Monday, September 26, 2011

Ready for Respect Life Month?

Are you ready? Respect Life month is coming in October, and that means there are several very unified Pro-Life events coming up. I will be summarizing all of the parish pro-life groups activities this month by giving you details on the IRTL Book Sale, Life Chain, and the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil. It’s awesome that everyone is working together on these events to make a difference (and it makes my job pretty easy this month :)

However, you should definitely still read this blog because there are some interesting resources, some special events coming up, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, some action is needed legislatively. The time for public comment on the HHS ruling requiring all insurance companies to cover abortifacient drugs and sterilization, ends on September 30th. If you haven't yet - tell Secretary Sebelius that the insignificant conscience clause provided is not enough! See more details below.

Please take action and pray pray pray – this is always a battle, but there is some light shining through. Now is the time to redouble our efforts, and win the fight!

Mark your calendars for big pro-life events later this Fall.

1st Respect Life Retreat Day

The diocese’s first Respect Life Retreat Day will take place on November 12th, 2011, at Christ the King Church. Reserve the date and time of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, although it will probably be shorter (details are still being finalized). Then Monsignor will talk and conduct Mass at 5:00 pm.

This day will be for you and your pro-life group to get new ideas and be renewed, and invite others to learn more about pro-life topics. I hope you can attend. More details to come in future blogs…

FREE Adoption Event

One of the big events coming up on Sunday, November 13, is a totally FREE event at St. Theresa’s Parish. This will be a family-friendly event, open to anyone and everyone, with lots of free refreshments. Speakers will give presentations on how to be able to afford adoption, the three types of adoption (domestic, international, and foster-to-adopt), and parents who have already adopted will answer questions and share advice in a parent panel.

This event will be helpful not only for those who are considering adoption, but for pro-lifers to know more about the process. So come on Sunday, November 13th from 2-4 pm at St. Theresa’s Parish Hall (1230 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, IA 50311) and invite your friends! Please help spread the word!

Now…The Big Three for Respect Life Month!
Align Center

Going on NOW! The IRTL Pro-Life Book Sale

This pro-life book sale offers its proceeds to assist crisis pregnancy centers in Iowa. Remember to go to the NEW location! There are thousands of used books, home school material, DVDs, CDs, videos, and much more – all at recession friendly prices! [I highly recommend this – each Fall and Spring you can find my family and I at the book sale adding to our collection of children’s books at 50 cents a book!]

The Fall IRTL Book Sale – NEW LOCATION!
September 27-October 1, 2011
Jordan Park Camp Building (Just west of the Historical Jordan House)
2251 Fuller Road, West Des Moines, IA 50265

Opening Night, Tuesday, September 27, 4:00 pm -9:00 pm
Admission: Adults $5.00 (To use a book scanner $10.00) Children 17 and under FREE

Free Admission All These Days:
Wednesday, September 28: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Thursday, September 29: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday, September 30: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Saturday, October 1: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Life Chain: Sunday, October 2, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Join pro-lifers from Central Iowa for the twenty-second annual Life Chain on Sunday, October 2nd from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. We will take a peaceful, prayerful stand for the life of preborn children. We will line Merle Hay Road, as we spend the time in prayer and a silent, but visible, witness for life. Parking and signs will be available at First Assembly of God Church - 2725 Merle Hay Road. We pray for sunny skies, however Life Chain will take place regardless of the weather conditions. Stand with us as we give glory to our Creator and thank Him for the lives of the born and the preborn!

[The Life Chain extends all the way down Merle Hay Road to St. Theresa’s Parish at 1230 Merle Hay Rd. Des Moines, IA 50311 – at the intersection of Merle Hay Road and University. The St. Theresa’s Pro-Life group meets there for Life Chain, and there are plenty of parking spots and signs there also. Last year we were joined by the Basilica’s Pro-Life group, and the Dowling Catholic Students for Life group. Feel free to join us!]

40 Days for Life

The fall campaign for 40 Days for Life begins this week, and it's going to shatter all records! From Wednesday, September 28 through November 6, 40-day campaigns of prayer and fasting, constant vigil and community outreach will be held in ...... 301 cities ... all across the United States plus Canada, England, Spain, Australia, Argentina and Germany. Four dozen of these locations are launching their first ever 40 Days for Life campaigns! Amazing!

And, as we all prepare to pray and fast, stand vigil and conduct grassroots outreach together, there is BREAKING NEWS that shows -- with God's abundant grace and blessings -- what could happen in your community. Since the last 40 Days for Life campaign ended, two more abortion centers where 40 Days for Life vigils have been conducted are closed! This makes SIXTEEN abortion centers where 40 Days for Life vigils have occurred that have shut down. To God be the glory!

Take a Stand for Life

While all aspects of 40 Days for Life are crucial in our effort to end abortion, the most visible component is the peaceful prayer vigil outside the local abortion or Planned Parenthood facility. Make a life-saving impact by joining the vigil at one of the four local Planned Parenthood’s who participate in chemical and/or surgical abortions:

Planned Parenthood Rosenfield Health Center 1000 E. Army Post Road Des Moines

Planned Parenthood Ankeny Health Center 704 N. Ankeny Blvd. Ankeny

Planned Parenthood Susan Knapp Health Center 2304 University Avenue Des Moines

Planned Parenthood 10534 New York Avenue Urbandale

Sign up to participate in our local 40 Days for Life vigil by clicking the "Vigil Schedule" link at the top of this page.

Action Alert: As you prepare to help with 40 Days for Life, think about how your group can be most effective and most visible. When you are filling up your prayer schedule, try to prioritize day hours when Planned Parenthood is open and people are driving by.

News & Resources

Thought of the Day

Chaunie Brusie, from Feminists for Life, posted this on Facebook: "Being a young mom means we met a little early, but I get to love you longer. Some people said life ended when I had a baby, but my life had just begun. You didn’t take away from my future you gave me a new one."

Permanent Prayer at Planned Parenthood

Some people in Des Moines commit to regular prayer hours outside Planned Parenthood even in between 40 Days for Life campaigns. Please let me know if you know the times and locations these people meet, so that I can record the information so others can join them.

I was told recently, that on Mondays there are always people who pray in front of the Urbandale Planned Parenthood from 12-1 pm. Consider joining them. Any info about other prayer warriors? Let me know!

The Gabriel Project

Several of the Des Moines parishes are “Gabriel Project” churches who work with pregnant women to give them practical help so they can keep their baby and thrive as a new family.

Gabriel Project always needs volunteers to:

- Help with the phone calls as a telephone responder
- Be a helping mom/"angel" to the pregnant soon-to-be mother
- Be a helping father/"Michael" to these women
- Join our fundraising team — we always need baby items and funds
- Join our Board or Committee

If you would like to volunteer or if you would like to donate to the Gabriel Project (baby items and/or cash), please contact them by calling 515-284-LOVE (5683) or by visiting their Facebook page.

New York City Abortion Rate 41%

This is a website made in reference to the shocking 41% of pregnancies that end in abortion in that city. After thorough research, they created a map of all the neighborhoods and their abortion percentage. The highest is Manhattan's Chelsea, with 67%. So incredibly sad...

Action Needed Now

Legislative Action Needed Now – We have until September 30 to comment on this flawed legislation and make a change! Send the prepared e-mail at the link below.

Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

As we enter the last couple weeks of summer, we are engaging the federal issue of conscience protection. Here’s the latest ...

You may recall that a new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will require contraceptive and sterilization coverage with no co-pays in almost all private health plans nationwide.

This is problematic from a couple of perspectives: first, the mandate covers drugs which can cause abortions -- in other words, it’s not just about birth control – and second, the exemption for religious employers is so narrow it would not include Catholic hospitals or
Catholic Charities. This poses a serious challenge to religious liberty.

Just to be clear, with this mandate the average person will still have co-pays for cancer treatments, while the wealthy can receive "free" sterilizations. Measures that actually prevent and treat disease, such as Pap smears, are getting caught up in this controversy.

HHS is taking comments from the public on the mandate until Sept. 30. We hope you will ask HHS to reconsider. The best way to do this is to go to and send their prepared e-mail.

There is also a link where you can easily send a message in support of the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act,” which would address this problem through an act of Congress. Ask your representatives to co-sponsor this bill that would more thoroughly protect the rights of providers to act according to their conscience. Tell your representatives to safeguard the ideal which Thomas Jefferson described as the most “dear” provision of the Constitution, “protect[ing] the rights of conscience against the enterprises of civil authority.”

Thanks for everything you do in support of life!

Iowa Institute for Social Action - Very Pro-Life Theme

The 18th Annual Iowa Institute for Social Action will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, Iowa City. The theme is: “Respect for Life and Dignity of the Human Person: Basis of All Social Concerns.”

