Still Strong at 46

01-20-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The 2019 March for Life has come and gone, barely noticed by the media as usual. Still, the impact of the March for Life reverberates throughout our land. What’s notable is that the millennial generation (those born between 1981-1996 or so) are much more agreeable to placing restrictions on abortion than their parents. This is consistent with the long-term strategy of the Pro-life Movement to change hearts, minds and culture so that regardless of the law, abortion will no longer be sought after. Remember it took 224 years from the time African slaves were first brought to the American colonies to finally abolish slavery and even longer to establish civil rights for blacks and shake off the legacy of one group of people deciding a weaker group should be at their mercy. We are in an epic struggle.

We have also seen a great multiplying of Pro-life Health Centers that offer women an alternative to abortion, assistance with a pregnancy and help afterwards as well as offering a variety of health care procedures that women require. This is where the real work is being done and I applaud all of you who support one of our local Pro-life Centers. Whether you are a prayer warrior, sidewalk counselor, volunteer inside the clinic, a generous donor, your presence is critical to the work of protecting human life.

One of the most effective tools in helping mothers choose life is the use of the Ultrasound. The newest versions of the machines give a brilliantly clear picture of the new life forming in the womb of the mother. The Knights of Columbus through their Ultrasound Initiative are helping Pro-life Centers obtain the machines. So, your support is greatly appreciated.

Ironically, just as the Pro-life Centers are trying to offer more health services to women, the new President of Planned Parenthood took the media to the shed for its obsessive focus on those same medical services that PP Clinics offer and underplaying abortion! Now that we have a full-blown pro-abortion majority in the House of Representatives, there is apparently no need to pretend that Planned Parenthood is about anything other than abortion and insuring it remains legal or as the PP President tweeted: “Our core mission is providing, protecting, expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care…”

Moving Pro-life legislation forward at least on the Federal level has become a bit more muddled. Grant it, we don't have much of a choice politically. We have the ‘dumb as an elephant’ party and the ‘jackass” party. The ‘dumb as an elephant’ party promised to defund PP and never did it. Obviously, many of them played us and we fell for it, promising to support Pro-life legislation but never quite got around to it. Now the ‘jackass’ party has control and any hope we had to defund PP, no matter how slight has evaporated. We at least have to try to hold the line. One glimmer of hope is that the President and his administration have enacted significant Conscience Protects and Religious Liberty Protections across Federal agencies. On the state level things are a little better but we have to be vigilant.

But we need to prepare ourselves for a truly epic battle. If during the rest of this President’s term, Justice Ginsburg leaves the court, the battle for her replacement will make the Kavanaugh hearing look like a playground scuffle. You can call it Apocalypse Ruth. And we will need the full strength of the Pro-life Movement and all those of good will to be united. While I don't think a Supreme Court even with a majority that takes a dim view of the jurisprudence of Roe v. Wade will overturn it in one fell swoop, they will stop the march of expanding abortion rights and taxpayer funding and uphold state level restrictions that are in place. So even now pray for whomever is nominated, to be protected and able to withstand the onslaught that will be hurled at them and their family.

In the meantime, try to nurture in yourself and cultivate a culture of life that upholds the right to life of every person no matter what stage of development or decline. Pope Saint John Paul II wrote, “A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer” (Evangelium vitae, 100). May that prayer arise in our hearts today and each day forward until every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.

Fr. John B.