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Fr. Pavone on Politics and the Pulpit, Part One

Father Frank PavoneDear Friend of Life,

 

Below is my latest column, Politics and the Pulpit: Part One: “Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open!”

 

Also, be on the lookout for an action alert coming soon about President Obama and abortion. I want him to hear from the pro-life community regarding something he recently said. I will send the alert to the same people to whom I send this column; if you know others who should receive it, please have them sign up in the email box on the front page of our website, PriestsForLife.org.

 

Thanks!

 

Fr. Frank

 

Praise for our work: During a pro-life rally in front of one of the main planned parenthood abortion clinics in Washington, DC a few years ago, several major pro-life African-American leaders spoke to the tragedy of abortion on demand in general, and in particular, to the fact that African-American babies are five times as likely to be killed by abortion as white children in America. Those speeches were among the most powerful I have ever heard on the subject. The speech by Dr. Alveda King was especially powerful and moving. That day, I promised many in that group that I would introduce legislation to address the insidious race targeted abortion practice in this country…. This resulted in the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act or PRENDA. It is absolutely true that Alveda King along with the other African American leaders who spoke that day in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Washington, DC, inspired and catalyzed the writing and introduction of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act. May God bless their noble efforts and the outcome of this historic legislation. – Trent Franks, Member of U. S. Congress

Politics and the Pulpit: Part One: “Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open!”

 

Fr. Frank Pavone

National Director, Priests for Life

 

It’s an election year, and it’s time to open our mouths, in the Church, about politics, candidates, and the right to life.

 

Our fight for our unborn brothers and sisters is a fight for freedom and against tyranny; for people and against oppressive governments. Our Founding Fathers fought this fight, and so must we, with the same readiness for self-sacrifice.

 

This is true for every American. How much more true is it for us as the Church, as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ? The Gospel is a Gospel of freedom. “I have come to proclaim liberty to the captives…to let the oppressed go free,” Jesus said in defining his mission.

 

Carrying out this mission requires the freedom to speak the truth as we understand it. Not only was this fundamental right explicitly acknowledged by our Founding Fathers and placed at the top of the Bill of Rights, but it has been affirmed time and time again by the Supreme Court, not only to point out the existence of such freedom, but also its characteristics.

 

In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964)), the Court asserted that the protection of citizens to advocate for particular issues reflects our “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open” (emphasis added).

 

In 2010, the Supreme Court also affirmed the following:

 

“Speech is an essential mechanism of democracy, for it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people. The right of citizens to inquire, to hear, to speak, and to use information to reach consensus is a precondition to enlightened self-government and a necessary means to protect it. The First Amendment ‘has its fullest and most urgent application to speech uttered during a campaign for political office.’”

 

“[I]t is inherent in the nature of the political process that voters must be free to obtain information from diverse sources in order to determine how to cast their votes.” (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010)).

 

The corresponding freedom of the Church to speak and teach the truth — a freedom also contained in the Founders’ recognition of freedom of religion — is something explicitly insisted upon in the Church’s own documents. This freedom is, in fact, an essential aspect of the Great Commission left by Jesus Christ: “Preach the Gospel to every creature.” “Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you.” Because the Gospel covers every aspect of life and human activity, the Church must also be free to comment on political matters. In this regard we see the following strong statement from the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes):

 

“At all times and in all places, the Church should have the true freedom to teach the faith, to proclaim its teaching about society, to carry out its task among men without hindrance, and to pass moral judgment even in matters relating to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it.” (n. 76)

 

In my upcoming columns, I will help us prepare for the midterm elections by reflecting on how we in the Church have often stifled this freedom, and why it is time to repent and open our mouths.

 

This column can be read and heard online.

 

Comments on this column? Go to Askfrfrank.com

 

Fr. Frank’s columns are podcast. See Priestsforlife.org/podcast

 

Remember to support our work at Priestsforlife.org/donate

 

Media appearances

 

EWTN’s Life on the Rock will feature the Silent No More Awareness Campaign on Tuesday, February 11 at 9am ET. Watch on the internet at EWTN.com.

 

On February 22, 2014, Dr. Alveda King will be on Ask the Lawyer with Mike Connors at 6:00 pm ET to discuss Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision. Listen online at www.AM970theanswer.com

 

Fr. Denis Wilde, O.S.A. will celebrate the EWTN live televised Mass February 18, 19, 20 and March 11, 12, 13. The Mass airs live at 8 am and repeats at 12 noon, 7 pm and 12 midnight (all times Eastern). Repeat airing times are subject to change. See the airing schedule on the EWTN website for final repeat airing times.

