Belying the great progress being made at the state level, the pro-life movement had a bad week on the national level.
The GOP leadership pulled a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks, a piece of legislation that has two-one support in polls, because some House members were nervous about the requirement of the rape exception that the rape be reported to the police. (Really? A woman twenty weeks pregnant who claims to be raped hasn’t yet reported the rape to the police?) Bizarre and cowardly. The House did pass a bill banning abortion funding and credits for abortion, with the usual regrettable exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Then we have Catholic prelates attempting to turn the pro-life cause into a giant rally for the welfare state. Frank Walker at Pewsitter has their number:
Here’s an idea. Let’s take the exclusively conservative movement against the uninterrupted slaughter of unborn children and plaster all kinds of leftist slogans to it. Then we can invite Catholic prelates to come advocate for bigger federal programs while they pretend to care about abortion. After all, what is the point of having a Church if isn’t to shepherd Catholics into amoral statist barns and hand power to the enemies of God and man? Isn’t everything about life?
For the pro-life movement to truly succeed, it must fight not only abortion, but also the broader “throwaway culture” wherever life is being discarded, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston at a national pro-life Mass.
“What must characterize the pro-life movement is a special love for the poor, the marginalized, the suffering, and especially human life that is in danger of being discarded,” Cardinal O’Malley said in his Jan. 21 homily at the Opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life.
The cardinal addressed an overflow crowd at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the largest church in North America. More than 11,000 people were estimated to be in attendance.
Cardinal O’Malley, who heads the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, was chief celebrant at the Mass. Five additional cardinals, 44 bishops, and 343 priests concelebrated the Mass, according to a basilica spokesperson. Some 100 deacons and 530 seminarians also assisted.
Wednesday evening’s Mass kicked off an all-night prayer vigil at the basilica, which ends with a closing Mass Thursday morning. The prayer vigil precedes the annual March for Life, which marks the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that led to nationwide legal abortion. The march routinely draws hundreds of thousands from across the country to pray and witness in the heart of Washington, D.C.
Jesus advocates loving your neighbor and helping those in need. He certainly doesn’t teach legal confiscation of property, ruthless regulation of people’s lives, anti-family laws and pro-death policy all blanketed under the excuse ‘loving the poor’, then calling it pro-life.
In the Gospel story, the young man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. He “went away sad” when Jesus instructed him to go beyond following the commandments by giving all his possessions to the poor and following Christ.
Am I discouraged as a result of all this? Not really, because I know that all this bunk has zip to do with what motivates the marchers each year to come to Washington DC year after year: a passion to work ceaselessly to save the lives of the most innocent among us. As long as we have this, the pro-life movement will continue its long walk to victory by the grace of God.