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Columns-Making a Difference Feb-9-2009 (575 words) xxxc
Ending abortion: There is no time to lose!
By Tony Magliano
Catholic News Service
From the top of Capitol Hill in Washington, the scene was a sea of people marching for life. It was an uplifting sight for my oldest son Joe, 17, and me: over 100,000 pro-lifers demonstrating on behalf of our embattled unborn brothers and sisters.
Year after year we keep coming. I've participated in about 16 marches. But some very faithful souls have been coming every year since 1974, the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. These two infamous U.S. Supreme Court rulings legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy nationwide.
As a result, approximately 50 million unborn babies have been brutally dismembered and murdered, countless women have suffered serious emotional and physical illnesses, and much of American society has grown increasingly indifferent to human suffering.
Now, on top of all this grief, the president of the United States has expressed his determination to continue and even expand this immoral mess.
On Jan. 22, President Barack Obama issued a very disheartening pro-abortion statement which read in part that government "should not intrude on our most private family matters."
However, government does intervene in private family matters when it detects child abuse. Yet, it illogically and immorally refuses to protect unborn children against the most brutal form of child abuse: abortion.
Adding insult to injury, on Jan. 23 Obama reversed the ban on federal funds to organizations that promote abortion in developing countries. Now millions of tax dollars will be available to groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation to help them perform their deadly deeds.
But worst of all, Obama has made it clear that he hopes to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. If it becomes law, FOCA would overturn virtually every federal and state limitation on abortion.
For instance, FOCA would invalidate laws that exist in some states requiring a parent to be notified before his or her minor daughter has an abortion. Informed-consent laws advising women on the risks of abortion, the father's legal responsibility to financially support the child and fetal development would also be overturned.
Participating in the U.S. bishops' postcard campaign to Congress to fight measures that support abortion is a good strategic start. But to stop FOCA, ongoing lobbying is absolutely essential.
We need to keep up the pressure!
On a regular basis please call (Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121) and/or e-mail your two U.S. senators and your House representative, urging them to oppose the Freedom of Choice Act.
Also, regularly contact President Obama (White House comment desk: 202-456-1111/e-mail: www.whitehouse.gov and click "contact us"). Urge him to reconsider and reverse his support for FOCA. Ask him to establish a dialogue with the pro-life community.
Additionally, find out what's going on in your region and diocese. Get on your state Catholic conference's legislative alert list and contact your diocesan pro-life office.
Also, if you are physically able, there's something else you can do: Publicly witness to the humanity of unborn children and the brutality of abortion. An annual march is simply not enough to change public opinion. We need to prayerfully be present at every abortion location nationwide, standing up for our defenseless unborn brothers and sisters.
Consider asking your parish's pro-life committee to develop a plan for being regularly present at the nearest abortion mill. Contact www.priestsforlife.org and Helpers of God's Precious Infants (718-853-2789) for assistance.
More praying, challenging preaching, committed teaching, intensive lobbying and courageous witnessing are urgently needed.
There's no time to lose!
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