Friday, December 24, 2004

Abortion Illustrations

The following are illustrations of abortion procedures, sourced from medical websites.

Medical University of South Carolina- Medical Illustration of a Dilatation and Curettage 
(D and C)

   Nucleus Medical Media - Medical Illustration of a Suction Curettage Abortion at 9 Weeks Gestation (12 weeks LMP)

Medical Illustration Copyright © 2010 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

The Doe Report -  Medical Illustration of a Suction Curettage Abortion at 9 Weeks Gestation (12 weeks LMP)

The Doe Report (published by Medical Legal Art)

Nucleus Medical Media - Medical Illustration of a Dilatation and Evacuation Abortion Performed at 14 Weeks Gestation (16 weeks LMP)

Medical Illustration Copyright © 2010 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

Nucleus Medical Media - Medical Illustration of a Dilation and Evacuation Abortion (D&E) at 23 Weeks Gestation  (25 weeks LMP)

Medical Illustration Copyright © 2010 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

Nucleus Medical Media and the Doe Report are both non-political, professional medical illustration sites and Nucleus Medical Media is the leading author, publisher and licensor of medical animations and medical illustrations on the Internet.

Abortion Information

Facing an unplanned pregnancy is hard. Fear, confusion, and anger are just some of the feelings that you may be experiencing. Before you decide, you deserve to know the facts. The law gives you the right to be fully informed about this important decision. Here is some helpful information to read through as you, your partner, friend, or family member considers having an abortion. Take the time to think this decision through and learn about relevant information to make an informed decision. Remember, you are your own best advocate.

If you are struggling with any kind of issues, in addition to this pregnancy, please see my listing of International Crisis Hotlines and Resources to find help for your situation, near you

If you are considering having an abortion due to maternal health issues or a poor prenatal diagnosis, please visit Adverse Prenatal Diagnosis and Maternal Health Conditions Information and Support for resources, information, and support.

Do you know that you can get real, confidential, free, non-judgmental help to continue your pregnancy and continue your goals and care for your family? Go to this link to learn more.

Pregnancy termination, also known as therapeutic or elective abortion, is the medical process of ending a pregnancy by surgical or medical means which remove the developing human embryo or fetus and other pregnancy tissue.

General Medical Information on Procedures:
(These websites are written in an easy to understand format for the lay person)

E-Medicine: Abortion
A non-political, professional medical site with an overview of information on medical and surgical abortion

MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia: Abortion
A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Insitutes of Health. A non-political professional medical website.

American Pregnancy Association: Surgical Abortion Procedures
An overview of information on surgical abortion, description of procedures, side effects, and risks.

American Pregnancy Association: Medical Abortion Procedures
An overview of information on medical abortion, description of procedures, side effects, and risks.

Medical Abortion - Methotrexate and Misoprostol (4 to 9 weeks LMP):
This method is used from five to nine weeks Last Menstrual Period. Methotrexate stops the growth of rapidly multiplying cells by disrupting the availability of folic acid, which is needed to build new cells. In a pregnant woman, methotrexate goes straight to the cells of the "trophoblast" - the cells that are rapidly forming the placenta. Once the trophoblast has been cut off from its supply of folic acid, the connection that it did have to the uterine lining loosens, and production of HCG (the hormone that tells your body not to shed its lining) stops. The embryo is deprived of its blood supply and food source, and will therefore expire and float within the uterus. Three to seven days later you are instructed to insert misoprostol suppositories into your vagina (alternatively you may take pills orally) which causes the cervix (opening into the uterus) to dilate and contractions (cramping) which empty the uterus. The experience will be very similar to a miscarriage: there will be heavy cramping and bleeding and for up to 72 hours, and some women experience nausea associated with the pain and what is expelled may contain large blood clots and/or the grayish-colored gestational sac with the embryo.

Methotrexate and Misoprostol
Information on the medications used in a medical abortion can be found here, under the medication name. A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Insitutes of Health. A non-political professional medical website.

Medical Abortion - Mifepristone (RU486) and Misoprostol (4 to 9 weeks LMP):
This method is used from five to nine weeks Last Menstrual Period. Mifepristone (also known as RU486) is a stomach ulcer medication which is being off-prescribed in combination with Misoprostol to terminate pregnancies. First, a thorough exam should be given to be sure that your pregnancy is not ectopic (tubal) and that there is no IUD in place. Mifepristone is first given and blocks the hormone progesterone, which is necessary to sustain the pregnancy. Misoprostol is then give day to a few days later and causes contractions which empty the uterus. The experience will be very similar to a miscarriage: there will be heavy cramping and bleeding, and what is expelled may contain large blood clots and/or the grayish-colored gestational sac with embryonic tissue.

Mifepristone (RU486) and Misoprostol
Information on the medications used in a medical abortion can be found here, under the medication name. A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Insitutes of Health. A non-political professional medical website.

United States Food and Drug Administration: Mifeprex (RU-486)
This is the US Government's Food and Drug Administration website which includes the FDA labeling of Mifeprex™, patient forms, Medication Guide, and other documents about the approval of this drug.

RU486 Facts
This website contains medical information on RU486 documented from quotes and citations from reliable sources such as government documents, medical journals and newspapers articles.

Surgical Abortion - Manual Vacuum Aspiration (5 to 12 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP)):
This surgical abortion is done early in the pregnancy up until 12 weeks after the woman's last menstrual period. A long, thin tube, called a cannula is passed through the cervix and into the uterus. The end of a large syringe attached to the tube is drawn out, creating suction and and the cannula is swept across the surface of the uterus, drawing the embryo/fetus, and other pregnancy tissues through the cannula, into the tubing, and into a collection bottle.

WebMD: Manual and Vacuum Aspiration for Abortion
A non-political, professional medical site with information and an overview on the manual vacuum aspiration and vacuum aspiration procedure.

Surgical Abortion - Vacuum Aspiration/Suction Curettage (5 to 12 weeks LMP):
Machine vacuum aspiration involves the use of a hollow tube (cannula) that is attached by tubing to a bottle and a pump, which provides a vacuum. First, the cervix is injected with a local anesthetic and then dilated with sticks of an absorbent material or rods of increasing diameter. The cannula is then passed into the uterus, the pump is turned on, and the cannula is swept across the surface of the uterus and the amniotic fluid, embryo/fetus, and other pregnancy tissues are removed by suction, passing through the cannula, into the tubing, and into a collection bottle. A curette (a spoon or loop at the end of a long handle) may then be used to ensure all pregnancy tissue has been removed. After the surgical abortion, you can expect bleeding to continue for four to six weeks.

WebMD: Manual and Vacuum Aspiration for Abortion
A non-political, professional medical site with information and an overview on the manual vacuum aspiration and vacuum aspiration procedure.

Nucleus Medical Media - Medical Illustration of a Suction Curettage Abortion at 9 Weeks Gestation (12 weeks LMP)
The Doe Report -  Medical Illustration of a Suction Curettage Abortion at 9 Weeks Gestation (12 weeks LMP)
Nucleus Medical Media and the Doe Report are both non-political, professional medical illustration sites

Surgical Abortion - D and C (Dilation and Curettage) (4 to 14 weeks LMP): 
In a D and C (Dilation and Curettage) abortion, the cervix is injected with a local anesthetic and then dilated with sticks of an absorbent material or rods -of increasing diameter. Then a curette (a spoon or loop at the end of a long handle) is introduced into the uterus and swept across the surface of the uterus to remove the embryo/fetus, placenta, and other pregnancy tissue. After the surgical abortion, you can expect bleeding to continue for four to six weeks.

E-Medicine Health: Dilation and Curettage
A non-political, professional medical site with information and an overview on the D and C procedure

MEDLINEplus Interactive Tutorial: Dilation and Curettage
A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Insitutes of Health. A non-political professional medical website.

Medical University of South Carolina- Medical Illustration of a Dilatation and Curettage (D and C)

Surgical Abortion - D and E (Dilation and Evacuation) (12 to 24 weeks LMP)
This procedure occurs over the course of 1 to 2 days. At the first appointment, the cervix is injected with a local anesthetic and laminara, sticks of an absorbent material, are inserted into the cervix and the procedure may occur later in the day. If the procedure is to occur on the second day, the laminara are removed and replaced with additional laminara to continue to dilate the cervix. The procedure may then preformed several hours later. When the procedure is to be preformed, the patient is given an anesthetic and the laminara are removed. A suction cannula is passed into the uterus, the pump is turned on, and the cannula is swept across the surface of the uterus and the amniotic fluid, fetal tissue, and other pregnancy tissues are removed by suction, passing through the cannula, into the tubing, and into a collection bottle. Forceps may be then used to dissect and  remove the remaining fetal body and placental tissue. A sharp curette (a sharp-edged spoon or loop at the end of a long handle) may then be used to ensure all pregnancy tissue has been removed. After the surgical abortion, you can expect bleeding to continue for four to six weeks.

WebMD: Dilation and evacuation (D and E) for Abortion
A non-political, professional medical site with an overview of information on the D and E procedure

Nucleus Medical Media - Medical Illustration of a Dilatation and Evacuation Abortion Performed at 14 Weeks Gestation (16 weeks LMP)
Nucleus Medical Media - Medical Illustration of a Dilation and Evacuation Abortion (D&E) at 23 Weeks Gestation (25 weeks LMP)
Nucleus Medical Media is a non-political, professional medical illustration site

Surgical Abortion - D and X (Intact Dilation and Extraction) (24 to 38 weeks LMP)
This procedure occurs over the course of 2 to 3 days. At the first appointment, the cervix is injected with a local anesthetic and laminara, sticks of an absorbent material, are inserted into the cervix. Also, at this time an intracardiac injection may be given to the fetus to stop the heart. On the second day, the first set of laminara are removed and replaced with additional laminara to continue to dilate the cervix. The procedure may then preformed several hours later or the next day. When the procedure is to be preformed, the patient is given an anesthetic and the laminara are removed. The abortion practitioner, then uses a suction cannula to rupture the amniotic sac and drain the amniotic fluid. Next, the practitioner introduces forceps through the dilated cervix, into the uterus and grasping a fetal limb, delivers the fetus feet first, until the head is near the cervix. The practitioner then either collapses the fetal head with forceps or using surgical scissors, making an incision at the base of the skulls and using a suction cannula to remove intracranial material until the fetal head is collapsed, the fetus is then completely delivered. A suction cannula or curette is then swept across the surface of the uterus to remove the remaining pregnancy tissue.

Surgical Abortion - Labor Induction (24 to 38 weeks LMP)
This procedure occurs over the course of 2 to 3 days. At the first appointment, the cervix is injected with a local anesthesic and laminara, sticks of an absorbant material, are inserted into the cervix. Also, at this time an intracardiac injection may be given to the fetus to stop the heart. On the second day, the first set of laminara are removed and replaced with additional laminara to continue to dilate the cervix. The procedure may then preformed several hours later or the next day. When the procedure is to be preformed, the patient is given a pelvic exam and the laminara are removed and a medication to soften the cervix may be placed in the vagina. The patient is then given a bed and given an anesthestic or pain relief and a medication intraveinously to induce labor. The patient may then labor anywhere from a few to several hours to deliver the stillborn baby. The baby will then be quickly removed upon delivery and weighed and measured and cleaned up at this time if you wish to view or hold it. You will then be taken to an exam room or given privacy in your bed and given a pelvic exam and uterine massage to help deliver the placenta and remaining pregnancy tissue. Sometimes a dilation and curettage is needed to ensure all the pregnancy tissue is completely removed. If you so chose, you will then be given an opportunity to view and hold your baby. Your baby will then be taken away and cared for according to your wishes, whether you prefer it is turned over to a mortuary, medical examiner, or if it is to be disposed of with medical waste (incinerated).

Self-Induced/Herbal Abortion (3 to 9 weeks LMP):
There are two types of herbs that can have an effect on a developing pregnancy: emmenagogues and abortifacients. An emmenagogue is an herb which encourages your period to start. Most emmenagogue sare not strong enough to cause an abortion; however, they can in some women. Abortifacient herbs can be used to both encourage your period to come or cause an abortion. Herbs, can be beneficial to our health, but they can also be potentially dangerous. Fresh herbs can be potent and certain herbs are toxic if taken internally - just because they grew out of the ground doesn't make them safe. Herbal supplements are not tested or regulated by the FDA (U.S. Federal Drug Administration). The quality and potency of an herbal supplement varies from product to product. Also, keep in mind that labels may not always accurately represent the contents of the bottle. A number of factors must be taken into consideration when thinking about herbal abortion: has a viable uterine pregnancy been confirmed and ectopic pregnancy ruled out, how old is she, what is her general health, emotional state, support network, etc. Also, keep in mind that an herbal abortion can be dangerous if you take more than you should, take something not meant for internal consumption, have an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, and/or have certain health conditions (high blood pressure, epilepsy, allergies, diabetes, liver, heart or kidney problems, an IUD or recent PID (pelvic inflammatory disease). The results and effects of using herbal supplements to end pregnancy are often based off of personal anecdotes, not solid evidence from studies. Every individual elicits a different response to using herbs and the outcome is unpredictable. Inducing miscarriage is not worth risking your life.

United States Food and Drug Administration Warns About Home Abortion Kits
A consumer health warning about unsafe home abortion kits and female self-sterilization kits sold on the internet.

Guides - What to Expect/What It's Like:

What to Expect: Medical Abortion
Describes how a medical abortion is done, what it will physically feel like to have a medical abortion and how one may feel after it is over. A non-political and non-religious article for informational purposes.

What to Expect: Surgical Abortion
Describes how a surgical abortion is preformed, what it will physically feel like to have a surgical abortion, and how one may feel after it is over. A non-political and non-religious article for informational purposes.

Women Speak About Their Pregnancy and Abortion Experience:

After Abortion Support Site
I recommend this site for insight on how you might feel emotionally after your abortion and for support afterwords. This is a neutral, non-political, non-judgmental peer support site for women who have had an abortion and their support persons.

