Bishop Vasa: “the state has a duty to defend and protect life”
Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, California delivered the following remarks to a pro-life rally on Sunday, January 22, 2012 – the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. They are worth sharing with faithful Catholics across the country.
Catholics, Christians, Muslims, Believers in God, Believers in the Inherent Dignity of the Human Person
I come before you to encourage you to persevere and to avoid any semblance of frustration or discouragement. We would all like to see major changes in the legal system so that pre-born human beings could be given a fighting chance to survive and that would be recognized as success but even without that we are successful. We would all like to see the Parental Notification Initiative established as law in California but even without that we are successful. We would like to see a law requiring true informed consent prior to any abortion, including a high resolution ultra-sound but even without that we are successful. There are many things we would like to see in the defense of innocent human life but even without these we are already successful. Each time we take up our banners again, each time we stand up for life, each time we challenge the present system of abortion on demand, each time we positively impact the life of a frightened teen mother, each time we support a pregnancy support center, we are striving against evil and as long as we continue to persist and strive and persevere we are successful. We fail only if we succumb to frustration and discouragement and leave the field of battle.
Keep in Mind:
1) A preborn baby, however small, is a being of human origin — Thus a Human being.
2) Fr Spitzer, SJ tells us: When in doubt, err on the side of assuming and according personhood to every being of human origin, whether or not the activities of that being manifest obvious and clear qualities of personhood.
3) The state has a duty to defend and protect life and when it fails to do so, it causes immeasurable harm not only to the person who lacks protection but to the entire society.
4) A pro-choice stance is indefensible. In some ways it may be worse than a pro-abortion stand. At least a pro-abortionist is consistent. A pro-choice stand by contrast recognizes and even affirms the fact of the presence of a human life as we do here today and yet at the same time advocates that we, as the most powerful nation on earth, do nothing to defend or protect that recognized human being. Thus, they give knowing consent to the deaths of thousands of innocent pre-born children killed by way of abortion every day. Anyone willing to be a bystander in the face of such a wanton destruction of human life is categorically unfit for public office.
5) I fear our generation, particularly here in America, will be looked at by future generations with a kind of horror as they wonder how we ever got to such a state in this great and beautiful County. Recall nearly 25 years ago as hundreds of rescue personnel labored to free 1 year old baby Jessica from the well shaft into which she had fallen. The nation literally waited with bated breath for 58 hours and was held in a state of constant tension as that work went on. There was a nationwide sigh of relief and rejoicing as that one child was finally rescued. That’s the nation the I belong to and am proud of. That too is why I love to associate with you for you too are those front line rescue workers. You do not receive attention like that focused on the baby Jessica workers but your work is no less critical and no less important. For we all know that the child you seek to save is as precious as baby Jessica and thus worthy of our efforts to save her.
At the conclusion of Bishop Vasa’s remarks he led the crowd in the following refrain. It is based on “All we are saying is give peace a chance…” except “peace” is changed to “life.”
Refrain: All we are saying is give life a chance
I am too young to have this child … Refrain
I did not choose to become pregnant …Refrain
I have my education to consider … Refrain
I have my career to consider …Refrain
I am embarrassed for my family … Refrain
It is legal …Refrain
My boyfriend has threatened to break up with me …Refrain
My husband does not want this child …Refrain
The child may have some handicap …Refrain
My doctor recommends it …Refrain
My parents insist upon it …Refrain
Bishop Robert F. Vasa is the Sixth Bishop of Santa Rosa, California.