Welcome to The Vine, where every week I strive to bring you updates from around the pro-life community to help you keep up with the ever constant battle to save lives. If you aren’t plugged-in, it is my sincere hope that The Vine will allow you to get familiar with those on the front lines and find your place among them.
One of the best things about working in the pro-life movement is all the stories. Yes there is tragedy, but there is also so much hope, so much inspiration, and amazing displays of strength that all lend themselves to help us keep going.
Last week, in the UK, the parents of baby Adelaide decided to release her picture for the world to see. As her parents recount in The Mirror, their daughter did not survive her early birth. It is the second time her mother, Emily Caines, has lost a daughter to premature labor. Caines’ first daughter was born at 23 weeks and Adelaide was born at 24 weeks. It is the fact that she was 24 weeks old that contributed to the Caines’ decision to show Adelaide to the world. In the UK, abortion is legal up to 24 weeks. In showing that Adelaide was “a fully formed human being”, the Caines’ hope to help people understand that abortion truly is killing a child. The couple is now pregnant again but they hope their “story gives hope to others and helps other parents who have suffered a loss.”
The mother of Katie Farrell is also familiar with loss and, like the Caines’, has turned her loss into an inspiration for all who value life. However Katie’s story, as told at SecularProLife, is quite different from the Caines’. Nearly “a poster child for the abortion movement,” Katie found herself unexpectedly pregnant at the age of 21. Despite doctors encouraging her to abort, Katie found hope in her new baby and rose to the challenge of motherhood. A little over a year after her son, Tyler, was born, Katie was back in school and looking forward to the 2013 March for Life. Tragically, the father of her son chose then to end his life and Katie’s. Her mother is now raising Tyler and has started a nonprofit, KatiesWay.org, to help mothers like Katie.
Sadly, doctors recommending abortion to the women they are supposed to be caring for is not unusual. Hannah Katelyn Peters was also told to kill her baby early in pregnancy when her doctors discovered her child would be born with a disability. Amazingly, she told Live Action News, doctors said things to her such as “You’re young, you can just try again”, “What quality of life do you think this baby will have?”, “Do you really want to make this baby live like this?”, and “This is not your normal baby.” Relying on her faith in God and the understanding God chose her to receive this special child, Hannah and her husband chose life for their son. Now, as she raises quite possibly one of the cutest babies on earth, Hannah blogs about Raising Jude and the joy her and husband experience with their “brave little warrior.”
Defeating the bias against those with disabilities, Aaron Welty is proving that questioning “quality of life” is not only extremely offensive but also something doctors cannot possibly predict. Born ten weeks early with cerebral palsy, Jill Stanek’s website relays how, in his words, “God was not done with him yet.” He currently works as a congressional aide in DC and is committed to sharing his life-affirming story.
While each story is different, the many stories in our movement share a common thread beyond proving the value of each life: people who are willing to stand up for it. This week’s Branch for Life goes to everyone who has a story and bravely shares it. Our movement wouldn’t be the success it is without people who are willing to step forward and share the pain and joy they have experienced so as to help abolish abortion. Thank you.
Until next week, I pray blessings for you and for all committed to life in The Vine. Please feel free to email or tweet me with any stories you’d like to see covered or any organizations you’d like to see as the Branch For Life!