Mission Statement

To pray, fast and peacefully witness for an end to intentional destruction of all innocent human lives, especially those most in need.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

40 Days update; Vigil signups needed!

We've now passed the one-quarter mark of this 40 day vigil, and encouraging reports continue to flow in. While we have all received our share of scorn for our public witness in a high traffic area, we have been surprised and delighted to learn that most of you report getting more encouragement, thumbs up and friendly waves than angry responses! Please continue to share your experiences at the vigil site.

We also had the distinct pleasure of speaking with a woman this week whose daughter Marielle is about to turn 10 years old. When Marielle sent out invitations to her birthday party, she directed her friends not to bring gifts for her, but to buy baby care items to donate to Pregnancy Helpline in solidarity with 40 Days for Life! We rejoice and praise God for the generosity and love of this young lady!

Signups still needed for THIS week!

You all have done a terrific and admirable job of filling all the slots thus far with time to spare. Thank you!

We now humbly ask you to help us fill this coming week. As we write this post, we still have 50 hours to fill next week--including a whopping 38 from Thursday through Sunday! Please click here to view the schedule and sign up online or by calling Steve at 608-445-2063.

We also know that many of you have been dropping in to pray unannounced--which is terrific. One of the greatest blessings of this campaign has been to regularly have 4, 6, or even 8 people out at a time! At the same time, with our schedule looking thin right now, we'd appreciate you signing up in advance if you know that you'll be able to make it out to the site. Please know that you are always welcome to join the vigil--scheduled or not!

Lastly, it is still necessary for us to have a minimum of two people out at a time. As such, please make sure to be on time (or early) for your scheduled hour. We don't want to leave anybody stranded at the vigil site. Overall, we have been delighted by the lack of problems with punctuality, but we do need to stress the point.

Thanks for your great work. Because of your efforts and God's grace, we are as confident as we've ever been that these late-term abortion plans can be thwarted for good!

Estimated number of babies spared from abortion at the MSC by pro-life efforts since 1/6/2009: 145

Monday, February 22, 2010

UW Medical School caught performing abortions at Planned Parenthood

As we near the completion of one week of prayerful witness outside the Madison Surgery Center, we could hardly be more delighted with the way the vigil has gone.

You've done a great job peacefully and lovingly standing witness on behalf of the unborn and the parents in danger of being victimized by the schemes of UW Health and Meriter Hospital. Pro-life employees at 1 S. Park Street are grateful and encouraged. Pro-abortion employees are rattled that light is exposing their treachery for all the community to see. Keep up the great work, and please share your stories from the sidewalks! Click here or call 608-445-2063 to sign up for hours.


An Extra Guideline for Prayer Warriors


Vigil for Life is a diverse group of Christians with different levels of experience and confidence on the streets. That's why we want to make it clear to all of you that we invite you to pray with us in a way that you feel comfortable with.

So if you want to stand with a sign, we encourage it. You can even hand out the literature (blue paper slips) now found in the Official Vigil Bag to passersby, staff, or employees if you desire (just stay on the sidewalk and be courteous!). But if you're more comfortable praying silently without a sign, that's great, too. And if the person or people you're signed up with are more demonstrative than you're comfortable with, feel free to pray on your own. If the opposite is true, please don't be offended that your partner in prayer might prefer a more subtle approach.

More Troubling Revelations Expose Deadly Scheming at the University of Wisconsin

Pro-Life Wisconsin revealed today that UW Health has been funding an arrangement with Planned Parenthood where medical students perform abortions as part of their instruction. The arrangement may very well constitute a violation of state law, which prohibits tax dollars from financing abortions. The University of Wisconsin Medical School's OB/GYN Department curriculum features eight weeks of students working at Planned Parenthood assisting with abortions and other so-called family planning practices.

