In the lead-up to the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez has held up abortion as the number one social justice issue in America today.
Despite constant media attention on issues such as immigration, global warming and economic disparity, the fact remains that abortion outweighs them all as the greatest moral evil of our age, or “the fundamental injustice in American society,” in the words of Archbishop Gomez.
“If a child has no right to develop in the womb and be brought into this world — then there is no foundation for any human rights in society,” the Archbishop announced in a tweet Friday.
There is no question that #abortion is the fundamental injustice in American society. If a child has no right to develop in the womb and be brought into this world — then there is no foundation for any human rights in society. #OneLifeLA #MadeForGreater
— Abp. José H. Gomez (@ArchbishopGomez) January 12, 2018
The Archbishop’s words echoed those of Saint John Paul II, who wrote back in 1995 that “governments must ensure that all members of society enjoy respect for certain fundamental rights which innately belong to the person” and that “first and fundamental among these is the inviolable right to life of every innocent human being.”
John Paul went on to say that “laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every individual; they thus deny the equality of everyone before the law.”
“How is it still possible to speak of the dignity of every human person when the killing of the weakest and most innocent is permitted?” he asked.
Pope John Paul II famously resisted watering down the evil of abortion as just one among many social ills of our age, or positing a moral equivalency between abortion and other issues such as unemployment, capital punishment, inadequate healthcare or a “broken immigration system.”
John Paul, in fact, called the right to life “the first of the fundamental rights,”
“Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good,” he wrote.
“It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life,” he said, “upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop.”
Worldwide, the number of abortions performed in the first ten days of 2018 crossed the one-million mark, according to statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
A website called “worldometers” keeps a running record of data related to everything from demographics to economics, and also provides a continuously updated total for abortions performed in the calendar year. As of this writing, the number of abortions for 2018 stood at 1,0359,172.
In the United Stated, approximately 3,000 abortions are carried out every day, meaning that more than one in five pregnancies in the U.S. (22 percent) end in abortion.
Currently, abortion is the leading cause of death in the United States, followed by heart disease, cancer, and lower respiratory disease. Abortions account for over 900,000 U.S. deaths each year, while some 614,000 die from heart disease and 592,000 from malignant neoplasms, according to the most recent statistics.
January 22, 2018 will mark the 45th anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout the United States, wiping away state laws that had outlawed it.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome