What it means to be pro life! Kristijan Aufiero's speech at One of Us - Forum Budapest
Ladies and Gentlemen! Dear friends for life!
There is no doubt that we are facing hard times in good old Europe these days. Repressive Ideologies, undemocratic intolerance and a frightening godforsakenness are threatening the future existence of our passed on culture.
To say it outright: Nothing can fill the hole that millions of abortions in the last decades have torn and continue to tear every day in the hearts of our peoples. There are no words to describe the devastating consequences for our societies. There is no greater guilt we are carrying on our shoulders, than the death of millions of unborn children to whom we denied life.
But – I ask you today to never forget: there is nothing more European than overcome screaming injustice, to remember our true roots and to rebuild our true culture on the ruins of ideological insanity, totalitarianism and oppression!
Today I stand in front of you as a true European. Son of an Italian father and a Croatian mother, who came to Germany in the late 60ies in search for work and for an opportunity to build up a better future.
My father was 20 and my mother was only 19 years old, when she got pregnant with me. A humble income, many hours of overtime and a lot of sacrifice determined their lives as a young family. That’s why I spent most of the time living with my grandparents be fore I started to go to school.
So I grew up in Germany, in Italy and in Croatia. I went to school in different countries, I studied in Munich and was an Erasmus – student in Siena/Italy. This way I learned a lot about what we all have in common as Europeans – even if we speak different languages.
I have learned, that they are inalienable truths, values and beliefs which constitute our identity: the sanctity of life, a constitutionality built on law of nature and a subsidiary solidarity with the weak and with anyone in our society who needs our support.
Today we are called not only to remember this truths, but to reaffirm our values and commitments. And to testimony, that there is still no worse injustice, no such painful wound and no bigger challenge than the fact, that millions of women every year don’t see any alternative for themselves but to abort their child.
Let’s be clear: If a young couple does not get an apartment to rent, because they have two little children and are expecting their third one – that impairs my quality of living and hurts my sense of justice even if they are not my children.
If a single mom doesn’t find a job because she’s pregnant again and has to leave at five every day to pick up her child from nursery – that makes my life poor even if it’s not my grandchild.
If a 19-years old girl says that she has to choose abortion because of her boyfriend who is threatening her – that insults my human dignity as well!
Well, while we do what we can to minister to women and families in a pregnancy crises, there are many people outside calling us radicals, fundamentalists and even worse.
They condemn us because we take care for the 17 years old girl in Amsterdam, who is told that she destroys her future, if she gives birth to her child. They condemn us, because we care for the single mother in Paris, who doesn’t know how to live a decent life, if she decides to let her second baby alive. And because we care for the father of a young family with three little kids in Madrid, who has two jobs but gets frightened, as his wife is pregnant again, because they can’t afford one more child.
Ideologs condemn us because we truly believe that LIFE is always a better choice than abortion. They condemn us because we remind them every day: who says that abortion is the easy way out of a crisis isn’t straight to this women and families!
But: Whatever some people say and however they call us, please let me tell you what I see, when I look in this hall: I see a crowd of heroes standing up and fighting for the idea of a just society, a free society and a solidary society which takes care for pregnant women and their families and offers them a way out of the worst crisis in their life. For me, you are true heroes of compassion and you do all this and we do this together, because we are for life!
Yes, we believe that human dignity has to be untouchable and that all public power has to make sure that born and unborn babies have the equal right to live. That’s why we are pro life!
Yes, we have the faith, that things can change. We encourage pregnant women to take tough choices even when easier ones are available. We help them to take de- cisions which will make them proud of themselves for the rest of their life! This is, what it means to be pro life!
And yes, we are convinced that love and hope can succeed over fear and desperation. We are convinced that objective information, true counseling and concrete help can offer a better alternative to abortion to every pregnant woman in Europe! This is because we are pro life!
And please – be sure that future generations will not judge us for the power of our economy or the size of our wealth nor for the number of Christian principles we’ ve queried or values we have thrown overboard!
They will ask us, what we’ ve built, not how much we destroyed. They will ask, how much we loved and how true this love was, if at the same time, millions of babies where not allowed to survive because we let their mothers and families alone.
Today I have the faith and I have the hope, that our movement can give courage to millions and has the strength to lead our nations to a future, where no pregnant woman sees herself constrained to have an abortion. A future in which everybody who has his heart in the right place will understand that mass – abortion actually is a huge, a mass – lack of compassion for women in need!
So we will continue to be radically and fundamentally solidary with pregnant women! Because our true compassion in all we do, with all we say and with all of our thoughts – that’s the way that leads to an Yes to life.
Thank you for listening! Thank you for all you do for keeping unharmed the hearts of women in need AND for saving the lives of their unborn children! Good bless you and good bless the peoples of this great continent!
Kristijan Aufiero is a political scientist (Bavarian School of Public Policy in Munich, Germany; University of Siena, Italy) with many years of experience in nonprofit management and leadership. He serves as the President of Pro Femina e.V., a women’s help organization providing counseling for pregnant women in need. Aufiero also is the founder of the project 1000plus.net. Aufiero lives with his wife and two children in Munich.
1000plus.net is a cooperation between Pro Femina e.V., Die BIRKE e.V. and the foundation Yes to Life (STIFTUNG JA ZUM LEBEN). The goal of the project is to establish a nationwide network of counseling and help for women considering abortion. Through objective information, best counseling and concrete help pregnant women shall be enabled to take decisions for life. 2016, the project served 3.628 women in need.
"How can it work with another child?" Unwanted pregnancy, now what?
