Thursday, June 23, 2011

Joyful June

Hi everyone! June is my favorite month (probably because it's my birthday month)! I hope you're loving every bit of it! Even though there aren’t many pro-life meetings happening during this busy summer season, there are definitely Pro-Life events going on, and big things being planned for late Summer and Fall. So enjoy the beautiful weather, the people around you, and any opportunities you have to love and support life.

I apologize for small inconsistencies in text size, etc. I have spent hours trying to correct them, but Blogger is just going crazy! So I'm going to trust that you wonderful people will let me get away with one less-than-perfect post, and I'll try to get everything uniform in the post for July! Thanks for being understanding!

Next Diocesan Respect Life Meeting –

July 12th 6 pm at St. Pius X Church

The next Diocese of Des Moines Respect Life Meeting will take place on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at 6 pm at St. Pius X, Urbandale, IA. Please come report on your respect life activities and share ideas for upcoming events. Other topics of discussion: October Respect Life Month, a diocesan-wide Respect Life workshop, and possibly information on post-abortion healing - training information by USCCB and Project Rachel.

Holy Trinity Respect Life group – June

- Their group will be hosting coffee and doughnuts after Masses on Sunday, July 17th. It will be an outdoor breakfast, and they will bring in a representative from Informed Choices Clinic to share details with parishioners. Consider doing this at your parish.

- They are planning a parish-wide Baby Shower for September. They will provide cake, and accept diapers, etc.

- They are checking into the application process for people who want to volunteer at Informed Choices Medical Clinic. To get an application, call or visit the clinic. Consider supporting the clinic with your service and financially, since the money for their work will be coming from prolifers like us.

- Their next meeting will be Thursday, July 21st.

- For more information, contact Chris Lang at

Christ the King Respect Life group – Late May minutes

- They have support from Msgr. Bognanno for the spiritual adoption program coming up soon. He suggested starting the program next January on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. They have contacted Paulette Valdez from St. Pius’s Respect Life group for information on how St. Pius did their successful spiritual adoption program. This includes ordering small baby models for families to keep and name to help prayer for their unborn baby to be more tangible.

- They received free Pentecost Novena cards for the parish from Priests for Life in English (and they are making them in Spanish also). Consider getting on the Priests for Life e-mail list, so you can learn about when they have these giveaways and about important pro-life news. Sign up for their action alerts here:

- They will be doing an essay contest for the school students, to help send some of them on the bus trip to the March for Life. As part of this, they are considering getting a Dowling Students for Life representative to come give a talk to the CTK kids. To contact the Dowling Students for Life club to do something similar, contact John Huynh at

- Diocesan Retreat for Respect Life Groups – Wendy Solawetz was hoping to get this going. Bishop Pates has given the idea his approval. Discussion is starting on what topics would be discussed and ideas on possible speakers. If you would like to help make this retreat happen or have ideas of what would be helpful, contact Wendy Solawetz at

- They are also working on reaching out to the parish Hispanic community, so they know more of what the group does.

- Their next meeting will be held Wednesday June 22 at 6:30 in the parish library.

- For more info, contact Jo Chafen at

Sidewalk Counseling Symposium in the Twin Cities – August 5th

I was informed by Rachel Peller, President of the ISU Students for Life, that starting on Friday, August 5, Pro-Life Action Ministries will host a Sidewalk Counseling Symposium in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota which will be geared toward leaders who would like to start a sidewalk counseling program in their communities. This two-day long workshop is totally FREE and will provide you with the necessary tools to create a more successful pro-life environment - what better way to spend a weekend! Confirmed presenters are Rev. Walter Hoye, Fr. Frank Pavone, the Schiedler family, and Brian Gibson, Executive Director of Pro-Life Action Ministries, who will chair the workshop. Pro-Life Action has over 2,600 documented saves since 1981 and is one of the oldest sidewalk counseling ministries in the United States."
For more information, e-mail Visit their website: for more information about what they do.

Kim Lehman presents "How to Make the Argument for Life"

August 25, Drake University

On Thursday, August 25 at 6:00 pm, Drake University's Respect for Life group is hosting Kim Lehman. "Kim Lehman is the Development Director for the John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute. She is also Iowa's Republican National Committeewoman. Prior to her current position, Kim was the President of Iowa Right to Life. Kim is a Christian woman and pro-life activist.

She was a victim of the Planned Parenthood mentality and lives with the scars of killing her child by abortion. She wants to create excitement for the community to take up the prolife message and promote life effectively.

For more information, contact Abigail Folkman, President of Drake’s Respect for Life group, at


A pro-life woman asked me to pass this on to anyone considering signing their daughters up for Girls Scouts, as she was recently. Everyone loves Girl Scout cookies, but the organization is pro-abortion and a big supporter of Planned Parenthood. Check out this website from past Girl Scouts, and what they found out about the organization: This other website is dedicated to alerting people to the connection between Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood

And Abby Johnson (former Director of a large Planned Parenthood clinic, now pro-lifer) has a recent blog post about the connection between Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood If you only have time to check out one link, I would read Abby’s post. The comments on her blog post were especially interesting, since several women who used to be heavily involved in Girl Scouts found similar things.

This is NOT to say that every Girl Scout troop is actively promoting Planned Parenthood and the associated lifestyle, but it is important for us to realize how our money is being spent by the people who lead large organizations such as Girl Scouts. When you have time, consider finding one of the lists of large corporations that are huge supporters of Planned Parenthood – and shop elsewhere when possible. If anyone has one of these lists, please e-mail it to me so I can share it. Money talks, and how and where you choose to spend your money is one of the most powerful ways you can influence organizations, businesses, and the culture.

*And Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are not run by the same people - I've only heard good things about the Boy Scouts of America.

Prolife + Politics

- When you have time, pay attention to presidential candidates and their pro-life stance and voting records. Be active and pray…

Good News

- Across the country Pro-Life legislation has been gaining momentum and pro-life advocates are having a powerful impact at the state legislative level! Read an article from Christianity Today on national, pro-life trends, here.

“By early April, 142 abortion-related provisions had passed at least one chamber of a state legislature, compared with 67 in 2009. More than half of the 142 bills (57 percent) introduced this year seek to restrict abortion access, compared with 38 percent in 2010. About 40 new anti-abortion laws were on the books by mid-April,” reported Zylstra.

- Also Good News: A recent Gallup Poll showed again that by a significant margin, Americans believe that abortions should either be legal under no circumstances or legal only under a few circumstances. Only 27 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal under all circumstances.

- More Good News: U.S. Congressman Steve King was able to add a Pro-Life amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill. The amendment prevents Agriculture appropriation funds from being spent on the abortion drug RU-486 for any purpose, including no funds to be used for telemed abortions. Planned Parenthood previously used Agriculture grants designated for “telemedicine” to provide telemed abortions. This issue is of particular importance in Iowa, as the "telemed abortion" technique was developed by the Des Moines-based abortion provider "Planned Parenthood of the Heartland", and reports indicate that 1,900 chemical abortions using this technology have been performed in Iowa alone. The House of Representatives voted 240-176 to pass the amendment.

Iowa Catholic Conference Update

Update on Abortion Restriction Bill –

[Review: HF 657 – Fetal Pain bill would restrict abortion past 20 weeks gestational age, this bill passes the Iowa House. The Iowa Senate will not discuss HF 657 or get it out of committee, but Senate Democrats present alternative bill SF 534 which makes it difficult for a late-term abortionist to get a license to practice in Iowa, but does nothing to directly restrict abortion. SF 534 is sent back to the Iowa House for discussion/approval].

New: Senate File 534 was amended by the House to (again) become a ban on abortions after an unborn baby is 20 weeks old. The bill contains a clear exception for the life of the mother. The bill passed 54-37 along party lines with one Democrat, Rep. Dan Muhlbauer of Manilla, voting for the bill.

SF 534 had passed the Senate as a bill which would require obtaining a certificate of need before opening a late-term abortion clinic. Considering the status quo in Iowa -- abortions are unregulated at any time during pregnancy -- it was a small step forward, but not far enough for many legislators in the House.

Tom Chapman believes there is still room to find a bill that could pass both chambers and still meet one of our goals: to prevent late-term abortion clinics from opening in Iowa. As attorney Martin Cannon said, "If a late-term abortion clinic shows up here, we'll see more late-term abortions in a week than we'd normally see in a year" (because several states in the Midwest have outlawed late-term abortion, people seeking late-term abortions will go to a neighboring state).