 

Defending Life: Watch on EWTN Thursday, February 13 at 11:00 p.m. Listen on EWTN Radio every Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 a.m. (All times Eastern) (Defending Life will be pre-empted on Wednesday of this week and only air on Thursday). Topic: Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. Janet Morana and Fr. Scott Daniels discuss sidewalk counseling and the work of Msgr. Philip Reilly and the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, who have been carrying on the practice for over 22 years.

 

The Catholic View for Women on EWTN

Topic: MAKING THE SWITCH FROM CONTRACEPTION TO NFP. Teresa, Janet and Astrtid discuss the beauty of the Church’s teaching on contraception and the way Natural Family Planning can improve marriages. Airing Wednesday, 02/12/2014 at 11:00 PM ET and Friday, 02/14/2014 10:30 AM ET

 

Gospel of Life: Watch on National Religious Broadcasters network (NRB), Wednesday, February 12 at 4:30pm ET. The NRB Network is on DIRECTV, channel 378. Listen to Gospel of Life episodes on the web at www.gospeloflife.com/tv/. Topic: Descendants of Dred Scott & Booker T. Washington

 

Defendiendo La Vida : ¿SE PUEDE SER UN JÓVEN PRO-VIDA? – AZENET GONZÁLEZ. Serie conducida por el Padre Víctor Salomón, de la Asociación de Sacerdotes por la Vida, en que entrevista a diferentes personalidades comprometidas en la defensa y promoción de la vida humana. Hoy presentamos a Azenet González con el tema ‘¿Se Puede ser un Jóven Pro-Vida?’ Saturday, 02/15/2014 04:30 AM

 

Dr. Alveda King is on “Airing the Addison’s with Wil and Meeke” on Mondays from 11:20-12:00 ET and “Changing Your Community” with Emmanuel Boose at 4:00 PM ET and 4:00 AM ET on Saturdays. Listen online at www.UrbanFamilyTalk.com.

 

Radio Maria: Fr. Victor Salomón hosts a weekly pro-life radio program in Spanish on Radio Maria, Washington DC. The program called Gospel of Life airs every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. ET. Listen by cell or internet by going tohttp://www.radiomariausa.org/index.php?radiocode=dcs&language=es. It can also be listened to by a radio with a subcarrier option. For purchase of this type of radio call 718-247-9100 or write info.nyc@radiomaria.org.

 

Radio Jesus: Fr. Victor Salomón will be the guest on Radio Jesus, 93.9 FM, Bronx, NY, every 3rd Saturday of the Month from 1-2pm ET. You can also listen on-line at http://www.misionerosdejesus.org/.

The Little Sisters of the Poor granted protection from federal government punishments

By Fr. Paul CB Schenck

 

20121219_little_sisters_of_the_poor_LARGEWhen I was a minister in the Reformed Episcopal Church in Catonsville (near Baltimore) Maryland, I especially enjoyed making pastoral visits to Saint Martin’s Home which was administered by The Little Sisters of the Poor. St. Martin’s is a full service nursing and long-term care facility for impoverished and indigent elderly and disabled persons. While St. Martin’s employed and utilized lay staff and volunteers, it was the presence of the sisters, in their flowing black and white habits that cast a reassuring and comforting sense about the love and care provided for their residents. It was evident to me that every sister knew each patient by name, age and personal and family circumstances. They are devoted to providing a place where each person’s dignity is respected and protected, and where their physical and spiritual health is promoted.

 

I came to know the sisters quite well and they invited me to be their preacher for the Week of Christian Unity each January. I was very proud and humbled to be associated with such a wonderful group of deeply dedicated Christian women; women of voluntary poverty, prayer and service. When we discovered a desperate and distraught elderly neighbor living just a couple of doors away from our center across the street from the US Supreme Court, the The Little Sisters helped us contact her family oversees and reunite her with them, all at no cost to anyone.

 

That is why it is so shocking and inexplicable that the federal government has targeted the Little Sisters, compelling them at threat of millions of dollars in fines, which would surely bankrupt them and close St. Martin’s Home as well as their other facilities for the elderly poor. At issue is the Obama Administration’s insistence that the Little Sisters comply with the mandate to purchase and distribute birth control to its employees and some of its volunteers. None of the employees or volunteers has asked the government to do this. It is the Administration that has decided this is what The Little Sisters must do at the threat of crippling sanctions.

