Thus says the LORD:
In Ramah is heard the sound of sobbing,
Rachel mourns for her children,
she refuses to be consoled
for her children—they are no more! (Jeremiah 31:15 NABRE)
A Day to Mourn
As you probably know, the “Reproductive Health Act” (RHA) was passed in New York State on January 22, 2019.
The law permits “late-stage” abortions, which could be performed up to the moment of birth in some cases. It also allows abortions to be performed by any licensed health practitioners, rather than full doctors. The law removes all legal protection for unborn children and those born alive after attempted abortions.
It was passed on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States.
I believe the NY vote took place on this anniversary intentionally. I believe it was meant to be a slap in the face to those of us who are pro-life.
When I heard about the law, I felt extremely angry and upset; and I wasn’t the only one.
Cuomo is Catholic?
I’m disturbed by the fact that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is Catholic.
Many Catholics — including a cardinal, bishops, priests, and lay people — have spoken out against the law and the governor’s so-called religious beliefs.
In a radio interview, Cuomo said: “The Catholic Church doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose…I understand their religious view.”
Their religious view? Since he’s Catholic, this should be his view too. (And he clearly doesn’t understand it.)
Throughout my life, I’ve heard numerous people say: “I’m Catholic and pro-choice.”
One cannot be both!
Abortion is completely against the teachings of the Church. One cannot be a true Catholic and believe in abortion; it’s a blatant contradiction.
As Catholics, we’re called to believe and practice every teaching of the Church because they are the truth.
We don’t pick and choose which teachings we want to follow and which we want to ignore. Our faith doesn’t work that way.
Cuomo has no business calling himself a Catholic. His actions insult the Lord and the Church.
He places more value in politics, power, legacy, and wealth than human life and morals. His past and present behavior is disgraceful and proves he’s doesn’t care about the people he’s meant to serve.
He should be ashamed of himself and repent of his wicked behavior while there’s still time.
Truth: Catholic Teaching
Abortion is an evil act for many reasons. Here are three aspects of the RHA and why each is incorrect as explained by Catholic teaching.
The RHA and laws that legalize abortion: since abortion is permitted up to a certain time, life begins when legislation says it does
The Truth: life begins at the moment of conception
Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you […] (Catechism 2270).
The RHA: abortion is a “fundamental right” in New York
The Truth: only God has the authority to create and end life, not mankind
Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being (Catechism 2258).
The RHA: since the unborn and those born alive after an attempted abortion have no rights, no moral or natural law is broken when an abortion is performed or the newborn is left to die
The Truth: abortion and allowing an infant to die are always immoral and unnatural; the moral and natural laws can’t be changed
Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes (Catechism 2271).
Hope: My Reflection
I’ve been reflecting on this event a great deal (can you tell?) and feel called to share some thoughts…
Since everything happens for a reason and according to God’s Divine Plan, we can be sure He permitted this law to be passed for a reason. (We can also be sure He weeps for His beloved children who are killed and harmed by abortion.)
Even though this law is a tragedy for NY and the world, it doesn’t mean evil has won or has the final word. God can bring good out of any situation. He can even bring good out of this.
The aftermath of January 22, 2019 is unlike anything I’ve ever seen related to abortion and life issues. People are disgusted and outraged; and it’s not only devout Catholics who feel this way.
I viewed numerous articles and reactions from Christian and Jewish religious leaders, public figures, doctors, nurses, and ordinary citizens like me. Almost every reaction I’ve seen has been strong opposition to the RHA.
The previous law in NY allowed abortions to be performed up to 24 weeks. (Doctors consider 22 weeks to be the age a baby can live outside the womb, though the child would be premature and need extra care.)
Where was the outrage then? Do people see a significant difference between a baby who is 24 weeks old and a baby who is full term?
Since all legal protection has been removed from the unborn and those born alive after attempted abortions, is it more obvious to people that abortion is murder?
What is it about the new law that’s causing so many people to speak out against abortion when they rarely or never did before?
It seems the passing of the law is causing people — and their consciences — to wake up.
Maybe this event will be a light for those who’ve been kept in the dark.
Maybe those who were once pro-choice or indifferent towards abortion will begin to see it for what it truly is: murder of an innocent child and an attack on women, families and society.
Maybe, just maybe, this radical law will cause states and nations to reconsider their stance on abortion and create laws to protect the unborn and their mothers at every stage.
One can only hope (and pray).
Help: Prayer, Petition and Project Rachel
When situations are bigger than us and out of our control, prayer is the best way to help.
Even though we can’t change the laws or the hearts of those involved with abortion, God can!
Let us pray for:
- Those who experience unexpected and/or difficult pregnancies
- The mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical healing of those affected by abortion
- The conversion of those who advocate for and participate in abortion, especially politicians and health care professionals
- An end to abortion and all attacks on the innocent and vulnerable
Below is a prayer to help a child in danger of abortion. The child we pray for is unknown to us in our earthly lives, but we hope to be united with them in heaven.
It was written by Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen and is meant to be prayed daily for nine months. (I say it everyday at the end of the Rosary.)
Spiritual Adoption: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn child I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion. Amen.