Planned Parenthood Says It’s Proud to Provide Abortions; Reacts to Study Claiming Abortions Are at All-Time Low Since 1973 BY MELISSA BARNHART, CP REPORTER

Reacting to a report from the Guttmacher Institute that claims abortions are at an all-time low since the procedure became legal in 1973, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards says she’s “proud” that the organization provides multiple forms of abortion services to its pregnant clients.

“Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion services for women who make the deeply personal decision to end a pregnancy, [and] we are proud to fight for a woman’s right to make that decision without interference from politicians,” said Richards, who once served as deputy chief of staff for House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, and is the daughter of former Democratic governor of Texas Ann Richards.

The Christian Post recently reported that the Guttmacher Institute, a research institute that supports abortion rights, will release a report in March in which it claims that the number of abortions had dropped in 2011 to its lowest point since 1973.

According to the Guttmacher Institute study, between 2011 and 2008, abortions declined by 13 percent; and there were about 1.06 million abortions in 2011, as compared to roughly 1.2 million in 2008.

The abortion rate dropped to 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in 2011, down from 29.3 in 1981. It’s the lowest since 1973 when the rate was 16.3, says the study.

The study also notes that about 239,400 abortions entailing early medication procedures were performed in 2011, representing 23 percent of all non-hospital abortions, an increase from 17 percent in 2008.

Michael J. New, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan–Dearborn and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, believes the Guttmacher study cannot be trusted as being completely accurate.

New wrote in National Review Online that “21 percent of abortion facilities refuse to take part in the survey. And he added that the study doesn’t “provide any information about the percentage of abortions that occur after 20 weeks gestation.”

Richards of Planned Parenthood claims that one reason for the decline in suction, cutting and evacuation methods of abortion can be attributed to the increasing number of women who seek out abortions early enough to have a medication-induced abortion.

“One important finding in this report is that women who do decide to end a pregnancy are increasingly using medication abortion…,” said Richards, who’s fighting a Texas law that passed in July that requires abortionists to be present, in-office, each time abortion-inducing drugs are dispensed to their clients.

According to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers that are fighting these new state regulations, it’s safer for women to ingest abortion inducing drugs at home, and pass and dispose of the aborted baby by themselves, rather than have the assistance of abortionists and their staff who are required to properly dispose of aborted remains.

The Texas law that was passed in July bans abortion at 20 weeks gestation (except in cases where the mother faces a medical emergency), requires abortionists to follow FDA guidelines for dispensing abortion-inducing drugs, and requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital located within 30 miles in cases of emergency caused by the procedure.

In November Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and other pro-abortion groups appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a Texas district court’s injunction that blocked a portion of the law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, citing that it would close a majority of abortion clinics in the state and block women’s access to abortion.

The appeal was filed with Justice Antonin Scalia, who referred the issue to the nine-member court, which in a 5-4 decision, allowed Texas’ abortion regulations to stand. The majority of the court found that Planned Parenthood, et. al., had not met the requirement for setting aside the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ order permitting the law to take effect.

Subseqently, the case was argued in January before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, La., which is reviewing the portion of the law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital located within 30 miles of the abortion facility where they practice.

Pro-life legislation passes in the House

Last month, one week after the anniversary of the controversial Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping pro-life bill.

Known as HR 7 or the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” the House voted 227 to 188 in favor of the proposed legislation. HR 7 has multiple components to it that focus on removing government funding of abortion and benefits for abortion coverage.

Introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), HR 7’s aims bear resemblance to the Hyde Amendment, which gets renewed every session by Congress. Smith’s goal with HR 7 is to make the Hyde Amendment provisions permanent and no longer in need of annual renewal.

In August, the Government Accountability Office also announced that it would be investigating Planned Parenthood’s use of taxpayers’ dollars amid recent cases against abortion providers who’ve fraudulently over-billed Medicaid and other family planning programs.

This decision was made after a group of more than 50 members of Congress, including Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Pete Olson (R-Texas) and Senator David Vitter (R-La.), requested a report from the GAO on how taxpayer funding is specifically used by Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform abortions.