Hanna, unintentionally pregnant, begins her conversation with the words: “Hello, my name is Hanna. I need someone to talk to because I do not know what to do.” Hanna finds it difficult to speak, her voice hoarse and cracked. In tears, she says, “Two days ago I learned that I am pregnant. Since then, I have been wondering if I could cope with an abortion, especially because I know that if I don’t have it something great will happen in 40 weeks. But the circumstances just won’t let it happen.” The counselor feels the fear and anxiety of the pregnant woman; she wants to know what exactly ispressuring her. “Hanna, I can appreciate that right now you don’t know what to do. This pregnancy has struck like lightning and has upset everything. What makes you most afraid at the moment?” The counselor asks in a calm, soft voice. Hanna begins to talk about her life. She is 35 years old, happily married and has two young daughters. Her husband is very involved professionally, but tries as much as possible to be there for his family. In particular, her youngest daughter needs a lot of attention. She always has periods of extreme attachment and is completely fixated on her mother. Hanna tries to give her youngest the closeness that she needs, but there are days when it's just too much and she clearly reaches her limits. Hanna already feels guilty that she doesn’t spend enough time with her older daughter - how would it work with another child? Hanna takes a deep breath after she has unburdened herself. The counselor thinks back to the first words Hanna spoke. She talked about the miracle in her body. The counselor suspects that Hanna does not really want an abortion. But Hanna, who is unintentionally pregnant, believes that, because she loves her other two children and wants to be fair to them, she has to abort this unborn child. Hanna continues, “So far only my husband and I know about the pregnancy. We both have the same concerns. Andreas is afraid that I will not be able to handle the extra burden. On the other hand, our greatest concern is that we will regret it, if we decide against this child.”
Hanna’s first sentences to the free advice hotline Pro Femina already say a lot about not only how the pregnant woman feels about her own situation, but also what thoughts and feelings occupy her day. The counselor jotted down these first words and she always kept them in view throughout the counseling session.
The counselor thinks of how sensitive Hanna behaves towards her family, with so much care and attention that she sometimes forgets how much she gives. “Hannah, you talk about your daughters so wonderfully and lovingly, although they both use up so much of your strength and attention,” encourages the counselor. “You are on the brink of such a momentous decision, which you cannot make under pressure. I would wish you would give yourself a little more time to do some soul searching. Imagine you had one wish: What would have to change, so that you could envision a future with a third child?”
Hanna thinks for a moment, but then she knows what would make it easier. “I need someone to help me with child care.” Hanna continues to think, for a moment there is silence on the other end of the line. “Maybe I could ask my mother if she could stop by more often in the afternoon. The kids love her, she does not live far away and she is retiring at the end of the year. Then sometimes we could take care of the children together and I wouldn’t feel like I was tearing myself apart so much,” Hanna replies. "That is a great idea. It would certainly make your mother happy if she could see their grandchildren regularly,” says the counselor endorsing Hanna’s deliberations.
Wanting to confirm to Hanna that she obviously has another support person in her life, the counselor continues, “The way you tell it you have a loving husband at your side, who will protect you and worries about you. What do you think your husband would say if you told him that you have decided for the child?”
“He would worry ...” Hanna replies, “but he would also say we can do it, having another child, I will help you, we will find a way”
“You and your husband seem a good team and to be very happy.”
“Yes, we are very happy," Hanna answered. After a brief pause she continues. “Thank you, the conversation was very helpful. It feels good when you are no longer left alone with your thoughts. I think I will talk about everything with my husband again tonight.”
Hanna and the counselor end the call. The next afternoon, the counselor calls the pregnant woman and asks how she's doing . Hanna has some good news, “The conversation with you has galvanized me to do what I really want. My husband and I, we had a tearful night. Even after a telephone conversation with my mother, who has promised us her help, we still have fear and respect for the tasks which await us. Yet, I realize that in my heart I really want my baby and we'll have it. "
The Yes to Life Foundation promotes its project partner Pro Femina eV09.08.2012
"The best decision of my life!" Help and advice at the right time
The Yes to Life Foundation and consulting organizations "Pro Femina" and "Die Birke" jointly operate the project "1000plus - help instead of abortion." The following documents feedback from women who have chosen to have their children after being helped by 1000plus advisors:
"When I was unexpectedly pregnant with my second child, our situation seemed hopeless. It was a shock! For me and my husband it was clear that we could not have another child. I already had the date for the termination, even though my heart was nearly broken. The main reason for our decision for an abortion was our financial situation. I do not want to go into detail. Via the Internet I came across Pro Femina and, since I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, I simply called. I was listened to for hours, possibilities of how to make it work were shown me! I was never forced into anything. There was someone who had all patience in the world to listen to my/our problems. At this point, a huge thank you to dear Mrs. Brecht!!! Again and again they called and asked how I was. Talking about it really did me good. In addition I was also surprisingly helped financially so that I could catch my breath. I have not taken this all for granted and I am eternally grateful. Without Pro Femina I would not have known what to do. I canceled my appointment the day before I was supposed to go for the abortion. The best decision of my life! Now when I think about holding my little miracle in my arms I am so grateful it's there. I could scream out loud when I think about what I was going to do ... I love this child so endlessly. It will be tough in every way. Of that I am aware. But what good is all the money in the world if I had killed my child?"
"I was shocked when I discovered that I was pregnant. I didn’t want to believe it nor accept it. I retreated and waited for a miracle. I did not even dare to take a test. [...] A good friend of mine suggested I get in touch with Pro Femina. Suddenly everything was different! No one blamed me, no one told me: "You should have an abortion." Nobody asked me, "Did you forget the pill?" Or "How could this have happened to you?" Nobody gave me the phone number of some practice in the Netherlands. Everything was different. [...] Thanks to Mrs. Brecht, today my son is able rejoice, tease, play, love and explore the world ... And every time I look him in the eye, I can see him saying: Thanks that I can play. P.S. I often think of what would have happened ... and I am ashamed of the thoughts of not wanting him. These thoughts will be with me all my life. "
"I could pour out my heart, my situation and I were accepted. I was listened to, then together we considered how to continue, I wasn’t talked into anything. It was my own decision. They wanted me to know and to have the feeling that there is help there and that I can do it.”
