Tag Archives: abortion survivor

Why I chose to get arrested at Speaker Boehner’s office

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When word came down the night of January 21 that House GOP leaders were reneging on their promise to hold a vote on the 20-week abortion ban the next day – the haunting 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision – [WARNING: vulgarity alert], I was pissed off to the height of pisstivity. Sorry, that’s the most accurate way I can describe it.

How could GOP leaders have been so careless, cavalier, and apathetic as to let this lowest hanging fruit of a pro-life bill get away from them? How could they have been so cajoneless as to abandon the 20-week ban at the first sign of trouble? And just how low was their respect for the pro-life movement that they would dare to insult us on such a colossal scale?

And then to go silent about the ban for two full months following that debacle?

I’m boiling over again even as I type.

This is the backdrop for my decision to help organize a protest at Speaker Boehner’s office on March 25. As CNS News reported:

Stanek, a nurse who formerly worked at Christ Hospital in Chicago, became involved in the pro-life movement 16 years ago after she held a live baby who had survived an abortion and was left to die afterwards.

“I’ve been in this movement for 16 years, from the moment I held this little aborted baby, and I’ve never felt convicted to be arrested,” Stanek explained during the protest on Wednesday.

“I’ve always felt my voice was well-heard, speaking and writing,” she said. “But when this bill failed to be brought forward on Jan. 22, I was just so frustrated and disgusted with our Republican House leadership, that they would abandon these babies over political maneuvering.”

“I decided right then and there that I was willing to be arrested on behalf of this little baby that I held, and others like him,” she said.

So, on March 25, alongside several other pro-lifers, I marched to Speaker Boehner’s Longworth Building office to protest the hold-up…

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Three of us gave speeches. Here’s mine…

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Then, eight of us – six women and two men – sat in front of the locked door to Boehner’s office (it’s not as if he wanted anyone coming in anyway) and proceeded to get arrested. We were charged with, “Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding.” There were over twice as many Capitol police as protesters…

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At this point I don’t want to appear to dramatize the details of our arrest, because our experience truly was nothing compared to what other pro-lifers endure for the cause. But I know people are interested in details, so here goes.

When we were loaded into the paddy wagon I realized my plastic cuffs were so loose I could take them off! … a nice little blessing from God to ease my slight discomfort and to scratch some itches all the way around. I never let an officer know until it came time to cut them off, at which point I said don’t bother, and at which point the officer planning to do the cutting rolled her eyes.

We were taken to the Capitol Police processing center, about five minutes’ drive from the Capitol. Guards itemized our belongings and did a (noninvasive!) body search. I was glad I’d gotten a pre-prison pedicure, since they even had me remove my socks and shoes!

We were then taken to an interview room, two in each, and handcuffed to the wall (only one hand). We sat there a couple hours.

We were ultimately given three options: to pay a $50 fine and be released with no conviction but with an arrest record, to post bond and come back for a jury trial, or to pay nothing and go to jail to await a court hearing. We all chose the first option.

There were two holding cells. The guys – Pat Mahoney and Troy Newman – ended up in one, and I ended up in the other, alone, while my female friends remained handcuffed to the wall. How this happened is I said I had to go to the bathroom, so a guard took me to the remaining cell, where there was a toilet, and then forgot about me, I think.

This, too, was a nice little gift from God – to have a little alone time with Him and to briefly ponder life in a jail cell.

In all, I spent a little over five hours in the processing center – four hours in processing and one hour in a jail cell.

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One last thing – police confiscated our t-shirts as “evidence”! We are supposed to eventually get them back, but I’m not holding my breath. I should also mention Capitol police were courteous and even kind.

The dust hasn’t settled yet, but I feel good that our original goal was met. This was to refocus attention from political maneuvering back to the babies, and to rekindle traction to pass the 20-week ban in the House. By several accounts our protest has indeed sparked movement.

That said, we aren’t going away. Stay tuned for more information on that in the following days.

