Abortion and the Church article posts

LifeDate Fall 2019

Date: August 29, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

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From the Executive Director
Adoption – God’s “WANTED!” Sign by Pastor Michael Salemink

Lutherans For Life – Bethesda Lutheran Communities
God’s Word for Whatever – Bethesda Lutheran Communities – Lutherans For Life by Sandra Brese Rice

Abortion/Post Abortion/Alternatives
Is It Really a Woman’s Choice? by Jean Amundson
Word of Hope
Don’t Forget the Men! by Jean Amundson

Family Living
Adoption: Finding a Family for a Child
Life Quotes on Adoption
The DNA of Adoption by Pastor Michael Salemink
Meant to Be by Lynette Auch

Lutherans For Life Resources

Life Thoughts in the Church Year

World News

Spotlight on Lutherans For Life
Share the Life Message All Through the Year! / Word of Hope
Hope-Filled Promises by Michelle Bauman
The First Two Months by Michelle Bauman
Y4Life at FLY and NYG
We Were Busy This Summer! by Pastor Michael Salemink
2020 March for Life/Estate Planning/Real Estate for Life/LFL on Social Media
LAMBs – Lutherans Assembling Mercy Blankets
2019 LFL Regional Conferences

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Word of Hope (LifeDate Fall 2019)

Date: August 29, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

Photo: Chrissie Gillett, with Holleigh Hiller, at the 2019 LWML Convention in Mobile, Alabama.

As a ministry of Lutherans For Life (LFL), Word of Hope is a unique 24/7 national hotline devoted to intervening on behalf of life issues and imparting the value of all human life as divinely created and redeemed by Jesus Christ. Hotline callers are primarily men or women who have suffered for weeks, months, or years after participating in an abortion decision. Many of the hurting people describe overwhelming guilt, depression, anxiety, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, unwanted memories, or other symptoms of post-abortion syndrome. At Word of Hope, we respond to suffering with love, mercy, and confidential support, guiding each person with the Word toward reconciliation with God by the gift of faith in Christ alone.

At the peak of the ministry under founder Grace Kern, MSW, as many as 300 people connected with Word of Hope through the hotline or email each month. Over time, the ministry’s effectiveness was impacted by the need for Grace to singlehandedly operate the hotline, write literature, speak publicly, and procure funding. Grace’s decision to retire meant some tasks needed to be deferred and others postponed as the pursuit for a new director commenced. In April 2017, the search concluded when Deaconess Chrissie Gillet, PsyD, accepted the invitation to join the LFL team as the new Word of Hope Director.

The transition presented an opportunity to reflect on past successes and a vision for the future. Word of Hope aspires to be a national resource that offers supportive referrals and a Christocentric experience, with the hope that all people will be liberated from the overwhelming guilt associated with life-related issues, such as the suffering connected to abortion. To proceed in harmony with the vision, the focus of our efforts must address the need for knowledgeable staff, an online presence, updated technology, proper referral resources, revised publications, and collaboration with other agencies.

Due to the generosity of grants from organizations and donations given by additional dedicated supporters, we accomplished many goals to publicize the hotline. Word of Hope increased staff hours, acquired advanced software technology, revised media, exhibited at several conferences, and developed an informational packet that is being distributed nationally. Our ability to “have mercy on those who doubt [and] save others by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 1:22-23a) is critically dependent on the compassion from people and organizations who also share in the true value of life. We are eager to partner with you—For Life!

www.lutheransforlife.org/about/word-of-hope

word-of-hope.org

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Is It Really a Woman’s Choice?

By Jean Amundson

Date: August 29, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5a NIV)

Is abortion really a woman’s choice? Through the media, we hear and read, “My body, my choice.” Are you aware that many women, no matter the age, are unwillingly submitting to abortions? Well-meaning—and sometimes non well-meaning—parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, realtives, and others take the woman to the abortion facility against her will.

Following are a few examples which have been shared with me over the years:

“My father was an elder in our church, and when he learned I was pregnant out of wedlock, he was furious. He, along with my mother, took me to the abortion facility. After so many years, I am still angry with them and God. They aborted their grandchild, and I was deeply hurt.” (Through a post-abortion class, this lady was able to forgive her parents. Her faith in Jesus and God was restored.)

