A Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Life

The title I have given this article, “A Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Life” is not my own line.  It is the name given to this day by our United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Yesterday was January 22nd, the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.  Normally on January 22nd there is the March for Life in Washington, DC and this “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Life.”    However, when this day falls on a Sunday, it is moved to Monday so that Congress and the Supreme Court is working to see the March.  So the day of prayer is today.  However, this year, because of the presidential inauguration, the March is moved to this Friday, January 27th.

We pray this day because we value life in the womb.  To talk about this we should think about what life is.  As I was thinking about my homily for today, I did an Internet search for the name of a man I remembered reading about in seminary who argued that parents should be able to kill their children even when the child is one or two years old if they discover the child has some illness or something that makes them undesirable.  That man’s name is Peter Singer but I quickly found other names of people with similar positions.

Such a position would seem to determine the value of life by its usefulness or ease of life.  Those in favor of such of a position might speak in terms of quality of life.  I want to firmly state that all life has value and life starts at conception.

First, let me put it in biological terms.  When an egg and a sperm cell come together, a unique individual is formed with a unique genetic makeup that will never be exactly repeated no matter how many children the same two parents have.  This uniqueness makes the child special even if it isn’t exactly what the parents wanted.

Speaking spiritually, when an egg and a sperm cell come together, God already knows that child (Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”) and loves the child.  We treasure the life as a gift.

One last comment before I go celebrate Mass.  When we talk about our value of life in the womb, we must recognize that someone maybe listening that has had an abortion or even a man who has been involved in an abortion or not given a say in it.  This should not stop us from speaking up for life but it should remind us of the importance of including God’s mercy and forgiveness in what we say.  Abortion is wrong but if the people involved repent, God’s mercy and forgiveness is triumphant.  We must always be witnesses of God’s love, for life in the womb, and all life.


Fr. Jeff

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