Life or Death
Article on Abortion in the Sooner
Catholic October 8, 2000
by Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran
The lead story reported in recent days has been the news that the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration has approved the abortion pill RU-486. While this in
itself is a tragic reality, the manner in which the news was delivered was
equally tragic. Reporters seemed to be jovial that the horrific act of abortion
might now be easier to perform. They rejoiced that women would now have a
simpler way to kill their unborn children. How sad, how tragic that our society
continues its relentless pursuit and demise of the smallest and most defenseless
of our brothers and sisters! The culture of death clutches us more and more.
Because we rightly abhor the escalating slaughter of unborn children, each of
us needs to ask ourselves some very deep soul-searching questions. Do we believe
in God? Do we really believe that God creates every human being in His own image
and likeness? Do we truly respect human life from conception to a natural death?
Do we realize that we are responsible to protect human life in all its stages?
Are we not our brothers and sisters keepers? Do we cherish our own life and the
life of all other human beings? When God gifts us with new life through the
natural cooperation of a mother and a father, doesn’t God have a plan for that
new life? Isn’t every human person created by God made to know, love and serve
Him so that eventually they can share in His life and love forever? Abortion in
any form says no to all these questions, because abortion destroys the life that
As Catholic people we cannot excuse ourselves from what society or the
culture does. We are part of that society, and we help form the culture in which
we live. Abortion is not uniquely a Catholic issue. It is a human issue
affecting all people. As Catholics, however, we do have a graced position.
Guided by the Holy Spirit, the truths of Revelation help us to see and
appreciate human nature. Through prayer and the guidance and teaching of the
Church, we are able to develop a relationship with God which confirms His
dominion over all life. We come to recognize the dignity of all human life and
the ultimate purpose and goal of human existence.
The introduction of RU486 into our society will tend to facilitate and
escalate abortions in our country. It should also serve as a wake-up call for
those of us who profess to be pro-life. There is no question but that the
respect for human life is increasingly under attack. This downward trend sparked
by Roe vs. Wade will continue unless you and I actively work to re-instill a
respect for the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death.
Without any doubt, our greatest resource is prayer. Do we pray daily and
publicly for an end to abortion? We must. At every Mass, there should be some
reference, some mention, some reaching out to see God’s help and blessing.
Together with our prayers, there needs to be sacrifice especially offered to God
for the pro-life movement. There must also be a conversion and a re-commitment
to the pro-life cause.
We cannot continue to allow others to kill babies by pretending it isn’t
happening. We do that when we vote for politicians who euphemistically proclaim
to be pro-choice, which is pro-abortion. They give no choice to the little
We pretend that abortion isn’t happening when we support doctors, lawyers or
medical professionals who are pro-choice and whose actions, decisions and
counseling lead to abortion.
We pretend that abortions isn’t so bad when we frequent movies, plays and
other recreations offered by people, organizations and institutions that are
abortion advocates. In fact, our participation in such activities actually
supports the abortion cause!
We pretend that abortion isn’t so bad when we fail to teach our children and
grandchildren the truth about human sexuality and life itself. By becoming
parents and grandparents, teachers and priests, civil officials and social
service workers, doctors, nurses and lawyers, we receive a more serious
obligation before God and each other. We must actively and faithfully protect
human life. We must use all our resources and strength to instill a true respect
for all human life in our culture and in our society.
Our Catholic faith points us in the right direction as the Church
consistently teaches and reminds us that abortion is not a matter of choice.
Every abortion is an evil act that assaults and kills a defenseless child. Only
through prayer, personal sacrifice and effective action will the abortion
mentality be changed. This is our role. This is our responsibility. It is a
matter of life or death.
-- Eusebius J. Beltran
Archbishop of Oklahoma City