A Time to Speak — An alternative billboard message

Ed Harpring

Recently, you may have seen billboards supporting abortion rights, sponsored by the Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (KRCRC). The messages are quite moving, “Good people have abortions. God knows and loves you.” and “Abortion: a personal decision between you and God.”

As Catholics, what are we to make of this? Of course, we know and believe that God loves us, and he loves women who have had abortions. It seems that the aim of the billboard message is that the casual viewer will stop there.

However, through scripture, God’s Word illuminates His inestimable love for the unborn through the Creator’s gift of Life. Psalm 139:13-14 reveals, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” In Jeremiah 1:5, God tells the prophet, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I consecrated you.” These powerful Scripture passages confirm that God knew us and loved us so much, even before we were conceived, that he ordained us with full personhood.

So, we see that God does love us, unconditionally, even in our sins. Calling to mind Romans 5:8. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

However, God’s love does not mitigate his equal love for the unborn child or dismiss the reality of the grievous sin of abortion. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10

God is merciful and just. And above all, God is love. And He asks us to show mercy and compassion to mothers and fathers in unplanned pregnancies. Recently, Archbishop Kurtz emphasized that “the Catholic Church has a deep and cherished commitment to give voice to the child in the womb and to support mothers in choosing life for their unborn children.”

“Our commitment to life from conception to natural death extends from our conviction in honoring the dignity of all persons, born and unborn, and we join with individuals of many faiths or no faith at all in upholding the value of human life,”

He urged “all people of goodwill to join us in supporting women as they care for themselves and their unborn child and to work together to build a culture of life in our Commonwealth.”

In the Archdiocese of Louisville, we offer programs like Walking with Moms in Need and Opportunities for Life, which help mothers in unplanned pregnancies with mentoring, tangible resources, and even financial assistance. In addition, we have Project Rachel, and other dioceses in Kentucky offer Rachels’s Vineyard specifically designed to help women and men in their recovery from the abortion experience.

We pray specifically for the unborn who have lost their lives to abortion, and we pray for mothers, and fathers that they seek forgiveness and healing from the wound of abortion. Perhaps, an alternative billboard to help mothers in unplanned pregnancies would accentuate that “God loves you and your baby.”

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