annual Right to Life march in Washington, D.C., is getting lots of press this time around. Partly because of its proximity to last weekend’s Women’s March but also because the new vice president spoke at the rally, the first administration member to do so for a long time. News reporters interviewed participants who are excited that a Republican-led government will curb or eliminate abortion altogether.
I am a Catholic, and I am not excited. I’m concerned for these reasons:
I am not generally in favor of abortion. I have never had one, hope that I wouldn’t have chosen to and pray that neither of my children ever choose that option. BUT . . .
I know that women will find themselves in circumstances where they will choose to have an abortion, and that many of them will do so even if the procedure is against the law.
If abortion is illegal, getting one will become expensive and dangerous and many women will suffer those consequences.
The United States is not a Catholic or a Christian country and, while many Catholics and Christians are opposed to abortion, we cannot impose our religious beliefs on our fellow Americans.
Abortion is on the decline, perhaps because women are using birth control and/or are giving their babies up for adoption or finding ways to raise them themselves. I believe in supporting women on all three fronts, both privately and with governmental assistance.
Finally, I believe that life is sacred -- all life -- not just the unborn. Right to Life marches that emphasize only abortion grate on my faith. I believe we Catholics -- and Christians -- should embrace Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s principle of the “seamless garment” and be opposed to capital punishment, militarism, poverty, greed, xenophobia and every all-too-human impulse that degrades and diminishes human life.