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SPRINGFIELD NEWS-SUN

November 4, 2000

Priest urges opposition to abortion

By Tracie Mauriello

News-Sun Staff Writer

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are fine for Sunday liturgy, but Friday, a priest wanted to talk about Roe vs. Wade.

The election of abortion-rights candidates would destroy the country, the Rev. Frank Pavone said Friday during a dinner to raise money for Clark County Right to Life, an anti-abortion group.

"The implication of this election cannot be exaggerated," said Pavone, a New York priest commissioned by the Vatican to coordinate the church's anti-abortion activities throughout the world.

The next president would be able to shape the abortion debate if he has the opportunity to appoint Supreme Court justices.

"It will be very hard to come back off the road that our nation chooses to go down (Tuesday)," Pavone told about 300 abortion opponents at Tapestry and Tales restaurant.

"This is not just a decision on the availability of a medical procedure, but on what authority the government has to destroy human life," he said. "That's the kind of election this is.... It is impossible to exaggerate how monumental this is."

Pavone said the implications are far-reaching.

"Support for Roe v. Wade never stands alone in a vacuum. It always stands with other perverse ideologies," he said. "Anyone who supports Roe v. Wade is involved in a world view that supports the destruction of the United States of America.... They're not just a little bit wrong, but totally destructive."

Roe v. Wade was the Supreme Court case that removed many restrictions to abortion.

Critics have questioned whether it's appropriate for a priest to take a political stance, but Pavone makes no apologies.

"Of course I'm trying to influence the election. That's what it's about to be an American," he said. "Woe to the church if we don't try to influence the election."

He challenged the audience to help sway undecided voters to the pro-life side.

"We need to stretch the minds of our friends, relatives, co-workers, anyone anywhere that we possibly can," he said. The presidential race "is so extremely close. We're talking about a couple of hundred people in a few key areas of the country."

Pavone is concentrating his efforts in Ohio, and will spend the weekend speaking at events in Fairborn, Columbus and Cincinnati.

"I want to encourage political responsibility," Pavone said before taking the microphone at Tapestry and Tales. "I want to reinvigorate everyone here as we approach the election to try and reach as many people who might be on the fence. I want to equip them to go back out and inform people."

Pavone has been a pro-life activist for more than 20 years and often appears on radio and television. He is national director of Priests for Life.

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
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