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Join us in ‘Celebrating Life Heroes’ in Topeka Jan. 24

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

by Debra Niesen

I love the start of a new year. I enjoy reflecting on the highs and lows of the closing year, anticipating with excitement what the new year might hold and making resolutions for a simpler and healthier life.

Just as Christmas brings a message of hope through the birth of a child, our Savior, the new year also brings new beginnings and the hope for joy and goodness.

The pro-life message is also one of hope. Each new life brings feelings of joy, awe and anticipation of the potential and goodness to come. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11).

2022 brought both tremendous highs and lows in our effort to build a culture that cherishes all life and protects the health and dignity of expectant women. The highest was the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We celebrated for our country that this erroneous ruling responsible for tremendous suffering, loss of life and damage to families came to an end as the Supreme Court restored power to the states to protect human life.

Unfortunately, shortly after, we experienced the low of Kansans failing to pass “Value Them Both,” which would have safeguarded our state’s existing life-protective laws.

Sadly, we are seeing the real and tragic consequences of the “no” vote. The abortion industry has already sued three laws — the ban on live-dismemberment or “D&E” abortion (see the website at: abortion; the clinic licensing and inspection law, and, most recently, the in-person doctor requirement for chemical abortions — and all are now blocked, though on appeal.

By suing these laws, the abortion industry is putting its profits over the health and safety of women. Abortions are rising in Kansas and women are at increased risk. Kansas children and women, and those coming from out of state, deserve better.

Most who choose abortion do so because they feel a lack of hope. The birth of Christ at Christmas confirms that hope can emerge even from difficult circumstances!

Our 2023 resolution is that we will not abandon women and preborn children to the despair of abortion. When we cannot protect their lives through laws, we will rescue them with love. In Kansas, we still value both woman and child!

On Jan. 24 in Topeka, Kansans will gather to rally, pray and share this message of hope. Join us at IGNITE for Life to hear keynote speaker Lila Rose, one of the most respected life advocates in the country, and celebrate Mass with the bishops of Kansas. Our theme this year is “Celebrating Life Heroes” in recognition of all who live this message of hope! (Go online to:

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Debra Niesen

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