Sunday, December 30, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas blessings to you and your families! Here is the pro-life update for the month, with lots of fun and informative activities coming up in January. Get details below for the annual Respect for Life Mass, this year at St. Francis Parish, a Midwest March for Life at the State Capitol Building, and pro-life fundraisers… Who knew enjoying frozen yogurt could support pro-life work?

January will be here soon, and it is a special pro-life month. Please share the information about these events with your friends and family and choose to attend (at least) one of these opportunities.

Inspirational Video About Adoption

Adoption is something that is close to my heart, and should be to all pro-lifers. If you go to one blog link today, go to this one strictly for pleasure. It will lift you up, and you’ll be glad you did!

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Fundraiser for Students for Life Clubs – Let your friends in Ames know!

On Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm, join Iowa State and Simpson College Students for Life Clubs at the Ames Orange Leaf! Enjoy your favorite frozen yogurt flavor while supporting these great clubs! 10% of the total profits go to the pro-life clubs!

Des Moines Annual Respect Life Mass

The annual Respect for Life Mass will be held on Tuesday, January 22, at 6:00 pm at St. Francis Parish in West Des Moines. Everyone is invited, and the March for Life participants will get a special blessing from Bishop Pates. There will also be a reception with refreshments after the Mass.

Midwest March for Life

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, there will be a Midwest March for Life here in Iowa! For decades there has been the annual March for Life in Washington D.C. commemorating the dreadful Roe v. Wade decision. In recent years, the West Coast began their own March for Life. Now it’s OUR turn!

Join us at the Iowa State Capitol building for the Midwest March for Life on Saturday, January 19th at 11:00 am.

Following the march, at 12:00 pm there will be a luncheon program, “The Roe v. Wade Effect.” This will be at the Grand Ballroom of the Iowa Events Center, located at 730 3rd Street in Des Moines.

Governor Branstad and Bishop Pates will serve as co-leaders of the Midwest March for Life! Special speakers will also include:

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds
Sue Thayer, Former Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Clinic Manager
Rev. Keith Ratliff, Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church
Pastor Al Perez, Miracle Life Family Church
Tamara Scott, Concerned Women for America, Republican National Committeewoman of Iowa
Troy Newman, Pro-Life Nation
Jenny Condon, Clinic Manager, InnerVisions HealthCare
Jenifer Bowen, Executive Director, Iowa Right to Life

Prayer and Healing Service 4:00 - 5:30 pm

As so many women and men are in need of healing from the wounds of abortion, pastors and prayer leaders will be on hand to help those who are struggling with the aftermath of the decision they or a loved one have made. For confidentially purposes of those needing prayer support, this will not be held at a publicly disclosed location. Call
877.595.9406 or 515.244.1012 for more information on this service.

Reservations are requested for attendance at the Roe v. Wade Effect luncheon program. A free will offering opportunity will be presented to help defray costs of the Midwest March for Life and luncheon. Please make your reservations by January 15 to ensure enough food. To RSVP or with any questions, please contact Paula Brown at 877.595.9406 or

Iowa Right to Life - Lunch and Learn Opportunity
Tuesday, January 15th, 11:30am-1:00pm

IRTL is excited to launch this bi-monthly opportunity!  Bring your lunch and enjoy hearing the latest Pro-Life news, speakers and movies. We will meet on the third Tuesday of every other month.

On January 15, we will watch and discuss the powerful, Pro-Life "180 Movie." Join us at the new Professional Educators of Iowa Conference Center, 974 73rd Street, Suite 13, Windsor Heights, Iowa. To sign up e-mail

Diocesan Pro-Life Meeting Recap

Gabriel Project Report

Mrs. Sharp reported on how God is working through the Gabriel Project, and God has been showing His will that He wants this work to keep going strong. Gabriel Project has been very busy this year, and would love to have volunteers to answer the phone or to be “angels” who work one-on-one with a mother, supporting her through her pregnancy and beyond. If you are interested in finding out more about volunteer opportunities, you can call the Gabriel Project phone line at 515-284-5683. Please consider getting involved with this practical and life-giving ministry.

Pray for the March for Life Pilgrimage

Please keep the 11 buses of Iowans and high school youth who are attending the Washington D.C. March for Life in your prayers. The march will take place on Thursday, January 24 - Sunday, January 27, 2013, for the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade decision.

Next Diocesan Pro-Life Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 5th at St. Pius X Parish at 6:00 pm.