The Voices of Men and Women Who've Experienced Abortion(s)
There's a growing group of blogs where women and men write about their personal experience with abortion. The following is a listing of online journals and blogs, written by individuals, often from the day they found out about the pregnancy to recovery after the abortion.

Women's Abortion Stories - Speaking for Ourselves
The following stories have been sent to Abortion Concern by women who have experienced difficulties or distress after their abortions. We acknowledge that not all women react this way after an abortion. However, the purpose of this list is not to provide ‘balance,’ but to help other women who are hurting after an abortion to realize that they are not alone.

Abortion Changes You: Explore Stories
Women and men write about their personal experiences with abortion.

Project Voice
Write anonymously about your abortion experience and read a range of other women's stories.

Abortion Decisions: Many Voices. Many Choices
Telling our stories helps us to understand each other.

Considerations for Choosing an Abortion Provider:
Here are some considerations to keep in mind to help you find a reputable and safe clinic. You're a worthy person and deserve quality health care.

Do not trust the appearance of newspaper or Yellow Pages advertisements!
They don't contain enough information to make an informed decision about the provider and may provide misleading information. If you feel comfortable, ask a friend or family member if they know a good clinic in your area. Call a local hospital referral service or your doctor’s office.

Beware of clinic workers who try to rush you into a quick decision.
Beware of clinic workers who rush you into a decision, especially when you call to make an appointment. This is a difficult and life-changing decision which shouldn't be rushed. Take some time to think it over and seriously consider your other options. Ask if you can take a week to be sure. A few days of consideration will not limit your choices. If you feel pressure to book quickly, you might want to search elsewhere.

Beware of abortion clinics that are stuffed with clients.
They are probably performing the abortions "assembly line" style on particular days of the week. The doctor and support staff are more prone to being tired, and he or she will most likely not take the time to get to know you, your concerns, or your situation. They may not have time to adequately clean rooms and equipment between abortions. If the waiting room seems stuffed with patients, you might want to look for a different clinic - one that takes the time, consideration, and the safety precautions that you deserve.

Ask About the Clinic’s Services:
How many visits are required? Do they offer pre and post-procedure counseling? Are you permitted to bring children with you to the clinic? Are there childcare facilities on the premises? What types of anesthesia or other pain management options are offered? Can your support person attend counseling with you and/or stay with you during the procedure? Are there counselors available to accompany you in the procedure if you request it? Also, if a male physician will be performing the exam or procedure, you have the legal right to have a support person or a female nurse/surgical assistant present in the room. How long will you be at the clinic? Is there a 24 hour hotline you can call about post-procedure concerns?

Beware of clinics that offer counseling but promote abortion as the only workable choice.
The "counselors" have probably been trained to sell you an abortion and are not looking after your best interests. Such persons may try to make pregnancy sound frightening. A fair-minded counselor will be realistic about pregnancy, but help you explore all of your choices. It would be best to talk with someone who will present all your options in an objective manner.

Beware of clinics which do not give you a frank discussion of your health risks.
When you ask a question about your risk of developing a complication, you should be answered with a statistical number, not "It's rare", "Don't worry about that", or "That won't happen." Common problems include pain and infection. Less common but more serious risks include incomplete abortion/retained products of conception, hemorrhaging, and anesthetic complications. If you ask about fetal development in relevance to your pregnancy, it's important that they discuss the developmental stage with you (the size and capabilities for instance)and portray fetal development accurately. Beware of clinics which use euphemisms or use vague and misleading comparisons. Frank and honest discussions are always better than leaving things unsaid.

Your health and safety, as well as your well-being matter.
You can safeguard your health by making sure the procedure is being preformed by a a board-certified physician who has completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, not a nurse or other clinic personnel. Ask if there are any lawsuits pending against the clinic. Ask if any of the clinic doctors have been implicated of any wrongdoing. Also ask about the support staff, does the staff consist of RNs, LPNs, or lay volunteers? Will there be an attending R.N. in the recovery room and will the performing physician be present at all times in the hospital or clinic while patients are recovering? Will they treat you for both immediate and post-procedure complications? If you need to be hospitalized, does the administrator or attending doctor have hospital admitting privileges and if so, at which hospitals? What are the transportation arrangements? Beware of any "waivers" or "disclaimers" that release the doctor and/or staff from liability for abortion related complications. You do not have to sign this waiver, and if you feel pressured to do so, take it as a sign that you should find a different clinic.

Make sure the clinician takes a detailed health history.
There are many important factors that can affect the safety of the procedure for you, including past pregnancies, any chronic health conditions you may have, illegal drug use or excessive alcohol use, RH factor, etc. If the abortion will be done non-surgically, then any history of circulatory disorders, liver, or heart trouble is crucial. Missing something on the history could mean serious complications for you. Blood work and a pelvic examination should be performed as well as an ultrasound at the initial appointment.

Parental Involvement (Teens):
If you are a teen, be careful at a clinic that does not want to involve your parents. They might tell you that your parents don't need to know or offer to help you get a judicial bypass. Remember that your parents care about what happens to you and would want to know about this to help you through. If you fear violence or abuse from your parents, the clinic should be offering to help you find a safe place to go instead of sending you back home. A secret abortion will do nothing to change your abusive situation, so make sure that they are thinking of you.

Support and Recovery Resources After Abortion:

Abortion Recovery Resources
This is a comprehensive directory of resources for men and women seeking emotional recovery and peace after an abortion. Here you will find organizations, websites, and books of diverse beliefs and practices. No one will judge you or try to make you believe anything, they have been where you are and are there just to help.

E-Medicine: Abortion Complications, an article by Slava V Gaufberg, MD, FACEP
Aftercare and clinical indications of complications to look out for following an induced abortion. A non-political professional medical website.

Are You Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy or Know Someone Who Is?

It's not an easy time for you. You suspect that you may be pregnant or you have had a positive pregnancy test. Or you may be here seeking out information and/or help for a friend or relative. Here you'll find a wealth of resources and information to educate, empower, and support you in the decision-making process, in pregnancy and parenting/adoption, and to guide you towards resouces which can help you better your life.

Table of Contents:
Pregnancy Resource Centers
Housing, Food, Clothing, Hygiene Items, and Home Goods
Your Health During Preganancy and Beyond
Pregnancy and Parenting Support in Your Community
Continuing Your Education
Daycare is Now Affordable!
Money-Saving Ideas
Parenting Issues
Adoption Information
Online Support Websites
Online Support Groups
Recommended Unplanned Pregnancy and Birth Books

If you are struggling with any kind of issues, in addition to this pregnancy, please see my listing of International Crisis Hotlines and Resources to find help for your situation, near you

You can get real, confidential, free, non-judgemental help to continue your pregnancy and continue your goals and care for your family

Non-Violent Choice Directory
Life-affirming support for both the women and children of crisis pregnancy--before, during, and after birth.  Includes a section of resources on ethical crisis pregnancy support services; mother; child health; parenting & childrearing; adoption, foster care, guardianship; food and nutrition; clothing; shelter; finances; income; education; employment;career; and relationships.

