Contributors Life matters

Join us in Topeka this Jan. 25 as we march for life

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

by Deb Niesen

The year 2022 will be an important year for Respect Life efforts.

As Archbishop Joseph Naumann stated in his Dec. 17 “The Shepherd’s Voice” “Pro-Life Marches On” podcast conversation, “This is a time of great opportunity but also great peril.” It is good that we have the national and Kansas marches for life at the year’s start to highlight what’s at stake.

Every January, we observe a National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children to recognize the injustice and tragedy of the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across our country.

At the national level, thousands will march in D.C. under the theme “Equality begins in the womb,” with the hopeful possibility that through the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, Roe could finally be overturned.

Since overturning Roe would return regulation of abortion to the states, the importance of Kansas having our pro-life protections in order is heightened. Unfortunately, however, all of our protections are now under threat. Since a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling, our 20-plus, commonsense, well-supported laws that protect the unborn and women in crisis pregnancy from a predatory abortion industry are now presumed unconstitutional.

In fact, some have already been overturned. In 2019, the ban on “dismemberment abortion” was overturned. In December, a district court judge struck down the 2011 Abortion Facility Sanitation and Safety Law that required protections for women’s health and safety through basic abortion facility inspection, licensing and sanitation standards. Women deserve so much better! Parental notification laws and late-term abortion bans are also at risk.

We must protect Kansas women and unborn children from unlimited and unregulated abortion up to the moment of birth.

In his wisdom, God has given us the Nativity story and the example of St. Joseph to know what to do in a perilous time such as this.

As an unwed pregnant girl, Mary faced overwhelming challenges that equal or exceed what many pregnant women face today. Joseph also certainly felt immense stress due to her untimely pregnancy. Instead of turning his back, Joseph defended Mary’s dignity and protected her and the unborn child through a long and difficult journey to Bethlehem. Joseph trusted that God would provide. This instance of heroic perseverance by an imperfect parent was rewarded. God turned a time of struggle into grace for all mankind through the birth of our Savior.

Following Joseph’s example, we must protect the precious gift of life and support women facing difficult pregnancies. We must value them both.

On Jan. 25, join us in Topeka to pray and march for the passage of the “Value Them Both” Kansas constitutional amendment, which will protect both women and unborn children from the abortion industry. Though it does not ban abortion, it will save our existing pro-life laws and once again allow Kansans to limit and regulate the abortion industry while supporting moms with love.

A time of potential peril? Yes, but also a time of great hope. St. Joseph, pray for us.

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About the author

Debra Niesen

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