"Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.” ~ Susan B Anthony
Welcome to our Action page! Whatever your age, religion, profession, or place of residence, there is action you can take to help save the lives of children who otherwise might be killed by abortion! This page gives you a few possible ideas to start with.
We want you to know about our brochure You can save someone's life today, which contains dozens of suggested activities. Our website provides various other suggestions for activity as well.
And remember, all our activity must be rooted in prayer! Please visit our prayer resources page.
Action Item: Eucharistic Devotion
The defense of the unborn child is closely linked with the Church's teachings on the Eucharist, which is the Sacrament of Life. In the midst of our Eucharistic devotion, we can highlight its pro-life implications. For example, Masses can be requested for the specific intention of an end to abortion, for the babies, the parents, the abortionists, etc. When the Mass intentions are announced from the pulpit or in the parish bulletin, everyone then is reminded of the pro-life message.
Special holy hours can also be held for an end to abortion. Adoration chapels can have special prayers available that focus on the unborn child. Eucharistic processions can have a pro-life theme. In some places, the Blessed Sacrament has been carried in procession past an abortion mill. Find more information at www.priestsforlife.org/eucharist
Action item: Join the Lay Society of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life.
The members of this Society witness before the Church and the world to the priority of the right to life as the foundation of all other rights, and to the absolute claims to respect and protection that this right makes upon every individual and community in the human family. The Society promotes and defends the natural human right to life, in the light of the Gospel, focusing in particular on ending the scourge of abortion.
The members of our Society undertake a process of spiritual and pro-life formation, and then make special promises to defend human life and to collaborate with the Society by following its spirituality and sharing its mission to the extent that their duties allow.
For more information see, www.priestsforlife.org/missionary
Action Item: Promote the Daily Prayer to End Abortion
One thing that every believer can do is to pray, and since abortion is the number one moral crisis of our day, believers should pray every day that it will end, and that they will be faithful to their duty to make it end.
For that purpose, we have established a website, www.PrayerCampaign.org, at which people can sign up to say a daily prayer to end abortion. Link to this site, spread it around, and get as many people signed up as you can! If you can get people praying every day to end abortion, then not only have you harnessed the power of their prayers, but you have also harnessed their action. You have got them thinking about it and about their responsibility to do something. This will lead many to further action.
Action Item: Use Pro-life License Plates
There are two ways to use your automobile's license plate to promote the pro-life message. First, you can change your license number itself to a pro-life message. For example, "ProLife1" or "Yes2Life" are possible license plates. Use your creativity, and check with your state Department of Motor Vehicles to see what plates are available.
Second, in many states, specialty pro-life plates are available. You keep your regular license number, but the frame of the plate conveys a "Choose Life" message, and the proceeds for these plates support alternatives to abortion. Click here for more information.
Of course, along with license plates, you can always let your vehicle spread the pro-life message through bumperstickers and static stickers.
Action Item: Becoming Politically Active
We are called to be politically active, and to help our fellow believers do the same. Encouraging others to register to vote is a helpful step to take. This should be discussed with people in our prayer groups, Bible studies, and the parish in general.
It is also a good idea to volunteer to work on campaigns for specific candidates. Likewise, every campaign can use volunteers to hand out literature prior to election day.
Action Item: Lobby your Elected Officials
Whether they are pro-life or not, those in public office need to hear from pro-life citizens about the abortion issue. Visit your representatives, call them, and write to them. Urge them to support legislation that is helpful to our cause, and to oppose that which is not helpful. Provide them with information on the abortion issue. If your legislator is pro-life, encourage him or her to remain faithful and vocal.
Action Item: Encouraging Pro-life Doctors
The medical profession can go a long way in being a voice for life in the local community. Thank doctors in your community who are pro-life, and encourage them to assist the pro-life movement.
This assistance does not necessarily require a lot of their time. It may involve the use of their name as a medical advisor to a pro-life organization, or taking a few moments to provide some medical information to pro-life speakers. Doctors can be encouraged to write letters to the editor, especially when pro-abortion activists make outrageous statements that are contrary to fact.
Doctors can also volunteer their services as an alternative for women who are abortion-minded. Here, there can be collaboration with local sidewalk counselors, especially when they are at the mills. If they can say to a woman at the abortion mill, "I can take you right now to a doctor who will give you better options than abortion," this greatly increases the chances that such a woman will change her mind.
