I spoke to Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life at the 2018 Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show in Lancaster PA

You can get his book Proclaiming the Message of Life: Weekly Reflections from the Lectionary here

You can find Priest’s for life site here

I saved Fr. Pavone’s interview for last because not only because of his work for life which is some of the most important and noble work done by the church and not only because it was one of the longest I conducted on camera and because his interview is was the only interview at the event that directly crosses over between my religious and political blogging and reporting. Without Fr. Pavone’s assurance that Donald Trump would be a pro-life president thousands, maybe even tens or hundreds of thousands of faithful pro-life Catholics like myself might have stayed home in 2016.

I directly credit him with the election of Donald Trump and as a pro-life Catholic for that alone I’m in his debt.

This completes our list of 2018 Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show posts. While it took some time to get them all up each person had a story worth hearing on their own and deserved their own blog post. May all of them prosper in their respective ministries.


The 2018 Catholic Marketing Network Interview Blog post list

Sept 26th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr Frank Pavone of Priests for Life

Sept 25th Voices of CMN 2018 Catholic Blogger Kathleen Billings Contributing Author: Amazing Grace For Mothers

Sept 24th Voices of CMN 2018 Alan Napleton of Viva Guadalupe and Head of the Catholic Marketing Network

Sept 22nd Voices of CMN 2018 Kevin O’Neil Author: LEGO Catechism of the Seven Sacraments

Sept 21st Voices of CMN 2018 Julia Miller of FreshRosary.com

Sept 20th Voices of CMN 2018: Fr Leo Pucelli of Holy Cross Family Ministries

Sept 19th Voices of CMN 2018 Kathy Labosh Author: The Child with Autism Learns about Faith

Sept 18th Voices of CMN 2018 Francine Calabrese Author: The Little Brown Scapular Coloring Book

Sept 17th Voices of CMN 2018 (and the Front Seat of My Car) Susan Joy Bellavance Author of King of the Shattered Glass and Will you Come to Mass?

Sept 16th Voices of CMN 2018 Pete Socks Breadbox Media Catholic Podcasting

Sept 15th Voices of CMN 2018 Mary Radford of Relevant Radio

Sept 14th Voices of CMN 2018 Karnen Saum of Viva Guadalupe and CMN

Sept 13th Voices of CMN 2018 Peter Kleponis Author Restoring Trust a Couples Guide to getting past porn

Sept 11th Voices of CMN 2018 Mary Lou Rosen Author Three Things Divorced Catholics Need to Know

Sept 10th Voices of CMN 2018 Mariana Quan CCC of America on their Animated Series Lukas Storyteller

Sept 9th Voices of CMN 2018 Timothy Tansey: Fruits of the Spirit

Sept 8th Voices of CMN 2018 Janet Morana of Priests for Life Author Shockwaves

Sept 7th Voices of CMN 2018 Geri Guadagno Author: John of the Smiles

Sept 6th Voices of CMN 2018 Donna Heckler Author Living Like a Lady When you Have Cancer

Sept 5th Voices of CMN 2018 Dennis McGeehan Author: The Diaries of Joseph and Mary

Sept 4th Voices of CMN 2018 Carmela Martino Author: Playing by Heart

Sept 3rd Voices of CMN 2018 Barbara Golder Author: Dying for Compassion

Sept 2nd Voices of CMN 2018 Barbara Kudwa Author of Finding God Anew

Sept 1st Voices of CMN 2018 Anne Feaster Co-Author of Spiritual Deceptions

Aug 31st Voices of CMN 2018 AJ Cattapan Author 7 Riddles to Nowhere

Aug 30th Voices of CMN 2018 Virginia Lieto Author Finding Patience

Aug 29th Voices of CMN 2018 Tony Agnesi: Author: A Storytellers Guide to Joyful Service

Aug 28th Voices of CMN 2018 Steven Ryan Author The Madonna Files and Mystic Post blog

Aug 27th Michael Manley Author: The Resurrection Network

Aug 26th Voices of CMN 2018 Maurice Prater Author: Saved by the Alphabet

Aug 25th Voices of CMN 2018 Catholic Author Marge Fenelon

Aug 24th: Voices of CMN 2018 Linda Rose Author: Strength for your Journey

Aug 23rd Voices at CMN 2018 Kevin Rush Author: The Lance and the Veil

Aug 22nd Voices of CMN 2018 Kendra Von Esh Author: Am I Catholic

Aug 21st Voices of CMN 2018 Jennifer Angelle Hugs from Heaven

Aug 20th Voices of CMN 2018 John and Claire Grabowski Authors of One Body

Aug 19th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr. Bill McCarthy Author: God Bless America