“Planned Parenthood performed a record 333,964 abortions last year – almost 1 million in the past three years,” Vitter said last February. “At the same time, they also received more federal taxpayer dollars than ever before – a record $542 million, an 11 percent increase over the past two years. Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions clearly benefit from Uncle Sam, but there’s no accounting to prove how they actually use that money. This GAO report would shine a light on how our tax dollars are being spent.”

Michael J. Norton, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which has filed lawsuits against Planned Parenthood, told CP that the organization has, during the past few years, released reports to Congress that have identified waste, abuse and potential fraud by Planned Parenthood, state family programs and other organizations, as well as potential fraud by Planned Parenthood affiliates relating to grants from Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

“We have been focusing on Planned Parenthood’s waste, abuse and potential fraud, and to identify Planned Parenthood as significantly taking advantage of well-funded, poorly addressed family planning programs in particular,” Norton said. “Audits and other reviews of Planned Parenthood affiliates’ financial data and practices – as well as 45 audits of state family planning programs and one audit of a family planning organization – found more than $108 million in waste, abuse and potential fraud. Taxpayer money is only supposed to be used responsibly and for the common good.”

http://www.christianpost.com/news/planned-parenthood-says-its-proud-to-provide-abortions-reacts-to-study-claiming-abortions-are-at-all-time-low-since-1973-114249/

Beyond Sexual Conquest by Karen Farris

Anytime someone wanted to talk about sex, students usually listened.

But this was like listening to Grandma. Some sneered. Others whispered condescending remarks.

An old lady giving them sex advice? Yeah, right.

Her grey hair was wound into a bun, tightly secured with two well-sharpened pencils. She explained she’d never be without a writing implement—or a weapon.

Marching confidently into the high school health class, she was armed with her years of experience as a nurse and a thumb drive with horrid pictures. It was the perfect icebreaker.

An image of reddish-pink oozing sores covering intimate body parts stopped the whispers. Nothing like giving a classroom full of youthful testosterone a reality-check. Syphilis—a bacterial disease predominantly infecting guys. Now she had their full attention. She clicked to the next image.

Gonorrhea—once almost eradicated now back with tougher strains. Chlamydia—the silent sterilizer of young girls—1.4 million new cases each year. Lots of sexually transmitted infections are unreported, because kids don’t know they have it and don’t get treatment. And the two leading STDs—Herpes Simplex 2 and HPV have no cure, and no one really knows how many are infected.

In a few minutes, the screen darkened, but she left the lights off. Quietly, she asked the students to consider something worse than STDs.

She walked up and down the aisles of student desks, sharing her life in a health clinic—seeing kids just like them.

She treated their infections, but there were often wounds she couldn’t see—like “Brandon’s”.

Brandon had had more sex partners than the years of his life. In his twisted view of manhood, sex was a conquest.

Girls were used and tossed aside. When he’d come to the clinic for free condoms, she could see the boy beneath the tough veneer.

Before she handed over what he wanted, she didn’t warn him about STDs, or ask about school, or even about the future. Instead, she asked about his childhood.

They talked about lonely times at home, missing his dad, moving from dingy apartments and once living in a park.

Sex didn’t give Brandon the love he’d missed; it only fed his ego and intensified the emptiness of his existence. The next time he needed condoms, she noticed the telltale signs of drug abuse. Which drugs, she wasn’t certain. Rather than accusing him, she asked about something they’d talked about before—his dog. His canine friend had been a companion before the quest for sexual manhood dominated his life—and his life on drugs. Brandon could use another friend—someone she hoped she could be.

A flicker of a smile returned to his ragged teenaged face. She knew his age, but doubted anyone else could guess—his life had hardened and aged him. It’s the unfortunate reality of a culture that invites teen sex, but doesn’t encourage kids to understand real manhood or womanhood. She attempted to rekindle a youth that he’d never had.

The classroom was silent. All eyes followed the grandmotherly woman who now seemed like someone they wish they’d met sooner. She returned to the front of the room, opened her purse and pulled out a newspaper clipping.

