Pro-life efforts part of diocese's January events

Friday, Jan. 15, 2021
By Laura Vallejo
Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY  — The Diocese of Salt Lake City has scheduled a bilingual rosary, prayers, public advocacy and Masses as part of this month’s pro-life efforts to help Catholics to remember and pray for the millions of innocent lives killed in the womb.

The annual bilingual Rosary for Life is scheduled this year for Sunday, Jan. 17 at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Then, on Friday, Jan. 22, Bishop Oscar A. Solis will celebrate a Mass of the Unborn at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, a tradition he began three years ago.

Many Catholics also will participate in the annual Utah March for Life, which this year will be a car parade around the Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 30. This event is sponsored by Pro-Life Utah, not the diocese.

“These respect-for-life events are all about hope for the future, for men and women, for our families, and for children yet to be born. Be a presence. Each one is an opportunity to be a light as this year dawns,” said Catherine Stokes, chairperson of the diocese’s Respect for Life Commission.

Based on available data, approximately 876,000 abortions took place in the United States in 2018.

“In these earliest days of the year, we walk in hope for a brighter year and deep sadness at the losses we have known from COVID-19. None of us will ever be the same. We move into the respect-for-life events of 2021 with the hope that everyone who has been hurt by abortion may find healing. We walk, we rally, and we pray for an end to abortion,” said Stokes, inviting people to participate in this year’s diocesan pro-life efforts.

She said too many women have been told that the baby in their womb is just a “clump of cells, and that the quick fix of abortion will solve whatever problem they are dealing with. … It’s only later, often when they are seeing an ultrasound of another infant, that women realize they aborted a baby boy or girl, not a ‘clump of cells.’”

Abortions also can be a reason behind marital breakups and the dissolving of relationships, as well as cause some women to suffer depression, guilt and anger, Stokes said.

“In addition, women can have medical complications from abortions, particularly if they are having more than one abortion. Women can suffer from bleeding, infection and perforations of the uterus. They can have long-term problems, such as ectopic pregnancies, cervical incompetence or mental health problems,” she said.

In Utah, several alternatives to abortion are available. Pregnancy resource centers throughout the state have resources such as free ultrasounds, formula and clothing, and parenting classes. Pro Life Utah has a 24-hour hotline for women in crisis, as well as extensive resources.

“Through a new program, Walking with Moms in Need, all Catholic parishes now have access to comprehensive resources, including information for help with housing, utilities, day shelters, job searches, counseling and legal aid. And now we have Project Rachel post-abortive healing that can be accessed by talking to any priest or deacon, or by contacting our counselor, Amy Davis,” Stokes said.

The Project Rachel sessions are confidential.

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