Im personally opposed to abortion, but...
Friday, September 11, 2009
By Father Mark Mary

A couple weeks ago, Lila Rose spoke about her undercover pro-life work, which takes her into abortion clinics. She described an exchange between an aunt and her niece in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. The woman, scheduled to have an abortion, was there with her sister and her sisters small children. One of the children crawled into the lap of the woman and put her head on the womans stomach, next to the child in the womb about to be aborted. Nothing was said of any consequence, but it is a powerful image: a young girl pressing up to her cousin who is about to be aborted.

The child in the womb is a human person. He is not born yet, but he is a human being. Something magical doesnt happen to the child during birth. He does not somehow become human after birth. At the time of conception, a new human life has begun. The child has his own DNA, his own growth, and his own characteristics are there in embryo form. He is a human being, and, in this country, he is not fully protected by law.

There in the waiting room of the abortion clinic, Lila said she wanted to do something but did not know what to stop the impending violence against the child. The woman, Lila said, looked down and said it was her second abortion. She was probably filled with shame and felt trapped into making her decision. This speaks loudly to all of us to try and remedy the situations that might drive a woman to have an abortion. Certainly this includes a legislative solution. A government has a solemn duty to protect the life of the unborn. Civil law must protect the weakest in our society.

Pope John Paul II wrote in the Gospel of Life, civil law must ensure that all members of society enjoy respect for certain fundamental rights which innately belong to the person, rights which every positive law must recognize and guarantee. First and fundamental among these is the inviolable right to life of every innocent human being. The legal toleration of abortion or of euthanasia can in no way claim to be based on respect for the conscience of others, precisely because society has the right and the duty to protect itself against the abuses which can occur in the name of conscience and under the pretext of freedom.

We often hear Catholic politicians say, I am personally opposed, but I think a woman has the right to choose for herself. However, her choice involves the life of another human being, and we cannot deliberately kill an innocent human being. Government has a fundamental role to protect the lives of the citizens of the country. Without the foundational right to life, other rights are, of course, meaningless.

The pro-choice rhetoric often promises that the right to have an abortion liberates women. But women have a special sensitivity to human life because the child is entrusted to them in the natural order in such an intimate way. Even those women who are not biological mothers often have a deep sense of the preciousness of life. Taking their childs life is anything but liberating. It is an act of violence against their own child, and many mothers have testified to the trauma that abortion has caused in their lives. Lila Rose and many, many other women provide an eloquent and penetrating voice in the pro-life movement. We should all work for the cause of life and protect the least among us.

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