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Priests for Life Online Poll

We are excited about our online poll, which gives you, our visitors, the opportunity to share your views with us in an informal but important way.

Here is our current poll along with  the results from privious polls. Be sure to come back here frequently, or to our home page, to answer new poll questions, so that we don't miss out on having your opinion!

-- Fr. Frank

Question: More clinic workers have stepped forward to admit the abortionist they work for also kills babies born alive. Do you believe this is going on

 a) In most abortion clinics.: 97%b) In some other abortion clinics.: 3%c) In no other abortion clinics.: 0%

Question: Kermit Gosnell is accused of killing four babies after being born alive. Do you think he is crazy or just following the logic of the abortion industry?

 Kermit Gosnell is crazy.: 13%Kermit Gosnell is following the logic of the abortion industry.: 88%

Question: Abortionist Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia is now on trial for murder, being charged with killing seven babies after they were born, as well as a mother. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. Do you think that should be the sentence for this abortionist?

 Yes: 29%No: 71%

Comment: Contrary to criticisms we sometimes hear of the pro-life movement, it is more and more clear to us that most opponents of abortion are also opposed to the death penalty.

Question: North Dakota recently passed the “Heartbeat” bill, essentially banning abortion from 6 weeks of pregnancy. Some pro-lifers have opposed the measure because they say it will lead to a lengthy court battle that will only lead to striking down the law. Others say it’s time for that battle, because a challenge to the court’s position could possibly change it. What is your position?

 Legislation like this should not be passed.: 0%Legislation like this is needed, to challenge the court.: 100%

Question: An American bishop said, "I will die in my bed, my successor will die in jail and his successor will die in the public square." Do you agree?

 Yes: 71%No: 29%

Comment: Time will tell. In any case, we must always vehemently oppose any threats to life, marriage, and religious liberty that arise.  The HHS Mandate is one such current threat for which Priests for Life is suing the Obama Administration.  See for more information.

Question: What region do you think the new Pope will be from?

 Latin America: 6%Europe: 39%North America: 6%Africa: 39%Asia: 11%

Question: Jennifer Morbelli and her unborn daughter Madison were killed recently by abortionist LeRoy Carhart in Maryland. Some people are bringing attention to this story so that the public will know how dangerous the abortion industry is. Others are not talking about it because they want to respect the privacy of the family. What do you think?

 The story should be told.: 96%People should not publicize it.: 4%

Comment: The obligation to prevent murders supersedes the duty to respect a person’s privacy.  Abortionists will continue to kill and maim mothers as well as their babies without consequence until the American people come to know that “legal abortion” does not mean “safe abortion.”

Question: In your opinion, are the revised rules that HHS issued on February 1, 2013 for religious groups acceptable?

 Yes: 3%No: 97%

Comment: Watch my interview with CBN News for more information on this.

Question: Are you willing to commit acts of civil disobedience in response to unjust laws?

 Yes: 92%No: 8%

Comment: We must recommit ourselves to the basics: a clear proclamation of the truth, an uncompromising fidelity to our principles, and an unwavering commitment to civil disobedience.

Question: Will you attend the March for Life in Washington or the Walk for Life in San Francisco this year?

 Yes: 63%No: 37%

Comment: If you have never been able to attend the March for Life in Washington, DC, I encourage you to try your best to come next year.  Start making plans now.  The march is a powerful witness with hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers.  You will not regret taking part.

Question: What is your favorite pro-life movie or documentary?

 Doonby: 23%October Baby: 23%180 Movie: 5%Blood Money: 18%Maafa 21: 14%Other: 18%

Comment: There is a new pro-life movie called Crescendo.  Please help promote this powerful film.  More information at

Question: Since the election are you willing to get even more involved in pro-life work?

 Yes: 61%No: 26%I will do the same amount.: 13%

Comment: Please try this year, the 40th year of Roe Vs. Wade, to get involved in at least one new pro-life activity.  There is so much to be done.  For ideas see

Question: Do you think the results of the 2012 elections

 Make the work of the pro-life movement harder.: 67%Make the work of the pro-life movement easier.: 3%Do not affect the work of the pro-life movement either way.: 13%

Comment: Regardless of the outcome of any local, state, or national election, together we must be proactive – not reactive – and make aggressive plans to ensure that the pro-life cause is moving forward, continually growing in size and effectiveness.

Question: How have you worked to get out the pro-life vote?

 Distribute information online or by hand: 7%Volunteer to help with efforts of a pro-life organization: 5%Speak with family, friends, neighbors: 17%Pray: 15%All of the above: 34%Some of the above: 17%Nothing: 5%

Comment: It is important to encourage voting pro-life even in between elections.

Question: Do you think the results of the presidential election will have a big impact on the work of the pro-life movement?

 Yes: 100%No: 0%


Elections have consequences, and the consequences for the unborn – and for the battle to protect them – are particularly significant. The options that the pro-life movement has in the legislative, legal, and political arenas, and the probability of success for various initiatives, change as a result of the elections.

Our movement, at the same time, does not look to elected officials to do our work for us. The work of advancing the pro-life agenda remains our work. Elected officials either make that work easier or harder. But either way, this is a movement. Regardless of the outcome of any local, state, or national election, together we must be proactive – not reactive – and make aggressive plans to ensure that the pro-life cause is moving forward, continually growing in size and effectiveness.

Question: How much of an impact do you think the Presidential debates will have on the outcome of the election?

 No impact: 0%Some impact: 50%A great impact: 50%

Comment: It’s important to watch the debates to get to know the candidates better.

