Today the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates Respect Life Sunday. Last Friday, President Bush also Issued Proclamation to make this Sunday A National Sanctity of Human Life Day, and urging Americans to take part in pro-life activities that recognize the humanity of the unborn child. In the declaration, the President wrote:
"America was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth. National Sanctity of Human Life Day helps foster a culture of life and reinforces our commitment to building a compassionate society that respects the value of every human being . . .
National Sanctity of Human Life Day serves as a reminder that we must value human life in all forms, not just those considered healthy, wanted, or convenient. Together, we can work toward a day when the dignity and humanity of every person is respected.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 21, 2007, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize this day with appropriate ceremonies and to underscore our commitment to respecting and protecting the life and dignity of every human being. . . ."
Do You Always Get Twins?
A middle-aged woman clambered on to a bus with three sets of twins trailing behind her. When they were all seated in the bus, the conductor asked her:
"Do you always get twins?"
"Oh, no," replied the woman, "Hundreds of times we don't get anything."
Hundreds of times she didn't get anything. Then when she gets something it must be very special and unique. Yes, it must be. And that is why the Catholic Church teaches that life begins at conception. The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World reaffirmed the Church's constant teaching when it said, "Therefore, from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care, while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes."
Medical science has already shown that at conception the mother and baby are genetically distinct.
At 10 days: the first veins are developing.
At 18 days: a babýs heart begins to beat and pumping blood.
At 30 days: the human brain is formed as well as eyes, ears, mouth, kidneys, liver and umbilical cord.
At 43 days: brain coordinates movements
At 8 weeks: all organs are functioning
At 9 weeks: has permanent, individual fingerprints.
10 weeks: sense of touch (comfort/pain)
12 weeks: A baby can smile, suck his/her thumb, and make a fist.
In our country, the controversy on abortion reached a critical point in January 1973, when the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision, Roe v. Wade. The decision opened a flood likes. After that date, abortion clinics opened all over the country.
How Is the Baby to Be Aborted?
It is generally done one of four ways:
- The D and C: Using a sharp instrument to scrape out the contents of the uterus
- Salt poisoning which in effect burns the fetus to death;
- The Hysterotomy: Cutting into the womb of the mother in order to extract the fetus.
- The suction method by which the fetus is forcefully extracted from the womb.
The Catholic Church is right to believe and teach that:
From the moment of conception, human life begins a developing human person.
All humans are deserving of respect because they are God's creatures with the dignity of being called His children. We attempt to follow Jesus' mandate to care "for the least of these" who are unable to care for themselves.
Norman St. John-Stevas once told this story:
A doctor asked his colleague for his opinion about the following case: "The father was syphilitic and the mother tubercular. Four children had already been born. The first was blind; the second died; the third was deaf and dumb; and the fourth was tubercular. What would you have done?"
His colleague replied, "I would terminate the pregnancy."
"Then," Norman said, "You would have killed Beethoven."
(John Dedek, Human Life: Some Moral Issues. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1972, p. 173).
Arthur Rubenstein, a famous pianist said, "My mother did not want a seventh child, so she decided to get rid of me before I was born. Then a marvelous thing happened. My aunt dissuaded her, and so I was permitted to be born. Think of it. I was a miracle."
Since the Ụ S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, million lives have been destroyed in the womb. If your mothers and my mother decided to abort us years ago, we would not have been here today. This is exactly happening to many babies everyday in our country and in the world.
Effects of abortion
For the child, abortion means death. For the mother, there can be a host of physical complications like:
- Perforation of the uterus or laceration of the cervix
In subsequent pregnancies there can be premature labor and delivery, tubal pregnancies, sterility, miscarriage and increase in infant death from congenital malformations.
There are grave psychological complications bringing about neuroses and psychoses.
For society in general, there is the loss of incalculably valuable human life, humans who might have grown into the greatest of men and women.
There is a general lack of respect for life that pervades society and colors all that it does.
Tolerance for a lack of respect at the beginning of human life may very well lead to a lack of care for life in its golden years or at any point in between, wherever humans are not seen as useful.
A more subtle effect should be pointed out. The legal toleration of unlimited abortions encourages a lack of accountability. Society is taught and even encouraged to think that if a couple made a mistake and had an unplanned conception, they need have no worry or accountability; they can easily --get out of it.--
What Should We Do?
Do not do it.
Do not support it.
Do something to prevent it.
Support and respect pregnant women.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work too may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.
Rev. John Tran Kha