Aug 18th Voices of CMN 2018 Fr. Chris Alar Author: After Suicide

Aug 17th Voices of CMN 2018 Dr Hellen Hoffner Author Catholic Traditions and Treasures

Aug 16th Voices of CMN 2018 Chris Faddis Author: It is well Life in the Storm

Aug 15th Voices of CMN 2018 Bud McFarlane and Ginny Mooney on the Messiah mini series

Aug 14th Voices of CMN 2018 Virginia Pillars Author Broken Brain Fortified Faith

Aug 13th Voices of CMN 2018 David Tittle Musicians for Life new CD “It’s a Life”

Aug 12th Voices of CMN 2018 Novena for Our Nation Starting Aug 15th & Rosary Coast to Coast Oct 7th

Aug 11th Voices at the 2018 CMN Moria Noonan Co-Author: Spiritual Deceptions

Aug 10th Voices of CMN 2018 Lesliea Wahl Author: An Unexpected Role

Aug 9th Voices of CMN 2018 Gerard Hasenhuetti Compassionate Capitalism The Intersection of Economic Growth and Social Justice

Aug 8th
Voices at CMN 2018 Ruth Apollonia Author of Annabelle of Anchony

Voices at CMN 2018 Kimberly Cook My Hand in Yours Yours in Mine Catholic Authors

Aug 6th Voices at CMN 2018 August Turak Author: Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim and the Purpose of Life

Aug 5th Voices at CMN 2018 Fr. Edward Looney Author A Heart Like Mary’s

Aug 4th: Karina Fabian of the Catholic Writers Guild or A Preview of Blogging Attractions


This completes the list of posts from this year’s Catholic Marketing Network. My pay for this comes from the voluntary contributions of readers.  If you think this work is worth your while and wish to support it and my writers please subscribe to the site below.


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John Dickinson: What’s so terrible about being called an Englishman? The English don’t seem to mind.

Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Nor would I, were I given the full rights of an Englishman. But to call me one without those rights is like calling an ox a bull. He’s thankful for the honor, but he’d much rather have restored what’s rightfully his.

1776 1972

As you might guess the Alfie Evans case and the court’s decision to enforce their ruling to prevent his parents from seeking further care for him has produced a lot of responses. I’d like to show you two, one is a parody and one is not.

Here is the first from the Merseyside Police

We’ve issued a statement this evening to make people aware that social media posts which are being posted in relation to Alder Hey and the Alfie Evans situation are being monitored and may be acted upon.

Here is the 2nd from the Prime Minister’s office

Upon the news of a high court ordering life support removed from 2-year-old Alfie Evans, English Prime Minister Theresa May issued a brief, friendly reminder to citizens of the U.K. that the all-powerful state actually owns their children.

In a video circulated online, May informed parents who were “getting a little too attached” to their children that they need to keep in mind that the United Kingdom is the actual legal parent, and the kids are simply on loan to them until the State decides it’s time for them to die.

Now in a sane world both of these would be considered obvious parodies. After all the idea that police in the land of Magna Carta threatening arrest over social media comments denouncing the enforced death of Alfie Evans is just as absurd as the idea of the British PM declaring to parents that the state, not they, hold the final decision on life and death for their children.

However that is not the case. The message from the PM is from the parody site The Babylon Bee

while the police warning was an actual tweet sent out by a police department

Let that run through your heads for a minute. The right of the state to starve a child to death in defiance of his parents is embraced and protected under current british law but the right of “free” Englishmen to critique such a decision is not.

I think a “thank you” note sent to the grave of John Adams and the rest of the founding fathers would be most appropriate

My final interview from the 2018 Catholic Men’s Conference at Assumption College Was Christine of Visitation House in Worcester.

Visitation House does wonderful work. I’ve written about them before. their website is here. My interview with the speaker for their annual dinner held on April 28th this year is here.

Now that these interviews are complete we’ll go back to two CPAC interviews a day till they’re done.

