As we remember the day on which the Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, we certainly acknowledge that abortion is wrong, that it is a sin, that it is tantamount to homicide in the eyes of God. We all know that life is sacred from conception to natural death.  Perhaps this would be a good opportunity to ask the question: “What does it mean to be pro-life?”
For me, being pro-life means affirming that all humans are made in the image and likeness of God; therefore, all life is sacrosanct.  Only God gives life — only God has the right to take it away.  At the same time, being pro-life is having mercy on those women who have had abortions. We need to get the message out that what they did is a forgivable sin. We need to help them find healing through the sacrament of reconciliation, and encourage them to seek counseling because abortion leaves emotional and spiritual scars.
Being pro-life must include a stance against euthanasia in all its forms, be it physician assisted suicide or even sneaking extra morphine into the veins of someone near-death in hospice. Being pro-life would necessarily include a position against the death penalty, regardless of what form it takes.
Being pro-life means taking a vested interest in our senior citizens, many of whom are being abused in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Many of these, especially those whose memory is challenged, have no voice and cannot defend themselves against those who violate their dignity.
Being pro-life means caring for the welfare of our children, many of whom leave home for school in the morning without breakfast or a warm coat and, after school, return home to an empty house. Being pro-life is showing compassion for the single parent who sometimes has to take on a second or third job to make ends meet.
Being pro-life is caring for all God’s children, even those who include themselves within the parameters of the LGBT community.
Being pro-life means extending a hand to the separated and divorced. It means ministering to those women who seek shelter from the bruises of domestic violence.
Being pro-life means caring about the plight our young veterans who return from Afghanistan or Iraq with PTSD or other disabilities.
It is comforting to know that 2016 marked the lowest number of abortions in the United States in years. Still, being pro-life is about safeguarding the sanctity of human life because the divine likeness in each of us warrants such respect or, better, reverence. As we endeavor to live out our faith through charity, may God give us the grace to recognize him in all our brothers and sisters, without exception and with enthusiasm.
Father Comandini serves as
Advisor to The Catholic Spirit