By Tom Grenchik
January 11, 2008
A few days before Christmas, four skateboarders rescued a crying newborn baby who had been wrapped in a paper bag and abandoned in a neighborhood dumpster on one of the coldest nights of the year. The quick-thinking New York teens called 9-1-1, waited for the ambulance, and then accompanied the baby girl to the hospital where they learned that she survived only because of their alertness and their actions. None of these boys ever expected to be called on in such a dramatic way. Appropriately, they were considered heroes for saving the baby's life.
Even if we don't make it into the evening news, we are all called to be just as alert and active in protecting human life. There are always opportunities to respond. The 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade reminds us that our courts and legislatures still cling to the lie that human life can be discarded whenever it is inconvenient. Abortion is still protected in our land. Had that dumpster been located behind an abortion facility, the skateboarders would have been labeled as meddling trespassers trying to undermine "choice," instead of being hailed as heroes.
To mark this sad anniversary, many of us will join in the March for Life in Washington D.C., San Francisco or similar marches in many cities across the country. Many of us will work in our legislatures to expand protection for unborn children, or to prevent abortion-rights activists from enshrining abortion at the state level, because they fear the coming demise of Roe. Many of us will serve at our neighborhood pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, prenatal care programs, shelters and food pantries so those in need will know there are alternatives to abortion and many people willing to help. Many of us will speak to our neighbors, classmates, co-workers, relatives and friends about the life and dignity of each human person. Many of us will pray and offer loving assistance outside the doors of abortion facilities, the legally protected "dumpsters" of Roe v. Wade. Many Rosaries will be prayed to usher in a springtime of faith and a culture of life.
And our prayers are being heard. There are many signs that our culture continues to grow in a pro-life direction. Those who promote abortion are, with good reason, fearful that Roe v. Wade is nearing the end. They fear a massive generation of young people who reject the culture of death. They fear the witness of countless women, men and family members who mourn the loss of their children to abortion. They fear the growing attention to the humanity of unborn children on the Internet, in magazines, news reports and the ultrasound images expectant parents and grandparents forward to friends. And they fear the growing trend to view each child, even those with health problems, as a gift, and not a threat. These "fears" should give us great encouragement. Pro-life prayers and actions are working. Rosaries and skateboards are building a culture of life!
Tom Grenchik is the Executive Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Go to www.usccb.org/prolife to learn more about the bishops' pro-life activities.