Previously

March 24th
Voices of the Catholic Men’s Conference 2018 Christine of Visitation House

March 23rd
Voices of the Catholic Men’s Conference 2018 Seth and Matt of the Coming Home Network

March 22nd

Voices of the Catholic Men’s Conference 2018 Brother Jorchem of St Benedict Abbey

March 21st

Voices of the Catholic Men’s Conference 2018 Robert LeBlanc Author of Where will you Plant Your Seed?

March 20th
Voices of the Catholic Men’s Conference 2018 Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center

March 19th

Voices of the 2018 Catholic Men’s Conference: Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

This from Instapundit on the death of Stephen Hawking jumped out at me.

Stephen Hawking dies aged 76 peacefully at his home — 55 years after the world-famous physicist was diagnosed with ALS and given just two years to live.

Hawkins was diagnosed in 1963 the year I was born. Judeo-Christian values were still the norm in England and America. The Hippocratic oath had not been re-written. It was a time when the right to life was a given, where assisted suicide, euthanasia and the “right to die” was limited to a lunatic fringe as opposed to being accepted by all the right thinking elites.

So I ask you this:

If Stephen Hawking was diagnosed today and told he had two years to live what are the odds that he decides to take his own life? Furthermore how man potential future Stephen Hawkings have we either killed or encouraged to kill themselves?


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Update to a November 2017 post: California’s attorney general is on the U.S. Supreme Court’s schedule for March 20, at which time he can  explain why he should be able to tell pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions. That ought to elicit some searching questions from the Justices.

The case is National Institute of Family and Life Advocates [NIFLA] v. Becerra. NIFLA is a group of nonprofit pro-life pregnancy centers in California. Xavier Becerra is the state’s attorney general. The law in dispute is called California’s Reproductive FACT Act.  It requires that certain types of facilities post and distribute information on the availability of free or low-cost access to abortion. It’s as though business is so lousy at abortion clinics that the state has to dragoon pro-life agencies into doing their advertising for them.

The type of facility is defined in such a way that the law only applies to about 200 nonprofit pro-life clinics, not to any of the other thousands of places in California where a pregnant woman might go for assistance. From NIFLA’s brief to the Supreme Court (references omitted; emphasis added):

The legislative record expressly states that the impetus for the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act…was disagreement with pro-life centers’ messages. Legislative committee reports with bill sponsor statements noted “that, unfortunately, there are nearly 200 licensed and unlicensed clinics known as crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in California,” which “aim to discourage and prevent women from seeking abortions.”…Although the bill sponsor claimed that these centers “often confuse [and] misinform” women,…neither the legislative history nor the record contains any objective or impartial evidence that pregnancy centers like Petitioners actually “misinform” anyone about their medical status or services[.] 

There are fines for noncompliance. Anyone who has volunteered for a pro-life pregnancy care center knows that such agencies are lean operations; a fine need not be steep to be ruinous.

This is a First Amendment case. Can the government compel a nonprofit organization to deliver a message inconsistent with the organization’s mission? California might be having financial problems, but apparently the AG’s budget includes resources to argue this case all the way to SCOTUS. NIFLA is relying on assistance from Alliance Defending Freedom, the same legal group that successfully represented Eleanor McCullen in the Massachusetts buffer zone case.

Stay tuned.

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist based in New Hampshire. Read more at ellenkolb.com,

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I was in the midst of the March for Life in Washington a few days ago. No count was possible from my vantage point, but you can view this time-lapse image from Students for Life to get an idea of the crowd. Not many satellite trucks around, though, except for EWTN’s. Other news outlets managed to find their way to Washington for the Women’s March the next day, so it’s not as though they were unfamiliar with the area.

The 2018 March for Life passing in front of National Archives. Ellen Kolb photo.

We weren’t exactly under the radar. Gotta love social media and the countless posts from participants in the March. President Trump’s address drew some news coverage. Still, as has been the case since the first March in 1974 observing the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade, there was plenty of room for more coverage. A civil rights march in defense of the right to life rates at least as much attention as a presidential tweet.

As a public service, I hereby announce for the benefit of all reporters, bloggers, and commentators that the next March for Life in Washington will be on Friday, January 18, 2019. Mark your editorial calendars now. No excuses. Rain, shine, or snow (and I’ve marched in all those conditions), the event goes on.

A mother and daughter carry signs at the March for Life in Washington.
Mother and daughter at March for Life 2018, Washington D.C. Ellen Kolb photo.

