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Texas high school valedictorian: Protecting preborn babies is a ‘war on my body’

By Nancy Flanders |  June 4, 2021 , 03:31pm

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A Texas high school valedictorian decided to toss her approved speech on Sunday in favor of a new one attacking a state pro-life law, earning praise from pro-abortion celebrities and politicians.

Paxton Smith, who graduated at the top of her class at Lake Highlands High School, was originally set to speak about the media, and “how much of it she consumes and how that consumption has shaped the way she sees the world,” according to D Magazine. This large amount of media consumption — which can often have a heavy pro-abortion bias — might explain the reason she instead decided to attack Texas’ “heartbeat bill” in her speech — a bill that bans abortion once a heartbeat can be detected in a preborn human being. This is usually by about six weeks, though the heart actually begins beating between 16 and 21 days after fertilization.

Smith, by her own admission, has been influenced by this one-sided, inaccurate reporting. She said:

I have dreams and hopes and ambitions. Every girl graduating today does. And we have spent our entire lives working towards our future, and without our input, and without our consent, our control over that future has been stripped away from us.

I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail, I am terrified that if I am raped, then my hopes and aspirations and dreams and efforts for my future will no longer matter. I hope that you can feel how gut-wrenching that is. I hope you can feel how dehumanizing it is to have the autonomy over your own body taken away from you.

I cannot give up this platform to promote complacency and peace when there is a war on my body and a war on my rights. A war on the rights of your mothers. A war on the rights of your sisters. A war on the rights of your daughters. We cannot stay silent.

WARNING: Some readers may find images below disturbing.

Abortion as feminism is self-defeating

Smith has bought into the lie that having a baby would ruin her life and prevent her from accomplishing anything. Feminism began with the notion that women could do it all, that women are strong and capable. But there was apparently fine print in that memo: unless you are a mother.

Babies do not stand in the way of a woman’s dreams and goals. Ask Brianna Hill, who gave birth in the middle of taking the bar exam, and passed. Talk to Danielle Yonemura, who was only 14 years old when she became a mother, but who graduated from college at the age of 24, or Morgan Trivunić who graduated from law school and passed the bar exam after having not one, but two babies. Briana Williams graduated from Harvard Law School, walking across the stage with her baby in her arms. There’s also Cassie Juste, who graduated from college, took the LSAT, and attended law school during her pregnancy and after the birth of her son. When asked how she survived law school with a small child, she said, “I don’t think I would have survived without him!”

Former model and mom of six, Leah Darrow, took to Instagram to respond to Smith. “You seem quite terrified of not achieving your hopes, dreams and aspirations. I can understand that,” she said. “However, I’m afraid no one has told you that your hopes, dreams and aspirations don’t vanish with motherhood. A baby, new life, cannot kill dreams. On the contrary, the only thing that can LITERALLY kill a hope, a dream, and aspirations is abortion. You’ve been force fed lies.”

Smith’s message focused on women needing abortion in order to succeed, and painted abortion as a personal and societal good — but how many former teen mothers were present at that graduation, watching their babies graduate? How many girls in the audience were themselves teen mothers, or had become pregnant during high school and were now suffering emotionally or physically from their choice to abort? Filled with regret and sadness, Smith’s message to them was that those emotions are invalid because she believes abortion is good. Her message to teen mothers was that they were destined to be failures.

The Michelle Williamses of the world might tell girls they can’t find success at school or in a career if they’re mothers, but it is obvious that many mothers accomplish amazing things every single day, because they are strong, smart, and capable.

Sex may lead to babies

It’s important to note that, although Smith acts as if a pregnancy might just happen out of nowhere, basic high school biology tells us that sex is how babies are made. If a woman were to be tragically raped and become pregnant, as Smith mentioned, abortion would still be unnecessary, and might even be detrimental to a woman’s well-being. Abortion leads to an increased risk of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, depression, and suicide. For many rape survivors, abortion was not the solution they thought it would be. Instead, it was another traumatic act inflicted on their bodies and hearts.

“I could never ever deal with my rape because I was so focused on what I had done in choosing abortion,” explained rape survivor Ashley Sigrest. “And that’s what people don’t understand when they tell rape victims, ‘Oh yes, have an abortion so that way you can go on and we can deal with the rape.’ But the abortion just makes the rape 1,000 times worse because now you have these two horrible events that you have to deal with.”

READ: Abortion after rape is not a pathway to healing. It is an obstacle.

Abortion is dehumanizing, not life

Smith believes that the idea of not being legally able to kill her own babies through abortion is dehumanizing. In reality, what is dehumanizing is the notion that preborn human beings are somehow not human beings. Black humans were dehumanized by slave owners, disabled humans and Jewish humans were dehumanized by the Nazis, and preborn humans have been dehumanized by the abortion industry for decades.

Every embryology textbook teaches that a human being’s life begins at fertilization. There is no doubt. But in order to sell abortion, the abortion industry told women that they get to decide when life begins, and whether their babies are human or not. Logically, this makes no sense. One person’s opinion on her child’s humanity does not change the scientific fact that from the moment of fertilization, that human being has her own DNA.

What is dehumanizing is the destruction of innocent human life. There are four main ways to kill a preborn child. The first, the abortion pill, deprives the baby of nutrients. A preborn child can’t be starved to death if she isn’t a living, growing, human. The second, a first-trimester surgical abortion, uses a powerful vacuum to suction the baby to pieces — tiny arms and legs distinguishable amid the blood. The third, a D&E abortion, involves tearing the arms and legs off of a child who, in some cases, is old enough to survive outside the womb. She dies as she is dismembered, and her skull is crushed. The third is induction abortion. These babies are old enough to live outside the womb, but instead, they are injected with a drug to cause cardiac arrest. Two or three days later, their mothers deliver them — stillborn.