In many communities, the local pregnancy resource centers are being upgraded to medical clinics. Doctors can offer their services to such centers.
Action Item: Effective Sidewalk Counseling
The People of God need to be present at the killing centers, when the killing is taking place. There are many activities of the pro-life movement. Yet every day, for 4000 women, none of those activities keeps her away from the abortion mill. Therefore, someone needs to be there to intervene for those who have slipped through the cracks.
Sidewalk counselors need to be alert and vigilant. While it is necessary to maintain an attitude of prayer, counselors need to do so with their eyes up rather than down, and looking all around them, ready to spot those coming for abortions. While there should be people near the entrance to the abortion mill, there should always be people further away, ready to intercept abortion-minded clients as far away from the entrance as possible. This is important, because the further away a person is intercepted, the more chance there is that she will change her mind. This is true for several reasons. First, there is simply more time for the counselor to talk before the client goes in the door. Second, it is less embarrassing for her to turn around before others see her, whereas at the entrance to the door, everyone else gathered there is watching. Third, if the counselor is right near the entrance, it is obvious to the client that the counselor wants to dissuade her from abortion; but if
the counselor approaches while the client is still far away from the mill, the purpose of the approach is not as obvious, and the client may be more willing to stop and listen. One approach is to station people at every corner, light, and stop sign in every direction for several block from the abortion mill, and simply stop every car with an offer of literature. If the person is not coming for an abortion, no harm is done, and information is passed along.
Action Item: Utilizing the Power of Post-Abortion Testimonies
When pro-abortion people want to convince the public, or their legislator or pastor, that women need abortion, they will bring forward some story designed to make people feel sorry for the plight of the woman. But sad cases of difficult experiences are not available only to pro-abortion people. The fact is that countless women suffer from abortion, and the pain of their testimonies needs to be spoken and heard.
Many who have had abortions do speak out about their pain. On this website, for example, we have hundreds of such testimonies which can be copied, printed, emailed, used in letters, talks, and homilies.
Likewise, when you identify people in your community or pro-life group who have experienced this pain, arrange for them to share their testimony, when they are ready. This can be done by personal visits to clergy, to legislators, and even to speaking in front of groups large and small. The Silent No More Awareness Campaign also provides an opportunity to get the message of post-abortion pain and healing out to the wider society.
Action Item: The Child Protection Project
If a minor is pregnant, there is reason to suspect that a law may have been broken. Statutory rape is a crime, and the suspicion that it may have occurred gives rise to the opportunity -- and in many cases the obligation -- to report it to the authorities.
The laws about this provide us an opportunity, in all 50 states, to both protect our children and bring scrutiny on the abortion mills who routinely fail in their reporting obligations. Find out more about all this by visiting www.childpredators.com.
Action Item: Voter Registration Sundays
It is legal and effective for Churches to provide their congregations with the opportunity to fill out a voter registration form. Priests for Life has designated National Christian Voter Registration Sundays and provides pastors and parish volunteers the information and guidance they need to implement such a project.
The project should be conducted in such a way that the individual fills out the form completely before leaving Church. The parish volunteers will then mail the forms to their proper destination.
Voter registration opportunities should likewise be provided at pro-life and other Church events and conferences.
Action Item: Promoting a proper response to Miscarriage
Fr. Frank has written about miscarriage, and about the ways people inadvertently deny the pain others experience when they go through this experience. We give mixed signals to one another and to the general public when we say we believe the unborn are persons, but then do not treat them as persons when they die.
To help build a culture of life, we need to treat the miscarried child as a child. This means naming the child and, whenever possible, having a burial of his/her body, with appropriate funeral rites. If the child's body cannot be recovered, at least a memorial Mass can be offered.
Action Item: Conduct a 'Face the Truth' Tour
"Face the Truth" is a project by which people line the sidewalks of public intersections with signs depicting the gruesome reality of abortion. The signs are sequential, showing unborn living children, then aborted children at various stages of pregnancy, then fully born children as well as families who have chosen adoption. This method has been sweeping the nation in recent years and saving many lives.
Action Item: Use the power of graphic images!
