I pray you had a tremendous Christmas season! My wife and I, together with our four daughters (our version of "Little Women"), enjoyed celebrating the holy season together with friends and family.
January is an important month for the pro-life cause as we remember the legalization of the destruction of human life through abortion in 1973. Please take time this month to participate in the many events in Louisiana to call attention to the tragedy of abortion. We can use these opportunities to shine light on the child-killing that takes place every day in our nation.
Next week, Governor-elect John Bel Edwards, Lt. Governor-elect Billy Nungesser, Attorney General-elect Jeff Landry, and the entire Legislature will be sworn into office. Please pray for all these leaders that they will be true leaders of Louisiana, always keeping in mind the need to protect the innocent in our state.
For a Pro-Life Louisiana,
Passing of Dr. Al Krotoski
Last Friday, Dr. Al Krotoski, founder of the Hippocratic Resource and a former president of Louisiana Right to Life, went home to the Lord. In addition to being an accomplished research doctor and Nobel Peace prize nominee, Dr. Al was dedicated to the protection of human life and spent his time to advance the pro-life cause.
Dr. Al, you will be missed!
Sanctity of Human Life Sunday
Churches: Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is January 17
On Jan. 22, 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Sunday of January as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Churches and pastors utilize this day to raise awareness about what the Bible teaches about the sacred gift of human life, how life is under attack, and what the church can do protect the sanctity of life.
This year Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is Jan. 17, and we encourage your church to participate. It
is an opportunity to share what Scripture teaches about the inherent dignity and value of every single human life, and what responsibility we have to act in love to defend it.
As more people of faith understand this issue and help raise awareness, reach out a renewed hand of compassion, and stand unapologetically for this biblical principle, we know it can make a difference. Polls show that a growing majority of Americans now identify themselves as "pro-life," but we have a long way yet to go before human life in all of its expressions - preborn, newborn, elderly, disabled - is fully embraced and legally protected.
In light of recent media attention given to the atrocities of Planned Parenthood, there has never been a better time to explain the facts about the abortion industry - and our pro-life cause.
Pastors are in a unique position to inform their congregations and influence the culture about these issues.
We have provided online resources at ProLifeLouisiana.org/Sunday to make your observance of SOHLS even more special. You can order free Sanctity of Human Life Sunday cards to distribute and download our Sanctity of Human Life Pastor's Handbook, which includes information to help pastors discuss the Sanctity of Human Life more effectively with their congregations. Please take advantage of these materials.
Traditionally, Southern Baptist churches observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, but our materials are open to all Christian churches.
Join Us at One of the Louisiana Life Marches This Month!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW
Saturday, Jan. 23:
Saturday, Jan. 30:
Will you march with us and take a stand for the priceless value of every human life? Join us at the Louisiana Life Marches North and South on Saturday, Jan. 23 and our newest event, Louisiana Life March Central on Saturday, Jan. 30!
The 2016 theme of the Louisiana Life March is "Life is Priceless!" With horrendous videos highlighting Planned Parenthood's sale of baby body parts, we must remind the world that human lives are valuable and priceless. T-shirts with this year's theme are now available and will be sold at the marches as long as supplies last.
The Life March North in Shreveport-Bossier and the Life March South in Baton Rouge will occur simultaneously on the same day Saturday, Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon. The inaugural Louisiana Life March Central will be held Saturday, Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon. It will begin on the grounds of Louisiana College in Pineville and end in downtown Alexandria. A program is also planned there.
If you would like materials to help publicize the events, please contact our office at 1.866.463.5433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PULSE Immersion Weekends
for Teenagers Begin Soon!
Four PULSE Immersion weekends (formerly Camp Joshua) are scheduled for 2016, with the first one coming up next month!
PULSE Immersion is a jam packed pro-life weekend that will train you to be a true builder of the culture of life. The goal of PULSE Immersion is to create a fun environment where students can become experienced in the pro-life cause and return to their schools or communities to make a difference for life.
The weekend events are open to high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Material is presented from a Christian pro-life perspective, and the event is intended for individuals of all denominational or faith backgrounds.
Seats Still Available for Proudly Pro-Life Dinner
There are still a limited number of seats available at New Orleans Right to Life's 17th annual Proudly Pro-Life Dinner, to be held Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, at Chateau Country Club in Kenner.
The event begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails. Dinner is at 7 p.m.
John Hauler, a longtime New Orleans Right to Life board member and current president of Baton Rouge Right to Life, and the Louisiana Knights of Columbus will receive the 2016 Proudly Pro-Life Awards.
Rachel Campos-Duffy, an author, television personality and mother of seven, will present "The Real War on Women" as the keynote address.
Tickets are $100 per person. Tables are available.
Click Here to Order Tickets
Click Here to Download Flyer
Check out the December issue of the National Right to Life News!
