Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women's health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.I have heard pundits refer to the president, this and prior office holders, as "the most powerful man on earth." That power includes the ability to encourage or discourage life. This one has made his choice.
The call to recommit ourselves to insure our daughters are given the same rights, freedoms and opportunities as our sons causes me to pause and consider his meaning. What rights do our sons have that our daughters do not -- the right to behave with abandon without the burden of life? What freedoms do our sons have that our daughters lack -- the liberty to engage in licentious behavior without consequence? What opportunities are we protecting by destroying the unborn children of our daughters that abstinence and chaste choices cannot insure? Are these the rights, freedoms and opportunities we want for our daughters? Surely not.
We have the liberty to do good or evil, but to choose evil is not to use but to abuse liberty. Let us renounce such misguided liberty and subject our free will forever to the rule of heavenly love. (St. Francis de Sales: Treatise on the Love of God, Book 1, Chapter 17)We who revere the sanctity of life and honor it as gift must persist in refuting the temptations of a freedom that does not respect the will of God or the good of our neighbor. We must be example to a world that honors license, not freedom. We must promote life with charity and love, by example.
Once charity is ours, free will wears the wedding garment. We can keep it on by doing good, or take it off by sinning, just as we please. (St. Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God, Book 4, Chapter 1)It would be wonderful if the "most powerful man on earth" revered life. He does not; but that is not cause for despair. We don't really belong here, anyway...and so we reject the folly of the world and embrace the truths of God. As we complete our novena today to our beloved Saint Francis de Sales, let us ask his intercession that we might reject the temptations and folly of the world and embrace the will of our Heavenly Father, who is all perfect and all love. God has "cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly" -- rejoice!