Anti-Abortion Activist Sensabaugh Passes at 81


We were saddened to learn of the passing last week of Carol Sensabaugh of Niagara Falls, a retired cosmetologist who devoted much of her time and energy to fighting legalized abortion. Pro-life, as well as a Pro-lific writer of letters to the editor to local dailies such as the Niagara Gazette and Buffalo News, Sensabaugh waged her own private war against the grotesque butchery of pre-born human beings, as pro-lifers might phrase it, that has plagued this country as a result of liberal policies run amok.

“For over 35 years, I’ve been submitting articles to local newspapers to decry abortion. Especially on Jan. 22, which is the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. The Supreme Court decision in 1973 that gave a woman the right to terminate her child’s life. Forty-three years of infanticide,” she wrote as recently as January of this year in a letter to the Gazette.

“Appealing to basic human goodness, I’ve tried to touch the hardened hearts of selfish women who care only for their own agenda,” Sensabaugh argued, “A fetus is a bud of human life in its first trimester. A bud that with God’s blessing will blossom into a rose of life. Let Mother Mary speak her words of wisdom to you as illustrated in a 1970 classic by the Fab Four and ‘Let it Be.'”

Originally from North Tonawanda, Sensabaugh worked as a waitress at John’s Flaming Hearth Restaurant from 1962 until 1974 and as a cosmetologist from 1973 until her retirement in 2015.

Her probing analysis of the abortion issue, from both medical and legal standpoints, attempted to describe what she clearly believed was an abdominal practice, as it is believed to be by pro-life factions.

“Wednesday marks the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, in which the Supreme Court threw out all boundaries of murder in the first degree by allowing a child’s life to be taken through abortion… According to the American Bar Association, the necessary elements that define first-degree murder are: intent (the specific intent to end a human life); deliberation and premeditation (time to form a conscious intent to kill, and then act on it after a reasonable person would second-guess the decision); and malice aforethought (this is essentially the same as a premeditated intent to kill, but with an extreme indifference for human life). All of these factors are present in the act of abortion.”

“Aren’t there enough killing fields in our country? Doesn’t the staggering figure of 56 million lives lost to abortion make even the hardest of hearts just a little bit uncomfortable? To deny life at its most infinitesimal stage is to deny oneself. Abortion is the ultimate betrayal of the human race.”

Sensabaugh was born in North Tonawanda on March 21, 1935, a daughter of the late Frank A. and Mary E. (Dolan) Jensen. She attended North Tonawanda schools and then graduated from cosmetology school. Later she came to live in Niagara Falls.

She was known to have a great sense of humor.

“I have never met anyone as funny as she was and I can’t imagine I will ever meet anyone funnier,” wrote one of Carol’s friends at the online Memorial website.

Whether one is pro life or pro choice, Sensabaugh’s voluminous correspondence over the years with local newspapers stands as a testament to what one person can do to express themselves on issues that have deep meaning and importance in one’s life.

Of course many would disagree with her views.

Prior to Roe vs. Wade, 16 states had ratified a woman’s right to abortion to protect the health or life of the mother. Two of these, California (1967) and New York (1970) legalized abortion on demand years before the US Supreme Court decision. Therefore, the Supreme Court, based on precedent, validated and accelerated the establishment of abortion rights in America.

Pro-choice advocates argue that the 230-year-old U.S. Constitution defines a citizen as anyone “born or naturalized” not “pre-born or conceived.” Legal rights in America attach at birth, not conception. These include rights of personhood, such as property rights and inheritance. They contend that anti abortion laws are a recent contrivance, rooted in narrow religious viewpoint and steeped in the oppression of women.

Sensabaugh, who is survived by two children, Patrick A. Jensen of Cheektowaga and Christine A. Stemper of Niagara Falls, would have hotly contested that argument.

“(K)eep blindly voting in politicians who pander to pro-choice liberals by keeping abortion a popular choice on Capitol Hill. What has been gained by this waste of humanity? How will it play out in history?” asked Sensabaugh, “It can go down no other way than the darkest of times. A fetus is a human requirement… (Abortion) is nothing short of murder in the first degree.”

According to her obituary as published in the Niagara Gazette, Sensabuagh is  survived by three siblings, Maureen A. Sylvestro, Donna L. Casale and Paul Pellitieri and five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by six siblings, William, Michael, Dennis and Joan Jensen and John and Samuel Pellitieri.

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