Here were some news accounts of our protest…

Christian Post“Exclusive interview: Jill Stanek explains her protest and arrest at Speaker Boehner’s office”
Cincinnati Enquirer: “Anti-abortion protesters target Boehner”
CNS News: “Pro-lifers arrested for praying outside Boehner’s office”
EWTN: News Nightly video report
LifeSiteNews: “Pro-life leaders arrested as they protest ‘betrayal’ on 20-week abortion ban outside Speaker Boehner’s office”
Live Action News: “Pro-life leaders arrested at #FreeTheBan sit-in held at Speaker Boehner’s office”
Patheos: “Speaker John Boehner’s office orders arrest of pro-life demonstrators”
Right Wing News: “Pro-life protesters arrested outside Speaker John Boehner’s office over 20-week abortion ban bill”
Roll Call: “Eight arrested in anti-abortion ‘pray-in’ outside Boehner’s office”
Townhall: “Protesters arrested while praying outside of Speaker Boehner’s office”
Washington Times: “Praying pro-lifers arrested outside of John Boehner’s office”
World Magazine: “Pro-lifers arrested outside John Boehner’s office”
WorldNetDaily: “Boehner gets judgment day in own office”“Boehner office meltdown: Protesters hauled to jail”; video of the arrests

Abortion survivor reflects on her own pregnancy

Melissa Ohdenby Carder

For women like me who have survived failed abortions as children in the womb, progressing to the point in pregnancy with our own children in which we know we were aborted unsuccessfully during our own mother’s pregnancy is a huge milestone, and this week, I am grateful to have done just that.

I am now 31-1/2 weeks pregnant with our second daughter, now putting me past the 31 week mark at which my birthmother was forced to abort me nearly thirty-seven years ago.

~ Abortion survivor Melissa Ohden, LifeNews.com, June 16

Police raid clinic of infamous late-term abortionist

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The rap sheet against late-term abortionist James Pendergraft is long. A convicted felon, Pendergraft’s medical license is currently suspended for the fifth time.

The movie 22 Weeks was based on a true story about Baby Rowan, who survived his abortion at one of Pendergraft’s clinics but was refused help by staff.

The man is as abortion-crazed as can be, offering $50 discount coupons for Sunday abortions in the past. Even today, if you click on his website, a pop-up coupon for discount abortions – up to 50% off late-term! – will appear…

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Pendergraft offers another deal where he will kill preborn babies and leave it to the mother figure out how to rid her body of her dead child: “Once the fetal heart beat has stopped, the patient can elect to return back to her private physician to complete the induction of labor with delivery of the fetus, or they may elect to go to another facility to have the termination process completed,” states his website.

But today, finally, may mark the beginning of the end of Pendergraft’s reign of terror over helpless little babies.

This morning Orland authorities cordoned off and seized all contents of Pendergraft’s Orlando Women’s Center, one of five mills he owns.

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The raid came as the result of a $36 million judgment against Pendergraft in 2011 for a lawsuit filed by Carol Howard, a mother whose 22.3 week old baby girl survived an abortion by Pendergraft in 2001 but lives with multiple handicaps, including cerebral palsy. To date Pendergraft had paid only $100,000 of that settlement.

Pendergraft was on hand today to view the confiscation of his property, claiming it wasn’t his but was part of a trust, as he told a reporter from wftv.com. Pro-life activist Michele Herzog was at the scene and told me Howard’s attorneys said Pendergraft’s attorneys had requested an emergency hearing on that basis to get the assets returned.

On the other hand Howard’s attorneys told Herzog they will also try to seize all property at Pendergraft’s other four locations.

So this certainly isn’t over.

Howard’s attorneys have not yet returned my request for comment.

pendergraft-e1327535704713Michele overheard Pendergraft say he was referring all patients to his EPOC Clinic, also in Orlando. So tomorrow pro-lifers plan to have extra sidewalk counselors on hand to reason with abortion minded mothers.

Michele found herself and another sidewalk counselor alone with Pendergraft, pictured right.

“Mr. Pendergraft, let today be the day you stop shedding the blood of innocent children,” pleaded Michele.

“Dr.!” was Pendergraft’s only response.

After a moment’s pause, Michele quietly responded, looking Pendergraft in the eye, “No, you are not a doctor. Someone who tears babies limb from limb is no doctor.”

2013-06-13_1733In 2001, Ms. Magazine took up Pendergraft’s offense on the federal charges that landed him in prison. Ms. lauded Pendergraft as “a fierce promoter of a woman’s right to choose… [and a] highly credentialed and well-regarded physician”

Ms. considered it a feather in his cap that “Pendergraft probably performs more abortions in his five clinics than any other provider in the U.S.”