480px-Sonia_Sotomayor_in_SCOTUS_robe

 

The Little Sisters appealed to the US Supreme Court for emergency protection. On January 1, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, Associate Justice Sonya Sotomayor granted that emergency stay. Then, the government responded saying the Little Sisters got it all wrong, the government will excuse them from the mandate if they will just submit a form, which acts like a supplication, begging to be excused. The Sisters said they couldn’t for to do so would be to participate in the mandate which is a violation of their conscience and faith. The Sisters asked that the whole Court, all nine Justices consider their request for protection. This past weekend, the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, the US Supreme Court voted unanimously to grant the Sisters the protection they sought. Now, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider the whole matter and meanwhile the Little Sisters are protected from the Administrations initial threat to drive them into bankruptcy and shutter their homes for the indigent poor.

 

This is why it is so critical that the missionaries of the National Pro-Life Center at the US Supreme Court remain active and in place, providing the Justices and their high level staffs the information, the education and the inspiration they need to better form their consciences so they will make better decisions. The prayer and outreach mission at the Court has continued for fifteen years at great sacrifice and expense. I like to boast that our five missionaries and their families do all their work on Capitol Hill for less than the starting salary of a single lawyer. Your generous gift makes this work possible. Help us to support the Little Sisters and others who must turn to the Court for the relief they are entitled to under the Constitution. And thank you for your support of the National Pro-Life Center missionaries in Washington.

Why Keep Marching For Life?

 marchforlifeii1By Rev. Paul CB Schenck

 

The March for Life in Washington, DC is now the longest sustained public demonstration in American history. It has drawn between 10,000 and 1,000,000 peaceful, prayerful participants since 1974. The annual procession from the Ellipse to the United States Supreme Court building has now become a Washington fixture. Many government officials strategically schedule themselves and their staff to be out of town, even the President has left Washington the day before the March and returned the day after. In its early days, the March drew national media attention, but not so much anymore. Some major news agencies ignore it altogether. The National Parks Service doesn’t count its numbers, and doesn’t mention it on its day book. Many see in this a deliberate attempt to make the March insignificant and curtail its influence. Others say it’s just because it’s been around so long.

 

The obvious question is “Why March?” If it doesn’t garner the public attention it once did, if it has not persuaded the High Court, Congress or the President to change the law, wouldn’t it be better to try something else?

 

It is still important, perhaps now more than ever before, to march for life. The March and more specifically, the Marchers, have come to serve as a symbol, an expression, a “Sign of Contradiction” if you will, calling to mind the national sin against innocent lives and restating, over and again, the unalienable and inviolable right to life which belongs to every human being, especially the innocent unborn. It is also a sign of the collective conscience. Each of us knows the unfortunate human condition expressed by St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans, “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” (Rom 7:19) When we as individuals commit sin, our consciences are alerted, assemble themselves and rise up against the sin, driving us to repentance, amendment of life and reconciliation. The Marchers are like a collective conscience in society. Conscious of the intrinsic evil of abortion, euthanasia and other horrible attacks against innocent life, the Marchers assemble themselves, rise up against the sin of killing innocents and call the nation to reversal, amendment of national policy and restoration of the right to life.

 

Such public demonstrations, which include the extensive coordination and cooperation between so many individuals, social institutions and the Church is a very healthy and much needed exercise in a culture that overemphasizes selfish interests and personal gratification even at the expense of the abandonment, exploitation and suffering of others. The March is an antidote for the toxin of selfishness and ignorance of the plight of the innocent victims and their families. Elected and appointed officials and all those who responsible for public policy are reminded by 50,000 plus students, families, teachers, first responders, health care workers, religious, clergy and many other members of the American family that they have a positive obligation to defend and protect the most innocent and vulnerable members of that family. The Marchers put flesh and blood on an otherwise abstract debate about morality and policy. Every Marcher, after all, was an embryo, a fetus. Many Marchers are members of the “Silent No More Awareness Campaign”, women who were victimized by abortion expressing their regret and calling on others not to make the same mistake.

 

The March for Life remains a very important and meaningful effort to exercise our national conscience and urge everyone concerned to all they can to protect and save as many innocent human lives as possible and save the moral and social fabric that is foundational to a just and enduring society.

Is The Church Still Committed to Life?

Copy of Mass for Life procession 2These remarks were originally given by Fr. Paul Chaim Schenck at the Family Research Council in Washington D.C. 

