Lifeworks: August 2012


August 2012 | eVolume 2, Issue 6

Your news update from New York State Right to Life

Scroll to read more or click on the titles:

Call us! Victory is within our grasp

Voter Guide: 43rd Senate District Republican Primary

Barack Obama, pro-abortion extremist - and why the news media avoid tough scrutiny of Obama's abortion history

Camp Esther: Raising up the next generation of pro-life leaders

Upcoming Events

Remembering Gerry Colling

Caitlin Kennedy makes NYSRTL proud!

Richmondville's Emma Tiner wins NRLC's senior level essay contest

Natalie Fohl and Andrew Votipka - July 28, 2012


CALL US!  Victory is within our grasp


We know - some of you don't like politics and you don't like to be involved with elections. Unfortunately, when we are not involved in elections - children die. PLEASE, purpose to pull yourself out of your comfort zone right now and through November.

We are targeting districts in the primary election less than two weeks away! And then we have other critical elections that we'll be working on from now until November. Some of you truly can't leave your homes or get out for other reasons or even help from home. If you can't - please commit to praying and please send a check. Let me restate that - all of us should be praying fervently each day for these elections, writing checks that hurt to write, and working to the best of our abilities. If you can do all three - please do all three. If not - do two and if not do one. But please don't sit out this election. Call us - we will let you know what there is to be done that you can do. We need you. The children need you. Please - pick up the phone and your check book as soon as you get off of your knees asking God's mercy on our country. Victory is within our grasp - please be part of making the difference. 518.434.1293





 Barack Obama, pro-abortion extremist - and why the news media avoid tough scrutiny of Obama's abortion history


This is an update from the National Right to Life Committee in Washington, D.C., issued Thursday, August 23, 2012.

"The new obsession is the platform of the Republican Party on abortion, which is an obsession,” [Republican National Committee Chairman Reince] Priebus said Wednesday on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on Fox News. “What about the obsession about a guy who believes in partial-birth abortion? I mean, what about that obsession? I mean, why aren’t we talking about that very, that minority view of abortion in our country that this president holds dear to his heart? We’re not talking about that.”

("Reince Priebus attacks Obama on abortion," by Kevin Robillard, Politico, August 23, 2012.)


In the opinion piece excerpted below, "Obama the abortion extremist," published last week by Politico, National Review Editor Rich Lowry asserts, "The Democrats and the press habitually travel in a pack, but never more so than when a social or cultural issue is involved, especially one touching on sexual morality. Then, it’s not a matter of mere partisanship or a rooting interest. It’s personal." Lowry goes on to discuss how this hostility to the pro-life position manifests as a proclivity for subjecting pro-life Republican candidates to intense scrutiny on abortion-related issues, while ignoring or glossing over the extreme positions that Barack Obama has taken throughout his political career on abortion-related issues.


As the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) observed in an August 20 release, "The mainstream news media is again busy ginning up stories exploring the outer parameters of the abortion-related policy positions of pro-life Republican candidates, even where this involves remote, theoretical scenarios -- while demonstrating a near-total disinterest in putting the spotlight on the outer parameters of the 'abortion rights' positions embraced by President Obama, even on matters under current legislative consideration."  (The August 20 NRLC release is here.)


In October, 2008, NRLC published a detailed article examining the news media's collaboration in allowing Obama, during the post-nomination phase of the 2008 campaign, to rewrite his history on various abortion-related issues, including legislation dealing with infants born alive during abortions. The article, which is here, also explores the news media's near-total disinterest in examining the implications of Obama's endorsement of the most extreme pro-abortion measure ever proposed in Congress, the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act," which would invalidate virtually all state and federal limits on abortion, and re-legalize partial-birth abortion.


An NRLC "white paper" documenting Obama's actual history on the born-alive infants legislation is here.


An NRLC statement on President Obama's recently announced (but virtually unreported) opposition to the pending legislation to ban the use of abortion for sex selection is here.


To view "Video: Obama Says He's 'Pro-Choice' on Third-Trimester Abortions," by John McCormack, The Weekly Standard blog, August 22, 2012, click here.


