A Baby Named Hope vs. Fourteen Spineless ‘Catholic’ Senators


The Senate has rejected a bill that would have banned late-term abortions beyond 20 weeks’ (about five months’) gestation. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which most Americans support, received a hard “no” from 14 self-proclaimed Catholic senators, on whom the bill’s failure ultimately rests.

Aside from ignoring the values of their constituents, the senators who voted against the 20-week ban delivered a big slap in the face to people like Officer Ryan Holets, an Albuquerque policeman who went to great lengths to offer one unborn child the kind of protection that our nation’s laws do not.

The night after the bill was shot down, President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address, during which he honored Officer Holets. I watched as the camera panned to Holets and his wife, Rebecca, who took a brief break from nursing their 2-month-old baby to stand while the president shared their remarkable story.

Last September, Officer Holets and a fellow officer were responding to a routine call regarding a convenience store theft when they came across a homeless couple shooting up heroin in a nearby field. The woman was clearly pregnant.

“Are you pregnant? Why are you doing that stuff?” Holets asked the woman, according to footage taken on his lapel camera. “You are going to kill your baby.”

Holets didn’t arrest the couple. Instead, he and his wife fed them, helped pay for housing, and discussed their plan for the pregnancy moving forward. When the soon-to-be  mother said that she wanted to place her baby up for adoption, Ryan and Rebecca, who had four young children of their own, volunteered to be the adoptive parents.

Their precious baby girl, “Hope,” was born in December.

As I’ve noted before, proponents of abortion peddle an ideology of despair, which holds that certain circumstances (e.g. rape, poverty, addiction, career) necessitate the taking of a life. The pro-choice camp often portrays abortion as responsible, humane, and courageous. According to this reasoning, Hope Holets’s biological mother would have been a prime candidate for an abortion.

But Ryan and Rebecca Holets resisted the lie of despair. A beautiful little girl is alive today because they chose hope instead.

And they likely saved more lives. Speaking to CNN this week, Ryan Holets revealed that Hope’s parents, Crystal Champ and Tom Key, are 40 days sober.

Hope Holets’s story is a testament to the undeniable truth that every life is valuable. Abortion is never the best or the only option for a mother, no matter how desperate the situation.

Senators like Tim Kaine, Susan Collins, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Dick Durbin committed a gutless, wicked act when they cast their votes Monday night. They voted against women, against Church teaching, and ultimately, against hope itself. May they repent of their sin, but until then, may they be anathema.

God bless the Holets family and all those who faithfully persevere against a culture of death and despair. I pray that one day our elected legislators, especially those who embrace the title “Catholic,” will follow their lead.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author


Carly Hoilman is a columnist at CatholicVote.org, and a freelance culture writer and editor based in the greater Philadelphia area. She is a wife, mother, Catholic convert, and alumna of The King's College in New York City. You can find her writings at CatholicVote, TheBlaze, Conservative Review, and Faithwire. Follow her work on Twitter @carlyhoilman.


  1. The actual truth of this story seems lost here. Yes, it’s great that a truly good person stumbled upon this troubled couple and committed himself and his family to raising the couple’s child. He delivers every accolade in the book.
    Let’s say the Senate bill passed. No reasonable pro-life person would then say, “Great, the situation has been resolved!”
    Had any random turn of the universe took the officer in another direction that day, say, a call on his radio, are we just going to act like everything was still fine with the situation? What would become of the child? Is the mother able to access pre-natal care for her child? What would become of her if she lived in a state requiring drug testing or work requirements for Medicaid – an actual situation in Republican-led states being petitioned to the Center for Medicaid Services right this very minute.
    Sure, a hospital will take her in to deliver the child free of charge – assuming she can somehow get herself to a hospital at exactly the right moment. And then after that?
    In March 2017, President Trump called for a 33% reduction in the Women with Infants and Children nutritional program. The Republican Congress let CHIP expire. States are drug-testing for SNAP. I don’t see this website calling out these things.
    Had her child not been adopted, what would become of the child in the world the Republican Party is crafting?

