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Friday, May 31, 2013

Fifteen Ways to be More Pro-Life This Summer

Happy Summer! How are you going to celebrate? Beach trips, cookouts, and time with friends and family are great ways to spend the warmer months, but it’s also a good time to get more involved in your community. We’ve put together a list of fifteen things you can do to make a difference in the pro-life movement this summer. Enjoy!

Feel like traveling? The annual NRL Convention will be in Dallas, Texas from June 27-29. Meet other dedicated pro-lifers, choose from dozens of educational workshops, and be inspired by the many pro-life warriors in attendance!

2. Join a chapter (or start one!)
Did you know there are local chapters on NCRTL all over the state? Becoming a member is a great way to stay involved with North Carolina’s pro-life activities. If there isn’t a chapter in your area, consider starting one!

                                                                          3. Donate
Yes, your money does make a difference! Donations to NCRTL’s Education Fund are tax deductible and help us spread the pro-life message across the state.  Alternately, pregnancy centers are always in need of new or gently used baby clothes and items, as well as diapers and formula. Look in the phonebook under “Abortion Alternatives” to find one in your area.  If you do not need a tax deduction, you should give to the fund that helps NC Right to Life advocate for pro-life legislation both in DC and Raleigh.

4. Volunteer
The gift of your time is always welcome! Pregnancy centers are often in need of volunteers to counsel expectant mothers, sort through donations, answer the phone, or do some light cleaning.

5.  Call your legislators
The legislature is still in session, which means pro-life bills are still up for debate! Call your elected officials and tell them you support pro-life legislation. If you know they are pro-life, thank them for their support. You can also sign up for alerts for up-to-date news about the progress of our legislation.

Teenagers are passionate about the pro-life movement, and our summer camp is a great way for them to be involved! Your high school students will come home educated and inspired to be pro-life leaders in their communities.  Registration is open at College students and young adults who are interested in being counselors for the weekend should contact Erin at

7. Be an Advertisement
Sometimes you only have to walk out the door to make an impact. Put on your favorite pro-life T-shirt or precious feet pin, or maybe slap a bumper sticker on your car. If you don’t have any pro-life paraphernalia, contact our office and we’ll see what we can do!

8.  Use Social Media
Following North Carolina Right to Life on Twitter, “liking” us on Facebook, and reading our blog take just minutes and are easy ways to show support, receive updates, and stay informed. 

9. Pray
If you do nothing else this summer, pray for the safety of the unborn, their mothers, and the elderly. Pray for an end to abortion and the culture of death. Pray for the men and women who work in the abortion facilities and the men and women affected by abortion. Do it at home, at church, at the abortion facility, in the car. For regular intentions, sign up for Prayer Partners for Life.

10. Speak Up
Don’t be shy about having conversations about pro-life issues. Many people are genuinely interested in hearing the pro-life perspective even if they disagree with it. Keep your conversations friendly and factual, and remember that you’re a voice for the voiceless. How can we change hearts and minds if we are afraid to speak up? If you’re unsure of what to say, check out number 11.

11. Educate Yourself
It’s okay if you’re not an expert on fetal development or the problems with assisted suicide, but make sure you understand the basics. There are many great resources online to help you brush up on your pro-life know how. Check out NCRTL’s education page or visit National Right to Life’s website and browse the “Issue Info” section. These are both great places to start or broaden your pro-life education.

12. Educate Others
Write letters to the editor, post to your Facebook page, pin a link, or retweet about a timely pro-life topic.   You can find information at any of the resources mentioned in this list.

13.  Help Those in Need
Do you have an elderly neighbor who could use a hand with the yard work or a ride to the grocery store? The elderly in nursing homes oftentimes have no one to visit them, so check with your local nursing home to find out which residents need a visit. Maybe there’s a young mom at your church who could use an extra pair of hands at the park or a homemade meal in her freezer.  Being pro-life should be reflected in how we care for people of all ages!

14. Love Your Kids and Your Parents
We live in a culture that doesn’t always value children or the elderly, so it’s important that families act as witnesses to the beauty and value of life. Loving families can have profound effects on the culture. Show your kids you love them for who they are, and teach them the value of life. Care for your elderly parents so that your children will learn from you the value of every life even in the later years when our bodies and minds are failing us.

15. Love life!
If you don’t love life, how will you convince someone else to? 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Meet the 2013 Oratory Contest Winner

On Saturday, May 18th, North Carolina Right to Life hosted the annual pro-life oratory contest in Greensboro. Stephen Holly, a rising high school senior from Wake Forest, won the competition with his speech about abortion. He received a certificate, a pro-life T-shirt, and registration to Camp Joshua NC in July. 

Three members of the North Carolina Right to Life Board of Directors, Elaine McHale, Julie Scott Emmons, and Nancy J.R. Wells, served as judges for the oratory contest. 