[excerpts of the Rich Lowry essay, "Obama the abortion extremist," published August 23, 2012, follows:]

The Democrats and the press habitually travel in a pack, but never more so than when a social or cultural issue is involved, especially one touching on sexual morality. Then, it’s not a matter of mere partisanship or a rooting interest. It’s personal.
From a strictly down-the-middle, neutral perspective, if one side of a debate is “extreme,” the opposite and countervailing side is equally “extreme.” It would never even occur to the media to apply this standard to abortion. Under the guise of upholding abortion rights, Barack Obama could favor denying legal protection to babies after they are born and the press wouldn’t bat an eyelash. In fact—he did.
In the Illinois legislature, he opposed the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act” three times. The bill recognized babies born after attempted abortions as persons and required doctors to give them care. Obama’s stalwart opposition to the bill came up during the 2008 campaign, and his team responded with a farrago of obfuscation and distortions.
The bill was supposedly redundant. Except it wasn’t. Protections for infants who survived abortions were shot through with loopholes, which is why the bill was offered in the first place. (Abortion doctors were leaving infants to die without any care.) The bill was supposedly a threat to abortion rights. Except it wasn’t. Obama opposed a version that stipulated it didn’t affect the legal status of infants still in the womb.
About a year after his final vote against the bill, Obama gave his famous 2004 Democratic convention speech extolling post-partisan moderation. But he couldn’t even bring himself to protect infants brutalized and utterly alone in some medical facility taking what might be only a few fragile breaths on this Earth. Some moderation. The federal version of the bill that he opposed in Illinois passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. Some post-partisanship.
President Obama is an extremist on abortion. He has never supported any meaningful restriction on it, and never will.
He opposed a partial-birth abortion bill in Illinois, even as the federal version passed the House with 282 votes and the Senate with 64 votes and was signed into law by President Bush in 2003. He arrived in the U.S. Senate in time to denounce the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the ban.
[to read the rest of the Lowry essay on the Politico site, click here.]




Camp Esther 2012

Raising up the next generation of pro-life leaders


NYSRTL’s fourth annual pro-life teen leadership weekend, Camp Esther, trained twenty-eight students on the ins-and-outs of the Life issues.  Held August 17-19 at the beautiful Good News Center in Utica, NY, the weekend included informative presentations, interactive sessions, outdoor activities, and a chance to get to know pro-lifers from across New York State.


One speaker, Brenden Flynn, shared a powerful story of recovery following a horrific car accident despite doctors advising his mother to “let him die.”  Father Joseph Koterski, professor of philosophy at Fordham University, spoke on the dangers of organ harvesting from “brain dead” individuals as well as general ethics for navigating Life issues.  The students themselves had a chance to share their pro-life perspective and experience fighting for the cause, providing others with excellent examples of how to effectively share the pro-life message in their schools, churches, and communities.


One camper said what most impacted him about the weekend was, “How there are so many young people who are so passionate about saving life.”  Indeed, the students who attend Camp Esther are already actively engaged in the fight for Life and we know they will continue to use their talents to see to the protection of and respect for all members of the human family.


NYSRTL wishes to extend our deepest gratitude to the Good News Foundation of Central New York for hosting Camp Esther and for their indispensable support, without which Camp Esther would not be a reality.  Our other always faithful partner in this critical endeavor is the New York State Ancient Order of Hibernians along with local Ancient Order of Hibernian chapters (Division 5 in Suffolk County; the Troy Division; Division 2 in Cornwall; the Msgr. John J. Lee Division; Division 15 in Massapequa Park; the Nassau County Baord; Division 11 in Hampton Bays; Division 11 in Hicksville; Thomas Carroll Division 1; Rev. Harold J. Flynn Division 2; Division 1 in Yonkers).  We would also like to thank the Joint Parish Respect Life Committee, Canali’s Restaurant in Scotia, Naomi's Circle of the Princetown Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Faith Chapel, and other individuals who provided scholarships for students to attend Camp Esther.


See more pictures from Camp Esther 2012 on our Facebook page!



