a special Christmas message from President and CEO Mike Fichter

Things I Don’t Understand About Christmas

It’s sort of funny the way life works out.  As a younger man I went through multiple phases during which I thought I had it all figured out.  But the longer I journey down life’s path, the more I realize just how much I really don’t understand.

I don’t understand why some people speed up, then slow down, then speed up again on interstates.

I don’t understand why so many people consider turn signals to be optional.

I don’t understand why homebuyers on HGTV feel compelled to renovate every room in a newly-purchased home, as opposed to buying a few gallons of paint and renting a carpet cleaner at Kroger.

I don’t understand the psychology of the incessant piano music in the background of Hallmark Christmas movies.

I don’t understand why so many people will go through life without ever visiting Montana.

I don’t understand why I have three hundred channels on TV and can’t find a single thing worth watching.

I don’t understand pickleball.

I don’t understand why, regardless of what I purchase at Kohl’s, I am always ten dollars away from the next Kohl’s Cash award.

When it comes to Christmas, there’s a whole lot I don’t understand as well.

I don’t understand why I can buy virtually anything in the world through eBay or Amazon, yet both of them combined pale in comparison to the appeal of the old Sears catalogue.  If you’re under 50, just trust me on this one.

I don’t understand why the 30-foot strands of lights that worked perfectly before being packed in the box after last Christmas didn’t work when taken out of that same box this year.

I don’t understand why Charlie Brown, Rudolph and Frosty are shown more than once per season.  Back in the day, if you missed those shows, you missed them. Tough luck until next year.

I don’t understand why Frosty Returns was ever made. Borderline criminal.

I don’t understand why I miss Ronco commercials so much.

I don’t understand why the opening riff of Jingle Bell Rock becomes more irritating each year.

I don’t understand the depth of disdain for fruitcake and eggnog.

I don’t understand the allure of figgy pudding.

I don’t understand why the Christmas mornings I remember the most are the ones on which we had the least amount of gifts under the tree.

I don’t understand why I didn’t spend more time at Christmas asking my grandparents about their lives, instead of engaging in so much small talk that barely scratched the surface. Those special opportunities are now gone forever.

I don’t understand why I can still remember so clearly what it felt like to fall asleep as a child in a candlelit church at midnight.

I can’t understand why Christmas Eve feels more peaceful than any other night of the year.

So many things that I just don’t understand.

I don’t understand why God chose a virgin teenage girl, from a remote village of no reputation, to bear the baby destined to turn the world upside down.

I don’t understand what Mary must have felt in her heart when she felt the Messiah’s tiny legs kick for the first time within her womb.

I don’t understand how Joseph had the strength to bear up under the laughter, gossip and scorn surrounding the surprise pregnancy of his betrothed.

I don’t understand how grueling it must have been for a mother nearing birth to journey over 70 miles of rough terrain from Nazareth to Bethlehem, even if there really was a donkey.

I don’t understand how there could be no room for them in the inn.

I don’t understand how a king who had it all would leave His throne to be born in the filth of a stable that was likely little more than a damp cave.

I don’t understand what it must have been like to hear God cry.

I don’t understand what it must have been like to see a pitch-black sky come alive with angelic hosts.

I don’t understand how beautiful the Star must have truly been.

I don’t understand the depth of worship the shepherds must have experienced as they fell to their knees in adoration of the newborn Christ.

I don’t understand the trembling that gripped Mary’s heart when Simeon looked deep into her eyes and prophesied of a coming sword that would pierce her very soul.

I don’t understand how the baby grew up to love, heal and forgive, only to be despised and rejected by the very ones He came to seek and to save.

I don’t understand how 33 years after that first Christmas Eve, the beautiful Lamb of God willingly gave Himself to be scourged, crowned with thorns, and nailed to a cross, all while the mother who bore Him in her womb, and nursed Him in that Bethlehem stable, surely sank to her knees in unspeakable grief.

I don’t understand how He could say, “Father forgive them, they know not what they are doing.” The baby born in Bethlehem, the baby born to die, had completed His mission.  It was finished.