"Sometimes you need an angel to protect you and guide you. God sometimes sends an angel when he feels your sorrows " We put our heads together when I discussed when I would have to tell my employer, how I would tell him, how I deal with the personnel development, where I could recharge my batteries, how long should my parental leave be and how to regulate child care. I decided to go deep into myself, to find out what I really wanted. I had support, given to me only through talks on the phone, which gave me an inner strength to decide. Despite appearances and counseling appointment for the termination of the pregnancy, I opted for the child. Because deep in me I so wanted it. I feel I can do it. If it becomes difficult I have someone who listens to me. Someone is there for me."
Urgent: Sign the UN Pro-Life Petition
The “Stiftung Ja zum Leben” (Yes to Life-Foundation, Germany) supports this initiative of Austin Ruse:
In a few days billionaire Melinda Gates is hosting a global summit meeting that will result in a massive new assault on the fertility of Christian women all over the world.
That's right. A billionaire, along with monstrous groups like Planned Parenthood, are organizing a meeting of governments in London on July 11 where they will raise commitments of $6 billion per year to foist contraception on the poor women of the world.
Pro-lifers have tried desperately to get into this meeting but we are being shut out! They don't want us anywhere near that meeting! They do not want to hear the voices of women who want their children and who are offended by such population control tactics.
But we will not be silenced!
First, I need you to go to http://2-melinda-gates.org/ and sign the Open Letter to Melinda Gates and send this email to all of your friends and family.
Second, we will deliver all of these signatures to the London conference in person. What's more, we will personally deliver all of them to the Gates Foundation in Seattle!
Third, we will gather pro-lifers from around the world to join with us at the London conference. Even if we cannot get in, we will be there!
As of this writing, we have 22,000+ signatures from all over the world. We want at least 50,000 names!
Do I think we will change Melinda Gates' mind? No, not a chance. But we will raise a loud voice in opposition. We will alert the world that this is happening. We will alert women in the developing world to watch out for this marauding band of population controllers!
But it starts with you!
An Open Letter to Melinda Gates
Dear Ms. Gates,
We are writing to you from all over the world. We are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We are students, teachers, doctors, lawyers, farmers, laborers, parliamentarians and policy makers, rich, poor and middle class. We are people from all walks of life. We are deeply concerned with your upcoming Family Planning Summit. The Gates Foundation’s primary partners are NGOs and governments that engage in abortion and population control campaigns. The Summit’s purpose is to launch a global campaign to pressure governments to encourage women to view children as burdens and expendable. First, we understand that participation in the summit is limited only to those who agitate for more funding for family planning. We wonder if you will dialogue with those who may have another vision? You say women around the world tell you they want contraception. Perhaps that is because the people surrounding you are devoted to contraception and abortion. Your summit is organized by – and limited to – pro-abortion and population control advocates. Second, we understand that the International Planned Parenthood Federation is mobilizing civil society participation. You said specifically in your TED speech that this initiative would have nothing to do with abortion. We wonder how this can be when your main partner is the world’s biggest abortion provider? Third, we fear that such a global effort will inevitably lead to abuses. Whenever governments and NGOs get together to encourage poor women to use contraceptives, the result is often coercion and abuse. In fact, your partners for the Summit – the United Kingdom’s DFID, IPPF and UNFPA – have all been implicated in abuses against women related to family planning. Will you hear the voices of women and men who love and want children, or those who have been victims of contraception, abortion and population control campaigns? Will you invite discussion on the consequences of not having, or having too few children? Will you equal or surpass this Summit with support for healthy child-birth programs? We urge you to re-consider the Family Planning Summit. We urge you to consider that this mission is fraught with danger and may not be what the women of the world really need. We urge you to listen to the voices of we hundreds of thousands!
“It’s just not the right time for a child!” From panic to a good decision
Most of the women with a crisis pregnancy who call Pro Femina’s free hotline have basically already decided to have an abortion. This is true for Kathrin, who called to find out if her insurance would cover the costs of an abortion. By carefully questioning Kathrin the counselor tries to find out more about Kathrin’s situation and her reasons for her decision. It works; Kathrin starts to talk. She is 28 years old and six weeks pregnant. “It is a totally unplanned pregnancy! My boyfriend and I have thoroughly thought about it. It is just the wrong time. I would like to gain more experience in my career. We want to buy an apartment. We were planning on having kids at the end of next year at the very earliest.”
It becomes clear that both Kathrin and her boyfriend Moritz are afraid because their vague plans have been jumbled up. Moritz, who found Pro Femina’s internet site, told Kathrin, before leaving her alone to make the call, to; “Let them convince you that we should abort the child!” The counselor asks “How did you feel about this request?” “I hope that will be okay. I was always against abortion, but now… Moritz said that we can’t let our emotions interfere; we have to really think about it rationally. He doesn’t feel ready. That’s why, for him, it is absolutely the wrong time.” Kathrin sighs, “I am totally overwhelmed with the situation. The constant discussions and disputes with Moritz are stressful. I am afraid that I will lose him. It would be best if I just got it over with. Then I won’t have to think about it anymore, it will be as if it never happened.” The more Kathrin talks the more it becomes clear that Moritz is pressuring her. He is taking away so much of her courage and hopes that she cannot allow herself to see her desire for this child. The counselor and Kathrin agree to talk to Moritz in order to discover the reasons behind his dismissive attitude.
Two days later Moritz is ready to talk to the counselor. During the telephone conversation Moritz talks about how he knows that a child means a lot of responsibility and that a child tighter with Kathrin means that he will always be tied to her. Yet, he is constantly thinking about his new co-worker. Maybe it is only a case of last minute panic, but he wants to have some time to think about his relationship with Kathrin and then maybe think about having a child.
