Dennis M. Howard
The power of praying for life
By Dennis M. Howard
June 3, 2016

He's a 54-year-old pro-life Congressman, but he wouldn't be here today if not for a miracle that happened when his birth mother was on her way to Tijuana to get an abortion ten years before Roe v. Wade.

Two girlfriends were driving her there because they wanted "to help her out." At the time, Tijuana was a hotbed of back alley abortions, no questions asked.

As they got closer, the 17-year-old unwed mother started crying and hyperventilating, and her friends went into panic mode. They turned back to Los Angeles, and a few months later baby David was born at the Holy Family Unwed Mothers Home in Los Angeles.

Soon after, he was adopted by the caring, pro-life Schweikert family who couldn't have children of their own. Thirty-six years later, Dave was finally reunited with his birth mother, and the first words out of her mouth were, "I have been praying for you every day."

His stepmother and birth mother soon became the best of friends. They have both since passed away, but "they were both traditional Catholics and had so much to share."

Dave also managed to connect with his birth father. "When I met him, I knocked on the door and there he was wearing the same suit, the same tie I was wearing. We even speak in the same sort of cadence. Now I talk to him for about an hour every Sunday. It's so much fun."

But the miracles didn't stop there. When Dave got married, his wife Joyce was recovering from a battle with cancer, and they had difficulty having children. "We tried everything, including adoption without success. We even signed up for foster care. We had nearly given up."

And then the phone rang. It was a doctor friend calling to tell him, "You won't believe this, but I just delivered a little girl, and the mother would like to put her up for adoption with a good Catholic family, and I know you're one of them. Come and meet her."

It was like the miracle of his own adoption happening all over again.

Sitting down with the doctor, the social worker, and the adoption people revealed still another miracle. "They were all telling me how rare this is. It had been 15 years since they saw a full-term, healthy baby, with no substance abuse problems, being adopted locally."

With miracles like this, it is no wonder that Dave Schweikert – who was once himself at risk for abortion – ultimately became a stalwart pro-life Congressman from Arizona. Now, at 54, he is running for his fourth term as a pro-life congressman.

Looking back, he thinks that the pro-life movement has had success because "those in the movement didn't quit. We took our lumps, we took our losses, but we stayed persistent while the other side has become more unhinged, more shrill, more angry, more emotional."

Citing the recent battle of the Little Sisters of the Poor against President Obama's HHS mandate, Schweikert asks: "Does the Constitution mean what the Constitution says? Those on the control freak left have to be careful what they ask for. If someone cannot have a sense of conscience when it comes to life, will they be allowed to have a conscience in regards to war or other things? We have to be consistent."

Another reason for Dave Schweikert's pro-life success is that his birth mother had the grace to start crying and hyperventilating on her way to an abortion mill 54 years ago, and then – after giving him up for adoption – never stopped praying for him every day.

The result was a long string of miracles that will hopefully keep on going until the end of abortion itself – as long as somebody's mother keeps praying for it every day.

# # #

You can join this pro-life prayer crusade today

All it takes is a moment to reflect on all the women and babies who are at risk for abortion today – here in America and around the world. And then say your own favorite prayer – the Lord's Prayer or the Hail Mary or the Rosary – that God's grace may intervene on their behalf.

If enough people do this – 3,000 a day in the United States or 100,000 a day throughout the world – that would be a prayer for everyone in the world at risk for abortion today. Surely, that many babies and mothers are worth that much praying every day.

Churches can join in this prayer campaign by remembering those at risk for abortion in the prayers of the faithful at Mass. Just add "for all the women and babies at risk for abortion throughout the world" to your prayer list.

How important is that?

In the United States, we are fast approaching 60 million abortions since 1967. That's over 3,100 babies for every Catholic parish in the United States over the last 50 years.

Each year, that amounts to one abortion per week within the boundaries of every parish in the United States. In high abortion states, that can rise to 3 or 4 per week.

Think about it. We pray for almost everyone else ... for the poor, the sick, the dying, men and women in service, for vocations, for almost everything else . . . surely we can add a short prayer, a gentle reminder to help bring an end to the greatest scourge that has ever hit mankind.

And, if you do join this campaign, by all means let us know. Just drop a note to:

Movement for a Better America, PO Box 472, Mt. Freedom, NJ 07970-0472

© Dennis M. Howard


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Dennis M. Howard

Dennis M. Howard is founder and president of The Movement for a Better America, a non-profit, pro-life educational organization. Before starting MBA in 1995, he had a long and successful career in journalism and creative marketing. He has been writing since 1950, when he helped launch The Sun Herald of Kansas City, America's last attempt at publishing a Catholic daily... (more)


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