Which Lives Matter?
Which Lives Matter?

The following thoughts on life were shared with us by a physician. Through both his professional and his personal life, he has a unique view of life.

In a day where we talk much about lives mattering, his words should shake us to our core. Do ALL lives truly matter to us?


Much has been made of late about which lives matter. Some say black lives matter and that is true.  Some say white lives matter and that is true as well.  Others have said blue lives matter or all lives matter and these are all true as well. Why these questions, why our searching and why now?  Who are we, why are we and does it really matter? Not only politically or for social purposes but also for existential purposes; in our souls we are longing, we are asking what and why is Life?  What lives matter and why; and the corollary question, “Do all lives matter or not?”  Do some lives matter more because of their color, wealth, status or contribution or convenience to others or are all lives of equal great value like our bill of rights says?  These questions are being asked and should be asked. The answers to the questions will shape our values and our future.

My Granddaughter
These questions came more into focus more than ever before when a little lady came into my life June 5th, 2016.  Our daughter-in-law was having an uneventful first -time pregnancy and everything was going well as she approached her due date. Literally on that due date, as if an alarm had been set by God Himself, my daughter-in-law woke up sensing something was different. The baby was still moving but her motion was different, not the same as it had been. That morning she and our son met at the hospital and the doctors and nurses quickly determined based on the fetal heart tracing that she needed a C-section immediately. The medical team and obstetrician flew into action. When our granddaughter was born she was perfect in every way, but was white as a ghost.  Her hemoglobin was a mere 4gm (a normal for newborns of 12-14gm).  She needed blood fast to correct this deficiency.  We all prayed and cried as a family as our long-awaited first grandchild and niece for was now in real danger.  The baby received her critical blood transfusion of two units that night. Later, when things had quieted down, I had a chance to see her for the first time and to look into her Vaseline-moistened, blinking eyes and hold her tiny fingers amidst all of the lines and tubes she had to keep her comfortable and her little life stable.

Which Lives Matter and Why?
In that moment, I was reminded again that every life without exception matters to God and that right then (and always) Nora’s life mattered to God. But very importantly not just Nora; so did every other little one in that NICU, or that hospital or in our city or country or even on this entire planet. This wasn’t just true for babies from white families or black or Hispanic families, wealthy or poor families, refugee or citizen, intact or broken families; not just from suburbia or from the inner city, families of every nation or people group, male or female babies. Each and every one of these tiny, vulnerable lives matter deeply and uniquely to God their Creator.  Why do we have value as humans?  Because that value does not originate or emanate from us, neither is it given to us by others, our culture or government. Our value comes from God Himself. Our value is conferred to us from our loving creator God. Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” Or as He said in Matthew 10:29-30, not even a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father in heaven knowing it and even the very hairs on our heads are numbered. The old hymn sums it up this way, “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He’s watching me” –  with eyes of love and concern.

As I drove home from the NICU that night, my heart was deeply moved – broken if you will – as I realized and spoke out my thoughts aloud. “My Sweet Granddaughter, I never knew you until a few short hours ago and now I cannot imagine life without you”.

Sadly, this is not always a story with such a happy ending. Babies can be lost from obstetric catastrophes like abruption or bleeds (like my granddaughter), infection, maternal deprivation or starvation, malformations or other conditions incompatible with life.  Even more sadly, some perfectly healthy babies, are not born at all or not saved from danger but torn from their safe haven in their mother’s uterus by an adult skilled at the dark art of abortion.

Despite what some would have us think, abortion is neither “safe” nor “rare” – to borrow a phrase from previous politicians.

Abortion is uniformly fatal for one of the patients and injurious if not physically, then mentally and emotionally for the other. 

As it has been said by others, abortion leaves one dead and one wounded. It is also not true to say abortion in the USA is rare, where approximately 1.1 million abortions are performed each year; nearly 100,000/ month or over 3,000/day. On an annual basis, this is nearly the population of Dallas,Texas and more than San Jose, and San Francisco, CA, Indianapolis IN, Charlotte, NC or Boston, MA (from 2012 census data) each year.

