Dear Editor: In your column, you implied that participants in the Jan. 21 Women’s March had smashed windows and set cars on fire. In fact, an estimated four million people participated in more than 400 marches nationwide with zero acts of violence. The events you reference occurred on Inauguration Day.
While many of the women marching supported abortion rights, the event ironically marked a significant step forward for the pro-life movement. Thousands of pro-life women, including women religious, joined the marchers in support of all marginalized people. They were not officially recognized by the March, but their stories were told in every major secular news outlet. For too many years, the face of the pro-life movement has been men who consistently vote against measures that help women choose life, including public assistance, family leave and health care benefits for children. The pro-life women who marched Jan. 21 showed this country that it is possible to support the rights and dignity of immigrants, refugees, the poor, the disabled and the unborn, as the Church teaches us to do. It was sadly ignored in your newspaper, which chose instead to denigrate the marchers with false allegations.
Finally, I was troubled to see the Catholic reaction to the president’s executive orders on immigration on page 10. We are the diocese of immigrants, and these orders no doubt elicited strong reactions – including fear – among the people here. It is too bad that the near universal support for immigrants from our hierarchy was buried in the paper.
Dear Editor: I wonder if those so forcefully defending “women’s rights” consider the right of the female in the womb – certainly the least of our sisters.
I also take issue with those who say “my baby, my womb.” The baby in the womb is another separate body. Who among us has the right to choose death for another innocent human being?
In addition, is it really my body, or do I belong to my Creator who said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you?”
Do we not belong to the One who said, “Choose life, that you and your descendants might live”?
BARBARA HERRICK HANSON
Dear Editor: No matter how much I tried to respect them, some of the opinions expressed in this space felt so off-center that I was at a loss for words to respond. Then I came upon the words of Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B., the deeply respected religious and social leader who is so passionate about peace, human rights, women’s issues and church renewal. She understands that respect for life extends long after birth.
She has been quoted as saying:
“I’m opposed to abortion. But I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. If all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed – and why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”
Dear Editor: Vice President Mike Pence proudly declared, “Life is winning in America!” Great news!…. except it is not for all life. Victory for the unborn on the horizon… while crushing and turning our backs on those already born?! Turning our backs and condemning innocent children, women and men for the reprehensible acts of people who happened to profess the same religion! We can secure our borders without being cruel and heartless.
Jesus asked us to be the light of the world. Let us cast aside the darkness. The spiritual writer, Thomas Merton wrote, “The root of all war is fear.” Let us stand up to fear mongering, hatred and contempt. Let us respect, protect and help all life, both the unborn and those already born, especially the suffering poor, the oppressed, the aged and the infirm!