Nancy J.R. Wells, Elaine McHale, Stephen Holly, & Julie Scott Emmons 

If you are interested in competing next year, email Erin at

Friday, May 24, 2013

Gosnell's Conviction: Not the End of the Story

Last week brought the long-awaited “guilty” verdict of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who performed illegal late-term abortions under horrifying conditions. Medical examiners found that Gosnell routinely aborted babies older than 24 weeks, which is illegal in Pennsylvania; in addition, he frequently delivered the children alive and cut their necks to finish the process. Gosnell has been sentenced to life in prison for infanticide.

While it’s a relief to know that Gosnell will no longer be able to harm mothers and babies, there are still thousands of unborn children dying painful deaths during legal abortions every year.  Medical evidence shows us that unborn babies respond to touch by 8 weeks, and all the receptors necessary for feeling pain are in place by 20 weeks. Additionally, it’s likely that babies at this age have a higher sensitivity to pain than adults.  Gosnell was convicted because he severed the necks of live babies after he delivered them; during a legal late-term abortion, the abortionist kills the child within the womb by literally ripping her apart piece by piece. No matter which way the abortionist does it, the child suffers a great deal of pain during the abortion process.

These painful late-term abortions are far from uncommon. According to Guttmacher's fact sheet, in 2006 approximately 12% of abortions took place after 12 weeks of pregnancy (more recent statistics were not available). This means that an average of 144,000 unborn children die after the first trimester of pregnancy every year. Eighteen thousand abortions took place after 21 weeks, when the babies could definitely feel pain and would be considered viable outside the womb.

In North Carolina, abortions are legal during all stages of pregnancy. Up until 20 weeks, a mother may abort her child for any reason at a licensed facility or hospital. After 20 weeks, a mother’s life or health must be in question, and the abortion must take place within a licensed hospital. Although “health of the mother” sounds reasonable, in practice it means that if a mother wants an abortion, she will get one. In 2011, North Carolina residents had over 580 abortions past 16 weeks gestation.

Largely in response to the horrors brought to light by the Gosnell trial, a panel of the House Judiciary Committee is currently working on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797). This legislation would prohibit nationwide most abortions after 20 weeks gestation, when unborn children can definitely feel pain. After all, if babies born after 20 weeks can survive such a premature birth, shouldn’t they be protected from a violent, painful late-term abortion?  If people are outraged by Gosnell’s treatment of a 25-week-old preterm baby, shouldn’t they be equally outraged by an abortionist’s treatment of a 25-week-old unborn baby? These are the questions the Gosnell trial has raised.

To view a list of the current cosponsors of H. R. 1797 in the U. S. House and Senate and read more about the legislation, click here

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Meet Our 2013 Academy Student!

North Carolina Right to Life is pleased to announce the 2013 Scholarship for Life recipient. William Moore is a rising senior at Guilford College, where he's majoring in Political Science with U.S. History and Economics minors. He is also the Guilford College Republicans chair and is an active leader of Guilford's Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

As a scholarship recipient, Will's room and tuition at the National Right to Life Academy will be fully covered, but he is currently fundraising to help with the expenses not paid for by the scholarship, such as travel costs and food. 

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help Will with his expenses, please make a check to North Carolina Right to Life Education Fund with "William Moore" on the memo line. Mail checks to 

P.O. Box 9282
Greensboro, NC 27429-0282

Thank you for your support! The Right to Life Academy is a wonderful opportunity for college students interested in furthering their pro-life education.

Monday, May 13, 2013

"Safe" Abortions?

As news of the Kermit Gosnell trial creeps into headlines, more people are becoming aware that abortion may not be as straightforward a procedure as its proponents like to make us believe. Abortion is a deadly practice; it results in a dead baby almost every time. Abortion is responsible for more than the death of the unborn child, however. How many mothers have died as a direct result of an abortion?

While estimates place the number of adult victims of abortion in the hundreds, it is very difficult to know for sure. Hospitals list the complication (for example, hemorrhage) as the cause of death rather than the abortion. In addition, many women die because they never tell their loved ones that the reason for their distress is abortion. By the time she seeks medical help, it is too late. We may never know all the women who are victims of their “choice,” women who were told that abortion is “safer than childbirth.”

Most medical procedures come with risks, but typically doctors are required to inform their patients about every aspect of the surgery. Abortion facilities, however, are often under-regulated and in many cases not required to describe the long term risks and other important health aspects of the abortion procedure.

Although the Gosnell clinic might be an extreme example, the practices there show just how inhumane, unsanitary, and disgusting the abortion practices can be. According to Gosnell’s staff, the abortionist used unsterilized utensils and did not dispose of the remains properly, creating unsanitary conditions for surgery. This, along with his grossly undertrained staff, led to the deaths of Semika Shaw and Karnamaya Mongar. Shaw died from infections after her cervix and uterus were perforated during the abortion procedure; Mongar died after an overdose of anesthesia.