But according to Smith, not being allowed to do this to an innocent human being is dehumanizing.abortion, aborted

The hand and arm of aborted baby—7 weeks. (Photo courtesy of prolifesociety.com and imagesofabortion.com.)

READ: Denying humanity of preborn children is the very definition of ‘junk science’

Every day, the voices of an estimated 2,363 babies are snuffed out in the United States. That is the real war on our daughters and our sons. There is no right in the United States to kill an innocent person because you think they are standing in your way to success — unless that innocent human being is a woman’s own preborn child, with his or her own unique DNA, who would have his or her own goals, dreams, and ambitions if allowed to live.

The celebration of abortion

Abortion supporters immediately expressed overwhelming support for Smith’s comments. Hillary Clinton praised Smith, saying, “This took guts. Thank you for not staying silent, Paxton.”

Likewise, Beto O’Rourke, another failed Democratic presidential candidate, said, “Paxton, thank you for having the courage of your convictions and inspiring Texas with your refusal to accept injustice as the price of participation in civic life.” He also added, “May we all use our place in this democracy to fight for what we believe to be right and follow your example!” Would he have said that if Smith tricked her school administration to make a pro-life speech?

Comedian Sarah Silverman called her “brave” and author Jodi Picoult said Smith is a “queen” who spoke with “courage, integrity, and intelligence.”

Smith’s words were likely harmful and hurtful to anyone in that audience who had been a teen mother, or who had an abortion and regretted it. She told every woman who had ever faced an unplanned pregnancy in that audience, and now throughout America, that if she kept her baby, she must be a failure at everything else. And abortion enthusiasts cheered her on.

As valedictorian, Smith has proven that she works hard, and is smart and capable. Why would she believe that her own child would be the one thing that would stand in her way? Why does she believe she would be incapable of being both a mother and a student? Or a mother and an employee? Or a mother and a business owner? She is absolutely capable of doing any and all of these things, yet pro-abortion feminism has told her that she can’t. This insidious philosophy pits mothers against their own children under the guise of eradicating “injustice.” But the real injustice is done to the child who is eradicated through abortion.

Schoolmate of pro-abortion valedictorian Paxton Smith fires back: ‘There is a war on… the right to life’

By Ilona Bistrian | June 8, 2021 , 05:30pm

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this guest post are solely those of the author and are not necessarily reflective of Live Action or Live Action News.

“I hope you can feel how gut wrenching it is. I hope you can feel how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you.” These were the words of Paxton Smith, Lake Highlands Valedictorian and my fellow schoolmate. It is interesting, because at first glance I fully agree with this statement. But on closer examination, when discovering that this statement is arguing in favor of one of the worst crimes and atrocities being committed upon mothers and their children, I was appalled!

In essence, her statement is true. There is nothing more dehumanizing than to have your personhood be stripped away from you and have your body mercilessly ripped apart while you are still alive, with no voice and no way to defend yourself. There is nothing more gut wrenching than advocating for the exploitation of women’s bodies, the rape of their womb and the profit that is produced from it.

Have we really allowed ourselves to become so blind? How can we tolerate the obliteration of the most vulnerable? How can we encourage the manipulation of the female mind? 

However, my grievances do not end here.

READ: Romanian pro-lifer: Valedictorian Paxton Smith should stand for both women and babies

Paxton went on to say, “I have dreams and hopes and ambitions… I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail, I am terrified that if I am raped, then my hopes and aspirations and dreams and efforts for my future will no longer matter.” I am ashamed of Paxton’s denigrating view of the female capacity. To say that one must have an abortion to be able to accomplish their dreams is not only a slap in the face to the millions of women who have worked hard to overcome their obstacles as a mother, but it is degrading to women as a whole.

In the words of Mary Wollstonecraft, “Nature in everything deserves respect.” To assume that a woman does not have the strength nor capability to pursue her dreams while simultaneously caring for a child is saying that she is not worthy enough to accomplish that which is her nature. To bear forth another human life while still working and educating and striving is in the nature of a woman! To strip that away is to strip away her dignity. It teaches little girls to detest the way they were made, rather than embrace who she is and all that she can do.

Moreover, to hide behind the strawman of the rape argument is demeaning to those who have been conceived through rape. Does the circumstance of conception determine human worth now? Are children who could not control the manner of how they were brought into existence subhuman and inferior to those who were conceived conventionally? Are we to teach young women who have gone through this terrible trauma that they cannot succeed in life if they choose to keep their child? Are we going to assume that abortion is the only solution, and be ignorant of adoption and the dozens of couples in line for every one baby?

READ: Pro-life women react to pro-abortion valedictorian: ‘Nothing is restored’ by abortion

“I cannot give up this platform to promote complacency and peace, when there is a war on my body and a war on my rights. A war on the rights of your mothers, a war on the rights of your daughters. We cannot stay silent.” Paxton is right. There is a war on our bodies — our bodies, precious and strong vessels that were given the power to produce life. There is nothing more beautiful than to bring a new human into the world. There is nothing more empowering than to raise and influence the next generation of history makers. And that ability is being warred on, in an attempt to degrade it to nothing, to tear it down to the status of a disease. There is a war on our human rights. Or more specifically, the right to life. Life – the first, foundational right from where all rights stem from.

If our inherent, inalienable right is taken away, then no other right exists. 

We can no longer be silent. We can no longer be complicit in this crime against humanity. I am a young woman, a daughter and one day I will be a mother. And being a member of the female community, I am in full support of protecting our most basic right.

I am in full support of protecting the most vulnerable. I am in full support of the Texas Heartbeat bill, and any future law that is passed to protect the human in the womb. Because at the end of the day, we are all human. And by virtue of being human, we are all entitled — born or preborn — to dignity, respect, and to life.

Not a step in the right direction

Congress introduces bill to allow abortion up to birth, eliminating all pro-life laws

By Nancy Flanders |  June 8, 2021 , 02:31pm

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The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) of 2021, hailed by abortion supporters as the bill that will ensure equal access to abortion for all, is being re-introduced in Congress today. Currently, “health of the mother” loopholes including financial health and familial health allow abortion up to birth in the United States, but the WHPA will ensure a woman can have an abortion for any reason at all through all nine months of pregnancy. The bill could also wipe out conscience protections, parental notification laws, and informed consent laws.

“This week’s news out of the Supreme Court was an urgent call to action: reproductive rights are under direct, imminent attack,” said the bill’s sponsors two days after SCOTUS announced it would take up the case involving Mississippi’s ban on abortion at four months (15 weeks) — a case that has the potential to challenge Roe v. Wade. “Our bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, would protect against unconstitutional laws like Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban — laws that attack people’s freedom to make decisions about their own bodies and which directly contradict decades of Supreme Court precedent. […] We look forward to formally reintroducing our legislation with the support of our colleagues…”

Sponsors in the 117th Congress include Representatives Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

The bill calls abortion “essential” to women’s health and “central” to women’s ability to “participate equally” in the economic and social life of the nation — an anti-feminist, anti-woman idea that at its core labels women as unequal to men without the “right” to kill their preborn children.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?creatorScreenName=nancykflanders&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1402269290737410053&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.liveaction.org%2Fnews%2Fcongress-bill-abortion-birth-eliminating-pro-life%2F&sessionId=19e7badf8893e7712e06594166da1e324f6e863c&siteScreenName=liveaction&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Abortion on demand

WHPA will allow abortion for any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy, which the majority of Americans definitively do not support.

A 2021 Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll found that 76% of Americans, including many who consider themselves “pro-choice,” want restrictions on abortion. Only 15% of all Americans and 27% of those who are “pro-choice” said they support abortion for any reason up until birth.

In addition, a national poll from the Susan B. Anthony List released on June 7, 2021, found that the majority of voters oppose abortion on demand and support limits on abortion after the four month (15-week) mark. According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 561 abortion restriction bills, including bans, have been introduced across 47 states and 83 of them have been enacted, proving that Americans want abortion restrictions. WHPA seeks to wipe those pro-life laws out completely.

WHPA seeks to protect the so-called “right” to abortion by ending restrictions its sponsors see as unnecessary, including mandatory waiting periods (which save lives), abortion counseling considered by abortion advocates to be biased, mandatory ultrasounds (which are necessary to date the pregnancy and inform an abortionist which procedure he must use to kill the baby). Destroying these laws will do nothing to protect women and will only increase revenue for abortion facilities.

Abortion treated like any other medical procedure

The bill affirms that abortion proponents see abortion as any other medical procedure, and according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), WHPA compares abortion — the direct and intentional killing of a human being — to a colonoscopy. However, numerous court cases have confirmed otherwise. As pointed out by CLI, In the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, abortion was defined as a “unique act.” In the 1976 Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, abortion was called a “grave decision” which, according to the 1979 ruling in Bellotti v. Baird, “has implications far broader than those associated with most other kinds of medical treatment.” In addition, the 2007 case of Gonzales v. Carhart stated, “Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision.” The same cannot be said of a colonoscopy.

No conscience protections

Because WHPA states that there is a statutory right to commit and undergo an abortion without any limitations, it puts the jobs of those who refuse to commit abortions in jeopardy. According to CLI, this could lead to both job losses and the defunding of religious hospitals that may be told they must commit abortions or lose funding.

“WHPA guarantees a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion — and the right of an abortion provider to deliver these abortion services — free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship,” said the bill’s sponsors in a statement.

Medical personnel who do not wish to participate in the killing of human life in the womb will be at risk of losing their jobs.

Taxpayer-funded abortion

WHPA could force taxpayers to pay for abortions against their will. According to the 2021 Knights of Columbus/Marist poll, 58% of Americans oppose using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion in the United States, and 77% oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in foreign countries.

Yet, according to CLI, “[…] State and Federal limits on taxpayer-funded abortion that come within the meaning of ‘insurance or medical assistance coverage of abortion services’ would survive the application of [WHPA], whereas limits outside that exception would be subject to jeopardy under [WHPA].

“[WHPA] does not define the phrase ‘insurance or medical assistance coverage of abortion services.’”

Without clarity on this matter, any ban on taxpayer-funded abortion could be jeopardized if WHPA is passed.

Additional concerns

WHPA could also wipe out parental notification laws, which protect children who are victims of sexual abuse. By calling into question ultrasound and waiting period requirements, women are at risk of not being fully informed about the abortion they are to undergo. In addition, laws protecting babies after 20 weeks gestation when they are capable of surviving outside the womb could also be at risk.

This bill is as pro-abortion as it gets, pulling abortion to the top of the list of important “medical procedures.” Yet, killing a preborn child is never medically necessary. Abortion is not health care and it can be detrimental to a woman’s physical and mental well-being.

ANALYSIS

New poll: Most Americans still favor significant restrictions on abortion

By Cassy Fiano-Chesser | June 7, 2021 , 03:42pm

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Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case dealing with Mississippi’s ban on abortions starting at about four months (15 weeks) of pregnancy. Arguments are expected to begin in the fall of 2021, with a decision likely the following summer. The case will, in part, determine if banning abortion prior to the ever-changing standard of “viability” (the ability of the preborn child to survive outside the womb) are constitutional. Polling, however, has found that Americans support bans on abortion after the first trimester of pregnancy, like Mississippi’s.

The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) recently commissioned a national poll of likely voters, which asked them to choose between one of two candidates: a Republican who supported a 15-week abortion ban, or a Democrat who supported unrestricted abortion on demand, through all nine months of pregnancy. The poll found that 53% of voters would support the Republican candidate in this instance, with only 28% supporting the Democrat.

Additionally, the polling also indicated that information on fetal development sways people’s opinions.

When Americans learn that the preborn child is able to feel pain by 15 weeks, for example, they are more likely to support a ban on abortions at four months and later. Other information on fetal development had a similar effect on respondents’ opinions. The respondents were informed that by 15 weeks, a preborn baby has “a beating heart, can move around in the womb, can close his or her fingers, can start to make sucking motions and hiccup, and senses stimulation from outside the womb.”

The poll concluded that overall, Americans do not support unlimited abortion on demand, even across party lines.

READ: New poll: Most Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion in US and abroad

“[W]hile the issue of abortion is a stronger motivator in deciding one’s vote for Republicans, even Independent voters side with the pro-life side of the argument, creating a strong center-right coalition,” the poll concluded. “On top of this, when voters are reminded that at the 15 week mark the child can feel pain, shows significant signs of development and the risk to the mother greatly increases, our support only grows. Taken as a whole this survey shows broad support for limiting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.”

While this particular poll was commissioned by a pro-life organization, it stands in line with other polling results, including from unbiased outlets. While the abortion industry has claimed that 7 in 10 Americans support legal abortion (unrestricted and on demand), polling has consistently found that while Americans want abortion to remain legal, they also want it heavily restricted. Almost 70% of people want abortion limited to the first trimester. Common-sense restrictions, like parental consent, waiting periods, and informed consent before undergoing an abortion, also receive widespread support. Just 7% of Americans support completely unrestricted, taxpayer-funded abortion.

“The majority of voters reject late-term abortion and the Democratic candidates who shamefully advocate for it,” SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “At 15 weeks, unborn children can feel pain, and most European countries limit abortions at this point. There is strong support among the American people for our nation’s laws to finally catch up with science and international norms.”

Have you heard of Rebecca Kiessling? her story will enlighten you as a child of a Rape victim she is being interviewed By Lila Rose the founder of “Live Action”

This interview is about an hour long

One million signatures needed to help uphold Arkansas law banning abortion

By Cassy Fiano-Chesser | April 9, 2021 , 04:47pm

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An organization called The Moral Outcry, operating under The Justice Foundation, has for years aimed to see Roe v. Wade overturned. While that goal is still in progress, the group is now looking to achieve one million signatures on a petition to uphold an Arkansas law that protects nearly every preborn child from abortion in the pro-life state.

According to Allan Parker, president of The Justice Foundation, the Arkansas law is based directly on the Moral Outcry’s petition. Already, the abortion industry is signaling its intent to sue and overturn this pro-life law. “This abortion ban is plainly unconstitutional and we stand ready to challenge it and any effort to block Arkansans from care or dictate their personal medical decisions,” the ACLU of Arkansas said in a statement. “We will be seeing the state of Arkansas in court again.”

A scroll with nearly 250,000 signatures from the Moral Outcry petition, unrolled in the Arkansas rotunda.

Because of this threat and the seemingly inevitable court battle to come, The Moral Outcry and The Justice Foundation are preemptively gathering support, with the goal of one million signatures to be presented to the courts in favor of the law.

“This is a simple way for everyone who opposes abortion to be involved in seeing it stopped. This is not political. It is justice,” read a letter sent to Live Action News from The Moral Outcry. “Under the ‘Law of Judicial Precedent’ co-authored by Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, every signature on The Moral Outcry Petition is ‘severe criticism’ which is a reason for overturning a Supreme Court decision.”

READ: Arkansas governor signs conscience protections bill for medical professionals

With one million signatures on the petition, pressure can be created on the Supreme Court to uphold the Arkansas law, just as the quarter of a million signatures in Arkansas helped to push for the law to be put into place. The photo of the scroll unfurled into the Arkansas rotunda was placed on the desk of every state senator on the day of the vote, and the bill ultimately passed with over a two-thirds majority in the legislature — showing that the voices of the people matter.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q1QWs47ARlw 

State Sen. Jason Rapert (R), the lead sponsor of the bill, has been open about the intention behind the legislation. Not only will it save lives in Arkansas, but setting up a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade was its direct purpose. With the bill signed into law, legal challenges can bring it to the Supreme Court, opening the door to Roe v. Wade being overturned, which makes signing the petition more important than ever. And there are an estimated 60 days to gather the one million signatures necessary before the court battles begin.

“Because this law has passed, it will be contested by the abortion industry in the District Court, then to the Court of Appeals and ultimately go to the Supreme Court,” Parker said in an e-mailed statement to Live Action News. “We know this is how cases proceed. The battle has begun. We need your help.”

Click here to add your name to the Moral Outcry petition.

‘Always room for more’: Adopting 13 children has made life one giant adventure

By Ann McKinney | April 9, 2021 , 09:36am

Everywhere we go, we attract attention. Maybe it’s because there are so many of us (17 when we are all together). Maybe it’s because there are so many races represented in our family. Maybe it’s unusual to see so many boys with hand differences or a family with two children who use wheelchairs. Maybe it’s just the fact that we travel everywhere in a big ol’ rattling shuttle bus!

