Author archives: Sherry Crater

Pillard Pilloried

by Sherry Crater

November 15, 2013

Cornelia Pillard, President Obama’s nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, was rejected  this week by the Senate in a 56-41 cloture vote.  Pillard’s radical views were not considered an appropriate fit for one of the nation’s most powerful courts that rules on administration orders and regulations and from which some judges ultimately become Supreme Court justices.

A professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Cornelia “Nina” Pillard is spreading her radical viewpoints to the young people under her tutelage.  As a student in her class, one might hear her expounding on abstinence-only sex education as being unconstitutional. Or, she might be complaining that ultrasound images are deceptive images of a fetus as an autonomous entity. Of course, it is well understood that ultrasound images do show an autonomous being, albeit a dependent one. The images depict a fetus that is just too dependent and too human for Cornelia Pillard’s liking.

Pillard has also written that abortion is necessary to “free” women “from historically routine conscription into maternity,” a view that certainly does not resonate with the vast majority of moms who consider motherhood a sacred honor and privilege. We can breathe a sigh of relief that sanity prevailed and the Senate rejected this nominee who compares motherhood to the draft.

It is time to move on from Pillard’s negative legal views of pregnancy and the need to destroy the unborn to a more positive conversation about protecting babies in utero who have been shown to feel pain after 20 weeks from fertilization.  Twelve states have now passed fetal pain bills banning abortion after 20 weeks. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that also bans late abortion has passed in the House of Representatives, and Sen. Lindsay Graham has introduced the companion bill in the Senate with 41 co-sponsors.  When it comes to babies, protection trumps destruction!

Conscience, Convenience or Misguided Conviction?

by Sherry Crater

November 1, 2013

Commuting and working in Washington, D.C. affords many opportunities to engage in lively conversations with people who hold diverse opinions on controversial issues. With religious liberty currently being a hot topic, a recent discussion on First Amendment rights and religious expression turned into an instructive session for a group of adult men and women.

The conversation began with a recounting of the case of a New Mexico photographer who was fined $7000 for declining to photograph a same-sex “commitment” ceremony due to her deeply held religious beliefs. The discussion then turned to the provision in the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) which mandates that businesses and organizations provide contraceptives, abortion inducing drugs and sterilization procedures in their insurance plans.

Against this backdrop, the question was posed, “If you are the only pharmacist in a community and you don’t believe in the use of contraceptives, do you have an obligation to distribute contraceptives to the community regardless of your personal beliefs?” The consensus of the group, with a couple of exceptions including me, was yes; the pharmacist should comply and distribute the contraceptives for the “common good” of the community. One gentleman asked why the individuals seeking contraceptives could not simply travel to the next town to purchase them. A young woman responded, “It isn’t fair that I should be inconvenienced in getting my contraceptives.“

Her response raises a couple of important thoughts. First, why should the pharmacist have to violate his or her conscience for the convenience of others who can easily obtain abortion- inducing drugs or contraceptives elsewhere? The purchaser probably would not have to go far to obtain them, as access to contraceptives is certainly not a problem. Birth control and emergency contraceptives are available at grocery stores, every major retailer like Wal-Mart and Target, or online. Why does the purchaser’s convenience trump the pharmacist’s conscience?

Second, the assumption was made that the pharmacist would just be willing to acquiesce to the law, discard his or her moral convictions and distribute the objectionable pharmaceuticals. This assumption underestimates the strength and sacred nature of religious or moral convictions. A person with deeply held religious beliefs may very well choose to find another profession or move to another community rather than violate their conscience about such high priority personal matters. In such a case, the attempt to force the pharmacist to dispense the contraceptives against his or her will ends with the pharmacist taking their business to another community, thus leaving the original community potentially without a pharmacist at all.

Many well-intentioned but misguided people could benefit by better understanding the ramifications of limiting the freedom of people to live out their religious beliefs. Perhaps what seems best for one individual’s notion of the “common good” might have unfortunate consequences for many other members of the community. Americans have recognized since our founding the fundamental right of all citizens to free expression of religion and exercise of conscience as inherent, unalienable rights granted to us by God and secured and protected by the Constitution.

Sex Selection Abortion Hurts Living Women

by Sherry Crater

September 18, 2013

We have known for some time about China’s one child policy and the brutal consequences of that law for unborn females as well as living girls and young women. Now, Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey has alerted us to the consequences of sex-selection abortion and female infanticide in India.

In his commentary on “The Missing Girls of India” in the Washington Times on September 16, 2013, Rep. Smith informs us that India has a lopsided ratio of boys who are born to the number of girls born (126 boys for every 100 girls). The resulting shortage of females has led to increased trafficking in women, bride-selling, prostitution, child brides and even brothers sharing a woman.

It is time to connect the dots! The killing of girls in the womb and infanticide of baby girls in India has led to a shortage in the female population. That shortage of women, as Rep. Smith said, is resulting in young girls and women being trafficked, prostituted, sold, and shared to satisfy India’s disproportionately male population.

Who will defend the defenseless in the womb who are selected for death because they are girls? And, who will defend the living women who are being forced into unimaginable and horrific situations, clearly not of their choosing, because they lived and can be used? Who will speak up for the dignity, respect and intrinsic value of every woman?

