Priests for Life intends to implement a bold and ambitious new media plan in 2001. By utilizing paid media in an extremely daring manner, we will be able to take our message to more people outside conventional Church circles, and to do so more extensively than the pro-life movement has been able to do in 30 years.
This radically innovative strategy will be accompanied by an equally powerful message. Over 4000 abortions take place in the United States every single day. We know from research and direct pastoral experience that these abortions cause incredible harm to the women who have them--- physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. The people of this country need to be told that the doors of the Church are open to anyone who has had an abortion and is now suffering from the consequences. Over the last three decades, the Church has been successful in disseminating the message that abortion is wrong. But too many people still do not know that we also offer alternatives to abortion, counseling services, medical and legal assistance, and most importantly, forgiveness, to any woman who has had an abortion. This is an extremely powerful message for several reasons: 1) it is compassionate and demonstrates that the pro-life movement and the Church are not simply "pro-fetus"; 2) it effectively conveys the fact that abortion harms women; and 3) it is impervious to attack from the pro-choice opposition.
We intend to take this message directly to the people this year in an unparalleled way, utilizing every form of mass media. Specifically, we are prepared to take the following actions in what we are calling our "2001 Media Blitz."
- In the next six months, Priests for Life will launch a major billboard advertising effort in key cities across the nation. By July, we will have an estimated 5,000 billboards posted in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.
- The billboard artwork and slogan will be duplicated for use on busses and trains. In the summer months, aerial advertisements will be used. Likewise, Priests for Life will take out similar full-page ads in both secular and religious newspapers and magazines across the country.
- We have committed to a very aggressive paid advertising campaign on secular television. Within six months, we will have five, highly professional, 30-second television spots airing in cities across America.
- We are currently in pre-production for a 26-part television series on pro-life issues to be aired towards the latter part of 2001. As you know, we already have a pro-life series on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), but in keeping with our new strategy, we intend to broadcast similar programming on secular TV.
In addition to these items, we will employ all the methods that have served us so well during the last five years of dramatic growth: our five full-time priests will continue traveling around the country, taking this message to the pulpits; we will continue faxing information to all 19,000 American parishes, our column will continue to be syndicated in scores of diocesan newspapers; and, we will continue to expand our programming on EWTN, the Odyssey Network, Vatican Radio, and Catholic Family Radio.