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Answering the Only Question About Abortion That Matters

at Catholic Online

baby in the belly

 

The Supreme Court dodged a significant question when legalizing abortion because they didn’t want to answer it. It was the only question that mattered; it was the only one that was relevant. It’s the question, and the answer, upon which the whole thing hinges.
So let’s answer it.

But first, let’s have some very plain talk about pregnancy and women. I’m an expert on both subjects, since I’m a woman who has been pregnant 5 times and has given birth to four children. (My husband and I lost our first child in a miscarriage at 9 weeks.)

Pregnancy is unlike anything else even an extremely imaginative person could imagine. Pick a feeling, and it probably applies to pregnancy at some point. Joyful, scared, elated, nervous, sick, numb, sad, angry, happy, lonely, hungry, tired, energized, eager, dreading, grateful, you name it. It all fits.

Pregnancy is amazing. It’s terrifying. It’s life-altering. Seriously life-altering. And you can’t even predict how it will alter your life or how it will make you feel or how you’ll react. Nope, you’re along for the ride, and it’s wild and crazy sometimes.

Pregnancy is other-worldly. It is awesome in its power. What’s going on inside your body is mind-blowing. But pregnancy is also downright exhausting, so you can’t stay on the mountaintop of awe continually. You come down when your head is over the toilet.

Or when you’re tossing and turning, unable to sleep with an aching back. Or when you can’t tie your shoes because, hey, you can’t even see your feet.

Pregnancy can be frightening, too. The weight of the burden (literally and figuratively speaking) can sneak up on you in weak or tired moments, and then all you can do is cry. It’s overwhelming.

It’s wonderful and it sucks. It’s a dream-come-true and it’s nightmarish. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a lot of work. It’s exciting and it’s monotonous. It’s a miracle. But it doesn’t always feel that way.

It’s no easy thing, period. There is no reason not to admit that pregnancy can be very, very hard on a woman. It can be every good and beautiful thing, and it can be some very difficult things, too. That’s the truth. Plain and simple.

But here’s the bottom line: it’s irrelevant.

Yep, you heard me.

Now calm down. Women’s feelings, women’s bodies, women’s personal sufferings, women’s private sacrifices, women’s needs and wants are all very important and wholly relevant to the subject of women, and of marriage, and of health care.

However, all those things I said about pregnancy and what a woman goes through are utterly and completely irrelevant– when it comes to abortion. It doesn’t matter a hill o’ beans! (as my Dad would say.)

All that matters is the humanity of the child in the womb.

The morality, the ethicalness, and yes, the legality of abortion depends on only one question: Does abortion kill a human child or not? Yes or no? It’s not a complicated question, and it demands a simple yes or no answer.

If you answer No, then you must explain what exactly abortion does. Based on real science, mind you. “Terminating a pregnancy” is not a sufficient answer. Pregnant with what? (By the way, childbirth terminates a pregnancy.) Why is the pregnancy considered terminated? What has changed? The uterus is emptied? Emptied of what? What was there that required being “terminated”?

If not a human child, then what? A seahorse? A cucumber? No, silly, of course not. Okay, then what? A clump of cells? What kind of cells?Hamster? Whale? (Oh, if only whale! Then those precious cells would be safe!)  No, not animal. Okay, so they’re human cells.

A human being, then? A “potential” human being?

Ah, yes… the “potential” human being. A darling phrase of the abortion advocates, or at least the keep-abortion-legal crowd. Many well-meaning folks cling to this idea that the child is merely a “potential” child, on its way to being human but not quite there yet. Development, size, age, etc., are not all aligned well enough to meet the fully-human criteria, so they feel more comfortable “terminating” this merely “potential” human being.

Alongside this reasoning is the deification of woman by many abortionists who claim that women can magically bestow humanity on their child if they decide they want to keep their child, and withhold humanity if they do not want their child. Women have god-like powers over the “products” of their wombs, and the child only becomes a “real person” if the mother chooses.  It’s the stuff of fairytales!

The truth is actually quite simple. When sperm and ovum join, an entirely new human person comes into existence who never existed before. This new human person may be microscopic for a while, but is nevertheless, human. With a complete DNA blueprint that is unique, this human begins his or her life in the exact same manner that each of us did — growing each day, changing each day, safely tucked away in the only space in the universe that can sustain him or her, by design.

Humanity is not a function of utility, or size, or development, or appearance, or wantedness. Humanity is not something any of us can bestow or withhold from another because it is not ours to give or take away. We do not grant it. We cannot conjure it up out of nothing. To pretend we can is delusional.

The only other answer to the question, then, is Yes, and if you are honest enough to answer Yes, then you must also be honest enough to say out loud that we are a nation that sanctions killing children.

That makes us barbarians. We have given legal protection to the most egregious, most horrifying, most evil action imaginable: killing our children. That is the reality of abortion. Sweep away all the political mumbo-jumbo and all the euphemistic crap. The truth is, we give legal protection to the crime of killing children. We have justified the unjustifiable. We’ve been falling all over ourselves ever since that terrible day 41 years ago in our attempts to hide it, disguise it, excuse it, redefine it, and when that wasn’t enough, to begin celebrating it as a “good” and a “necessary” thing for women.

It’s all crap. Every decent person knows it in the quiet of their own heart. Every honest person has to admit that we’re not terminating a pregnancy, as if pregnancies happened apart from a baby. We’re terminating our children.

Surely those nine Justices in 1973 knew this quite well. They had to have known it, but I guess they were not willing to seem unsympathetic to women and the growing cry for “equality.”

So they reached for their “penumbra” and invented a mythical “right” to abortion, giving it the illusion of sound legal reasoning, when it was nothing more than a snooty euphemism covering up something unspeakable.

They opined about the beginning of life, and the unknowableness of this beginning, then excused themselves from responsibility by saying it didn’t even matter that the Court could not say for certain when life begins. All that really mattered was that they had a “penumbra” and it allowed them to permit what no civilized society should ever permit.