The revelation is the latest in a string of disturbing stories exposing unethical or illegal activities surrounding the proposed late-term abortion facility at the Madison Surgery Center. Recently, it was discovered that the UW had experimented on pancreatic tissue harvested from aborted babies. And earlier this month, the Middleton Police Department refused to comply with an Open Records Request regarding an illegal investigation of pro-lifers by the MPD and the US Department of Homeland Security.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 1: Already an encouraging update out of the Madison Surgery Center

This afternoon, a contact we have inside 1 S. Park Street told us "They're already talking about you in there! Patients are asking about the 'protest' outside."

Certain staff members actually told patients that we only came out because the weather was nice and that we'd be gone soon. That may be true if--and only if--UW Health and Meriter Hospital decide no babies will die at the Madison Surgery Center.

Why would employees lie to patients? They don't want their patients to stop and consider the fact that they might be going in for a surgery just down the hall from a proposed killing center. Our peaceful, loving witness is shining the light of Truth on the Madison Surgery Center, and it is bound to open eyes. Let's strengthen our resolve and pray these abortion plans out of existence!

If you haven't signed up yet, we still have a lot of shifts open after this week. Click here to take some time. And be sure to share stories from the vigil site with us!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

40 Days for Life at 1 S. Park Street: Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road

Vigil Purpose: To pray, fast and peacefully witness to end late-term abortion plans at the Madison Surgery Center and make others aware of these plans.

Vigil Location: Madison Surgery Center (MSC) – 1 S. Park Street Madison, WI 53715

Vigil Hours: 6:00 a.m. –Vigil Open (6:00 a.m. hour participants will “open” the vigil)****
6:00 p.m. –Vigil Close (5:00 p.m. hour participants will “close” the vigil)****

****Those who will “open” or “close” the vigil should read the “Vigil Open/Close Instructions” in the binder in the Official Vigil Bag****

YOU MUST BE PUNCTUAL FOR YOUR VIGIL HOUR, ALLOWING FOR PARKING TIME, FOR THIS VIGIL TO WORK!

Parking: There is free 2-hour parking available on Braxton Place off Park Street (northbound: Braxton Place will be the right-hand turn right on Park Street before the Madison Surgery Center; southbound: Braxton Place will be the first left-hand turn from Park Street after the Madison Surgery Center). If this parking is filled, free parking is available at St. James Catholic Church (1204 St. James Court: by foot/car, from Regent, turn left onto Brooks St. and right onto St. James Court).

Meeting Place: Participants should gather at the corner of Park St. and Braxton Pl. The prayer warriors can then move to another place along Park Street or Regent Street in front of the MSC during their shift if they desire, but should meet at Park and Braxton to hand off the Official Vigil Bag and signs. Stay on the sidewalk and do not block entrances or pedestrian traffic.

Official Vigil Bag: This bag contains a binder with sign-in forms, copies of the statement of peace and contact information, literature to hand-out (optional), tissues and few other items. One person per vigil hour should carry the Official Vigil Bag. Please do not add items to the Official Vigil Bag that will make it heavy.

Signing-In: Please sign in for your vigil hour by initialing next to your name on the vigil schedule print-outs stored in the binder in the Official Vigil Bag.

Statements of Peace: All participants must sign a Statement of Peace for the Spring 2010 vigil. Copies will be available in the Official Vigil Bag or online at www.vigilforlife.org.

Weather: This vigil is taking place during winter conditions. Dress more warmly than you expect is necessary. Feel free to warm up in your car. We are also welcome to warm up or use the restrooms at Faith Community Bible Church across Regent from the MSC. If severe weather makes driving to your vigil hour impossible, please contact vigil coordinator Steve Karlen at 608-445-2063.

Contact Information: You should call (not email), Steve Karlen, at 608-445-2063 immediately for the following reasons:
1. You will not be on-time. It is important that you are punctual. If you will not be, please call.
2. You cannot make your vigil hour for any reason.
3. You feel uncomfortable for any reason. There is also an Incident Log in the Official Vigil Bag to record any incidents.

