Today hundreds of thousands of people participated in the March for Life nationwide, garnering news coverage and even solidarity via Twitter from the Holy Father himself. I know it is popular to paint the Catholic Church as old fashioned, out of touch, and backwards in light of secular sensibilities. I’m not going to go into intense theological debate here, I’ll just state some facts:
The CDC reports just under 49 million abortions performed in the United States between 1970 and 2008 (more recent years have not been released yet). I saw someone refer to abortion as “the silent Holocaust”, and this caused me to look up those numbers as well. The estimated number killed during that time was 11-17 million. I think applying the silent Holocaust term is appropriate.
Now there will be some people that cry out “how dare you compare these two events?” It is simple. I know the value of one unborn life. Just one. You cannot quote me a scientific fact to convince me that the child we lost last year to an ectopic pregnancy wasn’t a child. If you place each one of those pregnancies even one second after birth and then kill them in the numbers cited above, I strongly suspect you would have a war-causing outrage from any rational society. To live at a time when we have rejected the fundamental notion that a pregnancy causes a person to be born, I don’t see any rational way that you can argue that society isn’t completely backwards on this topic. This is in no way intended to minimize the Holocaust, that was also a grisly and unfathomable act of murder the same as this situation.
So what’s to be done about it? Prayer for one. Marches, protests, speeches, and rallying to continue to fight against this Culture of Death that we live in. My job prevented me from marching today, but I did get to spend part of my workday discussing our recent ectopic pregnancy (interestingly, a coworker came up and wanted to talk to me about it) and why the March for Life was important to me. Because it is important.
Last Sunday, Archbishop Aquila gave a truly amazing homily that outlined why, as Catholics, we must build a Culture of Life. He explicitly warns Catholics that have bought in to the secular status quo against continuing in this vein:
Those Catholics who take a pro-choice position, those Catholics who support a so-called “right to abortion,” those Catholics who support same-sex unions, those Catholics who reject the truth about the nuptial meaning of the human body put their souls in jeopardy of eternal salvation, and we cannot ever forget that.
They are strong words, but ones we must hear and act upon.
My personal prayer for today is for all of those unborn souls that they might find eternal happiness with God, for the healing of the families affected by this grave issue, for the souls of the medical practitioners that they might have a conversion of heart and refuse to perform this grisly act, and for our country and our society to come to it’s senses and respect life.
Still confused as to why this is such a big issue for Catholics? Read my Five Facts about Abortion article published last year.