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- 26/01/18 – Conferenza “L’efficacia filosofica del racconto” – in ricordo di S.Tommaso d’Aquino - gennaio 17, 2018
This article is written by Bernadette Tasy, an American Catholic university student who is involved in the pro-life movement. This is to spread the young Catholic voice to us in Italy from the United States to understand the issue of abortion in the American Catholic and secular society. Bernadette Tasy attends Fresno State University in California and is working towards a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology. She is involved in various community and campus activities and organizations and is president of the pro-life organization, Fresno State Students for Life.
The United States of America is one of only four countries that permits an abortion at any point through all nine months of pregnancy.1 Abortionists perform 3,000 abortions every day, and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars fund an organization that performs 1/3 of these abortions, Planned Parenthood. Since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973, there have been almost 60 million abortions in America. Since then, the pro-life movement has used their increasing momentum to educate the public about issues regarding abortion and other issues that undermine the value of life. Here in California, there isn’t much value placed on the lives of innocent children in the womb. However, there is a strong pro-life presence among Americans, including our university-aged peers.
Our Catholic Catechism states, “Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.” The greater pro-life movement stands for the “right to life” for all human beings, from conception to natural death. This tells us that abortion is the killing of an innocent life; we are called and obligated to protect the lives of the unborn. Abortion is a controversial topic, but how much do Americans know about it? People often hear one side say, “My body, my choice,” and the other side says, “That is a baby.” Only that last argument is valid, but the average university student needs more information to be convinced. Fortunately, science is on the pro-life movement’s side. We can easily use scientific information to ensure the other side that we are not using “biased, religion-based” material. For example, science proves that life begins at conception because it is already growing, and it is a separate being from the mother because it has its own human DNA from conception. Therefore, it is completely wrong for someone to say, “My body, my choice.” The baby is not the mother’s body at all. How many Americans know that? Even most European countries understand that late-term abortions should not be legal. Many do not allow abortion for most reasons after twelve weeks in the womb (although accepting any abortion is tolerating the killing of a human being). Why is it that America will allow abortion up to forty weeks?
Though it is important to understand the scientific facts about biology and abortion, it is no secret that religious organizations are at the forefront of the pro-life movement. Catholic and other Christian organizations educate the public about issues of abortion and pregnancy crises, promote the pro-life cause, and provide support and counseling for post-abortive women. These organizations have utilized peaceful methods to approach this very controversial issue. Christians are devoted to doing God’s will. Their leadership in the movement is, in part, an outgrowth of the clarity of the Bible and the Doctrine of the Church. Of course, these groups often cooperate with non-religious pro-life organizations as well.
Though the Pro-Life movement is strong in America, we have work to do—specifically on those who identify as pro-life, but are too afraid to voice their opinion. Those with more conservative views in America tend to be peaceful, but sometimes this can bring about a passive attitude. In recent months, left-leaning activists have started using violence to communicate their messages. Students at University of California, Berkeley rioted and destroyed private and public property in response to a conservative commentator invited to speak on the campus. At California State University, Los Angeles, a mob of students and professors blocked people from hearing another conservative speaker, pulled the fire alarms, and trapped those who made it inside the lecture hall. Wherever there are pro-life voices on a university campus, there are pro-abortion voices that refuse to dialogue with an opposing viewpoint and take any action necessary to silence those they do not agree with. It’s no wonder some pro-life individuals do not want to voice their opinion—they will just be shouted down. We cannot let the other side mistake our peaceful approaches for weakness. After all, we are just being representative of the views of our generation. Students for Life of America recently released a poll about millennials and their views on abortion, revealing that our generation is more pro-life than pro-choice.2 There are some very active student groups, and there are over 1,000 Students for Life campus groups across America. This is promising for our future, but we must encourage our peers to take action. While tabling at an event one day, our club members asked students if they thought abortion should be legal after the fetus in the womb can feel pain (which is at 20 weeks). Although most agreed that abortion should be illegal after 20 weeks, almost everyone refused to sign or even read the petition that would help America restrict abortions after this time. Our generation has never seen an America without abortion (or even with major restrictions on abortion), so we are afraid of what those changes will look like. University-aged students are not even acting for a cause that they agree with because they are too afraid.
The deeper we delve into the movement, the more we witness the differences between the culture of the pro-abortion and pro-life sides. At the Women’s March this past January in Washington, D.C., all women were welcome—except pro-life women. Pro-life women participating in the march were yelled at and had their posters taken away and ripped up by pro-abortion participants. However, in attending the West Coast Walk for Life (a pro-life rally) the same day, I watched as 50,000 pro-life citizens stood silently listening to a pro-life speaker. At the same time, a man who was protesting our event walked through the crowd with a sign that read, “Abort Mike Pence,” America’s vice president. No one yelled at him. No one touched him or his sign. I have attended the West Coast Walk for Life seven times, and I am always amazed at the differences in the images and messages that are presented on either side of the issue. On the pro-life side, participants peacefully walk by, praying, talking, and holding up signs that say “We are the Pro-Life Generation” or “Pray to End Abortion.” The few pro-choice activists who protest our rally usually have their middle fingers pointed our way, are yelling angrily, and hold signs with vulgar messages like, “F*** You,” and, “If Mary had an abortion, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
Of course, to be a pro-life Catholic includes issues pertaining to all human life; this includes abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and the death penalty. Many states in America, including California, have legalized both euthanasia and the death penalty. These two events kill human beings. In the last 40 years, there have been 1,457 death penalty executions in America.3 Euthanasia has now been given the term “death with dignity” to sound “appealing” – but how can we celebrate suicide and death when life is still possible? Must we give up, when we have a greater purpose to serve in our short time on Earth? Some health plans do not cover life-saving treatments, like chemotherapy, but they do cover physician-assisted suicide.4 Although these are issues that are addressed frequently in the pro-life movement, we are often asked why so many of our resources are focused on abortion. For one, the numbers cannot compare. The 3,000 abortions everyday make this an urgent issue that needs to be stopped—it is a holocaust, targeting our most innocent and vulnerable Americans. Also, those 3,000 babies that are dying every day are 100% innocent—they have never committed a crime, never sinned, and do not deserve their own death penalty. 60 million humans legally killed in the last 44 years? We cannot keep tolerating the slaughter of humans. We cannot be silent.