Choose Life Wisconsin Urges Supreme Court to Take “Choose Life” License Plate Case

PlateAfter months of hard work, passionate lobbying at the State Capitol, and many phone calls and emails from grassroots pro-lifers, the “Choose Life” Wisconsin license plate was killed by Senate Republican leadership this past April. This positive, life affirming plate is designed to save lives and help women in need by funding crisis pregnancy outreach centers. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin State Senate was more interested in politics than honoring the free speech of pro-life Wisconsinites.

Now, however, attorneys with the Thomas More Society and Wisconsin attorney Michael Dean and his First Freedoms Foundation have filed an amicus brief on behalf of Choose Life Wisconsin, Choose Life America, and Illinois Choose Life. The brief urges the U.S. Supreme Court to take on a lower court case that addresses the free speech rights of Americans who want to purchase “Choose Life” license plates. If the Supreme Court agrees to take on the case, it would be a wonderful opportunity for pro-life and pro-family groups to argue for the right to have “Choose Life” license plates across the country.

“Thousands of drivers wish to purchase ‘Choose Life’ specialty plates in order to express their personal views in favor of an important societal issue,” said Steve Crampton, Thomas More Society special counsel, “but they are not able to do so because of confusing contradictions in the lower courts. It’s high time that this conflict is resolved once and for all–the forum of specialty plates should include all speech.”

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Today is Primary Election Day! Vote Pro-Life!

Vote BadgesDon’t forget to vote in today’s fall primary election – let your pro-life voice be heard! 

Please keep the following points in mind as you vote:

  •  The Wisconsin fall primary is a “closed” primary.
  •  You have the choice whether to declare a party affiliation.
  •  You must limit your votes to candidates in only one party.
  •  If you cast votes for candidates in more than one party, your entire ballot will be invalidated.


PLW Victory Fund PAC candidate endorsements
The Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund political action committee (PAC) has endorsed 39 candidates who are 100 percent pro-life and running for state office in the upcoming fall primary and general elections. We are pleased to be able to endorse these candidates who recognize the personhood of the preborn baby and who hold the principled and compassionate ‘no-exceptions’ pro-life philosophy. Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund supports candidates for public office who demonstrate a commitment to protect each and every innocent human life – in all circumstances and at all stages of development. Only when we have lawmakers who will fully protect preborn children as ‘persons’ will we see an end to the scandal of legal abortion.
 
For a list of the Victory Fund’s endorsed candidates, please click here.

Candidates for U.S. Congress who returned 100% pro-life PLW surveys
The following candidates for United States Congress have returned 100% pro-life surveys from Pro-Life Wisconsin:
 
U.S. House of Representatives
District 3
Karen Mueller (R-Chippewa Falls)
 
District 4
Dan Sebring (R-Milwaukee)
 
District 6
Glenn Grothman (R-Campbellsport)
Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan)
Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville)
 
Paid for by the Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund PAC, George Kriegl Treasurer. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s agent or committee.

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Safe Sex Doesn’t Exist

A few months ago, I wrote a column called “The Myth of Safe Sex.” My argument was that sex is the most intimate and powerful of human actions, for in the sexual act, we lay ourselves and our souls bare. More importantly, in engaging in the sexual act, we have the power to create a new human life—a power that should never be treated casually or thoughtlessly. With great power comes great responsibility, as the saying goes.

Now, internet blogging phenomenon, Matt Walsh, has voiced the same opinion, albeit more forcefully and eloquently than I.

Nameless, random, uncommitted sex is never safe. Not emotionally, not spiritually, not physically. In fact, no sex is safe. Sex is not supposed to be safe. Sex isn’t supposed to be physically perilous like it often is these days — thanks, mostly, to years of ‘safe sex’ education — but it is supposed to be an act of great depth and consequence. Sex is meant to be open and exposed. It’s meant to bring out scary and mysterious feelings of desire and devotion.

Call that whatever you like, but you can’t call it safe.

Sex itself isn’t safe. On the other hand, committed relationships, fortified by the vows of marriage and reaffirmed daily by both spouses, are safe — and it is only in this context that the inherent vulnerability of sex can be made secure and comfortable.

