"Solidarity with women" is the effort of Priests for Life to respond to the call that the Holy Father makes when he writes in Crossing the Threshold of Hope, "Therefore, in firmly rejecting 'pro choice' it is necessary to become courageously 'pro woman,' promoting a choice that is truly in favor of women…The only honest stance…is that of radical solidarity with the woman" (p.206-207). Likewise, in Evangelium Vitae 99, the Holy Father calls for a "new feminism" whose purpose is "to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation."
Through its "Solidarity with Women" effort, Priests for Life has faithfully reflected this call of the Holy Father, and this inherent demand of being pro-life. In thousands of parishes around the nation over the past decade, the priests of our organization have preached, and have trained countless other priests to preach the following theme: To be pro-life is to be pro-woman. We do not say, "Love the baby and forget about the mother." Rather, we say, "Why can't we love them both?" We can and we must. To harm one is to harm the other; to love and serve one is to love and serve the other.
"Pro-woman" is not simply a project, strategy, or package for the pro-life message. Rather, it is that message. Whenever someone speaks up for the equal dignity of the unborn child, that person is advancing the status of women. Whenever someone reveals the horror of abortion, that person is counteracting the exploitation of women, so many of whom are deceived into thinking that abortion is no horror at all. Whenever the pro-life message is advanced, women are ennobled.
"Solidarity with Women" involves multiple projects. For instance, our TV, radio, and print ads reveal how women are deceived, exploited, and killed by the abortion industry. Our Defending Life program continues to be the platform for countless women to speak to hundreds of millions of people worldwide about their pain and healing after abortion. Our website carries the largest collection of post-abortion testimonies on the internet (www.priestsforlife.org/postabortion). For years, we have called upon pastors to place as a permanent item on their parish bulletin cover the phone numbers for local alternatives to abortion.
One of our latest efforts is to co-sponsor the "Silent No More Awareness Campaign" (www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org). Throughout the country, women who have found healing after their abortion are speaking out, revealing abortion for the harmful, empty promise that it is. In June of this year, we brought such women before a special gathering of members of the US House of Representatives in Washington. We will continue to give them opportunities to speak out from coast to coast.
This is a task for everyone, women and men alike. The basis of our solidarity with women, as well as with unborn children, is our common humanity, not our gender. Indeed, let us all speak and act in solidarity with women!