Shaw and Mongar are the victims of late term surgical abortions, but even the chemical abortions, which take place within the first 7 weeks of pregnancy, are dangerous and sometimes fatal for the mother. According to a study in Australia, 5.7 percent of women who had chemical abortions were admitted to the hospital for treatment of complications, while 0.4 percent of surgical abortion patients did so.  A chemical abortion takes place over several days; the mother first takes the RU-486 pill, which causes the lining of the uterus to deteriorate and the baby to starve to death. After 48 hours, the mother then takes a second pill containing prostaglandins, which begins labor.

The women who opt for a chemical abortion are often unaware of the side effects and complications involved. Even though they take the pills in the abortion clinic, the labor, delivery, and any side effects take place at home without medical supervision. These women often experience extreme cramping, heavy and prolonged bleeding, nausea, and pain. Chemical abortions also leave psychological scars on their victims; many women believe they are delivering a “clump of cells” and are unprepared to see the tiny body of their baby.

One of the more famous victims of RU-486 is Holly Patterson. In 2003, the 17 year old took the abortion pills without her family’s knowledge. For several days, she suffered from severe cramps, bleeding, and nausea; when she consulted with the clinic, they told her it was normal and gave her painkillers. Four days after the abortion, Patterson’s stunned father watched his daughter die from what he later learned was a toxic shock infection. Since then, at least 11 other women have suffered the same death, while others have been hospitalized for hemorrhages.

Thankfully, organizations like North Carolina Right to Life and the other state affiliates of National Right to Life work hard to ensure that pro-life legislation is passed to prevent tragedies like these from happening. In North Carolina, one of the current pieces of legislation, S308—Amend the Woman’s Right to Know, would require that the physician be physically present to administer the chemical abortion, RU-486, in order to prevent abortion providers from dispensing this drug over the internet, a practice commonly known as web cam abortions.

Thanks to Woman’s Right to Know laws being passed nationwide, including the one passed in 2011 in North Carolina, abortion facilities are legally required to give the mother more information so she can make a truly informed abortion decision. Abortion will never be truly “safe,” especially for the unborn children who are targeted for death, but hopefully more mothers and their families will be spared the trauma of abortion and its complications.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Ethen’s Law: Ensuring Justice for Unborn Victims of Violence

In 2011, North Carolina’s General Assembly passed an Unborn Victims of Violence Act, becoming the 26th state to have legislation fully protecting unborn babies who suffer injury or death due to violence. The law is also known as Ethen’s Law; in 2007, Jenna Nielsen was 8 ½ months pregnant with Ethen when she was brutally stabbed to death outside a convenience store. Although the case has yet to be solved, should her attacker ever come to trial he could not be charged for the baby’s death. Since the passage of Ethen’s Law, however, anyone who injures or kills a mother and her unborn child, even without prior knowledge of a pregnancy, can be charged with two crimes. 

The law, which took effect in December 2011, has since ensured justice for several unborn victims. The first conviction came quickly; in January 2012, Mark Anthony Cox pleaded guilty to the double murder of Danielle Watson and her baby and is now serving two life sentences in prison. Watson, who was two months pregnant at the time, was engaged to be married. Her fiancĂ© Keith Smith was excited about being a husband and father. Without Ethen’s Law, his son would not have been recognized as an additional victim of Cox’s attack.

In an ongoing trial, Tina Louise Bailey has been charged with the murder of an infant who was stillborn in July 2012. Bailey advertised herself as a midwife; however, she is not certified in North Carolina, which requires all midwives to receive master’s level training and to pass a national certification exam. The mother reportedly labored for four days under Bailey’s care before going to a hospital, where her baby was stillborn. Bailey has been charged for falsely presenting herself as a midwife as well as for obstruction of justice. Under Ethen’s Law, she has also been charged with murder.

On May 1, 2013, Lance Powers pleaded guilty to a plethora of charges related to his October car crash that resulted in the death of his girlfriend and numerous injuries to others involved, including the unborn child of another driver. Mary Fontana was seven months pregnant when Powers’ vehicle crashed into hers. She and her children were all fine, but doctors were worried about her unborn child because of the bruising she sustained. Because of this, Powers was found guilty of battery on an unborn child. Fortunately, baby Breleigh is now four months old and in good health.

The most recent example of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act at work happened just last month. On April 18, Guanghui Lei of Greensboro allegedly shot and killed his wife and sister, who was in her second trimester. Lei has since been arrested and charged with the murders of the two women and the unborn child.

The tragedy of these crimes makes the importance of Ethen’s Law clear. When a mother or her unborn child is a victim of violence, the perpetrator should be tried for the injury of both. The families of these women and their unborn children are grateful that each are considered victims under the law. Without laws like the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, assaults on the unborn go unpunished and criminals receive lighter sentences than they deserve. As unfortunate as it is that such laws need to exist, North Carolinians should be glad to know that their state recognizes and protects the unborn victims of violence as such.