By Maureen Boyle
Next week will be the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision
to legalize abortion on demand. Thousands and thousands of people of all ages,
races and religions will come from all over the United States to Washington,
D.C. for the annual March for Life.
Among the marchers, there will be college and high school students, elderly
people, clergy, and perhaps the strongest witnesses to life of all - families
with young children.
Parents who bring their kids or babies to the March for Life give their young
children a special gift. At an early age, those children, who are the future of
the pro-life movement, begin to learn a valuable lesson. They see first-hand
what it means to express publicly a pro-life conviction and the importance of
taking those views to the nation's lawmakers. For that one often very cold day
in January, pro-lifers are surrounded by thousands of people who share their
conviction that from the moment of conception life is sacred.
But what can families do in their day-to-day lives to instill pro-life values
in their children?
Most child-rearing experts will say setting a good example is the best
teacher. In a book titled, "Keeping Your Kids Catholic," essayist Michael
Schwartz suggests, "Be a pro-life person in a way your children can see."
Support the right-to-life movement with prayers, time, and financial
contribution, if possible. Vote for pro-life candidates. Openly discuss your
pro-fife opinions with your kids.
Encourage prayer and fasting in one's family. "They are the secret to this
pro-life movement," said Dr. John Bruchalski, a Catholic pro-life obstetrician
in Fairfax, during a recent talk at Holy Cross Parish, Garrett Park.
He also noted the importance of Eucharistic adoration, praying for priests
and fidelity to the Church's teaching on sexual morality. "Contraception and
abortion are fruits of the same tree," he said.
In an essay, "Speaking to Children
About Abortion," Father Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, writes
that children are very receptive to the truth. The priest said it is not
necessary to teach children the details of reproduction before they learn that
abortion is a bad thing.
"The basis for teaching about abortion is not the reproductive system, but
the dignity and worth of every human person, whether that person is big or
small, young or old, healthy or sick, wanted or unwanted, convenient or
inconvenient," the priest writes.
From the earliest age, instruct children in the sacredness of life. If kids
know God as the creator of all life, they will learn to respect humanity and
begin to understand how He loves everyone infinitely.
Foster in children a sense of courage in the truth. Teach kids to form
convictions and live by them. Teaching leads to action. Father Pavone writes
about meeting a 7-year-old boy demonstrating outside an abortion clinic. He
asked the child if it was his first time in such a place. The boy told him, "Oh
no, Father. I've protested abortion in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and other
Inspire children to see Church as their protector infallible guide. The
Church's teachings "are an absolutely reliable guide to what we should believe
and how we should live, and as long as we receive that guidance humbly and
follow it honestly, we can be certain that we are not falling into error,"
Do not be afraid to discuss with children that the sacredness of life is
under attack. Children will realize their special mission as Christians is to
speak out for the defenseless in today's world the unborn, the elderly and
persons with disabilities.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects to remember in the pro-life
movement, a lesson for people of all ages, is always to speak the truth with
charity. "You can be forceful and talk about your faith, but you have to do it
with love," Dr. Bruchalski said. "You must engage them in love. You have to