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Proudly Pro-Life Dinner Honors Pro-Life Hollywood Celebs ^ | 5/7/03

Posted on 05/07/2003 12:24:16 AM PDT by nickcarraway

New York, NY — Participants in the 10th annual Proudly Pro-Life Awards Dinner April 29 expressed confidence that they were winning the battle against abortion.

Benjamin J. Stein, a movie and television personality who was one of the honorees, reported that he used to get booed when he presented his pro-life views to college groups, but now got "wild applause."

"I believe the tide is turning in our favor," he said.

Stein also said pro-life forces owed a lot to President Bush and Republican Party. "Without the Republican Party being on our side, this would be a lost cause."

The Proudly Pro-Life dinner, held in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, is a fund-raising event of the National Right to Life Committee to benefit its Educational Trust Fund.

NRLC staff said attendance was about 700 and many were students from northeastern universities who received tickets purchased by benefactors. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus were listed among the dinner sponsors.

In an evening that spotlighted figures from the entertainment world, awards also went to Margaret Colin, an actress currently appearing in the Broadway production of "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg," and to Jennifer O'Neill, an actress and model known for her roles in "Summer of '42" and other movies.

The event's honorary chairwomen, actresses Patricia Neal and Celeste Holm, did not attend, but Msgr. James Lisante, master of ceremonies, read a letter from Neal saying she was proud to be associated with the dinner but was away helping with a hospital project. Msgr. Lisante also placed a telephone call to Holm at her New York apartment during the dinner, and had the audience sing "Happy Birthday" for her 84th.

Colin, who spoke at the beginning of the event so she could leave to make the evening performance of "Joe Egg," said she had been pro-life since she was in the eighth grade.

She said her mother had influenced her and her brothers and sisters in that direction, and she was passing the same message along now to her sons.

Msgr. Lisante, former director of The Christophers and still host of the organization's television program, recalled that Colin had been his guest on "Christopher Closeups," and had talked there about her pro-life convictions and her position as honorary co-chair of Feminists for Life.

O'Neill, a spokeswoman for Silent No More, an advocacy organization dedicated to helping women who are suffering emotional damage from having undergone abortions, said she received widespread support in her efforts to "get the truth out."

She herself had an abortion when she was a young woman and her doctor and other people around her all said the baby was "just a blob of tissue," she recalled. If she could have seen an ultrasound picture of the baby, "I would have chosen life," she said. Women in such situations should be supported emotionally, financially and in other ways, and be given "every option except abortion."

O'Neill, too, expressed optimism about the pro-life movement's progress and the chances for banning partial-birth abortion. "I'm encouraged by our president," she said.

Wanda Franz, a professor of child development at West Virginia University and president of the National Right to Life Committee since 1991, said the organization, formed in 1973, was "stronger and more influential than ever."

David N. O'Steen, who directs the committee from its headquarters in Washington, told Catholic News Service he was "very encouraged" by signs of progress in the pro-life movement.

Among the signs, he said, was not only the election of a pro-life president, but congressional action, students speaking out against abortion and polls showing public opinion was increasingly supportive of the pro-life position.

He said he expected that the bill against partial-birth abortion, approved by the Senate, would pass the House and receive the president's signature later this year. Enacting the legislation would not affect a large percentage of abortions, but "the educational value would be enormous," he said.

Assuming a challenge to the bill would reach the Supreme Court, O'Steen said a critical issue would be whether the court ruled that the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion implied approval of partial-birth abortion.

TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; US: California
KEYWORDS: abortion; entertainment; media; prolife

1 posted on 05/07/2003 12:24:16 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
2 posted on 05/07/2003 12:51:18 AM PDT by pops88
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To: nickcarraway

Last year's proudly pro-life winner at the award ceremonies, demonstrating the freedom, tolerance and diversity espoused by Hollywood.

3 posted on 05/07/2003 1:02:58 AM PDT by Tall_Texan (Destroy the Elitist Democrat Guard and the Fedayeen Clinton using the smart bombs of truth!)
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To: nickcarraway
You might recall Margaret Colin playing Harrison Ford's wife in The Devil's Own. A fine actress, and I'm so glad to know she is solidly prolife!

4 posted on 05/07/2003 1:27:47 AM PDT by Scothia (Proudly eschewing the flaky, antifamily feminist establishment since 1973.)
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bump for life
5 posted on 05/07/2003 1:28:14 AM PDT by GretchenEE (We export freedom)
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To: nickcarraway
Encouraging bump.
6 posted on 05/07/2003 4:05:17 AM PDT by Claire Voyant ((visualize whirled peas))
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To: Scothia; Poohbah
She was also in Independence Day - although I liked Will Smith's chase scene the best...
7 posted on 05/07/2003 7:56:21 AM PDT by hchutch (America came, America saw, America liberated; as for those who hate us, Oderint dum Metuant)
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To: nickcarraway
8 posted on 05/07/2003 8:07:46 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: LiteKeeper
9 posted on 05/07/2003 8:11:57 AM PDT by votelife (FREE MIGUEL ESTRADA!)
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To: nickcarraway
Surely Patricia Heaton and Kathy Ireland were there!
10 posted on 05/07/2003 8:15:23 AM PDT by TheBigB ("Daddy, what's -b*tch-?" "It's a grown-up word, honey. It means junior Senator from New York")
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To: Tall_Texan
Very true.

But after 9/11 and Operation Payback, and due in great part to Bush's leadership, there's a massive sea-change on the horizon, even for Hollywood.

11 posted on 05/07/2003 8:59:34 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: nickcarraway
How heartwarming! I loooooved Celeste Holm before. Now I love her even more! :-)
12 posted on 05/07/2003 9:03:17 AM PDT by Gunder
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To: nickcarraway
I have to honestly say that I believe the pro-life movement is winning, slowly but surely. People just aren't as supportive of abortion as they used to be. There seems to be a revival for better things. Let's just pray that this new flame doesn't falter. Roe vs. Wade must be overturned.

BTW, you'll notice that virtually none of the really big Hollywood people are mentioned. Even Republicans like Bruce Willis or openly pro-life actors like Mel Gibson don't seem to express their views on this strongly enough. What a pity.
13 posted on 05/07/2003 9:10:59 AM PDT by No Dems 2004
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To: TheBigB
Surely Patricia Heaton and Kathy Ireland were there!

The event's honorary chairwomen, actresses Patricia Neal and Celeste Holm, did not attend

14 posted on 05/07/2003 10:23:42 AM PDT by hattend
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To: hattend
Boy, I feel dumb...Heaton and Neal aren't even close. D'oh!

I guess I was expecting to see "Heaton" so I read "Heaton"

15 posted on 05/07/2003 10:25:19 AM PDT by hattend
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To: nickcarraway; TLBSHOW; gcruse; Senator Pardek
16 posted on 05/07/2003 11:33:08 AM PDT by Cathryn Crawford (ValenB4 taught me my true social ideology.)
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To: No Dems 2004
Certainly Gibson hasn't hid from a pro-life stance. And who knows what has been edited out of interviews regarding Gibson's personal convictions.

As for Willis, I don't know his stance on abortion. But I think you'll find more than a few Hollywood Republicans or "conservatives" posture as libertarians on social issues.

To be a pro-abort libertarian is an exercise in oxymoronics, of course, since the child in utero is denied sovereignty over decisions regarding his or her body.

They're not libertarians; they may be libertines, but that's another discussion.

The larger point is that Hollywood's power structure can tolerate identification with Republican politics if a producer or performer is successful. Money trumps most political disputes in Tinselville.

There's one exception to that rule, however. Identification as a pro-lifer carries career costs. Some may be petty, such as being passed over for an award. Others may be more substantive like being passed over for a role. But Hollywood does not tolerate vocal opposition to abortion.

There are several reasons for this, including Hollywood's long relationship with the practice as well as the status of abortion as a feminist sacrament.

The point is that a working actor or actress -- for example, a Heaton or a Colin -- are demonstrating guts with a capital G by taking their convictions public. There will be a price to pay for their outspokenness.

All I can say is God bless 'em and others like them.
17 posted on 05/10/2003 6:14:41 PM PDT by MadeInOhio
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