Monday, April 11, 2011

Melinda Delahoyde on 'The Snowballing Culture of Life'


What a year this has been so far - abortion has been in the headlines almost every day! The culture of life seems to be snowballing...on the one hand, pregnancy centers are growing in effectiveness and prominence. Lives are being saved every day and the power of the beauty of human life as revealed through ultrasound is having an impact on hearts and minds.

On the other hand, there's a growing awareness of the horrific business of abortion. Undercover videos of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, suggest that the organization covered up the trafficking of minors in the sex trade.

In other news, a former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson has left the organization and has launched a campaign to expose the organization for its practices. When she was a director, she was pressured to increase the number of abortions at her clinic in order to improve the bottom line.

As a result of this growing opposition to abortion, the House of Representatives voted earlier this year to defund Planned Parenthood.

While this culture of life gains momentum, Care Net President wrote a powerful and exciting article about the "snowballing culture of life" on American Family Association's news site,
For every person, there's a time in life when you face a crisis of belief, when what you thought was right all along now starts to give you pause. For those who have long thought Planned Parenthood was the answer to the community's issues involving unexpected pregnancies, now is that time... 
To read her full artilce, visit!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Melinda Delahoyde Responds to Reince Preibus' Comments on Care Net Pregnancy Centers


In a recent pre-debate interview of candidates vying for Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Preibus, who was ultimately elected, talked about his role in a local Care Net pregnancy center in Kenosha, WI.  The interview was conducted by leaders of Susan B. Anthony List and National Organization for Marriage and posted on YouTube:

Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde responded:

“Whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent, pro-life Americans are proudly touting their involvement with local pregnancy centers. Newly-elected Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was quick to share about his role in assisting a Wisconsin Care Net pregnancy center, and to explain the practical compassionate help these centers provide to women. He said the pregnancy center was “a great place and a safe harbor for women facing difficult situations where pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, food and diapers and an opportunity to share the love of Christ with people who are in real trouble and making some tough decisions.’ His involvement with a local pregnancy center was not a reflection of his party affiliation, but, he said, of his faith and understanding that life begins at conception, is precious, and should be protected. Care Net couldn’t agree more, and we thank the Chairman for raising awareness about this critical work. The beauty of pregnancy centers is reflected in volunteers like Reince, who lend a helping hand to people in their community and, in so doing, help to build a culture of life in America.”

What other leaders would you like to see champion the work of pregnancy centers?  For Care Net, we'd like to see leaders from diverse backgrounds, both sides of the political aisle, and all facets of the community...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Intimacy and Social Networking


One of our recent Care Net staff devotions was on the topic of intimacy. We were challenged with the following questions:

  • What characterizes intimacy?
  • What inhibits intimacy?
  • Do you long for intimacy?
That night, the movie, “The Social Network” premiered. I went to see it while some of the discussion on intimacy was still reverberating in my brain.

The movie is about the phenomenon known as Facebook. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what social networking is, and you know that Facebook is king of that universe.

The story centers on Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, a 19-year old wunderkind from Harvard, whose awkward personal relationships seem to indicate that he knows little about intimacy. But with his brilliant mind and computer programming skills, he designed an online network for strangers to connect with each other as “friends.”

The fantasy of Facebook is that it promotes some level of intimacy with all those people who have “confirmed” you as a friend. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On the other hand, shared passion promotes intimacy. The more difficult or challenging that passion, the more likely that the people involved will form close relationships and thus, develop a level of true intimacy with each other.

Working in the pro-life arena is born of a God-given passion for life. It reflects intimacy with God, who put that passion in our hearts, and called us to serve Him in a very counter-cultural way.

1 Timothy 6:19 challenges us to “take hold of that which is truly life.” If we are to “take hold of that which is truly life,” we need to seek intimacy with God. And the only way to do that is through repentance.

Repentance is the required ingredient that leads to intimacy. Facebook may have a few confessions posted online by some of its 500 million members, but that’s not the same as repentance.

After spiritual repentance and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, sanctification leads us to “good works” that God prepared in advance for us to do, for His glory (Ephesians 2:10).

Working in pregnancy centers reflects intimacy with God because it requires a repentant heart about abortion. We are privileged to do these “good works” and serve others as a true reflection of God’s heart. He has given us an honorable way to “take hold of life.”

In our sex-saturated, death-promoting culture, having a passion for life can only be from God. Sharing that passion with others leads to true intimacy.

No amount of social networking can compare with that.

Paula Cullen is Care Net's Regional Representative for the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Chilean Rescue: 'Bienvenido a la vida!'


As the 15th miner was rescued, the Chilean President Sebastian Pinera welcomed him with these words: "Bienvenido a la vida!", which in English means "Welcome to life!"