Upcoming Events


Long Island Rally for Religious Freedom

Saturday, September 8, 1-4pm

Garden City, NY

Corner of Old Country Road and Clinton Avenue

Contact: Grace Colucci,



State Primary Election

Thursday, September 13

Call NYSRTL at 518-434-1293 for information on pro-life candidates and how you can help!



Family Pro-Life Pot Luck

Sunday, October 14, 5pm
Rome, NY

St. Paul's Church

1807 Bedford St.

Rome, NY 13440

Contact: Julie (315)335-0932



Remembering Gerry Colling


Gerry Colling died on Monday, August 21 at his home in Liverpool, NY. He was 80 years old and had spent much of his life working to protect unborn children. He was a much loved member of the board of directors for the New York State Right to Life Committee where he is remembered as a dedicated and faithful defender of the vulnerable. He was also a long time member of Syracuse Right to Life, served on the board of Birthright and was a member of the Respect Life Committee of his parish. He and his wife also opened their home to care for newborns in the Catholic Charities foster care program. We will miss him dearly.



 Caitlin Kennedy makes NYSRTL proud!


The Long Island Coalition for Life oratory contest winner, Caitlin Kennedy, also won the NYS Right to Life statewide contest for the second year in a row and then placed 2nd in the nation in the Jane B Thompson National Right to Life Oratory Contest in Virginia this weekend.


Someday, through the work of faithful pro-lifers, like Caitlin, all people will come to recognize the value of every member of the human family.


Caitlin Kennedy is a graduating senior at St. Pius V School in Melville, NY. In addition to public speaking, Caitlin enjoys acting in school theatrical productions and singing. She is a standing member of her school and church choirs and has been a NYSSMA Vocal participant for the past three years, earning the commendations of both Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Quartet member. An avid swimmer, Caitlin works year-round as both an American Red Cross-certified Lifeguard and Swim Instructor, teaching swim technique and safety skills to people of all levels and ages, from adults to children with special needs. After high school, Caitlin intends to attend college at LIU Post to study emergency medicine and to continue to pursue her vocal training. Caitlin resides on Long Island with her parents, four brothers and three sisters.



Richmondville's Emma Tiner wins NRLC's senior level essay contest


Emma Tiner, a student from Richmondville, NY, tied for first place in National Right to Life's 2012 Pro-Life Essay Contest at the senior level. Emma is a homeschool student who will be in 12th grade this fall. Emma is one of nine students serving as peer leaders at NYS Right to Life's Camp Esther this summer. NYS Right to Life congratulates Emma! You can read her winning essay, "Living With the Heartless Indifference Caused by Freedom of 'Choice'" here.

Students interested in participating in the 2013 National Right to Life Pro-Life Essay Contest see here for more information.



Natalie Fohl and Andrew Votipka - June 28, 2012


When Natalie and Andrew wed on June 28 of this year, the Lord officially brought together two of His children whose passion for and dedication to Him and His little ones will surely change the world exponentially through their blessed union.


Natalie and Andrew met at National Right to Life's Academy in the summer of 2010.  The following January, Natalie graduated from McGill University and began her tenure as New York State Right to Life's Director of Youth Outreach, Special Events and a plethora of other things that her energetic and bright self brought to the movement.  While finishing college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Andrew volunteered for various pro-life endeavors including NYSRTL's Camp Esther.  In addition to Natalie's now part time work for the committee, the couple has sacrificed dramatically to allow Natalie to work more hours as a volunteer.


NYSRTL wishes to thank Natalie and Andrew's parents too.  Not only did they raise remarkable children but both families have given so generously to NYSRTL at the most challenging economic times we have seen.


To put the icing on this couple's cake - Natalie and Andrew's wedding registry included donations to NYS Right to Life.


It isn't often when you see two young people so hopelessly devoted to each other and to the cause of the Kingdom who are bright enough to accomplish complicated challenges and holy enough to get their hands as dirty as necessary to serve the God they love by fighting to save the children He loves.


We ask your prayers for Natalie and Andrew as they continue on this journey before them. 


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