Nothing on this website has saved more lives and changed more minds than the images that show what abortion looks like. You may download, print, copy, and email these images, or simply give people the website address and challenge them to look at these pictures and tell you what they think about abortion. If you have a website, create links to these images.
Do not be afraid to utilize these images in pro-life presentations. You can obtain them as small business cards, as letter-size handouts or as full-size posters. Show them to students, to legislators, to doctors and to reporters. Challenge the media to show them to the public. We have technically accurate, color medical diagrams of the abortion procedure available.
The pro-life movement cannot afford to simply state conclusions about abortion. We must present to society the evidence that compels those conclusions. Only in this way can we begin a dialogue on abortion. The problem with this issue is that when people say the word "abortion," they have different things in their minds, and so argue past each other. Only when we see the images can we be sure that we are discussing the same reality.
Action Item: Matching the Abortion Mills with the Parishes
Priests for Life has matched the nation's remaining free-standing abortion mills with the Catholic parishes, asking each parish to pray and work for the conversion and closing of a specific killing center. The list with the matching, as well as a fuller explanation of the project, can be found by clicking here.
Action Item: Promote hotline numbers for Alternatives to abortion and Post-abortion Healing services.
This action item involves taking these life-saving numbers, memorizing them, and then spreading them in every way you can. A good number for abortion alternatives is 800-712-HELP (the jointly shared hotline of Care Net and Heartbeat), and for post-abortion alternatives is 877-HOPE-4-ME (the hotline of Rachel's Vineyard).
Pastors should put a life-saving number on the cover of their parish bulletin as a permanent item. They can also post it in the vestibule of the Church and school, and include it in mailings.
All of us can have these numbers on little cards in our wallet or purse, on the refrigerator, and by the phone. We can give them out at restaurants, libraries, store counters, and everywhere else!
It is an excellent activity for a youth group, for example, to visit local stores and ask if the owner would place a poster in the window providing information about alternatives to abortion. We can make such posters available for you to use.
Action Item: Responding effectively to someone you know who had an abortion
If you know someone who had an abortion, and she knows that you know, make it clear to her that those who oppose abortion do not oppose those who have them. Rather, we embrace them with love and healing. Let such people know that you are always ready to listen, and to lead them to post-abortion healing resources.
If the person who had the abortion does not know that you know, you can approach the topic indirectly. "I heard a great talk yesterday about healing and forgiveness for those who have had abortions," you might say. Or you might leave a helpful brochure in her path. Then give her a chance to raise the topic if and when she is ready. Meanwhile, offer fervent prayers for her healing.
Action Item: Dominating the Internet: Chat rooms, bulletin boards, discussion groups
The number of Internet users increases every day, and so many who use it are within the age groups that most frequently commit abortions. Chat rooms, bulletin boards, and discussion groups give people the opportunity to explain their views and offer information, including web links, that can change someone's mind about abortion and that can save someone's life.
There are even specifically abortion-related discussion forums. Often, these various opportunities will require you to sign up and login as a member. There are directories of chat rooms and discussion forums on the Internet. Please pay attention to the particular rules that govern each of these entities.
Pro-life people can participate in these groups to provide answers to common pro-abortion arguments, to post phone numbers for alternatives to abortion and post-abortion healing, to advocate for pro-life candidates at election time, to comment on events in the news related to the pro-life movement, or to invite people to come to specific websites.
We would especially recommend that you make people aware of the photo gallery of images of the unborn child and of aborted children. They will find it here at www.priestsforlife.org/images
Action Item: Conscientious Objection: Businesses that service clinics
Click here for an article by Fr. Frank about the concept of conscientious objection as applied to abortion mills.
In short, pro-life people can make it more difficult for killing centers to operate by refusing to assist them in any way. This does not only apply to medical personnel, but also to any service agency that helps the abortion mill to operate: people who service the electricity, the plumbing, the computers, the grounds, and so forth.
Businesses should refuse to service killing centers, and individual workers can refuse to be sent there.
Another avenue is for local pro-life people to go to abortion mills, and watch for the service vehicles that arrive there. Identify the companies that do business with the mills, and then inform those companies that they are assisting in the killing of children. Invite them to cease doing business with the abortionists.
Companies that refuse to sever ties with the abortion industry can then be made the target of picketing.
