“Pregnancy care centers, of course, help families when they’re facing an unexpected pregnancy, and they do so out of the goodness of their heart,” Mancini said. Across the U.S., she said, these centers provide over $270 million annually in free resources to families facing pregnancies and newborn children.
“We’re going to need to do everything we can to help moms in need,” she said. “The pro-life movement needs to increase our safety net for families facing unexpected pregnancies.”
According to Mancini, the end of the Roe v. Wade pro-abortion rights Supreme Court precedent could mean 200,000 fewer abortions in 2022 across the U.S. as some states enact abortion restrictions.
Last month the Ohio Department of Health released figures showing that 21,813 induced abortions were performed in the state in 2021, an increase from 20,605 the previous year. More than 60% of abortions took place before nine weeks into pregnancy. Ohio Right to Life said it expected the number of abortions to have been reduced during the three-month period in which the state Heartbeat Law was in effect.
On Wednesday morning before the Ohio March for Life, Youngstown’s Bishop Bonnar celebrated Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus.
“The pro-life movement has much to be grateful for as we enter this rich prayer of thanksgiving. Our collective voice has been heard. Our prayers have been answered,” Bonnar said in his homily. “And yet, our efforts are not complete, as there are still more prayers to be prayed and more work to be done to eradicate the culture of death. We must continue to promote the culture of life and to protect the dignity of the human person from conception until natural death.”
The bishop cited the example of St. Joseph as a protector of life. He invoked the Christian duty to be “mindful of the poor.” This includes those without money, possessions, or relationships, but also those who are “without hope, voice, or opportunity,” like the unborn, he explained.
He encouraged the congregation not to disregard the lives of those who think differently than they do, “despite the sharp and painful differences that divide us not just on the issues of life but so much more.”
“We cannot dismiss the fact that God created them, too. They are life, too,” Bonnar said.
“May the Eucharist we receive today empower us to continue our march forward to ‘welcome, cherish, and safeguard’ life always with a heart for the poor,” the bishop said, “especially the unborn and moms and families in need with a firm commitment to prayer to the one God in whom we are all brothers and sisters.”
Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. He was a recipient of a 2014 Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship.