An Adoption Expert Offers Practical Advice to Avoid Pitfalls and Dispel Fears

Being Pro Adoption Without Being Scammed

Adoption is an idea that rests in the heart of many couples, but fails to come to fruition for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes fear holds them back. Hearing stories of fraud causes them to avoid taking those first steps.

Recent news articles have told the stories of families who have lost significant sums of money in adoption proceedings.  In some cases, the expectant mother bilked them out of funds. In others, the agencies closed down after accepting payments.

Whatever the reason, it’s horribly discouraging to people who are trying their best to adopt and willing to lay out significant amounts of money to do so.  The result is even more people who decide it’s not worth trying.

If you’re considering adoption and want to limit your financial risk, there are a few steps you can take.  Due to all the variables, it’s impossible to risk-proof an adoption process, but you can put guards in place so you limit your potential loss and insure that you’re being good stewards of the finances God’s given you.

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Control the Home Study Process

The first step in adoption is getting a home study.  It is a written assessment of your home, history, and preparedness for adoption and will be necessary to file for adoption with the court.  There is no way around this and a good social worker will actually help prepare you for your adoption.

Make sure you are getting the right home study.  Home studies for foster-to-adopt, international adoption, and private adoption are all different.  If you are going through a private agency, make sure you own your home study when it is over and if you choose to go to another agency, you don’t need to pay for the home study to be released.

A home study will cost you up front – there’s no way around that and someone is investing significant time in writing it for you, so they need to be paid for that – but once you pay for it, you should be able to use it elsewhere for a similar adoption rather than be locked in with one agency.  Ask how many signed copies you will receive and if they insist that they don’t give home studies directly to families, go elsewhere.

Avoid Ala Carte Marketing Charges

Some agencies will offer you greater visibility in front of expectant moms if you pay a substantial fee up front.  That’s a huge red flag – trust God to get you in the right spot rather than paying huge sums for websites or specific ads that highlight your family.  Those dollars are very hard to justify.

Direct marketing, craigslist ads, even Facebook pages promoting your availability to adopt are more often invitations to being scammed rather than helpful in connecting with an expectant mother.

Be Careful About Early Matches

It’s not unusual for us to have an expectant woman approach us when she’s only 8-12 weeks pregnant, asking to see family profiles so she can choose a family to adopt her child.   We are happy to help care for her in the process, but we don’t match expectant moms and adoptive parents until the beginning of the third trimester.

At match, most agencies charge estimated fees for the care of the expectant mom.  Many states have relatively modest limits on those amounts, but some do not. A large number of agencies match early to collect those funds up front, knowing the expectant mother may or may not choose to go forward.  If she chooses not to make an adoption plan, the expectant family forfeits those funds.

Ask Questions

Once you are matched, you will most likely need to pay fees.  Ask pointedly, if the expectant mother decides not to go through with her plan, what happens to those funds?  Some of the fees will be unrecoverable (birth mother expenses) but your match fee should not necessarily be forfeited.  Many agencies will offer you a credit on your next match. A few will offer a refund under unique circumstances.

In cases where families are not offered a cash refund, it does not mean they are been scammed. The agency has done all the work they were able to do in caring for the expectant mother, counseling, preparing you, etc.  There is inherent risk in adoption that cannot be entirely mitigated, but that is true of any worthwhile pursuit.

Adoption is not easy or without pitfalls.  Even so, it is a beautiful expression of the heart of God and a key part of standing for life.  May the grace of God rest on those who say yes.


About Randy and kelsey Bohlender

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Randy Bohlender and his wife, Kelsey, have ten children, six which were adopted. They founded Zoe’s House Adoption Agency.  He recently became the Senior Pastor of Hillcrest Covenant Church in Kansas City.





We Must Prepare for Victory Over Roe v. Wade by Launching an Adoption Movement Now

For every strong conviction we hold or every hill we choose to die on, there is the potential that at some point, our critics will say something that makes sense and because they are so wrong about so many other things, we will turn a deaf ear to them.

It nearly happened to me regarding the issue of LIFE.

On January 22 of 2005, in the early months of the Bound4LIFE movement, I was standing in prayer at the base of the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision – a day that always brings out a lot of pro-life and pro-abortion advocates.

  A member of Bound4LIFE prays while others protest.

A member of Bound4LIFE prays while others protest.

On the pro-life side, it’s largely a somber event. There are always a few with megaphones, but it’s not a party. It’s a collective realization that many babies have died and many more will as long as Roe v. Wade stands.

The pro-abortion crowd is usually much more animated. They chant incredibly vile things and and break into song from time to time. Their celebration of death seems more like the sidelines of a sporting event.

In that chaos, we prayed silently with Life Tape over our mouths. Our silence seemed particularly irritating to those on the other side of the argument. They’d frequently wander behind us and make horrible comments or curse at us, even though my children—then 12, 8 and 4—were standing right beside us. I watched out of the corner of my eye as a pro-abortion protester walked uncomfortably close behind my oldest son and screamed, “What are you going to do if you win? What are you going to do with all those babies? You don’t want them either!”

  Randy Bohlender with his wife Kelsey. Their family of 10 children include six adopted.

Randy Bohlender with his wife Kelsey. Their family of 10 children include six adopted.

It is the ultimate in irony that pro-abortion folks accuse pro-lifers of being uncaring. I have found the opposite to be true. I’ve watched pro-lifers give generously towards young women in need. Even so, we have far to go in properly preparing for winning the battle in court. If abortion were stopped tomorrow, we are not prepared for the wave of children that will be born. These children would be born into family situations where due to economics, misunderstanding, or brokenness, parents would have preferred death over life. Now that same stressed out, reluctant parent is faced with caring for a child that they really would have preferred not to carry. Some will get a glance at that baby and have a deep change of heart. Others will not.

What does preparing to win look like?

Since that day, we have considered the words of that critic, “What if you win?”. What does it look like to prepare for the overturning of Roe v. Wade? If we get what we’re asking for, what do we do with the aftermath?

We need to commit to praying through the victory and beyond. The wave of intercession that has risen over the years regarding Roe v. Wade will need to continue in order to care for the thousands of babies that will be born daily once abortion is abolished. Parents who have prayed and prayed for a child realize that once that baby is born, the prayer meeting continues. The church has an intercessory commitment to those babies, and it doesn’t stop at birth.

  Randy Bohlender along with staff outside the adoption agency he founded, Zoe’s House.

Randy Bohlender along with staff outside the adoption agency he founded, Zoe’s House.

We need to become pro-child. We know what a pro-life movement looks like when the children are unborn, but what does it mean to be pro-life when that life is born and beyond? We need a corresponding response of families who actively pursue adoption, both through private and state channels. Some ask, “Why private adoption when there are so many in state care that need families?” Many of those private adoptions help children escape the possibility of foster care later. My family has privately adopted six. They were all on their way to foster care if the Lord had not intervened and had someone not said yes to LIFE.

We need to focus on resources for children and those who parent them. In our charity and in our politics, there must be room for providing for children and families in need.

My efforts in adoption are directly related to my belief that life is precious, and that one day the child in the womb will be protected in our nation. That firm belief drives me to prepare for victory with the same fervor that we are fighting the battle at hand.

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Highlight the Fact that Roe v. Wade is Unsettled Law

As I have attended and prayed through the first two days of confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, I have had a keen ear for all things discussed related to abortion. I think every Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee has brought up Roe v. Waderepeatedly as a means to incite fear about this man’s appointment to the high court, even though Judge Gorsuch has never ruled on a case directly affecting abortion.

In the first half of Tuesday’s proceedings, an important pro-life judicial matter emerged that is certain to lead the American public to grapple with abortion matters in a fresh and new way.

Senator Feinstein asserted that Roe v. Wade enjoys a “super precedent” status in the judicial system. Her meaning was that in the times abortion-related matters have been challenged, Roe has survived. Judge Gorsuch simply affirmed that Roe v. Wade is, in fact, still on the books. The question is whether Feinstein and other pro-abortion Senators are right. Is Roe so settled that it can never be questioned again? Is it beyond challenge at this point?

The answer is, “Absolutely NOT!”

This isn’t the first time this kind of jargon has made an appearance in Supreme Court nominee hearings. In the hearings of Justice Roberts (2005) and Justice Alito (2006), the term “super duper precedent” was invoked. Back then, Senator Specter used the term with Roberts as they discussed the Court’s future approach to Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Roberts didn’t take the bait to affirm such an illustrious status to those cases. He deftly acknowledged that their current precedent would be the starting point. Any theory of precedent that suggests those cases are beyond revisiting is highly questionable.

The point of using such a term is to dupe the public and other courts into not touching a “sacred” decision for the left. Feinstein is misleading Americans by dragging out this language yet again and for suggesting that Roe is settled. Roe is anything but settled law. 44 years of repeated challenges prove that Roe isn’t settled or possesses any super duper status.

Science is exposing truths about life in the womb that is inconvenient to lawmakers bent on protecting Roe. As I sat there listening to Senator Feinstein make her overreaching assertions, I couldn’t help but think about how new information has emerged in recent years that has the potential to dismantle the flawed logic on which Roe was based. In fact, this new evidence is already emboldening lawmakers and eroding Roe at an increasing rate. Make no mistake—Roe sits on shifting sand.

A short time later in the hearing, Senator Graham highlighted this very issue when he informed Judge Gorsuch that he is currently making the case in the Senate for a “pain capable” abortion ban. This piece of legislation, introduced in the House on January 3 as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), is based on the scientific medical evidence that we now know babies in the womb feel the excruciating pain of dismemberment as early as 20-weeks of development. Many note that this ability exists even sooner.

  The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was introduced in the House of Representative on January 3, 2017.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was introduced in the House of Representative on January 3, 2017.

Senator Graham mentioned the new legislation and let Judge Gorsuch know that it will likely be coming before the Supreme Court in the future—presumably a court he would be seated on—when legal challenge is brought against it by pro-abortion antagonists.

The point is that abortion is anything but a settled issue in American society and culture. Roe rests on a viability argument that modern science is increasingly challenging. That’s why abortion activists work so hard to deny women information about life in the womb—science is against them.

Graham hypothetically pondered: what if in the future medical practice is able to sustain life outside the womb at an even earlier stage of development. Does new medical science affect the logic which Roe is built on?

The answer is, “Absolutely YES!”

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Attorney Allan Parker clarifies this important perspective saying:

“Judge Gorsuch gracefully and accurately stated that a decided case of the Supreme Court should be given deference and is binding precedent until it is overturned by the Supreme Court under the doctrine of stare decisis.  But all opinions of the Supreme Court are subject to review and correction even under the doctrine of stare decisis.

When a case is no longer just, when facts and circumstances have changed to make the rule of the case unworkable, when a wrong decision has not been accepted by the American people, the case should be overruled. These are just a few of the reasons the Court uses for overturning their decisions.

The Supreme Court has overruled its own decisions on constitutional grounds over 200 times already. If the Court did not—or could not—then we would still have segregated “separate but equal” public schools because Plessy v. Ferguson was the ‘law of the land’ for 58 years until Brown v. Board of Education overruled it.”

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a key focus of prayer for Bound4LIFE. Please join with us by contending in prayer for the passage of this impactful piece of legislation that is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans.

Read more about the unique way God led Bound4LIFE to pray for Judge Neil Gorsuch.


About Matt Lockett

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As a full-time missionary, Matt Lockett serves as Executive Director of Bound4LIFE International and Justice House of Prayer DC. He travels and teaches on the subjects of prayer, fasting and governmental intercession—topics covered in his new book Prayer that Impacts the World. Matt and his wife Kim have four children. They live and minister in the Washington, DC area.

The Biggest Pro-Life Goal for 2017 is Halting U.S. Taxpayers’ Funding of Abortion

It’s been a whirlwind of activity since the inauguration, giving hope to pro-life advocates that our persevering prayers to end abortion will soon be answered. Now that a Constitutional champion has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, we consider other key goals.

Halting government funding for abortion is a vital part of our strategy. When people pray outside abortion centers, we call it a Silent Siege. And when an army sieges a city, victory is only achieved when the supply lines of the enemy are cut off.

There are three major initiatives underway to get taxpayers out of the abortion business: restoring the Mexico City Policy, defunding abortion providers and making the Hyde Amendment permanent. Let’s consider each one—starting with one already realized!

  More than 300,000 pro-life advocates made their voices heard at March for Life 2017 (Photo: Aaron Bernstein /    Twitter   )

More than 300,000 pro-life advocates made their voices heard at March for Life 2017 (Photo: Aaron Bernstein / Twitter)

President Trump made a significant stride in fulfilling his pro-life campaign promises when he reinstated the Mexico City Policy on his first Monday in office. This one executive order will halt $600 million U.S. tax dollars, over the next four years, from funding organizations overseas that promote and provide abortions.

President Ronald Reagan first signed the Mexico City Policy in 1984. Since then, Democratic presidents have repealed it soon after taking office—while Republicans have reinstated it as President Trump did. Yet success is always met with opposition.

Eight nations are now vowing to raise their own funding so there is no “gap” in providing and promoting abortion worldwide. The primary beneficiary of this funding will be the International Planned Parenthood Council, currently chaired by Alexander Sanger; he is the grandson of racist eugenicist Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood.

Globally, pro-abortion groups are also turning to wealthy philanthropists. Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation does remarkable work stopping the spread of disease and educating underprivileged communities, have nonetheless been approached to fund “family planning”—including abortifacient forms of birth control.

Bill Gates seems to support the pro-abortion cause in a recent interview, saying, “When government leaves an area like [family planning], it can’t be offset, there isn’t a real alternative. This expansion of this policy, depending on how it’s implemented, could create a void that even a foundation like ours can’t fill.”

Perhaps his foundation should change its slogan to All Lives Have Equal Value (except in the womb). It’s tragic that pro-abortion philanthropists refuse to see their humanity. Clearly this issue of global abortion funding will continue to animate pro-choice activists.

  Bound4LIFE team members pray silently at the Supreme Court, with the U.S. Capitol behind them (Photo via Bound4LIFE)

Bound4LIFE team members pray silently at the Supreme Court, with the U.S. Capitol behind them (Photo via Bound4LIFE)

A second aspect of the President’s pro-life platform is to defund abortion providers. Current policies prevent the U.S. government from directly funding abortion services; however, by funding abortion providers, tax money continues to prop up its business.

The nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, currently receives $553 million dollars every year from U.S. taxpayers. Dr. Brent Boles, a practicing OB-GYN in Tennessee, has spent years scrutinizing Planned Parenthood and their practices after having to save young women from botched abortions in his medical office.

“The group plays an enormously profitable shell game with their finances,” Dr. Boles states in a recent post. “Planned Parenthood uses funds at least partially derived from U.S. taxpayers to promote, protect and advance their radical abortion agenda.”

If new legislation passes, groups taking innocent lives would no longer receive federal funding. But it will take more than one bill to achieve this goal.

  President Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence meet on Capitol Hill (Photo: Caleb Smith /    Wikimedia   )

President Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence meet on Capitol Hill (Photo: Caleb Smith / Wikimedia)

This week, the U.S. House released its budget reconciliation bill—designed to fund federal government operations, which currently expire at the end of April. This bill has been paired with certain provisions to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Family Research Council provides an overview: “Congressional leaders agree with the importance of making sure this bill has rock solid pro-life protections. However, there is still a pro-life concern in the bill because it could allow funds from the refundable credits to pay for abortions in health savings accounts.”

Essentially, the reconciliation bill will halt 75 percent of public funding to abortion providers for one year. By tying the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the defunding of Planned Parenthood to this “must pass” bill, Republican congressional leadership hopes both have a greater chance of passing despite opposition.

Reconciliation bills only need a simple majority of Senators to pass, versus the usual three-fifths majority—and they are not subject to filibusters. The move eases their chances of passing the defunding measure, since Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the new Senate.

  Planned Parenthood currently receives over $553 million in taxpayer funding every year (Photo:    Wikimedia   )

Planned Parenthood currently receives over $553 million in taxpayer funding every year (Photo: Wikimedia)

What about the other 25 percent of funding to abortion providers? It will take state-level efforts to halt those dollars. Since the release of investigative videos revealing Planned Parenthood practices, 24 states have attempted to halt Title X funding for the group—thus far, 15 have prevailed.

Two days before President Trump entered office, the Obama Administration instituted an administrative measure banning states from withholding federal dollars from groups that provide abortions. It’s a federal overreach that only makes sense in light of how the abortion industry funds Democratic candidates.

On February 16, 2017, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.J. Resolution 43 by a 230-188 vote to overturn this rule. Now the action on this bill goes to the Senate, which must pass S.J. Resolution 13 to reverse President Obama’s last-minute gift to Planned Parenthood.

States should have the freedom to exclude certain providers from receiving funding, especially in the case of Planned Parenthood when their unethical practices are actively under investigation.

  Photo: American Life League /    Flickr

Photo: American Life League / Flickr

The final aspect of preventing abortion funding gets a little technical, but it is nonetheless important: “codifying” or making permanent through legislation, the Hyde Amendment—a policy attached to every appropriations bill annually since 1976, ensuring that no taxpayer funds directly fund abortion services.

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which already passed the U.S. House on January 24, would compel even future lawmakers to follow the path of life by making the Hyde Amendment permanent—instead of an annual renewal always debated.

Now the Senate version awaits a vote before President Trump can sign it into law. Pro-life leader Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) provides an excellent explanation of why this policy matters in her speech on the House floor.

(Rep. Black Challenges Dems on Opposition to No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act)

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of pro-life advocacy group Susan B. Anthony List, recently said: “There’s never been a time, ever, when the muscle of the pro-life movement has been so strong.” Will that strength result in true pro-life policy change?

We must never let our successes be taken for granted, It’s paramount for all pro-life citizens to continue to fight and pray every step of the way. No voice should be silenced!


About Debby Efurd

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Debby Efurd serves as president of Dallas-based Initiative 180 and its program of recovery, Peace After the Storm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in counseling from Dallas Baptist University. Debby is the author of Go Tell It! (which released in 2015) and a blogger for Bound4LIFE International, a grassroots movement to pray for the ending of abortion, carry the spirit of adoption, and believe for revival and reformation.

When My Mom Was Violated and I Was ‘Unwanted,’ Adoption Revealed God’s Perfect Love

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your Book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16

I always knew I was adopted. I remember my parents sitting me down and explaining it to me. I remember crying myself to sleep thinking, You aren’t my real mom and dad. I remember the rejection and hurt I felt.

They loved me so much and wanted to help me deal with this flood of emotions, but they didn’t know how it felt. They couldn’t. They knew where they came from. I didn’t.

  Photo: Augusto Serna /    Flickr

Photo: Augusto Serna / Flickr

This internal struggle continued for years. Little did I know that I only knew part of the story. I was a senior in high school when I found out: my birth mother had been raped.

I have imagined the scenario over and over again in my mind—how my birthday almost didn’t happen. A young woman is picked up for a date and night on the town. Her boyfriend is charming, persuasive. The night was going well, and then things took a turn for the worse. They called it date rape.

Nine months later, here I was. Born to a woman who didn’t want me—didn’t even want to know if I was a girl or boy. Unloved, unwanted, yet saved from the unthinkable violence of abortion, which is somehow totally accepted in our society.

I remember staring out my mother’s car window thinking, You’re a product of evil; you were never meant to be. How the enemy has a way with words.

For years, I lived with those nagging feelings, those hating thoughts—feeling like I was somehow predestined for something horrible because that’s how my life began. I was pathetic, or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.

  Photo: Aftab Uzzaman /    Flickr

Photo: Aftab Uzzaman / Flickr

I’d have good days, weeks, months… but it always came creeping back. Thinking back on that day, I can vividly remember what my mom so casually stated and how Satan was turning truth into lies. I wasn’t telling myself that I wasn’t meant to be, the enemy was telling me You weren’t meant to be—anything to bring me down and question my life’s purpose.

Who can imagine being raped and then finding out she is pregnant with the rapist’s child?

I remember as a high schooler, justifying how an abortion would be somehow acceptable in the case of rape—I mean, how could you expect a woman to carry a child that was conceived under such horrible and evil means? Oh wait, that could’ve been me… I was questioning everything: my self-worth, even my existence.

Thoughts of suicide came and went. I never acted on it and always shrugged off the thought of doing so. It wasn’t until I sought God’s voice in my life that those thoughts began to disappear.

Little did I know God was calling me to Him. He wanted me? It couldn’t be—He doesn’t know about me, where I came from… “Yes, Ashley, I want you,” I opened my Bible to Jeremiah 1:5:“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

He knows me, He created me, He loves me. You see, I wasn’t a mistake. God knew what was going to happen the day I was conceived, and He had a plan greater than anyone could see. At a more fundamental level than even my adopted parents could imagine, my Father revealed the significance and purpose He imprinted on my life.  

God takes bad situations and makes something beautiful. I am a child of God! His adoption is beautiful, secure and astonishing in its glorious design. I am here to share God’s good news and plan for your life and mine. I am alive—not by mistake, but by His grace.

We must all remember that God has a plan for our lives. We may not see it or even understand what it is. All we can do is daily seek His face and His will. We must not get discouraged when we feel like the world has turned its back on us, it has!

But God hasn’t turned His back on us. God was, and still is, in control. Because of the circumstances surrounding my conception and birth, I have had the amazing opportunity to minister to others by speaking out against abortion and sharing the love of Christ to those who are recovering from it.

I am daily reminded that God’s plan is perfect. I am blessed to write and speak of what He has done in and through me! Praise God for His heart revealed in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”


About Ashley Lawton

Ashley Lawton is a writer, photographer and Christian speaker who loves to shares her pro-life testimony. She and her husband, Asbury, raise their two lovely children in Greenville, South Carolina.