Action Item: How to answer the question about rape and incest abortions
Most Americans think abortion should be legal in cases of rape and incest, even as they increasingly reject abortion for other reasons.
Click here for a short summary of how to respond to this argument. With the information in this article, you can equip others to answer this question. You can give it to students, who may need to speak up in their classrooms. You can include it in letters to the editor of your local newspaper. You can give information to your clergy, that they may bring it into the pulpit.
Action Item: Life Chains
A "Life Chain" consists of pro-life people standing side by side on public sidewalks, holding signs such as "Abortion Kills Children," "Abortion Hurts Women," "Adoption: The Loving Option," and "Jesus Forgives and Heals." Information on how to establish a Life Chain in your community can be found at the website of the National Life Chain: www.nationallifechain.org.
The Life Chain can take place as often as a local community want it to. Some communities have begun to have monthly life chains, and we encourage this.
Action Item: Witnessing Outside Abortion Mills
Killing is taking place in our communities, and we who oppose the killing need to be there, where it is happening, taking a stand against it. Our presence there deters mothers from killing their children, troubles the consciences of those on the staff, and alerts others in the community to the evil of abortion.
Do not go to abortion mills alone, but take at least one other person with you, or join a group that will be there already. It is always recommended that one of the pro-life participants videotape everything that occurs. This helps to keep people calm, and is a safeguard in that nobody can claim that something happened that did not, or vice-versa. The evidence is on the tape.
We recommend having on hand the brochure about the "Prodigal Project." This is a simple brochure written by former abortionists and abortion-mill employees who have left the industry. In the brochure, they invite those who work in the industry now to leave. Thanks to the simple act of handing this brochure to the employees, many have left. Priests for Life can provide the brochures.
The Pro-Life Action League also provides a sidewalk counseling training kit. Similarly, Life Dynamics provides a training kit to enable sidewalk counselors to report suspected child abuse when they see a minor going into an abortion mill. Law enforcement has an obligation to investigate such situations.
Action Item: Distribute Action Cards
"Action cards" are the size of business cards and carry various simple, powerful pro-life messages and facts. Every pro-life person should have a supply of these cards in his/her pocket, car, home, and place of work. They can be left with your tip at restaurants, in your outgoing mail, in public restrooms, in office waiting areas, in free newspapers, and on various "pin-up" bulletin boards in hospitals, laundromats, gas stations, post offices, college dorms, grocery stores, libraries, Churches, restaurants, banks, government buildings, college buildings, coffee shops, and courthouses. In fact, the use of the action cards is limited only by your imagination!
Some of the messages on the cards include facts about the numbers of abortions and the reasons they are performed, and about the link between abortion and breast cancer. Others have simple phrases to make people think: "Choice Kills: Stop Abortion Now;" "Abortion Means no judge, no jury, no trial, no appeal, and no stay of execution;" "If it's not a baby, you're not pregnant!;" "Life begins at conception and ends at Planned Parenthood;" "It's a Wrong, not a Right: Stop Abortion Now;" "The Cost of an Abortion: 1 Dead, 1 Wounded."
Action Item: Monitor Magazines
Our pro-life activity must reach people who are not looking for us. One way to do that is to get the pro-life message into popular magazines. A particular audience to target, of course, is the teenage and young adult audience. Pro-life groups should have individuals who monitor such magazines, and look for feature articles, news reports, editorials, or advertisements that deal with or mention abortion.
If the magazine says something that is exaggerated, factually incorrect, or insulting to pro-life people, that item should be countered with a letter to the magazine and a phone call to the person responsible for publishing it.
But beyond the correction of things that are wrong, pro-life people should take the initiative to send to the magazine letters, stories, and suggestions for features that highlight the fact that more and more people in our country are becoming pro-life. Young people who work to end abortion, or courageously say no to the temptation to abort their own child, can provide the basis for excellent magazine stories. Getting teens to write letters to teen magazines in support of the pro-life position is an excellent project.
Advertising is critical as well. It would be money well-spent if a pro-life group purchased an ad in a teen or young adult magazine, conveying a powerful pro-life message.
And we are not just talking about magazines for teens and young adults. All kinds of magazines provide a wide-open field for our message. The attitudes of many people are being formed by these publications. Let's not be on the sidelines lamenting them; rather, let's get informed about what is in these magazines, and how we can get our message in them too.
