Reflections from Bonnie Quirke President of Lake County Right to Life – On 40 Years in the Pro-Life Movement

Today January 22, 2013, we mourn the loss of the 55 million & counting precious innocent lives lost during the past 40 years since Roe v Wade – that infamous Decision which legalized abortion on demand, throughout our nation, for any reason through all 9 months of pregnancy.

On this somber occasion, Bonnie Quirke, President of Lake County Right to Life, has some personal reflections she would like to share with you.  Here are her thoughts on 40 years in the pro-life movement ….

“I knew that abortion was slowly being legalized state by state – very similar to today’s same-sex marriage debate. When I heard the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court Decision, I reassured myself that this decision would be gone within a year – with people and religious leaders across the country rising up in protest. Sadly I was very mistaken.”

“A small remnant of conscientious people across the country however, understanding the sanctity of life, and recognizing the need to defend it organized into small grass-roots groups and began a struggle that has lasted for 40 years.”

“From these small beginnings, the right to life movement grew and become structured from grass-roots to state and then to a nation-wide movement. It soon became abundantly clear that abortion would not simply be a moral battle, but one that had to be fought in the halls of the legislature, as well as in the churches. Sadly, this did not happen.”

“There are three areas in our society – each bearing responsibility for where we are today:”

The Church”Protestant churches did not have a specific teaching against artificial contraception. Yet even though Catholic Church teaching, spelled out in Humanae Vitae, forbid artificial contraception, the pulpits were silent. In fact, many Catholics were given to believe by individual priests, that they could simply “follow their own conscience,” and ignore the Papal Encyclical, leading to cafeteria Catholicism. This allowed the abortion mentality to quickly replace the sanctity of life mentality. In fact, recent polls revealing that 85% of Catholic women use some form of artificial contraception, has given the present Administration justification for their HHS Mandate, which will specifically cover contraception, as well as abortion and sterilization.”

Politics  “In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its’ 7-2 decision on “Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton,” the two cases which deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution. This was an imposition of raw judicial power by the Supreme Court, subjecting all laws attempting to restrict it, to the standard of strict scrutiny (strict scrutiny is the most stringent standard of judicial review used by the U.S. Courts), overturning the laws of all 50 states. It re-shaped national politics, dividing much of the United States into pro-choice and pro-life camps, activating grass-roots movements on both sides.”

“In 1973 as today, there is an inability to understand that a Supreme Court Decision, such as Roe and Bolton, can only be overturned by incremental legislation or by adding strict constitutionalists to the Supreme Court, who would re-visit the Roe and Bolton decisions. This means, that pro-life legislators must be elected, because the U.S. Senate confirms presidential appointments to the Supreme Court. At both federal and state level, pro-life legislators can only pass incremental legislation that restricts abortion. This is why everyone has a moral obligation to educate themselves on the issues, and where the candidates stand, and vote accordingly.”

People    “Aside from the Church and the government there are many people, who must also bear responsibility for the fact that 55 million babies have died in the past 40 years. This means 55 million mothers, fathers, and in some cases even grandparents, have been complicit in the decision to abort their children or grandchildren. There are also many others who, have and still stand by silent, while the killing continues. Their excuse: “They are personally opposed, but don’t believe they should impose their moral values on others.” This 2nd group shares in the culpability, by seeing evil and not taking a stand against it, becoming morally complicit in allowing that evil to prevail.”

“Henry Hyde said it perfectly: “I think it’s very important that we always remember that we have a special vocation. You and I cannot walk away from this anymore. Remember movies at Buchenwald, where the villagers were brought in to see the pits and the ovens, and how they turned away in horror? They said, “We didn’t know.” We don’t have the same excuse, do we? We do know! We are now the keepers of the flame, the divine flame of human life. We cannot turn our backs on this cause.” October 22, 1977.”


Look for our Commemorative Ad in the Daily Herald, on Jan. 22, Jan. 23 and Jan. 27th.

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