An 11-year-old girl who is a supporter of Priests for Life sent me the following email very recently: "My mother and I are taking a bus and will be coming to the March for Life. My teacher said that I will receive zeroes on any work that I miss and it can't be made up. I told her missing a day at school in order to stand up for life is more important and I'm willing to suffer the consequences."

That's what the pro-life movement needs most — people who say, "I'm willing to suffer the consequences."

The children living and growing in the womb right now endure a great risk without having chosen it. They live in a place that has become more dangerous than any battlefield or terrorist target, and their lives hang in the balance at every moment. They did not choose this risk; someone else chose it for them.

 We who defend these children have to choose to accept a share in that risk. That is solidarity. We bear willingly the risk that they bear unwillingly. Many ask what they need to do to stop abortion. But most know the answer already. They see the next step they can take, but are just trying to muster up the courage to do it. Risk is involved, and there's no way around it. We're afraid to speak and to act. Perhaps it's because our pastor is not supportive, or we might get in trouble at our job; perhaps it's because family and friends may not like our pro-life stance, or because it may lose business or votes; perhaps we fear it will impact our health. We make a continuous calculation in our minds and hearts, and often end up in paralyzed inaction.

We are always told of reasons why we can't speak up against abortion. If we speak in Church, we're told it's too political; if we speak in the political arena, we're told it's too religious. If we speak in the media we're told it's too disturbing; in the educational realm, it's too disruptive. On the public streets, it's too distressing for children; in the business world it's too controversial, in the family it's too divisive, and in social settings it's just impolite. So if abortion is wrong, where do we go to say so?

The answer is that we have to stop looking for a risk-free place to fight abortion, and speak up in all those arenas! There is a calculus in the heavens that says, "Greater love than this nobody has, than to lay down his life for his friends." If we want to protect the unborn, then let's be willing to give our lives for them. Let's stop counting the cost for ourselves if we speak up and start counting the cost for them if we are silent. The pro-life movement does not need a lot of people; it needs people who are willing to take a lot of risk.

Fr. Frank Pavone


Father Frank A. Pavone is an American Roman Catholic priest and pro-life activist. He is the National Director of Priests for Life and serves as the Chairman and Pastoral Director of Rachel's Vineyard.

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  • Guest

    God bless that little girl.  Her witness speaks volumes.  When you think of all the school that kids miss, the teacher is clearly predjudiced by being so inflexible with this student.

  • Guest
    I have recieved letters filled with hate and anger because of Pro-Life homilies have preached about the great sin of abortion and the sin of those who support
    and promote abortion. There is always the standard phase of, "Who the h— are
    you a man to be speaking about "women's health issues"?
    Health! What about the health of the baby? What about the child's right to choose?
    I will say to any of the clergy or laity who do not speak out against the destruction of human life whether it be abortion, euthanasia, or any other means, "Whoa to you, your judgment day is at hand."  
  • Guest



    That hate mail is not yours alone, I will pray for you and all who receive such mail.

    Males are hurt deeply by such comments, for it show great disrespect for their gift of life. A gift they hope is received with love, not such a hate of that gift. A true man wishes the woman to cherish that gift, not harm it, and certainly not to destroy it.


    What about the Male's health issues over the anguish he suffers?


    They should not hange a guilt trip on us, until they resolve their own.


    They are guilty of the destruction of my gift of life. My jewel of great price, some day they will pay.

  • Guest

    More miracle babies will also prompt a debate on these issues as baby Amelia Taylor has done. http://romancatholicinfo.com/catholic-news/miracle-baby/