August 20, 2021

Editorial

New flag is a symbol to protect the unborn

Nanda Gasperini, a pro-life graphic artist in São Paulo, Brazil, designed this pro-life flag, seen in this undated photo. It was selected in an online vote in mid-July as the international symbol of the pro-life movement. (CNS photo/courtesy Pro-Life Flag Project)

Nanda Gasperini, a pro-life graphic artist in São Paulo, Brazil, designed this pro-life flag, seen in this undated photo. It was selected in an online vote in mid-July as the international symbol of the pro-life movement. (CNS photo/courtesy Pro-Life Flag Project)

Life issues—especially concerning the unborn—continue to be front and center in some of the headlines affecting our nation, including here in Indiana.

We read about a $3.5 trillion spending plan for the federal government’s 2022 fiscal year passed on Aug. 10 with a pro-life amendment offered on the Senate floor by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. It was approved in a largely party-line vote of 50-49, with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., joining Republicans to support it.

Known as the Lankford Amendment, it includes Hyde Amendment language to prohibit federal funding for abortions and Weldon Amendment language to provide conscience protections for health care providers and medical professionals who object to performing abortions.

Two other amendments that would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks and protect unborn children with Down syndrome from being aborted failed.

Let us pray the Lankford Amendment is included in the final budget passed by Congress in the coming weeks.

On Aug. 10, we also witnessed Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana place a permanent injunction on several Indiana pro-life laws, including those that required physicians to examine patients in person before performing abortions and that said only physicians can administer first-trimester medication abortions.

Pro-life leaders across the state, including Right to Life of Indianapolis President Marc Tuttle, Indiana Right to Life Executive Director Mike Fichter, and Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, said they will continue to support an end to abortion and work to build a culture of life in Indiana.

These actions represent a few of the recent headlines. And if we’re honest, we realize defending life from conception will continue to be a challenge as long as we have members of society—including politicians in powerful positions—who feel it is unnecessary and not politically expedient to stand up for the unborn. Several of them, sadly, are Catholic.

For those of us who do support protecting the child in the womb, we now have a new international resource that we can “fly high” outside our homes, at places of worship and at other venues we find appropriate to show our support for life.

Leaders in the pro-life community have created a new flag featuring a baby’s feet being held in a mother’s hands. Organizers hope it will serve as the universal symbol for protecting the lives of the unborn.

As reported in a recent story posted on Catholic News Service, the flag was selected in an online effort organized by the Pro-Life Flag Project, a grassroots effort involving more than 70 partners, including the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, Students for Life of America, New Wave Feminists, Democrats for Life, Save the Storks, Maryland Right to Life and Focus on the Family.

James Chapman, spokesman for the Pro-Life Flag Project, said Will McFadden, the project’s founder, developed the idea in 2017 while attending the March for Life in Washington, where he observed no unifying symbol.

Several thousand entries were received in the international design contest for the pro-life flag, Chapman noted, and the winner was selected through final online voting in mid-July.

The winning flag features two stripes that highlight the two distinct lives—mother and child—present in a pregnancy, It was designed by Nanda Gasperini, a pro-life graphic artist in São Paulo, Brazil.

It also includes a white background that symbolizes nonviolence in the womb as well as the innocence of the unborn child. A white heart between the baby’s feet symbolizes the pro-life movement’s love for both the mother and her child, according to the Pro-Life Flag Project’s website.

The featured pink and blue colors are associated with baby boys and girls, but also re-emphasize the two lives of the mother and child. The stripes form an equal sign, which the Pro-Life Flag Project said emphasizes that the unborn child is “equally and fully human, and therefore deserving of equal human rights,” while also representing the role of both the father and mother in creating and raising a child.

Although some social media commentators have criticized the initiative because it leaves out other pro-life concerns such as outlawing the death penalty and assisted suicide, Chapman said abortion was the “singular issue” the Pro-Life Flag Project sought to represent.

For more information on the initiative, go to www.prolifeflag.com.

Our faith teaches us that life begins at conception. The Pro-Life Flag Project offers a much-needed reminder for society that an unborn child in a mother’s womb is a gift from God.

As we forge ahead in our mandate to build a culture of life, we pray this flag and other resources assist us in our efforts to convert hearts.

—Mike Krokos

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