Hi Pro-Lifers! How are you? I hope that you have had a good day! Now would be a good time to take a deep breath, get a cup of tea or coffee, and take some time to read through this blog with your calendar by your side. I’ve sorted through hundreds of e-mails this month so that you don’t have to, and I’ve tried to keep most details very short and simple. My notes should help you know about the beautiful, hopeful pro-life events that are coming up, and about the HHS Mandate and opportunities to fight it.
I found it appropriate that the HHS mandate commotion has happened right before Lent begins. We know that before we get to the Easter celebration there will be some pain in the desert, but that makes the joyful times mean so much more. Please pray and act this Lent! Soon it will be Easter!
Local Events Coming Soon!
Christus Medicus: A Physician’s Witness to the Culture of Life
On Thursday, March 1st, from 7:00-8:30 pm in the St. Augustin Parish Hall, the St. Augustin Respect Life Committee and the SJEC are sponsoring Christus Medicus, where Dr. Damon Cudihy will share his experience as a Catholic Ob/Gyn living his faith in a difficult healthcare situation and the joys and challenges that go with it. More details are available on the SJEC Iowa website.
Prayer for Life Day
Please attend the annual Prayer for Life Day on Monday, March 5th. The morning activities will take place from 9:30 am – 1 pm at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church. The address is 1552 Maple Street, Des Moines.
Reverend Walter B. Hoye, founder of Issues4Life, will be the keynote speaker (see his picture below). Rev. Hoye works directly with African-American leaders nationwide to strengthen their stand against abortion and resolve the issues surrounding the moral responsibility of biotechnology in the African-American community. Rev. Hoye pastors a church in California and has spent time in jail for defying an ordinance requiring protestors to stay 100 yards away from an Oakland abortion processing center.
After the morning sessions, lunch will be provided. $10 per lunch is requested to help defray the costs. In the afternoon, everyone will head to the State Capitol Building to speak to our legislators and pray for life.
Please RSVP. You can RSVP by phone at 515-255-4113 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download and share the event flyer: http://iowartl.org/files/
Agape Crisis Pregnancy Center – Big Sale
Agape Crisis Pregnancy Center will be having a big sale on February 27 & March 26, from 3-6 pm. Their address is: 2550 MLK Jr. Parkway (enter off Bennett Avenue). There will be clothing for all ages, baby equipment, furniture, household items, books and more.
40 Days for Life
The next 40 Days for Life will be the largest spring campaign EVER! From February 22nd – April 1st, a staggering 251 cities in the US and around the world will simultaneously host local 40 Days for Life campaigns. Help save lives by getting involved in the next 40 Days for Life campaign! You can also sign up to get updates of the amazing things that happen when people fast, pray, and witness for life.
For more specific information, go to Des Moines’ 40 Days for Life Campaign webpage: http://www.40daysforlife.com/
Pro-Life Movie Free Screening and Coming Soon to Theaters
Remember the free screening of the new pro-life movie, October Baby, that I mentioned in last month’s blog? If you can’t make it to the free screening on February 23rd, please consider going to see the movie when it comes out on March 23rd at the Jordan Creek Century Theater. The movie is inspired by Gianna Jessen, a saline abortion survivor, who is now a famous pro-life activist. It is about a 19-year-old girl who finds out that she was adopted after an attempted saline abortion. She sets out on a journey to find her birthmother and get closure. It’s a wonderful movie about the beauty of life, love, and God’s forgiveness. See the trailer at http://www.octoberbabymovie.
When you go to the movie, the producers of October Baby will give 10% of the profits to the Every Life is Beautiful Fund, which will distribute funds to frontline organizations helping women facing crisis pregnancies, life-affirming adoption agencies, and those caring for orphans.
Here is a quick reminder of the details on the free screening for October Baby. The screening will take place on Thursday, February 23, at 7:00 pm at the Jordan Creek Theaters (101 Jordan Creek Parkway #2000, WDM, IA 50266). It is free, but remember that you have to sign up in advance on their website to get tickets (see January blog post).
IRTL Book Club Begins on March 8th at 7 pm
This month the Iowa Right to Life Book Club will discuss the novel Over Coffee We Shared Our Secrets. In this inspirational book, meet six hurting women, brought together in a post-abortion support group, who gather the courage to share their secrets and their hearts. The book club will meet at Caribou Coffee (3220 Ingersoll Avenue, Des
Moines). Please consider joining the group! You can purchase the book in the IRTL office, at 1500 Illinois Street, Des Moines. Books are $10 each.
