The state-sanctioned murder of millions of infants over the past half century is a moral outrage difficult to fathom; worse still, it is an outrage which continues. It must be stopped. Because advocating for violence against the perpetrators or against the state perpetuating these crimes would only magnify the problem, we do not advocate such violence. Nonetheless, we encourage everyone who recognizes the gravity of the evil being perpetrated in our communities to take action against abortion and all the social evils which contribute to it. The Catholic political movement in opposition to these enormities is stronger now than ever. We offer the following suggestions as ways each of us individually can advance the pro-life apostolate—not merely by focusing on abortion, but by working to build up the kind of community in which abortion is once again unthinkable.
Be Involved in your Local Community:
– Support your Local Pregnancy Center. This means more than just writing a monthly check. Volunteer. Volunteer your time, your listening ear, your home to a mother in need. Volunteers are needed not only to answer phones, counsel, put together packages, but to also open their homes to women in crisis pregnancies.
– Recognize that the “decision to have an abortion is often tragic and painful for the mother” (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 58). As Frederica Mathewes-Green once said, “There is a tremendous sadness and loneliness in the cry ‘A woman’s right to choose.’ No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice-cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.” At the same time, it is important to remember that whatever pain the mother experiences in deciding to have her child killed in no way lessens the objective moral gravity of her decision.
– Support Adoption. Do you know a family that wants to adopt? Assist them with the cost. One family may not be able to afford the cost, but a community can carry the cost of the adoption of a child into a loving home. Consider ways to become involved in reforming and streamlining the adoption process.
– Become a Foster Parent. Yes, adoption can be expensive, but the monetary cost of fostering is minimal. Love for a hurting child is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Support those who are fostering by providing respite. Often, the culture surrounding abortion is fixated on convenience and self-interest. Practice generosity and love for your neighbor by accepting one of “the least of these” into your home as your own child.
–Support Families of Young Children. Bring meals to families with new children. Provide a chance for parents to rest. Offer to assist families in their own home.
– Support those who have suffered miscarriage, and infant loss. The loss of ALL life is deeply saddening, that of both the unwanted child and the wanted child. Do not make the loss of children through abortion the only loss that matters.
– Visit the Elderly. Support life womb to tomb. Do so by showing that you care for the elderly by visiting and assisting them in their needs. Many of the elderly suffer greatly from loneliness, and a short visit to a long-term care facility can go a long way toward giving them hope.
–Feed the Hungry. Donate to food pantries. Volunteer, again not just financially, but through your time. Affirm and promote social welfare programs that will help to alleviate poverty. The giving of time and attention will change you. It can change the way you relate to other people in your community, can form new and lasting relationships, and can open you up to greater communion and fellowship with your neighbors.
When Necessary use Words:
– Speak clearly and effectively. Remember why Abortion is wrong. It is not simply a matter of Rights, it is a matter of Natural Justice. Find common ground when discussing. Make sure both parties understand the terms that are being used.
– Address the evil of contraception. Abortion is widespread because contraception is widespread, for abortion is the fruit of contraception. By deliberately preventing the sexual act from bringing about the generation of offspring, contraception gives rise to a mentality which regards children as obstacles to the satisfaction of one’s desires. This mentality clearly leads to abortion. Yet many who are involved in fighting abortion either condone contraception or at least do not want to talk about it. To address abortion without addressing contraception, however, is to address the effect without addressing the cause.
– Do not rely upon obscure and disputed science. This can confuse the issue. It appears as a quest for validation by secular scientism. This is not what the argument against Abortion is founded upon. At times it may be necessary to persuade people that there are serious negative consequences of abortion. Yet fear of the consequences should not be the primary argument. Rather such an argument should dispose someone towards understanding the evil of abortion. The science should not be presented as the reason that abortion is evil.
– Do not defend a politician simply because he is Pro-Life. Do not refrain from speaking out against a Pro-life politician who has political defects. In the past this led to candidates only pushing the issue at election time and for the remaining years doing whatever the donors to the campaign desired. It has transformed the movement into a perennial issue, whenever a senate seat opened up, or during the presidential election. A politician who votes against abortion does not necessarily represent the whole mission of the Pro-life movement. The Pro-Life movement needs to be strong in its support of all issues of justice, and to make political choices on the basis of a candidate’s overall credibility and rectitude of will.
– Do Not Compromise Yourself Morally. Morally dubious schemes in pursuit of just ends only end up reducing the the Pro-Life movement to the same cynical instrumentalism of those it opposes. We must not stoop to the level of our opponents.
Above all else:
– Raise your Children to have respect for every human life. Remember that change starts small and, generally, against the mainstream culture.
– PRAY. Do not ever underestimate the power of prayer. Prayer does more than any number of acts a group of people will do. Choose a concrete time to pray specifically for the end to Abortion. Commit to a day and time to pray outside your local abortion clinic. Maintain a prayerful attitude in any protests, walks, or demonstrations.