Pro-Life Activities for Edward Szymkowiak
Leader of Delaware County Right to Life and Hancock's Gift of Life League. While we have tried to cover a wide range of pro-life issues, most of which are highlighted below, our main purpose has been to serve God by opposing Planned Parenthood Association of Delaware and Otsego Counties (PPADOC). Our founding was sparked by Hancock clergy in 1992 soon after they received a presentation from STOPP Planned Parenthood's founder, Jim Sedlak.
Feb. 2000: Named 1999 NYS Top Pro-life Writer (tie) by Writers for Life Project which tracks pro-life letters published by NYS daily newspapers.
1999: Created the Delaware County Right to Life website which gives greater detail about many of the issues mentioned below.http://members.tripod.com/~DCRTL
June 1999: completed a successful 6-year campaign which resulted in Planned Parenthood leaving Hancock, NY. Led a monthly prayer service/sign holding in front of facilities since 1993.
Fall 1997: Established a weekly Rosary (with large pro-life signs) in front of a Binghamton, NY abortuary with about 8 other Catholics. Still ongoing in 2000. On Jan. 22, 1998 this peaceful protest was covered by 3 TV stations and the press. Press releases, TV interviews.
Spring 1998: Successfully opposed a proposed state funded school-based clinic (PP linked) in Hancock. Letter writing, appearance before school board, press releases, regional talk radio.
1998: Supported Randall Terry for Congress. Distributed flyers at parade, sold banquet tickets, manned phone bank, attended day long political training at Terry's home, advocated local RTL and Conservative party support.
1994 - present: Opposing an unmandated Delaware County contract with PPADOC for family planning services. Regular attendance at County Board meetings for this matter has led to involvement with other county issues as well. Yearly speaker at budget hearings, letters and press releases to regional media, regular talk radio caller, newsletters.
Aug/Sept 1997: Organized two protests of new PPADOC clinic in Sidney, NY at site of a former Catholic convent. First involved about 24 people, second about 85. Wrote press releases that produced articles in THE WANDERER (9/25/97,p.6), THE RYAN REPORT (Summer '97, p.2), ALL COMMUNIQUÉ (9/19/97, p.3), HLI REPORT (9/97, p.1), local TV and press. TV interviews.
Feb. '97: Researched and wrote "NYS Medicaid Funds to Planned Parenthood (SFY 1995)". Sent Freedom of Information requests to NYS Health Dept. and County Departments of Social Services throughout NYS. Summary of this appeared in ALL COMMUNIQUÉ in the Fall '97 which produced requests for information from numerous sources including Nebraska RTL and NYS RTL.
Summer '95 - Summer '96: Exposed graphic condom distribution literature of PPADOC affiliate, The Delaware County AIDS Task Force, in the regional press. Uproar resulted in Task Force being barred from 1995 County Fair. Distributed ALL's condom fact sheet. Warned school officials of Task Force’s agenda and literature. Maintained pressure until Task Force dissolved.
Organized weekly picket of PPADOC in Walton, NY from Aug. '94 opening (STOPP attended) until Spring 1997.
Attended ALL's Unity Meeting in Washington D.C. in Sept. '96 as representative of STOPP International.
Attended 2 day 1996 National Right to Life Committee Seminar in Albany, NY featuring Burke Balch and a wide range of pro-life issues. Learned and practiced TV interview techniques.
Attended HLI 1995 World Conference in Montreal.
Winter/Spring '95: Initiated an effort to get PP removed from teaching workshops at the Sullivan County BOCES Alternative School in Liberty, NY where I was employed as a teacher. Appealed first internally to Administration and School Board and later to the public through letters in local press. Worked with Sullivan Co. RTL to alert public of PP presence in all county schools. Soon after these efforts, I was notified my contract would not be renewed. I continued to point out violations of state law and was suspended with pay for the remainder of school year. Filed a case with NYS Commissioner of Education.
Summer-Winter '94: Led a successful campaign to get PPADOC's "Outreach" Program for Family Planning cut back to only serving those qualifying under DSS regs. Organized letter writing and petitions to Commissioner, County Supervisors, and regional press. Organized picketing and prayer services and budget hearing presentations. Simultaneous to this campaign also informed public about local United Way funding of PP.
Fall '92 - Summer '94: Led a successful campaign to remove PPADOC from Delaware Valley Hospital facilities in Hancock and Walton, NY. Included letter writing to press & hospital Board, picketing and prayer services. Helped form Hancock’s Gift of Life League and Delaware County RTL. Advertising and fund raising for new Lourdes Hospital Prenatal Program in Hancock. STOPP reported these efforts in THE RYAN REPORT (10/94, p.7), (April '96), (Jan. '96, p.6).
1993 - Spring '97: Informed local Christian churches of state and federal pro-life legislation and organized letter writing and petition campaigns. For much of this period was St. Paul's (Hancock) Respect Life Coordinator and liaison with Albany Diocese Respect Life Office.
1995: Taught Natural Family Planning with my wife under the direction of the Family Life Information Center of Albany, NY.
July '93: Attended the International Humanae Vitae Conference in Omaha, NE organized by Dr. Thomas Hilgers. Presentations by Church leaders, professors, doctors and researchers. Aspects of Humanae Vitae were reviewed and celebrated with a special emphasis on Natural Family Planning.
May '88 - July '89: Took part in Operation Rescue's initial efforts at saving unborn children in New York City. Arrested several times. Later, as part of Bi-State Operation Rescue took part in several rescues including West Hartford II in Connecticut. Experienced police brutality. Jailed for about 19 days at the prison in Enfield Conn.
1983 and 1988 -1990: Volunteered at Birthright in Ithaca, NY while in college. Later volunteered at Birthright of Woodhaven in New York City primarily as a phone counselor.
Internet Research, Windows 95, Basic HTML, Newsletters, Press Releases, Radio and TV interviews. Member of the Knights of Columbus.