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RLA Executive Director on STLToday.com: "Catholics are Bound to Accept Church Teaching on Abortion"

By Karen Nolkemper

Many Catholic politicians and commentators used the March for Life on Jan. 19 and the recent failure of the U.S. Senate to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to publicly contradict the very tenets of their own faith on the sanctity of human life. It must be noted that the Catholic Church is opposed to abortion as "gravely contrary to the moral law." Catholics are bound to accept this teaching and cannot compromise for the sake of pragmatism.

St. Mother Teresa once said abortion is the "greatest destroyer of love and peace." Pope Francis has bluntly called abortion the "murder of an innocent person."

Women in difficult situations facing an unplanned pregnancy need not resort to violence against their child. Numerous organizations, including the Catholic Church, stand ready to assist women materially and spiritually. We offer hope, healing, and forgiveness to anyone wounded by an abortion experience.

Regardless of the political climate, we find hope in Pope John Paul II's prophetic words: "In God's plan, life will be victorious."

See her original Letter to the Editor here.

These St. Louis Women Describe Why They Are a Part of the March for Life

Three Different Perspectives Weave a Rich Pro-Life Witness

Anna Jones

After attending the Generation Life pilgrimage for the first time as a freshman, Anna Jones marched back to St. Louis, determined to start a pro-life club at Kirkwood High School.

At the end of their pilgrimage, Generation Life teens were invited to make a personal commitment to life issues -- thus how Pioneers for Life was born.

Finish reading Anna's story here.

Pam Coughlin

When Pam Coughlin called to reserve a spot for the Missouri Life Caravan, she didn't know a single person on the trip to Washington, D.C. But as it turns out, Coughlin was well-known by members of Missouri Right to Life, which organizes the annual bus trip.

Missouri Right to Life had come to Coughlin's defense, when in the mid-1990s she was fired from her teaching job as an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis. With a doctorate in social work and master's in nursing, Coughlin taught a class called "Child Development Through the Life Cycle." During that class, she showed students "The Silent Scream," a 1984 documentary that used ultrasound images to show the horrors of abortion in graphic detail.

"I gave them the opportunity to stay or leave," recalls the now 82-year-old member of St. Justin Martyr Parish in Sunset Hills. "Four of the girls left the room, went to the administration and tried to get it stopped."

Read the rest of Pam's story here.

Alexis Carrasquillo & Zita Myers-Carrasquillo

Alexis Carrasquillo believes that "everyone deserves a life." That's why she was inspired to attend the March for Life with Rosati-Kain High School.

It was the first march for Alexa and her mother, Zita Myers-Carrasquillo, who came along as a chaperone. Alexis called the experience "awesome," although she said "there were some things I didn't want to see," referring to some of the graphic images of aborted babies along the march route.

For Alexis and her mother, taking a stand for life of the unborn has been the newest link in their efforts to support life at all stages.

Read the rest of their story here.

(All three stories were written by St. Louis Review's Jennifer Brinker; photo collage by Lisa Johnston)

Local Archdiocesan Marches Show Strong Pro-Life Witness

Catholic St. Louis Bore Witness to Life Both in Washington D.C. and Locally

For about a half-hour on either side of noon on Jan. 20, students and parishioners from St. Alban Roe Parish and School bore powerful witness to the pro-life movement.

About 200 people -- 30 students in the middle-school youth ministry joined by roughly 170 parishioners of all ages, from babies to seniors --marched on the bike path along Highways 109 and 100, chanting, singing, and carrying signs.  

The lead sign, carried by three students, asked drivers to "Honk for Life," and honking horns accompanies the group throughout the two-mile hike from the parish church to Wildwood City Hall. There Mayor Jim Bowlin greeted them.

"Thank you for voicing your support for this very important cause," he said in brief remarks to the group. "It really is great that we live in a country where we can do that... Thank you for what you do."

After music and song by the school's Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, along with a little dancing by the students, the event closed with prayer, just as it had begun an hour previous.

Continue reading the St. Louis Review article here (by Dave Luecking and photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.)

Generation Life Pilgrims Lead the Charge in Proclaiming that "Love Saves Lives" at Annual March for Life

Archdiocesan Teen Pilgrimage Brings 2,200 to Washington D.C. on January 19

Kurt Hufker huddled with his friends on the National Mall as they eagerly awaited for the March for Life to begin.

This was the first march for Kurt, who was with his youth group from Assumption Parish in Mattese. Researching life issues on his own, Kurt knew that abortion was wrong, and he wanted to come to stand up for life.

"Life is the most important thing we have," said the junior at St. Mary's High School. "If you can't protect life, what is there to protect?"

Kurt was one of more than 2,200 teens attending the Jan. 19 march as part of the Generation Life pilgrimage, hosted by the archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry. The annual pilgrimage feeds into the March for Life every January. Including the Missouri Life Caravan and other parish and school groups, there were an estimated 3,000 people from St. Louis attending the march.

Finish reading the St. Louis Review article here. (by Jennifer Brinker; photo by Lisa Johnston)

EDITORIAL: Our Commitment to a Culture of Life is Rooted in Love

Love Saves Lives.

That's the theme of this year's March for Life, which commemorates the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion. Forty-five years later, more than 59 million babies have been killed through abortion, according to the statistics from National Right to Life.

But the commitment to stopping this travesty isn't just about attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C., every year. It's a commitment -- rooted in love -- that requires our efforts every day of the year.

The pro-life community understands that choosing life isn't always easy. Facing poverty, abusive relationships, and lack of education or employment are among the reasons women seek abortion.

We're called to love and support both the unborn child and the mother. We must remain committed to building a culture of life from the womb through all stages of life. It isn't only the loving thing to do, but also empowering when a woman chooses life for her child.

Finish reading the St. Louis Review editorial here.