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Meet Jen Dunnett, Our Activist of the Year!

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At this year’s Spring Awards Dinner, we’re honoring Jennifer Leigh Dunnett as our Activist of the Year! Recently, we sat down with Jen and asked her to share a little bit about herself.

Where did you grow up?

On my parents farm between Coloma and Westfield, WI

Where did you go to school?

I attended Madison Area Technical College and graduated with a diploma in Data Enty Operations.

Have you always been pro-life?

I think deep down I was always pro-life. I knew I could never have an abortion myself but I always felt I couldn’t tell another woman she shouldn’t. It wasn’t until I converted to the Catholic faith that I learned the realities of abortion.

How did you become involved full-time pro-life work?

After converting to Catholic faith a fellow tenant in my apartment complex car broke down. I offered to drive him places if needed. This person was Will Goodman, director of the Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Little did I know that this was going to lead to becoming a full-time volunteer with the SOLG a few years later.

What do the Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe do? What is your role?

The mission of the Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe is prayer, study of the church’s teachings, and missionary outreach. I am a full-time volunteer with the Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

What is your favorite aspect of pro-life work?

My favorite aspect would probably have to be training other sidewalk counselors, and next would be sidewalk counseling, though sometimes it is very challenging.

Do you have any great stories from your time with SOLG?

groupphotowithzionThe best story I have to share is the story of Baby Zion. PLW has actually shared this story in the Monday Update.

Mark Kimble who used to be a Madison resident and was involved with PLW Dane county and myself were out at the Planned Parenthood one summer Friday in 2009. Mark saw a man outside smoking. Mark decided to call him over to talk. The man did come over. He told Mark that his girlfriend was pregnant and they couldn’t afford the child. The man didn’t want to abort his child.

Through the conversation it was learned she was going to take RU-486. While Mark was talking to him I was able to hand him some pamphlets. Mark convinced him to go back in and get her out of there. He went back in and in about 10 minutes they came out. She was driving the car as they drove out so I went to her side of the car. They did stop but she wouldn’t look at me. I talked to them and offered assistance. The father wrote my phone number on the pamphlets I gave them. After they left we got out the prayer requests for them.

Weeks went by and you figure you probably aren’t going to hear from them. One day I was by some friends and my cell phone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognize.

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Something told me I better answer it. When I did there was a man on the phone and he said “Is this Jen?” I said, “yes.” He said this Melord, we decided to keep the baby and we need help! I was filled with joy and excitement at the same time. I congratulated them and asked questions. I told him I needed to get in touch with people in the Madison area that could help and I would call him back.

By the end of the week Mark Kimble, Steve Karlen, and myself met them at Care Net on the east side. We found out what their immediate needs were. Mark did what he could to help them with their immediate need which was moving. We also started trying to help Melord find a job. It was also agreed on that we would throw them a baby shower but it would be best after the baby was born. It so happened the Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe were asked to bring the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Madison for Good Friday. Early Friday, April 2, 2010 I received a call from Sara and Melord that little Baby Zion was born at 12:02am. The first Baby on Good Friday morning. We were able to go visit them in the hospital and hold him.

Now you know a little about Jen! Come honor this wonderful pro-life warrior at our Spring Awards Dinner!

Vigil for Life Sues City of Madison Over Bubble Zone Ordinance

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VIGIL FOR LIFE, MADISON / PRO-LIFE WISCONSIN NEWS RELEASE
February 26, 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT ADF MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS: (480) 444-0020 or
www.adfmedia.org/home/contact

Free Speakers Sue City for Drowning Madison
in “Anti-Speech Bubbles”

NARAL bill bans leafleting on State Street, campus, Capital Square

MADISON, WI - Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys Wednesday filed a lawsuit in federal court against the City of Madison on behalf of Vigil for Life, Madison (a Pro-Life Wisconsin Affiliate) and ten other free-speakers who engage in a variety of leafleting, education and sign display activities on campus and around Madison. The suit seeks an emergency injunction against the new law, sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin and passed unanimously by the City Council on Tuesday night, saying it creates hundreds of 320-foot wide “speech-scrubbing bubbles” throughout Madison including on State Street, Capital Square, campus and outside the City/County Building. In each bubble the law bans approaching within eight feet of persons to leaflet or educate.

“All citizens have the freedom to leaflet on public sidewalks, including pro-life advocates,” said Gwen Finnegan, director of Vigil for Life, Madison. “No City can create a gag rule banning leafleting on miles of public sidewalks in places like campus, State Street and Capital Square, just to drive its brazen pro-abortion agenda against peaceful people who offer women compassionate choices outside of abortion facilities.”

