Without Planning It, Grassroots Pro-Life Prayer Groups Launched at Same Time – Say Leaders in First Joint Interview Ten years ago, a burning desire to be a voice for the unborn was ignited in three leaders – in Texas, Virginia and Colorado. Having known each other for years, they rarely see one another aside from national pro-life gatherings. What would happen if we started a dialogue together? For the first time, David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, Matt Lockett of Bound4LIFE and Bryan Kemper of Stand True share their common yet distinct experiences – and reveal a striking timeline of how public prayer advocacy has thrived in the grassroots pro-life movement. Marisa Kwaning discusses pro-life prayer with David Bereit and Matt Lockett (Photo: Josh Shepherd) A Son’s Prayer in the Hospital Summer of 2004 found David Bereit (pronounced BE-right) frustrated in College Station, Texas. A local Planned Parenthood abortion center had just reached a death toll of 2,000. “We had been trying everything we knew how to do,” Bereit says. “While we saw some small pro-life successes, for the most part the abortion numbers just kept going up.” He and a few other people did the only thing they felt was left – gather around a table and pray for an hour. Bereit shares, “The night before that prayer time, a friend from church pulled me aside and said: ‘If we really believe these children dying are made in God’s image, why aren’t we acting like it?’ he implored. ‘If we’re serious, why wouldn’t we go to that place [abortion centers], stand in the gap and intercede on behalf of these mothers and children?’” “That conversation was germinating in me the next day during that hour of prayer,” says Bereit, noting how God placed the 40-days timeframe on their hearts that day along with other particulars. “The first local 40 Days for Life campaign was from September 1 thru October 10, 2004.” People in prayer at the first 40 Days for Life campaign in College Station, TX (Photo Courtesy of 40 Days for Life) “Many 40 Days leaders haven’t even heard this second part,” says Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life. “Years later, after the first national campaign, the same friend called me – amazed at how God used this idea.” “Then he said, ‘Shortly before that dinner at your house, we found out my dad was dying of cancer. I went to the hospital and my dad wanted to pray about the ending of abortion. The reason why? Years before, he had gotten a girl pregnant out of wedlock, he had been scared, he pressured her to schedule an abortion… but she stood him up on the day of the appointment. He got so angry at her then. Yet eventually they ended up getting married.’“ “Laying on that hospital bed, his dad told him, ‘Son, that woman was your mother and that child I wanted to throw away to cover up my sin was you.’ The man who suggested the idea of what became Read More »
Category Archives: guest commentaries
The Story Of How God Inspired The Launch Of 40 Days For Life, Bound4Life and Stand True’s, Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity Simultaneously.
Teen sign language interpreter at Planned Parenthood asked to interpret an abortion – Her heartbreaking testimony
I was eighteen when I took a job as a sign language interpreter at Planned Parenthood. I was raised Roman Catholic, but I was Catholic in the same way that Olive Garden is an authentic Italian restaurant: just because you throw some fancy words on the menu doesn’t make it genuine. For me, abortion was not a choice that I would make personally, but the way I saw it, who was I to judge another woman for having one? I didn’t know her life. I didn’t know her circumstances, and I had prided myself my whole life on not judging people without knowing their full story. A deaf friend referred me to the job opening at a Boston clinic, and it paid well. I averaged about $100 an hour for my services! That’s all it was to me, a job to make money for my upcoming college tuition. I didn’t work often, maybe one or two days a week, and traveled around to the Boston-area clinics when needed. For the most part, I interpreted for women seeking counseling, getting prescriptions for birth control, or just getting general information about sexual health. It all seemed innocent enough. Deep down, however, I must have known I was doing something wrong. I told people I worked for a “family services counseling center.” I figured that wasn’t completely a lie. The trouble was, most people took that to mean that I was going into the world and doing good: interpreting for families living in poverty, or families who were trying to keep themselves together. Despite the fact that Planned Parenthood offered all kinds of services, in the back of my mind I knew that at the root of it they really were just an abortion clinic. The worst day of my life—and an anniversary I never forget when it comes every year—is Thursday, November 1, 2012. I was called in to interpret for a “medical procedure.” I arrived early, and chatted with the receptionist as I did every day. I grabbed a cup of coffee and waited for the client to arrive. While I waited, I went over her file. I’ll call her Kate. She was twenty-three and had been deaf since birth. Kate estimated that she was about eighteen weeks pregnant. At 10:30 sharp, we entered the operating room. That’s when my stomach started to turn. Previously, when I’d read “medical procedure,” it had been for ultrasounds. But this was different – we were in an OR. The lights were too bright for the size of the room. There were cold-looking metal objects on a table. I was in an abortion. I tried to remain calm. I interpreted back and forth, but when the murder began, I lost it. As I watched the doctor pull this life out, limb by limb, I couldn’t help but let the tears start to fall. What I had thought would be just lumps of blood clots were body parts. Arms, a torso, legs, and a head. I Read More »
