Pro-Life Dos and Don’ts for 2009

Dear Friends of Life,

The pro-life movement is going through a great deal of self-examination at this time. I am not a pessimist, but my sense of realism tells me that the election of extreme abortion advocate, Barack Obama, and the nearly 7,000 political appointments of his administration will usher in a new decade of war on decency and the sanctity of life. Despite the ferocious optimism of his inauguration, the dark clouds of the culture of death are gathering over Washington as we speak, ready to cast their darkness everywhere.

In this time of preparation for the upcoming total war on life, I offer this modest list of Dos and Don’ts for the generous and valiant pro-lifers who gather for the March for Life in Washington, DC on January 22nd. May all men and women of good will take these recommendations to heart for a fruitful pro-life 2009!


1. Above all, do not grow despondent: there is much to fear for the situation of life around the world, but we are not permitted by our Christian faith to give up our efforts or zeal for life. In fact, we need to redouble it!

2. Do not become absorbed in the quest for a political solution to abortion: after 36 years of working for a political solution to abortion, we may soon see the wiping out of most, if not all, of the pro-life movement’s gains with the stroke of a pen. Politics has failed. Or rather, we have failed at politics. Either way, politics now offers us little chance of anything other than just trying to slow the massive momentum of the culture of death.

3. Do not waste any more energy on overturning Roe: two Supreme Court seats are assured during an Obama administration, and they will undoubtedly be filled with extreme pro-abortion activist judges. A third appointment will leave us with no hope of overturning Roe in anyone’s lifetime reading this. For that matter, the chance that a good pro-life President will succeed Obama in four years and nullify the leftward lurch of the high court is, shall we say, unlikely. Let’s get hopes of undoing Roe out of our system and focus on more productive things.


1. Pray every day for God to end abortion with our help (in that order): abortion is such a great spiritual and social evil that only the divine power of God Himself can end it. “The Lord hears the cry of the poor,” but God will not do it alone. He needs us to humbly recognize the basic fact that it is humanly impossible to end this evil. We need to get on our knees and beg His Mercy on the unborn and the conversion of all those who commit these evils.

2. Commit to fasting every week to end the evils of abortion and contraception: “Some demons can only be driven out by prayer and fasting,” said the Lord, and we have to take that admonition seriously if we are to effect any change in the hearts of our people or of our society. Fasting makes us more spiritual and gives greater efficacy to all our works and prayers.

3. Take back the culture: Even if the anti-lifers hold the reins of political power, we must not sit back and allow moral anarchists to define all the terms of the cultural or social agenda. Whether it is through social activism for life (crisis pregnancy centers, pickets and prayer marches) or through touching hearts and minds one soul at a time (persuasion, formation, teaching, media), we cannot be neutral about the direction our American culture is heading. It is leading us to certain spiritual death, and no one can afford that. We need to fight for it and never give up the battle.

I promise you that Human Life International will be in the struggle for lives and souls continuously. It is our calling and mission. We will never give one inch to uphold the truth that the whole world needs to hear more than ever: namely, that human life is sacred from the first moment of natural fertilization to the moment of natural death — and we will defend it whether Obama likes it or not.

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  • tednkate

    For quite some time now, I have felt that trying to overturn Roe was a waste of time and money. I have written quite a few letters to the editor of our local newspaper in the past about the problems with contraception and its link to abortion, but invariably, some pro-lifer will contradict me, saying that the Bible doesn’t say anything about birth control, etc., etc. Supposedly pro-life physicians in our town all prescribe the pill, and one Catholic doctor in good standing with the local church is a huge promoter of the Pill and IUD (and his specialty, no-scapel vasectomies…a technique I understand was frist developed

    A tremendous amount of time, money, and effort has been put in at the end of the problem (abortion). I cannot help but wonder if the pro-life community had put more effort in at the beginning of the problem (ending licentiousness and especially contraception amoung the pro-life rank and file) we might not be at the position where we are.

  • If only every catholic Parish in our country would include in the prayer intentions a simple prayer to end abortion and the culture of death, I think we would see more spiritual progress…but instead we hear insipid mini liberal sermons that can hardly be called prayers.

    It drives me crazy.


  • chsmomof4

    In our city we encounter the same, if not much more, of the contracepting Catholics situation. We do have a few Catholic OBGYNs that will not perscribe contraception nor do any tubal ligations, etc. I was asking one of them recently about this whole FOCA thing and how it would affect his practice. Amongst other things, he opened my eyes to the fact that even in our own little version of the March for Life, he comes across Catholics whose personal choices in doctors do not reflect their pro-life stance. He said that it is time for Catholic women to put their money where their mouth is. It is unbelievable that some of the most vocal pro-lifers in our community still go to OBGYNs that not just prescribe contraceptives but actually push for tubal ligations and write referrals for abortions. It is incredible that these same people who stand and pray in front of the abortuaries have their babies in hospitals where abortions are performed every day. He called disassociation. I call it unbelievable. I understand that there are towns and cities where there are no other options. In our city, that is not the case. People seem to be comfortable with their “good” doctors and look the other way when it comes to patronizing their practice. We drive past three major hospitals to get to the Catholic hospital and see Catholic, life loving, doctors in our city. It is time for women to start asking their doctors the hard questions and start making decisions based on the answers they get. We need to support the doctors that are sticking to Catholic teaching with regards to life. We need to show them that by turning away from contraception and tubal ligations they will be increasing the size of their practice instead of decreasing it. There are a million little ways in which every one of us can help the pro-life movement. Let us begin by examining our lives, offering up our daily sufferings, praying, fasting and making the personal choices that will help the cause move forward.