Ever since, our babies have been sacrificed to their cowardice and our selfishness. There’s no pretty wrapping for any of this. There’s no plausible explanation or reasonable excuse. We have killed millions and millions of our own babies because we have consented to being barbarians in disguise. It happens in a nice clinical setting, far away from our eyes, and the victims are very, very small. So small they most often cannot be buried. They are hidden, and we gratefully take advantage of their obscurity. They are silent, and so we allow ourselves to keep silent as well.

And if they are small, but not so hidden anymore, then we defend our barbarism by blaming their “defects” and say it’s “better this way.” We shed dishonest tears of sorrow for deaths we commissioned, and assuage our consciences with the illusion of our nobility.

It’s all just crap. We are a nation that sanctions killing children. If killing our children isn’t wrong, then nothing is wrong. Nothing.

 

baby whale

 

 

 

 

 

Which image bothers you more?

baby girl killed by Gosnell

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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Of gods and Women, Personhood and Power

AT Catholic Online

personhood
I read a public letter early last December that demands a response, but rather than interrupt the joyful Christmas season I have waited til now to write.

This letter appeared in The Daily Kos, and I think it encapsulates the current philosophy of pro-abortionists better than anything else. More importantly, I think it reveals exactly what we who seek to build a culture of life are up against. It’s Lucifer’s echo.

Women are now gods. The pro-abortion army has shored up the weary old “My Body, My Choice” mantra with something far more insidious. Now women actually have the power to bestow life itself, or withhold it, or nullify it.

“An Open Letter to Supporters of Personhood”, written by someone called BadKitties, begins by lashing-out at Republicans in Michigan over an attempt to offer a tax credit for unborn babies. “The Michigan GOP is trying to legally make women hostages to a fetus.”

The author goes on to describe herself and the qualities that make her a person. She’s a sister, daughter, friend, mother, wife, etc. She breathes, speaks, cries, laughs, bleeds, and sings. In short, that makes her a person.

Then she says, “When you attempt to declare a blastocyst a person, you are stripping me of MY personhood.” She insists, “Personhood is conferred when a woman says to herself, ‘This is my baby.’ Yes. Exactly.”

She describes her joy and excitement at being pregnant with her children, then strangely, she goes on, “I had a miscarriage, once, too. I cried, and suffered… I found and held a tiny little empty sac in my hand, and mourned what could have been…”

Then she continues, “But… my living children were wanted, and they are deeply loved. Unwanted pregnancies do not have ‘personhood’ conferred upon them. They are an intrusion, a parasite, a thing. However they were conceived, they are not wanted. They are not loved.” Rather than dreaming of little booties, she says, “There is, instead, a desperation and determination that the thing be removed.”

One of the many things that struck me about all this was the raw, naked fear in her words. The term ‘fetus’ is used to distance and dehumanize, and to her, the fetus is competition. If the fetus is declared a person, then somehow she is being denied her own personhood. As though personhood was a cake with a finite number of slices, and giving some to this person means she won’t get any.

Then comes the animosity towards the “intruder” (ahem, baby) who has the nerve to show up “unwanted”, like a telemarketer on the phone. Or rather, like a sneaky, conniving little creep that picked this woman out of a crowd and crawled up her leg and into her uterus to make himself at home and steal everything she’s got. (Aack! A monster’s eating me alive!!) Good grief!  We’re talking about your child here!!

Wantedness is irrelevant to humanness. Wantedness does not make a person, and unwantedness cannot deny a person. Wantedness speaks volumes, alright, but not about the child. It speaks volumes about women and men, about our society, about our present value system, and about our disintegrating moral core.

As is typical of pro-abortionists, she tries to disconnect the woman from any responsibility in the “intruder’s” existence and presence in her uterus. Once again, sex has nothing to do with babies, at least in this mythical world where women can generate life from a mere “clump of cells” as well as make life evaporate with only the desire of her heart.

The problem for the pro-abortionists is this: Science and modern technology has made the chamber of the womb visible to us all, and now no one can deny the miracle that takes place there and the LIFE that dwells there.

The pro-abortionists cannot conquer science and bend it to their will, so now they must fabricate a new “truth” that depends not on science and reality but purely on emotion and self-interest. Now they proclaim that only the woman can make the unborn child a child, and if she chooses not to do so, then the child becomes a “thing” that can never attain personhood. Now the woman has the power of deity; the power of life to grant according to her will, or the mandate of death to be carried out as she requires.

By this current philosophy, women now have the power to grant or refuse the individuality, the humanness, of another human being. The will of women is now elevated to the highest, most untouchable of heights — whatever she wants, is. Whatever she rejects, ceases to be.

Wow. That’s straight out of Lucifer’s personal play-book.

My own pleading to the pro-life community is this: There must be one common language, one common theme going forward, and it’s short, sweet, and simple. Here it is: the child in the womb is a human person who has the right to live. Period. End of discussion.

Forget “fetus” and “embryo” and every other term now being used to dehumanize the child. Those words have their legitimate place in ethical prenatal medicine, and that’s fine. But they are essentially useless at best, a liability at worst in the battle before us. Our lexicon must be clear and united and unapologetic.

From now on that tiny preborn life can have only one name: child. The child in the womb. That’s who we’re talking about, and there is no other way we can afford to say it anymore.

If our elected officials have trouble talking about abortion, or about their pro-life convictions and proposals, then sit them down and teach them: The child in the womb is a human person who has the right to live. It’s that simple. Anyone who cannot communicate that clearly to the press or his constituents should sit down and be quiet. We must stop stumbling over pebbles. The truth is plain and quite easy to articulate.

It is the humanity of the child in the womb that we must defend and proclaim. Humanity is not bestowed by women, but by God, the One who creates and establishes all life. Personhood is not something any woman has the power to grant or deny. Women have no magical or divine abilities regarding human life.

A woman’s feelings toward the child in the womb have nothing whatsoever to do with that child’s humanity or personhood or rights. It is ridiculous and desperately egotistical to assert that women have such extraordinary powers that they can originate life from lifelessness, and void life at their whim!

What women have been given is the privilege of being co-creators with God in bringing new human life into this world. We are entrusted with the protection and care of the most vulnerable. We are gifted with bodies that nurture and shelter that tiny, defenseless person as he/she grows and prepares for that first breath of air.

