As part of our new series of interviews with fabulous pro-life women, today we’re featuring part 1 of our interview with Marie-Claire Reer, who is the President of 1Flesh. Today we’ll get to know the woman behind the title and tomorrow and Friday we’ll get into some interesting topics. We’ll be talking about issues like whether birth control pills are abortifacients and how natural family planning methods can help couples struggling with infertility. Stay tuned!
Faye: Thanks for joining us at PWPL for an interview Marie-Claire! Why don’t we start with a few ‘get-to-know-you’ questions. When you’re not busy with 1Flesh, how do you spend your time?
Marie-Claire: I went to school for architecture and currently work at an architecture firm in Austin, Texas. I recently married the love of my life and my best friend, Michael. We just returned from a two-week honeymoon in Scotland, which was truly beautiful. I have two brothers, both younger, who hope to become engineers someday. I have a close relationship with my family. We would travel a lot grown up which created many good memories.
My hobbies include boating on Lake Austin, going to live concerts, and swing dancing. My husband and I love hiking and snow skiing. On Friday nights we tend to host dinner parties (he usually does the cooking!). We have a great group of friends who come over to discuss everything from politics and religion to Texas football rivalries.
Faye: Who is a personal hero?
Marie-Claire: A few years back, when Michael and I first got engaged, we moved to Buffalo, New York for our summer internships. While there we met Bill and Julie Baaki. Previously, Michael and I struggled to merge our different ideas family life together. Watching the Baaki’s gave us, for the first time, a clear picture of what we wanted together. Julie Baaki is my personal hero because of her unwavering trust in God and His plan. She has an attitude that “everything will work out” and everything is a blessing. Despite struggles and setbacks, she sees it all as a gift. She gives so much to her husband and six beautiful kids but the sacrifice is unnoticeable compared to her joy. Julie showed me that even the things that seem insurmountable turn out to beautiful when you suspend your preconceived notions. If everyone were able to suspend their ideas of the perfect life, they would notice that they already have one.
Faye: Wow. That’s a really powerful story. I think we could all learn something from Julie Baaki.
What’s your favorite movie or book?
Marie-Claire: To be honest, I do not have a favorite movie or book. I LOVE watching movies, though. I have a list of 501 must-see movies that I am going through. My most recent favorites (not on the list) would probably be The Blind Side for the story and the acting and Pitch Perfect simply because it made me laugh over and over again. The most recent book I’ve read was Without Remorse by Tom Clancy, which was very interesting. I am starting to read the rest of Tom Clancy’s novels now.
Faye: Do you consider yourself a member of the pro-life movement?
Marie-Claire: Yes, I do consider myself part of the pro-life movement. I have always been pro-life because I believed it is the most pro-woman stance.
I use to hear people say that pro-choice was pro-women. I noticed, however, that only the pro-life cause has actually helped women in need. It is only the pro-life supporters that start charities to help woman heal from abortions without judgment. It is only the pro-life supporters that start charities help the women, who chose to keep their babies, support their growing families. They even started charities to help those in the abortion industry find more fulfilling jobs.
Many women with unintentional pregnancies, who may have wanted to keep their babies, did not think they could because of finances, family and societal pressures, or because it hindered their dreams. While pro-choice campaigns said “We will get you out of this mess,” it was only the pro-life organizations that said, “We can help you do this without sacrificing your baby and body.” How empowering! I believe women deserve more and can handle more and do it with more grace than the world tells them they can.
Faye: Those are really great points. I think you may have inspired me to write an article about that. Thanks so much!
Well, why don’t we getting down to business now. You’re President of 1Flesh. Can you tell us a little bit about the organization and its purpose?
Marie-Claire: 1Flesh is a non-profit that wants to introduce natural family planning to men, women, and couples and empower them to recognize the power of their fertility and promote the knowledge to effectively, naturally, and healthily postpone pregnancy.
Faye: What drew you to the organization?
Marie-Claire: I got involved with 1Flesh during my last year at Texas A&M University. I had started charting for my upcoming marriage and the more I got into learning natural family planning, the more in love with the method I became.
Additionally, I felt a deep sorrow for couples that did not realize that natural methods of family planning were reasonably available to them. At one point in time, I, myself, did not know about natural family planning as an effective means of postponing pregnancy, let alone all the benefits. Natural family planning is only really well known among devout Catholic groups. I felt, however, that if natural family planning were advertised as frequently as all the other non-natural methods of family planning, its popularity would grow significantly.
Additionally, its popularity would be based on all the benefits, goodness of the methods, and testimonials from other women and couples as appose to a pharmaceutical company’s advertisement. I was bouncing around the idea of finding ways to promote natural family planning to the general public when I was introduced to the Texas A&M chapter of 1flesh. From there I simply increased my involvement on the national level until I was asked to step up as president.
Faye: Why and when was 1Flesh founded?
Marie-Claire: 1Flesh was started in 2012 by a group of young adults and college students, lead by Marc Barnes. It started almost as a blog. These students, seeing the “contraception culture” on college campus, wanted to educate their peers about their natural options. With more interest and involvement from college age students, it has grown and taken on a bigger mission.
Thanks so much for the background information, Marie-Claire. We look forward to chatting with you tomorrow!by