Question: Do you think someone has to be religious to be Pro-Life?

 Yes: 5%No: 95%Undecided: 0%

Comment: There are many pro-life people opposed to abortion whose opposition is not based on religious views.  After all, abortion can also be opposed based on scientific reasons, constitutional reasons, health reasons, economic reasons, or philosophical reasons. As an example, see Libertarians for Life at

Question: How enthusiastic would you say you are about voting for a president in November?

 extremely enthusiastic: 71%very enthusiastic: 12%somewhat enthusiastic: 6%not too enthusiastic: 6%not at all enthusiastic: 5%

Comment: Whatever your level of enthusiasm, be sure to exercise your Christian duty to vote an encourage others to do the same.

Question: Do you think President Obama should have been invited to the Al Smith dinner?

 Yes, after all he is the President and we need to put aside our differences at times.: 8%No, our differences are too serious and cannot be set aside even for one night.: 92%

Comment: Those who oppose the invitation of the President are by and large quite aware of the value of engaging him and not closing the door to dialogue; they are also aware, however, of how his presence at this event will allow the President to say that he does not at all oppose the freedom of the Church to do its good works because, after all, he helped to raise money for those works!

Question: What is your opinion on the following situation? A pastor refuses to distribute a non-partisan voter guide inside his Church, and then some citizens decide to distribute the same guide outside on the public sidewalk. The pastor then tells them to stop distributing it on the public sidewalk. Which of the following responses best represents your view?

 They should stop distributing the non-partisan voter guides on the public sidewalk. After all, the pastor asked them to stop: 20%They should respectfully continue distributing the non-partisan voter guides on the public sidewalk since the sidewalk is public property.: 80%

Question: In which Supreme Court case did the Court state "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

 Roe v. Wade : 23%Doe v. Bolton: 26%Planned Parenthood v. Casey: 35%Griswold v. Connecticut: 16%

Question: How many states are there now that have only one abortion mill?

 3: 28%5: 16%0: 35%11: 21%

Comment: The correct answer is 5.  Priests for Life is working with other groups to close down the one remaining abortion mill in each of these five states.  For more information see

Question: Do you regularly boycott companies or products that you know have ties with the abortion industry?

 Yes: 90%No: 10%

Comment: A similar and very important activity is “conscientious objection.”  Businesses need not contract with abortion facilities, and employees can refuse to take an assignment that brings them to an abortion mill. Many, in fact, may be servicing facilities without realizing that abortions are committed there. Local pro-life activists can find out which businesses service the local abortion facilities, and then begin informing the businesses and their employees of that fact.

Question: Do you think the Obama HHS Mandate will be declared unconstitutional by the courts?

 Yes: 84%No: 16%

Comment: As of May 8, 2012 there are ten lawsuits against the mandate.  For more information on them see

Question: What is your view of how well the United States Catholic bishops, as a group, have done in fighting the killing of children by abortion?

 Dismal.: 32%b) They’ve been getting better in their response, but I’m still not satisfied.: 53%c) I am happy with how much they are doing.: 15%

Comment: We need to continually pray for our Priests and Bishops that they will have the courage to teach and preach the Gospel of Life.  It is also important to study and make known the various documents that the Bishops have written such as Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics.

Question: In voting in the presidential primaries, which of the following is more important to you?

 a) That the candidate be the one who most shares your positions on the issues.: 48%b) That the candidate be the one most likely to win in November.: 18%

Comment: Thank you for your opinions. Now’s the time to be active in the primaries, and to get as many others as possible to vote, so that the candidates we most want on the ballot will indeed be able to get there. See my commentary about primaries at

Question: Select the statements below with which you agree.

A Roman Catholic Priest should be able to devote himself full-time to ______________ .

 mission work in Latin America: 22%the care of immigrants: 22%ending the slaughter of Unborn children: 55%

Comment: As the history of the Church shows, there are special ministries to which priests have devoted themselves throughout the centuries. It sure would be weird – and offensive to the unborn – if pro-life ministry were not among them in our day.

Question: Do you like this version of our homepage better than the previous one?

 Yes: 88%No: 12%

Comment: We welcome your comments about any aspect of our work.  Send them to

Question: Do you agree with a woman going into an abortion clinic and pretending to be pregnant in order to speak to the women in the waiting room?

 Yes: 72%No: 28%

Comment: Not only is this legitimate, but we should be raising up teams of such people going into the clinics every day like this to save lives. It’s undercover work amidst a war in which certain lives cannot be saved in any other way.

Question: We at Priests for Life would like to conduct our own straw poll for the contenders for the GOP nomination for President. Of course, Priests for Life is a non-profit organization and cannot endorse or oppose candidates for public office. But if you were voting in the Republican primary today, which of the candidates listed above would you vote for? Here is a list of candidates in alphabetical order:

 Michele Bachmann: 26%Herman Cain: 20%Newt Gingrich: 12%Jon Huntsman: 1%Gary Johnson: 0%Ron Paul: 10%Rick Perry: 8%Mitt Romney: 4%Rick Santorum: 20%

Comment: It’s important to get to know the candidates.  You can do this by watching the debates and keeping up with the various important events in the political process.  You can find information about all of these debates and elections events at

Question: Do you get EWTN and watch our Defending Life show?

 Yes: 84%No: 16%

Comment: Thanks for tuning in and please spread the word!  You can submit your questions to be answered on the show at

Question: Do you agree with picketing in front of the home of an abortionist?

 Yes: 55%No: 45%

Question: Does your parish have at least one pro-life petition at each Mass?

