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The Dignity of Human Life: Challenges and Progress Today

Jeffrey Bruno

Fr. Frank Pavone - published on 09/30/13

Third, building on both the damage that abortion itself does and the additional damage resulting from the unregulated abortion industry, we as a ministry have made the case for recalling abortion. The word "Recall" in English has two meanings. One meaning is to remember, as do those who have had abortions and recall its pain and damage, and the other meaning is for the government to take back a product or service that has proven harmful or dangerous. Our Executive Director, Janet Morana, has built this case in her recent book, Recall Abortion. (See

We have also intensified the effort to call on clinic workers to be whistleblowers, pointing out that a key lesson in the Gosnell case is not simply that he went to prison but that several of his employees did because of their cooperation in the wrongdoing. So we are pointing out to clinic workers that they have a choice to be either a witness or a defendant. More are coming forward to reveal the illegal activity going on in the abortion industry, and their motives are principally to protect themselves.

Then, of course, there are more and more people leaving the abortion industry because they are converting to the pro-life cause. Just prior to coming to this conference, I conducted another healing retreat for former abortionists and clinic workers who have become pro-life and are seeking the healing of the Lord. There is a specific protocol for the psychological and spiritual healing of such persons, and they have even formed an international association called the Society of Centurions. This name comes from the fact that the Roman Centurion at the cross of Jesus repented upon his death. "Surely, this was an innocent man!" Similarly, these former abortion workers, who made a living by killing children, have said, "Surely, these are innocent lives, and we are sorry."

The flow of conversions is in the direction of death to life. Since when, for instance, have you heard of an organization of former pregnancy resource center directors who have repented of saving babies and are now pro-abortion? It just doesn’t happen. You don’t get tired of saving lives; you do get tired of killing them.


Let me conclude by presenting you with the vision to which we are moving closer each day. Through the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, we have women sharing their testimonies of pain and healing after abortion. These are powerful to watch. But even more powerful is when the man joins her, publicly repenting of his failure to protect both her and her child. We also have the child’s grandparents coming for healing, repenting of having pressured their daughter to abort. Imagine them joining the baby’s mom and dad, together repenting and giving witness. And then, we can bring along with them the friend of that mom and dad, repenting of his or her failure to give them the hope and strength to choose life. And finally, imagine, joining all of these repentant individuals at a podium or on a stage, the former abortionist, the Centurion, expressing his or her repentance for having brought to that family the single most devastating wound it can receive, the abortion of its youngest, weakest member.

This is the vision of the family, the sanctuary of life, united in life-giving repentance and life-giving witness to the Lord of Life. As we celebrate the anniversary of the Charter of the Rights of the Family, let us commit ourselves to making this vision a reality, in a new culture of life! God bless you. 

Talk given by Fr. Frank Pavone at the September 17-20, 2013 Conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family in observance of the 30th Anniversary of the Holy See’s “Charter of the Rights of the Family.”

Originally published by Priests for Life on 20 September 2013.

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