Author archives: Joy Zavalick

10 Tips for Discussing Infertility with Compassion

by Joy Zavalick

April 28, 2022

April 24 through 30 is Infertility Awareness Week, a time to become informed about a struggle that some couples face when seeking to grow their family and how we can respond to their experiences with love, encouragement, and compassion. An estimated 15 percent of couples will have trouble conceiving or experience infertility. Having a reservoir of helpful words to share with those facing infertility is an essential component of loving those particular neighbors well. Knowing which words are unhelpful to say is equally important.

5 Compassionate Things to Say

1. “I am praying for you.”

One helpful response to hearing about someone’s struggle with infertility is letting them know that you are talking to God about their pain and asking for His intervention. Prayers should not only be that the couple would be able to conceive but also that they will find peace and contentment with the path to parenthood that God desires for them—even if that looks like pursuing adoption instead of having biological children.

2. “I am here to listen if you want to vent.”

Many times, keeping silent and listening is the best way to show compassion to someone who is struggling with infertility. If someone has chosen to confide in you about their infertility struggles, honor that trust by patiently listening to them and allowing that conversation to occupy your time together.

3. “You will be wonderful parents, even if your path to parenthood looks different than you expected.”

Some couples facing infertility may greatly desire children but feel intimidated by the adoption process or have a stigmatized view of adoption. Encourage them that adoption is a beautiful form of growing a family if they feel led to pursue it.

4. “I know that today may be extra hard for you. Do you need anything?”

When someone is facing infertility, specific events or celebrations can lose their joy or become a source of pain. Sensitively reaching out on days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, or after events like baby showers or gender reveal parties for other people, can help your loved ones feel seen and understood.

5. “Seeking professional support and counseling is healthy, not shameful.”

Nearly 40 percent of women who experience infertility develop symptoms of depression. While lending a listening ear as a friend is always helpful, it may also be necessary to encourage a loved one struggling with depression as a result of infertility to seek further counseling.

5 Things Not to Say

1. “When are you going to have a baby?”

Unless a married couple shares with you that they are open to discussing their plans to become parents, it is not appropriate to ask; you never know who may be struggling with infertility or miscarriage. Respect the privacy of married couples in their fertility journey by allowing them to make announcements at their own pace about having a baby.

2. “At least…”

A compassionate response to hearing that a loved one is facing infertility does not include making them feel guilty or ungrateful by pointing out the ways they are blessed. Phrases such as “At least you have each other” or “At least you will save money without kids” are not the encouragement that couples need to hear.

3. “Not everyone is meant to be a parent.”

Just because a couple is struggling or unable to conceive biologically does not mean that they are not cut out to be parents. Infertility may be an indication that they should pursue adoption, not that they should abandon parenthood entirely.

4. “Here’s what worked for us when we were trying to conceive.”

Many couples facing infertility have already consulted with a doctor or fertility specialist about their dilemma. Unless the couple specifically requests your advice about conception, it is not your place to offer unsolicited solutions or home remedies.

5. “Just have faith, and God will allow you to conceive.”

Although doubtlessly tragic, it is a biological reality of living in a fallen world that some couples will never be able to conceive naturally. Compassionate encouragement to couples facing infertility should not include false promises or making them believe that a lack of faith is the reason why they cannot conceive. Couples should certainly seek God in their heartache, but infertility is not a punishment for a lack of faith and should not be treated as such. Examples in Scripture of God opening or closing a woman’s womb for a specific purpose can be distinguished from the everyday experience of infertility as a result of the fall, in which case God is not punishing a woman individually through infertility.

A Zero Star Review for Yelp’s Abortion Activism

by Joy Zavalick

April 18, 2022

The numerous pro-life protections being enacted across the country and the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization are making the abortion industry increasingly desperate to maintain its place in American society. Recently, this mounting desperation has been seeping into the policies of some major corporations. Yelp is the latest in a string of private companies (such as Citigroup) that have announced that they will cover travel expenses for employees who desire to obtain an abortion that would not be legal in the state where they live.

This type of company policy is in direct response to state-level pro-life protections such as Texas’ heartbeat law, which has successfully saved thousands of babies’ lives by protecting life in the womb after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. By implementing such policies, these corporations have actively decided against remaining neutral on the topic of abortion.

The recent uptick in companies publicly declaring a position on abortion shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering how corporate America has similarly caved to shareholder pressures on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. The activists behind progressive ESG investment organizations like As You Sow have consistently applied pressure to corporations, including Yelp.

