Deacon Kyle here again. This time I’m traveling with youth from throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life. There are 275 teenagers, chaperones, teachers, deacons, Nashville Dominican Sisters, and priests.
We are currently on the bus on the way to Washington. We’re watching Lion King coming soon for our dinner stop.
We aren’t just on a trip; we are on a pilgrimage. We have been praying and reflecting on what it means to be pro-life, on what we’re taking to D.C., what we’ve left behind, what we desire to be changed.
As I’ve been reflecting, I’ve come to a certain basic principle about being pro-life. To be pro-life we must die. This might not make sense, but bare with me for a moment. We recognize the dignity of each person only when we die to our own selfishness and see in each person, from conception to natural death, the image of God. To be pro-life is to be selfless and go out of oneself for the sake of another. This fundamental principle informs each human interaction and shines forth a culture of life.
Let us begin.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protect Life Act Thursday, October 13, which would bar federal funding for health plans that provide abortion services. The act will next be voted on by the Senate. The USCCB praises the passage in the following article, posted on the Archdiocese of New Orleans website:
The Protect Life Act would apply longstanding federal policies on abortion funding, and conscience rights on abortion, to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed passage in the House of the ‘Protect Life Act’ (H.R. 358). Sponsored by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and 144 co-sponsors, the Protect Life Act would apply longstanding federal policies on abortion funding, and conscience rights on abortion, to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed in 2010. Late on October 13, the House passed H.R. 358 by a bipartisan vote of 251 to 172.
“By passing the Protect Life Act, the House has taken an important step toward authentic health care reform that respects the dignity of all, from conception onward,” Deirdre McQuade, USCCB pro-life spokeswoman, said. Continue reading
In honor of Respect Life Month, I’ve already posted Abby Johnson’s testimony, and now I’ve come across a moving testimony by an anonymous blogger. I first came across it on the Priests for Life website
, which can also be found on the Postabortion Journey blog
. I’ve excerpted sections of it, but you can read it in full over at the blog.
I lost (or gave away) my virginity at age 15 to my high school sweetheart – who was about as clueless as I was about what sex truly was about. Although – to his credit – he seemed to be more ahead of the game than most of his peers. We felt our relationship to be special of course and we weren’t like our peers who were just jumping into bed for the heck of it. We tried a few times and failed or otherwise chickened out of “doing it.” Being 15 does not lend itself to having a lot of freedom since neither of us drove – but we did visit each other a lot and our parents left us alone enough – and let’s face it – two hormone filled teenagers are going to find a way no matter what. I’ll spare you the gory details of it all – but the thing that is most important about this is that fact that I was so willing to give away my virginity to a 15 year old boy, not aware of my worth, not ever being told that I should wait, not ever thinking or being told of the consequences. Yes, I knew pregnancy was a risk – but not to me!
As the month of October draws near, it is worth remembering that this is Respect Life month. In response to this initiative, I’ll be focusing the upcoming blog posts on the necessity of the respect and dignity of all life primarily through testimonies.
Abby Johnson, former director of Planned Parenthood, resigned from her position in October 2009 after watching an ultrasound of an abortion. Soon after her resignation Johnson joined Coalition for Life and has also worked with 40 Days for Life. After her commitment to the pro-life movement, Johnson converted to Roman Catholicism during Easter of this year in the Archdiocese of Austin.
In the following clip, Johnson elaborates on her experience at Planned Parenthood while watching an ultrasound of an abortion.