With the 41st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing the killing of babies before birth, Catholic leaders around the world are speaking out. As a result of this radical decision to lawfully allow the termination of a child in the womb, an estimated 55 million unborn children have been deprived of life.
Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) office released a video message to pro-life activists for the March for Life. In it, he noted:
We know of four things that change throughout human life: our size, our stage of development, our degree of dependence, and our environment. These are the only things that differentiate the unborn from the rest of us, and none of the four offer a justification for ending a human life.
Sen. Rubio also acknowledged the use of the Twitter tag #WhyWeMarch, and has extended an invite to those attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C. to drop by his U.S. Senate office for coffee and snacks from 1:00PM-5:00PM.
The bishops of Florida have also issued a statement acknowledging the anniversary of the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. They start their statement with the following quote from Pope Francis (who has regularly been misquoted or misunderstood in the press) from September of 2013:
Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world's rejection.
After recognizing that recent protections for the unborn and the decline in abortions performed in Florida provide reasons for hope, the bishops state, "we will not rest in our efforts until the day when the unborn child achieves full legal recognition and protection of law, from the moment of conception." They concluded with another quote from Pope Francis, when he addressed the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations in September 2013:
A widespread mentality of the useful, the ‘culture of waste’ that today enslaves the hearts and minds of so many, comes at a very high cost: it asks for the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weaker. Our response to this mentality is a decisive and unreserved ‘yes’ to life.
Finally, the U.S. bishops are also urging all Catholics to participate in the "9 Days For Life" campaign, starting tomorrow, January 18th. This novena for life focuses on prayer, penance (i.e., "Acts of Reparation" in the novena), and pilgrimage, while also getting Catholics to join together through social media (available as an app for Apple or Android devices) to promote awareness of the devastating effects of abortion on the child, the mother, the father, and society. There are four ways that you can join in prayer and get involved: smart phone app, text message, email and online at http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/nine-days-of-prayer-penance-and-pilgrimage.cfm
The pilgrimage part of the 9 Days can include the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., the Florida March for Life in St. Augustine, or locally with your parish. For example, St. Maximilian Kolbe's Respect Life ministry has organized a rosary procession in Avalon Park on Sunday, Jan. 26, starting at 2 pm and meeting at the town center lake at the corner near Avalon Perks.
If you can't make any of these pilgrimage marches, Catholics are still encouraged to take action by contacting your Senators to advance the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1670), which Sen. Rubio has co-sponsored.