Protecting Life From Natural Conception Until Natural Death

Janine Marrone

We have heard it often in the Mass and throughout the liturgical year: “protecting life from natural conception to natural death” is a stalwart of Catholic teaching. Despite that, America now approaches 48 years of legalized abortion and over 60 million children have died from abortion in the US alone. Though Catholic teaching has not and will not bend on that fundamental right to life, we know that many of those getting abortions confess to be people of faith.

Because the anniversary of St. Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium vitae is approaching its 25th anniversary, it is appropriate to select one impactful paragraph from the 1995 Encyclical: “Laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every individual; they thus deny equality of everyone before the law.” Evangelium vitae (the Gospel of Life) no.72

We know that laws don’t change hearts, but hearts change laws. We can be effective change agents by pursuing a heart change among women of child bearing age. We can also be effective change agents by pursuing those most impacted by abortion.

After almost 50 years of legalized abortion most people beyond the age of reason either know someone who has had or have been directly impacted by abortion. Studies show that 1 in 4 women will have an abortion by the age of 45 and 50% of all abortions are performed on someone who has already had one. Abortion does not discriminate by race, religion, or national origin or for that matter even the father of the child. Many are impacted by abortion decisions including parents, grandparents, siblings, extended families and even the ones who drove someone to the abortion facility.

Recent consumer research conducted by Shapard Research in Oklahoma City show that at least 33% of those surveyed had experienced an adverse change after abortion and of those Catholics surveyed; 44% agreed they had an adverse impact. And though these women confessed the faith, when asked how many went to religious services; 80% said rarely or never. We can ask ourselves Why? It could be personal condemnation and or the “feeling” of judgment and condemnation in the churches they attended. In the same study, respondents were asked if they knew where to go for help for their loss: 90% did not know.

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