Come for the youth. The number of high school and college students will astound you.

Come to see how many states are represented. If the March is something new to you, you’ll be surprised.

Walk around the National Mall before the March and check out the meet-ups and mini-rallies going on, apart from the formal program that precedes the March.

Many states and large cities have their own marches for life on or near the anniversary of Roe. The March in Washington rates a special trip. With or without the news coverage it deserves, it’s a place and event full of inspiration and encouragement. Plan now for 2019: see you in D.C. on January 18.

Ellen Kolb is a writer and blogger specializing in public policy on the right to life. She works (and hikes) in New Hampshire. Read her coverage of life issues in the Granite State at Leaven for the Loaf. 

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A 17-year old with no visible means of financial support got an abortion this morning.

Not news, you say? Look again.

“Jane Doe” is an immigrant, an unaccompanied 17-year-old, living in the U.S. without benefit of documentation. When Jane Doe learned she was pregnant, she sought an abortion in Texas, where she is living. Disputes broke out, state and federal courts weighed in, and somewhere along the way Jane Doe was assigned a guardian to protect her interests.

The guardian enlisted the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, which jubilantly reported today that the abortion has been committed. “Justice prevailed today for Jane Doe,” went the ACLU tweet, one among many celebrating the death of a child’s child. #JusticeforJane, says the hashtag.

I suspect Jane Doe’s anonymity will dissolve when she turns 18, if not earlier, as she becomes a poster child for abortion advocates. Killing her child was worth a legal battle, to some people – more so than trying to regularize her residency status, apparently.

That’s a hellish way to become a celebrity. Whatever her immigration status, she deserves better than that.

Our country deserves better than to be thought of as an abortion haven, too.

I assume that as an immigrant without documentation, whose home is a U.S. detention center, she didn’t have money. Who paid to have her child killed? Was it you and me?

Human dignity lost today – the mother’s, the dead child’s, the abortionist’s, the abortion apologists’.

There’s surely a great deal about this 17-year-old that I don’t know. Why did she leave her homeland? Was she sent by her family, or did she decide on her own to cross the border? Was she pregnant when she got here? Did she become pregnant due to assault, and if so, is there as intense an effort to apprehend the perpetrator as there was to abort her child?

Whatever the answers, great things may yet lie ahead for her; better days, better choices.

Today isn’t a good day for her, no matter what her enablers are saying. Her child is dead, and abortion apologists are dancing on the remains. God have mercy on us all.

Alexandra DeSanctis said it better than I. “This is perhaps the most despicable thing about this entire ordeal — that justice in our modern world demands the blood of an innocent child. We have reached the point in the abortion debate where it is not only socially acceptable to crusade for the intentional killing of one specific unborn child, but where we are expected to applaud when that execution is carried out. How utterly shameful.”

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. She blogs at ellenkolb.com and Leaven for the Loaf, and she welcomes reader support.

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it came to be that if I agreed with my church I’m a catholic and I’m very catholic and I’ve been all my life ,that people were calling me a racist and a bigot for believing my beliefs and that, that was the final straw for me cause I’d been a democrat all my life and my mother the same way and I felt I wasn’t welcome.

DaTechGuy Feb 2010 on Why I was (at the time) A Republican

At the Hill they’ve discovered what I figured out last century. If you are a Roman Catholic who actually believes the doctrines of the church concerning the sanctity of life, the Democrat Part is simply not for you.

The raging debate among Democrats about whether to support candidates whose views on abortion differ from the national platform obscures a crucial fact: There simply aren’t that many “pro-life” Democrats left.

Only six members of the House Democratic Caucus voted for a 2013 proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia. Of those six, only three – Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) – are still in Congress. Lipinski and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) are the only Democratic members of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.

and it’s not just a question of being pro-life,

In 2016, just one Democratic senator, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, scored less than a 100 percent rating with NARAL Pro-Choice America. Donnelly and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) are the only three Democratic senators with lifetime scores under 100 percent with Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Bottom line if you aren’t on board with the whole, baby killing, selling human parts agenda of Planned Parenthood, you can forget about any kind of future on the national level state or even local level.

And no matter how popular you are in the party,  if you dare come out in favor of a Pro-life democrat, there will be hell to pay.

