Thursday, January 7, 2010

Abortion: "another wound in our society"

Although over eighteen months have passed since Pope Benedict XVI addressed the members of Italy’s Pro-Life Movement with the following words, yet they are still as fresh and relevant today as they were when he declared them in 2008:

‘… Looking at the past three decades and considering the current situation, it is impossible not to recognize that in practice defending human life today has become more difficult because a mindset has developed, entrusted to the opinion of the individual, which has gradually debased its value. One result of this has been the decrease in respect for the human person, a value at the root of all civil coexistence, over and above the faith professed.
‘The causes that lead to such painful decisions as abortion are of course many and complex. If, on the one hand, faithful to her Lord’s commandment, the Church never tires of reaffirming that the sacred value of every human being’s life originates in the Creator’s plan, on the other hand, she encourages the promotion of every initiative in support of women and families in order to create the favourable conditions in which to welcome life, and the protection of the family institution founded on the marriage between a man and a woman. Not only has permitting recourse to the termination of pregnancy not solved the problems that afflict many women and a fair number of families, but it has also made another wound in our society, unfortunately, already burdened by deep suffering. … It is necessary … to join forces so that different Institutions may once again focus their action on the defence of human life and give priority attention to the family, in whose heart life is born and develops. It is necessary to help the family with every legislative means to facilitate its formation and its task of education in the difficult social context of today.
‘ … It is necessary to witness concretely that respect for life is the first form of justice to apply. …
‘Human rights, then, must be respected as an expression of justice, and not merely because they are enforceable through the will of the legislators. …’