by Ron Kelsey
January 22 marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and legalized abortion.
The magnitude of abortion is hard to comprehend with over 57 million abortions in the United States since 1973 and over one billion abortions worldwide. And these immense numbers do not consider the abortion-inducing actions of hormonal contraceptives and devices, which some estimate to be several times the number of reported abortions.
With these abortifacient deaths included, one could extrapolate the total lives destroyed worldwide at seven billion, which is equal to the current world population. This is truly death at an incomprehensible and unprecedented scale.
The good news amid this culture of death is that the rate of abortion is slowly declining in the United States and the pro-life movement is gaining momentum. With momentum on the side of pro-life, we must increase our efforts and we can then expect and hope that our wins will accelerate.
There is more good news that offers us much hope in this worldwide culture of death and darkness. The good news is that, despite this unimaginable scale of destruction of innocent life, we experience the consolation of God’s merciful love.
Fortunately for us, his mercy exceeds our excessive propensity to choose evil. But God’s mercy does not stop there; rather, to our benefit, he even brings good out of evil. “We know that all things work for good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28).
Most significantly, we see and experience the good that God brings out of evil in the very crucifixion and death of Jesus — with the good being our eternal salvation. So, even in our current culture, which does not value human beings in their first stage of life, there is much hope.
This hope does not rest with the U.S. Supreme Court or any of our political or societal structures. Our hope and trust lie in God’s mercy. Jesus, I trust in you.
Yet, we cannot merely rely on God’s mercy and thereby do nothing. We must make ourselves available as instruments in God’s hands and join in the battle for life. God calls us to action. The pro-life plan by the U.S. bishops identifies the four key areas of effort needed: prayer, education, public policy and pastoral activities. Please make your decision on how you can participate and then make a commitment to do so.
Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Let us also invoke the help of the Holy Family especially as we find the family under such ardent attack these days. We have much to gain by humbly and fervently asking for their help and thanking them for their efficacious assistance.