The City’s “Buffer Zone” ordinance creates bubble areas 320-feet wide in diameter around every entrance of every building in Madison that happens to have a physician’s office, clinic or hospital inside. In each bubble no person may “approach” within eight feet of another person to leaflet, educate, display a sign, protest or counsel passersby. The lawsuit alleges that offices used by physicians create bubbles around hundreds of locations, including the Student Government’s office building on University and East Campus Mall, on State Street, on Capital Square, and on sidewalks outside UW campus’ Medical Sciences buildings and the Wisconsin Primate Research Center.

The suit seeks injunctive relief for all free speakers. Named plaintiffs include student organizations Students for Life of Madison and Badger Catholic who engage in speech around campus; high school teachers from St. Ambrose Academy who distribute “pro-life cupcakes” on State Street; Fr. Richard Heilman’s Rosary Rally at Capital Square and State Street; Ms. Sarah Quinones who engages in campaign and pro-raw-milk leaflet distribution; Mr. Ryan Woodhouse who speaks religious messages downtown and outside public events; and Vigil for Life and three of its participants outside the East Side’s Planned Parenthood.

Senior Legal Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom and attorney for the plaintiffs, Matt Bowman, says the law is massively overbroad under the First Amendment. “The right to leaflet on the public sidewalk is the crown jewel of the freedom of speech, but the City washed that right away with its gag-rule ordinance that creates hundreds of bubble zones banning leafleting around Madison.”

You are invited to our Spring Awards Dinner!

spring2014We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait for the warm weather and melting snow of spring!

But you know what’s even more exciting than warm weather (well, it’s a close call anyway)? Our 2014 Spring Awards Dinner! At this exciting event, great food, an inspiring talk, and wonderful people combine to create an unforgettable evening that honors the achievements of courageous pro-life activists!

This year features special guest, Fr. James Kubicki, National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer! Fr. Kubicki is a dynamic speaker and passionate pro-life advocate, and you don’t want to miss his inspiring message. (Click the play button above to listen to his recent interview with our State Director, Peggy Hamill.)

Our 2014 Spring Awards Dinner will be held Friday, April 4 at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center in Stevens Point. The evening begins at 5:30 with dinner served at 6:30.

Space is limited, so register today! Click here to download a registration form or click here to register online.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Pope Francis on the Throwaway Culture that Denies Human Dignity

Pope Francis issued some strong words today condemning abortion and other threats to human dignity. Human life is not disposable!

Peace is also threatened by every denial of human dignity, firstly the lack of access to adequate nutrition. We cannot be indifferent to those suffering from hunger, especially children, when we think of how much food is wasted every day in many parts of the world immersed in what I have often termed “the throwaway culture”. Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as “unnecessary”. For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; and children being bought and sold in that terrible form of modern slavery which is human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.

Sidewalk Caroling!

This time of year, you can find the prayer warriors and sidewalk counselors doing something a little bit different – singing Christmas carols!

Its called Empty Manger Caroling. The symbolic empty manger waits for the Christ child to arrive, just as so many cribs wait to be filled. Its a peaceful and cheerful way to both protest abortion and remind people of the true meaning of Christmas.

This past Saturday, faithful pro-lifers from the Milwaukee area gathered on Farwell outside the abortion facility there. Despite the freezing weather, these carolers sang their hearts out for 2 hours!!

The Empty Manger

The Empty Manger

Songs such as “Away in a Manger,” “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” and “Silent Night” echoed through the streets. People passing by had their attention drawn and their curiosity sparked as the voices in unison rang in the air.

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What a beautiful way to bring joy to such a desolate place. The power of love reigns over the power of death. The winning side was there on the sidewalk, singing God’s praises!

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The Christmas story truly is the greatest pro-life story of all time – a celebration of a child being born and the praises sung throughout the entire world! This Christmas, remember to pray for the protection of all life, especially those young lives in solidarity with the pre-born Jesus. Merry Christmas from Pro-Life Wisconsin!

“We Cannot Ever Give Up”: Dr. Monica Miller’s Address at Our Annual Auction

Dr. Monica Miller

Dr. Monica Miller

“Even if it looks like we are going to lose, even if we do lose, we cannot ever give up.” That was the message of Dr. Monica Miller’s stirring address to Pro-Life Wisconsin supporters gathered at our 2013 Annual Auction. A veteran pro-life activist and author of the powerful book Abandoned, Dr. Miller spoke to a packed house, challenging auction attendees to continue fighting to protect the unborn, to honor their humanity, and to show compassion to them in their loneliness and abandonment. Listen to Dr. Miller’s address by clicking the play button above.

