Let Us Speak Without Fear

In America, we enjoy the freedoms of the First Amendment — very broad freedoms that, among other things, give us the right to proclaim whatever message we want on the public streets and sidewalks in any city, town, or countryside from coast to coast.

This freedom is designed to enable us to protest injustices that are allowed by the government, and to communicate our message to our fellow citizens even without controlling the media of mass communication. We can hand out literature, say prayers, hold signs, and even bring a podium onto the public sidewalk and preach from morning to night.

Moreover, this speech is protected no matter how offensive it is. The fact that others get upset or angry does not take away our freedom to speak. Let’s do so without fear!

Leaders Here and Now

I often point out that our youth are not simply the “future leaders” of the pro-life movement. They are leaders here and now, in more ways than one. Often I am asked to speak about the role of youth in the pro-life movement, and to encourage parishes and pro-life organizations to focus more on recruiting youth for this cause. In fact, this is not a difficult task. Youth understand the pro-life message better than many adults, and the most common response they give to the question, “Why are you involved in trying to stop abortion?” is “Because it could have been me.” They are aware that they were not protected in the womb, and could have been killed. They are survivors and they know it. May our young people be strong in protecting the youngest.

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

The March

Last weekend was extremely powerful. I am always more energized than exhausted after spending the day greeting the participants in the West Coast Walk for Life, which took place on Saturday, January 21, and then taking the redeye flight to Washington DC to spend all of Sunday and Monday greeting the people taking part in the national March for Life.

So many of you were there and were able to tell me of your daily prayers for me and of the concern you have for me. You were encouraged by seeing that I am in great health and great spirits.

But more important even than that is being in great focus. So many people over recent months, and in the March for Life days, have said things to me like, “I know this has been a painful and difficult time, for you to be asked to stay for a while in Amarillo. I know this is a burden for you and it must be frustrating, but we are with you and it will work out.”

This is always a consolation, knowing that whatever difficulties we have, we are not alone, and as I said to thousands of people, I really appreciate the support and prayers. Keep them coming!

But what I want my friends and foes alike to understand is that my greatest burden is not the events of the last few months, nor the limitations on my travel, nor the false things said about me in the media. There is one single thing that gives me more pain than anything, and that is the ongoing slaughter of my brothers and sisters by abortion.

So many of you share that pain, and carry that burden. Day by day in our country, thousands of children are ripped apart, dismembered, decapitated, killed, and thrown in the garbage. The law permits it, the courts justify it, and so many are silent about it.

That’s what’s painful. That’s what keeps me up at night. That’s what makes my heart break. It’s abortion, not a decision by Church authorities.

And isn’t that what I’ve been saying all along, from the first day when, at the 1976 March for Life, as a high school senior, I decided to get involved in the pro-life movement? Isn’t that the same thing I’ve been saying from the first day Cardinal O’Connor authorized me to lead Priests for Life and Bishop Yanta received my promises to spend the rest of my life defending the lives of the unborn? Isn’t this what the Church means by saying that no right is more fundamental than life, and that abortion deserves urgent attention and priority? Isn’t this what the depths of the human heart and conscience say when, faced with the gruesome reality of abortion, they cry out in pain and demand that the killing stop and that justice prevail?

My friends, the alarm of conscience is sounding. If something is going to bother us, let it be abortion, and let our every action be focused on stopping it.

A Time to Begin Anew

The New Year gives us the chance to look beyond the mistakes and sins of the past, and the opportunity to do even more good in the future.

This year provides us an opportunity to advance the pro-life cause since we will elect a President and many other leaders. It is critical that from this day forward we devote all the energy we can to making Election Day a day when more pro-life men and women than ever become our elected leaders! While politics should never be seen as our salvation, it is nevertheless an essential element of our progress that public servants work to restore protection to the unborn.

Visit priestsforlife.org to learn how you can help! Happy New Year!

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

Priests for Life Youth Outreach Director to Host March for Life Youth Rally

Bryan Kemper, Youth Outreach Director for Priests for Life and founder of Stand True Ministry, will be the host and keynote speaker for the first-ever Youth Rally organized by the March for Life.

The rally will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 in the Regency Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, D.C. Visit marchforlife.org/content/view/84 for more information.

