Students for Life of America just made a BIG impact with their #SockIt2PP Tour where they collected 196,543 baby socks to represent just a portion of the lives lost to Planned Parenthood through their abortion services. Planned Parenthood just released their annual report and it shows that the number of abortions is actually higher. Students for Life needs to collect 127, 805 baby socks to meet the 328,348 goal which Planned Parenthood reports is their number of abortions performed from 2015-2016. They plan on taking these socks all over the nation to college campuses to show students the effects of Planned Parenthood's abortion services. Students for Life needs your help to meet this goal! Click here to see just how you can do just that! Any donation you can make would also be appreciated.
When Catholic apologist Trent Horn headlined our Pro-Life: An Awakening Conference in September, he spoke of the pro-life fight as one "to restore the right to life of the unborn". He reminded us that pre-born humans did once have the legally protected right to life and so we must cling to the hope that it WILL be restored once again.
Pro-life strategy has changed a lot in 44 years. Gone are the days of Operation Rescue laying down in front of an abortion clinic for weeks on end. Now we see 40 Days for Life prayer campaigns. Sidewalk demonstrators are being replaced by sidewalk counselors. Even apologetics are changing. Religious arguments have become a faux pas of the movement, instead being replaced by reason, logic, science, and more secular philosophy.
The face of the pro-life movement has changed, but opposition looks quite the same. If last weekend's Women's March wasn't evidence enough, just head on over to Facebook and take a gander at the comment thread of any recent article from the mainstream media with even a hint about women's rights.
As you head to the March for Life this week, remember that while the opposition has not changed, you must remain on the path that has improved the pro-life image in recent years: that of a well-reasoned, calm, collected, gracious Pro-Life Ambassador. How do you become an ambassador, you say? Just follow these 5 simple rules, detailed by Trent Horn throughout his book, Persuasive Pro-Life: How to Talk About Our Culture's Toughest Issue:
#1 Don't be weird.
So, what does this mean? This means don't be intentionally weird or over-the-top. Don't be unnecessarily grotesque or scary. Don't wear a head stone as a costume with "Here Lies Your Abortion" on it. We don't need to be hyperbolic about abortion in any way - the actual act and medically accurate descriptions of the various procedures speak for themselves. When the cameras are rolling on you this Friday (and it looks like they will), have a dignified message on a sign you may be holding and smile so people can see that you are a real human being and not an anti-choice boogeyman.
#2 Make your evidence bulletproof.
Science has revealed a lot of truth in the past 44 years. There's no need to lie about when babies can feel pain or at what stage of development all organs are in place. Again, as stated above, there's no need to lie about anything; the facts speak very loudly. However, be wary of where you obtain your evidence. While pro-life news sources are great for firming your own resolve, they get a big eye-roll from pro-choicers (trust me, I used to be one). Instead use the CDC, Guttmacher Institute, or Planned Parenthood's own reports to make a case for the realities of the abortion industry.
#3 Ask questions instead of making statements
Should you run into a pro-choice person at the March, refrain from engaging in shouting or debate. Instead, try a dialogue. Ask lots of questions, so you can understand where the other person is coming from and to prove yourself trustworthy. When you ask questions, you can actually see an illogical argument come around to its unavoidable conclusion without having to make a point of your own. Avoid Fetus Tunnel Vision when someone asks you about rape or a woman facing a crisis pregnancy while in destitute poverty. Along with Trent Horn, the masters of dialogue, in my very humble opinion, are the guys at the Equal Rights Institute. Check out their video course on pro-life apologetics, specifically designed to improve your person-to-person conversations, the Equipped for Life Course*.
#4 Agree whenever possible
Common ground is your friend. Facebook comment threads may not convey this, but the overwhelming majority of Americans actually support limits on abortion to the first trimester and vehemently oppose late term abortions for most reasons. It doesn't betray your pro-life bona fides to agree with a pro-choice interlocutor about these things. Remember #3 above? Ask someone if they believe that abortion should be allowed at any point in the pregnancy, up until birth. If they say no and perhaps offer that abortion should be illegal after 14 weeks, agree with them that you wouldn't want to see abortion after 14 weeks. Then follow with a question: "Let me ask you, though, what's the difference between a 14 week fetus and a 13 week fetus?" Use common ground to challenge someone's view in a much more gracious way than some of the shouting matches you may have engaged in in the past.