In the still darkened room, she read Brandon’s obituary. His life was so brief he’d not had a chance to live beyond the narrow boundaries of what he’d known. Sex hadn’t killed him, but it was the beginning of a downward spiral that had taken Brandon so deep that he couldn’t see her hand that she’d held out to him.

She carefully refolded the clipping and unashamedly wiped her tears. Looking into each pair of eyes, she said that circumstances are often not fair—not for kids, and sometimes not for parents either.

But the future depends on today’s choices—even when life isn’t fair right now. Being wise isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

Looking at the clock, she prepared to leave but asked the students to do one thing—consider Brandon’s life and please choose wisely. Girls, using sex to get love is the quickest way to a broken heart. And guys, get beyond sexual conquest—because using sex for power only shows how weak you really are.

According to a study titled “Casual Sexual Relationships and Mental Health in Adolescence and emerging Adulthood” teens that engage in casual sexual encounters intensify poor mental health, including suicidal thoughts.

http://blogs.christianpost.com/friday-tidings/beyond-sexual-conquest-20019/

Joseph

Genesis 42:5-11, 19-20, 24-25

Now it’s my turn

Jacob’s ten sons finally arrived at the storehouse in Egypt where Joseph was selling grain. Food was scarce everywhere because of the great famine.

Joseph recognized his brothers who had sold him as a slave many years before, but his brothers didn’t recognize him. Joseph asked them about their father and he also found out about Benjamin, his youngest brother who was not with them. He told them to go back and fetch Benjamin, and had Simeon put in prison until the others returned with him. Then he filled their bags with grain and sent them on their way.

While on their way back, one of them discovered that the money they had brought to buy grain had been put back in the top of their sacks.

How should I treat someone who has hurt me?

Has someone hurt you recently and now you keep thinking of a way to get back at the person? Our sense of fairness makes us think that we need to even the score and show the other person what it feels like to be hurt.

However, there is a far better way to handle the situation, and the Bible tells us how: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

Things had changed for Joseph. He now had the power to get back at his brothers for what they did to him. He had a chance to get even, but instead he chose to show kindness.

What would you have done if you were Joseph? Imagine if the person who hurt you was standing before you pleading for mercy. Now think of the many wrong things you have done in your life, all of which God has forgiven at great cost.

In the same way you have been forgiven, God wants you to forgive the person who hurt you, and with His help even show kindness like Joseph did. Read Matthew 18:23-34.

Verse for today

(Jesus said) “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you …” Matthew 5:44.

http://www.truthforkids.com/february-11/

Jacob’s Amazing Dream

Jacob's Amazing Dream

(Genesis 28.10-22) 

Esau was not very happy with his brother Jacob, to say the least.

First, Jacob cheated Esau out of his birthright for a lousy bowl of soup.

Now Jacob had stolen his Father’s last blessing. Esau vowed that he would kill his brother Jacob as soon as their father died.

“You must go!” Rebekah told Jacob. “Go away, back to your grandfather’s homeland, and stay with your Uncle Laban until your brother cools off!”

Now, it happened that Esau had married two of the young girls from the land where he and his family were now living. They were Canaanites, and they didn’t follow the God of Abraham and Isaac. They were making life miserable for Rebekah.

So Rebekah came to Isaac and said, “If Jacob marries one of these Canaanite women, I might as well be dead, I will be so miserable! Please send him to my brother’s family to find a wife there.”

It was a good excuse to have Isaac send Jacob away.

But before he sent Jacob to his uncle Laban’s, Isaac blessed Jacob and said,

 

“May El Shaddai, God Almighty, bless you!

May he bless your marriage and give you many children.
May he bless you as he blessed your grandfather Abraham.

May you possess the land he gave to Abraham,
and may you become the father of many nations.

May all nations be blessed because of you!”

Early the next morning Jacob loaded his camels and set out for the Land of Haran, the home of his uncle.

As the sun was setting on the first day of his journey, Jacob stopped to set up camp for the night. He laid out his blanket on the ground, and found a stone to put under his head for a pillow.

Somehow, with a rock for a pillow, he fell fast asleep.

And then he had the most amazing dream.

Now, it seems that anyone who used a rock for a pillow would have a strange dream! But it wasn’t that.

