I am fully convinced that the vast majority of us who are alive today in America will see the day that the equal protection of the law is again extended to the youngest children, those still living and growing in their mother’s womb.
Whether you look at the abortion tragedy statistically, or psychologically, or legislatively, or politically, or just as a business, the trends are all the same: abortion is falling out of favor.
More laws have been passed on a state level in the last several years advancing the protection of children in the womb than at any time since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973 with Roe vs. Wade. On a federal level, we are very close to tipping the Supreme Court in a pro-life direction and passing major pro-life legislation. And are only about one-third the number of abortion clinics in America today as there were 25 years ago.
Young people are more pro-life than ever, and for a simple reason: experience. They see the grief and devastation that has engulfed family members and friends because of abortion, which didn’t solve any problems but only created new ones. They are also aware that they are survivors. Realizing they were not recognized as persons in the first nine months of their existence, and could have been legally killed, they are speaking up for themselves also when they speak up for the unborn.
Yet a terrible blind spot remains, because of how painful it is to face up to abortion. A recent national statement of pastors called “Reclaiming Jesus” correctly affirms that our creation in God’s image “confers a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us.” The statement cries out against racism, white nationalism, misogyny, sexual harassment, and other evils, but is silent on abortion, despite the fact that no act of violence or type of natural disaster or disease claims more victims than abortion.
We still find it too painful to face. And because of that, the marketers of abortion can still sell it to individuals and entire nations, as we recently saw in Ireland, which by referendum removed the protections that the 8th amendment to its Constitution afforded to unborn children. As I write this piece, the legislature in Argentina is also considering legalizing abortion.
But such efforts succeed only when abortion is hidden. It seems to be the only product we market by hiding rather than by showing what it is. Let’s say I stand on a street corner, in ordinary clothing and holding a sign that shows what an aborted baby looks like. I say no words, hand out no explanatory brochures, and have no written explanation on the sign — only the photo. What will people think I am doing? They will see me as an opponent of abortion, will they not? Yet why should they not think I’m an advocate of it, perhaps ready to direct them to the nearest clinic, with a discount coupon?
Abortion is so horrific to look at, or even just to describe, that once we do so, one can only conclude that we’re opposing it. For people with a functioning conscience, to simply look abortion in the eye is to know it’s wrong.
I was privileged to know Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She helped me get my ministry of Priests for Life started, and I spoke with her extensively about the fight against abortion. She knew this dynamic, which is why she spoke so plainly and clearly about it as the killing of a child. She knew, of course, how to confront the pain, the violence, and the devastation to which human bodies and souls are subject every day. That’s what made her great. She looked suffering in the eye, reached into it with her own hands, and did what she could to lift people out.
We can do the same in regard to the children and families threatened and devastated by abortion. It starts with looking it in the eye, with a determination to love and save those who are in danger. We still have the capacity to do so; we need to call on one another each day to exercise it.
Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. He became a Catholic priest in 1988 under Cardinal John O’Connor in New York. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels to about four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion. He broadcasts regularly on television, radio, and internet. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on abortion, and was asked by then-candidate Donald Trump to serve on his Pro-life and Catholic advisory councils. He has served at the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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