The keynote speaker will be Helene E. Paharik, MA, Director of the Department of Human Dignity of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The purpose of this year’s presentation is to bridge the gap that sometimes exists between our “social justice” and “pro-life” efforts. Rather than
having a keynote and then a variety of breakout sessions, the entire day will be focused on this topic.

Helene describes the purpose of her presentation being “to share with colleagues a vision and a hope of the Church promoting the dignity of the human person as one body united in love … the respect for life and the God-given dignity of the human person is a fundamental belief and basis for all of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.”

The event is sponsored by the Catholic dioceses of Iowa and the Iowa Catholic Conference. You can go to for a downloadable brochure and to register. The registration fee for the day is $25 ($10 for college and high school students). You can also see the Iowa Institute for Social Action’s page on Facebook.

Faithful Citizenship

Going into the presidential election cycle, the U.S. bishops are preparing an update of their statement on responsible citizenship and politics, called “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” During the summer and fall I often present workshops on “faithful citizenship” in parish settings or for other Catholic meetings. If you’re interested in such a presentation let me know.

Tom Chapman
Executive Director
Iowa Catholic Conference

Good News

We so often hear about bad things going on in politics that we have to do something about right now...but there are good things happening too! So take heart at some recent political victories!

Congress Passes and Obama Signs Historic Protections for Human Embryos

Americans United for Life celebrated late Friday the quiet passage of the “Weldon Patent Ban” that was quickly signed into law by President Obama. It marked one of the first times in U.S. history that a major pro-life rider has been codified. The ban makes permanent the protections of the Weldon amendment, an existing pro-life policy rider that ensures the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not issue patents that are “directed to or encompassing a human organism.”

“Human kind should not be for sale at any state of development,” said Dr. Yoest. “Making permanent this important pro-life policy to ensure human organisms are never patented is a notable victory for Americans who believe that human beings -- regardless of their stage of development -- are not considered property to be licensed for financial gain.

Washington Post Bemoans “Virginia’s Abortion End Run”

“Safe, Legal and Rare” has been the mantra of the abortion lobby for years in their effort to normalize abortion throughout American culture. Ironically, the choice to highlight “safe” when in comes to abortion clinics has produced growing bipartisan agreement across the country, as legislators have turned their attention to horrific conditions inside of some abortion clinics.

Consider recent events in Virginia where Gov. Robert McDonnell (R-VA) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II have worked to ensure that if Virginia abortion clinics don’t meet the highest medical standards, the doors will be shut.

New regulations “are likely to result in the closure of many or most of Virginia’s 23 abortion clinics,” bemoaned editorial writers at the Washington Post. The regulations would require clinics to meet construction and design standards intended for medical facilities such as hospitals. Rather than celebrating the fact that Virginia legislators want women to get good medical care, the Washington Post editorial writers complained that “poor African Americans and Hispanics” might have fewer abortions.

“Everyone should be able to agree that American women should not be forced to endure care in substandard medical facilities,” said Dr. Yoest. “Virginia is leading the way in protecting the lives of women.” AUL has long championed model legislation to better regulate the facilities in which women receive the outpatient medical surgery of abortion.

Alabama Supreme Court Gives Legal Recognition to the Unborn Child

In a unanimous decision last week, the Alabama Supreme Court expanded legal protections for the unborn child when it ruled that Alabama’s wrongful death statute applied to the unborn child at any stage of development. For expectant parents, this means that a person can be tried civilly for the death of an unborn child even when that child cannot yet live outside the womb.

This decision makes Alabama the tenth state to specifically permit wrongful-death actions pre-viability. This is a huge victory for the legal recognition of the unborn child, as the Alabama Supreme Court has recognized the personhood of the unborn child under the State’s civil law.

Be Aware of This

After victories around the country where individual states decided to defund Planned Parenthood, several have been politically threatened or their decisions overturned by pressure from President Obama's Administration. Since politicians pledge to be representatives of the people, we should pay attention to this and let them know we are not pleased.

Recently President Obama addressed Congress and the American people to lay out his latest plan for job creation. But actions speak louder than words, and President Obama seems to care most about a few jobs: those at Planned Parenthood.

Just last night, the Obama Administration granted a $1 million non-competitive contract to Planned Parenthood, superceding the New Hampshire Executive Council's decision to avoid funding Planned Parenthood with taxpayer dollars. As Senator Kelly Ayotte commented, “New Hampshire’s Executive Council has spoken on this matter, and the (Obama) administration should respect the state’s right to make this decision.” Once again, President Obama has shown he will support Planned Parenthood, a significant political ally - even if it means thwarting the will of the people.

