Abortion Foes Mark Roe v. Wade Anniversary
Around the State
As opponents of abortion took part in the annual March for Life in Washington on Monday to mark the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, religious and political leaders from across Florida vowed to continue the fight against it.
Newly inaugurated U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio pledged to continue pushing for life in his new position.
“I proudly stand in solidarity with those attending today’s March for Life, as well as all those across the country who share its objectives,” the Miami Republican said Monday. “On this day, we remember the tragic Roe v. Wade decision, whereby the Supreme Court determined that equal protection and equal rights do not apply to the unborn. In doing so, the court rejected the truth that all of our rights are derived from the self-evident, fundamental right to life.
“As Florida’s senator, I will continue to be a voice for not only winning hearts and minds on life issues but also to support pro-life policies, such as a prohibition on taxpayer-funded abortions,” added Rubio. “I also pledge to support well-qualified judicial nominees who will interpret the laws of our land, not establish new policy from the bench as the Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade 38 years ago.”
Conservative leader John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, weighed in Monday to condemn abortion.
“The greatness and civility of a society may be rightly judged on how they treat their most vulnerable and frail,” said Stemberger. “Judging by the laws of our land on this issue, we are more like barbarians than civil servants.
“Abortion is the saddest and most avoidable tragedy of our time,” he added before praising the March for Life. “It is only right for hundreds of thousands of Americans to gather to pray, walk and draw public attention to this great evil.”
Democratic presidential candidate Randall Terry, the founder of the Operation Rescue pro-life group and best known to Floridians for serving as a spokesman for Teri Schiavo’s parents and running against First Coast Sen. Jim King in 2006, campaigned in Washington, D.C., Monday at the March for Life.
“It’s thrilling to see so many pro-life people here,” said Terry, who announced last week that he will challenge President Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries and will make opposition to abortion the main issue of his campaign.
While his supporters distributed campaign literature, Terry told Sunshine State News that he will continue to push graphic ads of abortion procedures. “Until America sees child-killing, we’re not going to make child-killing illegal," he said.
Floridians in the March for Life visited their congressional representatives Monday. U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, met with some of them.
Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis also addressed the issue.
“I believe in the sanctity of human life, both born and unborn, and will continue supporting measures that respect human life and encourage alternatives to abortion,” noted Bilirakis. I'll also continue to oppose legislation that would allow public funds to be used for abortions.”
Religious leaders from Florida touched on abortion last week.
Representing almost 2.3 million Catholics in the Sunshine State, the bishops who lead the seven dioceses across Florida -- Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, Bishop Gerald Barbarito of Palm Beach, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Bishop Victor Galeone of St. Augustine, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Bishop John Noonan of Orlando and Bishop John Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee -- released a statement last week to mark the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
“While surveys show there is growing support for strict limits on the availability of abortion, unborn babies are still dying from chemical and surgical procedures that sometimes cause the death of the mother,” wrote the bishops. “We are grateful for the decline in numbers to 82,000 reported abortions in Florida for 2009 but we grieve over even one untimely death of one of God's creations, a unique and irreplaceable human being.
“We are concerned about the growing chorus of voices in society, even among the young people in our Church, who reject Church teaching about marriage as the proper union, where one man and one woman form a lifelong partnership for the procreation and education of offspring,” added the bishops. “The current infatuation with sex as a recreational activity, with little thought about the person that could be created through the sexual union, only perpetuates abortion as a bad solution for what is referred to as a ‘problem pregnancy.’ Pornography, sexting, prostitution and other ills distort the sexuality with which God endowed humanity for the expression of mutual self-giving love and perpetuation of the human race.
“The fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself,” continued the bishops, citing a speech that Pope Benedict XVI made to the Austrian diplomatic corps in 2007. “This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end. Abortion, consequently, cannot be a human right -- it is the very opposite."
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