Don't listen just for your next opportunity to talk; actually listen. A person's reasons for supporting legalized abortion may be much more complicated or nuanced than you think. While the pro-life position may be cut and dry for you, it may not be that way for other people. Actually listen, with an open-mind, to what the person you are speaking with has to say so that you may respond with compassion and grace. Listening helps you to avoid the dreaded logical fallacies of ad hominem attacks and straw men as well! Don't take my word for it, though, here's an actual quote from someone who recently completed our Persuasive Pro-Life book study:
"I have also been enjoying this book. Not only is it helping me to become more pro-life than ever, it is inspiring me to ask more questions. Questions about politics, government, God.... And more often than not, God answers my prayers and enlightens my mind, whether it be through tough interactions on Facebook, readings, or conversations with others. I am finding that I can apply these strategies in general conversations, but not to be right, but to better understand the person I'm speaking with. I can't tell you how many times I have asked someone to clarify what they meant by a certain word only to find out I interpreted it the wrong way!! Each person we talk to is just that: A person. If we are to be pro-life, we have to believe that and treat others accordingly, with the respect they deserve as a person with feelings and experiences that we don't have. "
On Friday at the March for Life, remember the words of St. Paul: "If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal" (1 Corinthians 13:1). Silence the cymbal; be an ambassador instead.
*contains an affiliate link.
by Bernadette Smith
The Walls are Talking is diametrically opposed to the “nothing less than propaganda” 1996 film starring Demi Moore, Sissy Spacek and Cher, titled If these Walls could Talk. The Hollywood movie depicts abortion as the only compassionate and safe choice for women who are pregnant, but for variety of reasons, don’t want to be carrying a child.
Former Planned Parenthood insiders are the organization’s worst enemies. Their eyewitness testimonials expose how Planned Parenthood functions through deception, half-truths and outright lies.
The former clinical workers in The Walls are Talking demonstrate how Planned Parenthood exploits women when they are most vulnerable. They reveal how Planned Parenthood is driven by the profit motive, not concern for women. They speak of the horrific methods used to violently take babies from their mothers’ wombs. They speak of the Products of Conception (POC) labs where dead babies’ remains are pieced back together like jigsaw puzzles (to make sure the entire baby was removed).
In short, The Walls are Talking is further evidence, for anyone who needs convincing, that abortion is an evil scourge.
The Walls are Talking, follows Johnson’s first book, UnPlanned, which is the story of Johnson’s career at Planned Parenthood. In UnPlanned, the truth was revealed to Johnson when she participated in an abortion and saw for herself the cold and callous procedure that takes the life of an unborn child.
The Walls are Talking, like UnPlanned, is must read for a nation that, as of this writing, uses taxpayer money to fund Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States.
by Bernadette Smith
Passionate about the cause, Abby soon rose to a Planned Parenthood clinic director. In Abby’s mind, helping to navigate women through the abortion process, although heartbreaking at times, was a necessary and righteous endeavor.
Why then, did Abby have fits of conscience? Why did she have trouble telling people what she did for a living, and at first even hid her career decision from her own mother? Especially irksome were the pesky pro-lifers who marched peacefully and prayed, not only for the women who entered the clinic, but also for abortion providers.
One day, when the clinic was shorthanded, Abby was asked to help in an ultrasound-guided abortion procedure. Holding a medical instrument, Abby saw the baby back away as the probe drew near. The baby struggled in distress. It twisted, turned and then “crumpled” as the abortionist sucked the baby out of its mother’s womb.
Witnessing for herself the baby’s last moments as it struggled for life was Abby’s moment of truth. The scales were removed, and she saw abortion for what it is. She could no longer deny that the murder of innocents was not just wrong, but a heinous crime, not only against women and unborn children, but also against all that is holy.
