“God intended it for good to accomplish … the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
Reflection: One of the simplest ways to stop abortions is to go to the facilities where the abortions happen and talk to the women who are walking in. This is called “sidewalk counseling.” It is legal in every state, and has saved countless lives. Training is available from pro-life organizations.
Prayer: Lord, I pray today for all sidewalk counselors who are pleading for the lives of the unborn. Give them grace and wisdom, patience and perseverance. Save many lives and souls through their loving intervention, and call many others to join their ranks. Amen.
“When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses” (Exodus 2:10).
Reflection: Many couples are eager to adopt children, but unable to do so, either because of burdensome laws, or because the children have been killed by abortion. The pro-life movement promotes adoption; the pro-abortion movement does everything it can to discourage it. After all, for them, every adoption is lost business in the killing centers.
Prayer: Lord, look with love on all those who seek to adopt a child. Bless them for their generous desire to give a child a loving home. Give them patience and trust in you. Amen.
“At the ER, you tell the physicians that you’ve had an abortion and that you’re in a great deal of pain. They ask you what type of abortion procedure you had, but you do not know. They ask for your medical records, but you do not have them either. Doctors see that you’ve suffered a laceration and that your uterus is ruptured. They perform an emergency hysterectomy only to discover that the baby you thought was aborted had actually been shoved into your abdominal cavity. Doctors remove your dead child, but can’t find a missing limb.”
“For you created all things; by your will they were created (Revelation 4:11).
Reflection: Cloning advocates make a misleading distinction between “reproductive” cloning — that is, actually bringing clones to birth — and “therapeutic cloning” — that is, using the clone’s cells, but killing the clone before he or she is born. In reality, all cloning is reproductive, because the unborn clone is human, and no cloning is therapeutic, because no medical benefit has been demonstrated.
Prayer: Father, you alone can create human life, and you have created it for yourself. Preserve us from the temptation of trying to do what you alone can do. Amen.
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the world” Matthew 28:20.
Reflection: Abortion leads to isolation, despair, and a feeling of being abandoned by everyone. The Church, on the other hand, brings the assurance of Jesus: “I am with you.” The People of God, while rejecting abortion, embrace with love those who have had abortions, and lead them to the healing mercy of Christ.
Prayer: Lord, I pray for every person who feels alone and abandoned today, in the dark shadows of the abortion they have committed. Reach into that darkness, and enable your people to bring the light of Jesus’ presence to wounded hearts. Amen.
“Although faith provides special light and strength, this question arises in every human conscience which seeks the truth and which cares about the future of humanity” – EV 101
Reflection: Jesus, the Bible, and the Church teach that stealing is wrong. Therefore, do the laws that prohibit stealing impose a religious belief on the rest of us? Of course not. But some argue that a law protecting the unborn would impose religion. They think freedom of religion should allow child-killing.
Prayer: Lord, you have blessed human conscience with the ability to perceive that killing children is wrong. Increase the moral strength of your people, that this evil may end. Amen.
“Prayer is at the core of the pro-life effort, and this case is no exception. This case, moreover, has the potential of protecting countless women and children from abortionists who are so unqualified as not to be able to get hospital admitting privileges, and from clinics whose standards cannot measure up to those of ambulatory surgical facilities,”
“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19)
Reflection: Do post-abortion healing programs and pro-life activism mix? Countless women and men say yes. Many activists, of course, have had abortions. They speak up for the children they once killed — and that is part of the healing. Many of those in need of healing begin that journey because their conscience is stirred by those who expose the reality of abortion.
Prayer: Lord, you inspire those who have found your healing to carry out your mission. Give fruitfulness to their words and words! Amen.
The Supreme Court could have settled the question of whether federal bureaucrats may issue punishing, perhaps incapacitating, fines to faith-based organizations that refuse to participate in what we believe to be evil. Instead, the justices sent all of the cases in Zubik back to the four federal circuit courts that heard them first. The high court also asked those appeals courts to step away momentarily and give the two sides time to resolve the case on their own.
What will the administration do now? The White House’s latest “accommodation” proposal for religious nonprofit charities, schools and other organizations did not satisfy the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The proposal and each of its previous versions required faith-based groups seeking an exemption from the mandate to submit a form to an authority. Without this initiating action, abortion-causing drugs would not be made available to our employees. The basic requirement that we be complicit in the provision of abortifacients and other life-denying drugs, devices and procedures was a part of every government proposal. When we responded that we are forbidden by our faith to take part in this scheme—the government effectively retorted, “So what?
But both sides in Zubik have told the Supreme Court that a solution is theoretically possible.
For instance, the administration could, for once, actually listen to the Zubik petitioners—and to the scores of other faith-based groups that have lawsuits pending in lower courts—and propose a solution that does not hijack our health-insurance plans. The administration could, for example, make abortifacient/contraceptive coverage available to religious nonprofit employees through the ObamaCare exchanges, Title X (the federal program devoted to family-planning services), or separate arrangements with our own or another insurance company. In other words, don’t involve us, or the health-insurance plan we offer our employees, in the effort to expand coverage of abortion-inducing drugs.
The administration might be tempted to come up with a proposal that satisfies only those groups that have third-party insurance coverage—and not those that self-insure. This wouldn’t be acceptable, because self-insurers underwrite their own health-insurance plans and are, practically speaking, their own insurance companies. A government “accommodation” that offered as its only option a requirement that insurers of religious nonprofit groups offer the employees of those groups separate plans for abortifacients and contraceptives would still force self-insured religious groups to violate their faith.
“Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24).
Reflection: Sometimes there is a tension between those who work to defend the right to life, and those who work for “social justice.” Yet there can be no social justice without establishing the most basic justice, the protection of one’s life. If the right to life is not secure, neither is any other right.
Prayer: Lord, in you all justice is fulfilled and all goodness exists in its fullness. Enable your people who work for what is right to resist every temptation to minimize or neglect any aspect of the demands of justice. Amen.