Image via Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to The Vine, where every week I strive to bring you updates from around the pro-life community to help you keep up with the ever constant battle to save lives. If you aren’t plugged-in, it is my sincere hope that The Vine will allow you to get familiar with those on the front lines and find your place among them.

Nothing can completely prepare you for childbirth. No matter how many classes taken, videos watched, conversations had, you simply don’t know how your childbirth experience will be until the day arrives. It is, for even the most seemingly prepared woman, a bit scary albeit exciting. For women who go into labor early, the event is can be even more stressful. While technology has improved the rate of survival among premature babies, as a parent you are still at the mercy of the hospital staff while your child(ren) are in the NICU. So imagine yourself in that position and being asked if you want your child to be enrolled in a study that may help and/or will only be measuring data “such as height or weight.” It sounds harmless and if it could help then what parent would say no?

In June of 2014, Sharyl Attkisson wrote at The Daily Caller about a government-backed study known as SUPPORT which purported to offer just that to parents of premature babies. As one mother who participated recalled, “I remember them telling me they were a support group who would pretty much hold my hand through the developmental process.” However, SUPPORT wasn’t really at all what parents were led to believe through the consent forms they were required to sign. Not mentioned were the risks of blindness, neurological damage and death for the 1,316 babies enrolled in the tax-payer funded study. Furthermore, as the purpose was actually to study the effects of oxygen levels on preemies, their children only received a predetermined amount of oxygen despite their individual needs – even hospital staff was kept out of the loop for fear they might give the participating babies the same care as other preemies. Of course babies died and for years their parents didn’t know the truth about what the study had done to their children. Finally, in 2013 a federal ethics office uncovered the extreme violation and the truth was revealed.

Yet, despite being over a year and a half later, as Attkisson covered this week, the government has done nothing in the wake of their own disturbing behavior. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services has pressured the ethics office to reverse their findings on the study. Some in the government are even hoping to loosen the laws regarding human research. Under the most pro-abortion president in US history, is it really any surprise that the government would lie to parents and use premature babies for dangerous experiments? If ever there was a case for why the federal government cannot be trusted with healthcare for all Americans, it is this incident.

Led by a government that places zero value on human life, it certainly seems as if pro-aborts are becoming more extreme in their beliefs. As Ben Johnson notes at LifeSiteNews, abortion supporters have gone far and away from “safe, legal and rare.”  These days it is very much their intent to normalize murdering your child: “I dream of the day when letting a professor know ‘I had an abortion’ is like saying ‘I have the flu,'” Johnson relays one woman writing. Wouldn’t want a pesky baby getting in the way of your important studies, or local play in this case. It is sad watching women play mental gymnastics trying to justify their beliefs, thinking they are behaving rationally while so obviously deciding life or death on nothing more than emotions. If only they could understand the emotions they will undoubtedly feel on the other side of an abortion. Unfortunately, many (like the woman in Johnson’s post) will push their reality away while encouraging other woman to do the same.

One reality about which pro-aborts would rather not admit is the current holocaust of special needs children. To be given the diagnosis of a potential disability in the womb is a death sentence in America today. 90% of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. Known usually for his bold and humorous political videos, Steven Crowder recently released a much more serious video highlighting the issue of special needs children not being given the chance at life. If you’ve ever met someone with special needs, as Crowder describes, they are the happiest people on the planet. It’s as if they know some secret that most people just can’t access, it’s a contagious joy that we all seem to be chasing in one way or another. Crowder’s video is one worth watching and sharing. Perhaps through it, more will understand that all life is valuable.

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So how can you up your game in the pro-life movement? Besides sharing Crowder’s video, if you haven’t already, there are so many ways to participate. An interesting idea, written by Sarah Terzo recently at Live Action News, involves simply using your computer to do a little research and write an email. The catch is that, as with most aspects of the fight for life, you have to tackle a subject matter that is difficult to think about: What do abortion clinics do with the remains of the babies whose lives they have taken? I admit, I hadn’t really considered what happens once the remains leave the facility. Writes Terzo:

So perhaps it would be valuable to find out whether your local abortion clinic has an agreement with a funeral home in the area, or whether they incinerate the remains or dispose of them in some other way. They have to hire someone to take away the medical waste and the dead babies. Putting pressure on that company, perhaps by starting a petition, organizing a letter writing campaign, or calling for a boycott, could have a big impact.

After all, if a clinic has no way to dispose of their “medical waste” they cannot operate their business. Further, what does it say about the businesses that agree to contracts with abortion clinics? If a business refuses to stop giving or receiving money from those who kill babies, then it is at least a public service to let others know such an important detail about that business.

That said, Chevron donated $26,000 to Planned Parenthood, according to LifeNews, and blocked a shareholder from complaining about the donation. The shareholder, a teacher from Chicago, eventually was able to file her resolution and speak to the Board of Directors but didn’t receive enough votes to pass the resolution. In the meantime, until the resolution is voted on again next year, pro-lifers can make their voices heard by avoiding Chevron and/or contacting the company.

If you missed out on 40 Days for Life and were wishing the event was in your community, now is the time to make that happen. 40 Days for Life has begun accepting applications for next year’s campaign and reports that people around the world have already submitted. If you are nervous about taking such a big step for life, it’s understandable and 40 Days for Life’s newest update recounts the story of how one woman overcame her fear to begin a campaign in Philadelphia. “Every campaign starts because of the faith of one person. Might that be you?”

Next week I look forward to bringing you some holiday gift ideas that will also support the pro-life movement! Until then, I pray blessings for you and for all committed to life in The Vine. Please feel free to email or tweet me with any gift ideas you love, stories you’d like to see covered or any organizations/people you’d like to see as the Branch For Life!