But breathing air does not make the child a person. (Nor is it what makes our author a person.) Nor does speaking, or laughing, or crying, or walking, or writing, or singing. GOD made the child a unique and unrepeatable person from the first moment of conception. There is nothing any woman can do to undo what God has done, or to accomplish it herself merely by her will.

Egyptian-Mutant-God-68041

This deification of women is flat-out wicked. As I said in a previous article, it’s evident that Satan knows that the easiest and quickest way to destroy a society, a nation, is to corrupt women; to warp and pervert the thinking and the hearts of women. Get that done, and everything else crumbles like a stale cookie.

First women turned on their own bodies and their own babies. Babies became the enemy, and fertility became a disease. Rather than the instinct to protect and defend, women began cultivating a fear of their own children, and a loathing toward motherhood.

Now, the latest tactic of the father of lies is to persuade women that they are gods themselves. Not merely cooperating with God in creating new human life, but the ones who decide when and whether that life is life at all. They are the beginning and the end, and everything is subject to their wants and wishes. They hold in their hands the power of life and death, and they answer to no one.

BadKitties asks, “Who are you to force an unwilling woman to confer ‘Personhood’ on something in her womb?” “How do you possibly justify stripping women of their humanity, reducing them to nothing more than a vessel?”

Who is any woman or man to deny the humanity of the child in the womb? How can anyone possibly justify stripping the child in the womb of his/her humanity, reducing them to nothing more than a clump of cells? Who are YOU to decide who is a person and who is not a person based only on YOUR feelings and wants?

“You should be ashamed,” she goes on ironically, “Life is for the living. To loudly proclaim that a fetus is entitled to all the rights of breathing, laughing, huggable people is unconscionable.”

Humanness is an objective fact, not a subjective quality depending upon the desires of someone else.

Our reply to BadKitties’ letter is simple: The child in the womb is a human person who has the right to live. This does not negate the personhood or value or humanity of the mother in any way. It merely defends the humanity of the child against the chilling blasphemy that pro-abortionists are now preaching.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Obama and Cecile’s Caricature of the American Woman

at Catholic Online


Cecile Richards has a new gig.  At least until November 6.  She’s left her day job in order to campaign full-time for her BFF, Barack Obama, saying that all our daughters’ futures are at stake. (Just curious, Cecile: does that include our daughters in the womb, too? You know, the ones who are often killed just because they’re girls? Oh, I forgot; you don’t like to talk about them.)

Planned Parenthood pays her an annual salary of over $400k, but of course, PP simply could not survive and continue to do all their “philanthropic” work of providing women with comprehensive health care without the generous funding they get from taxpayers, to the tune of $550 million dollars a year. (Wherever would they get revenue from if not the Federal government?)

Once more, for the record: Planned Parenthood does not now, nor have they ever provided a single woman with a mammogram. There’s not one PP clinic in the country that can give a woman a mammogram. Yet once again, Barack Obama perpetuated that myth during the last debate because it serves the false narrative that women everywhere will die without PP. And of course, no one in the Obama-media bothered to tell the truth.

Planned Parenthood is not a network of health care clinics serving women out of the goodness of their hearts. It is the world’s largest abortion mill. They exist to perform abortions, period. If tomorrow they could no longer kill babies, then tomorrow they would close their doors. Does anyone seriously believe otherwise? There are no million dollar profits in adoption referrals, or Pap smears, or manual breast exams, or STD testing, or condom distribution. But there are billions of dollars to be made from terminating babies.

Every dollar they make is stained with innocent blood. Every dollar of ours that they take is also blood-stained. No matter what they claim they use it for, it helps them kill babies because that’s where this so-called non-profit’s profits come from.

Now Cecile is scared witless that Romney will defeat her better half, so she has put aside her other job in order to concentrate on her real job — protecting Planned Parenthood’s federal gravy train and perhaps her own cushy salary. Doesn’t anyone else find it slimy that the CEO of a industry that gets $550 million dollars of federal tax dollars every year is now openly campaigning for the Presidential candidate who has used every ounce of his own political capital to protect her organization from losing that federal funding?

For now til the election, Cecile will rant about the supposed misogynist policies of Romney/Ryan and how they want to take women backward 40 years and how they want to deny women basic healthcare, and blah, blah, blah. She will paint another layer on the portrait of the American woman that she and Obama and every other pro-abortion Democrat has been holding up as the only true picture of women today.

Quite frankly, Cecile, (to use a phrase you love) I’ve had quite enough, more than enough, of the vulgar caricature of the American woman being presented by you and Planned Parenthood and all your liberal feminist friends, Obama and his administration, and the manipulative, cowardly, dishonest institution we used to call the Press.

FOR THE RECORD: First, don’t any of you dare reduce me to my “lady parts.” You wanna talk about sexist remarks? That one takes the cake, and the irony is that “women” are the ones spouting it. So much for the value of our intellect, ladies. All that really matters is our vagina.

Speaking of vaginas, stop dressing up in vagina costumes already. It’s gross and childish and makes you look like a complete idiot. You’re only furthering the idea that women are nothing more than vaginas. Grow up.

For heaven’s sake, stop making political ads with naked women holding signs in front of their bodies. Again, you’re the ones portraying women as merely physical, sexual objects reduced to reproductive organs, and you’re blaming Republican MEN for this?

Above all, don’t you dare — and I mean don’t you DARE — tell me that my freedom, my success, my autonomy, my happiness, my life is found in executing my own children. Don’t you dare tell me that I can only be who I’m meant to be and have the life I want if I literally tear my babies into pieces. Terminating my children is not the mark of my liberation. Do not tell me that the womb must also be a child’s death chamber in order for me to be wholly free. Don’t you dare insist that women are only empowered when they can snuff out the lives of their own sons and daughters.

Abortion is NOT health care! No procedure that intentionally leaves a human being dead can be considered health care. Abortion is the biggest lie, the greatest scam ever foisted on women.

Hollywood celebrities like Eva Longoria, Meryl Streep, Scarlett Johansson, Kyra Sedwick, and so many others are busy demeaning women — like me — who aren’t towing the liberal, pro-abortion feminist line with the requisite enthusiasm (or any enthusiasm at all, thank you). We’re stupid not to vote for Obama. We’re hurting women by voting for Romney/Ryan. They publish crude tweets calling us disgusting, belittling names. Refusal to embrace abortion and contraception cannot be tolerated, so they resort to mean-girl tactics.