God let Jacob see a part of the world we never see, but a part that is there all around us.

In his dream, Jacob saw a stairway.

The stairway reached up all the way to heaven, and the angels of God were coming and going, up and down, back and forth from heaven to earth, and back to heaven again.

At the bottom of the stairway there was a glorious light.

There stood the Lord God himself!

“I am the One Who Is, the God of your grandfather Abraham and of your father Isaac!

“I am here to make this promise to you. I will give you and your family the land where you are now resting. You will have many children. Your children will have children, until one day, they will be as many as the dust of the earth.

You will possess this land, and because of you, all nations will be blessed. I will watch over you and protect you as you go, and I will bring you safely home.”

And God finished, saying, “All this I will do. Be sure of this, I am with you. I will never leave you or forsake you.”

And then the vision was gone.

Jacob woke up, rubbing his eyes.

He could hardly believe what he had just seen. And he was more than a little bit afraid. It’s not every day you see the glory of the Lord God Almighty! “I have seen God – and lived to tell about it!”

“This is a fearsome place!” he said. “This must be the house of God, and the very gate to heaven itself!”

The next morning, Jacob took the stone he was sleeping on and set it up as a marker for what had happened there. He poured oil on it and blessed it to God.

He named the place Bethel, which means ‘the House of God.’

Then he made this promise to God. “If you really do watch over me as I go, and bring me safely back to my home, then you shall be my God. I will worship you here in this place, and I will return to you one tenth of everything you give me.”

Then Jacob packed up his things and went on his way.

And God was with him.

http://www.essex1.com/pages/paul/bible26.html

Teamwork

Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the LORD.—Exodus 30:13

The Torah portion for this week is Ki Tisa, which means “when you raise up,” from Exodus 30:11—34:35, and the Haftorah is from 1 Kings 18:20–39.

The Sages teach that if God had not given us the Bible, we would have been expected to learn all we need to know in order to live moral, ethical, and meaningful lives by observing other creatures. For example, we could learn diligence from ants or modesty from a cat. Recently, I discovered that we can learn much from geese by studying the amazing way they fly.

Maybe you have looked up at the autumn sky and seen a flock of geese in migration, flying in their characteristic V-formation. But have you ever wondered why they fly that way?

The reason is because in flying this way, members of the flock create an upward air current for one another. Each goose creates an uplift for the bird behind it. Together, the geese fly about seventy-one percent faster than flying alone. If one goose starts to slide out of position, it immediately experiences the drag of being separated from its community and gets back into position. When the lead goose tires, it slides back and another goose immediately fills that position. Amazingly, God created these creatures to work together as a team, and by doing so, they are able to reach their destination in the most effective way.

In this week’s Torah portion, Moses was commanded to count the children of Israel. Since in Judaism it is forbidden to count heads, each person was required to give a half shekel. By counting the half shekels, Moses would know how many people there were. Interestingly, the verse also provides us with this information: “the sanctuary shekel . . . weighs twenty gerahs.” Why do we need to know how much the shekel is worth?

By giving us this information, the Sages explain that Scripture is teaching us an important lesson about individuals, community, and teamwork. If one shekel is worth twenty gerahs, than half a shekel is worth ten. Ten is a whole number and represents totality, as we often say, “On a scale of one to ten.” So even if every person gives “ten,” meaning they do their best and give their whole effort, it’s still only half a shekel. We need teamwork, individuals working together, in order to make a whole.

Like the geese instinctively know, we need to learn to work together in order to maximize our achievements – as families, companies, communities, and even humanity as a whole. This week, let’s focus on working together. Maybe as a family or with friends, you can set a goal together, such as contributing to a charity or collecting bags of food for the local food pantry. Whatever it may be, remember that as we fall into formation, lifting each other up, there is no place that we can’t fly.

Teamwork

Do You Want to Be a New Person? Here’s Some Great Grammatical News by Mark D. Roberts

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

In yesterday’s reflection, we focused on the form of the verb in Ephesians 4:23: “[You were taught] to be made new in the attitude of your minds.” As you may recall, I explained that “to be made new” is a present infinitive in Greek, which suggests an ongoing process of renewal. When we first become Christians, we are made new by God’s Word and Spirit. Yet, our newness isn’t complete. We spend the rest of our lives becoming new in many different ways, until, one day, united with Christ, we are completely renewed.

