Right to Life – for everyone

The topic of life and it’s sacredness has recently come to my attention through a variety of ways.

The first mention came in the form of a political ad from the group Catholics United called “John McCain – Actions Speak Louder Than Words.”

On their website, Catholics United includes this quote:

“Many Americans, particularly Catholic Americans, are fed up with leaders who use the ‘pro-life’ label to score political points without delivering real results,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. “‘Pro-life’ is more than just a campaign slogan. It’s a broad and deep call to defend human life at all stages, and especially to implement social and economic assistance for women and families. These are effective policies to reduce the number of abortions that Americans across the political spectrum can support.”

I very much like and respect this approach to honoring life.

The second mention came from a comment left on this blog – but I liked it so much, I’ve decided to post it here rather than leave it wasting away under an old post.  Here is the comment, in full:

This is something I wrote a week or so ago. It is in response to current events but I thought you may enjoy reading it. I love your work. Chris

Right to life

an open letter to sarah palin,

RE birth control education. I see a fundamental difference in our viewpoints regarding mothering which is that I believe it is the mothers right and responsibility to decide when she is prepared to give birth to a child. A basic viewpoint of mine is that spirit is not so easily dismissed and will come through in a more favorable situation. Not every struggling working mother is able to gracefully make room for one more at the table. Not every uninformed teenager can weather a pregnancy. My prayer is that every child be a wanted child. Can you imagine a world of well adjusted people who grew up knowing love and security?

While our minds may rationally know what size our family should be our biological bodies often have another agenda. I propose birth control begins with having girls learn to trust and honor their bodies. When we fully understand our cycles and our sacred duty as gatekeepers to the world we can be mindful of when pregnancy can occur, and how to avoid it. So while abstinence-only is a policy which is apparently contributing to teen pregnancy rates perhaps more information could give our daughters the self respect and dignity to know when her time is right to bring a child into the world. God(dess) gave us as women the ability to discern, to continue to blame god by saying “It’s gods will” about an unwanted pregnancy is just dumb.

chrys countryman 2008

Chrys is a mother of five and a grandmother of three.  She knows life, she knows pregnancy, and she honors the mother and the baby in a way that a rote adherence to a political philosophy without a recognition of the depth or breadth of the problem cannot and does not do.

I am with Joe Biden on this issue – I want to reduce abortions.  And I want to do it the way European countries have done it – by creating a culture and an education system that supports healthy sexual decision making by everyone from 10 to 100.  Reducing abortion by making it illegal is ignoring the problem and leaving the most undereducated, underpaid portion of our society to deal with the repercussions.  I’m exhausted by our country’s tendency to address the symptoms while ignoring the cause.

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.


  1. I want to weigh in and say that I’ve had conflictual feelings about the Catholic Church for many years. I grew up with an aunt who was a nun but my mother had left the church due to her awareness that a divorce and remarriage (which she did due to an abusive husband) would result in an excommunication action.

    I’ve been uncomfortable with much of the way the money of this church is handled and the pomp and circumstance that does not trickle down to the poor and needy.

    I’ve been very uncomfortable with the coverup of sexual inappropriate behavior by priests.

    BUT – all that said, I am also aware that the Catholic Church and many of its churches and priests and parishioners are proactive in trying to meet the very real needs of teens who are pregnant and do not want an abortion. They make a difference in this area and the only way I can accept a pro-life agenda is when people ALSO choose to make a difference in this way.

    I applaud those people who work to assist young women in this situation, I’ve worked with older women who are so sad about a youthful prior decision for abortion, I believe that choosing an abortion is about choosing the lesser wrong. If we can slow (hopefully tremendously!) the number of abortions in this country, by a combination of education and assistance as needed, that would be a great good. It will only happen with BOTH those items (education, assistance) being readily available to all who request/need/desire it, which includes all teenagers as a matter of course.

    Thanks for your work in this area Dr Rayne, you are meeting a great need in a very respectful manner.

  2. I am a 3b cervical cancer survivor. I was diagnosed at age 28! I had gone to the OBGYN yearly, never had an abnormal PAP, never tested positive for HPV, nothing! I went misdiagnosed for too long because the doctors insisted there was “no way you have cancer”. I started my blog to raise awareness and help others learn how to advocate on their own behalf and save their lives!


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