Stop telling the world that the normal biological functions of the female body require carcinogenic hormonal steroids in order to be managed effectively. Fertility is not a disease! Pregnancy is not an illness or a malfunction! I do not need nor do I desire your lousy, cancer-causing contraceptive drugs, and I refuse to pay for yours. You have no right to demand that I or anyone else subsidize your sexual habits. You want freedom? Fine — pay for your own contraception if you can’t live without it. Don’t you dare demand that I do, or that my Church bow to your petulant demands. You’re the ones screaming for the government to get out of your bedrooms — you can’t have it both ways.

And by the way, pay attention to the lunacy of your own hypocrisy: you demand environmental purity for the sake of protecting the planet, but you’re dogmatically insistent on polluting the female body with pills and devices that cause all sorts of health problems and even permanent physical damage. I guess the only environment you can still poison with impunity these days is a woman’s body.

Next, your shrill and whiny cry of a “war on women” here in America is just about the stupidest, most vain and arrogant display of “victimhood” I’ve ever seen. Apparently, none of you have paid any attention to what goes on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and even right here in America at the hands of Islamic men. You women are college-educated and degreed; you’re CEO’s; you’re lawyers and doctors and engineers; you’re professors and diplomats and Governors and Senators. You’re Heads of State and international political players. You can be and do anything you want. You’re FREE. And you’re seriously going to say you’re under assault because Americans don’t want to be forced to pay for your birth control and abortions??

You’re not targeted for assassination in the name of “honor”, are you? You’re not whipped for talking to a man, are you? You’re not denied education or voting rights or independence because you’re considered less valuable than the family dog, are you? You’re not kept illiterate or shot in the head for daring to say that you deserve to know how to read a book, are you?

Tell your tale of woe to Malala Yousufzai. I dare you. Then for pity’s sake, shut up and grow up. There is a real war on women happening in the world, but it ain’t here in America. You insult and mock the very real suffering of girls and women who truly are under assault by oppressive, inhumane regimes and fanatics.

And don’t you dare compare the Catholic Church to the Taliban. I challenge every one of you to find another entity on the planet that does more every single day to feed, clothe, shelter, give medical care and assistance, to educate, to rescue from harm, to serve the poor and underprivileged, and to fight for the human rights of women and children than the Catholic Church and all Her faithful. Your pathetic rants about the so-called oppression of the Church reveal your dishonesty and ulterior motives. The Church proclaims the dignity and humanity of ALL women, including girls in the womb. You cannot say as much.

Here’s a new portrait for you: I am an American woman well-informed on the issues and I vote. I believe in the sanctity of all human life and I recognize the humanity of the child in the womb. I utterly reject any so-called “right” to kill that child. I reject your harmful contraceptive drugs and devices and I refuse to consider my fertility a disease, nor will I demand anyone else pay for “birth control.”

I understand that freedom requires personal responsibility, not taxpayer subsidy. I’m smart enough to see through the lies and euphemisms and sophistry of the abortion industry and all its political operatives (like you, Cecile, and you, Obama). I know who the champions of women’s rights truly are, and you are not them. I know what freedom really means and what it really costs, and what you’re selling is slavery and death. No thanks. You do not speak for me.

P.S. Hey Whoopi, Joy, and Barbara: I’m waiting for my invitation to come on “The View” and present this view. Waiting…

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s Really Despicable: Rick Ungar, Obamacare, and Rick Santorum

at Catholic Online

Forbes’ contributor Rick Ungar had some very harsh words for Rick and Karen Santorum last week. In his column, “Rick Santorum’s Despicable and Hurtful Health Care Lie”, he blasted the Santorums for “scaring the hell out of parents whose children face illness and disability in their lives” and said Rick was a “despicable human being.”

Mr. Ungar believes the idea that disabled children might be denied care under Obama’s health care law is so far-fetched as to be absurd, and thus the Santorum’s concerns are the most egregious sort of fear-mongering imaginable. But the Santorums are hardly the only ones to see the writing on the wall, even if the language of the bill is less clear. When insurers in 34 states suddenly stopped offering child-only policies as a direct result of Obamacare in 2010, some states had to respond with legislation requiring them to continue selling such policies.

But just how far can all these requirements go and what happens when cost/profit meets disability/life expectancy? Which medicines and procedures will insurers be required to cover, and for what time frame, and for whom under what circumstances? These decisions will have to be made, and they’ll be made by people whose motivation will likely be dollar signs and not patient care. When the government is in charge of health care, and new committees are created to make decisions about care vs. cost, it is only the most duped among us who will be confident in a bureaucrat’s willingness to grant expensive medical care to the less-abled, the elderly, and even to children like Bella Santorum.

Amidst all of Ungar’s scathing insults was the following gem, just too good to pass up:

“However, when Rick Santorum tells us that the law would deny the right to life and the care needed to sustain that life to children like his own daughter, because such a child would be deemed to not be of ‘sufficient use to society’, he accuses the President, every member of Congress who supported the law, and every other supporter, such as myself, of being unfit to walk to this earth.

Anyone is welcomed to disagree with my judgment as to whether the Affordable Care Act is a good or a bad law… But if you are going to accuse me of being willing to allow a child—or anyone else— to die because I would somehow deem her to be inconsequential to society, you’d really better be prepared to not only say that to my face but take the punishment that I promise you will follow.” (emphasis mine)

Them’s fightin’ words, Mr. Ungar, and I’m delighted to hear you say it. We need more passionate pro-life citizens in America.

Naturally, I understand you to mean that you find it despicable to deny a child the right to life. I understand you to mean that you find it despicable to say that just because a child isn’t “wanted” or wasn’t “planned” that the child is inconsequential to society and can be destroyed by whatever means necessary. Certainly what you mean is that every child’s life is precious and the adults have no right to say which children can live and which must die by our “choice.”

Because surely you realize, Mr. Ungar, that children are killed every single day in our country precisely because they are deemed inconsequential to society. Worse, actually. They’re considered enemies of freedom and prosperity. Worse still, they aren’t even considered human. Their murders are sanctioned by the law and police power of the State, and millions of people — not you, of course — consider it a good thing, a moral thing, a necessary thing.

Let me make it clear, Mr. Ungar: If you are of the opinion that abortion is a legitimate and moral “choice” that should be protected by the laws of our nation, that is despicable. If you are willing to allow the child in the womb to be killed and call it a “right”, that is despicable. What you’re doing in that case is exactly what you falsely accuse Rick Santorum of doing, except it’s far, far worse. You are denying the child in the womb her humanity. You are calling the child an “it”; far less than merely inconsequential to society, you’ve made her a slave to someone else’s power and self-interest; a “thing” to be eliminated in service to someone else and society at large.

I’m prepared to say that to your face, and President Obama’s, Nancy Pelosi’s, and anyone else’s. Do not boast about your appreciation of the value of human life and your unimpeachable virtue in protecting children if you continue to sanction the deliberate destruction of babies in the womb and call it freedom and “choice.” I’m not impressed by your indignation. There is nothing more despicable than denying the humanity of the child in the womb.

It’s also unwise to try to school the Santorums on the realities of medical care for disabled children. Rick and Karen could spend hours telling us of all the times doctors told them to just let Bella die, and how one doctor actually sent them home with a prescription for a lethal dose of morphine without telling them the dose was lethal; or the doctors who refused to even call Bella by her name. They could recount the numerous times they’ve had to fight and demand that Bella receive the medical care any “normal” child would get. No doubt parents all over America could tell similar stories of the callousness, indifference, and inhumane treatment their disabled children have endured at the hands of those who are supposed to help them.

Mr. Ungar may believe that all this will magically change with the government fully in control of medical care, but like the Santorums, I don’t buy it for a second. The same government that denies the humanity of the child in the womb will deny the dignity and worth of the disabled, the elderly, and anyone else whose “quality of life” is deemed too low to merit expensive care. With a limited pool of resources and bureaucrats interested in the bottom line — not the dignity of the human person — people will certainly be assessed according to their worth using a cost/benefit scale.

(While we’re on the subject of allowing people to die because they’re not useful to society, what about Terri Schaivo, Mr. Ungar? Actually, in her case, we didn’t allow her to die — we killed her. The people in charge of her “care” actually starved her to death. Surely you’d agree with me that killing Terri that way was utterly despicable. She was a human being, right? I mean, she wasn’t a baby, so there can’t be any question about her humanness. But she was disabled, so maybe I’m wrong there. Do we consider the disabled to be a little less human than the rest of us? No — that would be despicable.)

As it is, most children like Bella don’t make it out of the womb. The majority of babies found to have Trisomy 18 or Down Syndrome are aborted, often at the arm-twisting of medical professionals who make doom-and-gloom proclamations that the genetic condition is “incompatible with life” — the very words spoken to the Santorums about Bella.

Rick Santorum is absolutely correct to point out that more prenatal testing, as Obama’s mandate prescribes, will lead to even more babies being killed in the womb when their “defects” are discovered. A few prenatal tests can save the system a boatload of cash by eliminating expensive, disabled children. Back up a step further and it’ll save even more money, says the White House: “Covering contraception is cost neutral since it saves money by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services.”

“Other health services”? That’s code for pregnancy, prenatal care, and childbirth. Like I’ve said before, caring for a pregnant woman is expensive. Contraception is much cheaper. Besides, according to Obama’s top science advisor, John Holdren, the United States government has a “responsibility to halt the growth of the American population.”

Sorry, Mr. Ungar, but it’s clear to everyone with eyes to see that Obamacare, with all its mandates and edicts, will not serve the dignity of the human person or respect life. We’ll never have health care that honors human life until we as a society honor human life from conception to natural death. We fancy ourselves entitled to kill the tiniest children. We afford ourselves the power to decide who is human and who is not, who is worthy to live and who is not, so we can dispose of the ones we deem not. That’s what is really despicable.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Child is All of Us: Gabriel Santorum’s Lesson Lives On

at Catholic Online

I had an incredible job once. For almost two years I worked at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, one of the best children’s hospitals in the country. (Think Baby Faye.) I was fortunate enough to be assigned to the Neo-natal Intensive Care and Labor & Delivery units as a resident chaplain. It’s one of the largest NICU’s in the country, with some of the sickest babies in North America. It’s the premiere pediatric heart transplant hospital, and a Level-I trauma center. It is an amazing place.

Life — and death — is around every corner at any given moment. As one of the NICU’s chaplains, I pretty much saw it all; the most severe birth deformities; the most serious diseases and illnesses; the most tragic circumstances; the most gut-wrenching grief. I was a young, single woman with no children of my own, so I could not even imagine what the parents around me were going through. I did my best every day to simply offer them support, prayers, hope, company, and when the darkest hours came, I learned how to witness their sorrow and not run from it.

I learned how to “sit with the pain” as one of the senior chaplains used to say. Death is a part of life, and as life should be treated with reverence, so can death be handled reverently and humbly. It’s not at all easy to stand beside people whose child is dying before your eyes, yet it truly felt like an honor every time I was there for a baby’s last breath; even as every heart in the room was breaking open, including mine.

On one such occasion, I was the only person there to cry. A baby boy had been born too soon, and he had multiple serious birth defects, and his shell-shocked parents could not bring themselves to hold him as he died. They asked me if I would. They named him Thomas. I sat in a rocking chair, alone in a surgical room, and cradled this baby as he slowly died in my arms. Thomas had almost no ribcage so I could see his heart clearly beneath his transparent, paper-thin skin. I watched it beat slower and slower, and he never opened his eyes.

For 45 minutes I rocked little Thomas, sang to him, and told him he was loved. I was sad for his parents, not just for losing their son, but for giving up the chance to spend those minutes with him, loving him. Theirs was a double-loss; I so wish I had done more to persuade them not to give in to their fear. I will never forget Thomas, and I will always cherish those 45 minutes. They were holy and a gift to me.