Stand True recently published a story about a mom telling her children about her past abortion. http://www.standtrue.com/abortionconfession/. Today we are sharing that story from one of her daughters about the day she found out. Zoe had been working on this story to e-mail to her mom when her mother walked in and told her to clean her room, that is when Zoe clicked send. ———– We had just dropped my brother and sisters off at Faith Formation. It was a Wednesday evening: January 8, 2014. I would be 13 in just over two weeks. My mom said, “Zoe, I need to talk to you. Let’s go in the meeting room.” I thought we were going to talk about puberty. I got nervous and fidgety. “Mama,” I kept saying, “I’m not ready for this talk. I don’t want to know about it.” We got to the conference room and Mama sat down. I sat a few chairs away. “Sit here please, Zoe,” she said. “I don’t want to,” I whined. “Zoe,” she said firmly, “sit next to me.” I reluctantly sat down next to her, dreading what she had to say. What she said next would change my life forever. “Zoe,” she said, “in December of 1998, I had an abortion.” I felt like I had been slapped in the face. My whole world was rocked. I wanted to puke, I wanted to cry, I wanted to run away and hide. This amazing person, someone I have looked up to my whole life, my pro-life inspiration, had had an abortion. I stared at the glassy table where we were sitting. Mama was crying now. She told me how her boyfriend at the time had had a pregnant girlfriend before and how he said that he would “take care of it”. She told me how she had woken up after the abortion and thought how lucky she was to have such a great boyfriend. She told me she had gone crazy in the days after the abortion. She explained everything. “Do you have any questions?” she asked. “No,” I said. “Do you forgive me?” she asked. “Yes,” I said. “Your big brother’s name is David,” she said. Big brother. For years I had been saying, “I wish I had an older brother or sister!” Now I knew that I had one. We sat in silence for a while. Mama called Fr. Rossi, our parish priest, and he joined us in our little meeting. This was when I learned that a lot of people had heard her testimony before. He told us that now would be a great time to visit Jesus in Adoration. I was so thankful it was Wednesday! We went into Adoration and prayed. We prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m not sure what Mama prayed about, but I prayed for understanding about what had just happened. I prayed a Rosary for David, that he was in Heaven praising God. That night, when everyone was at home, my mom was on Read More »
Special Thank you to our friend Brendan Malone for permission to post this story originally posted at http://theleadingedgeblog.com In this exclusive guest post, a friend shares the tragic true story of abuse within her marriage with unflinching honesty and courage, while asking the question: would her unplanned child have been better off aborted? For obvious reasons, the author wishes to remain anonymous. We’ve all heard the statistics about how sexual abuse is most likely to be perpetrated by a family member, and how high its incidence is in blended families. But, I’d never thought of us as being a ‘blended family’. I had a child out of wedlock, then married a Christian, then we had our own children. We were just a normal family. Until the day I found out that my husband had sexually abused my biological daughter, his step-daughter – even then, it still took me years to come to terms with the fact that we were a high-risk group for sexual abuse. The revelation of my husband’s abuse of my daughter led to the disintegration and eventual end of our two decade marriage. It meant years of estrangement from my daughter, and a relationship that may never be healed. It meant that there would be no more family gatherings: my daughter has understandably not wanted to see my former husband for many years now. So, the question could be asked, should I have aborted this child all those years ago, when I faced an unplanned pregnancy? Was it worth bringing into the world a child who would be rejected by her natural father, and then emotionally and sexually abused by her step-father? I’m asking that question now, because many people justify abortion on the grounds that a particular unborn child is deemed to have no future. We hear that children born into lower socio-economic realms will become drug-users, criminals, thieves. We hear that children born into violent households will become victims of violence. And we hear that blended families have higher rates of sexual abuse than are found in traditional families. The end result is that we are led to believe that if the future of an unplanned child is judged to be too difficult or challenging, then it is more humane to abort that little child to preserve him from a life of suffering. Well, I have another question to ask; one that can be asked of every person in the world, regardless of their ‘planned-ness’. Is every life worth living? Is death preferable to never having lived? Do all the sorrows of life outweigh the joys? Is there never room for hope? Is it worth the risk of experiencing tragic events, to be able to experience standing in the wind that precedes a thunder-storm? Or to experience the rays of the sun beating down on your skin? Is it better to have never been born than to know what it’s like to love another person so deeply that you conceive a child together, that you can carry that Read More »
My teenage daughter is a pro-life activist but doesn’t know I have had an abortion: One woman’s journey to confessing her abortion to her children.
On January 24, 2013, my daughter Zoe addressed the crowd at the March for Life Youth Rally in DC. Bryan Kemper of Stand True Pro-Life Outreach had been mentoring her for several months and she was already set on the path of a pro-life activist. She aimed to encourage young people to stand up and join her in the fight against abortion. When she said, “because what if my mother had had an abortion?,” Bryan looked at me with a look that said, “You need to tell her NOW.” Ten months later, decompressing after an event in Lapeer, Michigan, I found myself having what had come to be a very familiar conversation. Bryan would ask me to speak at an event, I would say yes, and he would ask me to consider telling my children about my abortion. There was a point where I began to feel more bold, thinking that I was on the verge of finding the perfect moment, but that point had passed. My husband and I had already decided that we weren’t ready for that discussion. “Would you consider speaking at the March for Life alongside Alveda King?” Bryan asked. “Of course; I’d love to,” was my typical response. “Are you gonna tell your kids before January?” Nope. I was able to declare that without a doubt I absolutely would not have the courage to tell my babies that I’d aborted my first child, and I especially would not find that courage within the next two months. What are you, crazy? Just, no. “I can’t ask you to speak again until you’ve told your kids. It’s Silent No More’s policy.” I get it. I know exactly why that policy is in place. And I will take a hiatus from speaking publicly. Period. And without question. Or not. My children have always been willing to participate in pro-life activism with me. Children see the issue in the clearest and simplest terms. Abortion is killing a child. Killing a child is wrong. For years I have stood on the sidewalk pleading to mothers and fathers to reconsider their choice. Once, when he was about four, Jackson yelled, “DON’T GO TO ABORTION!” In 2012, Zoe made headlines in the pro-life news for standing up to some pro-abortion protestors at the DNC. They are staunchly and steadfastly PRO-LIFE. I could not be more proud. But I was ashamed. They didn’t know that their own mother had once been on the other side of the sidewalk. And how could I tell them? What would they think of me? What woman can tell her children that abortion is murder and murder is wrong but not in my case, because I was pro-choice then and I was young and I didn’t know what to do… So I chose to end the life of your oldest brother out of mere convenience. I knew that I had support. I had some pretty amazing people praying for me. Bryan would send a text message, “Here I Read More »
In a half-asleep daze, with my abdomen in knots, I stumbled to the bathroom, fell to my knees, and began throwing up into the toilet. After a few heaves jolted me fully awake, I sensed someone standing behind me. Before I could turn my head to confirm my suspicions, my mother’s delicate hands swept past my cheeks and lightly pulled my hair out of my face. In that moment I felt like a little girl again – cared for, watched over. No matter how bad things were growing up, my mother always gave me as much unconditional love as any two parents combined. Oftentimes, our unshakeable familial love was all we had. She helped me up to the sink. As I began rinsing my mouth, she eyed my midsection as if expecting to see something. I rolled my eyes and assured her it was just a bug, probably something I ate the night before. “I am not pregnant!” I said. In my mind though, I knew she wasn’t the only one I was trying to convince. I was only 16, and my on-again, off-again boyfriend had started using drugs again – this time more than just recreationally. As I stared into the sink, my hand nervously jostling the toothbrush around my mouth, my mother disappeared. I wanted nothing more than to shut down my brain and push these anxieties as far out of my mind as possible. I climbed back into the reassuring comfort of my warm bed. As my eyes grew heavy, the hum of my fan lulled me back to sleep. What must have been hours later, since the sun was shining through my window, my mother walked back into my room and gently placed her hand on my arm. “I need you to get up and pee,” she said. What? When did I suddenly become a toddler again, in need of reminders for this sort of thing? That’s when I rubbed my eyes open and noticed the Dixie cup and tiny white stick resting in the palm of her hand. Immediately, my heart plunged down to the base of my spine. No! Was this really happening? I reassured myself that there was nothing to discover, and so with the last sliver of blissful ignorance I would ever have, I scooped up the cup and did as I was told. When I returned from the bathroom, I handed over the paper cup and I found my way back to the warmth of my bed. I could only see the lower half of my mother’s body as she leaned over the sink. And just as my head rediscovered the pillow I saw her rock back on her heels, letting out a slow and steady sigh. Surely, she couldn’t tell anything yet. “How long do those things normally take?” I asked. “Three and a half minutes,” she replied. But before I could relish my relief, she finished, “But it only took 30 seconds.” And then, my world imploded. As I Read More »
