Tag Archives: prolife

Powerful Gubernatorial Ads to Hit South Texas

In anticipation of the November elections, Texas Right to Life will again launch 60-second English and Spanish language radio ads on south Texas secular and Christian stations, educating listeners about Wendy Davis’ extreme stance on abortion.

Wendy Davis filibustered for abortion on the Senate floor last summer for 11 hours.  The provisions Davis fought included ensuring abortion doctors have access to emergency services should complications or malpractice arise (hospital admitting privileges), requiring the facilities that allow abortion to be adequately prepared in cases of emergencies (ambulatory surgical center upgrades), and stopping most abortions after five months into pregnancy, the point a preborn child can feel pain.

The recent revelations of Davis’ abortion history distort the message of what Davis championed in the Texas Capitol.  Davis’ stance includes not only the so-called “hard cases,” but elective abortion, on-demand, through all nine months of pregnancy. The right to kill is what she advocated as a state senator.

Texas Right to Life’s ads will ensure that listeners are aware of Wendy Davis’ commitment to the abortion agenda–a position contrary to the typically religious views of the citizens of the Valley.  “Politicians and elected officials can no longer enjoy the luxury that their words and deeds in the Capitol stay in the Capitol.  Concerned citizens across the state should know which public officials are working against their values.  We are confident that our truth campaign on Davis’ uncompromising advancement of abortion will be well-received and of grave concern to listeners,” said Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life.

During their original airing, the Texas Right to Life ads proved significant in the Democratic primary.  We are proud of our ads, recorded by a dedicated Spanish-speaking Pro-Lifer who is gravely concerned about the effect Wendy Davis will have on the respect for all Life – those in the womb, the disabled, the sick, and the elderly.

A person who espouses a worldview that the value of one human life is dependent on another’s view cannot be entrusted with protecting the lives of all Texans.

Wendy Davis cannot become our next Governor.

Republished with permission from Texas Right to Life, written by yours truly. 

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This is not the end: One student-mom’s story on her unplanned pregnancy

Nia is a 21-year old Interior Design major at Stephen F. Austin Statue University (SFA) in Nacogdoches, Texas.  Nia is also expecting her first child in July.

Each year, the members of Lumberjacks for Life, SFA’s student-led pro-life group, raise money for awarding scholarships to pregnant and parenting SFA students.  Any parent below the age of 35, enrolled as an undergraduate, and who has primary custody of their child(ren) are eligible to apply.  The good pro-life folks in Nacogdoches attend BBQ fundraisers and donate money to help Lumberjacks for Life provide at least two $500 scholarships annually. I was asked to review this spring semester’s applicants, and after reading through many stories of struggle, faith, and love, I asked one of LFL’s finalists, Nia, if she would mind me re-printing the answers she gave to some of the essay questions.  She agreed. I hope her story will convict my readers’ hearts to find a pregnancy support group for parents who are choosing to finish their undergraduate degree and help them with your time, finances, and prayers.  If you need to locate one, I of course have a few to suggest!

Nia’s story: After the disbelief wore off and I accepted the fact I was really pregnant, I knew in my heart I had to take responsibility for what I took part in creating. I have had many adversities in my life in the past, such as my hearing disability, which I honestly do not consider much of a disability anymore. Still, sometimes as a student I do have to accept my “disability” and make adjustments accordingly. I admit school is not easy for me, but as a junior here at Stephen F. Austin State University, I can tell you that I have never quit and have made it this far. I use my code of ethics for school as merely an example of my personality and will to overcome no matter the circumstance. As a little girl and even as a young woman, I always dreamed of being happily married with a bunch of little ones running around. I never imagined in all my life that I would be pregnant at 21 years old and unmarried. Such a situation, in the beginning, was extremely hard for me to accept. Ultimately, I had disappointed myself but the “can’t quit” part of me forced the realization that this was not the end. Instead it was just a hurdle that I would overcome, like so many others. The ultimate reason I chose life for my baby was because even though I did not plan to be a mother at 21 years old and unmarried, I could not deny a child I created LIFE no matter how difficult things are and may be in the future.

 

Nia’s advice to a friend in an unplanned pregnancy:  I have found with many young women whom I have encountered that having an abortion emotionally damaged them for life, so take that into serious consideration. There are so many programs that are willing to help mothers and their children you just have to find them, which isn’t very difficult. Often times there are also local support groups willing to help struggling moms. If raising a child is something you feel you cannot do regardless of how much help and support you receive, consider adoption. There are plenty of couples/people who cannot have children and that would love the opportunity to give your child a home and be a parent to them. My third piece of advice would be to look around at others who have had children unplanned and were still successful. Accept that things will not be easy but realize with some determination, you can succeed and be a great parent. The most important thing to realize and remember is that this is not the end of the road.

 

Words from someone who has been there.

 

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Women, Divorce, and IVF: What happens?

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Imagine this scenario: Embryos are created and stored for in vitro fertilization (IVF), but the couple divorces before all or some are used by the wife. With the IVF process becoming a more prevalent choice for couples facing infertility issues, together with our society’s divorce rate, such a situation is increasingly occurring. What do you need to know?

