Delegates meet here for Birthright convention

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2000

More than 71 delegates from 18 Birthright chapters across Minnesota heard Dr.

Monday, October 02, 2000

More than 71 delegates from 18 Birthright chapters across Minnesota heard Dr. Jean Garton praise their work as "nose-counters."

Email newsletter signup

Garton told the delegates and guests of a fire that threatened a mother cat and her kittens and how the maternal feline physically touched the noses of each of her kittens to ensure they survived the blaze.

"I don’t think it is out of order to call Birthright ‘nose-counters,’" Garton said. "Yours is an honorable institution and ministry that goes far beyond the missing of saving victims and helping mothers," she said.

Garton was the keynote speaker at the two-day state convention held at St. John Lutheran Church in Austin. Birthright provides free pregnancy tests, helps in sorting things out, confidential medical referrals, other professional services and practical help.

Collene Brunton, the organization’s Austin chapter president, welcomed the delegates and guests and Austin Mayor Bonnie Rietz offered greetings.

The Rev. William K. Natzke, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, gave the invocation and then the work began.

Helen Houseal, Birthright International regional consultant, spoke to the assembly and there was a panel discussion on "Pregnant – Where do I go now?"

John McGuire of Catholic Social Services, spoke and a business meeting was held.

Then, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born wife of an Arkansas minister, the Rev. H. W. Garton, took center stage.

Beginning with the comparison to a mother cat’s nose-counting, Garton reminded the assembly there are more noses to count than the obvious ones.

Abortion has fostered a skewered view of children and is a significant factor in the escalation of child abuse to born children.

She told a story of a mother who punished her born children for wrongdoing by saying, "I wish to hell I had aborted you, too."

Fractured families are another victim, according to Garton, who said abortion destroys the "trusting relationship between born children and their parents."

Garton said born children must face the question, "Would my mother have done that to me?"

Other victims of abortion, according to Garton, are the fathers, but Garton spent more time suggesting abortion causes the "corruption of the medical profession." For proof, she pointed out the new RU-486 abortion pill that can bring about miscarriage during the first seven weeks of pregnancy.

"This new drug will allow more doctors to engage in abortion," Garton said. "We’re going to see an incredibly large number of injuries to women and teen-age girls."

Garton also predicted the resulting litigation over the anticipated medical problems from using RU-486 will surpass that surrounding tobacco use.

She attacked the Roe vs. Wade ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court and the new debate over partial-birth abortions, saying America is on a collision course with its interpretation.

Garton said ambiguity exists, when "it’s considered cruel to place a child up for adoption and kind to put it to death by abortion."

Politicians also were castigated by Garton for their lack of resolve. "We live in a time when to be for life is considered extreme," she said.

"So many women have been taken in by the seductive language of the abortion rights movement," she said.

She also suggested not enough attention is being paid to studies that suggest there is a link between breast cancer and abortion.

Garton also said common sense is a victim of abortion, when "language so slippery" is used to answer the fundamental question, "When does individual human life begin?"

That, Garton said, is a "fundamental question everybody should ask every politician running for office."

If Garton’s message sounds like it includes too much "gloom and doom," she also praised the opponents of the pro-choice movement and the 40 million abortions performed.

And she quoted from the Bible to assure the Birthright volunteers they were doing the right thing.

From Deuteronomy 30:15 and the passage "I have set before you life and death. Choose life," to Jeremiah 1:5 and the passage "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you," Garton emphasized God supported Birthright’s nose-counting.