Pregnancy Resource Centers:
Concerned About What You've Heard About Pregnancy Resource Centers
Read This!
4,800 life-affirming, CONFIDENTIAL, national organizations and agencies (3,400 in the USA and 1,400 outside the USA)
All “800,” “888” and “877” numbers are TOLL-FREE
Giving free, nonjudgmental, confidential services for girls and women facing unplanned pregnancies, including: pregnancy testing and options counseling, childbirth preparation and parenting/life skills courses, material aid (new and gently-used maternity/baby clothing, diapers, baby items, furniture, etc.), support groups for single parents and their family members, adoption decision making and post-adoption counseling, community referrals (housing, legal, medical, day care, employment, adoption), community education programs and post abortion programs. The objective of these organizations is not a political one, but a most practical one: to ensure that every woman knows that the resources she needs in order to continue her pregnancy are available.

International Pregnancy Resource Centers and Maternity Homes
Australia, Canada (providence-by-providence), England, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, United States (national and state-by-state)
International Pregnancy Resource for Jerusalem
Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS)

American Pregnancy Helpline
Afraid you’re pregnant? Considering abortion? The Helpline can help. They offer free and confidential pregnancy tests and information about your options. Very good secular emphasis, discusses all choices including abortion extremely nonjudgmentally.
Phone: 1-888-4-OPTIONS or 1-800-672-2296

Birthright International
Birthright provides non-religion-based caring, and unjudgmental support to girls and women who are distressed by an unplanned pregnancy. Using its own resources and those of the community, Birthright offers positive and loving alternatives. They provide friendship and emotional support, free pregnancy testing, and maternity and baby clothes. They also give information and referrals to help clients meet legal, medical, financial, and housing needs. All Birthright services are free, absolutely confidential, and available to any woman regardless of age, race, creed, economic or marital status.  900 centers in the USA/Canada. Some in South Africa and Colombia.
Phone: 1-800-550-4900 (24hrs/7 days a week)
Locate a Center Near You:
Tel: 1-800-550-4900

CareNet International/Pregnancy Centers/OptionLine
A non-profit organization supporting a network of over 600 Christian-based pregnancy centers across the United States and Canada. These centers offer free pregnancy tests, peer-counseling, post abortion support and other practical help to women and men facing pregnancy-related concerns.
Phone: 1-800-395-HELP (1-800-395-4357)  24hrs/7 days a week

Catholic Charities
Social services for anyone (you don’t need to be Catholic) include: adoption, family support, help for at-risk children, housing assistance, job training, respite care, home care, parenting education, pregnancy counseling, prison ministry, refugee and immigration assistance, and treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.
Phone: 1-800-CARE-002, 24-hour national service

The Gabriel Project
The Gabriel Project is an effort by church communities to help women in what might seem to be a crisis pregnancy. The mission is to provide the needed emotional, physical and spiritual support during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby as long as help is needed as well as to help women established relationships with members of the church, bringing new hope and comfort to those who are alone. See the website for state and local hotline numbers.

The National Crisis Pregnancy Helpline
Phone: 1-800-521-5530
The National Life Center
Phone: 1-800-848-LOVE (5683), staffed 24/7

The Nurturing Network
"The objective of the Nurturing Network is not a political one, but a most practical one: to ensure that every woman knows that the resources she needs in order to continue her pregnancy are available by calling the Network's toll free number: 1-800-TNN-4MOM. Volunteer members form an extensive employment, medical, educational, counseling and residential network which enables a mother to continue the life of her unborn child without sacrificing her own hopes and dreams. Services include medical assistance, financial assistance, nurturing homes, educational programs, employment, adoption counseling, preparation for parenthood. Staffed during normal business hours, specializing in help for college and professional women; 32,000 volunteer members (nurses, doctors, social workers).
Phone: 1-800-866-4666
Address: PO Box 1498, White Salmon, WA 98672

Are You In Need of Housing, Food, Clothing, Hygiene Items, or Home Goods?

Maternity Homes:
Good Counsel Homes
Maternity housing serving NY/NJ/CT
Phone: 1-800-723-8331; 1-201-795-0637
Web Address:

Hidden Choices: National Association of Maternity Homes (United States)
Address: P.O. Box 194
Greens Farms, CT 06838
Phone: (877) 4-U-TYLER or  (877) 488-9537
Web Address:

Life Call
Provides shelters and assistance to pregnant women
Phone: 1-800-662-2678
In Nebraska call: 1-800-669-8086
In California call: 1-800-228-0332

Find a Shelter:
Read E-mails from Women Who've Gotten Help:

Assistance with Housing:
HUD Housing Counseling Program
Catholic Charities USA directs the multi-agency Housing Counseling Program, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Through the program, housing counselors in more than 40 Catholic Charities agencies are trained to provide homebuyer education, mortgage delinquency and reverse mortgage counseling, relocation counseling, and other services.

Housing/Section 8
Section 8 is a government subsidy which assists with paying rent.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Habitat for Humanity International
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses. Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor—sweat equity—into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.

Directory of Soup Kitchens, Food Banks/Pantries, and Shelters (United States/Canada)

If You Are Homeless or May Become Homeless (Shelters and Resources in the U.S.)

Homeless Assistance in the United States
An explination of the assistance and rehabilitation programs available to the homeless and at-risk in the United States.

National Listing of Homeless Shelters (United States)

Listing of Homeless Shelters (United States)

Assistance with Food and Nutrition:
Directory of Food Banks in Canada

Action Against Hunger (International)
Action Against Hunger’s 6,000+ field staff work in over 40 countries to carry out innovative, lifesaving programs in nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, health, and advocacy. Our programs reach some 5 million people a year, restoring dignity, self-sufficiency, and independence to vulnerable populations around the world.

Directory of Soup Kitchens, Food Banks/Pantries, and Shelters (United States/Canada)

Directory of Food Banks in the U.S.

America's Second Harvest Food Banks (United States)
U.S. hunger-relief organization that distributes food to millions of hungry Americans through a network of food banks and food-rescue organizations.

St. Vincent DePaul Society (International)
Promotes a worldview based on the life and teaching of St. Vincent de Paul, in assisting the needy with food, toiletries and clothing.

Assistance with Clothing, Hygiene Items, and Home Goods:
This is an international organization that lets you place wanted adds in your community for free things, or to view offer adds from people giving away things. Everything must be free and often times you get what you ask for or it is already being offered for free, you can get anything from baby furnature to clothing and toys. when you go to the link choose the area you live in and become a member (free) each community has their own personnal site linked to the main page

Dress for Sucess
Career Gear
Dress for Sucess, with affiliates in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, UK, US.) Charitable organization that offers free interview clothing and other support services to low-income women entering or returning to the workforce. Career Gear, with affiliates in several US cities, offers similar services for low-income men.

Share Your Soles
This nonprofit gathers and distributes free, clean secondhand shoes for impoverished people in the US, especially on Native American reservations, and in poorer nations around the globe.

