Respect Life: Public Policy

Programs, services and events of the RLA that aim to restore legal protection to the lives of unborn children and those vulnerable to pressures to end their lives by assisted suicide, and to provide morally acceptable alternatives to abortion and assisted suicide.

RLA Executive Director to St. Louis Review Regarding Board Bill 34: "Our Work of Prayer and Presence Will Continue"

Karen Nolkemper, executive director of the Respect Life Apostolate, made her objections to the City of St. Louis' Board Bill 34 clear in a recent St. Louis Review article. Her views are shared by other local and state pro-life and faith leaders.

As stated in the Feb. 14 article by Jennifer Brinker (bold text and links added):

"A proposed City of St. Louis ordinance that would create a buffer zone around "health care facilities" was recently passed by an aldermanic committee. That ordinance would include Planned Parenthood, according to testimony in the committee meeting...

Opponents of the proposed ordinance in St. Louis say that it infringes upon their First Amendment right to free speech and raises specific questions about what activity is or is not allowed...

Archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate's executive director Karen Nolkemper noted that the proposed ordinance would not affect the Helpers of God's Precious Infants Rosary Procession to Planned Parenthood.

"Any laws which infringe upon the constitutionally protected rights of assembly and free speech on public property are always suspect," Nolkemper said. "Nonetheless, we do not believe the potential buffer zone will deter our monthly Helpers of God's Precious Infants Mass, 40 Days for Life or other peaceful, prayerful witness to the sanctity of human life on the sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood facility. Our work of prayer and presence will continue, whether or not this bill becomes law."

Photo of the 2018 Annual Memorial Mass above is the property of the RLA. Please contact us for permission before sharing in any communication medium. Thank you.

These St. Louis Women Describe Why They Are a Part of the March for Life

Three Different Perspectives Weave a Rich Pro-Life Witness

Anna Jones

After attending the Generation Life pilgrimage for the first time as a freshman, Anna Jones marched back to St. Louis, determined to start a pro-life club at Kirkwood High School.

At the end of their pilgrimage, Generation Life teens were invited to make a personal commitment to life issues -- thus how Pioneers for Life was born.

Finish reading Anna's story here.

Pam Coughlin

When Pam Coughlin called to reserve a spot for the Missouri Life Caravan, she didn't know a single person on the trip to Washington, D.C. But as it turns out, Coughlin was well-known by members of Missouri Right to Life, which organizes the annual bus trip.

Missouri Right to Life had come to Coughlin's defense, when in the mid-1990s she was fired from her teaching job as an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis. With a doctorate in social work and master's in nursing, Coughlin taught a class called "Child Development Through the Life Cycle." During that class, she showed students "The Silent Scream," a 1984 documentary that used ultrasound images to show the horrors of abortion in graphic detail.

"I gave them the opportunity to stay or leave," recalls the now 82-year-old member of St. Justin Martyr Parish in Sunset Hills. "Four of the girls left the room, went to the administration and tried to get it stopped."

Read the rest of Pam's story here.

Alexis Carrasquillo & Zita Myers-Carrasquillo

Alexis Carrasquillo believes that "everyone deserves a life." That's why she was inspired to attend the March for Life with Rosati-Kain High School.

It was the first march for Alexa and her mother, Zita Myers-Carrasquillo, who came along as a chaperone. Alexis called the experience "awesome," although she said "there were some things I didn't want to see," referring to some of the graphic images of aborted babies along the march route.

For Alexis and her mother, taking a stand for life of the unborn has been the newest link in their efforts to support life at all stages.

Read the rest of their story here.

(All three stories were written by St. Louis Review's Jennifer Brinker; photo collage by Lisa Johnston)

Local Archdiocesan Marches Show Strong Pro-Life Witness

Catholic St. Louis Bore Witness to Life Both in Washington D.C. and Locally

For about a half-hour on either side of noon on Jan. 20, students and parishioners from St. Alban Roe Parish and School bore powerful witness to the pro-life movement.

About 200 people -- 30 students in the middle-school youth ministry joined by roughly 170 parishioners of all ages, from babies to seniors --marched on the bike path along Highways 109 and 100, chanting, singing, and carrying signs.  

The lead sign, carried by three students, asked drivers to "Honk for Life," and honking horns accompanies the group throughout the two-mile hike from the parish church to Wildwood City Hall. There Mayor Jim Bowlin greeted them.

"Thank you for voicing your support for this very important cause," he said in brief remarks to the group. "It really is great that we live in a country where we can do that... Thank you for what you do."

After music and song by the school's Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, along with a little dancing by the students, the event closed with prayer, just as it had begun an hour previous.

Continue reading the St. Louis Review article here (by Dave Luecking and photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.)

Generation Life Pilgrims Lead the Charge in Proclaiming that "Love Saves Lives" at Annual March for Life

Archdiocesan Teen Pilgrimage Brings 2,200 to Washington D.C. on January 19

Kurt Hufker huddled with his friends on the National Mall as they eagerly awaited for the March for Life to begin.

This was the first march for Kurt, who was with his youth group from Assumption Parish in Mattese. Researching life issues on his own, Kurt knew that abortion was wrong, and he wanted to come to stand up for life.

"Life is the most important thing we have," said the junior at St. Mary's High School. "If you can't protect life, what is there to protect?"

Kurt was one of more than 2,200 teens attending the Jan. 19 march as part of the Generation Life pilgrimage, hosted by the archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry. The annual pilgrimage feeds into the March for Life every January. Including the Missouri Life Caravan and other parish and school groups, there were an estimated 3,000 people from St. Louis attending the march.

Finish reading the St. Louis Review article here. (by Jennifer Brinker; photo by Lisa Johnston)

As Abortions Decrease, Pro-Lifers Remain Committeed

Generation Life Pilgrimage Will Send Almost 2,200 Teens to Washington, DC; Other Activitis Planned for St. Louis

By Jennifer Brinker

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. Thousands from the Archdiocese of St. Louis are expected to attend the annual March for Life on Friday, Jan. 19, in Washington, D.C.

While the number of abortions in the United States is staggering -- more than 59 million since 1973 -- Missouri is experiencing a downward trend in abortions.

Abortions obtained by Missouri women are down by 39 percent in the past 10 years, according to 2016 statistics from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Additionally, 4,562 abortions were performed at facilities here in Missouri in 2016, which is less than half of those performed in 1975 (the first year data was recorded). Pro-life leaders here have credited extensive pro-life laws in Missouri, as well as state-supported efforts to provide alternatives to abortions, including support for pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes.

Many activities have been planned for January and beyond to commeorate the Roe v. Wade anniversary, including:

Click here to read the complete St. Louis Review article and for details on the events above.

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