March for Life president Jeanne Mancini calls abortion “the greatest human rights abuse of our time.”
She’s right. More than 60 million human lives snuffed out by abortion since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision – broken down, that’s one child killed every 23 seconds. No other mass killing is as large as this.
Mancini asked the crowd attending the 46th annual March for Life Jan. 18 if they will keep marching to fight abortion, to march for the “poorest of the poor” and those who cannot march for themselves until “we no longer need to march” and abortion “is unthinkable.” She received a resounding “yes” to each question.
Speaking to more than 2,400 teens from St. Louis attending the Generation Life pilgrimage, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson stressed importance of remaining determined and persistent in our efforts to make abortion unthinkable.
“Each abortion is more than just a number,” he said. “It’s a tiny baby whose life was snuffed out and a mother injured in the process. … There are always alternatives, right? Always alternatives.”
He’s also right. Just days before the March for Life, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson in his State of the State address told the Missouri Legislature that his administration will be “promoting a culture of life.” He also recommended almost $6.5 million for Missouri’s Alternatives to Abortion program in the next fiscal budget. Funding goes toward resources, including food, clothing and supplies related to pregnancy and parenting, housing, prenatal care, transportation and utilities and more.
That’s just one piece of the support. Pregnancy centers across Missouri are introducing mothers to their babies through ultrasounds made possible by the Knights of Columbus Meet Life campaign. But the help doesn’t stop there. These same centers are connecting their clients to resources that will support them as they raise their children.
That conveys a message that pregnancy centers support both the parent and child – not just at the moment of pregnancy and birth, but well beyond, said Karen Ludwig, executive director of My Life Medical and Resource Center in High Ridge.
“You can’t say ‘choose life,’ and then – ‘oh, good luck,’” Ludwig said. “It’s wonderful to be able to walk alongside them.”
The pilgrims who traveled to Washington have been charged with the call to bring back a pro-life message to their local communities. This cannot be a simple message of saying that we’re pro-life. It must become a way of life – in our everyday actions and attitudes toward others.
Forty-six years after Roe v. Wade, we still have a lot of work in front of us. But it’s important to trust in God’s timing, and to keep a steady hand in the work of helping women to choose life over abortion.
“It’s all in God’s hands, and we have to trust that,” said Respect Life Apostolate executive director Karen Nolkemper. “We have to realize that prayer united to sacrifice is the most powerful force on earth. We have to stay focused on the truth. We don’t always see the fruits of our prayers, but stories of hope keep us going.”
(This unsigned editorial was published online Jan. 24 on the website of the St. Louis Review, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It is reprinted courtesy of Catholic News Service)