AMERICA 21, NATIONAL PRO-LIFE RELIGIOUS COUNCIL JOIN FORCES
FOR SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE WEEK
WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 19, 2003 - America 21 and the National
Pro-Life Religious Council join forces this week asking pastors and religious
leaders of America to minister, during Sanctity of Human Life Week, to members
of their congregations who have suffered the abortion experience.
"Our first duty is to call people to repentance," said Father Frank Pavone,
president of National Pro-Life Religious Council. "In doing so, we likewise heal
the wounds that abortion inflicts on mothers, fathers, surviving siblings, and
the entire family. Abortion springs from despair and can lead to despair. The
Gospel we preach is one of hope, that leads to life."
The National Pro-Life Religious Council will forward the America 21 Sanctity
of Human Life Week Action Alert to their membership of pastors and ministry
leaders throughout the country and into virtually every major religious
organization. The action alert points to the 30 year mark since Roe v. Wade, the
decision of the Supreme Court of the United States legalizing abortion in
America, to be a catalyst to bring these leaders to action.
"Sanctity of Human Life Week presents a special opportunity for pastors to
minister to all women and men who have been profoundly hurt by their abortion
experience," said Jennifer O’Neill, actress, former Cover Girl Model and a woman
coerced into abortion. "I know some pastors might be reluctant to take a public
stand in revealing the ravages of secret shames and lies for fear of opening old
wounds, but let me assure you, as someone forgiven by God’s incredible mercy,
the blessings outweigh any such concerns."
According to America 21 President J. Thomas Smith, research confirms that as
many as one third of a church’s entire congregation has been impacted by
abortion. In addition, Smith added, 43 percent of women 45 and under have had at
least one abortion (Alan Guttmacher Institute).
America 21 is set to launch the Action Alert email with a special video-taped
message from Jennifer O’Neill carrying a charge to pastors to become involved
with the message of healing and restoration during Sanctity of Human Life week.
O’Neill also shares her personal story of loss, guilt and the restoration she
later experienced. O’Neill will also be involved in events surrounding this
special week in Washington, D.C., including the Ninth Annual Memorial for the
Preborn sponsored by the National Pro-Life Religious Council to be held on Jan.
22 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the U. S. Senate Dirksen Office Building, ground
floor, room G-50 (Senate Auditorium) at Constitution Ave. and First St., N.E.,
on Capitol Hill, and a special women’s gathering of The Silent No More Campaign,
for which she is the national spokeswoman, on the Supreme Court steps that
evening from 5-8 p.m. where O’Neill will give the personal story of her abortion
"America 21 exists to inform, educate and activate pastors nationwide on
issues of public policy that impact the church," said Smith. "The statistics so
strongly point to the fact that an overwhelming number of our church goers have
been or are currently affected by the pain of abortion, that to remain silent
would be to neglect our own congregations. This is not a sin that resides
outside of the church and we hope pastors and ministry leaders will offer hope
and healing on this solemn observance."
America 21 is a 501©(4) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to
inform, educate, and activate Christian conservatives and mobilize them to
influence national policy. With offices in Nashville and Alexandria, Va.,
America 21 was founded in 1989 by a multi-denominational group of pastors and
business people dedicated to being a catalyst for revival and reform.
The National Pro Life Religious Council is a Christian coalition which
acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and is called to affirm and witness
to the Biblical standard of the value, dignity, and sanctity of human life. NPRC
member groups include: Alpha Omega Life (Orthodox), CEC For Life (International
Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church), Conservative Congregational
Christian Conference Lifewatch (Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and
Sexuality), Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Lutherans for Life International,
National Clergy Council/Faith and Action, National Organization of Episcopalians
for Life (NOEL)*, National Right to Life Committee, Inc., Presbyterians
Pro-Life, Priests for Life, United Church of Christ Friends for Life.
Jennifer O’Neill is an internationally acclaimed actress, film and television
star, successful spokeswoman, composer, author, artist, speaker, proud mother of
three, and grandmother of four. Her entertainment industry career boasts 28
feature films, including the classic, Summer of ‘42, and a 30-year position as
spokeswoman for Cover Girl Cosmetics. Additional biographical information:
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For more information and/or interview availability with America 21 president
J. Thomas Smith, contact Jessica Atteberry Public Relations,
firstname.lastname@example.org, (615) 331-3203, or on-site Wednesday at (615) 969-5586.
*NOEL was renamed Anglicans for Life in March 2007