TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
March 10, 2001
Life Action League to hold first dinner
By Kathleen A. Shaw
WORCESTER - The Rev. Frank Pavone, who heads the national
Priests for Life organization, will be main speaker at the first Life Action
League of Massachusetts dinner to be held at 6 tonight in First Assembly of God
Church, off Lincoln Street.
Rev. Pavone also will deliver the homily during the 10:30
a.m. Mass tomorrow in St. Paul's Cathedral, High and Chatham streets.
The Life Action League is a new statewide group that intends
to be active in anti-abortion issues and to consistently support pro-family
values within the law, according to Laurie A. Letourneau of Shrewsbury. Ms.
Letourneau said she will "definitely not be politically correct" and will speak
her mind on issues.
Ms. Letourneau, who headed the Central Massachusetts chapter
of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said she still intends to work with that
group, but said another organization was needed to perform other types of
advocacy. Massachusetts Citizens for Life deals only with the abortion issue,
she said. Many people in this area believed it was time to branch off and
address other issues besides abortion, she said.
Ms. Letourneau said the new organization will support Problem
Pregnancy, an organization that provides services to pregnant women to enable
them to carry their children to term, rather than seek abortions. It is next to
the Planned Parenthood clinic on Lincoln Street.
Ms. Letourneau, who volunteers at Problem Pregnancy as a
counselor, said it had what she called "three saves" Thursday night, meaning
three women who decided not to seek abortions.
The Life Action League wants to offer a program for
teen-agers in the fall to discuss how premarital sex can lead not only to
unplanned pregnancies, but also to sexually transmitted diseases, Ms. Letourneau
"The ignorance of teen-agers about these matters is
appalling," she said.
She and other area activists decided to create the Life Action League to work
on family-related issues with other groups such as the Christian Coalition and
Massachusetts Family Institute.
Besides anti-abortion support, the group will work to defend
marriage and against the legalization of homosexual unions, she said.
More than 400 people of different religious denominations are
expected to attend tonight's dinner. "We aren't canceling because of the snow,"
"Many people think of the abortion issue as being a Catholic
issue, but it isn't. It crosses all religious lines," Ms. Letourneau said.
She said she just finished compiling a computerized database
of supporters that has several thousand names. "We intend to be effective in our
efforts," she said.
Rev. Pavone has headed Priests for Life since 1993. At the
request of the Vatican, he served as an official of the Pontifical Council for
the Family, which oversees and coordinates anti-abortion activities throughout
the world. His television series, "Defending Life," is shown on the EWTN
Ms. Letourneau said Life Action League is honored to have
Rev. Pavone as a speaker for the group's first dinner.
"He is truly at the forefront of the pro-life movement in
America, and his message of peaceful, productive activism will serve to inspire
us as we strive to cultivate a culture of life," she said.
The Life Action League is incorporated as a 501C3 nonprofit
organization, so it will have to be careful about political activity, she said.
Ms. Letourneau said she helped form the Life-Guard Political
Action Committee last year to give money to political candidates who oppose
abortion and support other views of that political action committee's
"We helped a number of candidates," she said, including state
Rep. Mark J. Carron, D-Southbridge, and such pro-life legislators as state Reps.
John P. Fresolo, D-Worcester, and John J. Binienda Sr., D-Worcester.