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For Right to Life

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"The timing of Pope Benedict's visit to the United States couldn't have been better," said David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life. "The pope's strong pro-life witness resounds across denominational lines."

The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.

Monday, April 21, 2008

40 Days for Life Team Encouraged by Pope's Words, Impact of Spring Events

In his homily at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, Pope Benedict emphasized the importance of Christ's unchanging truths. "These are the truths that set us free!" he said. "They are the truths which alone can guarantee respect for the inalienable dignity and rights of each man, woman and child in our world, including the most defenseless of all human beings, the unborn child in the mother's womb."


Earlier, the pope warned against embracing a secular society where "faith becomes a passive acceptance that certain things 'out there' are true, but without practical relevance for everyday life." As a result, he said, "each person believes he or she has a right to pick and choose" which parts of the gospel to follow, so much so that even people who claim the Christian faith "promote an alleged right to abortion."

"That's sadly true," said Bereit, who attended the ceremony welcoming Pope Benedict to the White House, "but there are encouraging signs that the tide is turning." Voters in Colorado are being asked to amend their state constitution so the rights of personhood are vested at fertilization. "This will recognize the rights of children in the womb," said Bereit, "effectively protecting them from abortion." In addition, South Dakotans collected three times the number of signatures necessary to place a referendum on this fall's ballot that could outlaw most abortions in their state.

The 40 Days for Life effort is also spreading beyond the United States. "Campaigns were held this spring in a number of nations, including Peru and Brazil," said Bereit, "as the fight to defend life in South America builds momentum." Peruvian participants helped block a new abortion protocol which would have weakened the laws against abortion. Following 40 Days for Life in Brazil, the bishops of that overwhelmingly Catholic nation became much bolder and more outspoken in their defense of life in the womb.


Pope Benedict visited Brazil last year, speaking in very direct terms about Christians who condone legal abortion. "He apparently had quite an impact," said Bereit. "We pray that his words on the sanctity of human life will similarly touch all Americans of good will, and embolden more people to work with greater resolve to eliminate the harm that abortion brings to our communities across our nation."


40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that features 40 days of prayer and fasting, constant peaceful vigil outside an abortion facility and intense public outreach. Plans are now under way for another round of concurrent 40 Days for Life campaigns this fall. These events will be conducted from September 24 through November 2. For more information, go to


Contact: Amber Dolle

Source: 40 Days for Life

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