In 2021, As You Sow published a report condemning Yelp for allowing Planned Parenthood sites to be “dogged by ongoing posting of unsubstantiated and illegitimate” reviews. The report concludes, “It is recommended that Yelp seek to engage harmed businesses”—such as Planned Parenthood—“in meaningful discussions about their experiences and desired alternative approaches.” Now, four months later, Yelp has chosen to enact a policy that will ensure that its employees continue contributing to the profits of the abortion industry by whatever means necessary.

Enabling female employees to obtain an out-of-state abortion instead of encouraging them to pursue motherhood is profitable—both for the abortion industry and the corporation that adopts such a policy. It minimizes the costs of providing maternity leave and keeps female employees actively engaged in the workplace for the obvious utilitarian purpose of maintaining productivity.

Representative Katie Porter (D-Calif.) summarized the motivation for corporations to encourage abortions during a 2020 House Financial Services Committee hearing. She said, “In the span of four decades since the 1970s, 38 million women joined the workforce. Without those women, our economy would be 25 percent smaller.” Her point is clear: ever since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy, companies have increasingly been able to profit from women employees—and they are not interested in going back.

Instead of liberating working women, Roe created a loophole for employers so they wouldn’t have to adapt to suit the needs of working mothers. Instead of creating an environment that embraced women in their totality, corporations could simply expect women to reject motherhood.

Employing a working mother often requires additional consideration beyond allowing for a few weeks of maternity leave once the child is born. Because of Roe, workplaces like Yelp have been able to take the easy way out for decades. Now, with the Dobbs decision on the horizon, they are doing everything in their power to make sure that the abortion loophole remains available.

Miriam Warren, chief diversity officer at Yelp, stated, “We’ve long been a strong advocate for equality in the workplace, and believe that gender equality cannot be achieved if women’s healthcare rights are restricted.” Corporate America has come alongside the abortion industry in normalizing the sexist myth that motherhood and career success are mutually exclusive.

No one makes the claim that men cannot progress in their careers when they become fathers. Female workers do not need to suffer the mental and physical trauma of abortion in order to be equal with their male counterparts.

Yelp has caved to pressure from the abortion lobby and hidden its true utilitarian agenda behind a façade of female empowerment. Other cowardly corporations will likely follow suit. As companies increasingly reveal their true colors and lack of spine, Christians must carefully consider which ones receive their business.

The Bodies of Five Babies Cry Out for Justice

by Mary Szoch , Joy Zavalick

April 7, 2022

Approximately four blocks west of the White House, in the midst of academic buildings and dormitories of The George Washington University, abortionist Cesare Santangelo operates his abortion business, known as Washington Surgi-Clinic. It was from here that the remains of five fully developed unborn babies were reportedly recovered. Even though their deaths are suspected to be the result of partial-birth abortions, infanticide, or a violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, the D.C. medical examiner has refused to do an autopsy.

In Washington, D.C., abortion is legal throughout the entirety of pregnancy. However, federal law prohibits abortionists from committing partial-birth abortions, and babies born alive are considered full persons under the law. Unfortunately, because congressional Democrats refuse to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, it is not currently required that babies born alive after an abortion attempt receive medical attention.

Legal late-term abortions are conducted through a multi-day process in which a baby is killed prior to delivery. Partial-birth abortions deviate from a typical late-term abortion by partially delivering a baby so that the abortionist can kill the child before full delivery. Because this method is illegal, many abortionists inject the child with a feticide (digoxin) to kill them while they are still in the womb.

The physicians who evaluated the remains of the five aborted babies recovered from Santangelo’s clinic have speculated that there may be evidence of the abortionist committing illegal partial-birth abortions or possibly even killing babies that were delivered alive.

The completely intact nature of some of the babies is suspicious because the cause of death cannot be determined. One of the children displayed head wounds consistent with those of a partial-birth abortion. One of the children was delivered in the amniotic sac, pointing to the possibility that he or she was born alive and then left to die.

An autopsy must be conducted on these babies to confirm whether illegal abortion activity occurred. But illegal or not, Santangelo’s actions are morally wrong.

The finding of the remains of these five unborn victims has flooded the news, but this is hardly the first time Cesare Santangelo has been under scrutiny.

A complaint was filed by a department head at George Washington University Hospital voicing concerns about several of Santangelo’s “bad outcomes related to abortion” in 2013. However, the review panel was reluctant to discipline Santangelo, pointing out “he’s the ‘go to’ for high-risk cases.”