 

Time Magazine’s choice of Pope Francis as Person of the Year capped an astoundingly positive media coverage of the new Pontiff. The notorious NARAL published an ad that simply said, “Thank you, Pope Francis. Pro-Choice women everywhere.” And pundits wondered aloud if we finally had a Pope that would update morality and approve of abortion. It makes you wonder how much research, if any, is done in the 24 hour news cycle.

 

Here for instance, is Pope Francis in June of last year:

 

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NARAL’s ad thanking Pope Francis

“All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life; they do not accept the Gospel of Life but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure and not by love, by concern for the good of others. It is the eternal dream of wanting to build the city of man without God, without God’s life and love – a new Tower of Babel. It is the idea that rejecting God, the message of Christ, the Gospel of life, will somehow lead to freedom, to complete human fulfillment. As a result, the Living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom but in the end brings new forms of slavery and death…”

I don’t think NARAL was in Church that day. The Pope, a Jesuit, is suspected by some of being soft on life issues and hard on Catholic Social Teaching. So let’s see Francis’ Social Teaching looks like:

 

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states that the Church’s Social Teaching is founded on certain “permanent principles”, the first of which is – “The dignity of the human person” which it says, “is the foundation of all other principles and content of the Church’s social doctrine.” (CSDC #160). “The Church’s social doctrine stops to dwell above all on the principal and indispensable dimensions of the human person.” (# 124)

 

So, to understand the Church’s teaching on human society and social issues, it is necessary and fundamental to discover what it teaches about the human person, and human rights.

Pope_Francis_in_March_2013

 

The Compendium asserts, “…the roots of human rights are to be found in the dignity that belongs to each human being…The ultimate source of human rights is not found in the mere will of human beings, in the reality of the State, in public powers, but in man himself and in God his creator. These rights are ‘universal, inviolable, inalienable.’ (#153)

 

The Compendium goes on to specify that “The first right presented in this list is the right to life, from conception to its natural end,” and furthermore states that, “an integral part of the right to life ‘is the right of the child to develop in the mother’s womb from the moment of conception.” (#155) Abortion, the willful taking of the unborn child’s life, “is a horrendous crime and constitutes a particularly serious moral disorder; far from being a right, it is a sad phenomenon that contributes seriously to spreading a mentality against life, representing a dangerous threat to a just and democratic social coexistence.” (#233) So we see then that Catholic Social Teaching starts with the “universal, inviolable, inalienable” right to life, and that right begins at conception, when both reason and revelation tell us a new human being begins.

 


In his recent Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis writes, [the] “defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be.” v2-pope-time

 

CST states, “… the relationship with God requires that the life of man be considered sacred and inviolable (that is, it is never to be broken, infringed, dishonored or violated). The fifth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex 20:13; Deut 5:17), has validity because God alone is Lord of life and death. The respect owed to the inviolability and integrity of physical life finds its climax in the positive commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18), by which Jesus enjoins the obligation to tend to the needs of one’s neighbor (cf. Mt 22:37-40; Mk 12:29-31; Lk 10:27-28).”

 

The Compendium invokes Vatican II and in particular, the document Gaudium et Spes, which “presents in a systematic manner the themes of culture, of economic and social life, of marriage and the family, of the political community, of peace and the community of peoples, in the light of a Christian anthropological outlook and of the Church’s mission. Everything is considered from the starting point of the person and with a view to the person, “the only creature that God willed for its own sake”. Society, its structures and development must be oriented towards “the progress of the human person” (#96).

 

So the whole fabric of social responsibility, as regards human and civil rights, care for the poor, the weak and vulnerable, issues of justice and peace, is tied together with this principal idea of the dignity of all persons and of the inviolability of human life.

 

Catholic Social Teaching insists that a society which cares for its weaker members, including the poor and needy must be founded upon love. A community has solid foundations when it tends toward the integral promotion of the person and of the common good. In such cases, law is defined, respected and lived according to the manner of solidarity and dedication towards one’s neighbor.

 

Justice requires that everyone should be able to enjoy their own goods and rights; this can be considered the minimum measure of love. Social life becomes more human the more it is characterized by efforts to bring about a more mature awareness of the ideal towards which it should be oriented, which is the “civilization of love”. (#391)

 

That society begins with the family, which is presented as “the sanctuary of life” “The dignity of the human being, called to proclaim the goodness and fruitfulness that come from God, is eminently revealed in the task of procreation: “Human fatherhood and motherhood, while remaining biologically similar to that of other living beings in nature, contain in an essential and unique way a ‘likeness’ to God which is the basis of the family as a community of human life, as a community of persons united in love (communio personarum).”