Inexpensive Maternity Clothes
A short how-to-find guide from LovetoKnowPregnancy

Diaper Banks
In the US, government benefit programs for low income individuals, such as WIC and food stamps, do not cover the ever-rising, expensive cost of diapers. However, diaper banks have been established to address this problem at the local level.
Southern Arizona; The Valley of the Sun, Arizona
Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, California
Hartford, Connecticut; New Haven, Connecticut
Southwest Florida
South Boston, Massachusetts
Rhode Island
South King County (Seattle), Washington
Autism Support Group of Genessee County, Michigan helps families with older autistic children still in diapers to get them for free

Miracle Diapers: Cloth Diapers for Low-Income Families
Miracle Diapers has assisted those in need all over the world. Most of our applicants are from the US and Canada, but we welcome applications from anywhere. We have joyfully sent diapers to Latvia, Germany, Japan, Australia, and India to name a few. Though our focus is on cloth diapers, we accept any donations that promote natural living and baby care. We accept and redistribute baby carriers, natural baby items, unused natural menstrual items, unused cloth nursing pads and other nursing accessories, baby clothes and furniture."

GreenNappies (U.K.)
Charitable project in the United Kingdom that offers free or low-cost eco-friendly nappies

The Thrift Shopper (U.S.)

Charity Shops (Great Britain and Ireland) (Australia)
How to find bargains or recycle your old clothes and raise funds for (hopefully) good causes at the same time.

Craigs List
Hundreds of cities in dozens of countries now have their own edition of Craigslist, the online bulletin board for free classified ads, including ads for free or low-cost cars, clothing, furniture, toys, and home goods of all sorts.

The Garage Sale Hunter
Garage or yard sales can be good places to find inexpensive, secondhand clothes . You can also hold your own and raise a little money while recycling clothes you no longer need.

Goodwill Industries International, Inc.: Find a Goodwill near you
"Goodwill Industries' operates more than 1,900 retail stores to fund career training and employment programs that help people overcome barriers to employment and become independent, tax-paying members of their communities."

The Salvation Army (International)
"Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination"

St. Vincent DePaul Society (International)
Promotes a worldview based on the life and teaching of St. Vincent de Paul, in assisting the needy with food, toiletries and clothing.

For more crisis resources please see my International Crisis Hotlines and Resources listing

Your Health During Pregnancy and Beyond

If you've recently discovered you are pregnant, even if you're undecided, it's important for you to take care of yourself. Here you can find resources and information on medical care, exercise, and nutrition during pregnancy.

American Pregnancy Helpline: About Pregnancy

Giving Up Addiction: One Woman's Story and Advice

Learn About Emotional Abuse

Escaping Abuse: One Woman’s Story and Advice for Breaking Away

March of Dimes
Information on prenatal care and a whole range of topics pertaining to staying healthy during pregnancy.

Mayo Clinic: Pregnancy Center
Tons of information on pregnancy from pre-conception through labor and birth

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
Physician Finder

Keep Kids
A medical and parenting site designed as 'a Pediatrician's guide to your children's health and safety.' Offers free parenting advice, online forums, info product recalls and pediatric news updated daily, an immunization schedule, and many other interactive features.

Pregnancy Insurance
Personal guide to help you navigate through maternity coverage, alternative care, and personal care to help reduce your prenatal care expenses

Links to U.S. State and Local Departments of Public Health
Your local department of health can provide referrals for financial assistance for medical care and referrals for low-cost or free medical care in your community

For more health and wellness resources, see International Crisis Hotlines and Resources

Pregnancy and Parenting Support in Your Community

Healthy Families America
A national program, offered through your local department of community and family services, designed to help expectant and new parents get their children off to a healthy start. Families participate voluntarily in the program and receive education, support, and referrals through home visits from trained staff.

Victorian Order of Nurses (Canada)
Offers a wide variety of volunteer and professional programs to those in need. They offer a Healthy Baby and Me program is designed to provide education and support to youth who are either expecting a baby or parenting an infant. Also their Parent/Infant Visiting Program provides hands-on assistance to families, overwhelmed by caring for newborns, who aren’t getting support from family or friends.

Visit your phone book's yellow pages and search under "Family and Social Services" to find support groups in your community.

Continuing Your Education

A Poor Mama's Guide to Paying for College

Our Rights as Pregnant or Parenting Students

Athletes and Pregnancy/Parenting:
Pregnant and Parenting Student-Athletes: Resources and Model Policies from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (US) and Issues Related to Pregnancy and Athletic Participation from the Women's Sports Foundation. The NCAA and the Women's Sports Foundation supports your right to keep your athletic scholarship in the event you are pregnant or parenting, and to be free from other forms of discrimination against you and your child(ren).

The Higher Education Alliance for Residential Single Parent Programs "provides social and academic support to single parents in their pursuit of higher education while promoting national awareness through networking, education, and advocacy." Check each member college for its financial aid opportunities. See the HEARSPP website for contact info on its current member programs at:
Baldwin-Walllace College, Berea, Ohio, USA.
Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, USA.
College of Saint Mary, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA.
Misercordia University, Dallas, Pennsylvania, USA.
Saint Paul's College, Lawrenceville, Virginia, USA; HBCU (Historically Black College or University).
Texas College, Tyler, Texas, USA; HBCU.
Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, USA.

Campuses with other kinds of support services (in many cases including financial aid):
Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA.
Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
Dartmouth University, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.
University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio.
Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.
William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA.
University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, USA.
University of San Diego, San Diego, California, USA.
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

National Coalition for Campus Children's Centers (US). Represents the interests of the 2100+ campus child care centers in the US. Believes that high-quality, standard-setting "campus child care should be provided as an integral part of higher education systems." Publishes a free fact sheet on how to start a center.

College Mom Magazine. "Mission is to feature mothers on college campuses who are fighting for their equal rights to education and who are forging the way for mothers to come behind them...Offers a forum for college moms to offer advice to other moms, and offers information of interest to college moms. We believe that the denial of equal rights to education to mothers in high schools and on college campuses is a contributor to poverty in the United States. We hope that by fighting for our rights on college campuses we can lift these institutions, many who are now breaking laws, up to our level of responsibility and accountability." Includes scholarship and financial aid information.

Moms in School
An online community dedicated to providing support, advice, etc to pregnant and parenting moms who are in vocational training and college/university.

Scholarships and Financial Aid:
American Indian College Fund.
American Indian Graduate Center.
Offers graduate scholarships.
The Asian Reporter: Scholarships and Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Foundation.
Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Scholarship Resources.
Latino College Dollars.

National Council of La Raza: DREAM Act. (English, Spanish.) Bright, motivated, hard-working students in the US are routinely denied financial aid, even when there's enough to go around--simply because they are undocumented immigrants. Why and how to make a change.
Note: If you are undocumented or having other problems with your immigration status in the US, try talking with your school (or prospective school's) financial aid office; looking into schools like The City Colleges of Chicago; or consulting a website like Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students.

$cholarship $cams. There is legitimate money out there for school, but there are also scam artists who want to take advantage of your wish to better your life. Learn how to tell the difference. On the bilingual (English, Spanish) website of the Federal Trade Commission.

Single Parent Scholarships and Single Mother Scholarships.

Sister Thea Bowman Foundation. Offers scholarships to black students, including several at the College of St. Mary, Omaha, Nebraska, for single black mothers.

