[dropcap type=”4″]W[/dropcap]hen the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, it also unleashed decades of protest and prayer.
Mass for the Unborn
When: 9 a.m., Jan. 18
Where: Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral
6351 N. 27th Ave. Phoenix
Info: (602) 242-1300
When: 4 p.m., Jan. 18
Where: St. Joan of Arc Parish
3801 E. Greenway Road, Phoenix
Info: (480) 867-9171
Arizona Student Pro-Life Lobby Day
When: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Jan. 22
Where: Arizona State Capitol
Youth and Young Adult Pro-Life Rally
When: 6:30 p.m., Jan. 23
Where: All Saints Catholic Newman Center
230 E. University Drive, Tempe
What: Keynote, music and procession up “A” Mountain.
Some 50 million unborn babies have been killed since the notorious Roe v. Wade decision and local pro-life organizations will be marking the occasion with events geared toward young people.
Jason Walsh, executive director of Arizona Right to Life, said youth are “an important barometer” for what’s going on in society.
“This is the generation that saw their parents post siblings’ ultrasound images posted on the refrigerator,” Walsh said. He and other volunteers have visited the campuses of local community colleges to share the pro-life message. Reaction to the effort, he said, has been encouraging.
“One thing we’ve noticed is that students want us telling them the truth. There have been so many semantic games,” Walsh said. “When you bring the truth and the clear biology of who we are and the humanity of the unborn child, you can’t deny it.”
One of the events aimed at young people is Arizona Student Pro-Life Lobby Day Jan. 22 at the state capitol. Students will learn how they can impact public policy and show legislators that they are concerned about the issue of abortion. They are also invited to a pro-life rally with Bishop Olmsted at the All Saints Catholic Newman Center Jan. 23.
Although the staggering numbers that tell the story of abortion in America can seem daunting, Walsh said, there’s reason for hope. He pointed to Nikolas Nikas, president, CEO and general counsel of the Bioethics Defense Fund.
The struggle to protect the unborn needs to be seen in the light of history, Nikas told The Catholic Sun.
“The first slave came to the New World in 1619,” Nikas said. “The end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery by the 13th Amendment was 246 years later. We are in year 42.”
Not only that, Nikas said, but it was 99 years from the end of the Civil War until the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
“What I say is that social reform movements in the U.S. take time and we will see success but we can’t give up and we can’t be discouraged,” Nikas said.
There are a number of events planned to commemorate the legalization of abortion, and Mike Phelan, director of the Office of Marriage and Respect Life for the Diocese of Phoenix, is hopeful that Catholics and other concerned people will attend.
“It’s part of our commitment to justice and our commitment to God,” Phelan said. “It’s the greatest evil imaginable in our time.”