Walk For Life, West Coast
Monday, February 1, 2010
By Father Mark

We just returned from the West Coast Walk for Life and. as usual. it was a thrilling event for us. To see the large crowds, the throngs of young people, the families, and the testimonies of those who work in the prolife movement is very invigorating. It is a powerful pro-life statement for this walk to take place in San Francisco, a beautiful city in which to have such an event, but it is known for its secularism, Babylon by the Bay as some call it. But the fact is that many people of faith, and people who recognize abortion as a violation of human rights, live in the Bay Area and support the cause of life.

I have been asked the question, What do these marches for life really accomplish? I am sure there are many benefits to having a march, but two stand out in my mind.

First, we are trying to awaken the consciences of people to see the immorality of abortion. There is truly a sleeping giant in this country because the reality of abortion is often hidden; we do not recognize its effects.

I think the marches also motivate us to return to our communities and to do more for the cause of life. Everyone, in some way, can participate in the prolife movement. I think participants are encouraged by the presence of others in the movement. There is strength in numbers and. especially in the democracy in which we live, people speaking out can effect real change. Politicians will respond to the will of the growing number of pro-life people in the country.

At this years Walk for Life in San Francisco, I was again impressed by the number of young people. The youth are the great sign of hope for the pro-life movement. They invigorate the movement, giving it energy and a future.

There is also the presence of women who have had abortions. At the rally, they speak on the pain of loss and regret at the death of their child. Oftentimes, they share the forgiveness and healing they found in God. The reality is that abortion is not a solution to problems, for it creates more problems one being the aftermath of guilt and regret for the woman and the man involved. Taking innocent life can never be a solution.

As in other human rights causes, there is a real inertia that has to be overcome in the status quo. Abortion, especially, has a hidden quality about it. Most people do not encounter it directly. It is a hidden slaughter that goes on every day in our society. One of our guests on Life on the Rock told us she knows of an abortion clinic that shares a building with a Starbucks coffee shop. I think that was a powerful image of how most of us go about our lives oblivious to the tragedy of abortion.

The marches are trying to awaken people to what is going on in this country and around the world. I recently read about some abortion proceduresthey are truly horrific. Suction devices, dismemberment, saline and chemical abortions, and partial birth abortion (which is infanticide by another name) make up a number of gruesome ways of having an abortion.

I heard an interview with a woman on the radio who is pro-choice, and she said that her main concern was that her baby didnt feel any pain in the abortion procedure. In fact, during the interview, she got choked up talking about her abortion because it is clear that the child in the womb does indeed feel pain in an abortion. At the rally before the walk, Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee, told her story of watching an abortion on an ultrasound and how that lead to her pro-life conversion.

Recently on Life on the Rock, we had Dr. Monica Miller on speaking about her pro-life work. Some months back, the New York Times published some of her photos of aborted children. At first, this might sound gruesome and fanatical, but she used pictures that highlighted the humanity of the fetus. And isnt this the heart of the question?

Why isnt the child in the womb given the right to life? He is a human being. Many of the human rights issues of our day have been given new impetus when people began to see pictures of atrocities committed against other human beings.

As long as abortion stays hidden, as long as we dont consider the unborn child to be a human person, then abortion continues. The law must protect the unborn as it protects all human beings in a civilized society. Without the law on the side of the unborn, people will continue to have abortions.

Let us all pray and work to end abortion.

  News Home
  Joan's Rome
  A Catholic Journalist
in London
  Inside EWTN
  Power & Witness
  Journeys home by Marcus Grodi
  Seen & Unseen
  Vatican Insider Podcast
  Joan's Rome:Video