- The Devaluing of Life
Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.”
– St. Mother Teresa
Dear Friends of Next Step,
It is cold, bright, and at times dismal and we are bombarded with news, numbers, opinions, anger, and changes daily. It is enough to make one put their head back underneath the pillow and desperately try to get back to the blackness of sleep.
But we cannot hide our heads, Netflix and chill, or hideaway in our homes until this all passes. That is not what we are called to do is it?
There is an enemy, not a new one, but one that has until recently resided in stark clinical rooms and discussed among the list of ‘offerings’ to those finding themselves ‘in a pickle’. But with the human connections getting fewer and fewer and venturing from our homes discouraged it is now a very real and a dangerous ‘service’ being foisted upon our community.
The abortion pill, also known as RU-486, has been circling the U.S as early as 1994 under the Clinton Administration.
So, what is the Abortion Pill?
The Abortion Pill is “a chemical compound that, taken in pill form, can induce abortion in women up to nine weeks pregnant.” (https://www.nrlc.org/abortion/ru486/)
In the United States it is sold under the name Mifeprex, also known as the “Early Option Pill”. It operates as an artificial steroid that impedes the action of naturally occurring progesterone (a hormone essential to early pregnancy progress) in the woman’s body.
“Progesterone stimulates the proliferation of the uterine lining which nourishes the developing child. It also suppresses normal uterine contractions which could dislodge the child implanted and growing on the wall of the mother’s womb” (https://www.nrlc.org/abortion/ru486/).
The Abortion Pill takes the place of the progesterone. Without that hormone to begin the natural process of pregnancy the women’s body shuts down the preparation of the uterus and normal menstruation begins. The baby, whose heart has already taken its first beats as early as five weeks and is about 2mm long, deprived of necessary nutrition starves. He or she detaches from the uterine wall and is swept out of the body with the decaying uterine lining.
That is, it in a nutshell. This is all very researched and laid out factually in many places. I found the most helpful information on the National Right to Life website (nrlc.org).
Over the last several months – or year is it now? – since the countrywide pandemic has taken over, those who push abortion as a basic human right have taken the opportunity to reach even further into our homes than before by offering to send the abortion pill to pregnant women to take in their homes without the basic monitoring of their health and well-being. The argument being that due to COVID and “out of an abundance of caution” women are being asked to “stay home and stay safe” and they will send the ‘abortion’ to you!
But that is not the only pill the woman is sent. Alone RU486 can induce an abortion only between 64% and 85% of the time. “Therefore, two days after taking the RU486, a woman is given a prostaglandin, usually misoprostol (trade name: Cytotec), to induce powerful uterine contractions to expel the shriveled corpse.” (https://www.nrlc.org/abortion/ru486/).
During the clinical trials in France, prior to the FDA deciding the process was “safe and effective” in 1996, the Abortion Pill was administered typically within or adjacent to emergency facilities. Why? Because some of the women in the trial began hemorrhaging (in other words bleeding out). In addition, women were screened for several health conditions that may have ruled them out from using the drug due to some severe short- and long-term effects.
“After women are given prostaglandin (e.g., misoprostol), they are monitored on site for approximately four hours so that allergic reactions, cardiopulmonary “events,” hemorrhaging and the like can be treated promptly before they become life-threatening.” (April 12, 1990 letter from the French Republic, Department of Solidarity, Health and Social Protection, reprinted in Child & Family 21:102-103, 1990).
A 1990 directive jointly signed by the French Republic’s Director General of Health, Director of Hospitals and Director of Pharmacy and Medication, states that “whenever prostaglandins are given in association with RU 486 the following technical conditions … are indispensable and are to be followed”
And the article goes on to describe having a defibrillator handy, resuscitative cardiopulmonary equipment as well as blood pressure checks every 30 minutes. The most common side effect being bleeding extensively and excessively. “Women taking RU486 usually bleed for at least a week or two, with 9% bleeding for 30 days or more.” (https://www.nrlc.org/abortion/ru486)
Today, in the world of COVID, there seem to be little precautions taken.
According to an article in ViceMediaGroup from February of this year, the new thing is to perform a “self-managed abortion”.
“Though it’s a violation of the Food and Drug Administration’s rules to sell abortion medication online—the agency’s restrictions on mifepristone require it to be administered in person at a hospital or clinic—there are several websites where people can buy the drugs online.” (ViceMediaGroup, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/884m9x/how-to-do-your-own-abortion-with-pills, Maria Solis, February 17th, 2020)
And thus “perform your own abortion” in the relative comfort of your own home. Away from physicians or nurses or any medical personnel or monitoring. If anyone watched the 2019 film “Unplanned” based on the life of pro-life champion Abby Johnson, you will see what I mean.
The nonchalance with which this procedure is marketed saddens us greatly. That the killing of an unborn child is relegated to the equivalent of an amazon package. The patient is encouraged to have herbal tea, a blanket and Netflix ready.
And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Celebrate National Sanctity of Life Day!
This day marks the landmark ruling back on January 22nd, 1973 when the horrific abortion procedure was legalized. It was under the Reagan administration that a day of remembrance was created and celebrated ever since each year on the anniversary of that terrible decision and as a promise to continue to fight for an end to the taking away of life in the womb.
(click on the link and put your volume up!)
Attached is a very short video I hope you will watch that celebrates the beauty of life in the womb and beyond.
