Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March Parish Meetings, 40 Days for Life, and Prolife Medical Clinic Details

Hi! This is Rachel Egan. I’m a 24 year old young woman, hoping to help the ProLife movement in Des Moines become more effective by knowing what is going on in other parish Respect Life Committees. Then we can join forces and use the best programs and speakers whenever possible. Below is an extremely shortened summary of notes from several church Respect Life groups who met this month as well as exciting updates on 40 Days for Life and the new Choices prolife Medical Clinic – read through it, look for good ideas, and if you want to do something similar at your church, e-mail or call the contact person. Also, if you know of other ProLife church groups who would like to get this information and have others know about what they are doing, please have them e-mail me at Thank you and God bless your work!

St. John’s Basilica Respect Life Committee
- 40 Days for Life: Friday, March 25 at the Planned Parenthood on Army Post Road. Join them.

- Annual flower sale as a fundraiser: They are taking orders from members of their own or other parishes until April 7th. Flowers will be delivered to the Basilica on Friday, May 6, and will be available for pick up that afternoon and weekend.

- Check out: – a helpful website, and the inspirational story of a young woman who quit her dream job when she realized her employer was the manufacturer of the non surgical abortion pill at

- April 11-15 is National Pro-Life t-shirt week. Check out t-shirts at

For more information, contact MaryAnn Ryan at

Holy Trinity’s Respect Life Committee
- April 7 – 40 Days for Life prayer vigil

St. Pius’s Respect Life Committee
- Spiritual Adoption of the Unborn program at St. Pius parish and Mr. Tallman’s middle school students. A small section in the church bulletin and a poster in the gathering space tell and show about the babies’ growth and development over 9 months.

- Every other month they use the USCCB’s Respect Life brochures in the church bulletin

- In the St. Pius Time and Talent survey the Respect Life Committee and Gabriel Project were included. They have contacted the several new people who indicated an interest in these projects. Make sure you do this at your parish.

- Recruit people to support HF 5/now HF 657 (Fetal Pain bill) that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks. E-mail your legislators. To stay on top of prolife issues in politics, sign up for information at

- 40 Days for Life – April 16 at Army Post Rd. Planned Parenthood

- In May/June: Mother's/Father's Day Book Collection to benefit next IRTL Book Sale.

For more information, contact Paulette Valdez at

-Special Note from Maggie DeWitte, Executive Director of Iowans for Life: IFL is seeking dedicated volunteers to sit on their Board and/or to help plan/carry out the various activities promoted by this state-wide group. For more information, contact Maggie at or 515-201-8281

St. Theresa’s Pro Life Committee
- 40 Days for Life – March 25-26 at Urbandale Planned Parenthood

- Prolife Contest at St. Theresa School in April: Age-appropriate, prolife presentations are given to each grade and then students participate in the contest. Younger students make posters, older ones write prayers/essays in support of life. A panel judges entries and winners are taken out for lunch with the parish priest and school principal.

- Moved baby bottle fundraiser to October, Respect Life month, because of the church schedule of fundraisers. When our group isn’t using the baby bottles, other churches can borrow them to do their own prolife fundraisers.

Contact Jeane Bishop at for more information.

40 Days For Life!
Today is Day 17 of 40 Days For Life---and across the nation, we know of 156 babies that have been saved!!! One Iowan baby has recently been saved also! It’s not too late to join us! Find more information on vigils throughout Iowa at our website:

Keep up the pressure to strip Planned Parenthood (which performed 332,278 abortions in its most recent fiscal year) of its $362 MILLION in annual taxpayer funding continue! Call or e-mail your senator TODAY! Learn more or look up your representative’s contact information here:

Legislative Update: The late-term abortion ban (House File 5; now House File 657) passed out of the Government Oversight Committee. This passage puts the bill on a path to be debated in the House soon. Support this bill, which makes abortions past 20 weeks illegal.

Iowa RTL Spring Fling Fundraiser with Lila Rose: Iowa Right to Life invites you to our Spring Fling with Special Guest, Lila Rose, on Thursday, April 28, at the Holiday Inn on Fleur Drive in Des Moines. The dinner will begin at 6:30 pm. Lila Rose, of Live Action, consistently documents powerfully telling undercover work. She has brought to light Planned Parenthood’s willingness to accept donations to exterminate minority populations; their willingness to leave statutory rape unreported; and most recently, to aid pimps in sex trafficking. For more information or to RSVP, email us at or call 515.244.1012; toll free at 877.595.9406.

Learn More About Iowa Right to Life: Contact: 515.244.1012 or via email at Also on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace Iowa Right to Life.

The Prolife Choices Medical Clinic
This is seriously amazing – find a way to support this amazing prolife effort!!!
- Choices Medical Clinic, a prolife crisis pregnancy center, is coming to town: 1355 50th Street, Ste 400 in West Des Moines.

- There is a open house on March 29 and 30th 5-7 pm – come have a homemade treat and see the renovations in progress and find a way to help this great cause!

