The legacy of Roe v. Wade extends far beyond abortion as precedents were established making personal “autonomy” the sole value – even more valuable than life itself! As Lucia Silecchia noted in a recent article, “the callous acceptance of – and, in some quarters, celebration of – the right to abortion has also planted the seeds for a broader disrespect for vulnerable human life.”
Ignoring the social contexts of the child in the womb and the mother who bears her leads to other ideologies as well, those that treat questions of human life and human community as purely scientific questions or in isolation from the total web of life in which crisis pregnancies take place.
Thankfully, we work with wonderful crisis pregnancy centers, shelters, and centers that seek to address this broader context in the lives of women. And many of our parish ministries do this as well. But we have a long way to go. Do single moms feel welcome at our parishes? Do we offer childcare to families and provide for those in financial strain? How are we addressing the needs of families with special needs children? Are we addressing domestic violence, human trafficking, pornography, male chauvinism, and talking about sex in healthy ways that enable our youth and families to thrive? In other words, are we doing those things which will make abortion in our communities unthinkable?
As we labor to provide excellent pastoral care to our families, expectant mothers, children, elderly, special needs, or struggling with illness, let us remember to pray for vulnerable members of our community and for what Dr. King called the strength to love.
Thanks to all who joined us for OneLife LA on Saturday – a powerful celebration of life from beginning to end. Please consider joining us tonight for the Mass for the Protection of Unborn Children and let us pray for a change in our land and in our labor.
Peace and All Good,
Director, Office of Life, Justice & Peace