By Joseph Naumann, archbishop for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas
Editor’s note. This is taken from May 20th issue off The Leaven, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Kansas City.
Once again, I encourage every member of the archdiocese to vote in favor of the “Value Them Both” amendment. While I earnestly hope that someday Kansas will protect every mother and unborn child from the tragedy that results from every abortion, the “Value Them Both” amendment will not ban abortion.
What it will do is return to the people of Kansas through their elected representatives the ability to determine public policy regarding abortion. It will correct the false claim of the Kansas Supreme Court that the Kansas Constitution contains a right to abortion. It will allow the state Legislature to protect Kansas from becoming a destination state for abortion.
“Value Them Both” will allow the people of Kansas, not a few unelected judges, to decide whether taxpayers should be coerced to fund abortion; whether parents have a right to know about their minor daughter’s pregnancy; whether women have a right to know about the possible physical and psychological consequences of abortion; whether mothers have a right to see ultrasound images of their child; and whether abortion facilities are required to observe health and safety standards.
It is important not only to vote in favor of “Value Them Both,” but to be knowledgeable about the amendment in order to be able to encourage family, friends, neighbors and co-workers also to vote in favor of “Value Them Both.” With the disinformation originating from the abortion industry and being disseminated by a complicit media, we should not be surprised that many people are confused about abortion.
Legalized abortion has been sold as a foundational right for the health and equality of women. Abortion has been promoted as a woman’s right to choose. This slogan is an incomplete sentence. No one is in favor of all choices. Every law limits our choices.
We must ask the question: What is being chosen? Every abortion destroys a unique human life. Ironically, we know more about the beginning of human life today than at any previous point of human history. Follow the science. We know today that at the moment of conception a new, unique human life has begun. The tiny embryo has a unique DNA, different from the genetic code of both mother and father.
There is no authentic scientific confusion about the beginning of human life. Consider modern fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). There are significant moral problems with in vitro fertilization, but this technology illustrates that fertilization of the female egg by a male sperm is the necessary beginning for a new human life. What is chosen in every abortion is the destruction of a unique human being who can never be replicated.
Current public policy places all the responsibility upon the woman in the so-called choice of abortion. In so doing, it absolves men from any responsibility to care for and support his child and his or her mother. It should not surprise us that the legalization of abortion was led and initiated by men, who recruited high profile modern feminists to become the face of the pro-abortion movement.
The reality is that most women who have abortions do so because they believe they have no other choice. Abortion does not value women and their unique ability to nurture a new human life within their womb. Abortion liberates men from any responsibility to mother and child and entices and encourages women to attack an essential part of their femininity.
In addition to supporting “Value Them Both,” this is also a moment for Catholics to renew and deepen our commitment to supporting abortion alternative ministries. The bishops of the United States initiated Walking with Moms in Need two years ago, challenging every Catholic to help provide real choices for pregnant women.
We need to support our pregnancy resource centers — not only financially, but with our time and talent as well. Abortion advocates accuse pro-lifers of only caring about the birth of the child. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our pregnancy resource centers not only accompany mothers through the pregnancy but for several years after the birth.
Our church and the pro-life community strive to surround every woman experiencing an untimely pregnancy with a community of support and love. We are committed to helping mothers and children, not only survive but thrive.
If you are experiencing a difficult pregnancy or know someone who is, come to one of our Catholic parishes or to Catholic Charities. Give us the opportunity to connect you with resources to assist you with good prenatal care and help find solutions to economic, housing, educational or employment challenges. We are eager to walk with you at this special moment in your life.
Our church also wants to help those who have had an abortion or who assisted someone else to have an abortion and now deeply regret their choice. We want to help you find healing and reconciliation. The Gospel of Jesus is all about mercy. Contact our Project Rachel or Project Joseph ministries. The Lord wants to heal the wounds of grief and guilt that result from abortion.
This is a moment of great promise and opportunity for our nation and state. The pro-life path is not one of violence, threats and intimidation. It is one, rather, of compassion, love and mercy. The Lord wants to empower each of us to be part of building a culture of life and a civilization of love, where abortion will be unthinkable.