One More Soul seeks to ‘convince people that children are a blessing from God’

“Contraception is probably worse than abortion. We have to preach the whole story. I think this is one reason why we haven’t got further in the battle,” announced Joe Scheidler at the National Pro-Life Conference in Toronto last October. This is a position that has been taken by many pro-lifers, and none more eloquently than those who work at One More Soul.

One More Soul is a relative newcomer on the pro-life scene. The head office for the organization is in Dayton, Ohio, with outreach throughout North America. It has enhanced the foundational work of pro-life pioneers with more refined and specific tools to get to the roots of the abortion scourge. They have a unique and specific mandate, which is, to counter the contraceptive mentality. Their work has already blossomed in a number of impressive ventures including conferences, book and pamphlet publishing, newsletters, an NFP (Natural Family Planning)-only Directory of Physicians, a Vasectomy Reversal Hotline, and a comprehensive catalogue of books, videos, cassettes, and pamphlets.

The mission of One More Soul is “to educate and convince people that children are a wonderful blessing from God (Ps. 127) and that contraception is very harmful, especially to women, marriages, Church and society.” Their work is characterized by gentleness, sound reason and testimonials of acceptance of the beauty of God’s plan for human fertility.

Two dedicated pro-life workers, Steve Koob and Marianne Walsh, conceived the idea of One More Soul after numerous discussions. In the summer of 1992 they decided that the whole area of contraception needed to be tackled. They pledged to give themselves wholeheartedly in their remaining days to educate people about the many dangers of contraception, and to promote the cause of life in all its fullness.

Marianne, mother of ten children, and grandmother of twenty-plus grandchildren, is now Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees, and has been at work editing a book on mothers with large families. Steve has his hand at the helm of One More Soul as Director, along with heading up a busy household that has seen fourteen children come bouncing through the door. Five were adopted and presently there are five still at home, the youngest being eight. Now 62, Steve is retired from active service in the U.S. Air Force.

Their work began in earnest in 1993 on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Humanae Vitae (On the Transmission of Human Life) by Pope Paul VI, which reiterated the Catholic teaching that contraception is morally unacceptable. Steve and Marianne had drawn inspiration from the work of Janet Smith, a professor in the Philosophy Department of the University of Dallas. She had done considerable research in the study of contraception and was speaking out courageously and effectively about the dangers involved in it. One More Soul was fully launched when they arranged with Janet to make a presentation on the negative effects of contraception at the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Nebraska. A hospital in Columbus, Ohio, videotaped Janet’s compelling talk, and he first stage of the mission for Steve and Marianne was to distribute the video, audiotapes and a study guide everywhere they could.

They wanted to engage Janet on a full itinerary in the next year, so in 1994 they managed to book her for 10 days. She went on a grueling speaking tour to 10 cities that included spots on local talk shows. “We wouldn’t try that again!” Steve asserts of the schedule. According to listeners, Janet was “head and shoulders above the rest.” During this time, Steve had to rush to the side of his wife who was pregnant, went to the hospital prematurely and lost their son Joseph. Sufferings and sacrifices accompanied the work, which has grown unabated.

One More Soul continued its work with conferences and seminars. In October 1999, they launched a unique Health Care Symposium in Pittsburgh that featured Catholic Bishop Donald Wuerl, Chairman of the American Catholic Bishop’s Committee on Health Care Issues and the Church. The need arose for this symposium because Catholic health care providers have been tempted to follow secular models that offer sterilization, abortion, contraception, assisted suicide and in-vitro fertilization. Unfortunately no one made it down from Canada.

The conference produced some good fruit. The group was challenged to create a vision for new health care practices for the year 2002. They were asked to sketch a strategic action plan. One significant goal was to have an NFP clinic in every diocese. This was also the launch site of an NFP-only network of physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists.

One doctor went home, sold his house, scaled back his style of living, left a comfortable practice with two contraceptive-prescribing doctors and set up an independent clinic that promotes ethical Christian teaching and medical care. One More Soul has a full-colour Resource Guide that is a delight to the eye and sensibilities. It offers books, pamphlets, audio and video tapes on topics such as “The Incarnation,” “Marriage Basics,” “Children – a blessing,” “Fertility Enhancement,” “Church Documents,” “Medical Professionals,” and “Youth and Chastity.” There is a good selection in Spanish, and titles available in Korean, Japanese and French.

Janet Smith’s books and tapes are featured prominently. Janet compellingly tackles the link between contraception and abortion as well as the topic of the fundamentals of Christian sexual ethics in award-winning essays that are printed as pamphlets. She has also edited an outstanding book entitled Why Humanae Vitae Was Right. One More Soul still vigorously promotes Janet’s audiotape, “Contraception, Why Not?” They have furnished free copies to seminarians across the continent. To date, more than 5,000 have gone out. The literature from One More Soul is peppered with articulate, enthusiastic and moving testimonies from couples, clergy and medical professionals who have been led to deeper levels of conversion, understanding and lifestyle. They will make up a special packet that can be given to your family doctor or other health care professional on the dangers of contraception and viable, wholesome alternatives.