FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leslie Palma
The leadership of Priests for Life released the following comments today about the death of longtime pro-life activist Chris Slattery, with whom they have been working closely for more than 30 years and whom they honored this year with the Pro-Life Recognition Award at the National Prayer Service on the morning of the March for Life in January.
Priests for Life National Director Frank Pavone noted that he and Executive Director Janet Morana first met Slattery when Pavone was a parish priest at St. Charles Church on Staten Island and Mrs. Morana was a parishioner.
“We came to know him well from meeting him at many events, including Life Chains in Manhattan,” Pavone said. “He was so front and center in the legal battles surrounding abortion that he understood early on that there is no place to escape from the battle that the other side launches against the pro-life effort. He understood that in the abortion battle, there is no ‘safe space’ where one can be “above the fray,” no matter how compassionate or non-confrontational the work is.”
The pregnancy help center he founded in the 1980s, Expectant Mother Care – EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers – was the first in the New York City metropolitan area and a frequent target of pro-abortion lawmakers who wanted to close it down. Within days of Roe v. Wade being overturned in 2022, his center became the target of vandals who spray-painted slurs on his building and smashed the glass front door.
Comparing him to the fictional legend Don Quixote, Mrs. Morana said, “He never got discouraged, but he would talk to me about all the churches in the Archdiocese of New York and the five boroughs and wonder why they weren’t all doing something to end abortion.”
Both Pavone and Mrs. Morana noted that Slattery always carried at least two cell phones and that no matter what he was doing, if he got a call on the one connected to EMC, he stopped what he was doing to talk to the abortion-vulnerable woman who had reached out for help.
After he was diagnosed with two aggressive cancers, his deep faith and his passion for pro-life kept him going, attending meetings at Priests for Life headquarters in Florida and pro-life leaders’ meetings in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country. He even went on an African safari in September, a trip he had on his bucket list.
“He told me, ‘I’m going to keep on living,” and he did, Mrs. Morana recalled. “He lived life to the fullest.”
Pavone said: “Whether it was fighting the legal fury of the pro-aborts or then, with his illness, fighting against that with such a determined spirit has really been an inspiration for people.
“He fought the pro-life battle with a New York spirit.”