After this conversation the counselor would like to talk just to Kathrin. The young woman is disappointed and angry. She had wished that her boyfriend would decide for a future together with her and their child and hence would be serious about their relationship. The counselor calms Kathrin and tries to show her a new way of viewing things. “Kathrin, understand that you are hurt and that you are afraid. You were sure that you and Moritz were going to have a future together.” “That is just not like him. He was always my rock, he protected me together we could do anything,” Kathrin agitatedly answered. “Do you think that an abortion can fix your relationship? That if you had an abortion your boyfriend would become your ‘Rock’ again?” Kathrin has to think for a moment and then she answers, “I never looked at it that way. If I had an abortion for Moritz it probably wouldn’t improve our relationship at all. But I don’t think that I would be the same. I would be torn up inside and I would bitterly regret it. I would always unconsciously accuse him of abandoning me.”
The counselor knows that Kathrin needs hope, courage and security now, but most of all she needs support. She needs to be certain that someone will be there for her. Together Kathrin and the counselor think about the steps which need to be taken, what will be necessary so that Kathrin can definitely say yes to her child. Kathrin wants to tell her sister about her pregnancy, she is sure that her sister will be happy for her and that she will be there for her. Kathrin would also like to keep in contact with the counselor because the young woman knows that she will not only receive counseling but also concrete help, for example help in finding a new apartment for herself and the baby or financial help, if it is necessary.
The next day Kathrin calls the counselor again. “I am going to have my child!” “Congratulations,” wishes her the counselor. “I thought about it again. I considered everything,” Kathrin explains, “Then I confronted Moritz with the words ‘I am keeping it!’, whereupon he was completely surprised and corrected me: ’No. We are keeping it!’ He said he became aware that his arguments were egotistical. He wants to be there for me and the child. He wants to make amends. Can you imagine what his reasoning was?” “It could be that Moritz needed your firm conviction to the relationship and to the child. That way, perhaps he could then find the courage to decide for the child. Maybe he wants to take on responsibility of being your ‘Rock’ again. How do you feel about it?” the counselor asked. “I am so happy about his decision and I hope that Moritz will truly stand by the child and me. Right now I can’t be so sure, but my sister hardly ever leaves my side.” Kathrin’s voice sounds like a smile. “Yet above everything else I am so happy that I found the courage to say yes to my child.!”
The Yes to Life Foundation “Stiftung Ja zum Leben” supports the counselors at Pro Femina e.V.
“Me or the kid?” - Abortion is not an answer.
“Hello I’m Julia and I am 17 years old. Four days ago I found out that I am pregnant. My mother thinks that an abortion would be the best thing. I am still in training and don’t have the financial means to take care of things. My boyfriend also thinks an abortion would be for the best. He says that he doesn’t feel ready to have a child yet. I also know that it would be the best for all parties. It is just the wrong time for a child. But I already feel a connection to my child. Every time I start thinking about an abortion I start to cry. I feel alone and distressed. How can I kill my own child? I hope that you can somehow help me. How should you decide, with your heart or with your head?
Two days after Julia sent this email to Pro Femina a counselor was able to reach her by telephone. “I have to decide to have an abortion or not. I simply don’t know what to do.” The counselor could tell that Julia was crying as she spoke these words.
Slowly but surely Julia poured out all her fears and problems, which kept her from sleeping at night. Four days ago her mother had found the package for the pregnancy test and had then taken Julia to the gynecologist who confirmed that she was six weeks pregnant.
“I don’t have a minute of peace. My mother wants me to have an abortion because I am in the middle of my training. She says that I will ruin my future. She accuses me of letting it come this far. An hour ago things escalated. The three of us, my mother, Thorsten and me, were sitting together and I mentioned my doubts and fear,” Julia explains embittered, “If they loved me they would care how I feel about the whole situation.”
“Would you like to explain to me how they reacted?” the counselor asked.
They say I am naïve and that I couldn’t take care of a child.” Julia begins to sob. “Thorsten says I would ruin his life. My mother said it was all my fault that she has worried her way back into stomach troubles. And that I should not make such a fuss because others have had abortions too.”
The counselor now tries to change the prospective: “What would have to change, or be done for you to decide, without hesitation, keep your child?”
Julia doesn’t take long to think and says, “If Thorsten would hold my hand and say to me ‘We can make it work with the child’ – that would be too good to be true. Or if my mother would believe in me instead of accusing me.”
Have you tried to explain to you mother and your friend how much of a strain they are putting on you? That it hurts you and makes you feel all alone?” asked the counselor.
“Not really,” Julia answers after a short pause. In detail the two women talk about how Julia could start a productive discussion without having it escalate in the first five minutes.
A day later Julia calls back. “It worked. We were able to talk without getting into an argument. Thorsten and my mother now understand that it is not easy for me. They are sorry that I had felt so terrible the last couple of days. We were able to talk everything over again. An abortion would be the best for all of us. Then there won’t be any more problems and everything will be fine.” The young woman seems resolved.
“Do you think that your relationship with your mother and your friend will improve with an abortion?” the counselor wants to know. Julia remains silent for a while until she finally answers; “I don’t know, maybe, but only in the short run. Actually I think that in the long run I would not be able to look them in the eye anymore.” Julia is very tired and confused; she asks for time to think and says she will call back later.
Four days later Julia calls back; “I have really thought about it. I want to have this child. I am really afraid that one day I will bitterly regret it. You can’t undo an abortion.” Julia tells the counselor what has happened over the last few days. “I can take my final exams half a year later. Since I have told my mother that I am going to have this child and that’s it, I have the feeling that for the first time she really respects and appreciates me. Thorsten has left me, but I still hope that he will get back in touch with me.”