Updated action alerts for the Iowa legislature on education, abortion and the budget are available at

Iowa Right To Life on SF 534 – Pray and Continue to Talk to Iowa Legislators

"We are a long way from being done", reminds Iowa RTL lobbyist, Eric Goranson. "Please pray for a great outcome for the thousands of lives at stake. Surrounding states have acted. It's Iowa's turn!" In the coming days IRTL will send an action alert to you with updated information.

Iowans for Life

Iowans for LIFE Annual Dinner

Join us on Saturday July 16th, 2011 at 6:30PM at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Urbandale, IA for Iowans for L.I.F.E. Annual Dinner. We are excited to bring you Melissa Ohden as our keynote speaker. Melissa speaks across the country and the world sharing her story of life. Melissa is a survivor of a failed abortion, and is a true witness to the sanctity of human life at all stages. Cost is $20 per person and RSVP is requested. Please contact Maggie DeWitte for more information or to RSVP, via cell phone at 515-201-8281 or email at

Iowa State Fair

Calling all volunteers! Every year, Iowans for L.I.F.E. has a booth at the Iowa State Fair in the varied industry building. We have the ability to impact over a million fair-goers with our message of life. But we need your help! It takes over 88 volunteers to fill all of the shifts at our booth. We need volunteers for the shifts listed below.

As in years past, our booth will be located at the Varied Industry Building Iowans for LIFE will provide a ticket for each volunteer for the day you sign up for a shift. You will receive detailed information in July as to the instructions for our booth, directions to get there and other important information. Please contact me at to sign up today.

The following shifts are open and we need volunteers:

Friday August 12th 6-9 shift- one volunteer needed

Saturday August 13th 6-9 shift- two volunteers needed

Tuesday August 16th
9-12 - two volunteers needed
12-3- two volunteers needed
3-6 -two volunteers needed
6-9- two volunteers needed

Wednesday August 17th
9-12 - two volunteers needed
12-3- two volunteers needed
3-6 -two volunteers needed
6-9- two volunteers needed

Thursday August 18th
9-12- two volunteers needed
3-6 -two volunteers needed
6-9- two volunteers needed

Friday August 19th
9-12- one volunteer needed
12-3- two volunteers needed

Saturday August 20th
3-6 -two volunteers needed
6-9- two volunteers needed

Please respond to this email with the shift you would like to take, your name, address, phone number and email address.

If you have questions, please contact me on my cell phone at 515-201-8281 or via email at

Latino Festival Booth

Can't help at the Iowa State Fair booth? No problem, there is always other opportunities to volunteer at Iowans for L.I.F.E. The Latino Festival is Sept. 17th & 18th at the Walnut & Court Ave. Bridges in Downtown Des Moines. Please email at to sign up for a shift.

2012 Bus Trip to Washington D.C.

Do you need a pro-life retreat? Join us for the annual March for Life in Washington DC on January 21-25. Iowans for LIFE organizes buses from all across the state to join the million other marchers in bearing witness to the sanctity of human life. Sign up deadline is November 1st. E-mail us for more details.

Get Involved

As you can tell from this newsletter, there are many opportunities to get involved with Iowans for L.I.F.E. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us today. A special project: In the fall, we would like to start a pro-life theater in our office and welcome youth groups each month to view and discuss a pro-life movie. We are hoping to get our office in shape to take on this new project for our youth. Please help us if you can.

Maggie DeWitte
Executive Director

Iowans for L.I.F.E.

1818 Beaver Ave
Des Moines, IA 50310

Iowa Right To Life

Reminder to Mark Your Calendar: The Iowa RTL Fall Book Sale Dates Announced: Tuesday, September 27–Saturday, October 1!

An Important Message to the Friends of Iowa Right to Life:

There has been some confusion, but Iowa Right to Life remains a tax-exempt organization. One thing that you need to know about donating is that they are disabling their PayPal option for online donations. They found out that PayPal is a substantial supporter of Planned Parenthood. Until they have an alternative online donation service, they will be accepting credit card donations over the phone or checks can be mailed to our office at 1500 Illinois Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50314.

If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Executive Director, Jenifer Bowen, at her office at 515.244.1012 or via e-mail at

I hope you've enjoyed this month's post, and are able to get active in some of the Pro-Life events going on around Des Moines! May God bless you and your work!


Rachel : )

P.S. Please know that I try to check all the links that I send you to make sure that the information is true and truly pro-life. However, I don't have unlimited free time, and when there are dozens of links I can't give each of them a thorough going over (sometimes only a quick read). But I do hope they are helpful to you and provide good information.