Catholic Pro-Life News & Events

April / May 2020
Happy Easter! Even though we are still staying physically apart, I invite you all to come together in prayer. Please pray for the time when we can worship together again, for a greater respect for the dignity of every human life, and for all those who feel abandoned and alone, that they will find hope in the love and promises of Jesus Christ.

This email is wordier than usual; however, I know that many of us have extra time at home. Hopefully, you'll have the time and the interest to read this.

Of course, I'm working from home, too. I am available by email or cell phone 479-206-3199 if you need more information, have any questions, or if I can help in any way.

May God bless you and your ministry. Stay safe and be well.

Sincerely in Christ,
Catherine Phillips
Respect Life Director
Diocese of Little Rock
Pro-Life Issues and the Pandemic
As of April 23, 2020 2,635,275  people in the world have been infected with Covid-19. This deadly coronavirus has claimed the lives of more 184,048 people worldwide. These numbers continue to climb as scientists and medical experts throughout the world race to find a vaccine and to develop life saving treatments. Let us continue to pray for all who have died, for all who have lost loved ones, for those who risk their own lives to save others, and for all who are working to fight against this virus. Let us pray for those who have become unemployed and for those experiencing other hardships due to Covid-19.

How else do pro-life issues and the coronavirus pandemic intersect?
  • Ethical medical decision making - Every person's life is valuable! When prioritizing scarce medical resources, decisions must be based on sound bioethical principles that prioritize the protection and reverence for human life. Such guidelines should reject rationing of based solely on age, disability, or future “quality of life” decisions. Let us place our unwavering trust in God’s limitless mercy and provision of all our physical and spiritual needs. Learn more from the National Catholic Bioethics Center.
  • Vaccines - It is critical to develop effective, safe, and widely available vaccines as quickly as possible and to ensure that fundamental moral principles are followed in the development of such vaccines. A vaccine should not be developed from aborted fetal tissue cell lines because other cell lines and processes are readily available. Join our Bishops; click here to TAKE ACTION and urge our government to make sure that vaccines for COVID-19 are developed ethically and are free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion.
  • Pregnancy - A woman who is pregnant during this pandemic may experience more anxiety than usual, especially if the pregnancy is unplanned. Abortion advocates report that the demand for abortion is higher than ever. Sadly, new moms, especially those who live in poverty or in abusive situations, often feel that abortion is their only alternative. Moms need real help! Please consider supporting your local pregnancy center and taking part in your parish Walking with Moms in Need initiative.
Legal Notes - Governors and health departments in many states have suspended elective surgeries so that medical supplies and personal protective equipment can be prioritized to treat patients sick with Covid-19. As these health directives take effect and limit abortion access, pro-abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union initiate lawsuits seeking to undercut the governors' legitimate actions during this time of crisis. Fortunately, the 5th Circuit court declared that during a public health emergency a woman's constitutional right to abortion is not absolute and the state has a right to take emergency measures to protect it's citizens. The 8th Circuit Court has agreed. Although the legal wrangling is sure to continue, at this moment elective surgical abortions that do not preserve the life of the mother cannot legally be performed in Arkansas. Read the early developments in Arkansas in this Catholic News Agency article.
  • Prisoners - In prisons and jails COVID-19 represents an unprecedented threat. Most CDC recommendations are impossible for people to follow. Social distancing is not an option in housing units where people are closely confined together in tiny cells or in open dorms. People routinely move in large groups. Alcohol-based sanitizers are considered contraband and cleaning supplies are distributed sparingly. Even soap is in short supply for those who can’t afford to buy it from the commissary. Fear and sadness have taken grip even in places where the virus has not yet spread. People in prison feel more powerless than ever. Please pray for these men and women who have God given human dignity even if they have committed crimes. Learn how you can help at Catholic Prison Ministries.
  • Personal Responsibility - Covid-19 has impacted all our lives. It's a life issue in many more ways than those listed above. Our Catholic faith calls us to recognize and respect the dignity of each person and work for a more just society for all. How can we do this? Be kind. Be patient. Pray. Wear a mask. Make a mask and give it to someone who doesn't have one. Help a neighbor. Call a friend. Give thanks to God. Hope in Christ.
Even a pandemic does not justify forgetting or violating
the fundamental moral principles that guide ethical action:
human life is sacred and should never be exploited.
Pregnant and parenting moms in need are in our parishes and our neighborhoods, but in desperation, they are turning to other places for help. While many pregnancy help resources are appropriately coordinated at the diocesan or regional level, moms in need are often best reached at the local level. With well over 17,000 parishes in the United States, the Church is uniquely positioned to encourage a collaboration of resources at the local level and to increase awareness of help available to mothers and families in need.

Everyone needs to know how to help or where to refer a mom in need. Help your parish identify local resources for pregnancy assistance such as pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, social service agencies, hospitals and especially Catholic programs and resources.

Everyone needs to know about these resources. How
are these resources communicated and advertised to those who are most in need of support?

The Respect Life Office is committed to helping parishes to participate in Walking with Moms in Need. Please call 501-664-0340 ext. 326 or email if you have questions or need help in any way.

Download the Parish Action Guide

Celebrating Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the beautiful vocation of motherhood and the gift of life. It calls us to cherish the gift of life that we receive from our mothers and to pray for all women to whom God has entrusted life in a very special way. As we pray in thanksgiving for the gift of all mothers, we also specifically remember mothers experiencing difficult pregnancies and pray they may find support and encouragement in choosing life for their children.

As we honor mothers, it is also important to remember that Mother’s Day can be a difficult holiday for many people, such as women who are struggling with infertility, those who have lost or are estranged from their mothers, and mothers who have lost one or more children through miscarriage, abortion, or some other way. Pray that all may trust in God's mercy.
Project Rachel Ministry reaches out to mothers (and fathers) who have been wounded by abortion. By the age of 45, as many as 1 in 3 women have had an abortion, and a similar number of men and family members have been involved. Too often, those who have been involved in abortion suffer alone in silence for years. If you or someone you know needs help with forgiveness, reconciliation, or finding peace after an abortion, Project Rachel Ministry can help.
Call or text our CONFIDENTIAL phone line 501-663-0996.

Prayer of Pope Francis during the pandemic:

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus' pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.


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Respect Life Office · 2500 N. Tyler St. · Little Rock, AR 72207 · USA

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