It is important to say clearly that these babies are nearly always perfectly formed little people. We are not simply talking about non-discreet tissues masses; but rather completely perfectly formed little ones living safely, comfortably but completely dependently inside their mother’s uterus until they are not. These tragic and deeply disturbing facts unfortunately I know well first hand.


If you are considering an abortion, please know that you will find no judgment here. You will only find compassion, understanding and friendship. We want to help you make a decision that is one you can truly live with for the rest of your life. We want you to have facts and information.

And then the choice is yours.

No matter what that choice, we will support you and love you.

Spring Break Is Here – Where Will It Leave You?
Spring Break - Possibly Pregnant?

Wiping away winter blues
It’s that time of year again. The sun is beginning to warm up the city, the birds and colors of green are coming in around us, and the students cooped up with the stress of midterms begin to have dreams of beaches, poolside views and parties with friends. 

Spring break is here – can we all breathe a sigh of relief for that? Who besides me is totally done with winter and with being cooped up inside a classroom on some of these gorgeous days? Who else is ready for Padre Island and Daytona Beach with your girls? Group selfie for the ‘gram! 

But let’s be honest with ourselves here. Of the literal thousands of students who frequent popular spring break locations, a lot of them come home with a lot more than they bargained for. The massive numbers of people, party atmosphere, and constant flow of alcohol make this the perfect time to pick up an STD, become a victim of sexual assault, or be faced with an unplanned pregnancy. 

The facts
In a recent poll from Family First LLC, three out of five women on spring break knew a friend who was having unprotected sex.  57% said that sexual activity was seen as a way to fit in and 74% said they saw drinking as an excuse for outrageous behavior. 59% knew of someone who had been sexually active with more than one partner, and sadly 12% reported they themselves regretted sexual activity on spring break or felt forced or coerced into having sex.  

Spring break tips
There are several strategies you can implement this spring break to help ensure a fun and relaxing time for both you and your girls. A good rule of thumb is to make important decisions while sober and before you are in pressured situations. How much are you going to drink tonight? Who are you going to take with you and how will you look out for each other? Deciding these things ahead of time can make it easier to make decisions that you are going to be comfortable with later on. 

Travel with a group and watch out for each other! Make sure if you go to a party, you are with girls who you know have your back no matter what. Help each other watch out for the signs of date rape drugs, predatory behavior, or anything that you feel is “off”. Make sure everyone is accounted for when you leave the party, and don’t be afraid to leave early if something is making you uncomfortable!

And you’ve heard it a million times, but drink responsibly. Keep an eye on your drink, pace yourself, eat beforehand, and remember that you have nothing to prove to anyone. 


Always remember that you can call us here at Advice and Aid if your spring break didn’t go quite as planned. If you’re in need of STD testing, pregnancy testing/counseling, or even just someone to talk to, call our 24 hour hotline at 913-962-0200.

 

The Strong Woman and the Power of NO
Strong Woman Power of No-Cropped

Social media, the entertainment industry, and even friends can lead you to believe that sex in short-term relationships are the right of a liberated female population.

Here at Advice and Aid, we are all about empowering women. We are even run by some very strong and empowered women. We are also all for speaking honesty into your life and telling you the truth about where short-term sexual relationships can leave you.

The truth is, sex without a long-term commitment (like marriage) will always leave you vulnerable. Vulnerable to STI’s, vulnerable to an unplanned pregnancy, but also vulnerable to lowered self-value.

No matter how much our culture normalizes sex, it will always be an act of intimacy. Even in casual relationships, it forces you to open yourself up to the other person and surrender yourself to them. While many women enjoy the short-term pleasures of sex, this intimacy can leave you feeling lonely when it is over and your partner doesn’t stick around.

Sex won’t make your date stay with you. Sex is not an act that means he loves you. It can only be an act of affection after the love (and commitment that demonstrates true love) has already been formed.

You have the power to say no to your date’s sexual advances.
You have the power to choose to love yourself and value yourself.
You do not need a man to tell you your value or worth.
You were made unique and special, no one will ever be the same as you.

And until a man not only tells you he believes these things about you, but commits to you with more then just words, he doesn’t deserve to be with you in an intimate way.

The harsh truth is, if your date decides he doesn’t want to stick around because you won’t have sex with him, he surely won’t be sticking around when you go through an STI diagnosis or an unplanned pregnancy.