“As a father, youth leader and national pro-life leader, I believe we must give young people the tools to stand up for their faith and convictions,” said Kemper. “We understand the importance of raising up a generation of pro-life youth; to educate, activate and equip them in this battle to build a culture of life. We are excited to partner with the March for Life on the first annual March for Life Youth Rally as we engage and empower young people to fight to end child killing in America.”

Father Pavone commented, “It was the March for Life that ignited my commitment to the pro-life cause. I know this rally will plant the same seeds in the hearts of many new activists.”

Kemper, 44, the father of six children with a seventh on the way, noted that an impromptu rally last year drew more than 300 young people. He expects attendance to triple for Saturday’s rally.

Also speaking from Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries will be: Julia Holcomb, a spokeswoman for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign who in 1975 had a relationship with the rock star Steven Tyler that ended after they aborted their son; Janet Morana, co-founder of Silent No More and executive director of Priests for Life; Matt and Kelly Clinger, spokespersons for Silent No More, and Father Denis Wilde, associate director of Priests for Life.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit priestsforlife.org.

Honoring the Memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This month our nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who fought for the equal dignity of every human life against the evil of segregation. “If we are to have peace on earth,” he wrote, “we must be concerned about the sacredness of all human life. Man is a child of God, made in His image, and must be respected as such.” When we truly believe this, he continued, “we won’t kill anybody.”

Many who knew Dr. King assert that if he were alive today, he would be with us in the pro-life movement.

We should note that in Dr. King we honor a man who broke the law and was thrown in jail, because he was opposing a law that was unjust. It’s a good reminder, especially for those who think that no law should ever be broken.

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

Using Election Law to Expose Abortion

Longtime pro-life activist Randall Terry is running for President. He is running as a Democrat against President Obama in the primaries.

No, he does not expect to win the primary, but neither is that his motive for running. Whatever one thinks of the man himself or his history, what he is doing in this election deserves some attention from every pro-life person humble enough to realize that there is something to be learned from everyone else.

Many organizations — including my own — have produced pro-life ads for television and have had some success in running them. Two major issues arise. One, of course, is money. The other is censorship. Many times have we and others been told by television outlets (and print and radio, for that matter) that, although we had the money to buy the ad time, they did not want to air something against abortion, because it would be too upsetting and controversial for their audiences.

I have been told this regarding ads that do not show anything graphic, but simply talk about abortion, and in some cases, show a beautiful, living child.

But there is a way to bypass the censorship: run in a political race, and create ads under the auspices of your election campaign. Randall Terry is currently a federal candidate. By virtue of that fact, he has the law on his side, permitting him to run ads that are both controversial and graphic. The Federal Communications Commission requires stations it has licensed to run the ads of federal candidates within 45 days of a state’s primary election or caucus. He is ready to run ads in 17 states and 40 markets including Minneapolis, St. Louis, Denver, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Honolulu and Salt Lake City.

And it’s not just about Randall Terry. There are four candidates for the House of Representatives who are using the same approach: Missy Smith, Angela Michael, David Lewis, and Gary Boisclair. They are utilizing election-related law to communicate a message to large segments of the public, a message which under just about every other circumstance would be censored without recourse.

The ads show the American public what an aborted child looks like. As I have always said, America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion. What pro-lifers have in mind when they say the word “abortion” bears little or no resemblance to what many have in mind when they hear the word. We know abortion is dismemberment of a living human child; others think of nothing but “freedom, choice, and women’s rights” — important ideas and realities, indeed, but which do nothing to help one understand what an abortion actually is.

And if people debating abortion cannot even agree on what abortion is, much less whether it is right, then the debate cannot even begin.

Once again, this is not about Randall Terry, nor about endorsing him. It is, rather, about encouraging more pro-life people to run for office, and use the law to their advantage to expose the reality of abortion.

National Pro-Life Religious Council to bestow awards at Jan. 23 service in Capitol Visitors Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 18th annual National Memorial for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Jan. 23 in Room HVC 201 of the Capitol Visitors Center.

The National Pro-Life Religious Council (NPRC) will present its annual Pro-Life Recognition Award to Chris Slattery, founder of EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers, and Karolyn Schrage, executive director of Life Choices in Joplin, MO.

Kelly Clinger, a recording artist and spokeswoman for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and Tony Melendez, a guitar player who was born without arms and plays with his feet, will perform.

During the service, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life will also announce a Pro-life Award for Victoria Hearst, founder of Praise Him Ministries in Colorado.