- The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” ~ Winston Churchill
Dear Friends of Next Step,
Back in 1940 a speech was given to gathered MPs and staff in the House of Commons, England. The speech though not made live to the public or broadcast has been hailed as one of the most inspiring speeches ever given. In it Sir Winston Churchill expounds upon the duty of all those in the British Empire to fight, to never flag, to stand firm, to defend their island and all its people, principles, hopes, and visions until the end, the very end, “whatever the cost may be”.
Churchill’s words struck me as particularly fitting as we inch closer and closer to the Election for Commander in Chief (among other positions and amendments) for our great nation. As well as the appointment of a new Justice in our highest court.
The last year (give or take) has taken on an almost surreal quality in its barrage of hate, anger, lies, violence, oppression, injustice, media blackouts, and suppression.
All in all the country stands poised to either retain her freedoms of religion, of speech, of the press, and of the right to peaceably gather as well as the right to all those living (born and unborn) to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – or to surrender those things which were “endowed by their Creator”.
As a Pro-Life clinic Next Step Pregnancy stands to have our mission protected, celebrated, and most importantly moved forward to a time when the slaughter of the unborn is not just rare but indefensible. Or – to face overwhelming opposition against our purpose. That is how much the next few weeks will affect our cause.
This is not a “get out the vote” connection. But a plea for courage, discernment, and action. Much like the Prime Minister during the Second World War declared from the House on June 4th, 1940 following the evacuation of Dunkirk – “whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,”.
We can not be the silent majority any more than we can let others decide our outcomes. We need to live bravely. We cannot surrender. The future of our unborn children is dependent on you.
“We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
- August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams
Since the beginning of time mothers have breastfed their young. It is as natural and organic as breathing. In every aspect of the world and every species on the planet it is there. The connection between mother and young during this simple act is one of the most profound in the human experience and there is no comparison.
The grace that flows naturally from a woman is a unique strength. Not only has she the power to sustain a life within her own body but even after birth her body still brings life and nourishment to her child.
One of the many beautiful superpowers a woman possesses.
Breastfeeding is not always easy and is not always a beautiful experience. I can recall my own obstacles with my oldest child even years later. The late nights, the fatigue, the frustration of both mom and baby at not being able to latch on properly. But once again I was not alone. There were other women who had been there and knew. They understood. The resources I was given, the patience, the encouragement was yet another testament to the capabilities and communion between women.
Despite working hard to maintain breastfeeding and pumping milk daily my daughter decided that she had had enough at about 6 months old. I remember feeling tender about it and even a bit rejected. This was natural I realized. As soon as you become a mother they begin separating from you. Your child is her own unique person, unlike any other.
I would not change those times for anything, the quiet of the night, the curve of my baby’s head in my arms as she nestled. There is nothing that compares.
My second child was a bit different in every sense of the word. Due to health concerns sadly, I was unable to breastfeed for very long and had to turn towards formula for my child. Formula is not horrible. It contains the nutrients your baby needs without a doubt. I will not proclaim to say it is worse or better. Like many mothers who are unable to breastfeed I found bottle feeding still a treasured moment with my child. A fleeting time for sure, but a gift just the same.
There are a multitude of benefits to breastfeeding not the least of which is the possibility of losing pregnancy weight! There is also a myriad of breastfeeding resources in the community –
La Leche League – llli.org
PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support) – peps.org
WIC – wicbreastfeeding.fns.usada.gov
And for more help or questions – there’s Next Step! (425)329-4569
- “If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first. If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” John 15(v18-19),
Dear Friends of Next Step,
I would like to touch on something that I think we can all agree has become quite a tool for evil, especially in recent months with so many people relegated to living life behind their phones and laptops. Social Media – it is like a bucket of beautiful shiny red apples – but as you sift through you realize that was only the top layer and the rest is rotten.
Earlier this week I received an email recommending I create a Next Step Pregnancy Services business page for the Next Door application, which is an application for neighbors and neighborhoods to connect on local events, issues, buying and selling things and the like; the app gets a lot of traffic I’ll say. It sounded like a sound idea to get the word out about Next Step and our services, so I created a page with our services, our mission, and our location and contact info.
Not ten minutes later I got a notification of a comment, and then another one, and another. It went on all day. The comments were centered primarily on pregnancy care centers as a whole and why these few people believe pregnancy centers are anti woman, deceiving women into coming in, working without medical regulations or medical personnel, withholding contraception, pushing religious agendas, and the list goes on and on…. There were even comments about what Next Step’s stance was on Referendum 90 and sex education courses and ended with an invite from one neighbor to another to join “Catholics for Choice.”
As you can imagine I was fairly blown away by the viciousness and negativity. You would think I would not have been given Facebook and Twitter and the like spewed out there, but I guess I just thought – it is a business listing for our services, end of. To make a long story short, I did answer the legitimate questions about Next Step Pregnancy’s services, confirmed we are a pro-life organization, confirmed we do indeed have licensed medical professionals to boot. And I thanked the few people who chimed in in our defense. Thankfully there were a few.
I contemplated removing the business site from Next Door but in the end decided against it. Next Step Pregnancy Services is a beautiful, compassionate, and life-saving place that puts the health and well-being of families, including the precious unborn – first. And we will not back down, we will not be silent about the sanctity of all life, and we will not be cowed into compromising our faith. We are pro-woman. A woman is more than capable enough to be a mother, planned or unplanned. Make no mistake, this is a battle. We can do it.
“He has chosen us out of the world.”