One of the things I did regularly was take pictures for the grieving parents. Many times I would dress the baby in a sweater that volunteers had knitted just for this purpose. A little hat, some booties, a soft blanket, and a beautiful picture was captured. I would also take some soft clay and make footprints or handprints. What a powerful and humbling task it was to press delicate, tiny feet into the clay to make a mold for parents who would never again hold their child.

I held in my own hands perfectly-formed babies who’d died at 16 or 18 weeks of pregnancy and marveled at their beauty. I learned how vital it was for their parents to see them, hold them, name them, and grieve their death the way they would any other member of their family. Indeed, that child was no less a member of the family!

For those who find something morbid or creepy about all the things I’ve just described, believe me, nothing could be further from the truth. Reverence for the human body, both in life and in death, is healing and elevating, and is one of our better instincts unless it is systematically choked off by an inhumane psychology.

We witnessed the latest evidence of this inhumanity in all the fretting and gasping aimed at Rick and Karen Santorum regarding the death of their infant son, Gabriel.

Isn’t it ironic that our culture of death, those who champion abortion and euthanasia, those who see nothing at all questionable about cutting to pieces a tiny child in the womb are so squeamish about actually confronting a natural death? These people are so troubled by a mother and father who choose to embrace their deceased child’s body with tenderness, awe, and kisses.

Their lack of reverence for life carries over into a lack of reverence for death.

They find it disturbing that parents would allow his siblings to see, hold, and spend time with their baby brother after his death because their narrative says the child is less than a person; less than fully human; less than you and I. They can’t allow the idea to creep into the “mainstream” that a prematurely-born baby is actually a human being with a soul and a body that belongs to him! Gads! What might happen if people thought that perhaps those little ones in the womb weren’t just parasites or insentient masses of tissue?

The Santorum family’s treatment of little Gabriel is “weird” to them because Gabriel had no value in their view. Alan Colmes made that quite clear when he launched into his despicable mockery of the hours after Gabriel’s death and the Santorum’s grief. Colmes taunted them on television for the sake of political points, referring to Gabriel as “it.” Gabriel was not an “it.” He was a baby boy, a son, who was beloved and precious in the eyes of God and his parents.

The abortion zealots are annoyed that Rick and Karen did not treat their son like an “it” or as merely a “fetus” and send him quickly to the morgue. Lest more and more people get the idea that there’s nothing wrong with holding and mourning their lost babies, they go into overdrive calling Rick “weird” and “outside the mainstream” and a man of questionable judgment.

Well, really, what else can we expect? Life that has no value while inside the womb will not suddenly take on value outside the womb. If they would destroy the body before birth, why show kindness after birth? Why hold lovingly that which you claim is a threat to your freedom and rights? Why risk gazing into the face of one whom you deem less human than yourself, less worthy of life?

Their reaction is only logical, but that is why I hope it alarms people. Those who have cruelly criticized Rick and Karen Santorum for revering the life and death of their son have unwittingly given us a clear view of what’s behind their curtain, so to speak. It’s a heartless continuum. Humanity denied to one can easily be denied to any or all. All that matters is the will of those who have the power to “choose.”

No one who has sneered their objection to what the Santorums did is actually afraid that they are weird or of unsound judgment. They’re afraid that respect for the life of a “fetus” might catch on. They’re afraid that a tiny baby’s body might be seen as sacred and dignified, and then heaven forbid, the baby himself might be seen as human. They’re afraid that if too many people realize that mourning the loss of a very small baby is appropriate and good and necessary, then folks may begin to question the narrative that killing a baby is a legitimate “right.”

And from there, the entire facade of “choice” comes crashing down.

Gabriel Santorum’s life was too brief a moment, but his impact will be felt for eternity. He continues to testify to the immutable truth that human life is sacred and the child in the womb is all of us.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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You Never Lose With Love: Karen Santorum, Gracious Lady, Warrior for Life

at Catholic Online

The most ignored candidate in the campaign has now become the most talked-about man in America. Rick Santorum’s stunning achievement in Iowa has forced the media to pay attention, and quite predictably, the knives have come out.

There’s nothing unusual about conservative candidates being mercilessly attacked by the mainstream media. But I believe we have never, ever seen the likes of what they’re going to do to Rick Santorum. I don’t think we’ve ever seen before the kind of hatred, viciousness, lies, and ruthlessness that will be brought against him and his family. The more he succeeds, the more bloodthirsty his enemies will become, and for one simple reason: he stands firmly opposed to the godless ethos of our time and courageously defends the moral and Natural law, and they HATE him for it.

Sadly and shamefully, they’re already targeting his wife, Karen, as well. In the past week alone, she has become the object of vile scorn and defamation from certain mouthpieces of our culture of death.

Again, not really surprising. True ugliness despises true beauty, and Karen Santorum is a truly beautiful woman. She possesses the grace and dignity that our coarsened culture has demolished. She counters the rules of modern “feminism” with great joy and fulfillment, which invites mockery and insults from all those who have either forgotten or never had any idea in the first place what feminine strength really means.

Like her husband, she is a valiant defender of the sanctity of human life and the dignity of every human person. She has put her very life where her mouth is, which of course, is so intolerable to abortion proponents that their new mission is to disparage her in any way possible, even by mocking the life and death of her infant son.

Their cheap shots are proof that they’re scared. They imagine a First Lady who rejects abortion and fights for the right to life of every child in the womb and they shudder with fear. I envision Karen Santorum as the nation’s First Lady and jump for joy.

Jill Stanek recently wondered on her blog, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a First Lady who would be a champion for Life? It is not an impossible dream, folks. In Karen Santorum it would be a blessed reality because it’s simply who she is.

I’ve had the honor of talking with Karen at-length on several occasions in recent months, and have gotten to know the heart of this great lady. Last fall she did a personal interview with me in which she spoke openly about politics, family, faith, her joys, struggles, and heartaches, and what really matters to her. Just listening to her speak is an occasion of grace — you know you’re hearing a woman of deep faith and courage.

Karen shared with me the lesson that has really formed her spirit and made her who she is today: embrace the cross God gives you, whatever it is. “All you can do is trust Him and embrace the cross you’re given, because there’s definitely a reason,” she’ll say. “Crosses come in all shapes and sizes, but we’re better because of them. Even in the worst of times God is working and His light will shine through.”