“When I was pregnant with our third child, the doctor told my husband and me that we should abort the child as I would probably have an emotional breakdown. The doctor located an abortionist in another state.” (After approximately 30 years, the woman learned to forgive the doctor and her husband. She is now a strong advocate For Life.)

“My girlfriend took me to the abortion facility. She said it was for my good.” (This lady also found forgiveness in a post-abortion class. She went on to lead post-abortion classes.)

“Against her will, and without my wife’s or my knowledge/consent, our 16-year-old daughter was taken to an abortion clinic by a high school counselor. She was distraught and quite upset when she came home following the abortion and informed us what had happened. We would never have given our consent. The three of us were totally distraught and have not forgiven the school or the individual who took our daughter to the abortion facility, against her will.” (I am still praying the three of them will learn to forgive the counselor who took their daughter for the abortion.)

There are many stories similar to the ones above which abortion supporters do not want to be shared. From my perspective, the abortion activists who speak out the most often and the loudest are the ones who have deep emotional scars from past abortions. I believe most of these individuals have either never had a relationship with Christ Jesus or “life” has turned them away from Jesus. These individuals were also created in God’s image. It says in John 20:23a (NIV) that, “If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven …”

As Christian life-affirming individuals, we should be praying for God to send the Holy Spirit upon them so they may feel God’s true forgiveness.

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Don’t Forget the Men!

By Jean Amundson

Date: August 29, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

“Don’t forget the men!” This is a phrase heard frequently from post-abortive men. Currently, state and national abortion laws are changing rapidly. We hear and read, “My body, my choice.” It appears to be all about the women. Women are told, “You will have the right to choose if you will carry or abort your child.”

In frequent instances, the birth father has not been made aware that his wife or girlfriend is pregnant or that a family member of the birth mother, or the birth mother, has chosen to abort the birth father’s child.

In many situations, when the birth father is made aware of the abortion, he is devastated. He wonders why he was not made aware of the pregnancy and why the birth mom decided to abort the pregnancy.

After participating on a panel at a Lutherans For Life conference a few years ago, a man came up to me and said, “Don’t forget the men.” He shared that his girlfriend had an abortion and didn’t tell him about it until quite a while afterward. He was crushed. He inquired if there were post-abortion recovery groups for men. At an LFL Board of Directors’ meeting shortly before this conference, a guest speaker had told us how his life had been affected by abortion. He indicated that he and some other post-abortive men in the St. Louis area had written a curriculum for men whose lives had been impacted by abortion, and they were offering classes for men with similar experiences.We were able to share this information with the man. I have thought about him often over the years and continue to keep him in my prayers.

Another time a man cried in my arms—it was quite emotional. He said several years ago he had a girlfriend who was pregnant with his child, and she decided to have an abortion. She had not told him she was pregnant and planned to terminate the pregnancy. She went to the abortion facility by herself as she thought abortion was a simple, safe procedure. Well, something went wrong, and she needed to be sent immediately to a hospital. She had given this man’s name as the emergency contact, never dreaming he would need to be called. He was shocked when he received the phone call. He did go immediately and took her to the hospital. She survived and shortly afterward the man terminated the relationship. (As a side note, he is now a Lutheran pastor.)

A post-abortive grandfather shared that when his daughter was a teenager, she became pregnant. His wife and daughter chose to abort the baby over his objection. He is still grieving for the loss of the grandchild he never knew. He and his wife came close to divorcing, but their faith has kept them together.

How did Joseph handle Mary’s pregnancy when he first learned she was expecting a baby that was not his child? Matthew 1:19-21(NIV) states: “Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law … he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’”

Don’t forget the men! God doesn’t and neither should we!

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The Inclusive Old Pledge Is Still the Best Pledge

By Jean Garton

Date: August 1, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

Note: While Memorial Day has come and gone, Dr. Garton’s words from 2016 are worth reading anytime.

In May, the United States again observed Memorial Day. First called Decoration Day, it is a date set aside in 1868 to remember the men and women who lost their lives in wars fought in the then short history of our beloved country.

While always a poignant day, it is also a grateful day. Together, as a nation, we remember the freedoms we enjoy because of the valor and sacrifice of the members of our military services.