Abby broke ranks with Planned Parenthood and sought assistance from her former opponents, the pro-life believers who warmly welcomed her into their fold.
In Unplanned, Abby recounts her experiences from the time she signed on to Planned Parenthood to the day she was “Suddenly overcome with sorrow.” Thinking about her role in leading women to discard their unborn babies “like trash,” Abby said, “I fell to my knees and wept.”
Abby has used her knowledge and insight as a former Planned Parenthood director to forge a new beginning. In her characteristic bold and courageous style, she is now telling the truth about Planned Parenthood. She reveals the industry as the profit-driven, deceptive and destructive enterprise that it is.
If you don't know how to get there, or don't want to drive, or maybe you don't share these values with your friends. We are out there! And we go in buses! We currently have a list of local churches providing bus transportation who would like to join in solidarity with other pro-lifers from around the country to peacefully protest this most unjust law on the least of these, the innocent of our nation: the unborn. Please contact us for the list and if you have any questions. Thank you, and in the words of Sid Marcus, our Chairman,
May God bless our efforts.
The DC March for Life is coming up. Thousands of us will gather in the streets to peacefully protest the inception of Roe v Wade, and the beginning of the legal genocide on the most vulnerable in our society: Our children in the womb.
Since then we have been told many things, many that have deceived us and many that are just outright lies. We have been told that the baby in the womb is a "fetus," not a real person. We have been told that life doesn't happen until the baby can live outside of the womb on its own. We have been told that a woman can do whatever she wants with her body. That is only the beginning.
I don't know about you, but I don't like to be lied to. It makes me angry.
Does it make you angry?
Does it make you angry enough to want to do something about it?
Do you wonder what you can do?
Do you ever think to yourself, "But I'm just one person, it won't make a difference anyway."
This year, the theme of the march in DC is "The Power of One." All it takes is for one person to stand up and say something, to speak truth again. It is the one thing our society is seriously lacking these days. We have become so accustomed to telling each other what we want to hear under the title of "love," that we have forgotten to love in truth.
In Annapolis 101, you will learn what you can do with your one voice to speak up for the unborn. If every one of you who reads this does one thing, makes one phone call, speaks the truth to one other person, think of the domino effect that could possibly happen. Plant the seed. Let God do His handiwork in you and through you.
This Saturday, January 7 from 9am-10:30am, you can learn how to speak up, not only for the least in our society who cannot speak for themselves, but for any other social injustice issue that plagues our state of Maryland. And you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Click here to register for the webinar, Annapolis 101: Why, when, and how to be an effective pro-life citizen. Make sure you have a pen and paper ready to take notes. Be one voice among thousands that can change this culture of death. Together we can make positive changes.
God bless you,
by Lisa from Our Everyday Treasures
With our first two losses, we just knew their names, even though they were only 12 and 14 weeks along. So, we named them. Then, we had two more 5 week losses back to back. I guarded myself so fiercely after those two losses because I truly felt like I would shatter from the pain if I allowed myself to feel anything at all. So, we didn't name them at the time.
Then, this past July we had another 11 week loss and I just knew his name.
Dear friend of life,
I confess that when I heard that Judge Scalia had died, I became mad...mad at God...for allowing such a staunch defender of human life to be removed from the battlefield...the same battlefield that consumes most of my life.
Why couldn't God allow somebody else to experience their eternal reward that night? There are 4 other Supreme Court justices I would have nominated.
Having a 50-50 split on the bench means a split vote allows the previous court decision to stand.
Having a vacancy allows the sitting President to nominate a person of his/her persuasion, thus tilting the balance.
I don't know what the future holds...whether Obama will get his wish and have his nominee take the seat on the Supreme Court...or whether Clinton, Sanders, Trump, Cruz, or somebody else will get that chance. Electing a pro-life President is a must if we are going to have pro-life laws upheld.
In the Army, losing a fellow soldier in battle endangers the remaining soldiers and means others must take up the slack. So we too must gird it up and soldier on.