In the “Additional Items Discussed,” the D.C. Department of Health Board of Medicine wrote that the panel made a few “recommendations” that Dr. Santangelo should consider adopting in his practice: “1. Consider conducting terminations with ultrasound guidance to reduce risk of uterine perforation; 2. Improve provider-referring hospital communication; and 3. Ensure that pre-consent and consent-to-surgery forms are uniform and do not have any differences, thereby preventing miscommunication.” The fact that these are merely recommendations shows the disregard the pro-abortion lobby has for both mothers and their babies and the influence it wields on government bodies.

A year prior, in 2012, Live Action conducted an undercover filming of Santangelo wherein he talked about allowing babies born alive to die without receiving medical attention.

When asked, “Would you make sure that it doesn’t survive?” Santangelo responded, “We would not help it. We wouldn’t intubate. We wouldn’t do anything extra to help it survive. It would be a terminal person in a hospital…It’s like a do not resituate order…”

Except that it’s nothing like a “do not resuscitate order” or having a “terminal person in a hospital.” It is having the power to help a person live and callously tossing that person aside to die.   

There is more proof that Santangelo has no regard for human life. A medical malpractice/wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Santangelo by the family of a woman who received a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure at his business to remove her naturally-miscarried child.

Santangelo, who had no hospital admitting privileges at the time, failed to call an ambulance for 13 minutes after the woman’s oxygen levels fell, and she turned blue. Santangelo—who is accused of waiting too long to call for emergency help—never attempted appropriate resuscitation efforts. Once at the hospital, the woman was declared dead. An autopsy revealed that Santangelo botched the procedure, leaving her with a perforated or lacerated uterus and pieces of her preborn baby in her bloodstream and lungs.

Over the past week, Cesare Santangelo’s blatant disregard for life has been on display. Join us in demanding that autopsies and a full investigation be done into the deaths of the five infants whose bodies were recovered from Washington Surgi-Clinic. There must be justice for these precious babies.

Why Does the Far Left Want More Women to Have Abortions?

by Mary Szoch , Joy Zavalick

March 28, 2022

The Texas Heartbeat Act, in its mission to protect babies from abortion once their heartbeats are detectable, has faced legal challenges and resistance from the abortion industry—and come out victorious. Along with saving thousands of lives, Texas has also provided a notable case study as the nation awaits the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case with the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade. While pro-life advocates are ready to care for mothers and their babies in the event Roe is overturned, the far Left that used to call for abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare” is now busily working to ensure that more and more women undergo abortions.

The pro-“choice” façade of the past is finally slipping away as progressives become increasingly bold about their desire to increase the national abortion rate. Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), who has been outspoken about his goal to direct abortion tourism to his state, signed a new law to make abortion even cheaper for people on private insurance plans. Washington and Oregon also had dramatic reactions to Idaho’s Texas-style heartbeat protection, resisting the neighboring state’s move to protect the unborn.

A recent New York Times article sounded gleeful as it relied on shoddy evidence to report that Texas’ Heartbeat Act had not drastically lowered abortions in the state because women were still able to obtain chemical abortion pills or travel across state lines to undergo abortions. National Review’s Michael New refuted these suspiciously enthusiastic claims, explaining, “the reported out-of-state monthly increase of 1,250 abortions is only a fraction of the in-state decline of 3,200 abortions reported by the Texas State Health and Human Services Commission for September 2021.”

Agents on the far Left are determined to encourage women to undergo abortions, even if abortion is the logically less convenient and less safe option for them. Fund Texas Choice promotes abortion by “provid[ing] travel assistance to Texas residents whether your appointment is in Texas or if you have to travel out-of-state.” The group arranges and pays for hotel stays, bus tickets, flights, and gas for women undergoing abortions in cities where they are not residents—in other words, whatever it takes to make sure that women have abortions. Even private organizations such as Citigroup have also chosen to fund travel for their employees to encourage them to get abortions.

Why are progressives hellbent on pushing dangerous chemical abortions and spending thousands of dollars on travel over the simple solution of carrying a child to term and respecting his or her right to be born? Are they really so deluded as to believe that birth, which women are biologically designed to perform, is more traumatizing than invasive surgical procedures or dangerous chemical regimens? Are they simply mesmerized by the profit they stand to gain from vulnerable women when abortion is normalized? One thing is for certain, those who champion abortion have chosen to reject reality.

Whether they acknowledge it or not, Americans know that every pregnant woman carries a unique, unrepeatable human being within her. It is only when a woman is considering an abortion that anyone denies the humanity of the child. As a visibly pregnant woman walks down the sidewalk or through the grocery store, it is not uncommon for men and women to stop to congratulate her on her baby. In fact, perhaps the only way to be more popular than a pregnant woman carrying a baby in her womb is to be a new mom carrying a baby in her arms. Person after person stops to say hello to the baby, play peek-a-boo, or ask, “Can you give me a smile?”

