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Herald Times

Manitowoc County, WI

October 18, 2003

Speaker seeks support against abortion

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 heart.

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 students.

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 good government.’"

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