Many years had passed, and I had confessed many sins, before I finally heard a homily by Father Larry Richards that discussed the true blessing of the sacrament of Confession. At the end of the CD, he went through an examination of conscience. I nearly froze in my steps when he said, “If you’ve had an abortion, confess it—your baby in Heaven is praying for you.” My eyes immediately filled with tears as I went straight home to make a list of things I needed to discuss with my priest. Chest heaving with sobs in the confessional; I told Father Roux that I had had an abortion 12 years earlier. He smiled kindly, held out a box of tissues, and assured me that the sin would be absolved. However it was clear that I needed more than absolution—I needed healing. Father Roux told me about Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry devoted to helping counsel women who suffer from Post Abortion Syndrome. Did you even know there was a name for what we feel? Because I had NO IDEA, and learning about Rachel’s Vineyard, coupled with the fact that clearly there were enough women suffering silently with me, seemed to lift an enormous burden. I went home to research Rachel’s Vineyard, and sent a couple of emails to the contacts listed on the website. But I slowly started to discuss my experience more openly with my husband. I also became involved in a letter-writing campaign asking corporations to quit supporting Planned Parenthood, America’s largest provider of abortions. Eventually I felt like I had come a long way and that maybe I didn’t need to attend a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat after all. Practically out of the blue one day, I received an email from the Catholic News Herald asking if they could publish a piece about my efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. I hesitated, wondering if I wanted to wear that scarlet “A”, but ultimately decided that if nothing else, maybe I could recruit more people to my letter-writing campaign. Not long after the article ran in January, I received an email from a complete stranger who also attends the same parish as me and my family. She said that she had suffered silently for years from abortion and wondered if we could meet. My heart lurched. While I was thrilled at the opportunity to help someone, I felt enormously unqualified to do so. When we finally met (and wept), we had decided that we would attend a retreat together. We looked at dates, and decided that sooner was better than later, so we would attend the very next retreat available—a weekend in February in the Savannah diocese. Knowing myself, I feared that I would get cold feet and cancel at the last minute, so I booked a flight from Charlotte to Savannah. I encouraged my new friend to do the same, but she decided it was best that she drive. In another attempt to keep myself honest, I told Father Roux that Read More »
Blood Money at Work: Ex-Wife and Daughter of Atlanta Abortionist Daniel McBrayer to Star in Style Network’s New Reality Television Show “Big Rich Atlanta”
Last summer, the National Black Pro-life Coalition was among the first and most outraged groups to demand justice for the death of Tonya Reaves, a young Black woman killed by abortion in Chicago. For years, women who have been harmed by abortion have been crying out that “abortion hurts women!” Janet Morana is right to lead the crusade to RECALL ABORTION. As we somberly yet purposefully approach the 40 year land mine of the anniversary of Roe VS Wade, let us make no mistake about it. We are ready to continue this battle for LIFE AT ALL COSTS. Yesterday Operation Rescue wrote an article stating that a second lawsuit had been filed against Planned Parenthood in the death of Tonya Reaves. Again, Tonya Reaves was a 24 year-old woman who went to Planned Parenthood for an abortion which they botched. She was then left bleeding for five hours before an ambulance was called. She was rushed to the hospital where they discovered that the abortion performed by Planned Parenthood was incomplete and she had to undergo another abortion in the hospital to remove the remainder of the baby. But it was too late and Tonya Reaves died later that evening in the hospital. The first wrongful death lawsuit against Planned Parenthood was filed by Tonya’s family. The second lawsuit was filed on behalf of Tonya’s surviving son, Alvin, by his father. Tonya and her baby died, leaving young Alvin motherless. Some people will not understand that along with the injustice of Planned Parenthood killing Tonya, another injustice occurred. They killed her baby in her womb as well. So how do we express to Tonya’s family in a loving way that two people died that day? Because of lack of coverage by much of the media, not too many people are even aware of Tonya’s murder. And despite efforts by the National Black Prolife Coalition through press releases to hold Planned Parenthood accountable, there seems to be an unusual amount of stall tactics where justice should prevail. One can’t help but remember the onslaught of outrage during the Trayon Martin tragedy? Where are all of those outraged Black leaders who were demanding swift justice for the tragic slaying of Trayvon? Not only are the leaders of the NAACP and other Black voices such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson lacking in conversation surrounding the unjust death of Tonya. Absent also is the outrage over the death of Tonya’s baby and the other 3,699 babies that were killed that day in abortion mills throughout this country. And all the while, Planned Parenthood keeps laughing on the way to the bank while killing hundreds of thousands of babies every year, to the tune of over 50 million dead babies on record since 1973. What’s even worse is that where before 2012, Planned Parenthood was receiving $1 million dollars a day in U. S. tax dollars, yes, around $365 million dollars a year; in 2012 they received over $500 million dollars from our tax coffers. And they are still operating poorly regulated killing centers around this country. And in a few Read More »