Value yourself for the special women you are.
Wait for the right partner who will see your worth. Sex within in a committed long-term relationship has the power to make you feel loved and completed, instead of empty and abandoned.

Choose now to pursue this kind of soul-fulfilling path.


Look, we totally get it. The pressures you feel today are unreal. Sex is everywhere we look, and saying “NO” of any kind isn’t exactly valued. But we see far more value in you than just your sexuality.

Sometimes, strong women lean on other strong women to help them stay strong. And that’s where we come in. Even if you are wrestling with this issue and just need to talk it through with someone, we are here.

Let our strong women help you, Strong Woman! We are on your side and fighting for you!

Pregnant, Again. Finding Help That Made A Real Difference.

Just how much help can Advice & Aid provide someone in a difficult situation? This story, shared from an actual client here, tells the beautiful tale of months of help, hope and encouragement. Exactly what she and her family needed – even down to diapers, a Thanksgiving meal and wrapped Christmas presents!

When you walk through our doors, you have found a friend for the long haul. One that can give actual help for whatever season you find yourself in.


I first came to Advice & Aid in May, 2015. I was a stay-at-home mom of a 7-month-old daughter, and suspected I was pregnant again.

I was pregnant, but it was extremely early, so the pregnancy test had showed negative. Advice & Aid encouraged me to come back in a few weeks and take another test. I came back a month later and the test was positive. The counselor prayed with me for a healthy pregnancy, I watched a video about pregnancy, she offered a free sonogram, and then she invited me to join Bridges, the class at Advice & Aid for moms.

At the time, my husband and I shared one car and lived in a one bedroom apartment. Money was very tight. Going to Bridges gave me a chance to get out of the house, make other mom-friends, learn how to be a better mom, and earn points for baby clothes, diapers, wipes and other needed baby items that, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to afford.

At Thanksgiving that year, Advice & Aid gave our family a turkey and all of the sides, allowing us to have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at home as a family. Without that help, we would have gone without.

At Christmas, our family received a big bag of wrapped Christmas gifts. We likely wouldn’t have had money for gifts, so this was a huge blessing to us.

Throughout the next year, I continued to attend Bridges classes. I now had two baby girls just 15 months apart, and through simply attending classes, was able to earn points for baby clothes, diapers and essentials for my little girls.

I recently graduated from the Bridges program and am blessed with friendships that will last a lifetime with some of the other moms I met there. I am now the proud mom of three little ones, all under the age of 3! I appreciate Advice & Aid for all they have done for my family!

Learn more about our Bridges program here:
Pregnancy Help You Are Looking For
You Are Not Alone!
Just for Dads: Men Helping Other Men


If you, or someone you know, is in a situation where you desperately don’t want to be alone, then perhaps a visit with us is exactly what is needed.

Simply make an appointment online, and when you come, you will meet with your very own Client Advocate – someone who will walk with you, cry with you, laugh with you, and be there to answer any question you have. For the long haul!

You aren’t alone and real help is just around the corner!

Worried About Being Pregnant . . . Getting Peace of Mind
Unsure pregnancy

Walking Through Our Doors Looking for Help
It was late in the day when two young friends walked over from the abortion clinic next door to our Overland Park Center. Both wanted a pregnancy test, but could not afford one next door. They saw our sign and decided to come here instead. They were very nervous walking into our center.

First Step: Testing
Our Client Advocates offered them something to drink to help put them at ease and took them into separate counseling rooms. They individually shared with the advocates that if positive, they planned to abort as they could not possibly have a baby right now. Each had their own reasons, each couldn’t see beyond their current circumstances, and parenting was a very scary option. The client advocates offered a pregnancy test, as well as STI testing to each client, which they both accepted. While waiting for the results of the pregnancy test, they discussed with the young women their various options.

One young lady’s test came back negative, and the other young lady’s test came back positive.

Next Step: Getting the Information She Needed
The pregnant young woman was offered a sonogram (to determine pregnancy viability), which she accepted. She shared that she was afraid to tell her parents of her pregnancy, and she was unsure how her boyfriend would react to the news. When she saw her baby on the sonogram screen, a new look came over her face, one of surprise and awe. She smiled and asked questions about the development of the baby, and a change was very evident in her demeanor. She was given a lot of support and encouragement, and many resources were also offered. A follow-up appointment for her STI results was scheduled in one week. As she and her friend left, she said, “You guys are lovely!”

