One Final March?

01-09-2022Pastor's LetterFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

This year another March for Life will take place in Washington, DC and many more around the country. The annual March takes place on Jan. 21, the anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion in all 50 states. But this may be the last March for Life protesting Roe depending on how the Court rules on a case it heard in December regarding abortion and the right of the states to regulate it. If the Court overrules Roe, it would not outlaw abortion but restore the status quo pre-Roe, which allows the states to legalize or not and put restrictions on abortion.

If that turns out to be the case it will be a major victory of the Pro-Life movement but it will also bring some new challenges. Challenges that we should prepare for.

Not everyone will be happy if Roe is overturned. So, we should prepare for some very, very strong reactions. Pro-Life organizations, Catholics in general will be a target. Since Texas passed its latest restrictions on abortion, the Texas Right to Life reports receiving sometime 1,000 hate calls a day, not to mention threats of violence. The madness of crowds unfortunately has become too commonplace.

The good news if Roe is set aside, is that our Country will no longer have the moral stain of sanctioning the killing of innocent unborn and almost born children. It will also remove the issue from Supreme Court nominations, which have become a fight over Roe and not the qualifications of a potential Justice. It would also lessen the issue of abortion in election politics, at least on the federal level. That in itself can lessen the divisiveness in the pews. Many times, many of us held our noses as we voted for candidates who we hoped would help appoint federal Justices or Judges that would support Pro-Life legislation or enact restrictions on abortion. And because of the preeminence of the issue, many times accusation of one-issue voting at the expense of other important issues has divide the Church. Wouldn't it be refreshing if now we could vote for candidates on issues other than abortion?

The challenges that overturning Roe would bring, simply put, two battlefronts. First, I am sure there are many in the US Congress who would want to pass a law or codify abortion and fund abortion in the US. So again, we would have to be vigilant on the Federal level.

But the biggest front will be on the state level. We will see states that ban abortion and states that allow abortion up to the moment of birth (and beyond). Some states already have “trigger” laws, that if and when Roe is overturned, abortion would be illegal in those states. Other states went the opposite direction and legalized every form of abortion and for any reason. So, the fight will be on the state level.

And we have done a pretty good job on the state level in passing laws that limit abortion and require abortion clinics to use the same health and safety protocols as other medical providers as well as limiting tax payer funding for abortions. But the real victories have not been in the courts. It is our creation and support of Crisis Pregnancy Centers that really make the difference. Offering women a viable alternative and committing to walk with them not just through their pregnancy and birth of their child but well beyond. Making sure they have the resources to care for themselves and their children is key to helping women make a choice for life. Taking Roe off the table will help demonstrate that we are not just fighting a legal battle but really fighting a battle for humanity.

In fact, the Pro-Life Movement in the US, led by Catholics in the pews, not priests and deacons and certainly not bishops have shown to the rest of the world what can be done to limit abortions, change laws and especially change hearts and minds. Since 1973 many have joined us in the Pro-Life cause not just here in the US but throughout the world. That must continue.

So, please God, Roe is finally put in the garbage bin of history, we will have to redouble our efforts on the local level and help our Pro-Life Centers to really thrive and offer women hope for something better than abortion. Besides no matter what the law says, we can work to bring about a culture where no woman has to choose abortion and where all life will be protected in fact.

P.S. Info on the National March for Life in Washington, DC can be found at: and the Arizona March on Jan. 15: