I am writing this before I leave for Washington D.C. for the annual March for Life. You will be reading it after I and some 600 others from the Archdiocese of Mobile have returned from this annual event. We become part of a throng numbering in the hundreds-of-thousands. It is really a remarkable thing to see and to be a part of.
I would like to reflect very briefly on how the abortion argument has evolved over the roughly five decades since the Supreme Court declared abortion a constitutional right and struck down any law which sought to ban abortion and set a tone for being very skeptical of any law seeking to regulate abortion.
In 1973 when the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the Supreme Court those who were pro-abortion tended to justify their position by arguing that there was only one person involved, namely the mother. They tended to argue that there was something in the womb but it was not living like we are and we could not really prove that it was a human life. The pro-life movement spent a lot of time positing that the product of conception was human from the start and thus deserved to be treated with the same human dignity that all people enjoy.
As science developed, the pro-abortion argument could not stand up. So the tactic switched to focus on the mother’s right to her own body. The pro-life movement continued to focus on the baby’s rights as a human.
Now, there seems to be a new and truly scary justification for abortion and even infanticide. Now it seems that some people believe that a person only has human dignity if they are wanted. So, a baby, in the womb or out, who is not wanted has no value.
Old people who have become a “burden” have no value. Handicap people who may be a great “burden” on their families have no value. We are entering into a very dangerous place.
We believe that human value and dignity comes not from what we can or cannot do, but rather it comes from who we are. Human value comes not from who wants us, but rather it comes from who created us. Human value comes not from where we were born, but rather comes from being conceived in the image of the Blessed Trinity. Stand for the value of life!
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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