Pendergraft was a featured as a “moving” speaker at the National Organization for Women’s Emergency Action for Women’s Lives rally in 2001. NOW later claimed he had been “wrongfully imprisoned.”

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[Photo of clinic/yellow tape via John Barros on Facebookwho deserves immense thanks for tirelessly sidewalk counseling at this clinic daily for several years, saving hundreds of babies; bottom photo via American Life League]

Live Action “Inhuman” video #2: DC abortionist wouldn’t help survivors

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The new Live Action investigation, “Inhuman: Undercover in America’s late-term abortion industry,” is proving what pro-lifers already knew: Kermit Gosnell was no outlier, as the abortion industry and media have tried to portray him. Both overt and covert killing of abortion survivors is a component of late-term abortions.

Yesterday, Live Action released the first video in its series, which revealed a Bronx, New York, abortion counselor stating her facility would plop abortion survivors into a toxic solution to kill them. She also recommended that the pregnant investigator “flush it” if her baby delivered at home.

Today, Live Action released a second video, this one of Washington, D.C., abortionist Cesare Santangelo of the Washington Surgi-Clinic acknowledging he knew the law required him to provide medical care to abortion survivors, but he would break it:

Technically – you know, legally we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive. But, you know, it probably wouldn’t. It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point. Let’s say you went into labor, the membranes ruptured, and you delivered before we got to the termination part of the procedure here, you know? Then we would do things – we would – we would not help it. We wouldn’t intubate….

Whereas, if you were in a hospital in Virginia, let’s say, and you went into labor, and you went into the hospital, and then they saw you deliver, they would do everything possible to help that – that fetus survive….

We’ve had patients that… got some contractions and they panicked… and they went to the hospital… instead of calling me.. and the hospital helped them to deliver, which was the stupidest thing they could have done….

Santengelo demonstrated both the need and disregard for the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which provides legal and medical protection to all babies no matter what gestational age, wanted or not.

Note also Santangelo’s late-term abortion method of choice: cutting the umbilical cord to kill the baby inside so s/he either bleeds to death from the gaping umbilical cord or suffocates from oxygen deprivation. This is just a variation of Gosnell’s “snipping” procedure.

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Planned Parenthood lying about ability to “provide appropriate care” to abortion survivors

Arena2CrashCartUPDATE 1:25: LifeNews.com has the complete statement, which reiterates that Planned Parenthood is capable of “providing emergency care,” which is again, false, unless PP is equipped to treat preemies.

12:28p: In follow-up to Florida Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow’s shocking contention last week that the fate of abortion survivors should be left to “the woman, her family, and the physician,”  Planned Parenthood gave Sean Hannity this statement yesterday:

In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the panel of legislators should happen, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant.

That Planned Parenthood responded at all means the heat brought on by Snow’s statements condoning infanticide became intolerable. PP’s preferred response is to ignore bad press, such as is often seen when Live Action releases a new exposé.

That aside, PP’s statement contradicts Snow’s repeated claim to different lines of questioning that the decision whether an abortion survivor lives or dies should be up to the mother and doctor, both of whom are invested in the latter outcome.

In addition, it would not be possible for any PP to “provide appropriate care to… the infant” unless it had neonatal resuscitation equipment, meds, and personnel trained to provide emergency care to preemies, which I happen to know is no easy task. I’m confident no PP in the U.S. has a neonatal crash cart (above right) and nursing staff certified in Neonatal Advanced Life Support. Click to enlarge sample algorithm…

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resuscitation-centre-250x250This brings me to a suggestion I’ve made for several years that, in follow-up to state and federal Born Alive laws, legislators should propose a law requiring abortion clinics that commit late-term abortions to have neonatal resuscitation equipment on the premises, which would also have to include a baby warmer (left), and personnel trained in neonatal resuscitation.

Florida legislators should immediately add this amendment to HB1129.

Planned Parenthood has now hemmed itself in on this, making it nearly impossible to oppose such an amendment, since it has implied it already has such mechanisms in place.

Stanek Sunday quote: “Among the survivors will be those whom the Lord calls”

Then whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. Those who escape will be on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. Among the survivors will be those whom the LORD calls, as the LORD has promised.

