Thursday morning's National Service for the Pre-born, previously known as the National Memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers, will take place inside the new US Capitol Visitor Center after being initially turned down for an indoor venue this year. An alternate site at the Heritage Foundation Building was made available to attendees, but the service will now be returned to the US Capitol complex itself.
"This is a significant turn of events," said Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council and co-founder of the Pre-born Service. "It looked like pro-lifers were being permanently barred from using US Capitol meeting space after the last election, but it has turned out not to be the case after all. And we all have Senator Orrin Hatch to thank for this welcome development."
Utah Senior Senator Orrin Hatch intervened as official sponsor of this year's National Pre-born Service and made last-minute arrangements for the principle coordinating groups, The National Pro-Life Religious Council, The National Clergy Council, Priests for Life and Faith and Action, to return to the Capitol.
This year's National Pre-born Service will feature Fr. Frank Pavone, Rev. Rob Schenck and Pastor Kenneth Barney. They will be joined by Pro-Life attorney Steve Peroutka and dozens of clergy and other pro-life leaders from every Christian denomination and tradition.
The National Pre-born Service is in its 14th Year and has become the premiere indoor Capitol Hill pro-life event.
"This year's Pre-born Service is more important than ever," said Rev. Schenck. "We now have an administration that threatens to reverse all the pro-life gains of the last eight years. We must be a strong witness to the Gospel of Life in the midst of the Congress. This venue allows us to just that. I am very grateful to Senator Hatch for working so hard on our behalf."
Pro-life groups are being asked to spread the word on the very welcome last-minute location change as far and wide as possible.
All clergy are invited to participate in the program and will be given assignments on site. No preparation is necessary. Clergy should vest according to their own custom, but must arrive early to do so. The service is free and open to all pro-life people. As usual, the service will dismiss in time for all attendees to participate in the Annual March for Life that follows.