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The Catholic Advance

Friday, September 30, 1994

Priest: Pro-lifers still have power to change society

By Christopher M. Riggs

The pro-life movement has as much of an opportunity now to bring an end to abortion and to change the abortion mentality as it ever has, according to the director of Priests For Life.

"I've been trying to help people avoid the notion that because of what's going on in Washington, there's less we can do," Fr. Frank Pavone said in a telephone interview from Wheeling, W.V., where he was delivering his pro-life message.

"The reality is that while we have to continue to petition the government and work for a change of laws, at the same time, ultimately abortions are not taking place in the halls of Congress; they're taking place down the street, they're taking place in our own community."

Pro-lifers must continue their work with the basics because the basics save babies, he said. The reason the movement isn't doing better is because there aren't enough people in the movement.

"I see recruiting as our number one priority to get more people doing the basic things that the pro-life people have sought to do all these years," he said.

Priests For Life assists in the effort by providing pastors with practical ideas, with homily materials, bulletin inserts, and projects for the parish, school, and other agencies.

"The local community can do much to bring an end to the killing going on right there in their midst," Fr. Pavone said. He suggested educating through direct intervention at abortion clinics using prayer vigils and life chains, by promoting alternatives to abortion, and reminding that there is healing and forgiveness for women who have had abortions.

Although over a million abortions are performed annually, the abortion industry may be collapsing under its own weight, he said.

"The more women have abortions, the more women who are hurting from abortions," Fr. Pavone said. "There's more evidence than ever that abortion harms women physically and psychologically. The truth about this cannot be hidden forever."

The evidence is also mounting that there hasn't really been a change in regulation of abortion since before Roe v. Wade, he said. "When abortion was legalized, these abortionists took their nameplates off the back door and put them on the front door. In many cases that's all that changed."

Fr. Pavone said he has faith that the Catholic youth will continue the fight against abortion. "Their awareness is increasing. They're on fire for pro-life causes. They really want to do something about it."

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