The Follow-Up Visit: A Complete Change
When the client returned the following week, there was a visible change in her body language. She almost had a spring her step! She shared that she had informed her parents of her pregnancy, and they were very supportive. Her boyfriend was also very supportive and they have been making plans for their life together as a family.

This young woman almost made a life-changing decision out of fear of the unknown. It was through the support and services of Advice & Aid that she realized that she was stronger than she realized, and didn’t have to go on this journey alone.


Additional Helpful Articles:
I Was Pregnant . . . And Needed Some Serious Help!

When Pregnancy Wasn’t Part of Your Story

Where Do You Go For Answers When You Are Pregnant?


If you are going through a similar experience to either of the young ladies above, you might have seen yourself a bit in either of  their stories. One young lady got the peace of mind she was looking for, and the other – while not receiving the news she initially hoped for – still had a positive ending because of one choice: to walk in the doors of Advice & Aid. Because of that choice, she found help, hope, resources, support . . . all of the things she needed most.

Take your first step today towards taking back control of your own situation. Make an appointment with us.

No pressure
No agenda
Simply the information you need . . . an understanding friend, and hope!

When Pregnancy Wasn’t Part of Your Story
Pregnancy

Stories.

Everyone has a story . . . the story that is their life. Some stories are like fairy tales. Happy endings, fulfillment and bliss seem to hang on to some people. Their lives, while occasionally sidetracked by the unexpected, never seem to experience the deep darkness that others face. This is not written for them.

This is for the woman whose story is shaded by dark colors, disappointment and unmet goals. This is for the one whose story simply isn’t turning out like they wanted it to.

It’s important to understand that, while your story is uniquely yours, it does bear some of the same elements as the stories of others. There are countless women whose story has gone just like yours . . . the unexpected happens, and suddenly, their lives are thrown completely off course. With one small positive on a pregnancy test, all of their life planning and direction seems to be in jeopardy. Their story is suddenly taking a turn that they didn’t anticipate. Fear, depression and a sense of uncertainty flood over them.

Sound familiar? With a life that is completely out of control, it’s easy to see how someone can consider what seems to be a quick, easy way out of a problem in order to get their story back on track.

But what if the story isn’t over? What if the story is just being re-written with a different ending? What if the story is far more beautiful than originally thought? What if, with the right help, the right encouragement, the right people by your side, your story turns out to be one of fulfillment and happy endings?

You need to know Stacie’s story. You just may see yourself some in the beginning of her story. But listen closely – her story ends in a good place . . . and yours can too!

Want more stories from Advice & Aid?
Some have a happy ending . . . some are still being written.
Perhaps you’ll see some of your own story in one of these:

Advice & Aid Stories

And if you wish to have a story like Stacie’s, one where real help, options, answers and support play a big role, the next step is both the easiest – and the hardest – that you will ever have to take.

You simply have to show up.

Take your first step today towards taking back control of your situation. Make an appointment with us. No pressure, no agenda – simply information, an understanding friend, and hope!

Shacking. Small Word . . . Big Consequences
Shacking Up

Shacking. What an innocent-sounding term for something that can turn out to be anything but innocent.

If you aren’t familiar with the term “shacking,” the best way to describe it would be when two people “hook up” for a night, but one slips out, unnoticed, early the next morning. We see it portrayed in movies all the time, usually in a college atmosphere. The characters shack up for a night while drunk, and then don’t remember what happened by the next morning. Often, it’s supposed to be funny. Sounds pretty harmless, right? But what if there are long-term consequences that come from this? Suddenly, it’s not so funny OR harmless.

Obviously, pregnancy and STDs are the first of the consequences that come to mind. And while these are very real possibilities that should never be taken lightly, there is something else that needs to be considered. There is a very real – very serious – emotional aspect to shacking that someone needs to be talking about.

The honest fact is, bouncing from person to person for just a few minutes
of pleasure will eventually leave you feeling empty and meaningless.