 

“The social subjectivity of the family, both as a single unit and associated in a group, is expressed as well in the demonstrations of solidarity and sharing not only among families themselves but also in the various forms of participation in social and political life. This is what happens when the reality of the family is founded on love: being born in love and growing in love.” (#246) The rights of families, especially in the decision to have children, must never be abridged. “All programmes of economic assistance aimed at financing campaigns of sterilization and contraception …are to be morally condemned as affronts to the dignity of the person and the family. (#234)

 


bb70f9b3c47f9c3b3ad2c6a644493c74_MThe family is founded on the love between spouses

 

 

The family has its foundation in the free choice of the spouses to unite themselves in marriage, in respect for the meaning and values of this institution that does not depend on man but on God himself: The family “is an institution born, even in the eyes of society, ‘from the human act by which the partners mutually surrender themselves to each other’, and is founded on the very nature of that conjugal love which, as a total and exclusive gift of person to person, entails a definitive commitment expressed by mutual, irrevocable and public consent. (215)

 

It is emphasized that, “No power can abolish the natural right to marriage or modify its traits and purpose. Marriage in fact is endowed with its own proper, innate and permanent characteristics.” (216) “In its “objective” truth, marriage is ordered to the procreation and education of children. (218), “how incongruous is the demand to accord ‘marital’ status to unions between persons of the same sex.

 

It is opposed, first of all, by the objective impossibility of making the partnership fruitful through the transmission of life according to the plan inscribed by God in the very structure of the human being. Another obstacle is the absence of the conditions for that interpersonal complementarity between male and female willed by the Creator at both the physical-biological and the eminently psychological levels. It is only in the union of two sexually different persons that the individual can achieve perfection in a synthesis of unity and mutual psychophysical completion” Still, “Homosexual persons are to be fully respected in their human dignity.” (228)

 

The Social Teaching then begins with the sanctity of human life in the womb, the right to be born and therefore to enjoy all other human rights. It addresses the intrinsic evil of all attacks on innocent human life; “such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful suicide” (GS, 27).This is the essence of the Social Teaching Pope Francis and the Catholic Church and its institutions remain firmly committed to. To Catholic physicians, Francis said:

 

“Be witnesses and diffusers of the ‘culture of life.’ Your being Catholic entails a greater responsibility: first of all to yourselves, through a commitment consistent with your Christian vocation; and then to contemporary culture, by contributing to recognizing the transcendent dimension of human life, the imprint of God’s creative work, from the first moment of its conception. This is a task of the new evangelization that often requires going against the tide and paying for it personally. The Lord is also counting on you to spread the ‘Gospel of Life’”.

 

Further Reading: Compendium of the Social Doctrine of The Church

 

CBN: Pro-Lifers Fight to Burst Bubble Zone Law

BOSTON – Outside many Massachusetts abortion clinics you’ll often find a large painted line on the ground that curves around the entrance or exit and sets off a 35-foot area know as a bubble zone.

 

State law forbids any abortion protestor, sidewalk counselor or advocate from entering that zone to talk about the abortion issue.

 

Advocates of the law say its purpose was to keep partisans from harassing or intimidating abortion workers or customers heading into or out of those clinics.

 

But pro-life demonstrators and sidewalk counselors outside the clinics say the law is keeping them from saving lives because they can no longer effectively reach women headed to get abortions.

 

“It takes away the person-to-person aspect of it and puts you at a distance,” longtime pro-life demonstrator Ray Neary told CBN News outside a clinic in Boston.

 

He said imagine trying to communicate with a pregnant woman from 35 feet away.

 

“You have to yell at them as though you’re in opposition to them, and you’re not,” Neary explained. “You’re trying to save that child that’s in that womb.”

 

That’s why friends of his, like sidewalk counselor Eleanor McCullen, filed suit against the law. McCullen v. Coakley is scheduled to go before the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 15.

 

Neary said because of McCullen’s quiet counseling with pregnant women outside the clinics, she managed to save babies over and over again.

 

“One of the women who comes here a couple of days a week has saved over a hundred. And she’s (McCullen) brought them to crisis pregnancy centers,” Neary said.

 

“She keeps up with them. And they were saved by one individual who was able to stop to talk to them and tell them what’s going to happen if they go inside those walls,” she said.

