Catholic Priest to Pro-Lifers: Don’t Be Silent in Election Year

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 2, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Priest to Pro-Lifers: Don’t Be Silent in Election Year

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 2, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Speaking to a crowd of hundreds at the National Right to Life Committee’s convention prayer breakfast, Father Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, told pro-life advocates that they should not be silent in an election year.

Referring to the upcoming presidential elections, Pavone said, "I’m not going to hesitate between now and the elections to be far more vocal that I have been in the past. If the church can’t speak in a moment like this, the church becomes completely irrelevant to society."

Pavone told pro-life advocates that they shouldn’t settle for candidates who are less than pro-life.

"Any candidate for public office who declares support for Roe v. Wade is declaring support for differing kind of government than our founders established," Pavone said.

Pavone read from a court transcript of a case involving Ohio abortion practitioner Martin Haskell, who developed the partial-birth abortion procedure.

During the case, Haskell told the court about the dismemberment abortion procedure and the problems of leaving bone fragments inside the woman’s uterus and the health dangers that result.

"My question for public officials who are pro-choice or candidates who campaign in favor of abortion is, when you say the word abortion are you talking about the same thing? Are you talking about the same procedure that has been described in courtrooms across the country," Pavone asked

Father Pavone told the audience to consider the hypothetical case of a candidate who supported the terrorist actions on September 11.

"Would you even ask what their position was on other issues," Pavone wondered. He told the audience the same idea must apply to candidates who support abortion.

Though candidates who back abortion may have good positions on other issues, Pavone said it didn’t matter if they back taking the lives of unborn children.

"There is something wrong when our loyalty to a political party is greater than our loyalty to God and moral principles," Pavone told the crowd.

Father Pavone also spoke about Terri Schiavo – the disabled woman whose husband is attempting to remove her feeding tube and end her life.

"The whole controversy that has been surrounding Teri — let no one think that this is about the right to die because they are suffering too much," Pavone explained. "It is about the right to kill because they are too much of an inconvenience."

"Any law that would deprive a person of the right to food and nourishment is not a bad law – it is no law at all," Father Pavone added.

When politicians or candidates for public office support abortion or condemning someone like Terri to death, "can it be clearer that they have departed from the most democratic principles on which our country was founded," Pavone said.