There was a time when, what would later become me, was just a mass of cells. These cells were raw biological material. It would not have been a tragedy if they had been destroyed for some good reason. While they would later be the physical ingredients for my existence, they were not me. They were contained partially within my mother and partially within my father.
One day, three “parties” joined together for my creation: my mom, my dad and God. My parents contributed the biological components that God had previously entrusted to them. The Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life – took that material and breathed life into it. “It” was immediately transformed into “me” – a life, a person. I got my soul at that moment. Where previously I did not exist, through the miracle of conception, I became the mortal child of my parents. Where previously I did not exist, through the miracle of conception, I became a child of God. “I” was created by all three “parties” as their child and without them, I could not exist.
Ever since I was created I have been growing both physically and mentally. While I continue to grow a little bit daily, every day since I was conceived I have been no more a person than the day before. In my early years I was a toddler, learning from and dependent upon my parents. Before that I was a baby, even more dependent for basic needs such as being fed. Further back, I was more dependent still – physically connected to my mother’s body for nourishment within her womb.
The above paragraphs tell the story of my life. They also tell the story of your life. There have never been any exceptions other than Adam, Eve and Jesus.
My parents were married for life, 72 years ago. World War II threw a wrench into their plans to start a family. They tried to have children without success when my dad returned from the war. Finally, after a decade and a half, my mom was pregnant. She was again two years later with my brother.
Throughout my life there have been many milestones. Some big ones include when my daughter was born, when I was married, when I was baptized, when I was born and when I was created. I was not created when I was born. Leaving my mother’s womb no more made me a person than leaving the hospital did. It was a milestone in my life but somewhat arbitrary. It could have been days or weeks earlier. It could have been later.
Medical science has taught, and continues to teach, us a great deal. Today, few honestly believe that life begins at birth. Never-the-less, for their own selfish reasons, many refuse the fact that life begins at conception. They engage in an absurd debate to “determine” the exact point that life begins as if it is not already known. Some propose it is when the child can survive outside of the womb – or to even do that without assistance. Some have picked the age of 24 weeks; or 22 weeks; or 20 weeks; or some other number. Some suggest life is too real to end when the child can feel pain.
People who are playing these games are not actually interested in understanding God’s gift of life. They are interested only in redefining its creation to a later time in order to end it without legally being murder. Many with well formed consciences will try in vain to convince themselves of this too, in order to live without the guilt of what they have done.
Catholics know that life begins at conception and that God has quite clearly commanded us not to kill (Genesis 9:6, Leviticus 24:17, Matthew 5:21, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, James 2:11.
We are opposed to abortion simply because it is murder. Abortion is intrinsically evil. Your mother’s pregnancy was not a medical condition. It was a period in her life during which her body provided you with shelter and nourishment. Back when you were completely defenseless, she did not “choose” to “terminate” you by poisoning you, crushing your head, or ripping you from her body to let you die abandoned.
Your arrival into the world may have been inconvenient. Maybe your mom was not married or felt that she was too young. Maybe you were otherwise unplanned or part of a large family already struggling. Your mom did not have you killed so that it would be easier for her or your family.
Your mom may have been aware that some would say that you were less than physically perfect. She may have been advised that your life would be short. Yet, she did not condemn you to immediate death.
Your mom may have risked her life bringing you into the world. She did not take your life in an attempt to protect her own.
Your mom may have been the victim of a terrible crime such as rape or incest. She did not compound that tragedy by sacrificing your life as well.
Government morally exists to protect society, not facilitate the destruction of its members. Politicians who say that they are against abortion personally but are “pro-choice” are saying they will not murder but are not opposed to others doing so. They almost always are not only open to such murders, but work with great persistence and determination to facilitate them, make them widely available, obscure their true nature and pay for them from the public treasury.
In the taking of defenseless, innocent life, Catholics do not have the option of standing on the sidelines. We have the moral duty to participate in elections and may vote only for candidates who support life. Our bishops have again and again told us that no other issue, no matter how important it is, trumps life. No rationale, rationalizing, party loyalty or social justice considerations can possibly trump life itself. That is the firm teaching of the Catholic Church.
This is actually very simple. Abortion is always murder, it is always morally wrong and nothing is more important than life.
If you are unsure that abortion is always wrong, consider cases such as Rebecca Kiessling who was conceived from a brutal, knife-point rape by a serial rapist: