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"Defending Life" Season 9 (2004)

The ninth season of Fr. Frank Pavone's "Defending Life" programs was taped in the summer of 2003 and aired from March of 2004 through February of 2005. A summary of each program is below. 

Episode 1 - "Church and State"

"The Church and politics: is the Church too involved, or not involved enough?"
With this question as the launching point, Fr. Frank examines the Church's "yes" and "no" to the state. The "yes" is spoken as the Church acknowledges the state to be created by God, and all legitimate authority derived from Him. Believers are to be good, active and law-abiding citizens.
But the "no" is spoken just as clearly when the state enacts unjust laws, or tries, beyond its limited capabilities, to fulfill human destiny. With the apostles, we declare that "we must obey God rather than men!"
This episode also explores what Churches can do regarding elections -- and it is more than most people realize!
Click here for more details.

Episode 2 - "The Legislative Process"

"Is the Church getting tougher on pro-abortion politicians? And are you?"
This interview with Connie Marshner draws on her long experience on Capitol Hill to help believers understand that they have considerable influence over the process by which laws are introduced and passed. Yet that influence is often misunderstood as simply persuading the representative of the rightness of our views, rather than of our ability to get them in or out of office. The first step, then, in the "Church" getting tough on politicians, is for each of us to get involved. This episode helps you learn how.
Click here for a transcript of this show.

Episode 3 - "Politics"

"Does your vote really count?"
In another interview with Connie Marshner, longtime activist on Capitol Hill, Fr. Frank explores the question of how and why our vote does count. In fact, while each person can only cast one vote, he or she can influence thousands. This episode discusses how to mobilize more voters and get them to the polls on election day. Getting involved in politics is not "off limits" for believers. We are not required to choose between our faith and our citizenship! And after all the discussion and debate, the one who wins is the one who has the most supporters walk into the voting booths on election day. This episode will prepare you to help your chosen candidate win!

Episode 4 - "Silent No More"

"Women who have had abortions are finding a new voice in the pro-life movement!"
On January 22, 2003, exactly thirty years after Roe vs. Wade was handed down, women gathered in front of the Supreme Court to declare that abortion harmed them rather than helped. They held signs that said, "I Regret My Abortion," and thus launched the national Silent No More Awareness Campaign. This episode features footage from that Washington event. Guests are the two co-founders of this campaign, Janet Morana, Associate Director of Priests for Life, and Georgette Forney, Director of the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life (NOEL). [NOEL changed its name to Anglicans for Life in March 2007]

Episode 5 - "Post-abortion Testimony"

"If you have had an abortion, should your other children know about it? On this show, we talk with someone who knows from experience."
Georgette Forney, Co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, tells the story of her abortion, and of how the child she later had found out about her aborted sister. Georgette's daughter Rebekah shares her thoughts and feelings about being a "sibling survivor" of abortion.
This episode also contains two powerful segments from the movie "Tilly," about a woman who finds healing after abortion. You will never forget these segments, among the most moving that have ever been filmed about abortion.

Episode 6 - "Well-known Witnesses"

"You probably know the women you will see today on Defending Life. What you probably don't know is that they have had abortions."
Actress and model Jennifer O'Neill, and singer and actress Melba Moore have both experienced the pain and grief of abortion and its aftermath. On this episode, you will watch the interviews that Janet Morana, Associate Director of Priests for Life, conducted with each of them. Included in this footage is a message that each of them speak directly to those who have had abortions and who may be considering abortion.

Episode 7 - "Basics of abortion "

"Are abortions even done in the third trimester of pregnancy? See the proof on this program!"
Using statistics obtained from the abortion industry, the federal government, and independent polling agencies, this episode explores how many abortions are done, who gets them, and why. Statistics on the age of the baby and on the phenomenon of multiple abortions are also given. The fact that third trimester abortions are practiced is documented with audio footage from abortionists.
Click here for more details.

Episode 8 - "Public Opinion"

"Americans are turning away from abortion. This show gives a closer look at this good news."

Episode 9 - "The abortion procedure"

"Exactly how does an abortion procedure take place? This episode will show you!"
With the help of Dr. Byron Calhoun, MD, FACOG, FACS, and with the use of fetal models and surgical instruments that were actually used in thousands of abortions, you will watch on this program how two of the most commonly performed abortion procedures are carried out. 
Click here for more details.

Episode 10 - "A Corrupt Industry"

"In the abortion industry, legal does not mean safe! Find out why, here on Defending Life!"
This interview with Mark Crutcher, President of Life Dynamics, reviews the stunning information found in his book Lime 5. The evidence is clear that the abortion industry routinely exploits women. Sexual abuse of clients is rampant. Learn more about the problem and what you can do in response!

Episode 11 - "Clinic Workers"

"Can working in an abortion clinic get you in trouble with the law? Find out next on Defending Life!"
If you think it is OK to kill babies, there are few other things you will think are wrong. In this interview with Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics, you will learn about how activities like medicaid fraud, insurance fraud, OSHA violations, income tax evasion, failure to report statutory rape, money laundering, physical and sexual assault and harassment, and consumer fraud are regular ways of life within the abortion industry. And any clinic worker can get in trouble as a result. See the special website. for more details.

Episode 12 - "The Unborn Patient"

"On this show, watch an operation on an unborn baby and meet the doctor who did it!"
Dr. Julian E. De Lia has been a friend of Priests for Life for many years. He has done groundbreaking work in treating Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome in unborn children. This is a disease of the placenta that strikes about 10% of all identical twin pregnancies. In the US, it affects over 7,500 babies—or 3,800 pregnancies—each year.
This serious condition occurs when twins (or other multiples) share a single placenta that contains blood vessels which connect the twins. These inter-connections may cause one baby (the recipient) to get too much blood, thereby overloading his or her cardiovascular system. This baby may die from heart failure, while the other baby (the donor) may die from the loss of blood.
In this episode of Defending Life, Dr. De Lia explains how he re-routes the blood flow between these babies so that they can grow in a normal and healthy way. In fact, on this program you will actually see video of the procedure!
More information about Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome can be found at, or by contacting the International Institute for the Treatment of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, 5000 West Chambers Street, Milwaukee, WI 53210-1688 (414-447-3535). 

Episode 13 - "Pro-life Medicine"

"Are you getting the best medical advice possible for a complicated pregnancy?"
Dr. Byron Calhoun, President of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) and of Pro-life Maternal Fetal Medicine, is our guest on this episode. He shares with us his wisdom and experience regarding dealing with complicated pregnancies. He shares with us his research, such as the recently published study of how abortion increases the risk of preterm delivery ( He also explains his pioneering work with perinatal hospice

There is a new appreciation for the grief of parents who lose a child before birth. While the tragedies of stillbirth and neonatal death are common, the first studies investigating maternal responses to these tragedies were not published until 1968 and 1970, respectively. Before that, these losses were often viewed and handled by society as "non-events."

Now there is a growing acknowledgement these are losses of a real person. Whether that real person is in the womb or outside the womb, he/she deserves our best care, he/she can be loved, and he/she is grieved when lost.

The response to the terminal illness of adults and children has led to the development of hospice care (adult and neonatal), providing holistic physical and emotional support for dying patients and their families. More recently, the concept has extended to the unborn child, giving rise to "perinatal hospice."

Dr. Byron Calhoun, President of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), is a key advocate of this concept. He writes, "Perinatal hospice…focuses on the persons involved…and places the family in the central arena of care. It provides a continuum of support for the family from the time of diagnosis until death and beyond. It is marked by a cognizance that 'dying involves real people, even unborn fetuses; [and that] significant relationships are disrupted and familiar bonds are severed.' Hospice allows time -- time for bonding, loving, and losing; time so that the entire course of living and dying is a gradual process that is not jarringly interrupted" (Nathan J. Hoeldtke, MD, and Byron C. Calhoun, MD, "Perinatal Hospice," American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 185 no 3 [Sep 2001]; internal quote from Knapp RJ, Peppers LG. Doctor-patient relationships in fetal/infant death encounters. J Med Educ 1979; 54:775-80).

Dr. Calhoun reports that among a group of 32 patients whose children had lethal fetal anomalies, 27 (84%) chose perinatal hospice care. All are all positive about the experience and grateful for the time they were able to spend with their infants before they died. The time of death ranged from 20 minutes to 2 months after birth. There were no maternal complications.

We at Priests for Life are grateful for the work of Dr. Calhoun and for his friendship. He is eager to consult with those in the medical community who want to set up perinatal hospice programs. He is also working with us at Priests for Life to enable priests to more knowledgeably refer people to these options. For more information, visit




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