By Joseph Ciurla
Since Roe V. Wade was passed in 1973, it became clear that people were becoming hardened to the fact that human life is sacred at every stage of development. They were told lies disguised as scientific facts, such as “It’s not a baby!” and “It can’t feel pain yet!” among countless others. Unfortunately, many people believed these lies and gave us the awful “pro-choice” climate we live in today. Over the years since Roe v. Wade became law, nearly 60,000,000 babies have been murdered in the name of convenience. It would be so easy to give into these lies and become indifferent to this difficult issue as countless others have, but we are called to action. As St. John Paul II wrote, the “followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life . . . will proclaim, celebrate, and serve the gospel of life in every situation.” What does this mean for us? This is not an easy task at all. However, nothing is impossible with God. With this in mind, let’s look at the many different ways which we can follow this call.
We can proclaim the gospel of life by standing up for life in every form, especially when it is inconvenient for us. For example, we can protest in front of abortion clinics, where the evil is directly taking place. We can be compassionate toward those facing situations like an unplanned pregnancy by helping them through those difficult times and letting them know we care about them. As students, we are the face of the pro-life generation and we need to show people what being pro-life means by our example. We need to show them that pro-life people aren’t the misogynistic, selfish control-freaks we are portrayed to be. It is definitely not easy to do this in this day and age when nearly every single media outlet, celebrity, artist, etc. is constantly trying (and succeeding far too many times) to put down anyone and anything that doesn’t fit their evil narrative. I speak from my own experience when I say you have to be strong to be pro-life. I have been called every name in the book for demonstrating or merely voicing what I believe. You will, without a doubt, encounter some horribly rude and outright nasty people who will try to discourage you, but you can’t let them.
How can we celebrate the gospel of life? Celebrating the gospel of life means joyfully contributing to the cause for life. How easy would it be to become discouraged when you hear of all the terrible things organizations like Planned Parenthood do every day? I find it so hard to believe that people are not outraged by these things. I feel like everyone should be able to unite against such evil atrocities. Instead of becoming discouraged by the information, let it create a greater zeal for the cause you are fighting for. Don’t dwell on the terrible things happening; work even harder to stop them. Inform others about what is happening and build up a greater foundation of pro-lifers to fight against this evil.
How can we serve the gospel of life? This is probably one of the easiest things we can do as pro-lifers. We can do this by simply respecting life in every stage of development. The only difference between an adult and a human embryo is their stage of development. The only difference between a person with Down syndrome and a person without it is a single extra chromosome. We can serve the gospel for life in so many different ways. We can take the time to talk to someone who is lonely or help a neighbor in need. Anything from helping your mom make dinner to volunteering at a pregnancy center. Whatever you cheerfully do for someone besides yourself is a beautiful way to contribute to the gospel of life.
The beautiful thing about St. John Paul II’s words is that anyone can follow them. You don’t have to be rich or have influence to make a difference and save lives. Everyone, within their own means and abilities, can play a part in ending the atrocity of the culture of death we live in. Even the smallest effort can make a huge difference. I find this so inspiring and meaningful. It makes me want to do even more to help the victims of this culture.
Despite all of the challenges and hardships St. John Paul II’s call presents, we persevere. Being pro-life isn’t just something you believe, it’s something you live. We know these sacrifices are a small price to pay for even a slight chance to save someone. We will never give up until our goal is reached: human rights for every person at every age and stage of development. With the power of prayer and God on our side, we will achieve our goal.
Joseph Ciurla won an honorable mention in Category 2 of CLSP and IEW's Pro-Life Essay Contest.