My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
Each January, we remember a sad part of our American history that happened in the 1970s with the Supreme Court ruling in Roe vs. Wade which made abortion legal for any reason up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and any time after that if the mother’s life is at risk.
It is interesting to state that the party “Roe” later repented for her abortion and even became a Catholic.
The Supreme Court decision still stands and today there is much agitation that the Supreme Court again take up its ruling. This will not happen unless a case passes through the lower courts and finds its way to the United States Supreme Court where perhaps some limitation on the “so-called” constitutional right to abortion might be made. In the meantime, however, we must all work to change the minds of people that it is not the Supreme Court’s decision, even if it condones abortion.
Unfortunately, it is our culture which has become a culture of death that promotes abortion. In the State of New York, we have become the abortion capital of the nation with the rate of 29.6 abortions per every 1,000 women of reproductive age. This number is more than twice the national average for abortion. That is only the beginning of what will occur in New York if some legislation I will speak about is passed.
One of the significant events of January is the March for Life, usually held around January 22nd which is the date of the 1973 Supreme Court Decision. What is most remarkable about the March for Life is that it has become a young peoples’ event.
Our young people today have a keen sense of the environment and a love for ecology. There is no greater important ecology than human ecology and the protection of life from its very beginning to its natural end. Our environment, in order to ensure the future of human life as Pope Francis has said in his encyclical, “Laudato Si’” (“On Care for Our Common Home”), truly relates to this danger today where a woman’s womb has become the most dangerous place for a fetus yet to be born.
The New York State Legislature and the governor have promised to pass a bill called the “Reproductive Health Act” as early as this month.
The purpose of this legislation is to enshrine the goals of Roe vs. Wade in New York State law so that if Roe vs. Wade were overturned, we still would have abortions in our state.
The bill would:
- Allow non-doctors to perform abortions.
- Allow abortions for any reason in the third trimester of pregnancy right up to a mother’s due date.
- Remove all criminal penalties for abortion, even if it was contrary to the mother’s choice, such as the intentional targeting of an unborn child in an act of violence.
- Remove our state’s protections for infants accidentally born alive in the course of an abortion.
Truly, this is an extreme law that goes well beyond what Roe vs. Wade now allows.
It is important that our voices be heard in the State of New York at this time. We should do this as soon as possible to register our opposition to this abortion expansion bill. For more information, you can log on to http://www.nyscatholic.org/nys-catholic-conference-action-center/
How important it is that we defend life. The U.S. population needs more people and the move to snuff out the lives of the weaker in our culture will end when we start to defend life in all stages.
The defense of life is truly an exercise in putting out into the deep waters of our culture which has become a dangerous place for human life in many ways. Our environment, the culture of war and violence and so many other factors that contribute to communicable diseases, all make it more difficult for life to flourish. The greatest gift that we have from God is life itself. We must do all in our power to defend and promote life in all ways. Join me this month as we pray in a special way in the defense of life, particularly in our State of New York.