From http://blog.aulaction.org/2009/02/13/foca-by-stealth-ask-congress-to-defend-pro-life-riders/

Dear Friend,

As you may have heard, Congress has not yet introduced the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). That’s because the pro-abortion forces have heard your voice. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told the Wall Street Journal:

We’re going to be smart and strategic about our policy agenda to bring people together to make progress for women’s health. The Freedom of Choice Act is very important . . . but we have a long list of things to get done that I think can address problems immediately that women are facing, that are really immediate concerns.

In other words, because of the more than 650,000 people like you who have stood up to Fight FOCA, pro-abortion forces are focusing on another tactic for now – FOCA-by-Stealth.

They want to try to pass pieces of FOCA under your nose. The first target is your pocketbook.

The top priority for Planned Parenthood and their pro-abortion allies is to repeal the laws that prohibit federal funding of abortion. Often called pro-life “riders,” the pro-abortion forces want House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to eliminate them and start using our tax dollars to pay for abortion-on-demand . . . nationwide.

Thankfully, a bi-partisan group of Members of Congress are standing up to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood (who used to work for Speaker Pelosi). A letter to Speaker Pelosi written by Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio and Democrat Congressman Heath Shuler of North Carolina is being circulated for signatures by Members of Congress.

Please ask your member of Congress to sign the Jordan/Shuler letter.

The deadline is this Friday, February 20.

Yours for Life,

Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D.
President & CEO

AUL Action, The Legislative Arm of Americans United for Life


That letter from AUL Action has a link to a site where you can write directly to your Member of Congress:


The letter provided there can be used as a model for a letter of your own:

Dear [Decision Maker],

As a constituent who lives in your district, I am writing to ask you to sign onto the Jordan/Shuler letter addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to keep the current, longstanding pro-life policies in place in federal appropriations bills. The reported deadline for signing this letter is Friday, February 20.

I oppose the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) and any similar measure – including those efforts to implement FOCA one step at a time through the Congressional appropriations process. I encourage you to support provisions such as those that protect taxpayers from being compelled to pay for abortions and the destruction of human embryos, protect the consciences of healthcare professionals, and prevent the U.S. funding of organizations that support coercive abortions or involuntary sterilization overseas.

The Jordan/Shuler letter is an important statement about the priority that these and other pro-life provisions should have in the debate over future appropriations bills. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

If you want to send a letter without going through the AUL Action site, consider using the government site www.house.gov where you can look up your Member of Congress.


The site http://unbornwordoftheday.com has many beautiful reflections as well as artwork depicting the unborn Child Jesus in the womb of His mother Mary.

Today that site has a particularly good point for meditation in its post titled “Let It Be Done To Me According To Thy Word” which talks about how Mary’s “yes” led to the world’s transformation:

Let us ponder the power and grace that flooded the world when Christ was conceived in Mary’s womb. At the one cell stage, Christ fundamentally changed the world.

Christ wanted to show humanity how special that one cell stage is by fundamentally changing the world at that beginning point of His Incarnate life.

He raised that moment in each person’s life to a dignity and beauty that we will never fully comprehend.

Each of us can carry that message to others, as we urge others to say “yes” to the Culture of Life in our local communities, our nation, and our world. (You can read the full posting at http://unbornwordoftheday.com/2009/02/04/

Here is one example of the artwork (part of the January 31 posting) on that blog. In this case, the image is a photo taken during the March for Life, rather than the art directly.

The caption given with the photo says:

From the ByzanTEENS at the March for Life this year, an icon of the Visitation, showing not only Mary and Elizabeth, but John the Baptist and Jesus in their mothers’ wombs. Notice that John is kneeling and Jesus is blessing him.

(You can click the photo to enlarge it and see the details better.)

Finally, their December 31, 2008 post is titled “2000 Years Marks 42 Years of Prophetic Pro-Life Witness in America” and can be read at http://unbornwordoftheday.com/2008/12/31/
. The words there may encourage you to persevere in your pro-life work as St. Paul said,

“I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith” (in 2 Timothy 4:7).

…if you are able to view EWTN! Of course, that channel will be hosting live coverage of the March for Life and showing many programs related to that. Check the Web site for details. 

Here are descriptions of two particular programs:

The first program will be shown as an episode of “EWTN Global Showcase” on Sat 01/17/09 at 8:00 PM (ET) and encored on Sun 01/18/09 at 2:00 AM (ET).

Cutting Through The Spin On Stem Cells And Cloning” – Leading Catholic Bioethicist Fr. Tad Pacholcyzk debunks the numerous modern myths surrounding current stem cell research and cloning issues.

The second program will be shown as “Special Programming” on Mon 01/19/09 at 5:30 PM (ET).

Love Is A Choice” – This program offers a glimpse in the life of St. Gianna Berretta Molla through interviews with those who knew her, as well as the reciting of several of the letters she exchanged with her husband.

The full schedule for January 2009 “Specials” on EWTN is at http://www.ewtn.com/tv/NAAdv0109.asp. Please check that schedule for many other programs, especially ones that are related to this month’s Roe v. Wade anniversary.

In only a few weeks, the annual
March for Life
will take place in Washington, D.C. 

 It will be preceded by the
National Prayer Vigil for Life.

Here are the main links about those events:




Overview of Events:








Other sites:


     (Directions to the Shrine)

     (Public transportation in Washington, D.C.)

     (Archdiocese of Washington is hosting Youth Rally and Mass for Life)




The next link leads to an article about heroes in the pro-life movement, people who will be formally recognized during the week of the March. Perhaps you will draw some inspiration from them!


Pro-Life Advocates Receive Foundation Awards
for Extending Educational Work

by Paul Nowak, LifeNews.com Staff Writer
December 29, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Six pro-life heroes will receive the inaugural Life Prizes award, with a total value of $600,000, on January 23 in Washington DC. “The six winners that were chosen are examples for us and for our children of the type of initiative and action that is needed to promote life throughout our country,” said Life Prizes director Cathy Ruse. “We are thrilled with the work they have been doing and are excited to see how that work will continue.” The award and prize money will be divided among

  • the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), an association of pro-life physicians that saves lives by remaining steadfastly committed to life within a stridently pro-abortion profession;
  • Richard Doerflinger, the Associate Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities;
  • Margaret “Peggy” Hartshorn, President, Heartbeat International, a preeminent network of more than 1,000 pregnancy resource centers;
  • Jill Stanek, the nurse who first publicly exposed infanticide of abortion survivors;
  • Lila Rose, founder of student pro-life organization Live Action and President of its UCLA chapter who has launched several successful, undercover investigations that exposed the racism and statutory rape cover-up by Planned Parenthood; and
  • Kay Cole James, founder and president of The Gloucester Institute, an outreach and education initiative for young African Americans and co-founder of Black Americans for Life. . . .

Follow the link given above to read the remainder of the article. Then prayerfully take a closer look at the possibility of going to the March next month! (And if you don’t attend it in person, try to see it as well as the prayer vigil and Masses on EWTN.)


More about “Life Prizes”:


Life Prizes is a program that awards those who have succeeded in awakening the conscience of America to uphold and preserve the sanctity of human life through their leadership and advances in public advocacy, scientific research, outreach and public disclosure activities, legal action, and other noteworthy achievements. The award is named the “Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize” to memorialize Mr. and Mrs. Raymond E. Ruddy, strong believers in the pro-life cause and parents of Raymond B. Ruddy, a pro-life philanthropist who has long supported and donated to life causes and charities throughout the world. In addition to recognizing those on the front lines of saving lives and who have most significantly advanced pro-life principles and practices, the initiative seeks to encourage and inspire the next generation of youth to accomplish great things in the name of life.


Life Prizes is an annual prize program awarding up to $600,000 for outstanding efforts to awaken the conscience of America to the sanctity of human life through public advocacy, scientific research, outreach and public disclosure activities, legal action and other noteworthy achievements. Life Prizes is an initiative of the Gerard Health Foundation, the private charity foundation of Raymond B. and Marilyn A. Ruddy, long-time pro-life philanthropists.

The purpose of Life Prizes is two-fold: to recognize those on the front lines of the greatest human rights battle of our day, and to encourage and inspire the next generation to accomplish great things for the cause of life.

The total prize amount of $600,000 will be divided among up to 6 individuals and/or organizations chosen as the winners, and the prizes will be awarded at a ceremony on January 23, 2009 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

It seems that the Students for Life site has a paraphrased version of what the Life Prizes site says about its work and the award. Much more information is available at the Life Prizes site, including details about the selection process and the winners.

Meeting Reminder

To the members of the parish committee and anyone else who is interested in participating:

Our next meeting is Monday, January 5th at 6:30 pm in the PLC. The main topics will be FOCA and the re-organization of our committee. Please try to read (or at least skim) the “Welcome” page and its sub-pages so that you are better prepared to discuss those ideas. We hope to see many of you then!

Unborn Jesus

Here’s a link to a site that is available all year long, but has a theme especially notable during Advent.


The subtitle of the site says,

“Honoring the Unborn Christ Child,

promoting the Gospel of Life,

one day at a time… .”

Reading Suggestions

Here are links to articles recently recommended by one of our members:

Shared via email on Dec. 3:


(re: United Nations Population Fund Investigation Information to Consider)


(re: Success Video from 40 Days for Life)

Shared via email on Dec. 9:


(re: 40 Days for Life Teleconference)

Shared via email on Dec. 15:


(re: Vatican Instruction on Bioethics)


(re: Obama Question Site)


(re: Pope Benedict on Population Issues)

Shared via email on Dec. 16:




(re: Abortion Plans Submitted for President Elect Obama and Possible Filbuster)

Regarding those last two links, that member suggests the following action:


Please contact your two state senators to ask them to support filibusters to block any moves by the new administration to expand direct abortions in this country or around the world by funding or any other means such as rulemaking or by supporting direct abortion providers in any other way. The following Web site may be used to contact your senators: http://senate.gov/