No, I don’t understand these things, for they are too deep for me.

But I am thankful that I do understand this: the baby whose birth we celebrate on Christmas was the one, the only one, who could, and did, pay the penalty for our sin.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life”.  He truly is the greatest Christmas gift of all time to all who will receive Him.

This is what I understand about Christmas.

May you have a blessed and joyous holiday season.

Mike Fichter
President and CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement from Today’s Fort Wayne Press Conference

Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter issued this statement today at a press conference in Fort Wayne regarding the discovery of 2,246 fetal remains on the Illinois property of abortion doctor, Dr. Ulrich (George) Klopfer.
“On Friday, September 13, I was horrified to learn of reports that police had recovered 2,246 fetal remains from the property of Dr. Ulric Klopfer. This gruesome news underscores that abortion is not an issue in theory, it is an issue of life and death for unborn baby girls and boys. To think of these children being preserved, for whatever purposes, is simply sickening.This discovery opens a flood of questions that must be answered.
Why were these babies preserved?
When and where did these babies die?
Did the mothers of these babies know their remains were going to be preserved?
Are there other properties owned by Dr, Klopfer where fetal remains may still be found?
Were these babies being preserved in order to be sold to universities or research facilities?
Are there staff members of Dr. Klopfer’s operations complicit in the preserving and transportation of these remains?
Are there other Indiana abortion doctors doing the exact same thing, even today as we speak?
How do we make sure this never happens again in Indiana?
These are just a few of the questions we are raising, and each of them deserves an answer.
In the days ahead, Indiana Right to Life will call upon state and federal officials to launch detailed investigations into the discovery of 2,246 fetal remains on the property of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, and to take the actions needed as a result of the investigations.
We cannot just shake our heads at the horror of this discovery, and then walk away. The time for investigation is now.”

Statement on breaking reports of over 2,000 fetal remains found on personal property of deceased Indiana abortion doctor

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter issued this statement tonight following news reports that over 2,000 preserved fetal remains were reportedly found on the property of a recently deceased doctor who did abortions in Gary, South Bend and Fort Wayne.

“We are horrified by the reports of over 2,000 fetal remains being found on the property of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, a man who operated abortion facilities in Gary, South Bend and Fort Wayne.  These sickening reports underscore why the abortion industry must be held to the highest scrutiny. We are calling on Indiana authorities to join in the investigation to determine if these fetal remains have any connection to abortion operations, or personnel, in Indiana.”
Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

Groundbreaking Study on Hoosier Millennials and Abortion

Focus Groups and Surveys Used to Analyze Millennial Attitudes toward Abortion

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life commissioned Indianapolis-based Sextons Creek Productions to gauge where Hoosier millennials stand on abortion and how they respond to pro-life and pro-choice messaging.

Findings

A majority of millennials surveyed responded that abortion should be legal in some cases, yet are deeply conflicted about its morality.

The most confounding statistic produced by the study is that the same millennials who call themselves “pro-choice” also identify as “pro-life.” Half of millennials believe “pro-choice” is a more socially acceptable label, but they also believe having an abortion is right or wrong depending on the situation.

Based on the data from focus groups and surveys of millennials, only 10 percent of respondents agreed with the following sentence: “Abortion is best for the woman.”

On science, truth and compassion, the pro-life side won out. When asked, “Which side is more scientific?” 60 percent of respondents answered “pro-life.” When asked, “Which side is more truthful?” 55 percent of respondents answered “pro-life.” Finally, when asked, “Which side is more compassionate?” a full 70 percent of respondents said, “pro-life.”

Millennials do not respond well to political party appeals. Many of them can identify as either pro-life or pro-choice, but not for every issue; they prefer to discuss these topics with non-political, non-religious language.

Only 7 percent of respondents believe pregnancy carries shame, but 51 percent believe abortion carries shame. Forty-seven percent of respondents agreed that abortion creates physiological and psychological issues later in life.

