The Abortion Campaign Never Written About
Time magazine has a long story about the work of a pregnancy support center in Asheville, NC that is, for the most part, a good read, although there are problems with it.

Interviewed for the article is Deborah Wood, CEO of the Asheville Pregnancy Support Services in Asheville NC. Ms. Wood is described as "the new face of an old movement: kind, calm, non-judgmental, a special-forces soldier in the abortion wars who is fighting her battles one conscience at a time." The article then goes on to describe the kind of work the Asheville PSS and others like it does.

The article is titled "The Abortion Campaign You Never Heard About" but the truth is that they need to title it "The Abortion Campaign We've Never Written About."

People who are kind, calm and non-judgmental have been in the movement since it began. Unfair stereotypes about how pro-lifers are depicted in the media have more to do with the bias of the reporter or the organ publishing their stories than actual experience with people really involved in the movement.

I'm glad at least one magazine media outlet has recognized that pro-lifers don't have horns coming out of their heads. Will others?


Human Life International Event Tomorrow
Tomorrow, January 20th, come for an Evening With Joseph Meaney of Human Life International. Joseph Meaney, International Director of Human Life International, has just returned to the U.S. from Portugal and will speak about what happened with the abortion vote and take you around the world with the key pro-life events of the last few years. Also, there will be an advanced screening of a new 25-minute film, Dead in the Water: Combating the Culture of Death on the High Seas. The film chronicles HLI Ireland and their defense of life when the abortion boat "Aurora" attempted to bring death to the unborn babies of the Emerald Isle. HLI is defending life, faith and family on all continents.

Join us tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at St. Rita Catholic Church, 12521 Inwood Rd., Dallas, in the school cafeteria.
I Agree. Let's End it Here.
Three local bloggers have issued a joint statement agreeing that since Roe began in Dallas, then we need to make a sincere, concentrated effort to end it here.

Below is the pertinent information needed to participate in this effort.

"On each First Friday for the next eleven months, we will fast and pray before the Blessed Sacrament for an end to abortion. This will culminate at the annual Dallas March for Life in January of 2008, where we will join our bishop and the faithful of this city in marching to the courthouse where Roe was originally argued. We ask anyone reading these words to join us. Fast and pray with us each First Friday, no matter how far removed you are from Dallas. Spend some time in Eucharistic adoration, and implore Christ to end this curse. We especially ask other Dallas area bloggers and residents to join us, at least in spirit. If you would rather not fast, then pray for those of us that do. We will not win this battle in the courts. We will not win this battle in the media. We will not win this battle in any earthly way. We will only win through prayer, fasting, and devotion to Christ. It started here. Let it end here.

Jesus, we trust in you."

Mark Windsor - Rafting the Tiber
Julie D. - Happy Catholic
Laura H. - ... and if not ..
The Catholic Pro-Life Committee is happy to add our name to the joint statement and to encourage all the faithful to commit to a period of prayer and fasting to overturn Roe.

The 2008 Dallas Rally and March for Life will take place on Saturday, January 19th, 2008 at the Cathedral Guadalupe in downtown Dallas.

In particular, let us make this worthy cause the focus of our annual Lenten devotions. You can begin by meditating on the words of Msgr. Mark Seitz, Pastor of St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas.


Next Step in Condom Distribution
There is a huge effort to hand out free condoms to millions of people in New York under the authority of the City of New York. So far workers and volunteers have handed out more than 150,000 free condoms made and promoted by the City Health Commissioner and plan to make more available for free to anyone who wants one. They were handed out at subway stations and other areas in New York where millions pass through every day.

The goal is to hand out 26 million condoms. That's 26,000,000.

Cardinal Edward Egan, the Archbishop of New York, rightly blasts the effort saying, "the decision of the City of New York to distribute [26] million free condoms to the public - and minors as well, according to news reports - is tragic and misguided."

