Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last year, the New York state legislature voted to allow the so called "fundamental right" to abortion in their state law and eliminate protections for preborn babies until birth. The bill asserts that "Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion." The bill also erases the state's recognition of preborn babies older than 24 weeks as potential homicide victims, removes abortion from the penal code entirely, and allows licensed health practitioners other than full doctors to commit abortions.
As Catholics we celebrate the Right to Life. We are Pro Life. Our Lord reminds us of the sacredness of every human life… born and unborn. Catholics have always held, and will always preach, the value of human life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that:
"Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being" (CCC 2258). And "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life." (CCC 2270).
As we read in Psalm 139:
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you… My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
Because Our Loving God has created every human being, we are sacred and precious – made in God's image and likeness. We are a reflection of God. As a reflection of God, we have been entrusted from the moment of conception until our natural death with a unique mission and vocation in life that is life-giving. What is that mission? We are invited to bring others to this life-giving understanding of the love of God for each and every person.
On October 7, 1979, in his homily on the Capitol Mall, only six years after Roe vs Wade, Pope John Paul II told America what the Church would do in response to the legalization of abortion in our country. Read again his words:
"…we will stand up every time that human life is threatened. When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, we will stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.
When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, we will stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, with the right to a loving and united family. When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or reduced to a temporary, conditional arrangement that can easily be terminated, we will stand up…"
to be continued…