Of course, we’re told today that women can do anything they want with their bodies. And they are right . . . we can. But just because we CAN do it doesn’t mean that it is good or that we SHOULD do it.

The point of this is not to sound judgmental, but rather to be a motivation for you. We are here to motivate you to love. No, not finding someone else to love. But rather, learning to love yourself.

Loving yourself means that you see yourself for the amazing, incredible person that God created. Having love – and respect – for yourself is something that no one else has power over. It is yours.

One college student summed up her transformation – and advice – this way:

After hitting rock bottom my freshman year of college from being involved with the partying lifestyle, I was absolutely disgusted with the person I became.

After transferring to (a different college), I decided to change my lifestyle and really fall in love with the beautiful life God had before me. Channel your energy toward your goals, education and people who want to build you up and I can guarantee you will feel so much better.

Travel the world, audition for a role in the play, join an organization or set a new goal to become the best version of you possible. Then when you are genuinely happy with who you are, someone special will come along. When you find another soul who is equally as goofy, spontaneous and challenges you to be a better version of yourself, then that is when you have got it right.

Allowing the right person to enter your own weird little world is one of the most breathtaking things anyone can have.

So girls, you want to truly be in control of your body? Realize that your body is a temple and should be treated with care and respect.

Suddenly, “shacking” doesn’t seem so glamorous after all!


Sometimes, making that decision to respect your body can be a difficult one; especially if you are making a lifestyle change. What you need is a friend to listen to your heart and help you figure out the steps you need to take to change. We can be that friend.

No judgment.
No agenda.
Just compassion and honesty.

An Abortion Story . . . With An Ending Of Acceptance & Love
Abortion Story Ends in Hope

When I was 15 years old I was in what I thought was a serious relationship. I became sexually active and soon found myself pregnant. That’s where my abortion story begins.

I told no one and attempted to deny reality. I was involved in high school sports which kept me in shape, making it easy for me to pretend I was not pregnant. My mother, however, began to notice changes in me. Eventually, she convinced me to make a doctor’s appointment. It was there we both learned that I was in my sixth month of pregnancy.

Reality hit hard that day.

It wasn’t long until I learned that my mother set up an appointment for a late term abortion procedure. She drove me to a clinic three hours from our home, telling the rest of the family we were going on vacation. It was no vacation. In fact that weekend was my worst nightmare; I could hardly believe I was living it.

When the day of the abortion came I thought that  it was my best option. After all, my mother was making this decision with me in mind. I was taken to a room where I was shown on a monitor how my baby looked and what was happening during the abortion procedure. I did not pay attention. I just wanted it to be over. The physical pain of giving birth without any pain relief had me crying out while the doctor was telling me to be considerate of others and stop, otherwise he would not continue with the procedure. I sucked it up, and for that weekend I did not cry. I did not cry at all. Not when I had to give birth to a dead child. Not when I had to come home and tell everyone how wonderful my vacation was. This was never spoken about again.

Denial became a way of life.

My grades in school began to fail. I began to walk away from my friends, my sports, and my education. I was broken and crying inside, yet I was not sure why. After all, wasn’t this the best choice for a single teenager with an unplanned pregnancy? Isn’t your life supposed to just go on?

When I became pregnant again in my late twenties I wanted to have an abortion. I believed I was not fit to be someone’s mother. I believed abortion was the only way out of a pregnancy.

I became acquainted with the people at Advice & Aid. Here, they listened to my story, shared in my tears, and offered me unconditional support. They did not tell me what choice I HAD to make. They simply laid out my options for me, with a kindness and gentleness that I hadn’t felt in a long time.

How it ended

I’m not going to tell you the end of my story. It may be different than yours, and I don’t want you to focus on that. I am sharing my story to simply let you know that I found a place where, at last, I could begin to heal. I found a place that was not judgmental in any way, and that accepted me – and helped me begin to recover from feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

The fact is, no matter what stage you find yourself in – post-abortion, unplanned pregnancy, not sure what choice to make – you have a place where you can talk it all out.

You have a very knowledgeable, very supportive friend here.


