December 10, 2010


Let us follow pope’s lead and continue our Advent prayers for defense of all life

People of faith might call it a battle between good and evil.

Other folks might say it pits the secular versus the sacred.

No matter how you look at it, we think the numbers share a telling story—for the defense of all human life from conception until natural death.

Think our prayers to end abortion, which we know are immeasurable by human standards, aren’t making a difference?

Think again.

While media outlets were quick to report that a Nebraska doctor was planning to open

late-term abortion facilities in Indianapolis, Iowa and the Washington, D.C., area, many of those same outlets have not been as thorough in sharing recent good news on the pro-life front.

Yes, newspapers were justified in their November headlines reporting that Dr. LeRoy Carhart of Omaha was opening those new abortion clinics, but there is more news on this life-and-death issue that is worth sharing—and offering thanks to God.

A Nov. 30 story written by editor Steven Erfelt on the website reveals that, during the past 12 months, we have seen a decrease in the number of abortion centers in the U.S.

During that time, 31 abortion businesses closed while nine new centers were opened. For those keeping track, as Erfelt states in his story, that is “a net drop of 22 abortion facilities.”

Kudos to pro-life nurse and blogger Jill Stanek, who spoke in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis last April about the atrocity of abortion. She noticed a recent rash of abortion center closures and wanted to get some solid figures, and asked Operation Rescue, one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation, to provide her with the hard data.

“As of now, a total of 689 surgical abortion clinics remain in the U.S., from a high of almost 2,200 in 1991,” Stanek told “This number does not include abortion mills that solely commit medical abortions, i.e., distribute the abortion pill, RU-486.”

Since 1991, including the 31 centers that Stanek noted, more than two-thirds of abortion centers have closed that were operating nearly 20 years ago. That, we would argue, is evidence that our prayers are being answered.

It also seems providential that shared the findings only days after Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the beginning of Advent with a prayer for life and a defense of the human embryo. Parishes in the archdiocese and throughout the world joined in the vigil to pray in support of life.

The Vigil for All Nascent Human Life included prayers for overturning laws that permit the destruction of innocent lives, and for the healing of those who have acted against innocent life.

In his Nov. 27 homily, the Holy Father said that the Church’s teaching against abortion comes from its teaching about the dignity of every human life and its concern that the unborn are most vulnerable to “the selfishness of adults and the clouding of consciences.

“There are cultural tendencies that seek to anesthetize consciences with spurious arguments,” the pope said.

Those false arguments seem to be less attractive to more and more people. Polls in recent years show that the majority of Americans oppose abortion, and people of numerous faith traditions are praying for the day when Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton are no longer the law of the land.

As the Holy Father discussed the human embryo and its complexity as an organism, he noted, “It’s not a question of a collection of biological material, but of a new living being, dynamic and marvelously ordered, a new individual of the human species.

“This is how Jesus was in Mary’s womb; this is how we each were, in our mother’s wombs,” he said.

When it comes to life, there is, for us, that connection to God.

During this Advent season and each day in the new year, let our prayers for life always share that truth.

—Mike Krokos

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