. . . because action speaks louder than words.
League history, NOW v. Scheidler, Action News, Joe Scheidler, League staff
Q & A on abortion, the unborn child, where we stand on the issues and more
Helping abortion-bound women choose life for their babies
Unmasking the truth about abortion in the public square
Our youth outreach, raising up a new generation of pro-life leaders
Abortion industry converts tell the inside story
News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
In 1925 it served as the convent for the Sisters of St. Benedict who taught at St. Timothy’s Catholic School. When the Sisters moved out, the building became a haven for refugees served by the Jewish Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.
Today that building is the culmination of a dream Mary Zeien has had for decades.
The former convent is now a home for unwed mothers and their children. And it is truly a home, not just a safe haven or a shelter. The women are a big family.
Twelve young women and seventeen children call The Well of Mercy their home. They share in the usual tasks of a family—cooking, cleaning, child care, shopping. And last Thursday evening they invited us to dinner. [Continue reading ...]
On Good Friday, pro-lifers from every Christian background gathered at their local abortion facilities to pray “A Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion.”
This moving ecumenical service offers prayers for children in the womb, mothers, fathers, abortion workers and our whole nation in union with the suffering of Christ in His Passion.
As we celebrate the Easter season, check out some pictures from these services from across the country. If you attended a Way of the Cross on Good Friday and don’t see pictures here, e-mail them to us and we’ll add them to the slideshow! (Take the slideshow into fullscreen mode and click “Show Info” to see the location of each photo):
Indeed He is risen!
During this Easter Week, we take special consolation in the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Not only is it the central event of our faith life, but it also provides us with great encouragement in our ongoing battle against abortion.
By conquering death, Jesus has also conquered abortion. As a result, we know that the outcome of the struggle that we carry on — this seemingly endless conflict between life and death — has already been decided.
We have, so to speak, been allowed to read the book’s final chapter before we actually get to it. We know that in the end, Life will be victorious.
From time to time, all of us need to remind ourselves of this, lest we lose heart.
Yesterday Relevant Radio’s Sheila Liaugminas interviewed Pro-Life Action League executive director Eric Scheidler about the Nationwide Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion being held tomorrow—Good Friday—outside abortion clinics across the country.
In the course of the wide-ranging interview, Eric also shared his thoughts about one particular Gospel passage that we as pro-lifers should spend some reflecting on:
I think that the guiding Gospel passage for me as a pro-life activist…is Jesus with the Samaritan woman [John 4:4-42]. Here is Our Lord stopping along the way, to reach out to somebody from an outcast group, the Samaritans. He was not afraid to speak to her about her sin, He was not afraid to expose her to her own sin, but all of it done through tremendous gentleness, through intimacy, through a one-on-one conversation, finding her where she is, speaking to her in language she understood, and filling her heart with a sense of her own worth and hope so that she not only felt like she was loved and cared for and would receive the waters of eternal life, but she felt inspired to share that good news with her whole community, running out to tell everyone about it.
We have to be Christ at the well with that Samaritan woman in these kinds of encounters that we have at the abortion clinics.
You can listen to the entire interview below.
The other day while praying out at Planned Parenthood’s “Abortion Fortress” in Aurora, Illinois, I was touched anew by one of the prayers in the Pro-Life Action League’s Life Witness Prayer Book.
It’s one of the lesser known prayers in the book, which comprises four hours’ worth of scripture readings, hymns, chaplets, litanies and other prayers. This prayer is in the First Hour of the book, and it’s called the “Helpers’ Litany to Jesus in the Womb of Mary.” It was written by Marta Catalano, a member of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, a group founded by the heroic Msgr. Philip Reilly, who has been sidewalk counseling in New York City since the 1960s.
This litany reflects on the profound mystery of Jesus Christ—Son of God, Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Redeemer of Mankind, He through Whom “all things were made”—living and growing in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
I’ve always appreciated this prayer, but it really hit me this time, especially this line:
Jesus, whose Precious Blood first flowed through tiny arteries and veins in the womb of Mary, Have mercy on us.
The staff of the Pro-Life Action League was watching with great anticipation yesterday to see who would be chosen by the College of Cardinals to be the new Pope. We knew that, whoever he was, he would be strongly committed to the pro-life cause—but we couldn’t be more delighted with the choice of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.
It has also been gratifying to see Francis’s election greeted with so much joy the League’s many non-Catholic supporters and allies, who recognize the importance of strong Catholic leadership to the pro-life cause in the United States and throughout the world. Though all the current League staff are Catholic, we are strongly dedicated to working together with all whose faith prompts them to fight abortion.