  • bkeebler

    All your recommendations are good, still I have always believed and seen firsthand, what man seems to be unable to accomplish, God has the power and wisdom to do. I will always believe Roe can be overturned and will pray for it. Time is on our side, fight the good fight, run the race. There is nothing pro-abortionists would like more than for us to give up on overturning Roe. We can do all the other tactical things we need but should never give up on overturning Roe in our efforts or our thoughts. Remember this is not just a battle of flesh and blood but a spiritual battle (I see you understand this by your recommendations in “do’s”). When we continue to see it and fight it on the spiritual level we will certainly see God in our efforts.

  • This is no real choices in my area for completely pro-life catholic doctors.
    There is one pro-life doctor 60 miles away.
    Yes, I go to her. But in a pinch with the gas situation at 4 dollars, that could be very hard on struggling families.

  • cpageinkeller

    Excellent advice. Still, we must keep the pressure on in the political arena as well. Obama has moved rapidly, through executive order, to enable foreign aid to institutions supporting abortion. Not only is foreign aid from a country that is worse than broke an oxymoron, the policy change is only the first step. FOCA is still on the Obama agenda. I would love to hear from those ‘Catholics’ who supported and campaigned for Obama on the basis of his ‘overall social justice agenda.’ (i.e. $5Bn to ACORN affiliates).

  • marb

    I believe the most important aspect is “take back the culture” and we aren’t going to do that when people are hungry and out of work due to the irresponsible fiscal policies of the previous administration.

    It’s also worthy to note that abortions we UP in 2006 for the 19-23 age group. This is the first time they have increased since the drastic decline under the Clinton years. Note that those young women would be the first women to have grown up under the abstinence only education rule… which statistically won’t work for the general population.

    This IS a turning point in the Pro-Life movement and it’s the turning point toward winning. WHA?!?

    Yes. Abortions have flatlined or increased during the past 8 years after decreases in the 90s. Isn’t it interesting the stated “pro-life” party has controlled the White House twice as much as the “pro-choice” party since RvW yet nothing has really been accomplished? Would it surprise you to know that they also but the MAJORITY of the stated “activist” judges on the bench as well? That majority could have done more if they truly wanted to help us… but my friends the truth is that they do not. Most of the “conservative right” do not care about abortion but rather love the issue because it garners them support when their fiscal policies actually hurt our cause.

    So how do we proceed when under a “pro-choice” administration? We proceed by utilizing the resources they will give us. We work on women’s issues in regards to pre-natal care and education as to why a mother should chose to have her child. Most of our movement can talk about the 50M children lost over the past 30 years but forget about the 28,000 wanted and loved children who die each year because their mothers don’t have health care. Are those 800,000 plus babies any less deserving of our work? No, they are not. Our new administration can help in this area and will.

    Lets also look at why abortions starting going up under the previous “pro-life” administration. Poverty. In the Holy Father’s letter to our new President he noted poverty as one of our common goals and common it is. Not only because we as Catholics must help those less fortunate but by fighting poverty we can also address the abortion issue. Most women in the US who chose to have an abortion do so because they feel that they cannot take care of the child. By fighting poverty, providing better education and increased social assistance programs we can start to reduce that number again.

    Remember that most women who have abortions today are MOTHERS! They are not women using it as birth control and most would like to have another choice.

    We MUST GIVE them that choice by helping them to understand why life is so precious! IF we can work to educate people and help them chose life then we can start to decrease the abortion numbers again. As the economy picks up we can utilize those new mothers with their increased education to show the world why life begins at conception.

    On a final note, most do not realize that the Pro-Life movement grew by leaps and bounds in the 90s, at the same time the abortion rate decrease all under a Pro-life President. Those new members from the 90s have kept the movement strong through the last 8 years but we need to grow again. As I said at the beginning, people are much more willing to listen when they aren’t hungry and our Nation prospers. Hopefully those times will be upon us again in the next year or two. During that time we need to focus on how we get the message out to this new generation and not get discouraged when the 2007 and 2008 abortion statistics are released not matter how bad they are, just let us remember where they came form… from a stated “pro-life” group. Talk is cheap, we need action… and that action is education, social help, free pre-natal care, less red tape on adoptions etc…


  • goral

    I love the phrase “ferocious optimism”.
    I agree with no political solution, not as long as we have catholics like Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, Leahy…. should I go on?
    We will always have their kind there just as we’ll always have the poor.
    Fast and pray and work. The results will come.

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  • Fr. Thomas Euteneuer is right that we should “not waste anymore energy” in our efforts to overturn Roe. May I suggest, however, that our energies are dissipating like so much smoke because we have the wrong strategy?

    This country and its culture need much stronger medicine than can be brewed in the halls of Congress. To address the radical deterioration of our country, we need a more radical solution than the regular political process will ever afford us. Instead let us look with hope to the radical half of the fifth Article in the U.S. Constitution. Here is a means provided by the Framers of the Constitution in case corruption should reach such a level that “we the people” cannot achieve necessary reforms through the established system.

    To be sure an Article V “convention for proposing Amendments” would be a bit of an overreach for the pro-life movement campaigning alone. But such a convention could indeed be convened under pressure of a broad coalition of reformers, sacred and secular – contending for a political, economic and cultural agenda. On how this is possible, and how it might work for us, see the 2009 edition of Treatise on Twelve Lights, free for the reading at