The Unborn Baby: Watched by the White House, Blessed by the Church


The Washington Free Beacon has broken the news that although a baby can be aborted up until the ninth month in Washington DC, the White House Visitors Office requires that an unborn child must be counted as a full human being when its parents register for a White House tour.


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have published the recently approved Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb.

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In the first case, the Free Beacon bust, I imagine the White House staff stewing:

“The unborn child is NOT a person!” / “Yes it IS!” / “No it’s NOT!”

White House Visitors Office director Ellie Schafer’s email to a Capitol Hill staffer on Tuesday has gone viral, causing much head-shaking among Main Street Americans, both liberal and conservative.  Schafer was explaining the process for registering an unborn fetus for a White House tour.

We have received a number of calls regarding how to enter security information for a baby that has not yet been born.

Crazy as it may sound, you MUST include the baby in the overall count of guests in the tour. It’s an easy process.

LAST NAME: The family’s last name

•FIRST NAME: “Baby” as a first name
•MIDDLE NAME: NMN as in No Middle Name
•DOB: Use the date you are submitting the request to us as their birthday
•GENDER: if the parents know put that gender down if not, you can enter either M or F as we’ll ask you to update it at the time of birth
•SOCIAL: As they will not have a SSN and are under 18, you will not need to enter this field.  Again if the spreadsheet asked for a social enter 9 zero’s (not the word nine zeros but 000000000 and yes it happens!)
•CITIZEN/CITY/STATE: The citizen, city and state should be entered the same as the parents

The National Right to Life Committee recognized the incongruity in this pro-abortion Administration and released a statement about Schafer’s email, highlighting the fact that the “Obama White House recognizes [a] ‘baby that has not been born’ for White House security purposes, but tolerates legal abortion to [the] moment of birth in District of Columbia.”

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In happier news, the USCCB has just released the “Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb.”  The prayer was written in response to a request by then-Bishop Joseph Kurtz of Knoxville, Kentucky (now the archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky).  The USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities prepared the text and submitted it to the organization’s Divine Worship committee in March 2008.  The bishops approved it in their General Assembly in November 2008, and it was forwarded to Rome for final edits and approval.

According to the USCCB website,

the blessing was prepared to support parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage parish prayers for and recognition of the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society. It can be offered within the context of the Mass as well as outside of Mass.

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, in announcing the new rite on the feast of the Annunciation, said, We hope the use of this blessing will provide not only support and God’s blessing for expectant parents and their child in the womb, but also another effective witness to the sanctity of human life from the first moment of conception.”

An Excerpt from the Prayer of Blessing

God, author of all life,
bless, we pray, this unborn child;
give constant protection

and grant a healthy birth
that is the sign of our rebirth one day
into the eternal rejoicing of heaven…

Kathy Schiffer is the wife of a deacon and mother of three grown children. For more than 20 years she has worked in the Catholic world, as a radio producer, conference director, event planner and media relations coordinator.  She lives and writes in Southfield, MI. Visit her website at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer.
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