Memorial Day is marked with parades, services of all sorts, singing of patriotic songs, and, of course, citizens reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Those key words—With Liberty And Justice For All—have long been taken at face value. However, in practice today, they have been amended and revised and revamped.

There is the Pompous Version. With Liberty and Justice for All: that is, the perfect, productive, and planned.

There is the Elitist Version. With Liberty and Justice for All, except for those who are “inconvenient” or “unwanted.”

There is the Materialist Version. With Liberty and Justice for All, but not for the poor, dependent, or those whose existence some deem too costly to preserve and defend.

There is the Escapist Version. With Liberty and Justice for …. It all depends.

There is the Pro-Abortion Version. With Liberty and Justice for All women who have a right to control their own bodies and because a fetus is not a person and because a woman has a right to choose and because, and because, and because ….

It is an anti-democratic version of the Pledge that has become one, long run-on sentence that evades the Pledge’s core meaning.

But, then, there is the Pro-Life Pledge. It comes without exceptions but with quotation marks because the words of the Pledge are not ours to change: “With Liberty and Justice for All.”

Period!

That phrase speaks of an inclusive, not an exclusive, society. It is that great and historic truth to which Pro-Lifers pledge themselves.

Source: www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/2019/05/the-inclusive-old-pledge-is-still-the-best-pledge-3

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What Do You Do For a Living?

By Scott Licht

Date: July 25, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

Picture this real-life scene. You’ve boarded the plane and your neighbor for the next three hours takes his place next to you. Small talk inevitably turns to the following conversation:

Me: “What do you do for a living?”

Neighbor: “I sell underfloor drainage systems for large manufacturing plants. This is the fourth city that I’ve been to in three days. You see, our drainage systems are essential to modern manufacturing in order to …” – and on it went for about five minutes.

I must admit that I had never really thought about the topic before and my attention often wandered, but the magnitude of passion that my neighbor demonstrated for underfloor drainage systems for large manufacturing plants was amazing.

When he finally came up for air, about the best that I could do was mutter a half-hearted, “That’s very interesting.” While I DID find the topic rather interesting, I must say that I was also indifferent to the topic, and I may not have done a good job hiding that fact.

Now, after a brief awkward silence, it was my turn.

Neighbor: “What do you do for a living?”

Me: “I’m the national director of an organization called Lutherans For Life. We provide information from a Gospel perspective on life issues like adoption, crisis pregnancies, post-abortion syndrome, and physician-assisted suicide.”

Neighbor: “Oh, well, um, that sounds like very important work,” as he rather quickly and awkwardly implanted his noise-canceling/conversation-canceling ear buds for the duration of the flight. His intonation and level of sincerity on the word “important” felt to me the way my description of his work as “interesting” must have felt to him—indifferent.

I have read that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. Love and hate are both descriptions of passionate feelings about a topic. Indifference is the complete lack of interest in that topic. “I don’t care” is so prevalent in our society that it has its own abbreviation in the shorthand of texting and tweeting: IDC.

I often wonder if the biggest challenge before life-affirming Lutheran Christians isn’t in dealing with “pro-choicers,” but rather with folks who don’t care—“IDCers”? In a society that bombards us with information in an attempt to force us to care about baby fur seals, an endangered species of worm in a construction zone, or what someone said about a currently politically incorrect topic 50 years ago, it’s sometimes hard to muster much ongoing passion in the general population about an unsensationalized everyday miracle like human life.

Hopefully you know that the mission statement of Lutherans For Life is “Equipping Lutherans to be Gospel-motivated voices For Life.” But here is our vision statement, the higher-level goal of our existence: “Every Lutheran, both individually and in community, upholding the God-given value of human life and influencing society to do the same.”

Our society often says IDC to the miracle of birth unless he is born into Great Britain’s royal family or she is the daughter of a celebrity.  Our society often says IDC to the fact that there are over twice as many suicides as homicides each year in the United States—and the rate keeps climbing.  Our society often says IDC as its most experienced and wise members are allowed, and sometimes encouraged, to cut their lives short because they no longer feel useful to that same society.

But we have been created by God Who DOES care (not just often, but ALWAYS) about you and me, about every child who is conceived, about every person who feels useless and forgotten—even about those who say IDC about Him. He cared enough that He gave His Son’s life to redeem our lives for eternity.