Action Item: Encouraging your Priests
Priests are meant to encourage us in the practice of our Faith. But it's not a one-way street. We are called to encourage our priests in the practice of their priesthood! And part of the mission of the priest is to speak out against the injustice of abortion, point out the help that the Church gives to provide alternatives, invite people to the repentance and healing that need to follow abortion, and mobilize the congregation to work to end this tragedy.
Our brochures How to Encourage Your Priest to be Actively Pro-Life, and A Letter to My Priest, provide helpful guidance. We also have an audio tape entitled Helping Priests Fight Abortion. These resources
can get you started.
We send our newsletter to every priest in the country, but you may want to verify with your priest that he receives and reads it. Also, be sure to point out to your priest that we publish on this website suggested petitions for the General Intercessions, both in English and in Spanish, that are geared to the readings of each Sunday of the Year. Likewise, alert him to the bulletin
inserts that are available, both from the website and in camera-ready format.
Action Item: Get out the Vote!
An essential aspect of our pro-life work is political responsibility. We are called to elect public officials who will advance the Culture of Life. Support for abortion is a disqualifying characteristic in a public official.
Who wins an election is ultimately determined by who shows up at the polls on election day. Pro-life people can do a lot of things to increase the participation of like-minded people at the voting booth:
a) Encourage others to register to vote. Setting up a voter registration opportunity at pro-life conventions and gatherings is an important step to take. Urging people to register by placing special announcements and instructions in pro-life newsletters is also helpful. Our website containsdetailed information about how to register in each state.
b) Be sure that people you know who will not be near their polling places on election day take the step of obtaining and using absentee ballots.
c) In the days prior to the election, assist in the distribution of voter fliers that educate people on the candidates' positions and that advocate for the best candidates.
d) Organize car pools to get people to the polls on election day.
We provide a multitude of additional suggestions and information to help you influence elections in a way that builds the Culture of Life!
Action Item: Reporting Abuse
Action Item: Monitor the Doctors
Some abortionists do abortions as the majority -- or only -- element of their practice. But there are many who do it "on the side," and without the knowledge of the patients who come to them for legitimate reasons. And they don't want that to be known publicly.
This provides us a key opportunity. Find out, and publicize it.
Call doctors as if you are seeking to make an abortion appointment. Ask local doctors if they know any other doctors in the community who perform abortions. Remember, the law does not require that an abortionist be an Ob-Gyn. He or she can be any kind of doctor. And also remember that to refer for abortion shows as much disregard for human life as to perform an abortion. Either way, the doctor is handing over the child to death.
Many who do abortions on the side will stop doing them if they are alerted that an effort is being made to identify abortionists, and that once identified, they will be made public. They will stop just at the news of this because they do not want their legitimate practice to be stigmatized with the label "abortionist."
Day of Invitation to Abortion Providers
Action Item: Donate books
Books change lives. And the lives of our students are particularly influenced by the power of books.
There are a lot of powerful pro-life books, dealing with the abortion issue from every angle. Some of them are recommended here on our website. Why not donate pro-life books to the local public library, to the libraries of local schools, and to local bookstores?
This can be done as an individual project, and also lends itself well to a group project done by a local community or parish pro-life organization. People can be asked to contribute to a fund to buy several of the best pro-life books to donate. A visit to the library, school, or bookstore to which they make the donation is also an excellent opportunity to engage in educational discussion with the responsible people there.
Action Item: Influencing your child's school
The primary responsibility for the education of children rests with parents. Schools do not substitute for this parental responsibility, but are supposed to merely assist it. Parents, therefore, retain the right to intervene and actively influence the content of the school curriculum.
In this context, parents can help get the pro-life message into schools, whether they are public or sectarian. For example, recommend to your child's teacher to have the class participate in some of the national pro-life essay contests, such as that sponsored each year by the March for Life. The school or individual class may want to sponsor its own essay contest. This can also be done in conjunction with the local parish, and the winning essay can be read at Sunday Mass. Poster contests can have the winning pro-life posters placed in the vestibule of the Church so that the whole congregation sees them.
Curricula for young people on the pro-life message are being developed in various parts of the country. Parents should recommend to the school particular books or materials that can instill a pro-life mentality in the children.