Reminder: Tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 18) is the annual Pro-Life Mass, which takes place right before the annual Nebraska Walk for Life. The Mass will be at St. Mary Church in Lincoln (just north of the State Capitol) and begins at 9 a.m. The Walk starts on the north steps of the State Capitol and begins at 10 a.m. Join thousands of your pro-life friends to pray and peacefully protest for an end to abortion.
The internet was buzzing last week with news that actress Michelle Williams, while accepting a Golden Globe award for her latest film, credited her success to her so-called right to abort a baby. While she didn’t share details about her baby or her circumstances at the time, she said, “I wouldn’t have been able to [be successful] without employing a woman’s right to choose.” To make matters worse, Williams celebrated her abortion on the Golden Globe stage while visibly pregnant. Thank God this child isn’t “standing in the way” of her career.
This story has sent the pro-life movement into a social media frenzy (rightfully so!), but the first place it should send us is to our knees. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, nearly 62 million unborn babies have been aborted. This brutal act has gone from a shameful last resort, to “safe, legal, and rare,” to now being celebrated on national stages and premier television specials as a positive good.
We are in desperate need of God’s mercy, and the people of God must beg Him for it. As Saint Pope John Paul II so beautifully stated in Evangelium Vitae: “[A] great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world.”
This communion with God through prayer inevitably draws us into further action, such as advancing public policies that respect the dignity of the unborn child, support mothers and families, and protect the medical profession.
Action rooted in prayer is at the core of the Nebraska Catholic Conference’s support of LB814. Introduced by Senator Suzanne Geist of Lincoln (Legislative District 25), LB814 would end the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortion in Nebraska.
Related item: Pro-life bill introduced; day of prayer declared
Dismemberment abortion is a gruesome procedure in which an abortionist inserts grasping forceps into a woman’s uterus and grabs part of a living unborn child’s body, tears it off, and continues to tear the baby part, limb by limb, until the child bleeds to death. The abortionist then collects the removed baby parts and reassembles them to ensure the entire baby has been removed.
This abortion method is typically performed between 13-24 weeks of a pregnancy. During this time frame, a baby has fully developed arms and legs (13 weeks), can swallow, yawn, hiccup, and smile (16 weeks), and has almost fully formed facial features (24 weeks).
While this abortion method is the most common second trimester abortion method throughout the country, thank God it is not common in Nebraska. But one death from dismemberment is one too many. Over the last ten years, anywhere from 21 to 186 babies have died by live dismemberment every year (1.0 to 7.3% of Nebraska’s abortions).
Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the notorious “swing vote” on so many important issues that faced the Court during his tenure, wrote what is readily apparent with dismemberment abortions: “It is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life.” And, as Senator Geist noted after she introduced LB814: “[W]e can all agree that no living human being should be torn apart limb by limb.”
As LB814 begins its journey through the legislative process, we need your prayers and advocacy. To join us in action, visit www.necatholic.org and click on the yellow banner that says: “Join Our Network.” As Bishop Hanefeldt of Grand Island often tell us at the NCC: “There is strength in numbers!”
To conclude her acceptance speech, Williams told her audience to “...thank God or whomever you pray to that we live in a country founded on the principle that I am free to live by my faith and you are free to live by yours.” We know that our God is the one true God, and He is calling us to live the Truth faithfully, courageously, and boldly in this world that has forgotten Him. Let us together beg our Lord’s mercy, and ask Him for courage and strength as we build a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love.