Stand Up For Those Who Cannot Stand For Themselves
"The Precious Unborn"

Michael D. Pfeifer
Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of San Angelo
Pastoral Statement
Stand Up For Those Who Cannot Stand For Themselves
"The Precious Unborn"
May 18, 2023
Reproduced with Permission

As pro-lifers, all of us must continue to stand up for those who cannot stand for themselves, the precious unborn, tiny persons, children of God in their mothers' wombs. As we stand up for the most vulnerable and weakest among us, we also need to be the voice of these voiceless little ones. And as we stand up for them, we shout out with a clear moral voice that life is the most precious gift that has been given to us by our Creator. No person is disposable, and every life is precious according to Him and is our most fundamental right. Abortion is the greatest moral evil of our time - an abomination that must be ended.

While we continue to thank God that our Supreme Court has overturned Roe v Wade, we need to recognize that much more needs to be done at all levels of life to overcome the terrible evil of abortion which Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Francis have clearly stated that it is murder. As pro-lifers, we should use all the God given means to help women who are pregnant understand this basic moral fact of the Popes and that the unborn are true human beings. The human embryo is a new human life and must be respected and protected from the moment of conception. We should reach out with kind and comforting words to expectant mothers, pointing out that there are several other life options and offering them our loving, spiritual, psychological, financial, social, and medical support and care. Our biblical belief is that the unborn are true, tiny persons, precious children of God and our belief has been reaffirmed over and over by medicine that tells us that human life begins at the moment of conception. Science proves what pro-lifers know to be true; pre-born babies are living human beings with the same rights to life as all of us.

Sadly, much of our society is infected by anti-life ideology treating its most vulnerable members as disposable objects. Regrettably, beginning with our presidential administration and many leaders in Congress and strong social and business leaders and corporations, there are many who ignore this basic lesson when it comes to the development of human life. Biden's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently issued a "Notice of Proposed Rule" that seeks to redefine the terms, "Person, Natural Persons and Individuals to exclude the unborn". It excludes a "fertilized egg, embryo or fetus". We are faced with the fact that pro-abortion ideology is everywhere. It permeates our businesses, entertainment, politics, schools and sadly even some of our churches. Sadly, supported by the FDA, many of our pharmacies might soon be turned into abortion mills. Access to abortion drugs is becoming the most common method of abortion. Chemical abortion is not healthcare and is a grave offense against God. The taking of innocent life at home is also the cause of spiritual and physical harm to mothers.

Planned Parenthood is still a strong leader in destroying the precious unborn. It performs the highest number of surgical abortions. The abortion giant according to its report, "Relentless", performed 374,155 in 2021-2022. It is estimated that Planned Parenthood performs 40% of abortions in the US. According to Live Action, over 50% of the abortions in the US are now happening via the abortion pill which is acquired even by mail. Keep in mind, the startling fact that over 2,500 American babies are being killed every day. The Legal Defense Foundation discovered that the pharmaceutical company created to distribute Mifeprex, the drug used in a chemical abortion to kill a child, failed to label the dangerous drugs with the country of origin - China. The sale of this dangerous China-derived chemical abortion drug has caused half of the aborted babies in the US. Recently, the Spanish Bishops Conference criticized the ruling of their country's constitutional court that upheld abortion as a right which makes the human person developing in a womb, "a true undocumented person". Sadly, this is true of every tiny, aborted, unborn person in every place or land where they have been conceived. Abortion corrupts our whole society and retards progress on all the other issues that concern them, including healthcare, economy, marriage, family, education, and everything. Abortion undermines the heart and core of every issue because the right to life is the fundamental human right.

Gratefully more and more pro-life leaders are standing up for those who can't stand for themselves and have become loud, clear voices for these little voiceless ones. But all, beginning with we bishops, priests, religious and dedicated lay people, need to be more involved in promoting the clear message about the sacredness of all human life from the womb to the tomb. Thankfully more bishops are speaking out strongly about our God-given gift of religious freedom and how it applies to so many pro-life efforts. I especially congratulate my brother bishops who recently have contacted and then praised Senators who stood their ground to prevent efforts to enshrine the deadly Equal Rights Amendment in the Constitution.

Pro-lifers, beginning with we bishops, need not only to tell the painful truth about abortion but the beauty of God-given life of each child in the mother's womb. We are to proclaim a message of hope and encouragement for each woman struggling with a difficult pregnancy situation. No matter what the circumstances of a baby's conception, each one of us is made in the image of God and deserves, if nothing more, a chance for life. In God's design for our human sexuality, new human life is to be pro-created by a man and a woman in a marriage covenant. But even if a little human is conceived, by those who abuse their sexuality, for selfish sexual satisfaction, the little one conceived deserves a chance to live. Working together, we must do more to equip life-affirming pregnancy resource centers, which unjustly did not have the funding and marketing resources that Planned Parenthood does, with the state-of-the-art resources to combat the lies of abortion. These resources need to include pregnancy guide applications that show footage of developing pre-born baby which will reach abortion-minded women and men with the truth that can prompt them to embrace their pre-born children. The Marist/Knights of Columbus poll shows 91% of Americans support pregnancy centers that offer vital materials, medical and education support to mothers both during their pregnancy and after their baby is born. Sixty percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions domestically, and 78% oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions abroad.