And YOU care. We know you do because you’ve told us so by entrusting Lutherans For Life with some of your precious resources. You are not indifferent when it comes to proclaiming God’s truth about life from fertilization to eternity. You are not indifferent about the need to “equip Lutherans to be Gospel-motivated voices For Life.” And you care about “upholding the God-given value of human life and influencing society to do the same.”

Would you please help us again to carry out this mission and vision that God has given to Lutherans For Life? Through your gifts to Lutherans For Life, our combined voices will educate, comfort, and proclaim so that those who experience only indifference may know that God cares.

Thank you for your prayerful generosity!

(One way we educate is through our LFL 2019 Regional Conferences. Find out more at www.lutheransforlife.org/conference.)

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Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Guides

Date: July 17, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

From our executive director, Pastor Michael Salemink: “The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has a division devoted specifically to life issues—the ADF Center for Life. They have provided us with free legal guides—and we want to make them available to you. Download the PDFs below.”

The ADF Center for Life

A Legal Guide for Healthcare Professionals

A Legal Guide for Sidewalk Counselors

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Speak Up – Seize the Opportunities

By Michael W. Salemink

Date: July 10, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

Gospel-motivated voices For Life don’t only speak in churches.

They speak in communities. They speak in courtrooms. We speak at cash registers. We speak at capitols. We speak in shared spaces and public places. We love our neighbors not only as faithful Christians. We also respect and protect the least of these as responsible citizens. And in the democratic process, legislatures have offered abundant opportunities to put the sanctity of life into practice so far this year.

Famously (or infamously), the governments of New York and Illinois not only considered but succeeded in expanding abortions. These states’ representatives and executives removed existing restrictions and now allow the killing of unborn children for any reason at any time during pregnancy. Illinois also repealed its previous prohibition of the partial-birth procedure that ends the child’s life in the process of delivery itself.

However, even more jurisdictions addressed abortion in the other direction. Four states increased limitations and punishments for abortion. Arkansas and Utah recognized it as a crime when perpetrated after 18 weeks gestation (although Arkansas permits exceptions for sexual assaults). Missouri outlawed it after eight weeks, and Alabama categorized all abortions as felonies for doctors to perform.

Five additional states voted to safeguard prenatal lives after the detection of a heartbeat. Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Ohio banned such abortions (usually after a gestational age of six to eight weeks) despite courts historically declaring similar laws unconstitutional. Louisiana’s regulation was signed into law by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.

Two states, Indiana and North Dakota, agreed to disallow the violent dilation-and-evacuation abortion method. Also known as dismemberment abortion, this procedure removes the baby from the womb a limb at a time. Almost all second-trimester abortions utilize it, and eight other states (Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, and West Virginia) already reject D&E abortion. North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington, and federal lawmakers also deliberated it during the most recent term.

Five states (and Congress) introduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2019. Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, and Washington proposed refraining from abortions after the child begins to feel pain. Substantial medical evidence has established that pain sensation in an unborn child begins no later than 20 weeks gestation. Though opponents prevented these bills from passing everywhere but Missouri, 20 other states have enacted this protection (two have been blocked by court order).

Several further states (and Congress) weighed Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Acts. These initiatives require intervention and care when a little one lives after an attempted abortion. Medical professionals who refuse life-saving and life-supporting measures in these situations face prosecution. Alabama, North Carolina, and Wisconsin saw legislatures approve such legislation, but while Alabama’s governor signed the law, the other two governors vetoed it.

The Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act went into effect in five states. This law mandates that physicians disclose information about counteracting chemical abortions before completion of the two-pill protocol. If progesterone (a natural hormone) is administered before the second drug is ingested, a regretful mother can save her baby’s life. Arkansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Oklahoma joined five more states who already insist on this service.

New Jersey and Maine decriminalized physician-assisted suicide this year. They became the seventh and eighth states to do so. (Voices for Life in Maine has undertaken an effort to subject the policy to a ballot initiative; if they gather 80,000 signatures in 60 days, the matter goes to public vote next June.) Fourteen other states also introduced bills to legalize doctor-prescribed death this year, but these were defeated or not voted on (Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia). Arkansas and Oklahoma actually strengthened their official opposition to it.

