Abortion and euthanasia are "the two evils" of today, said the Rev. Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life. Pavone was in Shelby County over the weekend to deliver his pro-life message.
About 200 people gathered in the Schlater Gym of Lehman High School Sunday afternoon to hear Pavone deliver his program. Politicians of both parties were present to listen to the pro-life message.
Before the official presentation began, Pavone answered a few questions on the scope of his program. He said his primary role is to, "energize leaders to make them more passionate," about the pro-life message.
Defenseless human family
He said abortion and euthanasia "take the lives of the two most defenseless of the human family."
Youth, he insisted, "hear a very harmful message from society." Those youth, born after Roe vs. Wade, according to policy, were not considered a person when in the womb. "It's insulting." He said youth are learning they are, "disposable."
"Children will not stop killing children until parents quit killing children," he said.
He cautioned, "Choice has become more important than life itself. They (kids) easily jump to the conclusion that 'my desire to kill you is more important than your life."' The teaching of reincarnation becomes an excuse to justify killing. "Christians believe one life, one chance. This is the one and only journey we make." Each life is important.
He also worries about the spiritualism that says we are all spirits, separate from the physical body. He said he once heard a girl justify abortion, saying she was sending the child's spirit back to God. "That is not Christian teaching," he insisted, "abortion destroys a person."
Think about issues
He said his job is to get the clergy thinking about these issues, and to get them involved. He said they have a responsibility to make sure children are getting the right education. "Good doctrines lead to good morals" he said. He feels the clergy should get involved.
Public schools, he said, should talk about abortion. "Our nation was founded on the idea that all human lives are equal. The protection of the Constitution belongs to everybody," he said referring to the unborn. "We need to bring the message outside the walls of the church, outside the voluntary."
Asked how the pro-life issue in this country compares to other countries he has visited, he said, "We have a much worse policy toward abortion than other countries." He said they have more restrictions, but that it is very easy here by comparison to obtain an abortion.
"People should not think this is an old issue," he insisted, "it's a new tragedy everyday." He said each aborted baby is a new life and a new tragedy. "It is everyone's business," he said.
Pavone then entered the gym to address the crowed waiting there. Among politicians gathered for the presentation were Sidney Mayor Frank Mariano; State Representative Derrick Seaver; Shelby County Commissioners Jack Toomey and Larry Kleinhans; candidate for State Representative John Adams; aide to State Senator Jim Jordan, Shelby County native Maria Cordonnier and Hamilton County Judge Randy Rogers. Tom Frantz introduced Seaver, Cordonnier and the Rev. Leo Hoying of Sacred Heart Church, before calling Pavone to the microphone.
Seaver said, "I am proud to be a supporter of Right to Life." He said listening to Pavone the day before at Anna High School, had energized him to go back to Columbus and fight harder.
Pavone told the audience, "Either we end abortion in this country, or it will end us." He then traced the history of abortion and its progression to partial-birth abortion, and finally to live-birth abortion. He told of a hospital in Illinois, where a nurse was told to hold an aborted baby until it died. No effort was made to save the child.
He told of Princeton professor Pete Singer whom he quoted as saying, 'We have to abandon the idea that all human life is of equal worth.' Pavone said that to do that was to abandon Christian ideas and the Constitution. "This is what the pro-abortion people are already thinking," he said. "It's either pro-life or pro-infantacide," he told the audience.
He said that the Supreme Court did not decide when life begins. Others, he said, have said that they do not know when a fetus has a soul. He urged the group to move past the issue of when life begins, and to work to stop the death.
Law is to protect
"The law is there not to impose a belief, but to protect us." He made an analogy to protection against theft, which is about protection from loss of property, period. He said it should be about defending life. Beyond that people have a right to believe whatever they want.
He called the abortion advocates, "false prophets." He told those gathered, they can read some of their doctrine, including comments against Pavone at http://www.rcrc.org/.
He called for building a wide coalition of pro-life activists. He referred to the Atheist and Agnostic ProLife League, http://www.godlessprolifers.org/. He said they claim they are against abortion because 'this life is all we get.' He urged everyone present to start working for what they believed. He told them to stop tolerating. He called for peaceful actions, such as refusing to do work for any clinic that performs abortions. About the people who have killed abortion doctors, he said, "They were pro-choice."
"What will happen to the nation if we don't intervene?" He said the abortion mentality thinks of the baby as the problem and getting rid of the baby solves the problem. He then showed a short film of a seven week embryo with hands, beating heart and closed eyes.
The audience was then allowed to ask questions. He agreed that the Bush Administration declaration requiring insurance protection for the unborn, was a helpful step in recognizing the unborn as a person. "The newest patient is the unborn child."
In closing he said that a psychological study is underway on the lasting effects of children who survive abortion. "What does it do to the child? What values on the psyche? Violence can be traced to it, that life is disposable," he said.
Pavone met with area clergy later that day at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McCartyville. The organizers of the visit were the Respect Life Committee of that church, with Marcy Wenning and Paula Wiseman heading the efforts. For more on the issue see the Web site www.priestsforlife.org.