Every age and stage: sanctity of human life

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pro-life issues will be on the front burner this Sunday as many churches mark National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Ronald Reagan would be proud. The first such observance was designated in 1984 by his Proclamation 5147, a document chock-full of worthy quotes. Note in particular what he included about 11 years of Roe v. Wade fallout:

“We are poorer not simply for lives not led and for contributions not made, but also for the erosion of our sense of the worth and dignity of every individual. To diminish the value of one category of human life is to diminish us all.”

Fast forward 30-plus years, and the part about eroding worth and diminishing value couldn’t ring more true. Not only are we a nation whose population figures are more than 57,000,000 under what they would be without legalized abortion, but we’re a nation whose leaders still defend and fund Planned Parenthood, even when proof of their selling of baby body parts surfaces. (By the way, Planned Parenthood’s annual report lists 323,999 abortion procedures for 2015, just so you know. I read it for myself, right there among the HPV vaccinations (24,063) and urinary tract infection treatments (55,912).)

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So where does that leave those of us who claim to be pro-life? Holding signs at the pink building in Fondren and sending daily emails to our congressmen? Stuffing inserts into this Sunday’s church bulletin?

Maybe, but being pro-life isn’t always confrontational or political. Very often it’s just relational. Being pro-life is my friend Melissa, who provides around-the-clock care for her invalid son, an 8-year-old who wasn’t expected to see his second birthday. Being pro-life is the bank employee who chooses to spend her lunch hours at the Lawrence County Nursing Center visiting her aging mother (who says she appreciates it very much, by the way). Being pro-life is the two couples I know who just finished Lincoln County’s foster parenting classes because they believe in the “pure and undefiled religion” of James 1:27.

Being pro-life simply means believing that life at every age and stage is precious, and acting on that belief.

But just in case some of you are wondering how you can do more, I asked officials at Pro-Life Mississippi and Mississippi Right to Life for their top suggestions for pro-life involvement. Here’s what they said:

Judy Batson, president, Pro-Life Mississippi (601-956-8636)

• Attend the 29th Annual Candlelight Vigil for the Unborn this Saturday at 6 p.m. inside the State Capitol Building.

• Participate in 40 Days for Life, a nationwide vigil held twice yearly.

• Purchase “Choose Life” car tags, which benefit crisis pregnancy centers throughout the state.

• Get on the Pro-Life Mississippi email list.

• Obtain “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday” flyers for your church.

Barbara Whitehead, president, Mississippi Right to Life (1-866-920-CHILD)

• Educate yourself on pro-life issues, then educate others.

• Join a local pro-life organization or start one.

• Find a pro-life candidate and help them get elected.

• Hand make items (baby blankets, for example) for distribution at crisis pregnancy centers.

• Set up a pro-life information booth at community festivals.

Tanya Britton, media spokesperson, Pro-Life Mississippi (601-672-7010)

• Pray every day for an end to abortion.

• Invite pro-life speakers to various events at church, school and civic organizations.

• Select pro-life topics that address abortion or euthanasia for school papers and debates.

• Use photographs of babies in the womb to show their humanity.

• Acknowledge women who have chosen life with joy, and affirm the dignity and worth of those who are vulnerable-the elderly, sick, those with handicaps, etc.

Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at kimhenderson319@gmail.com.