Pro-Life Victory in Illinois

After seven years in court, the decision by the Illinois Attorney General not to file an appeal in Morr-Fitz v. Quinn means that Illinois pharmacists and pharmacies cannot be forced to dispense life-ending drugs against their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of conscience. This is a huge victory for freedom of conscience. Americans United for Life attorneys have been engaged in the case since 2005, defending the freedoms of pharmacists Luke Vander Bleek and Glenn Kosirog, along with several rural Illinois pharmacies owned by them.

“We are delighted with the decision,” said Rienzi. “The government should not have tried to force these pharmacists out of business for their religious objection to selling a small handful of drugs.” To read more on Morr-Fitz and AUL’s efforts, click here.

More Religious Freedom Issues

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear arguments in two more cases determining whether Americans and their employers can be forced to pay for or provide insurance coverage for life-ending drugs and devices against their First Amendment Freedom of Conscience. The cases in question involve plaintiffs Belmont Abbey College and Wheaton College and will be the first of more than 40 HHS mandate cases to be argued before federal appellate courts.

AUL submitted an amicus curiae brief in the case, representing six national medical organizations including the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons and the Catholic Medical Association that are concerned that the HHS mandate mislabels life-ending drugs as “contraception” and forces individuals and businesses to pay for the drugs, often in violation of their First Amendment Freedom of Conscience.

Iowans for Life

I recommend that you sign up for the Iowans for Life e-mail list here.  They send out a number of insightful articles and links from pro-life sources.

Thank you everyone for all of your efforts. I hope that you had a lovely Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior with family and friends. May we keep Jesus close to us so He can give us the strength to persevere against adversity, especially for the sake of all people affected by abortion. Keep up the great work!

Rachel :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Have a Pro-Life Christmas!

Hello all!  I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, and that you will have a fruitful time this month preparing your heart for Jesus’ coming at Christmas.  Let us especially remember pregnant women and unborn babies during this time, as we think often of Mary who was pregnant with Jesus.

One way my family prepares our hearts for Christmas is by putting our faith in action by serving others. We write specific ideas on note cards and hang them on the Christmas tree.  Then we do these acts of service during Advent as birthday presents for Jesus. If your family does something like this, consider including a pro-life gift for Jesus – like donating useful items or funds to crisis pregnancy clinics or giving a grocery store giftcard to a single mom who chose life. I have a feeling Jesus would appreciate that we show our love for Him in this way :)

Pro-Life Movie Screening

DMACC Students for Life will be doing a screening of the powerful documentary 180 this coming Wednesday, December 5th at 2pm. It is in Building 5 in the Quiet Room. They would love it if you would come!

Details Coming Soon

- Annual Respect Life Mass – January 22, 2013

- Details about the 2nd annual Respect Life Day, which will be held in March at Christ the King Parish.

Adoption Month!

November was Adoption Awareness month. What is NEW and EXCITING is the Governor Branstad proclaimed November to be Adoption Month in Iowa! Adoption is a beautiful thing!

Coordinate with Other Pro-Life Leaders

Learn more about what’s going on in the diocese and how you and your pro-life group can be a part of it at the next Diocesan Pro-Life Meeting. It will take place on Tuesday, December 4th, at 6pm at St. Pius X Parish in

InnerVisions Health Care Clinic

71 babies saved at InnerVisions so far! Praise God! Read this encouraging blog article about their work and become a part of it!

Website Alert

The US Bishops have launched a new Religious Freedom website: Be sure to bookmark it.

Election Recap

Here is a quick recap of the good and bad we will be dealing with politically for the next four years, as told by Steven Ertelt of Life News. There is still hope, but we must press on…

“The most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history was re-elected. That’s the bad news,” Dannenfelser said. “The good news is that we have heroes in Congress – some long-time warriors and some just elected just tonight – who are willing to take him on and fight for unborn children and women. But they are going to need our help.”

Americans United for Life Action president Charmaine Yoest said that despite the possible continuation of the pro-abortion federal policies of now re-elected President Obama, there are opportunities to stop abortions via
state legislatures.

“A pro-life majority being retained in the U.S. House also means that President Obama will not be able to force through his radical abortion agenda without opposition,” she said. “At the state level, I believe we will see even more legislatures take back the life issue with model legislation and continue creative abortion limitation in light of Obama’s aggressive pushing of abortion on Americans.”