NARAL Pro-Choice America had condemned Sanders and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez for endorsing Mello and intending to campaign with him. NARAL’s president, Ilyse Hogue, called the campaign stop “politically stupid”; Daily Kos, the progressive site that had been crowdsourcing donations for a series of campaigns in red states, pulled its endorsement of Mello after admitting it was unaware of his views about abortion.

Now the Democrats have a perfect right to decide that Abortion should be a litmus test for them if they wish, and such a decision is very consistent with their party becoming pretty much a secular party.

The only problem is that this comes with consequences:

In fact, Blume’s research also shows quite vividly that secular, nonreligious people are being dramatically out-reproduced by religious people of any faith. Across a broad swath of demographic data relating to religiosity, the godly are gaining traction in offspring produced. For example, there’s a global-level positive correlation between frequency of parental worship attendance and number of offspring. Those who “never” attend religious services bear, on a worldwide average, 1.67 children per lifetime; “once per month,” and the average goes up to 2.01 children; “more than once a week,” 2.5 children. Those numbers add up—and quickly. 

Or put simply,  if you kill your children they can’t grow up to vote, not even in chicago.  This is known as the Roe effect and  while disputed at the time by some, 12 years later the results for Democrats are clear both in Nebraska:

They lost the mayoralty in 2013, one in a string of defeats that had seen the party wiped out in Nebraska’s major elected offices; in 2016, they lost the Omaha-based 2nd Congressional District

and in the congress

“Back in the early ’90s, when we had 290 members of the House, we had 100-something pro-life Democrats. Today, we’ve got three or four pro-life Democrats,” said James Zogby, a long-time Democratic National Committee member and a national advisory board member of Democrats for Life of America.

Subtract those 100 members from the Democrat Caucus and what are you left with, a permanent minority.

Now if the Democrats want to remain the Party of Lena Dunham, Amanda Marcotte, Channel Dubofsky, Shulamith Firestone, Andrea Dworkin, Sidney Abbott, Ti-Grace Atkinson, Gloria Steinem, Jaclyn Friedman, Meghan Murphy and Jean Houston instead of the party of DaTechGuy and his Wife, they are welcome to do so, but let me point out one thing. As of Today my wife and I have produced more voting age children then all of those NARAL supporters combined.

A quick Layoff bleg update.  Aug 10th was the scheduled end to my layoff bleg and I’m sorry to say we didn’t manage half of the goal I had set (UPDATE: Now we have) although we did manage to raise enough to get me a paycheck this week and next week. This will make August a very lean month.

So if you are inclined and at all able I would ask you to hit DaTipJar at this time even if we don’t make the goal another $315 will mean a full paycheck for August 25th. (made that goal!)

UPDATE: replacing the layoff bleg with a weekly paycheck goal details to follow.




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I’m rambling a bit here, but all these disjointed thoughts about some life issues seem to be drifting together.

There’s nothing new under the sun, says the book of Ecclesiastes. What’s strange to me is old news to someone in a different place or situation.

I’m thinking in particular of two women from Canada whom I recently met, and of the parents of Charlie Gard, whose story you may already know (see Pete’s reflection on Charlie’s death).

Charlie Gard is at rest now, and his parents in their grief are at least spared further attention from the European Commission on Human Rights, which denied them custody of their critically-ill son. When they started seeking treatment for their baby – AND raising money for it, so the National Health Service in their country (Britain) couldn’t plead lack of resources – I’m sure they were shocked to find out that a hospital could deny them custody. The “experts” knew better. The “experts” were going to ration care, since the parents wouldn’t ration it themselves.

It can’t happen here, I thought. We don’t have a single-payer system for health care (at least not yet). I ventured to say as much to a few people. Two of them gave me a where-have-you-been look and reminded me about Justina Pelletier. Shame on me for needing to be reminded.

Nothing new.

The Canadian women I mentioned were attending a pro-life conference with me, and we chatted over coffee as we waited for the day’s work to begin. They told me about their province where a “bubble zone” law is in effect and where doctors who don’t do abortions are obliged to refer abortion-minded patients to more accommodating providers.

I was surprised at what they said, until I reflected that my own state has a buffer zone law, although no abortion provider will use it for fear of litigation which will result in the law being thrown out. (Our law is modeled on the one the Supreme Court threw out in the McCullen case from Massachusetts.) Likewise, conscience protections for health care providers have been defeated again and again in my state legislature, although so far no statute requires abortion referrals.

