April 1996 Four County Catholic
Pro-Life Leader Sees Abortion Movement on Verge of Collapse
By Peter L. Gill
NORWICH - A national pro-life leader says the abortion movement is collapsing
under the weight of the truth of what abortion is.
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, outlined the
signs of this collapse for an audience of youth and adults who gathered in St.
Patrick Cathedral Auditorium. Earlier, he brought a pro-life message to 70 pre-cana
couples, to parishioners at all weekend Masses and finally to Confirmation
candidates and interested adults.
Father Pavone said that the title of his talk may be puzzling to some,
because abortion doesn't seem to be going away.
"However, I am convinced, from what I see around the country, and look very
carefully at what is happening, I am convinced the movement is collapsing tinder
it's own weight. What is going to bring an end to abortion, very, simply, is
abortion itself. It's the dead end rule."
The dead end rule, he said, comes into play when people see signs that the
road is a dead end but ignore them. "You can miss the signs, or perhaps ignore
them all together, but you can't miss it when the road finally ends."
Father Pavone said that even before the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing
abortion, pro-life advocates were telling the nation that abortion doesn't solve
the problems of woman or society.
"Now, after 23 years of legalized abortion, more and more people and we, as a
society., are learning by bitter experience that, in fact, abortion is not the
answer to our problems; that, in fact, the promises made by those who started
the abortion movement have proven to be a deception, an illusion, and a bigger
disappointment. Truth, pressed to the earth, will rise again.
Truth cannot be locked up, he said. "One way or another, the truth comes out.
You can't hide it forever."
Some of the truth is being proclaimed by women. The National
Organization for Women (NOW) is only a
fraction of another group called National Women's Coalition for Life, which
consists of 14 different women's groups who have come together and have started
speaking out for life.
"Some of these, like Victims of Choice, were started by women who had
abortions on their own, and are coming together and saying, 'You know, abortion,
which we thought was an answer to our problems, has instead hurt us. It's a dead
Father Pavone said women are not only exploited by abortion, but they are
also being exploited by the abortion industry. The conditions under which
abortion is offered to the American woman "are the most deplorable and
unregulated conditions you can imagine."
"You will find animal hospitals that are cleaner, safer and better regulated.
Some people think that by making abortion legal it's now safe. It's not true. It
has not been made safe."
The pro-life spokesman said he knows this is true because of what he has been
told by friends who used to do abortions, but perform them no longer.
One such person was director of six abortion facilities who now
publicly says the facilities were never sterilized
"I asked her why not, and she said it would have taken too much time. They
just wanted to do more and more abortions. Also, she told me she was introduced
to patients as a doctor, but she has never been inside a medical school. Yet,
she was doing things which, by law, only doctors should do."
Father Pavone said these and other incidents are part of a book and although
it's tough reading, "it's a truth America has to hear. For 23 years we have been
successfully destroying the myth that abortion does not kill a baby, now we must
also battle the myth that legal is safe."
Some people, he said, use the argument that while they don't support
abortion, they are in favor of women's health. "Well, it looks pretty silly,
doesn't it, to talk about women's health where the facilities that perform
abortions don't sterilize the instruments they use on women."
"This whole thing is on a collision course with itself. You can't hide the
truth," Father Pavone declared.
The pro-life movement, he said, supports the feminist notion that the value
of a woman's life should not be determined by men. "People make the same mistake
if they say the value of a child's life is to be determined by the mother."
Another sign of the impending collapse is that former abortionists are
meeting together with psychotherapists to seek healing of the wounds of
abortion. "Now they are saying, surely these were innocent lives and we are
sorry for destroying them. The very existence of a group like this is showing
that this lie cannot live forever."
He said statistics show that 98 percent of the people who change their mind
on abortion change it from pro-choice to pro-life. "The ones who tend to go in
the opposite direction are the politicians," he said.
Some more "important and encouraging signs" offered by Father Pavone:
Eighty-four percent of the counties in America do not have an abortion
provider and hundreds of abortion facilities have closed.
There are more pregnancy crisis centers operating than there are abortion
Abortion providers are getting older and grayer. The new generation of
women's health professionals want nothing to do with abortion.
Father Pavone made it clear that while the abortion movement may be in stages
of collapse, there is still work to be done.
"We need to do more work than ever before. It's reaching critical mass."
He gave three- suggestions:
-"Wear the precious feet. You get a lot of good conversation going."
-"Use pro-life checks which contain pro-life images. It brings a message to
those who don't want to hear it. Call [1-877-472-0907]."
-"Keep putting those pro-life bumper stickers on your car."
He said that when people proclaim the pro-life message they must remember
that "we do not say we are better than anyone else. We're sinners, too. We are
saying that together we have to look up towards the truth."
He cautioned about what would happen to America when people realize they did
nothing to save lives.
"We have to brace ourselves to lead people out of darkness. We are holding on
to the memory of what humanity is. It's not a question of when does life begin,
but what life is. It's not that we're saying we can't do abortions, but we are
saying we can't tolerate it, because we love them and their child."
Father Pavone said pro-life supporters must speed up efforts to end abortion
as a legal right. "We need to save as many lives as possible. There are
He urged pro-lifers to be ready to offer the healing that will be necessary.
"This mission of healing will go on for decades."
He encouraged young people to carry the pro-life message to their peers.
"You have a special voice in this pro-life movement. You are saying I am a
person today and I was a person when I was in the womb. No one can take that
away from you."
Father Pavone responded to criticism that pro-lifers continue to talk about
the same "issue."
"This is something more than a thing to be discussed. This is a tragedy of
immense proportions. We talk about it because someone new is suffering. There
are people dying from abortion who have never died before. The babies scheduled
for abortion tomorrow have never been destroyed before. Each day it's a new
issue because it's a new tragedy, and a new tragedy demands a new response. We
must never let ourselves get tired of responding to this tragedy, because our
response to it is, very simply, an aspect of love."
Priests for Life in the News