I expect that you already know you’re a work in progress. This realization may encourage you because it explains why you’re not perfect yet. Or, this thought may discourage you because it seems to imply that you now have one more major item on your to do list: clean the house; fill out tax forms; call Mom; put off old man; put on new man; make self new in Christ.

Yet, this misses another key point of grammar, something that is rooted in the Greek original of Ephesians 4:23 and which also shows up in English. Once more, this verse says, “[You were taught] to be made new in the attitude of your minds.” Notice the form of the infinitive: “to be made new.” Not “to make new” or “to make yourself new” but “to be made new.” The Greek original supports this reading. The form of the infinitive is passive. (Theoretically, it could also be a middle form that would mean “renew yourself,” but this translation would be inconsistent with everything else Paul teaches about how we become new in Christ. Surely the infinitive is passive.) What is implied here without being stated could be represented in an expanded translation, “[You were taught] to be made new by God.” We don’t make ourselves new. God does it.

Yet, by saying we were taught to be made new, this does suggest some role for us in the process. Why should we have been taught this if it happens automatically whether we cooperate or not? We aren’t simply and completely passive recipients of spiritual renewal. Rather, we have the opportunity, indeed, the imperative, to open ourselves to the work God seeks to do in us through the Spirit. Conversely, we can close ourselves off to the Spirit’s work, thereby precluding or slowing down the renewal that God wants for us. Therefore, we are taught to be open and available, to allow the Lord access to every part of us, including those parts that are most in need of renovation, parts we often keep away from God because of shame or deceitful desire. Yet, when we expose all that we are to the Lord, when we invite him to transform us, then, by grace, he does this very thing, not all at once, but faithfully and consistently.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How open are you to God’s renewing work in your life? Now, think again. Really, how open are you to God’s renewing work in your life? What parts of you are in need of the renewal that comes from the Lord?

PRAYER: O Lord, how thankful I am for your work in me. Every now and then I try to make myself new. I come up with plans and resolutions. I try and try. But, in the end . . . fail. Only you can make me new inside.

And you do this very thing, thank you very much! Yet you don’t barge in. You don’t force me to do what I have not chosen. You allow me to open the door to you or, unfortunately, to keep it closed. Help me, Lord, to open all that I am to you. Come in and clean house. Make me new, wholly new, for your purposes and glory. Amen.

http://www.thehighcalling.org/reflection/do-you-want-be-new-person-heres-some-great-grammatical-news

Rejoice in the Lord

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:17, 18).

Observe, I entreat you, how calamitous a circumstance is here supposed, and how heroic a faith is expressed. It is really as if he said, “Though I should be reduced to so great extremity as not to know where to find my necessary food, though I should look around about me on an empty house and a desolate field, and see the marks of the Divine scourge where I had once seen the fruits of God’s bounty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”

Methinks these words are worthy of being written as with a diamond on a rock forever. Oh, that by Divine grace they might be deeply engraven on each of our hearts! Concise as the form of speaking in the text is, it evidently implies or expresses the following particulars: That in the day of his distress he would fly to God; that he would maintain a holy composure of spirit under this dark dispensation, nay, that in the midst of all he would indulge in a sacred joy in God, and a cheerful expectation from Him. Heroic confidence! Illustrious faith! Unconquerable love!–Doddridge.

Last night I heard a robin singing in the rain,
And the raindrop’s patter made a sweet refrain,
Making all the sweeter the music of the strain.

So, I thought, when trouble comes, as trouble will,
Why should I stop singing? Just beyond the hill
It may be that sunshine floods the green world still.

He who faces the trouble with a heart of cheer
Makes the burden lighter. If there falls a tear,
Sweeter is the cadence in the song we hear.

I have learned your lesson, bird with dappled wing,
Listening to your music with its lilt of spring
When the storm-cloud darkens, then’s the TIME to sing.

–Eben E. Rexford

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/mrs-charles-cowman-streams-in-the-desert-devotional.shtml