 

Not only are lives on the line, but so is the First Amendment right to free speech. The law sets up a zone where pro-life Americans can literally end up in prison if they speak their minds about abortion inside that zone.

 

Rev. Paul Schenck, with the National Pro-Life Center, fought a similar case against bubble zones all the way to the Supreme Court years ago. He said they kill meaningful conversation.

 

“Imagine calling out to someone from 35 feet away, in public space no less,” Schenck said. “It’s impossible to carry on the kind of quiet conversation that a situation that is that dire requires.”

 

Twenty Years of Regrets

 

Texans Jeff and Tricia Bradford say if someone had approached them to try to talk them out of an abortion, they might have a 20-year-old daughter today.

 

As very young adults, they were five months away from getting married when Tricia found out she was pregnant. They were worried how it would shame their families for them to get married with Tricia displaying a prominent baby bump during the ceremony.

 

The young couple went to get an abortion without thinking much about the baby herself.

 

“We had believed all the lies that it’s just a blob of tissue,” Jeff told CBN News. “And so we went to the wedding really just not wanting to embarrass our family.”

 

They didn’t tell anyone about the abortion and tried to even bury it from their own consciousness for some 15 years until Tricia broke down during a counseling session.

 

“I had no idea how long this had been influencing my every thought, my every decision,” Tricia said of the pain and guilt they’d tried to hide. “And ultimately, God just stopped us in our tracks.”

 

“We had never mourned our child,” Jeff said. “We had never dealt with the feelings of abandonment, not standing by my wife at that time. You know, every woman is a life-giver and we didn’t choose the life of our child. And I know those are things she had no one to talk to about for years.”

 

Now Jeff openly shares their story and their regrets as he works full-time as vice president at Online for Life. This Texas-based group searches out abortion-bound women online and offers them alternatives and help.

 

Online for Life also maintains the website AbortionMemorial.com where Jeff and Tricia are pictured with the four children they’re now raising.

 

“As a father of four beautiful children and through God’s grace, my wife and I have now been married 20 years,” Jeff wrote on the website.

 

“However, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t regret my decision. After all, any good father would jump in front of a train to save the life of their child,” he said. “The life of our first daughter, Sara, should not have been any different.”

 

***Read more of Jeff’s story here.

 

More than 1,400 babies have been saved through Online for Life’s efforts. Jeff believes such intervention by someone could have saved the child Tricia and he aborted.

 

“If somebody had stayed with us, would have stood in the gap, I believe we’d have a 20-year-old little girl here today,” Jeff said.

 

Heart-to-Heart Talk Saves Babies

 

Evidence proves a heart-to-heart talk can really make the difference. Linda Rubis, from Frederick, Md., felt God prompt her to call her daughter one night several years ago. She discovered her daughter was at an abortion clinic.

 

“I said, ‘Honey, God doesn’t make mistakes. You need to save this child. You need to save this baby. It’ll be a blessing,’” Rubis told CBN News.

 

Linda’s daughter saved her own child, but also did more that night at the abortion clinic.

 

“She left there,” Rubis explained. “But before she left, she spoke to two other girls there about saving their babies, too.”

 

These days, science gives pro-lifers more factual information than ever to share what a complex human life is growing within the pregnant woman’s body.

 

Linda Pototschnik, from Mount Airy, Md., spoke of one such stunning finding.

 

“The little baby at six weeks has a billion cells and more information within his little body, his DNA, than every word ever spoken by every human being who’s ever lived since the beginning of time,” Potoschnik said.

 

An Abortionist’s Change-of-Heart

 

CBN News met Rubis and Pototschnik at an appearance in Libertytown, Md., by Mississippi’s first abortionist Beverly McMillan and her husband Roy.

 

Beverly shared how a truly divine encounter in her own car convinced her to stop performing abortions. The then back-sliding Catholic had just been looking at a scripture in a secular book when suddenly she felt something.

 

“Christ was in the car. He was in the backseat behind my right shoulder – as real to me as you are right here,” she told CBN News. “And I didn’t know what had happened, but I knew He was there.”

 

Beverly had been performing abortions in Mississippi for years but became convinced she couldn’t be both a good Christian and an abortion doctor.

 

“Carrying the abortion business into the holiness of the Church, something was not right with that,” she explained.

 

Now Beverly and husband Roy are fervent pro-life advocates and their car is covered in anti-abortion bumper stickers. Roy said these are short but powerful doses of truth.

 

He pointed out, “One of my bumper stickers says ‘It’s easy to be pro-choice if you’re not the one being killed.’”

