How does the Lord wish you to help build the culture of life?
by: Archbishop Joseph Naumann
With many others from Kansas and around the nation, I will travel to Washington, D.C., on Sunday to participate on Monday in the March For Life. This annual commemoration marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court ’s decisions that struck down every state statute restricting abortion. The twin decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in effect legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.
One of the ironies of these tragic decisions of the Supreme Court is that both of the supposed plaintiffs of these cases are now advocates for the court to reverse their decisions of 34 years ago. Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) admits that she lied about being gang raped in her early testimony in the case. She is grateful her baby was never aborted but rather placed for adoption. Sandra Cano (Jane Doe) never wanted and did not have an abortion. In order to receive legal help to maintain custody of her already born children, she agreed to allow “her case” to be used to advance abortion rights. She now deeply regrets that decision.
Some may wonder: Why is it important that our laws prohibit abortion? The law does not only permit abortion but teaches abortion. Our young people know that our laws protect human life. It is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of government — to protect the most basic of human rights. If our laws in every other instance protect innocent human life, except in the case of abortion, then the failure of our public policies to protect life before birth communicates a powerful message that the unborn child is something less than human. For a young person experiencing an untimely pregnancy, this may be all the encouragement she needs to rationalize the decision to abort her child.
The actual experience in the United States, after the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973, supports this premise. Once abortion was legalized, the number of abortions steadily increased for about a decade until it plateaued at its current level of about 1.3 million abortions annually.
One of the encouraging signs in recent years has been the increased number of young people participating in the annual March For Life. Many of our young people, who have grown up never knowing anything but legalized abortion, are the strongest advocates for policies protecting the lives of unborn children.
We must continue every effort to change the current public policy in the United States. With the deaths of more than 45 million innocent American children and the emotional, psychological and spiritual damage done to every adult who participates in an abortion, the protection of life before birth remains the most important human rights issue in our nation today. We all have a responsibility to elect people at every level of government who are committed to protecting innocent human life from conception until natural death.
Each one of us must also educate ourselves about this issue so that we can educate others. We must persevere in proclaiming the truth with love.
We also must continue to save with love those children we are unable to protect with the law. We each have a responsibility to support crisis pregnancy centers that strive to surround with love those experiencing a difficult pregnancy.
Finally, we all need to pray for a renewed respect for human life within our nation. We should pray for our current Supreme Court justices that they will have the wisdom and courage to reverse the tragic decisions of 34 years ago. We need to pray for those in elective office that they will work to enact public policies that extend the maximum protection possible to unborn children, as well as policies that encourage mothers to choose life for their children.
We need to pray for all those who work in crisis pregnancy centers that the Lord will use them to minister his love and compassion to those whom they are privileged to serve. We must pray for all those experiencing a crisis pregnancy at this moment that they will find the help and support they need to choose life for their child.
Ultimately, we need to pray for ourselves that the Lord will help us recognize how he wishes to use each of us to build a culture of life.
Used by permission -
The Leaven, the newspaper for the Kansas City, KS archdiocese