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The Consistent Pro-life Ethic

INTEGRAL TO PRO-LIFE SUCCESS

By Bernard F. Law | January-February 1985
Bernard F. Law is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston.

Your task is a noble one. In fact, at this mo­ment in American history, I can think of none more noble.

As citizens of this free society, your task con­sists of a solemn commitment to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” promised us in the Decla­ration of Independence.

The specific purpose for which the Massachu­setts Citizens for Life exists is to redress an egre­gious decision of the Supreme Court that snatch­ed away the legal protection of the unborn and re­duced them to a disposable “thing.” If the moral character of a nation can be measured by anything, that “litmus test” is the value it places on human beings — especially its poorest and most defense­less. No one is more frail, defenseless, and in need of care than our unborn.

Obviously I am not here to win converts. From me you need no further evidence, no more moral persuasion, no deeper dialogue, to be con­vinced that each fertilized ovum, from the instant of conception is someone’s future son, daughter, grandchild, niece, or nephew. We here are all con­vinced that the fetus is human — alive — a male or female individual distinct from, though neverthe­less dependent on, its mother. In its most vulnera­ble period of existence, it needs only time and lov­ing care to become a fully developed human per­son.

That you are its defenders, I applaud; that you are a part of a great national — yes, even inter­national — movement I also applaud.

Elie Wiesel, who survived Auschwitz, has said, “Apathy toward evil is man’s greatest sin.”

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