Student Aid on the Web. (English, Spanish.) US Department of Education official guide to making your education affordable. See also FinAid: The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid. You don't have to pay to get the information you need to afford your education! This is one of the best, most comprehensive free websites on student aid.

United Negro College Fund. "Because a mind is a terrible thing to waste."

Don't know what assistance a particular school offers to pregnant and parenting students? Ask the financial aid office and other school offices what they can do to accomodate your needs and your child(ren)'s. Even if there is no formal program to help pregnant and parenting students, you can ask them to be flexible and work with you. Your right to an education is a human right.

Daycare is Now Affordable!
Having difficulty paying for daycare? Most child care subsidies provide assistance for parents who are working, going to school, or both. Single mothers and student mothers especially benefit from subsidy programs, which either pay the entire cost of daycare tuition or a large portion. Some of these programs even offer referral services, so that you can make sure your little one is in the best possible daycare. If your state is not listed here, contact your local department of social services and find out if any programs are available in your county. Some states do not have state-wide subsidy programs, but do offer more localized, county and city based programs.

Money Saving Ideas
10 Ways to Have Fun for Under $2 written by a mom

Coupons and shopping sales are also a wonderful way to save money. You can find manufacturer's coupons in your local weekend paper or at your local grocery.

Parenting Issues

American Pregnancy Helpling: Parenting Preparation Checklist
If you are a first-time parent, you may be struggling with getting prepared for the task. Fortunately, you have time to get ready. Talking with friends and family who have children can help you get started. They can recommend services such as child care and medical care, products and parenting strategies and other useful tips that you may overlook. If you don’t have these resources available, check with your local pregnancy center, church, hospital or community organization for parenting classes and resources. Call the Helpline too to get connected to parenting resources in your area. In the mean time, here is a list to do to get started.

American Pregnancy Helpline: Types of Parenting
Many people believe that when an unplanned pregnancy is experienced, there are three options to consider: abortion, adoption, and parenting. However, the option of parenting itself is accompanied by a variety of options. Different responsibilities and challenges are associated with each option.

Having Your Baby When Others Say No (Online Book)
Free online self-help book by Madeline Pecora Nugent, an experienced pregnancy counselor, originally published in print by Avery Publishing Group in 1991. The book contains much practical, down-to-earth, positive-minded advice on coping with your first reactions to the pregnancy; developing specific skills to get through it and make plans for parenting, adoption, or guardianship; dealing with others, including family, friends, professionals, and coworkers; healing from sexual trauma; and responding to health concerns and other serious situations, including pregnancy while in prison.

Custody and Child Support
One woman's story and advice for navigating the legal system

Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Web Site(includes a state-by-state contact list)
Learn what rights you and your child have

Child Support/USDHHS  (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Legal Emergency? A Guide to Fast Action

American Pregnancy Helpling: Paternity Issues
If you have had more than one partner, it is natural for you to want to know who the father of your baby is. There are different reasons to establish paternity. You may feel the need to collect support financially or emotionally, or simply for the piece of mind that accompanies knowing for sure. If you are reading this, it may be that you are unsure who the father of your child is. Paternity testing costs between $450.00 and $2,000.00, depending on the area which you live in and the center or lab you work with. Results are usually given in 14 business days or less. Included is a list of things to consider if you are contemplating whether to have paternity testing done.
America's Pregnancy Helpline: Single Parenting
Parenthood combined with a career or school and providing for your family is a challenge. Here are some ways that allow you, as a parent, to use what’s around you and make the most out of your time with your child, yourself, and your family.

American Pregnancy Helpline: Doing It Alone
Being a single parent raises lots of questions and many times leaves you with uncertain answers. For many women, there are fears of failing or unjust struggles. If you are a single parent, chances are you’re searching for ways to be the best parent you can be. Here are some suggestions that may help you overcome common challenges.


National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoptions
16250 Northland Drive, Suite 120
Southfield, MI 48075
Phone: (248) 443-0306

Agencies by State
State-by-state listing of adoption agencies, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Independent Adoption Center
Toll Free Hotline: 1-800-877-6736
Fax: 1.925.603.0820

National Adoption Center

Open Adoption: Information for Birthfathers
This page contains Myths and Facts for Birthfathers, Stages of Grief, The Benefits of Involvement and a real birthfather’s story.

Open Adoption: Information for Birth Grandparents
This page includes Frequently Asked Questions, Guidelines for Supporting Birthparents, Common Pitfalls Faced by Birth Grandparents, and more.

Online Support Websites

A Choice to Live With
This website has an interactive decision-making workbook and pregnancy, parenting, adoption, and abortion information. The website has information, support, available resources, and advice compiled into one easy-to-navigate site which does not try to sway the reader's political beliefs one way or the other. CTLW realizes that every option is available, and the only way to truly be of help to women is to help them become equipped with all the relevant information so that they can make the choice that they can live with.

Knowledge is Empowering
Resources for unplanned pregnancies are available throughout this web site. Pregnancy options for consideration are offered on adoption, pregnancy termination and parenting. The tough choices ahead are hard to make alone. A deeper look into options available to you are right here. Caring for yourself, caring about your partner and learning to live with an unplanned pregnancy is not easy. Discover the comfort and courage you need to move ahead. You are not alone!

Think About It Online
Empowering women with the medical, legal and historical facts about abortion. Includes personal stories and information about a woman’s rights.

Abortion...It's More Than You Know
The aim of this website is to raise awareness, provide information and knowledge, connect visitors to helpful resources, and launch new and upcoming books. Serena Gaefke has a Bachelor's degree in Primary Education and 3 years teaching experience. She enjoys public speaking, writing, and communicating. She is exploring an additional career options as a freelance writer. Her upcoming book is "101 Reasons Not to Have an Abortion: A Girl's Guide to Informed Choices"

Stand Up Girl!
An outpost for the inmost girls. Unplanned pregnancy testimonials and support. Young women who've had or considered an abortion tell their stories.

Young Positive Pregnancy Online: Support, Information, and Resources for Pregnant Teens
We are a site dedicated to helping young girls have the best pregnancies possible and promoting positive parenting skills.

Teen Moms
Support and help for young mothers. Site includes encouraging essays, a message board, money-saving links, an album illustrating the stages of fetal development, and links to crisis pregnancy centers.

Young Mommies Unite
A place of hope, love, and support for pregnant teens and parents. Site includes poetry, personal stories, a message board, a chat room, and lots of information and resources.

Mom, I'm Pregnant
Presenting guidance and ideas from teenagers who have decided to continue their pregnancies. Includes FAQ and a list of shelters across the USA.

Mom, Dad, I'm Pregnant
A website where teens and their parents can find "communication advice for family crisis" in the form of resources, referrals, guidance, help and mostly information presented in a loving and compassionate manner.