Since his election and introduction to the world yesterday, Pope Francis’s many strong pro-life statements as bishop of Buenos Aires have been making the rounds, but I think this is the most powerful one I’ve seen yet, from 2005:
Defend the unborn against abortion even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court or kill you. No child should be deprived of the right to be born, the right to be fed, the right to go to school.
What really touches me about this statement is that not only does Pope Francis speak to the right to life of the unborn child, he acknowledges that fighting for their right to life often involves tremendous sacrifice, from being lied about to being physically attacked.
Joan Walsh was one of 18 pro-life activists arrested during a Face the Truth Tour in Bel Air, Maryland in August 2008 [Photo courtesy of Defend Life]
LifeSiteNews recently published a beautiful reflection by Christine Dhanagom entitled “My Sister Joan: Lessons from a Pro-Life Activist Now Behind Cloister Walls.”
Christine notes that their parents named her sister for “two zealous activists”: one being St. Joan of Arc, the other being Joan Andrews Bell, who has been imprisoned countless times in her long career as a pro-life activist. (She also mentions that their brother Joe was named after St. Joseph, as well as my boss, Joe Scheidler, founder of the Pro-Life Action League.)
On August 1st, 2008, Joan Walsh—then a teenager—was one of 18 pro-lifers wrongfully arrested by Maryland state troopers for doing nothing more than peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights by displaying graphic abortion signs along public streets during Defend Life’s annual “Face the Truth” Tour in Bel Air, Maryland.
An iconic photo of Joan being handcuffed stands as a testament to the outrage (see above, left). [Continue reading ...]
Father Frank Pavone once gave a talk in which he asked his audience what the first step of any effective pro-life effort must be. Most people in the audience guessed, “Prayer.” But Father Frank went deeper than that.
He explained that the first thing we must do, if our pro-life witness is to be effective, is to repent.
One might think that to repent is to pray, but repentance itself is an act that precedes prayer. Repentance is the admission in my heart that that I have sinned, and that I stand in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the penitential season of Lent, so it is a fitting time for each of us to contemplate our own need for repentance, and especially how we, as pro-lifers, can live out Our Lord’s call to repentance in our prayer about abortion and our witness outside abortion facilities.
The Pro-Life Action League’s Life Witness Prayer Book includes four hours of prayer especially suited for praying outside abortion clinics, with the third hour dominated by the Stations for the Cross and the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary—and filled with exhortations to repent.
For example, in the First Station (Jesus Is Condemned to Death), we pray, “My innocent Jesus, often, rather than offend men, I have forsaken You,” and in the Fifth (Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross), “Let me be ashamed that, like Simon, I so often carry the cross only on compulsion.” [Continue reading ...]
The ancient fasting season of Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.
In observance of this ancient fast leading up to Easter, the Pro-Life Action League is calling on pro-life people to a special sacrifice in addition to their other Lenten sacrifices, specifically for the conversion of abortion workers.
After last year’s CONVERTED: From Abortion Workers to Pro-Life Activists conference, we at the League have been inspired to greater prayer and fasting for these workers. Their testimonies are becoming a key aspect of the fight to turn America against abortion.
With that in mind, we’re calling for all pro-life people to join us in giving up one meal each week throughout Lent to pray for the conversion of one specific abortion worker. Even if you don’t typically observe Lent, we’re asking you to prayerfully consider joining in this important work of fasting and prayer.
Whether it’s breakfast on Monday, lunch on Wednesday, dinner on Friday, pick one meal to give up each week and offer that sacrifice with prayers for one abortion worker to awaken to the truth and quit their job. [Continue reading ...]
The reaction most expressed at Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation from the papacy is shock, and certainly surprise. Nobody saw it coming.
But in the case of many of us who are strong supporters of his doctrinal orthodoxy and his strong stands against moral crimes such as abortion, contraception, and same-sex “marriage,” the initial reaction is disappointment.
When Benedict became pope on April 19, 2005, I called it too good to be true. As an advisor to Pope John Paul II who thought in sync with him, with his deep roots in Church tradition, the inerrancy of Church doctrine and his refusal to compromise on any article of faith or morals, we believed we had a continuation of the leadership of John Paul II. We could not have been happier. Now we are sad and confused.
I wrote at the time, “Here is a humble, welcoming pastor. As second to the Pope in overseeing doctrine, he became synonymous among Catholics with the Church’s strictest factions, and earned the nickname, ‘God’s Rottweiler.’ ”
We may not have liked the word, but we were delighted with the image of a fierce fighter for Catholic tradition. At the time, Cardinal Lopez Trujillo of Colombia called Benedict “a follower and servant of the late Pope” who was “a simple man, serene, cordial, kind and with a fine sense of humor.” [Continue reading ...]