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From the Editor - Most vulnerable are not protected

Most vulnerable are not protected

By Charlie Wieser
From the Editor

For the past 31 years, the pro-life movement has held protests nationwide to mark the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

When abortion was legalized Jan. 22, 1973, I was very surprised. As a young man reared in a traditional Catholic family, I was always with people who believed in the sanctity of life. As a result, I didn't believe abortion would remain legal for very long.

I was wrong. My youth and idealism clouded my perception of what was happening in the culture. I failed to see the seismic changes under way in society due to the social turmoil of the preceding decade.

Definitely, times were changing, and TV's shimmering eye brought the turbulent 1960s into our homes. We saw news reports on the Vietnam War, violence against civil rights activists in the South, riots in our large cities, the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King and Sen. Robert Kennedy, and the ever-present Cold War with its threat of nuclear annihilation.

Societal values concerning sex and privacy also were changing dramatically. There was the birth control pill that relaxed some attitudes about sex outside of marriage. There was also the "me generation" pushing individual rights over community conformity.

For Catholics, the Church was experiencing significant change as the result of the Second Vatican Council. There was also controversy related to Pope Paul VI's encyclical letter on the regulation of births – "Humanae Vitae" (Of Human Life). As is well known, some Catholics were upset that the pope didn't approve the use of birth control pills as a way to regulate family size.

As stated by Paul VI in his encyclical: "God has wisely arranged the natural laws and times of fertility so that successive births are naturally spaced. The Church, which interprets natural law through its unchanging doctrine, reminds men and women that the teachings based on natural law must be obeyed and teaches that it is necessary that each conjugal act remain ordained in itself to the procreating of human life."

As the sexual revolution continued from the 1960s to today, the Catholic Church has become more and more countercultural as it continues to teach values such as chastity before marriage and Natural Family Planning for regulating births within marriage. And in a culture that glorifies privacy rights, such as the rights of a woman over those of her unborn child, the Church refuses to bend when it comes to protecting human life from conception to natural death.

Since the Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion 31 years ago, tens of millions of babies have been aborted. Sexual permissiveness, cohabitation and children born out of wedlock have become common. The number of people with AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases continues to increase. Gay couples are demanding to be married legally. And the list goes on.

Yes, this country is paying the price for failing to protect its most vulnerable citizens – babies in the womb. Someday historians will shake their heads at this travesty, much like we do today when reading about slavery, and they will applaud the Catholic Church for never giving up the fight.

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