- It’s purpose is:
 + To eliminate the option for abortion through effectively serving the pregnant at-risk woman by turning her fear of the present into confidence in her future.
 + Open a pregnancy center that offers medical services “free of charge” for “at risk” women seeking alternatives to abortion. This clinic would provide services competitive with Planned Parenthood without offering abortions.
+ Eliminate the “need” for Planned Parenthood medical services…by providing sound medical care and “strength for life’s tough choices” the clinic’s motto.
+ Reduce the number of abortions in the Des Moines area currently estimated a 3000+.
+ Our facility will be patterned after and managed by the prolife Choices Medical Center in Iowa City which was opened 20 months ago and has saved 55 babies to date. Yahoo!

- Staff (Paid*):

+ Clinic Director*
+ Registered Nurse*
+ Sonogram Technician*
+ Part time Bookkeeper*
+ Volunteers -24 including Medical Director, Radiologist, Nurse Practitioner, 5 RN’s
+ We have been actively seeking both paid and volunteers, to staff our facility. If you are interest or know of potential candidates, please contact Jenny Condon at

- Financial support/Supplies:
+ $350,000 to ready the clinic and operate it for 1 year
+ We are looking for people that can donate office furniture, medical equipment, an ultrasound machine, carpet, paint, computers, and or donors that would like to sponsor any or all of these needs.
+ We are pursuing signage, as we want a large attractive sign on the back of our building to illuminate the traffic on I-235.
+ Tax deductible ID number is EIN 26-0451761.
+ Donations to: Informed Choices Medical Clinic, 1355 50th St, West Des Moines, Iowa 50265.
+ Website:

- For more information, contact Jenny Condon, Clinic Director @ 515-779-9347 or email or Steve Cashman, Capital Campaign Volunteer, 515-883-0811 or

There is everything that has been sent to me. I hope it was helpful. Please e-mail me if you have any suggestions or if you know of other parish prolife groups who would send me their meeting minutes. Thanks! Have a blessed day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A New Beginning

Hello to everyone! My name is Rachel. I'm a 24-year-old dedicated to alerting the general public about our alarming disregard for human life from conception to natural death, and about what we can do to make positive changes. This blog will be updated monthly with news about the prolife events going on around central Iowa so that Respect Life groups can become more effective as we work to end abortion and similar tragedies. This first post contains a shortened summary of what was discussed at the Diocesan Prolife Meeting in early March.

But before the summary, I need to ask for your help. Because this blog is very new I need your help to get the information to and from the many Respect Life groups in Des Moines. When I send out the first link to the blog, please check it out and forward it to the leader and members of your Respect Life group. Also, I need you personally to check to make sure your group's leader includes me in the e-mail list to get meeting minutes. When I have minutes from all of the groups I will summarize them and post them for all the groups to see key events they can be part of if possible.

Take a special look at what the other parishes are doing - if you want to do something similar or publicize their event at your parish, use the contact information given for each parish group. If we know what's going on, we can support each other, combine activities, and get more people involved. And when our grassroots movement becomes larger and better organized, we'll be able to make more of a difference (translated: saving more lives from physical and emotional trauma caused by abortion, etc.) 

Rachel : )



Please attend the next Diocesan Prolife Meeting: Tuesday, June 7th, 2011, 6pm at St. Pius X, Urbandale, IA.


St. Pius: 

*Currently they are doing a "Spiritual Adoption of the Unborn" program with the parish and middle school. 
*Educating their parish community with bulletin inserts from the USCCB.
*Their group will be involved with 40 Days for Life peaceful protest at Planned Parenthood on April 16th.
Contact Paulette at for more information on doing similar activities.

St. Theresa: 
*In April they will have a prolife educational activity for each class, followed by the annual school prolife poster and essay contest.
 *November Adoption Event - will have many local adoption agencies, speakers about the process, etc. More details will follow and they would appreciate help getting the word out about it at your parish.          
 *"Lifelines" box, containing pro-life information, is starting in the St. Theresa's bulletin. Contact Linda Ill to put Lifelines in your bulletin as well -
 *Participating in 40 Days for Life March 25-26th.
For more information, contact Rachel Egan

Holy Trinity: *Will participate in 40 Days for Life.

 *"Respect Life" corner appears regularly in their bulletin and they have a parish prolife page. To find out how to format this for your own parish's website page, contact Karen at (515)689-9266 or
For more information, contact Chris Lang at

St. Francis: 
*Supporting the Informed Choices Medical Clinic (see below).                                              
*Participating in 40 Days for Life.                                                                                            
*Participating in Advent Crosses, consisting of prayer requests for various agencies including Mercy Hospice, Ruth Harbor, and House of Mercy.
*Holding an early summer Book Drive to support the Iowa Right to Life book sale. 
For more information, contact Wendy at   

Christ the King:*Looking to bring in guest speaker, such as Abby Johnson--perhaps other parishes can contribute toward this effort.                                                                 
*Will participate in 40 Days for Life. 
To help with the speaker or for more information, contact Jo Chafen at

Basilica of St. John: *Will be participating in 40 Days for Life 
*"Lifelines" pro-life info blurbs in bulletin (contact Linda Ill at if you'd like for her to send these directly to your bulletin coordinator) 
*Also available is "Word of Life" bulletin insert, provided monthly by e-mail to parish Respect Life coordinators and pastors (it's contained within the Respect Life section of "In the Diocesan Loop" and also found on the USCCB [United States Conference of Catholic Bishops] website, widely respected and accepted by pastors).
For more information, contact

St. Mary: *Lead Rosary for Life is said every Sunday and before the daily Masses as well.

