HLI Shows Solidarity with France

“Choose life so that you may live.” (Deut 30:19)

 “Christianity is the only religion that says, “Your model is a child,” the child of Bethlehem. When you have been taught to despise the child, there will be no more Christianity in this country.” ~ Servant of God, friend of Pope Saint John Paul II and famed French geneticist, Jerome Lejeune*

French march for life

Braving inclement Parisian weather

“France is a country with a great tradition and heroism that comes out frequently in her history.” So says Dr. Joseph Meaney, Human Life International (HLI) Director of International Outreach and Expansion. Nowhere else is this legacy more visible than today in the streets of Paris, where Dr. Meaney works and lives. Two days after Washington D.C.’s March for Life, he braved nasty weather along with 40,000 others to join the French March for Life. Dr. Meaney: “Many international groups participated and so it was natural for HLI to be there also, showing our solidarity and support.” The peaceful protest is timed close to the legalization date of abortion in France, which was in 1975.

Cold and freezing rain proved no deterrent, even to entire families with small children participating. Several hundred young persons volunteered in different roles at the event. It might have been even more massive, had the weather cooperated, as it did this year in Washington, D.C. 

The day prior, Dr. Meaney met with organizers of pro-life marches from across Europe, who came to the French March for Life to show solidarity with the movement to defend lives. Marches for life are spreading; there were seven marches for life in Austria alone in 2017. Dr. Meaney: “Even the Dutch now have an annual march for life that attracts 15,000 people to their capital.” One hears repeatedly that countries look to America. “The Washington D.C. March for Life has inspired several European marches, notably the one in Rome.”

Major 2018 Challenges Facing France

2018 will be an important year for France. Dr. Joseph Meaney states that bioethics laws will come up for revision.
“Currently in vitro fertilization (IVF) for single people or same-sex couples is illegal in France. It is anticipated that there will be a push to lift these restrictions. There is also a danger that legalizing euthanasia will come up for a vote. It is therefore very important that pro-life and pro-family campaigners make themselves seen and heard.”

International Pro-Life Leaders at Jerome Lejeune Foundation

Dr. Meaney contributed to this report.
 *Servant of God, Jerome Lejeune, is known for discovering genetic links to illness, such as Down Syndrome. Also a fearless Catholic, after receiving the world’s highest award in genetics, the William Allan Award, he gave a talk questioning the morality of abortion. He then wrote to his wife, saying: “Today I lost my Nobel Prize in Medicine.” Jerome Lejeune, pray for us!

About Deborah M. Piroch

Deborah M. Piroch graduated from Mount Holyoke College, the nation’s oldest women’s college, with a double major in German and English Literature. She studied abroad and earned her M.A. in English Literature from Indiana University. Fluent in German, she began her career in international journalism working for Radio Deutsche Welle in Cologne, Germany. Returning to the States after a three-year contract, she worked as arts reporter and producer on prime time shows for WQED-FM in Pittsburgh, then a top 20 market. After another three years, she was hired by EWTN Global Catholic Network as news director, anchor and writer for “Catholic World Today,” but soon transitioned into television. Highlights of her 15 years at EWTN include co-anchoring the U.S. March for Life with Marcus Grodi on more than one occasion, live translating the election of Pope Benedict XVI into German, interviewing two former U.S. Presidential candidates and producing Father Benedict Groeschel’s prime time program from its inception for six years. Named the Network’s first International Production Coordinator, she also proposed, budgeted and executed TV shoots in Scotland, England, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Most recently she served as Director of PR for Human Life International.

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