The Goal is to Make Abortion Unthinkable
By Bishop David J. Malloy
This Saturday, Jan. 22, is the 49th anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court decision known as Roe versus Wade. That decision legalized abortion in the United States.
Since that decision, it is estimated that nearly 65 million children have not been born because they were aborted. That number is staggering. This expansion has been tragic on so many levels.
First, we know intuitively and by faith that every person bears the dignity of coming from the hand and will of God. Already in the womb, the child is a human person who is growing and waiting to come forth as each one of us did. Even without faith, as we “follow the science,” there is no question about the human life in the womb. To say otherwise is simply to allow ourselves to engage in willful self-deception.
Secondly, when we as a people avert our attention from this grave injustice, we do damage to ourselves and to our society. A morally healthy society seeks to respect and foster such a great gift as human life. To do otherwise is to harden our hearts and to damage our faith and our trust in God. The attacks on the life of the unborn in our society contaminate the spiritual foundation of us as a people.
Additionally, we live each day with the social consequences of missing so many of our brothers and sisters. We have become an aging society. Schools close for lack of students. The economy is altered with fewer and fewer workers and consumers. And the aging citizens worry about whether there will be support for them in their final years from the younger populace.
Perhaps most notably to all of us, we can all see that abortion is tearing us apart as a country. Spoken or unspoken, abortion is the major issue behind our national debate and our politics on virtually all levels. Despite all the other issues in a given election, from the national to the local level, votes for the President, the Governor and all political leaders are influenced by the perspective of how they will vote for or against the right to life. 
On this anniversary we must ask ourselves what can we do? How can we stop this tragedy? The answer lies not first in our policies and our politics. It lies in our faith and in our hearts. As Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco recently stated, “our goal is not to make abortion illegal; our goal is to make abortion unthinkable.”
Abortion will become unthinkable only as a result of our visible love. Love for the gift of life. Love for the child in the womb for whom we are willing to sacrifice. Love for the family that nurtures life — life for those who are in need of conversion with regard to abortion. Love for the single mother who is alone and afraid. 
Nevertheless, our love must also engage the political process. That question becomes more pressing because the Supreme Court may issue a decision in June that will greatly modify or even overturn Roe versus Wade. That will likely open a social and political controversy for which we must be prepared so that we can ensure the life of the unborn is treasured and respected.
As Catholics we simply must make ending abortion the pre-eminent issue that sets the table for all other rights and issues. Even as we love also our political leaders, they must hear from us, especially our Catholic politicians. Our voice must be strong and clear. Guided by our Catholic faith, we must seize this moment to end the tragedy of abortion in our state and in our country.