Tips 4 Telling Boyfriend/Parents

For the Father-to-Be

When Your Teen Daughter Is Pregnant"; also "When Your Teenage Son is the Father"

Online Support Groups

BabyCenter: Alternatives to Termination
IVillage: Unplanned Pregnancy
VoyForums: Unplanned Pregnancy Advice Board
Yahoo! Groups: Unplanned Pregnancy Help

Recommended Unplanned Pregnancy and Birth Books

The Unplanned Pregnancy Handbook: Real Life Stories, Resources, and Information to Help You
by Dorrie Williams-Wheeler

The Unplanned Pregnancy Book for Teens and College Students
by Dorrie Williams-Wheeler

Professor, May I Bring My Baby to Class?
by Sherrill Mosee

Surprise Child: Finding Hope in Unexpected Pregnancy
by Leslie Leyland Fields

Having Your Baby When Others Say No
by Madeline Pecora Nugent

Pregnant and Single: Help for Tough Choices
by Linda Roggow, Carolyn Pearl Owens

The Single Woman's Guide to a Happy Pregnancyby Mari Gallion

How To Survive Your Teen's Pregnancy: Practical Advice for a Christian Family
by Linda Ellen Perry

Mom, Dad. . . I'm Pregnant: When Your Daughter or Son Faces an Unplanned Pregnancy
by Kathy Baer (Foreword), Jayne E. Schooler

Surviving Teen Pregnancy: Your Choices, Dreams, and Decisions
by Shirley Arthur

Taking Responsibility: A Teen's Guide to Contraception and Pregnancy
by Donna Lange.
Your Pregnancy and Newborn Journey: A Guide for Pregnant Teens (Teen Pregnancy and Parenting series)
by Jeanne Warren Lindsay, PHN, Jean Brunelli

Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Mothers of Preschoolers)
by Tricia Goyer

Mothercare New Guide to Pregnancy and Child Care : An Illustrated Guide to Caring For Your Child from Preganancy Through Age Five
by Penny Stanway

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition)
by William Sears

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy: Or everything your doctor won't tell you
by Vicki Iovine

Your Developing Baby, Conception to Birth (Harvard Medical School Guides)
by Dr. Peter M. Doubilet (Author), Dr. Carol B. Benson (Author), Roanne Weisman (Author)

A Child Is Born
by Lennart Nilsson

The Parents' Resource Almanac: Where to Write, Who to Call, What to Buy, and How to Find Out Everything You Need to Know
by Beth Defrancis

What to Expect the First Year
by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, Sandee Eisenberg Hathaway

What to Expect the Toddler Years
by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, Sandee E. Hathaway, Morris Green

Mothercare New Guide to Pregnancy and Child Care: An Illustrated Guide to Caring for your Child from Pregnancy Through Age Five
by Penny Stanway

The Complete Single Mother: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging Concerns
by Andrea Engber and Leah Klungness

Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers (Non-Traditional Pregnancy and Parenting)
by Dan Savage

The Daddy Guide: Real-life Advice and Tips From Over 250 Dads and Other Experts
by Kevin Nelson

The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-To-Be, 2nd Edition
by Armin A. Brott

Pregnant Too Soon: Adoption Is an Option (Teenagers Tell Their Stories About The Most Difficlut Decision They Will Ever Face - To Be or Not To Be - A School Age Parent)
by Jeanne Warren Lindsay, Jami Moffett

Adoption Healing ...A Path to Recovery for Mothers Who Lost Children to Adoption
by Joseph M. Soll, Karen Wilson Buterbaugh

Adoption and Loss: The Hidden Grief (Revised Edition
by Evelyn Burns Robinson

Original Comments Made for This Entry:
Leah Klungness made this comment (7-17-2006)
I was happy to see The Complete Single Mother, which was recently published in a completely revised third edition, featured on your site. Please consider posting a link so that your visitors can order the book directly. Keep up the good work!

Book for your web site
Hi, Rachael,
You've put together a fantastic list of resources for pregnant and parenting young women. Please consider adding a book I edited, YOU LOOK TOO YOUNG TO BE A MOM: TEEN MOTHERS SPEAK OUT ON LOVE, LEARNING, AND SUCCESS (Davis, Deborah, editor). You can read excerpts at
deborah (at) deborahdavisauthor (dot) commade this comment in another entry(9-28-09)

Friday, November 5, 2004

Star Wars Episode III Movie Trailer

Obi-wan Kenobi's Theme (binary sunset) plays softly in the background.

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

20th Century Fox Lucasfim Limited....

Luke Skywalker in A New Hope (ANH) walks out to view the binary sunset on Tatooine.
Voiceover of Obi-wan Kenobi from ANH:"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic."
Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace (TPM) brandishes his lightsaber before the final duel with Darth Maul."Before the dark times. Before the Empire."
Shot from Attack of the Clones (AOTC) of the clone troopers walking into the transport starships and rows of clone troopers as transports take off."A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil,"
First Revenge of the Sith shot of Obi-Wan and Anakin with their backs toward the camera, walking up to a window in a hall of the Jedi Temple during the day. AOTC shot of Anakin looking evil just before the Tusken slaughteron Tatooine.
"helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights."
AOTC shot of Anakin riding the swoop bike on Tatooine.
"Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force...."
A hooded Anakin turns to the camera with red and yellow eyes much like Darth Maul's.
The familiar and ominous sound of mechcanical breathing begins....

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Revenge of the Sith movie trailer available at starwars.comHyperspaceonNovember 4, 2004.
Available in theaters with the computer-animated film, "The Incredibles" on November 5, 2004.
A transcript of the theatrical trailer can be read at

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
In theaters  May 19, 2005.

Wow! Look's like lot's of great action. Also looks like we see the fall of Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader. Did anyone else notice that in one scene Padme has the same cinnamon buns hairstyle as Leia did in ANH? I think it'd be appropriate to wear my old Leia wig to the release in theaters ;-) My boyfriend told me he wants to take me on a date to see Ep. III the day it comes out in theaters. But he also said he'll claim not to know me if I wear the wig to the theater :P Also Star Wars Celebration IIIconvention is coming to the Indiana Convention Center April 21 - 24, 2005. More on that later.  I'm totally hyped about the movie coming out.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Down Syndrome Dolls

Celebrating the unique beauty of the child with Down Syndrome, Downi Creationsproduces dolls suitable for children, parents, medical professionals, and collectors. Help spread the word about these beautiful dolls, and the fact that any child, including one with Down Syndrome, is a gift from God.

Also I recommend the following pages which promote awareness and undestanding towards individuals with Down Syndrome:

Band of Angels
Beautiful books, cards, and calendars celebrating the lives of individuals with Down Syndrome

A Positive Perspective
A Positive Perspective offers unique, upbeat designs to help you promote awareness about Down syndrome and inclusion. The variety of gifts and personal items display positive messages and help create positive perspectives in others.

Chris Burke
He is a man who's risen above his disability of Down Syndrome to become an actor.

Children with disabilities have a way of touching our hearts and transforming our lives.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Political Corruption in the Church

I was raised Catholic, yes, but I would consider myself a conservative, non-denominational follower of Christ and firm believer in the Bible. I feel the most comfortable in a local United Methodist Church.

