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Men’s March participants call on bishops to take firm stand against abortion, pro-abortion politicians

November 15, 2021 Catholic News Agency 3
Gabriel Vance of Columbus, Ohio, prays the rosary, with his three young sons beside him, during the pro-life Men’s March in Baltimore on Nov. 15, 2021. / Shannon Mullen

Baltimore, Md., Nov 15, 2021 / 17:24 pm (CNA).

When the call went out for men to march and pray for the unborn in Baltimore on Monday, Gabriel Vance and his extended family turned out in droves.

A caravan of 20 of his family members made the seven-hour trek from Columbus, Ohio, including his own three boys, his brothers-in-law, and their sons.

“The greatest social issue we face is the issue of abortion, because it takes the lives of 2,300 human beings every day in America, and 200,000 human beings every day in our world,” said Vance, 26, who co-founded the pro-life group Catholics for Life with his wife Anna earlier this year.

“The Catholic Church,” he said, “needs to be taking a stand against that.” And that means Catholic men — bishops, priests, deacons, and laymen — can’t remain silent, he added.

Approximately 200 men and boys from across the country took part in the pro-life Men’s March on Monday. Held to coincide with the start of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ fall assembly, the march began in front of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic and ended with the recitation of the rosary and speeches outside the Marriott Waterfront hotel, where the bishops are meeting this week.

Some of the youngest participants donned snow suits and mittens, because it was a cold, blustery November day, but the men and older boys marched in suits and ties, as the organizers requested. “We’re not here as protesters,” explained participant Larry Cirignano. “It was a simple message of Catholic men in support of life.”

But there also was a message marchers sought to deliver to the bishops. Signs and speeches called on the leaders of the Catholic Church in the U.S. to enforce Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law, which says, in part, that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin” should not be admitted to Holy Communion.

One of the chief items on the bishops’ agenda this week will be a vote on a proposed new document on the Eucharist. Though the document grew out of discussions over whether adamantly pro-abortion Catholic politicians, such as President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, ought to be allowed to receive Communion, the draft text under consideration doesn’t include any reference to politicians, nor any criteria for denying the sacrament in such cases.

Catholic radio talk show host Jim Havens was one of the co-organizers of the pro-life Men's March in Baltimore on Nov. 15, 2021. Shannon Mullen/CNA
Catholic radio talk show host Jim Havens was one of the co-organizers of the pro-life Men’s March in Baltimore on Nov. 15, 2021. Shannon Mullen/CNA

“We simply want them to live the faith and fulfill the sacred offices that they hold,” said Jim Havens, a Catholic radio talk show host in Fort Myers, Fla. who co-organized Monday’s march with Father Stephen Imbarrato, a pro-life activist.

“Canon 915 is there. If it applies in any situation, it certainly applies with pro-abortion politicians. They have been talked to many, many times. They’re obstinate. It’s public, manifest grave sin, and then they’re still going forward and receiving the Holy Eucharist,” Havens said.

“We cannot say this is OK. Out of charity, out of love for them, as well as out of love for others, we have to say no, we have to apply Canon 915,” he said. 

Havens said he disagrees with those bishops who believe withholding Communion from pro-abortion politicians would politicize or “weaponize” the sacrament.

“This is not about politics. This is about morality. These are real people being murdered. So we have to push to make [abortion] illegal and unthinkable,” he said. “Not because it’s politics, but because it’s moral; it’s the morally right thing to do.”


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Live Action’s pro-life 2363 campaign focuses on abortion’s daily death toll

November 4, 2021 Catholic News Agency 0
A screenshot from Live Action’s new 2363 video, which details the disturbing reality of surgical abortions. / Live Action YouTube video

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 4, 2021 / 15:52 pm (CNA).

A new pro-life campaign is highlighting the number of unborn babies destroyed in abortion each day in the United States: 2,363. That number takes on a personal meaning for Lila Rose, who is leading the initiative while more than eight months pregnant.

“I think becoming a mom has definitely made me even more passionate about fighting for the lives of children and working to protect them,” the head of Live Action, a national pro-life organization, told CNA. “It makes it that much more personal to experience pregnancy and a little life growing within, and to realize that there is a daily death toll of children like mine of 2,363 a day.”

Live Action’s campaign, 2363, will educate millions about abortion through ads and marketing in four major cities, Rose said: New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Jackson, Mississippi.

Already, she said, the 2363 campaign has inspired pro-life legislation. On Tuesday, Ohio State Rep. Jena Powell introduced the 2363 Act, or House Bill 480. The bill would ban abortions statewide, except in cases where the woman’s life is at risk. Modeled after Texas’ abortion ban, which the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about on Nov. 1, the proposed legislation would allow private citizens to sue anyone who performs or assists with an abortion.

Rose pointed to the 2363 campaign video, which provides details on how abortions are performed, as an instrument in changing hearts and minds. The video features ​​obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Anthony Levatino, who partnered with Live Action to describe abortion procedures. Now a pro-life advocate, Levatino previously performed an estimated 1,200 abortions.

“The abortionist uses this clamp to grasp an arm or a leg,” Levatino says during the video, describing a second-trimester surgical abortion, or dilation & evacuation (D&E) to viewers. “Once he has a firm grip, the abortionist pulls hard in order to tear the limb from the baby’s body.”

He identifies the most difficult part as “extracting the baby’s head” which is “grasped and crushed.” At the end, “the abortionist then collects the baby parts and reassembles them to make sure that there are two arms, two legs, and all the pieces.”

After watching this video, the number of people who listed their position as “abortion should never be legal” increased by 11%, from 33% to 44%, Live Action found. Sixty-two percent of viewers said they viewed abortion more negatively after watching.

“These are the public opinion shifts we’re looking for across the country where people become 100% anti-abortion in support of complete legal protection for the pre-born,” Rose stressed.

Showing abortion for what it is saves lives, she added.

Lila Rose, founder of Live Action. Courtesy of Live Action
<p>Lila Rose, founder of Live Action. Courtesy of Live Action</p>

“I think most people want to do what’s right,” Rose said, “and when they find out what a violent act abortion is against the innocent child and how unjust that is and how damaging that is, then many of them change their position on abortion and go from apathetic to passionate, or go from pro-choice to pro-life.”

She called 2,363 “a number that every American needs to know.”

“That’s the daily average of the leading death toll in the United States, higher than heart disease, cancer, or COVID-19,” Rose stressed. 

In addition to educating the public, the campaign website,, connects women in need with resources and equips pro-life citizens to engage their communities, Rose said of the campaign’s “multi-faceted approach.”

As a pro-life advocate and as a mom, Rose envisions a future “where my kids can grow up in a country that respects children and human life and sees pregnancy as a gift, and supports mothers and fathers instead of rejecting new lives and throwing them away.”