 

Their efforts in league with other Mississippi pro-life advocates have helped close down all but one of Mississippi’s abortion clinics.

 

Meanwhile, the fight goes on in Massachusetts and next week before the U.S. Supreme Court to put a needle in the state’s 35-foot bubble zone law.

 

Rev. Schenck insists such a law costs the lives of babies.

 

“A woman does not have an abortion because she’s pro-choice. She has the abortion because she feels she has no choice,” Schenck explained.

 

“And what the sidewalk counselor is doing is making that last effort to reach out to her in kindness and love and offer her the support she needs to give her child life,” he said. “Well, you can’t do that from 35 feet away.”

Supreme Court Hears McCullen v. Coakley: Pro-Life Speech Threatened

WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) – On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of McCullen v. Coakley. The case originated in my home State of Massachusetts. It concerns a matter which I spent years of my legal career fighting, the growing practice of suppressing speech which is unpopular.

 

I was the first Executive Director of the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice) during the 1990′s. I moved to Virginia at the invitation of Pat Robertson to build that public interest law firm. During that time Jay Sekulow also joined the ACLJ as Chief Counsel.

 

I had the privilege of working with Jay as he effectively defended religious liberty and stood up for the Free Speech rights of those who give a voice to children in the womb, as well as help their mothers and fathers understand the Right to Life and what occurs in every procured abortion.

 

Before Jay joined the ACLJ, I was counsel at the Federal District Court level in the case of Schenck v Pro-Choice Network of Western New York. It involved my friend, Pro-Life hero, now Catholic priest, Fr Paul Schenck and his twin brother Rob, also a pro-Life champion.

 

When Jay so passionately argued that case at the Supreme Court, I had the privilege of serving as Co-Counsel. His argument was brilliant, the cause was just and the result made history. There the US Supreme Court struck down floating buffer or bubble zones as unconstitutional.

 

After ordination to the office of Deacon in the Catholic Church, I left the ACLJ for further theological study and other policy efforts. I had sincerely hoped we had helped to burst the bubble zones which threatened unpopular speech and constituted overt viewpoint discrimination. I was wrong.

 

In the year 2000, in a case called Hill v. Colorado, the Supreme Court upheld a one hundred foot bubble or buffer zone which has been imposed around abortion facilities under Colorado law. A Pro-Life sidewalk counselor cannot go within eight feet of anyone entering an abortion facility clinic to counsel, dialogue, educate or protest without consent in Colorado.

 

It is a bad law – and it gave rise to an even worse Supreme Court opinion. So much for the protection of the Free Speech clause found in the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution, at least for those who speak out for the Right to Life of children in the womb and try to help their mothers and fathers choose to have them.

 

No matter what the Supreme Court said in its specious and poorly written opinion; the result was to sanction viewpoint discrimination. Only Pro-Life speech is precluded. That is wrong and must be rectified. McCullen v. Coakley presents just such an opportunity.

 

The case originated with a courageous seventy seven year old Massachusetts woman named Eleanor McCullen. She is a mother and grandmother who goes to abortion clinics and peacefully seeks to help the mothers and the fathers understand the truth concerning what happens in every abortion. She also gives out knitted stocking caps filled with educational information on alternatives to abortion.

 

She and her colleagues believe that the First Amendment is supposed to protect them. They are completely peaceful, do not block access, and offer support, educational information and assistance. They go to where abortions happen in order to be near those who they believe have a right to receive this information. They engage in what should be a protected activity on a PUBLIC SIDEWALK.

 

However, Eleanor and her colleagues were precluded from exercising their constitutional Right to Free Speech and assembly by a Massachusetts Law which makes it a crime to “enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk” within 35 feet of an entrance, exit, or driveway of “a reproductive health care facility.”

 

In other words, this law only applies to abortion facilities. Like the horrid legislation in Colorado – which was not only upheld by but made worse in its application – by the bad opinion of the Supreme Court in the Hill case, it presumes that the women and men entering these facilities do not want to hear what is being said. It singles out one viewpoint for censorship. It restricts the active censorship it imposes to abortion facilities. It is repugnant to the Constitution.

 

The effect is content based restriction of speech on a public sidewalk in front of abortion facilities. It is indefensible under any proper constitutional analysis. It should be eminently clear, to any fair-minded observer. This is all an example of what Jay Sekulow used to call the abortion distortion years ago when he argued the Schenck case. It still is an abortion distortion and it is an egregious violation of the First Amendment.

