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Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 11, Number 6
November - December 2001


Priests for Life Puts Abortion Industry on Defensive

New Audio-tapes available!

Reverse the Question

Priests for Life launches youth website

Words from our Shepherds


Priests for Life Puts Abortion Industry on Defensive

If there's one thing the pro-abortion forces in this nation do not know how to do well, it's to play defense. They are so used to taking the first steps, framing the issues, and putting pro-life people and organizations on the defensive, that they hardly know what to do when the tables are turned.

Priests for Life has been turning those tables with full page ads in papers like the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. A recent series of these ads called on the abortion industry to account for the deaths and injuries of women in so-called "safe and legal" abortion clinics nationwide.

Consider what happens when an abortionist is killed. Not only is the presumption immediately and irresponsibly made that a "pro-life" person did this, but the abortion industry calls on the entire leadership of the pro-life movement to denounce this violence, separate themselves from it, and do everything possible to prevent it. Certainly we do denounce such violence, no matter who carries it out. But the dilemma that is created for us is that every time we denounce acts of violence at abortion facilities, we call attention to the fact that there has been violence at abortion facilities -- and that's what the pro-abortion groups want the public to know.

Through our ads, we put the abortion industry in a similar dilemma. We know, through court cases, news stories, testimonies of former abortionists, and from the victims and their families, that women are abused, maimed, and killed in legal abortion clinics nationwide. Through the ads, we bring these facts out into the open. We take the initiative to expose this hidden tragedy.

What, then, are the pro-abortion forces to do? If they say anything, they have to distance themselves from the problem. "Oh, that doesn't happen in our clinic," many of them will say. "Our doctors have higher standards. We take more precautions than others; our facilities are safe and clean and regulated. No patient has died in our facilities."

Their very attempt to defend themselves calls attention to the fact that these tragedies have happened in at least some abortion clinics.

Their other option, of course, is that they can ignore the whole matter. But how, then, do they -- claiming to champion women's rights and health -- explain their silence in the face of women being abused, injured and killed?

Our ads have only just begun, and are carefully documented in every detail. We offer a partial list of the names of women killed in abortion clinics as well as additional information about documented cases. (See our website at

Nobody knows how many of these incidents occur, because they are carefully covered-up, including by falsification of medical records. This much is certain, however: the more one looks for these cases, the more one finds. And the more we find, the more we should proclaim it, and let the pro-aborts play defense for a change.


New Audio-tapes available!

Two great new talks by Fr. Frank Pavone:

A Consistent Ethic of Life & Love

In the address to the 2001 Eucharistic Congress of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Fr. Pavone spoke about a key strategy to move the nation away from abortion.

Suggested donation: $5.00

Onward to Unity & Victory

In this stirring address at the closing banquet of the 2001 National Right To Life Convention, Fr. Pavone gave a message to pro-abortion leader Bill Baird, who was present, and told pro-lifers how to put the abortion industry on the defensive.

Suggested donation: $5.00


Reverse the Question

Fr. Frank Pavone

Even when we understand the dimensions of the abortion tragedy, which kills our youngest brothers and sisters in numbers larger than any disease, disaster, or war, we are often afraid to act.

We can gain courage, however, from the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) On the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, a man fell in with robbers. A priest and a levite came by, but did not stop to help. Despite their knowledge of the Law and Prophets, they walked right by. Why?

One of the reasons may be that they were afraid. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is a steep and dangerous road. At the time of Jesus, it had come to be known as the "Bloody Pass." Because of its numerous curves, it lends itself to attacks by robbers who can easily hide not too far from their victims. Perhaps the priest and levite who passed by that man asked themselves, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me? Maybe the robbers who attacked him are still here. Maybe they're hiding just around the bend. This is a dangerous road. I better keep going."

Sometimes we ask the same question. If I speak up too loudly about the victims of abortion, what will happen to me? Will I face persecution, will I encounter opposition, will I lose popularity if I get involved in a cause like this?

Priests sometimes ask the same question. If I preach about abortion, what will happen to me? What will happen to my parish, my effectiveness, my image? What legal troubles might I provoke?

Politicians sometimes ask the same question. If I say I am pro-life, what will happen to my votes, to my standing in the polls, to my chances in the election?

And then the Good Samaritan came along, and he reversed the question. He didn't ask, "If I help this man, what will happen to me?" The Good Samaritan asked, "If I do not help this man, what will happen to him?" And that's the question for us. If I do not address this evil, what will happen to the unborn? If I do not get involved, what will happen to those who are vulnerable, to those who are marginalized our society, those who are oppressed, those who have no one to speak for them?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brought out this same lesson from this same parable on the night before he was assassinated. He called the people to a "dangerous unselfishness" as he rallied them to stand with the oppressed sanitation workers in Memphis. And in regard to himself, he declared that it didn't matter what happened to him; he just wanted to do God's will.

These words of holocaust survivor Elie Weisel sum it up well: "I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."


Priests for Life launches youth website

Under the guidance of Elisabeth Townsend, our staff person who coordinates youth activity and outreach to clergy engaged in youth ministry, Priests for Life has launched a website with special resources for students, teachers, youth groups, and youth ministers.

The site is found at In speaking about this department of Priests for Life, Elisabeth said, "Educating and activating youth is critical to the pro-life movement. We are dealing with a generation of children that does not know anything apart from a nation where abortion is acceptable. They need to know that it is not. Young people are hungry for the truth, hungry for the message of life that the media and society has rejected.

"It was in 1996 and I was 17 when Fr. Frank spoke to my youth group in Florida. At that time I had already felt a calling to be involved with the pro-life movement. Fr. Frank’s words and message were a light in the darkness. After working here a year, I couldn’t imagine any job more important.

In their travels across the nation, the priests of Priests for Life have spoken in many schools and youth events. Elisabeth is also available for speaking engagements. Contact our travel office at PO Box 236695, Cocoa, FL 32923; Tel: 888-PFL-3448, ext. 255; Fax: 603-908-3075; email:


Words from our Shepherds

"The phenomenal spread of Priests for Life is an answer from the Lord to the culture of death and the [introductory] video impressively and sensitively conveys the positive, love-driven thrust of an organization founded on respect for all human life."

-- Most Reverend Edwin F. O'Brien, Archbishop for the Military Services

"I write to commend you and the Priests for Life for the remarkable leadership that you are offering in proclaiming the Gospel of Life."

-- Most Reverend Alfred C. Hughes, Coadjutor Archbishop of New Orleans



Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 •