Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision marks an historic moment for our nation. The ruling comes after fifty years of grassroots efforts to highlight the fact of the unborn baby’s humanity. These efforts include prayer and fasting, participation in the annual March for Life, volunteering at crisis pregnancy centers, peaceful and prayerful protesting at abortion clinics, supporting mothers in crisis pregnancies, and post-abortive counseling for men and women. Our family station wagon had a bumper sticker stating, “Abortion stops a beating heart.” The fact that the Dobbs decision was released on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus has special resonance for many of us. We know that our mission is not to win legal battles or societal shouting matches; rather, our ultimate mission is to build up a culture of life, where each human being is welcomed and cherished.
We live in a sound bite addicted culture, where the “hot take” is all that many people have the bandwidth to process. Over the past week I have heard some of the old canards revived in regards to the abortion issue. These include:
—The pro-life movement desires to impose its religious belief on our religiously neutral society: This is false, because the pro-life position takes is stance from science. It is always encouraging to see signs at the March for Life that read, “Atheists for Life.” The humanity of the unborn is a scientific reality before it is a religious belief. The improving pre-natal science of the past half-century has only fortified this truth. (As an aside, there is no such thing as a religiously neutral society.)
—Abortion is health care: Since at least the third century B.C. physicians have taken the Hippocratic Oath, a central tenet of which states that the physician “will do no harm” to the patient. The reality of abortion is that there are two human beings whose health is at stake, the woman and the baby. True health care makes it possible to protect both lives.
—Women will now be forced to carry ectopic pregnancies: No law in the history of our country, or in any other country that I am aware of, has ever considered such tragic situations as the removal of an ectopic pregnancy to be an abortion. Assertions such as these are not meant to enlighten or clarify, but to frighten and deceive.
As Catholics, we are called to a consistent life ethic. In response to the Dobbs decision, Cardinal Gregory reaffirmed that in addition to standing for pre-born life, we are also called to work for an end to the death penalty, care for those in prison, fight racism, care for the poor, immigrant and refugee, and courageously defend the dignity of the elderly and infirmed. I am blessed to shepherd a flock where so much of this work goes on quietly, forcefully, and convincingly on a daily basis.
Our pantry coordinator, Chuck Smith, informed me that our stock of food and other necessities was alarmingly low this past week. Please consider making a donation to the parish this week, and see his pantry report to find out which items are most needed at this time.