What is the value of human life? Every day we face situations where it seems that some people are worth more than others. We are part of unequal societies, divided into social classes, where we witness acts of injustice and discrimination every day. In the world of work, we sometimes come to believe that people are only worth their merits.
The dignity and value of human life do not depend on our actions, social position or age: they are based on the fact that we are made in the image and likeness of God. This is the sanctity of life; it is a permanent value which cannot be estimated, not subject to conditions.
In recognition of this dignity, this January 23rd we observe the Day of Prayer for the legal protection of unborn children. It is a date to unite and to raise a prayer to respect human life from its conception and throughout pregnancy, and to demand that any attack against it, is considered a crime.
This commemoration is also an invitation to perform penance for violations against the dignity of the human being, committed by abortive acts.
In addition, it is an occasion to pray for women in conditions of vulnerability, so that they receive the necessary attention from the moment they discover they are pregnant.
Many governments around the world continue to deny the right to life of unborn babies. Some try to determine up to what gestational age and under what conditions they deserve legal protection.
States must ensure the effective preservation of life from the moment of conception. To think otherwise is to relativize human dignity and to believe that some lives are worth more than others, that some are disposable or that, under certain circumstances, we can legitimately deprive others of the right to live.
“There can be no true peace without respect for life, especially if it is innocent and defenseless like that of an unborn child,”
said Pope John Paul II. All human lives are valuable and all were made in the image and likeness of God. To deny it is to put one’s lives above others.
In addition to the legal protection of unborn children, as a society we must guarantee the support of pregnant women in conditions of fragility, reinforce the legal responsibilities of parents and acknowledge the conscientious objection of all health personnel.
We must provide women with accompaniment, resources, prenatal and perinatal care, preparation for childbirth and the necessary job training so that they can cope with their pregnancy and improve their situation, for the sake of their babies and themselves.
Let us unite our voices in prayer and become active and socially responsible citizens, in favor of the life of all people from a mother’s womb.