It’s funny that in the world of petty one night stands, when someone commits the crime of being a human being who develops natural pangs of emotional closeness and affection, the other person is allowed to accuse them of being ‘weird’ or ‘moving too fast.’ And when the manmade barricades fail and a human life is tragically formed, both parties can, with a straight face, say that it was an ‘accident.’

Read the whole thing here. It’s a great piece with a great message: That human sexuality is not something to be treated casually. In fact, it is so powerful that abusing it results in the death of millions of innocent human lives each year—which is hardly safe.

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City of Madison Repeals Anti-Speech Zones

522a67de392c1.preview-620Citing a lawsuit by Madison pro-life advocates, and reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in McCullen v. Coakley striking down a Massachusetts law requiring pro-life witnesses and sidewalk counselors in the public way to remain 35 feet from the entrance to an abortion clinic, the Madison Common Council last night unanimously repealed their own anti-speech zones created by an ordinance passed in March. In a July 10 memo to Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and members of the Madison Common Council, city attorney Michael May recommended repealing the anti-speech zones explaining the City “is not able to enforce the ordinance in light of McCullen, and leaving the law on the books opens the City up to additional lawsuits.” The Common Council repealed all of the ordinance’s limits on activity in places like the UW campus, and it removed all speech restrictions outside abortion centers in Madison.

“The Common Council was right to repeal its offensive and unconstitutional anti-speech zones,” said Matt Sande, Pro-Life Wisconsin Legislative Director. “Last January Pro-Life Wisconsin implored the Council to slow down and refrain from enacting any speech restrictions pending the McCullen decision. The high court has now spoken, saying that cities may not attack free speech rights in the public way. The controversy surrounding the Madison anti-speech zone ordinance and the resulting lawsuit brought by our Dane County affiliate could all have been avoided had council members exercised a little prudence.”

The Madison ordinance created a “protective zone” within 100 feet of the entrance to “health care” clinics and 30 feet of the driveway entrance for a health clinic, but defined such facilities as any place where a doctor or nurse routinely provides treatment. This created speech restrictions on UW campus and throughout sidewalks in Madison. People on the public way or sidewalks within these zones could not approach, without consent, another person within 8 feet for the purpose of oral protest, education, counseling, passing leaflets or handbills, or displaying signs. The Common Council repealed these provisions which applied to all health care locations in Madison and replaced them with prohibitions on obstructive and threatening behavior at Madison’s Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.

“Pro-life sidewalk counselors and those who offer prayer support simply engage in quiet conversation on the public sidewalk – they do not ‘physically and intentionally’ obstruct or threaten those entering abortion facilities,” said Peggy Hamill, Pro-Life Wisconsin State Director. “We conduct ourselves peacefully and charitably, and so these new restrictions really have no effect on our daily activity in front of Planned Parenthood. The violence is occurring inside the abortion clinic, not outside it.”

In February Pro-Life Wisconsin’s Dane County affiliate, Madison Vigil for Life, filed suit in federal court over the anti-speech zone ordinance. U.S. District Judge William Conley denied their request for a temporary injunction. Vigil for Life is represented by the civil rights law firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which recently obtained almost $500,000 in attorneys’ fees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for its violations of the freedom of speech. ADF attorneys also won a lawsuit against a buffer zone law in Pittsburgh

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5 Pro-Life Books You Need to Read

As someone who believes in the dignity and worth of every human life, chances are you’ve gotten into a discussion at some point with a friend or family member who is pro-abortion. If so, you know that a calm, charitable discussion of the facts, rather than angry rhetoric, is the most effective method of engagement.

But having such fact-based discussions requires that we first be educated in all the issues involved—and no, just saying “abortion ends a human life” isn’t sufficient argumentation (even though it should be). With that in mind, here are 5 books to better equip you to engage family and friends who believe abortion is a woman’s right.

PS: All links take you Amazon Smile for purchase. Buying books through Amazon Smile supports Pro-Life Wisconsin! When prompted, enter Pro-Life Wisconsin in the search box, and then click Pro-Life Wisconsin Education Task Force, Inc.

1. Ten Universal Principles

18619_TenUniversalPrinciplesby Rober Spitzer, S.J.