 

The people being excluded from speaking on that public sidewalk are only the Pro-Life people. The State and the people who promote abortion are stifling their speech and impeding their free assembly. The people from the abortion facility are exempted from the law by its specific language. They can say anything they want. Eleanor McCullen may soon make history by establishing once again the protections which were wrongfully removed from Pro-Life speakers in the Hill opinion.

 

Trying to predict the outcome of a Supreme Court case is often a futile gesture. However, given the reaction of the Justices, the questions asked and the reporting coming from trustworthy and reliable sources, it appears that the Court will once again burst the bubble and strike down this blatantly unconstitutional restriction of Free Speech. Buffer Zones for Pro-Life Speech threaten the foundation of Freedom.

Our case is still making a difference…

 

As Washington, DC swelters under the summer heat, at the National Pro-Life Center we’re doubling our efforts to challenge our nation to embrace a culture of life. And every day we see hopeful signs that our efforts are bearing fruit.

The Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, announced that the US Supreme Court will apply its finding in the case involving our National Pro-Life Center chairman, Rev. Schenck V Pro-Choice, as well as two other cases to a Massachusetts law restricting speech around abortion businesses. Fr. Schenck has also been asked to participate in a Bar Association event discussing my case, for which we thank God.

Please pray more opportunities will come about as a result of this unique opportunity to defend the premier human right to live and our right to publicly defend life.

Now, to a great need we are facing this summer. Everything we do at the National Pro-Life Center only happens because our friends and supporters prayerfully stand with us. And right now we need your help more than ever. Summer is always the most difficult season we face financially, and this summer is no different.

Will you  prayerfully consider a special summer gift of $25, $35, $50, or even $100 or more to help us as we prepare for this unexpected and potentially groundbreaking opportunity at the Bar Association?

To make your fully tax-deductible gift online, please click here.

Thank you for your stalwart defense of Life. And thank you for standing with us right now during these difficult summer months. Together, we are making a difference in restoring the respect for all human life to our nation.

A Colleague and a Friend Passes Away

Michael Schwartz, a good friend and a colleague to me and to the National Pro-LIfe Center passed away over the week-end after a difficult battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Mike was the chief of staff to Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. He was a devout Catholic.  In spite of the strident opposition he often faced, Mike continually fought for the sanctity and dignity of all human life, from conception to natural death. Mike was politically engaged and loved  conversations about the role of the Church in society.  As many of his good friends have stated, “He was a friend of the high and mighty and the lowly and powerless alike.  He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather.”
All of us at the National Pro-Life Center will miss him, but find solace in the hope that he will be forever with the Lord, and we will see him again.
Last year on the Senate floor, Senator Coburn delivered this tribute to Mike: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nH8_0Hmwrc

National Memorial for the Pre-Born At the DAR Constitution Hall

 

Friday was the 19th Annual National Memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers, and it took place just before the annual March for Life. The Memorial is a solemn remembrance of all those lost to abortion and the injury done to their parents—as well as a joyous celebration of God’s good gift of Life! Some 60 clergy from almost as many denominations led and hundreds of dedicated pro-lifers participated. We were close to the White House, we literally shouted out a respectful message to the President!

Please continue to pray with Fr. Paul Schenck, his twin brother, Rev. Rob Schenck, Rev. Pat Mahoney, Fr. Frank Pavone and many others for an end to the 40 years of wilderness wandering under Roe v. Wade—and the hope of God’s leading us into the promised land of Life! Pray also that the hundreds gathered with us served as a prophetic pro-life Christian witness to all of our top-level government officials, including President Obama—at his home across the street!

Following the National Memorial Service was the Annual March for Life where hundreds of thousands of people, mostly under 20, will trek from the Mall down Constitution Avenue all the way to the Supreme Court. Pray that this march to proclaim the sanctity and dignity of all human life served as a powerful prophetic witness not only to our national leaders but to all of America.

Founder of Dominos Pizza Wins Order Against HHS Mandate

The founder of Dominos Pizza won his bid for an emergency order to prevent enforcement of the mandate while the lawsuit it filed against the Obama administration over the HHS mandate that forces religious employers to purchase drugs that may cause abortions for their employees continues.

Tom Monaghan calls requiring businesses, schools and other religious places to pay for such drugs a “gravely immoral” practice and filed suit earlier this month in federal court for Domino’s Farms, a business development complex he owns.

To read more, click here…..

This article first appeared in LifeNews.com.