Today, progressives are tripping over themselves to increase “access” to abortion, but they should recognize there is a better route. As the world awaits a decision in Dobbs, churches, communities, and legislators are working to support moms, dads, and children in need. Instead of doing everything possible to ensure that moms believe their easiest and only option is abortion, it is time for the pro-abortion lobby to accept the truth that daily life affirms: abortion ends the life of a beautiful baby. We invite anyone who is or has previously been part of the pro-abortion lobby to join us. There are countless ways to help moms, dads, and babies in need. Encouraging more abortions is not one of them.

Celebrating Life on World Down Syndrome Day

by Joy Zavalick , Kurt Kondrich

March 21, 2022

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, and West Virginia has kicked off the celebration with a new life-saving protection for the unborn. In a race against the clock on the last day of the 2022 session, the state legislature passed SB 468, known as the Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection and Education Act. The popular bill passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 81-17 and the Senate by a vote of 27-5. By passing SB 468, which is slated to go into effect on July 1, the state of West Virginia is reminding the nation of the precious gift that those with Down syndrome are to the world.

On Monday, Chloe Kondrich joined Gov. Jim Justice (R) at the West Virginia state capitol to witness the signing of SB 468 into law. For weeks, Chloe had been meeting with members of the West Virginia state congress to advocate for SB 468. Chloe, an 18-year-old advocate for life who has Down syndrome, successfully lobbied for Chloe’s Law in Pennsylvania at the age of 11 to ensure that parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are made aware of the resources available to help their child thrive. There is extensive evidence that families of those with Down syndrome recognize the blessing that their loved one is; the bigger challenge is helping the rest of the world to affirm it.

Unfortunately, ignorance and fearmongering directed towards pregnant mothers lead to immense loss of life for babies who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. In the United States, an estimated 67 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Paradoxically, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), which claims to be “the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome,” includes the possibility of “termination” as one of its top three reasons why a mother should undergo prenatal testing to determine if her child has Down syndrome.

Unfortunately, despite the many advocates fighting to protect the lives and human dignity of those with Down syndrome, some persist in maintaining discriminatory attitudes. On March 3, World Birth Defects Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) included Down syndrome in its list of the top “most common severe birth defects.” The WHO faced immense backlash on social media from voices around the world passionately disputing the idea that their loved ones with Down syndrome were “defective.” Chloe Kondrich’s simple response, which was accompanied by a photo of her advocating for life at the West Virginia capitol, spoke volumes: “I am Chloe Emmanuel Kondrich, and I am NOT a ‘severe birth defect.’”

The West Virginia law is not only a commonsense measure to prevent discrimination against babies with Down syndrome, but it also protects any child whose mother seeks an abortion on the basis of a prenatal diagnosis of a disability. The law combats the ableist tendencies of the abortion industry, which capitalizes on parents’ fears and convinces them that they are not equipped to raise a child with a disability.

A prenatal diagnosis should never strip a child of their right to life. This year, the theme of World Down Syndrome Day is “inclusion.” According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this looks like “full and effective participation and inclusion in society.” True advocates for those with Down syndrome are people like Chloe who are fighting to empower families with resources and education to achieve this goal of inclusion rather than dismissing an entire population as a “birth defect” that ought to be simply “terminated.”

On World Down Syndrome Day, let us reject the ableist killing of babies who receive a prenatal diagnosis. Let us celebrate the inherent value of all human life, beginning in the womb. As West Virginia takes a step forward in protecting its unborn citizens from discrimination, the rest of the nation ought to follow.

Kurt Kondrich is a pro-life advocate who after the birth of his beautiful daughter Chloe in 2003 has devoted his life to ending the prenatal genocide against babies with Down syndrome.

Joy Zavalick is Research Assistant for the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.

Heartbeats Protect the Unborn in Idaho

by Connor Semelsberger, MPP , Joy Zavalick

March 17, 2022

On Monday, Idaho passed SB 1309, known as the “Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act.” This makes Idaho the second state to pass a likely enforceable law protecting unborn children after a heartbeat has been detected, as early as three or four weeks after conception. The bill beautifully states that a baby’s heartbeat “signals rhythmically and without pause the presence of a precious and unique life, one that is independent and distinct from the mother’s and one that is also worthy of our utmost protection.”