~ Joel 2:32, God’s Word translation

[Photo of abortion survivor via Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma]

Breaking: SBA List launches tv ad in Missouri spotlighting Obama’s opposition to Born Alive Act

UPDATE 8/29, 6:55a: Drudge Report has been featuring the SBA List ad since yesterday, which is wonderful for publicity…

8/28, 11:10a: Kudos to the Susan B. Anthony List for working so hard to educate the public – and mainstream media – just who it is that is extreme on abortion: Barack Obama and the Democrat Party.

I’m currently on a “Women Speak Out: Abortion is NOT Health Care” bus tour of battleground states with the SBA List team.

And today SBA List launched a new television ad in Missouri spotlighting Obama’s opposition as state senator to the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act

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SBA List is investing $150,000 for the initial television ad buy. It features abortion survivor Melissa Ohden, an awesome pro-life advocate I met on the tour a few days ago.

SBA List purposefully chose Missouri to launch the ad to redirect the conversation starting by Todd Akin to the real radical on abortion, our current president.

“In light of the recent national discussion over abortion, it’s important Americans know the President’s best-kept secret: his extreme record on abortion.  Melissa Ohden’s powerful story draws a stark contrast to his unbending support of abortion and the abortion industry and reveals the human face to this debate.” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement. “President Obama’s appalling record on abortion is not just limited to his four votes to deny rights to abortion survivors but spans to his recent heartless refusal to support bans on sex-selection and late-term abortions. These actions fly in the face of mainstream American views and run counter to the President’s first term pre-election talk of finding common ground. Recent polling reveals the majority of Americans support bans on these horrific practices.”

John Schneider on “October Baby” and the life affirming films he’s been making lately

Jon Erwin, co-writer/director of October Baby, and actor John Schneider, who had a starring role in the film, appeared together this weekend at the Catholic Pro-Life Committee’s annual Bishop’s Dinner in Dallas.

As you can tell by the picture, I got to briefly meet John, who was very nice.

I’ve been curious about Schneider’s thought processes these days. The former Dukes of Hazzard heartthrob has been making some interesting film choices of late, such as pro-life bookends, Doonby and October Baby; the soon-to-be-released pro-family film, Hardflip; and the sex trafficking film, Not Today.

What gives? Has Schneider had a conversion experience similar to Eduardo Verástegui, determining only to make films upholding family values?

Jon and John spoke to the capacity crowd of 2,000 by way of an informal on-stage interview, and fortunately JE asked JS those and many other insightful questions.

As backdrop, John has indeed purposed his career toward making faith-based entertainment. From Wikipedia:

Schneider became a born-again Christian while living with Johnny and June Carter Cash for a short time and speaking with Johnny about Christianity. In 1982, he co-founded, with Marie Osmond, the Children’s Miracle Network to help suffering children. In 1995, he founded FaithWorks Productions in order to produce family-oriented videos and recordings.

I had no idea. Here are highlights from Saturday night’s interview, which I audiotaped…

JS (to JE): You’ve changed the world as we know it. This man and his brother have made it okay in households across this great country of ours to have conversations that were heretofore taboo. I defy anyone regardless of what they believe not to be changed forever by this film….

Why’d he do it?

JE: The first obvious question is why would you want to be involved in October Baby? How do you want people to experience this movie?

JS:  I think as actors, filmmakers, and directors we have a very unusual opportunity. We can put forth a perspective on a notion – in this case a notion on abortion, a notion on life itself – and we can table it in such away that causes people to have conversations about it. October Baby is about a young girl who probably shouldn’t be [but] who is, and Doonby, oddly enough, is about a not so young guy who probably should be but isn’t. But because of the way those notions are tabled, we are able to make people reconsider thoughts and belief systems they’ve had.

I’m always open to someone putting forth a new perspective, a new idea, that challenges my intellect, that challenges my heart, what I thought I knew…. So I am hoping in a conversation on the way home that people who thought they believed a certain way will be a little more open – if not completely open – to rethinking what they thought they knew. I think that’s the best we can hope for – because it’s the truth, and truth will set you free.  You don’t need to beat somebody over the head with the truth hammer. You just need to put the truth out there and say, “Hey, take a look at it.”

JE: I got an email just two days ago from a girl who was experiencing a crisis pregnancy, and her friends took her to the film, and she chose life.  One girl had been to an abortion clinic three times and saw the movie and changed her mind and decided to keep her baby. There are post-abortive parents everywhere finding healing….

JS finds and reads a similar email he received on his iPhone.