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment, Shares Woman Who Regrets Her Abortion

From the Dirksen Senate Office Building, I walked up to the United States Supreme Court, until my toes kissed the first step. I stood gazing up at the impenetrable bronze doors.

Looking foolish with a piece of red tape covering my mouth and the word “Life” written on it, I prayed a silent, faith-filled prayer, the Life Band prayer: “Jesus, I plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and bring revival to America.”

As I prayed, I remembered that angry teenage girl I had been. I was sad for her, as if she never had been me. That young woman was gone. She had faced her Goliath, the abortion industry, and had fallen prey to it. She had lost that battle and was left in devastation and tears, and without her child.

  Photo for illustration purposes: Francisco Osorio /    Flickr

Photo for illustration purposes: Francisco Osorio / Flickr

Good and wise, Father God sometimes allows us to make our mistakes and learn from them. Many of these mistakes break His heart—and have real, devastating consequences.

After my abortion, God allowed me to feel deep pain and sorrow because I had ignored His kind convictions and divine stop signs on the path to my horrible decision. (He even tried to stop me as I was in the clinic, preparing for the abortion.)

There was absolutely no part of God’s heart that condoned my decision to take the life of my child, yet He still loves me and has never forsaken me. He gave me free will and the choice to love and follow Him; therefore, He allowed me to walk down a road that not only broke His heart, but would soon also break my own heart.

He allowed me to reach the end of myself so that I could find Him. I am thankful for His unfailing mercy in the many rock-bottom moments of my life that followed my abortion. His mercy brought forth righteousness and wisdom in my life; like Job, without His divine intervention I would surely have perished.

  Bound4LIFE team members pray silently for women and children outside the U.S. Supreme Court (Photo: Bound4LIFE)

Bound4LIFE team members pray silently for women and children outside the U.S. Supreme Court (Photo: Bound4LIFE)

So I closed my eyes as I stood next to dear friends at the Court. I could hear the pro-abortion mockers and antagonists behind us, but they were fading in the background. “It’s a woman’s right,” they chanted. The mocking continued, but my faith increased. I faced the giant again.

This time, in my spirit, in God, I found a place of solitude, peace, and confidence. The red tape covering my lips seeped purpose into every fiber of my being. I have prayed this faith-filled prayer hundreds, if not thousands, of times.

I have prayed in Silent Siege at the steps of the Supreme Court, at the steps of lower courts across the nation, and in front of abortion clinics. Whether I’m standing in front of our nation’s highest court or in the court of Heaven from inside my prayer room, I know there is victory. God is on the side of life.

Yet I still hear my accuser remind me (just as he did the first day I prayed this audacious prayer) that I am just a small, insignificant, stay-at-home mom. Who am I to believe that God will hear my prayers and will move mountains on my behalf? I hear the antagonists and I run, full-speed, to my Heavenly Father. Yet I believe.

  Holding their daughter, Cathy and Marcus Harris wear Life Bands—a daily reminder to pray for life (Photo: Harris Family)

Holding their daughter, Cathy and Marcus Harris wear Life Bands—a daily reminder to pray for life (Photo: Harris Family)

I do believe that God hears my prayers and the prayers of hundreds of other women, asking Him to spare another woman and her baby from the devastation we have been through. I do believe that abortion will end because of the prayers of the saints. I have to believe it, because I have to have hope for America.

The Goliath of the abortion industry will not step aside easily. I am not naïve enough to believe that all abortion will cease at the sound of the gavel’s judgment. Even if abortion is made illegal, it is possible that abortions will continue illegally through stronger forms of “birth control” and “forced miscarriages.”

Nevertheless, I pray that one day our nation will break its agreement with the evil Goliath of abortion, and as a result millions of babies, women, men, and families will be saved. Women will be heard, we will hold our children in our arms, and the church will be called from the outfield up to bat.

God is already on the move. Despite the façade presented by the media and some political establishments, the abortion industry is weakening. We can see it crumbling. Through the ministry of Bound4LIFE International, thousands of believers all across our nation and internationally are praying for the end of abortion.

  Today a mother of three, Cathy wore Life Tape during her pregnancy as a public witness (Photo: Harris Family)

Today a mother of three, Cathy wore Life Tape during her pregnancy as a public witness (Photo: Harris Family)

Bound4LIFE is mobilizing the church to step up to bat, with red Life Tape over our mouths, in front of our state capitols and neighborhood abortion clinics to silently pray. Other prayer ministries such as 40 Days for Life are also exponentially growing in numbers in front of abortion clinics and seeing miraculous results.

Babies are being saved, abortion clinics are closing at rapid rates, workers are leaving the industry and exposing the deception inside their walls, videos showing hellish practiceswithin the abortion clinics have gone viral, pro-life legislation is being passed by more and more states, and popular opinion is swaying towards life.

This is thrilling! A great move of God is on the horizon, and He is calling our name to come with Him. The tide is turning, and I believe it is in direct conjunction with the Church returning to God in prayer and repentance.

This article is an excerpt used with permission from Created to Live: Becoming the Answer for an Abortion-Free Community (2017, Ambassador International).


About Cathy Harris

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Cathy Harris is an author, certified prenatal educator, public speaker, and passionate pro-life voice. Most importantly, she is a wife and homeschooling mother to three energetic children. Learn about her work and ministry at CathyHarris.org. She and her husband Marcus raise their family in Manassas, Virginia.









One Phone Call to a Crisis Pregnancy Center Saved Her Baby—and Changed Her Family Forever

Several months ago, a 24 year-old woman called our center looking for an abortion. She spoke with someone who informed her of all of her other options; she also learned how Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center would be a resource and strength to her if she decided to keep her baby.

The woman didn’t make an appointment with one of our counselors that day—but to the glory of God, neither did she make an appointment with an abortion clinic.

I know because, a few weeks ago, she did make an appointment with us and I was privileged enough to be her counselor.

  Robbi Harvell serves as a trained counselor at Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Matt Lockett)

Robbi Harvell serves as a trained counselor at Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Matt Lockett)

She opened her heart to me about her struggle and how she had made up her mind to abort her baby… but that wasn’t her final decision.

After that first contact, everything changed. She pins the shift in her life to the day she called us! I know it’s because, after every abortion call, we pray for Jesus to intervene and make a way in each woman’s life.

Praise God for the power of prayer! She told me how, after she called us, her parents and the baby’s father got behind her. She had hope for the future.

My silent awe soon turned to rejoicing! However, the story gets even better. In the midst of our conversation, I asked her if she had picked out a name yet. She told me she didn’t know the gender and was waiting until birth to find out, but that she was considering a few different girl and boy names.

  An abortion-minded woman decided to choose life after calling a crisis pregnancy center in D.C. (Photo: Jake Guild /    Flickr   )

An abortion-minded woman decided to choose life after calling a crisis pregnancy center in D.C. (Photo: Jake Guild / Flickr)

I noticed the names started with the letter “a” and suggested the name Aubrey if it was a girl. I’ve always thought it was such a beautiful name and it means rules with wisdom. She loved the name.

It turns out she went into labor the day after our meeting, and did indeed bring a little girl into the world. To my delight, she named her daughter Aubrey!

I can’t tell you how much that moves me. How grateful I am to God for Aubrey’s life—and thankful that all of us in the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center family had a role in this beautiful journey.


About Robbi Harvell

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Robbi Harvell serves as a full-time intercessory missionary on staff at Justice of House Prayer DC. She also volunteers with Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, a faith-based non-profit organization offering help and support to women, men and their families who are in a crisis pregnancy.





5 Reasons Why Planned Parenthood Must Stop Receiving Our Tax Dollars

Planned Parenthood makes many lofty claims about its “services” critical to women’s health. But just digging a little deeper into its actual practices and history reveals something much less positive — and a lot more sinister.

As a pro-life blogger and speaker, who escaped abortion myself in Communist China, and chose life for my “imperfect” child, I feel called to expose abortion lies wherever I see them. This weekend, tens of thousands of people will protest Planned Parenthood nationwide; it’s a critical moment to raise awareness of the abortion giant and its misdeeds.

More than any organization in America, Planned Parenthood is responsible for perpetrating lies about abortion — and lies about its own “women’s health” services. There’s no doubt, the public relations strategy of the abortion giant is built on deception.

If the American public really knew the truth about Planned Parenthood, I truly believe most Americans would immediately stop supporting and defending it. That’s why my latest video gives five reasons why Planned Parenthood must stop receiving our tax funding — the entire $553 million dollars they currently receive annually.

In fact, Congress will soon begin debate over a budget reconciliation bill on this issue. We can expect mainstream media to go crazy over this bill, claiming it will harm women’s health. But the truth is, all it will do is halt abortion providers from receiving about 75 percent of their current taxpayer funding for one year.

I’d call that a good first step, and here are five reasons why.

1. Planned Parenthood has disturbing eugenics origins.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was a racist eugenicist. She wholeheartedly believed in weeding out the “undesirables,” as she called them — like blacks, minorities, the disabled, the poor, and the “feeble-minded.” She was a white supremacist. She proudly spoke to the KKK.

Sanger openly supported forced sterilization and birth control, especially for the black community. She started Planned Parenthood as a “non-profit” to funnel her eugenics goals. Sadly, the organization still honors its disturbing founder with its annual Margaret Sanger Award.

2. Planned Parenthood still targets blacks and minorities.

Seventy-eight percent of its clinics are in minority communities! This is evident in abortion statistics. Blacks are three times more likely to have an abortion than a white woman. Hispanic women are two timesmore likely to have an abortion than a white woman.

And tragically, more black babies are aborted than born alive in New York City.


  Young mother and blogger Lisa Smiley raises her family in the Dallas area (Photo: Tracey Wong /    The Image Talks   )

Young mother and blogger Lisa Smiley raises her family in the Dallas area (Photo: Tracey Wong / The Image Talks)

3. The claim that Planned Parenthood does “so much good” besides abortion is a lie.

In reality, the business is built on abortion because it is its biggest moneymaker. Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson has shared at length about the organization’s disturbing abortion quotas.

Live Action has debunked the myth that abortion makes up only 3% of its services. In the past, the organization has shut down clinics that didn’t provide abortions.

4. Planned Parenthood does not provide comprehensive healthcare.

A practicing OB-GYN in Tennessee, Dr. Brent Boles has pointed out that these abortion centers actually offers women very limited healthcare — far less than what you get at a doctor’s office or other health clinic.

The organization claimed that it provided mammograms — that but turned out to be a sham. It recently scrubbed the phrase “prenatal care” from websites — because their abortion centers offer no such thing. It claimed that if it got defunded, millions of women would lose health care access — but that is another lie.

The $400 million it would lose in Medicaid funding (in the soon-to-come budget bill) would actually get redirected to 13,000 health care clinics that offer many more services than Planned Parenthood. Women have far better health care options.