“Listening to your heart and deciding for yourself what is the right thing to do, was the correct decision,” encourages Julia’s counselor. “If you need a nanny or financial help please contact us. We are here and are always ready and willing to help.” Julia and her counselor decide to keep in regular contact.
The “Yes to Life Foundation” (Stiftung Ja zum Leben) supports Pro Femina counseling which does not hand out an abortion certificate.
March for Life 2010: Berlin, September 18th, 2010
Challenging politicians and society to end the flagrant injustice of abortion and to stop the re-emergence of euthanasia!
Independent of ideology, religion or political affiliation, we are coming together to promote the most basic and most important human right; for the right to life from the time of conception – human rights also apply to unborn children!
Killing children does not solve problems, instead it causes more. We demand more support for pregnant women and families in need.
No one can say they did not know what is happening. Give your voice to the victims!
1:00 pm Rally at the Neptunbrunnen (between the Marienkirche and the Rotem Rathaus). After the rally the march begins.
3:00pm ecumenical service at St. Hedwig's cathedral.
We will carry white crosses as symbols of grief and as a reminder of the children who are daily aborted in Germany. Home-made signs have to be approved.
The March for Life is to be a peaceful silent march. Facts and arguments are convincing enough; aggression and intolerance have no place.
Continually updated information on speakers, program events and accommodations along with the names of organizations and churches which are supporting the March for Life can be found on www.marsch-fuer-das-leben.de
“I'd do the exact same thing again” - Saying yes to a special child
Sad and downcast Marie and Florian* leave the doctor's office. What should they do now? Marie is pregnant and was looking forward to having the baby. Yet, a few minutes ago she was told that her amniocentesis test result had come back showing that her baby had Spina bifida, an incomplete closer of the embryonic neural tube (open back) along with the developmental disorder Trisomy 18 (Edward Syndrome: a chromosome abnormality). Her first thoughts were the feelings of total despair and helplessness: Why does it have to be my child? Many operations would be necessary to correct Spina bifida. This would mean long hospital stays, but in the long run most children learn to accept their limitations and lead mostly normal life. Trisomy 18 is the main problem. There is no known cure or treatment and it dramatically shortens normal life expectancy. The child could even die during pregnancy or birth. Can the parents accept such a difficult challenge? Do they have the attitude that one must take a child as it comes and cannot choose?
A few days after their visit to the doctor Marie and Florian go to a counseling center for help. They do not want to have an abortion, but they are not sure whether they are up to the challenge of raising this child, especially because they already have two children, aged three and six. The counselor explains that at this counseling center the parents of special needs children are not left alone. Extensive counseling-opportunities for the entire family are offered. These offers include clinical medical care, out-patient care, children's hospice care, along with death and grieving counseling for the entire family. After attending a series of counseling sessions, the couple decides for the child. The child is to be born via caesarean and receive all the help offered so that the child's short life can be as painless as possible. Timo comes into the world in August of 2009 and after only two days later he is welcomed back into the arms of his creator. Before Timo's burial he is allowed to lie in his bassinet at home. His family wants to have him in their middle. Marie and Florian have prepared the other two children by explaining that Timo will not be staying for too long, that he will die.
Timo receives some presents from his family before his last goodbye. Florian gives him a wooden sword which he carved himself. Maria lays a Teddy Bear which smells like Mommy in his bassinet. Lastly his brother and sister give him some toys.
At the next counseling session Marie explains that, "It is very difficult. We wanted more time with him. Yet I'd do the exact same thing again." The family accepts the counseling center's offer and attends regular sessions with the counselor and psychologists. In the evenings the entire family goes to his grave and visit Timo. They light candles and sing for him. The memories still hurt, but they reinforce Timo's ties to the family. "I am so happy that I decided for my child."
* Names have been changed.
The counseling after the diagnosis is supported by the "Stiftung Ja zum Leben" (Yes to Life Foundation).
Declaration of Saragossa
The representatives of national and international organizations, advocates of life, the family and the dignity of the human person, coming from different parts of the world, assembled in Saragossa from November 6 until November 8, 2009, in the IV Prolife World Congress, in continuity with those held in Madrid (2003), Lima (2005) and Mexico (2007), we address to:
All governments, legislators, judges, doctors and midwifes; political and religious leaders; intellectuals, educators and social communicators; Organizations of the Civil Society; parents and families; and to all persons of good will, as caretakers of the promotion of the Human rights.
1. It is verified by science that human life begins with the fertilization of the oocyte. In this first human cell (zygote), one finds not only the whole genetic program of the development of the new human being, but also the aptitude to develop and progress by itself, like it is shown experimentally in extracorporeal fertilization.
2. It is said that the worst thing that might happen to a mother is the death of her child. It is worst to accept the voluntarily killing of her baby. Even if some may deny this at the moment the abortion is performed, to decide the death one’s own baby provokes a feeling of fault that it is impossible to erase.
3. Six million "legal" deaths in the Nazi concentration camps, constitute the international crime of genocide. It has been seen as the most flagrant violation of human rights recorded in history.
4. Nevertheless, the more than eight hundred million deaths, provoked, up to the moment, by means of "legal" abortions, in the countries of the world that have authorized it, constitute a crime against humanity that, for its number and extension, we propose is named from now as mega-genocide.
5. In addition to being "legalized" in many States, the mega-genocide is encouraged - sometimes in a direct way and sometimes using euphemisms-, by the United Nations Organization (UNO) and its agencies; the multilateral organisms of credit; certain international organisms, as the International Federation of Family Planning (IPPF), IPAS, the Rockefeller, Ford, Bill and Melinda Gates, Soros and other Foundations, the current president of the United States of America and the bureaucracy of the European Union; between other groups of global power.
