The Herald Bulletin

April 23, 2014

Viewpoint: Pray for an end to abortion pandemic

By Tom Wickens Anderson resident
The Herald Bulletin

---- — There are few, if any, conditions of our day that have more impact on our lives than the shameful practice of abortion – a legalized form of murder. There are many who say that should not be spoken in polite society. There are others who buy into the fabrication that since abortion is legal, it must be a non-issue. Then, there are those who feel that “to abort or not to abort” is a private matter – a simple question to be decided by the mother.

This manner of thinking ranges from holding intensely emotional opinions to, in some cases, furiously defending the widely perceived “right to choose” or “women’s rights” or some other stronghold of secular thought. The question will never go away because the moral and spiritual nature of our humanity will just not accept ignorance. Ignorance must be replaced with the truth. So, let’s give close attention to a relatively simple but sublime truth written recently by Pope Francis in his exhortation titled, Evangelii Gaudium: (Chap. 4, Sec. 2: Concern for the vulnerable, paragraphs 213, 214.)

Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems.

Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offense against the creator of the individual” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Dec. 30, 1988).

Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations.” It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.

On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

Francis speaks with both eloquence and compassion. The truth is always easy to understand for those who will listen, and for those whose mind is closed, no explanation of the truth is acceptable. I trust that as you read this, your minds and hearts will say “Amen.” If so, please pray that God will bring an end to the pandemic of abortion in our world.