  Planned Parenthood currently receives over $553 million in taxpayer funding every year (Photo:    Wikimedia   )

Planned Parenthood currently receives over $553 million in taxpayer funding every year (Photo: Wikimedia)

5. Planned Parenthood is guilty of illegally selling aborted baby parts.

In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress led a huge undercover investigation to expose Planned Parenthood’s illegal activities. Their footage included scenes of executives bargaining over the price of aborted babies, workers admitting to selling “fresh” aborted baby eyes, hearts, and “gonads,” and abortionists illegally changing abortion procedures to get baby organs.

Corruption at the organization has gone on for years. Planned Parenthood has also been caught covering up child sexual abuse, committing Medicaid and taxpayer fraud, illegally dumping aborted babies in landfills, and has a history of violating health and safety standards.

No matter where one stands on the question of when life begins, this budget measure coming before Congress that affects the public funding of abortion providers is one we all should be able to support.

As Planned Parenthood faces greater scrutiny of its practices, women and children will benefit by receiving the care they need from legitimate health providers.


About Lisa Smiley

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Lisa Smiley is a mother of four precious children, including one now with his Creator in Heaven. She earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of California-Irvine. Lisa blogs at LisaSmiley.com as well as for Bound4LIFE International, a grassroots movement to pray for the ending of abortion, carry the spirit of adoption, and believe for revival and reformation. Together with her husband James, they raise their family in the Dallas area.





100 Years of Planned Parenthood: Celebrating What Exactly?

One Planned Parenthood experience has remained seared into my memory like no other. I was standing outside of Planned Parenthood in downtown Birmingham, praying on my lunch break. There was a woman across the street at an apartment building, holding her toddler in her arms.

She stared at me for a few minutes before crossing the hot pavement. I saw nervousness in her eyes and a sort of longing that I understood later.

She immediately asked me, “Are you praying?” “Yes. Do you need prayer?” “Yes,” she replied emphatically. I was not prepared to hear the story that would stream out of her mouth.

She asked if I would pray that her husband would come back home. He had run off with a sex trafficking ring that frequented this Planned Parenthood—to perform forced abortions on the women who had become pregnant during their abuse. She explained she had done everything to try to find him and report his crimes to authorities, but there was no hope as of yet.

I asked her if she was certain that Planned Parenthood knew they were performing abortions for abused women held against their will. She responded, “Of course they know! And they never report it.”

My heart was broken in an even deeper way to realize yet another deeply horrific truth of this international abortion mill. There was no darkness too dark for them, no vulnerable woman too vulnerable as long as they were being paid—and I can only assume, being paid even more money to be quiet and not report to authorities.

I wept. The wife and I wept together and we prayed. We prayed her husband would have revelation for his deep sin of being party to these criminal acts and turn himself in. We prayed the ring would be exposed and the precious women rescued. And we prayed for Planned Parenthood to come to an end.

  Natalie and Matthew Brumfield of Birmingham adopted their foster child Braxton (Photo Courtesy Bound4LIFE Birmingham)

Natalie and Matthew Brumfield of Birmingham adopted their foster child Braxton (Photo Courtesy Bound4LIFE Birmingham)

This Sunday, October 16, will mark 100 years of Planned Parenthood—a century of the dark, twisted ideals and principles they were founded on, and still fully operate within. People are actually celebrating this morbid anniversary without understanding what they are celebrating. (If they did, they would know Halloween would be a more fitting day.) Without further ado, I will seek to unveil who and what is being celebrated.

In 1916, Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and full supporter of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party, created her back alley birth-control establishment based on a racial genocide agenda—particularly towards African Americans and immigrants who were, in her words, “the unfit” of the population.

The stated goals of Margaret Sanger regarding planned, calculated population reduction fit squarely within the textbook definition of genocide: “Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious or national group. Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the groups conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

It was with these ideas that Sanger created her illegal, back-alley birth control business in New York City. She strategically placed her first Planned Parenthood center in the Brooklyn borough, where she could get the most access to the people she hated most. She was arrested and put in jail for a month. But she didn’t stop. Today, New York has the highest abortion ratio of any state in the nation.

  The birthplace of Planned Parenthood, New York has the highest abortion ratio of any state (Photo: William Gaebler /    Flickr   )

The birthplace of Planned Parenthood, New York has the highest abortion ratio of any state (Photo: William Gaebler / Flickr)

Here are a few of Margaret Sanger’s most famous quotes and ideals:

“The main objects of the Population Congress would be to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring[;] to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization.” –Margaret Sanger (“A Plan for Peace,” 1932).

“Article 1. The purpose of the American Baby Code shall be to provide for a better distribution of babies… and to protect society against the propagation and increase of the unfit.

Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit.

Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.” –Margaret Sanger (“America Needs a Code for Babies,” March 27, 1934).

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities.  The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” –Margaret Sanger writing on what she termed the ‘Negro Project’ (in a letter to Clarence Gamble, Dec. 10, 1939).

“I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan…I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses…I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak…In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered.” –Margaret Sanger (Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, p. 366)

  Margaret Sanger and fellow eugenics advocate Charles Drysdale in New York in 1925 (Photo:    Wikimedia   )

Margaret Sanger and fellow eugenics advocate Charles Drysdale in New York in 1925 (Photo: Wikimedia)

The truth is, Margaret Sanger fashioned the eugenics movement in America in the 1930s and 1940s. Her beliefs and those in her communities’ belief in the movement contributed to compulsory sterilization laws in 30 U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of vulnerable people, including the people she superficially measured as “feeble-minded,” “idiots” and “morons.”

It’s shocking to realize that in 2016, such a woman as Sanger and her still existing dynasty of Planned Parenthood is celebrated. Four years ago, Sanger was named one of the “20 Most Influential Americans of All Time” by TIME Magazine. There are awards given to women in her name and I shudder to think of someone begin honored by receiving such a dark award.

Many supporters of Planned Parenthood believe the organization that it is today is far removed from Sanger’s early views. But to see that is frankly not the case, one only need hear the words of Dr. Alan Guttmacher, President of Planned Parenthood from 1962-1974, who proudly stated that, “We are merely walking down the path that Mrs. Sanger carved for us.”

Also, to ensure that Sanger’s ideals are maintained her grandson, Alex Sanger, is the current Chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council.






  Planned Parenthood currently receives over $500 million in taxpayer funding every year (Photo:    Wikimedia   )

Planned Parenthood currently receives over $500 million in taxpayer funding every year (Photo: Wikimedia)

How sobering. And with that statement my mind brings me back to that hot, brick-walled sidewalk outside of Planned Parenthood Birmingham. I think of the vulnerable women being trafficked with no voice coming to this dark place, only to be exploited all over again; their babies ripped from their wombs whether they want it done or not, because they don’t view the women as human anymore—they’re “unfit.”

In the twisted view of Margaret Sanger and those who carry her pro-abortion views, these women are “weeds of society” that should be sterilized and segregated. Not worth a call to the police or authorities. Not worth a rescue. How much less must they think of these women’s babies?

According to last year’s Planned Parenthood investigative videos, their babies’ parts were most likely sold to bring even more blood money into their pockets. They exploit women who are trafficked, then sell their babies too.

So I ask, after a century of hate, deceit, darkness, and racial genocide, what is there to celebrate? I pray you see that there is nothing in Planned Parenthood to commend. Instead, we must mourn and fast before the Lord.







  Pro-life advocates pray for justice outside the Houston Planned Parenthood abortion center (Photo Courtesy of Bound4LIFE)

Pro-life advocates pray for justice outside the Houston Planned Parenthood abortion center (Photo Courtesy of Bound4LIFE)

We must realize the detriment the past 100 years has wreaked upon our nation:

· 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African American or Hispanic communities.

· Between 2007 and 2010, nearly 36 percent of all abortions in the U.S were on African American children, even though African Americans only make up 13 percent of our population. Also, 21 percent of abortions were on Hispanics and 7 percent on other minority groups. That is a total of 64 percent of U.S. abortions targeted on minority groups.

· Nearly 60,000,000 abortions in the United States were performed from 1973–2015.

· Based on Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, an unborn baby dies every 96 seconds inside a Planned Parenthood clinic.

· Planned Parenthood’s revenues for 2013-2014 exceeded $1.3 billion. They report that 41 percent of their income came in the form of “Government Health Services Grants and Reimbursements.”

Planned Parenthood isn’t something to celebrate. It’s a disease that should be thrust out of our nation through prayer and fasting. It has had the wholehearted support of wealthy and influential organizations for far too long.

It has rooted its lies and sickly existence inside our government, receiving over $500 million dollars in U.S. taxpayer funding every year. It receives huge sums of donations, from hotel chains to charities. And year after year, mainstream news coverage turns awayfrom reporting their gross dealings.

It’s time for our moral outcry as a nation to rise up against this evil. And it’s time for Americans to say Enough! to the horrific tragedy of millions of women being exploited, men losing their fatherhood, children being slaughtered and sold, and families being destroyed. This anniversary is a time to mourn and cry. It’s a time to pray and fast.


About Natalie Brumfield

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Since 2008, Natalie Brumfield has served as Birmingham chapter leader for Bound4LIFE – a grassroots movement to pray for the ending of abortion and for revival worldwide. She works as children's director at her local church and volunteers at a local pregnancy care center. Natalie and her husband Matthew live in Birmingham, Alabama; they love being adoptive and foster parents.

“If You’re Pro-Life, Be Pro-Adoption”: A Waiting Adoptive Mom Reveals a Powerful Truth

It’s a story too horrific to believe. This week, a 16-year-old teenager gave birth to her baby alone in her bedroom and then threw the newborn out of the second story window.

After telling her mother what she’d done, media outlets reported that the infant’s grandmother ran outside to try and save the baby—but it was too late.

  A 16 year-old killed her baby by throwing the newborn from a second story window (Photo: Benjamin Josar /    Flickr   )

A 16 year-old killed her baby by throwing the newborn from a second story window (Photo: Benjamin Josar / Flickr)

My shock and horror turned into crying…soft, at first, followed by loud, uncontrollable sobs. I found myself on the floor of the room containing nursery basics.

It won’t be complete until we get the call that we’ve been matched with an expectant mother who has chosen us to place her child with us as an adoptive family. Here is where I wail and lament over the death of this baby girl and over my own empty womb and empty arms.

This moment rushed back to me last night when I heard Governor Mike Pence speak passionately on the sanctity of human life at the 2016 Vice Presidential Debate. “God says, Before you were formed in the womb, I knew you,” he stated, quoting Psalm 139.

“I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life. The state of Indiana has also sought to make sure that we expand alternatives in health care counseling for women, non-abortion alternatives,” he continued. “I think if you’re going to be pro-life, you should be pro-adoption.”

  Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and his wife Karen have sought to craft pro-adoption state policies (Photo: Gage Skidmore /    Flickr   )

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and his wife Karen have sought to craft pro-adoption state policies (Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Waiting for an adoption placement is hard. Stories like this tragedy of a baby thrown out a window make it even harder. Of course, this isn’t about us. It’s about a helpless, innocent baby whose own mother went through labor and delivery, only to end her life moments later.

It’s about a 16-year-old, a teenager—really, a child herself. She was going through this experience alone and, likely not knowing what else to do, panicked and acted irrationally. I am furious with her. But in my fury, I am also furious with others in her life.

What was she taught about sex? What was she taught about the risk of pregnancy? Or prevention of pregnancy? Did she turn to someone when she found out she was pregnant, or did she hide this? If the former, were they supportive (even if at first upset)? If the latter, why?

What about her teachers? Her friends? Is she alone responsible? I don’t think so. The baby’s father is responsible. Her parents are responsible. While the 16-year-old is the most responsible, she is not solely responsible.

This story is heartbreaking. I can’t help but think about the fact that this 16-year-old was able to conceive, while I cannot, and regularly beg God for a child—or for the desire to be removed from my heart.

I think about how I would have gladly taken in that baby girl, and my eyes swell with tears once again. Yet, other than being angry, horrified and heartbroken, what can we do?

Clearly education of the next generation is lacking. While school condom distribution programs are seen by some as a solution, research shows these programs actually increase teen fertility rates. And research on the medical risks of many contraceptive methods is beginning to pile up.

  Teen sexual activity can be costly—not just for teens, but also for society (Photo: Chinny Buraga /    Flickr   )

Teen sexual activity can be costly—not just for teens, but also for society (Photo: Chinny Buraga / Flickr)

Here are three steps to be fully informed, then engage in our spheres of influenc

First, we can be a part of spreading pro-life messages to students through organizations such as Students for Life—they even have a chapter at Harvard University.

Second, we can encourage our school districts to utilize sex education programs that emphasize abstinence and developing character traits, shown to be the most effective way to reduce teen sexual activity.

Lastly, we can get involved in local pro-life ministry such as reaching out to women (in love, kindness, and compassion) who are going into abortion clinics or by volunteering at crisis pregnancy medical clinics.

There are many ways that we can be involved, but the most important is prayer. We are facing a grave evil, but Jesus Christ will be victor in this and all battles.


About Dr. Laurel Shaler

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Dr. Laurel Shaler is a Chair at Liberty University in the Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies. She is a former social worker for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Laurel writes on the intersection of faith, culture and emotional well-being at DrLaurelShaler.com. She and her husband, Nick, are in the adoption process; follow along with their journey via Facebook. They live in Lynchburg, Virginia.






“Crime Against Humanity”: 9 Pro-Life Leaders React to Supreme Court Ruling on Texas Abortion Law

On June 27, in a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down two of the four provisions in HB 2—a Texas pro-life law that passed in 2013 by bipartisan majority vote. In a win for abortion providers who sued the State of Texas, the two provisions deemed unconstitutional by the high court established health and safety requirements for abortion practices.

Dozens stood silently in prayer outside the court, as hundreds of pro-life advocates gathered to await a decision on the Texas case.

  Following the ruling, Matt Lockett leads a group in prayer and communion outside the Supreme Court (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

Following the ruling, Matt Lockett leads a group in prayer and communion outside the Supreme Court (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

Several leaders involved directly in crafting and defending this law, many who have participated in the Texas Loves Life prayer coalition, react to the breaking news.

Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, Texas Legislator Who Authored Pro-Life Law HB 2

  Outside the Supreme Court on March 2, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stands with State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (center) and other leaders (Photo: Office of Ken Paxton /    Twitter   )

Outside the Supreme Court on March 2, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stands with State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (center) and other leaders (Photo: Office of Ken Paxton / Twitter)

“This decision is bad news for women and a sad day for our nation,” said Representative Jodie Laubenberg, the Texas State legislator who authored HB 2. “Women deserve the same standard of care at abortion clinics as they would receive at a medical facility.”

“Obviously, the politics of abortion supersedes the health and safety for women,” she concluded. Her statement mirrors the disdain expressed in scathing dissenting opinionswritten by Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas.

Alito stated in part: “The court’s patent refusal to apply well-established law in a neutral way is indefensible and will undermine public confidence in the Court as a fair and neutral arbiter.”

Matt Lockett, Executive Director of Bound4LIFE International

  Matt Lockett (L) appears on the front page of USA Today on June 28, 2016 (Image via USA Today /    Newseum   )

Matt Lockett (L) appears on the front page of USA Today on June 28, 2016 (Image via USA Today / Newseum)

“Much prayer and God-inspired activism were behind Texas’ common sense law HB 2. Therefore, I know there will be good fruit produced from it in spite of the Supreme Court’s nonsense ruling,” says Matt Lockett, who has been praying weekly (or, at times, daily) outside the U.S. Supreme Court since 2005.

“The ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt sends a clear message to America: This Supreme Court is willing to protect abortion at any costs—even at the expense of quality health care that women deserve. What a clear majority of Americans call ‘common sense,’ the Supreme Court has bent over backward to call ‘unnecessary.’ Women lost in this case, and that is an unacceptable tragedy.”

Yet Lockett has hope for the future. “Too many miracles occurred along the way for this to be so easily dismissed. I await with eager expectation to see what will develop next in the efforts to save lives and protect women. I enthusiastically ask again today, ‘Where do I sign up?’”

Christina Marie Bennett, Pro-Life Advocate Serving in Pregnancy Care Center

  Christina Marie Bennett leads a pro-life rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court (Photo via Christina Bennett)

Christina Marie Bennett leads a pro-life rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court (Photo via Christina Bennett)

“As a woman of color whose people group is disproportionally affected by abortion, this decision is particularly disheartening,” said Christina Marie Bennett who has served for years at a pregnancy care center in Connecticut. “In an attempt to make abortion convenient, the Supreme Court is allowing women to pay the ultimate cost by sacrificing their safety and dignity.”

Bennett, who led a pro-life rally for this case outside the Supreme Court on March 2, continues: “In today’s decision, the Supreme Court chose access to abortion services over quality care for women. The safety regulations for abortion clinics protected women from abuse at the hand of a multi-billion dollar industry that profits from their painful circumstances. The common sense regulations for abortionists—to have admitting privileges to hospitals—ensured women received continuity of care.”

“Lest we forget, Texas’ HB 2 law was a response to the Philadelphia grand jury’s report during the trial of former abortionist Kermit Gosnell. In order to prevent further mistreatment of women, the grand jury suggested responsible and reasonable regulations. Those regulations were wrongly struck down today. Women deserve better and the Supreme Court has failed them with their decision.”

Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America

  Outside the Supreme Court, Kristan Hawkins leads a pro-life rally on June 27, 2016 (Photo: Students for Life of America)

Outside the Supreme Court, Kristan Hawkins leads a pro-life rally on June 27, 2016 (Photo: Students for Life of America)

After leading a pro-life rally outside the Supreme Court today, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America spoke out in a brief interview: “Women lost today. The Supreme Court decided that the right to abortion is more important than keeping women safe and alive. They’ve ruled that states don’t have the rights to protect half their citizens. This is, once again, five unelected judges politicizing this human rights issue which is a travesty.”

Hawkins, whose network recently marked the launch of its 1000th local campus group, continues, “We’ve got to keep praying, because we don’t know how the Lord is working. We don’t know what His plan is. Even though today’s decision was a devastating blow—more women and children will suffer because of it—we know God ultimately has a plan and He is in control. We can do what He’s called us to do; we can be faithful to that.”

“We are changing our culture,” she says. “The majority of Americans agree with these common sense laws. We’re releasing polling data this week that shows 53 percent of millennials are in favor of making abortion illegal in all or most cases. This is huge. We’ve seen the tide turn; the problem is, we have antiquated thinkers in Washington, DC who’ve been here since the 1970’s and probably still haven’t seen an ultrasound. Laws are downstream from culture, so we still have hope.”

Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values

  Jonathan Saenz with Nicole Hudgens (R) and Christiana Holcomb outside the Supreme Court (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

Jonathan Saenz with Nicole Hudgens (R) and Christiana Holcomb outside the Supreme Court (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

“Our main concern is the protection of innocent life and Texas women,” states attorney Jonathan Saenz who leads the Austin-based group Texas Values. “We will continue to stand for women to keep them safe so they are not maimed or die in abortion clinics.”

“Even though the number of abortions and abortion clinics in Texas are already declining due to women choosing life and public opinion growing in support of the value of the human child in the womb, the Supreme Court is attempting to control the ability of Texas leaders to keep women safe,” says Saenz.

He continues, “We want to specifically thank HB 2 bill authors Rep. Jodie Laubenberg and Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Solicitor General Scott Keller for their leadership in defending this important law. This effort to protect the life of women and children is far from over.”

Dr. Alveda King, Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn

  Dr. Alveda King, niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., leads a pro-life prayer gathering (Photo: Aaron Wong)

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., leads a pro-life prayer gathering (Photo: Aaron Wong)

“This decision will hurt women and kill babies. The Supreme Court and the abortion industry cannot serve the public by killing the public. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!” stated Dr. Alveda King, echoing her uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She serves as director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, affiliated with Priests for Life.

“In the end, natural law, God’s law will always trump common law. Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant,” continued Dr. King, citing Galatians 6:7. “Do not fear or be confused or deceived. Remain prayerful. Keep looking up. God will have the final word in this matter.”

  

Allan Parker, Attorney Working on Behalf of Women Harmed by Abortion

  Allan Parker serves as President of The Justice Foundation based in San Antonio, Texas (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

Allan Parker serves as President of The Justice Foundation based in San Antonio, Texas (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

President of The Justice Foundation based in San Antonio, Texas, Allan Parker has been engaged in pro-life legal advocacy for over 20 years. His public interest legal group submitted an amicus brief in the Texas case on behalf of 3,348 women injured by abortion.

“Having represented the ‘Roe’ of Roe v. Wade and the ‘Doe’ of Doe v. Bolton, in their efforts to overturn their own cases, which the Supreme Court refused to even hear, I believe today the Supreme Court committed another crime against humanity,” said Allan Parker, referencing his legal clients Norma McCorvey and the late Sandra Cano. “With the Texas decision, more women will suffer physical and psychological injuries and death from abortion.”

Parker is also a man of great faith, as evidenced by his statement which continues, “Without massive repentance, America is doomed as a nation. But God is still saying, ‘America, return to me and I will return to you.’ Time is very short. The abolitionists called the Dred Scott decision a ‘covenant with death and an agreement with the grave’ based on Isaiah 28, words that still ring true today.”

“His Word states in Isaiah 28:18: ‘Your covenant with death will be annulled, your agreement with the grave will not stand.’ We will continue to speak up for the poor and helpless, both women and children, and see that they get justice.”

Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life

  Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, speaks at a pro-life summit prior to the annual march on January 22, 2016 (Photo: Aaron Wong for Bound4LIFE International)

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, speaks at a pro-life summit prior to the annual march on January 22, 2016 (Photo: Aaron Wong for Bound4LIFE International)

“Being pro-life means wanting what is best for women and babies,” begins Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life, in reacting to the decision. “The Texas law was in the best interest of women’s health. Because of the decision today, beauty parlors, veterinarian clinics and public pools will be held to higher sanitary and health standards than abortion clinics.”

“As president of an organization that works for a culture where abortion is unthinkable, my hope is that no woman would choose abortion. But can’t we agree to care about safety and health standards?” Mancini asks, backed by her decade of experience defending women’s lives and health.

“For years, abortion advocates have equated greater access to abortion with improving women’s health. In doing so they have advocated for substandard health regulations. This is not pro-woman. Women and babies are the real losers of today’s decision,” she concludes.

Dr. Michael New, Associate Scholar at Charlotte Lozier Institute

  Michael New, Ph.D. has lectured at Notre Dame and served as a research fellow at Harvard (Photo via Dr. Michael New)

Michael New, Ph.D. has lectured at Notre Dame and served as a research fellow at Harvard (Photo via Dr. Michael New)

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is both a disappointment and a setback for pro-lifers,” says Michael New, Ph.D., who teaches at Ave Maria University and authors research analysis at Charlotte Lozier Institute, a think tank committed to principles of human dignity. “After the Kermit Gosnell trial in 2013, I do not know how any serious person could think that abortion clinics need less regulation.”

“Furthermore Justice Breyer’s majority opinion is poorly argued. He claims that in the aftermath of HB 2, abortion would only be available in Texas cities. However, in many states, the only abortion clinics are located in cities. That is not unique to Texas. He also claims abortion is a safe procedure. However, reporting of abortion deaths and injuries is very weak—partly because clinics are so poorly regulated.”

“In light of this decision I would like to offer pro-lifers some encouragement,” New shares from his years of pro-life policy work. “Very often the judiciary has struck down pro-life legislation. However, in light of these decisions pro-life legislators have been able to re-draft legislation in such a way so that subsequent versions were upheld by the court. This was the case with partial-birth abortion bans, parental involvement laws, and informed consent laws. A revised version of HB 2 may well be upheld.”

“Overall, pro-lifers should hold their heads high. Every year, abortions are going down, more people identify as pro-life, and more states are enacting pro-life legislation. Today was a setback, but future victories await pro-lifers!”


About Josh Shepherd

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Josh M. Shepherd serves as communications manager at Bound4LIFE International – a pro-life movement driven by prayer and advocacy. He previously worked on staff at The Heritage Foundation and Focus on the Family. He earned a degree in Business Marketing from the University of Colorado. Josh and his wife Terri live in the Washington, DC area.

His Film Was Presented to the Supreme Court in the Texas Case—Now Kermit Gosnell Documentary Director Speaks Out

During oral arguments on March 2 at the Supreme Court in the Texas case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked an important question: “What was the problem the legislature was responding to?”

The answer, in short, is that thousands of women in Texas have been harmed by the abortion industry.

  Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan (Photo: Steve Petteway /   Wikimedia   )

Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan (Photo: Steve Petteway /Wikimedia)

Mainstream media only took notice of this industry due to an unscrupulous abortion center owner in Pennsylvania: Kermit Gosnell, now serving a life sentence for involuntary manslaughter of a woman seeking an abortion at his clinic and first-degree murder of three infants born alive (among other criminal charges).

Filmmaker David Altrogge and his team tell the complete horrific story in 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy—a documentary that surprisingly features the voice of Kermit Gosnell in a leading role. Recorded from his prison cell, Gosnell gave the filmmakers unusual access when they sought out why he maintains his innocence.

Justice demands that we refuse to look away from the truth. In fact, the film makes such a compelling presentation that one Texas-based legal group used a summary and stills from 3801 Lancaster in an amicus brief filed in the Texas case. Altrogge, currently based in Austin, Texas, gives behind-the-scenes insights in our phone interview.

  David Altrogge, director of 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy, at the Supreme Court on March 2 (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

David Altrogge, director of 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy, at the Supreme Court on March 2 (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

Bound4LIFE: How did you first hear about the criminal case against Dr. Kermit Gosnell?

David Altrogge: The story of this film on the Gosnell case really started in 2011. I was in a coffee shop in Pittsburgh, sat down and picked up a newspaper. I saw this tiny little column about the Gosnell case, how the grand jury report had just been released.

I was shocked and horrified; I couldn’t believe what I was reading. How does something like this happen in my home state of Pennsylvania?

A couple days later, I get a call from a buddy of mine who lives in Harrisburg. He said, “I don’t know if you’ve heard about this Gosnell case that just broke, but the Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams is going to be testifying before the State Senate here in Pennsylvania and they’re going to allow the press in. This is pretty unprecedented. I know you’re a filmmaker; you might want to think about coming.”

So my director of photography and I hopped in the car, and drove to Harrisburg to film the hearing. We were just staggered by what was presented; we walked out of there realizing we had to make a film about this.

Bound4LIFE: The film includes a key quote from the District Attorney’s office, that “There’s more oversight in women’s hair salons than abortion clinics in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Why do you think abortion has become such a difficult issue to discuss in American society?

David Altrogge: I think that gets to the heart of the film. One of the main reasons we wanted to make 3801 Lancaster is we wanted to spark conversation between people on both sides of the issue.

In effect it says: “Look at this case, here’s the facts of it. Here’s the Grand Jury report, here’s what the police officer said, here’s what Gosnell himself has said. Now why did this happen? What is it about our laws in the state of Pennsylvania and in the country as a whole that allows something like this to happen?”

I think abortion has become such a politicized issue that we forget there are real people at the center of this issue. Real women and real babies—we forget they’re real people. And we just start shouting and screaming. One of my hopes for this film is that it inspires dialogue between people on both sides, pro-life and pro-choice.

Because I think if we keep shouting, if we keep just screaming at each other, there’s not going to be any progress made on this issue.

  Photo: 3801 Lancaster Film Project

Photo: 3801 Lancaster Film Project

Bound4LIFE: Your film captures Kermit Gosnell in his own words. How did your relationship with him come about?

David Altrogge: We actually had a version of the film totally finished in 2014 that didn’t have him in it. We were ready to release it, and then at the 11th hour my producer said, “Let’s write to Kermit Gosnell. We know we won’t hear back from him, but we’ll write to him to see if he has any interest.” Then we just went on with business as usual.

But a couple months later, I received a letter from Kermit Gosnell in prison. I remember opening it and my heart was pounding. He said he would be interested in talking about being in the film and sharing his side of the story. That letter led us to almost a year of just getting to know Dr. Gosnell, building a relationship with him.

We exchanged a lot of letters and phone calls. My producer and I went and visited him twice in prison. I think we really had to show him that we weren’t trying to make a film with an agenda before we could finally start rolling tape on that interview. We were just trying to tell the story.

We conducted interviews with him from February to September 2015. That was such an interesting process, the longest interview I’ve ever done. Then we were also able to interview his family. When his family found out we were making the film, they wanted to add their voices and share their perspectives on the case.

  Currently serving a life sentence, Kermit Gosnell was recorded in prison for the film (Photo: 3801 Lancaster)

Currently serving a life sentence, Kermit Gosnell was recorded in prison for the film (Photo: 3801 Lancaster)

Bound4LIFE: Kermit Gosnell speaks in the film about preventing “children from growing up in poverty” to justify his abortion practices. How do you respond to these claims?

David Altrogge: For me, those claims are some of the most troubling ones that he makes. And I hear those claims often made by other people as a defense of abortion.

It’s troubling to me because it puts such a limit on people’s potential. Do we look at certain people and say, These are your circumstances; you’re born in poverty. You will never rise above that, so I’m going to be kind and end your life.

Somehow it’s kinder to prevent a person from living, than to give them a chance at living and rising above their circumstances? Is that really how we as a society view compassion? That sort of thinking terrifies me.

  3801 Lancaster producer Jen Brown (L), Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz, Nicole Hudgens of Texas Values and 3801 Lancaster director David Altrogge outside the U.S. Supreme Court (Photo Courtesy of Jen Brown)

3801 Lancaster producer Jen Brown (L), Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz, Nicole Hudgens of Texas Values and 3801 Lancaster director David Altrogge outside the U.S. Supreme Court (Photo Courtesy of Jen Brown)

Bound4LIFE: 3801 Lancaster concludes noting how some states have enacted regulations to protect women from the unsafe conditions found at Gosnell’s abortion clinic. What is your perspective on the Supreme Court battle gearing up around the Texas case?

David Altrogge: If the Gosnell case proved anything to me in making this film, it is that: when people choose to turn a blind eye to what’s going on, real people die.

Real people were hurt—real women and babies lost their lives—because the Pennsylvania Department of State and the Department of Health chose to look the other way. Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, can’t we at least agree that women deserve better?

If you read the Grand Jury report, the reason they chose not to inspect clinics is because they were afraid that they were going to impede women’s access to abortion. So they chose not to regulate the clinics, and Gosnell operated outside the law. As a result, women died, women were maimed, and babies died.

Whatever happens with laws like the one in Texas, which abortion providers are challenging at the Supreme Court, it’s going to affect real women and real babies. These aren’t abstract laws; women’s safety is in the balance. That’s why I support the law in Texas.

After the film was completed and early screenings began, we were approached by the public interest legal group Texas Values—who wanted to include some of the film’s evidence in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. Quotes and even still images from our film are included in the brief, which we hope the justices examine.

What a scene it was outside the court last week. Later I learned that Kermit Gosnell’s name was mentioned seven times during oral arguments inside; this story is very relevant right now.

We’re excited to be to working with Texas Values to raise awareness and start many conversations across America using 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy as a springboard.

Visit 3801Lancaster.com for details on film screenings currently planned in cities nationwide. In Part 2 of our interview coming soon, learn why the film also delves into Planned Parenthood abortion practices—and their plans for a nationwide release.


About Terri Shepherd

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For over a decade, Terri Shepherd has taken part in pro-life advocacy with Bound4LIFE — a grassroots movement to pray for the ending of abortion. She graduated from TheCall Institute at the International House of Prayer University in Kansas City, and earned a degree in social work from the University of Central Florida. Living in the Washington, DC area with her husband, Terri works at a leading Christian public policy organization.

When Silence Becomes Lethal

Some months ago, I was counseling with a young woman suffering from emotional turmoil over a previous abortion. While we talked, I asked about her parents, whom she said had divorced when she was very young.

Raised by her mother, a career woman and staunchly pro-choice, she encouraged her daughter to abort once she learned she was pregnant.

  Photo for illustration: Daniela Vladimirova /    Flickr

Photo for illustration: Daniela Vladimirova / Flickr

I asked if she had ever told anyone she had had an abortion, to which she replied, “Only my mother knew, and she told me right after the abortion never to tell anyone.” Being a loving and obedient daughter, she did just that … never telling a soul. Now 13 years later, two husbands and three psychotherapists later, this young woman sat before me an emotional wreck. That’s when silence becomes lethal.

