How to Be Pro-Life

By Marc Massery

The recent confirmations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court have given pro-life advocates hope that Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout the country in 1973, might finally be overturned. This potential reversal could help save thousands, if not millions, of unborn lives.

After all, since 1973, more than 60 million unborn children have been aborted. Each year in this country, about 900,000 more are added to that list.

Yet even if it were overturned, even if every state in the union ended up outlawing abortion for any reason at any time (which is doubtful), we know that abortion, somehow or another, would continue to exist in this fallen world.

Though we can and should hope, pray, vote, and advocate for an end to legalized abortion, we must focus on what we can do here and now in our own communities. We need to double up our efforts on changing hearts and minds, one at a time, to understand the inherent dignity of unborn life.

So where do we begin? How do we become the best pro-lifers we can be? As with anything, to change the hearts and minds of others, we must start by working on our own hearts and minds.

First and foremost, we must refrain from condemning those who have had an abortion, procured an abortion, or advocate for abortion. As the Apostle Paul said, "All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23).

How many times have we done something wrong, believing at the time we were doing what was right or at least best for us? We must remember that pro-choice advocates are not the enemy. Satan is the enemy. We need to treat everyone we meet with dignity and respect, because that's what being pro-life is all about.

After cultivating this charitable attitude, we need to arm ourselves with the truth. We need to know the basic arguments to defend life.

Once we know these basic arguments, we need to place ourselves in a better position to talk about abortion and encounter those who misunderstand.

We can do this by:

•• Praying and offering sacrifices strategically - We must pray and offer penance for the sake of ending abortion. Pray the Rosary or Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily for the sake of the unborn and expectant mothers. Consider having a Mass said for them. Consider bearing witness to your belief in the dignity of human life by praying respectfully in front of abortion clinics.

And pray for the abortionists, the clinic staffers who facilitate abortions, and the women who go to get them. Pray for those who encourage the women to get abortions or who prevent them from having their child, as well as for the unborn children themselves. Pray for our legislators and those who prolong the present culture of death.

Our Rosaries, Divine Mercy Chaplets, Masses, and penances can gain a special outpouring of God's merciful love and change the course of history. Our prayers and sacrifices enable  God to pour out His graces more lavishly upon us. We must, therefore, pray and offer sacrifices as never before for the sake of an end to abortion.

•• Giving our time - Contact the local National Right to Life. Consider sidewalk counseling, tabling, or sign holding.

•• Helping expectant mothers - Volunteer at or donate to your local pregnancy resource center. Chances are, they need volunteers and resources to assist expectant mothers in choosing life.

•• Being open to life - Be open to life in your own marriage. Quoting from Humanae Vitae (14), the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that "'every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible' is intrinsically evil" (2370). Ever since the first oral contraception was marketed in the U.S. in the 1960s, abortion has become commonplace. This is because the contraceptive mentality treats pregnancy as if it were a disorder needing medical treatment. As a result, many turn to surgical abortions as a remedy for failed contraception.

•• Considering adoption - Couples can choose life in an important way through adopting children. As we promote adoption as an alternative to abortion, we need to follow up by giving these children a home and a family.

•• Voting pro-life - The Church has identified five non-negotiable moral issues. Abortion is number one. As Catholics, we are forbidden to be pro-choice. While serving as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) wrote a document titled "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles," which became public in 2004. It addressed voting for political candidates thusly:

A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

        Jimmy Akin wrote an insightful piece about this here.

The bottom line: With about 900,000 children aborted each year, abortion is the preeminent moral issue of our time.

•• Writing your elected officials - Keep it brief. State who you are, where you're from, and the purpose of your letter from the very beginning. Go to to find your state and federal representatives.

Bringing an end to this decades-long holocaust is within our reach. But the change we want to see in this country needs to begin within ourselves. So, let's learn to become the best pro-lifers we can be and do everything we can to defend the dignity of human life every day, no matter what happens in Washington.

You might also like...

Please join the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and the Association of Marian Helpers in praying a worldwide 54-Day Rosary Novena for the respect for life from conception to natural death.
On an October morning, about nine weeks pregnant, I stepped into an abortion clinic where they would extinguish the life of the only baby I would ever carry in my womb.

The new feature film "Unplanned" is making waves throughout America. Find out how this movie delivers exactly what the pro-life movement needs.