I drive a cab in New York City, and when I am in the East Village, I stop in front of the Margaret Sanger Center, operated by Planned Parenthood. I sprinkle some Holy Water on the pavement and say a prayer for life, and to stop the killing of the unborn, of all people. I pray too for the Planned Parenthood workers that they leave that business and find other work, maybe even in life-giving work, such as And Then There Were None. I invoke the names of Saints Michael, Gabriel, Gianna Molla, Joseph, Peter, and Our Blessed Mother. I also invoke the names of some probable saints-to-be, specifically Mother Angelica and Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen. The Sheen Center, named after the late Archbishop, is directly next door—the last neighbor an abortion site would ever want to have. Sometimes I take a photo of the clinic and the center, and post it on Facebook. My pro-life warrior friend from the West Coast, Dan Sanchez, asked me to do an aspersion for him. He’s a Third Order Dominican, so lately I’ve been doing two splashes and also invoking the name of Saint Dominic.
I am just a lowly cab driver, and the upcoming presidential election is only about two things to me, life and religious freedom. I don’t get into the ethics, morality, or criminal behavior of either candidate. Life is our most basic right, and religious freedom is the very first right in our Bill of Rights, even before freedom of speech and of the press.
Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
Mr. Trump was crystal clear about the need to defend and promote the sanctity of life, to preserve the institution of marriage, to appoint pro-life judges, and to protect religious liberty. In fact, he mentioned explicitly the efforts of some to ‘restrict religious liberty with government mandates.’ Priests for Life was among the first group to challenge the HHS mandate in court, and our case went all the way to the Supreme Court and is still unresolved.
I also appreciate Mr. Trump’s assertion, ‘We will protect the right of churches to speak their minds on political matters, free from intimidation.’ This is the key message of my book Abolishing Abortion, in which I call on the Church to abandon the self-censorship that is so prevalent and so unnecessary, even within the current structure of the law.
Fr. Pavone also says:
We have a court split right down the middle, and the next president will shift that court strongly either to the left or the right — either toward defending life or destroying it, either to preserving the freedom of the Church or snuffing it out, either to preserving marriage and family or redefining them with new transgender definitions….
Finally, according to Pope St. John Paul II, a government that authorizes the killing of babies by abortion has become ‘a tyrant state’ (Evangelium Vitae [The Gospel of Life], 20). This is not just about one issue; it’s about the very nature of the state, the type of government we have. The Democratic Party and Mrs. Clinton believe that when they are voted into power, they have authority over human rights, a veto power over the right to life. That is a tyrant state, moral corruption institutionalized in policy. That’s far worse, and far more monumental, than anyone’s personal faults, past or present.
All to Save One Human Life
If my words, and my prayers, and my vote can save one human life than it is all worth it. As Al Kresta, the President of Ave Maria Radio, says, “The abortion issue is the morally defining issue of our generation.”
I yield the rest of my column to Holy Scripture and to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
CCC 2270 “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you (Jeremiah 1:5).’ ‘My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth (Psalm 139:15).’
CCC 2271 “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.
This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish. God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.”
CCC 2272 “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. ‘A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae, by the very commission of the offense,’ and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.”
CCC 2273 “The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation: ‘The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.’
‘The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined…. As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.'”