The Abortion Fight Cannot Rest

October, the month of the rosary and the Pro-life Rosary Campaign, is over.  Forty Days for Life has just ended. Things will quiet down until January with the various state marches and the National March for Life.  There will be various prayer vigils before the march.  In the spring there will be a new Forty Days for Life Campaign.  What about the rest of the year?  Can’t we at least do a little?

How are we going to defeat abortion if we stop praying?  We need to keep on praying as long as there are abortions legal or not in this country.  We are in a war and we can’t stop fighting.  The Pro-abortion forces aren’t going to stop pressuring and throwing money at politicians just because October is over.  We need to keep up both the spiritual and political battles as well.

Maybe after a month of rosaries people are tired but can’t we say one decade a day?  When I taught seventh grade, my homeroom managed to pray a decade every morning. Normally students wouldn’t like saying the rosary but it is a different story when they pray to save the lives of babies. By the end of the year we had said twenty rosaries per person.  For most classes that would be four to five hundred a year.  If you had one hundred students old enough to say the rosary they could say two thousand rosaries a year.  Think also of the possibility of developing in these students a lifetime interest in life issues.

Why can’t adults do the same and say at least a decade for life a day?  It will take less than five minutes and in a year they would have said seventy three rosaries for life.  Diocesan goals of forty thousand rosaries would be surpassed by deaneries and some of the larger parishes.  How hard is it to spend five minutes a day in prayer?  Most people spend longer than that in their car listening to the radio.

If we are going to be successful in ending abortion we need to expand our prayer focus beyond the political sphere.  This year according to Forty Days for Life an abortion clinic put a letter in their windows for the people praying against abortion to read trying to confuse the issues.  One thing they said was to “pray for universal health care, a living wage and affordable child care”.

True we should pray for these things but we should also be praying against the culture of sexuality that causes high school and middle school children to become pregnant.  That includes all of the TV shows and movies that make kids think that they aren’t normal if they’re not having sex.  Sex should not be presented to children as an acceptable activity outside of marriage.  Sex should not be used to sell cars, alcohol, cigarettes or sports magazines. 

We have to be praying for a change in our culture, but we also have to be fighting for a change.  Part of that includes our behavior.  Whatever we watch becomes acceptable as far as kids are concerned.  If our children see us watching Soaps then they will too.  If a sleazy talk show or reality show is okay for us then it is okay for our kids.  We have to boycott the trash even if it means not watching much TV.  As long as the trash is on selling sex to our kids, kids will be influenced agaisnt our morals to be sexually active. We have to do more than promote abstinence we have to change the culture where kids think premarital sex is normal and abstinence isn’t.  We have to stop putting sex in our kids’ faces all the time.

We have to pray and fight not only against the politicians, judges, and laws but also the social and economic climate that contributes to so many abortions. Sadly, that means some of the people we will go up against won’t be the liberals but also some members of corporate America who will do anything to sell their products. 

The truth is that no matter who gets elected it will take decades to change the laws of every state.  If there is one more pro life judge on the Supreme Court the realistic expectation is that abortion will be turned over to the states to regulate and we will be fighting battle by battle, state by state.  As long as some states permit abortions it will continue.  We also have to reduce abortion by reducing the demand by morally reducing pregnancies.  This requires changing the culture and that requires a whole lot more prayer than we can do in a month.

Lord, help us not to weary of praying for life.  Help us also to take a stand against the culture of sin in our society.  May more people join us.  Amen.

Ron Quinlan is a former teacher in the Archdiocese of Newark, now living in South Carolina.

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