Tag Archives: women

Abortion clinic worker’s unplanned wakeup led to conversion

I started volunteering at Planned Parenthood because I believed the lie that they wanted to reduce the number of abortions and help women. It wasn’t until I had spent eight years at Planned Parenthood that the scales dropped from my eyes. Abortion was profitable and I was right in the middle of raking in that money for Planned Parenthood.

At my clinic in Bryan, Texas, surgical abortions cost $450 up to over $800 and RU-486 abortions were $450. We did surgical abortions once a week and dispensed the abortion pill on certain days. But by the time I left, we were selling RU-486 daily to increase profits.

Unfortunately, my clinic also participated in the sale of fetal tissue. We were paid about $200 per specimen by Amphioxus Cell Technologies, a company no longer in business. At the time, the Houston facility had an abortion quota of 75 abortions per day and, while not all women consented to having the remains of their baby used for research, and while not all fetal tissue was sellable, this practice brought in millions of dollars for Planned Parenthood. 

When then-Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards testified in front of Congress in 2015 about their illegal selling of fetal tissue, one of her statements went largely unnoticed. She revealed that 86 percent of her nonprofit’s revenue came from abortion. 

Among other things, Planned Parenthood’s annual reports detail how many abortions they do every year and their revenue. The year after Cecile Richards testified in front of Congress, Planned Parenthood reported a revenue of $1.296 billion, which included over $500 million in taxpayer dollars. That year, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions.

 In 2017-2018, abortions increased to 332,757 and revenue jumped to $1.665 billion, including nearly $564 million from taxpayers. Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry makes millions of dollars every year from tearing apart babies in the womb and taxpayers subsidize the largest abortion provider in the country.

How did I not understand the abortion business model throughout my years at Planned Parenthood? Maybe I didn’t want to see it. Maybe I didn’t want to face the fact that my salary, vacation days, 401K, and health insurance were being paid for by abortion.

My conscience was pricked throughout my time at Planned Parenthood but I quieted that voice until one day, as I watched a baby fight for its life against the abortion instruments on an ultrasound screen, my heart was immediately changed and I saw the truth of abortion. What I saw on that screen, while my own hand held the probe so the abortionist could see what he was doing inside the womb of that woman, changed everything.

I woke up. I could no longer be a part of abortion and selling the dismemberment of children to women as a solution to all their problems. My story is being told in the new film, Unplanned, in theaters now. I urge you to see it. No one will be able to walk away and say they didn’t know. 

Abortion is immensely profitable and preys upon women who are being told they need it in order to live their best life. We need to come to these women from a place of love and join together to make abortion unthinkable, to relegate the business of abortion to history books where future generations will learn about the atrocities in the womb and how it was us who stood in the gap between good and evil and put an end to the business of abortion.

ABBY JOHNSON is founder and director of And Then There Were None, which helps abortion workers leave the industry. She is the author of Unplanned and The Walls are Talking. Unplanned, a movie about her conversion, was released in theaters March 29, 2019.

Women at work – making the conversation current

I would be the first to acknowledge the huge strides that have been made in terms of women’s emancipation. I enjoy many rights denied to women in the not-so-distant past, often without considering the sacrifices previous generations made to win them in the first place.

Women still face struggles, however, and it is a matter of justice to acknowledge where they exist. The complaint, ‘Women want to have it all’ is as outdated as it is inaccurate, yet it remains a persistent myth, particularly regarding women in the workplace. The reality is that women do not so much demand to ‘have it all’ as they are expected to ‘give it all.’

It is very easy for working mothers to be overwhelmed by the sense of being pulled in all directions, expected to be all things to everybody: shuttling children to playdates or swimming lessons; organizing perfect birthday parties, while appearing impeccably dressed, notes in order, ready to address an office meeting or seminar. It can feel like leading a double life, attempting to accommodate two separate identities, whilst never feeling completely true to either.

What is harder to appreciate is that the exhausted working mother is not a modern phenomenon. The expectations, the parenting perfectionism, the long hours and prevailing workplace stress may be trials of contemporary living, but mothers have always undertaken paid work. Staying home to raise a family (without doing paid work at home) is a luxury we view as the natural state of things, but often only among the white middle classes has opting out of the job market been a serious possibility.

In pre-industrial Britain, women would have been almost as common a sight labouring in the fields as men, whilst women made up the majority of those employed in domestic service. Many other women did paid work at home such as sewing or weaving. As Britain underwent the Industrial Revolution, working-class women worked in the mills alongside men. The tendency of English literature to focus on the lives of the middle and upper classes can blind us to the fact that for many women, the opportunity to devote years to raising children and running a household was an impossible dream.