Please consider increasing your involvement in this most worthy cause...just ask me what you can do to help.
One of the positives that occurred because of the judge's death was the eulogy that Father Paul Scalia delivered for his father--giving credit for where credit is due. I hope my priest uses similar wording come my time.
Transcript: Rev. Paul Scalia's eulogy for his father, Justice Antonin ScaliaRev. Paul Scalia, Diocese of Arlington4:46 p.m. EST February 20, 2016
(Photo: DOUG MILLS, The New York TImes, via Getty Images
The following is a transcript of the homily by Rev. Paul Scalia, the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, at the funeral Mass for his father at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Your Eminence Cardinal Wuerl, Your Excellencies, Archbishop Viganò, Bishop Loverde, Bishop Higgins, my brother priests, deacons, distinguished guests, dear friends and faithful gathered:
On behalf of our mother and the entire Scalia family, I want to thank you for your presence here, for your many words of consolation, and even more for the many prayers and Masses you have offered at the death of our father, Antonin Scalia.
In particular I thank Cardinal Wuerl, first for reaching out so quickly and so graciously to console our mother. It was a consolation to her and therefore to us as well. Thank you also for allowing us to have this parish funeral Mass here in this basilica dedicated to Our Lady. What a great privilege and consolation that we were able to bring our father through the holy doors and for him gain the indulgence promised to those who enter in faith.
I thank Bishop Loverde, the bishop of our diocese of Arlington, a bishop our father liked and respected a great deal. Thank you, Bishop Loverde, for your prompt visit to our mother, for your words of consolation, for your prayers.
The family will depart for the private burial immediately after Mass and will not have time to visit, so I want to express our thanks at this time so that you all know our profound appreciation and thanks. You will notice in the program mention of a memorial that will be held on March 1st. We hope to see many of you there. We hope the Lord will repay your great goodness to us.
We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more. A man loved by many, scorned by others. A man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth.
It is He whom we proclaim. Jesus Christ, son of the father, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified, buried, risen, seated at the right hand of the Father. It is because of him. because of his life, death and resurrection that we do not mourn as those who have no hope, but in confidence we commend Antonin Scalia to the mercy of God.
Scripture says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. And that sets a good course for our thoughts and our prayers here today. In effect, we look in three directions. To yesterday, in thanksgiving. To today, in petition. And into eternity, with hope.
We look to Jesus Christ yesterday, that is, to the past, in thanksgiving for the blessings God bestowed upon Dad. In the past week, many have recounted what Dad did for them. But here today, we recount what God did for Dad, how he blessed him.
We give thanks first of all for the atoning death and life-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Lord died and rose not only for all of us, but also for each of us. And at this time we look to that yesterday of his death and resurrection, and we give thanks that he died and rose for Dad.
Further, we give thanks that Jesus brought him to new life in baptism, nourished him with the Eucharist, and healed him in the confessional.
We give thanks that Jesus bestowed upon him 55 years of marriage to the woman he loved, a woman who could match him at every step, and even hold him accountable.
God blessed Dad with a deep Catholic faith: The conviction that Christ's presence and power continue in the world today through His body, the Church. He loved the clarity and coherence of the church's teachings. He treasured the church's ceremonies, especially the beauty of her ancient worship. He trusted the power of her sacraments as the means of salvation as Christ working within him for his salvation.
Although one time, one Saturday afternoon, he did scold me for having heard confessions that afternoon, that same day. And I hope that it's some source of consolation, if there are any lawyers present, that the Roman collar was not a shield against his criticism.
The issue that evening was not that I had been hearing confessions, but that he had found himself in my confessional line, and he quickly departed it. As he put it later, "Like heck if I'm confessing to you!"
The feeling was mutual.
God blessed Dad, as is well known, with a love for his country. He knew well what a close-run thing the founding of our nation was. And he saw in that founding, as did the founders themselves, a blessing, a blessing quickly lost when faith is banned form the public square, or when we refuse to bring it there. So he understood that there is no conflict between loving God and loving one's country, between one's faith and one's public service. Dad understood that the deeper he went in his Catholic faith, the better a citizen and public servant he became. God blessed him with the desire to be the country's good servant because he was God's first.