Sentiments towards the morality of abortion shift dramatically depending on the term of the abortion, where early-term abortions are considered more acceptable and late-term abortions are considered unacceptable. However, only 22 percent of respondents agreed that an unborn baby is human only when it can live outside of the mother on its own.

The vast majority of respondents (65 percent) would choose delivery over abortion. This illustrates even those who identified as pro-choice tend to identify that way for the sake of others more than for themselves.

Moving Forward

Indiana Right to Life commissioned the study so that it could guide future messaging to Hoosier millennials. The research results will also be shared with other pro-life organizations to help facilitate better messaging to millennials nationwide.

“Speaking to millennials in a traditional, political format is losing its effectiveness,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “We want to be sure our messaging is reaching abortion-vulnerable women in the millennial demographic and we want to build a culture of life among this generation. We advance life by understanding the trends and beliefs of this age group, then translating our findings into new strategies to win hearts and minds.”

Methodology

Indiana Right to Life and Sextons Creek Productions collected responses through four collectors (two through vendors, one through an organic social media campaign and one through surveys completed by focus group participants). They processed a total of 923 survey responses and held three focus groups in three different locations.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

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Next to the Eugenics Marker

When the weather throws you a curve, you have to adjust.  That’s what happened recently as my wife and I took to the road for some kayaking in southern Indiana.  No sooner did we arrive in Worthington than a slowly gathering bank of clouds to the north evolved into a deep blue wall.  Steering into the city park, I pulled up the radar and confirmed we had a real mess heading our way.  That was the bad news.  The good news is that I had been meaning for years to stop at the park because of the legend of a massive sycamore that once grew near the town.

With just a few minutes to spare before turning south to outrun the storm, I jumped out of our truck and strolled over to the mammoth limb section preserved from the 500-year-old tree when it finally died. It truly is a sight to see.  And it reminds me of how our state is dotted by little historical signs just waiting for someone to stop, someone to remember.

South of Crawfordsville you can stop where Chief Cornstalk’s Village once stood.  Near Scottsburg you can visit the site of the Pigeon Roost massacre, all but forgotten in history books.  In Corydon you can stand where Indiana’s only Civil War skirmish was fought.  Just south of Indy you can stop and toss a quarter onto the grave of General George Washington’s drummer boy.  In Bruceville you can stand where Lincoln spoke. History is everywhere, but in the age of smartphones and instant everything, all of these places are slowly fading into obscurity.

Such is the case for a little-known sign in one of the most highly trafficked areas of downtown Indy.   Standing in silent witness between the Statehouse and a government building is a state historical marker shamefully recognizing a 1907 Indiana law legalizing eugenics through forced sterilization, a law ruled unconstitutional in 1921.  It’s right there, a stone’s throw from the Statehouse, and yet I’ve only met one legislator who knows it is there.  What is doubly-remarkable is that Justice Clarence Thomas recently referenced Indiana’s 1907 law in his blistering denunciation of eugenics in relation to Indiana’s protections for unborn children found in the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn Act.

Indiana’s 1907 eugenics program is a chapter of history we’d all like to forget, which is exactly why it is all the more important that we remember.  History moves in circles, and what was once eugenics through forced sterilization in Indiana is now eugenics by targeting kids for abortion solely because of their race, national origin, sex, potential disability, or Down syndrome.  God help us.  And may God hasten the day when, next to the 1907 eugenics marker, a new one will be placed in sad remembrance of all of the children whose lives were taken during the Indiana eugenics program that began on January 22, 1973.

 

Five Indiana Students Head to College with Thomas Marzen Memorial Scholarship Money

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life has awarded five Indiana students with Thomas Marzen Memorial Scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year. The Thomas Marzen Memorial Scholarship helps young Hoosier leaders with proven backgrounds of pro-life involvement in pursuing college studies.

2019 scholarship winners:
Mikayla Zwirn of Morristown
Lily Shafer of New Haven
Natalie Guisinger of Huntertown
Erica Christie of Roanoke
Samantha Egan of Auburn

“We know these young Hoosier women will have many opportunities to share the positive pro-life message on their respective college campuses,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “We wish our scholarship winners the best as they stand up for vulnerable women and children targeted for abortion.”

