April 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — It’s important, valuable, and urgent for pro-life supporters to participate in the national candlelight prayer vigils at Planned Parenthood abortion facilities across the U.S. this weekend, Father Frank Pavone said, both for the participants and for the wider community.
The two most important reasons to attend one of the local prayer vigils inspired by the movie Unplanned are to expose Planned Parenthood and to save lives, he said.
“This Saturday, April 13, people across the country will gather at Planned Parenthood facilities, inspired by the pro-life compassion that is in our hearts, alarmed by what we know Planned Parenthood is doing.” Pavone stated. “Informed by stories like the movie Unplanned tells us, this is the time to do this.”
The national director for Priests for Life delivered a message via Facebook Live encouraging pro-lifers to take part in the vigil.
Some 144 candlelight vigils were scheduled for 39 states as of press time. The vigils will be held outside Planned Parenthood locations throughout the United States on Saturday and were organized by the Protest Planned Parenthood (#ProtestPP) partnership of the Pro-Life Action League, Created Equal, and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, which is joined by a coalition of more than 75 local, state, and national pro-life groups.
Thousands of pro-life advocates are expected to take part.
In addition to vigil information at the # ProtestPP website, there are prayers available to use in conjunction with the vigils (#PrayPP), which can be found at praypp.com.
The vigils were inspired by the recently released movie Unplanned. The film is based upon the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood manager who left her job with the abortion giant and became a nationally known pro-life advocate.
Pavone expressed the importance for pro-life Americans to show up and be part of the candlelight vigils in his message, the essence of which he said will remain even after the vigils take place.
“Brothers and sisters, to raise the awareness in the minds of the people in our communities of what Planned Parenthood really is is one of the reasons why protests like this are necessary and good and valuable to participate in,” he said.
“We have to show up,” Pavone stated, because in having a national coordinated series of prayer vigils at the places where babies are being killed, lives are saved.
“It is a mathematical certainty that the more people who show up at a killing center, the less killing occurs,” he continued. “We have learned that over the years in this great pro-life movement.”
This is demonstrated by the many abortion-vulnerable moms who change their minds because of the presence of sidewalk counselors and prayer, said Pavone. Pregnant moms are often conflicted and ask God for a sign on the day of their scheduled abortion, he explained, and simply seeing pro-lifers praying can be enough for them to change their minds.
“Brothers and sisters, Planned Parenthood is an evil organization,” Pavone said. “It commits over 300,00 abortions every year just in the United States,” a third of all abortions that occur in the U.S. — “meanwhile, taking about a half a billion dollars a year of your tax money and mine that flows from various government programs that flows into the coffers of Planned Parenthood.”
It’s important to speak up, he said, because the abortion giant is a criminal enterprise, having been caught on tape breaking federal law prohibiting the sale of baby body parts and the adjustment of the abortion procedure to allow harvesting of baby body parts.
After discussing the varying ways abortion harms women, Pavone stated, “Brothers and sisters, you save people from going into these Planned Parenthood facilities, and you save people from a procedure that, mark my words, cannot be made safe.”
He then denounced the myth propagated by the abortion lobby that the legality of abortion makes the procedure safe.
“It is inherently unsafe,” he stated.
The pro-life priest activist then detailed the many ways that abortion is unsafe to mother and child, questioning what medical benefit there is to an abortion.
“You’re going in and you’re killing another human being,” said Pavone, “and in doing so, you’re not sometimes harming the mother, you are not most of the time harming the mother — you are always harming the mother, always.”
“And that’s why we come out for these national candlelight vigils,” he explained: “we are standing not just in solidarity with those children that are bring killed; we are standing in solidarity with those mothers who are being harmed.”
Regarding the vigils’ potential to effect good in the community, Pavone said peace is lost in a community not only when military war is in effect; rather, peace in a community is lost when a violation of human rights occurs.
“If abortion is occurring, there is no peace,” he stated.
The vigils are an example of the people of God coming out as a peaceful presence to communicate that something is wrong, he added, and even if we don’t succeed in stopping it, we must warn others about abortion, because it would be a sin not to do so.
The motivation to participate is not from condemnation or self-righteousness, remarked Pavone. “We proclaim when we say the rosary at these prayer vigils that we are sinners,” he said.
The prayer vigils are also an opportunity for pro-life supporters to protest an injustice as American citizens in according with religious freedom and freedom of speech.
“We’re there to make known the conviction that is in our hearts, the convictions of tens of millions of people in this country,” said Pavone, “that not only does the injustice have to stop, but the laws have to be changed.”
One of the benefits of the vigils, he said, is that they take the issue out of the arena of purely an academic debate and say it’s not just about viewpoints, but rather about victims.
“This is not just about beliefs; it’s about bloodshed,” said Pavone. “There are real people in real danger right now.”
This is why we have to get up and leave the comfort of our homes, he said, and go to the places where the killing is happening, to gather and to pray, to witness and to counsel.
Pro-life supporters can participate spiritually even if they can’t take part physically, Pavone said, inviting pro-life supporters to say the prayers associated with the protest before during and after the event.