View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

See, "feminist" is not an insult

I just had to share this story.

Actress gives clinic ultrasound machine

This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press on Wednesday, May 4, 2005.

Valley Press Staff Writer

PALMDALE - While "Everybody Loves Raymond" character Debra Barone will live on in television reruns, a generous gift from actress Patricia Heaton will live on in the lives of babies born to Antelope Valley women who were considering having abortions.

Heaton, who has won two Emmy awards for her role in the hit sitcom, was honored Tuesday for donating a $25,000 high-tech ultrasound machine to theAV Pregnancy Counseling Center, which was renamed Women's Clinic of the Antelope Valley.

Ultrasound machines offer pregnant women a detailed view of their unborn children, even at only a couple of months along, and have helped convince many women leaning toward abortion to change their minds, center directorMarc Boileau said.

"We needed a miracle, and we got one in Patricia Heaton," Boileau said.

"Since opening with the ultrasound machine, our clients have tripled. Thisultrasound machine has really, really made a difference. and is saving lives."

Heaton, who is honorary chairwoman for Feminists for Life, offered to donatemoney for several machines at a fund-raising dinner for the Right to Life League of Southern California.

Heaton's donation purchased four machines, and the organization Focus on theFamily provided funds for a fifth, said former Right to Life League leader Bernadette Gonzalez. Besides Palmdale, pro-life medical centers in Monrovia, Santa Monica, San Gabriel and Ridgecrest received the machines.

Heaton said the pro-life perspective is perfectly compatible with feminism, saying she believes women should be able to choose to have their babies without risking their educations, their employment or their relationships.

"Women deserve better, and should be able to have children, have an education and have their jobs," Heaton said.

"This has enabled me to be in Hollywood, and challenge people if they are pro-choice to help people have a choice."

Heaton recently traveled to Washington to meet with members of Congress on pro-life issues, something the actress has more time to do now that"Raymond," in its ninth and final season, has finished filming.

Heaton said Feminists for Life is hitting college campuses with the messageof changing society to become more supportive of parenting and children, so women who didn't plan to be pregnant feel supported in having their babies.

To use the ultrasound machine, the center applied for and received medical clinic status from the California Department of Health Services and began offering ultrasounds in June.

On Tuesday, the name change was celebrated with a second grand opening and a ribbon-cutting by Heaton.

Doctors Christine Cambridge and Beatrice Lauria are the center's medical directors; other medical staffers and volunteer counselors also help run the facility.

Women who decide to go through with their pregnancies are offered baby supplies, cribs, formula, maternity clothes and more, while counseling is offered to women who will give birth as well as to those who have had abortions.

Boileau said in the first four months of 2004, six women decided to give birth after leaning toward having an abortion; in the same time span this year, 36 women have made the same decision.

The center is on pace to see 130 women give birth after planning to have abortions, he said, compared to a previous high of 46 women changing their minds in one year.

It would be nice if more stories like this got into the mainstream media. I'm sure there are more people like Heaton in Hollywood.


Post a Comment

<< Home