If you are interested in reading other stories like this, visit these links:
Nicole’s Story
Kelly’s Story


If you have had an abortion – or are thinking about it – there may be emotions, pain and struggle that are hard to deal with on your own. That’s why we are here!

Every day, we talk to women in that very position. And they are finally given options, help . . . and the hope they need.

You can talk to us at any time. We are waiting for you.

Black & White in a “Shades of Grey” World
Fifty Shades Darker

As Valentine’s Day approaches, many women will flock to their local theater to see Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to the widely popular film and erotic book series Fifty Shades of Grey. There is a significant irony about linking a holiday about love and romance with a film that glorifies the use of BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism, masochism) through manipulation and coercion in a relationship.

While the Fifty Shades of Grey series is often categorized as a romance, it actually normalizes a very serious issue in today’s culture: sexual violence against women. Just like in mainstream pornography, the Fifty Shades of Grey series perpetuates the sexual exploitation of women.

The National Center of Sexual Exploitation states, “The popular series promotes torture as sexually gratifying and normalizes domestic violence, particularly violence against women. This type of material cultivates a rape and sexual violence culture and is now permeating our society. With the popularity of this book, mainstream opinion-makers are telling the public (especially youth) that humiliation, degradation, and torture in sex is normal and to just give it a try.”

Where things get grey is when our culture begins to normalize something that we once would have all deemed as wrong. The more culture normalizes sexual violence against women the easier it is for women to accept it as being okay it in their own lives, their friends’ lives, and their daughters’ lives.

What are we teaching the next generation of women when our entertainment contains physical, emotional, and sexual violence? They learn what is acceptable by observing what we deem acceptable. Case in point: the extreme popularity of a film and book series that treats sexual violence as love.

The black and white of it is… sexual violence ≠ love.

Women deserve more than to be seen as sexual objects and to be used for fulfilling sexual fantasies. Women deserve more than to be manipulated and coerced into sexual behavior that is violent and manipulative. Women deserve more than to be held to the standard we have set for them by accepting sexual violence as normal.

Books and films like Fifty Shades of Grey take us back to a time when women didn’t have a voice. It is time for all women to stand up and say no.

Additional article from Advice & Aid on Domestic Violence:
Love Shouldn’t Hurt – Signs of Domestic Violence


If you, or someone you know, thinks that a relationship might be considered violent, it’s important that you get out. Immediately.

At Advice & Aid, we are here to talk with you and be a support system for you if you find yourself faced with a domestic violence situation. We can also provide you with professional counseling referrals and referrals for women to community organizations like Safehome or Rose Brooks.

You are not alone, and there is help through this crisis.

If you need to talk to someone, feel free to call our 24-hour hotline, or make an appointment to see us. It’s a safe, non-judgmental place that can offer you the help you need.

Election – When You Need to Choose More Than A President
Election

Every four years in the United States, we have the opportunity through our election process to exercise our right to vote. It’s a privilege that we sometimes take for granted. And while it is, indeed, a great privilege, it also comes with great responsibilities. We must educate ourselves about all the candidates, the issues, the potential long term effects of those that may end up in office, both for us and our future family.  It is so important that our vote is based on truth, on facts, and not on promises that may or may not be kept. Truly, the quality of our lives and our futures may depend on it.

At first glance, it may seem that the election process has nothing in common with unplanned pregnancy, although it certainly can have great impact on it. The presidential elections come around every four years, and we know exactly when to expect them. An unplanned pregnancy, on the other hand, often shows up when we are least thinking about it.

However, like voting, the decision we make in regards to a pregnancy is something that must be carefully considered. With a pregnancy – planned or unplanned – there are multiple options from which to choose.  Each option can have a great affect on us, our family, and our future family in multiple ways. Deciding which option to choose is not easy. Our decision must be based on truth, on facts, and not on promises that might not ever be fulfilled.

Needing to make a choice – other than the election – right now? Make your first decision the one to check out Advice & Aid. Here you’ll find no rhetoric, no tricks. No promises that can’t be fulfilled. This is simply a place you can trust to receive the help you need. If we had a party platform, it would be this . . . Here for you. Here for your good.

Book An Appointment Now Button - Home Page


Stories of women who found hope and help at Advice & Aid:
Molly’s Story
Bethany’s Story