Did you get your Winter 2015 copy of Louisiana Right to Life's publication "The Luminary" last month? If not, you can become a Luminary member today for as little as $25 per year and receive the next copy this spring.
Click Here to Join!
Pro-Life Message On the Avenue!
2015 in Review:
Education, Activism Efforts Strong;
Planned Parenthood Remains Focus
By Sandy Cunningham, Communications Director
2015 was a busy year for the pro-life cause in Louisiana. Louisiana Right to Life's (LARTL) youth education, service and activism efforts flourished across the state and even to New England, and Planned Parenthood's abortion expansion and sale of baby parts remained a key focus. While our prenatal discrimination bill fell short in the Louisiana Legislature, our two pro-life U.S. Senators, along with our Congressmen, advanced legislation to defund Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C.
* In the first full year for Louisiana Black Advocates for Life, Director Dr. Kathy Allen reached more than 13,000 people directly at churches, schools and community gatherings around the state and educated them about the high abortion rate in the black community. Many more people were also reached by radio, print, television and social media coverage.
* In January, LARTL hosted the sixth annual "Geaux Forth" event in conjunction with the March for Life in Washington, D.C. Geaux Forth is a pro-life rally for all Louisiana high school and college students in Washington D.C. for the March for Life. More than 1,400 high school and college students from Louisiana gathered for fellowship and education as they prepared to return home to impact their community for life.
* Three weekend Camp Joshuas and one weeklong Joshua Leadership Institute were held in 2015, training more than 150 high school pro-life leaders. In late 2015, the name of the program was changed to "PULSE" and more "weekend immersions" were planned for 2016.
* LARTL hosted the successful National Right to Life Convention in July in New Orleans, equipping more than 1,000 pro-life leaders from across the nation.
* Throughout the year, LARTL expanded its Youth and Adult Educational Presentations. Our team spoke to more than 100 groups of youth and adults across the state, impacting thousands of people in a personal manner for the pro-life cause.
* LARTL hosted a successful second annual Chers Bébés: Acadiana's Soiree for Life event in Lafayette to benefit the Drs. Zerben Bienvenu and William Smith Acadiana Pro-Life Education Fund, which helps fund pro-life education efforts in the Acadiana area. During 2015 more than 50 youth presentations were done in Acadiana schools and churches.
* The Center for Medical Ethics gave 14 presentations across Louisiana to educate individuals about medical ethics concerns and continued efforts to educate Louisiana residents about the value of life with disabilities, primarily among children with Down syndrome.
* LARTL fostered the growth of pro-life youth camps outside Louisiana in Minnesota and pro-life youth education through its New England missionary Sarah Mary Toce.
In Washington D.C., newly-elected pro-life Senator Bill Cassidy was sworn into office, and together with our entire Congressional delegation (except Congressman Cedric Richmond), reconciliation legislation was passed to defund Planned Parenthood. The bill is expected to be sent to the Oval Office this month. We cannot overlook the importance of having two pro-life U.S. Senators!
which would have ended sex-selective abortion in Louisiana, fell short in the Louisiana Senate. Even though HB 701 sailed through the Louisiana House with only two votes against it, it fell victim to a bad committee in the Senate. While the legislation did not reach the goal line, plenty of discussion of sex-selective abortion to
ok place in the Louisiana media.
LARTL is also closely watching another court case in the federal system. When video surfaced earlier this year of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast officials discussing the sale of baby body parts, Gov. Bobby Jindal moved to cut the group's Medicaid funding in Louisiana. A lawsuit was filed and Judge John deGravelles ordered funding to continue. The case was appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, where it currently resides.
On the election front, LARTL categorized questionnaire responses from hundreds of candidates running for elected office in Louisiana and then educated voters on how candidates stand, not just on platitudes, but on specific issues they will face in office. The Louisiana Legislature remained pro-life through the elections.
* LARTL continued its endeavors to expose Planned Parenthood's abortion business, particularly in the New Orleans area where Planned Parenthood is building a new abortion facility on Claiborne Avenue. Construction had stalled for many months in 2014 but restarted in March of 2015. A Stand for the 2,844 rally was held May 18 after Planned Parenthood said it would perform 2,844 abortions a year at the new facility, and more than 500 people attended. Billboard advertisements were also placed, especially in response to Planned Parenthood's sale of aborted baby parts. LARTL also drew media coverage on the Planned Parenthood issue through rallies in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
* Louisiana Life Marches were held in Shreveport and Baton Rouge on consecutive Saturdays in January. The theme for both marches was "Defend the Defenseless," and several thousand people rallied with friends and family to march against the tragedy of abortion.
* A 40 Days for Life campaign was active in front of Louisiana's three largest abortion facilities in the fall. Thirteen saves were reported in Baton Rouge, 8 saves were reported in New Orleans, and 5 saves were reported in Shreveport. Thousands of dedicated pro-lifers stood in prayer and vigil at these places, shining light into the darkness.