We Scalias, however, give thanks for a particular blessing God bestowed. God blessed Dad with a love for his family. We have been thrilled to read and hear the many words of praise and admiration for him, for his intellect, his writings, his speeches, his influence and so on.
But more important to us — and to him — is that he was Dad. He was the father that God gave us for the great adventure of family life. Sure he forgot our names at times, or mixed them up, but there are nine of us.
He loved us, and sought to show that love. And sought to share the blessing of the faith he treasured. And he gave us one another, to have each other for support. That's the greatest wealth parents can bestow, and right now we are particularly grateful for it.
So we look to the past, to Jesus Christ yesterday. We call to mind all of these blessings, and we give our Lord the honor and glory for them, for they are His work. We look to Jesus today, in petition, to the present moment, here and now, as we mourn the one we love and admire, the one whose absence pains us. Today we pray for him. We pray for the repose of his soul. We thank God for his goodness to Dad as is right and just. But we also know that although dad believed, he did so imperfectly, like the rest of us. He tried to love God and neighbor, but like the rest of us did so imperfectly.
He was a practicing Catholic, "practicing" in the sense that he hadn't perfected it yet. Or rather, Christ was not yet perfected in him. And only those in whom Christ is brought to perfection can enter heaven. We are here, then, to lend our prayers to that perfecting, to that final work of God's grace, in freeing Dad from every encumbrance of sin.
But don't take my word for it. Dad himself, not surprisingly, had something to say on the matter. Writing years ago to a Presbyterian minister whose funeral service he admired, he summarized quite nicely the pitfalls of funerals and why he didn't like eulogies.
He wrote: "Even when the deceased was an admirable person, indeed especially when the deceased was an admirable person, praise for his virtues can cause us to forget that we are praying for and giving thanks for God's inexplicable mercy to a sinner."
Now he would not have exempted himself from that. We are here then, as he would want, to pray for God's inexplicable mercy to a sinner. To this sinner, Antonin Scalia. Let us not show him a false love and allow our admiration to deprive him of our prayers. We continue to show affection for him and do good for him by praying for him: That all stain of sin be washed away, that all wounds be healed, that he be purified of all that is not Christ. That he rest in peace.
Finally we look to Jesus forever, into eternity. Or better, we consider our own place in eternity and whether it will be with the Lord. Even as we pray for Dad to enter swiftly into eternal glory, we should be mindful of ourselves. Every funeral reminds us of just how thin the veil is between this world and the next, between time and eternity, between the opportunity for conversion and the moment of judgment.
So we cannot depart here unchanged. It makes no sense to celebrate God's goodness and mercy to Dad if we are not attentive and responsive to those realities in our own lives. We must allow this encounter with eternity to change us, to turn us from sin and towards the Lord.
The English Dominican, Father Bede Jarrett, put it beautifully when he prayed, "O strong son of God, while you prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that we may be with you and with those we love for all eternity."
Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
My dear friends, this is also the structure of the Mass, the greatest prayer we can offer for Dad, because it's not our prayer, but the Lord's. The Mass looks to Jesus yesterday. It reaches into the past — reaches to the Last Supper, to the crucifixion, to the resurrection — and it makes those mysteries and their power present here on this altar.
Jesus himself becomes present here today under the form of bread and wine so that we can unite all our prayers of thanksgiving, sorrow and petition with Christ himself as an offering to the father. And all of this with a view to eternity, stretching towards heaven, where we hope one day to enjoy that perfect union with God himself and to see Dad again and, with him, rejoice in the communion of saints.
Rev. Paul Scalia is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia and the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
May God bless our efforts,
Chairman, Charles County Right to Life
Trent Horn was our very first speaker to join us at our Annual Pro-Life Symposium here in Southern Maryland. He is a Catholic apologist that frequently makes the case for the unborn and helps us to do the same.
LIVE SPEECH AUDIO:
2017 2nd Annual
Southern Maryland Pro-Life Symposium