Women Oppose Aborting Children Who Can Feel Pain

by Sherry Crater

August 8, 2013

New polling by Quinnipiac and Washington Post-ABC News and others shows a surprising number of women agree with banning abortion after 20 weeks gestation. News stories highlighting the gruesome and unscrupulous practices of abortionists such as Kermit Gosnell and Steven Brigham have been eye openers for many women. More and more women now see good reasons to support limits on abortion, and an even earlier limit than the 24 week line drawn by the Supreme Court.

Bottom line—women are becoming better informed. The wonders of ultrasound technology, the “window to the womb” as it pertains to pregnancy, has awakened many women also. This technology actually shows what previous generations intuitively knew—there is a little human in the womb. This image of the pre-born person undoes the lie that “it is just a blob of tissue” and shows it to be a little human with arms and legs and a beating heart. Now, science has shown that this little person can feel pain at 20 weeks gestation.

Advancements in technology and medical research in fetal development are empowering women to support unborn life and call for more restrictions on abortions. This knowledge is also helping women to think independently and assert opinions based on sound facts and convictions of conscience rather than adopting the ideology of so called “choice” that negates true choices representing alternatives to abortion.

Of course, this new polling and the ensuing discussion regarding the 20-week abortion ban have implications for both political parties. But women have more at stake than political fights. It is one thing to talk about political and social agendas and public policy as it relates to the general public. It is quite another to come to terms with the reality of inflicting pain or terminating the life of a little person within you.

As women gain increased access to the latest in medical and technological research, expect more courageous women to say yes to abortion restrictions.

What about the Females Being Aborted?

by Sherry Crater

June 18, 2013

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) in fighting against the rule and the underlying bill, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, stated that the bill shows disregard for women denying them the care they need. Rep. Schneider said that pregnancy has “life altering implications for women.”

Really! What about all the unborn females that are not only denied care but will never even have a life because someone is more concerned about life altering implications? Perhaps the males on the Judiciary subcommittee who Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) accused of being “indifferent to the rights of women” are actually the voices to protect the smallest females among us who will not be protected by those defending the personal autonomy of women at the expense of those women yet to be born.

Stay out of our Health Care?

by Sherry Crater

June 18, 2013

In watching the rules debate on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 1797, I was stunned by the remarks of Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.). Rep. Edwards made the well worn remark that abortion is a decision between a woman and her doctor. However, she followed that remark with an admonition to “stay out of our health care” saying that H.R. 1797 allows for “governmental interference” in women’s health care.

Excuse me…….do we remember that Rep. Edwards voted for the Affordable Care Act, the law directing the massive intrusion by the federal government into every American’s health care? This is the law subsidizing abortion with taxpayer money, and this isn’t an intrusion into your health care?

Perhaps Rep. Edwards should recall that the Internal Revenue Service, currently in the news for egregiously abusing its power, will be instrumental in the implementation of this intrusive health care law and will be collecting an abortion fee paid under this law. How convenient to now claim the government should stay out of health care so she can defend late painful abortion. 

Working the Polls on Election Day

by Sherry Crater

November 6, 2012

My assignment for today is working the voting polling site at my local precinct. My county in Virginia, Prince William County, is a bellwether county for Virginia. The word to describe the activity at the voting site is intensity. One-third of the voters in my precinct have already voted by 11:00 a.m. and there is a steady and fairly heavy stream of voters that will pick up during the lunch hour and at the end of the day. Early voters waited close to 2 hours to vote and the average voting time is about 1 hour at this writing. It seems that we are witnessing what the polls have said…..a head to head race. Some voters have started to leave due to the long time in line, but there has been good opportunity to remind them of the importance of their vote and that the average precinct can be won or lost by 1-3 votes. Thankfully, that reminder has worked to help folks stay and make their vote count.

Voters seem to be on a mission too, as they arrive with their minds made up and most are determined to vote even if they arrive with several young children and are alerted that they will have a long wait. Some go back to get a stroller but return resolved to wait and vote. One man I encountered could hardly walk but he was determined to “vote against Obamacare” as he put it.

Of interest, most voters are respectful but resolved. A minor dustup occurred regarding some damaged signs of one of the candidates, but that is being resolved too. The lawyers and polling officials are respectful too, but it is all business. The serious decisions being made today are apparent to all these voters.

Heading back to the polls now and realizing how really important this poll working job is.

A Salute to Moms, Young or Older

by Sherry Crater

May 7, 2010

It comes as no surprise that women are marrying at an older age and, frequently, bearing children later in life also. The Pew Research Center has recently released a study confirming these facts. In 2008, one in seven babies in the United States was born to a mother older than 35 years of age. By contrast, the teenage birthrate has been declining since 1990 except for a couple of spikes, and births to women younger than 20 declined in 2008 to one in ten babies.

These statistics reflect significant changes in society, as women often choose to delay marriage and childbearing while they pursue education and get established in a career. However womens goals may have changed, the perception of children seems to have remained positive. When asked why they decided to have their first child, 87 percent of the parents in the Pew study said, The joy of children.