Nothing new. The details are different between my state and their province, but the issues are the same.

My Canadian companions weren’t complaining, though. They spoke in matter-of-fact tones, without hand-wringing. They go out to witness near abortion facilities anyway. They support physicians and other providers whose conscience rights are at risk. They refuse to shrug and go home, thinking “game over.”

What a witness they were to me, in their quiet way.

For that matter, there was no “game over” for women at that pro-life conference who spoke about “adverse prenatal diagnosis.” Those moms we listened to were all told during pregnancy that they had defective babies. The language varied, but the message was the same. All were told they could abort. All said no (and I’m sure a few said “hell, no”).

The outcomes: some of the children died in infancy – but they died in the arms of their parents, not in the custody of the state. Other children were born and, lo and behold, had none of the maladies that had been diagnosed or predicted prenatally by the “experts.” Still others were born with complex conditions that proved manageable and treatable.

Among the lessons: doctors don’t know everything. Nothing new there.

That brings me back to the family of Charlie Gard. I’m sure that neither of his parents woke up one day and said, “Gee, I think I’ll be pro-life today!” They weren’t pursuing a cause. They were defending their son. They weren’t denying the reality of their son’s condition, but they defended their own right to be parents and Charlie’s rights as well, first to receive treatment and then to die in their loving arms.

One unexpected situation at a time, one appalling governmental policy at a time, all the people I’m thinking about refused to say game over. The family of Charlie Gard, the Canadian women who refused to be discouraged, the mothers who were told their kids were hopelessly imperfect: I have things to learn from each of them.

And that’s nothing new.

“It’s important to build community in a culture that wants to silence pro-life women and their beliefs.” — Melissa Ohden.

Challenge accepted.

In a time of handmaids who don’t want to see Planned Parenthood privatized and states that want to gag pro-life documentarians, there’s more pro-life work going on than will ever be documented by trending hashtags. Good to know, when encouragement can seem hard to come by.

I just returned from Orlando and the second annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference. The conference is the brainchild of Abby Johnson, a woman who puts the “active” in activist: former Planned Parenthood manager, now pro-life, and founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry to abortion workers who want to leave the industry.

She and her team gathered a unique array of speakers, sponsors and exhibitors to inform and challenge the women who came from all over the country to attend the conference. People whose work doesn’t get much coverage in conventional media told their stories. Women whose choices aren’t celebrated by today’s “progressives” (sic) were there to encourage other women who may yet face something like an adverse prenatal diagnosis.

This wasn’t a political event, yet it was unmistakably a boost to anyone like me who’s an advocate for pro-life public policy. The atmosphere was dynamic, not defensive. The women I met there were positive without being saccharine. The things they’re doing, quietly and under the radar, are making people’s lives better. St. John Paul II would call it building a culture of life.

And there was some attitude in the room. Call it joyful and defiant determination. Heady stuff.

Here are a few observations and links from the conference, when you’re ready to turn away from everyday headlines for awhile. There’s good news out there.

  • The women who took the stage first had all heard the same thing from doctors during their pregnancies: something’s wrong with your pregnancy; it’s OK to abort. Some of the diagnoses proved to be accurate, others not. These mothers talked about where they found support, and where they didn’t. Some brought their children with them, so we could see what an “adverse diagnosis” looks like: a person, not a concept or a sentence. Lacey Buchanan: “I get the privilege of raising an exception.”
  • And speaking of exceptions and the right to life, I love Rebecca Kiessling. I’d heard her speak before, but she’s absolutely worth hearing again. Hear her, and you’ll never look at rape-and-incest exceptions the same way again. She’s one of those exceptions.
  • Exhibitors included Democrats for Life (yes!), Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, and Secular Pro-Life. You never know when someone will share your commitment to defending human dignity. Secular Pro-Life can take credit for one of the best stickers in sight: Call Me an Extremist, But I Think Dismemberment is Wrong.
  • Are there pro-life doctors, who won’t do abortions, or refer for them? Yes, and I saw three of them in one place at the conference. Asked if she worked in a hostile environment, one of the physicians answered, “Not since moving to a pro-life practice.” May their number increase. Check out the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNs site, just because it’s good to know they’re out there.

I could go on, and I probably will, on other sites. You get the idea, though: dynamic and committed women, without a handmaid in sight. That’s life beyond the hashtags.

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