WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 27, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Respect Life program materials for 2003-2004 are now available from the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.
Begun in 1972, the Respect Life program brings information about Church teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and the wider public. Respect Life Sunday, which begins the yearlong campaign, is Oct. 5.
The program combines education, prayer, services and advocacy. It is observed in virtually all of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States.
“‘Life Is a Miracle,’ the theme of this year’s program, was chosen to highlight this simple truth, seemingly forgotten today,” said Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, chairman of the Pro-Life Activities Committee.
The lead article in the materials, “Ten Legal Reasons to Reject Roe” by Susan Wills, highlights 10 ways the Supreme Court broke from established legal principles in order to find a “privacy right” to abortion in the U.S. Constitution. On moral and legal grounds, Roe v. Wade is indefensible, writes Wills.
Among other articles:
— In “Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Wrong Approach to End of Life Care,” Dr. F. Michael Gloth III, associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a specialist in hospice and palliative medicine, provides an overview of medical and legal developments in physician-assisted suicide and palliative care.
— “We Forgive Those who Trespass Against Us” by Maureen Kramlich, tells the stories of parents who forgave their children’s killers and became advocates against the death penalty.
— “Human Cloning vs. Human Dignity” by Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of the bishops’ Pro-Life Secretariat, focuses on human cloning used to create life solely to destroy it, and the fact that this is a symptom of a deeper problem.
— “Women Deserve Better than Abortion” by Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life of America, draws attention to the fact that abortion is a sign that society is not meeting the needs of women.
— “Political Responsibility: The Virtue of Rugged Hope” by Michael Taylor, executive director of the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, addresses the Church’s call to Catholics to be active citizens who inform public debate with Christian values concerning the human rights and equal dignity of all.
— In “The Myth of Overpopulation and the Folks who Brought it to You,” Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, explores the false beliefs which animate the population control movement and which led to the founding of the U.N. Population Fund.
For Spanish copies of the above articles, as well as other program material, see www.usccb.org/prolife.
For more information, contact the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities at (202) 541-3070. To order materials, call the secretariat’s Fulfillment Center toll-free at (866) 582-0943 (in Maryland,  779-0603).