Director of Priests for Life: Abortion should be exposed for what it is

LAFAYETTE, La. — “The abortion industry is an ongoing disaster in this country” as tens of thousands of unborn babies are killed each year by doctors who took an oath “to do no harm,” says the Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

Speaking Feb. 16 in Lafayette at the annual fundraising event for the pro-life DesOrmeaux Foundation, Pavone referred to the abortion industry as “the most unregulated medical field in the U.S.”

Noting that abortion harms women psychologically and can be dangerous to their physical health as well, he related a recent much-publicized story out of Germantown, Md., in which a fetus who was 33 weeks old — nearly full term — was aborted. As a result of the operation, the mother, a woman named Jennifer, developed medical complications and died.

Pavone echoed the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta, saying abortion is a deterrent to peace in the world.

“How are we going to have world peace when there isn’t even peace between a mother and her unborn child?” he asked.

The Catholic priest argued against the idea that abortion can sometimes be considered an act of love.

“Abortion is the opposite of love. Love says, ‘I sacrifice for the good of the other.’ Abortion says, ‘I sacrifice the other for my own good’,” he said.

Pavone offered the audience a few tips on how to prepare themselves for a discussion with people of the pro-choice persuasion who want to talk about a woman’s legal right to choose life or death for her baby.

“Take some control of the conversation from the outset by asking, ‘What are we talking about here?’” he said. “This will focus the discussion on abortion itself and how the unborn baby is killed.”

“When abortion is exposed for what it is, the human conscience rejects it,” he said, referring his listeners to the website,

“People who support abortion are the least willing to discuss abortion, to describe what it actually is,” he said. “You’ll never find a description of abortion in pro-choice literature.”

Pavone related a conversation he had with Alveda King — the niece of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King — during the March for Life in Washington, D.C., in January.

“This must seem a lot like the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s,” he said to her.

“This is the civil rights movement of our time,” Alveda King replied, adding that she believed her uncle “would be marching with us,” demonstrating his support of the civil rights of the unborn, especially the basic right to life.

The pro-life movement doesn’t chastise women who have had abortions, but rather reaches out to help them, Pavone said.

“Our movement is not one of condemnation, but of hope, compassion and support,” he said as he praised the work of the DesOrmeaux Foundation.

The foundation, which is “dedicated to defending human life at all stages of development, born and unborn,” operates entirely on donations and volunteer help. It includes three components — The Women’s Center of Lafayette, which offers various support and referral services; St. Marguerite d’Youville Home, for women who want to keep their babies but are otherwise lacking the resources to support and care for them; and the Baby & Me Boutique, which provides clothing and other necessities for babies and mothers.

The event was emceed by Chad Judice, a pro-life speaker, author and teacher at St. Thomas More Catholic High School. He is the father of a 4-year-old special-needs son, Eli, a boy whose life story has had a positive impact on the pro-life movement in Louisiana and in several other parts of the United States.

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