6. On the other hand, diverse contraceptives capable of killing human beings in his first days of life – for example, preventing them from nesting in the maternal womb-, like intrauterine devices, the after morning pill, contraceptive pills of systemic use, injectable or subdermal implants, operate "invisibly" and increase the number of victims of the mega-genocide. Also, in the latter years, abortion is promoted, by the use of the drug misoprostol, especially in the countries where abortion is illegal, all this with the connivance of the health authorities. Finally, diverse practices of artificial fertilization, where according to the most trustworthy statistics, only 4 % of the embryos are born, provoke a number of hardly determinable number of victims.
7. A society that tolerates with indifference the mega-genocide of abortion – be it surgical or chemical, looses the most elementary sign of humanity, and sooner or later it will be inclined to damage in a violent way some other human rights of its citizens.
TO ALL WE DEMAND THAT THEY SHOULD PUT UNDER AN OBLIGATION TO:
1. Always promote rational solutions, respectful of life, for human needs, such as:
• To propitiate qualified access and attention in pregnancy, childbearing, after birth and the newborn baby.
• To articulate with civil society institutions that attend to the pregnant women in situation of conflict, to help to overcome her difficulties and problems and, in this way, to ensure the pleasure of maternity.
• To promote and to finance programs that encourage chastity before marriage, and fidelity inside it.
• To execute programs to strengthen the family based in heterosexual marriage, and the education of youth in the virtues, and in the authentic meaning of femininity and masculinity.
• Pregnancy is not an illness; therefore birth control, should never be understood as a sanitary policy.
2. To enforce the respect of life, from the conception / fertilization , up to natural death. To recognize the juridical personality of any human being, from the initial moment of his existence; and always to act consequently.
3. To penalize abortion, euthanasia, eugenic practices and the manipulation of human life.
4. In the assumptions in which abortion is not punishable in some countries and while this legislation is not reformed, it can never be considered to be a “ right “ of anybody, nor to be included within the sanitary system. No doctor or personnel of health can be forced, under any circumstances, to killing a human being. In any case, the practice of an abortion – although it may not be punishable-, will always imply a break form the most elementary bases of professional ethics.
5. To remove the juridical recognition of any entity who – direct or indirectly-, promotes the mega-genocide.
WE COMMIT OURSELVES:
1. To promote all the organizations of civil society, whose purpose is:
▪ To extend the awareness and attention to the post-abortion syndrome.
▪ To create centres for helping women.
▪ To promote centres for family formation and orientation.
▪ The diffusion of the education of natural methods of recognition of human fertility.
▪ The diffusion of a humanist approach of sexuality, based on an education in virtues and for love.
▪ To promote adoption as worthy option for mothers in situation of unexpected pregnancy and for newborn children with absent parents.
2. To watch in a permanent way the grade of observance of the right to life. To denounce publicly to whom violates this fundamental right, especially if they are civil or political servants in electoral campaign.
3. To articulate activities with the “ World Action of Parliamentarians for the Life and Family ”, constituted in Santiago of Chile, gathering the Declaration of Lima of our II Prolife World Congress.
4. To promote the cancellation of the capital punishment for abortion, in the ambience of the UNO and the regional organisms. To promote an International Convention to foresee the protection of the life of every human being, from the moment of conception up to natural death.
5. To create and to promote political parties that foster human life from his beginning to the natural end.
6. To revoke democratically those civil servants, who take part in a direct or indirect way in the mega-genocide of abortion, eugenics or euthanasia; and to make them answer in court for such acts.
7. To ask compensation for the women victims of the mega-genocide of abortion, so that they obtain a just indemnity for her damages, against the State and other organizations and persons guilty of his sufferings.
The participants of this Congress, who adhere to this Declaration, come from the following Nations:
Saragossa, November 8, 2.009
Protecting life is the foundation of the social encyclical "Caritas in veritate"
Taken from Johanna Countess von Westphalen’s July 18, 2009 weekly address on Radio Vatican.
An important aspect of the social encyclical "Caritas in veritate" is "respect for Life". In many parts of the world high infant mortality is not only caused by poverty, but also by laws which are hostile to life and which promote a mentality which is hostile to birth. Every year umpteen million children are victims of these deadly laws. The Pope emphasizes; "When society chooses to deny life or to oppress life, it can no longer find the necessary motivation or energy to fight for true human well-being. If the personal and social meaning for accepting new life is lost, then other socially important forms of acceptance also wither. If society does not lovingly accept children then economic and social development will not be healthy or productive.
The rapid decline in birth rates in affluent societies eventually leads to material poverty. Pope Benedict is talking about the symptoms brought about by a lack of trust in the future and a "moral weariness or tiredness". Hence he says it is a social, even an economic necessity, to point out to the younger generations the beauty of marriage and family, thus showing them that marriage and family are in harmony with the deepest needs of their hearts and with human dignity. The Pope reminds politicians to support and promote the family, which when founded in an undamaged marriage between a man and a woman, is the cornerstone on which society is built.
The encyclical urges overcoming fundamental contradictions in today's social and political behavior. We should not allow protecting the environment and protecting life to become disconnected. How can society be so fixated on making people aware of the importance on protecting the environment and the need for clean water, when, at the same time, society accepts the killing of unborn children and euthanizing the old and the sick? Pope Benedict has placed himself at he top of a wonderful liberation movement, his thoughts are revolutionary, and they are, in the real sense of the word, progressive. They are guaranteed to be non-violent. His optimism for the future is fed by faith and the belief that because God called mankind to freedom, he trusts us to break out of today's self-inflicted incapacitation.