    • Ben-

      The pregnant women here was using heroin, so the “access” etc. questions you run out here are largely academic, as his woman didn’t appear that concerned RE: prenatal health. One might put forth

      I don’t think that your Republican Party diatribe thing is germane here. Drug users typically operate outside typical policy considerations.

      • Heroin is an addictive substance. Come on…someone unable to conquer an addiction (who is homeless no less) is not a sign of care, or not caring, for a child.
        I don’t think I offered a diatribe, and I don’t think this is irrelevant. If the child was not adopted by a random passer-by, how would she acquire health care to care for her pre-natal child, from a pro-life perspective? It’s a rather simple question that deserves an answer.
        How would barring her from Medicaid because of her addiction be a pro-life perspective? Again, a simple question.

        • For her birth, the woman would go the emergency room and her child would be delivered and treated and the matter would likely be referred to the jurisdictions child protection apparatus.

          Like it was when the Democrat administration was in power.

          The woman here was an intravenous drug user, Pre-natal care was not of import to her.


          • Sorry, but I don’t accept your right to speak for someone else.
            Also, I don’t accept your ridiculous theories on drug usage. The addictive qualities of drugs are not related to the method of intake.
            I’m not going to argue those points.

          • I feel comfortable stating and observation that one who persists in deliberately ingesting heroin whilst pregnant does not have prenatal care at the top of her list of priorities.

            We can differ on that, I suppose.

            Is it your belief that people who ingest heroin while pregnant may indeed see themselves as observing best practices for prenatal care?

  2. If the bill passed it would only be a stepping stone in the right direction. There are 9170 federally qualified health centers serving low income Americans. There are others as well. No, the real answer is no Abortions/ murders.
    Other countries have a 12 wks. ban which is better but not enough.
    Stop murder is the answer and until then we will keep marching, we will keep praying.
    We will always support the health clinics serving the poor.
    The so called Catholics in congress who do not follow the laws of the church are not Catholic , even if their Bishops are to spine-less to condemn them and say they Anathema- expelled from the church, some of them will say they expel themselves by rejection of the faith., which the Bishop is then guilty of condemning
    himself by not up holding the laws of the church.
    The only way such a person may come back to the church is: to follow the laws of the church, confess their sins in the confessional, right the wrong if possible, and if public sin then publicly confess & ask forgiveness publicly.

  3. As far as Trump goes he put into place others things to off set the changes. Yes, people need to be drug tested, they need to work if possible.
    I worked with the handi capped for over 20 years. The larges percent of them worked and found great joy in their paychecks, that they could spend on themselves as the government provided them with their needs.
    Companies sometimes made up jobs for them as they would not have been able to do a regular job. Also they had job coaches to help them.
    I believe there are far to many people on welfare, there needs to be at least workfare for most of them. To many won’t work because they will loose their: food stamps. welfare money, and free doctor & meds. many of them take their children to the doctor everytime a just get a cold, etc. So many of them have money for cigarettes and beer. It is not fair to the working poor.
    There are a very large amount of people on welfare that don’t belong there. example: Having babies outside of marriage is a big one. I worked with one for 5yrs. who lived with her boyfriend, they both had jobs, he had a rental house in town & they lived on a farm. She bragged on getting $ 9 thousand dollars at tax time because of the illegitimate child. There are so many living this way and some have many kids, we support.
    There were more than one is this small town so multiply that by the thousands in each big city.

  4. Nearly everyone in Congress is out for themselves, give themselves raises, retirement and the list goes on & on.
    It is very hard to get anything passed in Congress by either party for “We the People”.
    They are all either millionaires or billionaires yet greed of money & power is their goal in life.
    You can add many others to the list: Buffet, Gates, Soros, many in Hollywood, Sports, and the list goes on.
    If they cared they would donate to the national debt, social security, Vets, Medicare and other good causes.
    Trump is not taking his salary, true he is rich, but did not need to tax us to get it.
    While Congress & other Presidents steal us blind.
    YES, they even stoled china, and other things from the white house.

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