Despite challenges, the pro-life movement is making a difference

Debra Niesen is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office.

by Debra Niesen

Some may wonder, in light of the seemingly endless attacks on life — abortion-on-demand until the moment of birth in states like New York, a push for legalized assisted suicide in many states, all too frequent mass shootings and, locally, the Kansas Supreme Court recently “discovering” a right to an abortion in our 1859 state constitution — do our pro-life efforts make a difference? Are there reasons for hope?

I say yes. An emphatic yes.

October, Respect Life Month, is just around the corner. The USCCB and our own Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, as chairman of its Committee on Pro-Life Activities, have chosen a fitting theme for this year — “Christ Our Hope: In Every Season of Life.” 

We know Christ is the answer to these attacks on life. The battle has already been won. Christ has conquered sin and death, and our hope is in the resurrection.

Fueled by this truth, we are energized to defend the lives of the most vulnerable and our effort is making a difference in our culture in very tangible ways:

• Eight out of 10 Americans want limited abortions. . . . The pro-life message is resonating, changing hearts and minds!

• The national abortion rate is at a historic low, and it continues to trend downward.

• The pro-life movement is growing younger and stronger — simply watch the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and see the joy and energy!

• There are more than 3,000 pregnancy care centers helping women to choose life, compared to around 700 abortion clinics offering only the death of a child.

• There is the success of the “Unplanned” film (now out on DVD), and more than 500 abortion employees who have quit their jobs with the help of Abby Johnson’s “And Then There Were None” ministry.

• There is an increase in women seeking and receiving help after an abortion, and more of these women are speaking out to prevent others from making a choice they’ll regret.

• There is also progress on the reversal of chemical abortions (Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline: (877) 558-0333).

• There is an influx of pro-life medical students who want to practice medicine following the teachings of the church.

• The offering of real palliative care for those nearing the end of their lives is increasing — focusing on not ending the sufferer, but managing the suffering.

• And here in Kansas, a strong, motivated effort is under way to reverse the state Supreme Court’s ruling with a constitution amendment. Go online to: kansascatholic.org/take-action to sign the petition to your state representatives.

As Catholics, we believe that life is sacred from the moment of conception to natural death.

The church also teaches us that those who have hope, live differently. While we certainly have much work to do to conquer the culture of death, we should not be tempted to despair. Christ is our hope, in every season of life!

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