The staring used to bother me. Now I see it as an opportunity. I smile, nod, and will usually attempt to start up a conversation with the ones who stare. Most people want to ask questions but don’t want to offend or embarrass us. I would prefer questions over stares, and I think most of our children would agree. 

The question that my husband Dale and I are asked most often is “Why?” People don’t understand why we would want 15 children (two biological and 13 adopted). They don’t understand why we would give up the life we could have to be parents to all these kids. Most people in our age group are busy traveling the world, pursuing interesting hobbies, or enjoying an empty nest. People don’t understand why we would willingly choose to adopt/parent children who will need lifelong care and constant medical attention. They don’t see or understand the beauty in serving and obeying. They feel like we are missing out on what the world has to offer us. 

An older photo of the McKinney family (some family members not pictured)

READ: Daley was predicted to die before her first birthday, but this family adopted her anyway

Dale and I have several answers to that “why” question. First of all, we do love children. They bring us joy (except when they all have homework at the same time) and we truly love the constant interaction and activity of a large family. We don’t ever have to worry about being bored in our household! But the biggest reason our family looks the way it does is because it represents an act of obedience to our Lord Jesus. We truly believe that each child in our family was destined to be with us. God called us to step out in faith and pursue these children. Our family would not be complete with even one of them missing.

Adopting so many children has stretched our faith, tested our patience, and pushed our perseverance to the very limit. And it certainly has put a strain on our budget! But the realization that our crazy family is pleasing to the Lord is reward enough, and the smiles and joy our children bring us is a bonus.

Our family, the family God created, has given us the opportunity to share Christ with total strangers. It has encouraged others to adopt, and many orphans have come home to forever families because of the influence of my beautiful children.  And because of our family — considering the places we have been and the activities in which we have participated — our life has been one giant adventure. My life is fuller and more exciting than I ever dreamed it would be. I should also add that I have done more laundry and changed more diapers than I ever thought was humanly possible! But I’ve enjoyed (almost) every minute of it!

My prayer is that all Christians would seek God’s will for their lives in regard to the children without a family.  I challenge you to seek information about how many orphaned children are in our world. Look up the staggering statistics. I also recommend the video, “Hope is Fading.” It will wreck you, but it is truth. The orphaned children in this world don’t just need your donations, your hand-me-downs, your short-term mission trip visits — they need a FAMILY. 

Will you hear the cry of the orphan? Will you step out and be a family to those without one? I promise you the Lord will smile upon you as you take that step to love a child who is alone, abandoned, in need. He has certainly smiled upon my family!

“Together, we can build amazing families and put a dent in the orphan crisis. Together, we can change the world, one child at a time. Nothing would make me happier than if my story was not unique, but instead, it was common.  Can you even imagine?!” ~ A quote from my book, “Always Room for More

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.  (Psalm 68:5)  

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.  (James 1:27)

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. (Psalm 127:3-5)

Always Room for More,” written by Ann McKinney

Editor’s Note: You can purchase Ann’s book about her family’s adoption journey, “Always Room for More,” here and read more about her family on the Always Room for More Facebook page. See previous Live Action News coverage about the McKinney family here

Author bio: Ann McKinney and her husband, Dale, are parents to 15 children, 13 of them through domestic and international adoption. Ann is a team leader and board member with In His Hands Orphans Outreach (Inhishands.org) and also serves as the Haiti Team Coordinator where she manages trips to the IHH Orphan Home in Grand Savanne, Haiti. She was the original founder and director of Treasured Adoption Foundation, where she helped dozens of orphaned children find forever families. She has devoted her life to advocating for orphans and vulnerable children and enjoys sharing her experience through speaking engagements and conferences.

Protect the Hyde Amendment

STOP the forced taxpayer funding of abortion!

You need to take action and urge your elected officials to STOP taxpayer funds from being used to kill innocent preborn babies!

The Hyde Amendment is a budget “rider” that guarantees taxpayer funds are not directly used for abortion. Since its inception 44 years ago, it has saved the lives of 60,000 preborn children every single year – over 2 million lives in all!

Until now, the amendment has enjoyed wide bipartisan support for decades. But Planned Parenthood and their pro-abortion political allies are actively pushing to destroy this life-saving policy.

Repealing the Hyde Amendment is not about “access” to health care, or solving poverty, or ending racism – it’s about building the abortion industry’s power while they profit even more from the killing of preborn children.

Compelling American taxpayers to be directly complicit in the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent preborn babies every year is indefensible.

As pro-life Americans, we must stop this from happening – Take action today to urge your elected officials to save

She almost aborted her baby one Valentine’s Day. Now, that baby is 9 years old.

By Anne Marie Williams, RN, BSN | March 10, 2021 , 05:38pm

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Desiree Alford knows firsthand how an unplanned pregnancy at the wrong time can make abortion seem like the only way forward. In a beautifully written Facebook post for Valentine’s Day, Alford shared that 10 years earlier, she had been scheduled for an abortion. “The night before my appointment God worked a miracle in my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about all that I ALMOST missed out on,” Alford wrote. “It’s hard to even type but I share to hopefully inspire another person that is in the middle of a hardship. Sometimes our pain wrecks us for good.”

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“They were working behind the scenes”

In an interview with Live Action News, Alford said, “I was brought up in a conservative home. We went to church growing up, and if you had asked me about abortion I had strong opinions on it. It wasn’t until I was in that situation that I felt like I understood how someone could choose an abortion.”