Despite women forming a significant part of the workforce for centuries, we lack the vocabulary to discuss women and work in a way that is not judgemental either about women who undertake paid work outside the home, or about those who choose to stay at home while their children are young. With the current socio-economic situation rendering it virtually impossible for a family to survive on one income, it is more necessary than ever for society to come up with practical strategies to ensure that women are fully supported in the workplace, whilst having the opportunity to take career breaks if desired.

There is a need to take a more flexible approach to child care, with couples deciding between themselves who should shoulder the bulk of it. A truly just society would not regard it as ridiculous for a father to stay home three days a week to care for his pre-school children. A society which truly believes in giving women freedom to make fundamental decisions about their lives would allow a woman the option of substantial maternity leave and the further option of taking a career break without punishing her by permanently locking her out of her former job or docking her pension.

The role church communities play in supporting women in the workplace should not be underestimated and can be a lifeline for many women. The challenges facing women in the workplace will not disappear – any more than working women themselves – if we treat them as an aberration.

FIORELLA NASH is a writer and bioethicist in the United Kingdom with over 10 years’ experience researching life issues from a woman’s perspective. She is author of the recent title, The Abolition of Woman: How Radical Feminism Is Betraying Women (Ignatius). She speaks at international conferences, on radio, and in print on abortion, gendercide, maternal health, and commercial surrogacy. She is also an award-winning novelist and has published numerous books under the nom-de-plume Fiorella De Maria, including Poor Banished Children, Do No Harm, and We’ll Never Tell Them.

The Abolition of Woman: How Radical Feminism Is Betraying Women

Florella Nash
Ignatius Press, 234 pages

 

“When a movement becomes so ideologically committed to promoting abortion that it bullies and silences any woman who challenges the status quo and ignores or actively colludes in the abuse of women through abortion, it needs to be called to account,” Florella Nash said in a recent interview. Calling mainstream feminists to account is what she does here in arguing that “prolife” and “feminist” are not contradictory terms but rather are perfectly compatible, since as she noted in the same interview – “no movement that truly believes in justice and equality seeks to achieve those goals through the sacrifice of innocent lives.”

 

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Symptoms of a woman’s broken heart

Susan Locke writes that women have different symptoms for heart trouble than men . . .

healthnet

Research from the National Institutes of Health compared the symptoms of heart attack for men and women and reached two important conclusions.

One: Women are more likely than men to have “atypical symptoms” during a heart attack, and two: Women often experience new or different physical symptoms as long as a month or more prior to the heart attack.

Most people are familiar with the “classic symptoms” of a heart attack. These include a crushing, squeezing or burning pain, pressure or fullness in the center of chest. The pain may radiate to the neck, one or both arms, shoulders, or the jaw. The pain usually lasts more than a few minutes, but it may go away and then return later. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or cold and clammy skin.

Atypical symptoms, which were found to be more common in women include: Back or neck pain, vomiting, indigestion, weakness, fatigue, dizziness and lightheadedness

The NIH study found that women often do not experience severe pain during an attack; therefore, they should take milder chest pain seriously. In fact, 43% of the women studied did not experience any chest pain at all, and about one third described chest discomfort but not severe pain. Shortness of breath was more common in women, and sweating was more common in men experiencing heart attacks.

The second significant finding was that 95% of the 515 women studied experienced symptoms for weeks or even months before the attack. The “pre-attack” or early symptoms included unusual fatigue (70%), sleep disturbance (48%), shortness of breath (42%), indigestion (39%), and dizziness (39%).

Life-saving heart attack treatments are time sensitive — the earlier they are initiated, the better the out come. Delay can result in long-lasting heart damage or death. So learning to recognize early symptoms and atypical symptoms can be vital to getting the treatment you need fast. Every second counts.

SUSAN LOCKE, MD, is Healthnetwork Foundation’s medical director.

HEALTHNETWORK is a Legatus membership benefit, a healthcare “concierge service” that provides members and their families access to some of the most respected hospitals in the world. One Call Starts It All: (866) 968-2467 or (440) 893-0830. Email: help@healthnetworkfoundation.org

ENDOW embodies the ‘genius of women’

Ministry counters radical secular feminism

For most of the last century, Catholic women of substance found themselves in a box. Betrayed by a secular feminism with a frantic pro-abortion agenda and unsure of their place in a supposedly male-dominated Church, they looked for a way to exercise what Pope John Paul II called “the true genius of women.”