The National Conference for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers was founded in 1994 by Rev. Rob Schenck of Faith and Action and Fr. Paul C.B. Schenck of the National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill. It is the only pro-life prayer service convened on the U.S. capitol complex. Additional sponsors include the National Clergy Council, National Pro-Life Radio and National Pro-Life Center.

This year’s honorees are involved in providing alternatives to abortion.

Slattery launched Expectant Mother Care-EMC FrontLine Pregnancy Centers in mid-town Manhattan in 1984. It was New York City’s first crisis pregnancy center and remains the largest network of pregnancy help centers in the tri-state area.

He pioneered the use of onsite ultrasound and pre-natal care in a crisis center, and introduced 3D and 4D ultrasound in lifesaving work when the technology became available. He also pioneered using mobile ultrasounds with sidewalk counseling teams outside abortion clinics in major cities.

Mrs. Schrage, a registered nurse, worked as a medical missionary in Kenya for more than 20 years. She and her husband, Mike, produced a film addressing unplanned pregnancy issues in East Africa. The film was translated into eight languages and has been shown in many African countries.

In 2003, Mrs. Schrage and her family moved back to the United States, where she joined the LifeChoices medical team. LifeChoices Medical Clinic and 4U Testing Clinic in Joplin, MO, provide confidential, compassionate medical services for individuals facing a sexual health crisis or unplanned pregnancy. LifeChoices works in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control to reduce the sexually transmitted disease epidemic in the USA.

“Pregnancy centers are on the front lines of the war against abortion,” said Father Pavone, President of the National Pro-life Religious Council. “Chris and Karolyn recognized this and decided to focus their considerable energies and talents to inspire the young with the courage to love and to choose life. The National Pro-Life Religious Council salutes these pro-life heroes.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit priestsforlife.org.

Priests for Life expands Prayer Campaign to End Abortion

Amarillo, TX – Fr. Frank today announced more details of the fourth element of the four-pronged attack that Priests for Life is launching this year against the abortion industry, as described in this press release from a few days ago: http://bit.ly/wqSoLq.

“Prayer is the foundation of all we do,” Fr. Frank explained. “This year, we are expanding our prayer campaign (PrayerCampaign.org) and asking every Church to provide its congregation with the tools they need to pray each day for an end to abortion. In particular, we have special prayers throughout the year corresponding to the Feasts and liturgical seasons that many Christians observe. The prayer cards are offered to Churches free of charge.”

“Most immediately, this Saturday begins a Novena (a nine-day period of prayer) in preparation for the sad commemoration of Roe vs. Wade, which has resulted in more death and destruction than anything else. Prayer cards can still be ordered and the prayer downloaded at PrayerCampaign.org,” Fr. Frank stated.

Another aspect of the Prayer Campaign is the Facebook cause “Pray to End Abortion,” now at over 80,000 members. This cause can be accessed at ProLifePrayers.com. Priests for Life will also invite people to become “Prayer Partners for Life” and do such things as bring special pro-life prayer intentions to their pastors and promote prayer resources which will be generated throughout the year. Pastors can obtain prayer resources corresponding to each Sunday of the year at priestsforlife.org/liturgy.

These activities will be coordinated in such a way as to prepare for the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade on January 22, 2013. “Between now and then, we will launch several initiatives which will grow through the course of the year and culminate in a special commemorative service on the 40th anniversary of Roe. Multiple pro-life ministries from many denominations will co-sponsor that service, which will take place in Washington, DC. Now is the time,” Fr. Frank pointed out, “to intensify our prayer efforts as never before, that a weakened abortion industry may go out of existence altogether. That’s our goal, and we will reach it.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit priestsforlife.org.

Let’s Use This Month to Raise Awareness

This month, in remembrance of the tragic Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton decisions, which legalized abortion in America throughout all nine months of pregnancy, numerous pro-life events take place in Washington and throughout the nation. I hope you will be participating in some of them. Even some people who support abortion are against Roe v Wade, because it took away from the people in the states the right to vote on abortion policy in their own state. Even the most pro-life states, with legislatures and governors eager to protect the unborn children of that state, are deprived of the ability to pass such laws, because of Roe v Wade. I have no doubt that we will see the day when these decisions are reversed. Let’s continue to work and pray for that goal!

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.