During the federal budget battle, President Obama and select Senators nearly shut down the federal government to protect Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer-funded handout.

After the Indiana legislature courageously defunded Planned Parenthood, the Obama Administration told the state that their law was illegal, and they are now threatening to cut off billions of dollars in Medicaid funding to the state if the decision is not reversed.

Planned Parenthood is taking their lawsuits in Indiana, Kansas, and North Carolina to Obama-appointed judges in an effort to get their taxpayer funding restored.

Please consider doing three things: educate yourself and your friends and family, be active in politics by e-mailing or calling local and national politicians, and pray for the pro-life fights going on in these states.

With you in this fight for Life,
Marjorie Dannenfelser
President, Susan B. Anthony List

Iowa Right To Life

(IRTL's most recent news - a passionate response to Joy Corning's
letter to the editor in The Des Moines Register).

Des Moines, Iowa-September 23, 2011-It would be remiss of us to allow Joy Corning's letter to the editor in The Des Moines Register yesterday which she said is to "quell misconceptions about Planned Parenthood" to go unchallenged.

Pro-lifers can agree with one thing Corning says: "Sometimes we humans avoid facing facts that should shed light on topics we have opposed because of tradition and orientation." How else could one explain how Planned Parenthood apologists turn a blind eye to overwhelming facts that Planned Parenthood hurts women more than it helps?

Corning stated Planned Parenthood's abortion services are "less than 2 percent of services provided."

This begs the question: Is Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's current Medical Director Dr. Jill Meadows a specialist in HIV or other STD testing? Is she a specialist in cancer screenings? No. Dr. Jill Meadows specializes in late-term abortions, as does LeRoy Carhart.
Her grisly methods of dismembering babies without anesthesia are well documented. (Please see Iowa Right to Life News, September 2011, which can be found at:

Planned Parenthood counts every condom as a "service" in order to downplay its abortion business. That's why it claims "less than 2 percent."

Corning stated, "More than 97 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides are prevention services that help women, men and families stay healthy."

It's time to end the misconception that Planned Parenthood is about "prevention." The truth is, Planned Parenthood's Education and Contraception feed its profitable abortion business. The numbers don't lie. Planned Parenthood's abortions are increasing exponentially in Iowa.

Planned Parenthood's Contraception Programs fuel their abortion business.

One would think contraception prevents unwanted pregnancy. Right? Yet 54%of women having abortions used contraception that month, according to Planned Parenthood's research arm, The Guttmacher Institute.

Planned Parenthood gains financially by giving women a false sense of security. The more condoms Planned Parenthood gives out, the more birth control pills it provides, the more inter-uterine devices Planned Parenthood implants in women (and we should add, teens, without the knowledge of their parents), the more its abortion business will increase. Planned Parenthood can never claim its "prevention services" reduce abortions in Iowa, because Planned Parenthood's abortion business has been growing steadily.

As stated above, Planned Parenthood counts every condom as a "service" in order to downplay its abortion business. That's why it claims "less than 2 percent."

Corning stated Planned Parenthood placed nine babies in adoptive homes in one year.

It's stunning that Corning would see that as a bragging factor, when Planned Parenthood kills more than nine children in a few hours at a single location. Planned Parenthood in Des Moines on Army Post Road, kills as many as 30 children in one day.

Corning stated, "Planned Parenthood prevents those untold, undocumented, unsafe and often disastrous self-inflicted or unprofessional abortion attempts."

Just a few years ago, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's former Medical Director Dr. Meryl Severson almost killed a woman at a Planned Parenthood in Lincoln, NE, because he punctured her uterus and she lost 80 percent of the blood in her body. When the woman later sued, Planned Parenthood attorneys said in court. "The woman was well aware
of the risks associated with the procedure before it was performed on her at the Lincoln clinic this summer."

Planned Parenthood has a history of botched abortions and cover-ups from sea to shining sea. Planned Parenthood is the new back alley.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's current abortions by webcam, where a doctor is not there to examine the woman in person, show even greater disregard for women's safety. With the webcam abortions, women take the first drugs to kill the baby at Planned Parenthood and then they take a second set of drugs at home that expels the baby - so women are forced to deal with the blood and the dead baby at home - alone. In addition, Planned Parenthood goes against FDA protocol and offers women a cheaper set of drugs that allows Planned Parenthood to make more money.

