In an effort to combat the growing incidence of abortion and assisted suicide, church leaders in Detroit have launched an initiative they hope will promote respect for life.

Called “Project Life”, the program is being spearheaded by Roman Catholic Cardinal Adam Maida of the Detroit archdiocese who criticized the increasing glamorization in the media of death doctor Jack Kevorkian and U.S. President Bill Clinton’s veto of the partial-birth abortion ban.

“Before you pick up the telephone to schedule an appointment with an abortion clinic or schedule a consultation with Jack Kevorkian, call Project Life,” Cardinal Maida said. He is one a several prominent churchmen who have grown increasingly dismayed at the anti-life mentality in evidence in the U.S.

Some Catholics have criticized Maida and his fellow clerics for venturing into political issues, but Maida remains determined to carry on.

“We have a right to speak to the issues that we are challenged with,” he said. He added that the Catholic Church has a long history of addressing political issues, particularly those involving respect for life and protection of the innocent and vulnerable. He also said he would be avoiding his role as moral leader by remaining silent.