Abortion takes the life of an innocent unborn child and harms all who are involved. According to the World Health Organization, there are 40-50 million abortions per year and approximately 125,000 abortions per day. Yet the movement to end abortion is not about condemning women who have had abortions. These women need to be offered the appropriate care and support, as they typically experience much grief. Instead, the movement to end abortion is about making abortion illegal and addressing the socio-economic factors that lead women to have abortions. It is also about encouraging fathers to fight for the lives of their unborn child, since they too have played a part in bringing the child into existence.
From the standpoint of biology, conception is the beginning of human development, making the unborn child clearly a human. However, abortion advocates often claim that the unborn child may be a human, but the child is not a person. Yet such a distinction between human and person is arbitrary. Additionally, abortion advocates claim that the mother has the right to do what she wants with her body. Yet the right to body integrity is not absolute, especially when there are two people involved, the mother and the child. Often times, women who have an abortion feel pressured or are in poverty, so they are not really making such an autonomous choice.
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THE CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE
God loves each human life from the moment of conception and entrusts the gift of the child to the protection of a mother and father. Human life is especially sacred because it involves the creative action of God (see Jeremiah 1:5). Likewise, God alone, who is the origin of life, is also the arbitrator of when life ends. Yet abortion is the killing of an innocent unborn child. Abortion, willed as either an end or means, is gravely contrary to the moral law. It is one of the most serious offenses against God. It also deeply wounds the mothers and fathers involved, even if these wounds are not felt until years later. This is why the Church unceasingly speaks out against the evil of abortion and offers pastoral care to all those impacted by it.
Abortion violates the inalienable right to life of each human person. It is of primary importance in the public policy arena and outweighs all other concerns. Simply stated, if human beings are not given a chance at life, then no other rights really matter. Education, healthcare, and economic opportunity are all important, but they are insignificant if the unborn children they are meant to benefit are not given the opportunity to survive.
In his Papal Encyclical Evangelium Gaudium, Pope John Paul II discusses severity of abortion with perfect clarity:
But today, in many people's consciences, the perception of its gravity has become progressively obscured. The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behaviour and even in law itself, is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake… The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize that we are dealing with murder and, in particular, when we consider the specific elements involved. The one eliminated is a human being at the very beginning of life. No one more absolutely innocent could be imagined. In no way could this human being ever be considered an aggressor, much less an unjust aggressor! He or she is weak, defenceless, even to the point of lacking that minimal form of defence consisting in the poignant power of a newborn baby's cries and tears.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Know the facts
-USCCB abortion information page
-Catechism of the Catholic Church: abortion
-New York City: Fighting 41
-Host information sessions in throughout the community
-Start a parish pro-life group
Engage in pro-life activism
-Attend the annual March for Life
-Participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign
-Support legislation that upholds the sanctity of human life
-Defund Planned Parenthood
Help both pregnant mothers and expectant fathers
-Become a Visitation Co-Worker of Life
-Encourage men to embrace father and protect their unborn child
-Provides resources like bottles and diapers
Support pro-life young adult groups
-Students for Life of America
Console women who have had abortions
-Tips for talking post-abortive women
-Lumina post-abortion help
-SV Hope & Healing
FOR PREGNANCY SERVICES, CLICK HERE.
The most effective way to end abortion is through prayer. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of unborn children.
Virgin of Guadalupe,
Patroness of unborn children,
we implore your intercession
for every child at risk of abortion.
Help expectant parents to welcome from God
the priceless gift of their child’s life.
Console parents who have lost that gift
and lead them to forgiveness and healing
through the Divine Mercy of your Son.
Teach us to cherish
and to care for family and friends
until God calls them home.
Help us never to see others as burdens.
Guide our public officials
to defend each and every human life
through just laws.
Inspire us all to bring our faith into public life,
to speak for those who have no voice.
We ask this in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ, who is Love and Mercy itself.