Thomas Marzen, who died in 2007, was referred to as a “walking encyclopedia of the pro-life movement” by his colleagues and devoted his life to the pro-life movement. He was active for over three decades as a pro-life attorney and authored many appellate briefs in major cases and law review articles on pro-life issues, one of which was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. He served as general counsel for Americans United for Life in Chicago and the National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent and Disabled in Indianapolis.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

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Morristown Student Takes Third Place in National Pro-Life Oratory Contest

CHARLESTON, South Carolina – Mikayla Zwirn took third place at the National Right to Life Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest with her speech on infanticide. The contest was held Jul. 6 in Charleston, South Carolina at the National Right to Life Convention.

Zwirn earned the opportunity to represent Indiana at the national contest after taking first place in the Right to Life of Johnson and Morgan Counties contest and the Indiana Right to Life contest.

Mikayla is the daughter of Lori and Pete Zwirn. She has six siblings. She was homeschooled and plans to attend Moody Bible Institute this fall, majoring in Ministry to Women.

“We’re so proud of Mikayla for giving an articulate defense of vulernable children,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Mikayla understands that infanticide is not only unpopular, but also a grave evil and cheapens our humanity. We congratulate Mikayla for placing at the national contest and wish her the best in her future education.”

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

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Indiana Abortions Increase for Second Consecutive Year While Ultrasound Law Remains Blocked

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life reviewed new abortion data for 2018 released by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). In 2018 there were 8,037 abortions compared to 7,778 in 2017.

Increase:

For the second consecutive year, the Indiana abortion rate increased. Pro-life leaders expected the increase because a 2016 ultrasound law, which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, remains blocked by an activist judge.

According to the new data, 65 percent of the abortion numbers increase is attributed to non-Indiana residents, likely a direct result of the ultrasound law blockage. The majority of these abortions are assumed to be a referral from Planned Parenthood in Louisville, Kentucky, to Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in Bloomington and Indianapolis.

The ultrasound law, part of the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn Act signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence, states that women considering abortion be provided with the opportunity to view a fetal ultrasound at least 18 hours prior to an abortion. The ultrasound law was blocked because of a lawsuit brought by Indiana’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Indiana’s ultrasound provision was blocked through a preliminary injunction in April 2017. The increase of 496 abortions in 2017 compared to 2016 marked the first upward swing in abortions in Indiana since 2009, according to the ISDH’s 2017 Induced Terminated Pregnancy Report.

From July through December 2016, while the ultrasound law was in effect, there were 3,317 abortions in Indiana. During the same period of July through December 2017, after the ultrasound provision was blocked, abortions spiked to 3,813 in Indiana, a 13 percent increase compared to 2016.

Chemical Abortions:

Chemical abortions, the type now being done in South Bend without oversight, can carry serious complications and risks to the woman. Chemical abortions continue to rise; in 2017 there were 2,805 chemical abortions (36 percent) but in 2018 that number rose to 3,296 making up 41 percent of all abortions.

Dismemberment abortions:

In 2018, there were likely 11 dismemberment abortions (listed in the report as procedure type, “Other e.g D&E”). If these abortions were truly dilation and evacuation abortions, or dismemberment abortions, then a fully-alive unborn child had his or her limbs torn off during the procedure. This spring, Indiana lawmakers voted to outlaw dismemberment abortions, but a federal judge last week blocked Indiana’s law.

Out of State:

In 2018, there were 7,263 abortions (90 percent) on Hoosier residents and 774 abortions (10 percent) on out-of-state residents, for a total of 8,037 abortions. In 2017, there were 606 abortions done on non- residents. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky does not do any abortions in Kentucky, but the abortion giant likely refers Kentucky women to Indiana for the procedure.

