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Global Pro-life Unity Summit Organizers to Launch Event with Friday Press Conference
Lisbon, Portugal – 5/2/2012 — The Global Pro-life Unity Summit, sponsored by Personhood USA, Human Life International, and LifeSiteNews.com and featuring pro-life representatives from countries around the world such as Portugal, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Romania, and Ireland, will take place on May 4th and 5th in Lisbon, Portugal. The event’s sponsors including Pro Referendo Vida campaign founders Luis Botelho and Rodrigo de Castro Faria will host a press conference at 1pm on Friday, May 4 at the VIP Grand Lisboa Hotel in Lisbon Portugal.
Recent additions to the itinerary include representatives from the nations of Poland and Colombia.
Poland’s Fundacja Pro has endorsed the summit and has submitted a report of strategic recommendations to summit organizers. Last year, in just two weeks, they collected over 600,000 signatures in support of a personhood bill put before the national Congress. The bill was voted down by a mere handful of votes, but their campaign continues as they organize hundreds of pro-life exhibitions around the country.
Colombia’s Unidos Por La Vida will also participate in the Summit sessions via video-conferencing. Last year, they circulated a petition to add an amendment to the nation’s constitution protecting the right to life of all people “from conception to natural death.” In just two months, the group garnered a total of 5 million signatures.
What: Global Pro-life Unity Summit Press Conference
Who: International Pro-life Leaders, Event Sponsors, and Pro Referendo Vida founders Luis Botelho and Rodrigo de Castro Faria
When: Friday, May 4th, 2012, 1pm
Where: VIP Grand Lisboa Hotel in Lisbon Portugal, Avenida 5 de Outubro, 197, Lisboa 1050-054
Presenters to be featured at the Global Pro-life Unity Summit include:
Dr. Judith F. Szigeti, PhD represents Hungary’s Alfa Association for the Protection of Life, which is associated with Human Life International. Alfa is a non-denominational and non-partisan organization for people who defend the right to life of all human beings. Dr. Szigeti will speak about legal and cultural issues surrounding the new Hungarian Constitution which enshrines the right to life from conception to natural death. She will also relate the success of public awareness campaigns underway to promote the dignity of human life in Hungary.
Rodrigo de Castro Faria is the former president and founder of University Life Association. He joined the pro-life movement during the campaign against Portugal’s 1998 referendum which liberalized abortion laws. Since then, he has led collaborations with various Catholic associations for the defense of life. Today, he represents the national Pro Referendo Vida initiative that is calling a referendum to recognize personhood in Portugal.
Luis Botelho is a professor at the University of Minho who has campaigned for life since the first national referendum in 1998. He was in the “founding fathers” of Portugal pro Vida in 2009, one of the first explicitly pro-life political parties in Europe. He also represents the Pro Referendo Vida campaign.
Dr. Daniela Păun, MD is the coordinator of the incipient team from Bucharest of the Darul Vieţii (“The Gift of Life”) Association in Timisoara, Romania. The association was founded in 2003 and is affiliated with Human Life International. The Gift of Life seeks to change and save lives through prayer, public awareness and information campaigns, crisis counseling for women, and a chastity campaign for youth. The Gift of Life was the first organizer of the Romanian March for Life five years ago. This year, the largest Romanian March for Life on record took place in 20 major cities across Romania.
Father Nuno Serras Pereira made international headlines when he took out an advertisement in a leading Portuguese newspaper declaring his intent to refuse Holy Communion to Catholic politicians that publicly support abortion. To defend the integrity of the Eucharist and hold Catholic politicians accountable, he encourages his flock to adhere to teachings about respect for the human person, including opposition to abortion, euthanasia, cloning, and embryonic stem cell research.
Dr. Eoghan de Faoite has been the Chairman of Youth Defence, Ireland’s largest and most active pro-life organization, since 2002. He has directed highly effective political lobbying campaigns, organized and led nationwide pro-life information projects, and galvanized the youth of Ireland to speak out against abortion. Youth Defence aims to provide real information about abortion, to find new ways of getting that information to the public, and to keep Ireland abortion-free through constant public engagement.
Stephen Phelan is the director of communications for Human Life International, the world’s largest international pro-life organization. HLI educates, trains and equips our partners around the world in an attempt to enable them to defend life and family in their own language and cultures. With affiliates and associates in over 80 nations worldwide, HLI’s mission is “For the greater glory of God, in defense of life, faith and family.”
John-Henry Westen is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com. He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Westen serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.
Vicente L. Segu is the General Director of Fundacion Incluyendo Mexico and an influential leader in the Mexican conservative movement. He has worked with a number of organizations that promote Catholic values, respect for the life from the conception, and the rights of the unborn. As an RC member, he has participated in several ministries including the promotion of one of 18 Mexican state constitutional amendments defending life from conception.
Keith Mason is the President of Personhood USA, an organization focused on establishing new personhood efforts, and impacting the movement through key media driven events. Mason has served several different political campaigns to protect the preborn around the country, including assisting in the 2006 campaign to outlaw abortion in South Dakota, and helping to lead the 2008 and 2010 personhood amendments in Colorado.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D. is Legal Analyst for Personhood USA. Garcia Jones was born in Spain and emigrated to the United States as a child. He graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin with a double major in history and political science. After clerking for a Denver District Court judge, he attended The George Washington University Law School where he received his Juris Doctor in 2004. Gualberto has served as the Director of Legislative Analysis at the American Life League and Personhood USA. He is also the founder of Catholics for Personhood, The 2270 Society, and Personhood Education.