She does not say that flippantly or without compassion, but with real humility and surrender. She has had to take up the two crosses every good mother fears most: that of a sick or disabled child, and the death of a child. Karen is intimately familiar with the pain of the Cross — as is Rick — and because of it she is tender, genuinely kind, and eager to love. There is no guile or ego in her. Yet she’s no frail or timid wallflower.

She’s both a lawyer and a neo-natal intensive care nurse, as well as a published author of two books. She has home-schooled her seven children, and presently devotes herself to caring for their youngest child, Bella, for whom she and Rick have fought tooth and nail against a callous medical system that doesn’t consider Bella’s life worth the effort.

Where our abortion-minded culture sees a “burden”, Rick and Karen see Bella — their beautiful blessing. “I’m a blessed mother of a special-needs child. Since her birth, I’ve learned that God truly has a reason for everything. Like every one of us, God has a purpose for her. Bella has made all of us grow in our faith like never before, made us more virtuous and shown us God’s love and mercy. Her life is a very happy and joyful life. Bella is an angel. I truly believe I am in the care of a saint.”

“We are so blessed to be her parents and her family. There’s also a painful side of the journey because you’re fighting for her life, to have her treated with the same dignity as every other child. I can’t tell you how many battles we’ve fought with doctors who wouldn’t even call Bella by her name. These children are denied the dignity they deserve as human beings.

Bella is the greatest “burden” I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t trade the blessings that have come with her for anything in the world.”

I asked her what she might say to a woman facing the possibility that her child may be born with a genetic condition like Trisomy 18, when doctors are likely telling that woman that abortion is the best “choice”, and she answered so plainly, “It doesn’t make any sense to me that we choose death over love. You never lose with love.

It’s never made any sense that when a doctor says your child has whatever defect, he then says, ‘let’s kill the baby.’ If the doctor said that about your five year-old you’d be outraged! As parents we’re wired to do everything possible to save our child. Why does that not apply to these sweet babies in the womb who need our love and care? Just simply bring your child into the world and love your child. You don’t know what God has planned.”

She’s passionate about changing the way doctors see kids like Bella: “I’m on a mission to get every obstetrician and geneticist in the country to change the way they think and especially the way they talk about genetic diseases like Trisomy 18. When a doctor says your child has a ‘lethal diagnosis’ that is ‘incompatible with life’ – those words are toxic. Those words lead to death. Doctors need to stop saying those words.”

It goes without saying that special-needs children and their parents are going to have fierce advocates in the White House under President Santorum! In fact, it was the looming threat of Obamacare that caused Rick and Karen to enter this Presidential campaign.

“Obamacare was the final straw for him, the line in the sand. Something has to be done. That law will change our country fundamentally forever, and as parents of a special-needs child we knew that they would be the first to be denied care under Obamacare. Rick and I can’t stand on the sidelines and allow Obama to bring our nation to its knees. We knew we had to get in and fight.”

Karen also wants you to know some things about her husband.

“He’s a devout Catholic who lives his faith, is very prayerful and will always stay grounded. He’s a loving, devoted, faithful husband and father. He’s someone who goes after the issues with such a passion. Preserving marriage, the sanctity of Life; these are things we really have to roll up our sleeves and fight for. He’s also brilliant in matters of the economy and national security. He has a mind for history and facts and numbers. There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be a great leader to this nation.

Catholics in America need to understand the critical importance of their votes in 2012. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were both elected because they won the Catholic vote. That is not to our credit! I see America right now literally poised on the edge of a cliff, and Catholics will decide whether the nation goes over the edge or gets pulled back. We have a huge responsibility.”

The campaign road has been rough thus far; clearly it’s only going to get rougher. Karen knows it, and she knows where to go for her strength: “The only way I get through it is daily mass and keeping my prayer life in order. Daily mass, prayer time, family rosary; these things give you strength and I notice a real difference. I know if I’m not there [at mass] I won’t be able to walk this walk. Trust and be faithful is all any of us can do.”

Amen to that. Rick and Karen are faithfully following the road they believe God has laid in front of them. Let’s imagine the blessed day when he is sworn in as our 45th President, and then let’s pray and work to make it happen. The Santorums will be a desperately needed gift to our country.

 

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Constitution, States’ Rights, and the Right to Life: Iowa, Please Get it Right!

At Catholic Online

I wish I was an Iowa caucus voter right about now.

Iowa’s going to get this ball rolling for real in just a few short weeks. Many polls suggest that a large percentage of caucus voters still haven’t decided who they’re going to vote for, and the battle for support is intense. It concerns me when I see indications that Ron Paul may very well have a huge surge in Iowa because he’s got a small army of dedicated supporters on the ground.

I mean no disrespect to Ron Paul, but the more I’ve read of him lately (in his own words), the more convinced I am that he has fallen under the spell of Constitutional idolatry. He worships the Constitution. It is his idol.

Now hold on; before you skewer me, I’m a big fan of our Constitution, and I want to see our nation return to its principles and rules and clearly-stated guidelines. Our Constitution is a brilliant document — of that there’s no doubt.

Yet adherence to the Constitution is not an excuse or a justification for allowing moral wrongs or to permit injustice against the innocent.

It’s hard for me to make heads or tails of Ron Paul’s statements on abortion and the sanctity of human life. I read through a section of his book, Liberty Defined, where he talked at length about his beliefs and his policy positions, and it was a rather crazy roller-coaster ride that ultimately left me feeling nauseous.

One paragraph I was soundly agreeing with him, and then all of a sudden, I was saying, “What in the world?” He writes profound and powerfully straightforward statements like this one: “I’ve never understood how an act of violence, killing a human being, albeit a small one in a special place, is portrayed as a precious right.”

Amen! I don’t understand it, either! And this one: “If anything, the federal government has a responsibility to protect life — not grant permission to destroy it.”

Amen again! He goes on: “I believe that the moral consequence of cavalierly accepting abortion diminishes the value of all life.” “In the age of abortion, with nearly a million being performed each year in the United States, society sends a signal that we place a lower value on the small and the weak.”