 Yes: 37%No: 57%Not Sure: 5%


The US Bishops have asked us to include in the General intercessions at every Mass a petition for the building of the Culture of Life. Their words in the Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities read, "Parishes should include in the petitions at every Mass a prayer that ours will become a nation that respects and protects all human life, born and unborn, reflecting a true culture of life." (US Bishops, 2001, "A Campaign in Support of Life”). 

So, if your Parish does not have at least one pro-life petition at each Mass it would be a good idea to remind your pastor of what the bishops have said. Priests for Life provides petitions at along with bulletin inserts and homily hints for each Sunday.  This same information can be received in a free weekly email by subscribing at or via an iphone app.  For more information on the iphone app go to

Question: Does your pro-life activity increase, decrease or stay the same in the summertime?

 Increase: 16%Decrease: 13%Stay Same: 71%

Comment: One way to continue with pro-life work in the summer is to take advantage of your vacation time by reading pro-life books or listening to pro-life CD’s that you may not normally have time for.  You can find some books listed on and find books and CD’s at .

Question: How many times have you heard abortion mentioned in a homily in your parish?

 Once: 16%Twice: 11%Several: 22%Many: 18%Never: 33%

Comment: It would be a good idea to tell your priest that you would like to hear him talk about abortion more.    Hearing the priest talk about abortion can actually help those in the congregation who have had abortions.  Priests for Life has a good resource that you can give your priest called, “Addressing Abortion with Confidence: A Message for Clergy.”  Order it at our online store.  Priests for Life also provides weekly pro-life liturgical resources which can be found at or one can receive then in email weekly by subscribing at

Question: Aside from prayer, which of the following do you think will have the most impact on ending abortion in our country?

 Elect the right people: 45%Testimonies of post-abortive women and men: 29%Graphic images: 26%

Comment: All of these are important and they all contribute in some way to our effort to ending abortion.  That’s why each pro-life group with their specific focus is important.   Priests for Life focuses on all of these and we have already begun gearing up for the 2012 elections and we invite you to do the same.  See

Question: Do you support the use of spying and undercover activity to save lives from abortion?

 Yes: 86%No: 14%

Comment: Just as not every act of killing is murder (for instance, in self-defense against a physical attack), so not every act of speaking something that is technically not true is a lie. This is especially the case when the undercover activity is done precisely in the service of uncovering the truth.

Question: What pro-life activity do you engage in the most? (choose as many as apply)

 Street activity: 30%Speaking: 15%Parish activity: 36%Crisis pregnancy counseling: 8%Post abortion healing: 5%End of life care: 6%

Comment: I thank all of you for your pro-life activism. The predominance of parish pro-life activity, of course, shows the importance of the core mission of Priests for Life, which is to fully activate the structures of the Church in the fight to end abortion. As Dr. Bernard Nathanson always said, he and his colleagues who started the abortion industry would have never gotten away with what they did if the Church had been more united, purposeful, and strong in its pro-life stand.

Question: Do you think what was discovered about abortionist Gosnell in Philadelphia is unusual for the abortion industry?

 Yes: 6%No: 94%


Sadly, it is not unusual at all. The book Lime 5, which Priests for Life is willing to send you, makes that very clear.

Question: Do you think the new Congress will accomplish some good for the pro-life movement?

 Yes: 82%No: 18%

Comment: This has been called the most pro-life Congress we have had, and a lot of the new members are not only pro-life, but are pro-life activists. Several pro-life pieces of legislation have already been introduced, including measures to end taxpayer funding of abortion. These measures enjoy strong support across the country. You can follow the progress of this legislation at

Question: Do you know what the D and E procedure is?

 Yes: 54%No: 46%


The most common abortion procedure performed after the first trimester of pregnancy is the “D and E” (Dilation and Evacuation), a procedure which is legal throughout the nation, and which the Supreme Court itself described in this way:

“The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix …, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed.” (Gonzales vs. Carhart, April 18, 2007)

For more information and to see a professional medical diagram of the D and E abortion procedure see .

Question: Would you be in favor of a cause being opened for the canonization of Terri Schiavo?

 Yes: 61%No: 39%

Comment: Whether or not this ever happens, let’s always remember Terri and what happened to her.  We must never let others forget either and work towards a society where what happened to her can never happen again.  Help Terri’s family realize this goal by visiting .

Question: Can a Pastor can legally criticize the positions of a candidate for public office and indicate who that candidate is?

 True: 73%False: 27%

Comment: Yes, they can.  “Issue oriented speech can also influence elections. Issue advocacy, however, may not be limited by government and can be freely engaged in by both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) groups, as well as PACs. Issue advocacy includes the discussion of issues of public concern, the actions of government officials in office, and the positions of candidates on issues, including criticizing and praising a candidate’s position. As long as one does not use explicit words expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, one is free to praise or criticize officials and candidates – this is called issue advocacy.” James Bopp, Jr., (legal expert and counselor to Priests for Life).

Question: Are you in favor of civil disobedience to show opposition to abortion laws?

 Yes: 77%No: 23%

Comment: What is important is that each of us publicly affirm, in word and action, that we absolutely refuse to cooperate with the killing of children, and that we resolve to do everything we can to stop it.

Question: Do you agree with the effort that some groups make to show the public photos of abortion by displaying them at large gatherings such as along the beach with large signs or airplane banner towing?

 Yes: 73%No: 27%

Comment: The challenge our movement faces is how to communicate the reality of abortion to the largest numbers of people in the shortest time possible, while dealing with the fact that the established means of mass communication do not want to face the reality of abortion. For more about the use of graphic images, visit our images center at

Question: Are you familiar enough with the studies on the abortion breast cancer link to articulate the subject to someone?

