Pro-life persistence does pay off Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010 -- 1:00 AM

Mother Teresa has been quoted as saying, “I do not pray for success; I pray for faithfulness.” Many people in the pro-life movement haven’t seen much success in the past 37 years, but they have continued to be faithful in fighting for the lives of unborn babies.

The January 22, 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade which legalized abortion set in motion a fierce debate in this country. The court decision has not been overturned, but there are signs of hope as we begin the year 2010.

editor's view by Mary C. Uhler

Public opinion seems to be changing to the pro-life side. In checking recent polls on the abortion issue, I found support for legal abortion slipping. More people are characterizing themselves as pro-life than pro-choice. Polls also reveal that a majority of registered voters do not think abortion procedures should be covered in public health care plans. In fact, most people do not believe that abortion should be considered as health care in any case!

Persistence does seem to be paying off in the struggle to protect the lives of unborn children. Pro-lifers have been giving public witness to their beliefs by praying at abortion clinics, writing letters to their elected officials, and helping pregnant women and babies at pregnancy centers and maternity homes.

Fighting Madison Surgery Center’s plans

Perhaps one of the best examples of persistence has been seen right here in Madison. In January of 2009, a plan became public to offer late-term abortion procedures at the Madison Surgery Center. University of Wisconsin Hospital, its doctor group, and Meriter Hospital had anticipated offering the abortion services in February of 2009.

Now almost a year later, there are still no abortions being offered at the Madison Surgery Center. Why? It seems as if protests from people in the community, patients, and medical staff objecting to the plans have made an impact.

An article in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 17 reported that a number of patients have canceled appointments at the Madison Surgery Center. The article says that many surgeons are considering moving their procedures from the surgery center, including one entire doctor group. The Alliance Defense Fund is representing at least five workers at the surgery center who want to protect their legal right not to assist in abortions.

Local pro-life advocates feel they have made a difference and saved lives. “Had it opened as scheduled, the Madison Surgery Center was slated to perform as many as 125 late-term abortions in 2009,” said Steve Karlen of Vigil for Life. “There are numerous children alive today because of the faithful witness of pro-lifers across the state.”

Rallying for life

A huge rally was held last year on UW-Madison’s Library Mall, which concluded with a march to the Madison Surgery Center. I attended that rally and was impressed by the commitment of hundreds of people who came to Madison on a cold day to stand up for unborn children.

This year, the second annual Defend Life Rally will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Library Mall and conclude with another march to the Madison Surgery Center. Organizers of the rally believe a strong turnout again this year could further delay or even prevent the offering of late-term abortions at the surgery center.

Persistence does seem to be paying off. I encourage everyone to pray for an end to abortion and to work for continued growth in respect for all human life. Also, please continue to support efforts to help pregnant women and families with children who need our assistance.

Help for Haiti

In the aftermath of the tragic earthquake in Haiti, please pray for those who died, the survivors, and the relief workers. I encourage everyone to contribute to the diocesan collection for Catholic Relief Services, which is already present in Haiti and providing food, water, clothing, and medical care for the earthquake survivors.