In Texas, where the nation’s first successfully-enforced Heartbeat Act went into effect in September, the law has saved an estimated 100 babies each day and caused abortions in the state to drop by 60 percent. Overall, the Texas Heartbeat Act is estimated to have saved close to 20,000 babies since going into effect over six months ago. The United States lost 629,898 precious unborn babies to abortion in 2019 alone; now, thanks to the legislative action of pro-life states such as Texas and Idaho, more and more lives are being saved from joining that tragic annual statistic. In these states, the sound of their own heartbeat is all the self-defense against abortionists that unborn babies need.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization could overturn the legal precedent of Roe v. Wade and return jurisdiction over abortion legislation to the states, making it possible for states to protect their unborn citizens from the evils of abortion. Currently, the legal framework of Roe prevents states from enforcing pre-viability protections for the unborn; Texas and Idaho have been forced to pass laws placing enforcement in the hands of private citizens rather than the state in order to protect unborn life while the precedent of Roe still applies. According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 26 states are certain or likely to protect the unborn with either currently unenforceable laws that will go into effect in the event that Roe is overturned or by passing similar legislation once it is overturned.

Overturning Roe will make it possible for states to pass laws protecting unborn life without the threat of a Supreme Court challenge or being forced to incorporate the private enforcement mechanisms utilized by Texas and now Idaho. This means the state could enforce their life-protecting laws and provide an even more thorough defense for the unborn.

The Idaho bill follows the unique enforcement mechanism of the Texas law with one clear difference. While the Texas law allows any citizen to bring legal action against anyone who carried out an abortion in Texas, the Idaho law allows only the woman on whom the abortion is being carried out, as well as the father, sibling, grandparent, aunt, or uncle of an unborn child, to bring legal action against the abortionist who kills their unborn relative. The bill makes a specific exception that if a child is conceived in rape, the rapist forfeits the fatherly legal right to sue the abortionist. The empowerment of the unborn child’s family to seek justice is especially poignant when considering the helplessness and grief that many family members feel when a loved one undergoes an abortion. Providing a pathway to legal justice for families is beneficial in more ways than one.

Idaho’s victory for the unborn follows Texas’ most recent triumph over legal disputes against its Heartbeat Act. Last week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the law against the abortion industry’s latest challenge, ensuring that abortion groups cannot sue to end the law because it relies on private citizens rather than state agents for its enforcement.

SB 1309 now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Brad Little for his signature. This bill actually amends an existing heartbeat protection law that the governor signed last April. That law nearly went into effect last year after successful court rulings on the Texas Heartbeat Act. However, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the Texas law and the addition of some necessary language, this new Idaho bill is poised to go into effect 30 days after the governor’s signature.

Idaho also has a law that would protect unborn life from conception set to supersede this heartbeat law and go into effect whenever Roe v. Wade is overturned. As the nation awaits the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, the potential to return abortion legislation jurisdiction to the states could be within reach. Passing this heartbeat protection shows that the people of Idaho want to protect unborn life now and are looking forward to the day when they can finally protect unborn life from conception.

Idaho, nicknamed the “Gem State” for its abundance of mineral resources, has taken an enormous step toward protecting its most precious natural resource: children. Texas and Idaho have demonstrated their commitment to saving the unborn from abortion to the greatest extent possible under the existing framework of Roe. Will the other 12 states with existing heartbeat protection laws that are not currently enforceable follow suit?

For more information about state abortion laws, see: frc.org/prolifemaps

Minority Neighborhoods Need Maternity Wards, Not Crack Pipes

by Joy Zavalick

February 16, 2022

The Biden administration has authorized a new $30 million grant program directing federal funds to purchase “harm reduction” supplies for drug users. It specifically targets minorities, or “underserved communities” like minority neighborhoods. Biden has defended the program by challenging rumors that the “safe smoking kits” funded by the program will contain crack pipes, although other safe smoking programs across the country have indeed distributed smoking pipes. Regardless, the question remains as to why passing out needles and smoking kits to addicts is thought to be meeting the greatest needs of minority communities.

The Biden administration seems to have missed the even deeper needs of underserved minority communities: access to grocery stores, pharmacies, and perhaps most importantly, birth wards and quality medical care. Given that February is Black History Month, there seems to be no better time than the present to consider the disproportionate lack of resources that underserved minority communities face.

Take the nation’s capital, for example. Washington, D.C.’s local government is separated into eight wards roughly equivalent in population size. Although ward boundaries are largely determined by geography, the unfortunate reality is that the wards divide the city’s population by race and socioeconomic status.