 Yes: 22%No: 78%


There have been significant studies done showing the link between abortion and breast cancer although you won’t hear much about it in the secular media.  To see such information and to educate yourself further see,

Question: Do you believe that it is essential for the prolife movement to work with prolife Democrats in Congress?

 Yes: 85%No: 15%

Comment: The pro-life movement is not partisan.  We must work with all parties to find ways to work together to protect the unborn but we must never concede to the pro-death policies or laws of that any party brings forth.  The work we do to pass pro-life laws only succeeds when pro-life people from both parties get behind it.

Question: Do you think a Supreme Court Justice nominee’s position on abortion is the most important factor in deciding on whether or not he/she should be confirmed?

 Yes: 92%No: 8%

Question: If the “Choose Life” license plates are available or become available in your state – would you consider getting them?

 Yes: 54%No: 46%


Getting the Choose Life plates is a simple way to promote the pro-life message and help women in unplanned pregnancies.  Find out more about the Choose Life plates at and consider getting them if available in your State.

Question: Terri’s Day is March 31. Do you think the pro-life movement has adequately brought to light what happened to Terri Schiavo in an effort to keep it from happening again?

 Yes: 24%No: 76%


You can help educate others about Terri and persons like her, by commemorating “Terri’s Day” every year on March 31.  See for suggested activities. Another way to assist is through Terri's family foundation, see

Question: February is black history month. Do you think the pro-life movement has done a good job raising awareness in the African American Community about the racist work of Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood?

 Yes: 23%No: 78%


The pro-life movement is now more focused than ever on African-American outreach. There is a consensus among many groups that this needs to be a key priority, and some groups have brought on staff key African-American leaders to carry out that priority (such as Dr Alveda King on the Priests for Life team). We are confident that this year will be a year of progress on this front.

Question: Are you in favor of having images of aborted babies displayed on the March for Life route?

 Yes: 84%No: 16%

Comment: The images have proven effective.  See testimonies at

Question: Do you think it is a good idea for Pregnancy Resource Centers to accept government funds to help them function?

 Yes: 24%No: 76%

Comment: The Government, by the very fact that it’s purpose is to serve the people, should be helping pregnancy centers rather than abortion mills.  However, government also has no right to violate the consciences of those whose work it helps to fund.

Question: Do you think it would be a wise use of funds for the pro-life movement to gather enough money to put a pro-life commerical on during the Super Bowl?

 Yes: 87%No: 13%


This would certainly be an exciting project. It requires both the money and also some conversion on the part of media executives to be willing to deal with a bit of controversy. Let’s pray and work for both!


Question: Do you expect that the 2010 elections will bring more pro-life members into Congress?

 Yes: 84%No: 16%

Comment: They certainly will.

Question: Do you think the fact that health care reform legislation will expand funding for abortion is reason enough to reject the entire bill?

 Yes: 97%No: 3%

Comment: It would seem that more and more people think this way as the abortion advocates in Congress make it more and more difficult to amend the bill to exclude abortion funding.

Question: Does the pro-life movement gain strength by working with pro-life Democrats in elected office?

 Yes: 87%No: 13%


The pro-life movement, of course, transcends any particular party, and would not be able to pass most pro-life measures without pro-life Democrats. We always have to make sure, of course, that collaboration is producing real results and not just making one or another party look good.

Question: Upon the death of George Tiller, some news reports claimed that he was one of only "a handful" of abortionists who do "late term abortions". Do you believe there are only a "handful?"

 Yes: 10%No: 90%

Comment: One of the facts about abortionists we have to keep in mind is that they are conflicted and ashamed of what they do. The vast majority of abortionists do not want to be known as abortionists. Moreover, the abortion industry has a history of hiding and distorting medical records and reports, and of being unwilling to reveal how many abortions they do. You may recall Ron Fitzsimmons, then head of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitting during the partial-birth abortion debate that he had “lied through his teeth” when initially reporting the numbers of partial-birth abortions. He later admitted they were far higher than he had said. So yes, there are more than a “handful” of late term abortionists.

Question: Do you think the new Supreme Court nominee should be opposed if we do not know enough about her views on abortion?

 Yes: 90%No: 10%

Comment: While the views of judges on particular issues should be irrelevant to their ability to judge based on the law and the Constitution, abortion is more than an "issue." Protecting the right to life is why governments, Constitutions, and courts exist in the first place. No judge who gets that wrong should be on the bench. Therefore, it's imperative to ascertain her views on the matter.

Question: Do you think the graduates of Notre Dame should boycott their own commencement because of the fact that pro-abortion President Obama is being honored?

 Yes: 95%No: 5%


We at Priests for Life were privileged to support the seniors who did boycott their graduation, and Fr. Frank Pavone led them in the alternate commencement. As for some who said that boycotting the President dishonors his office, we reply that by taking actions that support and expand abortion, it is the President himself who dishonors his office.

Question: Though abortion is legal, abortionists and their staff have broken the law in other ways related to malpractice, insurance, medical records, licensing, etc. Do you think that most abortion clinics are breaking the law in one way or another?

 Yes: 95%No: 5%

Comment: They certainly are.  Priests for Life has been gathering evidence of this for years.  A key book to read in this regard is "Lime 5" by Mark Crutcher.  It is available from Priests for Life.

