Priests for Life Affiliates win Life Prizes recognition

Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, and Marie Smith, founder and director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, an outreach of Gospel of Life Ministries, are among six winners of this year’s “Life Prizes” bestowed by the Gerard Health Foundation.

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, congratulated the winners, who will receive the “Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize” at a ceremony Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C.

“Dr. King and Mrs. Smith are well-deserving of this honor, which recognizes the profound commitment they have to bringing an end to abortion throughout the world,” Father Pavone said.

Dr. King has worked with Father Pavone since 1999 and became a full-time Pastoral Associate at Priests for Life in 2005. She is also a member of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a joint initiative of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life. She is the daughter of Rev. A.D. Williams King, who was the brother of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Click here for her full biography.

“This Life Prize Award comes as a very welcome surprise and a dream come true,” said Dr. King. “The desire to plant seeds for life, to be a light, a lamp for life in a dry and barren land, all of this comes true with this Life Prize Award.”

Mrs. Smith’s organization, the Parliamentary Network of Critical Issues, came under the Gospel of Life umbrella earlier this year. Based in Washington, D.C., PNCI assists lawmakers and religious leaders around the world to more effectively advance pro-life laws and build sustainable pro-life leadership.

Mrs. Smith’s pro-life activism began in college, where she also met her husband, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who is widely considered to be the leading pro-life member of the House of Representatives. In her past position as International Director of Feminists for Life, Mrs. Smith advocated for the protection of women and children from the violence of abortion, internationally and at the United Nations. The Smiths are the parents of four children and grandparents of two.

“It is an honor to receive a Life Prize award for my international pro-life work and I thank the Gerard Health Foundation for this generous recognition of my pro-life work,” Mrs. Smith said. “I am grateful to Father Frank Pavone for his support and the assistance of the Gospel of Life Ministries for the vital work of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues in building pro-life leadership in capitals around the world.”

Father Pavone also congratulated the other Life Prize winners, including Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America; Jeanne Head, the United Nations Representative for the National Right to Life Educational Trust; the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, and Douglas Smith, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.

“It is a joy to collaborate with all the leaders who have been given these prizes,” Father Pavone said. “And I thank Ray Ruddy for his initiative in establishing these prizes. More philanthropists should follow his example, because more money is spent killing children in the womb than saving them, and that has to change.”

International Day of Remembrance for Terri Schiavo

The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, in collaboration with Priests for Life, has established the “International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters,” which is observed each year on March 31, the anniversary of her death. We invite individual believers to spend time on that day learning about Terri, and praying for all whose lives are threatened in the same way that hers was. We invite Churches to hold memorial services and to educate their people on the dignity of every human life, despite any disability or disease with which that life may be afflicted.

We invite all people to help us continue to draw good out of the sad and tragic way in which Terri was treated. For information and resources, visit

Consistent Support for the Truth

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, which represents more than a thousand Rabbis, has praised the church’s message that we have a moral responsibility to vote for public officials who defend the right to life.
Rabbi Levin said, quote, “This moral teaching of the Catholic Church …is clearly found in the Torah and serves to give solid guidance to voters whether they are Christian, Jew or any man of faith. Let no person think that this is merely an intellectual exercise. This is a call to action to uphold the natural and moral law…. There can be no middle ground when it comes to the Sacred Laws: Marriage is between one man and one woman, and respect for all human life is obligatory.”

New Knowledge about Fetal Pain

In the time since Roe v Wade, scientists have learned a lot more about the ability of the child in the womb to feel pain. At the time of Roe, doctors thought that newborn children could not feel pain, and the only anesthetic they received was adhesive tape, to keep them still.

Now, however, we have much more evidence about how these young bodies respond to pain, and Nebraska has even passed a law saying that once the child can feel pain, the state can protect that child from being aborted. Hence abortions there have been banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The National Right to Life Committee provides model legislation for other states that want to adopt it. Abortion is always wrong, but we should use every measure that will help reduce it.

The Center Against Forced Abortions

One of the important new developments in the pro-life effort in America is the Center Against Forced Abortions. Although abortion proponents like to use the word “choice,” that is not why people get abortions. Instead, they feel like they have no choice, and often this is because someone is forcing them.

The Center Against Forced Abortions has prepared a letter that can be sent to parents who are forcing their daughter to abort. The letter informs parents that they could be charged with crimes like fetal homicide or civil torts like battery, negligence, and false imprisonment can be incurred.

The abortion industry likes to say that it follows Roe vs Wade. But it does not. Roe v Wade neither envisions nor permits forced abortions, and it’s time to shed a light on this practice.

Simply Thrown in the Trash

What happens to the bodies of the babies who have been aborted? This is a frequent question that arises once people start to think about the holocaust of abortion. Sadly, the answer is that they are often just thrown out in the dumpster.

