In the last several weeks, a number of people have approached me to voice their concerns about two recent legislative actions: the U.S. Senate’s failure to advance the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and New York’s passage of the Reproductive Health Act.
The former would have required stronger standards of care for infants born alive after surviving an abortion procedure and punish doctors for failing to provide such care. The latter expanded state law on abortion and permits it, with very few restrictions, at any time during a woman’s pregnancy. Similar efforts to expand state abortion laws were afoot in New Mexico, Virginia and Vermont.
Here in Minnesota, when people ask me what more they can do to promote a pro-life culture and ensure that abortion laws aren’t expanded, I give them a two-part answer: education and advocacy.
We need to educate ourselves and others about the realities of abortion and the science of human development, which ultimately supports the pro-life cause. And we need to share what we know with others when the opportunities present themselves.
But we know actions often speak louder than words, especially when it comes to convincing the still-unconvinced. This is where advocacy comes in. It can take many forms: supporting the work of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, attending public prayer rallies or collecting baby products for pregnant women who are in difficult situations.
Another effective way to advocate is by engaging our local state legislators on issues that promote human life and dignity. The Minnesota Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Church in the state, has among its 2019 priorities a group of bills that support children in the womb, expectant mothers and fathers, and families of young children during the first 1,000 days of life. In late February, MCC also testified in favor of a bill clarifying that women have the option to see an ultrasound before an abortion procedure.
Joining the MCC’s Catholic Advocacy Network — www.MNCatholic.org/ ActionCenter — will give you the tools to stay informed and easily contact your elected officials about issues important to human life and dignity. As participants at this year’s Catholics at the Capitol event in St. Paul learned, legislators want to speak with their constituents and understand what issues are important to them.
Education and advocacy: Both are key to advancing a pro-life culture. So is your involvement. Are you ready and willing to step forward?