Question: Some doctors do abortions but don’t want anyone to know that they do, and may stop doing them altogether if it becomes known. Do you think it is morally legitimate to call a doctor’s office and ask for an appointment for an abortion (even though you have no intention of getting one) in order to verify that the doctor does do abortions, so that you can reveal that in the hopes of making him stop?

 Yes: 82%No: 18%

Question: There are hundreds of thousands of human beings frozen at an embryonic stage. Some couples, in order to save one of these lives, want to adopt that child by having the embryo implanted and bringing him/her to birth. Do you think that is morally legitimate?

 Yes: 57%No: 43%

Question: Do you think graphic images of aborted babies should be displayed on large trucks that drive the highways?

 Yes: 82%No: 18%

Comment: As you can see at, the sight of these images turns people from pro-abortion to pro-life pretty dramatically.

Question: Barack Obama has said he wants to listen to Americans who disagree with him on issues. Do you think national pro-life leaders should seek to meet with him about the abortion issue?

 Yes: 98%No: 2%

Comment: We look forward to bearing witness to the new President about the truth regarding abortion, and what it does to children, to their parents, and to our whole society.

Question: Pro-life people lobby their elected officials, whether they are pro-life or pro-abortion, to urge them to pass legislation that advances the protection of the unborn. Have you been involved in activity like this?

 Yes: 71%No: 29%

Comment: With a new Administration and Congress hostile to the right to life, we will need to sharpen our lobbying skills. Stay tuned to Priests for Life for tips and training.

Question: At the end of September, a group of pastors around the nation endorsed pro-life candidates from the pulpit, in order to challenge IRS prohibitions which they consider an unconstitutional restriction on their freedom to preach the Gospel. Do you believe a challenge like this should be launched against the IRS?

 Yes: 92%No: 8%

Comment: We are gratified by the strong support for a challenge like this. If a Church body chooses not to advocate for or against specific candidates, that should be a decision of the Church, not the government.

Question: Does the selection of Governor Sarah Palin as running mate to Senator John McCain help the Republican presidential ticket?

 Yes: 95%No: 5%

Comment: It has been our observation that this selection is what has raised the level of motivation of pro-life voters to the level (and even more than) it was in the previous two election cycle.

Question: Do you believe that abortion is the single most important issue that deserves consideration by voters in the election and by public officials after the election?

 Yes: 95%No: 5%

Comment: Abortion is without a doubt the single most critical issue, because in failing to defend the right to life itself, the state fails to defend every other right. The first requirement of any public servant is to be able to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public.

Question: Has the pro-life movement tried too much to “get the bishops involved in politics,” or has it not done enough in this regard?

 Too Much: 5%Not Enough: 95%

Comment: The lopsided results of this particular question are not surprising to us at all; yet, we posted the question because we do hear from some that the pro-life movement tries to get the bishops too involved in politics. The reality, on the other hand, is that the movement tries to get the bishops involved in effective projects to defend the unborn, and when confronted with the substantive rather than just symbolic things that actually have to be done to accomplish this goal, some consider those things “too political.”

Question: Do you think the number of clergy who are preaching on abortion is increasing or decreasing?

 Increasing: 48%Decreasing: 52%

Comment: Priests for Life commissioned a Wirthlin poll of US Catholic priests some years ago and found that most of them said they preached once or twice a year on the topic of abortion. The most common question we receive remains, “What can we do to get our priests to speak up more about it?” This brochure is one place to start.

Question: Do you think the number of people in your community who are willing to give of their time to work to end abortion is increasing or decreasing

 Increasing: 65%Decreasing: 35%

Comment: This statistic, of course, will vary from community to community, and depends very much on local leadership. Overall, however, the movement is growing.

Question: Do you believe it is possible, with sustained effort and the voices of many people, to get a national secular media outlet in the United States to show pictures of aborted babies?

 Yes: 75%No: 25%

Comment: Thank you for the confidence; this is exactly what we intend to get them to do! Please sign our online petition to the media to show the American people what an abortion is.

Question: Do prayer and protest mix? In other words, is it appropriate for Christians to protest abortion, such as by standing at the abortion mills and holding pro-life signs, while praying?

 Yes: 95%No: 5%

Comment: Not only do prayer and protest mix, but prayer leads us to protest against evil. Prayer to God and protest of evil are part of the same movement of the soul, because prayer is union with God, and therefore rejection of evil.

Question: Sometimes there are differences of opinion within the pro-life movement about whether a specific legislative proposal, aimed at advancing the pro-life cause, should be supported. Should religious leaders make public recommendations about whether people should or should not support particular bills, when all the options are morally acceptable, or should they limit their role to pointing out whether or not all the options are morally acceptable, and encourage the people to work for whatever option they think is best?

 Specific recommendations: 68%Moral guidance: 32%

Comment: Bishops are teachers of the faith and the moral demands of the Christian life. Within the Church, other experts also exercise their gifts of expertise, whether in the legal or medical arena, or any other arena. The ancient saying applies here: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, freedom; in all things, charity."

Question: Do you oppose abortion primarily for religious reasons, or primarily for reasons springing from human reason alone?

 Religious: 63%Reason: 37%

Comment: It is critical that pro-life believers be motivated by both the religious truths and by human reason alone, not only because that enables us to reach purely secular audiences, but also because of the inherent link that the Church acknowledges between faith and reason. All truth, whether reached by revelation or by human reason alone, comes from the one God, and by both means, we can discern that abortion is wrong.

Question: Do you believe that Pregnancy Centers should make it a point to be open when sidewalk counselors are at the abortion mills so that the counselors can bring mothers who change their mind about abortion over to the centers?