The combined population of Wards 7 and 8, which are separated from the rest of the city by the Anacostia River, is over 160,000 people, 90 percent of whom are black. Despite having population sizes roughly equivalent to the other wards, Wards 7 and 8 have a combined total of only three grocery stores. In contrast, the other six wards have a combined total of 71 (an average of 11.8 per ward). Ward 8 has only seven pharmacies to service its 80,517 residents.

There is only one hospital that services Wards 7 and 8—United Medical Center, a poorly-rated hospital that is planning to cease operating entirely by 2023. Notably, there is no hospital with a birth ward east of the Anacostia River, meaning that mothers in Wards 7 and 8 must travel across the river in order to deliver their children. This fact is especially concerning considering that Ward 8 has the highest birth rate in the city. The mortality rate for black mothers in D.C. is 71 per 100,000 live births—50 points higher than the national average of 20.1, which is already the highest rate for any developed country.

A solution to the disproportionately high black maternal mortality rate should include expanded access to the medical care that mothers and babies need to thrive. However, the abortion industry insists that the solution that will empower the black community is advancing abortion, which only ends unborn black babies’ lives. In a recent commentary on Black History Month, Planned Parenthood stated, “When restrictions are placed on birth control and family planning, Black communities bear a disproportionate burden.” For Planned Parenthood, abortion constitutes family planning.

In reality, the black population has the disproportionate burden of being targeted for abortions. Almost 80 percent of surgical abortion facilities are within walking distance of minority neighborhoods. In 2019, black babies represented 38 percent of total U.S. abortions, even though black Americans only comprise 14 percent of the U.S. population. A New York City Health Department report found that between 2012 and 2016, there were 18,299 more black babies aborted than black babies born in the city. Abortion does not empower the black population—rather, it is slowly shrinking it.

The Biden administration’s funding of “safe smoking kits” represents another failure to meet underprivileged communities in their blatantly obvious areas of deepest need. Minority communities need grocery stores, pharmacies, and real health care—not smoking kits, syringes, and abortionists waiting to kill their children.

As the United States celebrates Black History Month, the nation should pause to reflect on the current state of the union for under-resourced minority communities. Despite the immense progress made in the past century, there remain areas in which the black community is neglected or continuously targeted for harm. Initiatives like “harm reduction” programs for drug users and blocking protections for the unborn are red herrings that distract attention from the disparities in resources needed to promote human flourishing.

Biden Willfully Ignores America’s Pro-Life Heartbeat

by Joy Zavalick

February 7, 2022

On the 49th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, President Joe Biden once again kowtowed to the abortion lobby by announcing a new task force on “Reproductive Healthcare Access.” This move was accompanied by a grant of $6.6 million to abortion businesses in seven states—with a total of $1,408,536 concentrated in Texas. Biden’s insistence on attacking the vulnerable in a state that has democratically chosen to protect unborn lives past detection of a fetal heartbeat is further evidence of what has always been true: Biden is incredibly out of touch with Americans’ pro-life values. Thankfully, faithful pro-life legislators are refusing to back down from protecting the unborn citizens of their states.

The pro-life movement is hoping 2022 will be the year the U.S. Supreme Court finally overturns Roe v. Wade. The focal point of this optimism is the Court’s upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case concerning whether Mississippi’s law protecting unborn children after 15 weeks gestation is constitutional. If the Court sides with the state of Mississippi, that could spell the end of the current legal precedent set by Roe and its companion case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which prevent pre-viability protections for the unborn.

Although the Dobbs case could bring a massive pro-life triumph if the Court sides with Mississippi, it is important not to lose sight of the many smaller-scale pro-life victories also happening in the states.

One of these victories recently took place in Lubbock, Texas. In May 2021, the citizens of Lubbock voted in favor of making their city a sanctuary for the unborn, with 62 percent supporting the lifesaving measure. Planned Parenthood initially attempted to block the city ordinance. But on January 21, it dropped its appeal, marking the first time since Roe that a law completely protecting the unborn beginning at conception survived a court challenge. This could prove to be a prophetic moment in the year the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn Roe. Either way, it is proof of Texans’ dedication to protecting the lives of the unborn.

In another Lonestar state victory, the Texas Heartbeat Bill, which protects the unborn after the detection of a fetal heartbeat (typically around 3 to 4 weeks after fertilization), has once again survived a legal challenge thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court rejected a request to send the bill to a federal district court and instead returned it to a state-level court. The bill credits its survival to its unprecedented enforcement mechanism that allows private citizens to bring suits against abortionists or their accomplices. Since going into effect in September, the bill has protected an estimated 4,500 babies each month, resulting in over 15,000 Texan babies saved today.

