Human Life International

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Human Life International (HLI) is an American-based Roman Catholic activist anti-abortion organization. Founded in 1981 by Paul Marx (1920–2010), HLI is located in Front Royal, Virginia. Human Life International describes itself as "the largest international pro-life organization in the world", noting that it has affiliates and associates in over 80 nations worldwide.[1] It has collaborated with secular organizations as well as those of various other religious denominations.[2]

Its mission is to train, organize and equip anti-abortion movement leaders around the world. The organization is faithful to the Vatican, but works with people of all faiths to advance the anti-abortion cause.


According to its web site, Human Life International’s mission is "to defend the God-given right to life and dignity of all human persons from conception until natural death."[3]

The statement continues: "HLI is a Catholic apostolate seeking to respond to our calling as followers of Jesus Christ by building a Culture of Life and of Love around the world through education, outreach, advocacy, and service."[3]

HLI pursues this mission by:

  • "Address[ing] all life issues with fidelity to the teaching of the Catholic Church, including: abortion, contraception, chastity, marriage, and family, with love for all of God’s people regardless of their beliefs.
  • "Train[ing], organiz[ing] and equip[ping] pro-life leaders around the world to defend life in their home countries.
  • "Advocat[ing] in the public square for a clear understanding of authentic, basic, fundamental human rights granted to all people by God.
  • "Uphold[ing] and defend[ing] the authentic social and moral teaching of the Catholic Church on issues related to life, marriage, and family."[3]

HLI believes the specific concerns and needs of local communities can be best identified by those who live there. Thus, theirs is primarily an "educational apostolate devoted to empowering our international leaders and the people they serve."[3]

HLI says that it does this by helping its partners:

  • Found crisis pregnancy centers
  • Teach young couples Natural Family Planning
  • Train seminarians to be pro-life priests
  • Equip counselors to advise families in crisis
  • Educate civic leaders on pro-life issues
  • Host pro-life and pro-family radio and television programs[3]


Father Shenan J. Boquet during the Parisian March for Life in 2017.

Human Life International was established in 1981 as a continuation of the Human Life Center founded by Paul Marx at St. John's University in 1972.[4]

HLI places a high priority on its fidelity to the Magisterium, or official teaching authority, of the Catholic Church. As Marx once wrote, "HLI's most important service is to present the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, clear-headed analysis of what’s taking place in society, and, based on its international experience, suggestions for effective ways to deal with problems." [The Warehouse Priest, page 307][4]

Marx was a pioneer in spreading the Church's teaching about contraception, especially the instruction of Pope Paul VI in Humanae vitae. "HLI was one of the first voices to consistently proclaim that abortion is the fruit of contraception, that foresight contraception often leads to hindsight abortion, and that massive contraception has caused increasing abortion worldwide. Having visited and studied eighty-five countries, I challenge any bishop, priest, professor, or scientist to show me the contrary. Abortion is the end point of the abuse of sex, which begins with the unleashing of the sexual urge by contraception." [The Warehouse Priest, page 262][4]

Human Life International began operating in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and opened its current world headquarters in Front Royal, Virginia, in 1996. Sponsor of more than 70 international conferences and over 50 conferences in the United States, HLI's missionaries have inspired and trained anti-abortion movement leaders, families, seminarians and students in approximately 160 nations. By establishing connections through conferences, training seminars and anti-abortion missionary trips, HLI maintains relationships with affiliates and partners in over 80 countries around the world.[4]

Shenan J. Boquet assumed the role of president of HLI in November 2011.[4]

Pro-Choice Violence[edit]

Human Life international sponsors the Pro-Choice Violence project, which collects statistics regarding alleged crimes and violence committed by abortion providers or supporters.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Mission - Human Life International". 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e "Our Mission - Human Life International". 
  4. ^ a b c d e "A Short History of Human Life International - Human Life International". 
  5. ^ Pro-Choice Violence. Human Life International. 2011 Retrieved 21 September 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]