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September 27, 2007 Edition

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Witnesses for life:
They ARE making a difference

For many years, dedicated pro-lifers have been keeping vigil outside abortion clinics across the United States. They pray, hand out pro-life literature, and counsel pregnant women about alternatives to abortion.

What is Forty Days for Life?

It is a vigil based on peaceful prayer and fasting, using the biblically significant period of 40 days.

It is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week prayer vigil outside local abortion centers to pray to God for an end to abortion.

It begins on Wednesday, Sept. 26, and ends on Sunday, Nov. 4, in 89 communities throughout the U.S. In Madison, it will be held outside Planned Parenthood on 3706 Orin Rd., off Hwy. 51. For information visit www.40daysforlife.com/madison

Some people of the "pro-choice" persuasion may scoff at and ridicule these pro-life witnesses. There are even those in the pro-life movement who might feel their efforts are often in vain.

But they are wrong. Witnessing outside abortion clinics IS making a difference. It is changing the hearts and minds of pregnant women - and it is even causing some communities to close down abortion clinics.

Helping pregnant women. This witness is truly changing the hearts and minds of pregnant women. An article in the Compass, newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay, reported that a 40-day prayer vigil held in Green Bay in 2006 did have an impact on women. Three women who had scheduled abortions decided not to go through with the procedures after vigil participants explained what other options they had.

In Madison, pro-life people often pray outside the Planned Parenthood abortion center located on Madison's east side. In addition, a pro-life billboard has been erected overlooking the abortion clinic. That billboard has been credited with saving lives and changing hearts, too.

One young pregnant women driving to Madison for her appointment at the abortion center saw the billboard's message and turned around, went back home, and made an appointment at a local pregnancy center. She ended up giving life to her baby.

Stopping abortion clinic. Here is another success story. Recently the citizens of Aurora, Ill., were shocked to learn that Planned Parenthood was secretly erecting an abortion clinic in their neighborhood. The news came to light after a construction worker became suspicious of the true purpose of a 22,000-square-foot "Gemini Health Center" in Aurora.

Pro-lifers began flooding the city hall with questions about the building and discovered it was to house a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic which anticipated performing 9,000 abortions a year.

A 40-day pro-life campaign in Aurora thwarted the scheduled opening of the clinic. Planned Parenthood's national president, Cecile Richards, sent a mass e-mail about the Aurora situation stating that "more people are protesting this clinic than we've seen in a long time."

Forty Days for Life. On September 26, more than 80 cities in 33 states (including Madison) will follow the example set by Aurora in joining together for the largest simultaneous pro-life mobilization in American history: the 40 Days for Life campaign. Please consider participating in the Madison vigil beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26 (see box with this editorial for more details).

We can change the hearts and minds of pregnant women and our communities and put an end to abortion in our country. Don't underestimate the power of prayer and personal witness!

Mary C. Uhler

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Mailbag policy
We reserve the right to edit or reject letters. Limit letters to 200 words or less. All letters must be signed. Please include your city or town of residence.

Send letters to:
The Catholic Herald
702 S. High Point Rd.
Madison, WI 53719-3522

Fax: 608-821-3071
E-mail: info@madisoncatholicherald.org
Be aware if your donations
go to embryonic research

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to inform, not to criticize or condemn. There are several fund raisers in the Madison Diocese and across the state of Wisconsin that donate a lot of money, either directly or indirectly, to the Paul P. Carbone UW Comprehensive Cancer Center - Madison. I just want to point out that several doctors and researchers in this group also do embryonic stem cell research.

Don't get me wrong. The UWCCC group is doing outstanding research. But, I feel they have crossed the line with embryonic stem cell research and I can no longer support them as this is against God's natural law.

There are many success stories in regard to adult stem cell research but no success stories with embryonic stem cell research. I have lost a sister to colon cancer and a brother to complications related to diabetes. I want cures as well as the next person but not at the expense of another human life.

We live in a very generous diocese that is more than willing to share what they have for the betterment of others. But please, when you donate to what seems to be a good cause, please check to make sure what your hard earned dollars are being used for. And of course, I highly recommend that you do NOT support embryonic stem cell research. Immoral means can never be used in achieving a good and noble end.

John Renz, Helenville

Difficult to understand dissenting Maryland judges

To the editor:

I see that the highest court in the state of Maryland threw out a lawsuit challenging a 1973 law that defines marriage as "a union between a man and a woman."

In the four to three decision, the court ruled that the law banning "gay marriage" does not discriminate on the basis of gender. It makes me wonder what the three dissenting judges were thinking.

Doesn't Genesis tell us that our Creator made us male and female? God created us as man and woman for a reason and He even spells it out for us as He tells us to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it."

Since Christ's first public miracle was at a wedding feast, it seems to me that He was trying to convey to us the importance of marriage, which is a sign of His unfailing love for us.

Jim Holden, Watertown

Dog fights are disgraceful, but abortion is worse

To the editor:

Arranging for dogs to brutally maim and kill other dogs in staged dog fights is sadistic, disgraceful, and repulsive, but it is not as outrageous and barbarian as condoning the actions of doctors who deliberately murder innocent and defenseless unborn babies in the process of abortion. At least dogs can defend themselves up to a point.

Charles Sippel, Waterloo

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
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