Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hearts Warmed During A Cold January

We just finished up several fabulous events in January, including All Saints’ talk on post-abortive healing, the diocesan “Life is Precious” Workshop, the Mass for Life (where Bishop Pates gave a strong pro-life homily!), the March for Life in Washington DC, and Iowa Right to Life’s Roe v. Wade Effect event.

And even as we begin to fight again against the unjust HHS ruling (see below), we at least have an Iowa governor who is doing what he can to protect life. Recently, Governor Branstad issued a proclamation specifically asking Iowans to value the lives of all people, in particular “the unborn, the infirm, and the elderly.” He even proclaimed that every January 22nd would be known as ‘Sanctity of Human Life Day.’ He gives me hope in a political climate which does not often inspire me to hope. We are so blessed to live in a city where people know how important human dignity issues are!

We have a couple new events coming up – a free screening for the beautiful movie “October Baby,” a doctor who will come talk about living the culture of life in a medical setting, and Melissa Ohden coming back in March (which is good because I still have not been able to see her)! There are also some great resources – pro-lifers are truly working on the culture through movies and song. I hope you are able to find something valuable in this post to inspire you!


FREE Pro-Life Movie Pre-Release Screening on February 23rd

Des Moines is honored to have been chosen to be one site for a pre-release screening of the new movie “October Baby” on February 23rd. This film is a touching story about Hannah, a college student who learns that she was adopted after a failed abortion. Along the way, Hannah discovers that every life is beautiful. Watch the trailer for OCTOBER BABY here.

The FREE screening will take place in West Des Moines at the Jordan Creek Theater at 7 pm. The only catch to this great opportunity is that you have to RSVP to reserve your spot. So go to: (Go down to screening on 2/23/12, WDM, Jordan Creek Theater, and click on the red ‘RSVP Here’ button). I hope that you will be one of the first to experience “October Baby!”

SJEC Iowa and the St. Augustin Church Respect Life Committee are pleased to co-sponsor Christus Medicus: A Physician’s Witness to the Culture of Life with Dr. Damon Cudihy on Thursday, March 1 at St. Augustin Church, Des Moines.

Christus Medicus: A Physician’s Witness to the Culture of Life
Dr. Damon Cudihy
Thursday, March 1st, 7 – 8:30 pm
St. Augustin Church - Parish Hall

Dr. Cudihy, a Catholic Ob/Gyn practicing at the Center for Women’s Health in Pennsylvania, will share a personal witness of his professional commitment to integrate into his medical practice a Catholic vision of authentic sexuality and the dignity of preborn human life. He will discuss the challenges and the joys of living his faith in the workplace. Q & A session will follow Dr. Cudihy’s talk.

Dr. Damon Cudihy, MD, is a staff Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Holy Spirit Hospital’s Center for Women’s Health. He was previously a field surgeon for the U. S. Army, serving in Iraq. In addition to the pathology and treatment of preeclampsia, his academic interests include treatment of infertility, endometriosis, and the advancement of minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Cudihy is a certified medical consultant for the Creightion Model FertilityCare™ System and has been featured on The Station of the Cross Catholic radio, Radio Maria and EWTN television.

Registration is appreciated to help with planning. For more information, contact SJEC Iowa or call (515) 222-1092.

Birthright of Ames 40th Anniversary with Melissa Ohden

SAVE THE DATE! Birthright of Ames will be hosting Melissa Ohden, abortion survivor, for their 40th Anniversary on March 31st at 6:30 PM. Tickets will be $10 at the door or in the Birthright office during the month of March. Please email for more info!

Silent No More Beautiful Music Video

Here is a short Music Video by Silent No More – a beautiful video and song about women finding healing after their abortion. Seriously… you must watch this and send links to your friends. This is the kind of resource we need to reach hurting women!

Also, Silent No More recently launched a brand new website with hundreds of testimonies in written and video format. Visit and spread the word about this website to others.

Update on Informed Choices Medical Clinic Name Change

Note from Jenny Condon:

I wanted to let you know that Informed Choices Medical Clinic is now InnerVisions HealthCare - An unPlanned Pregnancy and STD Medical Clinic. It is under a new 'local' Board of Directors. We are very thankful to Iowa City's Informed Choices Medical Clinic for helping us get to this point.

There are not a lot of changes - but please notice our new name. Please feel free to contact me [Jenny] if you have any questions at all.

Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

Shorter summary: Some breaking, disappointing news… even after the negative feedback on the recent HHS ruling, he Obama Administration announced today it will not change its contraceptive mandate rule related to the Affordable Care Act. All new insurance plans will be required to cover contraception and sterilization procedures with no co-pays, including long-lasting injections, implants and “morning-after pills” that may cause an early abortion. It was announced that certain religious groups would have until Aug. 1, 2013 to comply.

This decision is disappointing on many levels. It changes what has been settled federal policy on exemptions for religious organizations. To be eligible, now an organization must meet four strict criteria, including the requirement that it both hire and serve primarily people of its own faith. This is extremely narrow and does not cover organizations such as Catholic schools, hospitals or charities. Jesus and his apostles would not have been “religious enough” for the exemption, since they healed and served people of different faiths.

The rule considers fertility to be a disease to be prevented. The other services on HHS’s list seek to prevent serious disease, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, AIDS. In addition, resources needed to provide basic health care to the uninsured will be used instead to subsidize IUDs and Depo-Provera for those who could afford to pay.

From Rachel:

This mandate is a threat not only to the lives of many unborn children, but also a strong blow to religious liberty. The U.S. Bishops have vowed to fight this edict, and we should also prepare for a legislative fight. This will be a very important decision! I will try to send you links to prepared e-mails to national legislators as I receive them. This isn’t something we can afford to not act on – the moral culpability of Catholic schools and organizations is at stake if they are forced to follow this mandate.

Update on Rachel’s pre-born baby: Our second baby is now 12 weeks old. We watched him or her in the 10-week ultrasound, saw the beautiful beating heart and watched our baby playing with his toes. I LOVE ultrasounds! Please pray for our baby, and I will pray for your pro-life work!

Congratulations to everyone who hosted events in January! All of the events were awesome and powerful, personal testimonies were shared. Your hard work has paid off!


Rachel :)