In a move unsupported by his party, Governor Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law SB 1564 that enacts changes to Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act. Originally introduced in the summer of 2015, the legislation affects the right of conscience of pro-life medical providers. The law goes into effect January 1, 2017. The law has already been challenged. Alliance Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit in state court on the behalf of pro-life medical professionals claiming that the new law violates state law and the state constitution. CareNet is confident that SB 1564 will be overturned and the rights of pro-life medical professionals protected. CareNet will continue to serve our community by providing truth and real alternatives to vulnerable women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
In view of the recent Supreme Court ruling declaring parts of a Texas abortion law unconstitutional, some comedians twittered the support for the decision. The Daily Show twittered: “Celebrate the #SCOTUS ruling! Go knock someone up in Texas!” The negative response from their audience caused them to tweet a clarification “Friends, we’re certainly not promoting abortions. Just excited about #SCOTUS reaffirming right to choose. Tina Nguyen posted a tweet she had received.
Hope you are well. NARAL Pro Choice America will debut a new video, Comedians In Cars Getting Abortions (a parody on Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee) on Wednesday, June 29th. The irreverent and lighthearted . . . . .”
Tina responded, “Listen, I’m all for videos advocating for political causes, but this is . . . . um.”
A woman coming to CareNet facing an abortion decision knows that abortion is no laughing matter. Her decision will dramatically change her life. If she chooses to carry the pregnancy, she will most likely become a single mom. If she chooses abortion, she may have to deal with the guilt and grief that accompany the loss of a child. CareNet has been working on the front lines of the fight to save women and children from abortion for 35 years. Thousands of babies have been saved; celebrated birthdays, grown up and some of these babies are now even having their own children. Everyday at CareNet when a baby is saved, the future is dramatically altered. What a blessing to be part of these futures filled with hope and blessing.
The majority of justices in the Texas case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, argued that this law placed an “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion, as defined by a 1992 Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Justice Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion in the recent Texas case pointing out the court’s tendency to bend over backwards to accommodate abortion. Some highlights:
“The majority applies the undue-burden standard in a way that will surely mystify lower courts for years to come.”
“By second guessing medical evidence and making its own assessments of ‘quality of care’ issues . . . the majority reappoints this Court as the country’s ex officio medical board with powers to disapprove medical and operative practices and standards throughout the United States.”
“The Court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitutional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution.”
“The majority’s embrace of a jurisprudence of rights-specific exceptions and balancing tests is . . . an acknowledgement that we have passed the point where ‘law,’ properly speaking, has any further application.”
The so called “right to abortion” now trumps the safety of women. Well said Justice Thomas.
On June 27th by a 5-3 margin, the Supreme Court invalidated two provisions of Texas H.B.2, which mandates that abortionists have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and operate in offices that more readily allow emergency personnel to rescue women injured by abortions. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council notes that “In 2011, 26,500 women experienced abortion-related complications and close to 3,200 women required post-abortion hospitalization. Mandating basic and necessary health and safety standards such as trained staff, . . . sanitation and safety codes should be beyond the politics of abortion.” Some leaders wondered why abortionists in Texas had chosen to close their facilities rather than meet health standards intended to protect women. Carol Tobias, President of NRTL stated, “How shabby are these abortion clinics that they cannot meet the minimum standards other outpatient surgical centers are required to meet, and just how bad are these abortionists that they can’t get admitting privileges at a local hospital?” Left intact from the legislation is the provision that prohibits abortions that take place at 20 weeks or later, a provision based on evidence that demonstrates the baby can feel pain at that stage. This provision was not included by the abortion providers when they filed a lawsuit challenging the Texas law. As it has been for 35 years, CareNet will remain on the forefront of the fight for the safety of both mother and child. Abortion is a tragedy that takes the life of a child and wounds a mother. Politics has no place in such an arena. The battle will continue to be won in the counseling rooms at CareNet, one life at a time.
Courtney Baker is the mother of a 15 month old Downs Syndrome child, Emersyn Faith. The prenatal diagnosis of Downs Syndrome was shattering to her and her husband. But even worse was the lack of support by her doctor. She recently told her pregnancy story to ABC News. Courtney wrote:
“I came to you during the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you. But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we terminate our child. I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down Syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy.”