The Texas Heartbeat Bill has inspired legislation around the country as states seek similar protections for their unborn citizens. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced two pro-life bills last Friday during the March for Life. One of the bills protects life after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, employing the same unique enforcement system as Texas. The other bill requires a physician to examine a woman in person before dispensing chemical abortion pills. This would add a level of protection for women from some of the abortion pill regimen’s serious health risks that are only increased by mail order or telemedicine prescribed pills. This bill would turn Noem’s existing executive order into law.

Another heartbeat protection was introduced in Arizona in January, and a Georgia bill to require in-person examinations prior to chemical abortions was introduced last Tuesday. In Nebraska, pro-life senators outdid the heartbeat bill they introduced earlier this year with a new bill that protects life from conception and only makes exceptions for medical emergencies. This influx of state-level legislation to protect life is essential, as an overturn of Roe would likely give states the opportunity to decide the level of protection they will offer the unborn. 

Although the overturning of Roe and Casey is the preeminent goal of the pro-life movement this year, advocates’ hopes for change do not rest in Dobbs alone but also in the smaller-scale victories. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (NIV). The pro-life movement is unwavering in its pursuit of justice for the most vulnerable humans. Regardless of the outcome in Dobbs, pro-lifers will find their motivation in the overarching goal of protecting defenseless babies.

In his speech at the March for Life, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who is the House Pro-Life Caucus Chair, encouraged the crowd of thousands when he said, “The injustice of abortion need not be forever.” Congressman Smith is correct in his hopes—the abortion industry is living on borrowed time so long as faithful pro-life advocates continue to persevere in efforts large and small. Despite his best efforts, President Biden cannot shake the pro-life heartbeat of the United States.

D.C. Sirens Remind Us That Every Abortion Has at Least Two Victims

by Mary Szoch , Joy Zavalick

January 28, 2022

On January 27, sirens on 4th Street Northeast in Washington, D.C., announced an ambulance’s arrival at the Carol Whitehill Moses Center, the city’s Planned Parenthood. According to witnesses, a woman who appeared to be in pain was escorted out of the abortion facility and into the ambulance as a second emergency vehicle arrived as backup.

The Carol Whitehill Moses Center’s website states that they offer chemical abortions, as well as surgical abortions “up to 19 weeks and 6 days after the start of your last menstrual period.” One pro-life witness to the scene explained that Thursdays are the days when women further along in their pregnancies—between 12 and 20 weeks—are scheduled for abortions. At abortion businesses, the arrival of an ambulance is tragically more common than the industry would have women believe.

Planned Parenthood is not the only abortion facility in the D.C. area carrying out abortions after the first trimester. In fact, D.C. and Maryland offer no protections for the unborn, with both jurisdictions allowing children in the womb to be killed throughout the entirety of pregnancy. Anyone who cares about women should be troubled by the fact that several of the people carrying out abortions in the D.C. metro area have had malpractice lawsuits brought against them.

LeRoy Carhart, an abortionist who is infamous for carrying out extremely dangerous late-term abortions, has sent more than 10 women to the hospital over the course of his career, including one teenage girl and two women who ultimately died. Carhart has been sued by multiple women asserting that his abortion procedures caused them serious injury and left them permanently sterile.

Despite the numerous charges against Carhart, the supposed advocate for women has happily continued carrying out his signature late-term abortions. In a 2019 BBC Panorama documentary with Hilary Andersson, when he was asked, “And you don’t have a problem with killing a baby?” Carhart responded, “Absolutely not. I have no problem if it’s in the mother’s uterus.”

Currently, Carhart is facing two malpractice lawsuits. The first is from a woman who suffered a perforated uterus and torn-open bowel as the result of a late-term abortion carried out by abortionist Elizabeth Swallow at Carhart’s business. The second is from a woman who suffered a perforated uterus, massive hemorrhaging, trauma to her appendix, and an incomplete abortion that left most of her partially-beheaded baby inside.  

Another D.C. late-term abortionist, Caesar Santangelo, operates his business just blocks from the White House. In 2018, a medical malpractice/wrongful death lawsuit was filed against him by the family of a woman who received a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure at his business to remove her naturally-miscarried child. Santangelo, who had no hospital admitting privileges at the time, failed to call an ambulance for 13 minutes after the woman’s oxygen levels fell, and she turned blue. Sadly, once at the hospital, the woman was declared dead. An autopsy revealed that Santangelo botched the procedure, leaving her with a perforated or lacerated uterus and pieces of her preborn baby in her bloodstream and lungs. 

