9 Ways to Be Pro-Life
We have just exited the seasons of Advent and Christmas, in which we walked with our Mother Mary on her journey of carrying the Savior of the world to us. Mary exemplified what it means to willingly and self-sacrificially bring life into the world, the Life of the world. The American Catholic Church recognizes January 22 as National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, giving us an opportunity for us to imitate Mary and stand up for the lives of all unborn children.
The Catholic Church is known for consistently holding its stance on being pro-life. Even other Christian denominations, who may not agree with certain theological doctrines of the Catholic faith, respect the Catholic Church for its adamant movement to protect the dignity of life. Catholics are often ridiculed for having too large of families, but these families serve as a witness to the call for men and women to be open to life and be willing to raise up more children of the faith.
Psalm 139 is a beautiful image of the intimacy between God and His children, in His complete knowledge of each one and in His profound care for the human body and soul. As you read this excerpt, reflect on how the Psalmist’s words exhibit the dignity of humanity.
For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.
Our Father in Heaven knows each child long before conception and He loves each one with a profound, everlasting love. He calls us to love each child with His love as well, no matter the circumstances.
What or who are we praying for?
On this National Day of Prayer, we will pray for the “full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion” (USCCB). We will pray for unborn children, pregnant mothers, women who have already had abortions, citizens working for policies surrounding pro-life and pro-choice laws, and for families.
Statistics on abortion in the U.S.
- There have been over 56 million abortions since Roe vs. Wade in 1973.
- 926,000 abortions were performed in 2014 alone.
- 1 in 4 women will have an abortion before age 25.
The statistics can be discouraging, but here are some things that you can do to be a part of the National Day of Prayer for the Unborn.
What you can do
Pray with your family or group of friends, pray for pregnant women and their babies and for the end of abortion in the U.S.
Here is a prayer that you can pray leading up to January 22 and on the day itself:
God, author of all life,
bless, we pray, this unborn child;
give constant protection
and grant a healthy birth
that is the sign of our rebirth one day
into the eternal rejoicing of heaven...
~ excerpt from the Prayer of Blessing
You could also do this Novena. Each day, there is a prayer, reflection, and a suggested action.
Offer up mass for a specific intention: for pregnant mothers, unborn children, and our nation’s decisions to protect the dignity of life.
Give up something you eat/drink daily (i.e. coffee, chocolate, cheese), eat simple meals, or skip a meal. During your fast, remember all the children who have died in abortion, pregnant women, and children suffering from abuse or neglect.
The March for Life is held in Washington D.C. every year around January 22, and dozens of other marches are held across the country. Join other pro-life supporters from all over the nation in peaceful protest against abortion. For more info, visit the March for Life website.
Offer to babysit for a friend’s children if you are single and childless. This will serve as a reminder to your friends that their choice to give and sustain life is honorable and beautiful!
Consider “adopting” a child overseas with Compassion International, World Vision, or Caritas. My family did this growing up, and I have fond memories of writing and receiving letters to my sponsor child in India.
Volunteer tutor at an at-risk school or local public school, either during the day or at their after-school programs. Sometimes, the only safe, quiet space for these children is at school, and many of them need good adult role models.
Find a local pro-life organization who is working to find an end to abortion in the United States and consider volunteering or donating to help their cause.
The Sisters of Life is my favorite order of religious sisters for many reasons, but one reason is that the sisters take a fourth vow: to protect the dignity of life. Consider donating to their order or volunteering with them if you live in NYC, Philadelphia, Denver, or Toronto.
If you have any creative bones in your body, consider making some fleece tie-blankets and donating them to a local shelter or religious order to give to women and children.
Here’s a link to how to make them.
These are just a few examples of how you can be a part of this movement to support the dignity of human life. Spread the awareness to your family and friends and pick a couple of these actions to do together!
In your prayers, remember to ask for the intercession of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children. She was a pediatrician, wife, and mother to four children. When pregnant with her fourth child, she developed a cancerous tumor. She had to make the difficult decision to either give up her child or die herself. She gave her life for her child, who still lives today. Her feast day is April 28.
St. Gianna, pray for us!