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January 16, 1998     The Message
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January 16, 1998

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1998 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 open letter to the people of Indiana the Catholic Bishops in Indiana to you with sadness in our hearts. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Supreme Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abor- on demand, we must again speak out in defense of unborn. Our country and our state have to accomplish great good, but we increas- 'find OUrselves becoming a culture that promotes over life As Mother Teresa lamented, the culture tnwhich we live is teaching people to choose death as We must teach love. :t on how the culture of death engulf us and to make a renewed com- life. Our great nation was founded on prin- brined m our Conshtutlon and Declarahon that defend the most vulnerable mem- are principles that must extend to defenseless children still in the womb. that 4,200 abortions performed in the y (an average of 30 a day in Indi- emergence of horrible partial-birth there is a sense of urgency for us to speak child is a gift from God, a gift that nurture and protect with its laws and is especially true because so many young ay view abortion as an acceptable method unexpected pregnancy. on human life is clean The message of of Life. We must proclaim that Gospel We must condemn the injustice of flso has a pastoral responsibility to reach out compassionately to those women and men who are or have been involved in abortion decisions. The Catholic Church, true to its founder, looks at the world through the eyes of Christ. Our church has the responsibility not only to speak out and condemn the injustice of abortion but also to reach out compassion- ately to those women and men who have been involved in an abortion decision. We call upon all people of good will throughout Indi- ana to ask what are we doing to promote the alterna- tives to abortion. It is not enough to state that abortion is wrong. We must take steps to demonstrate our belief in the dignity of the human person as created in the image and likeness of God. We urge Hoosiers everywhere to say loudly and clearly, "No woman should feel so alone that abortion is seen as her only alternative. No man need feel so trapped or fearful about the new life that he has helped create that he believes there is no other answer than abortion." The choice for life must be supported as the only true choice, the only choice worthy of our human dignity. We Bishops have the responsibility not only to voice the choice for life but to do all we can to promote it. We cannot remain silent in either word or deed. We pledge ourselves to protect and defend the rights of children. In his encyclical letter; Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), Pope John Paul II has called on all people of good will to confront the culture of death that perme- ates our society. The Holy Father appeals to each of us to "respect, protect, love and serve life, every human Kind of Thinldn life." If we ask a pregnant woman to "respect, protect and love" the life of her child, let us give her and her child the same respect and love. Pregnancy is not just a "woman's issue" but one that affects men and all of societ): The twenty-fifth anniversary, of Roe vs. Wade is a time to reflect, repent and rededicate ourselves to the ideals of our country's ioundational documents. Please join with us in building the culture of life in Indiana. We ask you to join us in January in a postcard cam- paign to thank Senators Coats and Lugar, our United States senators, for their support of the partial-birth- abortion ban and ask them to do all they can to per- suade fellow senators to join them in working for an override of the President's veto of the partial-birth- abortion ban. This is a first step in calling for a culture of life and to turn away from a culture of death. To all of you who work to build a "culture of life" we say thank you for your efforts in advocacy and service. Your ,,itness gives us strength. Let us continue to work in solidarity to bring about a more loving way of life in our state and nation. Let us together build the culture of life. Sincerely yours in Christ, Most Rev. Daniel M. Buechlein, O.S.B., D.D. Most Rev. William L. Higi, D.D. Most Rev. John M, D'Arcy, S.T.D. Most Rev. Gerald A. Gettelfinger, D.D. Most Rev. Dale J. Melczek, D.D. Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., D.D. O n campmen makes real rereads rote reduong aborhons and helping women .... uYSTE_ -- 9"" "" Indiana VEN. ERTELT um often criticized but rarely; chanc, in,o o rnublic otoinion_ . As percent while the number who with the success it has already Citizens for Life employed  mass media. Real- with previous ads in Evansville, called themselves "pro-life" had the next best step is more of he country the right is celebrating designed to the right to life WOmen with crisis i Outreach consists of ls during program- Viewers of the What a beauti- Campaign spon- izing the impact television has had on our culture, Jim Hanon knew such an outreach would be effective. He was right for many reasons. Hanon was right in part because the ads were profession- al in quality  something often lacking in pro-life educational efforts. He was right because these non-graphic ads were pro- duced based on research which attempted to understand what women thought and felt as they 19 percent edge for the pro-life kPosition . . . jumped to 32 percent Arthur S. DeMoss prior, these produced by award-winning nationally.aired FOrtune 500 :redit. to producing to Life of states found quite success- gan where the of Mis- ird. on lev- abortion num- on lly, it r approac h was of a medi- made a decision to obtain an abortion or carry the pregnancy to term. And he was right because not only were the ads designed to be persuasive in nature, instead of appealing to a pro-life audience, they featured toll-free numbers where women could call for crisis pregnancy help or post-abortion assistance. After the successful ventures, several other states began airing these commercials including, most recently, Indiana. Fresh from two flights of ads in the Evansville market Indiana Citi- zens for Life undertook the effort to put together a flight for Indianapolis  a growing city and one of the largest in the country. Indiana Citizens for Life (ICL) had the polling firm of Baselice and Associates conduct pre and post-polling to determine the effectiveness of the ads in this fall ad flight proved suc- cessful. Indiana, known as a rel- atively pro-life state, became more staunchly pro-life after the airing of these commercials. Using several polling ques- tions, Baselice determined a 19 percent edge for the pro-life position in pre-polling in the entire sample. After the ads were shown, this edge jumped to 32 percent. The same increase in the percentage taking the pro-life view was seen in the "Females under 45" category. Before the ads, 9 per- cent more women supported a pro-life position; afterwards, 26 percent. As ICL Executive Director Mike Fichter points out, "These results prove that we can change hearts and minds about abortion. We knew going into the campaign that the commercials had been effective in other states, but we had no idea the impact would be so dramatic here in Indiana." Other polling results confirm the success. Those who say they "support abortion" dropped from 31 to 25 percent while those who say they "oppose abortion" increased from 51 to 60 percent. The number of unde- cided people dropped 2 percent. Additionally, some 30 percent of viewers said that the com- mercials "caused me to be less tolerant of abortion" and 42 per- cent said they "caused me to be more strongly against abor- tion." The number of people who called themselves "pro- choice: decreased from 45 to 34 increased from 43 to 52 percent. Yet these commercials were not only effective in shifting public opinion. "In addition to changing opinions, the 13-week campaign generated 290 phone calls for crisis pregnancy assis- tance. It's wonderful knowing that we were able to connect women with pro-life pregnancy services. We may never know how many lives were saved as a result of these calls alone," Fichter reports. Where does this campaign go from here? As Fichter'explains, the same. "This is just the" tip of the iceberg in Indiana. With these results in hand, we anticipate breaking new ground in tele- vision markets in Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, and South Bend in 1998 while continuing in the Indianapolis and Evans- ville markets." You can reach ICL at Indiana Citizens for Life, 5001 Plaza East Blvd., Suite. B, Evansville, IN 47715 or see realtime video of the commercials at their web site: Name the first state to ban partial-birth abortion By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A trivia question: Which is the In'st state to outlaw partial-birth abor- tions and when did it do so? Within the past two years, 17 states have enacted laws ban- ning such procedures. Congress passed a ban in 1996 and again in 1997, but both times failed to override a presidential veto. However, most people would probably be surprised to learn that Texas  the state whose abortion laws were challenged in Roe vs. Wade and overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973  banned the killing of a partially horn child before 1973 and kept the ban when it revised its statutes that same year to conform to the high court ruling. In a partial-birth abortion, an unborn child is partially deliv- erecl, then killed before the birth is completed. The first footnote in the court's Roe vs. Wade decision cites the five articles of the Texas Penal Code attacked by the plaintiffs in the case: Articles 1191-94 and 1196 of Title 15, Chapter 9 of the code. The footnote goes on to say, "Article 1195, not attacked here, reads: "'Art. 1195. Destroying child. "'Whoever shall during par- turition of the mother destroy the vitality or life in a child in a state of being born and before actual birth, which child would otherwise have F.. born alive, shall be confined in the peni- tentiary for life or for not less than five )-ears."'