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International Pro-Life Activities

Bradley Mattes   |   February 01, 2014

My role as president of the International Right to Life Federation (IRTLF) could easily be a full-time job and more. It would be if I were able to travel to every country that desperately needs help promoting a culture of life and turning back the purveyors of death. Hit hardest are third-world nations and countries that have laws protecting their most vulnerable citizens—preborn children. Pro-abortion activists demonstrate a never-ending zeal to prevent the poor and downtrodden from reproducing, while constantly assailing the protective laws of nations that protect their young and infirm.

It’s frustrating, at best, that a few million dollars could go so far in protecting the vulnerable around the world, while at the same time Planned Parenthood of America gets over one-half-billion of our tax dollars each year to promote their radical agenda of abortion-on-demand. Tens of millions more are funneled through organizations and governments to extend and entrench the reach of abortion.

Even against such great odds, the board of the IRTLF and I are dedicated and determined to do all within our power to protect innocent human life around the world. It is both humbling and exhilarating to serve as the president in a volunteer capacity.

This year I spent time in Ethiopia filming multiple episodes of Facing Life Head-On, Life Issues Institute’s half-hour weekly TV program. During this time, I was able to network with pro-life leaders in this impoverished country. The level of poverty in Ethiopia and throughout the continent of Africa is impossible to fully convey in this limited space. Yet, Africans are a joyful and content people who value life.

This fall I was able to speak at an international conference on post-abortion issues, held in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This is a large city near the Pacific coast. The hot and humid climate is offset by its happy and outgoing people. I have come to love the cheerful culture of Central and South America. Latinos have a zest for life and are pleased to share it with whomever they interact.

This fall I was able to speak at an international conference on post-abortion issues, held in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This is a large city near the Pacific coast. The hot and humid climate is offset by its happy and outgoing people. I have come to love the cheerful culture of Central and South America. Latinos have a zest for life and are pleased to share it with whomever they interact.

Representatives from various Latino countries came together to learn more and share what they know about ministering to mothers and fathers who spiritually and emotionally struggle after abortion. One minute we were laughing and encouraging one another and the next, wiping tears from our eyes as a few colleagues dramatically shared the pain of their own abortions.

I presented information about helping fathers who have lost a child to abortion. They were eager to receive and translate a resource in development at the time from the Men and Abortion Network. It’s fully explained on page seven.

Early December brought a trip to Europe. My first stop was in the Netherlands to speak at a rally in The Hague, the seat of government for Holland, after which I joined Dutch pro-lifers in a march of impressive numbers. Later I spoke at an international conference of pro-life leaders in Hilversum.

Initially, I had planned to use some of my time in Europe to visit a very dear friend, Alison Davis. She was born with spina bifida and spent her life in a wheelchair. She became a bold and effective spokesperson on behalf of individuals with disabilities within the organization, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

I first met Alison and her caregiver, Colin Harte, several years ago in London at an anti-euthanasia conference, and the three of us became fast friends. That relationship with “Ali” deepened over the years.

Alison suffered from a variety of chronic conditions in addition to her spina bifida: osteoporosis, arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Life was painful and hard for my dear friend, so I wanted to spend time with her and Colin, as we didn’t know how long she would be with us.

As the time neared for my trip across the pond, Ali took a turn for the worse and died days before I got there. Instead of a visit, I served as a pallbearer for her funeral. She was one of the sweetest, yet feistiest, people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.

While in London, I met with John Smeaton, head of SPUC and a vice president of IRTLF. We held a few strategy sessions and I spent time with his staff, sharing my experience in filming and production.

Just like the pro-life movement in America is tirelessly working to end the modern-day holocaust of abortion, equally dedicated and passionate individuals are faithfully toiling to protect innocent human life in their own countries. I feel an extra obligation to end abortion here, because in many nations that I’ve visited, local pro-life leaders implore us to end abortion in the US so that it will be an example for their governments to follow. You see, America has exported a culture of death to which other nations have fallen victim. America truly leads in the world—in both good and deadly ways.

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One thought on “International Pro-Life Activities

  1. Dear Brad, thank you so much for sacrificing your time in coming to South Africa at short notice.

    Your visit kicked of with addressing the National Alliance For Life conference in Durban leading to our National March for Life. Your presentations made an indelible impact on the attendees in a fully packed venue.

    There is much we can learn from the pro-life movement in the USA as we face the same battles here in SA. We also believe the your talks at the various SA universities and colleges have saved the lives of many unborn babies while motivating others to become more active.

    We have fond memories of your invaluable visit here and look forward to see you again.

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