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On the Importance and Priority of Defending Innocent Human Life
The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, fínds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights-for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.
Pope John Paul II, Christifideles Laici (1988), no. 38
It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.
Pope John Paul II, Evangelium vitae (1995), no. 101
The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are more precious, but this one is fundamental – the condition of all the others. Hence it must be protected above all others. It does not belong to society, nor does it belong to public authority in any form to recognize this right for some and not for others: all discrimination is evil, whether it be founded on race, sex, color or religion. It is not recognition by another that constitutes this right. This right is antecedent to its recognition; it demands recognition and it is strictly unjust to refuse it.
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion (1974), no. 11
U.S. Bishops’ Documents
At this particular time, abortion has become the fundamental human rights issue for all men and women of good will. …. For us abortion is of overriding concern because it negates two of our most fundamental moral imperatives: respect for innocent life, and preferential concern for the weak and defenseless.
Resolution on Abortion (1989)
Among important issues involving the dignity of human life with which the Church is concerned, abortion necessarily plays a central role. Abortion, the direct killing of an innocent human being, is always gravely immoral (The Gospel of Life, no. 57); its victims are the most vulnerable and defenseless members of the human family. It is imperative that those who are called to serve the least among us give urgent attention and priority to this issue of justice.
Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities: A Campaign in Support of Life (2001), Introduction
[A]bortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others.
Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics (1998), no. 32
SCIENCE IS GIVING THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT A BOOST
The first time Ashley McGuire had a baby, she and her husband had to wait 20 weeks to learn its sex. By her third, they found out at 10 weeks with a blood test. Technology has defined her pregnancies, she told me, from the apps that track weekly development to the ultrasounds that show the growing child. “My generation has grown up under an entirely different world of science and technology than the Roe generation,” she said. “We’re in a culture that is science-obsessed.”
Activists like McGuire believe it makes perfect sense to be pro-science and pro-life. While she opposes abortion on moral grounds, she believes studies of fetal development, improved medical techniques, and other advances anchor the movement’s arguments in scientific fact. “The pro-life message has been, for the last 40-something years, that the fetus … is a life, and it is a human life worthy of all the rights the rest of us have,” she said. “That’s been more of an abstract concept until the last decade or so.” But, she added, “when you’re seeing a baby sucking its thumb at 18 weeks, smiling, clapping,” it becomes “harder to square the idea that that 20-week-old, that unborn baby or fetus, is discardable.”
Scientific progress is remaking the debate around abortion. When the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the case that led the way to legal abortion, it pegged most fetuses’ chance of viable life outside the womb at 28 weeks; after that point, it ruled, states could reasonably restrict women’s access to the procedure. Now, with new medical techniques, doctors are debating whether that threshold should be closer to 22 weeks. Like McGuire, today’s prospective moms and dads can learn more about their baby earlier into a pregnancy than their parents or grandparents. And like McGuire, when they see their fetus on an ultrasound, they may see humanizing qualities like smiles or claps, even if most scientists see random muscle movements.
These advances fundamentally shift the moral intuition around abortion. New technology makes it easier to apprehend the humanity of a growing child and imagine a fetus as a creature with moral status. Over the last several decades, pro-life leaders have increasingly recognized this and rallied the power of scientific evidence to promote their cause. They have built new institutions to produce, track, and distribute scientifically crafted information on abortion. They hungrily follow new research in embryology. They celebrate progress in neonatology as a means to save young lives. New science is “instilling a sense of awe that we never really had before at any point in human history,” McGuire said. “We didn’t know any of this.”
To read the full article, visit https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/pro-life-pro-science/549308/
NATIVITY’S PRO-LIFE COMMITTEE
Nativity church began its current Pro-life Committee in 2018. It is a vibrant and passionate group that always welcomes new members. We work collaboratively with neighboring parishes and churches of other faiths to spread the word that life begins at conception.
We currently hold semi-regular prayer vigils in front of the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Center Road in West Seneca.
We host a Living Rosary in October at Nativity Church in collaboration with Nativity’s Faith Formation program. October also sees our Cemetery of the Innocents display commemorating the lives lost to abortion.
We are happy to announce that we will be hosting a table at next year’s Erie County Fair to help educate and inform others about the sanctity of all life.
OUR PAST ACTIVITIES
Nativity’s Pro-life Committee is always looking for new ways to promote the sanctity of life. We don’t just spread the word that abortion is wrong. We also strive to help mothers who choose life.
To that end, Nativity is proud to collect new and gently used baby items for the Gianna Molla and Mother Theresa House.
Nativity has also hosted a baby shower for a young mother living at the Mother Theresa House.