Mobilize those who oppose late-term abortion

Father Frank Pavone greets Father Francis Martin at the opening rally for the Summer of Mercy 2.0 in Germantown, Md.

GERMANTOWN, MD. — The nine-day protest called the Summer of Mercy 2.0 will focus a spotlight on the type of abortion most people oppose, late-term abortion.

Speaking to several hundred people at Covenant Life Church on Saturday at the kick-off rally for the protest of Leroy Carhart’s abortion business, we pointed out that polls continue to show that the majority of Americans oppose abortion beyond the first trimester.

Most people – even those who call themselves ‘pro-choice’ — are closer to our position than to that of Carhart. But who is mobilizing those who would oppose what Carhart is doing? No one. We need to focus the attention of Americans to the reality of what Carhart does.

During the rally, we distributed literature with quotes from late-term abortionists that leave no doubt about the nature of the brutal procedure, and urged those fighting abortion to do so using the words of the abortionists themselves as found in medical textbooks and court testimony.

We also called for prayers for Carhart, so he will realize himself that what he is doing is wrong, the way the late Bernard Nathanson was converted to the pro-life cause.

Let us pray and work that the day will come when Leroy Carhart will be the next Bernard Nathanson. This week is going to make history in the pro-life movement.

Father Pavone to open Summer of Mercy 2.0

 

 

GERMANTOWN, MD

LeRoy Carhart has been in the business of murdering late-term babies for decades.

States and cities have passed laws specifically to keep his particular brand of butchery outside their borders. When he slipped into Maryland, the state with the fewest restrictions on abortion, only pro-lifers noticed. That will begin to change this weekend.

I will deliver the keynote address Saturday at 7 p.m. as the Summer of Mercy 2.0 kicks off. Organized by Operation Rescue, the aim of the nine-day protest outside the abortion mill where Carhart performs late-term abortions, and in various locations nearby, is to make it impossible for his neighbors, and Maryland officials, to ignore what goes on behind those closed doors.

As we have pointed out before, Carhart conducts his risky late-term abortions in Maryland without having hospital privileges. This means that if a patient needs emergency help due to a botched abortion, he has nowhere to take her. This is a violation of medical ethics and safe practice procedures. That’s why he is under investigation by the Maryland Board of Physicians. And that’s why pro-lifers in Maryland and around the country are determined to shut him down.

Take part in the Summer of Mercy 2.0 and send an unequivocal message that murderers like Carhart will not be tolerated in our midst.

The kickoff rally and keynote address will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Covenant Life Church, 7501 Muncaster Mill Road, Gaithersburg, Md. Also speaking will be Wendy Wright of Concerned Women of America.

For the full Summer of Mercy 2.0 schedule, visit summerofmercy.com

Your Reward is Great in Heaven

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
So many pro-life leaders I know, including myself, have been falsely accused in public of advocating or even doing violence. Pregnancy centers, which compassionately serve parents and their babies every day, have been falsely accused of deceiving the public. Activists who try to change the laws have been falsely accused of opposing democracy.
The litany goes on and on, and proves that pro-life people are living this beatitude. They should rejoice, for their reward in heaven indeed is great. The children, who cannot know how much pro-life people love them, cannot repay them. They will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.

Rhetoric vs. Reality

The Eighth Commandment declares, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Everyone has a right to his good name and reputation, and this commandment forbids us to lie about what someone has or hasn’t done, or about who someone is.

The Culture of Death violates this commandment in a profound way. By allowing court decisions like Roe vs. Wade which says, “the word person…does not include the unborn,” society bears false witness against the unborn. It is a lie.

Abortionists go even further and call our unborn brothers and sisters names like “parasites,” or “products of conception” or “medical waste.” They bear false witness.

And anyone who says an abortion is justified is bearing false witness by denying that the child has the right to be protected from the abortionist’s knife.

Healing is the First Priority

Hundreds of people in our nation have worked in the abortion industry, whether in Planned Parenthood or in any of the many independent killing centers, and have stopped doing so because of a moral conversion. We at Priests for Life minister to many of them. And what is the first thing that they need? They need healing. The guided effort to face what they have done and to find spiritual and psychological wholeness must be their first activity and responsibility. Only after this crucial process and careful discernment with the help of the pro-life community should those who so desire begin to share their story on the speaking circuit. Let’s pray for all those who have performed abortion, and for their healing and peace. Find out more at priestsforlife.org.

Breach of the Seventh Commandment

The Seventh Commandment declares, “You shall not steal.” Whenever we violate the right to life, we steal. We rob the person of what is his – the recognition of his rights, the protection of his life.