Alford was 28 when she became pregnant. “I had had an alcohol problem, and I was nine months sober when I found out I was pregnant. The news was devastating. I felt like, ‘I just messed up my life.’ This was not my dream of what having kids would look like.”

Having recently left a job that didn’t support her sobriety, Alford noted, “Financially I was in a horrible place. I didn’t think financially I could take care of a child.” She added, “I knew I’d be [parenting] solo, and that put a lot of pressure on me.” Though Alford knew her parents would be supportive of her continuing the pregnancy, they were struggling financially at the time due to a recession and she feared being a burden to them.

Feeling out of options, she decided having a baby “wasn’t the right thing” for her, but added, “I had heard that ‘you hurt after an abortion. You never get over it.’ I thought that that pain was because women hide [the abortion decision]. So I went straight to my parents.” Alford said she was surprised when “my parents handled [the news] in a perfect way. I felt like they really listened to me.” While her parents did not contradict her stated plan, Alford learned later that after she told them of her plan to abort, “they were working behind the scenes, getting people to pray for me and setting things up to help me.”

“Send me a sign as clear as that sky”

Alford went on to schedule an abortion consultation, where she learned she was six weeks pregnant. The abortion was scheduled for a week and a half later. “It really caused me to struggle. I didn’t want to have to think about it for that long,” she told Live Action News. Amidst her conflicting emotions, she said she spoke with a counselor, a friend who gave birth to a child at age 15, and others who chose to parent in difficult situations. Yet, she recalled, “I was still feeling really like leaning towards abortion.” She went on to seek advice from her sponsor for Alcoholics Anonymous, who encouraged her to take some quiet time to rest and reflect in the silence.

Driving to her parents’ lake house the day before the scheduled abortion, in search of a place to be alone, Alford told Live Action News she looked up and noticed “the clear blue sky. And I told God that if I was supposed to keep this baby, He needed to send me a sign as clear as that sky.”

When she arrived at the lake house, Alford saw to her chagrin that someone else was already there. Alford said, “God must’ve led me to walk straight into where the guests were, and I just pulled up a chair and sat down.” A couple in their mid-50s had been invited to the lake house by Alford’s parents, hoping their story would change Alford’s heart about abortion. The couple shared their own story about how they aborted their baby shortly after they were first married several decades before. The profound regret and deep suffering they felt from that decision compelled them to share their story in hopes of sparing others the same pain.

Alford said, “They handed me an 8-week… fetal model, and they called me a mom for the first time. Before that, I didn’t want to think about being a mother.” The couple offered Alford assistance, up to and including adopting her baby if she felt unable to parent. Alford recognized a real shift in her heart after their conversation.

That same evening she attended a church event for young adults at her cousin’s invitation, and was shocked that the sermon was about the miracle of life. But the clincher came when she received a voicemail from Planned Parenthood rescheduling her appointment for two days later. “I knew for sure that I wasn’t supposed to have an abortion,” she said.

Alford was surprised to find that peace didn’t come to her until she decided at last that she was keeping her baby. “The pregnancy with my daughter Hartley was one of the most peaceful times of my life,” said Alford, even as she continued to deal with ongoing job and financial stresses.

“The single greatest thing that has happened to me”

Alford recalled that when Hartley was born, “I couldn’t believe from the moment I met her what I almost missed out on. Her life pushed me on a trajectory that I would never have been on without her.” That trajectory included a new job and eventually financial stability, beginning with Alford making headbands for her newborn daughter. “So many people started asking about the headbands that I decided to start a business — Harts and Pearls. I thought that maybe it would last for a couple months. It felt like God’s answer to my dreams of staying home with my kids, like He was saying ‘I’m taking care of you.’ That business became the way I ended up getting our first place together.”

Nine years later, that business is thriving. Through it, Alford met her now-husband Ron. When Hartley was five, Alford and Ron were married. Hartley is now in third grade and shows signs of budding entrepreneurship. She founded a dog walking business during the quarantine last summer, called “Harts and Tails,” following in her mom’s footsteps. Alford, now 11 years sober, treasures every minute with Hartley, as she has been unable to conceive any more children.

Alford encourages women facing unplanned pregnancies to reach out for help. “Find a few people that you trust to talk to. Find a sponsor — someone that you want to be like in 5-10 years. Reach out to them, open up, ask for help, ask for advice.” For her part, Alford is grateful for “the people that prayed for my baby before I even cared… Me having my daughter is the single greatest thing that has happened to me. I thought that it was going to ruin my life, and it was the exact opposite. My daughter’s life ‘wrecked’ me for good.”

ANALYSIS

Data reveals a COVID-19 baby bust in the US, but the problem lies far deeper

By Bettina di Fiore | March 10, 2021 , 07:44am

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Already suffering from years of declining birth rates, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have struck an additional blow against American fertility. CBS News reports provisional data showing United States birth rates dropped 4.4% overall last December, nine months after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Some individual states saw much steeper declines, including California (10.2%) and Hawaii (30.4%). 

Although some predicted a coronavirus baby boom, it should really come as no surprise that a baby bust is what has actually materialized. Historically, economically difficult times have led to steep declines in the birth rate — such was the case following the Great Depression, the energy crisis of the mid-1970s, and the recessions of 1990 and 2008. Perhaps not surprisingly, the number of U.S. abortions also increased during these same times.

Most agree that a declining birth rate is disastrous

Some, like Joseph Chamie, a former director of the United Nations Population Division, argue that declining birth rates are good because they “make it far easier to address problems such as climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, homelessness, extreme socio-economic inequalities, and human rights abuses” — presumably because fewer human beings result in fewer human problems.