Here is the paragraph from the report that got me:

"While Dr. Frieden (New York City Health Commissioner) noted that condoms can prevent the spread of H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted infections, as well as unintended pregnancies, he added, “Abstinence is fail-safe, and reducing the number of sexual partners reduces risk of infections. But for sexually active people, using a condom is key to staying healthy."
So, if abstinence is "fail-safe" then where, exactly, is the effort to promote it? Why is there a gigantic effort to push condoms on everyone and yet they cannot bear to do the same with abstinence? I wonder.

And so from this effort, and others like it, we can tell where the next step will take us. Access to free contraception has been universally available for decades, now, and yet we do not see the fruit of such efforts despite fervent efforts like the one in NYC. What will the pro-contraceptiosn people do next?

The next step is to go door-to-door in your neighborhood asking to speak to your teenage son or daughter. They will probably not want you, the parent, present while they speak to them. They will not want you there because they will be informing your underage son or daughter how to obtain abortions without your permission or knowledge, how to get more contraception without your permission or knowledge and they will also give them the best, most medically accurate "sexuality education" on the planet.

The only other option is for the pro-contraception crowd to give up and admit that we were right all along. I am waiting.


What We Want in a President
The work of the pro-life movement is multi-faceted. It involves millions of people, working together on a daily basis in many areas to effect the culture of life.

If anyone tells you that pro-life work simply consists of overturning Roe V. Wade, then that person would be wrong. There is much more to do. If anyone tells you that the only thing a candidate for elected office has to do to earn a pro-life vote is vow to appoint strict constructionist judges, then that person would be wrong as well. There is more to it than that.

It's safe to say that pro-lifers will not be happy with a man in elected office who opposes abortion but yet supports it, although many commentators would have you believe that they would be. Those commentators probably do not care much about the issue of abortion.

There's a lot more to being a pro-life President than simply appointing the right judges. We want a President who will use the bully pulpit to speak out for the unborn. We want a President who will actually show up at the March For Life and speak to the crowds about his support for the work we are doing.

We want a President who will not be reluctant to make the pro-life argument in public or afraid to start the kind of discussion that will bring about real change.

We must elect a President who understands and follows core values, and is not afraid to proclaim respect for human life. When we have that President, then we will have made great progress, but it won't solve all our problems. There is much more work to do.
Scaring People Away
In todays Dallas Morning News, there is a shocking development. The state of Texas will actually be paying crisis pregnancy centers to counsel women who come in for assistance to not have an abortion. You can tell this is a shock to whoever put this article together by the use of scare words in the article: (scare words in red)

Texas is part of trend that has alarmed some rights activists

12:00 AM CST on Monday, February 12, 2007

From Wire Reports Los Angeles Times

AUSTIN – In an experiment that's opening a new front in the culture wars, a growing number of states are paying anti-abortion activists to counsel women with unplanned pregnancies. At least eight states – including Texas, Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania – use public funds to subsidize crisis pregnancy centers, Christian homes for unwed mothers or other programs explicitly designed to steer women from abortion.

As a condition of the grants, counselors are often barred from referring women to any clinic that provides abortions; in some cases, they may not discuss contraception either.

Most states still spend far more money subsidizing comprehensive family planning, but the flow of tax dollars to anti-abortion groups has surged in recent months, as grants took effect in Texas and Minnesota.


The trend alarms abortion-rights supporters, who say that the funds would be better spent – and would prevent more abortions – if used to expand access to birth control. But to anti-abortion advocates such as Nancy McDonald, the funding is both practical and symbolic, a way of putting the state's stamp of approval on their work.

States will spend at least $13 million this year to direct women away from abortion.
I have been trying to get the Dallas Morning News to realize that no one in the pro-life movement calls themselves an "anti-abortion advocate," yet they insist on labelling us this way. That coupled with scare words used in reference to funding a paltry amount of money ($13 million dollars through 8 states) that is going to these centers tells me that the real shock is that this is happening at all.

I am always amazed when people think that not having an abortion is harmful, but how could you come away with any other conclusion from this article?