For the little voiceless, we need to proclaim loudly that life is a precious gift that has been given to us from our Creator. Everyone deserves life, even those who have been denied that right by our society. By praying and working together, we can make a difference in bringing dignity and voice to the unborn. To help parents, especially women, to appreciate the tiny little baby conceived, most people, especially young Americans have no clue just how violent, cruel, and barbaric abortion really is. They need to see with their own eyes the brutal way abortionists go about killing their victims, or worse that they accept the idea that they should be able to kill their own children at home. They need to see with their own eyes the brutal way abortionists go about killing their victims, or worse that they accept the idea that they should be able to kill their own children at home. When they see videos like What Is Abortion, ultrasounds, and films like 2023 Mission Across America which portrays the brutal reality of abortion and the intense suffering of a tiny child of God being torn apart in a mother's womb, they totally change the way they think about abortion. And appreciate the beauty and preciousness of each tiny image of God in a mother's womb. The abortion industry exists to kill children.

We strongly support States alternative to abortion programs and provide a variety of services to assist women with unplanned pregnancies to carry their unborn babies to term and keep the baby or place the baby for adoption. These services to help new mothers need to continue for at least three years after the birth of the child.

In all our pro-life efforts to overcome the evil of abortion and to support expectant mothers, prayer and personal presence are our most important and prayerful means to conquer abortion. We pro-lifers have the God-given tools, guided by the Holy Spirit to end abortion in America and build a culture of life, but we need the help of the entire community and specially to reach more young people online before they fall for big abortion propaganda. All our pro-life actions must be based on constant prayer in all our parishes and a deep trust in Jesus, our good Shepherd, to lead us through this dark valley. We need many more weekly pro-life masses to be offered, many more Holy hours before the Blessed Sacrament, fasting, and pro-life prayer groups in all our communities and many more people, praying in front of Planned Parenthood and other abortion centers, for the unborn and God's grace, light, wisdom, and direction for all our pro-life efforts.

We bishops with our priests should organize all parishes to constantly rotate having people in peaceful, prayerful witness before these centers. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we then give new witness to our scriptural belief, confirmed by the latest true scientific research, that a new human being begins at conception. Another vital political, social, spiritual means to overcome abortion is for us bishops to encourage our priests and lay pro-lifers, joined with other Christians, and those of other denominations, to advocate with our local officials to have more cities throughout the country to be declared as sanctuary communities for the unborn and not permitting abortion. We have learned from the recent Dobbs decision that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. With a lot of hard work, courage, prayer, above all trust in God, we will create a culture where every life is valued and loved.

We all, especially bishops and priests, need to imitate the courageous and inspiring example of Archbishop Timothy Broglio for Military Services USA and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for his pro-life witness to the gospel in his statement to Catholics of the US Military urging them to advocate for the protection of the unborn and "to refuse any participation in the evil of abortion." The archbishop's statement came after the US Senate voted in favor of adding abortion coverage to the Department of Veteran Affairs health benefit package. The archbishop based the Christian defense of the sanctity of life in the profession of faith in the Incarnation. He said, "God assume the fullness of our humanity in order to offer us salvation. Authentic proclamation of the gospel, therefore, demands the protection of all human life, for in this way, we profess that the very life of Jesus Christ, our Savior, which began in the womb, and ended in the Cross, encompasses our lives as well." He continued, "to deny the life of a baby in utero is to deny the Incarnation, and thus, the very source of our hope for salvation". Broglio also reminded Catholics of the witness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist who both manifest the sacredness of life in the womb. Broglio continued, "Our Lord chose to offer salvation to the world by becoming in-fleshed in the womb of his mother, our Blessed Mother. Mary's witness of carrying God incarnate, communicates that human life is a gift to praised and shared and celebrated joyfully (Luke 1:39)".

The archbishop pointed out to the writing of St. Luke, that God reminds us that even the pre-born know Him. John the Baptist leapt in his mother's womb at the arrival of our blessed Lord in the womb of Mary. Blessed indeed was the fruit of the Virgin Mary. Jesus' incarnation reaffirms that human life is truly created in God's image and likeness. Each tiny, unborn person is a treasure uniquely form and known by God. Each life deserves to be protected and loved, at every state from conception to natural death. The archbishop firmly condemned the Biden Administration mandate as "morally repugnant" contrary to the gospel and running afoul of the protections afforded by the First Amendment. Archbishop Broglio strongly encouraged Catholics to advocate for human life and refuse any participation in the evil of abortion. He urged, adding, "as Pope Francis instructs, our defense of the innocent unborn must be clear, firm, and passionate for at stake is the dignity of human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. He has referred to the crime of abortion as hiring a hitman". The archbishop concluded by reminding Catholics, "of our Christian duties to exercise radical solidarity with mothers and family experiencing a challenging pregnancy". All Catholics, all pro-lifers, are given by the President of the USCCB the plan and inspiration to carry out God's life plan for the unborn and to respect and promote the beautiful gift of human life at every stage of life, from the womb to the tomb.