Mayor Sally Lee Shows What it Means to be Pro-Life
Last year, Human Life International reported on Mayor Sally Lee, who declared Sorsogon, Philippines to be a pro-life city in February 2015, after being inspired by HLI’s 19th Asian-Pacific Conference on Faith, Life, and Family. Mayor Sally shows what it means to be pro-life, and HLI has supported her every step of the way in her fight to rid her city of the Culture of Death.
In April, Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Dr. Brian Clowes, and Father Shenan Boquet visited Sorsogon to bolster their support. Although Mayor Sally’s reelection campaign was rapidly approaching, she took time to spend with the HLI team and to show them the work she has done in Sorsogon.
Programs For Women
During the week that they were there, Dr. Acosta, Dr. Clowes, and Fr. Boquet were able to give many talks, offer Mass, and meet the people of Sorsogon. They were also able to witness the incredible things that Mayor Sally has done to promote Life in her city. On the third day, after celebrating Mass in the beautiful Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, they visited the new Pro-Life Advocacy Center, which is supplied with pro-life resources provided by Human Life International. This newly organized and refurbished Center is located in the old city hall in the center of the city for convenience and easy access. Here, the people of Sorsogon gather to learn about issues affecting Life and Family. The Center, along with the local church, also provides Natural Family Planning services.
Mayor Sally has also opened a Home for Violated Women, which Fr. Boquet blessed in the presence of the Home’s personnel, some policemen, and other city government workers.
Ridding Sorsogon of Contraceptives
Not only has Mayor Sally successfully fought the abortion industry, but she has also refused to accept contraceptives into her city. This decision has been met with fierce opposition and harassment from the pro-abortion movement. However, Mayor Sally’s devotion to her Faith and her people has been unwavering. She says that her duty to God comes first, and she wants to protect women, especially from the killer effects of contraceptives.
One morning, while they were visiting, Dr. Acosta, Dr. Clowes, and Fr. Boquet had breakfast with an important aide to Mayor Sally, Village Captain Melvin Hainto. He told the story of how he refused entry to members of the government’s Department of Health in order to protect the villagers. After Mayor Sally’s ban of contraceptives, these members tried to sneak them in by pretending to be on a mission trip and distributing them to the villages directly. Luckily, the Village Captain saw through their fraud. Captain Hainto attended the Pro-Life Orientation and Mini-training conducted by Dr. Acosta in 2015, and has since been strong in fighting the Culture of Death with his mayor.
Environment Programs and Village Livelihood Programs
Though Mayor Sally has worked hard to protect women, children, and men from becoming victims of the Culture of Death, this has not been her sole focus. During their visit, Mayor Sally treated Dr Acosta, Dr. Clowes and Fr. Boquet to the relaxing “firefly river cruise,” on the Buhatan river, rehabilitated by the mayor’s environment program. This cruise takes place after sunset and is one of several activities available on the Buhatan River. Mayor Sally and the HLI team enjoyed dinner in an indigenous restaurant on the river, run as a livelihood program for the village people. The seafood at this restaurant is caught from the Buhatan River. Mayor Sally possesses the true spirit of the pro-life movement, a love for all aspects of life.
What it Means to be Pro-Life
After a busy and fruitful week, Dr. Acosta, Dr. Clowes, and Fr. Boquet said goodbye to Sorsogon. Mayor Sally thanked them for their support, which she said truly strengthened her resolve to never waiver in her convictions. The mayor was a huge inspiration to Human Life International as well. This is a woman who stands by her morals in spite of the pressure of leading a city and in spite of the adversity she faces. The job of the pro-lifer is to share this value of life with the community, until it infects the whole world. Mayor Sally is a model of what it means not only to be a pro-life citizen, but also to be a pro-life ruler.