Pro-life Leaders Remember Dr. John C. Willke’s Legacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2015
Contact:
Mallory Quigley, mquigley@sba-list.org, 202-223-8073

Willke’s Message was one of Human Rights, Optimism for the Human Future

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning pro-life leaders at the Susan B. Anthony List and Charlotte Lozier Institute remembered the legacy of Dr. John C. Willke, who passed away on Friday, February 20, at the age of 89. Dr. Willke was President of Life Issues Institute. He and his wife, Barbara Willke, who died in 2013, were longtime leaders in the pro-life movement and the authors of countless books on the basics of embryology and the arguments for the pro-life position.

“Jack and Barbara Wilke both had a deep and profound understanding that there were two lives in every abortion decision. Their conviction that we must  ‘love them both’ was convincing to me in my own pro-life conversion and, I believe, is the reason we are living in a new, hopeful, re-invigorated pro-life moment. His kindness and generosity are alive in this movement,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

“The Willkes brought a message of human rights, of respect for the smallest and weakest among us, and of optimism about the human future,” wrote Chuck Donovan, friend of the Willke family and president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute. “They pulled back the veil of rhetoric covering the brutal reality of ‘abortion rights.’ Over their long and indefatigable careers, the Willkes did much more than educate and inspire tens of thousands of pro-life adherents.  As I came to know them in our hometown of Cincinnati and to spend time with the family, working for years as a pro-life volunteer, I saw up close how they lived their lives in service to their ideals. Jack and Barbara lived long enough that millions of young pro-life Americans who benefited from, may even be the result of, their lifelong leadership would not recognize their names.  But those of us in the middle way, who learned from them and knew their compassion and integrity, will not forget them and all they did to foster the right to life – a flame that will not go out.”

Donovan’s complete tribute to the Willkes is available online at First Things.


The Susan B. Anthony List and its Political Action Committees, the SBA List Candidate Fund and Women Speak Out PAC, spent $15.25 million in the 2014 election cycle to defeat pro-abortion incumbents and elect pro-life candidates to federal and statewide office. The SBA List is dedicated to pursuing policies and electing candidates who will reduce and ultimately end abortion. To that end, the SBA List emphasizes the education, promotion, mobilization, and election of pro-life women.  The SBA List is a network of more than 365,000 pro-life Americans nationwide.

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