Enter ENDOW.

Feminine genius

ENDOW — Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women — is a ministry dedicated to educating women in order to transform and humanize society. It has blossomed among women in all walks of life because of its low-key approach and its promotion of “the feminine genius.”

“It’s refreshing,” said Joanie Todd, a member of both Legatus’ Denver Chapter and the ENDOW board of directors. “I fell in love with what it meant to be a Catholic woman. ENDOW has really become a passion of mine and has changed my life.”

One of those changes was to take the two Todd children out of public schools and send them to Catholic schools; another was Todd’s transformation into an advocate for authentic feminism.

Terry Polakovic, ENDOW’s executive director, was also changed by the ministry. She said her participation helped bring order to her life and gave her a clear sense of her vocation.

ENDOW provides weekly small group studies with a trained facilitator. Groups study papal encyclicals and other source documents that educate them on fundamental Catholic Church teachings and highlight women’s roles in the Church and in society. Each study guide is made up of eight sessions, each with the imprimatur of Archbishop Charles Chaput. ENDOW is active in 54 dioceses across the country.

The new feminism

John Paul II wrote extensively about motherhood and women’s unique dignity and vocation. “The personal resources of femininity are certainly no less than the resources of masculinity: they are merely different,” he wrote in his 1988 apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem. “Full respect for women and their identity,” he wrote in his 1995 Letter to Women, “must first and foremost be won … beginning with a universal recognition of the dignity of women.” (Emphasis his.)

ENDOW began five years ago with a pilot program based on John Paul’s writings. It has grown to include 3,800 participants.

“ENDOW’s mission is to change the culture, from a culture of death to a culture of life,” Todd said. “It emphasizes the complementarity of men and women.”

Polakovic said ENDOW fills a void.

“Women are hungry for an alternative to what our culture is offering as far as feminism goes,” she explained. “I think they know in their hearts that it’s false, and they want to have the truth articulated by people like Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict and backed up with Scripture and scholarship. It opens a brand new world to them.”

Women in the Church

Archbishop Chaput, who vetted the initial ENDOW program, said that women need a “Catholic brand of feminism … one that is faithful to the Gospel in every way.”

ENDOW helps refute the misconception that leadership in the Catholic Church is only for men. Archbishop Chaput said the Church will be stronger with more women leaders.

“We have to overcome the feeling that so many Catholic women today have that the Church isn’t interested in them or in their leadership,” he said. “ENDOW will provide the resources to make them aware that they are loved and welcomed – and at the heart of the Church.”

Teresa Tomeo, a member of the Detroit NE Chapter of Legatus, is a writer and nationally syndicated talk show host. She was a delegate to the Vatican’s international congress for women last February and the keynote speaker at ENDOW’s 2007 annual conference. She thinks the perception of inequality in the Church persists because women don’t know the truth.

“Women are poorly catechized and unaware of all the opportunities in the Church,” Tomeo said.

Women’s perspective would change, she contends, if they knew what the Church actually teaches, instead of getting their information from the biased secular media.

“Whether they realize it or not, the secular media is indoctrinating them into an anti-Catholic approach to life,” she said.

“Radical feminism takes the position that the priesthood is no more than a career, rather than a calling, and so it represents the last glass ceiling that women can break through,” Tomeo explained. “Education is the key to correcting this misperception, and ENDOW can make a huge difference in the lives of women.”

Youth focus

Although the study guides are at the heart of ENDOW’s ministry, the organization also holds an annual conference and luncheons with speakers who address topics of interest to Catholic women.

The ministry has also developed an outreach to young women and girls, according to Brigid Sweeney, who heads up ENDOW’s youth development. Classes for middle and high school girls are in the early stages, and the programs are expanding quickly.

“Kids are bombarded by the media, the music, the shows they watch, the books they read,” she said. “Everything is telling them: ‘Your value is in your physical appearance and what you can do.’ But we know their value comes from their dignity, in being created in the image and likeness of God. Our goal is to deconstruct the lies and to help them see the truth.”

Paul A. Barra is a freelance journalist based in Reidville, South Carolina.

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Learn more

Joanie Todd, a member of the Denver Chapter of Legatus, speaks about “the feminine genius” at Legatus chapter events nationwide. Learn more about authentic feminism and the work ENDOW is doing. For more information, visit endowonline.com or write Todd at: toddswim@comcast.net.