Archive for July, 2010

The Facts Speak for Themselves

Friday, July 9th, 2010

South Dakota now has a law in effect that requires an abortionist to tell his patients that abortion destroys a “whole, separate, unique, living human being.” This law came about as long standing scientific evidence of the humanity of the child was introduced into the court system. Planned Parenthood could not contradict the scientific facts, nor the right of the state to require a doctor to provide factual information about the procedure.

This law is a big step forward for the pro-life cause, and has been introduced in other states as well, and upheld in court.

The misguided Roe v Wade decision still allows the abortionist to kill the child. But we’re beginning to succeed in stopping the abortionist from lying about it.

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Parental Coercion is Illegal

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

“I’ve made the appointment and am taking you for an abortion.” Many young girls hear these words, and abortion clinics nationwide are more than ready to collaborate with bullying parents.

Now, Priests for Life is collaborating with The Justice Foundation and Life Dynamics to provide for such girls the legal tools they need to protect themselves and their children. A standard letter has been prepared, informing parents that they are subject to legal liability if they force their daughter to abort. Crimes like fetal homicide or civil torts like battery, negligence, and false imprisonment can be incurred.

Likewise, a letter is available that can be sent to abortion clinics saying the clinic can be subject to various forms of criminal prosecution and/or civil liability for performing the abortion on that girl.

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The Reality Behind the Rhetoric

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

In April of two thousand and ten, Priests for Life asked The Polling Company to conduct professional research into the attitudes of the African American community about abortion, and into what kind of messaging would be most effective for them. Focus groups were held in major cities and a nationwide poll was also conducted.

One of the things that was done in the focus groups is that pictures of aborted babies were shown to the participants. This had an impact, expressed by these words of one of the participants, “Before I came in to this room today, I was pro-choice. But after seeing those pictures and hearing all that, I think I’ve changed my ideas on abortion.”

Let’s keep in mind the simple truth that the more people see abortion, the more they reject it.

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In-House Political Criticism

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

I was recently asked what kind of criticism comes from pro-life people regarding the political activities of the pro-life movement. Such criticism does come regularly, and, interestingly, it takes two contradictory forms.

On the one hand, many pro-life people claim our movement is not strong or aggressive enough politically. They complain that we do not set the standard high enough by which a candidate should be considered “pro-life”, do not hold their feet to the fire if they are elected, and do not elicit in them the fear that we can punish them politically.

In particular, pro-life people are fed up with what they perceive to be a failure of the clergy to do what is needed to stop the killing. One problem here is an unwillingness to carry out those activities that the IRS indicates Churches may do and still maintain their 501 (c)(3) status — such as non-partisan voter registration drives and voter guides that do not directly or indirectly endorse or oppose candidates, parties or their positions. Often, this inactivity is accompanied by outlandish, exaggerated, and inaccurate portrayals of what IRS guidelines require, and those who put forward these portrayals have no expertise in that area of the law.

On the other hand, a criticism many pro-life people voice is that the pro-life movement is too political, too partisan, and too identified with the Republican Party. The real weakness here is a lack of understanding of what “non-partisan” really means. It does not mean that we have to avoid any activity that in fact helps a candidate or party. Rather, it means that we pursue the goals for which our Church or 501(c)(3) organization was established without regard for whether they help or hurt a particular candidate or party.

Ironically, therefore, the very complaint that an activity helps a candidate is in the end often more of a partisan action than is the activity against which the complaint is leveled — simply because the complaint shows more concern about helping or hurting the candidate than the activity does. For instance, the bishops teach that life is the fundamental right, and that concern for this right carries more weight in our voting decisions than other issues. Now indeed, such a teaching helps pro-life candidates and parties, and hurts pro-choice candidates and parties. But being non-partisan doesn’t mean we keep silent. It means we speak no matter what, and moreover, it means that if tomorrow the parties or candidates swapped their positions on abortion, our message would not change a single word.

So, another political season is upon us. I, for one, will be more aggressive than ever. As for who qualifies as “pro-life,” I prefer to speak (and listen) in descriptive rather than evaluative terms: what is this candidate willing to do to protect the babies? Don’t give me labels, give me specific commitments.

And as for being partisan, I belong to neither major party, and will continue to challenge both to protect the unborn.

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Pro Life Freedom Rides Announced

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dr. Alveda King
888-735-3448, ext. 251
Date: July 6, 2010

Atlanta, GA – Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. and fulltime Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, the largest pro-life ministry in the Catholic Church, has announced that on July 24 she will lead the first Pro-life Freedom Ride. The ride will take place from Birmingham, AL to Atlanta, GA.

Details of events to occur in Birmingham on the evening of the 23rd and the morning of the 24th, as well as of the service to take place at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s tomb in Atlanta on the 24th, are on the website www.ProLifeFreedomRides.com.

Pro-life people are welcome to caravan in their own vehicles behind the Freedom Ride bus, which will depart Birmingham midday on the 24th and arrive in Atlanta in the late afternoon.

Just as important as the specific events in Birmingham and Atlanta, however, are the simultaneous activities that pro-life people are urged to carry out in their own communities on that weekend and beyond. Such activities have begun with the Prayer Campaign that was launched on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, and continued until Independence Day, July 4.

“The theme of the pro-life movement is, indeed, freedom,” Dr. King stated. “How can one be free if one is not alive? How can any movement call for equal rights if the most fundamental right, life, is not secured equally? That’s why we are calling people from across the religious, ethnic, and political spectrum to ride with us for freedom for all, including the unborn.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, added, “The Freedom Rides call people across America to activities that free people from ignorance about abortion, that free moms and dads from the despair that leads to abortion, that free those who have had abortions from the burden of guilt and shame, that free our nation from unjust laws, and that free our unborn brothers and sisters from the violence of abortion.”

See details at www.ProLifeFreedomRides.com.

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The Christian Roots of Democratic Principles

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

In the pagan view of government, the law came from the mouth of the king and the people counted for nothing. They had neither input nor recourse against those who ruled over them.

But the Lord Jesus taught that people are called to be sons and daughters of God, and therefore they do count. He taught that authority means service, and that public officials are ministers of God and accountable to Him. This transformed politics, and government became representative and protective of human rights.

This is why we can elect our leaders, and lobby them once they are in office. This is why Christians have a political responsibility.

Some still doubt whether the pulpit is the place to talk about elections. But in fact, if there were no pulpits, neither would there be any elections.

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The Founders’ Perception of Liberty

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

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.

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An Inherent Contradiction

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

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 a land where we oppress the unborn by the violence of abortion?

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