Courtney’s story demonstrates how vulnerable women in difficult pregnancies are to the influence of others. In her case it was her doctor. The women who come to CareNet many times have husbands, boyfriends, friends, or family who are pressuring them to abort their child. These women need the love and support given them by CareNet counselors so they can determine their own feelings about their pregnancy. With compassionate care and needed resources, many women will decide to carry their pregnancy. CareNet has been protecting vulnerable women for 35 years, rescuing children and saving moms. Thanks for helping us do that.
For almost 35 years CareNet has brought hope to the vulnerable pregnant women in our community that need help. Throughout the years new programs have been developed to meet the needs of women. Ultrasound is one of them. Ultrasound technology has been around for many years and it continues to reveal more and more of the development of the unborn child. CareNet began its ultrasound program in 2002 through one machine located at one office with volunteer doctors managing the program. Today it has grown with the addition of more ultrasound machines at all of CareNet’s locations and a full time nurse manager that oversees the program. Ultrasound is very effective with a majority of women who are in danger of choosing abortion, choosing life when seeing an ultrasound. For the most vulnerable of CareNet’s clients, an ultrasound is the best way CareNet counselors can begin a conversation that will change her heart and save the life of her baby. As ultrasound technology continues to advance, revealing the details of human development at a very young age, more lives will be saved.
Scientists have captured the exact moment a human sperm meets a human egg on film and found out that the union of the two (conception) produces a blast of white light. The light is created by the release of calcium that occurs when the sperm enters the egg and that deposit causes an expulsion of zinc that gives off a fluorescent light. Although scientists had seen this phenomenon several years ago in a mouse, this is the first time it has been recorded in humans. Scientists are hopeful that this new discovery will help them determine the success of in-vitro fertilization procedures as the light is strongest in viable embryos. This exciting finding underscores what the pro-life movement and scientists have said for years-life starts at conception. Technology continues to wipe away the shrouds that surround the early development of human life revealing the truth and hope that CareNet continues to bring to vulnerable pregnant women . . . we are here to help you and your baby.
Abortion not only takes the life of an innocent child, but wounds a mom who thought she was making the best decision she could at the time of her unplanned pregnancy. “I thought I was going to be okay, but I wasn’t. It was very hard, not only that but I am also very religious and I felt like I betrayed God. I also couldn’t forgive myself although I knew God had already forgiven me.” These are the words of one young woman who participated in CareNet’s Restore program. Restore healing groups are led by specially trained women, some of whom have an abortion in their past. After completing the Bible study, the young woman stated, “I feel Restore is a great program. It goes into depth about all the issues that I went through and needed to go through. It took awhile, but I believe in my heart that I forgive myself.” What a blessing to be part of this woman’s healing.
In the mid 1980s, Dr. Jack Wilkie, then head of National Right to Life met with a young woman named Mary Jo Mann. Mary Jo was in the process of forming an organization named WEBA (Woman Exploited by Abortion). Before this time, little was known about post abortion syndrome. It was thought that women would welcome abortion as an easy solution to the difficult problem of an unplanned pregnancy. But women who had aborted began to experience symptoms of unresolved grief; nightmares, uncontrollable weeping, substance abuse. It became apparent that there were two victims of abortion; an unborn baby and its mother. Through the years more victims arose; grandparents, fathers, friends, and siblings. In response CareNet began its Restore program to help women and men heal following an abortion experience. Throughout the years, hundreds of women and men have found healing through a Bible study that focuses on the nature of God and forgiveness. And, many have come to faith by encountering Jesus the Healer.
CareNet’s archives are filled with stories of dramatic changes of heart. I think of a young woman who was determined to get a late term abortion, but instead of keeping the appointment decided instead to get another ultrasound at CareNet. At this ultrasound she saw her unborn son; arms, legs, head completely developed. Her heart changed and this year on Facebook she posted how grateful she was that her son had made her a mother. Or another young woman I know who instead of keeping her abortion appointment decided to tell her parents about the pregnancy. They loved and supported her. Her heart was changed and today her little girl plays with the daughter of a CareNet counselor. Changing hearts and saving lives. That’s what CareNet does everyday in its counseling rooms. Making birthdays happen for 35 years.