Two “Woman’s Choice” abortion mills in Delta Township and Saginaw, Michigan, have been investigated recently because of doing precisely that. The bodies of the babies, along with other bio-hazardous waste and medical documents, were thrown in the dumpster.

Local pro-life activists found the bodies of 17 aborted unborn children in 17 bags marked with the dates of the abortions and the full names of the mothers.

Unfortunately, there are no grounds under current Michigan law to prosecute the clinics. However, some state legislators will initiate a bill in order to do so.

The Dumbest Column I Have Ever Read

Just prior to the recent election in the United States, Cardinal-elect Raymond Burke repeated in an interview a position which is not only consistent with longstanding Catholic teaching, but which expresses a common sense response to the murder of 50 million children in the United States alone since Roe vs. Wade. He said we cannot vote for those who would allow this massacre to continue.

I recently read a column which actually tried to portray Cardinal-elect Burke’s statement as being at odds with the Magisterium.

The author started the article by describing the statement as a “command … that Catholics vote Tea-publican in 2010.”

First of all, if the political parties in America had swapped their positions on abortion, not a word of the message of Cardinal-elect Burke would have changed. The reason is that he is not talking about one or another party; he is talking about every party. He is not advocating for one or another candidate; he is articulating a standard for every candidate. He is not seeking to influence one particular election; he is teaching the principles that guide every election.

The author of the column I read quotes the Second Vatican Council’s statement that “The Church and the political community in their own fields are autonomous and independent from each other.” He then apparently cannot recognize it when the Church exercises her role in her particular autonomous and independent field, namely, to speak the moral truth, regardless of whether it helps or hurts – or appears to endorse or oppose – any particular candidate or party.

Yet there is one mistake the author makes that is even worse. He thinks abortion is a “disappearing” issue and has “a vanishing political future.” Did he miss the debate over abortion in health care? Or perhaps he missed the statistics released after the election (by The Polling Company) indicating that 27 percent of voters said abortion funding in the health care law affected their vote and they voted for candidates who opposed the health care law while just 4 percent said abortion funding in the health care law affected their vote and they voted for candidates who favored the law.

The polling also indicates that thirty percent of all voters said that abortion “affected” their vote with 22% of all voters backing pro-life candidates and only eight percent saying they supported pro-abortion candidates – giving pro-life candidates a net pro-life advantage of 14 percent among all voters. Examined another way, of the Americans who voted based on the issue of abortion, 73 percent picked pro-life candidates while just 27 percent supported abortion advocates.

It’s hardly accurate to portray abortion as a “vanishing” issue.

And one more point. We have to stop abusing theology to rationalize our lack of courage to end abortion. Abortion is ripping the arms and legs off of babies and crushing their heads. The abortionists themselves call it “dismemberment” and “decapitation.” There can be no neutrality here, and to imply that Church documents say any different is simply an insult to the Church.

The Center Against Forced Abortions

What happens in a legal abortion clinic if a girl comes to get the abortion because she is being forced, but she is too scared to say anything?

The Center Against Forced Abortions, a new initiative in the pro-life movement, is distributing a letter, prepared by Life Dynamics, that can be sent to an abortion mill warning them against performing an abortion on a particular person who is being forced. Clergy or pregnancy center counselors who encounter such girls can assist her and have her sign the letter, which alerts the clinic that she is under duress, and that when she arrives she may not be in a position to say so. If the abortion is performed anyway, the clinic can be subject to various forms of criminal prosecution and/or civil liability.

You Cannot Practice Vice Virtuously

Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, Kansas, is facing a criminal case that consists of one hundred and seven criminal violations, including twenty-three felonies. The case has been a long story of political intrigue and efforts of Planned Parenthood and its political friends to conceal evidence and evade the law, but recently the Kansas Supreme Court sent the case to the district court for prosecution.

For decades, we in the pro-life movement have known that the more we look, the more we see corruption in the abortion industry. Many people may think a woman should have the legal choice to get an abortion. But they also believe that medical clinics should observe the law and medical standards.

And that’s what the abortion industry does not do. After all, you can’t practice vice virtuously.

Legal but Not Safe

The Maryland Board of Physicians has ruled against another abortionist, leaving her medical license suspended after she and the abortionist who employed her performed a severely botched late-term abortion that required surgery to save the woman’s life.

Much of the public labors under the illusion that because abortion is legal, it is therefore safe. This is not true now, and has never been true.

We have to bear in mind that abortion in America was not legalized through a legislative process, in which there could have been extensive fact finding, testimony, public input, hearings, amendments, and provisions to protect women from abuse. But none of that happened.

Abortion is never safe and is never justified, even if all these things had occurred. Never allow its proponents to claim that its legality protects women.