“Already, AUL has worked with ten states in passing legislation to opt out of permitting taxpayer-subsidized abortion coverage through Obamacare. And we predict that the courts are going to see an ever increasing number of lawsuits as Americans fight for their First Amendment Rights of Conscience,” she added.

JPII Medical Research Institute Information


The John Paul II Medical Research Institute is a non-profit organization founded to provide an ethical alternative for research that respects the dignity of every human life. Using adult stem cells, not embryos, the institute will develop innovative solutions for treating cancer and other diseases, including drug discovery for patients with rare diseases.

Give Cures is the John Paul II Medical Research Institute’s national gift campaign that raises funds to advance ethical, non-controversial, adult stem cell research for cures and to raise funds to build a cord blood bank so
moms can donate their newborn’s cord blood. Go to to share this flyer with friends.


The Iowa Knights of Columbus, whose focus is on the culture of life, has partnered with the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in the Give Cures campaign. They are helping to get the Flyers into the Churches and inviting
them to give for ethical cures.


We believe human life at the earliest stage is valued, loved and created by God. To use and kill a human embryo for research is a moral evil. The challenge is daunting when so many research organizations and labs support embryonic stem cell research. Even worse is the prospect that patients may one day be faced with the moral dilemma of choosing between a cure and having a clear conscience. You can help to advance an ethical alternative for research that respects the dignity of every human life. Share the Give Cures flyer and become a partner or founder.

For more information visit our website - and or e-mail Kim Lehman at

I hope this was helpful! And thank you for your hard work and dedication! You continue to make a difference!

Have a blessed holiday season,

Rachel :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

November News

Respect Life month is almost over, and everything has gone so well with the witness of Life Chain and 40 Days for Life, among many events. Keep up the great work with 40 Days for Life, which will be ending in early November. Below are some important events coming up and inspiration to continue being active.


The clear pro-life choice is Romney-Ryan. Please pray and consider fasting for the result of the presidential and local elections.

40 Days for Life

This 40 Days for Life campaign has already saved at least 219 babies (as of the halfway point).  Peaceful, prayerful witness can and is changing hearts. Thank you to everyone who coordinates and participates in this ministry!

October Baby on DVD

The October Baby movie is now available in DVD and Blu-ray. Pick up a copy and share this powerful movie.

Order a “Choose Life” License Plate

Proudly display your Pro-Life convictions on cars, trucks, boats, and motorcycles! These license plates cost $25 or, if you want a personalized one, $50. DOT applications and a FAQ sheet are available on Iowa Right to Life’s website HERE.

March for Life Pilgrimage Information – Sign up Today!

Iowans For L.I.F.E. is securing several buses to take pro-life Iowans to the March For Life in Washington DC. The annual rally will be held on January 25, 2013. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the deadly Roe vs. Wade decision handed down on January 22nd, 1973.

By our presence we are asking the Supreme Court to overturn that decision and not allow the murder of innocent children in their mother’s wombs. Please join us for this important event. Our voices must be heard.

2013 Schedule

Wednesday January 23, 2013Departure from several Iowa locations in the later morning/afternoon. Travel will continue overnight on the bus.

Thursday January 24, 2013Arrival in Washington DC in the late afternoon. Worship opportunities in the evening.

Friday January 25, 2013Youth Rally and worship opportunities in the morning. March For Life 2013 at noon.

Saturday January 26, 2013Free day to explore Washington D.C. Worship opportunities before departure. Departure for Iowa in the early evening. Travel continues overnight on the bus.

Sunday January 27, 2013Arrival in Iowa locations in the early evening.


The cost of the trip is $375 per participant. Payments and registrations received before 11/01/12 will be secured. Registrations will be taken after 11/01/12 until the buses are full. Refunds are not available due to the nonrefundable status of hotel rooms secured in your name.

The $375 fee covers the bus transportation and a hotel stay (4 to a room) for two nights. For additional fees, private and semi-private rooms can possibly be reserved. Contact IFL for more information. Participants under age 18 must travel with a chaperone.


If you have questions or need help with raising money for your group to attend the march, please contact Maggie DeWitte for more information. Please mark your calendar and send in your registration today. The March for Life is a unique opportunity for the pro-life community to bear witness to the value of all human life, especially the defenseless unborn.