Save the Date! IRTL Spring Book Sale: April 17-April 21
Mark your calendars for the biannual pro-life book sale! The Spring sale will take place at Jordan Park Camp in West Des Moines, from Tuesday, April 17 – Saturday, April 21. More information can be found at the IRTL website: http://iowartl.org/events/
IRTL Spring Fling
The annual Iowa Right to Life banquet raises awareness and donations for their pro-life education fund. The keynote speaker will be Catherine Adair, a former Planned Parenthood employee. She will speak about her transformation. To hear Catherine Adair speak go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
lIlumination Media Pro-Life Window Cling
Illumination Media is part of a groundbreaking effort to launch an extensive pro-life media campaign in central Iowa. Heroic Media has offered to match dollar for dollar whatever can be raised to make this happen. Heroic Media tracks abortion statistics in states where they implement campaigns, and they see significant reductions in abortion rates. Part of the fundraising campaign is selling these pro-life window clings. Please consider supporting this great cause, and we will look forward to seeing the results! (P.S. We're talking about Illumination Media,but in the blog font the I and the lowercase L are exactly the same. I'm sure you understand :)
Illumination Media is proud to present “The Embrace”
We’ve tied “yellow ribbons” to show solidarity with our troops, and placed “blue stars” in our front window to identify our home as a safe haven for children. Now we have “The Embrace” window cling to place in our car’s back window and in our home’s front window to tell the world that we support life. The bold design is easily seen and sure to spark
discussion. Leading, we hope, to the changing of hearts and minds in our community.
The heart within a heart speaks to the reality that human life begins at conception and that our Creator’s gift of allowing us to be “co-creators” is a sacred trust. The form can also be interpreted as the shape of a human embrace representing the love and compassion we share for all unborn children and women who find themselves in vulnerable situations that lead them to consider abortion.
The window clings are just $5, and bulk pricing is also available so that your Pro-Life organizations and committees can earn money from sales to fund their own projects. Go to IlluminationMedia.org for more information. [Janelle Kennedy]
HHS Mandate – Super-Quick Action Opportunities
Quick recap: The HHS mandate requires all organizations to provide abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception, and sterilization for free to employees. The religious exemption is practically non-existent. Everyone was upset, and it looked like there would be a compromise, but the compromise brings no change. Now our best chance is the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act – e-mail your Senators and Representatives TODAY (even several times with the different links and petitions to let them know how important this is to us :)
Senate Vote Nears!
The Senate is preparing to vote on the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, which is being offered in the form of Senate Amendment 1520 to the Transportation Authorization Bill (S. 1813). Please take action immediately! Please click on the link below to send a message to your two U. S. Senators, urging them to support Senate Amendment 1520 to the Transportation Authorization Bill (S. 1813). Click the link below to send your message: http://actions.nchla.org/link/
Send Prepared E-mails to Representative and Senators at the Same Time
The mandate is set to take effect August 1, 2012. To correct the threats to religious liberty and rights of conscience posed by the new health care law, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act has been introduced in Congress (H.R. 1179, S. 1467). If you have not contacted your Representative and Senators on this matter, please click the link below to log in and send your message: http://actions.nchla.org/link/
Iowa Catholic Conference & USCCB
All four of Iowa’s bishops sent a letter to our congressional delegation speaking out against the recent federal HHS mandate and asking them to co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. This bill would require the government to respect our religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
For now, the best things to do are to contact your members of Congress about the issue and pray! If you haven’t done so already, please go to www.usccb.org/conscience
Americans United for Life
We must urge the Senate to protect Americans’ freedom of conscience by supporting Amendment #1520, which would protect the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in healthcare coverage that is consistent with one’s religious beliefs and moral convictions.
Contact your Senators here now and urge them to co-sponsor Amendment #1520 and stand firm in pushing for a vote on this critical amendment.
You’ve heard that the mandate has been revised, but leading pro-life organizations have slammed the revised mandate, saying it could very well be a precursor to forcing insurance companies to provide coverage for free abortions. The Catholics bishops have said the only way to improve the mandate now is for Obama to get rid of it, but that's not happening - as the Obama administration has made it clear the pro-abortion mandate is here to stay.
