How to Pray for an End to Abortion

John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York from 1984 until his death in 2000, was a long-time pro-life advocate. As he was praying to understand why efforts in the pro-life cause were not garnering the expected results, he came upon the Scripture passage: “This kind of demon can only be cast out by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29). Cardinal O’Connor realized the need to return to these spiritual weapons to root out the forces seeking to destroy life. Prayer remains critical to ending Planned Parenthood’s atrocities in our nation.

Power of Prayer

Prayer is the most important weapon we have to end abortion; we cannot underestimate the power prayer has. We see the example of Jesus in the Gospels who regularly prayed to the Father, particularly before his baptism and Transfiguration and before his prayerPassion. In prayer, we engage in a profound dialogue with God, uniting our will with His will. We place our trust in God, who knows us intimately and loves us beyond our comprehension.

Yet, it can sometimes feel ineffective against the tragedies we see in the CMP videos. It is easy to measure the effectiveness of prayer in earthly terms so that when we see another young woman entering a Planned Parenthood clinic, we feel defeated. However, we may be unaware of the effects our prayer truly has; there are countless stories of women choosing life for their child because of prayers that were offered for them, even if they didn’t know they were being prayed for at the time. Truly, we will not know the extent of how we have helped to save lives through prayer in this life.

“Teach Us to Pray”

So how can we be prayer warriors?

First, we can follow the directives of Jesus, who, when asked by his disciples to teach them to pray, told them the parable of the friend who asks at midnight for three loaves of bread. Jesus tells them, “If he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.” (Luke 11:8) Jesus goes on to tell the disciples:

And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be open. (Luke 11:9-10)

We learn from Jesus that we must not become discouraged but rather be persistent in prayer. We know, in faith, that God grants what is good for us and if cannot answer us, it, too, is for our benefit.

For what shall we pray? We can pray to intercede for those who are at risk of abortion, the parents who are contemplating abortion, and those who work in the abortion industry. Numerous prayer resources for the cause of life are available. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Secretariat offers many pro-life prayers for individual or group settings.

Finally, borrowing from Nike: Just do it! Make time for prayer. Don’t get so caught up in “doing it right” that you don’t do it at all.

5 Important Abortion Stats

There is a lot of rhetoric about how many women obtain abortions but let’s take a moment to take a look at the actual statistics.

(1) Since 1973, an estimated 58,500,000 babies have been aborted in our country.

In the US this year, there will be over 1 million abortions. Planned Parenthood will perform approximately a third of those abortions, making it the largest abortion provider in the country. (Life Matters) The U.S. has the highest abortion rate among developed nations. (Guttmacher Institute)

black-baby(2) Abortion disproportionately impacts the African American population.

According to data compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012, the abortion rate and abortion ratio were the highest for the African American population.

For every 1,000 African American women, there were 24.6 abortions obtained (referred to as the abortion rate). In comparison, for every 1,000 Caucasian women, there were 7.1 abortions obtained. Thus, the abortion rate was 246% higher for African American women.

For every 1,000 live births by African American women, there were 365 abortions obtained (referred as the abortion ratio). In comparison, for every 1,000 live births by Caucasian women, there were 114 abortions obtained. Thus the abortion ratio was 220% higher for African American women.

(3) Abortions are most frequently obtained by women 29 and younger.

Women in their 20’s account for more than half of all abortions: 33% of all abortions are obtained by women aged 20-24; 24% of all abortions are obtained by women aged 25-29. Teenagers obtain 18% of all abortions in the country. (Guttmacher Institute, Fact Sheet, July 2014)

(4) Approximately 21% of all pregnancies end in abortion.

(Guttmacher Institute, Fact Sheet, July 2014)

(5) According to the Guttmacher Institute, the reasons given for having an abortion were:

  • Responsibility to other individuals (75%)
  • Cannot afford a child (75%)
  • Having a child would interfere with work, school, or ability to care for other children (75%)
  • Do not want to be a single parent or having problems with their partner (50%)

Why We Need to Stop Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is the largest and oldest abortion business in America. It was founded in 1916 by Margaret Sanger to promote eugenics through “selective breeding” so that only those who are deemed “fit” to reproduce would have children. Indeed, in a televised interview in 1957, Sanger stated, “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world – that have diseases from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born.”

Planned Parenthood Is the Single Largest Abortion Provide in the US

From its founding by Sanger, Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider. It has over 80 affiliates, with over 700 facilities across the country. Over 40% of Planned Parenthood facilities perform surgical or chemical abortions; those that do not perform abortions themselves refer women to nearby Planned Parenthood facilities that do perform abortions. Since 2004, Planned Parenthood “mega-centers” have opened in at least 19 cities in 14 states, with each of these mega-centers performing abortions, many of them open at least six days a week.

Approximately one out of every four abortions in America is performed at Planned Parenthood. In 2013, Planned Parenthood performed a whopping 327,653 abortions. Since 1970, Planned Parenthood has aborted more than 6 million babies.

