"To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop." ~ Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n.101
Everything is grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love.Everything is grace because everything is God's gift.Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events -- to the heart that loves, all is well.
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"I love the zeal Jean puts into her posts, especially when it comes to the prolife movement." Esther, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.
"Jean of Catholic Fire...provides so much informative content. She posts about pro-life issues and events, what happened 'on this day', biographies of saints, prayer intentions, and lots more each day. No matter what she's posting about, I can always come away each day feeling uplifted...and that's saying a lot for me, as I'm someone who often tries to avoid thinking about some of the political and other issues that she posts about. It must be her strong faith and trust in God, as well as her love, shining through her posts, that inspire me." Margaret Mary Myers , Reflections, Catholic BVI Readers, VIP Homeschooler.
State and local pro-life organizations form the political and educational nucleus of our movement. The importance of these groups cannot be overstated. Our one strength with politicians is our grassroots. Our one way around liberals and the mainstream press is by direct education. In my opinion, the foremost state pro-life organization is Right to Life of Michigan. I give thanks for this group today and want to spotlight its inner workings to assist other groups.
One proof of RTL's success is the state's abortion statistics. In 2004, Michigan reported 26,269 abortions, a 46.5 percent decrease from a high in 1987 of 49,098.
In addition, Michigan enjoys pro-life majorities in both its state house and senate political parties.
But what I think sets RTL apart is its generous outreach to other states, from hosting pro-life events such as the recent Urban Outreach Seminar to offering its top-notch pro-life TV commercials to outside groups.
RTL has 45 paid staff, 41 of which are full-time. It has seven offices throughout Michigan.
Of that staff, six are field representatives, appointed to certain sections of the state to help affiliates grow and raise funds. In a state with a population of 10 million in 83 counties, RTL has 108 affiliates. In addition, RTL has a 12-station, in-house telemarketing center, where 20 fund-raisers work in shifts, Monday through Saturday.
RTL's current annual budget is about $4 million. It spends heavily on media outreach, funding Yellow Page and TV ads throughout the state. It also rents billboards and radio spots, hosts a website, and funds its own resource and printing center for pro-life materials.
Background But RTL's president, Barb Listing reminds people, "This didn't happen overnight. I think sometimes groups visit us and get overwhelmed." How did RTL get from there to here? I interviewed Barb last week to find out. RTL began taking shape in 1972, when pro-aborts introduced a referendum to legalize abortion. Pro-life groups formed around the state and defeated the referendum that November. [Entire Story]
Jill Stanek fought to stop "live-birth abortion" after witnessing one as a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. In 2002, President Bush asked Jill to attend his signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. In January 2003, World Magazine named Jill one of the 30 most prominent pro-life leaders of the past 30 years. To learn more, visit Jill's blog, Pro-life Pulse.
This Thanksgiving, I will be giving thanks to God for Jill, who lit the spark of pro-life activism within me in 2001 through her powerful witness that changed my life. God bless you, Jill, for all the work you do for the Lord!