Pro-Life as a Vocation

Doing pro-life work is not simply a response to a cause or a movement, an ideology or a political platform. It is a vocation, a charism of the Holy Spirit. The Christian pro-life commitment is a spirituality, which has particular characteristics and virtues, and which shapes the particular strategies and tactics that the pro-life activist carries out. This spirituality, taught by Priests for Life, roots the activist in his or her faith in God, and insures that pro-life activism will lead the activist back to God. It helps us keep our balance amidst the conflicting emotions we have in the pro-life battle, as we deal with successes and failures, as we rejoice in the gift of life and mourn the taking of life. Learn more about this pro-life spirituality at

–Fr. Frank

The Pope’s Gift to the President and to Us

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

At Pope Benedict’s meeting with President Obama, the Pope gave the President two gifts: the new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, and the recent document on bioethics, Dignitas Personae. The latter gift was apparently a last-minute addition. Upon leaving the meeting, the President said to the Pope, “I’ll have some reading to do on the plane.”

The timing was perfect, because these two new documents have much to say to the current administration, and to the wider culture, both within and outside the Church.

The new encyclical is an addition to the rich body of the social teaching of the Church. Social doctrine is just as much a part of Church doctrine as are the teachings on the Trinity and the sacraments. And one of the new encyclical’s key points is that a proper understanding of true human and social development is possible only in light of the revelation that comes in Christ.

Another key point is this: social justice cannot advance unless the right to life is protected. And this is where pro-abortion politicians and parties so often get it wrong. They trumpet support for human rights, human development, and social justice, but also think that abortion belongs to those categories.

The Pope has affirmed again that just the opposite is true. Here are two of his key quotes:

The Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fully aware that ‘a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized’” (n.15).

“Openness to life is at the centre of true development. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good. If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away” (n.28).

Pope Benedict refers explicitly in the new encyclical not only to previous “social encyclicals,” but also to the “life encyclicals,” Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae, as he seeks to erase the unnecessary gap that often exists between social awareness and awareness of the rights of the unborn.

And he asserts that those rights do not come from government and are not negotiable:

If the only basis of human rights is to be found in the deliberations of an assembly of citizens, those rights can be changed at any time, and so the duty to respect and pursue them fades from the common consciousness. Governments and international bodies can then lose sight of the objectivity and “inviolability” of rights. When this happens, the authentic development of peoples is endangered” (n.43). I hope the President did his reading on the plane. Let’s be sure to do ours as well.

For the texts of these all the Church documents on life, visit

New Study Confirms that Pres. Obama’s DC Policy Will Increase Abortions Says Dr. Alveda King

Atlanta, GA – Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., commented today on a new Guttmacher Institute study that shows that in states where Medicaid pays for abortions, more poor women have abortions.

“The Guttmacher report is really just another study that confirms the obvious – subsidized abortion means more abortions,” said Dr. King. “My medical insurance paid for my ‘legal abortion’ in 1973. My ‘free’ abortion, in turn, made it all too easy for me to be an unsuspecting victim of population control.”

“The President says that he wants fewer abortions yet he’s now trying to compel the public to pay for abortions in the District of Columbia,” added Dr. King. “Killing babies and hurting women will not strengthen our communities. I explain this situation in the new film available at”

“If President Obama and Congress want to help women, please let them hear from women like myself who have suffered pain and grief from ‘free’ abortions,” said Dr. King. “Congress needs to reverse the President’s proposal for DC abortion funding and do it now. Babies’ lives and women’s health are at stake.”

Lacking in Good Moral Character?

The Michigan Attorney General recently imposed a fine on one of the state’s abortionists, due to the death of a woman who went to him for the procedure. The abortion clinic staff failed to call for an ambulance when the patient experienced complications, and she was deprived of oxygen for an extended time. The abortionist did not contest the fine. The complaint found the abortionist guilty of “negligence,” “incompetence,” and lacking in “good moral character.” Lacking in good moral character? What a surprise! If your conscience is so seared that you think it’s right to kill a baby with your own hands, then failing to call an ambulance is not hard to do. Women are still being killed by botched abortions, except it’s not in the back alleys – it’s in the legal clinics.

–Fr. Frank

Judges Are Not Politicians

Judges are not supposed to be politicians – their personal views on policy shouldn’t matter, because they are put on the bench to judge impartially according to the Constitution and the laws. They are not supposed to create public policy, and therefore their positions on issues shouldn’t matter.

Yet abortion is more than an issue. The protection of life is the very purpose of judges, courts, and governments. Part of being qualified as a judge, therefore, is to embrace that purpose, and to understand that the right to life is exactly what our Declaration of Independence says it is – unalienable.

Some 82 percent of Americans don’t want a Supreme Court Justice who would support late-term abortion . That does not just reflect their views on abortion. It reflects their views on what being a Justice means.

–Fr. Frank

The Power of Testimony

The Christian Faith advances through testimony. Jesus gives testimony to the Father; the apostles give testimony to the Resurrection; Paul gives testimony to his conversion; Augustine gives testimony in his Confessions; you and I give and receive the testimony of how Jesus changes the lives he enters. That is why the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is so powerful and necessary. Men and women wounded by abortion and then healed are speaking out about the lie of abortion and the power of Jesus. They are giving testimony to why life must be protected. The power of their testimony is calling many to repentance and healing. If you feel called to give a testimony about your abortion, or know someone else who does, contact us at

–Fr. Frank

Fr. Pavone: Save Lives and Money – Restore

Contact: Margaret
Date: July 6, 2009
888-735-3448, ext. 251

Staten Island, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today urged the House Appropriations Committee to approve an amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations Bill that would continue the restriction on taxpayer funding of abortions in the District of Columbia.

“Forcing taxpayers to fund abortions is wrong anytime; to do it in the midst of a budget crisis is inconceivable,” said Fr. Pavone. “Passing Congressmen Tiahrt and Davis’s rider to restore the Dornan Amendment will bring much needed sanity to the appropriations process and save over 1,000 lives a year.”

Ohio Supreme Court’s Decision Protects Privacy of Abusers Says Fr. Pavone

Contact: Margaret
Date: July 3, 2009
888-735-3448, ext. 251

Staten Island, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following comment in response to the Ohio Supreme Court’s refusal to make redacted medical records available in a case of alleged failure to report child abuse.

“It’s hypocritical for the Ohio Supreme Court to be concerned about the privacy of girls receiving abortions at Planned Parenthood when, by keeping the redacted, anonymous records secret, it is in fact protecting the privacy of older men who abuse underage teens. The Court, by its decision, is enabling and perpetuating injustice.”

Oppression in Our Nation?

Our Priests for Life headquarters is within easy driving distance of the Statue of Liberty in New York. This statue is a strong symbol of the welcome our nation has given to people from around the world. Fittingly, engraved on the base of this monumental statue are the words from Emma Lazarus’s poem, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

As we prepare for the celebration of Independence Day, let’s remind ourselves and others that this welcome can make no sense if we are afraid to welcome the children in the womb. America is a haven for those escaping oppression in far-off lands. Why should it be land where we oppress the unborn by the violence of abortion?

-Fr. Frank

Life and Liberty

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, we should reflect on what our Founding Fathers did when they established this nation. Their concept of liberty was rooted in dependence upon God. The Founders held that it is only when God is seen as the source of our right to life can that right be secure from tyrranical governments who would threaten it. That is why the Declaration of Independence says that the right to life is bestowed by the Creator, and that governments exist to secure that right.

Can anything be more American than to work to restore this foundation of our government, and to secure the right to life? Let us be fearless and unashamed to say we are pro-life, and to teach others that our American independence demands it.

–Fr. Frank