Maggie DeWitte, 1818 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310  Phone: 515-255-4113 


Women do regret abortion. Here is a beautiful story from a woman who chose life when she faced an unplanned pregnancy in high school:

InnerVisions HealthCare Clinic

An Eagle Scout project will soon benefit the InnerVisions HealthCare Clinic. Daniel Underwood of Van Meter will be building a nice back patio for them with benches, tables, and flower beds. This will be an area for women or couples to talk and relax. This will also be an area for volunteers and staff to have an outdoor break. The total cost will be approximately $2400.

If you would like to assist in the fundraising effort, any monetary donations can be sent to InnerVisions HealthCare Clinic at 1355 50th Street, Suite 400, West Des Moines, IA 50266. Please indicate on the envelope or memo line of your check that your donation is for the Eagle Scout Project of Daniel Underwood.

There will also be the opportunity for volunteers to assist in the actual building of the patio area. Adults can use the power tools and youth can help build. Cookies and refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Daniel at or Jenny Condon, Clinic Director, at

Iowans for LIFE – Volunteers Needed

Iowans for LIFE has some big events coming up, like the annual Prayer for Life Day on February 18th and the IFL Dinner this coming summer, and they would love to have more volunteers help. Please consider offering a few hours as an individual or family. For more information on volunteer opportunities contact Maggie DeWitte, Executive Director of Iowans for L.I.F.E, at or (515)-201-8281Their website is

Blessings on you and your work!

Rachel :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Respect Life Month Activities!

Good news! My new baby, John Paul, is here! He is so cute and now one month old! Other good news… it’s almost Respect Life month again with all of the great activities that go with it. See below for so many amazing events to participate in and tell your friends and family about.

On another note, I wanted to let you all know that I will be discontinuing this blog for now. It’s been a year and a half of information-packed monthly updates, and I hope it’s been valuable to you. I just feel like God is calling me to focus on my family right now. A shorter event listing will be available monthly at St. Theresa’s Pro-Life Committee website: Thank you again for all of your wonderful work for the sake of the unborn.  May God bless you abundantly for being a voice for the voiceless!

Fall IRTL Pro-Life Booksale!

The fall book sale will take place on September 26 – 29 (this coming week!). This biannual book sale is the best thing ever, and you will probably see me there when you go. It will take place at the Jordan Park Camp Building again (just west of the Historical Jordan House at the old Nazarene Camp), 2251 Fuller Road, West Des Moines, IA 50265. It has a great variety of books, DVDs, and games. Most are between 25 cents and $5, so it's a great deal! Make sure you don't miss out!

Wednesday, Sept. 26 – 4:00 – 9:00 pm. Admission on opening night is $5.00 for adults and FREE for children 17 and under.

Thursday – Saturday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm. Admission is FREE for everyone on these days.

Make sure your friends know about it – download and e-mail them the flyer now:

25th National Life Chain

Be a peaceful, prayerful witness for life with friends and family on Sunday, October 7th! People in dozens of Iowa cities will participate in this 25th National Life Chain. I know that the St. Theresa’s Pro-Life group and parishioners will stand at Merle Hay Road and University by St. Theresa’s to pray from 2:00-3:30 pm. Anyone is welcome to join us (or talk to your parish pro-life group for details about where you should meet).

1st Pregnancy & Infant Loss Memorial Mass

You are invited to the Des Moines Diocese's first Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memorial Mass on Thursday, October 11th at 7 p.m. at St. Augustin Church, 545 42nd St., Des Moines. His Excellency Bishop Pates will preside at the Mass, which is offered for all families and individuals who have suffered from the loss of a child. A reception will follow the Mass, where resources offering healing and education will be provided. For more information contact the Office of Marriage and Family Life at 515.237.5056.

40 Days for Life Des Moines

This fall’s campaign will take place from September 26 – November 4Please participate – your prayers and witness are effective! Nearly 6,000 babies have been saved since 40 Days for Life started just a few years ago, and in Iowa alone FOUR Planned Parenthood facilities have permanently closed their doors in 2012 after 40 Days for Life prayer vigils were held at three of the sites.

In Des Moines, join the Metro-Wide Kick-Off Rally with Sue Thayer, former Planned Parenthood Clinic Manager, on Thursday, September 277:00pm-9:00pm. There will be a candlelight prayer vigil from 7:00pm-7:45pm at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Surgical Abortion Center, 1000 East Army Post Road, Des Moines, followed at 8:00pm Sue Thayer's testimony at Glad Tidings Church, 3 blocks away, at 314 East Army Post Road, Des Moines.