Actions like abortion also rob God Himself of what is His. Once when I was praying at an abortion facility with a group of people, and one man had his toes over the property line, a clinic worker shouted, “Get your feet off our property.” I responded, “And when are you going to get your hands off God’s property?”

God alone has dominion over human life. When an abortionist reaches into the sacred space of the womb to rip the child apart, he is stealing from the Almighty, and is also robbing society of the respect it owes to life.

We Must Address the Bioethical Issues of Our Day

After his conversion from being a pro-abortion leader to being a pro-life activist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson began talking about the new bioethical challenges of our day. Before “stem cells” hit the headlines, he was predicting that they would be the subject of daily news stories. He became a bioethicist and urged the Church to be at the forefront of these issues, so that it would not be caught asleep again, as he said it was when he launched the abortion rights movement.

Now is the time to heed fully his warning, and to cast aside our fears of dealing with issues like stem cells, genetic engineering, and tampering with the biological basis of our species. Let’s encourage study and prophetic teaching by clergy and laity alike on these bioethical issues.

God’s Mercy is Infinite

In light of the passing of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the pro-life movement continues reflecting on his life. I will never forget the workshop at which I introduced him at the 1994 Human Life International Conference in Irvine, CA. He was supposed to talk about chemical abortion, but at the last minute decided instead to speak of his spiritual journey. At the end of the talk, he said that he was standing on the brink of conversion to the Catholic Church. The room exploded. People were leaping into the air. He said that he hoped God could forgive him, and I said, ‘Dr. Nathanson, He already has,’ and I reminded him of that exchange just a week before he died. Many have turned away from the abortion industry; let’s encourage them to trust in God’s mercy.

The Church Must Remain Vigilant

One of the many lessons from the life of former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who died in February, is the key role of the Church in ending abortion. He said that he and his colleagues who started the abortion rights movement would never have gotten away with what they did if the clergy had been united, purposeful, and strong. He said that he stole the abortion issue from the Church and caught the Church asleep. That’s why, once he became a pro-life advocate, he gave such great support to the ministry of Priests for Life, which he called the Paul Revere in the pro-life movement. He wanted to make sure that the Church was not asleep again about the bioethical challenges of our day. So let us be awake, informed, and vigilant.

The Abortionist and the Priest

On February 21, 2011, Dr. Bernard Nathanson died. As he said, he “uncaged the abortion monster” in the United States. As he describes in his book Aborting America, he and his colleagues launched the abortion rights movement and organizations, feeding false statistics to the media about the numbers of women dying from illegal abortions.

Dr. Nathanson ran the largest abortion clinic in the Western World and was responsible for some 75,000 abortions. He even aborted his own child.

He eventually became pro-life through the evidence of science, and then through the love of the pro-life movement, came to faith. He was baptized into the Catholic Church by Cardinal John O’Connor in 1996.

Among the many lessons we can draw from his life is how he, as a founder of the abortion movement, viewed the Catholic Church. After becoming pro-life, he would give talks entitled “How the Abortion Issue was Stolen from the Church.” He said the Church was asleep, and he did everything possible to marginalize its teaching authority by driving a wedge between bishops and laity on this issue.

Speaking to clergy, he maintained, “We would have never gotten away with what we did if you had been united, purposeful, and strong.” That is why he had such a high regard for Priests for Life. In an interview with me in 1999, Dr. Nathanson said the following:

“Well, you know Priests for Life is an extraordinarily fine group. I don’t say that in order to make anybody feel better or flatter anyone. It’s an unusual and a very unique group in that most of the priests whom I have encountered across this country and indeed around the world, shy away from the subject of abortion. They somehow want to keep it under the rug and only pull it out when they’re ordered to. In my own experience as a Catholic convert for the last several years, I’ve attended a great many Masses and listened to a great many homilies and I believe in three years I’ve listened to only one homily on the subject of abortion and that was here in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Other than that, priests seem not to want to talk about it and Priests for Life is the Paul Revere of this whole gestalt. That Priests for Life are riding around trying to galvanize the rest of the clergy into getting engaged in what is one of the most appalling revolutions of the 20th Century and I am enormously grateful to them and I admire their work enormously. But unfortunately, I believe that there are not enough, that Priests for Life should have a staff twenty times what it has now.”

In the latter part of his life, Dr. Nathanson became a bioethicist, and often expressed to me his concern that the Church not be caught asleep again on the new bioethical issues. Let’s honor him and make sure we are awake and vigilant!