Last week, a very important press conference took place, in response to the recent release of statistics on abortion in New York City.
Anyone with a conscience should be shocked by the horrifying numbers in the report:
These statistics were analyzed by the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a private group that has committed to working to support pro-life initiatives, particularly pregnancy support efforts. They have set up a website, NYC 41 Percent, to publicize this effort.
The press conference was most significant because it called together a group of interfaith leaders — Catholics, Protestants, Jews, whites, blacks and Hispanics — who all pledged to work to offer pregnant women real choices.
For his part, Archbishop Dolan re-issued Cardinal O’Connor’s famous pledge to offer support to any pregnant woman in need. For his remarks at the press conference, see here.
Catholic Charities is already doing a great deal to fulfill that pledge, and the Sisters of Life do heroic work to help pregnant women and those who have already given birth. The various pregnancy support centers in the City, and many faith communities are working miracles. These efforts are certainly worthy of support.
But they’re not enough. More must be done.
At Mass I attended this morning, the celebrant read the Archbishop’s press conference statement in his homily, and called to mind a story from his earlier days as a construction worker. When things were slow, and the workers were idle, the foreman would tell them, “This isn’t a spectator sport”.
Just so. Preventing abortions is not a spectator sport. The decision to have an abortion, all too often, is made by a woman who feels afraid and isolated, with nobody to support or help her. That means that all of us, in our families, parishes, and communities, can prevent abortions by giving practical and emotional support to the women in our lives. No woman should ever go to an abortion clinic because she feels alone.
That’s a call to action for us all.