So anyway, I was looking up the recent ruling of the United Methodist Church on allowing a contraversial ruling invovling homosexuality, when I found a shocking ruling. Not only does the United Methodist Church condone abortion for the "life and well-being" of the mother ("the burden an unwanted pregnancy may bear"), but they also support unrestricted partial-birth abortions (professionally known as Dilation and Intact Extraction). Absurd! The partial birth abortion is a pregnancy termination technique preformed in the last trimester of pregnancy, in which the doctor delivers the fetus feet first, punctures the base of the fetal skull, and removes the brain by vacuum which collaspes the head and delivers a dead neo-nate infant. The procedure was banned in the United States recently by the President, however some states have overturned the ruling. It's intention is to save the mother should a life-threatening physican condition develop in the mother, rape/incest, or the fetus diagnosed with abnormalities late in pregnancy. However, rulings Roe v. Wade and Doe V Bolton allow abortion at any time during pregnancy for health of mother.

'...a woman has a constitutional right to abortion from six months to birth, if her doctor "in his best clinical judgment," in light of the patient's age, "physical, emotional, psychological [and] familial" circumstances, finds it "necessary for her physical or mental health."

In other words, unnecessary abortions are being preformed on healthy fetuses for reasons of social and convience. And not to mention, this procedure carries many risks to the health of the mother. If the mother is indeed in grave danger, every attempt to save the child in addition to the mother should be made. Ok, now that you know what the partial-birth abortion is and abortion is legal until birth in the U.S., I'll return to the U.M. Church's stance on Abortion. Below are the summaries of the National U.M. Church judicial ruling on the church stance of abortion

Decision No. 821
In Re: Review of Decision of Law of Bishop S. Clifton Ives in the West Virginia Annual Conference on a Resolution on Partial-Birth Abortion.

Paragraph 65(J) in the 1996 Discipline addresses this issue. That paragraph, after stating The United Methodist Church’s position on the sanctity of unborn human life, goes on to say that

...we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother, for whom devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy.

...we recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures.

That paragraph says further that "...a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel."

The West Virginia Conference resolution conforms to ¶ 65(J) in the 1996 Discipline in its position on the sanctity of unborn human life. The resolution completely fails, however, to take account of the language of ¶ 65(J) regarding the life and well-being of the mother.

Moreover, by "condemning" a particular medical procedure, the resolution effectively prevents counseling upon its use, even if in the sound judgment of the physician, the procedure would be advisable in a particular case.
Saturday, April 25, 1998.

Not only that, but divisions of the U.M. Church are members of pro-choice political activism organization, Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (now Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice).

"RCAR's membership includes the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church and the Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. "

Decision No. 683

In Re: Consistency of Support of Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights with Par. 71(g) of the 1988 Discipline.

"A review of RCAR documents reveals nothing which conflicts with the General Conference policy. RCAR acknowledges that each denomination and faith group represented by its members approaches the abortion issue from its own theology. RCAR affirms this diversity, thereby permitting The United Methodist Church to continue to espouse its position as given in the Social Principles while also continuing its support of RCAR.

Support of the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights is consistent with Par. 71(g) of the 1988 Discipline.
Friday, October 30, 1992.

Sadly, it seems this church has been corrupted by political influences, changing theology to support human desires and political correctness.

According to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: "She is aware that God wills health and happiness for her, for those she may bring into the world, and for the human race. Thus, she is engaged in reflection on her own well-being, the genetic health of the fetus, and the survival of the human race."  

The issue is when we're faced with one of God's commands or teachings which conflict with our own wants and desires and we either choose to ignore it all together or attempt to interpret God's will to fit our own agenda. In doing this, we're not only disobeying God, but we've created a god of our own image, rather than honoring the will and commands of our Lord who created us. I'm afraid that too many churches anymore are all about compromising & following the culture anymore rather than about following God's way.

I ask my fellow Christians to show Christ-like compassion and caring to those facing an unplanned pregnancy as well as to those who have undergone abortions. One can offer compassionate options and support without condoning abortion.

A few well written articles on the RCRC's religious/political stance:

Holy Abortion? A Theological Critique of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Choice in Christ: A Statement in Response to the "Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice"

The Religious Coalition of Reproductive Choice or What to do When the Enemy infiltrates Religious People:

Thursday, January 1, 2004

Welcome and Commenting Guidelines

Hello and welcome to my blog!

You can call me by my nickname of Ladybug.

I’m in my early 30s and live in the Midwestern United States. I have worked both in a library and for the last several years as caregiver (or "carer" for those of you abroad) for seniors and individuals with disabilities at both privately run institutions and in their homes. In my free time, I like to relax at home with a good book and my two cats. This is my online journal, where I share, vent, and rant what's on my mind. You'll find regular updates about my particular interests and occasionally my life. Specifically, I write essays and share my thoughts on the abortion issue from a pro-life feminist, scientific, ethical, and limited spiritual point of view, as well as write on various other topics I'm passionate about, such as social justice, mental health and disability awareness, as well as about hobbies and interests in my life. 
Please feel free to look around and share feedback, thoughts, and opinions here. All I ask is that commenting is done respectfully. Please take a minute to review my commenting guidelines below and leave any general questions, suggestions, or requests in the comments for this entry or in my guestbook.

Commenting Guidelines:
Regardless of your political views or background, I ask that you please keep your comments within the boundaries of polite discourse.
  • Visitors are welcome to challenge my views or the views of another visitors in political discussions, so long as it is done respectfully and intellectually. Please refrain from using verbally abusive language, profanity, and substance-less rhetoric.
  • Take the time to get to know the person you're challenging before making assumptions about who they are or what they're going to say. All visitors must respect the opinions, experiences and feelings of other visitors and myself. You do not have to agree, but you must respect.
  • Carefully read what others wrote and consider what is being said before responding
  • Express your thoughts carefully and clearly.
  • You're responsible for what you write.
If you comment anonymously, please leave a first name or nickname, so I know who I'm addressing. Thanks!

I reserve the right to ban users and delete replies if they are a) disrepectful, abusive, libelous, defamatory, or obscene, b) unsolicited advertising of goods or services, c) in violation of a copyright or trademark.

These guidelines helps to foster positive discussion, keep this a supportive place to express one's views and feelings, and keep the focus on the issues. I operate on a 3 strike system. If a person violates these guidelines, their post will be edited to remove the offending material and a strike counted against them. On your 3rd strike, you'll be banned. If you feel you have been banned by mistake or your post has been edited unfairly, you may contact me by leaving a private message in my guest book and I will respond by e-mail within 2 days to discuss it.

I hold the copyright for all original text and photographs on the site and such content may be used under the condition that I am given credit and a link back to this site is supplied. Some posts may cite copyrighted material, of which every attempt will be made to seek permission of the copyright owner prior and the source cited within the post. Also, some posts may contain quotes from individuals, obtained from public forums such as message boards and other web journals for the purpose of editorial response and critique. All such materials are used under the "fair use" provision as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material contained in any post is distributed without profit for educational purposes and critique. Credit will be given and a link back to the original source of the quote will be provided in such a case. All rights are reserved to the original author or publisher.

Please Note: For those who may be wondering about my employment experience and the extent of my experience working with the developmentally disabled, I do not blog publicly about it due to privacy concerns and interest in keeping my employment.

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog, the opinions expressed on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent the positions, views, or opinions of my employer or any educational facility with which I attend.