Abortion advocates often claim that more women will die by dangerous “coat hanger” procedures if Roe v. Wade is overturned. However, women must be reminded that even legal abortions are not safe procedures—they carry great risks and are often carried out by con artists who prove daily that they can get away with murder. One D.C. witness to yesterday’s tragedy observed that, fortunately, two women who were entering Planned Parenthood left the facility after seeing the ambulances.

It is important to note that abortions are not only dangerous when they impact the women who misguidedly choose them; every “successful” abortion ends in the death of a precious child. Every human life possesses inherent dignity and worth—whether it is a baby girl who was just conceived or a woman sitting in the waiting room of an abortion facility. Abortion is undeniably evil even when mothers emerge physically unscathed.

Incidents like the emergency at D.C.’s Planned Parenthood are not new phenomena. Abortionists are aware of the danger that they pose to women, and many shamelessly continue to practice even after maiming mothers. If women will not reject abortion to protect their babies, then they should at least consider the danger that they themselves face before placing their own lives in the hands of killers.

Equality Ends at the Door of an Abortion Facility

by Joy Zavalick

January 21, 2022

The theme of the 2022 March for Life is “Equality begins in the womb.” The abortion industry has caused great detriment to the goal of equality in the United States. It is an affront to the inherent human dignity of children in the womb, and it distances their mothers and communities from the dignity they deserve.

Pro-life state administrations such as Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s understand that equality begins in the womb; Youngkin has expanded the role of his chief diversity, opportunity, and inclusion officer to incorporate serving as an ambassador for the unborn. As Louisiana State Senator Katrina Jackson has also vocalized, “It’s racist to fund abortions.” When discussing the desires of her 60 percent African American constituency, Jackson says, “I’ve never been in a group of African Americans who’ve asked me to fund abortion.”

When leaders like Youngkin and Jackson speak up for the unborn, they are representing children that are majority non-white, economically disadvantaged, or prenatally diagnosed. As they do so, the abortion lobby is making it clearer than ever that disadvantaged populations are of no importance to them except for profit. After all, minority and impoverished communities are their target demographic.

In 2019, non-Hispanic black mothers obtained abortions 3.6 times more than non-Hispanic white mothers, causing black babies to account for 38.4 percent of those aborted, despite only representing 14 percent of the national population in the same year. According to a letter to Planned Parenthood signed by over 100 black leaders, in cities such as New York, more black children are aborted every year than are born alive.

Why is the abortion rate for black babies so disproportionately high? Could it be because 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of minority neighborhoods?

The eugenic foundations of the abortion industry are no secret. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, famously espoused birth control as a means of eliminating those who she saw as unfit for life. In Sanger’s article “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” part of the February 1919 edition of The Birth Control Review, she bemoaned that even sterilizing those who were “unfit” was not a sufficient solution: “These measures do not touch those great masses, who through economic pressure populate the slums and there produce in their helplessness other helpless, diseased and incompetent masses, who overwhelm all that eugenics can do among those whose economic condition is better.”

Despite Sanger’s blatant racism and discriminatory tendencies, her memory and life’s work have not been universally repudiated. The extent of Planned Parenthood’s national efforts to distance themselves from Sanger’s legacy are limited to subtle gestures, such as ceasing to present the Margaret Sanger Award since 2015 (although the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s website still calls the award their “highest honor”). Though rioters have toppled statues of America’s Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, Margaret Sanger’s bust is still on display in the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Those born with disabilities have also been a central target of the abortion industry. The New York Times recently reported that prenatal tests screening for rare disorders are wrong 85 percent of the time. Because of these tests and the eugenic mindset that has crept into American culture alongside the abortion industry, 63 percent of babies diagnosed with spina bifida and between 65 and 95 percent of babies diagnosed with cystic fibrosis are aborted. The message for Americans living with such conditions is loud and clear: if Planned Parenthood had their way, their lives would have been extinguished before they saw the light of day.

The abortion industry prioritizes its bottom line over protecting vulnerable women. Rather than championing requirements for women seeking abortion to visit a facility in person in order to be evaluated by someone who can recognize signs of sex trafficking and domestic violence, the abortion industry has instead advocated for the elimination of in-person dispensing requirements for the chemical abortion regimen in order to make abortion cheaper to provide. It thereby enables abusers to continue their exploitation without fear of discovery.

The abortion industry is a consistent source of inequality for both the unborn population and their mothers. As this year’s March for Life champions the equality of all human life, beginning in the womb, let us ceaselessly pray for an end to abortion and all forms of violence that insult the imago Dei.

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