*They will be participating in 40 Days for Life, including a 24 hour period of Eucharistic Adoration for those who cannot pray on site. 
*Upcoming Mother's Day "Cradle for Life" fundraiser.
For more information, contact Jean Heger at 515-278-0741.

St. Augustin: April activities: *Sale of Precious Feet rosaries for First Communion and Mother's Day *Hosting Adoption Forum with domestic and foreign agencies and adoptive parents available to answer questions. Details coming soon. 

*Considering clustering their pro-life efforts with nearby parishes to be more effective (perhaps groups of 3-4 parishes). If interested, please contact Mary Beth Beacom at


Iowa Catholic Conference: *Nationally, focus on preventing funding of abortion through new health insurance programs.  Info on HR 3 ("No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act") at  

*Locally, support HSB 57,which would prohibit the inclusion of health insurance plans that provide for abortion as a state health benefit. Go to the "Action Center" at, click on "Issues" and then "Current Legislation".
*Support HF 5 (the "Fetal Pain" bill) - bill prohibits abortions after 20 weeks. It's the first legislation in Iowa to restrict abortion in more than 10 years. This is a step in the right direction.
*Lastly, Tom says that contacting your legislators DOES work!  Phone calls, emails, and personal visits are equally effective. He is very grateful for the 350+ turnout at the Capitol for the Prayer for Life Rally!

Dowling Catholic High School: *Mrs. Regier is working with Des Moines Christian Academy to begin a pro-life student group there, in addition to Dowling's group. *Participating in 40 Days for Life. 

*Students will volunteer at the IRTL Book Sale. 
*Next year, Mr. John Huynh will be the new moderator for the Students for Life club. Mrs. Regier will still be involved with the club and will serve as a contact for any church/school needing advice on how to form a pro-life club.  
*Remember: the DCHS Pro-life club exists to assist diocesan parishes with any Respect Life activities. To request help, contact Mrs. Regier (this school year) at or Mr. John Huynh (next school year) at

Gabriel Project: Marilyn Sharp indicated that GP continues to be blessed with volunteers, monetary donations, and baby items; she is very thankful. St. Cecilia parish in Ames (Dubuque diocese) has requested help from the Des Moines group in starting their own GP. 

Illumination Media: Janelle Kennedy reported that she is the new Executive Director. Illumination Media will be offering for-sale Respect Life kits to parishes. Please let her know your ideas for what would be helpful to you at your parish. Contact her at

40 Days for Life: Lots of churches participating, but need it always great. Wendy said that a number of women have told her that, as they approached Planned Parenthood for their scheduled abortions, they made a "deal" with God/themselves, stating, "If people are praying outside of the clinic, I won't go in".  Abby Johnson (author of "Unplanned") indicated that the more people who stood praying outside of her Planned Parenthood clinic, the more appointment cancellations she would have. Therefore, it is VITAL that we have extensive coverage at ALL Planned Parenthood locations!

Iowans for Life: No report

Iowa Right to Life: Mary Ann Ryan stated that much help is still needed for the Book Sale, March 8-12, at the Seven Flags Event Center in Clive.


Wendy would like to plan a diocesan-wide Respect Life Education Day. This training/retreat day would occur in the Fall and include local and national speakers. Please consider volunteering to be on a subcommittee to help plan this event. Contact Wendy at

Rachel Egan of St. Theresa's parish wants to enhance communication among parish Respect Life groups. She will create an e-mail list for informing everyone about prolife events and create a blog entitled, "For the Love of Life" with monthly updates with prolife news from the parishes. To give Rachel your contact information, please email her at

Informed Choices Medical Clinic: Steve Cashman
(, Capital Campaign Committee volunteer, shared the news of this pro-life medical clinic to be opened in late Spring/early Summer 2011.  Located at 1355 50th St., West Des Moines (SE corner of 50th and I-235) in donated office space, it will provide services competitive with Planned Parenthood without offering abortions. Jenny Condon , former Executive Director of Illumination Media, will be the Clinic Director. The clinic is currently seeking paid staff consisting of a Registered Nurse, Sonogram Technician, and Part-time Bookkeeper. Volunteers needed include Medical Director, Radiologist, Nurse Practitioner, five RN's, and a qualified teacher of Natural Family Planning. Important Note: 80% of women who see an ultrasound of their baby choose life!  100% choose life if the baby's father sees the ultrasound as well.

Post-Meeting Speaker: Jake Dagel (, an 18 year old college student from Sheldon, IA spoke about "Teen Defenders", the only national pro-life organization that distinctly promotes the development and empowerment of high school-aged kids. Jake will speak in schools, churches, etc. He does request that his travel expenses
be covered (he lives 4 hours from Des Moines).

Remember the next meeting is: Tuesday, June 7th, 2011, 6pm at St. Pius X, Urbandale, IA