Corning stated Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger "held some viewpoints that did not survive our ongoing tests of justice and liberty."

Talk about jumping the shark. This shows Planned Parenthood's incredible ability to push euphemism to new lows. Margaret Sanger was a proponent of the Eugenics movement. She wanted to purify the human race through birth control, sterilization and abortion. In writings and lectures, Sanger dehumanized the poor and disabled as "human weeds," "parasites," "defectives," "mistakes" and "a dead weight of human waste."

Sanger thought parents should be required to submit an application to the government in order to have a child. How can Corning possibly classify Sanger as for a woman's right to "control her body and the ability to decide when, or whether to have a child?"

It's time to stop the lies. Planned Parenthood is not about prevention. All of Planned Parenthood's services fuel its profitable abortion business. Planned Parenthood hurts women, hurts families, hurts communities and kills our unborn children.

For More Information:
Jenifer Bowen
Executive Director IRTL
515.419.7246 Cell

Priests for Life

Below you’ll find some updates about some of our recent Priests for Life activity. Thank you for being involved.

We are working out all the misunderstandings with my bishop here in Amarillo. As we do so, I’m amazed at how many people think they know more about the situation than I do, and pontificate on blogs and websites all over the place. Get accurate information at

I also encourage you to: Keep focused on the work and the projects. Forward we go, to victory for the unborn!

Silent No More Spokespersons Gather

Key women from the Silent No More initiative met at the Priests for Life headquarters to plan for the Fall. This included Dr. Alveda King, actress and author Jennifer O’Neill, recording artist Kelly Clinger, and Julia Holcomb. These women gathered this week with Campaign founders, including Janet Morana (Executive Director of Priests for Life), and the team to make plans for the March for Life and West Coast Walk for Life. Get more information and share stories at

Missionaries of the Gospel of Life

On October 22, 2011 in the Dioceses of Harrisburg, PA, several people will profess their promises as “Missionaries of the Gospel of Life.” This program, developed by Fr. Frank Pavone and the Priests for Life Pastoral Team, teaches people the spirituality of pro-life activity, based on the teachings and example of Blessed John Paul II, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and Cardinal John O’Connor. Those making promises pledge to live this spirituality for their whole life, in a manner consistent with their own vocation and in conjunction with the local pro-life activities in which they engage. There are Missionaries of the Gospel of Life in over 1000 cities worldwide. For more information, visit

Rachel's Vineyard - Post-Abortive Healing

Learn more about this activity that corresponds to Pope Benedict’s pastoral concern for those wounded by abortion. Help us spread Rachel’s Vineyard’s post-abortion ministry to countries throughout the world. The program's spiritually healing techniques, which Theresa Burke and her husband Kevin have developed, are so effective that almost half of all Rachel’s Vineyard retreats are run by a diocese here in the United States as the official post-abortion outreach.

Dr. Theresa Burke, the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, has been expanding Rachel’s Vineyard ministries around the United States, and internationally into Italy, France, Belgium, and Austria where abortion has done so much damage.

At a retreat in Vienna, many students were grieving siblings who were aborted. A number of them said that their mothers had aborted every baby except them, and they recognized the survivor syndrome inside themselves. A priest called upon his six aborted brothers and sisters to spiritually join with him as partners in his ministry and to pray together for their mother.

A student from China talked about how he was hidden after birth because of that country’s diabolical “one child policy.” For eight years he “did not exist” according to the state. He could not attend school or be seen until they moved to a new town and he finally entered school at the age of nine.

The devastating perfectionism of the “wanted child” was also readily apparent as a number of students learned how the world only accepts “perfect” babies. Those with any “defects” are killed the minute they are born.

As you can tell, the ripple effects of the abortion culture run deep.

People are also trying to bring Rachel’s Vineyard to eastern Europe and China. There is a lot of work for us to do. For in spite of the fact that we are now active in 35 countries, it’s not enough.

Thanks to you, while the People of Life continue to fight to end abortion, we are also making sure that we do not leave the wounded and lame behind. Thank you again for your loving support. And may God bless you.

Sincerely yours in the Lord of Life,

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries
Pastoral Director and Chairman, Rachel’s Vineyard

Hope you enjoyed this month's post, and can get fired up for October's pro-life activities. May God bless your work! Ok, so now you can stop reading, and go head straight to the Pro-Life book sale! I'll see you there!


Rachel Egan :)