Like it or not, the debate over issues like abortion and euthanasia is shaped by philosophers, ethicists, and college professors. These men and women argue about philosophical concepts like like bodily autonomy and personhood—-issues that call into question what it really means to be human. As abortion statistics show, the wrong philosophy can have a devastating impact, leading to death for thousands, even millions of human beings. If we are going to be effective pro-life witnesses, we must understand the philosophical ideas involved and know how to address them rationally.

I can think of no better book to equip one to defend the solid philosophical foundation for the pro-life position than Fr. Robert Spitzer’s Ten Universal Principles. Brief and easily understood, Ten Universal Principles walks through 10 moral, ethical, and philosophical beliefs that are the foundation of the pro-life position. If these beliefs are denied, the foundations of justice collapse. Every pro-lifer should read this book at least once.

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2. Adam and Eve After the Pill

9781586178222_0by Mary Eberstadt

Few things have transformed our culture more rapidly or profoundly than the sexual revolution. In Adam and Eve After the Pill, essayist and author Mary Eberstadt deftly chronicles the moral, social, and cultural consequences of severing human sexuality from procreation. This is the go to book for understanding just how deeply the contraceptive mentality has transformed the world as we know it.

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3. Abandoned

99339by Dr. Monica Miller

Some have called Abandoned the best book ever written on abortion. In this gripping account, professor and activist Monica Migliorino Miller relates how she came face to face with the gruesome reality of abortion, and how it motivated her to tell the world about the holocaust happening in our own backyards. Click here for our full review of Abandoned.

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4. Personhood

personhood-becker-book-coverby Dan Becker

A growing consensus among pro-lifers acknowledges that personhood is not an issue for pro-lifers, it is the issue, and abortion will continue until the personhood of the pre-born child is affirmed and enshrined in our laws. If you’re looking for a concise and practical introduction to the concept of legal personhood, and how it can bring an end to abortion, look no further than Dan Becker’s Personhood. This excellent little book explains the moral and legal foundations of human personhood, and how you can bring the personhood movement to your state.

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5. Unplanned

unplannedby Abby Johnson

While many don’t realize it, Planned Parenthood is a business that generates most of its income through abortions. No one knows this better than Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-lifer. Her powerful and compelling story is sure to renew your passion to end abortion once and for all. But most of all, it will encourage you to love and pray for those in the abortion industry—women and men like Abby who might just have a change of heart.

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What books do you recommend? Leave your answer in the comments. 

 

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Join us for our first ever Loving Life 5K!

first steps
The Loving Life 5k fun run/walk is an event in support of moms and babies throughout the state of Wisconsin! This exciting new event will take place in the beautiful Grant Park in South Milwaukee. The fun run is family friendly and encourages people of all ages to participate! Snacks provided for participants, along with other fun activities!

Event schedule and times:

  • Check in and race day registration begin 8am-9:30.
  • Check in and parking located at Grant Park, Area 5A.
  • Start time 10am.
  • Please bring signed waivers and legal ID.
  • Be prepared for Wisconsin weather! September could be warm or cool, so layers are recommended.

Register Now

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Walker Administration Stops Enforcement of State Contraception Mandate for Closely Held Private Businesses

politifact-photos-Walker_micFollowing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance said that state officials were compelled to halt enforcement of the state contraception mandate on closely held private businesses.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, agency spokesperson J.P. Weiske explained,

“It’s as you would expect,…We are federally pre-empted. We don’t have any decision-making.” The state law would continue to apply and to be enforced in other circumstances, Wieske said.

Enacted as part of the 2009-2011state biennial budget bill, current Wisconsin law requires health-insurance plans that cover prescription medication and employers that provide insurance coverage for prescription medication to provide the same coverage for contraception. The law applies to commercial health insurance plans and self-insured governmental health plans of the state or of a county, city, town, village, or school district.

Over the years, Pro-Life Wisconsin has strongly opposed the so-called “contraceptive equity” mandate. Pregnancy/fertility is not a disease state. Preborn children are not the moral or legal equivalent of tumors.  Birth control to prevent pregnancy is NOT health care –it’s a lifestyle choice! As such, government should not force insurance companies/employers to cover drugs and devices that are purely elective.