Silence is a killer. Ask any counselor and they will confirm it. Silence inhibits a person seeing and learning the truth about themselves and their interactions in society. We humans were created as emotional creatures with the need for human interaction, which is vital to process our feelings and thought processes. Remaining silent stifles that basic need.

As a lay counselor in post-abortion ministry in North Texas, I witness every week what silence does to those with a past abortion decision (the “post-abortive”). So afraid of being judged or condemned by others for their decision, the post-abortive silently encapsulate themselves from the world—thinking they are protecting themselves. Unfortunately, the exact opposite occurs, resulting in slow destruction from shame and guilt.

  Photo for illustration: Sanofi Pasteur /    Flickr

Photo for illustration: Sanofi Pasteur / Flickr

Some dig deeper into their pain, refusing to consider their past decision has any correlation with the agony they are experiencing. The inner turmoil, never addressed, can be agonizing. To many left behind living with the decision, symptoms of Post Abortion Stress start to appear.

This puts women and men at higher risk for developing a range of mental health problems, including depression, loss of self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, self-hatred, drug and alcohol abuse, sleep disorders, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, chronic problems with relationships, dramatic personality changes, anxiety attacks, guilt and remorse, difficulty grieving, increased tendency toward violence, chronic crying, difficulty concentrating, flashbacks, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and people, and difficulty bonding with later children. It is not uncommon that symptoms lay dormant until later in life, with many carrying their secret silently to their grave.

“The psychological and spiritual agony of abortion is silenced by society, ignored by the media, rebuffed by mental health professionals, and scorned by the women’s movement. Post-abortion trauma is a serious and devastating illness which has no celebrity spokeswoman, no made-for-television movie, and no platform for the talk show confessional,” says Theresa Burke, the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry that helps men and women find healing after abortion.

  Speaking from her own experience she regrets, Debby Efurd counsels post-abortive women (Photo Courtesy of Author)

Speaking from her own experience she regrets, Debby Efurd counsels post-abortive women (Photo Courtesy of Author)

But there are other and bigger problems with remaining silent. Silence on the subject of abortion has helped perpetuate an American Holocaust for the estimated 60,000,000 (yes, million) babies aborted in the United States since 1973. As citizens in a civil society, we are each called to voice protest to injustice of any kind. Remaining silent about this American Holocaust can be deemed tacit approval of these acts.

You may think that staying silent keeps you from being involved in any conflict, but it’s quite the opposite. Silence is as much an active form of communication as talking. Many stay silent because they don’t want to do any harm by offending or criticizing someone—they want to be “politically correct.”

But when the injustice of abortion is allowed to continue for over a million women in this country every year, remaining silent perpetuates the evil. It allows future harm not only to the victims, but families, friends, communities and society.

The legislative chaos I witnessed in the Texas State Capitol in 2013 when the pro-life bill HB 2 was being fought over and ultimately passed turned the tide for me. All eyes were on Austin, Texas that summer. It was during that experience when I realized silence helps no one. I drew a line in the sand, stepped across and vowed to never be silenced again.

  At the Texas Capitol on July 12, 2013, young women pray during the vote for pro-life law HB 2 (Photo: Beth Wilson /    Flickr   )

At the Texas Capitol on July 12, 2013, young women pray during the vote for pro-life law HB 2 (Photo: Beth Wilson / Flickr)

I believe Christians have a fundamental duty to work within the governmental/political system to limit evil and promote good. Shouldn’t social justice start in the womb? Here are but a few actions each of us can take:

  1. Pray fervently for the ending of abortion in this country.

  2. Pray specifically for the U.S. Supreme Court and those justices hearing upcoming cases (the first being on March 2, the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt).

  3. Learn the truth about what happens during and after an abortion.

  4. Share what you learn and act on it.

  5. Become a listening ear to someone you know who has experienced the pain of abortion and point them to an abortion recovery ministry locally.

  6. Become active in your local, state and federal election process and learn about the candidates, including from such groups as Susan B. Anthony List.

  7. Cast your ballot at primaries, caucuses and general elections for pro-life candidates who have proven records. Remember, you are voting for the character of the candidate—not party politics, words or promises made.

  8. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: prayer is the most powerful and vital tool available to us.

  Speak up first in prayer and then in the public square, urges Debby Efurd (Photo: Geoff Meyer /    Flickr   )

Speak up first in prayer and then in the public square, urges Debby Efurd (Photo: Geoff Meyer / Flickr)

In the nineteenth century, many remained silent about the horrors of slavery—until someone spoke up. In the twentieth century, many remained silent about the horrors of Nazism—until nations spoke out. Now, in the twenty-first century, many remain silent about the horrors of abortion—and, sadly, many Americans still sit idly by while the killing continues.

An incontrovertible fact remains. Whenever any of us sit passively silent about abortion, we are affirming what the media proclaims, what our government has condoned and what our culture believes: the child in the womb is less valuable than the rest of us.

In a representative democracy, we the people are responsible for which leaders we elect. I encourage you to pray, speak out and cast an informed vote—with a primary focus on the candidates’ real, tangible steps toward ending the injustice of abortion.


About Debby Efurd

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Debby Efurd serves as president of Dallas-based Initiative 180 and its program of recovery, Peace After the Storm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in counseling from Dallas Baptist University. Debby is the author of Go Tell It! (which released in 2015) and a blogger for Bound4LIFE International, a grassroots movement to pray for the ending of abortion, carry the spirit of adoption, and believe for revival and reformation.









You Say You Know the Facts about the Abortion Pill… But RU Sure?

It has now been 15 years since the U.S. approved the abortion pill, popularly known as RU-486, for consumer use.

Available in this country since September 2000, The Guttmacher Institute reports medical abortions (or chemical abortions) have grown more common—from 6 percent of all U.S. abortions in 2001 to 23 percent by 2011.

  Photo: American Life League /    Flickr

Photo: American Life League / Flickr

This alone should give us pause; are some praising the decline of abortion centers, while forgetting this increasingly common means of ending a pre-born child’s life?

As one involved in post-abortive counseling, the facts about the abortion pill greatly alarm me: how it came to be approved, what it does and its potential harm to women.

First, what is RU-486? Mifepristone is the abortion drug developed in the early 1980’s by French company Roussel-Uclaf. The sole purpose of RU-486, for which its sponsor sought U.S. government approval, was to stop a pre-born baby’s beating heart.

Early on, mifepristone was only 80 percent effective at inducing abortion, so a prostaglandin analog was added. It causes heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting and painful uterine contractions. One of the major precautions before using this drug—listed clearly on its FDA warning label—is not to take it if you are over 7 weeks pregnant.



  Photo: James Palinsad /    Flickr

Photo: James Palinsad / Flickr

The pills do not work for approximately 5 percent of women who use RU-486, causing the women to return for surgical abortions—or, in some cases, to choose life for their child as occurred recently at a crisis pregnancy center. Promoters of the pill believe its use will help increase the number of doctors willing to perform abortions.

Which brings us to, how was this drug approved? The Clinton Administration overturned the ban on RU-486 in 1993 and the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) began an immediate fast track of the approval process.

The New York Times reported a complete history of the drug’s approval process in “Dangerous Medicine,” an investigation ending with serious concern over the drug’s uncontrolled clinical trials.

The FDA approved the drug using its “accelerated approval regulations,” created by Congress for drugs with higher risks that are better than current therapies for life-threatening illnesses like AIDS and cancer. Pregnancy, needless to say, is neither an illness nor inherently life-threatening.

  Photo: Daniel Lobo /    Flickr

Photo: Daniel Lobo / Flickr

Digging deeper into the details uncovers more misdeeds. The agency mandated a previously unapproved use for misoprostol, the second drug in the chemical abortion process—over the objections of the company that produced the drug. Further, the FDA approved RU-486 for use without safety directives, such as requiring an ultrasound to verify the age and location of the pregnancy.

Medical experts writing at the Elliot Institute review the flawed approval process in even greater depth, concluding: “RU-486 should be removed from the marketplace.”

But the abortion pill’s unsafe origin is not the whole story. What about the economics of RU-486 that cut against women’s health? Research has found that the abortion industry has often reduced the recommended dosage of mifepristone to 200 mg and dispensed the drug to women up to 9 weeks pregnant. Essentially: increase the volume of abortion procedures while decreasing standards of care.

Medical abortions are sold at twice the cost of a surgical abortion. Could this partly explain why Planned Parenthood abortion centers, starting in Iowa, are now using a “tele-med” process? This allows an off-site abortionist to prescribe the abortion pill to a female patient via a computer monitor.

For Sue Thayer, who worked at Planned Parenthood for 17 years, the introduction of webcam abortions was the last straw—causing her to leave the abortion giant and question their commitment to women’s health.

The determination to increase profits—or “excess revenues” to use the euphemism from Planned Parenthood annual reports—seems to be boundless.

Medical abortions are often presented as a less-invasive, more-natural procedure than surgical abortions. In truth, one cannot underestimate the emotional scarring. Women who abort medically experience the passage of their embryo firsthand and may see a recognizable body.

Though no long-term studies have yet been done, descriptions women give of encounters with their aborted children raise great concern. Women talk about seeing tiny fists, eyes—or seeing their aborted babies laying in the toilet bowl or swirling in the shower drain.

When symptoms of post-abortion trauma kick in, women who have had RU-486 abortions have more vivid memories and a greater sense of responsibility to deal with than those who underwent surgical abortions. In our own ministry, we have observed increased emotional trauma to those women who have had medical abortions.

  Speaking from her own experience she regrets, Debby Efurd counsels post-abortive women (Photo Courtesy of Author)

Speaking from her own experience she regrets, Debby Efurd counsels post-abortive women (Photo Courtesy of Author)

What we know about RU-486 is disturbing, but what we don’t know is even more alarming. Women’s physical and emotional well-being are at risk. One of the principal precepts of medical intervention under a physician’s care is “First, do no harm.”

However, the very act of abortion, whether surgical or medical, is to do harm to the baby. For women undergoing such procedures, what we know of the side effects following an abortion—medical, emotional and psychological—only increases our misgivings about abortion as more research is conducted.

Those of us in the counseling and medical communities should not be alone in seeing chemical abortions as a threat to women’s health and safety. The truth is, what we don’t know can hurt us.

Note: If you have recently started the RU-486 process within the last 48 hours, there is an effective process for reversing the abortion. Medical professionals are standing by at (877) 558-0333 or find more information at AbortionPillReversal.com.


About Debby Efurd

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Debby Efurd serves as president of Dallas-based Initiative 180 and its program of recovery, Peace After the Storm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in counseling from Dallas Baptist University. Debby is the author of Go Tell It! (which released in 2015) and a blogger for Bound4LIFE International, a grassroots movement to pray for the ending of abortion, carry the spirit of adoption, and believe for revival and reformation.










