March 11March 11 Editorial: Reasons to hope—and to continue prayers for creating a culture of life (May 20, 2022)

May 20, 2022

Editorial

Reasons to hope—and to continue prayers for creating a culture of life

The statistics give us hope.

And they are proof we are changing hearts and minds: 21,534 unborn lives saved, 116 abortion centers closed and 239 abortion center workers who have quit, all since 2007.

40 Days for Life campaigns have become a biannual event for the past 15 years, and we thank God that their efforts continue to bear fruit in our mission of building a culture of life.

Most recently, 754 unborn babies were saved internationally during the spring campaign, which began on Ash Wednesday and ended on April 10. This year’s Lenten initiative was one of the largest ever with 588 cities participating across the world. A fall campaign is also conducted each year.

The international effort seeks to end abortion through peaceful prayer vigils at abortion centers and to raise community awareness of the consequences of abortion. From Boston to Barcelona, from Bloomington to Bogota, we are seeing more and more people committed to life.

During the 40-day campaigns, individuals and groups pray during one-hour time slots in front of abortion centers. The initiative offers us an opportunity to plant seeds of faith, hope and love where the unborn child and their mothers are concerned, and it is a powerful example having people across the globe pray in unison for the unborn and their mothers.

Why do we pray in Indiana and beyond? Because to date, more than 62 million unborn babies have been killed through abortion in America since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. And we continue to fervently pray this tragic occurrence will come to an end.

The Supreme Court will soon release its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case about Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with the potential to also overturn Roe. It is important to note that if Roe was overturned, abortion would not be made illegal. It would simply allow elected representatives at the state level to determine restrictions on the practice.

Although a recent leak of a draft opinion in the Court’s Dobbs case seems to indicate a majority of justices will rule to overturn Roe and the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood decision, which affirmed Roe, people of faith must realize their prayers concerning abortion are more important than ever.

Sadly, some are doing all they can to try and keep abortion part of the permanent landscape in America.

Last week, the U.S. Senate attempted to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, S. 4132, which passed in the House of Representatives last fall but failed in the Senate earlier this year. Thankfully, a vote to advance the proposal in the Senate failed 51-49 on May 11.

The bill would have imposed abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute and would have eliminated pro-life laws at every level of government—including parental notification for minor girls, informed consent, and health or safety protections specific to abortion facilities.

As reported by Catholic News Service, S. 4132 also would have compelled all Americans to support abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars, and would have also likely forced health care providers and professionals to perform, assist in, and/or refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as forced employers and insurers to cover or pay for abortion. 

Is that the America you want to live in?

As people of faith who value all human life from conception to natural death, we unequivocally say “no!”

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, in a joint statement on May 11 reminded us, “As a nation built on the recognition that every human being is endowed by its Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we implore Congress to stop pushing abortion as a solution to the needs of women and young girls, and instead embrace public policy that fully respects and facilitates these rights and the needs of both mother and child.”

As we move closer to the release of the Dobbs’ decision and how it will impact society, we continue to offer petitions for the conversion of the hearts and minds of those who advocate for abortion.

And during this month of May, as Archbishop Lori and USCCB president Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles stated on May 10, we pray for Mary’s intercession and guidance as the Church “continues to walk with mothers and families in need, and continues to promote alternatives to abortion, and seeks to create a culture of life.”

—Mike Krokos

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