Top Abortion Sites:

Planned Parenthood did the most abortions, 5,579 in 2018. In 2018, there were six abortion facilities throughout the state. Planned Parenthood on Georgetown Road in Indianapolis did the most abortions, 3,284 in 2018.

Our Take:

From Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life:

“We mourn the increase in abortions because it means more children who will never have a birthday and more women who were subjected to the lies of the abortion industry. If Indiana’s ultrasound law was still in effect, we would be looking at much different abortion numbers from 2018. We urge the U.S. Supreme Court justices to rule the ultrasound law constitutional in their future session.

“We are hopeful Indiana’s ultrasound law will be found constitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court justices gave us hope this spring as they ruled favorably on Indiana’s fetal disposal law, which mandates dignity for every child.

“Next year, Indiana’s abortion numbers could continue to rise if the South Bend abortion facility is allowed to continue aborting children without an abortion license. Women’s health and safety is in grave danger. We continue to oppose the abortion business in South Bend.

Find the Data:

The full state abortion report is available here.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

Judge Gives Abortion Industry a Win, Allows Barbaric Dismemberment Abortions

INDIANAPOLIS – Federal judge, Sarah Evans Barker, issued a preliminary injunction in the abortion industry’s favor, allowing dilation and evacuation abortions in Indiana. The American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of abortion doctors, sued to stop the dismemberment ban from taking effect July 1.

This spring, Indiana lawmakers banned the barbaric dismemberment abortion procedure in House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1211. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed HEA 1211 on Apr. 25.

The dismemberment procedure is typically used for second-trimester abortions and involves pulling a fully alive unborn baby apart limb by limb.

“It’s disgusting that the abortion industry can simply overturn a law they dislike by filing a lawsuit,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Dismemberment abortions are painful and barbaric. No baby deserves this horrific death sentence. We urge the state to appeal the ruling.

“If appealed, we believe the dismemberment ban will be found constitutional. In 1995, Indiana passed an informed consent law. It was tied up in the courts for years, but it was found constitutional and encouraged a decrease in the abortion rate. Similarly, once the dismemberment ban goes into effect, it will save Hoosiers’ lives.”

Evans Barker also recently gave the abortion industry a victory when she sided with Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA), a Texas-based abortion chain. Evans Barker’s decision allows WWHA to do abortions in South Bend, Ind. without being licensed and inspected, putting Hoosier women at risk.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

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Right to Life Groups to Host Rally Protesting Unlicensed Abortion Business

South Bend, IN- On Saturday, June 15 at 1:00 PM, St. Joseph County Right to Life, with several state and national partners, will host the “Rally for Life” in response to Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s ruling allowing an unlicensed abortion business to operate in South Bend. The rally takes place at St. John the Baptist Catholic School soccer field. Event details can be found at https://www.prolifemichiana.org/june-15th-rally.
The rally will feature national speakers Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists, Eric Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League, Mark Harrington of Created Equal, Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation, and Lily Hutkowski of Students for Life.

“Judge Evans Barker’s ruling undermines state authority and threatens Hoosier moms and families,” St. Joseph County Right to Life Executive Director Jackie Appleman said. “We’re calling on people of good sense around the state to join us in standing against this abuse to human rights and states’ rights.”

“Join us on June 15 to stand up for women and babies in South Bend,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Judge Evans Barker’s decision to side with abortion operators will put Hoosier women at risk and lead to the deaths of hundreds of unborn children. If abortions begin without the operators having a license, Hoosiers will have no way to know if the business is complying with health and safety rules or not.”

On May 31, Evans Barker of of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana issued an injunction in favor of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA). Her decision will allow WWHA to dispense abortion drugs without any oversight to ensure health and safety rules are being met. Learn more at www.irtl.org/judge-sides-with-south-bend-abortion-operators-puts-women-at-risk.

St. Joseph County Right to Life, Inc. is dedicated to the social welfare by promoting life through outreach, education and advocacy. It is the oldest, continuously active pro-life organization in St. Joseph County, and is the central organization representing pro-life interests. Its goal is to protect all human life – from fertilization to natural death.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

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