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Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Two years ago we brought you a story about an amazing young 13-year- old girl named Ashley from Elwood, Indiana, who was raped by her brother’s friend and became pregnant. Ashley prosecuted her rapist, and he was charged and convicted on three counts as Ashley wasn’t his only victim. This story tugged on the heart strings of millions of Americans as this young girl chose to carry her child to term and gave birth to a beautiful little boy she named Aiden. Planned Parenthood of Indiana even weighed in on Ashley’s tragic story via their official Facebook page by posting a link to an article written in the Indianapolis Star by saying the following: “As this article notes, heartbreaking stories like this are all too common in Indiana, which ranks second in the number of teen sexual assaults. Comprehensive sex ed can make a difference in preventing sexual assaults.” It seems as if Planned Parenthood feels that giving rapist more sexual education will keep them from raping women.
Ashley, now 15, is a freshman in high school and has adapted to her new role as student and young mother. After the birth of Aiden, Ashley returned to school, and much to her shock, discovered that the boy who was convicted of raping her was allowed to attend the same school. Her rapist, who was also a minor when the crime occurred, was protected as a juvenile and his identity was never released. Ashley was quickly taken out of the main school by her parents and put into an alternate school, so she could continue her studies without incident. Ashley is excelling in her classes and is a straight A student.
Last August, Ashley’s family faced another devastating tragedy. Her brother was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike not far from the family home. The perpetrator still hasn't been identified. This tragic event has devastated this family, but through prayer and the assistance of family and friends, they are putting their lives back together once again.
Although this road hasn’t been easy, Aiden is now 18 months old and has brought his young mother love and healing from a situation that once felt unbearable. Ashley will be attending the March for Life this year with the organization Living Exceptions, as Aiden is a true “Living Exception" and his and Ashley's story epitomizes the mission of this life-saving organization. Stop by the Living Exceptions booth and give Ashley words of encouragement as she continues to embrace life by raising her son and doing the right thing.
If you would like to donate to Ashley and Aiden, you can do so at www.LivingExceptions.com. All donations to Ashley and Aiden go directly to help the family to buy diapers, wipes, and clothing, or you can choose to help defray Ashley's expenses when she is out in Washington attending the March for Life.
Currently, Ashley does not receive support from the State of Indiana. Unfortunately, the state of Indiana is one of 31 states that has no law protecting a child conceived through rape from his biological father. If Ashley files for any kind of government assistance, the state must go after Aiden’s biological father for repayment. In return, he can demand visitation rights. We are encouraging legislators to pass legislation protecting these children and their mothers from being victimized once again by terminating any rights that father might have. But until Indiana changes its law regarding children conceived in rape, Ashley’s parents must bear the financial burden of caring for Aiden. If you would like to read more on the states that have no laws protecting children who are conceived through rape you can go to www.31states.com for more info.
As individuals committed to the pro-life cause, we must be willing to step up and support young girls, such as Ashley. If you are financially able, please consider helping this young mother. To follow Ashley and Aiden’s story visit my Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/mkprolife.
Monday, January 5, 2015
As I sit at the fire station working my shift as a medic/firefighter, waiting for our next emergency, my heart is heavy. I just got a call that another newborn child has been found dead in the woods in Indianapolis, umbilical cord still attached and discarded like a piece of trash. I wonder if this young mother knew that there is a law that could have saved her young daughter and this young mothers name would have never been known. The law I'm referring to is the Safe Haven Law--a law that has been in effect for almost 14 years that has saved the lives of almost 3000 babies nationwide.
Back in April 1973, a young 17-year-old girl, scared and alone, gave birth to a baby girl. She had been raped nine months prior and was determined to do what she felt was best for her baby. Two hours after giving birth, she abandoned her baby at a local hospital, the one place where she knew her baby would be cared for and protected. I was that baby, and my biological mother abandoned me without the protection of the Safe Haven Law. She did it out of desperation because she felt there was no other option. Today, however, we have a law in place that protects not only the life of the child, but also protects the mother from prosecution. The Safe Haven Law was enacted to give women like my birthmother who find themselves scared, alone, and desperate an alternative to abandoning their child.
The Safe Haven Law, also called the Baby Moses Law in some states, is in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia. The law is in place to protect all parties involved. In most states, a woman has 30 days after birth to safely surrender the child at any fire station, police station or hospital with no questions asked. In some of these states, the girl gets free medical care to assist with the birth of the child or any complications resulting from the birth. This law is a win, win situation for all parties involved. The mother walks away with zero chance of prosecution, while the baby has the opportunity to be adopted into a loving home, and a family opens their hearts and home to the child for whom they've prayed.
As we were busy making plans to celebrate the beginning of a new year a desperate young woman out of Indianapolis felt she had no choice, no other option, but to continue to hide her pregnancy, and once that child was born, to hide her from the world. Unfortunately, she made a devastating choice and left her baby in the woods, exposed to the elements of harsh winter. Now, we are planning a funeral for a child that never had the opportunity to see her first birthday. This child has been named “Amelia Hope” as the name Amelia means defender.
As a firefighter/medic for the state of Indiana and the fact that I was abandoned as a child, I feel a personal need to educate our youth and our communities about this life-saving law. In a perfect world, we would prefer that the mother come forward, visit a local crisis pregnancy center, and receive the assistance and counseling she needs; however, this may not be possible in all situations. With these cases, we want young women to know that the Safe Haven Law is there as an option that respects the lives of both mother and child.
If you or someone you know would like more information about relinquishing a newborn child, please call 1-877-796-HOPE or go to www.SafeHavenLaw.com.