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“Ladies for Life Tea” Rallies Pro-Life Women in La Crosse

a3c3e142-8bdd-48af-896f-8ef341329d81White table cloths, colorful personally decorated centerpieces, and smiling faces of women ranging in age from just a few months old to well into their 90s are just a few of the things seen at the 5th annual Ladies for Life Tea, this past Sunday, July 20th. Blessed Sacrament’s parish hall was filled to capacity as husbands and sons dressed in formal black and white clothing acted as the wait staff. This event was hosted by Pro-Life Wisconsin’s affiliate group, Life League of La Crosse, and provided an excellent source of education, fellowship, and encouragement for pro-Life women in the La Crosse area.

As women sipped tea and enjoyed a variety of delicious, homemade foods, Dan Miller, a PLW board member and sidewalk counselor from Milwaukee, gave a moving keynote address. He recounted his personal story, explaining the variety of difficulties he has faced as a full time sidewalk counselor, but also the many times he has seen the fruits of his work and heard from mothers who claim that he was the reason they kept their baby. A variety of other activities took place during the tea, including a silent auction, resource tables, a photo booth, some fun activities for the youngest in attendance, and a report by Matt Von Rueden on PLW’s youth outreach efforts.

Congratulations to Life League of La Crosse for another inspiring, energizing, and enjoyable event bolstering their pro-life efforts in La Crosse!

Click here for photos from the event!

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Judge Clarifies Webcam Abortion Law; Nothing Changes

RU486Yesterday, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess clarified the 2012 state law that prohibited doctors from dispensing abortion-inducing drugs remotely. Immediately, Planned Parenthood—desperately grasping for positive PR after repeated defeats in the courts—claimed this as a major victory. In reality, however, the decision has no practical effect.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Thursday’s ruling doesn’t change anything.

“The decision is in accord with what the law is and what this office has always said the law is,” Van Hollen said. “No one ever tried to enforce the law differently.

“Planned Parenthood’s case was a frivolous action from the beginning. … Courts of law shouldn’t be stages for political theater funded by taxpayer dollars.”

Read the rest of Wisconsin State Journal’s coverage here.

This decision isn’t a victory for Planned Parenthood. If anything, it is a victory for pro-lifers, since the judge simply clarified that doctors must be physically present when the abortion-causing pill is dispensed—which is the entire purpose of the law in the first place. But after a series of recent clinic closures and legal setbacks, Planned Parenthood has to take what it can get.

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Youth Retreat Awakens Hope in Next Generation of Pro-Life Activists

Teens pray at the Memorial to the Unborn
Teens pray at the Memorial to the Unborn

Laughter filled the air on a beautiful summer day this past June, as dozens of pro-life teens climbed the long hill to the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Coming from as far away as Iowa, they gathered to pray and learn at Pro-Life Wisconsin’s first annual youth retreat, Awakening Hope. 

This unique, one-day retreat combined games, activities, prayer, and powerful presentations by priest Fr. Tim Oudenhoven and Pro-Life Wisconsin staff with the purpose of igniting the next generation of no-compromise pro-life activists.

Following the first talk, which focused on the power of prayer and sacrifice in the fight for life, the group headed to the Culiana Mariana cafe, where they enjoyed a delicious lunch of pizza and lemonade. Following lunch was a period of free time for attendees to explore the Shrine and buy souvenirs at the gift shop.

The second talk was given by Fr. Tim, and it centered on the hidden pro-life message contained in the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A dramatic re-enactment of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego, staged by the teens, had the room erupting in laughter.

Between talks, a pro-life prayer service was held at the Shrine’s beautiful Memorial to the Unborn. After praying several pro-life prayers, teens laid flowers at Mary’s feet as a sign of their commitment to build a culture of life. Many continued praying on their knees long after the service ended.

The final talk, also given by Fr. Tim, focused on how the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe can transform our culture of death into a culture of life, just as it did for the Aztecs over 400 years ago. Fr. Tim challenged the teens to boldly and passionately go forth to build a culture of life, praying and making sacrifice to ensure that every human person has the right to live. The day ended on a prayerful note, with a reverent mass in the beautiful Shrine Church.

We can’t wait till next year’s Awakening Hope, and we look look forward to hosting more retreats in other areas of the state! Check out the Facebook post below for an album of photos. If you’d like to host a retreat in your area, contact Emma at escuglik@prolifewisconsin.org.

PS: Check out this excellent story from the La Crosse Catholic Times about the retreat!

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