With many others from Kansas and around the nation, I will travel to
Washington, D.C., on Sunday to participate on Monday in the March
For Life. This annual commemoration marks the anniversary of the
Supreme Court ’s decisions that struck down every state statute
restricting abortion. The twin decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v.
Bolton in effect legalized abortion through all nine months of
One of the ironies of these tragic decisions of the Supreme Court is
that both of the supposed plaintiffs of these cases are now
advocates for the court to reverse their decisions of 34 years ago.
Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) admits that she lied about being gang
raped in her early testimony in the case. She is grateful her baby
was never aborted but rather placed for adoption. Sandra Cano (Jane
Doe) never wanted and did not have an abortion. In order to receive
legal help to maintain custody of her already born children, she
agreed to allow “her case” to be used to advance abortion rights.
She now deeply regrets that decision.
Some may wonder: Why is it important that our laws prohibit
abortion? The law does not only permit abortion but teaches
abortion. Our young people know that our laws protect human life. It
is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of government — to
protect the most basic of human rights. If our laws in every other
instance protect innocent human life, except in the case of
abortion, then the failure of our public policies to protect life
before birth communicates a powerful message that the unborn child
is something less than human. For a young person experiencing an
untimely pregnancy, this may be all the encouragement she needs to
rationalize the decision to abort her child.
The actual experience in the United States, after the Roe v. Wade
and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973, supports this premise. Once
abortion was legalized, the number of abortions steadily increased
for about a decade until it plateaued at its current level of about
1.3 million abortions annually.
One of the encouraging signs in recent years has been the increased
number of young people participating in the annual March For Life.
Many of our young people, who have grown up never knowing anything
but legalized abortion, are the strongest advocates for policies
protecting the lives of unborn children.
We must continue every effort to change the current public policy in
the United States. With the deaths of more than 45 million innocent
American children and the emotional, psychological and spiritual
damage done to every adult who participates in an abortion, the
protection of life before birth remains the most important human
rights issue in our nation today. We all have a responsibility to
elect people at every level of government who are committed to
protecting innocent human life from conception until natural death.
Each one of us must also educate ourselves about this issue so that
we can educate others. We must persevere in proclaiming the truth
We also must continue to save with love those children we are unable
to protect with the law. We each have a responsibility to support
crisis pregnancy centers that strive to surround with love those
experiencing a difficult pregnancy.
Finally, we all need to pray for a renewed respect for human life
within our nation. We should pray for our current Supreme Court
justices that they will have the wisdom and courage to reverse the
tragic decisions of 34 years ago. We need to pray for those in
elective office that they will work to enact public policies that
extend the maximum protection possible to unborn children, as well
as policies that encourage mothers to choose life for their
We need to pray for all those who work in crisis pregnancy centers
that the Lord will use them to minister his love and compassion to
those whom they are privileged to serve. We must pray for all those
experiencing a crisis pregnancy at this moment that they will find
the help and support they need to choose life for their child.
Ultimately, we need to pray for ourselves that the Lord will help us
recognize how he wishes to use each of us to build a culture of
Used by permission -
The Leaven, the newspaper for the Kansas City, KS archdiocese