Madison Pro-life Billboard Campaign Changing Hearts

Madison Pro-life Billboard Campaign Changing Hearts

  By Hilary White

  MADISON, January 24, 2007 ( –“I REGRET MY ABORTION - and if you do too, there is hope . . .” a billboard placed outside a Madison, Wisconsin abortion facility declares, and women are getting the message. The campaign, funded by the Knights of Columbus and requested by the bishop, places billboards with a message of hope and offer of assistance to women entering the Planned Parenthood abortion facility on Madison’s east side.

  The Madison Catholic Herald reports that one woman who had already had an abortion, was close to suicide and described the billboard as a “lifeline.”

  Leslie Graves, a counsellor with Rachel’s Vineyard, the post-abortion trauma counselling organization, told the Herald that the young woman deliberately drove past the billboard every day to see the message. “She said that after the abortion her despair was so deep that she had taken a couple of overdoses of pills. I think that billboard probably saved her life,” Graves said.

  The Herald reports that at least one woman who had gone to her abortion appointment at the facility had turned around after seeing the billboard and called a crisis pregnancy centre instead.

  Chad Droessler, a seminarian, explained why the Knights sponsored the billboard campaign. “Stationing a group of people outside the clinic for 24 hours, seven days a week, is a tough task in our busy lives.”

  Droessler told the Herald, “It is a wonderful statement to have a billboard of our Blessed Mother watching over a place that brings so much sorrow to our Father’s heart. It is statements, like the billboard, which truly spreads the message of truth to a secular world.”

  The Herald also quoted Fr. James Bartylla, director of vocations for the Diocese of Madison, who said, “The billboard of the Knights of Columbus is a front-line reminder to the people of the Madison area of the horrors and emotional pain of a woman who survives, but is permanently traumatized by the abortion of her child.”

  The same bishop who requested the billboards, Robert C. Morlino, is becoming known as an active defender of life and marriage. In November 2006, when he heard of priests of his diocese openly contradicting Catholic teaching on life and family issues, took the unusual step of ordering all the parishes of his diocese, under threat of “serious consequences,” to play a recorded message of his own at weekend Masses in place of a homily.

  The message, timed for the November mid-term election, urged Catholics to vote in defense of traditional marriage and to adopt a pro-life stance on the issues of capital punishment and embryonic stem cell research.

  The Knights of Columbus are requesting donations to maintain the billboards. These may be sent to: Joseph Boehnen - Knights of Columbus, Attn: Billboard Campaign, 105 Brenda Cir., Mt. Horeb, WI 53572.

  Read related coverage:
  Bishop: All Priests Must Play Recorded Homily on Life and Family or Suffer "Serious Consequences"

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