Often we might look at the sad state of our world and lament how corrupt it is, wishing that society would simply change.
St. John Paul II had similar thoughts, as his heart ached to see the world in so much turmoil. Yet, he knew the central key that would pave the way to renewing society.
He explains in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae that supporting mothers and protecting the unborn would lead to a renewal of our culture.
The Gospel of life is for the whole of human society. To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.
John Paul II was unwavering in his belief that a society that destroys the unborn can not truly progress in the common good.
He even goes farther to say that, “There can be no true democracy without a recognition of every person’s dignity and without respect for his or her rights.”
This doesn’t mean that every other social justice issue should be thrown out the window. On the contrary, it simply states that we must have a consistent “whole life” outlook on promoting the common good.
We must work for the poor, but also for the unborn. Even more importantly, we should do everything we can to support mothers and encourage them in their time of need, making the need for abortion entirely absent.
It is a complete view of the issue, one that recognizes and prioritizes the protection of the unborn. If we do not respect the basic human right to life, how will we respect the poor or the elderly?
Let us resolve to do all that we can to protect the unborn first and foremost, but not forgetting the human dignity of every person, from conception to natural death.