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Respect for life, support for women

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

As we continue to reflect upon our call to respect life, especially when it comes to protecting our unborn sisters and brothers, let’s consider who in our society are most impacted by the dilemma of abortion.

In 2019 the Centers for Disease Control reported that 85% of abortions resulted from unmarried women and 14% were married. Sixty-percent were already mothers. It also reported that women in their 20s accounted for more than half of abortions. Black women had the highest rate; white women had the lowest.

Let me be clear when I say that these statistics are not just about the numbers.  The circumstances behind the numbers reveal women who are often afraid and hopeless.   Extensive studies suggest that some of the key underlying issues include racism, poverty, and unstable relationships.

A majority of those who seek abortions are women of color who often find themselves in poverty and without the support of a spouse or partner. 

How are we, as Church and fellow citizens, supporting these at-risk sisters so they can move forward in life knowing they have our collective support?  How are we providing educational opportunities, contributing to the stabilization of family life, and offering economic incentives to promote the rearing of children for those in the workplace?   To begin, let’s have our legislators pass laws and policies that can make education and skills training more accessible.  Additionally, by recommitting to the importance of marriage and family we can further the stabilization of society. 

Of course, there is no one way to support our sisters.  It requires a number of ways – all rooted in the fundamental principle to love one another.  Maybe then abortion doesn’t need to be “the way out” or the perceived solution for hundreds of thousands of women in our country each year. 

Pope Francis invited us to accompany others as missionary disciples.  Imagine the powerful witness we can offer as we walk with our sisters who need our love, care, and support.

In God’s love,

Fr. Gurnick