JE: So two movies – Doonby and October Baby… and a film on human trafficking,  movies expressing the value of life. Why are you interested in these matters? Why did you say yes?

God is up to something

JS: I had an agent a long time ago who would say, “The wagons are circling.” And I didn’t realize these movies… [abortion] is in all of these films. I used to talk at churches and people would say, “It’s so cool what you’re doing for God.” And I said, “Look, God is up to something.” God is always up to something, and occasionally you may be aware that you are part of what He is doing. [Audience applause.]

In when I’ve been doing all these interviews for October Baby and these other movies and I’m realizing God is really, really up to something right now, and I’m here in this room and realizing how incredibly effective you folks have been and are going to continue to be. I realize more than ever that God is definitely up to something in this place. And when you’re part of something God is up to, there’s no stopping you. [Audience applause.]…

Granddaughter here because wife valued life

JS: I just had a grandbaby. The reason I had a grandbaby on January 11 is because a 15-yr-old girl named Elly Pepe – Elvira Louise Pepe – in 1978 or 79 decided not to have an abortion.  It’s not going where you think it’s going. This is my wife, and I found out after we had been married for a number of years that Elly… decided to give up her baby Mandy for adoption and not have an abortion. In 2011 Gianna Noelle King was born because of that decision a 15-yr-old girl in 1978. So God’s up to something.

JE: Have you ever worried about the risk? You live in Hollywood.

JS: I think if there is a risk then the rewards are worth it. [Audience applause.] As I said, if it’s the truth – if you believe its the truth – and you put it out there in an excellent manner – if October Baby was not a good film – it’s a wonderful film or nobody would be seeing it.  I’m not afraid…. If somebody doesn’t want to hire me because I believe a certain way, I don’t want to to work for that person. [Audience applause.

No such thing as bad publicity

JE: Does the attention October Baby is receiving surprise you?

JS: Yes, it does surprise me. [But] the real reason why it’s on the front page of the New York Times is because it’s making money. October Baby came out on 390 screens three weeks at a cost under $1 million to make. At the same time a movie called The Hunger Games comes out at a cost of $300 million – $300 million.  The coffee budget on The Hunger Games was more than… [audience erupts in laughter]. And yet this guy and his brother made a movie good enough that it came out in the top 10 against this colossal giant film. That is why people want to talk about it. I think that’s Biblical. It’s very clever. It’s very wise. October Baby has made it so people who disagree with what they say you said – they can’t help but talk about it because it’s phenomenal. Bully for you….

JE: You’ve been part of the iconic television industry shows, had an incredible career. Why take a risk on a Christian film? What do you think was going on? How does your faith play into that?

JS: Well, the wagons are circling. I was making a film with Shari Rigby, and she said you’ve got to go work with these guys. There’s something going on down there in Alabama… the strength of the script. I’d never heard the words “abortion survivor” together….

October Baby a film industry game changer

JE: Do you think God is up to something [in the film industry]?

JS:  The more business that films like October Baby do, the more likely there are to be more of them. You can’t fault Hollywood. i believe in the timeline in Christian cinema there is a big thumbtack right in the middle of where October Baby came out. I think October Baby is a good changer. So support films like that. It is so important that these movies do good business in the theater. It’s not okay to wait until they come out and buy them on dvd.  It’s okay to do both [audience laughs]. The only reason faith based movies get green lit, which means people with money behind them put them on film,  is based on what they do in the box office, really and truly. So until this little film that could, October Baby came out, Hollywood was not interested in faith based movies…. But you have to go see the movie in the theater…. You have the power to allow more films like October Baby to be made in the future. You have that by casting your vote at the box office. I hear people all the time say, “I can’t wait until this comes out on dvd.” That’s ok [to do] on The Hunger Games. It’s not okay for October Baby [audience laughs].

Message for pro-lifers

JE: Last question. there are a group of people here who care passionately about the value of life…. What message of encouragement do you want to share?

JS: Keep fighting. It’s worth it. Fight for what you believe in, and fight for it with everything you’ve got every day. People will respect your willingness to die for what you believe in. They can’t not respect that. Do that every day. The more everybody tells me I’m foolish or wrong for doing this the more it makes me stronger.

John closed by singing a couple of songs. He has a great voice. The first was from the movie Doonby, “I Ain’t Goin’ Anywhere”…

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