Another amen! I couldn’t agree more. But then comes a wacky curve with this statement: “So if we are ever to have fewer abortions, society must change again. The law will not accomplish that. However, that does not mean that states shouldn’t be allowed to write laws dealing with abortion. Very early pregnancies and victims of rape can be treated with the day after pill, which is nothing more than using birth control pills in a special manner. These very early pregnancies could never be policed, regardless. Such circumstances would be dealt with by each individual making his or her own moral choice.”

How the heck is that last sentence any different than what the pro-choicers have been saying all along? “My body, my choice.” I thought abortion diminished the value of all life, and now he’s saying each individual must make his or her own “moral” choice? I thought he said it was an act of violence against the small and the weak? How can that be moral?

“Very early pregnancies”?  You mean, very young and very small babies? “Can be treated with the day after pill…”  Treated? You mean, can be killed with chemicals? His statements here sound exactly like standard pro-abortion spin. He himself has just given the okay to chemically abort babies conceived very recently or through rape, calling it “treatment.”

Paul is correct in saying that only a moral society can do away with the evil of abortion. But I believe he is very wrong to insist that the law has no role in accomplishing that.

In another crazy turn-around, he writes: “A society that readily condones abortion invites attacks on personal liberty. If all life is not precious, how can all liberty be held up as important? I’ve become convinced that resolving the abortion issue is required for a healthy defense of a free society.”

No argument there, Congressman. But how does that square with your assertion that it’s okay to “treat” very early pregnancies with the morning after pill? How does that square with your idea that each individual must make his or her own moral choice?

He then gets to the heart of his position: “I also believe in the Constitution, and therefore, I consider it a state-level responsibility to restrain violence against any human being.”

“The pro-life opponents to my approach are less respectful of the rule of law and the Constitution. Instead of admitting that my position allows the states to minimize or ban abortions, they claim that my position supports the legalization of abortion by the states.”

Because it does, Congressman! The point is not that only a national solution will suffice, or that only a national law will solve the problem, but that no individual state has any Constitutional right to do what is morally wrong!

This is where I believe Congressman Paul falls into Constitutional idolatry. He is so blindly focused on States’ rights that even the right to Life is sacrificed. The sanctity of all human life and our obligation to protect the child in the womb from being killed is trumped by States-rights, according to Paul.

We cannot claim to be pro-life if we are content to allow individual states to decide for themselves whether the child in the womb has the right to live and be born. The babies in Iowa might be safe, but too bad for those babies in California and New York, eh? Oh well. We mustn’t violate States’ rights, after all. Nothing is more important than States’ rights and the Constitution.

Actually, the moral law is far more important. The moral law is not superseded by any government document or any state’s rights. Either we will defend the child in the womb in every state of the United States or we won’t. Either we will say, without qualification, that the child in the womb is an American citizen and a human being from the moment of conception who has the right to live and be born or we won’t.

The issue is not mythical “reproductive rights” or States’ rights but the humanity of the child in the womb. If our children are our children and not subhuman pieces of tissue, then we are obligated to protect them from being killed in the womb; not just in some states but in every state of our nation.

The final straw for me was this statement by Paul: “Let the lawyers and the politicians and mercenary, unethical doctors deal with implementing laws regulating death.”

No, we can’t just leave it to them. It’s our duty to implement laws defending LIFE!

I don’t disagree that our federal government has grown far too large and intrusive and needs to be shrunken and reigned in. I don’t argue that our personal liberties are being threatened at every turn by that power-hungry federal government. I agree that many things should be returned to the individual states to deal with according to their needs and their residents’ votes.

But protecting the child in the womb is not an “issue” that can be left up to each state to decide. There’s no spectrum of decisions with varying degrees of rightness. Abortion is wrong, period. Killing our babies in the womb is wrong, period. Targeting our tiniest children for extermination through chemicals like some kind of insect is wrong, period.

We are not absolved of the guilt of murdering our children merely because we insist we’re abiding by our Constitution.

I’m no political pundit or operative, but I hope there are a lot of folks in Iowa reading this and giving serious consideration to how they’re going to vote in January. Please don’t place a higher value on States’ rights than on the God-given human rights of the child in the womb. No state has the right to do what is morally wrong.

When it comes to the foundational truths of Life and true marriage, we cannot allow our country to dissolve into a nonsensical collection of differing laws and varying degrees of protection depending on where you live. United we stand; divided we destroy ourselves.

On Wednesday night I watched C-SPAN’s coverage of the candidate forum on abortion in Des Moines, organized by Gov. Mike Huckabee and pro-life leaders from Iowa. A new documentary called, “The Gift of Life” was being shown at the conclusion of the forum. Unfortunately, C-SPAN’s coverage ended before the film began so I wasn’t able to see it.

The Republican Presidential candidates were invited to speak about their pro-life convictions and Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum all embraced the opportunity to address the most important topic of our time — the sanctity of human life. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney were not in attendance.

Paul’s and Romney’s absence was troubling to me. Perhaps I should give them the benefit of the doubt and not read too much into it. Nevertheless, it bothers me that they did not attend a forum devoted exclusively to abortion. Particularly where Romney is concerned, it reinforces my uneasiness regarding his commitment to Life. I still clearly recall his television interview just a few years ago when he was staunchly committed to defending “a woman’s right to choose” and swore he always would.

Personally, I’m praying like crazy that the good people of Iowa will rally behind Rick Santorum and make him the surprise winner of their all-important caucus. After hearing him speak so many times and knowing how he has fought to protect the moral enterprise that is the United States of America, I feel I already know his heart and his convictions so well. Yet once again I was impressed when I saw him speak at this forum in Des Moines. He is genuine, unflinching and unapologetic in his defense of Life, true marriage and the family.

I’ve also had the distinct privilege of interviewing his wife, Karen, and I cannot say too much about the caliber of these two people. Their character is rock-solid and rooted in faithfulness, love and sacrifice. They are fire-tested and proven. We actually have the chance to elect a good man of true character to the Presidency in 2012, and Iowa, you need to light the fire!

It can’t be said too often that this is the most important election of our lifetime thus far. We simply cannot afford to get this one wrong. I believe Rick Santorum is the right man, and I’m hoping that the people of Iowa agree with me.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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