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October 27, 2021

By Mary Beth Bracy
Contributing Writer

Champlain Valley Right to Life (CVRTL) is celebrating 50 years of caring for mothers and babies this year. They continue to promote a greater respect for human life in the North Country with events ranging from the recent Life Chain on Respect Life Sunday, October 3, to setting up displays at fairs and participating in 40 Days for Life. Following the COVID lockdown, CVRTL is working on doing more educating and other community activities again and needs volunteers to help.

“Being at the fair was encouraging, people were very happy,” shared Nancy Belzile, president of CVRTL. “It was our first year at Essex County Fair. We set up a beautiful display, more people picked up materials, we had fetal models, and bracelets. People were very friendly and shared a lot of hard stories with us. It was a good healing experience.”

Presently, CVRTL is participating in 40 Days for Life. People should “pray where they are, pray at the vigil site, fast and get others involved,” Belzile said. They can contact her to sign up, “if they need someone to pray with on different days we can work that out too.”

Belzile and Deacon Ken Lushia, vice-president of CVRTL, pray in front of Planned Parenthood in Plattsburgh every Monday at 10 a.m. during 40 Days for Life. People can “go there to connect and get involved.” They are passing out bracelets and hand sanitizer.

Deacon Lushia reflected that “The breakup of families is basically because of the introduction of birth control, and what it’s done just continues. There’s no moral dilemma to have casual sex anymore. To get rid of abortions, that can only start by following the commandments. God gave us the commandments through Moses, and it hasn’t changed. You shall not covet or commit adultery.”

People try to argue about when life starts, Deacon Lushia noted.

“The issue is saving sexual activity for marriage,” he said. “People are afraid to become knowledgeable about abortion because they don’t want to get involved. They rely on that it’s a bunch of cells, not a baby. Some people say that life doesn’t start until it’s in the womb. They argue about the number of weeks. One of the most pro-life statements is ‘Happy Birthday.’”

“We have to work on getting our moral compass back. We support the Plattsburgh Pregnancy Center (PPC) and encourage supporting the new crisis pregnancy center in Saranac Lake. We do sidewalk counseling in front of Planned Parenthood,” Miss Belzile added. “We talk to women about free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests and counseling about abortion at the PPC, educating women and their partners about the side effects. Educating women who have started a medical abortion which can be reversed is new. Hopefully it will be available locally. Thousands of babies have been saved by this progesterone treatment, something that Planned Parenthood does not offer.”

Belzile said she wishes more people would take note of this issue.

“Personally, I think that abortion is the number one issue in our world,” she said. “126,000 babies will be killed today. I don’t know how we sleep at night. That’s just surgical abortions that we know of.”

“There are a lot more chemical abortions and babies destroyed by birth control,” Deacon Lushia added.

CVRTL used to hold regular meetings and “will be holding a meeting soon, the date is to be determined,” noted Deacon Lushia.

Champlain Valley Right to Life is planning a “Peace in the Womb” event during in which participants sing traditional Christmas carols in front of Planned Parenthood and hold an empty manger.

One way that people can help is by attending their monthly meetings.

“We share what’s happening in NYS and the national level, it’s a very informative meeting,” said Deacon Lushia. “A lot of education is needed. People don’t understand that Roe vs. Wade took power away from the states to decide about abortion. At previous meetings, we watched videos like ‘I lived on Parker Ave’ and ‘180.’ ‘180’ shows that kids on the streets didn’t know anything about history or abortion. They didn’t know about the Nazis or Holocaust or any of that stuff. In the video they were talking to young kids and had them do a 180 on their thoughts. There was real life situations.”

Deacon Lushia noted that anyone can participate in the Right to Life movement.

“Our main weapon is the Rosary. If you’re at the site, we ask no more than prayer at the site. Or, at the Life Chain silence,” Deacon Lushia said. CVRTL also benefits from financial support to print more educational materials. People can remember the organization in their wills, as well.

Deacon Lushia noted the organization also needs volunteers “to help at the fair in the summer, Clinton and Essex County, and perhaps start going to Franklin Country. We invite people to show up for Life Chain.”

“40 Days for Life is held in the spring and fall,” Belzile added. “On October 27 at 10 a.m. we will have the closing ceremony for 40 Days for Life. It will start again on Ash Wednesday and go to Palm Sunday. There will be Stations of the Cross at Planned Parenthood on Good Friday.”

CVRTL also needs a treasurer and a secretary. People can find CVRTL announcements about upcoming events in their Church bulletins. CVRTL is also getting the word out through articles and interviews, and are able to provide information on healing from abortions as well.

“We are trying to revive it and keep it going,” Belzile said. “We can’t give up. We need to show unconditional love, listen more, pray more, love more. Be there, God has someone for you to meet.”

Contact CVRTL if you need a prayer partner, would like to make a donation, or for more information at PO Box 2992, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 or 518-593-6024.

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