Police Information: You have a right to hold vigil outside of the MSC. If you feel like others are preventing you from doing so or are threatening, contact vigil coordinator Steve Karlen right away at 608-445-2063. You may also call our police contact, Sgt. Schmitz. Sgt. Schmitz’s cell phone number is 608-209-8722. The non-emergency dispatcher number is 608-266-4275. As always, obey all law enforcement personnel. The MSC security person might make odd requests which are not legally binding. If you are confused about your rights and obligations, do not hesitate to call Steve Karlen or the MPD to clarify.

Signs: There are 2 official 40 Days for Life/Vigil for Life signs available for your use that may be worn or carried. If you choose not wear/carry these signs, please keep them nearby during your shift. You may not leave them unattended. The purpose of these signs is to identify the vigil and to witness as to why we are present.

Literature: If you so choose, there is literature in the Official Vigil Bag that is suitable to give out to pedestrians or Madison Surgery Center employees as they come in and leave from the building. As always, be courteous and do not block entrances, exits, the road, or the sidewalk.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Christ’s Love for St. Valentine’s Day

Send the love of Christ –a bouquet of flowers- to the person in your letter range on Friday, February 12th for Valentine’s Day.

  • If your last name starts with the letters A-D, send a bouquet to: James Woodward, CEO of Meriter Hospital 202 S. Park Street Madison, WI 53715 608-417-6210
  • Letters E-H: Biddy Martin, Chancellor of UW-Madison 161 Bascom Hall Madison, WI 53706 608-262-9946
  • Letters I-L: David Walsh, Chair of UW System Board of Regents 150 E. Gilman Street Madison, WI 53801
  • Letters M-P: Lisa Brunette, Media Relations for UW Hospital and Clinics 635 Science Drive Madison, WI 53711 608-263-5830
  • Letters Q-T: Donna Katen-Bahensky, UW Hospital and Clinics 600 Highland Avenue Madison, WI 53792 608-263-6400
  • Letters U-Z: Jeffrey Grossman, M.D., UW Medical Foundation 7974 UW Health Court Middleton, WI 53562 608-263-7013

Full Text of Steve Karlen's Speech at Wisconsin's Second Annual Defend Life Rally

They thought we’d lose interest. They thought we’d forget. They thought we’d go away.

My friends, have you lost interest? Have you forgotten? Do you plan on going away?!

That’s right! And we won’t go away until UW Health and Meriter scrap their plans to perform abortions for good. They have tarnished their reputations, alienated staff, and driven away patients in hordes. But it’s not too late to make things right. To those with the power to reverse this terrible decision we say fix it now!

Fix it now and save yourselves the irreversible stigma of turning your healing facilities into death camps. If you act on these plans to kill at the Madison Surgery Center, no amount of public relations or outreach will ever be able to wash the stench of death from that building.

Friends, the struggle for life is a struggle we will win. History is on our side. We live in a great nation, but it’s a nation that’s no stranger to bitterly divisive debates over who should be considered a human being and who should be granted the rights associated with personhood. This is nothing new. Abortion is merely the latest in a long line of these controversies. But when all is said and done, never, ever, has history sided with those who seek to dehumanize a particular segment of society.

They were wrong when they said African Americans were property. They were wrong when they brutalized Native Americans on the Trail of Tears. They were wrong when they stuck Japanese Americans in internment camps. They were wrong when they denied immigrants from China, Southern Europe, Ireland, Eastern Europe and Latin America basic civil rights. And they’re as wrong today as they’ve ever been when UW Health and Meriter say that tearing a baby limb from limb is health care. They’re wrong!

It’s not just history that’s on our side. The future is on our side as well. But let me back up a moment. In my home, we often talk about the great admiration we have for those of you who have been working on this cause for a long time through some very dark days. I know that many of you have been striving to build a Culture of Life for 5, 10, 20, 30, or even 37 years. And you may not have ended abortion yet, but you fought to protect me and my generation—the survivors of Roe v. Wade. And you’ve paved the way for young people to become the most pro-life generation since the generation born during the Great Depression. Look around and see the fruits of your labor.