By that logic, the best way to end hunger is simply to annihilate the hungry. 

But almost everyone else agrees that this situation is bad for the future of our country. We have an aging population. By 2034, the number of people over the age of 65 will outnumber those under the age of 18 for the first time in this nation’s history. Young workers are required to support aging retirees, and if the latter outnumber the former, we will be facing a serious economic problem. With the currently accelerating push to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia for the elderly and others, we may be facing ethical problems as well. 

READ: Ireland’s record low birth rate spurs concern of economic collapse

Immigration and incentives for family growth encouraged by some

But not everyone agrees on an economic solution. Some argue we should rely on immigration to fill in the gap. “The obvious solution is to allow workers from countries where the population continues to grow or exceeds job opportunities, to make up for shortfalls,” according to former CNN producer and columnist Frida Ghitis. Interestingly, not a single highly-developed western nation has a total fertility rate that is significantly above replacement levels. The closest nation to us in terms of development and culture that has a significantly growing population (total fertility rate 2.92) is the small island of the Philippines.

Others have suggested that we must increase government support via subsidized childcare and maternity/paternity leave as a means to encourage family growth; others have suggested a direct government child allowance program. Still others have pointed out that “Europe has done all those, and its fertility rates are no better than ours.” 

The real long-term solution: Transform the cultural attitude toward life

Perhaps Noah Smith, a former assistant professor of finance, hit the nail on the head when he said, “Most important[ly], the U.S. simply needs to change its mentality.” Our culture of death must be transformed into one that embraces life.

We must stop sending taxpayer funds to organizations that are obliterating the future of our nation — like Planned Parenthood — and redirect those funds to agencies and programs that support and protect families and children. We must stop telling women that the solution to an unplanned pregnancy is murder, and start providing them with options that embrace life and offer the support they need to select those options. We must reform the foster care and adoption systems.

Most of all, we must do away with the mentality that the best way to solve a problem is to obliterate the person suffering from it. We cannot kill our way out of our quandaries — the atrocities of the 20th century should have definitively taught us that — and we need to stop thinking and behaving as though we can. 

Until that happens, we will continue to see the promise of future generations cremated, tossed out as medical waste, or simply contracepted out of existence.

ANALYSIS

Killing isn’t the solution: Lila Rose debates abortion on Mikhaila Peterson’s podcast

By Anna Reynolds | February 20, 2021 , 01:24pm

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On her YouTube podcast, Mikhaila Peterson, cultural commentator and daughter of the internationally famous clinical psychologist and author Jordan Peterson, recently hosted two guests representing opposing views on abortion. Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, discussed the pro-life perspective and the arguments in favor of recognizing the rights of the preborn child while also addressing the needs of mothers.

Peterson also spoke with Mara Clark, founder of the charity Abortion Support Network, based in the United Kingdom, which helps mothers in pro-life countries to travel to other countries for elective abortions, or ships abortion pills to them for unassisted at-home abortions.

Peterson billed the two discussions as a kind of debate and claimed to “play devil’s advocate” for both sides. However, Peterson stated several times that she had not thought through the issues and referred on a few occasions to what she was taught about abortion in Canadian schools — points which seemed to strongly favor pro-abortion views. Peterson admitted she “got flustered” when speaking with Rose and “went on a bit of a rant.” Claiming Rose was a “spicy tamale,” Peterson asked much more pointed and challenging questions of the pro-life side and seemed generally to take the pro-abortion side at face-value, asking few questions and not really challenging the assumptions Clark made.

“Your life didn’t start at birth”

In her segment, Rose defined the pro-life worldview and challenged Peterson to exercise reason and define her own position. Rose said, “The reality is birth does not transfer humanity to you. You’re human before and after birth. Your life didn’t start at birth, Mikayla, my life didn’t start at birth. The science is clear and the biology is clear when it starts. Our life starts at the moment of fertilization and it just needs time and nourishment, unless something interrupts your growth, which could be an act of violence against you.”

Peterson later explained her reluctance to recognize the right to life of a preborn child, saying, “I’m not comfortable with the government mandating anything, really. I don’t think the government is smart enough to make decisions for other people.” Even so, Peterson took it as obvious that parents should not be allowed to kill a newborn child, and she could not specify the difference between a newborn baby and a child in the womb.

READ: Abortionist admits that abortion is killing: ‘We are the executioners’

“A new system of oppression against children”

Rose also addressed the claim that mothers need abortion and explained the shortcomings of pro-abortion activism that claims to empower mothers. Rose said, “We, as women, cannot achieve equality if we build a new system of oppression against children.” Rose elaborated that mothers in difficult circumstances are not helped substantially by abortion. She said, “The abortion doesn’t actually solve any problems for that single mom, it just also makes her the mother of another child whose dead now and she’s still in the exact same circumstances she was before.”

Death is not the solution for children with disabilities

Peterson “got flustered” on the subject of preborn babies who may have a disability and challenged Rose to defend being pro-life even in cases in which the baby may have a life-limiting condition. She was especially concerned with the scenario in which a family already has a disabled child they struggle to care for and discover their preborn baby may also have a disability. Rose responded, “I think we need to help families with chronically ill children. But I don’t think we should ever say the solution for a family with two chronically ill children is to kill one of them because they are smaller and less developed so it is easier and more convenient to kill that other child.”

Killing innocent humans is not the answer to difficult circumstances

For her part, Clark presented a position heavy on anecdotes and light on logic. Clark described an array of difficult circumstances, everything from a pregnant mother whose husband committed suicide to parents whose four-year-old had leukemia. Clark presumes that aborting the preborn child in these families was the right decision for them because their situations were so difficult. At times, she refers to the preborn child interchangeably as a baby and a fetus, never addressing the obvious humanity of that member of the family. The circumstances Clark described are very difficult but they are not solved by killing.