Project 1000plus - For the Love of Mother and Child
Project 1000plus wants to show how dramatically the number of abortions would decrease in Germany if the conflicts, fears and needs of expectant mothers were taken seriously and then encountered sincere counseling and honest offerings of help. Then the overwhelming majority would decide to give birth to their babies. This project was the initiative of the conflict-counseling centre for pregnant women known as "Die Birke" along with eleven other project partners, including the "Stiftung Ja zum Leben" (Yes to Life Foundation).
Within three to five years those responsible for the project would like, through conflict-counseling and honest, effective offerings of help, to save the lives of at least 1000 children and help 1000 women form families.
There is always a better and realistic alternative to abortion. Using this knowledge the project would like to promote an open discussion about the abortion question and about abortion rights in Germany.
To realize this goal the project should bring together 1000 plus strengths in order to become one effective alliance for life. It should be a strong network made up of pro-life partners, donors, volunteers and project workers.
Together they will prove that abortion in Germany does not have a future. The project 1000plus means 1000 children's lives, a 1000 good decisions for pregnant women and 1000 better alternatives to abortion.
When Men suffer from Abortion - ‘Die Zeit’ takes up a taboo subject
According to German law, men do not have the right to stop an abortion from being preformed on their child. Sometimes you read about men who force women to have an abortion. More often you hear about "politically correct" men who say that the choice to carry a child to term, meaning the life or death of a child, is a decision to made sole by the pregnant woman. So it was all the more surprising when the liberal weekly German magazine "Die Zeit" took up this subject in its 12 February 2009 issue. A father speaks about his inner pain, his feeling of helpless-ness and his rage. In addition "Die Zeit" spoke with ten other men, all of whom no longer live with their former partners. Thomas Schramm (the name of the father of three has been changed) still suffers from the loss of his fourth child through abortion. After his wife had weaned their third child to a bottle and two months after she had started back at work, she was pregnant. Under no circumstances did she want another child. The meeting at the women's counseling center "Frauen beraten e.V., München" (women's counseling, Munich) did not rescue Thomas or his child. The center, which pretends to be based on christian principles, hands out certificates which legally allow women to have an abortion, strengthened Thomas's wife's belief that to have an abortion or not is solely her decision. "Thomas waited until the counselor had filled out the certificate, he had to take it home", so the article stated. "From then on we went through hell," his wife said. The article makes it clear how important it is to find an understanding and competent counselor at this crucial time. One who does not believe that her job is finished when she hands out the abortion certificate, but one who helps to solve the problems that lay behind the wish for an abortion. At the same time the failure of the law makers becomes evident. Fathers are without rights when it comes to the life or death of their unborn children!26.01.2009
OBAMA ABORTION AGENDA LAUNCHED WITH ORDER PROMOTING ABORTION IN U.S. POPULATION-CONTROL PROGRAM
WASHINGTON – President Obama signed an order on January 23rd that will put hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into the hands of organizations that aggressively promote abortion as a population-control tool in the developing world.
Obama's order overturns the "Mexico City Policy," under which funds in the U.S. "population assistance" program go only to overseas organizations that pledge not to "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning."
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), commented, "This is the first in an anticipated series of attacks on longstanding pro-life policies, as the new administration pushes Obama's sweeping abortion agenda. That agenda includes repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which would result in tax-funded abortion as a birth control method in the U.S., and imposition of sweeping pro-abortion mandates on private employers through health-care reform legislation.
"One effect of Obama's order will be to divert many millions of dollars away from groups that do not promote abortion, and into the hands of those organizations that are the most aggressive in promoting abortion in developing countries. President Obama not long ago told the American people that he would support policies to reduce abortions, but today he is effectively guaranteeing more abortions by funding groups that promote abortion as a method of population control."
Contrary to some misunderstandings, enforcement of the Mexico City Policy did not reduce the amount of money spent on the program, nor will Obama's order increase the amount (which is $461 million in the current fiscal year). Rather, the policy affects what type of groups qualify for grants under the program. "Obama's order will predictably result in a redirection of funds to groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which are ideologically committed to the doctrine that abortion on demand must be universally available as a birth control method," Johnson said.
Although Obama's order will result in major subsidies for organizations that promote abortion overseas, the direct use of the U.S. funds to perform abortion procedures will remain unlawful under the Helms Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act. "The Helms Amendment can be changed only by an act of Congress, but because the Obama Administration is joined at the hip with the abortion lobby, we will be watching carefully for any evidence that the Administration is failing to enforce the Helms Amendment," Johnson said.
The details of the Mexico City Policy are spelled out in an official handbook issued by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is available on request from NRLC (in PDF format). Basically, the policy required grantees to refrain from performing abortions (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest), or lobbying to legalize abortion, or otherwise promoting abortion as a family-planning method. The policy explicitly allowed responding to questions about where abortions may be obtained, in countries in which abortions are legal.
The National Right to Life Committee is the nation's largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Abortion Moratorium: A matter leaves the spiral of silence
On the 18th of December, 2007, the United Nations in New York passed a moratorium (pause of thought) according to the death penalty. By this the United Nations request all states to interrupt the execution of death penalties.
After that Giuliano Ferrara, former communist, chief editor of the Italian daily newspaper "Il Foglio", wrote an article where he castigates vehemently the worldwide mass abortions which meanwhile have the extent of a genocide and he requires: "Now an abortion moratorium too."
The discussion about the protection of the weakest now has reached a new dimension. In former days the life protection above all was matter of the church and of convinced Christians but the latest thrust comes from an intellectual of the laical group. The matter of abortion begins to leave the spiral of silence. In Italy that article immediately produced a lively debate. His argumentation against abortion is clear and logic. There are only two points he states, the reason and the right to say the truth of things - that abortion means to kill an innocent person.
At the beginning of the New Year Ferrara suggested a completion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 3: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person", should be extended after the first comma by the completion "from conception until natural death". This would "ipso facto" be "a moratorium" and "an obligation for politics to protect human life, the born and the unborn". In the traditional New Year´s meeting, Pope Benedict XVI. adopted that matter.
