On Friday, January 19, pro-life people from all across America will participate in the 51st March for Life. The theme this year is “with every woman, for every child.”
This beautiful theme highlights one of the truths about those of us who fight against abortion. We truly care about both the mom and the baby. This has always been the case. One need only look at the number of pro-life pregnancy centers in the US to prove this.
According to the Lozier Institute—the research and education institute of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America—in 2021, there were nearly 3,000 pro-life pregnancy centers. What do they do? They “provide essential and professional care to vulnerable women and youth on a free or low-cost basis.” This includes medical care, pregnancy care and education, material assistance, and so much more!
Thousands of people donate their time, talents, and treasures to these centers to help moms choose life for their babies. They do this out of selflessness and love. So it’s only fitting that, during this year’s March for Life, we remind people of the availability of these services and remind them of this love.
And as we prepare to march, we also want to reflect on the words of wisdom of five leaders in the faith or pro-life movement—the people who have dedicated their lives to helping moms, to saving babies, or to teaching others about the sanctity of life. Their words and their examples inspire us to keep fighting day after day to create a culture that values and protects all human beings.
1. Judie Brown, president of American Life League, recently said, “We are not fighting to end abortion; we are fighting to restore respect for the dignity of the human person. The only way that we can succeed is to place our confidence in God and then defend His truth without apology.”
Indeed. If we don’t teach our culture the value of all human beings, people will continue to see no problem with killing the most vulnerable among us.
2. Ryan Bomberger, founder of the Radiance Foundation, said, “Abortion is slavery. It enslaves spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally and culturally.”
We see this every time we witness a woman screaming “my body, my choice” or “bans off my body.” It’s almost as if she has invisible shackles that not only prevent her from understanding the truth but that blind her from seeing the humanity of the baby whose death she is advocating for. Killing a tiny preborn baby is believed by many to be a “right” and a necessary good. This belief has permeated our culture, infected the soul of our nation, and encouraged so many woman—and men—to worship at the altar of child sacrifice. The only way we can break these chains is through education and by speaking the truth in love.
3. St. Teresa of Calcutta once lamented, “Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother. Abortion is profoundly anti-woman.”
If we truly want to help mothers, we will protect them from a society that encourages them to kill their children and that assures them there will be no physical or emotional consequences.
4. Pro-life legend Chris Slattery once said, “I was surprised to see that you could make an incredible difference by having the daring to intervene in someone’s life, not only to save the baby, but to help the mother avoid the tremendous pain and suffering that an abortion causes.”
It is a fact that the mother suffers—emotionally and often physically—after an abortion. The abortion lobby doesn’t want women to believe this, so they go out of their way to find women who will claim otherwise. But pro-life counselors know the truth. Abortion kills a baby, and it hurts women.
5. Pope Benedict XVI taught, “As far as abortion is concerned, it’s part of the fifth, not the sixth, commandment: ‘Thou shalt not kill!’ We have to presume this is obvious and always stress that the human person begins in the mother’s womb and remains a human person until his or her last breath.”
The science of embryology proves that a human being begins at fertilization. This is not a subject of debate. This is the truth—a truth we cannot ignore and a truth that we must teach to children from the time they are small. If we are going to stop abortion, we must teach children that preborn babies are alive, valuable, and worthy of protection.
At the 2022 March for Life, Fr. Mike Schmitz said that abortion “has broken our hearts.” Around the world, there are over 138 abortions every minute. This is a holocaust of epic proportions, and yes, it breaks our hearts. I dare say it shatters them.
But it doesn’t only break our hearts. It crushes tiny bodies, destroys lives, and ruins families.
Today and every day, let us take to heart the words of St. John Paul II, who once stated, “Give us the grace, when the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.”
So yes, we march to give voice to the voiceless, to speak for the marginalized, and to let moms know that we are always there to help. That is what living the truths of our faith requires. That is authentic love.
This article first appeared in the Catholic World Report at catholicworldreport.com/2024/01/18/words-of-wisdom-as-we-march-for-babies-and-their-moms.