March 11March 11 Editorial: A couple’s unflinching courage in defense of life is a call to all (July 29, 2022)

July 29, 2022

Editorial

A couple’s unflinching courage in defense of life is a call to all

In a society where people in prominent positions are often viewed negatively when they use their platforms to profess strong, Christian values, it was affirming and inspiring to see Jim Harbaugh and his wife Sarah recently share those values so openly and publicly.

Jim, who is the head football coach at the University of Michigan, and Sarah stepped to a podium recently to profess the pro-life values they embrace. 

A longtime coach and former quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Harbaugh has said in the past that “faith, then family, then football” are his priorities. 

And he shared his commitment to life as a keynote speaker on July 17 during the Plymouth Right to Life dinner and auction at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Mich. Sarah shared her pro-life testimony as well. 

“We Were Made to be Courageous” was the theme of the night. As was reported in the Detroit Catholic, the Harbaughs spoke about the courage it takes in today’s world to state one’s convictions with a clear intent and to follow up on those convictions. 

“I believe in having the courage to let the unborn be born,” Jim Harbaugh said. “I love life. I believe in having a loving care and respect for life and death. My faith and my science are what drive these beliefs in me. Quoting from Jeremiah, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’ ” (Jer 1:5). 

The Harbaughs’ pro-life witness is to be applauded, especially at a time when some in society continue to harbor anger at the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion on demand across America in 1973. The anger has led to protests and even vandalism at churches across the country, many of which are Catholic. 

As this week’s issue of The Criterion went to press, the Indiana General Assembly was meeting in a special session to consider legislation aimed to bring stronger pro-life laws to the Hoosier State. We again pray that legislators and Gov. Eric Holcombe have the courage to do all they can to enact legislation that truly protects the unborn. 

The Harbaughs pointed to their parents for planting the seeds to help them develop strong pro-life convictions.  

“From an early age, my mom and dad would go to a Planned Parenthood [facility] and pray,” Sarah Harbaugh said. “I feel my mom was a big influence for me. Both my parents talked about protecting the unborn. I have friends, even family, who have considered abortion or had an abortion, and I know they are not better for it. If we had more support for women, more people who knew what really happens, we would be in a different place on this issue.” 

Jim Harbaugh noted that being pro-life means supporting programs for mothers and families and reaching out to women who are expecting and need assistance. 

“In God’s plan, each unborn human truly has a future filled with potential, talent, dreams and love,” he said. “I have living proof in my family, my children, and the many thousands that I’ve coached that the unborn are amazing gifts from God to make this world a better place. To me, the right choice is to have the courage to let the unborn be born.” 

Supporting pregnant and parenting mothers and their born and pre-born children has been a priority for our Church for decades. In the archdiocese, programs like Birthline, Gabriel Project, Catholic Charities and crisis pregnancy centers are among the organizations that offer resources. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Walking with Moms in Need initiative (walkingwithmoms.com) offers resources, prayers, reflections and ideas for use on a personal and parish level.

These ministries need our prayers and support more than ever. For a developing list in English and Spanish of archdiocesan programs available to help pregnant and parenting moms in need throughout central and southern Indiana, go to cutt.ly/MomResources.

As we move forward in our efforts to strengthen our country’s culture of life, we must remember there will continue to be roadblocks. Just as Jim and Sarah Harbaugh have, we must stay strong and let faith guide us in this challenging mission.

—Mike Krokos

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