A friend recently asked me why I speak so often about "ending" abortion as opposed to just "fighting" it. There are a few reasons.
- We have no other choice. Our nation, and civilized society as such, cannot continue to exist for very long on a basis that allows the destruction of little babies. Permission of the choice to kill the innocent does not provide a stable foundation for a society, because it removes the basis by which not only the unborn but everyone else in that society enjoys the protection of their lives. If a government can decide that one group of human beings are not persons, it can decide the same for other groups as well. If freedom of belief justifies violence against a baby, it justifies violence against anyone. We therefore have to bring abortion to an end. The abortion battle is not a matter of "Pro-life wins or pro-choice wins," but rather of "Pro-life wins or nobody wins."
- The Gospel requires it. The demands of the Gospel are high. The responsibilities both of justice and of charity rest not only upon individuals but upon entire societies. We are not permitted to exclude anyone from our love. To fail to secure the basic rights of the unborn is to fail to love them. We cannot "settle" for less.
- It is possible. I speak about "ending" abortion because it is a goal we can achieve. Yes, abortion has always been around. So have other sins. But we live today in a culture of abortion, which enshrines it in law, celebrates it as a right, and resorts to it with an alarming frequency that surpasses every other act of violence. That is something that can be turned around. A culture can be created in which abortion is not only illegal, but unthinkable. We can bring society to the point where, both in theory and practice, it regards abortion as it regards slavery today.
We can end abortion because the Lord has promised that "the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church." (Mt.16:18) When we hear these words, we usually think, "The Church will survive all the attacks launched against her," and certainly that is true. But in a battle, a gate does not run out into the battlefield to attack the enemy. Rather, the gate stands still and defends the city against the enemy attacking it! When the Lord says the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, He means that the Church is taking the initiative and storming the gates! Those gates of hell cannot withstand the power of heaven; gates of sin melt in the presence of saving grace; gates of death fall in the presence of eternal life; gates of falsehood collapse in the presence of living truth; gates of violence fall in the presence of divine love.
Abortion, indeed, will flee in the presence of the People of Life!