As supporters of abortion celebrate the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade – one of the most controversial decisions made by the US Supreme Court that legalized abortion on January 22, 1973, thousands of the pro-life movement, mostly Catholics, flock to Washington DC today, hold an overnight vigil at the shrine of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and tomorrow, despite a frigid weather, march out in the streets shouting ‘DEFEND LIFE’ to let their voices be heard.
This, by the way, is a non-violent protest which works perfectly in a democracy. It’s a peaceful march to defend the sacredness of life against any thought and act that threaten it and harbor the opposite end of the spectrum. This public testimony represents a profound conviction that saving lives, especially the innocent and the unborn, is essential for the survival of the human species. What is involved in this highly contentious political-social-religious issue is not women’s rights but society’s spiritual leanings and the future of humankind.
I joined the March back in 2005 with seminarians and priests from Mundelein Seminary. It was my first trip to DC, stayed at the Theological College and flew back in less than 24 hours. As I walked with like-minded people, it was dramatic and memorable. In the parish, I worked, for some time, with the Project Rachel, a healing ministry offered for those grieving after abortion. When I started hearing stories, that deep sense of compassion and the burning fire of love come into play again. Amen.