Denver, Colo., Apr 12, 2014 / 12:02 pm
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila is asking the people of Colorado to spend 10 minutes in prayer and take concrete action over the weekend to support the sanctity of human life in the face of a serious legislative threat.
In an open letter dated April 11, the Denver archbishop explained that Senate Bill 175, touted as the "Reproductive Health Freedom Act," is being debated in the Colorado Senate next week.
"This over-reaching piece of legislation would essentially shut down any attempt to pass life-affirming legislation in Colorado ever again," the archbishop warned. "More than that, it enshrines the 'right to abortion' into Colorado law."
"It's being praised by anti-life organizations such as NARAL and ThinkProgress as 'the first of its kind' in the country and 'ambitious.' It enshrines the culture of death into law and ignores science."
Archbishop Aquila went on to explain that the "very troubling bill" would prevent new "common sense regulations" on abortion, such as waiting periods, restrictions on abortion pills for children and parental notification policies.
It would also undermine freedom of conscience in promoting the right to life and would prevent ultrasound requirements, which have had a significant impact on keeping mothers informed about the development of their children and saving the lives of unborn babies, he said.
"Advocates of this bill seek the absolute 'right to abortion' for girls as young as 10 or 11 without a parent's knowledge, guidance or advice," the archbishop noted. "Parents are seen as unfit in the moral guidance of their children."
It would also eliminate abortion clinic health code regulations, he said, calling to mind the gruesome images of dead women and babies that came out of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell's unregulated clinic last year.
"This bill is not good for the women and girls of Colorado!" Archbishop Aquila underscored.
Pointing to the words of Pope Francis in support of human dignity and life on April 11, he asked "every person of good will" in Colorado to spend 10 minutes praying over the weekend about the proposed legislation.
"Plead to Our Lord for His intercession on behalf of life in Colorado," he requested.
"Also, pray for our politicians on both sides of this issue, particularly for those who work tirelessly and often without recognition to promote life-affirming legislation in our State Capitol. Pray for the conversion of the heart and mind of those who support such irrational, unscientific, and a denial of conscience legislation."
In addition to praying, the archbishop requested that the people of Colorado take concrete action during the weekend.
He encouraged people to contact their senators, saying, "It would be a beautiful testimony on the part of the people of Colorado who support life if each senator in Colorado would wake up on Monday morning with hundreds of emails asking them to oppose SB175."
Furthermore, he urged the people of the state to educate themselves about the bill by contacting the Colorado Catholic Conference and to call local media outlets – including newspaper, television and radio – to ask that they cover the bill in order to allow for an open public debate.
"If you have a blog, or are active on Facebook, Twitter or one of the other social networks, spread the word!" he added. "Invite others who may not have received this letter to pray and act!"
Recalling the words of Vatican II, which said that the laity are called to sanctify society, Archbishop Aquila encouraged Coloradans to be "people of hope," resisting the temptation to lose faith or grow discouraged.
"No action taken in defense of life is meaningless, particularly if it comes from a place of prayer and the Gospel," he said.