Unraveling the 7 Fundamental Lies Behind Roe v. Wade

Posted by Guest Author on January 21, 2016

A recent special edition of TIME Magazine headlined ‘The Supreme Court Decisions That Changed America’ makes a surprising admission for the world’s most-read newsweekly: “Like abolition in the 1850s or the war in Vietnam in the 1960s, Roe v. Wade divided the U.S. into two bitterly opposed camps.”

This weekend’s March for Life reflects that reality, as hundreds of thousands demonstrate on behalf of pre-born lives despite winter storm conditions in Washington, DC (a storm already dubbed #SnowVWade on social media).

  Despite bitter cold in 2014, hundreds of thousands marched for life in Washington, DC (Photo: Jeffrey Bruno /   Flickr   )

Despite bitter cold in 2014, hundreds of thousands marched for life in Washington, DC (Photo: Jeffrey Bruno /Flickr)

Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court decision, along with its companion case Doe v. Bolton, that legalized ending a pre-born baby’s life—for any reason, at any stage of development. For the past 43 years, Roe v. Wade has been the “law of the land”… as some of our congressmen have stated many times during recent hearings investigating Planned Parenthood.

The court’s decision has seemed impenetrable and unbreakable—until now. Several pro-life legal challenges are currently before the nation’s highest court.

Though it received little attention when filed at the Supreme Court, one legal petition makes the case against Roe v. Wade with concise and compelling logic. The petition is from the state of South Dakota: a concurrent resolution passed by the State Legislature and delivered to the Supreme Court this past fall.

  Photo: Matt Lockett / Bound4LIFE International

Photo: Matt Lockett / Bound4LIFE International

The South Dakota resolution lists seven “assumed facts” of the majority decision in Roe v. Wade, assertions now disproven by evidence from social science, medicine and law:

1. Roe v. Wade assumed that “when life began” was undeterminable, that the child is not a distinct person. Today, the scientific view is that life begins at conception.

As to legal rights, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (in the 2008 opinion Planned Parenthood v. Rounds) recognized the life in the womb as a “whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

2. Next, the maligned abortion decision assumed getting an abortion is merely a mother’s medical decision; in reality, it is “primarily a social question about her personal circumstances” states the South Dakota resolution which echoes many women’s stories.

  Photo: Stefan Pasch /    Flickr

Photo: Stefan Pasch / Flickr

3. The high court also assumed: surely the woman and abortion provider would have a normal and healthy doctor-patient relationship? Yet decades of experience with dehumanizing abortion practices reveal that no such relationship exists between abortionists and their clients.

4. The fourth assumed fact is that abortion consent would be informed and voluntary. While some states mandate abortion centers disclose all of the risks of the procedure, informed consent has been the exception rather than the rule.

The directors of one anti-trafficking ministry note that abortion and violence against pregnant women are linked, a trend also reflected in other nations’ coercive forced-abortion policies.

  Photo: Francisco Osorio /    Flickr

Photo: Francisco Osorio / Flickr

5. In Roe v. Wade, the court emphasized that motherhood was stressful and a burden. Whether a parent through one’s own pregnancy, adoption or foster care, no one can deny parenting involves sacrifice.

Yet the court failed to take into account the loss and emotional wounding following an abortion, which research shows many women struggle with for decades. Further, because every state has enacted Safe Haven laws, the long-term costs and sacrifices of parenting can be alleviated through adoption.

6. The sixth assumed fact is that a mother carried mere “potential.” However, medical science recognizes how a mother bonds with her child still in the womb, as noted by the world’s leading source of health care information.

  Image Courtesy of    Pexels

Image Courtesy of Pexels

7. Finally, Roe v. Wade assumed that abortion is a safe process. Four decades later, reams of medical evidence show that abortion carries both immediate and long-term health risks for women—including increased risk of suicidal thoughts and mental health issues.

The seven fallacies above are in no way comprehensive; one could point to other ways due process was thwarted in this case, as Clark Forsythe does in his book Abuse of Discretionbased on 20 years of research.

“There was no factual record on abortion or its implications [presented in Roe v. Wade],” says Forsythe. “Neither the attorneys nor the justices had any factual record on which to rely to ask or answer basic questions, like the number of abortions, the medical implications, the risks, the legal history [or] the purpose of abortion laws.”

  Team members with Bound4LIFE pray for wisdom and justice at the Supreme Court (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

Team members with Bound4LIFE pray for wisdom and justice at the Supreme Court (Photo: Josh Shepherd)

Where this Supreme Court decision has brought our nation should break our hearts—resulting in the loss of more than 58 million innocent, defenseless lives.

It does mine. And it gives me continual resolve to advocate, pray and speak out for this unjust case to be overturned.


About Justice Woods

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Justice Woods is a college student, writer and graduate of Hilltop Internship at the Justice House of Prayer DC. Currently studying to work in the legal arena, he lives in Fort Worth, Texas.

Planned Parenthood Announces Policy Change after Decline in Public Opinion; Abortion Provider Continues to Deny Humanity of Unborn

As reported this week, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards has informed the National Institutes of Health in an open letter that Planned Parenthood will no longer accept any sort of reimbursement for fetal tissues, organs and intact fetal cadavers.

This comes after a summer of disturbing revelations about Planned Parenthood practices via the Center for Medical Progress. The videos produced by investigative journalist David Daleiden show Planned Parenthood executives and physicians discussing the sale of fetal parts and negotiating the prices for those fetal tissues.

“It’s pretty much an admission of guilt,” Daleiden said of Planned Parenthood’s policy change in an extensive Washington Post interview released yesterday.

He also expressed how saving pre-born babies drives his investigative work, saying of an unborn fetus: “Its humanity isn’t considered valid, yet it’s precisely that same humanity that makes it valuable for experimentation.”

Daleiden and his team posed as agents for biotechnology companies, supposedly interested in purchasing fetal tissues and organs from Planned Parenthood. Experts in the field of stem cell research stated this week that fetal body parts are ineffective in developing new medical treatments, though the nation’s largest abortion provider has perpetuated this practice for decades.

Planned Parenthood has attempted to defend itself by trying to persuade the media, the public and Congress that the videos were deceptively edited. Yet an independent forensic review has shown that there was no deception or manipulation in the editing.

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Photo: Lenny Flank / Flickr

Then there’s the larger issue. Federal law allows a facility that performs abortions to provide fetal tissues to research companies with the mother’s consent. The law limits the amount of remuneration to nothing more than the actual cost of preparing the tissues and transferring them to the buyer. As distasteful as that may be, it is the law.

Has Planned Parenthood sought only to be reimbursed for its costs involved in the preparation of tissues for the buyers? It’s a question that leads to another one.

Knowing what the law states, and having watched the videos, one cannot help but ask: If you are legally allowed to charge for your costs, why are you negotiating and haggling for a better price?

If you are truly striving to function within the confines of the law, why are you not handing the buyers a document that shows what your costs are—so that they can accept or reject that figure?

The preparation of such tissue would most certainly have costs related to the salary for the relevant employee’s time and for the supplies used. This is not a figure open to negotiation; it is a simple, fixed amount.

With those financial questions still unanswered, one must ask: If Planned Parenthood was doing nothing wrong, why is the nation’s largest abortion provider suddenly changing its policy?

Unfortunately, we cannot expect Cecile Richards to tell the truth on this subject—even under oath before Congress, she misstated the facts.

In her testimony, Richards admitted that Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms and claimed to have never said her organization provides mammograms.

That statement was quickly refuted when a 2011 video surfaced, with Richards stating that mammograms were part of the important services Planned Parenthood provides. Can we expect the truth on the issue of fetal organ trafficking to be fully disclosed?

In light of the facts revealed and questions unanswered, it becomes clear why this policy change comes at this time: Planned Parenthood has much to lose if Congressional investigations continue and if the American people continue to pressure Congress to defund Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood has found itself in great peril. They have apparently decided that they need to do everything possible to prevent further revelations. After all, if they had truly done nothing wrong there should be no reason to change their policy.  

They have undoubtedly changed their policy because they hope to avoid further losses, in terms of federal dollars and of public opinion. The fact that they are changing this policy in order to regain the high ground means one thing and one thing only—the Planned Parenthood leadership is terrified about what will be revealed if investigations continue unabated.

  Since July, Americans’ favorability rating of Planned Parenthood has declined (Source: Quinnipiac Poll /    Washington Post   )

Since July, Americans’ favorability rating of Planned Parenthood has declined (Source: Quinnipiac Poll / Washington Post)

Planned Parenthood knows that further revelations will endanger their federal funding—a full forty percent of their budget.  

Planned Parenthood knows that there is a very real possibility of serious criminal charges—because illegal trafficking in fetal tissues is a felony.

If this story stays in the public eye as we approach the 2016 election season, Richards and her leadership team realize there will be incredible pressure on candidates to pledge to defund Planned Parenthood if they are elected.  

Planned Parenthood knows it is at a tipping point. They desperately need to see this be just another “flash in the pan”—but if further atrocities are revealed, the tide of public opinion will become a tsunami, and the taxpayer funding that undergirds their unethical business model will be washed away.

  Planned Parenthood currently receives over $500 million in taxpayer funding every year (Photo:    Wikimedia   )

Planned Parenthood currently receives over $500 million in taxpayer funding every year (Photo: Wikimedia)

Their actions show this is a pivotal moment. Now is not the time for pro-life advocates to rest. Now is the time to make our voices heard. Do not stop sharing information, especially via social media.

Personally, I have contacted sitting legislators and thanked those whose pro-life efforts are meaningful. We can also remind those whose efforts have been less than helpful that we are watching; election season is not far off.

If your district’s Representative and your state’s Senators are actually pro-abortion, then ask that they watch the Center for Medical Progress videos and then make a public statement on how they intend to handle the issue in light of those videos. Write an open letter to such legislators and send it to your local papers. Call in to radio talk shows and publicly hold such legislators accountable.

  Pro-life believers pray for redemption and the ending of abortion outside an abortion center (Photo: Mikel Darling /    Flickr   )

Pro-life believers pray for redemption and the ending of abortion outside an abortion center (Photo: Mikel Darling / Flickr)

We need churches who will speak up for defenseless lives. Ask your pastor to address the subject regularly from the pulpit. The federal rules governing the non-profit status of churches only prevent a church from endorsing a specific candidate; they do not prevent a church from discussing a moral issue such as abortion.

Finally, most important of all, pray. My wife shared a highly relevant quote with me today. Leonard Ravenhill once said: “God can move mountains, but prayer can move God.” The fight for life has been a mountain, and now is the time to press on harder than ever before.


About Dr. Brent Boles

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Brent Boles, MD has been practicing medicine for two decades as an OB-GYN in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He served as a volunteer spokesman for the Yes on 1 initiative and is a contributor to Bound4LIFE, a grassroots movement to pray for the ending of abortion and for revival worldwide.