 Yes: 97%No: 3%

Comment: It makes a lot of sense. Please join us in encouraging the pregnancy centers to do precisely this!

Question: Because Priests for Life also has lay members and ecumenical outreach, would it be better to call our overall ministry “Gospel of Life Ministries” and have the term “Priests for Life” refer specifically to the work we do with priests?

 Yes: 54%No: 46%

Comment: We expected that opinion might be split on this, since there are pros and cons for both options. Priests for Life will, of course, continue to identify itself as Priests for Life. Meanwhile, where “Gospel of Life Ministries” can get us into circles where we cannot otherwise go, we’ll also utilize that term.

Question: If the Republican party nominated a presidential candidate who favored legal abortion but promised to nominate Supreme Court Justices like Justice Roberts, would you vote for that person in order to help defeat the candidate who would only appoint Justices who made it clear they would uphold Roe vs. Wade?

 Yes: 60%No: 40%

Comment: This question obviously divides pro-life people. It is going to be important for us to understand that a vote for someone does not have to mean that we agree with everything that person stands for. Rather, a vote is an exercise of power which tries to actually advance the cause of life as much as possible and limit worse problems if possible.

Question: Are you in favor of states introducing legislation to ban all abortions, even if legal advisors say they should wait until there are more Justices on the Supreme Court who will uphold such a ban?

 Yes: 95%No: 5%

Comment: It is clear that on many levels, grassroots activists in the states want to act boldly and decisively to have the states challenge the current, unjust restriction by the courts on the states’ ability to protect their unborn children. It is critical in the pro-life movement that those with different opinions on the specific strategy and tactics reaffirm that they have the same common goal, and exercise mutual encouragement even as people pursue different efforts to achieve that goal.

Question: Do you see the ban on partial-birth abortion as a big victory for the pro-life movement or a small victory?

 Big: 71%Small: 29%

Comment: The first banning of an abortion procedure since Roe vs. Wade is a big step forward.

Question: Do you believe President Bush has helped to advance the cause of promoting respect and protection for the unborn child?

 Yes: 84%No: 16%

Comment: President Bush has consistently demonstrated his commitment to protect the unborn child and all vulnerable persons. For examples, see

Question: Are you in favor of a resurgence of activity in our nation whereby people peacefully block the doors of abortion facilities, thus placing themselves between the babies and the instruments that will kill those babies?

 Yes: 83%No: 17%

Comment: My experience around the country is that the sentiment among pro-lifers, especially the young, matches the favorable response to this poll question.

Question: Do you think that of acts of violence by abortion supporters against pro-life activists are more common than acts of violence by pro-life people against abortion advocates?

 Yes: 86%No: 14%

Comment: We’ve got news for those who answered “No.” In fact, acts of violence by abortion supporters far surpass those against them. Documentation on this violence is available upon request.

Question: Do you think most people understand that assisted suicide is wrong?

 Yes: 28%No: 72%

Comment: It is critical that we engage in educational and legislative efforts regarding assisted suicide, and that the clergy preach about it. For resources, be sure to visit

Question: Do you think that, overall, the pro-life movement is making progress toward the goal of restoring protection to the lives of children in the womb?

 Yes: 77%No: 23%

Comment: We are definitely making progress! I have been giving a talk in these days entitled, “A Dozen Reasons why the Pro-life Movement is Winning.” You can listen to this talk or download it. (MP3 format)

Question: Have you heard a homily on abortion in your parish church at least two times in the past year?

 Yes: 26%No: 74%

Comment: The relative scarcity of preaching on abortion exists at the same time that others in the Church think too much attention is given to it. When I am asked how often a priest should preach about it, my response is simple: Abortion in the United States kills more than were killed on September 11, and more than our nation has lost in Iraq since that war began. If the tragedy of 9-11 happened every day, or the total number of casualties so far in the war were a daily total instead of a cumulative one, how much would we preach about that? Let’s give the unborn the same recognition as the born.

Question: Does the parish you attend have a pro-life committee?

 Yes: 55%No: 45%

Comment: This is consistent with the Wirthlin survey of priests that Priests for Life commissioned a few years ago, which showed slightly more than half of parishes having a pro-life committee. For those that do, we encourage the commissioning of the committee each year at a Sunday Mass. See for a suggested outline of the commissioning ceremony.

Question: Do you think capital punishment should be abolished?

 Yes: 72%No: 28%

Comment: Capital punishment is not the same moral issue as abortion. Abortion is an intrinsic evil; that is, there can never be a circumstance in which it is justified. Capital punishment, on the other hand, is not an intrinsic evil, and the Church acknowledges that there could be justification for it in rare circumstances. Nonetheless, the Church urges that this practice be abandoned.

Question: Do you think the Catholic Church should get rid of its tax-exempt status?

 Yes: 24%No: 76%

Comment: The Church may, of course, choose to be tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code. What the Church may not do, however, is to be silent in the face of injustice. There is right now a “chilling effect” on the institutional Church to do much of anything regarding elections – and if we don’t find new courage to use the freedom we have, the tax exemption may be taken away from us anyway.

Question: Please indicate if it is your understanding that under the law a priest or minister can say the following statement in the pulpit: “We have a duty to elect candidates who will protect the lives of the unborn."

 Yes: 94%No: 6%

Comment: Those who said “No” have heard the same erroneous legal advice that many of our bishops and priests have heard. The attorneys who give such advice need to go to summer school, because the law does not prohibit us from saying this. And even if it did, we would say it anyway, because abortion is an injustice which leaves us no excuse for silence.

Question: Do people have a right to distribute campaign literature on cars in a Church parking lot?

