Over the past year, we have seen a several signs of hope regarding the sanctity of every human life, and suffered a few setbacks as well. On the positive side, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the infamous Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions, rejecting the notion that there is a federal guaranteed right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution, and returning the issue of abortion to the sovereign states. We have also seen a number of states enact laws strictly limiting, or even outlawing, abortion, and other laws to ensure that women seeking abortion have truly informed consent before they have an abortion procedure. Many of the states (which still allow abortion) now have laws that are similar in restrictions to the majority of other nations, including the majority of European nations.
On the other hand, we have seen several of the American states pass sweeping protections for abortion on demand, including right up to the moment of birth, laws which resemble those of Communist China, North Korea, and Canada. And the Republican Party in the United States allowed the Democrat (pro-abortion) Party and its allies in the media to write the narrative regarding pro-life legislation, and to dominate the mid-term elections, contrary to all expectations. The United States of America is a very divided nation at this time, and a lot of that division centers around the so-called “cultural issues” of abortion, the nature of marriage, and gender ideology.
What can pro-life Christians (and others who believe that human life is sacred) take away from all of this political turmoil and division? Here are a few thoughts:
First, the battle for the sanctity of human life must not be fought only in the courts and in the legislatures. It is a battle for the hearts and minds, and the souls, of individual human persons. As such, it must be fought from the ground up, with each pro-life person seeking to touch the lives of individual human beings one on one. We have to show, not just affirm verbally, that every human life — especially every innocent human life — is sacred and inviolable, by our concrete actions each day.
Second, we need to recognize that this is a spiritual war, and that our true enemy is not people on the side of “choice,” but the spiritual powers of evil who work for the destruction of human souls. In ancient times, pagan “gods” like Baal and Moloch (Carthage and Phoenicia), Kali (India), and Huitzilopochtli and Tezcatlipoca (Aztec Mexico) demanded human sacrifice, often on a large scale. St. Augustine pointed out, rightly, that these pagan deities were actually demons. Since we are in a spiritual war, we need to use the weapons of spiritual warfare: prayer, fasting, voluntary sacrifices offered for the conversion of those who are under the influence of evil.
Members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy will recognize that our “plan of life for growing in holiness” is designed to help each of us to embrace this spiritual warfare, to seek to conform ourselves more and more to Christ Jesus, to grow in cooperation with the grace (Latin gratia, a “free gift”) won for us by Jesus Christ on the Cross. We are also called to seek out ways that each of us can use our personal gifts to reach out to others who are in danger of abortion, or are hurting from abortion, or who might be, in some way, wounded by our modern “Culture of Death.”
I would suggest the following books and movies which illustrate how we can turn the tide in the “culture war,” this battle for human life, and for the hearts and souls of our fellow men and women:
Books: Shawn Carney, The Beginning of the End of Abortion; Shawna Arnold, From Darkness into Light: Finding My Way to the Father’s Merciful Love
Movies: Bella; October Baby; UnPlanned; Gimme Shelter
May the Lord Jesus help each of us, during this coming year, to renew our personal dedication to reaching out, in love, to those in danger of abortion, and those hurting from abortion, to help them to find real help, and the Peace and Joy that comes from a relationship with Christ!