. S. Supreme Court stripped unborn children of their legal right to life in their Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton rulings, handed down 40 years ago today.

This series has been intended to serve two purposes. First, it offers a response to the criticism coming from some in the pro-life movement, mostly newcomers, that little has been accomplished since Roe. As I have shown, this is profoundly not the case.

Secondly, this series offers some perspective, both on what things might have looked like in the absence of all the pro-life Americans have done over the past 40 years, and on what a valuable legacy we have to build upon.

With the 40th anniversary of Roe and Doe upon us today, I offer here a wrap-up of my list. As we soberly, somberly reflect on the legacy of these rulings—over 55 million dead and a society deeply wounded—may this overview of our accomplishments give us courage and confidence moving forward: [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , , , , . Posted in Abortion, Abortion Aftermath, Clinic Witness, Face the Truth, Health Care, Law and Politics, Our Opposition, Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Activism, Sidewalk Counseling, The Culture War, The Unborn Child | 17 Comments »

Accomplishment #2 Pregnancy centers have given women the help they need to choose life.

Posted by Eric Scheidler (January 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm)

NOTE: This article is one of a series on the “top ten” accomplishments of the pro-life movement over the past 40 years since unborn children were stripped of their legal right to life by the 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court rulings.

Pregnancy resource centerOne of the most common objections leveled against the pro-life movement is that we “don’t care about women”—that we’re obsessed with fetuses and neither understand nor really care about the plight of women facing untimely pregnancy.

It seems to have passed the notice of these critics that at least half of those involved in the pro-life movement, from grassroots volunteers to national leaders, are themselves women.

But this objection—along with the related criticism that we “don’t care about children once they’re born”—is utterly debunked by the compassionate, generous outreach to women offered by the nation’s pregnancy resource centers.

Pro-life centers outnumber abortion clinics 4-to-1.

First pregnancy help center in North America was opened with the founding of the group Birthright in Canada back in 1968, a year before abortion had been legalized there, to offer help to women facing unplanned pregnancy. Birthright soon went international, including centers in the United States.

There are now at least 3,000 pregnancy resource centers across the country—more than four times the number of abortion clinics. [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , , , , , , , , . Posted in Abortion, Abortion Aftermath, Health Care, Law and Politics, Our Opposition | 1 Comment »

Accomplishment #4: We have helped women find healing after abortion.

Posted by Eric Scheidler (January 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm)

NOTE: This article is one of a series on the “top ten” accomplishments of the pro-life movement over the past 40 years since unborn children were stripped of their legal right to life by the 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court rulings.

Detail of League brochureIf what we pro-life advocates are saying about abortion is true—that abortion is the profoundly unjust killing of an innocent human person with an inherent right to life—then being involved with abortion is bound to have a negative impact on one’s life. In fact, that is exactly what we see.

 After 40 years of legalized abortion, the evidence is clear that abortion harms women—and even some abortion advocates admit it.

Abortion harms women.

Abortion has been linked with increased rates of depression, suicide, substance abuse and sleep disorders, in addition to physical harms, which carry their own psychological dimension.

A woman’s relationship with the father of the aborted child is likely to suffer, and a she may find it difficult to connect with any living children she may have. [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , , , , , . Posted in Abortion Aftermath, Clinic Witness, Our Opposition, Pro-Life Activism, Sidewalk Counseling | 1 Comment »