By Charlie Mathews
Herald Times Reporter
MANITOWOC — Rev. Walter Quinn wanted to open the minds and hearts of Cabrini
middle school students Monday about pro-life issues.
He showed a video, "Before You Were Born," showing development of the fetus
from four to 12 weeks after conception.
A dozen grade schoolers narrated the video, produced by a group of Texas
physicians, and the word "abortion" was never spoken.
"When you’re older, in high school or college, you’re going to hear people
say an unborn baby is only a blob of protoplasm so you can do anything you want
with it," said the ordained Catholic priest, a member of Priests for Life based
in New York, accompanied at Lakeshore area church and school visits by
Lighthouse Inn owner James Van Lanen.
But it would have been surprising for any Cabrini youngster to describe an
eight-week-old fetus as a "blob" when the advanced contact embryoscopy showed it
as already having arms, legs, fingers, toes, facial features, rapidly beating
This development has already taken place even though the fetus is smaller
than a quarter.
"We want you to learn the whole truth. This is a scientific, medical
presentation that you have seen with your own eyes," Quinn, 73, said to the
While stopping abortion is a primary goal of Priests for Life the
organization also advocates against assisted suicide.
"The Holy Father talks about the culture of death vs. the culture of life. He
calls this spiritual warfare, with the forces of good battling the forces of
evil not just in the United States but all over the world," Quinn said.
Priests for Life’s Web site claims there has been the killing of 43 million
"babies" since 1973 and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing
abortion in many circumstances.
"Overcoming the culture of death is a matter of education," Quinn said.
Quinn vehemently disagrees with politicians who say they are Catholic or
Christian and separate their faith from votes they take on issues. "There is on
such thing as private morality vs. public morality. Truth is truth," he said.
Quinn’s hope, shared by Van Lanen, is that there will be formation of a
Manitowoc County chapter of Right to Life.
Founder of Grandparents Against Abortion, Van Lanen said he wants to bring
together all area churches, irrespective of denomination.
"It’s not a Catholic or Christian issue but the most basic fundamental human
rights issue," said Van Lanen. "I quote Thomas Jefferson all the time, ‘The care
of human life and not its destruction is the first and only legitimate object of