 Yes: 73%No: 27%

Comment: Yes, people do have such a right. We urge them to exercise it, and we ask pastors not to interfere with it.

Question: If a woman who is planning to have an abortion calls a pro-life pregnancy center and asks if they do abortions, do you think it is all right for a the center not to answer the question, but rather to urge the woman to come in right away, so that they can get her into a counseling situation in which they have a better chance of saving that child's life?

 Yes: 80%No: 20%

Comment: While some in the pro-abortion community try to accuse pregnancy centers of using deception, the Catholic moral tradition fully recognizes that it is not always necessary to provide a person with the information they are requesting at the moment. Rather, when life is at stake, the approach described above is perfectly legitimate.

Question: Do you think more attention needs to be given to exposing partial-birth abortion (which the Supreme Court will again discuss in the Fall) than to discussing embryonic stem cell research?L

 Yes: 80%No: 20%

Comment: Yes, we agree with the majority of respondents. My comments on this are found in my column “Maintain the Focus.”

Question: Do you expect that 'Values Voters' will be just as active in the 2006 elections as they were in 2004?

 Yes: 72%No: 28%

Comment: Our position is that the voters will be just as active - provided we all do our part to activate them. Now is the time to start talking about the elections in earnest, and reminding people that no matter what their frustrations may be with the political process and its leaders, that we have to keep our eyes on the prize, and get further favorable changes in the Supreme Court, to help us end the world's greatest holocaust, which is abortion. I thank you in advance for all you will do to mobilize voters this year, and ask you to sign up as an election volunteer at

Question: Is it your opinion that when Democratic lawmakers speak about the need to reduce abortions, they are looking for political advantage rather than sincerely trying to reduce abortions?

 Yes: 92%No: 8%

Comment: It is certainly true that Democratic politicians can read election results and poll numbers, and realize that supporting abortion does not win elections. The political advantage right now is with the pro-life position. At the same time, it is also true that there are serious and sincere pro-life Democrats in office and seeking office. Each candidate in both parties must prove his or her sincerity not simply by stating what he or she "believes," but by telling us what he or she will do to protect the unborn.

Question: Do you think that a mother who has had an abortion and then has given birth to other children should tell those children, at some appropriate time, that she had an abortion?

 Yes: 62%No: 38%

Comment: This is a fairly significant split of opinion. The experience and insight of Dr. Philip Ney, a child psychiatrist who has studied this issue for decades, is important here. He maintains that the children likely already know, and certainly are impacted by their mother's abortion whether they realize it or not. Abortion always wounds the family, and families, in the end, are healthier when they know what their wounds are. Dr. Ney provides valuable guidance on this topic, and his material can be found on our website as well as at

Question: Do you agree that South Dakota should have passed the ban on abortion now, before a further change on the Supreme Court?

 Yes: 91%No: 9%

Comment: We have commented on the South Dakota situation (click here to read).

Question: Do you think pro-life pregnancy centers should seek government funding?

 Yes: 66%No: 34%

Comment: The substantial concern expressed by the “No” answers has to do, of course, with the concern that government will attempt to limit the type of religious expression that takes place in the centers. The majority of the “Yes” answers, however, shows that the dominant concern is that centers get as much help as possible simply to save lives. Once a life is saved, then there is time to do follow-up of all kinds.

Question: Some groups that fight abortion feel obliged to also express opposition to the death penalty. Aside from the issue of why they should or shouldn't oppose it, do you think that it is good strategy for anti-abortion groups to also speak against the death penalty?

 Yes: 58%No: 42%

Comment: There are arguments both ways on this question. Speaking against the death penalty reinforces the consistency of the message that we don’t solve human problems by throwing away human lives. At the same time, we need to preserve the distinction between the absolute “no” that abortion deserves, and the conditional “no” that the death penalty deserves. In other words, there are certain, although practically non-existent, circumstances in which the state can put a convicted criminal to death, precisely in order to protect innocent lives. There are no circumstances at all in which a mother can put her child to death.

Question: In the New Year, do you plan to devote time and energy to elect pro-life candidates in the 2006 Elections?

 Yes: 93%No: 7%

Comment: We at Priests for Life trust that the people who got the job done in 2004 will do it again in 2006. My column for January 16 talks about some of the reasons why.

Question: Are you happy with the selection of Judge John Roberts as the Supreme Court nominee?

 Yes: 93%No: 7%

Comment: The interesting point about this question is how many people did not answer at all, which likely demonstrates a healthy unwillingness to speculate about the unknown.

Question: Do you think that a Pregnancy Center that provides alternatives to abortion should have, as its primary focus, the saving of the life of the unborn child, or the religious conversion of the mother?

 Saving Life of Child: 91%Conversion of Mother: 9%

Comment: While ultimately, salvation is our highest goal, it remains true that in the practical order, the more urgent task is to save life. Once you save a life, that child has a lifetime to learn and practice the truths of the Faith.

Question: Some states have passed laws that regulate abortion facilities, requiring them to adhere to stricter standards for safety, cleanliness, etc. Do you agree that laws like this should be vigorously promoted?

 Yes: 81%No: 19%

Comment: We agree with the majority. The book Lime 5 reveals untold and unnecessary violence to women inside abortion clinics, and this violence can be stopped even before abortion is made illegal. Moreover, clinic regulations will cause many abortion clinics to close, because their level of corruption has made it impossible for them to reform.

Question: Do you think that most priests are adequately trained to treat with gentleness and compassion someone who has had an abortion?

