The mother is moaning in pain but other women are cheering her on.
"You did it! You did great," they congratulate her as the procedure comes to an end.
What they didn't say: "Your baby is dead."
On Nov. 3, National Public Radio broadcast an abortion at a Michigan killing center, something one pro-lifer likened to an auditory snuff film. The woman was ending a pregnancy at 11 weeks.
Another mom interviewed that day was unable to get an appointment in her home state before her baby's heartbeat was detectable, the cut-off point in Ohio. She was at 14 weeks the day NPR showed up.
"I just had to sit with it," she said of the child in her womb.
Another mom tells NPR she has two other children, 10 and two, and is going through a divorce. So of course, we are meant to agree, this child should die. As should the twins of another woman at the abortion mill that day. She told her 3-year-old she couldn't keep this "pregnancy," and the toddler said, "Maybe another time."
And then there is the mother pregnant with her fourth child who just doesn't want to be a mother "all day, every day." As if an abortion is going to change that situation.
During NPR's broadcast, the reporter observes that the scene "is like a childbirth," but it is nothing of the sort. Instead of hearing words of encouragement to a mom in labor, we hear the vacuum that is sucking this baby from her mother's womb. This is death, not birth.
The report fails to mention the baby being aborted, much less describe how well-developed the baby was, with all major body parts present. Nor do we learn that the baby's heart, which had already beat over 9 million times, could have still been beating for up to a minute as it traveled down the suction tube and into the collection jar—a fact to which abortionists have testified in court.
The baby's humanity is never mentioned, and when the reporter tells listeners how the staff winds up each day restocking the rooms and completing paperwork, she does not mention their most gruesome task: Sorting the pieces of the tiny bodies to ensure none were left inside their mothers.
The pro-life community—heartbroken, sickened and outraged by this broadcast—wants to restore the humanity that was taken from this baby by declaring Dec. 3 a Day of Mourning. We are asking people to mark the day with fasting and special prayers for the baby we have named 'Baby Amanda Marie.' The name Amanda was chosen because it means "one who ought to be loved."
We can't bring Amanda Marie back to life, but we can help restore her humanity, and her dignity.
On Dec. 3, we will commend the soul of this precious child to God. We will honor her by declaring before God that we love her. And we will pray for the conversion of all those who killed Amanda or who in any way aided in her death. We will pray that her mother will one day repent of her sin against her child, reclaim her child in her heart, and, in the next life, be reunited with this precious little one of hers.
We also will pray for the conversion of NPR that so disgracefully flaunted this child's death in an effort to get pro-abortion voters to the polls the following week. This was not a news story; it was advocacy, nothing else.
In addition to asking for prayer, we invite pro-lifers and any American whose heart was broken by this broadcast to sign on to an open letter we have written to the mom, the abortionist and NPR. Visit www.PriestsForLife.org/BabyAmanda.
We cannot let this deliberate killing of a human child—broadcast all across the nation—be the last word.
Father Frank Pavone is national director of Priests for Life and the national pastoral director of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The books he has authored include Abolishing Abortion and Proclaiming the Message of Life.
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