We don’t have to solve every other problem to oppose killing innocent humans

Insofar as Clark did address pro-life arguments, she misrepresented them as inherently religious and suggested that if you advocate for the right to life of preborn babies, “You better be out there… creating a world in which everybody who gets pregnant is able to care for the resulting children.” It is a common claim by abortion advocates that in order to condemn the violent destruction of innocent human life that occurs in abortion you must also support every other social cause and ensure the total material and emotional well-being of every child in the world. This is not a valid argument and is inconsistent with the way that we treat other issues of injustice in our society.

Clark was more honest than many abortion activists when she acknowledged that the solution to abortion is not limitless birth control because every form of birth control has a failure rate. She also acknowledged that coerced abortion is an unfortunate reality for many women supposedly empowered by choice through abortion.

When asked about the strongest argument against her pro-abortion position, Clark said without hesitation the best argument is babies. She added, “Babies are cute, and babies are adorable. I get it.” Indeed, babies are the living proof that the preborn child is, in fact, human. This embodied reality should prompt us to protect the preborn child from violent destruction rather than seek to justify that destruction.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Nigerian archbishop: Biden’s funding of overseas abortions ‘violates human dignity’

By Laura Nicole |  February 7, 2021 , 01:31pm

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A leading figure in the Catholic church in Africa has joined prominent international pro-life voices to condemn the Biden administration’s rescinding of the Mexico City Policy, which prevented federal taxpayer dollars from funding organizations committing or referring for abortions overseas.

In an interview with Crux, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Abuja, Nigeria, railed against the Biden administration’s decision to fund abortions internationally. “This order does not stand to reason; it violates human dignity,” Kaigama said. “The President should use his office to prioritize the most vulnerable, including unborn children.”

On January 28th, President Biden repealed the Trump administration’s expanded pro-life Mexico City Policy. The policy has been enacted and repealed along party lines ever since first instituted by President Reagan in 1984. Biden subsequently also repealed the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule, which had prevented federal family planning funds under Title X from being awarded to abortion businesses which refused to separate their abortion services fiscally and physically from birth control services.

READ: San Francisco archbishop rebukes Pelosi: ‘No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion’

Archbishop Kaigama lamented that “one of Biden’s first official acts is to promote the destruction of human lives domestically and in developing nations.” He noted that Catholic popes for decades have preached against abortion “as a most grievous violation of God’s commandments,” because “abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family and above all, it offends God.” Joe Biden has previously stated that his Catholic faith is his “foundation.”

As reported by Live Action News, Culture of Life Africa responded to the Biden administration’s repeal of the pro-life policy by producing a video response entitled, “A Message for President Biden:  The Unified Voices of Africa.” The video features the voices of African citizens speaking directly to the new president. “We appeal to Joe Biden. Please do not, do not, do not sponsor abortion in Africa,” says one woman.

“I would like to use this opportunity to plead with the incoming U.S. president, Joe Biden, not to sponsor abortion in Africa,” says another woman.

Culture of Life Africa president Obianuju Ekeocha noted that Africans had celebrated the the expanded Mexico City Policy that Biden abolished: “They were actually very happy that the United States was finally recognizing the culture of most of the African people, the desire of most of the African people, the consensus that we have across the different African countries. People were rejoicing over that.”

South Carolina governor signs ‘heartbeat bill’ as Planned Parenthood prepares lawsuit

By Newsroom | February 18, 2021 , 12:59pm

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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed The South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act Thursday, banning abortions in the state when a fetal heartbeat is detected. The law took effect immediately following the signing. Pro-abortion groups have announced they will file a lawsuit to try and block the law.

“If there is not a right to life then what right is there? What rights exist if not the elementary, fundamental, profound right to life?” said McMaster. “So we are here to protect it. […] Who possesses the right? We have the duty. Who has the right? All of us have the right. The young, the old, the rich, the poor, the week, the strong, known, unknown, or unborn all have the right to life. […] Our battles are not yet over but I believe the dawn of victory is upon us.”

Screenshot WCSC. Gov. McMaster signs “heartbeat bill.”

The pro-life law includes an exception for cases of medical emergency, though abortion is never medically necessary. There have also been exceptions added for rape, incest, and fetal diagnoses. A doctor who commits abortions after the preborn child’s heartbeat is detectable could face a felony charge, fines, and jail time. The South Carolina Senate passed the bill in January, and the House passed it on Wednesday despite pro-abortion House members walking out in protest during the debate. One of those House members referred to the bill as a “farce of a vote about pretend life.”

Life inside the womb is not “pretend.” Preborn children are human beings from the moment of fertilization – a scientific fact. The human heart begins to beat between 16 and 22 days post-fertilization before most women even know they are pregnant. At this age, the baby already has eyes and a brain, and her lungs are forming. By six weeks and two days, the baby has brain waves.

READ: Women pregnant from rape: Don’t use us as an ‘argument for abortion’

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Greenville Women’s Clinic, represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, P.A., announced they will file a lawsuit against the new law. They intend to sue in federal court by the end of the day Thursday. The lawsuit will likely prevent the law from going into effect, which will allow the abortionists at Planned Parenthood and Greenville Women’s Clinic to continue committing abortions.

More than 10 states have enacted similar laws which are currently blocked by ongoing lawsuits, according to WCSC.

“Whether somebody challenges or not is up to them,” said McMaster on Wednesday. “That’s what the court’s for.”

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