 Yes: 34%No: 66%

Comment: It is noteworthy that many passed on this question, which would indicate to us that even more would answer with the majority. It shows the need for ministries like ours.

Question: Even with a ban on partial-birth abortion, the abortionist can kill the baby using a different abortion method. Do you think that the ban nevertheless advances the pro-life cause?

 Yes: 85%No: 15%

Comment: It does advance our cause, as demonstrated by the opposition of the pro-abortion forces to the ban and by the heightened awareness in the general public, as a result of the debate, that our abortion policy in this country is far more extreme than most people thought previously.

Question: Should the United States Congress exercise veto power over Supreme Court decisions?

 Yes: 70%No: 30%

Comment: Given the fact that the Supreme Court has exceeded its own Constitutional authority numerous times by legislating from the bench against the will of the people (Roe vs. Wade being the key example), and given the fact that these excesses have had such a high price (such as over 42 million abortions), it seems both reasonable and imperative to us that something be done by Congress to limit the power of the Court.

Question: Cardinal O'Connor established the Sisters of Life as a community of women religious who focus on promoting the sanctity of life. Do you think it is a good idea that a similar community of priests and brothers be established now?

 Yes: 82%No: 18%

Comment: We are happy that most support this idea, because we are implementing it ourselves. Click here for more information.

Question: Legislation is currently being considered by Congress that would protect the contents of sermons and religious teachings so that preachers do not have to fear violating tax laws because of what they say in the pulpit, especially during election season. Would you be in favor of such legislation?

 Yes: 95%No: 5%

Comment: Priests for Life supports this legislation, for the simple reason that when a preacher preaches, he is speaking by God's authority, which is higher than the state, and therefore cannot be controlled by the state.

Question: In the past, many people peacefully blockaded abortion clinics to prevent the abortionist from entering to kill babies. Now there are young people who want to resume such activities, in an organized way. Do you think it is time to conduct such activity again?

 Yes: 69%No: 31%

Comment: It does not surprise us that the answer to this question is yes by a margin of more than 2 to 1. At the same time, we note that the number of people who chose to answer the question at all is low, a sign of ambivalence toward the issue. Some of that ambivalence is caused by a reluctance to express support for breaking the law. Yet if it were true that believers ought never break the law under any circumstance, Christianity would never have gotten off the ground. Just read the Acts of the Apostles and the Lives of the Saints.

Question: Do you believe that showing the pictures of what an abortion looks like, by holding signs displaying those pictures on public sidewalks, is a method that should be used by pro-life activists?

 Yes: 79%No: 21%

Comment: No activity we know of has generated more conversions to the pro-life position. For detailed analysis of the strategic value of the pictures, see

Question: It is the view of many that the Democratic Party, because of its stated support for abortion as a fundamental human right and for gay and lesbian families, can no longer be morally supported by Christians. Do you agree with that view?

 Yes: 94%No: 6%

Comment: It is the view of many, indeed. Some have shared their testimonies about why they left the Party, while others like Democrats for Life work for change within the Party.

Question: Some people say that those who work in post-abortion healing efforts should not be involved in other aspects of the pro-life movement such as working to make abortion illegal. Does this represent your view?

 Yes: 5%No: 95%

Comment: We are not surprised at the results. The idea that post-abortion healing is in any way inconsistent with pro-life advocacy plays into the hands of pro-abortion groups who always try to say that pro-life advocacy is anti-woman. In reality, love is indivisible. One cannot love the mother without loving the child, and one cannot love the child without loving the mother. Advocacy for the child is inherently pro-woman.

Question: Consider the case of someone who is distributing election materials on cars in a Church parking lot and is asked to leave. Then they move nearby to the PUBLIC sidewalk, which all agree is a place they have a right to be, and the pastor asks them to leave there too because it is near the Church. Should that citizen stop distributing literature on the public sidewalk because of the pastor's request?

 Yes: 23%No: 77%

Comment: The public sidewalk is public, and we are gratified that so many respondents recognize that. Faithfulness to the Church and obedience to one's pastors should never require the abandonment of our right to take part in the process of informing our fellow citizens about issues that are essential to the common good.

Question: Often people who distribute campaign literature in Church parking lots, which they have a First Amendment right to do, are asked to leave. Should lawsuits be brought against those who refuse them their right to distribute such literature?

 Yes: 61%No: 39%

Comment: Attorneys disagree about the proper approach to the distribution of election material in Church parking lots, and we always advise people to follow their own attorney's advice. But the fact that there is a disagreement among experts in the law means that those who initiate a lawsuit to defend their rights to do so may in fact prevail. Given the feeling of many that their rights in this area have been violated, we wouldn't be surprised if many such lawsuits are in fact launched this year.

Question: Are you registered to vote and are you going to vote on November 2?

 Yes: 96%No: 4%

Comment: We are pleased to see such a strong majority of respondents ready to vote in November. To those who are not, please register now and exercise your duty to vote! If you will be away or homebound, please request an absentee ballot!

Question: Consider the situation of three candidates running for office, where candidate A is 100% pro-life but does not have enough support to be elected, candidate B opposes most abortions, and candidate C supports practically all abortions. If the race will be won by either B or C, would you vote for B rather than A?

 Yes: 45%No: 55%

Comment: This question generated considerable disagreement among respondents. If one is voting in order to actually put someone into power, then the decision is between B and C, and Cardinal O'Connor's response to the situation applies: "One could try to determine whether the position of one candidate is less supportive of abortion than that of another. Other things being equal, one might then morally vote for a less supportive position" (Abortion: Questions and Answers, 1990).

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