Finally on the 29th of January 2008 sixteen intellectuals, politicians and people defending the human rights, among them the German philosopher Robert Spaemann, have sent their request to the General Secretary of the UN to introduce a moratorium. It is time to change the minds of the politicians concerning that scandal of human rights.
The Stiftung Ja zum Leben (Yes to Life Foundation)supports this fight for life.
Tim´s birthday - A successful fight for survival
July 6th, 1997, in the hospital of Oldenburg a child is born. He is alive. But nobody is happy. Because Tim´s birthday should be the day of his death. A short time before the diagnosis of Down Syndrome was given. His parents didn’t want a handicapped child. But Tim, aborted in the 25th week of pregnancy with no more weight than 690 gramme wants to live. More than nine hours they had put him aside without any care only wrapped in some clothes. This happened ten years ago.
But even today that story leaves us speechless. We cannot believe that something like this is possible in Germany. There is a stark contrast to the mostly successful attempts to rescue wanted children born with a weight of only some hundreds gramme. For these children heaven and earth is moved to preserve their life.
The chances of handicapped children to survive are decreasing due to the fact that within the scope of prenatal diagnosis (PND) it is more and more possible to search for a ”conspicuousness”. “Let´s have a look if everything is ok”, they say to pregnant women who in fact are in the state of “expecting”. But how do parents cope with the situation in the case they find something not corresponding to the standard? Much too often, they are let alone after the information about a dubious diagnosis. There is no obligatory consultation, not even a consultation all over the country in contrast to abortion institutions. So the prenatal selection is inevitable.
But nevertheless Tim has managed it. He is a real survival artist. To celebrate Tim´s birthday and at the same time to demonstrate for a better life protection of unborn children, the Yes to Life Foundation and ALfA invited at the end of June to form a human chain around the cathedral of Cologne. “We draw attention to the violation of human rights committed every day in our country by abortion and late abortion”, the speaker of the campaign, www.Tim-lebt.de Dr. med. Claudia Kaminski declared during the demonstration. Kaminski demanded from the politicians to do finally something against the horrible procedure of late abortions and to break their silence.
“Although the coalition contract of CDU/CSU and SPD schedule for reducing at least the especially cruel late abortions, the German government did not present a single measure until today that shows into the direction they promised."
In a message the foster parents of Tim write: „Despite the many handicaps that Tim received at the moment of his start into life he has developped in a very surprising manner. He is now able to walk relatively well, has found a way to communicate with the world around him and is full enjoying life.“ They warmly said thank you to the many supporters of Tim’s wellbeing.
The continuous selection of handicapped children until the moment of their birth, and the huge number of killed unborn children within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy show the sad consequence of a beginning demographic collapse with its negative effects on the social peace. The research with embryonic stem cells and the renewed admittance of euthanasia at the end of life are some consequences of a mentality where humans make themselves to lords of life and death. Those responsible for this will not have the chance to pretend that they did not know anything about it.
New Foundation letter: Most of the Americans are Pro Life
The new Foundation letter is available. The periodic letter of the YES TO LIFE FOUNDATION informs about the latest news concerning the protection of life. Read more about the dramatic circumstances under which a young woman, abandoned by her boy-friend, gave birth to her second child. The YES TO LIFE FOUNDATION could support this young woman.
What else can be found in the current edition: What is the attitude of the Americans towards the pro-life-movement – Why do executives prefer values – What do the Germans think about embryonic stem cell research – Where is there unbureaucratic help for pregnant women in need.
The current Foundation letter is ready for being downloaded under the link “Archives”.
The majority of the Germans don´t want embryonic stem cell research
More than half of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany (56,3 percent) desire that the science exclusively concentrates on the research with adult stem cells. Two thirds (66,5 percent) think it to be „correct“ that it is not allowed in Germany “to create and to destroy human embryos for the purpose of research”. These are the two most important results of a poll throughout Germany carried out in January by the opinion research institute TNS Infratest, by order of the BVL (Federal Organization of Pro-Life-groups), which was presented by the president of the BVL, Dr. Claudia Kaminski, on the 25th of January in Berlin.
“Every person who supports the embryonic stem cell research from today has to be aware of the fact that he is pursuing a policy that is against the opinion of the citizen´s majority”, Kaminski summarized. So the poll shows that women presenting the greatest part of the population reject the embryonic stem cell research much more than men do. Whereas 46,5 percent of the men voice their support for the limitation of the research on adult stem cells, 41,4 percent of them approve the research with adult and with embryonic stem cells. In the group of women there are only 26,4 percent approving this. In contrast 63,7 percent of women who are supposed to be more sensitive because they are the potential donors of ovums and recipients of artificially created embryos, require a limitation of research on the adult stem cell research where no human embryos are created and destroyed.
Concerning the existing embryo protection law there is a similar result. Nearly three-quarters (73,8 %) of the women approve the current law, which „forbids to use a human embryo for a scientific or medical purpose not serving the life of the embryo”. But also in the group of men, the law of embryo protection is approved by more than half (56,9 percent). Besides, it is remarkable that the rejection of the embryonic stem cell research is comparable in all age groups. Even in the group of senior citizens (60 years and more) who might be the first to gain a profit from a therapy with embryonic stem cells, only 33,6 percent approve the research with embryonic stem cells. But 50,2 percent want to limitate the research exclusively on the research with endogenic cells.
„Another very positive result for the BVL is the attitude of the young generation”, Kaminski explained. According to the poll, 61,9 percent of the pupils reject the embryonic stem cell research. 76,2 percent say that it must not be allowed in Germany to create and to destroy embryos for research purposes. “At least concerning the protection of embryos, the young generation clearly is pro-life-orientated“, Kaminski continued.