For more information about the Iowa Planned Parenthood sites where you can pray and peacefully witness for life go to

Get pumped up!  Watch a 1-Minute 40 Days for Life Trailer:

Post Abortion Bible Study Facilitator Training

Saturday, October 13, 10am-2:30pm
Destiny Church, 313 6th Street, West Des Moines, Iowa

IRTL is pleased to offer this training session for a third time! This training is for women and men who are interested in learning how to lead a post abortion Bible study. The Bible study SaveOne is designed for all denominations.  This study is for both post abortive men and women.  SaveOne also provides additional on-going assistance throughout the year as the Bible study leader begins each new session. The cost to attend is $25. This includes lunch and all materials.

Contact Paula Brown at 877.595.9406 or for additional information.

 Save The Date for the Annual Prayer for Life Rally

The annual Prayer for Life Day will be held on Monday, February 182013. This is always a time to be inspired by powerful speakers and a critical time to witness to our state legislators about how important life issues are to us as citizens and voters. More details will be coming out in the next few months.

Remember the Election – Vote Pro-Life!

The pro-life choice is clear.  Remember to vote and bring others with you in November!

Here is an interesting, very short Youtube video contrasting Abby Johnson’s new point of view vs. President Obama’s view:

Iowa Catholic Conference - Faithful Citizenship Workshops

In the fall of election years Tom Chapman often visits parishes across the state to discuss Church teaching and get people involved in the political process. This is part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, joining in his mission to bring “good news to the poor, liberty to captives, new sight to the blind, and to set the downtrodden free” (Luke 4:18; Isaiah 61:1-2; 58:6). He discusses issues that should be important to Catholics, including the life issues.

The two closest places that Tom will be presenting a Faithful Citizenship workshop are:

Thursday, Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m.         Ankeny, Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Parish

Monday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m.               Ames, St. Cecelia Church

New Pro-Life Parish Coordinator - Ken Bresnan

There is a new pro-life parish coordinator for the diocese.  His name is Ken Bresnan, and I have heard good things about him. To contact him, call 515-237-5089 or e-mail him at

InnerVisions Healthcare Information

59 babies have been saved at the clinic so far! Please find ways to support this pro-life clinic!

InnerVisions Healthcare Golf Classic

InnerVisions’ golf fundraiser will take place on October 8, 2012 at Glen Oaks Country Club. For more information or to sign up to golf or sponsor a golfer, go to their website ( – click on Events).

FREE Abstinence Workshops for Teens/Youth Groups

InnerVisions Healthcare is now scheduling youth group tours that include FREE abstinence only sexual integrity workshops. Let your pastor or youth group leader know.  Evenings or weekends are available for this.

Workshop Agenda:  Prayer, pizza and social time, and a tour of the clinic. Then guys and girls will separate for the educational workshop where medical staff will share truths about STDs and other risks and consequences, including unplanned pregnancy. Next, there will be an open discussion with clergy about sexual morality and the beauty of remaining abstinent until marriage.  Parents are always welcome – this is information that all teens and parents should know.

For more information about InnerVisions activities and needs, contact Jenny Condon, Clinic Director. Call her office at 515-440-2273 or e-mail her at

March for Life – January 2013

Please consider making a pilgrimage to Washington DC for the March for Life on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The trip dates are Thursday, Jan 24 - Sunday, Jan 27, 2013. Iowans for Life is planning the trip for any interested Iowans. For more details, visit their website here

What is the March for Life? Find out more here:

‘Choose Life’ License Plates – More Needed

IRTL is halfway to its goal of 500 applications!  Help us get Choose Life license plates on the roads of Iowa! Please don't wait for your registration to renew before you order your Choose Life license plates.  Hurry and send in your application to the Iowa Right to Life office! The faster we receive 500 applications, the faster Iowa will enjoy seeing Choose Life license plates!

Vitae Family Care Clinic Opening

More good news! A pro-life only practice is opening in Des Moines! Dr. Greg McKernan is trained in both Couple to Couple League and Creighton model/NaPro NFP and doesn't perform abortions or give out birth control of any kind. He will have delivery rights at Mercy Hospital. For more information call 515-225-3261The clinic address is Vitae Family Care Clinic, 1355 50th Street Suite 100 in West Des Moines.

Once again, please stay active in pro-life activities, especially everything during October. And remember the presidential election coming up. Vote Republican to save unborn children!

Thank you again for checking this - It has been my pleasure to put these monthly updates together! Blessings on you and your work, and I hope to see you all around town at these events! 

Rachel : )