* LARTL's Advertise for Life Campaign, which works to connect women facing crisis pregnancies to resources available to them, successfully reached women through internet advertising and, through November, had resulted in 14,024 click-throughs and generated 1,162 phone calls to the pregnancy hotline! As has been confirmed by pregnancy centers lives were saved because of this initiative. LARTL hosted the third Bowties for Babies, a Southern style soiree benefiting life, in May at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge. This successful fund-raiser benefits the Advertise for Life program.
* More than $40,000 was awarded to 27 pro-life pregnancy centers, adoption agencies and family organizations across the state through the Choose Life License Plate program. LARTL is the operator of the program and oversaw the grants.
Counting Down the Nation's Pro-Life Highlights of 2015
Pro-Life Majority Took Over U.S. Senate
By Andrew Bair, National Right to Life
In January 2015, for the first time since 2006, a pro-life Senate majority was sworn into office after hard-fought victories in the 2014 elections. In addition to defending pro-life seats, the following either ousted a pro-abortion incumbent or flipped an open seat that had previously been in pro-abortion hands: Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Steve Daines of Montana, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. All of these freshman senators currently hold a 100 percent voting record with National Right to Life.
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed House, got first-ever Senate vote.
Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, the historic pro-life bill to protect unborn babies capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks and older
passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 13 by a vote of 242-184
. Louisiana Representatives Ralph Abraham, Charles Boustany Jr., John Fleming, Garret Graves and Steve Scalise voted in favor of the bill, while Cedric Richmond voted against it.
Prior to 2015, when pro-abortion Sen. Harry Reid held the majority leader post, the bill was never even considered in the Senate. On Sept. 22, 2015, 54 senators (including Louisiana's David Vitter and Bill Cassidy) voted to advance the bill, including three Democrats, while 42 voted against.
Unfortunately, pro-life lawmakers fell short of the 60 votes required
to invoke cloture and advance the bill.
Dismemberment Abortion Ban enacted in two states, introduced in Congress.
An innovative new bill, based on model legislation drafted by National Right to Life, was signed into law in Kansas and Oklahoma. The law protects unborn babies from a gruesome abortion method that involves tearing their tiny bodies limb from limb.
In September, Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey
introduced a federal version of the bill
(the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act, H.R. 3515). The legislation, in addition to protecting unborn babies, has tremendous persuasive power in the national abortion debate. The pro-abortion movement is forced to play defense when confronted with the brutal reality of what happens to an unborn child in an abortion.
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act became law in West Virginia and Wisconsin.
West Virginia and Wisconsin became the two latest states to protect unborn babies 20 weeks and older from abortion, by which point scientific and medical evidence shows they can feel pain. Wisconsin's bill advanced through the Legislature and was signed into law by pro-life Gov. Scott Walker. In West Virginia, the Legislature pulled off a major victory when it mustered the votes to override the veto of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Latest CDC Report Showed Abortions at Record Low.
Undercover Videos Exposed Planned Parenthood Practices.
One of the most newsworthy events of the year was the release of a series of undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress that exposed Planned Parenthood's harvesting and trafficking of aborted baby body parts. If you haven't seen them, you can
watch all the videos on YouTube
The videos sparked a broad inquiry into the practices of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. Two congressional hearings were held on the topic.
In addition, on several occasions in 2015, both the U.S. House and Senate voted on bills that would bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Both legislative bodies approved a reconciliation bill that would defund the abortion provider. Louisiana Senators Vitter and Cassidy voted for the bill as did Representatives Abraham, Boustany, Fleming, Graves and Scalise, while Rep. Richmond voted against. (The House will approve the final version of the bill this month.)
2016 Presidential Race Kicked Off in Earnest.
Even if you don't live in early voting states like Iowa or New Hampshire, you probably heard about the upcoming....
presidential race in 2015. The Democrats and the Republicans offer a stark contrast on pro-life issues. The major contenders for the Republicans are pro-life while the major contenders for the Democrats support a policy of abortion on demand. Want to learn where all the candidates stand on key pro-life issues?
Check out this fact sheet from National Right to Life
SCOTUS announced it will hear the case challenging the 2013 Texas pro-life omnibus bill known as HB2.
In what will be a very significant abortion case, the Supreme Court will weigh in on two components of Texas's HB2, passed in 2013 after temporarily being stalled by a filibuster led by state Sen. Wendy Davis. The first requires Texas abortion facilities to be regulated as ambulatory surgical centers and the second requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital for situations of medical emergencies.
The decision will have ramifications beyond Texas since other states, including Louisiana, have enacted similar legislation. The timing of the case could also have an impact on the 2016 presidential race. The court announced in December that the case will be heard on March 2, 2016. The decision will likely come by the end of June, right in the midst of the presidential contest.