Dr. Miller’s speech was the highlight of a joy filled celebration of life at the Olympia Resort in Oconomowoc this past Saturday, October 26. Over 450 attendees gathered to support the life-saving work of Pro-Life Wisconsin. Attendees enjoyed a delicious meal and fun games and bid on many exciting auction items, including dinner with the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Bishop Donald Hying. Dinner with Bishop Hying was so popular, three dinners were sold due to a three-way tie!

The food, fun, and powerful words of Dr. Miller made for a joyful and inspiring evening that won’t soon be forgotten! Click here for more auction photos.

New Ad: Every Person Has Dignity and Worth

Every person has dignity and value. Our worth is not determined by our size, genetic makeup, income level, or skin color—it is based on our nature as human beings, made in the image of God.

That is the message of our new “Worth” ad campaign running in the Milwaukee area right now. Featuring a beautifully produced 30 second commercial, this campaign is designed to move hearts and minds towards an appreciation of the dignity and value of each human life, and it directs viewers to our new Personhood Wisconsin website to learn more about human personhood.

If you’re in the Milwaukee area, watch for it weeknights on Fox and CNN!

We need your help to keep these ads running and to expand the message to other parts of the state! If you’d like to donate toward our media initiatives, click the button below and choose the “True to Life Media Campaign” option.

Ready for kick off?

No, I’m not talking about football. I’m talking about something much more important than football. I’m talking about the 40 days For Life campaign, and it kicks off tomorrow.

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2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

I think a lot of people have heard about 40 Day For Life, but not many of them know the extent of what this beautiful pro-life effort is. To start, its happening right here in Wisconsin in six different cities. But its also happening in Cape Town, South Africa. Thats right, Africa. And Australia. And Denmark. And Spain. This is both a local and an international movement. Its personal, communal, universal. This is big. And you get to be a part of it.

For 40 days, you can make a sacrifice that will save lives across this planet. From September 25 – November 3, you can do more than just give a thumbs up of approval for how amazing this movement is, you are called to do more. The mission of the campaign brings members of the Body of Christ together across the globe through three major activities. The first is what most people are familiar with – the vigil. Thousands of pro-lifers will take to the sidewalks during this campaign to stand in solidarity with the unborn, to pray for them, to peacefully protest against abortion, and to counsel women and men considering or suffering from abortion. Literally for 24 hours a day for these 40 days, they will be out there, rain or shine. Want to join them? Its never to late to sign up, or just to show up when you can. The locations can be found here.

Not everyone can make it out to the sidewalks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be just as involved. The second way to join in is through community outreach. There will be media campaigns, speakers, and all sorts of pro-life activities happening all around you. But the easiest way for you to impact your community – talk about it! Bring up 40 days for life in conversation, like the facebook page, let people know whats going on and get the word out.

Finally, and most importantly, is participating in prayer and fasting. You can do it anywhere, at any time, and directly be participating in this powerful movement. Pray before bed, pray in the car, pray while you are brushing your teeth, pray in church. Take extra time in your busy life during these 40 days and pray for all lives in danger, for women and men suffering from abortion, for all the doctors, nurses, and volunteers who are living their lives fooled by the lies of abortion. And to go with your prayer, enter into self-sacrifice as well through fasting. Fasting is a way of recognizing our human limitations and using them to grow closer to God, to offer up that small sacrifice as a prayer, and to use it as a constant reminder. It can be anything, it can be a fast from certain foods, from television, from too much time on facebook – whatever separates you from God.

If you want to know more about the campaign and its mission, check out their website here.You could also join me in reading their newly published book! Its divided into 40 chapters for daily reading that detail the moving stories that have taken place during the movement, and about the movement and its humble beginnings. As if you need any more incentive anyway, but you might like to know, its currently on sale, check it out!

I challenge you to take part in 40 Days For Life – we here at PLW will be right there with you. This is a powerful opportunity, don’t miss it!

The power of prayer.

“Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”

How many times do we promise to pray for someone, and fully intend to do so, but not actually stop our busy lives and take a moment of silence to focus in on that prayer? Or maybe we feel that just our prayers, our small efforts, will not actually make a difference.

Our soul’s are thirsting for us to take that time, to separate ourselves from the world even for a few moments and spend them with God. It is our most powerful weapon, our greatest comfort, and our strongest connection to God and all the members of heaven. This includes the Holy Innocents, the tiny lives lost to abortion over the past 40 years in our country.

