Jan 272012
 

The Obama Administration announced last Friday, just days before the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, that it will not change course on its decision to mandate contraceptive and abortion-drug coverage in virtually all private health insurance plans. Ignoring the requests of the U.S. Catholic bishops and numerous Catholic agencies to withdraw the mandate means that religious employers, including Catholic hospitals, universities and charity groups, will be forced to offer contraceptive drugs, including the abortion-inducing drug Ella, in employee health insurance plans.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) decried the announcement and vowed to fight the mandate. The Missouri Catholic Conference is asking its network members to contact their U.S. legislators to support the “Respect for Conscience Rights Act,” a bill that would remedy this unprecedented affront to religious liberty. See the MCC’s Action Alert on the issue here.

Jan 272012
 

They came from Vermont, Texas and New Jersey; from John Carroll High School in Tampa, Fla., the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Mich., and from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. They came literally from everywhere; “pro-lifers” with their banners, signs and backpacks, their matching hats, sweatshirts and neon-colored scarves. And in spite of a drizzling rain, they marched down Constitution Avenue, past the Capitol and the U.S. Supreme Court to bear witness to life. To tell the world that human life begins at conception, not at viability, or the “quickening,” or when someone “chooses” to acknowledge it. They came to bear witness even though, it seemed, no one else was really listening.

They were young people, many of them, gathered in groups and marching together with their chaperones, singing and praying their rosaries. Walking in their midst were post-abortive women, handicapped persons in wheelchairs and the occasional prophet calling for the world to repent. The mood was somber, yet joyful. They exuded the type of energy that comes only from youth – cheering and chanting and challenging other groups to join in.

For one short day, the city of politicians and lawyers, the city of lobbyists and the U.S. military establishment was visited by more than a quarter of a million Americans who refuse to accept the contemporary conventional “wisdom” that says a woman’s right to choose deserves greater legal protection than a child’s right to live.

For one short day, the Capital city of the world’s greatest democracy was confronted once again with the unavoidable truth that abortion stops a beating heart, that the Constitutional “right to privacy” comes at the inexplicable price of a human life. And while the secular world might not have been listening, for those who braved the rain and the cold for one short day there was a hope that in the next generation, America will acknowledge that human life, yea even human life in the womb, should be protected and indeed is worth marching for.