Finally, the federal Department of Health and Human Services acted for life in 2019 as well. The President’s administration revised its Title X (family planning) funding to exclude any entity that performs or refers for abortions. Then they directed the National Institutes of Health to discontinue all experimentation requiring new acquisition of aborted fetal tissue (some $100 million in projects!), and at the same time HHS committed $20 million to developing ethical alternatives.

And this year is only half over! No doubt upcoming legislative sessions will bring even more chances to declare and demonstrate how God loves life. May our Lord and Savior bless you—and your elected representatives—with courage and compassion as you seize those opportunities!

Photo: LFL Executive Director Pastor Michael Salemink recently shared a children’s message at his congregation’s Chinese mission (Light of Christ, Olivette, Missouri) about how God creates, redeems, and calls every human life to be His own precious treasure forever no matter what age, appearance, or ability.

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Difficult Days

By Michael W. Salemink

Date: June 19, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

These have been difficult days for Gospel-motivated voices For Life. The governor of Illinois signed into a law a very permissive relaxation of regulations on abortion, including the repeal of the state’s previous prohibition on “late-term” abortion. In addition, the governor of Maine signed legislation redefining suicide to exclude doctors prescribing lethal doses of pharmaceuticals to patients requesting this.

This further endangers the lives of the least of these among our neighbors. The culture is telling individuals with terminal illnesses, chronic conditions, depression, and despair that death solves their difficulties—and at the very moments when their deep suffering calls for our greatest compassion and assistance. The culture is teaching that human worth and purpose depend upon attaining certain ages, appearances, or abilities. The culture is tempting individuals experiencing surprise pregnancies that violence and trauma offer their only salvation from their anxiety, isolation, and obligation.

Jesus wept. Almighty God loves nothing more than the human lives He creates, redeems, and calls as His very own treasures forever. He graciously lends them to us from fertilization to final breath that we might receive them as precious privileges and share life with them in His image. The sinful world’s spineless acceptance of the devil’s deceptions and selfish disregard for the Lord’s joy and His gifts moves the Heavenly Father even more than us. He cares enough to enter as the divine Son born of Mary into the mess we’ve made.

Yes, Jesus suffers that He may withhold no mercy or love from humankind. Jesus dies with and for the victims and the advocates and the practitioners of abortion and assisted suicide. And Jesus rose. Christ is risen. His forgiveness prevails. His grace reigns. His Word and His ways work. His good and gracious will comes to pass. If wretches like me and you can be saved, if helplessly dependent creatures such as us are worth having, then any and every genetic member of our race has sacred significance.

We have now new opportunities to declare this truth with courage and demonstrate it with compassion to the nation as well as to the neighbors right in front of us. The Lord our God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone but desires that all should be saved and come to know His name, His love, and His kingdom. Even as we grieve, let us not respond with hostility but with steadfast gentleness and respect. Let us rejoice to resolve ourselves toward finding motivation, getting education, taking action, and sharing it in our every moment and every movement. And let us not doubt that the Father Almighty will change hearts and save lives—only let us watch and pray that He would invite us to witness and participate in this miraculous work.

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LifeDate Summer/June 2019

Date: June 17, 2019

Category: Abortion and the Church

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Download LifeDate Summer/June 2019

Guest Commentary
Leap for Joy by Rev. Troy Tysdal

Abortion/Post Abortion/Alternatives
Ten Life-Affirming Science Facts by Pastor Michael Salemink
Will It Hurt? Pain Perception in the Developing Human by Dr. Sheila Page

End of Life
Pressuring Doctors & Nurses to Support Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia by Virginia Flo

Family Living
Reach Out and Touch Someone by Lynette Auch
Moms Embody Grace by Pastor Michael Salemink

Lutherans For Life Resources

Life Thoughts in the Church Year

Spotlight on Lutherans For Life
Share the Life Message All through the Year! / Word of Hope
Being a Bulldog for Life by Joanna Sherrill
Numbers by Pastor Michael Salemink
2020 March for Life/Estate Planning/Real Estate for Life/LFL on Social Media
LAMBs – Lutherans Assembling Mercy Blankets
2019 LFL Regional Conferences

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