Rethinking the March for Life

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In his Evangelium Vitae, Pope St. John Paul II said, “In giving life to man, God demands that he love, respect and promote life.”

I realize that today is a day to remember and pray for the unborn child. However, I would submit to you that while that is a noble and admirable cause, it does not translate into protesting and marching against abortion.

When abortion debates come up, often forgotten is the mother. Her physical health is ignored. Her mental health is ignored. Her economics are ignored, as are her support or lack of it.

Instead of marching or protesting against abortion, which should remain safe and legal for anyone who wants or needs one, perhaps we could promote life in other ways, like volunteer at a women’s shelter, donate to rape crisis centers (with time as well as money), provide for the already burdened lower economic family who has the number of children they want, give back birth control choices to the women getting pregnant since we know that access to birth control reduces abortion. Put comprehensive and accurate sex health education in the schools since we know that sex education done properly reduces teenage pregnancies and abortions.

Stop co-opting the word choice when you only want to provide one option.

Stop murdering doctors and terrorizing already fragile women at their moment of crisis as they follow through on one of the most difficult decisions they will ever have to make.

Of course pray for women and babies, but don’t forget about the ones who are post-born, the ones struggling daily under stresses and health risks and abuse. Standing on a street corner protesting only scares already scared women. There are other, more positive ways to follow your heart. Didn’t Jesus call those who prayed out loud and in public hypocrites? Didn’t He think there were other ways to pray, contemplatively instead of as a show to their neighbors?

We should rethink these acts of terror we put upon women at their lowest low, and pray and care for all life even those whose choices and lifestyles we disagree with and not abandon the women and children whose lives we are trying to affect.

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