Sanctity of Life

January 16, 2004
Hardly anyone would admit to not feeling a little sentimental towards the notion called Sanctity of Life. As a nation, we worry about baby seals, the eagles and the condor chicks. We worry about abused animals, the way the civet cats in China are killed as well as the cattle that provides the world’s beef productions.Yet, during this next week, there is a call to acknowledge the entitlements of pre-born children, known as babies.There are still some who will argue that unborn babies are without rights and entitlements, but the parents of Laci Peterson, who are also the grandparents of unborn Connor Peterson, have taught us otherwise.Scientific advances trigger moral dilemmas that often question the sanctity of human life.Everyone is being called to join together to encourage Americans to respect human life at all stages during Sanctity of Human Life Week, Jan. 21-28.Each year, thousands of churches dedicate a Sunday in January as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. It is observed in January to mark the 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions to legalize abortion.Since then, the scope of the issue has broadened as stem cell research, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and chemical and partial-birth abortion have become part of the discussion. Unfortunately, once the boundaries for preserving life are removed, anything and everything is possible. Unspeakable procedures of a few years ago — euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, stem cell research and genetic cloning — are now gaining credibility in states across the country.Until recently, the gruesome and incredibly painful procedure of partial birth abortion has been a generally accepted practice of killing a baby just seconds from breathing on its own. One in four babies now succumbs to abortion.
Oregon is the only state where physician-assisted suicide is legal. As disrespect for life continues, the elderly and handicapped face increasing threats just to stay alive. “The Sanctity of Human Life Week” exists to emphasize the importance of the sanctity of life: that all human life is sacred,” says Julie Parton, manager of Focus on the Family’s Crisis Pregnancy Ministry. “Everyone who participates benefits because it’s calling them back to what’s important to God.”Sanctity of Human Life events emphasize the need to value life from conception until natural death.For those of you who might want to argue the points about rights to kill, know that you don’t have to believe in God to honor life. You just have to practice doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Ironically, that concept is biblical too.Many churches will be honoring life this Sunday. My church will be handing out lapel pins that reflect the size of a baby’s foot at 10 weeks of age as a reminder that little is not limiting by its age, its size or location, the very arguments of the pro-life position.Life is fleeting. We are but a vapor in the stream of things, but God is mindful of each one of us at every phase of our lives. And so should we.Kay Wilson-Bolton is a member of the SPIRIT of Santa Paula®, a group committed to God’s way of reconciliation and unity. She brings a global perspective to local issues.

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