By Laura C., Student Writer
On Saturday, October 27, Oakcrest teacher and alumna parent Mrs. Bell treated the officers of the Respect Life Club (Laura C., Maria K., and Giorgina A.) to seats at the Vitae Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Dinner. Mrs. Agostini, Mrs. Kehrli, and Ms. Lecuyer were also guests at the table. Our table was surrounded by many familiar people from Oakcrest and from their parishes. We even saw Jeanne Monahan, the new President of the March for Life who spoke to Oakcrest just the day before!
The Vitae Foundation was established in 1992 by Carl Landwehr. Vitae’s mission is to use mass media to eventually make abortion “unthinkable.” Vitae promotes the culture of life by using bus ads, TV commercials, radio, and Internet sites. For example, www.GravityTeen.com was launched to help build teen confidence and ability to face peer pressure, unplanned pregnancy, and other problems. Young women who may be pregnant and are looking for a place of comfort can go to www.YourOptions.com to read stories of other women’s choices.
The goal of Vitae is to convince abortion-minded women to choose life by appealing to human compassion and other similar sentiments. This unique method of “right brain” motivation has yielded incredible results: in New York City, Vitae’s 2009 campaigns saved an estimated 1,323 babies from abortion. Internet advertising in Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth increased visits to www.YourOptions.com by over 66,000. A DC bus campaign generated at least 2,300 calls to the Pregnancy Centers in the metro area, and saved an estimated 150 babies. Vitae’s Atlanta billboard campaign generated nearly 2,000 calls to the local Pregnancy Centers. These are just a few of the fruits of Vitae’s work over one year.
At the dinner, the Keynote Speaker was national pro-life figure Jill Stanek. She told her story of being a nurse in the Labor & Delivery Department at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. She discovered that the hospital provides abortions, and not only that, but that the method of abortion is to force the baby to be born prematurely and leave the baby to die. She related many tragic stories. Jill Stanek fought from the inside, publicized Christ Hospital’s practices, and testified before Congress to pass the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. She was eventually fired from Christ Hospital and now speaks openly about the horrors of abortion. At the end of her speech she received a standing ovation from the immensely grateful crowd.
The night’s stories were a mix of tragedy and success, and everyone in the room was charged with the mission of defending life with increased vigor. We have faith that with God’s help we can restore the culture of life. As Jill Stanek said, “One + God = the majority.” Many thanks to Mrs. Bell for her invitation, and many thanks to Vitae for its abundant contributions to promoting the culture of life through their pro-life efforts.