As is often the case, the law has not caught up with science. Only a handful of state legislatures have statutorily addressed pieces of these moral and highly-emotional situations.  In states with no legislative guidance, courts have typically adopted one of three approaches: the contractual approach, the balancing test, and the contemporaneous consent model.

The current – and only- leading case in Texas comes from the First Court of Appeals between ex-spouses Augusta and Randy Roman.  The Romans began the IVF process, creating three embryos deemed healthy enough to freeze until implantation. The Romans signed an agreement with the clinic that provided the embryos would be destroyed in the event of a divorce. The agreement further granted each spouse the ability to withdraw their consent “to the disposition of the embryos and to discontinue their participation in the program.” On the day before Augusta’s scheduled implantation, Randy withdrew his consent. Eight months later, Randy filed for divorce.

When Randy filed for divorce, Augusta had not had any of the embryos implanted yet. Randy asked the trial court to honor the agreement with the clinic.  Augusta argued that at the time of signing, she believed the agreement to cover only embryos that were left-over after she had already had one or two implanted. Further, Augusta argued that, consistent with Texas law, she would not hold Randy to any legal parental obligations should she give birth from the embryos.

As this was a case of first impression in Texas, both parties pointed to other states to support their arguments. The trial court treated the embryos as community property, awarding them to Augusta as a “fair and equitable division” of the Romans’ community estate. On appeal, after surveying the sparse law from other jurisdictions, the Houston court of appeals decided to adopt the contractual approach: the embryos would be dealt with according to the parties’ agreement with the storage facility. The Houston court found the Texas’ public policy would support enforcement of a prior agreement.  As a result, Augusta went through a lengthy, painful process, ultimately losing the chance to become pregnant. The Supreme Court of Texas denied Augusta’s petition to hear her case, signaling an end to her legal options.

Harsh. Can decisions of this magnitude be adequately addressed on the front-end? Is there a view that needs to be espoused by the pro-life community? Does the need for clear legal resolution mandate adherence to the contractual approach?  Or is there a better way?   More to come on this topic!

Case cite: Roman v. Roman 193 S.W.3d 40 (Tex. App. -1st 2006), pet. denied (2006).

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Beyond Birth…Waco’s Care Net to provide transitional housing for expectant moms.

What’s going on in the Waco pro-life community is exciting, and truly a blessing.  We’ve seen  the circumstances that make expectant moms feel as if they are backed into a corner, that the one choice she really does not want to make is her only choice.  Due to the grace of God moving through the Central Texas community, Care Net’s Board of Directors and their generous donors are seeking to change those circumstances, truly helping families break out of the chains of poverty and confidently welcome their children into this world.

For over 30 years, Care Net of Central Texas has been on the front lines of protecting life in the Waco area.   Ran by Deborah McGregor, a pro-life attorney turned pregnancy resource director, Care Net offers free pregnancy tests, sonograms, and tangible resources for expectant parents in the form of diapers, maternity clothes, and other baby supplies.   But this year, Care Net is embarking on a capital campaign to go further by building a Pregnancy Support Center and Guesthouse.

This 10,000 square foot facility in Waco will consist of a dining room, a family room, full-service kitchen, laundry room, a mom and baby store, a playground, classroom, nursery, and eight guestroom suites.  These eight suites will provide ample room for eight women and their children per night who are in transition and find themselves without a home.   The center will also contain a manager suite, which will allow around-the-clock employees to be available for the women and children who are staying at the center.

The total cost of the project is $2.4 million. To date, Care Net has raised $1.3 million.  Once Care Net reaches the $1.9 million mark, the project will be the recipient of a $250,000 grant, which will reach the end of costs for the Center.  A further $200,000 will be needed to fund a maintenance endowment.

Scott Salmans, Waco resident and Care Net’s capital campaign chair, had this to say about the project: “This is not a government program.  It is community as it should be: The Body of Christ stepping up to meet the needs of those in crisis in a loving and nurturing way.”  I couldn’t agree more.

 To make a financial donation to the Center or for more information, please contact Deborah McGregor at Deborah@carenetofcentraltexas.org .

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What do Pro-Life People Actually “Do?”

…and we’re back.  A certain slate of classes at our beloved Baylor Law, commonly referred to as Practice Court, has quite literally eaten up my existence these past 10-12 weeks.  Finals are over, sleep is more, and I once again have the chance to write!

In response to a previous post about scholarships for pregnant and parenting students, an educated, “abortion-access-is-a-right” acquaintance of mine privately expressed her approval of such scholarships. The acquaintance commented, “Now, THAT’S more of what we need.” While confident the comment was a good-faith attempt at building discourse, her comment nonetheless disappointed me.  Why? Because it made me realize she really has no idea what the Texas pro-life community is all about.  

Pro-life people are DAILY helping women and families across the country overcome the practical implications surrounding an unplanned pregnancy.  They just help quietly.

There’s a constant tug of war, both on individual and aggregate levels, between humility and the desire to combat the myths of what a normal “pro-life” person actually does.  A good segment of the pro-life community engages in helping families in need as a reflection of Christ’s love. We help others because that is how we are called to live out our faith, and we are instructed to be humble while doing it. Undoubtedly, this humility aspect impacts the level of information generated on the multitude of loving works precipitated by pro-life Americans.

And of course, a major factor in lack of coverage is that mainstream media isn’t going to actually report anything awesome coming from a group identified as “pro-life.”

But here, in my little corner of the world, I’M going to start talking all about the amazing things pro-lifers whom I know are doing within their own communities. I know I’ve got a few Facebook friends and Twitter followers who disagree with me, so maybe this ongoing project will bear some fruit 😉

Such remarkable outpourings of pure love are directly attributable to people who diligently give to strangers.  The pro-life lawyers and doctors who give financially to scholarships at A&M and SFA.  The retired teachers who sacrifice to give to young families.  The businesses run by pro-life people who donate plates and napkins, cokes and bread for scholarship fundraisers.  It’s the college students who give of their time to organize 5ks and BBQ dinners to raise money. The college students who hold community baby showers outside Walmart. The ladies who pick up a package of diapers every time they go to the grocery store, so that new mom who calls the local pregnancy resource center can get the supplies she needs.  The many, many (x1000) families who adopt.  The many families who open their homes to a pregnant teenager in their community.  I once met an elderly woman in East Texas who still crocheted tons of blankets each year just to give to expecting moms.

That’s love, folks.  

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Highlights from Texas’ #HB2 Bill Signing

Even with law school finals on the horizon, when your boss texts and invites you to come to the signing of one of the most historic pro-LIFE pieces of legislation in the nation, you say yes. I knew the day would be the celebratory culmination of many legislative sessions, two of which I have been privileged to be a part of.  The day started with a breakfast for about fifty hosted in Governor Perry’s Appointment office, and then our group assembled into the Capitol auditorium for the bill signing.  Emily Horne and I sat in front of some reporters and got to chat with them while waiting for the ceremony to begin. Cheers were loud when Governor Perry walked in and immediately gave a warm embrace to Senator Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville), the one Senate Democrat who voted for House Bill 2.  We can all admire Senator Lucio for standing up for what is in his heart, no matter who is against him. Offering remarks during the signing ceremony were Senator Hegar (Senate sponsor of HB 2), Representative Laubenberg (House author of HB 2), Governor Perry, and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst.  A few of the day’s more memorable quotes are posted below.

After HB 2 was officially signed into law and all the photo-ops were taken, we headed over to lunch at Ruth’s Chris.  Sponsored by Texas Right to Life along with a generous pro-life friend, our legislative team enjoyed visiting with almost seventy House and Senate members, Concerned Women for America, Carol Everett of the Heidi Group, and other pro-life advocacy groups. At my table, seated with five House members and one Senator, I enjoyed listening to the officials discuss the likely impact redistricting will have on their districts, their primary opponents, and speculation on those seeking higher office.  For the second time that day, Senator Hegar managed to make me tear up with his humble words regarding the important work he and his colleagues undertook.  I was honored to be a part of this day and have been blessed to watch this legislation come together by such committed co-workers, legislators, and their staff, all of whom helped make Texas safer for women and preborn babies.

Sen. Hegar: “The power of prayer was immense that day {of the Senate debate and vote}.”

Rep. Laubenberg: “Governor Perry, your legacy in Texas will be one of economic growth but your legacy in eternity will be a defender of life.”

Governor Perry to legislators: “Folks, I want you to go home.  As long as you get that transportation funding bill on my desk.”

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst: “For those of you chanting outside, we respect your First Amendment.  And we love you.  Just like we love the preborn.”

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#stand4life: 5 Interesting Facts re: HB 2/SB 1

This morning, the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services begins [again] debating Senate Bill 1/House Bill 2 (formerly #sb5).  The full House is expected to vote on the measure sometime on Tuesday.  Here are a few quick facts relevant to discussions seen online and at the Capitol:

  1. Without being currently tied up in litigation, at least 21 states require abortion doctors or abortion facilities to have some sort of connection to a local hospital, be it a similar “30-mile” rule, a transfer agreement, or credentials linked to another physician who does have admitting privileges.  (Source: Guttmacher Institute and my legal research)
  2. 28 states require abortion clinics to meet standards akin to ambulatory surgical centers. (Source: Guttmacher Institute)
  3. Repeatedly, the largest age group obtaining abortions in Texas are women 20-24 years old. (Source: DSHS Vital Statistics)
  4.  In 2011, 96 reported Liberty County residents obtained abortions; 98 reported Nacogdoches County residents obtained abortions.  By contrast, Harris County reported 17,633 abortions obtained by their residents. The state’s reporting requirements do not breakdown the length of pregnancy by county, therefore we do not know how many of the 96/98/17,633 numbers were at 20 weeks or more.    (Source: DSHS Vital Statistics)
  5. 57% of Texans claim to support the “fetal pain” ban at 20 weeks of pregnancy.  62% support a ban based on the argument that preborn babies at 20 weeks can feel pain. (Source: University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll)

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