Please sign the LifeNews petition here and tell Obama what you think of his pro-abortion mandate. Sign the petition, share it on Facebook and Twitter, and tell all of your pro-life friends and family to do the same. Hundreds of people have already signed and we need you to join them and send a message to Obama that you won't stand for his actions.
Stop HHS: www.stophhs.com
Stop the Birth Control Mandate: http://
Concerned Women of America: sign the petition here
An Idea from Rachel:
I know that it's difficult to find time to click the links and send even the prepared e-mails to legislators. One idea is to do it during your pro-life meetings during a social time. Meet in a place with wireless internet or at least one computer and take turns writing your legislators and signing the petitions. With so many important national and local pro-life issues, it's important that we support each other and make the time.
Iowa Catholic Conference - Iowa Pro-Life Legislation
To keep an eye on Iowa bills, including Pro-Life related bills, go to www.iowacatholicconference.
House File 2033 – This would require that a mother receive an ultrasound before an abortion is performed, and that she receive the opportunity to view the ultrasound image.
House File 2239 – This would provide for an informed consent process before an abortion is performed, the application of ambulatory surgery center safety requirements to abortion clinics, and outlawing "telemed" abortions prescribed over a webcam.
And we haven’t forgotten about House File 657, which would restrict abortions after about 20 weeks of pregnancy. It sits on the Senate calendar. [Tom Chapman]
Our Lady of Guadalupe Coming to Des Moines
The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is coming to Des Moines. This image is actual size and has been blessed at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Two missionary images travel around the world with one of the purposes to help people acknowledge the sanctity of human life and reduce abortions. Your pro-Life groups are welcome to check with your pastor to see if you can arrange for a time for the image to visit your parish (see schedule below to determine good times).
If you have further questions or would like to schedule the image to come to your church, please contact Mary Purtle at email@example.com.
Tentative Schedule of Our Lady of Guadalupe Image
Friday, March 23 - Pastoral Center for the 7-8am KWKY Morning Talk show (TBA), 10 am Pastoral Center, St. Ambrose Cathedral 12:10 Mass & Rosary (TBA)
Saturday, March 24 - 10-11 am Planned Parenthood Army Post Rd – 20 decade Rosary, 6pm Basilica of St. John - Spanish Mass and Benediction
Sunday, March 25 - 8:30 am Mass at the Basilica St. John (TBA), 10:30am Mass Bishop Pates - Benediction & veneration (TBA), 2:00 pm Spanish Mass at Christ the King Parish, Benediction and veneration.
Monday, March 26 – 6 pm Inner Visions Healthcare Clinic - 50th & WDM, Devotions by Deacon Rick Condon.
Tuesday, March 27 - St. Augustin Perpetual Adoration Chapel and/or School Mass (TBA).
Wednesday, March 28 – Bayard St Gregory Center & Council Bluffs (TBA) – Stay at Gabriel’s Corner in Council Bluffs.
Thursday, March 29 - Adair St. Gregory Center (TBA)
Friday, March 30 - Planned Parenthood Parish Vigil
Saturday, March 31 - 10-11 am Planned Parenthood Army Post Rd, 6:30pm Our Lady of the America’s Mass (TBA)
Sunday, April 1 - 9:30am Mass St. Anthony (TBA), 1:15pm Spanish Mass St. Anthony
Susan G. Komen Foundation IS Again Funding Planned Parenthood
Remember that though Komen planned to defund Planned Parenthood for a day or two, the organization has reversed its statement. Please choose to donate to other breast cancer support organizations which do not fund abortions.
Report From the 2012 March for Life
For 39 years, many thousands of people have made a pilgrimage to Washington D.C. to bear witness to the sanctity of human life. This year Iowans for LIFE organized 118 students, young adults, middle-aged and retired people from across Iowa to attend this annual event.
The march was massive! Initial estimates range from 400,000 to 500,000 people. However, unless you watched EWTN, it was as though the march never even occurred. We have much work to do, but walking shoulder to
shoulder on that rainy day gave me a renewed spirit to continue to fight.
Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the March for Life, and it will be held on January 25, 2013. Prayerfully consider making the pilgrimage with your family or find a way to support others to go. [Maggie Dewitte]
God bless your work!