This past Saturday, thousands of pro-lifers took the time to remember and celebrate the over 55 million souls lost to abortion in this country since Roe v Wade was passed. The memorials for the National Day of Remembrance included large crowds, such as the one gathered in Milwaukee, whose prayers echoed throughout the grounds of the Holy Cross cemetery (read the story on that memorial in previous post). But they also included the smaller and more independent efforts of groups such as the Pro-Life students at Viterbo University.

The V-Hawks for Life organized a prayer service at the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse  to remember the unborn. This event beautifully showed the fruits that can come from a humble effort and a passionate heart. The group, founded only half a year ago at the university, began as the initiative of a handful of students who felt the lack at their school, and took action rather than being discouraged by the magnitude of the idea. That courage led to over 30 voices joining together in prayer, becoming a strong instrument of love and support for the victims of abortion, and for all those lives touched by it. Even more beautiful to witness were the people who joined us as we stood in public prayer, as other visitors to the shrine stopped what they were doing to participate, growing our effort right before our eyes.

The statue we prayed beside showed a heartbreaking image of Mary, cradling several tiny babies in her arms. The larger than life statue made the tiny babies look even smaller, even more vulnerable, and her sorrowful gaze upon them brought tears to my eyes.

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The great injustice done to these children is the failure to recognize them as persons, as human beings with the right to live their lives in our country, and thus allows their legal death. We live in a society that fails to protect the most vulnerable among us. But remembering these children in prayer restores their dignity, it gives them the love that they were denied during their short lives. It also reminds us to celebrate the lives we have been given, and to use that gift to take action for the lives who are in danger today.

Pray on my friends. Lets change the culture of death by celebrating life, one prayer at a time.

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Pick up this book.

Need something to re-spark your pro-life passion? Something to spur you into action and get you fired up about fighting for the dignity of the child in the womb? Its so easy to say we are “pro-life” and then not think about it most of the time. We may hold the beliefs as true and important to us, but then the busyness of life gets in the way and our pro-life status remains just that, a status and doesn’t develop into something more. This is completely understandable – life is crazy and busy and our attention is pulled a million different ways. But if you give this book a read, it just might bump the pro-life cause up on your list of priorities.

The book is titled Abandoned by Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller. The story is like nothing you would ever believe. The subtitle, The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars, couldn’t be more true. It opened up a whole new world to me, a world of people demanding an end to legalized abortion and the recognition that “the unborn are human beings that deserve to be acknowledged and defended.”

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This defense she speaks of was not only done in words, but in actions. The book details the era of non-violent action in the pro-life movement. Similar to the civil rights movement, sit-in’s were staged, the blocking of clinic doors by human chains were done peacefully, all of the actions were done with prayer and non-violent actions. Participants were often arrested for refusing to move, and then argued that they were performing a necessary defense of the children being killed. They proclaimed to the world that just because something is legal does not make it right – similar to the Holocaust of the Jews during World War II being legal, this too is a holocaust of the unborn, happening right here in our country with the approval of our government.

There were also rescue projects for the remains of the unborn, which before the law prohibited it, were often disposed of in dumpsters along with trash. These tiny broken bodies were recovered by pro-life activists and their dignity restored, though not during their short lives, in their deaths. They were given a proper burial, a funeral service, and now can be visited across the country at tombs of the innocent.

This is by no means an easy read. There are often graphic descriptions of the true horror that abortion is. I also found myself infuriated at the injustice suffered by the pro-life activists, yet applauding their courage and determination. It re-ignited in my my own convictions, and will drive me to more action myself.

Of course this does not mean that you should read the book and then go out and get yourself arrested for the sake of the babies. But maybe it will encourage you to pray more daily for the lives of the children in the womb who are in danger, the lives lost, and the ones involved with those life-taking actions. Maybe it will give you the confidence to pray outside an abortion clinic or a Planned Parenthood near you, to be trained as a sidewalk counselor and speak the truth to women considering abortion. Maybe it will inspire you to give a donation to those on the front lines defending life in ways that you can’t such as through legislation or education. No matter what, this book will open your eyes and your heart to the unborn among us. You will never forget it.

This is the perfect opportunity to not only read the book, but also to meet the incredible author! There are two chances coming up. The first is the National Day of Remembrance for the Unborn on September 14. Throughout the nation, memorial services will be held to remember the lives lost to abortion. Dr. Monica Miller will be present at the memorial at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee, at the burial site of over 1,200 preborn babies. For more information click here.

Your second opportunity is at Pro-Life Wisconsin’s annual dinner and auction on October 26. We are honored and excited to have Dr. Monica Miller as our keynote speaker and special guest for the evening. For more information on the auction, see the previous blog post or click here for info and to register!

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