The Pennsylvania abortion report was released this week with little note. The number of abortions in Pennsylvania in 2014 is about the same as the year before: 18 more for a total of 32,126. Statistically speaking, people may shrug their shoulders and think that’s neither good nor bad. Things stayed the same, so what?
Pope Francis warns us about falling into indifference to those in the outermost fringes of society during this Jubilee of Mercy:
“Let us not fall into humiliating indifference or a monotonous routine that prevents us from discovering what is new! Let us ward off destructive cynicism! Let us open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help! May we reach out to them and support them so they can feel the warmth of our presence, our friendship, and our fraternity! May their cry become our own, and together may we break down the barriers of indifference that too often reign supreme and mask our hypocrisy and egoism!” (Misericordiae Vultus, No. 15)
Instead of shrugging our shoulders, we should step back to consider what those abortion numbers mean. It is not a count of “services provided,” it is 32,126 children whose lives were extinguished this year. They are different boys and girls than the 32,108 unique individuals who were aborted the year before. That is a lot of human beings who were denied their dignity.
In this Year of Mercy, resolve to do more to bring about the Culture of Life in the world around you.
* Donate time, money, or resources to a local crisis pregnancy center.
* Pray at an abortion clinic for all those who are facing unexpected pregnancies, or look into sidewalk counseling.
* If you have a friend who is facing an unexpected pregnancy, take her to a movie, to get her nails done, or even just out for ice cream. Let her know that you are there for her.
* If you know a man who is facing an unexpected pregnancy, encourage him to accept responsibility and support his child and her mother.
* Pray the rosary for families who receive a pre-natal diagnosis and may be pressured to choose abortion.
* Sign up and pray the 9 Days for Life Novena, Jan. 16-24.
* Learn the facts about abortion.
* Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper in defense of life or weigh in with comments on an article online.
* Have the courage to share your views on social media. There are great graphics and messages in the free 9 Days for Life social media kit.
* Contact your elected officials and urge them to vote pro-life. You can use the Catholic Advocacy Network to easily send an email.
If we work together, we will break down the barriers of indifference and build a Culture of Life!
Amy Hill is communications director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference – the public affairs agency of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops and the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania. Stay up-to-date with Catholic news and issues at www.pacatholic.org, www.facebook.com/pacatholic, andwww.twitter.com/pacatholic.
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