I just took a coffee break and in the break room was a TV showing live footage of the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners in San Jose Mine.  At the bottom of the screen was a ticker that read "21 of 33 Rescued".  I was mesmerized. If you haven't tuned in yet, don't miss this amazing moment...

Since August 5th, 33 men have been trapped beneath the rock, uncertain of whether they would see their families, friends, or the light of day ever again. 

With precious lives at stake, the world has rallied to save them.  No expense has been too large - rescue planners, medical authorities, mining executives and even NASA engineers, have provided support, guidance, and resources to sustain their lives and retrieve them out from under the dirt.

I cried watching this raw footage of the first man that was rescued, Florencio Avalos. The camera pans back and forth from the deep, dark hole to the family members - Florencio's wife, son, and family - all anxiously hoping to see the face of a husband, a dad, a son, a brother, once again. As soon as the rescue capsule emerges, the family is overcome with emotion.

Watch this three minute video just to be reminded about the preciousness of life and the tremendous effort we make in order to save lives. When a child is sick, we will search the nation to find the right doctor and raise expenses to cover medical bills.  When a friend is destitute, we will open our homes and provide food and shelter for months on end.  And when a woman is faced with an unplanned pregnancy, we will go the extra mile to provide support and love so that her baby is welcomed with open arms and into a culture that says, "Bienvenido a la vida!"

The Chilean Rescue reminds me of the work of pregnancy centers and the time, resources, energy, and love that is poured into the ministry of saving unborn lives and loving women faced with unplanned pregnancies. Pregnancy centers provide such a wide variety of free services.  We strive to remove every barrier that would prevent a woman from having the resources and support she needs to carry her child to term.  From parenting and childbirth classes to referrals to community and government agencies for medical care, counseling, job training, and housing.  If it's not a program or service we provide, we will search high and low to help you get connected to that help.  In many cases, the best service we provide is simply a loving, listening ear and the ongoing emotional support to walk someone through an extremely challenging time. 

The lives of 33 Chilean miners are precious. So is yours. And so is every unborn life. Inspire Life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Conversion of Abby Johnson, Former Planned Parenthood 'Employee of the Year'


One year ago on October 5, Abby Johnson, Employee of the Year at Planned Parenthood in Bryan/College Station, Texas declared she was now pro-life.  Her conversion should spur us all on to pray for and reach out to those in our lives who are yet to understand and embrace the sanctity of all human life. Shawn Carney, director of Coalition for Life in College Station writes about his encounter with Abby who had shown up in his office so unexpectedly that October day:

To see Abby Johnson, the regional Planned Parenthood affiliate’s employee of the year, in my office — in tears — was … a miracle!  Abby had seen an abortion on an ultrasound — for the first time — and was overcome by the reality of what actually happens during an abortion. She knew she was watching a helpless human being die. And she also knew immediately she could never do it again.
Abby, now a former Planned Parenthood staff member, came to our recent Care Net National Conference in Grapevine, Texas, to address the more than 1,300 attendees - pregnancy center directors, staff, board members, and all who somehow serve in the movement.  It was incredibly powerful to hear her praise the pro-life work of pregnancy centers.  So many in the abortion industry Abby has come out of generally do not have such nice things to say about our work. 

Her testimony is a reminder to me that those working in abortion clinics may genuinely think that they are helping women but they are sadly deceived.  It also is a reminder to me that I should be more faithful to pray for those caught up in this deception - not only for abortion providers, but also for those serving in national positions at Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Feminist Majority Foundation, and National Organization for Women to name a few.  Let's continue to pray for Abby as she shares her story around the country - for protection for her and her heart and that she would touch the lives and hearts of many about how precious human life is in all its forms.

Abby's is not the first miraculous conversion, and it will not be the last, if we are faithful to pray. Will you share your "pro-life conversion" story with us?  Will you join us in praying for the work of pregnancy centers and the end of abortion? 

Find out more how you can be involved in the Inspire Life campaign.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide


I loved reading Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The title, Half the Sky comes from an ancient Chinese proverb that states “Women hold up half the sky.” The book travels the globe bringing to light areas where women are being oppressed, abused, tortured and killed. Heartbreaking and ungodly topics like genital cutting, honor killings, rape of virgins, sexual slavery, forced early marriages, sky rocketing maternal mortality rates, denied education for girls and international poverty pepper the pages. The authors search to find solutions and interview victims and community workers that are making a difference in each of these areas. Sadly, the authors do not see abortion as a form of oppression but see worldwide access to abortion as a way out of oppression for women.

Half the Sky was not a light summer read but yet I found it energizing and thought provoking. The passionate commitment of the workers interviewed reminded me of the dedicated workers in the field of pro-life and pregnancy center work. The workers are compassionate and strong, standing up to the ungodly norms of the culture and confronting others to break free of attitudes that oppress women.

If we as Christians are going to provide opportunities for women to move out of oppression in our American abortion culture we must welcome unplanned and unwanted offspring into our world. We must continue to advocate for those that say no to abortion and make the culturally radical decision to give birth on their own. If women hold up “half the sky,” it is their children that give them the strength to do it.

Be encouraged my brothers and sisters in the field for life for God will “make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:6

Linda Cochrane is author of Forgiven and Set Free and post-abortion recovery consultant for Care Net.

Friday, August 20, 2010

ella - Women Deserve to Know the Truth


Worried about pregnancy? Forgot to use a condom? No problem: prevent that pregnancy with “emergency” contraception, better known as the morning-after pill, right? Well, it’s not that simple…

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved ella® (ulipristal acetate), a new drug closely related to Mifeprex (Mifepristone, otherwise known as “RU 486”). Like Mifeprex, ella has the potential to cause the death and abortion of an established pregnancy growing in the womb.

Wait a minute: I thought “emergency contraception” is supposed to prevent pregnancy, not abort one?! Actually, that depends upon how one defines “pregnancy.” A number of years ago, the medical community arbitrarily decided to redefine the start of pregnancy as at the point the embryo attaches to the womb. This flies in the face of the scientific reality that at conception, when the sperm and egg unite, a living being is formed already containing the blueprint (DNA) for eye/hair color, sex, fingerprints, etc., and this being is actively growing BEFORE he/she reaches the womb and attaches.

Plan B is the most common form of “emergency contraception.” According to the Plan B package insert for patients: “Plan B® is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may inhibit implantation (by altering the endometrium). It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun.” This latter mechanism prevents a newly formed living being from attaching. Many consider this a form of early abortion.

HRA Pharma, the company that manufactures the new drug, ella, claims that it is not an abortion pill. They claim that used at the dosage prescribed (important little caveat) it “just” prevents ovulation and/or implantation. Whoa, stop right there. We’ve already established that a new life has already formed before implantation and preventing implantation is a kind of abortion. But wait, it gets worse. Remember, ella is in the same drug family as Mifeprex, THE abortion pill. When women take Mifeprex, the newly attached and growing tiny human dies because the connection to the womb is dissolved. ella and Mifeprex both work the same way. ella doesn’t “just” prevent ovulation and implantation, but it also has the potential to abort an attached and growing pregnancy.

So, ella differs from Plan B in a HUGE way. Plan B does not disrupt a pregnancy once it is attached to the womb; however, like Mifeprex, ella CAN.

So, this brings me to this question: what is to keep doctors and women from using ella to abort pregnancies? Answer: nothing. Once the FDA approves a drug for a given indication, the FDA has NO power to control how it is used henceforth. Enter the “off-label” use of medications. This means that doctors are using a medication for a reason other than what it was originally approved for by the FDA. This practice is legal, although on the risky side. Often, there is very little scientific data (i.e. studies showing a benefit) to support off-label use of a given medication. So, the people who end up taking the drugs in these situations are essentially guinea pigs.

Doesn’t the FDA put any new drug application through a rigorous evaluation before allowing it to be sold on the market? Surely, a drug that will be used in young women who are at risk for pregnancy was thoroughly “checked out” before approving its use? You decide. Here is a list of people groups in which the drug has NOT been studied:
  • Women over age 35
  • Women who are taking hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, etc.)
  • Breast-feeding women
  • Adolescent females

Hmm…is there anything else that is not known about ella? Glad you asked. The potential impact on a pregnancy that is exposed but survives has not been thoroughly evaluated. Remember Plan B? Women are not supposed to use it as regular contraception, according to manufacturer’s instructions, but they do. They will likely do the same with ella and there is data lacking on the safety of repeated use.

Okay, so there are a number of concerns with this drug, now approved by the FDA. At least women have another option to help reduce unintended pregnancies, right? Wrong. If Plan B’s impact on pregnancy and abortion rates is any indicator of how effective ella may be, the news is not reassuring. Studies have shown that where Plan B is given to women, pregnancy and abortion rates remained essentially unchanged. Did you catch that? That means that Plan B has had ZERO impact on accomplishing its goal. So who has benefited? The pharmaceutical company. I predict one change with the introduction of ella: the abortion rates will go up as it becomes not another “emergency contraceptive” on the market, but another abortion pill masquerading as one.

Women deserve to know what they are being given. Get the word out.

Sandy Christiansen, MD, FACOG is Care Net's National Medical Consultant. To read more about ella, visit If you're planning to attend the Care Net National Conference in September 2010, sign up for the "Medication Abortions" workshop with Dr. Julie McDonald to learn more.