As I reflect on my own mother, I want to salute all women who have risen to the challenge of motherhood and accepted the responsibilities of this high calling. I wouldnt place mothering in the glamorous job category, but how do we place a value on a mothers invaluable contributions? Mothers, of course, are the bearers of life itself. Beyond that indispensable role, they are often the emotional glue that holds the members of a family together. When a marriage dissolves and the family is torn apart, it is most often the mother who stays with the children and raises them to adulthood.

A former national leader once stated, The family is a sacred institution entrusted with the worlds most important work. Society is only as strong as the families who live within it. Thank you, moms, for all you have done and are doing to strengthen our families and our nation.

Celebrating Mothers Every Day

by Sherry Crater

May 4, 2010

Watching the recent NFL draft, I noticed that emotions ran high and hugs abounded. The athletes were exuberant in expressing their excitement and gratitude to family and friends who had gathered to share the realization of a lifetime dream to play professional football. There were extended and seemingly more meaningful hugs, however, for the mothers of some of the football players. Noticing the long hugs, sometimes accompanied by tears, made me wonder what untold stories these mothers and sons shared.

We have all heard countless stories of young athletes applauding their moms for being the glue in their lives. Often the dad was unavailable, and mom was the one who encouraged them to stay in school, to get good grades, to work hard and hang with good friends. Mom was the one who often worked an extra job or two so her kids could go to college. She was often the provider and the encourager, but she was also the enforcer when discipline was needed. But, pats on the back didnt come until these young people came of age and realized the enormous impact their mother had on their development and character.

Mothers, indeed, have impact. Never to be minimized is a mothers foundational role, that of giving every one of us life itself. Adding to this indispensable role, mothers wear many other significant hats. Teacher, counselor, nurse, chauffeur, cook, nutritionist, janitor, event planner, decorator, accountant, personal assistant, investor, budget analyst and disciplinarian come readily to mind. Voluminous books could be written about the untold stories of a mothers influence.

There is another impressive but untold story about mothers that is finally unfolding. Its the story of a movement that has changed the hearts of millions of women over the last forty years. Families have been restored, deep wounds have been healed and the lives of babies have been saved. Through voluntary and selfless giving, a network of women and men has provided supportive places where pregnant women can discover their options and receive needed care. This assistance includes medical care during the pregnancy as well as post natal advice. The expectant moms can also find referrals for many community programs and services. Material needs for new moms and babies are met as well. Known by various names (e.g., Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC), Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Pregnancy Support Centers, etc.), all these organizations meet basic needs and provide healthy alternatives to abortion.

More than 2300 pregnancy resource centers across America are providing a lifeline to women who do not want to abort but need community support during a difficult transitional life change. These centers are privately funded and staffed by compassionate and trained volunteers.

This is a story you will not want to miss. Visit A Passion To Serve, and read about those celebrating mothers every day. And, give your mother an extra hug this Mothers Day.

Abortion Policy a Triple Whammy Against Women

by Sherry Crater

February 2, 2010

As the brutal consequences of Chinas one-child policy that became law in 1978 are becoming fully known, it is apparent that unborn females, young girls and young women are the real victims of this law.

Chinese parents have traditionally preferred sons, since a son carries the family name, inherits family properties and supports his parents in their old age, while Chinese daughters become part of their husbands family. Thus, limiting families to one child has resulted in the sex-selection abortion of girls as Chinese parents are forced to choose between their future security and the lives of their daughters.

The magnitude of this situation and the vast numbers of Chinese women missing because they were aborted is being acknowledged, as Chinese boys now outnumber girls by the millions —- resulting in a dire shortage of eligible brides for Chinas young men. The most calamitous consequence of the shortage of Chinese girls is the growing trade of foreign girls and women from many countries —- especially Korea —- being trafficked into China for the purpose of forced marriages and sexual exploitation.

Chinas one-child policy is a triple whammy against women. It begins with the women who are forced to make the horrendous decision to abort an unborn baby girl because sons are preferred in a one-child family. Then, the life of the aborted baby girl is snuffed out, obviously without her consent. Now, women beyond Chinas borders are paying the price of this misguided and cruel policy as they are forcibly trafficked into China to sexually satisfy Chinas disproportionately male population.

As this travesty against women is perpetuated in China and surrounding countries, one wonders where the female pro-choice defenders are when it comes to these women who are being forced into unimaginable situations, clearly not of their own choosing. Rather than speaking up for millions of women in this dire situation, a coalition of womens groups in the U.S., including Womens Media Center, National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority Foundation, are galvanized and unloading their fire on a Super Bowl ad about one woman who tells of choosing life for her son. Pam Tebow chose to continue a risky pregnancy rather than abort her baby, and her inspiring story is one of celebrating life and families. You can read here the opinion of a pro-choice Washington Post staff writer, Sally Jenkins, who agrees that the nation can learn much from the Tebows.

As the Tebows are telling their story of choosing life, other compassionate people are working through their local pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) to provide healthy alternatives to abortion. Please log on to www.apassiontoserve.org and read about the extraordinary contributions made by the nations PRCs in meeting the needs of women, youth and families.

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