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CPLC in Acapulco
In early February, Fonda Lash, Maria Graham and I were sent to Acapulco to train Father Pablo Straub's Missionaries of the Holy Savior in Sidewalk Counseling, the organization of the CPLC and to help with materials for their pro-life efforts.

While the opportunities for evangelization in such a city are endless, the biggest challenge presented itself as the question, "where do we start?" With a priest in the diocese of Guerrero who wishes to start a diocesan pro-life ministry, a doctor who runs the only Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) in the city, and Fr. Pablo Straub's order working with them, pro-lifers of Acapulco already have a great foundation with which to begin.

We were able to give a sidewalk counseling training to over 80 nuns, brothers, priests and local townspeople. In addition, we found that a couple meetings with Fr. Pablo Straub, the CPC Doctor, as well as a couple nuns would prove to be a pivotal point in pro-life efforts in Acapulco.

From these meetings of brainstorming and deliberating, Fr. Pablo conjured up two concrete plans: one for evangelization and the other for pro-life education of the city. As you can see, they truly are starting from the ground up.

During these meetings, we also found out that there is only one crisis pregnancy center in all of Mexico City. ONE! Can you believe it?

Please pray for the continued pro-life efforts in Acapulco and all of Mexico, as people work hard to get the truth of abortion and life issues known in a place where education on these topics is sparse.

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Defending Life Without Religion
Most of the time, when I discuss abortion with people, I do not discuss religion. You don't really need to. The pro-life position can be easily defended without referring to religion, and due to the conflicting and various religious beliefs in existence, it is sometimes better not to bring it up at all.

For example, last June when we addressed a group of Jewish youth about abortion, the leader of the group told me beforehand that if I started talking about the New Testament or things of a religious nature, the kids would probably have never heard about it. I told him not to worry, that we would not be discussing religion because it is very simple to defend the pro-life position and never mention religion at all.

There are some people who do this on a regular basis and are very good at it and then from time to time I see resources or articles written about a particular issue that fits easily into this realm.

A great example of this is a recent article by Maureen Condic in the journal First Things about what we know about embryonic stem-cell research. From a scientific point of view, she very easily goes through the various levels of non-success that embryonic stem research has garnered and does so in a way easy to understand and non-religious.

I love these kinds of things, it makes my work much easier although there is still a great need to continue to educate Catholics on these things because there are plenty of them that still don't get it.
Bella the Movie
Recently, we had the opportunity to review a film entitled "Bella."

Produced by Metanoia Films and starring Eduardo Verástegui, the film has a decidedly pro-life message although it was made in such a way that you cannot really tell.

The film won the "People's Choice Award" at the Toronto film festival last year and since that time, the films producers have entered into negotiations to have the film distributed widely here in the United States late in the spring or early fall of 2007.

You can read about the movie, the cast and the reason why Metanoia Films exists at their web site: www.bellathemovie.com

They are showcasing the movie to various religious groups around the country, similar to what the makers of "The Passion of the Christ" did in order to make it widely known.

Verástegui is a good actor. In the movie, he plays Jose, a man who is somewhat down on his luck but is able, through a series of events in his life, to find redemption and the meaning of self-sacrifice. This is important, because these virtues are lacking in the modern world and need to be shown in a positive light.

Verástegui has been called the "Brad Pitt" of Mexico and through his starring roles in Mexican soap operas and other outlets had developed the reputation as a "Latin lover", an image he is now trying to discard. In a humorous moment after the movie was over, he spoke to the audience about some of his earlier movies and then advised us not to see them!

He and the other members of Metanoia Films are dedicated to making films that depict the good of mankind instead of the trash. Their passion to do so is motivated by a sincere conviction that God wants them to do this, not for themselves, but for others.

With great hope then, let us pray for the success of "Bella" and Metanoia Films. Hollywood really needs them.

Aurora Tinajero (CPLC Director of Spanish Ministry), Eduardo Verástegui, Karen Garnett (CPLC Executive Director) and Jacquelyn Smith (CPLC Director of Youth For Life)