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12th and Delaware

Melinda Henneberger's new column is on the documentary about abortion activists, 12th and Delaware. She argues that it is "unbalanced"--the prolife group seems constricted and mean in their outlook, and doesn't resemble people that she knows who are prolife, including herself.In a post below, Nancy Dallavalle asks whether we could open a thread on the column and movie: She writes:Maybe one of your bloggers could start a thread on the excellent Melinda Hennebergers review of 12th and Delaware. She says the documentary compares two womens clinics one that does abortions and a Catholic crisis pregnancy clinic (CPC) and chafes at the creepy and judgmental picture of the CPC volunteers. She finds the film Unbalanced because the CPC folks seem like the lunatic fringe of the pro-lifers with whom she (and I) would identify.But heres my question: the film apparently compares the sensibilities of those who volunteer at two clinics. Is it possible that the film is perfectly balanced with regard to its task comparing the kind of people who volunteer at these kind of clinics? And does that tell us something?I myself teach Alexander Paine's film Citizen Ruth about the abortion political debate--which makes everyone look, well, equally bad. (It functions as a shocking contrast to the beauty of Evangelium Vitae, which I read just before showing the film).I haven't seen this yet.In any case, Nancy, here's your thread.


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Well again, there is never a charge for services at a pregnancy care center (none that I have ever seen anyway), and to list all of the manners of support would be impossible to do in the yellow pages or on a sign. Women do call and ask, of course, and we explain to them over the phone if it is something we can do. If we can't, we connect them to an agency that can.If you do wind up seeing the film, watch for all of the women who are offered help. Conveniently left out of the film is the help that they received, but coming from pro-abortion directors, we are not surprised!

Anne, I also think that pro-life centers need to be weighed against other pro-life activities, which are often sporadic and sometimes, in my opinion, ill-conceived. The center I know about is not affiliated with any denomination, but they do the hard work of trying to establish relationships with women in straits, assessing needs, offering referrals, and giving women a place to go when they need a sympathetic ear. I would like to see more crisis pregnancy centers asking for help from local parishes, which isn't done much around my area. If I were giving the center communication advice, I would urge them to ask every parish in the tri-county area to put a notice in the bulletin every Sunday, and to ask sympathetic churches if they could give programs talking about the center's services.In my view, the local parish would be better off focusing its efforts on trying to help this type of center than in organizing its annual Respect for Life drive, in which participants circle the State Capitol honking their horns in protest of abortion.What does this do but waste gas and create noise pollution?

Hi Jean,Well I agree with you. Centers really do wonderful work, and do establish good relationships and systems of support for women. You will likely find the same rate of referrals at most centers - a good experience by one leads to a referral.Parishes would do well to support their local center. Sometimes, the hesitancy is in asking, but other times it is a pastor who does not want to get involved in fundraising. However, a simple bulletin announcement now and then does go a long way and costs nothing.There is always a lot left to do - and sadly, when we fail, we fail not merely ourselves, but we fail for the thousands who lost their lives at the hands of an abortionist that day.