Planned Parenthood Is Not Focused on Helping Women or Girls

plannedparenthoodtxUnfortunately, child sexual abuse, especially of young girls, is a huge problem. Instead of truly assisting women and girls being abused by helping them get away from their abusers, investigations have shown that Planned Parenthood facilitates the sexual exploitation of girls and women. By law, medical professionals are obligated to report situations where rape or statutory rape are suspected. However, Planned Parenthood staff repeatedly helped facilitate secret abortions for minor girls, encouraging them to lie.

The reason why Planned Parenthood isn’t interested in reporting cases of rape or sexual abuse? They stand to lose substantial income. With abortions costing from $300 to over $900, Planned Parenthood derives significant income from every abortion it performs.

Moreover, Planned Parenthood has vigorously fought even common-sense laws to protect the safety and welfare of the girls and women about whom it claims to care so much.

Planned Parenthood Spends Millions Lobbying Its Pro-Abortion Interests

In 2014, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates spent over $1.63 million in direct lobbying. Additionally, its affiliates spent $33.6 million in public policy efforts and its national office spent $18.7 million in building advocacy capacity according to its 2013-2014 Annual Report. In the same report, President Cecile Richards and Chair Alexis McGill Johnson touts: “Our advocacy work is unparalleled; we never stop fighting to protect access to safe and legal abortion and to advance women’s health, with Planned Parenthood organizations actively lobbying in state legislatures.” Planned Parenthood works hard to protect its business interest: abortions.

3 Things We Have Learned from the CMP Videos

feetThere have been hours and hours of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). While watching them is certainly enlightening as to the attitudes and agenda of Planned Parenthood, here are three indisputable things we have learned from the videos.

1) Planned Parenthood alters its abortion procedures for procuring “better” tissue specimens.

Federal law states: “No alteration of the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy was made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue.” 42 USC § 289g-1(b)(2)(A)(ii). Additionally, federal HHS regulation states: “The timing and method of abortion should not be influenced by the potential uses of fetal tissue for transplantation or medical research.” (IRB Guidebook, Chapter VI, Section A).

Yet Dr Amna Dermish, an abortion doctor for Planned Parenthood in Austin, TX, is recorded saying, “my aim is usually to get the specimens out pretty intact.” She says that she will sometimes utilize ultrasound guidance to convert a 2nd trimester fetus to a feet-first breech presentation. (Video #11) Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood Federation, describes modifying the abortion procedure so that certain body parts can be collected. She says, “If you maintain enough of a dialogue with the person who’s actually doing the procedure, so they can understand what the end-game is, there are little things, changes they can make in their technique to increase your success.” (Video #1) Dr. Melissa Farrell, director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, says that they can “get creative” about when, where, and under what conditions they can procure usable tissues, including getting creative about how the abortion procedure is done. (Video #5)

What’s unclear is whether these alterations can cause complications or additional health risks to the woman – the same women about whose health Planned Parenthood cares so much. It is also not clear whether women understand that they are agreeing to different abortion procedures in order to “donate” these aborted fetal tissues.

2) Harvesting fetal tissue is a common practice for Planned Parenthood.

During her testimony before Congress, Cecile Richards stated that harvesting fetal tissue was a rare occurrence, which only happened in a handful of Planned Parenthood facilities.

However, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood Federation, calmly and coolly discusses her expertise in performing abortions to harvest fetal tissue. (Video #1) Dr. Katharine Sheehan, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, talks about having had an arrangement with a tissue procurement company for ten years. The tissue procurement company returns a portion of the money back to the clinics. (Video #3) Dr. Savita Ginde, VP and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, discusses their attorney being able to help them skirt federal law, having been familiar with the intricacies of if from assisting other Planned Parenthood clinics. (Video #4) A technician at the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast facility states that she attended a Planned Parenthood in-service where PPFA was encouraging more participation in fetal tissue procurement by various clinics. (Video #5)

3) Abortion is a big part of Planned Parenthood’s business.

Planned Parenthood bills itself as being a provider of “women’s healthcare” and have repeatedly stated that abortions only account for 3% of its business.

In the Center for Medical Progress videos, however, a technician at the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast facility states that they do about 40-50 abortions a month at the 16-22 week gestational age.  (Video #5) Holly O’Donnell, a former technician for StemExpress, talks about how they would have over 40 patients in 8 hours at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Fresno. (Video #6) Dr. Amna Dermish, an abortion doctor for Planned Parenthood in Austin, TX, states that they were scheduling 25 abortion procedures a day, ten days a month. She goes on to say that they are now increasing up to 30 abortions a day. (Video #11)

Fact-checkers at The Washington Post and FactCheck.org both have debunked Planned Parenthood’s claim that only 3% of its services are abortion; at least 12% of Planned Parenthood’s business is abortions. Financially, about 15% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue is from surgical abortions; this doesn’t include the chemical abortions occurring through contraceptives.