And so on behalf of all of us—the survivors—this is my message to all of you who have spent your lives laboring to keep the flame alive through lost court cases, lost elections, broken promises and broken hearts: Thank you! And help is on the way!

And it starts today. No longer will we be told to wait until it’s more politically expedient to end abortion. No longer will we wait for the right candidate to ascend to office. No longer will we wait for that fifth Supreme Court justice to overturn Roe v. Wade. THIS is the year we take our country back!

Now I’m not so na├»ve that I believe it will be easy. But the road before us is certainly no more difficult than that lay before the great British Statesman William Wilberforce when he set out on his one-man quest to end the slave trade. In fact, Wilberforce’s perseverance inspires me so much that I keep a quote of his framed on the wall of my living room where I can see it every single day. The quote reads, “Never! Never will we desist. Until we extinguish every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity—looking back on these enlightened times—shall scare believe it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonor to this country!”

With years of hard work and relentless faith, William Wilberforce ended the slave trade. And we here today can end abortion if we follow his example. So join us at the 40 Days for Life campaign wherever you’re from. Here in Madison, we’ll be starting a 40 day campaign on Ash Wednesday. And we desperately need your help. Please consider taking just one hour a week for six weeks and we can cover our shifts.

Friends, we know the victory is ours because it’s been won in Jesus Christ. So let us serve as servants of the Lord and go forth and change the world. Thank you. God bless you.

Viva Cristo Rey! Long live Christ the King!

Friday, February 5, 2010

BREAKING: UW Health says abortions have not started because of "protesters"

Make sure to attend Wisconsin's Second Annual Defend Life Rally which will be held tomorrow on Library Mall (the 700-800 block of State Street) at noon. The rally will last an hour, and will be followed by a march to the Madison Surgery Center. The event features an all-star cast--the most dynamic panel of pro-life and Christian leaders that will appear in Wisconsin this year!

  • National Recording Artist Aaron Thompson
  • Julaine Appling, Wisconsin Family Council
  • Barbara Lyons, Wisconsin Right to Life
  • Bob Dorn, State of Wisconsin Knights of Columbus
  • Fr. Eric Nielsen, Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison
  • Peggy Hamill, Pro-Life Wisconsin
  • Laura and Steve Karlen, Vigil for Life
  • Senator Glenn Grothman
  • Amanda Detry, University of Wisconsin Students for Life
  • Dee McCoy, Silent No More
  • Chris Slattery, EMC Frontline Pregnancy Care--New York City

We can expect counter-protesters to be present again. We sat down with the Madison Police Department yesterday to discuss this and they will take care of any problems. We will simply remain silent, avoid confrontation or engagement, remain courteous, and allow police to ensure our right to demonstrate is not hindered.

UW Health says abortions have not started because of protesters; Spring 40 Days for Life seen as key to further delay

On Thursday we spoke with a journalist who reported that UW Health Communications said the Madison Surgery Center has not begun performing abortions because of the presence of "protesters." While we have long known our presence has been instrumental in delaying these plans, this marks the first time any of the organizations involved have gone on record admitting it.

It also indicates that tomorrow's rally and the Spring 40 Days for Life campaign (which begins in only 12 days!) will be key to demonstrating our willingness to continue publicly witnessing against these plans. Having spent a great deal of time planning the rally, we need MANY signups for 40 Days for Life. Please click here to sign up for a weekly hour. If you can't commit to a weekly hour, please sign up for an hour or two the first week of the vigil when the need is most urgent.

Internal emails reveal University of Wisconsin-Madison has harvested aborted babies' organs for research purposes

Last week, Pro-Life Wisconsin announced that University of Wisconsin-Madison internal emails prove the University performed medical research on pancreatic tissue obtained from abortion facilities. The discovery calls into question UW Health's assertion that organs will not be harvested from babies aborted at the Madison Surgery Center.

The emails also reveal a culture of secrecy in which UW Health and MSC staff conspired to shift meeting locations so staff members would not learn of their plans to perform late-term abortions.