Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Option for Women in Unplanned Pregnancies

I was alerted by my mother this morning about a story that was published in the Sioux Falls newspaper today. The story is on someone I got to know this past summer during my parish internship in Milbank, SD. The story is about Dennis and Heidi Justison who live in Ortonville, MN but attend the parish that I lived at. Dennis is the director of religious education for the parish and Heidi is currently a stay at home mom. They decided to open their home to women who have found themselves in unplanned pregnancies and do not have the means or experience required to support a child on their own.

This comes at an interesting time because the residents of South Dakota will be voting on Initiated Measure 11. If passed this measure would put a ban on abortions except in the case of sexual assault. The exception of women who are victims of sexual assault was made because of the failed measure from a couple of years ago.

This is a very encouraging thing to see because they are doing this without the support of government funding and the article mentioned that anyone who comes to them is not going to be judged negatively for the choices that they have made in the past. If there is one thing that I can say about Heidi and Dennis is that they are very committed people and it shows so well through their dedication to their infant son and ten year old who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments. From the times I have gotten to visit with Heidi and Dennis, I can say that they are very genuine people and their desire to help those in need is not a surprise. Please pray for the success of their mission and when I hear how things are going I will be glad to give an update.

1 comment:

Shirley said...

I got this information in an email from Life Site News, please read it and think about the political agenda behind Measure 11:

South Dakota Revisits Abortion Ban in November Election

By Jonquil Frankham

PIERRE, S.D., Tuesday, October 21, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In 2006 the South Dakota House and Senate voted in favor of HB 1215, a law that would criminalize virtually all abortions in the state. The bill did not become law, however; instead pro-abortion activists gathered enough signatures on a petition to put the issue to a public vote. In a late 2006 statewide referendum the measure was rejected 56% to 44%.

This November, however, the issue will be put before South Dakotans once more in the form of "Measure 11."

Measure 11, unlike its predecessor, provides for access to abortion in circumstances of rape and incest and in cases where the pregnancy threatens the life or health of the mother. In the latter case, an abortion can only be performed if continuing the pregnancy poses a “serious risk of a substantial and irreversible impairment of the function of a major bodily organ or system of the pregnant woman.”

The measure comes as a response to the 2005 results of the “South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion,” an initiative of the South Dakota state legislature to study the effects of abortion since Roe vs. Wade. The Task Force, comprised of 17 members, cited scientific discoveries since the court decision in 1973, that proved the unique personality of the unborn child. It also dealt with abortion’s harmful physical, psychological, and socioeconomic effects upon women and families. Women, the task force found, were misinformed about abortion in general, lacking adequate information about their babies and the procedure.

Measure 11 has caused some controversy amongst pro-life groups in the state, with some groups arguing that an abortion ban that makes exceptions in certain circumstances is unworthy of support.

“They’re moving toward the middle, but they’re alienating more of the hard-core pro-lifers who believe that everybody has that right to life,” Kyle Holt, South Dakota’s Right to Life director of operations, told Time. His group supported the 2006 initiative that did not allow for abortion in cases of rape or incest or the life and health of the mother, but is not supporting the current measure.

"Our position has always been that everyone has a right to life from natural conception to death," said Holt.

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, however, argues that in this election pro-life advocates must vote to limit the “specific grave evil of abortion” as much as possible, choosing the lesser of evils by voting to pass the less stringent abortion ban.

Troy Newman from Operation Rescue concurred with Bishop Finn, arguing that support for for the new measure is a necessary step on the road to total criminalization. "Measure 11 is designed to save as many babies as possible now, while working toward complete abolition,” he said. “No life is expendable. While it may not be possible under the circumstances to save them all, it is unthinkable and intolerable not to act to save the lives we can.”

In 2006 South Dakota became the first state to consider an abortion ban since 1972. Since the state first considered the ban, similar abortion bans have also come up for consideration in several other states. If the abortion bill passes in South Dakota this November it is believed that it may have a domino effect on the abortion laws in many other states as well

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